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    • Mr. Smith knew a stacked deck against him when it was presented to him. He wasn't surprised really, the men were sticking up for the pretty gal instead of justice. It was the way of things. But he would try and get at least something out of his misery.   "Oh alright, I won't press charges but only if she pays whatever the doc here is gonna charge me for this here treatment," he answered.   "Of course, Miss Mundee here, well, she’ll have to wait on Anderson to decide her immediate fate.” Speed said. “With those others awaiting trial, have to take her to the County Sheriff’s lock up. Just about looking at a full house, well except for the basement cells.” He smiled at her.   "Fine! Not like I got any say in this do I?  Just a kindly young miss defendin' some poor innocent dog from mistreatment. Yeah, incar....incar..ser..?" Caroline was stumped.   "Throw me behind bars and lemme rot then," she shrugged.   "Hey Doc, you seem like a nice man? Can you let the saloon know where I am, please? Maybe my boss can post bail or somethin'? She is gonna need her singer/dancer tonight," she now addressed Danforth.   She pointed to herself, "That be me! You should come and hear me sometime. I admit my dancin' ain't the greatest but everyone sez I can sing real fine."   ooc: Forgot about this when I came home from my trip! We should be close to finishing it soon anyhow.   @Flip   @Bongo    
    • The good reverend had the kindness to offer to write down justwhat  it was the couple were going to have to recite from memory and scribbled the words down as he said them too. Clara was grateful for that much. Her dripping sarcasm seemingly had failed miserably on Jacob so she was stuck learning this. Fortunately it did not seem too long or so bad. That is if her nerves didn't fail her. Well, she would just have to find out. Besides, even if she bungled the vows, it could be easily sorted, nothing was going to stop them from getting married!   Hearing that all present would have to agree to the marriage gave Clara a bit of a new worry. Unanimous? So it would take only one to ....to scuttle the whole thing? A new thing to be nervous about. Afterall there would be Granny Miggins present.......oh and Arabella too. So far Arabella had been most supportive about the young couple but it was afterall Arabella. Mercurial described the child to a tee.   Clara took her copy, "Thank you, Reverend."   Then Jacob began to recite the whole thing. Now? Both Redmonds turned their gaze to watch and listen to the little performance. Strange.   When he had finished, Clara could only comment, "You are a bit early. This is not the ceremony yet."   Since Aurelian could not help with the ring, he then turned to the minister, "What is the cost of the marriage ceremony, use of the church and such? I will pay for it. It is tradition the father of the bride pay for the expenses."            
    • "Oh, really? Congratulations, then, Mrs. Soon-to-be Pike!" Lucinda smiled warmly, but her smile was tinged with sadness, as were her thoughts. This woman had found someone she liked enough to marry again, but Lucinda doubted that she ever would. Out here, anyway. Back east was a different story.   "I would be glad of the company if you could spare a few minutes," she answered. Now the question was...what would they talk about? All Lucinda wanted to know was news from the east, but it wasn't likely Emeline would know any more than she did. And as far as news went, living by yourself for six months didn't give you a lot of news-worthy things to talk about.   "Could I also have some water? I don't know about you, but stagecoaches make my throat terribly dry."
    • "White... fish?" José repeated, a little incredulous at such a name. Not that Kalispell was much better, but at least it was a name, rather than a color of aquatic creature. "No, I wasn't headed there. Why?"   "Uh, jest that it ain't there no more, an' you'd be wastin' your time huntin' her up.  Wasn't all that much anyway. I mean there was people what lived there, they had stores and all, but it jest never felt right. You know, somethin' off about the place." Carson explained as well as he could.   "Nest for outlaws mostly, a man had ta be careful what he said, an' such-like. But now Kalispell? That there's a growing concern. Most folks 'er friendly, Marshal seems to be a fair man. Yeah, a good place. So, what sortta work you looking for?" It was easy conversation for a lengthy ride across the range, pushing through the cattle when they crowded up.   "You might wanna douse that there lamp. Moon an' stars shed plenty of light out here." What he was thinking was, that a moving light crossing the Evergreen might bring on problems neither of them wanted, or needed.  @boshmi    
    • "Clara, your response is the same, merely with the first line as; 'I, Clara Redmond, take you, Jacob Lutz, to be my husband,' of course."   Jacob smiled warmly at Clara, his heart filling with joy at the thought of it, and catching Aurelian’s eye a lesser, more respectful one.   He wrote out the vow once more on a separate sheet, though with said amendment.   "Just before the vows, you will both declare intent, and I will ask the greater family if they give their blessing, at which point, Mr. Redmond, you and others of the family present must reply unanimously with 'we do.'" he told Clara's father. "Once that is sorted, you may exchange rings, or items, and say a piece of your own, if you so desire. I will bless the items, then your marriage, and finally, you will be man and wife, given that we have signed the certificate, either before or during the ceremony."   Compared to many other undertakings in life, the whole thing seemed ludicrously simple: there seemed to be only one factor that could make it go wrong; the usual one; people.   The priest took the vows he’d written and moved down from the lectern to pass them to Jacob and Clara. “They aren’t too long, so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to memorize them.”   Jacob glanced down his script, and then folded the paper, and closing his eyes intoned in a sort of sing song voice he used for memorising poems and passages of prose he liked: "So… 'Inthe nameofGod,…. I JL, take you, CR, tobemywife, tohaveandto holdfromthisdayf’rw’rd, forbetterfor worse, forricherfor poorer, in sickness and in health” for some reason he said these words more distinctly, like they were less familiar or didn’t quite fit into his mnemonic process “…toloveandtocherish, untilwearepartedbydeath. Thisismysolemnvow.In the name of God… yeah, I think I got it." He opened his eyes to see everybody staring at him.   “What?” he asked, blinking.   @Wayfarer @boshmi
The Old Ranger

