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Old 01-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
DormantEvil
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A Family Friend, A Favor - Gunslinger Wanted

A Family Friend, A Favor

[Request: I am looking for a literate male to play the part of the family friend. Details on what this man is like are below. Anything not said is up to you. Think Clint Eastwood type of soul, the rough around the edges yet morally just sort.

Keep reading if you are interested so far, if not, sorry if this doesn't fit your character. PM me anyway, so far this is only a one on one, but with enough interest could be a group RP.]

Story so far...

A portion of the original Cherokee Outlet was opened by land run in 1893. This opening was the fourth, and largest, of Oklahoma's five land runs. According to President Cleveland, " The Run " would take place at 12 o'clock noon on September 16, 1893. Oral tradition claims that a nervous soldier accidentally discharged his gun at 11:55 a.m. and the race was on! By horse, train, wagon and on foot more than 100,000 land hungry pioneers raced for 40,000 homesteads and the valuable town lots available in the Cherokee Outlet Land Opening. Immigrants from almost every area of the United States and many foreign countries took part in this epic event.

That was how my father claimed the bountiful rolling plains and a small yet pristine creek that made up just over one hundred acres of land. It was seen as a key homestead location and several riders had made off in its direction straight away. My father told stories of how he had fought off two men and placed the claim marker with only seconds to spare. And so started the animosity against our family.

He had decided several months earlier to race alongside his good friend, as stories of men getting shot during the race, or stabbed, beaten or outright murdered had spread by now. Everyone knew the stakes, but they also knew that land was running out.

My mother was ill, and had stayed in the city, with my two brothers and little sister. But after the claim was registered and confirmed, and the dust had settled, we were sent for. I was only five at the time. My brothers ten and nine, my little sister only an infant.

We had fenced that land, built a barn and homestead, and watched the town spring forth from bare earth. Cattle was our bread winner, and mother began a school teacher the moment the white school house was erected. Life was a constant battle, but we were wealthy, and compared to some of the less fortunate we counted ourselves lucky. To the point of praying to the Good Lord before each meal.

However, like all stories there are dark clouds to marr its beauty. From the very beginning my father fought with neighboring families. The Stark's to the East, and the Markson's to the South East. Both had been claimed by men who had their eyes set on our land. Both were sour because of it.

I watched my mother grow frail from her illness, and she sadly passed away not one year back. My father was grief stricken, but he worked on. My brothers, helped around the farm and I took over mothers duties in relation to the house chores and cooking. I'd even recently began teaching at the school.

As a young woman life is scarred by loss and pain, but nothing compared to the murder of my father. Having been drinking one night at the saloon, one of Markson's guns had shot him down. Soon after that my eldest brother was found drowned in the creek, spur marks to his back. Since then I have sent a telegram to the only man I believe can save my remaining brother from harm.

I fear that each day brings the Reaper one step closer for us all, and that any night we could be forced from our home. Already we have fired at men on horseback, throwing flaming torches in the stables at night. It's only a matter of time.

The telegram was sent three weeks ago. No word has come yet. This morning I found Thomas hung from a tree near the Stark boundary, the wagon of supplies torn asunder and ruined, smoldering.

Today I sit with Maggie, now becoming a young woman herself at fourteen, who sings one of mothers songs whilst making dinner, a rifle on the table and horses tied out back in case we need to flee. I know there is nothing keeping Stark or Markson men from taking my families land now.

Maybe by morning an old friend will appear. I have long since given up trying to get the townspeople to help us. Word has it that the law is in Stark pockets, and deep.

I was five the last time I saw him, a strikingly handsome man in his mid twenties. But that was twelve years ago and time changed people a lot. He could be dead, who knows.

