100 COFFINS

“Nine months about. I put up the bank across the street. Does well enough with all the money comin’ in from the oil. You visited before?”

“Yeah,” Cadman said shortly. “I don’t mean to get pushy, but you’re gonna tell me what’s goin’ on around here. Most of these folks haven’t breathed a word since I came in.”

Alexander nodded. “It’s not an easy thing,” he said, “preparing yourself to die. I’m an old man, but that still doesn’t make it simple. Folks, as you’d expect, are taking it hard. That’s why they’re quiet.”

Cadman’s understanding didn’t budge. “Everybody in here’s gonna die?”

“And you,” Alexander said, then twisted his face in confusion. “You really didn’t know?”

People in the immediate vicinity turned to listen, curious.





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