Jump to content

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Recently Used Characters

  • Posts

    • "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.

Trespassing, and Other Such Deplorable Crimes


José Reyes
 Share

Recommended Posts

Mature Content: Potentially harsh language

With: José Reyes, Elias Steelgrave, Possibly others of the Steelgrave brood(?)
Location: Central Evergreen Ranch
When: Early March, 1876
Time of Day: Dusk

 

content-divider.png

 

The sun was sinking low in the sky, painting the blues in those first few tinges of pink, when José found himself in the shade of trees at the outskirts of Evergreen ranch. The air had grown cool, and he pulled his poncho close around his frame, it's wool his primary line of defense against the encroaching night chill.

He'd been on the trail for most of the day, pausing only to bag a hare, which now hung from the edge of his saddle, ready to be cooked when he stopped for the night. Coming out of the mountains and into more settled land meant that there was a severe drop-off in the quantity of big game, and though José could hardly eat an entire elk on his own, it had been good to bag the odd bighorn or deer, at least while he was holed up in the Rockies.

Soon enough though, he hoped to find a town where he might get a proper meal. Mexico was several hundred miles behind him, and by now it would assuredly be safe to show his face in civilization once more.

 

The forest though which he ambled was coming away as he traveled, and even from horseback he could see places where foliage had been cleared for the sake of farm animals. No doubt this indicated rural land, maybe a farmstead of sorts? With any luck, the owners could point him in the way of town.

"Ándale, chica." he told his mount, giving her a little kick to move her up into a trot. It'd be a hell of a time trying to find his way in the dark.

 

Loretta's hooves plodded along into a quicker rhythm against the spring scrub, but no sooner had she fully settled into the new pattern than they broke through the treeline, coming to bear with a vast grazing area, packed with cattle.

 

"Ay, paras, detiene." he quickly muttered, pulling back on the reins to halt the mare. She gave a whinny of complaint, but came to a stop before reaching a short fence ahead of them. Well, this was certainly a complication. Cutting straight through the herd probably wouldn't go over well, especially if it agitated any of the cattle. José squinted his eyes and scoured the area for any human silhouettes. Maybe he could find someone who knew a way around the field.

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was the change of men working the herd, the Night Hawks were trading places with the line riders of the daylight hours. Most of them hated the fence line that had been put up, but it was there and needed tending. Of course the Night Hawks job was to patrol the herd, insure they were bedded down and to watch for anything, rustlers, fire, or strays.

 

So, several riders were fanning out through the herd, riding easy so as not to spook the cattle in their passing from the exchange of information to their assigned spots. One such rider went by the name of Carson and he seemed to have ridden past the stranger at the edge of the trees when he suddenly wheeled his horse around, his Colt in his hand, ready to unravel some cartridges.

 

“Mister, this here’s Evergreen range. Not sure where you’re bound for, but cuttin’ though ain’t an option.” He said, the pistol leveled at the man. “State your bid’ness!”

image.jpeg.40977d87a6cd305afb67109fd1e2cafb.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thumping of horse hooves on the ground sounded as a rider passed just by where Loretta was paused. The desperado watched him pass, seemingly unaware of his presence, but did not make to call out just yet, lest he startle the outrider and provoke a hail of bullets.

 

Once man and horse had passed a sufficient distance, José opened his mouth to speak, but in that instant the rider did a full turn, bringing his horse to bear. José heard the leather scraping of a pistol being drawn, and he felt his own hand drop down to the handle of his revolver on instinct. He didn't make to pull, but the muscles in his arm tensed, ready to put this man down if need be.

 

“Mister, this here’s Evergreen range. Not sure where you’re bound for, but cuttin’ though ain’t an option. State your bid’ness!”

 

"Easy, compadré." José said, slowly and carefully. He was once more stuck by how diverse the American dialect was, seeming to remove pieces of their words entirely at random. Even as he mustered up the English phrases he'd learned through and through over the past few years, they sounded silly and false in his mouth.

"I'm not here to cause trouble. I'm looking for, ah, el pueblo, you know? The... town?"

@Flip

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm not here to cause trouble. I'm looking for, ah, el pueblo, you know? The... town?"


“Kalispell?” Carson asked, trying to figure out how a Mexican came down from the north. “Don’t see any Mex’s up here, an’ where yer at, well, there’s this dad blamed fence line running all the way south to the Lost Lake spread, and likely beyond.” If he took the Mex up to the ranch house, the old man would likely hang him as a rustler, or just because he could.

