Brendan inherited his looks from his mother and his height from his father. His hair is often covered with a hat, but when it's not he likes to run his fingers through it so it stands up a bit. He is rarely clean-shaven but never grows out a full beard, hovering in some scruffy medium.
His normal outfit is a dirty-white shirt, jeans or brown pants, suspenders, and sometimes a vest. On the rare occasions he goes to church or a fancier event, he has one red plaid shirt that he guards carefully for special occasions.
Traits & Characteristics
Can be lazy (-+)
Belligerent around educated folks
Outgoing around women (unless they're educated; then he's more withdrawn)
Illiterate (except for his name)
Has a great memory for spoken word
Better with animals than people, generally
Employer: Evergreen Ranch
Skills: Roping, riding, tracking, breaking horses
Brendan's a jack of all trades, but a master of none. His father taught him how to sit a horse, how to rope a steer, and how to talk his way out of trouble. His mother taught him how to say his prayers. What no one taught him is how to read. He's best with animals, but he can do anything in the outdoors, whether it be plowing, herding cattle, or splitting wood.
He's worked his way west, looking for a job at a ranch or farm that feels like home.
Aliases / Nicknames
Current residence: Evergreen Ranch, Kalispell
Kith & Kin
Father: Casey Connolly
Mother: Margaret Connolly
Thomas - born 1848
Breda - born 1853
Maggie - born 1855
Finn - born 1856
1848: Born in Mississippi
1861-1863: Helps his mother take care of the farm while his father is away during the War Between the States
1871-1874: Drifts out west, looking for a permanent place as a cowhand
1875: Arrives in Kalispell in July and is hired on at the Evergreen ranch
“All right, all right.” Brendan held his hands up in surrender. He’d been fighting a losing battle this whole time and was finally giving in, and giving in completely. He didn’t even have the energy to respond to Caroline’s scornful remark.
He moved to turn down the lamp, then stopped. “Guess I’ll leave this on.” He couldn’t imagine Caroline sleeping in Bridget’s bed and assumed she would take this room since it was next to Bridget’s.
He trudged past Caroline, his footfalls heavy and tired. “I’m gonna get my things from your room. I’ll come around here after sun-up sometime and…figure out somethin’.”
What he would figure out, he wasn’t sure, but a good place to start would be finding out about Crabbe’s will.
As he went out onto the landing, he looked back at her. “I’m…glad you’re here with her,” he said gruffly, clearing his throat to disguise how much it was tearing him up to leave.
"I can't leave her," Brendan protested Caroline's order to find somewhere else to bed down for the night. "I told her I'd be there when she woke up." As he said the words, he knew Caroline wouldn't let him get away with it. She had her dander up, that was for sure.
Sure, he'd slept outside before, but sleeping outside when there were at least three perfectly good beds in the funeral parlor seemed like a waste of a good bed. However, he knew that Caroline was going to win this conversation, and had been winning since she stepped into the funeral parlor. He began to mentally prepare himself to collect his things from her room and find a haystack somewhere to sleep in.
"I asked at the livery stable a while back," he said, mustering a smirk. He'd proved her wrong. He had asked one place. He'd been perfectly qualified for the work, but there were already plenty of boys working there and they didn't need him. He matched her glare.
"Ahha! So now yer gonna move in here with her so you don't have to pay anythin' for a roof over yer head...figures!"
"I didn't say that!" Brendan pushed himself up from the floor, even though all he wanted to do was stay there and go to sleep. What he really wanted to do at this point was just crawl into a hole, but that wasn't going to happen as long as Caroline was around. He knew later he'd feel badly for what he'd said and would want to apologize, but right now he could care less.
Finding out about Crabbe's will and financial affairs seemed daunting for a cowhand who couldn't read, and especially for one who'd been through everything he had that day. "How are we gonna find out all that at this time a' night?" Was his first question. It was a sensible one, but he needn't have asked it. It was closer to morning by this time, anyway, and soon the bank other places of business would be opening up.
When Caroline speculated that Crabbe had probably named Bridget to inherit, he felt a surge of elation. That solved part of the problem, then. He could dip into Bridget's savings if he needed to while he looked for a better situation for them.
But apparently that wasn't an option. He scowled at Caroline. "I don't care about the property or money! We just need somewhere to stay." That might be a lie at any other time, but right now it wasn't. He didn't care.
