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Text Adventure Playthrough #5: Hoosegow


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


As the sun sets on the plains, Sheriff Cheney angrily snaps on the cuffs. You are shoved into the coach and land on top of Muddy Charlie and a pile of silver dollars, which until recently had been the property of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Line.

Muddy whispers, “Don’t fret none, Rick! You done good blowing up that tunnel—I just didn’t plan on the sheriff getting word ahead of time, is all. That were powerful bad luck.”

The sheriff climbs onto his horse, spits, and you begin to rumble forward. “You boys really got it coming this time,” he yells back cheerfully.

Muddy shakes his head. “No offense, Sheriff, but I reckon you got the wrong men. We was just on our way to the theater.”

The sheriff disagrees. “The only place you boys are heading is straight to the…

A Wild West Wreck by Ben Collins-Sussman and Jack Welch
Release 15 / Serial number 100209 / Inform 7 build 5Z71 (I6/v6.31 lib 6/12N)
Type “help” for instructions and “hints” for hints—or just roll into town guns a-blazin’.
[Press Space To Continue]

In the twilight, you sight the sheriff’s sturdy brick office near the edge of town. “That’s mighty fine construction,” notes Muddy, sounding less feisty now. “Mighty fine indeed.” The coach rolls to a halt and a thick arm yanks you roughly from your seat. You land awkwardly in the rutted street, where the sheriff holds you in place with the heel of one boot. He yells to his men, “Bring the coach around back, we got to impound that evidence.” You are shoved into the sheriff’s office and then into a small holding cell.

The deputy wakes with a start, whips his dusty boots off the desk and stands, tucking his shirt back into his pants. The sheriff gives him a brief, judgmental glance and offhandedly tosses an arrest warrant on the desk. He barks, “Jimbo, listen up. Picked up these two down near the train. A federal marshal will be coming for them at eight o’clock tomorrow morning. There’s going to be a hanging!” The deputy nods slowly. The sheriff continues, “Please take care of our ‘guests’. I got to head down to Wichita Falls to discuss my invention with some investors, so you is in charge.” The deputy smiles until the sheriff adds, “Jimbo, don’t screw up,” as he heads out the door.

Jail Cell
Why are you not surprised to have landed right back in the hoosegow after another one of Muddy’s dubious plans? Will you ever learn? How did it come to this?

The small jail cell is brick on three sides, metal bars on the other, with a tightly locked gate. A small window is set into the brickwork above your head. Through the jail bars you can see the sheriff’s office.

A broken stool lies on the floor.

Muddy leans against the wall tapping a harmonica on his arm.

In the corner of the cell, a disheveled man in a black suit is stretched out on a crude wooden bench and is snoring loudly, oblivious to your presence.



Total Posts: 5694

Joined 2013-08-26


Aha, another text adventure playthrough. Cool. I haven’t played this one.  Mike? LadyKestrel? Wilco? Timoveman? Luna? Erictobjorn? Abnaxus? Giom? Anybody?

I’ll start. Smile

x window, stool, Muddy, harmonica, bench, man, bars, gate.


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.- Philip K. Dick


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>x window
Pretty far up on the wall, as wide as your shoulders, and secured by four vertical iron rods as thick as your thumb. And you have thick thumbs. The green tip of a vine pokes in from outside and lies on the narrow window sill.

>x stool
A small stool, with legs a couple of feet long. It’s three-legged by design, but two-legged in practice, hence its inability to stand upright.  There’s an empty socket where the third leg should be. All of the paint has been worn off the seat by your illustrious predecessors who inhabited this cell. Those same occupants carved every square inch of the stool’s seat with their initials (and the initials look intriguing!)  A small bronze plate has been nailed to the bottom of the stool.

Over in the office, the furnace percolates.

>x Muddy
Muddy is, well… muddy. His dated tweed three-piece suit is tattered and doesn’t at all match his formal frock coat, which is covered with dust and mud. In short, he hasn’t changed a jot since the day you were both picked up for desertion and thrown in the stockade.

