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.
He snickered at the mention of the most stubborn animals on earth, but they were good for an number of jobs one would not want to use a horse for. He could see her dreaming of what it would take to get a ranch off the ground while trying to run a business some miles away. Not an easy thing to do.
"Well granted yah gotta be able to get the buidin's up first, and thet jest takes time an' hard work. 'course now, hirin' a couple men ta help out, thet'd get 'em up right quick." He offered. "Not ta mention ya gotta pay 'em, though it'd shorely be worth it." Mentally, Barnabus 'Pronto' Pike was way ahead of her. He knew what it would take, and most likely how long.
“I do, I mean about the pies. Hundered sixty acres fer free. Well, gotta file an pay a fee which I understand ain’t much.” Pronto replied. “‘bout all there is to it.” He paused with a smile. “You plannin’ on filin’ on this here land?”
“First thing is buildin’ the house, plenty of trees to fall, but we’d need us a wagon ta git ‘em to town to get sawed inta boards. Then there’s a well ta sink which might not have ta go to deep. You kin foller that by the out buildin’s you’d need, so ranchin’ ‘er farmin’, jest a lotta work long afore the seeds get sewed, ‘er the first cow arrives. But, danged if it wouldn’t be worth the effort.”
It set his mind to wandering about doing it, maybe setting some roots for the first time since he was a boy in Texas. And maybe that was what she was thinking too. He liked Kalispell, hard winters or not. Liked the people, especially one Missus Emeline Blakesley. Though he had to remember who and what he was, and that the time would come when he would be called on to use his guns. Or, called out to use them. Still...
"Of course...food is the great equalizer, everyone has to eat, so if you can make something palatable, all the better!"
“Eatin’s one of them things a body’s gotta do purdy reg’lar, that’s fer sure.” He agreed. “You got competition with place a body can eat, but that bein’ said even Missus Evensome at the boarding house cain’t hold a candle to the food you put out. Jest don’t tell ‘er I said that or I’ll be out on my ear.”
"So, a cattle ranch?" She glanced at Barnabas. "I don't know what would be easier, ranching or farming, but I think I'd prefer not having to break the land." Farming was hard, back-breaking work, but then, ranching was hard in other ways, and all were subject to the whims of nature.
“Tell ya the truth, Maw had her a patch, but I never worked it much, sortta her little patch a ground. But I’m a fair hand with cattle
"Cows stink, though." She laughed. "They are so cute when they are little, but then they grow up! I've always been interested in Morgan horses, but I don't know anything about breeding...I mean, besides the...breeding." Her cheeks went bright red as she hastily asked, "Are the fruit pies to your liking?"
He looked down at the half gone fruit pie so she would not see him smiling. “Yes ‘um, hardly get my fill of fruit, and these? Now these, these set you a part from anyplace else in town, maybe the whole county.” He paused a moment and the said, “Cows an’ their leavin’s do tend to smell, but, was a body to start a place up here, there’s a meadow more ‘er less down wind that could hold mebee a couple hund’erd head, and sales well, a body could do alright.”
“So’jers behavin’? Not real sure how that’s gonna go. Believe Marshall Guyer’ll need him a depity ‘er two, ‘course that’ll depend on what the command is like. Most, well, most don’t care much when the men are off the post, others, they do care, and let it be known.” Pronto explained. “Yes ‘um rode with the Eighth Texas durin’ the late fracas.”
The memories of those years were for the most part pleasant. But then all memories of fighting have both good and bad memories. At her apology Barnabas smiled , “No need to be sorry Miss Emeline, none a tall. That was some years back an’ long over with, thank the Almighty. Now, the pies, they’d be of a more serious matter.” Then he laughed.
He did not live in the past, neither about the war, or the years after with the Rangers. He was truly in the moment, right there with Missus Emeline Blakesley, enjoying a picnic and the waterfall. Day dreaming of a ranch sitting a stones throw from where they were seated. Perhaps not as a couple, but as two souls with a desire for something more.
