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The Old Ranger

Open Tags Could I Have This Dance?

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Posted (edited)
Scene Rating: PG-16
Setting: Kalispell, Montana Territory
Location: Fairgrounds, Dance Floor

scott-cory.jpg.b0c1ade5cf781e57b8bb9d9e47a24771.jpgThe brawlers had spent considerable time accounting for themselves to Marshal Scott Cory. Much to the consternation of the Evergreen foreman, the two hands identified as Greer and Billy, were taken into custody pending charges being pressed for robbery and assault. In the end, Cory had only been able to keep Greer in jail for striking the Redmond girl. Billy was told to leave the grounds for the evening and to think really hard about returning the girl's property. Scott might only have Clara Redmond's word to go on, but he believed her over the men. She had no reason to lie. They did.


Scott Cory sighed. They had had small dust-ups at previous Founder's Day Celebrations. People that disputed the allotment of prizes or the outcome of a race or other event. Of course, his voice had prevailed over the town fathers in the past, and there had been no saloon tent. This year, the Belle-St. Regis won the day and persuaded the council that its tent would keep people on the fairgrounds and spending money.


Yeah, that had gone really well.


After Scott had sorted out the brawlers and closed down the saloon tent for the night, everyone had gone their separate ways to clean up for the buffet supper and dance. The Belle-St. Regis had donated a couple of the remaining beer barrels which were now set up in the tent near the dance floor. The sun was dipping low as the band warmed up, preparing to open the dance with a lively country waltz.

Edited by Shade Thornton (see edit history)

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Hannah returned to the fairgrounds well after the mayor had officially kicked off the dance. She felt awkward in her gown, the one she had saved up for and had made for the evening. The material was a soft blue that made her hazel eyes appear more blue than green. The bodice was fitted with a square-cut neck and three-quarter sleeves. White lace fell from the cuffs to midway down her forearm. The Corys' housekeeper had dressed her hair for her, pilling it up on her head and allowing a cascade of carefully curled ringlets to fall down her back. The blue overskirt was layered over white lace.


She had spent quite a while staring in the mirror at her transformation. A transformation that was not entirely without flaws. Her left eye was black and blue, and the cut along her right cheek throbbed painfully. Nina, the housekeeper, had not wanted to apply makeup as it would get into the cut and perhaps fester. This meant Hannah would be attending the dance wearing her war wounds for all to see.


In the end, she decided to go to the dance even if she was likely to spend the evening as a wallflower.


A lively country waltz was in progress when she arrived. There were not many couples on the dance floor yet, mainly the older married folks from town. Others stood around in small groups talking or watching the dancers. Many more were still seated at the long trestle tables that had been set up for the buffet, finishing their supper. Hannah went inside the tent to get a plate for herself. Surprisingly, she was starving. Seemed that getting into a brawl was good for the appetite.

Edited by Shade Thornton (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

harriet-gown.jpg.12d7394d25a2ba5d3d95ab9f5dbe7520.jpgLost Lake Ranch had leased a small block of rooms at the Belle-St. Regis for the night as it was far closer than the main house at the ranch. The twins were spending the night with family friends who had children their age and a young mother that had no desire to go dancing. It had worked out well, leaving the adults to enjoy the rest of the evening without having to chase after the children or cut the night short to put them to bed.


Ezra pulled the ranch's carriage to a stop by the picket line. The horses stood patiently as he handed the ladies out of the wagon. Once she had alighted on the ground, Harriet took a moment to smooth out the folds of her evening gown of emerald satin. Her dark hair was styled simply. It was pulled up and back with tendrils allowed to curl over her forehead. Even as critical of herself as Harriet was prone to be, she felt she looked nice - at least in keeping with the other ladies attending the evening's festivities. The dress was one of her favorites. It brought out the sparks of copper in her dark hair. 


Dinner was quite enjoyable although everyone had been chattering about the fight. Harriet looked across the table where Shade and Quentin sat, seeming none the worse for the fight. She would contact Judge Mandrell on Monday and explain what had happened. Fortunately, Scott Cory had not been inclined to start hauling people into the jail once he had gotten to the bottom of what had started the contretemps. Harriet would have to discuss the incident with the two men at some point, but that could wait until after she saw the judge.


