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    • "Oh, well certainly. If you would rather talk there. Anyplace is fine with us," Clara would have agreed to discuss it even if he had suggested the middle of a river. She just wanted to get it done!   The four of them shuffled back to the rear of the church and through the little-used back door, into the main part of the building where the pews were neatly rowed and the pulpit stood empty at the far end.   The man then offered, "I could fix something to drink? Tea perhaps?"    "No thank you, we do not wish you to have to make a fuss on our account," she gently shook her head in the negative.   “Ooh, It’s no fuss Clara! I’ll fix that, Brother.” Arabella gushed obsequiously “You three will want to talk privately.”   She would also, perhaps a little too optimistically at this point, fetch out a blank marriage certificate, for she knew where Pastor Evans stored them. In fact, she’d had a good root through most of the drawers and cupboards in his little office, off the vestry, and found some amazing and interesting stuff. Her favourites were a collection of pictures in a little book which, she assumed, the good Pastor must have confiscated off some sinful parishioner in the past.   @boshmi @Wayfarer
    • "All right, if this has anything to do with getting rid of ol' Klutz, then I'll do it," he said in a slightly slurred tone.  The whiskey was now starting to affect his speech, "Clara's gotta see that I'm the better man."   Crabbe nodded. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was hoping to get out of this situation, but he had made a living, the last six years of his life, by exploiting other men’s passions, and this young feller had passion in spades. Lorenzo recognised it for the sort of dangerous, jealous, twisted, brooding passion that so often haunts the hearts of men where women are concerned, and knew it would have to be handled with kid gloves to benefit himself any.   “Problem is, he’s ensorcelled her with these here love poems.” Lorenzo slyly took up a theme that Charlie himself had mentioned. “You attack him, she’ll just cleave tighter to the stupid lookin’ bastard.” He’d never seen this Klutz feller, but it didn’t harm to insult him in Charlie’s presence.   “We gotta work on her.” He said, thinking fast. “First of all, we gotta make you a more attractive proposition, er, make her kinda jealous of you, see? Make ol' Clara see you in a better light. Hmmm, you know any girls? I mean, not like Arabella, pretty girls.”   @JulieS
    • "Well." Thomas declared, sitting upwards in his chair. "I wonder what Arabella has gotten up to. I do hope I haven't complicated anything by bringing her along. Your wife seemed... er... unenthusiastic about her presence."   As if on cue, there was a crashing noise from the distant kitchen and Arabella’s voice sounded an “Ooops!”, but nonetheless, the two women presently appeared, carrying coffee and cake.   “Now, how are you two boys getting along?” asked Arabella, as if Thomas and Gideon were two five-year olds on their first playdate. Mrs Evans attended to the domestic stuff while Arabella jumped up and down, plexing her fingertips together with excitement.   “What do you want me to play on the harmonium, fellers?!” she asked excitedly, just hoping it wasn’t that well-known mondegreen “Bringing in the Sheep” which required notes that the poor old instrument could no longer sound. Arabella always had to substitute other notes in the same chord which made her playing sound like she’d invented jazz forty years too early.   @JulieS @boshmi
    • "That goes both ways, Barnabas," Emeline countered, "I finally found something good, and I don't want to lose it."  Although it dawned on her that if he was distracted worrying about her, that put him at more risk.   "I didn't count on the man that I fell in love with becoming a deputy, and I don't know how to reconcile that, except that I know that anything can happen to anyone at any time, and there is no way to predict that or stop it."   Of course, law enforcement put a man at higher risk, but she wasn't a widow because of that.   "I'll try to use discretion, that is the most I can promise."  He'd have to accept that as much as she accepted his choice of professions.   @Flip
    • "Well, so long as he's ridin' a white horse, I reckon there could be some quarter given."  Addy shrugged, thinking that armor would be cumbersome anyway, and that she wouldn't want to be burdened by something that made it hard to function.   "Glad that armor ain't somethin' they wear anymore, although I'd truly appreciate seein' a man in it...an' a horse, too.  Can't imagine how a horse can move in all that metal."   Her smile was a bit wistful as she added, "There's times I wonder if I wasn't born in th' wrong time an' th' wrong britches."
The Old Ranger

The Streets of Kalispell

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Wyatt & Weedy

 

"Ahh, I'm good. That jasper should consider himself lucky I did not kick him a good one."

 

"You were so brave!  There's plenty'a gown-ups who'd'a just fainted clean away!"  Now that it was all over and everyone important was all right, Weedy was actually a little jealous that Wyatt had been right in the middle of things while all he 'd done was hidden behind some crates.  Of course, he wasn't going to say that, he wasn't going to begrudge his friend that excitement.