Little did I know that the man had taken to the profession of gunslinger down south, and that the telegram had reached him, albeit a little late. He was alive, but now he carried several scars, his stubble rough and his skin tanned from hours spent in the sun. Fingers calloused from days holding reigns, and shooters smelling of gunpowder.
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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Greg "Rattler" West

I sat easily in his saddle, the hill overlooked the piece of land that I had helped to capture long ago. I built a cigarette and used a match to light it, I surveyed the surrounding pastures, the neighbors seemed to have engulfed all land around old Dan's place. It was a miracle that the livestock was still present on the green pastures as the telegram had told a very different story. Of my good friend Dan shot down, eldest brother killed. To have received a telegram directed to me was a surprise in itself, how she had known where to get hold of me I would like to find out. But first I had to make it down to the house and see if there still was people around that knew me. I pondered this point for a while, then three riders drew my attention, they were heading for the same place I was aiming for, not in a hurry at all. I nudged the black horse forward, it obediently started down the hill, of course they saw me, but didn't seem to worry. From the shabby clothes I wore on the trail it was possible to mistake me for a drifter, only thing that really made me a bit more than just a drifter was the dual Colts riding on my hips in oiled leather, in the scabbard attached to the saddle an old Winchester, well worn but in good condition.

The men entered the yard of the house, from my position I could hear them hailing whomever was inside. It sounded like a woman's name, but then again I wasn't all that close, when somebody did appear, she carried a rifle, the ease with which she held it proved that she knew how to handle it. I steered the big horse into the yard and steadily made my way towards the small gathering. One of the men turned and sneered at me,

"This is a private meeting, make yourself scarce."

I ignored him and kept riding closer, the man turned his horse and trotted up to me, his hand resting on the butt of his revolver,

"I told you to leave stranger."

The smile that I gave him was cold,

"When you put your hand on a gun you better know how to use it."

This riled him and he pushed his horse closer, unwittingly in striking range,

"You have a lot of nerve talking to me like that."

"Is that a fact?"

Before he could reply I leaned forward, grabbing hold of the front of his shirt as my other hand landed two slaps in quick succession on both sides of his face. I pulled back and released his shirt, unbalanced he fell between our horses, with a curse he jumped to his feet, clawing for his gun only to find the barrel of my own .45 aimed directly and unwaveringly at his head.

"This may be a private meeting, but since I am here on request of the family on whose ground you are clearly trespassing, I guess you being here makes it my business as well."
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Sophia Dorsett - 18

Standing on the porch, rifle in hand, she stood her ground out of pure stubbornness. She should have packed Maggie up last night and fled, why she held out hope for her fathers friend she didn't know. Part of her was fearful, the men before her were not gentlemen, she could see that in their eyes. She was a woman and even Maggie was of age in their opinion, and Sophia doubted they would think twice about having their way with the Dorsett girls.

"Come now Sophie, no need to be so defensive. We'll let you and your sister leave if you don't cause problems. Just take your belonging's and go, the boss just wants the land. Nothing personal." Jackson Marsh was a whiskey drinking womanizer, so the stories went, and Sophia suspected that he was one of the men at the saloon the night her father was murdered.

Glaring the man down, she cocked the rifle and kept it against her shoulder. For now she kept the sights off him, but it was because she doubted her strength enough not to pull the trigger for revenge.

"This is still my families land, and it will be a cold day in..." she paused, her red tinged and watery eyes flickering to approaching lone rider. Great, another one.

Turning her attention back to Jackson, she continued. "A cold day in hell when I just hand over this land...especially to a disgusting, filthy scoundrel like Maxwell Stark! Get off my property!" Aiming at his chest, she turned to watch as one of the Stark men intercepted the stranger.

He's not one of them? He's not one of them! she thought, her heart suddenly beating quickly as she examined the man more thoroughly. Yes, it could be him...

Keeping the rifle steady, she watched as Jackson turned and snarled as one of his men were unceremoniously dumped from his horse. Then Sophia heard the sweetest words ever spoken, and her eyes lit up with hope.

"This may be a private meeting, but since I am here on request of the family on whose ground you are clearly trespassing, I guess you being here makes it my business as well."

On request of the family! He actually came.

Sophia was stunned into silent disbelief. Nobody had raised an eyebrow in the weeks of terror, but this man who had moved onto a different life had traveled god knows how far to help. It was truly a miracle. Watching the cold sweat dripping from the dismounted man, she finally broke from her silence.

"You heard him, you are trespassing, leave now before I feel it necessary to defend myself." Her words had gained some hope and strength, and Jackson turned to snarl at her. Shaking his head he trotted close enough to whisper to her.

"This means our little deal on you and your sister leaving has been revoked. Do you think he'll help and expect nothing in return? Perhaps you still are just a child. The boss with have this land, no matter the cost."

