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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 New Day


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Mature Content: No.

Author:  Speed

With: Speed Guyer, others
Location: Town, various places..
When: 1875
Time of Day: mid morning

 

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The new day dawned sunny and bright, the rain had passed. The morning was spent sweeping the mud out of the office and off the porch, then retiring to the office to clean his boots. Damnable mud!

 

As he sat there he thought perhaps he’d head over to the Stardust, maybe have a beer, been a while since he’d talked with Flannery or Miss Devereau in some time, which led to the thought he’s not seen Hannah Cory in quite a while. Maybe his rounds today might include those he’d not visited with of late.

 

The fall colors were changing rapidly, announcing the coming winter months where closing in, which meant being closed in most days. Of course it also meant the cafes and restaurants would be doing good business, not to mention the saloons, provided folks could get out and about. And that could cause problems as well.

 

Speed realized that with the winter doldrums and the whiskey mixed in could cause tempers to be short, and that could lead to fights, with fists, knives and guns. It was not a pleasant thought, yet it was a ways off, so he shook it free of him as he went to the stove to pour a cup of coffee, turning, hand on his hip, cup to his lip sipping staring out the window at pretty much nothing.

 

Tag Any (TBC)

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Speed realized that with the winter doldrums coming on and the whiskey mixed in could cause tempers to be short, and that could lead to fights, with fists, knives and guns. It was not a pleasant thought, yet it was still a ways off, so he shook it free of him as he went to the stove to pour a cup of coffee, turning, hand on his hip, cup to his lip sipping staring out the window at pretty much nothing.

 

Word was that the harvest Festival was on tap, bu he had not heard of any dates, though he had not bothered to ask about it. He would of course, read about it in the Union, once an article was written. His immediate thought was the event would be good for the community, the change of seasons always had a effect on folks. The cooler weather would at first be refreshing, prior to being the precursor to the weather that would follow. So it would be a both a profession and a pleasure appearance for him.

 

Nothing he liked better than a good hoe-down, often known as a hoe-dig, shin-dig, or stomp, depending on the part of the country one was in, though all those names were in use all over the west as men and women were known to move about and bring their words and traditions with them. He smiled to himself, it was going to be a grand time. They always were.

 

He set the cup on the desk as he moved to get his hat and coat. There would be a chill in the air, a mild one, but if there was a wind, or even a breeze it would go right to the bone. Time to get out and about.

 

TBC

 

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Speed stepped out of the Municipal building from his office door and onto the boardwalk. Traffic on the street was light, folks on the boardwalk were few. He surveyed the street, scanning one end to the other, not really looking for anything in particular, just seeing. The thought of the office for the mining company crossed his mind. Might be a good day to look into that. He wasn't earning his keep from the company of late, but then, he's been busy.

 

He stepped off into the street, waited for an wagon to pass, waving to the driver, then crossing to the other side, up onto the walk and then straight for the Stardust Saloon, noting a couple horses stood at the hitch rails. There was a wagon in front of the General Store, a buckboard in front of the mercantile.

 

He push through the bat wing doors and into the saloon. Stepping over to the bar he smiled. "Morning Mister Flandry. Got any coffee on?" He asked in greeting.

 

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Ralph was drying beer glasses behind the long bar when he looked up to see who the latest customer might be. Ahh, the lawman. He slowly nodded affirmatively to the man's question. It had been awhile since the fellow had visited.

 

"I got coffee in the back, might have to warm it up some," he admitted.

 

"Guess your legal duties precludes you drinking?" he smiled.

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With little to do other than walk the boardwalks, Speed had literally nothing better to do than to wait on coffee. “Well, no rush Ralph, none at all. And I would suppose that the town council might not appreciate their lawman drinking in the morning, but then they may not care either. Me, I’m not one to drink this early anyway."

 

This, of course, was simply a social call, see if there was anyone new in town that Flandry may have seen, as well as general conversation. "I had heard of a young fellow,a prospector, you see I'm considering finding some office space for my company, Wood & Guyer Mining Co. out of New York. Like to speak to the lad, see if he might be interested in what we do."

