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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.

Caleb Barnes


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Mature Content: Probably

With: Speed, could be a few characters and NCPs
Location: Starts In town
When: Mid-July 1876
Time of Day: Mid-morning.

 

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(Continued from "Ride To The Rafter A")

"Thank you Ada, believe I'll be alright." He touched his head, toward the back where he'd been hit, there was a lump, but no bandage, so there was no open wound, his hat just might not fit as well as he liked it for a few days, but such is life, not to mention a really great dream.

 

Caleb Barnes. What was wrong with him? To buffalo the Town Marshal, steal his horse, which by rights was a hanging offense, that was asking for trouble the man didn't want, and, Speed was more than willing to give Barnes all the trouble he wanted. Barnes was young, full of himself, a troublemaker, and wannabe gunman. That was the worst part, thinking he was a bad man and a killer, even though he'd actually killed no one. Whatever his reasons, Barnes had now made an enemy. One who intended to see him behind bars, or worse.

 

Since he had been laid on his bed dressed, except for his boots, all he needed to do was sit up, pull on his boots, stand, raise his suspenders and then don his vest, lastly, only because it was across the room, set his hat on his head. All of that accomplished, he jogged down part of the stairs, stopped and walked down the rest of the way as it made his head throb.

 

"And Mister Vaughn?" He asked.

 

"At the clerks office with paperwork. Seems to be doing just fine, a quick study after all." Ada replied.

 

"I've business to attend to, so I'll be back sometime later." Looking at the clock on the wall, it was afternoon. "Well maybe tomorrow, depending on how things go today." She nodded as he turned and went out the door to first see to his horse and then to see to Caleb Barnes. He stepped into the street, dodging the afternoon traffic of horses, wagons and other pedestrians.

 

"You never came out to the ranch." He spun, looking up at Alice sitting her sorrel mare.

 

"Got waylaid and my horse stole." he said. I had stopped after we saw Pike to get that shoe re-nailed and that's the last I remember, but I saw who did it, and I intend to find him and arrest him."

 

She looked down at him, "Well then Marshal, you do what you must. The invitation stands when you can make it out there. I've a few things I need to pick up here in town. I'll be there." She turned the horse and left at a canter. Speed cursed this would be a day Caleb Barnes would rue!

TBC

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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As he stood at the doors of the livery watching her ride off he wondered why Caleb had chosen him to buffalo, knowing, jurisdiction or not, Speed would be out after him. Perhaps his thought was that unlike another man in town, Speed wouldn't be apt to shoot him on sight. If that was the case, the boy was smarter than he looked. For most days there were horses tied to hitch rails up and down Main Street.

 

Or, it was a simple case of opportunity. That too was a possibility. Either way, Speed meant to find and bring in Caleb Barnes, alive if possible, dead otherwise. It was the way of it.

 

At that Moment Gunther Schmidt came out of the livery. "Soorry Marshal, I vas not in da livery when you got hit, but I call for the Doc to see to you, Den I vent looken' for your horse, ve needed to re-shoe him, so his trail vas an easy vone to pick up. Da shoe come off, I think he thew the rider. But no real harm, maybe a light sprain. He come back no problem on da lead rope. But you might let him rest a day or two. I loan you a horse."

 

"Thanks Gunther. Did you see Caleb Barnes hanging around here?" Speed asked.

 

"Nope, I don't see Barnes hanging around." Was the response. "I got dis Dapple grey stud, I'll put yer gear on him for ya, and you don't worry. No charge. You get that fella!"

 

"That would be my intent, Gunther, it surely would." Speed said earnestly.

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TBC

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

He had no illusions of picking up the trail his own horse had left, a full day gone by, anything that was there would be erased by other traffic along the trail.But he followed the directions that Gunther gave him to the spot where his own horse had been recovered, and it was a bit further out than he thought. The fact that Caleb Barnes had gone south was something of a surprise, and the fact he had been willing to buffalo the Marshal meant he had done something he needed to get away from, and fast.

 

The spot was covered in fresh tacks, but beside the trail was was a spout where the sagebrush was crushed, as if a weight had landed then rolled. He stepped down to look at it, some of the brush was recovering, but it was clear that indeed Barnes had been thrown from the horse. The animal most have run as best it could, back toward town.

