Deadlands: Riders on the Storm

Large Coyote Menaces Town
September 3, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

September 3, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Large Coyote Menaces Town

by Oliver Milhouse

Citizens all over our Main Street have reported seeing a large coyote prowling about in broad daylight earlier in the week. The creature, reputed to be a huge specimen of the species, was seen on the street by several walkers-by and even managed to menace Mrs. Marjorie Allan at the General Mercantile.

"The thing was huge! Big as a small man. And ornery, too. I swear it winked at me as it knocked goods about in my store!"

Drew Goodall, a silver miner from the nearby camp town, confirmed the sighting. "Oh, yeah. I saw it alright. Walked upright on its hind legs like a prancing pony. Probably what made it seem so big. Yipped it's way down the street and out of town. That gambler fellow, Dupre, took a shot at it and run it off. It was menacing that Miss Keeler he shacks up with."

The coyote was seen on Monday afternoon, but has not been seen since.

War Protests Grow In the East

—Wire Service

As the War rages ever onward, the unpopularity of the conflict, and its presiding officer in President Grant, is reaching an all-time high. Protests from young people are growing especially vociferous, as they feel most affect by the, as they see it, Draconian draft laws necessary to continue the Union war effort.

To add further fuel to the fire, the situation in Canada has been allowed to fester into a confrontation with the British Empire. Ever since the election scandal of 1872, in which an attempt by Confederate Secret Service agents to falsify vote counts in the U.S. Presidential election was thwarted and their base of operations was discovered to be Canada, relations have been hot. About 15,000 men are currently spread from Maine to Minnesota to protect the border against both incursion and desertion of disloyal Union men who wish to avoid the draft. His Majesty's government has sent troops to both Canada and the Confederacy, escalating the situation.

The President's ability to maintain both a war against the Confederacy and against Canada, both with the aid of the British Empire behind them, is highly doubtful by most quarters. While none of these nations seems likely to benefit from a direct military confrontation, history attests that men and nations do not act by reason alone.

Arachne's Circle To Meet on Sunday

—by Oliver Milhouse

The gathering of unattached females that calls itself "Arachne's Circle" will meet this Sunday at Mamie McDaniel's boarding house at 3:00 pm for tea, fellowship, and literature. They are currently reading Miss Emily Brontë's novel, "Wuthering Heights." The gathering is open to any lady in town who wishes to join them.

Death Toll Rises in the Cauldron

—Wire Service

The so-called "Great Rail War" continues to escalate in the canyons west of Denver in Colorado. All of the principles have increased their security forces in region and continue to fight at the slightest provocation. Reports indicate that "bodies are being stacked like cordwood."

Travel along the rails from the East to the West continues to be a perilous proposition. Travelers seeking passage along those routes are advised to traverse via wagon, coach, or a more roundabout route.

Dear Aunt Sally…

by Sally Mae Baumgarten

Dear Aunt Sally, My old hound, Roscoe, has got fleas something fierce. Do you have any advice for me to get rid of these varmints? — J.

Dear J., Poor old hound! A good dousing in apple cider vinegar should do the trick for poor, old, Roscoe. I do hope he gets some relief soon! — Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, I've developed a cold sore on my mouth that is unsightly and unwelcome. I can not seem to part with it. What would you recommend to someone in my position? — W.

Dear W., Cold sores are always an unwelcome guest. Try rubbing the sore periodically with vanilla oil or vanilla extract. It may take a bit, but in the end, you should have some respite. It also has a pleasant taste, which is also a blessing. — Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, I'm sending a letter to that Jackass in Carson City what calls hisself a Governor. I want to make sure my letter gets a proper hearing. How should I address it to make sure they don't just crumple it up and throw it out with the refuse? — B.

Dear B., Well, you certainly don't want to address your letter to "That Jackass." The proper form of address for a sitting governor is "Dear Governor" followed by the honored gentleman's surname. On the envelope, you'll want to address it to "The Honorable Lewis R. Bradley, Governor of Nevada," followed by the address of the gentleman's estate. Hopefully, Mr. Bradley will take what you have to say with due consideration. — Aunt Sally.

Hayes Trial Concluded, Sentence Set
August 27, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

August 27, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Hayes Trial Concluded, Sentence Set

by Oliver Milhouse

Circuit Judge Bradford Perryman returned to Paiute Springs to conclude the trial of Carlton Hayes, late of Atlanta, Georgia. Hayes was accused of the theft of an heirloom pocket watch from the widow, Mamie McDaniel. He attained legal counsel from Virginia City and Perryman stated that the trial would commence on August 24th.

Testifying and representing the State of Nevada and the City of Paiute Springs was Town Marshal Lila Kimsey. Marshal Kimsey testified as to her part in the events that led to Hayes' capture, including the fight that ensued and resulted in Hayes giving her a nasty cut across the face. Incidental testimony was given by Miss Geraldine Keeler, Mr. Roland Dupre, Mr. Lionel Putnam, and Mr. Eustace Wilhelm as members of the posse. Finally, the Widow McDaniel spoke of her husband's love of that watch and how it reminded her of her late husband's memory.

On the defense was Mr. Sylvester Fiorello, Esq. of Virginia City, representing Mr. Hayes. The defense centered on the "fact" that the watch was a family heirloom of the Hayes family. Further, how can Mr. Hayes steal something that belongs to him? This isn't theft but recovery of his own property. Any reasonable jury would find the case as being such.

Unfortunately, Judge Perryman did not conduct a jury search—he merely pointed out a dozen citizens and told them they were the jury and to listen to the case closely. It was also clear to several of the jury members we interviewed that if they come to the "right" decision, Judge Perryman would sequester them until they did.

It took about an hour for the jury to find in favor of the State, convicting Hayes of larceny, with the added complication in that it was from a widow. Judge Perryman sentenced the gambler and thief to 20 years imprisonment, to be served at the Nevada State Penitentiary in Carson City.

The harsh sentence sent a shockwave through the courtroom, but anyone that has followed Judge Perryman's exploits (such as The Sentinel) should not be surprised.

Mr. Fiorello promised an appeal and would comment no more on the subject.

Hayes was remanded to the Town Jail until retrieved by the prison stage. As Hayes already escaped from the Town Jail once, Marshal Kimsey gathered a watch from the citizenry comprised of Miss Geraldine Keeler and Mr. Roland Dupre. According to Mr. Dupre, "Hayes got a little froggy one morning, but Geraldine put him in his place."

Hayes is expected to be picked up by a prison stage this Sunday morning.

Apparition of Late Deputy Seen About Town

by Oliver Milhouse

Several witnesses have reported seeing the shade of late deputy Ethan Jennings walking about town. He was also seen conversing with Miss Geraldine Keeler on Main Street on the night of the 22nd. Miss Keeler has made no public comment on the subject.

All witnesses swear that they saw the partially decayed and bloated corpse of Ethan Jennings, buried just this week past, walking about. He was even still in the church clothes that he was buried in.

So far the apparition has caused no harm and the citizens are safe—for now.


Property tract 594729, Lot 243 of Group 2 in unincorporated Lincoln County (aka the Rawlins cabin). The property transferred hands on August 26th, from the care of Abraham Rawlins, (lately of Pioche), to that of Miss Geraldine Keeler of Paiute Springs. This transfer was enacted through, and witnessed by, the office of Clyde Stevenson, Land Assessor.

Local Indians Gather for Tribal Talks

by Oliver Milhouse

Local members of the Paiute tribe gathered in Town Hall on Saturday night for a tribal meeting. This closed-door meeting lasted some two hours. Members from the press were denied entry to the meeting. Abigail "Walks with Horses," young assistant to our own Doc Fabry, stated that the meeting was a "Indian matter and of no concern to you." Mayor J. P. Jefferson, who allowed the use of the hall for the meeting, shed no more light on it. "I don't know, Orville. It's Injun stuff. They paid their rent like anybody else."

Pranksters Set off Fireworks in Outhouse

by Oliver Milhouse

Unknown local pranksters set off a string of firecrackers in the outhouse behind the General Mercantile and Town Hall. Local citizen Robert Earl Hickman was inside at the time and made a mess of himself. No one was hurt. No one has claimed responsibility.

Dear Aunt Sally…

by Sally Mae Baumgarten

Dear Aunt Sally, My poor husband suffers from the gout something fierce. Is there anything I can do to relieve his pain?—K.

Dear K., I'm sorry to hear about your husband. Gout is a powerfully painful affliction to have. Have your husband try two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey in a glass of water every day. That should clear it up within a few days. —Yours, Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, I love you so much! Can you come my tent and I'll make you an honest woman?—P.

Dear P. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. But I've got letters to answer and no time for such frivolity. And I'm already as honest as the day is long. —Yours, Aunt Sally.   

Dear Aunt Sally, My wife thinks I suffer from gout, but the truth is I'd rather not do my chores. I feel awful guilty it about it now, but how do I come back from that? —D.

Well, D., you've got two choices as I see them. One, come clean and take your well-earned lumps. Two, drink about two gallons of apple cider vinegar and have a miraculous recovery. Either way, your fate is in God's hands now. —Yours, Aunt Sally.

