It was 4 months before I could even get out of bed and another 3 before I could walk without help. Ever so slowly, my body was becoming my own. I had to relearn how to walk, how to hold things. My bones had been broken and despite the help of Maggie and her father, my bones had not set evenly. I knew that it was just a matter of time though until I could return to my true purpose.
It turns out Maggie's father had been a pretty good surgeon back during the War of the States, until an errant shot cost him his leg. In the battle where he was shot he was captured. Gangrene and other infections, along with an inexperienced doctor amputating his leg, almost killed him, along with a bout of pneumonia he suffered while recovering in the prisoner's camp. In the waning days of the War as he was released, he, his wife, and their young daughter had headed out West for the drier climate to hopefully help him along. Her father's name was Charles, though her mother had died in an Indian raid before the county had been fully settled, forcing Maggie to run the house and help her father.
Charles did what he could for me with Maggie's help. Though her Father didn't have the ability anymore, he was still sharp and Maggie made a helluva nurse. They lived on a small plot of farmland about a week's ride from my farm. Maggie had been heading down to the river with a load of wash when she found me on the side of the creek bed. She wasn't sure how long I had been there or how I had got there, but I assumed that somehow I had come dislodged from my horse when he hit the creek and I washed downriver. I had to have been there a day or so though as my pants had been mostly dry.
Charles had doubted I would have survived the night with my injuries. The belly wound had infected and in my weakened state it should have killed me. Still he had managed to stop the bleeding and treat the infection as best he could. The rest involved time. Time to heal my broken bones and broken flesh. Time to rest and find my strength. I knew there was one thing that time wasn't going to heal. That was the hate. The need for revenge. Though I was grateful for the Lawson's help and hospitality, I knew it was only a matter of time. Time I had. I could wait. I could rest. I could heal. I could pay my debt to these people, to Maggie who fed me when I couldn't lift my arms and to Charles who brought me back to life. But one day I would find the men who did this to me. I would find the men who raped and murdered my wife and daughter.
Maggie may have been an angel of grace, but I was still alive to become an angel of vengeance.