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    • "Oh, certainly," Jonah agreed as he led the way to the kitchen, then motioned to the table there -- he wasn't in the mood for the formal dining room, and besides, that was too big and impersonal.  "He has far more experience and knowledge in the specifics to the area, and I'm sure he'd have good ideas."   He poured them both coffee, then sat across from her at the small table.  "And you are right, he has a stellar reputation, and many patients who respect him, so having him with us will give detractors more to have to push against."  And maybe he'd have some good ideas for what we need?"   @Flip
    • With a bit of content Jay watched the previously stand offish girl surrender to her fathers wishes. She made a nice bed for him on the floor, which seemed to be his place lately. Although Jay didn't mind sleeping there, he wouldn't mind a real bed for a change. Maybe he'd use some of his secret stash for a room at the saloon. "Thank you, Clara. I appreciate it. Those are nice blankets and I'm used to the ground. Slept there for a while now...in Adelaides barn where I worked before."   Looking around he asked. "May I use your bathroom, perhaps you could provide some warm water from.the kettle?"
    • Jay laughed out loud about her comment about her pipe cleaner legs. "That sound hilarious. I'm sure they are fine...let's try those legs of yours." He encouraged the girl by holding out his hand for a dance. "As a proper Englisman I know how to walz...do me the favour." Jay pulled took her hand and kept a proper distance when the turned and twisted around chairs and tables in the empty saloon. "I'd go to France anytime. Sounds like my kind of place." Again he laughed. Jay never expected to have such a good time on a fine afternoon as the only customer of an underage bartenderess. "So where is the actual owner really? Did you just make him up?" His tongue had gotten a little loose thanks to the tree shots of whiskey.  
    • "Give me a hand?" Jay took some rope out off his saddle bags to bind the animals legs together. "My horse can carry the deer." Then with Addys help hauled it up onto his horse. The fast motion jarred his side just a little too much making him hiss and hold on to the horn for a long moment until it subsided. "Damn...takes longer than I thought. When I'm healed, I'll be on my way, promise." He'd be sad to leave this winderful woman but it was better this way for her and his sake.     The deer would leave a trail behind them. "I hope we won't attract any bears and bring em to your doorstep."   Jay decided to lead the horse to a tree, that they'd cut down instead if riding.   He found a small but straight one and looked at the brunette on her horse.   "What do you say?"  
    • His body protested in every possible way when he sat up. It instantly made him dizzy but he needed to wake up and move a bit. His whole body was sore from laying around but the wound was the worst. It was inflamed and he had to press his hand against it in order to scoot to the corner of the bed and let his bare feet hang over the edge. "Yeah....and not in a good way." His face was still too warm and his body covered in old sweat. Why Addy was so kind to get close he didn't know but he enjoyed the touch of her hand. Briefly he reached for it and squeezed it  "Thank you, Addy. For taking care of me...I'm a stranger to you." Jay blinked a few times, briefly looked at the bandage that was smeared with something....not blood though, which was calming. "The cats?" He wiped his hand over his face. "Oh...the little kitten...where is she? Have you named her?"
Jay Ryker

Bang Bang - Flashback (Javia)

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Posted (edited)

Mature Content:  violence

Author: Jay

With: Jay, Thomas, Granny Miggins
Location: Granny Miggins home
When: Just before the storm hit 1875
 

 

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Desperation caused it. The gang was riding into a town that was known for trouble. Whitfield. A lot of people knew that name but it was the only town close by, that had a sheriff, who was crooked enough to be riding with them. He didn't. But he probably wouldn't put his life on the line to defend the 'good citizens', that were left in Whitfield. The place was half gone anyway.

Thomas and his men needed food and they were desperate to get their hands on enough cash to get them through the winter in some cheap rented rooms.

 

As usual Jay was keeping to the back but he had all eyes on him. There had been rumors that he was leeching off the others and not pulling his own weight. So when they hit the second home, he was the one who grabbed the silver wear, backhanded the elderly owner just enough to show him that he didn't stand a chance. "Stay down!" He commanded in a deep, rough voice.

The man whimpered, clearly hurt and afraid but complied. "Please don't hurt me more."

On his way out Jay grabbed a piece of dried meat, that set on the counter and hungrily shoved it in his mouth.

 

Outside he tossed the others the bag, who were satisfied with his performance for now. Above dark clouds were moving in and the wind had picked up, blowing snow against his face, like tiny icy thorns.

 

"That one!" The Englishman suggested, pointing to a small house on the side of the town where the road was leading away from it. It was small but well kept and it had curtains, a sign that the owner might not be poor.

 

"There are much nicer places in town. Big ole houses!" The red haired  right hand of Thomas shouted above the wind and gave Thomas a look, shaking his head. "English guys got no ba*ls!"

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Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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Outside he tossed the others the bag, who were satisfied with his performance for now. Above dark clouds were moving in and the wind had picked up, blowing snow against his face, like tiny icy thorns.

 

Sitting quietly on the lead horse, that pawed and sniffed at the snowy ground, snuffling for grass, the ‘noted highwayman’, he’d read that in a newspaper, the ‘noted highwayman, Thomas Gage Love' watched Red and Curly’s childlike delight as the weight of the gunny sack full of plate and candlesticks pulled down in their hands. He had an image of them in the Louvre or some such noted art gallery in Europe, leaving the Mona Lisa on the wall and carrying off the exit sign, because it was heavier. He didn’t even hate them. Wouldn’t even enjoy killing them. They were just boring. No, boring was too boring a word for them, there was a vacancy for a new word in the dictionary for those two.

