Leagues ahead, as if justification for the old man’s suffering, was a boat. How could refuge exist out here in the abandon? The red dust and crags. Would he find whale bone, and coral, and mermaid skulls, and impossible Lemuria?
He drew near the boat. A thing of wood and shadow, like a coffin, or a cradle. Beneath its keel, he said, I’ll lose them. Or maybe despair waited for dry bones to rest on canine prayers.
A starving Colt 45, unholstered. The storm-stained old man fingered pockets, finally slipping a solitary shell into the loading gate. It would probably end up lodged between his eyes before biting his pursuers. It’d been a long ride through the desert, and when the horse died, a long hike.