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Sagas of the Wild West
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Trespassing, and Other Such Deplorable Crimes


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Guest boshmi

“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.

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"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."

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"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?"

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"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.

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“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?)

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  • 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.

 

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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."

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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!"

 

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"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.

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