XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 150 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Wed 5 Aug 2020
at 01:33
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Dr. Wayland carried on the conversation that he had struck up with Tamsin on their more roundabout, "I'm-not-with-her" route, "And that was how Ah discovahed the intahresting flavah similarities between fennel, appropriately prepahed mind you, and licorice..."  He held up a hand as though warding off argument, "Ah know, ah know...  It sounds absolutely mad... But, Ah find candied fennel to be a fine substitute in di-ah circumstance...  When one cannot find true licorice anyway..."  He had produced a small paper bag and unrolled it with a rustle, offering it out to Tamsin, "Licorice?"  Conversation might be the wrong word.  Monologue might be better.  He politely lead the way to a table and pulled out a chair for Tamsin.  As though this was an establishment known for its fine dining.
Tamsin River
 player, 224 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R4 B2 L0
Wed 5 Aug 2020
at 11:45
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Tamsin had to hurry after Kansas Kate and Dr. Wayland after finding out what everyone was doing. What with Kate acting strange and Dr. Wayland being... well, Dr. Wayland, if she was going to be needed anywhere, it was going to be here, and no one else was doing anything that sounded particularly dangerous.

She was content to listen to as they walked, nodding along to his observations. ”Anise,” she countered, taking the licorice he offered. ”If you somehow find yourself out of licorice and fennel, anise should hit the spot. I would steer clear of any star anise, though. There are a few poison varieties that look identical to regular star anise and they’re difficult to tell apart even for me.”

She sat down in the chair offered. ”Thank you, Dr. Wayland.”
Marshal
 GM, 759 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Thu 6 Aug 2020
at 03:53
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The bearded man continues to whittle, but his attention settles on Dr. Wayland and River. He watches both of them with unconcealed suspicion.

The barkeep sets down the glass he is cleaning and looks to Kansas Kate with an irritated frown. ”What d’ya need?” he asks.
Kansas Kate
 player, 510 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Thu 6 Aug 2020
at 21:17
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
She changed her tone.  "Barkeep, what's the weakest, sweetest elixir you have, one that's good for someone delicate?"  It was positively sweet.  She smiled at the man, and somehow managed to be nasty about it despite the syrupy tone and jovial expression.
Marshal
 GM, 760 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 03:29
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The bartender eyes Kansas Kate warily, clearly suspicious of her. ”Gentlest thing I’ve got on hand are a couple of dusty bottles of sarsaparilla,” he answers, after a pause, glancing nervously at the other customer seated at the bar.
Kansas Kate
 player, 511 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 20:57
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
"Wonderful.  Send one to John Kinney wit' mah love, I'll have yer house whiskey.  But water it down for 'im, he's delicate, ya und'r'stan'."  Kansas Kate smiled broadly, not breaking her grin.  "Have ya got a little bow ya can tie around it, he can wear it in his hair after he's done a drinkin' it.  Pink would be nice but yeller would do."
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 151 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 17:19
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces

"Anise, you say?"

Dr. Wayland was, of course, intrigued and went around the table to take his own seat.  He, seemingly, ignored anyone looking his way.  Just an oblivious odd ball.  Who happened to choose a seat with a back to a wall and a good vantage of the front entrance.

The lightning gun was set gently to lean against the wall next to him.  And sitting, of course, required an adjustment of his bulky gunbelt.  "Accidentally" giving anyone looking a good view of the big gatling pistol.

The discussion continued, "Ah know a gentleman...  Palmah...  Yes.  A confectionah, by trade.  Arh you familiah at all with chewing gums?  Derived from the sap of cehtain trees in Mexico.  Ah believe they call it chicle."
Marshal
 GM, 761 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 20:14
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The bartender sets a bottle of sarsaparilla on the bar. Uncertain what else to do, he pours Kansas Kate the whiskey she requested, then returns his attention to the soft drink, wiping away the dust that is clinging to the glass.

”Just give it to me,” the other man seated at the bar instructs, his voice flat and emotionless, ”I can hand it John when we ride out that way. Don’t mind her. She’s just a troublemaker with a higher opinion of her skills than what they warrant.”

He pushes his coffee cup toward the barkeep. ”Warm that up for me.”

The man with the thick beard gets a glimpse of Dr. Wayland’s pistol as the bounty hunter takes a seat. He lets out a sigh, then raps twice on the door frame behind him before returning to his whittling.

