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    • Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."   "Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever  you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
    • Their cab driver was waiting for them, he'd stayed close, alert to when they would return, and he was content, having had a wonderful lunch that Mrs. Pike had had packed for him.  Now, he helped get the remains of their picnic loaded, then made sure everyone was settled, with blankets in case they needed them, and started back for town.   "That was a wonderful outing!" Emeline declared, chuckling.  "Although I think I ended up with half the beach in my shoes!"  That had been something she hadn't thought about when going barefoot...putting the shoes and socks back on had been a challenge, especially with no way to keep the sand out!   She settled in, wrapping a blanket around her knees, since the hem of her skirt was damp, then rested her head against Barnabas' shoulder and was soon asleep.  Across from them, Lillian was also dozing.   "Thank you for letting us come with you, sir," Tom murmured quietly, "my sister works too hard and it's good for her to have some fun.  And I appreciate the advice.  College sounds like a good plan, if we can afford it.  I'd love to go to Montana or the Dakotas, but I don't want to leave Lillian."   @Flip
    • "Guess you're right about just showin' up at the ranch like that." He agree, and that is kind of you, but I've cash put by for this trip I've made. The hotel does sound good. And the local fare? Which is the best place to eat. Lookin' for big steak dinner I am. Been sometime since I was able to get somethin' like that. It was a trip to remember, long, hard, and with every temperature you could imagine."   It had been that and a bit more. There had been Molly McGuire, he was missing her, but Kalispell would not be the place for her if all that had been said came to fruition between Lost Lake and the Evergreen. He had waltzed in on what could be a real corpse and cartridge affair, and one that went on an on til they forgot what it was about, or who started it.   "I appreciate your offer, and your council about town and holdin' off till the ranch hands were in town. I'll do just that. @JulieS    
    • Benjamin gave up on the fruitless pursuit of the surviving war party, they were down a six or so anyhow and more than likely just heading back to their home village. If it was one thing the US cavalry learned about chasing Indians, you didn't catch 'em.  Best horsemen in the world maybe. So he ordered his scouts and troopers to turn back and then spent the better part of a few hours just getting back to the rest of his command. It being dark did not help at all but the scouts were up to the task.   Once back he found out that a lot had happened - almost all good too, well except another trooper had been killed. But Lt. Greene found (had lucked into it really but no criticism there - it was the great Napoleon who had said  'better a lucky general than a good one') the women and they were alive. Looking a bit worse for wear but no dangerous wounds, the saloon girl was already wearing trousers and a bluecoat lent her by eager troopers. And Greene had a face to face encounter with an Arapaho brave looking to kill the ladies. That Indian was dead. Barlow didn't press the young officer on the details, that he could read in the report Greene would have to write out later back in the fort, for the young man was wounded and in considerable discomfort. They didn't have a doctor with this detachment but one of the troopers who knew something about wound treatment assured Benjamin the boy would live and keep his leg. Well unless he didn't take care of it properly and get gangrene.   The stage driver was quite the tough gal too. She was sporting a large bruise from where the Arapaho had belted her with his gun butt but in good humor and even told him that the two women had killed their guard and escaped on their own.  Barlow was impressed.   "Well, it's a pity we don't allow women in the army, we could use a couple more like you and your friend," Benjamin remarked to Addy.   It was a tough call to make - normally traveling at night was not the wise thing to do but they had the wounded to think of and the sooner they got them back to better medical care at the fort or even town, the better. He decided darkness or not, they would head back and issued the appropriate orders.   They kept the pace deliberately slow but steady. He wasn't worried about Indian attack - Plains Indians did not attack at night and besides that war party was good as destroyed and definitely dispersed.  No, the bigger danger was loss of a horse or horses to prairie dog holes or god knows what else whilst traveling in the darkness.   Then there was a holler from ahead.   @MD  @Bongo @Flip @Javia
    • Both men had agreed, it had been a hell of a day. That Bannister came to them had been unexpected, but welcomed.  As they walked to the hotel after stabling their mounts they paused on the porch, taking up seats on the porch. Both men silent as they turned over the events of the day. Neither weary as they should be after a long hard ride back to Kalispell.   "This shapes up different than I was thinking it would. I mean hell, this is father against daughter." Cook said, "Seen a few that was father-son, never father-daughter."   "Odd one, that's fer shore. Now This Elias Steelgrave, you know much about him?" McNue asked, wonder what type of man is a threat to his own flesh and blood.   "Some, none of it good, and none of it arrestable, if that's even a word. The man skirts the law in a way he gets what he's after without consequence. Though I've heard there's a dark past with some bodies, but again, no real proof. Well, we'll check in with Guyer in the morning, see what we can do."   "Sounds to be a good idea, as dos gettin' our fair share 'o shuteye." McNue agreed. Both men got to their feet and entered the hotel. On this night their prospective of what was happening had changed.

