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Fulton's Fury

Connections — Chapter Twenty
Written by Frank Charles aka weinerdawgy

New York can be an intimidating experience for anybody. Lucas was determined to not let the congestion bother him. The endless buildings and constant commotion on the streets flooded his eyes as Tom’s carriage dodged and weaved its way down Broadway. They passed by Madison Square Garden and the Fifth Avenue Hotel, on their way to City Hall. Lower Manhattan was a madhouse of activity. They went along Fulton Street and stopped at the massive Fulton Market. Lucas had not seen such an amazing sight. Boats were unloading at the docks and buyers were examining the catch. Some of the fish were huge and Lucas took a few minutes to gaze upon the scene.

“This takes my breath away. I’ve seen what I thought were big trout or catfish, but I have only read about what comes from the sea!”

“This is probably the largest fish market in the world Lucas. They supply the public and businesses from far and wide. Cod is a leading food source. And there is much more than fish here, come with me.” Tom led the group on to the general market. Anything the heart desired was within reach.

“It’s a good thing Mark isn’t here to see all of this candy!” Lucas looked over the merchandise almost as Mark would have. “I better not get started shopping right now, this could take all day!”

Bat strolled around trying to take it all in. “Tom, would you say this is your favorite place to shop?”

“I do come down here on occasion, but we usually go to a smaller market near the flat. I like to come here to watch the people more than anything else. I thought you guys would enjoy the experience.”

“A real eye opener to say the least. I believe I shall have to come back here when there is more time. Still so much to learn on this first day.”

“Right you are my friend. Lets have something to eat then I’ll escort you across our new bridge.” Tom pointed up towards the sky. Bat and Lucas gazed upon the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge. “A stunning feature of the landscape to say the least, only a few years old and already our main attraction. Isn’t it beautiful!”

“I’d say so, we’ve been in wonder of it for some time now. I’m not used to seeing so many incredible things at one time!” Lucas gazed across to where fried fish was being served. “Do you suppose we could have a taste of that fish?”

“You read my mind Lucas, Can’t find it any fresher unless you get on one of those boats down there.” Tom pointed towards the dock.

“I might have to do that one day, must be a great adventure. I don’t know much about boats, but it does fascinate me.”

Once they had feasted on fried fish they walked the market. Lucas couldn’t take his eyes off of the constant flow of people. Everywhere they wandered, yet they seemed to know exactly what they were doing. They bumped into each other and rarely said a word. But there was a steady din of talking and sometimes yelling. Lucas noticed the different accents and appearances. There was little time for courteous behavior or a friendly glance.

“I guess the big city life encourages most to become unaware. Everyone seems to look right through each other as they walk along. But they all must have to get someplace pretty bad to be darting around like this.” Lucas studied even Tom’s face and was beginning to see the difference in culture.

“I can see what you are discovering Lucas. I have lived here a very long time. People here are different, but no less soulful. They don’t express it the same way perhaps, but if you were to get to know some of them, you would find a similar family spirit. But what you won’t usually find is the small town charm.”

“Must be this shocking for anyone from the country to see New York and this busy pace. I understand, but it’s going to take some getting used to. I’m still feeling for my Stetson that should be resting atop my head!” Tom and Bat chuckled as they made their way back to the carriage.

After a ride back and forth across the bridge, it was time to settle in at City Hall. They walked into the grand building in awe of the architecture both inside and out. The stone staircase wrapped around inside leading one to look up at the great domed ceiling. Everything inside seemed to have something impressive about it. There was little to do but look at the details and walk around. Bat was eager to search the Hall of Records with Tom as his guide. They left City Hall and walked through the park to yet another impressive building. The Hall of Records also served as a surrogate courthouse. They were able to find plenty of information about R. J. Graham Textile Products Inc. His holdings were extensive in the garment industry. Bat took a very close look at the documents. There was a resemblance to the Texas examples on some of the older signatures, but the recent ones were noticeably different. In fact, there had to be three or four styles of handwriting present. All tried to do it the same basic way, but the slants and loops of the letters gave away the scam. Tom agreed with Bat and was now enthused to see what would happen if they tried to approach Graham, who would they find? Bat wrote down the names and addresses of his companies, but no address for Robert J. Graham could be found.

