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Saturday evening, Beautiful Mine
Leaving Squirrelfoot to show Ted and Jeremiah through the dismal mining town, I stepped onto the porch of the local sheriff, and found him truly incensed over some matter. When I cautiously inquired as to the cause, the sheriff fumed: "I've just heard that a man calling hisself Fortsas has been stealin' books from our library - darned if I know why, but them books is all them miners had to read. 'n that scum is takin' 'em all - and tearin' them up, looks like." Before the sheriff could further elaborate, however, a miner trotted up on horseback and whispered urgently in his ear. Composing himself, the sheriff rummaged around a chest on the porch, then handed me several pieces of ragged paper, covered with text. "We got us some marauders on the outskirts o' town. But if you should happen to hear anything a-tall about that blackguard Fortsas, and them books, we'd sure be happy to make it worth yer while. Got the means to pay should y'help us..." he said, holding up a sack of gold dust. He took off at a run, leaving me standing in the snow with a handful of newspaper clippings and pages torn out of books, all scrawled with numbers, writ in red pen by the same hand.