Have No Shame

Epiloge I: May 2-5 1763

At first, it had been a calm night. Nothiung seemed to be wrong on this humid, warm, clear night, on May 2 1763. Jimmy Manson, a 14 year old from Georgia, was asleep in his bed, not knowing that tonight would change his life forever.

A gunshot rang out, shattering the once silent night. Jimmy did not notice this, not did he notice when his father ran out to protect his family and cattle, or hear his mother and sister scream as Shawnee Indians flooded the dinning room of their home.

All he could remember was going to bed that night, and waking to find himself hogtied in a dark, unknown room. At first, he struggled furiously, rolling on the sour dirt floor, until he realized he had little chance of escape, and even that was diminished to nothing deing done in the dark. He didn't know where he was, but he decided that he would find out in the morning. Jimmy fell into an uneasy and disturbed sleep.

When he awoke, sunlight flooded what he found to be an Indian teepee. He had learned about such things in school, but was surprised at actually being in one. There was a flap in the front, which he confirmed as the door. It was open, the early morning sun rushing into the hut. The smell of cooking filled the space with as much intensity as the sunlight.

For hours he lay there, listening to people move around him, watching the sun fade away into darkness.

It wasn't until that night that he met his captors. When the ropes that bound him where finally cut, he made a desperate lunge for freedom, but was stopped by the colliding of a strong hand against his jaw. The force of the blow sent him into a roll, until he hit the side ot the teepee, where he did not move until he felt the gruff hand pull him to his feet.

"Walk." was the only thing that the big Indian said, and how could Jimmy not help but to obey? They walked to where a small village lay, nestled in a deep valley of the Appalation Mountains. When they reached the edge of the settlement, where a large group of Indians was gathered, he was handed a musket and instructed to kill any white man that crossed his path. Jimmy had been reluctant to do it at first, but soon joined in. In his mind, he had no choice, but that did not mean that he did not fing it enjoyable. That night, they drove out all the settlers, killing all others. Most of these were killed by Jimmy, but not without showing what race he was originally from. The surviving settlers told of this traitor to the English and put a bounty on his head. This didn't bother him because he did not know of it. When the bounty had been declared, he had been sitting around an open fire, looking at the stars. They would be raiding Fort Dawson tomorrow, hopefully capturing it for the Native Americans. Jimmy had alot in his mind, one of them being the name he had been given. Kitchi (which he had been told ment brave). He did not know why he had been given this name but felt great pride in being given it.

I better get to sleep, he thought, still looking at the stars. There is alot to be done tomorrow.

And he did sleep. He slept till a gruff, but familiar hand woke him.

"Kitchi, we must go." The voice said. It was said in a calm manner, but Jimmy felt the force of which it was spoken, and quickly rushed to his feet.

Through the dense forest and then across the open plain, they ran until the fort was in sight. They stopped, readying themselves for battle, when a faint horn sounded within the confines of the frot. The Native Americans did not notice this, but Jimmy did, and knew all to well what it ment. He quickly warned the rst of the tribe, but by the time he got everyones attention, it was too late.

Suddenly, they were under fire, scrambling for protection. He took shelter behind a boulder, firing into the masses of red coated soilders. He knew it was hopeless, but he didn't care. The tribe started fighting back with him, forgetting how hopeless the situation was, just not wanting to go down without putting up some kind of fight.

The red coats drew back for unknown reasons, the Native Americans following close behind, killing as many as they could. It wasn't until they reached the fort that they realized their mistake. More red coats fired upon them from the safty of the fort. With no protection, they were callled to fall back (which, in its own way is shoking. A Native American usually neer surrenderded). Jimmy ran as fast as he could up the hill, firing over his shoulder as he ran. Then, he felt a hot fire ball enter his back, burning away at his flesh and bones. He doubeled over in pain, his leags lossing all feeling they might have had, making them feel as if they were cold, raw meat attached to his torso. He lay there unable to move, awaiting the inpending death that would soon swallow him. He felt a gruff hand o his shoulder, and felt a wave of relief flow through his entire body. Thank God, he thought, at least until he felt the barrel of a gun against his head, then, for awhile, there was blackness.

