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    • Emeline nodded silently as the rabbit was pointed out, slowly taking the rifle from Barnabas.  She'd done some hunting, but it had been a while, so she wasn't too sure of her skill, especially with and unfamiliar weapon.  At least they weren't going to starve if she missed.   Bringing the weapon up, she took careful aim, but then muttered, "But Barnabas, he's so cute!  Can't we keep him?"   Then she squeezed the trigger, causing the rabbit to jump.  But as he leapt up and spun, he tumbled back and went limp, falling to the dirt in a motionless heap.   "No pet bunny," Emeline sighed, handing the rifle back.  "Build me a fire and I'll cook you a rabbit!"    @Flip        
    • "I'm sorry Clara.  Maybe I should have made my intentions more clearer but I thought you were and are still too young.  To say that I am pleased about your marriage would be a lie."   Clara frowned but that sounded turned into a glare. And after she had just told him she wished for the very best for his new law career.   "The only thing I can offer you is that I hope that your husband will do his best when the future comes and that you won't suffer if he doesn't."   She was not going to stand here and be hurt like this. Oh, she wanted to say more but what good would it do and what difference would it make? None.   "We are done here. I will never make the same mistake again of trying to talk to you. We have nothing further to say. Good day to you, Deputy," she said thru gritted teeth then stepped to one side of him and kept on walking.  
    • Brendan flew over the crest of the rise on Fiona with the rest of the riders and tried to pick out the rustlers from where their gunshots were coming from. It was hard, with the intermittent flashes from the gunfire giving only a little clarity to their attacker's figures. He rode bent low on Fiona's neck and stretched his pistol out in front of him. Somewhere on the way to the paddocks he had lost track of José, but there was no time to worry about him now.   A spattering of gunfire came from ahead and in the resulting light, he caught sight of a fellow on a horse across the paddock. He pointed his pistol and squeezed the trigger once. In the dark, with the motion of his horse, and the uncertainty of the whole situation, there was no way of knowing if his shot would even hit. He shot again in hopes that he would at least hit something.   Shooting in the dark was a lot different than shooting at rattlesnakes or beer bottles in the daytime, and neither of those things he'd practiced on ever shot back. These men would shoot back.
    • Brendan chuckled. "Dream? Nah, my dream is to lay around all day with nothin' to do. But this ain't so bad." Now that he thought about it, he didn't really have a dream. Besides being rich someday. There wasn't anything wrong with drifting, but it certainly wasn't the dream.   He led the way into the stable and pointed to an empty stall. "That one can be hers. Oats are in the corner over there if she wants any." He pointed this time to a large sack labeled "oats" stacked on several others like it.   Then he went over to his horse's stall. "This here's Fiona. She's mine." He patted her chestnut nose fondly and entered the stall to start putting her tack on. He was in no hurry to get out on the range, and José's horse needed some time to be fed and watered, so he took his time and even brushed Fiona's coat a bit before putting the saddle on.   "You ever ridden for a place this big before?" he asked, glancing back at the Mexican. It was highly unlikely. Steelgrave had one of the biggest places in Montana and probably in the whole of the territories. Probably.
    • Jay was listening, Addy was pleased with that, and he seemed to understand what she was trying to say, and that made her happy, but then he hesitated and she tried to explain a bit more.   "Yer different, Jay, I didn't never think any man could..."   But then he took her hand and was kneeling in front of her, and her head started screaming, 'No, no, no...don't...'  But her heart was soaring, and her head eagerly followed...   "Addy, do you want to become my wife?"   "I do that."  Grinning, she nodded and squeezed his hands, then pulling him up into a hug.  As much as she had resisted, she'd been wanting this for some time, and she knew he had too, so as quiet and simple as this was, it was all she'd ever hoped for.   And since the words had already been said, it was time to kiss, so she did!   @Jack        

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Mature Content: Probably not

With: Brendan, Marshal Guyer and/or Deputy Pike
Location: Lower floor of the Municipal Building
When: Early July, 1875 (same day as the Evergreen/Lost Lake shootout)
Time of Day: Evening, before suppertime

 

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After taking a nap, Brendan felt better. Not much better, but better enough that he thought he could handle meeting with the marshal and deputy. There wasn't anyone holding a gun to his head and making him go into the building, and he'd never been one to spend much time around the law if he could help it.

 

Fear was mostly what motivated him now, fear that somehow the story of the shooting would get muddled and he would be blamed and held accountable for it. He also wanted to make sure that he got the few possessions the dead men had had on them at the time of their deaths, and the easiest way to do that was to have official permission.

 

He had put his still-bloody shirt back on and tiptoed down the stairs and out the back of the Stardust Saloon so as not to cause another Arabella eruption. Now he glanced down at the rust-colored stain on his shirtsleeve before pushing open the door to the municipal building and going inside.

