Brother Joshua sits on a step outside the church, his rifle lent up against the wall, he can see steward Billy moving through town from house to house, usually being asked in. Billy had started off with a smile across his face, but now he is starting to look weary. Light slow footsteps can now be heard coming from around a corner of the church, as Joshua turns and faces that direction he sees Emily walk around the corner, she appears to be on her own, no sign of her husband Clayton. ‘Hello Dog. Joshua isn’t it?’ Emily greets Brother Joshua and asks to see her daughter Wendy, ‘you wouldn’t keep a mother from her daughter’. Joshua informs her that no one is allowed to go in and see Wendy, ‘and that includes her parents, I am sorry’. Unfortunately Emily can’t accept that answer, and is most insistent that she is allowed to go in and see her daughter, walking closer to the door, but Joshua keeps reaffirming his position and that no one not even her mother can go in to see her, not yet, not until after she is better.
The argument gets more heated as Emily approaches the door, and with this Joshua stands up and steps in between her and the doorway, ‘it will be better if you go back home and wait for more news’. She ignores his suggestion and goes for the door, but Joshua grabs her arm stopping her progress, ‘you need to go home’, he demands of her turning her towards her house, and yet she still insists on going in to see her daughter. Brother Joshua tightens his grip and frog-marches her back to her home, all the while she makes a fuss shouting ‘CLAYTON! CLAYTON!’
Clayton comes out of their house and comes over to Brother Joshua, demanding that he let her go and to allow them to see their own daughter. No matter how Joshua argues it, they do not accept his suggestions, so with that he grabs a hold of Clayton too and marches them both back to their home. ‘Hope ye proud of yeself Dog!’ Clayton exclaims, anger dripping from the words. As he guides them back in to their home, he suggests that they stay away from the church for now. Emily pipes up ‘thought ye was spose to guard the door…..well whos guarding it now! she makes it more of a statement than a question, as she walks in to her home turning her back on him.
As Brother Joshua turns back and walks calmly back to the church, he can see that some people are outside their homes watching what had been going on, but then quickly turn and go back inside. He enters the church, going in and checks up on Wendy, seeing if she is still okay. Everything looks okay, Wendy is sound asleep, and as she turns over in the bed, Joshua notices a silver coin fall to the floor, he picks it up and places it back on the bedside table.
Brother Jesse walks back to town with Abadiah in tow, not many words pass between them until they arrive at his house, ‘what is going to happen now?’ Jesse reassures him that nothing will happen until everything has been investigated, making sure that they get the whole picture. ‘Wont be needing this then’ Abadiah states patting the gun at his hip, ‘do I have your word’ he asks, ‘you have My word’. ‘Wasn’t he spose ta be keeping an eye on the door?’ he glances over towards the church, ‘I expect he is inside checking for now’ Jesse replies before bidding him a farewell and walks out towards the church.
Brother Jesse goes in to the church to see if everything is okay, and enters the room where Wendy is laid up, finding Joshua bending over and pick up a silver coin, placing it upon the bedside table. As they leave the room and step back in to the church, steward Billy walks in and explains to the Dogs that the towns folk are getting worked up, starting to believe and say things that are not true, like Wendy has been attacked by demons. Billy shows concern about Cornelius and his shop, expecting that it may be attacked tonight and may even be burnt down. Jesse tells Joshua to stay here and keep his guard while he goes over to see Cornelius.
As Brother Jesse knocks on the food store door, Virgil pops his head around the corner from behind the store, gesturing silence and for Jesse to follow him. Virgil leads Brother Jesse to a back door, unlocking it and handing him the key, ‘Cornelius is inside, please go on in and talk with him’. Locking the door behind himself Jesse comes upon Cornelius still in his wedding outfit, but looking rather worried and confused, ‘oh’ escapes through Cornelius’ lips as if expecting someone else.
Cornelius starts asking the Dog how his bride to be is, and if he can go and see her. Brother Jesse reassures him that she will be fine and she needs all her rest she can for now, so no visitors. But Cornelius demands to know what is wrong with Wendy, his voice getting more agitated, unfortunately Jesse can’t seem to pacify him and Cornelius stands rasing his voice, quoting a passage from the Book of Life to him. Brother Jesse stands his ground in front of Cornelius, pulling his own Book of Life out from his coat and waves it in Cornelius’ face, puts a firm reassuring hand on his shoulder and with his free hand flips open the Book of Life to a page and quotes a passage back at him. With that the argument shifts to Cornelius asking if the nurse Bethia could tell him about his bride Wendy. Brother Jesse reluctantly gives in to this request, biting on his own lower lip as he agrees. Upon leaving Cornelius in his chamber, Jesse locks the door again as he walks away from the store, Virgil telling him that he will stay looking after the store.
