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      Red and the man had gone outside, walked off the paces and faced each other. Suddenly, he had heard Elisa yell for them to stop. Hearing her had began to sober him up. Red had figured that she had come to apologize to him, because he had been right all along, but then she ran to the other man imploring him to stop. She had even gone so far as to plead with him saying that Red wasn't thinking right because he was drunk.

      Elisa's continued pleadings had enraged him because she was pleading with the other man and she come to spoke to him. Red had called him out again and told Elisa to get out of the way. The other man had pushed Elisa aside and they drew. Red had been on the verge of tears and blinded by rage and continued firing until his gun was empty. When he had stopped firing, he saw that the other man was down and Elisa was over him. Red had staggered off angry and upset at the sight of Elisa attending to the other fellow. He had made it almost two blocks away and then collapsed.

      Red had awoken to see Uncle Orrin's face. He had felt the gentle rock of being on a boat. He had asked Uncle Orrin where he was, since he hadn't completely sobered up. Uncle Orrin had told him that he was on a riverboat about to leave for New Orleans. Red had said he couldn't leave because he had to take care of his mother and he would soon marry Elisa.

      Uncle Orrin had reminded him that his mother had died a year ago still grieving over his father's death. Uncle Orrin also told him that he had to leave town and he could never come back and see Elisa again. Red had been too groggy to argue. Uncle Orrin had then told him to go to California and make his fortune and that he would take care of things with Elisa.

      Red had awoken later to find the riverboat had set out for New Orleans. He had had no money when he had reached New Orleans so he had to work. When he had earned enough money, he had bought a railroad ticket and eventually made it to San Antonio where he would meet Old Man Dawson and get that job.

      The recollection of the dream hit Red with the weight of the events that he had chosen to forget. He had nearly crossed the river to the other side when he heard rocks clattering behind him. He pulled his gun and turned. He saw two men with rifles drawn up on the rise that followed the river. Red jumped from his horse firing several shots before he hit the ground. Hitting his head on a rock when he landed, Red lay stunned.

Absolut Paradigm

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