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Nathan Brittles

A Long March

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There was something comforting in traveling with the regimented group, where she knew what to expect, and Addy was glad for the companionship, not that she necessarily would have loathed making the trip alone.  She enjoyed being by herself, and wasn't too wary of encountering trouble, but it was always good to have someone with you if trouble did arise, and a whole troop of the US Cavalry was all the better.

 

Of course, the drawback of traveling in a convoy like this was all the dust stirred up by those in front, and she'd had to pull up her bandanna over her nose and mouth to filter the air so that it didn't choke her.  Peering out from under the brim of her slouch hat, she watched the activity on the fringes of the group, knowing that out-riders would help keep them safe from surprises.

 

 

 

 

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Brittles returned the attempt at a salute. He thought it was funny, but he never showed that in his expression.

 

"The men call you "French Johnnie", correct? What is your proper name, son?"

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MacIntosh trotted the big gelding down the line to the wagon with the female teamster tuning his mount to ride along side.

 

“Howdy. Name’s MacIntosh and I’ll be scoutin’ for the outfit. Thought I'd pay my respects, let you know that I’ve an Indian with me. Mimbreno Apache. Didn’t want you ta be anxious when he shows up.” He explained, touching the brim of is battered hat.

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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Ke-Ni-Tay rode up to the blue coats. "I am Ke-Ni-Tay, I ride with MacIntosh to scout for the Army." He said. "The column is being shadowed, four, maybe five, not far ahead of us, but they will not be seen. They are aware that you are here and now me as well." He looked to where he knew they  sat watching.  "They are too few to attack, if that is their purpose."

 

Tag @Wayfarer

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"Mr. MacIntosh."  Addy nodded to the man, lightly touching the brim of her hat in greeting.  "I'm Addy Chappel, an' thanks fer th' warnin'.  I'm not too shy of th' Injuns, unless they're comin' at me with a war club swingin'!"  She laughed, then added, "I know some of th' local Flatheads, closer ta Kallispell, threat 'em with respect an' get on well with 'em.  I hope th' Major here don't ruin that."

 

There was no telling if the commander had any true experience with Native tribes, nor what their attitude might be, and that was the danger of having Military close...if they were of the sort who thought that all Indians were savages and needed to be dealt with harshly, it could upset the delicate balance in the territory. 

 

"Ya know anything of this Major Brittles?"

 

@Flip

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"No Ma'am, I surely don't." MacIntosh replied. "All I know is we got orders to catch up with this column as scouts, which is what we do."

 

He never gave much thoughts to the officers of commands he was assigned to, unless of course they were dangerously incompetent in the field, he didn't get that feeling about Brittles, yet it remained to be seen how he responded under duress, towards his men, as well as the red man. Some he had encountered were glory hounds and they paid for their arrogance, while others were competent commanders that led their men trying never to put them in a bad position. He would know some of these answers soon enough.

 

"So I take it you're from our destination as opposed to back in Helena?" he asked.

 

Tag @Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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"Yes, sir," Addy answered, "most recently from Kallispell, although I originated in Tennessee, an' been here an' there along th' way."  She grinned.  "Not a bad place, Kallispell, not so civilized yet as ta be inhospitable!"  Seemed like that once a place got too proper, it got all snooty and judgmental, too, and none too pleasant a place to live.

 

"So, how long ya been scoutin'?  An' with yer Apache friend?  Can't say as I know much of their ways, though."  Of course, if this Apache was working with the Cavalry, he was 'friendly', at least in that he wasn't there to kill them.  Didn't mean he'd be social, but then, not everyone was happy to be around others, and that was fine.

 

@Flip

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The Indian rode up to them within easy speaking distance. Both troopers made it a point to make no sudden moves for their weapons. Braumann was positive by now, this jasper was not a Sioux or Cheyenne. He looked like pictures and photos he had seen of southwestern Indians like Navajos and Apaches. Awful far from there, this one though.

 

"I am Ke-Ni-Tay, I ride with MacIntosh to scout for the Army." He said. "The column is being shadowed, four, maybe five, not far ahead of us, but they will not be seen. They are aware that you are here and now me as well." He looked to where he knew they  sat watching.  "They are too few to attack, if that is their purpose."

 

Braumann was impressed with the man's grasp of the white man's language, that would greatly help with communication alright. He nodded as he heard the information.

 

"Damn, alright then good to know.  Army scout huh? Well, that's good too," the sergeant started then extended out his hand to give the Indian the tobacco pouch.

