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Or we could use one of Ghost Rider's several other names; Calico Kid in his first appearance in Tim Holt #6 (Magazine Enterpises, May 1949), he was later reimagined or retconned as the Ghost Rider in Tim Holt #11 (ME, October 1949) for unknown reasons. The assumption is that the Ghost Rider was Marshall Rex Fury (other sources cite Rex Hart as his name) who was undercover as the Calico Kid and had to switch identities.

 

As the Ghost Rider, he remained a guest star throughout the Tim Holt series, later re-titled Red Mask when Tim Holt also donned a costumed persona. AC Comics revived Ghost Rider re-naming him the Haunted Horseman since Marvel owns the Ghost Rider trademark. -comicvine.com

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Cross-post from Player Finder:

 

Various netsters said...

 

A man walked about 18-20 miles per day (though I am sure this is with rests and a leisurely pace)
A man on a horse could move about 18-24 miles per day (with resting and not pushing the horse too too hard) and max out at about 40 miles in a day if he really pushed it and wanted to risk the horse.
Mule Trains moved about 12-15 miles per day.
Wagon Trains moved about 12 miles per day
Conestoga Wagons (with 3 pairs of draft horses) moved about 12-18 miles per day
 
The Equipment Guide (on page 51) has some real nice rules on Fanning (or Fan-Firing). Basically to do this one would buy Autofire as a Naked advantage costed out this way: 37 (the Active cost of the most expensive revolver) * 1.5 (1/2 Autofire Advantage) = 55 pts (55.5 rounded down in favor of PC), subtract the Active Points of the revolver/improved attack form the total points (as you already paid for those). Then hit it with Only Works with Single-Action Revolver (-1/4) and Requires a Shooting Tricks Roll (-1/2)
Cost 55-37 = 18 points and cost 2 END/Shot.  
 
 
Summary of the Showdown Rules from the old Western Hero book.

A showdown normally occurs when both characters have the option to act, and they must both make rolls to see who will act first. The normally happens when one or both characters are holding an action or when a character has another one covered. In all other situations use the normal Combat Sequence in the Hero Rulesbook.

When one or more players try to act at the same time, each character declares his intended action. Characters doing a defensive action (one he can abort to) go first. A character covering his target, and not distracted, goes next. If a character had his target covered but was distracted, he loses the cover and must roll.

Any character not performing a defensive action or attacking a covered target must roll. A character's declared actions can modify his DEX or Fast Draw roll. Remember that a character with the Fast Draw skill is assumed to be able to draw and fire as a 1/2 PHA action.

When one or both characters are drawing a weapon, their equipment may also modify their roll. Modifiers for equipment if the character already has his weapon drawn.

SHOWDOWN MODIFIERS
Action Modifiers

Declare a 1/2 PHA Action . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Declare two 1/s PHA Actions . . . . . . . . .-3
Declare a Full PHA Action . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+1
Hip Shot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 per -1 OCV
Weapon Arm/Hand Impaired . . . . . . . . . .-3
Using Weapon with Off Hand . . . . . . . . . -3
Drawing a Weapon Modifiers
Buffalo Rifle, Army Rifle or Carbine. . . . . . -5
Repeating Rifle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -4
Repeating Carbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Long Barrel Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-3
Normal Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-2
Fast Draw Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -1
All Bows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-6
All Long Melee Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . -5
All Normal Melee Weapons. . . . . . . . . . . -3
All Short Melee Weapons. . . . . . . . . . . . -1
Any Unfamiliar Weapon . . . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Drawing Hardware Modifiers
Various netsters said...

 

A man walked about 18-20 miles per day (though I am sure this is with rests and a leisurely pace)
A man on a horse could move about 18-24 miles per day (with resting and not pushing the horse too too hard) and max out at about 40 miles in a day if he really pushed it and wanted to risk the horse.
Mule Trains moved about 12-15 miles per day.
Wagon Trains moved about 12 miles per day
Conestoga Wagons (with 3 pairs of draft horses) moved about 12-18 miles per day
 
The Equipment Guide (on page 51) has some real nice rules on Fanning (or Fan-Firing). Basically to do this one would buy Autofire as a Naked advantage costed out this way: 37 (the Active cost of the most expensive revolver) * 1.5 (1/2 Autofire Advantage) = 55 pts (55.5 rounded down in favor of PC), subtract the Active Points of the revolver/improved attack form the total points (as you already paid for those). Then hit it with Only Works with Single-Action Revolver (-1/4) and Requires a Shooting Tricks Roll (-1/2)
Cost 55-37 = 18 points and cost 2 END/Shot.  
 
 
Summary of the Showdown Rules from the old Western Hero book.

A showdown normally occurs when both characters have the option to act, and they must both make rolls to see who will act first. The normally happens when one or both characters are holding an action or when a character has another one covered. In all other situations use the normal Combat Sequence in the Hero Rulesbook.

