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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

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Everything posted by Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

  1. I don’t think so, but she provably wouldn’t care if she did...
  2. Oregon. The Oregon Trail route goes up the canyon past my house. I asked my lovely bride if she wanted to go to Iowa for Memorial Day weekend and was met with a somewhat less than enthusiastic response...
  3. And that, loyal readers, is the original story of the town and people of Firelands as told by a variety of folks over a long space of time both modern and old. I hope that you have enjoyed our small efforts in presenting a town and a group of people who have been, and continue to be, near and dear to our hearts. Thanks for sharing your time with us.
  4. Linn Keller 1-25-14 The Sheriff's son waited patiently as his father's pen moved methodically across good rag paper. A newspaper, folded and forgotten, lay on a chair against the front wall; bold headlines screamed of war, the date was 1914, but neither man had any care for the state of the world. The ache each man felt was too fresh. Final entries had to be made before the book was closed, he knew; work was yet to be done, the young deputy knew, and he was standing ready to do the work, but he ached ... a deep, a bone-deep ache, far worse than any physical exertion. The Sh
  5. Linn Keller 1-4-14 The mare glowed a bright copper in the long rays of the early Colorado dawn. It was cold and the mare's breath steamed out in great gusting plumes; her hooves whispered as they crushed frost-brittle grasses, the cold saddle leather squeaked a little as it always did; her black bridle and the hand-chased roses graven into the bridle's silver furniture were perfect accents to the dancing mare's healthy pelt. She'd bucked herself out, giving the Sheriff a good wringing-out -- along with her spine -- and now, after shaking herself, she stepped out with a smooth a
  6. Linn Keller 1-1-14 Given enough snow, the stage could be slowed or stopped; it took considerably more snow to stop the Iron Horse, unless it built up and began to avalanche. The Lady Esther was having little if any difficulty getting through the drifts; she came huffing easily into station, blowing pure-white clouds of condensation into the cold winter air. It is an unfortunate reality that bad men as well as good avail themselves of transportation, and so it was today: two men with ill intent, knowing the train's schedule, disembarked and made their way to the Silver Jewel. Ja
  7. Linn Keller 1-1-14 Jacob looked across the table at his bride and said, "Dear heart, I am so glad for your cookin'!" Annette was finally set down; she had an infant under her shawl, slung and nursing, and was finally able to turn her attention to her eggs: she looked up at Jacob and admitted, "I don't know whether to thank you or throw my plate at you." Jacob laughed. His wife had an armful of fussy infant; rather than set down and expect his woman to wait on him, he and Joseph fired the stove, laid the table, sliced up bacon, fried the eggs, even warmed sliced bread before t
  8. Linn Keller 12-31-13 Jacob stood bareheaded at the grave. It was night; it was dark; snow was thick underfoot and coming down hard, as was common this time of year. He looked around, nodded. "Snowing cross legged," he murmured. "Going to snow deep." He looked down at his mother's grave. "You taught me that." He swallowed hard, breathing against the tightness in his chest. "You taught me much," he whispered. "I miss you, Mother." Jacob blinked against the sting in his eyes, harrumphed and wiped his hand impatiently through his thick hair. "I'll take your leave now,
  9. Linn Keller 12-29-13 The twelve-string guitar filled the room with a rich melody; it was a larger-bodied guitar and sang a deeper note, a richer harmony; the guitar's player was skilled and had a good repertoire. An attractively dressed young woman sat in the back of the room, in the corner, beside a tall, well-dressed man with an iron-grey mustache: they were obviously a couple, though there was no overt sign of affection between them. The man drank coffee, in volumes enough to keep the Daisy's girl coming back with a steaming coffeepot to keep his mug filled; the younger woma
  10. Linn Keller 12-29-13 Bonnie smiled as she read the hand-written note: If it is not inconvenient, I will call today at one o'clock. I have need of your advice. Sarah There was no need to make a reply; it would indeed be convenient, or at least, not inconvenient. Bonnie considered her day's tasks, rearranged her mental schedule: it would be rather pleasant to have her daughter visit. Brother William broke the seal on his own note: he recognized the handwriting, smiling as he remembered the night not long ago when their great pipe organ sang with a power and a majesty he'd
