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Mature Content: No

With: Mike Wentworth, Wentworth Brothers
Location: Blackbird Lodge, front terrace
When: Early September 1875
Time of Day: Mid-to-Late Morning

 

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According to some folks, Blackbird Lodge had been built backward. The courtyard and main entrance were on the side of the house that the family considered its rear. Isadora Thornton had wanted it that way, so the coming and going of horses in the courtyard would not distract from the vista of the vast crater lake and the mountains. Ranch hands and others that had had business with John Caleb Thornton could come and go without disturbing her. Isadora's husband had, at first, objected to the building site she had chosen for that very reason. She had overridden his objections by pointing out that it also meant only one main entrance to defend should the need arise. No one would be able to enter the house from the side of the house that overlooked the lake. It made perfect sense to her and, after thinking it over for a while, John Caleb had agreed with her.


Shade had grown up with stories of how Blackbird Lodge came to be where it was. The house was built on a flat expanse of bedrock that jutted out from one of the lower peaks of the Chogun Mountain Range. Although technically not a basin, it had been named Moonlight Basin due to the slight concavity of the outcropping. The area was surrounded by creeks and waterfalls, all making their way down the mountain to the Chogun River or into Lost Lake, which lay far below the house's front terrace. The house had been built out of local river stone, massive redwoods hauled in from the west coast, and local oak and aspen. Shade's father had spared no expense, including having massive windows built into the front of the house so that one always had a view of the mountains, forests, and lake. The lodge was as beautiful as his mother had been and as rugged as his father. It reflected his parents' personalities perfectly.


The morning had been well advanced when Shade made his way down from the office and study attached to the master bedroom. He had honestly wanted to continue living in the downstairs room that had been his when he was a kid, but Laura Hale had put her foot down. While she and her husband, Ezra, lived in the lodge, it had made sense for them to live in the upstairs master suite. Ezra often worked on the ranch's ledgers late into the night. It was easier for him to do that in the office and study that was attached to the main bedroom. It had also kept Laura near the children's room. Laura had insisted that Shade needed to take over the master suite so that he would be on the same floor as the five-year-old twins. It made sense. It had also seemed to bring home the fact that the Hales were retiring and moving away and that everything was changing.


Mary Miller, the ranch's housekeeper and cook, greeted him with a bit of a frown. Her sharp eyes noted that he was leaning heavier on the cane than he had been. The repeated trips up and down the stairs required to move his belongings had left the injured leg sore.


"You go sit out on the terrace, Mr. Shade. It's a beautiful day. I'll bring coffee and sandwiches." She did not scold him for coming down late since she had brought his breakfast up to his office just after dawn. "When do you think Mr. Quentin and Miss Harriet will get back?"


"Not for a few days yet, Mary. I figure it'll take them longer to move twenty-five head to the south end of Lake Flathead than it'll take Sage to move the hundred and fifty all the way to Missoula," Shade replied with a chuckle.


Taking Mary's advice, Shade exited the house and settled in one of the chairs on the terrace. Leaning forward, he dragged one of the smaller chairs over so that he could prop his leg up. A few minutes later, Mary came out with a tray of sandwiches and a pot of coffee. Shade poured himself a cup of coffee and picked up a sandwich.

 

@JulieS

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"Would you look at that," Charlie said as he pushed his hat up a little.  "How big do you reckon it is?"

 

"Big enough and then some, " Mike replied as he took in the large house that was up ahead.  Matt had gotten them the directions to find the main house but he hadn't told them how large it was.  Mike smiled, remembering that Matt hadn't had the chance to come out here yet so he wouldn't have known either.

 

Pulling out the paper with the directions on it, Mike could see that the main house was called Blackbird Lodge.  The name now made sense and it wasn't the type of large ranch houses he was used to in Wyoming.  This Shade Thornton they were coming to see didn't sound like the type of fellow who would own a house like this.

 

Even though he had done some research into the ranch and the owners before deciding to apply for the foreman's job that had been advertised, he was still surprised at how big everything seemed to be here.  Both Montana and Wyoming were places were the word big was understatement.

 

Motioning to Charlie and Sam, Mike kicked his horse and started towards the house.  As he neared it, he realised that there was something odd about it.  The front entrance wasn't where it was supposed to be.   He steered his horse and made his way to the back of the house, hoping he would see some sort of entry along the way.

 

Turning the corner at the rear, he was relieved to finally found what looked to be the front.  Sighting a nearby hitching rail, he and his brothers went over to it and tied up their horses.

