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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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Caroline laughed, "Well, that name is quite a mouthful, lieutenant. I hope it is alright with you if I just settle for calling you Joseph or Joe?"


"As for me, none of this Miss Mundee nonsense, call me Caroline," she added, "I think it is a beautiful name, do you not?"


Well, the young man certainly did not have an inflated opinion of himself when he explained his duties, or lack of, at the fort.  She dealt with plenty of customers at the saloon who loved to try and impress her with their tales of self importance, most of which were probably exaggerations or even outright lies.


"So then dinner it is. Have you been to the local eatery? Their bakery goods are simply delicious. Doubt they serve a five course meal or champagne though. We will just have to endure a common meal," she quipped.


But then, as Joseph pointed out, the fight was about to resume as both boxers approached each other. The details of their dinner date would have to wait.

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Caroline laughed, "Well, that name is quite a mouthful, lieutenant. I hope it is alright with you if I just settle for calling you Joseph or Joe?"


"Joe's plenty all right with me, Miss Mundee." he grinned a ready smile.


"As for me, none of this Miss Mundee nonsense, call me Caroline," she added, "I think it is a beautiful name, do you not?"


His eyes played over her coquettish features. "Very beautiful" he sighed in agreement.


"So then dinner it is. Have you been to the local eatery? Their bakery goods are simply delicious. Doubt they serve a five course meal or champagne though. We will just have to endure a common meal," she quipped.


"Pie and coffee at the diner? For the beautifully-named Caroline?" Lt. Greene shook his head. "I hope you'll allow me to escort you to the Belle-St. Regis Hotel Restaurant, where all meals are at least ten courses long, the champagne flows like the Flathead River at Columbia Falls, and the Maître d' looks down his nose at rich and poor alike with equal scorn!" he declared.


His eyes narrowed as he tried to remember one last fact. "Come to think of it, they might even have a fellow there who tortures a cello, just for the further edification of the diners." Well, surely, that put the icing on the cake!


The fight was on, and so was the date.



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"Pie and coffee at the diner? For the beautifully-named Caroline?" Lt. Greene shook his head.


"I'm sure they got beefsteak and such too," she added, no alcohol though.


"I hope you'll allow me to escort you to the Belle-St. Regis Hotel Restaurant, where all meals are at least ten courses long, the champagne flows like the Flathead River at Columbia Falls, and the Maître d' looks down his nose at rich and poor alike with equal scorn!" he declared.


"Oh yeah?" she raised one eyebrow, he was ambitious, that would cost a pretty penny.


"Come to think of it, they might even have a fellow there who tortures a cello, just for the further edification of the diners," he threw that in, not that Caroline knew much about cello sounds, that wasn't her kind of music.


"Well, I don't know, hon. I'm  not sure I'd be welcome in such a fancy place considering my background. Did you forget that I just said there are a lot of the good citizenry in this town who don't like me and my kind much?"


The fight had recommenced then so Caroline turned her attention on the two handsome young brawlers. She could hear Ara hollering from the hayloft for her chosen favorite, the young deputy. As for Caroline, she didn't much care who won.

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The triangle signaled the start of this, the third round, Robert left his corner and headed straight for his opponent. He well realized that Crabbe wanted him to drag this fight out but he had never agreed to such a thing. Besides, the longer it went on the greater the chance the other man might connect with a good punch and land it just right. And Robert could lose. He wanted this money too badly to take such a chance, no it was better to try and finish the other guy off here and now.


Robert had been delivering most of the blows but to Charlies credit, he was taking the punishment and hanging in there. He'd even managed to tag Robert with a few decent punches. Not bad at all for an untrained novice.


Robert attacked, yet again. He feinted left and went in with a right jab, Charlie just blocked it.  Then the Irishman tried for an uppercut with his left but the other pugilist stepped back just in time. Undaunted Robert moved in fast to get either past or under Charlie's defenses. The town deputy landed a good punch to Robert's side of the head but Robert took it and now countered with a one two punch of right, left jabs to the head.


And down went Charlie, more because he backed up too fast and lost his footing than any hard contact Robert figured. But the guy was on the floor so Robert paused to let the referee start the countdown.




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A shout from the crowd went up as Charlie Wentworth went down and, above it all, Arabella' voice screaming "Get up Charlie, Get up!! You was just winnin'!!!" This hubbub even caught Lorenzo Crabbe's attention and he looked up to see what was going on. He checked his watch. Hmm, the fight hadn't lasted quite as long as he had hoped. Maybe the young deputy would stagger back to his feet, but as the man doing the refereeing counted him out, that seemed increasingly like a @Longshot.


Crabbe pushed though the crowd and hustled a blue-uniformed army officer out of the way. "Excuse me, Commodore, I need to speak to this little lady!"


He whispered to Caroline urgently. 


"Hey, Mundee, help me out will ya? I told that Cullen to hold back, but he's bloodthirsty, he's knocked that deputy out in record time and this mob's going to get ugly, feel they've been cheated, half of 'em'll be demanding their money back." The idea of that made him feel sick, especially after he'd spent the whole of the fight counting it out several times. 


