SS novice field agent
Posted - 09/16/2007 : 17:37:00
| The Night of the Senator’s Secret
Senator Hollis Brown had always thought he could handle any situation. He had battled with contemporaries in the Senate, and previously in the House. He had led Union forces to strategic victories deep in the heart of Dixie, perfectly emulating a knife penetrating with rapid thrusts into the important southern commands in Montgomery, Birmingham and Jackson. He was always a leader, even back to his early days in the Minnesota copper mines, quickly claiming more and more important jobs laden with more and more responsibility. He started as a miner, soon became foreman, then company on site representative, then partner, and eventually bought out the original owner and made the company his own. Nothing had ever frightened him before, but now he stood staring out the large picture window from his second story study looking out and down upon the open area inside the wall and gates that surrounded his massive home, and he was a changed man. A hard rain had been coming down for some time, and with each lightning strike the branches of a massive oak were illuminated and seen blowin’ in the wind, which visually identified the source of the sounds their scraping had been making.
“Father, are you sure they are arriving tonight? The weather is working against that.”
“Yes,” the Senator responded to his oldest son, “they will be here tonight. They have to be.”
With that slight interaction between parent and child over, the Senator turned away from the door to his study simultaneous to his son closing it. He resumed his duty as sentinel and stared into the darkness, which continued to be broken up with wicked flashes of light coupled with the sounds of rolling thunder. The Senator was a massive man, standing six feet five inches tall, weighing close to two hundred seventy pounds. His once black curly hair had long since gone grey, and the curls were less evident as he cropped his hair shorter and shorter as it thinned. At an age when many men contemplated enjoying their remaining years in retirement bliss, the Senator continued to keep busy with a multitude of projects that occupied his busy days and nights. His wife Sara had died almost two decades ago, and he had accepted his life as the solitary adult in the Brown family, although his five children now ranged in age from thirty-seven to twenty-two, and all remained living in his home. He still treated them all as children, and having been brought up to remain subservient to their father, they knew nothing other than to remain in their childlike roles.
The knowledge that the massive house was filled with people did nothing to relieve the anxiety that had been building up inside the Senator during the daylight hours. With the onset of the night, that anxious feeling had changed to fear, an emotion that for so many years had been unknown to this giant of a man. He listened carefully for the sounds of the house, although subdued by the noise from outside, and was only slightly comforted when hearing the patter of his children’s feet as they scurried about, filtering into and out of the different rooms as they habitually did after dinner was completed. The Senator eased over to the bottle of brandy that rested upon the top of his dark maple desk, and poured his second glass of the amber liquid, swirling the contents in the glass snifter, gently allowing the warmth of his hand to bring the brandy to the appropriate temperature. His children having secured their usual resting spots in the house, he listened to the sounds of their voices as they wafted through the many hallways that acted as conduits for the sign that life did exist under his roof, although he limited any further human interaction between himself and his children by always securing himself as a solitary figure inside his study after the evening meal.
There was a light rapping at the door of his study, and he looked up without answering. The door slowly opened, and his servant entered with a silver service containing hot coffee and cold cream. The Senator had a weakness for sweets, and there was a large sugar bowl and assorted dark bitter German chocolates on the tray as well. Hattie Carroll was fifty-one, although she could easily have passed for seventy-one, and her large girth amazingly fit her short stature well. She wore a red bandana tightly over her hair, and her blue cotton dress complimented the color of that material. Her step was light despite her weight, and she had been with the Senator’s family all of her life, following in her mother’s footsteps and taking over her mother’s duties as cook and maid when she had passed away twenty-seven years prior. Remaining single all of her life, she took great pride in serving the Senator and his family, sharing a love of him that was greatly magnified as he fought for the Union and the abolition of slavery. She was taken care of very well by the Brown’s, and could not imagine being anywhere else.
“Thank you, Hattie. Your timing is impeccable as usual.”
“Yes sir,” she answered. “Sir, is you specting vistors tonight?” she inquired.
“Why…yes. Is it that obvious?”
She laughed. “Yes sir. Dat window dunt look like it can keep you inside, tonight, dat’s all.”
“They should arrive soon, Hattie. Would you be so kind as to remain on duty a little bit later than usual, in case they should require food or drink?”
“Yes sir. I kin do dat. I be downstairs by the fire in the kichin, sir, if you need me.” She turned and exited the study, again walking as lightly as if she were a spirit on the water.
