|Time:||Wednesday – August 06, 1879 – 10:15 PM|
|Location:||Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]|
|Posse Role-Call:||Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)|
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
As Brother Allen prepared for bed at the Crystal River Hotel, he opened his Bible to read a few passages. Imagine his surprise when he discovered the pages were blank! He raced to the Green brothers’ room, awakening them and asking to see one of their Bibles. It contained the text as normal. Since they had been guarding the group’s gear all day, he asked the brothers if they knew of anyone who might have done this blasphemous act to his Bible. They could think of no one who would have done it. However, Nathan noticed that the Bible he held was only a replica of Brother Allen’s own Bible. It was a good copy, but it did not have all the wear and tear his Bible had received over the years. Having this pointed out, Brother Allen began to think that someone had replaced his Bible as some sort of joke. He immediately stormed off to find Sterling.
When Sterling didn’t answer the door to his room, Brother Allen headed downstairs to retrieve Sterling’s room key from the front desk. However, the front desk was where he found Sterling; he was conversing with Tennesy. Tossing Sterling the fake Bible, Brother Allen immediately demanded Sterling tell him what he knew of the malicious prank. Sterling claimed innocence and after several minutes of discussion (mixed with checking his gear for any other mischief), Allen decided to let the matter drop in favor of handling the walking dead man Tennesy had found.
While Sterling and Brother Allen discussed the blank Bible, Tennesy examined the gates at the cemetery. Although it was difficult in the waning moonlight, Tennesy was able to determine that a single set of footprints had passed out the graveyard within the last few hours. (But he was unwilling to enter the cemetery alone.) He was eventually joined by Brother Allen and Sterling. As a group, they entered the cemetery, in which the majority of graves were recent and marked with simple wooden crosses. A significant grave was the mausoleum of John Daly. The door was standing slightly ajar. Brother Allen latched the mausoleum (it did not have a lock) and the group left for the ruins of the burned mansion.
Walking down Daly Street, the group was met by Marshal Bryce. He was just as confrontational as he had been earlier in the day. He demanded to know why they were headed to that side of town at that time of night. Brother Allen explained about the dead man found by Tennesy. Marshal Bryce was very dubious of this story, but agreed to go with the group… on the condition that if this walking dead man was not found, he would arrest them for disturbing the peace.
When the group reached the ruined mansion, there was no one there. Tennesy thought he had found a trail leading off away from town, but Marshal Bryce would not listen. He was ready to arrest the group then and there. Brother Allen tried to convince him to follow the trail, but Marshal Bryce merely drew his pistol and demanded the group drop their weapons. Trying to buy more time, Brother Allen prayed for protection while he spoke to the marshal. At the same time, Yang Li centered himself, tapping into his chi to prepare to seize the pearl of death (i.e., the deflection spell). A barrier formed between Allen and Marshal Bryce. The near-invisible wall of force shocked Bryce into opening fire. However, his bullet was stopped by the barrier. He and Brother Allen continued to talk, but Marshal Bryce would still not listen (and became very upset over Allen’s use of the term, “boy”). Unable to find any other peaceful resolution, Brother Allen dismissed the miraculous barrier and dropped his gun belt to the ground. It was then that Yang Li attempted to disarm the marshal. His powerful kick slammed into the marshal’s gun arm, but the pistol stayed in Bryce’s grasp.
Marshal Bryce fired at Yang Li, who managed to dodge the bullet but failed to throw it back at Bryce (per seize the pearl of death). Tennesy brought up his rifle and fired, only grazing the marshal. However, this shot was quickly followed by a second, piercing the marshal’s heart. Brother Allen rushed forward to assist the dying man, but the last of the marshal’s life blood pumped out as he reached him. In the distance, the church bell began to toll.
Brother Allen said a brief prayer before the group left to follow the trail found by Tennesy. Tennesy led the way, carefully picking out the trail through the tall grass and brambles. They eventually saw a figure stumbling ahead of them in the dim moonlight. He was walking a parallel path to Daly Street, heading toward the cemetery. Brother Allen moved ahead and caught up to the figure at the back wall of the cemetery. The man turned, finally allowing his horribly burned visage to be seen. He was obviously dead. The dead man swung his clawed hands at Brother Allen but fortunately missed as Allen backed away. Allen fired his Gatling pistol at the abomination, but the shots missed. Yang Li rushed forward and kicked the walking dead in the ribs, obviously breaking several but not slowing the undead thing down. Tennesy fired a shot at the dead man’s head that only succeeded in hitting the cemetery’s fence. It was Brother Allen who brought the thing low with a burst from his Gatling pistol that flowed up the undead man’s chest, ending at his forehead.
Knowing the shots would bring others, the group continued past the cemetery and around the church, trying to keep as quiet as possible. Brother Allen and Yang Li knocked at the door to the church while Tennesy slipped across the street and into the hotel. Deacon Plume answered the door and Brother Allen’s questions about the church bell, explaining that the wind would occasionally cause the bell to ring. Brother Allen thanked him for his time and began to cross the street with Yang Li in tow.
They were intercepted by one of the town deputies carrying a lantern. He asked them about the recent shots and why they were wandering about the town. Brother Allen carefully skirted the truth, explaining that they had heard the shots (Duh… they were the ones who fired them! – Ed.) as well as the church bell ringing. He added that he and Yang Li had just left the church after being informed by Deacon Plume that wind could cause the bell to ring. The deputy accepted Allen’s tale and told them to return to the hotel. The marshal had been shot; he and the other deputies were searching for the culprit.