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All-Star Western Vol 3 10

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"The War of Lords and Owls: Part One": Having just had his bodyguard toss the ragged Tallulah Black out a second floor window of Alan Wayne's Casino, Lucius Bennet behaves as though he has done nothing

Quote1 I could give an entire lecture on deviant psychology based on those two alone. Quote2
-- Amadeus Arkham

Appearing in "The War of Lords and Owls: Part One"

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Synopsis for "The War of Lords and Owls: Part One"

Having just had his bodyguard toss the ragged Tallulah Black out a second floor window of Alan Wayne's Casino, Lucius Bennet behaves as though he has done nothing wrong. Wayne is naturally upset to have such indignity visited upon his establishment, and is inclined to believe the intruder's words against Bennet, given his unscrupulous nature. Bennet warns his host not to insult him, as he is well-connected - some of those connections being in law enforcement.

When his security arrives, Wayne waves them away, adding that they should take care to prevent Mr. Bennet's type from entering again. Boldly, Alan Wayne states that he has no fear of Bennet or his connections, despite implications that he may be associated with a certain criminal enterprise. Bennet casually states that he will do nothing to attack Mr. Wayne other than to continue his campaign to have the land north of the city developed instead of turned into parkland. Grumpily, Wayne asks his guest to leave.

In the meantime, Amadeus Arkham has treated Tallulah Black's wounds and changed her clothes for washing. He comments to Jonah Hex that she had remarkable scarring all over her body. Jonah is well aware of this, given the nature of his relationship with her. He had trained her to get revenge on the men that scarred her, but since she did, she's been seeking a man named Bennet. Arkham recognizes the name, and wonders if she has been seeking Lucius Bennet - a real estate developer with a reputation for strong-arm tactics. He is no friend to his tenants. Despite the fact that Tallulah's prey and this Lucius Bennet are obviously one and the same, Hex refuses to go after him, knowing she wouldn't take kindly to his doing so without her.

Jonah decides instead to speak with Alan Wayne, visiting him at his casino. However, Wayne has ordered that he not be disturbed. Hex persists, and Wayne agrees to speak to him, given that the bounty hunter professes to knowing Tallulah Black personally.

Elsewhere, the Court of Owls has completed a section of its labyrinth, thanks to the late Thurston Moody. They have a new problem, however. The Followers of Cain are proving to be an obstruction to their growing control over Gotham. Removing them is not as easy as sending a Talon to assassinate their leader, though.

They follow a scripture from the Crime Bible itself, and the structure of their organization is such that it is divided into houses of five criminal disciplines: thievery, assassination, extortion, prostitution, and terrorism. All five heads of each house must be destroyed, along with potential successors. One head is known to them - Lucius Bennet is thought to be the Lord of Extortion.

Without the aid of a Talon, the Court must use someone else to do their work. There were two witnesses to the execution of Thurston Moody: Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham. Until now, the Court had simply been waiting for the dangerous Hex to leave Gotham City, but given that he is known to have associated with the woman who has targeted Bennet for death, he may be able to serve the Court's purposes unwittingly by helping his former lover.

Tallulah Black wakes in disgust to the silken, flowery slip that Arkham placed her in. He enters the room to her shouts, and unexpectedly finds her naked, having removed the slip with disdain. Seeing him, she points her gun at him, and he desperately claims that he is a friend of Jonah Hex's, despite the fact that Jonah claims not to have friends. She orders him to get her some real clothes and make her a hearty breakfast, lasciviously wondering where Jonah Hex is.

Later, Tallulah and Arkham sit across from each other over breakfast, the doctor trying to hide the fact that he's staring at her behind his newspaper. She strikes him as strangely alluring, despite her monstrous behaviour and appearance. He supposes that the scars on her skin came with similar scars to her mind. Suddenly, she slices his newspaper in half with her knife, and warns him against staring at her. Indignantly, Arkham suggests that she should be grateful to him for his medical attention. She warns that if he means to say that she should show her gratitude in the bedroom, he will find himself in pain. When he tries to deflect her accusation, she begins to suggest that he should want to take advantage of her.

Spluttering, Arkham doesn't know what to do until Jonah Hex's unnerving laughter fills the room. Hex finds the whole scene hilarious, and as soon as he catches Tallulah Black's attention, she is on him. With little ceremony, Hex tosses her over his shoulder, and the two prepare to engage in certain private activities, at least until nightfall.

Later that night, Arkham visits a patient of his who has become dangerous, and was placed in a special cell with no roof, to separate him from the others. Arkham enters the cell alone, and his patient Mr. Rennington immediately warns him to stay out of view of the window, as "she" can see them. Rennington's ravings indicate that he has become paranoid that he will be killed by owls.

Arkham believes he is suffering from delusions and prepares to sedate him, but Rennington leaps on him, accusing him of being one of them. With a guard's help, Arkham sedates the man, and leaves the cell only to hear the sound of broken glass. He turns back into the room to see that both Rennington and his guard have been murdered. He examines the room and finds no clue but a single feather.

Appearing in "Unholy Matrimony"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Ellie
  • Suzanne


Other Characters:




Synopsis for "Unholy Matrimony"

Bartholomew Aloysius Lash - Bat Lash - has lead a charmed life. An exceptionally good gambler, and devastatingly handsome too, he has never been short of money or women. Ladies, in particular, are a weakness. Ever since he was a baby, women had found him irresistible - and he had found certain of their features irresistible too. Now, these qualities of his have lead to quite the punch-up - and at a wedding, no less. His wedding.

Nine months ago, he had been caught cheating with one woman by her twin sister, and his charms had wound up with both of them in bed with him. Then, he was caught a second time by their father, who was not as easily deterred.

Now, one of the sisters is near due on her pregnancy, and her father is certain that Bat Lash is the father. He and most of the town are eager to see her married off to him, even if they must see it done at gun point. Bat points out that there is no way, for the time being, to be certain that he is the father. Slyly, he points out that the twins have switched places. He admits readily to having bedded one of the sisters, just not the pregnant one. Ellie has a habit of biting her nails that her sister Suzanne doesn't share.

His ploy is interrupted when Suzanne's baby starts coming, and Bat Lash heroically delivers it for them. Afterwards, he points out that the baby is certainly too ugly to be his. Angrily, Ellie socks him in the nose. Suzanne explains that the baby is Mike Stettler's. Unfortunately, Mike was kicked in the head by a horse and died, so when they saw that Bat Lash was back in town, they figured he would have money enough to take care of the baby. Hearing this, the preacher suggests that Bat leave town.

As he makes his way, Bat Lash steals a flower for his cap from Mike's funeral procession.


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