The feud between the two neighbouring families had raged for just over a century. In all, twenty-three people had died as a result. Every few years there was yet another unaccounted-for bloody death.
It all began over a pig. One family claimed it was theirs; the other family claimed it was theirs. The Kitson family killed and ate it. The Cairns family, in retribution, killed Kitty Kitson. It wasn’t poor Kitty’s fault, but “A pig for a pig” Carl Cairns said.
Next, it was Carl Cairns’ turn. The coroner ruled he was kicked to death by a horse. But why was he tied up to a tree? “Better than a kick in the pants”, said Johnny Kitson.
Johnny Kitson was the next. Then Mabel Cairns. Then a Kitson, a Cairns, a Kitson, a Cairns. Kitson. Cairns. Kitson. Cairns. Down the century.
The local Sheriff knew he could do nothing about the feud. It would go on for the next hundred years. Perhaps forever. Goodness! Just last week, Jasper Kitson was found with twenty-seven bullet holes in his back. “Gutless wonders those Cairns cowards,” said Clovis Kitson. “Never shoot a man in his back.”
The Sheriff, being of practical bent, wrote his report:
Twenty-seven bullet holes in the back. The worst case of suicide I ever seen.