Lanky teen, his granny says that he just keeps "eatin an a-growin, growin an a-eatin"
Traits & Characteristics
Quiet but not shy, more of a doer than a talker or a thinker. His sisters taught him how to polka, his Granny taught him how to hunt and shoot, and the school of hard knocks taught him everything else, including how to stay on the top side of a horse. Raised out on the prairie, finds town a little clamorous and discombobulating - but worth it to see all the pretty girls, there.
Wanted to ride with a herd up from Cheyenne this year, but forced to go and stay at his Granny's place as her regular hand up and died of the miseries.
The expected Hunting, Fishing, Riding, Shooting, but also can cook, sew and dance if the situation demands it, but not all at once. Oh, and plowing. Can that boy plow! And plant, and harvest and winnow and make up hay bales and saw and nail and file and mend and make and feed the livestock and milk the cow and paint the barn and string barbed wire fences and, well, everything that Granny needs doing.
Aliases / Nicknames
Granny Miggins' homestead.
Kith & Kin
Two sisters, Leonora and Josephina, and a host of other kin from the vast Miggins progeny. His father, Ernest Lutz passed over to the other side in an incident where he fell through a trapdoor, his mother died of the diphtheria a long time past and he was mostly brought up by his Grandmother and sisters and uncles and aunts.
Born Jacob Lukas Lutz, 17th September 1858 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Ernst and Geraldine Lutz (nee Miggins)
Ernest was born Ernst Jakob Lütze in Karlsruhe, Germany in the late 1830s.
Speed looked at the young man. "The old man mostly stays on his spread, send a man in for supplies, so he's pretty much in the clear. We've had no County Sheriff, so jurisdiction becomes the problem. Now when Whitefish was still standing, Case was the law there, and that protected his men and all the things they were doing. It's gone, and so is any protection Case and his gang had."
"Good time to hit 'em then, huh?" Jacob posed the question as if hitting out at the Steelgraves wasn't so much a possible option as a God ordained duty, and in a way it was: the Miggins Clan, of which Jacob was a member, had been feuding with the big cattleman for many a year.
"If they're coming here looking for trouble, then they'll surely find it. I expect Marshall's Cook and McNue today sometime, and there's other's that will stand. But it's possible for them to bypass town, if that's their plan, so we just get to wait some more. It'll sort itself out, usually does. Meanwhile young man, best you get up to the Lickskillet and let your wife know your back, and then, get yourself some rest. Might have to call on you."
"'Might have to' nothing, you call on me Marshal, you do that. I'll be there with a steady aim and a bullet for each of them." he said grimly. This wasn't mere civic duty, this was the blood feud speaking: a red mist before the young man's eyes, ingrained since childhood, that could blind him to all other considerations. "I guess you're right... better report back to Headquarters." he said, grunting as his weary and quickly stiffening muscles fought against the movement.
"How many are with him?" he asked followed by "and how fast were they coming, because they're only thirty five or forty miles off, maybe less, but that's some rough country down that way."
"A dozen?" Jacob answered "Hard to tell from that distance with all their remounts, but yeah, about a dozen. Travellin' fast, but not so fast they'd reach here before tomorrow." He felt it necessary to explain how he had managed to get back to Kalispell so far in advance of the marauders. "I took a few risks getting here so fast: cut right over Blacktail Mountain, through Indian Territory." he informed the Marshal, by way of explanation.
He looked exhausted, but he was thinking, growing kind of angry, really.
"Mr. Guyer? Why'd folks round here put up with 'em?!" he suddenly asked, an accusing note in his voice. "Ever since I was a kid I've been having to listen to it! 'Don't tread on the Steelgrave's patch!' 'Take care not to annoy Elias Steelgrave' 'Better not complain about the Steelgrave's heads tramplin' your corn, they'll have you tarred and feathered and shot' Well, I'm sick of it Marshal!" Despite his fatigue the young man pulled himself to his feet and looked the old lawman straight in the eye.
"I've got a child on the way, and I'm not going to have him or her growing up like I did, living in fear of a bunch of swindling, immoral, no-good bunch of miserable bastards like that: no matter how many hired thugs and gun they've got!"
It was days later that news came, but it wasn't via the modern miracles of Morse code and the electric telegraph, it was in the form of a dusty rider, days on the trail. However, like the telegraph operator, he toted a Western Union satchel over his shoulders. Jacob Lutz was dead beat, he had almost killed his horse, and himself, trying to get the news back to the Marshal in time for him to do something about it.
