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Unread 31st of October, 2007, 11:57
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Fort Griffin SideThread

After a long journey by horse, Hannah rides into the town named Fort Griffin (The Flat) after the fort nearby. Quite a few folks stop and stare at the young lady who is certainly not ugly. A few whispers and jeers from some cowboys draw a little attention to her. "Hey honey, come to liven us up? Come, get off that horse, I got something you can ride!"

Last edited by Lando The Archmagi; 31st of October, 2007 at 12:07.
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Unread 31st of October, 2007, 14:23
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She had one hell of a headache from all the squinting into the sun. It didn't matter that she had a hat. Spears of light reflected off every rock and speck of dust in this God forsaken state, right into her face. Hadn't there been a war or something to get hold it? The locals, it seemed, were just as undesirable.

Hannah decided to smile, trail grit in her teeth or not, and pat the shoulder of her horse. "Sorry, but I'm only interested in big boys," she said. "This old one could teach you a thing or two." She didn't bother waiting for a response and spurred her big boy onward.
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Unread 2nd of November, 2007, 11:10
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"Good luck whore, there are plenty of you around to spare.", one of the cowboys calls after you. You spur your mount into the town proper and see many buildings, most of them of wood, a few with actual brick/stone. There are a good many saloons, stable house, barber, jail house and more.

ooc: see map of Fort Griffin in subforum, where you going?
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Unread 2nd of November, 2007, 14:42
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Hannah could hardly keep from laughing when she was out of the stranger's earshot. The big boy between her legs was just about too old for riding and happened to be ornery enough that his namesake wasn't just for show. Funny part was that Rude was probably mean enough her return jibes to the stranger probably had some truth to them. Lucky bastard. Still, Rude had been reliable enough for, what was it? Four months now? Something like that.

She knew she'd found it long before she came to it. It was always the smell. "Livery," the sign read. "Pete Haverty's," even. Hannah, for some strange reason, didn't crave biscuits when she approached. In fact, food of all sorts seemed mostly unsavory in the presence of a stable. She didn't know how the horses could stand it, but Rude's step had livened up enough that she knew he didn't rightly care. Someone could smell to barn, it seemed.

Some cowpoke caught Hannah's attention as she dismounted under an awning. More accurately, he caught Rude's, because the horse immediately wandered over to the trough this new stranger was filling up with water. Momentarily abandoned by her mount, but hardly bitter about it, Hannah approached soon behind the animal.

"Howdy," she said upon wiping her brow with the back of her sleeve. "How much to keep my parched friend here for the week?"
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Unread 4th of November, 2007, 01:16
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Pete Haverty's Stable

The stable hand tips his hat and smiles at Hannah, "Good day ma'am, welcome to Pete Haverty's stable, the finest in all of the Flat. We will take good care of your boy. As for the money, that'll be two dollars for the whole week."

He then heads over to take Rude's reins and get the money from you.
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Unread 4th of November, 2007, 05:23
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It took a few minutes for Hannah to locate her dwindling supply of currency in the mess inside Rude's saddlebags. It wouldn't be long before she could tally it all on one hand. Something would have to be done to rectify this in the relatively near future.

A few buckles later, Hannah was certain she saw her horse sigh in relief when she hefted those same bags off the animal. With the weight of it all now hoisted on her shoulder, she began to understand why. At was at this point she asked the stable hand, "I'm looking for a room that's both clean and relatively inexpensive. Any lodging 'round here fit the bill?"

There was an unusually long pause.

Hannah looked up from the pouch she had been fiddling with and it suddenly occurred to her the reason the stable hand wasn't answering. The man was momentarily occupied with a pencil, scribbling in a little book he had produced from God knows where.

"Oh," she started. "Right." The strange little book began to look like the ledger for the livery. This is what she got for not paying attention. "You'll be wantin' a name with the horse, I figure. Clarke. Hannah Clarke."

She paused, patiently this time, to let him finish, then spoke again. "Yes, now lodging, sir. You haven't any recommendations, do you?"

Last edited by Aavarius; 4th of November, 2007 at 12:54.
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Unread 7th of November, 2007, 10:32
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Originally Posted by Aavarius # She paused, patiently this time, to let him finish, then spoke again. "Yes, now lodging, sir. You haven't any recommendations, do you?"

"Thank you Ms. Clarke. As for staying here in town, I recommend Planter's Hotel it is one of the finest in all of The Flat. ", he takes her money and marks down in the ledger and directs her towards Planter's Hotel.
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Unread 7th of November, 2007, 15:13
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Thus ensued a short stint of direction asking and finger pointing, followed by more head nodding and person thanking.