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Mature Content: Unsure

With: Speed, Alice and Amos. Perhaps others.
Location: Marshal's Office (Where it starts)
When: Mid-July 1876
Time of Day: Morning

 

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Speed was in the office before daylight working on the incorporation papers for the Copper Queen Corporation, they had not decided on a name for it,  so he used what they had decided on for the mine as the corporate name. It was as good as any, and better than most to his way of thinking. So when the clerks office opened he would get the papers in, and the claims registered. He as President, Amos as Vice President, and Alice as the Secretary, leaving Pronto and Emeline as voting members for the time being.

 

He looked over the paperwork that lay before him, this would be a different start for the three of them, Pike and Emeline, probably not so much what with the ranch consider, but that was fine. Though it gave him pause, what if Pike turned in his badge to care for the ranch and family? Where would that leave him? He had to consider the choices for himself and Alice, it was not about to be a long engagement, that was a fact, he doubted she would hear of such a thing. Would he step down? Could he? Charlie was hardly ready to assume the job of Town Marshal, and did he even want it?

 

Life is filled with questions, and decisions to be made, some simple and some difficult, with a myriad of  others in between. Every decision had a consequence, be it good or bad, and therein lies the problem. The election was coming up, and was he content to remain as Town Marshal, or would he run for County Sheriff which would free him up as well as enable him to support whoever took on the Marshals job. And, what would either job mean to the mining concern that he was now involved in? Choices...

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They met at the head of the stairs, father and daughter, embarking on a new 'adventure' with the copper mines and land development. Four hundred acres could hold a lot, that was obvious, but a lot of what? Amos looked at Alice and offered;

 

"You an Speed, took long enough." Perhaps not what she wanted to hear first thing, but she had to agree, they could have been together long ago, or perhaps they were not meant to be together until then.

 

Speed had proposed, and she had accepted, though it was a less than ideal proposal, he had made it, and as far as she was concerned, he was not getting out of it, not now. "It wasn't what I'd call the most romantic of moments last night, but I'll take it. He made some important decisions things he wanted, things that would take in his friends and secure their future, though I understand that Pike, his deputy, is well off in his own right."

 

"Don't seem to matter to him he jest sortta looks out for those he's close to, whether they need it 'er not." Amos said as the reached the foyer of the Hotel. He opened the door for her and together they stepped out on the porch, looking north at the corner of the Municipal Building where the Marshal's Office was. "He's done alright for himself here, whot with them camissens an' his Marshals salary, plus the the cash comin' from New York. He's set, yep, now was his time to take you fer his bride."

 

They stepped off the boardwalk and crossed an empty cul-de-sac where the livery stood at the end. None of the businesses there were open as yet, as it was early, the sun just peaking over the horizon, not yet reaching the roof tops. Stepping up onto the boardwalk and moving to the front door of the building and went in, then a quick right into Speeds office.

 

"Are we still getting married?" She asked with a smile.

 

Speed looked up and beamed at the sight her.

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"Yes Ma'am, we are, though probably not today what with all the things we have to get done, while I tend to the business of the town, Wood and Guyer, and, The Copper Queen, plus, getting you a ring to make it official." He said as he rose to take her into his arms and give her a kiss.

 

"So I hope you two ain't gonna carry on all day with that list of chores ya mentioned." Amos said. "Copper Queen, the mine, right? You usin' thet as the name of are bidness too?"

 

"Yes. We never bothered to name the corporation so I just used the name of the mine instead. Besides, Alice here is the real Copper Queen. And, no, we won't be carrying on all day, maybe a good part of it, but not all day."

 

"We could all go up to the Lickskillet for breakfast." Alice suggested. "Sounds like a busy day ahead for us. Well the ring and the paperwork that has to be done."

 

"Paperwork is done, just needs your signatures and I'll take it upstairs when she opens. But yes, we could do that, be good to stretch my legs some, and I couldn't think of better company." He stepped away from Alice to get his hat, "Shall we?" Then stepped to the door and opened it for them. "A good breakfast'll be a great start to a most important day. I'd like to ride up and have a look-see at the property, if there's time, I can have Charlie watch things."

