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Sagas of the Wild West
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Mi Casa

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Mature Content: No

With: Archie Reddick
Location: That house outside town
When: Sept / 1876
Time of Day: Mid-day





She'd come a long way from Nevada, but Tully was finally sure she'd come far enough...it was near the end of the World, or at least the United States, and the mountains and trees were beautiful.


Even better, she'd found a house, far enough out of town that no one bothered with it, yet close enough that she could walk into town if she needed to, not that she often needed to.  There was plenty of small game, and Tully had gotten pretty proficient at setting snares that actually worked for catching rabbits, squirrels, and other little critters.  And there was good foraging around the house, not to mention the neglected, over-grown garden, so that there was at least enough so that a few store-bought staples like beans, flour and salt went a long way.


Pity Tully wasn't much of a cook!


The meals weren't extravagant, but they were consistent, and she didn't have to beg for them, and there were things like the wild huckleberries that could just be picked and eaten off the vine for a great treat!


As for the house, it was much bigger than Tully needed, but it was a house, a roof, a dry place, relatively clean -- she wasn't much of a housekeeper, either -- and a soft, safe bed.  She'd watched the place for a couple weeks, no one had been around, and when she finally did venture inside, the thick, undisturbed layer of dust gave her confidence that the place was abandoned. 


So, Tully had 'moved in', cleaned the place up a bit, helped herself to some clean clothes -- they were men's, and they were a bit big, but better than what she had -- and she was making the best of having a house, food, and no one to bother her, tell her what to do, or threaten her.


Life was good!


Rabbit stew was simmering on the stove, flavored with nettle, sorrel, some gooseberries and dandelion leaves, and Tully was out gathering some huckleberries for later. 


She'd left bits of paper with drawings of horses, mountains, trees, rivers, scattered across the table...she'd always liked sketching, and had been excited to find a box of pastel pencils, so she could actually add color to her art, when she had time to sit and dabble, and flung over the back of a chair was her skirt.  She'd gotten the wool garment clean, but it was in bad need of repairs, and Tully was as handy with needle and thread as she was with a fry pan and spoon, so the going was slow and awkward!


The day was warm, with a gentle breeze, and she was enjoying life...until she heard noises...


Someone was coming!


Hopefully, they were just passing by, but Tully wasn't going to take any chances, so she slipped deeper into the brush, where she could watch...





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Archie Reddick had been travelling from his hometown of Elgin, Scotland to Kalispell, Montana since May.  His destination was his Uncle's homestead on the outskirts of Kalispell that had been left to his mother upon his sudden death almost a year ago.  He'd been able to do some sightseeing along the way, enjoying every minute.  It had always been his lifelong dream to travel and finally he got his chance.  


He wouldn't complain though to finally make it to his destination in Kalispell and settle down for a bit.  He arrived on horseback to the home and was impressed by the structure when he arrived.  The house was larger than he imagined and he wasn't sure how far the land went that his Uncle owned.  Anxious for some much needed rest, Archie dismounted his horse and headed inside.  He had no idea what he'd find, for his expectation was that the house had been abandoned for the past year.  Layers of dust? His Uncle's few belongings? 


To his surprise however, he walked in to the aroma of soup on the stove, ladies clothing strewn across the back of a chair.  His brow pulled together, realizing perhaps he should have knocked!  Someone was definitely living here.


"Hello?" He yelled in his Scottish accent as he looked around and walked further in.  He could tell for sure that the place was lived in.  He found her drawings with the pencils and pastels scattered on the table.  


No answer.  He turned and looked back towards the front door.  If someone was cooking soup on the stove they couldn't be far, right?  He walked back out on the front porch, looking into the near by trees, but seeing no one. "Hello?" He called again, looking and squinting his eyes for any movement around.


Jamie Fraser Picture - Outlander - TV Fanatic


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Well, of all the rude, inconsiderate things, to just move into her house!  It was bad enough that he'd gone inside without asking, but now it seemed that he was going to snoop around, and maybe even stay!


Grumbling under her breath, Tully hunkered down in the bushes, trying to ignore the growl in her stomach...it was more than time to eat, and she'd actually managed to snare a rabbit, so there was real meat in it.  And it had been no easy feat to kill the poor bunny...had she not been pragmatic about it, she might not have been able to bring herself to do, but the promise of a good meal had overruled any sympathy.


Then there had been the cleaning, a very unpleasant task, but she'd done it, and now there was a skin on the back porch, waiting to be cleaned and tacked up to the wall, where it could dry out and be used later for something.


Well, for now, at least she had some huckleberries, and after he left, she'd go in and clean up whatever mess he made, then have her supper...if he didn't eat it all!



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There was no way that Archie would help himself to the soup, or anything inside the house since someone else seems to have made this their residence.  He wondered who it could be.  Another family member?  Probably not.  Had the information passed along to them been in error and he'd left it to someone here in Kalispell?  


Archie had no idea but he intended to stick around to find out.  Wanting to find whoever it was since he figured they couldn't be far he made his way off the porch and walked around the house, looking for the inhabitant.  He found the garden, found the rabbit fur, found many clues, but no one to go with it.  Sighing and figuring whoever it was would have to be home soon he went back to the front of the house and settled down on the porch.  He didn't want to go back inside, even though the home was rightfully his, he didn't want to startle or cause any kind of ruckus with whoever was staying here.  


