Duncan Blood’s Journal: 1869

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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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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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