 

"This here's for you, Ke-Ni-Tay...hope I said that right. I'm Sgt. Braumann and  this here's Private Loudon.  I reckon we should head on back and report this to our commanding officer, you wanna come along with us then?"

 

Braumann had worked aside of a couple Crow scouts once and they had been damned good at what they did but they barely spoke any English and he didn't know their lingo so this was much more comfortable a situation. Leastwise so far.

 

sgtsagarpg.jpg

 

@Flip

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"The men call you "French Johnnie", correct? What is your proper name, son?"

 

"Jean....Jean Lavalliere.....I am from Canada you see....Quebec you see," the younger trooper nervously answered, his French accent rather obvious.

 

The young man's mind was racing, trying to figure out why the commanding officer wanted to know his real name? Had he done something wrong and was in trouble?

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

@Glenn

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The major looked at the boy...he looked like he wad hiding something...but Brittles wasn't concerned about it...if the boy wanted to say something, he would listen. 

"I won't be calling you "French Johnnie", so I will be calling you Private Lavalliere. As company bugler, you ride with me...I need you close so I can tell you what to play. This is my aide, Lieutenant Farley. He rides behind me, and you will ride along side him, understand?"

 

Two of the scout teams returned, reporting that they spotted an open meadow up ahead which would be a good place to stop for the night.

 

@Stormwolfe

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 "Yes, sir," Addy answered, "most recently from Kallispell, although I originated in Tennessee, an' been here an' there along th' way."  She grinned.  "Not a bad place, Kallispell, not so civilized yet as ta be inhospitable!"  Seemed like that once a place got too proper, it got all snooty and judgmental, too, and none too pleasant a place to live.

 
“Good to know. None to partial to the big towns. A man just can’t be comfortable where he can’t move about with ease, nor can he dress as he would out here and in smaller towns.” MacIntosh explained. “Most of my time is spent at forts or post, or out an’ about lookin’ for trouble .


"So, how long ya been scoutin'?  An' with yer Apache friend?  Can't say as I know much of their ways, though."  Of course, if this Apache was working with the Cavalry, he was 'friendly', at least in that he wasn't there to kill them.  Didn't mean he'd be social, but then, not everyone was happy to be around others, and that was fine.


“Maybe eight, nine years or so. Man made a hard decision about his own people, but we only scouted down New Mexico, Arizona way three, four years before we were sent to the plains. Ke-Ni-Tay adapts real quick. Man has a knack for this kinda work. We’ll be glad he’s around.” He summarized.
 

Tag @Bongo

 

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"This here's for you, Ke-Ni-Tay...hope I said that right. I'm Sgt. Braumann and  this here's Private Loudon.  I reckon we should head on back and report this to our commanding officer, you wanna come along with us then?"


The Apache accepted the gifted tobacco pouch. Not that he smoked, but he realized acceptance was a step in the right direction with these men, and it could come in handy with a parlay with the local tribesmen.


“Yes, will ride in with you and tell what I have seen. I cannot follow those who watch, as they know I am about. Perhaps later I can slip away unnoticed.” He agreed with the simplified plan of what he might do in the immediate future. He was wary of those that watched, for they might not be alone but a scouting party for a lager force that lay in wait further along the way. He kept that to himself for the moment.

 

Tag @Wayfarer

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“Maybe eight, nine years or so. Man made a hard decision about his own people, but we only scouted down New Mexico, Arizona way three, four years before we were sent to the plains. Ke-Ni-Tay adapts real quick. Man has a knack for this kinda work. We’ll be glad he’s around.” He summarized.

 

"Ain't never been so far south as Arizona nor New Mexico territory," Addy commented with a grin as she added, "too hot from what I hear, too dry an' desolate.  Now, I don't mind some isolation, but I want somethin' ta look at besides cactus an' lizards." 

 

She laughed, then nodded.  "I know whacha mean 'bout big cities.  Smaller places in th' Territories might be rougher, but th' folks seem more...genuine."  You didn't have to hide who you were to fit in in the West, unless, of course, you were outside the law.  Without the niceties of a big city, survival was more paramount, and you did what you had to, and folks accepted that. 

 

"Good ta know we got scouts with us, that's fer certain.  Hope we don't have need, but if we do, it's good ta have some warnin'.  I just hope them greenhorn soldiers keep their cool if we run inta trouble."  Seemed like there were enough veterans to keep the younger men in line, but you never knew until the shooting started!

 

@Flip

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“Yes, will ride in with you and tell what I have seen. I cannot follow those who watch, as they know I am about. Perhaps later I can slip away unnoticed.”

