It is early 1846 and Brother Michael has been preparing Ambrose for his initiation test in to the Dogs. Brother Michael has led Ambrose from his village to one called Far Reach, that is known for not doing too well, they travelled by foot, leaving their horses behind, travelling over the scrubland. The village is a small place on the edge of the mountains, that only has about four builds, a Faith house, a barn, along with a food store. All the people are wearing black colored clothes, even the women here do not seem to have much color to their outfits.
A man speaks out to the gathered crowd, informing them about how he would normally deal with this situation, but this time it will be handled by Brother Ambrose today. A young woman, in her early twenties stands opposite a man who is wearing a simple steward’s robes, the dispute seems to involve them and Ambrose starts by asking how he may help today. He is told about the young woman having come in to an inheritance, how she had come from a different village leaving her own family, coming here to her man she loved. How they would prefer her to be kept away from the village here and her new relic. Another person states in the woman’s defence how she had arrived here wanting to stay with the man she loved, and how they loved each other, but unfortunately her man is now dead and that she has every right to stay here now.
Ambrose listens to each of their arguments, trying to judge whether she will have to stay or to go. The man called Adam who is putting up a strong argument for the woman to leave, pushes his feelings more and more on to Ambrose, swaying the crowd behind him. It gets to a point where Adam believes himself to have won the argument, and walks over to Ambrose putting his arm around him as if the matter has finished, whispering that he thought Ambrose was going to go against him. With this Ambrose speaks out, letting the whole crowd hear what he is about to say ‘while you may be able to sway opinion, you can not buy opinion’, forcing the guy off and away from him.
The discussion goes on, and this time a guy from the crowd steps up to Ambrose , a guy from his village, ‘you is no Dog yet’ putting his arm around Ambrose’s neck, ‘go on, judge’. This guy is being very forceful and keeps on at Ambrose, but Ambrose keeps his cool and unwrap the guys arm from his neck throwing it away, and pushing the guy away from him drawing his gun. ‘Go on, judge’, ‘go on, judge’ the guy keeps on shouting out at Ambrose, baiting him, drawing his own gun.
Bang! an explosion of smoke from a gun, followed by another shot. The guy hits the ground as his gun fires in to the air, his leg a bloody mess now from Ambrose’s smoking gun. Ambrose now turns back to Adam and states that the village should give her something of equal value for what she has and will lose. Brother Michael clasps his arm around Ambrose after the judgement with a smile, pleased with how Ambrose had handled the situation.
There ends Brother Ambrose and his initiation in to the Dogs, however elsewhere a different Brother, Brother Jesse has just finished his initiation and is now travelling back to town, after a long and hard time, his companion and confident Brother Jubiah believed in him through out, even when it got difficult, but no one else thought that he would have made it through, his is sore and beaten with gun powder burns on his hand and saddle sore, glad to be travelling back after passing his test.
They pass through a small town, barely big enough for a watering hole, Brother Jubiah asks Brother Jesse if they could wait here for a while as he would like to see someone here while they pass through. Brother Jesse agrees, glad for the little stop and rest, and waits outside while Brother Jubiah goes on in to a house, Brother Jesse looking after the horses outside, his soon to be coat that Brother Jubiah had created for him, folded and laid on the back of Brother Jubiah’s horse.
A man staggers down the street towards Brother Jesse, smelling the alcohol before the guy even get near, the man trips as he draws near falling towards the horses and catching himself on Brother Jubiah’s horse, putting his dirty smelly hands on to the coat. Brother Jesse seeing this stands up straight tensing with a build up of anger, demanding that the guy get up and move away as quickly as he can, his voice raising as he speaks. Unfortunately the guy doesn’t seem to listen or show any care for what he is doing and just leans over on to the horse’s back, his hands still resting on the coat, Brother Jesse can sense his mentor Brother Jubiah is looking out at him from the window.
Brother Jesse’s anger starts to boil as he looks back at the guy just leaning there without a care, again Brother Jesse shouts at the guy that he had better move away from the horse and to make it quick, and starts to make a move towards him. However Brother Jubiah suddenly steps in front of Brother Jesse stopping him in his tracks, ‘I thought I taught you better than that.’
Looking over Brother Jubiah’s shoulder he can see that the guy looks like he is going to be sick on the coat, he explains that the guy does not show proper respect, and worries for the coat that Brother Jubiah had painstakingly crafted, that it has not even been worn yet. Slowly Brother Jesse lets the situation go, calming himself, letting the feelings slip away, as his mentor looks at him.
Brother Jubiah turns to the guy leaning on his horse, ‘thanks fer your help with this, I think ye had better wash that damn stick off.’ The guy stands up and walks off with a smile spread across his face. ‘Well done son, I am proud of ye’, Brother Jubiah puts a reassuring hand on Jesse’s shoulder.
Joshua stands there as the sun starts to set behind him, showing that the day is again coming to an end, a hemp rope has been tied high up in front of him and the crowd that are all standing around. Looking up at the rope he is told that he will have to judge whether a guy will have to be or not.
