Effie stood at one of the front windows, peeking around the curtain, as the Injun’s wagon rolled by with Mae’s coffin in the back. Not even a cloth of respect over the box. The Injun walked in front holding the bridles of his team. The sheriff, a shiny star on his vest flashing in the cold sunlight, rode a horse alongside the wagon, as did Mr. Thayer. The two men talked loud, chuckling and randomly spitting tobacco juice out the sides of their mouths. Pete, his cap in his hands again, walked behind along with Cora.
“We should walk, too,” Bridget said. She stood at the other front-facing window, her curtain nearly pulled off.
Effie’s gut coiled. “No. This isn’t ours.” She’d tried to leave death back at Homeplace, and she’d only met Mae once. She lifted a corner of her curtain again. “I don’t know why Cora is walking. I don’t know what it means. Mae and Mr. Thayer weren’t married. That’s probably why Mae wasn’t laid out at the funeral parlor. Maybe the place didn’t want to serve her.”
“Or Mr. Thayer didn’t feel the need to spend it. Her not being his wife. Going out there, following them into town, would make things worse for us.” They needed to gain footing in Bleaksville, and what would Rev. Jackdaw say of her partaking in such a procession? He worked to rid Omaha of prostitutes and Mae, it turned out, was no more than that. But Cora?
“When we took Rowan,” Bridget said, “everyone in the village walked.”
Mr. Thayer spat again.
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