In 1879, African-American settlers fled the South, heading westward to Kansas and the territories. These people became known as the Exodusters. While many ended up returning to the South, many others continued to push westwards in the hopes of finding the freedom promised by the end of the Civil War. In 1880 One such group chose to settle in a small valley in the southwest part of Montana. The Exodusters named this place Wonderment and named the winding river which ran through it Glory. By 1885 the town was made up of ex-slaves, poor whites and Native Americans who, while far from rich, all lived happy and peaceful lives. Former Gunhawk, Reno Jones had made Wonderment his home as well, settling down with his wife, Mary, and their son Cass.
All of this changed during the summer of 1885 when the town was descended upon by the Nightriders who were ruthless and notorious gunmen dressed up like members of the Ku Klux Klan. Reno and others managed to force the men out of the town after their initial attack, but many died in their raids in the days that followed. In actuality, the Nightriders were hired by the former outlaw Clay Riley to drive the people from the town. Riley now owned a copper mining and processing company and wanted the town's river as a prime location to set up a smelting operation for his raw ore. Unbeknownst to Jones, the head of the Nightriders was his old partner Kid Cassidy, who Jones had thought he had killed years before when the Kid had drawn his gun on him.
Jones eventually called together a town meeting whereby the residents discussed possible options of what to do. Some townspeople considered just running away, though Jones convinced them that the only option was to fight for their home. To this end, he decided to go and get his old friend the Rawhide Kid to help them in their battle. The Old medicine man, Flaming Star, also pledged the help of the Native champion, Red Wolf, for all the assistance that the town had given to their people. Fur trapper Marcel Fournier also offered to try and gain the assistance of his old friend the Two-Gun Kid. They succeeded in recruiting many of the best gunfighters and heroes of the old west including these as well as Kid Colt, Outlaw Kid, Caleb Hammer, and the Gunhawk. On their way back to Wonderment, Reno Jones was shot and apparently killed, only to later rejoin the battle in the guise of Clay Riley old nemesis, the Ghost Rider. Marcel Fournier was also revealed to be a spy working for Riley and his close friend, the Two-Gun Kid, was forced to kill him.
While the assembled heroes did win the battle, ultimately driving out the Nightriders and killing Clay Riley and Kid Cassidy, the victory was not without a huge cost. Half of the town was dead, many buildings had been burned down, and the death toll included the Two-Gun Kid, Outlaw Kid, Kid Colt, and the Gunhawk. The Rawhide Kid buryied his friends on a hill on the outskirts of the town, and despite Reno Jones' offer to stay, decided to push on.
The next year, in 1886, the Rawhide Kid helped the Apache Kid rescue a large group of Apache children from being sent to residential schools in the eastern United States. Rawhide told Rosa to bring the children to Wonderment in Montana, and to look up Reno Jones. The Kid then doubled back to confront their pursuers, giving Rosa and the children the opportunity to escape.
Points of Interest
- The Glory River
- 3 Appearances of Wonderment
- 0 Minor Appearances of Wonderment
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