Of Gog and Magog

Rashomon

After Dealing with JA in the Mines

The Rashomon Effect is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it.

According to Doc Knuckles, after closing the gate from JA’s encroaching army, proving his trustworthiness and his command over the Interloper that Harrows him, Doc Knuckles was struck down without provocation and murdered in cold blood by Derek Lefeaux.

Though Doc Knuckles wasn’t conscious to witness it, Carter Burwell exacted retribution by shooting Lefeaux in both arms, after which he took both Doc Knuckle’s body and the injured Lefeaux in to town. Lefeaux claimed that the Doc had previously attempted cold murder upon him in the mines, and that since Doc Knuckles was Harrowed and not headshot, he would soon spring back to life. Since there was no proof of the truth or falsehood of that accusation, the Law decided to ensconce both Lefeaux and Doc Knuckles behind bars.

Doc Knuckles, dead in all seeming, lay locked in a jail cell. His companions somehow trusting in the words of Lefeaux, a known murderer and acknowledged servant of the devil, over the Doc’s own actions, words and noble deeds.

But according to Derek Lefeaux, who managed to cheat death yet again, things were a little different. He was pushed off the rope in the mines by Doc Knuckles, who was under the influence of the Interloper, then swallowed by a giant snake, where he lay until Doc Knuckles came upon him again, walking in ghostly form, and slit his thoat. My some miracle, even this did not end his life, and he was lately rescued from the belly of the serpent and the mines by Ben Tsosie. While riding back to town he encountered and successfully dealt a fair-deal revenge to Doc Knuckles. (He reckoned since Doc’s not actually dead, they’re square-ish). In return he got shot once in each arm for his troubles by Doc Knuckle’s best buddy, Carter Burwell.

Back in Alder Creek, Kiah refused to heal him, but helpfully called the law down on his head, leaving him to cool his heels and bleed all over a jail cell while Old Seth napped and Marcus went toe to toe with his employer Jonathan Barker.

And Barker just fired him for unknown reasons.

From Ben Tsosie’s perspective, he went into the mines at the behest of Barker, who insisted that Derek Lefeaux was still alive, and indeed found the man comatose but breathing in the bowels of the dead snake god, where Doc Knuckles had sworn he wasn’t. Lefeaux told him of Doc Knuckles’ treachery in pushing him off that rope and slitting his throat in the belly of the snake.

Ben healed up Lefeaux and brought him back into town, where they encountered Carter and Doc Knuckles, and the above-mentioned shootings took place. He then parted ways with the company and rode out into the hills to do a little restorative communing with nature, where he encountered Garret on his own way back into town with Miss Rosie and a Mrs. Adams. He gave Garret just enough of an account of what had gone on to send Garret in a hurry to the jail.

Meanwhile, Deputy Garret McEwan had been taking care of other business. The day previous he’d had a talk with town madam Miss Rosie about Sharlene, one of her girls. Miss Rosie cautioned Garret that Sharlene was no longer a working girl, but didn’t seem too terribly surprised when Garret said that wasn’t what he was after. He told her Hezekiah had informed him that Sharlene was in contact with Hezekiah’s estranged wife (JA’s mother), and Garret hoped to track down the whereabouts of Mrs. Adams, since that had been the one bit of leverage they’d seemed to have over JA in the mines.

Sharlene was amenable, and said Mrs. Adams was actually already on her way to Alder Creek. In the course of their conversation, Garret learned that Sharlene had once had a remarkable violin which had come from JA, tbut she’d sold it for a handsome sum to Derek Lefeaux. Since Sharlene was planning on leaving the whoring business and heading east with the nest egg she’d earned selling her JA fiddle, and Mrs. Adams was trapped one town east in Dead End with the stages not running, Garret volunteered to escort Sharlene and go fetch Mrs. Adams.

Miss Rosie decided to accompany them, ordering her own very fancy coach as their transport. Garret rode shotgun but managed some conversation with Miss Rosie when they rested the horses. It became painfully clear to Garret that Miss Rosie had his number as far as what was going on with Ben Tsosie, but she didn’t seem apt to use it against him (and after all he was a regular customer, even if he usually preferred a French to a tumble.)

They saw Sharlene off, retrieved Mrs. Adams and filled her in on the particulars, and then turned around and rode straight back. Mrs. Adams in return filled Garret in on why she’d left Alder Creek in the first place, saying Hezekiah had been prone to anger, and had flown into a temper and struck her, leaving her no choice. That didn’t sit too well with Garret, who promised her he’d see to it no man, not her husband nor any other, ever raised a hand to her as long as he was around.

On the way back into town they ran into Ben, who was heading outbound to do some meditating. He gave a slightly confusing account of what had happened with Lefeaux. After seeing to the Adams’s touching reunion, in which Hezekiah, who was cleaned up and shaved and in a suit to meet his beloved, begged her forgiveness for his past wrongdoings, Garret headed over to the jail, where he found Doc Knuckles corpse rotting in one jail cell, and Derek Lefeaux badly injured and untended in another. There he found Carter Burwell, Sheriff Marcus Hewitt, and fellow Deputies ‘Old Seth’ Harkness and Stevie Portridge, who caught Garret up on what had led to this particular situation, although it didn’t make a whole pile of sense.

Jonathan Barker, the man from the bank, came in and pretty much spat on his former employee, Lefeaux, whom he fired on the spot. After Barker left, Carter and the others told Garret that Barker was the agent of the Devil himself, and their ally in the fight against JA, even if he was a minion of Satan. There was some lengthy debate about what to do next, and Garret decided he needed to give the orders since no one else seemed to be doing it. He sent Marcus off to see about the blacksmith who was supposed to be destroying the JA items, including Sharlene’s fiddle, which Barker claimed to have rounded up and “dealt with.” He sent Carter to give a message to Marcus, and to fetch Hezekiah to tend to Derek’s wounds.

He was not happy to see a prisoner mistreated, and was generally unsure what’s going on, but knowing that JA is on his way back as the fourth horseman, figured they’ll need all the help they can get.

Sheriff Marcus Hewitt, meanwhile, left off outside having just completed a conversation with Barker. All his beliefs that Barker would unhesitatingly screw over the people of Alder Creek appeared to be valid, but of course there wasn’t really any option but to let Barker “attempt” to gather all the items. With only three days before JA’s return, there was just too much ground to cover without his help. His intention was to go check out the blacksmith, then go back into the jail and tend to whatever the hell was going on in there.

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