Jericho Sims, a gunslinger searching the country for the Surgeon – a faceless doctor who, toward the final days of the American Civil War, murdered Jericho’s fellow soldiers as part of an arcane ritual intended to grant unimaginable power. This ritual left Jericho marked for the forces of the supernatural, and he has discovered that the world is not what he believed it to be.
“Buried Treasure” is the second foray into Jericho’s world, and describes the events following the theft of Chickasaw artifacts – one of which turns out to control a monster of legend. Jericho and his friend, the warrior Akocha, ride across Oklahoma territory in an effort to recover the artifact from an armed gang while contending with the presence of a creature that wants them dead.
Some people have asked to know more about Jericho – who he is and what made him the man he is today, so let me introduce you:
Long and lean of build, Jericho is possessed of keen eyesight and solid muscle structure suited more to speed and agility than raw strength. His life as a soldier and gunman has concentrated on quick movement, and he still manages to be faster than men a decade younger than him. He has been described by some as “ruggedly handsome”, though to him even that is a bit of a stretch. As he might put it, “I ain’t hard to look at, but then again I ain’t figuring on nobody doing it for long periods.”
Jericho wears a Colt .45 revolver in a low slung holster, offset by a long-bladed knife on his opposite hip. A second revolver, this one in .36 caliber, rests at the small of his back. He is frequently encountered wearing a calf-length duster that has seen better days. High-collared shirts and denim pants are favorites, and he would feel naked without his vest and hat. The vest has several pockets (one is usually home to a flask of a whiskey, while another holds a tin of the twisted little cigarros that he is prone to smoke), and the hat is a favorite, especially in the rain or hot sun.
No report on Jericho would be complete without his most trusted companion. Gideon is an Appaloosa gelding with which Jericho shares a deep bond. Day or night, he knows he can talk to Gideon and the horse will listen. Considering the reactions and sounds made in response to his conversation, Jericho has been known to wonder if Gideon can understand him. Having discovered the things he has in recent years, it would not surprise Jericho if he could. Standing 15 hands in height, Gideon brushes up against Jericho’s shoulders. He is brown in coloration, with a white field across his hips that brims with brown spots.
Knowing what he looks like isn’t enough? Ah, yes! You want some background too. Well, then:
Jericho left his family at a young age following some friction with his father. His journey began harshly, with the young man forced to fight for his very survival in the first town he explored. The life and death struggle he encountered there set the stage for his future. His agility would be his meal ticket for some time, as he traveled with more than one group as a gun hand, trading his skills for a meager living but managing to avoid the notice of the law.
It was when he decided to make more of his life that he met the woman who would change him. He was studying under the tutelage of a young schoolmistress who invited Jericho to attend the local church. He did and soon found himself smitten by Miss Magdalene DeCour, one of the parishioners. The two of them began a courtship and eventually married, Jericho forsaking the life of a potential outlaw for that of a farmer and small rancher.
One fateful day, as the leading edges of the American Civil War spread into their territory, a Union scouting party encountered Magdalene Sims and, following her vehement refusal to simply turn over her cattle and grains, killed her for daring to resist their robbery. Jericho put paid to the killers and set off in a rage to kill as many of their kind as he could. A fellow soldier told him once that they were thankful a demon such as Jericho was on their side. He remarked it could as easily have been the other way around if Confederate troops had acted as the Union men had. Random chance placed him where he was, and politics meant nothing to a man bent on vengeance.
It was toward the final days of the war, when Jericho was riding with a party of guerilla raiders, that his life would truly be changed. Members of his unit were injured and the group stumbled into a hospital camp. The Medical Officer in charge of the camp was referred to simply as “the Surgeon” by the men of the camp. Every member of Jericho’s unit that went into the medical tent died at the hands of this man, and when Jericho and his commander burst in to confront the Surgeon, they were caught in a mystical backlash from the demonic ritual the Surgeon had been attempting. His commander was killed, and Jericho was knocked clear of the tent by the magical forces unleashed. When he came to, the Surgeon had fled.
The energies that coursed over him have exposed Jericho to the new reality, and he is marked as a beacon to supernatural forces. Wherever he goes now, the strangest events present themselves to him, and Jericho has no choice but to push through them in his unending search for the Surgeon – a man whose face no one can remember once he has left an area. For Jericho Sims, the paranormal truths of his world – so often hidden from view of even the determined man – are becoming plain.
Interested to find out what Jericho is up to?
Find out more about Jericho Sims directly from the man himself. Snatch up your copy of “Buried Treasure” today for less than the cost of a cup of coffee! You can also find the first story, “Golem”, linked below as well. Both are short reads that will provide you some entertainment and excitement during a long lunch, on that morning bus ride, or during that business meeting with that guy who talks like a monotone robot (you know the one!). Help yourself to the fun, and check back for more Jericho soon!
Jericho sketch (c) Marlene C Cooper – See her work HERE