The door once again isolated the Senator from the other people inside the house, and he swallowed the remnants of the brandy so he could begin his coffee. While sipping the hot coffee, he once again stared outside the large window. He knew it was only a little more than three hours to midnight, and that would once again bring about the ominous day of September 17th, which was a day that compounded the fear of the night with a fear of the date. His son would have come of age tomorrow, and been the man that his three brothers could never hope to be. September 17th was now not only the anniversary of his birth (twenty-one years ago) but also the anniversary of his death (two years ago). Last year had almost destroyed the Senator, and he feared this coming day all the more. His thoughts were distracted by a flash of lightning, and he looked out onto a suddenly illuminated front gate and beyond. Two riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl. His visitors were seen as the security at the gate greeted them.
“Yes sir, Mr. West,” then looking toward the other agent, “and Mr. Gordon, if you will both please follow the path toward the front door, there will be a man to greet you there. Sorry about the conditions tonight.”
West surveyed the young man who addressed he and his partner, and instantly had formed a positive opinion of him as he answered, “Thank you. And I apologize if we made you spend any more time outside than you normally would while you waited on us. We had hoped to be here at least an hour earlier, but we aren’t familiar with this part of Minnesota.” West and Gordon tipped their rain soaked hats at the security team led by young Mr. Jones as they passed through. Mr. Jones and his team reciprocated with a tip of their hats and the conversations between all ended as the sounds of wind and thunder drowned out any additional attempts at speaking to anyone other than the person immediately next to you. Mr. Jones yelled at one of his men, “Something is happening here, but I don’t know what it is.” West and Gordon looked at each other as they continued their trek toward the mansion. They knew their mission was serious, and would not have put up with the bad elements and long ride they just dealt with if not for the dire nature of the Senator’s plea to President Grant. Still, West looked at Gordon and laughed at his water logged body, and Gordon immediately picking up on his partner’s thoughts did exactly the same. “Jim, I bet we’ll be quite a sight for the Senator to set his eyes upon,” Gordon commented while continuing to laugh.
“Truer words have not been spoken, Artie,” West laughed.
The quarter mile trip from front gate to front door complete, they each dismounted their horses and approached the two large black doors, not needing to knock as an attendant inside silently opened the doors and ushered them inside. They entered as two men charged up from the stables, each responsible for one of the agent’s horses. They quickly whisked them away as West and Gordon found themselves inside the mansion, with the same attendant doing all he could to close out the horrible elements as he closed the doors. He was a little man, perhaps only slightly taller than five feet, and thin to the point of appearing sickly, but he made up for these apparent deficiencies by rapidly buzzing from side to side, circling the two visitors as if he were a honey bee flying from flower to flower, doing all he could to remove their outer garments and brushing off each of their shoulders and backs of any water that had soaked through their coats. He moved so fast that every time Gordon attempted to thank him, he was back to working on West, and when West tried the same he was back to working on Gordon. When Gordon finally got a good look at the man, he noticed that one of his eyes was missing, and that a large scar traveled downward from the top of his hairline to the point of his chin, passing through the missing eye and also changing the shape of his lower lip somewhat. He dressed immaculately in a black suit and starched white shirt, and before he could again be thanked he disappeared around the corner, only reappearing seconds later with a bevy of large white cotton towels.
“My good man,” Gordon ejaculated, “please don’t go to so much trouble on account of us. We are quite fine, now that we are inside.”
The little man looked up at Gordon, then at West, then immediately announced that his master was expecting them upstairs. “Gentlemen,” he continued, “may I excuse myself for one moment and run upstairs to inform the master that his guests are here. He has been so anxious these last few days.” Without giving Gordon or West a chance to respond, his little legs propelled his little body up the stairs to the left and he soon was out of their sight.
Gordon laughed, “Jim, if our horses had that much energy we would have already come and gone from the Senator’s house.”
West smiled, “He certainly is a very busy little man, isn’t he. Nasty looking scar though,” he became a bit more serious, “wonder how that happened?”
“Yes, I noticed. I guess we’ll never know.” Then with a glance to his left, “Here he comes again,” then more quietly, “Jim, did you ever feel like a bowling pin about to be knocked over by the ball?” They both smiled.
“Gentlemen, please follow me, my master is quite anxious to have you join him. May we get you something to eat or drink,” said while looking back and down to the two agents as he ascended the staircase ahead of them, “our cook is at your service.”