 

Tag @Wayfarer

 

 

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"Fine then, I'll be right back, gonna put the coffee on the fire," Ralph nodded then retreated into the interior of the building.

 

He returned quickly enough, "Be a few minutes and it should be plenty hot by then."

 

Ralph hadn't forgotten the man's question about that young man though and immediately set about answering it to the best of his ability.

 

"Yeah, I think I know which one you mean. Course could be other prospectors about nowadays," he shrugged.

 

"Last week we had us a young man, Irish no doubt about that - all you had to do was listen to him talk. I don't know his last name but his Christian name is Robert.... Bobby....what have you."

 

"He lives outside of town, he said that much. He also said he looks for gold but by the look of his clothing, he ain't very successful at it. One thing he is good at though is using his fists," Ralph grinned.

 

"A bigger man picked a fight with him and Bobby boy dropped him like a sack of grain with a good right left combination," he recalled it with obvious amusement.

 

@Flip

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“Like I said, no rush. The boy sounds interesting, and capable. Which leads to the question, if he’s not doing so good on his own, I’m wondering how he’d feel about making some serious  money scouting out minerals and such.” Speed reacted.

 

“Guess I should take a ride out there and find  out for myself.” He surmised. “Need to find office space though.”

 

So, Miss Devereau? How is she? It has been sometime since I’ve seen the two of you. Though I have heard the place is doing well, and that’s always good.”

 

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"Don't really know him all that well at all. But he's quiet, behaves himself when he's in here," Ralph commented.

 

"Yeah, wouldn't hurt to offer him the job, worst that could happen would be he sez 'no', I reckon," he replied.

 

"Oh, Matilda is in the back office, wrestling with the bookkeeping part of this job. Better her than me. Numbers n' me never were well acquainted you might say," Ralph grinned.

 

"If you wanna talk to her about somethin' I can go get her. She might be glad to get away from that stuff for awhile," he offered.

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Well, Ralph was right, the very worst that could happen would be the young mans refusal. His remark about numbers brought a smile to Speeds lips.

 

“Oh, no, nothing that can’t wait, Ralph. Like I said, I just dropped in to say hello and see how things were.” Speed replied about Ralph taking Matilda away from the book keeping duties.

 

“With the cold weather coming and then winter setting in before we know it I thought I’d stop in, I mean this is a clearing house for information most times. Wondered if there was anything about the cattle drive or the Army headed this way we hadn’t heard yet.”

 

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Ralph decided to let Tildy be then with her bookkeeping since the lawman had no pressing interest in wanting to talk to her, simply being social it seemed.  He did ask a couple of questions though, hoping that saloon gossip might have reached Ralph's ears over a couple of occurances.

 

"Nope, afraid I can't help you about any cattle drive. You know which ranch or ranches?"

 

As to the second item, Ralph shrugged, "We've heard off and on that the Army is thinking of building a fort closer to town. When and exactly where though seems to be a mystery. It might bring this place some more business but the down side is sometimes off duty soldiers can get a little....you know ... rambunctious."

 

"I ought ta know, I was one in the late war," he smiled.

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Speed laughed at the remark about the late war, and the conduct of soldiers when on leave, even though that was rare, there were few times that he remembered where he and his men had access to taverns, or places where strong drink might be had, and cash was always in short supply.


“What unit were you with, Ralph? I was with the Thirteenth New Jersey Infantry, Twelveth and Twentieth Corps.” Though the war had been over some ten years, talk and reminiscing was still popular among veterans, a good deal of the hard feelings had subsided, though not all, and not with everyone. "unless of course it's not a subject you care to talk about."

 

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"Yankee huh? Me too. I was in two regiments. 146th New York Regiment....we had us those fancy Zouave uniforms ya know," Ralph grinned, "Johnny Rebs could see us a mile off but damn we looked pretty."

 

"When those wore out though, we got regular replacement uniforms. Then when the regiment mustered out last year of the war, I joined another regiment - the 5th also out of New York and finished the war with them."

 

He sighed, "I know the war was terrible and all that. Saw a lot of men die. Killed me some rebs too. But you know what? I think fighting in that war was the finest thing I ever done in my life. I'm proud of my service."