The sun rose brilliantly over the Appalations, a lumination the bloodied battle field in front of Ft. Dawson. Private Charles Filmore sat on top of the hill, looking at the carnage of the battle, imagining what had happened. Red coats were scattered on the slope of the hill, about 100 yards from the fort, some on top. They led all the way down the hill to the fort, where he guessed the red coats had gotten a hold of the battle. The rest of the battle field was littered with indians, Shawnee and Cree probably. Nothing unusual to him, for he had seen many in his short militia career. Yet sometyhing was not right, something out of place...

His eyes caught a warrior fallen in the grass. Something was not right with that man. He walked forward, eyeing him carefully.

It wasn't until he was right over him that he knew what was out of place. The man was an Englishman! He was dressed in buckskins and was almost unoticeable umong the others uless you were close to him. He had a bullet wound in his back, and his hair was matted with blood.

Why had this white man been here? He wasn't an English solider, he was much too young. The buckskins said he had fought with the Indians, but why? He shook his head. He would never know, not unless he asked the Shawnee about him, and he wasn't willing to do that.

He was about to turn away, when he noticed something else. The kid was breathing! It was nothing more than gasping, but it was there. Acting on instict, he lifted him up, put him on the forse and ran to the nearest town. He could not go to the fort, for the British would kill him on the spot for treason.

Filmore had not gotten a good look at the kids face, for if he had, he would have put him out of his misery. Little did he know that there was a bounty for the kid on his sattle. It was Jimmy Manson, a traitor who had killed 20 people by himself, not including others at Ft. Dawson.

But Filmore didn't know this, nor did he give it any thought. No one in the isolated town he reached knew him either, and it was a blessing for Jimmy.

The doctors did the best they could with him. He had been lucky that the bullet was not in his head, and had missed his brain.

"He's lucky," they told Filmore, after they extracted the bullet from his back, "He'll be crippled, but he should be happy to be aliv."

Filmore took the boy back to his plantation in Georgia. Filmore had to admit, he might have almost died, but that didn't mean he had lost his spirit.

When they finally arrived at the boy's plantation, Filmore couldn't beleive it. All that was there, where the mansion once stood, was chared timber and ash. No one was around, and he was almost certain they were dead. How could someone fight on the same side as men who had killed his family? Who had destroyed his home? It made no sence to him but he ddin't let himself dwell on it. Jimmy managed to wheel himself to the rubble, while Filmore was in his thoughts, and started to search. What he was searching for, he didn't know.

Jimmy searched for over an hour, digging in the rubble for anything that had survived. When he stopped searching, all he found was a chared pistol a ribbon, and a Shawnee bear claw necklace, probably dropped after the fire had burned down, for it was not damaged. It even had the raw hide string.

Filmore carried him back to the buggy, and lifted him in. They rode away, Jimmy wearing the bear claw necklace tucked into his shirt.

Epiloge 2: Febuary 10-15, 1783

Cody Travis was staring out of his barracks window at the platoon of red coats. They were going to search the seemingly abandoed cadin he knew, but bu his count there were only twelve men. They easily outnumbered them, probably for the first time in years.

They were finally getting some help, and getting the freedom that was rightfully theirs. That wasd wht man had come here for and in God's name they would have it som. Cody could feel it in his very soul.

The rest of his regiment had already left the barracks. They had headed into the forest, encircling the small platoon.

All he had to do was destract them.

Careful not to be seen, he aimed for the leader of the platoon, knowing the brits would not do anything without him and his orders.

He pulled both hammers back.

The leader fell to the ground, taking the shot straight to the head.

Then the thunder of duck guns filled the clearing, picking the confused red coated brits off one by one.

Cody smiled as he turned toward the door to leave.

The sudden aroma of smoke met his nostrals.

His smile vanished as he saw the fire seeping from the door.

Panicking, he turned back to the window, thinking that he might be able to get out that way.

That thought evaperated as he saw the grizzly scene out side the window.

It had been a trap.

