Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Now Playing: The Silent Child
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Episode Twelve concluded with:
“Guess I don’t have any more questions,” Sheriff Bolger sighed as he spoke. “Rance, I know you’ve already carried one corpse, tonight. Would you--”
“Sure, I’ll help you carry the deputy.”
Laszlo left the Red Dog saloon and headed for the stable behind Harper’s Mercantile. It had been a good night. There had been no fights at the saloon and everyone had been nice to him. Nobody was cruel. It had been a quiet night which ended early, giving him a chance to clean the saloon and get to the stable behind Harper’s Mercantile long before sunup.
Laszlo felt tired. He would sleep on his cot and then clean the stable before breakfast. He wondered if Mr. and Mrs. Harper would have any extra chores for him. He didn’t mind if they did. They were nice people, never yelled at him or…
His good mood suddenly turned cold. Across the street, two lamps had been lit inside the store area of Harper’s Mercantile. People were moving about inside. One of them was Sheriff Bolger.
This wasn’t good. Laszlo stepped back into the shadow cast by the overhang from Bushrod Brothers’ General Store. He could see Sheriff Bolger and another man whose name he couldn’t remember carrying something out of the store. Oh, no. It was a body.
Mr. and Mrs. Harper and that cute little girl were okay. He could see them. But they all looked so serious. And the man who was carried out, he looked dead, not drunk or sick.
Laszlo leaned against the front of the general store. Why did things have to be like this? Why did people have to fight and say nasty things? Why did people have to kill each other?
One of the lamps went out and Mr. Harper was carrying the other one as he opened the door into the living area. Mrs. Harper and the child were with him. Mr. Harper closed the door and the store stood dark.
The swamper crossed the street, wondering, once again, what had happened to him long ago. He recalled people, nice people, in another town telling him he had been in a fight with a lot of other people. They even showed him special clothes he had worn for the fight. A uniform they called it. They told him he had been hurt very badly in the fight.
Laszlo began to walk by the side of Harper’s Mercantile to the stable. He could remember being excited when the railroad came to the town. He saved up his money to get on the train. He had given the man at the station all the money he had saved and the man gave him a ticket. But the ticket ran out and he had to get off the train at Candler.
At first people asked him where he came from. He had to tell them he didn’t know. After a while, people stopped asking those questions.
Laszlo opened the door to the stable and walked carefully inside toward the lantern which was perched atop an old battered stool. He lit the lantern and held it up, giving the stable a cursory glance. His eyes went first to the four horses that he cared for, and the buckboard. Everything looked fine.
But on second glance, he noticed something out of place. A saddle and saddle bags rested on the wall of one of the stalls. One of the bags was open. He was sure all of the bags had been closed when he had looked in on the stable a few hours before.
Carrying the lantern, he walked over to the open bag and glanced inside. The bag was empty, save for one thing. He pulled it out and gasped. This was something very beautiful. Very special. Something this lovely shouldn’t be kept in a stable!
Mr. Harper was probably asleep by now. He wouldn’t bother him. But he knew he couldn’t put his discovery back into a saddle bag. This was not only something beautiful, this was important.
He would take it to the sheriff. Yes, he would take it to Sheriff Bolger right away.
Tomorrow: Episode Fourteen of The Silent Child