~ EL HEAD ~
Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3 · Chapter 4 · Chapter 5 · Chapter 6 ·
Chapter 7 · Chapter 8 · Chapter 9 · Chapter 10 · Chapter 11 · Chapter 12 · Chapter 13 · Chapter 14 · Chapter 15 · Chapter 16 ·
Chapter 17 · Chapter 18 · Chapter 19 · Chapter 20 · Chapter 21 · Chapter 22 · Chapter 23 · Chapter 24 ·
Chapter 25 · Chapter 27 · Chapter 28 · Chapter 29
CHAPTER 26 :GOLDEN RULE
God is the World, its spirit, soul and body. So as Above, so as below. Redemption must be physical as well as spiritual.
Body, Soul and Spirit cannot be separated. Life begins at conception when the spiritual is eternally joined with the material
body by the medium of the soul.
Not even physical death can sunder them. We are of the world, after death we are still of the world.
As Gold is the perfect element in the material world, the human soul is the perfect element of the spiritual world.
Gospel According to Joseph of Arimathaea.
Late December 1870 to Early January 1871
Donegal Ryan and his troupe moved from small town to hamlet to village to waterhole throughout Northwestern Arizona. They followed the pattern of three day shows and when they left the town an average to ten to twelve percent of the population, averaging ten to twenty new additions to the troupe left with them.
Ryan could not afford to have any distractions yet distractions kept popping up on the path of righteousness. Road blocks set up by Satan to stop Ryan's mission of bringing about the End Times.
Donegal Ryan was hard pressed to keep the ever increasing demand for Sure Fire Cure All tonic supplied with bloodthorns. His blood was also effective but not did not pack the same wallop as a bloodthorn.
After a while his older converts rarely needed bloodthorns in their tonic, their bodies having ingested enough of the tonic to create a permanent bond between Ryan and them. Yet the continuous influx of new recruits taxed the limits of his bloodthorn production. Ryan increased the production of bloodthorns as much as he could by concentration. Yet the effort weakened him and so weakened his hold on his disciples.
After periods of intense concentration on his part, many would begin to wonder why they were following Ryan and why they had left their old lives to live in a circus.
It seemed a few of his flock soon acquired an immunity to the effects of his tonic. First there was Jeff Justice Bolane, Ryan's influence over him gradually waned, even the threats of blindness and pains in his eyes did not seem to sway him. Nor did the threat of letting the scales creeping over his body run wild. Despite drinking a vial of tonic a day the scales covering his chest, neck and arm continued expanding, replacing his flesh at a slow yet measurable rate.
Bolane came to the conclusion that Ryan had little control of this condition, and unfortunately Bolane was correct. Try as he might, Ryan had no influence over the scales, he could neither check or increase their progress.
Also Bolane seemed to have acquired a deep fascination for another of Ryan's distractions, Maggie the Mouth. As Ryan's Whore of Babylon she was turning out to be a major disappointment. Her incessant chatter drove everyone insane, plus her comments became more and more disparaging and critical. She was yet another of those people who seemed immune to any effects at all from the tonic.
Bolane and the Maggie the Mouth exchanged longing glances and would have exchanged more than that had Ryan not told both in no uncertain terms that an union between them was forbidden. Ryan had to be on constant guard to ascertain that they obeyed him. This was another distraction which kept him from God's work.
One of the most disturbing of Ryan's distractions were recurring dreams of Poul Ichabod and the Nine Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His visions revealed that the Horsemen Incarnated as mortals, as did Angels on occasion. Ichabod was one such incarnation, the only Horseman corrupted by Satan. Ichabod, while denying his own existence, used his powers to work for Satan and delay or alter the outcome of the End Times.
Ichabod would give Satan dominion over the Earth before Christ's return and reduce the numbers of people, already miniscule, who would reach salvation.
Ryan's last attempt to stop Ichabod had seriously weakened Ryan and almost killed Bolane, the death of the Black Scorpion had sent Bolane into a seizure only allayed by a vial of Tonic. Ryan needed to acquire most of his Army of the Apocalypse before confronting Ichabod again. Ryan sensed that Ichabod was coming for him, without a doubt sent by Satan.
Yet another distraction, although a quite pleasant one was the introduction of Pauline into his life.
Pauline was a beautiful young woman of Apache and Irish heritage. He had found her in Juniper Springs working as a barmaid. However she was not a prostitute and rejected his proposition most resoundingly, daring to slap his face in front of a crowd at the Dusty Hole Saloon.
The slap had nearly dislodged his hat from his head thus exposing his secret to the benighted before they were ready to accept it. Had she done so, Ryan and Bolane would have had no option but to kill the twelve patrons, the two bartenders and four barmaids, including Pauline.
Ryan almost regretted that she had not done so, for if he had killed her then she would not be plaguing his mind. He thought of her constantly, overcome with a lust which sang through his body like the throbbing of printing press.
As they had with Maggie the Mouth, Bolane and Ryan kidnapped Pauline in the middle of the night. Unlike Maggie however, Pauline took to her new lot in life with serene acceptance, yet she forcibly refused to allow Ryan to sample her charms.
