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Sagas of the Wild West
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Work for Food and Board


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Mature Content: No

Author: Wayfarer

With: Aurelian and Wyatt Redmond, Jay Ryker
Location: Kalispell Main Street
When: Early Jan. 1876
Time of Day: Late morning

 

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Aurelian had brought both his riding horse and the old plow horse into town on this brisk but sunny day. The roads weren't clear enough of snow yet to bring his buckboard into town from the farm - he certainly wouldn't want it to get stuck.  So he and Wyatt shared his horse and the plow horse was an addition to help carry supplies and such. His excursion into town had started with a trip to the General Store where he purchased a few needed foodstuffs like flour and beans. That reminded him next growing season he should plant beans of his own. 

 

Now it wasn't exactly a purchase in the usual money sort of way but instead he had bartered with the storekeep by providing him with some of his farm products, preserved in jars so the merchant could sell those to other customers.  He did use some of his scant cash though to buy some nails for a necessary repair project. He was not looking forward to it but it could not wait til spring. Last of all he purchased a pair of horseshoes, reluctantly passing on having the blacksmith handle the issue with his mount. He thought he could remove the old shoes and put on the new ones and save himself the expense.

 

As he and Wyatt were attending to the last minute adjusting of the packs on the plow horse, one of the horse shoes fell out of the canvas sack and clanked onto the boardwalk. He glanced at his son.

 

"Kindly pick that up, will ya?" he politely requested.

 

"Sure, Pa," Wyatt started to pull off his mittens so he could better grasp the horse shoe once he bent over.

 

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@Jack

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Guest Jack

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Addy had been very kind to him and given him a roof and food while he couldn't really work. Jay knew that he'd better make himself useful if he ever wanted to get a foot on the ground as an honest man. Today he was walking around town to get to know the place and its people better.

The collar of his old woolen jacket was pulled up high. The air was still fresh but clean and smelled a little sweet from the small bakery. His mouth was watering but there was a smile tugging on his lips. Jay liked this little town.

 

When one of the men nearby dropped a horseshoe on the sidewalk next to him, the Englisman was quick to pick it up and hand it to the boy after briefly looking at it. "Did you make that?"

It surely didn't look very professional.

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Before the boy could bend down to pick it up, a passer by beat him to it. Wyatt looked up at the tall bearded man who then promptly handed him the shoe.

 

"Did you make that?"

 

Wyatt didn't know if the man was actually serious? Him make a horseshoe? Why his Pa couldn't even make one!

 

"No sir," he shook his head.

 

Aurelian had no idea who the man was - certainly no local he had seen before though there were quite a few ex-Whitefish folk now in Kalispell. Besides, he didn't know everyone in the town, him spending most of his time on his farm.

 

"We bought that from the blacksmith shop. Reasonable price too," he answered the man with a smile.

 

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Guest Jack

Behind the kid was a man of perhaps 40 years, not much older than Jay himself, who answered for the boy.

Jay couldn't believe that the local blacksmith actually sold work like this. He scratched his beard and briefly remarked. "I hope you didn't pay too much, it's too thick." His British accent instantly came through no matter how much he tried to hide it.

As soon as the words left his mouth he regretted saying something. He shouldn't talk bad about a man, he didn't know. Perhaps he was old or had lost a finger.

"For this horse?" He looked down to see the bare hoof. If they put it on now, the animal would only go sliding on the icy ground right now.

"Is the local black smith good?" He tried his best to mask his error. "Maybe he needs some help. I'm looking for work."

 

 

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The man suddenly set forth his opinion about the horseshoe and it's relative worth. As if he was some sort of expert? Aurelian noticed the accent but that had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

 

"Too thick?" he examined the object himself, it's not like he had not dealt with such things before, why he had been in cavalry during the war. But that said, it still didn't make him an authority on their making and specifications. Looked alright to him though.

 

"For this horse?"

 

"Yes," Aurelian was beginning to get a bit defensive about all this but it took a lot to rile him up.

 

Now the man was asking about the blacksmith and his work including whether there might be a possibility of him being hired, it seemed he was looking for work.

 

"Well, I think you had better take it up with the blacksmith himself on that matter? I can hardly make such decisions for him. However it might be good for you to know that he has a son in his early twenties I believe who is his assistant and will probably end up inheriting the business," Aurelian smiled, he was confident about what he said because the smith told him all this himself in casual conversation.

 

"Pa, he could put on our shoes though, right?" Wyatt suddenly blurted out, meaning the stranger of course.

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Judging by the look on his face the stranger wasn't pleased with Jay's comments about the horse shoe. His voice was firm when he replied about the local blacksmith telling jay that he probably had been rude to criticize the mans work.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude to your local blacksmith. I'm a blacksmith as well. Therefore I have a very trained eye. Forgive me."

