How would you like to hear a cool story kids? Well, let me start by telling you that this is not like any story you have ever heard. This one is chilling, full of murder and betrayal. Does that sort of thing interest you? Good, let me begin.
It was 1850 in the tiny town of Pecos Texas. It’s population of 182 was nothing to brag about mind you! But what was special about this town was the impact it would have on the future of the country. For from this town would come the leading men and women of this nation. But how does murder and betrayal create the nation’s leaders in one small town? Well, it was the manner in which the winners of the fight to come would win that would set them up with all the power needed to take down any opposition in the future.
John Barclay Armstrong opened the door of the of the Mayors house and squinted out into the daylight. It was only 10am and it was already hotter than a stolen tamale. A tumbleweed blew by with a quick gust of wind and he sheltered his weather worn face from the dust. He grumbled to himself as he began walking towards the saloon. It was going to be a very long week and he knew that there was bloodshed on the horizon. The Black Hills Bandits had been sneaking members of their gang into the city for months now. They were looking to take over the town and the valuable gold mine it controlled. He knew he needed to root out the gang members. If he failed, he would end up watching everyone in the town, including himself, die. The Black Hills Bandits were renowned for murdering everyone in a town. Their goal was to gain control of the resources that they wanted. They had already accomplished this in 5 other towns and now they wanted his.
He pushed through the swinging doors of Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and strolled to the bar.
“Whiskey please Kate” he said to Kate, the namesake and owner of the saloon.
Kate smiled “Sure thing John, any word on when those lawmen are gonna show up?”
Armstrong had called Austin for help. He was informed they would be sending down some lawmen to help out with the gang. 2 officers of the law, 1 gunman and a jailer to help him control what was headed their direction. He had no idea what they looked like and hoped they would arrive before the fighting started.
“No Kate, I was told to expect them within the week. I sure do hope they get here soon” replied Armstrong.
He took the shot of whiskey that she placed in front of him and shot it down with no reaction to the burning of the nasty stuff. Turning, he glanced around the saloon. It was mostly empty at this time of the day but there were 3 men sitting at a table playing cards. With so many new faces coming and going in the town due to the gold mine, it was going to be hell trying to figure out who the Black Hills Gang members were. That wouldn’t stop him.
Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson rode along quietly. They had been traveling for days in this devil-spawn of heat. All of the different talking points had long been exhausted in the previous 3 days of riding. Now it was just a lot of sweating, mumbling and butt-sore riding to do until they reached Pecos, Texas. They had not been given a lot of information to this point, but they knew to head into town and meet up with the Mayor, John Barclay Armstrong. He would be using them against the Black Hills Gang that had setup in the town attempting to drive all of the townsfolk out and take over the gold mine.
Wyatt looked at the bleak horizon and knew that the heat was playing tricks on him. Everywhere he looked he swore he seen the town. But he also knew that he was still at least 2 days away from arriving. He had been conducting investigations for 4 years in Austin now and had helped put away some of the worst criminals they had seen in years. For the past year he had been teamed up with Bat Masterson and the two of them had worked like a well-oiled machine. Every killer they had been sent to track down they had come back with, dead or alive. This would be no different.
Bat was just happy to have some quiet for a chance. Wyatt was such a talker and there were times it would start to drive him mad. He preferred the silence. To be able to sit on his horse and just listen to nature and dive into his own thoughts. He was a serious man and he had done his fair share of killing. Every night those he had killed would come back and visit him in his dreams. It took all his strength to keep from going insane or shooting himself in the head. And the past 3 days he had never wanted to shoot himself more, with Wyatt going on about all of the women he had tricked into his bed. It was enough to drive a man to murder. Almost.
Jesse James had finally arrived in town yesterday. He had sent his 4 most trusted lieutenants ahead of him spread out over a few months. Everything was finally in place for the eradication and removal of the townsfolk. He wanted that gold mine desperately. With it, and the other 5 towns he already controlled, he would be able to fund his political campaign and push his way towards the Presidency. Sure, everyone knew the name Jesse James but nobody knew what he looked like. And with this kind of money, he would be able to change his name and take his rightful place at the head of the nation.
He sat in the saloon playing a hand of cards with a couple of miners. They were easy to take money from but he did not want to set off alarms so he slowly allowed the miners to win some money from him. He just wanted to make everyone in the town think he was a simple gunsmith and melt into the crowd. His plans would be set into motion within a day or two and the game would begin. He was about to fold his hand when a man walked in wearing a suit. He had not seen this man before but he definitely had a commanding look about him. The man walked up to the bar and ordered a whiskey and chatted with the saloon owner for a minute. Then he turned and Jesse caught himself staring into the eyes of a very hard looking man. Sure, he was wearing a suit but those eyes never lied. This man had killed before. He was one to look out for.
