Tonight's adventure took place in mid-winter 1877. Wyatt Earp and Charlie Bassett were both out of town for a time, and that left Deputy Morgan Earp and Deputy Young in charge.
At the same time, a retired Union General came to town and opened a new and competing bank to Dodge's 1st national. He was offering better rates and savings bonds at high returns.
The only problem was that the local town drunk, Louie, was absolutely convinced that this General wasn't actually who he claimed to be. It turned out that a lifetime ago, Louie had been an infantryman in that very general's unit, and the town's drunk (and let's face it, in a town with as many saloons as Dodge, to be known as "town drunk" is quite an accomplishment) is dead sure that's not the general.
Worse still, most of the party had already invested in the new bank. And two of the PCs (Miller and Smith) had invested in the bank to try to get a loan to fulfill their ambitions of buying a Dodge City Saloon (however crappy it might be).
At the same time, there was another man in town, who had also served with the General, and insisted that this banker was the genuine article. So it came down to whether you believed the man who'd spent the last 12 years sloshed out of his mind, or an honest-seeming guy (who the drunk also immediately recognized as a fellow infantryman) who is a relative newcomer to town?
What followed was a fairly hilarious set of complex schemes on the part of the two deputies to uncover the truth. From that point forth, the adventure seemed to play out a bit like an early-mid-seasons 'comic relief' episode of a TV show.
(they were a bit like these two)
Things got more surreal when one of the General's men spotted the Mormon Gambler, and again mistook him again for the infamous leader of the McClue gang. He attempted to give the Mormon Gambler money, but it was not clear if it was protection money or proceeds from a criminal plot.
The Wild West's version of Thomson and Thompson set out to make an elaborate trap, where they would have the "General" meet with "McClue" in the lumberyards. The only problem is that they forgot to invite the guy who would protect "McClue". Or the other guy who'd protect him. Or the General, or any of the General's men. So for a moment there, it looked like it was going to be just them and the Mormon Gambler hanging out in a freezing winter night for no reason at all.
They did finally figure out their error and set to correct it, which triggered further comic errors. They also had no real plan as to what they would do next.
It turned out that the criminals, which of course included the bystander who swore the General was the real guy, had spotted Deputy Young hanging out outside the lumberyards, and decided to cancel the meet and just bugger off with all the money people had deposited in their fake bank thus far, while the whole PC party was hanging out in the lumberyard.
They had a two-hour advantage before any of the PCs figured out what had happened. At least at that point, they smartened up, and formed a posse. With some good tracking rolls they managed to follow the crooks, and surrounded them in a shack. It looked for a moment like it might be bloodshed, until one of the PCs mentioned McClue and suggested that the PCs were all secretly working for him, and then the crooks gave up.
So in the end, the money was rescued, the two PCs got their saloon, the rest got their savings back, and the crooks were tricked into revealing what little they knew about McClue (only that he's apparently the biggest crime lord in New Mexico way), and then tricked into pleading guilty to theft and fraud.
Next session, we'll see if the new saloon-owners can manage to make a go of it, especially, as it turns out, their saloon is right next door to a very angry Texan saloon owner that doesn't like competition.
Currently Smoking: Italian Redbark + Argento Latakia