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Robert Cullen

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About Robert Cullen

  • Rank
    Prospector, Drifter

Character Info

  • Profession
    Prospector, Drifter
  • Status
  • DOB
  • Age Range
  • Height
  • Hair color
    Dark Brown
  • Eye Color
  • Playby
    Robert Sheehan
  • OOC Alias

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  1. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    Much to his delight, she had no hesitation about accepting his offer to dance though she did point out he might wish to watch out for her boots stepping on his feet, which only drew a chuckle from the young man. "I've had far worse in me life than stepped on toes. I do some fisticuffs on occasion in the ring........for money, not because I be enjoyin' that sort of thing," Robert pointed out as they walked out onto the dance floor, "Granted...no one ever tried to punch me in the feet." The pair then assumed their dancing stances and joined on in with those others waltzing and while they would hardly be confused for good dancers, they did not embarrass themselves either. And even if they had, neither seemed to be the type to worry about such nonsense anyway. @Adelaide Chappel
  2. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    "I surely would be quite the sight, would I not, lass?" Robert had to just shake his head and chuckle, not that he truly believed he'd ever luck out to be that successful. He would settle for an occasional tidy sum to tide him over just long enough til he found some more. Right now money and supplies were tight. But hell..........this was supposed to be a fun evening and worrying about the future was hardly entertaining. He was here to eat good (free) food and mingle with folks (such as Addy). So it was going well. Of course the musicians had just completed a high stepping energetic square dance number and now were switching over to a slow mild waltz. He was not much of a dancer not because of any clumsiness, he was quite the opposite but no real opportunities to practice such a skill. For one thing dancing took a willing partner. He glanced at the woman then made up his mind. Worst that could happen would be she would turn him down. But you never know til you try. "Addy, girl....would you be carin' to step on out on that floor with a two left foot Irishman and try a little dancin'? If I be a bit too forward here, I be apologizing," he made his sales pitch. TAG: @Adelaide Chappel
  3. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    "We had some mountains back East, middle of Pennsylvania but be doubtin' they could hold up to those Rockies of yours," Robert observed, "Me, don care much for the cold. Means more layers of clothin' and that's one of many things I don got much of." He wasn't whining though, he said it all with a smile. He had to laugh at her optimism though he knew she meant it as a joke, "Oh, I be havin' no trouble spendin' it to be sure. Clothes....shoes without holes in 'em..." He wiggled his boots. "A house not a cabin the size of an outhouse. Servants to do all me chores. And since it's sounds like ye be offerin', yes, I will hire a driver and would be glad for it to be you. That is if you can stand fer takin' orders from the likes of me?" TAG: @Adelaide Chappel
  4. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    "And sorry bout your ma. Good to know you got some family left though," Robert nodded as she filled him in on her own close kin. Robert wasn't much on geography, no schooling but he was fairly sure Tennessee was down south and quite far away at that too. Her family had suffered in the war too. So many folk had. Even though it might have been a job, Robert was glad he'd never been swept up in the army but then he'd been too young at the time. Still, he could join the cavalry out here in the west, he'd given it some thought but thus far preferred being....as Addy said....his own boss. "Fraid I dinna even know where Topeka is?" he had to admit, "Bin thru Chicago...Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh though. Think I be likin' small places." Tag: @Adelaide Chappel
  5. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    Robert laughed, "Me own boss? Supposin' I am. So I probably shouldn't complain any bout the man." Addy then less than tactfully pointed out a few of the drawbacks and possible futures in this sort of career. Robert couldn't argue with her assessment, things like that happened alright. But he didn't see himself with a lot of options either. "Aye, could happen. I guess I will just have to see," he shrugged. She then wondered if he had family to send his so called riches back to. Fair enough question. "Kind of lost track of where they be now once I headed out west. Me brother...Liam, older brother....convinced me mum to let me go out west with him to seek our fortune. Me da is dead, drank wood alcohol. Liam's passed now too, accident....least he din suffer none. I still got me a sister but she is somewhere in Pennsylvania...less she moved again." TAG: @Adelaide Chappel
  6. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    Robert chuckled, "I wasn't there, by the grace of God....but heard it was a grand one. If I was goin' ta engage in some fisticuffs, I'd prefer to get paid for it." "So, Robert, what is it that ya do around these parts?" Addy asked. "I look to git rich, lass, and tis a fine career if you can stomach the lack of success....day after day. I pan for gold. But tis that or be a cowboy and I canna even sit on a horse or throw a rope or herd a cow so seems a wee bit doubtful they'll be hirin' the likes a me," his grin showed he wasn't too disappointed about that. "Gold?" A fool's occupation. "Hard work, that," she commented, "but yer yer own boss, leastways." She shrugged. "Reckon there are some who get rich at that an' don't end up with a bullet in yer back an' yer dust in another man's pocket." Harsh, but true. Prospecting was hard, messy, thankless work and very few made more than what they needed to survive, much the less get rich. "So, ya got folks back home ta send yer riches to?" She wasn't too versed on economy or politics of the World, but she did know that things were hard in Ireland and men were coming here to help support their families.
  7. Robert Cullen

    Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

    It was a dance so of course most folks tried to look their nicest in their best clothes. Well, problem there for Robert was he didn't even own anything like that, no suitcoat and trousers to go with it, no white shirt with tie, no fancy polished shoes. But the young prospector decided he was going to show up anyhow. He might not live in town but he did live in the county so technically he belonged. Besides there was a banquet of good food, heaven on earth for someone like him to lived alone and subsisting on his meager fare cooked by himself. He'd be a fool to not take advantage of such a feast. He had heard there had been a major brawl at the beer tent earlier and judging by some of the faces it had been a fairly enthusiastic one. Though he did on occasion, and one might also say desperation, engage in prize fights, the young Irishman was very happy to have missed the fisticuffs. No profit to be gained out of a brawl. Though his clothes were nothing to impress anyone, he had at least endeavored to clean himself up nice having taken a bath in the river and washed his curly mop of dark hair with some cheap whiskey. He'd have shaved but he barely grew any facial hair. Someday he'd have himself a fancy little goatee like a lot of eastern folks. The table stocked with food was suitably long and filled with a surfeit of choices. He was tempted to try everything, despite his lean build, Robert was a good eater. Taking a plate he soon had it piled full and figured he could always come back for more. That's when he saw the stage driver, Addy. The two had been paired by pure luck for the three legged race and won too, a tiny bit of glory in a life that mostly had none. Plus they got to split the cash prize so he had a few unexpected bucks in his pocket. She didn't seem to be accompanied by anyone so he decided to venture on over. "Evenin' ta ya, see you decided to enjoy the feed," he grinned, comparing their filled plates, "There might even be a dance later so they say?" If she didn't want anything to do with him past their few minutes of racing fun, that was her business too and he'd leave her alone. Least earlier she did not seem to be one of those who hated the Irish.
  8. Robert Cullen

    Complete Three Legs Are Better Than Two!

    The pair managed to get up and make their way over to the starting line, some of the other contestant couples were already lining up and where you stood on the line apparently was first come first served. Robert was pleased they hadn't fallen down but had adjusted to the unusual gait quite rapidly. Of course it still remained to be seen how fast they could run. However there was another factor in this. "I was thinkin'...ye know we don have to be the fastest as long as we don't go fallin' down. If we stay on our feet, I think we got us a fine chance," the young man informed her. "Sounds like a reasonable choice." Addy nodded, looking up at him and grinning. Despite their height differences he had adjusted his stride, and that was really going to be critical. If he took long steps he'd end up just dragging her along, and that wouldn't be good. "Hope ya don't mind..." Her arm was already around his waist, and now she slipped her hand inside his belt to give her a better grip. "All right, then, one step at a time an' stay upright..." As good a strategy as they were going to have! He felt what she was doing alright but didn't mind in the slightest, if it helped keep them upright it was the right thing to do. He shrugged, "Yer fine, lass. Though if ye have to take a tumble kindly don pull me pants down in front of all these good people." He was kidding...mostly. They took their place then on the far outside of the lineup of six couples. Next to them was a cowpoke he had worked with earlier laying down the dance floor, nice enough sort but couldn't recall the man's name. That man was partnered up with a teenage girl with long ponytails and he was suddenly taken aback when the girl turned to glare at him. Oh well, someone was taking this all quite seriously. Robert turned address his own partner, "See ya at the finish line." He flashed a goofy grin at Addy. "Make sure I don't fall'n yer pants'll stay up!" Addy grinned at him, setting herself for the race to begin. When she noticed the girl glaring at them, she shrugged. This was supposed to be fun, and there was nothing really at stake, but then, the kid was young and competition was winning or losing, and losing was no fun. "Hey," she murmured to Robert, "we startin' with outside or tied feet." It would be good to know which foot to lead off with rather than get tangled from the start! Robert was watching the official standing off to the side, he was bringing his pistol up to fire off in the air announcing, "Ready then.....get set..." No time to think it over, Robert snapped, "Outside" just the instant before the crack of the gunshot began the race in earnest. He lunged forward with the right leg and hoped she matched him. The entire line began to move as the crowd began clapping and calling out. The entire line began to move as the crowd began clapping and calling out. There was barely a breath's span for Addy to register what Robert had said, and she almost started with the bound foot, but caught herself at the last instant and started off on the right foot (which was the left for her!) There was a slight stumble, but her grip on his waist gave her the support she needed and soon she was galloping in time with him. For just an instant Robert thought his partner was going to go down right at the start but she managed to keep upright and even better, matching his pace. Out of the corner of his eye one couple on the far side of the line had already taken a full forward pratfall much to the crowd's amusement. One couple down but for the rest it was still a competition. Now the race was never meant to be a marathon, it was hard enough to do this sort of thing short term so the length of the course was but fifty yards, no curves or turns. One might call it a sprint but with legs tied together runners did not sprint. It was proving to be a close race alright, first one couple then another taking just a fractional lead as they closed in on the finish line, a ribbon held out the width of the course by two lads. Robert thought about encouraging Addy but that was just using up valuable breath, instead he concentrated on keeping their gait matched. One misstep and they could easily go down in a heap. But the finish line beckoned ever closer. Once they got moving they seemed to be doing all right, and Addy just concentrated on what her feet were doing and on the ground ahead of them. They were doing passing well, and as long as she didn't start laughing as other teams went to the ground in a flurry of skirts and boots, they might just do all right! It all came down to three teams as the finish loomed, they were neck and neck and any of them could eke out a win. Suddenly there was some sort of collision and their competition went down in tandem. Taking advantage of their good fortune, Robert chuckled as he and Addy hit the ribbon, sending it out of the holder's grasp and could finally come to a blessed halt as they had won, applause ringing in their ears. It wasn't until the finish ribbon actually tugged on her chest that Addy realized that they had actually won, although she had the good sense to keep moving the extra few paces with Robert, waiting until he stopped to stop as well. "We won?" Her smile was bright as she looked up at him. "Never would'a guessed we'd do that! Good job, partner!" Extricating her hand from his belt she stuck it at him to shake, promptly losing her balance and falling back! "That we did, lassie," Robert exulted but he didn't get a chance to say more as she tumbled backward taking him with her onto the grass. Least they waited til AFTER the race to fall. As he rolled off her he did manage to inquire, "You alright?" Just before breaking out into laughter...
  9. Robert Cullen

