|TIME:||Saturday – June 14, 1879 – 10:15 PM|
|LOCATION:||St. Louis, MO [MAP]|
Lucius Jones – Mental Diary
Sterling Simms – Journal Entry
As the Burning Man faded away, a light drizzle of rain began, accompanied by low rumbling from the clouds overhead. Although the posse felt relief over the defeat of the ghost, the streets of St. Louis still seemed as dark as before. The group examined the area, trying to find any physical evidence left behind by the Burning Man or his ghostly minions, but found nothing.
A couple of military patrols arrived (responding to the earlier sounds of combat) and Burton asserted control. He explained that the Burning Man had been defeated and that the area should be cordoned off and examined. He requested that a search party be sent for Private Andrews who had ran away during the fight and that a group escort him and the posse to the Four Courts Building.
As the group walked to the Four Courts Building, several posse members attempted to “edit” the events of the night with Burton, explaining that few would believe their tales of a ghostly encounter, but Burton was a man of honor and felt it was his duty to tell the complete truth. When they arrived at the Four Courts Building, Burton and the two remaining privates in his squad reported upstairs while the posse waited… and waited.
After an hour, they noticed an officer rush into the Four Courts Building in an obviously poor mood and head upstairs, but still they waited. After another hour, they were escorted upstairs. As the posse approached the door to a conference room, they heard a voice raised in anger and berating Burton for his “fanciful tale.” The voice stopped when the sergeant escorting them knocked, and then promptly ordered “enter.” When the sergeant led the posse into the room, they learned the voice belonged to none other than Captain Phillip Lewis (the same officer who rushed upstairs earlier), the captain responsible for the day-to-day operations of St. Louis under martial law. He was seated at a table next to Lieutenant James, who did not seem pleased to see the posse again. Nearby was William Keller Burton as well as several privates taking notes and acting as guards.
Captain Lewis asked the posse to explain their encounter with the Burning Man. For some unknowable reason (I know I ain’t got a clue), Lucius spoke for the posse. He explained the events of the night, including the various ghostly powers possessed by the Burning Man. Captain Lewis was highly skeptical of this tale, especially since the whole party reeked of cheap whiskey. However, since William Keller Burton and the remaining men in his squad corroborated this tale, he was willing to believe that something had happened with the Burning Man that night and that the murderer had been brought to justice. He was willing to pay the posse the $250 reward, but he would not officially corroborate any outlandish tale. Not only that, but if the Burning Man killed another victim the next Saturday, he would lock the entire group in chains. Tobias actually suggested a counter-offer: the group would wait to collect the reward until the next Sunday at 8:00 AM and would not collect unless the Burning Man did not re-appear on Saturday. Captain Lewis found this offer acceptable, but not before locking up Lucius and Sterling in the jail for the night. (Some people never learn to keep their mouths shut.)
The other posse members left for their hotels, with Seamus being escorted by a pair of soldiers ordered to retrieve all his sticks of dynamite from his room. (His use of a stick of dynamite within St. Louis in the battle with the Burning Man was noted by Captain Lewis.) Seamus managed to hide a single stick of dynamite from his box before handing the sticks over to the soldiers.