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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: At Wit's End 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: At Wit's End  (Read 35346 times)
Elegant Ella
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« Reply #150 on: July 23, 2011, 01:46:40 am »

Marshal Phillips came out from his office when he heard the stagecoach arrive so that he could see who got off. His relief at seeing Deputy Washington safely back was solely due to the return to 8-hour shifts, of course. The man Mrs. Coatsworth was meeting must be the doctor friend come to visit, which meant that Castletown could get its new doctor soon.

When Deputy Washington came back out from the stableyard of the Ace, Marshal Phillips had moved closer to the front window, visibly waiting.

Jimmy handed the reins of his horse to Lily, saying, "I reckon I ought to report. Bet he tells me to go on duty right now, and invites himself to dinner."

"I wouldn't bet against that idea. I'll warn Mrs. Coatsworth," replied Lily.

Jimmy headed for the office and reported, "Prisoners all delivered to the jail with no problems. A message waiting for us there told us to stop by the office in Houston on the way back. Marshal Thompson sent you a couple extra deputies. They said their orders tell them to report for duty in the morning."

"Well, you are on duty now. Deputy King will come on at 8pm. You can sort out with him how you want to divide tonight."

Marshal Phillips went into the office to secure his desk, then headed home. He resisted the temptation to invite himself to dinner at the Coatsworth's. Instead, he could have a relaxed evening at home and an early night. He admitted to himself that 12-hour shifts were wearying, but if an older man like Deputy King didn't complain, he wasn't going to.
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #151 on: August 16, 2011, 12:05:42 am »

“You can keep your horses here by Deputy Washington’s horse. It will give you a reason to come by, if I’m not here the barkeep knows where to find me.” Scarlet said. “You’re welcome to stay until you can find more suitable accommodations too, but I don’t think you staying here will make Phillips allto happy.”

“Do you think the barkeep will be agreeable to that?” Deputy Mason asked thinking of the rather cold welcome they had gotten earlier.

“Hank doesn’t make good impressions on strangers who come in the back door. Give him a chance he’ll warm right up to you.” She replied then continued  “You can communicate with Fritz too, I’m sure you’ll all be seeing each other often.”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #152 on: August 16, 2011, 09:05:31 pm »

"And I'll be going on duty in a few hours," Fritz added.  "If you want to join me on patrol, you'd be welcome."
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #153 on: August 17, 2011, 08:22:31 pm »

"Thank you, we will." Deputy Locke answered for both.
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #154 on: September 05, 2011, 10:59:02 pm »

Scarlet waited until Fritz went on duty before she and Jimmy headed back to the Southern Starr.

They were well out of town before she said “Hayes is Locke’s uncle, seems Hayes inspired a bunch of his nephews to join the Marshals.”

“Does this put a burr under your blanket, or something you may admire?” Jimmy asked.

Scarlet looked at him trying to decide what she really thought of it. “I shouldn’t let it bother me. I do the same; surround myself with those I trust.”

 Jimmy laughed then said “What do the men report about Hayes?”

“He has done nothing to report. Stays in the areas he’s been asked to, asks for an escort if he wants to go anywhere.” She replied.

When they reached the Starr Scarlet found Hayes visiting with Archie.
“You’re two deputies are in town. They went on patrol with Deputy King.” She said to Hayes.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

Elegant Ella
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« Reply #155 on: September 05, 2011, 11:56:46 pm »

"I'm glad they've plunged right in. I hope they don't pester you or Mrs. Coatsworth," replied Hayes.
 
"Why would they pester anyone?" asked Scarlet.

"They picked up a bit of hero worship after meeting the two of you and spending a few months with Jimmy Washington. Apparently he told some tales, and inspired them to spend free time reading the reports out of this office. They've been deputies long enough to know that the parts worthy of dime novel stories don't make it into official reports, so they might have questions about some of the cases."
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #156 on: September 06, 2011, 10:51:36 pm »

“I’m sure if Mrs. Coatsworth feels like she is being pestered she will let them know.” Scarlet replied. 
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

Elegant Ella
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« Reply #157 on: September 16, 2011, 10:43:37 pm »

In the morning, Ella knocked on the doorframe of Alan's office, where he and Dr. Martin were talking, before announcing, "Lily, Eddie and I are heading out to the Southern Starr for a couple hours. I want to invite Johnny and Rose Longknife to come to dinner tonight and meet you, Dr. Martin. Maybe Bo Corbin will come as well, since you stitched him up."