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“Zouaves, saw you boys a time or two, and those uniforms were fancy, I’ll say that. But you boys lived up to 'em.” Speed recalled. “Terrible time, it was. Lost us a lot of men, and I’d agree with you, on fighting for your country, it was the finest thing I ever did as well.”

 

There was a pause, “I take it from your units you hail from New York. That’s where my mining company is, well, a partnership. Of course that would also be my reason for asking about the lad, as I’d said. Plumb got off on another subject.”

 

"Yeah, New York City, things weren't going so well for me there anyhow so I signed up for the army. Least you got fed and a roof...or a tent over your head," Ralph chuckled.

 

He laughed, “Just like a couple veterans, goin’ on about the war. Now that cattle drive I asked about, understood it to be from Shade Thornton’s ranch for the Army. That was just in passing, not sure if there were any hostiles out, that sort of thing.”

 

"Could well be, wouldn't know," the bartender shrugged.

 

Tag @Wayfarer

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  • 3 weeks later...

The conversation with Ralph had been invigorating and most pleasant, of course a couple of veterans reminiscing about those past battles would tend to get the blood flowing.


Next, as he walked down the boardwalk was an empty store, one that would serve him in his business endeavors. Of course, before it was the bright blue and white dress shop which was not open just yet. Of the passing people already out to do their shopping, Speed found his hand almost steadily at his hat brim, and a smile on his lips. Kalispell was a friendly town, one of the things he liked about it


The one thing that he had accomplished on his rounds, such as they were, was the vacant building, two story which would allow for both business and lodging and, it sat almost directly across from the municipal building and his office. He would make it a point to contact the land office to look into it’s cost. It would be good to have his own place as he planned to settle in Kalispell now that he had the Marshal’s job.


There were, of course, other states with gold, silver, copper, and other minerals, to be sure. But what he was thinking was perhaps starting up a branch of the company with other men that could and would go afield to do the research, bidding and buying for the company, he would get a wire off to the home office in New York and Nolan Wood, his partner.


The day was shaping up quite nicely.

 

TBC

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He made his way to the telegraph office and sent the wire regarding his plan, and to let Nolan know what was happening out in the west. The trip so far had netted the company mining and timber interests which at last notice was certainly paying dividends that covered his expenses and allowance.

 

Leaving the telegraph office, Speed looked over the street and realized that indeed, he was home. It seemed odd to call it that, even mentally, but that was how he felt about the town. It was growing, little by little, and that was good. It could use an influx of people, that would help land sales and construction as well as all the businesses that growth would touch, or create.

 

He headed directly to the land office to gather information on the building and, after a brief conversation about it, he learned it was owned by the bank. Meaning a visit with Mister Croft and Luke Johnson, both of which he had not seen in sometime.

 

He entered the bank, stood in a two person line before young Johnson. When he reached the cage he said, “Luke, how’s the bride? Anxious for the Fall festival I’d bet.”

 

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"Morning, Marshal," Luke answered.  It was not often that the town Marshal would come into the bank.  Part of Luke wondered if it was on official business.

 

Setting aside the ledger temporarily, Luke leaned forward a little, "Ruth is well.  She's gotten herself on some sort of committee organising a few of the stalls that will be there.  I'm glad she has something else to occupy her time instead of spending the day shopping."  He stopped short of saying gossiping as well.  Even though he loved Ruth, he was concerned about how much she knew of the town's goings on.

 

However, now was the time to ruminate about what his wife was up to, "What can I help you with?"

 

@Flip

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"Good to hear, Luke. Well sir, I need to see the boss, unless, of course, you are handling properties. In that case, you'll do just fine,"  Speed stated. He had no fears on the costs, and he was sure there would be quite a few, from the building to the furnishings that it would require, both for the business and his residence. "I've a plan Luke, opening a business."

 

Even speaking the words sounded strange, starting a business. He had the capitol, he and Nolan had seen to that. There would be by this time a hefty sum sitting in the bank which would pay for everything including the hiring of men.

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"A new business?  Well, we will be certainly needing some more soon.  I have a friend in Whitefish who tells me that some people aren't happy with the way things are going there and they may pull up at stakes soon."

