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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.

A Cause For Celebration


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Mature Content:  Possible

With:  Amos and...
Location:  Stardust Salo0n
When:  July 1876
Time of Day:  Evening

 

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His daughter had run him off to have time with her newly minted fiance, and a man that Amos admired from days gone by, as well as what he had become in the years since those of blue and gray, shot and shell. True, they had not seen one another since his visit after the war, but between men that mattered not at all.  And now, here they were in Kalispell, Montana embarking on a new adventure together that could, in fact and in time, make them all rich. Very rich! Copper, they said, was as valuable as gold and silver, well, so some said. But it's discovery had started a rush of sorts. Not many knew it's value, and that for the time being was good, because it wouldn't last long.

 

First it had been a job of work, hunting minerals, timber rights, and such, and because of his two finds, now it was an equal partnership, which included the Pikes, who he barely knew, well Pronto, not his wife so much, but that mattered little. If the wife was anything akin to the man, then she'd be one to ride the river with. Most women on the frontier were hardy souls, because they had to be, what with nature and hostiles, both red and white.

 

He strolled across the near desolate street, a breath of air kicking up a small dust devil which quickly faltered and died. He stepped up on the boardwalk and pushed through the bat-wing doors when he reached them. The place was well lit, had a crowd of folks already, as he made his way to the bar, looking over those present as one will, taking stock of the situation. It was what a man hunter did out of hand. Caution kept him alive.

 

He looked to the bartender, "Evenin'."

@Wayfarer, or any

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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An old man, looking a bit on the bedraggled side had just come thru the batwing doors as Ralph glanced over from behind his usual spot behind the bar. It didn't matter what a man looked like though long as he had enough money to buy a drink or preferably even more than one. So this fellow was just another prospective customer to Ralph.

 

The man sidled up to the bar, "Evenin' "

 

"Evenin' yerself, can I get ya somethin'?"  Ralph asked that same question he had asked folk thousands of times in his life.

 

That was the job.

 

@Flip

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"Wouldn't mind a beer." Amos said, and laid a coin on the bar top. If there was one thing that Amos understood it was that he didn't look like much of a success, but how he looked had worked to his advantage over the years. Putting up his money first was his habit, and it seemed to put the bartender, or merchant at ease.

 

"Nice place ya got here. An' no real competition that I can see. Makes fer a more profitable bid'ness." He said, just making idle conversation, though it was essentially true, there wasn't another saloon in town. Maybe another place or two to get a drink, but not another saloon. "Fact is, this here's a right nice town when ya git right down too it."

@Wayfarer, anyone.

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"Sure," Ralph nodded and poured a glass of beer from the tap then set it in front of the newcomer, scraping the coin off the bartop and into a box behind the bar.

 

"Nice place ya got here. An' no real competition that I can see. Makes fer a more profitable bid'ness."

 

"We do well, yep. Now I heard there was once another saloon...on the other side of the street a bit down the way. But it burnt down, seemed the owner tended to drink a little too much of his own stuff and they say he had an accident with a lantern. But that was before I arrived so don't know how much to the whole story," Ralph offered.

 

"Fact is, this here's a right nice town when ya git right down too it," the old gent opined.

 

"I like it here. But probably no different than any other town. Most folks are good people and then you got a few rotten apples," Ralph shrugged.

 

 

 

 

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"Well, hell, every burg I ever been in has it's fair share'a them." Amos said with a laugh, because it was true. No place was all good, but there had been a few places he had ventured to that were all bad. "But yer right on thet account, it's no differ'nt than most any other town."

 

Amos always liked a saloon, a man could learn a lot about things like range conditions, in some instances mining topics, timber resources, as Montana has lots of trees. Even water rights.

 

"Another'un, shame then thet she burnt, but ya know, things happen, benefit some, not others. But I've found thet the older, well established bid'ness, whatever it might be, usually comes out on top. Amos offered. "I'd heard tell a man could get a drink at the White Rose, then too I heard they're makin' a theater outta it."

@Wayfarerand any...

