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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

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About Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

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  • Birthday 07/18/1957

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    Express Ranch, Oregon Territory
  • Interests
    Hunting, shooting, and writing novels. Co-honcho of the Virtue Flat Shootist Society, Baker City, Oregon. I also shoot with my good pards at the Oregon Trail Regulators, La Grande, OR.

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  1. Lady Leigh 5-16-09 Levi was walking toward the Merchantile as he saw Bill and Mac sitting in their usual summer time spot sitting on opposite sides of a pickle barrel with a checker board set between them. He walked up the steps and sat himself into a chair beside Bill. Walking toward them was Bonnie pushing a pram that was originally huge when he first saw it when the girls were but tiny little things. Now the pram holding Polly and Opal dwarfed in size with the girls now being toddlers. Levi chuckled as Polly was half in and half out, while Bonnie was trying to quietly instruct the child to stay put. Levi couldn't help but think that little gal was going to grow up with the same temperment as her Mother. Finally situating, a now pouting two year old, Bonnie continued on to where Levi assumed the destination would be the Silver Jewel. As she walked by, Levi stood and removed his hat attempting to make a greeting. Bonnie never slowed, except the scathing face expression she threw his way. "Looks to me, Levi, Bonnie is still holding a grudge?" Bill remarked. Levi replaced the hat back on his head and resumed his seat next to Bill. "That face expression I just got would indicate so .... funny how my jaw still hurts whenever I see it though." Bill placed the checker in it's spot and chuckled at Max's audible grunt, then looked at Levi, "Excuse me?" "Bonnie was probably around the age of twelve. She, my brothers David, Caleb and myself, along with some other children in the area were playing baseball. Don't let that dignified looking woman all trussed up in a respectable looking ensemble fool you! She could bat like no ones business!" Levi laughed his rich baratone laugh and continued. "One day I was teasing Caleb that she was a better ball player than he was. I half expected Caleb to throw a punch. The punch came, but not from Caleb .... it came from Bonnie ... along with a tounue lashing that I am hard pressed to forget." With that, Levi stood, rubbing the jaw that was the obvious spot of rememberence, bid Bill and Mac a good day and went into the Merchantile laughing and bidding Maude good morning.
  2. Linn Keller 5-16-09 The Irish Brigade had washed and hung hose in the hose tower to dry, loading fresh, dry hose line from the ready rack. They tended their "Masheen" and reloaded her bunker with coal; they polished and scrubbed and cleaned her up again. They tended the mares, curried them down and grained them, whispered secrets to them, that they were fine ladies and beautiful and they were so very proud of them. They tossed their dirty red shirts and other laundry into a pile and laid out clean, and they got themselves clean last of all: finally they stomped their way to the Jewel, reveling in the feel of clean dry socks and dry boots. Not a man among them minded a bit that it was raining a bit, just a bit, and they smiled as they ducked into the Jewel, for it started raining more. It was a local shower but a good one. They'd beaten the fire, worked the fire line, stopped it with fire breaks and water, and then advanced on the enemy. The wind had helped, blowing the fire back on itself, starving it for fuel. The embers and tufts of burning stuff that carried into town met with wet roofs and wet walls, and died before they could do aught more than sizzle in frustration. Shorty rubbed liniment on his back and shoulders, as best he could. He'd plied his Hungarian scythe stroke for stroke with Jacob and now paid the price for trying to keep up with a younger man. Back in the parsonage, Mrs. Belden applied liniment to the Parson, her own comments locked in her throat as the Parson spoke them for her, observing quietly that he was foolish to try and keep up with a man who was as young as he wanted to think he still was. The brief rain finished the job they'd started. By morning, fresh green would be shoving up through scorched black. The Irish Brigade, having eaten well of Daisy's good cooking, dawdled over their beer. Sean offered no protest. If anyone had earned it, he thought, they had! -- besides, it felt good to sit here, listening to the sharp ruffle of cards being shuffled, the spinning hiss of the roulette wheel, shouts of triumph and groans of defeat as the pasteboards turned over to reveal riches or ruin. Finally, full and relaxed, the Irish Brigade headed back to the firehouse. They laid down in their bunks and deep into the night smiled, for they heard more rain pattering on their roof.