“Ain’t you gonna ask me about my plan?” Muddy whispers.

Just to the side of the desk, the sheriff’s invention ticks like a clock.

>x harmonica
“I ain’t never seen you play the mouth organ, Muddy.”

Your partner turns the harmonica back and forth. “That’s ‘cuz I ain’t never learned how,” he replies.

Muddy hands the harmonica to you.

A standard prison-issue harmonica.  In the fading light from outside the window, you can barely read the inscription on it.

“This time my plan is surefire—go ahead, ask me. C’mon.” Muddy jibes quietly.

>x bench
A long wooden bench made of rough, splintery planks. Under the bench, you notice a piece of questionable meat, a spoon and a metallic can.

“Ain’t you even a speck curious to ask me about my plan?” taunts Muddy.

Muddy pats down his wild hair but only makes it worse.

>x man
The man crumpled in the corner wears black vestments and a pastor’s necktie. He’d almost look respectable, if it weren’t for the immediate environment. He reeks of booze and snores loudly. A pamphlet is sticking out of his pocket. You don’t consider yourself a common pickpocket, but it makes you wonder what else he might have on him.

“Truthful, Rick,” whispers Muddy solemnly, “this ain’t like all my other plans, this one is iron-clad. Ask me about it. Go ahead.”

A faint breeze wafts by.

>x bars
You look across the street at the saloon. Oh wait, did you mean the prison bars? Yeah, probably. Anyhow, the bars to your cell reach from floor to ceiling and are made of matte black metal. All except one, which is sort of gray in color and as short as a table leg. They are a bit under an inch thick, and they are reinforced by three tiers of horizontal bars. The gate to your cell is framed in the same black metal and inset into this meshwork of bars.

Muddy vibrates with excitement and gushes, “I got to tell you, Rick, or this new plan of mine is going to drive me plumb crazy!”

“Let’s keep this between us, though,” he whispers.

He notices the sleeping man in your cell for the first time. “Don’t know about him.” Muddy jerks his thumb towards the sleeping figure. “Might be a spy.”

Muddy leans towards you, his face barely an inch from your ear and his buzzard-worthy breath even less so from your nose. “Okay, Rick, I’m a-going to tell you my plan.” Muddy pauses dramatically. “Here it is: we got to break out of this jail before we get strunged up.”

“That’s it? That’s your whole damn plan? That don’t count as no plan!” you fume.

“Keep it down, Rick!” Muddy’s gaze darts over to your third cellmate. “Yeah, that’s it for now. It takes time to cook up a good plan. You need lots of ingredients.”

“Muddy Charlie,” you retort, “I heared you was the worst cook in the Confederate Army. Your cooking like as did more damage than Sherman’s March.”

Muddy gives you a hurt look and sulks in the corner. After a while, you regret being so quick-tempered with your old buddy.

>x gate
(the gate)
A metal gate stands between you and freedom. The gate is set into the metal bars that surround your cell, and its hinges must be internal. The gate has a massive padlock that clicked definitively behind you when you were thrown into the cell. You’ve seen banks with poorer locks. At least this is a quality institution.

Back in the office, the deputy looks tired.


Total Posts: 828

Joined 2009-11-10


Cool, a new Text Adventure Playthrough, thanks Oscar!

I agree with Muddy, he’s got a good plan Smile

Let’s examine around
> x pocket
> x spoon
> x meat
> x can
> x plate

They used the stool leg to replace one of the bar?
> x gray bar
> get gray bar

> play harmonica
> get pamphlet
> read pamphlet


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>x pocket
You find a tin of chewing tobacco. It looks interesting, so you borrow it.

>x spoon
A bent old spoon.

On the other side of the jail bars in the office, the deputy pokes his head out of the office and yells at some passersby.

>x meat
The deputy has been watching you and he smiles sardonically. “I see you found your dinner. Or was that last week’s dinner? Har, har!”

You are distracted by his comment and forget what you were doing.

