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    • Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."   "Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever  you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
    • Their cab driver was waiting for them, he'd stayed close, alert to when they would return, and he was content, having had a wonderful lunch that Mrs. Pike had had packed for him.  Now, he helped get the remains of their picnic loaded, then made sure everyone was settled, with blankets in case they needed them, and started back for town.   "That was a wonderful outing!" Emeline declared, chuckling.  "Although I think I ended up with half the beach in my shoes!"  That had been something she hadn't thought about when going barefoot...putting the shoes and socks back on had been a challenge, especially with no way to keep the sand out!   She settled in, wrapping a blanket around her knees, since the hem of her skirt was damp, then rested her head against Barnabas' shoulder and was soon asleep.  Across from them, Lillian was also dozing.   "Thank you for letting us come with you, sir," Tom murmured quietly, "my sister works too hard and it's good for her to have some fun.  And I appreciate the advice.  College sounds like a good plan, if we can afford it.  I'd love to go to Montana or the Dakotas, but I don't want to leave Lillian."   @Flip
    • "Guess you're right about just showin' up at the ranch like that." He agree, and that is kind of you, but I've cash put by for this trip I've made. The hotel does sound good. And the local fare? Which is the best place to eat. Lookin' for big steak dinner I am. Been sometime since I was able to get somethin' like that. It was a trip to remember, long, hard, and with every temperature you could imagine."   It had been that and a bit more. There had been Molly McGuire, he was missing her, but Kalispell would not be the place for her if all that had been said came to fruition between Lost Lake and the Evergreen. He had waltzed in on what could be a real corpse and cartridge affair, and one that went on an on til they forgot what it was about, or who started it.   "I appreciate your offer, and your council about town and holdin' off till the ranch hands were in town. I'll do just that. @JulieS    
    • Benjamin gave up on the fruitless pursuit of the surviving war party, they were down a six or so anyhow and more than likely just heading back to their home village. If it was one thing the US cavalry learned about chasing Indians, you didn't catch 'em.  Best horsemen in the world maybe. So he ordered his scouts and troopers to turn back and then spent the better part of a few hours just getting back to the rest of his command. It being dark did not help at all but the scouts were up to the task.   Once back he found out that a lot had happened - almost all good too, well except another trooper had been killed. But Lt. Greene found (had lucked into it really but no criticism there - it was the great Napoleon who had said  'better a lucky general than a good one') the women and they were alive. Looking a bit worse for wear but no dangerous wounds, the saloon girl was already wearing trousers and a bluecoat lent her by eager troopers. And Greene had a face to face encounter with an Arapaho brave looking to kill the ladies. That Indian was dead. Barlow didn't press the young officer on the details, that he could read in the report Greene would have to write out later back in the fort, for the young man was wounded and in considerable discomfort. They didn't have a doctor with this detachment but one of the troopers who knew something about wound treatment assured Benjamin the boy would live and keep his leg. Well unless he didn't take care of it properly and get gangrene.   The stage driver was quite the tough gal too. She was sporting a large bruise from where the Arapaho had belted her with his gun butt but in good humor and even told him that the two women had killed their guard and escaped on their own.  Barlow was impressed.   "Well, it's a pity we don't allow women in the army, we could use a couple more like you and your friend," Benjamin remarked to Addy.   It was a tough call to make - normally traveling at night was not the wise thing to do but they had the wounded to think of and the sooner they got them back to better medical care at the fort or even town, the better. He decided darkness or not, they would head back and issued the appropriate orders.   They kept the pace deliberately slow but steady. He wasn't worried about Indian attack - Plains Indians did not attack at night and besides that war party was good as destroyed and definitely dispersed.  No, the bigger danger was loss of a horse or horses to prairie dog holes or god knows what else whilst traveling in the darkness.   Then there was a holler from ahead.   @MD  @Bongo @Flip @Javia
    • Both men had agreed, it had been a hell of a day. That Bannister came to them had been unexpected, but welcomed.  As they walked to the hotel after stabling their mounts they paused on the porch, taking up seats on the porch. Both men silent as they turned over the events of the day. Neither weary as they should be after a long hard ride back to Kalispell.   "This shapes up different than I was thinking it would. I mean hell, this is father against daughter." Cook said, "Seen a few that was father-son, never father-daughter."   "Odd one, that's fer shore. Now This Elias Steelgrave, you know much about him?" McNue asked, wonder what type of man is a threat to his own flesh and blood.   "Some, none of it good, and none of it arrestable, if that's even a word. The man skirts the law in a way he gets what he's after without consequence. Though I've heard there's a dark past with some bodies, but again, no real proof. Well, we'll check in with Guyer in the morning, see what we can do."   "Sounds to be a good idea, as dos gettin' our fair share 'o shuteye." McNue agreed. Both men got to their feet and entered the hotel. On this night their prospective of what was happening had changed.

