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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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As they walked the deserted streets of Kalispell, Frances listened with slight surprise as Miriam lauded the slightly unstable seeming Miss Mudd to the high heavens. The true nature of their relationship would never have occurred to her in a million years.

 

"But honestly, I am fine with it. I have a close friend in Arabella. When she welcomed me to Kalispell she has opened up a whole new world to me. I am much happier here now than I ever was in New York," Miriam gushed.

 

"Oh, maybe I will be too, one day." Frances sighed a little. She tried to be sanguine about her new life, but there were just so few opportunities for her: this had been her first paying job since Frank had died. "Miss Mudd, ...er... Arabella, did mention something about a theater opening here, maybe they will require musicians." She could only hope. The sale of Frank's worldly possessions by the kindly town Marshall had brought her in a certain amount of cash, but that wouldn't last forever; she needed a steady job.

 

She recognised where they were by the number of steps they had taken along the boardwalk and a particularly saggy plank under her foot. 

 

"Here we are, home. Well, home for now. I need to find somewhere a little less expensive." She sagged a little. "Oh, Miriam, what dreadful company I must be, I have done nothing but complain and whine since we left the boxing match!" she smiled sadly "Please believe that I am not always so. Perhaps we can meet up one day and I shall treat you to tea at the Diner. I should love to talk about your time in New York, and what you get up to at the dress shop and the adventures you have with Miss Mudd!" she smiled, sounding brighter. 

 

@Wayfarer

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"Place is almost packed!" Phinn stated. "Marshal Guyer, may I present Miss Sarah Thornton-Carlton, my new reporter."

 

Sarah smiled, "Good evening, Marshall."

 

"Good evening, Ma'am, a relation to Shade then," He said, "Pity we've not seen him about. I understand that he's away on business with Miss Mercer of the law firm. And a reporter, now that's a new twist out here, but of course in the east it would almost be considered commonplace. I am late of New York, well, two years removed from the metropolis." He smiled, "The young man there in this corner, my deputy, Charlie Wentworth. Hoping the best for him. The other man I don't know, but have heard of, a prospector I believe, among other things."

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Robert approached the referee in the center of the ring, his opponent did likewise. The young Irishman gave an acknowledging nod to the fellow, he wasn't one for angry glares in an attempt at intimidation. In the first place he wasn't angry......at anyone really. He'd fought before for money and that money had come in handy. Here was another chance at a payday, needed since his prospecting had been a bust thus far.

 

Quentin looked at each man and they nodded in return. "Very good, now shake hands and when the triangle rings go to it...when it rings again, go to your own corners...Good luck!" Quentin took a pace back and looked at the timekeeper who was watching his pocket watch for the top of the next minute.

 

Robert extended his hand and the two gave a perfunctory shake then separated. Robert put some distance between the other man then assumed his boxing stance. He noted that the other guy had his arms and fists up properly, someone had shown him well but nope, his feet weren't quite right.  Well, not like he was give the fellow any tips but many people forget that footwork is vital in a fight too not just fists.

 

He took a deep breath and tried to just relax, focus on the matter at hand. He recalled what he had been taught and learned the hard way - if at all possible the best fight is a short one. That meant be aggressive.  He didn't see a lot of confidence in those eyes across from him.

 

 

 

 

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Miriam gushed about how happy she was now in Kalispell.

 

"Oh, maybe I will be too, one day." Frances sighed a little.

 

"It surprised me, when we came I thought life was going to be dreadful, I was so wrong," Miriam tried to encourage her.

 

 "Miss Mudd, ...er... Arabella, did mention something about a theater opening here, maybe they will require musicians." Frances could only hope.

 

"Well, just so you know, Ara is very dear to me but she is not without fault, none of us are. Especially me...but anyway, you should know that some of what Ara says is not necessarily accurate. Take it with a grain of salt as they say," Miriam warned her.

 

The girl stopped suddenly, how she had known she had arrived was a mystery to the young Jewess but she had.