 

Going up to the door, Mike knocked on it while Sam and Charlie spent the time checking the house over.  After a few minutes, the door opened and an older woman stepped out.  "Yes, can I help you?"

 

Mike took off his hat, and smiled.  "Howdy ma'am.  Is Mr. Thornton in?"

 

Mary slowly took her time to look over the man at the door.  She could see that he wasn't alone and that the other two were smiling back at her.  For a moment, she wished she was a little bit younger but then she remembered where and who she was.  "I'm guessing you're here about the foreman's job."

 

Nodding, Mike replied with a firm "Yes, ma'am."

 

"It figures."  Mary opened the door wider to let all three of them in.  "Wait here and I'll let Mr. Thornton know that you're here."

 

As they waited for the woman to return, Mike, Sam and Charlie spent the next few minutes taking in their surroundings.

 

@Stormwolfe

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The morning was fading toward noon. Shade was still relaxing on the terrace, content to stare at the stunning scenery. He had been joined by Clara Redmond and his five-year-old niece and nephew, Cody and Nettie. The twins were playing nearby, talking to one another in low voices. Occasionally, Shade heard a word or two and realized that while they were almost familiar, the words were not in any English dictionary he had seen. It appeared that the twins communicated to one another in a language all their own. He found it interesting and determined that he would ask them about it when he read to them at night.

 

Speaking of reading...

 

Clara had determined that it was her duty to read to Shade to help him relax and keep his mind alert. After all, at his age, injuries could lead to other detrimental impacts on his health. He had grinned when she made her pronouncement, barely refraining from asking her exactly how old she thought he was. Shade was still amused, but he enjoyed Clara's company and their often spirited conversations. He had also persuaded her to read from some of his history books and biographies of prominent persons past and present. From time-to-time, Shade interrupted the reading when something of interest got his attention. He had an old pair of service binoculars with him that he used to observe the various wild things that inhabited the area around the lake. 


The next interruption came when Mary stepped out on the terrace and cleared her throat. "Mr. Shade, some gentlemen are here to see you about the job openings, including the foreman's position." There was a note of relief in her voice. Mary's husband, Sage Miller, was the ranch's night foreman. With Shade and Ezra Hale injured, he had been trying to pull extra shifts to keep things running right. She knew that Shade had offered him the foreman's position, but he had declined. He liked working nights and the extra money it brought in.


"Show them out here, please, Mary," Shade said. It was simply too beautiful a day to go back into the house. He thought of asking Clara to take the twins inside but changed his mind. It wouldn't hurt the kids to hear him talking to the men. After all, someday it would be their job to run things.


A few moments later, Mary returned with the visitors in tow. Stating that she would return with more sandwiches and a pitcher of iced tea, Mary withdrew. Shade gazed at the three men for a moment and came to the conclusion that they had to be related in some way. He turned his dark blue eyes onto the oldest of the three. 


Shade indicated his injured leg, "Please forgive me for not standing. Lost a fight with a bear. I'm Shade Thornton. This is Miss Clara Redmond, a family friend." His voice was pleasant with the tone leaving the impression that he was inviting them to introduce themselves.

 

@JulieS  @Wayfarer

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After a few minutes, the woman returned and asked them to follow her.  As they walked through the house, Mike was impressed.  Even his previous boss didn't have a house as large as this one was.

 

Going out onto the terrace, Mike could see that there was a man, a young lady and two children.  He looked over to his brothers and he noticed that Charlie was looking a bit uncomfortable.  After the introductions were made, he went over and shook hands with Thornton.  "I'm Mike Wentworth and the fair haired one is my brother Sam.  The other one is my brother, Charlie."

 

Sam greeted Shade and the others, remarking that he and Charlie were already acquainted with Miss Redmond.  For a moment, Mike wondered how they had met the young lady but then he realised who she was.  Judging by the way Charlie was acting, she would have to be the one he had a run it with the other day.

 

Not wanting to draw attention away from the purpose of their visit, Mike turned his attention back to Shade, "I understand that you have a position open for foreman and hopefully for a couple of ranch hands as well."

 

@Stormwolfe

 

 

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Clara lowered the book upon the entrance into the room of the three gentlemen. Her eyes went wide at the sight of two of them then. She knew those two alright. Closing the book she said nothing though and allowed Shade to do the introductions for the two of them. As her name was announced she nodded and gave a polite enough smile.