Over in the office, the deputy peeks through the jail cell window at the saloon across the street. It’s clear he’d rather be there.

>x can
A closed metal can labeled “BEANS”. On the back, some fine print says, “Precooked beans. No claim is made regarding the cardioprotective nature of this product. May cause abdominal distension if ingested. No fitness of purpose is implied. No warranty is provided for personal or other injury, or injury or loss related directly or indirectly to the use of this product. By opening this can, you agree to the terms of service posted in town.”

In the office, the deputy makes you nervous as he waves his gun back and forth, jerking the barrel up and shaping the words “Pow! Pow!” with his lips.

>x plate
You read aloud the engraving on the bronze plate: “Donated to the Crawdad’s Gulch Municipal Hoosegow by the Gunslinger’s Widows Association, Chapter Forty-One.”

Muddy shakes his head, “They sure are an upstanding organization.”

>x gray bar
The gray bar is just a shade lighter than the surrounding jail bars. You notice that the gray bar is held to the ceiling by a screw the size of a railroad spike.

On the other side of the jail bars in the office, the deputy inspects his LeMat revolver lovingly.

>get gray bar
The gray bar is loose, but still held in place by a large screw that connects it to the ceiling.

Back in the office, the deputy watches you with a bored expression.

>play harmonica
You tentatively blow on it a bit, but you’re not rightly sure what you’re doing.

The deputy grimaces, “Knock off that racket, you two. A noise like that, a man can’t get to thinking straight. Settle down now, you hear? I got me some reading to do.” The deputy unfolds the warrant, furrows his brow and begins reading. You can tell because his lips are moving. Slowly.

>get pamphlet
You carefully slip the pamphlet out of the sleeping man’s pocket.  He almost wakes up, but doesn’t.

“Whatizit?”, Muddy rasps.

>read pamphlet
You read it aloud:

“The Prairie Gospel Church of Uncanny Righteousness (copyrighteous 1871)”

“For lo, the impetuous and retributive spirit of FINAL JUDGEMENT is stirring in the heart of the unfaithful, and a FIERY thunderhead of retribution is gathering across the plains of the undeserving, the bereft of propriety, and promulgators of heresy, and the scalding hot sparks of TRUTH are spraying forth, catching light the arid and HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and veritably kerosene-soaked sawdust of the weak-willed. And into this fray, the unwholesome BEAST shall arise and the earth shall tremble. Its body shall tower above like a mountain, and upon the body shall be nineteen heads, each like unto a serpent. Upon each head, twelve horns, like that of the ram, the bull, and the elephant, say four of each. And upon each horn, sixteen stalks, not unlike celery in some respects, yet more flexible, more like the arms of an octopus, except being twice as numerous. And upon each stalk, eighty eyes, or forty pairs of eyes, if you prefer!”

Muddy, who had been staring intently at his boot tips, looks up, eyebrows knit in concentration. “I don’t get it. Why would anything need two hundred ninety-one thousand, eight hundred and forty eyes?”

“What?” you remark, looking up from the pamphlet. “Are you kidding me? How could you figure that out?”

“Don’t rightly know. Just something I do. Same way as I know there’s 69,105 railroad ties between here and Muskogee. Ma said I was some kind of idiot savage.”

Dumbfounded, you stop reading halfway through the pamphlet to stare incredulously at Muddy, who picks his nose. “Yeah, go on. What else’s it say?”


Total Posts: 194

Joined 2008-09-23


Cool! Already starts out nice Smile

>continue reading pamphlet
>get stool
>get meat
>x meat (because we apparently got distracted doing that?)
>get spoon
>get can

And perhaps we should also do
>x me
Maybe we already carried some stuff at the start?


A prince it is? I see. And I am Lord of this dusty path!


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>read pamphlet
You straighten out the pamphlet and skim it, paraphrasing for Muddy.

