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  1. Mature Content: No With: Various Lost Lake Ranch household characters. Location: Blackbird Lodge (main house) When: April 22, 1875 Time of Day: Early afternoon Blackbird Lodge, the main house on Lost Lake Ranch, seemed to have a light and jovial air about it. Today was the annual spring dance in town, and most of the adults were getting ready for it. Sage and Mary Miller, the night foreman and the home's cook and head housekeeper, were staying overnight to watch after the children. This had the six-year-old twins excited since Sage and Mary's children would be sleeping over as well. Shade Thornton stood at the sideboard that served as a liquor cabinet in the great room. He had just poured himself a very small shot of Scotch. He gently moved the glass in a circular motion and watched the dark amber liquid swirl around. He was looking forward to the dance and getting off the ranch. The family had booked several rooms at the Belle-St. Regis so they would not have to make the harrowing trip back to Lost Lake in the dark. Shade was also looking forward to seeing his sweetheart, Katherine Bowen. He had made time to go into town as often as the winter weather allowed, but it never seemed often enough or for long enough. With the advent of spring, that should change...hopefully. And it was the remote location of the ranch and the life it imposed on the people that lived there that made Shade hesitate where Kate was concerned. Was it fair to ask her to make such a radical change to her life? She was a teacher and really loved her work. True, there were children at the ranch that needed teaching too. There were Cody and Nettie, his niece and nephew, and some of the hands with families who lived in housing on the ranch. He shook his head and took a swallow of the Scotch, enjoying the rich, peaty taste of the aged liquor. Just then, a rustling sound on the main stairway made him look over and up... ~ to be continued in the next post .... ~
  2. Mature Content: No With: Sarah Thornton-Carlton and Matt Wentworth Location: Belle-St. Regis Hotel When: Late September 1875 Time of Day: Morning Sarah stretched a little before making the attempt to get out of bed. The sun had already been out for a while but she was in no hurry to get up. The trip here had taken more out of her then she realised and except for a trip to the ladies bathroom to get a much needed bath, she had spent most of yesterday in her room. Thankfully, the hotel did have some sort of room service so that she could have her meals without having to go downstairs. There was a lot to do today with the most important task of getting word out to Lost Lake Ranch and her cousin to tell him about her arrival. She needed to find someone who was reliable and trustworthy enough to pay to go out there or better still if one of the ranch hands. The preference was to find a ranch hand and considering the size of Lost Lake, there should be at least one coming into town on a daily basis to get supplies or the mail. After getting dressed, she sat down to write her note to Shade. When that was done, she wrote out a list of what she needed to do in town. The first thing was to find a dressmaker so that she could have some suitable clothes to last out the winter. The air was already starting to feel cool indicating that winter may be early. Besides, she was hoping to stay for a while so that she could get to know Shade again. Standing up, she went over to the mirror to make sure everything was good. She probably missed breakfast but had heard that there was a good cafe that had a peculiar name, where she could get something to eat. Once she made sure that the note to Shade was on its way, she would have to time to go there and explore the town as well.
  3. Mature Content: No With: Charles Wentworth Sr and Judge Ben Robertson Location: Helena, Montana When: Late March 1876 Time of Day: Morning Charles looked at his watch for what was probably the fourth time in the last ten minutes. His old friend was due at any minute and he was anxious to know why he had come all this way to speak with him when they could have done so in Kalispell. He had left Washington as soon as he could and thankfully it had been a trouble-free trip so far. The plan had to been to find either a stagecoach or hire someone to take him the rest of the way to Kalispell. The snow was already melting making the trip there impossible. It was a trip he had wanted to make for some months, ever since he had found out that Charlie had quit college and headed west to be with his brothers. The imminent arrival of his first grandchild and the coming winter had made it impossible to go back then. In a way, it was a good thing the mission to go get Charlie and drag him back to college had been delayed. It had given time for him to calm down and along with a few other things that had taken place in the last few months, a chance to re-assess his motives and relationship with his sons. Even Becky had her say and what she said had made sense. Even though, he would always try to convince one or more of his sons to join him Washington, deep down he knew that they had made their own paths just like he did. Picking up the telegram that he had received upon his arrival in Helena, he re-read it. Ben had asked him to stay at Helena until he could get there as he had something important to discuss. The telegram had been a surprise as his last correspondence with Ben was in late November. A knock at his room door, alerted him to the fact that his guest had arrived. Going over to the door, he opened it and smiled, "Ben, it's great to see you. Come right in." Judge Ben Robertson, smiling a bigger smile, entered the room and shook hands with his old friend. They had both grown up together in Wilmington, Ohio and even though he was a couple of years old than Charles, they treated each other like brothers. When the time came to go their separate ways to seek their fortunes, he had gone westward, while Charles had headed east. They wrote to each on a regular basis and had even managed to see each other a few times over the years. The two men spent the next thirty minutes reminiscing and catching up with each other. Charles, reluctantly decided to get to the reason why Ben had wanted to see him now. "Your telegram said that it was important. I hope it has nothing to do with my sons." "No, they're not part of this, well at least not yet. We're hoping to ask Matt, but I wanted to ask you first. I have a business proposition for you and I'm hoping that you will agree to it. The stakes are high, and the future of Kalispell depends on it." TBC
