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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: Bloody violence

With: Anyone
Location: Barn
When: Friday, 14 July 1876
Time of Day: 6pm - onwards.

 

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The music crackled in the air of the old barn tonight, cutting through the myriad excited voices as the great moment of visceral conflict approached. Like some goggle eyed Pied Piper of Hamelin, Lorenzo Crabbe had a good percentage of the younger folk of Kalispell under his sway and doing his bidding. In the raised ring, Hector Wigfall, Arabella Mudd and the hitherto mysterious blind girl, Frances Grimes belted out music to entertain the masses until the fight began. 'Hitherto' because Frances seemed a lot less mysterious, somehow, blindfold or not, when she was frailing out Shootin' Creek at high speed on a five string banjo. Hector's fiddle and Arabella's guitaro could hardly keep up with her flying fingers. On the door, Hector's twin sister Jemma and Arabella's 'Bosom Friend' Miriam Kaufmann took the money: which was regularly siphoned off by the avaricious Crabbe.

 

 He was counting the takings now, when he suddenly remembered they had to actually have a fight sometime. It was nearly past the advertised time for the Battle of the Century to begin: but people were still coming through the door and paying over cold solid cash! "Stick 'em another one!" he hissed to his little scratch band.

 

Frances nodded. "Bonaparte's Retreat, in G" she told the other two. "They're all in G!" complained Arabella, still sitting a distance away from the blind girl, in case it was catching, as she and Hector scrambled to catch up with the girl's electric playing. 

 

Crabbe wandered over to the makeshift canvas 'Changing Rooms' he had put together at the back of the barn. Charlie was in there with his Wentworth Seconds. With Hector and Jemima busy elsewhere, he had been forced to bring in a replacement for Robert Cullen's sponger downer.

 

@Anyone!

 

[OOC if'n you want to know what the scratch band sounded like:]

 

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"Well me boyo, we Irish gotta stick tagether ya know," Conor Lafferty grinned as he glanced into the contents of the pail of water - yep still water. He was just nervous was all.

 

"You know if the crowd gets too riled up out there, my advice is just make a run for it, I'll be fine," Robert grinned as he sat on a stool all prepared to go out there for this bout.

 

No matter where one went, there were always some folk who had it in for the Irish and since he was fighting one of an important family in this town there just might be quite a few people out there casting him in the role of a villain. Plus Charlie was a lawman too. Finally it didn't help any that the fight had been built up as a grudge match between him and his opponent.

 

It certainly wasn't on his part to be sure, Robert barely knew the other young man. Grudge over what? He had no idea and no one had informed him of what might be behind that claim. If he had to guess, it was just to build up drama. All Robert wanted to do was win, not hurt the other fellow. Though in all honesty in boxing the two went together.

 

There really wasn't much to getting ready for a bare knuckle bout of fisticuffs. He was stripped to the waist and - in his case anyhow - barefoot since he only owned one pair of footwear, boots for trapsing about in the mountains and streams prospecting, hardly the sort of thing for treading into the ring.

 

A towel and a sponge had been provided by Crabbe for his 'second' to use besides the pail of water. The man had been recruited just the day before in the saloon where he was a regular, first liquored up with a few drinks then talked into doing this. Oh Lafferty had seen a fight or two in his day but really didn't know a thing about the so called science of boxing. Still at first meeting with Robert, the two hit it off immediately.  Robert was content with it.

 

"Sounds like a big crowd out there," Robert observed.

 

"Not much else ta do in this town is there, lad?" Lafferty had a good point.

 

Robert nodded then took a deep breath to calm. He'd done this sort of thing before but every time it was indeed nerve wracking.

 

sheehanrpgimage.jpg

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Caroline chuckled at the girl collecting the money, it was Arabella's Jew friend, Mary or something like that, "Well, that's stupid. How you gonna keep track of who sits where once you take our money?"

