Chapter Nine—Hang ‘Em High

     I wasn’t necessarily a church-going man—and least I didn’t think I was—but I went the next morning. I told myself I wanted to go in order to see the doctor and maybe make an appointment with him to talk about my amnesia. And that was true. What I didn’t tell myself was that I went because I wanted to see Missy. But that was the main reason.
     I arrived a few minutes early and took a seat near the middle of the auditorium—there were about 15 rows of pews on each side of a center aisle. All the back benches were filled. You’ve got to get here early to get a good back row seat…A few people greeted me, which was nice, but I wasn’t in much of a talking mood. Surreptitiously, I looked around, but I didn’t see Missy. Until right before the service started. Then she and her grandmother came in—the latter preening like a peacock—and they walked up to the front of the auditorium and sat on the third row, across the aisle from me. I tried not to stare at her, or even look at her; a lot of people were staring at her because her face remained puffy and bruised, indeed, worse than the day before, if possible. She kept her head down and I could tell she was pretty uncomfortable. She never looked up and she never looked at me….

    Oh, there he is…what’s he doing here? I’m glad he came to church but…oh, why couldn’t he have been sick or something? He’s going to leave town, I know he is, I wish he’d just go ahead and go…he’s laughing at me, I know he is, I just know it…Missy sat down a little too hard on the unpadded pew and winced; it jarred her stomach which was sorer than the night before. Why did Mr. Sert have to stop in that clearing? Why didn’t he just keep us going to California? Then none of this would have happened…She didn’t mean that, and she knew it, but physically, and emotionally, she felt awful…

     Missy was sitting where I could see her without auspiciously turning my head to look at her. She kept her head down the whole service. She was wearing a lovely dark blue dress that accented her golden brown hair wonderfully. I hope I get to see her when she’s well. She must be the loveliest creature on earth…well, inside I KNOW she is, but outside…I know she’s that, too…
     The preacher preached on lust and the sins of the flesh…Oh, shut up…

     Missy indeed rarely looked up during the worship period and couldn’t sing very well because her mouth and jaw were exceedingly sore. But she heard the sermon; she always paid attention to the sermon and always believed that the preacher was preaching right to her. So “lust” and the “sins of the flesh” were pretty relevant in her life at the moment because of what had happened the day before. She had to work it out in her own mind. If Mr. Sert had…I mean, if he and I…he would have forced me…it wouldn’t have been my fault…I could have stopped him, though…how?…Dear God, it wasn’t my fault, I was trying to do good by going to the widow Walters’ home and help her…Missy wasn’t the guilt-ridden type. She’d try to take a sermon and apply it, but she didn’t beat herself over the head with it. But today was different. I really wasn’t lusting yesterday, God, I really wasn’t…Sert was awful…and if he and I had…had…You know…it wouldn’t have been voluntary on my part…You can’t hold that against me, can you, God?….She knew He wouldn’t, but yet, there were still guilt feelings inside her, much stronger than she had felt in a long time. Because too often the “Sert” became “Thomas”…

     While I was trying to ignore the preacher, I was also trying to figure out what I was going to do after the service was over. Am I going to go talk to her? After she didn’t look at me last night and then again this morning, I felt queasy about it. Maybe she doesn’t WANT to talk to me…I sighed and figured that was probably it. I guess I’ll just leave town this afternoon…go…where?…I remembered my amnesia, which I thought was nice…at least I can remember SOMETHING…where was I going?…I tried to dig through my brain again, but my head started hurting so I stopped. I was getting new visions every day and I really thought my previous life would all come back to me soon. But it hadn’t yet. And that was still bothering me.
     By the time the last song was sung, I had firmly decided that I didn’t know what I intended to do about Missy—whether to talk to her or not. The question was actually resolved for me; about two-thirds of the congregation came over to her and Judy and started talking, no doubt wanting to know what had happened to Missy. I looked at her a couple of times, but never caught her eye. A little disgusted—with myself—I headed for the back door. I saw the doctor and went over to him….

     Missy glanced at Thomas twice after the worship service ended. He wasn’t looking at her either time. He doesn’t care about me…why should he? He just helped me yesterday, like any decent person would have, then found out last night that my grandmother thinks I’m a spoiled brat…why should he think anything other than that?…
     Missy wanted to cry, but fortunately, all the church members were contesting for her attention so she was distracted by that….

