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    • "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.

Lords of the Ring


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Mature Content: No.

Author: Lorenzo Crabbe

With: Robert Cullen; Aiofe Leane; others?
Location: Horace Simpkin's Storage Barn just on outskirts of town.
When:  Early June 1876
Time of Day: Afternoon.

 

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Mr Fa left them on the walk down to Simpkin's Barn. Heaven help Horace if he ever had to actually store anything in there: seemed every other week there was some event or other hiring out the place: dances; shindigs; amateur theatricals; and now a boxing match! It was fast becoming the entertainment centre of the town. Crabbe, Miss Leane (who had come along despite Robert's insistence that such things weren't for 'Proper Wimmin') and Robert (whose services had been secured with mere spit and a handshake) made an odd trio perhaps as they made their way to the place, Crabbe doing a lot of talking, but not actually saying too much.

 

"... see, they set up a stage for a barn dance a few months ago, for the band you know, and that's still up , but I'm reckoning on using that for seating for folks to see the ring set up below, on ground level: got a couple of hired hands setting that up this afternoon, they might even be there right now..." he explained airily as they approached the place.

 

Indeed the barndoor was open and there was Hector Wigfall holding gingerly on to a thick wooden post, slotted into a hole in the dirt floor, and his sister Jemima swinging a large two handed mallet lustily onto the top of it. They heard Hector scream "Mind my fingers, you stupid idiot!" as they walked in. There were already three other posts firmly set in the ground and a deal of rope on the floor, ready to be tied to the posts to make a rudimentary, makeshift boxing ring. 

 

Both twins stopped what they were doing and stood up straight, not out of respect for Crabbe (as if!) but for Hector to goggle at his mother's attractive Irish lodger, Aoife Leane, and for Jemima to stare at the handsome young stranger that their hirer had in tow. She was glad she'd worn the cleaner of her blouses now, even if it did show the sweat patches more. Lorenzo waved his hand around the barn loftily "What d'ya think?" he asked Robert and Aiofe proudly, like he'd just built the place itself. 

 

@boshmi @Wayfarer

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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As they wandered into the barn and Aoife's eyes rapidly adjusted to the slightly dim environment, who should she see standing to attention? Not one, but both Wigfall children, Lord forbid that Aoife spend even a second away from them. Almost like a bad joke it was, so much so that she probably would have returned to the practice right then and there if she hadn't insisted on her presence against Robert.

 

The ring itself presently looked more like a patch of dirt with some wooden stakes scattered haphazardly around it than a real puglist's arena, and knowing Hector and Jemima, that trend would probably continue for some time yet.

 

"What d'ya think?" Mr. Crabbe proudly asked.

Aoife said nothing. She was still a little miffed that Robert had agreed to this at all, but of course, as she had reasoned back at the doctor's; it would be far from her to change his mind.

@Javia@Wayfarer

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Robert had never been inside the barn but it certainly seemed like a fine place to hold a fight in his opinion, that way even if the weather outside was wet or stormy, the event could go on. Work was going on already preparing the ring, such as it was.

 

"Oh, I've fought before with nothing more the crowd bein' the ropes of the ring ye might say. I remember once when I punched me opposite number how he fell back against the crowd and some big mug shoved him hard right back toward me.  Right inta me fist he did. I won that fight by knockout it must be said," Robert grinned.

 

"This'll do just fine, I be thinkin'," he gave it his full approval even if the lass looked less than thrilled.

 

 

 

 

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"What d'ya think?" Mr. Crabbe proudly asked, but the frosty look on the Aoife's face made him shiver worse than when he'd been buried alive in the snow during a badly planned season trapping in the mountains. 

 

Robert looked a great deal more pleased at the arrangements; Crabbe moved over and warmed himself on his enthusiasm.

 

"Oh, I've fought before with nothing more the crowd bein' the ropes of the ring ye might say. I remember once when I punched me opposite number how he fell back against the crowd and some big mug shoved him hard right back toward me.  Right inta me fist he did. I won that fight by knockout it must be said," Robert grinned.

