It didn’t work.
I could have told Langer that without the death of Jack. As it was, his stupidity and hubris would cost him.
Just as soon as I found the bastard.
I entered the church that served as Tad Langer’s home. When I entered the main portion, I found a casket and flowers and the faint stench of decay lingering in the confined space.
I went to the coffin in the center of the room, swept the wreaths off the top and unlocked the lid. Drawing a Colt, I opened the casket and looked down upon the decomposing face of a young woman. Jack’s severed limbs had been trimmed down into thin slats and woven into a rough blanket.
Whatever magic Langer might have known, it failed him here.
Either that or something foul had claimed the woman and her soul, and thus there was nothing left to be brought back.
If that was the case, then he should consider himself lucky. An empty body with an open doorway is often a recipe for disaster.
Even as the thought crossed my mind, the dead woman’s eyes flickered.
Something had come in.
She opened her eyes, the irises milky and ichor seeping out with the ease of tears.
“Blood.” Her voice, thick with mucous, was painful to hear, her breath foul. “I know you.”
I cocked the hammer back, and she snarled.
“You killed me,” she hissed and tried to free herself from the woven blanket.
“You’re not the only one,” I told her.
“I didn’t deserve it,” she snarled.
“Deserve’s got nothing to do with it,” I replied.
“Do you know me?” she demanded.
“No. Don’t rightly care, either.”
Her face twisted into a hateful glare. “Samuel Olcott.”
My memory flickered, locked on, and I let out a surprised laugh. “I remember castrating you, Captain Olcott. I am sorry about your wife. She was an unpleasant part of the chore.”
“The slattern doesn’t matter!” the dead man shrieked. “I went to Hell without my manhood!”
“Looks like you’re going back the same way,” I stated and put two shots into the corpse’s head.
With the spirit of Olcott silenced, I chuckled and returned to my search.
Langer still needed to die, and he might even go the same way Olcott had.