Shortly there after, a woman in black made her way down the dusty Texan street, laden saddlebags lugged over her shoulder. It wasn't quite a suitcase, but it fit better on a horse, to be certain. When she found Planter's it wasn't because of the smell, not like the livery. No, this building she found the regular way: her eyes. Nevertheless, she was inwardly elated to see it.

A bed. A real mattress! When was the last time she'd slept on one of those? St. Louis was a long, long was away, even when she'd spent part of the trip on a riverboat. If, no...when she found Ernest Broussard here, he'd be sorry. She'd practically run him out of three states now and by God this was going to be the last one. Just as soon as she got a bed and a bath he'd be...

Someone was looking at her.

That would be a bellhop, she informed herself. Again, this was what she got for not paying attention. An awkward moment was born. Hannah put a bullet into it's brain as quick as she could. It died.

"If you would hold this for me a moment or three I would be most grateful." With the weight off she was free to make inquiries at the desk at her leisure. Hopefully this place had a vacancy.
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Unread 16th of November, 2007, 11:41
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Planter's Hotel

The tall muscular young bellhop tips his hat and nods, "Yes ma'am, I'd be happy to help you."

He takes her saddlebag and slings it over his broad shoulders. As you approach the front desk an older, but finely dressed gentleman comes out at the chime of the bell on the desk and adjusts his spectacles and smiles warmly. "Good day miss, welcome to the Planter's Hotel, I'm Mr. Planter, how may I help you?"
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Unread 16th of November, 2007, 17:36
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With her hat tucked into the crook of her arm, Hannah smiled pleasantly back at the gentlemanly fellow. "Good day to you as well, Mister Planter," she returned upon being greeted. She added a nod of sincerity to top the gesture off.

"By chance, have you vacancy for a single soul? I suspect I will be residing here for a week in the least."

In her present state, she may not have looked like a high-brow Yankee lass, far out of her element here on the frontier, but the words and mannerisms of one came easy still. After all, blue blood was thicker than trail grit, or something like that, right?

Well, it hardly mattered. French lessons, Shakespeare, and penmanship likely wouldn't get her far in Texas. Thank God she'd gotten over that kind of ignorance early in her journey. Then again, penmanship might come in to play after all. As the words to Planter's response came across the counter, Hannah caught sight of the hotel ledger and moved to sign her name in agreement to the transaction about to take place.
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 10:39
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Planter's Hotel

Originally Posted by Aavarius # Hannah caught sight of the hotel ledger and moved to sign her name in agreement to the transaction about to take place.
Mr. Planter adjusted his glasses and smiled brightly at Ms. Hannah hearing her interest in staying a week, "Yes ma'am I do indeed have a vacany or two. I can certainly make sure your stay here is the best you've ever had. Would you like a room with a view?"

He smiles as you look at his guest registry/ledger and offers you a quilled pen after dabbling it in an inkwell. "Please sign in Ms.?"
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Unread 18th of November, 2007, 18:00
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"Clarke," Hannah replied. She began to speak and write at the same time. "And yes, a view would be lovely."

As she replaced the quilled pen, a very curious name caught her attention in the ledger. "Buck?" she mused aloud. Buck Acuff. Buck A-Cuff. Buckle Cuff, maybe? Something like that. That had to be a local name if ever there was one.

Hannah shoved her hand into her pocket and was once again disappointed at how empty it was getting.

"How much do I owe you, then?"
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Unread 19th of November, 2007, 09:26
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Planter's Hotel

"I'm honored to have you as a guest Ms. Clarke, welcome to The Flat.", Mr. Planter said watching you sign the guestbook. He then looks at her as she reads Buck's name, "A yes, a gambler/gunfighter I believe, he has done some good things lately with a couple of other fellows. They brought in part of the Wild Bunch and left to hunt down the remaining members I hear. The sherrif would know more. As for the room, it'll be ten dollars for the week, but you don't have to pay me now if you'd like, please be my guest and enjoy your first night on me." He then gives her a key. "The room is on the second floor at the end of the hall, has a nice view of the main street of the town."
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Unread 20th of November, 2007, 18:41
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Well, she couldn't complain about a free night, to be certain. Hannah nodded with a smile again and said, "Thank you kindly."

On the second floor, in the room at the end of the hall, Hannah keyed in and shut the door after the bellhop deposited her saddlebags on the dresser. She managed to scrounge a few coins worthy enough to qualify as a tip before he got too far.

