A Little Town Called Pryngleville

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Mir
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A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Mir » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:29 pm

The Future

“Your real name is Shoe?”

“That’s what it says on the birth certificate.” Shoe Bots said as he winced from the pain in his leg. The damned thing was always acting up on him, and it didn’t even have the decency to warn him when it was going to rain. He adjusted his leg slightly, in the booth that he sat in. Looking around he, snapped his fingers grumpily. “Why’d you want to talk to me anyway, city boy?” He asked, as a waitress showed up, giving Shoe a look of annoyance.

When the younger man was about to speak, Shoe held up a finger to make him wait and turned to the waitress. “Bring us a couple of beers.” He said.

“Shoe, it’s nine in the morning.”

“This is a bar, innit?” He asked, his wisened face of whiskers cracking into a bit of a snarl. “Why the hell are y’all open this early then.”

“Because we serve actual food, Shoe.” She said.

“Nobody comes into the Starlight Dancer for food. They come to drink. Two beers, honey.” He said and waved her off. “Now, why’d you come to talk to me anyway? Your suit looks like it’s worth more than this entire joint.”

“I’m writing an article about boom towns in the West for my employer, the New York Post. Pryngleville is one of the most famous. I wanted to know the story and people told me to talk to you. Said you know the most about it.”

“Course I know the most about this damn place. I used to be the mayor, you know.” He said.

“The mayor?” The reporter asked, his eyebrows rising.

“Damned right.” Shoe Bots said with a smile. “Ten, fifteen years ago.” He said, moving around the booth as the beers arrived. This showed off the Colt Single Action Revolver he carried in a holster. “This is before that wench showed up in town. Caitlyn Felicity God damned Pryde.”

“She’s the granddaughter of the Founder of Pryngleville, Isis Sinclair Pryde.”

“Now that was a woman.” Shoe replied.

“Tell me about what happened.”

“Well, let’s go back then.”

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Vox » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:48 pm

Life hadn't been fair to him since that fateful day he saved that lawman from his brother. His frelling brother...

Morgan Tobias Squiddlesworth had been born a different man, with a different name. He had been Michael T. James, an adventuresome boy that had lived, helped raise, and train horses on a ranch. He had left home as a teen in search of his brother and things went horribly from there. His demeanor had been set ever since that fateful day he'd shot his brother, this after he'd spent five years as one of the most notorious outlaws to ever set foot in the area around Kuangduk City. Now he found himself a lawman...a fate he hadn't quite yet settled on.

Looking around "his" town Morgan looked in the direction of a few children who eyed his visible black Colt revolvers. Throwing dust up as they ran away and hid the strong jawed about to reach thirty man held a smirk off his face while they whispered a little too loudly. "It's the law! Run! He's killed over a hundred people! I heard he once killed a lion with a pellet gun!"

Raising an eyebrow at the last comment the man watched as those in the street made way for him and his tall, well bred stallion. He'd tried to stay away from the stereotypical black horse but had caved to a familiar horse breeder a few towns over. He prefered his mustang to his daily use law horse but knew intimidation played as much a role as anything else. Stopping his horse in front of the Starlight Dancer Morgan dismounted and entered the establishment. A new face stood talking to Shoe Bots and looked like trouble. He hadn't the time to start down that road yet this morning. Looking at the bartender he nodded and adjusted his black hat. An overly critical man named Trever Olivaw stood manning the bar and nodded to acknowledge his entrance. "Morning Trever, bring me a bottle of Duk-Val and a mug of that sludge you call coffee."

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Mir » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:04 pm

"Coffee and Ale at the same time this early in the morning?" The bartender asked with a chuckle. "Must be in for a long day, Sheriff Squiddlesworth."

There was no response from the lawman of Pryngleville, he merely completed his walk over to where Shoe sat, looking at a beady eyed man who held his hat in his hands as he spoke to the Mayor.

"So you say you saw her?" Shoe asked.

"Absolutely, yes sir." The man said, pulling a handkerchief and wiping his brow.

He looked around the bar. Smoke filled the air as did conversation and laughter. The Starlight Dancer was a quiet place in the evening, and many people were getting ready to start what would undoubtedly be a long day of work. The sun had risen, but the heat hadn’t started up, not yet. The Mayor of the town was holding court as he usually did, before he went to Town Hall to hold a more….legal kind of court. This wasn't a day of stuffing ballot boxes, though there was an election in the near future. Almost unanimously he would be voted in for another term. Shoe had been for quite some time.