"You don't have any patients expected?" asked Dr. Alan.

"No one is expected, but Lena Morgan is in my office to take care of anyone who might come by while I'm gone." Lena Morgan was the widow of lawyer Raymond Morgan's brother, and had come to El Paso with him after the War to keep house. Lena had felt unneeded after Morgan married the daughter of a local rancher, and jumped at the opportunity to become Ella's apprentice.

Alan raised one eyebrow, but didn't make any comment about matchmaking.
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Elegant Ella
1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #158 on: September 19, 2011, 12:35:32 pm »

Fritz finished his final entry in the blotter for the night.  There was a fresh pot of coffee on the stove; Fritz made it for himself, not for the Marshal.  He would do his level best to say as little as possible to the man before he left.  Fritz was unsure if he should go home, or go to the apartment he shared with Scarlet at the saloon. 

The night had gone well.  It had been quiet, and the extra help had been welcome.  The two young deputies seemed eager enough, but were more interested in his career than in current events.  They knew of his exploits at the Rosebud, but those were recent history.  Fritz filled them in without overglamorizing the events.  The men were curious about his weapons as well.  The Navy conversions and the Walkers in his pommel holsters drew special interest.  While he sat at his desk, he drew the older Navy and looked it over.  It was well-worn, but well cared for.  Fritz smiled as he reholstered the piece.  "Kinda like me" he whispered to himself.

The Marshal walked in without saying a word.  He passed Fritz and closed his office door.  Fritz stood, took his coat, hat and '66 and headed for the door. 
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« Reply #159 on: September 27, 2011, 09:35:00 am »

Scarlet and declined Jimmy’s invitation to ride across the river to the next town to “unwind where nobody knows who we are” so instead they ended up sitting on his front porch drinking blackberry wine until the sun came up.

Scarlet laughed and pointed at the sunrise.
 
Jimmy grinned as he put down his guitar, it was no secret that he could play, what very few people knew is that he could sing.
 
Sitting on the porch talking about nothing was something they hadn’t done in a long time.


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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #160 on: September 27, 2011, 05:00:16 pm »

Fritz decided to ride for home.  He hadn't been there in awhile it seemed.   The job kept him away from home.  "Home," Fritz whispered.  It was a strange sound, but a good one. 

He crossed the rise and saw the house he shared with Scarlet.  The hands waved to him as he came in and tied Buddy to the hitching post.  The stove in the kitchen wasn't going; that meant Scarlet hadn't come home.  He had no reason to worry.  She'd probably spent the night with a friend. 

Fritz spied the skillet hanging from the fencerail.  With a smirk that looked remarkably like one his wife would wear, he pulled the Walkers from their pommel holsters.  Fritz hefted the heavy pistols and began firing.  Each time he was greeted by greeted by a massive boom, a cloud of smoke and the ringing of iron.  Ten shots in quick succession, all hitting within inches of each other.  Fritz smiled as the skillet stopped swinging.

He carried the horse pistols inside and got the fire going.

       
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« Reply #161 on: September 27, 2011, 10:35:01 pm »

The echo of the gunfire reached Jimmy’s house.
“There’s hope for your Yankee soldier yet.” Jimmy said with a smile.

“If you hadn’t thought that from the start you wouldn’t have let us near each other.” Scarlet said knowingly.  “There’s more to you than most people can see Jimmy.”

“I’m kind of interested to see how fast and accurate he is with those pistols.”
 
“Well saddle up then.” Scarlet replied.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #162 on: September 27, 2011, 10:38:56 pm »

Rose was delighted to accept a dinner invitation from Ella.

Bo tried to politely decline by telling Ella he didn’t feel he would be very interesting company to two doctors. Johnny was within earshot of the conversation.

