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.
Pronto walked into the café and pulled off his hat and slicker, the place was all but empty. Two locals that had ventured out sat at a table in the corner eating and talking. He hung the slicker on a peg jutting out from the wall and then regretful to a table where he sat, facing the door.
He doffed his hat and hung it on the back of his chair as the waitress came over. “What’ll it be?” She asked, a broad smile on her face.
“Well, I reckon it’ll be coffee since I already ette at the boardin’ house.” He gave a quick look around, for no reason since he’d seen who was in the room earlier, “sortta sparse in here this mornin’.”
“It is, have your coffee in a jiffy.” she said and disappeared as the door opened and Marshal Guyer walked in, nodding to Pike as he closed the door behind him, then went through the ritual with his hat and slicker, once done he walked over to Pike’s table. “Mind if I sit?”
“Not at all Marshal, not at all.” Pike responded with a smile. "He’p yerself. Miserable day out there, ‘cept fer the ducks an’ the farmers.”
Speed laughed at the remark, nodding in agreement. “Looks to be a get nothing done day out there. But I do like the rain, makes the world fresh and the air clean.’
“Yeah, but a mite regretful while it’s at it.” Was Pike’s response as the door opened yet again, and in came editor Phinias McVay. “Seems all us bachelor types are out this mornin’.”
“Gentlemen, mind if I join you?” Phinn said as he reached the table. Neither man spoke but nodded.
The Pike said, “sit yerself down an’ dry out. What gets you out on this most unpleasant mornin’?”
“Just waitin’ on word with that cattle drive Thornton and Miss Mercer undertook, that and the rumor of the Army movin’ into the territory.” Came the response.
Both men gave Phinn a sober look and in unison said; “Army?”
Linda Everson’s breakfast was a hearty meal for those starting their day, no matter if there was to be a supper or not in their plans. Pronto Pike rose from the table and began picking up plates and the like, as he was want to do after the morning meal.
“Barnabas, you don’t need to do that.” She said as he delivered the stack to the kitchen.
“Old habit. Did it as a part of my chores as a boy, just sort of feel I should be of help.” He explained. “And a fine meal it was. Going to be one o’ them dreary days I’m a’feared. Lot’sa nothin’ to do. Believe I'll head on over’t the café, see if Marshal Guyer ain’t there. Sit an’ jaw a while.”
“Marshal Guyer?” She asked, “wouldn’t have anything to do with that waitress of theirs, now would it? What’s her name?” Linda Everson pried.
“Don’t rightly know, never asked, never heard tell neither.” Came his response, which was honest, he didn’t know her name. “Not the sort that’d have much truck with a man such as myself.” He touched her on the shoulder, “If’n I find out, I’ll be sure an’ let you know.”
She swatted at him with her dish towel. “Go on with yourself Mister Pike!” and proceeded to chase him out of the kitchen.
His slicker was with his war bag and other gear in his room, once he was into it, he was down the stairs and out the door, headed for the café.
Pronto Pike stood before the window of his room, peering out into the graying dawn and the steadily falling rain. His plans had been to take a ride toward where he’d been shot, but that plan was dashed before it started.
He was now close to one hundred percent, his deftness with his guns had returned and he was anxious to seek some answers, even though the trail was long gone. He shook his head in disappointment, though it was not like the rain would last forever, but the seasons were changing and it might be raining this morning, it could quickly turn to snow.
As was his habit in new country, he study everything about it, soon enough there would be days with only four hours of daylight, moderate to heavy snows all of which would limit his ability to hunt for this unknown shooter. That may not come until spring, and there was nothing he could do about that.
Even though his immediate plans had been thwarted by Mother Nature for the time being, there was always coffee at the café, after his breakfast in the dining room there. No sense aggravating Missus Everson, he would still be laid low if it had not been for her.
He pulled his open face pocket watch noted that it was time to head downstairs for breakfast. Then perhaps a walk to the café and that waitress of theirs.