As West and Gordon reached the top of the stairs, they looked at each other, and decided perhaps only a drink was needed, no food. “Perhaps just something warm to drink,” West requested. “Coffee would be fantastic but tea will do as well.”
“Certainly, certainly,” he rapidly responded as he opened the door to the study and shoved the two men inside. “May I present Mr. West and Mr. Gordon, sir,” said while bowing to Senator Brown. “They request coffee and I will have Hattie replenish what must be only warm coffee at this point,” said as he absconded the silver platter and flew out the room.
Gordon sheepishly looked up, smiling at the owner of the house, and the employer of the aforementioned nervous butler. “He’s very…efficient, isn’t he,” said while smiling at the Senator.
“Yes, Mr. Gordon, he is. Mr. Zimmerman is somewhat eccentric, but very…as you say…efficient. But better to have a joker than a thief for a butler, gentlemen. May I introduce myself, I am Senator Hollis Brown, your humble servant,” and with this last comment the Senator crossed the better half of the room in three long strides and offered his hand to West and Gordon, who reciprocated.
“Senator Brown,” West said, “the President wanted us to come immediately to your residence. He did not fill us in, but we hope you will. We noticed the heavy security, is that common…or has it been increased?”
The Senator looked away momentarily from the two agents, glancing out the window. “The security…yes…” commented the Senator as he surveyed some of the members of his team still outside in the driving rain, “I have always had protection, but not usually this much.”
“Have you been threatened in some way?” a concerned Gordon asked.
“Well, gentlemen, I am supposed to die tonight,” glancing at the clock hanging on the wall, “at least some time after midnight, so I have a few more hours I suppose.”
“What? What are you talking about, Senator?” West inquired.
“Gentlemen, it is 9:12. Let me send word to my children that we have guests. I want everybody included in this,” he said as the door reopened and the fast moving butler entered with hot coffee. “Mr. Zimmerman, let my children know that I wish to meet them all downstairs at 11:00. At the dining room table, please.”
“Yes sir,” he answered simultaneous to exiting the study.
“Gentlemen, I know your ride was long and tiresome, please allow me to show you to your rooms. I think it best if you are both refreshed when we next speak. Go ahead, you can bring your refreshments with you. This way please.”
“But sir,” Gordon interrupted, “don’t you think it would be better to talk now. Honestly, Jim and I are fine. I mean, we road all this way…”
“Thank you, but I have made up my mind. I don’t want to explain this twice. Give my children a chance to collect their thoughts and prepare for a long evening of hearing a very miserable story. Again, thank you for coming, but first I must show you to your rooms. Mr. Zimmerman will call on you both at 10:55. This way please.”
With this comment the Senator escorted a very confused pair of federal agents down the long hallway from the study to a few of the many unoccupied rooms of the house. Entering the first, he again spoke. “Mr. Gordon, there is a blazing fire to warm yourself beside, and the bed is very comfortable. I will see you at 11:00.” This comment was made as a man who is used to giving orders speaks, leaving no room for a plea on behalf of Gordon to change the mind of the Senator.
“11:00 it will be sir,” Gordon acquiesced as he slid past the large man, who closed the door upon him, but as he was closing it said, “Mr. Gordon, remember, he not busy being born is busy dying.” And with that Gordon found himself inside the room.
“Mr. West, we have a nice room next to Mr. Gordon’s. I hope you are comfortable, and can get some rest. You will be sent for at 10:55. Good evening sir.”
With that, the Senator closed the door upon West, who had more questions than answers at this point, but accepted the fact that the Senator had decided that all would be explained at 11:00 and there was no further need to challenge that. West looked around the large, warm room. A fireplace also burned magnificently in this room, and the bed looked comfortable, and since he was tired, he removed his gun belt and laid down upon the king size bed. He tried to close his eyes, but could not turn his mind off, and his imagination ran rampant with questions and possible answers as to why he and Artie were sent here by President Grant. Brown was an important Republican senator, and he served a vital role in the support of the Grant Administration and their hopes for re-election. Brown had a stellar resume, and had served in country well as a businessman, a Union officer, a congressman, and now as a senator. They had received a message directly from the President, demanding that they immediately stop whatever they were doing and head directly to the Senator’s house in Minnesota. They were only told that it was a dire emergency and that they were to do whatever the Senator asked them to do. Neither man had the foggiest idea why he was here tonight. West began to doze off, but his eyes opened when he thought he heard a faint scream outside. He jumped up and charged toward the window looking down upon the long walkway they had traversed earlier. A bolt of lightning showed him what he thought was a figure…a woman…being dragged away, off to the left side of the house, behind a large group of walnut trees that shook with the wind and rain. Just then Gordon burst into West’s room…
“Jim, did you see that,” obviously Gordon heard the same scream and duplicated West’s trek to the window, “off by the trees. It looked like a young girl being dragged away.”
