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Everything posted by Stormwolfe

  1. "Oh, you're one of Matt's brothers!" Hannah exclaimed in surprise. "He told me that you would be arriving when we had lunch sometime back. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wentworth." Hannah and Matt had followed up their lunch with a Sunday afternoon of visits so she could introduce him around the area. It had been pleasant, and she had enjoyed his company. Her instincts had told her not to get too vested in the man's interest. He was likely simply being friendly and polite. Hannah had run into him off and on in town since then, so he was a bit surprised that he hadn't mentioned that his brothers had settled at Lost Lake Ranch. "I had heard that the ranch hired a new foreman to replace Ezra Hale," Hannah added. "Welcome to Kalispell." @JulieS
  2. Shade smiled, hoping his expression wasn't as dopey as it felt. Just as he was about to head for the door with Kate, Mary handed him a beautifully made knitted shawl, "The rain may have stopped for now, but the wind is still blowing," she told him. Taking the garment, Shade draped it around Kate's shoulders. "We won't be outside long," he assured Mary and held up his hand to forestall the older woman's next spate, "and we will stick to the walkway." Shade led Katherine toward the main stairway but bypassed it in favor of taking her out the back door to the side courtyard. If they turned to their left, they could see the guest wing where Quentin lived. Instead of heading in that direction, Shade turned right and through a wrought iron gate and onto a cobbled walkway. Already, they could hear the sound of the waterfalls. They were louder than normal due to the recent rain. Once they were in the shelter of the forest, Shade offered his arm. The cobbled walkway had been carefully engineered for water drainage, but some of the stones could still be slick. "I hope I didn't put you on the spot when I asked you to the dance this weekend," Shade said. "I know you barely know me." @JulieS
  3. Harriet took her time washing up. While she was at it, she did her best to rinse her trail-weary clothing and laying them out to dry. She then changed into a clean split riding skirt, blouse, and vest. Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do with her hair except tie it back with a ribbon borrowed from the lady-of-the-house. Feeling as presentable as possible, Harriet admonished herself for the slight fluttering of her heart at the thought of Quentin and how terrified she had been for his safety. Of course, they had hugged and held one another for a moment after what had happened. It did not mean that he had feelings for her...or her for him. Still, her spirits lifted at knowing she would see him in a few moments. Once downstairs, she went to the home's well-kept little parlor to wait on Quentin. Harriet was capable of finding the mess on her own, she was just waiting for him to help her thread the maze of military protocols...at least that was what she was going to tell herself. Quentin stood in front of the mirror mounted on the dresser in the small bedroom. He finished combing his hair back with some product he found on the dresser. He could use a haircut but if he tried to give himself one the result would probably be laughable. He set the comb down and looked at himself in the mirror. He had also enjoyed a bath and the shave did more than anything else to make him feel human again after the time on the trail. He stepped back a bit and smoothed out the black bibbed shirt. He nodded and looked down at the clean pants he had found in his gear. Quentin was also proud that he had managed to clean the trail dirt off his boots and even accomplished a reasonable shine with some time and polish. His hat was a lost cause and would have to serve only in the field until he could get back and buy a new one. Quentin put everything away and back into his saddle bags and then buckled on his gunbelt. He tied the holster to his right thigh and left his hideout Colt with his gear. Quentin then headed downstairs and set his personal gear beside Harriet's before he stepped into the parlor and came up short. "Oh, I apologize...I was looking for my trail partner, not a lovely lady..." Harriet blinked at Quentin for a second before realizing that he was teasing and complimenting her in the