“That’s fine Bo you can talk my language when the two doctors start speaking theirs and keep me company.” He said.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

Elegant Ella
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« Reply #163 on: September 28, 2011, 11:45:04 am »

Social errand completed, Ella headed for the infirmary to talk to Hayes. She had sent Lily and Eddie to talk to Archie about Castletown. She wasn't going to ask them to accompany her and Dr. Alan on Hayes's quest without Archie's information.

Hayes was pulling weeds in the infirmary garden when Ella walked up. "You know a man is bored to distraction when he resorts to tending a flower bed," she said with a smile.

"Eddie and Lily are in talking to Archie, so I decided to leave the building to give them privacy."

"Dr. Martin arrived yesterday, so the time to go is getting close. Dr. Alan is going to stay out of planning. He's got to focus on being what they expect him to be."

"What about you?"

"I had plenty of practice looking like what Boston people expected me to be. Since Phillips expects the same thing, I can pull that mask on again for Castletown, though exposing too much prior knowledge would be a bad idea. The easiest way not to expose too much prior knowledge is not to acquire it."

"What about Eddie and Lily?"

"Really counting on them being mostly overlooked."

Hayes stood up and brushed the dirt off his knees, "Time for completing the plan."

They went into the building to join Archie, Eddie and Lily.
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #164 on: November 07, 2011, 11:04:52 pm »

Jimmy’s horse to a stopped next to the fence where the skillet Fritz had shot at hung. Jimmy looked at it for a moment before dismounting. He looked around, noticing most of the hands were busy he grinned and drew his revolvers at the same time and fired. He was fast enough it was hard to tell by the noise that ten shots were fired.

The grin stayed on Jimmy’s face as he put his pistols back in their holsters.

“Don’t get over confident now.” Scarlet teased.

“We both should be practicing that more.” Jimmy replied. 

Scarlet raised an eyebrow in question.

“Something is brewing Scarlet, I can smell it, and I can feel it in my bones. Whatever it is I’m ready. Wouldn’t be the first time we’d followed each other to hell and back, keep on the top of your game and it won’t be the last.”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #165 on: November 10, 2011, 08:00:21 am »

As Fritz cleaned the Walkers, he heard the horses ride up.  He knew it was Scarlet by Buddy's footfalls.  There was anothe rider, probably Jimmy.  Fritz didn't jump when shots erupted in quick succession.  They flew so rapidly that Fritz couldn't tell if it had been ten or twelve.  

He took his time scrubbing the bores with hot water, and pushing patches through until they were clean and dry.  The coffee pot began to boil; Fritz threw a handful of grounds into the pot and waited for them to settle.  As he stood at the stove, Scarlet slipped in behind him.  As her arms laced around his middle, he felt that familiar thrill as their bodies touched.  

"Hello Darlin," Scarlet purred.  "Miss me?"    
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« Reply #166 on: November 17, 2011, 12:12:29 am »

“Course he missed you, look he’s havin’ to make his own coffee while you’re out all night.” Jimmy answered teasingly.

Scarlet shot Jimmy a wicked look over her shoulder only to see the grin he was still wearing.

“We should all go out and practice.” Jimmy said looking at the guns Fritz had just cleaned.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #167 on: November 17, 2011, 01:10:15 pm »

Fritz remembered a story he was told by General Sherman.  He smiled and said; " there once was a Colonel standing on a hilltop, watching a battle unfold.  The Colonel's heart swelled with pride as he watched his troopers advance.  He drew his Army Colt and started to run down, when his Sergeant called out, 'you shoot that thing sir, and you're gonna have to clean it!"

Jimmy laughed, knowing the response.  "So the Colonel holstered his sidearm and stayed with his Sergeant!"

"Right," Fritz replied.  "These go back to the pommel holsters."  He hefted the Walkers.  "But I'll go get my Schofield."

   
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #168 on: April 05, 2012, 12:56:22 pm »

"Lily and Eddie, Dr. Coatsworth and I are going to Castletown. I would like you two to come along, but it will be dangerous, as Archie should have told you," stated Ella quietly.

Eddie spoke up first, "I'm game!"

Lily was a second slower, "I'm in!"