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"The spirit world is it? Ran into that sort of thing when I was in New York, before moving out here. But I'd supposed that that sort of thing goes on anywhere those who practice that sort of thing might settle out here."

 

"Aye, well, the Spiritualist Kirk, y'ken, is a Christian one like any other and I'd nay say anything agin it, though I'm a Presbyterian m'self, y'ken?" he quickly covered himself. "But the poor wee woman spends a good wee part of her time dabbling with Ouija boards an Planchettes and the like. It doesn'ee do well to invite the departed spirits o' the dead into your own home if you ken my drift!" 

 

In fact, young Raymond could be observed quite deliberately opening one of the windows in the room wide open - traditionally to 'let the departed soul escape' and not have it hanging around to haunt the place. 

 

"So Mister Jolly, do you know of others practicing the 'dark arts' here in town?" He asked.

 

"Och no, Marshall. Ye dinnie need worry about 'Covens' and 'Sabbats' around these parts, I believe, the nearest thing I've seen to the occult in Kalispell with my own eyes would be the odd girl or two who possesses 'The Sight' -you ken what I'll be meaning by 'The Sight' Marshall?" 

 

@Flip

 

 

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The conversation had definitely taken an interesting turn, but Jonah didn't mind, he didn't have an opinion on such things as the supernatural, and even if he did, he wasn't likely to voice it.  People could put stock in whatever helped them muddle through life, even if it was some sort of fantasy.

 

Heck, while he didn't attend church regularly, he did go now and again, and held to a belief in God, just in case.  Even so, he figured the only way you found out which religion -- or none at all -- was the right choice was after you died, and then it was too late!

 

At least Miss Bridget was taken care of, for now, and would not be taken advantage of, although why he should even care was beyond him!

 

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"The Sight, can't say as I have, but no covens or sabbats, that's something of a relief. The craft, as I've heard it called, could turn a small community like this on it's ear, and I do believe we've had more than enough problems, some still active. Speed said, actually a bit relieved. Something like the superstitions and belief in witchcraft could cause a great deal of trouble for a town that size. Of course he had no idea about covens or sabbats.

 

Witchcraft as it was known had actually been nothing more than a from of nursing, or so it had once been explained to Speed. Was it magic? Were there spells? That he did not know, but not wanting it in his town he was sure of.

 

"Well thank you Mister Jolly, it's been most informative." Speed said, then looking at the doctor he continued, "I suppose I should make a call on this Reeve fellow. Seems the man is becoming quite ingrained in our town. And whether or not his involved with either Misses Orr, or the daughter, Anaesthesia, or both is no concern of mine until it is." He looked to Jolly, "Good day to you sir."

@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"Well, maybe I don't need your bedroom anymore! Maybe I don't need you anymore!" he snapped, putting his hands on his hips. "You ever think about that? Bridget needs me. She needs me here with her until I find us something better." 

 

"And that is supposed to hurt my feelin's?" Caroline laughed but not a happy one. She had been more than a good friend to him. She had  even shared an intimate night with him, and he was the only man who could say that since the night she had lost her virginity when she was brutally raped back in Chicago. Apparently none of that counted for anything with him.

 

"Ahha! So now yer gonna move in here with her so you don't have to pay anythin' for a roof over yer head...figures!" Caroline smirked. What was somebody like him called? Oh yeah, freeloader.

 

But he wasn't so argumentative when he got to answering her question about whether Bridget had been there at the death.

 

 "She saw it all," he said miserably, sliding down the wall into a sitting position.

 

"Goddammit," Caroline muttered. She had been dreading that answer.

 

"She saw it all, Caroline. And the look in her eyes..." He shut his own eyes tight.

 

This time her voice was not angry, accusatory but more reflective, sad even.

 

"My father was killed right in front of my eyes. I can well imagine the look in her eyes.  It - that moment - is still with me. I will never get it out of my mind. "

 

At least by now Caroline was quite convinced that Brendan had not in fact killed Lorenzo, thank god for that. But there still was the raging issue of Bridget and her future. She didn't doubt - for all her anger - that he was fond of the girl, despite her damage and her addled brain. But fondness was not going to support the young woman.