  3. Linn Keller 5-16-09 Dawg rumbled companionbly, deep in his chest, and Jacob fearlessly ruffled the scarred ears. "Good boy," he murmured. Dawg turned his head a little, muttering as Jacob reached a particularly vexing itch that had been deviling him all night. "You'll give me a week to stop that, I suppose," Jacob chuckled. "Daddy's in the hop-sickle," Angela piped, bouncing a little on her toes, and Jacob blinked. That's why you're out here, he thought, frowning. "How come for why cause he in the hopsickle?" Jacob asked, teasing her with her own special language. "'Cause Joseph gets noisy an' Daddy needed a good night's rest," Angela assured him, her eyes big and solemn, curls bobbing as she nodded with the certainty of her information. Jacob smelled a lie. A well-intentioned lie, told by an adult to keep a little girl from being afraid, but a lie nonetheless. "If Daddy is asleep, why are you headed that-a-way?" Angela's bottom lip hung out a little. "I miss Daddy," she said. "He didn't tickle me with his muts-tash." Jacob chuckled. He remembered how Angela giggled when her Daddy tickled her nose with his muts-tash as he kissed her good night. "Tell you what, Princess," Jacob said, his hands on her waist. "Why don't you ride Apple-horse, and we'll get you back to bed, and we'll let Daddy sleep, what say?" "Will you tuck me in, Jacob?" Angela asked almost sadly. "I'll tuck you in," Jacob nodded. Angela reached one little finger up, traced Jacob's upper lip. "You could wear a muts-tash," she said, eyes big and dark in the moonlight. Jacob's eyes narrowed a little at the corners as he smiled. Annette had suggested the very same thing. Jacob took Angela under the arms. "Ready up?" he asked, tucking his butt and hoisting. "Up you go!" Angela giggled, one finger to her mouth the way she always did, and Jacob sailed her high overhead and down onto the worn smoothness of his saddle. "Hold tight," Jacob said, and Angela leaned back, grabbing the leather behind her. Jacob kissed to Apple-horse and gathered his reins. Apple-horse blew and followed. Dawg flowed through the darkness until they came to the Jewel, where Dawg disappeared into the shadow once again. It wasn't far to the Sheriff's house. The night was warm; clouds were moving in, just covering the moon. Jacob tilted his head back, sniffed. Rain tonight, he thought, and he was right.
  4. Linn Keller 5-15-09 Jacob ached. Jacob had been riding most of the night. He'd been out in the county chasing rustlers; he'd caught them, but not before they crossed the county line and ran head-on into the adjacent county's posse. It didn't matter that the oncoming posse was after someone else; they wanted Jacob's quarry worse, and after examining their warrants, Jacob agreed that they had the better claim, and surrendered his claim on the pair. He'd ridden back and rounded up the purloined beeves, chivvying them back toward their origin; he'd nearly come to a misunderstanding with the rancher's foreman, at least until the foreman realized his hand was halfway to his Colt and Jacob's had not only reached his, but had it out of the holster, cocked and steady on the foreman's more valued parts. After this meeting of the minds, Jacob turned his lapel back and identified himself as a deputy Sheriff, and gave the Foreman to understand that the rustlers were on their way to the next county seat over, where they would be hanged on murder warrants. The foreman could always take a picnic lunch and go watch, Jacob suggested mildly. The foreman declined and returned to his own estancia, hopefully the wiser for surviving what came close to being a fatal encounter with his own stupidity. Now Jacob wished for nothing more than a few more miles behind him, and his own bunk to sleep in. The ground made a poor mattress at best. Jacob's line of march took him through Firelands, and he saw something light and irregular in the night-shadowed street. He rode closer, curious. "Jacob!" a familiar child's voice called, high and sweet, and Jacob could not help but grin as he reined his Apple-horse to a stop and swung down to embrace his little sister, all thought of aches and pains forgotten.
