The sister strode out onto the raised sidewalk along the main street of the little town. The air stank with the smoke from the burning buildings and rang with the screams of wounded horses. Gunshots continued to burst out until only the smoke and fire remained.
Her eyes tracked to the middle of the street where Major Cavanaugh stood at one end while the brothel’s madam slowly moved out to face him.
The flat dead, voice of the daughter of the Pinkerton woman broke the silence, “How’s your poor feet, Major?”
Cavanaugh’s laugh was grating, “Funny, girl.” His eyes lit on the scarred woman as she came to a stop across from him, “You taking me on, woman? I would’ve figured you’d have learned that lesson a long time ago.” His finger traced a mirror image of the cut in her face.
The madam remained quiet as did her daughter, the voice. With a move that seemed practiced, she slipped her pistol free from its holster and checked to make sure it still had a few shells in it.
Cavanaugh sneered, “When I’m done with you, demimonde, there won’t be enough of you left to snore.”
Her response was to simply slide her pistol home. Her right leg slipped behind her into a dueler’s stance. Her left hand moved toward the holster she wore on her right hip. Her right hand stretched out and she waved him on with her index and middle fingers.
His snarl whipped across the quiet and he grabbed for the butt of his pistol. Before he could even bring it to bear, the air cracked with a shot. His body was hammered back by one hit and then by another. His pistol slipped from his nerveless fingers before he slumped to his knees. His hand reached out before he slammed face first into the dirt of the town road.
In surprise, the nun watched as the madam holstered her pistol and stepped out of the road. She felt a tug on her skirt and looked down at the adolescent girl whose voice held no emotion.
That young girl looked her square on when she said, “To cut a man’s suspenders, a girl must be fast. Wouldn’t you say, Sister?”