 

"Here we are, home. Well, home for now. I need to find somewhere a little less expensive." She sagged a little.

 

"Oh I understand, money is very tight for my family now too that is why father presented me to the dress shop to gain employment so I could contribute to the welfare of the family," Miriam nodded.

 

"Oh, Miriam, what dreadful company I must be, I have done nothing but complain and whine since we left the boxing match!" she smiled sadly "Please believe that I am not always so. Perhaps we can meet up one day and I shall treat you to tea at the Diner. I should love to talk about your time in New York, and what you get up to at the dress shop and the adventures you have with Miss Mudd!" 

 

"Nonsense, you are entitled to vent especially given your unfortunate circumstances...I mean with your deceased brother. I would be delighted though to take you to the Diner for tea. They have delicious bakery too. My treat, I insist. I have a job and thus far you do not so surely you must see my logic in this," Mirriam insisted.

 

"Yes, I'd love to talk about New York," she added.

 

She did not touch the topic though of her adventures with Arabella, she would not dare. Some things were best private.

 

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Miriam was just so nice to talk to, once you got over her initial shyness. In fact, even before you got over her initial shyness.

 

"Nonsense, you are entitled to vent especially given your unfortunate circumstances...I mean with your deceased brother. I would be delighted though to take you to the Diner for tea. They have delicious bakery too."

 

"Oh, you cannot pay for me! I shan't hear of it." protested Frances.

 

"My treat, I insist. I have a job and thus far you do not so surely you must see my logic in this," Miriam insisted.

 

"Oh very well." the blind girl grinned "But I will treat you the next time." she smiled, showing her pretty teeth. Frank always said that there was something 'funny' about her teeth, sort of 'cleated' he called it. She didn't know what he meant. Being blind. Nobody else had ever mentioned it.

 

"Yes, I'd love to talk about New York," she added.

 

"I should really ask you about Kalispell" sighed Frances. "I need to find out if this mysterious Mrs. Connolly really exists." She realised that needed some explanation. "I met a woman in Portland who said there was a lady here called Mrs Connelly who could give me a job. Oh that wicked woman! To play a trick like that on a blind person!" she added indignantly.

 

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"I should really ask you about Kalispell" sighed Frances. "I need to find out if this mysterious Mrs. Connolly really exists."

 

Miriam was puzzled, never heard of a Mrs. Connolly but then she didn't know everyone in town.

 

Frances helped by explaining further. "I met a woman in Portland who said there was a lady here called Mrs Connelly who could give me a job. Oh that wicked woman! To play a trick like that on a blind person!" she added indignantly.

 

"A woman in Portland, oh? I wish I could help you out but I have not heard any Connelly's about town. That doesn't mean there isn't someone with that name. I could ask around though if you want me to?"

 

"Did she happen to mention what kind of job?" that might narrow it down, Miriam figured.

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"A woman in Portland, oh? I wish I could help you out but I have not heard any Connelly's about town. That doesn't mean there isn't someone with that name. I could ask around though if you want me to?"

 

"Oh would you? That would be wonderful" beamed Frances gratefully. 

 

"Did she happen to mention what kind of job?" that might narrow it down, Miriam figured.

 

"It was at a restaurant or diner. I tried the local one, the Lick Spill It, but that is run by a lady called Mrs Lutz. I asked Frank's friend, Mr. Crabbe, but he said the only Connolly round about was a cowboy who was courting his ward... a Miss Monahan. Do you know Mr. Crabbe? A friend of my late brother, indeed, but he seems to be a fine upstanding man." she mused.

 

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Miriam made a quick mental note to ask around about the whereabouts of a Mrs. Connelly, least she could do for poor Frances. She also asked if a type of job was brought up.

 

"It was at a restaurant or diner. I tried the local one, the Lick Spill It, but that is run by a lady called Mrs Lutz. I asked Frank's friend, Mr. Crabbe, but he said the only Connolly round about was a cowboy who was courting his ward... a Miss Monahan. Do you know Mr. Crabbe? A friend of my late brother, indeed, but he seems to be a fine upstanding man." she mused.

