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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

Not The Best Day


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Mature Content: Add yes, no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence).

With: Pronto, Speed, Santee and, Banister
Location: Lickskillet Diner, Residence In Kalispell.
When: December 23, 1875
Time of Day: Morning on.

 

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Breakfast at the Lickskillet Diner sounded like a good idea, of course, he thought that just about every morning and, cold or not it wasn’t that far up the street that a man couldn’t walk there if he was a mind to. He was dressed for it, and he’d just catch Pronto at breakfast before he started in helping Missus Blakesely.  So out of the office and up the street he went.


The door of the diner was open, so he walked in, taking off his hat and heavy coat, hung them on one hook as the early birds would be close behind him. Emeline Blakesleys cooking was well known to the locals.


“Marshal.” Pronto greeted, “Have a sit.”  He got up went to the stove an poured a cup for Guyer.


“Mornin’ Pronto.” He greeted with a smile, not a grin, but a smile. “Got Case Steelgrave overt the Flathead Valley Sheriff's Office resting up, now that would be something was he to get himself elected County Sheriff, wouldn’t it?” Pronto about dropped his fork at the idea of it. Em appeared and took Speeds order then hurried off to cook it when Guyer leaned forward and said quietly, “like you to be my Deputy come Spring. Think on it.”


Pike just sort of stared at Speed, not knowing what to make of a man that would start out his day fooling a body like that. One thing to josh about a Steelgrave as County Sheriff, quite another to offer him a badge.


Speed leaned back having the look of the cat who ate the canary. “Folks are getting settled in wherever there’s room, and most are helping out any way they can. Proud of this town and how they showed up, and are helping out. I heard Miss Steelgrave rented every vacant room in town, and, get this, opened her accounts at the General Store and Mercantile for them folks too. Damned if that makes any sense, but can’t fault her for doing it.”


“I know’d she was sortta her own woman.” Pike responded, not surprised based on what he’s heard of her recently. And word had reached Pronto that the woman in question wanted to meet with him for a business proposition. The idea of it didn’t sit all that well with him. It smelled like gun trouble in the worst way, and that was something he wanted to fight shy of. Deputy or not. Kalispell was a quiet town for the most part.


“Welp, best git to it, like to have the first dish of the day mine. Easier ta swoller that way.” Pronto said, standing up. “I’ll do thet Marshal, I truly will.” And into the kitchen he went.

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The Day Ain't Over Yet...

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It was the lull that happens most days between breakfast and dinner. Of course, the last couple days saw the lull as a very short break, but on this day the place was all but empty by ten in the morning.

 

It gave Pronto and Em time to have a cup of coffee, it was then that two men entered the diner, two men Pike recognized immediately, they were the Steelgrave woman’s men. They wre looking directly at ham as the approached the table. 

 

“Ma’am.” The one called Bannister said as he removed his hat. The other one removed his hat as well. Neither remover their coats or gloves.

 

“Mister Pike, Miss Leah Steelgrave would like to talk to you.” The one known as Santee informed him. “Ma’am, we’ll have him back before dinner.”

 

“Just a parlay Pike, there’ll be no trouble if that’s what yer thinkin’.” Bannister offered.

 

Pronto looked at his guns hanging on a peg, then to Emeline as calmly as humanly possible.

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          Santee                       Bannister

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Emeline didn't recognize the men, but she easily recognized the change in Barnabas' demeanor, and she became wary, although she was able to smile as she rose.  "Would you gentlemen like some coffee?"

 

The 'Steelegrave' name sent a chill through her, she'd never had any direct dealings with them, but there were plenty of tales to cause one to be cautious.  And for Barnabas to go off without his guns...

 

Emeline debated, but the waited for Barnabas, if he took the guns, fine, if he didn't, she would give him a hug on the way out and slip him the derringer that she carried in her apron pocket.  It was only two shots, but if something happened, it was better than nothing.

 

"You should take Miss Steelegrave a peach pie."

 

@Flip

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Pike looked at her a long moment then to Bannister and Santee. "Don't reckon she plans to say much, dinner ain't a hour an' a half away."

 

"I wouldn't know. She just said to fetch you and so here we are." Bannister replied evenly.

 

"Yer coffee ain't gonna be cold afore yer back, an Ma'am, abliged for the offer of the pie, but I'd have to ask Miss Steelgrave afore I bung pie to her." Santee informed both of them. Hell- pardom me , Ma'am you won't be ten minutes."