 

"I think I'm going to be a lawman, make sure bad men like that don't hurt anyone."  He was ready to go back to school so they could tell their tale, but he knew they had to wait for Miss Addy to say it was all right.

 

@Wayfarer

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Lickskillet, Bridget, Arabella, Clara, Emeline, Ralph, Barnabas

 


There was a flurry of activity as Emeline, escorted by Ralph, got to the small cafe, and she was relieved that everything seemed to be in place.  She smiled as Clara ran out to meet them, and honestly, she would have been more surprised if the young woman had actually hugged her.

"Oh thank God you are safe! I was so worried,"

"Yes, I'm fine...a little shaken, but unscathed."  'Shaken' was a bit of an understatement, but the chaos around her was actually helping her to focus.  "Thank you, Mr. Flandry.  Come by any time."  She smiled at the man as he took his leave, understanding the need, but then a flurry of gingham flew in, and Emeline was tempted to run back to the bank and ask for the robbers to take her hostage!

“Oh Ralph, Ralph, thank the Lord you are safe!!” she cried dramatically. “You were so brave!” she gasped as he peeled her off. “I watched the whole thing through the winder, you were sneakin’ up on that varmint so nice and quiet until that stupid sheriff went and shot at him. He got off light cause of that, if he hadn’t’ve interfered you’d ha’ got him right between the eyes and blow’d his brains clean out!” she declared, holding up a pretend gun and pulling an invisible trigger and looking somewhat annoyed that the man was still alive, if injured.

“And then you swept Miss Em off her feet and rescued her! Oh, Miss Em, you were a heroine, you didn’t look scared at all – I’d ha’ fainted!!”

At the rapid string of words, and the gesture, Emeline balked a bit, but then commented quietly, "Fainting in a crisis doesn't accomplish anything, dear."  After the excitement, then you could faint!

An instant later, the girl was shouting excitedly about someone inside stealing, and for a moment she tensed, but then she realized that Clara wouldn't allow any intruders, and Arabella was prone to histrionics.  Besides, Barnabas was gimping over to her!

"You alright, Em? That feller what took holt of you, he's locked up, waitin' on the circuit judge, and a rope."

"Yes, yes, I'm fine..."  And even better now that he was here!  Reaching up, she lightly caressed his cheek as she looked into his eyes, her realization now that anything that had happened in the bank was by far eclipsed by the fact that she could have lost Barnabas.  "What about you?  He tried to shoot you...I had to do something."  And she would have done more if she could have.  "I'm glad they didn't get away."  And that they would pay for killing Mr. Olsen...and the horse, indirectly!
 

@Wayfarer; @Flip; @Javia

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Lickskillet kitchen, Jonah, Buster, Arabella's loud mouth ;)

 

More than happy to be away from all the fuss, and at least he could be helping, since he figured that Mrs. Blakesley was likely to be too frazzled to want to do anything, and besides some water might help settle her.  And it gave him something to do to feel useful.

 

Of course, he didn't know the lay-out of the kitchen and had to snoop around some to find drinking glasses and coffee mugs, and in the process he found a one-eyed ginger cat, curled up on a chair, staring at him through a single eye, and a small supply of elderberry and dandelion wine, something he might need later!

 

But then there was some shouting, and that harridan child was pointing at him and jumping up and down excitedly.

 

"What?"  There was the reinforcement he needed to stay with his conviction that he never wanted to have children...Good Lord forbid he ended up with half a dozen Arabellas...there wasn't enough elderberry wine in the territory to make up for that!

 

@Javia; @Wayfarer

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The tension dissolved quickly when the robber was finally under control and had not shot any of the boys or Jay.

Instead the boys hugged each other, glad that everyone was alright and at the same time extremely excited. Jay watched them with a sigh of relief but inwardly he started trembling because he knew he could have lost both of them and Weedy had become very dear to him. Not even speaking about his own life.

He closed the distance and pulled the boy into a tight hug. "Weedy! I'm so glad you're okay." Then he ruffled Wyatts hair. "You, too."

 

Of course thanks were in order to the one man, he had avoided like the plague thanks to his own history. "Thank you, you came, just in time. I don't know what would have happened otherwise."

After shaking the mans hand he looked at Addy. Oh man, what if she had lost Weedy ...or him? A smile tugged on his lips as he walked over to her. "That was a close call."

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"You alright, Em? That feller what took holt of you, he's locked up, waitin' on the circuit judge, and a rope."

