Heyes is sleepin’. His steady breathin’ assures me it’s true. And that’s good, ‘cause it’s the first good night’s sleep he’s gotten since we left Matherville.
As for me, I haven’t slept a wink. Not since Seth died back in the desert. Wanderin’ out there, day after day, night after night, it was Seth who kept me goin’. Kept both me and Heyes goin’. At first, to keep all three of us alive, and later, well, gettin’ justice for what Danny’d done became my motivatin’ factor.
By now, Danny’s six feet under for sure, rotting in his grave where he belongs. The sting of death wiped that smug smile off his face for good. And Seth, now maybe Seth can rest in peace, knowin’ his murderer paid the price.
Yep, I’m glad Danny Bilson’s dead. Truth be told, I’d be gladder still if I could get some sleep.
At least Heyes is sleepin’, though Lord only knows how with his pocket watch tickin’ so loud. Somethin’s gotta be wrong with that thing. I wrapped it in his bandana, then shoved it deep inside his saddlebags. Still, I can hear it. Can’t you?
I thought a bottle’d help me get some rest, but it’s empty now. Didn’t do no good. I’m still sittin’ here, wide awake, listenin’ to that cursed watch. Tick, tick, tick.
And pullin’ back the hammer of my Colt. Click, click, click.
There’s a bad taste in the back of my throat, and it ain’t cheap whiskey. Maybe somethin’ I ate. Only come to think of it, I haven’t eaten anything at all since the gun fight. There’s been this gnawin’ in the pit of my stomach. What’s that sayin’ about grudges and bad stomachs? Good thing I’m not the kind of man to hold a grudge, though this mustache I’m sportin’ might say different.
Sittin’ here in the dark gives a man time to think. About choices I’ve made. Truth. Lies. It was justice I was lookin’ for, wasn’t it, when I went after Bilson? Ha! A flimsy lie like that don’t hold water for long. Not even for the person tellin’ it. It was revenge I was lookin’ for pure and simple. Revenge in the form of money or blood. Bilson chose blood, and I obliged him. Gladly.
Danny Bilson is dead because that’s exactly how I wanted him.
I been sittin’ here thinkin’ about people too, most of ‘em gone. My mother in particular. My ma didn’t know Danny, but if she had, even that sainted woman would agree he deserved to die. Didn’t he? Wouldn’t she?
Confession’s good for the soul*, she used to tell me. The truth will set you free**, she said. But Ma ain’t here to tell my truths to.
There’s only darkness and the infernal tickin’ of Heyes’ watch.
A grateful nod to Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-tale Heart for the inspiration.
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