Mancos Valley - 1868

April 23th, 1868

Our story continues with John Block and William Lee Huddison arriving at Dixon City. Their first order of business was to visit the First Methodist Church of Dixon City. They make the acquaintance of Rev. John Dyer who in turn provides introductions to many members of the congregation. Huddison shares the fate of Reverend George Littlefield. Block asks the Reverend if First Methodist could provide extra Bibles and hymnals for believers in Janestown who are “hungry for the Word”. Dyer is more than happy to inquire among the parishioners including the land office clerk David Griffin and his family. During the visit, Huddison takes Mr. Griffin aside to deliver the letter he found addressed to Griffin on the fallen courier weeks before.

John Block finds a gunsmith to fill his order, Harry E Gryden. With some canny wagering, Block manages to bring the price of the rifles down but only by committing to help the gunsmith finish the order in time to meet Getido’s deadline. Block attempts to enlist Gryden as correspondent to inform him of politics in Dixon City but the gunsmith’s commitment is uncertain.

Back in Janestown, a crowd of prospectors walks down Gold St. Sean Malony sitting in the No 12, takes notice of Tent City emptying out. He promptly sneaks in among the tents in search of the deed to the claim of James Rebby and George Rebby that he believes is rightfully his. His attempt to enter the Rebby’s tent unobserved is unsuccessful, however. Willard Thompson is tending a fire and sees Malony. Malony fails to scare Thompson off and must confront him. In exchange for Thompson’s silence, Malony agrees to hire Thompson to work the claim if it indeed comes into possession of the Hibernian faction. Thompson agrees and disappears into the night.

Meanwhile on the other side of town, Dr. Price escorts now mourning George Rebby outside of the clinic to face the small crowd that has gathered outside. Rebby’s first instinct is to lead the mob to enact justice on his brother’s murderer immediately. Dr. Price succeeds in convincing him to merely seize Malony and bring him to the town authorities rather than a full on lynching.

The crowd marches back to Tent City to find Sean Malony exiting the Rebby tent. There follows a tense stand-off with Malony threatening to take as many of the crowd with him before the weight of numbers forces the issue. Sr. Price diffuses the situation by convinced Malony to surrender himself to the doctor’s custody rather than the mob’s. The two then return to the clinic where they must spend the night with the corpse of James Rebby.

As Block works feverishly to complete the order of rifles, Huddison begins a full scale courtship of the James Griffin’s winsome daughter Sarah. He visits the house and asks for help with the tunes of the various songs found in the hymnals. In the process he manages to impress with his angelic singing voice.

April 21st, 1886

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.

April 22nd, 1868

Huddison makes his way through the hills accompaning Ningun on the Comanche’s return to his people. Upon arrival they witness a white man suspended from a tree, still alive but unconscious. The interview with Chief Getido goes remarkably well. The Comanche are willing to allow passage of goods through the hills in return for a supply of rifles and a reliable source of ammunition. Huddison agrees to deliver the guns within two weeks. In addition Getido asks that the disgraced Ningun return to Janestown as he is no longer fit to live among the Comanche. When inquires are made about the suspended man, Getido replies that the man attemped to proselytize to the tribe and was punished accordingly. He refuses to surrender the man when asked.

Meanwhile, John Block vainly searches the town for his apprentice. A trip to Marshall Faucett’s saloon turns up some infomation if not Tommy Watkins. Faucett reveals that is was Charlie Huddersfield who purchased Ningun’s horse and promptly left town for Plainsville in order to ratify his good bargain. Failing to find the boy among the miners of Tent City, Block instead joins two prospecting brothers George Rebby and James Rebby at the The Istanbul. There, Block spends time in conversation with the proprietor of the gambling hall Colonel Frederick Pitkin. The Colonel is a skeptical soul and is dismissive of both the rumors of a Mexican presence in Dixon City and Block’s entreaties to join the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce. Pitkin believes Janestown will run the general course of the western boomtown and plans to move on once the gold claims play out.

Concerned for the welfare of the interant preacher, Huddison acquires a fine Colt Navy pistol and a horse. Now on horseback and familiar with the way, he makes a quick return to the Comanche camp. There he cleverly presents the pistol to Getido as a gift and again requests to take the preacher back to Janestown. Impressed with Hiddison’s gracious manner and skill in the wilderness, the chief releases his captive.

