Cursed together - A.K.A. Deadlands at Kitten Lair

Clean Up Crew

Clean up Crew

Not long after the battle the posse starts heading back towards the train and they hear a train whistle of an incoming train. Because the Engineers hand, Hank who survived the wreak, insisted that they post signs to inform incoming trains of the bridge being out, the train does manage to brake safely. As it would happen Dr. Pat was aboard looking to connect with the rest of the posse at the Pennington station further up.

They are reunited and the conductor of the new train demands an explanation. Mean while Ms. Giles has been searching for her friend’s wallet and finally finds it despite Jeb’s constant companionship, though she doesn’t manage to keep it hidden from him. It is revealed that the young man’s name was Allan Seyberth and that he had been a Pinkerton Agent. Ms. Giles also thinks that there are more of the creature’s and she urges the posse to go after them. The Dr. is keen to see the creature’s, and the Conductor after seeing the aftermath of damage in the train car is ready to believe tales of creature’s instead of bandits.

The Conductor is persuaded to take all the survivors aboard his train and back to Denver but to also wait a few hours at least to give the Posse a chance to hunt down the creature’s that escaped. Ms. Giles insists on that and to give force to her authority she finally reveals that she’s a Pinkerton Agent as well, and this breaks Jeb’s heart. (or at least his hopes for Ms. Giles’ heiress pocketbook)

So back into the woods the Posse goes and Jeb is able after several tries to pick up the trail of the creature’s again. The Posse follow it for an hour until they find another clearing that looks suspicious. Dancing Crow pokes the dirt a few times with a branch and it starts to move. Waiting to attack for the creature’s to actually break out of the ground the Posse open fire and soon make short work of the hideous spider bugs Ms. Giles called Huskers.

The Reverend and Corky saw a cave entrance in the cliff face so the posse got out the ropes and made torches and then climb in to the cave because they suspect that the mature version of the creature is in the cave. Corky had fainted earlier so she elects to wait at the cave entrance and the Reverend waits at the bottom of the ropes. After delving into the cave for several minutes the Posse hear some scritching noises and then the creature spat poison at Daren from some crevice over head.

Several shots are fired at it an it keeps popping down from the ceiling and attacking Daren then finally it’s leg gets shot off and it falls, knocking itself out in the process. The Reverend and Corky hearing shots fired decide to come join the fray after all and both arrive in time to help their friends put the foul creature down. Daren collapses in exhaustion and is healed by Dancing Crow so that the creatures poison no longer affects him.

After returning to the Train with some of the bodies the Posse discover that Ms. Giles is having to fend off the unwelcome attentions of a reporter: Ms. Denise Merrit who works with the Tombstone Epitaph.
The reporter has sniffed out a story about creature’s she’s sure, and is only deflected by Jeb (calling himself Carl Hanahan) spinning a long winded tale of the bandits. While this is going on the rest of the bodies are collected and loaded into the train for return to Denver. Ms. Giles is grateful for the Posses’ help and instructs them to check in with the Agency’s offices for a bank voucher of $150 for their troubles.

The Posse head out on the way again to the Arapho winter camp where Kibechay’s kin live so that they can give his tomahawk to his cousin and maybe learn some more about the Wendigo taint. They arrive late and are shown to a lodge though their hosts seem a bit chilly towards them despite Dancing Crows words. In the morning the warrior who greeted them brings in two people a man and a woman who are introduced as Qu’wantay (Orange Leaf) and Winaeta (Squirrel Bark.)

Dancing Crow tells them the tale of how they met Kibechay and their encounters with Klein and the efforts in the Hunting Grounds that led to Kibechay’s death. They don’t seem completely convinced but they accept his tomahawk and leave. Later while waiting for word that they can see the shaman of the tribe, Dancing Crow and Daren note a warrior watching them and they wave him over. He issues a challenge that they should prove themselves with a race to the top of a nearby hill and Daren accepts and then he wins and wins the man’s respect.

After another conversation with the warriors Dancing Crow and Daren are invited to talk with the Shaman Ia’Anowa (Speaks with Wind) who they tell the story again of meeting Kibechay and the wendigo issues too. It doesn’t seem like Speaks with Wind believes they really have wendigo taint but he is curious about her arrangement to contact Kibechay in the Hunting Grounds and he suggests that they stay and try to arrange the vision quest to meet with Kibechay in about a weeks time.

