They misjudged her abilities.
Not that she wasn’t skillful, mind you, she should never have been sent after me. Though I don’t look it, I’m far too old for my head to be turned by a pretty woman.
Word about her arrival raced through town. She was both a stranger and attractive, either one of which would have made the proverbial grapevine burn with rumor.
I was out at Gods’ Hollow when one of the Coffin boys told me there was a new woman in town and that she was interested in taking on work at one of the farms. He was on his way home to ask his father if they could hire her.
It doesn’t take much to make me suspicious, and the arrival of this woman, less than a year after I had shot dead the two men in the office at the university, left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t trust her, and so I went and settled into the woods across from the Hollow.
Within the hour, the woman was walking along the road.
Her eyes moved from left to right, and she kept to my side of North Road. Someone had warned her about the Hollow. The sound of a horse’s hooves broke into the stillness, and the woman’s demeanor changed.
Her pace slowed, a smile spread across her face, and she had the air of one relaxed and comfortable.
A moment later, old Jake Tepper came around the corner, and he slowed his horse down in order to tip his hat to her. I could hear them exchange pleasantries, and when he asked her where she was headed to, she replied that she was looking for Blood Farm.
Jake, being none the wiser, readily gave the woman directions to my home, tipped his hat again and went trotting off. When Jake was gone, she shed the guise of innocence and assumed once more the role of predator.
I didn’t allow her to get much farther down the road.
I drew a Colt and put a bullet through her back.
The slug cut her spine in half, and she dropped like a sack of meal. As she lay gasping on the road, she tried to draw a pistol from her dress. Her hands wouldn’t listen.
When she saw me, she snarled, hissing, “Blood.”
“Someone will get you.”
“No doubt,” I told her. “But it won’t be you.”