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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

Are We Ready To Go?


Barnabas Pike
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It was early, just past six in the morning, which had dawned cool, but that would change as the day wore on,  he and Em would be on their way for the honeymoon that had been unavoidably delayed by the time that happened. Though the heat of the July sun would follow them. He and the hammerhead roan climbed to top of the trail to the house. The crew was already working to complete the place. He really didn't want anything, or leave any message with the job foreman, he just wanted a solitary look at the place.

 

He sat taking a breath and letting it out as he gazed on the homestead they would call theirs, but all in due time, of which the crew was aware. They had plenty of time to get it done, and done right. That was what was important. Satisfied, he wheeled the roan and down the trail they went. A trail cut wide enough for a wagon and a horse along side. Once at the bottom and the trail to Kalispell he laid spur by a mere touch and the roan bolted into a full gallop.

 

Having both of their horse stabled, Pike walked around the corner to the Marshals office and stepped inside. Speed looked up, "On your way?" He asked.

 

"Jest about. thought I'd leave my badge here, collect it when I get back, well, near as I can figger." He responded, unsure of his future, except that of being with Em on their ranch. The tin badge clattered on the desk top, a hollow sound. "See ya on the way back, Speed."

 

Speed got to his feet offering his hand. "Have yourself a grand time of it, Pronto."

 

"That's the plan my friend. Be seein' ya. Good luck gettin' a temporary Deputy." Both laughed, but that was a concern, not that the town was in any eminent danger of anything, and certainly not the Indians. Speed watched him exit and start up the street to the Lickskillet where a surrey waited. His thought turned to Alice, but there was a pang as if something was ending.

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@Bongo

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pronto reached the boardwalk, looked at the surrey that would carry them away from Kalispell, and smiled, but, there was a pang of something akin to loss, which he could not put his finger on. It was just there. Though it was now just he and Em and their future going forward. A pleasant a thought as he had ever had!

 

He opened the door and stepped inside. She would be upstairs packing, or so he hoped, but he was well aware of women and the things that could delay them, but it was time to get started if they were ever going to go, so he decided to go p and see if he could give her a hand, even though he had warned her not to pack too much, he had two changes of clothes as well as his suit. The wedding suit, which was newer that the other one he had.

 

Opening the door he smiled and said, "Well, certainly looks like time to be heading out. Gonna be a trip, but I promise you, it will be well worth waitin' for."

@Bongo

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While she still didn't know exactly where they were going -- she didn't really want to, and Barnabas wanted it to be a surprise anyway -- Emeline was packed as much as she could think to be.  There were the basics -- personal care items, under-pinnings and sleep things -- as well as a couple 'plain' dresses and one nice one, although it wasn't quite the latest of fashion, Kalispell wasn't up to date on those things, and she had had no reason prior to this to worry about what they were wearing in London and Paris.  Besides, she wasn't one to be concerned with that sort of thing, and she was trying to keep her packing to one trunk.

 

When Barnabas came in, she smiled and ran over to him, giving him a big hug.  "I'm ready!  I've been ready for a long time."  She kissed him, then added, "I can't wait to see where we end up, I know it will be amazing!"

 

Just to be away from town, alone with this incredible man, the chance to get to know each other in a different setting...she was really looking forward to it.

 

@Flip

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He laughed, "Yep, it will be amazin', well least I think it'll be amazin'. So, unless somethin' jumps up an' delays us, we'll be on our way and when we get back, we move outta here an' into the ranch house." He added. "You was gonna speak to Clara 'bout movin' up here? How'd that go?" he knew the young woman was slated to run the place while they were gone.

 

It was idle conversation, he was anxious for them to be going, it was going to be a long trip and they were going to be gone for quite a while, though she did not know that, all part of the surprise and the trip of a life time. He doubted they would ever have this opportunity again.

 

"This here's our big chance ta get outta town fer a spell, to see some things an' do some things before we settle down to the bid'ness of workin' the ranch an' raisin us a family. So I plan ta show ya a real good time." He grinned as he said those words, knowing she had no idea what he was talking about.