Harriet buttered a roll and took a small bite. It was hard not to roll her eyes as the yeasty sweetness filled her mouth. The Town Mothers had put on a fantastic repast. Most of the townswomen had donated the food they had entered in various contests, and the rest had been prepared just for the evening. Lost Lake Ranch had donated two large steers that were roasting over a slow fire. Someone else had provided a couple of large hogs which were also being cooked in deep pits. The meat was tender and juicy. Various casseroles and vegetable dishes made up the balance of the meal. There were also numerous pies, cakes, and cobblers for dessert. Harriet found her appetite stimulated by the setting and her day's activities. Keeping her ladylike decorum was not easy.

Edited by Harriet Mercer (see edit history)

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Adam_-TWOAJ.jpg.4aa2e1bc0b11de95e2262f48f4bfd531.jpgQuentin ate and enjoyed the food, but he had to do so carefully. His jaw still stung with each chew, the ache moving back through the muscles and into his neck. He had been forced to pick from the less solid options for dinner, although picking something unsuitable was pretty much impossible with the spread that had greeted them on their arrival.

 

Quentin kept chewing as his eyes flicked across at Harriet and felt her looking at him. He had to admit that he didn't mind as he had been looking at her quite a bit for most of the evening. Her outfit was amazing and without all the usual icy walls that constantly drifted between them she was a very entertaining companion, once he finally got over being skewered by her hatpin during the brawl. Quentin let out a snort as he looked over at Shade and did a take. He watched the younger man chewing with a bit of the same deliberation Quentin was employing. The older man lightly nudged Shade with an elbow. "You doing okay?"

 

jess-harper-dance.jpg.957eed461d4c9ede253e40d4461cd794.jpgShade had been surveying the crowd in the tent. Seemed that most of the town and the people from almost all of the nearby ranches had shown up for the evening's festivities. All of the tables were quickly filling up. One whole side of the tent had been rolled up so that air flowed through and they could see the dance floor just outside. Soon the moon would rise, adding its light to the lanterns and torches set around the dance floor. The night promised to be fair and not overly warm which would help keep the dance floor active.

 

Nodding at Quentin, he grinned around a small mouthful of barbecued beef brisket, "Yeah - could be worse," Shade said to his friend. Like Quentin, Shade had dressed up for the evening in a clean white shirt and narrow western-style tie. He wore a supple leather vest over the shirt and had donned clean, dark jeans for the night. His boots were polished and his thick, black hair clean and brushed back. He had also made sure to brush all the dust from his trusty Stetson and polish his boots. The one thing he had not given up was his gun which he wore as always although it was not tied down and ready for use. Fortunately, Marshal Cory had not banned weapons at the gathering.

 

Harriet glanced around the tent, noting with a slight feeling of concern that the Steelgraves had arrived in full force. They occupied at table set apart from everyone else and occupied by only members of the family, their slimy lawyer, Carson Tyndall, and an unknown man, probably the Evergreen ranch foreman. Case Steelgrave caught her eyes and raised his wineglass in her direction. Harriet nodded cooly and returned her gaze to her dinner companions. The table set aside for Lost Lake Ranch showed a notable distinction over the Steelgraves. Here, the hands, their families and the Thorntons sat in companionable groups, mixing and mingling freely. There were also townspeople and members of other ranches sharing the table. Everyone was having a wonderful time, enjoying life, and companionship. The general bonhomie sharply contrasted with the stilted conversation that drifted over from the Steelgrave table.

 

She also could not fault the appearance of her dinner companions. Quentin Cantrell was drawing his fair share of batting eyelashes and feminine sighs from around the room. He looked striking in his dark suit and tie. His smile and deep voice was the envy of many a young lad as he teased and talked with his companions while the lads' dates hope to have those dark looks turned their way. Shade was also a pleasant surprise, having put off his dusty cowboy garb for a tie and crisply ironed shirt. He was getting his fair share of looks, but with more diffidence. It seemed the younger man's reputation was more a source of speculation than his looks. Harriet smiled at something Kate Hale said and made a mental note to revise her opinions of Lost Lake's men. Shade, and especially Quentin, were worthy of more than her original hasty assessments. The evening promised to be an interesting one.

Edited by Shade Thornton (see edit history)

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She was most assuredly not the dance sort, that was where the food was, and Addy wasn't going to pass up a good spread.  Most meals were pretty mundane for her, by practicality more than anything, there wasn't time for fancy meals, so this was an opportunity to jump at, even if it meant putting on a clean skirt and puffy-sleeved silk blouse...oh, and leaving her hat and boots behind.