At least one hunred red coats were firing outside, slaughtering his regiment unmercilessly, shooting, not to kill, but to maim. He could see the hate burning in their eyes as they shot his men in the groin, back, gut, and anywhere else that would hurt but not kill them.

His men where helpless to defend themselves, and yet there were a few who tried to load their gun, tried to pick one of the brits off, but to no avail.

There was no way out.

Cody would surely be killed, even if he fought the red coats outside, killing maybe two or three before they killed them. He turned toward the fire, not knowing what to do. Staying was not an option, but he would die either way he chose.

But, maybe he wouldn't

Unconsiously, he picked up his gun, and ran into the fire.

The heat beat intensly on his face. It was burning him, but there was no choice.

Pain, like a thousand white hot needles burrowing into every square inch of his skin, ravaged his body. He could smell his skin charrinfg under the intense heat, and he could see that his jacket and pants had caught fire. And still, on he ran, until he was constintly stumbling over his stiff joints, until he thought he would never get out.

Then finally he made it out of the walk of hell.

He ran several feet from the fire, no longer feeling the heat, just wanting to get away from it. After he thought he had gone far enough, he dropped to the ground, puting out his,clothes and hair, saving most of it.

When he had gotten back to his feet, one of his eyes had gone black. The other was becoming increasingly hard to see out of.

Kneeling there, he finally and mercifully lost consciousness.

"....wasn't even 20 yet."

Through a thick, pain induced fog, words started to be heard.

"I've seen kids like him, some worse." another voice floated through the fog, "Just considered yourself lucky you found him alive."

Cody managed to open one of his eyes with extreme effort. He already felt tired again.

His left eye stayed dark and unseeing.

A nurse and a man that looked to him to be a general were standing next to his bed, now staring at him.

"Well, good morning, Mr. Travis." the nurse said.

As if in response, he tried to sit up.

"Don't try, son." the man said, "You won't be able to do it."

It wasn't so much the comment but the almost arthritic like pain that made him lay down again.

"'Names Filmore, kid." the man said, nodding,"I found you in the woods while me and my troops were headed to Carolina. You looked to be in pretty bad shape."

Cody did not recognize the man's name at all, but soon it wouldn't matter. General Charels Filmore would be dead just two days after his visit with Cody. But, for now, niehter of them knew it.

Suddenly, an unsettling thought stuck him.

"Does Nataly know about this? Does she know where I am?"

The nurse and Filmore exchanged glances.

"A tall, brunete woman, probably Italian?" the nurse asked caustiously.

"Yes, that's her." he replied thickly, starting to slip back into the fog again.

"She came in alright," Filmore said, his tone hinting at something bad, "told me to give you this when you woke."

Filmore set a small gold ring on his hand.

The engagement ring he had given her just before he went off to war.

"Why?"

The two once again exchanged glances, as if trying to figure out how to tell a man that he is going to die.

"Get a mirror, now." Filmore told the nurse, the force in his voice sending the nurse running out of the room.

Several minutes latter, the nurse came back, holding a small mirror.

"This will make you understand more than me telling you."

Filmore handed him the mirror, but all Cody saw was a face covered in bandages.

"So?" he asked slightly confused.

"She saw you when the nurse was redressing your wounds." he said simply.

Slowly, effortlessly, the nurse unwrapped the bandages from his face.

"Dear Lord, God Almighty!" Cody almost shrieked, throughing the mirror to the ground and covering his face.

To him it was not the face of a human, but of a monster. An animal that could not be looked at, let alone love. How could he be loved, when it looked as though he were decaying while alive?

Did the rest of his body look like that? he thought. Had she seen the rest of his body? Oh God, why had this happened to him? Of all the people this could have happened to, why had it been him? Surely there were people more deserving of this than him.

Behind his bandaged hands, Cody Travis, 17 years old, cried.

Chapter I 1791

That was almost 30 years ago.

