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Sagas of the Wild West
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With: Jonah, Jack
Location: Whitefish Union Bank
When: October/  1875
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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Jonah hadn't had cause to come to Whitefish since settling in Kalispell, but then, when he'd come through, he hadn't expected that he was going to just stay anywhere in the area.  But he had, and then the ladies, Harriet Mercer and Leah Steelegrave, had, at least for now, given him reason to stay, and to even make something of himself, so he had come to Whitefish to clear out the few things of value that he owned and had left there a few months prior for safe-keeping as he explored the territory.

 

Now, with his rented horse tied to the post outside, he was standing in line at the bank, wishing he was paid in more than chickens, eggs and preserves, so that he had something to actually deposit in a bank besides an old pocket watch and a gold ring.

 

Although it was mid-afternoon, the place wasn't overly busy, and Jonah was thinking about lunch when there was a soft but firm voice from behind him, near the door.

 

"No one move, keep yer hands where I can see 'em."

 

A few people were startled enough to turn, fortunately there was no immediate retaliation, for shooting would draw unwanted attention, but there was another command.

 

"Everyone move to the left."  There was some confusion  and shuffling, 'left' meant different things to each person, depending on how they were facing, but eventually all the patrons were on one side of the room and Jonah had a chance to see the robber...robbers...

 

There were three, masked, of course, and Jonah knew now that the derringer he carried wasn't going to be of use...yet.

 

@Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Holding up a bank had been a bad idea from the start. Jay never wanted to get that deep into crime. Taking the occassional thing, forcing farmers to give them some food or let them sleep in a barn for the night, cheating in a game of Black Jack...those were things, that he could handle. Jay had used force against other people but he hadn't killed anyone yet. And he didn't intend to. Growing up in England might have made him soft at heart and instilled too many reservations and a conscience in him, that just would not shut up.

When he had told the others how bad of an idea holding up a bank was, he had said. "The danger is too great. We will end up on Wanted posters...." Never once had he said 'I think it's wrong'. Because he was generally a bad shot, they had decided that making him the spotter was a good idea. If the sheriff came around he'd still have to shoot or get shot but right now the only ones in line were citizens.

Nervously Jays head turned left and right to check the street, which was empty right now.

 

Thomas, who generally acted as the leader of the gang, who liked to portray himself as a murderous bast*rd in his many stories was pointing a gun at the tellers head after her had rounded the counter and handed him a bag. "Fill that!"

 

Sweat was shining on the old mans forehead when started filling it but soon stopped.

"Keep goin!" Thomas commanded.

But the teller whispered. "I can't, the money has been picked up earlier today."

After checking for himself Thomas became angry and hit the man, who fell onto his knees.

 

An overweight red head approached the people in line. "Give me everything you've got...watches, money, rings....Hurry!"

@Bongo

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Tom found himself at something of a loose end at this exact moment in time. Red and Moe were stripping the Bank customers of their possessions, English was outside keeping Look-see, as he always called it. He was sweating almost as much as the bank teller, but with excitement rather than terror. Well, to be perfectly honest, he was pretty terrified, but that's what made it all the more exciting. 

 

English was supposed to be outside keeping Look-see, anyway. But English was nervous. Antsy. Some fellers were nervous before a job like this, others during, and still others afterwards, once it was all over. English was all three. Tom sort of basked in English. He couldn't get like that anymore, except for times like now. Right now, when he felt alive. This was real. The blood sang in his ears. His heart thumped like a jackhammer. Any second they might get blowed to bits by a sheriff or his posse. They were almost done. This was the really dangerous part, getting out alive. He was panting under his mask.

 

He picked a customer at random. A middle-aged man with an unpleasant sage green suit and a derby on his head, pince-nez perched on his nose. "You." he pointed his Tranter revolver at the man. If he was a man; they'd see. "Please come here and get on your knees." The man, his face crumpling,  looked at the other customers for help, but with three men aiming at them, there was nothing they could do. He shuffled forward and got down on his knees on the hard polished floor of the bank. Behind their masks, Red and Moe mouthed a silent 'what the..?'

