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Found 7 results

  1. Clara Redmond

    Kalispell Fairgrounds Let Me At 'em !

    Clara had good reason to be very happy with the town festival thus far. She had won the baking contest and with Shade finished second in the three legged race whereupon the man generously bestowed upon her those winnings. So it had not only been a fun day but a profitable one and the Redmond family could certainly use the money. So it was that she could hardly say 'no' when she was asked if she could watch the Thornton twins, Cody and Nettie. She was used to taking care of Wyatt sometimes much to his chagrin so what was a couple more? Clara was not always so sober and even grim, she softened her personality when dealing with young ones such as these children and soon had the pair of them following her about easily enough, the little girl at least chattering like a magpie. With Wyatt along too, the foursome wandered about the grounds watching various goings on of interest. Late July and sunny so the heat wore down on everyone and soon the twins expressed an interest in getting something to drink, Wyatt jumped on that bandwagon immediately also. "Fair enough, let us see what we can find," Clara agreed finding their requests quite reasonable, she herself could do with something to quench her own now dry throat. There did not seem to be a well on the property, least not on the festival grounds but her eyes came upon the large tent erected to serve drinks for the adults, beer naturally enough though no doubt liquor too. Now Clara had tasted beer and, for the life of her, wondered why anyone could like that swill but menfolk it seemed never tired of it. Even her father enjoyed it on occasion, not that he was a saloon going man. Still they would have glasses in there and maybe water too? Or even better, just maybe they were serving sarsaparilla? She could splurge, just a little and buy the children a round of that carbonated beverage. "Hold up," she stopped their progress as she faced the tent, "You three stay here and don't go anywhere. I will march in there and see what I can get for you that's wet." "You mean whiskey?" Wyatt was wide eyed, this was a totally new Clara. "Of course not," Clara rolled her eyes, "Just leave it to me. I shall be back forthwith." Eying the twins first and seeing them both nod in agreement she poked Wyatt, "You're in charge. Do as I said. Wait." ***** In a moment Clara was poking her head inside the big tent, the place was already fairly crowded with an almost completely male population milling about talking, laughing, and of course drinking. There was a homemade bar stretching almost the length of the tent made of long flat boards placed upon an impressive row of barrels. Some gents were serving drinks from behind that and looked quite busy. No matter, Clara ignored what looks she did get, many paid no attention to the girl, and she approached the so called bar, silently rehearsing her order. She never quite got there. Clare came to a sudden halt as if she had run full tilt into some invisible barrier, her eyes widened first in surprise but then narrowed as it sunk in exactly what...or rather WHO she was looking it. She had no doubt whatsoever, it was THEM! Surprise faded, became anger. Sarsparilla was instantly forgotten replaced by a real thirst for justice.
  2. Shade Thornton

    Kalispell Fairgrounds Run for the Roses

    The race course circled the meadow and fairgrounds. It covered close to a mile and a half and included uphill and downhill sections, water obstacles and low brush obstacles to jump. Only one of the water obstacles was broad with water deep enough to cause concern for some of the horses. The event had been designed for horses that were accustomed to being ridden through the rough and rugged terrain of the Montana territory. There were actual race tracks in Missoula and Helena, and the town council had discussed allowing a developer to build one east of Kalispell. So far, however, the majority of the council were not supportive of it. Despite the fact that the founding fathers, or their wives, disapproved of horse racing and the ensuring betting that inevitably occurred, the Founder's Day Race was one of the most popular events at the fair. To keep their spouses happy, bets were limited to five dollars or less. Those engaging in private wagering were not subject to those restrictions. Entry fees were pretty steep too, two-dollars each horse. The total of the fees would be divided between first, second, and third place in percentages. The winner would receive seventy percent, second place would get twenty percent, and third place received the remaining ten percent. The race itself had few rules. To win, place, or show, both horse and rider had to cross the finish line. Horses that unseated their riders were disqualified. Riders had to run the entire course. To keep it fair, secret checkpoints had been established. Spotters, hidden from plain sight, would account for each entry. In the three years of the Founder's Day Race, no one had been disqualified for cheating. Along with most of the other riders, Shade had walked the course that morning. He wasn't riding Lakota in the race. Instead, he was riding a big, rangy roan mare that had belonged to his late sister-in-law. Regina had won the race on the mare the year before. Kate Hale had described the horse as being about the fastest in the region that could jump like a cat. Since Regina had been considerably lighter than Shade, he was riding the mare with a bareback rig. She was accustomed to a snaffle-style bit although Kate warned that she liked to get the bit in her teeth. Shade glanced around at the other entries. Most were your usual assortment of stock horses and saddle horses. There was a tall liver-chestnut with white socks and a blaze that stood out. The gossip was that he was a prized racehorse, a thoroughbred, bought and shipped from back east along with his jockey, a diminutive fellow that remained aloof from the other riders. The chestnut was owned by Evergreen Ranch. Shade sighed and hoped they would not be up to their usual dirty tricks. Shade turned back to his mount. The mare seemed relaxed, standing hip-shot while Ezra Hale rubbed her gently between the eyes. Regina had named the mare Morning Glory. He ran his hands down her neck, smoothed the red-colored mane, and then on down her each of her legs, feeling for any heat in the tendons. He had taken her on a gallop the night before. She had a long stride and seemed to float over the ground. With luck, they wouldn't embarrass themselves.
  3. Barnabas Pike

