"Seven Outlaws in Search of a Bank" Sidewinder Recoiled - Game 5

Silver Moon

Visitor
Seven Outlaws in Search of a Bank” - Sidewinder Recoiled

Game 1 - Prelude, played on June 6, 2005

Game 2 -Chapters 1 to 6 played at the Central Massachusetts ENWorld Game Day - Oct. 22, 2005

Game 3 - Chapters 7-12 played at the Boston ENWorld Game Day - April 1, 2006

Game 4 - Chapters 13-21 played on June 17, 2006

Game 5- Chapters 22-up played on June 2, 2007


Chapters 1 to 6 Cast of Characters:
Arthur “Deadeye” Douglas - Fast Hero (3); Gunslinger (3) played by MabGob
Flying Arrow – Dedicated Hero (3); Brave (3) played by Firesdream
Mae Clark – Charismatic Hero (3), Grifter (3) played by Orchid Blossom
Pamela Yeats – Dedicated Hero (3), Sawbones (3) played by Corsair
Pinto Joe Weems - Tough Hero (3), Desperado (3) played by Bobitron
Shotgun Sally Fox – Fast Hero (3), Rustler (3) played by Evil Kitty Grrl
Mongo Bailey – Strong Hero (3), Tough Hero (3) N.P.C.


Character History and Background:

Arthur “Deadeye” Douglas was born in February 1853 as the youngest and physically weakest of four brothers who went on to become the notorious Douglas brothers. Arthur trained in the art of the fast draw and unerring aim at close quarters to make up for his deficiencies. The Douglas Gang became famous for bank and payroll office robberies in California, Nevada and Utah during the mid-to-late 1870’s. Unlike the Dalton and James Gangs, the Douglas Gang would avoid using firearms whenever possible and always shot to wound rather than kill Their Gang’s operations reached a new scale in 1880 when safecracker Mae Clarke joined the team.

Mae Clarke was the widow of Josiah Clarke, the former Chief Engineer and Locksmith of the Harrisburg Safe Company. Following her husband’s death in a plant accident she had approached the Board of Directors about hiring her. They knew that she had visited her husband’s private workshop everyday, bringing him lunch and sharing a private lunch hour with him. She told the Board that she never actually ate with her husband, using the lunch hour to test out the latest lock designs. She said that she also tested every safe and vault before it left the plant, and volunteered her skills at the same pay scale that her husband received. They did not believe her, and only gave her a small stipend as compensation for her husband’s death.”

During the next two years a counterfeiting ring struck cities on East Coast of the United, breaking into bank vaults with Harrisburg Safe models and then replacing real currency with the fake, thus the thefts often going unnoticed for some time. Eventually Federal Secret Service Agents James West and Artemis Gordon traced the crimes back to Mae Clarke. They confronted her but she managed to trap them and escape.

For the next year that Mae was on the run, banks and private homes that had Harrisburg vaults and safes found themselves subject to robberies. The company worked to replace the locks on all products they had sold during the prior decade, assuming that she had a copy of the combinations, but she managed to get the new locks opened just as easily. As the company’s reputation back east waned and they rapidly lost business to their two competitors, they decided to send the Harrisburg sales force west of the Mississippi River. She in turn went west after this new opportunity to make a fortune while avenging herself against the company that wronged her.

She then began working with the Douglas Gang assisting them with bank robberies at locations with Harrisburg products. They would hit banks after hours, which appeared to be more lucrative and less risky than day jobs. The Gang then fell into a carefully laid trap during which Pig-eye Douglas was killed and both Eagle-eye and Bulls-eye Douglas were captured. Mae, Deadeye and a gang member named Toby Harris managed to escape. The three realized it was riskier to stay together so decided to split up.

Deadeye stayed out-of-sight in a small Nevada town. Toby Harris joined the Cowboy Gang, a group of cattle rustlers in southeastern Arizona led by Curly Bill Brocius. Mae Clarke joined up with Frank and Jesse James of the James Gang. A semi-successful July 1881 robbery by the James Gang in Promise City Arizona Mae left the James Gang with her share of the loot, amounting to over $ 5,000. She set up a home in Boulder Colorado and planned to stay put for a while.

In January 1882, Deadeye was invited by Toby Harris to join the Cowboy Gang in southeastern Arizona, a semi-organized group of cattle rustlers Deadeye arrived to find that Brocius, Harris and around twenty other gang members had been killed a few days earlier by the local law. Deadeye attempted to take charge of the remaining Gang and organized a few successful stagecoach robberies but then ran into personality conflicts with the Gang’s other leader Johnny Ringo. Marshals Wyatt and Virgil Earp retaliated and arrested as many gang members as they could find on trumped up charges, including Weems. Ringo and several other gang members were then captured by the law.

One of the captured gang was Pinto Joe Weems. Born in 1856, Pinto Joe was the son of a saloon harlot. He grew up to become as rough-and-tumble desperado if there ever was one. Joe is as tough as they come, taking no grief from anybody. Not ever finding a job or boss who suited his temperament, Joe became an outlaw. Partnering with buddies Lane Gifford and Harvey Knowles, the three became key members of the Cowboy Gang, a group of cattle rustlers operating in southeastern Arizona under the leadership of Curly Bill Brocius. Curly Bill liked Pinto Joe because he has no qualms about killing anybody who got in the Gang’s way.

Joe’s girlfriend was another Cowboy Gang member was Shotgun Sally Fox. Sally led a long rough life. Born in 1860, her parents died of disease when she was a teenager and the family farm was confiscated. She worked as a stable hand until she crossed paths with Pinto Joe Weems. He introduced her to the life of cattle rustling, a job that she has excelled at. She has been Joe’s sidekick for years now and they made great cattle rustling partners between her speed and his brawn. Sally tends to dress and act like a man as much as possible, drinking, cussing, smoking cigars and playing cards. But around Joe she can also be feminine when she wants to. Sally convinced Deadeye to organize a jailbreak, freeing Pinto Joe Weems, the Koonz Brothers Dudley Yeats and Mongo Bailey.

Mongo Bailey is a simple man. Born in Alabama in 1855, his father was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Following the war the family moved to the Arizona Territory, where Mongo found his way through life as a laborer. He worked on the railroads and in the silver mines then began working with Joe and Sally at catching and selling cows. Mongo took on the Cowboy gang’s toughest jobs. If you needed a door or corral knocked down Mongo was your man.

Despite Deadeye’s jailbreak Ringo still refused to cooperate and stayed behind in the jail while the others escaped. Exasperated, Douglas decided to give up on the Cowboy Gang and move on. The other outlaws who he had freed from jail agreed to go with him. Before leaving he decided that a bank robbery was in order. Those six, plus Weem’s girl Shotgun Sally and Dudley’s wife Pamela then planned and executed a bank robbery at Condon’s Bank in Promise City, Arizona.

The robbery went sour when two guards started shooting. One Koonz brother and Dudley Yeats were killed and Pinto Joe and Mrs. Yeats were captured. The gang only got $ 300 for their efforts to the four who escaped, as most of the money bags taken turned out to be “dummy” bags stuffed with Confederate bills. The surviving Koonz brother quit to rejoin the Cowboy Gang and Sally and Mongo would have also if Deadeye hadn’t agreed to attempt a rescue of those who were captured.

Pinto Joe and Pamela Yeats were sentenced to hang. Born in 1848, Pamela was the daughter and only child of a United States Army Major by the name of Doctor David Billingsly, much of her youth was spent traveling from base-to-base. In 1862 her mother died of an incurable disease. During the Civil War she accompanied her father from engagement to engagement and acted as his “unofficial” nurse. He often found himself in need of another doctor and began to train her in more advanced procedures as well. By the war’s end she had received on-the-job training that surpassed anything she could have learned at a formal medical school, which would never had admitted her anyway due to her gender.

Following the war the Army assigned Major Billingsly to the western frontiers where the Indian campaigns were being waged. She accompanied him and continued to assist her father in an unofficial capacity. During that time she met and fell in love with an Army private assigned to her father as an orderly by the name of Dudley Yeats. A year later she and Dudley married. They continued to work with the Major through a number of skirmishes with Indians. In one encounter Pamela saved the life of a wounded Navajo sub-chief who later presented her with a wampum belt as a reward.

Major Billingsly died in a railroad accident in 1879. He died needlessly, as Pamela had the skills to save him but the Army did not bother to contact her until after it was too late, unaware of her medical abilities. Dudley opted to not reenlist and the young couple set out on their own. They eventually settled in the town of Promise City, Arizona where they established the Trail Dust Saloon.

Whenever a patron came into the Saloon injured Pamela would explain her background as a nurse and offer to treat the injury. This soon came to the attention of the Cowboy Gang, a local group of some 200 cattle rustlers. Before long the Trail Dust Saloon had become a front for a private medical practice, where Pamela and Dudley would treat the injuries incurred by the Cowboy Gang for very reasonable compensation and “No questions asked”.

In January 1882 the town’s Marshall, Wyatt Earp, showed up at the Trail Dust and began asking questions about the business. Dudley panicked and fired a shot at Earp to keep him out of the back rooms, where two Cowboy Gang members were recovering from recent injuries inflicted by the Earps. Dudley was arrested, jailed and sentenced to five years of prison. While sitting with other Cowboy Gang members in the Tombstone, Arizona jail awaiting transfer to the Territorial Prison a jailbreak occurred, instituted by the new Cowboy Gang leader Deadeye Douglas. Immediately thereafter the Earps confiscated the Trail Dust Saloon and evicted Pamela. She rejoined her husband, who was now hiding out with the Gang.

Deadeye Douglas decided to leave the area and get away from the Earps, but organized one last bank robbery first in order to give them some traveling money. The bank robbery was a disaster, ending with Pamela a widow facing the hangman’s noose. But Deadeye organized an early morning jailbreak to rescue them, tying up the Deputy Sheriff and leaving town without having to fire a shot. Doing this helped to solidify his reputation as leader of his New Douglas Gang. He suggested they travel north and avoid cities and town.

The gang then became hopelessly lost in the Rocky Mountains in the midst of winter and were fortunate to be rescued by a Navajo Indian woman named Flying Arrow. The Indian woman had objected when his tribe was forced onto a reservations in the northern Arizona and New Mexico Territories. Refusing to be little more than a captive of the United States Army, she set out on her own and had been living in the Rocky Mountains for two years.

In February 1882 a dream spirit came to her and spoke of how she would soon encounter those who she should help. Not long after that she happened upon a group of five lost people, three men and two women, deep into the mountains and far away from any towns. She spent a day observing them and noticed that one of the women was wearing a Navajo Wampum Belt. Reading the symbols on the belt it indicated that the belt was given as a gift to a healer who saved the life of a Navajo Sub-chief. .

She approached the group who were neither afraid of or trusting of him. She spoke privately to the woman with the belt. The woman assured Flying Arrow that it was a gift freely given and not a trophy, explaining how she came to learn medical skills from her father. Flying Arrow agreed to help the party. First she found them food, then led them out of the mountains to safety.

Flying Arrow continued to travel with the group and they did not asked her to leave. She soon discovered that they were robbers, but as long as they steal from other whites and do not harm the native peoples she has not problem with that. She regarded whites as thieves, since they have taken the land from the natives, so felt is was only fitting that they get a taste of what they have dished out. During these weeks that they were traveling she and the woman Pamela have become close friends.

In early March, 1882 the group moved on to Boulder, Colorado where they met up with Deadeye’s girlfriend Mae Clark who had been living there under an assumed name. She decided that New Douglas Gang was an odd assortment of individuals but Mae has decided that with her guidance they should be able to be honed into an effective team. They then began to plan their next job.
 
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Silver Moon

Visitor
Prelude – “Cheyenne” – March 6th to May 25th, 1882

[GM’s note: This prelude chronicles the one prior game played using these same characters, played on June 6, 2005 with a different group of players.]

Cheyenne, Wyoming is located in the southeast corner of the Wyoming Territory not far from the borders of the States of Colorado and Nebraska. The community was inhabited by the Cheyenne Indian tribe, who themselves get their name from the Sioux phrase “sha hi ye na” which translates as “speaker of strange language”.

The community itself was only fifteen years old, having begun as a tent city in 1867 that General Granville Dodge set up for the workers on the Union Pacific railroad. A rail yard and railroad maintenance depot was established as the location was just before the highest section for the Transcontinental Railroad, so was an ideal place to turn up railroad engines prior to the big climb. The United States Army established Fort Russell adjacent to the town. It also became the main junction point for the gold shipments coming from the mines of Deadwood, South Dakota on the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage operated by the Wells Fargo Company.

A significant number of saloons and variety halls sprang up in this western boomtown. By 1882 the community had grown into a small city with a population of over 5,000 and had become quite civilized. Homesteaders from Germany, Scandinavia, Spain and Ireland had all settled into the area. The cattle industry had grown and with being a main railroad junction became the central location for shipping beef east to Chicago.

The railroad brought in a new middle and upper-middle class who established roots in the community. Cheyenne’s first Opera House had just been established and because of the cultural opportunities many well-to-do mining or ranching owners within 500 miles established fine summer homes in Cheyenne for their families. The lavishly furnished Cheyenne Club was established as a social establishment for this new upper class. This building featured a wide verandah, substantial dining room, billiard room, card room and library. By 1880 Cheyenne had become the wealthiest city per capita in the World. So it is not surprising that it was this community that the New Douglas Gang decided to carry out their next robbery.

The group arrived in town by horse from the south and made their way through the business section of town. Still dressed in their riding attire, they opted to bypass the fanciest of lodgings, finding an inn and boarding house in a more residential neighborhood to the eastern side of town. Deadeye and Mae handled the discussion with the innkeeper, dealing with his prejudices by explaining their Indian companion Flying Arrow as being their stable master, who would board with the horses.

Mae, Deadeye and Pamela brought their better clothes to a Chinese laundry to be cleaned and then found a bathhouse. Once presentable, they began to make inquiries about the city’s upper class individuals. Meanwhile, Pinto Joe, Sally and Mongo found several saloons to catch up on the local gossip.

By the next day Mae had begun flirting with a wealthy southern widower who was summering in Cheyenne. She managed to finagle invitations for herself and her ‘brother’ Arthur to the Cheyenne Club. Pamela Yeats managed to find employment at the same club as a waitress.

For the next few days the three then began working as a team where Mae would flirt with a male patron while Deadeye pick pocketed his keys. He would then pass the keys off to Pamela who would quickly make a clay cast of them, return the originals to Deadeye, who would then return them to the man’s pocket before they were ever noticed to be missing.

Meanwhile, Pinto and Sally found out everything there was to know about the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage route. They found that most military shipments of gold were protected by a large contingent of soldiers from Fort Russell. However, the stage line also brought wealthy prospectors to town with minimal protection on those stages. Mongo spent most of these days at the Cheyenne Social Club, a brothel situated on the south side of town across the railroad tracks.

Mae also checked out the seven banks in town, discovering two to have vaults and safes manufactured by the Harrisburg Safe Company. The smaller of these two banks had an older model that she still had the actual combination for. That next Mae, Deadeye and Pamela broke into the bank while the other four stood watch outside. The safe’s combination hadn’t been changed and they were in it within minutes, finding it filled with currency.

Deciding that this night was primarily a “scouting mission” they only took a half-dozen stacks of banded bills from the bottom of the pile, replacing the packages of bills with Confederate bills to which they put a few real bills on the top and bottom. They then spent the next few days using the money from those six stacks for the top and bottom bills on bundles with all of the other Confederate money from the Promise City Robbery.

Deadeye, Pamela and Mae continue to collect key impressions and find the addresses of the people the keys belonged to. They still needed to obtain smelting equipment to make keys from the molds to initiate the next series of robberies but before they could do so a newspaper reporter began following them.

The group spotted the newspaper editor following them and ambushed him near their hotel and sneaking him up into their rooms for interrogation. It turned out that the fine southern gentleman that Mae had gotten to know was himself a con-artist and drifter who had identified Mae and Deadeye and had spoken to the newspaper editor about a possible reward. Pinto thought the man needed to be killed. Deadeye insisted that they instead hogtie the reporter and leave him in their hotel room. Before exiting they made sure that the reporter ‘eavesdropped’ on their plans to travel east to rob a bank in Lincoln, Nebraska (while in reality they planned to travel first north and then south).

They left town that night, after paying one more visit to the bank and replacing all of the real money in safe with the fake bundles. They traveled north where two days later they then utilized the information that Pinto Joe and Sally had gathered about the stagecoach heading from the gold mines. An ambush was set up on a bridge over a river. Mongo stopped the horses, which Flying Arrow then calmed down. Pinto Joe and Shotgun Sally shot and killed the stagecoach driver and the Wells Fargo guard. Mae Clark shot and killed a United States Army Soldier who had also been assigned to the shipment (although afterwards she allowed Deadeye to believe that Joe and Sally had also done that killing).