 

“What I kin do, is up a ways is a way through the fence line, I ‘d take you across the range to the trail to Kalispell an’ set ya on the right track. The boss ain’t the friendliest sort, he might decide on stretchin’ yer neck was I to take you up to the house. So you kin see how that’d be a bad idea.” Carson was basically a good sort, a working cowboy, one of the few on the ranch. He was not one to look for trouble of any kind.

image.jpeg.f9af53d465e490fda5999f52d5e2ddeb.jpeg

@boshmi

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Don’t see any Mex’s up here, an’ where yer at, well, there’s this dad blamed fence line running all the way south to the Lost Lake spread, and likely beyond. What I kin do, is up a ways is a way through the fence line, I ‘d take you across the range to the trail to Kalispell an’ set ya on the right track. The boss ain’t the friendliest sort, he might decide on stretchin’ yer neck was I to take you up to the house. So you kin see how that’d be a bad idea.”

"Uh... huh, ah, alright." José managed, struggling to follow along with all the rapid-fire contractions. He had probably caught about one in every two words of the rider's statement, entailing something about making his neck longer? Anyway, the rider seemed a little less aggressive now that they had been introduced, and he had understood 'set ya on the right track' - which sounded agreeable enough.

 

"Thank you." he said, letting his draw hand relax. Instead, he reached down to the lantern at the side of his saddle, and pulled it up, opening the little gate. He reached below his poncho and found a match in his shirt pocket, which he could then strike alight along the flint at the lantern's base, and set on the the wick within. It flared to life, and José held the lantern aloft, to give them a little more visibility under the quickly-sinking sun.

 

"I'll follow you, Amigo." José told the weather-worn man, as he pulled the reins with his free hand and brought Loretta to bear.

@Bailey

@Flip

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'll follow you, Amigo." José told the weather-worn man, as he pulled the reins with his free hand and brought Loretta to bear.

 

“You got a ways to go, an’ the distance to get around the Evergreen or south to the Lost Lake’d take ya days, if ya din’t get yerself shot ‘er hung.” Carson said matter of factly, and the distance to the South would be as the rider explained, probably a couple days ride to a place where he could head east to the main trail, but not knowing the lay of the land would be a real hindrance.

 

“So, what brings you north? You know somebody in Kalispell or huntin’ work? Jest seems odd you’d be in this country, not that a man ain’t got the right to go where he pleases. Now was you to be lookin’ for Whitefish, she was destroyed last winter by fire and a blizzard. Don’t rightly know hoe that happened, but it shorely did. You wasn’t headed there was ya?”

 

Unlike any number of Evergreen hands, Carson was the friendly type who liked to talk. Of course he was a fair hand with a gun if need be. Helping the Mexican across the spread was just the right thing to do.

image.jpeg.0a128bc386cec7a695cdaf906fe8f2bf.jpeg

@boshmi

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“So, what brings you north? You know somebody in Kalispell or huntin’ work?" asked the ranch hand, as José kicked his mount into a walk. Loretta ambled forward, matching the other's horse's pace across the fence, though an obvious snort from her was an expression of dissatisfaction at their not riding in a line.

"Er... work." he replied abruptly, attempting to curtail any further questions about his origin. Not that any old ranch hand might have heard of him, but, well, word traveled quicker than any man.

 

"Jest seems odd you’d be in this country, not that a man ain’t got the right to go where he pleases. Now was you to be lookin’ for Whitefish, she was destroyed last winter by fire and a blizzard. Don’t rightly know hoe that happened, but it shorely did. You wasn’t headed there was ya?”

"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?"

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"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. 

image.jpeg.0a128bc386cec7a695cdaf906fe8f2bf.jpeg

@boshmi

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"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?"

Nest of outlaws? That pricked José's ears right up. He'd resolved to stay away from the law-breaking kind for the time being, but to know that there were in fact some of them out here...

 

"I, uh, anything. Any work." José told the rider, as he dragged his attention back to the present. "I can ride, though, and shoot."

 

He slowed his mount as his guide passed through a clump of cattle on the opposite side of the fence, but soon enough they were through and getting along.

 

"You might wanna douse that there lamp. Moon an' stars shed plenty of light out here."

"Oh? Okay." he said, and obediently opened the gate, licked his fingers, and pinched out the flame. The rider's words rang true as the glim orange was replaced by the pale white of the sky, illuminating the way ahead. After so many months riding through forest, snow, and storm, it seemed almost unnatural for such a source of illumination, but as night vision began to grow he could even make out the shapes of twigs and leaves past which he rode.