  5. Linn Keller 5-15-09 Angela strutted down the empty street like she owned the whole town, fearless as only a child can be, confident that what she was doing was right, with no thought for any consequence of her actions. She passed the Silver Jewel, tiring a little, and considered briefly sitting on the steps that went up to the board walk, but decided no, they were dusty and she did not want to get dirty-prints on her nightie. She pressed on. Once or twice Angela stopped, puzzled; she thought she heard something ... she wasn't quite sure what, only that it was ... unusual. She turned back toward the hospital. She could see it from where she stood, gleaming not far ahead, past the school house and the church and back off to the right, almost across from the firehouse where Sean and his Irishmen kept that shiny engine and the pretty white horsies, and Sean came driving his shiny engine out swinging that whip and singing songs that nobody could understand. Angela giggled. Something cold nosed her hand and she jerked it back, then giggled again. Wrapping her arms around Dawg's neck, she laid her cheek against Dawg's broad, flat skull and said "Hello, Dawg!" Dawg's stub tail signaled happiness. "Will you help me find my Daddy?" Dawg indicated agreement. "I think he's down here." Angela laid a little pink hand on Dawg's jet-black nape, and together the two completed their journey.
  6. Linn Keller 5-15-09 "An' bless Bup 'cause he didn't have no piddles in the house, an' bless Uncle Charlie 'cause he's gonna raise horsies an' he might let me ride one, A-men!" Angela finished, leaping from her knees into the turned-down bed, curling up half-under the covers. Esther tilted her head and smiled, drawing the covers up to her little girl's chin. "Mommy?" "Yes, Sweets?" "When is Daddy coming home?" "Soon," Esther said, caressing Angela's fine, curly hair. "Uncle Charlie said he's a tough old bird," Angela blinked, then frowned. "Daddy isn't a bird!" Esther laughed. "Oh, I don't know. Sometimes he's a silly goose." "We used to have gooses back in Kentucky," Angela said with a delighted smile. "Mommy, I remember the gooses!" "That's wonderful, dear," Esther smiled, sitting on the bed, the breath catching in her throat. First her husband, now their little girl's memory might be returning. I might not be getting much sleep tonight, Esther thought. Angela drifted quickly to sleep, but woke through the night when Michelle rose to tend a fussy Joseph: she knew Michelle would change Joseph and bathe him again, and then give him to Mommy to Mommy-cuddle, which Angela never got to watch. It was a secret, she'd been told, and she would understand some day. Angela's eyes wandered across the ceiling, chasing the thoughts that filled her quick young mind. She knew something was wrong with her Daddy. She didn't know exactly what, but she knew it was something. Angela remembered her Daddy's hands, big and strong as he held her, and picked her up, and how he rumbled when he held her cuddly-close and laughed, and his mustache tickled her nose. Angela missed her Daddy. Michelle was in Mommy's room. They wouldn't know if she slipped quiet-like out the back door. Angela knew the way to the hospital, 'cause that's where Uncle Charlie said Daddy was. Even if Uncle Charlie called him a tough old bird. Angela giggled a little. Daddy was really warm and cuddly and he wasn't tough at all! Angela slipped out of bed and into her slippers, and walked very carefully down the stairs, and past Daddy's study, and through the dining room and the kitchen and she slipped the latch back on the back door. The night air was cool but she was wearing a nice warm flannel nightie and besides, it wasn't too cool, and there was moonlight to see by. Bup wasn't on the back porch, but that was all right. Angela didn't want to have to chase him, 'cause Bup got excited and ran around and yapped a lot, and she didn't want to worry Mommy. Angela did not see the shadow that detatched itself from the darkness under the boardwalk, that began to follow her, silently, stealthily, flowing like liquid from one patch of darkness to another.
  7. Linn Keller 5-15-09 I heard the Lake breathe, the way it did at night, waves caressing the beach, restless. The Sweet Sea, the Erie called it, home of the Seiche, the great lake-monster that stirred storms with its tail ... I heard a little girl's giggle and saw a pair of dancing blue eyes, and felt a child's warmth in my arms. The child grew hot, disappeared, vapor, gone ... "No," the Sheriff groaned. Nurse Susan's head came up. She turned up the Aladdin lamp, stood. The Sheriff's eyes were still closed, his breathing slow but regular. A quick check of his pulses, a gentle caress where the backs of her fingers rested on his cheek, his forehead; she nodded, satisfied, then noted the reddish tinge to the water seal jar. "No worse than it was," she whispered. Unlike most nurses of the age, she was neither given to selling what was known in the vernacular as "Horizontal Refreshment," nor was she the glorified housekeeper most nurses of the age were: no, she had served in a real hospital back East, and had her definite notions of the nurse's responsibilities. She placed the cone of her stethoscope on the Sheriff's chest, just below the collar bone, then the other; a little lower, then the other side: she compared a good, uninjured lung with the newly-inflated lung, satisfying herself the lung sounds were unchanged from an hour before. Satisfied, she turned the lamp down a little, and settled herself back into her chair.