Jimmy sat in an old stuffed highbacked chair, thinking about what the doctor had said that day. He was crippled, that was obvious. And by all means, he should have been happy to have survived. He was the only living relative of his father, and had inheirited the land and all of his wealth. He had no finacial trouble, and he had learned to take care of himself. Yes, he should have been the happiest man in the world to have survived.

Yet, he was depressed.

In his soul, he was confined to this room, and this house. He could go to town, and he did, but that was as far as his limits went. There was no one here to help him, if he shoulds fall ill (his gardener coulod care less). The only person who had cared for him was Filmore, who had been dead for 10 years now. No one else. No one would care if he died, or became more cripppled than he already was.

Because of what was in his past.

They knew what he had done. At least, they thought they knew. They thought they knew who he was, or what he had done 30 years ago. But they didn't. If they did know, they would have seen why he had done it. They would have known that he had done it out of survival, not hate. He had had to survive, no matter the cost.

At least, that's what they would have seen.

But that wasn't the complete story either.

In a way, he missed the Native Americans. Their ways of life, their culture and home, was fascinating and yet comforting.

When he had been with the Shawnee, he had felt alive.

That was 30 years ago! a voice yelled at him, get over it! Your rich and have no problems! You don't have to go digging up old bones like this. Leave them buried.

This thought calmed him some. He bent forward, being sure he didn't fall out of the chair, and grabbed the arm of the whell chair that was next to him. He pulled it in front of the chair and worked for several minutes to get it in just the right position. Then, being sure not to fall on the floor, worked his way into it.

It took ten minutes to complete this task. He sat in the wheelchair, catching his breath. That was another reason why he felt depresseds. He never had much energy to do much of anything. Normal tasks had become a constant struggle, and as he got older, they just got tougher.

You'll have to get a maid, one of these days, he thought, wheeling himself to the door. And it might be sooner than you planned.

He pulled the door open, flooding the room with early morning sunlight. The gardener had already started the irrigation, for the grass was covered with a sprikling of due.

Most of the land and livestock he had sold when he got the land. But he did like to have some crops and animals, just in case money got tight. His fathers 80 acre plantation, and mansion had dwindled to ten acres of land with a small garden in the back, some flowers on the front lawn. The mansion had burned down, and in its place was a single floored home, not huge but not a dinky cabin. On one side of the house, was a barn, which housed three milk cows, some pigs, and one horse, a clidesdale. Next to the barn was a chicken hut, the chickes already peking at the ground around it.

On the opposite side was the gardeners cabin, made of stone and, compared to his home, was quite small. Jimmy had only been in it once but that had been enough to take in the interior. There were only two rooms, one was a bedroom, and the other a combination of the kitchen, and living area. A private outhouse sttod a few feet away from the cadin. A well stood near this side of the hous.

He rolled his wheel chair to a rock paved path that led acoss the lawn. This path forked to either the barn, or the chickens (he had tried to make his home as handicape excesible as possible). He took this fork to the chickens, picked a pail of feed from a hanger that was on the side of the hut, and began to feed them. This was one of the few things he could do on his own. This, and the house he could do. The rest he left for his gardener.

When he finished with the chickens, he went over and fed the rest of the animals. That finished, he went out to look fot the gardener.

He didn't have to look that far.

His gardener, an old war veteran, named Cody Travis, had limped his way to the front yard, watering the flowers and lawn as he did so.

When he had come out of the barn, Cody had looked over at him, obviously not wanting to be there. But it didn't matter. He was getting paid to work for him, and a nice payment at that. Andhe was going to work for it by god, he was.

"What do ya need, Mr. Steward?" Travis yelled at him keeping his eyes trained on him.

At first, as always, he had no idea who he was talking about. Then he remembered. He had changed his name, so he wasn't going to get killed. His bounty had since been withdrawn, but it was better to be safe.

"I need you to hitch up the buggy," he yelled back at Travis, "Need to get some more feeed in town."

Cody looked at him, clearly annoyed at this simple request. Jimmy felt a moment of sympathy for him. He had survived the war, losing one eye, and becoming maimed, and now he was forced to be a criples gardener. He had no children, no wife, and lived alone in the smal cottage on his property.. In away, they were in the same boat, so to speak. But him and Travis were also different. He seemed to want to forget everything. The war, his present life, enerything, while Jimmy wanted to remember everything that had happened to him.