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“You kin ride ‘n shoot, that’s a fer shore plus. Ever work cattle at all? Be helpful if ya did, cus far as I know, the Evergreen’s still lookin’ to hire some men, that is, if yer interested. Pays good, prob’ly better than most, ‘course I can’t say for sure about that, but cookie, well he feeds good. That alone is better’n some I’ve worked for before.”

 

Carson liked the work, liked a lot of the men, though he didn’t care much for old man Steelgrave, it didn’t matter because Elias was not one to ride out and see what was going on.

 

There was a new foreman, but telling this man of the circumstance had led to a number of hands riding out, was not a good idea. Nobody much liked Layton Harris and the incident created a definite opening, if the Mex wanted a riding job. He had a number in his time, they were good hands, so this one would likely be all that. “Ain’t a whole lot to workin’ cows, if’n you ain’t never done it before, be easy enough to learn.”

image.jpeg.42fbadccb276f34034c61ef3dfb9026a.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“You kin ride ‘n shoot, that’s a fer shore plus. Ever work cattle at all? Be helpful if ya did, cus far as I know, the Evergreen’s still lookin’ to hire some men, that is, if yer interested. Pays good, prob’ly better than most, ‘course I can’t say for sure about that, but cookie, well he feeds good. That alone is better’n some I’ve worked for before.”

"I'm interested." José quickly said, before the rider had a chance to rattle off more words of which he could only half-understand. The thing was; he had herded cattle before, only he'd been in the process of rustling them at the time. He'd not been very good at it, but if that was what it took to earn an honest living? Hell, he'd done harder.

 

“Ain’t a whole lot to workin’ cows, if’n you ain’t never done it before, be easy enough to learn.”

"I've done it a little." José told him. "Odd jobs, in the south, you know?"

Odd jobs was right.

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hell, then, pard! You might jest as well ride night herd with me. We'll catch Grainger, he's foreman, about dawn, an' get you signed on. I'll vouch for ya and that'll be it. You done got yerself a job!"

 

Carson felt good about being able to help  Jose with his search for work. Truly, unless it was something bizarre, like the ride into Kalispell to get Case out of jail, the place was a good one to work for. He especially liked night herd, where it was quiet and peaceful, with a herd the size of the Evergreens, it took four to six night-hawks watch the cattle and the remuda of saddle horses and prevent them from roaming too far. A simple job, but a good one.

 

"Come daylight we'll get you with Grainger and then some grub. Show ya to the bunkhouse an get ya a bed. Yep, ya lucked into it alright."

image.jpeg.e07b86f98bd190a741ca835a7eeb7fba.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hell, then, pard! You might jest as well ride night herd with me. We'll catch Grainger, he's foreman, about dawn, an' get you signed on. I'll vouch for ya and that'll be it. You done got yerself a job!"

José blinked, and Loretta came to a pause beneath him. "A job?" he repeated. Had it been that simple? Obviously, the 'Land of Opportunity' did not disappoint. Either that, or whomever owned the ranch simply did not care at all who worked it.

 

"Come daylight we'll get you with Grainger and then some grub. Show ya to the bunkhouse an get ya a bed. Yep, ya lucked into it alright."

Ah, grub! This one he did know, and just so happened to be exactly what he was thinking of, riding down that trail.

"I won't argue with that." he said with a smile. "Thank you... uh, what was your name?"

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I won't argue with that." he said with a smile. "Thank you... uh, what was your name?"

“Carson, it’s what I go by,” He replied, “Ned Carson’s the whole of it, never liked Ned much an’ the middle handle’s worse. Alvis. Terrible. Named fer my Grampa, Mom’s side. Alvis, worse name I ever heard! We got us a ways ta go before we’re through, I got some jerky if’n you’re hungry, Jose. Ain’t much, but I reckon it’s better’n nothin’.

The truth of the matter was there weren’t enough hands to go around. Lost Lake seemed to be alright as far a men went, but the Evergreen was short, and it was beginning to show. Longer hours, less sleep, more work. Part of the problem was the caliber of men that had been hired, gun hands as opposed to working cowhands. But it was the way of things for now, and he would roll with it until something better came along.

image.jpeg.e07b86f98bd190a741ca835a7eeb7fba.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Carson, it’s what I go by,” He replied, “Ned Carson’s the whole of it, never liked Ned much an’ the middle handle’s worse. Alvis. Terrible. Named fer my Grampa, Mom’s side. Alvis, worse name I ever heard!"

