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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.

"The Pink Dick" or "Pinkerton Detective Jack Asher Asks Around"


Jack Asher
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Mature Content: No (As of yet)

With: Jack Asher, Speed Guyer, Hannah Cory, Various Residents (TBD)
Location: Kalispell (Various Locations).
When: September 1875
Time of Day: 9:30am

 

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Jack Asher had spent part of the evening sitting on the porch of the boarding house playing his recorder. He'd gotten some strange looks from folks who'd never heard of Handel or Vivaldi and thought the nattily dressed cowboy playing his 'weird flute like some Injun' to be very strange indeed, except for a few folks who stopped to listen and even clapped when he was done. He just played until he'd relaxed enough to sleep and then took himself to bed.

The next morning, he woke up, got prepared for the day, washed in a basin, then got coffee and some breakfast. He managed to catch the barber in before he needed to meet Speed Guyer, just in time to get his hair cut. Jack had learned early on that long hair and a beard in the field led to bugs and illness. That, and other forms of uncleanliness. So whenever he could, he shaved, got his hair trimmed short, and bathed as best he could. He wasn't above washing his clothes in the field either.

 

Jack checked on his horses and tack, picked up his laundry, stowed it away, and walked through the streets towards the Marshal's Office.

 

@Andy Carter

OOC: Flip, I changed this tag. It's for Andy, now. Jack will go to the office after.

Edited by Chistery (see edit history)
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Even with the help of the Dalton boys, it had been a mad rush to get the harvest in, pressed, fermented and distilled, then kegged for aging before winter. The orchard up at the Carter homestead had a bountiful yield this year, and her first tastes of what would be next year's ciders, jack, and brandies had been quite promising. Not that last year's batch had been bad! In fact, it turned out pretty damned good, a real nice feel in the mouth, potent without a lot of burn, going down smooth and sweet. Needless to say, Andy was more than a little bit drunk when she finished bottling that batch for delivery, and so once everything was crated, the young ginger woman promptly fell asleep in her cabin, still in her dusty work clothes.

 

Morning arose to greet Andy with a fierce pounding in her skull. While most would be in a foul mood finding themselves with a hangover, the intensity of her condition pleased Andy, as it was a testament to how good her brew had turned out. Being hung over was still bloody awful, but after washing her face and consuming some disturbingly potent coffee with a shot of her jack, Andy was ready to face the day, still wearing the work clothes she had fallen asleep in the day before. She loaded up her cart with crates of alcohol, then hitched up her horse, an old bay named Henry. After grabbing a slice of bread and some jerky to eat on the road, Andy and Henry were off to Kalispell.

 

Coming into town, her first stop would be the saloon, but as she pulled up to the building and tied Henry to a post, she glanced across the street to the town's 'official' building; she'd heard from the Dalton boys that Marshal Cory had retired and Speed Guyer had taken his place. Grabbing a bottle of her famous Kalispell Jack, Andy dusted off her trousers and headed towards the Marshal's office to offer Speed a congratulatory bottle of booze.

 

@Flip and @Chistery

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Jack noticed a young, attractive (if a bit dusty), ginger-haired woman that seemed to be headed in the same direction as him. She'd come from the direction of the Stardust loaded with crates. Jack didn't recognize the logo on the crates, but it was stopped in front of the saloon, so perhaps she worked for a distillery and the crates were filled with liquor or beer of some kind? Jack adjusted his pace just slightly so that he arrived at the door just at the same time the ginger woman did. What he did next, he was extremely good at. Feigning clumsiness to bump into someone for various investigative reasons was something he'd learned to do very well without seeming suspicious. Appearing as though he hadn't been paying attention, he stumbled and bumped into the woman. The bottle was knocked from her hand, but Jack deftly caught it.

 

"Oof," he grunted and reached out to steady the woman as he glanced at the bottle and read the logo. It was, to Jack's pleasant surprise, applejack. Kalispell Jack appeared to be the name of the distillery and it was local. "My deepest apologies, Miss," Jack said with sheepish smile. "I don't know where my head was at. How I failed to notice such an attractive young woman crossing my path is beyond me." Jack handed the woman the bottle. "Jack Asher, Miss...?"