  4. Mature Content: No With: Marshal Guyer, Leah Steelgrave Location: Marshal's Office When: December 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon The office was a place where plans for the business could be made. It was furnished, ready for the spring thaw. Speed needed some employees, mining men, secretary, and all of that would come in time. Right now they were blanketed in white and there was no mining to speak of but there would be, and hopefully plenty of it. Not that he considered Kalispell to be a wealth of mining properties, but his people would fan out to other areas, that’s where they would uncover prospects in not just mining, but minerals, timber and the like. As he sat back with a cup of coffee, he was comfortable in the thought that his business would take off. That was the very moment Leah Steelgrave walked in. “Marshal Guyer, can I have a word with you?” She asked in a pleasant tone. He had not had a great deal of interaction with the woman, and seemed about to change. If it was about her brother, he was not being held on any charges, he was free to go whenever he wanted. “Of course, I don’t believe I’ve had the opportunity or the pleasure Miss Steelgrave. Please, have a seat. How can I help you?” He asked. She moved a chair closer, “I have some projects that I need to discuss with you. I have spoken to Mister Pike about this, so I’ll be direct. Doctor Danforth and myself are in the early stages of planning for the construction of a hospital here in town, well a ways out. After which we are hoping to build an orphanage.” She paused to let him digest that. “There is a problem, we building the hospital with my fathers money, which has already been appropriated, not entirely his, please understand. Rightfully, it will be mine after his demise.” Again she paused. “If you know anything about my father I suppose you already know the type of man he is. I have two men, Bannister and Santee from his employ, he has a goodly number of riders, and they are the problem. They are the reason I spoke with Mister Pike, and the reason I am speaking to you.” “You realize you have just confessed to a crime, Miss Steelgrave.” Speed informed her. . “I have. So what I am asking you is this, since Elias Steelgrave has gained his fortune by murder and theft, and I am simply investing stolen money into the town, if there was a chance that the railroad would come through Kalispell, and...that the right of way would cost this town and the county not one red cent, could your legal action on my confession be postponed until Mister Steelgrave came forward with a complaint?” TBC
  5. Mature Content: no With: Jonah, Jack Location: Whitefish Union Bank When: October/ 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon Jonah hadn't had cause to come to Whitefish since settling in Kalispell, but then, when he'd come through, he hadn't expected that he was going to just stay anywhere in the area. But he had, and then the ladies, Harriet Mercer and Leah Steelegrave, had, at least for now, given him reason to stay, and to even make something of himself, so he had come to Whitefish to clear out the few things of value that he owned and had left there a few months prior for safe-keeping as he explored the territory. Now, with his rented horse tied to the post outside, he was standing in line at the bank, wishing he was paid in more than chickens, eggs and preserves, so that he had something to actually deposit in a bank besides an old pocket watch and a gold ring. Although it was mid-afternoon, the place wasn't overly busy, and Jonah was thinking about lunch when there was a soft but firm voice from behind him, near the door. "No one move, keep yer hands where I can see 'em." A few people were startled enough to turn, fortunately there was no immediate retaliation, for shooting would draw unwanted attention, but there was another command. "Everyone move to the left." There was some confusion and shuffling, 'left' meant different things to each person, depending on how they were facing, but eventually all the patrons were on one side of the room and Jonah had a chance to see the robber...robbers... There were three, masked, of course, and Jonah knew now that the derringer he carried wasn't going to be of use...yet. @Jack
  6. Mature Content: Yes Author: @Flip With: List characters and NPCs in the thread. When: December 12,1875 Time of Day: Midnight into the next morning. The Winter so far had been mild, there was a steady two feet on the ground in between sunny, or partly sunny days. Mild, but miserably cold in the entire Flathead Valley, as most liked to call the area, which included Whitefish. But to a lesser degree in Kalispell, yet nothing like what was about to hit their northern neighbor. What they could not have known, was a heavy front was moving down from Canada with a howling wind. A thrashing wind that would drive the snow, and at the same time, cause lake effect snow to blend in with the blizzard that was about to draw a bead on Whitefish and it’s immediate area. For the citizens, outlaws, and all those who called Whitefish home, the coming evening would be much like any other even with the average two feet of snow on the ground. The Silver Dollar, of course, was full, it’s stove glowing from the fire in it’s belly. Men crowded closer together, wearing heavy coats for additional warmth, some chose the body heat from the saloon’s whores upstairs to help stay warm. Without warning, save for the increasing wind, the approaching winter storm slammed into Whitefish somewhere around midnight, wind buffeting against the buildings which was initially ignored. Though business was still brisk in the saloon, Case Steelgrave was secluded in his jail, his own stove radiating