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Return to Part II
A werewolf hauls a calf away from a local ranch. The next day, the remains of two hunters are found strung up from some trees. Find out where things go from here in this third installment of the Beast of Bozeman.
Date: September 21, 1962
Place: Bozeman, Montana
Earl Haggerty walks with a cane. He blew out his knee landing on the pavement after a vampire threw him out of a second-floor window in Tulsa. Like most former agents, he likes to tell war stories, and you're happy to indulge him over a couple of enchilada plates at Papa Felipe's, Bozeman's best (and only) Mexican restaurant. Someday, perhaps you'll tell a new recruit about the time you battled a werewolf. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
As he mops up a plate of honey with a sopapilla, Earl speculates that the werewolf has been feeling threatened and displayed the dead hunters as a warning. He recommends that you put together a hunting party, pronto.
You go back to the office, study the maps and decide to hike up into the Gallatin range tomorrow morning. Haggerty says werewolves prefer the high country and thinks yours may be in an area known as the Black Canyon. You spend the rest of the day assembling the closest thing to a "Dream Team" that Bozeman has to offer: an assortment of experienced local hunting guides with dogs and horses. You'll set off at first light and be back before sunset.
After a brief, fitful night's sleep, you meet the team down at the Gallatin River Lodge on the very edge of the wilderness. Your nerves are up: you can't eat, and the coffee tastes like battery acid. You allow yourself a look at the weathered, grizzled types sitting around you. Watching them, you feel a surge of confidence. We'll be alright, you tell yourself. Of course, except for Earl, none of you has ever seen a werewolf before, much less hunted one.
And then, you're off, dogs barking, horses snorting. A four-hour ride over rolling hills brings you to the Black Canyon, so named for the dark brown basalt columns left over from an ancient volcano. You break for lunch—biscuit sandwiches with eggs and bacon and fried potatoes—at the river's edge.
|The Black Canyon|
About a mile into the forest, the dogs pick up a scent and the horses grow agitated. You and the rest of the team dismount, take out your weapons and proceed up the hill with the utmost caution.
Halfway up the hill you spot what you first assume to be a fallen tree. But as you get closer, you see that it's actually a makeshift shelter, with stacks of neatly arranged pine branches providing a roof. Something's in there. You can feel it. But the dogs seem surprisingly calm as they pace around and sniff the ground.
The team fans out, ready to shoot. You creep up to the shelter and pause there, noting the buzzing of flies, the sharp smell of death and the sound of your heart pounding in your ears. And then, you reach out and pull a large pine branch away.
The flies buzz angrily as a shaft of sunlight falls across a leering mouth and hollow eye sockets. A bear? No. The snout is too long. You pull back another branch, and another. And then, you step back and contemplate what lies before you: the remains of a werewolf, one that's been dead for some time.
Conduct an on-site examination of the remains.
Forget the remains and get the hell out of there!
Pack up the remains and drag them back to base camp.