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Everything posted by Stormwolfe

  1. "This is fine, Mr. Wentworth. I like the light coming in." Hannah looked out the window at the street beyond. Unconsciously, she sighed. So far, the new marshal had not indicated that her job was in jeopardy, but what if Guyer decided Kalispell did not need a woman deputy marshal? What would she do? Hannah knew that her father would make sure she did not starve and if he won the mayoral election, he would be paid a bit more than he'd made as the town marshal. The thing was that Hannah was used to supporting herself. She did not want to have to depend on her father or anyone else. Besides, due to her chosen line of work, her marriage prospects were quite low, probably non-existent. Turning her eyes back to Matt, she gestured at the table, "I believe you recommended the roast beef?" @JulieS
  2. Continued from Cattle Drive [Part 1] Mature Content: No With: Quentin Cantrell, NPCs Location: Kalispell to Fort Poison, south end of Flathead Lake. When: Mid-September 1875 Time of Day: Varies Harriet sat astride Shade's big paint, Spirit, that had formerly belonged to Chance Thornton. She had ridden the horse before but never in the animal's capacity as a working cow pony. None of her string of horses had the training for the task at hand. The big gelding flicked his ears, and his body tensed. She could tell the horse was ready to follow the herd of cattle that meandered slowly past. Harriet put a gloved hand on the horse's neck and muttered a few soft words to calm him down. Three days ago, the San Francisco attorney had been in the office of Lost Lake Ranch's co-owner, Shade Thornton, explaining about the contract and how it had gotten lost. Somehow, it had been misfiled in with completed contracts. The ranch was in the black, but due to a judge's ruling regarding the custody of the five-year-old Thornton twins, it had to show a clear six-percent increase in profits. Losing the contract for twenty-five head of cattle would not impact the ranch's wealth. However, it might cause problems with the custody of the children. Another issue was the fact that the majority of the hands had ridden south to Missoula with Sage Miller, the ranch's night foreman, to deliver the fall herd to the stockyards. That left the ranch with a skeleton crew. They could not strip the remainder of the riders off the ranch, so she, Quentin Cantrell, and two of the younger hands were tasked with taking the herd to Fort Poison. Who knew that it would be Shade Thornton's sharp eyes that would see the codicil that stated the fort's commander would only take delivery from an owner or suitably high-ranking ranch employee, such as a foreman. The fort's commanding officer required the codicil as a means of preventing fraud and possibly the receipt of stolen cattle. Harriet had ridden into town with a letter written by Shade and copies of the appropriate paperwork. She had sent the telegraph on Shade's behalf and put the envelope on the next mail wagon out. It should reach Fort Poison well ahead of the drive. Now, here she sat, wondering precisely what she was supposed to do. Harriet had watched her friend, Regina Thornton, deftly ride, rope, and cut with the best of them. She felt clueless. Harriet hated the feeling of not knowing what to do and of not being in control of her situation. Suddenly a big red and white heifer broke from the meandering herd and shot toward where she was sitting. Before she could gather her wits and shout "Shoo, cow" at the creature, Spirit launched into action. Harriet uttered a soft shriek and hung on for dear life as the paint zigged and zagged after the heifer finally deftly turning it back to the herd. Quentin sat Paladin nearby. He brought his gloved hand up and covered his mouth to hide his wide grin as he watched the shrieking woman atop the cow pony as it herded the stray. He quickly schooled his features as her horse steadied and she shot a look over at him. "Ahem...You're doing fine, Harriet!" "At least I am doing something!" Harriet snapped. She glared at the big paint gelding she was riding. "Bad horse," she muttered under her breath. At least the two hands and wagon driver were pretending to be preoccupied with the herd...or the horizon. Quentin reached up and tugged the brim of his hat, then spurred off along one side of the herd. His free hand swung a coil of rope back and forth. He gave an occasional yell to keep the mass moving in the same direction. Quentin lifted his eyes up to see the other hands, seeing that they both seemed to have a handle on their side of the herd. The supply wagon was on ahead, pulling off into the distance so he could find a good spot to stop and pitch camp for the night. Another series of shrieks and yelps behind him told Quentin that Shade's horse was doing its job again while Harriet valiantly tried not to fall off. Quentin decided that discretion was the better part of valor and he continued on, ignoring the sounds behind him so the only thing Harriet would be mad at would be the horse.