He was aching all over as he sat slumped in a chair in front of Guyer, telling what he'd seen.
"Been over to Belnap." His syntax was terse and his diction sparse. "Saw 'em about twenty miles west of Proctor heading this way. Must've been heading out of Boyer's Crossing."
"Heck Wigfall said you were looking for a bunch of bandits headed by Case Steelgrave. Couldn't miss him. So tall. Don't think they saw me. They were a ways off." he grunted. Feeling half-dead. He was worried he wouldn't be able to get up from the chair now he was in it.
She could not resist one interruption, "Well as far as Hector calling the man an ignoramus, it takes one to know one."
Jacob laughed. The way Clara delivered these pithy comments with her dry serious frown was hilarious. "Aaah, he's not as stupid as he looks." he ruminated, surprised to hear himself say it.
"Any how, there was a girl called Possum Fat, dunno if she was the Chief's daughter or wife."
"Terrible name," was all Clara would say (for the moment).
Jacob shrugged. "Better than 'Fat Possum'" he ruminated.
"I mean, that part of Heck's story is true: she was very pretty and, erm, what's the word?... vivacious! Yeah, vivacious, that's it. And she did seem to take a shine to me. Father Ignatius tried to translate what she was saying to me, but I don't think the poor old feller quite had the vocabulary!"
Clara glared, she was angry....not jealous, no, not at all. Just angry.
"Vivacious huh? And suddenly she was all set on the likes of you? A white boy...a stranger," she still wasn't swallowing all this.
Jacob gave a frown of deep thought. "Yeah... seemed that way."
"Well..............go on," Clara had to hear it all out, like it or not.
"Well, it was just wonderful, Clara. I looked at her, so pretty and... and vivacious and there was I miles away from you and... well..." he actually started to tear up a little "... I just though of how much I was missing you and how I couldn't wait to get back here and hold you again." He looked up at her, his eyes shining. "And I'm just so happy, I'm just so happy because, well, men are men, you know: they..., they usually have a conscience until they're faced with temptation, but I wasn't tempted at all. I just... I just want you. Forever."
He stood and approached her.
"Clara. I'm sorry, I was teased you a little before and, well, I know that's not... well, teasing's the sort of fun that's a little off of your range, and I'm going to try and stop doing it. But please believe me, you are just everything to me. So beautiful and wonderful and... I love you, and I will always love you and, well, Western Union want me to ride express for them and it's a little dangerous but the money's good but, if you don't want me to do it, I'll turn it down. No question."
Lutz was learning a lot about Clara: for one, she clearly didn't believe in 'love at first' sight. Nor had he, until the day he saw her. She was also getting het up about Hector's Arabian Nights angle on their visit to Lake Koocanusa.
"Oh my god! You are not going to go with that fantastic story again? There is no way I believe that you rode up to these hostile savages, offered to take them all on and then had some....princess ....rush up and want to marry you. I have done some reading on those people and that is not how Indians act," she snapped. Just when she was almost to the point of believing him, he had to go back to this fairy tale?
He laughed despite himself, although part of him was intrigued; Indian-hating Clara reading books about them? He'd never seen a book about the subject himself.
"Nah, Heck was just trying to make it sound more interesting than it was. We checked the lines and then took some presents to a bunch of Bitterroot Salish up by the Lake out there. Boy, you should see it Clara, it's like looking out onto the Sea of Galilee, or at least how I'd imagine the Sea of Galilee'd look! One of the Elders had died, and we wanted to make sure the rest of them were still well disposed toward the company. Catholic priest there did the translating. Father..." what was his name again? "...Father Ignatius. 'Father Ignoramus' Heck calls him. To be honest, most of the bribes and presents were for him."
As he relayed all this, he started to kick his boots off. He was dog tired.
"Pretty friendly bunch, considering what the Government's done to them. Some of the younger fellers wanted to wrassle and try our guns, and we tried theirs." he gave a low whistle of appreciation at the shooting irons the hunters of the tribe had possessed. "They've all got the new needle guns, make our old things look like blunderbusses. Any how, there was a girl called Possum Fat, dunno if she was the Chief's daughter or wife."
