The highwayman pushed Father Dunwich back. “Dun need yer prayers,” he snapped. “Jus’ yer money or yer life.”

“I’ve no money, my son, as I told you,” replied Father Dunwich. He leaned in again, but this time, he slipped the highwayman’s dagger from its sheath and plunged it three times, quick as lightning, into the chinks between plates of boiled leather armor.

“Ere now, what are ya-” The other robber made to swing his sword, but Father Dunwich had already closed the distance between them and the thug’s sword arm bounced harmlessly off the good priest’s shoulder. The dagger was deep between his ribs before anything else could slip out of his lips.

“Wh…wha…how…?” The first highwayman had sunk to his knees, each breath forcing more air from his punctured and deflated lung into his chest cavity.

“I tolja, I’s a sin-eater,” growled Father Dunwich. “Yer bleedin’ out cuz I’s taken yer sins upon m’self. The sin o’ how to stab folks afore they know what poked em, fer instance.”

Father Dunwich knelt over the fallen men, saying the Obeisances in their ragged patois as their life ebbed away.

“Gonna jaw an’ think like ya for a spell,” he said, “but it’s no thing. Yer absolved an’ I was damned afore.”

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