Numbers May Not Be Enough

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His last words, though, a subtle way of saying he understood, had tempered her anger and she reached for his hand.  "I will only intervene if it's absolutely necessary," she assured him, "but I won't be idle."


Barnabas backed up a step at her response to his words, words that might have been too harsh, words that might have sounded different than he meant.

 

“Whoa now, just a minute here. I might outta’ve taken my words a bit more carefully than I did. I meant nothin’ by it, ‘cept maybe that I, well, I know how these things can go, an’ how innocent folks can get shot up in a exchange’a gunfire, which surely would have been tumultuous! I do got a job that’s dangerous, but you ain’t supposed to be in harms way while I’m about it.”

 

“I know you were thinkin’ of me an’ my safety, all I meant was I worry about you alla time. An’ bein’ out there like that, well, I can’t lose you. Not now ‘er ever.”

@Bongo

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"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

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"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."


“None a’tall, it’s the times we live in, Em, “‘ceptin’ Kalispell’s mostly a quiet town where trouble ain’t like some’a the places I been. Like the bank job, when’d that ever happened here? Cse, well, Case went a huntin’ for it, an’ he found it.” He explained as best he could.

 

“Them riders now, I doubt they’d’ve went for their guns, what with all the men behind them. Now before you say it, that was luck ta have Miss Steelgrave’s men an’ that Amos fella there, but that’s how it was.  Goldang it Em, I love you an’ I want you ta be safe."

 

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.

 

“Alright, guess a man cain’t ask fer more’n that. I’m sorry I spoke harshly to ya. Caught up in te moment I ‘spose.” He apologized.

@Bongo

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"You can speak harshly whenever you think it's necessary."  Smiling, Emeline wrapped her arms around his chest.  "I'd expect no less from a man who loves me.  I just need to get used to having someone take care of me again, and you need to understand that I've been taking care of myself for a few years..."

 

It was going to take some time to adjust, but Emeline was sure that she and Barnabas would work things out in all the petty squabbles. 

