Stands 5'10", lean of build with dirty red hair, a scraggly beard of a lighter shade, brown eyes.
Pike wears a double-breasted white leather swallow tail coat, which resembles his Civil War frock coat over a nondescript grey shirt. For trousers, he wears Mexican style Vaquero trousers of a supple dyed red roughout leather, with silver buttons running the length of his legs.
He wears crossed gun belts with a pair of 4 3/4 .44 Smith and Wesson Russian pistols.
Traits & Characteristics
Fair and honest. (+)
Tough when trouble comes. (-/+)
True to his given word or handshake. Rides for the brand. (+)
When forced is merciless. (-)
Barnabas Pike earned the nic-name "Pronto" from his oldest brother Sam due to his quick temper. However, somewhere along the line the war and subsequent life experiences seasoned his temper, enabling him to hold it in check.
Though good with his guns, he never killed a man he had not forewarned.
Known as a top hand, but also for his tenacity in all matters. A man to have on your side when push comes to shove. However, he can be friendly. Actually responsive in a positive manner to those he considers friends, which historically has been few. The other side of that coin would be that Pronto could be lethal when called upon to defend his friends, the man he rides for or the company that employs him without hesitation.
None at this time
Above average cowhand. Excellent horseman. Top teamster. Above average tracker.
Cow Puncher, Former Pony Express Rider, former Confederate Calvary Officer, former Texas Ranger "Minuteman," former Shotgun Guard, Hired Gun
Pike is deadly with either handgun.
Aliases / Nicknames
Place of Birth
Kith & Kin
| FAMILY |
Father: John Henry Pike ~ deceased
Mother: Martha Anne Jackson (Pike) ~ Deceased
Samual Dirk Pike
Silas James Pike
Sister: Maryanne Marie Pike
Pronto's parents were killed by Indians, his brothers and sister had vanished upon his return from the war.
|NON-FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS |
None at this time, new in town.
None at this time, but, it's early yet.
1843 ~ 1853
Barnabas was born into a family of five, a sister a year older than he, two brothers, one four, Silas and one six, Samuel. The Pikes had a fair sized ranch outside Crockett Texas where John Pike raised cattle and farmed some. Barnabas' childhood was about normal for the time period, with the exception of his temper which showed up about the age of five.
He was in the saddle by six, and a fair hand by the age of ten. Fighting Indians. He was fearless, fighting his brothers regularly, most times in defense of his sister, who he loved dearly.
1854 ~ 1859
During this period Pronto learned more of weapons handling and usage against not just the Comanche and Apache, but desperados from both sides of the border. Also during this span, it was becoming clear, Barnabas Pike was a rider to be reckoned with. He was winning most of the races he entered. And, at local contests his roping, bronc riding skills were hard to beat. Aside from his temper, he was becoming the man his father and brothers wanted. But there was trouble brewing, trouble that would divide a nation, and many a family.
Talk of secession was spreading throughout the South. John Pike was against the war solely because taking the men meant the homestead would be left undefended. Neither waring tribes were at bay. But for seventeen-year-old Barnabas Pike, it was exciting, the chance for fame and glory.
1861 ~ 1865
Of an evening, Barnabas rode out to meet a group of young men headed for Saint Louis Missouri with the plan to join the Confederate army. But life has a way of changing plans for folks. Seeing a sign in a window advertising for wiry young men to ride for the fledgling Pony Express.
Within three days he was riding out of Saint Louis for a place called San Francisco California. A long arduous task of riding, changing mounts and riding. Day and night, in any weather. But he loved it. Even the close calls with hostiles.
On his return trip, disaster struck, outside Carson City, Utah Territory, when his mount tumbled down a ravine and Pronto was seriously injured. He hobbled into a settlement called Mormon Station (Genoa) where he recuperated and when fully mended, returned to Texas to join the Confederate Army. He ran into some recruits from the 8th Texas Cavalry, known as Terry's Texas Rangers, and immediately fell in with them, joining the next morning.
