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    • Weedy was surprised by the praise from the older man. He was used to helping and receiving kind words from Addy but noone else. "Thank you, Mr. Ryker." He muttered. It gave Jays heart a little sting to know that Weedy's real parents never did or could do something like this for him and Addy was the nextbest thing to family. Maybe he should let the boy a little closer in as well. In a spur of the moment notion, he added. "Call me Jay."   Then he returned his attention on the lady of the house and had to laugh. "My speciality? Oh that's something very different." Like...robbing a bank....if you could call it that. He wasn't very good at that either because he wasn't quick with his colt and not cold blooded enough. There was something else he did very well, though. One or the other lady could attest to that. He would not brag about it though, so he simply smiled at Addy. "Yes, there is. Maybe one day, you'll find out." Then he took another bite and motioned to the meat. "I really don't have any cooking skills. So, yeah, This is my speciality and the only thing I can cook." It was surprisingly good though.  
    • Present:   Pronto, Clara, and Brendan   Clara almost was ready to argue the fine point that she only accused SOMEONE but not anyone specific for firing that shot. She did have her strong suspicions and it had easily been narrowed down back at the farm that day when Brendan stated he had ridden up with Greer and Billy. But she could not bring herself to press an accusation that might tag the wrong person and plus, as she stated, no one would be able to prove it if it came to a court case. It would only stir up more trouble.   But she was also relieved that Mr. ...errr... Deputy Pike was not about to press the issue. The man had just been doing his duty afterall and she understood that. She only hoped that somehow this would not hurt her relationship with Emeline, who was going to be marrying Pronto.   And ALL of this mess was because of the handsome young cowpoke standing in front of her! Why couldn't he be ugly and mean like Greer!   "Thank you, Deputy, I appreciate your understanding of the matter. If I ever have anything I can prove in a court of law, I shall indeed contact the local authorities. And I agree with you about the dance, let us all have a good time tonight," Clara replied to the man then added as an olive branch, "Oh and I greatly approve of your taste in women."
    • He gave her a side glance look, "We will do what has to be done, an' hopefully not alone, neither. You keepin' that scatter gun handy is a good thing, as is that pistol in yer apron. Hopefully you ain't never gonna need either of 'em."   A nice thought, but from where he stood it was doubtful. One of the reasons he had been cautious about her was the fact that there were men who would not hesitate where a woman was concerned, and he suspected that the Steelgrave riders were just the type to do such things. At least from what he had seen, and from what he had heard, there were some bad hombres associated with that spread.   "We'll weather this, an' likely many other storms afore we're done."   @Bongo
    • Present:    Pronto, Brendan, and Clara   Pronto fought the smile that choked off the laugh welling up. “Miss Redmond, I’m not in the habit of badgering anyone for anything. If someone took a shot you believe was directed at you, an’ you want to do nothin’ about it. That’s fine by me. But don’t go accusin’ anybody of somethin' like that unless you’re lookin’ to have ‘em locked up for it.”   “So now we can all get back to this here dance an’ havin’ a good time.” He added. That she had told her father was fine, that neither wanted to do anything about was fine, what bothered him was that someone on that ridge took a shot, wild or not.   @Wayfarer@Bailey
    • "Look here, before you go thinking that I'm back here because I want to be, I'm not.”   “Well, that’s telling us!” Arabella nodded. “So why are you back?”   “I just wouldn't be able to live the talking to I would get from my Pa, if I let you two go ahead on your own.”    Mention of Charlie’s Pa got Arabella excited and she shook Bridget’s shoulder, as if she had been asleep and needed waking up.   “Hey, Bridg’ do you know who Charlie’s Daddy is? Your nice Mr. Wentworth at the bank!”   Bridget opened her mouth in surprise and ducked her head around the other girl to look at the young man on the horse with new eyes. Eventually, Arabella gently pushed her back into her seat with a laughing admonition. “All right, that’s enough, it’s rude to stare.”   She turned to Charlie and explained, her jibing tone lost in a snap as her predilection for just plain jawing came into play. “See, Bridg’ found a penny on the sidewalk one day and took it in to the bank, cause I’d told her that’s where folks put their money. Anyhow, she was right serious about only giving it to the feller as owns the bank: that bein’ your good old pop. You with me so far?” she asked.   “And he took it right off her, and every time she finds a penny or a nickel in the dirt, she takes it right on in there and if your Pa’s there, he takes it right on off of her with all the kindliness and courtesy in the world. And if he ain’t there, them clerks and tellers can’t wrestle that penny from her grip to save their lives, can they Bridg’?”   Miss Monahan shook her head vigorously.   “An’ I even gave her a penny onest, so I could go with her and see this fernominom, and the second time your Daddy was there and, oh Charlie, he is such a wonderful and kindly old gentleman, he was so nice and gentle with her, what with her bein’ simple an’ all, why, it was a joy to see.” She smiled off into the distance at the memory of it.   “So that’s probably why you came back to protect us, you can’t help inheritin’ your Pa’s kindly ways” she philosophized.   “Besides, if something we're to happen and I wasn't there to stop it, I can kiss all of this good-bye as I would be sent packing back to college."   “College?!” yelped Arabella, loud enough to make Janella bray in alarm.   “You was in college?! Well what you doing out here moving cows around and escortin’ annoying girls to church, y'darn loon? Why ain’t you back in college. Oh, Charlie, what a wasted opportunity!! Why, if you go to college you could be anything: a doctor or a lawyer or a … a candy shop owner! Anything!”   Coming from a dirt poor background where education was a privilege out of the reach of all her peers, her brow was genuinely wrinkled in a frown as to why anyone would pass up such a chance in life.   @JulieS
Benjamin Barlow