Cody walked to the large barn door, and stepped inside. Jimmy could hear the clicks and snaps as the horse was brought out of his stalll, and then attached to the buggy. After several minutes of this, the buggy was brought out of the barn, a large black chariot gleaming in the intensifying sunlight. The black clidesdale nayed and shook its head ankciously, waiting for the oppurtunity to move forward.

"Do ya need anything else, sir?" Cody asked.

"No, Cody, that was all I needed," he replied, "You can get back to what you were doing."

"Thank you, sir." Cody said, already walking toward the fork.

Ever so carefully, Jimmy with drew the ramp from inside the buggy. Then, being just as careful as he had been getting n the wheelchair, he rolled up the ramp. Once in the buggy, he pulled the ramp in, mking sure not to knock himself out. When he made sure it was up, and that he wasn't going to fall out, he moved to the front of the buggy, and sat himself in the drivers seat.

All of this took about fifteen minutes, and when it was finished, he sat there for a while, getting somerest. A cold sweat had broken out on his brow. He took a handkercheif from out of his shirt pocket, and wiped the sweat away.

He plucked the reins from their holster got the buggy moving.

The closest town was Macon, some three miles to the south. The sunlight warmed his already slightly tanned skin. The buggy jivved as it ran over the washboard road, occationaly dipping as it hit a pot hole.

Cody Travis stood there, watching the buggy as it became a dot on the horizon and then disappear from sight. He couldn't have been more envious of Steward. Why did he get to safely ride into town, without the posibility of getting killed? Why can he do this, while he sat confined to this plot of land? Unable to enter town without people stopping to stare at him, many starring at hism with hatred and disgust, some brave ones threatening him. Why could Steward do this? He didn't deserve the respect he got. He had had eberything handed to him on a silver plater. He hadn't had to sacrafice, or work for anything.

An while he had been living the sweet life, who had been risking his life for freedom? Who had been seeing death and pain and agony, right in front of him. If anything, he should deserve some respect. Instead, he had been almost shunned from his own hometown, and was forced to take refuge on a cripples farm. Last time he did anything for those ungrateful sons a whores in Macon.

He touched the bubbling white scar on his face, and quickly withdrew his hand. As soon as he got his fingertips on it, a stabe of pain, white hot, tore through his brain. For a second he seemed to understand. Understand why he had been shunned. It was simple; he was just hard to look at. Travis himself admitted that he couldn't do it, but only to himself.

Yes, only to yourself, he thought, getting back to work and pushing the unsettling topic out of his mind.

It was close to noon when he had gotten done with the irrigation and watering. Cody didn't think that he could keep doing this much longert. But what other choose did he have? No one else would give him a job here. And he certainly didn't have the means to go anywhere else. He had no choice.

Cody went to the right of the house, more suffering from thirst then hunger. There was a well there, and that's what he needed. About half way there, Cody stopped, panting. Damn burns, he thought, can't even sweat.

He put his elbows on his knees, trying to get some blood back in his head. After several minutes, he stood up again, running his hands through his jet black hair. He started to walk agin. God knew he was tired of being like this.

Cody finally got there, hoisted the bucket up, and drank. After debating it and carefully looking around, Cody dunked his whole head into the bucket. Had Steward been there, he would have done no such thing. Steward would have had a fit, and right now he didn't have a wanting to get yelled at.

He didn't go in for lunch. His stomach just couldn't handle anything right now. He knew he wouldn't have any strength left after the rest of the chores, but he didn't much care. It made no sence to him, but once again, he didn't care.

When he finished his work for the day, Steward had long since returned. And still his appetite hadn't returned, so he just went to bed, nothing else.

And Steward hadn't stopped him.

Chapter II

Jimmy hadn't had such a wanting to sleep.