The Terry Rangers distinguished themselves at the battles of Shiloh (April 6–8, 1862), Perryville (October 8, 1862), Murfreesboro (December 31, 1862–January 2, 1863), Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863), and Chattanooga (November 24–25, 1863); in the Atlanta campaign (May 1–September 2, 1864); and as raiders in Kentucky and Tennessee under Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Rangers were also part of the inadequate force under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston that attempted to slow Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's inexorable "march to the sea" during the final months of the war. Terry's Rangers delivered what was probably the last charge of the Army of Tennessee at the battle of Bentonville (March 19–20, 1865). Rather than surrender with the rest of Johnston's army at Durham Station, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865, 158 of the reported 248 survivors of the regiment slipped through Union lines to join other Confederates yet in the field. With the total collapse of the Southern cause, however, the Terry Rangers drifted home as individuals and in small groups, having never officially surrendered.
1865 ~ 1875
1865 returning to Texas after the war he found the family ranch burned and his parents killed by Comanches. Though he could well have restarted the ranch, Pronto drifted and joined the Texas Rangers as a "Minuteman." He took a job as a shotgun guard with Waddell and Mitchell, freighters out of Lampasas, Texas.
Tiring of that in 1866 he drifted west into New Mexico and Arizona working as a cowboy as he went. He hired on as a wrangler for a small ranch embattled against a much larger spread which lasted some three months before he rode out, after shooting three men for rustling cattle. He signed on in Colorado, then Montana, and finally Utah as a wrangler with a gun, and all of these riding jobs were concerned with range wars. He worked in Utah for grub, ammunition and a saddle. Then he rode the grub line south into Nevada.
By the fall of 1870 Pronto arrived in Virginia City Nevada. He hired on with the Sheriff's Office as a deputy. The job was all but uneventful, at least in contrast to his recent past. He met Julia Dey who taught fifth grade at the 4th Ward School at the south end of town. He resided for a brief period at the International Hotel before obtaining a cabin just south of the Divide, an area between Virginia City and Gold Hill. A quarter of a mile from the school where Miss Dey taught.
He and Julia became more than friends and were engaged on Christmas Eve of 1871. Their plans were to marry in the late spring, but pneumonia took her life in mid-February. Pronto stayed on and developed a taste for poker. It was during one of these forays at the Delta Saloon that his luck changed dramatically.
Holding three deuces, Pronto Pike bucked the odds and won a one-third share in the Yellow Jacket Mine. Knowing that the Yellow Jacket employed "security men," it would only be a short time before they came calling to reclaim his one-third ownership. He registered his share and went directly to the Yellow Jacket offices in Gold Hill, where he laid out his warnings to Captain T.G. Taylor, the mine superintendent. Pike continued to work as a deputy and the Yellow Jacket quietly paid his one-third share into the Wells Fargo Bank. By the middle of March Pronto had strapped on this chaps, turned in his badge, and rode off to the west and the promise of a new start in California.
California was not the future he had hoped for and so he rode the grub line south-east into Arizona where his knack for finding range problems got him hired on with a small outfit outside of Tombstone, an up and coming mining camp.
Pronto's guns came into play and on several occasions leaving a pair of outlaws dead and three others wounded. He became a marked man over the incident and was on guard the two and one-half months he stayed on.
1874 ~ Present
Pike drifted north again. Retracing his back trail to Virginia City. He stayed on the Comstock long enough to visit Julia's grave, pay his respects around town then down to Gold Hill. Captain Taylor received him cordially and tipped him of a big strike in Montana. But he had no desire to ride that far north, but Captain Taylor also told him of an up and coming quiet little town in that same Montana, Kalispell. Pronto turned his horse north.
Possible the 8th grade Languages Spoken:
English, some Spanish, Apache, and Comanche
A hammerhead roan, Chestnut with white flecks
Hammerhead - A stubborn mean-spirited horse
Roan - Having a chestnut, bay, or sorrel coat thickly sprinkled with white or gray
Pronto Pike, gunfight reenactor. Partially stolen from Louis L'Amour's character of the same name in the novel Hanging Woman Creek. The first one of his I read.
His 1/3 share from the Yellow Jacket mine paid handsomely. And the payments, now transferred to the Kalispell bank, made Barnabas Pike a wealthy man by any standard, yet the wealth failed to change him.
“Not much ta think on, really. Cain’t build til spring, but we kin plan how it’ll look, how may rooms an’ sech.” He said., his voice just above a whisper. “We had them plans already, I jest sortta finalized em fer us. Well, that an’ askin’ fer yer hand. Don’t believe I was all thet good at it, but then I ain’t sure how one’d be good at it either.”