With that he turned around and shouted to the newcomer.

"If you want to be included, so be it, but its your life now for getting involved. All for a parcel of land. Come on boys, let's get back for lunch." And with a harsh kick to the horses girth, he cantered out of the yard, followed closely by the rest of his men.

As they disappeared over the ridge, Sophia lowered her aim and uncocked the rifle. Her hands beginning to tremble. Dropping to her knees briefly, she felt so weak and drained of energy. Having not slept long last night, and having suffered many days of loss and pain, she had almost had enough.

From inside, the door was opened, and Maggie ran out to her sisters side. "Sophie, don't cry, you were great." But it wasn't her sisters nice words that caused her to stop crying and smile, it was Sophia's want to be seen as the strong older sister and woman that stepped up. Dusting off her dress, she gave her sister a pat on the back.

"Thank you, how about you put on some coffee and biscuits, I'll be in shortly."

As Maggie disappeared inside, Sophia stood up and wiped her face before moving over to the gunslingers side.

"Thank you for helping," she stated, keeping her rifle in hand just in case it was some trick to gain her trust. It could have been anyone riding up acting as some savior. The Stark's were a tricky lot.

"Why did you come?"
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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Greg "Rattler" West

He sat motionless, watching the men coldly, the only movement that of his revolver as he tracked their movements until they moved out of range. He lowered the hammer and slipped the revolver back into it's holster as the young woman who had faced the men down, came over to him. Well if this was young Sophia Dorsett, she had grown,

""Thank you for helping."

He nodded at her, but could see by the grip on the rifle and the look in her eyes that she was not ready to believe he was who he had stated he was.

"Why did you come?"

A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, he drew a piece of paper from the pocket of his shirt and leaned down to hold it out to her,

"I came because my childhood friend's daughter asked me to come."

He sat up again in his saddle,

"And at this range I can outdraw you before you get to raise the rifle, so either point it at me or lower it."

He looked around at the yard, taking in the buildings and their positions, Dan had a good head on his body, everything was built sturdy, but also easy to defend. The only real thing missing was the ranch hands,

"Let me guess, the cowpokes have either been scared off, bought off or killed."

He rested his hands over each other on the pommel of his saddle and looked down at the young Sophia,

"Yes I am Greg West, that is who you asked for wasn't it?"
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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The moment she extended her hand to clutch at the letter he had presented, it was as if an immense weight had been lifted off her shoulder. No longer was she the one in charge, at least when it came to keeping the dogs from the doorstep.

As he mentioned the rifle, she blushed and lowered it, deciding to sling the weapon behind her shoulder. Even though she was a decent shot, cans and bottle never gave you much trouble. People, she didn't even know if she could have shot Jackson, no matter how despicable and evil he was.

Looking around at the yards as if following Mr. West's gaze, she nodded each time he made a guess.

"All of the above, but only one killed. Supposedly crushed during a cattle drive, but I don't believe in accidents anymore."

It was obvious that she had taken the deaths of her father and brothers to heart, but even so, she had her fathers passion and stubbornness.

Pointing to the closest stock pen, a small white pony and a brown mare waited patiently. "I've got to head out and bring in the rest of the cows before his men return, they have already stolen over fifty head. Luckily, most of our stock is the guest of one of the northern landholders, he's taking them on for agistment costs. For now I just have to look after the remaining thirty blood stock."

Turning back to the house, she called out for Maggie to hurry up. The young girl already knew that they would have to head out again.

"Without anybody to watch Maggie, she's had to come with me the last few times. But with the three of us it should be an easy job. Any by the time we get back biscuits should be ready."
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:10 AM   #6
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Greg "Rattler" West

He nodded,

"Get your mount. We can handle those steeds."

He rode out towards the corral behind the house, leaving Sophia to get their horses and what clearly was her sister. In the letter she had mentioned her younger brother, so far he had seen no sign of the young man. He slid from his saddle and pushed open the gate, he got back into the saddle and took a drag from his canteen and guided his horse towards where the cattle was grazing, riding slowly, giving the two girls time to catch up. He slid easily back into the routine of a farm-hand, he had done it enough times for the transition to be seamless.