 

Miriam grinned, "The Lick Skillet I think is the actual name. Well, sure I know Mrs. Lutz, that's Clara. She is a good friend of Arabella. She doesn't own it though, she is just managing it while the actual owner, Mrs. Blakeley ...wait, sorry...she would be Mrs. Pike now is on a trip somewhere for their wedding."

 

"Miss Monohan? Are you sure he said that? " Miriam could not imagine anyone courting that girl. She was sweet and all but if Frances thought her blindness was a drawback to men, Miriam felt Bridget's ...........slowness and wooden leg might be even worse.

 

"Ummm...well, yes I do know Mr. Crabbe. Met him thru Arabella. He's ....alright I guess," Miriam was going to leave it that.

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Miriam grinned, "The Lick Skillet I think is the actual name. Well, sure I know Mrs. Lutz, that's Clara. She is a good friend of Arabella. She doesn't own it though, she is just managing it while the actual owner, Mrs. Blakeley ...wait, sorry...she would be Mrs. Pike now is on a trip somewhere for their wedding."

 

"You have certainly gotten to know a lot of people in a short time. I imagine it helps working in the dress shop. All sort of different ladies must be in and out all of the time for bits and bobs." Frances reasoned. Oh, how wonderful to be able to work somewhere like that and meet the whole world! Or, at least, the better half of it. He comment about Brendan Connolly and Bridget Monahan caused Miriam some doubt though, it seemed.

 

"Miss Monohan? Are you sure he said that? " Miriam could not imagine anyone courting that girl. She was sweet and all but if Frances thought her blindness was a drawback to men, Miriam felt Bridget's ...........slowness and wooden leg might be even worse.

 

"I think that is what she said..." frowned Frances, maybe she had misheard that part, though she always listened carefully and tried to remember what everybody said. Just doing that made up a great deal for her lack of sight. It was amazing that many sighted people seemed to sleepwalk through life hearing, seeing, sensing and remembering absolutely nothing at all.

 

"Ummm...well, yes I do know Mr. Crabbe. Met him thru Arabella. He's ....alright I guess," Miriam was going to leave it that.

 

"Well, he has been very good at paying me some money that was owed to my brother for a job he helped him with." the blind girl informed the little seamstress, before shuddering slightly. "Oh, I do so hate to sound so mercenary all the time. You must think me an awful money-grubbing sort of person." She looked sad for the first time during their conversation.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"You have certainly gotten to know a lot of people in a short time. I imagine it helps working in the dress shop. All sort of different ladies must be in and out all of the time for bits and bobs," Frances said.

 

"I like to think I have but really I owe most of that to Arabella who has introduced me to so many people my...our age especially. More so than the dress shop. Although I do like working there," Miriam replied.

 

Maybe Frances heard correctly about Bridget but Miriam remained doubtful, however she would not argue the point.

 

"Well, he has been very good at paying me some money that was owed to my brother for a job he helped him with." the blind girl informed the little seamstress, before shuddering slightly. "Oh, I do so hate to sound so mercenary all the time. You must think me an awful money-grubbing sort of person."

 

"Mr. Crabbe can be very generous, Arabella introduced me to him also. And no, not at all, I do not blame you for being concerned about money.  You are only thinking about your future, if you did not you would be a fool or worse," Miriam responded.

 

"Now that we are friends, I promise I will do whatever I can to ease your financial situation. It's what friends do. I will talk to Arabella and see if she has any good ideas."

 

Granted sometimes Arabella's ideas were honestly very bad but she was also very clever too, far more clever than she was, Miriam thought.

 

 

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"Mr. Crabbe can be very generous, Arabella introduced me to him also. And no, not at all, I do not blame you for being concerned about money.  You are only thinking about your future, if you did not you would be a fool or worse," Miriam responded.

