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With: Elias and Leah Steelgrave, NPCs
Location: Evergreen Ranch, Whitefish, Montana
When: August 1875
Time of Day: Morning

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Elias Steelgrave stood in his study staring at the large map of the area on the wall. It encompassed every square mile of the north-western part of the state. He was considering his next course of action to increase the size of the Evergreen ranch.

 

He would first move on the northern sector and had already filed on thousands of acres up to and encompassing Whitefish and Whitefish Lake. And then, all the way to the Canadian border, where there would be little resistance, except possibly from the Indians, but then, Elias had friends in Washington

 

The hardest part of the plan would be his push east, he would just pass the limits of Kalispell and the small ranchers thereabouts. Of course, there was a contingency plan for them. First, he'd offer to buy them out and if rebuffed, he'd burn them out. he knew that would be pushing the Steelgrave luck, but even that was not new.  He would have to dispose of the doddering old fool of a Marshal in Kalispell, and even that would not be too difficult, and the deputy? Well, that just might take care of itself.

 

And with his sons, all things were possible, especially Case, he had already started the wheels in motion.

 

TBC

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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Again he assessed the map noting that his range did not compare with that of the Lost Lake Ranch, however, that too was on the list of acquisitions to be made, he detested the Thornton crowd and it would be a pleasure to see Shade and Cantrell dead and buried. But all in good time, there were other more important fish to fry so to say.

 

“Father?” Leah asked as she entered the room. “I’ve heard there’s a new man in town that we might need to be aware of.” She began.

 

“A new man? How would he be of interest to us? I mean, one man? I can’t foresee one man to be of much consequence.”

 

“He’s a gunman from Texas father. A former Ranger and the word I’ve received from Kalispell is that he’s taken some interest in Case.” Was her response. “Not sure why, but Lawrence, the telegrapher, said that he definitely requested information from Ranger headquarters in Austin about some killing when Case was down that way. He said he kept a copy of the response if we wanted it. He just might be trouble.”

 

“You might have a little confidence in your brothers' abilities. Besides Leah, it might just be a better idea that you make yourself available to this, this whatever his name is.” Elias was becoming impatient with his daughter and her fears concerning one man.


“His name is Barnabas Pike.” She responded sensing her father's dismissal of her information, as well as his suggestion she seduces the man to make his killing easier. “And you may as well ask me to kill him myself.”

 

Elias turned to face her. “It’s not like you haven’t done it before!”

 

1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg

 

Suddenly she smiled, not that she was sure how to actually carry out her father's orders, but the sudden rush of excitement about using her charms to entice a man into her web, only to end up dead! The thrill raced through her bloodstream.

 

Yes, she had done it before, and not just once. This one might either be easy or a bit of a challenge, depending on this man's resistance. She needed to gather a bit of information on him,  this Barnabus Pike, attempt to see where the chink in his armor was and the exploit it . "Yes father, I believe I can get this done."

 

"Excellent, Leah, just excellent that's my girl," Elias stated. He had been confident that she would come around, yet he was surprised at how quickly she had agreed. "This is not a part of what we are doing with these nesters and all of the small ranchers in our way. We have no need of gunplay drawing unnecessary attention. Granted men will be killed in the process and assuredly there will be guns involved, but outright gunfight against this Pike fellow, no we can't have that."

 

 

Just then the door opened and closed,  Arlen Granger and Layton Harris walked into the room doffing their hats, Harris speaking first, "Sorry to interrupt but Grainger here just come in from Kallispell, some fella named Pike rode in shot. And he's got a wire the feller sent about Case, uh Marshal Case."  Grainger held out the paper.

 

"Get the buggy ready, Grainger you ride in with Leah while she begins," Elias said firmly.

 

894584767_LaytonHarris.jpg.264df16e7b30ef39de7a6557443a2038.jpg387057098_ArlenGranger.jpg.7f21b61d7e64376d13ed96b16a8e9a6f.jpg

TBC

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg 

Leah watched as her father read the telegram then crumpled it up and threw it in the fire. "You brought it to the wrong man, but makes no difference, Case'll handle him when the time comes. Now you do as I say, and Grainger," he peeled off a couple bank notes and handed them to him. You see to it our man is paid. The man nodded and the pair left the room.

 

"So, I'm to deal with a wounded prey is it?" Leah asked. "Hardly a challenge."

