Chapter 6 – The Outlaw Honey Moses and
THE PASSOVER BANK
When Honey Moses and Kate Grody and Rex Ramsey arrived in the town of Passover there was already big trouble. They could see the dust of turmoil from a mile out. The wagons that were still arriving from all of the territory banks were being pelted by the gauntlet of angry townspeople. Some wagons arrived with bullet holes. One arrived with the top burned black. One arrived with a wounded man slumped riding shotgun.
With their cargoes of people’s money that “didn’t exist anymore” due to the banks’ land speculation failures, the wagons gathered at the Passover Territory Bank. It was beginning to look like the bankers’ Alamo.
The poorest townspeople who had “lost” everything just stayed in the streets, men raging, women cursing, children crying. Children threw rocks with their parent’s blessing. Women shook fists and men shook rifles. Most citizens were still too civilized to do much more. Yet.
The wagoners were just citizens of the territory who had been contracted to haul the “assets”. It was a job “to be thankful for” they couldn’t help thinking. Those wagoners stood nervously by their wagons, watching their fellow citizens as the cargo of mostly paper cash and some gold and some silver was unloaded into the Passover Territory Bank. It was the biggest and the sturdiest building in Passover, supposedly representing the security and stability of the banking system.
But now, along with that damned notion of speculation credit, the banking system had turned into straw and was blowing away eastward with the dust. The Big Bad Wolf was at the vault and the Little Piggy banker men were going wee-wee-wee in their pants from inside the Passover Territory Bank. The Dunbar, Austin, & Taylor Security Company kept a semblance of order around the bank with the intimidation supplied by armed men, hired citizens, on the rooftop. The pot was being stirred with a gun to keep it from boiling over. So far.
The “assets that didn’t exist anymore” were going to be hauled east to the Main Branch of the Eastern Sovereign Bank. The U.S. Government had refused to provide the U.S. Army to transport those “assets”. The President’s advisors knew that there would be big trouble for sure and they did not want the national newspapers full of civilians being shot by soldiers. Instead, the Dunbar, Austin, & Taylor Security Company had been contracted to deliver. Any civilian deaths would come out of their commission.
Honey Moses observed, “Dunbar, Austin, & Taylor must have one hell of a plan to make it out of here.”
Rex Ramsey said, “Honey, you know, you may be right, they just might be convinced that they need to hire me after all.”
For the first time Honey Moses replied a little unsure, looking at all the angry citizens, “This is going to be riskier than I thought, Rex.” Her golden eyes waxed and waned.
Kate Grody growled, “C’mon, let’s get us some spiritous drinks and calm down. We can figure out how to approach Dunbar once the dust is out of our mouths. That saloon there is packed. Someone will know something.”
Honey, Rex, and Kate left their horses boarded at Jacob’s Livery Stable and then stepped apart at different paces through the currents of people, on toward The Vinegarroon Saloon. Honey Moses’ plan had begun.
The The Vinegarroon Saloon was big, dark, and crowded, but as soon as his eyes adjusted Rex Ramsey recognized Jubilee Dunbar, Clifford Austin, and Deuce Taylor sitting playing cards with three strangers. Dunbar, Austin, and Taylor were dressed incognito for their own safety, and for overhearing just exactly what the people of Passover were saying and maybe planning. They were incognito to everyone except Rex Ramsey.
Rex Ramsey stood quietly adjacent to the poker table, waiting for his chance to speak surreptitiously to Jubilee Dunbar, the brains of Dunbar, Austin, & Taylor. If Jubilee had recognized Rex he never let on. Jubilee Dunbar was sly.
Rex could see that they were playing that new kind of poker they called Texas Hold ’Em. Jubilee had taught the game to Rex a time ago, in fact on their pursuit of the renegade shaman woman Chonkusha. Rex knew that in Texas Hold ’Em the two cards you held face-down were the only cards that set you apart from the other players. Face-up cards were community cards. You needed to know what those cards could mean to your rivals as well as what they mean to you. You especially needed to keep your eyes open for your rivals’ straight and flush chances.
Rex looked up to see Kate Grody walking in. Now, Kate Grody was a big boned gal and when she went riding she wore men’s clothes that got stretched in all the right places. And so now she kind of stretched out the men’s eyes, and some women’s eyes too, as she walked right on through to a table in the far corner.
Honey Moses, ruffle-skirted and with a fine lace bonnet, glided in the vacuum of attention that Kate Grody had caused. Barely noticed, she hid her flashing gold eyes under a demurely averted gaze.
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