 

“That stuff’s no good.” He announced tersely, raising his voice, which he hated to do, only enough to carry it over the scurrying snowy wind. “Somewhere with food and drink and cash, gentlemen.”

 

"That one!" The Englishman suggested, pointing to a small house on the side of the town where the road was leading away from it. It was small but well kept and it had curtains, a sign that the owner might not be poor.

 

He nodded. Good choice. Behind the makeshift mask his mouth smiled the faintest of smiles beneath his downy growth of whiskers, for there was a certain amount of pleasure to be drawn from the thought of what was about to happen to the innocent, unsuspecting folks behind that door: the door that English had singled out, like some benign God of Greek myth who does not realize that his merest touch will reduce a mortal to a pile of ashes.

 

“All right. Curly, go with English, we’ll keep look-see.” Red jumped off his horse too, to hold their horses’ reins and his own. Tom Love pulled his mask down and took a hit of the freezing air through his nostrils. This was slow. Sure, they needed food and drink and cash but … he could have carried on working in the office in Boston and got all that and more. He wasn’t sitting on a stolen horse in the freezing cold wind and snow in some shit-ass hole at the top of the Territories for a few swiped dollar bills, a slice of Aunt Mary’s homemade fruitcake and a bottle of home-brew.

 

The other two trudged toward the house like a pair of Christmas Carolers.

 

Curly was a coward. He would bitch to Red and Tom about the Englishman, but was all friendship to his face. Also, he was increasingly unnerved by their leader’s erratic behavior. As they approached the house which Ryker had singled out for their attentions, he shook his head as he cocked his Remington-Beals Revolver. “Tom’s acting a little strange lately English, don’t ya think? … me and Red, we’ve… we’ve both been talkin’ about it.”

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Jay had seen the look in Thomas' eyes when he declared that the silverware was no good. They were menacing, even more so when he was wearing a mask. For a second they had locked eyes but the Englishman never dared to hold his gaze. It was like a challenge, one he was certain he'd loose.

 

Pulling up his own bandana he complied and took Curly, whom he could not stand, to the other house. The guy was as dumb as they came. Nothing between the ears. A partner like that could easily get you shot, so he decided to make sure that Curly wouldn't say a word and stay behind him.

“Tom’s acting a little strange lately English, don’t ya think? … me and Curly, we’ve… we’ve both been talkin’ about it.”

 

Strange was an interesting choice of words. Excentric, egotistical, greedy would be more adequat. "I bet you put a whole lot of thought into that conversation." Jay mocked him.

 

The click of the revolver behind him, made him freeze in his tracks.

"You don't need that. Sneak around the back, look what you can see from the other side and then come back and tell me.", He told the other gangster.

Why would Thomas send an idi*t like this man with him? He surely wasn't any help.

 

Once Curly had disappeared around the corner, the Englishman quietly tip toed to the door. The snow silenced his every step and the wind did the rest.

First he craned his neck to peek in through the window.

 

Inside he could see an old woman standing with her back to him. Grey hair, up in bun and the posture gave it away. Noone else was in sight.

 

Out of nowhere a loud noise from the back of the house could be hear. "Dam*it, Curly!" Jay cursed and pressed his lips together, pulling his head away from the window.

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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Strange was an interesting choice of words. Excentric, egotistical, greedy would be more adequat. "I bet you put a whole lot of thought into that conversation." Jay mocked him.

 

Curly’s face fell a little, his attempt to talk to the Englishman resulting in a verbal slap in the face. “Well, No need to get personal!” he pouted. Oh well, this just confirmed his dislike of the foreigner. He got his revolver, ready for the raid on the house.

 

The click of the revolver behind him, made him freeze in his tracks.

"You don't need that. Sneak around the back, look what you can see from the other side and then come back and tell me.", He told the other gangster.

“Who died and put you in charge?” muttered the balding outlaw, but obeyed, none the less.

 

Once Curly had disappeared around the corner, the Englishman quietly tip toed to the door. The snow silenced his every step and the wind did the rest.

First he craned his neck to peek in through the window.

Inside he could see an old woman standing with her back to him. Grey hair, up in bun and the posture gave it away. Noone else was in sight.

 

Nellie didn’t live in the house, of course. Her home was a fortress-like homestead out on the range; she was visiting the Widow Jarvis with some chicken broth and chill tonic, what with her having taken poorly just lately. The widow was tucked up in bed and Nellie Miggins was in the kitchen, just preparing to light a different sort of range – the range in the kitchen on which she would warm up the soup.

 

Out of nowhere a loud noise from the back of the house could be hear. "Dam*it, Curly!" Jay cursed and pressed his lips together, pulling his head away from the window.

 

Curly, his gun in its holster, crashed through the back door, and blundered straight into the grandmotherly figure, who cursed to herself that she was nowhere near her gun. Quickly grabbing a vicious-looking toasting fork from the wall, she thrust it up and at Curly’s surprised face.

 

“Hold it right there yuh no good skunk! One more move and I’ll shove this thing so far up your ass that it’ll tickle yer tonsils!! Bust in on a harmless old lady would ya!? Why, I’ll a mind to frazzle yer fat backside on that there cookin’ hob!”