 

Walking into the big room, she paused only long enough to look around, then made a bee-line for the food.  Maybe later, once she'd had a couple drinks, she'd look into dancing, but that wasn't a sport for someone who was sober!

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His first day after setting up shop in town had proved to be pretty busy, and it wasn't even in tow.  Jonah had come to enjoy the festivities, but once the brawl had broken out there had been a crush of patients, seeking relief and advice for cuts, bruises, sprains, a missing tooth here and there.  Fortunately there was nothing major, only a few needing some stitches, and it gave him a chance to apply his charm and let the folks get to know him, and that he was there.

 

Now was time for settling down and supper.  The hall smelled wonderful, and he had to give credit for the ladies who had prepared the spread.  It was varied and plentiful, and soon he had a plate loaded with goodies and was looking for a seat.  Then he spotted Miz Harriet Mercer and headed her way, giving her a smile.

 

"Miz Mercer, so good to see you."  He nodded to the empty seat beside her.  "Is this taken?"

 

"Doctor Danforth, please join me," Harriet answered with a smile. She had met Kalispell's new resident physician in the aftermath of the brawl. They had not exchanged much more than their names before she and Kate Hale had set to rounding up clean sheets to be torn into bandaging and assisting in whatever manner they could.

 

She flashed a pleasant smile at the man, "I hope you are finding the rest of your first day in Kalispell a bit more pleasant than your introduction to our town?" Harriet's gray eyes met Jonah Danforth's deep brown ones directly. She had little time or use for the basics of female coquettishness. Besides, those affectations rarely played well in the courtroom.

 

"Indeed."  He grinned, then shrugged.  "But I came out here to get away from the conventions of over-civilization."  There was actually a hint of weariness in his tone.  "People ask for the impossible and don't want to help themselves any more, but here..."  He shrugged.  "Folks are more genuine...don't have time to worry about how someone looked at them or the tone of voice that was used."

 

"Life out here is challenging," Harriet agreed. "I do not regret relocating to Montana. Some of my clients are less than pleased but in this, I had to please myself not them." She surveyed Danforth for a few moments. "You might find yourself getting paid in chickens or home cooked meals. It is still better than life in a big city."

 

"Chickens?"  He laughed.  "I have no use of chickens nor place to keep them, but home-cooked meals just might save my life!"  Then he shook his head.  "I suppose, though, I could trade the chickens for other things."  Just sort of the way that money worked, but with limitations.  "Once I have a proper office I suppose I can put in a coop...I wouldn't mind having fresh eggs...you know, for those home cooks to prepare for me!"

 

He flashed a quick smile.  "It will be different, but I'll manage or go back.  I don't suppose you've heard of any properties in town I could rent?"

 

"There was a small home on the edge of town that was returned to the bank a few weeks ago," Harriet answered. A gleam appeared in her eye, "It already has a chicken coop." She regarded the doctor for a moment before speaking again, "It belonged to a young couple that decided to leave for California. Unfortunately, they left without warning and without paying their bills. I looked the home over but it does not meet my needs. Nice place though."

 

"I'll have to look it over."  Jonah smiled and nodded.  "So long as it has a couple of rooms and it's not too far out of town."  He'd need a room for himself, one for an office, a clinic and an operating suite in the least, and he'd prefer a couple rooms for patients that needed to stay.  "But I suppose it's good that there's a coop, that way I can keep my payment confined!"

 

Laughing, he shook his head, not quite sure how to take the idea of being paid in livestock.  "Perhaps in the morning you could point it out?"

 

"It is in town, one street over from Main Street. The home was quite lovely," Harriet assured the doctor. "The wife ran a small dressmaking shop out of the main floor. They lived in the upstairs apartment. It was originally set up as two apartments." That had actually been its appeal for Harriet. However, in the end, it had been better to remain at the Thornton ranch for now.

 

"Oh, well, that sounds as if it would be ideal."  Jonah smiled.  "Thank you.  I assume I should go to the bank, then?  Or is there a lawyer dealing with the estate?"  He hoped it was just something simple with the bank, seemed like things got overly complicated when lawyers got involved!  And he could only hope that it would be so easy to find a place to set up shop.

 

@Shade Thornton

 

 

 

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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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.