 

Crabbe nodded enthusiastically at this tale. "I bet that got the crowd excited, I like it!" he beamed. If he only had a couple of professional fighters he could choreograph to make exciting and interesting moves like that: to be honest, most fist fights were just cruel, bloody slogging matches with little skill or excitement except for the vampires in the crowd who wanted to see blood, and plenty of it, soaking the ground of the ring.

 

"This'll do just fine, I be thinkin'," he gave it his full approval even if the lass looked less than thrilled.

 

"Oh, this is just the start. We're gonna have seats there..." Lorenzo pointed at the makeshift stage "... and a bell, divide the thing up into rounds, see?... it'll last longer that way. And seconds... hey, Hector come over here!" 

 

The lad ambled over and his sister followed. "Miss Leane." he nodded to Aiofe. Crabbe introduced him to Robert. "This is Hector Wigfall; he'll act as you second. I gotta look neutral, see?" to Hector, he just said "This is Bob Cullen, he's gonna be our ringer!" 

 

"So, you're the feller who's gonna flatten Charlie Wentworth!" Hector grinned as he held out his hand and his sister looked over his shoulder, drinking Robert in and eying Aoife with a green glint of jealousy.

 

@boshmi @Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Oh, I've fought before with nothing more the crowd bein' the ropes of the ring ye might say. I remember once when I punched me opposite number how he fell back against the crowd and some big mug shoved him hard right back toward me.  Right inta me fist he did. I won that fight by knockout it must be said."

 

Aoife grimaced. Quite literally thousands of years ago, slaves fought to the death for the sake of their master's entertainment, and here they were, in a so-called 'enlightened age,' arranging very similar bloodsports. She wasn't so naïve as to declare violence nonessential to the modern world, but for the sake of profiteering and amusement it all seemed quite... savage.

 

Nevertheless, Mr. Crabbe seemed very taken with Robert's tale of barbarity, and Aoife's attention began to wander as the conversation devolved into the specifics of seating arrangements and fight timing. The dirt beneath their feet seemed solid now, but come fight night it would probably become a quagmire of gore and sludgy sediment. The nurse found herself wondering just how well the ring posts would hold up in softer earth, and by extension; what it would mean for the fighters, to be slugging away at each other with no boundaries between them and the sweaty hordes of bloodthirsty onlookers. If Robert's story and Crabbe's enthusiasm were anything to go by, the verdict on 'crowd participation' would be very lax indeed.

 

The Wigfall pair made their way over, and for once it seemed as though Aoife was getting more of a goggle-eyed look from Jemima than Hector. She returned the expression in kind with a thinning of the lips that could have been interpreted as a greeting, then settled back into her stony repose.

"So, you're the feller who's gonna flatten Charlie Wentworth!"

 

"Who is this Charlie Wentworth, anyway?" Aoife cut in. "Scholar...? Tailor...? Farmer...?"

@Javia@Wayfarer

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Crabbe now summoned some young lad over and announced he was to be Robert's ring man, it was a simple enough task, throw a bit of water over him after letting him have a swig or two of it, wipe the blood away if it was getting into his eyes for example. Though if the lad be the squeamish sort, he might not take to it.

 

"Hullo Hector, I prefer Bobby or Robert meself," he held out his hand to the boy and gave him a hearty handshake. Pity they didn't allow women seconds?  Aoife would be his choice in an instant.

 

Just then he found out the name of his opponent too, Charlie Wentworth. The name meant nothing to him though.

 

"Who is this Charlie Wentworth, anyway?" Aoife cut in. "Scholar...? Tailor...? Farmer...?"

 

Robert shrugged, "His job don't matter none, lass. I hear he likes the bottle a bit too much and has never fought before?"

 

He turned to Hector and the stern looking girl, "You two know this Charlie?"

 

 

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Ben walked into the barn and what he found interested him a great deal.  Considering that Charlie only signed the contract a few days ago, he was surprised to see them setting up the ring so soon.  He knew Crabbe would be the type to milk this for all he good so that he could make a bundle from selling tickets and anything else he could think of.  The one thing Crabbe couldn't was the one running the betting book and that is where he came in.

