Deadlands: Riders on the Storm

Epilogue

Picking up Pieces

The town, with Geraldine's help, manages to clean itself up in the aftermath of the assault by the Man in Black. Families are reunited, the dead are gathered and taken to the church, and lives begin to be put back together. 

Geraldine does her work in silence and takes herself back to her home when finished. 

The following days are taken up with rebuilding and funeral services for the fallen. Geraldine goes to Mamie McDaniel's boarding house and collects Roland's things. She takes them home and lays them out, looking them over. She looks for some sign of a next of kin, and finds only a folded up photograph of a young Creole woman with the words "Chloe—New Orleans, 1870" inscribed on the back. The woman has Roland's wry smile and eyes. She takes his gris-gris bag and his Hoyle's Book of Games and tucks them away with her other occult gear. 

She arranges for Roland's funeral to be held at the Imperial, which scandalizes only those that didn't know Roland. He is interred in the nearby cemetery in his best suit. Geraldine has a tombstone erected to honor her friend:

Roland Antoine Dupre

July 15, 1852 – December 15 1876

"What you are will show in what you do" — T. Edison

Geraldine busies herself with scientific inquiries at home. Though she still meets periodically with the Reverend, Marshal Kimsey, and Mayor-Elect Putnam, she largely keeps to herself. Except for the funeral service, she does not set foot in the Imperial.

On December 29, 1876, two weeks after the assault, she receives notice that Philetus Crinklaw has arrived from Virginia City to apply for the position of apothecary. She meets with the druggist, along with Doc Fabry. Philetus is a lanky man in a fine suit that almost seems too big for his thin frame. He has short, slicked-back hair and sideburns. He smiles a lot and seems very friendly. The doc quizzes him on his pharmaceutical knowledge and seems satisfied. He can start Monday, January 1, 1877.

Lila reports that Ethan Jennings has recovered from his wounds during the fight with the Man in Black. It didn't take long, just a few days for the gut wound to close almost completely, leaving only the wound that originally killed the harrowed young deputy. Lila wants to keep Ethan on as deputy, "these superstitious sidewinders be damned. He's earned it, coming down to help us against that black-garbed piece of shit." The Reverend seems uneasy at the prospect of an "abomination before God" being given leave to stay in town, much less a prominent position there. Mayor Putnam is inclined to trust Lila's judgment, with the understanding that if the harrowed deputy turns on her, she is to put him down "with no uncertain prejudice." For his part, Ethan elects to continue staying in the cabin up on the mountain, but will come down and and work in the town on his shifts, which are usually at night to give Lila a rest.  

The town is going to be facing a new year with a new mayor, a new church, a new apothecary, and some hope in their ability to withstand even the most unholy of adversity. Still, there is a pall over the town as the dead never rest easy in Paiute Springs. Even if they stay in the ground, they weigh on the minds of those they left behind. 

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