Jump to content
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recently Used Characters

  • Posts

    • 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.
Franklin Fortner

A New Day - New Challenges

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Arabella, usually so keen to be the centre of attention, tried her best to sneak in behind the Marshall and, instead of sitting back at the piano, slipped into the crowd and started collecting empty glasses in an anonymous manner. 

 

"Afternoon. Mister Fortner wanted to see me?" He announced. as  he waited for his eyes to adjust in the dimness of the saloon.

 

"Why yes," Fortner answered.  "Mr. Hannaberry here says he was out at the Potee place and found Potee's missus hanging inside their cabin, and Potee a'sittin'  on the porch in a drunken stupor.  I sent some of the boys out to help cut her down, seein' that it was the Christian thing to do."

 

Oooh! What a fibber!! thought Arabella: except, well, that was technically true, it was just the sanctimonious way Fortner described the terrible event as if he had nothing to do with its commission.

 

"I figured that you oughta know about it.  You see, some of the boys think that maybe Potee had something to do with it.  The last we saw of his missus, they were yellin' at each other, right here in the Star Dust.  She lit outta here like her hair was on fire, and he was so drunk he could hardly sit upright at the card table.  So, I've done my civic duty by callin' you in on it."

 

Again, the sneaky bar-owner was making himself sound like some kind of a saint! Arabella was too scared of Fortner, Priest and his cronies to say anything, though: she just hoped Jesus would forgive her for her pusillanimous behaviour. 

 

"A terrible business," intoned Priest, gravely.

 

Arabella reached the bar with the empties at this point and put them on a tray to take out back to the kitchen to wash. Listening to that old rattlesnake priest join in this chorus of hypocrisy was almost too much to bear: her own silence on the matter made her feel as dirty and unclean as the glasses. 

 

@Flip @Preston

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
  • Love 1
  • Made Me Cry! 1

Share this post


Link to post

Arabella, usually so keen to be the centre of attention, tried her best to sneak in behind the Marshall and, instead of sitting back at the piano, slipped into the crowd and started collecting empty glasses in an anonymous manner. 

 

"Afternoon. Mister Fortner wanted to see me?" He announced. as  he waited for his eyes to adjust in the dimness of the saloon.

 

"Why yes," Fortner answered.  "Mr. Hannaberry here says he was out at the Potee place and found Potee's missus hanging inside their cabin, and Potee a'sittin'  on the porch in a drunken stupor.  I sent some of the boys out to help cut her down, seein' that it was the Christian thing to do."

 

"I would agree." Speed looked at the man, he'd had no interaction with the man since the shooting of Barnes. "Well, sir, best I ride out there and have a look-see for myself. Part of the job. Appreciate you lettin' me know." Speed began, "Sometime drink does a man little good, sometimes, the man that takes the drink, allows the drink to take him." He smiled.

 

Oooh! What a fibber!! thought Arabella: except, well, that was technically true, it was just the sanctimonious way Fortner described the terrible event as if he had nothing to do with its commission.

 

"I figured that you oughta know about it.  You see, some of the boys think that maybe Potee had something to do with it.  The last we saw of his missus, they were yellin' at each other, right here in the Star Dust.  She lit outta here like her hair was on fire, and he was so drunk he could hardly sit upright at the card table.  So, I've done my civic duty by callin' you in on it."

 

"Yes, as acting County Sheriff it would fall to me to investigate." Card table, and drunk as a lord? Now why would he be at the card table? So they were at each other in here, were they?"

 

Again, the sneaky bar-owner was making himself sound like some kind of a saint! Arabella was too scared of Fortner, Priest and his cronies to say anything, though: she just hoped Jesus would forgive her for her pusillanimous behaviour. 

 

"A terrible business," intoned Priest, gravely.

 

"Yes sir, it is, now there's an orphan to be concerned about." Speed pointed out. "On top of everything else the child has no family, no parents, and, no home."

 

Arabella reached the bar with the empties at this point and put them on a tray to take out back to the kitchen to wash. Listening to that old rattlesnake priest join in this chorus of hypocrisy was almost too much to bear: her own silence on the matter made her feel as dirty and unclean as the glasses. 

 

"Thanks Arabella for coming to fetch me." He called to her, then, "I'll be riding out to the Poteets, to have a look around. Did you say you brought the body in for Mister Jolly?"

@Preston@Javia@Wayfarer

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

"I figured that you oughta know about it.  You see, some of the boys think that maybe Potee had something to do with it.  The last we saw of his missus, they were yellin' at each other, right here in the Star Dust.  She lit outta here like her hair was on fire, and he was so drunk he could hardly sit upright at the card table.  So, I've done my civic duty by callin' you in on it."