Flying Arrow mentioned how this could cause real problems, as killing the soldier will now mean that the United States Army may be after them, with Fort Russell just a short distance away. The three bodies were weighted down and left in the river beneath the bridge. There were three prospectors as passengers on the stagecoach and Joe felt they should be all be killed to eliminate witnesses. Deadeye insisted instead that they be tied up instead and left in the woods.

The gold was locked within a metal chest built into the stagecoach itself, so Deadeye decided that instead of trying to get it out while on a main road they should just take the entire stagecoach. They then headed south, taking back roads to get around Cheyenne and into Colorado. Flying Arrow negotiated their passage through the Arapaho Indian Reservation.

They eventually found an abandoned mine near Granby, Colorado with a boarded up main entrance large enough to get the stagecoach through. The gold and cash, valued at approximatley $ 15,000, was divided up evenly between the members of the Gang. Mongo gave his to Pamela to take care of. Flying Arrow kept a few hundred dollars but decided to give Pamela the rest as well, as she was wiser in how to handle white man’s money for future use.

The Gang decided would be safer if they split up for the immediate future. Pinto and Sally used put their rustling experience to work in changing the brands on the stolen horses. Mae and Sally then found and convinced a local rancher to board the stagecoach horses for them during the next three months.

Deadeye and Mae then rode the short distance to her home in Boulder, where they have been living comfortably for the last ten weeks and have wisely invested their ill-gotten gains. The time went by quickly.

Pinto and Sally rode off a short distance to Denver, Colorado. The city’s many dozen saloons proved to be a lot of fun with the pair enjoyed spending two consecutive months of drinking, gambling and carousing. But the money ran out and they were soon broke again.

Flying Arrow went back to the Arapaho Reservation where he used the money that he had kept to buy needed provisions for the Arapaho people. He spent two months there as their guest.

Mongo rode south with Pamela as far as the mining town of Dillon, Colorado where she was able to line up employment for him at a mine. Unlike the other six who were all staying in northern Colorado, Pamela decided to get some distance. She rode to Colorado Springs where she had her horse boarded at a stable and then got on the next eastbound train. She spend the next two months in the city of Saint Louis, Missouri where she has invested most of her money as well as that belonging to Flying Arrow and Mongo. Prior to the planned reunion she returned to Colorado Springs, picked up her horse, and rode back to get Mongo. She then purchased a wagon of supplies for use to paint and modify the appearance of the stagecoach.

The group all head back to meet up at the Granby mine on the pre-designated date of Friday, May 26th, 1882.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Game Two: Cast of Characters:
Arthur “Deadeye” Douglas - Fast Hero (3); Gunslinger (3) played by MabGob
Flying Arrow – Dedicated Hero (3); Brave (3) played by Firesdream
Mae Clark – Charismatic Hero (3), Grifter (3) played by Orchid Blossom
Pamela Yeats – Dedicated Hero (3), Sawbones (3) played by Corsair
Pinto Joe Weems - Tough Hero (3), Desperado (3) played by Bobitron
Shotgun Sally Fox – Fast Hero (3), Rustler (3) played by Evil Kitty Grrl
Mongo Bailey – Strong Hero (3), Tough Hero (3) N.P.C.


Chapter One, "Which way do we go?", Friday, May 26th, 1882:

They find that the mine which appears that it hasn’t been disturbed in their absence. The tarp is pulled off of the stagecoach. They all conclude that they should change the appearance of the stagecoach, given that it still reads “Wells Fargo” on the side. Pinto Joe sits down on the fancy seat inside the coach, props up his feet, puts his hat over his eyes and takes a nap.

Deadeye asks how everybody has been. “Mongo Good,” the big man exclaims. Shotgun Sally asks, “So, what’s the plan?” Pamela says, “I think any sort of plan that doesn’t involve people coming after us with guns would be best.” Sally goes to scout the area to make sure they weren’t followed while most of the others get busy with scrapers and sandpaper removing the old maroon and gold paint from the coach and repainting it black with white trim. [The players made a few jokes about how they will be riding in "a black and white"]. Pinto Joe complains that he can’t get any sleep while the rest of them are scraping the sides of it.

Deadeye suggest that they could either plan some smaller safer jobs or instead plan out one last large job and then cut their ties loose afterwards. Flying Arrow points out that doing several jobs potentially puts a lot of people coming after you. Mae also points out “That those little safe jobs aren’t always so safe.”

They discuss potential jobs. They rule out going to Denver or Boulder where they might be recognized. One possible destination is the town of Black Hawk, Colorado, situated near Pike‘s Peak. It was a boomtown that has now fallen onto hard times. It was not only heavily mined for both gold and silver but was also plentiful of water needed to operate the stamping mills, so became the region’s ore processing center. The ore has now played out, with most of the population moving on to other regions where the mines are thriving. But they still have several banks with stockpiled capital.

Another possible place to go is the rapidly booming city of Leadville, Colorado situated in the valley east of Mount Elbert, the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountains. The community is now nicknamed the Silver Capitol of the World. It is in the center of the State, not that far from where the gang is now. I. They have had huge silver strikes and rumors have it that the biggest mine in town is pulling in over $ 2,000 a day in silver. Up to this point over $ 100 million in silver has been extracted from there.

They discuss the options as a group, deciding upon Leadville. Mae likes the idea of using the stagecoach to drive there in style. They consider the option of posing as bankers and their wives. “Do we have enough fancy clothing for that?” Sally asks. Mae says, “Yes, Arthur and I have enough for several of us to look the part.”
“Mongo have no fancy clothes,” the big man states. Pamela says, “That’s okay Mongo, somebody has to drive the stage.” “Mongo can drive stagecoach, Mongo like’s horses,” he replies. “And I’m sure that horses like Mongo,” says Pamela. He replies, “Horse like Mongo, or Mongo punch them.”

Deadeye says, “If that place is pulling out that much silver it’s going to need regular pickups.” Pinto says, “How would they do it? By train?” Deadeye says, “Probably, we could do what we did last time.” Pamela says, “Hold on. When we were going to rob a stagecoach we took the whole stagecoach. Are you suggesting that we steal a whole train?”

Deadeye says, “Well, once we get there we can figure it out. We should bring the stagecoach with us, better to keep all of our options open.” They deduce possible cover stories to explain who they are. They then debate sending some of the group on ahead or sticking together as a group. They review that collectively they have a stagecoach, wagon, two draft horses, the six horses of the stage team and their seven riding horses. They realize that the quality of the stagecoach and horse team will be worth something so they could always sell it if necessary.

Remodeling continues on the coach, including putting up fancy curtain, carefully painting on some gold monogramming, and painting of very different colors than it had before. They decide to just give the farmer who has been tending their team the wagon and two draft horses. Sally and Pamela head off in the wagon to see the farmer to retrieve their horse team.

They had paid the farmer for three-months boarding, in order for him to not know their planned return in the event that the authorities did come around these parts. The farm Clem is surprised when they show up two weeks early. “It’s good to see you again. Those horses eat a lot, they have a real bit appetite. Don’t know that I can give you a discount on the last two weeks. “That’s okay,” Pamela states. Clem says, “Well, I’ve taken good care of them. I’ve turned them out every day, made sure they got plenty of exercise.”

Sally says, “We came by some draft horses and a wagon, we were wondering if you could get some use out of them?” “What? You giving them to me?” Pamela says, “The horses we may come back for but you can have the wagon, and have the use of the horses until we return.” “I suppose that sounds fair,” he says. She makes up a random date a couple of months out that she tells him they will be back.

They return to the cave with the horse team for the stagecoach. The horses appear to have been well tended to but the hooves and shoes need some work. Rustlers Sally and Joe are familiar with this and with Mongo’s assistance do the blacksmithing work, putting new shoes on the animals to make them less identifiable to their former owner.

Saturday, May 27th, 1882:

The group takes the road south reaching the town of Empire, a small town shortly off the main road, shortly after sunset. Empire has a hotel for the party to stay at. Pamela decides to stay in the stable with the horses. Joe, Sally and Mongo act as the hireling for the wealthy couple of Arthur and Mae, with Pamela posing as Mae’s personal maid. They get rooms at the hotel.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Two, “Leadville, Here we come!”, Sunday, May 28th, 1882:

The railroad does not venture near the town of Empire, a village of around seventy-five people with the main building being the Inn. It makes its money by being a layover place for road travelers (the equivalent of a modern day truck stop). It is a short distance off from the main road and the simple accommodations were not up to Mae’s usual standards which she expressing in the morning, stating “The things I must suffer for my work.” She gets little sympathy from here companions, with a very sarcastic “Poor thing,” from Joe being the only comment.

They get an early start and quickly head south through the mountains, traversing the mountain pass as best as they can. Towards late afternoon they are approaching the mining town of Dillon. This was the closest community to the mine where Mongo had spent the last nine weeks and also where Pamela bought the wagon, draft animals and supplies to change the stagecoach’s appearance. So they decide to bypass the town to be on the safe side. Mongo suggest that he wear a hat as a disguise. The others realize that the giant of a man would be recognized, hat or no hat, so as an added precaution they have both Pamela and Mongo stay inside the stage with the curtains drawn as they ride by.

The next town reached is Frisco, which they reach well after dark at around 9:00 P.M. They feel relatively safe as neither Mongo or Pamela had gone that far south, minimizing the chance of them being recognized. They anticipate they are now around a day-and-a-half from Leadville. The town is somewhat busy as it is also a train stop on the only railroad line running between Leadville and Denver, with the road continuing parallel the railroad tracks for the remainder of their planned journey.

The group has an active discussion about maybe robbing a train rather than going on to Leadville. Unfortunately they have no way of knowing which trains might contain silver and gold, or which might instead be loaded with just standard provisions such as food or grain. Even if it appeared to be an ore train, other minerals are minded from the region as well such as tin, zinc, tungsten and the ore that the upcoming town is named for, lead.

This hotel is much nicer than the one in Empire, with suites for the well to do. They discover from talking to people at the hotel that with all of the nouveau-rich from Leadville it has many things associated with fine cities back east, including an excellent opera house deemed the finest between Saint Louis and San Francisco. The richest multi-millionaire I the state made his fortune in Leadville and built the opera house. He often has rich friends visit, who while in Frisco on their way to or from Leadville stay in the Presidential Suite that Arthur and Mae then get for themselves. The others get normal rooms.

The main dining rooms as a framed autograph photograph of Buffalo Bill Cody on the wall. They have a very nice meal and since they arrived well past the dinner hour are the only ones dining. They retreat to their rooms. Arthur finds a newspaper which has a detailed story of the fire that swept through Tombstone, Arizona three days earlier, destroying the majority of the town.

Monday, May 29th, 1882:

They head off at a reasonable time in the morning. By mid-afternoon they reach the small mining town of Climax, Colorado. As it is the last stop before Leadville, which is now only thirteen miles away. However, treacherous mountain road lie ahead for the next ten miles which they have no desire to be riding on after sunset. So they stop for the day, this having been the shortest day on the trip thus far.

Flying Arrow gets information about how to best tend to the horses for the rough mountainous terrain that lies ahead. The road itself is said to be very sturdy, having been built by the railroad workers while they put down the adjacent train tracks. Mae inquires from the Innkeeper about the safety of the road ahead as far as robbers and bandits are concerned. She is told that it is fairly safe given how regularly the trains run by, with soldiers assigned to all shipments of precious metals. Coaches are said to be safe because most of the silver ships by train rather than coach.

Tuesday, May 30th, 1882:

They head off the next morning, having all gotten a rather poor night’s sleep due to the trains passing by the hotel every hour or so. They soon see Mount Elbert which is thirty miles ahead to the southwest. When they are two miles from the town they see it in the valley below:

http://www.rainfall.com/posters/mapspanoramic/6502.htm
or
http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?...p/~ammem_Thoe::

They are impressed by the vast size of the community with Mae adding “We could disappear into that easily”. They ride into the town known by the nickname of “The Silver Capital of the United States”. The smelters and mining operations comprise much of the surrounding parts of town, from which emanate the loud pounding sounds from the stamping mills, which essentially employ hydraulic hammers to pound the ore. Much of the mining operation is powered by coal, further adding to the dirtiness of the place. Mae comment that it is an “Ugly and noisy place”. “But also rich,” Deadeye adds.

As they approach the town Deadeye says, “Okay, where should be start?” Pamela says, “Well, we can’t exactly walk up to somebody and ask where the best place to rob the town would be.” Deadeye suggests, “Well, we could hit the banks and indicate that we have money to deposit and need to ascertain who secure it would be.” Pinto says, “Maybe you could say you own a silver mine and arrange a tour of where they take the silver.” Pamela suggests, “Or say that you might be interested in investing in the mine.”

Pinto adds, “You need to see how much they keep on hand to decide it this is worth it or not.” Deadeye says, “Them being millionaires isn’t worth all that much to us if it is all invested in the mines.” Mae says, “If they’re pulling what they claim out of the ground there should be plenty for us.” Mae like the idea of a bank job. Deadeye says to consider the a train robbery as well, waiting until the train is between towns and then uncoupling the relevant train cars. Pamela indicates her reluctance to taking on large numbers of soldiers. Pinto points out that trains have to remain on the tracks, which can be used to their advantage given their better mobility with horses. Deadeye also suggests the possibility of hitting a payroll for one of the larger mines.

Mae suggests trying to get currency rather than silver due to the weight of the ore. Deadeye says that with the coach it wouldn’t be that difficult to transport a fair sized amount of silver bars or ingots.

They pass a large sign near the entrance of town that reads “Leadville, The Source of Silver”. Mae suggests that they find a good hotel but not necessarily the best. The fanciest one in town is the Tabor House, which Deadeye likes the look of. Other nice hotels that they ride by are the Windsor, the Stratham, and the Colorado Arms. Pamela suggests that they might run into financial difficulties trying to live the part of visitors to the best hotel. Pinto says, “Well, it’s not like we’re really planning to pay our bill before checking out.”

The decide on the Rische Inn which is a multi-story brick building with a nice carriage house out back and appears to have good sized rooms. The bring the carriage to the carriage house, explaining Flying Arrow to the workers there as being their stable hand.

They enter the main foyer which has red plush carpeting and fine oak furniture. The main lobby has a sitting room off from it and a large fireplace with a roaring fire in it not far from a long oak desk. A large painting is above the fireplace . The painting is of a man in contemporary clothing with a fat face, brushy mustache and muttonchops that has an engraved sign that reads “August Rische”. Deadeye concludes it is a painting of a man who got rich in this town rather than being ‘old money’. Mae mutters, “Maybe we should find him and relieve him of that money.”
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Three, “The Silver Kings“, Tuesday, May 30th, 1882:

A main dining room is off to the side with a sign above the doorway reading “The Prussia Room”. They all enjoy a nice early dinner. They find out that the man who the Inn is named for is one of the silver barons of the town referred to as the Silver Kings. His home is across the street and the Inn was established as a place for the man’s friends to stay.

After the meal they then fan out around town in pairs to the various taverns, saloons, restaurants and barrooms to find out what information they can about the town. Mae checks out some of the banks, opening up small accounts under various aliases. Deadeye and Pamela check some of the nicer places. The others hit the seedier taverns to hear what there is to hear. They join back up at the hotel a few hours later to compare notes. They have discovered that there are multiple millionaires in town.

The town itself isn’t that large, being approximately ten by seventeen blocks in size. The nicer part of town has fancy Victorian mansions and many sturdy buildings made of granite. Multiple churches line the streets. Overall, it is a fairly wealthy community without a ‘lower class’ as even those who toil inside the mines make a decent wage, although most of them live in barracks near the mines rather than in town. There are presently around thirty working mines within a ten-mile vicinity of the town. The most successful of these is the Matchless Mine. They again discuss the merits of stealing currency rather than ore. They find out that the flow of ore comes into the town and then goes to the assaying office. From there it goes to either the local banks or the government banks situated down near the railroad tracks.

Pinto likes the idea of boarding a train a few towns up bound for Leadville from Denver, with currency from the Denver Mint. He says they could rob the train while it is moving, toss off the money to retrieve later, and then exit the train as regular passengers when it arrives. Deadeye reminds them that money trains also mean soldiers. Pinto says, “Anything worth taking is worth guarding. One player comments that the plan sounds a bit too much like one of the episodes of Firefly.

They then discuss finding safes within private homes of the Silver Kings but decide that without knowing the layouts of the homes and the security procedures it might be too risky. The fanciest building in town is the Tabor Opera House, named for Forrest Tabor, the town’s top Silver King. Pinto Joe talks about just shooting and killing everyone in Tabor’s house and robbing him. “Isn‘t that a bit extreme?” Pamela asks. Joe replies, “Hey, as long as the loot is worth more than the cost of the bullets I’m ahead of the game.”

Not agreeing on a plan yet, they decide to spend the evening around town in smaller groups to find out more information. Mae decides that a trip to the Opera House is in order. Tonight’s featured performance is by the famed actor and magician Harry Houdini. Pamela and Deadeye decide to accompany her. Pinto, Sally and Mongo decide to hit a tavern over near the railroad tracks. Flying Arrow decides to accompany them as she doesn’t really have to worry about the ‘Indian’ being picked on when with the massive Mongo.