“If the world weren’t blanketed in white out there I’d say we could ride out to our property. I like the sound’a thet, our property.” He was consumed with joy tempered with contentment. “Lovin’ you was the easiest thing ever Emeline.”
Pike realized that there was a lot more between them than either was willing to admit. He knew that even though she seemed agreeable to his helping Leah Steelgrave, he doubted that she really understood the danger involved. Yet, if she did, and she was a smart woman, and still stood by his decision, then this certainly was the woman for him.
"We'll see how this shakes out when the time comes, but if'n Guyer gets involved, as his depity it'll be my duty to step up, an to, I have to meet with her and give her my decision. Might jest bring you along an' you kin tell yer offer in person."
Emeline's cheeks turned bright red when he declared that he had loved her from the start. "I had the feeling there was something about you," she confessed, "but I was stubborn, it took me a while to allow myself the freedom to love again." He certainly would understand, he knew well enough what she had been through. "I'm glad you were patient and persistent."
“Cain’t say as I planned on bein’ patient, not a tall, but persistent, now I’ll surely admit to thet. He confessed. “I knew, given time, you’d be worth the wait, an’ I weren’t in no rush.” Which was true, although he had hoped things might have moved faster than they did, he was quite content that things had worked out as they had.
It occurred to her that there would be no more nights alone, that she'd have a companion to help her with decisions and all, and that she had another chance at a family.
"Our celebrating starts today, then!" Standing, she moved around the table so she was standing in front of him, then held out her hand. "I would very much like to hug you, Mr. Pike."
“Well now, Tha’d be jest fine with me, Em.” Pike said as he rose to his feet and stepped forward, taking her in his arms and gently drawing her in. “Gonna be lots of these betwixt you an me.” He added as he held her. He was surprised that instead of the feelings he thought he would have, a calm had come over him, as if this then, was how it was supposed to be, without haste.
Reaching across the table, Emeline took his hand and gave it a squeeze. "You were perfectly clear, Barnabas, it's I who wasn't clear." She smiled. "I would gladly take your name and get the ranch started. And what better man to start a family with than a galoot?"
He grinned almost sheepishly. “A man cain’t never be too sure ‘bout such things. But thet there’s ma Christmas! I 'spose I’m about the luckiest man in Kalispell this mornin’.”
Her heart was soaring, she couldn't recall having been happier in a very long time, even though it was a quiet sort of joy. And now that he'd proposed, she realized/admitted that such a thing had been at the back of her mind for some time now.
"We can work things out later, now is time to celebrate." Her smile widened and she laughed. "I do love you, Barnabas Pike!"
“Shore is, in spite of all’a this snow an’ cold.” He crowed, then suddenly sobered, she had actually said it! “I guess I loved you from the first time I saw you.” He admitted. “Celebratin’s what we’ll do every day from now on. I promise.”
“Oh, I’ll be there. I reckon I ain’t been makin’ ma self real clear here.” He took another drink of coffee., cleared his throat and then said, “I been mullin’ over what I might say, what I want to say, but ya know, it just ain’t come the way I wanted. That there deed is about the plans we made back there. Things you said you wanted to do, aside from this here diner.”
“The horse was for Christmas, the land, well, that’d be for the future. I think you an’ me, well, we sortta fit. Yer worried some thet I’m proposin’, an’ you’d be right about thet. I am. I’m askin’ you here an’ now to marry me. But, I ain’t askin’ you to give up this here diner, not at all. I am askin’ come spring we get that ranch started, thet you get the horses you were talkin’ about raisin’.”
“Fer a galoot whot’s havin’ trouble sayin’ what he means, I figger I’ve made my intentions purdy clear.” He paused for another drink of coffee, as if to bolster himself. “Em, I jest want ya to be happy, an' I’d like thet to be with me.”
"Well, then, just send him my way and I'll feed him pie, and while he's eating, I'll knock some sense into him with a rolling pin!" She laughed, then shrugged. "If you see Miss Steelegrave again, tell her I'd be happy to help any way I can. She can come by and we can discuss it. Even if it's just meals for workers."
