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Sagas of the Wild West
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Recovering and Discovering


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Mature Content: no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence).

With: Pike, Linda Everson, waitress, Speed Guyer
Location: Cafe
When: September 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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The brisk morning air was refreshing as Pike stepped out of the boarding house onto the board walk, scanning the street in both direction, more out of habit than interest. This was his first day out of his room, and out of the boarding house itself.

 

The guns felt heavy, but good hanging from their belts. His shoulder might slow down on hand, but not the other, if it came to that. Pronto had thought to leave his guns behind, but after being shot he was on the cautious side. Oh he understood the risks, he could well be taken from behind, and have no chance at his attacker, however, he had a chance with his guns, no chance without them.

 

In the weeks he’d been laid up he’d given a lot of thought to his being ambushed. He was following Case Steelgrave when a rider appeared and fired before he could react. There was something beyond the top of the hill that the man was protecting, but what exactly was that?

 

He stepped through the door of the café and took a table toward the back of the room, sitting where he could face the door. He could have eaten as he had at the boarding house, today he hankered for something different, and in different surroundings, with different folks.

 

“Good morning, what can I get you?” The voice, bright and cheery, came from the young lady before him, threads of hair hanging loose about a pretty smiling face.

 

“Like ta have me a beef steak, rare an’ a mess’a eggs over once’t. Coffee’d be fine too, an’ keep that a comin’.” He responded, already in a better mood. Not that Missus Everson’s cooking was anything short of great, but a change wuld be good, or so he thought.

 

“Yes sir, be right up.” Came the reply and the young lady dashed off, returning with a steaming mug, the smell of the coffee filling his nostrils. And off she went.

 

TBC

 

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Pronto sat back in the chair and watched those already at their breakfast, cooped up in his room while healing had all but driven him crazy. He was a man that liked his freedom. A bound up shoulder had pretty much prevented that, of course the need to generate new blood had him quite weak.

 

But today he felt much stronger and the need to be out of doors was overpowering, so here he was, seated at a table watching the folks in the room and the goings on out on the street just beyond the windows. It felt good. Though he realized he was not yet ready to ride, and gunplay was a risk he’d rather not take for the time being. What he knew, which was not much, someone had shot him and there appeared to be no reason for it, yet Pronto believed there was more to it than some fellow that liked shooting people.

 

What was the motive? Protecting Steelgrave? Or was there another reason for the attempt on his life? If so, what could that be? At some point real soon, he intended to find out, there was a debt to be paid.

 

“Here you are, sir.” The young woman said as she set down the plate. “I’ll just get that coffee and be right back.”

 

TBC

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

large.SpeedA.jpg.c5464858cfd7cf313c6988ea71366787.jpg

The man stood, shoulder against the wall hat in hand looking at him when Pike looked up. He saw the badge, recognized the face as a man he’d seen around town.

 

“Light an’ set, Marshal.” Pike offered nodding toward the empty chair.

 

“Thought you and I should talk.” Speed said quietly as he took the offered chair.

 

“Good morning Marshal Guyer, coffee.” The waitress asked as she set a steaming mug before Pike.

 

“Yes ma’am,” he responded, “I’ve had my breakfast though.” There was a smile in his voice as the waitress scurried away to fetch his coffee. He appraised the man across from him carefully before he spoke. “Man that shot you, you have any idea who he was?”

 

“Not rightly Marshal. Doubt I’d ever seen him ‘afore.” Pike said as he forked another chunk of beef. He paused looking into the Marshal’s eyes. “Knowin’ you’ll ask, I do intend to find out who and why.”

 

“Name’s Guyer, Henry Guyer, folks call me Speed.” He offered his hand, keeping the other visible. To which Pike smiled.

 

The grasp was firm from either side as Pike stated; “Pike, Barnabas Pike, but I mostly answer to Pronto. Hope yer not plannin’ on tryin’ to stop me.”

 

The cup of black coffee arrived, the girl vanishing as fast as she had arrived.

 

“Wasn’t what I had in mind. I’ve wired Texas, and I’ve heard back. I know a bit about who you are. I’d rather there was no shooting in town,” he paused, “I know sometimes that can’t be helped.”

 

“The hombre what done it weren’t no townie, no sir. Horse he was on was better’n any thirty a month hand would own. Oh, he was dressed to work beef, but that animal said otherwise.” Pike paused to shovel in another mouthful. “You been behind a badge before, Speed?"

 

TBC (any)

 

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large.SpeedA.jpg.c5464858cfd7cf313c6988ea71366787.jpg"Can't say as I have, Pike. Probably have a lot to learn about the job, can't deny that." Speed said.

 

Pronto looked at him and smiled as he chewed. "Not a lot to it. Been a Ranger down Texas way, learned 'er on the fly." He set the fork down. "Need to know men Marshal. Need to know which 'er which purdy fast. Hear'd some about you from Missus Everson over't the boarding house. Says you was a Yankee infantry officer an' survived the war, thet so?"