Opera and classical music fill the programs on weekend but weeknight performances are of milder fare, and tonight’s show is the slight-of-hand and magic show by Houdini includes much audience participation Many of the town’s wealthy have still turned out to watch. During the intermission they find large quantities of information about who is present and the town’s recent history.

The town of Leadville was started in 1860 not long after when the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush brought a huge influx of people into Colorado. There wasn’t actually that much gold found, only enough to convince people to keep looking. In 1877 a large quantity of silver was found in the area. One person who showed up was a Maine businessman named Horace Tabor took the job of Postmaster. He would use his meager earnings to help finance claims of prospectors flocking to the region. With his money the prospectors could buy the necessary supplies as well as pay for food and lodgings while they searched for silver. One $ 17 investment paid off quite handsomely when a vast silver streak was found. Each partner soon had over $ 10,000 worth of silver.

Tabor in turn used the money to finance other prospectors. So without ever having to life a single pick axe or shovel. He was soon a multi-millionaire and considered ‘good luck’ due to the percentage of investments that panned out. The only thing that frustrated him is that each success meant sharing with partners and he wanted an investment that was his alone. He didn’t actually care if it made any money as long as he could say it was exclusively his so he bought out the unsuccessful Matchless Mine for $ 117,000 which had changed hands so many times that Tabor had to spend another $ 30,000 just to legally clear the title to it.

He spared no expense with engineering equipment and the best of pumps, and in 1880 a massive vein of silver was found at the Matchless Mine and it became the single richest silver mine ever found in the United States. Two years later the mine continues to be the highest producing mine in the region. His estate is currently valued at $ 9 million, making him one of the richest men in the United States and he owns much of the town. Deadeye ponders having one of the women marry him until they find out that he is already married, his young mistress having hitched up with him almost immediately after the divorce of his first wife was finalized.

Tabor’s two partners continue to have successful mining operations in town, one being Mr. George Hook and the other of them being Mr. August Rische, whose hotel the group is staying in. Tabor owns the Opera House, several Mansions and a bank. His money also built the library, the fire company and many other municipal buildings. He has also invested in the Interlocken Hotel at the base of Mount Elgin some twenty miles away, a summer resort for the well to do with the spectacular scenery and tranquil lake. Further inquiries reveal that Tabor ships about half of his money out of town and that he keeps the other half in his bank. Tabor’s bank is a multi-story stone bank in the center of town. The trio makes inquiries and discovers that Tabor and most of the other Silver Kings are not at the Opera House this evening.

Over at the Silver Nugget Saloon, the other four find it to be a big auditorium-style building that is rather lively for a weeknight. The main floor has the bar, gambling tables and restaurant. The second floor has the employee quarters including rooms for the harlots working the main floor. The main gambling games going on are poker and faro. A lot of miners are present and quite a bit of money is being spent. It is soon discovered that most of those present think nothing of dropping two or three hundred dollars at a gambling table.

Most of the people present have firearms and a considerable number of bouncers are present although there is nobody inside wearing a badge. Sally comments to her companions how there is a lot of money present. Flying Arrow reminds them “Yes, but I’d say that most of those present aren’t inclined to just let somebody take it away from them.” They decide to keep a close eye on the flow of cash, seeing where the dealers go to deposit it. Pinto Joe joins in a game of Faro.

They discover that of the various mines around the Hancock Mine have had problems lately with theft, which they are assuming is employee theft. The mine itself has never been nearly as successful as some of its neighbors. They are planning to increase the number of guards but haven’t come up with enough money to do that yet.

They also hear of the Mary Murphy Mine, which has not done very well yet but rumors are that things at the mine have been extremely quiet for the last couple of weeks, with most of the miners staying put at the mine. So the rumor mill has it that they have struck a nice vein of silver or gold but haven’t announced the find yet. It is suspected that the owners plan to buy up adjacent land to that mine before making the announcement to prevent a run on the land. They also hear of the Vicksberg Mine and the Saint Elmo Mine, which have done very poorly. These were working mines that have about all run out to the point where most laborers there now are Chinese, who are willing to work for much lower wages.

Those at the saloon conclude that none of these seem like an obvious “big job” that will allow them to retire for life. They discuss how much money they need. Flying Arrow points out that if they are willing to live a simple lifestyle and do honest work they could quit now. Pinto asks Sally “Have you ever worked an honest day in your life.” She replies, “Does painting the stagecoach count?” Pamela says, “No, since the coach was stolen.”

Sally notices the cash drops taking place at opposite ends of the saloon. The money is going into metal chutes behind the bar going down below. They decide to try to see what type of basement the place has. Pinto keeps a close eye for employee traffic, heading to the row of outhouses during his observation stroll. A well-dressed gentleman with a gun is standing not far from the kitchen door. Pinto asks the man for directions to the outhouse and is pointed over to the side door. From the back of the building they can see frosted glass with metal bars over the windows in the crawl space beneath the main floor. There are some rear doors of the kitchen but no visible entrance to the basement.

The group joins up back at the hotel to share their information. They then debate exactly how big the job needs to be and decide that they want to get at least somewhere between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 from this job. Given the wealth of the local banks they conclude that a single bank job will probably net them that. Pinto still likes the idea of robbing a train, especially if they can find out when hard currency is being transported. He suggests that they maybe derail a train somewhere more remote, where it won’t be discovered until they are gone. It is pointed out that the problem with that is transporting the things afterwards without the use of the train. “There’s only so much we can take,” Mae says. “I can live with that problem,” Joe interjects. They conclude that they could transport quite a bit in the coach.

Mae says that they still shouldn’t rule out robbing a private home. Mongo suggests, “How about Mr. Rische. His house across street. We not have far to walk.” Pamela points out “Mongo, that doesn’t matter. We’re not likely to be coming back here afterwards with any of these plans.” Deadeye is most concerned about the escape from town after the robbery, regardless of what they decide. They continue to look at the option of using the coach to transport the gains although the weight of ore might slow it down.

Mae is against the train robbing option given the number of soldiers that would be on the train. She suggests going for either a bank or miner payroll. She suggests that they maybe pose as investors in a mine to discover what the payroll schedules are. Flying Arrow likes the idea of investing this Mary Murphy Mine, since their possible success means they will soon be transporting large quantities of ore and converting it to cash. Sally brings up the option of knocking over a few saloons given the amount of cash flowing through them.

The group concludes that they still have too many options.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Four, “Picking a Job”, Tuesday, May 30th, 1882:

Flying Arrow again brings up the Mary Murphy Mine, which is a few miles outside of town on the side of a mountain and the people at the mine have been staying put for a week-and-a-half. She says that she could best use her native skills to scout out the situation at night. The others opt to head up to their rooms for a good night’s sleep.

She reaches the mine and finds that the miners are working the mine round-the-clock. A number of canvas tents have been set up near the mine entrance since none of the miners have gone back to their boarding houses in town. She looks around for ore storage facilities and does not see any, concluding that whatever they have found is still within the mine.

She decides that a lone Indian woman won’t be perceived as much of a threat. She steps forward to be greeted by a bearded human in dirty clothing holding a shotgun. “What do you want?” he exclaims. She says, “I wanted to find out what is going on.” He says, “Nothing is going on. Get moving.” She chooses to comply.


Wednesday, May 31st, 1882:

They all meet together for breakfast. Pinto tries to urge Deadeye into his eye of robbing a train. Deadeye suggests they continue to look until they discover what might be the easiest mark. Mae emphasizes “We should find the largest payoff for the easiest work.”

Mae suggests visiting all of the banks, paying close attention to the vaults and safes. Concern is raised about the banks being towards the center of town, meaning a good amount of distance through the city to then cover to get away. Deadeye says, “That would mean it would have to be completely covert.” “So we can’t screw up at all,” Sally says. “We never done nothing without screwing up something,” Pinto states.

Mae had gone to some of the smaller banks the day before but not the larger ones. Most of the big banks are within a two-block radius of each other with the exception of the Federal Bank of Leadville which is near the railroad tracks. Adjacent to the Federal Banks is the garrison of United States Army troops assigned to Leadville, so most opt to skip that one. Pinto Joe still has his mind set on taking a train and suggests creating a diversion to draw the troops away from there.

The largest bank in town is the Tabor Bank, comprised of two very large connected multi-story stone buildings. The bank has its own assaying office and more than one vault. They conclude that given the vast quantity of ore that he is obtaining he probably also has the largest currency denominations on hand.

They then discuss how to get away regardless of the type of job they pull. There are basically just two ways to leave Leadville, the road north that they arrived on or the road south. There are no other roads as this is the only pass that had been made through this group of mountains, which are some of the highest peaks in the Rockies. They decide south sounds better than north as they should get away from places in Colorado where they have already been.

The railroad runs parallel these roads as do the telegraph lines, with parallel northbound and southbound rail lines. Trains run by on average of every two hours, the closest being around a half-hour apart and the longest time being a little over five hours. Pinto suggests getting a hold of some dynamite to blow up sections of track to prevent pursuit from the soldiers by rail. Leadville has the largest rail yard in the area, including repair facilities, so unless they took out a bridge any damage caused by them would only be short-term. Mae suggests that blowing something up in the rail yard might make a good distraction for when they pull off a job elsewhere to draw the soldiers away. It is pointed out that they will want to make sure that fire is part of the distraction too.

Sally suggests hitting the assaying office and Federal bank. Pinto like that idea, suggesting that they load the loot onto a train which they then steal, preferably one already loaded with either cash or ore. He suggests dynamiting one of the banks in the center of town to provide a distraction that would draw the soldiers away from the Federal buildings and rail yard. Deadeye finds that plan a bit too optimistic, pointing out that all of the soldiers would not leave and also that they would telegraph up or down the line to alert troops at the next train depot. Sally says, “That’s easy, we cut the lines.” “Or blow them up,” Mongo adds. Deadeye says, “They’d still be suspicious of a train full of strangers arriving while the telegraph lines are down.”

Deadeye suggests they keep all of their options open and do some more reconnaissance. They decide to split into four groups. Deadeye and Mae will check out the banks. Flying Arrow and Mongo will head down to the railroad tracks and what the comings and goings of the bank, assaying office, railroad yard and soldiers routine. Pamela decides she will make inquires into where to sell the coach should they decide not to use it for the robbery. And Pinto and Sally will ride out south of town and check out the possible exit route in that direction.

Pinto and Sally ride towards the south road. The road goes to the southwest parallel the railroad lines. They see Mount Elbert in the distance. Once they are a quarter mile from town the road turns and they cannot see the town anymore due to hills in between. After around two miles they reach the community of Stringtown, which has a general store stocking mostly mining provisions. After Stringtown the road changes direction to the southeast running parallel the Arkansas River. There is a cliff above the river beside the railroad tracks, making a bit of a drop down.

They pass some people heading towards Leadville and inquire as to how far it is until the next town. They are told that the community of Granite is fifteen miles further southeast. Sally and Pinto ride on until they reach a fork in the road, the right leg leading to the summer resort that they heard about at Mount Elbert. They decide to ride back. Pinto contemplates that if they have to ditch the coach they could have the horses ride it over the cliff and fall down to the river and ravine below to make it look like the group died in an accident. [DM’s note: This gaming session was being played in the Gameday’s afternoon slot. During every game played in the morning some animals were violently killed so it is pointed out that killing the horses would maintain that tradition.]

Pamela finds a livery stable that would be interested in buying used coaches. Apparently due to the steep and rough mountain roads the coaches off the well-to-do don’t last all that long in pristine condition so most of the Silver Kings purchase a new one every year, and this stable purchases their former ones to refurbish for those of less extravagant means. He says that he will have to see the coach in question before he can quote her a price.

Mongo and Flying Arrow hit a few miners taverns near the tracks and inquire from some ruffians as to the safety and protection of the area. They find out that due to the presence of the one-hundred or so soldiers, with half on duty at any point of time, that bandits and thieves stay clear of the area. They discover that the troops patrol only the two Federal buildings and the railroad tracks, leaving the town itself being policed by the Leadville Sheriff and his deputies. Flying Arrow concludes from that that the plan to draw the soldiers away with a disturbance in town probably won’t work. They then investigate the telegraph line situation, determining where the lines go in relation to the telegraph office.

Deadeye and Mae begin by checking out the larger banks but not the largest. Mae passes herself off as a woman of means and asks the bank managers about wanting to see where she could safely lock up her family jewelry to make sure it is secure. They first visit the Colorado Bank, an older brick building. They do not have a vault but instead use a very large four-foot square safe which is an older Diebolt model. There are also other side rooms with door shut that they do not see which could possibly also have other safes and treasure. They see a total of four armed guards.

The next bank is the Harrison Avenue Bank. It is a newer bank made of stone with stone columns out front. There are two armed guards wearing some type of uniform. It has a Mosler vault, a newer model that takes could potentially take Mae a lot of time to open. The next bank is the American West Bank, which has new Mosler safes and three armed guards.

They finally head towards the largest bank in town, the Tabor Bank, finding the Harrisburg brand vaults that Mae was wishing to see. The bank has four large full-sized metal vaults of that model. The bank was built within the last two years so Mae wouldn’t personally have the combinations for these vaults but she is very experienced with the locking mechanisms and secrets to opening them. The vaults are within a large room immediately off from the main room of the bank, which is a vast marble room with a fifteen teller windows of which eight are currently occupied. There are two entrances to the main room, one on each street, and there are six armed guards, two at each entrance, one by the gate to the teller’s area and the other by the entrance to the room with the vaults.

Mae checks for the posted bank hours, seeing that it opens at 9:00 A.M. and closes at 6:00 P.M. She tells Deadeye, “We need to return here at around 5:45 P.M. to see what the closing procedures are. We’ll open an account then. Let’s go have lunch with the others and talk about this.”

They meet for lunch and Mae says, “I think we want the big bank. I can get into those vaults quicker than any other ones in town, figure five to ten minutes tops to open one.” Sally and Pinto tell what they know about securing an exit route. Pamela tells what she found about selling the coach but the others conclude they’ll probably need it for the robbery. Deadeye says, “Okay peoples, we now have us a target.”
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Five, “Tabor Bank, Here We Come”, Wednesday, May 31st , 1882, 1:00 P.M.

On the subject of the escape, Flying Arrow suggest that they create some sort of an explosion at a hill alongside the road to cut off pursuit from behind. Pinto points out that “This is a mining town. Getting a hold of some TNT should be easy enough.” Sally says that she noticed several dynamite sheds on the side of town nearest the train tracks. Pamela says, “Makes sense, they’d want to keep it away from the buildings and have it where it can be transported as short a distance as possible.”

The real problem is that the bank is at a main intersection of town, so some type of distraction is necessary to keep townsfolk, police and soldiers otherwise occupied. Deadeye suggests simultaneous dynamite explosions using long fuses at both the railroad yard and one of the wealthier residences in town. They debate how long they want the fuses to be, given that somebody could come across it given the sound and odor of the burning fuses.

They discuss the problem of telegraph communication and the need to cut the lines to prevent information about the robbery from getting to the next towns. On the subject of communication, it is noted that many of the better homes and businesses in town have telephone service connecting them, although all of these fancy communications are strictly internal to the town and not to anything outside.

The gang decides to collectively go for a walk to all take a look at the bank and intersection. They split into smaller groups and each get a good look at what they are dealing with. They return and Deadeye asks, “Who do we actually want inside the bank? I was thinking myself and Mae.” He then suggests that they have at least two people outside to deal with any police or soldiers. Pinto points out that he may be needed inside to deal with the guards, as regardless of the time of their heist there would be some on duty around-the-clock at the largest bank in town. Mae points out that during the day there were six guards on duty. Pinto says, “That’s not a problem, my gun has six bullets in it.”

The DM points out that there is just a little more than an hour left of game time so they might want to stop planning and “at some point move on to Get’em.“ One of the game’s players suggests “We need a half-assed cowboy plan and none of this real twenty-first century planning.”

Pinto says, “How about we ride up to the bank, have Mongo kick in the doors, Deadeye and I kill the guards and Mae opens the safes.” Flying Arrow is still interested in the Mary Murphy Mine but Pinto says, “That’s not going to be cash. We’re better off with money than ore.” Deadeye agrees, pointing out that the ore coming out of that mine will still need massive amounts of processing.

They decide to send Mongo to go rent a wagon and then buy a crate of dynamite which they can then store in the coach. They discuss how much to buy, initially thinking two cases but then deciding that might attract more attention than they want so change it to one. Mongo goes and gets a case of dynamite containing 100 sticks. Pinto makes a separate trip to a different hardware store to purchase the blasting caps and fuses.