“Well let’s see. It keeps going on like that for a ways without really saying much. By and by there’s this part about a revival meeting. Some kind of doxology works, but out in the open, like under a circus tent. It says they’ll be some preaching, some healing and even some dancing. I’d allow it sounds like a right pleasant shindig, it do.”

Muddy pauses. “Can I see that pamphlet a minute?” asks Muddy

>get stool

Muddy murmurs to himself about not being able to recall a limerick he once heard that had something to do with cowboys and farmers.

>get meat
Yuck. You are holding the rancid meat.


Over in the office, the deputy stares at Muddy.

>x meat
A grayish half-chewed haunch of something only slightly less lucky than you. Between waxy fibers and greasy gristle, the surface of the meat teems with… you don’t want to look closer. It’s vulture food, not something you’d want to pass your lips.

Muddy picks some food from between his teeth.

>get spoon

>get can

You’re carrying a can of beans, a spoon, a hunk of meat, a stool, a pamphlet, a tin, a harmonica, your pocketwatch, and a scrap of paper. You are wearing your hat, pants, overcoat, left boot, and right boot.

Your revolver was confiscated, it seems.

>x me
Big boots, pants, a plains hat, a tattered overcoat, and some attitude.  Not so different from the uniform you once wore, just more lived-in.

Muddy rubs up and down against the brick wall, scratching an itch.


Total Posts: 194

Joined 2008-09-23


What harm can Muddy do with the pamphlet, right? Tongue
>show pamphlet to Muddy
although I guess he’d prefer us to
>give pamphlet to Muddy (I hope there are no dead ends)

>read scrap of paper

and maybe also
>x invention
>x deputy
>x gun


A prince it is? I see. And I am Lord of this dusty path!


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>show pamphlet to muddy
Muddy grabs it from you, squinting and sounding out words silently with his mouth. His eyes open wide in amazement.

“Pete? Wait a gosh darn… PASTOR Pete? That really him? Hot diggity!”

Muddy jumps to his feet, runs to the bench and shakes Pete wildly; Pete screams and throws his hands into the air, gesticulating to heaven as he’s awoken from his dream—

“BEGONE, daemons! The Prince of Piety shall SMITE thee! He who brushes the Celestial Cavalier’s horses shall not clean the stables of PARADISE!”

The grubby preacher collapses back on the bench, eyes closed and snoring before either of you can take a step.

>give pamphlet to muddy
“Yeah, I seen. It’s Pastor Pete, sure as a sawbuck,” remarks Muddy.

Muddy counts the number of stars he can see out the window, divides by the number of bars in the jail cell, and takes the natural logarithm. “Yup,” he says, “that’s what I thought.”

>read scrap of paper

That was Muddy’s cunning plan, and unlike most of his plans, it went off without a hitch: you got the silver, nobody got hurt. Yup, not a single hitch—except for getting caught.

Pastor Pete curls up into a ball, muttering to himself.

>x invention
All bronze and shiny, with lots of pipes, rivets, and flanges, the word “Protocappuccinomatic” is engraved on the main body of the machine. The device stands about five feet high and must weigh a ton. A sturdy iron pipe runs from the machine to the boiler.

A faint breeze wafts by.

>x deputy
Big and strong, but lacking numerically in ancestors.

Back in the office, the deputy sniffles loudly and wipes his nose on his sleeve.

>x gun
You ain’t able to see no such thing.


Total Posts: 5694

Joined 2013-08-26


> x vine, screw, padlock
> open tin, look in it
> read inscription harmonica
> ask Muddy about harmonica, Pastor Pete
> ask deputy about warrant, jail, invention

Kind of strange the explicit left and right boot.

> x and/or search left boot, right boot, and while you’re at it also the hat, pants, and overcoat.


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.- Philip K. Dick


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>x vine
Only the leafless tip of a wiry vine pokes into the cell through the window.

>x screw
A large, rusty screw.  It’s holding a gray bar in place.

Pastor Pete sits bolt upright, howls at the moon, and flips back over, fast asleep.

