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The Quinn Clan

Date: 11-29-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 21

A Mystery

It was a typical Irish day, rainy after the sun had been shining. The nip in the air became downright cold, a chill that went through a man. Instead of taking a wagon, they were on horseback, and even those beasties seemed affected by the weather. Eion was huddled in his cloak, cursing the weather, the rain and the Englishman. "I'm thinkin' this might be a bad idea."

Dipped against the rain and the cold, David's head tilted slightly to look over toward Eion. He smiled to himself, an expression that didn't last long because the wool of his scarf stuck to his teeth if they were exposed too long. "Aye, Eion? Then tell me why I'm freezing my arse off on this horse then? It is one thing to freeze for a good idea, or a noble idea, or an idea that might hold some merit once it is played through, but a bad idea?" He chuckled then, shaking his head and burrowing deeper into the layers of his outer garments until just his eyes showed from above his scarf and coat collar and beneath his hat. "I'm not so sure it is worth the rain and the cold for a bad idea."

"Because of the weather?" Which had not quite the effect on Segan who was use to much worse out at sea. Water was his friend, a fish whether out of water or in it. So the lands they were in presently didn't have this much rain as their homeland. Slicker kept him from getting soak but he liked the feel of the dew on his face. Made him feel like he was at the rail watching the water rush towards them. Now the cold was a different story but he had dressed appropriately. "You best be ready to hibernate," considering Eire really didn't get down to the too freezing temperatures. Thirties being the lowest, usually fourties. They rarely saw snow. "I wonder on Conor's mission being a bad idea. If the king knows of certain deeds, he might imprison him or worse." Which meant them going to England to spring Conor out this time.

"Taking the weather as a portent, omen.... or a bluidy excuse to get a drink first." He peered over at David and grinned, giving a shake of his head. "You've got a quick tongue when it's not being tempered by that cousin of ours." He looked back at Segan, a brow lifting. "The king likely doesn't care about those deeds. At least I hope not. Besides, Conor will manage to talk himself out of it. Of all of us, he's the best talker." How many times had the youngest talked himself out of a beating? Only Gran was immune to it. David would likely have to bathe before the womenfolk allowed him into their kitchen. He watched a moment to make sure both animals were going to settle, then followed after. "I hope not," he glanced at Segan when he spoke then cut another look toward the tavern. There was no mistaken that shade of red hair in the crowd. He joined Segan and David in moving the horses forward and quickly. One bit of trouble at a time, please.

David never minded the tempering of his tongue, he rather enjoyed it. He would never complain about his wife or the means by which she governed her house. It was what had drawn him in the first place. It was still what he loved about her to this day. "As if we need an excuse for a drink." The slit of skin and eyes exposed to the weather gave away the fact he was smiling, although with his mouth closed until he spoke again. "He'll be lucky to get an audience with the king, especially this time of year. But I'm with you, Eion, if anyone can manage it ... it will be a Quinn." He shivered into a more comfortable position in the saddle and hunkered down for the remainder of the ride.

"Drink? Drink," finally laughing, "why didn't you say so in the first place." Hand dipped inside the slicker pocket to pull out an ornate silver flask full of potcheen. He didn't have the supply on hand just for Conor. No. It was for rainy miserably cold days as this one prove. Probably not really as cold as it felt for the rain. Stopper taken out with a drink to follow. Let the burn warm before the hand went out to first his brother who was closest as they moved along. "I'll agree that Conor is the best talker of us and that his tongue saves him if needed. Hopefully not needed." Sliding a glance to David, "you got yourself a good wife." And that was all he'd say on it.

He accepted the flask readily enough then snorted out a laugh as he held it toward David. "I should have known you'd have a drink on hand. You know, we're not even sure the Englishman will see us." He wondered if Michael would be there, among the men who served the Englishman. He frowned slightly as he added. "We'll need to use his title. Lordship should keep us out of trouble." They had to ride through town to get the road to the Manor house. There were a few brave souls about but most had headed inside.

David accepted the drink with a nod of appreciation to Segan. Gloved fingers nudged his scarf down from over his nose and he tipped it up to drink. Good God Almighty, but that was good. He lowered the flask and shut his eyes, allowing the warmth to begin to spread from his throat on down. He leaned to hand it back to Eion to pass it back to Segan then lifted the woolen cloth back over his nose. "So, we should be saying, you most gracious bastardly lordship, how kind of you to let us come?" He cleared his throat, nodding his greeting to a couple of folks they passed. "Or perhaps, My Grace'o'de'piece'o'shit, it is a great honor to be so humbled in your home?" Was there any doubt how David felt about the Englishman even though he most times kept his opinions to himself?

Luckily the Hennigans were not out on a night like this. Probably gathered in one of their taverns in town drinking the night away. Fighting with each other when there wasn't anyone else. "Yessss, yir Loooodssssip," hissing it out it out through his teeth, "naaaaay," sounding like a bray, "yir loooodssssip.." purposely murdering the words as well as if they had little education. Adding to David's dialogue. Would the man even realize they made fun of him if they did? Might not. He was English. All the while he was keeping an eye on those that emerged into the muck of the evening.

He laughed and eyed Segan a moment, then looked forward. "Aye, I think either will work. Just make sure the brogue is thick and we'll have him confused so badly, he'll give in gladly." He was kidding of course, knowing, as David had warned previously, it was best not to take the man lightly. "He's likely to have plenty of muscle around him and won't take what he sees as insulting. But we'll not grovel either." His horse started as a dog ran across the road in front of him and Eion had to calm him a moment before they moved on.

David's mount shied a bit with a dancing side step when the dog ran out into the road. Soaked and muddy, it appeared a skinny, sad looking creature. Whelan brought his horse under control and squint toward that dog. "That looks like Griffith's..." David swung off his horse, landing in the thick mud of the road with a splat. He gave a soft whistle and a kissing noise to catch the dog's attention and then started toward it, holding tight to his reins until his arm stretched way behind him. "Come here, girl..." The dog had paused, but tucked her tail, taking a step back away from the man coming toward her. "Heel, Lucy Nell. Come on now. What are you doing so far from home, eh?" Still hesitant to be touched, the dog's eyes darted from side to side, recognizing its name but not agreeing yet to be captured. "Best pointer bitch this side of the isle..." He started talking to the brothers as he moved closer to Lucy Nell. He was almost able to reach out to grab her scruff when...she spun to run. David let loose his hold on the reins and dove toward her, capturing her around the neck to the dog's yelping surprise. "Little lass now don't be fretting. Not like Ole Griffith to let you be wandering about. Not when he can make a goodly fortune on making sure you aren't slumming. Best be getting you home, Lass. Too cold and wet for your pampered little self you know." He hefted up the dog, who wasn't really such a little thing at all and trudged back toward his horse. "We've a damsel to rescue, boys, if we can spare the Englishman a few moments to see to her safety."

Which had David's mount bumping into his as he danced a few steps and snorted his discontent. What transpired next had him halting his steed as he watched. Well not just watched but drank more of the potcheen. Good time to take advantage of it. "Griffith.. not Gibbles," a nickname that had been given the short, stocky male of their youth. Segan had completely forgotten about him. They teased him to no end but they all liked him well and the man knew it. Or it was his father by the way David referred to him as Ole. They knew him too for the son. A man with more tales than Ireland itself and a good teller of them too. "Aye, I'd like to see Ole Griffith again." He was amused that the bit of a dog almost had the best of David. Once he was back in the saddle, they'd all start forward again although they would be taking a different turn when the road forked.

Eion leaned slightly forward as he watched David, ready to grab his horse's reins if needed but the horse was trained and stayed put. He grinned then frowned slightly. "He wouldn't let her just wander around then. We can spare a few minutes, maybe more to return her. She's been out for a while from the looks of her." He did steady David's horse while he mounted again, ready to offer a hand to take the pointer. "Aye, it'll be good to see him." He doubted the Englishman would be going anywhere in this weather.

She had lost a good amount of weight, no doubt wandering for a while, so it wasn't too difficult for David to shift her to one arm and then mount. "Alright, then, Lucy. Looks as if these men are as gallant as I thought them to be. Let's get you home, Pretty Girl." The horse was none too happy with its new rider and the dog wasn't exactly pleased with this means of travel, but neither of them did more than huff, and they both did, as David touched his heels to his mount's side to start them onward. The smell of wet dog, wet horse, wet wool and wet leather... there was only a few things that smelled ... er ...finer.

As thoughts sunk in, he was frowning. "You think something happened to Ole Griffith?" Being he would not abandoned his favored dog. The rain was getting heavier as a ruckus broke out from one of the taverns. Sounded like the Hennigans at it again as he spurred his horse forward. Best not to attract them on top of it all. He pulled the hood down more over his face as he leaned forward to resist the rain. The pup would be at least washed of the mud on it by the time they reached their destination.

David would likely have to bath before the womenfolk allowed him into their kitchen. He watched a moment to make sure both animals were going to settle, then followed after. "I hope not," he glanced at Segan when he spoke then cut another look toward the tavern. There was no mistaken that shade of red hair in the crowd. He joined Segan and David in moving the horses forward and quickly. One bit of trouble at a time, please.

David's current state of bundled attire made it easy to pass unrecognized. However, he wasn't a Quinn. He only passed a flickering gaze in the direction of the tavern, speaking soothing words to the shivering animal in his arm while they continued on. He spoke softly to her the entire way. Perhaps his calming nature was what Colleen needed. Her spitfire Quinness to his settling Whelaness. Opposites complimenting and needing each other. It also worked for the skittish canine.

The heavier rain was a blessing for the shield it made as much as they grumbled about it. There was always another side to the coin. The wind was picking up with a haunting howl to it adding to the wonder of what they might find at Ole Griffith's place as they made their way there, gradually arriving as the dirt road became more mud than pebbles. The place looked dark but it was twilight where a light inside might not show readily through the rain. "I wonder if he is home." Dismounting before tying off the reins of his equine to the fence post, he was then around to take the dog from David so he could get down from his saddle easier.

Eion wasn't grumbling anymore. The wind seemed to be issuing a warning as they finally reached Ole Griffith's place. He dismounted, tying the leads to a nearby post, all the while studying the house. There was something off, something too quiet about the place. It was a comfortable home and he remembered it being lit up and noisy. But that had been in their youth. His hand lowered to his sword hilt. "I don't know but be ready."

The dog had started whimpering softly the moment they reigned to a stop outside the manor home. She was handed down to Segan and David dismounted, his gaze locked on the dark appearance of an empty home. David eased the quivering dog from Segan's hold and squatted to place her feet on the ground. He spoke in lowered tones to her. "You stay here with the horses now, Lassie. Stay." He gave her side a light pat and stood back up, then took a couple of paces back to release a sword from the sheath strapped to his saddle. "Wouldn't be polite to be knocking on the door with a sword hilt, Eion. Don't think ole Griffith would take kindly to that." None of the three of them thought it would be Griffith answering the door though so swords in hand it would be.

While they talked and after handing the dog off, Segan disappeared down the one side of the house only to emerge from the other by the time all was said and done. He looked like part of the shadows that seemed to play in an unnatural way about the place. It was rumored that Griffith's wife was a witch. The surroundings would support it although nothing had been mentioned of her. "All seems to be clear." Hard to tell in the rain but he didn't run into anyone and the darken panes of the windows were all solid, nothing smashed. He studied the dog a moment as she slightly thumped her tail in a puddle. It was all very odd, "shall you do the honors then David," gesturing towards the door being Ole Griffith might not recognize he or Eion for it had been eons.

"No he wouldn't." But he would understand their caution, especially in light of the trouble around here. He watched as Segan reappeared, not having realized his brother had moved away and gave a shake of his. He was slacking and that had to be corrected. "We're right with you, David." He muttered low, then glanced at the upstairs windows. From somewhere nearby a sheep called out and another answered, only adding to the surreal feel of the place. The dog didn't seem inclined to move and that added another worry to the mix.

David didn't take another step until Eion spoke, then he drew in a deep breath, a really deep breath, and started forward. It wasn't unlike Griffith to sequester himself in his home, but there wasn't a single window that showed the glow of life within. The bleating from the pastures did nothing to soothe the man's nerves as he went up the front steps to the door. "Griffith, it's David Whelan! Eamon Whelan's son." Then he used the hilt of his sword to pound on the door. "Griffith! We found your bitch, Lucy Nell, wandering in town! Open up, Man. The Quinn brothers are here with me." Enough said, enough knocking, he lowered his sword to his side and waited with a cant of ear toward the door as he willed himself to hear movement within.

Segan waited just down the step from the porch so the man would not be crowded once he opened the door. IF he opened the door. Sounded like David's voice echoed if that were possible. There were hills somewhere in that foggy background. Deathly silence followed David's words. That was until something burst out from the shadows and from alongside the house. First one, then two, then more. Bleating. Running. Eyes wild as they dashed across the lawn just beyond the steps only to disappear into the fog again. "Holy..." felt like his heart jumped into his throat for the sudden impact in the silence. "They seem to be running from something." Could be a natural predator or something else.

Eion was watching the door closely as David listened, and turned quickly when the sheep suddenly came from around the house. "Hells." He cursed softly. Should they seek out why the sheep were so frightened, or try the door? "Is it locked, David?" He didn't want to break in but they might have to. "You hear anything coming after them, Segan?" His voice was low, muffled by the fog and made odd sounding by the echoes. He took a step away from the door, toward the side then stopped. If nothing came after the sheep, they'd check the house. If something did, they'd deal with that.

David wasn't the cursing sort, not really, but he had been holding his breath, hearing his heart hammering in his ears more than anything else when those blasted things came rushing out. Which, caused him to bark out a less-than-gentlemanly barworthy vernacular. His hand clamped down on the latch and he lifted it, without any resistance and the door swung open. "Nah.." He answered Eion's question, although he really didn't need to. Bringing up his sword, he started in, eyes sharp and scanning the interior. "Anybody...home?" He whispered, not sure if he wanted anyone to know at this point they were coming on in. There was a shuffling in the next room which caused David to pause. More critters? Or something...larger?

"On it.." as they tended to the door, Segan was rounding the side of the house again. The place was a small mansion but the silence still gave it a haunted look tonight. Something surreal as his thoughts were yanked back when a twig snapped. It had him freeze in his steps only to turn in that direction. Another snapped and he headed where he thought it came from. The fog was getting heavier and easy to lose one's direction but he'd had such at sea and knew to rely on sound to get himself back. The way the wind blew, the scents that traveled with it. Once again he froze in place but this time it was for another reason. The sound of steps seemed heavy, something far bigger than human and that was when eyes seemed to appear in the fog. Red eyes. Heavy breathing from the thing as his own breath stopped. What was a few seconds seemed to last an eternity and his hand sweated against the hilt of his dagger. He used hunting daggers over a sword. Whatever it was, was gone in the next second without a sound. Segan lingered unmoving in that spot until his breath was found and then around on a heel to backtrack to the house.

Segan went around the house as Eion kept to following David inside. He was silent as David whispered a call, testing the air for a scent he hoped he wouldn't catch until he heard the shuffling. He had drawn his sword before entering, and held it ready as he slipped by David, holding his hand up to tell him to wait. Taking two steps, he moved closer to the door then paused. The shuffling sounded again, accompanied by another sound, almost a groan. He did catch a scent -- the metallic tang of blood. With a glance back at David, Eion moved forward and stopped at the side of the door. He wouldn't charge in yet but he wasn't going to wait much longer.

David hadn't moved since Eion told him to wait but when he looked back, David mouthed the word 'what'. Outside he heard Lucy Nell start barking, not a I'm happy to see you bark but a come any closer and I'll rip you apart bark. He slid a glance over his shoulder. Where was Segan? "By God, Griffith, if you're in there you better say, because I'm tired of sucking in more air than I let out and we're coming in!" David shouted to that closed door. "Move, Eion, if you're not going, I am." And sure as his word, David started forward with none-too-gentle footfalls on the wooden floors. He was no warrior. Stealth and caution were not his strong suits. If Griffith was injured, he needed to know. If he was dead, David wanted to know.

The mansion finally appeared from the fog, least part of it as he neared the one side again. Sounds were coming from inside. Dull and distant to his ear but a wonder he heard them at all. In a bound he was around, up the steps, over the porch and within just as David was about to crash through the door, "something's not right about this place." That was about all of the comment he got out as he took up the rear. Hand was still on the dagger to be released in an instant if needed.

Eion coughed out a laugh, then shrugged and tried the handle of the door. It swung open without much effort and he stepped back to allow David to go through first, though he'd be right behind. He looked at Segan and nodded, then glanced behind him to see the dog standing in the doorway, almost as if she was waiting for them to find .... whatever they were about to find.


Date: 12-06-11
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 22


"Hush, Lucy Nell." David whished at the dog and her whimpering, continuing right on into the room. He blanched with a flinch when the odor inside the room hit him full on, burrowing his nose into the bend of his arm. "Blast it, Man, you stink." David's words were smothered against his forearm and he squinted toward the man cowering in the corner. Once a man of considerable backbone and spirit, he was beaten and bloody curled up against the far walls of the room. Whether because he was too injured to move, or too frightened, or too weak, he had not even attempted to seek out the privy but had pissed and shit himself right where he lay. It didn't take Whelan long to be squatted next to him, eyeing his injuries so not to move him yet just in case. "I've got the Quinn boys with me, Griffith...tell us where you're hurt worse and then we'll be helping you out." Slowly David's gaze searched out the room. "Where is your wife?" Lucy Nell came skittering over, curling up against the curve of the man's injured body. "And Lucy Nell is back, and happy to be with you again, aye?"

Segan let out a few choice curses under his breath for the condition the man was found in. As David started the questioning, he went to get the man clean clothes and a bucket of water to clean himself up with, bar of soap and cloth. Or they would bathe him some if he was that injured. Didn't take him long to be setting the bucket and clothes near the man before he disappeared again to get what he could for first aid. The man was hurt and would need at least what they could administer before getting him to someone more professional.

That smell was all too familiar to one who had been in battles but it still affected Eion in much the same manner as it did David. "'Ey Griffith. It's all right now." He looked up at David then back down to the man. This was an act that went beyond reason and if the Englishman was behind it, well, they'd see him pay. "How long?" He glanced around the room. "See if you can find any whiskey, Segan." Water first though. The man could be close to death just from not having water but the whiskey would numb his pain.

When Segan placed the water close, David tugged off his own coat, and then cupped his hand into the water. The other curled beneath the first to create the cup and he brought that small amount over to the man's lips. Griffith didn't drink at first, the liquid just running off of his cracked, swollen lips and from his chin. David met Eion's eye and offered the tiniest of head motions. The Englishman didn't do this, it wasn't his style, but that didn't mean some of his men hadn't had designs of their own when it came to making a man pay for his obstinacy. Their brother-in-law was a good example of that, was he not? "Come on, Old Man, you'll need to cooperate." Again David dipped his cupped hand into the water and scooped up a palm full, carefully bringing it over to Griffith's lips. This time the man's eyes opened to mere slits, and he moved his lips over the water, taking in a very small amount.

Sounds came from various rooms that they would hear as he rummaged about. He found a good liter bottle of homemade whiskey and by the smell of it... potent stuff. Some old clean shirts he ripped up into strips and there was some rubbing alcohol along with some salve he found too in the one drawer of the kitchen counter. Wasn't long, although seemed to take a long time, he was back as David was seeing to Griffith. He waited to hear what the man had to say, when he could say anything. In the meantime he would help with any cleaning and bandaging.