same breath. No wonder Regina had often talked about how charming her brother could be. It was not a side of him that Harriet had seen much of as they tended to rub one another the wrong way. The smile she offered in return actually reached and warmed her twilight-colored eyes, "Why, thank you, Quentin. You are a bit unexpected as well." She moved closer to him and her voice was a bit husky when she spoke, "Now that we do not have an audience," Harriet touched his arm gently, "I am very glad you were not shot. I was frightened for you." There! She had admitted it. Being forthright was one of her hallmarks. Quentin heard her words as he watched her face change from her smile. He reached a hand up and lightly cradled the side of her face and her neck. "I really did not care what happened to me as long as I knew it meant you were safe..." He leaned over and very lightly kissed her and let it linger across several heartbeats before he leaned back. "...Um...I guess we should get to dinner..." He straightened and offered his arm to Harriet. "Shall we?" @Stormwolfe
  4. Hannah Cory looked around as she approached the bunkhouse and barn area of Lost Lake Ranch. She had always felt that this area was meant to serve as a guardhouse for passage to the main lodge. As if the trail along the gorge, Ishmael's Pass, wasn't deterrent enough! Hannah spotted a man she did not know heading toward the barn and slowed Jingo, her splotchy marked roan, down to a slow trot and then to a walk. The man seemed at ease, so maybe he was a new hand? Truthfully, Hannah had not been out to the ranch since shortly after Shade's return. He was tall and lean with dark hair and even handsome features. Definitely not someone that Hannah had seen around. Of course, Lost Lake's men were usually only in town on weekends because of the long ride. Bringing Jingo to a stop near the man, Hannah pushed her hat back and let it hang by its strings on her back. She dropped to the ground and faced the stranger with a friendly-enough smile, "Howdy," Hannah greeted the man. She knew the badge on her vest was easy to see, so she did not bother with the whole deputy marshal spiel. "I'm Hannah Cory, brought copies of the latest wanted posters out for the ranch. Shade and Quentin like to have them to make sure whoever they are hiring is on the up-and-up." @JulieS
  5. Even with the unexpected guests, Mary outdid herself with the evening meal. Fried chicken, creamed potatoes, gravy, and fresh green beans cooked in the chicken broth left everyone groaning when they finished eating. Shade was determined to help her with the clean-up, but Mary shook her dishtowel at him, suggesting that maybe he wanted to take Miss Katherine for a walk. He couldn't help but think that was an excellent idea. It would, she said, allow her to relax and visit with her friends for a bit before bedtime. The twins were sent to their playroom with a promise that baths could be skipped for that one night. Once they had offered hugs and kisses, Shade turned to Katherine, "Would you care to walk to the waterfall with me? It isn't far." He suddenly realized that he was holding his breath, waiting for her answer.
  6. "It is no bother at all," Shade assured Katherine. "In fact, why don't I go ahead and show you to the guest rooms while Mary gets some overnight kits for you? After that, Pastor, feel free to examine our library for as long as you like. I will be playing nanny and keeping the twins out from under Mary's feet." Shade rose to his feet. He was not totally comfortable with playing the part of wealthy ranch-owner and host. Still, he was managing to pull it off better than expected. It helped that he really wanted more time, private or chaperoned did not matter, with Katherine. Of course, it also made him uneasy. There were things in his past that might make her decide to have nothing to do with him. He mentally shook himself. Shade would have to wait and cross that bridge when he came to it. @JulieS
  7. I will have to consider actual plots, but would love to keep developing Hannah Cory's friendship with Matt and maybe one or more of his brothers. We'll get the Lost Lake brothers out on the range with Shade soon. He needs to get back into action!
  8. Shoot me a link to the post. I realize that they were going to contact her but did not realize they had done so. Probably missed the tag. So sorry!