  3. Hannah was startled again. It was simply the unexpected invitation to lunch that made her blink slightly. The only man, other than her father, that had asked to have lunch with her was Ezra Hale's eldest son, Nick. In those instances it had been because he was in town, did not want to spend money at the cafe, and knew she almost always made time to prepare lunch for her father. Hannah's instincts were to to politely decline, give some suitable excuse and go to the White Rose Cafe for her meal. Her tongue seemed to have other plans and Hannah heard herself saying, "I would be happy for the company, Mr. Wentworth. Thank you." Still confused by her answer, Hannah took Matt's extended arm. Oh God! Now what? She was going to have to make polite conversation. Where was a fast horse when you needed one? @JulieS
  4. It took a few moments for Hannah to register the fact that someone had spoken to her. She was not accustomed to being the "Miss" in any conversation. Hannah offered the man a smile while she nervously smoothed her skirt with one hand while the other hand clutched tightly to the strings of her purse. "Good day, Mr. Wentworth," Hannah responded, finally meeting his eyes. "A pleasure to see you also. It is such a lovely day, I thought I'd treat myself to lunch." @JulieS
  5. Mature Content: No With: Matt Wentworth, Open Thread Location: Belle St. Regis When: Sept. 10, 1875 Time of Day: Mid-Morning Hannah stepped out of the courthouse into the bright sunshine of mid-morning. She had chosen the door that directly accessed the street rather than make her way through the municipal building itself. Since Ian Blevins had confessed to the beating and killing his wife for no reason other than the fact that he was a brute, the proceedings had been short. Hannah had not even had to testify. She had not been prepared for the man's sudden plea of guilty since he had maintained his innocence right up to the moment he was escorted from the jail to the courthouse. Judge Oliver Wendell had sentenced the man to hard labor in the Montana Territorial Prison for the rest of his life. It had been satisfying to see the Judge was just as disgusted by the man's actions as she was. Hannah hoped this would allow poor Molly Blevins to rest in peace. More importantly, Hannah hoped their three young children would come out of it none the worse for living with such violence. They had already been adopted by a kindly couple with a small far just outside of town. They had not been in the courtroom. Nervously, Hannah raised a hand to touch her small, dainty hat to make sure the pins were still secure. It would be terribly embarrassing if the wind caused it to fly off her head. She then smoothed her gray skirts and briefly admired the touch of cream colored lace at her cuffs. Thanks to the many changes occurring in Kalispell and in her life, Hannah had taken to wearing dresses part of the time, especially when representing the Kalispell Town Marshal's Office in the courtroom. With her father, former Town Marshal, Scott Cory, considering running for mayor, she needed to also represent him to the people of Kalispell. While on active duty, Hannah still wore trousers and a practical shirt and vest. Having to break up brawls at the saloon was not a time to worry about getting ones skirts soiled or torn. However, when manning the office and doing routine administrative chores, she had taken to wearing a practical split riding skirt, low heeled boots and a decent blouse. Even with all of that, she was still nervous and self-conscious when clad in a gown and heels, even if they were low ones. Hannah had the rest of the day off. It was her reward for tracking Blevins down and seeing the case through to trial. She had investigated it thoroughly. Even had he not made an eleventh-hour confession, Hannah had handed the prosecutor with an airtight case. Honestly, she enjoyed the investigation, gathering of evidence, and interviewing witnesses more than than anything in her job. Anyone could break up a barroom brawl. Not many people could investigate a crime and get to the facts. It was surprising how much people would say to a genteel young woman that sipped tea and led conversations along paths that got to the facts of the matter at hand. She could still break up fights and handle a gun as well as most men. Hannah was just finding that she enjoyed learning another aspect of law enforcement. There were a few people on the street. Hannah nodded at an acquaintance or two