Took me long enough. As I said before: kind of a messed-up day.
The road was a good bit more than a trail, but not the kind of fancy road you got between Homesteader cities. This was crushed stone treated with salamander oil to keep the dust down, and somebody was by on the regular to keep it up. That made it just about right for the Westfields, then. Missus Grammy had confirmed the night before that I still was in the Westfields, and not very far from where I’d been taken and slain.
I didn’t even think about going back to that site. It was just a place, and all of my old gear would be long gone. Besides, so was Blackheart. Instead, I walked east. It was a pretty day for it, or at least I remembered how pretty was, and this fit well enough. It was cool enough for the long coat I was now wearing, but sunny enough for the hat.
Then again, I’d have worn both if it’d been hot enough to cook eggs on a shield, because I didn’t have the walk to myself. The road had a few fellow-travelers on it, usually on foot but with the occasional mule-drawn cart or stagecoach. People stayed out of each others’ way, which suited me fine. Them too, I guess. This part of the Westlands had been civilized enough that the big critters had all been shot out, so the usual urge to travel in packs wasn’t as strong here. Especially when you remembered that there was one big critter that hadn’t been shot out, because he was the thing that waved back when you waved in the mirror.
It was still a little lonely, walking this road by myself. Still, I couldn’t really blame anyone who saw me making my way, long coat and hat on despite the noonday sun, and keeping their distance. Why, I could have been something awful and unnatural, like a walking dead man!