 

The man giving the orders looked at the others. They were disappointingly terrified. All except one man.   The man with the Tranter looked Josiah Danforth straight in the eyes and pointed the gun directly at him.

 

"You, Sir." he declared in somewhat nasal and bookish tones "If I were order you to get down on your knees and crawl around like a cur, like this ... this low down fellow..." he took the gun off the Doctor for a second and used it to flip the derby off the quivering man's head. This had the unfortunate effect of making the trembling man release a gush of urine which darkened his unpleasant sage green trousers and caused a slowly expanding puddle to appear, floating over the polished and waxed floorboards and making its way toward the rest of the customers' footwear. 

 

He willed the standing man not to disappoint him.

 

"If I were to order you to do that... what would you say?"

 

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The robbery had been going as you'd expect, folks cooperating because they had to, the bandits getting a minor haul, considering that they weren't getting the big dollars that were in the safe.  At least, Jonah mused, he didn't have more than a couple dollars on him at the moment...well, hell, he didn't have but a couple dollars at all, and the watch was a pawn that he'd gotten for twenty-five cents because the crystal was cracked.

 

As the robbery progressed, a young woman close to Jonah started sobbing, and while he didn't have much of a charitable bone in his body, he still felt sorry for her and sort of shuffled that way, moving so that he was between her and the men, for what it was worth.  If nastiness started, he knew full well that when it came to a .44 slug his body, however dashing, would only add debris to the lead as it passed through him and into the woman.

 

Still, it made him feel better, noble, for what that was worth!

 

Then 'Lanky-Man' started getting all mouthy and jiggy, forcing some hapless man to the floor, then addressing Jonah.

 

"You, Sir." he declared in somewhat nasal and bookish tones "If I were order you to get down on your knees and crawl around like a cur, like this ... this low down fellow..."

 

Jonah raised an eyebrow, about certain where this was heading and not liking it one bit.  But some people were bullies and blatant assholes, and here was one.

 

"If I were to order you to do that... what would you say?"

 

"I'd say I would do it if it made you feel more like a man," Jonah replied evenly, "I'd say that no one in this room would jeer me or feel sorry for me because you are insecure and need to intimidate people who have no choice but to do what you asked."

 

At that, he got down to his hands and knees and looked up.  "Do you prefer a dog or a cat?  Although you did specify 'cur'."

 

@Jack; @Javia

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Curly had been reaching into peoples pockets, checked their wrists and pouches. Everything, that seemed to be of worth, was now in his pockets. When Thomas forced people down to their knees for no apparent reason and got mocked in return by a well dressed man, he knew it could only be bad. He did not dare to speak up, though. Instead he motioned for the other two robbers to check whether they could get into the safe.

 

So they dragged the teller to the cast iron safe.

"It's a J & E Stephens." Both of them cheered loudly despite the danger because it was easy to open. All the needed was the ..... "Key!"

The olds tellers face was scrunched up as if he was crying any minute.

So they simply searched him and found it on a chain.

 

Outside there were three small dots visible in the distance but they quickly got bigger and took the shape of three men. Jay wasn't sure whether it was the local sheriff and his men or more customers but it surely made him nervous. So he whistled through his teeth and stepped to the door.

With his deep voice he hollered. "We've got company."

 

For a brief moment the Englishman looked at the two men on the wooden floorboards, gave them a somewhat sympathetic look at then focused on Thomas.

"They'll be here in in no time."

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"If I were to order you to do that... what would you say?"

"I'd say I would do it if it made you feel more like a man," Jonah replied evenly, "I'd say that no one in this room would jeer me or feel sorry for me because you are insecure and need to intimidate people who have no choice but to do what you asked."