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It was that relatively quiet time of the day when she could get things done, so Arabella dragged a bucket of water and her scrub brush into the saloon to have another go a that patch where Mr O'Toole had been sick the other night and it had all gotten between the cracks of the floorboards. She was so busy making sure she didn't spill any that she was right up to Mr Conroy before she looked up and saw him towering above her.

 

She had never met the man, but a look of happy recognition flooded her face, she positively beamed.

 

"OH! Well you're kinda early, it's only July! So, can I sit on your knee and tell you what I want this year? Cause last Christmas all I got was buried by a house what fell on top o' me and half froze to death!"

 

She looked at Ralph and pointed to Mr Conroy "Lookee here, it's Santy Claus!"

 

@Wayfarer @Flip

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Amos paused, beer glass at his lip when the girl spoke, well, she could be a woman, but didn't look the part to him. "'scuse me, Miss?" He asked. He hardly fit the description of any Santa Clause he had ever heard of, but perhaps she was just being cute. Which fell flat.

 

He set the beer on the bar, "Reckon you got me confused with the Father Christmas of yer childhood, which don't appear to be thet far back. No, ma'am, I ain't not Santy Clause, thet's fer shore." He grined. "Not hardly, but yer free ta think what ya will." He picked up the glass and took a long swallow.

@Javia@Wayfarer

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He set the beer on the bar, "Reckon you got me confused with the Father Christmas of yer childhood, which don't appear to be thet far back. No, ma'am, I ain't not Santy Clause, thet's fer shore." He grined. "Not hardly, but yer free ta think what ya will." He picked up the glass and took a long swallow.

 

"He he, I was just kiddin', Mister. You do look a little bit like him though." the girl laughed, then turned and said to the barman "I'm just gonna have another try and gettin' that sick up from betwixt the floor boards then I'd better get ready to play: I reckon Caroline'll be down any minute. It's takin' her extra long to get pretty tonight!" 

 

"I don't take any time to get pretty, I just come that way." she explained to the old man, not that he seemed particularly interested, she was just chatty that way.

 

Well, Mr O'Toole's vomit wasn't going to clean itself up so she knelt down and started scrubbing the affected patch.

 

@Wayfarer @Flip

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

"I don't take any time to get pretty, I just come that way." she explained to the old man, not that he seemed particularly interested, she was just chatty that way.

 

"Got yerself a couple wimmen workin, that'll bring 'em in fer shore." He noted, as was the case anywhere there were females in the saloons. "I'm Amos, Amos Conroy, you'd be? Figger I oughtt get ta know folks here since I'll be around a spell. Got a place out east o' here. Workin' for Wood an' Guyer Minin' concern, two doors down." He glanced down and smiled at the young one cleaning the floor. "Looks ta be a good 'un ya got there."

 

@Wayfarer@Javia Anyone.

 

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Caroline, despite what Arabella said (an oft unreliable source), was not upstairs at all nor had she been taking a longer time than usual to 'get pretty'. She had been outside in the side alley having a conversation with a farmer - who provided the saloon kitchen with a supply of eggs. It had been just small talk but the pair of them had found out both hailed from Chicago in the past. She had realized though she couldn't dawdle out there too long, she had rounds to make on the floor and then get up on stage and do a few musical numbers.

 

Waltzing in she made her re-appearance back in the main room, her eyes scanning the place to check out the present customers. A decent enough crowd, mostly the regulars she saw virtually every night.  Arabella was down on her knees scrubbing - actually doing what she was supposed to for once it seemed instead of chatting and oft making a nuisance of herself with customers. Caroline could only hope their new boss would not get tired of such antics and fire the girl.

 

She leaned up against the bar, "So, Ralph, anything excitin?"   It was accompanied by a big grin, she asked him that a lot fully knowing most nights were the same old..same old.

 

"Nope, how bout you?" Ralph was his usual straight faced self.

 

"I learned more about raising chickens than I ever knew or wanted ta know before," she shrugged then noticed the older jasper at the bar, he was new.

 

"Hey there, mister!  Yer new, right? You know you get a free drink if it's yer first time here? If ya buy me a drink that is," Caroline had a smile that could light up a room.

