Authors: R.J McCabe
Ken would come over for supper sometimes and would, on occasion, bring a lady called Beth with him. Beth was a woman who had moved to the town from Huntersville and she was worth a pretty penny too. The two seemed to get on like a house on fire, Bill had thought and it was nice to see a twinkle in the old deputy’s eyes.
Jack Blackwater would ride into town from time to time, bringing just a couple of men with him when he arrived. Even though he looked even more the bad guy with his black eye-patch, the people of town knew what he had done for them two years before as well as what he done in creating the railway extension and all held him in very high regard.
All in all things had turned out pretty well. The way Bill looked at it, he had seen hell come to Sundown and surely after that things could only get better.
Three years had passed since the Sundown incident and Roland Benson knew the story well. When Jack Blackwater had returned to Huntersville, the story of what had happened there had quickly spread.
Roland was sure it had picked up extra details as time had gone on but the basis of the tale remained the same. Men who were done a bad turn were buried in the ground up there and had risen from the dead to claim revenge spreading some terrible disease as they went.
Roland had taken great interest in the incident and researched it by talking to some of the men who lived in Huntersville who had, at one time, been part of an Apache settlement. All of the men he spoke to told the same story and each man had a certain look in their eye’s as they spoke. It was, Roland knew, the unmistakable look of fear.
He had been working on a book about what had happened there and was planning on a trip to Sundown itself, maybe to get an interview with some of people who had been part of the town at the time. Roland’s plans, however, had been cut short when his only daughter, whom he considered his whole world, had been killed whilst attending a saloon one night in Huntersville.
Some men from Austin had travelled there to be part of the Blackwater poker tournament which was held every year, the winner of which became a rich man overnight.
Roland’s daughter Clara had been serving drinks during one of the nights games when the men from Austin had realised their part in the tournament was coming to an end, so had held the whole place up at gunpoint taking all the money and jewels that were present.
When some of Blackwater’s men had pulled their weapons it had led to Clara being used as a hostage as the men from Austin made their escape. The men were seemingly not happy with just frightening his daughter almost to death and decided to take her to an empty building on the border of Huntersville where she was raped repeatedly before having her throat cut and being left to bleed out.
After Jack Blackwater had sent out almost all of his men in a bid to find Clara, her body had been finally found and returned to Roland.
Jack had sworn he would find the men and see them hung and while Roland believed he would try, he knew the men would be long gone and would most likely never be found, at least not by any living man.
Roland bought his horses to a halt. He had finally found the place he was looking for.
He unloaded the body of his daughter and lay her carefully down on the ground. Roland then took the shovel from the back of the cart and began to dig.
It was almost December so the weather was just right for him. He imagined how hard it would be digging the makeshift grave on a hot August day.
Roland began to feel the grief leave him as he dug and it was slowly being replaced by a mixture of excitement, optimism, and fear.
He realised that although, if the story was true, he was giving his daughter the chance to avenge her death, he was also risking spreading a horrible disease amongst his fellow man, but still he dug.