    Kalispell Fairgrounds At the Fair

    Pronto stepped back through the batwing doors and out onto the boardwalk. He paused and took in the town, a nice place, wide street, well-maintained buildings. Perhaps a place he could call home, maybe even put down some roots. Then he smiled, almost to himself. He already heard there was range trouble between the big spreads, and that meant the small man was going to get squeezed out. He’d seen it before, too many times to his liking. The hammerhead roan stood three-legged at the hitch rail, waiting. Well, a ride out to this Founders Day Fair and back, then a good rub down and a bate of oats at the livery would be his reward. He stepped down to the dusty street, taking up the reins as he went, then stepping into the saddle. He wheeled the roan north and walked a bit before raising the horse's gait to a trot. In no time he reached the trail the bartender had told him about and saw the hand-painted sign that announced the event. He turned in and moved toward the sounds of people. It was not all that far and from what he could see as he got closer, the town populace was there in full force. He moved to where a picket line had been set up and dismounted, tethered the animal to the line. He gave thought to his appearance and decided that it might be best to take off his guns. He removed them and tucked them in his saddlebags, then used his hat to knock off the trail dust as best he could from his clothing. Resetting his hat, the walked toward the crowds, looking for a badge so as to check in. His common practice. Quentin finished nailing down a few boards on the incomplete dance floor and stood, arching his back and rubbing down at the small of it. He paused and watched a man he did not recognize walking across the meadow. He seemed to be a little lost but the fact he was here and was also a stranger made bells ring faintly in the back of Quentin's head. He turned and gave a low quick whistle at Shade. When the younger man looked up at him Quentin tilted his head in the direction of the newcomer as he walked closer to Shade. "You recognize him?...I sure don't." Shade paused in the act of securing one of the dance floor boards that someone, probably some of the older kids, had yanked loose. They probably planned on hiding out and watching the dancers get dumped on their behinds when they stepped on the insecure planks. He looked at the man and shook his head at Quentin, "No, but look at this place!" He gestured at the people moving about all over the fairgrounds. "There are people from everywhere." Shade added with a lopsided grin, "Probably the biggest event this side of the Snake River." Straightening, Shade stepped out so the man could see him. Quentin would not be happy until they had made sure he wasn't a threat. Probably a good idea with the twins off their leash and wandering the fair with Kate or Josephine. "Hey," Shade called out to the stranger with the dusty red hair, "Can we help you find something?" Tags @
  4. The festival was going full tilt by afternoon, and now plenty of games and events were underway, for all ages. The Redmond children were among the many young people trying various activities for fun. Wyatt participated in the bobbing for apples but didn't win. He told his father he didn't mind none as it was a good excuse to get all wet on this warm summer day. Clara fretted about when the pie baking contest winner would be announced and was at first in no mood for childish games, seeing herself as an adult now. However, one event did look intriguing alright - the three-legged race. The rules announced that all contestants would be mixed - in that one male and one female must be partners. It would not do to have two strong young men partnered up, for competition sake. Aurelian waved off his participation though when Clara asked him to partner up with her, citing his old Civil War leg wound. It was more an excuse than the truth though. Undaunted (for it look a LOT to daunt this girl) Clara now spotted none other than Shade Thornton among the waiting bystanders as contestants signed up. Without hesitation, she marched right up to the man. "Excuse me, I hope I am not interrupting anything," she duly announced as all eyes went to her. "Mr. Thornton, might I have a moment with you?" was her immediate solemn request. Gabe, the young ranch hand that Shade had been speaking to, grinned, "No problem, Miss. Annie and I have to get ready for the race." He nodded to the pretty blond beside him. Shade gave the young man a friendly slap on the shoulder, "Good luck," he tipped his hat to the blond, "Ma'am." As Gabe Boone and his wife walked off, Shade gave Clara his full attention. "What can I help you with, Miss Clara?" He pushed his hat back a bit and stretched. He'd managed to win a couple of the stock horse events that morning but had not fared as well in the bull riding and bronc busting. Clara rather wished he had not wished the couple good luck as - if she had her way - he and she were going to be the competition and in all things, Clara dearly loved to win. She looked up at him then as he now faced her, obviously wondering what this was all about. "Good day, Mr. Thornton. I know you do not particularly like me but be that as it may , I am wondering if you would be willing to go in with me in this three legged race? Given the nature of the race I can hardly enter without a partner and you seem to be standing around available. I can almost guarantee you that we should be able to surpass your rather dreadful performance on that bull that I witnessed earlier," she got right to the point. A derisive snort of laughter at the young lady's reference to the bull riding contest earlier that morning caused Shade to glance over his shoulder with a narrow-eyed look just as Quentin turned his back, shoulders shaking. Shade returned his attention to Clara, "First, young lady, I do not dislike you. I find you...challenging." "You are being diplomatic, Mr. Thornton," Clara sounded very doubtful of the sincerity of the man's statement. Shade glanced at the registration booth a few feet away. There were not many in line for the