"Black Eye," Granddad said, "since you're so special, I'll spare those pisspots of

yours. Turn the bitch over and we're square!"


"Is she yours?" Black Eye asked him. "Will she answer if you call her? Is she your legal

wife? A widow is like a masterless dog-they both belong to whoever,raises them. If 

you know what's good for you, you'll get the hell out of here! Don't blame Old Blackie 

for what happens if you don't."


Granddad raised his pistol. The Iron Society soldiers raised their cold, glinting weapons.

Seeing their lips twitch, chanting, he mused. A life for a life! Just then Granddad heard a

mocking laugh from Grandma. His arm fell to his side. Grandma stood on a stone step 

holding Father in her arms, bathed in the rays of the sun in the western sky. Her hair 

shone with oil, her face was rosy, her eyes sparkled.


"Whore!" Granddad railed, gnashing his teeth.


"Ass!" Grandma fired back impertinently. "Swine! Scum! Sleeping with a serving girl is 

all you're good for!"


Granddad raised his pistol. "Go ahead!" Grandma said. "Kill me! And kill my son!" 


"Dad!" my father yelled. Granddad's pistol fell to his side again.