 

A man afoot would leave tracks so he began a sweep of the immediate area for them. The ground was soft in places,, hard packed in others, so he needed to look carefully, and as he figured, boot tracks off to the south-west. There were some farms and small ranches out that way, one could be see in the distance, so Speed mounted up and started for the place at a trot, watching the ground as best he could to try and keep the tracks in view. He reined in the horse, and walked picking up the tracks again.

 

The place belonged to Hank Norman, a small farm and widower, but it would be a place a man could get a horse. There was no doubt that that was where Caleb Barnes was headed, and what his intention was. Speed touched a spur to the dapple gray who responded by plunging forward at a gallop. If Barnes wasn't there, and there was no reason to think he would be, at least he might get some directions from Hank, if Barnes had not killed him.

TBC

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Guyer came up to the place at a trot, expecting Norman to come out, rifle i hand, and he was not disappointed. The man stood flatfooted in the doorway,  Winchester 'Yellow Boy" held level at his waist, hammer back. It would take the slightest move to raise it to where he could fire and hit a man on horseback.

 

"Marshal Guyer? What the Sam Hell?" He asked. "You chasin' a man? He stole my horse, the sonofabitch! You catch him, see he's hung right proper!"

 

"Which way'd he go, Hank, and how long ago?" Speed asked.

 

"Headed back east. Been maybe half an hour, not much more." NOrman replied. "Hard to work this place without a horse I'll tell ya, but he didn;' get the good 'un, just the one saddled an' she old. Good fer ridin' ta town, maybe light pullin', not much more."

 

"I'll find him, Hank, and he'll pay, not to worry. Buffaloed me back in town took my horse but didn't get far. Got thrown!"

 

"She'll tire out in maybe a mile at the gallop. Won't be much fer runnin' after that. So you best get before he's lost in the trees and rocks out that way." Hank Norman advised.

 

"Thanks Hank, I'll get her back for you." He wheeled the Dapple Gray and touched spur to her flank, the horse responding quickly. Not all out but, as a fast pace for a ways, then slowing to a walk as he searched for sign. It was easy to pick up, the horse was running and tearing up the ground, so Guyer pushed on seeing the stand of trees up ahead where chances were he could lose his quarry, or simply find it more difficult to locate the trail. He picked up the pace again.

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tbc

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Speed followed Hank's directions, heading back east made no real sense, but then he wasn't running from the law, he was the law. That would be two stolen horses to Caleb Barnes' credit, not a good thing to have as it was a hanging offense, and should there be a third, and he be caught by whoever he stole it from, well, they would decorate the nearest tree with him.

 

Speed followed what trail there was on the hard packed ground until he entered the grassland where the hoof's had torn up the earth, the trail still leading him east but into the trees which he was expecting. It was clear the animal had tired and was slowed to a walk. Not the escape Barnes had hoped for, but he still had a lead on Guyer, and with ground now covered in dead fall limbs, branches and leaves, the trail had all but disappeared, it had become slow going.

 

The hope of a quick capture was fading faster than the daylight as he followed the vague, often disappearing trail. Speed wanted to pick up his pace but the constant changes in direction to locate anything of a trail was slow and agonizing, except that now Barnes was heading northeast, as if he was circling back to Kalispell. That made no sense to him, but then again, he wasn't Barnes, and had no idea what he was thinking, so he pushed on.

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Caleb Barnes needed a horse, one that could run and carry him out of the country, away from the reach of Marshal Guyer. That had been a mistake, one he could not take back. This nag he took from that farmer could hold up. The fact was he was afraid the animal would die on him and set him afoot, easy pickings for the Marshal, whom he knew was behind him somewhere.

 

The trees had afforded him a means of staying  out of sight to the man following him, and that was good to a point, but he just could not make the break for it that he needed. His plan was to head south-west to throw any posse off his trail, then steal a horse and circle back to town and roust Grimes, then head  for open country and get far away from anyone following, but things weren't working out the way he planned. Of course, plans seldom work out the way they were laid out.

