Dr. King Schultz stopped knocking on the door.
"I'm afraid there seems to be no one home".
Him and Django Freeman, now his partner for the winter, have been riding without stopping for the past five days in order to reach the town of Helen. Following the tracks of Jack Finn, a bank robber, they were now quite positive that the fugitive was hiding out in the mining town. However, as they were getting closer to the mountain known as Brasstown Bald, the dark clouds were making it clear to them that they would need to stop before the snow storm started.
"Shame" King said "We really need shelter."
"Perhaps there'll be another house on the way" said Django as King got on his horse. The Doctor shrugged pessimistically, and they were back on the road.
An hour later it started snowing. While for now the dance of the tiny snowflakes was entertaining, they both knew that the weather was only bound to get worse.
"Someone coming this way" Django said calmly and put his hand on the gun resting on his holster. Nowhere around the South did white folk seem alright with a black man riding on a horse, and Georgia was no different. He was always in alert, ready to shoot the face off of any cracker who thought otherwise.
They were still on the move, getting closer to the person coming towards them. Snow was obstructing their view, making it difficult for them to figure out the mysterious rider. All they could spot was a dark silhouette, under a heavy coat and a hat.
Ten minutes of riding and now the rider was close to them.
"Good afternoon good gentleman" King yelled out, trying to make his voice be heard through the snow that was now picking up speed. The horse stopped twenty feet away from them. Both King and Django were a little dumbfounded, as the "gentleman" lowered his scarf and a woman's face was revealed.
"Oh...I apologize madam I couldn't quite make out who it was in the snowfall. Nonetheless I bid you a good afternoon" repeated King.
The woman nodded. She didn't smile, nor said anything. Her face seemed stern, not angry, but definitely a face that wouldn't take any crap from anyone. It wasn't lost to King that she was also holding shotgun in her lap.
"We were wondering if you would be the owner of that nice little house we passed down the road?"
"I need a second shotgun" she said matter-of-factly.
King paused and stared at her in confusion. She was staring back, no expression on her face. "I ... am sure you do but I am not sure if I understand the correlation. Could you explain what you may mean madam?"
"You need shelter before the storm gets worse, and I need a shotgun."
King allowed himself to observe that this woman did not sound like a Southerner; in fact, her English didn't have any accent at all. She also did not look very American. Dark hair, dark eyes and a strong jaw; not the characteristics of the British-like heritage that seemed to dominate the country. The idea of having found another person possibly coming from the continental Europe suddenly excited him.
"We can give you your shotgun" Django replied before King could.
"Deal" the woman said and reached back for her scarf to cover her face. She seemed like she didn't give any of this that much importance, in fact she seemed a little bored. She stopped for a second and gazed at the two men.
"I will not hesitate to put a hole in your skulls if you try to do something funny".
"That's only fair" King replied as he chuckled. To his surprise this earned him a half smile from the woman.
"And you don't mind me staying in your house?" asked Django, interrupting their moment of humour.
The woman turned up to him and frowned. She was looking at him with a puzzled face, squinting her eyes and trying to understand. "Oh" then she said "Because you are black?". She looked at him as if he had asked the most absurd question possible.
Django nodded. Did this woman actually forget that he was black for a second?
"Not if you don't care staying at a white person's house" she said and another half smile flashed across her face for a moment.
"The name is Mona... and you two can take the extra room" she said abruptly.
Before neither of them could answer she pulled her scarf back on, and she was on the move again.