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RPG Beneath the Desert Sky


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[SIZE=1]The June sun was high in the afternoon sky, and blazing hotly down upon Wayne Drinlo's already suntanned back. The sounds of a hammer echoed through the town, each strike driving yet another nail home. He paused to look up, shielding his eyes from the sun and taking in the clear blue sky before wiping his face with the shirt hanging from his waistband.

Glancing to his right, he saw Sheriff Morrison walking down the main street, probably heading towards the general store. He smiled and thought about walking over and seeing if the Sheriff wanted to give him a hand. A huge man like that would likely prove useful in helping build the stables. But the Sheriff was on duty, and would not take kindly to being bother over non-duty related tasks.

Pulling his hat low on his eyes, Wayne lifted his hammer once again and set back to work. A noise at his back caught his attention, and he stopped and turned. In front of him stood another man, not quite 6' tall, well-armed but looking as though he was staring death in the face.

Wayne spoke, his voice soft and soothing. "Anything I can do for you, sir?"

The other man's voice was gruff and worn. "I was hoping I could find myself some water."

Wayne turned and pointed down the street. "The saloon is three buildings down from here, on the right. The bartender's name is Jake. He'll likely have something you can drink."

With a tip of his hat and a "Thank you kindly, sir," the other man turned and walked on while Wayne went back to work.


Marion Morrison was not completely oblivious to the man that came dragging his way into town. He watched from the window of the general store as he approached Wayne, continuing to watch as Wayne pointed out the saloon before going back to work. Marion stepped over to one of the shelves and removed a canteen.

Stepping over to the counter, he tossed the money down. The blonde behind the counter looked at the canteen and laughed. "Another canteen? That's the third one this month."

Marion shrugged, his broad shoulders keeping his shirt stretched tight. "Well, what can I say? I tend to lose the things."

A deeper voice spoke of from behind Marion. "Perhaps, but we only get new stock on certain items so often. We're going to run out if you keep this up."

Marion glanced over his shoulder at the other man in the store. Green eyes were watching his every move, and Marion senses some annoyance. "I'll keep that in mind, Jeremy. If you'll excuse me, I have things to attend to." He turned to the blonde and tipped his hat. "Good-day, Celes."

Celes watched as Marion left the store, heading in the same direction she'd just noticed some new person in town going. "A kind man, our sheriff is."

Jeremy shrugged. "If you're on his good side."


Clark slowly made his way down the street. As tough as he was, walking through the Arizona desert with limited water and no horse took its toll on most men. He was hoping all he really needed was water. Lore really wasn't far enough away from Colorado for his tastes.

He kept his hands away from his weapons, not wishing to draw any more attention than he was already getting. The saloon was a fairly nice-sized establishment, with a simple sign declaring its purpose. He raised his voice a little as he pushed through the swinging doors.

"Hey, barkeep! Any chance a thirsty man could get some water here?"
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The dark saloon was dim, light coming in only from its open windows. Several unlit candles sat on the tables and inside ceiling-hung lanterns through out the mostly wooden establishment, waiting to be lit later in the evening once the sun set. Kent sat alone in a shadowy corner, a short mug on the table in front of him, still filled with the ale he'd ordered upon entering. His wide-brimmed hat was cocked forward, covering his brow and casting a shadow over his eyes. He sat with his arms folded underneath his poncho, in a posture that looked as if he'd fallen asleep. Still no one approached him, as his still body gave off a foreboding aura to the busy and boisterous people surrounding him.

Beneath the darkness covering his eyes, Kent followed each individual carefully, his ears tuned in acutely to the conversations being held. Words of past accomplishments, drunken tirades and complaints about catching the clap from local prostitutes polluted the air. Still, he selectively cut through the garbage and tried to hear any loose talk about the man he was hunting. Clark Winslow.

A man Kent had yet to see in Lore stepped through the shudder-door, his boots clunking heavily on the creaking wood. He was armed with two pistols on each hip, however, he walked in an unthreatening manner. His face held a friendly expression as he approached the bar and laid his hands down on the top. [b] "Hey, barkeep! Any chance a thirsty man could get some water here?"[/b]

[b] "Mr. Winslow!"[/b] the barkeep shouted out happily, Kent's eyes widened and his head raised up. [b] "Water you say?"[/b]

[b] "Yessir."[/b] Winslow pulled a stool up to the bar and hunched himself down onto it, then withdrew a canteen which he slid to the bartender.

