10th Jan 1857, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
“Are you simple boy?” yelled Sherriff Abraham Wallace as his son Eli cowered.
“I’m sorry Pa!” he wailed as the Sherriff slapped him hard and often. Eli yelped at each blow until he curled into a protective ball.
“Enough Abraham,” Clemens said who watched on. “No point shutting the gate once the horse has bolted.”
“Git!” yelled Wallace at Eli who crawled away like startled dog. The Sherriff took out a handkerchief and wiped his eyes, brow and hands. “Stupid boy. Takes after his mother.”
Judge Clemens nodded in agreement. “Now Abraham, you’re going to tell me everything about this Red Fog character.”
The Sherriff nodded as he took a seat at his desk, pulling out a jug of cider and two tin cups. “Best be taking a seat Horace.”
"Eliza Fogg was evangelical royalty. Her great uncle thrice removed was the preacher David Brainerd who ventured out to the Delaware Indians to convert them to the ways of the Lord. Her father was a reverend, her mother a reverends daughter. Religion was in her veins. The Bible her weapon. And she believed it was her mission to spread the word to the godless savages who were now being moved onto reservations.
It was here she met Bear-On-The Hill, a Cheyenne brave, who was quite taken with the blonde haired, blue eyed preacher’s daughter who spoke her mind. Though they could barely understand one another, it became clear they were speaking a language that didn’t require words. In the late spring of ‘32 Morgan Fogg was born, or as his father called him Red Bear. For nine winters Eliza and Morgan lived with Bear-On-The Hill before she had to return to Massachusetts. She vowed to return but fate had other ideas when the gold rush in California brought cholera to the Cheyenne and Bear-On-The-Hill died in agony in 1849 having never seen his son grow into a man.
When Eliza died in 1850 full of regret and heartache, Morgan was accepted into West Point Military Academy but when his heritage was revealed he was unceremoniously booted out though one of their top cadets. He returned to Kansas Territory to a less than welcoming reception from the Cheyenne. Not truly accepted by his tribe nor fitting into the white man’s world he took whatever jobs he could find; mainly ranching and mustering. He’d attempt to be part of his father’s tribe but the Indian Removal Act was being enforced and the tribe was scattered to reservations across the territories. Whilst travelling about he noticed a man, Willard Crisp, from a wanted poster and confronted him.
The fight was brutal and short with Morgan emerging victorious. He hauled the dead man back to Texas to collect the bounty and from there began working in a very loose arrangement with the Marshals to collect bounties for them. In the three years he’s been at it, he has collected nine bounties with only two dead. His nickname of the Red Fog was coined by some surly Dutch trappers and it stuck.
Asides from being half Indian he’s viewed with suspicion as he’s a southpaw. He’s smart, strong and a man of his word."
Judge Horace Clemens sipped his cider as he listened to Sherriff Wallace account of Morgan Fogg. “And you know all this how?”
“Former Marshal before getting elected as Fort Leavenworth’s sheriff,” said Wallace as he downed his cider. “He’s good at what he does but he’s….”
“Uppity!” snapped Clemens. “Like them coloured folk.”
Wallace nodded in agreement as he poured himself another cider. He started on the judge’s cup when Clemens pushed him away. “That will do for this evening Abraham. Best I be headed home, work out how to deal with your redskin friend.”
18th Jan 1857, Jefferson City, Missouri
“I hear you’re man who knows his way around these parts?”
Morgan raised his head to peer out from under his hat. Before him stood a man who had no place in a saloon, a Chinese.
“You speak pretty good,” said Morgan as he returned to his napping. “For a Chi-nee.”
The sound of metal hit the table causing Morgan to glance back up at the sack of Spanish dollars. Morgan tipped his hat back and looked at the little yellow man in blue pyjamas standing before him. Slowly he reached out when the Chinaman snatched back up the sack.
“What do you want?” asked Morgan as he kicked a chair out “And sit down before someone stabs you.”
