On the Drive, Somewhere in Texas
May 10th 1880 3:10 PM
Fear Level: 2
While it is a long and tiresome day, at the end of it all the animals are able to slake their thirsts adequately. The Lazy S cowboys and you all can also drink their your fill and refill their canteens. The bad news is it’s who knows how long until the next water…
While the other cowhands take no interest in the abandoned homestead, Archibald, Bishop, and Hope do. There is indeed something strange is afoot at the isolated farm. The door is barred from the inside and all the windows are shuttered. There is no response to knocks or yelling. Forcing the door is beyond the three’s ability, but a kick from Devil Eyes breaks it down and gets John and jack’s attention as well.
The interior and contents of the small two-room house seem virtually untouched. Several items of sentimental value and some monetary worth remain, including a small box of jewelry (worth a total of $50 if sold), a loaded and unfired Evans Old Model Sporter rifle, and $32 in Confederate bills. The barn, though filled with the usual tools and accoutrements of a small farm, is empty of any animals and all the stalls are closed and latched. The inside of the house is covered by a layer of dust and, prior to your entry, unmarred by any tracks. More puzzlingly, there are two plates set on a small table in the main room—complete with the desiccated remains of a meal long uneaten. You’d have to assess further but it looks like the house has sat undisturbed for months. There is no sign of the inhabitants or what became of them.
Sutter, he is mildly puzzled but not overly concerned when you inform him. After all, he says, the farm is days from any other civilization and well into Comanche territory. But you see nothing that would indicate the farmstead was raided by Indians; in fact, every bit of evidence seems to indicate no one has been to the farm since its inhabitants left, but Sutter remains unconcerned. He does order his crew to salvage what tools and supplies they can from the barn.
After that, he tells everyone to get some chow and rest up. He has decided to travel at night to reduce the effect of thirst on the animals. However, the additional distance offsets the gains for the trail hands, as water rations have to be further reduced.
What are you doing?