 

"You get yourself dressed and in that buggy. When you get to town you'll know what's to be done, and how." Elias bellowed.

 

"Yes father." She replied obediently. "If he's not dead when I get there, he soon will be."

 

TBC

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He watched his daughter leave the room to prepare for the trip into Kalispel. She would do what was necessary with this Pike fellow, of that he had no doubt. He would send Santee and Bannister along instead. "On second thought, you two are needed here, Harris, you ride for Whitefish and get Santee and Bannister out here, I want gunmen with her...just in case."

 

"Yes sir." Grainger responded. He could shoot, but he was no gunfighter and neither was Harris. From  the telegram it was clear this Pike was good with a gun so sending men that might be his equal or better made sense to both men. In moments both men were gone and Elias turned back to the map, the map of the future. There were a couple of things that needed doing in Whitefish and he would get the word out about a meeting to solve those needs.

 

Things were about to change.

TBC

 

894584767_LaytonHarris.jpg.264df16e7b30ef39de7a6557443a2038.jpg387057098_ArlenGranger.jpg.7f21b61d7e64376d13ed96b16a8e9a6f.jpg

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large.1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.2578a739dffca5d8bf87523dc110b7fc.jpg

Elias stood for a long appraising moment, staring at the map on the wall when the resulting sound of taffeta invaded his thoughts. He turned to vie his wife and co-conspirator, Elinor. He smiled. “Dear? You look lovely as ever.”

 

“Elias, I’ll be going to Missoula and visit the house for a few weeks before it turns truly cold and check on our interests there.” She said, her tone matter of fact, it was her habit to make that trip in the mid to late spring and early fall.

 

“Of course, I had expected you would. Be a lonely house without you.” He replied sincerely. He may be many things, but he deeply loved Elinor as she did him. They had spent a lifetime building an empire together, each contributing.

 

“Leah has gone to find this gunman I overheard you speaking of?”

 

“Yes. Whether or not the kind folks of Kalispel will be of help remains to be seen, but you know our daughter and her capabilities.”

 

“I see you’re adding to our map. I certainly hope you’re not contemplating a range war to get what you want.” She stated flatly.

 

“Not unless they are fighting each other, dear. I’ll be meeting with the men of Whitefish in a few days to begin the first phase of expansion and there really isn’t going to be much in the way of resistance.” He smiled. "Case will have things in control and the move will be quick and all but painless.”

 

Elinor smiled. Elias could be so convincing to those he commanded. And he would move smoothly, ruffling as few feathers as possible along the way, but resist and the results would be swift and harsh.

 

TBC

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"Perhaps I should be honest, I've sent the boys, our boys to Whitefish to get some of Case's men to go along with them as we take everything north and east. Now there shouldn't be a problem, well, yes, there shouldn't, but one can never predict what others will do, squatters and all. So we're prepared." Elias explained.

 

"Well I suppose that this will take what it will take to get done." Elinor agreed. "The Whitefish Lake will be ours, I've always loved it."

 

"Yes and quite a bit more if all goes as planned. "But you go ahead on your trip, the sooner you leave, the sooner you'll be back and then you'll see the progress we've made." Elias smiled and kissed her on the forehead. "I will miss you my beloved, truly I will."

 

TBC

1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.bc6efe24e2dfd729c7a7999fe05e991d.jpg

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Elinor was in the surrey that was making it's way toward Kalispel and the stage stop that would get her to Missuloa. Elias stood on the porch watching the surrey until it, and the riders with it, disappeared through the trees and down the slope to the Whitefish-Kalispel road.

 

He turned slowly and reentered the house, it would be a long several months without his partner, even though she made this trip every couple of years, he hated it when she was gone. The house was large but now it would be just he and Leah, with the boys out expanding his holdings. The thought drew him back to the map on the wall, the future of his holdings witch would dwarf Lost Lake Ranch and the Thornton's holdings.

 

By his own hand he had drawn the new boundaries and, as his son case had suggested, perhaps use his connections to create a new county, and a new county seat making Kalispel  just  another town along the way, ripe for the taking when ever the whim struck. Meanwhile, his sons were getting signatures from the current homesteaders to withdraw from Flathead County as a part of Evergreen Ranch. Which, of course, was a part of the county, but not for long. Some may die, however that was simply a part of progress.

image.jpeg.7c1190ccf3919e9162497c43d66c9f0d.jpeg

TBC

Edited by Flip (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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