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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

This town's just going to have to big enough for the three of us...


Jack Asher
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Mature Content: No

With: Jack Asher, Speed Guyer, Hannah Cory
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: September 1875
Time of Day: Evening.

 

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Jack left the Stardust and walked straight over to the town marshal's office, hoping to catch the marshal or his deputy still at work or at least still awake. Government lawmen had a variety of reactions to Pinkerton Detectives operating in their jurisdiction. Some took no issue, some were reluctant, and some were downright obstructive. Wells Fargo Bank and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency had provided him with letters of introduction, politely requesting that federal and local law provide Jack with whatever assistance they could, or at least that they give him room to work. There was also one from the governor of Texas and one from Major John B. Jones, commander of the Texas Rangers. Jack always did his best to operate in concert with local law when he could, only working in secret when necessary. Unfortunately, it was necessary more frequently than Jack liked. But it wasn't this time, so here he was.

 

@Flip@Stormwolfe

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Speed was in the office idly going over a packet of circulars of wanted persons. He was sometimes surprised that there were women fugitives out there, but then, life in the west was not always kind to the fairer sex.

 

His day had been slow, and confined to making his rounds and waiting. Hannah hadn’t been in all afternoon, but that was not all that unusual now that the work load did not rest on her shoulders.

 

He got up hand poured a cup of coffee from the pot on the stove and returned to his desk thinking he may well have an ally in Pike, and that would be better than the other alternative.

 

Tag @Chistery

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Jack peered through the glass of the door and saw that the Marshal in fact did appear to be in, so he rapped his knuckles on the door and waited for a response.

 

@Flip

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The rap on the door drew Speeds attention. "c-min." He said loudly as he reshuffled the circulars, looking toward the door. It was getting on dinner time for him, but he was a public servant, and he guessed that a member of the public was just walking in, when he saw the badge.

 

"Well, evening. You must be new in town." Speed observed as he rose to his feet and extended his hand. "Guyer, Speed Guyer. Haven't see that badge since I was last in Washington in sixty-five. How can I help?"

 

Tag @Chistery

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Jack entered and when greeted shook the marshal's hand.

 

"Jonathan Jacob Asher," he said. "Call me Jack. You've seen the badge. I'm with Pinkerton." Jack reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out four letters. "I'd be obliged if you took a moment to look at these. One's from the Pinkerton office in Austin, Texas, one is from Wells Fargo bank, one is from the Governor of Texas, and that last one there is from Major John B. Jones of the Texas Rangers. Surprisingly, they're all fairly brief. The long and the short of all that is that these folks request that you render me what assistance you're able in the apprehension of one or more of several train robbers that may have come up this way, all members of the late Baker Gang. Bounty Hunters caught One-Eyed Bob and the law set him to swinging. Paul "Smitty" Smith, Charley Goller, Freddy "Flinch" Linch, and one Dorothy "Dotty" Parsons AKA Angel, all got away and were headed north. They were traveling together, but I was able to catch up to Charlie alone. From him I learned that the others were headed this way. They seem to have split up, and I've been following Parsons, her being so easy to track. An attractive, if dusty, young woman in pants toting two big Smith & Wesson Schofield revolvers on her hips tends to stand out. The others might be in the area, too. Not sure. But I do believe that if Miss Parsons ain't already in the area, near Kalispell here, or in our around Whitefish somewhere, she will be soon. These are their particulars as we know them." Jack pulled out a wanted poster with pictures of all four of the wanted members of the Baker Gang. Charley Goller's picture had an X drawn over it. "Now, I work for Pinkerton on behalf of Wells Fargo. Texas wants to hang these folks. Wells Fargo just wants as much of their money back as they can get. If Miss Parsons can point me in the direction of that money, or in the direction of Flinch and Smitty, I might be open to asking the Pinkerton office in Austin and the bank to speak to the Attorney General and the Governor of Texas about dropping the charges against her. Way I see it, she's young, she was in a bad situation, she had to make hard choices to survive, and one of those choices led her to fall in with a bad crowd. Namely One-Eyed Bob Baker and his gang."

@Flip

Edited by Chistery (see edit history)
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“Just did see a circular on most of them. Didn’t see one on her, this Dorthy Parsons, but you know, the mail and such, being what it is out here. Doesn’t mean I won’t see it next time the mail comes in, and as far as I’m concerned, you do what you need to.” Speed said.