Bat was full of questions about the stock market. Tom gave him a brief history centering on Wall Street and the formation of the New York Stock Exchange. The organization required fees and one had to be voted on to be a member. Tom explained that he used a broker to buy and sell his stocks. He didn’t actually attend the auctions or get involved with the members. But he was able to have his broker delve into issues for him and that was how he found the information on Graham. It would be possible to purchase stock in his textile company, which could then lead to a way of attending stockholder meetings. Tom offered to make the purchase and Bat gave him one thousand dollars for that purpose. The investment was to be in Tom’s name. It was easy to visit the broker that afternoon and place the order. The broker was able to arrange the transaction immediately by telephone and then told them to come back in four days and they would have the certificates and printed information available on the companies. Lucas took a long look at the ticker tape machines and the numbers coming out.

“I’ve never seen such a fancy looking machine. Kind of like a telegraph I guess.”

Tom walked him over to take a closer look. “These are called Ticker Tape machines. The funny looking symbols and numbers are updates on stock prices. Brokers and investors like to keep watch on this information so they can make fast decisions to buy or sell. The art of making money here is to buy low and sell high. It’s not much more than a form of gambling. They probably have a few of these back where you guys come from. You can refer to a newspaper or go to an office and monitor your stocks from there. Then send back instructions by telegraph. I imagine that the telephone will take over all communications one day. But here it is a matter of immediate action as the broker transactions happen very fast. The telephone is gradually replacing the telegraph and the day will come when we can call across the country from every city. Imagine one in every home.”

Lucas looked at the paper peeling out. “What do they do with all of this paper?”

“Some is saved for records, but now most of it gets saved for when we have a parade. A tradition was started late last year when we celebrated the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. You should have seen the mess. People tossed rolls of paper out of the windows up and down the street. It took days to clean up.

“Bat joined them at the machine. “Pardon me, did I hear the word gambling mentioned over here? Count me in!”

“You just bought in bigtime at the cotton game, what more would you like to try your luck at?” Tom saw a gleam in Bat’s eye.

“Now that I understand how this game is played, I just might have to get me one of these someday.” Bat tapped the glass dome of the ticker tape machine with his cane.

“I’m going to study the glass manufacturer’s market. Shot glasses in particular. I do have another wager to make!”

“I might have to acquire a small stake in that game too!” Lucas laughed. Tom was not sure what they were talking about.

“Bat saw the puzzled look on his face. “We’ve started a nation wide craze with our gun show. We blast the shot glasses for targets and the fans are buying and stealing them like mad. Sales are bound to increase here soon!”

“If you really want to, I’ll have my man look into it for you.”

“Let me wait a brief time to communicate with my boss.”

Tom looked puzzled once again. “And who is your boss?”

“Why John Browning of course!”

“You want to invest in something worthwhile, make it Winchester. They stand to grow in the future no matter what.” Tom was starting to get the idea that Bat had many plans for investment.

“We are more employed by than invested in Winchester. I will probably want a piece of Colt one day though. There are many ways to invest in our future.”

“We’ll have to see if any of these concerns are in the stock exchange, I imagine they are. I haven’t looked at a Times report in a while. My investments are long term for the time being, but I’m becoming interested to get more involved as we speak.”

“I better warn you about old Bat here.” Lucas chimed in. “He has a way of promoting himself like no other, and he makes it happen too. But gamble is his middle name!”

“Everyone likes to make a gamble every now and then Lucas, New York is all about chance. You guys are in the right place, let me assure you. Tom patted Lucas on the back as they went on their way out of the office.

Bat figured that a thousand dollar investment would get some notice. He looked forward to meeting somebody from the Graham Company. Tom continued the tour of Lower Manhattan, including a vantage point for Bedloe’s Island and the famed Statue of Liberty. Tom explained how it took a few years to raise the funds to build the base for the statue. He described the bedlam that ensued when the dedication was held. Not a hotel room could be found in the entire city. President Grover Cleveland gave a speech and then the parade roared to life once they came back from the island. That was when the ticker tape found its new purpose. Plans were made to take a boat ride in the harbor for a closer look at Lady Liberty. Greg suggested they have dinner near the flat so they wouldn’t have a long ride afterwards. They enjoyed a fine meal and sipped whiskey to end the evening. Bat and Lucas found themselves astounded by the gigantic nature of everything they had just laid eyes on. It was a lot to ponder for a couple of country boys used to wide open spaces.

