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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
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Mature Content:  No

With: Walt Shannon, Wally Oldham, Injun Charlie
Location: Lickskillet, Stardust Saloon, Around Town.
When: Mid-July 1876
Time of Day: Mid-day

 

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They came into town slow and easy, looking the town over as most travelers would do. They rode past the Municipal Building, the Town Marshal was seated at his desk oblivious to the riders. Across the street several businesses and a hotel, but the saloon, the Stardust, and next to it, the Lickskillet Cafe. They pulled up and stepped down at the cafe, tying their horses.

 

Drinks might be good, but food they didn't have to cook, that took precedence to men who'd been on the trail for sometime, even though they ate cafe food in Rollins, but that was a while ago. There were no words of caution or care to be taken, they knew what they were about. First a meal, then a couple of drinks and some information on mining in the area and then, ride on. The word was, leave the bank alone. Case had been firm on that. So it would be.

 

They went to the door, opened it and stepped inside, removing their hats as they found a table and took seats to wait on the waitress, or whoever.

@Wayfarer(Clara)

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Moved From: From Big Flat To Kalispell

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Clara was in the kitchen, busy with food preparation but heard the tinkle of the little front door bell signaling customers. It was always a welcome sound for any business. Wiping her hands on a towel, she headed on into the diner front. Yes, three customers. Cowboy sorts and total strangers to her. One was an Indian or maybe at least a half breed. Clara couldn't help herself, she didn't much like Indians. Yes, at times she knew it wasn't fair but it was a scar that may well never go away for her. Indians had killed her mother and nearly killed her. Even the doctor that time had not thought she would survive that arrow in the chest. But she had to get past it now, a customer was a customer.

 

Approaching the men she offered them a customer service smile as she greeted them.

 

"Good day gentlemen, can I help you?"

 

@Flip

 

 

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"Yes Ma'am, you certainly can. We're just passing through and are hungry, so I suppose then, whatever the special might be, well, that would be just fine, and coffee all around if you would, please. Well, unless you've a suggestion." Shannon said politely. "A right nice place you've got here, and the town as well. "

 

Walt Shannon could be as pleasant as the next man, most times more so, this was one of those occasions. He had an eye for towns, having seen a lot of them in his travels, whether he robbed their banks or not. What he saw he truly liked. The kind of place he might settle down, if he was to ever do that.

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@Wayfarer

 

 

 

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"Yes Ma'am, you certainly can. We're just passing through and are hungry, so I suppose then, whatever the special might be, well, that would be just fine, and coffee all around if you would, please. Well, unless you've a suggestion." Shannon said politely. "A right nice place you've got here, and the town as well. "

 

"Thank you, it is not my place, but Mrs. Emeline Pike but we are quite proud of it," Clara replied.

 

There was a daily menu up on a chalkboard, most places used those instead of paper menus, easier to make changes. But they did have a special today.

 

"Today's special is beef meat pies, they are very good if I do say so myself. The owner's private recipe. And of course coffee too."

 

 

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"Well now, private recipes. Glad we stopped in. Most places have beef and beans, a meat pie, now that is special. Yes Ma'am believe I'll stick with that." Walt  said with a smile, "Boys?"

 

"Yes Ma'am, them meat pies, had one before an' they were good." Oldham agreed.

 

"Sounds good, Ma'am." Indian Charlie chimed in. One thing could be said for them, they were polite, now that's not to say they could not be vicious, because they could shut off the charm in a second.

 

Unlike a lot of outlaws, bullies if you will, these three would fight rather than run. The Indian was a killer, Oldham known as a back shooter, and Walt Shannon was not quite right in the head and probably the the most dangerous of the three.

 

They were not on the prod this day, no, they were being inconspicuous, seen, but not standing out other than those few moments when they were seen as new in town.

@Wayfarer

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Her suggestion about the beef pies was well received, the trio all agreeing that would be their order.

 

"Very well, three meat pies it is," Clara nodded, that was so easy no need to write it out on her note pad so she put pencil and paper away.

 

"Since you mentioned beans, we do always have a big pot of those simmering away...made with molasses. Would you care for a side helping of those on your plates?"

 

"And I will bring you some coffee too should anyone wish some?"

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"Why thank you Ma'am, that would be most welcome." Shannon said politely. "And I believe the beans sound like a welcome addition to a hearty meal." The other two nodded and murmured in agreement. Good solid food!

 

"Ma'am, about the local mining in the area, we're new up here in the north and know very little, are there areas showing color?" Using the prospecting term for gold or silver. "Sad state men looking for precious metals need to ask of it's presence to a woman, but such is the case."

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@Wayfarer

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Alright, they wanted the helpings of beans and would take coffee too. Clara was happy to oblige. But one of them also wanted to say something else then.

 

"Ma'am, about the local mining in the area, we're new up here in the north and know very little, are there areas showing color?"

