Thursday, 30 August 2007

GAZETTE issue 2

Incorporating the Ugley Imelda Gazette
Issue No. 2

Gunfire & Greed at Gold Creek
The campaign kicked off in fine style with a memorable showdown between the rival posses drawn up along the banks of Gold Creek. This lazy, lucrative little stream bisected the battlefield from north to south, with US Marshal Mike, Bob Johnson’s Rebels, and Shami-leaves-no-Marks’ Apache injuns moving in from the east bank, and Jake Fargo’s Cowboys, Lt. Norman House’s Fed-(exs), and Windy Valdez’s Meh-hi-coes approaching from the west.
Sneaky Shami launched into an immediate attack against neighbouring Rob Johnson’s Rebs. Plucky Rob yee-hawed against them, a brave defense which soon transformed into what must be the most disastrous opening action of any campaign, ever seen anywhere, ever !
Rob’s man O’Reilly opened up on a charging Apache with his shotgun, mistimed the shot, and managed to hit his own man, Winklebottom, in the back. Man down. They’re still winkling the lead out of his bottom to this day. Rob Johnson added insult to injury when he opened up on the redskin menace and managed to plug fellow Reb Steven the Heathen with a slug from his six-gun. And then, to cap it all, poor old bow-legged Billy who was riding pillion aboard Steven’s nag, fell off said horse and broke his neck. Own man down –
yet again! Shami and his youngbloods could hardly believe their luck. Their sneaky attack had turned into Rebel mass suicide!

"Oh bother!"

Meanwhile, across the creek, Windy Valdez, full o’ beans as per usual, paused his advance upon the gold just long enough to take a pot shot at the neighbouring Feds. A lucky lump o’ lead clipped trooper Jacob Skinton. First man down for the Billy Yanks.

Separated at birth?

Marshal Mike’s boy, Jed, shot and missed his rebel target, as did Marshal Shirley Knott, but Mike’s man Bob got a sure bead on O’Reilly and brought him down, once again, with his trusty repeater. This was the breaking point for ol’ Rob Johnson. After one round of play he was heading for the hills, and to further add to his woes, his horseman -Steven the Heathen - fell into the hands of Kay-way-ke and was dragged off for future ransoming. Oh dear.
It must have come as some consolation for beleaguered Steve when 1
Winklebottom and Bow-legged Billy were spared Boot Hill by good throws on the resolution table. Even O’Reilly, who had been shot twice, returned to play hardened by his wounds. Tough or what!

up the creek and not a paddle in sight.....

meanwhile, the Apaches, the Cowboys, and the US Marshals' boys all had the creek gold in their sights and were breaking cover to go get themselves some. Injum was first to reach for a box of glitter but only to be taken down by rifle-toting Charlie Plain. Jake Fargo and two of his boys – Dwight Wright and Eli Cutter – made their move and immediately attracted fire from the advancing Marshals. A near miss down by the creek sent Jake hightailing it back to the cover of the trees. Water from the splash of the slug, as it hit the river wincingly close to Jake’s wedding tackle, ended up drenching the front of his brand new 501’s. A few joshing wags among the ranks of the rival combatants quickly claimed that the damp denim resulted from a splash on the inside out, rather than from the outside in. Jake vigorously denies any involuntary incontinence, stating that he chose to saunter nonchalantly back to the tree line in order to fetch some extra ammo from his saddlebag. Whatever the truth, a new nickname was born – Jake ‘Wetpants’ Fargo. The US Marshal’s moved up to exploit Jakes retreat and Jed let loose into the treeline with his sawn-off shootin’ iron. Fortunately for the cowboys, the buck stopped short and they were able to return the compliment with a volley of bigger caliber slugs. Matt Polk critical-ed Jed, and Dwight and Eli dragged the gold back to the tree line under covering fire. Meanwhile, Istel the injun was making a play for some gold in the central zone, but ended up being taken down in fine style by Valdez himself. Mike’s marshals moved in on the stash
in the creek om front of them, as did Valdez and his tortilla-chomping cronies. No sooner had Deputy Tom got his nicotine-stained fingers on the box o’ gold, than he was hit by fire from Lt Norman House. Further damage was inflicted on the Marshal’s posse when ol’ wetpants let loose with his Winchester and downed Charley Shotgun. With Rob Johnson licking his wounds somewhere up in the hills, and Shami-leaves-no-Marks heading the same way after taking heavy casualties courtesy of Rob and Valdez, the creek was cleared of gold by Valdez, Jake, Marshal Mike and Lt House, who each got away with one box apiece. Subsequently valdez discovere to his flatulent horror, that his box was fool of fool's gold. Which was a bummer (paarp). But not as much of a bummer as the booby trap surprise awaiting Marshal Mike’s boy when he flipped the lid on his stash box. The damn thing blew up in his face. Miraculously, he got the throw and got away with little more than a pair of singed eyebrows and an instant Congo tan-job.