 

He topped out on a small rise as the sun began to set, below, a house, a light in the window, and, a horse tied at the corral, saddled, ready and waiting!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The opportunity to rid himself of the nag he had stolen from Hank Norman, useless plug that it was. It had gotten him to this point however, so he was far ahead of where he'd be on foot. Damn the Marshal's horse anyway!

 

He stepped down, sheltered by some trees, but with a clear view of the house, and the horse. He tied the nag to one of the trees and moved closer to the edge of the rise, maybe ten feet above the place, in easy reach for a man that could run. The first thing that he did was remove his spurs, nothing would give him away faster than the jingle of spurs in the evening air. That just was not going to happen. He could circle back for them if need be, but even Caleb Barnes realized how stupid that move would be. He could get spurs anywhere.

 

He hunkered down waiting on full dark, well, unless her heard the Marshal coming up from behind. It would be easier that way to steal the horse. He was already prepared to shoot his way out of the ranch yard if he had to, not wanting all that noise to give away where he was, but whatever it took! He may have to shoot whoever might come out for the animal.

 

It wouldn't be long until he went for the mount.

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The day was fading and that was not good. Tracking in the trees was difficult at best, what with rotting vegetation, dead-falls, and a blanket of old leaves on the floor of what was essentially a forest, like the areas all around the area. Thick stands of Pines, Aspens, and the like here a horse would have difficulty getting through. Caleb Barnes was ahead of him, by how far or how long, it was hard to guess, but Guyer was determined to get him no matter how long it took, how far the chase, jurisdiction or not.

 

That was the thing jurisdiction was not a problem, Governor Houser had given him an order allowing him to assume the role of County Sheriff, and he had left behind two of his men, Cook and McNue, to assist, Speed was wishful of them now, booting himself for not having them out here with him. But wasting time feeling sorry for not bringing help was not getting him closer to Caleb Barnes, nor finding the mans trail.

 

No man moves about without leaving a trail.

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Dark. It was upon the earth. Moon-rise had yet to occur and that was just another good thing in his favor. He steeled himself for what had was about to do, and what the ramifications might be, but he would be damned if he let the Marshal take him, that was just not  a part of his plan.

 

Carefully he began easing himself down the slope toward the ranch house. He had scanned the embankment  and was fairly certain he could reach the bottom with a sound. He heard nothing from behind, so it was obvious the Marshal was having a time of it, especially now that it was dark. He smiled. Maybe twenty, twenty-five feet between him and the horse. He could hear no movement from inside the place, that was good. He was on solid ground, crouched down to present less of a target. Not sure from who, but just to be on the safe side.

 

Caleb took a deep breath and started to dash for the mount, the stopped cold. In his head he could hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of his boots on the ground. Not just that but the heavy foot falls. All of that noise was bound to arouse the house. They likely had themselves a dog in there as well, that would foil his attempt right quick! So, he decided to injun up on the horse and take him as quietly as possible. Then he moved forward, tentatively at first, but there was no underfoot crunch so he walked a bit faster, eyeing the hose with every step.

 

He slipped the reins loose, stepped into the saddle as the door of the house opened and a form filled the doorway with a long gun! Without hesitation, Caleb drew and snapped off two shots as he put the boots to the horse, looking back, whoever it was was down!

 

He galloped off into the night.

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Hearing the gunfire, speed moved as quickliy and the tress and light would allow. He reached the embankment and down they went, the horse on its haunches.

as it mainly slid to the bottom, then galloped to the house where Speed swung down and ran to the man inside the door. Fightin' Joe Hooker was half way up when speed got there

 


"Ssonofabtch sstole my horse!" He cursed. "Nneed ta hang 'em!

 

"Easy Joe, Lets have a look."

 

"Hell Guyer, just nicked me! I'll spit on it an it'll be okay. What in tranation 'er you doing out this way?"

 

Speed chuckled. "Chasin' the jasper what stole your horse. Damned Caleb Barnes. Left Hank Normans horse atop the hill there. Listen, I gotta get after him. You gonna be okay?" Speed explained.

 

"I'll get Norman's horse down, if need be, use i to ride to town and see the sawbones. You get after him, ya hear! Nothing worse than a horse thief!" he bellowed as he got to his feet. "Gwan, git!"

