The fighting didn’t stop.
I found the men who’d killed the Hendricks family.
Found them and all their friends too, it seemed.
I tracked them down shortly before sunset, and when I found them, I gunned them down where they stood. As the roar of the Colts reverberated off the Hollow’s trees, the others came.
They were yelling and howling, blowing bugles, and firing their weapons. The earth shook with the slamming of their boots, and the snow fell from the trees.
My Colts soon ran dry, and there was no time to reload.
I beat men to death with the butts of the revolvers, and I snatched up their strange rifles and opened fire. I don’t know how many times I was shot or how often I was knocked down.
I know the snow around my feet was churned and bloody, and the stacks of corpses piled up as I waded through my newfound foes.
Not once did they try and flee. I’ll give them that.
Through the night, we fought, the sound of gunfire unrelenting, continuous. A steady roar reminiscent of locomotives crashing.
My coat was shot away, and soon too, my shirt.
It mattered not.
The blood lust was upon me, and I felt neither pain nor cold, fatigue nor hunger.
My enemy was in front of me, and I was as pitiless as I was effective.
I stepped over and upon corpses. Killed the wounded and butchered those who tried to surrender.
When it was done, I stood half-naked in the snow, body raw and still healing from the last score of wounds.
I’d left none alive.
I cast down the strange rifle I’d been using, and I reloaded my Colts. From the nearest corpse, I stripped off the man’s overcoat and pulled it on, the fabric still warm from his cooling flesh.
With my Colts in hand, I waited to see what else the Hollow might have for me to kill.
There was nothing and no one.
Without holstering the pistols, I turned and followed the trail of butchered men back to North Road.
Sleep and hunger called to me, but I’d drink before I ate and speak with Horatio before I slept.
The monkey would accept nothing less.