Top gun went toValdez- the Methane eh-hi-can with 2 kills.

top stash went to Shami-leaves-no-Marks ($50),

and the winner of the Boot Hill Billy award (by a very long chalk) went to Rob Johnson... or R.I.P. Johnson, as some of his perforated personnel have since taken to calling him.

Massacre NARROWLY averted at Westboro Church

Fought out amidst a torrential downpour, this classic Wild West encounter between the Good (Lt.House, Jake Fargo, Marshal Mike), the Bad (Valdez, Shami L-N-M, Rob Johnson), and the Ugly (innocent bystanders – particularly that blonde bint in the blue dress!) resulted in some pretty heavy bloodletting, particularly for Marshal Mike’s boys and Shami’s howlin’ heathens. Twelve innocent bystanders were holed up, Alamo-like, in the Westboro Church. The baddies were gunnin’ to drop ‘em all; the goodies were determined to stop ‘em.
The Good, the Bad, and the Vertically Challenged

The opening move saw all six posses running to take up positions under cover of the sheeting rain. Lt. House’s Feds approached the church directly from the east, with Jake’s boys covering their right flank and Mike’s Marshals covering the left.
From the west came Rob Johnson’s Rebs down the centre turnpike, with several of their number sporting splints and bandages - mementoes from their previous encounter at Gold Creek.
To Rob’s left came a-creeping El Windy and his burrito bandits, and to his right we could hear the hooping war howls of Shami’s apaches. Although, due to the rain, it sounded more like a chorus of war gargles rather than war cries.
Lt House made a beeline for the church and managed to gain entry through one of the back windows. Inside, the skittish church folk mistook the splintering of window frames and the cracking of glass for an all-out attack, and three of their congregation hightailed it out of the front door quicker than you could say: "That’s not a good idea!" Immediately they came under the control of Valdez and his gang of mariachi monkeys, and Rob Johnson’s rag-tag rebels.
Confident that he could approach the church with impunity, due to the reduced visibility, and reduced range effect of the torrential rain, Windy Valdez tempted fate by skirting along the edge of Jake Fargo’s field of fire. But it was no ordinary riflemen that had their repeaters trained on his every move. These were ‘Dice King’ Dever’s Winchester-toting, rain-lovin’, damp-panted sharpshooters. The time had come at last for Valdez to moisten his britches.
Three repeaters, max range 18, 1D6 reduction due to rain, Valdez at 17". Jake needed to throw a 1 for the bullet to have any chance of hitting. He fired, threw a 1, then threw a 4 (hit), then a six (wound). Valdez was winged. One wound deducted; one wound left.
Eli Cutter fired, threw a 1 – the bullet makes the range. Then a 5 follows – bullet hits. Beads of 90 proof tequila sweat break out all along Valdez’s upper lip. This could get critical. Eli threw a 2 and Valdez let one go that nearly took out poor ol’ Concho who’s standing directly downwind.
Meanwhile, the Rebs and the Marshal’s boys are closing upon each other at the ring of craggy rocks just south of the church. Bowlegged Billy takes down Fred Newbie. Shami and his brother braves gallop towards the rocks, but Charlie has got the drop on them. Up he pops and lets loose with one barrel of his sawn-off. Carnage ensues. Two injuns bite the decidedly damp dust, along with their horse.