The bartender turned around and began to prepare the drink for him, and spoke from his back, [b] "So, how's Lore treatin' ya so far, Mr. Winslow?"[/b]

Kent raised from his seat, and picked up his mug. He took a deep drink from the ale before placing back on the table. He recrossed his arms beneath his poncho and made his way across the bar towards the man named Winslow.

[b] "It's been alright, sir. People are kind enough, treat me well. I think I might settle for a bit."[/b] the bartender slid the canteen across the bar to Winslow, he raised it up with a smile before taking a deep drink. [b] "Ah, now that hits the spot, I tell you.."[/b]

Kent stopped behind Winslow and stood for a moment, looking into the back of his head. [b] "Clark Winslow..."[/b] he said.

[b] "That's the name, honcho."[/b] Clark turned around in his seat and laid his eyes on Kent. [b] "What'll it be, Redman?"[/b]

[b] "I've come here to kill you."[/b] Kent spoke with an intimidating tone, purposely. [b] "Let's step outside."[/b]

[b] "Well, sir..."[/b] Clark's hands whipped across his hips like lightning and brought his two pistols up, aimed squarely at Kent, who just as quickly had pulled his own massive Model 29 up, aimed at the outlaw's head. [b] "Why don't we give these people a show?"[/b] Clark said with a devilish smirk.
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]Ling Kelly and her husband Connor rode through the desert quietly, the sun already chinning itself on the eastern ridge line. They had packed up their saddlebags an hour previous and drunk cold coffee from the night previous. According to the map, Lore was just a few hours away, and they wanted to make it before the true heat of the day took over. No that Ling minded. She tanned deeply bronze in the sun, while Connor merely tanned, and peeled like a white onion.

As her strawberry roan went through his paces at an easy lope, she whistled a simple tune that sounded slightly lilting, like the warbling of any spring bird. Connor joined in with a slightly deeper tone, and the pair wound their way through the ill used trail, their horse's hooves dull clops in the sand.[/i]

"What are you thinking about Ling?"

"I'm thinking about an ice cold beer. And a bath. You?"

"I'm thinking about you in that bath. With your hair down."

[i]Ling leaned over slightly in the saddle, and swatted him with the end of the rawhide rope looped around her saddlehorn. He jerked back and retaliated with a swipe across her chest, which missed as she leaned back, and then spurred her horse on. An indian war whoop ripped itself from her lungs and her roan took off like a shot, leaving him and his speckled mustang behind.

The two raced across the desert, the morning air still sweetly cool, the sound of birds and insects a loud hum in their ears. For a few moments, all that could be heard was the sound of their horses blowing as they gave them the rein to walk, and Ling leaned forward a little to change positions and touched the stock of her Winchester just to reassure herself that it wasn't gone. Going into a new town, beer and bath aside, was always an experience. Nobody could predict if she'd be left alone, or if they'd get into a brawl over the same old tired 'that's my wife you're trying to touch' rigamarole. Ling smiled to herself, remembering the last fight.

She'd pistol whipped a guy and virtually tap danced on his face while Connor had swung another guy around and smashed yet another into a table. And then they'd run out of town before the sheriff had caught up. Oh the fun, the adventures, but Ling really wouldn't mind if Lore turned out to be quiet and peaceful for a change. Just for a few days anyway. They'd been on the trail for nearly a week now and that bath was becoming more and more tempting.

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[SIZE=1]Both men holstered their weapons as they moved to leave the bar. After all, it wasn't much of a show if they already had their weapons drawn. Clark glanced over at Jake as he stepped away. "Pour me a whiskey, good man. I'll be wanting it once I've taught this youngster a lesson or two."

As they stepped onto the saloon's 'porch', Clark smiled at the prospect of yet another dead body at his feet. Although the chances of them actually hitting anything were fairly slim. Unless you'd been in it a while, adjusting to aim through the heat haze was awful damned difficult, as Clark had discovered. And no matter how many times he learned it in his travels, if he spent more than 2 or 3 months away from the blistering heat, he'd have to relearn it again.

