As the dust settled in the now even-worse-smelling basement, the only sound was William muttering about how has was now officially a “Cat Man”. There was a collective in-taking of breath. What on earth was going on?
Before any of them had time to discuss the strange events Quique’s ever alert senses detected the distinctive sound of someone creeping up behind them – on the corridor outside the door to the cellar! Wary that the cellar door was lockable the Mexican sprang into action, bounding up the stairs to confront whoever, or whatever, it was. On immediately being faced with a wild-eyed old man swinging a club at him the Bounty Hunter did what came naturally… The man’s wire frame was thrown back by the force of Quique’s pistol bullet slamming into his gut and he came to rest sitting against the far wall, his life force ebbing away through clasped hands.
The others spilled up the stairs, William taking a guard position by the lounge door and the others stopping to admire Quique’s “handywork”.
“Good work. You like?” asked Quique as he blew the smoke from the end of his smoking pistol barrel.
Of the group only John and Ebeneezer recognised the good Reverend Owlsley. Ebeneezer crouched next to the stricken priest, laying one hand over the man’s stomach. A suddenly mortal wound became far less grievous, although no one really saw what happened or the slight golden glow before the canny man of god slip the previously stomach-lodged bullet into his pocket. Not a drop of blood had been spilled.
John’s reaction was … more animated, and his rebuke of the Mexican about shooting before asking questions was put to the hispanic hotshot in some detail. A quip by William, something about kettles and black pots was mercifully unheard by the Agent.
With the now critical-but-stable and apparently forgiving reverend urging the group to follow Lady Carstairs and her mob with god-speed the posse set off in pursuit, Sam leading the way with his superb tracking skills making sure they were on the right path.
A narrowing of the road often means chance for an ambush and today was no different, stooges from the Church of The Flame taking pot shots as the group were forced into a tight knot. Fortunately the worst injury suffered in defeating the ambushers was to William’s pride as he took a tumble from his horse whilst trying to climb the steep sides of the gorge.
Things were about to get a whole lot more difficult however as the posse’s next opponent would be their most problematic to date. Never before in the history of human endeavor had a hardened group of adventurers faced such a fiendish, obstinate, down right devilish opponent. Move aside hell-spawns and nightmares from another dimension and meet your superior …. a … wall.
Well, perhaps slightly more than a wall – an avalanche of snowy rocks and debris seemingly caused by a bolt of lighting – the kind of activity that John remembered old, drunk Edgar had suggested Lady Carstairs was capable of creating… The source was the least of the posse’s worries however – scaling the first 10 feet was an effort in itself, even with rope, was. The comedy capers that followed saw John fall to his almost-death and needed Ebeneezers healing hands once again. Eventually it was a combination of Quique’s tenacity and William’s patience which saw the Mexican win the day and arrive at the top of the obstacle, allowing the group to leave the horses (and Bessie!) behind and see what else the mysterious Lady may have in store for them…