  9. Harriet Mercer is that rare woman that has become successful in a profession long-held by only men. She established a very legal business in San Francisco at a time when it was thirsty for professionals in all lines of work. With a natural head for numbers and business, Harriet was able to bail out more than one well-to-do client whose own business was teetering on the edge. Her successes there brought her more clients along the west coast and, ultimately, all over the country as train travel became available. One of those clients was Chance Thornton. He had noticed discrepancies in some of the family's businesses, but could not track down what was happening. An acquaintance recommended H.G. Mercer and Associates to him. Upon meeting Harriet, Chance hired on the spot to make sure the Thornton family fortune was not taking more hits. She soon tracked some of the losses to less than honest managers and the family's attorney - who she discovered also worked for their arch-rivals, the Steelgraves. Her recommendation, fire them all. Chance followed her suggestion and also retained her as the family attorney. After the death of Chance, his wife, and two of their four children, Harriet made the decision to relocate to Kalispell, Montana permanently. She wanted to return to practicing law, plus she had a major role to play in seeing that Chance's children would not lose their inheritance. Harriet has since opened an office (shared with Dr. Jonah Danforth) and has started taking on clients. I would love to have Harriet involved in various plots with a legal angle or those that take her out of her comfort zone (click on the image to read her full bio). She does not have a plethora of friends, especially lady friends. There are also a couple of shadows in Harriet's background that I would like to get some plotting going in (will discuss via PM or private chat on Discord). Hit me up with any types of plots though! Harriet is game!
  10. Just then, Mary came in and unconsciously echoed Shade's invitation for their guests to remain overnight, "Weather is coming in," she pointed to the windows that revealed a darkening sky. Sudden storms were not uncommon in the Chogun Mountains where the bulk of the ranch was located. "I suggest that you plan on staying over," Mary said to the Pastor, "you don't want to try to make it back to Kalispell in this. I can roust you out early so you make it back for your services in time. We can lend you anything you need." Many people carried small overnight bags with them when visiting the far-flung ranches and properties around Kalispell. However, more than one person had found themselves stranded at Lost Lake Ranch without having an overnight kit with them. The family had gotten in the habit of keeping spare items for people to use when that happened. Everything from nightshirts to soaps, and even clean clothes were kept in stock. Which was a good plan because just as Mary finished speaking, a tremendous clap of thunder shook the house. Shade smiled at his guests, "I have to be up and out early as well so I can get myself and the twins to the abbey for mass. The rain will make the drive through the gorge dangerous tonight." He did not add that an opportunity to spend more time with Kate was a bonus to the treacherous weather. Tags @JulieS
  11. Thirteen years ago (1862), at the age of seventeen, Shade Thornton killed Calvin Steelgrave in Missoula Mills, Montana. It was a clean shooting. Calvin was drawing on Shade's future sister-in-law, Regina Cantrell. Shade was never charged and cleared of wrongdoing in the matter. However, the combination of a longstanding feud between the Thorntons and Steelgraves plus a very stern and intolerant father who saw it as Shade bringing more trouble to the family ended with Shade being sent packing. Although Shade has not committed any criminal acts since his stint with an outfit known as Cutler's Raiders (right after the war), he has gotten into a variety of trouble, usually because of trying to help or just being the new guy in a town with a reputation. The most recent major incident was being framed for murder while he was working in Wyoming. He got his name cleared. However, word did not get out to all cities and towns. Those wanted posters still show up when he least expects it. Shade now finds himself in charge of his family's ranch, Lost Lake Ranch, and as a guardian to his orphaned five-year-old niece and nephew (fraternal twins). Right from the start, there was trouble. John Caleb Thornton's lawyer sued to make the Thornton twins wards of the state with him in charge of their inheritance. The man currently works for the Steelgraves and it was only due to having a fair judge and the brilliant legal expertise of Harriet Mercer that this ploy failed. However, since Shade's past was...well...shady and the twins' other uncle wasn't much better, the judge mandated certain things. One big thing is that the ranch and family businesses must continue making a profit. So far, they are doing good on that score, but things could change. Shade is determined that his niece and nephew are protected and that their legacy is kept safe for their future. History Shade has met Katherine Bowen, Kalispell's new school teacher and he is falling hard and fast for her. This may well entangle him in other plots 😉 It is likely the Steelgraves have not forgotten about Calvin. However, out murder is not an option. Cutler's Raiders: When the Texas Rangers arrested Shade, they were able to turn him. He led them to the Raiders' hideout. Randall Cutler, the eldest brother and gang leader was later tried and hanged. However, his two brothers and some of the gang members escaped. Texas Rangers: Shade was never a Texas Ranger but he had an aptitude for getting inside outlaw gangs and picking up information. He became an undercover guy for them. This will likely bring even more trouble his way. Shade spent the five years before returning to Montana working a ranch in Laramie, Wyoming. During those years, he got into quite a few scrapes and more than one gunfight. Some of this history can turn up in Kalispell too. I am looking for some of Shade's past to turn up and bite him in the backside, making friends, frenemies, enemies, action and adventure.