 

"Will you please stand up like a man?" she started for she had suddenly made up her mind what to do here.

 

"Alright, nothin' can change the past. All of us gotta just live in the here and now. So here's how I see it. Lorenzo knew he was dyin'. In fact he was talkin' suicide and I had hoped I had talked him outta that. And he wasn't broke...so we need to find out first of all if he made a will. Then how much money he's got in the bank...the deed to this place, and so forth."

 

"If he did make that will, I'm pretty damn sure he named Bridget to inherit it all. Other than that china man of his, he didn't have nobody else. So I'm bettin' her financial situation is not that bad, least for the short run."

 

"But here's how it's gonna work, yer not gonna just waltz on in here and take over her property, her money, and her care. Nope, not til you first learn to stand up on yer own two feet and get a goddamn job. Save up some money. Prove you can take care of yerself before anyone should trust you to take care of poor Bridget."

 

"And don't buck me on this, don't make me get nasty. Cuz, you've never really seen that side of me and - trust me - you don' wanna either. Clear?"

 

imageedit-7-6865110494.jpg

 

 

 

 

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"Ahha! So now yer gonna move in here with her so you don't have to pay anythin' for a roof over yer head...figures!"

 

"I didn't say that!" Brendan pushed himself up from the floor, even though all he wanted to do was stay there and go to sleep. What he really wanted to do at this point was just crawl into a hole, but that wasn't going to happen as long as Caroline was around. He knew later he'd feel badly for what he'd said and would want to apologize, but right now he could care less.

 

Finding out about Crabbe's will and financial affairs seemed daunting for a cowhand who couldn't read, and especially for one who'd been through everything he had that day. "How are we gonna find out all that at this time a' night?" Was his first question. It was a sensible one, but he needn't have asked it. It was closer to morning by this time, anyway, and soon the bank other places of business would be opening up.

 

When Caroline speculated that Crabbe had probably named Bridget to inherit, he felt a surge of elation. That solved part of the problem, then. He could dip into Bridget's savings if he needed to while he looked for a better situation for them.

 

But apparently that wasn't an option. He scowled at Caroline. "I don't care about the property or money! We just need somewhere to stay." That might be a lie at any other time, but right now it wasn't. He didn't care.

 

As the reality that his whole mostly care-free life was about to change sunk in, he crossed his arms. "Where do you expect me to get a job? Who'll hire me after this? Before it would've been hard enough with me bein' an Evergreen hand. But now..."

 

Now, Granny Miggins probably had everyone convinced that he'd broken into the funeral parlor, made Lorenzo watch while he violated Bridget, and then shot him. It would be a miracle if he wasn't lynched on sight the next time he showed his face.

 

Edited by Bailey (see edit history)
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"How are we gonna find out all that at this time a' night?" Brendan now asked, as if she knew all the damn answers, he really could be rather... immature in her jaded opinion.

 

"We aren't, ya idiot," Caroline sighed, "But we will find out soon as possible." 

 

He went on,   "I don't care about the property or money! We just need somewhere to stay."

 

"Bridget can stay right here, it's gonna be her place soon enough unless I'm wrong about Lorenzo's final decisions. He wouldn't let her be homeless. There are other women besides me who care about the girl, we will make sure she isn't alone," Caroline answered.

 

"As for you, find someplace, even if it's a barn for a few nights. It'll look really bad if you just move in whilst Lorenzo's body ain't even cold or buried. Your reputation ain't the best and that's puttin' it nicely," she added, "tonight, it's summer, yer a cowboy, you can sleep outside for once. You must have done it many times before."

 

He wasn't done whining yet either, "Where do you expect me to get a job? Who'll hire me after this? Before it would've been hard enough with me bein' an Evergreen hand. But now..."

 

"There are a few ranches out there besides Evergreen and Lost Lake. There's one run by a woman I think even. Can't recall the name, never met her. But I've heard about it. Go out there and at least fuckin' ASK.  Tell me...right now....name me the places you've gone to and asked about a job since yer stayin' in my room?  Go ahead.....bet you haven't done a damn thing."

 

"Well, if you really value Bridget and wanting to be responsible for her, it starts here and now," she glared him right in the eye, course she had to look up to do it.

 

 

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"I can't leave her," Brendan protested Caroline's order to find somewhere else to bed down for the night. "I told her I'd be there when she woke up." As he said the words, he knew Caroline wouldn't let him get away with it. She had her dander up, that was for sure.