 

Alright, that was settled then, Braumann nodded to the man then turned his horse back toward the direction of the column. The trio made their way down the ridge slope and soon were in easy sight of the main body of troops still winding it's way thru the valley. Braumann did not stop until they were only yards short of the commander who was still at the lead of the column.

 

"Sir, this here Indian says he is working for us as a scout. He speaks English real good and he's got something important to report," Braumann kept it simple and direct, if the officer had questions then he would be free to ask. Then he glanced toward Ke-Ni-Tay.

sgtsagarpg.jpg

@Flip@Glenn

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Young Jean listened then to the officer.

 

"I won't be calling you "French Johnnie", so I will be calling you Private Lavalliere. As company bugler, you ride with me...I need you close so I can tell you what to play. This is my aide, Lieutenant Farley. He rides behind me, and you will ride along side him, understand?"

 

"Yessir, I do understand. I will do just that, sir," the youthful trooper nodded then once more saluted, figuring you probably couldn't salute the officers enough just to be on the safe side.

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

@Glenn

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 "Ain't never been so far south as Arizona nor New Mexico territory," Addy commented with a grin as she added, "too hot from what I hear, too dry an' desolate.  Now, I don't mind some isolation, but I want somethin' ta look at besides cactus an' lizards."


“After being here I can agree with you about scenery, though it would certainly appear some of the same problems exist such as Indian trouble and likely as not, bad people same as the big cities and towns.” Was his response.
 

She laughed, then nodded.  "I know whacha mean 'bout big cities.  Smaller places in th' Territories might be rougher, but th' folks seem more...genuine."  You didn't have to hide who you were to fit in in the West, unless, of course, you were outside the law.  Without the niceties of a big city, survival was more paramount, and you did what you had to, and folks accepted that.


“Anytime you have men and women standing up to the elements and the tribulations of rough country you have the beginnings of civilization. People hacking out a place for themselves in the wilderness and willing to defend it.” He smiled, knowing this woman was one of those that would help settle the territory, and make it it into something.

 

It was then he saw Ke-Ni-Tay riding in with the troopers, but at an easy, unhurried pace. "Best I ride up an' see what Ke-Ni-Tay has to say. Been a pleasure Miss Chapple." He touched the brim of his hat, wheeled the Chestnut, and loped toward the front of the column.

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"Sir, this here Indian says he is working for us as a scout. He speaks English real good and he's got something important to report," Braumann kept it simple and direct, if the officer had questions then he would be free to ask. Then he glanced toward Ke-Ni-Tay.

 

“I am with MacIntosh. I have scouted your flank, there are scouts tracking you.” the Apache explained.

 

Tag @Glenn@Wayfarer

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"Here comes MacIntosh now." Brittles watched as the scout approached. Then he looked at the Indian. "How many scouts are following us? Do you think we should make camp tonight or continue on towards Kalispell?"

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Continued from Cattle Drive [Part 2]...

 

It felt as if she had been in the saddle and riding hard for hours when, in fact, it was only minutes...very long minutes. For whatever reason, the band of Indians had not left off their pursuit. That surprised Harriet. She had thought that once they had clear access to the cattle and horses, they would break off. Harriet was not an expert, but she knew that most tribes wanted no part of attacking an occupied fort. Poison's former trading fort was nothing grand, but it was well-armed. On top of that, it was fairly close to the settlement. It simply was not typical behavior for Indians.

 

Spirit stumbled hard as he leaped into the middle of a narrow, fast-flowing stream, jarring Harriet's teeth and making her lurch in the saddle. She managed to stay on the horse and pushed him to leap up the far bank. Their pursuers were gaining ground on them and Harriet was exhausted. She clung grimly to the saddle horn and the reins, spurring the big paint forward. Driving the horse hard, she and her companions burst from a narrow copse of trees into a vast meadow.

 

This time, she came close to falling as Spirit threw up his head and neighed loudly. Far across the expanse of thick grass was a number of men in uniform... Harriet tossed a quick look at Quentin and leaned low over her gelding's neck. Fortune had finally favored them....

 

Quentin blinked as he heard Harriet's horse, his eyes widening as he saw the soldiers across the meadow. The flood of relief was almost as quickly overcome by a wave of fear. It would be just their luck to be shot down in the exchange of fire between the soldiers and the Indians pursuing them. Quentin spared a quick glimpse behind them and then he spurred to the front of the small group, pointing the Winchester off to the left as he guided Paladin in a curving path to get out from in front of the carbine barrels that were coming up and the snapping rounds coming from behind them. "This way! Left! Left!"

