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    • Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."   "Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever  you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
    • Their cab driver was waiting for them, he'd stayed close, alert to when they would return, and he was content, having had a wonderful lunch that Mrs. Pike had had packed for him.  Now, he helped get the remains of their picnic loaded, then made sure everyone was settled, with blankets in case they needed them, and started back for town.   "That was a wonderful outing!" Emeline declared, chuckling.  "Although I think I ended up with half the beach in my shoes!"  That had been something she hadn't thought about when going barefoot...putting the shoes and socks back on had been a challenge, especially with no way to keep the sand out!   She settled in, wrapping a blanket around her knees, since the hem of her skirt was damp, then rested her head against Barnabas' shoulder and was soon asleep.  Across from them, Lillian was also dozing.   "Thank you for letting us come with you, sir," Tom murmured quietly, "my sister works too hard and it's good for her to have some fun.  And I appreciate the advice.  College sounds like a good plan, if we can afford it.  I'd love to go to Montana or the Dakotas, but I don't want to leave Lillian."   @Flip
    • "Guess you're right about just showin' up at the ranch like that." He agree, and that is kind of you, but I've cash put by for this trip I've made. The hotel does sound good. And the local fare? Which is the best place to eat. Lookin' for big steak dinner I am. Been sometime since I was able to get somethin' like that. It was a trip to remember, long, hard, and with every temperature you could imagine."   It had been that and a bit more. There had been Molly McGuire, he was missing her, but Kalispell would not be the place for her if all that had been said came to fruition between Lost Lake and the Evergreen. He had waltzed in on what could be a real corpse and cartridge affair, and one that went on an on til they forgot what it was about, or who started it.   "I appreciate your offer, and your council about town and holdin' off till the ranch hands were in town. I'll do just that. @JulieS    
    • Benjamin gave up on the fruitless pursuit of the surviving war party, they were down a six or so anyhow and more than likely just heading back to their home village. If it was one thing the US cavalry learned about chasing Indians, you didn't catch 'em.  Best horsemen in the world maybe. So he ordered his scouts and troopers to turn back and then spent the better part of a few hours just getting back to the rest of his command. It being dark did not help at all but the scouts were up to the task.   Once back he found out that a lot had happened - almost all good too, well except another trooper had been killed. But Lt. Greene found (had lucked into it really but no criticism there - it was the great Napoleon who had said  'better a lucky general than a good one') the women and they were alive. Looking a bit worse for wear but no dangerous wounds, the saloon girl was already wearing trousers and a bluecoat lent her by eager troopers. And Greene had a face to face encounter with an Arapaho brave looking to kill the ladies. That Indian was dead. Barlow didn't press the young officer on the details, that he could read in the report Greene would have to write out later back in the fort, for the young man was wounded and in considerable discomfort. They didn't have a doctor with this detachment but one of the troopers who knew something about wound treatment assured Benjamin the boy would live and keep his leg. Well unless he didn't take care of it properly and get gangrene.   The stage driver was quite the tough gal too. She was sporting a large bruise from where the Arapaho had belted her with his gun butt but in good humor and even told him that the two women had killed their guard and escaped on their own.  Barlow was impressed.   "Well, it's a pity we don't allow women in the army, we could use a couple more like you and your friend," Benjamin remarked to Addy.   It was a tough call to make - normally traveling at night was not the wise thing to do but they had the wounded to think of and the sooner they got them back to better medical care at the fort or even town, the better. He decided darkness or not, they would head back and issued the appropriate orders.   They kept the pace deliberately slow but steady. He wasn't worried about Indian attack - Plains Indians did not attack at night and besides that war party was good as destroyed and definitely dispersed.  No, the bigger danger was loss of a horse or horses to prairie dog holes or god knows what else whilst traveling in the darkness.   Then there was a holler from ahead.   @MD  @Bongo @Flip @Javia
    • Both men had agreed, it had been a hell of a day. That Bannister came to them had been unexpected, but welcomed.  As they walked to the hotel after stabling their mounts they paused on the porch, taking up seats on the porch. Both men silent as they turned over the events of the day. Neither weary as they should be after a long hard ride back to Kalispell.   "This shapes up different than I was thinking it would. I mean hell, this is father against daughter." Cook said, "Seen a few that was father-son, never father-daughter."   "Odd one, that's fer shore. Now This Elias Steelgrave, you know much about him?" McNue asked, wonder what type of man is a threat to his own flesh and blood.   "Some, none of it good, and none of it arrestable, if that's even a word. The man skirts the law in a way he gets what he's after without consequence. Though I've heard there's a dark past with some bodies, but again, no real proof. Well, we'll check in with Guyer in the morning, see what we can do."   "Sounds to be a good idea, as dos gettin' our fair share 'o shuteye." McNue agreed. Both men got to their feet and entered the hotel. On this night their prospective of what was happening had changed.

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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.

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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...?"

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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."

 

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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."

 

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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.

 

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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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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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