 

Little did she know that behind her, Jay had the drop on her, and could have shot the top of her quaintly bonneted head off at his ease.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Very carefully he pulled the wooden door open, which barely made a sound. Snow was blown inside when Jay entered like a cat with a big old 6 shot Dragoon. He had to pass through the living room to make it to the kitchen and decided to grab a pocket watch, that someone had place on a small table. His eyes scanned the place but it was as poor as it looked from the outside. Worn out furniture, some pictures, handmade quilts. So it would really come down to food.

 

While Curly was busy shouting at the grandma, Jay made his way to the kitchen. His face was hidden behind the bandana and the hat, which he'd almost drawn down to the bridge of his nose. Only some of the grown out blonde hair was visible.

 

The picture he stumbled upon was almost too precious to interrupt. He would have loved to see that fork get stuck in Curly's privates, who demandend. "Put that away and give me your jewelry...everything you got."

 

Jay cleared his throat behind her and made an annoyed 'tsk, tsk, tsk' sound. "Mam, it'll be much easier, if you cooperate. We'll be gone in a second and you won't be harmed. Would you lower that fork, please."

 

His eyes already darted to the stove because the great smell had made his mouth water.

 

To Curly he said. "Go on....see what you can find and if anyone else is in the house."

 

Then he moved around her, colt till aimed at her to shove a few pieces of bread in his pack, then some dried meat and pickled vegetable jars from the cupboard.

 

@Javia

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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The picture he stumbled upon was almost too precious to interrupt. He would have loved to see that fork get stuck in Curly's privates, who demandend. "Put that away and give me your jewelry...everything you got."

 

“Jewellery? JEWELLERY?! I ain’t got no damned jewellery, who d’ya think I am, the queen of Sheeba?!” barked the Septuagenarian, still holding the toasting fork up threateningly to Curly “And if I did I wouldn’t give it to you, y’ fat galoot!”

 

Jay cleared his throat behind her and made an annoyed 'tsk, tsk, tsk' sound. "Mam, it'll be much easier, if you cooperate. We'll be gone in a second and you won't be harmed. Would you lower that fork, please."

 

Granny Miggins turned on her heel and saw that she was outgunned and outflanked, she let out a choice expletive, and tossed the offensive weapon onto the table top. “Got the drop on me, eh?” she observed.

 

His eyes already darted to the stove because the great smell had made his mouth water.

 

“Hungry, eh?” Nellie concluded “Well, I’d a given you something to eat if you’d knocked on the door and asked polite!”

 

To Curly he said. "Go on....see what you can find and if anyone else is in the house."

 

“Oh, there’s just the Widow Jarvis upstairs" the elderly woman informed them "... she’s taken to her bed poorly. Doctor reckons it’s the cholera, highly contagious!” frowned the old lady “I wouldn’t go up there unless you’re fixin’ to catch it yerself. Why, a big fat fellow like you, you’d be dead in a week! It always affects the baity ones the worst!”

 

Curly visibly hesitated.

 

Then he moved around her, colt till aimed at her to shove a few pieces of bread in his pack, then some dried meat and pickled vegetable jars from the cupboard.

 

“Well, don’t pack it that a-way, y’ daft scallywag! You’ll spill half of that pickled stuff on your bread! Here, let Granny do it for ya!” the wiry old lady commanded, moving forward. She waved the nozzle of his colt out of her way. “And stop pointing that thing at me, you’re making me nervous!!”  To stop her progress toward the ill packed pack, he’d have to either shoot her or clobber her.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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When Curly heard something about an old woman upstairs, he knew there were treasures to be found. Old people had 'stuff' but then the word 'cholera' stopped him dead in his tracks. He had no idea whether the old lady was just telling him a lie or actually serious. But old ladies didn't lie now, did they? So he pursed his lips and raised his brows.

His eyes narrowed at her but then he decided to at least pretend that he was going upstairs and disappeared towards the stair case around the corner, which was close to the back door.

 

"See's foolin' you!" Jay called after him but then the woman pushed his gun to the side and urged him to give her his bag. His fingers curled around the fabric in his leather gloves but he was too surprised by her actions to push her away and didn't have the heart to shoot a woman, who wanted to help him.

 

Changing his plan he left the bag for her to rearrange and searched through the bottom cupboards.

"Hurry, lady. I don't have all day. There's a storm moving in."

Jay had to crouch down low to get to the cans on the bottom as well as some stored potatoes, which he handed to her.

 

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Changing his plan he left the bag for her to rearrange and searched through the bottom cupboards.

"Hurry, lady. I don't have all day. There's a storm moving in."

 

“Oh, don’t you worry, Granny knows what’s best. Best to pack it proper, nice and slow, than havin’ it all falling outta yer sack on the trail.” she advised with a kindly smile on her face, but when he turned away to check on what Curly was up to, and fetch more vittles, she scowled and let a dribble of spit fall on the bread rolls.

 

Jay had to crouch down low to get to the cans on the bottom as well as some stored potatoes, which he handed to her.

 

“Oh, you growing boys do eat and eat. You remind me just of my Grandson, he’s a handsome young feller just like you, you know. Oh, it does make me sad what some of you nice young fellers are forced into; it’s the times, I know, it’s the times. Not your fault really.” She rabbited on, buttering him up, and trying to remember if she’d loaded both barrels of her shot gun or just one.

