"There are some terrible misunderstandings that must be cleared up, sherif." "Couldn't 'gree more. Can I get ya something to drink? A soda?" "No, No. I do not drink.....soda."
Buck had his revolver but it was no comfort. Ronald was speaking again.
"I wish to state from the beginning, I'm completely certain my brother hasn't done anyone any harm." Ron Crabtree seemed to be staring at the head of the cane. As if there were something there he was reading aloud. "He's....different." Ron tried a smile; it had no feeling behind it. He kept staring at the cane. "Runs in the family, truth be told. But these rumors....hints..."
"Mista Crabtree; you're jumping to conclusions."
Buck wanted to seem in control, leaned back in his chair. It creaked in protest. He decided not to use his hands to cradle the back of his head; instead gripped the edge of his desk. He looked as if he were being certain it didn't move away from him.
"No one's been accussed of..." "I am aware of a man by the name of Van Helsing has arrived. You don't know a thing about him, do you?" Ron aimed his face directly at Buck Barrison and it was like being slapped. The eyes..... it was the eyes. Pools. Like pools, deep pools; deeper then one could see. Buck suddenly couldn't even recall their color....dark.....Buck held his desk all the harder.
"THis man....this doctor...well, he isn't." "Isn't?" Was that my voice, wondered Buck. What is he saying? "A doctor. In fact, he is quite likely the most insane man to ever walk...."
There were other words, Buck didn't hear them. Something had seeped up thru the floor into his legs and kept climbing. He couldn't remember ever being so sleepy. Hey, it'd been a hard couple days...why not a quick nap? Just lay down, a few minutes? Dream something nice, something not involving tore apart girls and mothers and fathers loking at you for all the answers and that damn, damn, damn Randal Crabtree, damn him straight to hell, smiling and .....
Sound, feet on floor, cursing, someone screaming till it hurt to hear it.
Buck came to and Ron Crabtree was gone. Buck rose, passing from one nightmare to the next, he thought. And the next stood there, framed by the doorway to his office. It was a wolf; a huge wolf. Yellow eyes, ears up and alert and a gray muzzle and great jaws.
Jaws dripping blood. The human arm clamped in them was likely connected to this. In the hand of the severed arm was still clasp tight the wolf-head cane.
"Damnation!" said Buck, sagging back. "The paperwork gonna be hell on this!"