Saturday, 15 September 2007

GAZETTE issue 4

Incorporating the Ugley Imelda Gazette
Issue No. 4

FIRST NATIONAL BANK ROBBED!Early this morning, while all the horse rustlin’ action was goin’ down downtown, the renowned rebel outlaw Rob Johnson and his boys were busy robbing the First National Bank.

Minutes before the daring robbery took place, the outlaws had the audacity to pose outside the bank for our staff photographer - Nathan Prentiss. Little did Nate know that all hell was about to break loose soon after this photo was taken!

Rebel Rob Johnson –
Outlaw or freedom fighter?

Sheriff Shirley Knott had been tipped off that Johnson and his boys were in town and up to no good, as usual, so he decided to split his posse in two and catch these southern bushwhackers in a classic pincer movement, or ‘the horns of the buffalo’ as ol’ Sitting Bull likes to say. Shirley’s lawmen headed down Main Street with Preacher in tow, while at the same time trusty Deputy Doug led fellow lawmen Herb and Tom through the back alleys to lie in wait in the grounds of Lady Isabella’s dressmakers shop, located just across the street and directly in front of the bank.

But wily ol’ Rob Johnson was expecting such a ruse from Shirley and he had taken time to position his best shot with a rifle - “Bowlegged Billy” – up on the roof of the bank as a lookout and sniper. Stephen the Heathen had his horse tethered out front and was watching from the front door, with new boy “English Tony” standing close by. This brave little Brit was eager to prove his mettle to his posse leader and personal hero - R.J.

Stephen & English Tony keep a wary eye on the street from inside the bank.
The first shot was fired by Billy who had sighted a member of the sheriff’s posse creeping about in the shadows of the livery yard. Too much breakfast coffee
had given him a touch of the caffeine jitters, and Billy’s aim was uncharacteristically off. The muzzle flash of his Winchester gave away his position, and he was lucky to only get a fleck o’ brick dust in his eye when his intended target immediately returned fire with a scoped rifle. Better you stick to decaf from now on, Billy!

Hearing this exchange of rifle fire, Rob yelled to his boys to grab what they could carry from the safe and get ready to skedaddle. Stephen the Heathen and English Tony left by the bank’s front door, intent on diverting the lawmen just long enough to enable the rest of their gang to make a clean getaway by way of the bank’s back yard.

Billy has a Nescaffé moment
up on the roof of the First National
With the game now definitely afoot, Sheriff Shirley’s posse started to close in on the robbin’ Rebs. The lawmen were positioned on both sides of Main Street and were mighty confident that they had Johnson’s boys surrounded. Stephen the Heathen jumped on his horse and, out of the corner of one bloodshot eye, he caught a fleeting glimpse of Deputy Tom gettin’ set to draw his pistol. He shouted “Fire” to English Tony, who immediately obliged by quickly drawing, fanning, and dropping Tom before his Buntline Special had cleared its holster. Way to go, Tone! Stephen fired next and hit Deputy Doug, but Lady Luck was smiling upon him this fateful morning. The bullet skimmed the top of his Stetson and he was able to duck back for cover under the tables in Joe’s Café.
Herb, a model citizen (a 28mm model citizen in fact) was determined to do his bit to help out Imelda’s force of law and order. He espied the Injun and let rip with his six-gun. Sadly his aim wasn’t as good as his intention, and an errant slug hit Stephen’s horse in the butt which sent it bolting off into the adjacent alleyway. Stephen the Heathen was barely able to stay in the saddle as his ass-grazed mare bucked and bounced off the walls of the alley in its frenzy to get the hell outta there.
Lead starts to fly on Main Street

Steadfastly the lawmen continued to close in on the Bank as O’Reilly, Baker and Winklebottom crashed through the back gate, ahead of Rob and the boys who were laden with the loot.
Rob & Co. getting ready to runPreacher saw the back gates to the bank swing open and he grabbed the opportunity to take a pot shot at O’Reilly. His .45 cal slug parted the grey hair on the Civil War veteran’s head, and coaxed from him a colourful expletive that would have made his old drill color sergeant blush. O’Reilly and Baker returned fire in a trice, sending Preacher diving to the dirt with a hasty prayer to the Lord on his lips.

As the rival combatants closed on each other with grim intent, Deputy Doug got the draw on the renegade Cherokee and knocked him out of his saddle. His left foot got stuck in the stirrup, and the luckless injun was dragged all along the Main Street and outta town. Ouch! Oh! Road rash a go-go!