Tag: @Adelaide Chappel

 

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Aurelian was a widower and with two children to take care already, not currently looking for adding to his responsibilities by taking another wife. However that did not mean he could not enjoy an evening of feminine company and maybe a few dances. He used to love dancing when SHE was alive, they made quite the pair. There was a second reason he was present now too, for his daughter's sake otherwise Clara probably would not have went. He felt as she was nearing womanhood, she should take part in social events such as this. Clara had so many strengths and gifts but there were times when she lacked some in the whole being sociable with folks area. Wyatt was along too but he had met another boy his age during the festival afternoon and those two wanted to find out more about each other. Oh and eat food too. There would probably be lots of desserts.

 

Aurelian was in a reasonably fashionable grey suit, he was wearing a tie which was a most rare occasion for that. Clara had helped with trimming his hair, including mustache and goatee. He looked suitably dignified.

 

"Lot of people here, bound to be some lads approximately your age," he smiled down at his daughter.

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Addy grinned when she noticed Robert and gestured to the seat beside her.  "Join me."  Her grin widened as she nodded.  "Yep, gonna be a dance, might be a thing ta see."  While notby any means a philosopher, Addy was an observer of people, and dances meant people!  "Got good food here, too," she added with a shrug.  "Reckon I'll be around a bit ta see what transpires...might still be some hard feelin's after th' row this afternoon, who knows?"

 

Although there were far more ladies present here than in the beer tent, and children, and families meant civilization -- the men were far more apt to behave!

 

"So, Robert, what is it that ya do around these parts?"

 

@Wayfarer

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Having been questioned and released after the brawl by Marshal Cory, Pronto cleaned himself up as best as he could. He'd not found a place to lite as yet, but there was always his bedroll. He had used that a number of nights, more than with a roof over his head. He was glad to see Greer shackled an led off to jail. The man deserved worse, but he was not Pike's problem any longer.

 

His nose was a bit swollen, there were a couple of discolored scrapes on his face and his knuckles were a tad swollen, other than that, he felt pretty fair. So the dinner and the dance appealed to him somewhat. The meal more than the dance, but it was something to do, and a dance was not to be missed when one was held. So he entered the building, stood inside the door for a moment then headed to the food.

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Henry Speed Guyer arrived at the site of the dance, knowing most of the town and surrounding area would be present. It would give him a chance to perhaps meet some of the locals, maybe talk a bit of business, introduce himself around. Dances were grand occasions and in some places had been known to go on for days. Riders would come from miles away to join the festivities.

 

It would not be like the east, full of etiquette, all proper and stuffy. Oh, the eastern balls were fun enough, but in the west, dances were a celebration of life. In the west life was different, totally. The proper decorum of the east was replaced by the more natural feel for the celebration of the Western peoples and that was what Guyer appreciated most.

 

He walked to the table laden with food and picked up a plate. This would be a real meal!

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Clare stood ramrod straight as she gazed around at the crowd, indeed there were a few boys who just might be in her age range but they weren't paying any attention to her and giving them a second look, they weren't all that grand a sight. Granted, they'd probably think the same of her.   Least that thief, Billy, wasn't present. Besides, her father had absolutely forbidden her to start anything with anybody.   She was decked out in her brand new dress, well meaning the dress she had quickly sewed together from some nice material she had purchased. Absolutely nothing fancy, no frills, if one looked careful enough not all the buttons even matched but at least it fit. It was a sober darker color, maroon, she thought it went well with her brunette hair. She had polished her shoes but nothing could make them new, she'd had these far too long for that.

 

It took some convincing for her father to get her to even come to this thing. She had never actually danced with anyone before, unless you counted when her mother had showed her the basic waltz steps, and was quite certain she wouldn't be dancing this night either. It all was a lot of foolishness anyhow. But there was to be a big meal and that meant one less meal she had to cook plus it saved them their foodstocks. So not a complete waste.

 

"I do not care about boys, father. And I am confident they will be suitably unimpressed with me also," she sighed.

 

"Just try, Clara, to relax and enjoy yourself. Be friendly, mix with people, you might surprise yourself what a good time you will have then, " her father offered her unsolicited advice.

 

"Right," was her reluctant agreement.

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Ralph escorted Matilda on into the circus...oh make that dance tent, she had said he couldn't use that first version. Ralph was not a person who liked dances but he had to agree with his business partner it was a good place to mingle and make contacts, drum up business, that sort of thing.  Within the next few days, they'd be opening the doors of the saloon they'd purchased and they had high hopes for their prospects in this town.