Pre-Trial Mayhem! Defendant Assassinated, Deputy Killed
August 20, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

August 20, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Pre-Trial Mayhem! Defendant Assassinated, Deputy Killed

by Oliver Milhouse

On Wednesday, August 16th, Judge Bradford Perryman returned after riding circuit throughout the county. He arranged to hear the trial of one Dr. Barnabas Henley, perpetrator of the "camp reaper" hoax (reported thoroughly in this journal). Judge Perryman arrived around 10 o'clock that morning and set the trial to begin at noon.

That morning, around 11:45 a.m., Dr. Henley, the defendant, was to be escorted to the Town Hall from the jail across the street. However, eagle-eyed citizen Miss Geraldine Keeler warned the Town Marshal that she spotted what she thought was a gunman on top of the Prince Royal Arms, Paiute Springs' only hotel. Marshal Lila Kimsey then took the prisoner around through the back door of the jail and escorted him the long way around town to the trial. She sent her deputy, Ethan Jennings, to check out the gunman.

When the Marshal and her prisoner made it to the corner of Main Street and Church Street, they were exposed for only about half a minute—but it was half a minute too long for Dr. Henley. A shot rang out from down the street and Dr. Henley was shot in the head, blowing the back of his skull out in a spray of blood and gore. The Marshal she tried to take cover and started running for the Prince Royal.

Meanwhile, Miss Keeler did not remain idle. She ran for the Prince Royal as well. She climbed up on Mercantile building and made to jump across the rooftops to the Prince Royal in pursuit of the gunman. She was, unfortunately, stymied by the height of the Prince Royal and fell into the alley. All of this in a dress and bustle! Truly a sight to behold, friends, and a reminder not to cross the formidable Miss Keeler.

Marshal Kimsey made her way on the ground to the Prince Royal and met the gunman as he ran behind hotel on his way to Swain Street. Lila shot the man in the arm—which seemed to knock the fight out of him, because he fell.

Once the assassin was apprehended, Marshal Kisey and Miss Keeler climbed up to the roof of the Prince Royal to find Deputy Jennings' body. He had apparently been beaten pretty bad by the butt of the assassin's rifle. Doc Fabry indicated that he probably died of internal bleeding.

Without a defendant, the trial was declared moot. Now we might never know who put the mad doctor up to the hoax or if he was working independently. Regardless, the Judge was determined to hear a trial, so he set one for 2:00 o'clock for the assassin.

More to come, friends.

Henley Assassin Tried and Convicted

by Oliver Milhouse

One Jace Chalmers of Pioche, Nevada, was apprehended on Wednesday, August 16th, by force by Town Marshal Lila Kimsey after allegedly assassinating hoax suspect Dr. Barnabas Henley and then beating Deputy Ethan Jennings to death in the course of his getaway.

Chalmers was tried later that afternoon by circuit Judge Bradford Perryman. In the course of the trial, Judge Perryman indicated that leniency may be called for if the man cooperated and testified as to who hired him to kill Henley. The death penalty was in order, but perhaps they could execute the assassin in a more humane way than hanging. Chalmers complied, naming one Conrad Stoles of Pioche as the man who hired him. Judge Perryman then found the assassin guilty of the two murders and sentenced him to hanging, regardless of his earlier remarks.

Chalmers was outraged and tried to rush the Judge's desk, but was restrained by Marshal Kimsey and Lionel Putnam, selected to act as her second, with the loss of her deputy.

Marshal Kimsey assures me that Sheriff Brody Yates in Pioche will be notified and that she will work in cooperation with the Sheriff to secure this Conrad Stoles.

The execution of Chalmers occurred later that afternoon.

Strange Case of a Pocket Watch

by Oliver Milhouse

One Carlton Hayes, late of Atlanta, Georgia, has been apprehended by Town Marshal Lila Kimsey and her posse. He is being held on charges of larceny, with the further complication that he stole from a widow.

According to Mamie McDaniel, our local boarding house proprietor, the man broke into her home and took a pocket watch that belonged to her late husband, Owen. He then vamoosed out town. McDaniel fetched the Marshal, who gathered a posse, and went into the desert in pursuit.

But the story is far more complicated than a simple burglary.

According to Mamie, Hayes had confronted her earlier in the day on August 14th about the watch. Hayes claimed that Owen McDaniel had won the pocket watch off of him in Denver, in 1862. As Owen had passed on, he wanted to reclaim "his" property. The watch—a beautiful timepiece with 13 numbers on the face—was a family heirloom and he wanted it back.

Mamie, indignant, stated that she's sure her Owen won the watch fair-and-square and that it was a dear reminder of her husband that she would not be parting with.

This argument seems to have precipitated the theft.

The posse chased Hayes overnight and finally caught up to him about twenty miles outside of town as he rested himself and his horse. The man apparently put up a fight—and gave Marshal Kimsey a wicked cut across the face—but was eventually subdued and brought to heel in the Town Jail.

Later that afternoon of the 15th, Hayes attempted to escape. He somehow got ahold of the jail keys from across the room, subdued Deputy Ethan Jennings, and made his way outside. Good citizens Miss Geraldine Keeler and Mr. Roland Dupre reapprehended the thief and returned him to the jail. Hayes was then placed in manacles for the remainder of his stay.

Hayes was slated to be tried by Judge Bradford Perryman on Wednesday, August 16th.

Hayes Trial Postponed

by Oliver Milhouse

Judge Bradford Perryman set a trial time for August 16th at 4:00 o'clock for theft suspect, Carlton Hayes of Atlanta, Georgia. Hayes insisted he be allowed to secure legal counsel. Judge Perryman, visibly angry, postponed the trial until his next visit, giving Hayes one week to secure and consult with an attorney.

Hayes was denied bail and continues to be held in the town jail.

Jennings Funeral Well-Attended

by Oliver Milhouse

The funeral for fallen Town Deputy Ethan Jennings on August 19th was a well-attended affair at the Paiute Springs Church, Reverend Timothy Gage, presiding. Hymns were sung by the congregation, followed by a short, but heart-felt eulogy by Marshal Lila Kimsey. Then pallbearers Kimsey, David Allan, Lionel Putnam, Mayor J. P. Jefferson, Doc Fabry, and Eustace Wilhelm guided the casket out to the cemetery and Reverend Gage said a prayer as the casket was lowered into the grave.

Jennings had only been deputy in Paiute Springs for a few weeks. Prior to that, he rode "shotgun" for the Old Barcelona stage line. Nevertheless, he was well-liked in town and will be missed.

Railway Fighting Escalates

—Wire Service

After a relatively quiet summer, fighting between the various railroad concerns has escalated of late. Ever since the Union Blue line secured an exclusive right to run supplies to Fort 51 in Nevada, the other lines (with one notable exception) have begun harrying Union Blue trains as far east as Colorado and as far south as the northern-based line runs.

Former Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, head of Union Blue, has fought a wily guerrilla war against his rivals. He's placed troops on supply trains, sent decoy trains full of troops out ahead of the actual runs, drawing the fire of his rivals.  Fighting was especially heavily west of Denver. Chamberlain also made a dubious alliance with Mina Devlin of the Black River Line, allowing his trains to pass through her territory in peace.

Not standing idle, Dr. Darius Hellstromme with his Wasatch Line began taking the fight to all of his rivals, including Union Blue. His troops had many successes, but became overeager and escalated the fight further by attacking Union Blue trains indiscriminately. The others, operating out of their usual zones, were more cautious. Wasatch become brazen in its attempts to wipe out Union Blue. This culminated in a tragic attack on a passenger train traveling to Virginia City, Nevada. Over 20 civilians were killed as automatons let loose with their Gatlings on the crowded train.

The public outcry was immediate and a U. S. Marshal with a posse were deployed to take the leaders of the Wasatch raid. Hellstromme's troops refused to be taken and the Marshal and his posse all ended up residing in pine boxes.

Then, adding insult to injury, while a Union Blue train was delayed by mechanical issues, and a Denver Pacific train was routed past it, the DP train ran into a Wasatch ambush. The leader of the Wasatch troops failed to require his men to identify the train and simply order them to open fire. The locomotive was destroyed, the train derailed, and the entire contents of the train were raided. This included a good many expensive gadgets from the Smith & Robards company.  

This action brought the Denver Pacific line into the fracas. Sir Clifton Robards ordered retaliation. Signs were posted along the line that trespassers on DP property would be shot. An elite squad of a dozen ornithopters was formed to patrol the passes and attack any troops seen there. They would attack with force and without warning.  While less successful in tree-covered Colorado than in flat and open Iowa, the S&R aerial assault continues.

Then Iron Dragon's Kang ordered his troops to jump into the middle of the conflict—for no apparent reason other than to spread chaos. However, a report by the Tombstone Epitaph alleges that Kang may have lost something of his in these raids and was using the attacks as cover to recover it.

Regardless, the battle in Colorado is now a seven-way disaster. This "battle of the cauldron" may make or break the so-called "Great Rail Wars"—either bringing them to a close or simply seeding more chaos.

Imperial Saloon Reopens
August 13, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

August 13, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Imperial Saloon Reopens

by Oliver Milhouse

One of the founding, keystone businesses of the community, the Imperial Saloon, has now reopened for business. Emerging from the ashes of the tragic fire that destroyed it, saloon is now better than ever, with new modern fixtures, more glass, and a far less "rustic" feel.

