“I do, I mean about the pies. Hundered sixty acres fer free. Well, gotta file an pay a fee which I understand ain’t much.” Pronto replied. “‘bout all there is to it.” He paused with a smile. “You plannin’ on filin’ on this here land?”
“First thing is buildin’ the house, plenty of trees to fall, but we’d need us a wagon ta git ‘em to town to get sawed inta boards. Then there’s a well ta sink which might not have ta go to deep. You kin foller that by the out buildin’s you’d need, so ranchin’ ‘er farmin’, jest a lotta work long afore the seeds get sewed, ‘er the first cow arrives. But, danged if it wouldn’t be worth the effort.”
It set his mind to wandering about doing it, maybe setting some roots for the first time since he was a boy in Texas. And maybe that was what she was thinking too. He liked Kalispell, hard winters or not. Liked the people, especially one Missus Emeline Blakesley. Though he had to remember who and what he was, and that the time would come when he would be called on to use his guns. Or, called out to use them. Still...
"I can put the bell up over the door," Emeline commented, "I don't keep it there when I'm down here because it can get pretty annoying when it's busy."
She wiped her hands on a towel, then laid her apron over the back of a chair. "You'll have to forgive the mess, though, I haven't had much time to devote to housecleaning."
After slipping the bell onto its holder on the door she led the way upstairs. The stairway opened to a small room that served as living quarters, appointed with a sofa, a desk, a small table with a couple of chairs, and a bookcase that held not only books, but some nick-knacks including a stereoscope. Past that was the doorway to the bedroom, where a bed with a wrought-iron frame was covered in a colorful quilt.
"Here it is! My luxury home...but at least the kitchen downstairs will keep it warm in the winter!"
"Do you think so?" She glanced over at him, pondering. "I have no real knowledge of ranches, but I always thought that you had to have a thousand head or so to make a herd. Back home they'd come through town and stretch for miles, on their way to the stockyards." Her nose wrinkled up. "I have no interest in finding out what happens after that...at least until I make them into pies!"
She laughed. "I admit, I do like the end product! So, a hundred or so cows, a half dozen Morgans, a small vegetable garden and a dog...oh, and Buster, of course! It sounds really nice."
Owning a cafe hadn't been in her thoughts until Andrew died and she needed to find a way to support herself. Emeline had been looking forward to getting to Oregon and having a small farm where they would raise a family. That hadn't worked out, but she wasn't going to pine over it. She was doing well for herself, and maybe she could save enough to buy some land.
"What do you know about the Homesteading Act?"
The snow was slow to melt and it had been deep, just about to the belly of most of the horses in town. So it had been over most of the hubs on wagons, buckboards and buggies which required digging out a path wide enough for the wheeled conveyances and the horses.
But melt down it did, and with almost everyone in town pitching in with the shoveling of the street as well as the boardwalks they were ready to mount a serious rescue mission. Marshal Guyer organized it as best he could, enlisting most every able bodied man or woman. First on that list was Addy, he also enlisted every available wagon besides Addy’s.
A week had passed before the procession rolled out of Kalispell praying the trail to Whitefish was clear enough to allow them to pass. It was cold, but the sun shown brightly as was helping, a mile out of town they came upon the first stragglers from Whitefish who notified the cavalcade of the dead the littered the trail just ahead of them. They also relayed stories of horror and of bravery, from looting by the outlaws to care administered in town and along the way.
Of the greatest concern were the survivors still in Whitefish. Of which they were told were many, a number of men, but specifically the women and children that had remained behind for one reason or another. Marshall Guyer insured that the food that was brought along was shared, along with the coffee that was carried in anything that could be capped except for glass.
It was a ragtag affair, but the citizens of Kalispell were on a mission of mercy and fully intended to rescue all those that were stranded.
Meanwhile in Whitefish, every effort by those who remained to right the Studebaker failed. Food supplies dwindled rapidly as there were not a lot that survived the storm and sickness was beginning to take hold while a few of the outlaws began to take liberties with the stranded, especially the women, and with Marshal Steelgrave down from his head injury there was no one to stop them.
Speed bounded up on the boardwalk and entered the bank, a wide smile as he entered the office of Stanley Croft.
"Perfect!" He said.The furnishings upstairs were a surprise, but a welcome one, that's for sure. Hold down expenses. Just need desks and we're off and running." Next of course would be cost, but Speed was sure that it wouldn't be a problem, not with the regular deposits.
"Shall we get down to brass tacks then?" Speed asked.
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.
Connect With Us On
If you would like to join the Sagas' Discord server or are already a member, click the image to open the Discord web application.