Heading Off Trouble

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Benjamin smirked, "Yes, Mr. Crabbe, it seems  you impressed these two as much as you did me."

 

Introductions over, it was time to get down to business.

 

"Alright then, you said something about the Tongue River, following that. And a Two Kettles village. So is it your recommendation we head that way?"

 

An offshoot of the Lakota Sioux the Two Kettles were themselves divided into a few bands, as far as Plains Indians go, they were less hostile to the whites than most. But these were troubled times and no telling how they might react to the sight of a cavalry column.

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MacIntosh didn’t remember Crabbe, despite his singular appearance.

 

“Can’t say as I do, but you “Sooners” did your damage. I ‘spose you could say you’re a lucky man then, that you’re brains aren’t in the Black Hills.”

 

Lorenzo shrugged. Damage? Progress? The inevitable Manifest Destiny of the White Man? Call it what you will. His attempts to communicated with the Apache scout met with an equally chilly reception.

 

“Wrong dialect. I speak in your tongue, no need to try to speak in mine.” Ke-Ni-Tay was not quite sure which language the man was using, not that it mattered, he would kill him, if it came to that.

 

If this was their ‘friendly’ Indian, Lorenzo wondered, what the hostiles would be like! “Oh handy, mighty handy.” he smiled, keeping cheerful looking against the scowling savage by sheer force of will.

 

Benjamin smirked, "Yes, Mr. Crabbe, it seems you impressed these two as much as you did me."

 

Crabbe smiled a wide closed-mouth smile which, along with the thick glasses magnifying his eyes, made him look like a satisfied toad who’s just eaten a dirty great fly. He shook his head. “Shucks Cap, I ain’t here to be liked, I suppose. But at the end of the day, you’ll be able to say I did for you what I promised.” he stated. These three were hard to melt, and might not even be worth the effort. The feller he really needed to butter up was the most important man in the outfit. The feller in charge of the food.

 

 "Alright then, you said something about the Tongue River, following that. And a Two Kettles village. So is it your recommendation we head that way?"

 

Crabbe pulled a face that indicated deep thought. “Well, Cap, last I heard, Eagle Woman’s people were heading North West from the Tongue, and they’ve probably crossed the Yellowstone by now. If we head due East to Grand Falls, we can cross the Missouri just below there with ease, and then cut down to the South East. We’ll either run into them, or someone who knows their whereabouts, or maybe even Granddaddy Longlegs himself.” he thought it through logically. “Unless we run into hostiles first, of course.”

 

He looked at Ke-Ni-Tay and MacIntosh “What’d’ya think fellers?”

