Making their way out of the mines, the posse was summoned by the mayor of Independence, thanking them for helping resume production of the steel and coal that would be needed if Independence was serious about attracting a railroad into town. He doubly appreciated Jed’s incendiary assistance with the troublesome paperwork that he was dealing with (though, unfortunately, the respite was short-lived).
Awaking fresh in the morning, Old Henry sat dumbfounded by the invention of the bartender… Whiskey Eggs. The Marshal now notes that there might be a complication as to the development of the teleporting train Old Henry was so obsessed with, as he has been fielding questions regarding the development of Whiskey Chickens, which would assuredly create whiskey eggs.
Hearing sounds of commotion, Tsura found Marsha Townsend about to give a child a thrashing. It seemed that, in the night, someone had gone through town, slaughtering chickens and cats, and crucifying them with their own innards. With the town so on edge to make a good impression for the Railroad Committee, they were quick to blame the orphans that were wandering around town, especially with some evidence pointing to their involvement.
Tsura stated that she and her compatriots would get to the bottom of this, taking the orphan into her custody. During the interview that followed, the following was learned:
1. The children were sure it must have been the work of some boogeyman (which totally don’t exist)
2. Old Henry is really good at making small children cry.
3. Bacon solves all problems.
Letting those with more social inclinations handle that bit, Pat began searching around town, noticing that there seemed to be a two separate trails that weaved through the destruction. Finally, he came to a tree in the central square, where the trail of broken twigs and leaves seemed to come to an end.
Gathering the posse, they were in the middle of investigating the issue when the dirt next to Jed’s feet sprayed up.
Turning around, the posse found that the Bradbury gang had hired some outside muscle. Sensing the skills of another gunslinger, Pat challenged him to a duel. As the bullets flew, it was clear that Pat was simply was the better shot (or that the Marshall completely misunderstood the rules, take your pick), taking the gunslinger down before he knew what hit him.
Unfortunately, the Bradbury gang wasn’t keen on playin’ fair, drawing their guns as soon as they realized their champion was going to take a dirt nap. When the dust settled, the only corpses were that of the Bradbury Gang.
Dusting themselves off, the posse realized they would likely need to set some sort of stakeout for whatever was doin’ the murderin’ of chickens. Finding that Tim Sullivan had managed to whip up a pack of dogs to be of assistance, they waited for nightfall, sending the dogs (with some divine assistance) into the darkness to figure out what was goin’ on.
Almost immediately, the hounds found a trail to follow, bringing them to a duo of Boogeymen in the middle of the act. Not taking kindly to being figured out, they attacked, stabbing with their pointy (and impossibly sharp) twig hands.
Destroying them, however, seemed to have only angered their leader, King Twig, who viciously tore into Jed. Injured, but victorious, they sent for a doctor.
Later, they made a note to find a better doctor.
Taking care of business as they waited for the Independence Fourth of July Poker Tournament and Festival, Tsura learned that someone had learned her huckster secret, and that both the Rangers and Agency seemed to be homing in… but was it for her, or was something else on the way?