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, buildinng 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.
With the jail locked up, Pronto Pike mounted his horse and start out on a mission.
He knew right where to find them, loafing in front of the clapboard house on East Washington Street, so he rode up to the place at an easy pace and stopped.
He looked at them, and they looked back at him. Both sides knew why he was there. "Lite an' set, Pike." Bannister said, "Reckon we know why your here."
Pronto stepped down, holding his reins, "I come lookin' fer help come the day of the trial. I know you boys pulled Speed's iron out of the fire with them Evergreen hands, but, well, could be Cases friends come callin', 'er his brothers, maybe even the boys from the ranch again,"
"We did that, didn't like the odds." Santee stated. McKenny just nodded. "Looks to me like maybe you and Guyer'll be up against it come the trial." At that moment the door opened and Leah Steelgrave stepped out.
"Ma'am." Pike greeted.
"How many men does the Marshal need, Deputy Pike?" She asked.
"Many as he can get, I 'spose. May not be an easy day of it, that's for shore."
Leah looked to the three men, then back to Pike and said, "These boys are free to make their own decision, as for me, I'll be there." She smiled. "What's the Marshal's plan?"
"Hold on!" Bannister interjected, standing up. "Cain't let you set yerself up ta get shot! No sir, that just ain't gonna happen." The other two joined him quickly, all concerned about her declaration.
"I don't recall asking you, Bannister. My place will be where they think I can do the most good." She fired back.
"Miss Steelgrave, I'm afraid we can't ask you to ..."
"I don't recall my asking your opinion either, deputy. This is my brother, and yes, perhaps my family will decide to come to Case's aid. I'll not stand for them further disparaging the family name as the lawless brigands that they are. No, I will stand with the Marshal. And I will do what must be done, family or not, so I ask again, what is the Marshal's plan?"
"I seen his plan, well, a rough sketch of the street. He'll be talking with Flandry at the Stardust, he wants to put people on the roof there, on both sides, and at the St. Regis. Plus some covering the back of the Municipal Building. Planning a regular Winchester Quarantine of the building, an' less risk fer the defenders."
"Count me in." McKenny said suddenly.
"yeah, me too." Santee added looking to Bannister.
"Hell, shootin' downs easy, up, not so much. I'll throw i with you. But I'll be where she is, just in case."
Leah smiled. "I knew you'd throw in with us. I'm more stubborn than you are. It's why I get my way. And you tell Speed Guyer I'll not hear any of his reasonings, I'm in."
"Yes ma'am.I'll be sure to tell him. He looked at his unlikely recruits, "Appreciate it." And climbed abroad his horse.We'll surely let you knpw before hand." and with that he turned and rode back to Main Street.
“Social aspects’d be a good thing, I’spose. Ya need ta branch out with the folks in town, get at know ‘em some. I know you see a number of ‘em in here, time ta time, but gettin’ out and sayin’ howdy at their place is differn’t.” Barnabas agreed.
“You got this notion you’ll be tied down at the ranch, tha’d be why I’ll be hirin’ a foreman. An’ until there’s young uns, you’ll be here, if I know you. That ranch’ll jest be home fer a spell. An the cafe’ll be where you spend yer days. That is less I’m mistaken.”
"I'll send a note to her this evening, after I close up." She grinned. "I hope she's not upset that I almost shot down some of her father's men!"
He laughed, lightly, but he laughed. “Doubt she’d care about thet. I figger she’da shot ‘em her own self, given the chance, but them men a hers would be havin’ any of that! They ain’t there as decoration, from what I heard, they signed on as protection when she up an’ cut herself outta the Steelgrave herd. An’ it ain’t fer pay. No sir! Oh, she covers their expenses, which are minimal at best. Ain’t even a dollar a day." . "It’s been said she was always kind to the men her father employed, jest their way’a payin’ her back.”
Quickly, she kissed him on the lips to show she was teasing, just in case!
“Take me alla them what you got, Em Blakesley!” He said with a wide grin. “Though you might be a tech soft in the head as well as in yer heart, make’s me no never mind, I love ya anyways!”
“An’ I ain’t changin’ my mind on marryin’ you, not by a long shot I ain’t. Them critters yer worrin; over ain’t even here yet, neither's the winter. And, was they, they’d have ‘em a palace just like yers. All safe an’ sound, warm and tight again them blizzards an’ sech-like. How you do go on.”
"Don't worry, I was teasing about the chickens." Emeline laughed. "I tried that when I was six...there was a blizzard, so I brought the chickens and rabbits into the house! It didn't take long for Mama to explain to me that the Good Lord saw to his creatures, and Papa had added extra straw to the coop and hutches. She made me take them back, and I almost crawled into the coop with the chickens to keep them warm, but it was too cold out there!"
“Yer Pa sounds like a right smart man, an\’ one to avoid havin’ his home over run by chickens and rabbits. So we’ll insure that them critters are comfortable year round, ‘specially come winter. Can’t have them too hot 'er too cold. Heaven forbid!"