 

"You were right, this is a dandy crowd," he admitted with a smile as he lit up a cigar.

 

Matilda_again.jpg

 

"I'm always right, I'm just too modest to say it," Matilda quipped, she was clad in a bright green dress, one of the those fashionable back east garments. So expensive, yes, but one needed to make good first impressions.

 

"I'm going for the food," he declared, no big surprise there.

 

"Go ahead, I'm just going to wander about, see who I can meet," Matilda wasn't hungry yet.

 

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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.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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As Speed waked along the buffet table he helped himself to the bounty that was laid out before him. It was then that he saw Ralph Flandry. He smiled and spoke.

“Mister Flandry, good to see you again.” He greeted. “Quite a spread they’ve laid out. Although I’m glad to have missed the brawl. Looks to be an interesting evening ahead.” He liked being in town. He liked the idea of people, of businesses and opportunities that awaited. The celebration was a welcome change from life on the trail.

 

Tag: @Ralph Flandry

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So he entered the building, stood inside the door for a moment then headed to the food.

 

As he perused the buffet offerings and began loading a plate, he spotted both Shade and Quentin already seated. He wondered what the afternoon’s brawl might inspire, and those two would be the ones to ask. He had no illusions that all would be forgiven and forgotten, no matter what was said at the end. At least there had been no gunplay, but there was any number of bruised egos with retaliation on any number of minds.

 

Seeing that there was an empty chair at Shade and Quentin's table he walked over to it. "Gentlemen, mind if I take this seat?”

 

Shade grinned a greeting, "Sure, have a seat. The ladies have put on an amazing spread. I see you survived the dust-up in the beer tent."

 

Quentin nodded. "We sure do appreciate you wading in and helping us. The numbers were not looking good there for a minute."

 

"Yah, couldn't hardly believe that puncher'd hit a female." He said seating himself. "Whot wuz worse, all them men standion' 'round gawkin' an doin' nuthin about it." He shook his head. "This here's a migh-T-fine spread." He took up a drumstick. "Them two from around here?" Knowing the word of any kind of celebration traveled far and wide, and a dance? That would bring waddies out of the woodwork.

 

Quentin shrugged. "I doubt it. We get a lot of saddle tramps wandering through...looking for a steady job or just some pocket money to keep on moving. The better question is how mad will they be after what just happened. They just might try something very foolish."

 

"Hell, thought they' already done that! 'er you meanin' the townsfolk wantin' ta stretch their necks some?" He asked. "Mostly where I come from, a man lays hand to a woman, any woman in public he's likely shot dead afore he kin explain. But, didn't have a gun." Pike explained between bites. "Wimmen's a rare find in any country an' oughtta be treated as such!"

 

Shade nodded his agreement although it had not escaped his notice that Hannah and Harriet had both joined the fray. In fact, Hannah was sporting a black eye and was moving a bit carefully too, just like Quentin and Shade himself. "Regardin' those two low-lifes, I think they worked for Evergreen. At least a few of Evergreen's hands waded in on their side." He picked up his coffee and took a drink, "Figure the Steelgraves will cut them loose now though. They don't much care for overt attacks...their methods are usually far more subtle."

 

"Steelegraves is it? That'd be the law dog up ta' Whitefishes relations I take it." Pike responded. "Been havin' problems with these folks I take it. Didn't take to the one I run onto, seemed kinda full of himself. On the prod, like he had somethin' ta prove." Then Pike laughed. "Got you some wimmen folk hereabouts whot'll be glad ta show ya whot's whot alright."

 

"Right, James "Case" Steelgrave is the town marshal. Most people say he won't take on a fight he isn't paid for in advance," Shade told the other man. "He has never been brought up on charges for his killings either." He stretched his back and looked around, "If you ask me, the entire family is a load of trouble waiting to happen."

 

"Charges? Ah, arrested and tried. Nope, reckon yer right about that." Pronto agreed between bites. "Man that tries that'll need to be both fast and accurate. Hold court in the street, likely as not. Doubt he's one to be taken without a fight." He took a drink of water and he too looked around, not that he'd know anything or anyone was out of place. But he would know trouble. "The small ranchers. How they fare in this deal?"