A few moments pass, but no one emerges from the curtained doorway. Dr. Wayland and River can hear one of the people on the porch outside slowly pacing.
Kansas Kate
 player, 512 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 02:12
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Kansas Kate saw an opportunity, simple but effective.  She spat in the coffee cup.
Marshal
 GM, 762 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 17:27
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The man at the bar shakes his head in disgust and pushes the cup away.

”Look, I understand that you think you have somethin’ to prove,” he says, his tone still flat and emotionless, ”but you’ve come to the wrong place to do it.”

“The last time I found myself in a real corner was in a saloon in Roswell. My boss had gotten himself sideways with a group of soldiers. Cavalrymen from the fort nearby, every one of ‘em armed. Things turned bad and I killed all five of ‘em without the need to reload. Walked out without a mark on me. There’s some here in this room that can attest to the truth of what I’m sayin’”

“The last time you got yourself in trouble, you slung lead all over a schoolhouse, but only managed to graze one of the people who had it in for you. Then you gave Lawrence Murphy a show while Evans and his people made you dance. I’ll give you this: you were tough enough to survive it. But it was only luck that you did. And now you’re tryin’ to push your chances all over again.”


He draws a plug of tobacco from his pocket and cuts off a slice. ”You want to build up a reputation, get your name in a dime novel, ride east to El Paso. There’s plenty of young fools there just itchin’ to get shot. But take your troublemaking out of here. We’ve all got more important things to concern ourselves with.”

He puts the tobacco in his mouth. ”Another cup, when you get time,” he tells the bartender.
Kansas Kate
 player, 513 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 18:00
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Kansas Kate could only chuckle.  "Really?  Cavalry.  That's cute.

She took a sip.  "Ya need ta check yer figurin', friend.  You won being outnumbered in a neutral battleground against mortal men t'weren't expectin' yah.  Ah survived a bushwhack, where a hostage had to be used ta lure me into it, 'gainst a cheater who uses power that ain't his."

She sipped again.  "No amigo, ya'll have somethin' ta prove ta me.  Graham is dead.  Whoever th' hell that was with her is dead.  Evans is dead.  An' ah've done it proper.  Only one of 'em that died well was Graham.  Are ya noticin' a pattern here?  Ya notice when ya'll don't have every little thing plus some bad mojo on yer side, ya'll can't come out on top?"

She turned her eye.  "Ya keep yer little dime novel, lies 'n all.  Ah don't give no damn 'bout sech things.  That's fer pretenders."

She shrugged.  "But ya gave me somethin', so ah'll give you somethin'.  Ya did yer job real good, that little act of yers is a fine one.  Th' best fight is one ya win wit'out wastin' ammo.  That little dog and pony show of yers would discourage most people, hell, ah've got a few dog and pony shows myself.  Ya can't shoot every eager fool, ain't enough powder in Texas."

She finished the drink and dropped coin on the bar.  "But that ain't gonna pan out here. At this point, all ya got left ta do here for is ta pass th' message.  An' you will pass th' message."
Tamsin River
 player, 225 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R4 B2 L0
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 20:19
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Tamsin leaned in against the table, one ear on the conversation at the bar. By all appearances, though, she was engaged in conversation about her beloved plants with Dr. Wayland.

”I’ve heard of chicle, yes. Spruce resin has a similar texture and spring, from what I’ve heard. I’ve never tried them to compare, but thinking of it now I can see how it would work as a chewing gum.”
Marshal
 GM, 763 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Mon 10 Aug 2020
at 16:13
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The man takes a sip of coffee, then shakes his head. When he speaks, his voice still carries the same flat quality.

”I’m not passing on the word of a liar to John. Dolly Graham, and the fella she was ridin’ with, Bill Spawn, up and disappeared. So far as anyone knows, Lincoln got too dangerous for their taste, and they scooted off to California, or up north to the Sioux Nations to pan for gold. Point is, neither one of ‘em’s bodies have turned up, so anyone could make up any story they wanted to about what became of ‘em.”

“And Evans? He was killed by Mescalero Warriors. Some of the folk over there at Blazer’s Mills saw the Apache ridin’ into town and hid before the fighting started. Said Evans’ body was mutilated when they found it later. His head cut off and all, just like some of those raidin’ sorts are prone to do.”