Karl Schmidt, the owner and proprietor of the saloon, is proud of the new-and-improved Imperial. "We had a nice infusion of new capital and I was finally able to do some things I always felt like she needed. She's in great shape and ready to serve up drinks, fellowship, and all the good things the Imperial is known for."

The saloon celebrated on Tuesday night with a "free beer" night and open house.

The Imperial is located on Main Street, across the street from the General Mercantile.

Orphanage Discussed at Town Hall Meeting

by Oliver Milhouse

Our esteemed mayor, J.P. Jefferson, held a public meeting at Town Hall this past Wednesday to discuss town business, prospects for the future, and to generally connect with the growing town population. "Paiute Springs is in great shape, great shape. We're a community to be proud of, to be sure," said Mayor Jefferson. "Sure, there have been some odd happenings going on in the region of late, but we always band together and face adversity as a united township."

The treasury report bears out some of the Mayor's claims. The city is financially sound and thriving. "New businesses are coming in all the time!" Jefferson exclaimed. "They see what I see, that Paiute Springs means opportunity." The population has grown more modestly, but that figure is always in flux, with our itinerent mining population. Violent crime does seem to be up, as are incidents of violence within the township. We've reported on the various shootings taking place and the consequences taken of such actions many times in the Sentinel. Nevertheless, the Mayor's claims are largely true and well-taken.

Future prospects were discussed. Among them was an orphanage for the care of the children of those lost in the mines, and other such tragedies. These children currently "run like heathens through our streets," Jefferson claimed. "They need the love, guidance, and Godly correction that parents provide." How the town would pay for such a facility was not discussed. You heard it here first: look for this to become a plank in November's campaign platform.

So far, there have been no contenders to run against Jefferson in the election in November. Any potential opponents should remember to file with Election Committee by September 1, 1876.

"Reaper Hoax" Investigation Continues

by Oliver Milhouse

As reported in our Special Edition earlier in the week, the so-called "camp reaper" has been apprehended and revealed to be a clockwork automaton. What remains is to discover the device's creator and his motivation for terrorizing our mining camp community.  

According to Town Marshal Lila Kimsey, "We've apprehended who did this. We don't know why they done it, though. When I get my evidence together, we'll be having a long talk with this person, from behind bars. And later, on a witness stand under oath. The danger is over—now we got to clean up the mess."

The apprehended hoaxster is one Dr. Barnabas Henley, out of Carson City. He passed himself off as a land surveyor, but was clearly camped out beyond the mining camps, up to no good. Dr. Henley is being held until Judge Bradford Perryman returns from riding circuit.

Sounds like the Marshal is being really careful about building a case around this particular perpetrator. Could they be connected to a prominent citizen? Could they be someone with the wherewithal to fight the case in Judge Perryman's court? Is this caution simply warranted regarding who's REALLY behind these incidents? We'll keep you posted on the ongoing investigation.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Mr. Milhouse,

This town has forgotten Our Lord and will be taken down in a storm of evil!

We have endured the invasion of cannibals, "loonies," and strange folk for parts unknown. We have had godless Confederate spies in our midst. Strange creatures spontaneously appearing in hotel rooms. We've even had rumors of devil worship being performed RIGHT HERE IN PAIUTE SPRINGS!

The end times are approaching quickly. The signs are there but for the sighted to see. Come back to the Lord, my dear town, or we will spiral into despair.

Come to the Paiute Springs Church on Sunday and listen with your heart and your mind as Reverend Gage preaches of the sanctuary we have in the Living God.


—Signed, Marjorie Allan

Dear Marjorie, your concern for the souls of Paiute Springs is well-taken. I, too, have benefited from the wisdom and erudition of our Reverend Gage. However, live not in fear. For not only do we have Our Lord to support us, He has sent us those that would face such travails and with aplomb. Fear makes us support misguided fools and demagogues. I despair more for future generations than for this one.  We will persevere and we will thrive. I have the confidence of knowing people and knowing God. —O.M.

Dear Editor,

Why does no one in this town address the REAL problems that plague this town? We keep talking about cannibals and loonies and Satanists when the REAL problem is the taking over of the mining camps by MEXICANS. What are they doing here and why? Are they spies for Santa Anna? Is Nevada next to fall after California? What are we going to do about the MEXICANS?

—Signed Arvil Jackson

Arvil, I think you express something that not many people think about, largely because there are so few people from Mexico in the mining camps that it is not seen as a problem. As far as your concerns about what they are doing? Probably mining for silver and ghost rock like you. Trying to be part of the community. Sending money back to their families. I would humbly suggest there are bigger problems to think about. — O.M.

Dear Mr. Editor,

I'm scared.

I'm afraid of devil-worshipping, cannibal, loonies coming in to my house and taking my family.

What is happening out there? Why are all these things happening here?

I'm scared.

—Signed, Alice Granger

Alice, I think you express what a lot of people in Paiute Springs are feeling. But rest easier knowing that in times of trouble, this town does band together and deal with threats as they come. And we have among us stellar individuals that stand up, take notice, and DO THINGS to help. —O.M.

President Reviewing Contract with Pinkertons

—Wire Service

President Ulysses S. Grant is said to be reviewing the Government's relationship with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Top aides indicate that a change is on the horizon in regard to the country's intelligence gathering operations. What has prompted this review is unknown at this time.

Rumors are stirring that the Union will take a more active hand in doing the work that has been outsourced to the Pinkertons. A new agency may emerge to handle domestic threats and gather needed intelligence for the protection of the Nation.

A spokesman from the Pinkerton Agency stated: "Our working relationship with the United States government is as strong as ever. Any rumors to the contrary are simply that—rumors."

A spokesman from President Grant's office was unavailable for comment.

Hoax Revealed! The Camp Reaper is No Spook
August 11, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Special Edition

August 11, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Hoax Revealed! Camp Reaper is No Spook

by Oliver Milhouse

The Sentinel, your source for Truth, has secured an exclusive interview with local scientist Miss Geraldine Keeler regarding her latest discovery on behalf of the populace of Paiute Springs.

There have been rumors of late of a "camp reaper" floating about the mining camps that surround the town. It moans as it floats on a bed of vapor and goes about frightening the miners, who fear that their death has come for them. This illustrious journal reported on these rumors in our previous August 6th edition. Miners were beginning to leave our fair town as a result of the troubles.

Well friends, we've been snookered! Miss Keeler and her boon companion, Roland Dupre, managed to track this "reaper" to its source and have discovered that it is no reaper at all but some sort of "mechanical," an automaton made of steel and with jet contraptions that make it float on ghost rock vapor.

I have seen the device, unveiled and defrocked, with my own eyes, and ladies and gentlemen, it is, indeed, nothing more that steel and clockwork and the work of our own vivid imaginations.

The device has been secured by Town Marshal Lila Kimsey and locked in the vault at the Paiute Springs Bank, where whomever has been controlling it can't get to it.

But who is responsible for this hoax? And why would they do it?

Miss Keeler would only say that there was an "ongoing investigation." But Marshal Kimsey revealed a bit more. "The perpetrator of this crime is known to us and we will be questioning him forthwith. In the meantime, let me and my associates do our flippin' jobs," said the Marshal. 

As far as why, the only speculation that Marshal Kimsey would give was that it was to scare miners into giving up their claims. But for what purpose, no one seems to know or want to guess.

So, friends and neighbors, be not afraid! For the reaper has NOT shown himself in our camps—only the old sins of greed and spite.


Town Under Seige!
July 23,1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

July 23, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Town Under Siege!

by Oliver Milhouse

A goodly portion of the town of Paiute Springs had to take cover in the Town Hall for four days as the streets were filled with insane marauders during this past week. The siege conditions were for "the safety of the town" claims Town Marshal Lila Kimsey, though the close quarters surely bred rampant disease and other discomforts.

The troubles began can be traced back to the arrival of claim miner, Phineas Johnston, formerly of Pioche. He arrived in Paiute Springs on July 8th and set up his camp on the outskirts of the township proper. That night, the man shoots up the mining camp, killing three men and two women before being subdued and drug into the town jail. We list his victims below so that they won't be forgotten:

  • Dalton Schofield
  • Sheila Scranton
  • Norman Potts
  • Chip Durant
  • Maggie Sutton

Johnston was held in the town jail for three days. According to a report by deputy town marshal Ethan Jennings, on the first day the prisoner as "wild, violent, and mean—a real ornery old cuss. He beat about the cell 'till his hands were bloody. I had to knock him out with a rifle butt 'afore he hurt himself." The next day, Mr. Johnston was "quiet as a churchmouse." On the third day, they found him hanging in the cell by his own suspenders, "deader than a plank."

Meanwhile, other trouble was brewing in our fair town.

While Phineas Johnston sat "quiet as a churchmouse" in his cell, another miner, Lazlo Dupinski, strode boldly into town, walked into the bank, and punched out Bob Lund. Then he shoved poor Petunia Davis into a countertop, breaking her arm, and proceeded to rob the bank, bold as brass. Town Marshal Lila Kimsey and Deputy Jennings arrived to put a stop to it and were forced to shoot Dupinski in the leg to get him to comply with their demands. "Damn fool got stubborn," was all Marshal Kimsey would say on the matter. Dupinski was bandaged up and taken into custody.