Now that they have the materials they discuss what type of distraction to make. Mae cautions against setting the entire town on fire. It is pointed out that the town does have a fire department with many fire wagons. Pinto exclaims, “That’s it! We’ll blow up the Fire Department!” Deadeye put it to a vote “Okay, by a show of hands, who wants to blow up at least part of the city?” They all agree, some because they think it would make a good distraction, others just because it sounds like fun.

They decide to go with Pinto’s suggestion of blowing up the Fire Department. Mae cautions “Please make sure that nobody is inside it when you do that. Deadeye suggests, “Start a small fire somewhere first like the Opera House, and then after the firemen leave blow up the firehouse.” They check out where in the community this fire station is located, finding it to be nine blocks away from the Opera house and the Tabor Bank being six blocks beyond that.

The fire house is a wooden two-story building with the garage housing the four fire wagons, two larger horse-drawn ones and two smaller man-pushed ones. Behind the lower room is an attached stable with the four horses to pull the wagons. The second floor has the living quarters for the pair of full-time firefighters. Flying arrow suggests that they open the stable doors and let the horses out prior to blowing up the building. The DM points out how it is interesting that they have no qualms about killing the two firefighters but are concerned about the lives of the horses. A player comments, “Sure, this town has lots of people but a good horse is hard to find.”

Upon discussing the tentative plan further Mae is concerned that the Opera House might be too close to the bank to want to draw people to. Deadeye says, “And a problem with two explosions is that it ties up two people to do it.” They decide to only blow up the firehouse.

They also discuss the need to set up the avalanche explosion on the south road to block off the road from whoever is following. Pinto and Sally indicate that they found a good spot around one-and-a-quarter miles south, where the road is narrow with an overhanging cliff. The debate how long the fuses on that would need to be and also what skills would be needed to climb up and place the charges in the appropriate spot for the intended result. Mongo, Pinto and Flying Arrow all have climbing skills and Pinto also has experience with demolitions, so that covers it.

They decide to have Pinto, Mongo and Flying Arrow ride out there well in advance and set it up. They then ponder where they want to have their riding horses. Deadeye points out that the riding horses would actually be in the way if they are planning to use the carriage and its own horse team for the robbery. The conclude that it would probably be best to keep most of these horses outside of town, preferably at a spot near but on the other side of the proposed rock slide. Given that Flying Arrow has animal handling ability and would be more conspicuous in town due to her race they decide it would be best for her to be waiting on the South Road with the horses.

They debate when they want the carriage at the bank, deciding that they don’t want it parked out front too soon. Deadeye suggests that they keep it parked down the street at the nearest church until a signal is given. They decide to instead keep it at their hotel until they hear the firehouse explosion, then go to the bank figuring they’ll probably arrive right around when they will be needed.

As for the specific roles, since Pamela is their best driver they decide they will want her to drive the coach. Pinto will be the one to blow up the firehouse and then come join the others. Sally would play lookout and also ride shotgun on the carriage. Mae will obviously have to be in the bank to open the safes and Deadeye will be with her to stop any guards. Mongo’s role will be to carry the bags with all of the loot out of the bank and onto the coach. And Flying Arrow would be on the south road with the horses and also making sure that nobody disturbs the dynamite trap until it is needed.

They tentatively decide that the best time to pull off the robbery would be right around closing time at the bank although Mae and Deadeye both want to watch that routine once to confirm that. They debate doing the job that night but decide to wait until the next day as it is already mid-afternoon and it will take time to get everything
ready.

Mae and Deadeye go to the bank at 5:45 P.M. to open an account, during which time they watch the evening routine. At 5:30 PM the teller begin brining their cash drawers into the vault area although due to patricians and other barriers they cannot tell specifically which of the four large vaults are getting the final deposits. They note while the four door guards stay there the other two guards escort each teller into the vault area with their cash drawers. At 6:00 PM the door guards usher the people out the door, including Mae and Deadeye.

The two hang around outside and see a door open up and most employees exit at around 6:30 P.M. Two of the six guards leave at that point in time. At around 7:00 P.M. a pair of new guards arrive and are let in. At around 7:45 PM the Bank President and remaining employees leave accompanied by the other four day-shift guards. Deadeye says “Looks like 8:00 PM on it’s just the pair of them.”

Mae and Deadeye take a good look at the building’s construction, including the roof and windows. The problem with the roof is that there are a number of other tall buildings around which means they could be spotted up there. They conclude that between the granite blocks, iron bars on the few upper windows and solid looking roof that the main doors will probably be the only viable entry and exit points. Mae concludes that picking the lock on the front door shouldn’t be all that difficult a task for her. They look at the two main doorways and determine which is closest to the vault, as they will want as short a distance as possible to transport the loot. They note that the streets are pretty well lit with gas lanterns, so they won’t have the benefit of total darkness by going at night.

They meet back at the hotel and discuss the plan. They all agree that dealing with two guards is better than six. Pinto suggests started a second fire after the fire station to draw people either further away. “You just want to be more destructive,” Mae comments. Deadeye says that he should have no difficulty disarming and incapacitating both guards. Pinto then suggests igniting the gas in the gas lanterns as a distraction but each lantern only has enough gas to burn for a night so wouldn’t create an explosion large enough to please the psychopath.

Thursday, June 1st 1882:

Pinto, Mongo, Sally and Flying Arrow gather up around half of the dynamite and ride out to the south road while Pamela makes sure that the carriage and horses will be ready to go. Deadeye and Mae recheck what she will need for supplies and make a few small purchases of other things they might discover are necessary.

The riders reach the spot on the road. Sally and Flying Arrow act as lookouts on the road while Pinto and Mongo climb up and plant the explosives, with a 100-yard long fuse going part-way down the cliff. They find a spot around 50 feet off of the roadway to have the end of the fuse at and then cover it over with leaves and note a few other distinctive marks that Flying Arrow can locate later. Flying Arrow then rides a little ways further south to find a spot where she can wait with the horses and still see the road from town while not be visible from anybody passing by on the roadway. They all ride back to town and meet up with the others to finalize the plan.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Six, “The Bank Robbery“, Thursday, June1st , 1882, 8:00 P.M.

Pinto takes two bundles of dynamite sticks, seven tied to each bundle, and carefully packs them into his duffle bag. He makes his way over to the fire station. He sees a light on up in the second floor of the building but no lights on the first floor. He realizes that releasing the horses out will attract undue attention, so chooses to disregard that he promised the others that he would let them out of the fire station stable first. He finds that the stable house door are the easiest and less visible ones to pry open so applies enough muscle power to get into there.

Pinto decides to go forward with the plan that his the least chance of him getting stopped by anybody, namely tossing the lit sticks of dynamite into the stable and then exiting. He throws them onto the hay bales and exits. He hops onto his horse and gets two blocks away before he hears the explosion behind him.

Across town, Mae and Deadeye are on the street near the bank when they hear the explosion. Sally stays a block away as lookout. They turn and walk towards the doors until Sally whistles to give them a signal that people are coming. They stop and chat with each other until the people are gone, then head to the bank door. Deadeye and Sally continue to look around while Mae picks the lock. Meanwhile, at the sound of the explosion Pamela and Mongo set off with the carriage from the hotel’s stable heading in the general direction of the bank.

Mae manages to get the bank’s door unlocked. Mae moves back while Sally and Deadeye move up to the door with their weapons out. The two open the door and step into the bank, getting the attention of one of the guards. Since the door is still open Deadeye decides not to fire, as the sound would be heard. So he charges towards the guard, who begins to draw his own revolver. Mae enters after them and quickly shuts the door behind her just as Sally discharges one barrel of her shotgun into the guard. The guard’s chest caves in as he crumbles into a heap on the floor.

Deadeye, Mae and Sally all look around for the other guard, not seeing him. Deadeye mutters, “I’m sure we’ll see him soon.” “Or at least his bullets,” Mae comments back. Mae heads directly towards the vaults. Sally goes with her to provide cover. Deadeye also follows but takes in more of the room, still looking for the other guard. The guard stands up from behind one of the teller windows pointing a loaded shotgun at Deadeye. He has the jump on the outlaws, except for the fact that Deadeye has lightening reflexes and manages to still get a shot off first, hitting the man in the chest. The guard falls. As the shotgun strikes the floor it goes off, but into the teller window rather than at the outlaws. Sally goes and confirms that the fallen guard is dead, picking up a nice revolver in the process.

Mae gets out her equipment and starts working on the first vault, it taking her less than two minutes to get the door open. The large metal room is filled with bag after bag of assayed silver. “Too heavy, I’ll try another vault,” she says. Sally looks to Deadeye and says, “Should we grab a few while we’re waiting? There‘s probably a million dollars worth of silver there!” He replies, “No, too much weight for the coach and too heavy to move. She got into the first one fast enough. We have time.”

Since the next vault is the exact same make and model as the previous one she is able to open it even faster than the previous one. They open up the vault doors and find it also filled with bag of silver, these in the form of silver dust. She moves onto a third vault and quickly gets into it as well. It is filled with paper currency, with stacks of money with denominations of $ 20 or higher!” She checks several of the stacks to make sure they are full and not dummies. She declares, “This is the one we want, each bundle has at least $ 2,000 in it! The remaining vault probably has all of the smaller bills.”

There is nothing in this room to put the money in. Deadeye suggests that they go back into the vault with the assayed silver and begins dumping the silver out of the bags in order to use those canvas bags to carry the currency. Mae says, “No, that will stir up dust and you’ll wind up with silver in your clothes. You don’t want to be all sparkly when we head outside.”

The carriage pulls up out front. They hear a bell ringing loudly from the direction of the firehouse. Mongo says, “That’s good, they’ll go that way. Pinto Joe also rides up. People are running by so they wait until they pass before sending Mongo up and inside. Deadeye calls Mongo over to the vault while Mae heads back to watch the door. Mae notices the thick drapes over the windows and suggests that Mongo pull some of them down to use to carry the money. Each drape is six-feet wide and twenty-feet long. With a quick pull he gets two large drapes and they place one onto the floor of the vault. Deadeye and Mongo start dumping the bundles of money onto it. Once a decent pile is in it Mongo picks it up by the corners and drags it to the doors, while Deadeye starts to pile money onto the second one.

Pinto gets impatient so heads inside to see what is going on. He stops to look into the vault with the assayed silver but Deadeye calls him over to the other one. He and Deadeye continue to pile it high with money and it almost as full as the other when Mongo returns from the carriage. They have now collected about two-thirds of the money from this vault. Deadeye says, “Let’s leave.” Mongo takes the corner of this drape and begins to drag it out with him. Deadeye heads our with Mongo.

Pinto’s greed gets the better of him and he starts to grab bundles of cash still on the shelves and shoves then into his pockets and coat. “Hurry up, we’re leaving!” Deadeye yells. Pinto reluctantly follows, having collected a total of 15 more bundles of cash. As Mongo drags the drape out of the bank a number of passers by stop and point. A soldier then comes onto the scene, heading towards the firehouse and stops when he sees the robbery in progress. Sally raises her shotgun and shoots him, the soldier falling into the street. Pinto hops onto his horse while the others climb into the carriage, Deadeye climbing up top with Pamela. She urges the horses onward and gets the carriage up to a full gallop.

Unbeknownst to them, Pinto’s dynamite toss killed the horses and set fire to the firehouse stable but did minimal damage to the room with the fire wagons. The firefighters and summoned volunteers were able to use the wagons to then help put out the barn fire and are nearly done at this point. So instead of having to help with a blaze the battalion of soldiers are still at their posts by the train depot. A telephone call then comes in to the train depot from across town alerting the army troops to the robbery at Tabor Bank and saying that the robbers are heading towards the south road out of town. The Colonel dispatches a dozen infantrymen to go cut off that exit while he then goes to organize his cavalry troops.

Five minutes later Pamela is riding the carriage fast towards where the road exit’s the town when she sees the dozen troops charge forward and raise their rifles. Deadeye lies down on the carriage roof to brace for better aim and begins to shoot the soldiers, trying to incapacitate rather than kill. Shotgun Sally leans out the window and lets loose both barrels of her shotgun, dropping a few more. Pinto says, “I’ll distract them, go!” He charges directly at the soldiers, one of whom manages to shoot Pinto’s hat off of his head while still missing Pinto.

With the horse charging at them the six soldiers who are still standing start to scatter. Pinto then changes direction to follow the coach out of town. The soldiers stop and raise their rifles but then panic again when they see Pinto reach into his duffle bag and toss a bundle of dynamite back at them. The bundle is not lit and does not explode but the mere sight of it was enough to cause the remaining soldiers to drop their weapons and run.

The gang continues to ride hard out of town. Deadeye takes aim up and the telegraph lines and shoots out several of the wires. They are around two-thirds of a mile out of town when they see eight mounted soldiers coming up behind and gaining on them. Deadeye begins to fire back but the soldiers are still beyond revolver range. Pinto lights a bundle of dynamite and drops it. It goes off before the soldiers reach it but creates enough of a dust cloud to cause them to slow. Pamela picks up the wagons speed, making the horses go faster than they ever have before.

They soon reach the place where Flying Arrow is waiting with the horses. The carriage rides past while Pinto stops and lights the fuse. He helps Flying Arrow with the other horses and they ride on. The dynamite then goes off and a landslide follows, effectively blocking the road behind them. The saddlebags from the horses are given to those in the carriage to fill with money, those inside emptying out many of their own personal supplies to make room for the bundles of cash. Pinto also tosses his remaining bundles of dynamite onto the rain tracks to prevent pursuit by rail.

They ride on for another mile until they reach a spot where there is a sharp cliff. At that point the saddlebags are full. They stop and get out, putting the saddlebags onto the riding horses and backing the carriage up to the side of the cliff. They put the remaining dynamite inside the coach. The horse team refuses to ride over the cliff. Deadeye tells Mongo to just push the carriage over and let it pull the horses down behind it. Mongo says he does not want to, that the fall would hurt the horses.

Pinto and Sally solve that problem by drawing their revolvers and shooting the six horses in the team in the head. Pinto then lights some of the dynamite in the carriage as Mongo pushes the carriage off. It lands some 400 feet below just as the dynamite ignites. Deadeye says, “That’s it, they’ll think we all died in the crash.” Mae says, “Yeah, but we’d better get off the road before anyone coming the other direction sees us.” So at 9:00 P.M. they get onto their horse and Flying Arrow leads the group off into the woods.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
“Seven Outlaws - Game #3” Played April 1, 2006 at the Boston ENWorld Game Day

Cast of Characters for Chapters 7-up
Arthur “Deadeye” Douglas - Fast Hero (3); Gunslinger (3) played by Qualidar
Flying Arrow – Dedicated Hero (3); Brave (3) played by Janiru
Mae Clark – Charismatic Hero (3), Grifter (3) played by Orchid Blossom
Pinto Joe Weems - Tough Hero (3), Desperado (3) played by Steve Jung
Shotgun Sally Fox – Fast Hero (3), Rustler (3) played by _________
Pamela Yeats – Dedicated Hero (3), Sawbones (3) N.P.C.
Mongo Bailey – Strong Hero (3), Tough Hero (3) N.P.C.



Chapter Seven, “Into the Woods“, Thursday, June1st , 1882, 9:00 P.M.

Illuminated from behind from the burning stagecoach at the bottom of the chasm, the group heads into the woods. They get maybe twenty feet when they hear the sound of horses rapidly coming up the road behind them. They quickly hurry along to get deeper into the woods to be out of sight of the roadway. Deadeye suggests that they “hunker down” and see what is going on. Mae points out that if any of the horses whinny they will be heard from the row. Mongo and Pamela are given the horses and told to take them deeper into the woods while the others find cover where they can spot the road.

A group of six soldier ride up. They resemble the group that had been chasing them before other than the number, as it had previously been eight. The one with Corporal stripes appears to be the one in charge. They stop and dismount to investigate the fire below. One takes position looking at the road forward, another looks towards the woods, the remaining four head over to the cliff side and look down.

Arthur “Deadeye” Douglas gestures to the four with their backs to him along the cliff and mutters to Mae “This would be easy, like a turkey shoot.” She says, “They are lined up so beautifully, but what ever happened to our not killing people?” The corporal talks to his companions but the specifics of the conversation can’t be heard from this distance. Deadeye moves up and keeps his gun leveled on the Corporal.

Deadeye is now close enough to catch the conversation. The Corporal says, “I don’t see any bodies.” A Private replies, “Well, most of them would have been in the carriage.” “What about the one’s riding on top?” another asks. “They could have been thrown clear and floated downriver already,” is the Corporal’s answer, as the carriage crash is only fifteen feet from the Arkansas River at the base of the canyon.

Another private points out that “One of them was riding his own horse alongside.” They do a count of the horse bodies, confirming that only the six rigged to the carriage are below. “What if the carriage fell on the other one?” a Private asks. “Wouldn’t a falling carriage have fallen faster than a lone horse?” asks another. “How should I know, I’m not a scientist,” another replies.

