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Longshot

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About Longshot

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  1. Quentin reined around and swung his rifle back up, firing and levering steadily even as his brain screamed to fire as fast as he could. The dust from the cattle and the terrain masked a lot but he felt pretty confident about some hits on the shapes of mounted Indians. Quentin yanked the reins with his left hand to spin Paladin and he spurred him back into motion, holding the Winchester by the grip as he took off once more. He could see the fort ahead and now a few scattered puffs of white from among the buildings and he thought he could hear a faint bugle sound from that direction. The mass of cattle, riders, and wagon burst into the central parade ground of the open plan fort. Soldiers were coming out of every building. Some were armed, some were not but all were racing out in response to the bugle sounding "Assembly" over and over. Quentin kicked off the saddle as Paladin slid to a halt and he ran back to the corner of a building. As he reached the corner and looked along his rifle sights, Quentin was surprised to see the Indians had wheeled about and were racing the for the nearest terrain while being chased by random rounds from the soldiers that had been running out from the fort to form a makeshift skirmish line. Figuring the soldiers had everything well in hand, Quentin turned and walked over to Paladin, catching the reins and began leading him back toward the fort so he could rest. On the far side of the parade ground, he could see a man with a small group of troopers standing beside Harriet as she sat her horse. He was mostly listening to her as his men moved about, chasing down the last of the cattle and keeping an eye out from the fort for any new attacks. Harriet broke off in mid-sentence as an instinctive awareness made her turn in her saddle. Seeing Quentin leading Paladin prompted her to fling herself off Spirit's back and head at a run in his direction. She stopped just in front of him to peruse him critically searching for bullet holes and blood. Seeing nothing of that kind, she uttered a little cry and flung her arms around him, "Thank God you are safe. I couldn't have..." she buried her face in his shoulder rather than give voice to what she was feeling. Quentin blinked, rocking back on his heels as Harriet's sudden embrace almost put him on his back. He staggered a step and his hand dropped the reins to wrap around her. Quentin held her tight as he felt her trembling and he smiled as he felt the warm rush inside from the sensation of her concern. He dipped his head a bit to inhale her scent, enjoying it regardless of the trail dust and days without a bath. After what felt like a while but was probably only a handful of seconds, Quentin opened his eyes and saw several sets of boots. He tilted his head back to see the group of troopers standing behind Harriet on either side of a tall man with blonde hair and a sculpted beard. All were in various degrees of smiling or chuckling. Quentin felt himself flush and nodded. "Thank you for the assistance, Colonel..." Harriet looked up as Quentin spoke and turned her head to see the group of men gathered around them. She blushed, but only pulled slightly away from him, still keeping close, "Colonel MacKenzie, this is Quentin Cantrell, one of the owners," she explained, her voice sounding far calmer than she actually felt. "I explained that Mr. Thornton was injured and unable to travel," she told Quentin, "and what happened back there with the Indians." Harriet gestured toward the direction they had ridden in from. The officer smiled wider and extended a hand. "Lieutenant Colonel Wellington MacKenzie...I believe it should be I who is thanking you and your outfit. My men were about to stage an insurrection if they did not get some meat on the table soon..." He glanced past Quentin into the distance. "I will send out a patrol, but I doubt your new friends will stick around for long now that they have failed to take your cattle for themselves." MacKenzie turned his gaze back to the two. "Please allow me to offer you the hospitality of the fort before you have to head back. I suspect you both could use some rest and the chance to clean up." Harriet glanced up at Quentin and smiled before answering the fort's commander, "Yes, Colonel, thank you. It is far too late to start back for Kalispell today. We could use a chance to rest and let our mounts rest too." It was then that she realized just how incredibly bone-weary she felt. Even so, the hard physical labor of the last few days had felt good. Harriet had thought that doing the routines that Fang had taught her kept her in good shape. The drive had taught her different. Once they got back to Kalispell, she would ask Shade to let her spend some time on the range to stay in practice. Quentin turned long enough to slide his Winchester back into its saddle scabbard, then he nodded to MacKenzie. "That sounds fine to me, Colonel." He looked over at Harriet and genuinely smiled. MacKenzie clapped his hands together. "Excellent!..." He turned to an officer beside him. "Maxwell, please show these two to the Executive Officer's house. He and his family are back east visiting relatives. Then detail some men to settle in their riders and mounts so everyone can come to the mess hall tonight for a celebration." Men nodded and scattered in different directions as the young captain gestured to lead them across the parade ground toward a nondescript structure on one edge of the cleared area.
  2. Longshot