 

"Yes, yes, I'm fine..."  And even better now that he was here!  Reaching up, she lightly caressed his cheek as she looked into his eyes, her realization now that anything that had happened in the bank was by far eclipsed by the fact that she could have lost Barnabas.  "What about you?  He tried to shoot you...I had to do something."  And she would have done more if she could have.  "I'm glad they didn't get away."  And that they would pay for killing Mr. Olsen...and the horse, indirectly!


“You done just fine Em. Just fine.” Barnabas said as he took hold of her hand, a smile on his face. “Danged fool, took off my boot heel! Poor aim, an’ he had me dead to rights, but you did what had to be done, I didn’t figure he could’a downed me anyways. Would’a bedded him down afore that happened.” He paused, his face taking on a dour cast. “Sorry ‘bout the horse, just didn’t see any other way, I had no shot at him that laid hands on you."

 

“So long as you’re unharmed, that’s what’s important right now. The ones we got in jail will join the ones that was shot soon enough. One escaped, I reckon he stole a horse an’ lit out. Ain’t sure what Speed’ll do about it, bein he’s a town Marshal and got to jurisdiction out yonder. But that don’t mean he might not go after him.”

 

He looked into her eyes, it had been a long morning already for both of them. The place was full of folks, not counting the Doc and the other women. “Best I get a heel nailed onta this boot, if it can be done, and get down to the office. Just wanted to be sure you were okay."

 

@Bongo

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Meanwhile

 

They stood at the hotel doors, Winchesters across their folded arms. Bannister and Santee knowing what was happening, could not be sure it wasn't a subterfuge to get at Miss Steelgrave. Dex McKenny was at the back door. Leah Steelgrave was up in her room, far from what was taking place.

 

There was no certainty that the old man wouldn't try anything to get his daughter back, or to ruin what she was trying to do.  From what McKenny had told them Saturday night, Elias was drinking heavy, had ridden over to what was left of Whitefish and set the church on fire. It sounded to them like he was losing it.

 

So the robbery, whether just that or something else, was the Town Marshal's business, Leah Steelegrave was theirs. They had a great view of the proceedings and those involved, and were impressed at a couple of the shots that were taken by the barkeep and the other man. Pike's take down of the horse had been sad, but necessary. 

 

No one approached the hotel, not that they would have turned away any citizens, it would be clear who was who in that instance. They were not about keeping people out, they were about insuring Miss Steelgraves safety.

large.Bannister.jpg.98d483fc675d1c1a8daca876cf781110.jpglarge.Santee.jpg.94847727987a9a96e3b8bb128a4ef05d.jpglarge.1315809794_DexMcKenny.jpg.81df97673bde07333f866edce3d04b60.jpg

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Wyatt & Weedy  plus Jay

 

 

 

"You were so brave!  There's plenty'a gown-ups who'd'a just fainted clean away!" Weedy complimented him.

 

"Probably not as brave as I mighta looked but mostly girls would be the ones to faint," Wyatt reasoned. He was surprised to hear he looked that brave, he had felt terrified.

 

"I think I'm going to be a lawman, make sure bad men like that don't hurt anyone."

 

"You better learn to shoot then. Which means you're gonna need a gun. We got us a Sharps carbine and a Dragoon Colt and Pa has shown both of us how to shoot. I can hit a tree trunk at fifty yards," Wyatt declared, that distance was perhaps a mite exaggerated though. OK, more like twenty yards.

 

Mr. Ryker came up to them then and hugged Weedy, giving Wyatt's hair a quick tousle.

 

"Thank ya, sir. You saved me and I'm grateful to ya," Wyatt wanted him to know.

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Emeline was safe as was her husband to be, the malefactors were either dead or in jail. Sadly Mr. Olsen was gone, so there would be one funeral a few days from now. No one gave funerals to dead outlaws just shoveled dirt on them, Clara reasoned.

 

Then Arabella had to go cause a stir, accusing the doctor of stealing food in the diner kitchen. She even called for him to be shot! My goodness! Her melodramatic outbursts were some day going to cause someone to get hurt!

 

"Stop it, Arabella! You are talking foolishness," Clara snapped rather angrily.

 

She turned to Em and Pronto, "That is Dr. Danforth. He escorted Bridget into the building, I let them in.  I told him he could help himself to something to drink and eat. He had my permission. If I overstepped my authority, you may take it out of my wages."

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Aftermath

 

Speed walked back from the cell block with Doc Boone after locking up the two outlaws. “ 'Spose they’ll be here a while till the Circuit Judge gets here. Less of course Robinson wants to try them.”

