Late Morning – Thursday, July 16th, 1868 – the Black Swan Tavern, Naw’lins, Louisiana
That damned telegraph.
I stink like a distillery, but my mind’s still sharp as this pen nib. I gave up the drink after I left the house and entered the lodge, but a man will fall back on his habits in rough times. Another man might just have given up, but I’m fool enough to have hope.
The Padre tells me that after readin’ some of the books an’ papers what he got from the Powers hacienda, he’s pretty sure that there’s two more sets of scrolls out there. One in the hands of the Whateleys (they’re In the Book) and the other out west in Arizona somewhere. Which o’ course makes perfect sense now.
They’re gone. All of them. They believed in me, and I wasn’t there to protect them. Them, and Annebelle, and so many more. I must make it right. I will make it right. For without them, what am I?
As soon as I sober enough not to kill Emma by accident, I need to head west.
Friday, July 17th, 1868 – the Maiden Becky Louise Mississippi River, En Route to Naw’lins, Louisiana
I’d best not drink any more.
The last thing I really remember doin’ was that I had just got done abusin’ what authority and self-respect I got by takin’ a cardsharp with more than a little road-agent in ‘im to the task of searchin’ this building for bombs. There weren’t none, but that ain’t the point. Smackin’ folks around to make ‘em do what you want is not what the Badge is for.
Let me explain…
I’d been standin’ next to Wicked at Annie’s funeral, pissed to the gills. The pistolero then points out a pair of Nice Irish Boys to me, an’ tells me that those two wuz crashin’. Well, that wouldn’t do. So, rememberin’ full well that the last time I saw a pair o’ Nice Irish Boys, Denver burned to the ground, I squared my shoulders and walked on up.
However, things were not as they seemed. It turned out that the Nice Irish Boys had an invitation, in Belle’s own hand no less. After takin’ out some of my frustrations on Wicked (respectfully), I borrowed the aforementioned cardsharp/road-agent (whose name is Jason, thank you very much, dear reader) from the funeral and took him to the Laughing Corpse just in case Baton Rouge was next on the list for burnin’. It weren’t, so, I let the rascal go back to his fancifyin’. He had a show to go to, after all (more on that below).
Somehow durin’ my travels, I’d managed to meet a Deputy Ritter, who I vaguely remember as bein’ both young and competent. Well, those two things would stick out in any law man – but this one had a crackerjack deduction about the Elm Run case. I jus’ wish I could remember what it was…
Apparently, I agreed to ferry some wanted posters back to Naw’lins for ‘im. I suppose I’ll have a look-see during the long trip.