>x padlock
A cast-iron padlock of diabolical ingenuity. It is like no lock you’ve ever seen.

>open tin
You open the tin, revealing a wad of tobacco.

Not far from your jail cell, the furnace percolates.

>look in tin
It’s full of chewing tobacco.

In the office, the deputy warms his hands near the boiler.

>read inscription
“Lookie here, Mud. There’s some fancy engraving on the harmonica.”

“Don’t that beat all. What do it say?”

“Let’s see. I could do with more light. You got a lantern?”





“Nary a one.”

“Dang. Didn’t we say that next adventure we’d bring ‘em?”

“I reckon we did, at that.”

“Well, the moon’s up, I can see a little. It says,—Donated to the Crawdad’s Gulch Municipal Hoosegow by the Gunslinger’s Widows Association, Chapter Forty-One.—”

“These is some Ace-high accommodations we got us, I’ll say.”

>ask muddy about harmonica
Muddy replies, “Give it a toot, Rick.”

Muddy rubs his eyes, “I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night either. I’m bushed.”

>ask deputy about warrant
The deputy looks annoyed, but says, “A very complicated legal document the likes of which ain’t nobody really understand.”

Pastor Pete stares wide-eyed at the ceiling for a moment and then falls back asleep.


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>ask deputy about jail
The deputy looks annoyed, but says, “Better than working at a fish-packing plant.”

Pastor Pete leaps into the middle of the jail cell. He rants (see below)

Muddy,” you ask, “What do you suppose he’s on about?”

“Muddy replies sagely, “Speaking in tongues, I reckon!”

Pastor Pete collapses onto the bench and resumes snoring without missing a beat.

>ask deputy about invention
The deputy looks annoyed, but says, “Sheriff Cheney done rigged up that machine and the steam whistle, both of them run off that steam boiler stove. Near as I can tell, the machine makes coffee, but oh, what fine coffee it do make. I can’t as much as figure, though, how he’s paying for all the inventing he does. Well, I guess sheriffs is paid more than deputies is.”
On the other side of the jail bars in the office, the deputy runs his hand through his sparse hair.
>x left boot
A cowhide boot that has been rubbed smooth. The heel is worn-down, and the spurs have broken clear off.

In the office, the deputy reaches into his pocket, produces a strip of beef jerky, and chews on it for a while.

>x right boot
A cowhide boot that has been rubbed smooth. A metal riding spur is about ready to fall off the worn-down heel.

Halfway between the door to the outside and your jail cell, the metal contraption gurgles and bubbles quietly.

>x hat
An unusually capacious, wide-brimmed hat to protect you from the sun.

Back in the office, the deputy repeatedly counts his fingers, but is unable to get a firm answer.

>x pants
Rugged, blue denim.

>x overcoat
The gray riding coat reminds you of past adventures with Muddy Charlie: the speckled holes on the side where you caught a shotgun blast when a bank transaction done gone awry, the hole on the other side from the time you and Muddy got to fooling around with a bow, an arrow, and a bottle of whiskey, and the charred, frayed edges of the coat from the time you and Muddy were almost burnt as witches. Each flaw in the garment reminds you of one of Muddy’s plans, each of which sounded so reasonable at the time….

Pastor Pete froths at the mouth.

Weird, the forum wouldn’t let me post the pastor’s speech. Too many accents, probably.


Total Posts: 5694

Joined 2013-08-26


Aha, a spur!

>get spur, examine it
>wake pastor pete, ask him about muddy
>look in (or search) hat, pants, overcoat, right boot, left boot
>ask deputy about sheriff


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.- Philip K. Dick


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>get spur
You yank the spur off your right boot, careful not to cut yourself in the process.

>x spur
A sharp, round disc that rotates within a mount.

Muddy paces back and forth impatiently.

