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Chapter 46

       It had rained recently. When the sheriff’s cruiser pulled around to

the back door at Irma Willard’s, the trees still dripped a bit, and the dust

did not rise when the vehicle stopped.

       The car was clean. Not just the rain neither. We’re talkin’ washed.

No longer dirt gray, turns out the two colors were a rich deep blue and

and a simple cream white. Nice.

       The official looking emblem thing was now visible. Turns out it

wasn’t a state emblem, but an Ardensville emblem. Had a settler and an

Indian and a buffalo and corn. Nice.

      Who knew?

      Morrow turned off the engine. He removed his trooper shades and

parked them on the dash. He studied his reflection two times in the

cheaters that now looked back upon himself.

      The six shooters were not there. The medals and cross were gone.

The collar remained but only that.

         Morrow looked at the faces in the sunglasses.

       “Pardon Sir, but we have not been introduced.”

        He bowed his head and prayed for guidance. He begged his

transgressions forgiven, his pride erased, and refuge in a righteous life.

Then he wept.

        Once composed again, he reached to his right for a small cluster of

wild flowers tied together with a corn leaf and left the car.

        With one foot on the first step, he turned to look into the direction

the breeze was coming from. Alfalfa. The horizon never seemed so far

away as it did on that particular day.

         He climbed, approached the screen door, and reached for the

doorbell. He prayed some more before ringing. Stepping back off the

porch now, he waited and listened. That is all.

        Footsteps could be heard descending the steps. With eyes closed,

Morrow counted each step. When the descent was concluded, Morrow


       Looking up at the screen door now, he studied the obscured outline

yet standing back from the door.

      After a silence, “May I come in?”

      After a silence, Harold popped the hook from its eye, and the

screen door creaked open on its own.

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