 

Speed ran to his horse and leaped into the saddle, taking out in the direction Barnes had gone. For the moment, due east, but he could change direction at any time.

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Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Now, Speed had the thought cross his mind that somehow, Caleb Barnes had headed toward the Rafter A and Alice, he was relieved that Caleb had found this place instead, though not happy that Joe Hooker had be shot, not seriously, but bleeding just the same. Caleb was, if nothing else, a poor shot and a worse decision maker. Why he was on the run, and that was how it seemed in the beginning, but as a matter of fact since, was a mystery. People were being stolen from, one injured, aside from himself, and Caleb was till out there, somewhere.

 

It was clear to anyone that had occasion to deal with Barnes that he was not the sharpest pencil in the box. And his next move, in a succession of bad moves, took him back to Kalispell. BY this time it had been discovered that Caleb had killed both his aunt and uncle, robbed them of whatever they had of value, and left them where they lay in the clapboard house they had called home. Where they had done their best to raise Caleb.

 

Caleb's first stop was the Stardust Saloon in search of his partner, Frank Grimes, unaware that he was dead, and that most of Kalispell knew what he had done.

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@Wayfarer@Preston@Anyone

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Caleb's first stop was the Stardust Saloon in search of his partner, Frank Grimes, unaware that he was dead, and that most of Kalispell knew what he had done.

 

Bridget had been wandering the streets for some time, wanting to show someone the latest penny she'd found on the boardwalks. She might have gone into the saloon to show her friend Arabella, but she wasn't allowed in there. And Jemima, well, she didn't know where she lived. Sometimes she was in the store that sold the pretty ribbons and bonnets and dresses, but that was closed shut now. Well, she'd hang around outside the saloon, might hear some pretty tunes through the swing doors anyhow.

 

Then she saw a man coming. He looked dusty and sort of sad, or angry. He didn't smile or be happy. Bridget decided she'd show him the coin, the nice shiny coin. She'd polished it up on her nice dress. She walked right in front of Caleb Barnes and held up the tiny round piece of copper-colored metal.

 

"I founded a coin!" she shouted at him with a giant grin on her face and the light of excitement in her eyes.

 

@Flip 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"You what?" Caleb barked. "Look I got no time for this, I gotta find Frank Grimes, and fast!" He started to shove past he to enter the saloon by way of the backdoor in the alley. He had killed two people, maybe three, stolen two, no, three horses and had the law after him by now, unless the Marshal had succumbed. He had hit him pretty hard. The he looked back at the girl.

 

"Look, you gonna get outta my way, or I gotta move ya!" He was getting angrier as he realized he needed to get out of town, and fast before the Marshal caught him, or that Deputy Charlie Wentworth. He'd like to put a bullet in him! But he needed to find Frank before he lit out.

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@Javia

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"You what?" Caleb barked. "Look I got no time for this, I gotta find Frank Grimes, and fast!" He started to shove past he to enter the saloon by way of the backdoor in the alley. He had killed two people, maybe three, stolen two, no, three horses and had the law after him by now, unless the Marshal had succumbed. He had hit him pretty hard. The he looked back at the girl.

 

Bridget frowned. The man didn't understand, she'd found another penny. Another shiny penny! She held it up again to show him but he just shoved her aside and shouted at her. She fell away from him, her lip trembling and a tear in her eye. People sometimes shouted names at her, or laughed at her, but few were ever so outright aggressive to her. 

 

"Look, you gonna get outta my way, or I gotta move ya!" He was getting angrier as he realized he needed to get out of town, and fast before the Marshal caught him, or that Deputy Charlie Wentworth. He'd like to put a bullet in him! But he needed to find Frank before he lit out.

 

Bridget's clash with the murderer could have ended up a whole lot worse than it did and, importantly, it was not insignificant in its ramifications. It had drawn the attention of people on the street, and as Barnes pushed past the girl, crippled in body and mind, and entered the saloon, Hector Wigfall was running pell-mell down the street to alert Marshal Guyer or, if he wasn't around, Deputy Wentworth.