    A Long March

    Quentin's head reared back a bit and anyone who saw the motion might have imagined they could hear the warning rattle of a diamondback. Quentin was not expecting deference or anything from the Army. He had been a part of that organization and knew how it viewed civilians in general, but this officer was doing a pretty fair job of angering everyone not in a uniform in very short order. "Dinner sounds excellent, Major...I will be happy to accompany my friends this evening..." Quentin glanced at Addy and Harriet. "...I even brought a bottle with me on the trail drive to celebrate the end of the drive. I would be pleased to contribute it to the evening." @Glenn @Stormwolfe @Bongo
  3. Longshot

    A Long March

    Quentin heard some orders being given and turned to look over at the commander. He saw him detailing men to check the indians and then heading in the direction of where they had come from. He jogged back over to his horse and thanked Addy as he mounted again. He looked over at Harriet and the others. "We might be able to save something of this after all...HAHHHH!" He kicked Paladin into a gallop and raced up along the column to rein up next to the commander. "Sir! If I might make a request?" @Glenn @Stormwolfe @Bongo @Wayfarer
  4. Longshot

    A Long March

    Quentin kicked his leg over the saddle and dropped to the ground beside Paladin. "Much obliged..." He nodded to Addy then looked around at the others as they dismounted. "We'll stay here and defend the wagons...no need to wander around and get in the way of the troopers..." Quentin finished reloading his Winchester and moved over to one of the wagons that faced toward the approaching Indians. He rested the rifle on the corner of the wagon and aimed along the barrel, firing a few rounds at any Indians that seemed to be drifting their way. The volleys from the triple line drew Quentin's gaze and he gave a single head tilt. "Brave...not sure how smart he is, but definitely brave..." @Players
  5. Longshot