 

“Hard to tell Marshall, Robinson sort of does what he wants, but even though he’s retired from the bench wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he wanted the job.” Boone answered. “And I’d like to commend you and that Deputy Pike for not turning the street into a blood bath. Shame about the horse.”

 

“Why thank you Doc, there was no real need to have at it with them. I knew there would be innocents in side. Those that took shots took ones that needed taking when they needed it. Pike was well restrained, considering the varmint used his fiancée as a shield. A wonder he didn’t dispatch Marley on the spot.” He chuckled, “Got the pot on the stove if you’d like a cup.”

 

“Now that sounds like a grand idea, maybe a touch of medicinal whiskey for what ails you.” Boone suggested.

 

“Can’t, on duty. You know how it is, but you go ahead.”  Was speeds decline of the offer. Had it been winter, that would have been different. They entered the office and Speed poured the two cups, then both men took seat at the desk.

 

“You might be in for rewards for those four that you have. Doubt this was their first bank job.”

 

“I’ve a stack of circulars, you could be right. Of course the town will likely take it, but it would go to good use. Maybe they’d let Miss Steelgrave have it toward the hospital.” Speed offered. “I suppose she’ll need all the support she can get.”

 

Doc Boone looked at the Marshal a long moment...

image.jpeg.effacf4e5b83e041afb47ea4a9eac962.jpeg

TBC

 

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Aftermath

 

Of course thanks were in order to the one man, he had avoided like the plague thanks to his own history. "Thank you, you came, just in time. I don't know what would have happened otherwise."

 

"You'da had to shoot him, that's what. But he didn't have the sand." Pike stated flatly, as that was what would have had to happen. But it did not, and for that he was grateful.

 

After shaking the mans hand he looked at Addy. Oh man, what if she had lost Weedy ...or him? A smile tugged on his lips as he walked over to her. "That was a close call."

 

"It was. Like I said, you done good, might oughtta look up the Marshal after the smoke clears, an' things get back to normal." He shoved Simpson hard. "Need to get him tended to and locked up. Miss Addy>" He tipped his hat and walked on. Simpson grumpling as the moved on.

 

@Jack@Bongo

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Then Arabella had to go cause a stir, accusing the doctor of stealing food in the diner kitchen. She even called for him to be shot! My goodness! Her melodramatic outbursts were some day going to cause someone to get hurt!

 

"Stop it, Arabella! You are talking foolishness," Clara snapped rather angrily.

 

“Are you blind as a bat or what, Clara Anne Redmond?! There’s a fancy dude in there ransacking the place worse’n that drunk racoon Miss Em ‘n’ Pronto found t’other night!” disagreed the girl, peering into the building, where the looter was now coming forward.

 

She turned to Em and Pronto, “That is Dr. Danforth. He escorted Bridget into the building, I let them in.  I told him he could help himself to something to drink and eat. He had my permission. If I overstepped my authority, you may take it out of my wages.”

 

“Oh!” said Arabella, listening in on this revelation.

 

Doctor, eh? Well dressed, handsome too, and now he was coming hither. She wondered if she should feign a faint, what with all the excitement, and have him ‘tend’ to her. Then again, she had just tried to have him shot, and he might not take kindly to her, especially if he was the touchy type. Maybe not, then. Besides, a better prospect had just opened up.

 

“Hey, there’s that reporter feller!” she bellowed to no-one in particular. “I wanna word with him! So long folks!!” with that, she kicked up her heels and started to run across to where that bastion of the free and untrammelled press stood, surveying the scene.

 

“Hey!! Hey!!! Mr. McVay! I seen the whole thing!!” she yelled at the man as she ran toward him.

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Addy, Wyatt, Weedy, Jay, Pike in passing

 



"I think I'm going to be a lawman, make sure bad men like that don't hurt anyone."

"You better learn to shoot then. Which means you're gonna need a gun. We got us a Sharps carbine and a Dragoon Colt and Pa has shown both of us how to shoot. I can hit a tree trunk at fifty yards,"

"Miz Addy showed me some, let me shoot her Colt a couple times, but maybe now she'll give me some real lessons?"  It was something Weedy had been badgering her about for a while now, and if Wyatt knew how to shoot, that was just to his advantage.  "Or maybe Jay will show me?  He just faced that man without even flinching!"  That took some real backbone, like Addy killing that bear!

He grinned widely as Jay came over to them and gave him a hug that he tolerated, even though he'd never admit that he was grateful for it!

"Weedy! I'm so glad you're okay." Then he ruffled Wyatt's hair. "You, too."