Now, friends, is when things start getting interesting.

On the day that Phineas Johnston was found dead in his cell, Marshal Kimsey answered no fewer than five calls regarding local acts of violence. Johnston's place in the cell was quickly replaced by another violent unnamed perpetrator. Then, that afternoon, Marshal Kimsey was forced to apprehend her OWN DEPUTY for shooting up the Imperial Saloon! As the jail was full, she was forced to chain Jennings to the central column of the building.

Frankly, friends, the violence in our town was growing to the point to where it was more than our Marshal could handle on her own. "People were going plumb crazy. My own deputy had gone loco. So I did what anyone would have done. I went to the next level of authority," Marshal Kimsey said by way of explaining herself. She wired the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Pioche for help.

That was the day she called for a general evacuation of the town and gathered us all into the Town Hall. Doc Fabry set up an infirmary in the corner of the large building, as he was still treating the gut shot victim Leo Stammer, another townsman fallen to the "loonies."

It was truly a sad day, my friends, when we handed our town over to the "loonies." When our Marshal gave up.

Nevertheless, we gathered together as a community and barricaded ourselves up against the onslaught of senseless violence.

Two days later, on the 17th, as we subsisted on whatever canned goods people had the good sense to bring with them, the posse from Pioche arrived with a deputy sheriff. They lasted about fifteen minutes against the band of loonies that assaulted them from all points. The posse was killed. The deputy was drawn and quartered.

Later than night, the Imperial caught fire. Owner Karl Schmidt and his friend, Willie Huddleston, as well as a couple of "working girls," managed to get out of the building before it collapsed. They took refuge with the rest of us in the Town Hall. Apparently, the loonies set the bar on fire.

Things began to turn around on the morning of the 18th. A stage arrived from nearby Fort 51 with two soldiers and none other than our local gadgeteer Miss Geraldine Keeler and her companion Mr. Roland Dupre.

The soldiers, Mr. Dupre, and Miss Keeler managed to dispatch two of the loonies—Dwight Bolger and Tom Ewing—and make it inside of Town Hall. There they were briefed on the situation by Marshal Kimsey and Doc Fabry.

Not satisfied with the holing up in the middle of town, Miss Keeler formulated a plan to fix the situation. You see, the Marshal and the Doc had observed a few things about these "loonies." And the Doc thought that they were infected by some kind of insect. Miss Keeler decided to try and capture one to find out. Full of spit and vinegar is our Miss Keeler.

She, a Sergeant Milo Philips, and Marshal Kimsey, went into the local mercantile to get supplies and then Miss Keeler fashioned a series of snares with which to trap one of these loonies.

Before they got the snare to work, they managed to catch one of them, though Sgt. Philips, in his zeal, managed to blow the man's leg into uselessness with a Winchester.  They brought him back to Doc Fabry, who used alcohol to remove the bizarre creature from the back of the man's neck. Marshal Kimsey trapped it in a jar.

Other than the leg, Cole Laramy is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Miss Keeler got her snare to work. They placed three of them out in Main Street and began catching the "loonies" in earnest. By midday on the 19th, all of the loonies in town had been caught and cured of the strange parasite.

The three intrepid hunters, Miss Keeler, Sgt. Philips, and Marshal Kimsey, went looking for any other parasites lurking about. They found two and dispatched them with bullets. Finally, they went to Phineas Johnston's camp and found, beneath his bed, a strange, narrow, burrow. Putting a stick in it revealed a strange ichorous ooze. They filled in the hole and plugged it up.

The town has been extremely calm, having taken a collective deep breath after the trauma of the past week.

The Sentinel wishes to offer a big "Thank You!" to Miss Geraldine Keeler, Sergeant Milo Philips, and Marshal Lila Kimsey. Without your efforts, our town would surely be no more.

An Unknown Species

by Oliver Milhouse

Your intrepid reporter sat down with Miss Geraldine Keeler, resident scientist and, let's be honest, town hero, to talk about the recent troubles that beset our fair town.

In the course of bringing things back to normalcy in Paiute Springs, it was discovered that the strange behavior of the "loonies" that had taken over the town was due to some kind of creature that had infested their body. Once this creature was discovered and removed, the poor souls were their old selves again. Miss Keeler was on the forefront of eradicating this parasite from the town. This is what she had to say about the creature.

"This 'bug' is actually a previously unknown species of some sort that has found its way to us. It's behavior, parasitic as it was, was it's own form of survival. Perhaps it fed on spinal fluid or some other nutrient only found in human brain matter. It's hard to say. The behavior of the victims was surely a side effect of its actions, not its intent. This was not 'mind control' but simply a newly discovered natural phenomenon. The important thing to remember is that the town banded together to survive. Only united can we stand against such threats."

Words of wisdom from a smart lady. 

A Visit from Sheriff Yates

by Oliver Milhouse

On July 20th, our town received a visit from Sheriff Brody Yates of Lincoln County. He brought a posse of 10 men with him in search of his missing deputy. He met with Town Marshal Lila Kimsey and Mayor J.P. Jefferson at a private meeting in the Prince Royal Arms Hotel.

"We sat down with the Sheriff and broke the news about his deputy as gently as we could," Marshal Kimsey reported. "But as we had no suspects for who perpetrated the crime, and our explanation for the violence was unsatisfactory in his eyes, he was quite upset. Pissed off, even."

According to Mayor Jefferson, "The man came unhinged. He threatened to gather a posse big enough to take the whole 'damn lying town'. I managed to talk him down from that course of action, but he just wouldn't believe us about the creatures. That was one bridge too many."

Sheriff Yates was not available for comment directly to the Sentinel. He and his posse rode out of town like the Furies of old in a cloud of dust and indignation.

Local Inventor Wins Honors

by Oliver Milhouse

Our very own tinkerer, Miss Geraldine Keeler, brought home kudos from the First Annual Smith & Robards' Grand Exposition in Salt Lake City! Displayed proudly in her home is her certificate for "Best in Division: Engineering" regarding her project entitled "Demonstration of Surveying Pods for Intake, Detection, and Retrieval."

Also, according to a story from the Deseret News, Miss Keeler was the recipient of a special "Distinguished Service" award at the Expo for her exemplary behavior during some troubles they experienced during the event.

Congratulations Miss Keeler!  Your town is proud of you!

Lee Accepts Whig Nomination

—Wire Service

Retired General Robert E. Lee has accepted the nomination of the re-constituted Whig party to run for President of the Confederate States of America (CSA). The general, who retired in 1870 to run the Dixie Rails company, accepted the nomination by letter, which was read at the convention of the Whigs on July 12, 1876 in Memphis, Tennessee. "I am honored and humbled by this nomination and accept this call to service," he said.

The Whigs have been putting the 70 year old Lee forward as their nominee for some time. He is a favorite among the various veterans of the War and many of the populace. However, concerns about his age and his health have dogged him in recent months. The elderly general has already suffered one near-fatal heart attack and his more partisan detractors often point out that it is only a matter of time before he suffers another.

President Jefferson Davis issued no comment at this time.

Tilden Shouted Down in Pennsylvania

—Wire Service

Democratic presidential-nominee Samuel Tilden, the Governor of New York, was shouted down by Union veterans groups at a speaking engagement in Philadelphia this week as he travels the Union in search of votes against the incumbent, President Ulysses S. Grant.

This was not the first time for such an occurrence. Tilden, who is running on a platform of a "peace movement," has been dogged by displays such as this and has struggled to get his message out. Many of his supporters are intimidated by the displays of wounded veterans that frequently heckle his events.

Unless Tilden can address these issues, his campaign may be dead in the water.

Schmidt Seeks Partner to Re-Open Imperial

by Oliver Milhouse

Local businessman Karl Schmidt is seeking an investment partner to help him re-build and re-open the Imperial Saloon. "Oh, she'll re-open. It's just a matter of whether or not I'll be in debt up to my eyeballs or not," Karl says.

The original Imperial, Paiute Springs' only saloon, burned down in the recent troubles with the "loonies," as detailed in this noble publication.

Interested parties can contact Karl at the Higginbotham Boarding House on Main Street.

Briefing Notes: Lt. Col. Reginald Todd
July 16, 1876





Briefing Notes: July 16, 1876

Fort Clark, Nevada

Colonel James McNerlin of Fort Clark at a fair amount to report concerning the events leading up to our reinforcing his command of the fort on night of July 14, 1876. Many strange and troubling events lead up to the impending fall of the fort to outside forces.


According to Colonel McNerlin, on July 8th, one of his junior officers, a Lieutenant Ward, took a patrol out in search of raiders operating in the area. The patrol never returned. To this day there has been seen no trace of that party.

On July 10th, the fort's telegraph lines were severed. Shortly thereafter, an armored vehicle appeared on the ridge above the fort. It was armed with a cannon a fired a number of shells into the courtyard. The fort attempted to return fire with its own artillery only to find that both cannons experience malfunctions and explode, killing or wounding the crewmen at those stations.

That day he dispatched two messengers. As they rode off, they were attacked by wolves and ripped to shreds in full sight of the guards on the ramparts.

