Portland 1889

The Pot Boils Over

Hello my friend,

I hope this letter is to be finding you well. From the rumors of your residence in Astor House, I take this to be true. Certainly, you have better conditions than I have discovered in the Oregon country. For haste, I will attempt to make short the events following my departing of the dissolution of the electric company. I found work here, in Portland with Mister Henry Villard as surveyor on the railroad construction. Mister Villard has been captured by natives, and I have been seeking for his rescue. In this, I have discovered people that know Mr. Villard and battle the very same natives that have captured him. I join with them and we discover the natives hold Mr. Villard for trade. Not for trade of money, but for trade of convincing miners to leave their holy places.

As I have come to discover, these miners are not of the volunteering disposition. Something has been done to these Chinese peoples that makes them compliant strangely. After being separated from my group, I was captured by the men puppeteering the Chinese peoples. They tied me and hit me many times. I will live. It was not much long before there was commotion from outside of the small wood house I was kept in, and who should come to be my rescue, but my new friends! They have with them more peoples than before and I discover from them that they have seen, in front of them the true horror of the miners’ situation. These Chinese peoples and peoples that get in way are being changed by these puppeteers through chemicals of injections.

Not long after my rescue, we discover that a Mister John Scott, that was previous to us an adversary, is actually federal agent and captured by the slaving men. I suspect there is more than finds the eyes happening. A brute-like man takes him away in a fascinating aerial gondola, hanging by cables, and we are discovered again by the slaving men. All of our weapons and materials are taken. They march us along a canyon wall, with stream cutting through.

We discovered an opportunity to hit at them and recover our weapons when the Mister Scott and his captor begin to battle in and on the aerial gondola. I was laughing to find my Spanish companion pressed like sandwich between two peoples during our battle. It gives him shelter from the gunfire though. Our big companion was able to remove several of the slaving men and compliant Chinese, but received many wounds in the process. We have with us another Chinese gentleman, a Mister Wang. A very skilled fighter, he is. Easily he dispatches many of the compliant Chinese. The Misses Killingsworth often carries with her a parasol, and without any guns of our own, I was able to fashion a rifle with this parasol (though I believe she was very unhappy to letting it go), and assist our marksman, Miss Maggie in firing at the slaving men across the stream. They have run away and we have followed over the high cliffs.

Down the slope, we have discovered two large dirigibles and a lodge with many of the slaving men in presence. They seem to be preparing for something eventful, that may prove to be dangerous to the city of Portland. I believe we will be stopping them, but I am not positive. I write to you now for our failure. If we should not stop them, you must come with all your knowledge and skills to complete our mission. This letter will arrive much after we have done our actions, but my hope is that it is not so late. You tell me once that if I have ever needed anything, that you would do it. Nikola, this I believe to be it. If we should discover success, I will write again.

Farewell and Srećno to you!
Cenek

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Past the Well of Souls

Account of Javier Castillo, written in haste in the unlikely event of our untimely demise. Our party at this point consists of myself, Mr. Chon Wang, Mr. John Gates, Mrs Eleanor Killingsworth, Mr. Bench, Father O’Duddleswell, and Mrs Maggie Callahan.

We traverse the ledge past the unnatural hole, where below the incoherent shambling bodies of people are trapped in limbo. As we prepare to leave the chamber we hear the grindings of unknown machinery and above the ceiling rolls away to let sun shine on those souls below for some undiscovered purpose. There is no sense to be made from where we are, so we press on to find a familiar face in room just past the “well of souls” as we have termed it. Jerry Putterbolt is strapped to a table in a laboratory apparently having undergone the first stages of the process that has produced the mindless “shamblers” we have encountered. He is still fairly coherent, and does mention the lab belongs to a mysterious “Professor Coltist” that we have glimpsed controlling some of the creatures sent against us so far. With ministration by the competent Mrs. Killingsworth Jerry agrees to accompany us, although light of any kind seems to cause him distress and even pain. We press on determinedly and a short time later we come to an exit from the tunnels to a canyon with a mining operation in full swing. The operation is composed of a guard tower and a shack on the side of the river closest to us and several guards overseeing the Chinese workers, who have been altered to work mindlessly in and out of another tunnel entrance on the other side of the river. Further downriver to the right of the tunnel exit, a sort of lodge house can be seen. Mr. Wang and I sneak to the guard structure opposite the shack and attempt to take the guard on top of the tower silently, but we discover a giant size wasp has taken over the bottom floor of the tower. We quickly change our plan and move to the shack where we find our wayward companion Mr Vincenc Jasa bound to a chair. We proceed to assault the guards in the canyon in our usual fashion. Mr Wang climbs the tower and knocks the guard off and jumps onto him to finish him quickly. A flying bucket contraption lands on the guard tower and the occupant leans over the edge to look down on my rifle aimed directly at his face, shortly afterwards the entire top of the tower is blown to smithereens by a “spider-bomb” released by Mr Jasa. The other guards open fire and after wounding Mr Bench badly are eventually gunned down. We proceed towards the lodge house downriver… inside we can hear voices… one very familiar, it is John Scott! He is being held prisoner and is addressed by his captor as “Special Agent Scott.” Perhaps he is not the villain we had all assumed him to be… We prepare to bust in the door to rescue him…. Que Dios nos bendiga!