     “Doctor, are you going to be in your office this afternoon, by any chance? There’s something I’d like to talk to you about.”
     Morgan said, “Well, I’m usually not, but actually I was headed in that direction right now. I wanted to check on my patient. He was in a lot of pain last night so I gave him a pretty strong sleeping draught. I want to see how he’s doing. Would you like to meet me over there right now?”
     “Sure, that sounds good to me. Thank you.”
     Before he and I separated, Marshal Dugan came up. “Dr. Morgan, I’d like to get Sert Oldham in a jail cell as soon as possible. Do you think he’s up to the move this afternoon, if we handle him real delicately?”
     Morgan considered. “I don’t want him on a horse or in the back of a wagon. If you can carry him slowly and carefully on a stretcher, then it’s possible. I’m going to go check on him right now. You can come with me if you wish.”
     He nodded then looked at me. “If Oldham can be moved, will you help?”
     “Yes, I’ll be glad to help you.” One outlaw transporting another?….
     As I mounted Horse, I took one more sweeping glance around the church grounds to see if I could spot Missy. She was just exiting the building. Some handsome young man was walking beside her, talking to her, and he appeared to be sweet-talking her. Now I was really aggravated with myself. Well, of course she’s got a boyfriend. I imagine every single man in town is trying to court her. Monroe—or whatever your name is—your brain really is fried…She looked at me, and our eyes met. I looked at the man she was walking with, then back at her. Then I turned Horse and headed to the doctor’s office.

     Tillman Slaughter—the young man escorting Missy from the church building—was a nice man, and he adored her. She liked him, too, but her life, with work, charity, and her grandmother’s condition, had been way too complicated to give deep, serious reflection to a relationship with a man. Thomas’s reaction, when their eyes met, was like a dagger through her heart. He thinks Tillman and I…Thomas, we’re not…we’re not!…He didn’t smile or even acknowledge her. He just turned and rode away. He hates me, I know he does…
     Missy’s mind was almost as mixed up as her grandmother’s. And Thomas’s, too, for that matter…
     The number of crazy people in this story keeps adding up.
     Oldham was awake, but very groggy. The doctor examined him and pronounced him fit to travel, “but only to the jail house and that very slowly and very cautiously. I don’t want any of these sutures to break loose.”
     “We’ll be careful, doc,” Dugan assured him. “We’ll do it after lunch.” He said to me, “You want to go get a bite to eat?”
     “Thanks, but I need to talk to the doctor for a few minutes.” Then I said to Morgan. “I mean, you don’t mind talking now, do you? It’s lunchtime.”
     “No, that’s ok. I told my wife I wanted to check the patient so she’s going to bring lunch over here. Perhaps you can share it with us.”
     I smiled. “Thanks. A home cooked meal would be nice, for a change.”
     “I gather you aren’t married.”
     I started to answer, then stopped. Now, that’s an interesting question. What if I AM married? I had seen a vision of a young woman a few times, but I had no idea who she was. My wife? I responded, “No, I’m not.”
     “I’ll be back in about an hour,” Dugan said, and Morgan nodded.
     After Dugan left, I said to the doctor, “At least I don’t think I’m married.”
     He looked at me strangely. “What do you mean by that?”
     “Doc, I’ve got amnesia. I can’t remember who I am.”
     His eyebrows shot up. “Your name isn’t Thomas Monroe?”
     I shook my head. “No, unless it was just a lucky guess. I call myself that because I don’t know what else to call me.”
     “Tell me about it,” he said, sitting down.
     So I gave him the story as far as I knew it.  I still didn't know what had happened to cause my amnesia; I continued to assume that I had gone to sleep and hit my head on the ground when I fell off my horse. He nodded.
     “Well, whatever the cause, you must have been hit in just the right place—or wrong place. It happens.”
     “How long will it last?”
     He shrugged. “Could clear up any time. Might last the rest of your life. Or you may get part of your memory back, but not all of it. There’s no way of knowing. It depends on whether your brain is just bruised, damaged, or if, perhaps, part of the brain was destroyed beyond repair. You say you’re still having headaches?”
     “Yes. Not all the time. Fewer and fewer. But when I try to think too hard, my head hurts.”
     “Mr….Monroe, I really can’t give you an absolute answer. It sounds like you’re getting better, but the mind is something we have very, very little knowledge of. I wish you the best, but there’s really nothing I can do for you except give you some pain medication for the headaches. I’m sorry.”
     That was discouraging, but I had to accept it and just hope that some day soon my memory came back. “Well, thanks for your time, doc. Please don’t tell anyone about my problem. Just let them think I’m Thomas Monroe.” I pulled a face. “I guess I will be unless I finally remember who I really am.”
     “What are you going to do?”
     I shook my head. “I don’t know. Roam? Wander? Try to build a new life, I guess.”
     “You don’t have any idea what you were before your amnesia?” he asked me.
     I thought about it a moment. “No. But I do know one thing.”
     “What’s that?”
     I looked at him. “I’m awfully good with a gun…”