As the reality that his whole mostly care-free life was about to change sunk in, he crossed his arms. "Where do you expect me to get a job? Who'll hire me after this? Before it would've been hard enough with me bein' an Evergreen hand. But now..."
Now, Granny Miggins probably had everyone convinced that he'd broken into the funeral parlor, made Lorenzo watch while he violated Bridget, and then shot him. It would be a miracle if he wasn't lynched on sight the next time he showed his face.
Brendan was going to keep pressing his point that he hadn't taken advantage of Bridget, but Caroline's next words stopped him in his tracks.
"Oh I don't huh? I've been taken advantage of in my life enough to know - what it was you did to Bridget."
He scowled at the floor, his brain trying to process the fact that he might...might be in the wrong. This wasn't just about his marrying Bridget or not. It was about something more.
But Caroline would not let up. Finally Brendan's head jerked up at her hotel comment. "Well, maybe I don't need your bedroom anymore! Maybe I don't need you anymore!" he snapped, putting his hands on his hips. "You ever think about that? Bridget needs me. She needs me here with her until I find us something better."
If he'd been thinking more clearly, he would never have said such hurtful words to Caroline. She had proven herself a true friend to him. But the fact that even she believed he'd taken advantage of Bridget stung, and so did Caroline's sarcasm, which was at its finest and most scathing as he recounted Crabbe's death. She did genuinely care about Bridget's welfare, as was evidenced by her questioning if Bridget had been present at the time of the death.
The fight went out of Brendan at the reminder of Bridget's distress. "She saw it all," he said miserably, sliding down the wall into a sitting position. He was so tired. Tired of the misunderstandings, tired of people thinking he'd done something wrong when he necessarily hadn't.
"She saw it all, Caroline. And the look in her eyes..." He shut his own eyes tight as if that would block out the sight of Bridget holding the gun, her dressing gown smeared with blood.
Brendan stepped back against the wall as Caroline stepped forward and began an angry tirade. "I cannot believe you'd take advantage of a girl like that? I knew yer a bull moose who was always lookin' to rut with any woman who'd have ya. It was one thing for us to have a tumble in bed but............Bridget? I thought you were a better person than that!"
Shock and hurt washed over his face in the lamplight. He hadn't taken advantage of Bridget. They'd both known what they were getting into. Well, maybe she hadn't really known, but he had been gentle with her, and she had seemed to like it. And he wouldn't even have thought of going upstairs with her if she hadn't been looking at him like that. It wasn't fair.
Even Caroline thought he was a scoundrel for not marrying Bridget. It wasn't as if there was the possibility of Bridget ever being with child by him, and Caroline knew it. So why was she berating him like this? It just wasn't fair.
"You don't understand, Caroline!" He held up his hands placatingly. "I didn't...it wasn't like that! We.."
"And you'll take care of her? Oh, that's rich. You who doesn't even have a job right now or a place...hell, you're sleepin' on my bedroom floor."
"I'll get a job," Brendan snapped, stung by her scorn. There was no call for her to be so downright mean. He'd just avoided death, after all. "I'll get a place! Just...shut up an' listen!"
His anger faded suddenly. He had to tell her how Crabbe had died. He rubbed the back of his neck, wanting to look anywhere but at Caroline. But she needed to believe he was telling the truth, so he held her gaze. "Lorenzo...he wasn't happy with my answer...he pulled out his derringer. He was gonna shoot me, but all of a sudden he just...grabbed at his heart and fell. He hit the table on the way down and...the gun went off. Marshal Guyer thinks it was a heart attack...whatever that is."
Brendan worked his jaw back and forth, trying to decide where to begin. Everything before Crabbe’s death seemed like it had happened months ago.
“I wanted to talk to Bridget,” he began. “I found her, and we ended up here. We…” he paused. How had it happened?
“We slept together,” he finally blurted, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. “I didn’t think it was possible, you know?” He looked at Caroline pleadingly. She’d been there when they discussed Bridget’s past with Crabbe. She would understand. “Because of…Bridget…but we did. We did, and Crabbe found me up there afterwards.”
Recounting the story brought the helplessness flooding back again, and he scowled at the wall as if facing Crabbe again.
“We went downstairs and he offered me a drink, then asked if this meant I was goin’ to marry Bridget.” He took a deep breath. This was where things had got rocky. “I told him I couldn’t marry her, but I’d take care of her.”