He built himself a smoke and slipped the butt between his lips, striking a light, he puffed it to life. Tilting back his hat, he looked at the cattle as they peacefully grazed on the soft, sweet grass. This was a life he could have gotten used to, but fate had dealt him a different hand. Not that he had any regrets, he had used the skills he had to become the best at what he was, only this call for help was one he did not expect, but it was not one he was going to ignore. He may be a cold man, but he did not forget his friends.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:45 AM   #7
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Ten minutes later the sound of horses cantering would fall on his ears, and Sophia and Maggie rode up beside him. Maggie headed around the heard and took lead, mainly so the cows had someone to follow. Sophia looked over Greg West as he smoked, before speaking quietly.

"I'll take the left and bring in any strays, if you can take the right. They are decently behaved, as long as there are no loud noises to spook them they just follow along. We feed them rich bales of hay when they get back to the pens, I think they enjoy the taste and don't kick up fuss because of it."

Trotting forward a few yards, she stopped, pulling her mare around to confront him again. She seemed to have been not wanting to say something for a while now.

"I'll show you where where my family is buried after breakfast. Thomas joined them yesterday morning...", with that, she kicked her horse in the sides and rode off to carry out her portion of the work.

She also didn't want him to see her cry.
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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Greg "Rattler" West

He nodded and watched her move away, it was hard on her, he could see that in the line of her shoulders and her eyes, but she tried to keep it hidden. He moved to the right, keeping a sharp eye on the herd, they did seem to be calm and well behaved, he scanned the surrounding area. The neighbors really crowded in, trying to drive the Dorsetts off of their land if not physically, then through pressure. He shook his head at the greed of humanity, it was also their biggest failure as a specie. Nowhere in the nature he ever saw this trait, this was purely a human thing. One of the bigger steers tried to guide a few of the younger cattle away from the main group, but a quick word and he used the horse to crowd the steer back to the group. The horse was used to this work as well and did not shy away from the cattle.

It did not take long for them to drive the cattle into the coral, he closed the gate, leaving the horse outside. He moved over to the bales inside of the shed, he started taking the bales outside as the two girls drove the cattle into their different pens. He flung a bale into each pen, not sure of how much they gave the cattle. As he finished up he rested his forearms on the top post, looking at the steers,

"Good quality you have there."
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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Pushing the last few steers into the pens, she dismounted out the front of the homestead, collecting Maggie's pony whilst the girl went inside to prepare the food. Heading for the nearby barn she looked on as Greg West threw the cows some bales of hay. She hated the job, because the fences were so tall and the bales packed so tight. Entering the barn, she started removing the saddle, blanket and bridle from each horse. Then gave them a decent grooming, the mare had been her birthday present several years ago, and it showed in the care she took.

Occasionally she would put her forehead against its, taking comfort in the fact that it wasn't human and didn't judge her.

"Some day we will run across the fields again, I promise. But for now we have to be careful and not wander off." She whispered comfortingly to the mare, who nibbled at her fingers playfully in return.

There was plenty enough room in the barn for ten horses, each with their own stall that connected onto the corral out the back. Finding Greg, she figured he had rode a long way and that he would enjoy getting settled in. Filling up a large bucket of water, she carried it to the entrance of the barn and waved him in once he was finished.

"You can take any stall, and use the hay and grain in the loft to feed your horse. Here's fresh water, and make yourself at home with the tack racks and grooming gear. Is there anything else I can get before we head inside?"

Part of her wanted to go back to how everything was before, but she also felt stronger having control over more things. But at such a cost she would wish to still be weak if it was possible. For now she just hoped her mother wouldn't yell at her for riding like a boy, even though she still wore a dress. And that her father wouldn't think her too stubborn, even if she was acting as ladylike as possible.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Cool

He looked over his shoulder at her,

"I'll be fine, I will just want to visit that same place you got the water from. I'm covered in trail dust..."

He slapped over his pants sending dust up in a puff of dust,

"I'll be right up at the house for a coffee, haven't had a decent brew in some time."