He couldn't help tease Clara a little bit - like the idiot who can't resist skating to the middle of the pond where the ice is thinnest. "I mean, that part of Heck's story is true: she was very pretty and, erm, what's the word?... vivacious! Yeah, vivacious, that's it. And she did seem to take a shine to me. Father Ignatius tried to translate what she was saying to me, but I don't think the poor old feller quite had the vocabulary!"
"What? You approached me to dance when you had already were going to marry another gi- well, her?" Clara definitely felt uncomfortable about that. Not that it was her fault in any of this, she had no idea until just now. Had she known that back then, she would have declined his bold offer.
"Oh no, I went to her the first time I ever saw you, through the diner window, dishing up a slice of pie. I told her I'd just seen the girl I wanted to marry, but if she wanted to hold me my promise of years before, I'd stand by it." he thought back to that wonderful day when he had first seen his wife. He remembered the relief he had felt at the reply that Jemima had given him.
"She said she was glad that 'the soul I had been waiting for had finally come along'." he frowned a little pondering the odd phraseology the odd girl had used.
He told her the whole sorry tale of the beginning of his strange courtship of the misfit girl, two years older than himself.
"Oh Jacob....how could you?" she sighed, "You deserved that black eye too."
"Yep." agreed her teen age husband "But at the time, I felt like I deserved a whole lot more punishment than that. I took a long hard look at myself, and I didn't like what I saw."
"I am sorry about your mother but she did not die because of your cruelty, I simply refuse to believe God works like that," Clara declared. Although she always felt guilty for her own mother's death, blaming it on herself.
"I know, I know" Jacob sighed wistfully "But you know how it is: a body doesn't think straight at a time like that." He knew Clara had been through something similar at the same age as he himself had.
" I did everything I could think of to make it up to the poor girl, took her flowers, took her walking, wrote her poems, asked her to marry me, the whole shootin' match" detailed Jacob.
They talked a little of it, but then Clara hit him with a question that, though not unnatural in the circumstances, he had just never even considered.
"Jacob, did you bed her?"
By the look of horror on his face at this suggestion, she might as have asked him if he'd slept with his sister!
"And do not be offended that I am asking such a question. Afterall you deflowered me the first time you came out to see me at the farm."
'Deflowered'?! Jacob winced, it made him sound like a stage villain.
"Not that I am blaming you for that, I wanted it as badly as you did. It was equally my sin. And remember, we are telling the truth here and now. As we had agreed to when he talked about marrying.
"No, no... it was nothing like that with Jemima... she... all I ever did was put my head in her lap sometimes. She was nice to me: she looked after me, got me through it. After a while, I... drifted away. Walked out with other girls. But when I saw you that first time, I knew I had to finish things with her... officially, like. That's the truth."
"Though I do not believe you told me the truth about this excursion you went on. I believe you withheld things about it from me and that is tantamount to lying," Clara spoke calmly enough.
"Ahhh, you don't wanna listen to Hector, he's full of... well, I guess what he said was sort of true, but he made it sound a whole lot more hair-raising than it really was! I swear, I was in absolutely no danger from Possum Fat at any time!" he assured her.
"Good heavens? Really? Wait...and she turned you down?" Clara found that even more surprising given Jemima admitted she was so desperate to find a man, boy...somebody male.
"Oh no, she accepted!" he said simply . "But she... she let me off when I met you."
"May I inquire how old were you when you did this? I mean you are not 17 yet and I am the second person you already asked to marry?"
He was already seventeen. In fact he would be eighteen in September, but this was going a lot better than he had feared, so he didn't risk annoying Clara by correcting her on this minor matter.
"Guess I'd have been around fourteen" he said, doing a quick calculation in his head "I promised I'd marry her soon as I was sixteen. I was kinda, a little crazy at the time. I..." Oh Lord, how much of this sorry tale did she need to hear?
"I'd been mean to her. Jemima used to get bullied something awful by the other kids at school: Hector, Amnesia, all those other bigger kids. One time they tricked her, said they were all going swimming at the water hole ... our lake. Once she was undressed they made fun of her and threw stones at her..." he gulped and looked down at the floor, ashamed. "I joined in. Wanned to impress the older kids, be like them." he peered at the floor, hating his former self, not able to look at Clara, imagining that she had never been a horrible little child.
