04 June, 2010

Buffalo Soldiers Part I

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Deadwood, Sioux Nation
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest Sister,
My daring escape from marauding savages was distinctly less daring that I expected. In fact, it consisted of little more than a hard day of riding into the town of Deadwood. Which is not to say that there was no excitement for the day. On arriving in Deadwood, we immediately found some authorities, in this case a calvary soldier, and relayed our new of the burned wayposts. He seemed appropriately concerned and sped off to inform his superiors. We then went to the saloon that Mr. Tobin’s note had indicated and found him there, drinking, of course. Miss Bowden thankfully took her leave to find her brother and we were glad to be no longer in her company. Though a reasonable enough woman, she continuously tasked us with her interrogations.
We ordered drinks for ourselves and were discussing how further to proceed when a disheveled man approached the table to speak with Mr. Tobin. He informed Mr. Tobin that someone was waiting to meet him over at the livery and then drew and fired his pistol at nearly point-blank range. His hasty shot missed by scant inches and Mr. Tobin drew his pistol and returned fire faster than the eye could follow. I barely had time to be startled by the close-quarters report before it was all over.
Even more surprising was the lack of concern by the other patrons that a lethal gunfight had just occurred in their midst. I fear such occurrences are frequent enough to be considered commonplace.
Mr. Tobin brought us to the back side of Deadwood to an area known as “Chinese Alley,” an ethnic enclave where he had purchased a building. And while there has been no formal agreement, we all seem to have entered into a business arrangement. I have yet to quite figure out what that business will be. Mr. Tobin seems to make his living as a bounty hunter, Mr. Bonjiovi earns his living as a wandering minstrel, Mr. Pace is a gambler of some skill and my own technical and scientific skills seem to round a very eclectic skillset. It will be fascinating to see what sort of business plan comes of that but, for the meantime, I am pleased to have a bed, a roof over my head and a place into which I can gather equipment for my natural studies.
The respite was short lived, however, as the soldiers arrived to invite us to set out immediately in pursuit of the native miscreants. Under different circumstances we might have stepped forward to do our civic duty but, having spent days on the trail with little sleep for fear of attack, we declined. The soldiers seemed well armed and prepared for any untoward encounter.
As we also needed to stable our horses, Mr. Bonjiovi and I accompanied Mr. Tobin to his meeting at the livery. There was no one there to meet him but on the return we saw Miss Bowden and a man we assumed to be her brother. Mr. Tobin’s loosening of his pistols in their holsters indicated his suspicion of impending action. I thought that perhaps this was the meeting that he had intended to have, perhaps as far back as Eastwood Ridge, and stepped out of the line of fire.
The second gunfight of the day took little longer than the first. Miss Bowden seemed somewhat less that traumatized to have witnessed the murder of her brother before her very eyes so that I began to doubt her relationship. Mr. Tobin seemed prepared to kill her as well but stated that the bounty was on her brother and she was free to go.
We finally obtained an explanation in that the brothers Bowden were deserters and Mr. Tobin was on something of a quest to collect up an entire unit.
I apologize for the abrupt conclusion of this letter but it has been a long day and I have only now just realized how late it is. I shall assuredly expound on the matter later.
With unwavering fondness,
Zebulon
This adventure, our fourth,  is one of several based loosely on the Pinnacle Entertainment one-sheet, Buffalo Soldiers. The adventure was run in early 2008. This write up was the product of Zebulon”s player, with minor editing by yours truly.

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