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  1. He gave her a side glance look, "We will do what has to be done, an' hopefully not alone, neither. You keepin' that scatter gun handy is a good thing, as is that pistol in yer apron. Hopefully you ain't never gonna need either of 'em." A nice thought, but from where he stood it was doubtful. One of the reasons he had been cautious about her was the fact that there were men who would not hesitate where a woman was concerned, and he suspected that the Steelgrave riders were just the type to do such things. At least from what he had seen, and from what he had heard, there were some bad hombres associated with that spread. "We'll weather this, an' likely many other storms afore we're done." @Bongo
  2. Present: Pronto, Brendan, and Clara Pronto fought the smile that choked off the laugh welling up. “Miss Redmond, I’m not in the habit of badgering anyone for anything. If someone took a shot you believe was directed at you, an’ you want to do nothin’ about it. That’s fine by me. But don’t go accusin’ anybody of somethin' like that unless you’re lookin’ to have ‘em locked up for it.” “So now we can all get back to this here dance an’ havin’ a good time.” He added. That she had told her father was fine, that neither wanted to do anything about was fine, what bothered him was that someone on that ridge took a shot, wild or not. @Wayfarer@Bailey
  3. Flip

    Not Good News

    "And you mean what by that, Latham?" Elias demanded. "You see there is the matter of one Emiline Blakesley." Latham stated almost as a matter of fact. "She and Pike are to be married soon, she owns the cafe in town. Seems Mister Pike has done well for himself in the past. Bought fifteen hundred acres at the falls. He's building a place for them. Be a shame if something were to happen to her. I mean this is wild country after all. She could well turn up missing, or drowned, or thrown by a horse, snake bit -." "Alright, I've heard enough. Yes, all of that is possible,very possible." Elias said almost angrily. Latham did tend to go on. "Running for County Sheriff would give us an edge, that for sure. And there's no one that might be running against you?" "Nope, I mean, who? they got a passel of shop keepers out there. Doubt any of them out at Lost Lake, they've not the stomach for job like that. Reporting to the Town Council, doing their bidding. No, I don't see anyone that would be a threat, one we couldn't neutralize." Elias thought a moment, "Yes, we've done that before, and we've the men to make it look any way we want, no matter who the target is." The he laughed, and the Indians are out, or so I've heard. This country is becoming mighty dangerous." TBC
  4. “Sure thing, Addy.” His heart was heavy about the boy. Maybe the woman wasn’t the best mother to him, but she was his mother and that had to count for something. He headed for the bridge with long strides, hoping that one of them would find him. A boy, angry at the world, and he suspected that would be an apt description of Weedy, would be liable to do just about anything, and that worried him. There was no telling the amount of trouble a boy could get himself into in that state of mind. @Bongo
  5. Pronto looked from one to the other, he knew what was happening, but what he needed to do was assure the two of them that no names would be given at the time of the inquiry , and of course, there was her father that would have to be involved. “I understand, Brenden, I do. Man don’t want to be though of as a snitch, ‘er worse. I need to know who I’m talkin’ to in this matter, and since the two of you are the ones present, you’re the ones what know the others names.” He explained, as if they were not aware of that fact. “I know that bunch out there, an they’re salty as lot’s wife. So you’ve got a right to be concerned. With most of them hands it ain’t about ridin’ fer the brand, they’ll pull their freight the minute it gets too hot for ‘um.” He smiled. “Names? We ain't gonna do nuthin' tonight unless they show up huntin' trouble.” @Bailey@Wayfarer
  6. Present: Brendan, Clara, and Pronto Clara stood there waiting to hear if he had anything else he wished to add to that sorry and unwanted apology of the cowpoke's. Before he could though, the deputy stepped up. Oh lordy, he had been eavesdropping! "Excuse me, Clara, was it Brendan? I'll need to get some clarification on this shootin' affair. That'd be a strong accusation, attempted murder. First I need to know who fired the shot. And boy, you might just tell me who you ride for an' why you didn't know you was on Redmond range." Clara got it confirmed then, he had heard the whole thing. Oh dear, she had not counted on that at all. Brendan gulped. "Well...uh...I ride for the Evergreen ranch. And like I told Miss Redmond here, I didn't know I was on the Redmond range 'cause I was learnin' the property lines. And two of the hands told me the Redmonds was squatting on Evergreen land." "We have indeed been told more than once by Evergreen people that we are squatters despite the fact we paid for that property and have a paper to