 

Miriam just shrugged, "I don't know. We just collect the money."  They had not been given tickets to hand back to the people flowing in and besides there were no ushers. This wasn't New York just a barn in a small town in Montana. Miriam was a bit surprised a woman would even be buying a ticket to something like this. Fighting was an event for menfolk.  It had been hard enough for the girl to convince her parents just to be able to secure this pre-fight job. Her mother had strictly admonished that Miriam was not to stay and watch such viciousness.

 

"That's just fine, hon. I'll sit where I damn well please anyhow. And if yer boss don't like it tell Mr. Crabbe he can come and throw me out personally. Or let'em try," Caroline gave a saucy grin then entered what was already a crowded scene. She had been to a professional fight once before in Helena but everyone had just stood about the ring. Noisy affair and she recalled the two big lugs in the ring pounded the begeezus out of each other before one finally couldn't answer the bell.

 

Miriam just flashed a sort of intimidated glance at her money collecting partner, Jemima, but did not mouth her thoughts. That saloon whore was quite something alright.

 

Miriam-Square.jpg

 

Caroline immediately began to mingle with some of the local menfolk in attendance, they knew her from the saloon of course. None of them seemed at all taken aback she'd be in attendance.

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As Caroline passed into the barn, Jemima caught Miriam's eye, nodded at the blonde's retreating back and silently mouthed her opinion of the woman "She's a Whore".

 

Meanwhile, within, Crabbe stuck his head into Robert's little 'tent' and grinned.

 

"Not long now, champ!" he smiled, his magnified eyes flicking to the other mick he'd hired to act as Cullen's second. "Good work Lafferty, he's looking great, like a puma, ready for the kill!" he cheered them both on. 

 

"Still..." he corrected himself "... don't go and finish him off too quick, mind, Bobby-boy. I mean, if it's all over too quickly, those hyenas out there'll be baying for more blood! Me and Con' there'll have to strip down and knock seven bells outta each other!" he warned.

 

"Anyhow..." he returned to the pep talk "I reckon that flabby Charlie Wentworth's as good as laid out on the the canvas already!" 

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Caroline immediately began to mingle with some of the local menfolk in attendance, they knew her from the saloon of course. None of them seemed at all taken aback she'd be in attendance.

 

One man was somewhat surprised to see the beautiful young blonde there, perhaps because his duties had, hitherto, kept him away from the town proper, including its bustling saloon. In fact, he raised his kepi in shocked salute as he perceived the saloon singer next to him in the crowd nearest the ring. And although they hadn't been properly introduced, the young officer couldn't help blurting out to her: 

 

"Do you have one of these fancy Five Dollar tickets, too? I think the fellow running this whole shebang is pretty smart, giving them out to parties he wants to keep on the good side of." Oooh, that was a clumsy sentence! The young West Pointer winced - had a couple of months of frontier life turned him illiterate already?

 

He had actually hit on Crabbe's ruse, though: nobody in their right mind would pay $5 for a 'ringside seat' -  but Lorenzo wanted to give out some free tickets to the Press, the local Law, hell, even the Army officers. Why give them a free $2 ticket when you could give them one with $5 printed on the front of it for the same price?

 

Lt. Greene realised he was staring at the dreamlike vision before him in a quite ungentlemanly way, but he just couldn't drag his eyes off her, so instead he grinned... inanely. 

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Speed walked in nodding to folks as he moved through the crowd, spying a the canvas area where the combatants would be. He would stay for the fight, even placed a bet of ten dollars on Charlie to win. Not knowing much about Robert Cullen, he had no idea what Charlie would be up against. Nor did he really know if Charlie could in fact handle himself in a bare knuckle fight. One slated for twenty rounds.

 

He stopped and looked around at the gathering crowd, mostly men, all dressed to the nines, as much as some could afford to dress up. He, was not, he was dressed casually, with badge and gun. It was after all, a work day for him. He did see Miss Caroline Mundee, and wondered, as he often did, why some fella hadn't drug her off and married her? Then again, perhaps she just wasn't the marrying kind. Which brought to mind Alice Fletcher, who was. He shook his head and marched into the area where the two men were getting ready. He stopped next to Charlie.