 

“I only wish I had some money to give you boys, to help you on your way – oh, I know! How would you boys like to take along some of Granny’s ‘chill tonic’? Brewed it m’self. It’s pretty strong stuff, though.” She joked, giving Jay a conspiratorial wink. Hmm, the fat one would be easy to hit a mile off, but this skinny English one might be a harder target. Why, she hadn’t plugged an Englishman since 1812 – and her aim had improved since then, she reckoned.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Jay wasn't one for chatter and this old woman was talking too much for his taste. When she expressed her understanding, Jay briefly felt like she knew him very well . 

Oh, you growing boys do eat and eat. You remind me just of my Grandson, he’s a handsome young feller just like you, you know. Oh, it does make me sad what some of you nice young fellers are forced into; it’s the times, I know, it’s the times. Not your fault really.”

 

She understood what he was going through. Jay never wanted to be a criminal but it paid off. Enough food, a room and a big dream four all of them without any work.

 

“I only wish I had some money to give you boys, to help you on your way – oh, I know! How would you boys like to take along some of Granny’s ‘chill tonic’? Brewed it m’self. It’s pretty strong stuff, though.”

 

His eyes narrowed. Now it was obvious that she was solely trying to manipulate him, so he straightened his back, reached for the bag  and tore  it out of her old hands. "Give me that."

With an angry glare he added. "You can fool someone else, old lady."

 

Then he had another look around to see if there was anything else within easy reach. he'd already been in the house too long. The more time passed, the greated the chance of the sheriff being alerted.

 

"Curly, pack it up!" Jay hollered, unaware that the other bandit had already left the building through the back door.

 

Then he tipped his hat and turned around to head for the front door.

@Javia

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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His eyes narrowed. Now it was obvious that she was solely trying to manipulate him, so he straightened his back, reached for the bag and tore it out of her old hands. "Give me that."

 

She gave a yelp of surprise as the pack flew out of her hands.

 

With an angry glare he added. "You can fool someone else, old lady."

 

“Oh, don’t be that a-way!” she whimpered pathetically “I’m just a scared old Lady, tryin’ to pacify you ruffians. Wait ‘til you’re old and feeble and two big brutes come crashin’ into your house.”

 

"Curly, pack it up!" Jay hollered, unaware that the other bandit had already left the building through the back door.

 

One was called Curly and the other one was English. That might help the Sheriff, she ruminated. Pity that their masks made any further identification difficult. But she at least noted the color of their clothes and their hair as it peeped under their headgear.

 

Then he tipped his hat and turned around to head for the front door.

 

Nellie’s eyes narrowed, she would have run for the shotgun right away, but she wasn’t sure where the other varmint was. By the time she was sure that the fat one, with the bald patch which showed pink below the back of his hat, had gone too, she was almost too late.

 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 

Outside, Red was still standing by his horse, but now he was holding three sets of extra reins, instead of two. As Jay and, from somewhere, Curly trudged laden toward him in the snow, he gave a weary shrug.

 

"Tom's gone to set a house on fire." he explained, simply. 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Behind him the front door fell close with the force of his boot. Jay quickly trudged through the piling snow towards his horse, he spotted Curly, who was already there. "Why are you out here already? Did you even check upstairs?" He rolled his eyes and then took the reigns from Red.

"You can't tell me what to do,English." Curly pulled down his mask to scowl at the blonde.

"Set a house on fire?" Jay huffed as he mounted his horse, which was now considerably harder thanks to the heavy bag, he had slung across his shoulder. He didn't want to take the time to fill the saddle bags.

 

Red threw the reigns at Curly and laughed. "Yes, let's have a look. "

Both of them mounted their horses but Jay tried to hold them back. "That's useless, we have to leave this place before the sheriff shows up. Where is he?"

Behind a row of houses the Englishman could see a dark cloud traveling into the sky, which showed him where to look.

@Javia

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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Both of them mounted their horses but Jay tried to hold them back. "That's useless, we have to leave this place before the sheriff shows up. Where is he?"

 

Behind a row of houses the Englishman could see a dark cloud traveling into the sky, which showed him where to look.

 

Tom came running over the snow a few seconds later, making a strange dragging lope in the clinging snow, but with a look of feverish delight written all over his face. In the effort of running, he’d pulled down his mask as he struggled to get some of the freezing air into his consumptive lungs. He was panting as he scrambled to mount his horse, which was almost camouflaged against the white surroundings. Once on, he took a big gulp of air, and informed them happily that the house that he had chosen for his conflagratory attentions had “Gone up like kindling!”

 

To tell the truth, the effort of running around in the snow had pooped him out, but the sight of an old lady skedaddling out of the house that English and Curly had just raided, and aiming a two-bore shotgun at them, gave him a much needed boost of energy.

 

“Hey, English, your girlfriend’s here!” he shouted and struggled to get the Tranter out of the canvas holster on his left hip, for Love was far from being a quick-draw artiste, and the bulky revolver with its queer double trigger system required a cumbersome sheath to house it.

 

The old lady had planned to kill the fat one first, but the sight of that lime-sucking Englishman who had rejected the home-brewed ‘chill tonic’ , of which she was so proud, filled her with a sudden ire, and she took aim at him instead.

 

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Jay wasn't sure whether the words  dislike or annoyance still cut it. Thomas' antiques had become so hazardous that he feared he was only out to make himself a name as the biggest 'bast*rd' around, which automatically dragged the whole gang down with him.