 

@Monoui

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"Not interested," Andy replied, taking back the bottle of applejack he offered out to her, somewhat off-put by his honeyed apology. "Romancing me ain't gonna work; if you want my daddy's land, you'll have to pry the deed from my cold, dead hands, and I can promise you that I will not make such a feat easy for you," she said firmly. This had not been the first time someone had tried to woo her to gain ownership of the homestead she'd helped her father build.

 

@Chistery

Edited by Monoui (see edit history)
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"Miss," Jack said after a chuckle. "I didn't even know you owned any land until just now. Though I'm guessing now that your family distills what I'm hoping is really good applejack, seeing as I'm an admirer of that heavenly nectar. You're not married and since you have a concern that I'm out to marry you for your land, I'm guessing that your father has passed. I'm sorry to hear that. I have lost both my sister and my mother, both before their time, both to tragic circumstances."

 

@Monoui

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"Yeah, it's always tragic," Andy replied, clearly disinterested in his sob story. There was something off about this fellow, and she couldn't ignore the feeling itching at the back of her mind that he had bumped into her on purpose, but for what reason if it wasn't for her daddy's land? "And yeah, I brew the local jack, just making a delivery today, and taking some cider and brandy to the hotel," she informed the strange gentleman who had identified himself as Jack Asher. "You here to talk to Speed? I was just popping in to congratulate him now that he's Marshal."

 

@Chistery

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"I am," Jack said. "But not to congratulate him. He is going to show me around town and introduce me to a few people. Give me an introduction so I can ask a few questions." Jack pulled back the lapel of his coat to reveal his Pinkerton National Detective Agency badge. "The Agency sent me out on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank. It seems some folks involved in a string of bank robberies, train robberies, stage coach robberies, and the usual murder and mayhem that comes with those activities may have made their way up here to Montana Territory. I believe one in particular might just be somewhere in or around Kalispell or Whitefish. She's a bit of a sad case. A young woman. Miss Dotty Parsons. She fell on hard times at a young age, and unlike you, she didn't have land or anything of the sort. She had to make some hard choices to survive and fell in with One-Eyed Bob Baker's gang down in Texas. One-Eyed Bob's been hanged. I caught Charley Goller, questioned him, and turned him over to the law. Parsons and two others are at large. Parsons is an attractive blond woman in her mid-twenties. Like you, she tends towards men's clothes. She wears a pair of Schofield revolvers on her hips. I reckon she'd stand out if you was to see her. I would appreciate it if you could get word to me or to the marshal if you do see her. I promise you that I'll treat her more fairly than some bounty hunter."

 

@Monoui 

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With a grimace, Andy simply shrugged. "Well, I ain't been to the town for a spell, been busy with the big harvest and such, and the only other woman I know of who likes to wear men's clothing drives for Millegan transportation, but she's not blond and as far I know, never involved in anything so nefarious," she said to the Pink Dick. She'd never heard of One-Eyed Bob Baker or Charley Goller, so she had no sense of their reputation, but they didn't sound like nice folk from the way Jack talked. Of course, talk was just that and he could tell her anything without her being any the wiser. "I guess I can keep an eye open for this Dotty girl," she then said, seeming to relent to his reasoning. Assuming their 'business' was concluded, she gave a rap to the Marshal's door with the back of her hand.

 

@Flip @Chistery

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Jack smiled as the feisty redhead turned to knock on Speed's door. The whole encounter had gone quite well in his mind. He waited patiently for Speed to answer the redhead's knock. He still didn't know her name, but if Speed didn't introduce him or at least use the woman's name, he'd ask him for it later in the day.

 

@Flip @Monoui

Edited by Chistery (see edit history)
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The expected rap on the door happened about the time that Speed thought it would. He already had his hat on and was ready to Show Agent Asher around Kalispel. He had hoped that Hannah might have come in already, perhaps she had other things that needed doing first.

 

He rose walked to the door and opened it instead of yelling that it was open, as he was prepared to leave. He was surprised to be staring into the green eyes of a young woman who's petite features were framed by flowing read hair, taking him abck for a moment.

 

"Good morning, ma'am," he greeted touching the brim of his hat. "Mister Asher. How can I help you young lady?" He looked to Jack saying, "this may delay us a bit."