That night, two more messengers attempted to get past the enemy. Their severed heads were dropped in the middle of the parade ground by a "large bat creature" a few hours later.

On the morning of July 11th, the armored vehicle returned with a load of logs strapped to its rear deck. It drove right up beneath the wall san dumped them across the tracks leading into the fort. As the fort was without adequate artillery, there was nothing that it could do about the action.

Then, around 11:00 am on July 12th, the supply train from Salt Lake City crashed through the barricade and into the fort. Its torpedo arm exploded the barricade the emergency braking system was deployed, killing and maiming several men before the train came to a stop on the parade grounds and derailed. The new artillery that was being delivered was damaged in the crash and there were several causalities from the soldiery on board the train. The engineer and fireman on board were both killed.

The remaining passengers were treated as best as they could by the fort's personnel, as there is currently no doctor posted at the fort. Then they were gathered at the CO's office. Colonel McNerlin briefed the assembled passengers on the situation at the fort and then announced that he was drafting them into the militia as an emergency action—fully his right under the Emergency Militia Act of 1871.

He placed the females on domestic duties, with the exception of a Miss Geraldine Keeler who expressed a mechanical aptitude, whom he placed on duty with Dr. Thaddeus Roberts to repair the locomotive. The men he placed on daytime guard duty to supplement the limit number of troops he had available.

One note: Miss Geraldine Keeler also indicated that she had urgent intelligence that needed to be imparted to Captain Lucius Dalworthington at Fort 51. As Colonel McNerlin also wanted to contact Fort 51 for reinforcements and was stymied, Miss Keeler found her message stalled as well.


According to Colonel McNerlin, he now had the following roster at the Fort:

  1. Colonel James McNerlin, CO
  2. Lt. Lester Goree, Junior Officer
  3. Sgt. Ryan McElroy
  4. Corporal Willilam Hicks
  5. Corporal Joe Whitetail
  6. Pvt. David Bates
  7. Pvt. Eric Cook
  8. Pvt. Harris Denison
  9. Pvt. Simon Lane
  10. Pvt. Daniel Leitch
  11. Pvt. Thomas Mansfield
  12. Pvt. Elbert Steen
  13. Pvt. Michael Thomas
  14. Pvt. Frederick Voigt


  • Mr. Roland Dupre
  • Miss Virginia Hickson
  • Miss Geraldine Keeler

Also on the Fort were the following civilians who occupied the Trading Post:

  • Mandy Graves, Proprietor
  • Bud Robbins, Scout
  • "Rancid" Rob Ivery


Colonel McNerlin essentially set about on this course of action because he felt that the fort was under siege and the fort was under-defended. He was unable to send word to Fort 51, the nearest Union garrison, for reinforcements. He could only rely on the fact that the telegraph line had been severed as an alert that something was amiss.

He set the militia members to work and set the troops on vigilant guard.

Internal Strife

On the night of July 11th, Miss Keeler reported to Colonel McNerlin that she believed that she and Dr. Roberts could have the locomotive going in eleven days. She also stated that she believed the cannons were the victims of sabotage, having spotted evidence of "acid scoring" on the inside of the artillery pieces.

On the morning of July 12th, Miss Geraldine Keeler happened upon the gruesome body of Private Elbert Steen near one of the boxcars of the overturned train. Nearby is a Bowie knife identified by locals as belonging to Bud Robbins, the local civilian scout. It was well-known throughout the camp that Robbins had it in for Steen ever since the young private got the scout shot on an expedition due to his incessant chatter. The CO ordered Robbins remanded to the stockade.

Later that night, according to a report that Colonel McNerlin later received, Miss Keeler and Mr. Dupre crept into the office and living quarters of Dr. Thaddeus Roberts, the fort's scientist. They apparently suspected the scientist of some sort of foul play. It turns out they were right. Inside the office they found a set of plans for a digging machine designed by the Wasatch railroad. Attached to the plans was a note saying "Steam too noisy—consider alternative" and a set of plans for a spring-powered alternative. They also found half a jar of hydrochloric acid. The two would-be spies also apparently witnessed Dr. Roberts in the Engine room with an illicit tunnel and digging machine, tunneling quietly away from the fort.

Unfortunately, the two were confronted by an angry Dr. Roberts who met them with a Gatling pistol in his office. He shot young Mr. Dupre in the gut while Miss Keeler managed to fight him off with Dupre's gun. Due to a malfunction of the Gatling piece, Miss Keeler gained the upper hand and apprehended the traitorous scientist.

Meanwhile, the rest of the camp was roused by the death-scream of Corporal Joe Whitetail as he was bodily hauled up and pinned to the wall of fort by the bayonet of his watch partner, who was felled by his tomahawk. Whispers immediately went up around camp about Sergeant McElroy, whose large size and well-known animosity toward Whitetail made him a suspect. Colonel McNerlin ordered Bud Robbins to be released.

Miss Keeler approached the Colonel and gave report concerning Dr. Roberts. He was also placed in the stockade.

Mr. Dupre was taken to the infirmary.

On the evening of July 13th, a report of food poisoning went about the camp. The officers were having a planning meeting at the time, and thus avoided the outbreak while the civilians took their meal at that Trading Post.

However, Miss Keeler apparently suspected some sort of tampering as she took a sample of the stew for scientific analysis. She came to the conclusion that the stew had been poisoned.

Around this time, a scream and a gunshot rang out from the Trading Post. As people came to look, Bud Robbins was found dead, torn to shreds, in his room. He had managed to get a shot off but no one knew at whom.

According to Colonel McNerlin, Miss Keeler had found a piece of ghost rock at the scene and had taken it back to the laboratory to be examined. She discovered that the ghost rock had had a piece of lead—bullet lead—grazed over it. She went to examine the ghost rock bin, which had been a source of her previous investigations because it was frequently messily overturned. As she looked around, she was surprised to see—according to her report—a large, "rock creature" emerge from the bin.

The creature attacked her with sharp claws backed by solid strength. Behind her, she saw Ginny Hickson with a pepperbox gun aimed at her. Keeler concentrated on Hickson. She finally overwhelmed Hickson and the creature fell. Troops had come running at the sound of gun shots and Hickson was apprehended and placed in the stockade.  She has so far withstood intense questioning from our forces.

On July 14th, Miss Keeler modified a device she already had on her person (a SPIDR pod) for rail use and sent it on its way south toward Fort 51 with a message from Colonel McNerlin asking for reinforcements for its impending invasion.

That night, the invasion began.

A steam tank, probably of Confederate design, began shelling the fort with impunity from a nearby ridge. In three shots it had destroyed the front gate. Suddenly, out of the engine house came a band of female troopers—they had apparently emerged from the other side of the now-completed tunnel.

Melee fighting began in earnest on the parade ground. It is apparent now that the interlopers were the famed "Wichita Witches," a gang frequently employed by the Black River rail line. They apparently were colluding with the Confederates for equipment and inside information.

As the Witches were beginning to fall, the "rock creature" made an appearance. It was taken out by Miss Keeler, who reasoned that, as it was made of ghost rock, it would be flammable. It was taken out by fire.

Then the steam tank started trundling into the fort to wreck havoc. This was when the Denver-Pacific train bearing the 17th Regiment arrived and routed the raiders.


The Witches lost twelve of their number with three wounded left behind. These three will be taken to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas for incarceration, along with Dr. Thaddeus Roberts and Miss Virginia Hickson.

The Fort Clark contingent lost the following in the battle:

  1. Lt. Lester Goree
  2. Corporal William Hicks
  3. Pvt. Harris Dennison
  4. Pvt. Frederick Voigt

All but Colonel McNerlin sustained injuries.


Dr. Malcolm Chesney has taken over the hospital at the fort on a temporary basis to care for the wounded. Mr. William Fortnight of the Denver-Pacific and myself are in consultation with Colonel McNerlin on the revivification of Fort Clark and reconstitution of the rail line. The two remaining "militia" members, Miss Keeler and Mr. Dupre have been "decommissioned" and will be taken to Fort 51 by train once the tracks are cleared.

ADDENDUM: An armored car from Fort 51 has arrived on July 16th to take Miss Keeler and Mr. Dupre to that facility. Apparently, the SPIDR made it to the fort unscathed.

At sundown, services were held for the fallen, led by Colonel McNerlin.


It is apparent that the Black River rail line is in collusion with the CSA for a purpose—what that purpose is, it is hard to say. For the CSA's part, my speculation would be to cause a distraction—possibly to draw Lt. Col. Kyle's "Flying Buffalos" away from the "Ghost Trail" and move them toward the north to defend Fort Clark, making them more vulnerable for ambush and taking away from Kyle's forward momentum on that front.

What is Black River's gain in this? Obviously trouble and tribulation for Denver-Pacific, but this is but a spur of that railroad. Why go to this much trouble? The promise of CSA assets (such as a steam digger and a steam tank)? Possibly. Technology could turn the tide in their war with the other rail companies.

Regardless, it was requested of my superiors to make an assessment of Colonel McNerlin's performance in this conflict. His performance: technically astute, though emphatically lacking. McNerlin is a textbook soldier and leader—he leads by the book. But this was a situation decidedly outside of his experience and it got the better of him and his men and they suffered for it. However, I'm not sure what else he could have done in the situation. I cannot recommend reprimand at this time, though I certainly do not recommend commendation for valor.

