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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

Riding the Country

Barnabas Pike

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After leaving Kalispell Pronto veered off east of the main trail and began a slow methodical back and forth pattern. The man he had seen leaning on the awning post intrigued him, as had the young women who walked out of the Emporium, but in his opinion, she would not be as deadly and the gunman. He knew he had ridden out to the north-east and Pronto wanted to know where the man had come from more than wanting to catch a tiger by the trail.


It was as he returned toward the trail he spotted the buggy and the girl. The outfit she was wearing was hard to miss at any distance. He drew out his binoculars and trained them on the slow-moving vehicle. She was a sight alright, and as well to do as she was pretty. It didn't take an expert to see that. It was only a few moments until the road curved just enough to block his view so he stuffed the glasses in his saddlebag and wheeled the horse around, he wasn't getting his questions answered lollygagging.  


He pushed on with his search another half hour until he came on some fresh tracks heading north. They were spaced at a walk, Pronto urged the roan onto the trail, knowing he was not too far behind his quarry, although he was none too keen on catching up to him.  He was in no mood for gun-play. He lifted the roan to a trot to close the distance, a man on the move at a casual pace would not be looking over his shoulder. He was counting on that.


Just at the edge of a clearing, he spotted him, same fellow, no doubt about that, and in the distance several fingers of smoke trailing into the sky. Once again he pulled out his glasses and focused not on the man but beyond him and sure enough, the outskirts of Whitefish and the home of the Marshal he had a run in with.  Interesting that this man was headed there. Pronto turned the roan back south and disappeared into the trees again, heading for Kalispell with his question answered. Not who sent him or why, but from where he came from.



Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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It was late afternoon when Pronto entered Kalispell. He walked the roan down the main street as he considered his next move. For sure he was not spending another night in the out of doors. Oh, the weather was fine, but it was well past time that he have himself a room, somewhere to light.


The hotel looked inviting, but perhaps a bit more expensive than he wanted to spend. He had cash, that was for sure, but extravagance was hot his forte so he pulled up at the boarding house, which would be less expensive and serve him well until he figured out his next move. There was still the matter of a gunman obviously looking for him, and the unanswered questions of what and why.


He stepped down and flipped the reins over the hitching post in front of the White Rose Inn and Boarding House. He looked up and down the street and then stepped up on the boardwalk stretched and exhaled, then walked to the door, entered and closed it behind him, the bell over the door tinkling to announce his arrival. A quick visual told him the place was well kept, and he appreciated that. The parlor had a warm welcoming feel to it as he stood, waiting. It wasn’t long before he heard footsteps.


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  • 2 weeks later...

"Good afternoon." The voice was soft and melodic, yet older, more refined. Pike immediately removed his hat as he turned to face the demure woman standing at the foot of the stairs. "I am Missus Everson, proprietress of the White Rose, how can I help you?"


"Pike Ma'am, Pr-BranabusPike. He stammered. "I'd be interested in a room."


"Well then, we have a couple of vacancies which might suit your need." She looked him up and down, paused at the guns. "Your business here in Kalispell? If I might ask."


"Lookin' about, Ma'am. Looks to be a likely place to sink some roots." He explained, "then, just need to find the right place.


"Well then, a room at the back is a dollar a week, no meals. Other rooms are two dollars, meals included." She explained. "Either is a week in advance." Although he appeared a bit unkempt, there was something about him that garnered her trust. "Now, there is one room on the second floor," She paused a moment, "with a view of the street, and another across the hall."


"The window would be fine." Was his choice. He fished out a coin from his pants pocket and offered it to her. a double eagle. "Might be here a while."


Linda Everson took the coin, somewhat taken aback by the twenty dollar gold piece. She stepped to the reception desk and took a key from the peg marked '3'. "Top of the stairs to your right, at the end. And welcome to Kalispell, Mister Pike."


"Thank you, Ma'am, good to be here." He turned and went out to his horse for his saddlebags. Noting the livery directly across the street.



Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Once the animal was taken care of Pronto walked back to the hotel where Linda Everson stood waiting; "Mister Pike, I wonder if I might ask you a question?" Her voice was quizzical without being demanding.


"Yes Ma'am, you go right ahead.


"Your're from Texas?"  She asked.


"Yes 'um, been many places, Texas bein' one." Was his response. "Born and raised there."


"Then you may know a Rye Everson?"


Pronto turned cold for a moment, "I do, rather Ma'am, I did. Why do you ask?"


She visibly stood straighter as if bracing for what was to come.


Pronto exhaled. "Perhaps you'd like to sit Ma'am." Without a word she moved to the divan and took a seat. "He was back shot up near White Settlement. Card game gone bad and he was goaded some, so they tell me. Well, the challenge went down and once outside he was shot down from behind. Rode with Rye a bit, he was a good man, no gunfighter mind you. Never heard who shot him."


Linda Everson stared at him a long moment. "What would you have done if you knew who did it?"


"Why I believe I'd've settled the score. Like I said, Rye was a good man, and a friend." Pronto replied honestly. He had not pursued the matter, other things came up that needed his attention at the time, but had he been there things would have worked out differently.


"I had heard rumors, but never knew for sure." She said softly, tearing up. She was not what he had expected. She took the news as if she knew something bad had happened. And down Texas way, there were a lot of bad things that happened to men. "Thank you. Now if you'll excuse me." She rose, walked calmly to the office, closing the door behind her.


Pronto looked after her, admiring her strength, and thinking about Rye Everson.





Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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