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.
Dish washer at the Lickskillet Cafe, Deputy Town Marshal
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
Boarding House, building a ranch
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.
Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."
"Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
"Always glad to spread the word about the perils and rewards of the west." He said to Tom. "A great place, the west, the settled and unsettled parts." He grinned, he much preferred the unsettled, or sparsely settled west.
As the conversation shifted back to talk of the seals, sea lions and ocean creatures he too noticed the gathering fog, and when Emeline suggested packing up he got to his feet. "Lemme give ya and hand with alla this." He offered.
Fog had startled him the first time he encountered it, that grey misty should threat actually covered everything, hiding the world from view as if by magic.
"A pleasure Tom, always eager to spread the words about the west and it's challenges and its rewards. Plenty of both ta be had." Barnabas said with a smile, because, it was true. The he looked to the others as the conversation shifted to the local wild life out in the bay.
Emeline's suggestion to begin packing up at the sight of the fog, still a ways off, rolling in made him smile. How he marveled at the grey mist that would engulf the water, then the sand and eventually the city. He remembered it well, the fact was, and is that it would terrify the unsuspecting when it rolled in and shrouded everything in its path. "Yep, best get to it.here lemme help with alla this stuff."
Barnabas looked up from the pastry at Em's statement. "And you're saying I got me more adventure than I bargained for? Was that as Guyer's Deputy, 'er your husband?" He asked almost straight faced.
Not that he didn't understand what she meant, because he did. Their life in Kalispell could turn deadly in a heartbeat. His job seemed peaceable enough, but it was not. Not all the time. But then again, life on the frontier had many dangers for anyone living there. More he thought, than life in the city.
"Now, was you to check at the local college, they might have a course or two for being an agent. I 'spose that you've a federal Office of some sort here, they could point you in the right direction. But, it is a job that you might think on some. But it don't hurt to think about t, check into it, see what it'll take to get started. There's lots'a possibilities out there for a young man." @Bongo
"True, us white folks just sortta barged in and just took what it was we wanted from the start. Not sure where we thought we had the right, but no matter, alla that's behind us, what's left is the continual taking of the land. The Red man simply retaliates, but his ways are not ours." Barnabas said.
"When they wiped pout Custer, to them, the war was over and they went on home like they had for all the time they've here. But not us, no, now we press the fight. What happens nexts gonna get ugly. But, not much we can do out here about what happens in Washington where they got no idea of life in the west." He shook his head, "'scuse me, didn't mean to get all riled up about it. So, gimme one a them tarts."
"This looks real good." Barnabas said taking his plate and re-situating himself to facilitate the lunch. He smiled as he took the cup of lemonade, which he drank half of in one swallow. It was nice here, sitting on the blanket, the sun, salt air, seals and sea lions barking, and the gulls squawking as the circled overhead. I wasn't home, but it was a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco.
He looked to the young man, "May not be the safest job a man can have, Indian Agent. But I'd suppose there's rewards to being of help to folks who need it, and the Indians need it. Now them that's 'out?' Well, they want no help, so it's not likely you'd be confronted by hostiles." He smiled,.
The food was excellent, as Barnabas continued, "But the freedom that was there's, a hard thing to give up when that's all you've known, and the young ones, they probably take it the hardest and, are the most likely to strike out at the white man."
"Not lived with them, but lived around them in Texas. Some are plain mean, others, well, not as much, but for the most part, if you push 'em, they'll come with teeth bared and meanin' to cause harm. The Comanche was likely the worst about it. Followed close up by the Apache and the Pima. Brutal peoples from a brutal land. They just didn't like folks trying to claim it." Barnabas explained.
Hearing the ladies talk of Tom's desire to be an Indian Agent, he smiled. "That's a noble cause Tom, and there's tribes that are in need of an Agent, a good, fair agent, if that's what you'd like to do. You'd be around them a lot, that's for sure. No idea how one'd go about gettin' a job like that. But I know they're out there to get."
Barnabas smiled at the fare offered in the lunch. "Now, I've not had any of that fancy stuff since I was on the hill, and boy, do they have it up there, abouty like here, I suppose." Then Tom spoke up,
"Are all the Indians savages, then? I find it hard to believe, in this day and age, that they all mean trouble, but then, after what happened there at the Big Horn...wasn't that partly tactical errors?"
"Hardly Tom." Fact is, we have a couple of tribes in our neck of the woods that are plenty peaceful. Those that were on the little Big Horn, were warlike, but yes, not an error, a tactical blunder. From what I've heard Custer thought to attack a camp that was much smaller that it actually was. The Sioux, Arikara, Apsaalooke, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Oyate, simply responded in kind, but with overwhelming numbers." He smiled, "There are many tribes that when you look at it, are simply defending their homeland from the encroaching whites."
"Well now, we oughtta do just that. Lunch sounds good right about now. Wha'ddya think of that Tom? And I hear you've some interest in the west. It's a time ta be alive out there I'll tell ya what."
He paused to watch Em walk back from the surf, the sun just so, the beads of glistening water on her skin, and sand on her bare feet. He could never see her enough, especially in the changing settings. "Em, let us know what in the basket. Might be something." At least he hoped it would.
"So now Tom, what can I tell ya about life in Montana? Aside from yep, we got wild Indians, an' are fair share 'a outlaws up there?" He said with a smile.
"Nature is amazing!" Carefully, Emeline slipped the sand dollar into her pocket, then sighed. "There is a tang to the air, isn't there? But nothing like our pines back home."
"Ain't no salt in the air's why. The scent of the ocean can only be found at the ocean. Now Pine scent, pretty much anywhere it grows, and that in a whole lot of places. 'specially where we live." Barnabas offered. "Truth be told, I do like the tang in the air, an' I'll miss it, but not the crisp clean mountain air of home.
Moving closer to the water's edge, she watched the breakers for a moment, then cautiously stepped into the wet sand, lifting her skirts and waiting as the rim of a wave washed over her feet, then she glanced at Barnabas with a big smile as she felt the sand being pulled from beneath her feet with the retreating water.
How beautiful she looked standing there as the surf washed over her feet, the sunlight just right, the blue of the ocean behind her, and the white foam rolling in, then retreating. She was a vision, his vision. If only there was a photographer on hand, but, one cannot have everything, tho he would not forget this moment in time.
"Careful it don't drag you on out there." He called to her, "Be a real shame to see you float off toward China." He chided.
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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