 

He knew that in order to make sure the fight was fair and that no-one would argue or find fault with the results, Crabbe had to be neutral.  So, being the good friend he was, he naturally jumped at the chance to look after the bets.  Before betting opened, he would have to determine the odds and to find if Crabbe had managed to find an opponent for Charlie, yet.

 

It was just as he was leaving his lodgings, which were situated not far from Doctor Danforth's office, that he saw Crabbe and three others going off somewhere.  He knew two of Crabbe's group, the Chinaman Fa and the young nurse who worked for Danforth but he didn't know who the third man was.  Wondering if where they were going had anything to do with the fight, he decided to follow them.  Even if it didn't, it would interesting to know what Crabbe was up to.

 

Keeping his distance far enough to keep the group in sight, he followed them to Simkin's Barn, probably the only place in town big enough to hold the type of crowd Crabbe would want.

 

As he made his way towards the group, he also noticed the Wigfall twins.  It looked Crabbe had roped them into this as well.  Then he heard the young man who had been with Crabbe address them...

 

"You two know this Charlie?"

 

"Probably not," Ben answered before turning the nurse and tipping his hat.  He then looked over to Crabbe and smiled, "Nice to see that you're not wasting any time."

 

@Javia @Wayfarer @boshmi

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Hullo Hector, I prefer Bobby or Robert meself," he held out his hand to the boy and gave him a hearty handshake. Pity they didn't allow women seconds?  Aoife would be his choice in an instant.

 

"Howdy friend." grinned Hector. He didn't bother introducing his ugly sister. Crabbe busied himself testing the firmness of the posts, which the gruesome twosome had planted so deep that the bottoms were probably sticking out of a paddy field in China. 

 

"Who is this Charlie Wentworth, anyway?" Aoife cut in. "Scholar...? Tailor...? Farmer...?"

 

Robert shrugged, "His job don't matter none, lass. I hear he likes the bottle a bit too much and has never fought before?"

 

"Ah, he'll be a pushover!" said Hector, waving his hand dismissively. "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." which was easy for him to say: he'd be watching from outside the ring.

 

He turned to Hector and the stern looking girl, "You two know this Charlie?"

 

Jemima was just about to open her mouth and tell the handsome boxer with the rippling muscles (probably) all about Charlie Wentworth, when her chance was stolen by some stranger entering the barn. She looked daggers at the man.

 

"Probably not," Ben answered before turning the nurse and tipping his hat.  He then looked over to Crabbe and smiled, "Nice to see that you're not wasting any time."

 

"I never do!" replied Crabbe with his crocodile smile, then quickly let his crew know to whom they were talking: for in the politest way possible, Ben represented the 'enemy camp'. 

 

"Kids, this is Charlie Wentworth's cousin and, no doubt by now, chief trainer, Ben Simons. So careful what you say. I think I can let you know, Ben, that this is your Charlie's opponent, as of ten minutes ago: Bob Cullen."

 

Jemima immediately loudly shouted "HE PREFERS BOBBY OR ROBERT!!!" which actually made Crabbe jump in the air and utter a "Jesus Christ!" before glancing at Hector and muttering "Can't you keep her on a lead or something!"

 

"Hector here's Bob...er, Bobby's second, and this here pretty young lady is our personal medical advisor, Miss Nurse Leane." he indicated Aoife loftily, betting that the Wentworth camp didn't have anything so impressive sounding (even if the title was actually quite meaningless).

 

@boshmi @Wayfarer @JulieS

 

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"Ah, he'll be a pushover! The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Announced Hector dismissively, which did absolutely nothing to settle Aoife's qualms about the whole thing. In fact, they had now been told that this Charlie was, in fact; 'big', implicitly more so than Robert.

 

She had no opportunity to voice her opinion, however, for the creaking of the barn door to their rear heralded the entry of yet another party in this debacle.

