Boot Hill: Pima County

Dumarest

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Tuesday, June 21, 1870

It's the first day of summer and the sun's been up for hours already, but still a rooster crows over on the east side of town, like as not from a small farm plot attached to a house 'round back of Sour Lemmon's livery stable. A newly arrived stagecoach kicks up dust as it pulls up in front of the Wells Fargo at the north end of town. Across the way, a couple of Mexican kids are grooming horses at Lemmon's place while Sour himself stands in the stable doorway and squints to see who the new arrivals are, on the lookout in particular for womenfolk, pretty or otherwise.

Marshal Bud Clary sits on a stool out front of his office, his hat slung down over his eyes to block the hot eastern sun as he chews on a straw and sporadically listens to Doc Haney drone on about some particular medical condition or other. Doc Haney sips at a flask that he swears contains a medicinal concoction but everybody else knows is just sour mash whiskey.

Townsfolk head into the Wagon Wheel General Store to acquire their goods and sundries and odds and ends from Lonnie Parsons or his wife Sarah, on credit if they're of a known character, cash on the barrel head otherwise. That latter applies to you and your trail compadres.

Grizzled old prospector Cougar Rydell walks alongside a stone-boat pulled by his mule. Whatever he's got on the stone-boat is covered by a moth-eaten old Confederate Army blanket, but he seems a mite troubled by suspicion as he glances around furtively before dragging to a stop out front of the assayer's office.

They say Gin Blossom Jenkins used to be a hand before he took to drink, but now he just loafs about on the boardwalk in front of the Yellow Rose Saloon, clumsily plaiting rawhide to make a riata he'll like as not never use but for to trade away for drinkin' money. You've heard that he makes up for his lack of dexterity by way of sheer tenacity, the result being that his finished products are among the best lassos you'll ever see.

Each of you, together or separately, for reasons of your own, is at the Yellow Rose Saloon, which everybody knows isn't just a place to belt a few beers but is also a clearinghouse for information and a place to do business. The big stir in town this morning is that someone killed Cookie McCabe, the cook up at Big Jim Wayne's Big J Ranch. Tied up at the hitching post out front of the saloon are a half-dozen horses wearing the J-Bar brand, as well as some from the Double A, the Circle Star, and the Lazy K. The bar at the Yellow Rose Saloon runs across two-thirds of the north end of the room, just inside from the bat-wing entrance doors. Aside from the bar, there are about a dozen tables and a piano on the east side of the room which no one is presently playing and bears up under a thick layer of dust that may just mean no one has ever played it. Whether it's in tune, who knows. Up at the bar the riders of the J-Bar brand are having a powwow and looking a mite fierce and quick to anger. Nobody expects Marshal Clary will do much about the killin'. Hands from the other ranches don't seem to give a tinker's dam. Over in a corner near the door a couple of gussied-up waitresses, pretty little Mexican gals, murmur about the upcoming 4th of July celebration and speculate as to whether there'll be music and dancin'.

One of the hands from the Big J, a balding, broad-faced galoot, already half-drunk, approaches your table and announces in a general way, "If'n any o' you boys knows how t' cook up good vittles, we's a-hirin' up at the Big J. Somebody done up and kilt Cookie McCabe. Can't say as I blame 'em--haw! haw! haw!--as Cookie never done much but give me the runs. Any o' you huntin' work?"
 
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Gringnr

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Eugene looks up from his whiskey and says, "Doin' what?" He adjusts the wide brim of his hat to better survey the man standing before him. "I work for Mr. Crenshaw, tendin' his herd, but I do other kinds o' work if it pays decent."
 

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Eugene looks up from his whiskey and says, "Doin' what?" He adjusts the wide brim of his hat to better survey the man standing before him. "I work for Mr. Crenshaw, tendin' his herd, but I do other kinds o' work if it pays decent."
"Who the hell is Crenshaw? His brand don't figure," the galoot replies. "Cookin' work, friend. We got hungry hands up at the Big J and our cook got hisself kilt last night."
 

