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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.

A Rainy Montana Day


Henry S. Guyer II
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Mature Content: No

With: Pronto Pike, Leah Steelgrave, Phinias McVay
Location: Kalispell.
When: September / 1875
Time of Day: Morning.

 

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Speed was in the office early as usual, it was not even daylight yet and wouldn’t be for the better part of an hour. The heavy leaden clouds expelling the rain that fell on the town made a pleasant tapping sound that could easily beckon sleep.

 

The fire in the stove began to radiate heat against a temperature of thirty-five degrees, not unusual for Montana in September. Before him were the latest circulars for those the law wanted found and bound over for trial. There were no familiar names, and none from Kalispell, which for the town Marshal was a relief. Temporary he thought, people came and went, headed in all directions, though mostly west. Though once in a while a circular would name a person who had stayed in town, and then it became his responsibility to make the arrest.

 

As the room heated up, the buffalo coat became too warm to wear, allowing him to remove it and hang on the hook by the door, under his hat. He walked to the window and looked out onto the main street, now a deeper shade of brown with pools forming where indents had been before. Wet and muddy, that was the order of the day, and along with that, breakfast. The clock on the wall read five forty-seven, the café would open at six and though his stomach made rumblings about being fed, he felt no rush.

 

As he stared out at what he could see of what was Kalispell Trail to the edge of the town, then Main Street to the opposite edge, and the trail again. He wondered about the Pinkerton agent, Jack Asher, and his quest to locate the wanted girl, he hadn’t seen him around.

 

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Pronto Pike stood before the window of his room, peering out into the graying dawn and the steadily falling rain. His plans had been to take a ride toward where he’d been shot, but that plan was dashed before it started.

 

He was now close to one hundred percent, his deftness with his guns had returned and he was anxious to seek some answers, even though the trail was long gone. He shook his head in disappointment, though it was not like the rain would last forever, but the seasons were changing and it might be raining this morning, it could quickly turn to snow.

 

As was his habit in new country, he study everything about it, soon enough there would be days with only four hours of daylight, moderate to heavy snows all of which would limit his ability to hunt for this unknown shooter. That may not come until spring, and there was nothing he could do about that.

 

Even though his immediate plans had been thwarted by Mother Nature for the time being, there was always coffee at the café, after his breakfast in the dining room there. No sense aggravating Missus Everson, he would still be laid low if it had not been for her.


He pulled his open face pocket watch noted that it was time to head downstairs for breakfast. Then perhaps a walk to the café and that waitress of theirs.

 

TBC

 

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The view from the suite was depressing.  

 

Leah Steelgrave stood observing the disaster that nature had provided for her. There were things to do, things to get started for this new venture of hers, as well as the one with Jonah, and the as yet unmet Miss Mercer.

 

Wires needed to be sent, but by her in person. She dared not trust the telegraph operator with the messages delivered by someone other than herself. Both the outgoing and the incoming responses unless she herself spoke to him to assure his silence. So far that had not been a problem so long as she had made sure he was apprised of the consequences of a loose tongue.

 

Sheets of delay fell from the heavens, holding up progress on her future, but then weather was to be expected, and she wanted the initial correspondence to be completed as quickly as possible in reference to the best possible routes the railroad would use, if not the exact one.

 

She was well aware there were to be things she would have to do to ensure that not only the land purchases, but those plans for the hospital and the orphanage would succeed as planned. Her realization was, that she would need to ensure the safety of both Jonah and Miss Mercer in all of this. Though, a Jonah had said, she was on a cattle drive and that said a lot to Leah Steelgrave.

 

TBC

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpgLeah turned from the window and asked, "Who would be out on a day like this?" A bit mystified by the idea of a caller. She moved to the door and opened it. "Could you be a bit more specific, sir? I was not expecting anyone to call."

 

Tag @Bongo

Short I know.

