“Welcome back, Sheriff. Things go well back east?” Deputy Varge asked. She tossed a stack of papers in the top drawer of her desk, never to be seen again.
“Pretty typical red tape and answers that answered nothing. Things go ok here, Cora?” Quincy asked. He set his coat on the chair of his desk and flipped his own stack of paper just waiting for his return.
“The Farstein lab exploded; the ensuing gas leak found its way to a goblin lodge. Bunch of crops were ruined, but no casualties,” Cora said. She knew the Farstein siblings would be a sore spot for the Sheriff, so she tried to speak as gentle as she could manage. Quincy O’Malley was a patient man, but his fuse was running short when it came to the exploits of Eloise and Robert Farstein.
Quincy shook his head and counted himself lucky no one was injured. “I will see to those two later. Any thing else I need to know about before heading to the Pastor?”
“Why you seeing the Pastor first day back, Sheriff?” Cora asked.
“She had me grab some stuff from town. Treats her lawman like an errand boy, I tell you,” he said with a laugh.
“Well on your way over you may stop by the airfield. New pilot showed up the other day, might be good to introduce yourself. He looked the rough and tumble sort, but probably just interested in seeing the crater,” Cora said.
“I was just at the airfield; no one said anything about a newbie.” Quincy was accustomed to being informed of new visitors to Port Plain.
“Well maybe he left already? I can’t keep on top of all of this,” Cora teased.
“You think I can? That’s why I have deputies. You’re my eyes and ears, Cora. Eyes and ears,” Quincy pointed from his eyes to hers repeatedly as he left the office. The door of the short wooden building clanged shut and a little bell rang out. The sheriff straightened out his badge and began the short walk to the local temple.
He was happy to be home. The city had no dirt roads. There were no boardwalks in dire need of repair. Port Plain was far from a solid city, any strong enough wind could take down half the buildings and the ensuing dust cloud would take weeks to dissipate, but the town had character. He walked to the temple and waved to passers by, occasionally giving a verbal ‘hello’ to those close enough. His town had seen a rough few weeks, but the spirit was unshaken.
Part of its resolve was due to the presence of Pastor Evelyn Paige. She was well acquainted with crisis and helped the town through its recent trouble in ways Quincy would be forever indebted to. If she asked a favor, even something as silly as picking up materials for her congregation’s rituals, he was going to oblige.
“Pastor Paige?” Quincy said as he stepped into the temple. Long pews flanked his sides and at the center of the room sat a fire pit with the smallest of flames flickering in the room’s slight breeze.
“I’ll be down in just a second, Sheriff,” her voice called from the shadows.
“You can call me Quincy, you know, the title is a little jarring at times,” he said into the darkness around the edge of the building.
“I will call you Quincy when you start calling me Evelyn?” she said. She was standing at his side. He tried to control his shock.
“Did you learn how to do that in the Prairie Wars?” Quincy asked, holding his chest and keeping his screaming down.
Evelyn laughed. “You know in flight school they taught us how to use the sun to our advantage against the aviary critters the goblin used. Seems only right that we can use darkness in much the same way, yes?”
“I have your stuff,” Quincy said, holding up a satchel of goods.
“Thank you so much, my dear friend,” she hugged the sheriff, “these will bring peace to a lot of anxious hearts.”
“Well, I’m just glad I can help,” he replied.
“You know, the congregates would love to see you among the crowd. You doing anything Monday night?” Evelyn prodded. Every opportunity, she tried to get Quincy to come to the temple’s mass.
“Well, you know me, Evelyn, have a town to watch after most nights. Maybe another time,” he dodged the question. He wondered if he had learned a thing or two from the politicians he had just spent a week with.
“Quincy, if we have learned anything over the last few weeks,” Evelyn started, she placed her hands around his arms, “sometimes bad things will just happen. You have taken such good care of this town and every single thing that went wrong could have been so much had you not been here. You are good at your job, but it is time to let this town take a little care of you too. Come join us Monday. It’ll be good for your spirit.”
“Evelyn, you know why I won’t be there,” Quincy said as he gently pulled away from Evelyn’s grasp. “If you need any thing else, send a wire to the station. I’ll be here as quick as I can.”
Evelyn nodded and without a word let Quincy know she would not try to bring him to temple again.
Thanks for reading!
Here’s Quincy and the West part 1