Ryan had not taken her by force yet, hoping that she might eventually come around to coming across but it began to look as if she never would. Ryan could not fathom it, she was an Indian after all and probably had countless of bucks. Besides which his personal relationship with God should have made her throw herself at his feet begging for ravishment. Yet she had not done so, her heathen beliefs evidently ran too deeply for God's grace to fill her heart. Undoubtedly this was also why she seemed completely immune from the tonic.
The image of her tanned beautiful skin, smooth and gleaming against white sheets tortured his mind. Her lush form never failed to elicit a fire in his blood and a raging response elsewhere.
Whenever they met by accident or choice, she was polite but firm. She did not fear Ryan and this caused him no end of dismay. Not only did she refuse to be his but refused to fear his power and might, as if it were nothing.
As Ryan's troupe grew so did the tent city that now contained the troupe whenever they played. Ryan added additional acts as talents manifested but he was reluctant to turn it into a full fledged circus. Yet his flock was rapidly growing beyond the normal limits of a medicine show.
People in certain towns, especially the bedamned Mormon settlements viewed his medicine show with suspicion and often refused to attend. His recruitment from Mormon towns was less than five percent of the population this is one of the reasons he stayed in Arizona, there were more opportunities for converts. Ryan knew that when he lead his flock into the heart of Mormon country it would be a hard row to till. Their bedamned Prophet Brigham Young had a deep dislike and aversion for Doctors and medicine. Without a sufficient force, Brigham's Angels would escort Ryan's show out of state. He needed a thousand or so before entering Utah, then he would be safe.
Ryan gradually steered his flock across northern Arizona towards the east where he hoped to cross the Colorado River at the only natural ford into Utah, which was controlled by a Mormon Bishop.
One day when Ryan and Bolane were taking their routine first day visitation to the red-light district of Cedar Hills, the town they were currently visiting, Ryan turned to Bolane and handed him six large gold nuggets, each about the size of thumb.
"I want you to make six bullets out of these nuggets. These are from the valley where I was transformed as were my blood brothers and my blood enemy. These will stop him, if nothing else will.
"Well, I don't know much about smithery but we do have a blacksmith in the troupe. I do reckon, however that we will need to add some tin or copper to the gold hardening enough it to make bullets.
Ryan grasped Bolane's arm in an iron grip, fingers bruising the flesh beneath the scales.
"No, the gold must be pure else it may not work.!"
"Then, we will have to make slugs or something, maybe even shotgun shells."
"Do what you have to but make certain that the gold remains pure and that the bullet can be fired rapidly."
"Why does the gold have to be pure?"
"Gold is the perfect metal, it the first physical element which arises from Prime Matter."
"What is that? The first stuff that God created?"
Ryan beamed at Bolane, stabbing a finger at his chest. "Yes, that is it is exactly. Prime Matter also has the ability to take form as one of the three phases of matter; Gas, Liquid or Solid. As Gas it is pure pneuma or spirit, as Liquid it become the Elixir of Life and as a Solid it is the Stone. Prime matter can transmute base matter. The metal in the Valley of Changes still has a residue of base matter on it, which caused our transformations. Hopefully it will transform Ichabod from evil to good."11
Ryan dropped the matter for the night but periodically asked Bolane how the bullets were coming.
Bolane and the smith, Joe Cavender, experimented with the gold discovering that it was indeed too soft in its pure state to form a revolver bullet. They made slugs for the two repeating rifles that they possessed the Sharps and the Henry. The Sharps fired the gold slug with more consistency than the Henry, although the accuracy and range were not quite as high.
Ryan had close to nine hundred and fifty people by the time they approached the Crowded Point. Crowded Point was little more than a stagecoach outpost on the banks of the Little Colorado River just outside of the Painted Desert. Only a hundred or so people lived in the town. There was a general store, a coach stop, a small tavern, and a smithy. Outside the town were five or six small farms raising cotton, corn or beans.
The town's name derived from a windswept rock jutting up from the ground like a eighty foot limbless tree. The rock was a straight pillar with no projections until about ten or 50 feet from its top, then it suddenly curved and became spherical. The globular surface had cracks, splits and weathered niches which seemed to form faces, arms and bodies. A crowd stared down upon the town.
When the troupe set up camp outside of Crowded Point, Ryan pulled Bolane aside. "He will arrive today or tomorrow, so be ready."
Ryan gave Bolane a hard look and wondered if he were stupidest person in the world. "Chaos, Anarchy, the man called Ichabod. He and his minions will soon arrive, so keep that gun handy. I want this to be as quick and painless as possible."
11 Oddly enough, Ryan's explanation may have some scientific validity. The valley where Ichabod, Ryan and the others found the gold, might have been struck by a meteor filled with so called dark matter and anti-matter, residues of the Big Bang or the Divine Finger Snap.
Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3· Chapter 4· Chapter 5· Chapter 6·
Chapter 7· Chapter 8· Chapter 9· Chapter 10 · Chapter 11 · Chapter 12 · Chapter 13· Chapter 14· Chapter 15· Chapter 16·
Chapter 17· Chapter 18· Chapter 19· Chapter 20 · Chapter 21 · Chapter 22 · Chapter 23· Chapter24· Chapter25·
Chapter 27· Chapter 28· Chapter 29
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