Picture created by Nate Armstrong, IG @natearmstrong313
The day was light and breezy. Families were out and doing their daily farm tasks. Each loving their work and praying while doing so. The bright sun bathed them in grace and warmth. Working till the wee hours of the night, they took rest and supper. Eating beef and potatoes with a garnish of their newly churned butter. Having eaten they prayed together and went to bed.
Morning came, and they could hear something rumbling outside. A man named Marcus Evanger was in the neighboring home and also heard the rumbling. Rumbling of horses charging at full speed. The leader of the pack was an outlaw named Willis Keel, this man was known for stealing and murdering without contempt for anyone. Willis charged through and killed the family cow, and his cronies killed the rest of their livestock. The family ran out as well as Marcus, Willis came down off his horse and struck the father in the face with the butt of his rifle. “I’m here for the women and your money,” Willis said. The father holding his face said, “You can’t have my family but you can take our money and leave.” Willis stared and took a moment to contemplate the motion he would make. Willis pulled his revolver and shot the father in the head. His body fell flat and lifeless. “NO!!” his wife screamed. Willis took the woman into the house and defiled her. The child of the family fought back and was stabbed to death by one of Willis’s demons.
Marcus ran with his rifle in hand and shot two of the cronies dead. Three others made attempts at Marcus but Willis shot Marcus in the back before he lifted his rifle.
Bleeding Marcus dragged himself towards the dropped rifle. He was kicked and shot again by another crony. Willis walked towards Marcus, “Why would you put yourself in a position that had nothin’ to do with you?”, Marcus looked up and his face was slapped back into the dirt. The whole gang was standing over Marcus laughing at him and spitting on him. He was shot one more time, and the whole gang rode off leaving him in the dirt and blood.
Marcus crawled into the house where the woman was taken. He saw her laying on the bed heavily beaten and bleeding and crying for life. “Can you walk to get help?” Marcus asked. Her life was leaving her, and she only had a couple of breaths left, and with them, she whispered, “Help me”, and with that, her soul left her body.
Marcus’s family had been murdered by the Willis gang many years prior. He deliberately moved to this wide-open distant place because he thought they’d never come out there. He left it up to God to take care of them, he knew they would be judged and it was only a manner of time. This was something he knew he could not let go unpunished. Their lives should be cut short. He remembered the words of Christ “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” With that, he grabbed his weapons and straddled his horse, and rode after them.
It took several weeks to catch up to the Willis Gang. He followed the trail of tears and tortured souls. The closer he got the more gruesome things he saw.
He reached them at a camp they had set up close to a small town they planned on robbing and pillaging. Marcus came up to the camp and saw that a garment from the child was murdered hanging off one of the horses. His blood boiled, but he prayed for forgiveness for what he was about to do. His hand became shaky, but his anger became the heated coals for his actions. Right before he was about to pull his pistols, he prayed, “Lord Jesus Christ help and have mercy on these men and have mercy on for what I am about to do.”
Marcus pulled his pistols and shot the members of the gang dead. There were flashes of light and loud cracks from his guns. Everyone but Willis was dead before they hit the ground. Willis ran to his horse to escape his judgment. Marcus shot the horse in its rear causing it to throw Willis off. Willis fell flat on his back knocking the wind out of him. Marcus walked slowly over to Willis, fire raging inside, he got close to Willis and Willis began to beg for his life. “Why do you beg for something you lost long ago?” Marcus said. Willis was scared and didn’t understand the question, “You’re that man we shot ain’t ya? You are supposed to be dead.” muttered Willis. Marcus was staring into his eyes and seeing the realization he was going to die. “I pray that God has some mercy on you because I don’t,” Marcus confessed. Marcus shot Willis in the leg, tied him to his horse, and rode out to a wide open area. This area had no shade and was known to get extremely hot and dry during the day.
Marcus pulled a steak from the horse’s saddlebag and stuck it deep into the ground. Marcus untied Willis from the horse and drug him to the post. He tied him to it and said, “You can lay here and repent or die, I don’t care which one you choose,” Marcus got back on the horse and rode away. Willis screamed out “YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME HERE TO DIE!!”, Marcus knew that he had done the right thing and kept riding. He prayed for the man’s soul and left it behind him.