 

Sure, he'd slept outside before, but sleeping outside when there were at least three perfectly good beds in the funeral parlor seemed like a waste of a good bed. However, he knew that Caroline was going to win this conversation, and had been winning since she stepped into the funeral parlor. He began to mentally prepare himself to collect his things from her room and find a haystack somewhere to sleep in.

 

"I asked at the livery stable a while back," he said, mustering a smirk. He'd proved her wrong. He had asked one place. He'd been perfectly qualified for the work, but there were already plenty of boys working there and they didn't need him. He matched her glare.

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"I can't leave her," Brendan protested Caroline's order, "I told her I'd be there when she woke up."

 

"Oh hon, you can and you will. I'm not debatin' this with you," snapped Caroline, in no mood to repeat her arguments of just a moment earlier.

 

"I asked at the livery stable a while back," he suddenly said, mustering a smirk.

 

Seriously? Caroline frowned.

 

"Really? How old are you? That's a job for fourteen, fifteen year olds. Part time work too. Yer gonna support Bridget as a stable boy?" Caroline was obviously unimpressed with his career attempt there.

 

"Now....git......leave. Or am I gonna have to make ya?" she put her hands on hips.

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Meanwhile, downstairs, the undertaker and his assistant had finished strapping Crabbe's lifeless corpse to the stretcher. The old Scotsman said something to the boy Raymond and the latter approached Charlie Wentworth, still standing somewhat pointlessly at the bottom of the stairs, up which, it seemed, half the town had ascended.

 

Raymond Matthews worked a couple of jobs around town, so knew Deputy Charlie by sight. He'd also snuck into the  barn and witnessed the young lawman's defeat in his boxing match with that Irish miner from out of town, Battling Bob Cullen.

 

"Say Deputy, Mr Jolly says I need to inform the Next of Kin that we're moving the deceased. D'you think you'd better come up with me, seeing as it's a young lady? She might not be altogether, well, decent, and I don't want to be associated with any scandalous goings on!" he asked. Raymond was a bit of a prude about such things.

 

"Then afterwards could you see your way clear to helping me with carrying the stretcher?  Old Mr. Jolly, he's all right with children and females, but I think Mr Crabbe might be a bit heavy for him, I just strapped him up and he's carrying more timber than you'd think." he asked. Well, it was worth a try, rather than having to stop every few yards while his boss caught his breath. 

 

@JulieS

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“All right, all right.” Brendan held his hands up in surrender. He’d been fighting a losing battle this whole time and was finally giving in, and giving in completely. He didn’t even have the energy to respond to Caroline’s scornful remark.
 

He moved to turn down the lamp, then stopped. “Guess I’ll leave this on.” He couldn’t imagine Caroline sleeping in Bridget’s bed and assumed she would take this room since it was next to Bridget’s.

 

He trudged past Caroline, his footfalls heavy and tired. “I’m gonna get my things from your room. I’ll come around here after sun-up sometime and…figure out somethin’.”

 

What he would figure out, he wasn’t sure, but a good place to start would be finding out about Crabbe’s will.

 

As he went out onto the landing, he looked back at her. “I’m…glad you’re here with her,” he said gruffly, clearing his throat to disguise how much it was tearing him up to leave. 

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"Say Deputy, Mr Jolly says I need to inform the Next of Kin that we're moving the deceased. D'you think you'd better come up with me, seeing as it's a young lady? She might not be altogether, well, decent, and I don't want to be associated with any scandalous goings on!" he asked. Raymond was a bit of a prude about such things.

 

Charlie had been watching the situation unfold from the bottom of the stairs. Although he hadn't done much, he did learn a lot.  Whatever he saw and did in this job, he made sure to remember as one day he might be in a similar position.  Marshal Guyer was a good teacher, and Charlie was making sure that he missed nothing.  Besides, if the Marshal had wanted him to leave, he would have said so.

 

After looking briefly up the stairs, he turned to Raymond, "I don't think Miss Monahan would be capable of understanding what's going on.  Besides, Miss Mundee is still up there talking with Mr. Connelly and I'm sure that they both understand that the body will be taken to the funeral parlour.  I'll help you carry him over there. I can come back if need be."

 

He was sure that when Bridget was ready, Caroline Mundee would explain things to her and that may not be until morning, so there was no use waiting around here.  There were a few official things that needed to be done at the funeral parlour, anyway.

 

@Javia

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Brendan least wasn't fool enough to defy the fiesty saloon gal in the mood she was in so he gave up his arguing.  He moved to turn down the lamp, then stopped. “Guess I’ll leave this on.” 