 

"Yes, as acting County Sheriff it would fall to me to investigate." Card table, and drunk as a lord? Now why would he be at the card table? So they were at each other in here, were they?"

 

Again, the sneaky bar-owner was making himself sound like some kind of a saint! Arabella was too scared of Fortner, Priest and his cronies to say anything, though: she just hoped Jesus would forgive her for her pusillanimous behavior. 

 

"They certainly WERE at each other.  All the patrons heard  'em,"  Fortner insisted.  "From what I understand, Horace Potee was betting all his spring planting money in hopes of growing it bigger.  And she, being a good Christian woman, was trying like Hell to pull him away from the table.  Finally he ordered her out the saloon, and she went."

 

"A terrible business," intoned Priest, gravely.

 

"Yes sir, it is, now there's an orphan to be concerned about." Speed pointed out. "On top of everything else the child has no family, no parents, and, no home."

 

Arabella reached the bar with the empties at this point and put them on a tray to take out back to the kitchen to wash. Listening to that old rattlesnake priest join in this chorus of hypocrisy was almost too much to bear: her own silence on the matter made her feel as dirty and unclean as the glasses. 

 

"Thanks Arabella for coming to fetch me." He called to her, then, "I'll be riding out to the Poteets, to have a look around. Did you say you brought the body in for Mister Jolly?"

 

Share this post


Link to post

"Yes sir, it is, now there's an orphan to be concerned about." Speed pointed out. "On top of everything else the child has no family, no parents, and, no home."

 

Arabella frowned and was about to shout her mouth off about well, Mr Potee ain't dead yet, even if he is ruined but didn't want to draw the attention of Fortner or Priest, so for once kept her trap shut and just wondered about what the Marshall had said. Maybe he thought having a penniless idiot like Horace Potee for a father was as good as having no father at all. What would happen to little Abigail now, she wondered.

 

"Thanks Arabella for coming to fetch me." He called to her, then, "I'll be riding out to the Poteets, to have a look around. Did you say you brought the body in for Mister Jolly?"

 

Arabella gave Mr Guyer a genuine smile of gratitude, he had handled things beautifully, in not getting her in deep doo-doo with Fortner, and she was truly grateful for that. She wasn't sure if that last question was aimed at her or Fortner, but he offered a sensible "D'you want me to go find out?" 

 

She had helped out at the funeral parlour before, when it came to washing and dressing girls who had died and had no female relatives to do the duty for them, Mr Jolly was careful not to do such things himself for fear of evil report. Mr Jolly would let her know what was happening on that front.

 

@Preston @Flip

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

At the very moment when Franklin Fortner and Marshall Guyer were in discussions, some of the men, dispatched from the Star Dust, arrived at the Potee homestead.  They came upon Horace who was curled up in prenatal position in front of the cabin steps.  The door was opened to the cabin's interior where the slowly twisting figure of Mrs. Potee hung. 

 

Within thirty minutes, the men had cut down the tragic figure of Maude Potee and loaded her on a buckboard.  Rigor mortis had set in, and she was difficult to lay flat properly.  When Horace finally had the strength to stand up, he staggered over the buckboard and saw Maude scornfully glaring at him.  The men covered her up, but it was a vision that would never leave him.  So, in the months and years ahead, whenever he thought of Maude, which was often, he always saw her stare of condemnation. 

 

Mounted, and ready to leave for town with the corpse, one of the men slapped the ass of the mare pulling the wagon. 

 

***********************************************************************************************************

 

Fortner slapped the empty whiskey glass on the bar and asked Guyer if there was anything else he needed to know.

 

"I've got a business to run, so if we could wrap this up, I'd be obliged."

 

 

  • Wow! 1
  • Made Me Cry! 1

Share this post


Link to post

"No sir, I believe that will do. Just part of the job Mister Fortner, thanks for your time." Speed said with a smile. "If I should need anything else, I'll stop in. You boys have a good day." He nodded and started for the doorway smiling at Arabella and touching the brim of his hat.

 

Pushing through the bat wings he stepped out into the fading afternoon sunlight. His plan to ride to the ranch of the Poteet's would have to wait, A though ran though his head, why would a family man be in the saloon drinking and playing cards? And what were the stakes, though the question answered itself.

 

Why would anyone want the land the the farm sat on? Well, there was an answer to that question as well. It was his business to know about mineral discoveries, and such a discovery by the unscrupulous might well lead to any number criminal intentions.