It’s ‘Gulpsville’ time for Shami-l-n-Marks

Preacher man, bible in hand, fans his sixgun with several chapters of the Old Testament and drops an injun guerrilla dead in his moccasins. Costly encounter for Shami and his braves – he is wishing he’d never bothered with that silly bloody rain-dance before dawn today. Things are starting to go decidedly papoose-shaped for our red-skinned brethren.
No sooner has Valdez got a grip on his gaseous emissions, than Fed trooper Bill Bascom lets him have it with his rifle. The slug creases his forehead and drops him unconscious to the water-logged turf. Strike one Top Gun.
After the Apache bloodletting at the craggy rocks, the injuns get a taste of vengeance when Hoo (not to be confused with his Blackfoot Cousins – Watt, Wye, or Wen) knifes Charley Shotgun in the boulders. That’s gotta hurt. Much watering of eyes ensues in Marshal Mike’s encampment.
Losing Valdez did not seem to dampen the Mexican posse’s spirits unduly. Would-be head honcho, Lobo, and a couple of his cactus lovin’ cronies, made a dash for the three innocent bystanders – who all just so happened to be busty young women with a penchant for swarthy Chihuahuas. In the heave of a surgically enhanced bosom, the Mexicans have transformed these lithe lovelies into a trio of soiled doves.
"We don’t want to shoot the women…" says Lobo [quote], "… not yet!"

Marshal Mike’s about to head for the hills

Carnage continued amidst the craggies while Lobo and his boys did the dosey-doe with those dippy dumb doves. Bob, one of Marshal Mike’s boys, got shot by an arrow at point blank range, and Shami himself took down the Preacher with his knife. Things started out bad and rapidly got a whole lot worse. Youngblood Dakaya stabbed Sheriff Shirley Knott in the face with his skinning knife, blinding him permanently in the left eye. Winklebottom, who was still walking a bit funny after his close encounter of the buckshot kind, turned the tables and shot-gunned Herb, taking him down in grand style.
By now the craggies, and the adjacent ruined hut, were awash with blood. But that did not seem to deter the combatants from wreaking yet more mayhem and murder. Deputy Dawg grappled with O’Reilly and succeeded in slashing his throat. "It’s just a scratch" gurgled the hardened Reb, as blood frothed alarmingly out of the side of his neck. "Dun worse than that m’self, shavin’" Now that’s hard!

Bloodbath in the Craggies

The fight came to a head in the craggies and Marshal Mike was eventually forced to head for the hills, leaving a trail of blood soaked bodies (mainly those of his own men, it has to be noted) in his wake. Federal Charlie Plain was wounded in the head by a long range rifle shot from Concho, who had hidden himself behind the trunk of a lonesome pine. Spurred on by the sight of blue-bellied Charlie dropping to the mud, Lobo and a couple of his buddies made a rush for the church, using the soiled doves as human shields. "No place is sacred!" screamed Lobo, as he and his murdering Mexican machismos unleashed a hail of lead into one of the church’s front windows. Jake detailed three of his cowboys to leave the firing line and go aid Lt House’s hard pressed Yankees at the church. Forgetting past animosities, Jake’s boys sprinted through the pouring rain to grapple with Lobo, and another Mexican, at the north wall of the church. No sooner had they whipped out their (impressively long) blades, than they were joined by Matt Polk and one of Lt. House’s trooper boys. Outnumbered now 2 to 1, the gregarious Lobo and his partner in crime were forced to retreat from the church, despite their tenacious grip on the bustles of the soiled doves, right up to the bitter end.
As night began to fall, the two sides pulled off undercover of the rain and the encroaching darkness. The final shot went to Mr Eastwood, a new Federal infantry recruit, who took down Chino at long range with his rifle. It had been a wet and bloody encounter which had finally ended in a draw. But at the close of this rainy day, there were plenty of scores yet to be settled for losses sustained and grievous wounds inflicted.

Infamy ratings at end of Game 2Shami-leaves-no-Marks: 94
Lt Norman House: 88
Windy Valdez: 68
Rob Johnson: 59
Marshal Mike: 53
Jake Fargo: 50

Judge Roy Bean once killed a Mexican official in a dispute over a girl in California. The Mexican official’s friend hanged Bean, but before he died he was cut down by the contested damsel. Ever after, Bean was unable to turn his head due to the injury.
The first gold strike in the Old West was made by Jose Ortiz in 1832 south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in what would quickly become the boom town of Delores.