@Bongo

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"A real good time?"  Emeline grinned widely as they headed downstairs, following the man she'd asked to help with her trunk in exchange for meals for a week.  "So, we're joining a circus?"  Looking at Barnabas, she laughed, then added, "You'd make a great clown, and I could be the lion tamer...you know what a good job I did with Buster!"  She'd miss the one-eyed cat, but he was in good hands between Clara and Addy.

 

"Yes, Clara is looking to move in, she'll be packing up the rest of my things and making sure they get sent to the house next week."  She waited a moment as her trunk was loaded, then let Barnabas help her into the buggy.  "I'm glad we can help them."  And she was happy that Clara could take over for a while, until she had to take it easy for her pregnancy.

 

@Flip

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Barnabas smiled, "yep, bein' able to help is good. That they two kids get to have a fresh start at things, in a place they can call theirs, that's good, right? I mean, yer plan is that they have this as their first home, instead of livin' out to her Pa's 'er his Ma's." He shook his head, "Ain't no way to start out life tagether."

 

Once they were outside, the trunk with her things and the smaller one with his things were loaded he looked at her and he smiled wide. "Well now Missus Pike, it would be time fer us ta be on are way. But, maybe if you'd like, farewells to Clara, there's time." Time, there would be plenty of time for them on this journey. Plenty of time for them to get to really know one another in a completely different setting than beautiful downtown Kalispell, and he was certainly looking forward that.

@Bongo

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"I think I will," Emeline declared, even though she'd had her good-byes with Clara.  But that had been a couple hours prior, and as much as she was looking forward to her honeymoon, she was going to miss the girl.  "I'll just be a minute."

 

Giving Barnabas a quick kiss on the cheek, she trotted back into the cafe and to the kitchen, scooping up Buster along the way.

 

"Clara!  We're leaving now!"  She dropped the cat, then gave Clara a big hug.  "You and Addy take good care of Buster, all right?"  She'd already told Clara she could use her horse whenever she wanted to.  "I'm not sure where we're going yet, but I'll bring you back something pretty!  Is there anything you'd like?  A nice dress, a pretty hat so Granny Miggins can declare you a brazen hussy?"  She laughed, then leaned and whispered in her ear, "I think I might be with child!"  She wasn't sure yet, but she had that feeling!

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

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Well, Emeline and Pronto were about ready to leave so Clara grabbed a towel and wiped off her hands of flour, she had been working on the day's bakery. She was so happy for the woman, she deserved all the happiness she could get. Pronto seemed like a fine man though she had not much cared for him at first sight. Goes to show you the old saying about don't judge a book by it's cover.

 

"Clara!  We're leaving now!"  She dropped the cat, then gave Clara a big hug. 

 

Clara hugged her right back, she was now quite past her strange aversion to hugs thru most of her childhood...well especially after her mother died. And besides, Emeline was the closest thing she had to a mother.

 

"Oh have a great time. And please be safe. Remind your husband the Indians may still be about," Clara could not help but be a little worried for her.

 

"You and Addy take good care of Buster, all right?"

 

"We certainly will. He will be fine," Clara assured her.

 

"I'm not sure where we're going yet, but I'll bring you back something pretty!  Is there anything you'd like?  A nice dress, a pretty hat so Granny Miggins can declare you a brazen hussy?"  She laughed, then leaned and whispered in her ear, "I think I might be with child!" 

 

Clara had a ready answer for what to get but when Emeline revealed her OTHER news, she went wide-eyed.

 

"Oh gosh!  That would be wonderful!  I am so happy for you....and Pronto. Does he know yet? But either way I will keep this to myself until you want it known."

 

"And just get me a cheap work dress, I can always use another one to be honest. Granny Miggins would not like me if I wore a Bible on my head," Clara added.

 

 

 

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Barnabas stood outside by the surrey, flipping the reins in a circular motion, waiting. But as he was finding out, a man was always waiting for females for one reason or another. It was not that he minded. He cast a casual glance about the street. It was a good town, a town worth effort and devotion in whatever sense those traits showed themselves.

