Kitty sat in the big chair next to the fireplace rocking the baby in her arms. It was her last night with the child, and it made her a little wistful. She stroked the tiny cheek and the child turned his face towards her bosom – rooting for something that wasn't there. Kitty sighed and stood to take the boy upstairs.
She woke the next morning to bright sun and the smell of coffee. She washed and dressed and packed the carpet bag with her nightclothes and the last bits and pieces of what had made this room her own over the last eight months. The final thing to go in was a small framed photograph of herself. Two men stood with her. A short elderly fellow with a mustache wearing a rumpled suit and a flat brimmed black hat stood next to her with his arm around her waist. Behind them both loomed a tall cowboy in a light-colored Stetson wearing a shield-shaped badge. His height, head and shoulders above the two of them, made you look twice to see if perhaps the couple were seated, or the lawman standing on a step, but, no, all three stood in the middle of a dusty street with the outline of a few board buildings behind them.
Kitty looked once around the room. Two trunks stood locked and corded beneath the window. The bed was made. Her bag stood by the door. She picked up the hat that lay on the tall dresser and pinned it firmly onto her upswept mass of red hair. One last glance in the mirror and she gave herself a little nod then bent to pick up the carpetbag and headed down to the kitchen. She would just have time for a cup of coffee before she boarded her train.