 

"You are very kind, thank you for making be feel... well, that I am not a complete Mr. Scrooge!" Frances smiled, reaching out her free hand and, finding Miriam's, giving it a squeeze.

 

"Now that we are friends, I promise I will do whatever I can to ease your financial situation. It's what friends do. I will talk to Arabella and see if she has any good ideas."

 

"Oh wonderful!" the blind girl said: words that would have sounded sarcastic from anybody else in Kalispell. "She does seem to have a fecund imagination. Tell me..." Frances' voice dropped, in case there were eavesdroppers around "... is Miss Mudd courting? Or does she have her eye on anybody?" God, Frances had missed gossip!

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Oh wonderful!" the blind girl said: words that would have sounded sarcastic from anybody else in Kalispell. "She does seem to have a fecund imagination. Tell me..." Frances' voice dropped, in case there were eavesdroppers around "... is Miss Mudd courting? Or does she have her eye on anybody?"

 

Gosh! Another difficult question to answer and remain an honest person. Miriam did not care for such moral quandaries. But she put on a game face.

 

"Oh no, Ara is too young for courting. As am I too, we are almost the same age I believe," Miriam replied.

 

"She was friends with a boy but he was shot dead in a gunfight. No one was arrested for it so I can only assume he was in the wrong. It was very hard on Ara though."

 

"Fortunately she likes her job....jobs....she plays piano at the local saloon and does cleaning work there too. She also plays organ at the local church, I hear she is really very good at it."

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OOC:  This is a joint post by Julie and Wayfarer

 

IC:

The two combatants then separated but still faced each other, tensely awaiting the triangle sound. It only took seconds and officially the fight was now on. Robert was determined to be all business about this, ignoring what Crabbe said about trying to stretch out the fight. To him the sooner the bout was over with the better for BOTH boxers.
 
Robert wasted no time but moved forward to attack. His opponent's arms were up in a proper defensive stance to defend the head, as one certainly should. But he wondered how much punishment the other guy really had actually taken in practice, that is if he had even sparred. Even blocking punches with one's forearms hurt if the blows were sharp and delivered with force.
 
Robert came in with a series of hard jabs, contacting Charlie's forearms. He didn't expect to get thru but it was all part of the tactics, set your opponent up for something far worse.
 
Charlie had been doing his best to defend himself and even managed to get a punch or two in as well. However, it was plain to see that the rumours about Cullen were true...his opponent knew how to fight. After the first round, Charlie knew what he had to do. As he stood in the corner waiting for the next round to begin, he worked how he could manage it without been seeing to give up too easily. Both Mike and Sam were there with him and giving him advice on how to get around his opponent. He knew he would one of them to help him carry off what he was planning, but who?
 
The triangle rang clear and loud to indicate the start of the next round. All he had to do was get through this round and make it to the next one, where he would end this fight, hopefully with his reputation intact.
 
ooc: Longshot, if you want to throw something in there go for it.
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Hector was having a whale of a time: not only watching and enjoying the visceral pastime of bare knuckle fighting from the safety and comfort of his ringside seat, but also basking in the self importance of being the official timekeeper, dinging his triangle with manly resolve as the fighters retired back to their respective corners.

 

Arabella too, looking for all the world like a monkey 'up their sticks' at the zoo, jumping about, as much as she dared, up her ladder, shouting encouragement and impractical suggestions at Charlie down in the ring. "Go on Charlie!! Hit him! Kick him in the shins! Sic him, boy, sic him! Punch the rascal's ears off of him!!" and other such imprecations.

 

And as for Crabbe, counting his thick wad of cash and only vaguely aware of the fight going on in the background, why he was in 7th Heaven.

 

But the feller who was having the grandest time of all was Lieutenant Greene, just from the pleasure of standing right next to Miss Caroline Mundee and feeling, at one point during the first round, the back of her hand accidentally stroke against the back of his. A chance touch of hand on hand, but it sent an electric thrill though his entire being which made it as difficult as heck to concentrate on the fight. 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Oh no, Ara is too young for courting. As am I too, we are almost the same age I believe," Miriam replied.