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Well of Souls

There was that well, too. Deep, dark, and filled with…men? It was hard to see. They seemed to be ambling about down there, one of which was wearing a familiar hat.

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Living in interesting times...
Old taoist proverb : Rock vs Man : rock wins.

After taking over the tower and clearing the basement from snakes, we decided to follow the tunnel leading toward the mines. The old Chinese engineer we had captured explained there was quite a network down there and that he could lead us where we wanted. Could we trust this man that betrayed his own people for his own comfort ? This place was quite strange, a mix of natural and excavated tunnels, twisting and turning many times. Having this reluctant guide was almost a relief…

We came across a small subterranean lake (more of a pond actually) that blocked our passage. As Javier volunteered to cross, a giant albino lizard grabbed him and tried to bring him underwater. Luckily, the agile Spaniard managed to slip out of its iron grip with a very stylish “OLE !!”. Father D. used his rifle and we discovered that using these loud and smelly devices underground was a bad idea, as the racket stunned a couple of us, but did not harm the heavily scaled beast. Most of us jumped into the fray and made short work of the reptile.

The next encounter was peaceful but odd : As Chon Wang was scouting ahead of the group, he encountered a short man carrying a huge haversack. We discovered that this man was an geologist who used to work for the mining outfit and had left because of a “difference of opinion” about these awful people’s management methods. He explained they were digging for Ghost Rock. He gave us some directions to help us find our way, and even drew a map indicating a few possible obstacles. Obviously, the old Chinese man was trying to misguide us… One of the points of interest was a “Wizard”…

As we kept exploring the underground network, we came upon several afflicted Chinese miners, who had decayed into the last stage of the disease we’d heard about. The poor men had lost their mind entirely, and seemed drawn to and angered by our light sources. We managed to escape by turning these lights off and following the walls to pass by them unharmed.

Further along, we followed what looked like an underground canyon when the earth started shaking violently. The tremor was rattling our senses and our bones, but we managed to all climb on top of a ledge before the walls could close on us. We are indeed living in interesting times…

We kept going and realized that the temperature was increasing as we were getting closer to the mines. I finally came upon what may be the Wizard, standing in the middle of the passage, its arms wide opened… I threw a pebble toward the group to warn them and started sneaking toward him. Alas, Father D. misunderstood my sign and started charging the wizard before I could tell him… that it was just a huge stalagmite. Rock 1 – Father D 0.

Finally, we had to cross an area that seemed to have recently caved in and still seemed unstable. As we cautiously climbed the rubble one by one, our Chinese prisoner managed to escape. We needed to hurry up, as I am sure that the old traitor is going to warn his evil masters…

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One Helluva Sunburn

I killed another man. God, be merciful on me if I ever get to heaven. But I’ve never killed no one what didn’t deserve it. That man in the barrel got a hole in his chest because of me and I didn’t take any pleasure in it. Ok, maybe just a little. Chon was first to the man, to see if he was really alive or dead, as well as that Priest who’s always givin’ me the stink eye. Don’t judge me before you get to know me, Padre. The man I gunned down as a bit too pale to be workin’ out here in the West, and his hands were…dainty. Chon found a pocket watch on the dead man, and was going to put it back, but the Priest took it for his own. Or as he put it ‘for charity’. I’ll believe that when I see it. A handkerchief was found as well, with a pretty embroidery on it, and the initials B.B. on it. No man I know has ever wanted an embroidered hanky. That’s more of a woman’s deal. There was no sign of that Jackalope again, thank God, and we pressed on a little farther – and after a refreshing break on the Snake River, a viewpoint was spotted. Chon and Mrs. K went ahead to scout it out and found a lookout tower. A huge wooden thing with a giant lens thing on the top of it, a telescope, I thought heard said – and a man on each side of it. There’s no way past this thing so we have to go through it. It was decided that me, Javier and Mrs. K would go sneakin’ up on the men, to try and get the drop on ‘em. Well, when I fired, I missed my man, but Mrs. K dropped hers sure as the sun will rise. I think I even saw his brains leave his head as he toppled over the railin’.

