After the miscarriage, the Robbs would start one fight with my family or vice versa. It continued this way for years until Tomak and I were born. After our births, along with the birth of Aram and Angie Robb, Beau Robb asked for a truce.
He was 94 when the truce went into effect. I am 36. Beau Robb died of natural causes at 98. Now, it appeared that someone on the Robb side had severed the truce.
“It’s those freaking Robb rednecks,” Tomak growled as we walked out to his car.
“We don’t know that” I said. My tears would not cease falling. I never knew it was possible to cry this much.
“We’ll go over to their house tomorrow. If they have anything to do with the killing of your family, the blood feud goes back into effect. It’s an eye for an eye.”
“Tomak, we’ll all end up blind if we use that mentality. Justice…”
“Justice is blind, brother. We need to kill whoever did this.”
I couldn’t argue with his logic. Sure, I knew if the Robb’s had broken the truce there could be no peace. Whomever said the bit about revenge and two graves knew what they were talking about.
Even in my grief I could not fathom how more death would bring a balance to the equation. I kept my mouth closed though. For I knew that Tomak would not listen to what I had to say, the wisdom of the words would make no difference to him.
He had made up his mind that someone would pay for the gruesomeness of the crime. He had decided that the Robbs would be the ones to pay.
Augie Robb, the eldest son of Angie Robb, sat in a rundown juke joint on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. Loud hillbilly rock played out of ripped speakers; a Miller High Life sign blinked behind the bar. Augie tapped the bar signaling that his drink was empty.
A tired looking old woman, her grey hair matted against her scalp, walked over and poured him another Bacardi 151. Augie downed it and tapped the bar again.
Over the sound of jukebox, a news reporter calmly spoke of the triple murder in town. Augie grinned and lifted his glass toward the television.
“Couldn’t happen to nicer people,” he said.
Angie crossed the makeshift dance floor and sat on a stool next to her son. The tired old woman came back and poured her a vodka martini. She took a sip and licked her lips.
“Augie, what did you do?”
“Hi, mom. I haven’t done anything.”
Angie watched the television and took another sip. Augie chuckled and tapped the bar. Angie met the bartender’s eyes and gave her a slight nod. She came over and topped off Augie’s glass.
“For years, we’ve had a truce with the Whitman family. I hope you didn’t do anything to jeopardize it.”
“Who would do something like that, mom?”
“An imbecile, Augie. Your uncle and I have heard the stories of what life was like prior to the truce. There was no peace. We killed them, they killed us back. It was one violent cycle.”
Angie stared at her son. Augie wasn’t classically handsome, but there was a ruggedness about him women liked. His dark eyes and darker skin made him seem enigmatic. He stood a hair over 5’10 and kept himself in decent shape.
But for all his physical attributes Angie still worried about him. Augie was naïve, and slow when it came to thinking. She wouldn’t be surprised if Augie had gone into town and killed the Whitman family just to have something to do.
“Did you kill that family, Augie?”
“No, momma. I didn’t kill them.”
Angie got up to leave but Augie took her by the hand. She turned to face her son. He reeked of rum and his eyes were bloodshot. They gave him the appearance of a deranged lunatic.
“I didn’t kill them,” he slurred. “They killed themselves…”