Brendan was still grinning at the curses he heard when the door to the outhouse creaked. He looked up to see who had woken up before him. It was Billy. Or was it Benny? Somethin' with a B at the beginning, like his name.
Whatever his name was, Brendan was struck once again by how young the man looked. Looked like he shouldn't be working on a ranch by himself. But at least he was friendly, waving and making a comment about the weather. Brendan raised two fingers to the side of his head in a sort of salute and scooted to the edge of the stoop so he could see the sky.
"Think you're right about the scorcher, but I don't got ex-per-i-ence with Montana winters. This'll be my first." He broke the big word up into little bits so they would come out easier.
He glanced at Billy's bare feet and lifted one side of his mouth. "Brave walkin' across the yard like that. Don't you know snakes like to hide in outhouses?" His tone was light and teasing so his words wouldn't come across the wrong way. It didn't matter how tough a man's feet were; they were no match for a rattler's fangs.
Bannister drove the buggy while Santee rode his horse. The streets were fairly chewed up from traffic as folks got out between storms. The sun had a way of breaking out on and off, and that helped in the melting of the snow in the streets.
Brute labor of shoveling off the boardwalks had piled the snow to nearly blocking any visibility out of the windows. But openings had been made at every doorway, some wider than others, allowing access to every shop along Main Street. Bannister stopped the buggy at the Municipal Building for a two fold visit. Her brother, and Marshal Speed Guyer. Case would be first on the list.
She made her way the few steps to and onto the porch, stamping her boots to free them of the snow and mud, she opened the front door and walked inside. Guyer had the front office with the Window facing the street, Case would be in the back office which was for a non-existent County Sheriff so she went directly back and through the office door. Case was in is recuperating in the first cell, of which the door hung wide open.
It had all the trappings of some sort of recovery room. He had a table which held a wash basin, bandages for his head wound and an array of medications, such as aspirin, and liniments. He was sitting up when she walked in.
“Little sister.” He greeted. “Seems to me you’ve got Pa in a tizzy. If it weren’t for the snow and the disaster in Whitefish, the boys’d be out huntin’ you.”
“Really?’ She responded. “And you? Which side would you be on big brother? Daddy’s or mine? Loaded questions I know, but I need to tell you I am taking precautions in the event he actually trys to kill me,”
“Kill you? No, no little sister, he wants you back on the Evergreen, where he says you belong.” Case remarked quite candidly. He smiled, “I wouldn’t expect them to be too genteel with you, nor would I expect that you’d ever be allowed to move about freely.” He let that sink in for a few moments then added, but he shouldn’t expect my help, and neither should you.”
“Like I thought you would be there for me against our father? Ha, well, your town is gone, your outlaw friends are either scattered, or on the Evergreen to do daddy’s bidding. Which I might point out leaves us both subject to his wrath.” Leah pointed out.
Case was speechless at her points. So she concluded the visit with, “I’ve business with Marshal Guyer. Take care of yourself, Case, it’s something you’re really good at.” She turned on a heal and walked out of the office and down the hall.
Fortunately, there were no customers at the moment, so she smiled and nodded to the table. "I'll get us some coffee and you can tell me all about it."
“Didn’t mean ta scare ya, like I said, wasn’t no trouble,” He apologized. As he hung up his coat and hat on one of the pegs. “Ain’t quite sure what jest happened, she’s down in one of the shanties, visualize thet!
He walked over to the table they would use between customers and sat down, waiting on her and the fresh coffee. but had to say...“Her’n Doc Danforth are planning ta build a hospital, an’ foller thet with a orphanage.”
"Who said anything about paying you?" Emeline gave him a playful nudge then set about beating the eggs. "What with you eating me out of house and home...or cafe, just a better way to earn your keep!"
“I reckon so, I’d say it’s purdy much a keep worth keepin’.” He said dryly. “Had ta do thet more’n once in this life.
She was kidding, of course, he did far more than she asked, and didn't take advantage of her offers of food, and anything he did have was more than paid back with his help and presence. "When they're done, you can pile them on a plate, then sit them on the stove and cover them with a cloth...that will keep them warm."
“Know’d thet trick from the trail.” Pike stated with a note of pride in his voice. “Early days we made a few drives up from the Ranch. Nothin’ ta brag on, jest some cows, Pa, an’ ma brother Samuel an’ Silas Learned ever’ job they was on the trail from ‘hoodlum’ to point man."
Cooking for a few was one thing, but on this scale was quite different, and it had taken her time to learn some tricks. "What else can you make?" she asked, grinning, "so I know what to recruit you for...like I said, less work for me if I can put you and Clara to more work!"
“Had a ‘Cousie’, a cook I mean, teach me ta make a mean Son of a Gun stew. Mostly trail food. Not nothing like what you put out. So now ya know a bit more ‘bout me then ya did. Things I kin get done when I set ma mind to it. ‘Er was then “if” I set ma mind to it.”
She laughed, then refilled his coffee and took a sip of her own.
He began the process of scooping the finished flapjacks onto a plate and covering, then repeating the process.
"I inherited a piece of land but it's not worth a dime. Too dry, no water supply, not chance of farming it. Why my great uncle bought it, I don't know. I guess he was fooled."
Aurelian frowned, "Oh that is bad luck. It happens though, I've heard of folks buying land sight unseen, never a smart thing to do. Least it didn't cost you anything. Also you might be able to dump it for dirt cheap and it's still a little profit."
Clara was listening even as she had begun the meal preparations and mumbled, "There is always one idiot who will buy it. Your uncle proved that."
Aurelian barely heard that but could only hope their guest hadn't caught it. His daughter did not varnish her opinions.
"How much do you pay for a small farm around here?"
(ooc: You would ask a question like that, lol, I have no idea.)
Aurelian told the man what he paid for it then added, "But I have no idea what the going price for small farms is in general. Needless to say I stopped looking around after I bought this place."
"Mind if I ask how you earn your dollars?"
Again Clara muttered, "Sure asks a lot of questions."
"Well, we grew corn and a whole mix of garden stuff - tomatoes, beans, squash, turnips, carrots, potatoes," Aurelian explained, "We sell or trade 'em in town. Also we do canning. Keep some for long term, sell some of that too. We are always on the lookout for jars it seems." He smiled.
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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