 

The apparent oldest brother did the introductions for the trio of newcomers. Clara's hazel eyes focused on the two she knew before speaking up.

 

"Yes indeed, I have met them. Samuel is quite the gentleman, it is good to see you again, sir," she addressed the middle one.

 

"Hello again, Charlie," she added, without bothering to attach any compliments but at least she did not toss out any criticisms either.

 

But the men were there not for social reasons but job seeking as their spokesman now pointed out. So she sat there primly and let Shade handle such affairs.

@Stormwolfe @JulieS

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Shade chuckled, "There you go, Mr. Wentworth. You have already passed the first hurdle. Any friend of Clara's is a friend of mine." He gestured at the chairs that were scattered around. "Please have a seat."

 

Clara gave a Cheshire Cat grin to Charlie, knowing he probably was not thrilled to hear that conversational tidbit.

 

Just then, Mary entered with sandwiches, lemonade and iced tea. "I'll bring coffee out in a bit, making a fresh pot." She disappeared back inside, intent on her own work.

 

Cody and Nettie looked up from where they were playing. However, since Clara and Shade seemed at-ease with the strangers, they returned to their activities. Five years old was still a bit young to care overmuch about ranch business.

 

"The primary job we're hiring for is the day foreman. Sage Miller, our housekeeper's husband, is our night foreman and will be continuing in that role. He didn't want to make the change to days but is and will be a valuable resource. The Millers have been with us for a very long time," Shade paused for a moment. "We are losing our senior foreman as well as two assistant hands since his wife and eldest son worked here too. That means I can possibly run to hiring more than one position."

 

"Can you tell me a little about your work experience? Do you have references from any former jobs?" Shade was well aware that most ranch hands came and went. He wanted someone that was interested in staying so was being a bit more cautious than normal. Shade also guessed they must be related to the new hotel owner in town, Matt Wentworth. That might be incentive for them to remain in the area.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Fair enough, Mike though as he listened to Shade.  He watched as his two brothers found seats and sat on them, keeping a little bit further back to allow him to speak for them.  It was good to hear that there might be another couple of positions available.

 

Reaching into his coat pocket he pulled out a piece of paper and handed it over to Shade, "This a reference from my previous employer back in Wyoming.  I was foreman at his ranch for about two years or so.  I would still be there if there hadn't been a family emergency."

 

Not wanting to go on about the circumstances that had brought them, he decided to expand more on his and his brothers' experience.  "I've been working as a ranch hand since the end of the war.  Sam's been working as one for over seven years, mainly in Nebraska and brother Charlie, well..."  He smiled, "He's just starting out but he's willing and eager to learn."

 

Quickly, going over what Shade had said, Mike got the impression that the man wanted people who would be here for the long haul, "We're looking at staying on a while around here as we have an older brother living in town.  We appreciate that you are willing to at least hear us out."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Shade read the letter that Mike had handed him. When finished, he folded it and handed it back, "That's one solid reference." Before continuing, he pointed to the thick roast beef and cheddar sandwiches that Mary had brought, "Please help yourselves and excuse me for a moment. Clara, will you help me get the twins set up with a sandwich and something to drink?" He carefully got to his feet and called out, "Nettie, Cody - come eat," he gestured at a nearby low table that was ideal for the kids.

 

"Of course, Shade," Clara nodded and set the book aside then stood up, "Excuse me, gentlemen."

 

It was all rather easy, both children were hungry and they liked such sandwiches so Clara needed to do little other than watch as they then settled down to eat. Clara went back into the kitchen and returned with a pitcher of fresh milk, filling their glasses. Once they were served and happily chewing away, she then reached for a sandwich herself. As she munched on it standing over the kids, she once more listened into the ongoing conversation.

 

Returning to his seat, Shade reached for a sandwich and the tea pitcher before sitting back down, "Back when I did the hirin' for the place I worked before coming home, I depended on instinct more than a bunch of formal questions. I've not met your brother Matt, but I have heard good things about the Belle-St. Regis since he took over. What do you say to a month's trial for all three of you? We can put Charlie on up here at the house and main barn until he gets his ranch legs under him. It's forty dollars a month and your gear, if you need it. As foreman, Mike, you get the option of the foreman's cabin in the valley next to the bunkhouse, or the foreman's quarters in the bunkhouse. Sound fair?"

