Mary was delivering the day's edition of The Clarion when she ran into Chris.
"Nice day today, isn't it?" she asked him.
"Yes, ma'am," he responded.
"Did you hear about old man Sommers' place?" she questioned. "It's been bought. Two sisters, I believe."
"Really?" Chris replied.
"Yes, I guess we'll be seeing them around soon."
"I suppose we will. Would you like me to give you a hand with those papers?"
"Oh, please, if you don't mind?"
"This epidemic's got Nathan baffled," Chris said as he read the headline Fever Epidemic.
"I know. I thought it might be a good idea to document it and list the symptoms. You never know how far reaching a paper can get sometimes," Mary answered.
"Do you know how many have died so far?"
"I ran a list of those who have died from the fever on the back page. I titled it Death Notices."
"Seven people so far," Chris counted the names.
"Many more are very ill," Mary replied.
"Well, let me get these papers out to folks, then. I'll see you later," Chris told her.
"OK, thanks, Chris," Mary offered her gratitude.
Chris finished delivering the papers for Mary. On his way, he ran into Buck and JD.
"Buck, JD," he greeted.
"Chris," they answered simultaneously.
"Mary tells me old man Sommers' place was sold to two sisters," Chris informed.
"I heard that, too. You think they're single and lookin'?" Buck asked.
"I don't know, Buck, but I'm sure you'll find out," Chris teased and smiled at his old friend.
"I heard they came here from Salem, Massachusetts," JD chimed in.
"Yeah, so?" Buck responded.
"I heard some folks say they're witches," JD answered.
"JD, you are so naïve; that's just a bunch of superstition," Buck replied.
"JD, if it makes you feel better, the Salem Witch Trials were due to a hysteria that swept that region at that particular time. There's no proof those poor people were really witches. They were made up stories by some bored Puritan children," Chris attempted to ease the younger man's mind.
"Yeah, well, old man Sommers' place was spooky before he died, and now two women from Salem bought it. I don't know, Chris, it's not right. Casey said someone told her that someone saw old man Sommers' ghost out there near the barn the other night," JD told them.
"JD, don't worry about it. Try not to listen to rumors, will ya? All these rumors are liable to start a hysteria right here, and we already have enough problems with this fever epidemic," Chris stated.
JD shook his head in agreement and walked across the street leaving Chris and Buck to each other.
"You believe in ghosts and witches, Chris?"
"It's just superstition, Buck. I'm sure these are ordinary women that have come here to make a life for themselves."
"Maybe so. I guess we'll find out soon enough."
The two men walked together while they talked. Neither spoke, though, of their secret thoughts of a connection between the arrival of two Salem women and the start of the mysterious fever epidemic. They passed the post office where they saw Vin helping a young woman, unknown to either of them, with a rather large package. They stopped to watch.
"There ya go, ma'am," Vin said placing the package on the seat f the wagon beside the woman.
"Thank you, kind sir…and you may call me Cassandra," she replied.
"Uh, yes, ma'am, Miss Cassandra. If ya need any help getting' that place fixed up, just holler," Vin told her.
"Well, I would, but I don't think Gretchen would approve," Cassandra answered.
"Gretchen?" Vin asked.
"My sister. She can be a real stick in the mud sometimes, if you know what I mean," she responded.
"Well, take it easy, and tell Gretchen I said 'hi'."
"I will," she said with a smile.
As the wagon left, Vin watched the woman's pale blond hair flow behind her in the gentle breeze.
"Hey, Vin, who's she?" Buck questioned as he and Chris approached from across the street.
"She and her sister just bought the old Sommers' place," Vin responded.
"That lovely creature purchased old man Sommers' homestead?" Ezra questioned as he approached the threesome.
"Yeah," Vin answered.
"So…did you get her name?" Buck asked.
"Cassandra…and her sister's name is Gretchen," Vin replied.
"Cassandra and Gretchen…hmmm…different," Buck commented.
"Did she tell you where they're from?" Chris asked.
"Yeah, someplace called Salem, Massachusetts," Vin answered.
"Salem…Massachusetts…who's from Salem, Massachusetts?" Nathan, who now had joined the group, asked.
"Cassandra and Gretchen Adams, the new owners of old man Sommers' place," Vin told him.
"You are aware of what kind of people live in that New England village; aren't you?" Nathan questioned.
"No," Vin responded.
"Another one," Chris muttered.
"Another one?" Nathan repeated.
