October 23, 1865
Jacob's eyes flashed open as the the train hissed to a stop. He lifted the brim of his dusty brown hat and cold, blue eyes glanced out the train's window. Terlingua, the sign outside read, and behind it a small town bordered by desert and mountains under a clear blue sky. Jacob sat up, it had been a long journey from home, but this was it, as far west as he could get on his dime. He stood up from the wooden bench, then exited the train with others who were getting off. Instantly the heat hit him. It wasn't a heat like he was used to. This was a dry heat that about sucked the breath from his lungs. He took a few deep breaths and stepped on to the wooden platform, looking around. The town was a mining town, that much he could tell. It seemed to be full of whites, blacks, and Mexicans alike. It was strange, seeing all these races mixed together, but it was something he'd have to get used to if he wanted to make this his new home. He stepped off the platform and onto the dusty road. He began walking, unsure of where to go at first. He went down the main street of town, people watching him porches, other's shooting him unnerving glances as they passed by. Eventually he came to a building that seemed to be the main hub for the townsfolk. The Saloon.
Jacob stepped up onto the wrap-around porch of the saloon and pushed open the shutter doors. Piano music and and the chatter of people talking filled the air. He went almost unnoticed with all noise as he walked over to the bar and sat down, not looking at any people as he leaned on the counter. He didn't have any money, but figured he'd try and get a feel for the people, maybe ask around for work, but before he could do that, he heard a voice from behind. A voice with a thick Irish accent.
"You ain't from here are ya, boyo?"
Jacob turned to face the man. He had brown hair that was down to his shoulders, green eyes, and a bowler hat atop his head. He wore a black duster-coat that had definitely seen better days.
"I asked ya question, boyo. Are you def or just rude?", The Irishman said and leaned down a little.
"No, I ain't from around here. What's it to ya?", Jacob responded, his voice filled with a southern accent.
"One of 'dem Greybacks... Should have guessed. You guys couldn't defend your homeland so you've come to ruin ours."
Jacob stood up, now eye level with the man, "Listen here, 'boyo', I'm not lookin' for trouble. So just walk away."
"Oh, look who's all tough. Why don't ya take your good 'fer nothin' ass and get out of my town."
"Your town? I don't see your name on it, pal. I'm here for the same reason everyone else is. To make a life for myself."
"We don't what your kind here, Greyback. Now leave, before I make ya.", the Irishman pulled his duster back, reviling a volcanic pistol on his hip.
Jacob instinctively pulled out his revolver, aiming it at the head of the head of the Irishman, cocking the hammer back with an audible CLICK. At this, several other men stood up from a nearby table and pulled out their revolvers, but kept them lowered, The whole saloon went silent.
"Just like a Greyback... Always try'n to start sometin'." The Irishman said with a straight face. "Alright, down boys." He motions to the others. "No need waste bullets on filth like this." He adjusts his hat. "Let's take our leave lads the air in here smells of shit anyways... Come on." He turns and leaves the saloon with the rest of the men following him.
After a few minutes the saloon was back to normal and Jacob sat back down, holstering his six-shooter. A man in a white rawhide hat sat down next to Jacob, putting a few coins on the table and telling the bar tender to pour two shots of whiskey. The man catches Jacob's attention when he slides one of the shots of whiskey in front of him. Jacob looks up, slightly confused, but his eyes are immediately drawn to the metal star on the man's chest.
"Marshal Collins." The man says and offers a handshake.
"Jacob Vanderson." Jacob says and shakes the Marshal's hand.
"Saw your little argument from across the bar. I've got to say that you've got a big pair on you, boy. Very few people stand up to Aengus Millan like that."
"I didn't mean to start nothin' in your town, Marshal."
The Marshal laughs and drinks his shot of whiskey. "You didn't start nothin' that wasn't already going. Aengus and his gang have been terrorizing the townsfolk for years. People just usually give him what he wants and try to not upset him."
"Not to be rude, Marshal, but ain't it your job to deal with folks like that?"
" I Wish I could, Mr. Vanderson. Wish I could. He's been a thorn in my side for a while, but he's got a lot of gang members. What you saw, was just a few compared to what he has up in the mountains."
"Sounds like a cowered if you ask me."
"Damn right he is, but he's a cowered with influence, and that I can't change.... But you, Mr. Vanderson. You might be able to help."
"Marshal, I don't think I'd have much influence around here." Jacob says as he motions to the ragged grey coat he wore.
"Hey, I have nothing against you greybacks. You did what you had to do. Be it for honor or other means." The Marshal stands up as Jacob drinks his shot of whiskey. "Stop by my office tomorrow." He turns and starts to walk away, but not before stopping and looking back at Jacob with a slight slime. "Oh, and Welcome to Terlingua, Mr. Vanderson."
To Be Continued