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    • Justus kept a close eye on the man as he approached, reassured by the fact that he was being allowed to approach, and that there was no sign of aggression.  He stopped a few feet away.   "Evenin', sir."  Justus nodded with an easy grin, relieved that it seemed this was a friendly bunch.  Most men on drives were, but Justus had learned young that it was best to assume the worst, then be happily surprised.   "Just what are you up too?" It was Dallas, and he was one to ask questions first, rather than just shoot a fellow. "You might oughtta ride on in like a man. There'll be plenty of grub, and you'll be welcome to it." He smiled.   "Thank ya, sir, I might do just that."  While he didn't want to seem too eager, there was no denying that he was grateful for the offer.   "You out here on yer own? Mount up an' I'll ride in with ya jest so's you don't get shot er nuthin'!" The he laughed.   "Yes, sir, I'm alone."  Swinging into the saddle, Justus patted Mule on the neck, then fell into pace beside the man.  "I do appreciate this, sir, I'll work for it, sir, help th' cookie with dishes or some'at."  A thankless job, but it wouldn't do him any harm, and he wouldn't feel so much like mooching.   "Oh, m' name's Justus Wheeler, sir.  I'm headed north, nowhere in particular."   @Flip
    • Mature Content:  Might well be violence.   With: Turk Flagg, Caroline, and who knows else Location: Star Dust Saloon When: Sept/ 1876 Time of Day: Early evening     Now Turk had never been to this part of Montana previously but  seemed like a nice enough quiet town. Actually peaceful towns were not exactly good for his sort of occupation but then he had not ridden in with any specific job in mind.  He was between jobs, just last week he'd delivered a prisoner to a small town south of Kalispell, the man had been a wanted rustler. Fellow whined the whole way back right up to jail that he was innocent. Turk then just pointed out he was neither judge nor jury, tell it to someone who cared. Least he had some cash in his pocket. And where better to spend a bit of it then in the town's only saloon apparently. Least only one he could spot.   Entering into the place thru the swinging bat doors, he took in the joint. Decent enough, he'd seen many worse, some better. On this weekday night it was not crowded but there were a few folks at the bar and some others gathered around tables, most tables holding card games. He didn't go for cards though and on those rare occasions when he had, he usually lost money. Nope, keep it simple, get a drink or two or four.   As he sidled up to the bar, the bartender was presently occupied with another customer so he paused to take a second scan of the place. And who should he see but...................   "Caroline?  Caroline Mundee," he made sure he said those words loud enough the woman could hear him as she  a good distance away, holding a tray of drinks.   Caroline not only picked up on her name but recognized the voice and turned to see just to make certain. The look on her face made it plain she knew the speaker alright as she broke out into a wide smile.   "Well, I'll be !  Gimme a minute," she called back then hurried to finish her on duty errand, duly placing the tray in front of four card players, "Here ya are, boys. Enjoy!"    Turk nodded and just leaned with his back against the bar, watching her every move. She sure was as pretty as the last time they'd seen each other. He never took his eyes off her as she then approached and in a few seconds the two embraced in a quick but heartfelt hug.   "Turk! I had heard rumors you were dead," Caroline declared when they broke it up.   "Nope, I can truly assure you that I am not. Yer lookin' fine as always," he grinned.   Caroline looked past him for a moment, "Ralph, break out one of the good bottles and pour us two shots, will ya, hon?"    "Shit! How much that gonna cost me now?"  Turk knew her routine alright, they'd become friends in Helena when she worked a saloon there.   "Nah! On the house! I'm real glad ta see you again," Caroline then leaned into the bar next to him, they had some catching up to do alright.              
    • Four good men was all he needed, and Granger knew just the men for the job. Men that would kill anyone that threatened the ranch in any way, shape, or form. Of course, that went doe any number of of the Evergreen hands, the men he wanted would be the worst, and most dangerous of the hands Elias Steelgrave employed   The first one he ran on to was the stocky built Dutch, the only name they knew him by, but that was enough. He rode up next to the man, "Dutch, Mister Steelgrave has a job for you."   Dutch looked to him, knowing if the old man wanted him for a job it wouldn't be nurse maiding no cows. "Sure Granger, what's he got in mind?"   "Might be some Lost Lake men trailing Carson, they need to be stopped." It was quick and blunt.   "Right up my alley, Granger. Start now?" Dutch asked.   "I'll Get Treach, Watts, and Deckerd. Mister Steelgrave wants you boys to be sure they start it."    "Easy as pie. If you want I'll go for 'em, know right where they are and well just head that way." Dutch offered with a grin that was far from friendly.   "Sure Dutch, go ahead. Anything happens, you hightail it back here." Granger  replied to which Dutch nodded and spurred his horse.           Dutch                                      Treach                             Watts                       Deckerd
    • The conversation with Misses Thornton-Carlton had been informative, though she had not said when these hands from the Lost Lake would be in town for supplies. In New Mexico Territory they generally went once a month, unless they were in need of something or they got word an order had come in, which was rare, the Apaches saw to that. No one was willing to take the chance . But this here might be different. The Lost Lake was not so far from town as the Lazy S was to Lordsburg, nor as dangerous.   So, the hotel looked to be the place he'd stay until these hands rode in, and it would certainly give him a chance to meet some folks, like she said, see who his allies were. And from, what he had learned so far, the trouble ran deep between the Lost Lake and this Evergreen Ranch, and then toss in the son and his pack of animals. Things could get terminal real quick. This was shaping up to be far more than he had bargained for when he left New Mexico. But he was there now, so he could run, or stay, and Tyrell Thornton was not much for running.
    • Speed took the time to let Alice and her father know where he was going, and why, then mounted up and started out for the fort. He'd not been there, he had seen it in passing, and it was a welcome sight with the Indians out. He understood that the Military had no jurisdiction in town, and likely they might not be willing to help, yet, then again, they might. Protecting citizens was their job. And just because the ones Speed was asking them to protect were in town with active lawmen, A large contingent of outlaws  posed a significant threat.   The outlaws, be it Cases' gang or Elias' riders, or both together, it would be more than a handful lawmen could handle, even with the townsfolk defending their town. True, most had served in the War Between the States, but that had been over ten years ago, and true they had fought Indians and outlaws, yet these men were settled down now and past getting into gun trouble. And maybe it wouldn't come. Maybe Neither Steelgrave wanted to tangle with the town and it's people. Yet going to talk with the Army made sense, even if they couldn't really help out right then.
Frank Teal

