Part 3

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The town had slowly come alive, at least on paper.

Along the surface of Running-Deer's desk, Poe laid out fresh paper where he drew an extended layout of both streets and buildings; according to what he'd recorded in detail about the day of the robbery.

Notations were then added to show where bodies had been discovered and where Poe had determined what weapons had fired what shots, using his previous notes for handy reference as he went.

Abby carefully examined the recovered bullets while Poe worked; walking around the desk with each as he measured and marked. When she'd inquired about the weapons recovered from the robbery, Poe brought them out for her to look at as well.

She seemed impressed that he'd not only kept them but had test fired each for comparison.

Once he was sure that he'd recreated everything as best he could, Poe sat in his chair and lit his pipe while he watched the vampire as she studied his work which in and of itself was somehow rather entertaining.

She clearly seemed to know what she was doing, as she followed his previous notes, apparently double checking each step that he'd done along the way.

After her calculations appeared complete, she began placing bullets carefully upon the desktop; most near Poe's marks, some not.

"Sheriff, I know that we've only recently met, but I have to ask ... do you find that you can trust me as of yet?"

Poe puffed silently on his pipe and sat back, before he carefully pulled it out and rested it upon his leg.

"Earlier tonight you clearly had the jump on me ..." he began evenly, "... caught red handed as you were having assaulted a local man of rather ill repute by the name of Michael Moorhen."

Abby didn't say anything as she continued to watch him. "Go on." she prompted.

"This Moorhen fellow has been particularly responsible for several acts of criminal mayhem and spent considerable time soiling my jail cells off and on. Had you killed him, I would not have been entirely surprised. He's pushed the patience of the community to a point that many would not have found fault in the result."

Abby frowned. "But ...?" she asked.

"Had you shot me, with what apparent skill that you may have with those ..." he gestured to her holstered weapons, "... the result would have raised an alarm and brought undue attention and pursuit; something your sort would undoubtedly abhor."

"True enough." she agreed. "However, to be fair, I also explained that I am a practicing physician and not a murderer. You seem unduly comfortable knowing what I am; apparently having met others of my kind, yet you must also be aware of our collective ability to say and do anything to mislead and avoid being revealed to those of ... your sort."

"Yes, also quite true ..." Poe admitted with an amused smile. "... but, even with that I still find that I can trust you; for what it's worth at any rate."

"Have the others made you aware of the ... war that fairly recently came to a somewhat belated yet peaceful conclusion?"

Poe nodded. "Yes, they made references to it on several occasions, although they seem to feel it was still ongoing for some; why do you ask?"

"Before my turn I was a practicing medicinal assistant or nurse as you may better understand it, because that was all that ... women were allowed at the time. Afterward I took the opportunities given to further my education and become a practicing physician, simply because by then, I could."

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