Walking over to the table, Shade nodded politely at the man, "Pronto...haven't seen you around in a bit. Then again, I haven't been in town lately either. Mind if I join you?"
Pike looked up from his beef steak and eggs and recognized the man immediately. “Have a seat Thompson, been a while. Heard you was set upon by the bear, glad to see you survived. Nasty animals. Was a bit much for a one armed man.”
He reached across and shook the man’s hand. During the time he was healing up, he’d heard plenty about Thornton's troubles with the Steelgraves, though he couldn’t say that what he’d been told about Leah Steelgrave matched up to the woman he’d met, still he was wary.
Mature Content: No.
With: Pronto Location: Away from town, cafe When: September 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon.
The Smith and Wesson Russians cleared leather in a heartbeat, both belching fire and lead at the targets tacked to the log. Playing cards cut in half served as the intended measure of his accuracy. Twelve shots, twelve targets, twelve hits.
The roaring of the gunfire stopped, the haze of smoke slowly drifted up and away as both pistols were empty. Pike opened the cylinder catch which popped the spent cartridges out when the barrels fell forward. Pike tucked one under his arm to replace one with fresh ones, then the other. Once reloaded, each was dropped back in their respective holsters.
He studied the target cards, not pleased with his first gun handling since being wounded, and it was getting late in the month, the cold was beginning to set in at night, and that meant the possibility of snow should the temperatures drop suddenly, and rain should make an appearance. But real snow wouldn’t hit until December. Yet rains had washed away any trace of the trail he might have used to trail the man who shot him. He would look anyway.
For the next hour he drew and fired, reloaded, changed target cards and saw steady improvement in his accuracy. Speed of the draw was fine, but accuracy was everything in a real fight. Targets didn’t shoot back. By the time he cleaned up the loose brass and the perforated cards he was quite pleased. The arm was a bit sore, but that was to be expected as it had been favored for sometime during the healing process.
He mounted up turning the Hammerhead Roan toward town thinking he would stop at the café for coffee and maybe a bite of lunch.
After a good talking to by Linda Everson about traipsing about town in 'his condition' when he could have had his breakfast there in her boarding house he went to his room and napped on and off though the afternoon. He attended dinner which was a nice venison roast with all the fixings, and he ate more than he cared to.
Once the meal was finished he stepped out onto the porch to enjoy the evening, fall was settling in, there was a familiar nip in the light wind with a familiar warning. Winter was on the way. That meant snow ,with howling winds creating drifts of snow filling the streets and half way up the sides of buildings. Not like Texas at all, but he was here and there were things going on that interested him, besides the identity of the shooter. Things that just didn't sit quite right.
The Yankee town Marshal was alright, he had liked him right off. Seems he didn't care much about a man with two guns. But he knew there was something, something he couldn't put his finger on, what was Speed had said? 'Just below the surface.'
As he watched the lady enter, Speed leave, and then another man pushing through the door, Pike smiled. 'Busy mornin'.' He thought watching the goings on. He noted the woman had paused and was now looking at him. So he smiled, what was a man supposed to do? He nodded
'Pronto. the Marshal had called him Pronto and she seriously doubted there was another man in Kalispel called that, let alone the county or for that matter, the state. This was the gunman her father wanted to know about, and he certainly looked the part. She looked away and took a seat where she could still see him without looking as though she was flirting. If this was the man, she did not like his looks. If not, perhaps she could recruit him, but how many Pronto's could there be?
"Excuse me Miss Steelgrave." Phinn began, "I wonder if I might interview you for our readers. I-I'm the Editor of the Union here in town. Folks would be real interested in what you have to say.
Pronto could overhear what was said, and found that to be really interesting. Not much of a womanizer, he could not deny her beauty or appeal, but he'd dallied about long enough, his breakfast long gone and his coffee cold, it was time to be moving on. He dug out four bits and laid the two quarters on the table, rose from his seat and nodded to the lady, touching the brim of his hat and walking out of the cafe.
