In BURNT on April 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm


Sunday stares up at the damned thing, considering all the threads in the rope of a noose.  There’s far too many to count.

It’s much easier to do the math on the folk who died hanging from those gallows.

Twenty-four were men from Los Rios — they were Arango’s men and her father’s personal enemies.

Thirty-one were his old friends.

The remaining seven were made up of local cow thieves, bad drunks and one drifter from Ohio who had the misfortune of being named Jesse James.


Waring is dying.  This morning, she had the deputies haul his bed out in to the sunlight.  Now the sun is dipping low and the gallows’ shadow has nearly consumed him.

He starts and grips her hands.  His eyes struggle to focus.  He fills his lungs one last time and breathes out, “I am your father.”

In fifteen years, she had never questioned it.

Now she knew he was lying.

The Story So Far

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