 

"I understand Pike, know what yer thinkin', but Santee's right. Be ten minutes, fifteen at the most. She said it wasn't to take long at all." Bannister added.

 

Pike got to his feet, they had made no moves that said any different, hands weren't near the guns they wore under their coats, he looked at Emeline and smiled, seeing her hand in the pocket where the derringer was. "Won't be necessary, I won't be gone that long." He went to the hook where his at and hat were. He put them on and walked back to Emeline in his arms and hugged her. "Thanks."

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Tag @Bongo

 

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"Take care."  Looking up at him, Emeline smiled, trying to assure herself that there was no threat, certainly if a Steelegrave meant harm to someone it would not be so blatant, but in the middle of the night, hidden.  "I'll be fine, I've plenty to do, and ample time."  She smiled.  "I'll keep the coffee hot."

 

She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, then headed back to the kitchen, but stopped at the door to turn and watch him leave with the two men.

 

@Flip

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Leah turned to see Pike just inside the doorway of the modest shanty where she was staying. He stood, hat in hand, buffalo coat open, the stained apron hanging about his neck, looking absolutely nothing like the gunfighter he was purported to be. Not like the man she had seen on the street, or in Whitefish.

 

He was the dishwasher at the Lickskillet, and hardly looked as dangerous as Santee and Banister made him out to be. But she trusted their assessment of the man, regardless of the way he looked at that moment.

 

“Mister Pike, I have a proposition for you. It will be legal, well, as legal as possible, there are some details that need to be worked out yet before we can make a full determination on the matter.” She began. “Please, have a seat, I have some coffee if you’d like.”

 

“No Ma’am, I’m fine.” He replied

 

It was like she didn’t quite know how to approach him, yet she did, just be straight with him, Santee had said. “I am aware that Marshal Guyer has hired you as his Deputy come the spring, this should not interfere with that position. I’ll not waste your time as I am sure you are quite important to Emeline Blakesley at the diner. I need men that can enforce some projects I Have.”

 

‘Oh, here we go.’ Pike thought to himself.

 

“Doctor Danforth and I are about to begin plans for, and the construction of a hospital, and, in the future, an orphanage. I’ll need men to protect that from my fathers riders, since it’s being built with his money. Secondly, I have purchased the land, also with his money, that will be chosen for the railroad, and the right of way will be immensely valuable to whoever holds it. That will be for the town of Kalispell, Montana.” She eyed him carefully, wondering if his situation with Missus Blakesley might dissuade him from considering her offer. “You would be working with Misters Banister and Santee, and, I’ll be talking with Marshal Guyer as I have with you today.”

 

He sat there looking at her for an extremely long moment. “A hospital, you say? Followed by an orphanage and the railroad?” He asked in succession.

 

“Yes Mister Pike. As I said, I have these projects.”

 

“You’n Doc Danforth?”

 

“At the moment yes, there will be others.”

 

He got to his feet, “reckon I’ll need time ta think on it.”

 

“Certainly Mister Pike, there’s no rush, as I said, I’ll be talking to Marshal Guyer.”

 

Setting his hat on his head he said, “Ma’am.,” in parting and walked out the door.

 

He made his way up the street around the corner and into the diner. "You prolly ain't gonna believe this."

 

Tag @Bongo

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Emeline jumped as the bell above the door tinkled, announcing that someone had arrived, but when she saw Barnabas, she finally started breathing again.  All the time he'd been away, she'd been telling herself that it would be all right, and she had been realizing that he was a part of her life now, and if something happened to him it would be different...in a bad way.

 

Fortunately, there were no customers at the moment, so she smiled and nodded to the table.  "I'll get us some coffee and you can tell me all about it."

 

@Flip

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Fortunately, there were no customers at the moment, so she smiled and nodded to the table.  "I'll get us some coffee and you can tell me all about it."

 

“Didn’t mean ta scare ya, like I said, wasn’t no trouble,” He apologized. As he hung up his coat and hat on one of the pegs. “Ain’t quite sure what jest happened, she’s down in one of the shanties, visualize thet!

 

He walked over to the table they would use between customers and sat down, waiting on her and the fresh coffee. but had to say...“Her’n Doc Danforth are planning ta build a hospital, an’ foller thet with a orphanage.”