    A Long March

    Quentin looked around at the milling activity. Their group had circled around the end of the column and moved toward the wagons as they organized their circle. Quentin was thumbing more rounds into his Winchester as he cradled it while guiding Paladin. The small group reined up at the wagons and Quentin looked up to where an officer was forming a firing line, but it seemed very small from where they were. Quentin finished reloading and then looked around, seeing the others were safe and uninjured. Quentin's relief turned to puzzlement as his eyes stopped moving and settled on one of the wagons nearby "...Addy?" @Bongo @Stormwolfe
  6. Quentin heard the occasional snap as a round came near, but with him riding hard and the Indians also mounted and galloping, the chance of getting hit by a bullet was like getting hit by lightning...it might happen, but it wasn't something you could spend time worrying about. Quentin looked ahead and realized that Harriet and the hands were up to something, and as he drew still closer Quentin could see Weems working to get mounted. Realizing what was going on and knowing from his own experience that the Indians were bearing down far too quickly to give them the time they needed, Quentin reached down and yanked his Winchester from the saddle scabbard, flipping it up and into his hand in a better grip before he leaned up and back, left hand pulling rein to slow Paladin and turn him around to face the oncoming scatter of hostiles. Paladin reared then came back down, freezing as much as a horse could as Quentin's boot toe bumped his foreleg. Quentin worked the lever and brought the rifle to his shoulder. He aimed at the closest mass of horse and rider and his finger curled on the trigger. The rifle (Quentin carried a full 24 inch barrel unlike most with 20 inch carbines), barked and the horse in the distance reeled as the rider went flying from inertia. Quentin was already working the lever and aiming again, firing at another Indian, levering, then firing with an economy of motion as he took the leading riders under fire. Paladin shivered a few times and his muscles twitched in reaction to Quentin's firing and the oncoming attackers. Quentin himself would probably have been terrified if he took the moment to think about what he was doing, but he had a lot more on his mind. Once the Indians closed to under a hundred yards, Quentin reined Paladin around and let his horse run as it must have wanted to. He only caught a glimpse of three or four Indians down or on foot after losing horses, but that was better than he hoped for when he had stopped. @Players
  7. Quentin rode Paladin in a lazy back and forth path behind the herd, not hurrying the animals but keeping them moving. They had had to slow down a bit when they realized the cattle were losing weight. Forage for them was not as plentiful as they had hoped when they set out, and the last thing Quentin wanted was the army to start whining about how skinny their cows were. The only control they had was not to work them too hard on the trail. He angled his horse away from the herd and circled around the edge closest to Harriet. Quentin reached up and tugged his bandanna from his neck and used it to wipe at the sweat on his face. As he pulled the cloth down his eyes caught motion past Harriet in the brush on the other side of the creek. Normally he might have brushed it off as an animal, but most game animals and even predators tended to stay farther away from a herd on the move. Quentin saw no flashes of reflection so figured it was Indians instead of rustlers. He smiled and nodded to Harriet as ht wheeled Paladin around to sit his mount beside hers with their backs to the water. "Harriet..." Quentin said in a steady tone without changing his expression or looking back in the direction of the creek, "...Do not look or react, but we are being watched from the other side of the creek." Harriet was able to do as Quentin said. His quiet tone had been the first hint that something was not quite right. It was far different from the querulous one that both used to speak to one another. Her many years of training with Fang had taught her how to be still and not react automatically. This meant she was able to prevent herself from looking around. However, her heart did speed up. She had little experience with Indians beyond the members of the Crow nation that were both friends and blood kin to the Thorntons. "My guess would be Indians, because I think one picked the wrong moment to move or I still would not know they were there..." Quentin said as they slowly began to walk their horses back toward the herd. "You need to ride over and let them know what's going on, and tell Weems also..." Quentin suddenly reared upright in his saddle. "I don't CARE what you want, woman!..." He roared. "I told you to go let the others know when I plan to camp! Now do as I say!" This time Harriet could not prevent herself from reacting instinctively. Her usual indignation was sublimated by the rampant memories of her childhood and her father's frequent anger when she did something he disliked. It gave her time to gather her wits and although she glared at Quentin, promising retribution at some point, Harriet whirled Spirit around and sank spur. Quentin watched her ride off. He knew his little show was so she could get started back without the indians suspecting she was going to warn the others, but he also had seen her expression as she reacted to his words. As long as she had a chance to get back to some relative safety, Quentin figured he could live with some anger down the road. Quentin reined Paladin around in a leisurely fashion so he stood sideways to the river. Quentin reached into his jacket and tugged out the small leather holder and extracted one of his cigarillos. He bit off the end and stuck it in his mouth as he pulled one of the lucifers from the small tin he kept in the leather holder. Quentin struck it off his belt buckle and held it to the end of the cigarillo, puffing it a few times to make sure it was burning. He then shook the match out and let it fall. He lifted his head and blew out a cloud of smoke as he let his gaze drift along the far bank. Quentin hoped that his staying where he was would make them wait. After about two minutes had passed, Quentin let out a smoke tinged breath he did not realize he had been holding. Maybe this would work...Maybe... A puff of white smoke from the far bank cut off his musing and a bullet passed within a few feet...the hiss and snap was something you never forgot after the first time it happened. "Well, Hell..." Quentin muttered as he wheeled Paladin around and spurred him so the horse sprung into motion, galloping hard after Harriet in the distance as the rising sound of yelps and gunshots rose behind him.