When one or more players try to act at the same time, each character declares his intended action. Characters doing a defensive action (one he can abort to) go first. A character covering his target, and not distracted, goes next. If a character had his target covered but was distracted, he loses the cover and must roll.

Any character not performing a defensive action or attacking a covered target must roll. A character's declared actions can modify his DEX or Fast Draw roll. Remember that a character with the Fast Draw skill is assumed to be able to draw and fire as a 1/2 PHA action.

When one or both characters are drawing a weapon, their equipment may also modify their roll. Modifiers for equipment if the character already has his weapon drawn.

SHOWDOWN MODIFIERS
Action Modifiers

Declare a 1/2 PHA Action . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Declare two 1/s PHA Actions . . . . . . . . .-3
Declare a Full PHA Action . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+1
Hip Shot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 per -1 OCV
Weapon Arm/Hand Impaired . . . . . . . . . .-3
Using Weapon with Off Hand . . . . . . . . . -3
Drawing a Weapon Modifiers
Buffalo Rifle, Army Rifle or Carbine. . . . . . -5
Repeating Rifle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -4
Repeating Carbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Long Barrel Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-3
Normal Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-2
Fast Draw Revolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -1
All Bows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-6
All Long Melee Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . -5
All Normal Melee Weapons. . . . . . . . . . . -3
All Short Melee Weapons. . . . . . . . . . . . -1
Any Unfamiliar Weapon . . . . . . . . . . . . . -3
Drawing Hardware Modifiers
Fast Draw Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1
Hipshooting Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+1
Spring-sleeve Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+2

Set = If the attacker is Set on his target he gets this bonus.
Holster Modifiers only apply if the weapon must be drawn.
Fast Draw Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1
Hipshooting Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+1
Spring-sleeve Holster . . . . . . . . . . . . . .+2

Set = If the attacker is Set on his target he gets this bonus.
Holster Modifiers only apply if the weapon must be drawn. 

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Yay, I'm available Sunday January 5 for the Roleplaying Meet & Greet!  This is at the Guild of Blades game store  

between 1pm and 5pm to talk with and see what types of games and game groups each game master, including me, is looking to establish.
28736 John R Road 
Madison Height, MI 48071

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Saddle Up! LXA (League of Extraordinary Americans)  Metro Detroit, MI - Hero 5r - GM - seeking players

Play Location/Method: Metro Detroit,MI/face-to-face

Game/System: Hero 5r

Player or GM? I'm the GM in this campaign

Time/Frequency: Roughly once monthly, Friday, Saturday or Sunday 

Genre: Old West 

Current needs: Additional players, age 16+ 

Accept Drop-In Players? No

Accept Spectators? No

Short description of the setting/campaign: 

PCs are citizens of Promise City, Arizona, or outsiders friendly to Promise City. The PCs come from varied Old West backgrounds for missions of investigation, retrieval, intelligence, diplomacy, troubleshooting, et al.

 

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Looks like we'll start the 17th or 24th.  Holla if you plan to join us, and tell me which date is better for you.  Also, see above, post #53, for this Sunday's Meet and Greet!


 


Happy Happy New New Year Dear!


 


Anybody use the conversion rules in Western Hero for the Boot Hill characters?  If so, please send converted characters to will(dot)geiger@gmail(dot)com

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Cross post- A little mood music for our LXA Chargen (character generation) night tomorrow is on hold at the library for us-  Devils & dust [videorecording-DVD] / Bruce Springsteen.

      Springsteen, Bruce.
      call number:CD VOC-POP: SPRINGSTEEN         

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As far as travel per day, probably should look up look how far cowboys and the cattle herd moved per day.  Since this would likely come up eventually.  Though I think it heard somewhere (a very long time ago) about 15 miles per day provided the terrain was favorable.  I imagine wagon trains and cattle herds would be slowed considerably at rivers and uneven terrain.

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Late March, 1869.  Our hero Farseer Desjardins, a Potawatomi Indian from Michigan, was on the westbound coach from Dragoon Springs to Promise City, Arizona.  A tall fellow who looked like Rhett Butler, three army officers, and three attractive women were on board with him.

 
Lieutenant Newburgh stated that they were on the Oxbow route, served before the war twice a week each way by the Butterfield Overland Mail.  Fort Bowie was the only Butterfield stagecoach stop built from stone, due to the stone being locally sourced or Apache conflicts or both.  After the War between the States,  Butterfield was bought by Wells Fargo, and service was reduced to weekly.
 
Farseer asked the blonde, who looked like Scarlett Johansson, where the ladies were bound. 
"Promise City- we're taxi dancers."
 
"What are taxi dancers?"
 