three-legged race, and he was free until the horse race later in the day. "Sure, but if we're gonna run a race together, maybe you should call me Shade?" "Very well then, Shade. I would prefer then to be called Clara...without the Miss," the girl nodded. Quentin leaned in a bit from behind. "Whatever she is, she's a good judge of bull riding ability..." He said quietly. Clara smiled up at the man then remarked, "Not much talent was required to judge the obvious." Though getting her digs in was admittedly rather enjoyable, she had gotten her wish, and now all that remained was to sign up for the event before it was closed. She gestured to her new partner with a wave of her hand to follow her and headed straight for the booth. "Hello, we would like to enter the race....myself and this..............gentleman," she indicated her fellow constant with a glance next to her. It was a simple enough procedure, and the only necessary equipment issued a length of strong cord handed to them and directions to tie their legs together with it around their ankles or lower legs. They were warned to make it secure too as it would be inspected by the event judge prior to running and also immediate cause for disqualification if the legs become untied. That only sounded fair to Clara who turned and handed over the cord to Shade. "I trust you are capable of making the proper knot?" Shade finished signing the entry form, writing his name in a flowing, easily legible script. Taking the cord that Clara handed to him, he tested it by snapping it sharply. It was flexible enough but not to the point of being stretchable. He would need to tie it so that it was secure without cutting off their circulation. Years of hobbling horses would come in handy. "Yes, I can tie the proper knots. Don't worry." He was competitive enough himself that he was beginning to look forward to the race. Quentin stood watching the entry with obvious enjoyment. "I need to go fetch Ezra and the others in case they weren't planning to watch the race..." His grin widened, "...This is going to be great!" Clara turned to look at the man, he was thinking that Thornton and her would make fools of themselves, she was sure of it and frowned. Shade slanted a glance at Quentin. He had taken the ribbing about the rodeo events with good grace. Truthfully, he could not offer much in the way of self-defense when it came to his loss in that event. However, he could not resist the veiled challenge he felt he was getting from Quentin. "Why not put your money where your mouth is," Shade said to Quentin, his deep blue eyes narrowed. "Join the race, and I'll wager you five dollars that Clara and I beat you with ease." "Five dollars? I do not have any money, that must be your wager alone," Clara whispered to Shade but he was preoccupied listening to his friend. Quentin blinked. "Well, as nice as it would be to take your money, I have no one to be my partner, so I will just have to satisfy myself with watching you..." Quentin's words trailed off as his gaze moved past Shade. "...Just a moment..." Quentin jogged over to a nearby table and reached, dropping a hand onto a shoulder. "Just the person I was loo..." The hand on Harriet's shoulder startled her. Having not immediately recognized the voice, she reacted on instinct. Reaching up, she grabbed the hand, stepped back to provide additional leverage and twisted in a throwing motion. Harriet was not a large woman, but Fang had taught her well and she rarely missed working out each day. Following up the throw, she knelt on the man's chest, her right hand drawn back, ready to strike at his throat. Fortunately, she recognized the man before she could lash out with the tiny, barely seen push-style knife. Clara blinked, she had never seen anything like that before. Harriet had moved so fast it had been impossible for Shade to follow the action. In almost an instant, Quentin had gone from reaching for their attorney's shoulders to laying on his back in the grass with Harriet poised to strike. As soon as he realized his friend was not in serious danger, he grinned. He couldn't wait to see Quentin's response. "Quentin!" Harriet's gray eyes registered the identity of her opponent. Quentin's arms had come up in an X in front of his face. After a few moments he peeked over the junction of his arms at Harriet. "Good Lord, woman..." He said around a cough. "...What the Hell was that?" Quentin grunted a bit as the ground reminded him of how hard it was. He was still a little hazy on how he got from on his feet to flat on his back but he was fairly sure Harriet had done it. His current emotions ran from surprised to angry to impressed. Somehow embarrassment had gotten lost in that particular race. Unintentionally, Harriet kneed Quentin in the chest as she moved to stand up. Her expression was calm and her voice was cool as she responded to his question, "You startled me." With the onlookers staring at them, she chose not to explain why someone's hand landing on her shoulder might startle her into such a reaction. "What is it that you needed me for? I assume you cannot have gotten entangled in something here that requires my legal expertise?" Quentin slowly got to his feet. "No, just your running expertise..." He saw her expression and held up his hands. "Easy...I challenged Shade to the Three-Legged Race but without a partner. I was hoping you might be willing to enter the race with me." Quentin paused then grinned wider. "You can beat Shade at something that won't get you in trouble." Harriet narrowed her eyes. She knew that the two men had probably wagered on the race which she totally disapproved of them doing. She considered declining but her sense of fun exerted itself and she smiled. "At least it is something that is unlikely to get me shot," Harriet stated, a sardonic note to her voice. "Very well. Let's sign up. If we win, I expect you to buy me lunch." Quentin nodded and gestured toward the sign up table. "I will buy you lunch either way, but I'll spend more if we win." Quentin grinned leaving out that he planned to spend Shade's money on their lunch if he won their bet.
  5. Duke McCallister