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"Who the hell is Crenshaw? His brand don't figure," the galoot replies. "Cookin' work, friend. We got hungry hands up at the Big J and our cook got hisself kilt last night."
Eugene, beginning to dislike the man's demeanor, says, "I only work wth livestock, or guns. Best o' luck t'ya" He then pulls the brim of his hat back down and turns his gaze to his whiskey, and, periodically, saloon girls.
 

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"We got guns work, too, fella," the galoot responds with a wink as he spits some chaw tobacco on the floorboards.

One of his fellow Big J riders, built like a snake on stilts, comes up to lead him away, saying, "C'mon, Cal, let's go. The boys are gonna put up a wanted poster and a month's wages each to catch that no-account killer."
 

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"We got guns work, too, fella," the galoot responds with a wink as he spits some chaw tobacco on the floorboards.

One of his fellow Big J riders, built like a snake on stilts, comes up to lead him away, saying, "C'mon, Cal, let's go. The boys are gonna put up a wanted poster and a month's wages each to catch that no-account killer."
Eugene follows them with his eyes, watching to see which direction they go when they leave. He is wanting to make sure that he is able to see the wanted poster when it goes up. A bounty would supplement his income nicely. He isn't looking to leave Mr. Crenshaw's employ without notice, but some work on the side would be nice.
 

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Half-listening to the conversation, Cisco studies the other cowhands in the saloon, the ones not part of the J-Bar group, to see how they react.
 

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Lars didn't travel across an ocean just to end up doing women's work, so a job as a cook isn't going to end his cow-herding days. But he perks up at the thought of a bounty. You can earn a lot of money on those, can't you? He can surely bring in a wanted man, especially if he gets some of the other boys with him. He's got a gun and he knows how to use it... well, he's got a gun, anyway, and how hard can they possibly be to use?

He glances across the table to Eugene.

"What do you think?" he says. He still has to remind himself to pronounce the words in his new language clearly and seperately, like a proud and free American, intead of letting them flow together in a timid Swedish mumble. "It could be worth a look."
 

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Jesus having just arrived and bereft of any money listens from outside the saloon.

As the Big J hands leave Jesus stops them and asks "Pardon señors. I am a good hunter and would like to help you catch your friends killer. May I see the poster?"
 

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Lars didn't travel across an ocean just to end up doing women's work, so a job as a cook isn't going to end his cow-herding days. But he perks up at the thought of a bounty. You can earn a lot of money on those, can't you? He can surely bring in a wanted man, especially if he gets some of the other boys with him. He's got a gun and he knows how to use it... well, he's got a gun, anyway, and how hard can they possibly be to use?

He glances across the table to Eugene.

"What do you think?" he says. He still has to remind himself to pronounce the words in his new language clearly and seperately, like a proud and free American, intead of letting them flow together in a timid Swedish mumble. "It could be worth a look."

Eugene looks at the strapping Swede with a slight grin and nods in agreement. Finishing his whiskey, he says, "Let's go get a gander at that poster..."
 

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Quinn, who caught part of the exchange between the Big J hand and Crenshaw's boys as he entered the saloon, steps up to the bar and touches the brim of his hat as he greets the barkeep. "Howdy, Pete. What's all the fuss about McCabe?"
 

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Walking across the barroom of the saloon, Mary takes notice of the exchange between the Big J ranch hands and Crenshaw's boys. Confused yet also somewhat interested, the saloon girl approaches the groups but before she can talk to either of them, the exchange is over.

Turning her eyes towards the bar, Mary sees a man walk up to the bar and talk to Pete. She is not familiar with this man, as she has only been living in Arizona for a few days now.

"Howdy. You one of the locals 'round here? Let me buy you a drink."

The young woman hoped that if she could act all sweet to the man, maybe he could let her in on what all was going on earlier between the two groups of cowpokes, or at the very least, she could find a new mark to grift.
 