The next day of the tour involved a visit to the library, a very huge library. It was easy to find literature on any subject. Bat found the newspaper archive a valuable source of information on the cotton market. This led him to look upon the stock reports as he discovered how his Graham investment had performed over time. He was happy to see that it was a good producer. He made many notes in his journal, taking any addresses he could find. The Garment District was high on his priority list for a visit next. Bat and Tom found books about cotton farming, milling, and fabric manufacturing. They were happy to be able to take them home in Tom’s name.

Lucas tried his hand at researching Robert Fulton to discover that he had three daughters and his one son died at the age of 49 without marrying. The only chance of a direct relationship was if one of Robert’s brothers had a son. There was not enough information to prove a connection and the name of Fulton was very common. What Robert Fulton had achieved was not so common however. Lucas read his life story and came to understand why so many of the counties, towns, and streets around the country were named after him. His name will forever remain synonymous with the steamboat, but Lucas enjoyed finding out that he was also credited with designing the first true submarine, the Nautilus, while living in France just before 1800. This interested him because of his knowledge about the famous submarines and ironclads built during the Civil War. The history book mentioned that the idea was more recently made popular by Jules Verne, author of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. So Lucas found the Science Fiction novel and had Tom sign it out. He recalled that Mark read some of Verne’s books in school.

As the days started to roll by Lucas wondered when something important was going to happen. The city seemed so big and full of people that it would be impossible to find anyone like Beckwith or Carlson. They began to develop a plan to search for Gerald. Bat had a photographic shop blow up copies of the photo and they kept one posted in each of their rooms so they would be familiar with the image. They didn’t see his name listed in the city records, but not everyone was included there. They took trips to the stock exchange and the Garment District without notice. The city slickers had no time to study their faces or care who they were. Bat and Lucas were fitted for new suits at a popular tailor that Tom recommended. They used their alias names and made conversation without having to admit they were not from New York. Bat asked the tailor if he knew of R. J. Graham, but he did not. He suggested that they look for one of the fabric suppliers, he was only familiar with the finer European fabrics used in his suit making. Most of the retailers did not know of the various manufacturing owners, only the names of the mills.

They went to Tom’s stock broker to obtain the certificates and detailed information on where to approach suppliers to discover the customers of R.J. Graham Textile Products Inc. They discovered that many of the customers purchased large lots of fabric and thread directly from his mills as middlemen wholesalers who then furnished supplies to factories and small time clothing makers. Most of the product was not purchased directly by the end users in places like the Garment District. Bat realized that he would have to delve into the wholesale market in more detail before approaching anyone in person. The broker informed Bat that he had already made over forty dollars on his investment. He cautioned him to not get too excited though, the value could just as easily be forty below on the next day. Bat decided to let it ride for now and that perhaps he would sell it near the end of his visit.

Bat expressed an interest in attending a play. Tom suggested they go to the Fifth Avenue Theater to see “Ruddigore”, “The Witches Curse”. The production was nearing the end of its run and Tom wanted to see it. Gilbert and Sullivan wrote the music and this alone raised his interest. As they entered the theater Lucas was taken by the fancy decorations on the walls and ornate light fixtures. Well dressed couples were standing around in the foyer having conversation. Lucas felt out of place in his new suit. He looked around nonchalantly trying to watch the crowd. Bat and Tom were talking but he couldn’t pay attention. He looked around the room mostly noting the top hats and derbies the men wore. He decided to leave his hat behind this evening. All of a sudden his eyes fixed on a man walking by. He looked much like the photo of Gerald Beckwith. Lucas tapped Bat on the shoulder and alerted him.

“I’m not absolutely sure, but I think I may have just seen Gerald walk by!”

“Try not to look his way, tell me what he is wearing.”

“He joined a group of young people over to the left of the entrance. He is wearing a black suit and top hat. There is a small red flower on his lapel.”

“Bat gradually glanced that way and agreed that it could be him. He asked Tom if he would wander over and get a closer look. Tom took his time and walked in that direction. Before he could get there the man started to walk toward him in a hurried fashion. Tom turned to the side just in time to collide with him and beg his forgiveness. He looked Gerald right in the eyes and thanked him for his understanding.

“That’s OK, happens all the time in a crowd. I’m sorry that I was in a rush. It was my fault.” Gerald reached out to shake Tom’s hand.

“Well thank you young man. It was my fault for not paying attention. Say, haven’t I seen you around here before? My name is Tom Garret, I come here often.”

“You may have, I enjoy the theater and occasionally act. My name is Gerald Beckwith.”

“I do believe I have heard of you. I get around with my clients to many of the theaters on Broadway and off. You look so familiar.”

