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12 September, 2007 / Erik

Sample 1

         Walker looks back towards me. At least, I think his name is Walker. He keeps a cigarette between his fingers and it is obvious he wants to smoke. He looks over to Storyteller, who is seated near the gunpowder. Walker looks back at me and I decide to open the Book. It opens to Isaiah. I flip back to chapter one, verse four:

                Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
 

No solace for the wicked to be found there. The boxcar rattles on and makes reading difficult. Storyteller chews on some of the bread Walker brought as provisions for the trip.

            Storyteller is pretty famous around the range for sharing the tall tales of his nation. He is entertaining and a score more interesting than the music halls and saloons people like Walker tend to enjoy. He is one of the natives of this land and he lets his hair grow too long for my tastes. There is only so much tolerance the Lord put in me and Storyteller is aware of it. His gift of story is the only thing that spares the rod on him.

            Storyteller also makes sure people are too frightened of me to provoke a Man of God.

            Walker continues to look at me. His hair is blond and obviously not washed or cut since he left whatever Eastern City he sprang from. His coat, standard issue for the marshals, is caked with blood and mud. To look at him, you would guess he is the sort who takes defense of the law into the very core of his being. Looking at his eyes, I know he is holding something back. This is the land without law and his coat is ill-fitting.

            The sheriff in Kinship was the same sort. The title made him a god, but he was still a frightened man, screaming for forgiveness while Kinship was in flames. He needed to remember that the Lord is only so tolerant and men only less so.

            Walker sits down on one of the boxes containing rifles. He finally tosses his cigarette out the door and looks at me. “Say, Rev’rend, does the Lord have us any kind words? Is he on our side?”

            I finally close the book. “He is on my side, to be sure, Marshall. As to whether or not he is on yours remains to be seen.”

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