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    • "Wonderful!"  Jonah almost clapped, for this had been going on for so long, that he really expected that this would be some sort of new setback, and Leah certainly didn't need any more complications.  "I'm sure it's going to be a huge relief when they finally break ground.  It's going to be rewarding to watch it take shape, and for you to know you are responsible for it."   He hoped, for her sake more than anything, that the weather cooperated, and that the progress was swift and without complications.    "You'll be overseeing the project?"  He couldn't imagine that she'd step back now, and not assure that every detail was right.   @Flip
    • "Boss, we found us a herd ripe for the pluckin'. Maybe we oughtta move on it afore they change where they're grazin' 'em, an make it more difficult." Toole suggested. "We can take close to a hunderd head easy enough, they move 'em, thet might not be the way of it."   "'Scuse me men, but Toole here is on to something, and cattle is our other business. We've customers waiting up north." Case said, not happy at being interrupted, yet realizing that what he said was true. It was why they were there, and it was what the did. "So go on and make yourselves to home while I get this job situated."   "Oh sure thing, Case, an thanks for the offer. We appreciate it, 'mon boys." Shannon said, and with that they walked outside to find the other building Case was talking about.   "Alright Toole what did you have in mind?" Case asked.   "The place is just at the foothills where they have their cattle. Now any buildin's 'er maybe a mile, mile'n a half away. What we saw was just maybe four riders wit the cattle, may not hav'ta kill any of 'em. We just filter down through the trees and then rush 'em. Maybe eight 'er ten of us, circle the heard an' push 'em back the way we come which was the long way around , and shore they'll be tracks alomst all the way to the dry river bed, maybe  whot, two mile from the tree line. Hard ground to river bed, but they won't catch us, not seein's they're out numbered."   Case gave it some thought, but Toole had been plotting how they would steal a herd for quite a while, and he knew what he was doing. Besides, no County Sheriff, no problem!   "Pick your men, Toole and get it done." Case said, knowing if they got a hundred head, that would be enough to drive north, once the brands were altered.
    • Having a second thought, to bolster the findings he sent for Fairchild before he could leave for New Orleans, and in the vicinity of Elinor Steelgrave, that could be done at another time after this meeting with Elias himself.   It was like hedging his bet on the situation. He wanted Elias to meet the man who could explain what was in the file in detail, much better than he himself.  might be able to. Nothing like being prepared. Elias could be unpredictable when upset, if a man like Fairchild explaining what he had found could manage to keep Steelgrave manage-ably clam then the expense was worth it to all concerned.   He had to congratulate himself on the idea. It just might work!
    • List in hand, they made their way back to town and to the Anderson's Mercantile where they laid out their list of needs. John and Mary Agnes looked over the list and began adding prices, plus shipping where it was warranted.   "So, you're in the mining business Marshal?" John asked.   "We are." Alice replied with a wide proud smile on her face. Speed just looked at her.   "Amos here found a property to good to pass up, so I bought it myself." Speed said, "Actually two properties, the other on is off to the west, but this one is just north of the Evergreen Ranch a couple of miles."   "Ah that would be the Henshaw mine. Sad about his wife passing on so suddenly. Life can be hard out here, it was just too hard for Martha Henshaw, though she tried as hard as anyone could." Mary Agnes said. "Most all of what you have here we have in stock. Most all of this was on Henshaw's list as well, he just quit before he paid for it. I believe we can give you a good price on the machinery out back. Right John?"   "Yes we can, The fact is Speed I'll let you have it at our cost, plus the shipping expenses, of course. Be good to free up that room back there. Let me see here at my cost, yes, well, it looks to be just under three thousand dollars, without the things we have in stock that wasn't Henshaw's."   Fair enough John, and we appreciate it. Now, if you'll let me get up to the bank, we want to use their money until we get started, and then we'll settle up."   "Makes sense to me, it's what we did. Hated those monthly payments, but it worked for us." John agreed.   "We'll be back." Speed promised.
    • The single shot was loud, even with the traffic, the jingle of the trace chains and the people on the boardwalks conversing. It had been some time since that had been gunfire in town,  especially in the middle of the day, he was up, pad in hand and heading for the door. "That was a gunshot!" He said to Sarah. "I have no idea what it's about, but I intend to find out!"   He stepped out the door to see a crowd gathered and Marshal Guyer leading a man away, a man who looked familiar, but one he could not identify right off. He started down the street to see who belonged to the body laying on the boardwalk. There should be a story in this, it would appear someone had been murdered in broad daylight!   When he arrived at the body, it was of a man he did not recognize, not that he was aware of every drifter that passed through town, but the one being led off was familiar enough, he just could not place him at the moment. But clearly Chester and  Myrtle McIneery stood close behind the body, Chester steadying his wife who splattered with blood, no doubt from the dead man.   He then saw Arabella Mudd scurrying across the the street to the Municipal Building. He would be over there in a few moments himself but just then, the slower moving Mister Jolly and young Raymond, his other assistant, arrived on the scene. "Mister Jolly." He greeted, "Raymond. I see Miss Mudd is already at the Marshals office." @Javia