 

"Good luck out there, pard. Not something I would have done, but I'm in your corner, no matter what." He said. "Don't be in a rush, twenty rounds is a long fight. What I'd do."

@JulieS

 

 

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Boxing was barbaric at best, and frankly, Jonah didn't see the appeal in watching to men beating the stuffing out of each other, at least in a controlled setting like this.  Now, a good, spontaneous street brawl, that was something else, no rules, no confines and no formal end, and there were still bets!

 

But there was always a chance that a doctor might be needed...even of the injuries were essentially self-inflicted, but a few good blows could send a man crying for help.  So, as town doctor, Jonah was here, just in case someone needed his services, that would likely have a premium attached to them...after all, they were choosing to be beaten on!

 

At the door, he scooted toward the young girl with the dark hair, hoping to get in without Miss Wigfall noticing.  "Miss."  He flashed a smile.  "I'm here in an official capacity as doctor."

 

@Javia

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The man promoting this fight and of course paying him for his part in it, slipped into the screened off cubicle to check on him. Robert looked up with a smile.

 

"Still..." Crabbe declared, "don't go and finish him off too quick, mind, Bobby-boy. I mean, if it's all over too quickly, those hyenas out there'll be baying for more blood! Me and Con' there'll have to strip down and knock seven bells outta each other!"

 

"I wish I could do such a thing as easy as all that...decide when to win the fight. Especially since I've never even seen this boyo in action," Robert shrugged.

 

"Oh and I'd bet on Conor if you two did," he then grinned.

 

"Anyhow..." Crabbe continued, "I reckon that flabby Charlie Wentworth's as good as laid out on the the canvas already!" 

 

"I don't be intendin' on losin', Mr. Crabbe but I think this here Charlie will have somethin' to be sayin' about it too," Robert was determined not to get overconfident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caroline had just finishing acknowledging another pleasant regular customer from the saloon who also was in attendance when a voice she did not recognize spoke up. Turning it was a soldier boy - emphasis on 'boy'. He had the look of an officer, not that she recognized specific ranks but also looked awful wet behind the ears.

 

"Do you have one of these fancy Five Dollar tickets, too? I think the fellow running this whole shebang is pretty smart, giving them out to parties he wants to keep on the good side of."

 

"Nope, I bought a two dollar ticket but I am gonna stand right here cuz I want to. You ain't gonna call on one of your squadrons ta come and kick me out now, are ya, gen-rul?" Caroline flashed him a cheeky grin.

 

Well the handsome jasper just stood there grinning right back.

 

"Cat got yer tongue, hon? Come on now, a fine lookin' soldier boy like you shouldn't be shy?"

 

 

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At the door, Jonah scooted toward the young girl with the dark hair, hoping to get in without Miss Wigfall noticing.  "Miss."  He flashed a smile.  "I'm here in an official capacity as doctor."

 

Miriam was expecting this well dressed gentleman to fork over some cash but instead he mentioned he was a doctor. Perhaps that same doctor Arabella always gushed about? He really was quite the distinguished fellow, definitely had the look of an educated man in her opinion.

 

"Oh, hello Doctor. Yes, you can just go right on in then. It's very nice to meet you by the way, I'm Miriam Kaufmann, I'm a good friend of one of your patients, Arabella Mudd. She speaks very highly of you, sir," Miriam had been told not to chat idly but take the customers money and keep it moving but she couldn't help herself. After all this one was a doctor.

 

@Bongo

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"Good luck out there, pard. Not something I would have done, but I'm in your corner, no matter what." He said. "Don't be in a rush, twenty rounds is a long fight. What I'd do."

 

Charlie nodded, "Thanks.  I'll be just glad to last the twenty rounds."