 

"I'm glad nothing happened today...and I'm glad to know that there are other men who are willing to step up and help you...well, and Miss Addy, too, but I'd put her up against any man in a gun fight!"

 

@Flip

 

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"You can speak harshly whenever you think it's necessary."  Smiling, Emeline wrapped her arms around his chest.  "I'd expect no less from a man who loves me.  I just need to get used to having someone take care of me again, and you need to understand that I've been taking care of myself for a few years..."

 

“I don’t intend to make a habit of it. Sure, I reckon you been dealin’ with life by yerself fer a spell now. And you need to know I’ll be he one shoulderin’ the hash things from here on out.” He drawled, trying to assure her of his intentions to care for, and protect her.
 

It was going to take some time to adjust, but Emeline was sure that she and Barnabas would work things out in all the petty squabbles.

 

"I'm glad nothing happened today...and I'm glad to know that there are other men who are willing to step up and help you...well, and Miss Addy, too, but I'd put her up against any man in a gun fight!"

 

“Quite a surprise about Miss Steelgrave’s men. I mean, they all rode together at one time. Reckon that could have turned real nasty had one of ‘em been stupid. An’ yer surely right about Addy, as well as yerself. I wouldn’t buck either one of ya with them scatter guns!” He remarked. “I doubt they’ll be comin’ back, Speed made that plain as day, specially with the trial comin’ up.”

 

 

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"Well, and what did Case do, anyway?"  Of course, they both knew the answer to that, so it was rhetorical.  "I mean, it isn't as if he's going to hang or go to prison.  It's more a matter of Steelegrave pride...'No one locks up a Steelegrave!'  Nonsense!  They need to learn that they aren't above the law any more than any man in town, and that they have to own up to it when they do stupid things."

 

And really, was the loss of life worth soothing a wounded ego?  Even Elias Steelegrave couldn't be that arrogant.

 

@Flip

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 "Well, and what did Case do, anyway?"  Of course, they both knew the answer to that, so it was rhetorical.  "I mean, it isn't as if he's going to hang or go to prison.  It's more a matter of Steelegrave pride...'No one locks up a Steelegrave!'  Nonsense!  They need to learn that they aren't above the law any more than any man in town, and that they have to own up to it when they do stupid things."

 

And really, was the loss of life worth soothing a wounded ego?  Even Elias Steelegrave couldn't be that arrogant.


Pike just listened to her rant about the Steelgraves, probably a mistake to mention Leah’s men, but it was true, they had made the difference. And judging what old man Steelgrave might or might not do, was fools play. He was capable of anything, and word was leaking out of the Evergreen that he was seldom sober anymore, and that, with his temper, could mean anything was possible.


“Well, ‘lias Steelgrave is unpredictable. There jest ain’t no tellin’ what he might or might not do. And yer right a’course, they need to be taught they can’t ride roughshod over Kalispell. Meybee ten year ago, but not now. This here town ain’t no wide spot in the road no more, she’s growin’ into a little city, with high ambitions!” He shook his head. “His own boys ain’t even around, an’ ain’t likely to be. Case made his bed, shore enough, time he laid in it!”

@Bongo

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"It's a pity," she observed quietly, "but Case and his brothers are the result of their father, of the way they were raised.  I don't think most people are intrinsically evil."

 

That said, she did realize that there were some souls who were just not right from the start, and even the best upbringing wouldn't change that.

 

"It's a fine line, I think, between a proper amount of discipline and leniency."  She took a breath, shaking her head.  "Our children ill be all right, perfect little angels!"  Well, she knew that wasn't going to be true all the time, but she had no doubt that they'd become wonderful adults.

 

@Flip

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He had to laugh at the description of their as yet unborn children. He might argue that some are just bad, while others slip into a life of crime. “Now abusers, them that beat say women or children, I figger they was raised that way, so that’s what they know, but ain’t nobody no perfect little angels.”

