From a letter written by curate Father Connor O’Duddleswell to Father Peter Stampfl, of St. Boniface Catholic Church.
August 19, 1889
Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Dear Father Peter,
If you are reading this somehow, I cannot attest to my current condition. I may be facing Heavenly Judgment when you touch this piece of scrap, and I hope you’ll say a few prayers on me behalf, Father. Sweet Virgin Mary knows I need it for sure!
I fear your efforts to quell me blasted temper was all for naught. You sent me out to spread the Gospel to the celestials, and render mercy to their poor blighted souls, but I find that I’ve sought to crack more skulls out here than I ever did in the backwater of Portland.
Presuming you’ve read my earlier missives, I shall not waste more scrap on relating what transpired before. We left the scum Enos to rot in the hole we found the deceased old satanist in, along with Vincenc and Mr. Sparks to watch over dilligently as we made our way to deliver justice upon the wayward who inflict terrible suffering on the belighted celestials who make their living in this God-forsaken wilderness.
We resumed our journey into this blighted canyon, parched of thirst but not of the drink, and ventured into a realm of curiosity. You may remember our heathen indian, Little Fish, the youth Chon and Javier subdued with little difficulty? As soon as the enuii had set in, he urges us all to seek cover. I swear, Father, I didn’t know what the little savage was going on about, but he seemed quite frightened. When I realized it was a strange rabbit with anglers the poor boy was worried about, I decided then and there to relieve him of all worry and doubt by killing the creature with the revolver I had taken. The lady Mrs. Killingsworth stayed my hand with her parasol. I wasn’t about to fire over her head, Father, so I decided to let the poor lad delude himself with visions of strange animals imposing curses on honest folk.
Now we come to the ridge, where we encountered fantastic mechanical beasts. They were punishing the very rock with high pressured water straight from the wee Snake River, Father, and they were treating the poor celestials rather cruelly. We set about a plan to overcome them.
Chon Wang and Mrs. Killingsworth, along with Mr. Gates, ventured along the river bed and snuck up next to one of the spider-like beasts. One of the ruffians discovered Chon, who took him for an ordinary coolie. He began to strike him with his whip, and for a man as capable as Chon I was dreadfully worried that this swine had actually gotten the better of Chon (Lord knows that I know the pain of the lash, administered with such passion upon yours truly from the Reverend Mother Chiaphas).
It was more than I could stand, Father. I broke from me post, with proper aim of revolver at the said foe, and decided to walk up to the coward. I broke his jaw in one blow, Father, as I am wont to do. Chon and I battled our way through the intense belching of Snake River water. I pulled the heathen swine out of the contraption, as Mr. Costillo and Maggie the Harlot delivered accurate fire on the hellions raining death upon us from the ridge above.
Javier encountered a malignant ogre appearing in the basin beyond where we were, and began his skillful wrath upon him. He unfortunately mistook one of the ruffians for a celestial coolie, who proceeded to shoot Mr. Wang indiscreetly in his backside. Mr. Wang dealt with him in his usual and effective manner. I swear, Father, Chon Wang could make a good living as a prize fighter in old Boston!
But the Good Lord is with us today, Father, and if this letter sits in your hands I pray you give me the appropriate prayers and benedictions for my immortal soul. At least shed fifty years from me time in Purgatory, I beg you! And upon us all, I daresay.
It was a long day, Father.
P.S. Tell Hanrahan that I haven’t forgotten about him. He better well show up for Mass when I get back, or there’ll be Hell to pay!