I wake to the noisy and busy streets of a large number of miners and prospectors. I manage to strike up enough conversation that they are here on their way to coyote country to take Ghost rock. I don’t think it will end well for anybody involved.
Bradick hires me for a day for $100 to guard a shipment while Bradick guards it on the way to Zimmerman’s warehouse. Easy job, and I get a peak inside to see what I was guarding. I looked, and I was surprised. I don’t know how they work, but Zimmerman has automotons! I think a German word that fits is “robots.” Steel, steam-powered machines, very similar to a much larger one we encountered on our first trip to Dodge City. That one had a corpse inside, but I wonder what is inside these new robots.
Back at the Longbranch, JD convinces me and Boca to steal bullets from Zimmerman so a profit can be made. I was against it at first, but Boca is surprisingly pursuasive. That is, after we calmed him down. He got in a shoot-out with the Shadow Man, and collected the bounty. However, it appears this is the very same “Magic-Man” that killed Boca several years ago, and possesses bodies. His current vessel is Luke Short. That can’t end well, but JD says he will handle it. He’s free to it, there’s nothing I can do about it.
To rob Zimmerman’s warehouse, Boca and I had to figure out how to trick or convince Bradick to let us do it, since he was sitting guard that night, a job I previously refused. We settle on me taking Bradick’s shift for him, and conveniently only guarding the robots, not the bullets. Boca digs a hole behind some crates near the wall, but I didn’t notice there were prospectors around, so we were almost mugged. We fended them off, mostly because Boca threatened to shoot them, but then we had a new problem: witnesses. I knocked them out best I could, Boca hit me in the face to give me a black eye, and in the morning when Bradick comes back, I say that I was jumped, and was only able to capture three of them before they ran away with several different kinds of merchandise. I remind him that I was guarding the robots, and those are still intact. As I stood there lying to his face, I got the feeling that he knew something was up, but maybe he thought I was just embarrassed at my “failure” and deciding to just forget about it. Either way, Boca and I were successful, and lucky for us, too.
The next morning a fellow Chinese comes to my door and tells me he and several other Chinese were beaten by Freedmen who thought they were stealing their jobs. He asks for training in Kungfu, and I accept. I now have 30 Chinese men willing to fight as I do, but now I need a place to do it. I wonder, would others be willing to learn the skills? Many people are downtrodden and abused and bullied, I think if I extended my training to the whole city, I would be very pleased with the number that shows up. But that will have to wait.
The town council has brought in these robots from Deseret Industries to break the Freedmen’s strike, for less than paying a man. That’s not the worst, if a Freedman or colored goes on strike, the council is requiring a businessman must hire a robot to replace them. I don’t like this at all. My fellow Chinese are beat up for nothing, colored people work for a fraction of the money white people earn, and now they have no choice to keep working. This town council is a band of bullies. I think sabotage is the plan of the day.