“The current play I am performing in is “Coming of Age” at the Ashford on Broadway. It’s not a big role but I’m just getting started in the business.”

“I’ve seen the listing, I’ll have to make the show soon, how interesting.”

“I started out as an understudy through some friends, then my part opened up and now I’m a regular. It was a good break for someone like me trying to get started. I’d love to see you there!”

“You got it Gerald. Pleased to meet you, but sorry at the same time. I’ll look for you there soon.”

“Thank you sir. I’m glad we bumped into each other. I’ve got to run if I’m going to make it back before the show starts.”

“Thanks for the chat Gerald. I’m sure you will be a success.” Tom brushed the front of his suit and walked on a bit further before returning to Bat and Lucas.

“What did you find out?” Bat could hardly contain himself.

“I think we should go where we can talk in private.” They went outside and down the street a short distance. “It is Gerald Beckwith! He is an actor in a play at the nearby Ashford Theater and is attending here tonight. What a fabulous turn of luck!” Tom smiled

“Amazing! We have been wracking our brains and here he simply walks right by us! Perhaps we should follow him after the show.”

“That might be a good idea, but I also have him expecting me to attend his play soon. He is a very polite young man. I bet I can work my way in to becoming friends with him.”

“Not a bad idea Tom. You were pretty slick bumping into him like that. And good on you for spotting him Lucas! This is a most fortunate turn of events.” Bat rapped his cane on the ground and they started back for the theater.

“I’m starting to enjoy this investigation stuff guys. It kind of grows on you. One can look for a person for years in this town, but we happen to be right where the action is. What are the chances he would be involved with the theater? There must be some higher forces at work here.” Tom held the door open as they re-entered the foyer.

We should avoid being seen together if Gerald is going to notice us. Maybe Lucas and I can sit apart from you.” Bat’s mind was racing.

“I can ask if the play is sold out, it’s hard to tell from the people present.” Tom walked up to the ticket window and inquired about changing his seat. There was no problem and he exchanged for a single seat up close in the third row. Lucas and Bat were to sit in the tenth row center stage.

“The English love story seemed to drag but the music was beautiful. It was fitting that the play was about the legacy of a family cursed generations ago by a burning witch to commit a crime each day or die in agony. In the second act a series of ghosts from the past Baronets of Ruddigore emerged from large paintings on the castle wall. They demanded crimes from the current Baronet who does not want to be a criminal but rather to be married and live happily ever after. The Ghosts torment him in attempt to make him decide on the next day’s crime. It was brought to light that many of the past Baronets grew tired of their lives of crime and committed suicide, yet now they come forth from the paintings to encourage more sinister acts. At one point the ghosts were reviewing the crimes of the previous week, which were not so bad. One was to file a false tax return. The ghosts reply that this was no real crime, everyone was expected to do that. This brought on quite a round of laughter from the audience and seemed to be the high point of humor in the play. This immediately made Bat think about Carlson. The next order of business was to investigate the income from the Graham concerns. Some of this information was in the stock reports, but where did the Graham money ultimately go?

Tom was too close to the stage to keep an eye out for Gerald, who was sitting much farther back. Bat took notice of this before the second act and told Tom he might try to follow him after the play. He told Lucas to rejoin Tom and go to dinner without him. He would try to join them later if possible. As the play came to an end Bat got up early and waited in the foyer for Gerald to emerge. He followed him into the street and on to a nearby restaurant. This gave Bat an opportunity to dine and keep an eye on him. He watched Gerald and his friends laugh and converse for over two hours. He was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to leave. Finally he left his friends at the table. Bat finished the bottle of wine he was nursing and casually left soon after. Gerald walked several blocks south on Broadway and then turned to the left down a narrow street. After a short way he entered a plain brick building and took a flight of stairs. Bat noted the address and waited outside for a short while to make sure he stayed there. He saw a light come on in a window of the third floor and made note that this was likely the apartment. It was now very late and Bat decided to walk a while before finding a carriage to take him home.

They decided it was best to wait a few days before Tom went to visit the Ashford Theater. Bat and Lucas did not want to risk exposing themselves to Gerald at this point. Tom wanted a chance to use his charm to befriend him and perhaps gain some insight before making a move toward Carlson. Bat was still interested in following him further when a good opportunity presented itself. Meanwhile, the investigation shifted to a visit with a friend of Tom’s in law enforcement. Tom felt that there was enough evidence to ask for assistance without risking full exposure to the police. Joe Murray was a senior inspector in the Lower Manhattan precinct and knew Tom since college. They showed him a Dallas Times Herald newspaper article and a letter that Owen Pollard drafted to confirm the crimes of Vernon Carlson. They gave him the history of their investigation of Quentin Renfro and the fraud underway concerning the Graham Cotton Farm. Finally Bat presented the data that John Templeton provided.