Clark's hands rested just above his pistols as he turned to face the man who'd gone and been dumb enough to challenge him. What the fuck kind of Injun was dumb enough to challenge any real man to a gunfight? Then he realized he didn't know the young man's name. Call it strange, but Clark hadn't yet killed a man whose name he didn't know, at least not in a showdown. "What's you're name, boy?"

"Kent Kotsee."

"Thanks. Always good to know who I'm gonna kill."

Hands rested above pistols as people gathered at windows. No one needed to say when there was going to be a showdown. You could feel it. There was no question as to what was going on. You just headed for the windows.

Clark's fingers curled and his mouth began to open. He was drawing before he finished the word. "Dr-"

Two gunshots broke through the silence, thundering above Clark's words. Kent spun as he realized Clark was unarmed, his gun drawn, and a third shot put him in the same predicament. Clark went to stoop and lift a weapon, but a fourth shot removed his hat, and he stopped.

Sheriff Morrison stood just outside the general store, a smoking pistol in his hand. "If either of you gentleman make moves for your weapons, I guarantee that you will find you no longer need them."

Neither of the men was that stupid. Kent only wanted to kill one man here, and Clark hadn't survived as long as he had in this trade by being reckless. Morrison walked over to Kent, picking up Kent's pistol before prodding the young man with the one in his hand.


Kent complied, following the sheriff's directions and heading toward Clark. Jake stepped out of the bar, taking Winslow's weapons and handing them to Morrison, who tucked all three of the additional pistols into his waistband. "Thanks, Jake."

"Don't mention it."

Morrison kept his gun trained on the two men. "Both of you, march."

The jail was at the end of the road, but it was obvious which building it was. Morrison allowed Clark to retrieve his hat, but that was the only delay in them getting to the jail. Both men entered without an argument before Morrison closed and locked it behind them.

"You'll be in there for at least tonight. I'll decide what I want to do with you both later."

He placed their weapons in a storage cabinet that he then proceeded to lock before leaving the office and heading for the saloon.
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[SIZE=1]I didn't expect the ground to be as hard as it was as I was thrown from the covered wagon to the dry dusty soil. Perfect. I scrambled to my feet as fast I could to face the wagon. Her father jumped down aiming my own winchester at me and yelling so fast and loud i couldn't make out what he was saying. I guess for you to understand this predicament I have found myself in I need to explain myself further.

I had been in the ground for a day, maybe more, maybe less, you lose sense of time in those kind of situations. I had already had an unpleasant experience with a buzzard so I was incredibly uncomfortable. Thats when the wagon rolled up, almost crushing my head by the way. God must have been on my side cause they actually were able to spot me. After about an hour I was out of the ground and laying down in the back of the wagon.

It had been about a week since they had picked me up when the mother and father went into town for supplies and left me and their daughter in the wagon. She sat down with me and in an abrupt move she started to unbutton her blouse. Needless to say a weaker man would have given in to temptation and went along with her. So I did. It was going swimmingly until today when her father happened to forget something in the wagon and caught us in the act, and here I am.

[/SIZE][SIZE=1] [center]~~~~~~~~~~
My own rifle was trained at my head as the man continued to shout at me. He took a deep breath and glowered at me as if collecting his thoughts.

[B]"How dare you do that with my daughter, and after I saved you from your own inevitable death. THIS IS HOW YOU THANK ME!"[/B] He snarled. A couple people emerged from the surrounding buildings to see what all the commotion was all about.
"In my defense, she came-on to me first,"[/B] Her father seemed to roar and then let lose a round from my rifle. I flinched and sat for a second waiting for the pain to start before I opened them to find myself relatively unscathed. [B]"I was going to marry her." [/B]I lied, horribly by the look on his face and he let loose another round. This one clipped my boot and made me jump.

He glared at me that sent a shiver down my spine and then slowly backed his way to the front of the wagon. I heard the wheels creak as they started to roll and then his daughter appeared out the back flap and tossed me my bag. She winked and blew me a kiss which sent shivers down my spine for the second time and then she retreated back into the wagon just before it took off. I sat there in the dust for a second holding my bag and hoping that my heart would fall back into my chest from its perch in my throat.

The wagon left from sight and a smirk grew on my face. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the wad of money and the golden watch that I had pocketed from the father.