"Thank ya, sir. You saved me and I'm grateful to ya," Wyatt wanted him to know.

"We're fine, you did real good!" Weedy gushed, Jay was his new hero!  "You weren't even afraid!"  He'd have to pay closer attention now, so he could emulate the man, and he'd badger Addy to ask Jay over more, like those first days when they were living together.

Mr. Pronto Pike came then to retrieve the bandit, and Weedy was in kid-heaven!  Heroes everywhere, and the bad guys taken care of...perfect!  The deputy went right up to Jay and shook his hand...

"Thank you, you came, just in time. I don't know what would have happened otherwise."

"You'da had to shoot him, that's what. But he didn't have the sand." Pike stated flatly, as that was what would have had to happen. But it did not, and for that he was grateful.

Addy hadn't seen what had happened, but she'd gotten the gist of it from the boys, and she smiled and nodded to Pronto.

"That was a close call."

"It was. Like I said, you done good, might oughtta look up the Marshal after the smoke clears, an' things get back to normal." He shoved Simpson hard. "Need to get him tended to and locked up. Miss Addy." He tipped his hat and walked on. Simpson grumpling as the moved on.

"Pike..."  Addy watched as he led the miscreant away, then turned her attention to Jay and the boys.  "Best get ya two back ta school," she declared, giving Weedy's shoulder a light squeeze, "Miz Kathleen's mighty worried about ya." 

Well, so was she, but now that she knew they were safe, once they were back in class she would talk to Jay.  Maybe by then she'd understand more the way she was feeling at the moment.

@Jack; @Wayfarer
 

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On 1/26/2021 at 9:03 AM, Henry S. Guyer II said:

Quentin finally noted the motion as Marshal Guyer began moving his suspect in the direction of the jail. He fell into step as they headed down the street. "Do you think we got them all, Marshal?"

 

Speed looked to the man, “If two went out the back window, we only got one. Either the last of them in here in town, or he has probably stolen a horse, hell, they’re all over town saddled and ready.” He tightened his grip on Marley’s arm. “Who’s the other one? Huh? Who is he?”

 

Marley looked to the marshal, lips pursed, a glower on his ashen face. “I’m shot, I got no idea what yer talking’ about, law dog.”


“And near as I can figure, you’re gonna hang right soon too. But we’ll see to them wounds. That can go as painfully as you like, Mister. But it’ll be easier if you tell me who the other one is.” It was unlike Speed Guyer to make idle threats, and his threat of additional pain, well in truth, that depended on what pain killer was in the Doc’s bag.

 

“Appreciate you today Quentin, could certainly have been worse had it not been for you and Flandry. And thanks for haulin’ that hardware to my office. They won’t be needing it, that’s for sure.”  He added

Quentin nodded as he replaced the spent cartridges from his revolver. "Happy to help, Marshal...truth be told I was more afraid that wild eyed idiot might shoot me next after he shot Mr. Olson. It was as much self defense as it was public minded service..." Quentin closed the weapon and slid it back into his holster and slipped the loop back over the holster. "...Oh, by the way, the reason I was even here in town was I wanted to tell you I am missing cattle, and way more than can be explained by lost, sick, or preyed upon. If you would keep your eyes and ears open I would sure appreciate it."

 

Quentin stepped over and poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot on top of the stove. "Are you planning to go looking for the one that got away? I don't mind helping wrap up the loose ends..."

 

@Flip

 

 

On 1/26/2021 at 9:03 AM, Henry S. Guyer II said:

image.jpeg.62e2f8e794459ec88821d146d33d83ff.jpeg

 

 

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 Quentin nodded as he replaced the spent cartridges from his revolver. "Happy to help, Marshal...truth be told I was more afraid that wild eyed idiot might shoot me next after he shot Mr. Olson. It was as much self defense as it was public minded service..." Quentin closed the weapon and slid it back into his holster and slipped the loop back over the holster. "...Oh, by the way, the reason I was even here in town was I wanted to tell you I am missing cattle, and way more than can be explained by lost, sick, or preyed upon. If you would keep your eyes and ears open I would sure appreciate it."

 

Quentin stepped over and poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot on top of the stove. "Are you planning to go looking for the one that got away? I don't mind helping wrap up the loose ends..."

 

“Rustlers?” He asked right off. “They’ve been quiet this spring so far, but I guess it wasn’t meant to last. Wish we had a County Sheriff for these things, well one more qualified for the job than Case Steelgrave. If I didn’t have my business I’d surely consider running myself.”

 

“As far as going after this outlaw, I don’t have jurisdiction outside the city limits, if I had any idea which way he might have gone and how he went that way. Surely doubt he ran on foot.”

