I eased off my horse and took in the surroundings. It had been almost a year since I had last seen the place. From the looks of it they had looted the place before burning it to the ground. I tied my horse off at one of the trees at the edge of the clearing and looked over my shoulder at Maggie. She had hung back, respecting my need to do this alone.
I had spent the last month helping them plant and prepare for spring. Doing what chores I could and helping Maggie with the plow as long as my strength held out. It was hard work but I knew it had to be done for two reasons. I would need my strength if I wanted to get back at the people who had done this. The other reason was that i owed them. I should have died, and while I thought that my purpose here on Earth was for revenge, it didn't change the fact that a man paid his debts.
This was the furthest away from the house I had been, and I was tired. The horse ride had taken its toll but I knew the time was now. I had to see for myself. I walked further into the clearing. Emma, my wife, had chosen this spot herself just before our marriage. The plot of land had a small grove in front with a path that led to a small stream, just a short ride away from the main river. Behind was a parcel of land perfect for farming and cattle raising. We had bought it from one of the local cattle barons who had owed my father a favor from the war. It was a prime piece of land, land that had cost me more than money in the end.
Inside the house was ruined, our furniture burnt and broken, rain water resting on the floor. I could still see traces of the yellow sheets Emma had made for our bed fluttering in the wreckage. I picked up a broken picture frame and pulled the photo free. The picture had been burnt badly but you could still see Emma in it. She had given it to me the day of our wedding, to remember how beautiful she had looked that day when we were both old. I ran my thumb over her face as I wiped away a lonely tear from one eye.
I walked out of the farmhouse and started back to my horse before stopping short. Steeling myself I went to the spot where he had defiled them. You couldn't see any sign of it now, but I would always remember it. I closed my eyes, trying to cut out the images flashing back, and dropped to my knees.
"I will make this right Emma. I swear to you. I will make this right."
End of Line.