heat, reflecting off the stone walls of the cell block, and toasty warm. Even the wind banging the Marshall’s Office sign didn’t disturb his reading of Robinson Crusoe. Doctor Josiah Boone was at the moment, sound asleep in his cabin, though by the door sat his bags, clothing and medical supplies. He had finally had enough of the outlaws, Case Steelgrave, and Whitefish. Perhaps he could catch on with Jonah Danforth in Kalispell. If not, he would push on. In his lean to was his buggy, and horse ready to be hitched come daylight, he would take Dotty with him, if she wanted to go. The wind howled as it picked up intensity, immediately causing all manner of minor damage as it grew in strength. First shingles were ripped from rooftops, then loose boxes, barrels and buckets blew into the street and careened down the empty way. And with it’s sudden force, the almost fifty mile per hour winds toppled several weak trees, one of which crashed into though the back of the saloon, ripping through the wall of one of the bedrooms, smashing through the window frame as well as the clapboard wall itself. The window frame and wall crashing onto the unsuspecting couple in the bed with enough force to kill the both of them while knocking an oil lamp from the table, crashing on the floor and bursting into flames then spreading rapidly, licking at the dry wood, carpeting, cloth and furniture. TBC
  7. Mature Content: violence Author: Jay With: Jay, Thomas, Granny Miggins Location: Granny Miggins home When: Just before the storm hit 1875 Desperation caused it. The gang was riding into a town that was known for trouble. Whitfield. A lot of people knew that name but it was the only town close by, that had a sheriff, who was crooked enough to be riding with them. He didn't. But he probably wouldn't put his life on the line to defend the 'good citizens', that were left in Whitfield. The place was half gone anyway. Thomas and his men needed food and they were desperate to get their hands on enough cash to get them through the winter in some cheap rented rooms. As usual Jay was keeping to the back but he had all eyes on him. There had been rumors that he was leeching off the others and not pulling his own weight. So when they hit the second home, he was the one who grabbed the silver wear, backhanded the elderly owner just enough to show him that he didn't stand a chance. "Stay down!" He commanded in a deep, rough voice. The man whimpered, clearly hurt and afraid but complied. "Please don't hurt me more." On his way out Jay grabbed a piece of dried meat, that set on the counter and hungrily shoved it in his mouth. Outside he tossed the others the bag, who were satisfied with his performance for now. Above dark clouds were moving in and the wind had picked up, blowing snow against his face, like tiny icy thorns. "That one!" The Englishman suggested, pointing to a small house on the side of the town where the road was leading away from it. It was small but well kept and it had curtains, a sign that the owner might not be poor. "There are much nicer places in town. Big ole houses!" The red haired right hand of Thomas shouted above the wind and gave Thomas a look, shaking his head. "English guys got no ba*ls!"
  8. Mature Content: With: Addy, Jay Location: Whitefish/Swing Station Barn When: December/ 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon With Oleander reunited with her mule, and the Kalispell rescuers getting organized and ready to head back with survivors, Addy decided to quickly check the barn and swing station owned by Millegan Stage Lines that sat at the edge of town. The small barn and corral held fresh teams that were switched out with the spent horses pulling the stage. Hopefully, they had been seen to, or had managed to get out, but she had to be sure before they left. Riding one of the spare team she'd brought with her, she was grateful that the animal was one of the big draft horses that could more easily navigate the deep snow drifts. As she approached the bar, she looked it over, pleased to see it was still relatively intact...later, when conditions were better, she could come back and see if there was any equipment to salvage, but for now, she was worried about lives. It took a few minutes for her to finally be able to yank the big doors open, since drifts had to be dug away, and she was breathing heavily when she was able to peer into the darkness. At first, of course, she really couldn't see anything more than outlines, and as she waited for her eyes to adjust, she called out, "Any'a ya'll still in here?" @Jack
  9. Mature Content: No With: Quentin Cantrell, Shade Thornton Location: Blackbird Lodge (main ranch house) When: Mid-September 1875 (just past the middle of the month) Time of Day: Late Afternoon At last! Harriet felt herself slump in the saddle as the main barn next to the lodge came into view. Without the cattle holding them back, they had made good time on the return trip to Kalispell. Still, the last thirteen miles from the ranch's border to the main house felt like it would never end. She patted Spirit's neck. Even the powerful paint was weary, although he did manage to throw up his head and whinny at the sight and smell of home. They had left the other riders at the bunkhouse, so it was only herself and Quentin arriving at the house. Now, she glanced over at him, certain that he was as exhausted as she was. The ride back from Poison had been made with Harriet very aware of what had passed between herself and Quentin. They had been careful of one another during the journey for propriety's sake. She needed to talk to him, but that would also have to wait until a more propitious time. Right now, she would have to content herself with brushing her gloved fingers over his when he reached up to help her off of her horse. Despite her best efforts, she staggered slightly when her feet hit the ground. A hand came out to greet them and take the horses. Harriet smiled, "Give him a good extra helping of feed. He worked hard and took good care of me." The man grinned and tipped his hat as he gathered the reins. Harriet walked slowly to the door and paused just outside it. Squaring her shoulders, she tossed a smile at Quentin, then pushed heavy doors open, raising her voice stridently, Harriet called out, "Shade Thornton! I need to speak to you right now!" Her eyes and her smile brightened as she imagined the younger man wincing or even trying to find a place to hide. @Longshot
