Our story opened on a overcast evening in the southern state of Texas. Amaya and Francis were preparing for another night in the town of Nacogdoches at their bar La Sangre Rosa when a strange ear-less stranger arrived in town. What began as a quiet night soon turned violent when the newcomer got into a violent confrontation with the local drunk known as Old Shelby. Amaya was able to talk Shelby down but the thug was unperturbed by her words and unsheathed an enormous Bowie knife. Thankfully further bloodshed was prevented by the arrival of Francis and his Winchester. The thug left but promised to come back and settle the score.
Meanwhile on the road leading to town Federal Marshal George Rock, hot (well more appropriately cold) on the trail of a wanted outlaw known as the Vandemonlander, met an unlikely travel companion in the form of Uncas a tribeless Mohican warrior. While the meeting was cool the threat of a coming storm prompted both men to spur their horses and ride side by side into town. Upon arriving in town they discovered a large event tent which had drawn at least half of the town’s residents. Desiring to get out of the pouring rain as quick as possible they realized they had stumbled into a religious service under one Reverend Green.
Before the fiery preacher could finish his sermon however, he was interrupted by the arrival of a hairless, giant of a man who loudly accused Green of various horrendous crimes. His accusations whipped the gathered crowd into a violent mob who pursued the preacher into the night. Not feeling particularly compelled to join the chase Uncas and Rock made their way to the Sangre Rosa, boarding their horses in the adjoining stable.
Francis and Amaya were suddenly surprised by the appearance of same giant George and Uncas had met in the tent who despite the pouring rain was completely dry. Placing a large amount of money on the table the man, later identified as circuit judge known only as Judge Holden, offered drinks on the house to every patron on the bar that evening.
George and Uncas arrived and, after renting a room (which George obligated Uncas to pay for) and accepting their free drinks made themselves acquainted with Holden. Holden revealed himself to be be an eloquent and educated man (demonstrating the latter with his knowledge of the Algonquian language much to the surprise of Uncas) but also possessed of a sinister side when it was revealed that he had fabricated the stories about the Reverend’s crimes for nothing more than a laugh. He did however have information about the whereabouts of the Vandemonlander (he had escaped to Mexico).
By nights end Unca had retired to his room and George remained in the bar drinking until finally being kicked out in the early morning by Francis and Amaya as they prepared to sleep the day away.
Francis was surprised by the sudden arrival of the thug from the night before. The felon had clearly been drinking and was sporting a large bump on the back of his head (courtesy of the Sheriff) and explained that he had come to apologize not only to Amaya and Francis but also to Old Shelby for his behavior the night before. Unfortunately the apology ended in Old Shelby drunkenly drawing his pistol on the boy and Francis later rescuing the man from drowning in the muddy streets.
Placing the boy in the stable to sleep Francis staggered off to bed as did Amaya. Amaya’s sleep was however troubled by terrible nightmares.
Dawn found the town fast asleep with the exception of Uncas who was suddenly brought to his feet by the smell of smoke. Waking George, the two men rushed out of their room to be greeted by the sight of the felon standing, pistol in hand, in front of the Old Shelby’s room, the door on fire. Despite a heavy night of drinking, George was quick on the draw but, not wanting to shoot a man without justification, simply called out an challenge. Instead of responding the man bolted running down the hallway toward the window. He was fast but Uncas was faster. With a flash he had buried his tomahawk in the felon’s back. The shock of the wound caused the man to stagger and fall out of the window where he fell two stories directly onto his neck. George jumped out the window after him and after landing safely, cuffed the unconscious man. Turning he charged back into the building to recover his gear. Uncas has meanwhile run from the building without a word.
Amaya was woken from her tormented dreams by the sounds and smells and began scrambling to get her guests and employees out while also collecting her belongings. Francis who had been sleeping downstairs was woken by the commotion and boldly charged up the stairs with George hot on his heels.
Uncas had by now made his way to where the injured man lay and retrieved his axe. Seeing that his neck was broken the warrior decided to aid the man’s journey the next life by cutting his throat as he lay in the street. His somewhat bloodthirsty nature satisfied, the Mohican made his way to the stable to collect his belongings.
George and Francis both made it past the smoke but suffered some burns after being forced to pass close by the blaze. George collected his gear and climbed out the window without further incident making it safely to the street below. There he was furious to discover the demise of his prisoner, but as there were no witnesses, he could do nothing but sit in the street and fume.
Francis heroically kicked down the burning door, suffering a grievous burn in the process, and fighting his way through the smoke managed to throw Shelby out the window onto the awning below before jumping out himself. Leaving Shelby on the boardwalk he ran inside once more to retrieve his belongings and money before heading to the stable for his horse.
Uncas had meanwhile reached the stable and discovered the body of the dead stable boy who had been stabbed several times before his throat had been cut. Rifling through his pockets he had retrieved his money from the night before and without a further glance led his horse out onto the street.
Eventually the four met outside, Francis carrying the body of the boy. George angrily asked if anyone had seen who had killed the prisoner but Uncas was not forthcoming with answers. Sheriff O’Sullivan arrived and Francis tended to the wounded.
Not long after, the Judge rode up and expressed his condolences to Amaya for the loss of her saloon. He revealed that the felon’s name and been Louise Toadvine and he was a twice convicted cattle rustler and horse thief. He also mentioned that Toadvine had a partner, a man named David Brown, who was wanted by the law. George was suspicious of the validity of the Judge’s words until, smiling, the Judge produced the warrant. Telling them the man had last been seen heading towards Bexar to the south Holden bid them good-day and rode off.
George and Uncas decided to go after the man and Francis and Amaya, now having no reason to stay in Nacogdoches, agreed to accompany them. Amaya quickly stopped at the mission to bid farewell to Padre Mateo, the priest who had raised her, before leaving. The padre was sad to see her go, but gave her his blessing along with his rosary.
The four day ride to Bexar was largely uneventful. However, they did receive two important pieces of information from fellow travelers. The first was that the Comanches were once again on the war path and were more violent than ever. The second was that the governor of El Chihuahua in the nearby Mexican Province was offering bounties on Apache scalps.
Arriving in Bexar around midday on the fourth day, the party decided to split up and look for information on Brown’s location. Amaya, both because of her hatred of soldiers and her fluent Spanish, decided to take George with her to question the locals, while Francis, with his military background went with Uncas to the fort to question the head of the local garrison.
At the garrison, after putting the fear of God into a young, upstart soldier, Francis and Uncas met an old friend of Francis from the war days, Captain White. The Captain did not personally have any information on Brown but promised to ask his men and also offered to put Francis and his friends up in the fort for the night.
Amaya and George headed into the old part of town. After buying a puppy Maya was told that the best place for information on strangers was the local bar, Cactus Jacks. Making their way to the bar they were surprised to see a large crowd gathered outside. Upon entering the bar they found the owner, a man named Jose, dead on the floor in a pool of blood, a shattered bottle on the floor and another broken bottle jammed into his eye. After questioning the locals they discovered that a young drifter had come into town and after an altercation with Jose had killed him in a fight before fleeing.
Weary from their journey and not having any other evidence or leads George declined taking further action and headed towards the fort to reunite with the rest of the party. Amaya declined and instead found a room at a boarding house run by an old Spanish widow named Abigail. The old woman whispered that three men had come into town a week before and that she did not trust them.