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We Suffered Such A Man As This

by Anthony Lowe

About the Author: Anthony Lowe has previously been published in two fantasy and science fiction anthologies, ALIEN ARTIFACTS and BLACKGUARDS, and placed second in Baen Publishing's Fantasy Adventure Award in 2016. After a year-long stint teaching English in Japan, he is back to living in California, writing stories, and tracking down bits of Old West history.


Ah, yes. A regular Dupin, that one. A certified Cuff. Strolled into town with nothing but a sunny disposition and a worn business card that he keenly withdrew into his coat as soon as the mayor got a look at it. We concluded he only had the one card on his person and, to keep sidetracking to a minimum, we found that to be the truth not a week later.

Georges Armadale—such was the moniker he proclaimed before the Copperopolis city council—was a former police detective out of Sacramento, riding the tides of fate until he beached upon his vouchsafed shoreline.

His words.

Such were the circumstances under which Armadale arrived in the autumn of 1899, having heard of our rather unique situation from a Turlock-bound trader at the covered bridge.

“I can tell you this much,” said Armadale, “the sheriff and his deputies are ill-equipped for such a challenge as the one your town faces. After having seen the brand of criminality in places like Sacramento, Modesto, San Francisco, this is a new kind of beast, born in the cities, that has now seen fit to test your borders.”

He received a unified gasp from the council. In the back, Jonah Marks followed it all up with a pained, “Oh, no!”

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