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Borrowed Time

    They did not expect the sight which greets them. Between the house and barn, a man toils over a shallow grave, his work with the shovel slow going. Every other spade full or so he stops to blot his eyes against a filthy shirt cuff. Near him stand two boys, one about six years old, the other perhaps ten, the youngest crying loudly, the older standing stiff and silent.

    Doc and Wyatt ride up to the house and tie their horses to the hitching post. On the narrow porch and covered by a blood-soaked quilt is what appears to be two bodies. While Wyatt checks, Doc walks over to where the farmer labors. Oddly enough, no one pays any attention to his approach and he waits silently, hat in hand, for Earp.

    At Wyatt's approach, Doc turns slightly. Earp leans in close to whisper his findings. The dead are a boy of about twelve and his mother, hacked to death. Earp takes a deep breath, the pain reflected in his eyes more revealing than words. The lawmen are on the right track. The killers can't be far ahead.

    The marshals take over the grave digging from the exhausted farmer. In darkness they finish and in darkness the bodies of a woman and her son are put into the ground. Like the young mother in Dodge, they will find no peace until their killers find justice.

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