 

As he sat waiting for the fight, his brother Sam, who was his second was giving him a shoulder massage to help limber up his joints.  From where he was, he hear could that music was slowly being drowned out by the noise of the crowd that was building.  No doubt Crabbe would be pleased by the turnout and so would cousin Ben.

 

For most of the lead up to the fight, the betting odds were about even.  No-one knew much how his opponent, other than he owned some rundown mine outside of town.  Then the rumour started that Cullen had been in few professional matches and he slowly became the favourite, Ben had been pleased with the bets coming in but when Crabbe delayed the fight another week, no doubt to build the drama, they started flooding in with people from all over the county now placing a small wager, including the soldiers from Fort Somers.

 

Part of him didn't want to do this but he knew he had to.  There were many reasons why but mainly it was because his new career as a lawman depended on it.  He couldn't be seen backing down or reneging on the agreement he had made with Crabbe.  A lawman who wasn't brave or didn't stand by his word wouldn't be respected.

 

As for the fight itself, his brothers and Ben had helped him as much as they could to get him into shape for the fight.  Hopefully, it would be enough to last until the end.

 

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"I wish I could do such a thing as easy as all that...decide when to win the fight. Especially since I've never even seen this boyo in action," Robert shrugged.

 

"Haw Haw!" Crabbe laughed, he's gonna give you less trouble than that punch bag we set up fer you to practice on."

 

"Oh and I'd bet on Conor if you two did," he then grinned.

 

"Oh, 's that right?!" chuckled Crabbe. He caught Lafferty's eye. Now was a good time to tell Robert, give him a fillip just before the fight. "Oh, I forgot to mention, me and old Laff here and the late lamented Mr Grimes bumped into that feller Smith who diddled you out of your claim. We managed to persuade him to sign it right back to you, didn't we Laff?" he asked the Irishman. 

 

Yeah, Crabbe was no slouch in a fight, all right - especially when it was three against one, the other fellow was tied to a chair and he himself was armed with a heavy leaden ended walking stick. 

 

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"Anyhow..." Crabbe continued, "I reckon that flabby Charlie Wentworth's as good as laid out on the the canvas already!" 

 

"I don't be intendin' on losin', Mr. Crabbe but I think this here Charlie will have somethin' to be sayin' about it too," Robert was determined not to get overconfident.

 

Crabbe just shook his head. "Nah, fight's as good as over. Experience will tell, my boy, experience will tell."

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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To his relief, the pretty blonde girl, not only replied, but smiled.

 

"Nope, I bought a two dollar ticket but I am gonna stand right here cuz I want to. You ain't gonna call on one of your squadrons ta come and kick me out now, are ya, gen-rul?" Caroline flashed him a cheeky grin.

 

Well the handsome jasper just stood there grinning right back.

 

"Cat got yer tongue, hon? Come on now, a fine lookin' soldier boy like you shouldn't be shy?"

 

Joseph had to physically shake his head to recover himself: looking into Caroline's sparkling eyes had made him feel like he was falling into a deep, deep well. He'd temporarily forgotten where he even was.

 

"I'm sorry Mam, er, Miss, it's just that I've only been trained to bark orders at men, they didn't cover talking to beautiful young ladies at West Point." All right, that was a pretty cheesy line, but he was out of his depth and clutching at straws here, anything to keep the conversation going was fair play. 

 

"Er, do you have a bet on either of the fighters?" he asked, his mouth asking about the boxing match, while his eyes concentrated on her luxuriant golden tresses, her cute retroussé  nose, her wide blue eyes, her soft peach-like skin, the way her décolletage seemed to swell over her... oh, she was replying. He battled with himself to stop looking and start listening.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Oh, hello Doctor. Yes, you can just go right on in then. It's very nice to meet you by the way, I'm Miriam Kaufmann, I'm a good friend of one of your patients, Arabella Mudd. She speaks very highly of you, sir,"

 

"I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss Kaufman."  With a smile, Jonah touched the brim of his hat.  "Ah, Miss Mudd, a sweet young lady..."  Prone to hysteronics and dramatics...