"JD told us it was rumored they were from there and that they also are witches," Buck informed.
"Witches?" Vin asked. "As in Halloween?"
"Yeah, it's all nonsense! It's superstition! There are no such things as witches," Chris seemed a little agitated at the suggestion.
"Look, Nathan, I doubt they're witches. I mean, they seem real nice," Vin comforted.
"Hey, Vin, what was in the package?" Buck asked.
"Don't know. Didn't ask…none of my business."
The five men walked toward the jail. Upon entering, they greeted JD, Josiah and Judge Travis.
"Judge?" Nathan asked.
"You ever hear of a Cassandra and Gretchen Adams?" Nathan finished his question.
"They bought old man Sommers' place, didn’t they?" Judge Travis asked.
"Yes, sir," Vin answered.
"So, what about them?" the judge asked Nathan.
"I was wondering if you knew anything about them," Nathan responded.
"Uh-huh, like they're from Salem, Massachusetts?" the judge asked.
"You mean it's true?" JD blurted.
"Y'all aren't afraid of them, are you?" Judge Travis questioned glancing between Nathan and JD.
"Well, that depends…are they really witches?" JD responded.
"JD, Nathan, I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as witches from Salem or elsewhere," the judge comforted, "anything else?"
"Do you know anything else about them?" Nathan again asked without removing or changing his gaze.
"No, Nathan, I don't," Judge Travis responded.
Nathan, too, now wondered about a connection between the women and the epidemic that plagued the town and baffled him. He wondered how he would even bring it up to the others. All this time he was looking for a conventional disease. Witchcraft - there was no cure for a disease brought on by witchcraft. The only answer he knew of was to kill the witch, but how could he?
Cassandra arrived back at the Sommers, now Adams, ranch with the package.
"Gretchen," she called out to her sister.
"In the kitchen," Gretchen responded.
Cassandra brought the package into the kitchen, placing it on the table.
"Did you have any trouble?" Gretchen asked.
"No, as a matter of fact, there are some very helpful people in town. One especially by the name of Vin Tanner - cute, too."
"Do not bring attention to yourself, Cassandra."
"I wasn't. He simply asked if he could help carry my package to the wagon."
"You didn't let 'im, did you?"
"Yes, Gretchen, he didn't open it and examine the contents. He was a perfect gentleman."
"Might I remind you of who we are and why we left Salem…and why we are here?"
"Good. Now, all these people need to know is we are healers and farmers. Understand, Cassandra?"
"Yes, Gretchen, I understand."
Soon word got out that the sisters were healers and serves as nurses during the war. Word also got out that they could cure the Fever that gripped the town. The townsfolk began bringing their ill to them to be healed. This made Nathan nervous and leery as his patients began to head out to see Cassandra and Gretchen. Worse, he couldn't even mention his worries in the presence of Vin. Vin had become good friends with the women. He often helped them with repairs and retrieved supplies from the post office when they arrived. While Vin was away, Nathan approached Chris.
"Chris, somethin's goin' on out there," Nathan voiced his concern.
"Nathan, I'm sure everything's fine," Chris responded.
"Nathan, Vin is a smart man. I'm sure he would know if something was amiss," Josiah said.
"Oh, yeah, remember Rebecca Jane?" Nathan reminded.
"Rebecca Jane was different; she seduced him," Chris answered.
"And these women have a spell cast over him," Nathan finished the sentence.
"Nathan, I believe you are unnecessarily distressed by this entire situation," Ezra piped in.
"Ezra…" an agitated Nathan started in on Ezra.
"Nathan, ignore him. They are new here. Folks will try them out, but they'll be back. They know you and trust you. You're also more convenient, being right here in town," Josiah interrupted.
"I don't know. I just don't feel right about this," Nathan confided.
"Hey, did you guys hear about the Adams sisters? They're healing folks right and left of this fever," JD said excitedly as he ran up to the others.
"JD, we know," Nathan sarcastically answered.
"Oh. Something wrong, Nathan?" JD asked.
"No," Nathan quickly answered.
"He's worried about losing all his business to the Adams ladies," Chris informed JD.
"No. I am worried about just how they are curing them. Better yet, I am worried about just how they all became ill in the first place," Nathan snapped.
"You think these women made everyone sick?" JD asked.
"I just can't prove it yet," Nathan answered.
"Nathan, do not provoke turmoil here. If they are legitimate, we do not want to generate a hysteria reminiscent of 1692 Salem," Ezra warned.