As long as the mines produced the gold, and the natives were kept at bay, everyone was happy.

As long as the man in front of him had mistaken the woman for someone else.

"How do you know?" He asked as he reached into his coat and pulled out a cigar, handing it over his shoulder to his sheriff, Squiddlesworth. Squiddlesworth possessed a funny name alright, but he was sure as shit the best shot that Bots had ever seen in his life.

"I know what she looks like. She's a spitting image of her grand mother, Mayor."

"You wouldn't be lying to me, would you?" Shoe asked, pointing over his shoulder. “Not in the presence of a man of the law. He’s got a star, and he can be a wild one when need be.”

“No, I wouldn’t lie, Mayor.”

“Fine, get out of here. I’ll be in touch.” He said and both Mayor and Sheriff watched as the man left the Starlight Dancer immediately. He turned to Squiddlesworth. “Says he saw the Pryde girl over a few towns over. We haven’t had a damned Pryde in this town in years. We need to be ready.”

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Archangel » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:16 pm

"What's that name again?"

The girl at the hotel desk was chewing gum. It was a disgusting habit. The deputy mayor of Pryngleville had heard some fellow in Kentucky was even trying to flavor the damn stuff. That'd be the end of us all, he thought, the thrice-damned end of us all. Nobody'd stop chewing gum after that.

He handed her his business card. They were damn expensive cards--not just printed, but embossed. They had cost Archie a damn lot of money, but he handed them out everywhere he went. It never occurred to him that he probably should have avoided being recognized during this otherwise-clandestine meeting. They read, Archibald Kihns, Deputy Mayor, Pryngleville. "Kihns," he replied. "Archie Kihns." His voice was deep and rich, with just a hint of his southern upbringing.

"Pryngleville? What're you doing out here, Mr. Kins?"

"It's Kihns," he corrected her. She probably couldn't talk properly for chewing all that damn gum. "And I'm meeting a business acquaintance. Young woman, name of Pryde. She should be arriving any moment, and I need that room for our meeting." He jabbed his thick finger sharply into the desk to emphasize his point, and regretted it. He winced, but tried not to recoil.

The desk girl eyed him with mischief. "And I guess it wouldn't do for the deputy mayor to be seen with one of the young women of Pryngleville, eh? Had to come out to Popstown, eh?"

Archie bristled at the implication. "Now, hold it right there!" he exclaimed. The dense brown hairs on his knuckles stood out straight as set his fist down hard on the desk, while similar hairs covering his upper lip quivered with the excitement. "I'm a man of honor, and Miss Pryde is a woman of class! We're not opening a damn basket-making shop! Now I won't stand for any more of that kind of talk, d'y'hear me, I won't stand for it!" He laid his open palm out on the desk, which was now well-abused. "I'll have the key to my room now, and show Miss Pryde to it without any of your insults!"

The desk girl opened her eyes wide, as if apologetic--more likely apoplectic, Archie thought--and kept on chewing her damn gum. But she handed him the key, and pointed down the hall. "Room four."

"Thank you." Archie closed his fist around the brass key and marched off. The heavyset man pounded past a couple in their bathing suits, on the way out back to the pond the hotel advertised. Damn honeymooners, he thought; they just make everyone else feel curmudgeonly. He twitched his mustache at them as he passed, went to the room marked 4, inserted the key into the lock, twisted the knob, and entered. The room was passable as hotel rooms went, but he needed neither the bed nor the lavatory--but as he passed the mirror, he decided to check his appearance.

His mustache was the pride of his pale face, running from one jiggling cheek to the other, hiding his lip. In his youth, he had sported burn-sides, like the legendary general, but now that he was in his thirties, he decided more dignified whiskers were in order. He kept his coiffure oiled and brushed back, trying to hide the early gray hairs among the brown, which--praise the good Lord above--were still prevalent. He was a large man--big-boned, he would say sometimes--whose excess weight hid a lot of raw, muscular power. He was not ashamed of his extra pounds, but liked that they made others underestimate him. He straightened his white three-piece suit over the rounded edges of his frame.