 

Yet, he was ready to get on the trail, there was a long ways to go. There would be trains, and coaches possibly even horseback ahead of them. The surrey would get them to the the first stop and transfer, and it would be there for the return trip. What lay ahead would be eye opening for Misses , that was for sure. He was anxious to get going.

 

Luggage was packed, food stuffs for a few days, and plenty of water in several canteens, all stowed away properly. The thought of warriors on the prowl after the Custer defeat gave him pause, however, Pronto Pike had his pistols about his waist, his Winchester, extra ammunition, and her shotgun, also with extra ammunition. There were road agents about, but he had little fear of either having the misfortune of interrupting the Pikes honeymoon.

@Bongo@Wayfarer

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"And just get me a cheap work dress, I can always use another one to be honest. Granny Miggins would not like me if I wore a Bible on my head," Clara added.

 

Emeline chuckled, thinking that Clara truly was a girl after her own heart...frilly dresses were pretty, and made you feel elegant, but in the big picture, they were pretty in the wardrobe, and it was far better to have practical things.

 

"I'll find something."  She smiled and hugged her again, then whispered, "No, I haven't told him, I want to be sure."  Of course, 'sure' was a live child in her arms, she knew well enough from experience, but he'd know long before that unless he was blind!

 

"Take care of yourself and my godchild!"  Giving Clara a quick kiss on the cheek, she went back out to the buggy, hugging Barnabas before climbing to the seat with his assistance.

 

"All right, then, we're...what is the saying?  Burning daylight!"  Unlike the beginning of her trek with Andrew, where they were leaving behind home for good, this had a different air of excitement, it was going to be fun, and they'd be coming back to something they knew!

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

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"I'll find something."  Emeline smiled and hugged her again, then whispered, "No, I haven't told him, I want to be sure." 

 

"That makes sense, indeed," Clara hugged her right back.

 

"Take care of yourself and my godchild!"  Giving Clara a quick kiss on the cheek, the woman turned and headed outside, Pronto was waiting for her.

 

"I will. Little Emeline if it is a girl," Clara pointed out, regardless of what Arabella thought on the matter. Besides who names a child Arabella?

 

And then it was back to her. Clara had more work to do than ever but that was fine, hard work had never bothered her and Emeline was due this. Gosh she was going to miss the woman already by the morrow.

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"Burnin' daylight by the bucket full, but love, we're in no particular hurry. We got us a ways to go yet." He said after getting her into the Surrey. He jogged around, snatching up the ground anchor and releasing it from the halter. Two fine draft animals stamping the hooves, ready to go.

 

Barnabas got in, snapped the reins and with that pop of leather, Mister and Missus Pike were on their way to their grand adventure which had been planned down to the last detail by Barnabas, well in advance of the actual day of the trip.

 

"Get comfortable, there water in the skin hangin' on yer side, and some jerked beef betwixt us. Headin' west, girl, headin' west." He didn't even look back as the drove out of town. They would follow the old wagon trail that some of those headed for Oregon had use, and riders still used. It would take them a bit north, past the Redmond place, between Lost Lake and the Evergreen ranches, up into the mountains then down the other side. Open plains, water and game for the biggest part of their trip west. He explained all of that to her as they drove along.

@Bongo

 

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"West suits me just fine!"  Emeline smiled widely as they set out on their adventure, 'west' giving her a small clue of what their destination wasn't!  And she was glad for that...there was nothing particularly back east, save her family, that she was interested in seeing, at least not so much as those things that lay to the west, further into less-explored and 'civilized' places.

 

So then her mind began to wander, as she wondered...and the possibilities were exciting, no one any better than the other, and truth be told, he could have arranged camping behind the cafe and she would have been happy, to be with him and have him as part of her life now.

 

"Clara made us some treats, too, and I've cooked on the trail, so we'll feast!"  In a way, it really wouldn't matter what they ate, there was something about being in the fresh air that made meals somehow better...well, when you were on the trail of choice and not necessity!

