That evening in the Fort, George, Uncas and Francis were invited for dinner with Captain White. After a fine meal, and a few hours of pleasantries (and whiskey), the Captain revealed to a disheartened George that the outlaw Davie Brown had indeed passed through but was now safe in Mexico. However, he then revealed his plans to lead a filibuster expedition south across the Mexican border in order to reclaim land he believed had just been “given away” by the Wigs in Washington despite the sacrifice of so many soldiers during the war. His passionate speech about Manifest Destiny and the promise of wealth and land (along with the possibility that both Brown and Bathcat could be found and brought back to the States) seemed to convince George who agreed to accompany the expedition almost immediately. Uncas professed no interest in neither wealth nor land but the promise of bloody conflict was enough to secure his participation. Francis declined to retake up his old rank and commission claiming his soldering days were behind him but agreed to follow as a surgeon for hire.
Amaya had meanwhile decided to take in the sights of the town and made her way into a local cantina. There she encountered an old Mennonite who gave a cryptic prophesy about how the soldiers’ planned expedition would awaken some greater evil that would best be left undisturbed. While he may simply have been talking about stirring the wrath of the Comanches, his words sparked an old memory in Amaya: an ancient legend about how a great evil had been sealed by the Great Elders of the past. Further musing was cut short however by the sudden breakout of a brawl between a couple of drunk locals and an equally drunk soldier. Amaya elected to remain out of it until a knife was produced and driven into the chest of one of the Mexicans. Temporarily forgetting her disability Amaya lashed out with her cane only to lose her balance and fall to the floor. The soldier, unaware of what Amaya had attempted to do, advanced on his fallen opponent for the kill. He was stopped in his tracks when from the ground Amaya drew her pistol and fired two shots in rapid succession into his arm nearly severing it. The fight ended abruptly and Amaya dragged the two wounded men to the fort where Francis was able to operate successfully saving the soldier’s arm and bandaging the stabbed man up like new.
Declining the invitation to stay in the fort overnight Amaya returned to the boarding house where by chance she happened to overhear her neighbor’s plans to rob the fort after the soldiers left.
Uncas was woken before dawn by Sergeant Trammel and asked if he would be willing to track the boy who had killed Jose the day before. The Captain felt as if the boy would make a worthy addition to the expedition and was willing to pay Uncas $3 to bring him back. Uncas agreed and set out on his horse. After some time the tracks led to an old decaying church where Uncas found evidence of the boy’s stay. Before he could move on he was suddenly and violently attacked by a man who dropped from the roof onto his back. Though momentarily stunned and lightly wounded the warrior quickly recovered and bringing his tomahawk to bear neatly severed the man’s arm. Movement to the left revealed a second man running away but he was quickly run down and decapitated by Uncas. Regaining the trail Uncas eventually found the boy and brought him back to town without further incident.
George had been sleeping off the whiskey from the night before when he was awoken by a voice shouting his name. Emerging he found a young man by the name of John Cotton calling him out. It turned out the man was eager to avenge his father, the slave ring owner William Cotton, whom George had helped imprison years before. While the Marshal tried to talk the boy down, the youth was adamant and, in order to preserve his honor, he was forced to meet him out on the street.
The boy was fast but fate was with George and when the smoke cleared the boy lay dying. Francis did his best to save him but John Cotton bled out on the table. Going through his belongings George found a pocket watch. Inside was a photo of William Cotton and his five sons and George realized this was far from over.
Fighting to overcome her loathing and fear of soldiers, Amaya came to the Fort to warn Francis of what she had heard the night before. After the party conferred with Captain White it was agreed that they would stay behind do deal with the bandits and then later join the column.
The party set up their defensive strategy and began the inevitable wait. Midnight found George in the bell-tower, Uncas in the barracks, Amaya guarding the gold and Francis in the upstairs offices. By chance George heard a sound coming from the back of the fort and caught a glimpse of three men running away in a hurry. His first shot crippled one of the men’s legs and his companions struggled to carry him away. The commotion alerted the rest of the party who sprang into action. Uncas charged out the front and Amaya hobbled after him. Francis rushed onto the roof in time to see George take a shot to the chest putting him down for the rest of the battle. Francis was able to wound a second man before being forced to take cover from the return fire. Unca fired several arrows at the men but his aim was severely hampered by the dark. Amaya, realizing she would never make it in time on her bad leg jumped onto one of the horses into the fort and rode out guns blazing dropping a second man. The final bandit realizing he was outnumbered and outgunned threw down his gun in order to surrender.
The peace was short lived however as the five sticks of dynamite the bandits had set went off at that moment. Francis and Uncas were thrown to the ground and Amaya was just barely able to prevent herself from being thrown from her horse. The bandits were less lucky. Two where splattered instantly and the third was left barely clinging to life. Amaya rushed to try and stabilize his condition despite her lack of medical training only to be stopped by Uncas who argued it was better to put them down and let them make the journey into the next life rather than trying to save them. While the two natives argued ethics, the last bandit bled out into the sand and died.