He liked to think of himself as the smiling deputy mayor, always posing for photographs with a great grin on his face, cheery-eyed and rosy-cheeked--but in private, whether meeting with fellow politicians, some investor, or some other party, he was a scowling man. Standing there in front of the mirror, he tried to smoothe the wrinkles that threatened his forehead and return an upward curve to his lips, but to no avail. This shady business had his innards in knots, and he wasn't about to rid himself of stress by talking to the one woman in the country who could oust his dear friend, the good Mayor Shoe Bots of Pryngleville, once and for all.

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Vox » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:34 pm

Taking a swig of his Duk-Val ale Morgan overheard the name "Pryde" and let out an exasperated sigh as he lit the cigar. "Don't worry Mayor, I'll handle the situation."

Placing a hand on the man's shoulder he squeezed it reassuringly for a moment. "I'll let Kat know she needs to be ready, they'll think twice about making too much ruckus. We aren't like those shabby, two bit types that like to say they run the law well down by Black Star Canyon."

Nodding with conviction the mayor knew the sheriff was right. "Just to be sure though, I'll head over to Sok har and see if Wynn's sons won't stick around town a bit later than they normally do."

The mention Stock and Hardware store owner caused the sheriff to nod appreciatively. Using the town's lingo for the stores name made the sheriff remember that he needed to go see the blacksmith about getting the seven missing letters finished for the town shopkeeper. Finishing his beer and stepping outside to lean on a wooden pole the sheriff pulled his hat slightly lower and watched as the citizens began to go about their day. He focused on one painted mare that came walking toward him gently pulling at the reigns of her rider who easily slipped out of her saddle.

"Morning Sheriff," the rider said with a mixture of a Texas-Alabama drawl that made him smile.

"Good morning Kat,' watching Trever hand his deputy a mug of coffee the man disappeared back inside as the woman sniffed the repugnant crude and took a sip. "We've got a Pryde coming to town today, looks like we'll be spending a lot more time together."

"Great...just what I wanted, to wake up to your wonderful face instead of my pillow." Her off-guard smile and attitude matched her body language but belied her fiery, grizzly bear like nature. Taking another sip of his black tar the sheriff heard the mayor step out between them.

"Well if it ain't Deputy Kat Malice! I'm surprised you aren't over at the casino already checking to make sure everyone's still good on their credit from the night before." Rolling her eyes Kat took another swig of her coffee before stepping off the porch while Morgan did the same.

"From what I hear that's the least of the towns worries today mayor." Tipping her near white hat at the mayor the woman walked away while the sheriff said his good-byes before joining his deputy in making their walking rounds of the town.

"Keep your head down mayor, and enjoy your day." Saluting the man with his coffee mug the sheriff turned and started walking down the dirt road with his fire haired second in command.

"You too sheriff. Keep your head on a swivel, wouldn't want some indians reaping the benefit of you not paying attention when you make your rounds to the ranches today."

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Starlight » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:45 pm

“Gosh darnit, I said whoa, you biscuit-brained sack of glue!”

The compact bay gelding snorted, unimpressed and continued to dance around the paddock. Allie noticed that he pointedly stepped on the bright green saddle blanket he’d just slipped off, turning the vivid shade more of a sad, dusty yellow. Well used to the game-and the insults- he finally deigned to halt directly in front of his mistress and had the audacity to bump her shoulder with his soft white muzzle.

“Charm will get you nowhere, and it certainly won’t get you carrots.”

Pal bumped her again, nickering softly.

“It won’t get you mints, either, boy-o.” She walked over to the discarded pad, scowled at the hoofprints stamped across it, then beat it against a fence post a few times to dislodge the dust. “Now stand still for once in your life, and let me cinch this saddle on. I’m already late.” Gauging his ground, he must have decided the envelope had been pushed enough so he stood placidly as the well-conditioned leather tack was strapped on and settled.

Sliding a booted foot into the stirrup, Allie swung herself up with the ease of decades living in a saddle. She adjusted the brim of her black leather hat so the sun wouldn’t blind her quite as much and clucked to the gelding. As the pair ambled out of the paddock, the sharp-eyed woman looked around. The Silver Star ranch was small, but it suited her. It boasted a barn with six stalls, three of which housed her own horses, the other three keeping a trio of placid jersey cows content when they weren’t out grazing. They produced enough milk that Allie could sell or trade the excess.

There was a decent-sized garden that took far too much time and effort to maintain, and a respectable two-bedroom homestead with adobe walls, which Allie was always grateful for in the harsh summer months. She nodded in satisfaction, seeing everything as it should be. The three bovines and two mares (a fiery chestnut mustang and a sweet little tobiano paint) were out at pasture, ready to laze away the day. Allie envied them the indolence then set off into town at an easy lope.