 

"I was." Speed replied, wondering where this was going. "that matter?"

 

"Yep, means you know men seein's you made it through. Means you got some smarts about trust and which ones ya can an' cain't." The smile came back." Then his eyes narrowed and returned to normal size, the smile faded. "You know there's problems afoot, right? You know there's a whole lot we don't see jest yet."

 

"I've had a notion that things weren't quite what they seemed. An undercurrent you could say. Something just out of reach." Speed explained. "I take it you've felt it too."

 

"Have. Given it some thought, I have. Ain't come up with nuthin', but like you say, it's there, sortta jest under the surface, close enough ta bite ya." he paused.

 

"So Mister Pronto Pike, I trust you?" Came the question.

 

The eyes narrowed again, but this time from wide grin. "Ya might, if'n we're to figger out jest whot's whot around here, one lawman to another though I wear no badge, an' ain't lookin' fer one neither. " Pike spelled out, then added. "Who ever's behind whot ever's goin' on ain't gonna want you nosin' around, nor me neither. "course they'll be all about you first off, me, jest cuz I'm a fair hand with a gun an' they don't have me on'ta their side."

 

Both men were quiet for a few moments, reflecting, Speed broke the silence. "Just don't kill this man in town where I have do anything about it."

 

Pike laughed. "Reckon you kin count on that. You call me Pronto, if yer a mind to." He reached out his hand, Speed gripped it and they shook.

 

"Speed, most folks tend to call me that."  Was the answer. Speed got to his feet, set his hat on his head and started to turn when the door opened and in stepped a vision of loveliness.

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TBC

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large.SpeedA.jpg.c5464858cfd7cf313c6988ea71366787.jpglarge.Phinn-155.jpg.732f57ba2a9ff4e12541223158dfd201.jpg"Scenery's lookin' up." Pike said as they both were looking at the woman.

 

"Enjoy the view Pronto, I've a days work ahead of me, and I need to get to it." Speed replied and walked to the door and out on the boardwalk, not missing the two men across the street, nor Phinias McVay scurrying towards him. "Morning Phinn." He greeted.

 

"Marshal." Was the quick response as the editor brushed past him and entered the eatery. Speed smiled and continued on toward the municipal building and his office, hoping that his deputy, Hannah Cory would be there.

 

TBC in another thread.

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large.1625301063_1leahsteelgrave-155.jpg.38391fb69525e72434f315ff934df0e0.jpglarge.Phinn-155.jpg.732f57ba2a9ff4e12541223158dfd201.jpgAs he watched the lady enter, Speed leave, and then another man pushing through the door, Pike smiled. 'Busy mornin'.' He thought watching the goings on. He noted the woman had paused and was now looking at him.  So he smiled, what was a man supposed to do? He nodded

 

'Pronto. the Marshal had called him Pronto and she seriously doubted there was another man in Kalispel called that, let alone the county or for that matter, the state. This was the gunman her father wanted to know about, and he certainly looked the part. She looked away and took a seat where she could still see him without looking as though she was flirting. If this was the man, she did not like his looks. If not, perhaps she could recruit him, but how many Pronto's could there be?

 

"Excuse me Miss Steelgrave." Phinn began, "I wonder if I might interview you for our readers. I-I'm the Editor of the Union here in town. Folks would be real interested in what you have to say.

 

Pronto could overhear what was said, and found that to be really interesting. Not much of a womanizer, he could not deny her beauty or appeal, but he'd dallied about long enough, his breakfast long gone and his coffee cold, it was time to be moving on. He dug out four bits and laid the two quarters on the table, rose from his seat and nodded to the lady, touching the brim of his hat and walking out of the cafe.

 

She looked back to Phinn, "In trade for a bit of information." She said wit a smile. "Have a seat sir."

 

TBC in another thread. The Interview

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Later That Evening;

 

After a  good talking to by Linda Everson about traipsing about town in 'his condition' when he could have had his breakfast there in her boarding house he went to his room and napped on and off though the afternoon. He attended dinner which was a nice venison roast with all the fixings, and he ate more than he cared to.

 

Once the meal was finished he stepped out onto the porch to enjoy the evening, fall was settling in, there was a familiar nip in the light wind with a familiar warning. Winter was on the way. That meant snow ,with howling winds creating drifts of snow filling the streets and half way up the sides of buildings. Not like Texas at all, but he was here and there were things going on that interested him, besides the identity of the shooter. Things that just didn't sit quite right.

 

The Yankee town Marshal was alright, he had liked him right off. Seems he didn't care much about a man with two guns. But he knew there was something, something he couldn't put his finger on, what was Speed had said? 'Just below the surface.'

 

End

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