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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.

Billings - Helena - Kalispell


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Mature Content: Yes

With: Confidential.
Location: The Northern Hotel, Billings Montana
When: September 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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The Northern Hotel, Billings Montana
Governors Suite 4th Floor

 

She eased herself to a sitting position, pulling the thin silk robe over her nakedness, but not closing it completely, rather letting it hang from her shoulders as she stood and walked to the dresser with the water pitcher, pouring an amount that would suffice.

 

The man slipped from under the covers, making no attempt to hide himself. He stood looking at her for a long moment remembering the moments before, the passion exchanged between the two of them once more in the morning light.

 

“I always enjoy your visits, but they are too far apart.” He said as he moved to the table where h poured himself a drink. “Want one?”

 

“No.” She said as she used the damp cloth to go over her face. Slowly she washed herself in front of the mirror, seeing him standing behind her, watching.

 

“I’ll arrange the transfer this morning, should only take a few moments.” He advised her. “You’re sure he won’t notice?”

 

“Not from this account, no.” She replied, turning to face him.”And you’ll take your usual fee?”

 

“I will, but I must say, I do enjoy the bonus of spending time with you. I just wish it was more often.” was his response.

 

“As do I, however, it’s not that easy to get away, as much as I would like to.” She explained. “Being the wife of Elias Steelgrave puts up certain, ah, obstacles in my path.”

 

He began to reach for his clothing as he listened, then added, “Pity. Too bad we can’t alter the situation to our liking.”

 

“Well, for now there really isn’t a way, but a man that has raped his own daughter, his time will come. She said as she began to dress as well. “But it must be carefully orchestrated so that no one is held accountable.”

 

“Then you’ll be by the bank this morning?” Straightening his frock coat and adjusting his tie.

 

“Yes.” She answered as she adjusted her corset, a time consuming task.

 

“Until then.” He all but whispered, kissing her on he cheek and turning toward the door.

 

“Until then.” She echoed

 

“I will see you then, my love.” The man said, walking out the door.

1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.fc747785ebccdf13721ac6de4e04d4fb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Possible Continuance

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It had begun after Elinor discovered Elias’s assault on their daughter Leah as a way to make him pay, then there was Jonas Balenger of the First National Bank of Montana. It had been so easy to seduce a man some fifteen years her junior and to use him to move money from Elias’ accounts to her own private account under an alias.

 

The transfers were in large amounts as deposits from his holdings would be far more. Her plan, ensure she would be comfortable the rest of her live and one day, simply disappear. She would surface agin in Saint Louis, or New Orleans under a new name and forever leave the Steelgrave name behind. Sadly she would admit to herself, that ment her children, but such was to be the price of her freedom.

 

All that remained was to have her luggage sent to the rail road station, stop by the bank, where a packet of five hundred dollars would be waiting, a reciept for the transaction to her account and a fond farewell to Mister Balenger. The board the train for Helena, a few more days in civilization and then the long ride home.

 

TBC

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Billings to Bozeman to Butte to Helena.

 

Five days later, after the arduous three hundred and forty odd mile trip from Billings, she had arrived in Helena in the early evening. She had wired ahead and had a suite waiting at the Great Northern Hotel. That meant a bath, a meal, and a sumptuous bed.

 

She had reservations for the return trip to Kalispell and on to the Evergreen. The very next time she left, would be the last. Over the years she had secreted a fortune of one hundred thousand dollars, the last deposit was forwarded to her account under the name of Janis Glazer in Atlanta. A change from Saint Louis or even New Orleans. Jonas Balenger had objected at first, but acquiesced. For a woman in her early sixties, she was formidable, both as a lover and as a business woman.

 

She had long ago convinced Jonah that she would send for him as soon as she was settled. And for a time she had actually considered that option, but she changed her mind, realizing a woman with money could have any younger man she wanted, and Jonas was so intent on killing Ellias, something she had considered over the past eight years they had been involved.