    Complete All Work and No Play

    Though of course he made trips in town, Robert certainly did not live there and did not consider himself one of the townsfolk, but news of the festival sounded quite exciting really. Also he found out that they were paying those who showed up to set up the thing and were willing to hire anyone who would volunteer. The young man could certainly use the money given his prospecting thus far had been mostly fruitless. Not like he could give up though, he had no experience or skills to work on a ranch and he couldn't hold town jobs such as store clerks because he did not even read or write. Plus, there was always a percentage of people who really detested the Irish. About the only group held in lower esteem was the negro. Well, there were the Indians too but those folk were not even considered a part of society. Robert knew almost nothing about the Indians other than he had been constantly warned about them and their thieving and murderous ways. No, he had no desire to run into any of those red devils. Once he arrived, the young man was assigned to one of the work crews and he immediately began earning those wages. It was physical labor and it was hotter than Hades too. He would show them though, he pitched in wherever needed without the slightest complaint. The young Irishman was tough and stronger than his thin build indicated at first glance. He was determined to show any doubters he was not one of those 'lazy useless immigrants'. There was only one moment of real tension though. The blacksmith's assistant was on one of the same work crews he was assigned to. Those two had a run in awhile back, a fistfight that Robert had surprisingly won. He preferred to remember that was his introduction to young Sissy May though, not dwell on his victory. The other man gave him some hard glares but held his temper in check..........for now. Robert, for his part, also said nothing nor did he even try and make eye contact. He wasn't afraid of the other man but he had no desire to risk a second bout of fisticuffs. Next time he might not win and even if he did, it might prove to be a painful victory and for what? It was with relief that the work crew took a short water break. Robert drank down some gulps of the precious liquid then poured some more over his tousled hair. His shirt was soaked already with sweat so no matter than the water splashed onto his shoulders. Besides it felt good.
  10. Robert Cullen