Chon and Javier headed up the side of a rocky hill, while the Father went around the back way, lookin’ for something I reckon. After some gun jamming happened on Mrs. K’s part, and some missed shots on mine, Javier and Chon reached a gap that could be jumped, to get to that giant lookout tower. But just before Chon could jump that telescope moved and a beam of light, sunlight!, shot from it and right at the agile Chinaman! He jumped out of the way just in time to see the ground where he’d been reduced to slag. Taking the advantage he jumped, with Javier behind him, and both made it safely to the other side until a huge bug, a giant cockroach thing, attacked them. It bit Javier somethin’ fierce and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. From above the tower we were attacked with dynamite, and it almost hit us a few times, though those bastards couldn’t aim for nothin’! Mrs. K got her gun workin’ again, though it jammed again soon after. The man who’d owned that gun didn’t take care of it. We’d get it back to workin’ order, though. I promise, Sugar.

The Indians that were followin’ us showed up to give us some support and it made all the difference for us. I had stepped out to shoot at that man from before, but that lens focused on me for a moment and it fired at me, directed right at me with the help of some creep on a parallel hill with a mirror! Luckily I moved and once again the ground was nothin’ but slag. The Priest was still creepin’ around the back, headin’ up the back way of the hill the tower sat on, just in time to help pull Javier out of the way, who was seemingly dead – with his eyes open. The worst kind of dead. Chon was fightin’ that beast of a bug for a while and though it’s hide was hard, he smashed it’s face in and continued to pummel it till he killed it – in a most gruesome way. The Priest managed to kill the man who’d been throwin’ the dynamite at us and I was aimin’ to shoot at that man with the mirror when suddenly that lens contraption that shot the light at Chon and myself stopped workin’. It was help from the good Lord above, no doubt there. I took a shot again at that man holdin’ that mirror and finally got rid of him, then I got the man I’d shot at before, finally, and that was that for the men. Now all that was left was the man in the tower.

Mrs. K headed up to tend with Javier, to make sure he was alright. It turned out he was only paralyzed, which was a gift from God and while he was being tended to, Chon and the Priest headed up a rope that was hanging down from one of the balconies. There were no doors on the outside of this tower. They heard a man beating at the lens gun and swearing in a language that only Chon knew. They caught the man by surprise and interrogated the man, while the Priest began destroying the sun gun. Chon learned that he was working for John Scott, though he was not who he seemed to be. He was a spy for the “Queen Country”, and that Princess Pei Pei was being held in the mining camp, and was under threat of death.

Meanwhile, I headed around the back to take a look along the rest of the hills. I found under one of the cliffs a pen with a goat in it – who bleated warnings at me to get away. But I didn’t listen, did I? I climbed in and it head butted me in the backside a few times, but it didn’t stop me from finding a cave I could climb through – and it led me to a door beneath the hill the tower sat on. I opened the door, slowly, and stepped in, only to come face to face with a huge snake – and a rope hangin’ right above it. It was a hooded snake and it hissed at me – and I fired my rifle at it, shut the door and ran. After hearin’ the shot I fired, Javier and Mrs. K, as well as John Gates and Bench that had hung back with the other miners we’d saved before, came to see what had happened – and to see if that goat could be eaten.

Above in the tower, after hearing the shot I’d fired, Chon and the Priest ‘escorted’ the other Chinese man down to see what it was. He told them it was one of the ways out, though it was also home to a brood of snakes – and an entrance to the mines. Chon threw down a few sticks of dynamite he’d snatched, to kill the snakes, and then made the Chinaman show him how to make milk of the cactus, to help restore Javier to better health.