The Corporal says, “We should assume that one of them got away.” He orders one “Keep an eye down there, let me know if you see any movement.” He then orders the other pair with him “Get the lantern from the saddle, we need to look for tracks.” One solider goes and retrieves the lantern from his saddlebag but doesn’t notice Deadeye even though he is only five feet away from him. He lights the lantern and the three look on the road heading further south away from Leadville for tracks.

Deadeye decides to move back towards his companions, feeling a bit exposed being alone near the soldiers. He has the advantage of the one watching the woods still standing his post but he is now actually watching his companion with the lantern. Deadeye makes it to where Pinto and Sally and gestures for them to come to him.

He suggests, “I’d like to sneak away if we can but if they do come after us I’d like it to be on our terms. Maybe we could move a bit further up the road and set up an ambush.” Pinto says, “The odds might be a bit against us, we don’t know how many more soldiers might be right behind them.” Mae comes up to join the conversation. She suggests they get out and head away from civilization.

Pinto and Sally remind Deadeye that earlier they had gone another three miles further down the south road, so there should be some tracks heading that way. They debate whether they should start a fight here or head off. Deadeye says that fighting the men would alert everybody right away that they didn’t die in the stagecoach crash, which probably won’t be investigated until daylight due to the steepness of the cliff. Mae comments, “Why ruin a nine-hour head start.” Pinto says, “Okay, you’re the boss, boss.”

The Corporal and one other soldier head further down the road looking for tracks. He orders two to mount up and ride off south with the lantern. Deadeye says, “There’s fewer of them, it’s tempting.” Mae says, “Let’s just get out of here.” They head further back into the woods. They then see the soldier’s lantern returning, apparently having only gone a short distance.

They get to where Mongo and Pamela have the horses and mount up. They decide to head west into the barren wilderness as there are no communities anywhere nearby due to the mountains. While riding they discuss the robbery and conclude that enough still-living witnesses got a good look at Pinto, Deadeye and Pamela to identify them. Flying Arrow and Pamela have reviewed the map earlier that day so have a good idea which way to go. Their most immediately problem at the moment is that they are still only three miles away from where they have just pulled off the largest bank robbery in history.

They are at the foothills of Mount Elbert, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. They decide to avoid the summer resort on the opposite side of the mountain, as it isn’t open yet to summer tourists but would be presently staffed by those getting the resort ready for guests. They decide to keep moving west. Pamela and Flying Arrow decide they should circumnavigate Mount Elbert. The greatest risk facing them is running into prospectors and miners but the further they get from Leadville that risk decreases. They proceed cautiously, not wanting to fall off any cliffs or find themselves trapped in a dead-end canyon. Flying Arrow takes the lead, her having the best night vision.

They pass some peaks and run up to a river which they follow until dawn. They check the map and realize that they have only gone around eight miles from Leadville. They decide to find a secluded place to stop for four-hours rest with two on watch before pushing onward. They are still below the tree-line in the mountains, with it rather wooded, so they feel somewhat safe at the moment.

They check provisions. They have small quantities of food for themselves, but realize that their biggest shortage at this point is horse feed, as Mongo has twenty pounds worth plus five pounds of carrots in his saddlebags, which means that for seven horses they will run out of food at some point the next day. That means at some point they will have to find some grasslands for the horses to graze. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of open grasslands high in the Rocky Mountains.

They set off again mid-morning. Traveling for the entire day. By nightfall they are physically exhausted and find a secluded and defensible hillside to spend the night. They set up paired watches for three-hour intervals and all get a good night sleep when not on guard duty.

On Saturday June 3rd they set off and continue to head northeast to get out of the mountains within twenty miles in hopes of finding some lower grasslands. The problem with valleys however is that they are in the open where the group could be spotted. By nightfall they are considerably further west and find some grasslands for the horses to graze upon (in the general vicinity of where Aspen Colorado is now). They are still along the river providing water as well. Each horse is tethered with long length of rope to give them a large range to graze in at night. They check the map confirming that there are no communities anywhere near them. They see on the map that there are some communities maybe thirty or forty miles further ahead to the northeast. They decide they will head in that direction at dawn.

The money still hasn’t been split up or counted and they decide this isn’t the best time and place to do that, so each decide to continue to hang on to their own saddlebags, pulling them off the horses and using them as pillows. Each person has between 45 and 65 bundles of cash within their saddlebags. They conclude they have around 350 bundles with the smallest denomination being the bundles of 100 twenties, meaning they would have $ 700,000 if all they had was twenties, and with several bundles being fifties, hundreds and even a few five hundreds they have considerably more. Unfortunately are almost out of food. Mae says, “The only thing worse than burning the money would be having to eat it.”

Again they set up pairs to guard during the night. First watch is the group of Pinto, Sally and Flying Arrow. They get Deadeye and Mae for the second watch. Pamela and Mongo take the third watch. Flying Arrow awakens the next morning at sunrise. She looks around and does not see either Pamela or Mongo. Their horses are also missing. She looks around and sees the others are present, both couples curled up together. She next confirms that their five horses remain. She then does a saddlebag count, noticing that Pinto’s saddlebag appears to also be missing.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Eight, “No Honor Among Thieves“, Sunday, June 4th , 1882, 7:00 A.M.

Flying Arrow heads over to Pinto and kicks him in the head to wake him up. “Hey, I’m getting up,” he exclaims. She replies, “You’ve been robbed!” He says, “Robbed! There’s nobody here but dew.” Mae checks her things and says, “I haven’t been robbed.” Deadeye echoes the same. “Hey, where’d my bag go?” Pinto asks. He then looks around and says, “Where did Mongo and Pamela go?” Deadeye shakes his head and comments “Probably the last we’ve seen of them.”

Pinto says, “We’ll track them down. They stole my money!” Deadeye asks, “You can track?” Pinto replies, “Flying Arrow can. They can’t have gone that far. It’s only been a few hours since we went off watch.” Deadeye says, “Don’t we have enough money between the five of us?” Pinto says, “They have MY money.” Pinto now realizes that most of his personal possessions are also gone, as they had been inside of his saddlebags. He yells out “They have my extra flask of whiskey.” “Those bastards!” Deadeye exclaims.

Pinto says, “They’ve got the rest of the dynamite too.” Sally says, “You had more dynamite?” Pinto replies, “Well yes, just in case.” Mae says, “We didn’t even know you still had any dynamite.” “Well I don’t now, so it doesn‘t matter.” Pinto states. Deadeye says, “Well, maybe Mongo will mistake them for cigars.” Pinto states, “Damn, my cigars were in there too.” Mae states, “Well, if we hear any loud explosions in the distance we’ll know that Mongo mistook them.”

They discuss how Pamela had been flirting with Mongo for several days and since he already had a crush on her it would not have taken much for him to fall under her influence, that she had him wrapped around her little finger. Shotgun Sally states, “Mongo is simple minded and easy to manipulate, Pinto and I have been manipulating him for years.” “We’ve got to find them.” Deadeye says, “How the heck did Mongo didn’t convince her to leave?” She he even keep a straight face when saying that and bursts out laughing. Pinto says, “I think it is safe to say that she was the brains behind that pair. I knew taking her along was a bad idea.”

Deadeye points out that Pamela and Mongo were aware of the direction that they were planning to go next, so could potentially alert the authorities. Sally wants to track them down and take away off all their money as punishment for betrayal. Pinto wants to find and execute the pair as punishment. Mae suggests that they could just move on and switch directions from what they had planned. Pinto exclaims “But they stole from us!”

Deadeye points out that Mongo and Pamela know where Mae owns a house under an assumed name in Boulder so they had better not go back that way. Deadeye comments, “I reckon we have enough money now for her to buy another house.” Flying Arrow states, “We have to change course. We can’t go on anywhere that we ever discussed going.” Deadeye looks at the map and says, “The closest community looks to be Glenwood Springs. We should go there to reposition ourselves, since Mongo had most of our food supplies.” A quick check reveals some oatmeal and hardtack left, which they then consume for breakfast.

They decide that lacking food for the horses they have little choice but to continue to the northwest in order to stick with the grasslands. They discuss staying on the forest’s edge along the Roaring Creek River parallel the grasslands, in order to continue to have access to both water and food for the horses. The map shows that they are on the Roaring Creek River around ten miles before it intersects with the Frying Pan River (where the town of Woody Creek is today). From that fork the Roaring Fork River flows fifteen miles later into the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs. From the there Colorado River reaches the town of Rifle twenty miles later and the larger community of Grand Junction some forty miles further downriver.

It is pointed out that Pamela and Mongo knew the group’s eventual destination to be Glenwood Springs. Looking at the map Mae says “But we’re still in the middle of nowhere, and since Pamela and Mongo were here just a few hours ago they’re still in the middle of nowhere too. There’s nobody for them to tell unless they head east back to Leadville, but Pamela is smarter than that.”

Flying Arrow makes sure that the others all have enough breakfast to sustain them for a while. Flying Arrow points out that she also knows how to hunt. It would take her time to do so, but that would at least keep them from staving if they don’t reach a community soon. They propose having her do a hunting shift at night rather than taking a watch. They question if the watches should be the same pairings as before given what happened. Shotgun Sally exclaims “None of us ran off.” Pinto mutters softly “None of us thought of it.”

Deadeye suggests “I still say we plan on Glenwood Springs unless we come upon somebody before then.” Mae says, “I think that’s what we have to do.” They discuss going other directions as there are other locations with grasslands for the horses, but feeding the people also takes priority to them. They decide to first check out the upcoming fork, as it would be a natural location for a settlement. Despite being alongside a river the terrain is very rocky and uneven, which takes considerable time to travel over with many detours around natural obstacles along the way.

They reach where the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers intersect finding nothing there and continue onward. Five miles later they reach the point where the Roaring Fork River intersects with Roaring Creek (now known as the Crystal River, where the town of Carbondale stands today) and do spot a settlement. They see that there is some sort of stockade fortress at that location It is a relatively small fortress, most-likely a trading post, with only a handful of wooden buildings inside of the stockade fence. Smoke is coming from chimneys of the buildings.

The sun is setting as they approach the structure. The first thing that they check is to ensure that there are no telegraph lines going into the structure. They then notice there are also no roads, that the building appears to primarily be an outpost for river travelers. Flying Arrow points out that she was watching the horses during the robbery so nobody even knows that the New Douglas Gang has an Indian with them.

They decide they will need some money for trading at the trading post. They sort through what they have for money in small bills and loose change, keeping the bundled bills separate for the time being. A check of the bundles indicates that most are new bills but they do manage to find some of the twenty-dollar-bill bundles have worn bills that had been circulated.

Mae suggests that they pass themselves off as settlers who got lost and need help finding their way. Shotgun Sally suggests that they put a spin on the story that they bought land from a man in New York but when they got to the destination the farmlands weren’t there nor were they in any condition to be farmed. “So we were cheated? Kind-natured folks who were swindled by some huckster?” Deadeye comments. Mae says, “Yeah, you just can’t trust anybody these days.” “What’s the world coming to!” Sally exclaims.

Attired in their worn traveling clothes they decide to approach the fortress, first heading through the woods so as to be approaching from the river to the southwest rather than the southeast.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Nine, “The Trading Post“, Sunday, June 4th , 1882, 7:00 P.M.

The wooden gate to outside is currently shut. They see a pair of armed men up on a platform above the gate who look like common folk rather than soldiers. The men are armed. As they approach Pinto exclaims “Howdy!” The men are startled, apparently not anticipating strangers to approach, which Mae and Deadeye both take as a good sign. “How are you doing?” one guard exclaims.

Deadeye changes his voice to a Texas accent and exclaims “I’m Tex Stover.” He then gestures to Mae and says, “My wife Amanda.” He gestures to Sally and Pinto and says, “And our traveling companions Chuck and Barbara.” He then points to Flying Arrow and states, “This is our guide, Fast-as-Stream.” “What are you doing around here?” the guard asks.

He replies, “Traveling through, we got a mite lost. We got held up by a pair of desperados.” “What did they take?” the guard asks. Deadeye replies, “They took a lot of our provisions and our wagon. We found the wagon broken a while back so we left that behind. The desperados were a man and a woman.” He then goes on to describe both Pamela and Mongo in great detail.

The guard asks, “What are you doing this far off the roads?” “We got lost,” is Deadeye’s reply. Pinto exclaims, “He’s not really reliable when it comes to directions.” The guard asks, “You need a place to stay tonight?” “That would sure be appreciated,” is Deadeye’s reply. One guard stays up top while the other heads down to open up the gate. They hear the sound of a wooden bar being moved and the gates then open for them to ride in. Once they are inside the gate is relocked.”

Seeing them now locked in Deadeye asks, “Is there a problem here?” The guard replies, “Still Indians around, you can’t be too careful. The Arapaho are pretty peaceful but you never can tell what other tribes might wander into the area.” “Do you get many visitors here?” Sally asks. He replies, “Not on foot or horseback, haven’t got any roads, almost everybody coming here arrives by boat.”

They are shown around. There is a nice stable for the horses and an available bunkhouse where they are shown bunks for the night. As they go to secure the horses he says “We have a blacksmith and ferrier at the stable if you need anything done with your horses.” They see that most of the blacksmith’s work appears to be making nails and spikes for building construction and sharp knives. Looking at the knives Pinto admires the workmanship. The man replies, “Those are for trade, we’re a trading post. We supply trappers with knives and other provisions in exchange for furs, which we then trade to furriers upriver for a profit.”

The man gives the history of the stockade, which has actually be here at the fork of the river for over one-hundred years having originally been built by the French who came down from Canada to use as a fortress. Deadeye asks, “You get mostly small boats here?” The man explains that around once a month a pram-style barge will come down to pick up a load of furs, but otherwise is it primarily trappers on canoes who visit. “You expecting a pram soon?” Pinto asks. He replies, “Not for another week or so, and it’s been a good couple of weeks for the trappers so they’d be too full up with furs to have room for you and your horses.”

In the course of the tour the group concludes that there are around three-dozen people living there, most of whom are leatherworkers preparing the hides for maximum trade value. The bunkhouse is large enough for the five of them to stay at, the group finding out that it is used primarily by the folks who come in monthly for the furs. Some people give Flying Arrow odd looks.

One the men tells Deadeye “We usually don’t allow Indians to stay overnight in the fortress.” Deadeye replies, “I can vouch for her, she’s harmless, and none of her tribe are anywhere within 500 miles of here.” They do require that all weapons be taken away from her. The group leaves the saddles in the tack room but keep the saddlebags with them. The bunkhouse has five bunks two high. The man says “Well, you’re welcome to stay here.”
Deadeye tells the man “My only regret is that we hadn’t been here earlier today to go to church.”

After the man leaves the group comments how “They didn’t ask for any payment.” Mae points out that the men who showed them in were just the guys on guard duty, they may not be the ones in charge. Since the group is all tired they quickly fall asleep.

Monday, June 5th begins with a rooster crowing at dawn. The group discusses the merit of maybe acquiring some livestock from the fortress but decide against it as other animals would not be able to move as quickly as the horses. There is a knock at the door and the group are invited to join the rest of the community for breakfast. The group discusses what to do with the saddlebags. Deadeye decides that he can sleep in and keep an eye on the saddlebags. Some of the others are hesitant but eventually agree.

They soon arrive at a larger meeting room with some long tables and several dozen people having their morning meal. The meal consists of rabbit stew, eggs and flapjacks with fresh butter. Deadeye leaves the various saddlebags alone and decides to sleep some more until Mae returns with his breakfast. The head of the trading post introduces himself as Calvin Plains, originally from western Pennsylvania.

Mae discusses acquiring some provisions, primarily food for themselves and the horses. He replies that they don’t get many horses here so don’t have much in the line of lightweight horse rations, but that they have lots of hay for their cow so will make sure that the horses are fully fed on hay before they go. They say they could spare a small amount of oats and grain.. He suggests that they head upriver to the next town for a wider selection. He says that at that town they could hire a ferry barge to take them downriver to their named destination of Utah.

They also make arrangements to buy some hard-boiled eggs, cheese, some hardtack, rabbit meat jerky as well as some fresh meat from the icehouse. Sally asks about whiskey finding none available but that the post brews its own beers and ales so she agrees to buy a few bottles of that. Pinto talks to the blacksmith about purchasing a hand-axe as well as sharpening up his Bowie knife. He also buys some hand-made cigars and another saddlebag.

They attempt to also buy some extra ammunition for their weapons but the trading post won’t part with any, saying that they never know when they might need it. Flying Arrow suspects that their real reason for not selling ammunition has to do with her presence. They pay for the items with some remaining loose bills and change that each of them have on their person, still leaving the cash bundles alone.

They leave the trading post, heading north alongside the river, that direction chosen because Deadeye is “Getting tired of being in the wilderness.” They decide that their next destination is a town of Rifle alongside the Colorado River, around twenty miles away. They decide to ride hard to try to get there by nightfall.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Ten, “Rifle“, Monday, June 5th , 1882, 6:00 P.M.