He took the reins of his horse, picking up the bucket on his way into the stalls, he selected one close to the entrance, unsaddling the horse, he rubbed it down, gave it some grain and corn, adding the fresh water. Closing the stall he placed his saddle on the beam, untied his rifle sheath and saddlebags he moved over to the door of the barn. Walking over to the well he placed down the bags and sheath, stripping off his shirt, he pulled up the bucket and soaked the shirt to soak up the water, rinsing the shirt, he used it to wash his upper body, pouring out the water, he drew another bucket of water, placed his hat aside, and poured the water over himself.

He wiped the water from his face and propped the hat back onto his wet hair, he dried up most of the water with the shirt, then hung it over the rail on which the winch for the bucket was connected on. Pulling open his one saddlebag, he pulled a blue shirt out and slipped it on, he left the pants for now. He drew his revolvers, checked that they did not get too wet and then picked up his stuff and moved to the house.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 AM   #11
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Heading inside, Sophia washed her hands and tidied up her appearance. Driving the cattle in had caused her hair to get fly away's and her cheeks to become dusty. Already she was beginning to get chipped dry nails, much unlike how her mother used to make her keep them. The hem of her dress was almost stained with dirt and mug from wearing it outside to fetch firewood and water, let alone muck out the stables.

Standing in front of the sink, she looked out into the yards, making sure there were no riders approaching. From the corner of her eye she picked up Greg walking out of the barn, and couldn't help but follow his walk to the well. Leaning forward just slightly, she slowly washed a cup out.

Looking carefully out the window, in case he glanced towards the house, she noticed him remove his shirt and couldn't help but keep watching. He had a firm chest, and from this distance she didn't note any scars, although she assumed he would have some. Who didn't in this day and age.

He washed out his shirt, and did the same to his body, and she leaned a little further forward as he dumped the hat full of water over himself.

"You're staring..." a cheeky voice pointed out, Maggie having moved over to place biscuits from the over on the sink to cool slightly had noticed her sisters tension.

"What?" Sophia coughed, not realizing she had been watching for so long.

"My sister, the strong warrior, has a crush perchance?" Maggie chimed, running away from Sophia who tried swatting her with a towel. "Don't be silly...and shush." Catching her sister by the arm, she pulled her in and ruffled up her hair, causing the girl to shriek with anger and laughter.

She heard footsteps on the porch, and instinctively let her sister go. "Go get cleaned up, you look a mess," she quoted, knowing how much she sounded like her mother used to. But she was the woman of the house now, it was her job to make sure Maggie didn't turn feral, as she suspected the girl would enjoy doing.

"Look what you did!" Maggie exclaimed, running her hands over her hair trying to settle it down again. But when Greg had almost walked in she ran to the bathroom to get ready. She had a little crush as well.
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #12
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Greg "Rattler" West

He knocked on the door to announce his presence and placed the saddlebags next to the door, he kept the rifle in the scabbard in his hand though. He looked around the front room, it was rather cozy, far from what he was used to, far from what he had. He had heard voices from deeper in the house and walked further, careful to avoid any rug as his dusty boots was sure to leave a trail. He entered the kitchen, the sight of cooling biscuits made him realize it had been a time since he had good meal, also the coffee brewing on the stove made his mouth water, it smelt divine.

"I tried to get as clean as possible, hopefully the cowhands left a tub so that I can get a decent bath in later on."

He rested the rifle scabbard against the table and took in the kitchen, it was clean, tidy and well-used.

"Those biscuits smells delicious, own recipe?"
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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"No, well yes, it was one of my grandmothers but I've added a little bit here and there over the years," she smiled, bringing over the plates of food. They had also made up some eggs, freshly collected from the coop out by the barn that morning. It was Maggie's job to keep the chickens and pigs fed these days. Using a set of thongs, she filled a plate full of biscuits and eggs, placing it where he could sit. Then she collected the kettle from the stove and poured him some coffee, she did the same for herself but with slightly less food.

Looking him over once they had sat down, she grinned, he did look rather dirty still, but his washing at the well had cleaned him up quite a bit. Taking the cup of coffee in hand, she waited for Maggie to get out of the bathroom.

Inside the house they had four bedrooms, an attic for storage, the one bathroom, open kitchen with dining table within it, and a large lounge. Her father had been a collector of books, and the walls in the lounge room were lined with leather bound novels and instructional books.

"After breakfast you can spend as long as you want in the bathroom, it has a standing bath to use."