"Probably not."

He was fairly handsome, with a touch of the debonair and confidence that spoke to his success. This was a man, just like Mr. Crabbe, who made his fortune off the backs of others, though judging by the ease with which he carried himself, there was some great modicum of self-assurance in his swindling. He tipped his hat to her (a hat? indoors? really?) and she replied with a quick "Sir" out of respect. She trusted him no more than she trusted Lorenzo, but got the feeling that he could out-talk any one of them, and demanded to be recognized as such.

 

The two frontmen seemed to size each other up, an ironic mirroring of the more physical confrontation that both of them facilitated, and though these swindlers would assuredly never come to blows on their own terms, there would undoubtedly be a duel of the more verbal sort.

 

"Kids, this is Charlie Wentworth's cousin and, no doubt by now, chief trainer, Ben Simons. So careful what you say. I think I can let you know, Ben, that this is your Charlie's opponent, as of ten minutes ago: Bob Cullen."

 

Jemima quite suddenly shouted something so loudly that Aoife never even registered it, sheer volume doing more for her than the content of her words ever could. All Aoife could manage was to merely wince along with the others. After a few months in the Wigfall boarding house, such sporadic and unintelligible outbursts seemed mundane.

 

"Hector here's Bob...er, Bobby's second, and this here pretty young lady is our personal medical advisor, Miss Nurse Leane."

 

Now that was something she could react to. Personal medical advisor? To a backstreet brawl which would undoubtedly end in splintered bones and wounded pride? Even if the matter had been raised beforehand, she'd still have had some very firm words to say about it. How would it look, not just for her own reputation, but that of Jonah, and the doctor's office as a whole, to be associated with all of this?

 

"I am here as an observer, nothing more, Mr. Crabbe." she strategically imparted, matching her eyes with both those of Lorenzo and Mr. Simons in turn. "Should I have any information to impart pertaining to the medical situation at hand, it will be for the benefit of those affected, rather than the sake of any particular camp."

@Javia@JulieS@Wayfarer

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
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Taking off his hat, Ben smiled as he acknowledged all who were present as they were mentioned.  He knew enough about the Wigfall twins, especially Jemima to steer clear of them and so her sudden exclamation didn't surprise him.  There were rumours around town that given the opportunity the girl could wrestle a bull and win.

 

When Crabbe told him that the nurse was the medical advisor, he found that a bit odd.  Not many fights he had been to, had a dedicated health worker on hand.  Most of them, only called on doctor after the fight was over and only if they were needed.  Her reply therefore was rather refreshing, considering the type of person Crabbe usually associated with.

 

Looking at her sincerely, he said, "I'm sure that your partiality will be appreciated by all sides.  I know that my cousin and the rest of his family value honesty and I see that you, Miss Leane have it in abundance. You will be a great asset to this venture."

 

Turning to Cullen, he held out his hand, "Nice to meet you."

 

@Javia @Wayfarer@boshmi

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"Kids, this is Charlie Wentworth's cousin and, no doubt by now, chief trainer, Ben Simons. So careful what you say. I think I can let you know, Ben, that this is your Charlie's opponent, as of ten minutes ago: Bob Cullen."

 

Robert nodded, looked at the man and held out his hand for a handshake, "Hullo Mr.Simons." He was about to mention his name preference when...

 

Jemima immediately loudly shouted "HE PREFERS BOBBY OR ROBERT!!!" which actually made Crabbe jump in the air and utter a "Jesus Christ!" before glancing at Hector and muttering "Can't you keep her on a lead or something!"

 

"Hector here's Bob...er, Bobby's second, and this here pretty young lady is our personal medical advisor, Miss Nurse Leane."

 

Robert frowned, Crabbe was pushing that a whole lot more than the young woman seemed to appreciate.

 

"I am here as an observer, nothing more, Mr. Crabbe." she strategically imparted, matching her eyes with both those of Lorenzo and Mr. Simons in turn. "Should I have any information to impart pertaining to the medical situation at hand, it will be for the benefit of those affected, rather than the sake of any particular camp."