A guy is led out and through the crowd, his hands are tied tight, a wheat sack is over his head. The crowd is all riled up, shouting and kick at him, some even spitting at him. Joshua is instructed that this guy had poisoned the well, quickly he steps in to the crowd getting them to step away from the guy and to let him through with no more malice, telling them that they are here to find out if the guy is guilty or innocent.
‘How do you know that this guy had poisoned the well?’ Joshua asks the crowd, a person in the crowd answers back that they had found him next to the well, then the crowd starts up again and start to move in closer chanting for the noose. Joshua draws his gun and fires a warning shot in the air, getting everyone’s attention again. The crowd step back again leaving one guy stood there defiant, holding a gun himself, stating that the guy has always been trouble in the town, and if Joshua doesn’t then he will, lifting his gun as an example of what he means, slowly thumbing back the hammer.
Joshua points his gun now at the man standing there with the gun, they exchange more heated words about the guy and needing to be executed, before Joshua lets his gun finish the argument. The man gets the message as he lays there stretched out on the floor, his own gun discharging into the air harmlessly.
Brother Joshua judges the man to be innocent, as he was, and manages to live through his rough experience with just some very bad sprains and bruises.
Now days after the initiation.
The three new initiated in to the Dogs have been instructed that they are to work together, roaming the lands dealing with all the sinners that they may meet. They stand there in their new clean coats being instructed and given their first assignment, they are to be sent out to their first town, to take the mail out to Honest Ridge, to the food store there to a guy named Cornelius, dealing with any issues that come up.
The journey takes about a week of hard travel on the horses and rides alike, the route there has no smooth paths through, passing through several smaller towns on the way. The first sight they come across upon reaching Honest Ridge are the farms that lay out on the outskirts of town, seeing a larger more important building near the center of town as they draw near, the building being the chapel and what appears to be an important part of the town.
As the three new Dogs approach the town people start to gather, the town can be seen to have just come out of a bad winter thankful that spring is now upon them. They ride straight up to the food store, Brother Jesse waits outside staying on his horse, and looking after the other two horses, while Brother Ambrose and Brother Joshua go on in to deliver the mail.
An old guy walks down the street and straight up to Brother Jesse, introduces himself as Abadiah, Jesse does the same, and they talk about the town and the fact that the town has not had any Dogs for about five years now. Abadiah mentions that he has a son, good ol’ Joss as he looks straight at Brother Jesse’s eyes.
Inside the store the owner is busy talking with a smart dressed customer, once he has finished he welcomes the two new visitors, introducing himself as Cornelius, asking if they had come after hearing about the festivities, after getting a negative reply he explains that it is going to be his wedding, marrying a woman called Wendy, and that she is a lovely sight for the eyes.
Brother Joshua hands over mail as they explain that they had come for that reason only to begin with, upon receiving the mail, Cornelius offers them some dried food stuff for their services, but Brother Joshua explains that it would be best served fi Cornelius keeps it for his wedding day and the guests. Brother Ambrose asks him if there is anywhere that he would recommend to stay, and is informed that there is a guy called Virgil at a house with a tree of life outside.
A woman is walking down the street, she is in white ragged looking clothes except for the hat she wears with pride, she smiles and nods at everyone she meets, and upon seeing Abadiah with a new person in town blinks, there seems to be something between them.
‘She brought you here didn’t she?’ Abadiah states with an under current to his voice, ‘no horses did’ Brother Jesse replies trying to lighten the mood, Abadiah laughs of sorts before Brother Jesse explains that they had brought the post in for the food store. Brother Jesse asks him if everything is alright between him and her, and he explains that she is going to be marrying Cornelius tomorrow and that her name is Wendy, he believes that they are not suited and that it will not last long.
Brother Ambrose and Brother Joshua finish up in the store and thank Cornelius before leaving, upon stepping outside they see Brother Jesse talking with an old man. Before leaving Abadiah states that his son Joss is young and a good son, looking to both Brother Ambrose and Brother Joshua. They tell Brother Jesse that they have been told of a good place to stay, telling him of the tree and the guys name is Virgil.
At the house with the tree of life outside, the Dogs can see that the door is open, and a worried looking guy stood outside looking up at Brother Joshua and his rifle, but then realises that they are Dogs and relaxes. Brother Ambrose tells him that Cornelius recommended him for a good place to stay, and Virgil asks them to come on in, offering them a place at his table with his wife and son.
Brother Joshua gives pray at the table before they start their meal, and during the meal Virgil asks about news of other towns. After they have finished their meal but while still sat around the table, the Dogs ask Virgil some general questions about the town of Honest Ridge, about Cornelius, Abadiah and his son and of course Wendy. Virgil is very happy for his friend Cornelius and Wendy, they are a happy couple, but some people are not so happy and maybe jealous, like Abadiah and his son, Abadiah does some work but he should be passing on his knowledge now instead of keeping it to himself, Cornelius has always lived here and managed to make money for himself.
Before parting for the night Virgil states that he would hope that the King of Life will shine upon the wedding tomorrow.