Although the house lacked electricity, what it did have had been done rather well and her father had made the bath off the ground, with a sort of firewood chamber underneath for a small fire. It heated the water up and could be turned down or off by shutting vents. You still had to bring in buckets of water from outside, but at least you got a steaming warm bath.

"Maggie, light the bath before you head out," she called out, and got a flustered reply from her sister. Within half a minute Maggie returned looking prim and proper once again, wearing a blue bow in the back of her hair.

They all sat down, and after a few quick words to the Lord for their food, they dug in. Mostly eating in silence for the first few minutes, until hunger was sated.
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I WILL BE AWAY UNTIL THE 8TH OF APRIL DUE TO A CAMPING TRIP. SORRY FOR THE LACK OF NOTICE, I WASN'T ORIGINALLY GOING! BUT AM GLAD I AM!

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:15 AM   #14
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He ate in silence, a warm bath sounded great right then, when he was finished he got up and dumped his plate in the sink,

"I'll take that the room Maggie came out of is the bathroom?"

He picked up his rifle scabbard,

"Let me just grab a change of clothing and I'll have a go at getting rid of the grime."
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:26 PM   #15
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"Yes, it is."

Her answer had been to the point, as she finished up her meal and drank some more coffee. By the looks of it she was planning on staying up late again. If only for one more night.

"Take your time, and then get some sleep. I've had a room made up for a while now, just in case. I'll stay up tonight, and we can work out shifts or something tomorrow morning. I need you fully able rather than tired and groggy after your ride." She had tried to make it sound as nice as possible, but too much of her, do this attitude had come out in her words.

Looking away, having been starting at him for too long, she sipped her coffee again.

"There are towels in the bathroom, and if you need any clothes you can see if any of my fathers will fit."

Pushing back her chair, she picked up her plate and placed it in the sink to be washed.

Maggie looked back and forth between Sophia and Greg a few times before piping up, "I lit the fire, it should be warm soon." Perhaps it had been to break any tension in the air.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:56 AM   #16
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"Thank you Maggie."

He walked to the bathroom and stepped inside, pushing the door closed, yet not fully close in case he missed a sound which could mean trouble. He stripped and carried his gunbelt along with him to the tub. He felt the water, it had heated up well in the time it was lit, he got in, hooking the gunbelt over a peg. Using the soap he found he started to wash himself, finding the water quite soon muddled and dirty as he himself got cleaned up. Using the same soap to wash his hair, he felt a new man when he got out of the tub, flipping the grate close he pulled his belt from the peg, pulled on his shirt and from the saddle bag drew a well worn blue denim. It had been one of his more expensive buys, but up until now he had never regretted it. He used a little oil rag he had inside of the one bag to clean up his boots, before pulling them on. Dusting off his hat, he placed it on his head and finally buckled his gunbelt to his waist and picking up his rifle and saddlebags into which he had dumped the dirty pants he wore, he stepped back out of the room and walked through the kitchen to the front,

"I don't know how you drain that basin, clearly you don't dump the contents out. I will take guard duty tonight. Both of you need your sleep while I have slept well on my way here."

His words was not harsh, his tone was not harsh, his body language only showed determination and his eyes flashed a warning of not trying to go against his will. He turned and walked out, in one of the saddlebags was a treasure, one he held dearly to himself, yet it would not kill him if he lost it. He placed the bags down under one of the trees in the back yard, from there he had a vantage point over the whole field, most of the house's front and the other side of the barn with stables. He pulled the netting he had woven himself and strung up the hammock between the two trees, this would be his bed if he needed to rest, but he had no need to rest yet. With rifle over one shoulder he slowly walked to the bunk houses where the cowhands clearly bunked, the problem with those who had joined the land hungry neighbors was that they will know the lay-out, the weak points and the strong ones. He smiled, he just hoped it came down a good fight. He knew that living life as he did, he would die by the gun, he had no problems with that, it was dieing of old age or illness which scared him.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #17
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As much as Sophia wanted to protest, she didn't have the guts to tell Greg, and instead she nodded, accepting that he would stay up. Watching him leave, she smiled, before cleaning up and sending Maggie off to bed. She brushed the girls hair and put it into ties so it would remain curly. Then, after making sure she was tucked in nice and tight, she blew out the candle illuminating the room and left the door open just a crack.