 

Tag @Monoui@Chistery

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"Not a problem," Jack said, curious to see if Speed knew the young woman or not. If she had a functioning apple orchard and distillery, Jack suspected she'd have to have been in the area over a decade. "Long as we get started fairly soon, I reckon I can wait a bit. And if there's a problem, I'll even throw in an offer to back you up while you solve it. That offer stands as long as I'm in the area, by the way. Call it a professional courtesy."

 

@Flip @Monoui

 

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"Morning, Mister Guyer," Andy replied with a slight nod of her head, a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Though she knew of Speed through reputation, they had never formally met before today, and so she decided to start with an introduction. "I'm Andy Carter, I brew the jack served at the Stardust. Anyway, I heard you replaced Marshal Cory, and since I was in town for a delivery I thought I'd stop by to offer my congratulations," she said, then offered the bottle of applejack to Speed. "I was quite fond of Cory; since I live alone, he would come by the farm from time to time to make sure I was okay, and while he was there he'd sample whatever I was brewin' at the time. He was good man, you've got big shoes to fill."

 

@Flip @Chistery

Edited by Monoui (see edit history)
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Speed smiled at her greeting and her offer bottle of apple jack. "A pleasure Miss Carter. Though Marshal Carter's retired, his daughter Hannah's still about and still the deputy in Town, expect her almost any minute. You welcome to come, if you'd like. Mister Asher and I were going to head out and help him locate a suspect, or such information as we might find."

 

He didn't want to keep the Pinkerton waiting, nor did he want to seem rude to the young lady.

 

Tag @Monoui@Chistery

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In his his head Jack made mental notes of what he'd learned so far. Andy Carter, distiller of Kalispell Jack. Supplies the Stardust and presumably the fancy hotel in town as well. Young, unmarried, fiesty, tough, bold, unfiltered. Jack hid a grin. His mental description of the ginger haired firecracker sounded to him like something she might produce at her distillery.

 

Andy must not come to town much and if Speed hadn't been here all that long, that might explain why he didn't know who she was on sight.

 

Jack said nothing as he waited for Andy's reply. He hoped she'd reply quickly. He wasn't impatient yet, but did want to get started.

 

@Monoui @Flip

Edited by Chistery (see edit history)
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"Nah, I've got deliveries to make, so you two go on and do what you gotta do," Andy said, taking a few steps back. Then she gave a lopsided grin. "But do keep an eye on this'un, he's a sneaky one," she cautioned with amusement, pointing to Asher to indicate him. With that, she turned and made her way across the street, returning to her cart to begin unloading her goods at the Stardust Saloon.

 

@Flip @Chistery

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"Good day, Miss Carter." Speed said as both men watched her go. "Now, where to Mister Asher. Seeing's you already been to the saloon, where else in town strikes a nerve?"

 

There was an interest in the woman, as he set down the bottle just inside the door as he pulled it closed, but the intrigue of trying to ferret out information on this female desperado had his curiosity up. Not just that but who would the agent want to talk with? When it came to anything along the trails in and out of town, there would be none better that Addy Chapple, if she was in town.

 

Tag @Chistery

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"You've got a stage and cargo wagon company in town I see," Jack said. "Maybe we could start with the owner and their driver or drivers? See if they've seen anything out on the trail?"

 

@Flip

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"We do." Speed admitted as he started for the Millegan Stage Company swing station. "If Addy's about the Coach will be here making it fairly obvious she's about. She seldom strays very far from the barn. If the girl was injured, we've a doc in town, stop by the livery, see if she might have stabled her horse, or traded it out for another."

 

When they reached the barn the coach could be seen across from the doors. "Addy? Its Marshal Guyer, you about?" He shouted.

 

Tag @Bongo@Chistery

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Up in the loft, Addy was organizing and cleaning, something she did on a regular basis to help keep out the mice that liked all the bits of hay left over, and to keep the dust down.  She was covered in that dust when she heard Speed calling to her.

 

"Up here!" she shouted back, "just a minnet!"  Setting the broom aside, she scrambled down the wooden ladder, then brushed her hands on her pants.  "Hey, Marshall."  She nodded to Speed, then looked at the stranger.  "Sir."  Pulling off her gloves, she offered her hand.  "Addy Chappel.  Welcome ta town."