For the first time, he turns and looks at Kansas Kate. Regarding her with dark eyes, he cocks one eyebrow. ”On the other hand, if you are who I think you are, I’ll admit you have a strange way of goin’ about things. After what you did, stomping in here, tryin‘ to start a fight with Mr. Murphy’s people, when Mr. Murphy’s likely the only one who can help you keep...,”

The curtain separating the back room of the saloon opens and a man emerges. He is dressed for the range, his dark hair hanging to the base of his neck. His beard, which shows a hint of gray, is neatly trimmed. Kansas Kate notes that his gait is odd, his left foot having turned up and inward, forcing a slide in his step. He grins, as though amused.

”You’re wasting your breath,” he tells the outlaw, ”Pony there...he’s real loyal to John Kinney. Rode with him a long time. He ain’t gonna help someone threaten his boss.”

“But I don’t work for him. For the moment, I work with the surly bastard, and I expect I’ll be seeing him in short order. So, if you want to make some speech about whatever terrible things you’re gonna do to Kinney once you meet up with him, make it to me. I’ll pass it on to him. Word for word.”


As they continue their quiet conversation, Dr. Wayland and River notice that the three armed people who were loitering on the porch have stepped inside, forming a loose line in front of the entrance. The two men appear to be watching what is transpiring inside the saloon closely, but the woman seems to be focused on monitoring Dr. Wayland and the Gatling Pistol he wears.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:57, Tue 11 Aug 2020.

Kansas Kate
 player, 514 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Tue 11 Aug 2020
at 01:05
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Kansas Kate chuckled.  "Ah like this town."

She tapped the counter for the barman's benefit.

"Ya got me all wrong friend.  Kinney's th' new boy, he might be all right.  He might get ta pokin' around, realize what he's walked into, and tell Murphy to fuck off an' go ta greener pastures."  She opened her hands in a gesture of supplication and tucked her chin in as she gave a slight shrug.  "Maybe Murphy suckered 'em, and you, an' this feller.  Cuz ah hate ta tell you fellers this, but he has a bit of a he-storical pattern of turnin' on his hands. If'n ah were ya'll, ah'd find an outfit tweren't run by a halfwit who can't work his way with a greased up polecat.  Call it a... perfeshunal courtesy.  Believe me or don't, ah don't give a damn."

She shrugged again.

"But tell 'im he's working fer a real sorry ass outfit.  Ah'll tell him how sorry if'n he wants.  Ah ain't actually got nothin' against him, 'cept he's working fer th' wrong feller an ah just can't abide by that.  Ah didn't kill his pre-dahcessor jus' fer him to roll in an' take over.  Ya'll know what ah done, ah won't argue facts.  Ah got witnesses, real ones right here.  If'n he believes this thing is worth dyin' fer, he'll come ta regain honor, or he won't and if'n he don't, he's another pretender shitbird."

Kansas Kate spun her hat around her finger and slipped it back on.

"So tell him ah'm callin' him out if'n he wants to part of sech a two bit whorehouse.  An ah do it in perfect safety, cuz there ain't a one among ya'll that's got the damn nerve ta meet me on th' street.  Here.  Noon.  Or he can just skedaddle."
Marshal
 GM, 765 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Tue 11 Aug 2020
at 13:57
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
The man with the slow gait smiles and nods. ”I’ll tell him. I can’t promise how much it’ll influence his thinking, but I’ll tell him.”

His demeanor becomes serious. “But I will promise you this: If Kinney doesn’t show any interest in meeting you, then I will. Right at noon. You have my solemn word.”
Kansas Kate
 player, 515 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Wed 12 Aug 2020
at 00:44
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
"Well this'll be fun either way then."  Kansas Kate took the replacement whiskey in one gulp.  "A reg'lar day at th' fair."

She looked at Pony.  "You outter been a damn lawyer son.  An' a polltishin'."
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 152 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Wed 12 Aug 2020
at 02:35
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Dr. Wayland had seemed more than content to carry on the fascinating conversation with the herbalist.  But as the room became more tense...and more crowded..., he had tapered off a bit.  To his observer....or observers, he offered a polite, quiet nod of acknowledgement.  I see you there.  You see me.  We're all good now. Without distracting his observation of the gathering of gunhands, Wayland said quietly, "Ah have tried spruce gum... It requiahes diligence and focus to get anywheah.  Good for thinking, Ah find.  Ah undahstand it also has medicinal qualities?"  What's the point of a pretense if you don't keep it up?
Pony Diehl
 NPC, 1 post
Wed 12 Aug 2020
at 17:26
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Pony regards Kansas Kate with a frown. He shakes his head and takes another gulp of his coffee. ”A lawyer, huh? Kind of like that poor bastard you bushwhacked? The one Judge Wilson’s drawin’ up a warrant for you on?”