 

“Take them Steelgraves, Leah she may be a number of things both actual and suspected, but look to what she’s doin’. Case, now that man’s got him a mean streak plenty wide, not that many see it, but it’s there. Ever notice how his brothers ain’t ever in town? How there ain’t no mention of ‘em at the Evergreen? And the missus, she plumb fled. Oughtta tell you somethin’.”

@Bongo

 

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Emeline gave him an indignant look.  "I was a perfect angel!  Do you doubt me?"

 

She laughed and kissed his cheek.  "At least Mrs. Steelegrave had the gumption to walk away."  She knew that everything hadn't been all peaches and cream in her town while she was growing up, but on the surface everything had seemed ideal.  Oh, sure, there were rumors, and she had seen the distance and expressions that some couples gave each other, but she knew the strength that it took for a woman to just walk away from a bad relationship, especially when children were involved.

 

And the same went for men, for there were ladies as well who didn't make suitable spouses, and sometimes they needed to be left behind.

 

But then a thought occurred to her. 

 

"How long ago did Mrs. Steelegrave leave?  I can't imagine leaving my children behind with a man that I felt I needed to flee."

 

Smiling, she took Barnabas' hand and gave it a squeeze.  "On the other hand, it might do him good to be stuck with the squallering darlings!"

 

@Flip

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“What I heard was late fall maybe winter, ain’t real sure when it was she left, but leave she did.” He said. “Now gumption may not'a played no part it it, leastways from the rumors. But then, they was jest rumors. Said she run off with some younger hombre."

 

“Now then, about you bein’ a perfect angel, I wouldn’t hazard a guess, since I weren’t there. And that Ma’am, is what is called a loaded question.  I ain't fer tootin' her horn, but young Leah’s showin’ some gumption. Reckon takin’ on this whole town oughta count fer somethin’."

 

"Oh, an’ in case you hadn’t noticed, them other boys of the Steelgraves have plumb disappeared as well. So there’s that.” He added.

@Bongo

 

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"That would be so sad," Emeline murmured, "having all your children abandon you...and your spouse, but I suppose it was Elias' doing.  I wonder if he knew what he was doing?  That he was going to eventually drive his family away, or is he just too mean and arrogant to know?"

 

And the really tragic thing was that, from what she had heard, and certainly in Case's case, the boys had all been tainted by their father's misdeeds.

 

"All the more reason we should do what we can to support Miss Steelegrave.  She is fighting to break the ties with her family, and she's alone in that."  Emeline shrugged.  "She should be admired and supported, and we can do that for her."

 

It might not be much, but Emeline figured that any little encouragement was something.

 

@Flip

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 "That would be so sad," Emeline murmured, "having all your children abandon you...and your spouse, but I suppose it was Elias' doing.  I wonder if he knew what he was doing?  That he was going to eventually drive his family away, or is he just too mean and arrogant to know?"


“Doubt it, Em. A man that’s drive like he is, well, he had a woman that was drive like him, together they built whatever empire they believed they had. I figger maybe he just forgot there was childern to be payin’ a mind to, an’ a wife. But fer some men like him, the quest is all they can see.”
 

And the really tragic thing was that, from what she had heard, and certainly in Case's case, the boys had all been tainted by their father's misdeeds.

 

"All the more reason we should do what we can to support Miss Steelegrave.  She is fighting to break the ties with her family, and she's alone in that."  Emeline shrugged.  "She should be admired and supported, and we can do that for her."

 

It might not be much, but Emeline figured that any little encouragement was something.


“Well, yeah, standing by someone tryin’ to look out fer her community with the buildin’ of the hospital, an’ later the orphanage, ain’t hardly a choice in the matter. She’s earned support I’m thinkin’ by what she done to get where she’s at with railroad right’a ways an all. Speed’s standin’ with her an’ so’m I.”

@Bongo

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"So there's no question this will be done," Emeline declared, "and Elias Steelegrave be hanged!"  Strong words from the lady!

 

"I'm certain that most of the community will get behind Miss Steelegrave, once they take the time to listen, and will pressure the council into making the right decisions.  And if there's trouble, the town will rally around."