In this case the fire might be the perfect distraction for an easy get away, though, so the Englishman remained quiet.

 

He had no idea who Thomas meant by 'girl friend' because the last girl, he'd been with certainly wasn't a friend anymore. So he turned around and his eyes widened as he saw the old fragile lady swinging a rifle that was so heavy, that it could have made her tip over.

The barrel was aimed at no other than him. Instinctively he pulled his own Colt from his belt.

Jay didn't think the 70 year old would actually have the guts to pull the trigger but boy, oh boy, was he wrong. Before he could react the shot rang out and bit him in the flank.

His body reacted by flexing every muscle, which didn't help Jay's aim.

When his horse stopped flinching Jay had the perfect opportunity for a shot while the old woman had to reload her rifle. He aimed. A beat and....nothing. Their eyes connected but for some strange reason he did not have the heart to shoot her.

Instead he yanked on the rains, turned his horse around and forced it into a fast gallop. The saddle sank deep and he held on to the animal pushing his legs together as much as he could right now.

 

The heavy snow soon made him invisible.

 

@Javiahttps://charlie-hunnam.net/imgs/albums/PROJECTS/FILM/2003%20-%20Cold%20Mountain/Caps/073.jpg

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The old granny’s attempt to shoot Jay raised a short barking laugh from Tom, but Red and Curly didn’t stick around to hear the other barrel fire. The leader of the pack had his Tranter Adams revolver in his hand by now but, like Ryker, didn’t fire on her, although, unlike the Englishman, it wasn’t out of any kind of maudlin soft-heartedness, it was more respect for the tough old dame.

 

When she raised her second barrel to Love, he braced himself and touched the front of his hat with the barrel of his own gun in salute. Offer him all the pretty blondes and brunettes and flaming redheads and yeller girls in the world, right now this wizened old biddy with the snow white thatch was the only girl for him. It was too long a shot with her reading glasses on and she lowered the barrel to take out his horse. When Love saw that, he giddiupped Snowflake forward with a heartfelt cry of “Sonofabitch!” and instinctively ducked at the report of the gun somewhere behind him.

 

That was his kind of a woman!

 

He caught up with Ryker and hollered to him. “Did you see that ol’ girl, Jay?” there was something disturbingly intimate about his use of his Christian name when the gang usually just called him ‘English’. “Wasn't she just a caution?!” he grinned under his mask. “But you don’t seem to be enjoying yerself, what’s ailin’ ya?” he asked.

 

“You wantin’ that we should rustle up some women before we head out of this sorry looking hole?” he asked in all sincerity. He personally disliked women as a species almost as much as he disliked dogs, dentists and Sundays, but he would put up with one or two if it made Jay happier in his work. But then he noticed the way that the Englishman was holding himself.

 

"Oh!" he said, rather matter-of-factly "Did she plug ya?"

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Thomas was very taken with the old lady. Jay had to admit that she was astounding but his leaders enthusiasm made him shudder and put pictures in his head that he wasn't fond of.

 

 “You wantin’ that we should rustle up some women before we head out of this sorry looking hole?” 

 

Usually Jay wouldn't be opposed to the idea of having some fun with a few ladies but right now he was too riled up.

 

Outside the town in a safe distance he stopped and slid off his horse because he could not bare the pain anymore.

The bottom of his shirt was wet with blood, which made him curse. A bullet wound was the last thing he needed, especially with a doctors visit being impossible.

"Oh!" he said, rather matter-of-factly "Did she plug ya?"

"Damn right..." He growled and pulled off his gloves to open his sheep skin coat and lift the shirt and vest. 

The damage done didn't seem so bad because the small hole was close to his hip in his abs and nowhere close to any vital organs.

"Did it go through?"

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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The damage done didn't seem so bad because the small hole was close to his hip in his abs and nowhere close to any vital organs.

 

"Did it go through?"

 

The other man shook his head: not so much to say ‘no’ as ‘who knows?’.

 

Red and curly had disappeared in the oncoming snow, which reflected the dying rays of the sunken Winter Sun to an extent, but not enough to see the wound properly. Tom reined up Snowflake and swung himself out of the saddle, pulling her behind him as he stomped though the white powder to where Jay stood examining his wound. In the strange gloaming light, the blood that was fast staining his clothes looked more black than red. To Tom it looked like a growing pool of death on Jay’s body.

 

“Let’s get in that barn and find a lamp.” the more murderous outlaw suggested “Can’t see shit out here.” he observed. Yes, there was a chance that there was a posse behind then, but Tom doubted it: the combination of the snow storm that was clearly brewing and the house he had set on fire were probably more than enough to keep the degenerate denizens of Whitefish busy for the moment.

 

The wind was so chill now and so biting fierce, that it was necessary to keep their bandanas over their faces and made it hard to speak. Tom clapped his hat down onto his head as a new gust of wind, more freezing and vigorous that all the rest had been, tried to send it sailing back into Whitefish. The Barn looked like it was connected to the type of swing station used by stagecoach lines. Either way, a couple of kicks gained them access to the barn and Tom looked for a lantern, which was hard to do without the aid of a lantern.

 

Most people needed a lamp when they first entered a darkened room, and Love figured that there would be lamps hanging by nails by the door, and he was not far wrong. Lighting the wick with a lucifer was tricky with his cold-numbed fingers, but he eventually managed it and brought it over to Jay.