"Listen, I'll get Hector to break out his fiddle again, and Muddy to come on down off that ladder with her gee-tar and you get up there and sing 'em a song, while we scrape Wentworth off of the canvas." he suggested "And make it a long song! That'll hold 'em!"





Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Meanwhile, Charlie was far from being knocked out.  He had been hit hard enough to get knocked down and down was where he planned to stay.  To make it look good, he made an attempt to get up but quickly collapsed again.


The count of ten seemed to go on forever and when it was over his brothers rushed over to him to help him out of the ring.  Charlie could hear the commotion that the sudden end of the fight had bought on.  Crabbe would certainly have his hands full calming them down.


Mike and Sam helped him to his feet again just as the music was starting.  There was not time to stop and listen as they needed to get out of the ring and the building before anybody thought to check out if he was okay after the supposed knock out.  With the help of Mike, Charlie staggered out of the building with his head hung low to make it look like the blow had done its job.  Sam went back to grab their gear but had to contend with questions from a few of the spectators.


Outside of the building, Mike and Charlie were met by Matt, who had been in the crowd.  He took one look at Charlie, raised his eyebrow and said in a slightly amused tone, "The sooner we get him home the better."


Charlie couldn't agree more.  There was only so much acting he could do in one day.  When Sam joined, the four headed towards the home of their parents.

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Funny, he honestly didn't think he had him all that hard, it was more a slip when his opponent tried to back up, but Robert stood there then as the referee counted Charlie out. His brothers then raced up to take him away while Robert had his arm raised by the ref acknowledging the victor. The applause was mixed, some booed of course. Obviously Charlie had been more well known than he was, plus Robert was Irish.


Still a win was a win and he was going to make some cash money! He couldn't help but smile at his corner man. Robert had nothing against the other fellow in fact he wanted to shake hands with the guy but he was out of there so fast you'd think he was late for his own wedding. Oh well, too late now.


His cornerman now hissed, "Let's go. You can get dressed and you can get paid....by the grace of God."    There was always the possibility of a doublecross.


Robert doubted that though.




Caroline listened with a modicum of sympathy to Crabbe's plea for her to get up in the ring and do an impromptu performance for the crowd due to the faster ending than he had hoped for in the bout.  Still, she was not about to do that. She was a professional and she worked as one in the saloon, for pay. She had come here to just relax prior to having to sing and dance as usual this very evening. Nope, this was her time for herself.


Besides she wanted to iron out the details of young and handsome Lt. Greene taking her out to eat sometime.  He seemed quite the proper gentleman and yet he was still actually willing to go out in public with a woman like her. Amazing. She had to give him the chance to do just that. It might be real nice. You never knew if you didn't try it.


"Sorry hon, but I am leaving now. I already had to pay for a ticket to get in, you can't seriously expect me to have to perform for free on top of it?  And even before you can offer me payment, this is my free time. So no, your event, your problem. Good luck, hon," she smiled and sashayed on out accompanied by the soldier boy....errrr....officer.


OOC: Wrapping this one up then?

OOC: Sounds good to me (JulieS)



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Extract from: Wentworth, A.S. & Knightly, F.S. [Ghost Writer], 1917. Sketches of Frontier Life: memoirs of the Territories in the Old West. New York: Palmer and Palmer [Reprinted in facsimile edition, University of Montana Press, 1972], pp. 167-168.


"A journalist once asked me, after I had become a successful actress on the New York stage, where and when I first realised that I could 'hold' an audience. I replied, to his surprise, 'at a boxing match'! Such fights in those days, in the far West, were brutal and barbaric bare-knuckle affairs, this particular one being held in a barn, where men would bet coins, dollar bills and even gold nuggets on the outcome of the scrap. 


Ladies were as welcome as men and I had gone along with C______ to watch. An attractive blonde girl, a little older than myself, C_____ was a very good singer of the old saloon style and I was her accompanist at the time. She was a skilled performer who could hold the attention of a saloon full of rowdy men, or a barnful for that matter, and made the thing look so easy that I thought I could do it easily , too.


In this particular bout, the promoter had brought in a 'ringer' from outside the town who finished off the local contender in record time during the second round [sic], leaving the crowd surly and apt to riot. The promoter asked C______ to calm them down with a song, which she refused, walking out of there on the arm of a handsome soldier and with better things to do! The poor promoter had to 'scrape the bottom of the barrel' and get me to stand in the ring and belt one out for them. 


I jumped into the ring full of a confidence which suddenly evaporated when I gazed out upon that noisy and inattentive crowd; I was suddenly frozen with terror. A local lad who was to accompany me whispered 'just start singing' and, without really choosing, I started into "Virginia Belle": a tune I usually hummed when I was scrubbing floors at the saloon and which I imaged Mister Stephen Foster had written all about myself! I was no doubt out of key and as 'flat as a pancake', (C______ later taught me some tricks to 'fake' a note you couldn't quite make) moreover, the song was a maudlin and depressing one, but the nostalgic words and my raw, untutored rendering of it seemed to somehow catch the men's attention and quieten them down.


The promoter later slapped me on the back (hard!) and told me 'Muddy' for I was still using my real name in those days 'There wasn't a dry eye in the house! You sure saved my bacon there!" He never did pay me, though."



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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