Mancos Valley - 1868

April 21st, 1886

Murder!

Intrepid reporter Mike Sandson arrives at the Janestown Town Office to submit the initial fruits of his labor to the town fathers. He finds Clifford Ashmont alone at his desk. The Mayor is pleased to hear of Sandson’s ideas for a robust propaganda campaign for the benefit of the camp. To ease the way for this effort Ashmont agrees to provide Sandson with a modest room at the boarding house. Potential for a local newspaper in the future are bandied freely.
Meanwhile, Sean Malony makes his way to the Istanbul looking for an easy mark. His target is George Rebby, a local prospector. Mulony mercilessly empties Rebby’s pockets of gold and then slyly offers the prospector all of his losses back if only he’d be willing to wager the deed to his mining claim. Rebby makes the wager and wins but it becomes clear to Malony that he has been cheated. The confrontation draws the attention of the owner of the Istanbul, Colonel Frederick Pitkin. Indifferent to the result, Pitken orders Malony out, keeping Rebby inside to avoid it coming to blood immediately outside the door.
Elsewhere, in the Mancos wilderness, William Lee Huddison convinces John Block to allow him a few hours of bear hunting. The hunter and Ningun stalk the hills looking for bear but find only a cougar.
Town physician, Dr. Malcom Price is recreating at the Istanbul. He witnesses the dust-up between Malony and Rebby but is not party to it. He is soon joined by George Mankins who is urgently looking for help caring for Reverend George Littlefield who was placed in Mankins’ care by John Block during Block’s journey to Dixon City. Dr. Price looks in on Littlefield in the back room of the barber shop but find that there is little he can do to improve the situation.
Later, still smarting from his failure at the table, Sean Malony marches into the Tent City to deliver at threat to George Rebby’s brother, James Rebby. Firing a pistol into the air to call Rebby out, Malony draws a crowd of minors. Undaunted, Malony demands that the brother’s honor the wager by surrendering the deed their mining claim to the Hiberians by tomorrow morning. With a crowd at his back, Rebby scorns the threat. Enraged at the insult, Malony closes with the prospector and stabs Rebby and threatens the rest of the crowd with the same end. He then retreats to the No. 12 to report to his Uncle the evenings events.
The commotion has drawn the attention of Mike Sanson who searches the crowd for a witness in Tent City willing to tell the story. He finds none. Then arrives Dr. Price and George Rebby arrive to see to the wounded James Rebby. Dr. Price has little trouble getting to crowd to take a doctor’s commands but fails to stop the bleeding. Later at the doctor’s clinic, Price again fails to stabilize the would. Rebby dies from blood loss. Sandson, eager for a story, attempts to barge through the door of the clinic but finds it too sturdy against his feeble efforts.
Meanwhile, Huddison tries to break the dark cloud of Ningun’s despair by enlisting him in a project to build a primitive river crossing.

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