"Performers who travel from town-to-town.  Our dance tickets are paid for by locals.  Sometimes new girls come as frequently as weekly, so if a dance hall advertises new girls monthly, they exceed expectations.
 
"Why do you do that?  Do you enjoy travel?"
 
"Yes, and to save the family farm."
 
"Where's your farm?"
 
"Savannah- that's my name, too."
 
"So I can call you my Georgia peach?"
 
Savannah rolled eyes.  "I've only been called that two hundred times this month."
 
"So what do you grow on your farm?"
 
"Peaches and pecans."
 
Farseer wryly smiled.
 
The army men introduced themselves, as did the man in immaculate, costly civilian clothes- "My name is Colonel Beauregard.  I own a mansion and a yacht."  The other officers were Major Minor and Captain Bragg.
 
Elsewhere, on the west end of Promise City by the so-called river (really just a wide but shallow stream), the rest of our heroes enjoyed the breeze.  Several of them fished.  They talked for a while.  Crazy Doc looked at the sparkling stream.  "Do you know how to make holy water?  You boil the hell out of it.  Don't drink the water- fish $^%* in it.  Buy my root beer.  It's made with an ancient Chinese secret- 80 year old ginseng, the elixir of life."
 
Player Marcus interjected, "It's made with ancient Chinese?  Very rare."
 
GM Will, "Hush, your character is not there."
 
"The mayor here is a genius.  There's no town square now because he and the City lawyer Sandoval 'Papi' Perez let out the lots on 99 year leases.  We still have the waterfront park,  The City books are open, finances are clean." said Crazy Doc.
 
Roland Deschain introduced himself.
"You are wrapped in the chains of destiny," replied Crazy Doc, "and there is no escape for you."
 
"What?" asked Roland, bemused.
 
"Better listen," said Promise City Mayor Buford Marston.  "Doc's never been wrong."
 
"When the voices in your head will only talk to each other, not you, that's trouble," quipped Crazy Doc.
 
John "Hombre" Russell mentioned that he was looking for his mother and his sister.  He was spirited away from his burning farm when he was only four years old, by local Apaches.  His father died in the conflagration, and until recently, he thought that his mother and sister died, too. 
 
"I'm not sure how the fire started.  All I know is that my mother and sister have unusual eyes, like mine.  Do any of you know someone like this?"  Hombre leveled his cornflower blue gaze upon them.
 
"Maybe," replied Mayor Buford Marston with a start.  His wife's eyes looked just like this!  "Come to my ranch with me."
 
They repaired to the hacienda, while the others walked into town.
 
Outlaying houses were pueblo style, two stories without doors or windows.  Access was via ladders, to defend against Apaches.  Mineral paints cheered up the buildings, so unlike raw wood of new western towns.  Further into town, structures were more modern and less fortified.
 
Sam Wright saw the stage come in.  He approached the best dressed person, Colonel Beauregard.  "Welcome to Promise City.  I'm the undertaker, carpenter, mason and gun dealer."
 
"I'm Colonel Beauregard.  I own a mansion and and a yacht.  I'd like to see your firearms."  He did not say, "Make three coffins."
 
After their transactions, Sam went to the doctor's office.  "Good morning, Nurse Violet.  How is Miss Smith doing?"  Miss Smith was very advanced in years.
 
"Fine, Mr. Wright," Violet glowered at him, as if he were a circling vulture.
 
Roland went to the sheriff's office.  He saw a Wanted poster on the wall, the culprit looked just like the Mayor!  "Deputy, is this Mayor Marston?":
 
"No," Deputy Dawson replied, "That's his evil twin, John.  The Mayor's name is Buford."  He turned to continue conversation with Colonel Beauregard.
 
Roland casually pocketed the poster.
 
"Deputy," said the Colonel, "I'm going to check in by this time every day.  If I'm late, open this envelope."  Then he walked out of the office before Dawson formed a reply.
 
"Deputy," said Roland quietly, "it sounds like that man is looking for trouble, and expects to find it.  If I were you, I'd open that envelope now."
 
"I may do that," replied Dawson, "when there are no witnesses."
 
Back at the ranch, Buford Marston invited John Russell to take a seat, and excused himself to go talk to his wife.
 
"Do you remember the day your farm burned down - the day your son went missing?"
 
Abigail blanched, and sat abruptly down on the bed.  She had never discussed this with her husband.
 
"Take my arm, wife, and come with me."
 
The Marstons slowly stepped into the parlor.  Abigail's eyes widened two pairs of cornflower blue gazes met.  "Johnny!"  They embraced, and Buford hugged them too.
 
"Son, I'm happy to meet you.  I'm late to an appointment- come and go as you please."
 
Buford and John (John and John?) walked into town.
 
Our heroes drifted into the saloon.  Crazy Doc sold his root beer to the barkeep.  The Colonel bought the first round of drinks, including several root beers, and his Honor bought meals.  The root beer got mixed reviews.
 
