11/21/2023 NaNoWriMo, DIG TWO GRAVES: 1032/24149.

I regret nothing.

The Horsemen may be God-fearing sorts, but they do like their spirits. And their womenfolk really like the Burning Foal. It doesn’t mess around with its blessings, neither. A woman calls on it, she’s wanting to put a hurting on someone who probably deserved it. And women just don’t fight fair.

If it had been really two against one, she still might’ve gotten grabbed by one or both — but these were the dumb ones, and they didn’t try to get her at the same time. As I heard her tell it later, Bruce (or Jose) moved ahead, and got a broken nose and a backward shove for his trouble. That checked Jose (or Bruce) for just a moment, and Marigold took that to give out three solid hits to the gut, and then a kick to the unmentionables while he was lying on the ground.

By then — oh, let’s just say it was Bruce — was back for the fight, and now he had a knife out. That I did catch, out of the corner of my eye, and I almost did something then, but I didn’t have to. Marigold avoided the first slash, grabbed Bruce by his coat, swung around, and flung him him into the bar so hard I could hear the crack of arm bones cracking.

“You got yours, Dead-Eye?” Marigold asked from behind me, the scent from her brand already fading. She sounded a little winded, which made sense. The Burning Foal don’t make things easy for its followers. It just evens the odds. “Because otherwise it’s his turn.”

I gave Slicker a look-over. He had his hands out, ready to draw, but now he was looking at both of us, and working out all the angles in his head. He didn’t look real happy at the sums he was getting. “Yeah, I think he and I have a few more things to say to each other,” I told her. “So leave his boys be unless they start looking like they want to go a few more rounds. We want to keep everything civilized.”

Then I looked at Slicker. Really looked. “I think we may have started off on the wrong foot,” I told him. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Dead-Eye George, and that there is Marigold Anderson. What’s your name, friend?”