    Kalispell Fairgrounds The Marshals Meet

    Staying at the White Rose Boarding House Duke had planned on heading over to the Sheriff's office to check in with them but was told by the clerk at the front desk that it was the Founder's Day celebration and nearly the whole town would be attending the fair that day and most likely would find Hannah Cory, who was the Deputy Marshal, there. It wasn't far so he walked there, following the band music that got louder as he approached the area. Before he got to the outskirts of town his senses were teased be the pleasant scent of roasted beef. An entire cow hung over a thick bed of coals that sat in a rectangular hole in the ground as a young man slowly cracked the spit so it would cook evenly. Several older men stood around sipping mugs of beer as they guffawed at each other's jokes. Duke ignored them as he passed by, taking in the crowd with his left eye looking for a woman with a star pinned to her left breast. A group of small children ran past making banging noises with their mouths as they shot at each other with wooden pistols. An amused smirk spread across his face at the sight. Off to the side of the fair grounds was a covered raised dance floor with a bandstand nearby that played a lively tune as couples danced, spinning in time to the song. Stopping for a moment he listened, his foot tapping to the song. It was then he saw her. The woman with the silver star pinned to her vest. "Pardon me, are you Deputy Marshal Hannah Cory?" he asked her when he approached her location with his hand held out for a handshake. "I'm Duke McCallister ... from the U.S. Marshal's Department."
  6. The Old Ranger