It is clear, however, that a leave of absence is in order. These reports of a "rock creature," though corroborated by multiple witnesses, are clearly the work of high stress and extreme exposure to the pressures of command. It is also possible that a chemical agent was released into the air by the nefarious Dr. Roberts that caused the hallucination. Regardless, a time of rest—followed by a return to command—may be in order.

It should be noted that much of the needed inspiration and improvisation in this matter came from Miss Geraldine Keeler. Her conduct during the entire affair was heroic and inspiring.

Regardless, it is clear that Fort Clark will need to be re-garrisoned and rebuilt to withstand further assault. Colonel McNerlin will need to gain the trust of a troop of new men. And vigilance will need to be the watch-word of this garrison.

Eventful Exposition Marred by Rattlers
July 9, 1876




Eventful Exposition Marred by Rattlers

by Carolus Randall

Yesterday was the inaugural celebration of the Grand Exposition of the Smith & Robards Company. Scientists from across the country, even the world, gathered at the Municipal Market Hall to display their latest creations and compete for bragging rights amongst their peers.

The festivities were interrupted on several occasions by a freakish infestation of Salt Rattlers that plague the Exposition all afternoon.

The events of the afternoon were foreshadowed during the invocation ceremony when, during Dr. Darius Hellstromme's keynote speech ("On the Betterment of Humankind through Courageous Endeavor"), a passel of baby Salt Rattler began emerging from various points all around the lawn outside the Expo site. Smith & Robards security forces were on hand to dispatch the critters, and no one was hurt, but it was a disturbing site to say the least for our many visitors.

Old hands at life in The Great Salt Lake know about the baby Salt Rattlers, but they generally don't show up until the ground is soft after a good rain. This large and sudden infestation after a dry spell was freakish even for natives of our great city.

Nevertheless, the scientists and exhibitors persevered and the Expo opened on-time at Noon.

The Exposition carried on according to plan (at least, as far as this spectator was concerned) for most of the afternoon until about 3:19 pm, when a full-grown Salt Rattler burst forth from the foundation of the Market Hall in Poster Area "A"!

Once again, Smith & Robards security teams were in place, as well as an un-named shooter in the crowd that fired at the beast. Between the two of them, the creature was felled. Exposition volunteers drug the bullet-riddled carcass from the scene and program coordinator, Dr. Erastmus T. Gould, worked the crowd to calm folks down and convince them not to abandon the Exposition. "The show must go on!" he was heard to say with exuberance. And so it did.

Until at 3:43 pm, another full-grown Salt Rattler exploded out of the Poster Area "B"!

This beast was a bit harder to put down, but down it went, with the efforts of the Smith & Robards team and two of the exhibitors, later identified as Mr. Roland Dupre and Miss Geraldine Keeler, both of Paiute Springs, Nevada. Miss Keeler, herself, dealt the monstrous worm its killing blow, with one of her screwdrivers, no less. A fitting metaphor for the Triumph of Tinkering at a scientific exposition!

Again, the bleeding corpse of the worm was dragged away and Dr. Gould attempt to calm the public. Clearly, the events of the day were taking their toll and people began to leave. Gould, an able cheerleader and exuberant supporter of his brainchild, simply could not stem the tide.

According to one exposition volunteer, who wished to remain anonymous, at least 50 people demanded refunds for their tickets that afternoon and another 150 to 200 simply left before the the Showcase events and the Airshow—the highlights of the day. When asked is Smith & Robards took any losses at the box office for the show, officials with the event offered no comment.

According to eyewitness reports on the scene, troubleshooters began searching the area for "devices." Speculation began to grow that the increased Rattler activity was not mere freakish behavior on the part of wild animals, but an act of sabotage. "Once is an event. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a conspiracy," claimed Dr. Marlin Robuck, one of the exhibitors.

Of course, this speculation raises the question of motive. For what purpose would someone want to disrupt the Exposition? Did someone simply wish to embarrass Smith & Robards (in general), or Erastmus T. Gould (personally)? Was it a distraction for some other nefarious event? Was it "new science" gone wrong?

According to another eyewitness, one of the exhibitors, a Dr. Gustavus Brock, had a "sonic varmint repellent" device that he claimed had been sabotaged. Could this strange device had been responsible for the havoc raised by the Rattlers?

Fortunately for the exhibitors and the spectators, no more Rattler attacks marred the festivities that afternoon and the Exposition closed to the public quietly at 8:00 pm.

Assassination Attempt Thwarted By Lady Scientist

by Garrett Van Der Veen

After an eventful Exposition at the Municipal Market Hall yesterday, the celebration's closing ceremonies did not disappoint.

The closing ceremonies for the Smith & Robards "Grand Exposition" were being held in the ballroom of the sumptuous Salt Lake City Hotel. Various speakers came to the fore to dole out the awards earned by the selected exhibitors of the inaugural conference.

As the esteemed Dr. Jacob Smith, the "Smith" of Smith & Robards came to the stage to make his presentation, one of the audience members, a lady by the name of Miss Geraldine Keeler of Paiute Springs, Nevada, began to make a spectacle of herself with a hysteric display. At the same time, a rifle shot rang out through the ballroom, striking far wide of the stage. It was later speculated that Miss Keeler's display to was to catch the shooter, whom she had spotted, off-guard, and to throw off his shot. Good for her! What spunk!

Dr. Smith hit the deck and S&R security forces began to gather around the stage. Meanwhile, Miss Keeler made her way across the ballroom and threw down the podium to give Dr. Smith more cover. At the same time, witness watched, their hearts in their mouths, as the shooter struggled with an unknown assailant up in the rafters of the ballroom!

The security team dared not fire into the rafters as they could hit the man struggling with the would-be assassin, so they opted to form a perimeter around their employer. Miss Keeler hopped up on to a table and reached up to try and pull the assassin down herself!

I don't know what they're putting in the water in Paiute Springs, but it apparently breeds bold women! Let's keep that stuff in Nevada!

As Miss Keeler continued to struggle to pull the man down, falling down on her bustle twice in the process, the assassin fought on against the other unknown foe. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, but was actually only about a minute, the assassin came tumbling down from the rafters, landing hard onto the table, and then rolling off onto the floor. Clearly, the wind was taken out of his sails as he flailed about uselessly on his back, his fallen rifle out of his reach. Miss Keeler had the audacity to SIT upon the man until he was gathered up and taken away by the security team.

Dr. Smith recovered from the situation and finished his presentation.

The assassin was taken into custody by Sheriff Eli Waters and taken to the City Jail. He was later identified as Travis Pritchett (aka Jared Hitchens), a saboteur and spy with known associations with the Confederate States of America. He is currently wanted on warrants in the U.S.A. Pritchett's fate is in the hands of Almighty God and Judge Upton Blackwood.

Tate Wanted Regarding Charges of Fraud

by Artemon Jezek

United States Patent Clerk Lyle Tate is currently eluding authorities who wish to question him in regard to charges involving fraud, claim jumping, and other chicanery. According to sources, Mr. Tate was using knowledge gained by his post to try and bilk firms—including Hellstromme, Industries, out of monies based on the false notion that he owned certain patents and ideas. He had come to Salt Lake City to attend the Smith & Robards Grand Exposition and, thus, find plenty of potential victims for his schemes.

The Sheriff of Salt Lake City is working in cooperation with the United States Marshal's office to apprehend this suspect. The U. S. Marshal's office has issued a warrant for Mr. Tate and a reward for his capture, alive, of $150.

Awards Presented for Grand Exposition

by Garrett Van Der Veen

Despite the exciting theatrics of Salt Rattler attacks and assassin attempts, the 1st Annual Grand Exposition presented by Smith & Robards is ultimately about the presentation and furtherance of Science —especially the "New Science" represented by luminaries such as Dr. Darius Hellstromme, Dr. Jacob Smith, and other such pioneers.

Thus, the ceremonies of the inaugural Expo highlighted such endeavors that illuminated these ideas.

Thaddeus Shaw, President of the Great Basin Scientific Society, and one of the judges of the Exposition, doled out the "Best in Division" prizes.

Anthropology: Dr. Sarah Milligan, “Shamanistic Traditions and the Intersection of Myth and Science”

Astronomy: Dr. Marlin Robuck, “The Extraterrestrial Origins of Ghost Rock: A Working Theory”

Biology/Medicine: Dr. Geoffrey Walter, “Disease Vectors in East Texas: Texas Tummy Twister by the Numbers”

Botany: Mr. Jordan Danforth, “Steam-Powered Seed-Shooter”

Chemistry: Dr. Joaquin Bandera, “Ethical Considerations in the Study of Philosopher’s Stone”

Engineering: Miss Geraldine Keeler, “Demonstration of Surveying Pods for Intake, Detection, and Retrieval”

Geology/Earth Sciences: Dr. Delia Sampson, “Looking Beyond Steam as a Fuel Source: What the Future Holds”

Ghost Rock: Drs. Kyle Rosenfeld, Dixie Brown, and Fontana Starling, “Magnetism, Ghost Rock, and the Opening of Fields”

Natural History: Anonymous, “A Case for Reanimation: The New Prometheus”

Physics: Dr. Angela Strom, “Flight of the Bumblebee: Flight Achieved through Power vs. Glide”

Zoology: Mr. Johnathan Washburne, “Expeditions in Caddo Lake”

Next came Sir Clifton Robards, of Smith & Robards, to present the "Best in Section" Awards.