 

"Honestly, I haven't been here long enough to comment on that," Shade told Pronto. "There was an incident at the Redmond homestead. Two of their hands claimed to be ours and harassed Clara Redmond. You saw the end result of that in the drinks' tent brawl. And, I know there were some major land grabs and fights back when I was a kid. My father, our ranch, usually came down on the side opposing Elias Steelgrave."

 

"Seen this before," Pronto said, laying his fork on the empty plate. "Man ain't satisfied with what he's got. Decides he can ride roughshod over the little rancher. Mebee he burns out some homesteaders, sodbusters, you know. Folks that mean no harm to anyone, just tryin' to get buy. Yah, I seen it before, a number of times." The story was not new, he had seen it, as he said, a number of times. It was almost always the same. "So what's been done about it?"

 

Shade glanced at Quentin for a moment, then shrugged slightly, "There hasn't been any major incidents since I've been back - that I am aware of anyway. I'm sure Marshal Cory will do what he can. Ranches will probably band together. However, even up here, there's often hard feelings toward the homesteaders."

 

"Reckon that'd be the proper thing ta do, alright." Pronto agreed. Best to have the law ramrodding a deal like that." He paused and smiled. "If ya got yerself a man of means, then most of his hands are hired guns to deal with. An' as far as sodbusters go, they already got a rough way ta go without gettin' mixed up in no range war. Don't fool yerself, it'll be just that, a range war."

 

He Put his hands up. "Not tryin' ta say anythin' 'cept ya need to know what yer up agin afore ya get ta tryin' ta arrest anybody."

 

Tag @Quentin Cantrell @Shade Thornton

Edited by Barnabas Pike (see edit history)

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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

Edited by Ralph Flandry (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Ralph had just sampled a man sized bite of some sort of sausage, definitely could taste garlic in it, it was good but suddenly someone was speaking to him. Glancing to his left he of course recognized the man who had ridden up to the stage station. He struggled for a couple of seconds to recall the fellow's name - he certainly knew his, putting the pressure on more for Ralph.

 

"Howdy. Mr. Guyer ain't it?"

 

"It is. Glad to finally reach town here. And to this, simply amazing." Speed answered. Good sized place, a lot of possibilities."

 

"Yeah, I'm impressed with all the possibilities here. You should try this sausage....better than most I've ever had," he gestured toward the sliced meat layered onto a plate in front of them."

 

Believe I will. Haven't had sausage since I left New York, the fact is, I haven't seen a layout like this one. "Heard there was some trouble earlier, a brawl or something of that nature. Probably the work of too much drink and too little common sense."

 

"As for brawls....I get enough of those in my line of work....saloons. So I agree with ya," he smiled.

 

"I believe tomorrow I'll be looking at what property is owned and where." Said between bites. "Hopefully there are some geological maps, make my life a bit easier. Otherwise, well, it will be riding out to study the land." He was not sure that he had already explained his vocation and his mission at the stage stop. 

 

"So you plannin' on buying some property? Town does seem to be growing fast. Matilda and me figure we bought the saloon at a perfect time. Plenty of new customers to join the old," Ralph declared.

 

After taking a healthy sized forkful of potato salad, he chewed then continued, "Maps huh? So what is yer job again. If you said it at the station I musta missed it, those redskins comin' on in with the baby kinda reserved my attention."

 

"Well, I hadn't actually thought about buying, the maps are for geological use. Looking for mineral deposits. I guess you'd say I'm a speculator. I'm a partner with Wood and Guyer of New York." He shoveled in another bite. "This is some excellent food!" It was really good, and he'd been a long time without home cooked food. Oh, there had been restaurants and far too many nights on the trail, including cold camps. This was a slice of heaven as far as he was concerned. "Prices pretty reasonable around here?"

 

"Speculator huh? Well, I've heard there are some folks lookin' fer gold around here. No actual mines yet but mostly panning for it in rivers and creeks," Ralph replied, "So exactly what does a speculator do then to make his money?"

 

Now as for the man's prices question, Ralph shrugged, "Reasonable enough, pretty comparable to what we ran inta in the Dakotas and Minnesota...cheaper than the big cities back East I'd reckon. Though haven't been East in a long time to be fair."