Thereafter, O’Reilly and Preacher continued to hurl lead at each other but to little effect. Winklebottom fared better when he discharged both barrels of his sawed-off shottie into Deputy Doug. Palmer added to the risk of his imminent lead poisoning by shooting Doug at the same time with his six gun. Poor ol’ Doug was wounded by the volley but still he managed to limp unaided into the Undertaker’s Yard. A rare smile cracked the craggy face of the parlour’s owner, Archie Grimsdale. It’s not often he gets customers turning up to his establishment on foot.
Backdoor action at the Bank…
ooer Matron!
Seeing the Deputy disappear in a cloud of gun smoke, Johnson and his loot-laden lackeys mistakenly thought their escape route was now clear. Whistlin’ Dixie, the plucky band of bank robbin’ bandits hightailed it out of the bank’s rear yard gate and took off along a back alley that leads out of town.

Then to everyone’s astonishment, Deputy Doug came charging out of the graveyard in what seemed like an act of sheer suicide. Rob Johnson and Palmer whipped out their pistols and began blazing away at this banzai lawman. With ice-cold nerve and questionable common sense, Daredevil Doug seemed to glide in slow motion through their hail of lead. Completely unscathed, he proceeded to calmly level his six gun at Palmer and blow him unceremoniously off his feet with a single shot.
Sheriff Shirley texts for reinforcements

This unnerved both Rob and Dutchy who immediately dropped their heavy bags of loot and sought cover behind the nearest wall. Preacher, inspired by Doug’s heroism, aimed and fired at Baker and found his mark. O’Reilly started into gibbering as his old buddy bit the dust beside him. Fumbling to load his sawed-off shotgun, he proceeded to cuss the bible-bashing bar steward in a most un-Christian way. Tut tut Mr O’Reilly!

Sheriff Shirley was now finally closing in on his prey, but in doing so he left himself open to a shot from his rival posse boss. Mr Johnson got the drop and loosed off an accurate shot that wounded Shirley fair and proper. But God certainly seemed to be on the side of the law that morning, and the Sheriff duly passed his fate roll. O’Reilly continued to curse at Preacher as he leveled his now-loaded shotgun at the bible-basher’s chest. Preacher reacted quickly and scurried behind a wall, and in so doing he left a clear line of sight for Sheriff Shirley to take down the cussin’ Irishman once and for all.

“Go get the loot, I’ll cover you…”

Sensing that the law were now getting the upper hand, Johnson screamed at his men to charge. Memories of Gettysburg and Pickett’s last amble through the cornfields suddenly came flooding back into the minds of Rob’s beleaguered Rebs. With a fearsome yell, these sons of the south leapt forward and charged. Doug soon found himself surrounded by a bellowing bunch of cash-crazed confederates, and before he could say ‘Stonewall Jackson’, they had overrun him and coshed him unconscious.

Dime dancin’ in the Dust
Meanwhile, Bowlegged Billy was having a tough time of it up on the roof of the bank. Perhaps it hadn’t been a good idea to place a perambulatorily- challenged rifleman in a position from where he couldn’t easily escape without jumping. And jumping, especially downwards from a great height, is definitely not Billy’s strong point. Although he was now isolated on the roof, ol’ bandy legs did manage to snipe at Preacher and get a hit that knocked him clean off his feet. It was a wound that was later to prove fatal for this fiery man of god.
With bodies heaped around him and bullets ricocheting off the wall at his back, Sheriff Shirley reluctantly decided to withdraw with what was left of his brave lawman posse. The Rebs had secured the loot, but it had been no easy pickin’s for them. No sir-eee.

Rob Johnson rallied his rowdy rebs, gathered up the gold, and hightailed it outta town. All in all, he was very pleased with his morning’s work, even if the cost in terms of sweat lost and blood spilled had been a little higher than he’d hoped for.

Post Mortem
Rob Johnson’s Rebs

Stephen the Heathen rolled multiple injuries on the recovery roll… and got lucky. He became hardened by his
experience and he also gained an extra wound.

Sergeant Baker also became hardened and gained +1 Grit

Corporal O’Reilly, who has been TKO’d in every encounter so far, gained +1 Grit and now has a ‘Bitter Enmity’ towards Sheriff Shirley and his boys for taking down his pal Baker.

John Palmer made a full recovery.

Seeing the Rebs in action inspired a new boy to join them. His name is Walter Closet. Oh dear.

Infamy Rating = a fulsome 91

Sheriff Shirley’s Lawmen

Preacher - finally went to meet his maker. The worms will be feasting on Boot Hill tonight.