    Underneath the Pines

    He grinned for a moment then explained his amusement, "Tell ya, darlin', when I strike it rich, first thing I'll buy will be a nice big bathtub." "Perhaps you ought to build a great big home to go with it?" she smiled. She felt guilty. She was born into wealth, and she wondered what made her more deserving that Robert. She thought what the consequences might be if she chose to help him. Not to be charitable, but because she liked him. Perhaps convincing her father to hire him as a foreman, if he was qualified of course. She wanted to see him succeed. It wasn't fair that he should have to wait for his dreams to come to fruition. "That'll be on my list too...well, not that I can make a list. I can't write," he shrugged, lack of education never really was a big deal to him. It was her turn to blink at him. "For example, lass....you are educated n' all, but you canna swim. I can swim just fine. All us kids used to swim in the river near home as much as we could in the summer," he pointed out. Those had been some of the good times in his young life. "How about we strike a deal then? I'll teach you to read and write if you teach me how to swim?" The suggestion brought a smile to her face as it gave her an excuse to see him again. Robert considered it for a moment, "Not sure that's fair, lass....I mean to you. It'll take me a long time to learn to do all that, and I can have you swimmin' in a day." Not to mention where on earth was she going to teach him. She could hardly bring him into her home? Her parents would not be pleased, he was sure of it. Cecilia's face fell, and a frown replaced her smile. "Oh, I understand..." was her only response. What was the point in pushing it? Robert obviously held some reservations about being around her. He had dismissed her when they first met and now, it felt like that all over again. "Umm, alright...you do, huh?" Robert frowned also, he had apparently hurt her feelings he was guessing. Wait...she was moving then. Sissy held back a dejected sigh as she got to her feet. She dusted the invisible crumbs from her skirts as she spoke, "I suppose I shou'd be getting back before it gets too late..." She wasn't going to beg and plead with him. If he wanted to get to know her better, he'd have to make the effort this time around. Quickly he scrambled up onto his feet then too, trying to figure out what to say. He wasn't about to agree to months of lessons on something he had little real interest in, pretty gal or not. Children went to school for years to learn that stuff, he was too old for such nonsense. Yes, he was interested in her but not as no school marm. "True, a lady shouldn't be wanderin' 'round in the dark then should she? Well, thank ye fer the sweets, I really liked 'em. Yer a fine baker you are," he talked as she began to walk. Should he just let her walk off...........like the last time? Angry, sad, whatever she was. So how was he to stop her, grab her by the arm? One didn't do that to a lady especially a proper one like Cecilia. Cecilia had knelt to collect her basket, knowing full well her mother would wonder should she return without it a second time. With a half smile, she told him, "It was my pleasure. I look forward to our next run in." "Ahh, lassie. If yer of a mind to truly learn ta swim, you come on by my cabin sometime....it's just further down this road, you can see it thru the tree line on that side of the road," he pointed toward the north side of the road out of town. "I'd be happy ta teach ye but.....don' bring no books or pencils....maybe just a big towel to dry off with," he added. The girl paused in her step, peeking over her shoulder at him. She shrugged and sighed, "Perhaps." Oh, he was going to burn in hell for this, he just knew it. And he'd probably arrive there right after her parents killed him for catching him with their precious daughter. A smile flickered on her face, and she quickly turned back to the path ahead of her. "Goodbye, Mr. Cullen!" She called before she disappeared out of sight.
  11. Robert Cullen

