The musings and machinations of the most astute Dr Brendon.
In my talks with the good folk of Sweetwater, some rather alarming news reached my ears.
I heard that our fellow railroad pioneers, the ATSF, had suffered from some major setbacks. These seemed to be deliberate in nature, and whilst I have no reports of casualties, such was the scale that some are to be expected. This is a most unfortunate turn of events, and we of the Union Pacific Railroad Company will stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers, the ATSF, as we confront whomsoever seeks to unduly profit from our labours.
My suspicions are based upon the pattern of the attacks, which match perfectly with previous experiences I have had in the railroad business. Underhanded and dastardly folk band together to strike at our valuable yet exposed infrastructure, knowing they can disrupt it enough to heavily impact our profits. Demands for money are then made, and such attacks do not stop until the perpetrators are paid off or brought to justice. Such is the value of our labours that even their exorbitant demands are cheaper than the lost profits. Due to this, some men of less moral fibre than myself are prone to paying their demands.
And so I fear is the case with the ATSF, for the attacks upon them are now observed to have come to an abrupt stop. Regrettably, despite our desire for solidarity, it seems that it falls to me to defend both our companies against these jackals. However, even if they will not help themselves, I will help them, in the spirit of brotherhood on which our great nation is founded.
Sure enough, having extorted their bounty from their first victims, the crooks rolled into Sweetwater, intent on repeating their crime. And what a group they were. Heavily armed, well supplied, and seeming to act with a competence born of long years working together. Surely they have the stains of many past and horrible crimes upon their souls. Yet for all their seeming professionalism, they were not able to act up to even their flimsy cover story, Peter Colt seeing through their ruse in minutes.
As I expected, although I must admit somewhat sooner than I had anticipated, they struck their first blow. They did this with the intent of proving they have the means and will to carry out the acts they will shortly threaten. Their next step will be to send to me a first demand for ransom to be paid. If I attempt to pay it they will no doubt not meet to collect, and instead prey upon my weakness and increase the amount they demand. But I am not weak, and I will bring them down!
In order to do this, some investigation will be needed. Sheriff Buck, once he has calmed down from the rage which attacks against those he holds dear inspire in him, will be key to this. He will be assisted by both Peter Colt and Alexander Weibe, who will investigate the ATSF’s reports of sabotage. Lucas has already obtained the necessary permissions from the county sheriff to carry out this investigation. I have every confidence that Peter will find that the ATSF’s machinery is in full working order, ruling out the impossibility of this being the cause of their problems. Meanwhile Alexander will go through their books where I am sure that he will find no record of this band of so called surveyors on their payroll, but will find at least one large cash payment which is not properly accounted for. If we are lucky he or Lucas will find further evidence linking this cash payment to the culprits. Sadly, since they previously lacked the backbone to stand up to these low-lifes, I do not expect them to develop this after they have paid them off.
Whilst this is going on, Liam will busy himself doing what he can to protect Sweetwater and our operations from further attacks, whilst Dr Rackworth puts his considerable talents to use tending to the injured survivors of the recent attack.
Once Lucas and his deputies return with their evidence, and I hand over the inevitable blackmail note, it should be a simple matter of his presenting this evidence to the county sheriff who’s duty it will then be to round up a posse and wipe out these vermin.
As mayor it is my duty to hold my people together and bolster their will in these difficult times. If I have to fund their medical treatment and every member of the posse myself, I will do it, such is my determination to avenge the wrong that has been done to them!