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The 19th Century

Peter Simpson’s descendants had gradually moved west, forgetting the faiths of their grandfather and their great-grandfather. By 1800 there were two surviving families, the Simpsons and the Hecks. Each had only one son, and unfortunately for both the genetic deformity acquired by Shlomo at Innsmouth manifested itself very strongly in each. The two dealt with this deformity in very different ways, however.

The Simpsons

Joshua Simpson (1799-1861) left his father’s home in St. Louis at age 19, determined to make a name for himself on the frontier. He found, unfortunately, that his looks made him unfit for polite society, and that the only women who would accept his company were ladies of negotiable affection. Joshua was a man of strong conviction and stronger personality, however, and did not allow this to deter him. According to the B----- archives (the eldest son of the B----- has done substantial research towards writing a family history, and MN was lucky enough to make use of his research) Joshua put on a black mask and began fighting the many criminals of the Southwest as the legendary hero “Black Arrow, the Avenger.” His most notorious exploit was his single-handed cleansing of the town of Montague, Texas, in 1830. Montague was notorious as the “shootist’s town,” the headquarters for every loud-mouth and bad man who tried to live by the gun, rather than the law. Black Arrow’s actions resulted in numerous deaths and hangings, and the town, after his departure, was finally declared fit for gentlemen and their families.

Black Arrow did not survive this battle completely unharmed, however. A stray bullet struck the right side of his head, destroying his right eye. Although he was understandably downcast because of this, he eventually realized that the wound had disfigured him just enough that his birth deformity, the warped bone around his eye and the frozen pupil of the eye itself, was no longer visible. Thus cheered, he purchased a glass eye and had that placed in his eye socket. He left Texas, no longer concealing his face beneath a mask, and began hunting the frontier, gaining renown as “Glass Eye,” one of the deadliest shots in the West.

In 1841 the discovery of gold at Coloma (Sutter’s Mill) in California brought about the settlement of California. A wagon train left St. Louis for northern California, its leaders desiring to form a colony north of current-day San Francisco. Emily Cambridge, the daughter of Joseph Cambridge, the train’s leader, became separated from the train. She was pursued by Comanche but was rescued at the last moment by the intervention of “Glass Eye” Simpson, who helped escort her across the frontier and saw to it that she rejoined the train.

Information on the relationship, if any, between Emily and Joshua Simpson is scarce. He may have married her and then left her, or he may simply have said a gentlemanly farewell (an act atypical for his family). But it is known that Emily was not with the wagon train when it reached San Francisco, and the records of Lane County in Kansas contain the marriage certificate, in December 1841, of an "Emily Cambridge" to a "John Brock." There was a “John Brock,” on the wagon train, and he, too, never made it to San Francisco. The likely conclusion is that Emily, pregnant, married John Brock, who probably knew her from the wagon train, and that they returned to Brock's home town and settled down as ranchers.

“Glass Eye” Simpson went his own way, seemingly unconcerned about Emily Cambridge’s fate, and was back in St. Louis by 1845. He further distinguished himself fighting against slavery in "Bloody Kansas" in 1854, and died in 1861, fighting for the Union against Confederate agents in Saint Louis.

The son of "Glass Eye" Simpson, Frank Brock, grew up in a sod house in Lane County, Kansas. Frank Brock came of age in Kansas during the years of "Bloody Kansas" and saw his parents killed by pro-slavery forces, and so it was natural for him to enter the Union army and fight against the rebels. After the War ended he worked as an employee of the Pinkerton Agency, eventually moving from place to place and position to position as a deputy sheriff and later sheriff. During these years Brock saw a number of massacres and evil acts, so that by the time he was Sheriff of Suttonville, in Kansas, he was a hard, jaded man, though one still dedicated to justice. Unfortunately, though a skilled lawman, he was no match for the evil he found in 1877.

The Bowen family, a well-respected, G-d-fearing group of farmers, was found murdered in a horrific and unnatural way, and Brock was the unfortunate man who discovered the crime and caught the murderer. The murderer, however, was a most unusual man, and the morning after his capture he was gone from the jail cell in which Brock had imprisoned him. Brock and Dr. Albert Hall, Suttonville's town doctor, were found murdered, Hall squeezed to death and Brock mutilated beyond description.

