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Calico Mary

Trouble Comes to Stone Creek

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Dawn was just breaking over the little town of Stone Creek and the surrounding community, the clouds in the east all turning various shades of pink, purple, and orange.  The night had been cool, but the coming spring day promised to be pleasant and warm.  Not many of the townsfolk were up yet to see the sun peeking above the horizon, but there were a couple of exceptions.  Down at the livery stable, DocWard was getting ready to feed the horses in his care.  There was no official station in Stone Creek, but he had an agreement with both Wells Fargo and Overland Mail companies to provide them with fresh horses whenever a stagecoach did pass through.  Next door at the blacksmith shop, Blackwater was busy starting a fire in his forge.  With planting season in full swing, there was always a steady stream of people needing something fixed, an early start to his day was a necessity.  A lamp was burning in the newspaper office as well, as owner/editor/writer/copy boy Hardpan Curmudgeon was getting that week’s edition ready for printing.  Not that there was much real news about their sleepy little town to be written about, but he did at least try to keep folks updated on any major news stories from back East, as well as filling the rest of the paper with local events and funny anecdotes.  Most folks weren’t too sure how much of Hardpan’s stories were to be believed, but they did make for good reading.

 

Calamity Kris’s combination dress shop and millinery, Grumpy Old Man’s butcher shop, and the general store owned by Sixgun Seamus and his wife Cayenne Kay wouldn’t open until at least 8:00.  Neither would the bank run by town mayor Prairie Dawg, although that title was more honorary than anything, the town basically ran itself for the most part.  Stone Creek did have its own lawyer, J Mark Flint, even though there wasn’t a whole lot of need for his legal services.  He made up for that by also handling the land office duties in the area for the government, as well as installing the town’s one and only telegraph.  Both Sheriff Tyrel Cody and the town’s doctor Okie Sawbones were available to anyone needing help 24 hours a day, but even they had to sleep sometime.  The saloon run by Whiskey Business was also technically open around the clock, but most of her customers didn’t start showing up until late afternoon.  Neither she nor her head barkeep Michigan Slim had seen such a pretty sunrise in over a year, and the saloon’s piano player Rye Miles only saw them if they occurred on Sundays when he pulled double duty helping out Preacher Linn Keller at church services.  The town’s schoolmarm, Lorelei Longshot, would not need to arrive at the schoolhouse just yet, some of the students lived quite a ways from town and needed time to take care of their chores before making the long walk to school.

 

Chores were already well underway at one of the two biggest ranches in the area, the S Bar D owned by Sedalia Dave.  He and his ranch hands, Stirrup Trouble and Gateway Kid, were too busy getting an early start on their work to pay much attention to the sunrise.  Daylight was too precious to waste standing around staring at the clouds.  At the nearby Lazy B ranch, Utah Bob had a big pot of coffee on, but that’s about all that had been accomplished yet.  It wasn’t called the Lazy B for nothing, Bob and his partners Badger Mountain Charlie and Chickasaw Bill saw no point in getting in a big rush about much of anything, the work would all still be there for doing when their hired hand arrived for the day.  The young man from a neighboring farm that they paid to do most of the physical labor for them would be there soon enough.  Young Charlie had earned the nickname “Evil” for the amount of trouble he had gotten into as a young boy, but had actually grown up to be one of the most dependable men around.  His older sister Calico affectionately referred to him as “Critter”, but they were actually very close.  Their parents had died the year before, leaving the small farm to the two of them, and Calico did her best to keep the farm going while her brother worked for Mr. Utah.

 

As the sun continued rising over the still prairie, none of these fine people had any idea of the trouble that would soon overtake their close-knit community, and threaten to rip it apart…

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Thanks for including me as schoolmarm as I was one for 28 years before retiring back in 2012.  I occasionally miss it, but not the sh!+ that teachers have to put up with now. Teaching isn't really teaching anymore, just teaching to the test.

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“Get outta bed already, you’re gonna be late getting to Mr. Utah’s place!”  Calico had no idea how her brother always managed to sleep through the noise of her making breakfast for the two of them.  Their cabin simply wasn’t that big, and she didn’t bother trying to be quiet, he needed to get up anyway.  Granted, he was usually tired after the amount of work he put in over at the Lazy B, but she didn’t have it much easier trying to handle all the responsibilities on their own farm.

 

The previous year had been difficult at best.  The fever that had killed their parents had also affected the siblings, just not fatally, and recovering from the illness had taken time.  They had barely managed to harvest enough food to keep themselves and the few animals they had from starving over the winter.  Things would have been even worse if it hadn’t been for the multiple times Calico opened the door of the cabin to find either a ham or big slab of bacon wrapped in paper sitting outside in the cold.  She had tried going into town and thanking the butcher, Grumpy Old Man, and offered to pay him.  He had waived off both the thanks and the handful of coins she attempted to give him, swearing that he had nothing to do with the meat she’d found.  The twinkle in his eyes told her a different story, but he allowed no argument on the subject and refused to take the money.

