My darling Abigail... I hope you and Jack are doing well. I remain a fool... and I'm sure I shall die a fool... but I'm trying very hard... to be something like the man you deserve. I have done something very silly in an effort to impress you. And that is I've purchased a home. The land you read about in the newspaper up at Beecher's Hope is now ours and we are going to try our hand at ranching. Mr. Geddes kindly helped me buy the land. I met Uncle when I was coming out of the bank and while I know your feelings about him he has been enormously helpful in his own fashion. Charles Smith has also appeared and is unsurprisingly a pillar of strength. Together... we've built you a home. I hope soon to show it to you. I miss you and the boy more than I can express. Please... come back to me. Yours always... John.
You have learned the most important lesson of all... that only one thing matters! And all else is lies.
Frank Heck... Frank Heck looked at the sheriff coldly... "clearly you don't know who I am." He snarled. And before the sheriff could blink, the fastest young man West of the Grizzlies had filled him full of cold lead. The town was free once more.
—Jack Marston's Book
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Things go wrong sometimes. People die. It's the way it is, always has been. Me, you, Dutch... we've all been in this line of work a long time, and we're still here, so... I figure we must've got it right a hell of a lot more than we got it wrong.
You boys mind if I sit down a while? Been a tough few weeks. I know I been... kinda... mad with you all. I'm sorry, okay? I'm Sorry, but, I... I want us to get outta here. Everybody nearly gone crazy, I'm just... trying to keep things together. Sometimes it gets hard... I guess I'm... I guess I'm struggling to just... find a path forward for us all. Same as Dutch, same as Hosea. I don't wanna die. But if I have to, I will. So... forgive me, all of you.
I ain't looking for forgiveness... it ain't about that. Don't forgive me... just take the money and get outta here, please. I know I ruined your life. I suffer for it every day, but... don't let yourself get killed for... for pride. I seen it kill too many folk.
You been loyal. I been loyal. Look what that caused. You know, all that ever mattered to me was loyalty. It was all I knew. It was all I ever believed in... but not anymore, John. Soon... you gotta go. Go... don't look back.
It sounds wonderful. Hell, I ain't got much to lose, but... you gotta do what's right and cut some loose. John and his family I... I'm afraid I have to insist. I mean, we gotta let 'em go. 'Cause if the Pinkertons come through again... they will kill everyone.
What do I know? I don't know a thing. I mean, that man I killed for, the man I ran for, the man I believed in, is that still the same man I see now? Guess about all I got left now is doubts. Doubts and scars.
Listen to me. Don't none of you... never go do something stupid and get yourself a woman. You hear me? Trust your old uncle John on this one. And if you got one, get rid of 'em. Go drown them in the goddamn ocean, because trust me boys, it's you... or them. You or them, they'll kill you! But they won't do you the kindness of shooting you or slitting your throat. They will slowly grind you down to dust with the nagging and the demands and the complaints. You will die the most painful death imaginable, and that's this. The slow realization that you would rather be dead than have to listen to her crap for a moment longer. And if you knew you could kill her and get away with it, you would! Trust me on that.
I was raised to take a man at his word... and also to believe this is a free country... so free that I can't tell you what to think. So I guess it don't matter much what you believe. But I will work hard... and I learn fast.
Even in this new country, memories don't really fade. My father was an illiterate Scot, born on the boat into New York. He never saw his homeland but, to hear him talk about it, you would imagine he only ever ate haggis and wore a kilt. And he hated the English for what they had done to his great grandparents that he'd never met. People don't forget. Nothing gets forgiven.
The whole point of America is freedom. Freedom of thought, freedom of deed, freedom of action. Yet how have most of our brethren responded to having their yokes cast off by getting on that boat from Europe? By enslaving themselves. They may no longer be serfs tending some master's field and giving him rights of refusal on their wives, but they have found themselves new masters in the relentlessness of ownership. The attempts at dominion over the land have enslaved them, not the land. In owning things, people, businesses, the former serfs of Europe have become not masters, not stewards, but intellectual dwarfs managed by the world quite as much as Europe's enduring peasantry. And in many ways, more so for they are tricked into believing they are free, whereas the peasant knows he is trapped.
So, the question of the seeker of allegorical potency should ask himself, or indeed herself, if potency is not itself too masculine a concern for our sisters to be concerned with, is this... is it in the seeking that we find, or in the finding that we seek? While this might seem a pathway towards insanity, it's an important distinction, and also a clear one, he who finds things is wise, but he who continues to seek is evermore free.
He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation... chooseth a tree that will not rot. He seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told to you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? Is it he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers... that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. That bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? Saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold those who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number and calleth them all by names, by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speaketh oh Israel. My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from God? Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increaseth their strength. Even the youths shall be faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he haths, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised four our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.