  10. Mature Content: No With: Kate Bowen, Pastor and Mrs. Evans, Shade Thornton Location: Kalispell, then Lost Lake Ranch When: Saturday - mid September 1875 Time of Day: Morning Kate took one last look in the mirror and nodded firmly. She was wearing a dark brown dress with navy blue accents on the cuffs and collar. It was not her favourite dress but it was one befitting her position as teacher. She had wanted to wear one of her more colourful outfits but thought better of it. After all, she had only talked to the man one and that was just before his encounter with the bear. It was too early...well it was just too early. Today's trip to Lost Lake Ranch under the guise of meeting the two young Thornton children would allow her to get to know him a little bit better. When Pastor Evans told her that he was going to visit Shade Thornton to see how he was recovering and that Mrs. Evans was going to visit the housekeeper, she initially tried to think of way to join them. Thankfully, Pastor Evans mentioned that it would be a good opportunity for her to see the countryside and to meet the children. In a way, the ride out would be beneficial in helping her to know what the surrounding country was like and who lived where. But, if truth be told she was more interested in seeing Shade again. Once again, she stopped. Her thoughts were getting way ahead of the reality of the situation. For all she knew, he wouldn't even remember who she was. With his injuries and running a ranch, he probably never gave her a passing thought. A knock at the door alerted her to the fact that the Pastor was ready to leave. Grabbing her coat and bag, she made her way out of the room. To be continued... (OOC: @Stormwolfe I will do another post about the trip to the ranch before arriving. You can do a post if you want for Shade.)
  11. 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.
  12. Mature Content: No With: Clara and Charlie Location: Lost Lake Ranch When: September, Wednesday (week of the monthly social that coming Saturday) Time of Day: Getting close to noon. Clara was feeling pretty good about the morning lessons with the twins. They both liked writing letters and listening to books being read more than practicing their numbers but on this day Clara had decided to concentrate on those. The trick was not to spend too much time on anything per session as they only were five year olds so full school days would be nonsense and overwhelming. Clara was above all things a realist. But she had promised (alright maybe it was bribing but it was an effective tactic she was not above utilizing.) if they tried real hard she would reward them with a fun afternoon activity. Of course it had worked. The twins were eating lunch at the moment, in the ranch house kitchen and chattering away with the cook while they did so. Clara decided to take advantage of her temporary free time by grabbing a water bucket and filling it up at the well located on the ranch. That water source was closer actually to the bunk house for the hands than the main building but even then it was but a fifty yard jaunt at best. She had toted water buckets far further all the time back at the family farm. As she was closing in on the well, bucket in one hand, her attention was drawn to the sound of rhythmic chopping coming from the direction of the barn. There was a ranch hand busy making firewood no doubt for the bunkhouse. A second glance and that hand was familiar alright. It was Charlie. Yes that Charlie. The one who was so mean to her in front of the hotel in town. The one who was drunk at the time of their verbal confrontation. And the one who had such a nice brother who had intervened back then. She had met Charlie again when the brothers (there were Lord knew how many of them) had shown up for a job interview. Their oldest had even secured the ranch foreman position. Shade had confided in her too that the man was a very competent foreman. On a sudden whim the girl made a turn and headed toward the woodpile as Charlie hefted the axe up and down splitting chunks of a large oak tree which had recently fallen during a storm. She had to grudgingly admit Charlie was quite a good looking sort, pity he had such ill manners. But Clara had been willing to give him the benefit of a doubt, given whiskey or rather too much whiskey had been involved. After all her father always said some men couldn't handle their liquor and Charlie wasn't even a man yet, least in her opinion. As soon as he paused in his exertions to look her way, she stopped at easy speaking distance from him. "Hello Charlie, how are you on this fine day?" she would give it a try to be ..... nice. Actually it was hardly fine if you counted the weather. The clouds were building up, completely hiding the fall sun, and there was that feel in the air of imminent rain. @JulieS
  13. Mature Content: no With: Dorothy Parsons, Case Steelgrave, Layton Harris Location: Evergreen Ranch to Whitefish When: Tuesday, September 14, 1875 Time of Day: afternoon Less than an hour after her interview with Elias Steelgrave, Dorothy Parsons was on her pinto gelding, riding along side Layton Harris on the way to Whitefish. Her blonde hair had been washed and neatly combed into a pony tail that curled down over her shoulder. Her fingernails had been cleaned of dirt. The only spots that decorated her face were a few freckles and no longer specks of dirt. A few small, scabbed over scratches still adorned her hands, but there wasn’t much to be done about that. A rather simple, but well made green dress replaced her filthy clothes. It was of a fashion now several years out of date. Perhaps, Dorothy found herself wondering, it was a dress that belonged to Mr. Steelgrave’s daughter. Even though she’d not yet met his daughter, she suspected the women-folk in households as well to do as the Steelgraves could always have the latest fashions. All in all, she looked almost… respectable. Except for the gun belt. She wasn’t about to give that up so easy. Dorothy might have rather kept her trousers and white shirt too, but there didn’t seem to be time to launder them and then wait for them to dry. So, for now, she’d make due with the dress, even if it made sitting in a saddle slightly awkward. “How long you been workin’ for the Steelgraves, Mr. Harris?” she asked, looking over at her escort, both to make small talk and, hopefully, to get a better feel for what working for the family might be like. She thought she had a pretty good idea already, both from Billy and from Elias himself. But another perspective would still be welcome. @Flip
