‘Curly’ Little Voice and Swift Mickey Nichols languished in Thompson’s rank cells. The fracka around the farmhouse landed them here a week ago. Other occupants have come and gone, but it was clear that Little Voice and Mickey were going to feel the full weight of the law. Their newest cellmate is a drunkard who introduces himself (several times… he really is drunk!) in a slur as Billy ‘Hiccup’ Doolin. Billy slipped between bouts of extreme chattiness and snoozing. He was in the middle of the latter when a gunshot rang out. Not a strange occurrence in Stodge City, but this was nearby. Little Voice and Mickey glanced furtively at each other. Any disruption might be a chance to escape the inevitable hangman’s noose.

Everyone in the cells jumped as one of the lawmen slammed against the glass. As he slid to the ground, blood smeared down the pane. Shots came, increasing in frequency, the main street turning into quite the shootout. Little Voice, Mickey and Billy were blind to the action and were getting increasingly nervous. They were trapped at the centre of this unfolding scene. The tramping of feet, excited yelling, glimpsing through the blood-stained glass and the continuous shooting were all they had to piece together what was happening. The rear door creaking open beside them caught them all by surprise. Young Billy Sugger wore a broad grin. “We’re gittin’ yous outta here”, he said in a hushed conspiratorial tone, handing them a pair of pistols and a heavy iron bar. His imprisoned namesake didn’t quite understand what was happening and drawled, “What’s that der rod fer?”. Little Voice quietly took a pistol, sliding it into his waistband and then grabbed the iron bar. He began to lever the cell door up off of its hinges. “I git it now”, Doolin announced proudly. While Little Voice and Mickey worked, Sugger moved back out to make sure the coast was clear. A pained yell from out front hastened them along and soon the door fell with a dusty thud to the floor.

They pushed out of the jail with the drunkard Doolin, who’d snatched a pistol from the Sheriff’s desk, following. Immediately they were in the middle of a scuffle, as some locals ‘friendly’ to the Sheriff took upon themselves to join the excitement. One of the Thompson brothers was in the mix, but a well aimed shot from Curly laid him low. Doolin was completely disoriented, years of alcohol (and stronger) imbibing having taken what little good sense he once had. He aimed at the Shoshone, but his gun clicked empty… it might be one of the Sheriff’s fancy shooters, but it wasn’t much use without bullets. Mickey saw this confused treachery unfold and knocked Doolin unconscious, with his heavy pistol. “Let’s get outta Stodge”, he yelled and ran to catch Billy Suggar. A boom echoed around the buildings and Suggar stumbled to the ground in a cloud of red mist. Shaw, the youngest of the self-proclaimed lawmen, stood not 10 paces from him, his breeches around his ankles and a smoking sawn off in his hands.

Mickey raised his pistol to take out Shaw, but before he could the shotgun wielding youngster ducked back into the out house he had emerged from. “That’s my boy”, came a distraught cry from a woman in a purple frock. She hastened to the downed Suggar. Mickey, recognising Billy’s Ma, ran to assist he. Shaw, fully dressed and fully loaded, reemerged from the out house. In an act of callus distain, Shaw unloaded both barrels into the stricken Billy, his Ma and Mickey. The latter two ended up sprawled on the ground beside the man they’d tried to help.

Little Voice rarely spoke, but this outrage brought a rare outburst, “Thompson. Your brothers are dead or dying. Your actions bring dishonour to your name. I demand a reckoning”. Curly placed the pistol back into his waist band and slowly paced backwards along the alley. Shaw dropped his shotgun and walked to take position opposite the Shoshone, his hand hovering over his holstered pistol. Shaw’s hand dropped, but not fast enough. I less than the blink of an eye Curly had drawn and fired. Shaw fell, a smoking hole in the centre of his forehead. The reign of the Thompsons was ended. This was little solace to Little Voice. The white man still swarmed his people’s lands.

We decided to replay the finale of our campaign with a different ruleset, namely (un-namely), The Rules With No Name. They offered a fun and dynamic experience. I hope the narrative above gives a glimpse of how much fun we had. I’d like to thank Stiubhart for setting up and running this campaign. His hosting, terrain and models were all of a very high standard. I look forward to playing more Wild West games in the future.

Until next time,