Later that night William entered the sheriff's house to see his badge on his desk and a packed suitcase leaning against the chair.
"Sheriff Thorndrake?" William yelled cautiously.
William walked through the storage room filled with boxes of amunition and guns where he saw Thorndrake packing another suitcase.
"You're leaving us?"
"I can't stay in a town that claims to be civilized and then turning into a den of savages when it suits them".
"But you're running".
"You damn right I'm running!"
"It was a moment of weakness. You can't charge us for that! Besides that monkey violated the law!"
First off. Taking a dinner roll before prayer is a moment of weakness. Hanging and burning a man alive in the middle of town is surrendering to a deadly sin! Second. Who represents the law in this town? Who enforces the law in this town? Apparently not me! At least not anymore!"
Slamming the suitcase lid shut with a loud thump brought home the sheriff's anger.
"You done brought this on yourself boy! I can't do nothing more for you!"
"But you took me in as your deputy when I was a kid. You taught me to be ruthless and strike with extreme prejudice! Everything I did was because you taught me! Explain all that then!"
"I did that so later on in your life you wouldn't focus on the teachings your grandfather tried to push on you".
Thorndrake grabbed William by the collar and pulled him closer until their noses were almost touching. The ghostly look of darkness in his eyes, an incarnate evil blakness just behind the blue irises washed William in a sea of fear he had never felt before. In that instant sheriff Thorndrake was not the man he grew up to admire. He was something else. He was...
"Falcon. What are you...?
"I TOLD YOU NEVER TO CALL ME THAT!"
"Im sorry, I'm sorry. But why are you saying...?
"Because if my plan to steer you in my direction had failed, I would've had to send someone to kill you".
"You see. The funeral service today revealed something to me. Your bloodline, thanks to your stupid savagery has been passed on to your cousin".
"What bloodline? What are you...? No. Not the nigger! He can't be my cousin!"
"Think boy! You seemed so adameant to know what your grandfather said to him! I took you in to keep you from becomming what you haplessly made out your cousin!
"What could I possible have...?
"You turned him into the spirit of vengeance you idiot. You will be the first for certain. Or, maybe he'll save you for last after he's done with the townfolk. In any case I wont have any worries on my end".
"That-That's crazy talk! The dead don't move!"
"Really? Then look out the window and tell me where's Thomas' s body?"
William slightly chuckled as Falcon released him from his collar.
"Heh. Ir's where it always....."
Nearly chocking on his spit, William looked out the window towards the center of town where the charred fourteen foot pole stood. The burnt ribbon still hung from the blackened metal ring but the loop for Thomas's neck lay empty swinging in the wind.