 

He paused, before going on, "All it is at the moment is a rumour but you never know.  As for properties, I can give you some details on those we have, but if you wish to buy then you will have speak to Mr. Croft."

 

@Flip

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“Whitefish seems to have a set of problems that stunts it growth alright.” Speed smiled. “Well now, I have a building in mind. The one on the south side of the dress shop next to the White Rose.” He explained. “So, I guess I’ll need to know if it’s a rental property or one that’s for sale, I can go either way.”

 

Which was true, though he was hoping that it was for sale as it actually appeared to fulfill all of his needs. At least for the foreseeable future. Not too large, not to small, which of course, was perfect as he did not foresee the need for a large number of employees, perhaps a secretary, male or female, it mattered not. Perhaps, some desk space, of that he could not be sure until he got under way.

 

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Luke went over to the large ledgers that were kept on desk behind the front counter.  He opened up the one that contained the information on properties owned by the bank.  He quickly wrote down the relevant information on his pad and took it back to the counter.

 

"You're in luck, Marshal.  The property you want is available for rent and it is for sale.  If you want to rent it, I can help you with that but if you're looking to buy, as I said you will have to speak to Mr. Croft."

 

@Flip

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“Well now, that’s positive news, having a choice.” Speed remarked with a smile. “Being authorized by my company, I believe I will be most interested in buying the building, and presumably, the property it sits on.”


Of course Speed had taken into account that the town may hold claim to the property, but it never hurts to address one’s intentions outright. He smiled at the notion he was about to be the owner of at least a building, possibly the property which, by all accounts, meant he was setting down roots. Owning a piece of Kalispell. “So, I suppose then, it’s the boss I need to see. Thank you, Luke.”

 

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Luke smiled, "If you will just wait a moment, I will let Mr. Croft know that you would like to see him."

 

As he made his way to the manager's office, Luke thought about how the bank had grown in just the last couple of months.  When he had started Croft's desk was situated out in the open in the main room of the bank.  Due to the increase of people wanting more private meetings to discuss their banking needs that an extension to the building had been add at the back to accommodate a separate office.  It had made the bank slightly larger than it used to be and there was more to come in the future, including a new larger vault that would be here in the spring.

 

A few minutes later, he returned to the front desk.  "Mr. Croft will see you now, Marshal.  Just go right on in."

 

@Flip

 

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The bank had grown over the last few months and that in itself was a good sign, so far as growth for Kalispell was concerned. The pulse of the town could be gauged by such things, and it pointed to growth. Hopefully, he was getting in at the right time, as prices for buildings and properties would most certainly rise accordingly. Although he could most likely afford whatever price surge, getting it as low as possible was just good business.

 
A few minutes later, he returned to the front desk.  "Mr. Croft will see you now, Marshal.  Just go right on in."


“Thanks Luke, and say hello to the missus for me.” Speed replied as he stared for the office. Opening the door he stepped inside.  “Mornin’ Mister Croft, I suppose Luke told you what this is all about.”

 

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croft.jpg.86c8a0d79a7a6b6ba2c36f35da0205ee.jpg

 

Stanley Croft looked up from the paperwork he had been doing. "Good morning Marshal.  Please take a seat."

 

As he waited for Guyer to be seated, he continued, "Yes, Luke mentioned that you were interested in the building near the White Rose.  Is there anything in particular you would like to know about the building or shall we just get down to the terms of sale?"

 

@Flip

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“Thanks.” Speed responded to the offer of a seat. “Well, the outside looks good, it’s the inside I’d like to see the inside if that’s possible. The upstairs especially as I plan for it to be both a business and lodging for me. We of course can discuss terms o the way over, if that agreeable.”

 

Speed was sure of the buildings appropriateness to fill both needs and probably then some, but he had yet to purchase anything sight unseen and certainly wasn’t about to now with company funds. “It’s company assets, the money as well as the building, you understand.”

 

If it met expectations, it would be a cash transaction, which Nolan would reimburse him for. "Guaranteed, Mister Croft, this will go quickly if it's what I think it is."

 

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