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"It's a boy, his name is Weedy," the man explained, "runs chores for folks around town, he says he has a message from the doctor."  Just about everyone in town knew of the tow-headed ten year old, that his mother was an alcoholic and his dad had run out on them.  The lad was more than happy for the attention he got helping out here and there, although he spent most of his time at the livery helping Miss Addy.

 

@Flip

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg"But of course, what could bring Weedy out on a day like this?" She asked as she started out the door with the day manager. "Well lets go o down so that I might see what the young gentleman wants."

 

Pulling the door closed behind her she stepped out after the man. "I, probably like everyone else in town had plans for the day.  Nature I see had other ideas for anyone wanting to be out of doors." She said as they went down to the lobby.

 

"Master Weedy, what can I do for you?" She half turned. "Thank you, sir. "Now young man, why are you out in this weather?"

 

Tag @Bongo

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It was going to be a slow day, not much happened when it rained, at least not anywhere he'd been other than during the war. Then weather was used as cover, sometimes for scouting the Rebs, sometimes for moving troops, and sometimes for quick strikes. Here, none of that applied.

 

He walked back to the desk, where there was really nothing to do. There were no prisoners, all the circulars were read and waited to be filed, or posted if the fugitives were in Montana, or close enough to warrant his attention.

 

His guns were cleaned and oiled, so that was another time consumer that didn’t need doing. Just before he sat down again, he straightened up, walked to the peg on the wall where his slicker hung. He had thought ahead, fall and winter were just coming on. A Buffalo coat hung next to it, he retrieved his “fish” and pulled it on, took down his "John B" and set on his head, pulling down with his right hand from the back of the crown. Turning he went to the door, opened it and stepped out.

 

There was a slight breeze scattering the droplets in all directions, including his. He bowed his head and strode forward in the direction of the cafe.

 

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Phinn’s walk to work was from one room to another. Actually it was an added lean-to behind the storefront where the Union office and printing press was. Excitement had dwindled since the Pinkerton news, and the bear before it. Local news was exactly what one would suspect of a small town in north-eastern Montana.

 

He had been up for a while, had fixed himself a simple breakfast of toast and his last egg with the coffee he brewed. Now it was sitting at his desk, looking out at the rain which rattle on the tin overhang as he dealt himself a hand of solitaire to ward off the boredom.

 

There just wasn’t a great deal of news to be had, oh there were rumors, of course, but he prided himself on facts. There was nothing of real interest, oh Leah Steelgrave was in town, and yes she had been see at dinner with Doctor Danforth at the Belle-St. Regis Hotel, but that was far from earthshaking. Then there was the rumor of something going on to the north, and the Steelgrave name had been mentioned.

 

He wanted more on the cattle drive, but that, along with news of the Army moving into the territory, would have to wait. That too seemed to be just rumors. The only real news was the rain, and his inability to play the red four he held. Perhaps a walk to the café, it was only a few steps away, and he had seen the Marshal headed in that direction.

 

Tag @Players

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Linda Everson’s breakfast was a hearty meal for those starting their day, no matter if there was to be a supper or not in their plans. Pronto Pike rose from the table and began picking up plates and the like, as he was want to do after the morning meal.

 

“Barnabas, you don’t need to do that.” She said as he delivered the stack to the kitchen.

 

“Old habit. Did it as a part of my chores as a boy, just sort of feel I should be of help.” He explained. “And a fine meal it was. Going to be one o’ them dreary days I’m a’feared. Lot’sa nothin’ to do. Believe I'll head on over’t the café, see if Marshal Guyer ain’t there. Sit an’ jaw a while.”

 

“Marshal Guyer?” She asked, “wouldn’t have anything to do with that waitress of theirs, now would it? What’s her name?” Linda Everson pried.

 

“Don’t rightly know, never asked, never heard tell neither.” Came his response, which was honest, he didn’t know her name. “Not the sort that’d have much truck with a man such as myself.” He touched her on the shoulder, “If’n I find out, I’ll be sure an’ let you know.”

 

She swatted at him with her dish towel. “Go on with yourself Mister Pike!” and proceeded to chase him out of the kitchen.