 

Frances didn't know enough about love to know when it was 'too young' to fall into it, she only knew of the vague and strange feelings that she had started to feel lately. Maybe it was just loneliness: but she was aware that when certain men were in her presence and talking with her, she got a slightly different sensation that the just plain of old good company of other women, like Miriam. 

 

"She was friends with a boy but he was shot dead in a gunfight. No one was arrested for it so I can only assume he was in the wrong. It was very hard on Ara though."

 

"Oh no! How awful for her... and him" she said, her smile collapsing with genuine sorrow. Funny how the idea of a some unknown young man being gunned down, breaking his lover's heart, almost moved her to tears, whereas the memory of her own brother's death in similar circumstances a couple of weeks ago rather left her cold. 

 

"Fortunately she likes her job....jobs....she plays piano at the local saloon and does cleaning work there too. She also plays organ at the local church, I hear she is really very good at it."

 

"You should go and listen to her, we both should!"  Frances suggested. "They  won't try and convert you, I'm sure. I should really start going myself. I imagine the churches around here are, what? , Methodist, Presbyterian? I must admit, and I hope you won't be shocked Miss Kaufmann, I am something of a freethinker around religion, having been passed about over the years between so many different family members, of different denominations, all of whom tried to instil into me the 'one true' interpretation of the Good Book and how our Good Lord ought to be worshipped." she revealed.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Miriam related Ara's sad experience with that one young cowpoke (well certainly not some of the more salacious details of it, she was not a gossip) and it only brought the mood of the conversation down. She had been careless to even mention such a thing given this girl's brother also had just been shot to death. Trying to change the tone she switched to Ara's experiences in the saloon and in church, all quite musical.

 

"You should go and listen to her, we both should!"  Frances suggested. "They  won't try and convert you, I'm sure. I should really start going myself. I imagine the churches around here are, what? , Methodist, Presbyterian? I must admit, and I hope you won't be shocked Miss Kaufmann, I am something of a freethinker around religion, having been passed about over the years between so many different family members, of different denominations, all of whom tried to instil into me the 'one true' interpretation of the Good Book and how our Good Lord ought to be worshipped."

 

"Oh no, I can never go in that church...I'm not even exactly sure what denomination it is, Ara never said. But my parents would be absolutely furious with me going in there, even just for a listen," Miriam shot that idea down quickly. Well mostly.....

 

"I can find someone who will take you though," she added.

 

"As for your own beliefs, I am not shocked. America is a land of freedom of religion they always say. So you are entitled to whatever beliefs you have."

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Caroline was there to take in the whole experience, the crowd, the excitement, two virile young men whaling the bejeezus out of each other, but less because she enjoyed the fighting more because she was more comfortable in crowds of - let's face it - almost all men than mingling with other women. Most of the townsfolk's female population probably wouldn't give her the time of the day or even actively despised her anyhow. No sewing circles, no bake sales, no church going events for her.  Social events like this gave her something to do outside of her usual daily world of the saloon, a little variety.

 

Caroline had witnessed a lot of actual serious fist fights and all out brawls in her saloon work experiences so while she did not know the so called science of boxing, she could assess the two brawlers and confidently predict who was going to win. It was that dark haired Irishman, he knew his stuff. Not that she had placed a bet.

 

Just then her hand had accidentally bumped...more like brushed really against someone elses just as the first round ended. She quickly turned her head.  It was that handsome soldier boy, the officer who looked far too young to be an officer. But then people on occasion said that about her too, she looked too young to be a veteran saloon girl. Looks could be deceiving.

 

"Oh excuse me, hon," then it hit her, he had been talking to her trying to make some lame bet which would end up in a dinner date regardless of who won. But the fight had started and what with all the cheering and jeering, she had turned to watch the action.

