They didn’t know what to do.
The dogs were everywhere.
No matter where the Kinderzähne appeared or how they tried to leave my lands, they were turned back by the dogs. The canines and the ravens worked together; the weeping willows pulled up their roots and strode along the streams and marshy areas around the lake, searching. They drove the Kinderzähne toward the dogs, and the dogs herded those they didn’t kill toward me.
And I waited.
I sat on a wall I’d built with my father in 1692, smoking my pipe, rifle in my arms and Colts on my hips. I’d left a canoe on the bank, and the dogs would push the Kinderzähne toward me. The creatures would race for the canoe, only to discover I’d driven a length of iron through the bow, pinning it to the bank.
The canoe was bait and nothing more.
Naiads lurked in the shallow water, and they drowned those Kinderzähne who tried to swim away. Those who didn’t were kept in place by the dogs, and I took my time with my shots.
Each was clean, a single round through the head.
Today, I killed thirty-three of the little bastards, and from what I can tell, there’s a hell of a lot more of them out there. How they’re getting in, I don’t know, but I suspect my mother and the Hollow have something to do with it.
Tomorrow, we’ll start checking the islands along the Hollow side of Blood Lake. From there, we’ll work toward the Hollow itself.
Today though, the naiads are still bringing bodies back to shore. The dogs and I will drag them in to the old apple trees and feed them.
I’ll not see good meat go to waste.
Not when my trees are hungry.