After the man left the room, Jesse folded the next hand and left the saloon. He headed to the shop he had purchased, Premium Guns and Gunsmith, and locked the door behind him. Belle was working the front desk and quickly jumped up and headed to the back room when she saw Jesse come in. Once he got into the back room, he noticed that Bill the Kid, John Wesley Hardin, and Butch Cassidy were already back there a well.
“Ok good” he said, “I am glad you all were able to make it here. We are going to start tomorrow night and we have to be smart about this.”
Butch frowned. “Jesse, what is this I heard about extra lawmen being sent here? Are we gonna have to fight an army to take over this mine?”
“We will fight whoever we have to Butch, and you will keep your mouth shut and do what you are told” growled Billy, “Or I will shove the butt of my gun down your throat.”
“Knock it off boys” said Jesse, “You will all have your hands full over the next week fighting off these damn townsfolk so we need to be on the same page here. You all know your roles in this and we will adjust our plans accordingly with the actions that any of these lawmen make once they arrive.”
Belle laughed. She was a cold one and it sent shivers down everyone’s spines whenever she laughed. There wasn’t a more cold-hearted killer in this room than her. Oh sure, she was a gorgeous woman and she knew how to use those looks to get what she wanted. But make no mistake, she would cut your manhood off and feed it to you while you screamed with a smile on her face the entire time.
“Boys, boys…when will you all grow up?” she said laughing the whole time, “These dumb townsfolks will fall over themselves killing one another when we begin. Those lawmen? Please, you just leave them to me and I will make sure they have the night of their lives.”
Jesse smiled coldly and said “Get to it guys. We have a job to do. Make sure you are where you need to be.”
Pat Garrett had arrived in town two days ago but had no desire to meet the mayor until his scheduled due time. Instead, he was spending copious amounts of time drinking and visiting the local whore house. He was a sullen and angry man. Having been married twice now and on both occasions, they had cheated on him with other men, he had a negative view on women and life as a whole. He had turned to alcohol and cheap, well not so cheap, whores. It was his entertainment while he worked as a professional jailer in numerous cities around Texas. So here he was, in this shit town of Pecos still drowning in dust. He was fine with it though; the alcohol would get him through just fine.
Bill Longley had come to town to sit on some court cases that had been put on his docket. As always, he would make decisions on whether or not people were guilty and then push through the sentencing. The problem is, he never could stop himself from killing them in the process. Every time he would go to rob them, a red haze would fill his vision and he would just end up killing them. And the part that really bothered him, is that it wasn’t just shooting them. He had left Dallas after brutally murdering a woman. She happened to be carrying a lot of money and he tore her ribs out of her chest so that he could rip her heart of while it was still beating. That one would give him nightmares for years to come. In the end though, the beast inside of him would be satisfied. He had to feed it. If he didn’t, terrible things happened and it ruined any sleep he might get.
So here he was in Pecos. The small, dusty, gold mining town that had little law enforcement to speak of. And those that were here were goat herders at one time. No…this was the perfect place to conduct the law.
“Wild” Bill Hickok. Yeah, that was what he was called. The funny thing is, it wasn’t what you might think it was. He was called wild because he had actually grown up in Alaska and was raised by the native Eskimos. So, when he finally came to society everyone just seen him as wild. But it had been years since that and he was damn good with a gun. He was on his way to Pecos, Texas after the governor had called him. They had offered to pay him a large amount of money to head down that way. He was to kill off some gang that had been moving around different towns murdering their populations.
He sat in the saloon playing a hand of poker with a miner and a gunsmith. It was weird though. That gunsmith sure had a bit of a hard look about him. He was watching him and looking for tells and it was damn near impossible to find them. He would fold his hands at times that it seemed like he had the cards, and then bet on hands where it was obvious, he didn’t. That was alright though, if the gunsmith wanted to throw away his money, he would be happy to take it.
Some guy in a suit walked into the bar and ordered a whiskey; it annoyed Bill how casually the man spoke with the owner of the saloon. She was a good lookin gal that Kate and he had hoped to crawl into her bed tonight and stay warm. Yet here this suit was talking to her and she was smiling. Whatever, he wouldn’t let that deter him.
Years of surviving on his own and over 30 gunfights had made him a hard man. He had never been shot even one time. He was just simply that good at killing people and now he was hired to come into a town and rid it of some half-ass gang of thugs. Yeah, he was looking forward to getting a fat paycheck for this one. Nobody was faster than he was…