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Crabbe pulled a face that indicated deep thought. “Well, Cap, last I heard, Eagle Woman’s people were heading North West from the Tongue, and they’ve probably crossed the Yellowstone by now. If we head due East to Grand Falls, we can cross the Missouri just below there with ease, and then cut down to the South East. We’ll either run into them, or someone who knows their whereabouts, or maybe even Granddaddy Longlegs himself.” he thought it through logically. “Unless we run into hostiles first, of course.”

 

He looked at Ke-Ni-Tay and MacIntosh “What’d’ya think fellers?”

 

The scouts looked to one another and then back to Crabbe. MacIntosh spoke first, as usual, “You lead the way, we’ll scout ahead Captain, if there’s to be any trouble, we’ll sniff it out first. Times are not the most pleasant with the Indians, but, not all of them are out, yet. And Mister Crabbe, we’ll be sure to let you know if we see this “Granddaddy Longlegs” you’re goin’ on about.”

 

Ke-Ni-Tay  sprang into his saddle the looked at Crabbe and smiled. Of course an Apache smile  such as that was cold.

large.Ke-Ni-Tay-5A.jpg.26ae55d8d1ddf7b359cd82ad925dbbc3.jpg

Tag @Wayfarer@Javia

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Crabbe explained what he believed would be the situation and it sounded reasonable enough. As for his guarantee, well that remained to be seen. But Benjamin would not be happy with a wild goose chase, not happy at all. The man then asked the scouts on their views.

 

"You lead the way, we’ll scout ahead Captain, if there’s to be any trouble, we’ll sniff it out first. Times are not the most pleasant with the Indians, but, not all of them are out, yet. And Mister Crabbe, we’ll be sure to let you know if we see this “Granddaddy Longlegs” you’re goin’ on about," answered MacIntosh.

 

"We brought Mr. Crabbe out here because of what he knows so we'd be fools not to follow his advice...least for now. Sounds like we got a long ride ahead of us but so be it," Benjamin conceded.

 

"Alright, we head east then. Mr. MacIntosh, you and your man take the lead. For now it sounds like we are just trying to find the Two Kettles band."

 

"Oh and I get nervous about ridgelines and high ground, make it a point to check those out lest there be hostiles waiting to spring an ambush on the opposite side," he requested.

 

"And last but not least, we do not fire the first shot. See any trouble, get back fast. I want to be the one who makes the decision to engage or not."

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"We brought Mr. Crabbe out here because of what he knows so we'd be fools not to follow his advice...least for now. Sounds like we got a long ride ahead of us but so be it," Benjamin conceded.

 

Lorenzo nodded sagely at the sound of his own name and mention of his self-proclaimed expertise in this matter. To be fair, he was not so much worried about not finding the gun runner, Calvin de Lancey,  as what would happen when they did.

 

"Alright, we head east then. Mr. MacIntosh, you and your man take the lead. For now it sounds like we are just trying to find the Two Kettles band."

 

Crabbe grinned a little self-satisfied grin at the situation: on the one hand he was, to all intents and purposes, a prisoner; an unwilling hostage being taken into hostile Indian territory against his will. But to Eagle Woman’s people, or to Grandfather, would he be something else? Would they see  his jailers more as an armed military escort, allowing him to travel where he needed to go without fear of molestation? Yep, every silver dollar had two sides to it, he reckoned, even the counterfeit ones.

 

"Oh and I get nervous about ridgelines and high ground, make it a point to check those out lest there be hostiles waiting to spring an ambush on the opposite side," he requested.

 

The Captain was directing these instructions to MacIntosh, of course: he would no more give instructions direct to Ke-Ni-Tay than he would to the scout’s horse. But the Apache was the one that interested Crabbe. MacIntosh was a good scout, with a good reputation, even fame in some quarters: he was more in the stamp of the resourceful Charley Reynolds, rather than that puffed up windbag ‘Buffalo Bill’ (whose shortcomings as an actual scout in the field were soon to be highlighted in the upcoming Little Bighorn campaign). But still, it was the impassive looking savage that Lorenzo would look to in any upcoming trouble.