They approach the distant town alongside the Colorado River, looping around to approach from the west rather than east. They see boat docks with a number of barges and steam-powered boats. They see a mule trail alongside both sides of the river to haul the barges. The town itself has around forty buildings, with two saloons, one of which has an attached hotel.

In the four days since the robbery they have covered a distance of approximately 120 miles. Mae points out how the absence of the other two should help them, as Mongo’s size made him the most identifiable while Pamela as the stagecoach driver had been the most visible in Leadville.

They head to the hotel and inquire about staying the night, paying for the horses to be boarded which a young man takes care of, bringing the horses to an adjacent barn. The man shows some hesitation regarding Flying Arrow. Deadeye explains that she is an Indian guide who they hired to take them to Utah. They get three rooms, signing in as Mr. And Mrs. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Each couple taking a room and another for Flying Arrow. While paying for the rooms Mae notices a folded up Denver, Colorado newspaper lying on a table behind the registration desk with a top headline of “Douglas Gang Still at Large.”

They sit down and have a nice supper before heading up to the rooms. They quietly discuss the newspaper over dinner and whether they should ask the man to borrow it. They eventually decide against it, not wanting to show too much curiosity about it or draw the man’s attention to the top story again. They then head up to their respective rooms, with Pinto taking along with him the remainder of the whiskey bottle that they had with supper. Each one brings their own saddle bags up with them. Pinto and Sally finish the bottle of whiskey followed by recreational activities.

Deadeye and Mae plan and plot their next move, concluding that they really do need to see what the newspaper says as it might give some indication of where the searchers are, thus indicating where the searchers are absent by omission. They wait until close to Midnight before Deadeye and Mae go to sneak down the stairs. Mae stays alert as lookout near the top step as Deadeye quietly descends. With a minimum of noise he makes his way down and across the room. As he lifts up the counter shelf it lets off what seems to them to be a loud creak, although in reality it is now louder than the cracking wood burning within the wood stove in the room.

Deadeye retrieves the paper. Deciding it is too risky to bring it upstairs and then having to make another trip to return it later he instead heads over to the woodstove, opening up the stove door to cast light from the fire into the room to read the main story by. He reads it through twice, first for content and then the second time to memorize details. He then closes the stove door, returns the newspaper to exactly as it was before and makes his way back up the stairs.

After he and Mae are back in their rooms he gives her a big hug and kiss. “What did it say?” she impatiently asks. He replies, “It says that our take from the Leadville bank was over one-million-six -hundred-thousand dollars!” She pauses to absorb that and says, “When we sorted I put the higher denomination bills into our two saddlebags. So even without those of Pamela, Mongo and Pinto’s we probably have over a million dollars.” Deadeye says, “Okay, then let’s plan on not counting out the money together as a group and letting Pinto and Sally go off with whatever she has.” The two turn in for the night.

While the group is sleeping a steamboat docks at Rifle at around 2:00 A.M. The boat’s passengers are a dozen United States Army soldiers and their mounts. They have spent the previous four days traveling up and down the Colorado River in search of the New Douglas Gang. Their search had been fruitless until this afternoon, when they had gone down a tributary from the river and reached the Carbondale Trading Post where they were told of some visitors the previous night who headed off north.
Upon arrival in Rifle the Lieutenant in charge has two enlisted men join him while the others stay on the boat and they head to the town’s only hotel. The owner is awakened and confirms that the people answering the Lieutenant’s description are upstairs. The Lieutenant and one his men remain with the hotel owner while the other soldier is sent back to the boat for the other soldiers.

The soldiers soon arrive on foot, the mounts still back at the boat. Flying Arrow is a light sleeping and the sound of multiple hushed voices awaken her. She goes to the window, seeing a half-dozen soldiers below. She quietly makes her way over to Deadeye’s door and lightly knocks. “What is it?” he asks from the other side. She whispers “Soldiers. I saw six but I think there are more.” Mae looks to Deadeye and says, “Six? Where?”

They open the door to let Flying Arrow in. She says “Soldiers. I saw six at the front door. The hotel owner was letting them inside.” Deadeye says, “If you saw six there are probably twelve.” Mae tells Flying Arrow “Go wake Pinto and Sally.” The Indian heads down to their room. There is only one staircase up from the first floor. Pinto and Sally soon join the others in Deadeye’s room. They conclude that going out the windows is probably their only option for escape.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Eleven, “Gun Battle at Rifle“, Tuesday, June 6th , 1882, 3:00 A.M.

Sally and Pinto get dressed when they hear the sound of horses. They look out the window to see a pair of mounted riders each with a pair of saddled horses in tow riding up to the hotel entrance. Two more soldiers exit the hotel and approach them, each of these men on foot taking the reins of a pair of rider-less mounts. The two mounted men remain on horseback.

Across the hallway Flying Arrow retrieves her saddlebag from her own room and then rejoins Deadeye and Mae in their room. Mae looks out the back window, not seeing anybody below and comments “It‘s only a one-story drop, we should be able to get down.” There is a back door to the Tavern below but it hasn’t opened and the two first-floor windows along the back have shut curtains over them. She states, “The coast looks clear.”

Sally and Pinto go to make their way across the hallway to Deadeye and Mae’s room when they hear sounds on the staircase. Sally makes it into the other room without being seen but Pinto is still standing in the hallway when a pair of soldiers reach the top of the staircase. Pinto runs into the room and slams the door behind him as the soldiers charge down the hallway in that direction. “I think they know we’re in here,” Pinto exclaims to the others. A despondent Flying Arrow states “We’re all dead.” Deadeye “Not yet, we just lost the element of surprise.” Flying Arrow begins a tribal chant to grant them luck.

The window looks like the only way to go and Mae wastes no time in dropping her saddlebag out and then letting Deadeye lower her down as far as he can. She safely drops the remaining distance, not seeing anybody out the back way. She scoops up her saddlebag and begins to hurry towards the side door to the stable. Sally isn’t far behind Mae, copying her actions, and reaches the stable door shortly after Mae opens it. Mae gets her and Deadeye’s horses and quickly saddles them while Sally does the same for her and Pinto’s horses.

Deadeye and Pinto have locked the door then moved the bed and dresser over against the door to prevent the soldiers from entering. They first knock on the door, then hear the sound of a key unlocking it. The soldiers try to push the door open but the furniture helps to prevent that with Pinto braced to prevent them from budging. Flying Arrow is the next out the window and makes her way to the stable.

Pinto decides to go next, and having fallen from horses many a time is skilled in drop-and-roll techniques so manages to get safely onto the ground. Without Pinto bracing the furniture it begins to shift and with panic on his face Deadeye tosses his saddlebag and swan dives out the window. The saddlebag just misses landing on Pinto, with Deadeye himself then crashing down on top of his ally. Pinto lets out a choice explicative.

The men get up and charge in the direction of the stable. Assuming that more soldiers will soon be exiting the back door Deadeye fires a shot into each of the back windows in hopes of confusing whoever might be inside. As luck would have it one of these shots strikes one of them two soldiers still on the first floor and he falls, with his companion rushing over to assist him rather than exiting. As a further distraction Deadeye then yells out “Get the dynamite.”

Out front, the two mounted men respond to the gunshots behind the inn by kicking their horses to move to circumnavigate around the building towards the disturbance, telling the other two men holding the remaining horses to remain there and guard the front. Upstairs, the pair of soldiers finally manage to push the furniture aside and enter the room.

Deadeye and Pinto enter the stable to see that the women now have the five horses ready to ride. The men lock the side door behind them and move towards their horses. The stable has a pair of closed and bolted double doors in both the front and back. They quickly argue about whether to go out the front or back doors. Mae and Deadeye ride up to the front doors and Mae unlatches the door while Deadeye reloads his gun for the two spent shells. [The DM has the players each put their miniatures on a six-sided dice to indicate the horse. Deadeye’s player decides to name the horse Polyhedron.]

Pinto, Sally and Flying Arrow remain further back. Deadeye tells them “If we get separated I’ll see you in Carson City.” Sally replies, “Okay”, uncertain of when they decided to head to western Nevada. Flying Arrow considers using her bow and arrow but decides to ready her rifle instead. Deadeye gets ready to fire as Mae pushes the doors open, revealing two soldiers with four horses. One of the soldiers out front has climbed up onto his horse and at the sight of the doors moving the soldiers out front fires his gun into the barn while the other moves behind one of the three horses he is holding for cover. At the sound of gunfire and a bullet flying in Flying Arrow yells out “Close the door.”

The bullet hits Deadeye for a minor wound which is enough to convince Pinto and Sally to ride to the back doors instead. Pinto unlatches the back door and Sally pushes it open. Pinto sees two soldiers riding around back and fires on the first one but misses. Both riders charge towards the back door and draw their revolvers.

Deadeye at the man who shot at him and hits for a non-fatal wound. Flying Arrow shoots from still inside the barn at the soldier atop the horse, hitting him, and causing him to fall badly wounded from his horse and onto the ground. Mae fires at the other man who has now climbed up onto his horse, hitting him in the side. She then coaxes her horse forward. Deadeye and Mae are now outside making themselves the more visible targets so from the darkness of inside the barn Flying Arrow takes another shot, hitting the other soldier. Mae is closer takes another shot, causing him to slump in the saddle.

Out back, Sally rides forward and fires a shot from her revolver, missing the soldier she fired at. The soldiers both close on Sally. Pinto momentarily considers whether to come to her rescue or to turn around and join the others, also weighing the fact that most of the stolen money from the two of them is now in his saddlebags rather than hers. He picks the stupid but romantic option of following Sally.

Sally and Pinto continue forward, Sally firing on and hitting the already wounded one who is hurt but still in the fight. They both move to try to block Pinto from exiting. His riding skills are quite good however so he is able to get by them. However, by this point in time the two soldiers in the upstairs bedroom are looking out the window at what is going on, and drawn their guns as well at Pinto.

Out front both soldiers are down and Mae suggests that they grab the soldier’s horses to prevent them from riding after them. Flying arrow grabs up reigns of the four horses and knots them together, the three heading off. Because of the Colorado River with no easy way to cross the possible destinations are limited to east, southeast, south or southwest. Deadeye starts to ride to the southwest as it is the closest exit from the sparsely populated town.

Pinto and Sally both shoot at the two mounted men before them, missing, while Pinto gets shot by both of the soldiers from the upstairs window. Not knowing exactly who else is shooting at them he spurs his horse to ride off at maximum gallop with Sally trying to keep up. The soldiers each take another shot at them before they can ride behind the nearest building, with Sally getting shot for a non-lethal wound. They continue to ride onward, the two wounded soldiers on horseback still behind them. Pinto and Sally continue in the direction of the mountains to the south.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Twelve, “Escape Attempt“, Tuesday, June 6th , 1882, 3:30 A.M.

Sally and Pinto continue to ride at full speed in a southward direction with mounted soldiers a distant back in pursuit. Pinto suggests to Sally that they ride straight into the mountains to lose them.

A quarter-mile to the east Deadeye, Mae and Flying Arrow are riding to the southwest when they spot Sally and Pinto riding off in the southward direction. That pair do not appear to be looking back and haven’t spotted the other two. Flying Arrow suggests that they go away from those two rather than rejoining them. Deadeye says, “I have nothing against them, but it makes a lot more sense to be hiding three people instead of five. And to be totally honest, they’re sloppy stupid people.”

They then spot soldiers after Pinto and Sally, which confirms to the three that regrouping is not a good option. They three stop and hide behind some shelter until the soldiers are out of sight after the other two and then proceed westward. They consult the map, seeing some mountains which Flying Arrow can help them over. The trio decide to ride all night long, alternating horses between their own and the ones stolen from the soldiers in order to make for the best time without overtiring the mounts.

Meanwhile, the wounded Pinto and Sally ride hard and by the time they reach the mountains they have been riding for two hours. Looking back, they see a dozen mounted soldiers a short distance back. They head up into the mountain, trying to stay out of sight using the trees and rocks for cover. Unfortunately the more rugged terrain makes the travel slower and the soldiers begin to catch up. Pinto decides that they should stop and set up an ambush. He helps to rebind his and Sally’s wounds.

They find an area where some good-sized boulders and trees will shield the horses from below and will also provide good cover for Pinto and Sally to shoot from. They don’t have to wait long until a quartet of soldiers arrive. The men are on foot but are leading their horses. Pinto determines which is the leader, a man wearing sergeant stripes, and fires a shot into the man striking his side. The soldiers all pull back, one private assisting his wounded leader. Pinto fires a second shot at the sergeant but misses. The soldiers then move out of sight. Sally had refrained from shooting as they were out of shotgun range.

Pinto and the soldiers continue to exchange fire for the next five minutes even though neither can see the other due to cover. Sally suggests “They’re probably expecting us to use up all our ammunition.” “We’ve got plenty,” Pinto replies. Another five minutes pass with another shot every fifteen to twenty seconds from the direction of the soldiers, with Pinto returning fire for every two or three shots.

At the fifteen minute point from when the shooting started the sergeant yells out “Throw your guns down and surrender, we have you surrounded.” Pinto and Sally do not see anyone and quickly head over towards their horses. As soon as they reach their mounts four shots fire from different directions a little higher up the mountain. Two shots strike Pinto’s horse and it falls dead. Another hits Sally’s horse, wounding it but it could still be ridden.

The sergeants voice yells out “Throw down your guns and surrender. This is your last chance.” Sally says, “What should we do?” Pinto replies, “We’re beat. Let’s do as they say. Deadeye busted me out of jail twice before, he’ll do so again.” They throw down their weapons and the soldiers come forward to take them into custody. A total of $ 434,000 of the stolen money is found between the two of them.

Meanwhile, the others have continued westward towards the next set of hills. They’ve ridden a couple of miles when Flying Arrow hears the very distant sound of gunfire. She comments “Sounds like the soldiers caught them.” Deadeye replies, “Not Pinto and Sally, they’ll go down fighting before they ever let themselves get captured.”

They way to go next. Mae asks Deadeye “What was that you said to Pinto about Carson City?” Deadeye replies, “Misdirection. That’s to the west, so let’s plan on going either north or south.” Mae points out that since Federal soldiers were shot that anywhere in the United States would not be safe, so either north to Canada or south to Mexico.” Deadeye says, “You know where is nice this time of year…..England. If we’re going to live like kings maybe we should think about going to a country with a monarchy.”

The others find that idea amenable to them. As Canada and England are both parts of Great Britain they decide to go Canada, and going north would still require crossing the Colorado River at some point. They decide that any Colorado communities along the river will be on alert for them, so they should probably head west into Utah and cross there.

They spend the next six days traveling south and then west, staying clear of the Colorado communities of Mesa and Grand Junction. They live off the land and alternate between the seven horses and find the safest places possible to ford the Gunnison and Delores Rivers. At one point they stop and finally count the stolen money, discovering that between the three of them they have $ 737,000 in bundled bills. Mae comments “Gee, that was about what we had originally anticipated the total haul to be.” They use this time in the mountains to find natural dyes to change their hair color and Deadeye grows out his beard and mustache. They set the four horses with United States cavalry markings loose in the mountains.

On the morning of Monday, June 12th Mae Clark approaches the ferry boat across the Colorado river at the town of Moab, Utah. Her hair is dyed black and she is attired in Flying Arrow’s buckskin clothing, giving the outward appearance of a poor half-breed woman. She asks in broken English about the fare and is told fifty-cents, at which time she pays using a number of small coins. There are soldiers near the ferry but none pay her any attention. Once across she finds a place to wait in safety for the next ferry.

Deadeye and Flying Arrow approach for the next ferry ride across. She is attired in Mae’s most plain outfit and has dyed her hair lighter with white and gray strands to appear as older half-breed. Deadeye has shaved the top of his head to make him appear bald and considerably older and both are wearing matching steel wedding bands. They have all three horses, the two that they ride up on and the third pulling a stick and rope tripod with a blanket of supplies lashed to it (including the third saddle). One soldier questions Deadeye who replies in a Minnesota accent that he is Torvald Jorgensen from Minneapolis and that he and his wife Running Stream are moving to Provo, Utah. The soldier accepts their story.

Four days later they arrive in Salt Lake City Utah. They are still in the same disguises and have intentionally avoided bathing to add to the disguises. They purchase a newspaper with a story about the New Douglas Gang, discovering that Mongo and Pamela have also been captured and are now in the same Colorado Prison as Pinto Joe and Sally, awaiting trial. At Salt Lake City they sell their horses, using the proceeds from that sale to purchase train passage north to Butte, Montana. From Montana they take a train east to Bismarck, North Dakota and from there travel by train north to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Once they have crossed into Canada they finally start to relax. In Winnipeg they purchase new clothes, and spend a day cleaning up and changing their disguises yet again, looking now like none of their prior outward appearances. They then get on an eastbound train. At Thunder Bay, Ontario they board a steamship which takes them across the Great Lakes and up the Saint Lawrence River. A train then takes them from the port of Matinee, Quebec down to Halifax, Nova Scotia where they then board a ship to England.
 