Head 'em up, move em out!

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Posted (edited)

Mature Content: language

With: Frank Teal, Wheezer, Dixie,
Location: Coldwater, Texas Sazerac Saloon
When: Mid-summer 1876
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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A day after being sent the telegram reached the agent in the town of Coldwater Texas where the herd belonging to Barnabas Pike was standing in the holding pens. Seven hundred fifty mixed, longhorns, Herefords and a dozen Angus. Three bulls were being sent by rail to Montana which would take just about as long as the planned ninety days for the thirteen hundred mile drive, if they managed fifteen miles a day, the average speed for a drive. That took into account nooning to rest and graze.

 

Frank Teale read the brief message, folded the paper and stuffed it in his vest pocket, then drew out his pocket watch checked the time and got to his feet. He kicked the chair where Dixie Brick was alseep. "'mon get up, we're movin out." He sided up with Weezer Walcot. "Time to take it on the trail, Weezer."

 

"Yes sir," and he hurried outside,leaped into the saddle and galloped to the pens at the other side of town where most of the boys were waiting just such news. Now the herd had been held in Hardeman, Texas, but Teale and the boys drove them to Coldwater, giving them mover of a straight shot north, northeast to Montana. The riders from the XIT, a new outfit had made the delivery genitally, but Teale and his cowboys finished the move.