 

"And last but not least, we do not fire the first shot. See any trouble, get back fast. I want to be the one who makes the decision to engage or not."

 

Lorenzo took his opportunity, seeing as the conversation had drifted that way, and casually asked “Say, Cap, don’t you think you should give me a shootin’ iron to tote, 'case trouble does break out? I ain’t the greatest shot in the world, but ‘every little helps’, as they say.”

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Neither MacIntosh nor Ke-Ni-Tay would skyline themselves in hostile territory, that went without saying. They had confront the plains Indians before and had no illusions about fighting them. They were different that the Apache in that way, but so was the landscape.

 

Not firing the first shot was the policy that usually left one trooper dead, however, they were scouts, and if attacked, which would be highly likely in any event, the column would have advanced warning. He and Ke-Ni-Tay would be on their own, unless they could get back to the column.

 

They had a long way to go, and a lot of hard country to travel in search of the Sioux  encampment. If this band was out, then they too would have scouts and those were the ones MacIntosh and Ke-Ni-Tay would likely encounter, if not then perhaps locating the village would be easier.

 

Whether or not Captain Barlow chose to arm their supposed guide, that was his decision to make, and other than one more man prepared to fight, it would make no difference to either of the forward scouts.

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Benjamin finished up his basic instructions to the two scouts, he figured none of it was something they didn't already know but it never hurt to let them know his expectations. The pair were civilians so technically he couldn't order them to do much of anything but they did get paid by the US government.  He had no doubt they'd do what was necessary.

 

“Say, Cap, don’t you think you should give me a shootin’ iron to tote, 'case trouble does break out? I ain’t the greatest shot in the world, but ‘every little helps’, as they say.”

 

"We are not out here to engage the Indians, merely talk to them. Our objective is finding this gun running Grandfather of yours. Now as for giving you a gun, if we need your help at any time, Mr. Crabbe, then I'll give you one. Until then, the answer is  'no'," the captain answered calmly enough.

 

With that the expedition continued onward in a general easterly direction, the pair of scouts breaking off from the main body to take the lead at a reasonable distance. The terrain was a mix of rolling hills and ridgelines some covered with patches of trees. It was beautiful pristine country and a part of Benjamin wondered how long it would stay that way as more and more waves of settlers came west as part of the great expansion of this nation. The Indians might not know it but their way of life was dying. They had no chance to stop this relentless progress though of course they tried. Benjamin didn't blame them either but he was paid to fight them if they resisted. So be it.

 

*****

 

It was late afternoon when the scouts chanced upon the first glimpse of another human being. Down by a shallow meandering creek a long figure was filling his canteen even as his horse slurped down some of the cool creekwater. Two mules stood just off, maybe too stubborn to drink or maybe they'd already quenched their own thirst. Heaped upon their backs were some sort of goods or supplies, impossible to tell at that distance. The man appeared to be a white man, though dressed in buckskins apparently. Thus far he had not noticed the two men watching him. Or at least gave no indication of it.

 

 

 

 

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"We are not out here to engage the Indians, merely talk to them. Our objective is finding this gun running Grandfather of yours. Now as for giving you a gun, if we need your help at any time, Mr. Crabbe, then I'll give you one. Until then, the answer is 'no'," the captain answered calmly enough.

 

“Well, if I find myself having my scalp raised by an Indian anytime on this trail, I‘ll be sure to inform that gentleman that we’re only here to talk, and that he should desist immediately and offer me a written apology!” replied the civilian with an air of amused irony rather than any kind of bitter sarcasm. All in all, the man appeared to be quite happy to be on this little jaunt rather than being dragged along kicking and screaming.

 

He pulled a cigar holder out of a pocket and nudging Greedy nearer to the Captain’s horse, and held out the box “Smoke?” he enquired with remarkable bonhomie in the circumstances.

 

He looked idly at the country they were travelling through, though his goggle-eyed spectacles, and then back at the line of men following them.

 

“Fine bunch o’ soldiers, Captain, fine bunch indeed. I feel mighty safe with those boys behind me.” He stated, a propos of nothing.

 

Then, as if to while away the time, he asked “You know much about MacIntosh, Cap?”

