He is one of those Virginy City folk who picks a person whose lot he thinks is a lump of coal, then goes to work, figuring out a way to make their Christmas special. This year Alibi Ames had Brutus Howl in his sights, whose job it is to write about the goings-on of the Comstock in all of its glories and pitfalls.
Alibi does not know Brutus well, although he has seen him wandering the boardwalk along C Street late nights and always alone. He also thinks he knows what this loner will like.
He pulls a deluxe three-volume set of the 1973 edition of the Doten Journals from his bookshelf. He carefully wraps it in the pages of the most recent Comstock Chronicle, tucks it under his arm, and heads to the Union Brewery.
Brutus shows off his new acquisition the following morning.
“Those are worth more than your typewriter.”
“They are worth more than my typewriter to me, too.”
“Were they a Christmas present?”
“I think so.”
“Who knows? Maybe Sam Baker or Santy Claus.”
When Alibi hears how happy Brutus is, he smiles and takes a drink of his whiskey-laced coffee.