 

With Dixie in tow they went to the hitch rail and mounted up, it would be a while before they bellied up to the bar again, but that was the life of a cowboy on a drive. It was about to get hot and nasty! Teal had the route planned, waterholes and rivers marked, hoping the waterholes would not be dry by the time they got to them. Waiting at the holding pens were the best men he could find, not just to drive the cattle, but to fight if and when it was necessary. Fifteen top hands ready to head out on one more drive where things were unknown, hostilities were probable, hard going assured. And they couldn't wait!

TBC

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  Dixie Brick             Weezer        Frank Teal

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

"Godamn! Here we go boys!" Dallas said watching Frank, Dixie, and Weezer coming toward them at a canter. A clear sing that it was time to head north for this Montana country to deliver the herds, not that any of them had seen that country, even though this would not be the first herd driven up there.

 

"Mount up! We're movin' out!" Pythias Modeen shouted to the others, but Cookie and the kid were already hitching  the team to the chuck wagon, which had been kept close by, as they'd be moving out ahead of the heard. "Get them doggies together!"

 

Dallas Hardin leaped into the saddle and began herding the cattle together, while Virgil and Lorado began getting the remuda organized to move. It was not a simple thing, just throwing the gates open and letting them run, it was all calculated. Everything in it's turn and ever man had a job insuring neither horse, man, nor cow was injured. That would make for a bad start.

 

The remuda would get out first and they would run after being penned up, and it would be the job of several of the hands to chase after and slow them down. Excitement raced through man and animal as the preparations were made to open the gates and head out.

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Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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The idea of moving seven hundred and fifty cows with fifteen men might seem like overkill, but Frank's reasoning was, that if he lost men along the way, or whatever reason, replacing them would be next to impossible, so better too any than not enough.

 

Granted, seven hundred fifty was a small herd compared to hears of a thousand to twenty-five hundred driven to Kansas, most times there were ten cowboys for those herds, not counting the cook and his helper. Frank counted them all.  Long before the Pikes had left for their trip, Pronto had contacted Frank about what he wanted, and how he wanted it done.

 

So, as they moved out from Coldwater Texas, it was just as the owner had stated. Frank was a stickler for instructions. Though his main concern was the Indian territory they would pass through, not just for Indians, but outlaws as well. This patch of land that was called Oklahoma would not be recognized as a state for some years yet, so it would be wide open.

 

Cookie and Little Mary, Danny Barker, led out, and behind them came the herd, the drive was on!

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Frank had given out assignments before the start, and promised that positions would rotate. Generally the drag riders were new hands, but the men he had were all experienced, the drive was too far in through questionable country to be training youngsters. The men he had knew how to handle most things they might encounter, stampedes, herd cutters, Indians and just plain bad weather.

 

The sun was out and bright, not a cloud in the sky, and they were making good time, though the would cross into Oklahoma within the hour, The would then make their first camp that night in the territories. If they pushed hard which Frank Teal just might, they could get close to ten miles in that first day and just about cross out of the strip known by several names, 'No Man's Land,' 'The Cimarron Strip are just two. But a dangerous place. The could cut over to New Mexico Territory but that would invite the Apaches to raid them, so they would give the lawless town of Cimarron a wide birth and lose perhaps a day.

 

They were moving a a good steady clip. So far, so good!

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The first day had gone without incident, either human or weather, if they were lucky, and their good fortune continued, making good time would be easy, yet every man knew that one day does not make a drive. They had a long way to go yet to deliver the herd and the horses.

 

"Say boss, this Montana country, you ever been up thata way?" Laredo asked.

 

"Can't say as I have, but I hear it's real pretty country." Frank replied. "Part of the reason I took this job, man says we can stay on if we like, he'll be looking for hands once there's cows on the place."

 

"You know this hombre?" Was the next question as others gathered around.

