“My law has kept this valley safe for ten years,” Rolf Law said. “You think you can do better, stranger?”

Bee met Law’s gaze. “If I did, I wouldn’t say so.”

“Well, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said since we started talking,” the sheriff laughed. “You hear that?” he added in a booming voice, so that all those nearby could hear. “This here stranger has just realized the value of keeping one’s mouth shut before damn fool stuff falls out of it!”

No one responded, as Law swept his eye across the onlookers, so he went on: “It’s a harsh law for a harsh land, stranger. You have a problem with it, you leave my valley. You stay here, especially now that I’ve taken the time to learn you the rules personally, you’re bound by my law. That means trial by ordeal, or the gallows, if you step out of line.”

“You don’t have to worry about me,” Bee said evenly.

“Good. I hope not. I hope this little talk has got you straightened out,” Law said. “Because you’re real close to stepping out of line, stranger. Real, real close. If I was you, I’d lay low for a bit, make sure that Rolf Law doesn’t see you while he’s still got an unfavorable impression. You hear me, stranger?”

“I hear you.”

“Good.” Law whipped his hand in a circle above his head. “Let’s move, boys! Afternoon patrol isn’t gonna walk itself.”

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