 

"Well, I guess we got a minute before the next round? So back to our conversation. Lemme make it quick. If you wanna take me out for dinner, just go ahead and ask me. Yer a gentleman and I'm a lady so why does it need involve some sort of wagering?" she got down to business quickly.

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"Oh no, I can never go in that church...I'm not even exactly sure what denomination it is, Ara never said. But my parents would be absolutely furious with me going in there, even just for a listen," 

 

"Oh, they are very devout, then! Please forgive me, Miss Kaufmann, I should never have suggested such a thing!" gasped Frances, horrified to have made such a faux pas.

 

"I can find someone who will take you though," she added.

 

That brought a smile back to the blind girl's face. "Oh, I can find my own way there, thank you for the offer. I am more worried that I'll get there and find them to be Baptists, and they might try to dip me." she grinned.

 

"As for your own beliefs, I am not shocked. America is a land of freedom of religion they always say. So you are entitled to whatever beliefs you have."

 

"Well, within reason, yes!" agreed Frances, and then returned to the other girl's family, seeing as she had brought up her parents. "So, your Mother and Father are still with us? That is wonderful. And do you have any brothers or sisters? I'm sorry, I am so nosey!" she laughed at herself.

 

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"So your Mother and Father are still with us?" asked Frances.

 

"Oh yes," that one was simple to answer.

 

"Do you have any brothers or sisters? I'm sorry, I am so nosey," laughed the other girl.

 

"Yes, I have one of each, both younger than me," Miriam nodded, "it can be, on occasion, a lively household."

 

"My uncle back in New York, he has nine children in his family. The oldest is ...oh....seventeen I think," she smiled in amusement, "Their home can be beyond lively."

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"Yes, I have one of each, both younger than me," Miriam nodded, "it can be, on occasion, a lively household."

 

"That sounds wonderful!" Frances gushed with genuine emotion "I am so jealous!"

 

"My uncle back in New York, he has nine children in his family. The oldest is ...oh....seventeen I think," she smiled in amusement, "Their home can be beyond lively."

 

"Nine?!" laughed Frances "All right, that is maybe too lively a household, even for me."

 

The conversation was drifting to a finish, and Frances felt sad about that. Miriam's companionship had made her feel warm, connected to the world of other people. Now she would climb the stairs in her dark world and be more alone than any other person in town. Even the expectation of her no good brother stumbling into their tiny rented rooms in the early hours of the morning had been some sort of company. Now even that was gone, every evening was the same: all was silent, all was still.

 

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His cornerman was babbling away while he toweled him down, but Robert wasn't really listening. Yeah he was dripping with sweat but that first round had pretty much gone like he had hoped. He had attacked and put his opponent on the back foot immediately. He had also scored a few jabs into the guy's ribcage and midsection, those that weren't blocked by Charlie's arms. No real damage but then he hadn't expected that to happen. It was all part of a tactic. One that would hopefully yield good results this second round.

 

Oh yeah, the deputy had hit him once or twice but Robert shrugged it off easily enough. He'd been hit far worse before. Just before the triangle was rung, he took a last sip of water ( he would have preferred liquor) and then it was round two!

 

Robert went right for the guy again, crossing the ring and attacking. A few more low jabs and lunges to the body and sure enough Charlie was getting the hang of it to block those better but it was leaving him open to a head shot as more and more he lowered his fists. That of course was the tactic.

 

Robert suddenly faked a left jab and instead stepped forward with a right cross right to the side of his opponent's face. It connected and it was a solid hit. Perhaps as much in surprise as actual damage, Charlie stepped back and lost his balance. Down he went as the crowd roared (or gasped if they were partisans of the deputy pugilist).

 

To the young man's credit he bounced right back up though, resuming his boxing stance. At least Robert realized the guy could take some punishment, he wasn't one of those glass jaw fighters who wilted at first hard hit. The referee hadn't even needed to start a ten count.

 

No matter, Robert closed in again, shrugging off a well delivered counterpunch by Charlie only to land a solid punch to the nose in return. Blood trickled from one nostril now though Robert highly doubted the cartilage was broken. Actually in Robert's first fight he had suffered a broken nose which he popped back into place between rounds, hurt like hell too.  This was not a sport for the faint of heart.