 

She reached the hotel and was cordially greeted and pampered as a woman of her station should be. Taken to her room, where her luggage awaited and a bath would be drawn for her immediately. All of that made her smile, for ahead lie the overland trip to Kalispell and her return to the Evergreen.

 

TBC  

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.fc747785ebccdf13721ac6de4e04d4fb.jpgAfter her bath and a meal in her room, Elinor retired for the evening, dreading the stagecoach ride of the following day, but it was the only way home short of horseback, which was simply out of the question.

 

Morning found her having breakfast in the hotel dining room, something simple with coffee, she had managed to keep he figure over the years and the birth of her brood, six in all, not an easy task, but then Elias was wealthy, so life was pleasant and comfortable. It helped that she stayed fit in attracting men such as  Jonas Balenger who would do her bidding. The slow draining of funds, though that had only been since she learned of Leah's  rape. Before that, it had just been men who would treat her well.

 

A last bite of her toasted bread, a final sip of her coffee and she left for the stage station where her ticket would be waiting, Jonas was always so thoughtful.

 

Tag @JulieS

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Sarah watched as people came and went from the stage office.  Some were collecting parcels and others were asking about various destinations.  She had arrived in Helena a few days ago and was a bit miffed that she had to wait until today to continue her journey.  The stage to Kalispell ran only once a week at this time of year, so in a way she was lucky she didn't have to wait that long.  Helena was a nice place but she was anxious to be on her way.  The wait did give her enough time to send an article to the editor of the journal she wrote for in New York.  People on that side of the country were very hungry for stories about people and places out here.

 

While she was here, she also deposited most of the money she had been carrying in one of the banks.  The bank had a branch in Kalispell and were happy to give a draft which they said she could use to open an account there.  In a way it was good to be relieved of the burden of carrying that much cash into unknown territory.  At least the bank in Helena was on the train line, Kalispell on the other hand, according to most of the people she had talked to, was in the middle of nowhere.

 

An attendant approached her and advised her that the stage to Kalispell would be leaving shortly.  Her trunk had already been placed on the stage and all she had was her small carpet bag and reticule.  Thanking the man, she picked up her bag and started to make her way out to the stage.

 

@Flip

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1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.fc747785ebccdf13721ac6de4e04d4fb.jpgElinor arrived at the stage office to find her luggage was already aboard the coach an when she reached the ticket window she discovered that indeed, her passage was paid for as promised. Jonas though of most everything. In one respect, she hated leaving civilization for the Evergreen, but for the time being, it was a necessity.

 

Oh, there was a plan, of course. A plan that unfortunately did not include the Evergreen or Montana. She was sure that in the end, her sons would not be on her trail, no, they would not. Elias, on the other hand, would most assuredly have men searching the state for her. But, with a new identity, and across the country in the lavishness of the major eastern cities, she would be difficult to find, and that was her plan, to live her remaining years in style.

 

It was then she noticed another lady who seemed to be awaiting the departure of the coach, she walked over to her. "Excuse me, are you headed for Kalispell?" She asked.

 

Tag @JulieS

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Sarah, for a moment, was surprised that someone else was on their way to Kalispell as well.  From what she heard, not many people took the stage out there, as most preferred to make their own way there.  Looking at the older woman, she could see that she was elegantly dressed which made her feel slightly embarrassed.  She had been wearing the same travelling outfit for most of her trip.  It had been cleaned during her brief visit here by the hotel laundry but it was preferable to wearing out the limited amount of clothing she had bought with her.  Maybe while they were on their way, she could ask the woman if there were any good dressmakers in town.

 

Smiling, Sarah answered the lady's question, "Yes I am.  I'm going to be visiting some family I have there and probably stay for the winter at least.  I've heard that winters can be very harsh out here."

 

@Flip

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Elinor smiled, “Dear, you have no idea. And your plan to stay the winter will serve you well, as travel can be beyond difficult.” The woman wold be acquainted with heavy snow, no matter where in the east she might be from, but Kalispell that would be beyond what she was accustomed to. But, this would be pleasant to have a woman to share the trip with.