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Mature Content:  Yes, violence.

 

With: Turk Flagg and an NPC
Location: On the boardwalk of Main Street, Kalispell
When: September 1876
Time of Day:  Early afternoon

 

Turk lit up a cigarette then tossing the matchstick onto the street, he began a long slow walk down one side of the small but bustling town of Kalispell. Truth be told he wasn't much for towns, even less for cities but this place seemed decent at least. After a long pleasant conversation with his old friend, Caroline Mundee, Turk had been talked into staying at least for maybe a week or so. It's not like he had pressing business anywhere else and the reward money from his latest successful bounty would keep him in spending money for a decent stretch of time.

 

He had also heard enough talk about some real local tension between the two big ranches in these here parts and how one in particular, Evergreen, had stocked up on the likes of gunmen more so than cowpokes. One didn't pay out that kind of money for hired guns and then not use them at some point, it was otherwise an extravagant waste of funds. But Caroline had set him straight about this Evergreen place. She and most of the town despised the owner and warned him away from even thinking of hiring on there. Turk would never do such a thing and upset the saloon girl. He wasn't romantically in love with her but she was more like a young sister to him. Another point - she had quite a volcanic temper if you got her mad. Nope, he wasn't about to poke that hornet's nest.

 

So, if he was going to stay for awhile, he needed to find a place to stay. Hearing of the hotel prices, too rich for his blood, he had now narrowed down his options to seeing if the local boarding house had an opening. If not, Caroline promised him she'd make sure he didn't sleep someplace without a roof.

 

A few of the citizenry walked by him in the other direction. He was met with one or two perfunctory nods or answered a 'hello' with a civil 'howdy' back. That was until suddenly he did a full stop upon catching sight of a man walking straight toward him.  He knew the man instantly even after all these many years.

 

When your life once revolved around the deadly feud that had been Bloody Kansas, you never really forgot those brutal times nor faces. He was staring at one of the men who had once rode with the pro-slavery faction back then. Turk had been a young volunteer with the anti-slavery Jawhawkers. Both of them had come not just from the same county but their farms had been right next door to each other. Well, that was until the Flagg farm had been torched in a raid. His family had been lucky to escape with their lives, except for his brother, Thomas. Thomas, all of fifteen, had tried to resist the raid and had been shot dead. His mother had told Turk ever since that she had saw the faces of these raiders and one of them had been none other than one of their own neighbors, the very man who now was walking straight toward him.

 

Turk's eyes narrowed as he spit out the cigarette onto the boardwalk. Of course that late unpleasantness, the War Between the States, was over but....well....somethings were never over.

 

@Flip

 

 

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Eethan Noolan, a hired gun, was interested in word which came his way that there could be work on a spread a bit north of here, the Evergreen. Now word had it that a range war was shaping up and men were needed, but it seemed only one ranch was hiring, it was like the other spread had no idea what was coming, but for Noolan that mattered not at all.

 

He had tied his horse just up the street from the mercantile where in had stopped in for some tobacco, he had an eye to stop in at the saloon, so his horse was hitched close to the place. Then the plan was, ride out to this Evergreen and see what was what. If there was no job, he would push on. It was how things went. That range war might already be over.

 

Twenty years past he had been involved in a lot of trouble in back in Kansas, in May of ‘56, he had participated in the sacking of Lawrence Kansas and that was only the start. He attacked and burned his neighbors farms who disagreed with his pro-slavery beliefs. He would be back seven years later with William Quantrill as one of his raiders. Between those years he rode with the ‘Fire Eaters”, pro slavery Democrats burning, killing, and looting. Then the war and another four years with Quantrills Raiders, but when they ambushed Quantrill, causing his death, it ended Eethan's participation with what was left of the Raiders, and he moved west. Life had been good.

