Captain Parr had little patience for idiocy.
I had met him once before, on a cold and bitter morning in the Hollow. We had exchanged pleasantries, assisted one another with a rather difficult killing, and kept in touch as much as one can when the Hollow is involved.
In November of this year, I received a letter by raven informing me of the captain’s need to come into my version of Cross and asked if I would be able to help him.
I sent back the message that I would, of course, be more than happy to do so.
He arrived on Thursday evening and he presented me with a photograph his daughter had recently taken of him. He was rather proud of it, and I was more than happy to place it in my library, where it sits as I write this down.
The two of us enjoyed a fine dinner of roast chicken and some excellent conversation. Afterward, with brandy in hand and pipes at the ready, we retired to the front porch. There was a definite nip to the air and an undertone of rage to the captain’s story.
There was a man who had taken refuge in Cross, it seemed, and he had offended the captain’s honor.
The offense could only be responded to with blood, and so Captain Parr was here for satisfaction.
I confessed to him that I did not know the man, but that I would send word into town that I was in need of him at the farm. If the man was wise, he would run.
He was not.
When the sun was still climbing above the horizon, the morning rays burning the frost from the blades of grass, the man strolled down the center of my drive. He was whistling, his hands in his pockets, and his hat tilted back at a jaunty angle.
Had he been wearing the damned thing like a proper gentleman, he would have seen the captain.
As it was, he did not.
It took the man a long time to die, and that’s mostly because Captain Parr, it turns out, is an expert garroter, and he took his time.
I’m a fair hand with a garrote as well.