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The first thing Fuller did when she got to Bitter Springs was find a livery for the horse she had been calling “Buster” that had carried her more than two-hundred miles over the last eight days. I won’t be missing the saddle any time soon.

Harold, the blacksmith, who had a few stalls to keep horses in when he was working on shoes, had said she could board the big horse there, so she paid him for a week and thanked him enthusiastically.

 

She slung her satchel over her shoulder and followed the road into town. Diagonally across the street was an inn, and Fuller thought it looked convenient, so she headed over toward it to see if they had rooms suitable for long stays. Maybe I need to find a boarding house instead, but here’s the inn, so I might as well check it out. I could do with some lunch, too.

 

She realized she had put the satchel on backwards, with the secret flap for her sword in the back, and not where she could easily retrieve it if need be. Correcting that, she continued on toward the inn she had noticed when she had made a quick circuit of the market area looking for a livery.

 

As she got closer, she realized that there were a dozen people standing on the porch, a wooden construction that raised a walkway ten inches above the dirt streets of the town. She found that odd, and as she got closer she could make out from their grumbling that they were unhappy about something.

 

“Should we go in there and give them the business?” One old man, probably nearly seventy was shaking his fist.

 

“We can’t stand by and do nothing.” A lady who looked like an inn maiden was looking around to see who might take some kind of action.

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Copyright 2018, 2019, 2020  —  Bill Snodgrass