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Stormwolfe

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  1. @Players OK y'all, help me out! @Longshot @Glenn What's the action plan, if any? Should I start a new thread topic having the cattle rounded up and brought in without incident. I read the posts but wasn't sure what is coming next. Please update this thread or the plotting channel in our Discord to help me figure out where to go next with this. I losted me. LOL
  2. Shade felt his chest tighten. She had agreed to go with him. He wanted to say more but Mary was summoning everyone to the table. Shade smiled at Kate and gestured toward the table, "Shall we?" He saw her seated while Mary rounded up the twins and got them settled. Looking at the repast that Mrs. Miller had laid out, he said, "Sage is one lucky man, Mary. This looks incredible and smells even better." He took the seat that was left, which just happened to be next to Kate. Shade could not help wondering if the seating had been engineered by the ranch's engaging housekeeper and cook. If so, he had to say that he did not mind in the least. Once everyone had filled their plates, Shade found himself at a loss for conversation. Finally, since Kate and having her agree to go to the dance with him was on his mind, Shade said, "How are the preparations for the Harvest Festival and dance going, Pastor?" @JulieS
  3. "I'm afraid I've become spoiled to Mary's skills in the kitchen. When I have to eat trail grub again, I'm gonna be miserable," Shade answered and smiled. Their fingers had brushed briefly and, for whatever reason, that barest touch had set him at ease with her. Without thinking too hard about it, Shade asked, "The monthly town social is a week from today. I understand the first mayoral candidate speeches will be held the same day. Would you do me the honor of attending the dance with me?" @JulieS
  4. Shade shook his head, "I know you were joking, Clara. And I know you can take care of yourself. You're an amazingly resourceful young woman," he said after they had skipped the rock. Shade returned to sit on the flat boulder. He was healing rapidly, but his leg was still sore and they had quite a hike back up to the house. "Nettie! That's far enough," Shade said sharply as he spotted the little girl inching further out into the water. She looked sheepish at having been caught and returned to wading ankle deep by the shore. "You mind your uncle now," Clara reinforced his admonition with that forceful glare of hers. The twins liked her but they also had learned the girl meant business when it came to behaving. Now, he grinned, "Under normal circumstances and if I were alone here, there would be a prodigious amount of swearin' from me too," Shade assured Clara, smiling as he tried to picture the rather stoic Aurelian Redmond cursing over a failed rock skipping. "By the way, thank your father for me. I appreciate him offering to let you work extra days while I am out of commission. The extra help has been appreciated." "A common failure in menfolk in my experience. The language I mean," Clara just shook her head. "He knows, but I will mention it again. And he approves as do I. After all it means more wages for me and that is a bonus for our whole family." Clara did like working at the ranch, the twins were a delight, and of course this meant she had more time to spend close to Shade but she never forgot the financial end of it. Money was tight for her father and this was added income which she was happy to provide. For Clara, it was always about being the dutiful daughter, especially since the death of her mother. Shade shifted on the rock. He was beginning to feel that bone-deep ache in his leg. The wounds were healing without issue and he was doing light exercise to keep the leg from stiffening up. However, he was not one-hundred percent yet. He looked at Clara, "You've worth your weight in gold," he told her, then grinned and teased, "but don't hold me to that when payday comes." @Wayfarer
  5. Finally, Shade and Katherine were alone for a few moments, and he could not think of a good conversation opener. His head was buzzing with things he wanted to say, questions he wanted to ask her. Shade wanted to know everything he could about the lovely woman standing near the terrace railing with him. Why had she come to Montana? Was it only to teach school, or had she been leaving something behind? Poetically, he wanted to believe it was fate. Shade's mind had been on getting the supplies for the bear hunt when he met her the first time. He had felt drawn to her during their brief meeting, but it was only while he was recovering from the injuries he had gotten on the hunt that she had started to really occupy his thoughts. The more he thought about that meeting in the general store, the more he felt some elusive quality to it that had never happened to him before. Now, here they were, and he was as tongue-tied as a schoolboy. Fortunately, Katherine broke the awkward silence. Shade sighed inwardly with relief and gratitude. The last thing he wanted was for her to feel as if he was not interested in talking to her. "I didn't realize how much I missed this until I got home," Shade replied, waving a hand at the mountains and the deep lake below. "May I get you something to drink? A glass of lemonade?" He inquired politely. @JulieS
  6. @Players @Sr. Moderator @Members First of all - everyone has done great on The Long March. After talking to @Longshot, we are going to assume that the cattle are successfully rounded up without incident rather than play that part out. Harriet, Quentin, and some men from the fort get them brought in. This way, we can focus on the Indian attack subplot. I am also recommending that we start a completely new thread for that so that the other posts in the current thread can wind down. Any objections or questions?