Leaving the City of Denver

Leaving the City of Denver

After reuniting the father and son outside the warehouse the Posse notice that the warehouse is on fire and decide to get away from there before someone comes along and blames them for the fiasco. On the way they happen to see folks heading towards the fire down an alley and one of them looks familiar, like that snake oil salesman Cyrus Slater who they ran into back in Colby.

After tending to a few other minor errands the posse pack up and head north to find the winter camp of the Arapaho where Kibechay’s kin live. Dr. Pat decides to stay in Denver and join them later on as the good Dr. wants to learn as much as possible from Dr. Routledge, and work on getting Stablemite marketed for production. Corky comes with the posse who are led by Dancing Crow north. One night passes uneventfully and then early the next day the posse hear a loud skreetching crash noise up ahead. A train has crashed into the ravine the posse are traveling through and there are bandit’s shooting at the survivors.

After fighting the bandits and scaring them off the Posse investigate and find many folks injured and some dead. A spoiled young woman named Ms. Laura Giles expresses concern about the rest of the train including her baggage as the baggage car was still stranded up the tracks. The posse investigate and find some people brutally killed and strange stilt like tracks leading off the train tracks and into the brush and undergrowth on the mountain.

After relocating the survivors down in the ravine and making camp that night the posse hear strange scritching noises in the train. Investigations the next morning show that the bodies are missing. The Posse and Ms. Giles go up to the other portion of the train to see if the bodies are missing there too and Jeb uses tracking to follow the stilt marks. Jeb, Daren and Ms. Giles enter a clearing and the dirt looks recently dug in to Daren. Jeb starts to dig up some of the dirt and then a dead hand thrusts up at him and four dead bodies claw their way to the surface frightening the four of them. Jeb gets shook up and earns a minor phobia of loose dirt. Ms. Giles is stunned and unsteady staring at one of the dead people standing up out of the dirt and coming towards them.

Daren discovers that his head shots with pistol don’t put these creature’s down. In fact after a few shots enough pieces of the flesh fall off to reveal the bug like things underneath that are moving the dead bodies.

Having heard the shots the rest of the Posse climb the trail to try and help them, but it takes them some time to get there. By the time they arrive Ms. Giles has recovered herself and pulls out a big gatling pistol and shoots the one coming at her and yells out “Aim for the center mass!” The rest of the posse manage to arrive in time to hear this and help put the last of the creature’s down. However, these four bodies are only some of the missing bodies from the train.

Discussing what has happened Ms Giles explains her possession of a gatling pistol as “anyone with $1000. dollars and the right catalog can have one!” which makes Jeb comment under his breath that he’s “going to marry Ms. Giles.”

Dread Not the Dreadnought!

Dread Not the Dreadnought!

The Clockwork Sergeant steps forward and clasps Joe’s wrist creating a horrible spasm of pain in Joes hand so that he drops his gun. Joe retreats and casts his soul blast hex to great effect. An eerie mist of grey slams into the Sergeant’s head and then his head just disappears except for a few metal bits such as his jaw, cheekbone and a plate on the top of his head. The Sergeant falls over.

It’s not over yet though for the Posse. The Dreadnought steps out of the washbasin with a heavy thunk on the wooden floor of the warehouse. His weight causes some crates to tumble and Jeb notices to his right a hole in the floor opened up. It takes him a moment to realize, but it has opened up into one of the vats from the floor below.

Ignoring the Pendulum Men attacking the posse in front of him the Dreadnought fires with his gatling arm again, this time at Daren and Dancing Crow. Most of the fire hits the crates they’re hiding behind. Jeb decides to shoot at the chains holding Dr. Routledge over on the other side of the large washbasin. Dancing Crow whips at one of the Pendulum men threatening her and Daren. The Posse see more figures approaching, these look different and there’s one coming out of the hole in the floor.

More of the Pendulum Men are put down by the Posse. Then the Posse hear a grinding whirring noise over their heads and a large hook on a crane arm lowers down and swings at the Dreadnought knocking the main light instead sending it swinging. Joe knows who’s probably responsible, since he remembers seeing Jack Routledge climbing up the ladder earlier.