“You mean to tell me that you think this Vernon Carlson may still be alive and here in New York? This is incredible stuff. It is my inclination to want further evidence. I cannot condone any harassment of Gerald Beckwith without proof that he is involved in a crime. Right now he is an honest citizen attempting an acting career. But if he was seen dealing with Graham or Carlson that would have to change. You are allowed to meet with him and ask questions. I can arrange to have him investigated if you can give me more than this picture from over ten years ago. But this may only serve to scare him off. It’s not easy to pin somebody down without hard evidence.”

“I intend to catch him in the act before he ever knows who we are Joe. I realize that my being a marshal in the past gives me no jurisdiction here, but I want to know what it takes for me to act as a private investigator. I do have plenty of prior experience in other states, including Texas. I worked in that capacity for the railroad as well”

“You are allowed certain rights in that regard as long as you can produce a recommendation, say from Texas. I believe this John Templeton should be able to arrange that for you. And Lucas should have no problem right now as he does have marshal status from the state of New Mexico. I would only need a confirmation for that. So you shouldn’t have any problems once we get that squared away. This would only allow you to gather evidence and perform surveillance work. If there is any arresting to be done you should do it through me. There is a citizen’s arrest law however if you witness a crime.

“I can get you that confirmation right quick Joe. I’ll send a telegram to North Fork this afternoon. That would give me the power to act on William Fulton’s behalf as he is a resident of New Mexico.” Lucas toyed with his Honorary Marshal badge spinning it on Joe’s desktop.

“It would be best if you were under the employ of Fulton. And Cockrell can be represented by Masterson. That would cover all of the bases. Then I can justify access to banking records and other sources that might help prove a fraud in New York. It looks like you are building a solid case so far. Just be careful with Beckwith for now. If you find he is in with these other birds, come to me first. All I need is a line on Carlson to act. We can have Pollard send me copies of any other documents needed in order to officiate his crime. That would be enough to take him into custody fraud or not. I have authority to establish some of the qualifications that would allow you to become official inspectors once there is more evidence and we can consider Carlson a fugitive. I have to be careful about this, we have had problems with some of Pinkerton’s men overstepping their bounds in the past. It got very wild during the railroad strikes some years back.”

“I know the Pinkerton’s well, worked with Allan at times in fact. Poor man passed on not long ago. I guess the agency is getting too big to keep everything under control. We sure had our hands full on those railroad jobs when I worked for the AT&SF.”

“I bet those were interesting times. I’d give anything to have been involved in some of that action. The city is a whole different animal. We are rife with corruption from organized crime, union conflicts, and internal politics. Tom knows I try to run a straight ship but it’s getting harder all the time. You guys be careful with this Carlson if you find him. You might be in for more than you know if he has union or mob ties. The thugs can run thick in this city.

Lucas’ eyes raised with that comment. “We considered thugs from the Texas viewpoint, but we should be even more careful here. Thanks for your guidance Joe. We don’t know what to expect from Carlson or if he actually exists. He may not be top of the heap in this fraud. We know there is a Cottonseed Oil Consortium making moves in Texas and they may have ties with Carlson here in New York.”

Those type of deals are hard to infiltrate, they seldom work out in the open. Calling oneself an industry in this town can many times be a front for organized crime. This is where our source of internal corruption frequently comes from. They get to our men in every rank. I feel that I can trust you to do the right thing more than those who work for me. Don’t get hasty and be careful not to spook Beckwith. He may be the only way you can find Carlson. We must find out what name he is using, won’t be his own.”

“We have newspaper photos to go by from ten years ago. We were able to find Beckwith this way, a miracle I must say. But it has our hopes up. If he is connected to Carlson We should be able to follow him there. They do use the name of Robert J. Graham openly and it would be easy to launder the money under that name. We have already purchased some stock and have acquired their information. If we can bring the two ends of this fraud together with proper evidence and no violence perhaps we can avoid thugs and retribution. If we do manage to expose Carlson we will have to act fast back in Dallas to trap the rats involved there.” Bat seemed encouraged by Joe’s advice and co-operation. He next brought into play their desire to perform the gun show. “Joe, can I ask you about something? Are you aware of the gun show Lucas and I have been conducting?”