[B]"I guess I wont feel bad about taking this then." [/B]I shoved them back into my pocket and headed down the street. I need a drink.
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~ Odin Yggdrasil, Smoking Aces Smithy ~

A series of gunshots ran out in the street near the saloon, just in time for an explosion to burst the windows and send smoke flying from the blacksmith shop. Apparently it?s owner has messed up one of his tinkering, that or he had finally lost it and was about to blow the whole place sky high.

There was a bit of a ruckus among the crowd that had spilled out of the saloon to see the gunfight that the Sheriff had interrupted, and a voluptuous woman fought her way through the crowd to the blacksmith shop as the smoke began to clear from around it.

?ODIN! Odin are you in there?? She demanded of the building as soon as she was within earshot of the doors. Giving them a mighty pull, the latch gave way under her will and more smoke billowed out as the doors opened.

?I?m alright. Just triggered the flash pan a little bit to soon.? A man coughed from inside, standing near the iron contraption that was the epicenter of the explosion. Nearby a forge smoldered softly, having been ignored for a bit while Odin worked on his project between customers. ?Apparently mixing 5:1 is too much, it detonated instead of burning nicely and made a mess of my equipment.?

Martel sighed as the town blacksmith came into view, a fairly slender and attractive young man who was covered head to toe with a layer of soot. ?You know I worry when you do stuff like that. Just what were you trying to do??

?I was hoping to make a more powerful type of gunpowder. But that one went so hot it melted the flash pan, I doubt I could make a gun hold up to it.? He remarked, wiping himself off a bit.

?Did you hear the gunshots outside? A couple of guys picked a fight in the bar and went to settle it in the street, and the sheriff took them both to jail for it.? Martel inquired of Odin, knowing what his response would be.

?I hadn?t the foggiest. My ears were still ringing from that old anvil, and after that explosion I?m surprised I can still hear you.? Odin replied, dragging the remains of the contraption to a dark corner to be reprocessed as scrap metal. ?Anyway, what can I for you today??

?Odddinnnn?? Martel moaned, causing him to look directly at her as if puzzled.


Martel ran at him, sweeping him into a tight embrace and making him blush extensively because of her lush curves and ample bosoms. ?Don?t worry me like that alright? Otherwise I?ll hug you.?

?I?m sorry Martel. But you know me; I?m a survivor. I probably could be shot and not feel it until a week later. This one is going to feel nice for sure.? Odin remarked, returning her embrace while the two were out of sight behind the still-closed half of the shop door.

?And actually, I do need something today. Paaw went and broke his shovel, and then went and threw the pieces off a cliff in his madness about it. I?ll be needing another one from you.? Martel remarked, looking over the shelves of wares that lined the walls but glancing back to Odin every few moments to make sure he wasn?t staring at her.

Odin was staring at her of course, and she knew it. He had been too out of touch with reality to respond to her advances when she was younger, but ever since she outgrew her dresses a few years ago all of a sudden he couldn?t keep his eyes off her when she was around, while many guys wouldn't give her a second look because of her new figure. ?There should be one over there, I had made a bunch of them last time I had the stock for it. I?d have to scrap-salvage if I was to make another now.?

?Ah here?s one. Thanks Odin, put it on my father?s tab alright?? She remarked, picking up the shovel and them moving her body ever so slightly to push Odin into a fantasy.

Sure enough it worked, a drop of blood appeared at Odin?s nose and he quickly blushed and looked away saying ?Sure thing Martel. Will you be in town again later??

?Oh probably. You know where to find me if you do want to talk more. Though if I know you I?ll be the one looking for you.? She answered, putting the shovel over her shoulder and heading back down the street towards where he horse was tied up. ?Be careful alright? I worry about you sometimes.?

A few feet outside the door of the shop, another guy stopped Martel and started talking to her. Odin couldn?t hear what was said, he had already begun working and just noted the shadows. A sharp crack rang through the shop, louder than the anvil, and Odin looked up to see the guy holding the side of his face and Martel nowhere to be found.

