Dummy Malloy was a legend all across the Utah Territory, even though no one could remember ever talking to the man.
Hell, it was doubtful he even could talk — he wasn’t called “Dummy” for nothing.
But for the few people who could prove having met the dark, brooding gunslinger, there was no doubt he understood everything that happened around him, and more.
The mangled fingers of a suspected card cheat …
A slug through the shin when Malloy perceived the slightest hint of threat in another man’s eyes …
An eavesdropper’s ear severed with the flick of a wrist …
There was even tell of another mute whose tongue Malloy had ripped out because of too many questions.
Were they all true?
No one could say for sure, but there were enough maimed frontiersman that the patrons of the Muskrat Saloon grew nervous when the dusky and diminutive man shuffled into the tavern.
This was a stranger, to be sure, and the boyish face and drag-footed limp matched what they’d heard about Malloy.
Men looked at the floor, occasionally flashing suspicious eyes to the intruder as he clubbed along. Women clutched their hands to suddenly flushed bosoms.
Anna Malloy steadied herself on the hunks of oak between her heels and the soles of her boots. Her rough red bandana scratched against her throat as she breathed harder, straining the strips of cloth wrapped tight against her chest.
Would this be the day someone finally figured her out?
Maybe. Didn’t matter, if she found her good-for-nothing daddy.
Same daddy who taught her to fight.
Same daddy who killed her mama and shot Anna in the leg. Left her for dead.
Same daddy, in fact, who taught her about disguises.
Anna squinted and scraped toward the Muskrat’s bar.