Danzer was in the middle of the small rutted road when the wine worker caught up to him. Danzer was stroking his horses left forefoot. The wine man stopped.
“He spooked when he heard the waterfall and turned on his leg.” Danzer looked up at the mounted man with a look of sympathy or helplessness.
“Let me take a look. I do a lot of work with horses.” The man got down, pushed his stained hat back on his head and knelt beside Danzer. “Easy boy,” he said to the horse as he stroked the leg and then picked up the forefoot. He inspected the horseshoe and then looked at Danzer who was now standing.
“What do you think?” Danzer wore a leather waist jacket and had his right hand inside touching the axe release button.
“Let’s walk him a bit. The leg actually looks okay.” The wine man moved away from Danzer leading the horse by the reins.
The wine man turned when he heard the “thuck” sound of the axe slapping Danzer’s palm. By the time he turned Danzer had the axe high in the air. The morning sun sent a flash reflection into the man’s eyes making him raise his hand to his face to shield his vision. Danzer brought the axe down on the man’s head and face but the blade hit the man’s left hand first.
“My God,” He shouted. “What the hell are you doing? My hand. You cut my fingers off.” He covered his bleeding stumps and ran off the road.
Danzer reflexly reached for his gun but decided against it. A bullet hole is not what he wanted. The axe was on the ground and he picked it up and ran after his victim. The blood had fallen into the dust of the road and looked like dust-covered peas as it balled up. The shed blood looked like dark rain spots as the man went into the woods.
The wine maker looked back at his pursuer. He started to yell but the roar of the falls dulled the sound. When Danzer was twenty-feet away, he stopped and steadied his stance. He turned the axe blade to his rear and threw the weapon spinning toward the man’s upper body. An almost palpable contact noise was emitted as the axe blade entered the back of the man’s head. He stopped yelling immediately and fell forward like a hanged man being cut down. Generalized convulsions followed.
After the seizures stopped Danzer carried the body toward the cliff overlooking the falls. It looked like a hundred-foot drop with rocks protruding at the water impact point. Danzer had to turn his head as he carried the man. The convulsions had released his bladder and bowel and the odor was noxious. Danzer wiggled the blade free holding a handful of leaves against the wound to contain any brain substance. It had to appear that the skull was crushed after the fall not before.
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