100 COFFINS

The shouting voices resonated through the floorboards, nearly causing them to buzz.

Cadman had known fear many times in his line of work. It was an everyday reality. But, seeing Paul standing on that platform had shaken him harder than any grazing bullet. It was a different type of fear -- distant, but more poignant. Regardless, his mind remained steady from years of practice.

When the dim candlelight fell over the form of a cellar door, resting closed at an angle above him, Cadman nearly thanked God for the blessing. He rushed carelessly back to the trap door and pulled himself up onto the barroom floor. He stood, motioning to the waiting Alexander to follow. The old man, smartly, had already made his way across the top of the bar. “He’s getting ready to tell them how it’s going to happen,” Alexander said.

Together, they hopped down into the cellar and moved through the cramped darkness to the waiting doors. Cadman pushed them open, emerging into the night air first. Rain fell in a light drizzle. Just as he looked up, however, his excitement turned sour.

A gun clicked.

Joseph pointed a revolver at Cadman’s head. “Come on out Mortimer,” Joseph said. “Both of you stand up.”





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