@Javia@Preston

 

  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post

After the Marshall left, things at the Star Dust quieted down a bit.  It was a good opportunity for Hiram Priest to make his way to the bar.

 

"Think the Marshall will be any trouble?" Priest whispered in Fortner's ear once Hannaberry left.

 

"I don't know.  Seems like he won't make a big case out of it.  Potee is small potatoes; not worth anyone's time.  But who the Hell would have figured his missus would have stretched her own neck?  That's a complication we could have done without."

 

Hiram tugged at his chin.  "We can't move too fast on the *you-know-what* or it'll raise suspicions for sure," the wily Priest added.

 

Fortner nodded in agreement, then added, "In a couple of weeks we'll send one of our agents to Cheyenne to engage a mining engineer to give us an idea of what it'll cost to get an operation off the ground."

 

Priest rolled some chaw from one cheek to another.  "Yep" he finally said.

 

"So where the Hell is Arabella?" Fortner asked.  "She is one pain in the ass.  I need to talk to her."

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

"So where the Hell is Arabella?" Fortner asked.  "She is one pain in the ass.  I need to talk to her."

 

Speak of the Devil, the girl from the mountains came back in right then, having been to Jolly's. She wanted to avoid Fortner and Priest if possible, but she needed to report in about Mrs Potee. She approached the pair with a disingenuous smile.

 

"Howdy Mr F." she said, feigning a familiar affection for the snake. "I just been over to Jolly's, him and the boy Raymond were just setting off with their little cart. He asked if I can please go over there tonight and help wash and dress poor Mrs Potee." she asked on the undertaker's behalf. "Seein' as she ain't got no kinfolks what's ladies round here." Normally a female relative would do that task. 

 

Tomorrow, Arabella would make her escape from Fortner's clutches. She would move in with Bridget. She would start work regular for Jolly and she and Miriam could really start saving for New York. But for now, she had to act like everything was normal.

 

@Preston

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Speak of the Devil, the girl from the mountains came back in right then, having been to Jolly's. She wanted to avoid Fortner and Priest if possible, but she needed to report in about Mrs Potee. She approached the pair with a disingenuous smile.

 

When Priest saw her heading their way, he said headed back to his table and his cards.

 

Fortner faced her, his hands clasping his coat lapels.

 

"Howdy Mr F." she said, feigning a familiar affection for the snake. "I just been over to Jolly's, him and the boy Raymond were just setting off with their little cart. He asked if I can please go over there tonight and help wash and dress poor Mrs Potee." she asked on the undertaker's behalf. "Seein' as she ain't got no kinfolks what's ladies round here." Normally a female relative would do that task. 

 

"Look it," Fortner said icily.  "I don't much give a damn what you do with that hag.  I've got a business to run and you've been throwing wrenches in the works all day.  Now I don't know what you saw or what you THINK you saw, but that stupid sodbuster got so drunk he drove his hag to the grave and then he lost his homestead."

 

He turned and bolted back the remainder of his whiskey and continued.

 

"I've been nothing but nice to you.  I've let you have the run of the place.  Hell!  You did whatever you wanted;  played the piano, sang, worked in the kitchen, whatever you did you didn't have anyone on  your back about it.  Hiram over there tells me you've been spinning tales and suppositions about what went on here today, and Mr. F don't like it."

 

 

  • Wow! 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Arabella told Mr Fortner about Jolly's request to help with Mrs Potee's mortal remains, but her heart thumped in her chest and her palms sweated as he rounded on her. 

 

"Look" Fortner said icily.  "I don't much give a damn what you do with that hag.  I've got a business to run and you've been throwing wrenches in the works all day.  Now I don't know what you saw or what you THINK you saw, but that stupid sodbuster got so drunk he drove his hag to the grave and then he lost his homestead."

 

"Yeah, sure, I know!" she stammered, inadvertently stepping back.

 

He turned and bolted back the remainder of his whiskey and continued.

 

"I've been nothing but nice to you.  I've let you have the run of the place.  Hell!  You did whatever you wanted;  played the piano, sang, worked in the kitchen, whatever you did you didn't have anyone on  your back about it.  Hiram over there tells me you've been spinning tales and suppositions about what went on here today, and Mr. F don't like it."

 

She shot Priest a glance, he had the look of a satisfied snake on his ugly old face, one that had a big lump in its body where it had just swallowed a poor helpless prairie dog whole. She felt frightened half to death, but the inner actress in her somehow managed to pull it together and carry on in role. She plastered an apologetic smile on her face even though her legs felt wobblily below her. 