 

The man coming at him had a familiar look about him, perhaps one of the Raiders. Many a man had come west after the war.

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@Wayfarer

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Of course he had been a lot younger back then, Turk wasn't the callow youth he had been during those bloody times but the expression on the man's face indicated he didn't seem to recognize him. Well, Turk sure knew Ethan Noolan, former neighbor and one of the murderers of his little brother, Tom.

 

"Noolan! After all these years.....you don't know me? The Flagg farm, yer neighbors. The farm you helped burn down. And then there was Tommy, my brother. Ring a bell now?"

 

Even as he called the man out, emotion and hatred in his voice, Turk's gun hand was lowering toward the holstered pistol on his right hip.

 

They weren't really going to talk, there was nothing to talk about. This was only going to end in someone's death for this was a blood feud that even the close of a long and terrible war could not bring to a conclusion. 

 

gunmanforsagas2.jpg

 

@Flip

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"Noolan! After all these years.....you don't know me? The Flagg farm, yer neighbors. The farm you helped burn down. And then there was Tommy, my brother. Ring a bell now?"

 

He saw the man's hand move, the challenge was instantly followed by action. Eethan was fast, there could be no doubt about the blur that was his draw. he was fast and more important he was as accurate as any man who made his living by the gun.

 

Who the man was, he couldn't place. The reference to the Flagg farm, lost over the years, the pain of the slug slamming into his ribs was all that mattered as his Colt came up, but he just could not pull back the hammer, he staggered and and went to a knee, still struggling with his pistol, which slipped from his grasp making a loud 'clunk' as it hit the boardwalk.

 

Something was terribly wrong, he was having trouble focusing and he was feeling his strength ebb away, finally falling back only to look up into the black hole that was the muzzle of the man's pistol as everything faded slowly to black while his final breath escaped his lungs.

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Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Hearing the shot Speed looked out to see that one man had a gun in his hand and another man was down, but not moving he quickly got to the door and jogged across the street, pistol in hand.

 

"Drop it!" Speed barked. "Mister, you're in a heap of trouble! You best hope  there's a good reason to gun down this man."

 

 

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Boone Dawson saw the whole thing unfold right there on the boardwalk across the street from him. Saw both men go for their guns, seemingly oblivious to the innocent people that had not moved as some of the others had. It happened in the blink of an eye, the way most impromptu shootings do.

 

They were fast, but one a mite faster than the other. He didn't see that his bullet passed through the man he had shot and slam into an awning post.

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Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Noolan went for his gun, as Turk fully expected he would. Both men were obviously fast but Turk had the jump on the man who plainly was surprised by all this. Even a split second can make all the difference in a point blank showdown. Flagg's revolver shot struck his victim full in the chest and down he went, the fellow's own weapon dropping from his grip. As all eyes went to the sudden sound and a few of the closest on the board walk scattered, they needn't have at that point. It was already over.

 

Turk took a few steps then stood over the dying man, lowering his pistol just in case he needed to finish him off. He could see he did not though and calmly holstered the weapon. He could have made a break for it but he did not. Instead he glanced up at a wide-eyed citizen, a middle-aged gent, and merely stated,  "He killed my kid brother." 

 

Whatever the reason probably made no difference whatsover to the townsman who merely nodded and fell back a few more yards before turning to head the opposite way. 

 

And it seemed the law was already there, as there was a harsh shout and Turk looked to see a man armed with a pistol but more importantly also wearing a star. US marshal.

 

"Drop it!" Speed barked. "Mister, you're in a heap of trouble! You best hope  there's a good reason to gun down this man." 

 

Turk knew better than to make any moves which might be taken as a threat so he simply stood there and raised both hands up in the air.

 

"It's holstered, marshal. Now if  you say it's OK, I will very slowly take it out and drop it. You tell me," Turk called back. 

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

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McNue and Cook stood on the boardwalk in front of the Municipal Building watching a Speed retried the dead man's gun, wasn't everyday that there was a shooting in town and there was a crowd gathered in minutes.

