The Hollow never disappoints.
I’ve left care of the farm to Abel Coffin. He’s only sixteen, but he’s the strongest of that line in a long time. He knows better than to go above the first floor of the house and to stay out of all the buildings save the barn. While he doesn’t understand the orchard, the orchard doesn’t mind him, which goes a hell of a long way.
He’s wearing a revolver, too, and I admire that. He’s brought the right tool for the job.
I’ve done the same
The Colts are on my hips, where they’re supposed to be, and I’ve brought a coach gun with me as well. Plenty of food in my ruck and a blanket to bed down with. I don’t sleep nearly as much as I used to, but I still need the occasional hour or two to let my body rest.
And I suspect I’ll need it.
I went into the Hollow through the lake, taking a small sailboat across and stopping off once at the Child’s house to leave some supplies. It’s easier to get back to that island than it is the farm if the Hollow has a mind to keep me a bit.
If my mother’s really running rampant, then I suspect it’ll be hard going.
Who knows how many of her I might encounter?
Regardless, I plan on putting each and every one of them down.
When I reached the far side of the lake, I made the boat fast in a small cove and set off into the Hollow. The temperature remained much the same, though the day lengthened unnaturally. After nearly eighteen hours of walking and the sun never shifting, I climbed a slight rise. When I crested the top, I found myself looking down into the remnants of a town.
I wasn’t another version of Cross. Of that, I was fairly certain.
Still, I took no chances as I advanced upon it. I’ve been bushwhacked before, and it’s none too pleasant.
The first two buildings were empty, but the third held the fresh remains of Emma Sharpe. She was nailed, inverted, to the far wall. Her throat’d been cut, and, from what I could tell, the blood’d been drained. Hardly a drop had been spilled.
In the dirt and dust around the body, I found bootprints, and I knew things would be a damned sight messier when I found whoever was helping my mother.
Of that, I was certain.