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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

The Potee Homestead

Horace Potee

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Mature Content: Add yes, no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence).

Author: Put your OOC username here ONLY if posting with a Shared NPC. 

With: Horace Potee, wife and kids
Location: The Potee Homestead .. a lot of hard work and not much to show for it.
When: Month / Day (optional) / 1875
Time of Day: evening




Horace Potee was sitting at their cabin's table, wringing his hands.  The truth was, Horace was a champion hand wringer.  His wife, Maude, paced behind him.


"I dunno .., I just dunno," he proclaimed.  "If we had something to sell that's worth anything, we'd be able to afford more seed plus maybe get another ox to pull the plow."


"Oh Horace," Maude wailed.  "I told you that movin' out here was a mistake.  My brother had a job for you at the grain and feed.  We'd be in a nice house and .."


Horace stiffened.  "I gotta stand on my own feet, Maude.  No ways am I gonna take charity from your brother, and that's that." 


It was their standard evening argument.  Their lines were well practiced and they seldom varied.


More hand wringing from Horace, then...  "Maybe I can get lucky at cards."  


This was a new twist.

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  • 3 weeks later...




The noise was heard at late afternoon.  The sun had just finished being swallowed up by the western horizon.   It was the sound of a bucket being kicked over, so Horace stood up from the supper table where his wife and daughter remained seated in front of their Irish Stew.


"What's that?" he asked.   When he opened the door, he got his answer.


There, astraddle their horses were four men, maybe cowpokes?, staring at him as he stood on his porch.

"Can I help you?" he asked, closing the door to his cabin behind him.


"You Potee?" one with a deep, gravely voice asked.


"That's me.  Why?"  Horace Potee was beginning to feel great apprehension.


"We're here to give you some advice, Potee.  You and the other squatters are going to get out before the snow flies.  We got cattle that we need to graze yonder," his arm swept out in a vague circle, indicating Potee's homestead. 


"We're doin' this for your own good, Sod-buster.." another chimed in.  "You want 'ta staying healthy, don't ya?"


Horace angered. 


"You men clear out of here!  I own this homestead free and clear.  So go and stay gone."


This was met with some deep chuckles from the horsemen.


The ringleader nodded his head and the group of them backed away and then road off, their horses hooves tearing up some planted rows of vegetables.


Later inside, Horace sat wringing his hands.


"See the Sheriff," his wife implored, but Horace thought that was a weak move.


"I'm not going to be shooed off this place like a flock of geese," he stated.



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