  14. Mature Content: No With: Clara Redmond, Cody and Nettie Thornton Location: Lost Lake, water's edge (starts at the ranch house) When: Early September 1875 (same day as The New Guys thread) Time of Day: Afternoon After the Wentworth brothers took their leave, Shade made his way back to the terrace where Clara was with the twins. He walked over and leaned against the terrace railing, looking out over his home's spectacular landscape. It was a legacy worth protecting for the sake of his niece and nephew. Chance had made sure that legacy also included him. Movement down near the lake's edge caught his attention, and he watched as a huge beaver took to the water. Turning, he said to Clara, "Feel like a hike down to the lake's edge? It might be good for us all to stretch our legs a bit." @Wayfarer
  15. Mature Content: No With: Sarah Thornton Location: San Francisco When: Late September 1875 Time of Day: Morning Looking up at the clock, Sarah Thornton noted the time. It wouldn't be much longer and she would be leaving San Francisco for good. Maybe she could come back here one today but that was a bit of wishful thinking. There were too many people who wanted her gone. Earlier that morning she had said her final goodbyes to her father and mother. They hadn't pressed her any further on why she had to go but her father had requested that she go on mission for him. Initially, she had no real plans except to get on the train and go east until she found a place she liked the sound of. Her father's request now gave her a purpose, at least in the short term. Watching the other passengers milling around on the train platform, she thought about why she was here. It had all started out innocently - another man vying for her attention and perhaps her hand in marriage. When she stumbled upon his family's secret by accident, she had thought nothing of it until she realised she had learned too much. The man, maybe because of his attraction to her, had given her the option to leave or stay. The implications in staying were made very clear to her and so she took the option of going. Thankfully, the man and his family had given her a couple of weeks to get her affairs in order. She was able to sell her most of her property, including the house she had lived in the last few years and most of her belongings. What she didn't give to her parents or her brothers, was in the trunk that was now on board the train, along with a few items of clothing. In her valise, she had a couple changes of clothing and toiletries for the trip along with personal papers including a large bank draft. For the next few minutes, she made her way onto the train and into the private compartment she had booked. Now that she knew where she was going, she wanted it to be as comfortable as possible. This was the beginning of a very long trip and she had no idea where it would end up.
  16. Mature Content: No With: Mike Wentworth, Sam Wentworth, Lost Lake Ranch Hands NPCs Location: Lost Lake Ranch Bunkhouse When: Wednesday 15 September 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon "Not bad. Not bad at all." "Looks like everything is well kept and maintained," Mike said as he inspected the bunks. "You should be okay." "I should," Sam replied, "but it will depend on who I am sharing this with. You're lucky to have a place on your own." "One of the perks of being a foreman. Maybe if I end up getting married and moving to the foreman's house, you can have my room." He paused for a moment, "That is if I think you'll be good enough for it." Sam smiled, "Oh, I'll be good enough for it. I aim to be the top hand around here one day." "That'll depend on how good the other hands are. From what Shade told us and from what I can gather about the man himself, they will be nothing but the best." "Yeah I figured that too but I think the challenge will be worth it." Sam thudded a mattress in an effort to test how comfortable it was. Satisfied that it was, he went over to his brother, "Besides I got to have something to aim for, don't I?" "You do," Mike answered. Walking over towards the kitchen, he thought about what was ahead of him. Most of the hands were away on drives and Shade didn't know how many of them would be returning. Mike knew he would be overseeing a group of about sixteen, judging by the number of bunks. There was room for more if needed but he would determine that later on. The first thing he had to do was to take the measure of the four men who were here at the ranch. They would be back soon and that's when the real work would start. The job of foreman was something he was very experienced at but if he didn't have the respect of those who worked under him, then it wouldn't matter how good he was at his job. After inspecting the kitchen and eating area, Mike looked over to Sam, who was busy deciding which of the unused bunks he liked the look of. "I'm going to head over to my quarters now and get settled in. The others should be here soon." Sam acknowledged Mike with a nod and continued checking the bunks. Mike smiled and walked over to the door that lead to his new home. (To Be Continued)