It was just the violence of the attack that had Eion stunned but the ruin of the house. It was almost as if a madman had done it all. He smiled slightly when David scolded the elderly man and he reacted. If David felt it wasn't the Englishman, well, then they wouldn't look for him for answers. "Is the rest of the house in the same condition?" He asked Segan quietly while he watched Griffith drink. At least the man was responding now.

The man was given small sips of water even if after the first sampling he tried to gulp down the life-giving drink. He wasn't speaking yet, that would come. David dipped one of the makeshift bandages into the water and allowed the man to suck water from the fabric, limiting his intake until his system adjusted to it. Eion's question brought David's attention to Segan and he drew in a deep breath, releasing it slowly with anticipation of the answer to come.

Giving a nod to Eion with lowered words, "looked like they were searching for something and everything trashed that got in the way. I think we should get him out of here." So the delay to see His Lordship would be longer. "Let me see if there is a wagon in his stable." Most likely there would be a wagon or carriage. So while they saw to the man's immediate needs, Segan was heading back outside into the fog.

"I think you're right. But we don't know what happened to his wife, or any servants. The lass there has been running around for a while. Why didn't any of them come forward?" There were always questions but he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answers. The house had a feel to it that made him certain no one else was alive in here.

David's gaze rested on Eion and he started nodding in agreement to both Quinn brothers. With that, he stood, and called out. "If there is anyone else here, you better let us know, because we're leaving here in a minute." How was that for strategy? Griffith groaned, which made Whelan think at first that someone had responded, but then he realized and looked down to the injured man. "Better bite down on that rag, Griffith, we're going to be moving you." If the old man wasn't so weak from his ordeal, it may have taken all three of them to move him from his home. Moving him from his home was probably what had him in this condition in the first place.

Segan had a good idea were the stable was but finding it in the fog made for a whole new experience. Fog was thicker than ever as he mumbled a curse under his breath before freezing in his steps for a sound he thought he heard. One akin to a thump. THUMP. There it was again and coming from where he figured the stable was. Quiet as a mouse, much like his wabbit hunting, he stalked towards the stable. One dagger silently leaving its sheath at his belt.

Eion nearly covered his face with his hands when David yelled out but it was at least something. "While Segan is searching for a wagon, I'll take a quick look around." He wasn't going to do a lot of exploring considering the need to get Griffith to safety and medical care, but he didn't want to leave anyone behind. A cat and two kittens came out of hiding, nearly scaring him out of his skin. They followed him through the house and back to the room where David and Griffith waited. "We're going to have to come back and do a more thorough search." A decision made and sure to be followed through.

While the Quinns were elsewhere, David leaned toward Griffith, bracing on the flat of his hand. "Any broken bones you think, Griffith? Can I hook your arm around my neck? One blink for yes, two for no." The older man's gaze narrowed. "Can talk. Damn fool." He croaked through a throat not used in a while. "Not going anywhere." David's response at first was a gasp, and a blink, then he chuckled softly. "Aye, you are, Old Man, and I've got the Quinn brothers to prove it. So, since you can talk, you better be telling us if you're needing to be hauled or dragged, but know this, you are leaving this house for now." When the man opened his mouth, David actually stuffed the wet rag in it. "Not for good, just for now." And that's how Eion found the injured man when he returned, with a rag dangling from his mouth. David stood up with a dip of head to Eion. "Aye, and that we will, and Griffith is ready to be leaving." The mentioned man raised his arm with difficulty and jerked the cloth from it's place. "Fledgling fools." He grumbled, even as weak as he was.

The horses inside the stable were uncomfortable. Something was making them nervous and he doubted it was himself at this point. There was low neighing, a hoof to paw in warning, flanks bumping against the wooden sides of the stalls. Segan went up flat aside the door left ajar leading inside. Ears strained with a thrum to hear anything other than the sounds that should be heard. So the few seconds passed without another thump and he turned to head in when he was run over by a man as white face of fear as the fog around them. Knocked Segan on his rear as the bundle the man had been holding went tumbling down atop him. "HEY!" Naturally called out as the sack was tossed aside and he leaping back to his feet. It was then he caught sight of what had really scared the man. Beautiful. Serene. Mingled with the fog was the form and face of a woman. An apparition for as he stared it faded back into the fog. His face was probably a shade lighter but he didn't run in fear. Took him a few seconds before he was dashing in the direction the man had gone. No use with the fog so he turned back before he was lost in it. About to reenter the stable, he passed the sack which he picked up on the way. Inside he found a surrey with good size bench in the back. along with a shorter one across from it. Calming the horses as they seemed to trust him, then again he always had a way with them too, before picking out one of the larger, sturdier built one that would have no problem pulling the surrey with a few inside. He threw the sack up on driver's bench before being quick about hitching the equine up and taking all around to the front of the house.

He stood in the doorway, brows lifting and then he laughed out loud. It sounded strange in the empty room and actually had Eion looking around. "Aye, we're fools all right but so are you if you think you're staying here in this condition, Griffith. We'll take you to our uncle's place, send word to your kin. You let us do the work, and you can do the talking when you're ready. And if we hurt you, you have my permission to beat Segan or David about the head." He kept himself out of the beating. It would take some work to deal with the elderly man, and the animals. The sheep had either calmed or been eaten and were quiet. Lucy Nell and the cats were not about to be left behind.

The jangle of transportation could be heard arriving out front from where they were gathered in the quiet house. "Do the work?" The older man groused past the pain of speaking and of his body. He didn't even seem to notice or care he had soiled himself. It was more of an embarrassment it appeared that he couldn't stand his ground against men three times younger. "You boys wouldn't know work if it yanked you by the balls. It'll take two of you to lift me, pussy-licked as you are. Get over here then, taking all damn night." David continued to blink as the man seemed to gain enough strength to string together a plethora of insults. "Damnation, Whelan!" The older man barked hoarsely. "Now...and don't be leaving Lucy Nell behind either." Go figure, he was worried about his dog, but what of his wife!?

All the strange events didn't have time to sink in. Luckily. Segan was down and back into the house to help them get Griffith out. "Someone ran out of the stable. Couldn't find him in the fog." A very quick rundown but the point someone was still around was not a good omen to linger. It was also a heads up in case they were heading into a fight. Which, really was more the norm for them.

"Well, maybe you're not as bad as you look." He grinned at David, careful to make sure the older man didn't see him do so. "Feck, Griffith, you're heavier then you look. " He made a face too at the smell but it couldn't be helped. He'd be fussed over once they got him to safety. "You see what he was after?" Once the man was tucked into the surrey, Lucy Nell settled beside him, and the blasted cat and her kittens, he looked at Segan. "You want to take point? David can drive and I'll follow behind." Hopefully Lucy Nell would bark if anyone approached. "Didn't you have other dogs, Griffith?" Maybe they were all running free through the countryside.

David was panting by the time they managed to settle the large man into the surrey with his dog nestled next to him. David took up the reins and provided the necessary shake to get the animals in motion. With the Quinns on horseback, they were set to go. "Dogs, sheep, cows, horses, pigs...had a household to provide for." The old man grumbled. "And it will be over my dead body they get any more of them." David would have looked to the Quinns but knew with the fog they couldn't make eye contact. "Aye, and that was almost the case already." David muttered back to the man. "We're going to need to know more about what happened, Griffith. Once you get your ... " David actually snorted with a laugh for his next word to come. "Strength... back." To have been beaten, starved, soiled, dehydrated and left to die...he had plenty of strength in his lungs.

Segan saw to any doors or clutter in their way as they passed through the house to the outdoors. The sack up on the driver's seat had various disguises inside they would find out. Mounted up he took point and constantly searching the fog as much as one could. All senses keener than usual for the unusual circumstances. He was silent although his chuckle might be heard low under his breath as he certainly picked up on the conversation between David and Griffith. The steady beat of the horses' hooves even sounded surreal in the setting as they blended in with the roll of surrey's wheels. It would be within the hour that they reached Brady's house and the bustle that would follow. They could leave Griffith with their uncle and head back for that meeting. One, he at least wanted to get it over with.

They'd need to get cleaned up first, though maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to go to the meeting smelling like the old man. Griffith was turned over to Sarah and her daughters, quite gratefully on Eion's part and then, after the three men had been chased out of the room and told in no uncertain terms to clean up (and after dutifully obeying the women), told Brady what had happened. After the evening they had, how could the Englishman be a challenge at all?


Date: 12-19-11
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 23

Talk with Griffith

Because of the hour, it was decided that it would be best to put off their visit to the Englishman for another day. Griffith's family couldn't be notified until the next morning at the earliest so it seemed the man was a guest for the time being. Eion was up early, helping Brady around the farm and tending to the horses. It brought back both good and bad memories but he did his best to only dwell on the good. Brady was more relaxed then he had been when they first arrived, and so was his family, except for the younger Sarah. All in all, it seemed like a good morning.

Good morning for a good breakfast as Segan was famished after helping out with the usual things done while Sarah did up breakfast. She was a good cook and the smell of bacon coming from the kitchen lured him there. Coffee as well, eggs and hash browns. Homemade bread and jams added to the fare as well muffins and some pastries one of the daughters contributed. He wasn't sure which but it didn't matter one whit as he sat down and commenced to stuff his face.

David had already eaten, had taken Griffith his share and had made sure he was comfortable. Almost reluctant to leave the room, he had lingered a while, knowing that if the man gave his lovely wife or the other ladies in the house any grief, they would not hesitate to let the older man have what for, injured or not. He was soon enough shooed from the place by his mother-in-law and with a hesitant last glance back, he saw that the older man was practically beaming with the attention showed him. Good Lord. The man may never heal just so he could continue to receive this royal treatment. He beat it down the stairway that led to the kitchen, skidding to a halt at the bottom when he found Segan there. "The man will live another day. And you, Cousin? You are well this morning?" David continued his steps over the counter, taking up another muffin and pinching off a bite. He started that piece to his mouth. "You need not speak..." He couldn't help but grin watching Segan. David popped that pinch in his mouth and talked through the chewing of the small bite. "Just nod."

It wasn't long before Eion and Brady joined the two after washing up. Eion laughed when he saw Segan there and looked at Brady. "There, see. Didn't I tell you that Segan would have found his way to the kitchen by now. Morning David, Segan. How fares our guest this morning?" Brady just grunted out a laugh while he helped himself to some of the food waiting. He knew well enough where his wife was and was hoping Griffith's family would come for the man soon. He liked the old man but he should be spending the holidays with his own family.

More than nodding, he motioned to the chair next to where he sat that David may join him. Not good to talk with his mouth full and full it was to not even try talking around it. Once swallowed and washed down with a good amount of coffee, he finally spoke up. "Good news on a good day. Hopefully it will continue that way with our meeting." Much as it had been a relief not to deal with the Lordship the night prior, it still needed to be faced.. needed to be over and done with and hopefully with good results. He had his doubts there. "Eion, I hope you brought your appetite," obvious for the fare that was set out, Sarah had outdone herself.

David leaned back against the counter, even though the chair was offered. He had already eaten and were he found at the table again by Colleen, his ears would be ringing for the rest of the day even if at the present moment he consumed yet another muffin. That, you see, would be easy enough to hide should his wife saunter in. "It seems the man could spare a word or two with you, Eion, if you were to wish and speak with him about the whatnots of his health when we found him." He lowered his gaze to the muffin again, choosing a certain spot to pick his next bite from before he muttered. "Not promising what those words would be, though."

He joined Brady in filling his plate and grinned at Segan, "Aye, I have." David took his attention though and he nodded, slowly. "I would like to find out what happened, if he remembers. I talked to one of the lads who help around here and he's going to spread word about the rest of the dogs. See if they spot them with anyone." He sat at the table and sighed. "And I can almost imagine what those words will be. Let him and me enjoy our meals first."

"I would be interested in what he has to say." Pushing his plate away indicating he was done. Segan had a good appetite but not overly either. "Which reminds me, that sack left by the one that ran me over coming out of the stable...." glancing between the three before continuing and the man might have gotten a good look at Segan even if he didn't get a good look of the other for the sack thrown at him... "it had a few costumes in it that would explain the strange sights in the fog." Although he was done eating, there was more coffee to be enjoyed before his breaking fast was complete.

Costumes? David's brows shot up with that information but he didn't say anything. He thought he had heard light steps coming down the stairs so leaned to place that half eaten muffin on the platter with the others. Then, thought better of having that semi-consumed morsel noticeable with the whole ones and snatched it to hide behind his back. He watched the opening to the stairway and waited, nothing. Slowly the muffin made its way around again.

"So, they were trying to scare him out of his house. And when he didn't go, " he paused and shook his head. He caught David with the muffin and hid his laughter by taking a drink of coffee. How often had he done the same but with Herself. Another bite or two and he pushed away from the table. He had his fill, now it was time to talk to Griffith. "Joining us, David? Brady?" Brady shook his head no, he had chores to finish.

David shook his head no, he had enough of the man for the morning at least. He'd be helping Brady.

"There was something else. An apparition of a woman, quite beautiful, that I saw behind the man for a few moments that he fled from. She faded into the fog without a sound. Was there a murder in this family?" The last being more mussed to himself as that might explain the fear more than seeing a ghost, considering it was a very pleasing ghost to gaze upon. Maybe Griffith would know something of it and now Eion was armed with that information. Best one interrogated instead of both of them at once. Chair scraped against the wood floor as he pushed up, turning the chair back into place as he stepped aside ready to leave with Eion.

Aunt Sarah was returning by then and of course, she greeted each before turning to her own chores. Her daughters would be joining her soon so David could make his escape now. After kissing Sarah's cheek, he started up the steps and to the elderly man's room. Lucy Nell was there as well, all washed up and happy to be warm and well-fed. Her tail thumped against the floor as Eion knocked and opened the door to stick his head through. "How are you feeling, Griffith? Mind some visitors?"

The older man had just leaned his head back against the pillow when the knock sounded. Lucy Nell's tail heralded yet more visitors and the man grumbled under his breath then smacked his bedside with a kissy-sound. The dog needed no further invitation and leapt to join the man on the bed, curling up at the man's side. "If I said, aye, I did mind, would you leave me the hell alone? I've been injured, Quinn. I should be resting to heal not entertaining." His thick, stubby fingers stroked the fur of his favorite bitch as he muttered a few words under his breath. "Come in, come in, can't very well keep you out of here. Busting my knuckles you are, bugging the fuck out of me while I'm in the process of mending." Could they tell just how grateful he was for their kind consideration? He his own way.

Segan followed suit in giving aunt Sarah a kiss on her cheek. He did one better in complimenting her on the breakfast he had just enjoyed tremendously. Using 'fantastic' to describe it. Perhaps there would be another such breakfast come tomorrow morn! Such the ornery one as Segan chuckled low where Eion would hear, being he was right there behind him as he opened up the door more when Griffith retorted with such a retort. Lucy Nell thumped her tail in greeting to them as she had taken to the Quinn brothers. Such in contrast to Griffith.

Eion expected no less from the crotchety old man and chuckled. "No, we wouldn't leave you alone and you damn well know it. You can sleep all you want after we leave but we'd like to know what happened. If you can remember." He looked down at the dog and smiled slightly. "We have some lads keeping an eye out for the rest of your dogs by the way." He glanced at Segan and bit back another laugh. Trying to behave with the old fella.

"Nipples boys make my nipples itch." The older man grunted again, turning his gaze to look out the window to the field beyond. "English boys had come, two eyes to two barrels where they stood on my porch. Didn't get to come in. I'm not the most hospitable to English stench soaking into my papered walls." As if he was hospitable to anyone! "So it was there they stood, all four of them, and it was there I stood, waiting to get to pull the trigger when they made their demands that I hand over the legals to my property. Told them all polite enough, said exactly that they could go fuck themselves and the horses they rode in on." He didn't look back at the Quinn men as yet, just kept staring out of that window. "They told me that my property was found to be on a chasm and I might as well be shedding myself of it. I told them they could take my chasm and shove it up their arses...and cocked the hammer. Just if it were summoned from the mist by the sound of my priming, the damned came squalling out from the fog. Horse piss and bull balls it was the scariest damned thing I had ever seen." He drew in a deep breath but paused a moment before he continued.

"That may have been staged, we have a sack with costumes in it that was discarded by one of those English boys on the run from the apparition of a woman. I do think that part was real. Whoever it was, scared the living daylights out of one trying to scare the living daylights out of you or anyone else staying on your land. Has there been a murder of some lass in the past few months?" So his curiosity got the better of him and asked up front as he had moved into the room to take up a lean against the wall. As Griffith looked out the window, he was studying the old man with balls and so the retort came with some humor, "better itchy nipples than balls."

By the holy saints above, the man was rough to talk to and keep a straight face. He leaned against the wall as the man spoke and soon lost any need to laugh. "What exactly did you see, Griffith?" He added to Segan's question. "If they're trying to scare you off, it could have been one of them. Unless they ran as well." He knew how the people of their homeland were and that could do it all too well.

Griffith's head turned to lock gazes with Segan. "At least with itchy nuts, you get to play with yourself...think about it." He held up a finger so no more would be added yet by the Quinns, he was on a roll, and he meant to finish while he was in full motion. "Hell, when that red-eyed-beast'a'fur came howling from around the house, the four of them jumped me." He nodded, that motion mostly for himself. "Took four of them, Boys...keep that in mind, aye, ye' young bullstags. Ha! Four! and they claimed my double barrel and dragged me down and beat the shit out of me...literally...with their fists and my own weapon. All the while that fur bastard was outside, slaughter'n and eat'n my herd, cows and horses. Chickens were squawking, dogs were yelping and barking, and I saw through the window..." His gaze drifted back to the window as if he was seeing it all again. "That beastie darting back and forth and forth and back...destroying everything. Lucy Nell attacked to stop the men a'beatin' me, and was walloped but good, several times herself...good girl." Griffith stroked the dog some more, but didn't look down to her, just stared out the window. "Never, ever had a problem with the property on that chasm before, ever...and never saw no ghost of a female neither. Though I would have preferred that than the harbinger of death that came to stand in the doorway, filling the thing up with its black presence and sickle'd blade, just waiting for me, the bastard. But he wasn't getting me, and I fought those English scum and would have taken on the Grim if it came to that... but next I knew, I was cowering in the kitchen, having shat myself for...I'm thinking...three days until you came barging in." He didn't want to add his wife had passed, because of that was his wife's ghost...that was just too much!

He held that gaze with a twinkle in his eyes only, keeping an otherwise straight face in his response. "Sounds like the itch is spreading." As if he would be consumed by it in no time. That came in spite of the finger held up but that was all as he became acute in his attention. He was half nodding with the mention of the one mask. "White face with red eyes, one of the masks in that sack." Which would explain what he saw instead of some real unknown beast. It might also get him a lot more angry he had been fooled by them. An angry, crotchety, old geiser was not one to get that angry for they were at a point in their life they would challenge the devil himself and knew a lot more for being around that block more than they could count. Which he must have connected on a thought on another level, "where is Mary?" So far they could not get a straight answer on the whereabouts of Griffith's wife.

"Sounds like you did well, Griffith." He shook his head though, then looked at the man. "Do you want us to go back, see what we can find there, what can be salvaged." He rubbed at his jaw and fell silent to let the man answer Segan's question.

"Everything can be salvaged!" The older man barked, slamming his fist into the mattress on the other side so not to disturb Lucy Nell too much. "That is my land and my house, and that won't be changing, so I'll be having it back as before." He gnashed his teeth, as if , as if debating having to say more. "And my wife is none of your business, boy. But if'n you must know, she's resting in the back lawn, under that black walnut tree. Damn walnuts have been bitter ever since."

