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Outgoing around women (unless they're educated; then he's more withdrawn)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
"I'd hate for ya to lose your job, 'cause then you wouldn't be around the next time I come into town," Brendan was saying, putting both his hands on his knees as though he was preparing to stand. He was temped to go over to the screen and peek over the top, but Caroline seemed like the type who would retaliate with a scratch to the eyes or something like that.
He jumped as the door burst open and Arabella flew in with a Bible in her hand. “Quick, you been tricked, we gotta get you outta here, Bren!”
"Tricked?" His first thought was that Quentin had done him dirty and turned him over to the law, but as Arabella kept babbling, he realized that wasn't what she meant. Billy and Caroline and demons and...what in hell was the girl saying? Way too much for him to understand all of it. Something about Billy and...and Arabella? Now that just seemed wrong. Billy with poor naive Arabella? It almost made his stomach turn.
His eyes flicked to Caroline as she emerged from behind the screen, hopefully to curb the disturbance - because who could not be disturbed by Arabella when she was like this? Arabella's description of Caroline's beauty sure did give him sinful thoughts, although now was not the time for such things. It wasn't until Arabella flew at Caroline that he realized he had to do something. Caroline would be a lot better off in a fight than Arabella, and he didn't want the girl getting hurt. He dodged the Bible and stood up.
"Geez-us Christ, Arabella!" He lunged after her and snatched at the back of her dress. "Stop it!" He spun her around and grabbed her by one shoulder, his eyes boring into hers. "Billy didn't tempt me, he begged me, Arabella! He was layin' there with two goddamn bullets in him and he was dyin' and this was the quickest way and he weren't a demon!" His hand was shaking again, but he kept his grip on Arabella's shoulder tight.
"And she ain't a demon neither!" He half-turned the girl around to look at Caroline, with her glorious golden hair and beautiful blue eyes, and then spun her back to face him again. "She's an angel," he declared more calmly as his adrenaline high began to fade. He glanced at Caroline solemnly before continuing. "Even if she don't dress like it or act like it. An' if you tell any more lies about her doin'...whatever it is you said she did...I'll...I'll stuff you in the coffin with Billy!"
He let go of her abruptly and covered his face with his shaking hands. The whole day had left his nerves and energy completely shot and now Arabella almost...almost had convinced him that demons were real and the two people he had been closest to in Kalispell might have been demons.
Caroline finally understood what Brendan was getting at - no thanks to him. He couldn't come right out and say what he'd done, but Caroline put it into words for him. Hearing it from someone else's mouth in someone else's words made it seem...well, not so bad. Not so cruel.
He looked up at her, eyebrows furrowed slightly. "Yeah," he muttered finally. "It just felt...wrong. And yeah, Arabella won't know, but she's got them big eyes, too. I can't stand seein'...things...in people's eyes."
By things he meant things and feelings he didn't understand in people. Animals were simple, but there were so many more possibilities with people's eyes.
His thoughts flashed unbidden to the even more cow-eyed - or doe-eyed - redheaded Bridget Monahan. If Arabella ever found out, Bridget would find out. And he couldn't bear for Bridget not to look at him the way she had at the dance, like he was something special. He couldn't bear for her to look at him with anything less than the admiration she had expressed that first night they had danced together.
He shook his head and looked back at Caroline in her underwear, realizing for the first time how close they were and how very, very beautiful she was. Not the first time for that, actually, but he hadn't realized how odd this was; being in Caroline's room with both of them in a state of partial undress, but for completely innocent reasons.
"D'you have to go back down?" he asked, dragging his eyes away from her figure and back to her face, which was just as lovely as all the rest of her.
@Javia (Whenever Arabella wants to burst in, she's welcome!)
Caroline seemed pleased with his answer and the little bit of spirit her sarcasm had conjured in him, and even had a suggestion for where to look for a job. But her reassurance about Arabella wasn't all that assuring.
To avoid having to say anything, Brendan moved his arm experimentally and was relieved to find that the bandage gave him just a little bit more use of his arm. Not much, but he didn't feel like he had to hang onto it all the time now.