Ever since the whole fiasco had started she wasn't putting it past the Stark men trying to sneak in through one of the windows.

Opening a vent on the back wall of the bathroom, she pushed the tub over with a grunt as it was hinged along one side in a few points and it drained from one corner out onto the ground. She didn't know where her father thought up these ideas, but perhaps next time he could make the tub a little less heavy.

Walking through the house, she blew out the lights, and took a quick look outside. It looked like it might get cold tonight. Taking the pot of coffee off the stove, and taking her rifle with her, she headed outside with a blanket.

Finding the hammock, she looked over it and scanned the area. She couldn't see Greg. Walking around the yards, she checked in at the stable but he wasn't there. Eventually she spotted him and didn't hide her approach.

"Coffee, and a blanket. Winter is early this year."

She placed both down nearby and hugged her arms, it was chilly.

"So, what do you plan on doing?" she asked, wondering how long he planned to stay around, and if he had any ideas on the situation so far.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:54 AM   #18
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Greg "Rattler" West

He accepted the coffee and blanket with a nod, he had one foot on the lower railing of the fence, rifle resting on his thigh and the crook of his elbow while building himself a smoke.

"First of all get your income flowing again, you can't really survive a harsh winter with the stock you have."

He glanced at the house,

"Fend off unwanted critters and of course make sure that natural predators doesn't get to the cattle."

He placed the finished cigarette in his shirt's pocket,

"Then scare the bejezus into those men who think they can just ride up and demand as they please. Then get some hands to help you out."

He took hold of his rifle as he lowered his foot from the fencing,

"I will be sending out two telegrams in the morning, I guess we will be needing guns as well as working hands and I know of two men who is like that. Only problem is that they can be pretty hard to get hold of, so it will take long for them to get here."

He scratched the stubble on his jaw,

"Of course finding you a proper husband will be a huge help, man-folk tend to look after their own and I got a feeling that the kind of man that will grow on you will be the right kind. Hard-working and honest."

He looked at her,

"That is kind of my plan, so I will be here for a long time, or until you tell me to leave."
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:53 AM   #19
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Standing with her mouth agape, Sophia wasn't sure what to say. A husband? The thought had crossed her mind but none of the people from town who had turned their back on her family fitted the bill. And if he thought she would shack up with one of his men, well, she wasn't that easy. But if that's what he was planning on doing, she wouldn't turn down his help. Instead, she closed her mouth and swallowed what had been the rising need to set him straight.

"I can end the agreement I have with the neighbor looking after the rest of the mob once those men arrive then. It should save us a pretty penny, especially throughout the winter."

For a while she just watched him, before turning her attention back to matters at hand.

"I think we should expect a swift response from Stark, he's not the sort of man to let someone stay too long in his territory. And this is his territory, at least in his mind." She rubbed her jaw, wondering just how many men he would deem necessary to kick Greg off the land. And herself and Maggie in the process.

"Should I send Maggie to my Aunt's in the city tomorrow?" she asked, looking to see if Greg thought it would be wiser getting the youngest daughter away from the danger. The look on her face indicated that her leaving as well was not an option. The same look her father got whenever he was certain of something.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:59 AM   #20
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Greg "Rattler" West

"I think it wise to send her away, keep at least somebody alive who still has claim to the land. You will need a copy of the deeds and titles. If we fall, she will have the law on her side to reclaim the land."

He sighed,

"Greed, everywhere I go there is greed in some way or another. Greed for money, greed for land, greed for gold, greed for a title. Why can't people just sit back, enjoy life and not want to have it all?"

He shrugged and motioned around them,

"Look at the neighbors, they have huge farms, they have thousands of cattle, yet they want more land, they want this land. Yet here you can hold a few hundred head, work them in your own time, you have a good home where you can sit every evening and share your thoughts, ideas and dreams."

He smirked at the life he will never have,

"Yet all that they will do once they get this land is tear all the structures down and push a few more heads of steer onto it and that's that. All this death and pulling threads for just more land."

He picked up the blanket and coffee, rifle resting in the crook of his arm,

"I think that there should be some way to get your sister away and let her have a legal copy of the land title and deed."
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:22 AM   #21
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With that, Sophia nodded and turned to leave. Pausing a brief moment before getting out of earshot, she felt like saying something more, but instead she simply bid him goodnight. The morning would arrive soon enough, and chores wouldn't do themselves. And above all else, Sophia was beyond tired. She was exhausted.