  8. My two cents, but maybe its some old Spanish looted gold...maybe some caravan headed North to keep searching for other sources of gold and they stored their cache somewhere before continuing on, but then something bad happened...sickness or other indians or both?
  9. Depending on how far in the back country this may have to go, or who else might object to the hunting for gold, we may need as many people as we can get.
  10. Quentin would totally be up for it. Not necessarily for the gold, but just so no one dies because of their desire for said gold.
  11. Location: Trail from Kalispell to Fort Poison, south end of Flathead Lake. When: Early September 1875 Time of Day: Evening Harriet felt as if she had been in the saddle for three days instead of just several hours. She was used to driving and managing a high-strung team of horses, not sitting on one for hours at a time. She guessed she was going to have to toughen up and get used to it. After all, Montana was the life she was choosing. She sat down a bit gingerly on the blanket she had spread earlier for dinner. The man driving the supply wagon agreed to do the after-dinner cleanup, but refused to cook. Surprisingly, she and Quentin had managed a good meal between the two of them. More surprising yet, no one had died. She leaned forward and grabbed the spare coffee pot that she had brought along for heating water to wash with and brew tea. She ladled tea leaves into two tea-balls, dropped them into cups, and poured hot water over them. Without asking, she handed one over to Quentin. "I don't see how Reggie did this. More than that, I don't see how she could love driving cattle!" Harriet glanced toward where the sounds of restless cows could be heard. "Stupid beasts!" "Now, Harriet..." Quentin said as he took the cup of tea and sipped. "...We have spent most of the day chasing them around and wearing ourselves out...I'm not sure which is the stupid beast." Quentin shifted on his blanket as his leg muscles muttered in protest but he was not about to let on that he was sore as well. He had spent straight days in the saddle back in the war but admittedly straight riding with the occasional battle was not nearly as exhausting as herding cattle. "I think Shade let that bear knock him about on purpose," Harriet stated emphatically. "He had best still be hobbling about when we get back." "If he is walking around normally when we get back, you have my permission to return him to limping status." Quentin settled back more and rested his hat farther forward so it shaded his eyes as he settled back against the side of his saddle on the ground. She carefully leaned back against the fallen log. "I wonder how far we got today? Do you think we will get to Poison tomorrow?" The younger of the two hands had a sudden coughing fit while the wagon's driver, a much older gentleman's mustache twitched with amusement, "Ma'am, at this rate, we'll be lucky to get there within the week." Quentin looked thoughtful then nodded. "That sounds about right, barring outside interference, although we might be a little slower each day if we feel like this at the end of each one..."
  12. "HARRIET!" Quentin's voice roared through the house. The two of them could hear footsteps coming down the stairs to the first floor. "HARRIET!" His voice actually gained some volume on the second roar. They heard the steps coming down the hallway and suddenly Quentin walked past the doorway, his mouth opening again. "HARR-..." He stopped past the doorway and then stepped back, planting himself in the frame and looking at her. "Oh, there you are..." Quentin glanced over and nodded at Shade. "Morning..." His head then tracked back to Harriet. "What in the hell is this...?" Quentin held up a half crumpled piece of paper. "...This was on my door this morning...I am most certainly not going to go on a cattle drive or have you taken leave of your senses?" Harriet had immediately bristled when she heard Quentin bellowing her name. She sat up in the chair and sensed more than saw Shade slump back in his although he acknowledged Quentin's greeting with a wave of his hand. Harriet's eyes flashed pure fire and she loaded as much sarcasm into her tone as she was capable of. Since her ability to be scathing was legendary, this was a prodigious amount of sarcasm. "Then who do you suggest to lead the drive?" Harriet's tone was as condescending as she could manage. "Unless, of course, you are recommending that Mr. Thornton make the trek to Fort Poison and back?" "What are you talking about? Of course Shade can't go on a cattle drive, but we have a ranch full of hands to do just this sort of thing. Why can't any of them run it?" Some of the steam had gone out of Quentin's charge as he realized that something might be wrong that needed to be fixed. Quentin glanced over at Shade. "Why are we taking cattle to Fort Poison?" Shade tapped the sheaf of papers that Harriet had tossed onto the desk, "Because Chance has a contract to supply them twenty-five head every month from April through October. Ezra handled July and August." Harriet glared at Quentin, "And the contract calls for a senior ranch representative to bring the herd to the fort. Foreman or higher in rank. Since neither Ezra nor Shade can go, you are the only one left that can represent the owners, Cody and Nettie...unless you are suggesting they make the drive?" Quentin's eyes narrowed and he spared a look at Harriet. "I am aware who the senior ranch representatives are, Counselor..." He then looked over at Shade. "Twenty-Five head doesn't sound too bad. Who else can I take with me?" "Nick Hale and Reuben Smith," Shade answered. "And, Harriet Mercer." He leaned further back in his desk chair, carefully adjusting his injured leg, and waited for the explosion. Quentin started to nod then his head came up. "HER? Absolutely Not!..." "That sounds ... Wait! WHAT?!" Harriet's tone was strident. Shade grinned, "Sounds like a plan. I'll let the men know. Four of you should be able to handle a herd of twenty-five head." Continued in Cattle Drive [Part 2]
  13. Longshot