"It wasn't Cantrell," he said finally. "Wish it had been. Would'a been easier."
"It's never easy when it's a horse or a cow 'cause they trust you. And they've got those big eyes that tear your heart out to look at. You can't look at em' when you're doin' it. They wanna live. But Billy..." He shook his head and closed his eyes.
"...He knew it had to be done. He wanted me to do it. But Arabella won't understand that!" He burst out suddenly.
"I'm gonna get a job somewhere," Brendan said defensively, prickling at Caroline's sarcastic comment. "I just don't know where yet."
It wasn't as though there would be a place at any of the other ranches for a former Evergreen hand. There was no one to vouch for him unless Quentin would, and there was no reason why the gunman should.
Brendan's face paled, and not just because the bandage tightening around his arm hurt. Arabella had been sweet on Billy? "Shit..." he murmured. "She's gonna hate me when she finds out."
It didn't occur to him that he hadn't told Caroline everything that had happened during the shootout. She didn't know he had been the one to administer the coup de grace for Billy. All she knew was that there were dead Evergreen hands and that Billy might have been one of them.
Brendan grinned at being called an idiot, which was not something he'd ever aspired to be called, but when Caroline said it it didn't sound so bad.
When she expressed her opinion about his current situation, he ducked his head and scowled. The message was getting through to him. Caroline was the third person today who'd said he needed to leave Evergreen. Bad things were supposed to come in threes, so maybe omens could, too. He looked at the bloody water in the wash basin and then back up at her.
"I know. I ain't goin' back. I done told you Cantrell promised me whatever was on the bodies and the horses and guns. I'm gonna sell 'em and..."
He stopped because he didn't know what to do next.
"I'm gonna do somethin'," he finished lamely.
He was suddenly very tired. Up until now, he had not been able to relax. But now, here in the relative safety of Caroline's bedroom, he started to feel the physical and mental effects that the day's events had had on him. He stifled a yawn and focused on Caroline again. He needed to find something to talk about.
"Think I heard Arabella scream earlier," he said after a minute. "She just excited about the ruckus?"
Brendan chuckled and shook his head. "Gee, thanks. I'm real partial to daffodils if there's a choice." There was nothing better than a gal with a sense of humor, and Caroline sure had one.
As she started to look at his arm, he remembered that some girls didn't like the sight of blood. Caroline hadn't fainted when she saw his bloody shirt or when she got the blood on her dress, but actually looking at the wound was different. It didn't seem to affect her too much, though.
"Didn't think to ask if you had a strong stomach," he said half-apologetically, half-reflectively. He was relieved when she gave the verdict that the bullet had indeed gone through and he wouldn't need a real doctor.
"That'd be somethin', huh. A woman doctor, probably never happen though. You menfolk wouldn't trust us I'm guessin'."
He stiffened a bit as she wiped the wet rag around the wound. To take his mind off the pain, he considered her statement, not sure how to answer. She was doing a fine enough job with his arm right now, but being a real doctor was different. All doctors were men, as far as he knew.
"I'd trust you," he said after a minute, meeting her eyes with a slightly puppy-dog expression. Now was not the time to be flirting, and this wasn't really flirting, but he couldn't help it.
"Yeah, I got it. I doubt anyone'll come lookin' for me though, unless it's Cantrell." Or the Marshal or Deputy if Cantrell had decided to blame him for everything.
He stretched out his arm for her to look at and held his breath. He'd be able to tell if the bullet was still there, wouldn't he? Sure, it hurt like hell, but having the bullet in there would hurt more, wouldn't it? As he sat on the edge of the bed, he watched Caroline's face to see her reaction. His eyes flicked down to her corset and then back up to her face.
"I ain't never lost a patient yet...Course yer my first."
He couldn't help grinning at that, even though it was a slightly strained grin. "Hopefully I won't be your first lost patient, neither."
He took a deep breath and looked down at his arm. It had pretty much stopped bleeding, but it was hard to tell because there was drying blood all over his arm. The place where the bullet had gone in was obvious, but it was harder to see where the bullet had come out because it was on the back side of his bicep. It was really almost a graze, but it had gone slightly too far into his arm to be a graze. But it had gone through, like Caroline said it had.