Billy the Kid was born in New York City on September 17, 1859.

Established in 1827, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is the oldest military post in continuous operation west of the Mississippi

The oldest human skeleton ever found in the Western Hemisphere was discovered in 1953 near Midland, Texas . It was first believed that the skeleton, the remains of a 30-year-old woman, was 10,000 years old. However, the latest estimates are that it is much older.

The term "red light district" came from the Red Light Bordello in Dodge City, Kansas. The front door of the building was made of red glass and produced a red glow to the outside world when lit at night. The name carried over to refer to the town's brothel district.

Buffalo bones, which were strewn across the Great Plains after the mass buffalo hunts of 1870-1883, were bought by Eastern firms for the production of fertilizer and bone china. "Bone pickers" earned eight dollars a ton for the bones.

Clay Allison was described in a physician’s report as "maniacal with a personality where emotional or physical excitement produces paroxysmal of a mixed character."

Estimates of how many people lived in North America before the arrival of the European explorers vary from 8.4 million to 112 million. This population was divided into about 240 tribal groupings speaking an estimated 300 different languages.

Around 1541, the present state of Texas was called Tejas, a Spanish version of the Caddo word meaning "allies."

Wyatt Earp was indicted for horse theft in Van Buren, Arkansas on May 8, 1871. He escaped trial by jumping bail and fleeing to Kansas.

Rumor has it that the tradition of spreading saw dust on the floors of bars and saloons started in Deadwood, South Dakota due to the amount of gold dust that would fall on the floor. The saw dust was used to hide the fallen gold dust and was swept up at the end of the night.

After serving more than twenty years in prison, Cole Younger got a job selling tombstones, worked for a while in a Wild West show with Frank James, and died quietly in 1916 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where he was known as an elderly churchgoer.

Harry Longabaugh became known as "the Sundance Kid" because he served a jail term for horse stealing in Sundance, Wyoming .

Mike Fink was a keel boatman along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and an expert marksman. However, he loved his drink and was a known brawler. One of his favorite games was to shoot a mug of brew from the top of some fellow's head. However, on one night in 1823, he had drank so much that it didn't matter how good were his shooting skills. This time he missed and killed the guy who was wearing the mug on his head. In no time, the dead man's friends retaliated by killing Fink. For whatever reasons, his legend was being told for decades along with the likes of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill.

Texas was the most active gunfighting state, with some 160 shoot-outs from the 1850's through the 1890's.

Wyatt Earp was neither the town marshal nor the sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona at the time of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. His brother Virgil was the town marshal, who had temporarily deputized Wyatt, Morgan and Doc Holliday prior to the gunfight.

The Oregon Trail, from Independence, Missouri to Fort Vancouver, Washington measured 2,020 miles. An estimated 350,000 emigrants took the Oregon Trail but one out of seventeen would not survive the trip. The most common cause of death was cholera.

On December 21, 1876, Clay Allison shot and killed Deputy Sheriff Charles Faber at the Olympic Dance Hall in Las Animas, Colorado. If it weren’t for Allison purposely stomping on the feet of other dancers, the law probably would never have been called.

The Colt Peacemaker, the weapon that became known as "the gun that won the West" was a .45-caliber manufactured by Colt’s Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut in 1873. At the time it sold for $17.00.