 

The masked man nodded. “Well, to be quite honest with you, Mister. And I am a disarmingly honest man…” he said “I think they would. But, still and all, that was a very, very good answer.” He still motioned him downward, though, as the person who looked most capable of trying anything when they ran out of there.

 

At that, he got down to his hands and knees and looked up.  "Do you prefer a dog or a cat?  Although you did specify 'cur'."

 

“Oh, person is fine. Just… kneeling person.” He answered a little abstracted by Curly and Red’s doings.

“Safe.” He said and paid more attention to covering the crowd, including the two kneeling men, both of whom were in their positions for two quite different reasons.

 

So they dragged the teller to the cast iron safe.

 

"It's a J & E Stephens." Both of them cheered loudly despite the danger because it was easy to open. All the needed was the ..... "Key!"

 

The olds tellers face was scrunched up as if he was crying any minute.

So they simply searched him and found it on a chain.

 

Love regretted having to wear the mask. It was necessary, but he wanted to show them his face. He was, after all, enjoying looking at their faces. “Come on fellers, this is getting a little tedious for all these good folks.”

 

Outside there were three small dots visible in the distance but they quickly got bigger and took the shape of three men. Jay wasn't sure whether it was the local sheriff and his men or more customers, but it surely made him nervous. So he whistled through his teeth and stepped to the door.

 

With his deep voice he hollered. "We've got company."

 

For a brief moment the Englishman looked at the two men on the wooden floorboards, gave them a somewhat sympathetic look at then focused on Thomas.

 

"They'll be here in in no time."

 

Tom nodded, sweat stating to darken the top of the kerchief that formed his makeshift mask; the thing was reaching its thrilling denouement. He glanced over to Red and Curly, the professionals. It didn’t matter if they got everything, they just needed to get enough for the raid to be considered a success, a daring success. He tossed his head to indicate that the two of them should get out now, with as much as they could carry. He would cover their backs.

 

A professional would have made a slow backward walk out of the bank, calmly covering the cowering customers. Love instead, made a theatrical little speech. “Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Thomas Gage Love, I thank you for your kind co-operation this afternoon, God bless you all, and see you on your way.” At that, he tripped the priming trigger on the Tranter, then pulled the main trigger, and an earsplitting BANG!! blew off the top of the head of the man in the unpleasant sage green, brain matter grey and blood red suit.

 

The gore splattered outlaw stood back, panting; he drank in the scene for a short second, and then was gone.

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Jonah flinched as the shot rang out close to his ears, and completely unexpected.  Yes, there was no question that the man was a bully, but Jonah hadn't take him for completely insane, and counted himself lucky that he hadn't been the target.  But if the ass thought that Jonah would blame himself, that wasn't going to happen either, he wasn't the sort to take on the sins of others, he had enough of his own to worry about.

 

As for pursuing, there was no point, his little derringer was only good over a few feet, and the ass' shot was going to alert anyone close on the street that something was amiss.  In fact, there was a distinct danger that the outlaws would come back in the bank if they didn't get far enough away before the chaos started.

 

"Close that door!" he shouted, lurching to his feet.  At very least, 'Love' had done them all the favor of making sure that the man was most sincerely dead, so there was no use in worrying about him.

 

Of course, there was screaming and panic, someone shouting at him that he was a doctor and he should do something, even though to his thinking he was.

 

Rolling his eyes, he moved to bar the door himself, looking back at the tellers.  "Is there a back door?"  Best to get everyone to some sort of cover, just in case...

 

And who made him the hero?

 

@Jack; @Javia

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Curly and Red pushed past him while he was standing in the low wooden door frame of the small country bank. Both of them were on their horses in no time. "I see them...three!" Curly stated the obvious.

Jays head whipped around as he looked at the men, who had picked up their horses pace.

At the same moment Thomas left his 'business card' in the form of an announcement and blowing a guys head off.

Jay's jaw dropped behind the dark bandana at such useless violence. "Why did you do that? He didn't even have a gun!" He cried out as Thomas left the bank in a hurry.