Brendan raised his head when Caroline came back, taking in all the supplies she had brought. He said nothing in response to her comment about the whiskey, but grinned faintly.
His eyes opened wide when she started to undress, but he said nothing and definitely did not look away. Who would want to look away from someone as pretty as Caroline Mundee? He sat up a little straighter and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, but made no move to get up.
Caroline's question was a good one. She did deserve to know if the law would come after him, but he couldn't answer her since he didn't know himself. He shrugged with one shoulder.
"I dunno. I didn't set out to kill nobody. Guess Cantrell would've brought me in and had me locked up if he thought I deserved it."
He stretched and pretended nonchalance, but Caroline's question had made him worried. What if Cantrell tried to frame him or twisted the truth? What if the marshal and deputy did come looking for him? Things wouldn't go well for him. He had shot at Cantrell (or where he thought Cantrell was going to be) and he gone over the hill with the intention, or at least thought, of killing him. And he was an Evergreen hand. The cards would be stacked against him.
"So you got involved in this fight even though you had no stake in the game?"
Brendan frowned, his brows wrinkling, and was quiet for a minute. "Well...yeah."
When he thought about it now, it seemed stupid. Why had he gotten involved? It must have just been the heat of the moment - Greer flying down the hill yelling, and them thinking they needed to help him. But what else was he supposed to do? Cantrell was with Lost Lake and he was with Evergreen. It was what was expected of him.
Caroline's next words startled him. Were they friends? It depended on what "friends" meant, really. They hardly knew anything about each other, but there was a sort of connection that they had that went beyond acquaintanceship.
"Well, we're sure friends now," he said with a faint grin as he accepted the whiskey and held it carefully in one hand. "This here," he raised the glass in a sort of toast, "this seals the deal."
He had recovered some of his sense of humor and actually felt like the muscles in his face would do what he wanted them to. But everything still felt off, like he was seeing himself sitting on Caroline's bed and there was a delay between his thoughts and his actions.
Caroline then left, but with an admonition not to get up. Brendan snorted. "You don't gotta worry about that. I'm not goin' anywhere."
He tilted the glass up to his lips and was surprised by the way the whiskey tasted. It was...different than most stuff he'd drunk before, smoother in a way, more subtle. He hoped it was potent. He sipped again, peered at the label on the bottle, but it was too far away to see and he wouldn't have been able to read it anyway, so he shrugged with one arm and poured the rest of the glass down his throat and was rewarded with a coveted rush of numbness. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was what he wanted.
He settled back on the bed and noticed where his shirt had gotten blood on Caroline's bedspread. It couldn't be helped, but he felt a twinge of remorse for coming to her for help instead of a real doctor or someone else. But what if no one would have helped him because he was with Evergreen? Had been with Evergreen, he corrected himself.
Brendan shuddered instinctively and made a face at the thought of having any of his limbs cut off...and dying while enduring that. Caroline told it so matter-of-factly that it almost made it worse.
But thankfully, he probably wouldn’t have to worry about losing his arm, according to Caroline. He supposed he should feel relieved, but he was just tired. He tried to answer Caroline’s questions about why he’d been trying to shoot Cantrell, though. He sat with one leg dangling over the bed and the other drawn up onto the bed and stared at the wall.
“Well...we thought he tried to bushwhack Greer...and then turns out Blackjack and him had beef from way back. Me an’ Billy, we...”
There went his throat again. He couldn’t talk about Billy. He clenched his fist, swallowed, and went on. “...we tried to flank him. He got me when I was comin’ over a rise.”
He had thought that first shot would have done him in, and that a second one would have followed if it hadn’t. But Billy had come and given Cantrell a new target.
But he didn’t want to think about that right now. He lifted his eyes to Caroline and focused them on her face. “You got any whiskey? I don’t have money right now but Cantrell promised me the horses an’ guns an’ I’ll pay for it as soon’s I sell everythin’.”
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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