He watched her as she spoke, took in her words, the voice inflections, the gleam in her eyes. “Might take some time, but it’ll come back to ya. Most things like that do, least ways that’s how I see it. Well, that’s been my experience is prob’bly a better way of saying it.” He smiled.
“Was it me, I’d set me a house right up there. Have the view, have the sound of the falls, yep. Maybe set the barn off to thet side over there, with a corral along side. A man could run some cows up here, though come winter might be a mite touchy. But it would work, no doubt about that.” He could see it clearly as if it were standing at that very moment.
“Did hear about the fort. Not quite sure why they call it a fort when she’s actually a camp. They got building, just no walls around it. An’ yer right about it bein’ good fer bidness. Keep Marshal Guyer hopin’ that’s fer shore. Them boys do like to cut loose once they’re free of their post.”
Before Emeline could utter another sound Pronto took a good sized bite of the meat pie and took his time chewing. “Ain’ta gonna be no cryin’ over this meat pie!” He exclaimed. You’n Miss Clara done yerselves right proud, ya did, I ain’t foolin’ neither.” And he wasn’t, they had done themselves proud, perhaps the crust needed to be somewhat stronger for traveling, but as a dish served in her café? It was perfect.
“You tell Miss Clara what a fine job you’ve done with this. Oughtta sell a whole passel of ‘em, ‘specially to miners an’ such like. Got yerselves a winner here, I’ll take my oath on it.” He grinned.
“Over here might do, a bit of a slope, not too bad.” Was the reply. “Dandy view of the falls an’ no spray.” She laid out the blanket and began unpacking the lunch for them.
Pike took off his spurs before seating himself in a manner similar to hers, no sense sitting on the large Texas rowels, setting the aside. He observed te condition of the meat pies, realizing that perhaps it was his inexperienced handling of them that was at fault.
“Far as I kin tell I ain’t, er, haven’t ever noticed where a crumbled crust effected the taste of anything.” He had suddenly become aware of how he talked, how easily it had been to slip into trail lingo. He needed to clean up his vocabulary, especially around her.
“She’s a good’un alright. Liked’ta left me in the dust, ‘cept ma horse weren’t havein’ none of it.” Barnabas said with a broad smile and a fait laugh. “I’d say we find us a spot fer this here picnic then we kin do whatever we’re a mind too.”
He had scouted for just such a spot on the plateau and toward the falls, he hadn’t realized that the mist carried so far, but then he had not been scouting for a place to have lunch with a beautiful woman.
“There’s a spot just outta range of the falls back this way a bit, or, there’s a nice spot near the trees over that way a mite. He explained pointing them out. “Be yer choice. Plenty a grass fer the horses to graze on, so they won’t go far, ‘er I kin picket ‘em’, whichever you’d be most comfortable with. Either way, we kin get as close as ya like to the falls.”
“Yes Ma’am, perfect’s how I’d describe it.” Pronto agreed. “I’d say that horse plumb lived up to it’s billing. Runs like the wind, she does.” His own horse was dancing about having enjoyed the run. But 'perfect" had little to do with the scenery and more to do with the company
“Well, reckon we should step down and have ourselves a look around? Plenty of grass for the horses ta keep ‘em busy. Man said yer mare weren’t one to run fer the barn an was ‘spose to be ground hitch trained, guessin’ we’re about to find out.”
It was a beautiful spot alright, the falls were majestic, the plateau lush with grass and a few trees, an outcropping of rocks and some scrub brush, but it was the spending time with Emeline Blakesly that mattered most. So, in that vein he unbuckled his gun belts one by one, re-buckled them and draped them over his saddle horn.
Pronto’s roan crow hopped, turning half way around before lunging after the mare at a full gallop. His animal was tough, plains fed and fast. She could ride though! He closed on her but did not quite catch up, instead he chose to rein in some so that she would retain a lead.
Her roan mare was ot about to give out on her, hardly. The mare reached the plateau and picked up speed, Pronto now doing his best to keep up as he had missed his chance to catch to pass her. The man had been correct, this horse was exactly what Emeline had wanted.
They dashed across the flat, heading for the water fall. An exhilarating run without banditos or Indians in pursuit.
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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