Riding had always eased her restless spirit, so she was content to travel in solitude, letting her mind wander where it would. She didn’t expect trouble on the road, but a well-oiled rifle stuck out from a saddle holster just in case. A lone woman out in the country was smart to never let her guard down.

She hadn’t always a solitary creature, Allie reflected. But life had a way of twisting whichever way it wanted. It had twisted her to move away from Pryngleville as soon as she’d reached her majority. Dissatisfied with small-town life, she’d migrated to one of the larger cities and sought the glamor of show business. Had even met with some small success as a dancer, had married. But her husband, a soldier with the US Marines, had disappeared two years ago during a border skirmish. So, Allie had moved back to her hometown, using her savings to buy up what became the Silver Star ranch, and opened a saloon called the Starlight Dancer after her old stage name – or Starry’s Saloon as some of the locals called it. Allie didn’t mind either name, so long as they came to dine or drink or take in a performance. Right at the moment her headliner was a pretty thing by the name of Jolie Donna, a singer from back east on tour through the western territories.

Allie was more than glad to retire from the stage. Leave it to the younger generations, she decided. So now her life was out of the limelight and into the business. The paperwork was a pain in the arse, but she supposed it was a tolerable cross to bear. Up ahead she could see the town welcome sign so she slowed Pal down into a brisk walk on the battered dirt road. Not for the first time she wondered how she really felt to be back, whether it was a sense of relief for the familiarity or defeat that she’d ended up back where she started.

But for better or worse, Prynglesville was home.

She slid out of the saddle when she reached the saloon, led her pony around back to the tiny little paddock with a lean-to where Pal would spend his day. Once her mount was settled she entered the building through the back entrance and headed to the kitchen.

“Hey boss, you’re late.”

Allie simply arched an eyebrow at the steel-haired cook she’d hired on about six months ago. “So dock my pay, Gert.”

The older woman laughed and handed Allie a bowl of cooked oats, sweetened with brown sugar and cinnamon. “I’ll just do that. Looks like it’s gonna be an interesting day. Quite the mix of clientele out there.”

Her dark brow inching a bit higher, Allie leaned against the scarred wooden table in the center of the kitchen where Gertrude had been busy chopping up vegetables for the daily stew. “Hmm. Anyone I should be concerned about?"

"Not as yet. Eat that porridge before it gets cold, now."

Allie eased a hip onto the table edge in lieu of sitting and dug in. "Guess I’ll go have a peek then. After breakfast.”
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Pryde » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:25 pm

Popsville was a dusty old town just to the east of Pryngleville and about a third of the size. It was the first western town Caitlyn Felicity Pryde had ever visited and sadly it wouldn't be the last, either. She had come out here from back east after her grandmother had passed away leaving behind a fortune and a parcel of land Caitlyn had no interest in. She was a big city girl through and through and just couldn't understand her grandmother's obsession with the old west. The woman was wild and crazy in her youth riding horseback and shooting bandits. She had carved out a small parcel of land and built a town on it she called Pryngleville. The town had grown since then, drawing new folk daily from across the continent.

People in the west considered Pryngleville a shining jewel of American culture and perseverance. Caitlyn saw it for what it was, a dusty old western town full of folk who about as uncivilized as these Indians she'd heard so much about. She wanted nothing to do with it but now that she owned the place she had no choice. Fortunately, she was meeting with a man she hoped could turn her fortunes around. The current Mayor of Pryngleville, Mayor Shoe Bots, would never consider selling the land to a big city corporation just itching to get its hands on that black gold said to be in the area but maybe his successor might. All Caitlyn had to do was sell off the land and she could go back to her perfect life back in New York City.

Her carriage came to a stop in front of the inn where she was supposed to meet Deputy Mayor Archie Kihns. She waited a moment for the driver to come around and open the door before stepping out onto the dirt road and right into a pile of horse manure. Caitlyn lifted her skirt and her shoe and stared down at the icky brown mess staining the sole of her boot.

"Terribly sorry 'bout that, Ma'am," the driver apologized, he held his hat in both hands against his chest fearful of how she might react.

"It's fine," Caitlyn said simply, attempting in vain to wipe some of the manure off her boot by rubbing it in the dirt a bit, "Just see that my bags are brought inside."

"Y-you're staying here," the driver asked in a confused tone.