 

He held it up solicitously to examine the wounds of the man who, only a few weeks ago, had punched him square in the face and sent him flying through the air to land seat down in a freezing cold stream. The paths of men were never straight, it seemed.

 

“Shit” frowned Tom, “It ain’t too bad, but I’d better try an’ get that pellet out that’s stuck there in the skin.” Red, a relic of the war, had taught him some about wounds and how certain little looking things could fester and, after a week or so, turn green and gangrenous and kill you in horrible agony.

 

“You trust good ol’ Tom to stick a knife in you a little ways, don’t ya English?” he asked with a wicked grin on his sallow pockmarked face. It wasn’t the best of bedside manners.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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It was impossible to climb back on the horse and walking was equally painful right now. Jay was getting a little light headed and the storm caused only disorientation and chill. So he complied. The barn seemed like their best option right now and the snow storm would cover their tracks.

 

As Thomas, who was unusually helpful right now, almost as if he cared, 'opened' the door for them and the found a lantern, Jay stood by the door and leaned heavily against it. The only warmth he could feel right now was the throbbing in his side.

 

Finally the lamp was lit and they could walk inside and get a look at the damage done. The light gave the  illusion of warmth on top of it.

 

Jay sat down on a stack of hay, pulled off his gloves and grabbed the lamp to get a look himself. The  hole in his front looked small but even if he craned his neck, he could not see an exit wound on his back, which should have been much bigger.

"Fuc*in' Hel*!" He cursed loudly.

thumb_0632.jpg

“Shit” frowned Tom, “It ain’t too bad, but I’d better try an’ get that pellet out that’s stuck there in the skin.”

 

Was this true concern or sadistic payback? Whatever it was, Jay knew that Thomas was right because he had heard stories about men, who got nasty infections and lost arms and legs due to small bullet wounds. If a doctor was unavailable, the next best thing was to try and get a slug out and burn away the bacteria. Neither sounded good. To think that the bastard, who loved seeing others in trouble, would have his hands in it, made Jay loose his cool.

"I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, Thomas."

What choices did he have?

"You'll do it and you'll be careful."

In a heartbeat his gun was against the other man's head. "You got that? See how much of a coward I am now."

 

 

@Javia

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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"I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, Thomas."

 

Tom grinned. “Well, six weeks ago you threw me in a creek.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife. It wasn’t some impressive half-sword of the type Jim Bowie had been waving around back in the '30s, it was just a plain old pocket pen knife.

 

Red had told him to heat the knife up before sticking it in the wound, to try and cauterize it and stop further bleeding. Unbeknownst to him, in this day and age, this also had an invisible knock-on effect of sterilizing the blade. Tom took the glass cover off the lantern and played the blade of the little knife at the hottest part of the flame, just above the ‘point’.

 

“I’m doing this, so it hurts more” he jested, grimly, and grinned his cocky grin. It was endemic to his face. He couldn’t help it.

 

"You'll do it and you'll be careful." in a heartbeat his gun was against the other man's head. "You got that? See how much of a coward I am now."

 

“If I were you, I’d put that thing away.” Frowned Tom, taking off his hat, his straw like hair falling over his face. He pushed it aside impatiently. “More nervous you make me, the more likely I am to hurt you.” He reasoned. He looked about the place, and then pointed to space on the floor.

 

“Lie down there and sort of brace yourself against that beam. And find something to bite on, I reckon this is going to sting like the Devil.” He said, trying to convince himself he knew what he was doing by sounding confident in his orders to Jay. He knelt down next to the injured man and inspected the area where Nellie Miggins' buckshot had peppered the Englishman’s side. He pulled his shirt fully open and tugged Jay’s waistband below the line of his loins to make sure he wasn’t missing any lower hits. Where the pellets hadn’t hit, the flesh was white, in juxtaposition to the more tanned skin of his face and arms.

 

Tom gulped, sweat beading on his forehead: he was getting the same feeling that he got when he was about to rob a bank or a mail coach or … or that he would get, when they went south and did a railroad train job.  “All right… hold on to me.” He ordered Jay as he put his own free hand flat on the flesh around the main wound. The skin was hot compared to the frigid cold air around them. He left it there for a few seconds, breathing heavily, no doubt with the tension of having to make the cut.

 

“Ready?” he panted.

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“I’m doing this, so it hurts more”

He knew better than to believe his provocative words. He had seen doctors do the same back home in England.

Jay watched him turn his small knife in the flame and wondered why on earth Thomas had to be his ONLY choice. If the spot wasn't so inconvenient, he'd do it himself.

 

 

“If I were you, I’d put that thing away.” Frowned Tom, taking off his hat, his straw like hair falling over his face. He pushed it aside impatiently. “More nervous you make me, the more likely I am to hurt you.”

Tom wasn't a handsome guy, nor did he have a good character. No wonder no one ever loved or respected him. Seeing him almost made Jay feel sorry for him...almost. Right now he was more willing to commit his first murder than pity him.

Yet he lowered his gun because making a man nervous, who was about to retrieve a bullet from your flesh with a pocket knife was probably a bad idea. It never left his hand though when he lowered himself onto some straw.

“Lie down there and sort of brace yourself against that beam. And find something to bite on, I reckon this is going to sting like the Devil.”

He rolled over to his side exposing the injured side. The beam was hard and cold against his back but he was not going to silence himself with some piece of wood to bite on.

