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The unintelligible words of a murmured dirge hung like a dense fog over the villagers clustered before the gallows. Soft and solemn streams of early morning light fell on their backs and bathed the faces of the three condemned men in hopelessness. One was native to the village, his crime not widely known. One was a murderer wanted in the city of Alden. The other was Grant, a marshal from Alden hunting the killer next to him.