Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
Dire Wolves on the Prowl in Idaho
CRYSTAL FALLS, ID—Packs of giant wolves have been seen on the prowl in the Rocky Mountains of the Idaho Territory. In a story similar to that told in Wolf Creek, MT, reports amidst sightings of huge, or dire, wolves have circulated. This time, the town of Crystal Falls, a small mining town tow and a half days ride from Oro Grande.
While animal attacks are common in this part of the world, there has been a frightening increase in the number and savagery on domesticated animals in outlying farmsteads and mining camps. Attacks have even been reported inside the town itself.
Mrs. Emily Thiddlebumb, a fifty-eight year old widowed schoolmarm and head of the Mount Zion Baptist Church’s Ladies’ Auxiliary and Baking Committee as well as the Chairwoman of the Crystal Falls Temperance League, witnessed one these bloody attacks three nights ago. She claims that it was more than merely a dire wolf.
“When I first heard the chickens squawking,” reports Mrs. Thuddlebumb, " I looked out my back window. A stooped figure had just opened the door. As the door hid the figure, I was unable to get a clear look at it from the house." When I asked Mrs. Thuddlebumb how she could be certain of identifying the figure from such a distance at night had the door not partially blocked the figure from her sight, she reminded me that the moon had been full three nights ago, providing ample light to see by.
“At First,” she continued, “I thought that i was some vagrant or miner or Indian who had been driven to steal by hunger. Being a good Christian soul, I opened the back door and , as I approached the coop, called out that there was no need to steal to curb their hunger and if they would but ask, they would receive.”
“I was, of course, distressed at the terrible sounds made by the chickens and suspected that I was not answered because I could not be heard over the sound they were making. I continued to approach and called out again to the strange. It wasn’t until I reached the door that I heard the warning growl. At first, I was worried that the dire wolf people had been speaking of had come into the yard.”
“The second growl made me realize that the sound emanated from within the coop! While I did not get a good look at whatever it was that threw open the door, and knocked me down before disappearing into the night,” (Reporter’s Note: Remember that the door was blocked by the light of the moon) “I can tell you this much about the creature. It is roughly the size of a man and is hariy, for I felt its arm as it pushed me aside. It held one of by best hens in its maw and, as it pushed me aside, I am sure I felt claws on its blood-slick human-like hand.”
“There is no doubt that we have to take Mrs. Thiddlebumb’s report seriously.” said Sheriff Wise when asked about the incident. “Everyone in this town knows her to be a sober, respectable, God-Fearing woman. heck, most of us were schooled by her and some have children being schooled by her now. Even if she wasn’t, the bloody mess inside her cop is reason enough. to know something has to be done before this critter comes across an attended child.”
“As for what it is doing the killing, you’ll be disappointed to know that I’m not about to blame werewolves. I know Mrs. Thiddlebumb told you, but I still suspect it’s some rabid animal. We had favored a wolf, but personally I leaning toward a bear now, given Mrs. Tiddlebumb’s description. At most, I’d say it’s some mountain man gone soft in the head.”
While Sheriff Wise’s bear story holds some merit, there were only human-sized tracked around the area of Mrs. Tiddlebumb’s coop. Yesterday’s rains make it impossible to tell for certain, but the impressions look too small for a bear—even a young one. Likewise, the howls reported to sound from just outside of town every month at the full moon seem to indicate a canine connection to this case. It’s for these reasons that it may not be the most sagacious act to entirely dismiss the possibility of werewolves in the mountains of Idaho.