1. As usual, several emotions were at war in A. W. Merrick's capacious bosom. In this instance, there was fear of the groaning mob of walking dead at his office door; wonder and elation at witnessing what surely could only be a true supernatural phenomenon; and blackest despair at the knowledge that even if he did live to compose and print the story, no one would believe a word of it.
2. Wielding her broom, Jewel swatted at the monster until Dan snatched her up and carried her, still kicking, a safe-ish distance back. Dolly bit into the thumb of the dead hand clapped across her mouth, throwing the horror attached to it into paroxysms of shrieking. No sooner had the shambling thing loosened its grip on the fat girl than Al clocked it across its exposed jaw bone with the stock of the shot gun he carried - it staggered against the bar, and he reversed the gun and blew the creature's putrid head apart. Now kneeling under a table, Dolly spat out the corpse-thumb, her eyes wide in horror. Al looked down at her with a wry expression:
"Good on you - but I'm going to have second thoughts about ever putting anything of mine in your mouth again."
3. Triumphantly, Richardson held up the antler, now stained with the blood of one of the undead things.
"It protected my loved ones," he gasped to Aunt Lou, as she bundled him out of the Grand Central Hotel's back door. E.B. hurriedly brought up the rear, his palms even damper than usual.
4. That the stress of fighting this new plague would, of a certainty, fuck over his already-dying lungs was merely the latest installment, Doc thought, on a price he had long ago agreed to pay. It had come as a downright relief when he'd realized he was awake. These walking corpses appeared to go against the natural order: certainly they were beyond anything in his own learning and experience; yet any nightmare that dwelt outside his own head, he felt, was one he could deal with.
5. Sol Star, as Trixie had once said, was a born householder. The mayor kept his quarters as neat as a pin, and clean. So it was that the stench of decay, which might have gone unnoticed in less savory parts of the camp, was alarmingly evident as it wafted up the newly-built wooden stairs to the bedroom he secretly shared with the house next door.
"Don't be a damn fool," gasped Trixie, when the source of the smell was discovered shambling up said stairs towards the door Sol was trying to block, "We'll go out my way. If there's anyone in camp yet who doesn't know about us, their brains are too rotten for those things to eat anyway, more's the pity."
"Though it do seem a shame to put new furnishings in harm's way," grunted Sol as he pushed a washstand ordered from a catalogue two months prior across the bolted door, "we still need to slow them down to make good our escape. Must congratulate Al on his foresight, if we live through this."
Trixie helped him pile the bedstead against the washstand before dragging him by the hand through the wall, down through the far more slovenly house that adjoined his, and towards the familiarity, if not actual safety, of the Gem Saloon.
6. Alma's face, in the small pool of light from the lamp, was paler even than usual; and her embrace of Sophia tighter. Martha sat beside her, back very straight, but with one hand on the little girl's shoulder as if to join the other woman in protecting her. Seth paced the room, stopping every other turn to draw a discreet crack in the curtains and look out into the street. From time to time his hand went to his gun belt. When the hammering started at the front door, he drew the weapon and edged towards the small side window.
"Hey! Are you-all dead in there? 'Cause, I'm just gonna have to kill you again if you are, and if you ain't, then fuckin' let me in." Seth stopped, lowered his hand.
"Unless the powers of the walking dead extend to parlour imitations," Alma said, her voice quavering a little with – relief? "I believe that would be Jane."
7. Although his face betrayed nothing to his minions, Mr. Wu had several fears as regards his plan. He feared the pigs might not yet be sufficiently hungry after the last two cocksuckas Swedgen had sent him, only a couple days before. He was worried pigs might not have a taste for ghosts. Still, he could see no other way to deal with the problem.
At his signal, a minion heaved open the gate that led from the sty, and three more began herding the pigs, not, as usual, towards Wu's slaughterhouse, but to the main street of Deadwood. The swine grunted and squealed in confused protest; until the lead sow recognized the smell of their favourite food, perhaps a little gamier than usual, and the herd was off. Wu permitted himself to relax slightly, and began considering the next problem, since the camp was no longer doomed: how hard was it going to be to recapture his livestock. Swedgen, he decided, was going to owe him some assistance in that matter.