Littlefish came runnin’ up and told us that there were spiders coming. Not wanting to deal with them, everyone regrouped at the door beneath the hill, knowing it was safer to go under than stay out in the open. We looted the cavern, found dead snakes, bags of silver dust, and a gas mask that Mrs. K took. And then…we headed into the mines. God be with us all, who knows what awaits us in there?

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Shanghai Noon
Don't mess with a Jackalope

Where did all this go wrong ? One minute we were crawling along the creek to reach the mechanical spiders and take control of one of the them, then all hell broke loose and we were in full combat mode against these cowboys. Thanks to the team’s skill set, things went rather smoothly, besides me getting shot in the derriere. Thanks to the Tao, princess Pei-Pei was nor there to witness this humiliation… Maggie and Miss Killingsworth used their shooting skills to eliminate the snipers, while Javier, Father D. and myself eliminated the bandits on the ground. Javier managed to explain Bench that it was all a misunderstanding, which secured him as a considerable ally. Maggie managed to damage the flying barrel as it was taking off with the group leader, but its pilot managed to escape. A cowboy was very difficult to put down, but we finally succeeded after mauling, shooting, skewering, then beating the hell out of him. The two iron spiders were another story, and it took a miraculous appearance of a group of Indians to route them. Father D. did not let go and held on to them during their escape. We saw him disappear in the far…

Once the fight was over, miss Killingsworth healed the wounded (another embarrassment for me). We talked to the Chinese workers and noticed one of them was showing advanced symptoms of the disease he had caught by staying underground for too long. He seemed to lose all willpower, but could keep working. Was it a natural disease, or another evil doing by John Scott in order to keep the miners docile ? We found the cowboys were also keeping a prisoner is a small outbuilding. Alas dehydration and heat has claimed the poor man’s life. He looked like an outdoors man, and had a coin hidden in his mouth. This strange piece of metal had mysterious carvings engraved on its surface. Miss Killingsworth kept object in her purse.

Meanwhile, Javier and Bench visited the giant’s home at the end of a small canyon. The place had wall paintings that reminded Javier of the engravings on the coin. Bench explained that the dead prisoner was a friend of his, a man from Portland named Byron. He also explained that he used to be a lot smarter, and Javier noticed strange burn marks forming some kind of collar around his neck. This reminded us of the Gorilla that attacked us in Portland.

Father D. finally comes back, all beat up and on the edge of a heatstroke. He explained the damned contraptions managed to lose him by climbing up and down cliffs !

As we were going to leave, miss K. noticed a painting on the cliff face. It strangely looked like the coin engravings. As she got closer to the wall and held the coin to it, she disappeared right in front of us ! She was gone for a minute, and when she came back she had a crazy story about being in another place and seeing odd creatures. Now I understand why they always say “don’t drink the water”…

We decide to leave and convince Bench to come with us for his safety. We know some of the cowboys escaped and they’ll warn their friends soon enough about our arrival, and extra ally will be most useful. As we progress along the Snake River, we meet the very same rabbit with antlers. He has goggle around his neck, the very same that the flying barrel pilot was wearing ! Father D. pulls his gun and aims at the rodent, but I manage to push his gun aside and yell so that the rabbit disappears in the bushes. The old priest worries me, I wonder if the lack of alcohol and excess of heat are affecting his judgement… We climb to the location the mystical animal was in and find the wreck of the barrel, with some signs of struggle, but no pilot.

We keep going, and a few hours later we are ambushed by the flying barrel pilot. I start running uphill toward him while Javier, Miss K and Maggie cover us with their firearms. Suddenly, Father D. commands a parley and all fight stops. This leaves me time to pick up a few rocks, and Javier aims at his target carefully. The pilot wanted Bench as a condition to let us go. This ended negotiation, and the pilot was dispatched by our marksmen.

We were getting nearer to the mines, the tension among the group was increasing as we realized we were going to be outnumber and outgunned. We will need the help of my fellow countrymen, hopefully they will have enough strength to turn against their oppressors.

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Tussle at Hydra Ridge

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.

Your Obedient,

Conner Duddleswell

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!

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The Cabin of Bad Omens

It was past sunset, and we finally had relief from the heat. We continued onward, towards the mines, reaching the Snake River. We found a stretch of river that was shallow enough to walk through. The path, if you could call it that, continued alongside the river.

