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Sagas of the Wild West

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A Sunday Ride


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"Well, I can't say as like everyone knowing about everything," Emeline commented, "but it is good to know you have people to count in when you need it." Community could be good or bad, depending on the players.  Of course, she tended to keep to herself and out of scandals, so that put her in good standing, but she still wasn't happy with gossips.  "Kallispell seems a good size, and the people are mostly good.  I'm happy to have found it."  She sighed.  "I don't mind seeing new places, but it's good to have a home to return to.  I've even heard rumors of an actual hospital in town, although I don't know that it's large enough to support such a thing.  At least we have a doctor and school teacher, now all we need is a Grange Hall and Odd Fellows and we're set!"

 

Some growth was good, and it was nice to have some amenities, it was just a matter of balance.  "Of course, with growth comes more competition, so I'd have to enhance my menu, perhaps with exotic choices...but then, my garden has snails, so..."

 

@Flip

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“Looks like the towns growin’ up around us, ya might say. I ain’t heard of no hospital. But then I ain’t rightly listenin’ neither.” He replied. “Growth and competition, now there’s a combination for ya. ‘course it works most of the time.” He grinned, “Less folks decide to push it, then that’s a horse of a different color.”

 

Pronto was no stranger to change, no stranger to men getting pushy and trying to have their way, and there were plenty that got their way, even if that was some times short lived. But he wasn’t worried, there were too many good men on town for that to happen.

Yes there was this Elias Steelgrave, but so far he’d made no move on Kallispell, neither had


his son, the Marshal of Whitefish, but they would bare watching, because if there was to be trouble on the horizon it would come from that direction. Then he realized what a waste of time speculating on trouble was.

 

“So tell me, what's it you like to do above all else?”

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Oh, goodness!  I hadn't thought on that sort of thing in a long time."  Looking over at him, Emeline smiled, even as she turned the options over in her mind.  "I've been so busy with work...and I suppose the answer might change with circumstance."  She shrugged.  "I do enjoy the cooking, and knowing that I'm offering comfort and pleasure to others..."  Laughing, she shook her head.  "But that is my employment, I like it, but if I could do anything with no care of money or time, I suppose it would be travel."

 

Indeed, as she'd already mentioned, there were all sorts of places she'd love to see, all over the world, and she could easily walk away from what she was doing to do that.  But...

 

"That's not really practical, though, is it?  Maybe painting?  Or learning an instrument...I'm quite enjoying just riding like this."

 

She laughed again.  "I'm afraid I'm not being very specific.  But honestly..." her tone became a little distant and sober, "I loved taking care of my family, keeping home for my husband and watching my daughter play and discover life."  Her smile was bittersweet.  "But that is not to be, either."

 

@Flip

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“I suspect you’d be a traveler, gettin’ out and seein’ what there is ta see.” He paused when she talked of caring for her husband and daughter, and how that was not to be. “I’m sorry if I brung a sadness to you. That weren’t my intent.”

 

Pike was not sure how to continue, the question was right there, waiting to be asked, but he was hesitant, thinking and rightly so, that it was not his business to ask after whatever tragedy that had befallen her family. He sat like a lump in the saddle for a few minutes, then finally spoke.

 

“I’ll be honest, I don’t rightly know what to say along about now. I surely meant no harm in askin’. Not my affair, and dredgin’ up a sadness weren’t never my intent, not ever.”

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Oh, please, Barnabas, I didn't mean to..."  Well, she hadn't meant to ruin the mood.  "I know that wasn't your intention, and honestly, I don't mind remembering, because that is far better than forgetting."  In fact, she lived in continual fear that she would forget, especially her little Chloe, since they'd never had a chance to get a picture of her.

 

"It's funny, when I was a girl, I wanted a ranch, to raise Morgan horses, and I cringed when marriage and family was mentioned.  Babies!"  Laughing, she rolled her eyes.  "Crying and diapers!  But that changed, of course, and now it's what I'd like most."

 

For a moment, she was silent, but then she added, "But we can't always have what we crave, and the Good Lord knows what He's doing, and you take life as it comes and enjoy what you are given."  Her smile widened.  "Like a wonderful day on a picnic to a waterfall with a friend.  What else would you rather do to occupy your time?"

 

@Flip

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Pronto studied her a long moment, “Then we’ll jest have us a bang up picnic by that waterfall!” He stated. He knew that he hadn’t brought up bad memories for her, sad ones at the loss, but no more bad ones than his with his own loss, Julia Dey, his own fiancé who passed from pneumonia.

 

“I reckon I know a bit about loss, the kind that takes a love away. So, I understand a plenty, an’ most o’ them memories ain’t bad ‘uns, it’s jest the end that snatches yer breath away, jerks ya up short, an gets ya misty eyed.” He confessed. “Jest so’s ya know I understand thet pain, understand it real well,” He paused, looked to her and smiled.

 

“The Good Lord does know what he’s doin’.” Then he laughed, “Guess I didn’t answer yer question, ‘bout what else would I rather to do. Me, I plumb love ridin’, seein’ the country. I mean look at it. Pure, clean, beautiful, and empty. Won’t always be, but she is now, in my time.”

 

Tag @Bongo

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"It would be a shame to lose all this."  Of course, 'civilization' encroached, it was just a fact of civilization, but it was a pity that pristine land was lost in the process.  "But this is a big territory, so maybe parts will be spared. Besides, maybe the Winters will chase folks away!" 

 

She glanced at him with a soft smile, not wanting to ask about his loss -- she didn't need to know, just that he understood the dichotomy of grief and memory. 

 

"The picnic is meant to be 'bang-up'," she commented with a grin, "and if it proves not to be, I'm sure you are gentleman enough to declare that it is anyway!" 

 

She laughed.  "So, how much farther to the falls?"

 

@Flip

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“It won’t be lost while yer alive, parts maybe, you know, ranches an’ such like. Likely sod busters as well. Heard talk of the fort they’re plannin’ on. Not sure I’d be all wild eyed over a bunch a’ sojers.” He wanted to add Yankees, but thought better of it. “Nope, you’ll have this country long after were de-parted.”

 

“Now the falls, we been steady risin’ and shortly she’ll level off, then of a sudden, there she’ll be, just as purdy as you please.” He explained, “be a bit yet, see thet ridge yonder, well, that’ll be where she plateau’s, so not to long.” He gave thought to the country and her concern about it, vanishing. He was firm in the thought that Montana was going to be fairly wild for some time to come.

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Tooo long!"  Leaning back in the saddle, Emeline rolled her eyes, sighing dramatically, but then she sat upright.  "I think I can fix that!"  Laughing, she gigged her horse's sides, letting out a loud, "WHOOP!"  Now she leaned over the mare's neck, letting the animal have her head as she encouraged her into a full gallop!

 

@Flip

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Pronto’s roan crow hopped, turning half way around before lunging after the mare at a full gallop. His animal was tough, plains fed and fast. She could ride though! He closed on her but did not quite catch up, instead he chose to rein in some so that she would retain a lead.

 

Her roan mare was ot about to give out on her, hardly. The mare reached the plateau and picked up speed, Pronto now doing his best to keep up as he had missed his chance to catch to pass her. The man had been correct, this horse was exactly what Emeline had wanted.

 

They dashed across the flat, heading for the water fall. An exhilarating run without banditos or Indians in pursuit.

 

Tag @Bongo

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