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"Maybe trapper." Ke-Ni-Tay stated flatly as they watched the man, passing the glass back and forth between them.

 

Bundles on the mules did not appear to be the shape of rifle crates, though both realized that they could be disguised easily enough, or rifles could be packed individually and covered with other shaped bundles or boxes. That of course did not allow for delivery of many guns.

 

Whiskey, of course, could also be disguised by different shaped containers that would not draw much attention, so the Apache and MacIntosh viewed this man as possibly the man they were in search of.

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The older scout spied the man with the glass, then collapsed it, still looking at the man.  then he looked to the Apache. "I don't see him as gun runner, but best we have a parlay with him. Be surprised if he ain't already smelled us."

 

There was a grunt of agreement from the Mimbreño.  so they shimmied back down the slight rise of maybe three feet.

 

"He knows we there, no surprise for him." Both men mounted  and slipped over the rise into the open, the man turning at the sound. MacIntosh raised his arm in greeting as the two approached. The Apache startled him for a moment.

 

"Howdy." MacIntosh greeted. "Mind if we step down? Don't mind the Indian, he's peaceable."

 

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buffalohunter.jpg

 

MacIntosh was right, Joseph Klinzing knew he was being watched even if he hadn't let on. But his eyesight was still excellent and one of the riders he had spotted in his peripheral vision was surely a white man.  Somehow he doubted the pair closing the distance with him were out to do him harm. But just in case he cradled his buffalo gun then turned when a voice addressed him.

 

Howdy." MacIntosh greeted. "Mind if we step down? Don't mind the Indian, he's peaceable."

 

Speaking of Indians, that redskin didn't look like any one from any tribe in the entire territory? Joseph answered the man first.

 

"Good day to you gents. Sure, help yerself, it's a big creek," he smiled.

 

He slowly moved then to put his horse between the men and him, just in case he was wrong on his feelings about this here meeting.

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He slowly moved then to put his horse between the men and him, just in case he was wrong on his feelings about this here meeting.

 

“No need to worry, friend, we’re scouting for the Army, lookin’ for a man that roams these parts. Got no real name for him, Sioux call him ‘Grandfather,’ or some such.” MacIntosh began, “Seems the fella deals in guns and whiskey, or that’s the rumor. Makes the Indians more dangerous to everyone in these parts.”

 

As MacIntosh spoke, Ke-Ni-Tay watched the surrounding hills in the event that they too were being watched. It was supposedly a long trek to the Two Kettles camp, but that didn’t mean that a party, either hunting or war might not be out in their vicinity.


“Question is, have you seen another white-man out here, probably with pack mules or a wagon?” MacIntosh asked.

 

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Army scouts... Joseph relaxed a bit then, yes, it made sense. Course anyone could tell a body anything, didn't make it true.

 

"No need to worry, friend, we’re scouting for the Army, lookin’ for a man that roams these parts. Got no real name for him, Sioux call him ‘Grandfather,’ or some such.” MacIntosh began, “Seems the fella deals in guns and whiskey, or that’s the rumor. Makes the Indians more dangerous to everyone in these parts.”

 

"You don't say? Don't speak Sioux myself," Joseph commented.

 

“Question is, have you seen another white-man out here, probably with pack mules or a wagon?” MacIntosh asked.

 

Joseph nodded, "Matter of fact I have. Three white men  and a wagon."

 

"Didn't talk to 'em though, they was headin' into an Injun village," he added.

 

 

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Benjamin waved off the man's offer of a cigar, personally he gave up on those things though on occasion during the war he did light up. Made his mouth dry though.

 

"Fine bunch o’ soldiers, Captain, fine bunch indeed. I feel mighty safe with those boys behind me.”  declared the garrulous civilian.

 

"I have faith in my men," Benjamin replied, though in truth only recently he had to take on some brand new recruits. That was the army, you worked with what you got.

 

Crabbe  asked “You know much about MacIntosh, Cap?”

 

"I only met him but I had heard about the man. He has a fine reputation. Seems to carry himself well and I have no doubt he knows his job," Benjamin commented.

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Crabbe  asked “You know much about MacIntosh, Cap?”