     Acting Marshal Dugan brought a couple of young men with him to help carry Sert Oldham to a jail cell. Oldham was getting a little more cognizant of what was going on. “Where you takin’ me?” he murmured.
     “To where you belong,” Dugan told him. “Jail.”
     “What fer?”
     “Assault with the intent to rape. You’ll be lucky not to get a rope around your neck, but plan on spending the rest of your life behind bars, Oldham.”
     Oldham sighed and closed his eyes. We lifted him carefully onto a stretcher with four poles, and the four of us carried him across to the jail house. We laid him on a bed. “Bring me somethin’ to eat,” the outlaw said.
     “Soon,” Dugan replied, locking the cell door. Then he muttered, “I don’t care if he starves to death…”
     There was a very short hallway between the cells—there were three of them and we put Oldham in the middle—and the outer office. When we got back to the office, Missy was there.
     She glanced at me quickly, then talked to the marshal. “Is he ok?”
     “He’ll live, Miss Jacobs. The judge usually comes through every other Tuesday to see if we have any cases to try. He was here last week, so it will be another nine days before he comes. You’ll need to testify.” Missy grimaced.
     Dugan looked at me. “I’d appreciate it if you stay around and testify, too. Just to back up Miss Jacobs’ story.”
     That wasn’t exactly my plan—to hang around Silver Creek another 10 days. Before I spoke, Missy said, “I don’t want to press charges. He won’t do it again, I know he won’t.”
     Dugan sighed. “Miss Jacobs, I can’t make you press charges. But you would be doing this territory a huge favor if you help put Sert Oldham back in jail. He’s just no good. He’s killed a number of people—and don’t say he won’t do it again. Whether he will or not, he needs to pay for the crimes he’s committed.”
     “He spent 15 years in prison already.”
     “But not for assault with intent to rape. That’s a very, very serious crime, Miss Jacobs. Please press charges.”
     She looked at me. Even with the bruises and puffiness, she was a beautiful woman. To me. I nodded. “He’s right, Missy. I’ll stay and testify, too, if that will help.”
     Missy lowered her head, but nodded. “Ok.”
     Dugan went to his desk and got out a couple of papers. Apparently he had asked Missy beforehand to come by. “You’ll need to sign these, Miss Jacobs. I’ll file one and make sure the judge gets the other.”
     Missy signed the two sheets, then said, “Can I see Mr. Sert?”
     “He’s pretty groggy.”
     “Just for a minute.”
     Dugan made a face and shrugged. “Ok.” He grabbed the keys and led Missy down the hallway. “You’ve got a visitor, Oldham,” I heard him say as he was turning the key. “Five minutes, Miss Jacobs, no more.”
     I didn’t hear her response. Dugan came back into the office. “What does she see in that creep?” he asked me.
     “She wants to help him, Marshal. She doesn’t believe anyone is beyond redemption. I guess. That’s all I can figure out.”
     “Yeah, well, she’s got her hands full with that snake…”
     I rubbed my chin, not in a very good mood. Nine more days in this town…what am I going to do about…her? Maybe I’ll leave and come back…I closed my eyes, my head hurting again…I don’t need this right now—her…I need to find out who I am…WHAT I am…where I was going…is somebody expecting me?…that girl I’ve seen in my flashbacks…IS she my wife? My fiancée’? Somebody who’s waiting for me? I had no answers.
     “I’ll see you around, Marshal,” I said, and left the office.