“Yes! Let’s go!” West popped open the window, with Gordon at his side, and with derringer in hand attached a metal arrowhead and fired into a nearby tree trunk, a thin metal wire trailing behind the arrowhead. He secured the line around the heavy bedpost, and the two agents slid down into the wet, rain soaked yard. West dropped off and began running in the direction the girl vanished, with Gordon circling around the nest of walnut trees. Repeated flashes of lightning assisted both agents, but they only succeeded in finding each other. No trace of any human could be found. The open area around the trees led to a ten foot stone wall, and the security team still patrolled the gate area, with their attentions focused on the road outside of the property, not inside. The sounds of thunder and the howling wind had masked the woman’s scream from the guards, and West and Gordon eventually gave up their search, certain that no one could have escaped their joint efforts.
At 10:55 West heard a knock on Gordon’s door, then seconds later the same nervous tapping upon his door. “Mr. West, Senator Brown is expecting you downstairs. I hope you were able to rest somewhat. Thank you sir.” And with that rapid monologue Mr. Zimmerman fled down the hallway and then the staircase, once again planting himself near his master.
West entered the hallway, not at all rested, and met Gordon who was emerging from his room. “Get any rest?” West asked a still somewhat damp looking Gordon, who stared at him with his dark eyes and smirked, “At least you look drier than I do.”
“It just shows more on grey than blue, that’s all. I could have used a few more minutes in front of that fire, that would have done the trick.”
Each man had left their respective bedroom with their gun belts once again securely strapped to their sides, and they walked down the staircase, side by side with their eyes surveying everything around them. As they reached the bottom of the staircase, they instinctively turned right, passing by the front doors and proceeded in the direction of the voices. They passed through one, then another door, and found themselves in a burgundy red room, filled with a massive cherry wood table that could easily seat sixteen. The top of the table was ornamented with five huge silver candle holders with large white candles ablaze, another somewhat larger coffee and tea service, also silver, and orchids placed in three distinct areas of the table, all in lead crystal holders. That took care of the top of the table, as for the sides, it was decorated with what appeared to be the Brown children, three men and two women. West and Gordon were greeted with looks of disgust as they entered, and they smiled but said nothing, as their host, the Senator, quickly followed them and closed the door behind as he entered. The three sons immediately leapt to attention, and the girls looked downward and away, avoiding eye contact with their father. The servants were nowhere in sight, but they had left the table filled with the finest china and more coffee, tea and cookies and chocolate than an army could consume. Gordon also noticed a very well stocked bar off to the side, so he imagined the doors would be shut for some time without anybody intruding upon their meeting.
“Gentlemen…and ladies,” looking at his daughters disappointingly, “I am so pleased everybody could make it. Thank you all for being prompt. May I introduce Mr. James West and his partner Mr. Artemus Gordon.” The sons had sat down after their father had entered, and did not bother to stand up for West and Gordon. “Mr. West, Mr. Gordon…my children,” said as the Senator waved his right hand around the table, encircling all present in a phantom embrace, perhaps the only type that was ever applied in this family. “Mr. West and Mr. Gordon are agents with the Secret Service, and I asked President Grant to send them here tonight,” continued the Senator, to no one in particular, but to everyone present. It seemed to West and Gordon that the Senator was even introducing them to themselves. “Please Mr. West, and you Mr. Gordon, take a seat. They won’t bite.”
As Gordon sat next to the eldest daughter she mockingly snapped her upper and lower mandibles together, out of sight of her father. West sat next to the youngest, and she surveyed the handsome man as he sat.
“Senator,” Gordon spoke up, “they know who we are,” visually scanning the rooms occupants, “but we don’t know who they are yet. Would you be so kind?”
“Yes, yes…” looking at the grandfather clock that split the dark red wall in half, “certainly. On your left, Mr. Gordon, my older daughter, Lily.”