  17. Mature Content: Add yes, no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence). With: Ben, Clay, Zeke and Bannister Location: Add specific location information here. When: September / 1875 Time of Day: Morning. Three men stood in the living room at Evergreen Ranch in slickers. “Trip was easy, using the boys from Whitefish was a waste of their time. No body gave us any guff about the new county, nor did them seem to care that Case would be the law.” Ben Steelgrave stated with some disdain, not because the had made a long ride, but because there had been no resistance. “You rode al the way to Columbia Falls without incident?” Elias questioned. “Not one dissenter in the lot?” “No Pa, not a single one.” Clay responded. “It was like they welcomed the change, no cusin’ under the breath, no hard looks, nothin’ like we expected.” Zeke smiled, “No excuse to shoot any of ‘em. So the boundaries are set. Columbia Falls was a bit concerned about what is happening, but once we let ‘em know it wasn’t going to effect them, well, that was pretty much that.” “Hard to believe, but we’ll see how it goes from here on out.” Elias said, cautiously relieved for the lack of trouble and at the same time disappointed that there had been no show of force, something he was used to. “Well, you boys head on out.” He opened a box on the table had produced a bag of coins, tossing it to Ben. “You deserve time off. Go.” There were murmurs of thanks as the three left the room and left the house for a wet ride to Whitefish and some fun. Elias had other things on his mind. “Santee!” He called out once the door was closed. The hired gun walked into the room. “You ride for Kalispell and bring back Miss Steelgrave and Bannister. Enough of her lollygagging around down there.” “Yes sir, on my way." Santee stated. TBC
  18. Mature Content: unlikely With: Elmer Stroud, Robert Cullen Location: Somewhere along the Flathead River When: October 1875 Time of Day: morning Elmer Stroud sat atop his buckskin gelding as he followed the river south toward Kalispell. A pack mule trailed lazily behind. Despite a rather disappointing gold prospecting season overall, Elmer was in a good mood this morning. He’d found at least some gold flakes and two teeny nuggets over the past couple weeks which were stored in a little pouch in a pocket inside his coat. Hopefully enough to let him buy some supplies for winter, which would be here sooner than he’d like. It gave him hope that the big score was close. It was a frosty morning, but quite lovely, with some low fog rolling along the water. The old prospector hummed and sang a silly song he’d picked up somewhere last year. His singing voice was pleasant enough… not that the equines and the birds would mind much one way or t’other. It just helped pass the time. "Ten little Indians standin' in a line, One toddled home and then there were nine. Nine little Indians swingin' on a gate, One tumbled off and then there were eight. Eight little Indians gayest under heav'n, One went to sleep and then there were seven. Seven little Indians cuttin' up their tricks, One broke his neck and then there were six. Six little Indians all alive, One kicked the bucket and then there were five. Five little Injuns on a cellar door, One tumbled in and then there were four. Four little Injuns up on a spree, One got fuddled and then there were three. Three little Injuns out on a canoe, One tumbled overboard and then there were two. Two little Injuns foolin' with a gun, One shot t'other and then there was one. One little Injun livin' all alone, He got married and then there were none." “Well, look’it there, Lucky…. I do believe that’s ah …. Oh, shoot, what was his name again? I reckon it’ll come to me in a minute,” Elmer raised his hand in a friendly wave toward Bobby. He’d only met the young man briefly a few months before… on his last trip into Kalispell. “Best we be neighborly, huh?” he said to the horse, then dismounted to walk the rest of the way. He walked with an uneven gait, the result of an injury several decades ago that had never healed quite right, but it didn’t phase him too much now. “Doin’ alright?” he asked as he came closer, reaching out to shake Robert’s hand in greeting. @Wayfarer (Open to other characters that might be in the area!)
  19. 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
  20. Mature Content: No With: Mike Wentworth, Wentworth Brothers Location: Blackbird Lodge, front terrace When: Early September 1875 Time of Day: Mid-to-Late Morning According to some folks, Blackbird Lodge had been built backward. The courtyard and main entrance were on the side of the house that the family considered its rear. Isadora Thornton had wanted it that way, so the coming and going of horses in the courtyard would not distract from the vista of the vast crater lake and the mountains. Ranch hands and others that had had business with John Caleb Thornton could come and go without disturbing her. Isadora's husband had, at first, objected to the building site she had chosen for that very reason. She had overridden his objections by pointing out that it also meant only one main entrance to defend should the need arise. No one would be able to enter the house from the side of the house that overlooked the lake. It made perfect sense to her and, after thinking it over for a while, John Caleb had agreed with her. Shade had grown up with stories of how Blackbird Lodge came to be where it was. The house was built on a flat expanse of bedrock that jutted out from one of the lower peaks of the Chogun Mountain Range. Although technically not a basin, it had been named Moonlight Basin due to the slight concavity of the outcropping. The area was surrounded by creeks and waterfalls, all making their way down the mountain to the Chogun River or into Lost Lake, which lay far below the house's front terrace. The house had been built out of local river stone, massive redwoods hauled in from the west coast, and local oak and aspen. Shade's father had spared no expense, including having massive windows built into the front of the house so that one always had a view of the mountains, forests, and lake. The lodge was as beautiful as his mother had been and as rugged as his father. It reflected his parents' personalities perfectly. The morning had been well advanced when Shade made his way down from the office and study attached to the master bedroom. He had honestly wanted to continue living in the downstairs room that had been his when he was a kid, but Laura Hale had put her foot down. While she and her husband, Ezra, lived in the lodge, it had made sense for