 

He cleared his throat and then called, "Marshal? Deputy?"

 

@Flip

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Speed, sitting at his desk, feet up, leaned back, half asleep, heard the call and and jerked rudely awake. He dropped his feet to the floor straightened his hat and rose walked to the door opened it, and stepped out of his office.

"In here. Place can be confusing that's a fact." He stepped back to allow the young man to step inside. "Connolly, right? By the looks of you there's been some sort of trouble with man or beast." Taking note of the bloody shirt the man was wearing.

 

He knew of Brendan Connolly, not a lot,, but some hearsay, and he'd seen him in town. "So, trouble in town here, or out to the Evergreen, either way I suppose that you're here to talk about it, so have a seat. Coffee's on if you're a wanting  a cup. So take your time and tell me about it."

@Bailey

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"Yeah, Brendan Connolly. Trouble with man, not beast." Brendan had the presence of mind to try and joke about what had happened even though it wasn't funny.

 

He stepped into the office and headed straight for the coffee. After grabbing a cup and pouring himself some coffee, then retreated to a chair across the desk from Speed. There he rested his elbows on his knees and stared at the coffee, trying to decide how to proceed. After a few seconds of watching the steam rise from the cup in his hands, he looked up at Speed.

 

"Don't know how much you heard from Cantrell. But you oughta know we didn't set out to bushwhack him. Greer said he was goin' to shoot a deer." He sipped the hot coffee to give himself time to think back. It felt like the incident had been a week ago, even though it hadn't even been a full day yet. "I don't rightly know what happened...I think he took a shot at Cantrell. Well, he come back over the hill yellin' that someone tried to bushwhack him. So course we all grabbed for our guns."

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Speed looked at the young man, leaning forward just a bit, "Cantrell? Haven't seen him, so he told me nothing about anything, but you go on." He began. "Where did this happen, this ambush? Not in town, I know That much."

 

"And, besides you, Quentin, Billy, the other fella, and Greer, who else was there? You just might need witnesses." Of course this happened outside the town limits, yet, unlike the man who escaped from the bank robbery, he had no jurisdiction outside the town limits, and no desire to chase after anyone else involved in this shooting.

 

Greer, well he was far from surprised that he had met his end, a violent end, but that was the kind of man that he was, and that was what he deserved. When a man hunts trouble, he generally finds it, and it's results be they good or bad. Now Billy, he felt bad about the boy. He should have had a future, a bright future, but all he got was six feet of dirt and a cross

 

"You have a name on that other man? Might need that. So, go on." Speed requested.

@Bailey

Edited by Flip
New information. (see edit history)

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"It was right between Evergreen and Lost Lake. We were cuttin' wood - we were on our side - " Brendan added suddenly, trying to think of anything that would make him and his dead companions seem less guilty, "when Greer decided to ride off over a rise. He came back hollerin' about bein' bushwhacked."

 

Thinking about it made him angry. All of this could have been avoided if Greer hadn't been so confounded lazy. But he didn't have much time to think much on it now because Speed was asking him questions.

 

"No one else was there. Me, Billy, Greer, and Black Jack from Evergreen and Cantrell from Lost Lake." He took a swallow of coffee and with it swallowed down his rising feelings of nervousness. He hadn't been accused of anything yet, but if there were no other witnesses, what was to stop Speed from accusing him?

 

"Black Jack Laine is the other man...was the other man. He and Cantrell had some beef a while back, apparently. Anyway, Cantrell wanted us to give up Greer but we wasn't gonna do that. When Black Jack recognized Cantrell, he an' Greer were both in it for real. Billy and me...they sent us up the hill to try an' flank Cantrell."

 

He drank more of his coffee and studied the older man across the desk warily. Should he have said that? That was as good as admitting he'd intended to kill Cantrell, and that seemed unwise.

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“So, let me get this straight, there were four of you, I assume you were all armed at the time.” Speed began. “So Cantrell crossed over onto Evergreen Range? Is that right? Then, who was it ordered you to flank Quentin, now it seems to me four against one, if two were the flank the one, he would be at a terrible disadvantage.”


“This Blackjack Laine, now, he was sort of the leader here? I mean, he was the one calling the shots, as it were?” Speed shifted in his chair. Looking at Brendan, he went on, “Makes it awful difficult to defend one’s self when you have to clear leather and then shoot in two different directions, even with two pistols a man would still need to see his targets, you see what I’m getting at?”


“You may not have set out to murder Quentin Cantrell, but the way I see it, when you flanked him the idea was a crossfire where he would have no chance.” There was a pause. “So Quentin Cantrell out numbered, out gunned, put down three of you, and got lead in you too. So why in the world would you come in here to tell me about this? It’s not a town matter, I have no jurisdiction on either spread, but you have given me food for thought along those lines.”


