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Alaskan Gambler

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Prologue

1887
It was a cold and snowy night in Alaska.
In the town of Dawson it sounded like someone was scratching at the window but it was actually the wind driven sleet.
Inside the Last Chance INN there was a mad house, a gambler from the states named Lucas Taylor had arrived and was giving the sourdoughs a run for their money.
Just as Lucas had beaten another sourdough, the loser jumped across the table and grabbed Lucas’ hand then reached inside his sleeve to reveal hidden cards !
“You low down dirty dog, how dare you cheat me?”
As the fight came to blows, Lucas reached behind his head and picked up a lantern. He broke it over the loser’s head and accidently set the poker table on fire.
Before the fire got out of hand, the bartender put it out; and before anyone knew it, Lucas Taylor was gone, just like the white ptarmigan you saw a second ago, is gone in a sea of snow.
“I can’t believe that man cheated me,” said David Blake.
“If I recollect, he beat everybody he played with.”
Another local said, “I lost some big money to that cheat. What are we waiting here for? We need to get our money back.”
Luckily one of the people who were cheated owned a newspaper and 1,000 copies of a wanted notice were made. Half were sent to Skagway, Alaska.


Part One

Far away in the town of Skagway, a young man by the name of Kert Johnson had arrived from the states and was buying his outfit at the Matt Johnson Klondike Store. Kert’s plan was to buy his outfit in Skagway then scale it up the Chilkoot Pass, wait out the winter at Lake Bennett, then boat to the town of Dawson. A typical outfit for Klondikers would be:
2 suits heavy knit underwear
6 pairs wool socks
1 pairs heavy moccasins
2 pairs German stockings
2 heavy flannel overshirts
1 heavy woolen sweater
1 pair overalls
2 pairs 12-lb. blankets
1 waterproof blanket
1 dozen bandana handkerchiefs
1 stiff brim cowboy hat
1 pair hip rubber boots
1 pair prospectors' high land boots
1 mackinaw, coat, pants, shirt
1 pair heavy buck mitts, lined
1 pair unlined leather gloves
1 duck coat, pants, vest
6 towels
1 pocket matchbox, buttons, needles and thread comb, mirror, toothbrush
etc. mosquito netting/1 dunnage bag
1 sleeping bag/medicine chest
pack saddles, complete horses
flat sleighs
100 lbs. navy beans
150 lbs. bacon
400 lbs. flour
40 lbs. rolled oats
20 lbs. corn meal
10 lbs. rice
25 lbs. sugar
10 lbs. tea
20 lbs. coffee
10 lbs. baking powder
20 lbs. salt
1 lb. pepper
2 lbs. baking soda
1/2 lb. mustard
1/4 lb. vinegar
2 doz. condensed milk
20 lbs. evaporated potatoes
5 lbs. evaporated onions
6 tins/4 oz. extract beef
75 lbs. evaporated fruits
4 pkgs. yeast cakes
20 lbs. candles
1 pkg. tin matches
6 cakes borax
6 lbs. laundry soap
1/2 lb. ground ginger
25 lbs. hard tack
1 lb. citric acid
2 bottles Jamaica ginger
He knew that this would run about $500 and that was all he had, so he would try to make money whenever he could, whether it was tending to somebody’s horses or helping someone get their outfit across a stream.



As he was walking down Skagway’s Main Street, he saw a poster with a cash money prize. That read:
Wanted
Gambler by the name of Lucas Taylor. Wanted for cheating and presumed dangerous
Black hair, Brown eyes, height: 5’ 8’’ Cash money reward
At that moment he knew that he would keep his eyes open for anyone who fit that description.
Back in Dawson, Lucas was making his getaway just like a rabbit running away from the all seeing eyes of a snowy owl. He heard about a man who was leaving today to go back to Skagway.
Lucas spent the next four hours looking for him at the harbor but did not find him therefore, he spent the night hiding on a boat and waiting until the morning to resume looking.
That night as Lucas Taylor and Kert Johnson slept, little did they know that their fates were intertwined.


Part Two
Two whole months later, Lucas and Kert happened to appear on Lake Bennett at the same time. Nobody accept Kert remembered the wanted poster and he knew that if he wanted to have the cash money reward all to himself that he would have to apprehend him be himself. Kert started to think and before a few minutes he had made up a good plan. Kert would buy a pistol from somebody he knew and then when Lucas would be looking for a place to stay the night Kert Would offer his and when Lucas went to sleep he would pull his gun out and stick him up and turn him over to the police.
As he was putting his plan in play he realized what if Lucas had a gun? He decided that was just a risk he would have to take. Lucas bought a pistol from a friend, it was .45 caliber, Kert put the gun in his ruck sack and waited for Lucas to go by his make shift hut. Two hours later Lucas was struggling to make a fire before dark set in. Kert went over to him and said ``how do you do there partner? I see your trying to make a fire’’ Lucas looked up and said “would you by any chance know how to make one off this tepee fires’’ well how about you come to my hut and stay the night’’ as Lucas stood up he and shook Kert’s hand said “ Thank you so much” “don’t Minchin it “. Kert noticed that Lucas didn’t look like the gambling type. “What’s your favorite split roasted rabbit or ptarmigan soup” said Kert “o I’ll take the rabbit thank you”. As Kert entered his hut and began preparing the rabbit, then he remembered that he had forgotten to get bullets for the gun! “Hey you got any whisky there partner?” “no but I do make a good mint julep”, as Kert put the rabbit on the fire he decided that he would have to put up a good bluff when it came to the gun but first he would have to find out if Lucas had had gun. “Hey it’s dangerous around these parts with all these bandits and what not, better get yourself a gun” said Kert “I already have one” and then Lucas pulled out a 6 shot pistol with golden symbols engraved into its walnut handle, and at that moment Kert looked as if he was staring into the eyes of a grizzle bear. Right then and there Kert realized that this was going to be a long night.


Part Three


The rabbit was done by this time and Kert was beginning to make up another plan and at the same time making the mint juleps. “Hey mister I don’t think I caught your name ” “sorry my name is Lucas Taylor and yours” “Kert Clark” “Kert can I tell you something?” “yea what is it” “ well I wanted you to know that I was just in Dawson a spell and I was paid by somebody to cheat this gang of bandits posing as locals, and that last night I played I really did have a hot hand and I was beating everyone but just when I was about to call it quits I got caught, and just as they were all about to jump on me I picked up a lantern and bust it on his head and ran away, and I am saying all this to say I think that I am being hunted by a mob. Kert looked deep into the eyes a Lucas and smiled then reached into his pocket and handed him his wanted poster and said “I was thinking of away to apprehend you” Lucas look down at the poster and said with a terror in his eyes said “how many of these posters were made?”. At that moment Kert’s friend Morse walked thru the door “hey Kert, o sorry I did not know you had a company” and as Mores reached to shake Lucas’s hand he realized who he was. “What brings you to my hut” says Kert, and after a long awkward pause said “o my fire ran out and I was wondering if I could have a hot coal to start it up again” and then pulled a pistol from his pocket and said to Lucas “Hands up I am turning you in” Kert jumped up and with a wicked yell slapped the gun from Mores, and then it was a mad dash to control the gun, once it seemed as if Kert had control of the gun but then Morse punched Kert in the nose, and then a shot ring out and Morse was one the ground clinching is leg. “We got to get out of here” said Lucas “we will have to go to the woods around” pack your bag with survival gear and bring your gun you will need it.
And thus was the beginning the many adventures of Lucas Taylor and Kert Clark. The End





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