Caitlyn nodded, she was supposed to push on to Pryngleville and arrive later that afternoon but the trip had been so long that she desperately wanted to get out and stretch her legs, maybe even relax in some place vaguely reminiscent of the luxury she left behind back home. "One day couldn't hurt. I'm sure Pryngleville will still be there in the morning."

The driver stared at her, unsure of what to do but decided it best not to upset her so he hurried off to grab her luggage. Caitlyn glanced around at the small town of Popsville with a note of distaste in her eyes. The roads weren't paved, horses everywhere lining the sides of the street, no motor vehicles in sight and piles of manure lying everywhere on the ground. This was not the kind of town for a big city girl like herself. She was about to head on into the Inn when she noticed the corpses of three Indians hanging from a post on one end of the town.

"Excuse me, Driver," she said, calling the man over to her.

The driver came out from behind the carriage with three bags under his arms. "Yes, Ma'am?"

"Who are they," she asked pointing towards the dead Indians.

"Gennies, Ma'am," the driver explained, "A tribe of local natives who like to ride into town and cause trouble at times."

"Any particular reason why," she asked.

The driver shook his head, "Don't nobody understand them Gennies, Ma'am. They just do as they please."

Caitlyn considered that a moment then put it aside. Once inside the girl behind the desk offered to show her to her room. Before she was led upstairs Caitlyn insisted on ordering a room for the driver as they would both be spending the night. She was actually looking forward to being able to sit in a chair by a fireplace and just relax for a bit. The ride down to Popsville wasn't actually the smoothest or the most pleasant. Despite the cushioned chairs in the carriage her behind was still sore from all the bumps and pot holes along the way.

Upstairs Deputy Mayor Archie Kihns was waiting for her in the room. As soon as she entered he stood up and took off his hat. "Good day, Ma'am," he said, greeting her.

"Good day, Mr. Kihns," she said walking past him and over to the window before throwing open the curtains and letting in more light. She turned back to look at him and frowned. "I'm sorry, Deputy Mayor, where are my manners? Would you like a cup of tea? I can have a kettle of it brought up to the room."

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Archangel » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:54 am

Archie bowed his head, letting the fresh sunlight glint off his oiled strands of hair. "Tea would be lovely, ma'am," he agreed. "Forgive me for not taking the liberty myself." He hesitated, hat in hand, wondering how to broach the subject of their encounter. At last, he decided on his usual method: he took to it with gusto. "Ma'am, I'd like to get down to brass tacks, if you'll pardon the expression. The current Mayor of Pryngleville, Mr. Shoe Bots, is conniving, self-serving, and corrupt throughout."

Archie might have felt bad about betraying the man that brought him into politics, if only any of his statements had been false. Bots was out for himself, and if you helped him, he'd pay you back proper, but if you stood in his way, you didn't do damn much else. Especially not with Squiddlesworth on the payroll.

"I think Pryngleville, when it was founded by your dear old granma, was meant to be a beacon of light and culture among the uncivilized barbarians of this wild country. Mr. Bots seems intent on keeping his candle under a bushel, but I have no interest in hiding the wonders of America from the indigenous red man--and anyone else who takes issue with civilized life." He gave a winning smile, as if her gentle face were a camera. "The best way to do that is to get some fine incorporation!"

No longer able to contain his desire to move, he set his hat down and began to gesture with each sentence. Both hands worked together to form an elaborate picture of the circumstances. "The way I see it, the more of America we bring out here, the more of out here we can sell in America! There's a lot of value in these lands--as farmland, with the gold-mines, even just as a source of interesting baubles from the red man. If we can convince a few organizations--and I know there are more than a few in the wings, so to speak--to build up the town with a certain sophistication and civilization, I think everyone would benefit. But Mayor Bots has no interest, and I cannot convince him--but I think you, perhaps, have some authority where he does not, on account of your granma. Am I correct?"

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Pryde » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:28 pm

"Presumably," Caitlyn answered after sending a servant back down to the front desk to fetch some tea.

Archie Kihns stared at her for a moment, not quite understanding what she meant. "Beggin' yer pardon, Ma'am?"

Caitlyn sighed, "My grandmother owned the land, true, but I can't sell it or trade it without a signed agreement from the mayor. I swear, why she left this place to me I'll never understand. I've lived in New York City my whole life, I've never had any interest in coming out here."

