The Same Old Story


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Summary: Sheriff Reynolds gets the Sackett family's story.

Date: 16 February, 1884

The Same Old Story

Main and Division in from of the Hotel

The street outside the hotel is some small relief, from the noise and frenetic activity of the party going on inside, but it's a welcome one. Arden's stepped out to get a breath of fresh air, and to replenish the small collection of snowballs set on a crate by the door. It's a simple process, one she hasn't lost, despite having a number of years since she was young enough to actually want to have a snowball fight.

Colton walks up to the door hotel, and touches the brim of his hat, "Miss Arden.. Can I bother ye for a few minutes?"

Arden looks over, pausing mid-snowball construction, the snow cupped between her hands, "Of course, Sheriff. What can I do for you?" She finishes the snowball, and turns, giving the man her attention.

Colton lets out a long breath, "I got a letter from a Lt. Colonel Jesse Young… Taling about the other night, and this fella Marcus… You mind tellin me what happened?"

"I don't mind telling you, Sheriff, but it depends on what exactly the letter might have been about. The night I saw Jesse and Marcus, we had quite a few things going on, so I need a bit of something more specific." Arden's voice is polite and personable, as it always is with the Sheriff.

Colton says, "He says in the letter Marcus walked in yer house without knockin…. Talking about he and some fella named Bill is gonna deal with the Army?""

"Ah," Arden nods, brushing off the last of the now melted snow from her hands, "I met Jesse at the general store. Seems he's been assigned to Silver Creek as the new minister. I invited him to dinner, and we were sitting down to dinner when Marcus came in unannounced. Made sure I could see his gun, and after I made sure he could see mine, I ordered him to take off his gun and tell me what he thought he was doing barging into my home unannounced."

Colton nods slowly, "He say why he busted in on ye flashin his gun?"

Arden moves to settle against the railing, not as comfortable as a chair, but well, it'll do, "He claimed that he had been looking for me, to ask me about apprenticing at my shop, and when he heard I was with a preacher, he thought the worse, and thinking I might have been with the preacher that's been attacking women, he barged in, just in case he might need to rescue me. But he didn't come in with his gun drawn, just pulled his coat back, so I could see it, as if he thought I might attack him with the fork I had in my hand." She can't help it, a snort of laughter gets out.

Colton looks down at at the snow at his feet, and shakes his head, "That boy is gonna get hisself shot or worse…"

"Well, we'll hope for not worse. At any rate, I invited him to sit for dinner and tell me what he wanted and why he wanted to apprentice with me, and he started telling stories about how he and a squad of indians had held off calvary, and Jesse was calling it a tall tail, when the bell rang out in the shop. Was a family, the Sackett's, broken wheel, broken single tree, needed their wagon repaired while the father delivered some letters up to the brothel, as it turns out, for a Madeline Broussard."

Colton blinks a bit in surprise, "Letters Meriah you mean?"

"No, Madeline was the name one of the boys said. And according to William Franklin, who darkened the door of my shop yesterday, that's his eldest daughter, so perhaps she's working or living up at the brothel." Arden gives a shrug, as she continues, "At any rate, between the mother and the boys, the best I could get of the story, is that at some point in the past, William Franklin and his men paid the Sackett's for some food and aplace to stay for the night, and when the Army got word of it, they took the family's land and turned them out with nothing, and they've been traveling trying to find a place to put down. But it didn't seem like they had much of anything but themselves and that wagon, and they looked half-dead. While they were traveling near here, they were attacked by indians, and saved by a metis, who, it seems, given his description, burned along his face and less and eye, seems to have been someone named Christopher Marlowe."

Colton stands talking to Ohls nodding to what she says. He looks over as he catches sight of Mattie, and waves her over, before turning his attention back to Ohls.

Mattie moves acrossed the street to the Sheriff. She smiles at the woman recognizing her from the other day. but she does not interupt. But she does listen filing the information away for another day.

Arden turns her attention away for a moment, noting the young woman she met once before, before she gets to the end of her story, "So this Marlowe is the one who jury-rigged the repairs to their wagon, and in payment, he asked them to deliver some letters to Madeline Broussard. And the husband went to make the delivery, while the woman and her children came to get the wagon fixed. I put Marcus to work helping me and we got it fixed for them. Abigail got them some food to eat, and Jesse offered the man and his wife work at the church, if they wanted it, but I haven't seen them around since. Marcus was fairly keen on going out there and paying the Army back for what they did to the Sackett's. Said he'd talk to Franklin. But given the conversation I had with him myself, he doesn't seem that inclined to listen to reason."

Colton nod once, "Thank ye for tellin me. Marcus has got to learn that if'n yer gonna be stupid in this life.. You have to expect pain." He shakes his head, and looks over to Mattie, "Miss Dawson.. I was afraid you skipped town.. You ready to head out to the Epona, and meet Lady Fitz…. Lady Franklin?"

Mattie nods, "Aye Sir." she smiles and almost curtsey's to the other woman, "Ma'am, Nice seeing you again." then to the sheriff, "I am ready to go when ever you are."

"I told Franklin as much myself. Said he should have known better than to involve and innocent family. That likely as not they'd be punished for helping him, as they were, and to leave them in peace. But he didn't take kindly to it." Arden shakes her head, "Thank you for handling him earlier. Was no cause for him to show his gun like that. Nora told me." She offers a smile to the young girl, and then looks between her and the Sheriff, "Party's still going, but you want something from the cafe before you go? We've got some cakes and such, coffee, tea, if you'd be so inclined, for the journey out to the ranch."

Colton smiles slightly, "I may be back. I ain't sure how much longer Lady Franklin will be up.. And I reckon she's getting tired of eatin Moses's food."

Arden nods, offering a second smile to both, "Well, if you do make it back out tonight, you've a table ready and waiting for you in the hotel, I'll let George know to save you something special." Her attention turns to Mattie, "It was good to see you again. I hope you'll stay on at the Epona. This is a good town."

Mattie adjusts the pack on her shoulder her smile moves over Arden, "I hope so too. I gots me a book on fancy town cooking so I hope to fit in. I like it so far. Nice people here for teh most part but I 'spose it is that way every where. some good and some bad."

Colton smiles slightly, "Well I reckon you'll like ol's Moses.. He'll help ye if'n you need any." He nods over to Ohls, "Next chance we get.. I'll get you to meet up with Moses, and get that forge lined out."

Arden steps away from the railing to see the two off, "You'll be more than welcome here. And if you need anything, come and find me. I own the blacksmith's. Take care of yourself, and you, Sheriff. Just let me know and I'll be ready to go out there and meet him." A lift of her hand, as she allows the two to head off to their next destination.


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