He listened to all Griffith had to say but wasn't deterred at all with his comment about his wife being of no concern to him. Segan wasn't exactly sure who the spirit was, but the fact there was one and on their side, he felt there was a connection. He went on then to describe her, even with a hazy residue. The description, right down to the small mole on her upper lip, beauty mark some would say, fit his wife but when he first met her a long time ago. Not that Segan would know this being the man's wife died later on in life. Certainly older than the vision he described. Once done he continued with a nod to his brother agreeing to salvage what they could on their way to see His Lordship.

If Griffith wasn't already pale from his ordeal, the description of the 'ghost' sucked any color remaining from his flesh. "Figures..." He muttered to himself. "That woman always had to have the last say in everything. Seems now even in this." He snorted out what could actually be a laugh. "She wasn't much for taking kindly to the English no ways." He brought his eyes up to the men who remained by his bed. "Well?" He shot a bloodshot gaze back and forth between them. "What the dogballs are you two still standing here for? Don't you have some checking out to do? Or do I have to haul my battered arse off of this here lumpy mattress to handle that for you too?"

Eion tried his best not to laugh instead, clearing his throat when the insults came back. "Best not let Aunt Sarah hear you call that mattress lumpy, Griffith, or you'll be having lumps from her skillet." He pushed off the wall where he had taken up a lean and looked at him. "Your house is standing at least. And once your son gets here, we'll see to fixing the place up just like it was." And that was a promise he'd keep. "C'mon, Segan. Let's let the man get some rest." Though it wouldn't help his disposition. He allowed the grin to appear once he was out in the hallway. "Dogballs." Muttered under his breath... in case Aunt Sarah was about!

Segan was already up and at the door by the time Eion made his retort. Snickering under his breath as certainly the man could use a chill out pill or a good crack from Aunt Sarah's skillet. Giving Griffith a sailor's salute before he was out the door. Time to get cracking and get some of this ugly business out of the way. "Shall we proceed brother mine?" Already half way down the steps.

Sure, sure, Sarah Quinn's skillet. Maybe it would knock him out and he'd not have to endure the likes of those weedle-waddle nephews of hers. Or the food she attempted to cook in the thing. Maybe she could wield it as a weapon better than she could fry in it. He stared at the closed door, the room suddenly very quiet and empty. The older man looked down to Lucy Nell, stroking her soft fur. "This here is the most comfortable mattress we've ever been atop, eh girl." The dog wagged her tail with the conversation. "And that woman does know how to cook, but I sure as goatteets wouldn't share that bit of info with those boys." He smiled to himself and rested his head back on his pillow. "Respect is a hard thing to win, and harder to keep, Lucy Nell. Can't be going all soft because I'm grateful for the kind care." Lucy Nell turned her head to look up to him, then lowered it to her paws with a deep sigh. It would seem the dog knew the older man better than most.

Eion nodded as he followed Segan down the stairs. "Aye, we should. Best tell Aunt Sarah in case we're back late." They had no idea what would happen once they were back at Griffith's place. It would also give him a chance to snitch a roll or two as well. He made sure to seek out Brady and David as well, insisting David stay with Brady. Then he and Segan would ride out.


Date: 12-25-11
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 24

Solid ground.

Anyone who had never experienced the pitch and sway, the side-stepping unsure footing of sea travel would never appreciate the rock-hard, deep down, bone-locking pleasure of solid ground.

This man had, and did. It took two full days to accomplish it, but two full days had passed.

Conor stood; legs braced apart, fisted hands crossed over his chest and his head lifted to the night sky. His eyes closed with gratitude that he remained where he was, not tilting to either side. Upfrigginstraight. Right where he stood. Sure footed. That was until his companions tired of his stance and Billy-O slapped an impatient palm to Conor’s shoulder.

“Whiskey and women inside, My Friend.” The Irishman laughed deep, giving a slight push of that hand to start Conor on his way. The Quinn did not hesitate, just opened his eyes with a returned laugh and joined the other three as they entered the tavern.

Ro weaved a path toward the bar as the others steered to the right toward an unoccupied table. Conor received a jab in his ribs by KT’s elbow, and the direction of his nod indicated the game of cards underway just three tables down.

As Conor studied the men there, he pulled out a chair, lowering slowly to the seat. KT leaned toward Conor bending into his own relaxed position next to the Quinn. “That be the he according to my sources.” The man rumbled in deep, private revelation to his friend, none of them looking in that direction again, but knowing exactly the man of whom KT spoke.

There could be no mistaking the boisterous man meant as the mark. His appearance as well as his attitude reeked of influence. His bearing bragged that he didn’t belong in this place even if he would never speak anything of the sort. He fit though, preferring to slum it in order to rub shoulders with danger and enjoyed throwing caution out the window of his plush carriage so that he could taste that which the <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">ton could not provide. Life. Raw and spiced heavily. He grew all too bored with the bland diet fed to him by the elite.

Lord Phillip Morgan, Duke of This, That and the Other as well as few more titles tacked on to the end of his name appeared to be having a good time. But the main position of influence that interested this group of Irishmen was that he had the ear of the King, whenever, wherever the Royal happened to be. As rumor had it, this particular sounding board enjoyed his hands full of whiskey, of gaming and if the right opportunity presented, of female flesh. All of which the four situated three tables down shared an interest as well.

Conor watched as Ro made his way through the crowd from the bar toward their table but paused just shy of the noble’s shoulder. “Evening, Phil.” The man drawled, not using the gentleman’s title, which came as a surprise to his friends. The fact Ro stopped or spoke at all had the three glancing to one another before jerking their attention to the situation laid out before them. “The night being kind to you?”

Lord TTO pulled his gaze from his cards to glance over his shoulder, and then did a double take before he shoved his chair back with a bellow of greeting, throwing his arms around the mysterious fourth with a “Good God, Callum. Where the hell have you been?” The hand that held his cards pounded a few times on the man’s back. He released that hold to look the fellow over. “You appear well enough for whatever has kept you elsewhere. But damn, five years? Six?”

Ro chuckled and shook his head. “Only three, Phil, your meaningless life drags on so it seems an eternity to you." The usually quiet member of the group motioned to his friends at the other table with his chin once the previous motion ceased "I have only just arrived with some lads from the Homeland. When you finish winning your share, you should join us.”

Lord Morgan squinted past the dim lightening, through the haze of smoke as well as the swirl of consumed alcohol in his system to the three men. “I am at a point to do just that, Callum. Come then, let’s share a drink with your friends.” The man twisted and tossed his cards to the table. Though there was grumbling from the remaining players, none dared voice their complaints too loudly. Not just because only a fool would dare object to Philip Morgan, but the glance offered around the table by Callum steel trapped any possible thought of lip flapping.

All three of the Irishmen stood as the noble joined their table.

“Lord Phillip Morgan, may I present Conor Quinn, William O’Keeley and Killian Torin. Boys, Lord Phillip Morgan, the Duke of Mont..”

The introduction was interrupted as the wealthy man shouldered Ro aside and offered out his hand to the first man introduced. “Phillip Morgan. Phil will do. A pleasure, always a pleasure, to meet good Irish lads set to have a good time. Any friend of Callum…always a pleasure.”

Conor couldn’t help but grin, accepting and returning that handshake while he fought to keep his mouth from dropping open. KT might have sniffed out the man’s location by way of trusted dock-side acquaintances, but no doubt Callum had the trump card up his sleeve. What the hell? “The honor is ours, to be sure.” The Quinn returned. As the nobleman leaned around the table to shake hands, Conor darted a look to Ro. In return he received a nod to acknowledge that glance and then a twitched-off, lopsided smile and a shrug. What they didn’t know about their friend…was a lot! Obviously.

“Please, please, let us all sit. Miss!” Morgan called out through the crowd, hailing a passing maid. When she stepped over to him, he still spoke with as much volume as if she was across the way. “Whatever Callum here has ordered, see it doubled and delivered post haste.” He pressed a note into her palm and, as she looked down, she gasped with the magnitude of the money promised therein. “That is just your tip, if you personally make sure our glasses….none of them…are ever empty.” He shot her a wink then turned around to the men. “So….what brings the lot of you strapping Irishmen to good ole London, hmmm?”

Date: 12-26-11
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 25

His Lordship

"I'll see to the wagon," while Eion saw to Aunt Sarah about their plans this day. So they knew where to start looking for them if they didn't return in a reasonable amount of time. He'd gotten one of the smaller wagons that had a tarp that would cover whatever they salvaged for Griffith. There was no need for them both to ride upon it as another horse was made ready too if Eion should wish. "I hope you grabbed me a roll or two along with a flagon of wine." No reason not to enjoy some food and drink on the way. They should reach Griffith's place before noon and on their way to his Lordship's before evening set in and the man's dinner.

"Aye, she wouldn't let us go without something." A basket in fact, so they'd have lunch at least. The weather had cleared up some overnight but clouds still hid the sun and the rain could start again. He did prefer the horse and mounted, riding beside the wagon when he could. By the time they reached Griffith's house, a cold drizzle had started. "I'm thinkin' the angels aren't pleased with this whole mess." He grumbled as he dismounted. "Or Griffith's wife... "

"Nor the spirits it seems," the usual fog was rolling in casting strange shapes and shadows that seemed to move. Once inside he started right to work; throwing clothing into burlap bags, provided for in the back of the wagon. There were letters left in a drawer that were put into a box, then with other personal items into a suitcase. One of those happened to be the family Bible which listed all major events of those in the family. He paused with the curiosity of flipping through it but then decided not to indulge in such matters. "I will be happier to be out of here and at his Lordship's." Which said a lot about the feel of this place in how it had become. Not like when they were younger.

"Aye, me too but we need to collect as much as we can so his family doesn't have to. They don't need to see the house in this condition." He wasn't sure the furniture in the room Griffith had been in could be salvaged but the rest of the house, though a mess, seemed to be fine. And it still smelled in there. He opened the windows a crack then went into another room. Any jewelry that had been in the house, unless hidden, was likely gone. "Hopefully his animals and the rest of the pack can be found. The ones not slaughtered." That still made his blood boil. "Don't think they'll be back though if something scared them off." And hopefully, she wouldn't be showing up again while the two of them were here.

There was something in the fog. Something not tangible or explainable other than it made the skin crawl and the hair stand up on the back of his neck, probably his brother's too. They moved quickly as the sooner they were done, the sooner they would be out of there. Even still, the hours piled up, minutes flew and the sky, even with the fog, held a darkening hue by the time they stepped outside, done with what they could. Segan set to tightening the tarp over the back of the wagon, obscuring beneath the man's belongings as well keeping it from the weather. "Let's get this done," meaning seeing His Lordship as he was soon on the buckboard setting the workhorse forward in that direction.

Eion chuckled as he eyed Segan then glanced back to the house. "Keep it all safe until we get things taken care of, ma'am," he spoke to no one at all as he mounted and started away from the grounds. "Think we should avoid the town, maybe keep out of trouble that way." He rode beside the wagon so he could talk to Segan. "Who knows who we'll run into if we go through it." It might take them a few moments longer. "I hope the roads aren't too muddy for the wagon." Now wouldn't that be grand... meeting his Lairdship looking like two bog men.

Segan swore he saw something move near one of the upper windows but no one else had been in the house while they were. He didn't say anything or have his brother wonder on his sanity. He avoided the town as planned but that detour would cost them another half hour delay in getting to this man's place. So be it. "Aye, best not to draw any more trouble and not make it this night was well." It had been put off too many times already even if not by design. Roads were muddy but the wagon was well built and the workhorse bred to bring such through. It wasn't long that found them moving off the main road to the half mile driveway (or so it seemed) that led up to the front of the Lordship's mansion.

There were guards here and there along the driveway but none seemed inclined to stop the two. They may have thought it was a delivery, guarded by a soldier who was trying not to draw attention to himself though the sword at Eion's side was one that would draw attention. He dismounted as they came up to the courtyard, correcting a rather snobbish young servant when he started to tell them deliveries where made at the back door. "The wagon isn't for here," Eion looked down at the lad, eyes narrowing. "Which means it's not to be touched. We've come to see his Lordship." Very precise and very clear with almost no accent. He had dealt with the English for too long to be stopped by a servant.

"His Lordship is at his evening meal and can not be disturbed." The young lad continued. Let the soldier chew on that with his narrowing of eyes. Who did the man think he was talking to? Todd served his Lordship, was under his protection, the young lad wouldn't be put beneath the boot of any rag-tag warrior who found himself unfortunate enough to be out in the rain and arriving without an invitation. His chin raised a notch. "Well, what have we here?" The voice carried from the main entrance of the manse where the door remained open and the form of a man filled it. An arm was raised to stretch up along the doorframe and the other was hitched to his hip. "Good Heavens, Todd, the weather is frightful, do invite the gentlemen in out of this nastiness. The damp alone could wither the stiffest cuff lace. Dreadful. Come in, come in..." The hand had dropped and the man waved to the men to enter, said lace flowing as a bird in flight along the coat cuff of his sleeve.

Segan had a very foreboding look as he dismounted from the wagon, towering over the lad. Certainly he could pound him into tomorrow if things were not seen to properly. "Then you let him know that Laird Quinn is here to see him unless you want me to drag you in by an ear and let him know this personally. Hmmm?" The slight lift of dark blond brows came in challenge, a challenge the lad would lose if he didn't back down. Except... a voice boomed up behind him that had Segan rounding the side of the wagon in coming face to face with His Lordship. "Thank you, Sir." Slight bow of his head as he passed heading in out of the rain.

He had to admire the lad's defiance in the face of the threat he and Segan presented. He didn't change his expression though even when he looked up and saw the foppish man in the doorway. How many times had he watched men like this one? He glanced at Segan in warning .... don't underestimate ... then inclined his head. "Thank you, m'Lord. Much appreciated." Once inside, he stepped out of the way. Of course they'd leave mud in their wake but likely there were servants to deal with that.

He was not tall. He was not short. He was neither thick or thin. The Englishman was at the perfect height and the perfect weight to sport the most recent fashions with little to no err in stitchery. There could be no mistaking that he studied the men who arrived, stepping back to allow them entry into his lovely home. He had heard the one make their claim to bloodlines and though the host did not seem to mind, that very mind had made crucial note of the fact. "Please, take a moment, the maids will see that you can at least squeeze dry what cannot otherwise be disrobed." A soft snap of fingers and several uniformed women rushed from a side room with thick, heavy towels to help them. "I was just sitting down to my meal, pray that you both join me once you are comfortable so that it does not ruin. I fear the cook would weep for days if her Cornish hens caught a chill." He smiled, the expression reaching his eyes with thin lines at the corners there. That it did not penetrate deeper into his gaze would not be noticed as he had turned to look over his shoulder. "Louise! Set two more places, Little One, we have guests."

They would be quick about seeing to drying off and the removal of muddy boots. Once done they were escorted to the dining room of his Lordship and seats indicated a distance away but within easy conversation. Segan didn't say anything as he'd bide his time instead, leaving Eion, the eldest, to be their main voice.

The irony of the whole situation had Eion half smiling ... almost. He was careful not to show any emotion though, nothing that would be mistaken for weakness. He took note of the man's possessions, how well furnished the manse was and bit back a sigh. It seemed the more they had, they more they wanted. Of course, that could be said of a few. Once seated, he politely waited for the Englishman to begin either the dinner or the conversation.

He would begin both. "Louise, the gentlemen need napkins." He chided softly to a young maid who sucked in a quick gasp from her slight and was quick to bring each of the men a cloth napkin for their laps. The Englishman collected the one he had folded to the side of his plate when the interruption began and now reclaimed it, draping it over a thigh. Taking up a knife and his fork, he carefully sliced a proper sized bite of bird but did not yet bring it to his mouth. "I dare say, you must be about business for only that or a dying family member should have men out in such fretfully dreary weather. Since I have no dying members of my family within, I can safely suppose that is not the reason for your visit." As he spoke, his gaze drifted to the side, motioning with a bobbing forefinger for the wine to be poured. His staff had gone silly with the unexpected guests. True, it wasn't like the Englishman to swerve from routine but he had caught the name, Quinn, and there must be provisions made for such 'special' guests.

"Aye, at your convenience," Segan finally spoke up when he mentioned about business, giving a slight chin up towards his brother. Food smelled too good but he'd wait until their host started, not just that bite to dangle off his fork. He was also checking out the room, layout, where exits were, windows, such came from habit and done discreetly.

He quietly thanked the lass then looked at the Englishman. "As my brother said, it is business, but it can wait until you're ready to discuss it." He allowed a brief smile though it did not reach his eyes. "Perhaps we should introduce ourselves first? I'm Sir Eion Quinn of Heathfield and Ireland, and this is my brother, Captain Segan Quinn." Not a Laird yet and hopefully not for some time. He wanted it understood they claimed both lands as theirs.

The napkin was lifted and dabbed at first one and then the other corner of his mouth. "Ahhh, Brady Quinn's nephews. If I'm not mistaken, you are kith and kin to Matthew, who has recently joined my employ." He set his napkin aside his plate. "You must eat, Madame Tansker will be much dismayed if you do not enjoy every morsel." He nodded toward their plates. His fingers laced and he placed his joined hands in his lap. Beneath the table's cover, there would be no evidence of just how tightly he held that connection. "Though it is beyond propriety to speak of business while attempting to digest a delicious meal, I do understand that the hour grows late, and surely you have family awaiting your return. Since I wish you to enjoy my hospitality and the well-prepared meal, if you would not mind the slight, I would not be adverse to discussing whatever business you wish right here while we dine and sip the best wine this side of Bourgogne."

"Ye mean Michael," although getting the impression it may well have been on purpose. It was how an Englishman did a slight on the family and said a lot right there. Instead he set to eating as one that had been truly welcome. Such was not the case but it didn't take from Segan's appetite. "I am not adverse to doing so," managing to pause in his consumption of the food. "I step down to the wisdom of me older brother." Sending a flash of a smile Eion's way.

Or a slight on Michael himself. He could imagine how that would deflate the man's ego. He watched his brother a moment, then looked at the Englishman again. "Actually, it's about Michael and his recent pressuring of our uncle. Brady's named myself as his heir and apparently Michael takes exception to that. He feels his wife has that right. It's gotten to the point where Brady feels threatened. We also found a neighbor of our uncle badly injured by an attack. The man seems to feel your men were involved. We're hoping it's all a misunderstanding but we felt it best to come to you since, as you said, Michael is in your employ." He paused, then smiled. "And also, might we have your name, m'Lord? It would help when we speak to your men, if need be." He cut into the bird in front of him and took a bite. He couldn't fault the Englishman in his choice of a cook. It was excellent.

So it was the Sea Captain that spoke up first. The Englishman's gaze rested there a moment. Quick to correct, quick to anger. Noted. He nodded as the seadog deferred to the eldest and so it was on Eion where his attention settled. "Such nonsense." He fluttered his lashes as if he rolled his eyes, but he never took them from Eion. "Your uncle has the final say in this matter, and I'm sure he will make the best decision for all involved." His thumb rubbed over the other with a deep, massaging stroke, unseen by any. "Although, I will be sure to mention your concern to my captains so that proper steps can be made to make sure nothing like this happens again. Such attacks, whether by threat or by bodily harm, can never be condoned. I appreciate you coming out, especially through such foul weather, to alert me to what you know." Such carefully chosen words. He meant every one of them, but a man receiving them should weigh the well-spoken, for the scales could tip in either direction when replies were addressed with precision. "When you speak with my men, should you need speak with them, they know me as His Lordship, or, as I've heard spoken in town, The Englishman. Any other name they probably would not recognize. Amongst gentlemen, however, I am known as Lord Aubrey Gordon Barnes. Or Gordie to those in the tightest elite circles. " With what might have been reluctance to not watch his company closely, he drifted his gaze away, signaling his staff to continue with the meal. Several uniformed men walked stiffly about collecting plates and silver while the same number filed from the kitchen with the dessert. "It is a cold night, could I interest you in coffee with your sweets before you depart?"