 

"Yeah, you can for now," Caroline sounded calmer now too.

 

He trudged past Caroline, his footfalls heavy and tired. “I’m gonna get my things from your room. I’ll come around here after sun-up sometime and…figure out somethin’.”

 

"Yeah, wait....here's the key. When yer done lock it up again and then give it ta Ralph. Not my new boss.........Ralph," she handed over her key with specific instructions. She trusted he wouldn't steal anything of hers. 

 

As he went out onto the landing, he looked back at her. “I’m…glad you’re here with her,” he said gruffly.

 

"You know I'm real fond of the girl, she'll be safe with me. You'll see her soon enough, hon," Caroline nodded.

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After looking briefly up the stairs, he turned to Raymond, "I don't think Miss Monahan would be capable of understanding what's going on.  Besides, Miss Mundee is still up there talking with Mr. Connelly and I'm sure that they both understand that the body will be taken to the funeral parlour.  I'll help you carry him over there. I can come back if need be."

 

Raymond listened to Charlie carefully and saw him in a totally new light: until now he, like most of the town, had considered the youngest of the Wentworth clan something of an irresponsible scamp, but his words were wise and spoken with authority: maybe it was the magical tin badge that had wrought this miraculous change, either in Charlie's manner or the way he was perceived.

 

Either way, they were soon off along the short walk from the defunct old funeral parlour to the newer alive and kicking business, Jolly leading the way, like Phlegyas leading the dead across the River Styx, then Charlie at the head of the mobile bier, and, finally, Raymond following behind. 

 

Halfway down the street, a scream pierced the dark and what looked, in the gloaming, like a little old widow lady dressed in black with bonnet and shawl came running over. It was Lorenzo's sometime 'business associate' in his photography business, Arabella Mudd. After a sad sigh of "Oh, Lorenzo!" and a kiss to his cold forehead as he lay on the stretcher, for once she stowed the histrionics and instead asked a number of reasonably sensible questions. "Was he shot?" "Who did it?" "What happened?" "Is Bridget all right?" "Do you want a hand?" 

 

Jolly answered the final one: "Aye Lass, come along, the poor man'll need washing before we put him in his shroud." The old Scot left the rest of the questions for John Law, in the form of Deputy Wentworth to answer as they trooped along, now a throng of five, including the corpse.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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OOC: I think at least for Brendan and Caroline, this is a good place to end the thread. Brendan will pop back up in Thy Will whenever an opportune moment comes up!

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On 6/23/2022 at 3:34 PM, Arabella Mudd said:

"Was he shot?" "Who did it?" "What happened?" "Is Bridget all right?" "Do you want a hand?" 

 

Charlie sighed.  The last thing wanted to do was answer Arabella's questions.  Knowing that Crabbe was dead, she probably already knew something about what had happen.  Besides, it wouldn't be right to talk about it until the investigation was over.

 

"I'm sorry, but I can't say much as there will probably be a Coroner's Inquest."  He paused as he readjusted his grip on the stretcher.  Since he was carrying the end where the top half of the body and most of the weight was, it was heavier than it looked.  Maybe ol' Lorenzo was carrying a few more pounds than what could be seen.

 

"However, if you find out anything from Bridget about the incident, it would be wise to go the Marshall and let him know."

 

@Javia

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Charlie sighed.  

 

"Well what you sighin' like that for?!!" Arabella queried a little crossly. "My friend's been shot dead or stabbed or something, least you can do is tell me what happened!" she nagged "You ain't tellin' me all that there blood came off of a shavin' cut?!"

 

"I'm sorry, but I can't say much as there will probably be a Coroner's Inquest."  He paused as he readjusted his grip on the stretcher.  Since he was carrying the end where the top half of the body and most of the weight was, it was heavier than it looked.  Maybe ol' Lorenzo was carrying a few more pounds than what could be seen.

 

Arabella frowned at the lack of information; she supposed it didn't matter too much in the long run. Lorenzo was dead, no coming back from that. And she had to admit one thing, the responsibility of being a Marshall's Deputy had certainly wrought a change in Charlie's disposition for the better: he was more decisive and commanding now than he had been wont to be, certainly enough so that she did not press him any further for details of the tragedy. 

 

"However, if you find out anything from Bridget about the incident, it would be wise to go the Marshall and let him know."

 

"Well, it's nice to know that she's still alive!" Arabella grumped. Then, to herself as much to Charlie, she hummed "I'd better tell Brendan about this, and Caroline..." 

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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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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