 

She extended a hand, “I am Elinor Steelgrave.”

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14 hours ago, Flip said:

Elinor smiled, “Dear, you have no idea. And your plan to stay the winter will serve you well, as travel can be beyond difficult.” The woman wold be acquainted with heavy snow, no matter where in the east she might be from, but Kalispell that would be beyond what she was accustomed to. But, this would be pleasant to have a woman to share the trip with

"It will be the first time I have seen snow in years.  The winters in San Francisco were cold but not enough to make it snow.  I guess it will take some time getting used to again."  She had one coat, gloves, a scarf and a couple of winter dresses packed in her trunk but probably wouldn't be enough to see the winter through.  Hopefully, there would be something in Kalispell that she could buy to wear.

14 hours ago, Flip said:

She extended a hand, “I am Elinor Steelgrave.”

Taking the offered hand, she shook it gently, "A pleasure to meet you Elinor.  My name is Sarah Thornton-Carlton."

 

@Flip

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large.1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.2578a739dffca5d8bf87523dc110b7fc.jpgTaking the offered hand, she shook it gently, "A pleasure to meet you Elinor.  My name is Sarah Thornton-Carlton."


The Thronton name was like a cut to her heart. Shade Thornton had killed her baby Cal. She fought for her composure, it was obviously not the woman’s fault Cal had died, even though Elinor knew deep down her son had gon looking for trouble, and found it. Even though she knew in her heart of hearts that her Calvin was spoiled and arrogant and had asked for what it got. She also knew if Thronton had not killed Calvin, Quinton Cantrell would have.

 

Regaining herself she forced a smile, “and what brings you to Kalispell?”

 

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Before she could say something, Sarah and Elinor were interrupted by the stage driver asking them to board.

 

After she had made herself comfortable and the stage was well on its way, Sarah answered the earlier question, "My father has kept in contact with our family here over the years.  He didn't receive a reply to his last letter which he sent at the end of May."

 

She paused for a moment to take in some of the scenery.  Some of the trees were starting to change colour which made her remember her childhood in Philadelphia and playing in the leaves.

 

Turning her attention back to Elinor, she continued, "Father is afraid that something terrible might have happened and since I was on my way out here, he asked me if I could find out.  Personally, I am hoping his letter or the reply got lost somewhere along the line."

 

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  • JulieS changed the title to Billings - Helena - Kalispell

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"My father has kept in contact with our family here over the years.  He didn't receive a reply to his last letter which he sent at the end of May."

 

Elinor smiled and said, “Unfortunately that is not an uncommon event out here. The mail is not what it would be in the cities. It may have fallen prey to outlaws or Indians or an accident along the way.” Not that robberies or attacks were common place, they did happen, and mishaps occurred.

 

Turning her attention back to Elinor, she continued, "Father is afraid that something terrible might have happened and since I was on my way out here, he asked me if I could find out.  Personally, I am hoping his letter or the reply got lost somewhere along the line."

 

“And to whom was the letter sent to, if I might inquire? I know of a great many people in the Kalispell area.” Elinor pried. Wondering if it was Shade Thornton. At the moment she was setting aside her hatred of all things Thornton as she realized the woman had no connection with the death of her Calvin.

 

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"Since his brother died, my father has been keeping correspondence with my cousin Chance."  She paused for a moment before continuing, "I do hope nothing terrible has happened to him or his brother Shade.  I met them once about seventeen years ago when we were on our way to San Francisco. They were both very likeable and charming in their own ways.  In a way I am looking forward to seeing them again but whether or not they will be welcoming of a cousin they haven't seen in a long time is another thing."

 

While she waited to see if Elinor would say something about whether or not she was acquainted with her cousins, Sarah began to try and remember what she could about her cousins.  Her father had mentioned more about Chance than Shade.  He had said that Chance was married with children and was running the family ranch.  As for Shade, she would no doubt find out more about him when she got the ranch.