 

Calico also suspected that Mr. Seamus and Miss Kay were not charging her the full price on the few supplies they’d had to buy, but she couldn’t really prove it.  Math was not her strong suit, by the time Miss Lorelei had come to Stone Creek to establish the school, Calico had been too old to attend.  Charlie had only gotten about a year’s worth of attendance himself before having to stop to help out Pa on the farm, he wasn’t much help with the math.  She knew the couple would never admit that they’d undercharged her, but she thanked them anyway and said an extra prayer for them every Sunday at church.  Sedalia Dave over at the S Bar D had sent his ranch hands over a couple of times during harvest to give them a hand, if it hadn’t been for the kindness of their neighbors the siblings would have been in far worse shape.  But this year Calico was determined to not need anyone’s help to keep them fed.

 

Her brother was finally starting to stir as Calico finished her coffee and headed for the door.  “Hurry up Critter, the coffee is still hot but your pancakes are getting cold,” she called over her shoulder.  The dishes could wait, they’d still be there when she got done feeding the pig and the chickens.  Critter needed time to get a good meal under his belt before he headed for the Lazy B.  At least Mr. Utah always made sure he got a decent lunch, saved her the trouble of having to pack one for him every day.  Once the dishes were washed, she needed to get the clothes washed as well and hung to dry, before heading for town to drop off the plow at Blackwater’s smithy, it needed some fixing before it would be much use to her.  She also needed to stop in at the general store, and if she got her work finished in time maybe she could spare a few minutes to wander down to Miss Kris’s dress shop and peek in the windows.  Not that she could afford to buy any of the lovely clothing sold there, but she could always look….and dream.

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Posted (edited)

.

Edited by Hillbilly Drifter

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Yep very good CM..you have a way with words 'fer sure !  So I wonder who the villians will be !!

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Psst...get with the program folks.

 

This is a Saloon Story...like the old days. If your name is mentioned you should jump in and create your part of Calico’s story. Or you can jump in and create your part of the story. This is not meant as a discussion thread...I am sure.

 

Pat Riot - Out!

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Posted (edited)

Rye took the front off the upright piano and proceeded to tune the old piece of junk. It was a badly out of tune and in need of some repair. He had some parts in his tool box but maybe not exactly what he needed. "Oh well, he thought, I'll do my best". After a couple hours of tuning and doing some repairs he was pretty happy with how it turned out. "Now it's time to take a ride out of town and do some target practice" he thought. He put his toolbox behind the piano and went to the stable and saddled his black stallion. He called him "Night" because he was as black as the night. He galloped out of town to a spot he liked to do some plinking with his Colts.

 

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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I saw Rye leave his tools off to the side, out of the way when he was done "tuning" the pianer. It couldn't sound any worse iffin he had "tuned it" with a Greener. If we can't get a better player or stop smashing the thing to pieces every Friday night I'm going to take it out back and introduce that thing to some of Nobel's finest! 

I was thankful that he had at least tried though. I'll buy him a beer on the house next time he's in -BUT HIS HORSE DON'T GIT NO MORE!

 

I'm hoping that it's a quiet night around the Saloon tonight. I got to drinking some with the customers last night and I'm a feeling a little poorly. Wouldn't be so bad except I got into some 'shine, then some tequila, a couple of beers...… I think. I'm thinking I remember a couple of, ah, lets just say 'portly' young ladies came by in a buggy looking for some companionship and none of us were that drunk until after they left...…. How did my suspenders get over there anyways?

Oh well. Time to open this dump up.  Some cowpoke might want an early beer or a bite to eat. Kinda upsets my stomach.

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On her way into town, Calico passed by Rye Miles doing some target practice, but aside from waving she didn’t stop to talk to him.  Getting too close to Rye while he had a gun in his hand wasn’t the best idea, unless you could manage to get between him and his targets.  After dropping the plow off with Blackwater and getting his promise to have it fixed as soon as he could, Calico headed for the General Store.  When she walked in, Sixgun Seamus was waiting on Okie Sawbones, while his wife Cayenne Kay was talking with J Mark Flint.  Seamus called out “Be with you in a minute, young lady”, so Calico nodded to acknowledge him before moving towards the coffee.  She already knew where everything she needed was, she might as well start getting the things on her list together until Seamus was free.  She could hear him reading off a list while the doctor went through the box in front of him, obviously verifying that his order was correct.  “Quinine, three of laudanum, and 5 rolls of bandages, yes, it’s all here.  Thanks again for having this stuff shipped out here for me.  The place back East I usually try to buy from takes forever to send anything, and I was getting dangerously low on some of this.” 

 

Seamus waved off Okie’s thanks.  “My pleasure, really….we’d be in a world of hurt if we didn’t have you around, Sawbones, and I know it.  Any time you start running low on anything you just say the word.”  In the meantime, Calico had wandered over to set down some of her items on the counter so she could get a few other things.  Kay interrupted her conversation with J. Mark to ask “Are you coming to town for the barn dance this Saturday?”  Calico shook her head.  “Ain’t worth the trouble….been going to those things for five years now, and to this day I haven’t been asked to dance even once.  Critter will probably go, but he’s old enough he don’t need me watching out for him no more.  He ain’t likely to do much dancing either, but he can at least hang out with his friends and have a little fun.”