 

@JulieS @Wayfarer @Flip

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Caleb Barnes was in for a surprise as he pushed into the saloon, Bridget Monahan standing on the boardwalk staring after him. Frank Grimes was not there, and that was fairly unusual. He was generally at the bar

 

Caleb strode across the floor to the bar and laid a coin on the bar top. "Whiskey, Flandry. Where'd Frank Grimes, he been in here tonight? We was 'spose ta meet up an' head out." The words tumbled out in a demanding rush. He had not even noticed the new blood stain on the floor. "Well? He been in here or not?"

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@Wayfarer@Preston

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Ralph observed the man's entry thru the swinging doors, he knew the man by name, he hung around with Grimes most of the time and the two were quite similar in character - only difference now was Caleb was alive and Grimes wasn't.  The man approached the bar, paid for a whiskey and demanded information.

 

Ralph reached for a shotglass and bottle (the cheapest rotgut) as he answered, " I heard ya. I ain't deaf."

 

"You wanna see your friend, I'd suggest head over to the undertaker's. Grimes is dead."

 

Caroline sidled up to the bar about then, returning two empty beer glasses from a table, and looked at Caleb, she didn't much like the man, he had all the personality of a rattler, but a customer was a customer.

 

"Sorry there, Caleb, he got liquored up and went for his gun. The other fella was faster."

 

 

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Caleb Barnes half way through raising his glass, "Dead? Whot sonofabitch kilt him! he demanded then tossed off the whiskey. "I need ta know but I got no time, need ta be on the trail outta here." The Marshal, he needed to saddle up and vamos out of there before the law caught up with him.

 

But first, "'nuther un!" He ordered. "Bastard'll pay, save yer sorries fer him that done it!" He dropped a coin on the bar, tossed off his drink, and turned to leave...

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@Wayfarer@Preston

(Short but to the point)

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Well Caleb certainly hadn't expected that bad news and took it poorly, no surprise to the saloon employees. As for his demand to know who shot his friend, Ralph simply shrugged in that calm demeanor of his.

 

"You wanna know the details, check with the Marshal. He's the law around here."

 

Caroline was not about to tell the man her new boss had done the shooting, well him and that old man. Fortner was her employer now and she was a loyal employee. Saloon folk stuck together was her creed.

 

And with a second quick drink, the flustered and angry cowpoke turned and left the saloon. Good riddance. Caroline figured she better warn Fortner about this jasper though. Just in case he came back if he did find out who had shot Grimes.

 

Man sure was in a hurry.....Caroline shrugged and went back to mingling with happier more contented customers.

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Caleb Barnes stood on the boardwalk looking at the Municiple Building a long moment then scanned the street , spotted a hosed at the next hitch rail and ran, spurs jingling, toward it with the intent of a fresh mount to make an escape. Frank dead? 'Stupid bastard!' He was never fast with a gun, and every time he got drunk he went out of his way to prove he was more than he could ever be.

 

He reached the horse, pulled the reins loose from the hitch rail grabbed the horn and and swung up onto the seat starting to turn the animal into the street when he looked directly in the eyes of Marshal Speed Guyer.

 

"Get yer hands up Barnes, or I'll empty that saddle!" Guyer barked.

 

Caleb froze. He though himself fast, well, faster than Frank had ever been, but he was staring down the barrel of Guyer's Colt, no man was that fast, not with his hand so far from his own gun.

 

Guyer was walking his horse closer to Caleb. "You keep them hands on the 'nubbin' and you just might live long enough to hang. Make a wrong move and I'll kill you." Of that, Speed was certain. The man had tried to kill at least one of the men he had stolen from, stolen three horses, all hanging offenses, so the choice was his, what he did next would be the proof in the pudding for Caleb Barnes.

 

His hand flashed to his holster and the butt of his own Colt as the muzzle flash blossomed from Guyers pistol, the lead plumb ahead of the brilliant flash slamming into Caleb's shoulder, shattering the bone at the joint as Caleb toppled backwards out of the saddle, landing on the hard packed street.

 

Guyer sprang from the saddle, prepared to fire again, but Caleb was done, sprawled in the dust and bleeding from his wound.

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@JulieS@Wayfarer@Javia or not??