     Missy was a little surprised to see Thomas at the marshal’s office. Their eyes met only briefly and the conversation recorded above ensued. Missy’s heart thumped a little harder when Thomas said he’d stay and testify. He’ll be here at least nine more days…will he come see me?…no…
     She went in to see Sert. He was awake, but barely. He recognized her, though, and smiled.
     “Hello, little Missy. Come to…take me to…Californy?”
     She smiled wanly. “No, Mr. Sert. How are you feeling?”
     “Feel like…I been shot…in the gut.”
     “Are you hungry?”
     “I’ll bring you something to eat.”
     They went quiet for a few moments and Missy thought Sert was asleep. But he asked unexpectedly, “Little Missy, who’s that…feller…who shot me?”
     “His name is Thomas Monroe. I don’t know very much about him. He just happened to come by.”
     Oldham simply nodded. He’s got to die…Then he went to sleep.
     When Missy returned to the office, she saw that Thomas was gone. I think I’ll go home and take a nap…I don’t feel good…
     She hurt all over. Outside and in…

     I didn’t know what to do with myself while I was in Silver Creek. I spent the rest of Sunday and most of Monday wandering the streets—which didn’t take too long since there was only one main road through town and a few side streets for residences. I noticed the town had two school houses, which I thought was odd. I didn’t know which one Missy taught at, so I stopped and watched one of them for a few minutes, then, disgusted with myself, turned around and headed back in the other direction. I was still having flashes and visions in my head, but the one that dominated most of all was of Missy walking out of the church house with that tall, handsome young man…

     Missy did take a nap Sunday afternoon, and felt much better when she awoke. She examined herself in the mirror and noticed that the swelling in her face had gone down considerably. Her grandmother had been in her “right mind” all that day—and remembered absolutely nothing about the evening before—and was appalled to hear Missy’s story about what had happened.
     “I think you’d better have someone go with you from now on when you visit out of town,” Judy told her. “This country is still crawling with vicious, immoral criminals. Perhaps that nice Tillman Slaughter will go with you. He’s such a handsome young man, don’t you think so? And he seems so fond of you.”
     “Yes, Grandma,” was all Missy replied.
     I don’t want Tillman to go with me…he’s very nice, but he couldn’t scare away a rabbit…
     She didn’t see Thomas the rest of Sunday or Monday, or Tuesday—until that evening…

     After wandering around Monday, I wasted most of Tuesday, too, but about dark that day I stopped by the marshal’s office. I liked Dugan and thought I’d see if he wanted to get something to eat. In retrospect, it wasn’t a terribly bright thing to do; he might start asking questions I couldn’t answer. But I was going a little stir crazy and wanted some company.
     It was a good thing that I did.
     He was sitting at his desk when I went in. “Monroe,” he nodded in greeting.
     “You et yet?” I ask him. “I was headed down to the greasy spoon to see what poison was cooking.”
     “No, I haven’t, and yeah, I’ll go with you. Give me a few minutes. Prisoner’s got a visitor. Can’t leave until she does.”
     I didn’t have to ask who the “she” was…

     Missy had baked a cake for Sert and brought it to him. Dugan wouldn’t let him have the whole thing, so she sliced off a piece and the outlaw was devouring it.
     “Mm-mm, you shore can cook, little Missy,” Sert said. “When we get to Californy, I’m a-gonna have to work real hard to stay slim, eatin’ all your good cookin’.”
     Missy half smiled. She’d given up correcting him on the “Californy” thing. “Are you feeling better?” she asked. He was sitting up now, still pale and moving slow, but his head was clear.
     “Gettin’ better,” he replied, “but I ain’t gonna be bustin’ no broncs for awhile. Doc came by and changed my bandage today; said ever’thing looked good.”
     “I’m glad,” Missy said. “I hope you’ll recover completely.”
     “I intend to,” he said with a smile—his charming one. It didn’t work on Missy, but then, she was hoping somebody else would smile at her. She hadn’t seen Thomas since Sunday. Sert continued. “Got a long trip ahead of us, you know.”
     Missy sighed and dropped her head. “Mr. Sert, the judge will be here next week and you’re going to be put on trial.”
     Sert hesitated a moment. “You’re goin’ to testify against me.” It was a statement, not a question.
     It was Missy’s turn to hesitate. “I…I don’t know yet. The marshal wants me to.”
     Sert leaned over and handed her the empty cake plate. He said, “You just do what’s in yore heart, little Missy.”
     Missy grimaced at that…then heard something that greatly disturbed her.
     It disturbed Oldham even more…

