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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.

Grinding down


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Author: Jack

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Location: In front of Jays home
When: Month / Day (optional) / 1875
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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Sweat was staining his shirt even though it was fairly cold outside.

Jay had been working on the outside facade of his new home in town.

Grinding the old paint off had him working up a sweat.

He noticed that he ran out of screws to fix the broken boards, so he climbed down from his ladder and wiped his hands on his pants.

He would have to go and get some more.

After having a drink of water, he put his hat on his head and made his way down the main street.

 

 

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Speed Guyer was walking the boardwalk, greeting people and generally eyeing everywhere and everything, it was what making his rounds was all about. Generally there was nothing out of place, no problems for him to intervene in, it was the norm for Main Street Kalispell.

 

It was too early for trouble in the Stardust Saloon, there might be a few customers, but it was daylight and any that might be rowdy or a problem would not show until dusk. But Flandry ran a pretty tight ship, and Guyer was glad of that. Trouble from the saloon was rare, most all of the men knew one another, strangers were few and far between most of the time. There was at least one new gambler in town, but there had been no problems with him so far.

 

The new entertainer was said to be very good, but he'd not taken the time to stop in of an evening. The business had his attention when he wasn't on duty with the prisoners. It was then he spotted a man he needed to talk with, one Jay Ryker. There was a poster with his name and description on it sitting on his desk.

 

"Jay Ryker?" He asked, stopping the young man. "We need to have words, you'll follow me back to my office." That was no suggestion, and the meaning was clear, follow willingly and avoid a scene, or.

@Jack

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Nobody could possibly startle him like the sheriff. Jay had avoided meeting the man at all cost but somehow he had now found him. Judging by his words this was no curtesy visit.

A cold shower ran down his back as he contemplated whether drawing his  gun or running away was the better option.

Once he was inside the sheriffs office he could not run this easily and the gallows pole was only steps away.

"What is this about?"

He asked before he could possibly ruin his new life over a misunderstanding.

"Are you arresting me for something?"

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"What is this about?"

 

He asked before he could possibly ruin his new life over a misunderstanding.

"Are you arresting me for something?"

 

“Arresting you? Should you be arrested?” Speed asked with just a hint of a smile. “I have this circular on a man described much the same as you, and a name quite similar to yours. But it’s about a bank robbery far from my jurisdiction.”


He paused a moment. “You risked your life to save those two boys, no outlaw I ever heard of would have done that. So you and I are going to make a deal. Addy Chappel is a dear friend of mine, so I wouldn’t want anything to happen to her and the boy, Weedy. She seems to be really happy of late, let’s keep it that way, Miser Ryker.”


“If there’s anyone here who knows who you are, you might want to let me know about them. There is always a chance I could be of some help.”  He slid to Wanted poster over toward Jay. “I probably ought to put that in the stove, since I don’t know who that is, or have any jurisdiction on it.”

 

@Jack

 

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When he heard the sheriff speak openly about the robbery Jay was ready to run because he had no gun on him and no desire to gun an official down.

But before he could bolt the man made it clear that he wasn't after him but quite willing to forgive him because he had saved the boys.

Jays jaw almost dropped as he listened.

When he finally received the poster he swallowed hard because this almost incredible.

"I don't know how to thank you, sir. I swear I've changed my ways. I always knew it was wrong and will not be involved in anything like that again."

he felt the need to be open an honest with the sheriff who was offering a second chance.

 

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"I don't know how to thank you, sir. I swear I've changed my ways. I always knew it was wrong and will not be involved in anything like that again."

 

he felt the need to be open an honest with the sheriff who was offering a second chance.

 

“There’s no need to thank me Ryker, you proved yourself, that’s what counts out here.” Speed said. “You can toss that poster in the stove if you like, you’re not wanted anymore, anybody says different you let me know.” Men of any age can make a mistake, some bigger than others, yet a man can rectify the mistake and that was exactly what he had done. “You just do the right thing by Addy and Weedy and you’ll not find trouble again, that I guarantee.”

@Jack

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"You're very kind, sheriff. i really appreciate that and knowing what you just said to me will give Addy peace of mind."

He knew that she wanted him to move in, she had even dropped hints of marriage. None of that would ever happen as long as he was considered a criminal. Things had suddenly taken a turn for the better, though.

"If you don't mind, I'll hurry and let her know."

He tipped his hat with the same hand that was holding the poster, neatly rolled up.

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"You're very kind, sheriff. i really appreciate that and knowing what you just said to me will give Addy peace of mind."

 

"Reckon so. She's a good woman." Guyer said. "Make you a good wife, was you a mind to go in that direction."

 

He knew that she wanted him to move in, she had even dropped hints of marriage. None of that would ever happen as long as he was considered a criminal. Things had suddenly taken a turn for the better, though.

 

"If you don't mind, I'll hurry and let her know."

 

He tipped his hat with the same hand that was holding the poster, neatly rolled up.

 

“You take care, and remember, anyone wants to dredge up the past, send ‘em straight to me.” He smiled then and added, “You have yourself a good day Ryker. Kalispell thanks you.”

@Jack

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