Out in the fields, Brother Ambrose helps with bringing in the harvest with Joss, and comes straight out with it and asks him if Cornelius had done something to Wendy. Joss tells Ambrose that he believes that Cornelius could not use his fists on her, ‘and now that ye Dogs are ere, what if ye find somethin else out, what then?’ Brother Ambrose doesn’t really give him a proper answer and instead asks him ‘where would a poor man get a piece of silver around here?’ ‘Cornelius hands them out to some people’. ‘Why did she give you it?’ Brother Ambrose asks him bluntly, and Joss explains that it came from a private dowry that was given to her before she was to marry Cornelius and then she would receive another after they are married, ‘she asked me to have it’.
Brother Jesse convinces Bethia that it would be a good idea to pacify Cornelius about Wendy’s condition, and reassures her that she does not have to lie to him, but just to avoid passing on the whole truth for now, to use her medical knowledge to blind him of the truth for the time being. He walks her over to the store and awaits outside while she goes in and explains the situation to Cornelius. After sometime she comes back out satisfied that she had managed to explain things to him for now without any problems.
Back at the church Brother Ambrose walks up to the other two Dogs stood outside, and they agree that it would be a good idea to go inside and catch up on everything they have learned so far. Ambrose explains that he believe that Joss is the father of the unborn within Wendy, and that they must have stopped seeing each other because of the engagement, and that the conception must have happened either just before or just after that. Brother Jesse thinks that it would be best to hold a town meeting to calm matters down before things get out of hand, but first it would be best to see Cornelius and explain things to him. As the Dogs go over to the food store a crowd come out of their respective homes watching what is happening.
Brother Ambrose tells Cornelius that his wife to be Wendy is pregnant, ‘you what’ comes a shocked reply from him, ‘did that bastard father know?’ ‘Who, Abadiah?’ Ambrose asks, ‘so its Joss’ Cornelius storms towards the door. They all try to explain and calm him down when they hear steward Billy calling for them outside, ‘come quick’.
Brother Jesse stays with an enraged Cornelius, while Brothers Ambrose and Joshua go outside to see what is wrong. Outside they see Bethia and Joss carrying Wendy away from the church. Cornelius goes for his gun on the table, still in its holster, and Jesse reacts rushing for the table too, slamming his hand down on to the hand reaching for the gun, but as he does so a head impacts against his own, dazing him for a few seconds, his hand missing its target. As Brother Jesse stands back up clearing his head and swaying, he swings his now clenched fist out towards where he last knew Cornelius to be. Now gun in hand Cornelius swing the butt of the gun at Brother Jesse, and Jesse ducking lunging his fist towards Cornelius’ stomach. As heads clear and the dust settle, and enraged Cornelius is standing there pointing his gun down at Brother Jesse’s leg.
Brother Ambrose shouts after Bethia and Joss, ‘they will have to go to another town and get married’ Bethia replies, ‘if Cornelius knows there will be problems.’ Brother Ambrose instructs the crowd that is gathering to go back home.
A gun shot rings out through the town, coming from the food store, and Cornelius steps out from the door way glaring out across town towards where Wendy is, and as he reloads is now smoking gun he steps towards Joss raising his gun. Ambrose seeing this chance of events quickly dives at Cornelius, and Joshua shifts his position raising his rifle at Cornelius.
‘Lower your gun, you’re pointing at Wendy!’ Brother Ambrose exclaims, ‘they are sinners!’ Cornelius throws back with a glint of madness in his eyes. Brother Joshua also tries to shout at him trying to distract his attention, aiming his sight on him just in case. ‘I don’t wish to die by my hand, they have called the demons in to town’, Cornelius states not changing his stance.
Suddenly he spots another Dog lunging at him from behind, Brother Jesse, now with a grazed bloody knee, going for a surprise strike on Cornelius, but he has been spotted in time and only receives a graze to the side of his head. Quickly Ambrose takes advantage of this turn of events and goes to tackle Cornelius again, knocking him to the ground, but he still holds his gun as if letting Ambrose take him down, the gun still aiming at Wendy’s direction.
Cornelius stands back up and swings at Brother Ambrose and then Brother Jesse with the barrel of his gun, missing Ambrose but catching Jesse who goes down from the hard impact, laying there looking back up at what is going on. Brother Joshua fires, and as the shot rings out Virgil hits the dirt with bloody pumping out from a wound in his chest, Cornelius still standing there unhurt. Ambrose makes another move on Cornelius only to find the gun thrust towards his face. Another shot rings out through the town, and this time impacts on Cornelius, Brother Joshua’s rifle smoking from the discharge.
Brother Ambrose demands that everyone is to lay down their firearms, that the sins need to be set right, and with this, and as things quieten down he begins to give judgement. Wendy is to go live with her parents Emily and Clayton, and not to be with Joss, there is to be no reward for this situation. joss must now work for the church, and not to marry Wendy, the church will provide for him, and his father Abadiah should be able to be comfortable for the rest of his live with the outcome of this, and the fields that are theirs. And as for Cornelius, he will be banished from this town, not to stay any longer, as there may come a time where his anger may get the better of him. He will keep his ownership of the store, but have someone else run it for him.
This is how the Dogs have judged, and this is how the town will be, the Dogs have spoken for the King of Life. Sin is never a good idea to feed.