 

Clara had NOT expected that question. She'd been asked all kinds of questions about Kalispell since her employment here. About the people, the businesses, the church, and school. Sometimes even specific names of folks like where did Mr. Smith or widow Jones live. But mining?

 

"Well, I am sorry but I know nothing about such things. Some folks have found silver or gold on occasion. But I was not privy to the where and other details. I do believe you could ask the town marshal as he also has another job as some sort of assessor......or something? I really do not know what his actual job title is," she tried her best to be helpful.

 

 

 

 

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"Well, never hurts to ask, I always say. Waitresses, bartenders tend to hear things time to time about such things. Sorry to have bothered you. We'll try down the street, at the saloon. Perhaps a more  appropriate place for such questions, and the Marshal, has a business, that  is helpful, thank you miss, thank you." Shannon said. "You've been very kind, Ma'am.

 

There was a twist, the Marshal also involved in the mining business, this just might be worth looking into, carefully of course. The saloon would likely be their best bet though, and no legal complications. Not that they expected any, but they saw the telegraph wires on their way into town, meaning word could travel fast. But, that shouldn't affect them, they were never seen, not even by the posse.

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@Wayfarer

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"Well, never hurts to ask, I always say. Waitresses, bartenders tend to hear things time to time about such things. Sorry to have bothered you. We'll try down the street, at the saloon. Perhaps a more  appropriate place for such questions, and the Marshal, has a business, that  is helpful, thank you miss, thank you." Shannon said. "You've been very kind, Ma'am"

 

"Certainly, sorry I could not be of more assistance.  Your meal should be coming up quite soon though. In the meantime, let me bring you your coffees," Clara declared then went back into the kitchen to do just that.

 

Just then the bell tinkled and the front door opened, a young woman in a low cut scarlet dress (and not wearing a hat over that blonde hair of hers contrary to what was expected of women in public) walked on in.  Her fingernails were painted, she had make up on too. One could safely assume this was not a minister's wife or maybe anyone's wife.

 

Clara's voice rang out from within the kitchen, "Be right with you!"

 

"No hurry!" the young woman called back as she stood there, glancing then over to the trio at the table, she nodded acknowledgement, "Gentlemen."

 

CMfor-Sagas.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)

"Again, thank you, ma'am." Walt Shannon said. As she walked away he turned to the men with him, a sadistic smile . "I guess we stop by the Marshal's office, maybe he can five us some leads. Maybe not, but we keep up appearances."

 

"Yeah, good idea. Then what, we move on, find the others? Oldham asked in low tones that would be difficult to overhear, careful not to mention Steelgrave's name. Charlie simply smiled.

 

"That's the plan, we eat, we pay, we leave like any other customer. Then we stop by and ask about what's being located, if there are open claims, or areas we could stake a claim, then, we move on." A good plan, a simple one, and one that would almost legitimize their presence in Kalispell.

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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All three looked up when the blonde women addressed them, seeing that they were the only group of men she passed.

 

"Ma'am," Shannon replied with his smile. The other two nodding to her in reply. All of them finding her attractive, because she was.  "Excuse me, but do you know if the Marshal's other business, the mining concern, is it open? Or do we need to locate him at his office?" Add to the facade, make them seem to be what they weren't to the point of actually filing a claim, if they were going to stay any length of time, which they just might.

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@Wayfarer

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"Ma'am," Shannon replied with his smile. The other two nodding to her in reply.  "Excuse me, but do you know if the Marshal's other business, the mining concern, is it open? Or do we need to locate him at his office?"

 

Caroline smirked, that was quite an unexpected couple of questions.

 

"I wouldn't know anything about the minin' business and the last time I talked to the Marshal he was arresting me cuz I came to the rescue of a poor ol' dog. So....yeah, I try to stay away from his office as far as I can," she smiled.

 

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All three smiled, having similar aspirations for similar reasons. "Well thank you anyway Ma'am. Guess we'll figure it out, not like his office is hard to find. We're new in town, as you might have guessed, so we ask questions of folks to sort of get our bearings for such like. But I appreciate your taking time to speak with us." Shannon said.

 

"Yes Ma'am, much appreciated." Wally Oldham chimed in, Charlie merely nodded, but had a smile none the less.

 

 Walt,always found it odd that of all the men he might have taken in with Oldham's talents, he managed to take a man with the same first name. Now the Blonde, she was a different kettle of fish altogether. Shannon pegged her for some sort of saloon woman, be it entertainer, or hurdy-gurdy girl, or even a whore, Though she didn't look the part of a prostitute.

 

"I'm Walt Shannon, Wally Oldham and Injun Charlie here, we're pleased to make your acquaintance."

@Wayfarer

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 "Well thank you anyway Ma'am. Guess we'll figure it out, not like his office is hard to find. We're new in town, as you might have guessed, so we ask questions of folks to sort of get our bearings for such like. But I appreciate your taking time to speak with us," said one of the men.