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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Bannister drove the buggy while Santee rode his horse. The streets were fairly chewed up from traffic as folks got out between storms. The sun had a way of breaking out on and off, and that helped in the melting of the snow in the streets.


Brute labor of shoveling off the boardwalks had piled the snow to nearly blocking any visibility out of the windows. But openings had been made at every doorway, some wider than others, allowing access to every shop along Main Street. Bannister stopped the buggy at the Municipal Building for a two fold visit. Her brother, and Marshal Speed Guyer. Case would be first on the list.


She made her way the few steps to and onto the porch, stamping her boots to free them of the snow and mud, she opened the front door and walked inside. Guyer had the front office with the Window facing the street, Case would be in the back office which was for a non-existent County Sheriff so she went directly back and through the office door. Case was in is recuperating in the first cell, of which the door hung wide open.


It had all the trappings of some sort of recovery room. He had a table which held a wash basin, bandages for his head wound and an array of medications, such as aspirin, and liniments. He was sitting up when she walked in.


“Little sister.” He greeted. “Seems to me you’ve got Pa in a tizzy. If it weren’t for the snow and the disaster in Whitefish, the boys’d be out huntin’ you.”


“Really?’ She responded. “And you? Which side would you be on big brother? Daddy’s or mine? Loaded questions I know, but I need to tell you I am taking precautions in the event he actually trys to kill me,”


“Kill you? No, no little sister, he wants you back on the Evergreen, where he says you belong.” Case remarked quite candidly. He smiled, “I wouldn’t expect them to be too genteel with you, nor would I expect that you’d ever be allowed to move about freely.” He let that sink in for a few moments then added, but he shouldn’t expect my help, and neither should you.”


“Like I thought you would be there for me against our father? Ha, well, your town is gone, your outlaw friends are either scattered, or on the Evergreen to do daddy’s bidding. Which I might point out leaves us both subject to his wrath.” Leah pointed out.


Case was speechless at her points. So she concluded the visit with, “I’ve business with Marshal Guyer. Take care of yourself, Case, it’s something you’re really good at.” She turned on a heal and walked out of the office and down the hall.

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"A hospital?  Leah...Steelegrave?"  From what she had heard, none of the Steelegraves had any redeeming qualities, so she couldn't help but wonder what the young woman was up to.  "Well, with the town and territory growing, we certainly could benefit from a hospital, and an orphanage...that would be amazing.  I'd certainly be willing to help any way I can."

 

While Weedy was close enough to being an orphan, there were plenty of children, especially from Whitefish, and while many of them had been distributed to local farms, siblings had been broken up and needed to be together.  Besides, the kids needed to be in town where they could get to school.

 

"And what did she want from you?"

 

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"A hospital?  Leah...Steelegrave?"  From what she had heard, none of the Steelegraves had any redeeming qualities, so she couldn't help but wonder what the young woman was to.  "Well, with the town and territory growing, we certainly could benefit from a hospital, and an orphanage...that would be amazing.  I'd certainly be willing to help any way I can."


“I’d wager any and all help’d be welcomed.. Were’n’t no mention of Doc Boone from Whitefish, but they may not have told him of their plans yet.” He speculated. “Big job, a hospital. I’m sure the plans are grand.”


"And what did she want from you?"


His head dropped, looking at his coffee, then raised, looking her in the eye. “Gun hand.” He said simply. “Worried that her fathers riders’d be lookin’ ta cause trouble. She wuz gonna talk with Speed ta’day about it. Oh, an she has the right’a way fer the railroad as well.”

 

He was fearful of her response, what this might do to their relationship. Which he was not sure of, well, as she had responded to him when he was called to the meeting with Leah, he felt good about that. But he knew that there was going to be the high probability of gun trouble from the elder Steelgrave.

 

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"A gun hand?"  Instantly, she felt sick to her stomach and Emeline bit her lip.  That was a good way for a man to get killed, or to get caught up in more than he bargained for, and the thought gave her chills.  Still, she had no specific hold on him, or right to dissuade him, and even if she did, she wasn't sure it was good to steer a man away from what he wanted to do...and certainly washing dishes wasn't fulfilling for him.

 

"It shouldn't be too hazardous, should it?"  She smiled and shook her head.  "Who is going to try to stop a hospital and orphanage?  When is she planning to start this?"