Steve Jung

Explorer
Silver Moon said:
Chapter Twelve, “Escape Attempt“, Tuesday, June 6th , 1882, 3:30 A.M.

At the fifteen minute point from when the shooting started the sergeant yells out “Throw your guns down and surrender, we have you surrounded.” Pinto and Sally do not see anyone and quickly head over towards their horses. As soon as they reach their mounts four shots fire from different directions a little higher up the mountain. Two shots strike Pinto’s horse and it falls dead. Another hits Sally’s horse, wounding it but it could still be ridden.
I never considered the possibility of getting surrounded. D'oh!
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Game Four - “Jailbreak” Played June 17th 2006

Game Four- Previously Played Characters

Shotgun Sally Fox – Fast Hero (3), Rustler (3) played by Joy Healinghand
Pinto Joe Weems - Tough Hero (3), Desperado (3) (non-ENWorld player)
Pamela Yeats – Dedicated Hero (3), Sawbones (3) - Played by played by Quartermoon*
Mongo Bailey – Strong Hero (3), Tough Hero (3) - N.P.C.

Game Four – New Characters
Shamus O’Sullivan – Strong Hero (3), Pugilist (3) played by Spyscribe
Henry Buckskin Bennett – Dedicated Hero (3), Mountain Man (3) played by Mythago
Black Angus MacTavish – Tough Hero (3), Bounty Hunter (3) played by Plane Sailing
Eugene Rex Rogers - Fast Hero (3), Pony Soldier (3) played by Cerebral Paladin


*Quartermoon also played Mae Clarke in the initial game of this campaign.


Chapter Thirteen, “New Cellmates”, June 11, 1882 – Canon City Colorado

The Colorado Territorial Jail had been established in the community of Canon City, around a day’s ride west of Pueblo. As the Territory grew into Statehood so too the prison expanded, growing to three large cell blocks by the summer of 1882. It was here that Pinto Joe Weems and Shotgun Sally Fox were brought, awaiting a trial and sentencing. Pinto is placed alone in the center of three cells at the back end of the second floor. The cell to his left have two prisoners awaiting sentencing the first being Shamus O’Sullivan, a professional boxer who killed a man in a bar fight and the other being Henry ‘Buckskin’ Bennett, a hunter and tracker who lives in the mountains that is also facing a murder change.

Born in Dublin Ireland in 1859, Shamus O’Sullivan was the youngest of nine children. He has a generally positive attitude and enjoys conversation. As a boy his older siblings would continually pick on the boy which caused him to learn how to fight back. At the age of fifteen when food became scarce he left Ireland on a ship bound for America. Settling in Boston, he soon found work in America was also scarce for those of Irish blood. He took a job as a wagon driver, which he was good at, but found the work to be very boring. Putting his fighting skills to work he soon began traveling the boxing circuit, quickly gaining a reputation as a successful fighter. This however, has resulted in a broken nose which seriously maligns Shamus’s once handsome looks although he still has little difficulty finding young women to dance with.

Last year he signed on with a new fight promoter who began to take him on a road tour of the American west, as bare-knuckled fighting was a popular attraction in many of the saloons and barrooms. Shamus’s one main problem however is that his Irish temper keeps catching up to him. That was the case this month in the town of Colorado Springs where a man refused to honor a bet with Shamus that he had made prior to a fight. Shamus decided to teach the man a lesson in being true to your word by beating him up. But the man was physically not up to taking the punishment and died. Shamus is now awaiting trial on the charge of murder.

Shamus’s cellmate, Bennett is a quiet man who has not shared his story with his cellmates. He was born in Canton, Ohio in 1856 where his father worked in a livery stable. Henry grew up around horses and dogs and acquired an affinity towards animals. People, however, he has never much cared for. He dropped out of school after completing the fifth grade, deciding that the rules and regiment of conventional education were not his style. He became a day laborer at the livery and would spend all of his free time out in the wood hunting with his old muzzleloader rifle and pistol.

In the mid-1870’s the United States Army was looking for scouts to help with their Indian campaigns out west. Henry saw this as an opportunity to get away from Ohio and enlisted. But the discipline of Army life was not his style and he became to sympathize with and befriend the Native American population that the Army was trying to regulate. He began to spend his time off duty with the Indians and started to favor native garb over his uniform. He intentionally revealed the Army’s position at one encounter against the Sioux which earned him a courts Marshall, a year in Leavenworth Prison and a dishonorable discharge.

Following that he decided to move to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He began living in the wilderness with a Sioux Indian companion named Red Eagle Feather. Henry would only occasionally head into the towns for provisions where people began to call him ‘Buckskin’ due to his hand made attire. His favorite game is bear, which he has become an expert in hunting and due to the rarity of them the hide brings an above-average price from the fur traders.

Henry and Eagle became the best of friends and there is nothing that the man wouldn’t do for his companion. He proved that recently when Eagle got into a deadly confrontation in the woods with a French trapper that resulted in the Frenchman’s death. The local Marshall heard the gunshots and came to investigate, finding Henry and Eagle near the body. Henry knew that an Indian would never get a fair trial so he told the Marshall that he was the one who killed the trapper and that it was an act of self-defense. Henry has now been arrested for the murder and is in prison awaiting a trial and sentencing.

The man in the cell to Pinto’s right is Black Angus MacTavish, a resourceful bounty hunter who killed a man in what he claims was an act of self-defense but the local judge ruled was cold-blooded murder. MacTavish has been sentenced to hang the following week. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1853, MacTavish came to the United States in the mid-1860’s with his father, a ship builder and blacksmith. MacTavish had a knack for machinery and mechanics but also had poor eye-hand coordination so had trouble holding down jobs. At the age of twenty took a job with the Union Pacific railroad as a mechanical engineer. That job also ran into problems due to his inherent clumsiness and he was fired. He decided to build a homestead and settle down, marrying a young woman named Martha Tanner.

Tragedy struck two years later when gambler and killer Luke Hardeman came to town. He got drunk and shot two gamblers, stole a horse, robbed the local bank and rode off leaving the bodies of three more innocent victims in his wake, one of them Angus’s wife Martha who had gone to town to purchase supplies for the farm. MacTavish became “Black Angus” on that day, selling the farm and taking up the life of a bounty hunter, in his search for Hardeman. During the next several years he worked with a number of other bounty hunters, including the ruthless Irby Cole. He helped to bring outlaws Colorado Bill Elliott and Sam Bass to justice. He eventually found Hardeman in 1880, shooting the man dead. His quest was now over but he had found himself good at this line of work so decided to continue.

One Thursday June 1st the New Douglas Gang led by Arthur Douglas and Safecracker Mae Clarke robbed $ 1.6 million from the Leadville, Colorado bank of silver baron Horace Tabor, killing a number of guards and soldiers in the process. Tabor contacted a number of bounty hunters include Irby Cole, Jim Courtright and Black Angus MacTavish to hunt down these outlaws. On Tuesday June 6th two members of the New Douglas Gang were arrested, namely Pinto Joe Weems and Shotgun Sally Fox, who had less than $ 300,000 of the stolen money with them. The pair were to be shipped to the Colorado State Prison in Canon City. But Douglas and Clarke remain at large with over a million of the stolen money.

Tabor and MacTavish concocted a plan which they put into motion with the help of a Denver Judge friend of Tabor’s and an actor friend of MacTavish. MacTavish and the actor got into a fight in a Denver saloon and MacTavish pretended to kill the other man. The Judge brought MacTavish to trial and sentenced him to be hung for murder in two weeks time and shipping him off to the Prison in Canon City, where he arrived the day before Pinto Joe and the two were placed in the adjacent cells.

The plan is for MacTavish to befriend Weems and break them both out of jail using a number of small concealed items that he managed to sneak in with him including lock picks, a straight razor and ten-feet of wire. He hopes that Weems to then lead him to the others as Tabor has promised him a $ 100,000 bounty for Douglas and Clarke plus fifteen-percent of all recovered money. If he is unsuccessful at a jailbreak the Judge will release him prior to the hanging. In order to maintain his cover nobody at the prison was aware that MacTavish wasn’t actually a man on death row.

With no other female prisoners currently at the State Jail, Sally Fox has been placed a cell on the unoccupied third floor of the same cell bock as Joe, essentially the isolated attic level of the prison. She has gotten to know her main guard well, a handsome young man by the name of Eugene “Rex” Rogers. Sally convinced Rex to bring messages back-and-forth between her and Joe. In conversations with Rex she has learned that as teenager the man was a former Pony Express rider and loved that job, becoming disgruntled when the telegraph and railroad made that profession obsolete, and longing for those days of his youth. Other prisoners like Rogers too, as he has different attitude than the other guards, most of whom are sadistic and cruel to the prisoners, while Rogers is actually friendly and pleasant to those behind bars.

A week earlier, Pamela Yeats and Mongo Bailey had put as much distance as possible between them and the other members of the New Douglas Gang, making good time and reaching the mine in Granby, Colorado where they had previously hidden the stagecoach. Pamela hid several of the saddlebags containing $ 324,000 of the stolen money. She and Mongo then returned to Dillon, Colorado where a friend of Mongo’s named Tom Carter agreed to given them sanctuary. A few days later Tom brought them a newspapers telling of Pinto Joe and Sally Fox getting captured following a shootout in the town of Rifle, Colorado. The paper said that only $ 286,000 of the stolen $ 1.6 million was recovered from the pair.

Unfortunately for Pamela and Mongo, the same newspaper also told of the reward for the remaining gang members and Tom’s wife Mildred went to the local Sheriff and turned the pair in. The house was surrounded by soldiers and the two surrendered. They have now been brought to the State Prison in Canon City to await trial. Pamela has told the authorities that Deadeye has the remaining missing money, that all she and Mongo had was the $ 26,500 that was found on them, but she suspects that they do not believe her.

At the prison Mongo and Pamela were separated, with him been brought to somewhere on the second floor with the hardened criminals. She is worried about how her simple-minded friend will be treated by the other prisoners. Pamela is then brought up to the nearly vacant third floor attic which is housing the prison’s only other female prisoner at the moment – Shotgun Sally Fox, who Pamela is put into a cell next to.

On the floor below, much to Pinto’s surprise he is now assigned a new cellmate – Mongo Bailey! While Mongo happy to see himself being put in same cell with friend Pinto Joe, Pinto is less than enthusiastic at being put with the man who betrayed him.
 
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Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Fourteen, “Rex’s Patrol”, June 11, 1882 – Canon City Colorado

These prisoners are all in Cell House #2, which was the original one built, the newly constructed one being Cell House #1. From the windows in the rear of their second floor cells the male characters have a good view of the warden’s residence on the opposite side of the outer wall. The female characters are in the attic floor on the opposite side, where can see the east gate of the prison along First Street.

Up in the attic cells Sally says to Pamela “Fancy seeing you here,”. Pamela is evasive in her responses. Sally becomes un-lady-like and using no small amount of profanity lets Pamela know that she does not appreciate what they had done the previous week, stealing from Pinto and then deserting the others. Sally concludes by saying “Well, you must be happy, we’re here with you regardless!” Pamela replies, “No, I have to admit, I wish that you were on the outside like last time. I was really hoping for another jailbreak.”

There is a similar conversation going on in Mongo and Pinto’s cell which the prisoners in the adjacent cells listening. Pinto berates Mongo for stealing from him with Mongo flatly denying having done so. The more Pinto goes on about them stealing his saddlebag the more Mongo says that they didn’t. Mongo tells Pinto “Deadeye break us out of jail before, he do so again!” Pinto is less certain of that possible outcome (especially since Sally was the one that talked him into last time).

In the next cell O’Sullivan takes an interest in the way the conversation is evolving and asks about the likelihood of Deadeye Douglas arranging a jail break. MacTavish interjects “I don’t know, this is a pretty tough place to try to break somebody out of.”

Cell Block #2 is about half-full, with all of the hardened criminals. The lower-risk prisoners are in the newer and full Cell Block #1, where the warden’s favorites are assigned because it is easier work and smells better. Being newer and not particularly friendly with the warden, Rex Rogers has been assigned to more difficult assignment. Rex Rogers continues his patrol, him assigned to the second a third floors with another guard responsible for the first floor and basement cells.

Upstairs, Rex Rogers comes by to check on how Pamela is getting along, stopping to talk to Sally some as well. He had personally requested this particular assignment, finding Sally very attractive. Rex comments to Sally “It’s a shame what happened to you, what I mean, is a nice lady like you doesn’t deserve to be in a place like this.”

He looks towards Pamela and says, “It’s a shame what happened to you too. You’re a good person, I can see it in your eyes.” Rex then comments about how the life of a prison guard makes him almost as much a prisoner as them. Sally passes on a message for him to tell to Pinto. After he leaves Pamela comments “You seem pretty friendly with that guard.” “He’s a bit of a pest,” is Sally’s reply.

Downstairs, Pinto motions Rex over and asks, “Any word from Sally?” “No,” is his reply. “She okay?” Pinto asks. Rex says, “She’s fine. Pinto prompts “Any messages at all from her?” “Nope,” Rex states as he starts to move on with his patrol. Mongo asks, “If my friend Pamela up there with her?” Rex stops and says, “She is.” “Sally hasn’t killed her yet?” is Pinto’s comment. Rex stares and with a quizzical look states, “No?” “Hope they’re not in the same cell,” is Pinto’s next comment.

Rex stops at Shamus O’Sullivan’s cell and asks, “How are you doing today Shamus?” The boxer replies, “I don’t like being here if that’s what ye mean.” Rex says, “There’s no life for me outside of this place either.” He then turns and heads down the hall for a while he then head back up the stairs.

Sally and Pamela hear the sounds of the Rex approaching. “Hey there Rex,” Sally says in a sweet voice. “Hello there Sally,” is his reply. Pamela asks about meals, Rex replies, “Morning and evening.” Pamela says, “That’s all, no mid-day meal.” Rex says, “Well, I suppose you could save some of your morning meal to have as lunch.” “That’s not very healthy,” Pamela states.

Sally changes the conversation saying, “What did a nice man like you do to deserve this? You sure must and ticked somebody off to be stuck here with us.” Rex says, “Just where I ended up. One thing led to another the Pony Express riding was done. There’s no good life, only the worst life, after the best job ever is done.” Pamela says, “You know, there’s still riding to be done. Plenty of life ahead, plenty of riding to be done.” Sally plays along saying “Plenty of room out there for us.”

Sally stares back to Pamela and adds, “Long as they keep what’s theirs and not what’s others.” Pamela says, “As long as they share and share alike.” Sally says, “Well, I’d say there’s either a whole lot of poetic justice here or not quite so much honor among thieves, I’m not sure just which as of yet.” Pamela says, “So you noticed that, huh? A lack of honor among thieves?” “No, the other part,” Sally says. “Yeah,” Pamela replies.

Rex just looks confused regarding this conversation and interjects “If you were out of here Sally where would you be going?” She pauses then says, “That’s a good question, I suppose that I’d go, that we’d all go to somewhere new and establish new identities.” Pamela interjects “She’d be leading us to a place to renew ourselves and get started again, we’d ride to…I don’t know where, but it would be a chance to start a new life, put our past mistakes behind us.”

Sally says, “There’s so much life to be had instead of sitting around here waiting.” Rex suggests that California would be a good place to go. Pamela asks, “Have you been to California?” “Not in years,” is his reply. Pamela asks, “Did you grow up there?” “No,” he states. Sally interjects “There are lots of mines out in California aren’t there.” Pamela shakes her head in a ‘No’ gesture at Sally, not wanting to lead Rex in that direction of the conversation.

Rex says in a proud voice, “I was in California when I rode with the Express.” Pamela says, “Oh, I see, that is a wild and great life, wasn’t it.” “Was, no more, no longer exists,” Rex replies. Pamela says, “But what if there was more adventure to be found, great work to be had by one of your skills.” Sally picks up on where Pamela is going and says in a sweet voice, “Oh, there would be considerable demand for a man of your talents and abilities.” “Honest work?” Rex answers. “Honesty is sometimes in the eye of the beholder,” is Sally’s reply.

He then says, “You can do better than that Sally.” “He’s so wise Sally,” Pamela states before her companion can answer.” Sally says, “But why would I quit what I’m good at?” Pamela interjects “But you’re good at quite a few things Sally.” Sally says, “True, but how many jobs would let me wear my pants, smoke my cigars and shoot my guns?”

Rex says, “But Sally…” Pamela cuts them off with the statement “Sally, surely you don’t want to do those horrible things, those were just what Pinto Joe got you involved in.” She turns to Rex and says, “Sometimes I think that what Sally needs is somebody to take her in hand and help her out. Sometimes you just really need a really really good friend, isn’t that right Sally?”

