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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

Morning In Kalispell


Henry S. Guyer II
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Mature Content: no

With: Speed, Unknown
Location: Kalispell Municipal Building, Marshal's Office
When: September 1875
Time of Day: First Light

 

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The September morning air was crisp, reminding him of mornings in a dozen different places, New York being one of them. The days were becoming shorter, the sun rising later and setting earlier. He liked the fall with it’s hint of the cold to come. Cold he’d felt in not just New York, or during the war, but the cold he’d experienced on his trek west.

 

As he stood on the boardwalk in front of the Marshals Office he reflected on how he had come to be here, and what had happened along the way. His banking matters were completed and the money from his former accounts received and on deposit, as were funds allotted monthly from his partner Davis at Wood & Guyer Mining Company began to flow in regularly.

 

He was the town Marshal now, allowing Hannah’s father, Scott Cory, to retire. That came about after the bear had been dispatched and the dust had settled from that event.

 

He had not thought himself a lawman, far from it, but life has a way of changing things. He was a geologist, and his business was locating minerals to be mined and mines to be developed, or bought, or sold. As he stood there, coffee cup to hand he recalled there was a young prospector in town, name of Cullen. He would look him up this morning while on his rounds.

 

Davis Wood had been satisfied with what he had scouted out before arriving in Kalispell and there had been several bonus’ deposited along the way, though most of his profits remained in his New York account. ‘Life was good here.’ He thought watching the colors of the dawn as the sun peeked over the building tops across the street. Another few minutes and he would head out to breakfast. Another day beginning in Kalispell.

 

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It was still a few minutes before school, and Weedy was a little early...his mama had come in late and was still sleeping when he left, so he had grabbed his books and headed out, on his way to the barn where Addy lived and had her horses, knowing he could get a meal there, if she was in.  But then he noticed the new marshal outside the jail, watching over the town, and the chance to talk to the man overrode the need for breakfast and he changed course.

 

"Morning, Marshal!" he called as he trotted over to the boardwalk.  "You were with Miz Addy when the bear attacked, right?  Glad that's all done with!"  Not that he'd ever been in any danger, the bear would never come into town!

 

@Flip

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"Well top of the mornin' to you Weedy. Headed  out to school are you?" Speed replied, then responded to the lad's question, "That I was, son, and I too am glad that beast is dead. Means we're all a bit safer. So, how's this new schoolmarm you have?"

 

He knew of the new teachers arrival, and glad he was the town had her. Not that he's heard much about her personally, but anyone teaching Kalispell's children was something to be grateful for. Building a nation would require educated men and women to lead in the project. True that most of this guidance would come from the east where people knew little of life in the west, and often their theories and directives did not match the needs of the people, but then, that was government.

 

"And Miss Addy? How's she doing?" He asked.

 

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"Well top of the mornin' to you Weedy. Headed  out to school are you?"

 

"Yes, sir."  A necessary evil!  But it made Miz Addy happy and was part of their agreement, even if she 'weren't educated'. 

 

"That I was, son, and I too am glad that beast is dead. Means we're all a bit safer. So, how's this new schoolmarm you have?"

 

"Wish I could'a been there, seen that big bear go down!"  Of course, anything outside the town limits was exciting to a little boy who was confined to daily boredom that was only occasionally broken up by a drunk cowboy. 

 

"Teacher is all right, she's really nice and makes the lessons easy."  Except that they were still lessons!  Not that it was a problem, besides mostly being boooorrrring!  Weedy didn't mind history, but most of the rest was pretty dry.

 

"And Miss Addy? How's she doing?" He asked.

 

"She's good.  I think she's still sad about her horse, but glad that bear is gone."  He shrugged.  "She says I need to go to school to get smarter, but I'd rather be bear hunting or helping keep the town safe."  There was a hint of hope in his tone!  "I'm a real good helper!"

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

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"She's good.  I think she's still sad about her horse, but glad that bear is gone."  He shrugged.  "She says I need to go to school to get smarter, but I'd rather be bear hunting or helping keep the town safe."  There was a hint of hope in his tone!  "I'm a real good helper!"

 

“I’ll bet you’re a crackerjack helper, Weedie, and you know, it’s everyone’s job to be keeping an eye out for trouble. It’s Miss Hannah Cory and my job to enforce the laws that keep everyone safe.” He smiled.

 

“Then there’s Lawyer Mercer to either defend or prosecute and finally, either Judge Robertson, or Judge Wendell to hear the case. So you see Weedy, everyone in Kalispel has a part in keeping everyone safe. Glad I know I can count on you to help out. Learning in school is just a part of a young fellas part in all of this.”

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Did you go to school?" The lad's nose wrinkled up as he considered the man.  He seemed pretty smart, but Weedy wasn't sure what school could teach you about finding criminals and keeping the town safe.  "Is there special school for sheriffs?  I'd like to try that, I think.  It would be better than sitting in an old office all day, writing on papers.  I mean, I know you gotta know writing and your numbers and have to read posters, I can do that now."  Well, sort of, he still had a ways to go to be competent at all of that, but he could get to that later.

 

"Maybe you could teach me how to shoot?  And I can ride, Miz Addy lets me ride her horse sometimes."  What else was there?  "Will you teach me to be a lawman?"

 

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"Did you go to school?" The lad's nose wrinkled up as he considered the man.  He seemed pretty smart, but Weedy wasn't sure what school could teach you about finding criminals and keeping the town safe.  "Is there special school for sheriffs?  I'd like to try that, I think.  It would be better than sitting in an old office all day, writing on papers.  I mean, I know you gotta know writing and your numbers and have to read posters, I can do that now."  Well, sort of, he still had a ways to go to be competent at all of that, but he could get to that later.

 

 “I did go to school, Weedy.” Speed admitted, “didn’t finish in the top of my class but pretty near to it.” He fought to not shake his head at the next question, rather he struck a thoughtful pose. “Well now, I’ve not heard of such a school. Not out west anyway. Here a man learns as he goes. I think that’s much harder than if he was trained first.”

 

"Maybe you could teach me how to shoot?  And I can ride, Miz Addy lets me ride her horse sometimes."  What else was there?  "Will you teach me to be a lawman?"

 

“If I’ve the permission of your parents, or Miss Addy I could do that, be glad to do that.” Was the response. “And I can certainly teach you what I know now and as we go along. Hadn’t you head off to school? Remember, those lessons will be important to you as you get older, so study hard and let me what your folks and Miss Addy says about all of this.”

 

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It was clear that Weedy was pondering over the request, but he finally nodded slowly.  He was pretty certain that he could get Miz Addy to agree, and that was better than trying to talk to his mom about anything. 

 

"Miz Kathleen is a nice teacher," he declared.  At least better than the last, who had been far too stern, and sooooo boring!  "I promise I'll do my lessons real good, sir, and study."  He'd earn those shooting lessons one way or another.  "Good by, Marshal!"

 

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Speed smiled at the boy as he darted off toward the schoolhouse, knowing the lad was full of excitement at the prospect of learning to shoot. For Speed, it had not been idle talk, the boy needed to know how to handle a gun, how to respect it and realize what it was, a tool, like a spade or a hoe.

 

As he grew he would be carrying one for protection while out in the wild, or on the hunt for meat, so as far as Speed was concerned, the boy could not start learning soon enough.

 

It was then he saw one Barnabas Pike entering the cafe, a man he needed to talk with.

 

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