 

"I only met him but I had heard about the man. He has a fine reputation. Seems to carry himself well and I have no doubt he knows his job," Benjamin commented.

 

“No doubt. No doubt indeed.” Crabbe nodded, and managed to light his cigar with little difficulty despite being atop a moving horse. For all her ungainly looks, Greedy was an untroublesome animal to control and seemed to be genuinely happy to be out of her stable and off gadding about the open prairie.

 

The civilian huckster turned again to the column of men and had another question for the taciturn officer.

 

“Say, d’these fellers ever get to go into Town? Into Kalispell?” he asked “They get paid, I presume? I mean in real money, not just scrip to use in the army stores?”

 

He’d discounted the Fort as a source of customers for his planned Hurdy Gurdy House, but maybe they were a possible income stream. Only problem was, if they got rowdy or were sore losers, and his hired sluggers had to kick them out or beat them down, they might come back with a whole army behind them.

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“Be grateful if you’d pont us in the right direction. Like to ferret out what’s goin’ on. Meanin’ they may well be just traders, or, they might just be who we’re lookin’ for.” MacIntosh stated. "There’s rumblin’s the Sioux ain’t perticularly happy these days, and some of their cousins, like the Cheyenne, Arapaho, maybe the Crow. If that’s true, well, could be a real bad sign, an’ the last thing needed is some fool tradin’ gun an’ whiskey to ‘em.”

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Joseph listened as the white scout explained why they were curious about possible white men wandering about out far from civilization.

 

"Oh sure," he nodded then gestured further to what would be east, "Keep heading that way and when you come to a bluff just below a creek pretty much like this one. That Injun village is in easy sight when you get up or around the bluff."

 

One thing did puzzle him though, "Crow you say? Don't reckon so. You do know that Custer's 7th and General Crook use Crow scouts. Them Crow hate the Sioux worse than we do."

 

"But the village belongs to the Two Kettles, a Sioux bunch," he pointed out.

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Both MacIntosh and Ke-Ni-Tay listened to the directions the man gave looking to one another as they often did when receiving information or direction to ensure both were on the same page.

 

When it came to the part about the Crow, MacItosh smiled. “That’s what I’ve heard. So naturally I was some skeptical about them being out as well. But rumors tend to fly when hostiles are mentioned. Besides, my experience has been, with the Apache, they are not opposed to fighting one another, nor scouting for the white man, and fighting him at the same time. So nothing about the red man surprises me. I would suppose it’s the same with the plains Indians.”

 

He shifted his feet, looking down, then back up. “Appreciate the information. We’ll take it back to the column and go from there.”

 

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“Appreciate the information. We’ll take it back to the column and go from there," the veteran scout declared.

 

The buffalo hunter nodded, "Good luck to you gents."

 

"Say if there is a reward for this here Grandfather, I'd like to think I might get a share at least for my helpful information," he sniffed the possibility of a bit of money in the offing.

 

"Name's Joseph Klinzing," he then spelled out the last name for the scout's information.

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Crabbe now changed subjects yet again. Was this man going to go on the whole journey? Benjamin certainly hoped not.

 

Say, d’these fellers ever get to go into Town? Into Kalispell?” he asked “They get paid, I presume? I mean in real money, not just scrip to use in the army stores?”

 

"If the commanding officer allows it, yes there can be some short leaves on occasion. Not my call either way," the veteran captain answered.

 

"And the United States cavalry does not pay their men in scrip. Out on the frontier or on campaign, the men might not get their money right away but they are paid in cash," Benjamin frowned.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

"If the commanding officer allows it, yes there can be some short leaves on occasion. Not my call either way," the veteran captain answered.

 

“Sounds like a good idea.” Nodded Crabbe, approvingly “Blow off some steam, sow their oats. Go back to their soldierin’ with a spring in their step, huh?”

 

He looked back again at the column of men. Half of them looked like young recruits who’d probably never even known a woman, and would probably pay good money to do so. The other half were rugged old timers who would definitely pay good money to do so. Problem was, he was yet to find any suitable ‘ladies’ in Kalispell. He might have to go farther afield to recruit to his remuda.