Segan would leave one to believe he was not as swift, a typical seadog. One keen on surviving but not keen on political intrigues. That was how scales tipped in his favor when all was said and done. Not even a twitch when he referred to himself to be addressed as His Lordship. For a fleeting moment he wondered how that would sit with the elite in England that knew him. Here he might be a big fish but there he was most likely a guppy. Another fleeting thought as he took another bite of the succulent bird, was if Gordie knew Birdie but he'd rather leave Birdie as a bird in hand. They could try, or rather his brother being the eldest, to get more information but he knew it would not be forthcoming other than cover ups; sounding above board when he was way below it. His plate done before lifted immediately away he glanced to his brother with a slight lift of a brow if he wanted to stay for coffee or nay. Especially when Sarah probably had a pot waiting for them on their return.

Surely Segan didn't want to miss the sweets? He nodded at the information Lord Barnes gave and inclined his head. "I would appreciate any effort made, greatly, m'Lord, and I'm certain I speak for my uncle as well." He glanced at Segan then looked back, allowing a smile to appear fully. "And I think we can accept your offer, though we won't linger after. It's a long trip back." He wasn't going to give the Englishman too quick an escape, and for that time Eion would keep conversation casual. He was also careful to use the man's title knowing how important they were in English society.

Aubrey, Lord Barnes, took a moment to smile, steepling his fingertips beneath the table before reaching up and slipping his napkin back over his knee. "Would that I could just skip dinner and go straight to the desserts. I do so loathe having to struggle through what is demanded by propriety in order to receive the sweetest of endings. I cannot agree that the wait makes the receiving sweeter. " Flan, his absolute favorite.

"Ye got me there, brother." Segan had a sweet tooth as well and could agree with Aubrey on this point. Too bad he was English. Too bad he was a stuff shirt. Too bad he was trying to ruin his uncle and them, else wise they might be friends. Share their love of desserts. Custard was one on the top of his list so this new concoction they were bringing out had him smack his lips before it ever passed through them.

Eion knew Segan well, yes but he was more curious about the reaction of the Englishman. He grinned at Segan and set to enjoying the last of the meal, making sure to compliment his cook. Once they were through, he stood. They needed to get back before Brady came looking for them. "Thank you for dinner, and for listening to our concerns, m'Lord. You have been more then generous. I'll give my uncle your answer." And tell him that they couldn't trust the Englishman. Not at all.

As the eldest Quinn stood before the host, Barnes looked up without moving. Slowly he placed his napkin aside and then rose just as slowly to his feet as well to make a point. "Indeed do, and offer him my best wishes. I'm sure he is greatly eased to have you both here for the time being. It is, perhaps, a shame you could not remain in Ireland." From the Englishman's sources, there should be one more brother, and a male cousin-in-law. Interesting only these two had chosen to come tonight. The two eldest, maybe that was the reasoning. Perhaps the Irish had some sort of hierarchy after all and not just helter-skelter free-for-all. "Louise, if you will, have Marshall alert the stables that the Quinns will be taking their leave."

Segan was of the same opinion as his brother. If he stayed in such company much longer he was going to develop an allergic itch. The meal was good, the dessert excellent, rising near in unison with his brother as he gave a slight bow of his head. It was good that Eion was the one to do the most talking. Segan may not have been so refine. If he had such sources he might figure the youngest was still in a drunken stupor from the trip! Or one might say he was prone to the bottle from such trips. "Fair night," would be the last of his greeting and only adding to Eion's as they made ready to leave.

Eion had learned the hard way how to deal with nobles though it served him well enough in time. He nodded again to the man, as if to an equal then waited for either his Lordship to escort them out or have a servant do so. "Good eve, your Lordship." He used the title with a touch of respect but that could easily change.

Oh, it was Aubrey who walked the men to the door. "And to you, Sir Knight..." He dipped his head ever so slightly to the side as he lowered his eyes to the sword at Eion's side. The sword the man had not removed during their repast. Another slight to be sure. "Captain." His gaze lifted to Segan and he offered him a nod as well. Both titles were beneath that of his station, and they all knew it, but he spoke their places of honor with as much respect as they had his. He gave a little flutter of fingers to wave them on their way then took a step back, allowing a servant to close the door and block out the view of the men on the other side. "Fair night indeed." He muttered, twisting on the ball of his foot and heading toward his study. "Damn fucking Michael." The door to his study slammed shut, he'd see to that particular liability this night.

Once the door shut behind them and his first cleansing breath taken in as much luxury as he had the dessert, Segan let out his comment on the exhale. "He don't like us one bit." As they didn't like him either. "Time to make haste," words lowered and gone on the breeze picking up as he flipped up the collar of his cloak. The wagon was where they had left it and he took a peek under the tarp to make sure all was as they had left it. All seemed undisturbed so in that there was relief. One less thing to have to deal with tonight.. for usually if something could go wrong, or a fight could be had.. Murphy rule the day. Once the stable lad handed off Eion's horse and took his leave, "let's get out of here." Who knew if the Lordship didn't set a trap on them if they lingered. He swung up to the buckboard and set the horse immediately into a trot.

"That sword never left Eion's side being one of the Swords of Heathfield but the Englishman wouldn't know that. "We can't trust him, that's for certain." He mounted his horse and glanced back at the door. It had proven to be an interesting night, and one that had given little satisfaction. The Englishman had acted just as expected, and really gave them little to go. Only a promise to speak to his men. He kicked the sides of his horse, urging him into a trot to catch up with Segan. One thing for certain, they'd be staying longer then his Lordship would like, in the least until Conor came back.


Date: 01-04-12
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 26

Seeking Assistance

Five nights passed in this way. Meeting up with the nobleman at the tavern, sharing drinks, a game or few of cards, chatting about nothing of importance. On the fifth night during their gaming, however, the Irishmen were invited to dine with the nobleman at his apartments located within the castle the following eve.

Billy-O had been busy during the daylight hours in anticipation of such an invitation and so, when the appointed hour arrived, all four men were dressed to the hilt in London’s best. Come hell or high water, there wasn’t a single one of the quartet that would be snubbed because of an inability to blend in at the private table set for ten.

Seated as they were , the four made eye contact across the table, but none of them added to the conversation that took place during the meal unless they were spoken to directly. The good host had been kind enough to seat each of the bachelors with a single lass beside them and as Lord Morgan sipped his chardonnay , he watched the females attempt to draw the Irishmen into conversation.

These were ladies of the court though, and no matter how openly they flirted, not a single one of them to the man pressed further than polite discussions that avoided any possible innuendos. As the meal came to an end, Philip frowned with consideration before he motioned the servers to clear the table while he came to his feet.

“I believe the gentlemen will retire to the study for a while, Ladies. Entertainment has been arranged in the parlor for you until such time as we rejoin your lovely company.” He nodded to each of the ladies and uniformed men stepped forward to ease the chairs back for the females to take their leave.

The male guests came to their feet as the ladies stood, stepping around to help them with their chairs before the servants could. Each of them offered their softly spoken promise to return as soon as possible. Any lingering gazes as the well-practiced steps caused skirts to sway in departure would not go unnoticed by the host.

“Friends.” He smiled to the men remaining and moved from his place at the table. He led the way to the study where cigars and whiskey awaited his esteemed, Irish guests. Rich mahogany wood paneled the walls which surrounded the thickly cushioned chairs. Heavily framed oils draped the walls with rich, deep colors; hunting scenes, landscapes, rendezvous. Three large Aubusson rugs in cream, blue and green spread out across the well-polished floor boards muffling the sounds of the footsteps that delivered each man to a chair.

His Lordship collected the cigar box from the servant and served his guests personally. When he reached the last of them, he spoke low, a slight smile touching on his lips. “Ours was not a chance meeting, was it, Callum?” He handed off the wooden case and used the double bladed guillotine offered to him to cut the sealed end off of his smoke. This was then passed around to his guests as well as the means to light the perfect completion to their meal. To that was added a glass of pure.

Ro shrugged a broad shoulder, an eyebrow twitching up to indicate the smile he held in check.

“Ah…it has taken me this long to figure it out. I must be getting old.” Their host chuckled, taking a moment to suck a couple of puffs. He didn’t sit, but eased into a lean against the winged side of a nearby chair. As he relased the final smoke-filled breath, he nodded toward the group. “So….do not keep me in suspense. What can I do for you?”

All heads turned to Conor, who stood from his chair, slipping his cigar into the notched corner of the nearest crystal ashtray. “We have a problem back home, Philip.” He started, still addressing the man as he had requested while they passed their previous nights. “One that could use the ear of the King.”

“No doubt.” Philip interrupted with soft grunt. Why else would they have centered their attention on him if that was not the case?

“It started out as a ploy for your intervention, Phil.” Callum sucked deeply from the cigar, the soft billow of smoke eased out between his lips. “But there are none of us here not honored to call you friend in the end.”

The nobleman’s eye narrowed as he looked at his long-time acquaintance, then followed with a slow nod of acceptance. “Continue, Mister Quinn.”

Conor offered Ro a dip of head in gratitude and agreement before he continued. “There’s a man of standing, an Englishman, that has been attempting to eat up the lands round about where our families reside. He has the means to do it. He has the finances and the strong arm and there are most of us afeared he has the King’s backing. What he can’t coerce by riches, we are worried he will convince by force, but none of it can be proved straight out except that he has made his interests known.”

“Who is he?” Philip leaned to the side to tap the heavy build-up of ash from the end of his smoke.

It was Callum who spoke again before Conor could, and it was a good thing, because Conor only knew him as the Englishman. “Lord Cunnyngham, Phil.”

“Cunnyngham.” Philip repeated, shaking his head. “Well there’s a shock.” His tone of voice made his sarcasm all too evident.

Conor continued. “I’ve a letter from my uncle Brady Quinn, Philip, that explains what we are aware of. We were hoping, maybe, you could present it for consideration.” As he spoke, he eased the sealed missive from the inside pocket of his jacket and held it out to the man they hoped could help.

Morgan leaned forward and accepted the letter, but didn’t open it yet, tapping it against the side of his leg. “You know, with the season upon us, the King is not likely to want to hear any squabbles underway in Ireland. I’ll present this to him with the explanation that no individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood. This cannot be considered as one Englishman’s greed. This drop of rain might very well produce a storm. What one nobleman attempts and succeeds at, others may follow his example. I cannot confront his Highness with your personal concern, Conor, but that of the whole of England and Her holdings. In this way, Cunnyngham may well be confronted.”

Ro shot a look to Conor. “Any help is appreciated, Phil.” Callum cut in just in case the Quinn decided to push for individual attention. They would have to hope for the best from what they were being offered. This was as good as it was going to get and Ro knew it. “Now…shall we finish these delightful cigars and then rejoin the ladies?”

“I believe we have kept them waiting just enough to long for our return..” Philip smiled, sucking one last draw before it was snuffed. The letter was handed off to a servant with quiet orders to have it delivered to his office. The rest of the evening would not be business, only pleasure, and the nobleman meant for that to resume when they all retired to the parlor. No exceptions.

Date: 01-17-12
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 27


The rains had grown steadier, causing a small stream on Brady's lands to overflow. While the house and outbuildings were untouched, there were two fields that had been turned into small lakes. And those fields contained animals who where not happy about being soaked, but also were reluctant to leave their fields. So, the menfolk were out in the rain and muck, trying to chase those animals into other fields. Eion was cursing three stubborn sheep who refused to run in the proper direction. He had managed to get one heading for the gate when he stepped on a slippery rock and down he went with a splash. Though Aunt Sarah was likely watching, and laughing, from a window, it was good she wasn't out there to hear the slew of curses that followed once Eion was up and out of the water.

David saw Eion go down and took off after that wayward fleecy hide. Thing was, as he leapt over the prone form of his cousin-in-law, the man started pushing himself up, clipping David's back leg and sending him twisting and struggling to keep his own balance. Clowns, the lot of them. Soaked clowns at that. He managed to touch down with a hand and shove himself back up, taking off after what was now four of those wooly-rumps. Where one goes, the whole pack would follow!

While they were chasing sheep, Segan had driven a few of the milk cows to better pasture. Sarah had said something about sour milk if they were left in such conditions the fields were presently. The last had turned out to be an ornery bull who had claimed his soggy territory and didn't wish to give it up. Segan was the intruder. The Enemy. The bull didn't care if he was knee deep in muddy water. Head lowered as Segan waved his arms and then the chase was on. "HEADS UP!" Running as if demons on his heels but it was only the Bull. He almost fell over his brother, leaping at the last moment as he landed with a splash that had to hit David with a good spray. He was heading for dryer land and some of Brady's men were already whipping the lassos in the air for when the bull got close enough.

Hell's bells! He was almost sent into the water again, twice! The second time though he was scrambling out of the way, and down he went again, as the Bull went by chasing his brother. Now he was laughing, looking for all the world like some bog monster, dripping with weeds and mud. Shaking it off, he ran after David, cutting off the damn sheep and sending them in the right direction. "Why are we rescuing them if they don't want saved?" He asked David before rushing to make sure the idjits didn't come back in. Brady was leaning against the gate, laughing like a mad man and why not? He wasn't in danger of falling on his face, was he?

Swatting at the splat of water that Segan had spewed in his face, he waved his arms in the air for the sheep. Then went instantly still when he saw the bull, letting the big-balled bastard continue after the middle Quinn. When all seemed clear, he started shooing the sheep again, rain pouring off the brim of his hat like a water flume when he dipped his head. "Ain't no never mind what they want, it's what Miss Sarah and the ladies want. And they'll be wanting wool and mutton and chopped beef. Little bleating bastages, its all of a sudden I'm looking forward to the last two myself now." A soaked sleeve swiped over his face, not helping at all to clear the moisture there. David shot a look over toward the fence and when he saw Brady there, whooping it up, he stated to chuckle. "Just ain't right I tell you, just ain't right."

Sarah would be having soaked, muddy men coming into her pristine home very soon. All this worked up an appetite too aside the need for a bath and change of clothes. The bull was captured by a few sets of ropes, it took four of the men having him roped at different angles to force him to follow where they took him to an isolated, dryer, smaller meadow. One that was used for him during certain times and that time was a need at present. Segan was slapping the wide brim hat against his thigh as he headed back towards his brother and David. Once the water was rid of, it was back on his head to avert the rains still falling. "I think that is the last of it," squinting a look over their progress and the ungrateful beasts now on higher, dryer lands.

The hat Eion had been wearing was in the water, not much use now but he picked it up and chuckled. "I hope so. I'm soaked clean down to the bone I think. " He started toward the gate and when he neared Brady, he tossed the hat at the older man. Even though Brady caught it, he also caught a full spray of mucky water. "Thanks for the help, Uncle." Eion grinned as he continued on, leaving Brady cursing though the man wasn't angry at all. Sarah was waiting at the door of the kitchen with blankets. "You'll be leavin' your boots and clothes right here before you go traipsing through the house. After you clean up, I'll have a good filling meal ready." She chuckled as she stepped back. "Oh, and the three of you make Brady seem downright graceful." Brady huffed at his wife but laughed. "They did at that." Then Sarah went out of the kitchen, to allow the men some privacy.

No sooner had David stepped through the door then he started peeling his layers off. He looked up as he tugged at his boots, glancing from Sarah to Brady and grinning, glanced back down to his current chore. After all, there was no eating until there was stripping. Bare assed, since even his thermals were soaked beneath the layers, he collected a blanket and wrapped it around him. "Meet you in the kitchen." In a bit, that is, depending on if he could convince Colleen to ... erm ... help him dress. He could only hope that he'd be more convincing with his wife than those bah-ers.

Segan was more than willing to strip down and get out of the wet clothing. Not so much they were wet but it was the mud mixed with the water that was uncomfortable. "Aye, sure," giving David a slap on his almost bare ass... and it was a good thing that Sarah had left before they had stripped down to only what God had bestowed for certainly none of them were mere lads anymore. With the blanket around his torso, he headed up for his room with a bound that had the sprint to it as if a lad.

Eion laughed and shook his head at Sarah. Brady headed out after his wife, after undressing and wrapping up but only because of his daughters. David and Segan were heading out, and Eion finished stripping down once there was room to move. Glancing out the window once he had the towel wrapped around himself, he watched as the hired men headed for the bunkhouse then went on up to his room. It wouldn't take too long until they were all downstairs, ready to eat, their wet clothes gone and their boots drying in front of a roaring fire. It made him long for home and family back in Heathfield.

David took a place close to Segan and when his wife passed close, he gently popped her backside. Her squeak and towel swat caused him to dip his head and smile. They were both feeling much better after her assistance in the dressing department. She even hummed softly to herself as she helped her mother and sisters bring the food to the table.

What a pleasant gathering. How it should be. Unfortunate events hung over their heads ever to discolor it no matter how they tried to keep things normal. The midday meal would contribute to that too, hard work, good food, drink and warmth. "You don't know how lucky you are." Comment made more to David for the rapport witnessed. Perhaps a shadow to pass over blue eyes before gone as they settled in for the mid day meal. "I'm starving and that smells like heaven, Aunt " Certainly the aroma from the cooking was filtering into the dining area already.

Eion sat on the other side of Segan and took in a deep breath. It didn't ease his homesickness completely but it did help some. "Aye, it does at that." He smiled over at Sarah, then nudged Segan. "When aren't you hungry?" As the food was being brought to the table, he thought he heard horses in the front of the house. One of the maids would answer the door if needed but he was hoping he was wrong. No one liked to have a meal interrupted.

David also heard the wall-muffled sound of the arrival and he leaned back in his chair in an attempt to see past the curtains. Couldn't though, so he shifted a glance to Brady then to the brothers. He wasn't the head of this house, or even the chosen heir, but he sure didn't think they were expecting any riders this time of day. He drew in a deep breath and then muttered softly. "Damn herds better not have gotten loose again." Colleen heard him though, and popped the back of his head in passing for the language he let slip free.

"I can't remember," with a gruff laugh after swallowing down a bite of food. He perked hearing the horses, "sounds like we have company." He was a keen hunter and so would have exceptional hearing. He was leaning in unison but the distance and curtains in the windows made it impossible to see at that angle where they sat. Nodding with David's comment, "I can't agree more." Still, they would all head out into the night, rain, colder and certainly muddy waters to tread.

Brady grumbled as he threw down his napkin and headed out of the dining room. There was a lad who answered the door and he nearly ran into the Quinn Laird. "There's soldiers at the door...!" The boy forgot all about proper in his haste. "It's all right, lad. I'll speak to them." By the time Brady had reached the door, the men were inside. Shortly after, those in the dining room could hear voices raised. Eion stood and looked at Segan and David. "We best see what's going on." Of course, Sarah and her daughters would follow.

As the discussion got louder, David started to rise from his chair, swiping his napkin across his mouth. He placed a hand on Colleen's shoulder when she started to do the same then nodded to Eion. Coming around the table, he caught bits and snippets of Brady's threats. He stopped in the doorway that led out into the foyer, taking a lean against the frame. For all his appearance of calm and just lingering, he was far from it.

