They came in search of gold, but what they needed most was water. Without it, they would be driven out of their camp and into the wilderness, where they would need to start the search for paydirt all over again.
The land the miners had settled on was rich, and the Triskett Gang knew it. But unlike the wide-eyed rubes that spent their days poking around in the dirt, they knew the lay of the land, and its great weakness.
A single stream flowing through the rugged mountainside was the only source of water for miles around. Up in the hills, the bandits had built a crude but functional system of dams that let them control the water flowing down into the Kneeland Ravine where the miners had set up camp.
And with this simple act of engineering, Boss Triskett became the baron of Kneeland Ravine. Week after week a lockbox was carted through town, and week after week it either came back filled with cash, or the water got shut off. As miserable as it was, folks learned pretty quickly just what to expect if they didn