“I see you doin’ jest thet. As fer Miss Steelgrave, I kin do thet, actually be a good idee. Workers gotta eat, and I’m purdy sure she’d be considerin’ thet the closer it gets to start time.” He said in agreement.
It was a good cause, and the more support Leah had from the community, the better, and maybe that would make her father think twice before giving her a hard time.
He was thinking that there was always the possibility that nothing would happen from the Evergreen, that Elias Steelgrave would let well enough alone. It was possible, maybe not probable, but possible.
That didn't explain how he could be 'sitting good', whatever that meant, nor what might be most important. "Do you know where he is now? Can you recover your shares?"
He all but laughed at her statement. “A’feared I didn’t git thet out right. Cap didn’t take my shares fer hisself, he reinvested them fer me in the United Comstock venture. Whot thet means is, my one third share in one mine has become a piece of an empire, not hardly a third, but an eighth share in several mines and a mill.” He stopped. “Thet’s all bidness most a which I don’t understand but the Captain does.”
He took a deep breath, reached inside his coat and withdrew an envelope. “You an’ me we had this conversation some months back up to the falls, all about a ranch.” He opened the envelope and produced the paper inside. “This here’s the deed to fifteen hundred acres, which includes the falls, thet surrounds that hill whar the house’ll set. Problem is,” he handed the deed to her, “ might oughtta change yer last name on it.” He simply smiled. “That is, if you’ll have me.”
“Thank ye’, coffee’d be jest fine..” He was beginning to get nervous, and he was unsure how to handle that. Not in this particular situation. It was Em, not no Indians or bandidos. He looked up suddenly, “Em, some things I need ta say an’ if I don’t git to it I might not be able to spit ‘em all out like I’d like.”
He smiled, nervously. “Some things I want ya to know about me first. Well, that jest sounded down right terrible. Shucks.” It was about to get worse, “Look, what you know about me, wall, alla thet’s true, ‘cept I left out some from my time in Nevada.”
He took a sip of the coffee and cleared his throat. There was no need to even talk about Julia Dey, that was in the past, so he plunged right into it. “Folks about wonder about me, and how I get along as I do. I was part owner with a one third share in the Yellow Jacket mine up there. Now, now, hang on. Afore you git all flustered, Captain T.G. Taylor, the mine superintendent, he up and left, takin’ my shares and investin' in the United Comstock, consolidated ownership of the entire Gold Hill section of the Comstock Lode. He called it deversyfyin’. I call it shrewd. Trouble is, this Texas child’s sittin’ real good, ‘cept the most important thing.”
"I'd stand with you," Emeline commented with conviction, "I can handle a shotgun, and I don't like being bullied." If that made a difference...she knew he wouldn't care for any of the women in town to have to put up a fight, particularly her, but it was everyone's town, and they all had a stake in what happened.
“Not sure that’d be a real good idee.” He balked. “I mean I appreciate what yer sayin'. Was there to be real trouble of the sort I suspect his boys to bring, havin’ you in the fracas, well, I’d be distracted an’ that’d be dangerous. I mean ta say, I’d be worried was you involved an’ not near as careful as I should be, which could be serious.” There were other words that better described the danger, but he shied away from them.
"If he gives us trouble, I can just woo Mr. Steelgrave with a pie!" She grinned, then shrugged. "Hopefully this is much ado about nothing, but I could use with some practice shooting, it's been a very long time."
“Now, thet there’s a certainty.” He said with a smile. “Doubt there’s a livin’ bein' thet’d turn down one a’ yer pies, Em.” He breathed a sigh of relief.
“Steelgrave ain’t no fool, but word is with both wife and daughter gone from him, he’s not been rational of late. Thet makes him dangerous. But with men whot know whot needs ta be done, wall, thet does make a differ’nce.” Pike said. “‘course most were in the war ‘cept fer the younger ones, maybe. Jest eleven years from the surrender, an’ granted, most that was out west here weren’t in the frey. But outlaws is outlaws, an’ plumb dangerous.”
He smiled at her, “Yer right as rain though, most ‘er cowards, do real well in a bunch, not so good on their own when push comes ta shove. We’ll be fine, the two thet pulled away from the old man, they’re tough men, an’ Guyer, he’ll stand. Maybe we get a couple more ta rally ‘round this hospital buildin’ idea, an’ we’ll be fine.”
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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