“Delighted,” she managed to say without smiling or in fact showing any emotion at all.
Gordon looked at West, and slightly shrugged his shoulders, conveying his thoughts that at least she didn’t snap her teeth at him again.
“My youngest daughter, Rosemary,” motioning toward the beauty seated by West, who also showed no emotion, but fluttered her long black eyelashes at both strangers.
“My three boys,” the Senator first pointed at the larger of the three, seated to Lily’s right, “Dylan,” who slowly nodded his head, “Wilbury,” a slightly smaller man, immaculately dressed, who also acknowledged his presence with a nod, “and Jack, or as we call him ‘the Jack of Hearts’, isn’t that right, son,” the Senator smiled at the boy, obviously his favorite, or was he.
“Senator,” Gordon again spoke up, “what’s this all about. Now, Mr. West and I have been here almost two hours, and I believe I can speak for both of us and say that we know nothing more about the goings on here than we did when we arrived,” looking at West, who slightly nodded his head approvingly, “we’re very happy to meet your children, but can you please explain why the President had us sent all the way to Minnesota.”
“Yes,” deep in thought, looking again at the clock, “let me tell you a story I wish could have remained private, a family’s personal shame,” again thinking introspectively.
“Senator,” West interrupted, “before you start, is anybody missing? I mean, a young girl perhaps. Are there more family members in the house?”
“Certainly. My three boys are married, their spouses are in their quarters. Why do you ask?”
“Does one of the girls,” looking around at the men, “does one of your wives have long blonde hair, medium height, I believe a purple scarf, tangled up in blue, I believe a blue petticoat that the scarf was intertwined with?”
“How do you know what my wife is wearing?” Wilbury stood up, “she hasn’t been out of her room since we finished our evening meal.”
“Sit down, sit down,” the Senator admonished his son. “Well, Mr. West, why do you bring up the clothing and hair style of my daughter-in-law Johanna?”
“Because I saw that woman, less than an hour ago, as she walked outside and was abducted by,” he paused, “by somebody…or something…and they disappeared in the woods inside the wall of your compound.”
“Nonsense!” blurted out Wilbury, once again rising to his feet. “Just what are you talking about?” Pointing his index finger at West, who checked his temper and looked past Wilbury and continued his conversation with the Senator.
“I saw his wife, and somebody grabbed her and dragged her away. My partner saw it too,” an angry West countered.
“This fool’s seeing visions of Johanna walking around, in the rain yet, and I know for a fact she is sound asleep in her bed. What worthless tripe,” Wilbury said as he slouched back into his chair.
“Don’t sit down!” his father yelled. “Go upstairs and bring Johanna here. Now!”
Wilbury saw the fire in his father’s eyes, and immediately slinked out of the room.
“Now as I was saying, a family’s shame, and it will be the death of all of us tonight, unless I can prevent it,” a defeated looking Senator Brown continued.
“Mr. West, and Mr. Gordon, I now have five children, as you have seen. But there was a sixth, and he was my pride and joy. My son Jakob died two years ago, on his nineteenth birthday. He was the class of this lot,” he disappointingly looked around, “and they know it. He was due to inherit everything when I passed away, but because of an unfortunate accident,” he looked down at the floor, “I lost the future hope of this family. My three other sons are worthless, as are their sisters,” Gordon and West looked uncomfortably at each other, “Jakob was the future, and now he is gone. But,” he slowed down his speech, choosing his words very carefully, “he has returned…last year…and he will return again this year, taking all who remain with him, on the day he would have come of age.”
“Senator,” a puzzled Gordon asked, “you mean your ‘dead’ son returned last year? And he’s coming back?” He smiled slyly at West.
“It’s not a joke, Mr. Gordon…or Mr. West,” as he looked at that gentleman as well, “I can attest to that.”
“But if it is true,” West countered, “why would he want to hurt family members, since it was an accident…it was an accident, wasn’t it Senator?”
All eyes looked downward, with no verbal response, as the clock began to strike twelve.
“Senator!” Gordon shouted. “How did your son die?”
The Senator looked at the clock as the chimes continued, completely tuning out all sounds save those emanating from the mahogany clock.
“Senator!” West yelled. “What happened two years ago? Tell us, please.”
“Where’s Wilbury?” Gordon asked. “He hasn’t returned. He should have been back ten minutes ago at least.”
