I spent another month and a half with the Lawson's before I was ready to ride. I could walk straight, shoot straight, and stand straight, it was good enough. I had managed to clean up and fix my father's gun, though it did pull to the left. I also had a nice rifle that Maggie used to hunt rabbits with. This family had taken in a complete stranger and cared for him and my repayment was to take their gun and leave them. I felt bad, but I knew Maggie felt worse.
Maggie was a beautiful girl who probably could have had her pick of any husband, but her dedication to her father's doctoring and the farm had kept her from that. I knew that she had grown fond of me. I had caught the eyes she made when she thought I wasn't lookin' and the way she held herself around me. I was flattered, and yes, maybe even a little tempted.
But That wouldn't be fair to her. Fair to my wife and daughter. I did what I had done with everything else that had happened to me. I bottled it up and wedged it deep inside myself. There would be a time for everything. Either I would find my revenge, and hopefully peace, or I would die and join my family.
I tried to avoid a tearful goodbye by slipping out in the early hours, before the roosters crowed and the sun rose. I left a note, thanking them for all they had done and slipped out the door. As I saddled up the horse they had lent me and threw my meager belongings over the mare's back, I looked back at the house and saw Maggie in the doorway. She was still in her shift, the moonlight reflecting off the thin garment. I could see the slight glisten of a tear rolling down her face. Her lips moved and i could hear her words carried by the night breeze.
"Promise me you'll come back Ethan."
I got on my horse and slowly rode away. Leaving behind Maggie Lawson. My angel.
End of Line.