He sat in his overstuffed chair for hours after Travis went to bed, just thinking. Not of Travis's foal mood (most of the time, that was the only mood he was in), but of his future. Could he actually keep living his life like this? Could he rely on Travis to help him anymore? Travis's condition seemed to be getting worse. Jimmy had never had much trust in him, but he could be relyed upon. Now, he was starting to dought that.

Get rid of him then, a voice in his head said, just leave this place. Take your money and run.

But there's the problem, he thought, I can't run. How am I supposed to get away when I can barely go to town or get in bed?

Get Travis to help you, the voice shot back, make him get you in the buggy, then just never come back.

Jimmy started to consider that. It could be done, but where would he go? What would he do? What would happen to his home and land if he should go?

Doesn't matter, the voice insisted, just go.

Not now, he thought, feeling sleep finally trying to overtake him. I'll sleep on it.

And so, without another thought or action against the contrary, he climed into bed and blew out the candle.

He was asleep almost immediatly.

Cody didn't wake up for a while. Most nights he lay in bed, listening to his body groan in pain and agony. And when mercifully he did sleep, his light doze was interupted by dreams (no they were more like flashbacks) of the past, and of Nataly. But this wasn't like most nights. This night he fell into a deep sleep, and woke just as the sky was starting to lighten.

As much as he would have liked to go back to that wonderful sleep, Cody knew that he had to get started on the chores, before it got too hot.

So, with his back and head protesting firmly, he slowly got out of his cot and got dressed.

Cody could hear Steward snoring as he walked out into the dissapearing darkness of his kitchen/living area. It was as loud as a gunshot on a still day, and had the rythum of hoofbeats on cobblestone. Cody once again felt that jealous anger. He wanted to break the door down, get that cripple out of his nice slumber.

Maybe make him do the work, he thought longingly, Get a day to myself.

But he knew he could do no such thing. If he did, he'd be fired. What then? Become a beggar? Cody had no intent on stooping to something so low.

He walked out of the house. The sky had started to turn a light blue. Clouds were starting to show through the darness, gold and pink outlining those on the eastern horizon.

It was at that time, looking at that lightening Goergain sky, that he stopped dead.

Cody turned and looked back at the house.

Once again, he put his fingers on his burnt face, this time actually relishing the pain it brought with it. Yes, that had been the answer all along. That is what he had to do. That is how he got out of had to burn it.

Cody walked slowly back to the house. When he got to the door and walked in, he stated to quicken his pace. By the time he reached his employers elegant kitchen, he was near madness. He didn't care if Steward heard. Steward would take some time to find out what was happening, and about twenty minutes to get out of bed and try to stop him. By then it would be too late.

Cody fumbled through the kitchen drawers looking for the matches he knew had to be there.

He finally found them in the bottom drawer, and ran into the living room, searching for something that could burn easily and quickly.

He stared at the overstuffed arm chair that Jimmy had been sitting in not four hours ago.

Yes, he thought, that would do. That would do very well.

He walked to the chair, as if mesmerized. Cody stood over it for a moment, thinking of the best place to light it. In these few moments, he resembled an idol waiting for a sacrifice, and, also, a kind of hansomeness showed on his contemplating and stoick face. This would be something that no one in Macon, nor Travis himself would have believed, but if Manson had seen it he would have understood it perfectly.

He finally settled upon the stuffing in the seat, and got on his knees, ripping and tearing at the felt seat, ignoring the pain in his nails and hands. It took a while, but he finally managed to pull open a small hole in the seat, just big enough for the match.

Cody struck the match, letting it burn for a time, so that it wouldn't burn out when he put it in. So it would start the stuffing.

When it got close to his fingers, he gently stuck it in the small hole.

He sat there for a minute, waiting for the chair to start.

Flames started to pop out of the chair. They flikered almost effortlessly, leaping to the chairs high back.

Without a moments waste, he pushed the chair to the wall. He didn't notice the blisters that were forming on his already destroyed hands. All he cared about was getting the house to lit.

Cody started to smell the familiar aroma of charring wood.

Then, flames started to leap up the wall, spreading to both sides and the floor on its way to the ceiling.

Now was the time to get out.