and smiled as they realized who she was and stared with wide eyes. She was not sure if their reaction was positive or negative, just that it was a reaction and it felt good! Her steps had led her to the other side of the town square and toward the imposing edifice of the Belle-St. Regis Hotel. She had been inside a time or two to roust a drunk guest out that was disturbing other clientele. For several long moments, she stood and stared at the entrance, considering her options. The dining room would be open for lunch. It might be questionable for a young unmarried woman to dine alone but Hannah felt she had earned the right to a pleasant and somewhat leisurely lunch. Hannah took a deep breath, pushed the doors open, and stepped inside... Tags @Players
  6. With: Quentin Cantrell, Harriet Mercer Location: Ranch Office, Blackbird Lodge When: September 1875 (Thursday) Time of Day: Mid-morning Shade leaned back in his desk chair. He had spent the first three days after the bear hunt in bed and barely conscious. Finally, his head had cleared, and he was getting up and around. He still had a tendency to fall asleep without warning, which was the lingering after-effect of the concussion. Shade was also supposed to keep his injured leg elevated and use a crutch for getting around. Finding that he had a tendency to trip over it, he had gone to the attic and dug out his father's old cane. It was a sturdy custom-built cane made from solid oak with a carved wolf's head handle. John Caleb Thornton had needed it after breaking his ankle one winter. Today, he was writing checks for the monthly bills. The ranch still took in more money than it had to pay out each year. However, as things stood, Lost Lake was going to barely make the mandated six-percent profit that had been part of the judge's ruling regarding the ranch and custody of his five-year-old niece and nephew. On top of that, he had to send one of the hands into Kalispell with an ad for the Kalispell Union. Ezra Hale was recovering from the bear attack which had been the catalyst for Lost Lake getting involved in hunting the animal down. It was going to be most of a year before he would be able to resume any of his duties. Ezra had come that close to dying! Yesterday, Ezra had told Shade that he and Laura, his wife, would be retiring. Once they got their small ranch sold, they would be heading for Texas to settle near their eldest daughter. It made sense, but Ezra and Laura had been a big part of Lost Lake Ranch for nearly forty years. They would be sorely missed. It also meant that Shade needed to find a new foreman since he would have to take over ranch management. Otherwise, Quentin was going to have to juggle managing the various other business interests and the ranch. Even with Harriet overseeing everything, including all contracts, it was a monumental job. It was just logical for Shade to take on the business management of the ranch as well as working the range as needed. That was providing, of course, that he could find a good foreman that would not steal them blind. A rustle of skirts and soft footsteps heralded the arrival of Harriet Mercer. Shade wondered if there was a way to compliment the woman's choice of footwear without giving offense? Since his injury, he and Harriet had formed an uneasy truce. After some thought, Shade chose to not make any comments on her soft-soled silk slippers. "We have a problem, Shade," Harriet stated in her usual forthright manner as she laid some documents in front of him. "We owe Fort Poison twenty-five head of cattle within two-weeks, or we forfeit the remainder of the sale price. They only paid ten percent upfront." Shade sat straight up, "But most of the hands are taking the bulk of the marketable herd to the Missoula yards!" It was a habit for the ranch to sell off a large part of their older animals, so they did not have to be wintered. Pregnant cows and weanlings would be brought up and ready for the range during the harsh winter months. In the next second, Shade wondered how he had missed that contract. Before he could speak, Harriet was waving her hand. "No, you did not miss it. It was at the bottom of one of the folders of completed contracts that Chance had in the files," Harriet said as if reading Shade's mind. "Chance usually sent me all of the new contracts, and I kept copies. This one is a year-to-year one that I have not previously seen." She sighed and dropped into the chair opposite the big oak desk.
  7. @Longshot OK - yeah, changed my mind. We'll do a short one in the Kalispell forum getting all the pieces in place, then H & Q can ride off into the wild blue yonder...or down to Fort Poison. PS: We can mostly JP this plot, but will need to cut the posts off around 800-1000 words and start a new one.
  8. Stormwolfe