prove it," Clara now jumped in. "But as far as the shot being fired, it was definitely not Brendan here. He was standing right near me when the shot happened. He was as surprised as I was. I had just told him to leave and indeed he was about to do just that." Pronto wanted to grin, but there had been a shot fired at, or near enough to Clara for her to be accusing Brenden of it. Granted, he believed she was just angry, and with every right to be. "As for who fired it, I have my ideas but it really does not matter because there is no way to prove anything. I did not see who fired it, neither did Brendan. And I think you well know the man who fired it is not about to admit to such a thing. So best leave it lie then," she asserted. "Please," she added solemnly. “I’m afraid I can’t do that. The accusation has been made, even though you recanted it, someone fired a shot you believe was meant for you.” He looked to Brenden. “I’ll need to talk with the Marshal about the next step.” He was already convinced that Clara had cleared him after she made the accusation. An Evergreen rider, there was a salty lot up there, and plenty to go around it it came to that. Pronto Pike had no reason to doubt that it probably would come to that if Speed decided to take a ride up that way. “Looks to me like som’body was foolin’ about, and you were the fall guy. I need names of the riders you were with.” @Wayfarer@Bailey@Bongo
  7. “New blood? You’ll play hob with that’un, fer dang sure. Them boys like bein’ the the big casinos in this burg, like to have their brand on everything. Ususally,” Pike was saying, his distaste plain, “a bunch of four flushers. I believe them’s who Leah Steelegrave’s dealin’ with. An you runnin’ for the town council? I doubt’d be any too healty.” She wasn't one to get involved in local politics, she didn't have the time, didn't think she had the forceful to believe that good will prevail, even if that is naive." She kept to herself the fears of Barnabas potentially having to face off against Steelegrave's thugs. For an instant, she wondered if she could just convince him to stay out here and concentrate on the house, where he'd be safe, but she knew she couldn't deny him his character. “Might end up bein’ trouble, but I just ain’t rightly sure what kind jest yet.” He added. “Plain as day you’d perfer I wasn’t in on this when trouble came a callin’, as it surely will.” He smiled down at her upturned face. “We just don’t know which way it’ll come from. You needn’t worry that pretty head of yours, we’ll be okay no matter who throws what at us. Ain’t like we don’t have a list of all the angles, cuz we do.” @Bongo
  8. Present: The Barn Dance Bunch Well, if nothing else Bridget will at least be well fed before this was all over. Just then Arabella was back only she was half pulling a very nervous looking Brendan with her. "Pardon my intrusion Marshall!” she blurted out “But Mr. Connelly here’s got somethin’ to say to Clara here, and if he don’t bust it out now he never will!” Pike turned to her, then looked to the young man. He was young. "Well son?" He asked. Now what? Hadn't she made herself quite clear about how she felt about that Evergreen cowpoke. Pronto amiably backed off to allow him room and Emeline answered, "Of course, Arabella, Brendan can have his say." "Go ahead, we're listenin'." Pronto said as everyone seemed focused the the young man and whatever it was he had to say. Emeline also proved very aware that this little conversation between Brendan and her might be more comfortable without everyone standing there gawking and listening. The kindly woman now did her best to deflect Arabella, the deputy, and Bridget away from the farm girl and cowboy. "Well, what do you have to say that is so important?" Clara stood there and was prepared to hear him out. The young man cleared his throat, "Miss Redmond...I uh...I wanna apologize for the way things started between us. It...wern't my fault, but I wouldn't've wanted it to start that way. I didn't know we was on your pa's property, and if I had known, I wouldn't've ridden over." Clara was so tempted to correct him more than once on his mangling of the grammar but kept her self control. Alright so he might even be telling the truth about how little he had known about the situation. She would give him the benefit of the doubt there. He continued, "And I didn't mean for any of the rest of the stuff to happen. You know, the...the shootin'. That wasn't my fault, either. Like I done told you before, I was set up. It was near my first day on the job and I didn't know better." Clara took a breath then replied, "Very well, but even if I do accept all you say is true right now. The fact remains someone took a rifle shot at me and I believe it was meant to kill me. I believe that to be attempted murder. And yet you still work there, side by side with whoever it was who tried to kill me. I am quite confident you did not try to turn the shooter into the lawful authorities because I heard nothing of the sort all winter. So while you may not have planned it or were ignorant of the situation you were ...as you