{Chapter} 17

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{Chapter 17}

“We’re getting tired, Curtis. I’m starting to think you’re backing out on us” Brant and his men cornered Mark while he was out standing guard.

Mark rolled his eyes. “Oh, please. You’re all whining like a bunch of little girls. I think it’s high time the five of you man up and learn some patience.”

“Patience? We’ve been waiting fer nigh a month now. I think we’ve been plenty patient” Brant crossed his arms over his chest.

“I’ll tell you my plan when we get to Grayson City,” Mark explained.

“You better. Whatever you’ve got in mind had better be good. If it was up to us, we wouldn’t even be here working to death with those stinkin’ cattle” Joe Blake said contemptibly.

“You’ll be glad. Wait and see” Mark grinned.

“We’re trusting you, Curtis. You better not disappoint us” Brant poked a finger in Mark’s chest.

Mark pushed the finger aside. “Harrison, I want you to keep an eye on the deputy.”

“Why?” Alex Harrison shuffled his feet nervously.

Mark smirked. He had suspicions about that bruise that had miraculously appeared on Alex’s jaw. Adam Sterling probably had something to do with it. “Because I have a feeling that he knows something. He can’t know something. Keep an eye on him, okay?”

Alex nodded, though he clearly didn’t like the idea.

“What about this niece of yours? Will she be trouble? Marshall Heath spoke up for the first time.

“Nah” Mark waved the question off with his hand. “Leave her to me. I know how to handle her.”

“What about her husband?” Brant asked.

Mark grinned widely. “He’s easy enough to take care of. It’s not likely he’ll survive a bullet twice.”

**********

I want to let it go. I want to forget all about Joel’s murder. I want to forgive those men and give it all to You. I just don’t know how. How can someone forgive someone who took everything from them? How can I be selfless in this?

The sun was just beginning to set as Adam paced back and forth along a little stretch of ground where his pacing had flattened the tall grass. He was far away from the camp so that he could be alone with God. Every since that conversation with Katie on top of that mesa back in Oklahoma, he had been thinking on what she had said.

I’m not talking about forgetting. Never forget, Adam.

Her voice echoed in his mind until it became clear to him what she was trying to say.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath.

A piece of Psalms 37:8 now replaced Katie’s voice.

Forgiveness was possible, wasn’t it? He just wasn’t trying hard enough. Maybe he didn’t really want to forgive. Maybe he wanted to hang on to his pain and get revenge for it. Deep inside, Adam knew that revenge was like a circle. Unending. Deep down he knew that his pain was a cage that had captured him and kept him, a cage that had a lock that only the Lord had a key to.

“You gonna stare at her all day, Adam?” Joel laughed and slapped Adam on the back.

“I can’t talk to her, Joel” Adam nervously looked across the street to where Katie Morris stood talking to some other woman.

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