When Thomas cold fingers touched him an unpleasant jolt ran through him. Fear. Not only would this hurt like hell, he also didn't know what the guys intention was.

His chest became tight as he tried to control his breathing. There wasn't much he could do to calm down though. He wanted to tell Thomas to stop but what then? The wound might not stop bleeding and he'd be dead before nightfall.

 

To get undressed by a man and have him pull his pants low was nerve wrecking on a whole different level. "What the heck are you doin'? There aren't any more."

 

“Ready?” he panted.

 

Jay took a deep breath to somehow ready himself for what was about to happen, he wanted to close his eyes and relax but he was on edge...actually over the edge. He felt the adrenaline all the way to the finger tips when he said. "Do it."

Of course not even a second later, he back paddled. "No, wait!" He groaned loudly. "Do you know what you're doing?"

Their eyes connected for the first time in ages. Usually Jay avoided looking the man, that he despised so much, in the eye.

Sweat had formed on Toms forehead and Jays blue eyes were filled with horror.

"You need me. Remember that." He was trying to remind Tom, that he was the only one who could open the safe of a bank, that he was planning to hit the next summer. None of the others had his black smith skills or intelligence.

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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Jay took a deep breath to somehow ready himself for what was about to happen, he wanted to close his eyes and relax but he was on edge...actually over the edge. He felt the adrenaline all the way to the finger tips when he said. "Do it."

 

Tom nodded and readied the blade.

 

Of course not even a second later, he back paddled. "No, wait!" He groaned loudly.

 

The other man cursed and held back his hand. “Will you make your mind up?!” he hissed.

 

"Do you know what you're doing?"

 

“I don’t know yet.” replied Tom “Ask me again in five minutes when I’m done!” He didn’t look like he was kidding either. “Look, we either do this now, or my next job’ll be on a flower shop so we can get some white lilies.” he joked, but he wasn’t smiling, his face was tense and dead set.

 

Their eyes connected for the first time in ages. Usually Jay avoided looking the man, that he despised so much, in the eye.

 

Sweat had formed on Toms forehead and Jays blue eyes were filled with horror.

 

“Come on” Tom ordered tersely, his commanding manner was compromised only by the way his strangely soft hazel eyes meet Jay’s steely blue glare. “Just count to a hundred and it’ll all be over.” he advised.

 

"You need me. Remember that." He was trying to remind Tom, that he was the only one who could open the safe of a bank, that he was planning to hit the next summer. None of the others had his black smith skills or intelligence.

 

“Bite that strap.” Love barked, not replying to Ryker’s assertion. Yes, he did need him… for  bank safes and blacksmith duties, of course. Yep. That was why he needed him in the gang. Sure.

 

“Here goes”

 

Tom approached the side of the pellet with the knife too gingerly, it just nicked the other man and he naturally recoiled in pain. “Sorry.” It wasn’t word that the ‘Notorious Highwayman Thomas Gage Love’ said that frequently, and it tasted strangely on his tongue.

 

He adjusted the position of the lamp on the floor beside them to get better light, pressed down on the area to achieve a tautness of the flesh around the wound, and this time dug in with a vengeance. He shut off his ears to Jay's noise and just stared at the pellet as he dug down and fished out the small but potentially deadly metal slug, which was bigger than it had looked on the surface. He felt like he was in a trance as he flipped it to the side, quickly reheated the knife and pressed it against the wound that he had, by necessity made bigger. It didn’t hiss like he expected it to.

 

He now found himself embarrassingly unemployed, lying across the half naked, recumbent Jay, holding him down against the agony of the impromptu operation, the pair of them panting like they had just run a mile and a half.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“I don’t know yet.” replied Tom “Ask me again in five minutes when I’m done!” He didn’t look like he was kidding either. “Look, we either do this now, or my next job’ll be on a flower shop so we can get some white lilies.” he joked, but he wasn’t smiling, his face was tense and dead set.

 

What sounded like a joke was the hard truth, unfortunately. So Jay had to put his faith in a man, who he did not trust, like or respect. At least he knew that Thomas usually got what he set his mind to. Hopefully it was the right thing.

 

“Come on” Tom ordered tersely, his commanding manner was compromised only by the way his strangely soft hazel eyes meet Jay’s steely blue glare. “Just count to a hundred and it’ll all be over.” he advised.

The man's voice sounded somewhat encouraging, giving Jay the needed motivation to give him a nod.

He knew this would hurt much more than the high velocity projectile and he somehow needed to find some confidence and strength.

 

“Here goes”

Jay could feel Thomas cutting and digging with desperation. For a few seconds he held back the groan but when he pulled it out again and searched for better light, the Englishman started panting and cursing.

Yet he had to endure a second round of deeper digging, which almost send him over the edge. he tried to hold still as long as possible but eventually flinched away until Thomas put his own weight on the length of his body, which felt strangely comforting. Like the weight could ease the pain and allowed him to focus on the spots where his body connected with the hard frozen ground of the barn.

 

Behind him something was rustling in the hay making him turn his head for a brief moment to see two gleaming eyes looking at him from the dark.

 

As Tom finally dug out the slug and showed it to Jay he become light headed. His face was contorted in a horrible grimace and when the gangster cauterized the wound he started whimpering but only for a few seconds before he blacked out.

 

It didn't take longer than a minute. Jay could still feel that weight on him and he could smell Jays sweat. His eyes fluttered open. With a now blank expression he looked at the man, who was mere inches from his face.