 

“Now, as I said, you’ve free reign here, Whitefish, whole ‘nother animal, I’m afraid. Thought it is a part of Flathead County, they have their own law up there, man name of Case Steelgrave. He has a standing posse of hard cases and there’s a direct connection with the Evergreen Ranch. Things might not be so friendly up there, and that Pinkerton badge, well, not so sure they’ll be as excepting as we are here in Kalispell.”

 

He took a sip of his coffee and looked at the man. “Need anything, give a holler, glad to be of service.” As a Union soldier he was well aware of the Pinkerton's and their efforts during the late war. He, like most, had a great deal of respect for the Scot and his force.

 

Tag @Chistery

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Jack nodded. "Thank you," he said. "And what you just said fits with what I've heard said by the scarce amount of people I've run into up here, including during a stop at the fort. I'd consider not wearing the badge when I go calling on Marshal Steelgrave, but I do believe I may have run into a couple of Evergreen hands over in the Stardust. So I don't think I'll be surprising any Steelgraves. No, I think I'll ask around town tomorrow, see if anyone's seen or heard anything that might interest me, then head on to Whitefish day after, maybe reconnoiter Evergreen ranch and the surrounding area. Any chance you or your deputy could come with me to call on folks? Maybe help put them at ease and more of a mind to talk candidly with me? And do you by chance have a good maps of the area? Maybe a surveyor's maps? Kalispell, Whitefish, or any with Evergreen Ranch on them? I can make my own, but it would best if I had something to start from."

 

@Flip

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“I’m just the town Marshal here, we have no County Sheriff as yet, so my going along wouldn’t be in any official capacity, and the general relationship with either the Steelgraves or Whitefish which are one in the same, are not particularly good.” Speed said. “If those are the folks you mean, I and my deputy are obliged to remain in town, as we’ve no jurisdiction outside the town limits.”

 

Speed stood up and walked to the stove to refill his cup. “Now, as to the maps, maybe in the recorders office after nine in the morning. They can steer you in the right direction for maps, and I’d be for certain they either have them or know where one can be gotten.”

 

Tag @Chistery

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"I'll be sure to stop in to see the recorder," Jack said. "And I meant would you mind showing me through your own town, Marshal, assuming that wouldn't put you out too much. I presume your not universally reviled in Kalispell? Unless they hate you here, too, you or your deputy might be able to help me start polite conversation where insult and rudeness might otherwise be found."
 

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Speed returned to his chair and sat down, setting the cup on his desk. “Well Mister Asher, so far as I know, most folks here abouts have yet to display their feeling one way or another. Fact is, when I was appointed to replace Marshal Cory, who retired, I heard no complaints. Folks in Kalispel are far from rude and insulting. Most are quite welcoming.”

 

“If you’d like to come by, say nine, nine -thirty in the morning I’d be happy to take you around and introduce you to whomever you’d like to speak with. That’s not a problem at all. If Hannah, Deputy Cory, is in and cares to come along that would be a bonus, I’d think.”

 

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Jack smiled. "Much obliged, Marshal," he said. "I'll stop in around nine-thirty tomorrow morning then. Give you a chance to settle in before I come in and impose. I've already chatted up Miss Devereau and Mister Flandry. Anyone in particular you think we should start with tomorrow?"

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Standing again and extending his hand once more he said; " Probably Addy, providing she's in town, drive for Milligan Stage-lines so can't be sure she's not out of town, but we'll check and make sure." There had been no word of anyone new, and especially not a woman to match the description Asher had provided. "I'll see you in the morning then."

 

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Jack shook the offered hand. "Good evening, then, Marshal," he said. "I'll see you around nine-thirty tomorrow morning. Until then, well, it's been a long ride and I've got a bed waiting for me in the boarding house that's a lot more comfortable than ground I've been sleeping on lately. I figure I'll relax a while, then call it a night." Having released Speed's hand, Jack touched the brim of his hat with his fingers by way of a farewell, and left for his room at the boarding house.

 

@Flip

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"Good evening then." Speed stated as the man left the office, only the closing door to mark his passage. "Interesting."

 

He glanced at the clock on the wall and realized he had failed to wind it as it read three forty-six, he stood, drew out his pocket watch which read closer to seven fifteen. He chuckled to himself, falling down on the job crossed his mind as he took up the key and began winding the clock before resetting it. His thoughts returned to Asher and his case. He'd read the circular on her and the mention of the gang, Why she would be in this neck of the woods puzzled him, not that it was out of the question, it just seed odd.

 

Morning and making his rounds with Jack Asher might just setting the puzzler the woman presented.

 

Tag @Chistery or a new thread?

 

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