So much for the well earned meal as Trouble was finding them by the tone of raised voices. Soldiers no less as he was up as fast as his brother. Only the passing look swept his way, knew he was ready to fight as they always were when the unknown came knocking at their door. He was shoulder to shoulder with his brother as they entered the living area where these men had collected.

Eion would do his best to keep Segan from fighting if need be, especially since they were inside and had the women and children to worry about. He stepped up beside Brady, eyeing the men standing before them, each with a hand on their swords. "What's wrong, Uncle?" He spoke to Brady, ignoring the men. Brady glanced over his shoulder at his wife and daughters but there was no help for it. "Michael's been murdered." And before anything else could be said the Lieutenant in charge added, "and we've come to arrest Segan Quinn for the act." He wasn't one of the Englishman's men, but was one of the local lads and was not comfortable with arresting one of their own but he kept it well hidden.

David's eyes widened with the news and immediately his gaze shot to the younger Sarah. He shoved up quick from his lean and went to her, wrapping an arm around his sister-in-law for support, whether she would need it or not. Colleen had rushed to her sister too, cradling her from the other side. David's hand caught against his wife's arm and squeezed, absorbing Sarah's crumpling form against his chest. His questions were held at bay this close to Sarah. He caught his wife's eye and with an uplift of chin motioned for Colleen to take Sarah into the other room.

"What?" See his jaw drop before snapped closed then opened. "This is a ridiculous accusation." Eyes narrowing that the guarda would act on such without proof and certainly there could be none being he didn't do the deed. "By who's authority do you invade my uncle's home?" Oh, he was getting angry, Eion would know the foreboding tone.

Eion put his hand on Segan's shoulder when he heard the tone of his brother's voice. "Easy, Segan. Let the man speak." He looked at the soldier again and nodded. "It's well known, sir that your brother and Michael had words previously. And a witness claims to have seen him about last night. Until our investigation is complete, he must be taken into custody." The Lieutenant looked at Segan, a brow lifting. "By the authority of the laws of this land, sir. And by order of his Lordship that we uphold the law."

David ticked off a sound with his tongue as he shook his head. "I'd have to be thinking that Segan Quinn isn't the only one what's had a word or two with our dead kin now." He glanced over his shoulder to his mother-in-law who remained just shy of the room. "And more than a few that would have preferred him stiff and buried for his deeds. But seeing as you're all longarmish and setandcertain to do your jobs, I'm sure you'll be making quick work of sniffing out the real slayer, aye? So that our cousin, here, doesn't need to be missing out on Miss Sarah's cooking more than one meal, hmmm, gents?" More was the niggling suspicion that they had a suspect and would be content with that.

There was a thump, bump, thump coming from the stairs as Griffin was struggling to descend. "How dare you insult these upstanding citizens of our community." He bellowed, glancing up to the soldiers, down to his feet on the steps, up to the soldiers, down to his feet as he hurried the best he could to reach the men. "Mark Parsons, I know your father and he'd be steaming-shit furious if he knew you were here accusing the Quinns of such a deed." He had grabbed the long-handled paddle that Sarah used to beat her rugs and was using it as a modified cane. "You better think long and hard before you start making those accusations." He swung out with the flattened end, smacking Mark Parsons on the side of the calf with it. "Who attacked me? You law-limp layabouts? Slaughtered my herds? Ransacked my house, hmmmmmm? His Lordship can lick my hairy pit! Find out who killed that boy and then come back here with proof, not just demands from some lace-lovin' aristocratic loaf-about!"

David almost dove on Griffin to tackle him to the ground and shut him up! Oh...he was ... thiiiis close. He had to roll a shoulder to stay rooted to his spot.

He knew it was best to stay his tongue or he would be arrested for getting disorderly with them doing their job. Even if they were dead wrong and the fact he was in his uncle's home. The women that were here. This was not the place or time to fight them. Although it became clear who was behind it all. His Lordship. He let out a breath as Griffin made his way down, knowing some of these lads and setting them straight. Well, so far so good as he watched him with more respect then shifted focus on the head guarda.

Eion didn't bother hiding his grin as Griffin made his way down, at least while his face was turned away from the soldiers. He was dead serious when he looked back. "Did the Englishman send you or did someone else give you this so- called information?" If need be, he'd pick Griffin up and turn him back toward the steps.

"No sir. Our Captain sent us." The lad was flushed from Griffin's words and that smack stung, but he ignored the man. He knew how his father felt but Mark had pledged to keep things on the up and up. "If I thought it was all malarkey, I wouldn't be here." He looked at Segan again. "So, I have to ask, will you come with us peacefully or do we have to resort to force?"

"You never were one much for thinking, Parsons." Griffin grumbled to himself. "You wouldn't know the smell of malarkey if it was smeared up your nostrils. Peacefully or Aunt Franny's sagging.." He turned as he muttered and then, there he spied Sarah in the backdrop of the scene. The older man actually looked shocked, and remorseful. Not for what he said, by no means! But for her having to be witness to it. "Mrs. Quinn." He offered her a nod of apology, and the woman, responded with a wink of gratitude.

David stepped up to Mark, since he was the most familiar to them. "You'll be checking this out further, right, my man? Don't be leaving it at this. This... isn't right."

"I'll go peacefully," speaking up so he was clearly heard, "there will be no fighting in my uncle's place," or the chance of the women getting hurt. Or someone else dead this night. Unfortunately there was no mourning the death of kin in this case other than a shame but Michael was heading for it in his choices of late. Bad choices. Shoulder rubbed against his brother's as he stepped past, voice lowered, "see to this," meaning not only who really killed Michael but get him the hell out of the devil's din much as they had him a few years back. Eion of all of them, knew what Segan was headed for under the law of the English.

Aunt Sarah had disappeared, not only to tend to her daughter, but to see to a package for Segan. The meal he didn't have. She glared at the soldiers as if daring them to stop her. Mark nodded at David, his expression grim. "I plan to. I don't just serve His Lordship." He'd get to the truth of it if he could. Brady was angry beyond words and once Sarah had handed the package to Segan, she almost chased him out. As she passed Griffin, she patted his shoulder. "I'm married to a man with a temper. No need to temper your words." Eion in the meantime, was taking it all in. Lord Fancy was being careful to follow the law it seemed. "Don't worry, Segan. You'll not be there long." He was going to do some investigating himself... One way or another, they'd learn the truth.


Date: 01-16-12
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 28

The Prison

The situation was proving to put a few on the hot seat, that area between a rock and a hard place. Mark wasn't' liking it one bit but the lad was keeping it to himself best he could. A suck up and swallow the bitter pill until he could actually make a legitimate move. Once they had Segan out of the house his hands were bound behind his back and he was thrown into the back of a wagon. Literally by three men, as it took that many of them just to haul him up bound. Segan expected as much of them and the rough ride from Brady's to the police station. There were a number of cells there, those in front for the locals misbehaving and those in the back. Still, from there were steps leading down to what had once been a small dungeon and that is where they dragged him. They didn't just drag him but used force, adding jabs and hits along the way. He was thrown onto the cold ground that had the stench of being deprived of clean air and the mixture of rat feces and mildew. That faithful night, one Patrick Francis Hennigan was detained for having gotten into a fight with an officer. He and his clan knew the station inside and out, including all the underground passageways. Dug by some of their ancestors no less! Known to only their clan was one particular passage dug out by Collin Hennigan, who was still a legend in having escaped. Patrick was only waiting on a few of his brothers to come get him as the fine would be paid. It was really all they wanted of him. He well noticed who they dragged by him as words had floated in conversation amongst the flat footers. The Hennigans and Quinns had always had an ongoing aggression, a matter of pride to keep up, but this was something different on a bigger scale.

Broad of shoulders and chest, Nolan Hennigan wandered down the row of cells, smacking at one cell in particular with the side of his billy club. "Get up, CumCakes." The brother Hennigan grinned into his sibling's cell. "How's that block head of yours?" He leaned toward the bars, squinting past the iron barrier and started to chuckle. "Dumbshit, no matter how much whiskey you suck down, you can't be swatting on an officer of the law." Green eyes shifted to the rock stairs that led downward to the less desirable 'quarters' before returning to his kin. "Did you see who went below? Hellova neighbor you've got." When greens eyes met each other, no matter how bloodshot the one set was from overindulgence and the other from lack of sleep, they just held before the officer nodded, a twitch of a smile that barely showed.

Officer Chuck along with his partner Stan, informed those employed by Murphy before their hiring, that they could leave. They were going to interrogate this particular prisoner by upper command. The situation was already getting to an explosive degree between those that were Irish hired by Murphy and those that were English pressured to be hired by Murphy. His Lordship had his way even around Murphy that dealt with diplomatic pressure even Murphy couldn't get out from under. There had been no reason not to hire the two at the time. So, the Hennigans would see only two return of the four that had seen Segan to his cell.

"Feck'n Quinn." Patrick seethed between his teeth, watching the two men descend and a different pair take their leave. "Aye." Nolan's agreement was spoken low, that constant pat of baton on his leg. "But they've always been good for one thing, and that's a good fight. Can't say as I'm willing to let the bastard have all the fun today." Nolan's gaze drifted back to Patrick. "What say you?" Patrick didn't say anything, he just smiled, a reddish brow rising with possibilities. The club came up and slapped down into his cupped palm. "You have the brothers on the way to collect you. But, if we managed to leave with one more than we originally planned, who is to know? Those English pricklickers will be having a good ole time with the Quinn Captain. I didn't see a thing, up here, as I am away from the action." The jailed Hennigan chortled low, shooting a look to the darkened stairwell. "Think you could manage two English pansyboys, Patty? Or will you be needing my help?" Patrick stepped up to the bars, his fingers curling around them tight. "Open the feck'n cage, Nolan, and I'll show you." Nolan stretched the length of chain that held his keys and slipped the perfect one into the chink hole, releasing the lock. "As far as I'm concerned, Brother, if this goes well, you were released to the family with your bond paid. I have no idea where the hell the Quinn went. If not, we'll both be in about as good of shape as frog turds on a rainy as shit day. So...don't be messing up, Patty." No sooner had the prisoner heard the lock releasing and he was pressing the door open. "I'm catching your drift, Nolan, they'll be no mess ups." Patrick took off toward the shadows that made of the dungeon-like descent. Nolan stood where he was, a steady tattoo of sound against his palm as he waited for the sound of the confrontation below.

It was three of the brothers who came to the jail to see to the release of their brother. Jamie, and the twins, Matthew and Michael. While Jamie was quiet, he was built like a bull and scattered most as he walked forward. The twins were younger, and prone to argue which they were doing as they brought up the rear. Mostly over the lasses since one would pretend to be the other and the brothers or fathers would come after the wrong one. They fell silent as they came to the jail, one piping up. "Ye got the coins, right Jamie?" "Of course I do, you twit, now shut up before I crack yer heads together." It wouldn't be the first time. They had to find the baliff first, and pay the fine, then with a wave of his hand, Jamie sent off their escort. "We know our way around." The man just shrugged, laughing. That was true enough of any but the very youngest of the clan.

Chuck watched the corridor while Stan saw to roughing up the prisoner, making accusations about family killing family and so on along with threats if anything was said the little wife would be joining her husband. Of course that implied that Stan knew what he was talking about and obviously knew that Segan had not killed Michael. There was not much Segan could do under the circumstances, being bound, being outnumbered but he was not really outnumbered if he'd not been bound. So the beating went on, out of sight and earshot. That was until Chuck halted Stan and also reminded him not to kill the prisoner or His Lordship would be angry. They were not in England afterall. "I hear something," or so he thought as he moved out of sight into the winding corridor to find out if anyone was coming. Stan, in the meantime, wiped his brow with the back of his hand as he measured up the damage rendered on the unmoving body. He knew from experience the one was not dead. Yet. Giving another kick to the man's side, "you'll be dead before this is all over along with your brothers for venturing here." With the three coming, it messed up their plans some but they were determined to remedy that.

A grunt, a soft thud, and then silence. Next Stan would realize was that Patrick Hennigan stood in the doorway, twirling the keyring on his forefinger as he looked past the guard into the cell. The Quinn Captain was curled into himself, probably in a subconscious attempt to protect his most vital organs from the kicker's attack. "Well, what do you know. See? I just don't believe any English lunkhead should be getting to enjoy himself so much. I take a goodly amount of offense to that." As Patrick spoke, he started forward. Stan tensed and prepared for any confrontation, squaring his body off to the approaching Irishman. The first punch that jabbed out toward Stan was blocked, but in the doing, the solid left cracked the guard's jaw, sending the man spinning off to the side before he could catch his balance. "This isn't for you, ya'feck'n Quinn." It was for the Hennigans who were also set upon to some degree by the Englishman. If the Quinns went down under that noble's pressure, anyone could. Patrick didn't waste any more time on Segan at the moment but went airborne, landing on top of the struggling Stan and planting blow after blow against face and body.

"Hey Nolan." The three brothers found the older standing in the hall by an empty cell. "Where is he?" Let's see. Last week it had been Jamie himself in there, and Dylan. If there wasn't at least one other, it would be nothing short of a miracle. When he came to a stop, Matthew did too and Michael ran into his twin, who immediately elbowed him. "He off takin' a piss?" Jamie just rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Idjits." He muttered under his breath.

Segan was struggling to keep conscious as the man finally stopped. He was indeed protecting vital organs as there wasn't much more he could do except lessen the impact of the blows. Let the man think he had succumbed. Most didn't bother pursuing if the one was unconscious. He heard the one leave. He got a reprieve. He heard another come in and didn't that voice sound familiar! Had his bad luck all caught up with him tonight? Was the Hennigan going to join forces with the Englishman to finally bring a Quinn down? Their fights had been noble in a sense, none fought the other when at a disadvantage unless they had managed that disadvantage. There was an unspoken code over the years, rules in a way, that showed really the integrity of both clans. Was that to be dismembered tonight? He squeezed his eyes tight in order to keep clarity of thought. There was a fog on the edges there he was really struggling to keep away from. That bit of reprieve had him rally and when the Hennigan (unaware of which one in particular yet) took the English guard down, he managed to swing his legs around and plant a good kick to the Englishman's head. What Patrick was pounding into on a frontal assault, he got in a broadsider that would cinch the knockout. He collapsed after that.

Nolan turned as his brothers bumbled their way into the cell chamber and could only shake his head. "He's...down below." A quick jerk of noggin indicated the area but before any of his kin could question, he continued. "There was something down there we thought might come in handy, he's off to fetch it. Wait for it." 'Down there', Patrick kept up the assault until the man went completely limp in his hold. "I knew you were stubborn, Quinn, but now I know you are one hundred percent ass with all that kicking." Patrick rolled off from the pounded and blooded guard and shook himself off. A few steps had him over to Segan. "My brother and me, we've got a plan for you, Segan. If you can't walk on your own, lazy lump of Irish crap, we'll be hauling you out."

Jamie merely nodded, crossing his arms over his chest while the twins tried to be casual. They were also nosey, peering into a cell or two. The older of the three tipped his head listening, and gave a grin that showed a gap where one front tooth was missing. "Hope he's havin' a good time fetchin' it." Noticing the teens, he growled at them. "Get yer feckin' arses over here and be still." He hadn't wanted to bring them but here they were and by damn, they were going to behave.

"Aye, you piece o' shit eating maggot.." done in banter than a real insult. He was becoming conscious again but still fairly groggy more from the head hits than the body hits. Blood ran from the corner of his mouth, nose and from the slit above right eye. One that may well need a couple stitches. That was the one that was causing the haze. Although Segan had seen worse during the hurricane. It was good that Patrick at least helped him to his feet and once the haze cleared he started towards what he thought was the way out but there were bars as he turned once hit and headed, luckily this time, in the direction of the open cell door. He was walking on his own!

Patrick started laughing as he watched Segan zombie-foot around, then he leaned and looked up the staircase into the dark. Fingers curled to his tongue and he shot out a whistle. Above, Nolan motioned with his stick. "Seems he's ready for us now. You boys will go out the front with Patty and bring the wagon around to the 'family' exit, Jamie." Nolan couldn't leave such an important part of this scheme to the twins. "I'll meet you there." Just as he finished talking, he turned to trot below. The brothers nodded to each other and the hand-off of sorts was made, Patrick rushing above ground. Nolan stepped over to Segan. "Damn, Man. You look mighty pretty." With a tilt of head he indicated which way they would be headed. A blocked wall, until the Hennigan proved it to be something else entirely.


Date: 01-17-12
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 29


"I never thought I'd see this day but I'm beholding to you as will my family." Their deed would not go unnoticed or taken for granted and Segan's word was as good as gold. "One could not look so good," which he gave a bloody tooth grin. "Lead the way," Segan had never seen the inside of this cell or any cell in this place for that matter. They had seen the inside of cells in other countries as an Irishman most likely would in Britain. Clarity of mind was returning as well sight as he moved with the indication and headed in that direction even if there seemed to be only a wall.

Jaime gathered up the twins and sent them on outside, grumbling at them all the while. He sent them away from the wagon, and told them to watch if the guards started to become riled up. They finally settled down, picked out an place that was out of the way but allowed them to see, and settled in. If they noticed anything, they'd give a whistle that their brothers would recognize. Jaime would head to the wagon with Patrick.

At waist level, one rock was removed, then another, and another, until a gapping hole was revealed from midsection to knee and beyond that a dark corridor. Nolan slanted a cautious gander to the unconscious guards then motioned Segan to climb on through. He followed, shoring the rocks back into place until the last few would have to be replaced by Patrick. Nolan didn't have a doubt that their secret 'out' would remain so. "Get going, Quinn, and this isn't for you or your family, but the good of us all." He stopped next to Segan, making sure he'd be able to walk, his nose curling up with their closeness. "Damn, man, you reek."

"Aye, I kin that," but that proved something good about the Hennigan clan right there. They knew where the important lines were and that brought them up in his book. "Aye, they made sure I not only looked good but smelled good as well." He wasn't sure what they had in the back of that wagon that stunk and clung to his clothes. Something dead, that he was certain of. Nolan didn't need to prompt him twice as he was making his way down that dark corridor as best he could. His body and mind were not at hundred percent yet.

The horses stomped and pulled at the reins but Jaime held them still. "C'mon," he muttered under his breath, glancing around. It wasn't so much the guards that worried him but those damn Englishmen. Of course, being their clan was so large, he wasn't sure they'd want to take them on yet. In the front, one of the Twins nudged another as they watched some of the guards on watch. Nothing out of the ordinary and it made the other smirk. It was so easy to fool some, especially with their older brothers in charge.

Nolan crawled from one of the venting holes, a tight fit, especially for men their size, but do-able. Because they had before, and would again. When he was through he squatted by the opening and when Segan stuck his upper half out, he helped to heft the injured man free. "Wagon's around the side there, Quinn, Jamie'll take you from here." Auburn head tilted in a nod of respect, even if begrudgingly, then Nolan trotted off to the front of the prison to make himself seen and accounted for.

"Aye, and thanks again." Voice was gruff for his injuries were starting to sink in and he was more sturdy built than Nolan. Why it took a few to get into a fight with him and still lose! The appeal of soaking in a hot bath appeased him as now it was a possibility. He drew up the hood of his cloak and hunkered as one would out in the cold and on his way home. He was anyone else or so would appear as he headed around the side to the wagon. There was only one wagon as he approached, did they want him up front or into the back would be the question.