    Kalispell Fairgrounds A Fair to Remember

    The old man pulled his equally aged horse to a stop beside the picket line. The line was actually a heavy chain strung between two posts that had been set firmly into the ground. Large metal rings had been welded along the chain's length, providing a place to tie a horse's reins or lead line. There were four such picket lines set up allowing a large number of horses to be secured for the day's festivities without crowding the beasts. For those that planned on being at the event all day, there was a large corral and a shed for tack. Several horses were already milling around the enclosure. The man was not planning on spending the entire day on the meadow, so he gave a cheerful faced teenager the required five cents to look after his horse for a few hours. The boy grinned and led the horse toward an open slot, made sure to offer it water before loosening the girth to let the horse relax. Not a bad way to make a little money. The day was absolutely glorious! It was still very early morning, so there was a nip to the wind that blew off the Chogun Mountains. The grass, clipped short for the festivities, rippled as the wind caressed it. Copses of trees dotted the meadow, and the old man could hear the wind rattling their branches even over the racket of vendors setting up and children playing. Colorful pennants and banners snapped in the breeze, inviting people to stop by the booths and look over the wares. Livestock of all descriptions was being led to the show tents while ladies bustled around with their own goods and wares while trying to keep an eye on their children. In the three short years of its existence, the Founders Day Celebration had become a staple, a Kalispell tradition that everyone looked forward to. Even the men that had worked hard all week to put up booths, tents, arenas, and the bandstand and dance floor and grumbled each and every day were arriving with their families to take part in the day's festivities. Come one, come all! It was time celebrate and have a good time. With luck, the Mayor's speech that officially opened the festivities would once again be short and sweet. Nothing bad ever happened on Founders Day! ~*~*~*~*~*~ Deep in a tangle of brush, at the eastern edge of the meadow where a deep gully widened into a narrow arroyo, he stirred. A fence ran along the top of the embankment making him go a long way out of his way to cross between the two properties that bordered one another. In fact, the little farm to the east of the meadow had probably noticed some missing chickens. They had been easy prey, but winter was coming. He would soon need something bigger and more substantial to maintain and increase his bulk. There had been more noise than usual over the last many days. He growled low in his chest, sounding like the rumble of thunder beyond the mountains. The scent of man pervaded his waking and sleeping hours, and he hated that smell! Hated and feared it. It would be hard to sleep with them so near. Faint, fevered memories of heat and pain flamed through his being. It would soon be time to hunt, but not yet. He lay his massive head back down on his paws. The briars and brambles of his nest would protect him until it was time to feed...and to take his revenge.
  7. The Old Ranger

    Kalispell Fairgrounds All Work and No Play

    The Kalispell Fairgrounds, most often referred to as the Fairgrounds, was located about two miles west of the town of Kalispell. The long, river-fed meadow's western border lay along the eastern border of Lost Lake Ranch and the foothills of the Chogun Mountains. It was a long, wide expanse of rolling grasslands. The landscape is spectacular with the meandering foothills being overlooked by the towering Chogun Mountain Range. The meadow has long been a gathering spot for local ranchers when they needed additional grazing for their herds. It has also been used as a place to muster several herds together for joint cattle drives. Shimmering blue pools dot the meadow where aquifers bring life-giving water to the surface. Even in mid-summer, the grass is green and verdant. The location of the meadow made it an ideal gathering spot for major town events such as the annual Founder's Day Celebration. The region's prominent families shared the cost of the fair and its events with the businesses from the town. This way it was never a burden for any one group. It also kept undue influence from being wielded over the events. The only event held on private property is the horse race which takes place on Drover's Meadow adjacent to the Fairgrounds and owned by the powerful Thornton family. The Founder's Day Celebration was created to commemorate the establishment of Kalispell as a town separate from the fort. The goal was to bring the community together to celebrate the town and the people of the region. Despite decided unease with the local Indians, it was not unusual for a delegation of Blackfoot to attend the gathering. This year will be one of the few that Indians are notably absent from. As with years before, the meadow is teaming with people working on the last minute preparations. They are putting the finishing touches on the grandstands, enclosures, and constructing the dance floor for the following night. The day is sunny and hot. At its peak, it will reach 95º. Day workers have been employed to help ensure that everything goes off without a hitch! Nothing bad ever happens on Founder's Day.

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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