 

@Flip; @Glenn

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Jack shook the offered hand. "A pleasure, Miss Chappel," he said. He noticed the worn Confederate hat but made no mention of it. The war was over and done with. "Jack Asher. I'm a Pinkerton detective. I'm in Montana trying to catch up to some folks, the remnants of One-Eyed Bob Baker's gang. They were active in and around Texas, robbing trains and such. They made a very big score, but some bounty hunters tracked them down in New Mexico. They caught Bob and he's been hanged. I tracked Freddie Linch, also known as Flinch, Paul Smith, also known as Smitty, Charlie Goller, and one Dorothy Parsons, sometimes called Dotty, sometimes called Angel, north. They split up at some point. I caught Charlie Goller and handed him over to the law after he unwittingly pointed me in this direction. Deputy Federal Marshals are taking him to Texas where they'll hand him over to the Rangers. I don't doubt they'll hang him, too. I believe the others to have come this way. In particular I believe Miss Parsons is either headed this direction or is already in this vicinity. Blond, in her early twenties, attractive, rough spoken, wears pants, which doesn't make her a complete oddity, but she carries two big Schofield revolvers on her hips. Altogether, that combination presents an image folks tend to remember." Jack pulled out one of the wanted posters with all four of the outlaws on them. "It would be in the best interests of Miss Parsons if I were to apprehend her before one or more bounty hunters catch up to her, as I'd prefer not to see her killed or... interfered with by those others who might take her into custody. If you've seen or heard anything that might help me, or if you come across any information that might help me, I'd appreciate it if you informed me or Marshal Guyer."

 

@Bongo

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Addy listened to the description and had to agree.  Ladies in britches totin' pistols was indeed and oddity, and there was the problem.  "Can't say as I have seen her," she commented, "but now ya mention her, I'll know.  Ain't heard of that group around here, had some problems with th' Barnes boys a bit back, but they ain't trouble any more."  Between her, Case Steelgrave and the school marm, that gang was done with.

 

"See here, now...as a female traipsin' around in britches an' sidearms, people mark ya an' remember ya...makes it all that more difficult ta hide in th' crowd.  Easy ta spot, ain't that right, Marshal?"  She glanced at Speed.  "But now, were I ta fancy up in frippery, chances'd be no one'd know me, especially in a place they don't know me."  Holding out her hands, she added, "Some things ya can't hide...fingernails..."  Hers were clean, but short.  "Lady does work, ain't conducive ta pretty nails, look fer that in a lass all refined in a dress an' all.  An' if I come across her, I'll be sure ta let ya know."

 

Honestly, she was a bit curious.  There were plenty of women, particularly in the West, who had to see to themselves, and the options were limited, although the frontier was more accepting of unconventional choices.  Still, there was no excuse to turn to crime and torment those that worked hard for what they had.

 

@Flip; @Chistery

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"Much appreciated," Jack said. He was relieved that Addy hadn't recognized his name as some former Southerners did from time to time. His name was a cautionary tale in Missouri after Bleeding Kansas. 'Watch your back or fall to Bloody Jack' was something many a pro-slavery partisan during Bleeding Kansas and later in the Civil War was told. The name was a source of frustration for Jack, a reminder of a time when he'd let his rage get the better of him. "You seem like you've done well for yourself here, Miss Chappel."

 

@Bongo

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Speed smiled as Addy ranted a bit about women like the one Asher was after. She was a good woman, hard when necessary, one of the things he appreciated about her. He was also glad that Asher seemed to appreciate her as well. It was certainly true that Addy Chapple had done well for herself, doing something he felt she loved.

 

Tag @Bongo@Chistery

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"Done good enough, thank ya, sir," Addy replied to Jack with a grin.  "Doin' somethin' I like, an' ain't much more a body can hope for.  I wish ya luck in yer search, don't need no vagrants runnin' around, female nor otherwise, an' I'll be sure ta watch my back."   After all, stages were a prime target, somehow, folks seemed to think that every stage had a strongbox full of gold under the seat and insanely rich passengers just ripe for the robbing!

 

@Flip; @Chistery

 

 

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