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Tales From the Crypt


Blackguard
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The old man rubbed his whiskers, not sure if he liked the man that sat opposite him at the table. Sure, he had bought several round of drinks for a mere gravedigger; but, the man seemed unnaturally friendly. One could never trust a younger man who smiled like he had a secret about you.

 

The crowd was noisy, as usual, with plenty of regulars that lifted their mugs to Old Pete. Yet, they left him alone with the stranger as if sensing that some private business was being discussed.

 

"I told ya friend, she was dead and buried. How many times I gotta tell ya?" The stranger seemed pleased and nodded. "You would swear to God and under any oath that Miss Boyle was dead when you put her in the ground?" "Aye," came the reply. "She weren't moving none. Somebody checked her breathing." Normally, Pete would be offended by such questioning; but, her grave was disturbed by robbers that night.

 

"Someone dug her up?"

 

"Maybe friend but looked more like she dug herself out, like she weren't dead." Pete corrected.

 

"It would not go well for you, I should think, if you were accused of burying a woman alive," came the caution from the stranger.

 

"I'd not do that!" spat Pete. "I been burying folks for 30 years. I knows a corpse when I sees one."

 

"You would be wise to stick with that story," came the further advice. "I should hate to think a sincere professional like yourself would get in trouble were he to change his story." The stranger left five shillings on the table beside Pete's hand. "Thank you for your time. God loves a man of steadfast truth." The stranger then took to his feet.

 

"Ya comin on back tomorrow night?" Pete asked hopefully. Than man had been liberal with purchasing drinks.

 

"No, you shan't be seeing me again ... unless you change your story. My friends and I would be most unhappy to hear of that." There was a sense of threat in that remark. Pete acknowledged it with an annoyed look.

 

"I didn't git yer name stranger," Pete observed.

 

The stranger paused and gave a saintly smile. "I am Matthew." With that, he exited the tavern. The darkness of night hid that the man crossed himself as he moved away.

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