 

@Stormwolfe @Wayfarer @Glenn @Bongo

 

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large.Burt-6A.jpg.254c73148b9df45ed6a8b7439b55c05f.jpg"Here comes MacIntosh now." Brittles watched as the scout approached. Then he looked at the Indian. "How many scouts are following us? Do you think we should make camp tonight or continue on towards Kalispell?"

 

“Four, maybe five, they watch.” Ke-Ni-Tay replied. Not think there are more, maybe other side, maybe not. Camp is good, no sense push. Not be trouble tonight.”

 
MacIntosh reined in as he reached the head of the column. “Trouble?” He asked matter of factly, for if there was to be trouble then it would be

 

“Four or five shadow troop, maybe more out there, not sure.” Ke-Ni-Tay stated. “Major asks if we should camp or push on. Those who watch are waiting in trees off to right.” He gestured with his arm sweeping toward the trees.


MacIntosh shook his head in agreement. “Major I might suggest outriders, rifles in hand, Ke-Ni-Tay and I will drift off to the left and have a good look, then swing up across the front of the column. We’ll know soon enough what their intentions are. For now, I’d plan on camping the night.”

 

Tag @Glenn@Wayfarer

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Although she had been alert, Addy was relaxed as she maneuvered her wagon behind the military vehicles, a bandana pulled over her nose to filter the dust.  Wasn't so bad, though, and she was enjoying being in a company, as it provided some entertainment in people-watching.  In particular, she was perusing the mounted soldiers, assessing their competence and potential usefulness in a fight, judging by the way they sat their mounts and what they were paying attention to, not that she put much stock in her conclusions.  A body couldn't really know what another would do until the bullets started flying.

 

And it seemed like that might not be too far off...It was indeed in the distance, but there were clearly riders charging toward them, bent low over their horses' necks, their speed and demeanor indicating trouble.

 

Sitting straight, Addy pulled down the bandana and snapped the lines, picking up the pace of her team so that she could pull up next to the doctor's wagon.  She glanced at the driver, giving him a nod, an indication that she was awaiting orders.  Likely, whatever the trouble, it would be met by the mounted troops and the caravan would form up in its own defense.

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"Let's send a scouting party out to trail them. Mister MacIntosh, you and your friend will lead...." Suddenly, they could hear horses approaching......and gunfire.....and war cries of Indians.  Brittle's looked around. 

He turned to his aide. "Get the wagons moving...take 3 squads to guard the wagons." He turned to Private Lavalliere. "Sound assembly."

 

Tag @Wayfarer@Stormwolfe@Bongo@Flip

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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~*~ Storyteller Post ~*~

 

The flankers were back plus some strange looking Indian too, thought the young bugler but then, in all honesty, he was so new out here on the frontier he thought all Indians looked strange. A lot seemed to be going on as the Major entered into a discussion with those present, he of course just waited. It's not like he had any say in the these matters. Then he got a direct order.

 

"Sound assembly."

 

Jean went wide eyed, the whole column was already present but the major must have had his reasons, he nodded, "Yessir!"

 

Licking his lips he put the bugle into position and, despite his inexperience as a soldier, one thing he could do properly was play a good bugle call as the notes sounded out loud and clear.

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

@Glenn@Flip@Bongo@Stormwolfe@Longshot

 

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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Brittles, still on his horse, called out. "I want 15 troopers here....rifles ready!" The 15 men arrived. "First 5, line up. Next 5, behind the first line and the others, line up behind the second line." He watched as the men followed his orders. "First line will be kneeling, second line, standing behind them, and third line behind them. When I give the order, the first line will fire then reload. While they are reloading, second line will stand and await my order to fire, then they will kneel down to reload. Third line will fire on my order, then reload. Everyone understand?"

 

The men nodded.

 

"Make ready, men."

 

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Farley was having the wagons move off, then form a circle. The horses were unhitched and moved to the center of the circle. The troopers took positions in amongst the wagons.

 

@Bongo@Stormwolfe@Flip@Bongo

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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Quentin looked around at the milling activity. Their group had circled around the end of the column and moved toward the wagons as they organized their circle. Quentin was thumbing more rounds into his Winchester as he cradled it while guiding Paladin. The small group reined up at the wagons and Quentin looked up to where an officer was forming a firing line, but it seemed very small from where they were. Quentin finished reloading and then looked around, seeing the others were safe and uninjured.

 

Quentin's relief turned to puzzlement as his eyes stopped moving and settled on one of the wagons nearby "...Addy?"

 

@Bongo @Stormwolfe

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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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