Opportunity Knocks

An Intercepted Telegram

John Wesley Bick was just a junior member of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. He had been stationed as a clerk in a remote office deep within the Great Maze of California earlier this year after scoring high marks in training. He had joined the Agency hoping to make a difference, but so far all he had managed to do was push a few papers around and deliver news to his creepy boss. A task which he was currently burdened with. He knocked on his superiors door, and a gravely voice told him to come in.

A tall figure turned to him, looking through him as if he wasn’t there. Everything about Mr. Lane unnerved him. His boss, Andrew Lane, stood over six feet tall. His thin and wiry frame made him seem frail, but Bick had seen him carry heavy loads like they were made of goose feathers. Mr. Lane grew his hair long so that it covered a ghastly scar at the back of his head. There were plenty of rumors about what had caused that wound. Personally, Bick thought it was an injun’s botched attempt at scalping him.

“Sir, our field agents have intercepted a Union telegram.”

“Very well. Give me the highlights Mr. Bick.”, said Mr. Lane. His voice sounded like the crackling spark of a lit fuse.

“It’s from Brigadier General Malcolm Gill of Fort Lincoln to President Grant. He says that a patrol has captured a Dr. Erasmus Finn. While he doesn’t seem to be a Confederate, he did have a number of unusual devices on him. Looks like they’re sending him off to Fort 51.”

“Alright. So why did you bring this to my attention?”, asked Mr. Lane with a sneer.

“Well sir, they’re sending him to Fort 51 but they’re sending his devices off to the Boy General. You said you wanted to be notified of any news about him.”

“Ah. And where does intelligence say the Boy General is now?”

“Reports say he left the Battle of Detroit and is headed south west. We believe he will cross into California through Truckee Pass.”

Mr. Lane paused and looked over a large map of the West Coast. He ran his finger over multiple dots near Truckee Pass. Finally he spoke, “Have Jim Higgins intercept him. Use the Wasatch Rail Lines cover story. That should at least buy us some time.”


Riddles within riddles…

An Intercepted Telegram

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