Doc Pinket could sense the end approaching for his nemesis, The Butcher. The black ooze on the edge of his knife told him that after many years of pursuit, his crusade to bring this monster down was at an end.
And Ruckus had his own hand to play! Springing up from his prone position, Ruckus seized the Butcher in his beefy arms and called to Pinket, “Stab him!”
Doc Pinket stepped in to land the death blow, and the Doc activated another literal trick up his sleeve: a spring-loaded dagger! But, the mechanism failed to deploy the knife and Doc Pinket only ended slapping the Butcher across the face.
There was a moment of silence between the three men due to the absurdity of Pinket’s face slap, but with his opportunity given, The Butcher twisted aside in Ruckus grip and slipped free! Pinket swore under his breath as the Butcher swung at him once again, slashing his brown overcoat.
Doc Pinket tossed his blade to Ruckus, who was in a better position to kill the Butcher, but Ruckus too missed with the blade.
Seeing that the tide had turned against him, the Butcher decided upon fleeing and before either man could stop him, he turned and fled into the darkness. Ruckus attempted to stop the monster with his revolving shotgun retrieve from his fallen horse, but the hot buckshot did nothing to slow the Butcher’s flight. Pinket knew that only blades would hurt the Butcher, and shooting him would just piss him off.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hedgewig ran out into the Dodge City streets, seeking to regroup with his allies and hunt aid in the destruction of the Butcher. He was quite surprised to see that another player had joined the battle, as a well-dressed man ran up to Dr. Hedgewig and asked what was going on! Dr. Hedgewig recognized him at once: Leo Nighthawk had returned to Dodge.
Before Dr. Hedgewig could explain what was going on, more of those twisted walkin’ heads appeared in the street and challenged Hedgewig and Leo. Leo took a quick assessment of his own, and called upon his mystic power to rip the earth asunder once again with an Earthwrack hex! The walkin’ heads quickly fell into the crevasse created by Leo’s power and were quickly dispatched, leaving a 60’ long crater in the city street!
Ruckus heard the earth churning up and recognized the noise as the power of his brother, Leo. Remounting his horse, Ruckus rode off toward the sound of the noise. Ruckus quickly arrived on the other side of the newly minted chasm and called out to Leo, saying he was late to the party. Dr. Hedgewig decided that he would be better suited to aiding Rev. Dallas and Walks With Moonlight and turned down the street to locate them. Leo told his brother that he would meet up with him shortly, and Leo turned to follow the mad scientist. Ruckus wheeled his horse about and turned back to aid Doc Pinket.
Meanwhile, Doc Pinket had pursued his prey into the alleyway. However, the Butcher was nowhere to be seen. Pinket immediately looked skyward, counting on his mysterious training to guide him to see what normal men would not. He spied the Butcher scrambling up the side of the wall like some kind of twisted spider! Quickly, Doc Pinket hurled the first of several knives at the Butcher, challenging him to end his battle. The Butcher turned and snarled at Doc Pinket and leapt from the building’s side, landing upon the Doc with his scalpel plunging into the Doc’s chest! However, the Butcher was surprised to see that his weapon penetrated not flesh, but was deflected by a layer of armor underneath the Doc’s shirt!
Doc Pinket and the Butcher wrestled on the ground, knives near one another’s throats, when Ruckus returned to the battle and took the Butcher down with a surprising move: He rode his horse down upon the pair! Both man and monster threw themselves out of the animal’s charge, but a moment too late! The horse slammed into the pair, throwing the Butcher aside and into a wall, and trampling the Doc with his powerful hooves! Only the supernatural nature of the Butcher and the armor beneath Doc’s coat spared them both from becoming a greasy stain on the ground.
Ruckus wasted no time and dismounted his horse and charged the Butcher with the Doc’s long Bowie knife…
…and that is when a sharp pain pierced Ruckus chest.
The cursed Liston knife exploded out of Ruckus’ back, spraying the mercenary’s blood all over the alleyway. The Butcher grinned at Ruckus who felt the life draining out of his body, and the burly man slumped to the ground, bleeding and dying.
The Butcher cackled with glee at claiming another victim…
…and then a sharp pain pierced the Butcher’s chest.
Doc Pinket had seized his opportunity and activated the spring loaded knife once again. This time, the catch worked perfectly and the stiletto leapt into Doc’s hand and was soon buried deep into the Butcher’s chest. Doc Pinket took no chances and furiously stabbed his adversary over and over again.
The Butcher seemed to be calmed by his own death, and the muscles receded back into his body, the facial features softened and returned to that of Clayton Mansfield. Clayton slumped down against the wall, soaked in blood and ichor, yet sporting a look of peace on his face. His long nightmare over, Clayton Mansfield graciously accepted his death.
Dr. Hedgewig, Leo Nighthawk, Walks With Moonlight, and Reverend Dallas were gathered further down the road, battling the Walkin’ Heads when suddenly they began to dissolve into puddles of goo. Rev. Dallas surmised that the Butcher had been dispatched, and his creations died with him. Leo charged off to assist his brother and the rest of the Posse followed suit.
Doc Pinket recovered the Liston knife as the rest of the Posse ran into the alleyway. Leo quickly attended to his dying brother, knitting his wounds together with a Helpin’ Hand Hex, and Ruckus was soon back on his feet.
Reverend Dallas and Doc Pinket resolved to bury the body of Clayton Mansfield. The rest of the Posse turned back to the saloon while the Reverend and Pinket saw to the burial. Upon arriving at Boot Hill, the sun began to dip in the West as Reverend Dallas and Doc Pinket buried the poor remains of Clayton Mansfield. After the sun had gone down and Mansfield was buried, Doc Pinket felt a strange sensation coming from his pocket where the Liston knife lay.
Doc Pinket felt his mind fill with impulses to kill and maim! The Reverend quickly slapped the Liston knife out of Pinket’s grip and the murderous impulses faded from Pinket’s mind.
The Reverend resolved to see the knife destroyed and began to read words of sanctifying that destroyed the curse upon the knife and the knife itself.
Their task complete, Reverend Dallas and Doc Pinket returned to the Dog-Eye Saloon to a well-earned rest. Doc Pinket himself breathed a sigh of relief as his own quest to see the Butcher destroyed came to an end.
Upon returning to the Dog-Eye, it was drinks all around for the Posse and everyone was in higher spirits for defeating a sinister evil. In fact, the very atmosphere around them seemed brighter and the shadows seemed to recede from the corners of the bar ever so slightly. Dog-Eye himself seemed in brighter spirits knowing the Butcher was put down, and the Posse knew they had done some good.
Soon after settling in, a telegram arrived for Reverend Dallas, stamped with the Black River Railroad seal. Excusing himself, the Reverend opened the letter and read:
Congratulations on your recent defeat of the Body Snatchers. I have need of capable people such as you and your party. A trouble has arisen within my company and I believe that your skills in matters that many would find to be “unnatural” is the key to resolving my dilemma, and I am prepared to reward you and your band of troubleshooters handsomely for your expertise and hope to discuss matters with your company as soon as it is convenient.
If you wish to hear my offer, please come to my rail car in the center of Dodge City. I request only your discretion, and if you do not accept my invitation, please destroy this letter.
CFO, CEO, President
Black River Railroad Company
The Reverend presented the offer to the Posse and they resolved to meet this mysterious Mina Devlin first thing tomorrow morning.
WHAT DOES THE ALLURING OWNER OF THE BLACK RIVER RAILROAD HAVE IN STORE FOR THE POSSE? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF “DEADLANDS: BLOOD ON THE PRAIRIE”!