Deputy Tom - he got one hell of a
beatin’, but at least he’s still breathin’. He’ll have to miss out 3 games while he recovers from his wounds tho’.

Sheriff Shirley has now become so skilled they are calling him the ‘rifleman’.

However, some Imeldans claim the Sheriff is suffering from partial deafness due to all the gunplay he’s been involved in of late. Shirley may think people are calling him ‘The Rifleman’, whereas in actual fact they are calling him ‘The Trifle Man’, on account of him being so partial to desserts made from solidified custard, fruit, sponge cake, jelly and whipped cream.

Infamy Rating = a sweet 40

The cowboy hat we have come to know today was first designed in the 1860s by a New Jersey man named John Batterson Stetson. Stetson, in Central City, Colorado for health reasons, saw a market for a broad brimmed hat for ranch wear. He opened a shop in Philadelphia and began designing hats under the Stetson name in 1865. By 1906 Stetson employed approximately 3,500 workers, turning out two million hats a year.

The first biography of Billy the Kid appeared only three weeks after his death.

Oklahoma is a Muskoegean word that Choctaw Allen Wright coined to mean "Red People." It was first applied to the eastern portion of Indian Territory in 1890.

dodgecity-longbranchsaloon.jpg (300x198 -- 6653 bytes)
Inside the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.

The Long Branch Saloon really did exist in Dodge City, Kansas. One of the owners, William Harris, was a former resident of Long Branch, New Jersey and named the saloon after his hometown in the 1880’s. The Long Branch Saloon still exists in Dodge City and can be seen at Dodge City’s Boothill Museum.

Jesse James was called "Dingus" by his friends.

The last Old West outlaw of renown to die “on the job” was Henry Starr, who began his career as a bandit in 1893 and led a gang of mounted outlaws for more than twenty-five years. Starr’s
career finally ended on February 18, 1921, when he was shot to death trying to rob a bank in Harrison, Arkansas.

During these old west times a gunfighter was also known as a “leather slapper,” a “gun fanner,” “gun trapper," “bad medicine,” “curly wolf,” and a “shootist.”

The telephone was invented in 1876. The first community to have a telephone, after the White House telephone was installed, was Deadwood, South Dakota.

According to eye witnesses, Wild Bill Hickok could hit a dime tossed into the air nine out of ten times; he could knock an apple from a tree with one shot and then hit the apple again with another bullet before it hit the ground, all at 25 paces.
Cowboys driving cattle to the market could expect to make between $25 and $40 per month. A Trail Boss might make as much as $125 per month.

In addition to Christianity and horses, the Spanish conquistadors brought something else to the American Indians. The number of Native Americans living in New Spain decreased from around 11 million in 1520 to about 6.5 million by the 1550's, thanks to measles, cholera, and other diseases imported from Europe.

Doc Holliday claimed he almost lost his life a total of nine times. Four attempts were made to hang him and he was shot at five times.

For acts of bravery during service with the U.S. Army in the Indian Wars, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1872. But in 1917, the year of his death, it was withdrawn because of his status as a civilian scout.

Sometimes cowboys referred to beans as "Deceitful Beans" because they talked behind your back. Watch out, Windy!

Newspapers of the
Old West
Part One
Arizona Territory
In 1879 a newspaper by the title of The Nugget began publication in Tombstone. Shortly after that there appeared a second newspaper in Tombstone. Its title was The Tombstone Epitaph. Few newspapers in the Old West gained as much acclaim as The Tombstone Epitaph. It was edited by John P. Clum. It is said that when someone asked Clum as to how he came upon the name for his paper he replied "Every tombstone needs an epitaph." His newspaper was to be a statement of the era.

The Winchester Rifle
"The gun that won the West"
The Winchester rifle has become synonymous with the word "repeating rifle" (i.e. multishot rifle) which was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and was commonly used in the United States during the latter half of the 19th century. The gun is colloquially known as "the gun that won the West" for its immense popularity at that time, as well as its use in fictional Westerns.

The original Winchester rifle was famous for its rugged construction and lever-action mechanism that allowed the rifleman to fire a number of shots before having to reload: hence the term, "repeating rifle."

The idea of a repeating rifle had been the subject of many inventions since the use of firearms began, but few of these had proven to be practical, mainly because the modern cartridge, which made repeating arms practical, had not yet been developed.

Repeating revolvers were popular in the mid 19th century. One of these revolving pistols, the Colt, was very successful, and a rifle version was produced, but it was not widely popular. The more successful Spencer rifles and carbines of the American Civil War were a notable step forward, but were not completely satisfactory in various respects.