    The Hunt

    Quentin slowed until he could see Shade half laying down near some rocks and brush. He slung his rifle across his back while he covered the remaining distance and dropped down beside Shade, helping him lay back down and stop trying to get up. He heard running and glanced up as Aurelian arrived next to him. Quentin looked back at Shade as he ran his hands along the other man's clothes. There were bloodstains all over but there did not seem to be any marks on his torso. Quentin kept moving down and checking but his hand stopped above one thigh as he felt the heat from the blood. He saw the slow but steady oozing around the fabric. He moved on down but could find no other damage. "Looks like the bear got his leg pretty good. He's not walking out of here. You best go grab some of the mounts and the others and get back here. Bring the medical supplies!" @Players open for any to arrive or also respond
  14. Longshot

    The Hunt

    Quentin sat on one knee up the hillside, still several dozen yards short of the bear. He had realized he was never going to catch the running avalanche, so he had slid to a stop and knelt. He had snugged the trapdoor to his shoulder and fired, seeing a puff of red erupt from the body. He popped the breech, thumbed in another round, cocked the hammer and fired, not seeing an impact because of the haze of smoke around him. Quentin popped the breech and thumbed another round home. He pulled the hammer back to full cock as he realized that suddenly things were quiet. His ears rang from the punishing bangs of the rifle as he peered through the smoke. Quentin rested his thumb on the hammer and pulled the trigger, easing the hammer down to rest on the breech. The white haze cleared slowly and he saw the mass of bear laying still. He could see a few people around it, but he was unsure who at this distance. One of them turned and waved their rifle over their head. Quentin exhaled and waved his empty hand toward them. The smile that started to spread across his face fell off like broken glass as he saw Shade's horse standing far on the other side of the dead bear and their own spare mounts. "SHADE!" Quentin roared, turning and running back along the trail toward where their column had been when the monster had attacked. @Players
  15. Longshot

    The Hunt

    Quentin swore as he reined Paladin uphill out of the milling mass of horses and people. He had relaxed a bit, drifting back in the column as the pace of the ride had lulled him a bit after so many hours of no activity. The sudden outburst up front had to be that monster attacking the front of their group. He turned Paladin and moved parallel to the trail as he brought the Trapdoor Springfield up, using his boots in the stirrups to bring the horse to a halt. He could feel the horse's nervousness and honestly, he didn't blame him one bit. Quentin's eyes narrowed as he spotted the fast moving bulk racing back along the trail toward the mobile remuda further back. He swung the rifle as his thumb dragged the hammer to full cock. He led the dark brown bulk as best he could and fired. The Springfield belched a cloud of white smoke and he saw a puff of red mist erupt from the bear's side behind its left foreleg. Quentin knew his uphill position meant the round had not hit anything vital as it penetrated. His hands flipped the trapdoor breech up and the empty round spun out with a metallic ping. Quentin fished out a fresh round and thumbed it in as he kicked his leg over the saddle and dropped to the ground. He began running along the hillside, glimpsing the large rear of the grizzly as it bounded ahead of him. @Players

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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