"Alright, well, thanks Carson." José said.

"We got us a ways ta go before we’re through, I got some jerky if’n you’re hungry, Jose. Ain’t much, but I reckon it’s better’n nothin’."

José shook his head. "I can wait. I've got a few bits and pieces of my own until then."

 

Now that the dark of night had well and truly set in, and he knew that he was riding among friendly faces, (or friendly-faces-to-be) José felt as though he could relax for the first time in some three years. People didn't know him here. He had already found work. This could be a new life. The clop of horseshoes and the mooing of cattle could be a worthwhile replacement for gunfire and screaming. Though it would not have been easy to see in the darkness and beneath his hat, a smile began to spread it's way across the desperado's face.

 

(ooc: I suppose we can end it there and make separate threads for later on?)

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The promised dawn had come, painting the sky with ever changing hues from deep grey on to several shades of  purple and finally a blue with the bright sunshine. It was then that Arlen Granger rode up on the pair, eyeing the Mexican with suspicion.

 

"What'cha got there Carson? Cattle thief?" He asked, the leaned a bit and spit tobacco juice into the prairie grass.

 

Nope. This here's Jose, said he was lookin' fer work. Come onta him tryin' to cross the range, but the fence had him stopped." Carson explained, "Told him to hang on till you'd show up. So, here he is, and I knew we needed some help."

 

"Help eh? Jose is it? You ever work cattle, Jose?" Grainger asked, and yes, they needed maybe another five riders.

 

image.jpeg.d01d250eafe82b91118b25d9e6b13067.jpegimage.jpeg.84ff487d9567a6e38530e41c9f57ce7c.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some hours had passed, and that groggy sense of tiredness had begun to creep in - the kind that made you sloppy and slow when it really mattered. It made José uncomfortable, to not be as alert as he could be, but for the moment, there was really no way it could be helped.

 

So when a third man rode up to the pair, José had to force himself to straighten up in the saddle, and blink a few times to get the blood flowing again.

"What'cha got there Carson? Cattle thief?"

José said nothing, simply regarding the new arrival.

"Nope. This here's Jose, said he was lookin' fer work. Come onta him tryin' to cross the range, but the fence had him stopped. Told him to hang on till you'd show up. So, here he is, and I knew we needed some help."

"Help eh? Jose is it? You ever work cattle, Jose?"

 

He nodded with conviction, as though it would convey his certainty on the matter. "A little. I'm ready, if you need me."

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Granger was no fool, if the man had any experience at all, he would be useful. And, he could team him with other experienced cowboys to show him the ropes. They all had to start somewhere. That he was Mexican didn't phase Granger at all, he was a man, he' would be assigned a man's tasks and expected to carry them out.

 

"You stay with Carson here for now, need you on night hawk, I 'spose he told you, we're shorthanded right now. Go on up to the cook house and eat, then there's some empty bunks in the bunkhouse." He paused. "You know how to use a gun I take it, times you may need to use one." There wouldn't be any rides to town looking for trouble like Layton Harris tried.

 

"Name's Granger, I'm foreman. You have any problems Carson here can't handle you come see me." Granger stated. "Now git!"

 

image.jpeg.03e99440c4ab758e8a8fa02fb71926f8.jpegimage.jpeg.1ea06f6d44f411122bac58f0c78bb9fc.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You stay with Carson here for now, need you on night hawk, I 'spose he told you, we're shorthanded right now. Go on up to the cook house and eat, then there's some empty bunks in the bunkhouse."

"Yessir." José quickly voiced. Time to eat and rest would be very welcome.

"You know how to use a gun I take it, times you may need to use one."

I do." he confirmed cautiously, but did not make to elaborate further. Riding with a weapon was probably a large enough part of a ranch hand's life, but these men didn't need to know just how important it had been to his life in particular.

 

"Name's Granger, I'm foreman. You have any problems Carson here can't handle you come see me. Now git!"

José tipped his hat in gratitude, and quickly kicked Loretta up into a trot, to move towards the indicated cookhouse.

The smell of a proper-cooked meal was already on his mind, even before the structure was fully in purview.

@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Granger trotted off across the range to check on  other night hawks. "Good man Granger. Fair, knows what he's about." Carson explained. "Now, Cookie lays out a good breakfast and a lot of it. Basic stuff, beef steak, biscuits, maybe spuds 'er beans, an' coffee, plenty of that . It's an all you kin eat affair."

