Monday, April 19, 2010

Jack's Journal

Sitting down at the table, Jack dipped the tip of his pen into the ink jar. Taking a moment to compose his thoughts, he begins to write:

April 18, 1876 Deadwood Camp

It has been several months since I have put pen to paper. When last I wrote, I was still in Kansas working as a Deputy Marshall. There were rumors that the cattle drives would no longer be coming our and the Town Fathers in their dubious wisdom, saw fit to release me from my duties. I had determined to leave for the gold rush in the Black Hills, so I was not overly angered.

I arrived in Deadwood Camp several weeks ago. The camp is wide open and lawless, which suits me quite well. Already the whores, whiskey peddlers and cardsharks have arrived, along with some more or less honest store keepers. Where ever there is gold or silver it is these who come first to fleece the miners of their riches. With some careful thought and planning I too will help in the fleecing.

To that end, I decided that I must be viewed as an upright citizen. One who is viewed as helping the weak and less fortunate. A few days after my arrival in Deadwood, I happened into a store owned by Mahalia Bertrand and Meriweather Runningbear. Mr. Runningbear is a tall, stawart fellow who appears quite capable of taking care of himself. Miss Bertrand on the other hand is not quite so capable. She is an attractive woman, but labors under the false conclusion that her fellow members of humanity share her sense of honsesty, fairness and integrity. Fortunately for her Mr. Runningbear does not suffer from this malady. After a very pleasant discussion between the three of us, Mr. Runningbear hired me. Ostensibly to help Miss Bertrand around the store, but in actuality to make sure she has some measure of protection while he is away mining. I, of course, leaped at the chance. It was easy to tell that these two would become pillars of the new community and it would behoove me to have friends in high places.

Now Journal, I wish to write briefly about Lillian. Lil is a striking red head, easily able to turn the head of any man. She is, of course, a soiled dove. I had engaged her services and the woman tried to brain me. Fortunately for me I have a bit of a hard head. Though the force of the blow drove me to my knees, I was able to wrest away the jug that she had used on me. My first thought was to kill the whore then and there, but, after a moments consideration I decided to broach the subject of her going into partnership with me. I needed an attractive woman who could play a convincing part for a confidence game that I wished to employ.

I explained to her about how the badger game is worked. Basically, we find a mark who has money and values his reputation. Lil would play a seductive innocent, who would lure the mark to her bed. Just as they are getting into a comprising situation, I would burst in as the outraged husband. After some suitable theatrics, we would then let the mark know how much gold it would take to keep our mouths shut.

I have asked her to refrain from doing any further whoring and to obtain some respectable clothing. We need to establish our cover as a respectable couple.

I must put pen aside for now Journal. Miss Bertrand requires my help in moving some crates.

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