 

"It looks like there's going to be a good turnout here.  I just hope it stays civil."  He flashed another smile.  "I'd prefer not to have to work."

 

@Wayfarer; @Javia

 

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Not sure why Crabbe suddenly wished to reveal the news about the man who had swindled him out of his claim (or so Crabbe claimed, Robert was still uncertain of all the complicated details) but he did. Also he had not realized that Lafferty was an associate with the man with the bottle thick glasses, interesting!

 

"Oh, well, I guess I owe you a thank you then. I am still gettin' paid for this fight though?" suddenly it occurred to the young Irishman was that supposed to be in lieu of payment for the boxing bout? If so, he wasn't going to agree to that.

 

The man got back to encouragement about the match but then left. Crabbe could talk with such confidence, he didn't have to go out there and prove it. That was up to Robert. He had made a good point though, nothing was more valuable in one of these fights than experience.

 

 

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"I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss Kaufman."  With a smile, Jonah touched the brim of his hat.  "Ah, Miss Mudd, a sweet young lady..."

 

"Delighted myself, sir," Miriam beamed, "And no better friend than her."

 

"It looks like there's going to be a good turnout here.  I just hope it stays civil."  He flashed another smile.  "I'd prefer not to have to work."

 

"Civil? Oh I agree but I believe it is required of both of them to punch each other which in my humble opinion is hardly civil," Miriam confessed.

 

"You can stand anywhere, Doctor. And I hope you have no need of using your skills."

 

A man standing directly behind the good doctor grumbled aloud, "Hurry it up, missy. There are others who 'd like to come in too ya know. "

 

 

 

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"I'm sorry Mam, er, Miss, it's just that I've only been trained to bark orders at men, they didn't cover talking to beautiful young ladies at West Point."

 

"Seems to me your education is missing out then? I've heard women are over half the world's population," Caroline teased.

 

"Er, do you have a bet on either of the fighters?" the handsome officer now asked.

 

"Oh no, I don't really know either of them. I don't even make a bet on poker unless I know for sure who is gonna win. Fortunately for me, SOMETIMES I do," she answered with a grin. Let him make of that statement what he will.

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"Seems to me your education is missing out then? I've heard women are over half the world's population," Caroline teased.

 

"Half the...?" He laughed. It was a wide open laugh which showed a lot of white teeth and a lot of good humour. "Oh oh, clever and funny as well as beautiful: I've got a feeling you might be the kind of girl my mother warned me about!" 

 

"Er, do you have a bet on either of the fighters?" the handsome officer now asked.

 

"Oh no, I don't really know either of them. I don't even make a bet on poker unless I know for sure who is gonna win. Fortunately for me, SOMETIMES I do," she answered with a grin. Let him make of that statement what he will.

 

He laughed again. She was funny; but somehow she managed to maintain an air of feminine mystery about her, too: most women couldn't do both. 

 

"And is that because you are psychic or because you stand near mirrors?" he asked, remembering the oldest trick in the book for cheating at cards. 

 

"Well, looking at the two of them, I fancy Cullen: but I always pick the wrong horse, so I've bet on Wentworth!" he informed her. "Maybe you should bet on Cullen, at least one of us will win, then. And if I win, I'll buy you dinner. And if you win... I'll still buy you dinner." It was worth a try.

 

@Wayfarer

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"Oh, well, I guess I owe you a thank you then. I am still gettin' paid for this fight though?" suddenly it occurred to the young Irishman was that supposed to be in lieu of payment for the boxing bout? If so, he wasn't going to agree to that.

 

"Bobby, Bobby, Bobby..." Crabbe purred as he approached the young man and patted him paternally on the shoulder "Course you're gonna get paid: and if you win you get the purse on top." he assured him. 

