Kelvin Danzer put the axe back in its holster. The axe was a trophy from one of his escapades in Germany. Some people called it a hatchet but it was really an axe. The former owner had shortened the handle and honed the edge to a lethal sharpness. It was strong as well as sharp. The metal was polished to a surface creating a mirror finish and Danzer kept it well oiled in a levered holster. The axe blade faced the back of the leather sheath and the unit was released with moderate pressure on a quarter-inch tab at the top. Danzer used his right index finger to depress the lever and the axe handle would spring into his right hand.
The darkness plus the wind and snow provided the concealment he needed. Mrs. Hamer once worked for the Lockes and knew him so he had to keep out of sight. He knew the road Cotter’s hired hand always chose to take the housekeeper home. Danzer selected a large elm and hacked a wedge cut which would direct its fall across the road. He only had to give it a few final whacks with his axe when the buckboard was about 100-yards away. But he missed. LaRoque had somehow sensed something–or maybe it was the horses. LaRoque couldn’t possibly have seen him. Now Nancy Locke would be madder than hell. She had made her intentions plain enough to him.
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