He stopped and looked back up at Caroline. She’d been patient so far, but he hadn’t even come to Crabbe’s actual death yet. How would she react to that?
Brendan, unaware of the bashing his actions and reputation were getting downstairs, was listening to the footsteps approaching the door. He tilted his head to one side to hear Bridget’s breathing. Steady and slow. She was asleep.
He eased himself out of the bed and padded to the door in his sock feet, then slipped outside to face Caroline. It was Caroline.
“Hey. Gimme a minute.”
He peered at her face in the shadows of the landing and pushed open the next door. It might have been Crabbe’s room, or Fa’s. Whoever it had belonged to, it was empty now.
Fumbling around until he found the lamp by the bed, he turned up the wick and faced Caroline as light sprang up in the room. “What’d you hear?”
His arms hung by his side as if in defeat. Even though he didn’t know what the marshal and doctor were saying about him, he knew the marshal wasn’t pleased, and he knew Granny Miggins was on the warpath. It stood to reason that Caroline had heard something from one of them.
He’d thought she of all people would be on his side. She’d told him he shouldn’t marry Bridget, and had even volunteered to help take care of her in the event of Crabbe’s death. It was one of the reasons he’d said no to Crabbe.
But as he looked at Caroline now, there was something foreboding in her face. What had she heard? What was she thinking?
Bridget’s words startled Brendan, making his heart do a little somersault. She loved him.
He smiled in spite of the turmoil in his mind, and in spite of the fact that there was a dead body downstairs and a cantankerous old lady ruining his reputation outside. Bridget loved him. Leaning forward, he kissed her softly.
“I love you too, Bridget.”
He pulled the covers down and eased himself into the bed beside her, then put one arm around her and pulled her gently down beside him.
”Let’s go to sleep, huh? Everything’ll be better in the morning.”
As he closed his eyes, he heard a woman’s voice from downstairs. Not Granny Miggin’s strident tone, but one that could be equally as strident if the speaker wanted.
Brendan cursed silently and buried his face in Bridget’s shoulder. He didn’t want to face Caroline right now.
Brendan's eyes widened as Bridget mentioned him marrying her, and then mentioned Caroline. He was in this whole mess because he wouldn't marry Bridget, and everyone hearing that he'd been "comforting" Caroline wouldn't help matters anyway.
He could feel the disapproval radiating off of the marshal, and looked up sullenly. It wasn't his fault that Crabbe's heart had decided to give out on the day he slept with Bridget. But maybe it was a blessing in disguise, somehow. At any rate, he wasn't in trouble with the law; just in disfavor with the marshal. The last bit about Granny Miggins surprised him, but after he thought about it a minute he wasn't surprised anymore. It was too much to expect a gossipy old biddy like her to leave when the marshal told her to.
Once Speed left, the only person left was Charlie, and although his disapproval was not as evident as Speed's had been, Brendan felt it more keenly. Charlie was about the same age as him, and for someone his age to consider himself so morally superior was annoying. So he bristled when the young deputy suggested that he take Bridget away, even though it was a perfectly sensible suggestion. "I know," he snapped, rising from the chair and scooping Bridget into his arms.
As he strode to the stairs carrying Bridget bridal-style, his brows furrowed in thought. He really should take her away from here. Even the saloon, just for the night, would be better than this. But it was late and he was tired, so he trudged up the stairs back into Bridget's bedroom and set her gently on the bed, kneeling in front of her.
"There. That wasn't so bad, was it?" he said softly. "Now it's time to go to sleep, and I'll be right here when you wake up."
Brendan frowned at the change in Speed's demeanor. He couldn't quite put his finger on what had changed or why. But his words were short and brusque, not reassuring the way they'd been with Bridget. And the only reason for the change was what Bridget had told the marshal.
He shifted Bridget in his lap and looked up at Speed, still frowning. "What happened next?" His tone became slightly belligerent. "I already told you what happened next. He grabbed at his heart an' the gun went off. I thought he'd shot me at first. Then he hit the table and fell. Bridget ran over to him, grabbed the gun, and gave it to me when I went to comfort her."
That was simplifying things a bit, but it was the facts. Bridget might be able to confirm them, or she might not. He was tired of people being suspicious of him and really just wanted to climb back into bed with Bridget and go to sleep.
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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