 

"No... the Claim... well you remember when me and Fa came to see you? And you signed that lil' old piece o' paper. Why that's an investment for the future, my boy. A man can't box forever, one day he'll meet his match ... not tonight, o' course!" he hastened to add "But one day when you're gettin' on and can't throw them lefts like you can now, and you find that little stream on your claim don't have no gold in it... you're gonna thank old Uncle Lorenzo fer lookin' out for you." he cooed gently.

 

"Yep, you, me and our sleepin' partner." He had never mentioned the name of the other man, the one who had sorted out the legal niceties of getting the Claim back from 'John Smith' while Crabbe, Lafferty and Grimes had 'sorted out' the man who had tricked the illiterate Irishman out of his claim.

 

"Mind you, there's been a little problem with our sleeping partner - he's kinda 'sleepin' beneath the sod' these days. His plans sorta went up in flames. As of two weeks ago, our partner's his daughter and heir: we should take you to go meet her some day soon." he informed the miner.

 

Lorenzo pulled out his watch.

 

"We'd best be getting out there!" he yelped.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Civil? Oh I agree but I believe it is required of both of them to punch each other which in my humble opinion is hardly civil," Miriam confessed.

 

"You can stand anywhere, Doctor. And I hope you have no need of using your skills."

 

A man standing directly behind the good doctor grumbled aloud, "Hurry it up, missy. There are others who 'd like to come in too ya know. "

 

"Well, come through me, you big galoot!" barked Jemima, and the man reluctantly gave up the chance to speak to the pretty young seamstress and gave him money to the frowsy cleaning maid instead. Once Doc Danforth and the rest of the men were inside, Jemima stomped up to Miriam and thrust her takings into the other girl's hands.

 

"Hey, what you doing sparking with Doctor Danforth?! You know I got my eye on him, and what you interested in him for anyway, I thought you're supposed to be 'the other way'?!" she asked, frowning a wrinkle into her monobrow. 

 

"Now listen, you take this money and give it to Crabbe, and then rescue your girlfriend. She's terrified that there Grimes girl's gonna accidentally touch her and turn her deaf or some nonsense." she instructed her biddable and shy workmate. "I'll stay here and deal with any late-comers: I don't wanna go in there, I might have to talk with 'Stupid'!" she added. Presumably she meant her hated brother, although there were quite a few men in the barn that the epitaph could be applied to.

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Ben was seated over in the far corner of the barn busily writing down bets and taking the money which he was keeping in tin.  The tin would be locked at the beginning of the fight and he would stay with the box until it was over.  Tonight was one of the few occasions he was wearing a gun, which he had bought shortly after his arrival in Kalispell.  Most of the time there wasn't a need to wear it but when there was a lot of money involved, he made sure he had it.

 

Earlier, he had seen Marshall Guyer and a few soldiers from the fort, so part of him was hoping that no-one would be stupid enough to try and steal it.  Where he was seated was also the farthest from the only entrance that was opened.  Crabbe had made sure that all the doors were locked as he didn't want to lose any of the cut he wanted for allowing him to run the betting.  Thankfully, it was only a small percentage, so it didn't matter.  There were also others who had made bets and they wouldn't like it, if someone ran off with their potential winnings.

 

As he looked over what the current odds were, Ben felt a bit sorry for his cousin.  The betting had started out even, but Cullen had slowly become the favourite, especially after rumours began circulating that he had been in a few professional fights.  Still, there was hope that Charlie would make it through the twenty rounds and there were a few bets to indicate that others thought the same thing too.

 

Since the people were still coming in, there was little time to ruminate before the next person approached him.  Ben smiled knowing that whatever the outcome, the amount of betting would ensure that he would make a profit and that would help fund his next project, the White Rose Theatre.

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Jonah smiled and nodded to Miss Kaufman, then to Jemima as well as he passed...as annoying as that young woman was, there was no reason to blatantly snub her.  Of course, he couldn't say when he had started to really care about such things, or if he really did, for that matter, but here he was, showing kindness that was uncharacteristic before...well, before Miss Leah Steelegrave.

 

Shaking his head, he moved toward the back of room to find a seat where he could wait for the festivities to begin.