"Gentlemen, I've heard good things about you.  Arizona has a job for you.  We need an item conveyed to Utah, for the joining of the transcontinental railroad," said Buford.  He was talking about the Golden Spike, actually one of four.  Our heroes decided to strike out overland, northbound, through the mountain ranges.  They felt there were less chance of ambush, as opposed to taking the stage west.  "Ya'll can keep some gear at my place."
 
Farseer and Mr. Wright enlisted locals to help them make arrows, and purchased same.  
 
Hombre hiked into the mountains to find his Apache family.  He stumbled across Snake Woman, the shaman, first.
 
"What have you brought me?" she inquired, with a steady, sinister gaze.
 
Hombre handed her a wooden canteen.
 
"What do you want?" she asked.
 
"I'm looking for my parents."
 
"Wait here."
 
An hour later, Hombre's foster father, Particular Time of Day, appeared.
 
"Father, I'll be gone for a while."
 
"Take these, son."  The gifts were Particular Time of Day's fur hat, his buffalo hide coat, and ten pounds of pemmican- a trail mix of meat, berries and lard.
 
Back at the ranch,  Colonel Beauregard arrived and asked to speak privately to Mayor Marston.  
 
"Of course, we'll use my study."
 
In the sunlit room, the Colonel drew his revolver, aiming it at Marston's chest.  "John Marston, you are under arrest.  Come quietly, and I'll put in a good word for you."
 
Swift as a rattlesnake's strike, Marston pulled and aimed his shooting iron.
 
Col. Beauregard shot Marston, merely grazing his right forearm. 
 
Marston fired twice, once at the Colonel's torso, and once at his handgun.  He missed.
 
The Colonel did not miss- he shot Marston in the abdomen.  Marston collapsed, unconscious.  Col. Beauregard hog-tied him, and put him in a jute burlap sack, bringing him out of the house with a fireman's carry.
 
Several days later, Roland arrived to check on the ranch, and found signs of the struggle.  With difficulty, he tracked the Colonel progress east to the Wells Fargo office.  
 
The station master advised Roland that the last coach was westbound.  Roland handed him a dollar, "Pass the word, I'm headed eastbound."
 
"You mean westbound?"
 
"Yes, westbound."   
 
Roland ran out of the office, leaped onto his horse, galloping off to the west in a cloud of dust.
 
[The email version on the site below includes five pictures.]
 

 

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Our Doc suggested, last session, something smaller than the following could avoid getting bogged down.  Different materials to save weight could help, such as a high strength steel frame and no window glass.  "Substitute oil-cloth curtains?"

 
"No," replied Mr. Wright.  "Cinders from the smoke stack are an issue."
 
Click this pic!
 
 

post-9907-0-60146500-1392065645_thumb.jpg

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Ex-Pony Express rider Johnny Fry was enlisted by our Wells Fargo station master to race around and advise our heroes that the Mayor was kidnapped on the westbound express coach!

 

Johnny+Fry.jpg

 
"I've got to help him," said Hombre.  "He shared his hospitality and his family with me."
 
Two riders overheard this, a Texan and an Indian- the Lone Ranger and Tonto, or Toro, as he was known in the Southwest, since Tonto is Spanish for moron. 
 
Our hero Sam Wright decided to drive his hearse, which Mai Wan, the wife of his worker Crazy Doc, readied for him.  She piled on supplies that she had already waiting- 
 
Firepower: rifle, shotgun, bullet and shot pouches, lead, bullet molds, shot, powder horn and powder, gun wads and percussion caps.
 
Cooking and eating utensils: matches, kettle, skillet, tin coffee pot, tin cups and plates, covered stew pot, frying pan, coffee mill, knives, forks and spoons.
 
General Items: knife, two hatchets, marble whetstone, ropes, candles, cedar bucket, 5-gallon keg, and a waterproof tarp.
 
Sam was impressed.
 
Our heroes took the dusty road west, catching up with each other at the river.  After some polite gestures, John "Hombre" jumped in Sam's wagon.  Others included the John Reid (the Lone Ranger), Toro (Tonto), Farseer (Potowatomi halfbreed), and Roland (outworlder).
 
Downstream, several Apache braves were breaking a wild bronco in the river.  Hombre explained that this slowed the horse, and tired it faster, and cushioned a rider's fall.  More polite gestures were exchanged, and our heroes safely forded the river.
 
Meanwhile, it was occurring to our heroes that catching an express coach that had a five hour lead was virtually impossible.  Several knew that such coaches stopped to trade horse teams roughly every twelve miles, and trade coachmen roughly every forty miles.  The coach does not stop for the night.  Schedules were tight to comply with government mail contracts.
 
