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Sagas of the Wild West

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A Sunday Ride


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This time, mounting was considerably easier, since she had had practice and was no longer inhibited by skirts, and soon, Emeline was back aboard the mare, much more comfortable this time, despite the inappropriate costume.  And she still had her hat on!

 

"I heartily agree, a high time shall be had!"  Giving him a nod, she grinned widely, enjoying the feel of being on a horse again, and having a fun companion.  "Your horse is quite handsome, have you had him long?"  The two animals were well-matched as they ambled side-by-side.  "Do you own the mare as well?"  Leaning forward, she patted 'her' horse's neck.

 

@Flip

 

 

 

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“Got him a ways back when I was in Arizona. The whole outfit was payment for helpin’ out a small spread.” He replied he comment about his horse. " Took a bit, but we come to an understandin' about who was boss. " With that he stepped into leather.

 

“Nope, man said he’d part with her though. Askin’ seventy dollars fer horse an’ tack. Purty fair deal, less than what the horse alone would be worth by thirty dollars at least.” Answering her question about the mares ownership.

 

He smiled as they turned the mounts north toward the edge of town. “Nice day fer this ride, might not be so many of ‘em left.’"

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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"Arizona?"  Emeline glanced at Barnabas, but her fingers were twirling through the bit of mane just ahead of the saddle horn.  "I hear it is arid and barren?  Have you seen the Yellowstone, then?  I can't imagine what it must be like to see a geyser, or even a bubbling pit of mud."  Honestly, she found some of the stories hard to believe.

 

In the mean time, she was contemplating buying a horse.  Today would give her a good feel for the mare, and she had the money set aside, at least some.  But it was coming into the Winter season, and business would slow down and income would be limited.  She could always try to barter with the livery man, offer meals as payment and boarding.  Of course, she could also just wait out Winter, likely the horse wouldn't be in danger of being sold in that time, and she could always ask the man to come to her first, should he decide to sell her.

 

"I've no doubt Winter will be here soon, and with a vengeance, and then we will all be trapped indoors for months at a time, can you imagine?"

 

@Flip  (sorry, couldn't resist!)

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“Nope, not rightly sure where that’d be. Yella’stone  I come in from the north-east, visited a friend on my way here in Oregon. Now there’s some pretty country, real green.” He explained as the rode along. I come inta Kalispell through Whitefish, but Yella’stone, now we outta ride on over there, if it ain’t to far.”

 

Being on the trail was always a pleasure for Pronto, but today was was much more, today he was with Emeline and he was willing to ride wherever she wanted to ride. With town dropping in the distance and open country ahead it gave the feeling that for the time being, they were the only people in he world.

 

“Yeah, winter. Reckon it could be a rough one. Had a taste of that when I was in Nevada, Virginia City. Got plumb nasty, it did. Snow drifts seven, eight feet high. Wind, swerlin’ snow, have ta dig out ever day. Reckon we’ll see that here. But folks in town’ll be able ta get out if’n they’re willin’ ta shovel out, keep the board walks clear.”

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Oh, well, I believe it's only a two week trip to Yellowstone, we can do that easily!"  Emeline laughed.  "We'd have to go sparing on the food, but I think we could do it!"  Of course, she was joking, she couldn't even begin to imagine something like a vacation, today was as close as she'd get, and for now it was enough.  "But then, we'd get caught in Winter and have to dig in for the season, live in an igloo and hunt buffalo..."

 

She laughed again.  "I've not been a Winter here, but in the Dakotas the drifts got so high that they reached the balconies on the buildings.  There were times that you could walk from one end of town to the other on a bright, sunny day, and it was like midnight on the boardwalks."  But it was funny, the snow actually caused some insulation, so that it wasn't quite so cold by the buildings.  "I always did like the sound of sleigh bells, though, announcing the coming Christmas season." 

 

Not that Christmas held the joy it once had, but even though it was still a few months off, she was planning some special offerings in the cafe to make it more festive.

 

@Flip

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“Not real sure about the igloo, and the injuns’d have a thing or two ta say about hunting buffalo, which they rightly consider theirs.” He commented almost without expression. “Then we’d find ourselves froze with no hair. Wouldn’t be much of a trip.” He looked at her soberly, then burst into laughter.


“Like I said, we seen some snow up ta Virginia City like thet. Danged cold, Folks actually did freeze to death, rest their souls. That Sun Mountain, she could be a year ‘round challenge what with the winters, and the mining, an’ the no-goods out to fleece an’ rob.” He described. “Some nine-ten thousand people on thet hill when I last rode out.”

 

"'course now, we could make the ride, that'd just take time. But what's become of yer bidness was you ta go traipsin' off like thet?" Pronto asked. He was thinking he should shut up because he loved to hear he talk. " You'll be hearin' them sleigh bells soon enough. We won't get us too many more chances to have a ride."

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Well, then, I'm glad we were able to get out when we did."  She shook her head.  "Isn't it funny, that the first snow of the season is so pristine and beautiful after the long Summer...a relief from the brown of Autumn, but within a few weeks, it's the most horrid thing on the planet!  Of course, for children, it just changes the landscape of play.  I used to love skating and sledding...well, until I sledded right into a tree!!"  She laughed.  "I tell you, I had to put up my sled to spare the trees!"

 

But maybe acting like a kid now and again was a good idea, just letting loose and being carefree, even for a little while.  "I may be willing to take down the old sled this Winter, if the conditions are right.  And I'll be careful to avoid the trees!"

 

@Flip

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“Well now I ain’t seen no snow jest yet, but I gotta agree, thet first one, well you’re right. She’s a beaut! Smooth and pure, just like they say. But it don’r take long fer it ta get old.” Pronto agreed, thinking of the hills in Virginia City, steep streets that had to be negotiated during the snows.


“I’m real glad of this chance to get outta town, spendin’ time on the trail, takin’ in the country with you. Always better to share sometin’ like this with someone else.” He hadn’t meant to mention being with her, but it just came out before he knew it. “And gettin’ out a sled, well thet there sounds like great fun. There’s a couple slopes near by with few trees ta git in the way.”

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"Oh, well, it's hardly worth the trouble if there aren't any trees.  That takes all the sport out of it!"  She laughed, shrugging.  "Although I suppose even without trees, I'd tumble off and make a giant snowball of myself.  Then someone would plot a head on me and wait for the thaw!"

 

She found that she really was having a good time not talking business or day-to-day life, but just basic nonsense.  "I suppose we'll have to wait for the Spring thaw, won't we?  But that will give me time to put up preserves and make hardtack for the trip."

 

She laughed again, then looked around at the countryside.  "This really is beautiful, isn't it?  Not many people take the time to look where they live, they just take it for granted."  She shook her head.  "Can you imagine living in a place such as London or Paris and not thinking anything of it?"  But she added, "Of course, I can't imagine living anywhere so...big and impersonal.  I think I'd be lonely amid all those people."

 

Really, she couldn't imagine living in a place where it took hours to cross the city, or to get to open land like this.

 

@Flip

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Pronto watched her, watched how she laughed, the gesture she made, actually everything about her before he ever spoke a word. I ain’t one to sure about you turnin’ into no snowball. Leastways not if I could help it.”


“Never was much fer big towns, been in a few. Too crowded for the likes of me. I like a small tow, a place where a man can stretch out, be himself. I reckon maybe it’s the way folks tend to treat one another. Thet, an they know about ever-one in town.” He sort of nodded to himself.  “I guess I’m the sort that just preferes them lill ‘uns. Gotta mess of ‘em down thataway.”

 

Tag @Bongo

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