say set up, you obviously still condone it by your actions. Or rather....lack of action." Then she sighed, "Very well, you apologized even though I did not ask for one. Personally I think actions speak louder than words." She realized she was speechifying and stopped then, he probably did not even get her point. "So... is that it? Is that all you wanted to say to me?" Clara asked in a measured tone of voice. A shooting, aimed at the Redmond girl, now he was interested. Now it involved him as an officer of the law. "Excuse me, Clara, was it Brenden? I'll need to get some clarification on this shootin' affair. That'd be a strong accusation, attempted murder. First I need to know who fired the shot. And boy, you might just tell me who you ride for an' why you didn't know you was on Redmond range." Now Pike couldn't actually ascertain the age of this fellow Brandon, but he was not interested in the difference between a boy and a man with gun play involved. Tags Wayfarer, Bailey, others
  9. Speed stood, saddened by the boys loss, it was hard and he knew, on Addy and especially Weedy. There was little that the Marshall could do to ease the pain of either of them, and now Weedy had walked out with Addy in pursuit, so he just followed suit. There was no telling what a boy his age might do in this instance. He'd never dealt with a boy who'd lost his mother, or anyone else, though he had written too many letters during the war for men lost in the struggle for the nation. This was far different. @Bongo
  10. Apologies to Flip, I'm pushing in here, but I imagine that Pronto's pretty speechless by now anyway!: (accepted) [Effecting a junction between Pronto, Emeline, Clara, Brendan & Arabella/Bridget] He tugged on his suspenders and gnawed on his lower lip. "Ohhhh...all right," he said finally, giving her a defeated look. "I'll go apologize to her if you'll put in a good word for me so I can get her for a dance or two." Arabella gave a squeak of delight that the handsome cow puncher had seen sense and agreed to do exactly what she said, and in a transport of delight flung her arms around him. Maybe he had brains, as well as looks, after all! She untangled herself and thrust her arm through his: in part to lead him back to Clara (he might yet make a bolt for it, like an unbroken colt) but also as a symbol that they were in this together: he would do his part and she would do hers. There was another person at the pie table now, and he was wearing a badge. Suddenly the penny dropped: that must be Ms Emeline’s beau! She thought she was getting hitched to that ancient scraggily grey haired Sherriff, this feller looked much more presentable! “I’ll take care of the rudifications!” she told Brendan, that way, he could concentrate on the apologies. As they approached, she could hear Clara talking to a pie-stained Bridget, who was being dabbed clean by Ms Em. "We worked together as a team on that. I got my love of baking from my mother when I got to help her bake things as a child," Clara quickly explained. As if Bridget wasn’t being ‘unique and special’ enough already, Clara’s mention of her late mother drew the gaze of odd ginger lass away from the pretty farm-girl’s face and to a place, or rather a space, just to the right and behind of Clara’s head. She grinned with a look of recognition at the space and then back at Clara with those wide, hardly blinking blue eyes, smiling again in a sort of quiet comforting way, and nodded. "You should try a cookie, too." suggested Emeline. Bridget picked up a big one, and now stood holding half a slice of pie in one hand and a cookie in the other, wondering which one to eat next. Pronto looked like he was about to speak, but Arabella got there ‘fustest with the mostest’. “Pardon my intrusion Marshall!” she blurted out “But Mr. Connelly here’s got somethin’ to say to Clara here, and if he don’t bust it out now he never will!” “Certainly, Ma’am, but I’m just the Deputy.” Unsure of what was transpiring, especially with the redhead who seemed to be fixated with his badge. He took a step aside. Bridget didn’t take her eyes off Brendan while she shoved the cookie in her mouth and chewed off a big bite. @Bongo @Bailey @Wayfarer
  11. "This is Miss Clara." She laughed, adding, "I wasn't sure you would recognize her in her pretty dress. And this is Bridget." “Miss Clara, a pleasure.” He said with a slight bow. “Fact is, I might not’ve had you not introduced us. That’d be a change from what I’ve seen of you before. A right pleasant change I might add.” "Nice to meet you, sir. Emeline always talks about you and it is always complimentary," Clara replied, "Thank you, well she provided the dress and bustle. Helped me fix up my hair so the compliments should go to her mostly." "I hear you are going to be a rancher? Going to give up the deputy job then?" Clara inquired, just to be conversational as much as anything. “No Ma’am, not my plan anyways.” He answered with a smile. “Well, long as Em here puts up with it. Like workin’ with Speed, uh, Marshal Guyer, and bein’ of service.” Bridget observed the man carefully, her head cocked to one side