 

“You could use a little fun yourself,” J. Mark stated flatly.  “If none of the other young bucks around have any better sense, maybe someone in that new bunch will.”  At the quizzical look on Calico’s face, he went on to explain.  “I was just telling Kay here that I finally got that old abandoned Hoover place sold off.  Some fella came in and paid me fair price for it, and said he’s got a bunch of hands with him to help fix the place up.  Guess they’re planning on getting a good size herd of beef going out there, and as he was leaving he was reading the flyer for the dance I have hanging up by my door.  Besides, even if you don’t dance, we still could use someone to watch the punch bowl and make sure no one slips in any ‘special ingredients’ that they lifted from the saloon!”

Everyone else laughed, but Calico just managed a weak smile.  The dances used to be fun, but she had gotten tired of all the available young men ignoring her.  The girls that worked for Ms. Whiskey over at the saloon didn’t seem to have that problem, but there was no way Calico could compete with them.  “You could always dance a few numbers with Seamus, I wouldn’t mind getting a break once in a while!” Kay declared.  Before Calico could respond, Okie spoke up.  “I don’t think that’s exactly the solution she’s looking for.” Okie picked up his box of supplies and moved towards the door.  As he walked behind her, Calico felt her collar being pulled away from her neck in the back, then something cold and hard fell down the back of her shirt.  “Buy yourself a decent dress for a change, maybe that will help,” Okie crowed as he walked out the door.

 

With Kay’s help, Calico started trying to get out whatever had been dropped down her shirt.  It was rather embarrassing with Seamus and J. Mark standing there watching, but Kay was finally able to get the coin out and handed it to Calico.  “Wow, that’s a $20 gold piece, I guess he was serious about you getting something new to wear.  Miss Kris does have some lovely new ensembles, I’m sure she would be happy to help you find something, honey.”  Twenty dollars….that was the most money Calico had ever held in her hand at once, but she knew she couldn’t keep it, that wouldn’t be right.  The doctor had always felt bad that he hadn’t been able to save her parents, this must be his way of trying to make up for it.  Calico didn’t think he needed to, that fever hadn’t been his fault, and as it had swept through town he’d run himself ragged for over a week trying to take care of all the folks that had taken ill.  It was a testament to both his skills and his dedication that there had only been the two fatalities.  No, as tempting as a new dress was, especially if there were newcomers to the area that might be attending the dance, she had to find a way to return that money. 

 

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As Tyrel was making his afternoon rounds he noticed a new face lurking outside the general store, a young buck looking through the window and showing quite a bit of interest. As Okie stepped out and headed up the street the young man stepped back out of sight, and then as soon as Okie had rounded the corner back to the window. Very shortly Calico appeared and seemed in a hurry to find Okie, he assumed. As she ducked in every building and around the corner the stranger followed far enough back so as to not be noticed by anyone but Tyrel. Apparently Calico couldn't find Okie, as she returned shortly and mounted her horse and rode out of town. The stranger rushed over to his horse where he was met by the Sheriff, "Hey there young man I don't believe I've seen you around here before." The youngster glared at him and pushed Tyrel's hand away from the reigns, stating, "Mind yer' business lawman, I'm in a hurry". Tyrel, unphased, said, "Son, I don't know what you've got in mind, but I suggest you ride out of town in the opposite direction of Miss Calico. I saw you follerin' her around and I'm going to warn you that none of the townfolk here would take it too kindly if anything were to happen to her, nor would I. My job is to keep the peace, so ride on out."  The young man turned red as a beet and put his hand on his revolver, "I don't to take too kindly to being accused of something neither and don't you ever call me son aga..." But this wasn't Tyrel's first rodeo, while the boy was talking he made one step and kicked the boy's feet out from under him, rolled him over and hog tied him before he new what happened. J. Mark had come outside to see what the commotion was and laughingly said, "I suppose you'll want someone to help haul him down to the jail"...

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Posted (edited)

After a couple cylinder full of .44's from his pistols Rye took out his Winchester. He backed up to about 50 yards and knocked tin cans off the fence with superb accuracy. He was good with his pistols but really shined with his rifle. Despite Calico's ribbing of Rye's shooting he often said of Calico that "A turtle shoots faster than she does". He did respect the fact that she carried a pistol and was actually pretty accurate with it.

 

Rye decided that the saloon needed a better piano and knew of one in the next town of Sandstone. He would get back to town and see if he could get some donations to pay for a new piano. The mayor of Sandstone was moving east and wanted to get rid of a beautiful Steinway upright piano. It had an ornate cabinet and tone and touch that was unbelievable. He was sure he could get some help in loading that piano in a wagon to bring back to Stone Creek. He would get a fund raiser going because he knew that Whiskey Business, the saloon owner, wouldn't have the money for such an expensive piece. He was sure the townsfolk would chip in money to get her a good piano. He thought it would be fun to haul out the old one and take turns blasting it to pieces with their shotguns.