They discussed stopping at the nearest telegraph office to send word ahead.  Unfortunately, that was behind them in Promise City.  They also discussed tapping the roadside telegraph line, but none were skilled in such activity.
 
They pulled up to the stage office, the only Butterfield express stop made of stone, a local material.  Of course, Apache attacks may have factored in to the construction choice, too.  Staff advised them that there was no telegraph here or at the adjacent Fort Bowie.
 
Like most forts in the Old West, this was not walled.  However, several of our heroes noticed shadows moving among the perimeter boulders, likely soldiers on picket duty.
 
Our heroes rode into the fort, and were greeted by Lt. Newburgh.  He was questioned about the kidnapped Mayor and the felonious Colonel Beauregard.  
 
"They're both in the brig.  Would you like to visit them?"
 
Our heroes disarmed themselves at the Army's request, and walked into the guardroom, already occupied the Preacher (no one ever heard his name, looked like Clint Eastwood), Abigail Marston (the Mayor's wife), Sandoval "Papi" Perez (the City Attorney), a corporal and a sergeant.  The prisoners were in the adjacent cellblock, with a vacant cell between them. 
 
Buford remonstrated bitterly with Colonel Beauregard, for arresting him in his own house.
 
"You chose the venue, sir."
 
Roland also chastised Colonel Beauregard.
 
Abigail said, "I will never leave you," to her husband.
 
The commanding officer entered, Colonel George Washington Bowie.  The soldiers came to attention.  Our heroes stared at his face, until they realized what compelled their gaze was that he had one blue eye and one brown eye.
 
7219962_131154642711.jpg
 
"My old comrade, Colonel Beauregard!  Please join me in my study."
 
The corporal released Beauregard from his cell.  As he exited the cellblock and then the guardroom, he noted there were two soldiers in the hall, one on each side of the outside of the door, with rifles at shoulder arms.  Colonel Bowie and Counselor Perez preceded him, the rifleman followed him.
 
"Have a seat, gentlemen," Colonel Bowie said.  "Thank you, men, return to your duties."  Bowie sat behind his plain wooden desk.
 
"Why was I locked up?" asked Colonel Beauregard.
 
"Colonel, is Scarlett Jackson your wife?" asked Counsellor Perez.
 
"Yes, sir, why do you ask?"
 
"She entered a complaint of non-support."
 
"That does not hold here in the Territory of Arizona, and she is treated generously."
 
"Actually, extradition is easier, here, but you may have something.  I have a proposal for you, and you're free to go in any case."
 
"I suppose the $500 reward is out of the question, since I did not capture Marston."
 
"You certainly did capture Marston, and my proposal relates to the reward.  What if you sent her part of the reward in the form of a bank check, with a Memorandum in small print, Support in full?  We'd all attest to this in writing, and have the check photographed."
 
"That's an interesting idea.  Where's my gear?"
 
Perez reached behind Bowie's desk and pulled out Beauregard's equipment.  "With pleasure, sir.  I hope you will consider honoring your commitment to accompany the Golden Spike to Utah.  You're welcome to decline, of course.  What will you do?"
 
"I will help."
 
Beauregard wrote a check for $450 for Scarlett.  That left him $50 from the reward.  Papi gave him various documents.  Beauregard took his gear outside.
 
Next, Marston was brought out of his cell.  He declined to go to Bowie's study.  "Anything said can be said right here, in front of my family.  I'm not the bank robber."
 
Papi replied, "We have a stack of affidavits that say you are.  We may have a deal for you."
 
 "What are you talking about?"
 
"Enlist with the Army for six years, and your record will be wiped clean, since you did not kill anyone."
 
Hombre argued, "The 2nd Maine enlisted for only one year! [Two years -GD.]"
 
"They weren't charged with bank robbery."
 
"He hasn't been convicted!"
 
"That's why a plea bargain is on the table." 
 
Marston: "Will I have the same chance for advancement as anyone else?"
 
Colonel Bowie, "Yes.  You will help Lt. Newburgh guard the Golden Spike."
 
Marston was sworn in and kitted out.
 
Newburgh quietly asked Wright to see him behind the woodshed.  With some trepidation, Wright complied.
 
"I'd like to buy one of your revolvers," said the Lieutenant.
 
"That'll be a couple hundred dollars."
 
"You have the decimal point misplaced, and if you miss your period, you may be pregnant."
 
Back out front, Colonel Beauregard spoke frostily to Roland, "I trust my point has been made.  No man touches or challenges me without redress."
 
Roland, "I apologize."
 
Our heroes and rode back towards Promise City, some of them on the caisson (ammunition wagon) enroute town for supplies. 
 
They recrossed the river, and stopped at the Marston hacienda.
 
Crazy Doc awaited them.
 
"Colonel, why do you have an army rank?  I thought you were a maritime blockade runner."
 