Finally... there was the Quinn. He jerked his head to the back of the wagon. "Get in the back. There's blankets to hide under and wit' no alarm sounding, they won't be lookin' in for extra bodies." He let out a whistle and the teens ran back to join him. Once Segan was situated, the two moved a bench that was kept in the wagon so they could sit over top of him without actually sitting on him! Jaime would head around front to wait for his freed brother to join them and they'd get the hell out of there!

Patrick was all about ... waiting. His arms over his chest, his ankles crossed, leaning against the doorframe of the prison's front entrance. None would question his position there, the brothers had already paid his bail, he just needed to hop his ride home. Nolan slapped a hand to Patty's shoulder in passing and went back in. All was well that ended well, and dang it was well unto a good end. When the freed Hennigan caught sight of the wagon he pushed up from his lean, strode across the way, and leapt, catching on to the bench handle without Jamie having to slow. "Good to see you, Boys." Patrick grinned to his brothers, swinging the heel of his booted foot around to jab at a covered body.

He rolled up into the corner covered over as he heard those talking in passing by. Had a way of figuring who was who by the voice. Or heel, as he realized it was Patrick Hennigan getting in a jab where he could. That was stored away with a grin they'd not see. Not a sound either. He fleetingly wondered where they would take him but he doubted it would be back to Brady's. All their fine work would be for naught! He only hoped it was a place where he could at least wash up and get into a change of clothing. He didn't say a word, he'd wait until they were heading outside of town or when they gave him the heads up that he could climb out from his hiding place.

He lifted a hand to wave to Nolan, grinning at Patrick as he board the wagon. "Where to?" It was a double meaning question since he wasn't sure where they were taking the Captain. The Twins were arguing again but it was more an act that held no heat. If they were actually quiet, folks might think be more curious. "It smells in here," one of the lads complained and received a headcuff from the other. "Probably you, you've not bathed in weeks.* And they were off again!

"Home." Patrick answered. No one would EVER suspect to look for a Quinn under a Hennigan roof. Patrick wheeled around, clouting the nearest twin with a meaty fist to the spine, it was all he could reach. "Shut up, you damn fools. Before I see personally that you're both tossed into the pig dueky when we get home. Hey, Jamie, why don't we test the springs on this baby..." A smile pulled tight. "Find any pot hole you can."

So the next rocky ride began but there were enough burlap sacks and blankets in the back to buffer those jolts unlike the first ride to the jail. They were not going to get any moans and groans as he clamped his teeth in a grin and bear it style. He would not give them that satisfaction. Patrick was one he recognized as giving a good trashing so this didn't surprise him to get in some revenge in this manner. Probably only way he could. Being sight was not an option, listening was so he heard everything. There was a moment wondering if he would have been better off in the cell than in the hands of the Hennigans. Except he knew it was not so, no matter what bit of revenge they extracted for the circumstances.

"Ow! Jaysus, Patrick! All right, all right." So their fighting was kept to nudging and poking, and occasionally complaining or laughing when the wagon hit a hole. "Seems they need some replacing." Jamie was chuckling as they headed toward the homestead. The night was cold and clear, with a brisk wind. Good night for drinking and staying indoors.

Patrick didn't say anything more, just clutched the handrail and braced his backside for the pounding ride. They sped along, four auburn haired Hennigans, not slowing until Jamie swerved the wagon up to the back door of their homestead. Pa Hennigan was standing there, a hand-rolled clamped down between his teeth, and a narrow-eyed glare settled on his offspring. "Where is he?"

That swerve had him hitting against the side of the wagon. He was one very beaten up Quinn by the ride's end, coupled with the ride earlier and what the few Lordship's guards inflicted. He needed air as the burlap and blankets were thrown aside as he sat up. Mary Margaret Hennigan slipped out from her father's side with her cloak wrapped about her form. She was one of the three sisters, the one that took in every stray and hurt creature of the forest. Hearing the warning of her name "Maggie" from her father didn't deter her one iota. Pa Hennigan was tough on his sons but he had a very soft spot for all of his daughters and they knew it!

Well, Pa could have meant Patrick or the Quinn but he was betting on the Quinn who popped up in the back of the wagon. He jerked a thumb over his shoulders as the twins climbed out and headed inside, grinning at their sister. "End of the road, Cap'n Quinn." He waited for everyone to get out so he could tend to the horses.

"Lil' Maggie can tend you, Quinn." Patrick slid from his seat, though a bit stiff from the ride, and crossed to his sire. "Had at him, they did, quite good too before we could get him out. We didn't lay a hand on him otherwise." A foot maybe, but the Quinn's injuries were not Hennigan placed, and that was directly ordered by their Pa, unless, of course, the man gave them a hard time of rescue. But the bastard ... had not. Pa Quinn nodded to Patrick, scrubbed the tip of his hand rolled on the porch rail, then started over to the wagon. "I've sent word to Brady." Was all he said for now to Segan.

Lil Maggie scrunched her features as her Pa still hadn't recognized she'd was all grown up. In a way that was a blessing or he'd be considering suitors for her which she would abhor. Right now he was focused on her older sisters, especially Brigid. Maggie was over to fuss over him asking him quick questions that Segan mumbled answers to. He wasn't use to the attention but knew better than to rebuff such. Besides, the lass was fetching and maybe he could get a hot bath. That was what the lass was going to see to as she ushered him into the house. She had her wounded animal to take care of this night. He gave a respectful nod of his head to Pa Hennigan, if he remembered correctly his real name was Homer but everyone called him Pa, whether a child of his or not. There was relief hearing he'd sent word to Brady as the rigid line of his shoulder relaxed. Some anyway. "Thank you," he didn't need to add more for there was an understanding in the locking of eyes for the moment. Respect was there for Pa Hennigan.

He waited until the Quinn was out of the wagon then gave a flick of the reins and send the horses into an easy walk. They were anxious to get into their warm stable and be fed, all of which Jamie would do before he returned to the house. His supper might be cold but he didn't mind. He liked caring for the horses. Gave him time to think, or if Pa was mad at him, for cooling off time.

Pa Hennigan watched Maggie go off with the Quinn Captain, then barked out to Brigid. "Don't make me get those horse blinders, Girl! Get back ta' work with that food." He hitched up his britches by the belt straps then strutted back into his home. A thank you from a Quinn, that had to be a first.


Date:  01-18-12
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 30

A Knock on the Door

Eion followed the guard to the door as they dragged his brother out and to the wagon. Segan was going easily, something he had not expected. Fists clenched, it took all he could not to go out there and do some pounding but it wasn't the fault of the soldiers. He didn't move until the wagon was gone, then he closed the door with a bang. A wince and he turned to Brady. "Sorry." The older man put his arm around his nephew's shoulder and led him back into the dining room.. "We'll let it go this time and try to decide how to deal with this." Supper was the furthermost thing from Eion and Brady's minds and instead of eating, they retired to the study to talk.

Sarah was stressed, "can you just let them take my boy away like that Brady? Eion.." tears were welled up in her eyes as hands were wrung. She stood there like a fixture in the doorway to the kitchen. "You can't let it go," she whined. Distraught barely covered how she felt. Colleen was quick to her mother's side, "they can't do anything yet but I'm sure they will as soon as they can," an arm coming around her mother's shoulders as she turned her about to lead her into the kitchen. The glance given over her shoulder back to the men warned they saw to making her words true. Back again, "let me fix you a nice warm drink." Something she would put some of their finest brandy into. Mary Alish ran up to her room and slammed the door shut, she needed a few minutes to get hold of her anger or she would be flying out that door. Sarah younger remained upstairs struggling with her emotions. She had loved Michael in spite of all his failings and even if she left him, that love was not so easily ignored. His death brought it all to the forefront. She was soaking her pillow with tears.

When the door closed the family in and Segan with the guards out, the old man looked from face to face. "Now this is a reeking bucket of cowpiss if ever I smelled it." He grumbled, safe enough now to speak his mind since the ladies had quit the room. David shot a quick took to Eion and Brady, then offered the codger a thud to the back of his shoulder. "Come on, Ye old Coot, I'd be willing to bet that a shot or two of Brady's whiskey might singe that scent from your nose." Better to get the man away from the Quinns before he managed to offend without meaning to. Eion and Brady has some planning to do, and old man Griffith was best out of that equation. He led the man in the same direction his wife and mother-in-law had gone, knowing that Griffith would mind his mouth, to some degree, while in the ladies' company.

Brady had been about to go to his wife but Colleen was seeing to it and he was certain she'd do a better job. He'd see her after he and Eion talked. The two men spoke in quiet tones though Brady mentioned something that had Eion nearly shouting in agreement though he managed to keep from doing so. They had witnesses that had seen Segan but first, they needed to learn where Michael had been found. Brady soon left Eion and headed for the kitchen to find the rest of the family. He wouldn't say anything yet. Best not to get hopes up.

One of the doors open and closed upstairs and quiet as a breeze in the night's shadows, Sarah younger came down the steps. Wide-eyed, ghostly pale with swollen red eyes. She looked from her father to her cousin as if not really seeing them there. Then slowly looked about the room as if searching but finding no one else present. Eyes darted immediately back to her father, "what happened?" She was obviously gripped with fear.

David shared three shots with the older man. To provide some sort of productive activity for them both, he suggested to Griffith that he accompany David to collect Michael's body. The two donned their outwear, braced against the rain, and after pecking a kiss to his wife's cheek, David left the manor with Griffith. The house fell quiet with their departure, softly spoken words in the kitchen between mother and daughter and deep, serious words spoken low between uncle and nephew.

Brady took his daughter aside to explain the situation. It would be up to his wife and daughters to see to Michael's body, though he'd be willing to take over if none of them could handle it. After that, he sent Sarah and Colleen upstairs to see to the youngest sister. He called to Eion to help him prepare the front room, leaving details of the wake to his wife. Then it was time to see to the animals for the evening. An hour passed, then two as they worked in silence, both inside the house and outside. Too many things were happening at once, leaving them all numb.

The shot of brandy, four or five, did Sarah elder good as she was now fortified and up to the task of a wake. Not that anyone is really up to such. They made sure Sarah younger had a few of those shots once she was in the kitchen. Colleen gave her husband a soft smile, one that was just between them in meaning in that fleeing moment. There but for the grace of god, could have been him. She turned to help with her sister and get her doing things to keep her mind occupied. They would get the best suit Michael had to bury him in. Once Sarah realized what one, it was sent for. Mary had been brought downstairs to help so all were busy with the task ahead of them.

That wasn't all that was about to be happening either. Beetlebug Hennigan, sure, that wasn't his given name but it was what his older brothers tagged him with, had been sent on his way with a message for Brady Quinn from his Pa. He had been sent straight away, which, in Beetlebug terms meant, he got distracted a time or two. He wasn't given a horse to ride, those were needed for Jamie and the twins, no, he was bone-jarring his away along on the nut-cracking knobby spine of the old mule, Puss. Yea, that name didn't make sense either, but, they were Hennigans. Beetle paused at the pond, using the fishing line he kept rolled in his back pocket and the small, corked stopper to bob a few chances for a fish, thirty minutes, maybe forty-five, he had no idea how long before he remembered what he was supposed to be doing. Mounted again and was on his way. Worse part was, it was raining, and Puss didn't want to be out in the rain any more than he did. Dang, that was a nice looking bull. Beetle slid from the uncomfortable perch to drag Puss on over to fence line. She snorted and jerked her head, obviously jealous of the fine looking specimen of animal, at least that's how Beetle was taking it. "Ah, don't look if you're not liking it." He muttered, turning his attention back to the large, muscular prize-winner.

Brady Quinn sure knew how to breed them...Brady Quinn, that's right! Fussing under his breath he struggled to get back on Puss, but she was having none of it, turning in a circle so he was hop-swinging in an attempt to mount. At one point, he managed one leg over, but before he could heft himself on up, Puss hiccup'ed a bounce and shot him off again. "Dad'blast'it, Puss!" He shouted at the animal as if that would get her to obey. Beetle ended up trudging through the mud, jerking and tugging Puss behind him until he made Brady's front stoop. "I hate you." He muttered to the mule, who snorted at him in return. No doubt the feeling was mutual. Beetle didn't even bother to tie off the beast, and since she was ornery enough, she refused to move another muscle anyway. He stomped his way on up and knocked on the door. A fine sight he would be, too, auburn hair dark against his pale skin and plastered to his face in strands that dripped rainwater from the ends. Coat hanging open from his battle with his ride and the clothes underneath clinging to his body. Boots clumped with mud all the way up to his ankles. And a forced wide-spaced, squared-tooth grin. He never had any dealings with the Quinns, but he heard plenty of stories. So, there could be just a tad of trepidation hidden behind that smile.

Eion and Brady were on their way back to the house when they caught sight of the one tugging at the mule. Well, Brady had seen him first and nudged Eion. Both men watched for a few moments before they headed inside. They were fairly dry because they had been wearing oil-skin cloaks and wide brimmed hats so by the time Beetlebug knocked at the door, they were inside the kitchen and heading for the door. One of the maids answered it, staring at the drenched Hennigan. "Can I help you and step inside. Just stand on that rug." It was a sturdy wool one and would soak up the water that would drip from the man.

The women had taken to clearing out the living room where they would wake Michael, furniture moved and a long table set up to one side. This kept body and mind busy until the knock on the door had all four turning to see who it was. "I do declare, that looks like a Hennigan lad." Which came from Sarah elder in exclamation. They all waited to see why the lad had come here. Anything was possible on a night such as this one was proving to be.

Beetle shook his head with enthusiasm, locks of wet hair swatting at his cheeks. "Can't be messing your rug up none, Misserisses Quinn. I've just come, straight away..." Yes, he made sure to use those two words in case his father ever asked if he had come straight away, there was the proof, right? "with a message from my Pa for Mister Qui..." Eyes went wide as the two men stepped into view behind the maid, that Beetle had mistaken for a Quinn family member. His mouth even dropped open when he caught sight of those males, strong of chest and shoulders, heavily muscled arms and necks, dark of hair and, just because he had heard tales of them, dark of soul as well. He stammered, squirming a bit as he realized he almost pissed his pants where he stood when he saw ... Quinns ... so close up, even if from across the threshold and room. "I, ah, Pa wants Mister Quinn to know..." He nodded toward the older of the two men, not able to meet either of their eyes, but blinking toward the area of their chests. "He said to tell said to say 'we've got your boy'." Shew, he blew out a breath, deflating with the release of pent up air, his arms sagging at his sides. Done.

Eion wasn't aware of their devilish reputation or he might not have been frowning at the lad like he was. He looked at Brady to see if he understood. His Uncle spoke to the maid first. "Get the lad some hot cider so he can warm up at least. Our boy? Do you mean Segan is at your place?" What exactly did the Hennigans want in exchange if that was the case? Or maybe David?" He didn't say more because he didn't want to cause panic among the women folk!

"You got my boy!" That is all Sarah elder had to hear as she rushed away from her daughters to hug the man impulsively. Ample woman and taller than the lad as she squeezed his head in against her bosom. Luckily it was quick or she might have suffocated the beetlebug. She was there than back to her girls, "he's safe.." assuming as what the men folk didn't know was that the womenfolk had a truce and got along.

Segan? No, that wasn't part of the message. When the older of the two men spoke in that deep and threatening voice of question, Beetle flinched, reciting the line in his head, using his fingers to count out the words again. He stared at his forefinger. We've. Middlefinger. Got. Fourth finger. Your. But before he could finish making sure, he heard the squeal which caused him to jump, coming completely separated from muddy boot sole to porchboard. He didn't even get his heart to quit slamming in his chest and he was caught up, barely able to breath between the woman's breasts. Poor boy staggered back as he was released from that hold, and he droned out again. "Said to tell you, aye...we'" Since Beetle wasn't there when Segan arrived, he had no clue what that message meant. Guess if the Quinns wanted to know for sure, they could come on over to the Hennigans. Wait, did that man say hot cider? Beetle didn't enter past the doorframe, but leaned a bit to try to see in the direction the woman with the order had taken off to.

Well, Aunt Sarah had made it clear enough. And it was obvious the lad didn't know much more. He tried not to laugh at his reaction but he did smile. It didn't take the maid long to return with the cider, offering it over to him. "Be careful. It's hot. That's why I wrapped a towel around it." Explaining carefully to the boy, then she scurried away. "Well, then you tell your Pa thank you. I'll come speak to him in the morrow, after the guards come here." Which they'd be sure to do once Segan was discovered missing. "Get yourself warmed up." Brady was gruff but it was because Segan was out of prison.

It was Mary that recognized Beetle for he was her age and she'd seen him enough in school until he dropped out. He'd been 'touched' as some put it but not in a mean way like some others. "Thank you Beetle." He'd hear her soft voice before she was back with her sisters and mother to finish up preparing the room. Colleen was sizing up the lad to make certain he was telling the truth. She had to press her lips into a tight line or she'd be asking him a thousand questions such as how was Segan, had harm befallen him? Did they want a ransom, was it some kind of sick trick? Instead she stopped staring at the lad and helped her mother as she got busy again. Sarah younger was still in that disbelief haze and was moving like an automatic robot at the direction of mother and sisters.

The boy accepted the towel clad mug, flashing a quick smile to the female, and then, while Brady talked, he dipped his head to sniff. Not to insult the Quinns, but, hey, he had to attempt to make sure. It was hot, and he ended up gulping down too much, too fast, and he coughed, tongue and throat taking the brunt of the heated assault. "I, uh, um, I'm plenty warm enough, thank you." He nodded his head, as his farewell, and turned, the wrapped cup still cradled in the palm of his hand. He had heard Mary, realized who she was, cause, she was the pretty one in class and that sure made it all the more important to get on out of here. Whoops. He turned back around, taking one last, careful this time, sip from the mug and handed it out through the opening to the interior. It was the closest he would come to crossing the Quinn threshold. "So, yeah, okay." Time to get back to show his Pa the message was delivered. "Thank you, speak tomorrow." Same number of words, he should be able to relay that.

"You did well, Beetle." Brady spoke after hearing his name from Mary. "Thank you." He offered the lad a coin. "For your good work." After all the youth had been struggling with the mule out in the rain and he was soaked clear through. "I'm sure your mule will be glad to head back home." If it was still out there. Ornery beast may have headed home on her own. "Good night." Eion added his own good night before he turned and headed for the womenfolk to see if he could help out.

Puss had moseyed on homeward bound all by herself, leaving Beetle to take the night on his own as well. It was all good though. He was a coin richer, and he had survived the Quinns. He had notched up one step in the name of ... Hennigan.


Date: 01-22-12
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 31

Eion hated feeling helpless and that was exactly how he felt after Segan had been dragged off to jail. They couldn't do much about it though Mark had promised Eion he'd be in touch before he left.  David and Griffin returned with Michael's body and Eion helped lay him on the table. He was able to examine the body as his Aunt and cousins prepared him for the wake.  There were rope burns on Michael's wrists and bruises as well as a single knife wound.  There were even defensive marks on the man's arms. The wake lasted from that evening until the morning as was tradition, and finally Michael was laid to rest and the family allowed to mourn. Sarah the younger took to her bed, leaving her children in the care of her mother and sisters. Eion left after helping with the morning chores.  He took one of the horses and headed into town.  His destination was clear in his mind.  The barracks where the soldiers were housed.