Glossary of American Mountain Men Terms,
Words & Expressions

Part One
The shortest and straightest line between two points. This term was in use long before the invention of aircraft.
A large, padded packsaddle designed to handle awkward, heavy loads. Very likely the first type of packsaddle, Unlike the sawbuck, panniers cannot be handled with this saddle.
A saddle pad, often made of hair.
An early camp food made by skewering alternate pieces of lean meat and fat on a sharpened stick and roasting over a low fire. When it was possible to get them, pieces of potato or vegetable, were intermixed with the fat and the meat. This method of cooking was much used by many tribes of Indians, as well as the Mountain Men.
A large, pointed dagger used mostly by river men.
See "Airline"
French for "nourishment of the land'. All the free trappers and many engages were required to live "aux aliments du pays", surviving by using the provisions of nature.
A French word meaning "scout". This word was used by both voyageurs and mountain men.
Bullet. (the actual projectile.)
Said of a courageous person.
To skin an animal. To scalp a man. a squirrel by shooting the tree bark from under him.
The .50 caliber Sharps rifle used by the buffalo hunter.
A fallen tree used for fleshing hides. This was also called a graining beam or a fleshing beam.
A type of trap in which the fall acts as a lid over a pen, thereby catching the animal alive.
See "Airline".
A lamp made by filling a tin cup with bear or other animal fat, then inserting a twisted rag or piece of cotton rope to act as a wick.
An unexpected cold storm in late spring.
A term used by voyageurs for a new man who had yet to travel the Missouri past the Platte River. As with many voyageur terms, this was later adopted by some Mountain Men with much the same meaning.
Buffalo dung pats used as fuel.
A despised human scavenger who hunted for, and sold, the bones of dead animals, mostly buffalo.
The leader of a party of mountain men. The word comes from the French "bourgeois", used by the voyageurs.
See "Bossloper".
A trapper or hunter
The real treat of the mountain man. A buffalo gut containing chyme, which was cut into lengths about 24 inches long and roasted before a fire until crisp and sizzling.
A person of Indian and White blood. A half-breed.
A keelboat crew.
Tanned deerskin from which much of the clothing of the Indian and mountain man was made. If Indian tanned, buckskin was usually a very light dolor, often almost white. Darker color was usually obtained by smoking the skin over an open fire.
A boat made of raw buffalo skins, much used by traders. This boat differed from the Bull Boat in that it was larger and had a normal boat shape.
Buffalo manure, dried and used as fuel.
The fluid found in the stomach of the buffalo. Used by both mountain men and Indians to quench thirst.
An Indian dance used to insure success on a buffalo hunt.
See "Big Fifty".
A natural saltlick used by buffalo and other game animals. Usually a very good place to find game.
Any wide-open feeding area used by buffalo.
The skin of the buffalo, tanned with the hair on. Used by traders, Indians, and mountain men as ground covers, robes and blankets,
The depression made by buffalo rolling and dusting themselves. The same wallows were used year after year often becoming quite deep.
A large, gray wolf found around buffalo herds. Young buffalo calves were the natural food of this animal.
The Blackfoot Indians.
A derisive term used to mean any company official who tended to think that he was more important than he actually was.
A bowl-shaped boat having a willow frame-work covered with green hide. Easy and quick to make; but very difficult to handle.
Buffalo jerky.

A safe place, often hidden, for storage of food and other supplies.
To put or store something in a safe place.
To go into partnership.
A form of Mexican trousers often worn by traders.
A 35- to 40-foot long canoe propelled by fourteen men, (voyageur)
A 25-foot long canoe propelled by eight men. (Voyageur)
See "Carrot"
A bundle of tobacco, wrapped in linen, then whip-wrapped with cords thus forming a crescent-shaped bundle. An early method of packaging and selling tobacco.
A horse. Also a tribe of Indians in Oregon.
To make fun of someone. To rub someone the wrong way.
To haggle over prices or trade goods.
A thicket of scrub oak and other brush.
A party leader. (Voyageur)
See "Coon".
A warm wind, usually in the spring. This is a common term in the Northwest.
The hammer of a rifle or pistol.
He is a coward. Someone who seeks shelter when the going gets tough.
The nipple on a percussion rifle or pistol.
A raccoon. Also a friendly name early mountain men called each other.
To show bravery and receive honor by touching an enemy, usually with a special stick used for that purpose only. In some tribes, touching a living enemy had more honor than touching a dead enemy. Touching a man had more honor than touching a woman. The first to touch received more honor than the second or third. Credit was seldom if ever, given after the third. When feathers were awarded for coup, they were sometimes depending on the tribe, cut or painted to indicate the type and amount of honor they represented. Oddly enough, killing the enemy did not count for coup the first to touch took the honor, be he the killer or not. When used by the mountain man, the expression "I'll count coup on him" usually meant "I'll kill him", after which, the taking of the dead man's scalp was normal.
A woods runner or hunter an early French trapper, (Voyageur)
A messenger, A term used mostly by traders.
A very cold day.
Any river which is filled with sand bars reefs, or actual bends.
A man who can brag and is willing to back his talk with his fists or other means.
To walk or ride back and forth across an area looking for evidence of a man or animal passing

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