His eyes were glued on victim for a very long moment, too shocked to move, until the man, who had also been on his knees, stepped towards him. For a second he thought he might throw a punch but then the door was shut on them.

 

Next thing he knew shots were being fired because the three men had gotten within shooting range.

So Jay flinched and then jumped into motion, leaped onto his horse from the front porch and gave him the spurs.

"Ha! Ha!" He called out over the sound of more shots, hoping desperately that the men were aiming at Thomas, not him.

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Jay's jaw dropped behind the dark bandana at such useless violence. "Why did you do that? He didn't even have a gun!" He cried out as Thomas left the bank in a hurry.

 

“I know!” nodded Love excitedly, his mask puffing in and out with his panting breath. “If that don’t make the newspapers, nothing will!” he added before dashing for his horse and unraveling the reins which were wrapped around the balustrade outside the bank to stop the stolen grey from wandering.

 

His eyes were glued on victim for a very long moment, too shocked to move, until the man, who had also been on his knees, stepped towards him. For a second he thought he might throw a punch but then the door was shut on them.

 

“See you, English!” shouted Tom Love from the high perch of his saddle. He put his unspurred boot gently to the horse’s flank and made a “Click click” noise with his tongue and the creature set off at a gentle lope after the careering, galloping forms of the more professional and swift-moving Red and Curly. Love eschewed the use of spurs, for they seemed a cruel and needless appendage to him, and he was, by and large, a friend to and soft-hearted toward all of God’s furry little critters. Except dogs. Dogs he hated with a passion, and if he saw one, large or small, he would take it as an opportunity to indulge in target practice with his Tranter. Ammunition supplies allowing, of course.

 

Next thing he knew shots were being fired because the three men had gotten within shooting range.

So Jay flinched and then jumped into motion, leaped onto his horse from the front porch and gave him the spurs.

 

"Ha! Ha!" He called out over the sound of more shots, hoping desperately that the men were aiming at Thomas, not him.

 

Truth to tell, the men had fired off most of their rounds at Red and Curly, whose speed had put off the posse’s aim and only one of their horses had felt the sting of their bullets. That particular animal was later found some miles out of town, bloated and covered in flies, a gaping hole in its head where it had been mercifully despatched by a tearful Curly.

 

By the time Love reached them, the three were desperately re-loading their antiquated weaponry, and approaching at a trot, the unbalanced man on the horse could scarcely believe his luck. He only wished that he had his gun in his hands; he could have shot one of them at his ease, even from horseback. As it was, he was at least able to raise his hat at them and give them a friendly “Mornin’ Gents” as he passed them by.

 

This bit of calculated, and excitingly nerve-wracking, bravado over, and hearing curses and the click of finally loaded guns being cocked, he “Click, clicked” a little harder and the white colored horse beneath him took to a canter and the first shot that sounded behind him didn’t even fan his brow.

 

A horse was approaching in the distance, but he didn’t even turn around. That would be Ryker approaching the posse. He would liked to have watched that little scene, but felt that pulling up and turning to watch would be, somehow, unbecoming to his image.

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The horse was running as fast as it could, all fours flying through the air with rhythmic touch downs of his hoofs.

Jay lifted himself out of the saddle and aimed his gun at the three approaching men. The others had already passed them, distracting them momentarily. Two were turning their horses around to follow Thomas, Curly and Red. But the third one lifted his gun and stared right at Jay, who was approaching at rapid speed.

The only way was past him and it would be a matter of who was the better shot and Jay was well away that he wasn't the best, especially not whilst on horseback.

 

The Englishman waited as long as he could before he fired at the man, who was sitting on his horse in the middle of the dusty road, framed by buildings on each side.

The bullet missed its target but it hit the horse instead and made him neigh and rear up. The rider got bucked off and landed in the muddy, half frozen dirt.

 

In the blink of an eye Jay shot past him and was soon followed by the other two.

@Javia

 

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