 

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"A gun hand?"


 He paused with sort of a pained look on his face, which faded as quickly as it came. It had been a poor choice of words when there were others with less sting to them. But they were out and he needed to deal with them.


"It shouldn't be too hazardous, should it?"  She smiled and shook her head.  "Who is going to try to stop a hospital and orphanage?  When is she planning to start this?"


“Hard ta tell, depends on ‘lias Steelgrave and whot he decides ta have his men do. She figgers he’ll try an’ throw a wrench in the works.” He explained. “So, she’s lookin’ ta have some security with men who know what to do if they try. "

 

"Gun hand were a poor choice o’ words Em. Not ones I should have used. Ain’t gonna be no more dangerous then anything else that’s worth doin’.  I’ll not deny it may come ta gun trouble, but then again, maybe not. I’m thinkin’ this town ain’t about ta let ol’ man Steelgrave ride roughshod over ‘em.”

 

"'sides," He concluded, "ain't startin' till the thaw."

 

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Emeline nodded slowly.  ...anything that’s worth doin’.

 

That said a lot, and certainly a hospital was 'worth doing', and she knew that few good things came without the prospect of sacrifice.  Besides, Barnabas knew what he was doing, and after all, Andrew had been killed in a stupid mining accident, for nothing...life out here was dangerous, and a man had to stand up for what he believed was right.

 

"I suppose it will dissuade any trouble makers to have more men guarding the interests.  And I'm glad she doesn't want you out in the Winter, you'd fall into a drift and we wouldn't find you until Spring thaw!"

 

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"I suppose it will dissuade any trouble makers to have more men guarding the interests.  And I'm glad she doesn't want you out in the Winter, you'd fall into a drift and we wouldn't find you until Spring thaw!"

 

“Tha’d be the idea. ‘cept’in it’s our idea an’ not theirs.” Was his reply. “Cain’t do no buildin’ in the winter, an’ fact is, ol’ man Steelgrave ain’t got wind of it yet. Come the thaw though, things’ll shape up differ’nt. ‘Course now, if he has him eyes an’ ears here, might find out afore the thaw, which I don’t like, since they’d be free ta figger a plan afore we get set. But I need ta parlay with Speed on this afore it goes any further."

 

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"Well, I hope that man doesn't find out, and that the community here stands behind the project, even if it is Miss Steelegrave who is backing it."  Emeline shook her head.  "I'd like to think that the good people of Kalispell would overlook her family and see that she is trying to do something good."

 

Of course, some people weren't that charitable and could never bring themselves to overlook prejudice, no matter how noble the cause.  "I'm sure that whatever you decide will be in the best interest of the community."

 

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“Havin’ the folks with the say-so overlookin’ the Steelgrave name, from whot I hear, ain’t gonna be no easy task. Seems the family’s sortta bullied their way around here till they just ain’t welcome, though I hear they don’t mind the daughter too much.” He volunteered.

 

“This will shape up to a fight of one sort or another betwixt her an’ her pa. Question is do I wanna be involved in a corpse an’ cat’ ridge affair over this. with them Evergreen riders.” He covered her hand with his. "There's things whot gotta be done, I'm going over't the Marshal's office, have a chat with Speed."

 

Tag @Bongo
 

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"You have to do what is right, at least to your thinking," Emeline commented, not that she relished him getting involved in what amounted to a range war.  But it sounded like Leah was earnest in her pursuit, and it was assuredly going to be an asset to the community, therefore worth fighting for. 

 

"It would be more than just you three?"  Taking a breath, she nodded slowly.  "Whatever you decide..."  Give her a shotgun and she'd join in!

 

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"You have to do what is right, at least to your thinking," Emeline commented, not that she relished him getting involved in what amounted to a range war.  But it sounded like Leah was earnest in her pursuit, and it was assuredly going to be an asset to the community, therefore worth fighting for.


“There’s the rub, I kin stand out of this affair, and let things go the way they will, or stand in an’ lend a hand. Maybe make a difference when needed.” He explained. Been in these scrapes before an’ it’s purdy much al’ays the same. Nobody figgers they’re gonna be kilt when it starts. Then it’s revenge fer those thet are.”
 

"It would be more than just you three?"  Taking a breath, she nodded slowly.  "Whatever you decide..."  Give her a shotgun and she'd join in!