     It has been noted in this story, more than once, that everybody loved Missy, the “queen of the angels.” And, as a result, when the news spread through town of what had happened on Saturday, nobody loved Sert Oldham. Especially the men who were drinking that Tuesday evening at the Lucky Seven Saloon.
     Man One: “Jake, did you see what that sidewinder Oldham did to our Missy?”
     Man Two (Jake): “Yeah. The man’s a brute. Ought to be strung up.”
     Man Three: “Judge is comin’ through next week. He’ll put ‘im away fer life, that’s fer sure.”
     Man Four: “I think Jake’s right. He orta be hung. Nobody ought t’ be allowed to do that t’ inny woman, ‘spcially Missy.”
     Man Five: “Oh, I don’t know. Kinda wished he’d taken my wife instead. She’d be better lookin’ now if he had.” A few laughs.
     Man Six: “She’da whupped him, Taylor, and she’d be the one in the hoosegow now.” A few more laughs.
     The merriment continued. And the drinking…
     Man Four: “Still think Oldham ought to be strung up. Did you see Missy’s face? And she’s the purtiest thing on earth. How could anybody do that?”
     Man One: “Yeah. He ain’t fit to live.”
     The room got awfully quiet as the same thought, simultaneously, went through about a dozen drink-sloshed brains.
     Man Seven: “I gotta rope.”
     Man Two (Jake): “Judge’ll just put ‘im in prison. He deserves worse’n that.”
     Man One repeated: “Ain’t fit to live.”
     Man Seven repeated: “I gotta rope.”
     Man Six: “There’s a hangin’ tree just outside’a town.”
     Man Two (Jake): “I say we save the taxpayers some money. Why should they have to feed that guy for the rest o’ his life?”
     General response: “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s string him up. He ain’t no good. Doin’ what he did to Missy, I been boilin’ over that ever since I heerd about it an’ saw her…” Rumble, rumble, rumble…
     The drunken mob was working its way into doing what drunken mobs do. “Seth, get yore rope…”
    “Got it hangin’ on my horse outside.”
     "Let’s go………”
     So Seth got his rope, Jake led the rabble, and two blocks later, by the time they reached the marshal’s office, there were almost 25 men….

     Dugan was forewarned, however. A teenaged boy ran ahead of the mob and burst into jail house.
     “Marshal, Jake Estes has got some men worked up and they’re headed this way. Going to lynch Sert Oldham.”
     Dugan frowned. “Thanks, Ty.” The marshal looked at me. “I need a deputy.”
     Now that was a hoot. I had convinced myself by now that I was an outlaw. No lawman can shoot like I do…besides, what would a lawman be doing roaming around? Only outlaws do that….So here I was, on the run probably, and the marshal of Silver Creek was wanting to deputize me.
     “I thought you had a couple,” I said to him.
     “Part-timers. Only till the new marshal arrives. I don’t even know where they are.” He snorted. “Maybe with the mob.” We could hear them coming now.
     I made a face. “You don’t need to deputize me. Just toss me a rifle.”
     He unlocked the gun cabinet, grabbed a Winchester, checked it for load, and pitched it to me. I caught it and double-checked it. I nodded. “All right. Let’s go see what we can do to save the hide of somebody who doesn’t deserve it.”
     “Don’t you go joining the mob, too, Monroe,” Dugan said with a wry smile.
     I was tempted. I loved Missy Jacobs. But then, so did everybody else. So I stayed with Dugan.