 

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"Since his brother died, my father has been keeping correspondence with my cousin Chance."  She paused for a moment before continuing, "I do hope nothing terrible has happened to him or his brother Shade.  I met them once about seventeen years ago when we were on our way to San Francisco. They were both very likeable and charming in their own ways.  In a way I am looking forward to seeing them again but whether or not they will be welcoming of a cousin they haven't seen in a long time is another thing."

 

The mention of Shade Thompson made her blood run cold. Oh see had long ago admitted that Cal had most probably gotten what he deserved, and if it had not been Thornton, it would have been someone else. Cal was the bad seed, not that the other boys were much better.

 

But this woman had nothing to do with that event or anything to do with the Steelgrave-Thornton feud. And it wouldn’t be long until she would be far away from Elias, the Evergreen, and the rest of it. She took no pleasure in what she was about to say;

 

While she waited to see if Elinor would say something about whether or not she was acquainted with her cousins, Sarah began to try and remember what she could about her cousins.  Her father had mentioned more about Chance than Shade.  He had said that Chance was married with children and was running the family ranch.  As for Shade, she would no doubt find out more about him when she got the ranch.


“Your cousin, Chance Thronton and his family, were found dead this past June.”  Her voice somber as strangely, emotions welled up inside her as this revelation. “Other than those stark facts, I have no information as to the why or how of it. I’m terribly sorry.”

 

Tag @JulieS

 

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Sarah lowered her head when she heard the news about Chance and his family.  She hardly knew Chance and never met his wife, so even though it was sad to hear, it was not enough to make her cry.  Lifting up her head, she replied, "Thank you for letting me know.  I think this will affect my father more than me as he had a relationship with Chance.  I will have to write to him when I find out more."

 

There was so many questions she wanted ask who was looking after the ranch now that Chance was gone.  Elinor had said that she didn't know much, so maybe she would have to wait until she reached the town to find out more.

 

Deciding that she didn't want to dwell on such sad news, she decided to change the subject, "Perhaps you could tell me about Kalispell?  It would be useful to know what is like there and if I should get someone to escort me out to my cousin's ranch."

 

@Flip

 

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large.1elinor-steelgrave.jpg.2578a739dffca5d8bf87523dc110b7fc.jpgDeciding that she didn't want to dwell on such sad news, she decided to change the subject, "Perhaps you could tell me about Kalispell?  It would be useful to know what is like there and if I should get someone to escort me out to my cousin's ranch."

 

Fighting the urge to be nasty, nasty as only a woman can, she paused, reflecting on her lost son, the outlawry of the rest of her sons as well as her husband. Times were changing and soon there would be no escaping the hangman’s nose for they were all guilty of murder, rustling, arson and worse, if there were other things that could be considered worse.

 

“Kalispell is certainly a western town, and it’s as wild as the law will allow. But a woman is safe to walk the streets, unlike Whitefish to the north.” she paused, looked out as the land moved past while the coach rolled back and forth, to and fro. Suddenly faced Miss Thornton-Carlton. “There is a long standing feud between the Thornton’s and the Steelgrave’s. Shade killed my youngest and since then my husband and my other sons have vowed to avenge that death.” She paused again. “ But you should be safe enough in Kalispell, and there are reputable men in town you can rely on to escort you safely to the Lost Lake Ranch and your kin.”

 

Tag @JulieS

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As she listened to Elinor, Sarah was at first a little surprised at the news that there was a feud.  Her father had never mentioned anything about this and so finding out in such a manner from a stranger, was a bit awkward.  She had no idea on how to reply this revelation, especially since the woman was on the opposing side.

 

Since there was still some way to go on the trip and not wanting to do or say anything that might make things uncomfortable, she decided on a more diplomatic approach.  "I'm sorry, I didn't know anything about what happened between your son and my cousin.  Even though I am on the other side in this feud and by rights we are suppose to be enemies, I do not wish to make matters worst."

 

For the next few minutes, Sarah contemplated on what she do next.  The one thing she didn't want to do was to ignore Elinor.    Maybe the answer lay in letting Elinor talk about it.  Knowing both sides of the story would prove useful in the future.  "I understand if you do not want to talk about this.  You mentioned your husband and sons wanting revenge but I would like to know how you feel about this situation."

