November 15-16, 1878
That spooky-assed sheriff probably saved all of our lives, least we could do was help him clean up the mess. As the Pattons boarded up the busted windows, we got to talkin’.
Several discussions and observations happen into the evening:
- Sheriff Dent says that the local Kiowa have a new war chief named Howling Wind and they’ve become increasingly militant. Ahiga takes particular note of the new chief’s name.
- Upon heading out, Sheriff Dent mentions that he’d heard of some disturbances at The Drover’s Cottage at the Abilene Stockyards and he’s headed that way.
- Onesimus identifies himself as a US Agent, though no one’s particularly impressed by the credentials, and inquires after a man named Wu. Chinese Ed takes particular note of the name. After some discussion, William and Olivia both connect the name to The Duchess, a brothel in Abilene. Holden takes particular note of the name of the brothel. After some discussion, William agrees to take Holden and Olivia to Abilene (which happens to be the same direction everyone else is intending to go).
- Ahiga has a vision while watching Seri perform a very peculiar shamanic-like ritual.
- Holden passes out unexpectedly while playing solitaire.
The next morning, the party eats a simple breakfast and heads on their way. The day’s travel across the showy plains goes without incident and late in the afternoon they arrive at The Drover’s Cottage. There appear to be tents pitched near all of the buildings, showing signs of recent use, even though at this time of year the Cottage would have dozens of available rooms.
An injun man is sweeping snow off the porch as they pull up and gives the party a glance.
“Ahh,” he says, “the end of the world has arrived…then again…maybe it was the other way around…”
He goes back to his sweeping and mutters, “Al’s waitin’ for you inside.”