 

@JulieS

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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18 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

Returning to his seat, Shade reached for a sandwich and the tea pitcher before sitting back down, "Back when I did the hirin' for the place I worked before coming home, I depended on instinct more than a bunch of formal questions. I've not met your brother Matt, but I have heard good things about the Belle-St. Regis since he took over. What do you say to a month's trial for all three of you? We can put Charlie on up here at the house and main barn until he gets his ranch legs under him. It's forty dollars a month and your gear, if you need it. As foreman, Mike, you get the option of the foreman's cabin in the valley next to the bunkhouse, or the foreman's quarters in the bunkhouse. Sound fair?"

 

"It's fine by me," Mike replied.  He looked over to his two brothers who nodded in return, "And it's fine by them."

 

Both Sam and Charlie got up and grabbed a sandwich each before sitting back down again.  Charlie was careful to avoid looking at Clara.  Knowing that he might have to spend some time with her was a bit unsettling but if wanted to be a ranch hand there would be a heap of stuff that he would have to put up with.

 

Clara, on the other hand, kept her eye on Charlie, just waiting for their eyes to meet but when he avoided such contact she chose not to speak to the young man. She was not looking for a scene here.  If he was determined to simply ignore her...well then....fine!

 

Mike wanting to get the formalities over first, continued speaking to Shade, "The gear will help as we could only bring what we could carry without overloading our horses.  As for our lodgings, I'll take the foreman's quarters in the bunkhouse for the time being and as for Charlie...he should be okay with staying here."  A smirk came to his face, "The last thing I want is a hand who's too soft from taking it too easy."

 

Sam nodded, "Yeah, he left a life of luxury to join us humble people.  The sooner he starts learning the better."

 

As Charlie was about to answer, Mike spoke up, "We'll continue this discussion on the way back to town to pick up our gear. We can start the day after tomorrow."  He paused before going on, "Is there anything we need to know in particular about working here?"

 

@Stormwolfe

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Shade leaned back and stared at the three men for a few moments. He liked the feel of them. Mike was forthright and respectful and his brothers indicated their own respect by accepting his leadership. The rancher felt he was making the right choice by hiring them. He expected that the older one would keep the other two in line since his reputation as a top-hand could take a hit if the younger brothers got up to too many hijinks. What concerned him now was how much to tell them? They were new to the region. In the end, Shade decided to be as truthful with them as they had with him.

 

He waved a hand to signal the twins to come over, "Nettie, Cody - say hello to our new foreman, Mike Wentworth and his brothers, Sam and Charlie. Sam will be working for Mike on the range and Charlie will be helping out with the livestock and chores up here for a bit. My niece and nephew own the other half of the ranch."

 

The twins shyly greeted the newcomers, then Nettie looked at her uncle, "Mrs. Mary made apple cake. Can we have some?"

 

"If Mary says it's okay but eat  it in the kitchen please," Shade told them although he signaled that Clara could remain if she wanted to. As the twins ran into the house calling for the housekeeper, he turned his attention back to the brothers, "I didn't want them to hear this. Cody still has night terrors."

 

"Back in June, while on their way back from Missoula, my brother, Chance, and his wife, Regina were ambushed by raiders. They and their two oldest children were killed and burned beyond recognition. Cody survived by hiding in a nearby rock outcropping. The CO at Fort Kilpatrick insisted that the attackers were Indians. I have my doubts. My brother's will left me half the ranch, the other half to his and Regina's children, and some of their business investments to her brother, Quentin Cantrell. He and I were given custody of any of their minor children should something happen to them."

 

Shade paused and sighed. He had not been able to help the note of pain in his voice as he relived the story of what had happened to Chance, Regina, and the children. "Quentin and I arrived in early July to take over here only to learn that someone had lodged a custody suit for the twins and disputed the will. Carson  Tyndall, the man the lodged the dispute, was, once upon a time, my father's attorney. Chance fired him when he learned that Tyndall also worked for the Steelgrave family. I'm not sure if he is still there or not. The case was heard in court. Judge Oliver Wendell upheld the dissolution of the trust that mandated the ranch and all assets devolve to the eldest Thornton son only. However, he also stipulated that we needed for the ranch to show a six-percent increase quarterly to make sure the best interests of the heirs was being met. The ranch is in the black but with new folks moving to the area all the time, our profits might take a hit."

 

"We want to guarantee Cody and Nettie's future. More important than that, though, is that they are safe and happy in their family home."

 

There was another pause and Shade shook his head, "Not used to talkin' this much at one sitting..."

