Suicide Kings

Why was Six Afraid of Seven?...

...Because Seven Shot Eight in the Face

July 24th, The Canterbury Limited, Union Station, Kansas City.

As the train pulled into the station, the six did their best to gather up their things and head towards a door. More accurately, five of them did. The sixth was unconscious and still bleeding from the wounding he’d taken the night before. Hogan and Finn each threw an arm of their wounded friend over their shoulder to carry him out into the Saturday morning light that was just beginning to peek out over the tops of the buildings in the horizon.
“He’s heavier than he looks.” Steve was often fond of stating the obvious.
“Come on. Let’s get him to a doctor.” Jonas Finn was a gruff, one-eyed horror of a man, but he was certainly not short on compassion for his friends.

As they made their way through the crowd exiting the train, they started down Main Street. Several cattlemen were around the depot with herds of their livestock, getting ready to load them onto cars to send back East for slaughter. The market that they could see down the street was full of vendors and shoppers alike. Massive buildings, some as tall as five stories, dotted the scenery, the largest of which was the currently under-construction City Hall, jutting above the others on the distant horizon. On the face, Kansas City appeared to be not much different than Memphis, the city that you used to live near. After walking through the streets for a bit, though, they recognized that there was a different feel to the peoples here. In Memphis, everyone lived in the middle-class strata, but here you were just as likely to see a wealthy man in a tuxedo walking down the avenue as you were to see a leper hacking in an alleyway. Gunslingers seemed to dot the porch of every saloon that they passed, some with affiliations, marked by a unique item of clothing that they all chose to wear.

“Alright.” After walking several blocks, Jethro spoke up to ask what everyone must have been thinking. Everyone, that is, aside from Martin Thorne, who was absent-minded as they came. “Does anyone know where a hospital is?”
“Is there a hospital?” Hogan questioned, to himself as much as to anyone else.
“I guess we need to ask somebody.”
“Good point. How about you go ask those policemen over there?” Hogan said, tilting his head in the direction of the three Irish coppers standing on a porch across the street.
Jethro Boyd had a few apprehensions about approaching them, but necessity overtook his misgivings; his friend needed a doctor quickly. After a quick chat a sideways look from the red-headed bobby, the group made their way off to the hospital. They handed their friend over to the medics and asked for a place of lodging. The nurse recommended the Regent Arms, a saloon back on Main Street. The five left with thanks, saying that they could be reached there for any news on the condition of their friend.

After securing lodging at the Regent, the men grilled the bartender for any places around where they may be able to find work; bounty work in particular. The whiskey-slinger told them they could try their luck at the local law enforcement; both the city police, marshal’s office, and sheriff’s office were located in the city. They split up and went to the various agencies of justice. They were turned away from the police station and told to go seek out the local labor unions if they needed work. The town marshal put them on to a bounty for Harry “Three Fingers” Conklin, a semi-local at-large wanted for theft, assault, murder, and rustling. He had said that more information could be sought out at a local saloon called One-Eyed Jack’s, where Conklin’s men were known to congregate when they were in town. The sheriff’s office gave them a line on clearing out a group of Mexican bandits called Los Renegados from a local fort located not far from the city in a town called Independence. He had told them that they believed there to be thirty to forty men inside, all of which had been involved in raiding wagon trains and other suppliers from back East that were coming into the city.

They decided to follow up on the capture of Three Fingers, who was wanted alive. Hogan and Finn made their way to One Eyed Jack’s, the saloon they had been told about. After gathering some information, they made their way back to the Regent, where they informed Martin of what they had discovered; at midnight, they were going to meet the bartender behind the saloon to gain knowledge of the whereabouts of Conklin and his men. They went to bed early and headed out to Jack’s around 11:00.

Earlier in the evening, Vincent and Jethro returned from the sheriff’s office. Thorne explained that Jonas and Steve were going out later to gather some information on a bounty they had received. The three ate a small meal and headed off to bed, though Jethro asked the whiskey-slinger for a wake-up call at 11:30, to see if he could catch his companions heading out for the evening. Unfortunately for him, by the time he woke up they had already left.

[[To Be Continued]]



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