A/N: Despite this being a totally fictional AU, I’ve tried to excise a few of the movie’s worst historical and geographical errors. There’s no reason, for example, for someone riding from the Rio Grande (south/west of San Antonio) to go through Cuero (east of San Antonio) on the way to the real town of Eldorado (west of San Antonio)... even ignoring the fact that neither Eldorado nor Sonora existed in the early 1870s, when the movie is set! So I’ve moved the fictional El Dorado—note the spelling difference; it’s pronounced differently, too—to an area where ranchers did settle before the Civil War and shuffled other geographical references accordingly. But I have kept the fiction of “sheriff” being more or less equivalent to “police chief” and not a county-wide office.
Many thanks to Enola Jones for being an awesome beta and sounding board as usual and for suggesting a couple of the other divergences from the movie!
Warning: Hollywood physics and highly questionable Hollywood-frontier medicine of the absolutely-do-not-try-this-at-home kind. Unfortunately, both figure into the plot too greatly to leave out. There’s also at least one major point of lore that is deliberately AU to work with the movie plot (so nolettersonthatpleasethankyou).
|Chapter 1: Gaily Bedight|
|Chapter 2: In Sunshine and in Shadow|
|Chapter 3: No Spot of Ground|
|Chapter 4: Over the Mountains of the Moon|
|Chapter 5: Ride, Boldly Ride|