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Corbin swirls his tin cup, the coffee inside as black as tar and just as thick.

"Guns work huh? Don't go pretending you ain't interested Eugene. Good chance we'll earn a sizeable amount, what do you say?"
 

Gringnr

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Corbin swirls his tin cup, the coffee inside as black as tar and just as thick.

"Guns work huh? Don't go pretending you ain't interested Eugene. Good chance we'll earn a sizeable amount, what do you say?"
Eugene looks at Corbin and says, "'Course I'm interested, I just didn't like the way he asked. Now, let's get out there and take a look at that poster before every two-bit shootist in town comes gunnin' for our bounty!" He rises, and motions to Lars (whom he has taken a liking to on account of the big Swede's guileless nature) and Corbin to follow as he heads for the saloon doors...
 

Dumarest

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Half-listening to the conversation, Cisco studies the other cowhands in the saloon, the ones not part of the J-Bar group, to see how they react.
Cisco sees a lanky redheaded man stand up with a beer in his hand and announce to his companions, "It just breaks my heart to hear about something bad happening to someone up at the Big J. I mean, Big Jim might of even paid cash money for some of them cows wearing the J-Bar brand!" The other men guffaw and slap their knees. Someone in Red's crowd calls out "Doubt it!" and another round of laughter follows.
Quinn, who caught part of the exchange between the Big J hand and Crenshaw's boys as he entered the saloon, steps up to the bar and touches the brim of his hat as he greets the barkeep. "Howdy, Pete. What's all the fuss about McCabe?"
"The way I hear it, the man was dry-gulched betwixt here and the Big J Ranch last night," Pete answers as he wipes the inside of a shot glass with his dirty apron. He lowers his voice and adds, "I guess that's a laughing matter to some folks. What's your poison?"
Eugene follows them with his eyes, watching to see which direction they go when they leave. He is wanting to make sure that he is able to see the wanted poster when it goes up. A bounty would supplement his income nicely. He isn't looking to leave Mr. Crenshaw's employ without notice, but some work on the side would be nice.
The Big J riders saddle up outside and turn their horses north.
Jesus having just arrived and bereft of any money listens from outside the saloon.

As the Big J hands leave Jesus stops them and asks "Pardon señors. I am a good hunter and would like to help you catch your friends killer. May I see the poster?"
"Mind you, we had to rush to get these made right quick," says one of the hands from atop his horse as he hands down a sheet of paper. He shows Jesús a hammer and a handful of small, sharp nails and adds, "We're tackin' these up at every place of business as will let us."
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[Unless someone continues the conversation with the Big J riders, they'll head north up Main Street on horseback.]
 
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Quinn looks away from Pete to address the young lady. "Thank you kindly, ma'am, but I was aimin' to leave this town today and best keep a clear head, what with all's that's goin' on. I ain't much of local but have spent some time here in this town. Is there somethin' I can help you with?"
 

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"Oh, don't mind me. I was just being friendly and I like seeing new faces. I'm kind of new here myself. Name's Mary, I came here all the way from New York."
 

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Cisco sees a lanky redheaded man stand up with a beer in his hand and announce to his companions, "It just breaks my heart to hear about something bad happening to someone up at the Big J. I mean, Big Jim might of even paid cash money for some of them cows wearing the J-Bar brand!" The other men guffaw and slap their knees. Someone in Red's crowd calls out "Doubt it!" and another round of laughter follows.
Cisco watches the others exit the saloon, then walks to the bar nearest the ginger cowhand, orders a beer. 'Forgive my presumption, gentlemen,' he begins, 'but I am newly arrived in town. If I may, sympathy seems in short supply for the departed and his compadres.' Cisco sips his beer, leaves the last hanging like a question.
 

