He looked down. A pool of red seeped through the hole in his shirt. He had been shot. He grabbed his chest and tried to keep running, but the mud was slippery. Pain seared through his body and consumed him, a branding iron pressed against the gaping hole in his flesh. He fumbled through the pocket in his coat for the compass. His hand clasped it, squeezing it tight and close to his body.
Collapsing, he sank into the mud. His eyes, clear of the muck, looked skyward, where he thought he saw Lillie’s face. The very last thing Charlie could remember was the hazy vision of the woman he loved and the compass that would get him home. Then his world went completely black.