All currency converted to nuts upon entering

1883 continued…

Of course Arbutus wanted to know
everything about Stockton Dupres.
And now the Widow Vanfleet was
going to tell her something new
about him.
Their story…whatever that was.

The Widow nodded her head to the graves
outside her window. "Oh yes,"
she said as her voiced trailed away.
" I knew Stockton well."

The year was 1878 and Nanny Vanfleet had
been a widow for almost thirty years.
Her sons were both gone and she lived quietly
on her overgrown farm. It had been a long
time since she'd had crops in the field.
With no one to help tend them,
her land had gone back to the wild.

She received a pension from the son she'd lost
fighting for Lincoln. But it served only as a
sad reminder of the heartache that would
never heal.
Her other son had joined the Confederates,
and all trace of him had been lost to her.
She raised chickens, goats and a small garden,
both for sustenance and company.

As the afternoon came to rest on her humble farm,
she was busy doing a third rinse on the poke
she planned to have for dinner.
When suddenly she heard rifle fire and men's voices
from outside of her cabin. She looked out the
kitchen window and saw several men with rifles
coming from the forest toward the two
graves near her home.

She hurried to the front door and picked up
the shotgun before going out onto her porch.

Before she could speak, she recognized Colonel Blair
at the head of the group. "Mrs. Vanfleet,"
he said excitedly, "We need to search your farm.
We got that squirrel Dupres on the run and
I think I hit him."

"Now you know I don't allow no huntin' on my land."
She yelled back in her raspy voice.
"This is no ordinary squirrel", he argued.
"It would be best if you let us see to our business."

But Nanny Vanfleet was no ordinary woman.
She had long lost all the things that were important
to her and she had nothing to lose now.
"Y'all just better leave now while I'm in a good mood."

Blair was bewildered as his hunting party began
to fall back. "There's a $200.00 reward for
Stockton Dupres and we can all share it." He reasoned.

She fired the gun, hitting the shed near where he was standing.
"Get off my land!" She demanded.

Blair's men had already abandoned him
as he began his retreat. "I'll be back with the sheriff."

When he was out of sight, she walked over to the
graves where she had seen something move.
Between the two headstones, lay a bloody mass
of fur and flesh panting wildly.
Without speaking, the creature looked up at her,
"Help me."

To be continued…

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