Joe uses his Phantom fingers hex to retrieve his gun, and Daren swipes a gun from a “dead” Pendulum Man. Jeb seeing new naked wet things approaching him he decides to make a strategic retreat. As they come closer everyone observes that these new attackers are human looking but like the Dreadnought they are wet and they are not wearing any clothing. Joe and Dancing Crow notice one of the new, “vat zombies” (we’ll call them since that’s why they’re still wet), stumbles and knocks into the leg of the Dreadnought. A hiss and some vapor arise from this inadvertent contact. Daren runs across the warehouse floor to Dr. Routledge’s side to free him from his chains and get him out of this place of horror.

Vat Zombies are attacking with their hands and improvised clubs made of spare arms and legs. Dr. Pat decides to go up to the crane thing over their heads and see if there’s anything she can do up there. Dancing Crow also decides to retreat from the Vat Zombies menacing her and the Reverend is also retreating. Finally Daren is able to get Dr. Routledge free and they run for the office where the Posse came in.

Dr. Pat reviews the situation having found young Jack at the controls of the crane and with a quick study of the crane and the samples of the vats she’d taken earlier she discovers that when the substances in Vat 3 and Vat 1 are mixed they create a very energetic and powerful acid. Since Dr. Pat’s certain that the creature is covered with the substance from Vat number 3 it’s obvious that if the crane can lift the Dreadnought and drop it into Vat 1 then the creature should be destroyed. And if that fails well, she’s always got Stablemite (a more stable version of dynamite).

Jack is willing to help and after familiarizing herself with the controls of the Crane the Dr. manages to hook the backside of the Dreadnought, lifts it up and drops it into the Vat 1 as planned. A tremendous crash followed by a thick vapor rises out of the hissing mess below. It’s a positive sign of success and since the Rest of the Posse has retreated, Dr. Pat decides that they should follow their example.

Fight, Fight, Fight! the Reprise

“Welcome Strangers” says the scary scarred man as he walks slowly towards the Posse. He questions them as to whether they are soldiers or civilians then rants about his days in the war and what it wrought on his body (he displays some of his extra metal bits of which there are many).

The Posse is strangely silent and watchful. They spot more of the clockwork men through the stacks of crates moving to flank them. Daren jumps up onto the workbench table. Joe spots young Jack Routledge scrambling up a ladder on the wall but he doesn’t dare call out to the boy and risk exposing him. The scary man calls himself the Clockwork Sergeant. He comments on Daren’s agility and gets Daren to remark that his father was a military man but then reveals to the Sergeant that he wasn’t following in his father’s footsteps. The Sergeant rants about the civilians who stood by cheering and profiteering from the bloodshed of he and his brothers and then saying “They wanted war?, well I’ll GIVE THEM WAR!” and he lifts the workbench table top off and tosses it and Daren who had jumped up on to it just manages to land on his feet.

The clockwork men attack and shots are exchanged. One shot aimed at the Sergeant misses when he dodges eerily fast. Dr. Pat shoots the arm off of one of the tick tock men and one loses its head too but there seems to still be more of them. Dancing Crow uses her favor of clumsiness to sabotage the Clockwork Sergeant.

Then out of the large washbasin revealed by the Sergeant’s table tossing, stands up a ten foot tall behemoth of horror: Dreadnought (which is the Sergeant’s name for his creation). The Dreadnought’s skin sags off of it in wet gloppy flaps, and it has many eyes and many scraggle toothed mouths. The horrible creature appears to be missing one arm as there’s a bloody socket at the shoulder and when the Posse see’s it several are very afraid – the Reverend gains a phobia of washbasins, and Dr. Pat gains a phobia of spotlights. Despite the phobia Dr. Pat is quite certain that the creature is covered in the jelly like stuff from vat #3.

The creature picks up its light gatling arm and plugs it into its socket, and then it proceeds to shoot at Joe, Dr. Pat and the Reverend who are the obvious targets standing right out in front of it on the warehouse floor. Dancing Crow tries to shoot another arrow but her luck is rotten and her bow breaks. Things may have reached a turning point, or it may be that the Posse needs to regroup.

Click, Click, Click!

Click, Click, Click!