 

Just then the door opened and Seth Roberson stepped in. “Marshal, my horse was stolen from out back of the mercantile.”

 

Speed looked at Quentin and back to Roberson. “That would be just down from the bank, wouldn’t it? Let me get Pike down here and we’ll have a look.” He took off his badge and laid it on the desk, a sign he was willing to go after the last of them without a badge, or at least not a town Marshal badge. “Best be a private citizen for this.” He thought a moment, “Roberson, get a mount from the livery, tell ‘em I said to charge me for it.”

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Roberson

@Longshot

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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That was interesting, Addy had let Weedy fire her gun. Wyatt wondered if his now sadly departed mother would have let him do such a thing? Maybe not but no matter, he loved her still and missed her a lot.

 

"I'm sure you'll be a good shot when you get the practice," Wyatt announced supportively.

 

Jay Ryker approached and Wyatt made a point of thanking the man for the brave rescue. He'd been brought up to be sure and show gratitude when folks did something for a person.

 

Addy watched as Pronto led the varmint away, then turned her attention to Jay and the boys.  "Best get ya two back ta school," she declared, giving Weedy's shoulder a light squeeze, "Miz Kathleen's mighty worried about ya." 

 

"Oh we're probably gonna have to stay after school for running away like that," Wyatt said glumly but in truth he knew they did wrong and deserved a punishment..sorta. He hoped it wasn't doing arithmetic problems on the blackboard, he hated that. At least when he had homework assignments like those, Clara helped him with it.

 

"And we can't call her that, we have to use her real name," he also sagely pointed out, the woman was a teacher after all.

 

westrpgson2.jpg

 

 

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“Rustlers?” He asked right off. “They’ve been quiet this spring so far, but I guess it wasn’t meant to last. Wish we had a County Sheriff for these things, well one more qualified for the job than Case Steelgrave. If I didn’t have my business I’d surely consider running myself.”

 

Quentin looked into his coffee for a long moment. "Yeah, about that...I am thinking about running against Steelgrave. I don't like the idea of him just walking away with the Sheriff's job..." He looked up at Speed. "...It might be useful to have the backing of the town marshal for what it might mean to the voters..."

 

Speed looked at Quentin and back to Roberson. “That would be just down from the bank, wouldn’t it? Let me get Pike down here and we’ll have a look.” He took off his badge and laid it on the desk, a sign he was willing to go after the last of them without a badge, or at least not a town Marshal badge. “Best be a private citizen for this.” He thought a moment, “Roberson, get a mount from the livery, tell ‘em I said to charge me for it.”

 

Quentin drained the rest of the coffee in a long drink and set the cup down on a table nearby. "Well, I can't let you go charging off after this desperado without finding out how the story ends, especially not as a private citizen." He walked over to stand near the marshal. "My horse is tied up down at the hotel. I have a rifle there and spare shells...as far as I am concerned you're still calling the shots, Marshal. What next?"

 

@Flip

 

 

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Quentin drained the rest of the coffee in a long drink and set the cup down on a table nearby. "Well, I can't let you go charging off after this desperado without finding out how the story ends, especially not as a private citizen." He walked over to stand near the marshal. "My horse is tied up down at the hotel. I have a rifle there and spare shells...as far as I am concerned you're still calling the shots, Marshal. What next?"

 

As he walked to his horse he looked to Quentin, an unexpected ally. Not that he doubted that he was an law abiding citizen, he had just not foreseen the man ready to pursue an outlaw. “I’ll ride up to the Lickskillet and let Pike know where we’re headed. You get you mount, and once Roberson is mounted we’ll start behind the mercantile. That’s where he lost his horse, and I believe where our suspect lit out from.”

 

Hopefully the tracks would bear out his theory, though the man was well ahead of any pursuers, he could only run so long before the horse would give out, but, should he be checking his back trail, that would change things considerably. A man would take more care not to kill his mount by running him to death.

@L

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Quentin exited the jail and began walking quickly down the sidewalk toward the hotel. He decided against running because that would just cause the townspeople to gossip and speculate about what was going on. He figured word would get out about the marshal's plan soon enough.

 

Minutes later, Quentin arrived at the hitching post in front of the hotel. He walked up beside Paladin and ran a hand along his mane, looking the mount over and checking the saddle, tightening the cinch from where he had loosened it when he arrived in town. Quentin then pulled his Winchester from the scabbard, He tried to push a .44-40 round into the loading gate but could not, nodding that the magazine was full. He then worked the lever to chamber a round and he used a thumb to ease the hammer down before loading a round back into the magazine. Quentin then slid the rifle back into the scabbard and he mounted Paladin, turning the horse and breaking into an easy lope up the street, turning into a nearby alley and ending up in the area behind several of the stores. He reined his horse to a stop and dismounted, letting the reins hang to keep Paladin in place while he walked over and stood looking at the tracks scattered around the area.