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Cisco sees a lanky redheaded man stand up with a beer in his hand and announce to his companions, "It just breaks my heart to hear about something bad happening to someone up at the Big J. I mean, Big Jim might of even paid cash money for some of them cows wearing the J-Bar brand!" The other men guffaw and slap their knees. Someone in Red's crowd calls out "Doubt it!" and another round of laughter follows.

"The way I hear it, the man was dry-gulched betwixt here and the Big J Ranch last night," Pete answers as he wipes the inside of a shot glass with his dirty apron. He lowers his voice and adds, "I guess that's a laughing matter to some folks. What's your poison?"

The Big J riders saddle up outside and turn their horses north.

"Mind you, we had to rush to get these made right quick," says one of the hands from atop his horse as he hands down a sheet of paper. He shows Jesús a hammer and a handful of small, sharp nails and adds, "We're tackin' these up at every place of business as will let us."

[Unless someone continues the conversation with the Big J riders, they'll head north up Main Street on horseback.]
Eugene exits the saloon, and walks up to where the Big J riders and Jesus are standing. "That the feller you reckon bushwhacked your cookie?"
 
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"Oh, don't mind me. I was just being friendly and I like seeing new faces. I'm kind of new here myself. Name's Mary, I came here all the way from New York."
"Jackson Quinn. Friends, when I have 'em, just call me Quinn. Say, you heard anything about this McCabe business?"

Dumarest, would Quinn know anything about Big J or Crenshaw since he's lived in town a while?
 

Dumarest

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Dumarest, would Quinn know anything about Big J or Crenshaw since he's lived in town a while?
[Quinn Jackson, as well as anyone else who's been in Saguaro for any length of time, would know that Big Jim Wayne is a relative newcomer to Pima County, rarely shows his face in town, and is rumored to have acquired his herd by unlawful means. Rumor has it that he drove his herd west from Texas and that the J-Bar brand was chosen because its shape aptly covers the original brand. No one, to your knowledge, has ever skinned a cow to check for sure. Also, due to the natural increase of the herd, many cows would like as not have no prior brand. Finally, the Big J Ranch is known to have been obtained by Big Jim Wayne by marriage to a landed widow who conveniently passed away within a month of the wedding.

As for Tybalt Crenshaw, he's @FeralToaster's PC and a recent arrival in Saguaro himself. He showed up with two cows, a horse, and at least one associate (@Gringnr's PC Eugene).]
 
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Dumarest

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Cisco watches the others exit the saloon, then walks to the bar nearest the ginger cowhand, orders a beer. 'Forgive my presumption, gentlemen,' he begins, 'but I am newly arrived in town. If I may, sympathy seems in short supply for the departed and his compadres.' Cisco sips his beer, leaves the last hanging like a question.
"You bet," says Red. "Don't The Good Book say you reap what you sow? They're reapin', friend."
 
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Eugene exits the saloon, and walks up to where the Big J riders and Jesus are standing. "That the feller you reckon bushwhacked your cook?"
"We reckon so," says the rider with the wanted posters. "It's no secret he's got a beef with Big Jim on account of Big Jim fired him. If I was him, I'd light a shuck for Mexico afore I was fitted for a noose."
 
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"We reckon so," says the rider with the wanted posters. "It's no secret he's got a beef with Big Jim on account of Big Jim fired him. If I was him, I'd light a shuck for Mexico afore I was fitted for a noose."
"You tryin' to get a man hung 'cuz he has a grudge? Might as well hang half the county! I shore do hope you have more than suspicion connectin' him ta this crime. I ain't fixin' ta gun a man down on account a' you got a feelin'!"
 

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"You tryin' to get a man hung 'cuz he has a grudge? Might as well hang half the county! I shore do hope you have more than suspicion connectin' him ta this crime. I ain't fixin' ta gun a man down on account a' you got a feelin'!"
A broad-shouldered rider with a big yellow mustache and a friendly smile, wearing a beat-up dark blue Cavalry Stetson, looks you up and down and says, "Stranger, if you wasn't so new in town you'd know better than to buck Big Jim even if all he had was a hunch, but it just so happens Jethro Beauregard Jackson was seen riding away from the scene after doin' the deed. Ain't that right, Chávez?"