She laughed again, then smiled. "I do appreciate that you thought about putting the coops and hutches close to the house, though, so i won't have far to go. Good for you, too, because if I have to go out at night, when I come back to bed I'm going to use you to warm up my cold feet and hands!"
And then she blushed hotly at the suggestion that they would be sleeping together!
“Oh now, wait just a dern minute! Cold feet an’ hands? I don’t recall any need of your goin’ outside in the middle of any night, ‘specially not no winter night!” He protested. “Ain’t no call fer you ta be traipsin’ around out’n the snow an’ cold jest ta come in an’ torment me with cold hands an’ feet!”
“You could do that, Em. No reason she wouldn’t accept it, I mean, ain’t no sense in figgerin’ she ain’t got the time, er wouldn’t make the time. Woman has to eat, don’t she? Might ask her to lunch, maybe get Clara to watch the place like she has before.”
“Folks get the notion because a bodies got plannin’ an’ such to do that they got no time fer nothin’ else, an’ to a point, that’s true. I’d say with Leah Steelgrave, the plannin’s done, be done fer a spell now. So send her an invite. Reckon you’ll be surprised.” Barnabas concluded.
“We ain’t gonna see ‘lias hang, nor Case neither. Well, least ways, not this go ‘round. Fact is, I got no idea what this Circuit Judge is about. Heard he was tough, though.” Pike pointed out.
“Case, pullin’ a gun on the laws purdy serious. But there’s nothin’ on the old man, so far. Could be Case might see some time up to the Territorial Prison at Deer Lodge, course, he could swing just as easy. Up to the judge how it goes.”
“Hopeful of the community standin’ with Miss Steelgrave. Hard to be rid of a family’s bad name. But if anybody can do it, Leah Steelgrave’s the one to do it. But you an’ your faith in folks, well, that’s gotta count fer somethin!”
"That would be so sad," Emeline murmured, "having all your children abandon you...and your spouse, but I suppose it was Elias' doing. I wonder if he knew what he was doing? That he was going to eventually drive his family away, or is he just too mean and arrogant to know?"
“Doubt it, Em. A man that’s drive like he is, well, he had a woman that was drive like him, together they built whatever empire they believed they had. I figger maybe he just forgot there was childern to be payin’ a mind to, an’ a wife. But fer some men like him, the quest is all they can see.”
And the really tragic thing was that, from what she had heard, and certainly in Case's case, the boys had all been tainted by their father's misdeeds.
"All the more reason we should do what we can to support Miss Steelegrave. She is fighting to break the ties with her family, and she's alone in that." Emeline shrugged. "She should be admired and supported, and we can do that for her."
It might not be much, but Emeline figured that any little encouragement was something.
“Well, yeah, standing by someone tryin’ to look out fer her community with the buildin’ of the hospital, an’ later the orphanage, ain’t hardly a choice in the matter. She’s earned support I’m thinkin’ by what she done to get where she’s at with railroad right’a ways an all. Speed’s standin’ with her an’ so’m I.”
Accepting the hug he refrained from laughing. “You needed to be letin’ me know about thet afore the place was built. But there’ll be a hen house an’ size is negotiable, as will the rabbit hutch. Where they get located is up to you.” He explained. “I jest figgered the hen house close by would be best come winter, why I said it’d be close by. But I’ll leave the locatin’ up to you.” Those things were easy to build, which meant easy to move was a body a mind to move them.
“Just prezactly how we designed it! Wouldn’t have it any other way. That there was the vision, this here’s the result of our vision, with a bit more to come, o‘course, but she’s real close to bein’ done, hat’s for shore!” A note of pride in his voice.
He grinned, "Right now, the barn is just a framework layin' there a'waitin' bein' raised, but I'll show ya where all'a that'll be. "Once't the barn's raised the corral'll be put up, that'll be the easy part." He led her off to the south side of the property where the walls of the barn lay waiting,
"The wind blows down from the north most times, so that means, ain't no unpleasantness blowin' into the house. An' the bunk house'll go up over jest east of the barn an' corral." He stood pointing out the approximate locations of each, though each spot was marked.
"Yer hen house an' that sortta thing'll be right behind the house where ya can get at it easy enough, even in the winter, with yer shovel just inside the door." He grinned at her. "Cain't never be sure about the snow fall, 'er how the drifts'll stack up, but won't be many steps to fetch eggs."
"Got the well in under the house fer the pump in the kitchen and puttin' down another off to the front here, What with the falls an' sech water's no problem ta come by. So, whadaya think?"
“What I heard was late fall maybe winter, ain’t real sure when it was she left, but leave she did.” He said. “Now gumption may not'a played no part it it, leastways from the rumors. But then, they was jest rumors. Said she run off with some younger hombre."
“Now then, about you bein’ a perfect angel, I wouldn’t hazard a guess, since I weren’t there. And that Ma’am, is what is called a loaded question. I ain't fer tootin' her horn, but young Leah’s showin’ some gumption. Reckon takin’ on this whole town oughta count fer somethin’."
"Oh, an’ in case you hadn’t noticed, them other boys of the Steelgraves have plumb disappeared as well. So there’s that.” He added.
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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