I have never been overly fond of any who come to Cross in an effort to establish a church. From my experiences, which span two centuries now, these people tend to be the worst of the lot.
The Reverend Timothy Sweet was no exception to this rule.
He arrived early on a train from Boston, carrying a small satchel and holding a walking stick. There was a raw stench about the man that brought a frown to my face and caused my fingers to itch for the triggers of my Colt.
As he passed by me on the street, I turned around and followed him for a short distance. I overheard him ask directions to town hall, and then I followed him there as well.
Once inside, he requested the necessary paperwork for the establishment of a church and then exited quickly. I held the door for him and struck up a conversation as we left town hall.
He was a Baptist, he informed me and suggested that I might wish to attend his church when he found a place to put it.
I confessed to him that I knew of an excellent place for a church, especially one which might grow under the guidance of a learned man. I offered to show it to him, and he agreed.
We walked along North Road and came to the stonewall separating Gods’ Hollow from Cross proper. I informed the Reverend of the place’s name and his eyes became wide.
He misheard me.
“God’s Hollow?” he asked. “Why, it’s as though this is a sign from heaven!”
I nodded. “You ought to take a walk out to the tree-line, Reverend.”
“No, thank you.” The smile on his face faded when he saw the Colts in my hands, their hammers back.
He tried to argue with me, but a single round at his feet helped him understand that I was not interested in conversation. A look of righteous indignation settled over him, and he scrambled over the stonewall. He walked briskly to the tree-line, and when he reached it, he turned around and glared at me.
A moment later, something reached out and snatched him into the forest.
His horrified scream was cut short, and I went back to my business.
Somedays, the only killer in Cross is me.
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