Edited by Rye Miles #13621

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Miss Lorelei wanted to stop by Calico's place on her way home from school.  She wanted to work a trade with Calico to teach her to shoot both a rifle and a shotgun so she wouldn't have to rely on the town folks to provide her with meat next winter.  Miss Lorelei already had her grandfather's old shotgun and was saving up enough to purchase one of beautiful rifles at the general store or  maybe work a trade with them to work at the store on the weekends.  For Calico she wanted so much to help her learn to love reading so someday they could read the same book and discuss it together.  It wouldn't be any trouble to also help her with her math.  She'd even teach Calico's brother at the same time.  She said a little prayer as she stepped up on Calico's porch.

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This little town was growing.  I figured being a lawyer wasn't too hard a job, but what kept me busy was the land office duties.  It helped to know the comings and goings and with the sale of the Hoover place, we either were getting a new ranch with a goodly infusion of capital, or perhaps something else.  It was good remote location, for ranching or rustling.  But there money was green, and the law hadn't been broken, so there was nothing to do.

 

I'd seen Rye Miles head out to practice and realized I was overdue for the same.   I noticed my hands getting stiffer over the last few years.  Things hurt now that had never hurt before.  Then I chuckled and remembered my youth and my time in the cavalry.  Stiff hands was a small price to pay for a lifetime of adventures, I supposed, nonetheless, I rubbed the liniment into my hands until they felt as slick as my colts and I began to practice my draw out in the old stables..  A dozen times a gun from a dozen positions.  288 draws.  When I was done I rubbed my hands down and loaded my pistols, returning them to my vest where they were only noticeable to discerning eyes.

 

I headed over to the barber shop where I had my beard trimmed neatly for the dance and then I headed over to the Land office to see if there was any work to be done.

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Calamity was buzzing around the shop like a bee.  Her latest order had come in all the way from New York!!!  The dresses were splendid and hats to match.  Oh what beautiful items these were.  Wonderful purple silk with dainty embroidered flowers.  The matching hat has long, beautiful peacock feathers flowing off the top wrapped with a black velvet bow.  Hopefully, someone else would like them as much so she could afford to keep the shop open for a while longer.  Oh well, the dusting was almost done, and the counters had all been oiled.  Now to fill the shirt orders for JMark and Oakie.  Maybe she could convince them to buy a couple of extra collars to go with their shirts.  Either way, the shirts had to be made so off to the sewing machine she goes.

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Rye came back into town and talked to Mayor Dawg about calling a meeting of some townspeople at Whisky's saloon. He was going to suggest a town charity event to raise money for a new piano. That Steinway in Sandstone was $1000.00, a hefty sum. Rye talked to Calico and she suggested a raffle with people donating items for a silent auction. Rye thought that was a great idea and said she should come to the town meeting and suggest it to the "powers that be" in the town. Mayor Dawg, Sheriff Tyrel, Whiskey Business, J. Mark Flint , Loreli and Calamity and anyone else who wanted to join in. Lots of good people would surely come up with some real good ideas for raising some cash. 

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Calico hadn’t been able to catch up with Okie to return his money, so she shoved it deep in her pocket and headed for home instead.  Sooner or later either her or Critter would catch the doctor in his office, and make him take it back.  Not that she didn’t appreciate his generosity, but they’d already had to accept far more charity than either sibling was comfortable with.  At the edge of town, she ran into Rye Miles and stopped to talk to him for several minutes.  Rye really needed a new piano, so Calico suggested a raffle to help raise money for it, and offered to donate the quilt she was almost finished making.  After agreeing to bring it up at the next town meeting, they shook hands and went their separate ways.   On the ride home, she passed by a couple of rough looking strangers, their eyes boring into her as she rode by.  She did make sure they noticed her putting her hand on her pistol, that made them keep their distance, but she still felt a chill run up her spine just being close to them.   She’d never seen them before, and didn’t care to again, so she dug her heels into her palomino’s sides until Sundance broke into a trot for the rest of the ride home.

 

As she approached the cabin, Calico noticed someone else standing on the porch, and was reaching for her pistol again until she realized it was Miss Lorelei.  She had no idea why the schoolmarm was there, but it was a pleasant and welcome surprise.  Lorelei turned at the sound of hoof beats, then waved and waited patiently for Calico to turn the horse loose in the corral and join her on the porch.  “Howdy, ma’am, I wasn’t expecting company so I was running a few errands in town, I hope you weren’t waiting long.” 

 

“Oh, no…I’ve only been here a minute or two, not long at all.  If I had known you were coming to town, I would have tried to find you there, but it’s no big deal, it’s actually nice to get out of town for a little while.”  The schoolmarm followed Calico inside, and after the younger woman slung her saddle bags onto the table, Lorelei helped her dig out the newly purchased supplies and put them on the shelves by the stove.  Then Calico put some water in the tea kettle and set it to heating, while Lorelei explained her reason for the visit.  Although Calico did try to suggest a better teacher, as she was far from the best shot in the area, or even her family, the idea did intrigue her.  It would be nice to spend time with Lorelei and get to know her better, and the arrangement would be beneficial to both women.  It didn’t take long to come to an agreement, and Lorelei’s first shooting lesson was scheduled for Saturday morning, late enough for Calico to get her chores done but early enough to leave Lorelei plenty of time to get ready for the dance.