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Speed held the door for Alice and Amos, then stepped out himself. The morning was bright and clear, not a breath of wind, but that could change. The streets were still clear of traffic, but the boardwalks had people, people that were going to their businesses to open them for the day. It would not be long before horse and wagon traffic picked up, but for the moment it was almost quiet, and it was peaceful.

 

Speed liked the mornings, the quiet gave him time to do whatever needed doing first thing, even if that was sitting out on the board walk in front of either office just enjoying the start of another day, which he did as often as possible. A cup of coffee and the solitude of the sunrise when he was able to catch it.

 

"Well come back to the mercantile after breakfast and pick out that ring for you, Alice." He said as they walked along. "They'll be open before the clerks office for sure. The Anderson's are prompt about opening even if they are the first ones."

 

"What'er yer plans fer this here election?" Amos asked suddenly,

 

"Pa?" Alice asked as if to tell him that it was not a topic that needed answering.

 

"Nah, it's alright Alice." Speed said, "Name's on the ballot for either County Sheriff or Town Marshal. Guess we'll see if anyone else jumps in for either. Maybe Pike, when he gets back, but then again, maybe not. Guess we'll see." By then they had reached the Lickskillet, Speed opened the door for them and stepped inside, spotting a table right off and going to it.

@Wayfarer

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Breakfast had been pleasant as they went over what had been said the night before as they waited for the clerks office to open and make this whole thing real, legal and theirs. They agreed the Pikes would be surprised. And they agreed that if Pronto wanted to invest further,  then his shares would be greater as well. With Speed's knowledge and his ability to get the information they would need, they were sure of a measure of success almost immediately.

 

"So, what we need to do is ride up to the site, see what's been started and what hasn't and where we go from there. We can get mining equipment from Missoula, maybe as close as superior. Everywhere else is farther than I'd like to have to order from. But we'll see what's needed."

 

"Danged if he ain't got  him a hole dug a'ready. Showed real good signs, not somethin' what was salted to look rich, it damn sure is!" His eyes widened, "'scuse me daughter, fergot myself there."

 

Alice laughed, "Yes Pa, I've heard that too many times o be shocked by it."

 

"Well like I said, he's got some equipment and a couple buildin's but he ain't got no one workin' it. Went bust I figger."

 

"Then we need to get up there and see exactly what we have!" Speed declared. He was excited, as was Alice and Amos. This could be the big one. "And the other, we'll need to check on it as well. likely another day, but we'll get them registered to us."

 

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The time spent with the clerk was minimal. Speed left Charlie in charge and he, Alice and Amos mounted up and rode out of town on what was once the Whitefish Road. Heading for the property that promised to provide a healthy income, but also, a healthy outlay of cash to get everything up and running.

 

They arrived at the property, seeing the stakes in the ground, but also behind them off to the left, the Evergreen. But, that was not their problem, at least not just yet if it ever would be. there was a trail leading into the land, and about a quarter of a mile up the mine and the out buildings.

 

They rode to what appeared to be the 'office' for the mine. Two more buildings appeared to be storage sheds. They stopped and the three stepped down and surveyed what they had. Looks good, Amos, real good. Maybe we look in the office and see what was left, then maybe the mine and have a look at the find."

 

"Hell, Speed, there's a shaft with adits runnin' offa both sides, right 'n left. Was down there and there's ore, jest gonna be expensive ta get it out. I seen it. Owner told me he was considerin' open pit minin' with chemer'calls."

 

 

"I don't think I'd like that approach." Alice said "A big hole in the ground? Chemicals that would poison the area, and there's the ground water to consider. This place has a lot of ground water and it would carry that poison quite a ways before it would be safe, if ever."

 

Yes, exactly. Not something I would entertain." Speed said as they went inside the building that served as the office. Dust was everywhere, There were papers stacked on a makeshift desk, though it was nearly waist high, more of a table affair.  There was also a regular desk with papers stacked on it, reports, assayers reports.

 

"Well, looks like we've some reading material." Speed said.

TBC

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"Since the feller sunk a shaft, here on this map, thet ground water what yer talkin' 'bout might jest prove ta be a probl'um fer us, if'in it ain't already. Never thought about thet." Amos stated.

 

"Then again Pa, maybe not. Looking at his maps here, he's down four maybe five hundred feet and look at this, isn't that a vein?" Alice asked pointing to an 'adit', a horizontal off shoot of the vertical shaft." She smiled. "We need to go down and check this tunnel, which appears to follow the vein by the way this diagram shows."

