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The incident began when a fur trapper name Gabriel Allens stumbled into Hayward with a deep gash on his arm. According to the town doctor, Jonathan Wilkes, who treated Allens, the fur trapper spoke of "a soul who wandered like a man possessed, his skin as gray as stone, his eyes fixed in a lifeless stare". Allens then tried to "approach the wretch" then the wretch "let out a hideous moan and bit the trapper on his right forearm. Little is known about how the infestation spread from this first victim to the other members of the town.
Fragments of data suggest the next victim was Dr. Wilkes, followed by three men who attempted to restrain Allens. Six days after the initial attack, Hayward was a town under siege. Many hid themselves in private homes or the town church while the zombies relentlessly attacked their barricades. Although firearms were plentiful, no one recognized the need for a head shot. Food, water, and ammunition were rapidly consumed. No one expected to hold longer than another six days.
At dawn on the seventh day, a Lakota man named Elija Black arrived. On horseback, with a U.S Army cavalry saber, he decapitated twelve ghouls within the first twenty minutes. Black then used a charred stick draw a circle around the town's water tower before climbing to the top. Between yells, an old army bugle, and his tethered horse for bait, he managed to attract every walking dead in town toward his position. Each one that entered the circle received a head shot from his Winchester repeater.
Soon, Black eliminated the entire horde of 59 zombies within six hours. As survivors began to realize what had happened, they rushed out to greet their savor...however Elijah Black had dissapeared.