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Comet and the posse ride under a zep shadow for most of the day, keeping cool, until the dry riverbed turns east. It’s warmer now, but at least the sun’s going down.

“Remind me again why we gotta find this feller, boss?” asks Dough Flats, sweating.

“I ain’t no source of exposition,” snaps Comet. Comet’s wise, and bitter for it. “Posses ride. We’re a posse! You put the rest together your own self.”

They follow the dry bed through small towns, two-family towns, the kind of places that are named after the horse that died and made them stop there.


After the midday lunch break (hard cheese and dry bread), Comet pauses to reorient. It’s getting more difficult as the day goes on.

“That way,” he says at last, trying to sound decisive. “I can tell.”

The rest of the posse squints where he’s pointing. “I don’t know,” says Chili John hesitantly. “It looks kinda… familiar, don’t it, boss?”

“You can’t trust your eyes out here.” snaps Comet. “It all looks alike, and that’s why you got to orient! Now let’s ride!”

With a bit of muttering, they trot out over the scrubland, keeping the sun always on their left.