"That's not what I did first."
 
Our heroes noticed that Crazy Doc and Private Marston had a couple parallel scars on their right cheeks, an interesting match.  Beauregard thought this was fascinating, but since he just met them, it wasn't appropriate to ask them about this yet.
 
Abigail handed out linen dusters and leather chaps to the party, giving Beauregard his last.
 
Beauregard, "I hope you find it in your heart to find some measure of forgiveness for me, as I help your husband."
 
She gave him a measured, flinty stare, "Bring him back to me unharmed."
 
 

-w

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."  -Will Rogers

 

 

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The territory's silver and gold mines and the herds of cattle here and across the border in Mexico were all just waiting to be plundered.  It was if Hedley Lamarr, the glib conniver in Blazing Saddles, had assembled his personal army of deviants here.  "Round up ever vicious criminal and gunslinger in the West," Lamarr told his doofus factotum, played by the inimitable Slim Pickens.  "I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits...vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers....bushwackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves....train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers...."  Just sprinkle in your odd burglar, smuggler, arsonist, rapist, bigamist, claim jumper, cardsharp, hooker, and old-fashioned highwayman, and you had the Arizona criminal community down to a T.  -Paul Martin, from Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues

 
A horseman rode from Promise City, trailing dust as the day waned, towards our heroes, who were sitting on the Marston veranda.  They cautiously readied themselves.
 
The horseman was an Indian wearing fringed buckskin, locally known as Toro.  He handed a map to Hombre.
tonto2a.jpg
"What is this for?"  asked Hombre.  It was a trail map, south to north across Arizona Territory.
 
"Faithful white companion asked me to help you.  May I have your stuff when you are dead?"
 
"Sounds fair.  May I have your stuff when you are dead?"
 
"Faithful white companion has first dibs.  You have second."
 
"What is your companion's name?"
 
"He is Jack.  You don't know Jack."
 
Colonel Beauregard, bemused, interjected, "If I didn't know better, I'd swear you two were trading insults."
 
Toro, "My English not good."
 
Our heroes again noticed the matching facial scars shared by Buck Private Marston and Crazy Doc.
 
"Why do you have matching scars?" asked Hombre.  
 
"We ran afoul of a local vigilante, La Gata," replied Crazy Doc.
lavigilante.jpg
Inside, Lieutenant Newburgh washed dishes.  "Finish this up, Private."
 
Buford Marston glanced at his wife, Abigail, who stepped forward and took over the dirty dishes chore.
 
Marston said, "I need to talk to you and my son privately, Lieutenant."
 
Newburgh said, "Now is good.  What is on your mind, Private?"
 
Colonel Beauregard said, "I'm going to town."
 
Sam Wright, "I'll go with you."
 
The two rode off.
 
Col. "Which general store is best?"
 
Sam, "Cook's."
 
It was closed.  Riding on to the Cook residence, a boy played banjo outside, singing like a nine-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
 
"Junior," said Sam, "we're here to see your dad."
 
As the son entered the home, Sam said, "The father is Sam Cook, Sr."
 
Senior came to the door, inviting them in.  Wright made introductions.
 
"Forgive me for the lateness of the hour," said the Colonel.  "I would never have presumed without the good offices of Mr. Wright."
 
"How may I help you, Colonel?"
 
"I need to make amends with Mrs. Marston.  What would you suggest I buy for her home?"
 
"I have just the thing, sir, imported from England, Blue Willow China."
 
As they left the Cook home, Junior, thankfully, was playing a harmonica, precluding him from banshee caterwauling.
 
They ventured back to the store, Cook admitting them with his key.  He carefully wrapped the dishes in newspaper.  Our heroes saw a horrible story in the paper about thirteen schoolgirls from Ogden, Utah, our destination, disappearing at the same time.
slender-man-1895.jpg
 

After shopping, the Colonel and Wright gambled half the night away with locals.  Col. Beauregard spent the rest of the night in the arms of local saloon-keeper Mustang Sally, she of the wavy chestnut locks.


 
Back at the Marston ranch, Buford confided in Lt. Newburgh and Hombre.  "I felt a shadow pass over my grave ever since the Colonel met me in the study.  Take these- fake Spikes, made with pyrite instead of gold, nickel instead of silver.  Use them as needed."

 

Wright returned to the ranch.  

 

The next morning, many people met them at the east side of the river, to send them off.  Speeches and gifts were given.  City Attorney Perez spoke in English, then in Spanish.  Wright allowed as how the transcontinental railroad would not only fulfill the promise of these United States, and our namesake Promise City, but would propel Arizona Territory into statehood, to lusty cheers.

 

Colonel George Washington Bowie, accompanied by Major Minor, gave each of our League of Extraordinary Americans a bowie knife, and the loan of a pack horse apiece.