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The sounds of gunfire sent any standers-by fleeing, but the silence that reigned afterward brought them curiously back again. The Saloon, the General Store, all manner of places disgorged a number of spectators. The one who was most curious, and with good reason, was Mr. Jolly, who rushed to the scene of the action with his tape measure fluttering in the breeze like some sort of celebratory bunting. 

 

"Och Mr. Guyer, ye've done it again and a fair wee job ye've made of it too!" he cooed, looking down delightedly at the freshly dead slab of meat that had seconds ago been a living breathing human being, if a despicable one.  "Much more o' this and it's expanding ma premises I'll have to be aboot."

 

However, as he looked more carefully, despite all the blood, it seemed that Caleb Barnes might still be alive  and just horribly wounded.

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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As soon as the gunshots fired, Charlie rushed outside to see what was going on.  Marshall Guyer had left him in charge of the office and he was babysitting two local ranch hands who had gone on a bender the previous night celebrating the birthday of one of them.  The night had been a long one and the two of them were still sleeping it off.

 

He had been filling in some paperwork, which he found a bit tedious at times but it was all part of the job but now that was totally forgotten as he made his way over to where the shooting had occurred.  The undertaker, Mr. Jolly had arrived shortly before him, which didn't surprise Charlie, as the man had unusual speed whenever a shooting occurred.

 

"Och Mr. Guyer, ye've done it again and a fair wee job ye've made of it too!" he cooed, looking down delightedly at the freshly dead slab of meat that had seconds ago been a living breathing human being, if a despicable one.  "Much more o' this and it's expanding ma premises I'll have to be aboot."

 

Charlie looked over at Guyer to see what he would do next.

 

@Flip

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"And what was it I was supposed to do. Mister Jolly, give Barnes a free shot or two?" The he laughed at the thought. "He'll live. Probably need Doc Danforth to have a look-see. Patch him up enough for the noose."

 

He watched as the undertaker took measurements of one Caleb Barnes. "Well Charley, we've lost two of the biggest troublemakers in the past couple days. Should be a bit more on the quiet side in town, at least for now."

@JulieS@Javia

 

 

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Charlie nodded, "Yeah, let's hope."

 

Seeing a young boy, who had come to see what was happening out of curiousity, Charlie went over to him and told him to go fetch the doctor.  He then turned back to Speed,  "I guess the next thing we should do is find out what Barnes was doing here in town considering he's not welcome."

 

@Flip

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Hearing that Barnes was at least bound to hang eventually for his crimes, Mr. Jolly retreated, at least half-satisfied, muttering something about "Och, if I just bide a'wee the fellow will come into my hands by and by: a dram o' patience is all that's required!"

 

While Marshall and Deputy were coolly discussing what to do with the shot man, and onlookers idly watched as he squirmed in agony on the ground, gripping the bloody wound in his shoulder, the only person who seemed at all concerned was the girl whom Caleb has so sourly thrust out of his way. Bridget walked into the bar, a little scared as it was a forbidden place and made her way to the bar, where a big man with a big beard was stood.

 

"Need water" she pointed back out of the swing doors "For poorly man!" she smiled her vacant smile at Ralph, hoping that would help him understand.

 

@Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"I can  wait on the Doc and haul him over to the jail if you want to head on home. You can stay if you like." Speed said as he drew his pistol, opened the loading gate to extract the spent cartridge and replace it. A common practice with men who might need a full load at any given moment, even if it was quiet in town, and there were no appreciable threats.

 

"Chased the hombre the better half of the day. Stole my horse after buffaloing me. Stole old Hank Norman's horse, then led me over half the county before he shot Joe Hooker and stole his horse, but why come here? I know he and-"

 

"Marshal, Deputy. Not sure you know, but Caleb killed his Aunt and Uncle this morning, robbed them of whatever they had that he could sell. Anyway, I'm glad you got him." John Anderson volunteered. "It'll be a pleasure to see him hang!"

 

Speed looked to Charley. "I'll be, that explains a lot, except him coming back to town. I now he and Grim were partners of a sort, but to risk being caught for the killings? I don't know, Charley, I just don't know."

@JulieS@Javia

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