Dogs II

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This Duncan is much to my liking.

People are stupid.

After the incident in Aldrich’s photography studio, I put signs up at every entrance to town. It was, I thought, simple enough.

“Treat your dogs well.”

Some folks don’t read, some folks can’t.

This fellow just ignored the sign and young James Coffin.

The stranger had come into town by way of North Road, avoiding any mishap with the Hollow and coming into town on a cart pulled by a pair of dogs. Daphne Coffin, James’ younger sister, was there when her older brother bade the man stop and pay heed.

James received a beating for his trouble.

Once Daphne had rushed home for her father and uncles, they had sent her to tell me.

I went into town with my Colts, I’d taken to wearing them whenever I went out. Too often, of late, I have needed them.

And as Mr. Franklin once observed, ‘Better to have and not need than need and not have.’

I found the man with the dogs on Cross Road, in front of Haversham’s Shoppe.

The man was a right bastard, from what I could see, and his dogs looked miserable. I drew both Colts and kept them barrels down as I nodded to the dogs and ignored the man.

“How are you, boys?” I asked.

The dogs glanced over their shoulders at their master, and the man scowled at me.

“Keep your questions to yourself,” the man snapped.

Whatever else he might have said died in his throat as I brought up a Colt and pointed it toward him. I kept my eyes on the dogs.

“Best hope they speak well of you,” I informed him, cocking the hammer.

“I cannot,” said the larger of the two dogs, shifting his stance in his traces. “We are ill-used and ill-fed. There were four of us at one time, but he beat our brothers to death.”

The man started to swear, and I pulled the trigger.

As the Colt’s roar rolled down Cross Road, the stranger tumbled from his seat, a hole in his chest. He lay on his side, legs akimbo, blood pumping out of the wound.

A few townsfolk looked on with disgust.

They all knew my thoughts on dogs and those who treated them ill.

In Cross, the life of such a man was not worth much, nor did it last very long.

I like most dogs more than I like most people.

#dogs #horrorstories

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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