I hate the Hollow.
Not a little, mind you, but with all my heart and soul.
Today was a perfect example as to why I hate it and hate it so vehemently.
Hund, one of the bird dogs I’d rescued several years ago, told me a group of men had made camp in the Hollow. He thought I might be interested in a look at them.
He thought right.
I took my Spencer with me on the off chance that it might be better to shoot from the road rather than the Hollow itself and set out at a leisurely pace. By the time I reached the stonewall on North Road, the sun had climbed well above the horizon and was shining down on what seemed to be a bright and peaceful day.
I paused by an old ash tree and hid in the shade, taking a good look at the small camp and hating it more with every breath I took.
From what I could see, the men wore the uniforms the Federals favored during the War of the Rebellion. Among the men, I spotted a single dog who lay down beside his master.
And it was the sight of the master who angered me most.
George Armstrong Custer.
In my time, he’d had the decency of dying out at the Little Bighorn. I regret his men died with him, but that son of a bitch had to go.
And there he was, big as life and lounging with his friends.
George and I had known each other during the war, but there’d been no love lost between us. I thought he was a braggart who needed his teeth stove in, and he thought I was a boy who didn’t know a thing about war.
I could have told him not to attack an encampment of Natives, no matter how weak he thought they were.
You could only push a man so far, and George and his kind had pushed too hard and too much.
I smiled at the dog, though. I’d stolen his dog during the war, and the dog had been a good companion.
I suspected he would be again.
I could see no reason to leave George Armstrong Custer or any of his friends alive. I knew what Custer would do, and some of his friends too.
I wasn’t worried about how the men had gotten into the Hollow or what world they’d come from. None of that mattered.
Humming, I set the Spencer up, chambered a round, and set my sights on George’s upper lips.