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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Wild West Campaign Update: Showdown at Navajo Springs

Our last adventure ended on a "to be continued" as Hoodoo Brown and his gang (including the PCs Kid Taylor and Deputy Jackson) went out riding after Crazy Miller, Other Miller and Doc Thomas, who had gone on a heist job with the three killers: Jesse James, Doc Holliday, and Billy the Kid.

They  had been riding to recover over $20000 that Jesse James felt was owed to him by the infamous McClue gang. Back then it had been run by Derek McClue, who was a dead wringer for the Mormon Gambler back in Dodge. But now, Billy the kid had let him know that the gang was being run by Derek's brother Robert, over in Navajo Springs, a tiny town of mostly Mexicans and Indians in the middle of nowhere.  When they'd got to the outskirts, Other Miller and Doc Thomas went out to the town to gather intel, but they'd been found out by McClue who was now holding them prisoner. He didn't know who they were working with, or what their intentions were, but found them suspicious enough to make them hand over their guns and become his guests until it was worked out.

Along the way to catch up to the killers gang, the Dodge City Gang ran into a troop of soldiers and a lawman, who were headed toward East Vegas. They'd heard Billy the Kid had been spotted there and were out to catch him. The lawman in charge of the manhunt was Pat Garrett, who Billy would later reveal had been a Regulator with him, but had now betrayed him. And if there was one thing Billy couldn't stand it was betrayal. He swore one day he'd put a bullet in Garrett if he could.

The Dodge City Gang rode on and found the Killers gang. They were concerned that Other Miller and the doctor hadn't come back and were debating what to do. Doc Holliday wanted to do nothing, Billy wanted to ride in shooting at everything in their path, and Jesse James wanted to send in someone else feigning some other story. But Hoodoo Brown proposed instead that he act as an intermediary between the McClue gang and James, and suggested sending in an envoy, who would also determine if Other Miller and the Doctor were still alive. Mysterious Dave Mather was the man chosen for the job.

Mysterious Dave went in, and somehow got Robert McClue to agree to a parley, under the impression that Hoodoo wanted to talk business (he'd been told not to mention Jesse James yet), and confirmed the two prisoners were alive and well-treated (the hirsute Doc Thomas having helped himself to a large amount of his jailor's wife's delicious empanadas).  Hoodoo and the rest of the team went into town for the parley, all of them except for Jesse James and Doc Holliday, both of which were thought would be too likely to cause trouble.

Riding in, the crew saw that the McClue gang were about 20 men, all long-term seasoned outlaws. A half-dozen of them had aligned themselves on the various roofs, ready to do some sniper work if things went south. But Hoodoo was his usual diplomatic self, and the parley was agreed upon, in the local saloon.  The McClue gang felt they were too exposed now and planned to move on to one of their earlier hideouts, and didn't feel they need anything Hoodoo had to offer them; they figured that new gangs like the Dodge gang or the Cowboys were all too reckless, that's why so many gangs had come and gone while the McClue gang, laying low and being subtle, had lasted for so long.
When the subject of Jesse James came up, McClue made it clear James would be getting none of his brother's money from him, and made it clear that if Hoodoo wanted peace, neither he nor any of his men could help James in any scheme he had. Hoodoo agreed, a fact which Billy the Kid was clearly very irritated about.
Anyways, Jesse James had other plans, right from the beginning.

He'd acquiesced to be absent from the meeting because to him the parley was always just a planned distraction. While most of the McClues were busy over in the saloon for the parley, Jesse James and Doc Holliday snuck into McClue's ranch-house, first to rescue Doc Thomas and Other Miller, and second to rob Robert McClue of everything he had.

Freeing the two PCs, James gets to McClue's safe and starts to get it open. Doc Thomas guards some Mexican servants prisoner while he helps himself to the delicious bean stew they were making, and Other Miller finds and captures McClue's Mexican-Indian girlfriend. They manage to crack the safe, get the loot and start to flee, but not before lighting some dynamite in the office as a distraction.

When the dynamite blows, taking out half the ranch house, everyone in the Saloon is startled. Everyone but Billy the Kid, that is, who immediately responds by shooting Robert McClue twice in the head.  A surprisingly brief shootout ensues between the 8 members of Hoodoo's entourage and the 8 members of the McClue gang. The latter were clearly rusty from years of easy living, and the Dodge City Gang got the drop on them; it was a massacre. By the end of it, no one could believe their luck, only one of the eight Dodge City guys took any damage at all, and his was just a scratch. As for the snipers, someone had gone up on a roof and started taking them out one by one, the party assumed it was John Joshua Webb, whose tracks Kid Taylor had earlier noted following those of the three killers gang.

There were still several of the McClue gang who got away, but the whole party decided not to press their luck, they raced out of town, with Other Miller pausing to recover his signature gun from the saloon.  They let the girlfriend go too, no longer needing her as a hostage.

Billy the Kid, having been informed about Garrett looking for him back in East Vegas, decided it was time to head off, taking his share of the loot with him.  Jesse James figured that with the massive bounty on his head and federal 'damnyankee' soldiers in East Vegas, he'd better skip town too, and said his goodbyes, planning to head back toward Cooter County Missouri with his loot, to get a new gang back together.

And just like that, the two famous outlaws rode out of the PCs lives forever.

At least, we think so. Anything's possible.


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


  1. "having helped himself to a large amount of his jailor's wife's delicious empanadas", is that some kind of Uruguayan euphemism ?

    1. No, the PC in question has a quirk of being fat and a glutton.

    2. He's actually a fascinating character. Near-useless in combat, a barely-graduated 'doctor' who's incredibly incompetent at medicine, a secret homosexual who was exiled from New Orleans by his own parents after a scandal, overweight and seemingly drawn to outlaws, desperate to be part of their 'crew'.