 

"Bein' neutral they be callin' it," Robert nodded, he didn't the girl to do anything she was uncomfortable with.

 

"Sounds good," Robert nodded.

 

"I'm sure that your partiality will be appreciated by all sides.  I know that my cousin and the rest of his family value honesty and I see that you, Miss Leane have it in abundance. You will be a great asset to this venture."

 

Turning to him this Wentworth relative took his hand  for a shake,"Nice to meet you."

 

A few quick pumps and that was that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"I am here as an observer, nothing more, Mr. Crabbe." she strategically imparted, matching her eyes with both those of Lorenzo and Mr. Simons in turn.

 

"Oh! Well, that's tellin' me!" shrugged Crabbe, philosophcally.

 

"Should I have any information to impart pertaining to the medical situation at hand, it will be for the benefit of those affected, rather than the sake of any particular camp."

 

"Bein' neutral they be callin' it," Robert nodded, he didn't the girl to do anything she was uncomfortable with.

 

"Well, I'm glad you know what she's talkin' about!" chuckled Lorenzo, this girl was wordier than Clara Lutz.

 

"Sounds good," Robert nodded.

 

"I'm sure that your partiality will be appreciated by all sides.  I know that my cousin and the rest of his family value honesty and I see that you, Miss Leane have it in abundance. You will be a great asset to this venture."

 

Hell, the Irish girl was bringing out the slick, charming,  gentlemanly side of Simons, it was stomach churning: did he realise that she was probably as poor as a church mouse? Maybe he just fancied the look of her. 

 

Turning to him this Wentworth relative took his hand  for a shake, "Nice to meet you."

 

A few quick pumps and that was that.

 

"Bobby here's a business associate of mine. Never boxed before, but fancied his chances when he heard what a pushover Charlie was likely to be." tested Lorenzo, seeing if he could trick Ben into giving away how the youngest Wentworth boy was shaping up in training.

 

@boshmi @JulieS @Wayfarer

 

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"I'm sure that your partiality will be appreciated by all sides.  I know that my cousin and the rest of his family value honesty and I see that you, Miss Leane have it in abundance. You will be a great asset to this venture."

 

"Oh! Well, that's tellin' me!"

 

Having affirmed her position, Aoife once more turned her attention from the conversation, for its part moving on to yet more combative, veiled dialogue between the frontrunners. It seemed, unwittingly enough, that she'd involved herself with the boxing match quite thoroughly, and now slated herself to provide medical expertise to not just Robert and his camp, but this Charlie fellow and his.

 

And to that end, she could have had something to say about the chance of infection on open wounds, what with the woody indoor environment and close crowd, or perhaps the fact that the ring posts looked like they'd give splinters if you stared at them too hard. Given how rough Robert's life usually was though, she imagined that he'd probably scoff at that sort of thing, along with the rest of the room.

 

Instead, she merely moved to sit upon the stage. Mr. Crabbe had mentioned it would be for seating anyway, and she had little interest in the mindgames that he and Mr. Simons would no doubt proceed to play upon each other.

@Javia@Wayfarer@JulieS

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
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"Bobby here's a business associate of mine. Never boxed before, but fancied his chances when he heard what a pushover Charlie was likely to be." tested Lorenzo, seeing if he could trick Ben into giving away how the youngest Wentworth boy was shaping up in training.

 

Ben smiled, "Not too much of how pushover, I hope.  My family does have the tendency to, and pardon the pun, to come out fighting when the chips are down."

 

He took a good look around the room, before addressing Crabbe again,  "It looks like you're expecting a good size crowd and I think you'll get it.  Not much around here to entertain the masses."

 

Yes, Kalispell was a good size town but there was little here in the form of entertainment, which had put him to thinking.  One idea had taken form and if he could find the right place, then it would be a goer.  He had his eye on one particular building that with a little bit or work could become the town's first theatre.  However, that was something else to ponder later on, for now it was all about the boxing match.

 

@Javia

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