?Best leave that one alone you know. She?s the devil in human clothing.? Odin remarked with a smile to the pain-riddled man, before inquiring if he required any ironwork, to which the man replied that his gun had jammed and needed service.
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[B][SIZE=1]"I don't wanna walk no further, Mack," [/SIZE][/B][SIZE=1]Annie groaned in an incredibly childish fashion, dragging her feet so they kicked up billowing clouds of dust from the ground.

[B]"We're not far from Lore, Annie," [/B]her brother replied, a number of paces ahead of her, [B]"Jus' think o' the reward for ol' Winslow an' keep goin'!" [/B]He stopped for a moment to twist a battered old cigarillo into the corner of his sneering mouth, light a match on the underside of his boot, and set it to the end of the cigarillo. A burst of flame crackled then died down, and a puff of smoke gave Mack the signal that the end had caught. He took a deep lungful of smoke in, then leant his head back, opened his mouth, and allowed it to pour slowly out of his mouth and nostrils, making him look like some kind of hellish monster.

It wasn't much longer before they reached the outskirts of the town of Lore, Arizona, and Annie suddenly regained energy, and ran ahead of Mack through the town gates.

[B]"We're here, Mack!" [/B]she shrieked giddily, like a schoolgirl, [B]"We made it!"

"We sure did, sis," [/B]Mack said with a smile as he took in his surroundings. There were signs of a scuffle - the faint tang of gunpowder lingering in the air, messy scuffmarks in the dusty ground outside the saloon, and the fact that nobody was on the street - they were all tucked up nice and safe in their houses.

[B]"Let's go have us a look at the sheriff's office," [/B]said Mack, [B]"There's no way as we can work without knowing the local lawman." [/B]He led his sister over to the sheriff's office, and took a peek inside. The sheriff was nowhere to be seen, and his desk was strewn with some kind of documents or other. But the thing that Mack was really interested in was the cell, or rather it's occupants.

[B]"Praise be to Mary mother o' God," [/B]he whispered, [B]"Clark Winslow's gone and got hisself all banged up."

"You know what that means, Mack?" [/B]replied Annie, her voice similarly hushed.

[B]"Easy pickin's, sis!" [/B]Mack said with a smile, fishing one of his guns from it's belt holster and pulling the hammer back. Annie reached into her boot and pulled out a long, gleaming Bowie knife, the kind you might use to gut a small mammal. She pressed the tip to her tongue, then smiled and brandished it towards the cell. Mack nodded, and the pair of them leapt to their feet and entered the sheriff's office.

[B]"Well, well, Mr Winslow," [/B]taunted Mack, swaggering back and forth across the floor of the office, [B]"This is a mighty interestin' situation you gone and got yourself in. You barely been in Lore twenty minutes and you got yourself locked up in the jailhouse. Mus' be kind o' humiliatin' for ya, am I right?"

"Who are these two jokers?" [/B]asked the other man in the cell, whom the Mackenzies had not been paying much attention to. Mack's vision snapped across to the second man, and he looked him up and down, registering the details of his clothes, his appearance. He was a dark-skinned man with long black hair, and one of those Apache pnchos was draped across his upper body.

[B]"We's the Mackenzie twins," [/B]snarled Annie, [B]"An' you better take tha' comment back now, otherwise I migh' get a li'l angry."

"Trus' me, boys," [/B]Mack said with a wide, manic grin on his face, [B]"You don' never wanna see my sister angry."

"Wait a sec, Mack," [/B]said Annie, leaning over to her twin, [B]"I recognises tha' one. He's Coyote Kotsee, tha' one who done killed all them Red Mountain Outlaws."

"Now ain' this a turn-up for the books," [/B]said Mack, turning to the captives, [B]"Coyote Kotsee, killer of the Red Mountain Outlaws, finally face-to-face with the last remaining member. I'm surprised you ain' killed each other yet."

"It ain' for lack o' tryin'," [/B]growled Winslow, finally breaking his silence.

[B]"Now play nice, Mr Winslow," [/B]said Annie, pressing herself right up against the bars, [B]"We wouldn't wanna have to leave you here."

"You'd break me out?"

"We migh' break one o' ya out," [/B]said Mack lazily, [B]"Depends which one o' ya can get us more money."

"Neither of 'em are gonna get you any money," [/B]snarled a voice from behind the twins, [B]"Because you're both under arrest too." [/B]The sheriff stood in the doorway, his Winchester rifle leveled at Mack's head.