 

@Flip

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"Yeah, maybe giving you some lessons is not a bad idea, if Addy agrees."

 

The walk back to the school allowed Jay some time to process what had just happened and how close the boys and him had been to getting shot. Maybe it was stupid what he had done but it had paid off. Now that it was all said and down, he started to feel a little shaky.

When Addy brought the boys back in the classroom who seemed to be on some sort of high from the incident, he sat down on a bench outside and wrung his hands through his hair, blowing out some air.

Strange what he was ready to do for a boy, who wasn't his own.

He leaned his head back against the wooden outside of the building and let the sun warm his face.

@Bongo

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Having left word with Pike that he was going out with Cantrell and Roberson, he left the café, mounted up and took the first alley walking his horse toward Quentin looking for tracks. He was a ways from the back of the mercantile, but it never hurt to look the ground over, since no one knew which direction the outlaw took.

 

His second problem was, he had no idea who this other man was. Marley had been tight lipped about it, which surely didn’t help, but was expected. The outlaw code of not divulging names was commonplace, unless one thought he could get himself out of a jam, of at least get off easy. Not the case with Marley, he was going to hang and he knew it.

 

Speed caught up to Quentin in short order, as Roberson rode up. “Anything?”  Speed asked, looking down and appraising the ground. There really wasn’t much, which told him the hombre likely walked the horse a bit. Which was sheer foolishness.

 

“See that crooked shoe print? My gelding’s got him an odd shaped front hoof, so the smithy has to work a shoe to fit. Would'a give up on him long ago, but he can go for days, and damn near like a herd dog, he is.” Roberson bragged, pointing to the odd shaped print.

 

“We got a start then, looks to me like best we head north-east but spread out, ground’ll be tore up when he lays spurs to him, then we got a real trail!” Speed told them.

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   Roberson

@Longshot @Any

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“We got a start then, looks to me like best we head north-east but spread out, ground’ll be tore up when he lays spurs to him, then we got a real trail!” Speed told them.

 

Quentin listened to Roberson's description and nodded. "Well, that will help pick out his tracks, no doubt..." He looked over at Speed. "Marshal, I know I said you call the shots, but I have done this a few times. I don't think we should split up. I know Roberson's horse can run forever, but our friend from the bank was probably on edge and worn out before he even stole the horse. He might have holed up fairly quick to get some rest. If any of us ride up on him alone he wouldn't hesitate to shoot." Quentin thought back to the various times he hunted men. Nothing was more dangerous than a scared man, especially one that knew he was being chased.

 

@Flip

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 “You might be in for rewards for those four that you have. Doubt this was their first bank job.”

 

“I’ve a stack of circulars, you could be right. Of course the town will likely take it, but it would go to good use. Maybe they’d let Miss Steelgrave have it toward the hospital.” Speed offered. “I suppose she’ll need all the support she can get.”

 

Doc Boone looked at the Marshal a long moment...

 

“You don’t care much about the reward money I take it. And what gives you the impression that the town council would do anything of the kind for a Steelgrave?” He words were barbed.

 

“I don’t Doc. I know them, and I doubt they would do anything for a Steelgrave, any Steelgrave. But they may well be able to separate the hospital from Miss Steelgrave and realize the importance of the project to this, and the surrounding communities. Of course, I could be wrong.”

 

Doc laughed at the last part of Speed’s statement. “Danged if you ain’t got this figured out, and them too! And you’re correct, she will need all the support she can get. Not so much financially as that from the people. She knows this is weighed by her name, and not by need. No sir, we’ll need the townsfolk to to back the young lady and her desire to improve the community, her father be hanged!”

 

“Hanged, Doc?

 

“ Hanged! I'm sure that would be met with delight, here a bouts, yes sir, pure de delight. But getting the nose around his neck has proven impossible so far. He never gets his hands dirty, always his ranch hands that do the jail time, or dance at the end of a rope. Robinson’s sent several to the gallows. In fact, some say his inability to get Elias is why he retired. Can’t say that’s true. More likely his age and health.” Doc said without clarification on the man’s heath.