She realized she was griping to herself and quickly apologized. "Forgive me, Mr. Kihns, it's been a long trip."

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Mir » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:09 pm

Steam rose from the water in the porcelain bath tub. People had talked when he had had it brought in, but there was something to be said about the comforts in life. He barely made a noise as he moved his hand over the surface of the water. Closing his eyes, Shoe reveled in the warmth of the water. Smoke intermingled with the steam from the cigar that he was smoking. There was something to be said for the acrid, pungent smell of a great cigar. The Mayor’s residence was adjacent to Town Hall where he did his work. The master bedroom was on the third floor of the Mayor’s residence, and the bathroom had an excellent view of the whole town. Shoe had arranged the bathtub so that when one was in the bathtub, one could see out the window.

The democratically elected king surveyed his land and he found that everything before him was good.

The door to the bathroom opened and a woman walked in, in a dressing gown. She eyed the man in the bathtub and rolled here eyes, walking over to the small wooden stool that was set up next to the bathtub. There was an ashtray, currently containing the smoldering cigar. Next to that was a glass, and next to that is where she placed the bottle of whiskey.

He leaned backwards slightly, letting his eyes move backwards until he was able to see her.

If he was the king of the land, this then, was the queen.

“You promised me you were going to quit, Shoe.” She said, her blonde hair curling around her shoulders. Blue eyes judged him, and he gave her a chagrined smile.

“Now, Claire, we both know that there’s nothing wrong with a cigar now and then.”

“Only if now and then means now and now.” Claire replied.

Shoe smiled at his wife’s comments. She was always trying to get him to stop smoking. To her credit, she had been able to get him to fully switch over from cigarettes to cigars. For a man used to things after a hard life in the Army and as a mover of cattle, for him to change was a fairly difficult thing to do.

“There was a message, in the mail.” She said, walking over to her vanity and looking at her reflection in the mirror. “From Croft.” She said. “How is that deal going?”

“Croft is an animal to deal with. Loves getting his way.” Shoe said, as he soaked. “You’d think that owning all that cattle land in between Pryngleville and that new settlement to the west, you’d consider being more amenable to granting easements for a road. Put up a few rest stops on the way and you're sure to make a killing in income.” He said. "Forward thinking is a rarity these days. Too possessive of his land."

“He thinks of himself as a land baron.” Claire replied with a shrug as she reached for her lotions, imported from New Orleans.

“No, Croft fancies himself some kind of emperor.” Shoe said. “But we’ll deal with him soon. Nothing can stand in the way of our plans, Claire.”

“Nothing indeed.” She replied.

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Vox » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:52 pm

Morgan continued gnashing his teeth on the remnants of the cigar given to him by the mayor as he brought his horse to a slow walk near the edge of Pryngleville. Looking out at the surrounding landscape the sheriff adjusted himself in the saddle and watched a few coyotes off in the distance chasing a rabbit. This activity drew his attention toward a pair of men riding in on horseback at a steady gallop. As they moved closer the sheriff watched them intently until he saw they meant no real harm and turn his horse back toward the town. Rising higher in the sky the sun's rays began to turn into heat.

"Already,' the man mumbled to himself. "Gonna be a hot one."

"In there or out here?" A middle aged man, skinny by most standards but still strong, with scholarly glasses stood holding a shovel. Smirking to himself the man appeared amused.

"You're quite the comedian Doc, maybe you should do the show at the Starlight Saturday night." Morgan looked down at one of his few men in town he trusted.

"I'll leave that to the professionals. I specialize in random wit and logical arguments not non-sensical banter." Pushing the shovel into the ground the man flipped a pile of dirt over onto the ground and moved down the row to start digging another hole.

"Using words I can't understand Doc, that's rude you know I'm an uneducated gunslinger." Clucking at his horse the lawman spurned his horse on. Turning to look back he waved at the man. "Enjoy your gardening Doc."

"I only use big words because I know you aren't as dumb as you look sheriff." Nodding a second goodbye Morgan took his horse down the main avenue of the town and heard a commotion coming from the hotel. "Looks like the weather isn't the only thing getting hot in this town."

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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Starlight » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:30 am

It didn't take long for Allie to bolt down the porridge, along with a mug of tea brewed strong enough that it could probably stand up and dance on its own. She rinsed out her own dishes, set them aside, and brushed a kiss against the cheek of the older woman Allie secretly thought of as her honorary grandmother.