As MN has shown, the marks on the bodies of both Brock and Hall bear a suspicious resemblance to the marks left other victims of slaughters over the years, most especially the victims found by Inspector LeGrasse in the bayous of Louisiana in 1907.

Interestingly, notes scrawled by Brock before his death indicate that the criminal's name was "Elementary Valance" or "Elemental Valence." (Beside this name was scrawled the words "Yog-Suthoth" (sic) but MN has refused point-blank to explain the meanings of this phrase.) (The sketch at right is an artist's recreation of what "Yog-Suthoth" might be) MN, after extensive research, has found a potential relative of this murderer.

As was once well-known, the town of Shinbone, Montana was the site of a battle between the cattle ranchers and the ordinary citizens in the late 1880s. The ranchers, who did not want Montana to achieve statehood as it would limit their power, hired several shootists and criminals to intimidate the citizens and influence their vote. One such criminal, perhaps the most notorious for hundreds of miles around, was "Liberty Valence," a sadistic thug who terrorized the inhabitants of Shinbone and the towns around it for almost a decade. Valence was famously shot dead by Ransom Stoddard, later a Senator for the state.

The gunfight between Valence and Stoddard has become obscured by legend, so that some crucial details are unclear. One especially curious aspect of the gunfight is why Valence, who had so frightened an area of land hundreds of square miles in area, was killed so quickly. Admittedly, he was a good shootist and fighter, but the length of time that went by before someone challenged him is strange, especially given the number of high-profile crimefighters and white hats in the West. We can only conclude that there was something unnatural about Valence, and that this unspeakable abnormality, which held so many men and women in terrified thrall, finally broke. We can further speculate that Liberty and Elemental/Elementary Valence were somehow related. And in an interesting postscript to the possible link between Liberty and Elemental/Elementary Valence, a recent and highly irregular excavation of the tomb of discredited hack writer H.P. Lovecraft has revealed a startling secret, although MN refers to the Providence Police Department’s refusal to discuss the matter as “plain good sense.”

The story of the Simpson family does not end there, however. Frank Brock was a great patronizer, if such a term might be used, of prostitutes, and in 1861 he had impregnated one, "Sarafina," in Wichita, the night before he left to join the Union army. She gave the child up for adoption at the city orphanage, and it was adopted by a couple, James and Mary Morris. They raised the child as their own, naming him "Quincey Philip" after their fathers. Quincey became an adventurer of some note, wandering around the West and gaining a well-deserved reputation as a do-gooder and fighter for the underdog. He died in Transylvania in 1887.

The Hecks

The only son of the Hecks10 was Woodson, a gambler and drunkard. Because of his facial deformity he was treated badly in the West, and was saddled with the name “Hex;” it was thought by the ignorant on the frontier that his ugliness was the result of a family curse. (In some ways, of course, they were right) This treatment turned Woodson from being a genial drunk to a mean drunk, and by 1838, when his son J. Woodson was born to his wife Ginny, Woodson was a brutal and ignorant man. In 1848 Ginny ran off with a traveling salesman, leaving J. Woodson, who inherited the facial deformity of his father, alone with an abusive Woodson. Woodson went west, to California, in 1851 in an attempt to get rich in the recent gold rush. Before he left, however, he sold J. Woodson to a group of Mescalero Apache, who raised him and treated him as one of their own. In return he because the best hunter, tracker, gunman and rider among them. Through a trick by a jealous Mescalero he was separated from his tribe, and did not find them again for many years.

J. Woodson became a buffalo hunter for the U.S. Army and later fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was only after the war, after he’d been disowned by the Mescalero tribe that had once treated him as family, that he gained his fame, going by the name that later generations have known him as: Jonah Hex. Hex died in 1904, never having fathered any children.

Next: The Morgans

Footnotes

10 There is some small evidence, however, that Avery, the brother of Woodson Hecks’ father Justin, moved to the east and changed his name to Hawkes, although he continued to practice the faith of his fathers. Reportedly Avery’s son Hannibal traveled back to the frontier and began fighting crime as the legendary Nighthawk, all the while concealing his private identity and his faith.

However, to date no solid evidence for this has been established or discovered, and so it must be accepted only as speculation.
 

In the Beginning
The 19th Century
The Morgans
The Brainerds
The Reades
Appendices and Bibliography