[B]"Now I don' think tha's all that convenient for us, Sheriff," [/B]said Mack, aiming his pistol up at the ceiling and firing a few shots off. With each crack of gunfire, more shards of the ceiling dropped down and hit the floor hard, creating a block between the sheriff and the Mackenzies. Mack signalled to his sister, and they both leapt through the nearest window, into a side alley, and ran as fast as they could away from the lawman.
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Three dressed-up women walked into the main street of Lore only to see thick smoke coming from the blacksmith's house and hear gunshots from the jail.

[B]"Dios mio! What a ruckus!"[/B] Gabriela said with clear distain in her face. She covered her face in her perfumed handkerchief to expel the stench of the smoke. She wore a pink dress with red ribbons and white stripes, along with a high pink hat held fast by another ribbon.

[B]"It ain't nothing new in this town, mabelle"[/B], Belma replied with a motherly sigh. She straightened her puffy orange dress that had cobber threads woven into it. They witnessed from afar as two people - a young man and a woman of about the same age - run away from the jail.

[B]"At least life isn't boring, haha!"[/B] Juliette chimed in with her crystal clear laughter. Her songbird voice had lured many men to her bed during her few years in the trade. She was wearing her usual light blue adorned with white lace.

[B]"Let's not forget our business, gals"[/B], Belma reminded, and led her two companions to the general store.

[B]"Good-day, Miss Drianne"[/B], Belma greeted. [B]"Lively day today, ainnit?"[/B]

[B]"Why sure, Madam LeBoeuf"[/B], Celes Drianne replied casually. It was obvious that most women in Lore did not agree with the profession of Belma and her girls, but Celes Drianne always treated them with the same politeness that she showed to all of her customers. [B]"It's your usual weekly groceries, right?"[/B]

[B]"Indeed"[/B], Belma said. [B]"We managed to get some extra last week, so why don't you look through those fabrics, Juliette-dear?"[/B] For some reason, there were more and more people passing through Lore each day. As long as it benefited the business, Belma didn't mind at all.

[B]"Ah, Gabriela!"[/B] the younger woman shouted in delight after browsing the stack for a while. [B]"Come and see this pattern! Do you think Moira Jean could make me a dress out of this?"[/B]

[B]"Aye que no! She's been so cranky lately that I doubt she will give you anyting but a slap in te face if you ask 'er tat"[/B], Gabriela said haughtily, making Belma sigh again. Belma truly wished the girls could get along better with each other, but she knew it would be asking too much.

After they had picked the groceries and the fabrics with the help of Celes Drianne, the three women made their leave. They walked back to the Seven Sisters Brothel, located off the main street. The building had three floors, rivaled only by the town's hotel in size. But in a house that accomodated seven independent adult women, there had to be enough rooms for everybody.
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Johnathan looked up at the sun in an attempt to tell the time, but the heat haze made it excedingly difficult to do so. Giving up on ever guessing the time, he trained his eyes ahead and around himself. Not a soul in sight. Sighing, he cursed under his breath. It had been a good fifteen hours since he had last had any water, and his stallion was in no better condition, thus the reason he was walking the great beast. Had there been anyone else around him, he doubted that he would have been sparred any water anyways.
When he was about to call it over, readying himself to slap Shadow on the rump so the stallion might find some water and live, a town came into sight. It was an average town, not large but far from small. He wasn't sure if it was the destination he had intended, for his map had been lost in a gun fight with some would be robbers, leaving him fleeing for his life, while he's good at what he does, one against six are pretty rough odds.
As he neared the town his head started swimming, but he forced himself onward, knowing that he wasn't but a few minutes away from lots of water, and then a nice cold mug of ale.
As he was walking under the town gates, he felt himself start relaxing, a wave of relief washing over him. As he made his way through town, he asked a passing gentleman were he might find the saloon, and what the name of the town was.
"The town yer' in is Lore. An' yer' so sought after saloon be three buildn's down on yer' right." replied the man.
Tipping his hat, Johnathan said to him, "Thank ya, sir." and walked toward the pointed out building, Shadow's reins in his left hand. As he came upon the building, a simple sign above the entrance confirmed it as the saloon.
Johnathan tethered Shadow in front of the water stand so that he might hydrate himself, and went inside. It was a fairly nice establishment, but he had no interest in that sort of thing at the moment, all he could think of was water, so on that note, he made for the bar. Pulling out a stool, he ordered three glasses of water, and a mug of ale. Once he was finished with the water, he slowly downed the ale, then said, "Tell me good sir, anythin' exiten' hapn' lately?"
The barkeep, shining a glass, replied, "I'll tell you, but first you gotta tell me your name stranger, mine's Jake."
"Name's Mat." Johnathan replied, holding out his hand.
Jake took his hand, gave it a shake, then said, "Nothing out of the ordinary. There was a gunfight outside, that's about it, except for the incident at the jail house."
Johnathan pondered this for a moment, wondering what to do next then said, "Might ya know a man by name of Clark Winslow?"
The barkeep looked him up and down then, as if messering him, then said, "He's in the jail house, was one of the two in the gunfight."
Johnathan went cold inside when he heard this. He ordered another beer, and sat there, drinking. Twice he made to get up and leave, intending to kill Winslow while he was easy pickings, and twice he sat back down.
After he had thought about it he said to himself, looking into his ale, "I wont stoop to yer' level, i wont become a criminal to see you dead. Besides, i wont be satisfied unless you you can fight back."
When he looked up to order another mug, his eyes met Jake's, and Jake smiled, though he couldn't tell if it was genuin or not.
Feeling uncomfertable, Johnathan handed the man what was due for the water and ale, and set about finding somewhere to sleep.
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~ Martel, near Seven Sisters Brothel~