After return from research the Posse share information and learn that
while researching in the Library Dr. Pat and Corky encountered a
Pinkerton Agent named James Hirshel. He was investigating the
Clockwork men on a tip from the Morgue. After Dr. Pat shared with him
some of the troubles they’d been having with gangs down in the
warehouse district he told her that they were probably the Excavators
– a well entrenched gang that dominates most of the warehouse
district. He also was interested in the Dr. Routledge angle and went
with Dr. Pat over to the Glengarry hotel and used his badge to get
them access to the Dr.’s room there. On examining the room Mr.
Hirshel seemed certain that Dr. Routledge hadn’t been in residence in
some time, several weeks.
The Posse discussed what they’d learned about warehouses and how to
pin point where in that district the clockwork men and Dr. Routledge
happened to be, and this brought out lots of ideas. One idea was
Dancing Crow using her Animal Possession favor and spying out the
activity in the Warehouse district. So that night she possessed a
crow and flew around looking over the warehouse district. She managed
to spot some activity in another area that she thought was worth
investigating. Joe also decided to do two hexes, one was the looking
through Dr. Routledge’s eyes and he saw a scary man with a metal jaw
and lots’ of scarring on his face talking to Dr. Routledge. He then
quickly switched to the hex to hear through Dr. Routledge’s ears and
heard the end of the conversation where a strange clicking and humming
accompanied the voice which said “now get back to work!”
The Posse decided to switch hotels and moved over to the Holladay
Palace and then rested through the next day so as to be fresh that
night for adventure into the ware house district. With map in hand
the Posse headed towards the area Dancing Crow recommended. While
walking along, Daren and Dr. Pat become aware of someone heading
towards them down an alleyway, and they think it looks like Gus. The
Posse stops and then readies weapons. Gus comes to the end of the
alley and then sees the Posse. He panics and drops the box he was
carrying and starts running back the way he came. Dancing Crow shoots
an arrow into him and Jeb throws a knife into him. These bring Gus
down easily. (Luckily the Posse manages to resist the Wendigo Taint
and the smell of blood in the air.) The captured Gus is once again
very cooperative and after a little first aid tells the Posse about a
strange scarred man who pays the Excavators to keep people away from a
particular warehouse, as well as to deliver bodies regularly too.
With assistance Gus shows them where to go to get to that warehouse
and they take him back to where he was going, another cellar. They
leave Gus there with his box full of kidneys and spleens’ inside glass
The Posse approach the warehouse cautiously and though they do hear
the activity of the roof rats, the kids don’t interfere this time.
After scouting the warehouse, the Posse wire shut the large doors and
go inside through the normal sized door on the opposite side. They
find themselves inside an office. They hear sounds of clicking from
one door and seeking to avoid direct contact for now they go through
another door to find a room full of furnaces. They find a small door
(2 foot by 2 foot) that leads into a crawl space where they can stand
hunched over. Dr. Pat is curious and takes samples from the 3 vats
that they find there. In fact Dr. Pat is in a big sample mode. The
smell of the warehouse certainly confirms the Posse are in the right
place and when they go back out to the office and decide to open the
other door that leads into the main part of the building Dr. Pat has
to take a sample of the moldy cotton hanging out of one of the many
crates of spoiled goods stacked high on the warehouse floor. This
leads to Dr. Pat knocking one of the crates and a lid falls to the
floor with a loud clunk.
They hear the sound of the voice and clicking noise from the center of
the warehouse stop, and figuring that they no longer have the element
of surprise the Posse walks towards the light source through the maze
of crates. There they see a man under the lights, in manacles and
sitting at a work bench covered in clockwork and tools atop a large
washbasin. Behind him stands a scary man with a metal jaw and scarred
face. Everyone is frightened into silence and the Reverend goes weak
in the knees.

A Delicious Victory

A Delicious Victory

A couple more shots bring down the second fellow armed with a shot gun and then Daren closes with the four men, putting his foot on the wrist of the downed man so he doesn’t pick up the shot gun again and then he shoots at close range the two fellows with the pistols. Soon after this all four fellows are down and Daren has the shot gun, but Jeb has his knife out and starts cutting on one of the downed men, the Reverend starts chewing on one of the wounded men and even Daren starts gnawing on the face of one fellow he’d shot.