 

His slicker was with his war bag and other gear in his room, once he was into it, he was down the stairs and out the door, headed for the café.

 

Tag @Players

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The ride back to Kalispell was not nearly as fast as his ride had been to the Evergreen, in fact, just past the point of no return on the trail the horse Santee was on threw a shoe setting him afoot. It was late in the day, not his own animal or saddle, so his gear was not aboard. That meant Santee had no tools nor spare shoes to work with. That started the blue streak of epitaphs. But who was to hear them?

 

After about two miles Santee was forced to stop, first he was in boots, second he was towing eight hundred pounds over fairly rough terrain, and he was tired, he’d had little sleep. So, he moved off the trail and found a place to set up camp. Gathered dry wood and started a fire. There were no utensils or food stuffs either, so no dinner, no coffee, just a couple pieces of hard tack to chew on and a canteen of water.

 

‘It could be worse.’ He thought, listening to the mustang cropping grass. He was picketed and hobbled for the night, stripped of the saddle and watered. Santee pulled off the soogan and unrolled the tarp which would serve as his ground sheet, the rolled out the bed roll, the soogun, a patch work quilt made of most anything, and blankets. He removed his spurs, his gun belt and boots, rolled up in his blankets and went to sleep before fire had burned down.

 

The first drops of the coming rain awoke him, and as quick as he could move, he was into his boots strapping on his gun belt, and then rolling up the bedroll. A look at the sky to the north told him all he needed to know. He was grateful that there was a slicker and it was big enough. He saddled the mustang, tied on the bedroll, he swiftly set the bridal and the bit, which the pony liked not at all, and then, they started to walk.

 

TBC

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"Master Weedy, what can I do for you?" She half turned. "Thank you, sir. "Now young man, why are you out in this weather?"

 

The lad was surprisingly dry considering the conditions, likely the result of living on the streets and knowing the awnings, porches and trees that would provide cover, although he had only managed to knock some of the mud off his shoes, so he was being very careful to stand still so as to minimize the mess he was making.

 

"Miz Steelgrave..."  For a moment, Weedy just gawked at her, surprised that anyone with the 'Steelgrave' name could be so pretty or polite.  He wasn't sure what he had expected, but this wasn't it!

 

"Oh, um..." he recalled his manners, "Dr. Danforth said that if you can wait for a few minutes he'll have a buggy sent around for you so you don't get wet."

 

The boy grinned.  "Mrs. Andresen was there earlier about her rheumatis and brought some jam cakes...she makes the best in the territory, Miss!"  And, as messenger, he would get to share!

 

@Flip

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"Oh, um..." he recalled his manners, "Dr. Danforth said that if you can wait for a few minutes he'll have a buggy sent around for you so you don't get wet."


“Now that’s very kind of him, Weedy.” She said.
 

The boy grinned.  "Mrs. Andresen was there earlier about her rheumatis and brought some jam cakes...she makes the best in the territory, Miss!"  And, as messenger, he would get to share!


“Jam cakes? Oh that sounds simply marvelous!” She gushed, having a sweet tooth for them herself. “ A moment young man.” She dashed to her purse on the table and fished inside retrieving a half dollar, returning, she bent down as far as her corset would allow. “This is for your trouble. I won’t tell you to stay dry as I see you already have that well in hand. Thank you, Weedy.”

 

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"Thank you, Miss!"  Weedy knew better than to turn down an offer, and especially a small fortune like this!  He took the coin, making certain secure it deep in the pocket without the hole!  "We can go out the back when you're ready."  The walkway there was more narrow so that the overhang was more effective, and the wind was blowing from the front, so that added further protection.  "I can carry anything you need," he offered, more than happy to be helpful.

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Let me get my coat, I’ll be right with you.” She already had her wool gabardine hooded coat laying across the bed in the large room. “I wouldn’t have thought the doctor would be willing to venture out in this weather.” She continued, “And how is Miss Addy these days?” Though they had never actually met, there was something Leah found wildly exciting about the woman, and the manner in which she lived. A freedom the likes of which Leah had never known, but that was about to change, perhaps not to the extent where she was as free as Addy, but freer than she had ever been.