 

"The biggest threat to the ranch, to the twins and their inheritance are the Steelgraves. There's a longstanding rivalry between them and the Thorntons that's spilled over into outright feuds in the past. You might as well know, I had to kill Calvin Steelgrave to protect Regina's honor some thirteen or fourteen years ago. Missoula's sheriff considered it a self-defense shooting but because of the bad blood, I left the area." Shade chose not to tell them that his father had pretty much disowned him and sent him away. "Lost Lake Ranch shares a portion of its northeastern border with Evergreen Ranch, the Steelgrave's property although old man Elias Steelgrave considers his place to be part of Whitefish and not Kalispell. You'll need to watch out if your work takes you to that area. Don't go alone. Can't promise there won't be trouble in town either. Steelgrave likes to send his hands into Kalispell just to stir things up."

 

Shade decided not to bring up his own sometimes questionable past for now. That would come out in time.

 

@JulieS

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9 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

He waved a hand to signal the twins to come over, "Nettie, Cody - say hello to our new foreman, Mike Wentworth and his brothers, Sam and Charlie. Sam will be working for Mike on the range and Charlie will be helping out with the livestock and chores up here for a bit. My niece and nephew own the other half of the ranch."

 Mike, Sam, and Charlie acknowledged the children and said hello to them.  There would be time to get to know them later on.

 

9 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

"The biggest threat to the ranch, to the twins and their inheritance are the Steelgraves. There's a longstanding rivalry between them and the Thorntons that's spilled over into outright feuds in the past. You might as well know, I had to kill Calvin Steelgrave to protect Regina's honor some thirteen or fourteen years ago. Missoula's sheriff considered it a self-defense shooting but because of the bad blood, I left the area." Shade chose not to tell them that his father had pretty much disowned him and sent him away. "Lost Lake Ranch shares a portion of its northeastern border with Evergreen Ranch, the Steelgrave's property although old man Elias Steelgrave considers his place to be part of Whitefish and not Kalispell. You'll need to watch out if your work takes you to that area. Don't go alone. Can't promise there won't be trouble in town either. Steelgrave likes to send his hands into Kalispell just to stir things up."

 

Mike nodded.  Shade was pretty much confirming some of the things Matt had said about the Steelgraves.  Working here could make them targets but he knew both he and Sam could handle any trouble that might crop up.  Charlie was another matter.  The boy was only used to city life and what he knew of life out here was what he had experience on the trip to Kalispell.  They had already started giving Charlie lessons on how and when to use a gun, but he would need a lot more learning before he could look after himself.  Hopefully, as he was learning how to be a ranch hand, he would also learn the other things he needed to know to survive life in the west.

 

After a moment, Mike replied, "Thanks for letting us know the situation.  I hate to go into something blindly and find out something later that I should have known in the beginning."

 

He looked over to his brothers and back again to Shade, "My brothers and I appreciate the opportunity you are giving us.  I hope we won't be a disappointment."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Shade carefully got to his feet, managing not to put too much weight on the injured leg. Picking up the cane, he grimaced at the brothers, "I hope to be back in the saddle soon. Right now, we are working with a skeleton crew."

 

As he slowly walked the Wentworths out, he continued, "Report here when your come in for work day after tomorrow...as early as you can. I'll have Sage Miller, our night foreman, hold over so he can get you settled and get you whatever gear you need. I'll also get your first month's pay." He paused at the door, "About getting paid upfront, it means if you leave the job or are let go, that's it. So far, paying in advance has never let us down. In fact, we've found our trust rewarded more than otherwise. The gear is yours to keep, as is a mount if one is needed."

 

@JulieS

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9 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

As he slowly walked the Wentworths out, he continued, "Report here when your come in for work day after tomorrow...as early as you can. I'll have Sage Miller, our night foreman, hold over so he can get you settled and get you whatever gear you need. I'll also get your first month's pay." He paused at the door, "About getting paid upfront, it means if you leave the job or are let go, that's it. So far, paying in advance has never let us down. In fact, we've found our trust rewarded more than otherwise. The gear is yours to keep, as is a mount if one is needed."

 

"I'm usually used to getting paid after doing the work, but I guess I can get used to the way things are done here."  Mike didn't want to tell Shade that he felt a bit dishonest taking money before he had done anything for it but for now, he would see how it would go.  Once he knew more about his new bosses, he might be able to offer some suggestions but now was not the time.