“I know of it from the newspaper of course, it’s a popular story among law officers. What can I do for you?”

“We establish contact with the local law enforcement prior to taking any action. We need to have your approval and help. It’s good to know the regulations before we try to set things up. Can you be our contact?”

“I wouldn’t mind acting in that capacity. I would need to bring this up with our upstairs crowd of course. The mayor would want to know. What kind of preparations do you need?”

“First of all, we’re not announcing our presence until we know what’s going to happen with this investigation. We would prefer to avoid the papers and the hotels, things like that. We’re staying with Tom until then. We like to involve the mayor and a law officer in the show somehow. It has worked out well so far to have a representative take part in the shooting. But this has only been done on a smaller town basis. I realize that New York is a much different place. Another consideration is target practice. We have taken practice at a local range to drum up interest. In Dallas, we used their police range in private until we knew the show was going to happen. Then we moved to the public range to let the people take part and make sales. I know this might not be possible in a place like this. What do you suggest?”

“Well Bat, I can tell you that we do have a private police range. We can go there and I’m very happy to make that happen. We would have a number of personnel desiring to meet you guys. We don’t have the same kind of target ranges you might find out West. But the military has a rifle range on Long Island, Creedmoor they call it. There are approvals required and I imagine plenty of small issues to be addressed, but I think you will be able to work that out. After all, Buffalo Bill has been doing his shows around here for years. He would know what to do.”

“It’s our intention to meet him. In fact, I haven’t mentioned this, but I know Bill. We worked together in 1879 I believe it was. We rescued a man named Billy Thompson from a lynching in Nebraska.”

Lucas looked up at the ceiling and then over at Bat. “Is there anybody of note that you do not know?”

“I’m sorry Lucas, I know how this seems. I didn’t tell you that I know him because of this very thing. I didn’t want to seem to brag when we spoke of him on the train. I hope you understand.”

“That I do my friend. Thank you for sparing me the reaction until now!” Lucas smiled and shook his head as Joe tried hard not to chuckle.

“OK! So I get around. I can’t help it if I know so many of these guys, a lawman is a well known figure and my travels have afforded me many opportunities to meet famous people. This is why I try to be careful, we need to maintain our secrecy. So please keep what we’re talking about quiet for now, alright Joe?”

“No problem here, I hope we can help you guys with all of this. So I’ll check a few things out for you. We won’t bring any of this up until you’re ready.”

“Thank you. Now as I was saying, we can speak with Bill and I know it has to be soon because they are leaving for Europe. We can go by alias names and wear these different style clothes most of the time. But I think we can approach Bill without any trouble. My next question is for your sake Joe. Does sharpshooting interest you? Would you like to be in our show?”

“You beat me to it! I love target practice. Many of us do. I would be honored to give it a try. Handguns and shotguns are what we shoot most. But I think I can deal with any weapon. I bet it would make for some envious souls in the department, they’ll want to know how I came by this honor!”

“Knowing Tom is the honor here. We are so grateful for his help and friendship. And we are thankful for your help too Joe. I think everything is going to happen for the best now that we have a proper connection with the NYPD.

Dear Pa,

I was so glad to hear from you after so long. I was beginning to worry. I can’t believe you are in New York! I can’t wait to hear about it. Everything is fine at home and school. I am learning plenty about architecture and geometry and I am able to use it on my job. Enid is really growing fast and they want me to work more often on the survey crew. It is taking most of my time, but I promise to keep my schoolwork number one. The cabin is almost done but I am staying at school more often right now. I really hope that Will is able to get his farm back and I want to be there when he and Ann get married. The ranch must be changing fast and I know there is a lot to see. Please write again soon and let me know what is going on so I won’t have to worry about you so much, your loving son, Mark.

Lucas folded the telegram and stuffed it in his wallet. The second one was from William and told him that the ranch was moving right along and that everyone was doing well. The description of the new lodge made him yearn to get home to be part of it all. Bat received a message from John Templeton. He was encouraged by the news of Gerald Beckwith and the fact that they were staying with Tom. Another message from John Browning brought news that William Brighton wanted to join them when they knew more about when the gun show would occur. John gave Bat the names of several approved dealers in New York as well as a few friends in town. John was understanding about the investigation but asked that they be mindful about getting things going soon so the show would not lose momentum.

Fulton’s Foray — It's All An Act

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
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