  8. Linn Keller 5-15-09 Dr. Flint absented himself about five minutes from the surgery: when he came back, he washed something bloody in a pan of water and applied it to the circular area he'd neatly sliced from the Sheriff's back. Dr. Greenles watched as the Navajo stitched the fresh liver in place. "Deer liver works better," Dr. Flint explained. "Chicken liver is second best and closer." "I see." "Tobacco works almost as well as the first two, but neither of us chew." "I'm sure we could have gotten a volunteer cud quickly enough." Dr. Flint looked up at his partner. He reached down, pulled the liver free and held it up. It was no longer a healthy red. It was now a sickly yellow. "No, Doctor," he said. "Not quickly enough." He applied a second liver, stitched it in place.
  9. Linn Keller 5-15-09 Dr. Flint's strong hands had the Sheriff under his arms; Charlie had his legs, Dr. Greenlees had the doors. They laid the Sheriff on the table, quickly stripped him to the waist and rolled him onto the injured side. "Snakebite, you say?" Dr. Greenlees murmured, long thin fingers assessing the bloody back wound. He extended a hand and Nurse Susan had a wet sponge ready for him. Carefully, efficiently, Dr. Greenlees cleansed the injury, squinting a little. "Dr. Flint, could you take a look at this, please?" Dr. George Flint was busy at the Sheriff's front, exploring the obvious deformity lateral to the sternum. "A moment," he replied. "On his back." They scooted the Sheriff more to the center of the table, laid him down flat; Dr. Flint placed the heel of his hand over the deformity, his other hand atop the first, and pressed quickly, firmly. Charlie flinched and turned his head away at the sound of the rib being reduced. "Now back," and the physicians brought the injured man to his former position. Dr. Flint placed two fingers on the rib cage, thumped the backs of his fingers with the tips of index and middle fingers of the opposite hand. "Hyperresonance." "Trochar?" "Yes." Nurse Susan wheeled the tray over to the taller of the medicos. Dr. Greenlees sloshed a clear liquid over the injured area, wiped it with a clean cloth; fresh blood seeped from the caved-in wound. "Air escape?" "Not here." "I have the trochar, would you do the honors?" "Optimum location?" "Axillary line, third intercostal space." "Hold his arm." Charlie had a strong stomach, but he was not in the least ashamed to look away as Dr. Greenlees placed the sharp, tapered end of the hollow trochar against his friend's hide and shifted his grip, obviously ready to push it between the ribs. He heard the sound it made, and a hiss. "There, that's better. He should pink up in a moment." I should hope so, Charlie thought, looking back and swallowing hard. Nurse Susan appared from nowhere with a glass of something. Charlie tilted it up and took three long swallows. Well water, whiskey or kerosene, it would not have mattered, he needed a drink. It was neither well water nor kerosene. "The lung should reinflate on its own. We'll need to water seal now." "Hello," Dr. Flint said, and there was the sound of discovery in his voice. "Scalpel." A slap; the metal handle was smartly placed in his open palm. Dr. Flint made a precise incision, manipulated the flesh. "I found the snakebite." A pause. "We have envenomation. Exploratory excision is warranted." "I concur." Charlie saw the handle describe a quick circle; something round and bloody dropped wetly into an enamel pan. "Is the trochar fully inserted?" "It is." "I'll want to suture the flange." "Yes, Doctor." Nurse Susan steamed industriously toward a wall cupboard, reminding Charlie of a river tug accustomed to shoving bigger ships around. Dr. Flint bent and connected the woven-rubber tubing to an oddly shaped jar with pipes coming out the top, then to the stub end of the trochar sticking out of the Sheriff's ribs. Charlie saw it bubble as the Sheriff exhaled. "Much better," Dr. Greenlees said quietly, satisfaction in his voice. He placed the conical bell of his stethoscope back on the lawman's chest, moved it, listened again; he thumped here, thumped there, with the tips of bent fingers, and finally nodded with satisfaction. "His color is improving." Dr. Flint tied off the second trochar suture; Nurse Susan snipped the ends with a shining pair of the tiniest scissors Charlie had ever seen. The Marshal cleared his throat. "What should I tell Esther?" he hazarded. "Tell her," both doctors began, then they looked at one another and laughed. Dr. Flint looked at Charlie. "Tell her she is married to a tough old bird who's going to be just fine." Charlie opened the door and stepped into the coolness of the empty anteroom. "He'll be just fine," he muttered, shaking his head. "The man goes off a horse, busts a rib loose, busts a lung, lands on a rattle snake and gets bit and he's gonna be just fine!" He turned and looked at the closed door. "If that tough old bird don't quit scarin' me like that, I'm gonna smack him!"
