Posted: January 9, 2011 in Fiction, Gaming

Marshal Vincent Jones pulled off his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. His mud-colored hair was sodden so that when he slicked it back, Vincent had to shake his hand free of the grimy perspiration. The Nevada sun bore down on him as though it hated him personally. Generally being hated wasn’t really a new thing for the marshal, so he paid it the same mind he always did: none at all. He pulled the floppy scrap of leather he called headwear back onto his head.

He’d been chasing a gang of thugs west for days. Four men had robbed a bank in Grand Junction and were making his life difficult by running. He pulled a water-skin from under the saddle blanket and drank carefully so as not to waste a drop. Having taken his fill, he clicked his tongue at his horse and watered it as well. The big painted beast seemed to sense that water was scarce and didn’t lose more than a couple of drops either. Jones patted the creature’s neck and resealed the skin. He took another look at the ground, and swung himself into his saddle.

“Come on, Carrots. Let’s catch us some varmints.” He gave Carrots a squeeze with his legs and the horse took to trotting. The lawman gave the horse its druthers, so long as it kept heading in the general direction of the criminals. The way he reckoned, the animal would do a better job of finding the easy ground to walk on. Despite the heat of the day and the frequent efforts at tracking their quarry, Jones and Carrots made good time. By nightfall, he could see a town, and the tell tale tracks he’d been following went right to it.

He urged Carrots onward. Even if the men he sought weren’t there, he was out of food and water. He grinned to himself. He was travelling light; nothing but food and water, his bedroll, his long gun, and his peacemaker. The guys he was chasing would have all that, and then who knows how much weight in ill-gotten goods. Jones aimed Carrots at the nearest hotel, and tethered him. “I’ll be right back,” he promised the horse. Jones shimmied his coat so that his hogleg and his tin star didn’t show, and heel-toed into the building.

He only pushed aside half the door, so as not to make a carnival out of his arrival. His spurs jingled as he walked up to the bar. He put down a note. “Whiskey sour, and four guys who ain’t from around these parts,” he said in a low, quiet voice. The bartender raised an eyebrow at him. He leaned over the bar and let his duster open so that the man could see his tin star. The bartender gave two slight nods as he poured the drink; one to the Marshal, and one to a table with 4 men playing cards. “Much obliged,” Jones rumbled as he took in a taste of his drink.

I had been running a Deadlands game prior to the holidays. It fell victim to the fact that I work retail and thus was too busy at work to write for the game, let alone run it. Tonight marks the start of me trying to recover that flavor and get back into the swing of it.


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