  7. Shade smiled easily, "Thank you. My injuries were not as severe as first feared, fortunately. Please, come inside. Mary thought we might like to have lunch on the front terrace." He was careful not to draw undue attention to Cody. He didn't have to worry about Nettie on that score. Nettie took Katherine's hand firmly in her own, "I will show you," she stated adamantly and tugged the woman toward the house, all the while chattering about doing the paper folding and coloring. Shade smiled and fell in behind with Pastor Evans while Mary and Mrs. Evans chatted and followed. Earlier that morning, Mary had gotten a couple of the ranch's hands to move the table they used for outdoor dining so that it caught the sun. With the leaves barely beginning to change to their autumn colors contrasting sharply with the intense blue of the lake, and the snowcapped mountains beyond, the view was spectacular. Mary mentally preened just a bit, proud of working in such a beautiful home and location. She then chastised herself for such prideful thoughts. "I will get lunch laid out," Mary said and peeled off toward the kitchen. Shade nodded and gestured at the outdoor seating area, "Please, make yourselves comfortable." He separated his hand from Cody's and Nettie from Katherine, "Go on, get cleaned up for lunch." Both children made their polite excuses and darted off. "Oh...uh...Pastor, Mrs. Evans, Miss Bowen, do you want to wash the trail dust off?" Shade could not help a bit of awkwardness. He was not accustomed to hosting guests. @JulieS
  8. As the introductions were being done, Shade offered his own smiles and greetings in turn. When the pastor introduced Miss Bowen, his smile deepened, lighting the shadows in his dark blue eyes, "Miss Bowen, it is a pleasure to see you again." Shade gave the reverend and his wife a nod, "Miss Bowen and I met very briefly at the general store in Kalispell before the bear hunt," his explanation made it clear that their meeting had been fleeting. Feeling a gentle tug on his hand, Shade looked down at his niece, "I am being informed that more introductions are in order. Pastor Evans, Mrs. Evans, Miss Bowen - these two imps are my wards and my niece and nephew - Cody and Antoinette, Nettie, Thornton." The twins murmured polite greetings, but Cody moved closer to Shade. He was still nervous about meeting new people. Nettie, however, had no qualms. She loved attention and loved visitors, "Miss Mary made an angel food cake but says we have to have a real lunch first." @JulieS
  9. "Mr. Shade," Mary admonished firmly, but with an amused note in her voice, "they will get chalk dust all over their clothes." She shook her head and added, "I believe our guests have arrived." Mary headed toward the doors that faced out into the home's large courtyard. Shade knew that Mary was not truly concerned. After all, it was Saturday, and the children were clad in their play clothes. "Come on," he said and held his hands out to the twins. "Let's greet our guests, then you can continue your coloring projects." Cody and Nettie were too well-behaved to show how little they wanted to be interrupted. Taking their uncle's hand, they went with him to the courtyard. Fortunately, although he was still noticeably limping, Shade's leg was healing well. This was a good thing since he did not want to be the object of too much concern or sympathy. He was not used to being "fussed" over, and it made him more than a little uncomfortable. They reached the courtyard, and just as Mary had said, their visitors were arriving. Shade considered his sense of hearing to be exceptional. Mary, however, seemed to be able to hear as well as a dog! While waiting for their guest to alight from their conveyance, Shade's eyes scanned the small party, unable to stop his eyes from lighting up when he spotted the person he was hoping would be with the reverend and his wife. The woman was every bit as pretty as he remembered, and he found himself impatient for the formal introductions to be said. Would he and Miss Bowen have an opportunity to converse privately? Probably not. Mary was a stickler for social etiquette. @JulieS
  10. It was another beautiful Montana day. The sun was out, but the approaching fall could be felt in the air, making it very pleasant. Too nice to stay inside. Mary Miller, the ranch's housekeeper, had informed Shade that they were having guests. Pastor Evans and his wife were coming for a long-overdue visit. Shade did not know the reverend and his wife since he attended Mass at the abbey, as did most of the household. Mary and Sage, her husband and night foreman, attended church in town, of course. Still, the visit was not untoward or unexpected. Shade had heard good things about the pastor and his wife. Shade could not help the fact that his thoughts turned to the pretty young school teacher that he had met in town before the bear hunt. She had mentioned that she was boarding with the Evans'. So, that is not exactly what she had said, but it was inferred when she told him that he could send word to her there when a good opportunity for a visit presented itself. Mary's words made him wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Evans' boarder would be accompanying them. He could not help but hope so. He would like to get to know her better. His rambling thoughts were interrupted by Cody and Nettie as they brought some elaborately folded paper animals to show him. Harriet Mercer's colleague and, probably, protector, had shown them how to make the paper