"Look, Ezra, just because you don't want to get your hands dirty doesn't mean we all want to just watch as our friends and neighbors become ill and die at the mere utterance of a word these women speak," Nathan growled through his teeth as he glared at Ezra.
"All right, take it easy, you two. I don't suppose any of y'all know where Vin is, huh?" Chris asked.
"He was up and out of town early this morning," Josiah answered.
"Probably with them witches," Nathan chimed in.
"Nathan, you don't know that for a fact. Now, look, y'all, we need to stick together here, understand?" Chris cautioned.
"Now, if, just if, they are witches, or at least responsible, and I'm not saying they are, we need to be strong. We can't afford to be at each others' throats," he continued.
"He's right. Something like that takes hold and there ain't no telling what folks'll do," Josiah told them.
"Look, I'll talk to Vin the next time I see him. I'll try to rationalize with him, and get him to casually bring the subject up with them or something," Chris said.
Later that evening, Chris caught up with Vin at his wagon.
"Hey, Vin, can I talk to you for a minute?" Chris asked the tracker.
"Sure, what's the matter?" Vin asked.
"What makes you think something's the matter?"
"The look in your eyes."
"Oh. Well, it's about the Adams sisters."
"What about 'em?" Vin asked sitting on the edge of the wagon.
Chris sat beside him, "Some folks are worried that they're witches. I know you're pretty good friends…"
"Chris, they are not witches! I'm surprised at you!" Vin interrupted.
"Vin, I didn't say I thought they were, but to put folks' minds at ease, is there a way you could bring it up with them without insulting them or upsetting them?" Chris spoke softly.
"We'll see. This is about the fever and them curing it, ain't it?"
"Vin, I just don't want folks to get ideas and create a hysteria we can't control."
"Aw'ight, I'll figure out some way to ask or bring it up."
Vin left early the next morning and headed out to the Adams ranch. Upon arrival, he met one of the sisters. He still had a hard time telling them apart - twins. This fact also made Nathan nervous. Twins were sometimes thought of as one person - two parts of a whole. One twin being good, the other being evil, whereas a single child would have both good and evil within. Vin never made it known to the women that he couldn't tell them apart. He just tried his best to pick out who he thought he was talking to at the time.
"Good morning," Gretchen greeted.
"Morning, ma'am," Vin greeted, not knowing whether he greeted Gretchen or Cassandra.
"I hope you don't mind my intruding. I just came to talk," Vin explained why he was there.
"Don't worry about it. Come on in," she invited.
Gretchen showed Vin to the sitting room where they both sat to talk.
"So, what did you want to talk about?"
"Well, I've heard some rumors that…" Vin hesitated.
"That what, Vin?"
"Well, how should I put this…that you and your sister…well, that y'all were witches from Salem, Massachusetts," Vin finally finished.
"Really," Gretchen commented," and what do you think?"
"I don't rightly know. I never met a witch, so, I can't say."
"Well, Vin, rest assured, we are not witches. Would you like to stay for lunch? The barn door needs lookin' at if you want to keep busy until lunch is ready. Cassandra should be back by then."
"Sure. I'll go out and take a look at it now."
Vin left the little house and headed for the barn. Gretchen was right. A couple boards had come loose and one had broken one third of the way up the door. As Vin repaired the door, Cassandra returned. She waved to him and entered the house.
"What's Vin doing here?" Cassandra asked.
"Fixin' the barn door," Gretchen responded.
"Gretchen, the door wasn't broken."
"Yes, it was."
"No, it was not…at least, not when I left."
"Well, I don't know what happened between then and now, but it was broken when Vin went out to repair it."
"Gretchen Adams, you had better not hurt him!"
"Look, Cassandra, he came here to ask if we were witches. The town knows, or at least, suspects. They are aware we are from Salem. It's only a matter of time. If you wish to leave this town with your head and unscorched by fire, I suggest you do as I say."
"Alright, but don't kill him. He's different from them. He's special. Trust my instincts on this one, please, Gretchen."
"OK, but we can't let him leave just yet. He'll be staying for lunch. We'll put something in his food. When he goes to sleep, we'll have to find a way to keep him in bed."
"Just don't kill him!"
"Cassandra, don't get so attached to people. We've got a job to do here."
Vin finished the barn door. He went back into the house for lunch with the two sisters. After lunch, they sat in the sitting room.
"I don't understand. I haven't done anything today, really, yet I feel so tired," Vin expressed his sudden weakness.