 

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 "I'm sorry, I didn't know anything about what happened between your son and my cousin.  Even though I am on the other side in this feud and by rights we are suppose to be enemies, I do not wish to make matters worst."


Elinor smiled. “It is the way out here, men settle dispute with guns.” She said matter of factly.
 

For the next few minutes, Sarah contemplated on what she do next.  The one thing she didn't want to do was to ignore Elinor.    Maybe the answer lay in letting Elinor talk about it.  Knowing both sides of the story would prove useful in the future.  "I understand if you do not want to talk about this.  You mentioned your husband and sons wanting revenge but I would like to know how you feel about this situation."


“To be quite frank about it, Cal brought it on himself.” She looked at the woman as she spoke. “As I have learned, there was a fight over my sons attempt to assault Regina Cantrel. Thornton  heard the struggle and beat Calvin severely. Sometime later, Calvin lay in wait, intending to shoot Regina. Instead, Shade killed him. Thornton was arrested and tried, the shooting was ruled self-defense and Shade Thornton was not charged. Rightfully so, I might add.”

 

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"It all sounds like something out of a dime novel.  I do hope that level heads will prevail in the future."

 

Sarah sighed, "I suppose that even though things are starting to be civilised out here, there is still a long way to go before it will be like San Francisco or any of the cities in the east.  Even though they have their problems, people still get into trouble but the difference is they don't resort to gunfights...at least not in my experience."

 

Turning to look out the window again to take in the passing scenery, Sarah thought about the trouble she hadn't go into that had caused her to leave her family and San Francisco.  If she hadn't stumbles upon the Harrington family's secret, she would have had no reason to come out to such a remote area.  However, what was done was done and she would make the best of her new circumstances.  Hopefully, Kalispell would prove to be a worthwhile place.  Maybe, she could even find a temporary home with what was left of her family.

 

As she continued to look out the window, she wondered if there would be any danger of being attacked.  The countryside seemed so peaceful.  "What is like to live out here?  Is it as hard as some people have said it can be?"

 

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"It all sounds like something out of a dime novel.  I do hope that level heads will prevail in the future."

 

Elinor smiled at the statement. “Perhaps it is closed to the truth than people believe. The dime novels are most times based on fact, fact badly blown out of proportion.
 

Sarah sighed, "I suppose that even though things are starting to be civilised out here, there is still a long way to go before it will be like San Francisco or any of the cities in the east.  Even though they have their problems, people still get into trouble but the difference is they don't resort to gunfights...at least not in my experience."


“Yes, that’s very true, and the time will come when gunfights in our businesses and streets will come to an end, hopefully. I mean, I realize there will always be crime and criminals, but the gunplay in public will cease.” Elinor explained. “Although, I have to tell you, it’s not as wild as in those dime novels. Kalispell is a nice place that occasionally becomes ugly. Though I understand they have a new town Marshal with Military background


  The countryside seemed so peaceful.  "What is like to live out here?  Is it as hard as some people have said it can be?"


“What’s it like? Considering where you are from, there are not as many niceties, mail is dreadfully slow. The General Store sometimes does not have everything to fill your order.” She smiled, “And yes it can be a hard life, depending on your station of course.  The Thornton's live quite well, have a beautiful home, I understand. Their ranch is very large and encompasses some beautiful country. I think you’ll like it out here.” She paused, there are Indians and they can present problems, but of late there's been no trouble. And there are outlaws, but this stage rarely carries anything they would be interested in."

 

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"You sound as though you are content with living out here despite what happened to you son."

 

Sarah paused for a moment before continuing, "You have been very honest with me and I appreciate that.  I do hope that the bad blood between my cousin and your family is something that can be fixed easily."

 

As she said her last statement, Sarah knew that she was probably being a tad naive about the whole situation.  Some people had the tendency to hold grudges for a long time and she hoped that Elinor wasn't one of them.  Going by what she had said earlier, it didn't sound like it but then again she was also a lady, so maybe she was just being polite.