Amateur/Hobbyist: Mr. Hank Rogers, "All-Terrain Velocipede"

Professional: Dr. Marcus Samburg, "Psychic Projector"

Finally, after a harrowing attempt on his life, Dr. Jacob Smith, also of Smith & Robards, presented the coveted "Best in Show" Award to Dr. Ignatius T. Plotts, for his invention, "The Whirlygig."

Before ending the ceremonies with the closing remarks, Dr. Erastmus T. Gould, Program Coordinator for the Expo, made an impromptu presentation of a $500.00 credit to Smith & Robards to Miss Geraldine Keeler for her assistance in dealing with the various crises of the day. Gould cited the prize as a "Distinguished Service Award" for young scientist.

The evening came to a close after the closing remarks of esteemed, world-renowned scientist, Mr. Alfred Nobel. You may know Mr. Nobel for his wondrous invention of dynamite.

With God's Grace and a bit of planning, Smith & Robards will hold a 2nd annual Expo next year.

"Oh, yes, I count this as a success," said Dr. Erastmus T. Gould, Program Coordinator for this year's event. "The events of today were largely out of our control. The events we could control were done so with efficiency and aplomb. And those that were out of our control all ended with minimal harm done. Obviously we'd rather these events didn't happen, but in light of the what actually did happen, I'm pleased with the end results."

Spoken like a true scientist.

Intelligence Report: Subject 2783
June 20, 1876

Department of War

Bureau of Military Information

Intelligence Report


Date: June 20, 1876

To: Brig.Gen. George H. Sharpe, US Army HQ, City Point, Virginia, USA

From: Capt. Lucius Dalworthington, CIO, Fort 51, Nevada, USA

Subject: Subject 2783 (TS)


The science team at Fort 51 took possession of Subject 2783, formerly classified as "JD-76," on March 17, 1876.

Previous to its possession by friendly forces, the device was in the possession of Miss Geraldine Marie Keeler of Paiute Springs, Nevada [reference report of April 15, 1876]. The device crashed into her backyard during an electrical storm on March 3, 1876. Miss Keeler, being an experienced scientist with at least one patent to her name, made a diagnostic analysis of scene and determined that the device was a self-propelled ornithopter of some type. The core cylinder of the device was the only component ot survive intact, and it seemed to be connected to a faulty self-destruct mechanism involving three sticks of military-grade dynamite.

Over the course of a few days, Miss Keeler managed to defuse the device and opened the core cylinder. There she discovered the secret of Subject 2783: that it was "powered" by a preserved human brain. Once again, Miss Keeler proved her ingenuity and managed to communicate with the "entity" inside the canister. It identified itself as JD-76 or "JD" and conducted conversations with Miss Keeler. It was, however, prevented from revealing its purpose or its mission by a series of electrodes connected to key nerve centers on the surface of the organ [reference Notes: Stranghoener April 1876].

Meanwhile, Fort 51 was contacted and I was dispatched to investigate.

In the intervening time, a squad of Confederate troops led by Captain Harland Desdemona (under the alias "Max Tucci") and Confederate agent MIss Josephine Devereaux (under the alias "Miss Lavern Stefano") entered Nevada by way of Arizona, marched to Paiute Springs, and attempted to retrieve their wayward prototype. Fortunately, with the help of Miss Keeler, I was able to apprehend Miss Deveraux and Captain Desdemona [reference report of March 18, 1876]. It was then that I acquired Subject 2783 and brought it back to Fort 51.

Preliminary Findings

After his briefing on the acquisition and preliminary study of the subject by Miss Geraldine Keeler of Paiute Springs, Nevada, Mr. Eddington assigned the device to the care of Dr. Theodore Stranghoener. Dr. Stranghoener was between projects and is a capable chemist and engineer with a solid record of work.

During this period, Mr. Eddington received frequent reports on the progress of Dr. Stranghoener with Subject 2783. Mr. Eddington, in turn, would report to myself and Lt. Colonel Kyle on the project. As the days passed, Eddington expressed his dismay at the lack of progress Stranghoener was having on the project. According to the project notes, the subject was increasingly uncooperative and unresponsive and, quite possibly, psychotic.

At this point I hit upon the idea of bringing in Miss Keeler. Perhaps her rapport with the subject would bring it around. Further, she had scientific experience—she had, after all, been the only one to make progress thus far.

Eddington encouraged me to move forward. He removed Stranghoener from the project. I sought the proper clearances for Miss Keeler. Once attained, I rode to Paiute Springs to retrieve Miss Keeler.

Miss Keeler was apprehensive at first but readily agreed to help if it meant that "JD" was in some kind of distress. She had the curious habit of treating the device as if it were a person [more on that further in the report].

We rode out from Paiute Springs and arrived back at Fort 51 on May 4, 1876.

Miss Keeler began her work on May 5, 1876.


I ordered Dr. Stranghoener to provide Miss Keeler with his work notes and Miss Keeler commandeered one of the chemistry labs within Laboratory C, the Special Weapons Division of the facility (Subject 2783 defies traditional classification). There she began her work in earnest and reported regularly to Mr. Eddington.

According to the reports I received from Eddington, Miss Keeler started seeing progress within just a few days. She managed to calm "JD" down and bring him out of his shell. She brought in books and pictures from the library to stimulate him. Within a week, she had a major breakthrough.

"JD" began to remember his previous identity, who "he" was before falling into his current state. His name was Virgil Caine, and he was apparently a Confederate soldier from Tennessee who fought against General Stoneman's raid on the railyards at Danville, Virginia in 1865. He was an ornithopter pilot who, it is believed, went down during the fight. He is survived by a wife, Iris Caine and a nephew, Paul [see report May 31, 1876]. He has few memories past 1865. He remembers a great fire, pain, ice, a man with wild hair and insane eyes, the smell of salt, and Miss Josephine Devereaux.

Since the "awakening" of Virgil Caine, it appears that Subject 2783 suffers from a strange condition of the mind in which half the time, one is speaking to Virgil—a distinct person from JD. The other half of the time, one is speaking with JD, a distinct person from Virgil.

According to Eddington, the JD personality is solicitous and helpful—willing to provide the information we require were it not for the pain of the electrodes. The other personality, Virgil, is a staunch Confederate and will not cooperate regardless. It posed an interesting dilemma at the time.

Meanwhile, Miss Keeler continued researching the feasibility of removing the electrodes from the brain without causing the organ more harm. She finally hit upon the the approach she felt would be the most viable, though it would not be without risk. According to Eddington, she discussed the procedure with the dual natures of the device as if they were a patient and she were a physician. They both felt that the benefits were worth the risk.

On May 11, 1876, Miss Keeler attempted the procedure. According to Mr. Eddington, she accomplished the task admirably. In only two hours, she managed to perform the delicate operation with no loss of cognition to the subject.

Later that day, the JD personality emerged and revealed the device's core mission, its last (and, as it happens, first) mission and its code phrases.

  1. Core Mission: Accept code-preceded instructions. Fly to target. Surveil target. Take photographs if needed. Return to base. Destroy Core if compromised.
  2. Last Mission: Fly to [coordinates matching Fort 51]. Surveil for 1 hour. Take photographs of facility. Return to [coordinates matching encampment in northern Arizona]. Destroy Core if compromised.
  3. Code Phrases: "Welcome to the cotillion" [Prepare to accept instructions]; "Your dance card is full" [Instructions complete]; "Take Sherman straight to Hell!" [Self-Destruct Core].

After completing her mission objectives, Miss Keeler stayed on at the facility, with the support of Mr. Eddington, to complete a final project on behalf of "JD."

Over the course of the next two weeks, she and Mr. Eddington worked together to design and create an apparatus by which Subject 2783—JD—may actually walk about on its own. It is essentially a clockwork base on which the armored canister sits that has articulated, spider-like legs and a "sensory rig" through which JD may experience sight and sound [reference attached blueprints and diagrams c/o Eddington].

Eddington has used his influence—and the fact that we have already gleaned much of our needed intelligence from the device—to secure permission from Washington to care personally for the subject. Subject 2783—now termed locally as "JD" resides with Eddington on the facility grounds.

Miss Keeler left the facility June 16, 1876.

Her clearances were revoked June 17, 1876.