animals at some point in time. Now, they were busy making their own paper animal ranch. Shade smiled and examined the little horse carefully, praising his nephew on how good it was. He pointed at the box of colored chalk, "Why don't you color them?" Shade delved back into his school memories when he actually did some landscape and horse sketches. "You can combine some colors to get another." It would make a mess because they would have to use their fingers, but it would be fun and a learning adventure for them. The twins chattered excitedly at one another and started work on the project their uncle had suggested. Shade had never imagined himself so settled and so content with being settled. His duties as the twin's guardian and surrogate parent meant the world to him. It had also made his thoughts turn toward settling down in other ways. He had gone, almost overnight, from being a drifter and practically an outlaw to being a wealthy ranch owner and guardian of two five-year-olds. Would that change in status matter to... Wait! Shade shook his head fiercely. He had only met Miss Bowen once and very casually at that. Still...would a genteel schoolmarm be willing to overlook some of his past exploits? Shade wouldn't mind finding out... Tags @JulieS
  11. Harriet dismounted from Spirit once they were all within the environs of the fort. She patted the big paint's neck and stretched, feeling her spine crackle and pop. Major Brittles had immediately headed to see Fort Kilpatrick's commanding officer. At least, Harriet presumed that was where he was going. She and Quentin needed to see Colonel MacKenzie also, but that was going to have to wait. She wanted to get Spirit settled and was a bit of the trail dirt off herself. She hailed a young man and had to stop herself from shaking her head. Young was the operative. He looked far too young to be wearing the uniform of the United States Cavalry. "Private, could you show us or tell us where we can see to our horses?" The young man blushed but seemed pleased that she had gotten his rank correct, "Certainly, but we can see to your mounts, ma'am." Harriet glanced over at Quentin, then back at the Private, "I know, and we appreciate the offer. However, I think a person should take care of their animals before themselves. I would like to find a place to wash-up a bit afterward though. We need to see Colonel MacKenzie. The Private showed them to a couple of empty stalls in the stable and where to find everything to care for their horses. Weems was leaving as they entered. He told Harriet and Quentin that he and the other two hands were going to grab a bit of food in the mess and make a tally of their remaining gear. Harriet promised to locate them after talking to the Colonel. A few minutes later, she had Spirit's saddle and bridle off of him and food and water in his trough, which he snorted at softly before beginning to eat. She brushed some of the dust off his black and white coat and then leaned on the stall rails looking over at Quentin, who was working on Paladin. "Well, our first cattle drive certainly went awry," Harriet commented quietly, a note of amusement in her voice. Quentin gave Paladin a few brushes along his back and side then looked over the horse's back at Harriet. "Shade will never let us hear the end of it after this, but I claim Force Majeure due to Indian interference, so it's not totally our fault." Quentin left Paladin happily eating from a trough as he put the stable items back and then leaned on the rail opposite Harriet. "It's still embarrassing, but I think we did pretty well with our lack of experience..." Quentin glanced around as his face grew more serious. "...Something feels wrong around here. I can't put my finger on it, but the men here feel worried. You can almost feel it in the air like before a storm comes up." "Perhaps we can avoid giving Shade the details?" Harriet suggested mischievously. Then, her face fell, "That will never work if we have to make up a shortfall. We shall just have to put up with his teasing." Harriet shifted her stance so that she was leaning closer to Quentin, allowing her to speak in a lower voice. "I noticed it too. Add to that, I checked before we left Kalispell on the drive. There were no reports of hostile Indian activity between there and Missoula. Fort Poison has always sent telegrams to the sheriff if there was a need for caution. Of course, it could have come after we left." Quentin rubbed his chin as he considered what she was telling him. "I suppose...it is possible things happened quickly and the commander forgot to send an alert to Kalispell with preparing for an attack..." Quentin looked around as if hoping to see the answer he was searching for. "...We need more information before we can decide what to do next." "Agreed," Harriet answered. She found it a pleasant feeling to not be at odds with Quentin for a change. That was a novel sensation that she would have to file away and worry about later. Harriet had not yet had time to examine why she had felt panicked at the thought of him being injured during the Indian attack. "We need to find out if Colonel MacKenzie can see us now. We have to inform him of our plans for retrieving the cattle and making up any shortfall anyway." Since Harriet was clad for the trail, she did not have a handbag with her. She pulled her saddlebags off the back of Spirit's saddle and slung them over her shoulder, "Ready when you are, Quentin." @Longshot