Dancing Crow has taken the boy away from the carnage but the Doctor and Joe stare in horror at this development. Then Joe threatens his colleagues saying he’ll blast em in the head if they don’t stop. His overawe is partially effective as it gets Daren to back off and it completely breaks Jeb so that he drops his knife, backs off, and he curls up in a fetal position and then starts weeping. The Reverend however just grabs the steak Jeb had been cutting and runs off with it into the night. Joe takes off after him and uses his abilities to jump into a shadow ahead of the Reverend. He tackles the preacher and takes the steak from him, yells at him and throws the meat as far as he can.

He manages to get through to the Reverend and still resist licking his own fingers too. Together Joe and the Reverend head back to the Inn. Dr. Pat helps Daren and Jeb get it together and they head back to the Inn as well. So by three different parties the Posse returns to the Whittier Inn for the night. The next morning, despite the late night and the guilt for having indulged the Wendigo Taint, those who ate of the flesh feel physically wonderful.

So while avoiding the unpleasant discussion of the previous night’s craziness, the Posse decide to follow up on a few more leads in their investigation. Dr. Pat and Corky set off for the Library again and the rest decide to visit a few more Jewelers/Clock shops to find out more about the thefts. The Shop owners are as helpful as they can be. They’ve not seen much action on this from the Police and one shows the Posse where other thefts happened on the Reverends map and another tells them the name of the Police officer who was in charge of the case: Constable Martin.

Analysis of the shops that were hit seems to suggest the ones closest to the Warehouse district were hit and robbed more often. A visit to the Police and discussion with Constable Martin reveals only that the Police believe that one of the shop owners is responsible and are just waiting for someone to fake a break in. The Posse also decides to go to city hall and try to find out who all owns the warehouses in Denver and they spend the rest of the day in this effort.

Lost Boys and Bad Men

Lost Boys and Bad Men

The sound of kids arguing and then running away precipitates the debris stopping and on Daren’s second climb up he finds a couple of baskets of stones and bottles stockpiled. The posse proceeds to the ware house where they left the other fellow tied up and discover someone has cut his bonds and he’s gone. So the discussion reverts to whether or not to let Gus go. Finally after asking him what he thinks they should do, the decision to release him wins out.

Then they return to Whittier Inn and rest. The next morning while Dancing Crow, Daren, Joe Cobb and the Reverend are all sleeping, Corky and Dr. Pat get up and go back to the Library to do more research and see if they can learn anything more about Dr. Routledge. After more study Dr. Pat thinks the good Dr. Routledge might of shown an interest in Denver’s Veteran’s Hospital St Augustines because they have a good prosthetics wing. Back at the Hotel the others have gotten up and after looking to ask him a few more questions, Joe Cobb discovers that Jack Routledge is missing and may well have disappeared the previous night.

After lunch Dr. Pat and the rest of the group head over to St Augustines and confirm that Dr. Routledge had been known there but had not been seen in at least a month. The Supervising Nurse gives them the address for his Hotel, the Glengarry, and the Posse head there to see if he’s still in residence.

At the Glengarry Hotel they are told that yes Dr. Routledge has a room there and since he doesn’t appear to be in, the staff offer to take a message for the Posse and also invite them to wait in their saloon. In the saloon some of them get into some gambling and conversation. They meet a nice wealthy gentleman named Arthur Trevalyn who regales them with tales of hunting and talks of hunting the weird creatures now found all over the West. He also mentions that he and his hunt club have decided to print a guide book about these creatures. After a while they have warmed up to the gentleman and tell him some tales of their own and speak of the clockwork men they’ve encountered. The afternoon becomes evening this way and still there’s no sign of Dr. Routledge. Finally their new friend has to leave for an evening appointment and the Posse also decide to head back to their hotel for dinner.

Since young Jack has not yet returned Joe Cobb searches his room for some clue as to where Jack might be (uses hex to see through Jack’s eyes and sees he’s in a dark place and unhappy and then some kids come in and throw something at him.) Joe then suggests that everyone just head back into the Warehouse district to see if they can find the kids on the roofs. After wandering a bit they do find the Slater Dry goods warehouse and they go into the alleys near there where the kids start dropping things on them again. Daren had kept himself a little separate and sneaks up on them managing to grapple one of the boys while the other’s scamper off.

