Justus kept a close eye on the man as he approached, reassured by the fact that he was being allowed to approach, and that there was no sign of aggression. He stopped a few feet away.
"Evenin', sir." Justus nodded with an easy grin, relieved that it seemed this was a friendly bunch. Most men on drives were, but Justus had learned young that it was best to assume the worst, then be happily surprised.
"Just what are you up too?" It was Dallas, and he was one to ask questions first, rather than just shoot a fellow. "You might oughtta ride on in like a man. There'll be plenty of grub, and you'll be welcome to it." He smiled.
"Thank ya, sir, I might do just that." While he didn't want to seem too eager, there was no denying that he was grateful for the offer.
"You out here on yer own? Mount up an' I'll ride in with ya jest so's you don't get shot er nuthin'!" The he laughed.
"Yes, sir, I'm alone." Swinging into the saddle, Justus patted Mule on the neck, then fell into pace beside the man. "I do appreciate this, sir, I'll work for it, sir, help th' cookie with dishes or some'at." A thankless job, but it wouldn't do him any harm, and he wouldn't feel so much like mooching.
"Oh, m' name's Justus Wheeler, sir. I'm headed north, nowhere in particular."
Mature Content: Might well be violence.
With: Turk Flagg, Caroline, and who knows else Location: Star Dust Saloon When: Sept/ 1876 Time of Day: Early evening
Now Turk had never been to this part of Montana previously but seemed like a nice enough quiet town. Actually peaceful towns were not exactly good for his sort of occupation but then he had not ridden in with any specific job in mind. He was between jobs, just last week he'd delivered a prisoner to a small town south of Kalispell, the man had been a wanted rustler. Fellow whined the whole way back right up to jail that he was innocent. Turk then just pointed out he was neither judge nor jury, tell it to someone who cared. Least he had some cash in his pocket. And where better to spend a bit of it then in the town's only saloon apparently. Least only one he could spot.
Entering into the place thru the swinging bat doors, he took in the joint. Decent enough, he'd seen many worse, some better. On this weekday night it was not crowded but there were a few folks at the bar and some others gathered around tables, most tables holding card games. He didn't go for cards though and on those rare occasions when he had, he usually lost money. Nope, keep it simple, get a drink or two or four.
As he sidled up to the bar, the bartender was presently occupied with another customer so he paused to take a second scan of the place. And who should he see but...................
"Caroline? Caroline Mundee," he made sure he said those words loud enough the woman could hear him as she a good distance away, holding a tray of drinks.
Caroline not only picked up on her name but recognized the voice and turned to see just to make certain. The look on her face made it plain she knew the speaker alright as she broke out into a wide smile.
"Well, I'll be ! Gimme a minute," she called back then hurried to finish her on duty errand, duly placing the tray in front of four card players, "Here ya are, boys. Enjoy!"
Turk nodded and just leaned with his back against the bar, watching her every move. She sure was as pretty as the last time they'd seen each other. He never took his eyes off her as she then approached and in a few seconds the two embraced in a quick but heartfelt hug.
"Turk! I had heard rumors you were dead," Caroline declared when they broke it up.
"Nope, I can truly assure you that I am not. Yer lookin' fine as always," he grinned.
Caroline looked past him for a moment, "Ralph, break out one of the good bottles and pour us two shots, will ya, hon?"
"Shit! How much that gonna cost me now?" Turk knew her routine alright, they'd become friends in Helena when she worked a saloon there.
"Nah! On the house! I'm real glad ta see you again," Caroline then leaned into the bar next to him, they had some catching up to do alright.
Four good men was all he needed, and Granger knew just the men for the job. Men that would kill anyone that threatened the ranch in any way, shape, or form. Of course, that went doe any number of of the Evergreen hands, the men he wanted would be the worst, and most dangerous of the hands Elias Steelgrave employed
The first one he ran on to was the stocky built Dutch, the only name they knew him by, but that was enough. He rode up next to the man, "Dutch, Mister Steelgrave has a job for you."
Dutch looked to him, knowing if the old man wanted him for a job it wouldn't be nurse maiding no cows. "Sure Granger, what's he got in mind?"
"Might be some Lost Lake men trailing Carson, they need to be stopped." It was quick and blunt.
"Right up my alley, Granger. Start now?" Dutch asked.
"I'll Get Treach, Watts, and Deckerd. Mister Steelgrave wants you boys to be sure they start it."
"Easy as pie. If you want I'll go for 'em, know right where they are and well just head that way." Dutch offered with a grin that was far from friendly.
"Sure Dutch, go ahead. Anything happens, you hightail it back here." Granger replied to which Dutch nodded and spurred his horse.
Dutch Treach Watts Deckerd
The conversation with Misses Thornton-Carlton had been informative, though she had not said when these hands from the Lost Lake would be in town for supplies. In New Mexico Territory they generally went once a month, unless they were in need of something or they got word an order had come in, which was rare, the Apaches saw to that. No one was willing to take the chance . But this here might be different. The Lost Lake was not so far from town as the Lazy S was to Lordsburg, nor as dangerous.
So, the hotel looked to be the place he'd stay until these hands rode in, and it would certainly give him a chance to meet some folks, like she said, see who his allies were. And from, what he had learned so far, the trouble ran deep between the Lost Lake and this Evergreen Ranch, and then toss in the son and his pack of animals. Things could get terminal real quick. This was shaping up to be far more than he had bargained for when he left New Mexico. But he was there now, so he could run, or stay, and Tyrell Thornton was not much for running.
Speed took the time to let Alice and her father know where he was going, and why, then mounted up and started out for the fort. He'd not been there, he had seen it in passing, and it was a welcome sight with the Indians out. He understood that the Military had no jurisdiction in town, and likely they might not be willing to help, yet, then again, they might. Protecting citizens was their job. And just because the ones Speed was asking them to protect were in town with active lawmen, A large contingent of outlaws posed a significant threat.
The outlaws, be it Cases' gang or Elias' riders, or both together, it would be more than a handful lawmen could handle, even with the townsfolk defending their town. True, most had served in the War Between the States, but that had been over ten years ago, and true they had fought Indians and outlaws, yet these men were settled down now and past getting into gun trouble. And maybe it wouldn't come. Maybe Neither Steelgrave wanted to tangle with the town and it's people. Yet going to talk with the Army made sense, even if they couldn't really help out right then.
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.
Connect With Us On
If you would like to join the Sagas' Discord server or are already a member, click the image to open the Discord web application.