  12. Harriet smiled at Addy, "Thank you for the offer, Addy. I do appreciate it. However, I prefer to continue on to Fort Kilpatrick since it is less than five miles off. I have no idea why that man," she shot a glare at the major's retreating back, "keeps talking about Kalispell." She then whirled around to look at Quentin, "I am not having hardtack and beans in a tent, Quentin Cantrell. I do not care how many bottles of whatever it is that you brought." Honestly, Harriet was confused why the Major kept mentioning Kalispell since they were more than twenty-five miles away from the town. Did he really not know that Fort Kilpatrick was just over the rise, next to the lake? He certainly seemed single-minded about it...and about setting up camp for the night. "You may certainly do as you like for the night. I am riding to Fort Poison." Harriet turned to her horse and began checking the saddle straps, making sure all was still in working order. As she worked she muttered, "will not ALLOW me...As if anyone could stop me!" @Longshot @Bongo
  13. Shade smiled at the girl, "I have no doubt that you are far stronger than you look, Clara." Still, he only leaned a tiny fraction of his weight on her. With the threat of the bear gone, the slow amble from the house down the trail to the lake's edge was uneventful. They did not talk much since their time was spent watching where they stepped and keeping an eye on the rambunctious twins. The trail ended at one of the few places that allowed direct access to the vast crater lake. Chance and Regina had bought and spread massive amounts of sand, forming a small beach. Shade remembered Regina as being fearless when it came to the water. She had been a strong swimmer, loved to sail, and spent quite a bit of time in and around the water. Right now, it was too cold to get in the water. Due to runoff from the mountains, the water was never really warm, but in mid-summer, the temperature in the shallows was comfortable for swimming. Once they reached the beach, the twins immediately pulled off their shoes and rolled up the legs of their pants, planning on wading. "Cody, Nettie," Shade warned in a true parental-sounding voice, "do not go further than dabbling your feet at the edge of the beach. I'll fix you up a couple of fishing lines." He had grabbed some twine as they left the house, so now he fished his knife from his pocket. In a few moments, he had found a couple of flexible branches and cut them, tied hooks onto the twine, and handed the fishing poles to the eager twins. With Cody and Nettie settled, Shade eased himself down to sit on a flat-topped rock not far away. "So, our new hires...what are your thoughts?" Shade could not bring himself to think of Clara as a child. He valued her opinion even if he would not change his mind on hiring the Wentworths. @Wayfarer
  14. "Major, the bloody creatures will not have returned to Kalispell. Until we can round them up and count them, we have no idea how many the natives might have taken," Harriet folded her arms over her chest and threw a sideways glance at Quentin, hoping he planned on backing her up. "Fort Kilpatrick is within minutes of here. If we cannot locate the remainder of our herd, we will ride there and request help. We will not travel the more than twenty-five miles back to Kalispell." Quentin finished sliding his Winchester back into the saddle scabbard before walking back to the group. "I think you may have misunderstood the situation, Major...the indians pursued us. They did not seem interested in the cattle unless as an afterthought...we may still salvage our contract with a bit of assistance from the US Army..." Quentin smiled pleasantly even as he looked at Harriet with the hope of some silence. "...Besides, the beeves were for the Army to begin with...it's sort of your property once it gets to the fort." Harriet smiled at the Major, "Thank you for your timely intervention with our pursuers." Turning away, she began checking her gear. Harriet had no intention of defaulting on the contract. Tags @Glenn @Bongo @Stormwolfe @Players
  15. Harriet took the canteen from Addy, removed the cap, and took a long drink. Hers had come off her saddle at some point during the harrying ride. She gave a mental shrug. She could replace it once they got to Fort Kilpatrick. "Thank you, Addy," Harriet said, sincerely grateful to the other woman. She waved back the way they had ridden from, "I am not sure how we offended the Indians. I thought they were after the cattle and horses but they continued on after us instead. Perhaps, Quentin can get us some answers at the fort. We checked for hostile activity before leaving on the drive...none was reported in Kalispell." After explaining what had occurred, Harriet turned to the man that Addy was introducing. The man was dashing enough but a bit forward she thought as he stated his pleasure upon being introduced. "Major Brittles," Harriet murmured, "Harriet Mercer," she responded. Glancing at Quentin and the men, she shook her head in response to the Major's question, "I do not believe anyone took any harm. However, we cannot linger, sir. We need to see if we can retrieve the cattle we lost." Handsome military officers were all well and good but the Major would not be out the money if the ranch did not show good faith on the cattle contract. @Glenn @Longshot @Bongo

About Sagas

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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Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

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