The boy struggles and tries to scream. Daren tries calming him down and covers his mouth. Then the boy bites Daren’s fingers and so Daren decides to bite the boy’s ear and manages to get some of the boy’s blood in his mouth. The Wendigo Taint flares exciting Daren and the taste is delicious! Dancing Crow joins him and together they interrogate the lad. Eventually the boy agrees to lead them to where his friends were keeping Jack. They follow and find Jack tied up in another warehouse. Jack’s been beaten and explains that he followed the posse and joined the roof rats to see if he could learn about his father through them. At first it was going well but he didn’t want to throw things on people and so they decided to punish/initiate him by tying him up. Then later some bad men showed up and beat him. Jack relates that the Bad men said that he was a Meddler and was to be a message to other Meddling people to stay away.

Taking Jack and letting the other kid go the Posse decide to head back to the hotel and as they wend their way back through the streets and alleys they run into a group of four men with pistols and shotguns aimed at them. Shots are exchanged, one of these Bad men fall over and the miasma of blood is in the air stimulating the Wendigo Taint in all of the Posse. . .

. . . Pounce?

. . . Pounce?

Once downstairs the group sneaks up to the doorway of a lighted room and Daren listens and looks around the corner. He sees two guys dressing the corpse of a dead woman on a table – currently struggling with working her corset into place. (Even with practice, I know that even live people can find that a very distracting effort!) Then the posse rush em! The two necro valets are caught flat footed,- they drop the body but one of them is immediately disarmed by Daren and after some threats and brawling one of them is unconscious and the other one surrenders.

With a little intimidation, the conscious one is trying to be helpful but doesn’t seem to understand what the Posse are after. Investigation of the place reveals another exit out, up and onto the street level. Gus the helpful prisoner admits his boss’s name is Otis but he professes that he doesn’t know all the details of the business or who the customers are or where his boss can be found. He offers to show the posse one of the other “workrooms” and after discussion the Posse agrees and he leads them across the street around through some alleys where they hear scuffling up over head.

Daren decides to climb up and as he manages to do so he hears voices going
“oh shit he’s comin up . . . shhhh” and sounds of more scuffling. He gets to the top of the building in time to see about 4 kids 10-12 yrs old running, (jumping and swinging) away to another building, after which it’s obvious they’ll scatter making it very hard for him to catch any of them. Scratching his head over this – kids these days! – Daren climbs back down. (Daren’s only 20. ..hmm) It’s now very late, with dawn probably just a few hours away, so the Posse proceed to this other workroom. When they arrive they find it empty of people and Gus looks disappointed.

Inspection of this workroom reveals more of the same but with more body parts stored in preservative fluids. The Reverend reflects that on the way to Denver they’d run into that Snake oil sales man with a head in a jar and wonders if they’re using the same preservative. Joe had bought some and had examined the paint they were using on their dead woman before dressing her and found it had a formaldehyde scent. It’s not the same scent and the scent is not the same as from the clock work men they fought.

Much discussion ensues and the Posse decide to head back to the other work room still trying to decide what to do with Gus and the other prisoner who they’d tied up. There’s some discussion of killing them, some of letting them go. The Reverend does his best to talk to Gus and to reach him in a spiritual sense but fears that any progress won’t hold long. As they go back through an alley (and all of this area of the city seems to be a confusing maze of alleys and streets with nondescript buildings on every side) the Posse hear scuffling again and find themselves being pelted from above by rocks and debris.

Sneak, Sneak, Sneak, . . .

Sneak, Sneak, Sneak, . . .

The Posse continues their investigations. They acquire a map for plotting locations and general reference. They talk to more Clock shop owners and based on a hunch, Joe has them go to the blacksmiths shop next to the Cobblers and ask if anyone has had manacles made recently. Once back at the hotel to rest and plan, they hear a knock on the door and Willy Dupree says that there’s a gentleman downstairs asking to see Joe Cobb.

Joe goes downstairs and the gentleman introduces himself as Lt David Cook of the Denver Police. He’s inquiring about Joe Cobb’s affiliations, if he is a US Marshal? This has Joe surprised. It is explained to him that the retention of a rifle and his credentials were what drew the officer to stop in and eventually Joe figures out what happened and shouts up the stairs for Jebediah. He then takes the officer upstairs to confront Jeb and they find Jebediah (he was unable to stomach the climb fast enough) sitting on the window sill with one leg over and the incriminating rifle in hand. Lt Cook confiscates the rifle and then before he leaves he lectures them about how many folks die in the city because of tom foolery with guns that shouldn’t have been out.