[b]Well, how are you lot doing today? Been busy with the men folk in there? [/b] Martel asked of the brothel sisters as they arrived at their house. While not particularly fond of the bunch, she was not as bothered by them as some people would be. They definitely lived in a very different way than most of the townspeople, and Martel could understand a little of what that was like because she wasn’t exactly ordinary either.

[b]Martel, please tell me you didn’t take a job here. [/b] A voice was heard behind her, causing her to jump and turn to see her beloved Odin standing behind her. Odin was covered head to toe in soot and sweat again, and holding in his hand the blade to a farmer’s plow he had just repaired. [b] Your father would cry if he found out you were in this part of town.[/b]

[b]Odin, why are you in this part of town? You weren’t planning to sneak in there and stare at them were you? I was headed over to drop off this sandwich at Mr. Peabody’s corn field since his wife forgot to make him lunch today. [/b] Martel answered, her eyes taking a bit of an evil look as the brown mare she rode snorted behind her.

[b]Not a chance. I’ve got enough woman to deal with just having you around. Though I was taking this plow blade over to Mr. Peabody as well. He had sheared it a few days ago, but I was out of the right steel to make a replacement until today when a shipment arrived from the mill. He told me to bring it to him when it was ready. Hopefully he hasn’t taken to busting shovels and horseshoes trying to get his fields prepared without this.[/b] Odin remarked back calmly, he wasn’t the kind of guy to go to a brothel anyway even though he was often teased about them.

Martel’s horse snorted again, she didn’t like this part of town one bit because of the brothel and all the shady people that tended to gather around it.

Odin looked at Martel’s horse, and whispered to it so it would quiet down [I]Steady Bear. You’ll be out of here soon, back home with Martel. [/I]

Martel noticed her horse having quieted down and Odin quietly saying something, and remarked [b] You being a horse whisperer again? Keep that up, and she might just follow you around instead of her trying to follow me all the time. Also, if you get a chance later you should check her feet. I think one of her shoes is working loose, and needs to be replaced soon.[/b]

[b]It’d be interesting at least, though I don’t think Bear would follow me into my shop. She gave one heck of a fight last time your dad brought her down for me to shoe. Then again, it wasn’t as bad as trying to shoe a fresh mustang. The last one left me bruises. [/b] Odin replied, blushing slightly. [b]Well, I’ve got to get this delivered and then get back to my shop. Martel if you want me to take a look at Bear’s feet bring her over later I will check it out. Good day. [/b]

Martel sighed; Odin seemed to be always about business first. Though he did nod and smile in her direction before continuing down the lane. [b] Well, it’s good seeing you all again. I’d been wondering how things were going.[/b]
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