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Kalispell, A New Start


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Mature Content: Doubt it

With: Tyrell Garret Thornton
Location: More than one
When: Late-July, Early August 1876
Time of Day: Encompasses a few days

 

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Like any good cattleman, he mounted his horse to ride to the newspaper office, not all that far away. As they would say, 'if it can't be done from a horse, it can't be done.' A misnomer, as many of the things that wranglers did were not done from horseback, but with both feet on the ground.

 

It had been interesting in the saloon, even though he had expected some doubt as to his legitimacy as a Thornton relative. They didn't know him from Adam, no more than he knew this Sarah Carlton-Thornton, but here was his first opportunity to meet a relative. He welcomed it, and hoped that she would accept the telegram as proof that he was in fact related.

 

Stepping down in front of the office with Kalispell Union emblazoned on the window. Flipping his reins over the hitch rail, he stepped up on the boardwalk and stepped to the door, spurs jingling. He then opened the door and went inside.

 

"What can I do for you, Mister?" Phin asked.

 

"Names Thornton, Tyrell Thornton. Lookin' for a Sara Thornton." Ty explained.

 

"Well Mister Thornton, Sarah's out of the office as you can see, but I do expect her back at any time. I take it yu're related?"

 

"I am, well, I believe I am. Shade Thornton is my cousin, and he asked me to come up and lend a hand with a Quentin Cantrell."

 

Phin smiled. "Well sir, I suppose folks around here would like to see Shade Thornton again, when did you see him?" Was Phin's question.

 

"Didn't. He sent this here telegram." Ty replied taking out the missive and handing it to the newspaper man. "Haven't seen him in years, since we was boys."

 

Phin took the paper and read it, then looked up at Ty. "Well, I guess maybe Sarah, Misses Thornton- Carlton, will vouch for you. Doubt you'd know Cantrell."

 

"No sir, wouldn't know either of 'em, but I'm here now and I plan to meet up with this Cantrell fella and see what's what." Ty admitted. Now in the west a man was who he said he was unless it could be proved he wasn't. Phin knew this, and the man was making no claims to the Lost Lake Ranch, in fact he said he was in Kalispell to lend a hand.

 

"Well, I'm sure Sarah will be along shortly." Phin said.

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@JulieS

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Returning from having luncheon with Pastor and Mrs. Evans, Sarah was looking forward to spending the rest of the afternoon, finishing writing an article on the progress of the White Rose Theatre.  It was small considering the theatres she had frequented while living in San Francisco, but big enough for the town the size of Kalispell.  Ben Simons was looking having seating for about one hundred people, which in itself was an optimistic number.

 

Visiting local community leaders was one of the tasks Phin often sent her to.  She suspected that listening to the humble (sometimes inane) going ons around town was not to his liking but she wouldn't mention it to him. A smile appeared on her face at the thought of Phin dining with the local ladies society and enduring their chatter about who was courting who and who had just had a baby.

 

Opening the door to the Union office, she saw a stranger at the counter talking to Phin.  The stranger didn't look like a threat but these days you never knew who was who and most importantly which side they were on.  Although, some claimed to be neutral, she was finding that deep down that wasn't the case.

 

Going over to the hat stand, she took off her coat and placed it on one of the hooks.  As for her hat, she would unpin it when she was seated at her desk.  Walking past the man, she smiled before turning to Phin, "You'll be glad to know that Pastor Evans said that the church board will be taking out an advertisement in next week's newspaper, to advertise the fundraising dance they plan to hold at the end of August."

 

@Flip

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Before Phin could say a word the stranger spoke up, "You would be Misses Carlton, A Thornton I believe? We are related somehow. I am Tyrell Garret Thornton, son of  Abner Garret Thornton, brother of James Caleb Thornton and Robert Thornton, and, Millicent Ann Lattimore my mother. Cousin to Shade." The pause was brief as he continued,

 

"I have this telegram from him asking me to come here   from New Mexico territory to lend a hand as needed with a Quentin Cantrell on his Lost Lake Ranch> I believe you and I have met maybe fifteen years ago, or more."He smiled. "I seem to be doubted, though I suppose that was to be expected." once again drawing out the yellow paper.

 

Phin just stood there slack jawed.

@JulieS

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Sarah took a good look at the man.  It was true that she had a cousin called Tyrell but she hadn't seen him in years and having only met him briefly when they were all much younger it was hard to tell.  Most of the men in the Thornton family that she knew were clean-shaven including Shade, so it was proving a little bit more difficult to confirm if this was really her cousin.

 

What she did know was that Shade had sent for Tyrell almost a year ago.  Apparently, there had been trouble with the Steelgraves back then and Shade was looking at getting all the help he could.  Since the troubles between the Thorntons and Steelgraves had subsided and on the surface everything looked fine.  However, Shade must have been worried about something as he was frequently disappearing.  Sometimes he would turn up for a short before going off again.  She asked Mike Wentworth, the foreman at Lost Lake, how Shade was and if she could help out in any way.  Mike's response that he was just as in the dark as she was.  All he knew was that Shade wanted him to help keep the ranch going until such a time when he would be back permanently, if at all.

 

Now, if there was only a way she could be sure about the man she was looking at.  If he truly was her cousin Tyrell, then at least she could rest easy knowing that there was another Thornton around to keep an eye on Lost Lake.

