Deadlands: Riders on the Storm

Local Boy Still Missing, Presumed Dead

March 5, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

March 5, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"
$0.05

Local Boy Still Missing, Presumed Dead

by Oliver Milhouse

Our own "Little Jake" Botham, only ten years of age, has been missing since the night of February 28. He was last seen at the traveling carnival that had visited our fair town, "Aloysius P. Southmeyer's Traveling Mysterium," at the tent of the Bearded Lady. Young Jake never returned from the tent to his parents.

Witnesses in the mining community confirmed that the lad was last seen in the company of a "grandmother" and led into a tent in the shantytown that surrounds the town proper. Investigation into the matter by local citizens Geraldine Keeler and Roland Dupre resulted in the the shooting death of a woman only identified as "Gerde," who owned the tent in question.

According to Town Marshal Lila Kimsey, there was evidence that this "Gerde" had taken the child at one point or the other. There were burnt remains of the child's clothing in her woodstove, as well as eyewitness placing her with the child that evening. Apparently, when confronted with these accusations,  she bodily attacked Miss Keeler.  Her companion, Mr. Roland Dupre, is an accomplished gunman and managed to fight the woman off of Miss Keeler—at the cost of her own life.

Miss Keeler had no comment on the matter, but Roland Dupre did. "That old woman was a fiend out of Hell. She…changed. Her jaw…dropped. It up and tried to take a hunk of flesh out of Geraldine's arm. So, yes, I shot the thing in the gut until it couldn't get back up. And I'd do it again, if in the same tent on the same night."

Nevertheless, no sign of the boy has been found other than scraps of clothing in the woodstove of this "Gerde's" tent. Townsfolk, as well as carnival folk, search the town and its environs, for signs of foul play, but nothing was turned up.

Town Marshal Lila Kimsey has officially declared the search over. "I'm afraid that boy is gone. It's time to give those folks of his closure. Life is for the living."

There will be a candlelight vigil and memorial service for the boy at the Paiute Springs Church tomorrow, March 6, at seven in the evening.

The Sentinel tips its hat to the parents of "Little Jake" Botham, "Big Jake" and Sally Botham. Say a prayer for these folks, when you get a chance.

Town Enjoys Traveling "Mysterium"

by Oliver Milhouse

Our fair town was visited by "Aloysius P. Southmeyer's Traveling Mysterium" last week and thoroughly entertained in the process.

The "Mysterium's" main event featured a tightrope walker, a pair of married trapeze artists from New York, a trio of acrobatic clowns, a trick rider and sharpshooter, and a Sioux knife thrower. The thrills were non-stop and the performances breathtaking. Of particular note was the performance of Jamie Smith, the Sioux knife thrower. Even our own town curmudgeon, Geraldine Keeler got in on the action and volunteered to be a target on the first night of the three-night engagement. Smith threw her blades with precision and managed to miss our Miss Keeler, all while blindfolded!

The sideshows were the typical fare of bearded ladies, strongmen, and sword-swallowers. Still, the performers were top-notch and definitely "the real deal." Of note is the display of the Fiji Mermaid. I defy anyone to find the fakery in that specimen!

The "Traveling Mysterium" was a truly entertaining show and a welcome entry into the Spring season for our community, local tragedies aside.

First Annual Garden Club To Meet

by Oliver Milhouse

The first annual Paiute Springs Garden Club is to meet Wednesday March 8th at Town Hall. The ladies will discuss the establishment of a town garden, the election of officers, and other official business. It is our hope that the Garden Club will become a perennial favorite!

Dunmoody Announces Engagement

by Oliver Milhouse

Jeb and Delores Dunmoody would like to announce the engagement of their daughter, Alice, to Jim Cleveland, a local boy from here in Paiute Springs. No date has yet been set for the pending nuptials. Yee-haw!

Dupre to See Judge Perryman

by Oliver Milhouse

Local gunfighter, card player, and raconteur Roland Dupre will be arraigned before Circuit Judge Bradford Perryman on Wednesday, March 8th on charges of manslaughter and creating a disturbance. These charges are in connection with the what has become known as the "German Grandmother" case. If found guilty, Dupre could face fines and up to 10 years in federal prison.  The Sentinel wishes Roland the best of luck!

Dear Aunt Sally…

by Sally Mae Baumgarten

Dear Aunt Sally, My husband refuses to eat my cooking. He says he'd rather eat "chicken feed" and goes off to the Prince Royal and spends too much money at the restaurant there. What can I do? —H.

Dear H., First of all, it is not a crime to not be a chef in the kitchen. The Lord knows I'm not. But you can take steps to ensure you don't drive your hubby away to Mayor Jefferson's Den of Iniquity ('wink wink,' JP). First of all, practice for your friends. See what works and what doesn't before you cook for your husband. Second, play to your strengths—if pork chops are too much for you, quit cooking them! Find out what works and stick with that! Finally, if the other steps don't work, join your husband at the Prince Royal and order the filet mignon. Yours, Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, My name is [removed] and I have heard rumors that Der Kinderfresser has come to this town. Is this true? Ist my little Michael and my little Liese safe? Or is it true that the card-player killed the Teufel?—R.

Dear R., There's a lot of fear in your letter. I'm sorry that our stories keep you so anxious for your children. But remember, the actions of the good people around you, and of you joining forces with them, will always defeat evil. As far as the "child-eater", if there ever was such a thing, rest assured, it is gone now. No more children have disappeared since that night. Roland Dupre, though only recently come to Paiute Springs, is a friend of the Sentinel, and has proven himself to be not only a deft hand, but a good heart. So, yes, the fiend is dead and Roland killed it. With a bullet or with the Truth, one way or the other, the fiend is dead. Rest easy, friend. — Yours, Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, I got me the gas real bad. My wife done kicked me out of the bedroom. It seems like no matter what I eat, too. Doc's got me on castor oil (hate that stuff). Bought some Elixir from this Briggs feller. Taste like I licked my mule and did as much good. What can I do?—J.

Dear J., Eat and drink what you want. Learn an outdoor trade. Invest in a cork plug or get used to the couch. Seems to me you've tried everything else. May as well enjoy yourself. — Yours, Aunt Sally.

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