With a deep breath, Speed concluded, “Cantrell will probably finish what he started, not a vengeful man, but given what the four of you tried, believe I’d be hard pressed to blame him.”

@Bailey

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"Right." Brendan nodded to Speed's first question, then scrunched up his face a little bit at the second. "Well...we was already close to the property lines, so he didn't come too far. But yeah. Black Jack, he was the leader. He'd been in scrapes like this before, so we trusted him. Even when he sent Billy and me over the hill."

 

"You may not have set out to murder Quentin Cantrell, but the way I see it, when you flanked him the idea was a crossfire where he would have no chance.

 

"Yeah, well, it didn't work out like that," he snapped, setting his empty coffee cup down on the desk. He didn't like being called out like this; told that he had been an accessory to an attempted murder...even though it was true. He just hadn't seen it that way.

 

As to why he had come, well, he was starting to wonder why himself. He had come thinking that seeing the marshal would do some good, but what good was a marshal if he couldn't do anything? This jurisdiction thing was stupid.

 

"Cantrell will probably finish what he started, not a vengeful man, but given what the four of you tried, believe I’d be hard pressed to blame him.”

 

He shook his head stubbornly. "Nuh-uh. Not Cantrell. He brung me into town. He told me I could take Black Jack's rifle to replace mine, and told me I could have the horses and saddles an' all if I wanted 'em, and I do. Thought there might be some legal things to go through."

 

He had tucked the rifle into the scabbard on his own saddle before Quentin and the wagon left, and the same with the pistol. He wondered suddenly if he would need to use them.

 

"If he does come after me and I'm in town, what happens? You got 'jurisdiction' for something that happens in town but started out of it?"

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"Cantrell will probably finish what he started, not a vengeful man, but given what the four of you tried, believe I’d be hard pressed to blame him.”

 

He shook his head stubbornly. "Nuh-uh. Not Cantrell. He brung me into town. He told me I could take Black Jack's rifle to replace mine, and told me I could have the horses and saddles an' all if I wanted 'em, and I do. Thought there might be some legal things to go through."


Speed raised an eyebrow. There was really no reason that Connolly couldn’t take the guns and the  horses with their tack. Quentin had no need of such things. Guns he had a plenty, as well as horse flesh and tack, so this came as no surprise, but he said nothing.
 

He had tucked the rifle into the scabbard on his own saddle before Quentin and the wagon left, and the same with the pistol. He wondered suddenly if he would need to use them.

 

"If he does come after me and I'm in town, what happens? You got 'jurisdiction' for something that happens in town but started out of it?"

 

“Then I have misjudge the situation, and you. If Quentin and you brought in the bodies, and he was generous with the spoils, so too say, then I doubt that he’ll come hunting you over it.” Speed said. “Maybe you’ve learned a lesson here. Maybe you can see where a man like this Black Jack is not the kind of man to follow.”  


“There’s a passel of ‘em out here. Those that tried to rob our bank for instance, that’s where the Black Jack’s of this world end up. Shot down, or at the end of a rope. You look a mite smarter than that. If Quentin wanted your hide, it’d be tacked to the barn door and dried out. He ain’t comin’ for you, and if he does, there’ll be no shooting’s in my town, I’ll promise you that.” Speed paused.


“Good enough for you?” He asked. “Get yourself some clothes, you’ll scare hell out of those that see you lookin’ like that. You got money?”

 

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Again, another warning to change his ways so he wouldn't end up like Black Jack. Brendan was starting to get tired of it, but he knew everyone else was right. He needed to turn his whole life around.

 

"Get yourself some clothes, you’ll scare hell out of those that see you lookin’ like that. You got money?

 

Brendan grinned, for real this time. "I will once I sell them horses and saddles. I got no need for them." He rose, realizing that their business was essentially concluded. He could have the horses and no one was going to give him a hard time about it. Maybe Caroline could convince Ralph Flandry to give up one of his shirts until Brendan could get a new one.

 

"Thanks for the coffee. I'm upstairs at the saloon if...I dunno...anythin' comes up." He didn't thank Speed for the advice or the reassurance, because that just wasn't something one did. He moved toward the door but didn't leave in case the marshal had any last words of advice or caution.

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Speed looked up at the young man in the doorway. "Keep your nose clean, stay outta trouble, and be careful who you side up with." He offered. "you might fight shy of the Evergreen, there's other outfits to sign on with that steer clear of trouble. But, you do what you want. Nothing's going to come up, so forget it."

 

The man had his whole life ahead of him, but another wrong move like the attempted murder of Quentin Cantrell, and a rope would be waiting, but trying to tell that to a young man? Better off trying to rope the wind.

 

*We can end this here if you like.

@Bailey

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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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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