 

Grinning, she kissed him on the cheek.  "We might not all take up arms, but we'll do what we can, so you'd best prepare for that...talk to Speed about how we can get involved in defending our town."

 

@Flip

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“We ain’t gonna see ‘lias hang, nor Case neither. Well, least ways, not this go ‘round. Fact is, I got no idea what this Circuit Judge is about. Heard he was tough, though.” Pike pointed out.

 

“Case, pullin’ a gun on the laws purdy serious. But there’s nothin’ on the old man, so far. Could be Case might see some time up to the Territorial Prison at Deer Lodge, course, he could swing just as easy. Up to the judge how it goes.”

 

“Hopeful of the community standin’ with Miss Steelgrave. Hard to be rid of a family’s bad name. But if anybody can do it, Leah Steelgrave’s the one to do it. But you an’ your faith in folks, well, that’s gotta count fer somethin!”

@Bongo

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"Or perhaps it's just foolish naivete," Emeline sighed, although she realized that it was just in her nature to want to see the good in people and to help when she could.  Of course, that didn't mean she was completely starry-eyed, or she wouldn't have a shotgun by the door, nor would she have tried to kill the man who had had the gall to shoot at Barnabas!

 

"At any rate, I'll do what I can to help Miss Steelegrave...maybe I should extend an invitation to her, I'd like to hear what she has to say, but then, I doubt she has time."

 

@Flip

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“You could do that, Em. No reason she wouldn’t accept it, I mean, ain’t no sense in figgerin’ she ain’t got the time, er wouldn’t make the time. Woman has to eat, don’t she? Might ask her to lunch, maybe get Clara to watch the place like she has before.”


“Folks get the notion because a bodies got plannin’ an’ such to do that they got no time fer nothin’ else, an’ to a point, that’s true. I’d say with Leah Steelgrave, the plannin’s done, be done fer a spell now. So send her an invite. Reckon you’ll be surprised.” Barnabas concluded.

@Bongo

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"I'll do that."  Emeline nodded.  "It certainly won't hurt to expand my social aspects, I've been here long enough that I should start getting acquainted with more of the ladies in town, and you are right, Clara can see after the place for a while."

 

It was a little ironic, though, that she was finally considering becoming more active in town at about the time she might be moving out to the ranch, and wouldn't be spending as much time in town.  Of course, she wasn't sure how she felt about that.  The ranch was beautiful, it would be hers...well, theirs!..and she wouldn't be alone there, there would be plenty for her to do to see to the every day operation...

 

But it would still be different, and she knew she'd miss the cafe.

 

"I'll send a note to her this evening, after I close up."  She grinned.  "I hope she's not upset that I almost shot down some of her father's men!"

 

@Flip

 

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“Social aspects’d be a good thing, I’spose. Ya need ta branch out with the folks in town, get at know ‘em some. I know you see a number of ‘em in here, time ta time, but gettin’ out and sayin’ howdy at their place is differn’t.” Barnabas agreed.


“You got this notion you’ll be tied down at the ranch, tha’d be why I’ll be hirin’ a foreman. An’ until there’s young uns, you’ll be here, if I know you. That ranch’ll jest be home fer a spell. An the cafe’ll be where you spend yer days. That is less I’m mistaken.”


"I'll send a note to her this evening, after I close up."  She grinned.  "I hope she's not upset that I almost shot down some of her father's men!"


He laughed, lightly, but he laughed. “Doubt she’d care about thet. I figger she’da shot ‘em her own self, given the chance, but them men a hers would be havin’ any of that! They ain’t there as decoration, from what I heard, they signed on as protection when she up an’ cut herself outta the Steelgrave herd. An’ it ain’t fer pay. No sir! Oh, she covers their expenses, which are minimal at best. Ain’t even a dollar a day." "It’s been said she was always kind to the men her father employed, jest their way’a payin’ her back.”

@Bongo

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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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