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50:Boonville. Missouri. August 1861

Finbar has travelled west from St Louis and has arrived at Boonville, a staging post town, where he is changing horses and stocking up on provisions before he continues his onward journey. As he approached the town he had seen a white man and woman being taken away by a Sheriff. He hears a commotion and sees a black man and woman running away from a white man on horseback. The rider shoots at the couple, hits the man and takes aim at the woman. Finbar has drawn his rifle and shoots the horseman. He runs to the scene where he finds both men dead. The woman is transfixed to the spot, in a state of total shock. Finbar, realising that if any help is on hand it will be for the white man, bundles the woman onto the spare horse and rides off with her. When they get to a remote point, safe enough to stop, he tries to find out who the woman is and where she wants to go. She can hardly talk. Finbar asks her what he can do for her. Now she is crying uncontrollably. Finbar sees no alternative but to keep her with him.

51:Des Moines. Iowa. August 1861

The uneventful journey takes a week. Finbar manages to find out Belle’s name, the fact that she is a runaway and that the dead black man was her husband. Finbar has figured out that the white man was a bounty hunter and knew that what he was doing was perfectly legal in slave States. It is Finbar who has committed murder. Both Finbar and Belle are pleased to cross the state line into Iowa, a State where slavery is illegal, and make for the first sizeable town, Des Moines. Finbar explains that he has to keep travelling. He books Belle onto a stagecoach going east in a few days time and gives her some money. Half a day into his journey he turns around. He finds that Belle has been refused a hotel room. When he asks her if she wants to continue with him she readily agrees.  

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