 

Loan, silently fumed Colonel Beauregard.

 

Abigail Marston provided leather chaps, sheep hide with the curly pelt intact.  Colonel Beauregard, the clotheshorse, declined his pair.

 

Marston's little daughter hugged him goodbye.

 

Colonel Beauregard, "Mr. Marston, would you consent to having a sunroom added to your home, by way of apology?"  He gave him the fine china.

 

Buford, "We'll let the missus decide that."

 

Hombre's mother, Spring Breeze Woman, and his aunt embraced him.  Teary-eyed, his aunt First Light at Morning Woman murmured an allergy complaint.

 

And the LXA were off, northward bound.  They made good speed on the road.  Late in the day, this devolve to a mountain trail.  Soon, our heroes made camp, ate over a cook fire, and picked watches, two at a time.  Some comment was made about watching each other, not just elsewhere.

 

We picked up the trail after breakfast.  Ahead was a figure holding a staff.  Wright noticed several others hiding behind boulders.  

 

Hombre approached the man blocking the trail, introducing himself.  

 

"I am Red Rope," replied the shaman, bearing a large coup stick.  "Your Iron Spine will cause the demise of the buffalo and the Red Man.  However, the Ghost Dance will transform the White Men into buffalo.  What will the Ghost Dance do to you?"  He bludgeoned Hombre in the head with his 6' stick, felling him like an ox at a slaughter house.

 

Shots rang out, but the first ones were from our heroes.  Several Indians were struck, but not the shaman.

 

"Hot air refracts light and tricks the eye," mocked the spell-caster.  

 

This mirage did not serve him long, as Wright gunned him down.  

 

We took fire, and several of us were severely injured, including the Lieutenant, who was unconscious in his saddle.  Miraculously, he did not fall- his horse continued trotting forward, with him still upright in saddle.

 

Firing again at the Papago Indians, the four survivors, including two wounded, fled up the mountain side, ducking behind boulders.

 

Crazy Doc's smelling salts brought Hombre back to consciousness.  We imbibed the sparkling mineral water provided by Snake Woman of the Mountain. It healed us completely!

 

Infuriated, Colonel Beauregard decapitated Red Rope's corpse, and advised we chase down the survivors.  "We can't let them get reinforcements."

 

Our wounded stayed behind to guard the horses.  Marston took point, tracking the Papago.  We found all four- two binding the wounds of the other two, and gunned them down.

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We proceeded north along the mountain trail.

 
Meanwhile, back in Promise City, Attorney Sandoval 'Papi' Perez handed mail to Farseer and Roland. "Please deliver these."  Mind you, a couple letters were addressed to them, so they opened them, a Carte Blanche apiece (see website below) and...
 
[image: Presidential Seal]
 

Dear League of Extraordinary Americans,                     January 25, 1869                                                                                                                            

Thank you for your service.  Another opportunity for you to serve is available in Detroit, Michigan, protecting the interests of school children and their defenders.

H. M. Cheeve and D. E. & H. M. Duffield are arguing before the 36th District Court of Michigan that Joseph Workman's son, and all other colored children in Detroit, can not legally be segregated from whites in the public schools.

Our allies include the following:

Fannie Richards was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about 1840 and moved to Detroit as a young girl with her family during the 1850s. She received her early education in the public schools of Detroit, then went to Toronto, where she studied English, history, drawing and needlework. She later returned to Detroit to attend the Teachers Training School. In 1863 she opened a private school for colored children. Her appointment to segregated Colored School No. 2, administered by the Detroit Board of Education, came two years later.

 

John Bagley, born in 1832, is a wealthy tobacco manufacturer. He is involved in mining, banking and insurance corporations in the city. He serves as a member of the Detroit Board of Education.

This year the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.  Richards and Bagley are two of several liberal-minded citizens who are helping finance a lawsuit against Detroit's racially segregated school system. 

Workman's attorneys base their case on Act No. 34, Laws of Michigan (1867): "All residents of any district shall have an equal right to attend any school therein: Provided that this shall not prevent the grading of schools according to the intellectual progress of the pupils, to be taught in separate places when deemed expedient."

The school board argues that the 1867 law did not pertain to the city of Detroit since there was but one district in the city. The board further argued that the city schools were governed by a separate charter, which exempted them from Act 34 and allowed them to establish separate schools for coloreds.

Counsel for the board states: "There exists among a large majority of the white population of Detroit a strong prejudice or animosity against colored people, which is largely transmitted to the children in the schools, and that this feeling would engender quarrels and contention if colored children were admitted to the white schools."

A major force supporting Workman is the Second Baptist Church, located on Monroe Street, where Fannie Richards teaches Sunday School. Since its organization in 1836, Second Baptist had been an influential force in the social, political and educational development of Detroit's colored community. The church assisted escaping slaves along the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War and helped form the Amherstburg Baptist Association through which Baptist churches in Detroit and Canada aided fugitive slaves.