The Mexican rider, his face shadowed by a big sombrero, nods solemnly and adds, "¡Es un forajido!"
 

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A broad-shouldered rider with a big yellow mustache and a friendly smile, wearing a beat-up dark blue Cavalry Stetson, looks you up and down and says, "Stranger, if you wasn't so new in town you'd know better than to buck Big Jim even if all he had was a hunch, but it just so happens Jethro Beauregard Jackson was seen riding away from the scene after doin' the deed. Ain't that right, Chávez?"

The Mexican rider, his face shadowed by a big sombrero, nods solemnly and adds, "¡Es un forajido!"

Eugene eyes the man with the yellow mustache and the Mexican, trying to get the measure of the men. Something about their story seems peculiar. He glances at Lars, then Corbin, then back at the Big J riders, trying to figure out if he is being lied to...
 

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Tybalt Crenshaw wanders in after seeing to his small herd nods a greeting at Eugene. "Now, I was an acquaintance of old Cookie it wouldn't do if'n I did go and pay mah respects".
 

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Tybalt Crenshaw wanders in after seeing to his small herd nods a greeting at Eugene. "Now, I was an acquaintance of old Cookie it wouldn't do if'n I did go and pay mah respects".

Eugene decides to follow his boss' lead, but to discuss his reservations about the bounty when out of earshot of the Big J riders...
 

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"You bet," says Red. "Don't The Good Book say you reap what you sow? They're reapin', friend."
Cisco nods sagely. "Sow the breeze and reap the whirlwind, as the Judge, my father, often told me when I was a boy,' answers the lawyer. 'I grew up on a ranch myself, and seems to me a cook is an odd choice to draw the ire of an entire outfit. A card sharp, perhaps?' Before the ginger can answer, he motions to one of the pretty little Mexican girls. "¡Una ronda para mis amigos, por favor!'
 

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Cisco nods sagely. "Sow the breeze and reap the whirlwind, as the Judge, my father, often told me when I was a boy,' answers the lawyer. 'I grew up on a ranch myself, and seems to me a cook is an odd choice to draw the ire of an entire outfit. A card sharp, perhaps?' Before the ginger can answer, he motions to one of the pretty little Mexican girls. "¡Una ronda para mis amigos, por favor!'
"Well, howdy, pard!" exclaims Red as some of the other cowpunchers crowd you and exuberantly pat you on the back. The waitresses bring a round and, once whistles are wet and things have settled a bit, he says, "Naw, Cookie wasn't much hand at cards. I had nothing against Cookie personally, but when you mix with bad company it kinda rubs off on you and I hear Cookie been with Big Jim since the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Nobody's gonna shed no tears for any o' that bunch."

A bucktoothed, sandy-haired hand on your other side wipes his lips on his sleeve and says, "That ain't it. I heard Cookie knowed something he shouldn't of knowed and paid the price. He came and went at odd hours for a cook, I say."

A third rider with a drooping coal-black mustache snorts and says, "Greenhorns who don't know better talk loose 'round a chuckwagon. A cook who keeps his eyes and ears open sees and hears a lot you might not like for him to see and hear. You get me?"

"Men been killed for less," Red admits.
 

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Jesus looks at the photo and asks "I can't read. What's this fellas name?"
He takes a few posters and tacks and tries to help put up posters.

"Any idea where he's heading?" he asks.
 

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Jesus looks at the photo and asks "I can't read. What's this fellas name?"
He takes a few posters and tacks and tries to help put up posters.

"Any idea where he's heading?" he asks.
"Jethro Beauregard Jackson. Thousand dollars to whoever brings him in for a hangin' party. As for where he is, who knows? He was ridin' east, I hear. If he had any brains he'd of rid south to Mexico."
 