 

Then Calico told her visitor about the two strangers she’d passed on the road home, and the unpleasant reaction she’d had to them.  “Oh, dear,” murmured Lorelei, “I sure hope they didn’t hear those rumors….”  Calico was confused, “What rumors?”  The teacher went on to explain that before she had moved to Stone Creek from a town about 20 miles away, there had been rumors of a lode of gold at the base of Badger Peak, not far from where Cedar Creek flowed into Stone Creek, from which the town had gotten it’s name.  Calico knew the exact spot Lorelei was referring to, in fact, it belonged to her and her brother, its location was within the boundaries of their property.  Calico had to choke back a laugh as she shook her head, “Nope, them rumors are false…there ain’t no gold back there!  Pa would have found it if there was, and look around...does this look like we have a bunch of gold?”  Calico gestured around the small cabin, but Lorelei didn’t really need to look around…there wasn’t really much of anything to look at.

 

Still upset after her encounter with those men, Calico insisted that Lorelei wait until Evil got home from the Lazy B so he could escort her back to town.   While they were waiting over cups of tea, Lorelei started telling Calico about some of her favorite books.  Calico was really looking forward to the chance to improve her own reading skills, maybe someday she would get the chance to read for herself some of the books Miss Lorelei had enjoyed so much….

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Posted (edited)

Grumpy heard about the dance and he sure hoped Calico would show up. He would love to dance with her and his Australian Shepherd, Buford really likes her. I'm kinda bashful, so I don't do well around people.

Edited by Grumpy Old Man
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The young man that Tyrel had arrested cursed him a blue streak for a solid 30 minutes before he could figure out just who he was. The boy's Pa had just bought the Hoover place ans he was gonna be sorry for doing this to him; Tyrel couldn't get the family name out of him, only that the boys name was Russ. Exasperated, he finally left him, still cursing and headed down to the Saloon for a quick bite to eat and then on to the telegraph office to send a message:

 

Blackwater. Trouble brewing at Stone Creek. Come loaded for bear ASAP. -Tyrel

 

 

Tyrel never knew what hit him. As he stepped out of the telegraph office one of the rough dudes that had passed Calico on the way out hit Tyrel with a 2x4 he had found leaned up in the alley. Once down, both  kicked him several times and beat him nearly to death. "Grab his keys and let's get Russ outta here!" 

 

 

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I stepped out of the diner and was about to head to my office when I saw two men putting the boots to Tyrel Cody. Before I reacted, one of them was roughly grabbing keys and they headed for the jail. I stepped back inside and quickly relayed that Tyrel was across the street in need of immediate medical attention and to stay away from the jail.

 

I walked two doors up to my office and grabbed my Remington 12 Ga and made sure it was loaded with buckshot.  I swiftly headed to the jail and kicked in the door and fired both barrels and dropped the shotgun as I drew my revolvers.  The two men were breathing, but the blood bubbled out of one's chest as he struggled to breathe.  The boy in the cell shouted "You done killed Homer and Bart you son of a . . ."

 

I put two slugs in his chest as he rose up with Homer's gun in his hand and watched as he slumped silently to the ground.  There were no other prisoners, thankfully, so I reloaded my guns and headed out to see that Tyrel was being cared for.  He was and I couldn't easily get close, so I headed into the telegraph office and read his message to Blackwater.  I took over the key and sent another message. "Blackwater, trouble is here, watch your back. STOP J. Mark STOP"

 

I looked and found Mayor Dawg and brought him up to speed I have three dead men that belong to the new owners at the Hoover place.  I advised as how I thought I could get a wagon at the livery and return them to their new home, as that would be the neighborly thing to do.  He looked at me and shook his head slowly, "Get Linn Keller and Rye Miles and Michigan Slim and ask them to go with you."  I looked at him and frowned "Well if you ain't going, I don't see why they should"  With that I turned and walked away toward the livery.

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Rye jumped on the wagon after helping J. Mark Flint, Linn Keller and Michigan Slim load up the dead bodies. Rye rode shotgun with J. Mark. He had his greener on his lap. Slim and Linn followed on horseback. They decided it was best to return the bodies so they could be buried by their family. A righteous thing to do even though they were a bunch of scoundrels.

 

On the way Rye talked about how they were going to get the piano from Sandstone to Stone Creek. He also talked about if they had some money left over from the raffle he could maybe order some parts for the old saloon piano and fix it up properly and they could donate it to the church. The church needed a piano, right now Rye was sometimes playing guitar for the services but it wasn't as good as having a piano. One of the church's ladies played piano really well and it would enhance the church services tremendously. J.Mark suggested that the new piano could go to the church and fix up the old one in the saloon. Rye said, "Interesting, let's see what the townfolk says". The meeting was set for next week after church on Sunday. 

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When Evil got home, he seemed a little preoccupied, but did agree to see Lorelei home safely.  While she was waiting for him to return, Calico got a stew simmering for dinner, then went out to get the dry clothes off the line.  The whole time she was outside, she kept feeling like someone was watching her, but when she looked around she couldn’t see anyone.  “Just still a little jumpy about them strangers, I guess,” she thought, but didn’t waste any time getting the clothes down and slinging them over her shoulder.  Folding them could wait until she got back inside…within arm’s length of her rifle.