"We have an extra room if you'd like to take a nap," Gretchen told him.
"No, I should be going," Vin answered.
Vin attempted to stand, but his body refused. His eyes were heavy with sleep. He tried several times and failed each time. Finally, the woman aided in his attempt to stand, however, they escorted him to the extra bedroom instead of out to his horse.
Gretchen lit some candles surrounding Vin in the room. She also took out some herbs and ancient artifacts that had been passed down to her by her family. She began chanting over Vin in a tongue he could not understand. His eyes rolled back in his head several times as he strained to listen to Gretchen. He no longer could make out her features as all seemed fuzzy to him. Cassandra could see the sweat bead on his flesh. She took his hand in hers. His skin was hot and clammy. His breathing became more labored.
"What are you giving him?" Cassandra asked.
"Fever," Gretchen replied, "I do believe that is the outbreak in town. I wonder how many will be strong enough to survive?"
Gretchen's evil laugh sent chills down even her sister's spine.
"You promised not to kill him," Cassandra pleaded.
"If he is strong, you should have nothing to worry about," Gretchen said as she rose and left the room.
Cassandra stayed with Vin trying to break her sister's spell and save him. Her efforts seemed in vain, as Vin drifted in and out of consciousness due to the high fever. He moaned softly as she gently caressed his now soaked hair.
"Don't worry, Vin, I'll think of something," she whispered whenever his eyes would meet hers.
However, it was not that easy. Upon several occasions, Gretchen would return and chant over him. Whenever she did, the fever, chills and sweat would increase.
Back in town, the outbreak of fever had gotten worse precisely at the same moment as Vin became ill. Nathan was called upon continuously to visit with sick patients.
"Nathan!" Mary hollered, "You must come. It's the judge. He's suddenly extremely ill."
Nathan, Josiah and Chris arrived at the judge's bedside.
"How'd it start, Judge?" Nathan asked.
"I got real hot…then cold. I got dizzy, and I laid down," Judge Travis explained.
"Is there anything else, Judge? I can't seem to figure out any type of illness, just this damn fever," Nathan said after a full examination.
"Well, after I took to my bed, I saw dark shadows enter the room."
"Dark shadows?" they all repeated to one another.
"Yes, like evil spirits," the judge continued.
Mary and the three men looked at each other.
"Judge, I'm gonna have to look into this a little further. I'll check back on you from time to time, OK?" Nathan told him.
"OK, but don't take to long, or you'll be checking on a corpse."
The four stepped outside the judge's bedroom.
"What do you think it is, Nathan?" Mary asked.
"I don't know," Nathan responded, "definitely the Fever, but now there's more symptoms. Haven't heard about these apparitions until today."
"Sounds like what happened to Mr. Stephens earlier today," Chris stated.
"Is there anyone else describing these evil spirits and shadows that y'all know of and I haven't visited with?" Nathan asked.
"I have had a couple of parents come to me at the church describing similar instances. I was coming to you to let you know when Mary came up," Josiah reported.
"Did they see these shadows or evil spirits as well, Josiah?" Nathan questioned further.
"Yes. That's why their parents came to me. They think Cassandra and Gretchen Adams have something to do with it."
"Surprise, surprise. I could've guessed that," Nathan replied.
"Look, round up the others, and we'll meet up at the jail in thirty minutes," Chris ordered.
The foursome split up with Mary staying at Judge Travis' bedside. At the end of the thirty minute time period, Josiah, Nathan and Chris were joined by JD, Buck and Ezra at the jail.
"Where's Vin?" Chris asked.
"Haven't seen 'im all day," Buck answered.
"Great! Well, we'll have to start without him," Chris said.
"We've got a great number of people here in town experiencing very high fevers, chills, sweating and difficulty breathing along with weakness," Nathan began to inform those not present at Judge Travis' bedside. "They are also seeing dark shadows or evil spirits in their rooms."
"Do you think it's them?" JD asked.
"The Adams sisters?" Nathan questioned.
"I've heard some folks say it's witchcraft," Buck said.
"Witchcraft, again?" Ezra asked.
"Don't be so quick to criticize, Ezra," Nathan chided.
Mary quietly entered the jail to address the men and their meeting.
"Nathan, I have some bad news."
"About the judge?" Nathan asked with concern.