 

On the surface, Shade seemed to be on the level, and he had no doubt he was a good man or Matt wouldn't have told him about the job here.  It was his remark about killing a Steelgrave and having to leave town that made him a bit curious.  The incident had happened years ago and Shade had only returned due to the untimely death of his brother and his wife. What had he done for all those years?

 

Knowing that he would have some time in town before returning here to find out things, even if it was a rumour, Mike left it at that.  He liked Shade and hoped that he was a man worthy of being called boss and maybe one day a friend.

 

Holding out his hand to shake Shade's, he smiled, "Well, it's been nice meeting you.  We should be here some time tomorrow afternoon.  Your night foreman can show me around the day after tomorrow if he's okay with that.  It will give me and my brothers a bit of time to settle in and at least look over the stables and our lodgings."

 

@Stormwolfe

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"I look forward to working with you when I am back in the saddle," Shade said, giving Mike's hand a firm, warm shake. "Charlie, we'll talk more about what you'll be doing around here then and how to carve out time for you to work with your brothers on the range."

 

The rancher was pleased to have hired the brothers. He did not sense anything wrong about them and after years on the drift, Shade had a good nose for when people were just off. Now he needed to find Clara and the twins. Maybe they could go outside for a little while, take the easy trail down to the lake. He needed the exercise.

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11 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

I look forward to working with you when I am back in the saddle," Shade said, giving Mike's hand a firm, warm shake. "Charlie, we'll talk more about what you'll be doing around here then and how to carve out time for you to work with your brothers on the range."

Charlie went up to Shade, "Yes, Mr. Thornton and I would like to thank you for the opportunity.  I may not know much about ranching, but I am willing to learn."

 

Stepping back to allow Mike to conclude his business with Shade, Charlie thought about how lucky he had been to land the first job he had gone for.  Albeit, it was Mike who had done all the talking but he was okay with that.  Mike had faith in him and faith that he could do the job, or he wouldn't have said anything.  Now all he had to do was prove that faith was justified.

 

Looking around the house, Charlie thought about the meeting and especially about how surprised he was to see that girl Clara again.  Hopefully, his work in the barn would mean that he would rarely come in contact with heras there was something about her ways that annoyed him.  Even though, he knew he had behaved badly the other day, he didn't regret anything that he had said.  He was of the opinion that the less he had to do with her the better.

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11 hours ago, Shade Thornton said:

"I look forward to working with you when I am back in the saddle," Shade said, giving Mike's hand a firm, warm shake.

"Likewise."  Mike replied.

 

He listened to Charlie's response before speaking up, "Well, I guess we'll be on our way.  We might take it a bit more slower going, so that we can start to familiarise ourselves with the land. See you tomorrow."

 

Mike, Sam and Charlie made their way back to their horses and began the ride back to town.  When they had gone far enough, Sam spoke, "That went well.  I kind of expected it would be a lot harder going from what I heard in town about Thornton."

 

Looking over Sam, Mike smiled, "Why I am not surprised that you did your research before coming here."

 

Sam smirked, "Matt's not the only who likes to know what he's up against...and I know that you're the same.  The only one who probably didn't was Charlie, but he's got problems of his own. Isn't that right Charlie?"

 

Charlie frowned, "Of all the darn places she would have to be..."

 

"So, the young lady looking after the children was the Clara from the other day," Mike asked.

 

"Yeah she was...and one talking to about it is enough.  Besides, I thought we were going to learn more about the land on the way back and not how I acted towards some kid I met in town."

 

Both Mike and Sam looked at each other, surpressing the urge to laugh out loud.  Mike knew that Charlie needed to work out things for himself, now that he knew the reasons why he would have to learn to control himself where his drinking was concerned.

 

As they continued the ride back to town, Mike took mental notes of things that needed to be done.  He knew he was seeing only a small part of the ranch and there was some fences that needed to be mended.  With the owners dying unexpectedly only a few months ago and the former foreman being injured, there was bound to be some jobs to be done.  One of the first things he would have to do is to take stock of the other ranch hands.  With the odd payment system here there was bound to be some who would be taking advantage of it, especially at a time like this.

 

Thinking about how things had turned out, Mike found to his surprise, that he was okay with it.  It was good to know that most of the family would not be far away from each other.  If he was being honest with himself, he would have to admit that he had missed all of this brothers.  Now, that they were back together, the only real worry was their father and it was only a matter of time before he would come for Charlie.

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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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