 

Evil returned as the sun was just about to sink below the top of Badger Peak, riding hard.  He did take the time to remove the saddle from his appaloosa, but didn’t rub him down as he normally would, simply turning the horse loose in the corral to find his way to the feeding trough Calico had filled earlier.  Hurrying into the house, he told his sister about the attack on Sheriff Tyrel, but that Okie was attending the lawman and had told the concerned town folks that he should make a full recovery.  “I think there’s something definitely wrong around here, though, Mr. Utah had three horses stolen out of his barn last night, and Stirrup Trouble came riding over from the S Bar D about noon to tell him that they’d had at least a dozen head of cattle disappear.  And Mr. Charlie and Mr. Bill said that when they were down at Cedar Creek fishing, they’d seen a couple of rough looking fellas riding up the other side, from the direction of our place.  I guess the men didn’t even reply when Mr. Charlie called out hullo to them….they weren’t real friendly.”

 

Calico then told her brother about the run in she’d had with two strangers, wondering aloud if it could possibly be the same pair.  “Don’t you dare go anywhere without your guns, especially if I’m not around,” declared Evil.  “Maybe I should ask Mr. Utah if I can take some days off, just to be safe…until someone figures out what these fellas are up too….”

 

“No, don’t you dare…Mr. Utah needs you more than I do!”  Calico didn’t want to add that they also needed the wages Evil was bringing home….her brother would not see that as a valid reason for not protecting his sister.  With any luck, the strangers were just passing through and wouldn’t cause any more trouble….

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Meanwhile, out in the hills, Shotgun Willie was setting on the porch in his underwear, ,sippin' on coffee, pullin' his hair and contemplating what to do about that mountain lion that drug off another one of his calves. His old side-by side just didn't have the range he needed for that elusive cat. Maybe he'd get dressed and ride into town and check and see if Sixgun Seamus at the General Store still had that new Winchester lever gun he'd been eyeing.

 

Yeah, it'd do him good to go into town. He'd stop by and check in on his friend, that school teacher Lorelei, just to see how she was doing. Lorelei had loaned him some books  a few years back and he was still grateful to her for that. And before stopping in at Seamus' place, he'd stick his head in the Saloon and see if Whiskey Business would still honor that free drink she had promised him a while back.

 

After getting dressed and washing his face, Shotgun hitched up his old wagon and headed east towards town. But first he'd stop at the S-Bar-D and see if the trouble that Sedalia Dave was having with some of his cattle being missing had anything to do with that big cat.

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Lorelei could hardly believe her good fortune.  When Evil accompanied her home, they had stopped by the telegraph office where she found out that someone had purchased 10 acres of the property she and her brother, Lazarus, owned back in her hometown.  He had wire transferred a whopping $100 to her as her half.  She was practically rich now and would be able to purchase not only the rifle, but a pistol as well since Calico had convinced her she needed to learn to shoot one and carry it at all times especially in light of the recent happenings.  She and Evil had seen Rye and J. Mark leaving town with some bodies in the back of the wagon with Slim and Linn riding on horseback along side.  Something awful had happened, but she'd get the details when they returned.

 

She decided that tomorrow she would visit Miss Kris and buy that new beautiful dress and hat to wear to the dance that Miss Kris had just gotten in from New York. Purple was one of Lorelei's favorite colors and the matching hat had beautiful peacock feathers topped off with a black velvet bow.  It would be the fanciest dress and hat she had ever owned. She just hoped no one else had purchased it yet as it would be perfect to wear to the dance.

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Posted (edited)

That night Lorelei reflected on what a great progressive thinking town that Stone Creek was and how lucky she was to have a teaching position here.  Not only did she earn a whopping $10 a month which was almost unheard of as many teachers only made $4 a month, Stone Creek provided her with a "real" house next to the school building to live in instead of a soddy or having her "board round" meaning moving from one students' house to another as often as every week.  The parents of her students also frequently sent provisions with the students such as fresh eggs and milk, and often fresh vegetables.  Often times she was invited for Sunday dinner after church.  

 

As she drifted off to sleep, she knew that she needed to donate some of her new-found wealth to the purchase of the new piano for the church to let the town know just how much she appreciated everything they do for her.  She also thought about actually paying Calico for shooting lessons as she knew Calico could certainly use the money.  

Edited by Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life

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Rye noticed a shotgun barrel sticking out from the window of the small ranch house. Mark yelled out to the house! "We've got something for you". The person in the house didn't say anything. Mark yelled again, "Don't shoot, we're not here to do any harm we've got some bodies that we think belong to you". Again, silence. Rye jumped off the wagon and yelled, "Put the gun down now" as he pointed his greener toward the house. The shotgun barrel suddenly disappeared. They pulled the 3 bodies off the wagon which were all covered in blankets and laid them on the ground. Again, nothing from the house! They got back on the wagon and their horses and took off! They're job was done. It sure was a weird experience for all of them. They were talking about it on the way back to town. They were trying to figure out who was in that house. Slim speculated it was maybe a woman by herself and didn't want any trouble. Maybe a mom or wife or both to the dead men. I guess they would find out in time.