"No, he's still with us. It's Mr. Stephens. Mrs. Stephens came to tell me he died a few minutes ago. He's not the only one. Two other men, one young woman and a child also have died. That brings the total to twelve dead. Folks are starting to become very frightened. All they talk about is witchcraft. There's to be a town meeting in about an hour to discuss what we're going to do about this situation," Mary informed the men.
"Chris, what are we gonna do?" JD asked.
"Try to calm these folks down, then, head out to the Adams ranch. We're gonna have to confront these ladies and tell them we can't hold these folks back for very long," Chris told them.
"Are you going to tell them to leave?" Mary asked.
"Mary, we have no proof they are doing anything wrong," Buck answered.
"We have people dying from a mysterious fever. We have two women from Salem, Massachusetts. And, I have also found that they have ancestors that were tried and convicted during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Ancestors that admitted to being witches! What more proof do you need?" Mary snapped.
"It's not enough, Mary," Chris told her. "Look, I'd like answers just as much as anyone else. Might I remind y'all Vin is not here, and no one has seen him all day. I'm only to assume he's with Cassandra and Gretchen. If they're involved, there's no telling what has happened or could happen to him. I, personally, do not wish to have a witch hunt on my hands."
The others agreed. They all attended the town meeting. Several prominent members spoke. Chris attempted to persuade the town to wait until they come back with word as to whether or not the woman were or were not witches. They agreed.
The six men left town and headed for the Adams homestead. Cassandra met them at the door.
"Good evening, gentlemen."
"Ma'am," Chris greeted, "where's your sister?"
"Gretchen's with Mr. Tanner. It seems he has fallen ill."
"How convenient," Nathan replied sarcastically.
"How do you mean, Mr. Jackson?" Cassandra asked.
"I think you know what I mean."
"Well, for your information, it was far from convenient! Mr. Tanner was repairing the barn door when he fell ill. Gretchen took him inside. We've been trying to help him."
"Help him or kill him, Miss Adams," Nathan snapped.
"Mr. Larabee, you must know I would never do anything to harm Vin," Cassandra pleaded.
"Where is he, Cassandra?" Chris asked.
"Come," she motioned them into the house.
"Cassandra, who's there?" Gretchen hollered from a back room.
"Mr. Larabee and the others. They've come to see Vin," she yelled back.
Gretchen emerged from the room.
"He is very ill," she told them.
"We would still like to see him," Chris firmly stated.
"Of course," Gretchen replied.
She led them to Vin's room. Nathan quickly examined Vin.
"Same symptoms as all the others," Nathan observed.
Cassandra gave Gretchen a disapproving glare.
"You said you wouldn't kill him," Cassandra confronted Gretchen.
"He's still alive, isn't he?" she smiled.
"Yes, but what about those poor people back in town?"
"Cassandra, those poor people are on their way over here to burn us alive! When they set fire to you, how poor will you think they are then?" Gretchen scolded her sister.
No sooner the words were spoken then an angry mob made its way up towards the house. The townsfolk carried torches in hand and screaming obscenities and such that voiced their dislike for their newest neighbors.
"Hey! Inside! Send the witches out!" a voice from the crowd yelled out.
"Give us the witches!" yelled another.
Chris stepped out onto the front porch. He tried to calm them. No one listened; instead, they made advances towards the house.
"The first person that steps one foot onto the stairs to this porch, gets shot," Chris finally threatened.
"Mr. Larabee, y'all are suppose to be protecting us from them!" a man hollered.
"We are. That's why we're here," he yelled back over the noisy crowd.
"It sure as hell looks like you're protecting them witches!" the man answered.
"Everyone deserves a fair trial," Chris replied.
"A witch trial!" another man yelled out.
The crowd cheered him on and moved towards Chris. Chris shot a couple warning shots into the air.
"I said, they deserve a fair trial!"
The crowd ignored him and again moved toward the house. Chris could not hold them off. They moved through the house swiftly. None of the six men could ward off the scared, angry mob. Their fear drove them. The townspeople took Cassandra and Gretchen Adams into custody.
In front of the farmhouse, the townsfolk erected to posts and tied the women to them. They gathered sticks, twigs…anything that would burn…and placed it at their feet.
"Please, let us go! We will leave your town and never return," Cassandra begged.
The people laughed and threw stones at her. She began to chant in an ancient tongue. Chris, Josiah, Ezra, Nathan, JD and Buck were helpless as they watched in terror of what was unfolding before them.
Gretchen managed to free her hands. She stepped away from the post. The crowd shrunk back in fear as they gasped at the sight before them. Gretchen untied Cassandra.
