"I'll do everything I can, Ma Cody." The Sheriff coughed to stifle a tremor that was forming in his voice and turned to face Doc Morris
"I'll get the bastard," he whispered. "One way or another."
The Doc squeezed Sheriff Cole's arm then guided him to the other side of the bed.
"Her injuries, Sheriff. The back of her skull's been gashed wide, mebbe a rifle-butt, but can't say for sure. Not a rock, I guess, no dirt around the wound. She fell forward onto her face. There's a couple more hits, on her shoulders and side of head."