Part 7

Drew Martin had lived in Hellsprings all his life, man and boy.  He'd probably die here too, he reflected, as he began his morning routine.  Day in, day out, always the same.  The job as watchman, it's solitary lifestyle, suited him, loner that he was.  No one knew this area better than he did, nor the locals.  The job of watchman was naturally his.  Couldn't belong to anyone else, that was for sure.  Because the town had a transient population.  People came here, made some money and cleared the hell out.  But not Andrew Cornelius Martin.  He was one of the few people who had actually lived here all his life.  For all of his solitude, he knew everything that went on in the area.  It was said that he could hear a pin drop miles away.  When he slept, it was like a dog slept.  With one ear open.  He had contacts everywhere and an encyclopaedic brain.  When it came to Hellsprings and its comings and goings.  He had very little use for any other type of knowledge and if the truth be known, any other type of knowledge had very little use for him.  He went into the town several times a week and stocked up on whatever he needed.  Including discreet information.  He spoke little,. listened a lot and absorbed everything he heard, something like a sponge.  No one was quite sure about it, but it was understood that he had a connection with a lady in the town, Jessica Hinkley, who ran one of the local drinking establishments.  But no one could be quite sure about it, as Drew Martin never spoke to anyone about it.  And Jessica Hinkley certainly never discussed the matter with anyone.  However, any opportunist with a view to befriending the lady with a view to getting their feet under the table in Jessica's saloon was soon given the message that their attention was unwelcome.  So it was generally understood that she was off limits.  There was, however, no need to worry that the lady's charms were going to waste, however.  She had the self-satisfied smile of a woman perfectly contented with her lot in life.

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