I don’t have much when it comes to forgiveness.
Allen Cuthbert learned this, and I only wish I had been able to show him how truly angry I was.
The situation robbed me of that opportunity.
Somehow, Allen Cuthbert got it into his fool head to become a guide for those wishing to explore the mysteries of Honor’s Path. On several occasions, I wanted to brain him and leave him for dead on the tracks.
Danielle, his daughter, was the only person who held me back from this.
She was a delightful child, a sweet young creature who had a magnificent singing voice, and while she rarely smiled after her mother’s death, she still sang. Granted, the songs were a tad mournful, but they were beautiful, nonetheless.
After the publication of Vivian Husker’s book, several people managed to find their way to Cross, and they had even gotten as far as Honor’s Path, where they were promptly slain by whatever hellish creatures thrive beneath the path’s poison soil.
Allen Cuthbert saw there was money to be made by an intrepid fellow, and so he took Danielle with him on his forays into the Black and Coffin farms, always seeking some new route to Honor’s Path.
He found it.
This morning, as I saw with Phineas Black and enjoyed a cup of coffee laced with whiskey, Allen came stumbling and shrieking from the woods. He collapsed before we could reach him, and Phineas wanted to send for a doctor.
I told him, no, and I slapped Allen Cuthbert awake.
The man screamed when he saw me, and then he babbled that his daughter had been taken, that she was gone into a tree. My blood ran cold when I heard that, I knew what it meant. I demanded to see where, and the man refused.
Refused to take me to where his child had gone missing.
I broke his legs, shattered his teeth, and then dragged him by his hair back to the path. Phineas Black caught up with me and handed me a mallet and spikes.
Allen screamed and wept the entire time, and when we arrived at the tree, I searched for any sign of the girl.
There was none.
I nailed him to the tree and blindfolded him.
I didn’t want him to see them coming.
I didn’t want him to know when he was going to die.