>wake pastor

Suddenly, Pastor Pete leaps up and rants, “The KING of RETRIBUTION pales in the actinic flame of REVENGE as the knife cuts through a length of string: not unlike the string which wraps a package, severing the string not into many pieces, but presuming it is simply wrapped once around the package, into a single, long piece (likely with a knot, the knot being required to secure the package and BIND it to its purpose). And yet, consider, gentlefolk, that the package may be wrapped many, many times with twine. Ah, yes, you hadn’t considered that, had you? Thick, difficult-to-cut twine, or even worse, tape or glue. FOR MANY ARE THE STATIONERY ITEMS OF HIS MOST ORNAMENTED PULCHRITUDE! AND DEEP ARE THE DRAWERS OF HIS WRITING DESK! AND NOT LACKING IN THE LEAST SUPPLY IS HE. Thus, sayeth the worker who labors at the post: cut once, measure many times. Enlightenment only comes to those to whom it is addressed and properly stamped”. He then collapses on the bench again and falls fast asleep.

>ask pastor about muddy

Suddenly, Pastor Pete leaps up and rants, “Fear not the judgement, for each of us will be accorded mercy, and the accordion of mercy shall be loud and have a good beat. One that you can dance to. Let us give thanks for mercy, except in FRANCE, where it would be redundant. Let the music, or the closest approximation thereto renderable by an accordion, flow over all lands, except France, which again is a special case. Inhabited by MIMES and having not the power of proper speech, the accordion is irrelevant and will only inspire their wrath and vitriol, unless played upon a victrola, or as they say, a francophono”. He then collapses on the bench again and falls fast asleep.

On the other side of the jail bars in the office, the deputy watches you with a bored expression.

>search hat
(First taking off the hat)
Ten gallons of nothing. You sure could shove a lot of loot in there, you reckon.

Back in the office, the deputy warms his hands near the boiler.

>search pants
You don’t find nothing at all.

>search overcoat
Your hands slip into where your pockets used to be. Nothing is left of your pockets, except holes. Not that your overcoat needed more holes.

Muddy spends some time looking over at the door in the office.

>search right boot
You don’t find nothing at all.

Just to the side of the desk, the boiler ticks like a clock.

>search left boot
You don’t find nothing at all.

>ask deputy about sheriff
The deputy looks annoyed, but says, “He’s the law in these here parts, but he’s much more. He’s also an inventor! Heck, look at that machine he done made with his own two hands. Took him five years, but he done it.”

In the office, the deputy inspects his LeMat revolver lovingly.


Total Posts: 194

Joined 2008-09-23


>x pocketwatch
>pull vine
>unscrew screw (maybe we’re in luck and the screw isn’t screwed in properly?)
or maybe we can
>unscrew screw with spur


A prince it is? I see. And I am Lord of this dusty path!


Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01


>x pocketwatch
It’s the wind-up timepiece you received when you were commissioned as an officer in the Confederate Army. You may have lost everything else in that war, but at least you have this fine pocket watch. It currently reads twelve minutes past eight in the evening —less than twelve hours until you and Muddy are giving a different smell to the daisies in the dell.

A faint breeze wafts by.

>pull vine
You yank on the wiry vine and it yanks back. It’s too tough to break off. From outside the window, you hear the bulk of the plant rustling as it swings back and forth.

Pastor Pete somersaults from the bench into the center of the jail cell. He rants, “Blessed is he who fears greatly the WREATHE and COILING of the DESTINY, which, unbound at last, will spring first this way, and then that, bouncing and jostling the CLAMOROUS and the EVER-CHATTERING ranks of the unwary and disillusioned. Yea, though grief be upon us, and the groaning and wailing of the neighbors be slightly disconcerting or indeed unsettling, how much more upsetting would it be to find yourself not wearing your own SOCKS, but those of your neighbor? Who knows what they have done in those socks, or what mysteries those socks would reveal to the chosen few!”

Pastor Pete crumples onto the bench and resumes snoring without missing a beat.

>unscrew screw
The screw is too high for you to reach.

Pastor Pete shakes and twists spasmodically.

>unscrew screw with spur
I only twigged your meaning as far as hankering to unscrew the screw.


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