 

Speed looked at the man, "Well, this way." He said as he took the man's arm and led him across the street. "Don't appreciate you shootin' someone on my street, not in the least." He led the man past the Marshals when McNue spoke:

 

"Well, well, Cabot 'Turk' Flagg." He smiled shaking his head, Cook already half way across the busy street to look at the deceased. Thought you know better'n to plug somebody on the street in front of God an; ever'body."

 

Cook was hurrying back as Speed stopped with his prisoner. "That's Eethan Noolan layin' there."

@Wayfarer

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Once Turk was disarmed, the marshal approached to make sure he secured not just Turk's gun but also the revolver lying upon the boardwalk. Lest some eager kid pick it up maybe.

 

Speed looked at the man, "Well, this way." 

 

"Sure," Turk was calmed down by now and went along easily enough.

 

 Speed said as he took the man's arm and led him across the street. "Don't appreciate you shootin' someone on my street, not in the least." 

 

"It weren't planned, just came up all of a sudden," Turk replied.

 

The lawman led Turk past the Marshals when McNue spoke up.

 

"Well, well, Cabot 'Turk' Flagg." He smiled shaking his head, " Thought you know better'n to plug somebody on the street in front of God an; ever'body." 

 

"It's not my habit to. It just happened. Howdy, McNue, didn't know you lived in these parts," Turk responded.

 

Cook was hurrying back as Speed stopped with his prisoner. "That's Eethan Noolan layin' there." 

 

Turk nodded.

 

"That's right. We was neighbors once...back in Kansas. He rode with a bunch who burned down the family farm and murdered my kid brother. There was eleven bullets in young Tom."

 

@Flip

 

 

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"No, hadn't thought you were that reckless." McNue said, then, "Eethan Noolan? There oughtta be a circular on him! He ain't no lilly white that's fer shore.

 

Speed Looked at the two Marshals, "I'd say so. Now Mister Flagg, we'll just have us a sit down in my office. If That's Noolan, and if there's a circular then could be we'll not hold you for murder. Fact is, I'd wager there a reward." They entered his office and Flagg was shown to a chair.

 

Speed opened the drawer with all of the recent circulars and pulled them out, laying them on his desk. One by one he looked at then and sure enough. Eethan Noolan was wanted in Missoula for murder. Speed looked up, "So what you're telling me is you have paper on Noolan and he forced a fight? Is that it?"

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 "I'd say so. Now Mister Flagg, we'll just have us a sit down in my office. If That's Noolan, and if there's a circular then could be we'll not hold you for murder. Fact is, I'd wager there a reward." They entered his office and Flagg was shown to a chair.

 

Turk took a seat, "There might be a poster on 'im. I wasn't actually lookin' for the man, it just happened."

 

He sat there calmly watching as the marshal went thru a collection of papers from a drawer.  Turned out there was one. Noolan was on the run from a murder charge in Missoula.

 

Speed looked up, "So what you're telling me is you have paper on Noolan and he forced a fight? Is that it?" 

 

"Well, if that's how you want it to play out, alright by me. But it was as I already told ya. I was coming one way, him the other. There he was, I'd know him anywhere, anytime. We used ta be neighbors back in Kansas. Before the war, he rode with some pro-slavery raiders. They hit my family farm, I wasn't there at the time but my Ma and sisters just made it out alive when they torched our farmhouse. My kid brother, Tommy, he was shot to pieces. My Ma saw it go down and she later told me Noolan was one of the riders and also one of those who shot Tommy. I never saw Noolan back then or during the whole war. I rode with the Jayhawkers and volunteer cavalry for the Union til the finish of the war."

 

"Suddenly today...there he was right in front a me. I called him out, he went for his piece, I for mine. You already know the result. I got no regrets. He got what he deserved for what he did to Thomas and our farm. And that's the God's truth of it.  If you send a telegram to Linn County in Kansas, they'll back my story, I'm sure of it." 

 

@Flip

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Speed smiled, "No doubt, Flagg, no doubt. But, since there are no other injuries, and Noolan was wanted, and there is a reward." He shook his head, "Of the five hundred dollars reward, dead or alive, I'm fining you one hundred dollars for discharging a firearm within the town limits."

 

He opened the drawer that contained the cash box that held the fine money collected and counted out four hundred dollars in both paper and coin. "I understand your motive, and I can't say I would not have done the same thing in your place. That war left a lot of scars all over this country, so I see no reason to push this matter any further." He closed the tin box and set it back in the drawer and closed it.