 

 

 

 

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"New? Been here a spell now, but I'm new ta this place." Amos informed her, "Reckon I can buy you a drink alright." He smiled then to Ralph, "Give the lady what she wants." He had been though this routine more times than he could count, but he was certain she got a percentage of the drinks bought for her, so he was helping her earn a living, or so he believed.

 

"Jest stopped in ta give my daughter time with her fi'ancey , Marshal Guyer. Work for the man in his other bidness." Sort of havin' me a beer ta celebrate. He an I is old friends."

@Wayfarer @Javia anyone

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"Jest stopped in ta give my daughter time with her fi'ancey , Marshal Guyer. Work for the man in his other bidness." Sort of havin' me a beer ta celebrate. He an I is old friends."

 

Arabella gave a little scream and jumped up, rushing over to Amos with her scrub-brush still in her hands, pushing in front of Caroline, who was busy working her line.

 

"Did you say fiancé, Mr Convoy?! Does that mean there's gonna be a wedding soon? Cause if'n so then your pretty little daughter'll be needin' a bridesmaid and I got a whole lot of experience in that department , and a dress to boot. An' when my friend Clara got hitched and she begged me to be her bridesmaid, turned out I was the prettiest girl there, according my friend Bridget anyhow, and I was such a good bridesmaid and friend to her that I deliberately made myself look ugly, so she would shine, kinda like this:"

 

She pulled a face with her tongue lolling out a little, her eyes crossed and a slack jawed look decorating her face. "So, does your daughter have a bridesmaid chosen yet, cause if you're twistin' my arm, I don't mind doin' it for her. What's her name?"

 

 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Amos jumped at Arabella's unexpected little scream, and then said, "I said thet, I did, an yep, a weddin's in the works, jest cain't say when it'll be," He grinned, That'd be up ta them what's tyin' the knot. Jest did happen, not an hour minutes ago."

 

Then the young woman continued on about her presence at a friends wedding as a bridesmaid, and bragged about how she was the prettiest one there, but made faces to detract from her self-professed beauty. Now the girl was above average in looks, and apparently highly motivated to promote herself, which was not really a bad thing, just overdone a bit, or so Amos thought.

 

"Well now, like I said, them two jest did come to the decision to marry, so i doubt thet there's much plannin' goin' on about jest yet." He thought to mention what they had been discussing with the copper mines and all, but not knowing the men in the place, he decided that it would be a bad idea to mention anything about it. It was not his announcement to make anyway. "So ya see, I don't rightly know what it is they're plannin', if anything at this point. The daughters name is Alice, Alice Fletcher."

@Javia@WayfarerAnyone

 

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"New? Been here a spell now, but I'm new ta this place." Amos informed her.

 

"And here I am, standing in this place so yer new to me, hon," Caroline grinned.

 

"Reckon I can buy you a drink alright." He smiled then to Ralph, "Give the lady what she wants."

 

"Awww, thank ya sir!" Caroline was pleased, she didn't even need to tell Ralph anything as he reached for their 'special' bottle under the bar and poured her a drink (colored water not real whiskey).

 

Ralph also gave the man his free beer then too.

 

"Jest stopped in ta give my daughter time with her fi'ancey , Marshal Guyer. Work for the man in his other bidness. Sort of havin' me a beer ta celebrate. He an I is old friends."

 

"Sure I know the Marshal..." that's as far as Caroline got before Arabella barged on in. With a roll of her eyes, Caroline gave way and moved on to roam the floor.

(ooc: She'll be out of this scene now.)

 

 

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Posted (edited)

One of the establishments in Kalispell that Phinias McVay did not frequent, along with the church, was the saloon. He preferred to drink alone, when he drank. He was mindful of imbibing too much, but on this particular evening he was about to make an exception.

 

Word had come to him that in fact, one Hiram Priest had thrown his top hat into the ring, so this was becoming a crowded field. There was also a rumor that Worcester Pettigrew, the dress maker, was considering making the same move. He would wait until morning. He had seen Amos Conroy, the bounty hunter turned resources hunter was at the saloon, which would give him a chance to see what was up.