 

"How do you know so much about this process?" Speed asked.

 

"Simple Mister Guyer, I read what was on this diagram of the mine." Alice replied.

 

"Danged if she didn't!" Amos exclaimed. "Might oughtta check the hoist fer grease afore we go down. I ain't sure how long she's been sittin' unused."

 

"Best we get to it thev." Speed agreed. Going down into the mine would require chain as rope would not be trusted, though it had been used many times in many places, chain was more dependable. What they were about to find out was the winch was using a chain, and that it had a handle on top, and one in the cage that would lower them so that they could raise themselves. It did require some grease, which they found at the mouth of the shaft. Their underground experience was about to begin.

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Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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The 'adit' was a tunnel off of the main shaft, in this case the shaft stopped at this vein, not that there might be others further down, but the vein could be seen where the adit began, and it was a good two, two and a half feet thick at that point.

 

"Well Mister Guyer, would you like to be the first to step into this tunnel?" Alice asked. "This candle light surely doesn't throw off much light down here."

 

"No, but the more candles the better the light, so when we hire more men, well they'll have more light to work by." He said stepping into the tunnel, followed by Alice and then Amos. "This vein widens as we move along here!" He announced.

 

The adit did not go more than ten feet in and the vein had not petered out, it simply got wider until it was stopped. "Damn." Speed whipered at the sight of it.

 

"Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. "This here vein's only the beginnin' of what we got, mark my word! This here lode's rich! An' there's likely more the farther down we go. We may a missed some on the way down, but yer right. We need men ta be workin' this claim."

 

"And, boys, there just may be this same stripe right across from us." Alice noted, "They just didn't dig that abit, or whatever you called it. I don't know about you fellas, but I'm for getting above ground."

 

"Yes Ma'am, I do believe I've seen enough, and we know what we need to do. Time we headed topside." Speed agreed. "Maybe we need to get us a steam engine to hoist this cage and the buckets to get the ore out."

 

"That's was whot the man said. He went bust afore he could get him the engine. Wished that railroad was already here, packin' that engine in by wagon'll take some time." Amos informed them as they got in the cage and began pulling themselves up. "Glad they didn't go any deeper."

TBC

 

 

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The ride back to town was slow and easy, with the three discussing priorities, and the engine won out over everything else to do with the mine. They were in pretty good shape actually. Considering they went right to what appeared to be a good strike, depending on width and depth of the vein, and, did it go on to the opposite side? Not to mention the buildings were already up with a store of mining supplies on hand already.

 

They had found where the tailing pile from the mine was, but any ore of value was gone. Likely to the assayers office, with luck, in Kalispell. And while Speed was considering  the ore sample and where they had been assayed, Alice spoke up:

 

"So, Mister Guyer, in the midst of all of your current duties, when do you see us marrying?"

 

Speed turned in the saddle, looking at Alice and realizing that in fact they had made not one sing plan for their life together. The mine had taken center stage, and that was not what he had intended, but it was what happened.

 

"I am sorry, Alice. I mean that. Doggone mine just overshadowed what is likely the most important time in my life. Goodness knows I did not mean for that to happen." He said regretfully. "As soon as you would like, as soon as I can get a ring for you. I would have liked Pike to have been here, but God knows when he'll quit gallivanting around the countryside, and I can't ask either of us to wait on that."

 

"I appreciate that, and I know you would want him as your best man. He's your best friend after all." Alice said, sincerely. "I am willing to wait for a while, not forever mind you, but a while any way. I would like them, he and Emeline, to be there because we will become the best of friends like you and Pike. I just want to know that we will be married before I'm forty." Then she laughed.

 

He looked at her and then he too began to laugh, Amos joining in.

 

"Yes Ma'am, but the ring fist." He stated.

TBC

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"Well yes, a ring would make it official, that is certain, Mister Guyer. Though I do look forward to this mining partnership, but not nearly as much as as to our betrothal and beyond. That Mister Guyer excites me more an the widest vein of copper ore!" Alice declared.

 

Speed was smiling at her words. "And I look forward to all that life presents to us." He agreed, happily. "Though I believe we'll need to add onto the Rafter A. A mite small for our needs in the near future. This family is bound to grow, so I believe we should be prepared for that eventuality."

 

"Yep! Grand Childern fer the spoilin'!" Amos chimed in. A dream of his that had not worked out with that no-account Arthur Fletcher, spreading his seed everywhere but at home. But that was all water under the bridge, and now she had a good man and that would produce offspring. At last. "We'll likely have ta see the sky pilot afore long, won't we?"

