Warren Ellis raised the finest bloodhounds east of the Mississippi, and he owed me more favors than he cared to admit.
At sunrise on July 2, I was at his door, banging on it hard enough to set the dogs to howling, which was always a, sure enough, way to get Warren to the door. It did, of course, and I wasn’t surprised or bothered when the door swung open, and Warren was there in his nightshirt, with a sawed-off twelve-gauge aimed at my belly.
Inside the house, we drank a good deal of coffee laced with whiskey and set about deciding which dog to take with us. Her name was Queen, and she was the finest bloodhound I’d ever set my eyes on. With the dog on a lead, Warren and I rode into town in his buckboard. At the train station, the Cross Police distracted the Federal agents long enough for Queen to get a scent.
She tracked for nearly two miles before coming the long way to the North Road. Once there, she moved back toward Gods’ Hollow, then she led us down a cut to where the land met with Blood Lake. It was there she lost the scent, but the three of us looked out across the water for a long time. Finally, Warren said, “I suspect they’re on one of your islands, Duncan.”
I agreed with him, and I added they were most likely going to die on one of them as well.
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