"You want your town back?" Gretchen snarled at the townspeople.
No one spoke.
"We ask for one man. Give us what we came for and we shall leave you alone," Gretchen told them.
"Who is it you want?" Chris spoke up.
"Frank Corwin," Gretchen said as she scanned the group for him.
"Frank Corwin?" the panicked mob muttered.
"What do you want with him?" Chris asked.
"He must die," Gretchen responded.
"Miss Adams, we can't just hand someone over to you to kill. Why must he die?" Chris questioned.
"He descends from an evil man. A man that murdered many innocent people and had my ancestors convicted of witchcraft," Gretchen told him.
"Lady, Frank Corwin ain't from Salem. He's from Bristol, Maine," one of the townsfolk hollered.
"Really? Is he here?" Gretchen asked.
"Yeah, I'm here," a man answered moving through the crowd.
"Well, well, well, Frank Corwin. Tell these people…is it not true you descend from Jonathan and George Corwin of 1692 Salem?" Gretchen asked as one of the torches illuminated the evil in her eyes.
"Yes, it is. I see, they should have hung your ancestors at Gallows Hill instead of imprisoning them and finally letting them go," Frank answered.
"You will die the death of your ancestors, Frank Corwin!" Gretchen bellowed as she began to chant in an unknown tongue.
The townspeople backed away from Corwin leaving him to stand alone in front of Gretchen and Cassandra.
"You have no right!" Frank Corwin hollered at Gretchen.
"No right?" she turned back to him silencing her chants. "I have no right? Your ancestor, George Corwin, High Sheriff and Master and Keeper of Salem Jail, stole my family's land and possessions. Your family became wealthy at the expense of other people's very lives! Giles Corey cursed the position of sheriff before he was unjustly crushed to death by heavy stones. He should've cursed your name, instead! The Hathorne's suffer a similar curse, as I'm sure you are aware. Nathaniel, the writer, even tried to change the spelling of his name knowing full well the death his great-great grandfather, Judge John Hathorne, brought to the people of Essex County."
"The Hathorne's were different. People actually died because of Judge Hathorne," Frank tried to rationalize.
"Oh, and George Corwin did nothing!"
"He did his job!"
"He stole our land, our possessions, and many people's lives! If he didn't arrest innocent people on hearsay, no one would've gone to 'Hanging' Judge Hathorne; would they?"
"So, you're gonna kill me?" Frank asked.
"Seems the right thing to do," growled Gretchen.
"They'll have you strung up for murder, if not witchcraft!"
"They won't touch me!"
"Did y'all hear that…she plans to kill me," Frank said as he turned to the crowd.
The townsfolk continued to back away. They feared the women. They already saw what they were capable of in the form of the Fever. Gretchen began chanting again. As she did, Frank Corwin grabbed his chest and sunk to the ground. He pleaded with her to let him go, but she refused.
Rain began to pour on Four Corners and the ranch. As Frank Corwin lay gasping for air, lightning struck the farmhouse igniting it into flames.
"Vin!" Chris heard himself yell.
Vin emerged from the house. He was cured of his illness. Cassandra walked him to Chris, Josiah, Ezra, Nathan, JD and Buck. When she turned back to Gretchen, she watched Frank Corwin exhale his final breath at the same moment lightning struck Gretchen. The woman fell on the rain soaked ground. The rain soon stopped. Both Frank Corwin and Gretchen Adams were dead. Frank Corwin was the thirteenth victim of Gretchen's to die...a very old curse from Salem had claimed yet another victim.
Cassandra was taken into custody and brought to the jail back in town. Cassandra begged for her freedom. She promised that all the ill in town would be well again if she were set free. She made Judge Travis well, and he agreed. He told the town there was too much death over such ignorance. Cassandra was allowed to go free. Four Corners thanked her by sparing her life, although, she had to forfeit her ranch and leave.
The seven men met Cassandra at the edge of town with Mary and Judge Travis. Cassandra approached Vin.
"I am sorry for all the terrible things we have brought to this town…the illness, the death…and the everlasting memory of such fear that will only die with each of you."
"We'll get over it," Vin answered her.
"No, Vin, you won't. It will forever be in the back of your minds. Trust me…it has survived in my family for generations," she smiled at him. "I guess I'll be on my way, then."
She mounted the horse Vin gave her. Cassandra rode out of town, as the others turned and walked back into town.
Comments to: Robyn