Attached Documents

Confession of Sergeant Robert Baker

~ 4th October 1882 ~

I have been encouraged by those involved with the Sheriff's office to write this, so that it may be that my conscience is eased. I do not believe this is possible. The crimes that I have committed are heinous, and without proper cause. By dawn tomorrow I will be hanged for my transgressions, and perhaps this is the fate I have given myself. Here in this confession, however, perhaps I can make it clear the true nature of the events that occurred out in Satler's Field. Perhaps you can be made to understand.

It is true, that on the morning of the 28th of September I perpetrated the kidnapping of one Abigail Harris. While taking a morning walk to clear my thoughts she came to me at the edge of the Harris property. I then took her, and ran off into Satler's field, where I hid and kept her for the equivalent of four days. Throughout this time I performed enacted cruelties on the girl which I cannot name. At the end of the tenure I left her at the crossroads and attempted to flee before being apprehended by the Sheriff and my partner the Reverend.

As of now, I write in a small cell, in the dead of night. Tombstone is quiet so rarely. I can see the moon. It's so full. I'm aware this is the last time I will see it.

These are the crimes of which I now confess to be guilty. Read further, friend, if you wish to understand why.

You see, those cruelties, those actions, they were committed not upon the girl Abigail but unto the shadow. The shade, from the crossroads, she was but its puppet. You must understand, it had been whispering to me, in the night. As I attempted sleep, the shadow would come to me, it would wait and it would murmur atrocities all through the night. It urged me, the shade implored me, to perpetrate such horrific deeds. I could sense its ache, its hunger. Its need. Every night as time bore on, I refused it. In anger the shade would cry out. Such a cry that it pained me to hear. And in daylight the shadow stalked, I sensed it at all times, waiting.

And so, when the girl came to me, in the dark of early morning, and whispered to me as the shade, I was compelled. It had to cease. No more whould I be tormented. So I carried her away.

Accounting for my actions, the cruelties, they were of a practical nature. The shade spoke incessantly. I heard my voice in her mouth. So she had to be silenced. The scars of burning on the girl's skin were her own doing. The shadow tried to burn messages into her skin, so her arms had to be broken incapacitated. When the shadow attempted to choke me by blowing smoke into the wind, her life breath had to stop be ended crushed cease. Though, upon reflection I suppose this was unsuccessful.

By the end of the duration, the shade could no longer puppeteer her. The objective had been completed. However, there was still the matter of her body, which had to be disposed of. I had some cognition, at that time, of what was to come. My flight was rather out of instinct than any true desire to escape. I had reached an understanding.

When my voice came from her mouth, it spoke of truth. The reasons for my torment became clear to me. I'm sure you will recall the dream I recounted for the documentation, of the crossroad and the shade and the pit and the choice. The girl, she told me what it meant.

I am not me.

This world is empty.

I crossed over to this place, when the real me made his choice.

The dream, the desire I held so dear, it is kept alive by the flame. But the flame must burn. It must have fuel. So the choice is made. The dream must stay, and so to fuel the flame, the shade must have firewood. So I burn the branches. That is why the shade comes, why it torments. Why it stains the world with smoke and delivers myself to ruin. All of me, to such ruin. That is the nature of the choice it made. That I made. It was what the hounds asked of me. The dream must be kept alive on the vapours of a thousand burning nightmares.

And so tomorrow, this nightmare too shall be consigned to flame.

I wonder, as I stand upon the gibbet at dawn, in that exact moment, how many of me will be experiencing the same suffering? How many branches curl to cinders in any given moment?

I have lived so much of my life believing that there was nothing I truly feared. It has since been revealed to me the arrogance and foolishness of such a thought, for a deep terror has nested within my heart, one I have not known for a long time.

A query for the reader. If given the opportunity, what senseless acts might you perpetrate, in exchange for that one object of your desire, that single ever present hope in your heart that you have longed to see come true for so long? What cruelties would you enact to keep your most sacred dream from falling to ash between your fingers?

In regards to myself, I would do just about anything.

And that is what terrifies me.

-Robert Baker


Account Provided to the Tombstone Gazette by Reverend Horace Baumann
~ 5th October 1882 ~

There is usually a crowd in Tombstone for a hanging. Today it was only myself and a few Protectorate Rangers in attendance. As well, it is so rare we get any rainfall all the way out here. Today the sky was completely overcast.

The assembly for the hanging began at approximately six-thirty, the Sheriff's men had finished preparations on the gibbet within five minutes. Baker was brought out at exactly seven o'clock. Sheriff White made the final announcements quickly and concisely, one might sense that he wished for this to be over quickly. Some of the rangers winced when the sheriff announced the crimes of which Baker had been found guilty.

I had offered to be the one to perform Baker's last rites, but one of the Deputies told me they preferred the local Parson for executions. Parson Wilford's rites were serviceable, though I think rather underwhelming for a man of Baker's stature.

When the time came, at roughly seven fifteen, Deputy Arnold put the black hood over Baker's head, and strung him up. Sheriff White had his back to Baker when he pulled the lever, though we all heard the drop.

Myself, however, I could have sworn that in those last scant moments, I heard Baker stifling laughter.

When it was all over, there was only silence in Tombstone. I could smell smoke on the wind.

After the events of my partner's passing, I afforded all the energy I could to completing the documentation for Anomalie No. 435, most of which was done within the Axton Hornsby Lodge in Tombstone. During my stay there I came across a book they had acquired in their library. An unabridged copy of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Journals, a first edition distributed by the Washington Auctoritas branch in 1811. There was a peculiar anecdote I discovered within its pages. While it was strange, it seemed queer that among the many fantastical excerpts removed from the original for he public release, this section had been removed as well. It appears to be at least tangentially related to the No. 435 case, so I have included a transcription for archival purposes.

Property of the Axton-Hornsby Exploration Society’s Anomaly Records

in collaboration with

The Ranger’s Protectorate Committee

Document Digitized: 08/11/2003 - OIRS

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