 

"We will Amos, arrangements need to be made, though I think we should honor the tradition of the extended engagement, but I'll be hanged if we'll go past a couple of months. There'll be no two or three years of engagement.!" He declared. "I believe we have waited far too long already!"

 

Alice looked to him, pleased with his declaration. "Why yes, yes, we have, so a couple of months will allow the mining operation time to get started, the ranch to be expanded, and the election to have past, not to mention the return of your 'Best Man."

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Amos cackled at Speeds declaration. "Long enough? Why hell's bells Speed Guyer! This woman's been pinin' fer ya fer long as I kin 'member. Even with that worthless, gamblin' fool she married, she still was waitin' on you. To do whot I got no idee. Two months. Be a spit in the bucket, but I got no idee why you'd need ta wait. Jest up an' marry her!"

 

"One reason, Pike and Emeline. I want to have them at the wedding, as I was for them." Speed responded.

 

"Well, ya might be looking at a year 'er two waitin' on them! My God, they been traipsin' around quite a spell now, ain't they?"

 

"Pa, I want them there  too. They're his best friends and soon to be mine as well. We can hold off until they come back, he's not going anywhere without me, count on it."

 

They pulled up in front of the Mercantile. "I believe we'll take care of the ring business right now. I realize the idea of an engagement ring is sort of new out here, but it has caught on in the east where I'm glad to be far away from. Hopefully they have something that will work for us. Something you like."

 

Alice looked at him and smiled as they stepped down, then mounted the boardwalk.

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Speed held the door for Alice and her father, then followed them inside.

 

"Hello." James Andersen said with a smile. "What can I do for you folks today?"

 

"Here to buy a ring for the lady, my fiance." Speed said proudly.

 

"Well then, we have a collection of rings in several styles and sizes. Now if you'll step down here to the case where they're kept we can have a look.

 

"James Anderson, you step away from that case, I'll help the young woman." Mary Anderson ordered. "Rings an' weddin's, you know as much about them as a field mouse. Now, Alice, I see that you have lassoed the town Marshal. Good catch. And a ring, Marshal? Did you have something in mind?"

 

"Well, I, ah, well, to be honest, no." Speed replied.

 

"Good. These rings are okay, mind you. They are alright, nice choices in silver mostly, but there are some in gold. Now, I have a few in the safe that I think you will like much better. Let me get them for you and we'll have a look."

 

Alice looked to Speed smiling. "You know Mister Guyer, once you place that ring on my finger, the deal is sealed, and you've no way out. My fathers over there looking at shotguns."

 

"There'll be no need of that Alice, I can promise you that." Speed responded as Mary Anderson came back with a tray of several bands.

 

"Now Alice, here are the ones I was talking about. Mary said, then added, "Marshal, you just go on over there and look at guns with Amos and my husband." He didn't move right off. "Shoo!  Go on!"

 

"Yes Ma'am. Speed responded and walked down to where James and Amos were looking at a short barreled shotgun.

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"You don't look to be the foo-foo type to me Alice Fletcher. So, I have this ring that just might fit you, one I think will be one that both you and the Marshal will appreciate."

 

"No, no I'm not, and yes, I'd love to see this ring. It can serve both as an engagement ring and a wedding ring?" She asked.

 

Yes, yes it can. I know that in the east some are going with two rings, which makes no logical sense to me. One with a stone mounted on it for the engagement, then a matching band for the wedding. The things they do in the east. I mean to say yes, that would be nice to have, but as far as being practical for how we live out here, just seems silly."

 

"It does, actually. Even though yes, it would be nice to have, but when would one wear such a thing out here?"

 

"Well here it is, now this is solid silver, Montana silver! It was made down in Virginia City where they have a jeweler. See the exquisite carving that was done on this. Only one like it, well, that I have." Mary explained showing Alice the ring, which gleamed in the light. "Now there was material added to the silver for strength, don't know what, but it's sturdy!"

 

"Oh my, yes, it is beautiful!" Alice was immediately taken with the ring. It was simple yet ornate with the carving done on it. She did know that it was done in a mold, and not carved, but that was not important. "Can we try it?"

 

May Anderson handed over the ring to Alice who looked at it, then looked to Mary, and then back to the ring as she slipped it on her finger where it fit perfectly. She fanned out her hand, holding it up to examine the ring on her finger.

 

"Speed." She called out.

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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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