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    • "Maybe, fer this special occasion," Addy suggested, "we can try a little'a each?  That way, we can get a taste'a everything, so next time, we know what our favorite is."  It was a plan that appealed to her, so she didn't have to decide which she wanted!   "Never turn down help," she declared, "but seems ta me yer th' one needs help brushin' them horses down."  She glanced at Weedy and Josh, considering for a moment if it was safe to let the boy go up into the loft, but then, his father could stop him, and, after all, he was a Chappel!  He'd grown up around horses, and was of hardy stock!   With them all working together, it wouldn't take too long to get the horses settled, and then they could be on the way to treats!   @MD
    • "We'll get on."  Addy was determined, and once she grabbed hold of the crude rope halter, she had control of the animal.  "Here..."  Cupping her hands, she made a step for Caroline, to give her a boost up.  "Just grab his mane."   TBC   @Wayfarer                    
    • Mature Content: Doubt it With: Tyrell Garret Thornton Location: Add specific location information here. When: Mid-July 1876 Time of Day: Encompasses a couple of days     Place holder
    • Anæsthesia wasn't exactly convinced by all these homilies about falling out of trees, breaking arms, and sleeping in the mud: she smiled politely, if a little tightly. Truth to tell, she felt a little bit 'got at' - the snobby girl was getting a taste of her own medicine in the form of the inverted-snobbery of these rough frontier folk.    She suddenly blurted, rather defensively "I have learned to shoot a gun!"   "I have a 1858 model Lefaucheux double action revolver, and really am rather a good shot with it." she said proudly. Now maybe they'd stop telling her that she needed to fall out of a tree to be able to claim that her life had any meaning.    Of course, the hypocrisy was that she was quite willing to tell others what they should be doing with their lives: like learning to read.      @Bongo @MD
    • Mr McVey was chattering away as Arabella grabbed her non-packable items: two dresses, spare bonnet, basket and three large round circles made of bamboo. These were very hard to carry and to manoeuvre through the doorway.    "You and I disagree on a number of things, yet, we agree on others. Mister Reeve is certainly one to keep an eye on. And I would say, he is dangerous in another way, to the political atmosphere in Kalispell. He is an odd fellow, yet, so is Mister Pettigrew. Perhaps the goal of him running is to slit the vote? I'm not exactly confident on that assumption."   "Now don't you be mean about Mr Pettigrew, Mr McVey, he's been right nice to me: teachin' me all about how to speak proper and act like a lady." she objected. Pettigrew had taught her something else, too, something more important than those surface embellishments, something at her very core.    He hoisted the trunk that was surprising lighter than he would have expected. "As time moves on, we'll have a better idea of Pettigrew's purpose in the grand scheme of the elections this fall." He added, then, "I'm following you, Arabella."   "Hold on, I'm all tangled up!" she yelped, the three bamboo circles seemed to have minds of their own and were doing their darndest to stop her getting through the doorway. "I'm takin' these hoops with me, in case crinolines come back in!" she informed him.    Eventually she got herself through the door and down the stairs, with a shout of "I'm goin' now, I'll be back at seven!" at Caroline's door. When the two of them reached the bar, there was a ragged cheer from some of the rounders who were regulars "Don't worry, I'll be back at seven, boys!" she assured them.   "Oh damn!" one of them joked.    "You movin' in with him?!" another joshed. Arabella laughed and didn't say yes and didn't say no: well, Phin had said he didn't care if people talked!   @Flip
Elias Steelgrave

What else Can Go Wrong?

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Mature Content:  Yes Language

With: Elias Hood, Layton Harris, Arlen Granger
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: April 24th, 1876
Time of Day: Mid-Morning, evening, etc.).




The place was straightened up somewhat. Elias was sober, and had been for since news of Cases arrest reached him.

Three men stood in the parlor, two with hat in hand. Elias, his Foreman Layton Harris and the Assistant Foreman, Arlen Granger. This was not a friendly meeting by any stretch of the imagination.

“What the hell has taken you two three full days to gather the goddamned riders I ordered? I meant to have my son out of that jail and home by now.” Elias was fuming. I wanted them sonsabitches in Kalispell yesterday, goddamnit! Not nursemaiding cows!


“For Christ sake Elias, they were all over the spread. They were branding as they found calves, a couple were driving them down out of the hills, but we had men tied up everywhere on this ranch, except here.” Harris shot back. Boss or not, there were situations where men would be all but out of reach. “It’s spring round up, damn it, and that takes every man we’ve got. Cases men are no help, they’re off someplace doin’ whatever.”


“I sent one of the young hands out to find them, but I ain’t heard squat since he left.” Granger piped up. “We got maybe a dozen men that need food and remounts to make the trip to Kalispell. Ya gotta give ‘em some time, they ain’t been here twenty minutes.”
“I gotta give ‘em shit! I pay their wages on time, I expect them to be here when I need them! So you get their lazy asses in them saddles and ride for Kalispell! I want it done now goddamnit!”


“What the hell else can go wrong?” He shouted at their backs as they hurried from the room to help with the remounts and get them going.


With the two of them there would be fourteen men, against two. Kalispell had had it’s fair share of excitement, but that had been five men in the bank job, this would be three times that many! It would be a much different situation, besides, there were another fifteen that had yet to ride in to the home ranch, plus Cases men. If they ever showed.


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Within an hour fourteen men rode out of the Evergreen at a gallop, which they would maintain for just long enough to be out of sight of the main house, then slow to a canter. They all understood what was expected, and they understood they would need to break Marshal Guyers will to hold Case, or kill him.  And then there was the deputy, a reputed gunfighter.


