The fact that his room had neither gas lamp or fireplace helped as he suffered through the penance of withdrawal. The spartan room’s bed, dresser desk and wash basin were either masked in pitch blackness, lingering in twilit shadow, or bright with daylight.
The light of day pained his eyes and skin, so he stayed abed. In the dark of night, he sweated, fending off fever dreams. During the spaces between, he washed his addiction-wracked body and said his prayers, earnestly now, not like he used to.
After three days of this, he felt the demons vacate and his humanity return. He dressed, unlatched the door, nodded to his body man who’d been outside his room the entire time, and headed down into the lobby of The Peabody hotel to seek out sustenance.
Now that his head was clear, a mortal choice awaited his answer:
To remand himself to the pursuing marshals, or flee and await God’s justice after this life.
The hotel stood dead between of the horror that had happened out west, and his father’s estate in the east. Memphis was his limbo now, trapped between heaven and hell, and he was unsure which way to turn.
When originally built, The Peabody hotel cost between three and four dollars per night, including meals. If you wanted a room with a gas light or a fireplace, you had to pay extra. And still, it was considered one of the finest hotels for hundreds of miles.