"I have to run over to the dry goods store later. If you have a list of anything you need, just hand it off and I'll save you a trip."

"There's a girl," Gert replied and pointed to a slip of paper neatly written on in a spidery cursive. "Nothing critical but it would be a help to restock a few pounds of flour, cornmeal, and that tea you seem so fond of."

Allie pocketed the paper. "Consider it done. I'll just check in out front first. You seen Deej around this morning?" The cook shrugged in response. "He came around here this morning for his bone. Expect he's behind the bar, gnawing away at it." That got a chuckle out of Allie as she pushed through the swinging door and into the common area.

The Starlight Dancer wasn't anything like the gilded showrooms of San Francisco with their crystal chandeliers and fancy wallpaper, but it was still a decent place. It was clean, especially by saloon standards. The wooden floors were scrubbed twice a day and swept once in the afternoon. The bottles of top-shelf liquor stood like little soldiers behind the long, smooth bar and glinted in the morning light. Trevor enjoyed polishing the fancy bottles during slow times and they reflected off the big single-pane mirror that Allie had imported from New Mexico at ruinous expense.

A piano waited quietly in the corner, stage-right of a little raised dias where dancers, singers, or musicians would entertain the evening crowds. Round tables of all sizes were scattered through the main area with tough wooden chairs. Some of those chairs had been repaired more than once after an enthusiastic game of cards had ended in an equally impassioned brawl.

The place was almost empty now, but as Allie flicked her glance through the opened windows, she caught sight of what Gert had probably been referring to. Allie tucked that mental note away and wandered over to Trevor. She leaned over the smooth oak bar and saw her mutt of a dog indeed chewing happily on a large soup bone.

Deej was an affable, lovable idiot of a dog. At least she thought he was a dog. About a hundred pounds and a head like an anvil, she thought he looked something you'd find out of a greek myth story. He had a bark that would rattle the window panes and was colored in the blackest brindle pattern Allie had ever seen. His eyes were liquid gold and his jaw could crack through just about anything if you gave him about five minutes. When he'd been a mongrel puppy he'd especially liked to chew through Allie's shoes. But even though he could tear a man's arm out of its socket playing tug-of-war, he didn't have a mean bone in his clumsy body.

"Morning Trev," she commented and slid onto a stool. "Busy morning?"

"Not too bad. Interesting visitors though."

"So I hear. Anything for us to worry about?"

The bartender shook his head, taking out a cloth to wipe down the bar in an unconscious habit. "Not yet, I'd reckon. Did hear the name 'Pryde' mentioned, though." That made both of Allie's eyebrows disappear under her fringe of whiskey-brown bangs. "Oh really. Well isn't that something." She tapped a finger against her lower lip, thinking through the implications. "Isn't that just something. Keep me posted, would you?"

Trev nodded. "No worries, Boss. You sticking around this morning?"

Allie nodded. "For the most part. I promised Gert I'd save her a trip down to the dry goods store, then I have to shovel out some of that paperwork piling up in my office."

"Yes, Boss," he said with a grin. Allie's hatred of paperwork was as infamous as her Italian/Irish temper.

"Deej," she spoke up, pitching her voice for the dog. "Want to go for adventure?"

That had the massive canine bolting up from the floor, bone still clamped in his jaw. He padded around from behind the bar and took up position at his mistress' side.

"See you later, Trevor."

"Later, Boss."
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Archangel
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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Archangel » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:19 am

Archie did smile now, and graciously. "No apology necessary, ma'am. I understand completely. And I am well-aware of the difficulties of your position, vis-à-vis how to make Pryngleville a better place. In fact, that's why I've come to you. You see, as deputy mayor, I am fully prepared to take on the responsibilities of the head office, to sign whatever must be signed, and to make sure that Pryngleville is pulled from the eighteenth century and into the twentieth, for the good of her people."

His smile crooked, twisting around the edge of his mustache. "All that remains to make that possible, ma'am, is to--shall we say--shine a light on the misdeeds and inappropriate practices of the current mayor of your granma's beloved Pryngleville."

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Shaggy
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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Shaggy » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:50 am

"Coffee please" said the man who just pulled up to the bar, "It's been a long night."

"Whoa, you got in here without me seeing you. Surprised me a little bit. Coffee right, sure thing stranger, hope you like it strong."

"Not really any other way to have it, like a said long night." The man said through laced hands across the top of his head. "Just got done cleaning up a large wreck up on the bend, just north of this place. Got ugly after some type of road rage or at least the highway patrol man said."

