Pastures New

I Got You, Under My Skin

William and John head off in separate directions, each looking for a new start after the run in with the Graingers. Fate sometimes has a sense of humour however, and after a hilarious mix up and complete misunderstanding with a group of local religious types, the two end up travelling a road together. Quite quickly. The classic odd couple.

A trackside dinner of beans and barely-veiled insults one starry evening in the desert is rudely interrupted by a a mountain lion (or, Puma Concolor as William points out calmly as it attacks John) stops by for tea also. John’s aim is somewhat off, perhaps understandable given the flurry of claws in his face, but William puts the creature down with one, cool, aimed shot. An apparent pack-mate slinks off into the night.

Approached by one Lance “Potato” O’Boyle who is attracted to the scene by all the noise, the two give in to the promise of proper hospitality at a nearby hamlet. On arrival they are however immediately whisked away on another adventure (despite William’s protestations that sleep, breakfast and tea (not necessarily in that order) should come first) to find and kill the rest of the mountain lion pack that have been terrorising the locals. The promise of a bounty from the local big-wig, Zeke Ritter, an apparent game hunter given the amount of skins and animal trophies adorning his bar is too good to turn down.

A small posse including John and William encounters a strangely silent group of Red Indians before finding themselves a) in a dead end gully & b) in a whole heap of trouble, when the rest of the posse turns on them – the whole thing being a set up and an ambush! Something is odd however, as Zeke makes it abundantly clear that he wants bodies intact and unmarked… Quick thinking from William and quick shooting from John best the bad guys and Zeke flees!

The oddest companions in the West, bickering all the way, give chase and soon find themselves back at the, now strangely deserted hamlet. On sneaking into Zeke’s house they eventually discover the shocking truth – here is a man that likes to kill, stuff and display not only animals, but people too. William is perturbed to find a plaque with “Well dressed Englishman” on it, seemingly ready for a display which was planned to include everybody’s favourite member of the Royal Geographical Society. Finding plenty of distasteful scenes along the way, including the freshly murdered body of a barmaid they had encountered only hours previously, and plenty of humans recently stuffed and put on display the two find Zeke cowering in a corner of the darkened basement. His attempts to reason his way out of trouble end in failure as an unusually cold William shoots him in the stomach in cold blood, mortally wounding the man. As he sinks to the ground however, the odd baby-rattle like effect in his hand smashes on the floor, releasing what can only be described as a whirlwind of screams and smoke. When it clears the stuffed humans attack everyone!

John and William dodge picks, bullets and in one “it would be funny if it were not so serious” moment a well-swung handbag, and cut down many of their assailants whilst slowly retreating up the stairs. The stricken Zeke finds a fitting end at the hands of a group of his own creations whilst William and John start a fire that would ultimately consume the whole ranch and remove any trace of the whole sordid affair. Outside however they find the Red Indians who seem pleased that an evil has been eradicated. John demands answers and gets none really whilst William sits and smokes his pipe, no tea now being available.

The pair are last seen, riding away into the morning sunrise. The acrid smoke of a burning hamlet fills the air whilst the mountain lions (who came out of the whole affair with their reputations relatively intact) looking on from afar can only hear the sounds of more bickering…



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