 

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That wonderful doctor moved on into the crowd but Jemima approached her now, Miriam turned to face her, she seemed upset?

 

"Hey, what you doing sparking with Doctor Danforth?! You know I got my eye on him, and what you interested in him for anyway, I thought you're supposed to be 'the other way'?!" she asked, frowning a wrinkle into her monobrow.

 

Miriam was horrified (for more than one reason), "Sparking with him? No, I was just making pleasant conversation. I have no interest in the man like that. Oh...and I do not know what you mean? Other way?"

 

Of course she did but she had no intention of discussing any such in public.

 

"Now listen, you take this money and give it to Crabbe, and then rescue your girlfriend. She's terrified that there Grimes girl's gonna accidentally touch her and turn her deaf or some nonsense." she instructed her biddable and shy workmate. "I'll stay here and deal with any late-comers: I don't wanna go in there, I might have to talk with 'Stupid'!" she added.

 

Miriam took the money handed to her but shook her head, "I will give it to him but I have no intention of watching the fight. It is not proper for ladies to indulge in this sort of thing."

 

Those last words were a direct quote from her mother, who had been unhappy about her even working here this evening. But father was more reasonable at least about the working part  (he wanted the money which would be useful and since the family did not have a son old enough to work a job, his daughter would have to do.)

 

"Arabella is just being............." she almost said 'foolish' but settled for, "dramatic.  Blindness is not contagious."

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Miriam's soggy bleatings about boxing being a sport unsuitable for ladies to watch (the wet lettuce!) and about her disinterest in the gorgeous Dr Danforth (she probably swung both ways!) were met with scornful looks from Jemima: and as for her defence of Muddy...  

 

"Arabella is just being............." she almost said 'foolish' but settled for, "dramatic.  Blindness is not contagious."

 

"You don't say!" replied the grim looking Wigfall girl, sardonically. She tipped her head toward the barn door and, as Miriam complied, shook her head disapprovingly - what a bizarre pair the two of them made. Still, if those two funny cookies could find each other, maybe there was still chance in the world for her to find love.

 

Inside, Miriam almost immediately face to face with Jemima's brother Hector, with the blind girl, Frances Grimes in tow. 

 

"Oh, hello Miriam!" cried Hector, colouring slightly, for he had a bit of a soft spot for the shy Jewish girl. "Have you met Frances? Frances, this is Miriam Kaufmann, she's a friend of Arabella's." Miss Grimes thrust out a hand in Miriam's general direction. "Hello." she said simply.

 

"Have you seen Miss Mudd? She seems to have disappeared!" asked Frances. "I wanted to tell her how splendidly she played tonight: I can hardly believe that she has only been learning the guitaro for a few weeks."

 

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"Oh, hello Miriam!" cried Hector, colouring slightly, for he had a bit of a soft spot for the shy Jewish girl. "Have you met Frances? Frances, this is Miriam Kaufmann, she's a friend of Arabella's." Miss Grimes thrust out a hand in Miriam's general direction. "Hello." she said simply.

 

Hector really was quite handsome even like the good doctor only more her age. Still Jemima always did her best to color him an idiot.  And this was the blind girl then, the poor thing!

 

"No, I have not yet had the pleasure," Miriam took the hand then for an official greeting, "Hello, Frances."

 

"Have you seen Miss Mudd? She seems to have disappeared!" asked Frances. "I wanted to tell her how splendidly she played tonight: I can hardly believe that she has only been learning the guitaro for a few weeks."

 

"Oh trust me. She talks about her guitaro all the time lately. When she isn't practicing it that is. She also plays the organ at church services and I hear she is very good at that too. She really is quite talented musically though, unlike me. I settle for singing," Miriam smiled but not like the blind girl could tell. Hector could though at least.

 

"Ara might have had some chores to do at the sa.........at her place of employment," Miriam answered the question, "If my musical opinion counts for anything you all sounded like quite the band. Quite the performance. Congratulations."

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About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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