 

She led the boy back up to her room to retrieve her coat and bag.

 

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large.SpeedA.jpg.c5464858cfd7cf313c6988ea71366787.jpglarge.Phinn-155.jpg.732f57ba2a9ff4e12541223158dfd201.jpg

Pronto walked into the café and pulled off his hat and slicker, the place was all but empty. Two locals that had ventured out sat at a table in the corner eating and talking. He hung the slicker on a peg jutting out from the wall and then regretful to a table where he sat, facing the door.

 

He doffed his hat and hung it on the back of his chair as the waitress came over. “What’ll it be?” She asked, a broad smile on her face.

 

“Well, I reckon it’ll be coffee since I already ette at the boardin’ house.” He gave a quick look around, for no reason since he’d seen who was in the room earlier, “sortta sparse in here this mornin’.”

 

“It is, have your coffee in a jiffy.” she said and disappeared as the door opened and Marshal Guyer walked in, nodding to Pike as he closed the door behind him, then went through the ritual with his hat and slicker, once done he walked over to Pike’s table. “Mind if I sit?”

 

“Not at all Marshal, not at all.” Pike responded with a smile. "He’p yerself. Miserable day out there, ‘cept fer the ducks an’ the farmers.”

 

Speed laughed at the remark, nodding in agreement. “Looks to be a get nothing done day out there. But I do like the rain, makes the world fresh and the air clean.’

 

“Yeah, but a mite regretful while it’s at it.” Was Pike’s response as the door opened yet again, and in came editor Phinias McVay. “Seems all us bachelor types are out this mornin’.”

 

“Gentlemen, mind if I join you?” Phinn said as he reached the table. Neither man spoke but nodded.

 

The Pike said, “sit yerself down an’ dry out. What gets you out on this most unpleasant mornin’?”

 

“Just waitin’ on word with that cattle drive Thornton and Miss Mercer undertook, that and the rumor of the Army movin’ into the territory.” Came the response.

 

Both men gave Phinn a sober look and in unison said; “Army?”

 

TBC

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Santee struggled forward along the muddy trail, cursing Elias, cursing Leah, cursing the mustang, and cursing the weather. Though he had on his “fish,” he was soaked with sweat from the exertion and the slicker. It’s weight and the towing of the animal did not help.

 

Progress was painfully slow, as his boots were not suitable walking boots, if there was such a thing. No, a cowhand did most all of his work from the saddle, not from the ground. This was just another in a long list of resentments he held for the Steelgraves. Times when he was expected to be the brats babysitter and coddler. The thought crossed his mind to pack his war bag and ride out, there were other spreads, other opportunities for a man of his caliber. He damn sure didn’t need this!

 

Then too, perhaps there was a chance that Case would pull him for his own use, anything would be better than the lot he’d drawn with Elias Steelgrave and his family. He turned that thought over a couple of times and the more he thought about it, the better it sounded. Let one of the other boys go play nursemaid!

 

The rain began to come down harder, so Santee led the horse into the trees for whatever shelter they might provide as lightening streaked across the sky and thunder rumbled from the heavens. He swore bitterly. It was going to be a long day.

 

TBC

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“Let me get my coat, I’ll be right with you.” She already had her wool gabardine hooded coat laying across the bed in the large room. “I wouldn’t have thought the doctor would be willing to venture out in this weather.”

 

"Yes, Miss."  Curious, Weedy followed behind the woman, but stayed respectfully outside the room, although he peered in, eager to see the elaborate room with all its splended furnishings and decorations.  But when the lady spoke to him, he pulled back and looked away, not wanting to get into trouble for prying.

 

“And how is Miss Addy these days?”