Preparations are made for the trip to Dixon City. A chastened and hungry Tommy Watkins returns to the Cold Iron blacksmith shop and is left to oversee the shop by a secretly relieved Block. George Mankins agrees to contribute some starter capital to the expedition despite his reservations about arming the indigious. And as if that wasn’t enough he also agrees to look after the recuperating Reverend George Littlefield until Block and Huddison return from Dixon City. The sullen Ningun demands to provided a horse for the journey to Dixon City in exchange for aid in finding a quicker way that bypasses Plainsville. Our heroes, pressed to meet Getido’s deadline, reluctantly agree.

After a three day trip involving one difficult river crossing, the party of Block, Huddison and Ningun arrive in Dixon City.

April 10th, 1886

William Lee Huddison finds a pass to the Arkansas River and makes a primitive map useful only to himself. On the way home he finds ample bear sign and makes note for a future hunt. He also happens upon a corpse of a man who has died from exhaustion and exposure. Huddison gives the man a makeshift burial with stones and helps himself to the dead man’s boots, pistol, and a bag containing two letters bound for Dixon City.
Meanwhile, John Block gains insight into Brazos’ motives at George Mankins’ barber shop. Block’s shave is interupted with disturbing news. Ningun, the drunkard son of a the local Comanche chief Getido, comes to town to indulge a vice, putting every one on edge. An incident involving this man could threaten the entire town. Block diffuses the situation by shepharding the insensiate young Comanche from Marshall Faucett’s saloon to the blacksmith shop on Gold St to sleep it off.
The next day, Huddison returns to camp to report his discovery to his backer Block, only to find Ningun sleeping up in the hay loft. Block and Huddison arrange for an interview with Brazos in the sheriff’s office. Block presents news of the new pass and the obvious benefits to the camp. Brazos is supportive if not effusive.
Huddison takes a moment alone to inspect the two letters he has found. He clumsily tears open the envelopes. Both letters are addressed to individuals in Dixon City. The first is a letter to Mr. David Griffin and is a prosaic update of family members back in Missouri. The second is business corrispondence from the Lincoln and Banes Shipping Ltd of Chicago, Illinois. The letter is in reply to a proposal sent by a Mr. John H. Behan of Dixon City. In the letter the Chicago firm confirms its intentions to send representitives in early August for face to face discussions. The substance of the proposal is not detailed.
The son of a chief later awakes and asks for the horse that he sold the day before in exchange for a binge. A quick search by Block and Huddison reveal that the horse has been spirited out of town that morning. Driven by shame and contempt for Block’s clumsy offer of day labor, Ningun hastily marches out of town without supply or weapons to return to his people . Huddison begins to stalk him through the wilderness.
John Block later finds it necessary call his wayward apprentice, Tommy Watkins, to heel. Block calls accross the thoroughfare for Watkins to leave off talking with Eilish Daly. The boy returns to the workshop but is defiant when Block scolds him. Watkins storms out and his whereabouts are unknown.
Intrepid corrispondent Mike Sandson arrives at the workshop to present the fruits of his writing. The resulting workload from the absence of an apprentice is tying down Block. The blacksmith asks Sandson to go out and pursuade Watkins to return to work. The task proves harder than Sandson imagined. Instead of the truant, he collects one rumor and is apruptly summoned to the town office.
The rumor in Janestown is that a modest contigent of Mexican soldiers have arrived in Dixon City escourting some kind of official.
Sandson is brought before a virtually silent Sheriff Brazos and Mayor Ashmont. The combined force of the two town fathers extract a commitment from Sandson to write promotional journalism to be delivered to Texas publications exclusively.
Meanwhile, Huddison has skillfully convinced Nigun to allow him to join him in a perilous journey to meet the Comanche chief Getido. Huddison hopes to obtain the Comanche’s consent for frieght to be moved through the newly discovered Huddison Pass. He may pay with his life.

April 4th, 1886
Session 1

Rumors of a column of Mexican Imperial troops swirl through the Mancos Valley. Meanwhile, town booster John Block enlists the help of young reporter Mike Sandson to send stories back East touting the booming metropolis of Janestown. In the same cause, Block agrees to provide capital for an expedition to discover a pass through the mountains in to the east. Experienced outdoorsman William Lee Huddison is hired to discover the way that will allow Janestown to break the stranglehold of Dixon City on trade in the valley.

Sean Malony has a good day at the poker table, helping him build a stake that he is not obliged to hand over to his ‘uncle’ Kevin Daly .


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