I heard a splash, and lo and behold, that fellow with the accent had tumbled into the river. I stretched out my parasol, and he grabbed it. For a few seconds, I was able to prevent him from being swept away in the current. Fortunately, the chinaman grabbed the foreigner and pulled him back onto the path.

The chill of the night was getting sharp, and we resumed our trek to the mines. In the distance, not too far, we heard gunfire. Senor Castillo, along with the priest and the chinaman, ran up a steep slope, in the direction of the shots. The rest of us took a bit longer to get up, with Mr. Gates’ leg setting the pace.

When we got to the top, I found another chinaman, collapsed and half dead in front of me. He drank from my canteen, and then he seemed okay to stand. There was a bit more gunfire and slashing and fancy moves. When the fighting finally stopped, we gathered, and it seems we had a captive—a sniveling wretch named Enus.

Enus was a hired gun at the mines, guarding the chinese, and had been hunting this half dead slave for miles. Chon was able to talk to the slave, and although they discussed matters at length, he would not recommend a good launderer in Portland. I did gather that a peculiar sickness was affecting the slaves, making them mine as if they were machines.

The priest had donned the clothing of the tallest gunman from the mines. Chon traded clothing with the slave. A plan was forming to approach the cave as friendlies, a ruse that hopefully would get us close enough for a surprise attack. The mine was still miles away, and we were cold and tired.

That simple-minded oaf, Enus, knew of a cabin where we could get shelter from the cold. We doubted if we could trust him, but we did not have better options. The cabin was small and old and very dirty. Inside we found a crate, not so old or dirty. It was full of machine parts, which the tinkerers thought was some kind of automated contraption.

Outside of the cabin, there was a strange tunnel leading underneath the floor. Chon went in and found a woman’s corpse in a rocking chair. She held something in her hand, which Chon buried, but he stubbornly refused to tell me the details. As if to prove this was the work Satan himself, a serpent appeared from the corpse and attacked Chon. Javier rushed down and filleted that snake.

After that dark omen, Mr. Sparks refused to sleep in the cabin. A grave was dug for the corpse, and the lady was put to rest not far from the cabin. We settled in for the night, with Mr. Sparks taking watch under a tree, and the rest of us slept in the cabin.

Well, Mr. Sparks, obviously unnerved by something he saw in the night, was talking nonsense. Apparently, a huge beast had dug up the old woman’s bones and ran off into the night. There wasn’t much point trying to make sense of his story. We needed to get a start on a long walk.

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Friends or Foes?
Friends or Foes?

After the glorious battle with Scott’s evil gringo posse at the bar, my companions and I spied a warehouse clamouring with noise that we agree to investigate. Inside we found the warehouse is full of metalwerks and machines of fantastic design, and a sole proprietor who is none other than the eminent, Portland’s former mayor and presumed-dead John Gates. As we are enjoying pleasantries a large, drunk, Irishman wearing a priest’s collar barges into the room, sweating and gunshot through the arm. He introduces himself as Father Connor O’Duddleswell and explains his wound is a self flagellat’n caused by his cowardace in fleeing from the mines, which causes much confusion as to whether or not he shot himself in the arm because he fled or he was shot in the arm trying to escape. We finally manage to wrangle enough information from the Father’s strange dialect that he was shot by the miners trying to escape the mines, after trying to convert the “heathen chineemen” enslaved there and being met with resistance from Scott’s henchmen. Whilst interrogating the newcomer, we are interrupted by the warehouse being shot up by arrows and erupting into flames!

Fleeing the warehouse, we encounter seven or eight redskins intent on scalping us for digging up their holy ground? Eveedently the natives have us confused for Scott’s men. During the battle that inevitably ensues, a strange feller with a funny accent appears and begins tossing about strange exploding contraptions to aid us. We send them packing with ease and we honorably allow them to withdraw, but in the distance I see the fleeing natives have a prisoner on horseback. The “newer” newcomer with the strange mechanical toys introduces himself as Yanek Yasa, an associate of our co-conspirator Henry Villard who has recently gone missing. Our ever-increasing ranks of collaborators set out toward the mines with vigor. John Scott You Will Pay!

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Hell Hath No Fury...