 

All he knew was that it was done and the bullet was out. Thomas had actually helped him.  Yet, he couldn't get himself to thank the man.

 

 

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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Tom had done good things before, he was just a little rusty at it. Why, when he was a little boy, he’d been a golden haired, innocent little angel. Everybody thought that he was just the prettiest and nicest little thing. All except the old woman who lived at the end house on their neat brick Bostonian street. She was a witch of sorts, he reckoned, and whether through some supernatural agency, or simply because she recognized another soul of the same stamp, she could often be caught giving him a knowing stare; and one time, when he’d been standing outside in his fancy knickerbockers and straw hat she had passed close enough to cackle within his hearing: “He he he. You can fool all of them other blind folks boy, but you can’t fool me, you be one of the Devil’s own!”

 

But he’d just done a good thing now, hadn’t he? Not out of show, or pretense, or because society demanded it, just because it was a good thing that needed doing. Yeah, a good shining thing among all the bad. But he hadn’t, had he? As he lay on top of the unconscious Jay, it came to him why he had helped him, why he had put up with him and his weak ways all this time. Tom dared himself to put his face closer, just a little closer to Jay’s, their lips only inches apart.

 

Then the patient’s eyes opened and Tom jumped back. He knew, and he suspected that Jay knew too, what had nearly just happened. Love scrambled to his feet.

 

“There, you’re all fixed now!” he declared, his throat dry, his voice just a little too strident. “Guess now I’ve fixed you, you don’t need me, you could shoot me with that gun if you wanted.” He indicated the colt with which the Englishman had threatened him before, and which still lay close at hand on the ground.

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Jay was busy getting his eyes to focus after the blackness was replaced by a proper image again. Thomas face so up close helped to focus fast. He could feel the mans hot breath on his face. The way the gang leader looked at him before he scrambled to his feet, was strange to say the least.

Nothing really made sense. Not Love's expression, his high pitched voice or the fact that he had actually been helpful.

The man, who loved killing others for no reason, had possibly saved his life. But why? Was this was Jay suspected it was? Had he taken some weird, twisted liking to him? Jays eyes narrowed as he drew a labored breath.

 

“There, you’re all fixed now!” he declared, his throat dry, his voice just a little too strident. “Guess now I’ve fixed you, you don’t need me, you could shoot me with that gun if you wanted.” He indicated the colt with which the Englishman had threatened him before, and which still lay close at hand on the ground.

 

"You know me better than that." His own voice was strained and slow. Maybe that's what Thomas actually liked about him. He was his counter part.

Jay wasn't even aware that the Colt was still in his fingers so he dropped it and attempted to sit up. That was a mistake of course.

Pressing his hand against the wound he found the strength to get to an upright position and have a look at Tom's work.

It was an ugly sight because he had actually made it bigger and burnt the crap out of it. Jay winced at the sight of it.  "I need a clean cloth or something."

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It was an ugly sight because he had actually made it bigger and burnt the crap out of it. Jay winced at the sight of it.  "I need a clean cloth or something."

 

“What, you want me to wipe your ass now? You shit yerself?!” barked Tom, being even more aggressive and unreasonable than ever before, and it was in such stark contrast to the unusual care he had been taken of the lightly wounded Englishman a mere second ago. His mouth didn’t know what his hands were doing, though, because he pulled out a reasonably clean white silk kerchief and threw it in ball like in Jay’s direction. It gave the impression that he almost didn’t dare approach the recumbent gang member.

 

Love stood confused, panting in the cold air of the barn, puffing the smoke-like condensation from his mouth like the steam from the stack of that mail train they were going to hit next year. Right after they pulled the perfect bank job. Kalispell. Yes, that was something to hold on to, he managed to regain his old self again.

 

He was walking out backwards now, staring at Jay with … what was that? Fear? Hate? Or something neither of them had a word for?

 

“Meet us at the Meeting Place, First day of Spring. And if you ain’t there, I’m gonna find ya and I’m gonna finish what I should have finished before…”

 

He got to the door.

 

“… and I’m a better shot than the old lady.”

 

With that, he was gone.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Thomas Love was a mystery. Neither his actions nor his emotions were possible to grasp. First he helped Jay and really seemed to care, just to ridicule him and throw a tissue at him the next second. 

 

From hos position on the hay Jay could see how helpless Love looked right now. Jay did not have the energy or will to find out why but he had a faint idea what was causing the mood swings and why he even kept the Englisman around.

 

While he was not so sure himself that he wanted  to see the man again, he pressed the handkerchief against his side, the he stood up. His shirt unbuttoned and pants almost  as low as Thomas had pushed them must have added to the sudden anger outburst.

Jays blood dropped to his feet and caused a dizzy spill, so he sat back down. 

 

If the wound wasn't getting infected Jay would not stick around. He had long wanted to leave the gang but hadn't found a way out. 

 

He wasn't going to share that information, though.

“Meet us at the Meeting Place, First day of Spring. And if you ain’t there, I’m gonna find ya and I’m gonna finish what I should have finished before…”

 

"I doubt it." Jay simply stated. He had every reason to believe that Thomas had different plans.

 

He watched him retreat but before he vanished, Jay had to tell him. "Thank you." 

 

From now on he'd be on his own, far farcaway from Whitefish. Neither Thomas nor the sheriff would find him.

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About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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