She looked back to Phinn, "In trade for a bit of information." She said wit a smile. "Have a seat sir."
"Scenery's lookin' up." Pike said as they both were looking at the woman.
"Enjoy the view Pronto, I've a days work ahead of me, and I need to get to it." Speed replied and walked to the door and out on the boardwalk, not missing the two men across the street, nor Phinias McVay scurrying towards him. "Morning Phinn." He greeted.
"Marshal." Was the quick response as the editor brushed past him and entered the eatery. Speed smiled and continued on toward the municipal building and his office, hoping that his deputy, Hannah Cory would be there.
"Can't say as I have, Pike. Probably have a lot to learn about the job, can't deny that." Speed said.
Pronto looked at him and smiled as he chewed. "Not a lot to it. Been a Ranger down Texas way, learned 'er on the fly." He set the fork down. "Need to know men Marshal. Need to know which 'er which purdy fast. Hear'd some about you from Missus Everson over't the boarding house. Says you was a Yankee infantry officer an' survived the war, thet so?"
"I was." Speed replied, wondering where this was going. "that matter?"
"Yep, means you know men seein's you made it through. Means you got some smarts about trust and which ones ya can an' cain't." The smile came back." Then his eyes narrowed and returned to normal size, the smile faded. "You know there's problems afoot, right? You know there's a whole lot we don't see jest yet."
"I've had a notion that things weren't quite what they seemed. An undercurrent you could say. Something just out of reach." Speed explained. "I take it you've felt it too."
"Have. Given it some thought, I have. Ain't come up with nuthin', but like you say, it's there, sortta jest under the surface, close enough ta bite ya." he paused.
"So Mister Pronto Pike, I trust you?" Came the question.
The eyes narrowed again, but this time from wide grin. "Ya might, if'n we're to figger out jest whot's whot around here, one lawman to another though I wear no badge, an' ain't lookin' fer one neither. " Pike spelled out, then added. "Who ever's behind whot ever's goin' on ain't gonna want you nosin' around, nor me neither. "course they'll be all about you first off, me, jest cuz I'm a fair hand with a gun an' they don't have me on'ta their side."
Both men were quiet for a few moments, reflecting, Speed broke the silence. "Just don't kill this man in town where I have do anything about it."
Pike laughed. "Reckon you kin count on that. You call me Pronto, if yer a mind to." He reached out his hand, Speed gripped it and they shook.
"Speed, most folks tend to call me that." Was the answer. Speed got to his feet, set his hat on his head and started to turn when the door opened and in stepped a vision of loveliness.
“Thought you and I should talk.” Speed said quietly as he took the offered chair.
“Good morning Marshal Guyer, coffee.” The waitress asked as she set a steaming mug before Pike.
“Yes ma’am,” he responded, “I’ve had my breakfast though.” There was a smile in his voice as the waitress scurried away to fetch his coffee. He appraised the man across from him carefully before he spoke. “Man that shot you, you have any idea who he was?”
“Not rightly Marshal. Doubt I’d ever seen him ‘afore.” Pike said as he forked another chunk of beef. He paused looking into the Marshal’s eyes. “Knowin’ you’ll ask, I do intend to find out who and why.”
“Name’s Guyer, Henry Guyer, folks call me Speed.” He offered his hand, keeping the other visible. To which Pike smiled.
The grasp was firm from either side as Pike stated; “Pike, Barnabas Pike, but I mostly answer to Pronto. Hope yer not plannin’ on tryin’ to stop me.”
The cup of black coffee arrived, the girl vanishing as fast as she had arrived.
“Wasn’t what I had in mind. I’ve wired Texas, and I’ve heard back. I know a bit about who you are. I’d rather there was no shooting in town,” he paused, “I know sometimes that can’t be helped.”
“The hombre what done it weren’t no townie, no sir. Horse he was on was better’n any thirty a month hand would own. Oh, he was dressed to work beef, but that animal said otherwise.” Pike paused to shovel in another mouthful. “You been behind a badge before, Speed?"
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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