Edited by Rye Miles #13621

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As we rode back to town, the hair on my neck stood up and I pulled up suddenly, swinging down from the saddle and retrieving my rifle.  It took only aa heart beat before the four of us were all standing with the horses in a circle surrounding us.

 

Rye scanned the horizon in front of him as did the others, but he also spoke. "You see something?"  I responded quietly  "Yeah, flash of a lens or a mirror-straight ahead of me now, about 700 yards out.  Might be best if we move towards some cover."

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The next morning, Calico took the wagon into town to pick up the plow from the smithy.  Evil rode with her as far as the gates to the Lazy B, first making sure his sister had her pistols and rifle with her.  As she made her way down the dusty main street, Calico pulled the team to a halt for a moment outside Kris’s dress shop.   Looking through the windows, Calico saw Miss Kris talking to Miss Lorelei, who had on a gorgeous purple dress and was slowly twirling in front of a mirror.  That dress sure looked good on the schoolmarm, and for a brief moment Calico wished she could have something that pretty to wear.  The gold coin that Okie had given her was still in her pocket, with strangers in the area she hadn’t felt safe leaving it behind in the cabin.  She had wanted to drop by the doctor’s office to give it back, but she had already passed by Mayor Dawg and he said that Okie had already ridden out of town earlier that morning, called to the Andersen place south of town.  Little Lars Andersen had fallen out of a tree, and his parents were afraid he’d broken his arm.  Lars reminded Calico a lot of her brother when he was younger, and knew the lad was quite a handful for his parents.

 

Shaking her head at her own silliness of thinking about pretty dresses and pointless dances, Calico continued on to the blacksmith shop.  Blackwater was already hard at work, and looked like he had been for a while.  “Howdy, Cali, yer plow’s ready, it’s around the side over there.  Give me just a minute to finish this shoe and I’ll be back to help you load it.”  Calico pulled the wagon around the side of the smithy, between it and the livery, then hopped down to wait.  She waved at DocWard, who was in the corral behind the livery, currying one of his horses.  It was only a moment before Blackwater come around the corner, and helped her lift the plow into the back of the wagon.  “How much do I owe you?” she asked when they were done.  “How about 50 cents and we’ll call it good?” Blackwater responded.  Calico put her fists on her hips and glared at the man who’d been one of her father’s closest friends.  “Dang you, ole man….I know for a fact that’s less than half of what you been charging some folks whose plows you fixed…you better not be implying I’d cheat you!  Why, you….you….you…”

 

Blackwater burst out laughing.  “Don’t make me take you over my knee and paddle that little heiney of  yours now!  I didn’t need to do as much to that plow of yours as some of the others I fixed, so why would I charge as much this time?  You just give me my four bits and be gone with you….I got work to do.”  Calico handed Blackwater the coins he had asked for, then gave him a big hug before he gave her a boost back onto the wagon seat.  Grabbing the reins, Calico drove off to the sound of her favorite “uncle” still laughing behind her.

 

When she arrived back at the cabin, she left the plow in the wagon, Evil could help her with it when he got home.  After unharnessing the horses and turning them into the corral, she was on her way back to the cabin when she thought she saw the glint of sunlight off something medal in the distance, from the trees that grew along the banks of Cedar Creek.  It only lasted for a second, but it was enough to send her racing for the door, and her shotgun.  She stayed inside for over an hour, keeping a close watch for any signs of movement from the tiny window at the back of the cabin.  Eventually though, she knew she’d need to go back outside sooner or later…Blackwater wasn’t the only one with work to do that day.  This time though, the shotgun and rifle were definitely going with her….

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Posted (edited)

Characters so far -  

Calico Mary – lives with brother Charlie aka Evil

Charlie – aka Evil – Mary’s brother, aka Critter to Mary

Doc Ward – owns  livery stable

Blackwater – blacksmith

Hardpan Curmudgeon – newspaper owner/editor

Calamity Kris – owns dress shop/millinery

Grumpy Old Man – owns butcher shop

Sixgun Seamus and wife Cayenne Kay – own general store

Cayenne Kay – wife of Sixgun Seamus

Prairie Dawg – town mayor & banker

J. Mark Flint – lawyer, works at land office, installed town’s telegraph

Tyrel Cody – sheriff

Okie Sawbones – doctor

Whiskey Business – runs saloon

Michigan Slim – bartender

Rye Miles - piano player

Linn Keller – preacher

Lorelei Longshot – schoolmarm

Sedalia Dave - owner S Bar D ranch

Stirrup Trouble – ranch hand at S Bar D

Gateway Kid – ranch hand at S Bar D

Utah Bob – owner of Lazy B ranch with Badger Mountain Charlie & Chickasaw Bill

Badger Mountain Charlie – partner with Utah Bob and Chickasaw Bill

Chickasaw Bill – partner with Utah Bob and Badger Mountain Charlie

Shotgun Willie Nelson – lives in the hills

Edited by Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life
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Posted (edited)