It felt good, even if it wasn't in the nice soft bed he'd seen inside, to sit down and take a load off.  As he relaxed on the front porch he enjoyed the beautiful view of the land that looked so very different from him home so far away.



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Really?  The man was just going to plop down and make himself at home? 


Grumbling under her breath, Tully watched the man just settle on her porch, like he owned the place and had no intention of leaving!  Who did he think he was?  And what was that he was wearing?


It was a skirt, that was indisputable, but not only was it on a man, but it was scandalously short!  Not that Tully minded so much...it gave her a chance to study him, from a distance, and try to figure out what to do.


He was handsome -- really handsome -- and tanned, showing that he was no stranger to manual work.  And, from what she could tell from her hiding place, he had a kind face.  Of course, having kind eyes didn't mean anything, they could easily hide ill intentions, she knew that all too well.


At any rate, it didn't look like he had any intention of leaving any time soon, so she didn't have much choice but to wait until it was dark and she could sneak back in.


Sighing, she settled down to wait, wondering why a man would be wearing a short skirt like that!





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Archie settled in on the porch and was prepared to wait as long as he needed to for the owner of the house to get home.  Not realizing how tired he was he actually dozed off in the hard chair, his head lolling left and right as he'd lightly wake when his head would fall forward.  


He woke as the sun was setting, not having any idea how many hours had passed.  Standing from the chair he stretched his arms over his head, yawning, really wishing he could go and get in his Uncle's nice soft bed inside the house.  Walking around, but with the sky now dark he didn't go far from the house because, well he couldn't see much by the light of the moon.  


He was going to wait just a spell longer before he thought perhaps he would just have to go into the town and find somewhere to stay the night and return tomorrow morning.  He really hoped they'd be here soon though, besides their soup wasn't going to be worth two cents if it kept cooking all night.




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She still wasn't sure what the man was waiting for, but he surely was stubborn, that was certain!  And about the time Tully was about to give up, that he'd never move on, he at least dozed off in the chair.  Even so, she watched for a while before she decided it was safe to sneak in the back and...


Well, she wasn't sure beyond that.  She could just hide inside and hope the man got bored and left.  Or, she could just grab what she could stuff in a satchel and move on, something she really didn't want to do, she'd gotten used to having a home and was starting to like it.


Maybe there could be a compromise? 


At any rate, she was starving, so she first slinked into the kitchen, where the stew as still stewing...in fact, it was starting to smell burned, but it should still be edible if she took it off the heat and didn't stir it.   It was too hot to just eat from the pot, so she ladled a bit into a bowl, then, as she waited for it to cool, she stated gathering her drawings together, all the while keeping an eye on the front door. 


Taking a quick bite of stew that was still a bit too hot, she glanced out the window and saw that the man was walking around!  Drat!  If she tried to leave now, he'd see her, so she grabbed her skirt and papers, then scurried for the stairs, going up as quietly as she could.


There were two rooms up there, and one of them had a crawl space, accessed by a door behind the bed.  Already, she'd stashed a pillow and some blankets there, in the event of just this sort of thing, so she could have a relatively comfortable place to hide.


Sighing, she pulled the door shut behind her, hoping that the man wasn't planning on staying, and that she didn't have to leave...



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With no signs of anyone coming home Archie decided it was just best for him to head back into town for the night.  Fearing though that the soup being left on the burner all night may burn the place down he decided he would allow himself inside one more time to  turn it off.  Making his way back inside he was surprised to find that the stew was off of the heat and a bowl of it was sitting there seemingly untouched and still steaming hot.  So it hadn't been ladled long ago!  He immediately turned around on his heel and looked around.


"Hello!" His Scottish accent run through the room that was dimly lit by the fire in the stove.  


The skirt from earlier was gone too!  Someone had to be here.  He walked all around downstairs, no one.


"Hello!" He called again as he made his way up the stairs.  Going to both rooms, they appeared deserted and by now Archie thought maybe he was going crazy!


"What in the bloody hell?!" he asked to himself as he ran his fingers through his curly hair.


"For Christ sake won't whoever is here will you make yourself known?! I mean no harm!" Maybe he should have said that at first??





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Mean you no harm...  How many times had she heard that


And it seemed that the man was determined to stay -- she wasn't yet willing to admit that he might be the rightful owner of the house -- and she was going to have to move on.  But that just wasn't fair, she'd put some time into this place, had gotten used to having a home, where no one bothered her.


"Go away," she muttered under her breath, knowing that he wasn't going to leave just because she willed it so.  "Go away, go away..." 


Damnation!  Well, now she'd have to hope he wandered off long enough that she could grab her things and move on.  Or maybe later in the night, while he was asleep...so long as he didn't sleep in this room!  That would pose a problem.




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In the quite of the house as he stood just beside the unknown secret door he swore he heard a small voice.  Whispers?  He looked around everywhere.  Was he now going crazy!!??


As he scanned the room he couldn't figure out where the voice had come.  It had been so quite though maybe he hadn't heard anything at all and merely hoped he had heard something.


"Hello?!  Who's there??" Because someone was there....right?  Yes?  "This is my Uncle Ewan MacSual's home.  Did you know him?" He asked the dark night air.  He sighed as he walked and sat down on the edge of the bed.  He just didn't know what to do and it was now really too late to go into town.  Perhaps he would just have to stay the night here.



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