 

Nothing much happened the rest of the round and the triangle clang ended it then as both combatants once more retreated to their corners.

 

(ooc: Posted with permission of Julie in case anyone is wondering.)

 

 

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"Oh excuse me, hon,"

 

Joseph gazed down at the beautiful blonde: like any excuse was necessary! "We never finalised our bet!" he smiled.  

 

"Well, I guess we got a minute before the next round? So back to our conversation. Lemme make it quick. If you wanna take me out for dinner, just go ahead and ask me. Yer a gentleman and I'm a lady so why does it need involve some sort of wagering?" she got down to business quickly.

 

The solder tipped his head. This girl liked straight talking. She could have it. 

 

"All right. You're beautiful. Can I take you out to dinner?" he asked, bluntly enough. She didn't know his name, he didn't know hers. He didn't need to. In the words of the Bard, a rose would smell as sweet by any other name. After telling him to ask her, he half expected her to say "no", and laugh in his face. Arabella's voice screamed deafeningly nearby "Get up Charlie, get up! What ya doin' down there on the floor?!! Well at least bite the varmint's ankles while you're down there!!" but he didn't break his gaze into Caroline's mysterious blue eyes.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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The end of the second round didn't come quick enough for Charlie.  He had managed to hold his own and so it was a bit of a relief to hear the triangle.  Cullen was good and he was a professional, there was no way he was going to win this.  The last thing he wanted was to get beaten to a pulp and that's what would happen if he stayed in this fight for much longer.  It was better to be sore for a few days then to spend a few weeks in bed.

 

While Mike loosening up the muscles around his shoulders and upper arm, Charlie turned him and whispered, "The next time I go down I'm staying down."

 

Mike nodded.  Having seen Charlie go down after that punch, Mike had already started to think about how to end this before the twenty rounds was over.  It was important that Charlie didn't lose face or he would never succeed as deputy.  Going down without sustaining a major injury was the only way out.  He looked over to Sam, who had been close enough to hear what Charlie had said, back to his younger brother again and whispered, "We'll take care of it...just make sure it looks good."

 

Satisfied that his brothers had understood, Charlie stood a little taller, took a deep breath and waited for triangle to go off again.

 

@Wayfarer

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Guess he understood her much more direct approach now, no need to beat around the bush with her, Caroline smiled.

 

"Alright. You're beautiful. Can I take you out to dinner?" he came right out with it.

 

She had already decided she would indeed accept this dinner invitation but her playful nature was not going to make it quite that easy.

 

"Well, lieutenant, I never go out to dinner with a man whose name I do not even know," she suddenly announced in a deadpan.

 

"Oh my name is Caroline Mundee....I'm the singer at the saloon. Fair warning, that makes me dirt in the eyes of many proper folk in this leafy burg," she added.

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"Well, lieutenant, I never go out to dinner with a man whose name I do not even know," she suddenly announced in a deadpan.

 

He clicked his heels in a sort of Teutonic salute. "Joseph Wilberforce Greene, Junior... of the Vermont Greenes, of course. At your service, M'am." he said equally earnestly. "And to whom do I have the pleasure of presenting myself?"

 

"Oh my name is Caroline Mundee....I'm the singer at the saloon. Fair warning, that makes me dirt in the eyes of many proper folk in this leafy burg," she added.

 

"Ha! They think that's low?" he laughed with bitterness "They've clearly never met a 2nd Lieutenant who's the only officer in his posting who didn't serve in the war and has just had the signal honor of being transferred to Signal Corps duty: raising and lowering little party balloons into the sky twice a day." he sighed. "Why, Miss Mundee, I positively dream of being raised one day to heights of respectability enjoyed by saloon singers!" 

 

"Oh the fight's starting again!" he said suddenly. Hector Wigfall was dinging his triangle. 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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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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