them to live in the upstairs master suite. Ezra often worked on the ranch's ledgers late into the night. It was easier for him to do that in the office and study that was attached to the main bedroom. It had also kept Laura near the children's room. Laura had insisted that Shade needed to take over the master suite so that he would be on the same floor as the five-year-old twins. It made sense. It had also seemed to bring home the fact that the Hales were retiring and moving away and that everything was changing. Mary Miller, the ranch's housekeeper and cook, greeted him with a bit of a frown. Her sharp eyes noted that he was leaning heavier on the cane than he had been. The repeated trips up and down the stairs required to move his belongings had left the injured leg sore. "You go sit out on the terrace, Mr. Shade. It's a beautiful day. I'll bring coffee and sandwiches." She did not scold him for coming down late since she had brought his breakfast up to his office just after dawn. "When do you think Mr. Quentin and Miss Harriet will get back?" "Not for a few days yet, Mary. I figure it'll take them longer to move twenty-five head to the south end of Lake Flathead than it'll take Sage to move the hundred and fifty all the way to Missoula," Shade replied with a chuckle. Taking Mary's advice, Shade exited the house and settled in one of the chairs on the terrace. Leaning forward, he dragged one of the smaller chairs over so that he could prop his leg up. A few minutes later, Mary came out with a tray of sandwiches and a pot of coffee. Shade poured himself a cup of coffee and picked up a sandwich. @JulieS
  21. Mature Content: No. With: Elias Steelgrave, Case Steelgrave, Cole Latham Location: Evergreen Ranch, Whitefish When: September 14, 1875 Time of Day: Afternoon Santee rode through the night, not pushing his horse. The man in question was in Kalispell asking questions, that from what he had heard, did not implicate the Steelgraves. He would make the twenty-five or so miles in six to seven hours, the main house was a bit off the trail, but not far enough to make that much of a difference. Dawn would be breaking as he neared the main house. Santee figured that by the time he’d made this stop and then got to Whitefish and informed Case it would be close to noon, and hen food and rest before he went back to Kalispell. There was a sigh of relieve as Santee came upon the house and lights were burning, meaning that Elias was up, and that would be good for everyone concerned. He trotted into the yard and up to the hitch post, swinging down and tying off his reins before striding up to the door. He paused, then knocked. The door swung open and the Chinese stood there looking at him. Never had caught the servant’s name. “Here to see Mister Steelgrave.” The Chinaman nodded and scurried off, the door hanging open. “Well damn it! Show him in!” It was Ellias, loud and not happy. The Chinaman was there in an instant. “You come.” He said, leading Santee, hat in hand, into the parlor. “What the hell’s so damned important you bother a man at sun up?” Elias barked. “Sir, Miss Leah sent me to let you know that there’s a Pinkerton man in Kalispell asking questions, but not about you or the family.” Santee informed Elias, the words tumbling out quickly. Elias glared at him. “Well? Who the sam hell’s he asking about?” “Sir, a woman name’a, uh, name’a Dorthy, ah, Dorthy Parsons. Wanted in Texas ‘er some such. Miss Leah thought you should know.” “I’ll be go ta hell! She’s in Whitefish, was here earlier today and I sent her there. Damn. One Pinkerton you say?” Santee nodded as he said, “yep, just the one far as we know. Full’a bluster ‘n blow. “Names Asher, if that means anything.” “You get on to Whitefish. Get a new mount and get the lead out! You hear? Case will know what needs to be done.” End thread Continued in "Settlin' In"
  22. Mature Content: Add yes, no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence). With:NPCs in the thread. John Anderson, The Steelgrave Brothers, Location: Whitefish proper, Marshal's Office, Town Hall, etc. When: September 1875 Time of Day: Mid-morning, Word had reached Case that the boy, Billy Holcombe, had been attacked and half eaten. Bear paw prints were said to be all over the blood soaked ground. His horse never found. It shook Case, no man likes to think of being eaten. But, as with his sister, there was business to attend to. Whitefish and Steelgrave business, all but one in the same. He sat at his desk in the sheriff's office pondering what needed to get done, providing those necessary for the beginning of his fathers plan showed up as expected. He knew the plan, ever inch of it, and how easy some parts would be, and how deadly other parts could be. He had the en for the job either way. In a week those driving the cattle north would be back in town and could be deployed where they were needed. There was a rap on the door, followed by young Tyler Oats who blurted out; "Marshal, your brothers are at the Silver Dollar waitin'." Case smiled fished out a dime and tossed it to the boy as he rose from his desk. It was beginning. TBC
  23. Case was not a fan of riding at night, and the trail to Whitefish was a long one, but there was business to attend to. Fifteen miles at night would take longer than by day. The moon, though not full was his visible light and the sandy color of the dirt beneath the horse's hooves was plenty to see by for both he and the horse. As he rode he thought, the mind always active was crowded with thoughts, and most were of the woman, Katherine Bowen. He wondered what it was about her that had stayed with him, an uncomfortable feeling and if there was one thing Case Steelgrave didn’t like, it was feeling uncomfortable. Who was she anyway, some wisp of a woman from the east who probably wouldn’t last the summer. He spurred his mount to a trot and made a decision, he was going to the hideout where the stolen cattle was being re-branded. There were too many, time to move them out, lay low for a bit, not too long, but long enough for the country to simmer down and ease up on guarding their herds. Case left the trail and headed northeast before returning to a northbound heading.
