No sooner had the bells finished ushering the last of the faithful through the oaken door into St. Mary’s than the men who revered the gospels of Remington, Winchester, Smith, and Wesson lifted their arms in praise. The wind blew in from the southwest, transmitting the rifle reports of the Sunday morning gun club clearly across the stubbly winter fields, the sharp tattoo echoing off the stone cottages as I walked through the empty lanes of our quaint little village. Randall stumbled to a surprised halt when I stepped from behind the shadowed arc of the bridge onto the towpath directly in front of him; Daisy had not sent up her usual baying alarm because she had not scented a stranger as the twosome ambled along the deserted canal. His face and fists began to clench with rage when he realized that I was not in the kitchen fixing the “full English” he had commanded as he clomped out the door, and I couldn’t help but wonder once more how a man so tender and patient with the witless, intractable beagle straining at the end of leash could berate, belittle, and beat his own wife so mercilessly without the slightest provocation. With one swift, sure movement of my gloved hand, I swung the tiny revolver from my jacket pocket and pressed its muzzle to his heart, the solitary crack of its discharge a declaration of freedom, yet an indistinguishable voice in the weekly chorus of the gun club’s riflemen. Noticing a sudden lack of tension in the lead against which she constantly tugged, Daisy took off through the hedges, nose to the ground, hot on the trail of some unseen rabbit or fox, the racket she made crashing through the underbrush nearly disguising the splash of Randall’s limp body as it toppled into the murky water of the canal and obscured the concentric rings of ripples where my discarded revolver had sunk.