 

"I wouldn't mind trying my hand at shooting some sort of game," she commented, "nothing so big as a buffalo, of course, nor so fast as a rabbit, but maybe if we come across a crippled elk?"

 

@Flip

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"Oh, over the first part o' this trip, there'll be opportunity a plenty fer ya to hunt game. Garonteed." He said. After that, well, 'spose there'll be cafe an' rest'ront food to be had, but we'll get by." The pace for the time being was a brisk trot, and it would vary, though running the pair would only happen in an emergency. Which may or may not happen.

 

'We got us some time ta be out here in the wild, seein' what nature has ta offer. Likely there'll be some sites to compare with the falls at the ranch, but they won't have the same feel as home, nor as much beauty. Fact is, there jest ain't no place like home, and we ain't even moved in yet, but, all in good time, all in good time. Fer now we can enjoy what's presented to us." He gave her a wink as they began the climb.

@Bongo

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"I can't wait to see the house finished," Emeline declared, "it's going to be so wonderful to have our own place, it's a dream I've had for some time..."  One that had been snatched away, but was now being returned ten-fold.  "And I can hang my elk antlers on the wall...Oh!  Or maybe we can make a chair with them!"

 

Um, no, she was not going to have antler furniture in her home!  But it was fun to tease.

 

"This really is an amazing country, and I'm excited to see more of it."  In truth, one thing she really wanted to see was an ocean, be it Pacific or Atlantic, she couldn't imagine so vast a body of water.  But the Pacific Ocean was quite a ways away, so that would have to wait for a time, until the children they didn't yet have were grown and moved out.

 

"It will be an adventure!"  It wasn't as if there were any major towns between here and Spokane, so Barnabas was right that they would have some good time together, but hopefully not too much excitement.  "Then we will be home and starting a completely new adventure!"

 

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An adventure she said, and that is exactly what it was going to be. And the hunting aspect, she could have her chance almost any time as they pressed forward. With plenty of daylight left, they could make good time, although it was going to take some time to reach the destination he had in mind.

 

"I reckon that it'll be a new adventure. You kin purdy much count on that. Not that I see life as gettin' wild an' woolly up to the ranch. I just think life together oughtta be real interestin', if not excitin', well, time ta time. Raisin' cows, and horses, an' kids'll be a real task, but I gotta say, it'll shorely be worth it, ever' minute of it."

@Bongo

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"I guess it depends on 'adventure'," Emeline mused, "just learning how to run a ranch sounds like a good adventure, there's so much to consider."  Of course, he'd likely thought out all the logistics to do with feed, calving, shelter, medicine, water, more that she'd never even think of, and then the details of running the household, some she was familiar with, and others, such as bookkeeping and dealing with seeing to the needs of the hands...

 

It was going to be discovery for them all, but she at least had experience running a business, so she knew she'd catch on pretty quickly.

 

Time passed quickly with planning and idle chatter, and then the lengthening shadows and chill creeping into the air told them it was time to look for a camp.  At least they didn't have to worry about supper, and coffee was easy enough to make, she could do that while he tended the horses and set camp, and she knew they worked well as a team.

 

@Flip

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With camp set, dinner on the fire, and the fading daylight of day one, Barnabas 'Pronto' pike surveyed his new life. Not so different than his old life really. He had spent many a night on the trail here and there throughout his history, yet there was one major difference, Missus Pike. Now, everything was different in that he needed to think for two.

 

He walked up to her as she tended the pot hanging from the iron rod. "Ya know Missus Pike, as of today, you 'n me, well, we're free of what we left behind. The ranch, in good hands, the cafe, also in good hands, our worries boil down ta have supper an' fightin' off the chill." He put his arm around her. "I expect we'll tend to both shortly."

 

"Jest wanted you to know thet I love you. I'm glad of our union, an' ever-thing that'll come our way as a result of it. Fact is, wouldn't have it any other way." He smiled, "But, I plan to show you a time, a time we'll remember the rest of our days."

@Bongo

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