    Underneath the Pines

    "Tell me about yourself, Mr. Cullen?" she asked, offering him another treat. "Don't mind if I do," the young man accepted without hesitation. "First off, miss...I'd be fine if you just call me Robert or Bobby, not used to anyone callin' me mister and besides makes me sound so...old," he requested then ate a bite before continuing. "Not from around here but then you knew that much....born in Ireland but me da and ma moved then to this country...New York. We were poor in Ireland, we were poor in the new world too," he smiled though it certainly wasn't a happy statement. The girl silently nodded, understanding he was from a land she could barely imagine. She paused her nibbling, listening intently, even setting down her small piece of cake. "I be sparin' ye all the grief of the rest 'cept my brother and me came on out to the frontier to make our fortune. He died though..." this time there was no smile, just a look of resignation, it served no use to mourn. "On my own since then and pannin' fer gold in these hills...hopin' there really is something like 'luck of the Irish', I sure haven't seen it none," he was back to his usual happy go lucky self. The pretty smile Sissy had been wearing quickly faded into a somber gaze. Her heart ached for him. How could someone so young have endured so many tragedies? "Oh, Robert! How tragic!" she bemoaned, reaching out to him. She placed her hand on his and gave him a gentle squeeze. "I reckon you must be quite resourceful to have survived such adversities." He glanced down at her hand and where she had placed it, surprised but it was certainly a pleasant one. "I do what I have to, no other way for it, ya know," he gave a little shrug. "Yes, but, it's not fair, is it?" She frowned at him. She held him still as if it might somehow make his life better. Though, it was only after another long moment that she realized she still touched him. Trying not to blush, she took back her hand and wrapped up the empty cloth and placed it back in the basket. Sissy passed him another honey cake as if he might be half starved, "Here, sugar, have another!" "Thankye....I don't want to eat all of yours though. But I will make this the last one," he took it and took a bite. "I bake something new nearly every day. You're more than welcome to all of my sweets." she teased. All of them huh? Robert couldn't help but glance at her as his eyes mentally wandered up and down her feminine frame. Was she even aware her words could be taken quite differently by some men? Not him though...no, he wasn't even thinking about such things. Nope, just a friendly conversation was all. He needed to say something to get his mind off such thoughts! As he chewed, he now asked her, "So how 'bout you be tellin' me about yerself then, seems only fair don' it?" It was the question she always dreaded. She always told the truth, yet twisted the story differently each time. Getting kicked out of school was not her proudest day. He surely was curious. "I grew up in the South. I was just a child when war broke out. I reckon it was best that way. Anyhow, Pa wanted a new life for us and moved us up here. There's five of us kids. But my younger siblings are back east attending boardin' school." It was definitely the truth, just a few stories left out. "South huh? Well, me da ...he fought in the war...in the Union army. He joined one of the New York Zouaves....those lads wore some real fancy uniforms - not just blue but bright red too...only time in his life he ever got to wear something fancy, da said," Robert smiled. Cecilia nodded and added "My Pa didn't fight. He refused to leave my Ma and the rest of us kids behind." She left out the fact that she was sure money had something to do with it. "So you finished yer schoolin' then? Did you like it?" he pursued the discussion, eager to learn more about this gal. "Not exactly," she started, chewing her lower lip for a brief moment. "I was feelin' homesick. And it was decided I could probably obtain useful skills by comin' to Kalispell." Half of that was true, but still, she omitted the fact that she was expelled. She worried what people, Robert in particular, would think if they knew what had transpired to beget her expulsion. Robert blinked, "Oh? This little place? So then....what useful skills did ye learn then, girl?" He doubted this small town had anything of value to teach a well to do young miss. Cecilia smirked at him, "Well, you just ate some of it." She always had an affinity for cooking and baking, but there wasn't time for that in school. "Oh, and ye