I may have wasted the last of my dollars on a wasted journey through the Colorado Rockies. After my time with the local Indians, I had set my last hopes of a cure on the ghost rock miracles coming out of California. So I booked passage on the Skyline Steamer, one passenger among many whom I neither cared about, nor paid much attention to in truth. It seemed my natural dislike of the human race would not be proven unfounded here.
I can’t disagree with their dislike of me either. My clothes have seen better days; last worn when I arrived at the native lands many months ago.
Even on this journey towards a cure I could not help but notice odd behavior amongst certain of my other passengers, centered around a package in the rear of the train that apparently housed some statue or other. I gained illicit entry to the baggage cart but found nothing. Perhaps I should have looked harder…
While approaching a mountain gorge we were ambushed, an explosion rattling the carriage. I was the first back on my feet, and therefore the first to realise that we were under attack by some scofflaw. I returned fire, aided by a young women named Addy, while another woman, a Mrs (I am assured) Chapman, helped out those who were still stunned by the noise. Between me and Addy we must have killed three or four bandits, but the survivors didn’t flee until we were helped by an Indian who appeared out of nowhere.
We now have a fractious group; I have allowed Mrs Chapman to take control without arguement. I certainly do not want to be responsible for their lives, but even dying as I fear I am I cannot allow them to just perish, and so must waste more of my dwindling time escorting the survivors to safety.
I fear that there is more to this than meets the eye, however. While I explored the baggage carriage after the explosion I found the crate that once contained the statue broken open, and at least two puddles of blood. Odd prints, too; made as if by two peg legs…
And a gatling pistol, laying discarded amongst the clothes in the baggage room. An expensive item, not carried by just anyone, and claimed by none of those still living. I wonder if one of the dead was more than just a traveller, or even if one of the survivors is hiding something from us.