  12. "You are certainly welcome anytime, Pastor," Shade said as he settled with his coffee and cobbler. He smiled and thanked Mary for her wonderful lunch and dessert. "It would mean rising really early to make it back to town for Sunday services," Shade continued, "but you are welcome to spend the night here. We could certainly put you up." He ignored the slight tightening of his chest as he made the offer. It was hard not to look at Katherine to gauge her reaction. @JulieS
  13. Shade made sure to glance at Kate often to pull her into the conversation. It was important to him that she felt included and wanted on the tour of the house. As he led them around, he answered the pastor's questions regarding the house's age, explaining that it had taken several years to complete and there had been a number of renovations over the years. He pointed out that his brother, Chance, had gone to great pains to modernize it as much as possible. He also told the older man that almost all of the wood and stone had been sourced locally. It was mainly oak and pine. Shade prolonged the tour as long as possible, wanting to keep Kate at the house. Finally, though, it was time to return to the dining room for after lunch coffee and desert. As everyone settled in the informal dining room, Shade headed for the side table that held several decanters. "Would anyone care for sherry with dessert?" He asked politely. Shade really did not care for the liquor himself and was content with coffee. Meanwhile, Mary was serving piping hot blackberry cobbler made with berries she had canned back in the summer. @JulieS
  14. Shade nodded at the Pastor and smiled, "I would be happy to show you and Miss Bowen around the house," he said, "I need to put the twins down for a nap anyway." Rising to his feet, he stepped behind Kate's chair to help slide it back from the table. "I hope you understand that I can't show you the occupied bedrooms. I want to respect Miss Mercer's and Quentin Cantrell's privacy." "Let's start upstairs," Shade said and gathered the twins up with a smile. Both nodded sleepily. Cody scuttled up close to Shade's legs, but Nettie boldly took Kate's hand. She beamed up at the teacher as they all followed Shade into the house and across the main entryway to the grand staircase. The first stop was the rooms just across the landing on the second floor. Double doors opened into the combination of the schoolroom and playroom. Just beyond that was the twins' bedroom. This arrangement would have to be modified someday, once the kids were older. Right now, they took comfort in sharing the room, and Shade saw no reason to change it. He let the pastor and Kate look around while he sent the twins into their bathroom, one at a time, to change into their sleep clothes. While waiting on them, he folded their clothes and put them on the chests that stood at the foot of each bed. It only took a few minutes to see them ensconced under their blankets. Both were asleep before Shade, and his guests left the room. Outside the schoolroom, Shade gestured to his left, "This end of the hall is my study and bedroom." Shade could not help glancing at Kate as they stepped in that was now his private domain. Upper Floor @JulieS
  15. Although Cody ducked his head shyly, Nettie had no problem with speaking up, "She is teach us our letters and sums. We are doing really well," the girl announced proudly. "Uncle Shade reads from his history and natural history books to us. We are always learning something new. Uncle Quentin tells us stories, but they are just that, stories about knights and ladies." Nettie's eyes danced with excitement. Cody was just as studious as his twin, but Nettie had embraced learning like a duck embraced the water. She was always the one asking questions and seemed to never get enough information on any subject. Shade grinned at his lively niece before looking back at his guests, "Miss Clara is doing great with them," he echoed Cody's comments about Clara Redmond. We are luck to have her. Unfortunately, it is just too far into town to bring the twins to the school every day and, for now, I am not willing to board them in town." @JulieS
