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    Sitting at the open window in his bedroom, a shot glass and a stack of silver dollars on the table in front of him, Doc stares out at the cloudless sky. He reaches over, draining the glass of its contents. Eyeing the coins, he picks one up in his right hand, flipping the silver piece over and between his long fingers, beneath his palm and up again, around and around. Many times he accomplishes the sleight of hand. Switching the coin to his left, he tries again. This time the coin drops from stiff, clumsy fingers. Again and again he tries. Beads of perspiration break out on his thin face, but he won't give up. It isn't in him to quit. The sun sets, red and orange flames burning down to embers. Still he tries, his muscles knotting and cramping, his shoulder aching. Alone in the dark, the cool breeze evaporating the sweat still beading on his face, he keeps at it. Finally, the coin makes its appointed rounds, across and under the slender fingers, beneath the palm, over and over and over.

    Kate breezes in, food on a tray. She frowns. "What ya been doin' Doc, sittin' here alone in the dark?" She puts the tray on the bed, lights a match and then the lamp on the bedside table.

    "I've been doing nothing of consequence, Darlin,' I assure you." He turns in the chair to face her, the lamplight casting a shadow onto his face.

    Kate, the match still burning in her hand, takes a step backward, only the bedstead keeping her that close to Doc. "What's the matter with you?" She asks, her voice tremulous. "You look the Devil's in you." Kate stands mesmerized, staring into Doc's face. The match burns into her fingers and she lets out a tiny yelp.

    Rising, Doc hurries to her and takes her hand. He puts the burned fingers to his lips in a brief caress. Instead of being comforted by the gesture, Kate becomes even more frightened. She pulls away and skirts the bed. Reverting to the background of her Hungarian youth, she pulls a tiny gold crucifix on a fragile chain from between her breasts, kisses the icon, crosses herself and mutters something in her native language - a prayer? She opens the door and escapes, slamming it behind her.

    At first surprised by Kate's reaction to him, and by her hasty, frightened retreat, Doc concludes the woman is possessed of some decidedly odd quirks and lets it go at that. He returns to the chair by the window and sits down. The cool evening breeze dries the perspiration from his face. He feels cleansed.

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