  10. Charlie MacNeil 5-15-09 Charlie slung his injured friend's arm around his shoulder, and through sheer brute force (Damn! The man's heavier than he looks!) got him headed toward where Doc Greenlees waited on the hospital porch. Nurse Susan was holding the door open, looking as if she were about to spring into rapid and violent action. "He came off his horse, and landed on his back on a rattler," Charlie said curtly through clenched teeth as he steered the mostly unresponsive Sheriff toward the door. Doc turned immediately, throwing questions and orders every which way. "Get Room 1 ready!" This directed toward Nurse Susan. "Did the snake bite him?" Charlie was next in the line of fire. "I don't know, but there's blood on his back and a puncture just below his kidney!" Charlie declared. He dragged his charge toward the doorway Nurse Susan had vanished through. Through tight lips, he told Linn, "Hang on, brother! Hang on!" Linn's breathing caught for a moment, then steadied again. His head lolled on his neck and his movements were disjointed. They reached the examination room, and Doc helped Charlie roll the now unconscious Sheriff onto the table on his side. They stripped off the coat Charlie had wrapped him in. "Hold him steady!" Doc ordered as he quickly scrubbed his hands then hurried to the side of the table and began to exam the wound in Linn's back. "This ain't the time for rattlers," Charlie said, his words an obvious effort to take his mind off his friend's situation. "I would imagine the chinook brought them out," Doc answered without looking up from his examination. He stood upright, a grim look on his face. It looks like a bite, alright," he said soberly. "I'm afraid there's little I can do for it, other than keep him warm, and pray that his constitution is up to the task of fighting off the venom."
  11. Linn Keller 5-15-09 "Charlie?" "Yeah?" "Charlie, what was those shots I heard?" I didn't hear his reply. I dimly remember a hand like a vise, holding the shoulder of my coat for a ways, then we was in front of the hospital. It was hard to breathe. I was panting now and I felt sweat starting to pop out on my fore head. Dimly, distantly, an Irish sergeant's bellow: "Troop, DIIS-MOUNT!" I dismounted. I come near to draggin' the saddle off Hijo as had I not a death grip on the saddle horn I would have ended up in the dirt. My knees didn't have no strength a'tall. I smelt Charlie but could not hear him. I knew he was talking but it sounded like a tornado in my ears and it was hard to breathe. "Lung," I squeaked. "They got a lung." I recall taking a step up and seeing Doc in front of me.