  16. The longer that Katherine spoke, the more enraptured with her Shade became. It was clear that she loved her work and her students. She was truly dedicated to both. How would she take to the isolation of ranch life? Would she even consider it? Was it fair to ask it of her? Shade put a brake on his thoughts. Whoa! They had only met once before, and that had been very brief. He remembered talking to Chance about Regina after they became engaged. He had asked his brother when he had known she was the one? This had been while Shade was contemplating eloping with Hannah Cory. Chance had told him that you just knew when you met the right woman. It might take a little time for your brain and heart to get on the same page, but instinctively, you would know. Was this what Chance had meant? Despite the short, almost non-existent, time they had known one another, did he just know Kate Bowen was the woman he was meant to be with? Did she feel any of the same things he was feeling? Shade decided that he needed to find that out, and the only way was to spend time together. Kate had already agreed to go to the dance with him on Saturday. He would ask her there if he could call on her and also if she would spend the Harvest Festival day with him. Mentally, Shade grinned. He might be thirty years old, but this was making him feel sixteen again. "We were going to bring the twins to town for part of the day. I'll have to make sure they get to see the play," Shade said and smiled at Nettie and Cody, who were being on their best behavior. He looked at Kate, although his next words were for the table, "Some of the hands that live on the ranch have kids, so they get to play with them some. Just not many kids their age close-by us." Who was he kidding? Lost Lake Ranch's boundary line might be within five miles of Kalispell, but the ranch house itself was closer to twenty miles away. Before any of the adults could respond, Cody looked up and said, in a voice that sounded far older than any five-year-old's should, "We don't mind playing by ourselves, Uncle. Miss Clara sees that we have fun, and her lessons are interesting." "I know you and Nettie don't mind just each other for company, Cody. But, you guys need some time with kids your own age, too," Shade told him gently. He understood Cody's reluctance to leave the safety of the ranch after witnessing the deaths of his parents and two older siblings. It had not been all that long ago. It would take time for Cody to regain a sense of being safe. Shade looked over at Kate and added, "I could not ask for a better niece and nephew. Hope to someday have more just like them here." @JulieS
  17. Synopsis It's October in Kalispell and time for the town's annual harvest festival. The festival is a small event intended to showcase the town's merchants. Residents that do more than subsistence farming offer fruits and vegetables for sale. There are stalls with canned goods, etc. At the end of the day, there is a dance in the town square. The mayoral candidates will also be taking to the stage throughout the day. No! We won't be writing out political speeches... Characters Requested All that want to join in. Anything Else Group plots can get messy. I suggest we use the same in-game date and do individual threads. It's an opportunity for characters that wouldn't normally interact to have some time. We'll keep it smaller and less event oriented than the Founder's Day fair which lasted several days.
  18. 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
  19. "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
  20. 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're worth your weight in gold," he told her, then grinned and teased, "but don't hold me to that when payday comes." Clara turned with more than a hint of a saucy smile, not something she did very often. "Oh? Perhaps I should take more second and third helpings before then? Gain a little weight." "You are a total minx," Shade told her, grinning affably at her teasing and noting that the cheeky smile changed her overall appearance, making her more appealing. "I believe that is a rodent? Are you calling me a rodent?" Clara questioned but still smiling to show she was not serious. "Cody, Nettie, come on - let's get your shoes and socks on. I'm ready for my afternoon reading session and it's past your nap times." He held his arm out to Clara, "Just in case I lose my balance," he told her with a wink. "We would not want that to happen. Not at your advanced age," she winked right back, that was probably the first time she had ever winked in her entire life. She normally did not see the point of it.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. "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
  25. 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

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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If you are already a member of our Discord server, click the image and it will take you directly to Sagas' server on Discord's web app. If you would like to join our server, click the invite link on the left (bottom of sidebar).

Site Credits

Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

Sagas' Rating


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