Your mission, gentlemen, should you decide to accept it, is to defend and protect the principals of this case until it concludes.  Should any of our LXA be caught or killed, I will disavow any knowledge of your actions.  Destroy the top and bottom of this letter.  Good luck, gentlemen.  

[image: Mr. Grant's signature] 

 

U.S. Grant.

***********************************************
Counsellor Perez mentioned that the LXA was founded after the assassination of President Lincoln.  Roland passed this along to our heroes when they caught up with each other.
 
By 3:10 PM, we reached a Yuma Indian party, and shared lunch with them, including super-adulterated cactus juice and pecan brandy.  They taught us the hide the button game, and we won two for three, securing two flasks of Snake Woman of the Mountain's sparkling mineral water, healing elixir, for our prizes.  Our Colonel graciously gave the Yumi more pecan brandy.
 
The following morning, some of us were worse for the wear, too much drinking.  The Colonel mounted his horse backwards.  Crazy Doc mixed up an elixir including two grains of deadly nightshade, with reduced the hangover symptoms greatly.  In a few hours, we were all alert.
 
Later, we were ambushed by Zuni Indians, including their shaman, Magic Bullet, who was far away on the reverse slope of a grassy knoll to the east.  He escaped, wounded, though the rest of his party died at our hands, including* a captive we released.  Roland wanted to kill the captive, so he would not betray our presence.  Hombre would not countenance this slaying in cold blood.  Col. Beauregard had a quiet, intense discussion with Roland.  Lieutenant Newburgh and Private Marston were badly wounded.  It defied reason that yet again, the severely injured Bad Lieutenant did not fall off his horse, and it quietly carried him around a canyon bend, out of Magic Bullet's field of fire.
 
Roland covertly asked Crazy Doc to poison the released Zuni.
 
We rode up the Long Canyon trail, which turned out to be a dead end.  We pitched camp near here.
 
The following day was rough riding, and then the terrain became even more rugged.  We had to lead our horses.  Then we found a better trail, and a Navajo village.  The odor of roasting pork and chipotle filled the air, but our Colonel blanched.  It reminded him of the fires of Sherman's March, and the scent of burning human flesh.
 
The Navajo invited us to lunch.  No, not like that.
 
Their best archer was huge, 6'8, long glossy hair like a raven's wing, wide shoulders, tapered waist, and very handsome.  We introduced ourselves.  His name was Grand Performance.  "That's what she said."
 
Farseer wanted an archery contest.
 
A young Navajo girl lured Colonel Beauregard into an alley.  "Don't compete with Grand Performance.  The shaman said he has short muscle attachments, like a bear.  He's even stronger than he looks."
 
"Why would you tell me this?"
 
"I'm sure you can make it up to me," she replied, batting her eyes.
 
 "Let's go for accuracy," said Farseer.  "That's a better test than range," he said, looking at Grand Performance's unusual recurved bow.  Stakes were agreed upon.  Grand Performance won two for three.  He graciously let Farseer keep the prize.
 
Colonel Beauregard hired Grand Performance to accompany them to the Arizona Territory border, for the price of a healing elixir.
 
We bedded down for the night, with the usual pairs of watch standers trading off.  The Colonel had nightmares.
 
The following day, we continued north.  A goat on the mountainside tempted the Colonel.  "Shoot his leg, Farseer, in such a way that he falls down towards us."
 
Farseer missed.
 
Grand Performance did not.  The goat came tumbling down, getting tenderized enroute.  Grand Performance made an effort not to look at Farseer.
 
"Broke Goat Mountain," quipped Sam Wright.
 

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Ah, forgot to mention in print that after Farseer and Roland caught up, our heroes visited the town of Patagonia.  At a tavern, Colonel Beauregard charmed his way into the warm arms of the owner, Colleen O'Shaunessy.  Roland, with the help of local boy Ted, staged a marksmanship show.  Roland performed flawlessly.  Ted collected three hats full of contributions!  Roland tipped him handsomely.

 
On the trail, Roland shot a jackalope.  "I'm gonna trademark Jack-A-Jerk trail food."
jackalope-67767.jpg
 
"There's no such thing as jackalopes," murmured Crazy Doc.  "You're more buggers than I am."
 
At the Navajo village, the young girl who tipped off the Colonel was Sweet Night Woman. 

 

 

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A few old grizzled mountain men types could be fun; did Jim Bridger really die before then, or just fake his death?  Do you want to go really wild with guys like Pecos Bill and John Henry?  Tall Tales give some fascinting possibilities.   Hopalong Cassidy, and the Sacketts from Louis L'Amour's series would be interesting options as well.  Tell Sackett was a legend.

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