  12. Linn Keller 5-15-09 "Oh bloody hell," I muttered, unbuttoning my red flannels down to the waist and reaching back to grab the cuff to pull my left arm out. "Holt still now," Charlie snapped, and I felt the color run out of my face. Something hurt like hell in my chest up next to my breast bone, something that was not happy with me reaching back like I did. I felt Charlie's hands peeling my arms out of my long handles, his finger tips running down my back. "Charlie, I think I got a rib out," I muttered, my own fingers exploring my ribs up front. Something was knotted up just inboard of my nipple that shouldn't be. "See if there's a bruise where I landed on a rock or somethin'." Charlie muttered something about hard headed contrary don't have no more sense than God give a goose or some such, and he eased me back into my coat. "You just point your Yankee nose towards town, we're seein' the doc!" "I ain't been a Yankee since I left that damned war," I muttered, gritting my teeth and grabbing the saddle horn with both hands. It took some effort to straighten. I blinked to clear my vision. I ain't hurt that bad for some time, I thought. Don't let anyone see you hurt,, a voice whispered. Charlie was beside me. I didn't even see him mount. "You gonna ride or do I drag you?" he snarled, and I pushed myself upright. It hurt too much to talk. Hell, it hurt to breathe! Hijo started out in that nice easy lope of his. I thought he was gonna beat me plumb to death.
  13. Charlie MacNeil 5-14-09 The sound of shots where none should have been brought Charlie from his examination of the flimsy sheet of paper in his hand with a jolt. He quickly threw a sharp glance the length of the street, looking for a saddled horse, preferably one whose owner was nearby. There! A cowboy from one of the nearby ranches, one who Charlie had met in a previous visit to Firelands, had just stepped down in front of Maude's store. Charlie went at a lope along the boardwalk, boot heels thundering on scarred lumber. "Harlan! I need your horse!" he called as he closed in on the long-legged buckskin and its owner. The cowboy recognized the voice, and, knowing the Marshal wouldn't ask without a good reason, tossed Charlie the reins. "I'll be in the Jewel when ya git back," the young man told Charlie as Charlie vaulted into the saddle. "Much obliged!" the Marshal called as he vaulted into the saddle and booted his borrowed mount in the flanks. The animal responded instantly, hindquarters tucking as it lit out like a scalded cat, going from a standstill to a ground-eating gallop in a heartbeat. Charlie's "YeeHaw!" echoed from the buildings of the street as he headed out of town. In the distance, Charlie could see Linn climbing back onto his golden stallion, the stiffness of his posture sounding a warning in Charlie's brain. He turned the buckskin's nose in Hijo's direction and clucked in the horse's ear, urging it to greater speed. The buckskin seemed to lower its belly to the grass as it hammered across the prairie. Linn's head came up at the sound of pounding hooves to see Charlie reining in a lanky buckskin. "Are you alright?" Charlie called as his mount's gait matched up with Linn's. "Yeah, just fell off my horse," Linn said sheepishly. Charlie stared at him incredulously. "You fell off your horse?" "He shied from a rattler, and I fell on the snake," Linn explained. "Are you bit?" "I don't think so," the Sheriff answered. "It just got my coat." "Where?" Charlie asked. Linn told him. "You'd best get that coat off, and let me take a look," Charlie said. "I don't feel anything back there," Linn protested. "Don't matter. We'd best check anyway." Reluctantly, the Sheriff reined in the big Palomino, and climbed down. He shucked his coat and pulled the tail of his shirt out of his belt. Charlie quickly examined the area indicated, and his heart seemed to freeze. "There's blood on your long handles!" he declared.
  14. Linn Keller 5-14-09 "Marshal!" a young voice hailed. Charlie stopped two steps short of the boardwalk, extended a hand. Lightning's boy is getting some size to him, Charlie thought as the tall, slender lad handed him a telegraph flimsy. "For the Sheriff," he blurted quickly, then hesitated, sticking out his hand. "It's good to see you again, sir!" he declared, his grip firm and quick, then turned and sprinted back for the telegraph office. Charlie's eyes crinkled up in the corners again, the way they did when something pleased him. He looked at the telegram, nodded and slipped it in his pocket. He'll be glad to get this, he thought. If I'm gonna borrow his stallion he'll need something to ride, and his Rose of the Mornin' is on her way back!
  15. Linn Keller 5-14-09 Esther's head came up, green eyes snapping, nostrils flared. Little Joseph, dining at his favorite topless restaurant, wiggled a little against his Mama's warmth. Esther smiled down at her son. "You're just like your father," she scolded gently, stroking her baby boy's fine hair with a slender forefinger. "He doesn't like to have his dinner interrupted, either." Esther blinked twice, quickly, wondering what had just happened.
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