Years before: The Great Western Railroad connects with King City.
Tuesday, August 27, 1872: Bart Maverick arrives in King City and checks into the Bella Union Hotel. He learns of a nightly, high-stakes poker game at the Bella Union in which only rich friends of Belle Morgan are allowed. Bart captures Belle's terrier, Yum Yum, and returns him to her in hopes of gaining an invitation to the game.
Wednesday, August 28, 1872: Roy Stafford returns to King City from a business trip. Belle invites Bart to her dinner table.
Friday, August 30, 1872: Bart invites Belle out horseback riding.
Saturday, August 31, 1872: Bart and Belle enjoy another ride in the country together. Belle asks Bart what he wants for his birthday and Bart asks to play poker with her millionaire friends. That night, he is invited into a game with them and wins.
Sunday, September 1, 1872: Belle offers Bart a job. Bart declines but asks Belle to go to New Orleans with him. They bicker, and Belle decides to seek revenge and arranges for Adam Sheppley to lose $5,000 of Brasada Spur stock to Bart in the evening's poker game.
Monday, September 2, 1872: Bart offers to sell his Brasada Spur stock to Belle, but learns it had belonged to her in the first place and that he had been duped into winning it in poker.
Tuesday, September 3, 1872: Bart visits the Brasada Spur where he meets Stafford. The two devise a plan to get Bart's money back.
Wednesday, September 4, 1872: Bart sends telegrams to millionaires in Chicago and New York, then leaves King City, bound for Chicago. Brasada Spur lowers its shipping rates ten percent under those of Great Western.
Monday, September 9, 1872: In Chicago, Bart begins making local arrangements to dupe Elgree and the Great Western Railroad.
Monday, September 16, 1872: Bart celebrates his birthday quietly.
Wednesday, September 25, 1872: Elgree returns to King City and discovers Bart and Stafford have been cattle and shipping them to market at deflated prices on the Great Western. Elgree sends Hogan to organize a mob to put Brasada Spur out of commission.
Thursday, September 26, 1872: Elgree's mob commandeers a Brasada Spur train in Junction City to take out the railroad's stations. Bart recruits local ranchers around King City and Chaseville to intercept the stolen train.
Friday, September 27, 1872: A head-on collision between the two trains results in violence between the Great Western and Brasada Spur men. Once back in King City, Bart and Stafford confront Elgree and force him to sign papers agreeing to pay for all damages to Brasada Spur, as well as punitive fees.
Saturday, September 28, 1872: Bart leaves King City and discovers Belle has joined him for his trip to New Orleans.
01. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
02. Maverick, Brasada Spur (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
03. Western Union and the Creation of the American Corporate Order, 1845-1893; (June 28, 2013) Joshua D. Wolff ; Cambridge University Press
04. Birding in Kansas; Natural Kansas (retrieved July 10, 2016)
05. QoD…Life in the Old West; The Road to Deadwood (retrieved July 10, 2016)
06. Map of the United States and Territories (1872); Stedman, Brown and Lyon
07. To Kansas & Colorado: Kansas Pacific Railway, the Great Through Route!; Kansas Memory; Kansas historical Society (retrieved July 10, 2016)
08. Missouri Pacific Ry; (1885) Rand, McNally & Co.
The telegram from "Blackburn"
The placing of "Brasada Spur" into the Maverick Chronology is based on the telegram sent from "Blackburn" to Rufus Elgree, clearly dated September 14, 1872. The names of the Western Union officers — John Van Horne and William Orton — appearing in the telegram's masthead, are also consistent with the 1872 date. All other dates for the episode are derived from this information.
"I guess the summer's really over."
Belle Morgan's remark to Bart Maverick as they watch birds flying south is fairly consistent with an early September date. Although there are still fully three weeks of summer left, some species of shorebirds can be seen migrating south in Kansas, from more northerly regions, as early as September.
"…you might say that mine is a seasonal operation. During the peak of the shipping season, I make enough off the business they can't handle to pay interest off the debts, keep the road in repair and send my two kids to school."
Roy Stafford's explanation to Bart Maverick implies the shipping season for cattle which, in Kansas, ran from May to September as herds were driven up from Texas along the Chisholm Trail. Their scheme of buying cattle and shipping them at deflated rates on the Great Western Railroad was critical in its timing, so close to the end of the season.
"I'll be back in ten days at the latest."
Bart Maverick's announcement to Barnes is about right. By steam locomotive and the routes available in 1872, it would have taken about four traveling days to reach Chicago from Junction City, Kansas. Allowing for an additional day's travel from King City along the Brasada Spur's 250-mile route, one could expect a five-day trip. Therefore, since we know Bart returned to King City on September 14, we can assume he left on September 4. The same journey was taken by Rufus Elgree beginning on the 14th, albeit likely on his Great Western Railroad for the first leg of the trip. This would have gotten him to Chicago in time for his Thursday appointment with "Blackburn" on September 19 and a probable return date to King City on the 25th.
"Sounds like Saturday night in the middle of the week."
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