I pulled rein and allowed my gaze to settle on the broken piece of driftwood thrust into the ground before me, the word “Eulogy” etched into its surface. The town that lay some hundred yards or so farther on wasn’t in much better condition. The buildings were old, an odd collection of patched together pieces of stray lumber. Some of my eastern friends might have called it eclectic. I called it ugly. Sin was always ugly, and Eulogy was the biggest, ugliest cesspool of corruption the West had ever seen. It also held the answers to Chastity’s abduction, which meant I was going in whether my companions liked it or not.
Of course, they didn’t like it.
“I ain’t going,” Jack said from the seat of his mule as I urged Typhoid forward.
“I didn’t ask you to.” I didn’t bother to turn in my saddle. For some reason, Jack had decided to attach himself to me, and it was an attachment I didn’t much care for. I had no need for a sidekick at this point in my career, and I said as much to Jack.
“Sidekick? That’s what you think, that I want to be the sidekick of some addle-headed tenderfoot with a target slung across his back?”
Jack forced his mule between me and the town, bringing a derisive snort from Typhoid. “You mind?” he asked.
“Yes, I mind. I mind that you’re taking your master to get killed.”
Typhoid bared his teeth, and the mule skittered out of the way. “Master, indeed,” he harrumphed before resuming his path to Eulogy. This time Jack didn’t follow. He just fumed from behind, cussing and hollering like I’d just stolen his virgin daughter. I chose to ignore him, setting Typhoid straight for the heart of town.
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