Adam took the bullets and threw them to the ground. Whitechapel watched as each hit the sand and seemed almost memorized by the small puff of dust that each bullet kicked up.
“Is that all of them?” Whitechapel asked, raising his gun in a new vigor as a lust for blood boiled behind his bulging eyes.
Adam nodded that it was, concerned now, that since he was essentially unarmed that Whitechapel would go back on his promise to let them go and kill them right where they stood.
“Good,” he said and waved them to ride away with a motion of his pistol.
Adam looked over at his wife and mouthed the words you first, convinced that Whitechapel was going to shoot them in the back as they road away. Adam was hopeful that if any shots were fired it would be at him and Anna-Bell might have a slight chance of escape.
But the shots never came and after they had made the turn to the far side of the large boulder that Whitechapel had been perched on when they were discovered, was when Adam first noticed the half dozen or so bullets spaced sporadically in the bullets loops on the belt.
“Ann-Bell,” Adam called ahead to her as she kicked her horse into a trot, anxious to get as far away as possible. “You go ahead, I need to go back.” He told her when she brought her horse to an abrupt stop and turned around.
“What? Why?” She answered back, eagerly looking from him to the distant horizon. “No Adam, this is his fight. He knew that he could be killed when he started this. He is crazy is what he is. Now let’s go!”
“Ann-Bell, he ain’t crazy, he’s just a man who was starting out his life like we were once. The only difference is his world came crashing down around him.” With shaking fingers, Adam loaded the gun from the bullets from the gun belt, being careful to drop as few as possible, cursing when one slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground, digging a crater in the sand.
“If I had seen that happen to you, Ann-Bell, I would want revenge. I would ride day and night to see that those responsible got what they deserved.”
“Adam!” Ann-Bell cried as Adam took the last bullet from its loop and loaded it into his gun.
“He’s just a man turned into a monster, Ann-Bell. Somewhere deep down in all of us is a monster, just like deep down in every monster is a man.” Adam wrapped the gun belt around his waste. “I’m going to go find the man and bring him back home.”