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Welcome Basket with Cattle - Part 1 [MOVED]

Posted on Mon Dec 25th, 2017 @ 11:31pm by Shade Harper & Clara Redmond
Edited on on Mon Jan 8th, 2018 @ 6:53pm

Episode: The Legacy
Location: Redmond Homestead
Timeline: July, 1875 Early afternoon

The day had started off normally enough for the Redmond family. The weather was typical July warm but not scorching, it helped there was some cloud cover, and a light breeze also took the edge off the temperature. It was just another day of chores, getting this newly purchased homestead of theirs up and running was a lot of hard work. The general store had extended credit to Aurelian and better supplied now, they at least did not have to worry about the necessities so much and could concentrate on getting this place to turn them some profits. The previous owners had already planted a sizeable garden out behind the cabin, though in Clara's opinion they had not been diligent about keeping it properly weeded. That would be her job on this day while Aurelian and Wyatt went into the closest woodline to chop some trees for various uses from firewood to some possible fencing.

Clara had just about weeded half the garden by early afternoon and had stepped away to take a dipper of cool well water from the bucket and quench her thirst. Despite her sweating profusely, she had kept on her brown dress and also a wide-brimmed hat too, to keep off the direct rays of the sun. Hanging from a belt was a canvas sack, within was her father's 1851 Dragoon Colt. Aurelian had the more modern revolver with him, but given their past experience, he was not about to leave the girl, even for this short while, unarmed. It could be a cruel world, they knew it as well as any frontier folks.

That's when she heard some bovine bellowing in the back. Now they did have a single milk cow but she was in the shed at the time, it couldn't be her. Letting the dipper drop back into the bucket, Clara made a dash around the cabin to see what was going on. She stopped dead in her tracks when she spotted the problem. No milk cow, no these were range cattle, steers and no doubt from one of the two neighboring ranches that their property was sandwiched between or so her father had explained. And these big stupid beasts were now tramping onto the garden in their moronic wandering!

Clara reached for the hoe she had leaned against the back wall of the cabin and charged the big creatures, "Scoot! Get outta here! Go away!"

She had a mind to pull out the gun and shoot a few to teach them a lesson. But she wasn't quite sure that would be legal. Lucky for the steers.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Shade guided his big smoky dun gelding along the trail toward Kalispell at a slow jog. Every now and then he would twist around in the saddle to make sure a large wicker basket tied precariously behind the saddle was still secure. He was less than thrilled about being given the task of delivering the welcome basket to the homesteader that Kate had met in town, but he was also too well-mannered to argue with the older woman when she set him on the task.

A short distance from where Lost Lake Trail intersected the main road to Kalispell, he spotted the trail that angled off in a northerly direction. It would have been a much shorter ride had Shade just cut across Harper's Meadow and followed one of the game paths onto the Redmond farm. Considering that to be very rude, he opted for taking the long way around. It wasn't long before he came to a gate set into a fence across the trail. Leaning down, he caught the lever and sidestepped Lakota through it, making sure to close it behind him. The hinges creaked, and the gate seemed to sag a bit. He wondered if he should ask about sending some of the ranch's men over to help mend it.

The trail wound through the rolling meadow, and for a bit, Shade forgot about the onerous task he was on. The day was beautiful, and so was the landscape. As his horse topped a low rise, he spotted the farm and its main outbuildings. As he got closer, a commotion from the rear of the house caused him to slow Lakota to a walk and guide him around the side and to the back. He blinked at the scene of mild chaos. A girl of maybe fifteen years of age was attempting to drive several large, bad-tempered steers out of the garden. The cattle, accustomed to being herded by dogs or riders on horseback, were not cooperating. Shade almost physically moaned as one of the animals broke past where he sat his horse. The brand on its haunch was the distinctive LLbrokenH of Lost Lake Ranch.

"Hey!" Shade called to get her attention. At the same time, he pulled the ties loose on the welcome basket, grabbed it and leaned down from the saddle to drop it gently on the ground. This was followed by the canvas sack of items that Kate had sent along with the reusable basket. "Brandishing garden utensils won't get you anywhere." He backed Lakota up and pulled his lariat free of its loop.

Already both spooked and angered by this bouvine invasion of her lovely garden, the girl practically jumped when a man's voice (a stranger at that) barked out from behind her. Instantly Clara spun about to see some mounted cowpoke no doubt angry that she might actually scare his stupid cows! What was he doing? She couldn't quite tell what sort of equipment he might be dropping onto the ground but no matter, instantly the girl knew she had to spring into action to defend herself. She dropped the hoe at her feet as both hands went for the canvas sack on her hip.

Clumsily at first she struggled to open it enough so she could stick her right inside and get a firm grasp on the heavy pistol within. Then she gave it a tug...got it caught for just a second before the long barreled Colt Dragoon emerged. The cowboy hadn't noticed yet as he was going for his lasso, no doubt he was planning on tossing that over her and dragging her around for his merriment just like that dime novel she had read last year where the villain seized the young helpless miss. Well, she wasn't helpless as this jasper would soon find out!

Holding the big gun in both hands now she raised it up and leveled it at the invader, then used her thumb to cock it so it was ready to fire in case she really had to.

"Alright mister, you drop that rope and don't try anything foolish or I will shoot you off that fine horse of yours!" she shouted, hoping her voice sounded as fierce as her pugnacious spirit.

400px-_True_Grit_Mattie_Ross_Colt_Dragoon


To be continued in Part 2.

 

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