 

"Day like this?"  He looked at Leah with a wide grin.  "She'll be using words that'd fry bacon!  When she gets in, she'll be all drenched, and so will her horses and the stage."  He shrugged.  "I'll help her clean up, though, she takes care of me and makes sure I have supper, so I don't mind."  It was a small price to pay to someone who watched out for him and made sure he was all right...well, except for her insisting that he go to school!

 

@Flip

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpgPulling on her coat she couldn't help but smile at the boy. "Fry bacon would they? Well, I imagine she would have a right to, foul weather to be out in, so much so, I'm surprised the Doctor cares to be out in it."

 

She went to the door and opened it for them, "So he will be around back? Interesting, I feel like we're sneaking out on some great adventure." She knew better that to ask after his mother, she was almost as well known as Leah herself and probably despised as much, maybe more. "We're going to go look a somethings and you're welcome to come along if you think Miss Addy wouldn't mind." She added, pulling the door shut.

 

And back down the stairs they went.

 

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large_Pike.jpg.1971b6f96ec44a236f9b674f75c1893e.jpglarge.SpeedA.jpg.c5464858cfd7cf313c6988ea71366787.jpg"Yes sir, sending troops out of somwhere's the other side of Helena to supposedly build a new fort. You know, to protect us out here from the red man." Phinn explained as the waitress came with a pot and three cups. "Why thank you  Ma'am. Anyway, the way I hear it there's some fear of an Indian uprising and we all know about the rustling in the area, plus, rumor has it that mining is set to take off again. Granted, that's ten years past down at Virginia City and Nevada City way, but there's speculation, closer to this area."

 

"Virginia City? Hell, I got a percentage comin' in outta the one in Nevada. Names, must be hard to come by I 'spose." Pike revealed.

 

""That's what drew me out this way, partners in a firm in the east that buys and sells claims." Speed divulged. "Wood and Guyer Mining Company. I was just thinking this morning I need to open an office and hire a man or two to do some scouting while I'm tied up here in town. We speculate land for minerals, timber, which is real rich around here, and of course precious metals."

 

"I heard tell of a young prospector here abouts, can't think of the name right off, but that might be right up his alley." Phinn Added. "You plan on running it out of the Marshal's Office?"

 

Speed laughed. "I believe the town council would frown on that. No, I need an office, nothing much, just a place to start. And I'd like to talk to that young man, see if he'd be interested."

 

"I like this town, " Pike began, "hate to see it turn into a mining camp. Thing can go bad real fast in a place like that. You fill up the the dregs, along with the honest folk. Seen it down Nevada, more'n one place fer shore." He was shaking his head.

 

"I haven't kept up with the real estate market, probably should, but I'd guess there's bound to be office space available. I mean I imagine there's likely room up stairs in the Municipal Building were you to ask." Phinn offered.

 

Pike grinned. "So much for, what was it you said? Do nothin' day?"

 

TBC

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"Fry bacon would they? Well, I imagine she would have a right to, foul weather to be out in, so much so, I'm surprised the Doctor cares to be out in it."

 

"He's not, Miss, I am!"  The boy grinned widely, shrugging.  "He got me fetching you for him!"

 

"So he will be around back? Interesting, I feel like we're sneaking out on some great adventure."

 

"I don't think so..."  Well, he wasn't sure what Dr. Danforth had in mind, but he was still back at the house/clinic, waiting on Weedy to bring Miss Steelegrave there.

 

"We're going to go look a somethings and you're welcome to come along if you think Miss Addy wouldn't mind."

 

"No, Miss, I don't think so.  I did my school work for today, and that's what she cares about, so long as I'm back to help when the stage gets in."  And that was a few hours yet, if she even made it in.  "Come on this way," he led the way to the back entrance, "stay close to the right side, then get in quick!"

 

Leading the way, Weedy stepped outside, then opened the door to the enclosed buggy, exposing himself to the downpour. 

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg"Weedy! Get in here." Leah scolded, though she realized for him to open the door he had to put himself away from cover. "I'm sorry,Weedy, I shouldn't have barked at you like that, but now you're soaked. Is there someplace we can get you some dry clothes? Do you have a slicker? Anything to keep the rain off of you?"

