There was pretty much agreement among all four of them that whiskey was a common enough issue for many many folks regardless of race or gender. And the scout was right, it was a partial cause of the conflicts between the whites and Indian tribes. But it was far more than that too. The poorly educated veteran sergeant couldn't express himself all that clearly but he knew, maybe all of them even the Apache, knew it was a clash of civilizations and in the end, the Indians were going to come off badly. It didn't matter how hard they resisted or even if they won some victories, sheer numbers made the struggle a foregone conclusion.
ooc: I think we could and probably should bring this thread to a close? I know Stormie is wanting to move on with this storyline.
MacIntosh asked about how close the fort was going to be, there Nikolaus couldn't be any help.
"Sorry, I do not know where we are going to be building. Guess we will find out when we get there. I'm only a sergeant, this sort of thing is high ranking officer information," he shrugged.
So the town had saloons, well so did almost any town of any size in his opinion. As for the talk about about how bad drink was for the soldiers.....he was a man who could drink his share and more on occasion. Most everyone in the army drank and that included the officers. But he was less tolerant to hear it from the Indian.
"I'm quite certain the red man cannot handle the bottle very well either," he pointed out then though he was not eager to get into an argument about it.
"Confederacy huh? I was in the Army of the Potomac, joined right off the boat. I have no issue now with anyone on your side, war's over," Nikolaus commented after her remark.
"Now as for that pie you're hoping for, that sort of thing is reserved for special occasions I am afraid," he had to crush her hopes and that of the scout too who admitted to savoring some pie.
The Indian then talked of eating mule. Nikolaus wondered where he had gotten mule from, maybe stolen animals from the military or some prospector. No Indians raised mules. But it was none of his business so he just shrugged.
The scout was curious about their major's eventual destination. Nikolaus knew some about it at least.
"Oh, our column was sent out here to build another fort. Closer to the town of Kalis....Kalis something. I am not familiar with this part of Montana."
He glanced over to Addy, "I'm sure you know where I mean."
Nikolaus had just finished asking the woman his question about cooking when the scouts joined them at the long bench table, they had already helped themselves to the stew with fixings, no doubt guided by the smell.
"No, not at all. Plenty of room. And just like I promised, see I saved some stew for you," the veteran NCO grinned thru that thick beard of his.
"We were just discussing cooking or our lack of skills at it," he quickly filled the pair in on the current topic of conversation.
Nikolaus chuckled at her little biography, it explained a lot.
"Nothing but men and boys, I can see now how you turned out like you did. Too bad they don't let women join the army. You might make a good trooper. Better than some of our recruits, of that much I am certain," he asserted.
"So I take it you aren't much of a cook then? Something I never learned neither," he shrugged.
Nikolaus was good as his word about the food. The stew was thick with chunks of potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and a liberal use of salt and pepper. It was served with some freshly baked bread, seemingly nothing special to many but for the troopers, a luxury they only got in garrison as they had to settle for hardtack on campaign. There was no comparison. Steaming coffee in tin cups would wash it all down.
The veteran sergeant got teased some about him bringing in the woman to the mess but he only grinned and told the men to mind their own business.
"She is not here for any of that sort of nonsense. The Indians chased her in here for now. Now behave yourselves," he declared.
Once both were sitting, Nikolaus tried and soup and nodded, the look on his face showing he was well satisfied with the quality.
"So you drive wagons for a living? How did you get into such a ...... career?" he now asked Addy.
The scout was correct and Braumann confirmed it, "Yes, that's the place. You can catch both officers in there. Kill two birds with one stone as the saying goes."
MacIntosh also talked about the Indians they had run into earlier, who he thought they were, and even some security concerns.
Braumann didn't doubt the man about which tribe it had been, the Sioux and the whites had been clashing off and one, mostly on, for the better part of a decade. With rumors of gold in the Black Hills, it was only going to get worse. However as to security.
"I'm no officer, I haven't got no authority over setting the watches. That's an officer's job unless he orders me to see to it. But I certainly can't see any Indians fool enough to attack a post with almost two hundred armed men here. Nothing much to gain and they'd lose a lot of their young bucks as you say," he smiled.
"Anyhow, you and your friend make your report then head over to that building right over there," he pointed, "the lady and me will be enjoying our stew and I'll make sure we don't eat it all so you two can down a bowl or two."
Apparently the woman was not too pleased with the relentless spread of civilization. Braumann felt that somewhat unusual amongst womenfolk. It was plain to see this gal was very self-reliant and he had to respect that. That's when the white scout and his Apache entered the conversation. Belatedly the woman introduced herself...Addy Chappell. Good to put a name to a face, the sergeant thought. She was also pretty knowledgeable about Indians too, he had no doubt that bunch had been more interested in the cattle than fighting soldiers. Especially with the buffalo disappearing so rapidly throughout the west.
Macintosh wanted the sergeant to know that he and his Indian had scouted further and wished to report this to Major Brittles.
"The major went to the commandant's office to no doubt introduce himself to the CO here. You'd have to go over and knock. Now as for food, I was about to invite Miss Chappell to sit at the barracks mess. Food in a fort is a lot better than what we normally settle for out in the field. Should be some baked bread and stew at least, with real vegetables too. You and your man are welcome to join us," Braumann offered, "that is when you're done reporting to the major I reckon."
Braumann shook his head, "No need to call me 'sir'. Only officers get that and I'm just a lowly sergeant. Besides you aren't in the army."
"Name is Nikolaus Braumann, I will answer to Nick if you'd rather, " he added, taking hold of the one the team, "It'll be a stable, ma'am. They can have a nice stall. Cavalry treat their horses well you see, we depend on them with our lives at times."
"Yeah, that was a bit of a fuss. I wasn't worried. It would take a hellava lot of Injuns to attack a body of troops that big. And they'd be even less likely to ever attack a fort. Injuns are touchy about losing men, can't blame 'em, a big tribe might have a few hundred warriors at best. Think it's slowly beginning to dawn on them but these wars....well they can't win. There are way too many white folk coming west."
The woman mentioned the scout and Braumann turned to see that scout and his Apache companion approaching. He nodded in acknowledgment.
Sgt. Braumann had taken his mount to the assigned stables along with the rest of the newly arrived troopers at Fort Kilpatrick. He had been to his share of army outposts in his career and this was one was pretty typical. No stockade or defensive walls, it's not like the Indians would be stupid enough to attack a fortress. They would just suffer a lot of casualties the tribe could hardly afford and for what? No, Indian warfare was about hit and run attacks and profitable raiding of your enemies. There were so many softer targets than military forts. One of the garrison NCOs directed the men where to stable the horses and which barracks to report to. It was going to be crowded for awhile as suddenly the fort was having to take in 100 extra men and animals. But they wouldn't be staying long as the reason for their current assignment was to construct a new fort closer to Kalispell.
Once that was done, Braumann decided to check on the civilian wagon which had accompanied them the last part of their journey. The one driven by a woman. He figured she probably wasn't used to army ways and might appreciate the help.
"Ma'am, can I be of any assistance? I'd be happy to show you where to stable your team. Don't worry none, they'll be fine here," he spoke up once he got within easy talking distance.
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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