"Well, Lily, you're going to have to dress like a lady's maid."

Lily made a face, but repeated, "I'm in."

Ella turned to Hayes, "I've decided that I need to NOT know the details of the plan. Lily should be in charge of the operation."

Lily squeaked, "Me??" while Hayes looked surprised.

"I have to assume that I'm going to be watched too closely to be able to do anything," replied Ella. "Eddie and Lily both brought what they need for a few days stay. Eddie should be able to get up to speed on the telegraph while Lily works with Hayes and Archie on the plan. I'll find Jimmy to ride back to town with me."

Ella left the infirmary, and followed the distant sound of gunfire to the practice range. She needed practice as well, and had her pistols, one in a holster on her belt that she always rode while riding, and the other concealed under her pockets. She could talk to Jimmy when everyone was done.
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Elegant Ella
1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #169 on: April 06, 2012, 06:11:46 am »

CLANG-CLANG-CLANG-CLANG-CLANG!!!

Five shots in quick succession strunk the sklillet.  Satisfied, Fritz broke the pistol open, sending empty cases spinning through the air. 

"That's a nice piece," Jimmy remarked. 

Fritz smiled.  "My wife has good taste!"

Scarlet grinned, and held out her hand.  "May I try it darlin'?"

Fritz handed her the Schofield, and five rounds from his cap pouch.  She stepped in front of him and loaded the cylinder.  Snapping the pistol shut, Scarlet levelled the pistol at her target.  Fritz admired the smooth way she transferred the energy of the draw through her hips.  The shots came quicker than his, and were just as accurate.

"Lookin' at my ass again darlin'?"

Fritz answered matter-of-factly.  "Yes."

Scarlet giggled.  He loved the sound.  "Good," she replied, as she emptied the cylinder.
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« Reply #170 on: April 09, 2012, 09:20:44 am »

Jimmy grinned “An advantage the ladies seem to use. I seen a man killed doin’ that.” He said with a laugh. 
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #171 on: April 09, 2012, 12:42:31 pm »

Ella dismounted and joined the others at the loading table. "Jimmy, have you ever been to Castletown?"

"It hasn't been called that but a few years, but yeah, I've been there. Why are you asking about that hole?

"Dr. Alan is looking into a position there. I'll go with him to check it out, with Lily and Eddie as servants. Lily and Eddie are plotting with Hayes now, about how to get the information needed. The initial is for them to signal when they have it, then have the Army ride in and take over the place. I was wondering if you, and maybe Scarlet in one of her other guises, might be able to show up before the Army, to help us get out safely."
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« Reply #172 on: April 09, 2012, 11:12:41 pm »

Jimmy’s back straightened and he faced Ella “Last time I was there it wasn’t a place I would think Dr. Alan or you would want to live.” he had a few other unflattering comments about Ella’s husband and Hayes but chose to keep them to himself. Ella’s remark did explain the uneasy feelings he’d been having and Scarlet had said Castletown had been a subject of discussion recently.
 
“I’ll be there; only if you promise me we have a chance to talk about it before you leave,” he said.

“If you would escort me back to town we can talk about it.”

“Can you tell me how many men the army is after or how loyal the rest of the town is to the one in charge. What will I be up against to get you out safely?”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

Elegant Ella
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« Reply #173 on: April 10, 2012, 10:20:58 am »

"Somewhere I got the idea that most of the town doesn't really know they are ruled by a king. The army will be after that 'king' and his inner circle, which might be only a couple of men. Archie might have some idea how loyal the rest of the town is to the one in charge, and have some ideas of how hard getting out without permission is going to be. It could be that Phillips was honest when he told Dr. Alan this would be a visit to see the place before making a decision, and we will be able to leave freely if he decides against taking the position of town doctor," replied Ella before mounting up for the ride back into town. "Of course, if we can leave freely, that means those in charge would be confident that we would not have learned anything interesting to the law."
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Elegant Ella
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« Reply #174 on: April 12, 2012, 10:14:35 pm »

Jimmy swung into the saddle. “If you can’t leave freely, having me ride into town may not go well for you and the doc. It’s no secret we both have ridden for the Marshal’s office.”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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