Peggy Eaton was a born fighter. She was the only woman I knew who had managed to slip away and fight with the Federals at the beginning of the war of secession, and had she not lost a foot to an errant cannonball in her first battle, she would have finished the war.
Peggy, who enjoyed the fact that she had a peg leg to match her name, lived with her companion, Mathilde, for the better part of thirty years before Mathilde was thrown from a horse and died. I visited with Peggy on a regular basis and refrained from drinking with her. Not because the woman was a teetotaler, but because she could drink me under the table.
A few weeks after the death of Dan and Freya, Peggy’s home was attacked. Like the assault on Dan’s, the creatures came shortly after breakfast. Unlike Dan, Peggy and Loki, her raven, were far more successful.
By the time the alarm was sounded by the ravens in the Rookery, and I managed to get to her home, I found Peggy standing near the corpses of three of the creatures. She was reloading her rifle, and there was an older model Colt tucked into her apron. Loki was perched on the head of the nearest beast, chortling as he ate the creature’s eyes.
When I admitted that the dead beasts were the reason for the ravens, Peggy nodded with understanding.
“I appreciate it, Duncan, truly I do,” she told me, finishing with her rifle and grinning at me with her few remaining teeth. “Loki and I are hopeful they’ll try again.”
I raised an eyebrow and politely waited to hear her reasoning.
She gave me a wink and said, “They made the day interesting, and I haven’t had an interesting day since Mathilde died. Want a cup of coffee?”
“Just coffee?” I asked in response.
She laughed and shook her head. “Not at all. Get inside, Duncan Blood, and drink like a man.”
I chuckled, shrugged, and replied, “Why in the hell not?”
Damn that woman can drink.
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