He was trying to remember his British upbringing and good manours.

 

"Pa, he could put on our shoes though, right?" Wyatt suddenly blurted out, meaning the stranger of course.

 

"If you wanted me to, I could." Jay  nodded hoping to please the farmer. "No charge, of course."

this was a stretch for him because he didn't really have much himself. Getting on the locals good side was more important though.

"I've come here with all the people from Whitefish and don't have a lot to do right now."

@Wayfarer

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"Ahh, blacksmith from Whitefish, huh? Sorry for you folks, that was quite a disaster," Aurelian softened immediately.

 

"Does everyone in Whitefish speak like you?" Wyatt was suddenly curious.

 

Aurelian frowned, "Wyatt, do not be rude. Sorry, he normally knows better."

 

Wyatt also had blurted out an idea of his for the newcomer to shoe the horse and before Aurelian could assure the man the boy was again out of place, he answered.

 

"If you wanted me to, I could." Jay  nodded hoping to please the farmer. "No charge, of course."

 

Wyatt grinned, "See, Pa!"

 

Aurelian paused before speaking, "Well, if I do agree, I do believe your work should be compensated somehow afterall. How about if you do the job, we feed you a nice dinner. I have a good cook, I assure you."

 

"Yeah, not me!" Wyatt added with amusement.

 

@Jack

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Of course the man had assumed that Jay was from Whitefish, which was incorrect. However convenient that assumption might be, he needed to correct it.

"I was just looking for my uncle there. I'm originally from a land called the United Kingdom of Great Britain. I doubt anyone else in Whitefish would speak like me."

Now that he had put his own 'half fake' history on the table, he thought about the offer, that was presented to him.

A bit of work in return for a nice meal didn't sound so bad. Then he would not have to rely on Addys good will and wouldn't eat the food, she needed herself.

The man obviously didn't have a lot of money if he offered food for work and bought cheap horseshoes.

"That sounds like a fair offer to me, sir." Jay accepted.

"I'll go get my own horse and follow you. I assume you have the right tools at your homestead?"

It had been ages since he had actually done decent work instead of simply taking things with the gang and Jay had no tools with him.

 

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Wyatt listened to the man's place of origin then piped out eager to show his grasp of history (Clara pounded that kind of thing into him enough afterall), "Oh sure, the British. We beat you guys in the Revolution then in the ....umm, oh yeah, War of 1812."

 

"It was a bit more complicated than that, son," Aurelian tutted.

 

The man accepted the offer though which delighted Wyatt, who grinned, "Bully for you!"

 

Anything new at the farm was exciting in his opinion. The man just need to get his horse and ask about tools.

 

"Yes, I have some farrier's tools but no forge or bellows, nothing to make horseshoes, as you well know that's a lot more complicated," Aurelian answered.

 

"You know we really should do introductions before we go any further. I'm Aurelian Redmond and I have a farm a few miles outside of town. This here is my son, Wyatt. And I also have a daughter back home, she is the cook I mentioned."

 

He held out his hand for a shake then too.

 

@Jack

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Wyatt listened to the man's place of origin then piped out eager to show his grasp of history (Clara pounded that kind of thing into him enough afterall), "Oh sure, the British. We beat you guys in the Revolution then in the ....umm, oh yeah, War of 1812."

 

"It was a bit more complicated than that, son," Aurelian tutted.

 

He pressed his lips together at the reminder how his countrymen had been defeated. Not a pleasant thought. "Your pa is right. There's more to it. Every war has a lot of different stories and ideas behind it."

 

"Yes, I have some farrier's tools but no forge or bellows, nothing to make horseshoes, as you well know that's a lot more complicated," Aurelian answered.

 

"You know we really should do introductions before we go any further. I'm Aurelian Redmond and I have a farm a few miles outside of town. This here is my son, Wyatt. And I also have a daughter back home, she is the cook I mentioned."

 

He held out his hand for a shake then too.

"Pleased to make your acquaintance. My name is Jay...Ryker." he hesitated only for a second whilst considering whether to give him his real name. Since his name had never been printed in any papers, unlike Thomas Love's, and noone knew who he really was, he decided to be honest.

Jay shook the man's hand first, then his son's.

"I'll get my horse from the general store. Give me a moment."

With that he hurried away as quickly as his healing wound allowed it and grabbed the horses' reigns from the ground. The animal had been trained not to move from it's spot whenever the leather reigns were falling onto the ground, which was a general technique but also very handy to get away fast. This way Jay didn't have to untie the Paint before he rode off.

 

He returned in the saddle, that also had two large pockets with his belongings and a blanket rolled up behind it. Like so many men he wore a gun belt on his hip and a thick woolen coat, that Addy had given him to fend off the cold and snow.

 

"I'll follow you!"

 

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