The ancestor of the Winchester rifles was the Volcanic rifle of Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. It was originally manufactured by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, which was later reorganized into the New Haven Arms Company, its largest stockholder being Oliver Winchester.

The Volcanic rifle used a form of "caseless" ammunition and had only limited success. Wesson had also designed an early form of rimfire cartridge which was subsequently perfected by Benjamin Tyler Henry. Henry also supervised the redesign of the rifle to use the new ammunition, retaining only the general form of the breech mechanism and the tubular magazine. This became the Henry rifle of 1860, which was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company and was used in considerable numbers by certain Union Army units in the Civil War.

After the war, Oliver Winchester continued to exercise control of the company, renaming it the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and had the basic design of the Henry rifle completely modified and improved. It become the first Winchester rifle, the Model 1866, which fired centerfire cartridges and had an improved magazine and, for the first time, a wooden forearm. In 1873 Winchester introduced the Model 1873, with a steel frame and the more potent .44 Winchester Center Fire (WCF) cartridge. In 1876, in a bid to complete with the powerful single shot rifles of the time, Winchester brought out the Model 1876 (Centennial Model). While it chambered cartridges with more power than the 1866 and 1873 models, the toggle link action was just not strong enough for the popular rounds used in Sharps or Remington rifles.

From 1883, John Browning worked in partnership with the Winchester, designing a series of rifles and shotguns, most notably the Winchester Model 1887 and Model 1897 shotguns and the lever-action Model 1886, Model 1892, Model 1894 and Model 1895 rifles. Reproductions of the 1887 and 1897 shotguns, and the 1886 and 1892 rifles, are available today, though not from Winchester. The Model 94, and limited editions of the 1895 rifles, are still produced under the Winchester name, but no longer in the United States.

The 1866 was only available in the rimfire .44 Henry. The 73 was available in .44 WCF (.44-40), .38 WCF (.38-40), and .32 WCF (.32-20), most of which were also available in Colt, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Merwin & Hulbert, and other revolvers. Having a common centerfire cartridge in both revolvers and rifles allowed the owner to carry two firearms, but only one type of ammunition. The original 73 was never offered in the military standard .45 Colt cartridge; only modern reproductions are offered in that caliber. There was a limited number of 1873 Winchesters manufactured in .22 rimfire caliber, which lacked the loading gate on the right side of the receiver.

Winchester continued to dominate the American rifle market for decades with the introduction of Models 1876, 1886, 1892, 1894, and 1895 (which featured a box magazine, rather than the tubular magazine found on the previous models). The '76 was a heavier-framed rifle than the '66 or '73, and was the first to be chambered for full-powered centerfire rifle cartridges, as opposed to rimfire cartridges or handgun-sized centerfire rounds. It was introduced to celebrate the American Centennial, and earned a reputation as a durable and powerful hunting rifle. The Canadian Mounties also used the '76 as a standard long arm for many years. Theodore Roosevelt used an engraved, pistol-gripped half-magazine '76 during his early hunting expeditions in the West and praised it.

The Browning-designed Model 1886 continued the trend towards chambering heavier rounds, and was even stronger than the toggle-link '76. In many respects the '86 was a true American express rifle. The '86 could be chambered in the more powerful black powder cartridges of the day, including the .45-70 Government. Chambering a rifle for the .45-70 had been a goal of Winchester for some time.

Winchester returned to its roots with the Model 1892, which, like the first leverguns, was primarily chambered for lower-pressure, smaller, handgun rounds. The Model '92, however, incorporates a much stronger action than the leverguns of the 1860s and 1870s. 1,004,675 '92s were made, and although Winchester phased them out in the 1930's, they are still being made under the Puma label by the Brazilian arms maker, Rossi. In its modern form using superior materials, the 92's action is strong enough to chamber ultra-high pressure handgun rounds, such as the .357 and .44 Magnums, up to the mighty .454 Casull.

The 1892 was designed as a replacement for the 1873 by John Moses Browning. Browning went on to dominate the Winchester design team during the revolutionary period of the 1880s to the early 1900s, when smokeless powder forced all arms makers to go rethink every aspect of their firearms. Thanks to Browning's genius, Winchester was able to stay on top of the market during this explosive period. The company was the first to develop a rifle and cartridge for the new powder, the Winchester Model 1894. Though delays prevented the .30-30 or .30 WCF round from appearing on the shelves until 1895, it remained the first commercially available smokeless powder round for the North American consumer market. Though initially it was too expensive for most shooters, the '94 ultimately became Winchester's most popular rifle of all time, selling millions across North America.