TBC

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School house, W&W, Miss Kathleen, Addy, Jay

 

As she and Jay walked the boys back to school, Addy was really thinking that she couldn't blame Weedy, after all, she'd likely have done the same thing had she been in similar circumstances!  Still, they had put themselves in danger and worried the teacher, and they had to consider that.

 

Before going in, she knocked on the door and announced herself so she didn't startle Miz Katherine.  "Addy here, got yer strays rounded up!" 

 

After taking the boys in, she nodded to the teacher.  "They're yers fer th' rest of th' day, an' it's safe out now, 'though it might be best ta still keep 'em all in fer a time."  Yes, the excitement was over, but there was still a tipped wagon and dead horse in the street, not to mention blood and a lot of activity.

 

Weedy glanced at Wyatt and shook his head slightly.  He figured there would be some sort of penalty from the teacher, and he'd bare the brunt of it if he could, since he knew that Wyatt had followed him, so it was mostly his fault.  He just hoped whatever it was didn't involve writing.

 

With the boys turned over, Addy went back outside, then sat on the bench beside Jay, silent, not sure what to say, not sure how to express her feelings, nor where their feelings stood.

 

Instead, she just reached over and put her hand on his.

 

@Jack; @JulieS; @Wayfarer  (Not sure if all ya'll want to do something with the boys and teacher...

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Lickskillet, Clara, Bridget, Barnabas, Ralph, Jonah

“You done just fine Em. Just fine.” Barnabas said as he took hold of her hand, a smile on his face. “Danged fool, took off my boot heel! Poor aim, an’ he had me dead to rights, but you did what had to be done, I didn’t figure he could’a downed me anyways. Would’a bedded him down afore that happened.” He paused, his face taking on a dour cast. “Sorry ‘bout the horse, just didn’t see any other way, I had no shot at him that laid hands on you."

 "I know you did what you had to."  And that he'd never harm an animal, especially a horse, without good cause.  "I'm grateful that man didn't try to drag me away," she grinned, "I might have had to bite him!"

“So long as you’re unharmed, that’s what’s important right now. The ones we got in jail will join the ones that was shot soon enough. One escaped, I reckon he stole a horse an’ lit out. Ain’t sure what Speed’ll do about it, bein he’s a town Marshal and got to jurisdiction out yonder. But that don’t mean he might not go after him.”

 Emeline nodded understanding.  "I'm sure he'll do what he has to to keep the town safe."  But if Speed left town to pursue the remaining outlaw, then Barnabas would have to be on patrol in town, so Emeline would have to wait a time before she could have him to herself...but she knew that was part of being engaged to a lawman.

“Best I get a heel nailed onta this boot, if it can be done, and get down to the office. Just wanted to be sure you were okay."

"Thank you, and I'm so relieved you're all right as well."  Smiling, she gave his hand a squeeze, then put a light kiss on his cheek, even if it might not be completely proper.  "Do what you have to, I have things to do here."  And plenty of people around to keep her occupied so she didn't have time to worry over what had happened.

As he left, her attention turned to Clara and the whole fuss over Dr. Danforth...

"That is Dr. Danforth. He escorted Bridget into the building, I let them in.  I told him he could help himself to something to drink and eat. He had my permission. If I overstepped my authority, you may take it out of my wages."

"No, Clara, that's fine."  Taking a deep breath, Emeline smiled and nodded.  "I commend you for giving them refuge."  She glanced at Bridget.  "Are you all right, Miss Bridget?  I think pie is in order...for everyone."

She looked back at Clara.  "We'll give out what food we have prepared, I won't be serving dinner tonight...I'm just..." she shrugged...Clara would understand.

"Shaken?"  With the young harridan gone to torment the newspaper man, Jonah had ventured into the dining area of the cafe, carrying a tray that had mugs and the coffee pot on it.  "Have a seat, dear lady, and allow us to take care of things."  Not that he knew what 'things' entailed!  At least he could pour Emeline some coffee!  In the mean time, Clara would know what needed doing, and Bridget could help.

"Oh, well, thank you."  Sitting, Emeline took the mug of coffee, her hands starting to tremble now.
 

@Wayfarer; @Javia

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Oh, probably didn't make it real clear, one of my short comings, I 'spose. What I meant was, we fan out , not all that far,  three, four yards maybe, where we can see one another until one of us finds the track we looking for. Then we regroup and take out after him." Speed explained. "We have this one print, so maybe he walked it a few yards then laid sours to him, which would tear up the ground and give us a clear direction, that's what we're lookin' for.

 

"Sometimes my mind outruns my mouth. Let's get to it then." Roberson swung out to the left, Speed swung to the right leaving Cantrell in the middle.

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@Longshot

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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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