“No, there’s a couple men Miss Steelgrave has, an I figger there’ll be more that ain’t about ta let ‘lias Steelgraves riders have their way with the town. I don’t see thet hap’nin’, not at all.” He replied. “An’ I surely don’t see Speed Guyer backin’ down, no Ma'am I don’t.”

 

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"You don't suppose Mr. Steelegrave would be so bold as to attack the town in general, do you?"  If this project did, indeed, advance, she would have to be certain that she took precautions beyond the shotgun that she kept by the kitchen door.  "I agree that there are many in the town who would stand up to them, but there is no doubt that people would die."

 

She'd heard of such things happening on occasion, but to think that she might be in the middle of something was frightening.  Still, she wasn't the sort to be easily intimidated, although she was hopeful that it wouldn't come to stupid decisions on the part of Mr. Steelegrave.

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

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“I’d have no idee whot he’d do in a given situation.” Barnabas replied honestly. “Was I ta know him better I might well have a thought about it. But I figger his riders’d be the ones whot’d be in play. They’d be actin’ on orders, likely specific orders to do something specific.” He paused.

 

“But attack the whole town, I doubt thet. Ain’t never worked out as planned. Folks tend to stand up ta thet sort of thing. Not since the days of Quantrill an’ his ilk, but thet was ‘spose ta be war. They come a huntin’ trouble, well, these folks’ll fetch it to ‘um right proper.”

 

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"And then innocent people will die for no reason."  Emeline shrugged and sighed.  "Well, if Miss Steelegrave has a good force on her side, as well as the support of the town, maybe that will make her father think twice."

 

It was one thing to go against regular folk with no experience, but to have a trained force at the forefront, that was something else.  "Of course, if he is sending out lackeys to do his dirty work, Mr. Steelegrave has no stake in what happens."  Men like that were cowards, but that was hard to fight.

 

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“Steelgrave ain’t no fool, but word is with both wife and daughter gone from him, he’s not been rational of late. Thet makes him dangerous. But with men whot know whot needs ta be done, wall, thet does make a differ’nce.” Pike said. “‘course most were in the war ‘cept fer the younger ones, maybe. Jest eleven years from the surrender, an’ granted, most that was out west here weren’t in the frey. But outlaws is outlaws, an’ plumb dangerous.”

 

He smiled at her, “Yer right as rain though, most ‘er cowards, do real well in a bunch, not so good on their own when push comes ta shove. We’ll be fine, the two thet pulled away from the old man, they’re tough men, an’ Guyer, he’ll stand. Maybe we get a couple more ta rally ‘round this hospital buildin’ idea, an’ we’ll be fine.”

 

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"I'd stand with you," Emeline commented with conviction, "I can handle a shotgun, and I don't like being bullied."  If that made a difference...she knew he wouldn't care for any of the women in town to have to put up a fight, particularly her, but it was everyone's town, and they all had a stake in what happened.

 

"If he gives us trouble, I can just woo Mr. Steelegrave with a pie!"  She grinned, then shrugged.  "Hopefully this is much ado about nothing, but I could use with some practice shooting, it's been a very long time."

 

Before they had left Illinois, Andrew had made certain that she could handle both pistols and shotguns, but fortunately, she'd never had to do more than hold one and stand firm, and while she hoped she never did had to fire at a living being, she knew she would if she had to.

 

@Flip

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 "I'd stand with you," Emeline commented with conviction, "I can handle a shotgun, and I don't like being bullied."  If that made a difference...she knew he wouldn't care for any of the women in town to have to put up a fight, particularly her, but it was everyone's town, and they all had a stake in what happened.

 
“Not sure that’d be a real good idee.” He balked. “I mean I appreciate what yer sayin'. Was there to be real trouble of the sort I suspect his boys to bring, havin’ you in the fracas, well, I’d be distracted an’ that’d be dangerous. I mean ta say, I’d be worried was you involved an’ not near as careful as I should be, which could be serious.” There were other words that better described the danger, but he shied away from them.  


"If he gives us trouble, I can just woo Mr. Steelgrave with a pie!"  She grinned, then shrugged.  "Hopefully this is much ado about nothing, but I could use with some practice shooting, it's been a very long time."

 
“Now, thet there’s a certainty.” He said with a smile. “Doubt there’s a livin’ bein' thet’d turn down one a’ yer pies, Em.” He breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Tag @Bongo

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