 

"Know of him. Was a Ranger once. Done some movin' about, much the same as most of us. He's said to be a square shooter, not given to slippery deals, and bad promises. Frank explained, he had heard about Pronto Pike and his reputation was good. "A fair man, an honest man, one they said to ride the river with. So that got me to thinking that this here drive mind end where a man could set down roots, quit wanderin' around."

 

"Well then, glad I signed on, like the sound of that!" Laredo said. "A fresh start in new country. Sounds good, real good.

 

The the triangle was sounded and Cooke shouted, "Come an git afore I throw it out!" Not that he ever had.

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When the ringing of the call to supper echoed across the plain, even Mule's head shot up, and the paint's ears pricked forward.  The gelding had been around ranches to know that the sound meant rest, going back to the barn, and his own meal.  Still, the lanky horse wasn't going to do anything he wasn't asked to, so he just kept plodding forward until his rider pulled him to a stop.

 

"Ya heard it, too?"  Leaning forward, Justus patted his horse's neck as he scanned the low rolling prairie in the direction the sound had come from, spotting the distant glow of a fire against the fading light of dusk.  As he sat up in the saddle, he could hear the lowing of cattle, and the pieces fell into place.

 

A drive...

 

"Think we should chance it?"  While it was a bit safer to intrude into the camp of a cattle drive than just riding in on a lone, or a couple, of men, there was still a risk that they would be jumpy, or just plain mean, and he wouldn't make it within half a mile of camp before being shot out of the saddle.

 

Still, most drovers were just good, hard-working men, willing to help a strange, so Justus decided the risk was worth it if he could get a meal...it was going on three days since he'd had anything substantial...and short of being killed dead, what harm was there in asking?  And even if they shot him, that solved the problem!

 

About a half mile from the camp, Justus swung out of the saddle, leaving the cinch tight in case he had to make a quick retreat, then unstrapped his gunbelt and hung it over the horn.  Essentially unarmed, and on foot, he led Mule toward the fire, keeping his hands in sight, planning to stop as soon as he was challenged.

 

@Flip

@Wayfarer (It's just me, resurrecting another Green Valley character!)

 

 

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Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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"Well boy," the rider said looking down at him from the back of his horse. "Just what are you up too?" It was Dallas, and he was one to ask questions first, rather than just shoot a fellow. "You might oughtta ride on in like a man. There'll be plenty of grub, and you'll be welcome to it." He smiled.

 

Dallas, had been sitting his horse between the stranger and the herd in the fading light, and though he has a hand close to his Colt, he had not seen the need to draw it. "You out here on yer own? Mount up an' I'll ride in with ya jest so's you don't get shot er nuthin'!" The he laughed.

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@Bongo

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Justus kept a close eye on the man as he approached, reassured by the fact that he was being allowed to approach, and that there was no sign of aggression.  He stopped a few feet away.

 

"Evenin', sir."  Justus nodded with an easy grin, relieved that it seemed this was a friendly bunch.  Most men on drives were, but Justus had learned young that it was best to assume the worst, then be happily surprised.

 

"Just what are you up too?" It was Dallas, and he was one to ask questions first, rather than just shoot a fellow. "You might oughtta ride on in like a man. There'll be plenty of grub, and you'll be welcome to it." He smiled.

 

"Thank ya, sir, I might do just that."  While he didn't want to seem too eager, there was no denying that he was grateful for the offer.

 

"You out here on yer own? Mount up an' I'll ride in with ya jest so's you don't get shot er nuthin'!" The he laughed.

 

"Yes, sir, I'm alone."  Swinging into the saddle, Justus patted Mule on the neck, then fell into pace beside the man.  "I do appreciate this, sir, I'll work for it, sir, help th' cookie with dishes or some'at."  A thankless job, but it wouldn't do him any harm, and he wouldn't feel so much like mooching.

 

"Oh, m' name's Justus Wheeler, sir.  I'm headed north, nowhere in particular."

 

@Flip

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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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