She staggered out into the street, covered in blood as she screamed for help.
Help was there in a matter of moments, several ladies hurrying around the young woman and guiding her away as one of the boys went racing to the doctor. A few minutes later, one of our patrolmen came up from the station at a run, and he dashed into the alley from which the young woman had so recently appeared.
The patrolman stumbled out, turned, and vomited onto the road, and I took his place, entering the alley with my hands on my Colts.
Within a moment, I let them rest easy.
Donald Hoffman sat with his back against a wall and a knife buried in his belly. Most of his innards were in his hands, and there was a look of shock on his face. I stood there, attempted to understand what I was looking at, and decided it would be best if I spoke with the young woman.
The patrolman had recovered by the time I stepped out, and he told me the young woman had been taken to the station where she was to be met by the doctor.
I found her sitting and sobbing in the office of Captain Thomas Doyle. There was a look of despair on his face, and he motioned for me to close the door after I entered. I passed the sobbing young woman, leaned close and listened to what the captain had to say.
“Will you help me?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered. “I will.”
“Thank you, Duncan.” He shook my hand and left his office.
Taking his chair, I moved it in front of her, and I smiled.
“What happened?” I asked gently.
“He tried to assault me.”
“Ah,” I said. I leaned forward slightly. “There’s one issue with that, Miss.”
She blinked away her tears and looked at me, confused.
“Donald had his genitals blown off at Bull Run,” I whispered.
Hate flickered across her face. “I’ll scream, and the Captain will have your head too.”
I shook my head. “No. He was there when Donald was wounded. He knows you’re a liar and a killer.”
Fear replaced the hate, and her scream died in her throat as I choked the life out of her.
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