As we came out of the sewers we spotted the Little Edison slowly pulling away, that dasterdly character John Scott standing ever so proud on the mid deck. My friend of the orient exchanged some minor pleasentries across the docks then I beheld a true Princess. My eyes may not be what they used to be but I would swear on a stack of bibles that she looked like a small dark haired angel in such serien distress, if there could be such a thing. John Scott man handled her into the cabin and anger rose in not only myself but Wang which forced his hand into a running attempt for the boat which he soon checked as not to end up in the river, not quite as fast as the Ol’ Miss but fast enough to pull a man to his death.

Our dear Miss Maggie also attempted to hold conversation with Scott for which he just replied she would have to read about him in the paper, yea the funny paper if I have my way.
There was poor Putterbolt up at the stearage with some man in a long coat pushing buttons which seemd to make Putterbolt twitch and accelerate the boat off ino the deeper currents. They were gone.

Shots rang out further up the docks from a few ruffians and what looked like a gentleman. Soon they stopped as we approached for parly. It was Widow Kingsworth and Wang who negotiated with this english German who turned out to be one of the Train barens, seemed he has a few bones to pick with Scott.

Everyone seemed to now know where this Hell is except really for me, didn’t look for it on a map, just wanted the biggest cities to play cardsin. We caught a ride with this fellow who I really didn’t care for, reminded me too much of that Confederate officer who I kilt. Knowing I got a bone of his for my knife handle always makes me smile. With not much to say and no one to play cards with I just snoozed while we road the rails in that English-German’s steam contraption. It was quite the invention, we moved off the rails a few times as not to collide with one of the Iron Horses and continued to ride along ground. Quite something, with all these new contraptions the thought War scares me more than it did when I was just as tall as the Confederate 20 Pounder I serviced. Maybe the thought of war with these things will finally scare us enough to not do anything like the War I survived.

Finally after the driver dispatched some red skins with a Lightn’ Gun, well there goes any hope for peace, we arived at this one horse town. Leaving the horseless carage hidden we mosied into town to be greated with polite hostilities. We were where we should be.

Bored out of their minds I was able to persuade a game of cards and some wiskey, well they called it as such, hell my uncle’s green moonshine was better than that turpintine. A few hands ensued and it looked like Miss Maggie had a bevey of woman starved hired guns at her beck and call. Mrs. Killingsworth didn’t seem to fair as well with the bar keep. Wang found another of his ilk and began speaking in some singsong high pitched language I take was Chineese, it was a bit more upity sounding than the words I heard in China town and around the rail workers. The ‘sharif’ broke the two up and Wang seemed to drift around the bar after exchanging some words with Javier who I was teaching the fine art of holding ones cards close to his vest, something he seems to lack, ah youth. A new hand was delt so my attetion became focused.

A rucuse clatered from up stairs yet my card table did not seem to notice. Out of the corner of my eye the sherif made his way to up stairs, this time a much loader rucuse and colapse of body reverbirated through the bar. The gun men justsat ther for a minuite, I did not.

I was able to get my new deringer out, with one in each hand I kilt one of my advesaries then downed the other with another shot. Luck was on my side, as it seemed on my friends as well. Clearing the bar Mrs. Killingsworth used her deadly parasol on the bar keep felling him in one blow, oh Lord may I never vex that woman. Maggie seemed to have a bit more problems as well as Javier yet with quick thinking on Mrs. Kingsworth Maggie had had things back in hand. Wang showed in time to down the last gun man as he gave Javier a rather nasty shot. Tending to his wounds Mrs. Killingsworth staunched the bleeding and Javier was up and full of fight and epitaphs.

Again Mrs. Killingsworth came through with valuable information, my personal investigation of the Knights of the Golden ring seemed a dead end. The warehouse and off in the distance we saw it with bright flashes of a searing light on occassions. Off we trecked again finding the doors not looked from the inside as one would to keep some one out but rahter chained to keep someone or something in. Once inside, a crude lock on the door, we found a plethera of machining tools, I quickly appriated items of use. As we climbed to the top of the building the sound of a flying contraption came from the West. I sumized Scott would be joining us soon.

On the top floor we found two barrals with flying rigs and a man, a very disheaveld man with a beaten look in his eyes, how I pray I will never look as such. This man though was the very man who had been declared dead and whose wife thought there was foul play. Alas there was faoul play but we will be able to reunite that forlorn woman with htis shade of a man. I hope that will restore his pallor.

With the aproach of John Scott looming we began to ask about the barrals and other mechinations about the room, we will need all our facities and the grace of God to pull this off.

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