Blood from his left hand, the hand nearest the heart. He clenches his fist and watches the dark stream drip into the dead men's mouths.
Borrowed life. Borrowed life. Borrowed life.
He binds his cut hand to staunch the flow. It does not hurt, not yet.
And then Wellington and Grant, De Lancey and the others depart in a flurry of self-congratulation, leaving him alone in the mill with the dead he has raised.
His right hand shakes; his left hand does not. Dexter and sinister: the hand that held the weapon, the hand that gave the blood. Both must be his, though neither seems to belong to him any more.
The pain of the cut is a relief when it comes, a sign that he is still human. He pours spirits over it to prevent infection; the sting makes him hiss through his teeth. It is the only sound he makes.
In a few days, the scab is coming away, the skin pulled smooth as the body heals. He stares at his hand as if he could will the shed blood back into it, take back the borrowed life he gave and make those piteous walking corpses dead again.