as she took him in, chewing her bottom lip distractedly while the polite chit chat of the others carried on like so much background noise. Despite her internal block on speaking out loud, she was not as shy and scared of strangers as folk tended assume. In fact, sometimes the opposite problem manifested itself. What she did next was not polite, it disrupted the niceties of convivial conversation, but to her, it seemed to need doing. Bridget Monahan, walked boldly forward toward Mr. Pike, leaned in so that she was close enough to accidentally tickle his ear with her lips and whispered “I like your badge.” Pronto jerked back unsure of what to do, eyes wide. “‘scuse me?” She then stood back, looked at the tin star with its inscriptions and leaned in again, kissing close, and added “It’s shiny.” Pronto leaned back a bit. “Yes ‘um she is that.” He responded, not quite sure what to make of this young lady. @Bongo@Wayfarer@Javia
  12. Emeline was a little intrigued at what Arabella was discussing so earnestly with the young man, but then turned her attention back to those closer to her, more than happy that the child was occupied elsewhere. "I'm looking forward to the dancing, it's always a delight to see all the grand couples moving around the floor." At a fete like this, there was a wide range of couples with all manner if skill and experience, but everyone was there for fun, and the dancing was the best part! “Just be warned, possible I’d be steppin’ on yer toes, but we’ll giver ‘er a go an’ risk it. ‘Cept maybe the waltz. Might do a site better at them” He knew he wasn’t the best of dancer, though he’d been to many a fandango in Texas, which was far different than this affair. But when Miss Bridget leaned in to whisper at Barnabas, she frowned. Oh, she wasn't jealous at all, but what the young woman was doing might be construed by some as inappropriate, and it rather surprised her that a girl who seemed so prim and concerned with appearances would make such a gaff. @Bongo; @Javia; @Wayfarer
  13. "Law might try ta find us, but good luck with that!" Addy declared, grinning, although it was with a mixture of determination and teasing, "although if anyone could do it, it'd be you." She surely didn't want him tracking her to Mexico, or Canada... “Not something I’d look forward too, but there may be no reason for you to do that. We don’t know who this man is, or why he’s interested.” Speed said. Then he offered to talk to Weedy and she shook her head. "Needs ta be me tells him, but I surely would appreciate ya bein' there." She nodded as she headed toward the barn. "I've a mind not ta give him th' telegram, though, just yet...maybe when he's older." Sighing, she slowed, maybe trying to postpone the task, even though it had already been over three months. “The I reckon you best do the telling and I’ll just be on hand.” Came his response. “Well see Miss Harriet Mercer on this and see if we can’t find a solution to this situation.” "Just...gonna tell 'im, no hedgin', right?" “Nope, no hedgin’.” @Bongo
  14. He smiled wide, "No Ma'am, no badge, no guns, jest you'n me gettin' hitched with a few of our favorite folks in attendance." He promised. "This here's a town matter, an' it's an election year. Can't hardly see why anyone'd fight either the hospital or the orphanage. Town's got itself plenty o land. Just ain't no reason for it. Oh fear of the Steelgraves fer shore, but Em, Leah Steelgrave's likely the least of their worries." He emphasized. "Big fish in a little pond wantin' to toss their weight around, show folks who's runnin' this burgh!" One thing was certain, Pronto Pike had little use for politicking or politicians. "A body hands 'em the deeds for the right 'a ways, meanin' she delivered the railroad to the town an' they wanna take credit for it an' give her all the grief they can over the hospital an' orphanage." His anger was beginning to rise up. At that point it seemed best for him to shut up before he said something he would regret. @Bongo
  15. Present: Emeline, Pronto, Clara, Bridget "All's quiet out there amonst 'em. So, care to dance?" Pronto extended his hand, " course we can wait on a waltz if you'd prefer." "Any dance is fine with me, so long as it's with you." Taking his hand, she gave it a squeeze. “Reckon it’ll be a bit afore they’re ready to play, jest askin’ early.” He said with a grin. "Good evening, Mr. Pike, we got wonderful weather for this dance did we not?" she addressed the man. Before he could speak, Em cut in. "Oh!" Emeline remembered that there needed to be some introductions! "This is Miss Clara." She laughed, adding, "I wasn't sure you would recognize her in her pretty dress. And this is Bridget, and the young lady there is Arabella..." she wasn't sure he'd recall their discussion about the eager girl, "and the gentleman is Brendan. This is Mr. Pike." “Miss Clara, a pleasure.” He said with a slight bow. “Fact is, I might not’ve had you not introduced us. That’d be a change from what I’ve seen of you before. A right pleasant change I might add.” @Bongo@Wayfarer@Javia

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