The Heathfield knight found Mark preparing to ride out from the compound where the soldiers stayed.   He greeted Eion, leaning over to shake his hand then spoke quietly.  "Would you care to accompany me, Sir Eion.  I was just about to go to the area where Michael was found. though I'm sure there won't be much to find.  Too many people milling about."  Mark never mentioned that Segan was missing from the jail.  That made Eion think perhaps the Englishman had his own men searching for his brother.  Not a good thing.

"I came here to ask you to show me the place," Eion answered.  "And call me Eion. "

"And you can call me Mark.  Easier then using Lieutenant."  He grinned then started his horse forward.  "It's all rather odd if you ask me."  He said after they were a distance from the town.

"What time was he found?" 

"Roughly an hour before we interrupted your meal.  The surgeon said he had been killed the night before though don't ask me how he came to that conclusion."   Eion turned to look at the younger man.  "Possibly around eleven or earlier."

"Then we have witnesses that Segan was at the manor.  Father David came to see Griffin around eight and stayed until quite late.  First we had to help the man get across the flooded stream, then we had to escort him back to the rectory.  His housekeeper was all aflutter from a visit she had and sent him to  Aiden Flynn's home to give his mother the last rites.  We didn't get home until well after one."

"Interesting."  Mark looked at Eion, frowning.  "Since the witnesses we found said they heard Michael arguing with someone around ten and they were certain he yelled out Segan.   Of course  they were all in their cups as well."

"Who were these men?"  Eion turned off the lane, following Mark to an area that had a stand of pine trees.  They dismounted, leaving the horses, and walked the rest of the way to a clearing in the middle of the trees. 

"Thugs that Michael played cards with." He gave Eion a knowing look. "Said to be some of  the Englishman's men."   He paused where there was a indent in the pine needles.  "We found him there."  The leaves were darker then they should have been, likely from the man's blood.  "He wasn't murdered here."  Eion said after squatting down and studying the area.

"No.  We found the drag marks.  And two different sets of prints though the men that found him claimed they made them.  They weren't wearing the same type of boots."  Mark had just gone up in Eion's estimation.  He was observant and that was likely why his Commander had assigned him to do the investigating.   Noticing something, Eion carefully brushed away the needles. 

"Rope and it's got blood on it."  He offered it to Mark who accepted the small piece and looked it over.  "Michael had been bound, Mark and beaten.  I know me brother, Mark.  He wouldn't attack a man and bind him, and he wouldn't kill a man who couldn't fight him back.  Michael was an idiot but he'd not go up against Segan unless he had an advantage."

"Aye, and Segan has both weight and height on him.  Did."  He corrected then studied the area again.  Once they were certain there was nothing else to be found, they returned to the horses.
"I'm going to go talk with Father David and his housekeeper.  Then I'll see the Flynn family.  I hope they understand." 

"They will when you tell them it's about Segan and the charges against him."  There was starting to be some outrage as it was that his brother had been charged and it was sure to grow.  "Thank you Mark.  I think I'm going to go have a look around the tavern.  Oh, and Michael, better check on Segan at the jail." 

Mark gave Eion an odd look but he nodded.  "I will.  Be careful, Eion.  If the Englishman is behind this, his men will be looking for a fight."  He turned and rode away, leaving Eion to watch him thoughtfully.  From the Lieutenant's reaction, he didn't know that Segan had gone missing.

At the tavern there was a small crowd, mostly eating an early meal.  One or two of the Englishman's men were there and the sight of the cold-eyed knight made them nervous enough to leave.  He sat at a table, requesting ale.  The lass swayed her way to the bar and when she returned, she placed the ale on the table. "Yer family has me sympathy."  She said softly, taking hold of Eion's hand.  When she stepped away, she left a paper in Eion's hand. "Thank you."  He hid the paper within his hand until he could slip it away.  It wasn't until he left the tavern that he read it, acting as if it were a note his aunt had left him.  Heading for the nearest shop, he entered it, then left again with a parcel.  From there, he went to his horse but when he left, he turned and headed for the mill.  A young man was leaning against a fence and he moved forward to grab the leads of Eion's force.  "Ya need to check inside d'e ol' Casey barn. Dere's been whispers..."  The boy spoke so low, Eion could barely hear him.   Then the lad ran inside the mill returning with a sack of flour.  Once it was secure on the horse, Eion took the horse home.  He waited an hour and with David, headed for the barn. 

The Casey farm had been deserted long before the English had come.  The land was poor and the family had moved on.  Still, it made Eion feel sad that no one had bought it up.  He'd look into it later but he and David went inside and began to look around.  It was David who found the blood, and Michael's knife.  Now they just need to find Mark and have him take a look.  Eion returned to the family farm grim.  If it was a fight the Englishman and his thugs wanted, it was a fight they'd surely get.

Date: 01-22-12
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 32

A Visit to the Hennigans

It was early morning when Eion readied the horses for the trip to the Hennigans. The soldiers had yet to come to the manor if they were searching for Segan, which had the men worrying. David was going to stay there as support for his wife and in case the soldiers did show. They were all in black for Michael, and the pallor of gloom hung heavy over the manor. Brady had insisted on the horses so if they were stopped, there'd be no excuse to be searched. His expression was stern, almost angry and Eion looked the same. He was in no mood for shenanigans though both men accepted the condolences of those they passed. "I hope none show up at the house while we're gone." Brady snorted out a laugh. "Your aunt and cousins will be indignant, David will keep things calm. The wild card is Griffin." Eion's smile was brief. The roads were still muddy but luckily the rain had stopped, at least for now. The rest of the ride was made in silence until they were riding up the road to the Hennigan homestead. Eion had been here of course and remembered some of the pranks they had played. But it only lasted a few moments. It wasn't good to let his mind wander. Not here.

The Hennigan household was always a buzz with activity, given the number of offspring and the same number of staff to see to them. Head of household, Pa Hennigan wasn't one to shirk any responsibility or work ethic, his children worked hard to manage the sizeable estate. That left little time for all to obtain an education. Just the older ones, bound to take over. They worked hard and so, Pa had no problems with them playing hard. As hard as they wanted as long as they could haul their arses out of bed come pre-daylight to set to their chores again. The Quinn was tucked away in one of the guest rooms, all tucked in and made to feel welcome. Welcome, that is, as far as a Quinn could feel in the enemy camp. Today, though, they were all fighting a mutual evil. A common foe made bed buddies out of the worst of rivals and the Quinn captain was all comfy upstairs in one of those very beds. Since the Quinns had some mourning to do, the Hennigans wouldn't be expecting their company so soon although, Pa had hoped that the 'over the hill' neighbor would get to see just how busted up their boy was, and not by the hands of his blood. Seeing the body bruised and battered added to the fuel of a quickening fire. Flicker to forest fire in ... snap. His daughters were tending to the Quinn, seeing to his aches, feeding his gut, trying to make him comfortable. They were good like that. The girls never did hold any such grudge against the Quinns, but then, they'd never had to go fist to fist with the strongass bastards.

Segan may be in the enemy camp but there were some that didn't want to be enemies. One was the fetching Maggie Mae Hennigan. She had drawn Segan a bath that evening and insisted he soak to help soothe and cleanse all his wounds. From bruises to cuts. She had put something in the steaming water that after a while put Segan to sleep there in the tub soaking. Wasn't a deep sleep for he was quickly awaken when he heard giggling. Yes, giggles! He shot up having no clue of his state of undress until the next second which had him grabbing a towel much to the dismay of the two girls, Maggie and Brigid who had covered her mouth to still the exclamation. There were apologies, but not really, and they gave him time to get dress in the clean clothes left for him. After that it was seeing to some medications.. both internal through food and external in a salve Maggie, he found out, made. Although tired and recuperating, he found it hard to sleep that night until the morning hours finally had him through exhaustion. He was still sleeping when his kin arrived. There was the worry the father would have him married off for his girls having seen him naked, even if only a few seconds. Nah, he'd never, not a Quinn so that comforted him.

Pa would get a surprise since both Brady and Eion wanted to see for themselves how Segan was doing. There was still the question of how the Hennigans had smuggled him out of jail... though it was probably best they didn't know. The Hennigans farm was one of the finer around because Pa was so strict with his boys, in most ways. He also knew they need to blow off steam so the feud between them all wasn't stopped. A few of the lads were out tending to their animals as the two men rode up. Brady looked at Eion and smiled crookedly. "So, this is how it feels to jump out of the frying pan into the fire." Eion chuckled and cut a glance to the lads who had stopped to watch the two. "Aye, I'd say so."

Pa was to the side of the manor house at one of the outbuildings, bending his back to the ax and hack. When the dogs began to bark out the warning that company was arriving, he didn't put down his tool turned weapon, he just left his unsplit log where it sat and strolled on around the house, ax swinging by his side. And what do you know? It wasn't that Pa Hennigan had anything against the Quinns, except, Brady had one fine bull that Pa coveted, and that was a sin that Brady perched upon Pa's soul, and the fact that Jaxon's sons could take two, three of his boys in any fair fight, and that was saying something, considering his boys were darn good fist-a-cuffers. And there was the whole who ended up with the prettiest girl in all the neighboring counties. Brady, by God. Yes, another mark against the man, because there was that whole coveting thing again, straight to hell if Pa didn't get his act together. "Well now, Gentleman." He drawled out in his finest Irish lilt. "Isn't this a nice surprise on a brisk winter morn. Jamie! Take their horses and see them rubbed down and ready. As welcome as they be here, I'm sure they won't be staying long." Did that mean they weren't welcome and so wouldn't be staying, or that they were, but the matter at hand would see them on their way quickly lest the hidden guest be found out? Hard to tell, since Pa was smiling and waving the men in toward his front entrance. He set his ax aside by leaning the handle to the side of the bottom step and started up them, not looking back to see if the Quinns were following.

Segan was having a wonderful dream. Beat the nightmares that sometimes plagued him like the Hurricane scene. Except this one had the dew of morning's glow caressing his face. Something stirred inside that had blue eyes flip wide open only to see the vision of an angel almost in his face. Luckily he didn't jump up or there would be noggins knocking and probably knock her out. He had the hard head or so his brothers always reminded him. "Holy.." which only had her laugh as she eased up from her sitting position on the side of his bed. "You're finally awake. Just in time for I believe you've got company coming." Maggie had such a sweet voice too as the cloth was lifted from his face. A good morning wake up scheme. "I'll get right up and dressed," said in a way that she needed to leave or surely the Hennigan faction would be toppling on him quick as a whipper snapper. She got the hint and only after she was out the door did Segan rose and got into some clothes of one of their boys that was closest in size. The size was correct but tight on him from the skinnier version. Like he wanted to show off his muscles. Sheesh. Shaking his head he ventured down into the lion's den from the flight of steps that separated foyer and the upstairs.

Brady just answered with a thank you, though Pa was right. They wouldn't be staying long. For all intents and purposes, he could be there to tell the Hennigans about the wake for Michael. He had been a good lad before he got mixed up with the English. They followed the man inside, Eion's mouth twitching at the sight of some of the lads staring at them. "We owe you for this, Hennigan." Brady said quietly. And he always paid his debts. The sight of Segan coming down the steps had both men frowning outright. "Tell me our boys didn't do that, Segan?" Brady growled out the words. True, some might hold grudges but this went well beyond that.

Oh, Pa was already figuring on a repayment, along the lines of a couple of his best heifers locked up tight with that fine, ball-rocking bull of his. Pa just shrugged visibly though to Brady's comment of indebtedness, and shifted his glance up to the Quinn coming down the steps. "Damn fools, give the man a shoulder." Quick as a whip snap, Pa's meaty, strong palm lashed out and popped the nearest Hennigan in the back of the head, which sent that red-head darting forward to give Segan a hand down the stairs. Pale blues lifted to meet Segan's, a pleading look that all but begged he let him help, or there'd be hell to pay in the Hennigan household for the young lad after. Pa watched the 'good-hearted' offer of help. He didn't look back to Brady as he spoke as an aside. "Thought the best place for the boy would be here, considering..." He smiled as Segan neared, and then looked to Brady. "They won't be looking for your boy, here."

After a few buttons popped just as he headed down the steps, the shirt fitted better. Who knew where they went but he saw one bounce off one of the Hennigan's head. Of course he let the lad help for far be it he would help stir anything negative within this rather volatile clan. Red heads meant something and they seemed to live up to it! "It was the British man's men that banged me up while tied up." Besides he couldn't be certain Patrick had gotten in those few extra kicks, perhaps to make up for how many times Segan had beaten him down. But, he never beat any to a pulp of which he was capable. Surely they must have realized that when he pulled the last punch that was needed and was on his way again. "Miss Maggie and Miss Brigid saw to clean clothes, a meal and medication for any wounds." The cut over his eye was no longer an angry slice but already healing nicely. He didn't look at either daughter but Maggie was looking at him.. this he could feel and wasn't about to encourage looks especially in front of Pa Hennigan.

Both men let out a sigh of relief. They couldn't argue with Pa's thinking and the fact his girls were taking care of their kin was even better. "You're right though I'm wondering when they're going to start searching." Brady didn't believe it was out of respect for Michael. "We'll deal with that in time. Would you keep him here a bit longer, unless you have an idea Segan?" He wouldn't suggest the ship. They'd look there too. Eion nearly laughed as the buttons popped on Segan's shirt but didn't. He smiled at the two young women then looked at Pa again. "If they do come looking here, they'll change their minds when they see all your lads." Even Beetlebug could help put up a solid front.

"Sure enough, Brady, the boy can stay as long as you need him to. My girls will take..." He grinned at Eion with a nod of gratitude, he was mighty proud of his boys, but when his gaze drifted over to those aforementioned girls, he saw where Maggie's eyes rested and the Head of Clan Hennigan looked from girl to boy to girl . Now, his girls were good enough, and Pa was extremely proud of them, considering they had no female example by way of mother any more to set their standards by. Unlike the boys, the girls were sent to school, because any man worthy to be called Hennigan in-law would appreciate a lass who could read, and cipher numbers and knew a thing or two more than just how to grow potatoes or boil up greens. Roan brows lifted as he passed a look back and forth again, then shook away his concern. "They'll take good care of your boy for as long as he needs to clear his name, unless, aye, the lad has an idea."

Segan was use to squaring his jaw and not looking where those looks were heading or exchange any looks of such looks! "I will do what is best for the situation provided someone gets me some of my own clothes." Clothes that fit and certainly was not an unrealistic request. The Hennigan lads were wiry with little meat on them at all.. why they could take down two to three each. Somewhere in the back of his mind, maybe it was the feel of those eyes on him, wandering.. that trouble could be brewing of another kind if he was not careful. He didn't want to be out of the frying pan and into the fire. He had little choice over the circumstances other than the request for clothes that fit. He wished not to encourage those looks! "How is Aunt Sarah and the girls taking all of this?" Being he'd not know for being dragged out of his uncle's home.

"As well as they can. Aunt Sarah in tears with worry. We'll see to Michael being buried and take one step at a time." There were a few things that Eion was going to look into. Brady chuckled and studied Segan with a nod. "Aye, we'll have Mary Ailish bring them. Seeing how she's been chomping at the bit to do something." Pa had a right to be proud of his family, and if truth be told, Brady had thought he had done a fine job of raising them all on his own. "She can come tonight." With the wake and all, the lass could be said to be upstairs, resting. He offered his hand to Pa. "We'll talk about what we can do for you next time. Meantime, I think we should be on our way." He didn't want to leave so soon but there was that chance someone might see and wonder. Eion looked at Maggie and Brigid and nodded. "Thank you both." He carefully laid a hand on Segan's shoulder. "We'll see this end soon." Lord willing, before Conor got back

Pa took a step toward Brady, accepting the handshake but he moved his head to the negative. "I'll not be placing the lass in jeopardy, Brady. My boy will bring over some food stuff, offering our condolences, and I do, offer my condolences, Quinn." He proffered the shake and released his hold. "You can smuggle the clothing back in the wrappings for the food. If your home is being watched, it won't be good for the lass to be seen coming here, for your family...or mine. And, I'm rather fond of having my peace around here. I'll send him meal time." He offered a nod to Brady, then to Eion. "Do what you have to end it, Brady, and know that if you need some backup, where you can find it, regardless of my penchant for solitude and quiet." He grinned, motioning them to the door with a sweep of that hand just relieved of the handshake. This wasn't a full blown war, but, by God, there wasn't a man here that didn't realize, their lives as they knew it, were definitely at stake

Brigid was the oldest then Maggie but there were three more girls ranging in age down and were in the background being quiet as a mouse or having their father's ire brought on. This was a day to mark on the calendar when a Quinn stepped foot in the Hennigan's homestead and not one fight. It was then that Segan decided he would try and bridge the gap between the two families if he could. What laid ahead it would be better them fighting alongside each other and they could teach the lads how to really fight even with the lack of build. "Give my love to Auntie and the girls. I'm sorry I can't be there for the wake and funeral." Although it would have been out of duty being he and Michael only tolerated each other. Especially after the way he'd been treating his cousin and consorting with the enemy. Presently he set that aside. He stepped close to Eion with lowered words, "let me know when Conor returns." Giving his brother the clan clasp of shoulders before doing the same with Brady. Once done he stepped back as he'd be treading on eggshells for the duration here.

"I will." Eion promised. He couldn't stop the smile at the exchange of words between Brady and Pa. Definitely a day to remember though likely things would return to normal once this was all over. Brady grinned back at Pa, and chuckled. "I can understand that need for both." He nodded a farewell to the others after returning that clap of shoulders with Segan. Then he and Eion headed outside again. The rain still held off and for a moment, a bit of sun broke through. The older Quinn decided to take that as a good omen as they mounted and headed back to their own manor, where there would be neither solitude or quiet.


Date: 01-24-12
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 33

Conor's Return

Conor Quinn stood in the kitchen, glass of whiskey in the hand he had rested on the arm that wrapped around his stomach. He leaned to the counter with a hip, his gaze locked on the landscape beyond the frame in search of two riders. Brady had explained everything, leaving out no small detail, and while Conor waited - and Conor never had waited well - he stewed over and over the fact he hadn't been here for any of it. To help with any of it. Granted, he had returned with a letter from Phillip Morgan for Brady with how the crown would handle the situation. Punishment or immediate intervention would not be forthcoming with Morgan saying something along the lines of 'almost all men can stand adversity, but to test a man's true character, give him power.' So the crown would be watching, and watching closely what transpired, but until such time as They felt a threat, the Quinns would be on their own. Not that They wouldn't step in, just now ... yet. Fuck them. Ro was wise to use the other two to 'encourage' Conor to agree and take his leave. Good riddance. Although, they still had to deal with the bad rubbish. They wouldn't step in, just not ... yet.

Aunt Sarah was fussing over Conor once Brady told him all that needed to be told. She had worried on his time at sea knowing how it affected them when all said and done. She was all but spoon feeding him in encouraging him to eat even if he wasn't hungry. To her, he was still green around the gills. Sarah younger was still taken to her rooms with having her meals there, of what she ate of them which was very little. She was guilt ridden and Aunt Sarah knew it would take time, time being the best healer in this situation. She had soothed her all she could and needed a break so it was time to fuss over Conor. Luckily she was just as anxious to see if Eion and David brought her boy home so presently she was at the front window watching as well with Colleen at her side by this point. Mary, on the other hand, was in the kitchen mimicking Conor, glass of cocoa in the hand she had rested on the arm wrapped around her stomach. Hip against the counter only a short distance from where he leaned. She looked like she had a zillion questions waiting on the tip of her tongue. Her gaze locked on him instead of the scenery beyond the window.