The clock finished striking twelve. The thunder roared out a warning, louder than anything prior. Lightning struck the grouping of walnut trees, splitting one and setting fire to it. Rosemary screamed.
“Artie, go and check on Wilbury,” West said. “Dylan, go with Mr. Gordon…now!” West glared at the large man as he demanded he respond. He immediately joined Gordon and they left the Senator with Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, together with West.
The thunder again roared and the lightning tore apart the sky. The bolt struck the metal gate, tossing the security team to the ground, killing or severely injuring all.
“Senator,” West said as he stood and grabbed the patriarch by his coat, “if Mr. Gordon and I are to help you and your family, tell me what happened two years ago, and why Jakob would want to see his father and siblings dead.”
The Senator looked into West’s eyes, tears welling in his own, and a broken and shaken voice blurted out, “His brothers killed him, and covered it up as a hunting accident. His sisters and I knew better, but we went along with it, after all, it was already done, there was no way to bring him back…but he did come back, last year. He walked right through the front door, explained that we had one year to make things right, to admit he had been killed, and to have the guilty party stand trial. I…was…so…worried, about losing another son, no matter what I thought of them, they were my flesh and blood, and I didn’t want to lose them, to further tear apart my family. The shame, I guess I feared that more than anything else…my reputation would have been tarnished, all I had ever worked for, because I knowingly allowed them,” he bitterly looked at the three remaining children, “to kill their sibling to prevent the most qualified member of their clan to take charge of everything I had built up over the years.”
“What do you mean he walked right through the front door, he is dead, isn’t he?” West asked.
“His spirit. I see, you are not a believer. But it ‘did’ happen, whatever you think. And we have only allowed the year to slowly fritter away, slowly forgetting the horror of the night one year ago. But now,” looking around at the fear on his children’s faces, “but now we remember, don’t we.”
The doors opened and everyone jumped, with West pulling his gun, then putting it away as he saw his partner returning alone.
“There’s no sign of anyone in the house, Jim.”
“No,” Gordon looked perplexed as he shook his head. “I couldn’t even find any of the staff.”
Before the doors of the dining room were closed, the two large black doors that were the main entrance of the home both burst open, and in addition to the violent wind and rain, there were also two yellow and red eyes, staring through the opening, but partially masked by the darkness. A flash of lightning revealed a lifeless body, bereft of any signs that it was once human, and it stood at the entrance of the house, increasing in size as it gained more and more strength. West and Gordon instantly drew their weapons and unloaded their bullets into the specter, as it continued to enlarge and engulf the entire opening of the two doors, unfazed by the twelve bullets. West tossed a grenade at the apparition, which again ignored everything except the Senator and his three remaining children. It grew to an enormous size as its arms extended deep into the house, with hands now as large as the body of a grown man. West and Gordon valiantly attacked the beast, but it simply swatted them away, knocking them both down. It then grabbed Senator Brown in one hand, and with the other grabbed the other three. All West and Gordon could see were the hands of the monster, it had grown so large, and the people hidden within their clutches were pulled out of the house, with the doors violently swinging shut as it retreated. West and Gordon leapt to their feet and charged the doors, pulling them open, but seeing nothing but the darkness. They noticed that the rain had slowed, and would hear thunder no more this night, nor see lightning. They looked at each other, both shocked and unbelieving of what they had just witnessed.
“Artie,” West said, breaking the silence. “Let’s check the guards at the gate.”
With that, the two agents hurried down the path, unfortunately finding the four members of the security team had all been killed.
“Artie, do you believe it all happened?” West asked as they finished a lovely meal on board their train, headed back to Washington.
“Jim,” a serious Gordon said, “I saw it, you saw it, we’ve got the bruises to prove to ourselves that it happened, the Senator’s body was found lying on top of the grave of his son, almost as if his dead son had attempted to physically pull him into the ground. The other family members were also killed, their bodies scattered about the same cemetery. The security team is all dead. The poor maid and butler are dead. The house collapsed upon itself and is completely level with the ground. Doing a little research I found out that Jakob Brown’s death would have been investigated if an important man like the Senator hadn’t spoken up for it being an accident. Do I believe it happened? No…Jim, I don’t believe one bit of it, but the Governor of Minnesota has a vacancy to fill in the United States Senate, just the same.”
With that Artemus Gordon silently looked at the wine glass he held in his hand, and James West decided that no more questions needed to be asked tonight.