As Lorelei was in Calamity Kris's dress shop/millinery trying on the lovely purple dress, she thought she saw Calico drive by outside in her wagon . She asked Kris if she knew if Calico had a fancy dress for the dance , and if not, had she been in to look at one.  Kris said Calico hadn't bought a new dress since years before her parents died, but had heard from Cayenne Kay that Okie had dropped a $20 gold piece down the back of her dress the other day while at the general store, but knowing Calico, she would return it to Okie the first chance that she saw him. Lorelei was thinking that Calico would probably give her a lot of grief if she tried to pay her for shooting lessons, so she decided to use some of her new found wealth to pay for a dress for Calico.  While it wouldn't be as expensive or as fancy as the one imported from New York, Calico deserved a new dress. That way, even if she returned the money to Okie, she'd have a new dress to wear to the dance.  Maybe if she had a new dress she would use at least some of the $20 to buy a new hat to go with the dress. 

 

When she shared that idea with Kris, Kris thought it was an excellent idea and said she was making one up in dark blue that could be fitted for Calico. Now they just had to figure out a way to get Calico to the dress shop to  get fitted.  After getting Lorelei's new dress fitted and pinned, Kris said she'd finish tailoring it today and hoped they could get Calico in within the next couple of days.  

 

After she left the dress shop, Lorelei stopped by the general store to talk to Sixgun Seamus about a rifle and pistol.  She knew he had a fancy brand new one that he had just gotten in, but Lorelei didn't need something that expensive.  She just needed a reliable rifle in the same caliber as the pistol she was going to get, and she knew sometimes Seamus and Kay took guns in trade for supplies.  

Edited by Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life

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8 hours ago, Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life said:

Characters so far -  

Calico Mary – lives with brother Charlie aka Evil

Charlie – aka Evil – Mary’s brother, aka Critter to Mary

 

Doc Ward – owns  livery stable

 

Blackwater – blacksmith

 

Hardpan Curmudgeon – newspaper owner/editor

 

Calamity Kris – owns dress shop/millinery

 

Grumpy Old Man – owns butcher shop

 

Sixgun Seamus and wife Cayenne Kay – own general store

 

Cayenne Kay – wife of Sixgun Seamus

 

Prairie Dawg – town mayor & banker

 

J. Mark Flint – lawyer, works at land office, installed town’s telegraph

 

Tyrel Cody – sheriff

 

Okie Sawbones – doctor

 

Whiskey Business – runs saloon

 

Michigan Slim – bartender

 

Linn Keller – preacher

 

Lorelei Longshot – schoolmarm

 

Sedalia Dave - owner S Bar D ranch

 

Stirrup Trouble – ranch hand at S Bar D

 

Gateway Kid – ranch hand at S Bar D

 

Utah Bob – owner of Lazy B ranch with Badger Mountain Charlie & Chickasaw Bill

 

Badger Mountain Charlie – partner with Utah Bob and Chickasaw Bill

 

Chickasaw Bill – partner with Utah Bob and Badger Mountain Charlie

 

Shotgun Willie Nelson – lives in the hills

 

Ya'll forgot me!!:o

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Rye, Mark, Linn and Slim all took cover as a bullet hit the ground no more than about 3 feet from them! Someone must have had a scoped rifle and that's what that flash of light was that Mark saw. Mark looked through his field glasses but couldn't see anything. Rye felt the breeze of a bullet whiz past his ear! Okay now it was getting serious! They all fired their rifles at once in the direction of where the shots were coming from knowing that they wouldn't reach but at the same time letting whomever it was out there that were willing to fight! 700 yards was a long shot for their .44 rifles. Rye wished he had his high wall.45-70 with him! He could at least come alot closer!

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After a fitful, pain racked, night Tyrel finally came out of his comatose state. He hurt everywhere, especially his head. Okie told him he had 4 broken ribs, and a nasty gash on his head but he'd be alright in a few weeks. Tyrel was angry at himself for losing focus and allowing himself to become soft; he knew better. "Okie, I need a couple of things if it ain't too much trouble. Have someone fetch my 10 gauge just in case that boy's family comes to town hunting for revenge". "Yeah, I can do that, probably a good idea.", Okie answered, "but what else?"

 

"Get me the biggest bottle of Whiskey you can find!"

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"Everybody load your guns up and we'll lay down fire as best we can while Linn races over on horseback and plugs the SOB that's shooting at us." I said.  Linn Keller looked at me and chuckled "Good thing you aren't in charge."  Slim and Rye just chuckled.  I shrugged my shoulders, "Fair enough, would you rather draw straws?"  Linn gave me another look.  "J. Mark, if it is such a great idea, then why don't you do it?"  I smiled "It's fine by me, but my horse doesn't want to do it."  Linn grinned, "I always knew your horse was smarter than you."

 

With that I stood up and shouldered my rifle.  A puff of smoke revealed my target and I fired 4 quick shots and then dropped back down under cover and began reloading.  "Chicken shit horse" I muttered to no one in particular.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry about that Rye, I was typing from a handwritten list and missed your name by accident.  Just corrected the list.  

Did I miss anyone else??????

Edited by Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life
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