 

"I'm sorry, Mr. F., you're right. Everyone knows what a silly pain in the you-know-where I am. I'm a awful liability to you workin' here.  I bet you'll be glad to see the back of me when I move out, tomorrow. Oooh, you did remember what Mrs Devereau said about me leavin' soon didn't you?" she asked, disingenuously. "I mean, I hope she told you. I'm going to work at Mr Jolly's permanent like, Mrs Devereau just wanted me to come back and play the pianna fer Caroline in the evenings. And I can't spread no stupid rumours when I'm doin' that. Oh, I'm awful sorry for making those things up about Mr Potee, probably just trying to get attention for myself, you know what us silly little girls is like." she simpered, wondering if she was overdoing it a little. 

 

"I hope you forgive me. And I'll never do it again." she finished, looking close to tears and wringing her hands. She though that was a nice touch, wringing her hands, though she'd rather be wringing his neck. 

 

@Preston

 

[OOC: It's kinda established that she leaves the next day, so I hope Fortner doesn't lock her in the cellar!]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
  • Wow! 1

Share this post


Link to post

Franklin was unmoved by his employee's apology.  Far too much planning, law breaking and luck had gotten him and Priest this close to success to have a chatterbox split tail ruin it for them now.
 

It was news to him that she was planning on working for the Undertaker, but he was glad.  It saved him having to fire her and come off looking like a villain. 

 

"I hope you forgive me. And I'll never do it again." she finished, looking close to tears and wringing her hands. She though that was a nice touch, wringing her hands, though she'd rather be wringing his neck.

 

"Just make sure you don't, he warned.

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

That night, up in his office, Fortner and Hiram Priest were in close discussion about what their next steps would be.

 

They came to a decision that neither of them could be seen as swooping in and finding the vein of gold.  It would sure as Hell raise suspicions about the origins of their good luck.

 

What they would do is form a Company as silent owners/partners.  It would be the Montana Mining and Timber Consortium.  They would sign up some people as investors, but the two conspirators would own all shares of stock, 50-50. 

 

"If we get some decent townsfolk in on it, they would appreciate the dividends if we hit a lode," Priest conjectured, as though there was any question that they'd hit a lode.

 

"Who can we get to be the salesman?  We can't be seen as having a hand in it," Fortner asked. 

 

Priest rubbed his chin before stuffing more tobacco in his cheeks.  "We can get Addison Whitworth," he concluded once he could talk.  "He's the perfect salesman, Franklin."

 

 It had been a long day.  Priest went out the back to head to his hotel room, and Franklin headed back downstairs to finish things up.

 

The place was deserted, it being 1 a.m..   Only Ralph was there, behind the counter, tidying things up.  So, Franklin went over and leaned heavily on it.

 

"Ralph.  Why don't we have a nightcap?  Break out the good stuff."

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

"I hope you forgive me. And I'll never do it again." she finished, looking close to tears and wringing her hands. She though that was a nice touch, wringing her hands, though she'd rather be wringing his neck.

 

"Just make sure you don't" he warned.

 

"Yes Sir, Mr. Fortner." she nodded obediently, and scuttled away: picking up some empty beer glasses as an excuse to go and wash them in the kitchen and hide away from the threatening owner of the saloon and his cronies.

 

It was entirely possible that Fortner was fooling her, of course, she would put nothing past that man. But she took comfort in the old adage: you can't kid a kidder. 

 

Once she felt safe from him, busily washing up the glasses to Mr. Flandry's exacting standards, she had to face a new enemy: her own conscience. She was escaping, but leaving the other three in the lurch. Ralph and Cookie were big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves, she told herself. But Caroline? Caroline bothered her. Arabella told herself that by establishing an escape route to the outside world for the singer if she should need it, she was doing her a favour. But in reality, she knew the truth, and the truth was that she was running away and deserting her friend on the battlefield of life.  

 

A thousand lines of conversation ran through her head "Caroline'll be all right, she's tough!" "She wouldn't wanna leave here anyway!" "Hey, I'm coming back to play the pianna for her, I'm not really desertin' her!" Who was she talking to? Jesus? Herself? Some imagined accuser in the days to come? Probably all of them. She would have to tell Caroline tonight, get it off her chest, or she would never sleep.

 

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

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.

Connect With Us On

discord_white

If you would like to join the Sagas' Discord server or are already a member, click the image to open the Discord web application.

Site Credits

Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

Sagas' Rating

sagas-rating

×
×
  • Create New...