 

Of course, Phin paused at the sight of Miss Arabella Mudd who had engaged Amos. So he eased up to the bar and requested, "Sarsaparilla, Ralph, if you please. How's business? Man in the top hat? Hiram Priest?" He would wait on Miss Mudd to conclude taking up Conroy's time.

@Wayfarer@Javia@Preston

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"Well now, like I said, them two jest did come to the decision to marry, so i doubt thet there's much plannin' goin' on about jest yet. So ya see, I don't rightly know what it is they're plannin', if anything at this point."

 

"Oh well, they'll need to do some kind of planning, that's the best part of just about any kind of shindig. There'll be flowers and dresses and the wedding breakfast and the service, oh! I hope they're both the same demonanation else that might cause a problem, oh, so many things!! Best she just plump for a bridesmaid now, then she can help out with all o' that plannin'!" the girl reasoned. "And then ol' Marshal Guyer and, er...?"

 

"The daughters name is Alice, Alice Fletcher."

 

"OH!!!" Arabella cried delightedly "That's the name of the heroine in my favourite book, Through the Looking Glass! Well, second favourite after the Bible, of course. Hey, hold up a second there. How come she's called Fletcher an your called Convoy. You sure she's your daughter, Mister?" she frowned. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Sure as shootin', Alice is my daughter an; no product of a book, though I'm sure she'd enjoy heaing all about it. Might even look for a copy to read." Amos responded to the odd questioning of her parentage. "I've know'd her her whole life. Must be a daisy of a book, brein' second only to the 'Good Book.'"

 

"Hey, hold up a second there. How come she's called Fletcher an your called Convoy. You sure she's your daughter, Mister?" she frowned. 

 

Amos looked at her with a furrowed brow, "Well now, that'd be simple enough, Alice Fletcher, her married name, is a widder. Her husband up and died some years back leavin' her alone, so she come home to her Pa and we started off from there."

 

He looked for some help from the blonde woman, but saw none coming, as she taken her drink off to talk with some other man. And Ralph, he was down the bar engaged in another conversation. It appeared he was trapped.

@Javia

 

 

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Amos looked at her with a furrowed brow, "Well now, that'd be simple enough, Alice Fletcher, her married name, is a widder. Her husband up and died some years back leavin' her alone, so she come home to her Pa and we started off from there."

 

Arabella's bright smile faded "Oh, I am so sorry to hear of her loss." she said, perhaps a little formulaically, but with sincerity "But how wonderful that her dear old Father has become a port of safe refuge for her in the troubled waters of her widowhood."

 

Then Arabella spotted Phin and touched Conroy gently on the arm.

 

"Oh, be careful what you say to that gentleman what just walked in: he's a journalist!" she warned "I mean, he's a real nice enough feller, Mr McVey, but you know what these pressmen are like; they can forget themselves when there's a good story to be had. Do you know, he once had to issue a written contraction about some mean things his paper printed about me: makin' out I was some sort o' irritatin' pest, or somethin', and not fit to be a bridesmaid. Me!

 

Then she remembered something else.

 

"Oh, and if your little Alice needs anyone to play the piana or organ at the weddin' .... I'm your girl!" she smiled "You can have a sample in a minute, I'm Miss Mundee's accompanist. Let me know if you've got any requests."

 

Indeed, it was almost time to put a little life into the place with a rip roarin' song from the Stardust Saloon's very own songbird.

 

@Wayfarer @Flip

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Ralph noticed the newspaper editor had just walked on thru the batwing doors then waited til the man eased up to the bar and requested, "Sarsaparilla, Ralph, if you please. How's business? Man in the top hat? Hiram Priest?"

 

"Sure, coming right up," Ralph nodded reaching for a glass, "Business is steady which is always good."

 

"Yep, that's Hiram Priest to be sure," Ralph confirmed the man's guess.

