Portland 1889

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?


So well written, I could hear Maggie’s voice and accent the whole way through!

One Helluva Sunburn

Excellent work !

One Helluva Sunburn


One Helluva Sunburn

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