Heading inside, she closed the door and locked the latch before setting down at the table to rest. If Greg needed to get inside quick, she wanted to be on hand. And sleeping hunched over at the kitchen table wasn't unusual these days.

Soon morning came, bringing with it a thick fog and a daring chill.

Waking up to the sound of metal hitting something almost as solid, Sophia watched as Maggie went about stoking up the stove. A small fire already spitting out warmth.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:59 AM   #22
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Greg "Rattler" West

He watched as she walked away, he didn't need to remind himself that she was a child no more. He gave a gruff snort at his thoughts, he was just an old man with a fast hand and experience behind him. He turned to settle down for the night. It was a clear sky and the half moon gave enough light to illuminate the world. He made untimely rounds of the grounds, making sure that the cattle and horses was safe and sound, all-in-all it was a quiet evening, as daylight broke he settled on his hammock building his second cigaret for the evening. The coffee did a good job, but it ran out a while ago, he probably would get a few minutes' rest.

He slipped out of his shirt, kept his pants and boots on. Slipping the finished cigaret into a shirt pocket, he laid back onto the hammock, one arm behind his head, hat over his eyes and dozed off. He could hear faint stirrings from the house and that told him that the two girls was starting their day. Then he dozed off once more, his free hand curling automatically around the butt of the revolver , both secured to the leathered holsters with the hammer strings.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #23
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It took almost an hour to gather proper firewood from behind the house, create a cooking fire and do other necessary chores. Water was heated for washing, and for making a fresh pot of coffee. Milk had to be procured fresh from the udder of their dairy cow, and eggs gathered from the chicken coop. Whilst Maggie stirred a pot of left over meat and vegetables, Sophia kneaded dough that would become bread for the day. Soon enough they set the table with plates and cutlery, napkins and cups. Pouring a cup, Sophia drank from it whilst the break baked, standing on the front porch she spied the sleeping Greg. She hoped he hadn't fallen asleep before dawn, but couldn't blame him if he had.

Giving him a good couple of hours rest, she went into the barn and fed the horses stalled there. Whilst some roamed free or in the corral, the prize steeds were kept safe from harm (and wild animals). To lose any of those, would cost the family financially and ancestrally. Some of the blood in those horses went back almost two hundred years.

But nine o'clock they couldn't put off breakfast anymore, and Sophia, dressed in a brown pair of pants and a simple blouse headed over to the hammock.

"Mr West, there is some breakfast inside and some warm water for washing up," she said, approaching him with enough distance not to startle. She held a cup of coffee for him, and would exchange it for the empty jug if he wanted some.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:54 AM   #24
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Greg "Rattler" West

For some strange reason his doze turned into sleep, not too deep as he had taught himself to never sleep deeply, that could mean death. And of course there was movement, no matter how soft you worked with animals, they tended to make a sound. As footsteps approached him, his eyes snuck open, his thumb released the hammer thong and he had the revolver half-drawn when Sofie spoke. He relaxed marginaly and as onubtrusive as possible slid the revolver back and slid the hammer thong back into place. He lifted his hand to take hold of his hat as he sat up and replaced the hat on his head. He stood and stretched out,

"I must have fell asleep, I dozed off when you two started with the wood. Didn't mean to sleep this long."

He looked at the cup and took it, only then realizing that he was without shirt,

"Thank you, I just want to wash my face then I'll be ready if you wish to take your sister to town, while it's still early and cool."
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:22 PM   #25
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Whilst picking up the empty coffee pot, Sophia's eyes skimmed his bare chest, but she tried not to make a scene by staring and turned away without taking more than a second or two. Her father's stock hands often went shirtless and although she always glanced, her control was quite strong. Plus, her father had made it clear she was off limits, as was Maggie, obviously.

"Feel free to take your time, there is a spare bed inside to rest up on whilst we work around the homestead. I won't be heading out into the paddocks today."

Heading back inside, the girls continued to set up breakfast until the stew, beans and flapjacks were ready. Now they only waited for Greg to come inside and they would eat.
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