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"Oh, be careful what you say to that gentleman what just walked in: he's a journalist!" she warned "I mean, he's a real nice enough feller, Mr McVey, but you know what these pressmen are like; they can forget themselves when there's a good story to be had. Do you know, he once had to issue a written contraction about some mean things his paper printed about me: makin' out I was some sort o' irritatin' pest, or somethin', and not fit to be a bridesmaid. Me!" 

 

Amos looked at her somewhat skeptically, "Ya don't say?" The followed her eyes down the bar to McVay. Now, he'd read a paper or two, and liked the mans style. "Hard ta figger anyone'd try an' say such like in print?" He shook his head

 

Then she remembered something else.

 

"Oh, and if your little Alice needs anyone to play the piana or organ at the weddin' .... I'm your girl!" she smiled "You can have a sample in a minute, I'm Miss Mundee's accompanist. Let me know if you've got any requests."

 

"I'll let her know, I surely will, Miss." He'd not caught her name but it was clear she did not like McVay.

@Javia (unless we're done)

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"I understand the man's up for Mayor, gettin' to be a crowded, field it is. Be interesting as hell once they start campaigning. Never did see a respectable campaign where the mud wasn't slung hot 'n heavy as it wore on." McVay observed, and he'd seen a few.

 

"A might early to start interviewing, but maybe you can tell me how long the gents been in town. This won't be for print, Ralph, maybe use how long he's been in town later on, but I won't wake the devil by starting something in print about just the one."

@Wayfarer

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Amos looked at her somewhat skeptically, "Ya don't say?" The followed her eyes down the bar to McVay. Now, he'd read a paper or two, and liked the mans style. "Hard ta figger anyone'd try an' say such like in print?" He shook his head.

 

"Oh, you know, the modern sensationalist press and all that!" informed Arabella sagely, parroting the phrase she'd heard someone in town say. 

 

"Oh, and if your little Alice needs anyone to play the piana or organ at the weddin' .... I'm your girl!" she smiled "You can have a sample in a minute, I'm Miss Mundee's accompanist. Let me know if you've got any requests."

 

"I'll let her know, I surely will, Miss." He'd not caught her name but it was clear she did not like McVay.

 

Arabella picked up on the question mark. "Oh, we ain't been socially introduced, I'm Arabella, Arabella Sumter Mudd, Miss, of the Virginia Mudds, but no relation to that doctor Mudd what helped John Wilkes Booth, of course. Except my Mama reckoned we was related, but I reckon that was just all in her head because she was red hot sessesh and there was streak of insanity on her side of the family anyhow." she had to keep the introduction short, as she wold be needed at the piano any second.

 

"Say, come on." she added "Tell me your favourite song and I'll get Miss Mundee to sing it for yuh!"

 

@Flip

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Uhhh, faver't song? Don't 'spose Dixie'd be one folks'd wanna hear. Maybe 'Ol' Suszannah, would be okay, Miss Mudd." Amos suggested, "Pleased ta meetcha." He had polished off the first beer, and was looking at the second one, the free one. He was never one to push his drinking. In his former line of work, drinking was a liability if done in excess.

 

He had actually known a couple of Mudd's from the war, one was from the Carolina's, the other up from Florida. He doubted they were any immediate relation to the young lady, yet he was aware that one never knew. Folks roamed til they found a likely spot and settled. Just the nature of things, it was a big country in all directions.

@Javia? or any

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"I understand the man's up for Mayor, gettin' to be a crowded, field it is. Be interesting as hell once they start campaigning. Never did see a respectable campaign where the mud wasn't slung hot 'n heavy as it wore on." McVay observed.

 

"That he is," Ralph nodded and left it at that.

 

"A might early to start interviewing, but maybe you can tell me how long the gents been in town. This won't be for print, Ralph, maybe use how long he's been in town later on, but I won't wake the devil by starting something in print about just the one."

 

"I'm not sure, I didn't mark nothin' on the calendar but he showed up same day as our new owner, Mr. Fortner. You could ask him. Or for the that matter, you could always ask the man himself," Ralph replied.

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OOC:  This is to Amos, I already wrote earlier Ralph setting him up with his free beer when he bought the drink for Caroline so it's right there on the bartop.  :)

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