She spent the next ten minutes with a plug of jerky in her teeth as she attempted to put order to the plethora of...stuff crammed in her saddlebags. One stack of crumpled clothing, one pile of tasteless, preserved food, and one well worn miscellany of camping whatsits later, Hannah acquainted herself with a fresh pair of socks.

Down the street, Hannah mentally reviewed the directions to the sheriff she'd gotten from Planter. The Wild Bunch hardly sounded like a civilized group, to say the least, but if the law around here knew about them, he'd surely know about Hannah's favorite French-speaking scoundrel. He had a knack for walking the line of legality without falling off. It was best to get the law on her side before things got too out of hand.

When she finally found the door, she knocked.
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Unread 6th of December, 2007, 10:51
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Walking up to the Jail, it was obviously it was one of the more permanent buildings here in Fort Griffin. Even the windows had those shutters that were closed from the inside with solid wood and had crossed sections for firing out of with rifles. The wall by the door has several wanted posters tacked on it. When Hannah knocked a young but firm voice said, "Come on in ma'am, saw you walk up."
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Unread 7th of December, 2007, 17:01
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Hannah thought about it a second, and decided she'd probably been heard approaching as well. She'd gotten so used to the ringing spurs on her boots that she'd plum forgot they were there. As she stepped to the side of the door to open it and make her way inside, Hannah couldn't help but be partially annoyed by the sound from her heels.

Clink, clink, clink...

The sun was so bright outside that when Hannah stepped inside, the interior gloom was all but pitch black to her eyes. It took her another moment to locate the body that went with the disembodied voice from within as her eyes adjusted. Spotting a tin star to go along with him, she spoke.

"Afternoon. How might a lady around here go about filing a grievance against a fellow?"
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Unread 11th of December, 2007, 10:52
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Originally Posted by Aavarius # "Afternoon. How might a lady around here go about filing a grievance against a fellow?"
As the door to the jail opened, it was obviously a well kept office, with the obvious barred/jail door in the back, locked securely. On the wall near the only desk is a gun rack with several repeaters and boxes of ammo. Sitting at the desk his booted feet propped up on it is a tall handsome young man wearing jeans, boots, shirt with a shiny badge. Around his waist is a very well cared for gunbelt with the pistol in his hand as he reholsters it seeing Hannah. He smiles and tips his hat as he sits up and then stands. "Good day ma'am, a grievance you say? Against whom?"
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Unread 11th of December, 2007, 13:16
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Hannah smiled, and let the expression die very quickly. "Got any French bastards here, by chance," she asked.

That obviously required an explanation, and Hannah was happy to oblige. "I've got some bad, bad blood between myself and a fellow with an accent fitting that description. If this is starting to sound familiar, please speak up."

Oh, she had the lawman's attention now. Hannah reached into her jacket and fished out a crumpled photograph from her vest pocket. Setting it on the man's desk, she went on.

"My late husband was part of the prosecution team to put this man in jail for extortion. Ernest Broussard. Evil bastard had him and the witnesses killed, then fled Connecticut. I chased him to Saint Louis, then down the Mississippi River, all the way here. Everywhere I go he sets up some scam that yields him a whole of a lot of money with nobody the wiser. I don't know what he's doing here, but there's no way in Hell it's good, and he's had three weeks' head start on me to do it."

Hannah let loose that terse smile again, with a heavy dose of sweetness in her voice. "If you know where I can find the son of a bitch, I'd be most happy, kind sir."
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Unread 15th of December, 2007, 22:42
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Originally Posted by Aavarius # Hannah let loose that terse smile again, with a heavy dose of sweetness in her voice. "If you know where I can find the son of a bitch, I'd be most happy, kind sir."
John Larn tried very hard not to stare at the beautiful lady in his jailhouse, instead he smiled and tipped his hat. "Good morning ma'am, I'm John Larn, sherriff of Fort Griffin. As for bad French men, I've not had any trouble with any lately, but we do have a wide assortment of other bad types here, including ex-soldiers a plenty."

John then looks at the picture and listens as Hannah tells about this evil bastard of a man. He nods, "A good many of his type down this way lately, with the war over and business booming, not to mention the gold and silver mining. I haven't seen him in town, but I shall keep an eye out for him. There are several wanted individuals including the remaining members of the Wild Bunch. He might be hiding out with them up in the hills. Hell he could even be funding their escapades. They've done rapped several young ladies belonging to the town and even tried to kidnap a Big Jake's eldest daughter. They're wanted for other crimes including robbery and extortion."
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Unread 17th of December, 2007, 12:08
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"Really, now?" Hannah said with a smile. It wasn't a question, really. It was acknowledgment of a lead, a lead she was itching to take.

