The words of the new judge rang out of the crowd with a gong-like resonance that shook the pair standing on the gallows to their souls. Sweeney glanced over to Nellie and they stretched their hands toward each other simultaneously. Their fingertips did not quite meet.
The rough nooses were yanked over their heads. A tear slid down Nellie's upturned face as her lips moved silently. Sweeney shuffled over, just half a step, so that he could touch Nellie's hand. She looked at him gratefully. He opened his mouth.
The trapdoors dropped out from under their feet.