"And did we not discuss this previously? You do not need to call me ma'am, Weedy. Clara is fine," the older girl pointed out softly . At least the boy was respectful. Addy was doing a fine job with the child.
"Well, I came out to tell you that lunch is almost ready. You two should wash up and come in then," she apparently did not even notice the chest.
And with that she headed back into the farmhouse.
"So..." he looked at Wyatt and shrugged, "you got an axe or something?"
"We do, sure. But we also have a sledge hammer, Pa uses it to break up big rocks out in the fields," Wyatt declared.
"We should eat though, build up our strength for the work ahead of us," the boy grinned.
They were on their feet, actually removing their hats. They looked to one another when Bannister said, "Coffee'd be just fine Ma'am. Appreciate you'd think of us."
She had set up a table which was somewhat obscured by the three men, allowing for her forgetting she had put it there. "Yes Ma'am, if you need a hand I'll be glad to lend it, carry that on out for ya." Santee offered.
These were hard men, but as was the case in those days, they softened pretty quickly to any act of kindness from a woman, and around town it was known that Emeline was a lady. It mattered not at all that she was the Deputy's betrothed, there would be no disrespect shown for any woman. Except maybe the "sportin' women" found in most frontier towns.
Alright, he had found some good strong rope, Weedy had the horse positioned. All that remained now was tying said rope around the chest. Wyatt thought he had this.
"I'm gonna wrap it like a present, you know put it around the sides and on the top and bottom."
That took a bit but eventually he had it the way he liked it, now it was just a matter of the horse giving it a pull and all should work out just fine. Wyatt stood up again and wiped his hands onto his trousers then signaled Weedy who held the horse.
"Alrighty, get her goin' then!" he called out. This better work!
Wyatt was fairly confident Hector wasn't actually angry with him for his jibe although the fist balled up was not a good sign. Still he wasn't about to act scared, this was his home and Pa was around. Hector wouldn't dare. Plus Jacob assured him “Ignore him, Wy, last time Wigfall had a fight it was with his sister, and he lost.”
"Oh really?" Wyatt wasn't going to laugh because he too could not win a fight with Clara, not that they ever fought like that, just argued at times like siblings did. Besides one look at Hector and Jemima side by side and yeah, Wyatt would bet on the tough looking girl.
Pike now took his turn at the horseshoes, hefting a nice arc too which in the end missed. No big deal, most shots missed in horseshoes. The deputy remarked it did look good though, in the air.
"Yeah, it did. You were pretty close for a first throw ya know?" Wyatt pointed out sympathetically.
But the call was for dinner now! Much as Wyatt loved horseshoes, he loved these big dinners even more.
"Hey time to eat! Let's go everybody. We got ham for dinner!" he loved ham.
The boy led the way back to the farmhouse. The womenfolk were urging the men to step on into the kitchen, fill their plates and find a barrel about the outstretched planks on saw horses outside or even sit on a bale of hay. The weather was beautiful so no worry from the elements except for some pesky flies.
This was turning out better than the boy expected, as first Jacob then his best man (if that was the BEST of Jacob's friends, Wyatt felt sorry for him), then the minister showed up to play. Probably lost in the greetings of the clergyman, Wyatt did offer his own sincere, "Hi ...Parson."
That's what they had called Parson Evans but young Wyatt was a bit confused as to what to address this old fella as. He certainly did seem a very nice man though. But then clergy probably had to be, part of the job one might say.
"You've done a fine job, setting the peg up real straight," complimented the minister.
Wyatt beamed, "Thanks I just pounded it in the same ol' hole we've always used."
His new brother -in -law and the parson had a little chat but then then the old fella picked up a shoe to try his luck. Not bad a throw really.
"Oh nice try!" Wyatt encouraged him.
And now there was yet another possible participant, the deputy and the man who married Clara's boss lady. No gun or badge though. Hopefully he didn't lose his job?
"Care to take a throw?" the parson offered the Deputy.
"Yeah, you should. You couldn't do any worse than Hector," grinned Wyatt.
"No you didn't, Pa said he played horseshoes when he was a kid," Wyatt rolled his eyes, Clara's husband wasn't going to fool him with such talk. But the guy was pretty good at throwing them and Wyatt had to give him his due. After one particular ringer, Wyatt even complimented him, "Good shot."
Wyatt was also taken aback that Jacob still wanted a present, the boy had hoped an apology would do.
"A shotgun! I can't afford a shotgun. We don't even own one, we haven't got a whole lot of money," he declared.
About the time Jacob just said double it for Christmas, it finally dawned on Wyatt (whom Clara complained was too 'literal') this guy was kidding around.
"Sure, I'll do that. I'll buy you a unicorn," Wyatt promised. It was a running joke in the family that when there was talk of impossible stuff, unicorns always entered into the conversation. Of course maybe Jacob wouldn't know what a unicorn was? Wyatt only knew because of Clara who knew way too much stuff. This guy didn't look as smart as Clara.
Another young man ambled up, a friend of Jacob. Mostly Wyatt knew of him as the guy who worked in the telegraph office. Not that he had ever been able to either send or receive one of those telegrams but maybe some day. He wanted to play too.
"I guess," Wyatt agreed but the two older boys didn't wait for his permission. This one was kind of a smart aleck too.
So he could brag but he sure couldn't throw horseshoes to back it up. Wyatt joined Jacob in snickers at first which became laughs as miss followed miss.
“What’s wrong with these horseshoes, Redmond? They miss each time.”
"Nothing. They didn't miss for me n' Jacob. It's gotta be the thrower," Wyatt half smirked.
For a bit Wyatt simply tossed some by himself but who should stroll up but Clara's brand spanking new husband. They actually hadn't really ever officially met let alone had a conversation. But there he was watching Wyatt in action.
“Can I have a turn?” Jacob asked Wyatt.
"Sure ya can. I reckon you know how to play then?" Wyatt was game.
He let the older boy, no way was he calling Jacob a man, not by a long shot even if he was Clara's husband, arm himself with a few horseshoes.
"Just wanna say I'm sorry I didn't get you two a present," Wyatt figured he better get that out of way right off.
He also couldn't resist adding, "But it is not like we got a lot of time to get something."
Four other riders were in the the room, eating, they all looked up, grunted a greeting and went back to their breakfast.
"Don't mind them. You'll meet 'em all sooner 'er later, but chows on, so we best get to it before he throws it out." Carson said moving to the serving table where the food was steaming. Eggs, potatoes, beef steaks, slabs of fresh baked bread and containers of butter and jam. He took up a tin plate and handed it to Jose. "Time ta strap on the feed bag. Take all ya want, but unless you wanna incur Cookies wrath, eat all ya take."
Carson began filling his plate, once done moved to the long table where the others were seated. and sat down, leaving room for Jose, though the table was long with benches on both sides.
Wyatt watched as Weedy went pounding away on that lock with his hand held rock but no luck. He doubted this method was going to work and soon enough the other boy halted his efforts.
Sitting back on his heels, Weedy glanced at Wyatt and shrugged. "Maybe we should take it back to the barn...is there something there we could maybe use?"
"Umm, we can look around.But yeah this isn't working," Wyatt declared.
But first that meant the boys were going to have to lift the chest and haul it back to the farm and thus the barn. That was easily a three hundred yards or so his sister had once estimated. Hopefully it would not be that heavy. There was already one problem he now realized.
"Oh darn, this thing doesn't have any handles on it."
If they were going to carry it, it would have to be by getting their arms under it. Well, unless Weedy had another idea?
"So how do we get this thing back then?" he posed the question.
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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