  11. Linn Keller 12-26-13 It seems almost ... like a wild vacation, Sarah thought, staring up at the ceiling. A wild vacation. Something temporary. Glorious, happy ... and gone. She lay still in her bed, the woman of the house, the matron, the widow, Queen of her domain: she smelled breakfast, she heard the domestic sounds of her maid, she waited one moment more, then threw back her covers and sat up. I need to write to Brother William. "Sean," the Sheriff grinned, shaking the big Chieftain's hand, "how many young'uns do you have now?" Sean looked at the half-dozen swarming a
  12. Linn Keller 12-25-13 Sarah adjusted her hat and nodded at herself in the mirror. She and her maid drove to their whitewashed church and joined the community for Christmas Day service. Sarah wore her emerald wedding gown; she had holly, bright green and festive, on her shoulder and on her hat -- a jarring note to those prudish souls who believed it proper to remain in mourning black for a full year. Sarah, quite frankly, did not give a good damn for their opinion. She spoke pleasantly to every one of those she knew to be nay-sayers, she went out of her way to speak kindly to
  13. Linn Keller 12-23-13 "They're all asleep," the maid whispered, smiling to see Sarah with her father. "Good," Linn whispered back, hanging his hat on its peg and relieving Sarah of his coat, wrapped around her shoulders. He'd made do with the blanket for the ride home. "Anything left from supper?" The maid laid her knuckles gently on Sarah's reddened cheek and then patted her hand reassuringly. "Sheriff," she scolded gently, "the poor thing's freezing! If there wasn't something hot I would certainly make something!" "Oh, bless you," Sarah said in a small voice. As the Sh
  14. Linn Keller 12-21-13 The Sheriff waited beside a rock. He sat on a folded blanket, another around him; he wore a coat, he was out of the wind, nothing could come at him from behind, and he waited. "I could kill you," the voice said, quietly but distinctly, and he smiled. "If you wanted me dead I would be already." Sarah laughed. "Be a dear and help me down." The Sheriff smiled, stood; he let the blanket fall, reached up and caught Sarah as she jumped. She'd stood immediately above him: had she wanted, a head-sized rock, dropped straight down, could have crushed his sk
  15. Linn Keller 12-19-13 The young woman -- barely that, more a girl -- trembled in the back of the sanctuary, trying to hide in the rearmost pew. She'd never been in a Catholic church in her life, but she was cold and scared and hungry, and she'd heard the music compelling, powerful, sorrowing and joyful at the same time: the doors, thank God, were not locked, and she slipped in out of the cold, collapsing on the polished wood bench. She crossed her forearms on the pew in front of her and leaned her forehead against her thin-sleeved arms, her own grief dampening her sleeves; she w
  16. Linn Keller 12-18-13 I dreamed of horses last night. The words gleamed, black and wet, on the journal's page. I dreamed I rode Cannonball and she flew across a gully wider'n ought to be. I dreamed she snapped out a set of wings right after she gathered and jumped and I dreamed I rode her and thought not a thing unusual of it. I woke then, and the room was still, then I heard the sound of wings and something brushed my cheek. The Sheriff considered the words he'd written, remembering, and his eyes stung again, and this time he did not try to stop them. Water ran down his che
  17. Linn Keller 12-18-13 "I am obliged to you for that elk meat," Linn said quietly. Supper was livened by Angela; in an age where children were seen and not heard, she was both: although excited by the company of her favorite uncle, she was not obnoxious, and after her initial rushing flood of enthusiastic greeting, she listened -- surprisingly well -- and listened closely, frowning on occasion and looking at her Daddy with unspoken questions, which -- again, surprisingly -- she held. "I reckon you can use it." "Yep," Linn nodded, smiling slowly, his eyes looking at Angela and t
  18. Classic Cowboy is the absolutely best category in SASS! I wish this was a little closer to home. If it was I'd be all over it. Because, after all, Classic Cowboys exist because even gunfighters need heroes!
  19. Charlie MacNeil 12-17-13 An almost full moon, a high overcast and snow on the ground can be almost as good as daylight for lighting a weary traveler's way. Full dark, such as it was, had descended some time since, but Charlie decided to push on into town. He figured that putting the horses up in Shorty's barn, and himself in a comfortable bed in a room at the Silver Jewel was much preferable to bedding down in a snowbank and pasturing his horses on grain and spruce needles. But before any of them could settle in for the night he had a stop or two to make. As usual, the prairie t
  20. Charlie MacNeil 12-14-13 Breath steaming in the predawn air, the horse herd cantered into the feed ground, capering with pent-up energy brought on by the singing of their blood and their strength. The strength of the young, the strength the mineral-rich prairie hay imparted to young and old alike. Charlie had already forked the day's rations out onto the hoof-packed snow of the feed yard before he opened the gate, and he stood now, elbows crossed on a gate post, smiling a little at the sight. Charlie reached down for the bucket of rolled oats at his feet, the papery discs rustli
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