The Chinaman bowed and took a seat. Morgan could feel the extra stares on them, bad enough he was half Indian but sitting with a Chinaman was asking for trouble.
“My son has gone to Fort Smith and not returned.”
Morgan shrugged “Smith’s about three hundred miles south.”
“It was two months ago,” sighed the Chinaman.
“Fort Smith’s pretty wild,” Morgan said “But I think I know why you’re asking me and not that big German in the corner.”
“Many of...your people were moved there,” said the Chinaman.
“So you think just because I’m part Indian, I know all other Indians? Is that what is going through your tiny little rice brain?” Morgan argued.
“Yes, and because no one else will even listen to me.”
Morgan stood up “Dead or alive?”
“He’s my son,” The Chinaman gasped.
“Doesn’t mean you don’t want him dead,” Morgan replied as he noticed the German and his two friends heading their way. “Hand me the bag and head for the door.”
“So you will do this?”
“Yes, yes,” snapped Morgan as he motioned for the bag. “Come on you…never mind.”
“Guten tag!” bellowed the German as his beard rippled from the soundwaves of his booming voice. “Is zis little rat bozering you?”
“Just discussing mining tips.” Morgan replied as his hand slowly, gently, drifted towards his sidearm.
“Is zat so?” The German nodded stroking his beard.
Morgan watched as they were encircled by the trio. “We’ll just be going.”
“Zat vill not be happening,” laughed The German as he drew a hatchet from his belt and almost absentmindedly cleaned his nails with it. “Hand over ze bag.”
The Chinaman defiantly stuffed the bag of coins up his flowing sleeve and folded his arms. Morgan shook his head “You know who I am?”
“Nein!” The German replied as his smile evaporated and swung the hatchet to split Morgan’s head in two. Quicker than anyone could react the Chinaman grabbed the offending wrist and flipped him onto the ground. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, Morgan punched the nearest man in the face sending him reeling back before launching at the second. The fight was frenzied as Morgan took on the pair whilst the Chinaman seemingly defied logic by holding the German on the floor by simply touching his wrist. Before it got out of hand Morgan drew his gun and held it against the forehead of one making the other stop.
“We’re leaving,” Morgan panted. “You follow us and I WILL put a bullet in you.”
The Chinaman released The German who cradled his arm like a baby. Slowly Morgan Fogg and his Asian companion backed out of the saloon into the street.
“Money!” Morgan barked as he watched the saloon door. The Chinaman handed over the bag.
“There is thirty more when you return my son,” he said. “I am most grateful.”
“How am I going to know it’s him? You all look the same.”
The Chinaman handed him a small scroll. “He will know when you show him this.”
The German stormed out of the saloon’s double doors and Morgan fired, the bullet sinking deep into his right thigh. He squealed and curled into a ball.
“I warned you!” growled Morgan. “Next one goes through your head!”
Morgan mounted his grey mare and rode off as a pair of eyes from the upper room of The Dirty Spur across the street watched his exit.
17th Jan 1857, Jefferson City, Missouri
Frank Waterman gulped down another of Doctor Jensen’s whiskey as he lay on the bed in The Dirty Spur. Doctor Jensen took the bottle off him, had a swig himself before securing the leather strap around Waterman’s hand and the bedpost of the bedroom. He tied Frank’s other hand to the other bed post.
“Why both hands?” slurred Frank as the doctor pushed a wooden bar into his mouth.
“Because you’ll try and hit me,” replied Jensen as he took another swig and brought up a bone saw from his doctor’s kit. Frank gasped and started to thrash so Doctor Jensen promptly sat on him. “Your hand is gangrenous from the bullet wound. If it doesn’t come off it’ll rot your entire body. You know this.”
Frank nodded vigorously as he clamped down on the bit with his teeth. Doctor Jensen splashed some whiskey on the hand before starting to saw off the festered right hand. Waterman thrashed like a bucking bronco.
“FOGGGGGGGG!” he roared through the gag as the doctor sawed through the bones and tendons, blood seeping into the white sheets.
To be continued in #3