 

"Well, Speculating is a whole lot like gambling. Every hand is different. Each piece of property is different." He replied. "What I do is locate what might be what we're looking for. Not just gold and silver, but copper, petroleum and such like." He paused. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. I' tasked with locating and buying or leasing property. My partner back east then locates companies that are looking for whatever it might be. We've done well so far. Might be interested in an office."

 

"And now I know," Ralph nodded, "sounds a bit like gambling only with properties instead of cards."

 

"Yes sir Mister Flandry. It is that to be sure." Speed responded.

 

"An office here in town? Sounds like you plan to stay awhile then? Can't help ya there though, newly arrived ourselves, me n' Mattie, don't really know the town or what buildings might be empty or for rent. "

 

"Well just have to check around to see what's available. It's a big country and probably a lot of possibilities to explore." Speed explained. "Getting set up here in town helps me evaluate the community in so far as what we might expect as a workforce, accommodations, and of course the willingness of the town to support whichever endeavor might come to fruition. A lot goes into what I'm tasked with."

 

"If anything you do brings in money or people to this town, I'm sure they'll be more than happy to have ya. This town has a future, least we think it does, and it's gonna grow and prosper. A golden opportunity for all of us to profit from," Ralph declared.

 

"Yes, it would appear that I'll be in Kalispell for some time, as there is a lot here to investigate, and as I said, it has everything but proof of the available resources." Speed stated confidently. "I guess I'll need to scour the town and see what's available. Which will give me the opportunity to meet folks. And that's good." Speed added. "A golden opportunity to be sure Mister Flandry, for everyone."

 

"And that is all one can ask for. You know, I think I will go look for my business partner. If she lacks for a dance partner, I will at least offer myself as a bottom of the barrel, better than nothing option," Ralph grinned, shoveled in some more food into his mouth then set the plate down and wandered off.

 

(Finis?)

 

@Speed Guyer

 

 

Tag: @Ralph Flandry

Edited by Ralph Flandry (see edit history)

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"Sorry 'bout yer pa an' brother."  Addy offered a sympathetic shrug.  "Lost my ma when I was little, brothers in th' war, but I reckon that's not so hard as havin' yer ma so far away that ya can't reach her."  After all, chances of Robert ever seeing his mother again were pretty slim.  Same for her with her pa and brothers, but part of that was by choice, not that she was avoiding them, she just didn't have any plan to go back to Tennessee any time soon.

 

"Sister, too, huh?  Got me three brothers yet,  two of 'em tied ta wives an' children."  Not that she minded kids in particular, just not for her.  "They're all in th' hills in Tennessee, don't reckon as they plan ever on goin' far from there...'cept maybe Zeke, he's a drover like me, but prefers th' civilization of Topeka.""

 

@Wayfarer

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Posted (edited)

"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

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Topeka's in Kansas.  Too flat there fer my likin'."  Addy shook her head.  "Once ya see them Rockies, ain't nothin' else like 'em...so high an' pretty with th' snow an' all."

 

Her tone was wistful and her gaze distant for a moment before she looked back at Robert.  "'Course I hear there's folks here that plain hate 'em, and I reckon I understand...wrong time'a year they're unforgivin."

 

Then she smiled.  "So whacha gonna do with all that gold ya find?  Think ya might need a driver fer yer fancy carriage?"

 

@Wayfarer

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"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

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"Don't reckon as I'd mind that," Addy answered with a grin.  "I'd just clock ya if ya got too annoyin'!"

 

She laughed and gave him a friendly wink.  "Servants fer chores sounds good, too...no muckin' stalls or cleanin' up, an' if ya can afford more clothes then th' weather won't be much of a bother neither...just hibernate like a ol' bear all Winter, come out in th' Spring ta enjoy th' rest of th' year!"

 

Honestly, she wouldn't mind not having her fingers frozen as she gripped the ribbons,  freezing rain pelting her in the face.  But then, there were the Summer days when it was hotter than Hades and her brain felt like it might boil under her hat!

 

"Well, I do hope it works out fer ya.  I'd like ta see ya struttin' around in tails an' a brocade vest!"

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

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"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

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"Forward?  Nah, not a'tall, an' I'd be happy ta trip th' light fantastic toe with ya!  How bad can it be, we survived th' race, right?"  Standing, she brushed out her skirts, then chuckled.  "Got my clunky boots on, so best take care an' keep yer feet out from under mine!" 

 

She had passing knowledge of a few dances, and some she could improvise passing fair.  "Just be careful that we don't run inta no one else!" 

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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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