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The terrain in Montana was treacherous and rugged, even more so than Colorado it seemed, definitely more so than Nebraska. These were the areas he'd been working the most, he'd spent the last seven years working as an agent for the railroad with his friend, collecting bounties on undesirables and helping defend the small towns. His best friend, Andrew, had been killed in their last run in with a band of outlaws and the man who killed him fled to Montana, or so he heard. Arley decided to come and look for him, it was his best lead. He'd heard a man fitting his targets description was near a town called Kalispell. So Arley headed to there. But it wasn't an easy trek, this land wasn't like the Mid-west where he hailed from, it was mountainous and the weather was brutal.

 

On the horizon, it looked as if he'd finally found the small town, and he spurred his horse, the beast bellowed toward the town. Arley was excited to finally be here, it had been days since he had an actual drink and he needed tobacco, he ran out on the way here. All he could hear was his horse stomping on the road toward the town and the wind howled past his ears, blowing his hat off, the string catching his neck. "Ya! Ya! Faster Roach!" He yelled at his animal companion, as it spurred quicker down the road. He was excited to sleep in a bed tonight, and get himself some whiskey, but since he was a bounty hunter it was a courtesy for him to go down to the local Marshals office before he did anything, so when he got to the town that is where he went first.

 

When he got to the Marshals office he hitched his horse and walked in, he only saw a woman in the small building. She was a pretty woman, though he could tell she was rugged, she didn't wear the normal attire most women did, she was in work clothes. That and she was also in the Marshals office so he assumed that she probably worked for the Marshal. "Howdy ma'am, I am new ta' town, and was wonderin' if I might be able to speak to the Marshal?" He asked her, giving her a grin as he awaited a reply

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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Hannah stood in front of the large bulletin board where a large number of wanted posters were displayed. She was going through the week's collection of telegrams, pulling down the expired sheets and filing it with its notice away. The weekly rotation of posters was something the Marshal loathed, and she did not mind the chore at all. It also meant staying inside out of the murderous midday heat.


The jingle of the bell over the door made her turn around. The man that had spoken, asking to speak to the Marshal, was unknown to her. Placing his age was hard to place as he was rather rugged and gaunt. A long scar that ran from ear to bottom lip did not make judging his age any easier. She did not see a badge on his dusty coat, but the dual revolvers gave her pause. Generally, a rig like that was the province of specific types of men; gunslingers, lawmen, and bounty hunters...men who made their living off their guns.


Walking over to the larger of the two desks in the room, she laid the posters she was working on down on it. "Marshal Cory is making his rounds. I am Deputy Marshal Cory. May I be of assistance?" 

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Arley noticed her eyeing him down, probably trying to discern his age and more than likely what he is doing in the offices. She told him the Marshal was out and about, and that she was the Deputy. They had the same last name, so she was either the Marshals wife or daughter, not that it mattered. He was just here really to announce himself and let the law know who is in their town. "I am certain you can, miss. My name is Arley Voegeli, I am a bounty hunter from Kansas and I am searching for a man named Carter Johnson," he pulled out the bounty paper, with a rough sketch of his face and the bounty for 900, dead or alive. "I also have a decree from the Governor of Kansas stating his wanted status as well," he told her being all professional, grabbing the Governors decree as well and setting them on the table.

 

"I tell every Marshal in every town I come to this same thing. Lettin' you know I ain't here to start trouble, but if I find Mr. Johnson, I will kill him," he explained, he then changed the subject. "I am going to be honest, I wasn't expecting you to be a woman,"

 

 

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Hannah picked up the documents and scanned them, her sharp eyes noting the pertinent details. Her eyebrows lifted slightly at the amount of money being offered for the man. They lowered again as Voegeli continued to speak.


She did not respond to the man immediately. Instead, she leaned over and picked up the most recent stack of wanted posters from the desk's inbox. That had been next on her list of tasks, verifying the posters against the recall notices and tacking up the ones that were still active.


Deciding to disregard his comment about finding a female deputy in the office, Hannah addressed his other statement regarding the target of his search, "Mr. Voegeli, Montana territory may be on the frontier, but we still respect the law. We also expect everyone else to do the same. Wanted dead or alive does not mean wanted dead or dead. Every effort should be made to bring this man in for trial. The bounty is paid either way." Both her gaze and her voice was steady as she spoke.


Petty criminals were a nuisance and a drain on resources. Hardened criminals were a threat to citizens and their property. Hannah had no love for either element although she could, perhaps, sympathize with the man that stole a loaf of bread to feed his family when there were no other options. "It doesn't matter what one calls themselves. Taking life without due process of law, except in the case of self-defense, is never justifiable." 


"So, Mr. Voegeli, if you capture Carter Johnson, we expect you to bring him in alive if at all possible. At that time, we will send a telegram to the appropriate authorities in Kansas to find out if they want him tried here or returned there for trial. If Kansas wants him back, we will determine if one of our deputies should ride with you to make certain Johnson arrives alive."


Hannah gave the man a cold, hard stare, "Murder is murder, Mr. Voegeli."

 

@Arley Voegeli

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Posted (edited)

The woman wasn't wrong...Murder was murder, but Arley didn't read 'dead or alive,' all he saw was dead or dead. That's what he is going to get for killing his friend, death. He knew that Carter wouldn't be here in town, he wasn't that stupid. Even he was a horrid man he was a survivalist, he knew how to fend for himself. He also knew Arley was coming for him, and staying in a town would be a sure fire way to get caught. That and Arley doubted that he would be easy to capture, but at this moment it didn't really matter. He noticed she ignored his comment about her being a woman in the deputy office, he meant no offense, though he reckoned it wasn't the best comment he could have said. 

 

He then met her cold stare as he told him murder was murder, with his usual smirk and sighed, "I understand ma'am, you're right, I will do my best to bring him in alive," he was telling the truth...revenge was funny like that, it can change and morph your morals into something wicked. Many people lose all sense of reality when blinded by vengeance. "But I can't make no promises, the man won't want to come willingly," 

Edited by Arley Voegeli (see edit history)

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Hannah relaxed slightly. His comment regarding being surprised that the deputy marshal being a woman had not escaped her notice. She simply chose not to respond to it directly. Hannah was rather used to such things. It was a hazard of working for her father.


"Most criminals, especially those facing the hangman's noose, do not choose to come in willingly. The right thing to do is to try. In the end, it may come to your life or his." Hannah gave him a long, steady look. Some of the coldness had left her eyes and manner. "Killing in self-defense is justified."


Finally, she found the wanted sheet on Carter Johnson. She quickly rifled through her stack of recall telegrams. Hannah looked over the wanted poster again. From the little it said, Carter Johnson was about as bad as they came. "I will make note that you stopped in and flag this poster for the Marshal when he comes back in. You know, Johnson may have taken refuge in Whitefish or Eureka - up near the border. Both towns are not very picky when it comes to the criminal element residing there."

 

@Arley Voegeli

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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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Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

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