Sally nods, stares at Rex, and repeats the phrase “A really really good friend….Yeah?” Pamela mutters under her breath to herself, “I’m so gonna kill this bitch right now if she messes this up.” Rex says “I hope that Sally always knows that she has one friend.” “I think she probably knows that,” is Pamela’s answer. She then stares at Sally, silently pleading for her to play along.
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
DM’s Note: I had recorded the games but this was a difficult chapter to transcribe as the female characters on the prison’s third floor and male characters on the prison’s second floor made maximum use of the game’s four-hour slot by played out their individual conversations simultaneously, so I had to listen to the recording multiple times in order to catch all of the dialogue.


Chapter Fifteen, “Establishing Trust”, June 11, 1882 – Canon City Colorado

After Rex moves on Pamela says, “You could have been a little friendlier to him.” Sally replies, “I know what you were trying to do, I’m not stupid, I may not be as wise as you but I’m not stupid I tell ya.” Pamela says, “Well, quit talking about smoking cigars, you have to act more ladylike, make him think of you like a lady, preferably his lady. That’s what he wants to hear.” Sally replies, “I can’t be what I’m not.” Pamela replies, “Well, would you rather be dead?’

Sally says, “I smoke cigars all the time. I want one. Do you know how long it’s been since I had one.” Pamela says, “Not in here you don’t, you don’t have any, no reason to talk about things that don’t pertain to our present situation.” “Well….maybe,” is Sally’s answer, “But I’m not good at lying.” Pamela says, “So don’t lie, just don’t talk about things he doesn’t want to hear.

Rex continue his patrol, this time passing on Sally’s earlier message. Black Angus MacTavish is astute enough to have picked up the ‘longing’ in Rex’s voice when he mentioned Sally, and after Rex walks off comments to Pinto “Hey Pinto, I think he’s hitting on your girl.” Pinto replies, “Oh no, he wouldn’t do that. Rex is an okay guy compared to these other prison guards. And look, if we’re going to get out of here we may need him. He hates it here, we can use that.”

MacTavish replies, “Yes indeed, so you think he might actually help us?” Pinto replies, “Sure, he’s a sucker, he doesn’t know that I’m going to shoot him once we get out of here. We just need him to help us get to the other sides of the gate, then he becomes a liability. You’re going to be hung next week and it won’t be that much longer until we each see a noose. We need to get out of here any way we can.”

MacTavish says, “You haven’t even been tried yet, how do you know you’ll be found guilty?” Pinto says, “Witnesses saw me killing at least half-a-dozen soldiers, maybe even a dozen, there’s no way they’ll give me anything but a death sentence……Oh, but don’t tell Rex I killed anyone, I told him Deadeye Douglas did all the killings.” MacTavish asks, “I wonder how much a guy makes as a prison guard around here?” Pinto replies, “Probably not much, we can ask him, here he comes.”

As Rex approaches MacTavish asks, “Hey Rex, How much money do you make around here?” “Barely any,” Rex replies. Angus says, “Do you know how much money can be made as a bounty hunter.” Rex says, “I was wondering about that.” Angus says, “A lot, and you help the world in the process.” Rex says, “There are a lot of people out there who deserve justice.” Angus says, “Hundred of them, hundreds. But you can’t just start off doing that type of work, bounty hunting is difficult to get into, you really need a mentor to help you get your way there.”

Pinto interjects to Angus “Who was your mentor?” This earns him an icy state from Angus who turns back towards Rex and says, “My father was my mentor.” Angus lowers his voice and says, “Rex, come over here for a minute.” Rex gets closer.

Angus says, “Laddie, you going to have a choice in front of you. Laddie, you’ve got to take your choices when you’ve got a chance, because if a chance misses you bye, you know what’s gonna happen, you’ll rot your life around here. They treat you like a criminal here even though you’re on the other side of the bars. You don’t need that. You should be right and free, doing justice where it'’ needed.” Rex asks in reply, “Do you know anything about bounty hunting out in California?” Angus says, “Oh yeah, I’ve been out to California loads of times. But bounty hunting is the same all over.” Pinto interjects “Rex, I’ve noticed that you’re different than the other guards. They swear at us, they hate us. You don’t….how do they treat you?” “They treat me alright,” Rex answers insincerely.

Angus looks over to Shamus O’Sullivan and says, “Shamus, you be a prizefighter are ya?” He replies, “Ah, yes, all over.” Angus asks, “Do you win much?” Shamus replies, “Aye, yes, I win much.” Angus asks, “So what did you do to get in here? Shamus replies, “Caught up with a gentleman who wouldn’t keep with his bets. Hit him a little too hard.” Angus says, “Don’t you hate it when they’re weak like that.”

Back upstairs, Pamela tells Sally, “You need to get that Rex guy all sympathetic, talk up the bad things that have happened to you, the folks who have mistreated you, get him to feel sorry for you and want to help.” Sally replies, “What do you mean?” Pamela says, “We can’t be giving him clues that you might not be the person he thinks of you as.” Sally replies, “I am who I am.” Pamela replies, “Which will get you hung, we have an opportunity here. Just be careful what you say, it’s not always easy to get into somebody else’s head.”

Pamela asks, “Do you know of anybody else who are down there with Pinto and Mongo?” Sally says, “I heard that Black Angus is in with them, he’s a former bounty hunter.” Pamela says, “I’ve heard of him, he was a good bounty hunter. Why is he is prison?” “I don’t know exactly, rumor is he shot the wrong person,” Sally answers. Pamela asks, “And you don’t know any of the other ones who are down there?” Sally replies “No.”

After a short pause Sally says, “It wasn’t very nice of you to take advantage of Mongo, just cause he’s not the brightest person.” Pamela says, “Our leaving was to help all of us. All of us staying together was like hanging a target around our necks, and Mongo was the most identifiable one because of his size.” Sally says, “Didn’t do any of us much good, we’re all in prison.”

Pamela says, “Not all, Deadeye, Mae and Flying Arrow aren’t.” “Only because Pinto and I led the soldiers away,” is Sally’s response. Pamela says, “Any chance they’ll try to bust us out, like he did before.” Sally replies, “Not likely, I’m the one who talked him into it both times and I’m not with him.” Pamela says, “Doesn’t sound like he has much gratitude.” “They don’t make them like the used to,” is Sally’s response.

Pamela says, “By the way, you realize that Rex reads those notes you send down to Pinto.” Sally says, “Of course he does, I’m not stupid.” Pamela says, “Well, what exactly do you write to him?” Sally says, “The most recent one? I told Pinto not to be angry with Mongo, that they both probably could use a friend to talk to at this point.”

Pamela says, “I’m worried about Mongo.” Sally says, “Feeling guilty?” Pamela answers, “I’m not feeling guilty, I did what I could to protect him.” “From us?” Sally comments. “From being caught,” Pamela replies. Sally exclaims, “And you were so successful at that.” Pamela says, “That wasn’t our fault, we were betrayed.” “By who?” Sally asks. Pamela says, “The wife of the guy who owned the safe house.” “Doesn’t sound like a very safe house,” Sally states. Pamela says, “The guy who owned the house, he was a nice guy, it was his wife who turned us in for the reward.”

Sally says, “You still shouldn’t have taken advantage of Mongo.” Pamela says, “The guy needs looking after, he’s a big teddy bear.” “You’re so right about that. But he’s a darn useful member of a gang,” Sally states. Pamela says, “You know, I’ve been thinking, the four of us are much better together than apart. There’s no need to fight over what happened before, won’t do us one bit of good now.” Sally replies, “Not sure if I can trust you again.”
 

Silver Moon

Visitor
Chapter Sixteen, “Rationalization is a wonderful thing”, Monday, June 12, 1882 – Canon City Colorado

Rex is bringing the women their evening meal. As the women see him approach they begin talking about how great it would be to live in California. Pamela asks, “Rex, tell us more about California.” He says, “Out west you can see the ocean. It’s an amazing sight. Once you cross over the mountaintops you can see it in the distance.”

Sally asks, “Rex, do you know when our trial is going to be? I’m really worried.” Pamela interjects, “Me too, I’m mostly worried about Mongo. He’s such a simple man, he really doesn’t understand all of this.”

Rex says, “You’re saying he was manipulated into crime by the Pinto Joe, like Sally?” Pamela says, “Yeah, something like that. Have you talked to him at all? He’s really a sweet guy.” Sally adds, “He just wants to do what he is told. He doesn’t understand what he should or shouldn’t do.” Pamela says, “It was Mongo’s idea to try to save the lives of the hostages, that’s just the kind of guy he is.”

The conversation continues about what the women enjoy. Rex says, “So you’re saying what you like most about your lives is the freedom, the riding to new places, the sense of adventure.” Sally replies, “Yeah, isn’t that what you miss most?” Rex says, “The life of a bounty hunter would provide that, stopping criminals.” Sally starts to choke upon hearing that comment and Pamela comes over to assist her, handing her some water.

Pamela says to Rex “Bounty hunting huh? We haven’t thought of that before, and we sure have the skills for that job. You’d probably be good at that Sally.” “I suspect I might,” she replies. “You’re petty smart,” Pamela adds. “I wouldn’t know how to get started,” Sally states. “I know somebody who might be able to teach you a thing or two,” Rex replies. “Really? Who?” is her response.

He says, “Black Angus.” “Isn’t he going to be hung soon?” Sally asks. “He is?” Pamela interjects. Rex says, “Not if justice prevails. He didn’t do anything wrong, shot a man who was reaching for his own gun.” Pamela says, “But if the man was drawing on him wasn’t that self defense?” Rex comments, “I guess the guy must have been friends with someone.” “That’s just not right,” Sally states. Pamela says, “It’s just like I said before, bad things happen to good people and justice is in the eyes of the beholder.”

Sally plays along adding, “Sometimes crime is in the eye of the beholder too.” Rex says with anticipation in his voice “I’m sure that some of the things you got caught up with were just the same types of misunderstand.” An image crosses Sally’s mind of the innocent guards and soldiers that she shot down in cold blood as she replies with all sincerity “Yep, from a certain point of view.” Pamela adds “That’s right, and Mongo too.” Sally says, “Yes, sometimes Mongo can be treated pretty badly.”

Sally says, “We’ve all been treated pretty badly. It will be worse if we get the same kind of justice that Black Angus is getting.” “Get some sleep, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Rex replies. He heads back downstairs. Sally asks Pamela “Well, was that better?” Pamela replies, “Much better, I’m proud of you Sally.” Sally asks, “Do you know when this Black Angus is going to be coming up for trial? We need to convince Rex before then.”

Downstairs, Shamus starts to sing the song “Danny Boy”, which his cellmates are getting tired of hearing at this point. Rex soon arrives with supper for the men as well as collecting and replacing their water and waste buckets. Rex approaches Angus’s cell and gets his attention. “Yes Rex?” Angus asks. Rex says, “In that fight, you would have tried to knock somebody out if they were going for their gun instead of shooting them?” Angus says, “Oh yes, if possible, or shoot to wound. But when people are moving accidents happen.”

Rex asks Angus, “If we were in California, and you were free, would you be willing to teach me the trade of being a bounty hunter?” Angus assures him, “Absolutely my good man, and there is no way that I would involve you in anything illegal. Everything we do would be on the up and up.” “That’s good Angus,” is Rex’s reply. Rex heads off.

A short while later Angus says “Hey, Weams!” “Yeah,” Pinto replies. Angus says, “You’ve been following my conversation with that guard? It this something that you and Mongo want in on?” Pinto replies, “Sure, if he’s stupid enough to unlock our cells you don’t have to tell me twice, we’re in and we’re gone.” Angus says, “I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but I think it would be helpful to have you and the big guy along with me.” Pinto says “That’s fine.”

Angus says “Hold on then, keep your eyes out and let me know if you see anybody coming.” Pinto says, “Hold on, don’t go doing anything yet. We still need to get some information from that Rex guy. We don’t know where they keep the horses. We don’t know where the guards are at. I don’t want to get shot and killed.” “Yeah, true,” Angus replies. Angus shows Pinto his lock picks. Pinto says, “I’m not even going to ask how you smuggled those in.”

Tuesday, June 13th, 1882:

A little after midnight when most of the prisoners in the cellblock have fallen asleep Rex returns. This is rather common, as back when she was alone on the floor he would often sneak up and admire her while she slept. He heads upstairs to the top floor and approaches, Pamela alerting Sally. Pamela continues to pretend to be asleep as Sally sits up and make eye contact as he approaches.

He states, “I’ve been doing some thinking. It isn’t right that people like you should be facing the rope.” Sally asks, “People like who?” Rex says, “You Sally, Mongo because he was just led astray too. Black Angus too, a good honest man. Buckskin and Shamus are also good honest men who had circumstances play against them. I’m don’t know whether I can trust this Pamela but if you say that she’s alright, she’s alright.” Sally states, “Her doctoring skills may come in handy. And Pinto Joe?”

Rex says adamantly “I think that Pinto is the one of the men who has led you astray. I can’t let him keep doing that.” Sally says, “We can’t leave Pinto!” Rex replies, “He can stay behind here in a cell, or he can be shot trying to escape, those are the only options.” Sally says, “But Rex, remember that honor among thieves that I talked about….” Rex interrupts saying, “You’re not going to be a thief anymore. You’re going to be a bounty hunter. Bounty hunters do not let bad men escape. You’ve got to make a clean break here Sally.”

She says, “They don’t let the ones who they are paid to catch escape, you got that part right.” “But they get paid to catch the bad ones,” is his reply. “Yeah, they also don’t leave their friends behind,” she answers. Sally makes the declaration “If Pinto stays I stay.” He replies, “If that’s how you feel Sally there is nothing I can do for you.”

Not liking this turn in the conversation, Pamela decides to ‘wake up’ to and join in the discussion. Pamela interjects “You know Rex, if he is left behind he can tell a lot about what’s been going on in the jail. We should at least see if he’s willing to become a bounty hunter too.” He ignores Pamela’s comment and says to Sally, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” He then walks away dejected.

Once he is gone an irate Pamela exclaims “What the Hell did you say that to him for!” Sally answers loudly “Well what the Hell was I supposed to say!” Pamela yells, “You’ve got to convince him! Pinto and Mongo share the same cell, he’ll have to open it up anyway. He already said he would let Mongo out. All we have to do is convince him to bring Pinto along to help keep you safe until we’re free of the prison, tell him that you and Pinto will go his separate way and leave you with Rex, that’s all Rex really wants.”

Downstairs, the men are awakened by the yelling of the women upstairs. They can only make out drips and drabs of what is being said so Pinto speculates that the women are again fighting about the money that Mongo and Sally had taken from Pinto. Mongo again asserts that they didn’t take Pinto’s money, with Pinto replying “Yes you did.” This escalates into an argument on that floor almost as loud as the one a floor above.

At this point the women are both yelling simultaneously with neither one listening to the other. An angry Pamela eventually says, “Fine, nothing we can do about it now.” Sally says, “He has to come back at some point.”

When Sally has calmed down a little Pamela says, “Whether he likes Pinto or not, it’s up to you to play along with whatever train of through Rex is on, otherwise we’re all stuck behind bars until they take us to be hung. Is that what you want Sally?’ “No,” she reluctantly states. Pamela says, “So lie about Pinto, everything else we’ve been talking to Rex about it a lie, they don't let wanted criminals become bounty hunters!” Sally says, “I know, but he believes it.”

Pamela then says, “You’ll be able to talk him into it, Rex is smitten on you. The real problem that I see now is that he was too eager to let us out, if you had played along he might have done that right now. But we don’t know where to go from here do we? How do we get out of the prison? Which is the best way out? How do we get horses? Where do we get weapons? How do we get away before they sound the alarm? You’d better make sure he knows all that stuff and is all prepared before he goes and does something stupid that will get all of us killed.”

Sally says, “And clothes too, I can’t ride in this damned prison skirt, I need pants! I can’t exactly hike my skirt up to my waist before I jump on that horse!” Pamela says, “Sally Honey, fashion is the least of our worries, I ride with skirts all the time, it’s not that difficult, you just make sure you have an extra saddle blanket on above the saddle. It’s actually quite comfortable. And as for the skirt, you look fine in that, more feminine. Obviously it’s doing something, you have that poor little boy Rex drawling all over you. He’s ready to take up a life of crime to save you from your former life!” The two begin laughing at poor Rex’s expense.

Pamela says, “What will happen to him after we’re out of here?” Sally says, “Us getting out of here is all that matters.” Pamela asks, “But are you planning to be nice to him?” Sally replies, “I’m not going to kill him unless we have to if that’s what you mean.” Pamela says, “But you know that doing this is going to ruin his life too. He won’t be able to go back to honest work after.” “Then he just needs to come with us,” is Sally’s response.

Downstairs Angus manages to calm the other two down before they wake up everybody in the cell block. When things are quieter Angus says, “That guard Rex seemed to be interested in me teaching him to bounty hunt, we may be out of here sooner than you think.” Mongo says, “He take me and Pinto too?” Pinto adds, “I don’t see why not, I’ve been telling him that it was Deadeye Douglas who did all of the killings and not any of the rest of us. What an idiot!” The fighter Shamus and the mountain-man Bennett join in the conversation as well, offering to help with whatever they come up with.
 

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