couldn't learn that in a big city?" He still didn't get it, but it was true she did not have baking skills if the rest of her recipes tasted as good as this one. "I'm to learn how to ride a horse too one of these days," she added. Not that she looked forward to such task. If Sissy learned anything, it was how to be more independent and resourceful than she could be in Virginia. "Well, well, that could prove quite useful out here on the frontier then," he nodded approval, "I have learned just enough to stay on Abercrombie here but then he don't gallop about like some fool horse." "Then you'll have to let me bring you some goodies so I can put these skills to better use," she grinned. He smiled, "That'd be most generous of you, but I don' imagine yer folks approvin' of you visitin' the likes a me." "What makes you say that?" she frowned, shifting in her seat, "And what makes you think I'd listen if they forbid me?" She couldn't help the smirk that formed. Robert didn't know her well enough yet, but he would soon learn that Sissy had a mind of her own. "Just a guess is all," the young man gave a bit of shrug, "I've been known to be wrong in me life though." She eyed Abercrombie. He was lovely to look at and perhaps to even pet, but she wasn't sure about riding him or any other steed for that matter. "It's a wonder that these beasts are so mild-mannered," she sighed, bringing her attention back to Robert. "Oh, they aren't....not always. Stubborn as a mule is not just a sayin' ye know? When they get in a foul mood, they can make a lotta noise and kick ye if ye ain't careful," he warned her. She laughed at that and shook her head, "Well, I just mean that they don't actively attack us. I don't know about Abercrombie though..." Perhaps if she gave him a taste for sugar cubes, he would less likely be stubborn? Robert huffed, "He won't attack ye none, trust me." Sissy chuckled and shook her head, "I was only teasing!" "I never did ask, but where were you headed this afternoon?" "Home....I got me a small cabin a few miles outta town, nothin' fancy but it's gotta roof and is close ta water," he answered her. "Well, then you ought to tell me what you fancy, and I'll bring it over," she grinned. Her mind was already churning thoughts of what she might tempt him with. Robert could actually fancy a lot of things....well including the young lady, but he wasn't about to be bold enough to say that. He settled for a quick, "Really?" Sissy blushed, realizing the impression she might be making. Her enthusiasm was something she always had difficulty quelling. "Forgive me, Robert. I don't mean to be so forward. It's just not every day I meet someone as affable, let alone handsome, as you." She cast her gaze downward and bit her lower lip, feeling silly for opening her pie hole. "Don't know what affable means but handsome...now that is certainly kind of ye, lass. And there is nothin' needed to forgive. I must be honest and admit yer not like anyone I've ever met...but in a good way you see," he hastened to make her feel better. She bit back another apology as she explained, "It just means to be friendly and likable." "I suppose I should take pride in that," she smiled. Cecilia didn't mind being unusual for it didn't do her any good to be just another cookie cutter, young woman. Not that she had that in her. "Speakin' of forward...well, I happen ta think you are quite the pretty one yerself. I imagine the boys line up ta dance with you at those rich folk parties," he declared. She glanced sideways at him and shook her head incredulously, "I'm a pushover. I add everyone to my dance card." She gave him a bit of a shrug, knowing full well she was too polite to ever turn anyone down. "No favorites then huh?" he shrugged, it did not surprise him actually, she seemed very nice and accepting...well, she accepted him didn't she? And he was way below her station. As her parents would realize even if she did not. Cecilia giggled, "Well sure, some are better dancers than others. I'm not fond of getting my toes smashed." "Maybe if you ever get that bath I'll let you take me to a social," Sissy giggled. He sniffed one of his armpits for a second then shrugged, "I don't know...it's hot work, and I sweat then. Not everyone has their own bathtub I'll have ya know. Like I said though...I bathe...in the river." "I hope you have a bar of soap at least!" she teased, pretending to wave away his stink. "Oh!" she exclaimed, it just dawning on her, "Do you know how to swim? I've never been in water deeper than my bathtub." Robert blinked, interesting.
  12. Robert Cullen