    Barbara Stanwyck

    From the album: Female Playbys

    Ms. Stanwyck was an American actress, model, and dancer. She played the matriarch of the Barkley family in the 1960s western TV series, The Big Valley. Stanwyck is well known for portraying strong, resilient characters with more than a little fire. See her bio on Wikipedia
  9. Stormwolfe

    John McIntire

    Although McIntire played great bad guys, I am very fond of this actor. I would rather see him portrayed as a good rancher-type character.
  10. Stormwolfe

    John McIntire

    From the album: Male Playbys

    John McIntire was an American character actor who appeared in 65 theatrical films and many more television series. McIntire is well known for having replaced Ward Bond, upon Bond's sudden death in November 1960, as the star of NBC's Wagon Train. He played Christopher Hale, the leader of the wagon train (and successor to Bond's character, Seth Adams) from early 1961 to the series' end in 1965. He also replaced Charles Bickford, upon Bickford's death in 1967, as ranch owner Clay Grainger (brother of Bickford's character) on NBC's The Virginian for four seasons. ~ Wikipedia
  11. Time to put Harriet and Quentin in the hot seat! Technically, this plot starts at the ranch and, depending on how enthusiastic we are, will end back there too. However, to avoid dealing with having to do links back and forth, I am going to open it in Missoula.
  12. It was quickly determined that Shade would need medical attention. There was also the bear's carcass to deal with, and the horses needed rounded up. Since it was late in the day, it was decided to set up camp for the night upwind of the bear. It was risky, but starting back down the mountain with Shade barely able to sit his horse did not make any sense. The next morning, Shade was still groggy and in pain. Fortunately, since Quentin had carefully cleaned the wounds, the infection had not yet set in. The hunting party quickly saw to a small, quick breakfast and the feeding and watering of their mounts. Quentin would leave out ahead of the rest with Shade's horse on a lead line. The others would follow once the bear's hide and the carcass had been divided up. The night had been good and cold, so the bear meat would not have had time to spoil. However, the animal was very old. It might be that all they got out of it was the hide, grease, teeth, and claws. Addy would at least have souvenirs and the bounty that Lost Lake was paying. They were also paying wages to those that had accompanied them on the hunt. Quentin arrived at the ranch well ahead of everyone else with Shade's horse in tow. One of the hands was immediately dispatched to ride for the doctor. It was near dark when everyone else arrived. More hands came to admire the bear bits and help unload. With it being nearly dark and Kalispell a good twenty miles from the ranch house, accommodations were found for everyone. Finally, the great Kodiak bear that had terrorized the region for so long was dead. Soon, his rampages would become campfire tales. The woman that had killed Old Satan would be immortalized in story and song, no doubt with a great deal of embellishment. In the end, except for the souvenirs that Miss Chappel kept for herself, all that was left of the animal was jars of Old Satan Bear Grease that sold for nearly two dollars each. ~*~ The End ~*~
  13. Somewhere in the distance, someone was calling his name, yelling for him actually. Shade could not place the voice at first. His mental processes felt sluggish and disconnected from everything. And, his head hurt to the point that even opening his eyes to the light of day was painful. Gradually, Shade remembered the danger. They, he and someone else, had been hunting a huge...a huge what? Shade knew he needed to get to his feet or at least try to respond to the voice that was calling his name. He got his eyes opened which did not help much since everything was blurry. Reaching out, he touched what felt like a rock. Grabbing hold, he started to pull himself up but stopped halfway when his right leg tried to buckle beneath his weight. Giving up since neither his head or his leg were cooperating, Shade simply leaned against the boulder. The voice yelled again, and suddenly everything was crystal clear. He had been tracking the bear when it mounted a counter-attack. Shade's head still hurt horribly, and so did his leg, but he knew who was yelling his name now. "Quentin!" Shade yelled, now worried more for the hunting party than for his own situation. "Quentin! The bear...." He slid back down the boulder to sit at its base and leaned back on it. Now, what had he been about to say? @Longshot @Players
  14. The chaos around him was maddening. The screaming horses and gunshots made the bear angrier. He had long since forgotten any fear that he may have once had of humans. The bear's fevered brain was driving him into a frenzy. It also affected his judgment and balance. Most of his attempted strikes went awry. In a fury, the massive grizzly charged at another of the terrified horses only to pull up short as the animals scattered. The sound of the human's weapons was even more deafening than the noise from the horses. Most of the shots went wild, but some hit their mark without doing significant damage. Still, the pain was driving the bear away from reason, such as it was in any animal. In the past, it would have only taken the sound of one shot to send him running. Now, he just wanted to get close enough to rip one of his tormenters to shreds. The great Kodiak bear shuddered as another round hit him, tearing through tender flesh and vital organs. He was dying but that had not registered in his fevered brain. As pain ripped through his powerful body, he roared and rose up on his hind legs in an attempt to make himself look more frightening. Another shot rang out as the grizzly dropped back to all four feet. Roaring again, the bear charged at the human that had fired his weapon last. It did not matter that that was not the one that was killing him. All that mattered was the sweet taste of human blood. Amazingly, he picked up speed... Then his great old heart exploded. The bullet that had torn through his organs had lodged in his heart. The next rush of adrenaline and his attempt to charge, to run, finally took its toll. He fell to the ground almost at the man's feet. The bear gave a shuddering sigh and died. At long last, Old Satan, the terror of Montana's northwest territory, was dead.