     We stepped outside the door just about the time the wolf pack arrived. The “mob murmur” could be heard, and a few “lynch him” type comments rose above the noise. When they saw Dugan and me standing on the porch in front of the door, they halted.
     The leader, Jake, said, “Stand aside, Marshal. We’re gonna give that no-good, son-of-a-whore what he deserves.”
     “He’ll get what he deserves, Jake. A day in court and a trip to prison. You boys break this up and get on home.”
     That didn’t convince anybody of anything, except that maybe Dugan was scared. I glanced at him. He was, and it was noticeable. Well, I was scared, too, but I tried not to show it.
     “He deserves a hangin’ rope, Dugan, and you know it. You seen Missy. Nobody who does that to a woman, ‘specially one like Missy, is fit to walk on this here earth.”
     It was hard to argue with that logic.
     Jake continued, “And we’re gonna see that justice is done. So git outta the way.”
     Dugan tried again, but his voice was strained. “Jake, you men, this is a matter for the court. You know you can’t be taking the law into your own hands. I know Sert Oldham is a low-down skunk, but we have to follow the law—“
     The mob was starting to murmur again and was drowning out the marshal. “Hang the ….” “He ain’t fit to live…” “Git ‘im, we’ll show him what women-beaters get…” And, with murder on their inebriated minds, the mob surged forward, Jake in the lead.
     A rifle went off. The mob went quiet and stopped.
     Jake looked at me—I had fired the rifle—an ugly expression on his face. “Who are you?”
     I didn’t know, so I just said, “I’m the man who’s going to keep you from lynching Sert Oldham.”
     “And just how do you propose to do that?”
     “Well, the next step you take, I’m going to blow your big toe off. The next step, I’ll blow your leg off.” Then I paused, narrowed my eyes, and looked at him, very hard. “And the third step you take, I’ll blow your head off.”
     Jake was taken aback somewhat. “You wouldn’t…”
     I smiled at him, but it wasn’t my friendly, I’m-glad-to-get-to-know-you smile. “Take three steps and see if I wouldn’t.”
     Another man, just to Jake’s left, started forward. I shifted the rifle in his direction. “You’ve got toes, legs, and a head, too, friend. At least, for the moment.”
     He halted.
     Jake said, “You can’t stop all of us, mister.”
     “You’ll never find out if I can or not, buddy, because you’ll be on your way to hell.” Then I pointed behind Jake and to his right, without looking directly at what I was pointing at. “And if that fellow who is drawing his gun right now even thinks about leveling and shooting it, he’s going to get an early funeral.”
     A lot of heads turned, and the man who indeed was pulling his gun gulped and let it drop back into his holster.
     My boldness had sobered up the mob considerably. And scared them a little. Jake tried again. “That man deserves to die, stranger.”
     “And maybe you do, too. Tell you what. You decide whether Oldham deserves to live and I’ll decide whether you do.”
     The atmosphere was more than tense. Dugan was out of his league and he knew it, so he wisely kept his mouth shut. I wasn’t quite sure what this bunch was going to do, and then someone in the back shouted, “C’mon, Jake, let’s get ‘im.”
     And I really thought Jake was about to do it, when a voice from behind me spoke. “Please don’t. Please go home.”
     Every eye was on her. She came and stood between me and Dugan. She spoke softly, but earnestly. “Mr. Sert’s not a bad man. He’s just…misguided. You can’t just…kill him like this. He’s a man, just like you men, and he deserves a chance.”
     Missy, of course, put the mob back on its heels. Jake tried to reason with her some, but I knew the thing was over. “Miss Jacobs, look what he did to you. And he’s done the same thing to others. He’s a killer. And he’ll kill again. Men like that don’t deserve to live. We just want to see justice done, after the way he treated you.”
     Missy was quiet for a moment, and then I saw a tear roll down her cheek. Surprisingly, she nodded. “Ok. I understand.” And then the words came out of her mouth—and they were a dagger into the heart of every man there. “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”
     Dead still silence. Except for what could be heard from down the street.
     Nobody moved for several moments. Then slowly, just like when Jesus spoke those words, one by one, the crowd began to disperse. Jake was the last one standing. He looked at me. He looked at Dugan. He looked at Missy.
     And he turned and walked slowly away.
     After a few moments, Missy—without a word or a glance in my direction—walked away, too.
     I watched her, my heart aching. Then I turned to Dugan. His eyes were following her, too. Then he looked at me. “There are some that say she’s really an angel. I believe it more and more every time I see her.”
     I looked back at her retreating form. And I’m probably a devil…
     Dugan was still looking at me. “I’d like to know something.”
     “What?” I was still watching Missy.
     “Who are you? I was about to mess my britches and you stood there like you were on a block of ice. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think even Dan Foster could have done that, and he was, by far, the best I’ve ever known.”
     I looked at him, and handed him the rifle. I gave him a wry grin. “Maybe I’m Sert Oldham’s brother.”
     And it was my turn to walk away. Thinking, well, you know, maybe I AM Sert Oldham’s brother…I don’t know that I’m NOT…