"There aren't any legal objections to my doing a bit of investigation, are there, Sheriff?" She poignantly settled a hand on the pistol hanging by her left hip to aid in communicating her intention.
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Unread 23rd of December, 2007, 23:53
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John Larn looks at Hannah and sighs, "Well ma'am I've already got a possee out hunting the Wild Bunch. They stopped the fight at Big Jake's and his family is safe. However, if you want to go talk to them you can. Big Jake is a capable man, used to be a soldier so he knows how to fight if needed. Best watch yourself, even with that pistol you've got the looks to tempt even a preacher."
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Unread 24th of December, 2007, 08:59
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Hannah tipped her hat and smiled, quite a bit more sinisterly than before. "Everyone's wary of the serpent and his charm, but nobody remembers his venom," she replied.

After a few more minutes of asking questions, Hannah felt she had the directions to this Jake fellow's ranch down well enough she wouldn't get lost. It would have been terribly ironic to wander off a trail and actually encounter a snake. Hannah wasn't quite as quick to leave as she would have liked. She had a whole mess of whatsits and a pair of saddlebags to carry it all in that she needed to retrieve first. After that it was an about face and a few dusty blocks down the street to get her horse from the livery. Plus, she'd been intrigued when Larn had made mention of a reward. That kind of thing demanded she pay attention a little while longer when she was this strapped for cash.

Rude was an ass in a horse's body, but he didn't give Hannah too much grief. Usually. Once again mounted and geared up on top of the animal, Hannah set off to find this Big Jake. She passed a great deal of the time trying to juggle between her canteen and the jerky she'd opened up earlier in the day.

Last edited by Aavarius; 24th of December, 2007 at 09:02.
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Unread 24th of December, 2007, 12:30
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John Larn gives Hannah directions to the big ranch owned by Big Jake. He warns her to approach via the road and not some other route as likely his hired hands and Jake himself will shoot her dead with the repeaters they have.

Pete is a be bewildered by Hannah's reappearance to get her horse already and returns her money and wishes her a safe ride.

It was approaching midday now and the sun was blazin' down on her as she juggled her canteen and munched on her jerky. The road was dusty and wide and the land pretty open here with all the other ranches and settlers near Fort Griffin. Big Jake's ranch was a few miles out of the town proper and on its own land taken by the former Union soldier and turned into a little paradise in this dust bowl.
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Unread 24th of December, 2007, 17:33
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Later that day, an armed woman in black, riding an old, ornery horse approached the fence line of the ranch. To whatever men she encountered, who would assuredly stop her at gun point, she let loose of the horse's reigns to reveal empty gloved hands and a peaceful intent.

When finally admitted passage to see Big Jake, she found herself surprised that he truly lived up to his namesake. Of course that only made sense, but clearly she was guilty of not paying attention again. She approached on foot, extending her hand as she did.

"Missus Clarke, good sir. Hannah Clarke," she said. "I won't waste too much of your time, but I'm here to find a fellow that goes by the name Broussard. He sounds French when speaking."

Hannah went on to explain her relation, if such a word could be used, to the man. In the end she finished off saying, "John Larn, sheriff at the fort town, tells me there's a band of miscretins out this way, and my money says the scoundrel's somehow involved."
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Unread 28th of December, 2007, 09:59
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The hired ranch hands that Hannah runs into are a group overseeing a herd of cattle. They have rifles and pistols and they politely ask Hannah to hand over her gun and any others she might have in her saddle or on her horse before escorting her back to the large ranch. Two young ladies, one around 15 the other around 7 doing chores outside look at Hannah and then they go running back to the house hollering, "Ma! Pa! We got company!"


Big Jake, a tall broad shouldered fellow comes out strapping a holster around his waist and tipping his hat as some of his other ranch hands stop to stare at Miss Clarke. When she dismounts and introduces herself, he nods and smiles. "Good day to you ma'am. As for this fellow you're looking for, haven't seen or heard of him, but its possible he's running with the Wild Bunch. A group of fellows came out here and stopped them from destroying my ranch and taking my dear Jenny. They shot and killed a couple of them and then took another back to the Fort to stand trial. I heard they went north/northeast to the hills hunting down the rest of them. I do know that their leaders are two brothers known for their gambling, whoring and robbing."

Last edited by Lando The Archmagi; 28th of December, 2007 at 10:04.
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