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"Well, howdy, pard!" exclaims Red as some of the other cowpunchers crowd you and exuberantly pat you on the back. The waitresses bring a round and, once whistles are wet and things have settled a bit, he says, "Naw, Cookie wasn't much hand at cards. I had nothing against Cookie personally, but when you mix with bad company it kinda rubs off on you and I hear Cookie been with Big Jim since the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Nobody's gonna shed no tears for any o' that bunch."

A bucktoothed, sandy-haired hand on your other side wipes his lips on his sleeve and says, "That ain't it. I heard Cookie knowed something he shouldn't of knowed and paid the price. He came and went at odd hours for a cook, I say."

A third rider with a drooping coal-black mustache snorts and says, "Greenhorns who don't know better talk loose 'round a chuckwagon. A cook who keeps his eyes and ears open sees and hears a lot you might not like for him to see and hear. You get me?"

"Men been killed for less," Red admits.
Cisco nods agreement once more, furrows his brow to appear deep in thought. 'Indeed,' the attorney replies gravely. 'On the ranch of my youth, the cook was often a man with a past. Makes one wonder how the deceased made a living before meeting Big Jim.'
 

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Cisco nods agreement once more, furrows his brow to appear deep in thought. 'Indeed,' the attorney replies gravely. 'On the ranch of my youth, the cook was often a man with a past. Makes one wonder how the deceased made a living before meeting Big Jim.'
"If you want my advice, steer clear of Big Jim Wayne," he says. "Well, mister, thamks for the drink. It's high time me an' the boy skedaddled back to Kerrigan Ranch. If you meet anyone riding the Lazy K brand, tell 'em you know Red McClintock and they won't give you no trouble. If you're of a mind to ride herd, Mrs. Kerrigan is always on the lookout for a trusty hand." He rises to leave and several other men get up to follow.

[They'll exit the saloon and saddle up unless detained further.]
 

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Lars, having followed Eugene outside, can't repress a slight, respectful nod to Mister Crenshaw when he turns up, even though he curses himself out for his cringing. Where he grew up, if you didn't show respect for your master it got you a hiding. You can get away with a lot more in America, but he's still not sure just how much, and he'd rather not get any more hidings.

"Well, we should head east then, right?" he says. "And see if we can, er, pick up his trail or something."
 

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"If you want my advice, steer clear of Big Jim Wayne," he says. "Well, mister, thamks for the drink. It's high time me an' the boy skedaddled back to Kerrigan Ranch. If you meet anyone riding the Lazy K brand, tell 'em you know Red McClintock and they won't give you no trouble. If you're of a mind to ride herd, Mrs. Kerrigan is always on the lookout for a trusty hand." He rises to leave and several other men get up to follow.

[They'll exit the saloon and saddle up unless detained further.]
Cisco extends a hand to Red. 'I do appreciate your time and conversation, Red, boys,' answers the attorney. 'I'm Samuel Kidd, but my dear Spanish mother calls me Cisco.' He mulls the information he learned from the Lazy K hands, remembers the cook at La Tierra, a Mexican named Tranquilo from Nuevo Leon, who fried grasshoppers in bacon grease and drizzled them with honey as a treat for Cisco and his brothers and had somehow cooked for the armies of both Santa Anna and General Houston during the War for Independence. He finishes his beer, winks at the waitresses, and heads outside to join Crenshaw.


OOC: Cisco's riding with Crenshaw as well.
 

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Jesus sees a what might be a posse forming in Crenshaws group and approaches them.
"If you all are going to look for this man may I join you?" He asks them showing the wanted poster.
 

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Eugene extends a hand to Jesus. "Name's Eugene. I work for Mr. Crenshaw, here."
 

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"Mr. Crenshaw" Corbin nods. He hasn't been in Crenshaw's employ, but no harm being polite to keep the possibility open.

"I'll tag along as well, if it's alright with the rest of you. Sounds intersting"
 
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