 

"You are free to go Mister Flagg. This matter is closed." Speed said. "And Mister Flagg, let's have no more shooting on the streets." Then he added, "Hopefully Mister Jolly has the body off the street."

@Wayfarer@Javia(?)

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Speed smiled, "No doubt, Flagg, no doubt. But, since there are no other injuries, and Noolan was wanted, and there is a reward." He shook his head, "Of the five hundred dollars reward, dead or alive, I'm fining you one hundred dollars for discharging a firearm within the town limits." 

 

Turk nodded, "That sounds fair, Marshal. I'll not contest it." 

 

The lawmen now proceeded to count out the money, minus the hundred of course. Turk sat there calmly and watched.

 

"I understand your motive, and I can't say I would not have done the same thing in your place. That war left a lot of scars all over this country, so I see no reason to push this matter any further."

 

"I appreciate it," Turk nodded.  He had half expected to spend a night in jail.  He also made no move to pick up the stacked four hundred in reward lying on the marshal's desktop.

 

"You are free to go Mister Flagg. This matter is closed." Speed said. "And Mister Flagg, let's have no more shooting on the streets."   

 

"I get it and will do my best not to run afoul of the law again during my stay in town," Turk agreed.

 

Then the lawman added, "Hopefully Mister Jolly has the body off the street."  

 

Flagg had nothing further to say anything to do with Noolan, they could throw the man in an unmarked grave without a funeral for all he cared.  But he was not quite ready to leave the office...yet. He pointed to the money.

 

"Marshal, I'll not take blood money. I did what I did for my brother, Tommy. I have no desire to profit over it. You know this town better than me. If there is a local church or charity, I'll be obliged if you see to it the money goes to them," Turk declared then stood up, "Good day, Marshal."

 

@Flip

 

 

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"If that don't beat all, a bounty hunter with a heart of gold." Cook said after the gunman walked out.

 

"I don't see it that way," Speed began, "I don't understand a man the kills for a living and then turns down a reward on a man he kills. That could have gone so badly across the street, thankfully it did not.  What I think is, it was murder to repay a murder, there just happened to be a wanted man on the other end of the bullet."

 

"You've got a point, Speed." McNue agreed. "And maybe to him the reward really was blood money. He meant to kill Noolan if the man was a preacher. So, what are you gonna do with the money?"

 

"Reckon I'll take half to Pastor Evans to spread it among his congregation, the rest, I believe it needs to go to the school, Miss Bowen up to the school, figure that fulfills Flagg's wish. That money would help both, especially the school for books and supplies." Speed said with a smile. "Bounty hunter with a heart of gold, that's rich!"

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As the Marshall sat there at his desk with a fistful of dollars, Arabella Mudd walked into the office backwards with a few dollars more. 

 

"Hey, was that Mr Flagg?!" she asked, before she even turned "Was that feller one o' his jobs?!" she turned and saw more men than she expected standing in the office. She knew them from her days working in the saloon.

 

"Oh! Hello Mr McNue, hello Mr Cook. So..." she held up the money she was holding. "Mr Jolly and Raymond have taken that feller off to the funeral parlour and he sent me here with the money and valuables off of him." she marched up to the desk and put a small pile of cash, a gold watch and  small silver locket on the surface, then snatched the locket up again and darted toward one of the men, opening it "Say Mr McNue, you like the ladies don't cha? Look at this pretty photograph in the feller's locket"

 

teenage-girls-in-dresses-from-the-1860s-

 

She showed him and then turned to the Marshall.

 

"Mister Jolly wants to know if the the Town's payin' for this feller's funeral or what?"

 

@Flip

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Well now, I figure that's up to the Marshal here, bein's we're from Helena, and that was Mister Flagg alright." McNue stated then looked to the tin type in the locket, "Pretty young woman alright, any idea who she might be, 'course not." There was a pang, if that was his daughter, or perhaps his wife, she would never know what happened to him, nor where he was buried.

 

"Arabella? What is the charge for the funeral. I imagine this'll be something simple on boot hill?" Speed asked looking at the pile on his desk along with the nickle plated Colt. "Another case of slow, the man was wanted and lost his fight." Speed glossed over the facts as there was no sense elaborating on what it really was. He began idly fingering the cash, spreading the bills, and the coins. "We'll take care of the expense."

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@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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