“You know we’ll have to go straight to the sheriff when this is all over, Samuel?” Adam said as he packed their gear onto the horses. “We are good people, we do right by the law and by each other. I won’t be having people thinking that I killed this Whitechaple fellow, hell, I never even heard of the guy. Nor will I’ll be having people believing that I do such things.”

“You won’t have to do no shooting.” Samuel answered back with a calm voice as he stuffed his rifle underneath his saddle.

“Samuel, you don’t have to do this.” Adam shot back as he stuffed utensils and canned goods into his saddle bag, causing the horse to buck slightly. “Let the law handle this.”

Samuel shook his head.

“That’s what the law is for, Samuel. You ain’t judge and jury.”

“Tried it the law way, I did. They said she had gone mad, ran off with some country farmers boy, her being of the high society type, they said that wasn’t right. They said she didn’t obey the wishes of her paw, neither, which gave him the right, I guess.” Samuel shook his head again, speaking as he stared off into the distance, out into the area known as The Forgotten Forest, a forest with almost no trees, just sand and hills and deep gullies, all the color as black as night.

“He was town Overseer to boot. He played judge and jury in more ways then one.” 

As Samuel stood there, continuing to pack his horse and making a mental inventory of ammunition and guns, he flashed back to that day when his new wife’s life was snuffed out like a candle flame in an open wind, gone before she even noticed that her light was extinguished.

It was their wedding night. They had married in secret and stayed the night at a hotel in town where he thought they would be safe. He recalled a loud crack that echoed through the hotel hallways as he slept. Mary had her head resting on his chest and didn’t seem to notice. As he slowly woke-up he saw two men standing at the foot of their bed, silhouettes against a dim gas light in the hall, with a third man standing just outside of the door. When Samuel sat up in bed, the two men looked back at the third who just nodded his head. When they turned back around towards Samuel, they opened fire.

Mary never knew what hit her. The first shot got he right in the head and exploded out the back, killing her instantly – thank God for small miracles. Just like an apple off a fence post, Samuel always thought, feeling the anger well up inside of him.

Samuel was quick, though, quicker then anything these two men had seen, anyway. Before the two men could react, Samuel had rolled out of bed, onto the floor, grabbing his single six shooter that was still wrapped in it’s holster on the night stand by the bed. Before the men could get off another shot, Samuel had emptied his pistol. Only one shot missed, hitting the gas lantern behind the man in the hall. In the fire fight, as smoke and fire blazed out from Samuel’s pistol, he caught a clear look of the man’s face – Whitechapel – and he was afraid.

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