A Violent Winter. Scene 4.

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Follows Scene 3, 2, and 1…naturally. 🙂

The next day. Morning.

The plans had been made.

The supplies had been gathered.

It was showtime.

Almost as an afterthought, she had asked for a few pieces of penny candy. Jamie needed a treat sometimes. He was such a good boy.

A father figure in his life would be the best thing for him. Selena knew that. She also knew what would happen to Walter if Jefferson knew the extent of her feelings for him. Little Jimmie had found that out. It would be better for everyone if she stuck to the plan. How bad could life in Mexico be?

“Ma’am I’ll ask you again, which flavor of candy would you like?” The shopkeeper was staring at her. Selena pointed randomly toward a collection of flavored sugar. Jamie would like anything as long as it was sweet.

The shopkeeper plucked the candy from the jar where it sat, wrapped the collection in paper, and then placed it into the wooden box with her many other items.

“Going on a trip ma’am?”

“Oh, yes. Some relatives in Mexico invited me to join them. It’s be a nice break in the winter you know. What could I do but accept?” The lie slid from her mouth so easily. Strangely enough, she felt guilty about it. She had never felt guilt about her involvement in Jefferson’s schemes until she had met Walter. What was it about him that made her want something better for her life?

“Ah, that is nice.” The shopkeeper smiled a toothy grin. “What a blessing it is for people who can spend time with their family.” His watery blue eyes filled with pain. He blinked rapidly and then rubbed his muscular hands together. “Anyway, how do you wish to pay for your goods?”

“Just…” Selena was about to charge the cost of her purchase to her bill but thought better of it. “Just take this.” She placed the required currency on the worn wooden counter. She could afford it.

“Thank you.” The elderly shopkeeper gathered the money into his eager hands. “Thank you and God Bless you.” He smiled again. “Many people forget to pay their bill before they leave town. I’m glad there are a few honest folks still left in this county.”

“Of course.” Selena felt a warm blush run through her. She hoped it didn’t show. “I’m just glad I could help.”

“Don’t forget your items now.”

“Oh yes, of course. Thank you for reminding me.” She mumbled, flustered at the turn of events. “Have a good day.”

“Have a good trip. Perhaps I will see you again when you return.”

“Perhaps.” She stammered, confused by the feeling that she was doing something very wrong. As she exited the store, her eyes turned instinctively at the Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff was standing before it, lecturing a large group of well-armed men.

“And don’t be afraid to shoot to kill. Jefferson Little won’t give you a second chance! Now get out there, you know what to do!”

Selena quickened her pace as the Sheriff’s men began to fan out. Scanning the street as if looking for vermin.

Jefferson would expect a warning.

If he didn’t receive a warning, he would be sure to face an ambush.

On the other hand, maybe that would be a good thing.

She could stay here instead of fleeing to Mexico, Jamie could have a father, and Walter would get everything he wanted. Namely, her. Provided that Jefferson Little didn’t escape the hunting party and kill them all.

A very real possibility if Jefferson discovered that he had been betrayed.

What should she do?

She didn’t have long to decide.

The gold train was about to arrive in town.

She could see Jefferson in the distance, leaning against the train station, loading bullets into his pistol.

To be continued…

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