The posse turn to planning for the morgue stakeout that night. Once dinner is had and Jack Routledge is settled in to stay the night with Jebediah, (Corky and Dr. Pat watching him), the Posse head out. The stake out is cold and boring but eventually the Posse’s patience is rewarded by the approach of a small wagon and three men. They pull up and load in what looks like two body shaped bundles. The Posse manage to follow the wagon undetected back into the warehouse district to a Slaters Dry Goods warehouse where their targets offload. Then the driver pulls away leaving the other two men behind.

Daren follows the driver who only parks the wagon a few streets over and then departs to a building that looks like it might be a rundown flop house, rather than a warehouse. When he returns the rest of the Posse have gathered near the ware house and they decide to sneak in via the side door rather than the loading dock. They find that side door unlocked.

There’s only one light at the end of the warehouse where the loading dock is and once they get there Daren sees two boxes that look like they could fit bodies and he looks in one and sees what has to be a body wrapped up in canvass. On closer examination he realizes it’s one of the bodies that was on display for identification at the morgue. The room appears to be empty and since they didn’t see the two men leave they search the room and find a trap door to a lower level.

Look, Look, Look!

Look, Look, Look!

The Posse gather up the bodies, the boy and begin to investigate, while the Denver Police come by to see what the ruckus is all about downstairs. Dr. Pat examines the bodies and discovers the impressive clockwork pumps inside the bodies of the ticking men. While doing this the bathrobe man reappears to Dr. Pat and Corky and he finally speaks indicating he’s glad to not be able to smell the bodies. Corky and Dr. Pat decide to name the fellow Edgar since he’s not willing to talk about his name and only says “I’m just observing right now.”

Meanwhile the Reverend, Dancing Crow and Daren are searching the room that the boy is staying in up on the 4th floor, and they discover that his name is Jack Routledge and that he is a runaway. Jack is looking for his father who stopped writing a little over two months previous, just after arriving in Denver. Jack is a very determined 9 year old who loves his father.

After the initial investigations the Posse rest and take up searching out clues based on the leads they gleaned the next day. The coach company Holladay Livery (near Holladay street just outside the warehouse district) was given a false address so that lead only gives an indication that maybe Dr. Routledge is behind the tick tock men’s attempt to collect his son. The boots of the corpses lead them to a cobbler- Ives Cobblery down near the warehouse district. The Cobbler there says it was part of a mail order purchase of a lot of a hundred pairs that was picked up by a mute indian.

Meanwhile the good Dr Pat and Corky have been researching in the library and Dr. Pat determines that Dr. Ellis F. Routledge is a well renowned expert in clockwork automata. This combined with the clockwork itself inside the corpses has Dr. Pat convinced that Dr. Routledge is the one responsible for their construction. At lunch the Posse share info again and the decision is made to go to the morgue and to investigate the clock work since much of it looks to be re-purposed from pocket watches and clocks.

First they talk with Willy Dupree the porter who gave young Jack the note. After persuasion Willy tells them about the Mute who came to the door with a note and as it happens he still has the note in his pocket:

My Dear Sir,

Please excuse the note, but I have a throat condition and find speech painful. My son Jack Routledge is in room 16. He is waiting for me to collect him. Would you be so kind as to ask him to be packed and ready, and meet me at the side door, as soon as possible. I attach my handkerchief so that he will recognize that it is his father who writes this note. Thank you, and please keep the five dollars as a rewards for your efforts.

Yours, Ellis F. Routledge, Ph.D.

At the visit to a local clock shop and jewelers the Posse learn that there have been several thefts at the other shops in Denver but not yet at that one. (It is the one in the nicest part of town.)

At the Morgue they meet the new french lead Mortician Pierre Dulac who is creating heaps of scandal in Denver by displaying the nude bodies of the recently deceased who need identifying behind a glass wall with their belongings on display and just about everything else too. Once they talk to Pierre he is cooperative and identifies the bodies of the tick tock men as having been logged into the morgue previously – and as having been cremated too. Since he has many assistants and won’t allow his staff to be interviewed without the police’s involvement, the Posse agree to go to the Police with what they know and then concoct a plan to spy on the Morgue after dark to see if there are any suspicious people receiving bodies.

Jack Routledge is with them and is very excited to assist in this effort and after much conversation and consoling agrees to stay out of that very dangerous plan.


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