    Underneath the Pines

    Originally published on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 @ 3:07pm A figure garbed in a simple, white cotton dress, sauntered about on the edges of town. She paused every now and then to pluck a summer bloom from the earth and to adjust the violet bow at her cheek. She wore her bright auburn hair half-pinned beneath a straw hat to help keep the sun off her fair complexion. The day had been particularly warm, but not so uncomfortable that it could keep the girl inside. Cecilia thought about the young man she met, as she placed another wildflower in her new basket. She had been given the money to purchase a new basket, having told her father the supplies she had carried were too heavy and basket handle poorly fashioned. He cared little and provided for his daughter without question. As long as she continued to bake for him, Mr. Atwood was unconcerned. Beneath a pine, the young lady came to rest. She spread a handkerchief at the base of the tree and sank to the ground to rest upon it, not wanting to dirty her simple gown. She produced a small paper fan and fanned herself with it, eyes closing partway as she enjoyed the little breeze on her skin. It was the perfect end to a beautiful day and a welcome beginning to a serene evening. Emerging from town, on foot but leading his mule, Robert was in a good mood. It had actually been a profitable day. Most people wouldn't think it was much, but he had just made himself a few dollars for once. His panning had netted him a few small bits of gold ore, and he had parlayed that into some currency, less than twenty dollars but better than anything he'd done since he first arrived in the area. Of course, only a few coins were now left in his pocket as he had then paid off some of his standing debt at the general store. Finally, because he could for once, he had splurged and bought himself a bottle of some rather cheap whiskey at the saloon. He would keep it then in his cabin and imbibe a little each day or even use it to wash his hair, the alcohol did make the scalp feel better though if you got it in your eyes, it stung like all hell. The bottle was now snug inside a small satchel hanging off the mule's saddle. Now he was heading home, that being his small cabin a few miles further and just off the road almost hidden behind a tree line. He was deep in thought and almost missed spotting the young lady sitting up against a tree trunk off to the side. A second look to ascertain if the individual was injured or something and Robert suddenly recognized her! It was that girl who threw her basket during his encounter with the blacksmith's assistant. Cecilia...ummmm, At...something. He was too busy looking at her to commit her full name to memory. Even though it was a small town, he was none too sure they'd ever see each other again. Yet there she was. Doing exactly what he had no idea but, yes, it definitely was Cecilia. The late afternoon summer air was warm and heady. Though she fanned herself, Sissy could not stave off the lull that longed to overtake her. If she didn't get to her feet and start moving once again, her eyes would fall shut. There was no telling the danger that might befall her, or embarrassment for that matter. She inhaled deeply and closed her fan, tucking it back into her pocket. She focused her eyes on the scarlet and fushia Indian Paintbrush flowers that lined her basket. From her wrist, she drew a length of white lace ribbon and tied it around the stems of the flowers. Robert stopped dead in his tracks, his faithful mule then did too, it seldom was in any real hurry to get anywhere, a content plodder. Clearing his throat first, he then called out. "Ah....Miss.....Cecilia! Are you alright?" She was admiring the small bouquet she had fashioned when she heard her name. The voice was male but did not come from her father nor her brother. It was the young man whose behalf she had intervened upon about a week or so ago. She placed the bouquet back into her basket and rose to greet him. "Mr. Cullen," she greeted him, "Yes, I am quite alright." She smoothed her skirts before stepping from the shade of the pine. "How lovely it is to see you again. Who is your friend?" Sissy smiled brightly at him, having thought of him a few times since making his acquaintance. While he was glad nothing was wrong with her, her inquiry confused him for an instant. "My friend?" he started then caught on when he glanced back to.............his mule? Cecilia giggled at the confused splayed across Robert's face. She assumed he would know to whom she was referring. "Your mule of course!" she answered before moving to close the gap between them. "You mean Abercrombie here? I wouldn't exactly call Abercrombie a friend...more like an employee of sorts," Robert duly answered with a grin. Suddenly he remembered his manners and removed his battered felt hat, "Nice ta be see'in you again too, lass." Sissy studied the grey beast for a moment before finally asking "Is Abercrombie friendly?" She wondered if she might stroke his muzzle. "He can snap at folk jest so ye know," Robert warned her honestly. "Oh, well, perhaps it's best I leave Abercrombie alone then..." she said more to herself than to him. She would have liked to make friends with the handsome beast, but Robert would have to do. The girl fiddled with the hem of her sleeve, working up the courage to invite him to keep her company. She smiled nervously before finally asking, "Are you and your employee busy this afternoon? Perhaps you'd like to join me?" "Most of the afternoon's over," he observed wryly but quickly added, "I got time though.....and Abercrombie...he won't mind none." "Evening then," Cecilia quickly corrected herself. Why did this man make her feel so foolish? "We can take a walk if you like. Unless you'd rather sit under this tree with me and share some honey cakes?" Sissy smiled at him, hoping to convince him that she was worth more than a passing glance. A walk or something tasty to eat? Now that wasn't a hard choice to make, Robert smiled. "I've always been quite good at....sitting. And can hardly say 'no' to something sweet," he informed her...or for that matter, someone sweet. Sissy smiled at that and stepped back over to the shady pine and lowered herself back to the ground. She patted the spot beside her indicating that he ought to sit with her. "Umm, sure," he nodded then eased the mule over to another tree and wrapped the reins around a low hanging branch. The beast didn't have much ambition and would be fine there for awhile, he was confident. "Does Abercrombie like apples?" she asked, glancing back at the mule. Perhaps if she charmed the mule, she could charm Robert as well? "I would think he does, most horses and mules do...or so I have heard," he nodded. Though, what did it matter? Why did Cecilia care if this young man liked her or not? Sure he was handsome and his eyes breathtaking, but there was more to it. Robert Cullen has trouble written all over him. Sissy lifted an apple from her basket as well as small cloth parcel. She unwrapped the parcel and offered him a piece of the sweet cake she had promised. He took the apple with a quick "He sez thanks." Then he gave it to the beast who chomped on it with zest. That taken care of Robert lowered himself down to sit next to her, but not too close, it would not do to be too forward, this was a proper lady. Glancing down at the cake, he swallowed then reached for a chunk of it with two fingers. "Thankye," he nodded then bit into it, "Ohh, that is sooo good, miss." He finished it off next bite. Cecilia giggled as she watched the mule crunch the apple. "I wonder if he likes sugar cubes?" she said, thoughtfully. If Robert cared to see her again, perhaps she would bring Abercrombie a few extra treats. Robert shrugged, "Don't know, that I know he never had one." The young woman nibbled at a piece of the honey cake herself. She smiled brightly when Robert complimented the baked goody. "It gladdens me that you should find my baking so delectable," she said, her eyes sparkling appreciatively. Robert nodded though he did not know what 'delectable' meant for certain, he figured it was same as 'good' as she looked pleased.
  13. Robert Cullen