 

Jonah was not there and that added to her frustration, but his patients had to come first. "I take it Doctor Danforth is with a patient at his office?" Of course he was, or else he would have been with Weedy, or called himself. He might not be rich, but Jonah Danforth was a proper gentleman, of that she was certain, and a welcome relief from the men she had been in the company of. Bannister, now he was different that the majority of her father and brother Case's hied men. There were moments when she though he had proper upbringing and an education, but he was hard, deadly, of that she was certain.

 

Tag @Bongo

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large.Phinn-155.jpg.732f57ba2a9ff4e12541223158dfd201.jpglarge_Pike.jpg.1971b6f96ec44a236f9b674f75c1893e.jpg"Speed laughed, "A do nothin' day, well, yep, exactly what I'm planin' on doing. Anything I'd be talking about will wait on clearer weather than we have today. Besides, the office space isn't going anywhere." Speed stated with some certainty.

 

"You've a point Marshal, actually not much could be done in weather like this. In fact, I doubt the bank or the land office are open." Phinn added taking a quick glance outside.

 

"Hated workin' beef in this weather, no way to stay dry, slicker or not." Pike added. "No tellin' if it's rainin' where the drive is, but if it is, feel for 'em. Them yella legs, they'er used to bad weather. 'course, throw in injuns, an' they'll have their plates full." He looked to Phinn, "How many riders they got?"

 

Phinn looked startled, "I couldn't really say, but I'd think Thornton would've sent enough men. They were supposed to deliver the beef to the Army."

 

Speeds brow furrowed and he leaned forward. "Okay, so, how far from here is the rendezvous point? This supposed new fort or Kilpatrick? "

 

"Hell if I know." Was Phinn's retort. "Never heard that part, just that they were to deliver a herd to the Army." he grinned,"You plannin' to ride out an' lend a hand?"

 

"No, no I wasn't, just wondering what they could be up against." Speed responded. "Too many herds been taken of late, and no sign of who did the taking, or where they went. This weather don't lend itself to taking anything."

 

Pronto had a sour look on his face. "Hard to get an idea where the shooter came from or went, but when I can I'm headin' out to have me a look see. Got no truck with back shooters, so I'm figurin' he had him somethin' to hide." The other two nodded i agreement.

 

TBC

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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large.Santee.jpg.94847727987a9a96e3b8bb128a4ef05d.jpgThe idea of sitting in the trees to lessen how wet he and the mustang got had seemed good at the time, but Santee was just getting more water down his back, and the horse want to be moving. So he raised to his feet and took up the reins, leading the animal back out on the trail to Kalispell.

 

It was no easier, fact was, the mud was deeper than it had been making the going slower and difficult at best. The only thing that was different was that he could see the roof line of the out laying buildings of Kalispell as he topped a small rise in the trail. It was a ways off, but in view. That didn't make the walking any easier, or the mustang any lighter, but at least he could see the end of his trek, that was something.

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It was morning, dark and gray, rain spattered against the window pane, driven by a sudden gust of wind. Elias Steelgrave stood before the window looking out toward Kalispel wondering just where in the hell Santee was with his daughter. He, of course, knew that the man might have some trouble with Leah, and that the young woman could be dangerous.

 

He had been drunk, Elinor was away on one of her trips to the city, and it happened. She in her chemise and he in his cups. She had screamed, fought, scratched him, but he was too much for her and had his way in the end. By the time Elinor returned, the scratches had healed, Leah was sullen and then returned to an obedient but angry version of herself. There were those moments when he hated himself for what happened, but those moments didn't last. Elias could trust Leah would do as she was told.

 

Though she had never actually killed anyone, he knew she was capable of it, which worried him when he thought of it. So dealing with this Pike fellow, well she would do it, she had said she would, and easily make it look like self-defense. The thought made him smile, not that he knew the man, or anything about him in so far he why he was in Montana. That mattered not at all, she would kill him, and that would be that.

 

TBC

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