"Well, a friend of mine, Quince Quarternight came along and saw me doing that and, well, God bless him, he not only rescued Jemima, he gave me a black eye." Jacob nodded in approval at the remembered punch.
"I went home that evening feeling pretty well chastened and ashamed of myself. When I got back, they told me my Mother had died that afternoon. I... well, after that I went a little crazy, like I say. I got it into my head that it was punishment for being mean to Jemima, I did everything I could think of to make it up to the poor girl, took her flowers, took her walking, wrote her poems, asked her to marry me, the whole shootin' match"
He sat for a second and then looked up finally at Clara.
"Oh yes, Ara came with Jemima and also some new friend of hers. Some dark haired girl named Miriam. She seemed .....nice enough..." Clara answered though paused.
Jacob nodded, none too concerned about Arabella's ever-growing social circle, but just glad Clara had enjoyed some company and that the hefty and loyal Wigfall girl had been there to bolster his wife's defences if Indians or any other undesirables, had struck. From what he's seen of the country west of here, though, there wasn't too much to fear from Indian attack.
"They all worked very hard to help me fix the place up. Probably rather unnecessary too, as I told them, since we will not be staying here long. But...look at the floor and the fireplace, see how much better it looks," Clara broke the embrace so he could look around more easily.
He looked around, it was true: the place looked completely transformed. If they had a mind to, they could do this place up completely in the future if necessary and actually live there: or have it as a place to stay when they needed to visit the farm or even... the mercurial star in Jacob's horoscope throbbed in the back of his mind... kick Lee and Granny out here while he and Clara and the kids took over the main house. He quickly put that idea into the back of his mind: but it would now be there as a future option.
"Jemima even stayed the night while Ara and her........friend went back to town. It was all very kind of them. I will owe them."
Jacob nodded, but a slight frown creased his brown, and not just because of the curious way Clara kept saying 'friend' when refering to this Miriam person. No, it was something else. He didn't know if what he was about to say would cause a shrug or a divorce, but he decided to say it now anyway.
"You and Jemima got along together all right, then? I mean... listen, Clara, there something I think I should tell you. It's not really important but, well, it just might sound a little funny if someone should mention it to you one time and you didn't already know about it..." he slouched a little, trying to look nonchalant. "It's just, er, well, me and Jemima... well, we kinda sorta used to be engaged, I mean, I asked her to marry me one time."
He realised that his face was suddenly very hot and probably looked very red indeed, despite his attempts to look casual.
Clara let him hug her then, she could only respond for the moment with one arm but she buried her face into his chest.
Jacob took Clara in his arms and sank into her warmth, kissed the top of her head and smelt her hair. Nothing else mattered, she was perfect: this was perfect, he could have stood like this forever. But she was sad all of a sudden instead of angry.
"Oh Jacob, I was so worried for you," she declared with a sniff, she had been determined not to get emotional but now that all fell aside as she began to sob into his shirt.
"Hey..." he cooed comfortingly "... didn't you just hear Wigfall tell you what a big brave hero you married?" he said ironically. "It was fine, it was you I was worried about: I asked Arabella to get Jemima to come out and stay with you, didn't she come?"
He half wondered if Jemima had come, but been sent away: he knew Clara didn't like such things to be foisted upon her unexpectedly.
"And not just the chief but this squaw spoke English? Because I know for a fact Jacob does not speak Indian," Clara only took time to point out one little flaw in a tale swollen with them.
"Are you sure about that?" asked Hector, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
"Do you think I am a little child to believe that fairy tale? Get out of my house, Hector, leave right now - I am warning you!" even as Clara glared at the brazen story teller she backed up closer to the table and her father's Dragoon Colt then grabbed it.
"Whoa whoa whoa!!!" yelled Hector shaking his hands and backing out the door "I'm going, I'm going! Hey, Jake, come by the office as soon as you can! I'm going to tell Pa how great you were, you'll be able to take you pick of the special delivery jobs! Deawagawik!!"
"Deawagawik, Diiawachisshik!" echoed Jake, grinning at Hector's unceremonious retreat from his wife. Boy she looked beautiful when she was on the war path.
With the door slammed behind the Wigfall boy, Jacob threw down the apple core and approached Clara, arms wide.
"Thank goodness he's gone, huh? I can't wait to hold you!" he said, hoping she had exhausted her anger (about something! Who knew what?!) on poor old Hector.
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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