Cody Travis ran out the door, to the barn. The horse had started to stir.

When he saw this, he calmed some and got to work hoisting the buggy.

He head a low, pleading whine from the barn door.

Cody turned to see a stray dog, white as snow, looking at him with pleading eyes.

He turned back to his horse (it wasn't going to be Stewards much longer), and holstered it to the buggy.

The dog continued to whine.

Cody stared at it again, but this time smiled.

"C'mon, boy," he said, smelling the smoke drawing closer but not carring, "Let's get outa here."

He whistled, and day ran to him, then leaped into the buggy. The dog sat, wagging his long, bush tail like a pengulm.

He didn't waste any time. He climbed into the buggy and was about to ride away when something caught his eye once again.

An Indain bear claw.

Steward must have dropped it (though he had never seen him wear anything like it before). He picked it up, looking from the dog to the claw, Without any thought at all, then wrapped the rawhide string around the dogs neck.

"There yuo are, Bear." Cody said.

He got back into the buggy, and rode off as the fire started to consume the barn.

Chapter III

Cody did not try to steer away from Macon. In fact, he pushed himself right through it.

It was still early, but people had already started to trickle onto the street. Men going to work, some children off to school, but no one else.

At least, that's how it was until he rode in.

Cody had started to think it was safe to look up, when someone shouted:

"Get outa here, you hideous animal!"

Right on cue, others started to look up at him. They stared at him with hatred so strong, it pressed against him like still air before a thunderstorm. He thought for a moment about why they hated him so. To him there was only one reason for this strong hate - besides his ugliness. His ugliness did not warrent hate, but disgust. No, they didn't hate him for his looks, but simply because of what he represented. When they looked at him, they saw the pain and suffering that they themselves did not understand, nor wanted to. They saw things that they were afraid of going through, things that would have killed them to go through. He also beleived that, deep down, they were afraid of him, the carrier and distributer of what they thought was all the pain in the world. They treated him like a desiesed animal simply because they did not want to catch what he had. They did not want to catch what they thought was a contagious and crippling desiese. Still, that stare was impossible to ignore.

He took a deep breath, and looked up. Looked up at them.

Some of the children gasped and started to run down the street - their parents had taught them to hate him, to beleive that if they got too close, they would look just like him. The men just kept staring at him sternly, that hate no diminishing but intensifying.

But something seemed different.

At first he had thought that he saw fear appear in the mens' eyes, but that was just wishful thinking. He started to look around ignoring (partially) the staring eyes. He was so used to having that hate filled stare from every man in town, that when someone wasn't looking at him like that, he always took notice.

One man was not staring at him with hatred. Hell, he wasn't even looking at him at all. He stopped the horse, and jumped out of the buggy.

The man still did not turn around, even as he walked right to him, and towered over the man's small frame.

Hesitating a moment, dreading the reaction he would get, he touched the man on the shoulder.

The man turned around, looking slightly confused, but no offended at all. There was no hatred in his eyes, but a mixture of respect (it had been so long since he had seen that in someones eyes) and pity (the usual).

"Can I help you with something, sir?" His voice was professional, but he could faintly hear a calm and caring tone underneath it. This man didn't hat him at all.

"You god damned traitor!" a voice shouted from behind them. The men had obviously waited and watched, to see whether the man would take care of it, or if they were goingto have to get rid of the probelm themselves. Finding that the man would not take care of the problem that was standing in front of him, the group of men started to walk toward them.

"Siar, you need to come with me." Cody said, knowing trouble was about to swallow him (sorry, them).

"Why?"

"Right now is not the time. Just get in the wagon or your dead."

The man looked at him as if he were crazy.

The group of men, more mod like in their intentions, were now crossing the street about twenty feet in front of them.

Finally, the man got in the buggy. It took, what he felt, was way too long. As soon as the man was on the runing board, he sat himself in the drivers seat and started up the horse.

The men had been at the side of the buggy when it started, and continued to chase it down the road, even with the horse at a nice gallop.

"What's going on?"

Cody didn't look at him, but simply said:

"Once again, this is not the time."