  • Virgil Caine was likely shipped to by train in an ice car to some undisclosed location to begin the procedures that resulted in his current state. His mention of "salt" makes me think of Utah/Deseret, but this is pure speculation.
  • As it took nearly 10 years for the Confederacy to produce JD from Virgil, it stands to reason that (a) the procedure is a lengthy and arduous process, or (b) finding the right subject is a difficult proposition, or © a combination of the two. As such, it is unlikely that there are a great number of these unmanned craft being deployed.
  • The work being performed here is reminiscent of the theories presented by Dr. Leonitus Gash, formerly of Deseret University in Salt Lake. It is, however, an advanced application of his theories. Dr. Gash's current whereabouts are unknown, though we have, admittedly fewer channels available in Utah Territory.
  • Miss Keeler, though an "amateur" scientist is a formidable technician and tenacious scientist. She would be a valuable asset with which to maintain cordial relations. She impressed Eddington—and he is not easily impressed.
  • It is clear that our science teams have been remiss in regarding Subject 2783 as merely a device. Not only are there clear moral and ethical ramifications that are brought to bear, but from a practical point of view—dehumanizing JD made matters worse. The Confederacy created a monster but we treated him monstrously. If we are to maintain the moral high ground in this conflict, we should look to Miss Keeler's example. From this point forward, Subject 2783's designation has been changed to "JD/Virgil Caine" and will be referred to by his dominant personality in correspondence.   
Supplemental Report: Lt. Steven Atwell

On May 12, 1876, Miss Keeler left the facility on a social outing with Lt. Steven Atwell, aide de camp to Lt. Colonel Kyle. They took the train to Cedar City at 6:30 pm. In the returning to the fort on the 8:30 pm train, Miss Keeler found herself separated from Lt. Atwell in the crowd. While thus separated, Miss Keeler found someone pressing a gun barrel into her side and a whiskey-soaked voice telling her, "Walk with me, Miss Keeler. And quietly. Let's not have a ruckus." The man clearly had a Southern accent.

Miss Keeler attempted to push the man away and run, but he grabbed her and pulled her close, saying , "None of that, missy." She then started to scream and push her way away, banking on the belief that the man didn't want to shoot her down in front of witnesses. The man let her go and faded into the crowd.

Lt. Atwell reappeared and asked after her state, as she was clearly upset. Miss Keeler simply asked to be taken home.

What is unusual about this incident is that Miss Keeler confided in me that she got the distinct impression that Lt. Atwell lost her purposefully. Which suggests collusion with the assailant.  And a far more disturbing problem if this is the behavior of a trusted aide at a secure facility.

My agents have discovered that a Confederate information broker by the code name of "Fiddler" was seen in Cedar City at the time. If this is the man Atwell is in collusion with, then treason charges are not out of order. However, we have no evidence at this time. It simply bears further watching.

Supplemental Report: Amy Kyle

This next report is more difficult to provide. Miss Keeler reports that on the evening of May 15, 1876 she was awoken in her apartment by the touch on her hand of another. She looked up to see a gaunt, desiccated woman—clearly long dead—in a nightgown, crawling across her ceiling on all fours like a giant spider. Her decaying features could not hide the fact that she was Amy Kyle, the young bride of our CO.

Miss Keeler gave chase to the—woman—but lost her as she walked past a sentry and into the base HQ. After that night, Miss Keeler suffered from an unfortunate illness for nearly three weeks. Miss Keeler also noted that Mrs. Kyle had a habit of avoiding her reflection.

I am fully cognizant of how this report must sound. And of the importance of whom it implicates, however, in light of the increasing reports coming in from the Pinkerton Agency regarding strange events in the West and the reports I have submitted of the things I have seen in my own travels, I beg your forbearance.

I have heard of people called "harrowed" who refuse to stay dead and return to the land of the living, their bodies reanimated by a force as mysterious as it is dark. Mrs. Kyle suffered from a life-threatening fever five years ago. I hypothesize that she succumbed to that fever and returned—as something else.

But, I have no proof. Nothing actionable short of vigilance, which must suffice for now.


Kidnappers Revealed! Devil-Worshippers Uncovered!
April 30, 1876

The Paiute Springs Sentinel

Sunday Edition

April 30, 1876
"Ever Vigilant, A Beacon of Truth!"

Kidnappers Revealed! Devil-Worshippers Uncovered!

by Oliver Milhouse

Hold on to your crosses, friends. This one's going to take you into the valley, so to speak.

This past week, our own beloved Imogene Crane, schoolteacher and literary champion, was assaulted on Camp Road by three masked men while she was on her way to have dinner with her friend, Geraldine Keeler, at the Keeler House. The two ladies managed to fight off the ruffians, but the event was nevertheless traumatic for our poor educator.

"I just don't understand why anyone would want to do such a thing," she said later. "It doesn't make any sense."

Apparently, she pulled a pendant off one of her assailants (pictured here). According to Miss Keeler, it is an alchemical symbol for silver.

According to Town Marshal Lila Kimsey, the men came from the mining camp of Zebedee Duvane. She and some unnamed others formed a posse and went and checked out the situation, but no arrests were made.

This may have been a mistake on the part of our esteemed Marshal.

The next day, Geraldine Keeler and Roland Dupre were attacked by three more masked miners from Duvane's camp. Unfortunately for them, Dupre was quick on the draw and Geraldine was no slouch with a gun her own self. They managed to capture one and take him in to the Marshal.

According to testimony from the subsequent trial, this man, one John Pendleton, worked for a "master" called the "Argent Flame" for whom Zebedee Duvane was a servant. They wanted Imogene, and later Geraldine, because they were spinsters and thus "unsullied."

Marshal Kimsey gathered Geraldine and Roland up and marched into the mining camps and confronted Duvane. A fight ensued and two more men were apprehended, as well as Zebedee Duvane.

One would think that would be the end of it, friends, but fanaticism is hard to put down.

That night, April 24, Geraldine Keeler was kidnapped from her own bed and taken to the Duvane camp and prepared for a devil-worshipping sacrifice! According to testimony from the trial, they strapped the poor young woman to a rock and were going to sacrifice her to some nefarious demon were it not for young Roland Dupre coming in, guns blazing, and disrupting the ceremony. Geraldine managed to free herself, and Roland was overwhelmed in the fight, but the cultists were subdued and she was released.

Devil-worship! Cults! Virgin sacrifice! All right here in Paiute Springs! It's disgraceful! But all's well that ends well, as the Bard says.  Let's send our prayers to Miss Keeler for a speedy recovery from this traumatic experience.

Miners Convicted. Dupre To Be Jailed.

by Oliver Milhouse

Zebedee Duvane and his group of diabolic miners have been convicted by Judge Perryman in circuit court and sentenced prison in Virginia City. Zebedee himself will spend 20 years in a cell for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted murder. His followers will spend 30 years in prison for actually doing the deed.

In a sidebar, Judge Perryman sentenced Roland Dupre to 30 days in county prision in Pioche for being "gun-happy."

The Duvane crew is awaiting the arrival of U.S Marshals to transport them to Virginia City and then to prision. Dupre is awaiting the next stage to Pioche.

Jennings Named Deputy

by Oliver Milhouse

Ethan Jennings has been named Marshal Lila Kimsey's official deputy. The good Marshal has been saying for a long time that she needed the help and has finally taken action.

Jennings is twenty-one years old, a former shotgunner for the Old Barcelona stage, and an avid reader of dime novels—especially those about Nevada Smith.

Collins Hangs Up His Shingle

by Oliver Milhouse

Jim and Patrick Collins, Undertakers and Coffin Makers, have hung up their shingle on Church Street and are offering their services for all of your mortuary and funerary needs. An experienced pair of undertakers from Chicago, the Collins Brothers are prepared to help in your time of grieving to ease your deceased family member or friend into the Great Beyond. Feel free to call upon them day or night.

Coyotes Collude with Confederates

by Oliver Milhouse

It has become increasingly clear that the so-called "Coyote Confederation" is operating in collusion with the Confederated States of America. As offensives from the CSA escalate in light of their upcoming election, the Coyotes are seen to rarely raid Confederate sites or even disputed sites that are thought to be sympathetic to the Southern Cause. However, they do target Union supply lines and other vulnerable positions.

There may come a time, friends, where our beloved Union is forced to fight a war on multiple fronts against multiple enemies. It is no wonder that our esteemed leader, U.S. Grant, is looking so haggard these days. The weight of the ship of state is indeed great.

Dear Aunt Sally…

by Sally Mae Baumgarten

Dear Aunt Sally, I have had a sore throat that just won't quit. I've tried vinegar and hot water but that don't work none. Any idears? — B.

Dear B., This is the time of year when our noses and throats really start clogging up on us. Here's an "idear." Try dog fennel boiled with lard for your throat. I bet you see an improvement. — Yours, Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, My mama always said tansy tea was a good cure for white swelling. Is that true? Also what about this for warts? Rubbing the warts with stones and then throwing the stones away? Always worked for my Nana…—T.

Dear T., Tansy tea is a wonderful remedy for a great many ills, white swelling (or hip joint disease) being one of them. As far as the warts—well, let's just say I'd rather stick with my pumice stone and castor oil trick. I'd hate to gainsay your Nana—if that works for you, then by all means stick with it. —Yours, Aunt Sally.

Dear Aunt Sally, I lost my husband H. last summer in a mining accident—poor soul fell down a shaft. Anyway, these past two nights, he's been visiting me in my parlor, just as bold as you please. He shows up and just smiles at me, doesn't say a word. Then he leaves. What do you make of that? —N.

Dear N., I can only say that we live in strange times and if seeing your husband gives you comfort, then by all means take what comfort you can. If it is something that brings you more grief, then talk to Reverend Gage and see about a cleansing of your home. I only hope that whatever route you go, you have peace of mind about your husband and that you know that he loves you no matter where he is. — Yours, Aunt Sally.