    A Chance Encounter

    Originally published on Sat Dec 23rd, 2017 @ 12:28am Robert didn't spend a lot of time in town, not because he didn't like the place but because he lived a few miles outside of the community and that was also where he spent most of his daylight hours panning for gold. Just once he had gotten a small amount of the precious stuff sifted from a creek bottom, but that gave him only enough money once he exchanged it to tide over his personal expenses for a few weeks. No, the idea was to strike it rich so there was nothing he could do but keep searching. On this day though, he had stopped in at the General Store to buy some more beans and salt pork. He had eyed the coffee but decided it was too expensive when he could drink water for free. Someday though. On his way back to where his mule, Abercrombie, was hitched up the young Irishman paused for a brief second to peek into the local saloon. It was so tempting to take what few coins he had left and buy himself a drink....just one drink. His father had drank himself to death, in the end, so liquor was not unknown to him naturally enough, and on occasion, he did imbibe, but fortunately, he was not an alcoholic and really didn't wish to go down that downward spiraling road. "Hey, get outta the way or go on in, make up yer damn mind," came a harsh voice behind him. Robert turned to see a man probably a good five-six years older than he wearing one of those blacksmith aprons with rolled-up shirt sleeves showing thick arms. He was dirty and sweating no doubt from engaging in some blacksmithing just prior to heading for this place. The man had a scraggly red beard, shorn red hair, hard eyes, and a few missing teeth in that big mouth of his. He was obviously in a bad mood. "Beggin' me pardon," Robert excused himself in that Irish accent of his, granted he had lived most of his life in the states but around his family they'd still were greatly influenced by the parents who had spent a large part of their lives in the home country, Ireland. The young drifter stepped aside, having decided he would not take a drink this day, mostly decided by this surly fellow's attitude. The man glared at him though instead of walking into the saloon. "Oh lordy, have we got us yet another damn Irish in town? Whole country is overrun with you sorts," he snarled. Robert had no idea why exactly all the hostility but on the other hand he had run into such before throughout his travels. Some folks seemed to have it in for the Irish in particular amongst all the immigrants. Maybe because there were so many of them? "I don' be livin' in town, but if I did, there would be no law agin' it, would there?" Robert was shorter and lighter than this fellow, but that didn't mean he was afraid of the man. The redhead took that as a challenge, maybe it was too, "Don't you go jawing to me, you little bastard or I'll take you and stuff your Irish carcass in that there barrel." He pointed a meaty finger to some empty barrel in the nearby alley then instantly followed that up with a one-handed push into Robert's chest. "Tell me.....you take after the animals you work with, do ya? You sure do remind me of a jackass," Robert stood his ground but tensed for what he was quite certain would be the hothead's reaction. Sure enough, it was on now, neither were about to back down. "Step in that alley, Papist, and I will learn you a hard lesson in manners," the smith snapped. "If you be insistin' then, let's do it," Robert flashed a defiant smirk then the two of them left the front of the saloon to end up facing each other in the alley. The blacksmith threw off his apron and readied himself, "I'm gonna enjoy this." Robert assumed a fighting stance, fists up in front of his face, "Is this a fight or a conversation...mate?" For the moment neither of them noticed they had attracted an audience of one in the alleyway entrance. Cecilia walked through the market, basket in hand. The manager of the general store had promised her the delivery of more spices today, and she didn't want to miss out. They had long since run out of cinnamon and nutmeg in their larder, and the sugar was dwindling as well. She had promised her Pa an applesauce cake to go with supper, and she wasn't about to disappoint her daddy. The footpath boards echoed beneath her heeled boots as she followed the course toward the general store. She slowed her pace as she came upon the saloon, desperate to get a look inside. However, the sound of a scuffle nearby drew her attention instead. Quietly, Sissy peeked around the corner into the alleyway. Her eyes widened, and a gasp escaped her as she viewed the scene. "That ain't a fair fight!" she cried out before she could stop herself. She clapped her gloved hand over her mouth to stifle any further outbursts. The burly, tawny-haired man looked as if he might clobber the other once and that would be the end of him. She doubted either would pay her any mind as they both made ready to tear the other apart. There was a startled female voice then, both mens' eyes swiveled to the alleyway entrance, and there was a well dressed young lady with a gloved hand over her mouth, no doubt shocked at this sight of conflict. Robert couldn't help but smile at her, even at this instant sighting he could see she was around his age and quite fetching to gaze upon too. "Don' worry yerself none, miss, I'll be tryin' ta go easy on 'im," he declared. That quip cost him though as the blacksmith's assistant took advantage of his opponent's distraction to land the first punch, a solid jab right to Robert's face. The young Irishman recoiled back and could already feel the blood coming from his nose. Seeking to press his advantage the other bigger man began throwing more punches. A few Robert blocked, especially an attempted haymaker to his face but a couple others hit him with brute force in the ribs and shoulders. Robert knew it was time to stop taking it and start dishing it out. Of course, Cecilia was going to worry! The brute was going to maul the Irishman, and she couldn't do a thing to stop it. She shouted for the man to watch himself, but it was too late. The burly man landed a punch. "Stop it! Both of you!" she cried, stepping into the alleyway. Her hands had balled into fists so tight that she cracked the woven handle of her basket. Sissy stomped her foot indignantly as the men, the brutish one especially, refused to listen. It was with great frustration that she did the unthinkable. She chucked her basket straight at the large man's face and hit him square in the nose. "Wha?" the blacksmith's assistant wasn't hurt by the wicker basket, but it did serve a purpose as it was just enough distraction to give Robert the opening he was looking for and he did not miss his golden opportunity either. First, he lashed out with a hard jab into the man's face then followed up with a step forward and planted a completely unexpected knee right between his opponent's legs. Stunned and in pain, the man dropped to his knees his hands going down, way too late, to protect his aching groin. Robert wasn't quite finished yet though. Given his fighting experience, you keep on your opponent til it's clear cut he's down, and it's finished. He aimed a roundhouse right and connected with the fellow right in the side of his face. The man crumpled into the alley, down and out. The fight was over just like that. Rubbing his knuckles from that punch, Robert paused to assess his opponent's condition, the guy was still breathing, thank the Lord. It was time to clear on out of the alley, but first, there was the young woman to address as he turned to face her. "Sorry, miss...you hadda see that. Jus' wanna say I dinna start it is all," he wanted her to know, as he now wiped his still bleeding nostrils with the sleeve of his shirt, the blood had spattered over the front of his shirt too. But the nose didn't feel broken, so he figured he got off lucky. "Nice throw," he added with a grin.

About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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