 

As she continued to study the man, she could see something familiar about him but she needed more just to be certain.  She smiled, "I hope you don't mind if you could tell me something more about yourself?  I need to be more certain before I can say for sure that you are my cousin Tyrell.  In fact I am hoping that you are as Shade needs all the help he can get."

 

@Flip

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"Ma'am, I didn't ride from Lordsburg without bein' who I say I am. Now as to knowin' a sight of Thotnton's, I'm sorry I just don't. Once Ma and Pa were gone, well, I just sort of moved on. Lost track of those I did know, including Shade." He revealed,

 

"Now wait, was you to John Caleb Thornton's funeral, Shade's Pa? I believe that might well have been when I met you." He asked. "Sad day that was, Uncle John Caleb was my favorite Uncle. Anyway, that'd be the best I can do. The years have muddled some memories I had."

@JulieS

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Sarah sighed, "I'm sorry but I have to be sure considering all the troubles the Thorntons have had with the Steelgraves in the past.  Getting someone to pose as a long-lost Thornton relative would be something that Elias Steelgrave is capable of doing. Mr. McVey can also attest to this as well as all of the other things that the Steelgraves are suspected of doing."

 

She thought over his comment about being at Uncle John's funeral, "You might be confusing me with my mother who attended Uncle John's funeral with my father, Robert.  I was in San Francisco at that time."

 

A frown appeared on her face.  Part of her wanted him to be her cousin.  "There's one more possibility.  I did meet my cousin Tyrell briefly at the end of the visit we paid to Lost Lake back in '58.  I was about 15 years old then.  We all got on rather well if I remember rightly, and Shade took us all to one of his favourite spots on the ranch.  It's something that wouldn't be common knowledge.  If you could remember where that was, then I will know that you are my cousin Tyrell."

 

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Phin sort of shook his head, but Sarah had a point about making sure he was who he said he was, and for the very reasons she stated, about the Steelgraves in particular. It was something Elias might pull just to infiltrate the ranch.  "She's right, mister, this hornets nest hasn't been stirred up for a while, but I wouldn't count on it for long."

 

"Well I'll be, I do remember that, kinda. I mean I was a pup, maybe seventeen, last year before Ma & Pa passed on. Lemme think on it a bit," He said. Yeah well, the house sits right close to Lost Lake itself, but Shade, he liked this other one, a like I mean. We rode sown the stream as I recall." He paused.

 

"Lake was about the same size, but there were caves as I recall, and that's why he liked it so much, yeah, he like to camp out over there, go huntin' an' such. Least ways, that's how I remember it. Lord, that was a while back." Then Ty smiled and shook his head as the memories flooded back. "So, that's how I remember it."

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Sarah smiled as she remembered the trip to the caves.  The caves weren't common knowledge as there were still some areas on the ranch that people rarely went to.  So she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he was indeed her cousin Tyrell.  Besides, if it proved to be all trick then the man would have to deal with both Shade and Quentin.

 

She held out her hand, "Welcome to Kalispell, cousin Tyrell.  I hope we can get to know each other better while you are here."

 

"I suppose you will be wanting to get out to the ranch as soon as possible.  I recommend that you wait a day or so until some of the hands come to town as it wouldn't be very wise to show up unannounced.  Lost Lake usually sends out men for supplies once or twice a week and I can introduce you to them."

 

@Flip

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"Truth be told Cousin, I'm for a good meal here in town, and a night in a real bed. Then, yes, I'd like to head out and meet this Quentin Cantrell." He said, adding: "Whatever's been the problem to this point, it'll wait another few hours." He smiled. "Unless of course these Steelgrave's strike the town while I'm here." And he chuckled.

 

"Well Mister Thornton, what you wouldn't know is that old man Steelgrave has a good twenty to thirty riders, and there's rumor that his son Case is back in the area with a dozen or more riders, outlaws all, and if they should ban together, that will be a real problem. Of course, last I knew they didn't get along." Phin explained, "Sarah? What do think about them reconciling? I can it could be possible." He was not sure what she knew or didn't know to this point.

 

Ty looked to her, maybe this was a whole lot more than he thought it was.

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@JulieS

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"Truth be told Cousin, I'm for a good meal here in town, and a night in a real bed. Then, yes, I'd like to head out and meet this Quentin Cantrell." He said, adding: "Whatever's been the problem to this point, it'll wait another few hours." He smiled. "Unless of course these Steelgrave's strike the town while I'm here." And he chuckled.

 

"I doubt if they will ever strike the town.  However, the outlying small ranches and farms will be targets, especially if Elias Steelgrave wants to own more land," she replied.

 

"Well Mister Thornton, what you wouldn't know is that old man Steelgrave has a good twenty to thirty riders, and there's rumor that his son Case is back in the area with a dozen or more riders, outlaws all, and if they should ban together, that will be a real problem. Of course, last I knew they didn't get along." Phin explained, "Sarah? What do think about them reconciling? I can it could be possible." He was not sure what she knew or didn't know to this point.

 

Ty looked to her, maybe this was a whole lot more than he thought it was.

 

"I'm afraid, Phinn is right.  If the rumours are true then it will be a battle.  As for them reconciling...well anything is possible."

 

Sarah paused for a moment and then said, "I suppose you probably don't know why the Steelgraves and the Thorntons are at loggerheads with each other since you haven't been in touch with the family for so long. I, myself only know how and why it all started.  Shade told me some of it but it wasn't much as he didn't want to concern me too much about it.  There are various stories going around but only Shade can tell you the full story and I'm not sure how much that will be."

 

@Flip

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