The gallows had been built by eight pm. This was convenient for the executioner, since he liked to spend his nights before the big days drinking until he passed out. Not because of any moral qualms he possessed regarding his chosen profession, but because drinking was awfully fun. And if he did his weight and rope length calculations ahead of time, executing people’s a no-brainer. The only thing he wasn’t fond of were the cries of the crowd, demanding blood, or to see heads pop off that he could do without. He was an executioner, dammit, not a party planner.