The boy’s eyes were caught by the long stretch of coffins that decorated the walls of the undertaker’s shop before he turned back to watch the sister go.
She left the little town as she had come to it. Alone, with no horse, no wagon or donkey. Only the two legs given her by the Lord saw her way out.
Her habit had shadowed her face in the early morning sun while the white edge of the coif fairly glowed with promise. Her black skirt rustled in the light breeze and the dust raised by her feet pillowed outward to be caught and thrown further out into the world.
For a moment she stopped and watched the train on the horizon as it cut its way back to San Francisco. A light smile graced her lips. The Chinese women and the Madam’s girls were making their way back to their new home. Fahn Quai would see them through as she had done for so many others.
The words of Cavanaugh echoed within her, “How can Man have free will with a God that is omnipotent?”
Her eyes followed a cloud as it slowly scudded its way across, “How am I any different than he in your eyes?”
She had kept her promise. A killer she may be, but she had done that much. Maybe she would burn in Hell for all eternity, but maybe that’s what was needed of her.
A wry smile cracked her lips, “They do say you work in mysterious ways…”
The dusty plains called to her and the hymn of the Queen of the Waves came to her lips. It wafted back to the young boy who stayed behind.
About her waist hung a gun belt. Well-worn was the leather and the steel of the Colt Peacemaker as it gleamed in the sun. From one wrist dangled a string of prayer beads made of darkest ebony and a single cross hung at the end which swayed with the movement from her steps. Where she went was where justice was needed. What she left behind was ashes and hope.
The boy jumped when the burnt hinge to the right saloon door snapped and it clattered loudly to the wooden floor.