Interlude : Planning for Spring 1858

Players – please add comments to this adventure log with any details on what has been happening.

Here is what works well for the plot – but is subject to change if you want to go a different way.

  • Gilbert R. Warfield (John) Working a ranch hand for room & board at Van Young’s place in Grass Valley. Racing Darley whenever the opportunity presents itself – for a little coin, and the opportunity to stud in the spring.
  • John Jost Althaus (Greg) Trapping beaver in the Sierra Nevada, and just about to head back to Nevada City for a hot meal, soft bed and a bath.
  • Garrett Mathews (Kevin) Working for the Sacramento Valley Railroad clearing the tracks between Sacramento and Folsom. Angling to get a job as foreman when they start expanding the line to Placer County.
  • Jess Connor (Dave) Express messenger (later called “riding shotgun”) for the Pioneer Stage Line, making the run from Placerville to Folsom to Sacramento to Stockton and connecting to the Butterfield Express at San Jose. On the road between San Jose & Stockton on the return leg when the session starts.
  • Nurse Jane Wilson (Judi) Struggling to stay afloat in Nevada City with business turning sour.
  • Samuel Davis (Daniel) Freelance reporter for the Nevada Journal – on temporary assignment in Sacramento covering the statehouse beat


From discussion with Daniel -

Following the “battle in the snow” Samuel Davis has been supplementing his tutoring jobs with freelance writing for the The Nevada Journal. The money has been nice – and it’s gotten invites to a couple of parties he wouldn’t have been able to attend.

But the unexpected surprise is the pulpit it gives him. Davis likes to think he has used it for good – mostly defending the Catholics and immigrant communities in Nevada City, attacking the worst excesses of the Know Nothings, and shining a light on some of Plummer’s less savory friends.

Things are going pretty. Then in mid-January, the editor (Edwin Waite) comes to him with an offer.

“Davis, I asked you here today to see if you wanted to go on payroll regular like.”

“…what do you mean, sir?”

“Wait a minute, let me finish. This is going to be a big year at the statehouse, and we need our top man down there. Well – of course that means sending Niles. Or at least it did. But his wife has taken sick, and I just can’t do that to the man. So here’s what I wold like to do” ……..

Next thing you know, Samuel is on a stagecoach to Sacramento.

It has been an interesting three weeks learning how the sausage was made, and which pigs are sitting at the trough. All of them of course – but different pigs like different corn. Some are partial to land rights or water or trade or railroads or stagecoaches – and of course everyone loves gold.

And it hasn’t been all work. Garrett picked up a job working on the railroad maintaining the rails between Mayhew Crossing and Mississippi Bar, and Jess Connor has been working for the Pioneer Stage Line on the run from Placerville to San Jose – so they all get a chance to meet up about once a week,

And now the big event is almost here. Two of California’s federal legislators have made the trip from Washington and are in the state. Senator William Gwin and Rep Charles Scott took the Butterfield stage on the southern route and have been making stump speeches lining up supporters from San Diego to Santa Barbara – but they are finally heading north and should already be past Ft Teton.

Scott is from Sonora, and Gwin has a mine up in Calaveras – so they will probably take stops along the foothils on the way – but they should be hitting Sacramento in the next 5 to 7 days.


From discussion with Judi:

Q: Why is Jane’s practice going bad?

A: Jane thinks the first problem is just that it’s winter. With the mines working at half pace, lots of folks wintering in warmer weather in the valley and no settlers coming in, there are fewer visitors in town. All of the “service” businesses are suffering – and with fewer visits to the bordellos and an absence of bar fights there is less work for nursing. Plus everyone is holding on to their cash waiting for spring so lots of folks would rather “ride it out” instead of getting things treated.

That’s survivable – she expected a downturn in business and your savings are enough to pull you through.

The longer term issue is that she’s made some enemies, and they are fighting back. Couple of the bordello owners are forbidding their girls from visiting you. Plus a couple of unlucky incidents had some negative press – one girl got “complications” after a procedure and another one suicided mixing laudunum and whiskey – kind of thing that happens to every doctor and midwife but it was powerfully damaging, You can fix it probably, but she hasn’t decided if it is worth the bother or if she should just pick up stakes.

The metagaming reason is that if she’s running a super-successful practice there is no reason for her to keep moving around – and I’d like to keep her in the party instead of as a homebound NPC in Nevada City.


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