In 1885 Winchester entered the Single Shot market with their model 1885 rifle, a rifle that had been designed by John Moses Browning in 1878. The Winchester Single Shot, known to most shooters as the low-wall, and the hi-wall, but officially marketed by Winchester as the Single Shot rifle, was produced to satisfy the demands of the growing sport of MATCH
SHOOTING, which opened at Creedmoor, New York, on June 21, 1872. Target shooting, MATCH SHOOTING as it was referred to, was as popular from about 1871 until about 1917, as golf in the US is popular today.

The Winchester company, which had built its reputation on repeating firearms, had in 1885, challenged the single shot giants of Sharps, Remington, Stevens, Maynard, Ballard, among others. Winchester not only entered the competition, they excelled at it, as MAJ. Ned H. Roberts (1866-1948 - inventor of the .257 Roberts) would state later, "...the most reliable, strongest, and altogether best single shot rifle ever produced." [7] There was a lot of truth to that, as Winchester produced their Single Shot from 1885 to 1920, with nearly 140,000 units. More importantly, the model 1885 had been built with the strongest falling block action known at that time, strong enough for the Winchester company to use the 1885 action to test all of their new ammunition with. To satisfy the needs of the shooting and hunting public, the model 1885 single shot had been produced in more calibers than any other winchester rifle. In 2005, after a break of 85 years, the Winchester Company reproduced a "Limited Series" of their Winchester Single shot rifles, in both 19th and 20th century calibers. The 21st century Winchester Single Shot rifles are built with the latest technology and modern steels, enabling them to fire modern cartridges. Original 1885 single shots, should be inspected by a competent gunsmith before firing modern high pressure loads or in some cases smokeless powder.

While earlier rifles and shotguns actually "won the West," the majority of lever action rifles seen in classic Hollywood Westerns are Winchester '92 carbines chambered in .44-40 and .38-40 (to utilize the "5-in-1" blank cartridge), which John Wayne famously carried around through dozens of films set in periods from the 1830s to the 1880s. Winchester rifles remained the most popular in the US through WWI and the interwar period. However, European advances in the development of bolt action rifles threw a long shadow.

These new rifles could chamber pointed "Spitzer" bullets, which no lever action with a tube magazine could. They could also cope with more pressure, and consequently chamber more potent rounds and shoot flatter than a lever rifle. On top of this, bolt actions as developed by Mauser and other European concerns had front locking lugs which stabilized the cartridge head very well, and allowed for phenomenal accuracy.
In response to the increasing competition from these bolt-action rifles, Winchester introduced the Model 70 in 1936. This was not Winchester's first bolt rifle, but it was by far their most successful. It was based on a modified Mauser Gewehr 98 design, but with modifications and popular North American chamberings which made it more appealing to American hunters than European imports or sporterized military rifles.

Glossary of American Mountain Men Terms,
Words & Expressions
Part Three


The greatest praise a mountain man can say of another.
A person of mixed blood, Indian and White.
A floor less shed, closed with poles on the back and sides, closed with skins and blankets on the front. The roof sloped from the rear of the shed to the front. This form of house or shed was greatly used by settlers until they had time to construct a log structure.
Short for "Tomahawk".
A very old term meaning "to lift and feel the weight of".
A traditional greeting given before entering any strange camp. Better given at a slight distance or the visitor may not leave in the same manner that he entered,
A rather low breed of man who killed buffalo for the hides only. Usually despised by all who came into contact with him. "Buffalo skins for the belts of industry."
An experienced mountain man. One who had lived many years in Indian country. (First Voyageur, later Mountain Man)

A large wooden barrel or cask capable of holding from 100 gallons up.
A stick and earth lodge used by the Navaho Indians,
Give up, surrender. An expression used by river boatmen.
Delirium Tremans. After the first night or two at the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous many a mountain man faced the horrors.
The small ribs which support the buffalo's hump. Roasted they were another favorite of the mountain men.

Payment given to Indians as part of a treaty agreement. More often than not, a sizeable portion went into the pocket of some bureaucrat.
Corn meal bread.
Medicine man. Also, a White man well versed in natural medicine,
Single file.
Trade goods. Often just trinkets of little value to the White man, but of great value to the Indian.
An Indian on scouting duty with the U.S. Amy.
Evidence of Indians in the area.
To sneak up on someone or something.

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