The New York Union railroad has rolled into Lawrence bring jobs, prosperity, hope and a strong smell of whiskey and violence. Cornelius Wilberforce III is a man with a mission: Get to the Pacific come Hell or Highwater and Lawrence is just one of many stops on the way. With untold riches from his family and investments from European banks he goes about hiring talented men to help him achieve his goals.
Through a series of fortunate events Mexicali Bob, Jack Horner, The Reverend Frank Flintlock, Dr John Farraday, E. Von Braun and Fred Dobbes find themselves defending the house of Senator James Henry Lane a notorious Jayhawker and alleged war criminal. Every man aquitted himself well under fire and many lives were saved at the senator’s house.
The following morning our heroes survey the carnage. The railroad camp has been sorely wounded but that is nothing compared to the damage done to Lawrence itself. Almost every man and boy in the town killed, most of the buildings burned down. First priority is moving burning wreckage from the railway bridge (done under sniper fire from the surrounding hills) followed by repair of the telegraph line to let allies further East know of the calamity to befall Lawrence. Further success came at a price though. Mr Larkin, butler, bodyguard and surrogate father to Cornelius is killed by snipers in the woods outside of Lawrence.
While testing the telegraph line Von Braun begins acting crazy and agitated, claiming to be recieving messages which simply cannot be.
Ultimately the NYU railroad moves out from Lawrence and encounters conmen, competition and chicanery. The Topeka Railroad (TR) makes a play for the water supplies of the Kansas River. Cornelius takes a chance playing poker with the CEO of the TR and ends up buying it lock stock and barrel for $30,000. Later some local businessmen show up wondering what’s going on with their railroad and where is their representative.
Weeks pass without incident until one night the camp is overcome with mass halucinations and insanities. During this incident a posse comes in for Wilburforce but is fought off by Farraday, Bob and Ol’ Jack. They pursue the leaders of the posse for 2 days and catch them with their britches down. They learn that a Mr Rutherford in Baltimore has paid a significant ammount of money for Cornelius to be returned to the East coast.