Gage did not reply. What could he say? He stared, apathetic, between the iron bars.
“I never hanged someone as young as you.”
“Turnt yellow boy? You wouldn’t be the first.”
When the determined mute only shook his head, the sheriff decided to go home to bother his wife about dinner. He extinguished the lamp, gave a final insult, and left the jailhouse.
When the sheriff’s bootsteps faded from hearing, Gage peered ‘round the corner to make certain he was gone.
Freedom calling, he spit the key into his open palm.