 

"Now, Old Man Steelgrave, you may see 'em, you may not. Never can tell about him. Never seen 'em horseback, 'er out on the spread. That's Grangers job an' he leaves it to him to get done. I understand the mans had him a hard time of late an' spend his time drinkin', but that's headsay. You man see 'em, you may not. I ain't never seen the man ahorseback, 'er out on the range at all."

image.jpeg.304d80c59050ed4855036cb4e1bf5462.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Now, Cookie lays out a good breakfast and a lot of it. Basic stuff, beef steak, biscuits, maybe spuds 'er beans, an' coffee, plenty of that. It's an all you kin eat affair."

"That sounds good to me." José replied, perhaps with a little more enthusiasm than would have been appropriate. He could hardly remember what biscuits and steak tasted like.

 

"Now, Old Man Steelgrave, you may see 'em, you may not. Never can tell about him. Never seen 'em horseback, 'er out on the spread. That's Grangers job an' he leaves it to him to get done. I understand the mans had him a hard time of late an' spend his time drinkin', but that's headsay. You man see 'em, you may not. I ain't never seen the man ahorseback, 'er out on the range at all."

"Old Man Steelgrave is the owner, qué no?" José asked, as they pulled up to the cookhouse. "Doesn't come out to check on his men?"

 

He pulled in the reins and slipped off his mount, his boots hitting the dirt with a mild sucking from the watery mud therein. The morning air was just beginning to warm, but still he held the poncho around him, for it would be a few hours yet until it was shirt-and-trousers weather.

The newly-proclaimed ranch hand moved to the door, easing it open and eagerly casting his eyes around at the scene inside.

@Bailey@Flip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Four other riders were in the the room, eating, they all looked up, grunted a greeting and went back to their breakfast.

 

"Don't mind them. You'll meet 'em all sooner 'er later, but chows on, so we best get to it before he throws it out." Carson said moving to the serving table where the food was steaming. Eggs, potatoes, beef steaks, slabs of fresh baked bread and containers of butter and jam. He took up a tin plate and handed it to Jose. "Time ta strap on the feed bag. Take all ya want, but unless you wanna incur Cookies wrath, eat all ya take."

 

Carson began filling his plate, once done moved to the long table where the others were seated.  and sat down, leaving room for Jose, though the table was long with benches on both sides.

image.jpeg.1ea06f6d44f411122bac58f0c78bb9fc.jpeg

@boshmi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Brendan stumbled into the cookhouse a few minutes later, sniffing the air hungrily. The morning air was still chilly and the scent of breakfast always seemed to carry further on chilly mornings. He had practically been able to smell the steak from the bunkhouse. He plopped some of everything on his plate and grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to the table where Carson and some other hands were eating.

 

He ate like the other men: elbows on the table with forearms resting protectively around his plate, entirely engrossed in his food. It wasn't until he had drained his cup of coffee and gotten halfway through the foot on his plate that he realized the man he was sitting next to was a stranger.

 

He eyed the stranger's darker complexion and wildly curly hair for a moment while he chewed, then set his tin cup down with a clank on the table. "Who're you?" he asked as he crumpled up the crust on his bread to cram it into his mouth.

 

It wasn't all that friendly a greeting and his tone wasn't warm, but since it was morning, that was probably more conversation than the newcomer had gotten from the other men at the table.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

José lowered himself onto the bench and dug right into the offerings greedily. Despite how simple the meal was, it was variance enough on his usual diet of game and wild plants that it could have tasted like the finest caviar and pineapple. Not that he'd ever tasted caviar and pineapple, but considering how thoroughly coveted it was by the upper classes, he imagined it to be quite good.

 

José hardly paid attention to the men around him as he ate, and that seemed to work well. Newcomers were unwelcome at the best of times, let alone one of his complexion. They seemed to eat with a sense of pragmatism; so that they could have the energy for their work, and the taste came secondary.

 

He had wolfed down several slices of beef by the time that attention finally came his way, and when it did, it was in a similarly utilitarian manner. "Who're you?"

 

José raised his dark eyes from his plate to meet the proponent of his introduction; a suave-scruffy sort of man dressed in a white shirt all marked with dirt, no doubt from his work. He glanced over to Carson, to check that the senior hand was watching in case a fight broke out. He couldn't speak for the disposition of ranch hands, but back in Mexico, the men he rode with could start brawls over the tiniest provocation, then set laughing and joking an hour later.

 

"Martínez." José offered in friendship. "Good to meet you, mister...?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • JulieS locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...