The men riding toward Kalispell were not just cowboys, hardly. Most wee experienced gunmen. Hired gunmen whose main job was to hold or take land, protect the ranch, and ride into harms way, as they were doing that morning.


They also understood it would be broad daylight, almost mid-day when they rode into Kalispell. One thing was certain, there was a town full of people that were veterans of the late war, veterans of Indian fighting, both men and women. This would not be a s simple as Elias might think. No town would be rode over roughshod, the people would not stand for it.


It was a lot to think about on the ride in.


To be continued in "Numbers May Not Be Enough."



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It had gone badly in Kalispell, and badly didn't cover it. They had been out-flanked by three men they all knew and had ridden with, men that once involved would have shot them down with no remorse. The gunfighter Pike and another to the rear of them and Speed Guyer in font. Oh, they had the numbers in a head on fight, but it would ave been anything but.


Harris and Granger had ridden into a hornets nest and had escaped with their lives. But now they had to face Elias, which meant their live may well be forfeit anyway! They had no idea what might happen when they reached the home ranch without Elias' son.  The old man was volatile and they were about to confess their failure to him. 


As the place came into view the uneasiness among the Evergreen riders increased. Many of them considered drawing their pistols to be ready, just in case. There was nothing any of them could have done to have it turn out differently, nothing.


They rode into the yard and Elias was there to meet them.


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The gunshot was extremely loud inside the house!


Layton Harris’s suddenly lifeless form crumpled to the floor, a hole in his forehead. “So, Granger, that makes you the foreman now. Get a couple men and get the body out of my house! After that I want to know exactly what happened in Kalispell. Six men turned over a dozen of you away, I’ll need to hear this. Now, get some men and do what I said!”


Without a thought, Arlen Granger took hold of Harris’ body by the shoulders and drug him out of the door. There were several hands in still the yard as Granger and the body of Harris came out of the door. Three men immediately went to Grangers aid and carried the body down the steps and away from the house.

“See to it he’s buried out aways.” Arlen ordered.


In the house, Elias’ servant was cleaning up the blood from the thirty-two caliber wound as Arlen walked in. Elias looked up, a dazed look on his face, as if he didn’t know what had just occurred in his own hallway.  “Arlen, what happened and why didn’t you bring Case here as I ordered.


“The Marshal met us with a shotgun, his Deputy come up from behind with another old timer and then Santee, Bannister, and McKenny crossed over from someplace. All was armed and ready, hell boss, there was even a couple women with shotguns close by. They had us cold.” Granger explained. “If one of us would'a moved for a gun, they’da tore hell out of us.”


“The Marshal alone would got maybe half a dozen with his eight-gauge. And the rest of them boys’d been pourin' lead into what was left. They just wasn’t no way to spring Case without us all dyin’ just no way.”


“Can’t let him go to trial. Can’t let him face the Circuit Judge.” The thought of ambushing the coach and killing him came and immediately went. It would be plain who orchestrated such a thing, unless they killed all of them. Perhaps an attempt on him at the hotel, or would he be at the boarding house, and if so, which one? No, no it was getting too complicated to try and plan that, and there was not a lot of time left.


His head snapped up, okay Arlen okay. I need to make another plan, you tend what has to be done and I’ll call for you when I have something.” He said almost absently.

“Yes boss.” Arlen said, and quickly left.


And then it came to him, a man on the roof of the Star Dust Saloon with a rifle.



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Sunday, April 2, 1876:

Elias had considered many plans to free his son, the first was a failure, the idea of getting a man on the roof  of the Stardust would have been a good plan, that is if Speed Guyer had not had the same thought, and why wouldn't he? The field of fire was perfect. but there were other roofs he might consider.


He had killed a loyal man, one that had worked his way up from cowhand to foreman, done everything ever asked of him, and then, he was shot down in cold blood for something that was out of his control.


And what could he hope for if he didn't at least attempt to free Case? Nothing more than if he did. That was the cold truth of it. He would still stand trial, if he was not killed during the attempt. The attempt would only stand to make it worse, should it fail, and as he thought about it, fail it likely would.


He sat pondering his very limited options were were adding up to nothing. He had sent for his attorney, Goodnight, to defend Case, and if there was a lawyer who could get the job done, it would be John Goodnight a man after his own heart.  Yes, that was the plan, Goodnight would get him off!


Case might have mind his P's and Q's around Kalispell. The fact being, if he was exonerated the rewards might be two fold, one, it would bolster his campaign for County Sheriff, and two, might just end Speed Guyer's reign as Town Marshal, and allow Case to appoint a new man. The thought made him laugh, and laugh he did. Then, just like Whitefish, he would run the town as well as the county!


Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Days had passed without any word, there seemed to be a delay of some sort about the trial, and that did anger him, but then, what was he to do? Nothing seemed to be the appropriate answer. Oh he ranted to himself about doing any number of things, horrible, murderous things to many of the towns people, yet he sat in his chair, doing nothing.


He did know that John Goodnight had arrived so that was something positive in this lengthy line of disappointments, and his daughter Leah continued to badger any that would listen about this hospital business, though an orphanage would supply child labor to the ranchers and the damned squatters and their farms, which could serve a purpose raising vegetables, so long as they didn't infringe on the open range the cattlemen needed. Perhaps, even spur some industrial growth. Yes, the orphanage could be of use after all.


Spring round up was underway, Granger was doing a good job of seeing that his herd was coming in from the areas they had scattered to over the winter, and beginning to fatten up. Perhaps he would plan a drive, just a destination would be needed, depending, of course, on the price per head. Yes, perhaps a cattle drive would be in order depending also on the number of head he had to sell off.  Well, that would wait until fall, but it was a plan of action.


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