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Sunday, 21 April 2019

Wild West Campaign Update: the Fenians

After their participation in Wyatt Earp's vendetta ride, the members of the Adjudicators had crossed state lines to Colorado, to hide out in Trinidad, a town where their ally Bat Masterson had established himself as a local saloon-owner and the town's sheriff.

While Other Miller took a lengthy train trip incognito to Kentucky to visit his wife (and the child he'd never even met yet), Kid Taylor purchased some land in Trinidad to try to start a new practice there, the Apache got a job working as Bat Masterson's jailer, and Crazy Miller opened up a diner. Crazy also received a letter that shook him to the core: his dear friend and professional psychopath John Joshua Webb had died, in Mexico, of smallpox.

Crazy Miller could barely believe it. Webb had seemed unstoppable. And now he was gone. He went around in shock for a good while, and then sent a telegram to Miss Scarlet, the former madam of his establishment known as the Den of Sin, asking her to come to Trinidad.

On the way back from seeing his family, Other Miller first ran into Miss Scarlet, who joined then train in Dodge. Then, in La Junta, their train was boarded by someone who had quickly become famous in the west, a certain tall and dapper Englishman who had been traveling the west lecturing miners and cowhands on Aesthetics.  Other Miller and Miss Scarlet met none other than Oscar Wilde.

Wilde was going to stop in Trinidad to give a much-anticipated talk to the local coal miners. But it turned out he had a problem: he'd gotten a menacing letter, a threat on his life during his last stop in Leadville, from some members of the Fenian movement. These Irish nationalists, showing their typical incompetence, either didn't seem to know that Wilde was himself Dublin-born and of Irish descent and favorable to the cause of Irish Independence, or they just didn't care and felt that the chance to murder one of Britain's most popular celebrities would be worth it. Wilde had heard that Wyatt Earp was now in Trinidad, and hoped that maybe the famous lawman would be willing to protect him, but this was something Other Miller felt was highly unlikely. On the other hand, he was fairly sure Bat Masterson would be willing.

Indeed, Bat was very willing, particularly after meeting with Wilde where the two hit it off almost immediately. Bat recruited Kid Taylor, who Wilde seemed to find very charming, to act as Wilde's direct bodyguard, while Bat set out to investigate in order to try to find any potential Fenians.  He sent the Apache out to search around the bad side of town.

The Apache managed to quickly find three suspicious characters, who looked both like easterners and Irishmen. When one headed off downtown, the Apache followed him and found that he'd stopped right in front of the hotel where Wilde was staying. The Apache warned Bat Masterson about this, and Bat had him go back and spy on the other two while he went with Other Miller to have a talk with this Irishman.

They found him right where the Apache said, but the man saw Bat and Other approaching, and he stood up and started walking away at a nervous pace. Bat called out for him to stop, but the man started to run. Bat shot at him to try to get him to stop, and hit him in the ankle; the man turned and drew on Bat. Bat shot again, trying to shoot him in the gun arm but the shot was off by a bit and hit him square in the chest. The man fell, critically wounded.

They got him into the hotel and called up for Kid Taylor. Unfortunately, Kid had spent the last few hours drinking Absinthe with Oscar, and was not in his best faculties, but he started to operate regardless. While this was going on, Texas Jack Vermilion came in, having heard the shots. He was introduced to Oscar by Bat, and once again they seemed to become fast friends. Crazy Miller and Miss Scarlet arrived as well, after having had tea together and talked in a more candid and friendly way than they ever had until now. Scarlet realized that Crazy had called her here not to come and work with him, but because he needed to be with someone, and she didn't seem unfavorable to the possibility that they might become more than just business associates.

To Kid Taylor's credit, even half-stoned from the green fairy he still managed to save the Fenian's life. They woke him with smelling salts and he refused to talk but Miss Scarlet managed to half-seduce and half-fast-talk the Fenian into admitting that his compatriots were going to try to kill Wilde when he gave his talk at the mines.

Bat Masterson went to check on the Apache, and at the same time Crazy Miller went to find Wyatt Earp. He'd wanted to have nothing to do with all of this, but Miller convinced Wyatt that it would be good press for him (and by extension all of them) if he was to play a part in saving the life of Oscar Wilde.

So when the Apache reported that the two Irishmen had rode out to the mines, Wyatt joined Bat, Crazy, Other and Miss Scarlet to ride out after them.  Kid Taylor and Texas Jack stayed behind to keep an eye on Oscar Wilde, who was unwilling to cancel the talk but was willing to arrive 'fashionably late' in order to give the shootists time to deal with the Fenians.

They arrived at the mines, where there was already a large crowd gathered at the miner's hall waiting for Wilde. The group entered and looked around amidst the large assembly, eventually spotting the two Fenians. Bat and Wyatt were closest to them, and as they approached the Fenians cried out a call for a free Irish Republic, and drew their guns. In their nervousness they shot and missed, and the two shootists returned fire. Very quickly, one of the Fenians was incapacitated, and the other was dead.

Wilde gave his talk on aesthetics to a crowd that quickly went from rowdy to enraptured, winning them over as he had everywhere else on his western tour. The local papers were full of praise for Wilde, but mixed in their response to the lawmen's actions. Some reported that Bat and Earp had been heroic in saving the life of the great speaker, while others felt that they had been reckless, and that Masterson's election as town lawman had introduced the arrival of a violent element to the town that had not previously existed there.


Currently Smoking: Blatter Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best


  1. Did you mean to call Oscar Wilde an Englishman?

    1. What I meant was that to Miss Scarlet and Other Miller believed him to be an Englishman.