The spectre on horseback bearing death had risen from the dust, haloed in daylight.
Run! John had woken from nightmares.

Atlanta aflame, the country ruined.
Spare us, oh Lord. Not John's prayer, but other's breath as news came to the station. Before trains ceased.

"Whiskey?" Short beard, lined eyes observing him, self-deprecating smile. Human, curious, aware.

Small payment for Mattie's home, but John liked him; remembered his failures, his exile for his vision, his friendship with Grant.

"I did what was needed."

John raised his cup to touch General Sherman's. "Pax vobiscum." It had been war. Now John fought Texan cowboys.

Year: 1878


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