 

"And the United States cavalry does not pay their men in scrip. Out on the frontier or on campaign, the men might not get their money right away but they are paid in cash," Benjamin frowned.

 

Lorenzo looked at the mustachioed officer long and hard. “Yeah, … that’s good. Good they get paid. Say, you seem to take life pretty serious, Cap. Don’t you ever have a little fun? Take a drink? Flirt with the ladies? Little sociable game o’ chance with your friends?” he asked, like the feller probably even had any friends. He wasn’t just pitching his trade, he was genuinely interested in whether this man ever actually enjoyed himself or just lived to follow army orders.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“We’ll surely let the Captain know. Been most helpful Mister Klinzing, most helpful.” MacIntosh said. “Time we were movin’. Good day to ya an’ thanks again."

 

As they mounted up and turned away, they started back up the slope. "Once he’s moved on, I’ll head for the column and you head the way he said those men went. See what you can find out.” There was no need to tell the Apace to be careful, or to not be seen That would be second nature to him, and he knew what was at stake.

 

Ke-Ni-Tay smiled thinly. He knew what to do, he would look for the wagon tracks, tracks that should be deep due to the load, unless whatever he was trading, guns or whiskey, or both, was hidden on the back trail

 

Once the buffalo hunter was a ways off, Ke-Ni-Tay moved off and MacIntosh rode for the column with the information supplied at a gallop. The sooner the troop was notified the better, then he could head back they he'd come. Ke-Ni-Tay would need no help.

 

Reaching the column he reined in. "Captain. Think we've got a lead on the village and the traders."

large.Ke-Ni-Tay-5A.jpg.26ae55d8d1ddf7b359cd82ad925dbbc3.jpg

 

Tag @Wayfarer@Javia

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“Yeah, … that’s good. Good they get paid. Say, you seem to take life pretty serious, Cap. Don’t you ever have a little fun? Take a drink? Flirt with the ladies? Little sociable game o’ chance with your friends?”

 

Benjamin  looked at the man, was he ever gonna stop asking questions and shut up?

 

"I have a few friends, all in the army scattered all over the place. Lost some too - it's a hard life. Not complaining though, I signed up for it," he responded.

 

"And I do like to drink on occasion, off duty of course. I don't get much chance to flirt with ladies to answer that one. I don't play cards, but I used to play a lot of checkers with one of my sergeants. We served in the late war together....." he paused as if remembering it all fondly but added, "He died last year. Good soldier, good man."

 

Benjamin left out how the man had died, he had fallen into a deep depression and shot himself.

 

 

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It was an uneventful jaunt so far as the column continued to plunge in a general eastward direction. But afterall, one should not become impatient. This hunt might take many days. And even worse, they might not even find what or who they were looking for.  So far though the ride was only probably hard on the new recruits in the column. Well, let them get used to it.

 

Benjamin spotted a rider approaching, before he could summon his sergeant to take a few troopers and go out and meet this ride, he already recognized who it was. It was MacIntosh sans Indian. But the man was not galloping as if he was being chased so that was a good thing.

 

"Column halt," he raised one hand and pulled on the reins of his horse who knew this drill and stopped.

 

The sergeant bellowed out that same command in a loud voice and the column lurched to a stop. Then they all waited until the veteran scout rode up within hearing.

 

"Captain. Think we've got a lead on the village and the traders."

 

Benjamin just calmly nodded, it was good news indeed but a bit early to get excited. First he wanted to hear some details from the man.

 

"Very well, Mr. MacIntosh, fill me in on how you came about this information. Oh and your Indian, is he alright?"

 

 

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“Ke-Ni-Tay’s fine, gone on ahead following Joseph Klinzing’s directions. Can’t be sure this is it, but from what he told us, there were three men and a wagon. Said that if we headed that way,” he pointed in the direction he had come, then off a bit to the east, “to a bluff just below a creek where we would be able to see what he said was Black Kettle’s village."

 

He was cautious, he didn’t know this Mister Klinzing, was not sure he could be trusted, or that he might be a scout for the three with the wagon. Then again, the man could well be yelling the truth. Ke-Ni Tay would have those answers before the column ever reached the supposed bluff.

 

Tag @Wayfarer

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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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Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

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