The sheriff and his young deputy pulled the defendant out of the burning mansion and dragged the old lady roughly down the circular drive, past the ruined fountain all the way out to the road that led back to Greenville. The men dumped her face first on the crumbling asphalt. The rough surface bit into her flesh, cutting her cheek and forehead.
Blood flowed into her eyes, and she silently wiped at it smearing red across her face. She knew what was coming, nothing she could do or say would change anything. Catharine Webb was going to die this night, but she refused to give these ignorant savages the satisfaction of hearing her beg for mercy.
The rickety white pulpit from the village church was standing up in the back of the abandoned Chevy truck that had been sitting at the edge of the drive since before the war. The rusted hulk had belonged to the groundskeeper but on this night, it served as a judicial bench from which to judge her.