 

"Oh sure, I don't mind, hon," Caroline replied, "But yeah best check that office of his."

 

The fellow introduced himself and his two pards, "I'm Walt Shannon, Wally Oldham and Injun Charlie here, we're pleased to make your acquaintance."

 

"Pleasure gents. I'm Caroline Mundee, I work at the saloon. You should make a stop there and have yerself a few drinks once yer done with your mining business," Caroline offered, even off duty she did her best to drum up business.

 

Just then Clara emerged from the kitchen with a wide tray she was carrying with both hands and headed for the table with the three men. She exchanged glances with the saloon gal.

 

"Be right with you, Miss Mundee."

 

"No hurry, hon," Caroline didn't mind, the girl was just doing her job.

 

"Here you go, gentlemen," she then took three plates of beans and meat pies off the tray and placed one in front of each man, "Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you need anything else."

Clare-Munroe012.jpg

 

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The men, first taken by the good looks of the blonde, suddenly looked at the food set before them with hungry eyes. "Yes Ma'am, we'll be sure to do that! And to you Miss, this looks great!" Shannon said without looking up, then, he caught himself and did look to both this Caroline Mundee woman with a smile. "We certainly will." And then to the woman that brought the food. "Ma'am, you set quite a plate. Quite a plate indeed!"

 

The other two we already digging in to the plate load of food and mumbled something resembling thanks. Sometimes beauty fails where food is involved, and for these men, what was set before them pushed aside any thoughts of anything but eating.

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Caroline watched with a smile as the men's attention turned from her to the food heaped in front of them by young Clara. It wasn't all that surprising. What was the old saying? A way to a man is thru his stomach. Besides their conversation had basically come to a close. Maybe she'd see them again sometime in the saloon, maybe not.

 

Clara took in the compliments over the food and service. Just what she always liked to hear. She had been more than a little nervous when Pronto took Emeline off on their ........well seemingly endless trip. Would she be able to handle the job by herself? But thru hard work - and Clara never minded hard work - she honestly felt she was doing well. Still, she hoped the couple would return soon. At least Emeline had sent her a few things/letters to let her know they were safe and enjoying themselves. Emeline deserved that in Clara's opinion.

 

"Thank you gentlemen, let me know when you are finished and I will tote up the bill," Clara announced then went to deal with the saloon gal.

 

Caroline was there to buy one of the place's freshly baked pies and it didn't take long to make her choice.

 

"Ara loves pecan pie, she's a southerner. So yeah, give me that pecan pie. Me, I like all your pies," Caroline stated.

 

"Yes ma'am, you are in luck too. I only made one of those today," Clara replied as she reached down into the counter below to extract the pie.

 

Caroline plopped down some coins, told the girl to keep the change and marched back out with one pie in hand.

 

 

 

 

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"Thank you gentlemen, let me know when you are finished and I will tote up the bill," Clara announced then went to deal with the saloon gal.

 

"Yea'um, we'll sure do that." Shannon said between bites. The food was very good, and they were all enjoying the fare. Even the coffee was above what they were used to. but trail coffee always seemed to have it's own flavor, yet this was for them and experience.

 

As they finished up, plates clean, cups empty, stomachs full, Shannong fished out a silver dollar which e laid on the table, nodding to the others who did the same. "Ma'am, money's on the table. Thank you. Hope to be in again, real soon." He said and with that they rose and left the Lickskillet looking back toward the Marshal's office.

@Wayfarer or not

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Posted (edited)

Now these men were far from not knowing what they could and could not do, and were no strangers to dealing with lawmen. Having a supposed good reason to see the town Marshal, the strode directly to his office and walked in.

 

"Marshal? Don't mean to bother you, we're interested in locating areas where there might be ore to mine, gold or silver. Hard to find anything open in Virginia City, place is sewed up tight." Was Shannon's opening line. Shannon, Walt Shannon, and my partners Wally and Charlie. We were told by the lady at the Cafe you'd be the man to talk to."

 

"Guyer, Speed Guyer." He offered his hand. "Well now, there was talk of some gold being found northeast of here, near a town called Columbia Falls. And I've heard tell that there been some sluice boxing on any number of streams, and, that there's been some finds. But anything close? Not really, maybe a couple claims, but not much. As you can see, we're no boom town.

 

"Northeast is it. Well glad we stopped in, been a big waste of time lookin' for riches where they're scarce as frog hair." Shannon said, "Well sir, thank you for your time. Think we'll push on to this Columbia Falls and see what's what up thataway."

 

"Well you boys have some good luck then. Pleasure to meet you." He stood, shook hands all around and watched out his window as the three men made their way up to the Lickskillet where their horses were tied.

 

If they were miners, he was the King of Siam!

End of thread.

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