"Well that is never good, we are usually a quiet town." The bartender brought the coffee over and got in a little closer to the stranger. "Any details that you can share from what you saw? Was there a shooting with it?"

"Was dare a gun? I don't know, I just do what I'm told by moving the carts and pulling one up from about forty feet off the road. But now that you mention it, there might have been a gun involved. Not completely sure."

"Well now, isn't that interesting.' The bartender looked over the shoulder of the man and noticed the large steam wagon outside. "Nice salvage wagon though, looks brand new. You going to be staying over for the night?"

"Ya, it was a long night. Any places to stay here?" The stranger asked as he drained the entire cup of coffee. The cup looked small in the hands of this stranger. He pushed it forward for a refill and tapped on the rim of the mug.

"Hmmm, I live here so let me grab Allie, she'll know. What's your name friend? I want to introduce you properly."

"Salvidge, just call my Salvidge."

"Well now, that is interesting, Mr. Salvidge doing salvage."

"Yes... interesting"
“This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.”
-C.S. Lewis
"But generally, Shaggy is right." - Jagtai
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Starlight
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Re: A Little Town Called Pryngleville

Post by Starlight » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:56 pm

The dry goods store trip proved uneventful. A small blessing, Allie supposed. Blowing the wisps of bangs out of her eyes again, she finished maneuvering the sacks of flour and cornmeal on the pantry shelf. The sturdy wooden boards groaned under the weight but held true. Since she was there, her eyes quickly scanned the generous store room, making sure there wasn’t any critical ingredient getting low.

Unsurprisingly, all was ship-shape. She wouldn’t have expected less where Gert was concerned.

“You can only stall on that leaning tower of paperwork for so long, you know.”

Allie hunched her shoulders against the wry comment and swiveled around to look at Gertrude.

“I ain’t stalling…”

“Sure, and I’m the Queen of Sheba.” The older woman made a shooing motion with a corner of her apron. “Go on, get out of my kitchen.”

Allie rolled her eyes for form and tried not to feel like a slip of a girl caught cheating on her lessons. Like a good and responsible business owner, she spent the rest of the afternoon cloistered up in the cramped little room, checking figures, making notes, and setting a mental note to talk to her liquor supplier. She suspected the grungy little man was trying to fleece her on the brandy orders. Allie narrowed her eyes and rifled through the papers to find a different invoice.

“And breaking at least one bottle of the good whisky every order too,” she muttered. That would never do. Takings were up and it would be unacceptable to run out of stock, especially on the busy evenings when folks came in for the evening shows on a Friday or Saturday night.

By the time the pile of paperwork was down to a manageable level again, she could hear the hum of the dinner crowd start to pour in. Surprised, she glanced over at the small clock on the wall. Then she noticed the dull throb of her neck and shoulders, telling her that indeed she spent too long on the wretched books. But at least the Starlight Dancer was turning a decent profit. Allie would never be rolling in the high-life, but it was a respectable living and provided jobs to some good folks. As well as entertainment in a town that certainly didn’t offer much in the way of night life.

She lifted her arms up over her head, stretching cramped muscles and easing the stiffness of her spine. Then she spun the chair away from the old oak desk and meandered out into the common area.

“Nice crowd tonight,” Betsy called out as she hurried by. The waitress was a buxom blonde, quick with a grin and a quicker left hook when the customers got a little too friendly. Allie smiled and nodded, tossing her braid back over her shoulder. Since there didn’t seem to be any seating available, she meandered to the bar and begged a plate of the evening special when Betsy had a moment free between tables. Just as well; Allie would always rather stand than sit, especially after being trapped at a desk all day.

While she ate, Allie bantered easily with the staff and a few regular customers and noted that while the crowd was decent, it wasn’t of the rowdy sort. All to the good, it meant she could duck out early and head home before the sun called it quits in the sky.

Whistling for Deej, who’d been sleeping contentedly under the bar after begging scraps from anyone sucker enough to buy into his puppy-eyed snow job, she settled her hat on her head and headed out for Pal. The gelding was more than ready to head home for his dinner and a bucket of grain. He whinnied plaintively.

“Yes, you’re so mistreated. Must be those regular beatings I give you three times a week and twice on Sundays.” Allie gave him a rub between the ears then launched up into the saddle. Without being asked, he kicked up into an easy lope on the road for home.
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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