 

The stagecoach was very cramp but thankfully there was only two of them on board, which allowed Sarah to stretch out her legs a little.  "We will be stopping soon?  It would nice to get out and go for a walk."

 

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"You sound as though you are content with living out here despite what happened to you son."

 

 “Content? I would call it that. I would be a matter of choice, and lack there of. Life in the west, well here as opposed to San Francisco, can be hard. Sometimes men make it that way. One learns to mourn and move on."

 

Sarah paused for a moment before continuing, "You have been very honest with me and I appreciate that.  I do hope that the bad blood between my cousin and your family is something that can be fixed easily."

 

Elinor all but laughed. “I doubt that very much. I have three living sons and a very distasteful husband that want to see the Thornton’s pay. But since everyone is aware of the feud the boys are cautious, as they should be.”
 

The stagecoach was very cramp but thankfully there was only two of them on board, which allowed Sarah to stretch out her legs a little.  "We will be stopping soon?  It would nice to get out and go for a walk."


“I‘m not sure of the schedule.” Elinor admitted. She leaned out the window. “Driver! Will we be stopping anytime soon?”

 

Tag @JulieS@Bongo

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As Sarah waited to hear what the driver would say, she stared out the window and watched the countryside go by.  This journey was turning out to be a bit more than she had expected it would.  The news about her cousin Chance was a bit unsettling.  Her father would want to know all about it but she didn't want to push anybody to tell her.  It could be a few weeks before she could write to him and tell him the bad news.

 

Thinking about Chance made her also think about Shade.  She didn't much about him as her father didn't divulge any information.  Other than the hint that he had been in some sort of trouble, she knew nothing about Shade.  Getting to know him would be a task in itself.

 

The driver responded that there would be a rest stop in about fifteen minutes, which suited her fine.  At least on the train, she was able to get up and walk around.  The trip to Kalispell would take a couple of days.  Some of her was wishing that it was quicker, while part of her wanted it to go on for longer because of what laid ahead.

 

Smiling, she turned to Elinor and asked her to talk more about life out here.

 

@Flip

 

OOC: I think we can end this one now or maybe skip ahead to the stagecoach arriving in Kalispell.

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Smiling, she turned to Elinor and asked her to talk more about life out here.

 

Elinor paused a long moment to give that some thought. Although at first she detested life away from the bigger cities, she came to love the life on the ranch. Though she never cared for Whitefish, she was quite fond of going in to Kalispell.

 

“It can be difficult at first. The being away from real civilization, that is. But as I have found, the vast openness of it, the natural beauty that surrounds everywhere and almost everything, well it grows on you, and quickly. Not that I’m saying you would ever forget the comforts of real civilization, doubtful that you ever would, but it has it’s on charm.

 

I know the east and the coast think what is in between is all gunfights, murder and mayhem. Wild Indians and bandits, that’s just not so. On that front I’m afraid you would find such excitement lacking.”

 

Tag @JulieS

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Sarah smiled, "Excitement is not what I came out here for.  In fact, as far as some people are concerned, the less excitement I get into the better.  However, it is true that there may not be much to do out here compared to San Francisco but I think I it will be a little bit interesting to find out what life out here is like."

 

A short while later, the stage pulled up to rest and water the horses.  Getting out and being able to walk around felt wonderful and when the driver announced that it was time to leave, Sarah felt a little bit disappointed.  It was long enough but she guessed that the driver wanted to get to the overnight stop before dark.

 

Settling back into her seat, she pulled out her journal and began writing in it.  The trip out here would be sure to stir up the imaginations of some her readers in the east and back in San Francisco.  Writing about life was a way for her to earn some extra income.  Maybe there was a newspaper in Kalispell that might even pay her to write stories.  It would certainly help keep her busy during the winter but that was something she would have to think about.  The first thing she had to do when she got to town was to find her cousin and the family home.  That in itself would take some time.

 

@Flip

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