“Still, maybe you’re not as foolish as you come across. Lettin’ John or Allison take a crack at you. They’ll treat you a hell of a lot better than Bonney and his bunch will, once they find out.”

Kansas Kate
 player, 516 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Wed 12 Aug 2020
at 22:23
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
"Yeah, hey ah know, why don't you just go tell 'em?  Hell son, there's a Texas Ranger in town too, why don't ya just ride yer little dancin' ass over there an' tell 'im everythin'?  Ah'm sure he'll help serve that warrant."  It had taken a while, but Kansas Kate was starting to find the handle on Pony.  She hadn't quite grabbed it yet, but she had brushed the cozy.  She liked him, in a way.  She was very amused at his name too, because he was a dog and pony show indeed.  "Tell him about that time ya fought dragons in Arabia wit' Sinbad th' sailor and Queen Neffer-tee-tee."
Tamsin River
 player, 226 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R4 B2 L0
Thu 13 Aug 2020
at 02:35
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
”Well, the gum of any tree might have some medicinal qualities, but where the real healing power lies is in the resin. Trees use it to repair themselves and they happen to be very useful for us people, too. In a pinch you could use it all on its own; obviously I mix other things in to make things more effective. Yarrow is good for stopping things from bleeding, willow is good for fever- white willow is best, but I use whatever I have on hand... willow and peppermint I find to be especially good for headaches,” Tamsin continued on with Dr. Wayland. She was happy for the first time in days, it felt like, and of course she was, going on about her plants.
Doroteo Saenz
 NPC, 1 post
Thu 13 Aug 2020
at 02:48
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
”Don’t mind Pony too much,” the whittler says from his table in the corner, ”Sometimes he tries to talk like he’s the smartest one in the whole room.”

He checks his work with his thumb before resuming carving. ”He ain’t lying, though. Not completely. There’s a fella comes in here to play cards by the name of Wrias Raines. He was a sheriff’s deputy until a few days back, when the new sheriff fired him. The other day he was in here sayin’ that this lawyer, Alex McSween, had been murdered. This McSween...it sounded like he was real well thought of around here, but he up and disappeared when he rode out for Santa Fe. Anyhow, Raines said he’d been killed, and he claimed he knew who did it. He described someone that sounded a lot like you. Said you’d hidden the body in an old barn outside town”

He shrugs. ”Said he was gonna get Judge Wilson to draw up a warrant. Have Bonney and his gang come after you. You ask me, I think he was just tryin’ to get his old job back.”
Pony Diehl
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2020
at 02:48
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Pony’s mouth flattens into a straight line. “Why in hell would you tell her that?”
Doroteo Saenz
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2020
at 02:48
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
”Because some of us were enjoyin’ the peace and quiet. Instead of lettin’ the woman just say her peace, you had to keep strirrin’ her up.” the whittler answers with a shake of his head. ”She ain’t scared of you. Think. If she ain’t scared of Kinney, and she ain’t scared of Allison, why in the world would she be scared of you?”

“You think we might could get through one day where you don’t get into an argument with somebody?”

Pony Diehl
 NPC, 3 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2020
at 02:48
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Pony falls silent for a moment. ”Get me a whiskey,” he tells the barkeep finally.

OOC: While I fully expect some more amusing comments from Kansas Kate, I’m not sure where I should move this thread next. Should I jump forward to noon, to see who meets Kansas Kate in the street, or do we need to give some attention to Dr. Wayland’s proposed shopping list?
Marshal
 GM, 769 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Mon 17 Aug 2020
at 17:04
XIA - One Notch and Four More Aces
Noon arrives in Lincoln. The cool breeze from the nearby mountains stirs the dust in the street. Along the way, doors are closed and shutters drawn across windows, word of violence having apparently reached most of those who make their livelihood along the town’s main thoroughfare. Only two figures emerge from indoors. Michael Kibbee, the newspaperman, still walking with a limp, his face yellowed with healing bruises, steps onto the porch of the Assay Office, a notebook and pencil in hand. On the opposite side of the road, Father Emiliano Narvaez exits La Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, waiting to see if any might require his ministrations.

From the south, a lone coyote gives out a yipping series of barks, possibly warning some of its fellows of a nearby danger. Otherwise, Lincoln is hushed.