  15. The bear was angry, and pain made him less fearful of humans, his one true nemesis. He had been injured after attacking the man a few days ago. The bullet that grazed his skull near the missing eye was not large enough to do serious damage. However, the bear was old, and the wound had festered. The pain was driving him insane and made him throw caution to the wind. The humans could not know that this was an alien world to him. He had adapted, mainly living high in the mountains. Age had driven him to the lowlands to hunt for easier prey. Although humans were not on his usual menu, he no longer had any qualms about making a meal of them. The bear had been born far away on an island. Mostly, humans hunted the massive island bears for their fur, meat, and grease. In his case though, a burly Russian had found him next to his mother's stripped carcass. He had taken the cub back to the settlement and tamed him. The cub had been nearly two years old when the man was offered a large amount of money for him by the owner of a traveling Russian circus. For several years, life had not been too horrible. He performed tricks and danced for crowds of people. Then, his handler had been killed in a shooting over a woman. The man that took over was cruel. Instead of continuing to work with the bear, he had sought to dominate the animal through fear and pain. This was how he had lost his eye, and his face had been horribly disfigured when his trainer had waved a torch too close. His eye and face had been burned. In the aftermath, he had become virtually unmanageable. They had put him in a cage too small for his bulk, rarely fed him and he was virtually forgotten. The bear's captivity had come to an abrupt end when a fire ravaged the traveling circus. The few remaining animals had been set free or had escaped. Instinct had driven the bear toward the higher ground of the Chogun Mountain range. Periodically, over the years, he had returned to the lowlands to raid for livestock and terrorize the humans that he hated with a passion. In fact, his hatred often overcame his fear. These forays had earned him the name of Ole Satan. The massive bear was now in the middle of the humans and horses. He roared his rage, his fevered mind driving him beyond fear. He rose up on his hind legs. Standing over nine feet tall, he was a magnificent and terrifying sight. Roaring again, the bear dropped to all fours and turned back toward the human that was laying up against a rockfall of large boulders... Tags @Players
  16. Shade allowed Lakota a good long drink before vaulting lightly back into the saddle. "Let's go, fella," he said to the horse as he patted the animal's neck and turned him back onto the faint trail. Over the next two hours, Shade alternated riding and walking the trail to make sure he did not lose sight of the bear's tracks. He was also stopping frequently to compare the track to the other animals' signs in the area and debris so he could estimate their age. It was not an exact science, and the best anyone could do was make an educated guess. Fortunately, Shade had been taught by one of the best. The relationship was convoluted, but John Warbow was connected through his paternal grandmother's side of the family. Those thoughts led Shade to think about how things stood with Montana's Indians. Incidents had been on the rise in the territory and all over the west. Good men and bad men on both sides were adding to the unrest. Right now, the Nez Perce were not caught up in the incidents. Shade hoped it remained that way. He did not want to be put in the position of taking up arms against his grandmother's people. A rabbit shooting across the trail almost under Lakota's front hooves brought Shade's attention squarely back to the job at hand. The big horse snorted with annoyance but did not shy or try to bolt. Taking that as a sign that he should dismount again, Shade swung his leg over the saddle and dropped easily to the ground. Despite the hours in the saddle, he wasn't stiffening up. Riding came as easily as breathing to him. Tense, because he wondered what had spooked the rabbit out of the brush, Shade made sure his rifle was ready. The rabbit was long gone, but still, he felt uneasy. Leaving Lakota ground-tied, Shade walked slowly forward. Out of habit, he stepped carefully, making as little sound as possible. The warning signs were subtle. There was a sudden silence in the forest around them just as the breeze brought with it a strong, musky scent. Shade whirled, bringing up his rifle. He managed to get a shot off, but it did not slow the animal down. Before he could fire again, agony flared in his leg as the massive bear's claws raked down his right thigh. Shade's leg did not quite buckle, and he pulled the pistol from his belt and fired. The shot went wide as a massive paw hit him again, sending him off his feet. Shade slammed down hard on a clump of small boulders next to the trail and lost consciousness as his head impacted one of the rocks.... @Players
  17. OK, @Bongo Addy won the dice roll. She gets the final kill-shot. That means she'll need to have one of the heavier rifles that has been brought along or one of the pistols converted to shoot a 45-70 round (and be really close to the bear). If Bongo decides to defer Addy getting the shot, then it will go to the next in line and so on (see the weighted list and go alphabetically). The signal for starting the action will be when the bear attacks and Shade is injured. We don't have to write out the entire camp, trip back, etc. unless you all want to. Let me know and we'll get started winding this plot up! @Players
  18. Shade surreptitiously watched the two women leave the store. He could not help but feel that something momentous had happened although he had no idea what it was. He shook the feeling off and handed his order over to Mr. Wilson. After being assured it would be ready when he returned, Shade went looking for someone to help him and Quentin kill a bear.
  19. Shade smiled, "I will send word in once it's safe, Miss Bowen. It's a really long trip out to the main house so you will likely want to plan on an overnight trip. Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Hale will be there in case I'm on the range." He really wanted to keep her talking. However, he could not think of anything else to say. Besides, he really needed to get his order placed and head out to see if anyone else was interested in joining the ranch's hunting party. Tipping his hat, he gave a small nod of respect and stepped aside, leaving Miss Bowen room to pass him and get on with her business. @JulieS Final tags... or if you feel this is good, I'll move Shade on. Just let me know.

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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