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Andy Nixon was in love with Kate Atkinson, a married woman. They met frequently in her barn. Jemmy Atkinson, Kate's husband, learned of their involvement and paid several men to administer a beating to Nixon. When Kate found her husband dead in the marital bed, she called Andy and he and Kate sought the advice of his employer, who Robert Carey had recently challenged about the quality of the food he was providing to the garrison. The employer decided to try to blame Jemmy's death on Barnabus Cooke and, through him, Carey.