  24. With: Case Steelegrave, Toole, Robbins, Billy Holcombe Location: Hideout, Silver Dollar Saloon Whitefish When: 1875 Time of Day: Early Afternoon Case and Robbins rode into the hideout where most of the men were in the final stages of saddling up. Toole had ordered the men not out with the herd to get ready to move out. They had far to many to hold, and there was really no profit in holding them. Actually, they would simply be making room for more. The two riders stopped at the cabin where Toole stood waiting "We're about ready to move 'em out, boss." Case dismounted and dropped the reins. "Good, holding too many, and there's more to take." He stated. "Robbins here shot a fella but lost tack of him. Need a man to go look for the body, or the mans trail, I need Robbins here with the herd." Toole rubbed his chin in thought before he said, "Young Billy Holcombe could track a snake over rocks. He offered, looking at the boy who sat on the edge of the roughhewn table twirling a length of latgio and smiling. "Yes sir, Mister Steelgrave, I can find 'em, dead 'er alive." Billy offered. "The get to it, son! Toole, Robbins, get the herd moving. I'm headed back to town. Billy you report to me when you find him. Billy simply nodded and went to his horse as did both Toole and Robbins. As they mounted up and headed out, Case scanned the valley which on day would be his ranch, but, that would need to wait a bit. There was other business to attend to first. TBC
  25. Sam Wentworth stood at the entrance of the saloon, partially dreading what he had to do next. It wasn't going to be easy but they we're going to need his help for the next part of the journey. He glanced over to his younger brother Charlie and told him to stay out of sight, while he smoothed things over. Going inside, Sam looked around until he saw the man he was looking for. As he walked over, he noticed that the man hadn't changed much but then it had only been about 18 months since he last saw him when he dropped in to North Platte and paid him a visit on his way back here. Seeing a spot at the bar, he began to approach when the man turned around and saw him. "Sam?" Smiling, Sam moved closer, "Brother Mike!" Mike's eyes narrowed as his brother came closer. "I don't recall you writing and telling me that you were coming." "Ahh...no I didn't. This was kind of short notice." When he reached the bar, Sam ordered a beer. "Short notice? You're not in any kind of trouble?" Sam took a sip of his beer before answering. "It depends on how you define trouble." "Trouble as in the woman kind." "No, no...nothing like that." After taking a longer drink of his beer, Sam turned to his brother and half-smiled, "It's much worse than that." Turning around to face the entrance, he shouted, "You can come in now." Not knowing what to expect, Mike turned around to see who was coming in. When he saw who it was, the anger on his face was evident, "What the heck is he doing here?' Nodding, Sam replied, "That was the same thing I asked when he turned up in North Platte." Charlie stepped up to Mike, "And I'm going to tell you what I told him. This was my idea and nothing either you have to say on it, won't make me change it." The initial anger, Mike had, faded away. So, Charlie was just like the rest of them and that made him glad. "You know the old man's not going to like it." "Yeah, we know," Sam answered, "and that's why we came here. Safety in numbers and that the fact the further we get away from the train line the better." "Pa's going to be busy in Washington for a while with his work and with Mary having another baby. He won't be leaving before she has it." Charlie walked over to the bar and waited for Mike's response. "I understand," Mike paused for a moment before continuing, "Pa's not going to like this." While Sam ordered a beer for Charlie, Mike thought about what they should do next. He knew that Sam in his own way had done the right thing by bringing Charlie to Medicine Bow. Their father was a man you could confront on your own in minor matters but something like this would mean they would have to band together. Sam, even though he hadn't said it must have given up the job he had in order to help Charlie and Mike would do the same. Family loyality was more important than earning a living. There would always be work for good, experienced, ranch hands like Sam and he was. Motioning to his brothers, Mike led them to a table. After taking their chairs, he sighed heavily, "Alright then, what we need to do is find someplace that will take a while to reach. Some place far, far away." Grinning, Sam nodded, "Somehow I thought that it was going to take a lot more to convince you to join us." Mike raised an eyebrow, "Let's just say, we're all in the same boat. Father still hasn't forgiven either of us for destroying his plans. Now that Charlie is with us, it going to be a lot worse and I would rather be someplace else. It's time we all gathered round the one who started this in the first place." "How far is Kalispell from here? "Charlie asked. He felt relieved that at least two of his brothers weren't going to send him back. "It will take a few weeks to get there." Mike stood up, "We leave at the end of the next week as I will need to give in my notice. It'll give you two time to find decent mounts that will last the trip." Sam got up and shook Mike's hand, "Thanks." "I'll see you two later." Mike smiled, ruffling Charlie's hair as he walked passed him. "Hey!" Charlie said, "I'm not a kid anymore." "No, you're not, " Mike replied " And when we reach Kalispell, one of the first things you'll be doing is getting a job." Smiling, Charlie answered, "I can't wait and I also can't wait to see Matt's face when we turn up." Mike and Sam looked at each other, both acknowledging the uncertainty that lay ahead.

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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