Eion and David were returning but not with Segan. Eion was making plans to see his Lordship again though he was curious as to why the alarm hadn't been sounded over his disappearance from the jail. He and David stopped the horses in front of the house, with his cousin-in-law taking them to the back and then seeing to any other chores. Eion followed him, at least to the kitchen door and stepped inside. He stopped dead in the doorway, not even shutting it and squinted against the light. "Conor? Welcome back!" He finally remembered to close the door and as he greeted the youngest Quinn and gave him a bear hug. "You survived!" Stepping back, he studied him a moment then asked, "How did your journey go?" He was almost afraid to ask.

As soon as he saw the horses, Conor set his glass aside, his gaze touching on Mary for a moment before moving to the door where he figured Eion and David would enter through. She could stare all night long, a whole bored right through the center of his forehead, but he wasn't just offering over information. She'd have to make it clear what she wanted, and that was 'all' she'd get from him. Brady Quinn had ... er ... reprimanded Conor like a father on too many occasions for the younger Quinn to dare crossing any invisible boundaries for 'she should know, she doesn't need to know'. With the brotherly embrace, Conor wrapped a single arm around Eion, a firm pat of back ending the contact. "Found out I'm not much of a negotiator. Didn't get in personally to speak with the King, but did manage to get our concerns heard." His gaze flittered over to Mary, all ears and attitude over there, but it settled on Eion. "What the hell has been doing here, Eion?" Conor didn't need to get into the dynamics of how the actual trip went, Eion would know. What was important, what was the only important part, was how they now stood. And it seemed like it was without one leg and minus a cane to steady them.

Aunt Sarah had rushed to the door before Eion and David ever got a foot inside. A slight frown played not seeing Segan with them but she excused herself so that she could get her husband. Meet them all in the kitchen. She didn't tell them who was in the kitchen for she'd let that be a surprise. Mary on the other hand, beamed Conor a smile when he finally looked her way. Possibly that was all she wanted and gave Eion a waggle of her fingers when the two brothers reunited. She too noticed that Segan wasn't with them but said nothing. Nope. She was all ears.

Eion winked at Mary Ailish then looked at Conor and frowned. "That's all. I'm sure Brady told you everything he could. Segan is safe but the charges are still being held against him. They aren't searching for him, at least they don't have the soldiers doing so. Possibly the Englishman's own men. He plays the fop but he's damn clever and careful. So, I've been doing some investigating on my own." He needed a whiskey himself but added, "Found some good clues and Mark Parsons has been helping. Tonight David found more -- blood in an empty barn, and knife that isn't Segan's." Drag marks too but he didn't add that. He would tell Mark.

Conor frowned, mindful of the fact that their Aunt Sarah had come and gone, and that Mary Ailish still lingered. He turned to look at his cousin. "Mary Ailish, so help me, if Uncle Brady hears of any of this, I'll know where he got it." He jerked his attention back to Eion. "If the soldiers aren't looking for him, why hole him up? Let's get him back here, bring the partygoers to the bloody party. You've got your clues to cover Segan's ass, let them come. It's not like they aren't planning on it anyway."

Eion glanced at the lass, his expression stern though blue eyes held mirth in them. He filled a glass with whiskey and offered to top Conor's if need be. "Both Pa and Brady think he should stay put but maybe we can bring this to a boil faster if we do. Mark is looking into a few things and I think once we tell him about what was found tonight, he'll go to the Commander himself. " He grinned and raised his glass in a toast Conor's way. "Good to have you here to see another way." It would be a damn sight better then sitting around, waiting.

Mary was simpering with a sniffle that Conor spoke to her in such a way. "I wont tell anything I hear, cross my heart." Which she did. "You can tell Pa yourself.." she wasn't going there! Aunt Sarah came in just at that moment with a lift of her brows. Brady would be right behind her they could be sure. "Mary, time to get the vegetables ready," which was her chore and best set her daughter to them. Mary sighed under her breath and set to the task asked of her. She seemed busy from there on out, scrubbing the carrots clean, cutting off the tips of the green beans then putting them into the water to boil.

Oh quit piffling, Mary. If she was going to hang with the big boys, she needed to grow thicker skin. Hell, and maybe even chest hair! Great, and Aunt Sarah had to walk in on that! Conor dipped his head as he looked to his Aunt and Uncle entering. "Eion seems to think we will bring this to a boil faster if we spring Segan." He kept his chin dipped, grinning to himself, and shot a look from under his brows toward Eion. He did after all state that. Conor straightened. "I just think, considering what Lord Morgan made clear, that if we don't call the man out, he'll be hacking and cutting us to pieces until there's nothing left. Small bits and chunks aren't as visible from a distance."

Brady looked from Conor to Eion, a brow lifting. "Indeed? So, we bring Segan back here and the three of you go face the man?" Eion cut Conor a look but he shrugged and answered Brady. "Aye, I do think so and I agree with Conor. It seems we have to stand on our own without help from the English King, so the sooner the better." He smiled to himself, wondering just how this would go over with His Lordship.

Meanwhile back at the Hennigans, Maggie took it on as her personal project to see to Segan's mending. Another hot bath was drawn, she had food there which she tended to hand feed him with, like grapes to the Romans. He kept pushing her off with words when relieved to hear a knock on the door. It was their handmade who came to pick up Segan's clothes to mend. What? That smile on Maggie was purely wicked. She was going to get him in trouble yet and who would Pa Hennigan believe? Certainly not the Quinn lad his daughter took a liking to. What could he do? Mind whirled until he came up with a plan. "Do you have some of that powder for headaches? I think the hit to my temple is causing another one to come on." More like the anxiety of the moment and where it would lead. Maggie fawned over him a moment, tracing her thumb across his brow to help ease the tension which was very real. She was off finally, leaving the room and as soon as she did, Segan was up, grabbing the quilt from his bed being even the towel was not available this time, and went out through the window. There was a ledge and he eased across it, second story up with just the quilt wrapped around him as best possible. He froze in place when he heard his name being called in that luring silky tone as Maggie was back in the room already. Hell on earth, she was going to be the death of him one way or another. She looked out but then closed the shutters against the cold. He could hear her voice fading off as she went to see where he'd gone.

Conor looked from Brady to Sarah, then shook his head slowly. "Not here, Uncle Brady. Not to bring it here, exactly...but to bring the Englishman out. I don't know." He raked his fingers through those dark locks, leaving the strands all wild and sticking out, then scuffed his booted foot on the floor a moment or two in silence. "Just want Segan back is all. And all this over." His gaze lifted to his kin, taking in his uncle and then resting on his aunt. "Aye?"

Brady rubbed at his chin, looking at his wife a long moment then at the youngest daughter. He looked at Conor and smiled slightly. "Well, it seems to me that we work best when we all stand together. Something it took your father and myself too long to learn that lesson. You go get him and bring him here. David told me what you found, Eion, so he can take it to Mark. That will remove the soldiers from the equation I'm thinking. The Commander won't go after a man whose innocence is proven. That'll leave the Englishman standing on his own." Eion nodded, then looked at Conor and shrugged. Looked like they had a plan.

Aunt Sarah finished stuffing the turkey and shoved it in the over before she turned. She felt the eyes on her and hers were sternly serious, "I want my boy home and safe." She didn't care how the men went about it as long as they gained that end result. They were use to danger, danger in their home too and by the gods they would fight like the banshees feared of their race. She was satisfied with her husband's decision. It was he that should be making them and standing strong. That earned him a smile and possibly more tonight. Mary Ailish, on the other hand, seemed to be immersed in her chore of helping getting the dinner ready. She was in the process of learning how to cook by the best. She was all ears however!

Conor, nodded once. "Consider us gone, Uncle Brady." Conor leapt over and popped a kiss to Sarah's forehead and then practically ran for the hooks by the back door where his coat was hanging. The youngest didn't like the idea of Segan in the hands of Hennigans any more than he had liked the idea of Eion in the hands of the English. They were better standing together, and by God, that meant they had to go fetch the final member of that stand. "We'll have him home by dinner, Aunt Sarah." He called, not even waiting for Eion as he rushed out of the door, tugging on his gloves and wrapping his scarf as he went.

Holy hell! There went Conor out the door, leaving Eion standing there. He just laughed, set down the glass of whiskey and followed Conor out, grabbing his coat as he went. At least they wouldn't have to take the same horses out, and he made sure there was another for Segan. "Are you planning on running the whole way, Conor?" Wouldn't be long before they were riding for the Hennigans.

Conor would have ran if he was forced to, instead he and Eion spurred their horses on through until they topped the knoll that lead down toward the Hennigans. Conor jerked his horse around in a pause, looking down the way, then with a glance toward Eion, jabbed his heels and the horse into action again. Long flaps of the tailcoat slapped with the speed as Quinns descended upon Hennigans.

He squinted at the house then returned Connor's look before he was heading down the hill. As they came to the house and halted, he looked up and just ... stared. What the hell? "Conor, look up and tell me what you see?" As if he wasn't sure.

Segan was gritting his words between his teeth. He was praying for a miracle and there it was before him. Certainly. Especially after they had agreed that he stayed here until further notice. He called out, "I sure hope that horse is meant for me. Let's get the hell out of here." It might be the worse ride he ever took but he was determined. Besides. He could hardly feel his nethers by this time anyway. "Throw me up a rope.." or they might notice the ladder laying lengthwise on the ground propped against the side of the house.


Date: 01-26-12
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 34

The Rescue

Not sure what Eion was talking about, Conor looked to his oldest brother, then followed his gaze to the upper level of the house. At first he frowned, then when Segan started yelling down to them, Conor started laughing. He cocked his head to the side and leaned forward, grinning to Eion. ""Wha'do'ya say? A minute or two more before we get his bare arse down?" If the man kept going on like that, he would be found from whomever it was he was trying to avoid!

He was managing not to laugh until Conor started, and then he lost it. "Aye, maybe a minute or two, though if the wind whips that blanket open, we'll not be able to erase that sight for a long, long time." He was dismounting and making for the rope but when he picked it up, he studied the area around Segan. "Where are you going to tie it off?" And after he asked, he tossed the rope.

Conor snorted out another laugh, swinging his leg around to dismount and then leading his horse along with Eion. . "What sight? He added, watching as Eion prepared to toss up the rope.

Segan lifted a shaking fist in their direction. The blanket slipping as he tried to gather it with one hand while yelling out at this point. "Just remember this when it's your turn." He was freezing his nuts off and they were laughing. LAUGHING! If Pa Hennigan thought he was taking advantage of his daughter.. he'd get the shotgun out on all three of them like a bull seeing red. Of course the disturbance had that very Vixen throw open the shutters to see not just a dark sky with twinkling stars but the brothers three. "Segan!" She called, "there you are. Get in here, you'll catch a death of cold." Segan wasn't going to wait on any explanation as he caught the rope with the very same free fist. "Got to go. Thanks for everything!" What did one say in such a situation? Acting like he was fully clothed. Maggie shook her head before tossing out the bundle of clothes that were his. "Best put these on then." If one were watching they might catch a bit of a devious smile on the fetching lass as she closed the shutters behind her. He tied the end around the gutter and swung down to land squarely on the ground. He was fast to the pile of clothes before his brothers could grab them and tease him more at his freezing expense! He was hopping around putting them on, not caring if anyone watched at this point.

Conor took a step back, squinting up to the window as Maggie stuck her head out. He had to hold his side as she let the middle Quinn have what for. Of course, all the ruckus of hollering and fussing had the kitchen window opening and Brigid's pate peeking free. Conor shot her off a salute and a bow of sorts. "Hey, Pretty Bridg, do thank your Pa for his hospitality, would you? But we're thinking it's about time to be slapping our trump card on the table." He pointed a finger toward the dancing, prancing, naked arse exposed to the girl's view while Segan attempted to don his clothes. "Going to find out exactly what His Lordship has up his sleeve in like. I'm sure he will understand." Still chuckling, Conor was rushing forward to grab up Segan's shirt and dangle it in front of him, hopping backwards toward the horses waiting for them. Not that his brother would even care he was shirtless, as long as he was free. But it would be a damn cold ride back across the mileage without it.

Eion was leaning against his horse once Maggie stuck her head out. Caught! He chuckled and had finally managed to calm a bit when Brigid appeared. "Afternoon, Brigid. " And there went Conor, making Segan dance in the moonlight for shirt. "Aye, and tell him if he ever needs our help, let us know." He turned back to watch the two younger Quinns, still chuckling.

Luckily the land of Eire never got drastically cold that he would actually freeze to death but certainly the dance was as fast as he could get his clothes on and going after his brother. RUN. DIVE. He'd take Conor down, grabbing the shirt as he went in a tug of war. Like old times! ROLL. They would be covered in debris, mossy sponge spores and the like.

The two younger Quinns rolled and cursed and tugged in a brotherly conflict until Conor let loose and jumped up and free. "Good to see you didn't get weak holed up in Hennigan House. Come on, before they pour out like a bloody nose all auburn and such." Still laughing softly, because it was good to have his brothers near, Conor hurried to his horse and swung up. He couldn't get away from here fast enough. Sure, the Hennigans had seen to Segan well enough in several ways, but Conor was all itchy and stuff from being this close and not getting to throw a punch. Pa wouldn't let that happen though, so they should just get the heck out of here and back to Quinn territory.

He was mounted and waiting, just grinning as he watched the two roll around. There were a couple others standing in the doorway, at the windows but no one came out. "Aye, and I'm betting Aunt Sarah nearly has dinner ready." She had started it before they left. His stomach growled just thinking about it. Once Segan was mounted, he snapped off a salute to the brood before turning his horse to head out the road.

Get while the going was good because Pa Hennigan could be out with his weapon to see to a wedding that would have Segan in a real noose. Not that if he had to be forced to wed someone, Maggie Hennigan was not so bad but he wasn't about to wed anyone at this point in time let alone for all the wrong reasons he wasn't guilty of! He had his shirt on by the time he was up and mounting the stallion they'd brought for him. He saw the ones watching from windows and such. "I'll repay my debt one day." It was his way to be thankful if such were allowed sometime down the road. He saluted any and all watching before he was turning his steed around to head back. "Dinner sounds extremely inviting at the moment."

Conor jabbed his heels into the horse's ribs and the animal jarred forward with purpose. "Last one, gets the chicken tail." And Conor hated that triangular blob of gristle and flesh...he was off and racing!

Ugh. Eion laughed and urged his horse into a run. No matter, Aunt Sarah would see they each received a decent portion. But it was grand to be racing again, just like they used to do. Way back when.

Segan had demons on his heels and the stallion he rode felt them as well. Watch him past both brothers out for the further away he got from the Hennigan place.. the safer he would be. "Eeeeeyeeeee!" He let out a warrior cry!

Conor coaxed his horse on for speed, but not enough to try to overtake Segan. Just seeing his brother free, and enjoying it, was good enough for Conor. That and the wind that whipped at his ears where the scarf had lowered, making them sting. As well as the smell of the air, fresh, clean, Ireland.

Segan had Eion laughing as he charged ahead, and the eldest Quinn was grateful for it all. As they rode over the ridge leading to the manor house, he stopped, just to take it in. There was no way they would let that fancy pants Lordling take over these lands, even if it had been done elsewhere. He grinned and hit his heels against the horse's sides. Off they went again, until they neared and then he had the horse slow into an easy walk. Brady was waiting outside, smoking his pipe. Though he seemed to have just decided on having a smoke, this was one of several. He grinned as they rode up. "Well, well, well. Look what you two brought home." He was pleased to see Segan in one piece. "Caught him climbing out the window, we did." Eion informed Brady with a grin. The stable boy would take the horses from here, so he dismounted to allow him to do so.

He looked like a demon on wings in how fast he rode that black stallion but, he slowed as his brothers caught up, nostrils flaring as if he had done the running himself. He too was taking in the aura that filled these lands and made it so magical. No wonder they had the Fae and strange things that went hand in hand with the mystical. A grin split wide as he dismounted not far from where Brady stood. "It's good to be home." No matter what it brought, he'd be fighting alongside his kin. "Aunt Sarah's cooking smells even finer than normal!"

"Always was a sucker for a stray cat, a wounded bird...a brother prepared to jump from a ledge." Conor chortled, handing his reins off to the lad and nodded to his uncle. "No visitors yet, I take it. Shall we go eat...that seems to be when they are inclined to come calling on you, Uncle Brady."

"None yet." Brady frowned as he snuffed out his pipe, then tapped it against the wall to empty the bowl. He nodded at Conor's comment though. It did seem that way. "This time they can wait outside until we're finished." He was hungry, he knew the lads were hungry but things had to be just so before Sarah would serve dinner. He pushed open the door and waved them inside. "Go on, and wash up. We don't want to keep your Aunt waiting."

He was the first through for his hurried rush in getting his clothes on, they could use some adjustment. He was at least clean as a whistle. Stomach was rumbling enough to be heard. "Can't wait for Auntie's cooking." Chuckling as he ruffled up Conor's hair in passing with a lift to his step daring him to catch up.

The youngest didn't even bother to smooth out his hair, making a show of chasing after Segan. Before long, though, they were back down, bathed, shaved and dressed accordingly to be served at the table of Sarah Quinn.

The meal would be quiet at least, a time for catching up and filling up their stomachs. Of course, Aunt Sarah would fuss over Segan's return and he'd be teased again about being naked on the window ledge. It wouldn't be until an hour later that there'd be a knock on the door, when everyone was relaxing just enough and thinking the day was nearly over, except for seeing to the animals.

He heard the knock, as he rose from his seat. then sat back down. "I'll stay here just in case unless you want me to open the door?" There was a certain smirk with that idea in mind but it would be up to Brady for it was his home and household. He would enjoy the last of his pie and coffee before that door was open, however!

Griffith scooted his chair back with a screech of wood against wood. "You Quinns enjoy your meal." Like that could happen now. "I'll get the dang door." The older man shuffled from the room, waving away any servants who thought to step in and take over. "What the hell?" Was the first words out of the older man's mouth as he swung open the door. "Merriman Hennigan. What the devil are you and your ..." "Shut up, Griffith, I'm not about to let the Quinns have all the grins and giggles when that Englishman comes a'callin." There was silence. "Well? You going to let us in or make us wait out in the chill until the action starts?"

Brady followed Griffin anyway, not willing to have the man offend someone needlessly. He was surprised by who came to the door, but motioned them in. "Does your Pa know you're here?" How many were there?! Eion had come to the door as well and smiled slightly. Well, wasn't this a surprise. As the door was closed, another knocked sounded. And there was Mark Parsons. "I can't stay," he spoke quickly, though paused when he saw the Hennigans there, "but I thought you should know, Segan is no longer a wanted man. Papers were delivered to the Englishman and I'm to hand these copies to Segan. Looks like you're ready for a fight, so I'll not hold you up." He was grinning now. "Not sure where they are, but it's certain they're coming." And boy, would they get a surprise!

Segan heard his name as he shoulder his way through auburn head men, "I'm right here." Perhaps that was a surprise too for Mark. Grinning as he held out his hand for these papers that seemed to be important. So his mission was complete too and for all matters it would seem that he'd been here all the time if anyone had come searching. He was quick to look them over then show them to Brady. The man deserved to see them too, and his brothers if they had a mind to.

"Pa is here, Mister Quinn, he's going with your lad to take the horses to the back." Merriman showed his manners and dipped his head to the Quinn women as they filtered out into the room where everyone was gathered. "Got all twelve of my brothers, and my Pa." And some of them were still outside when Mark entered to hand off those papers. It was difficult to room up all fourteen of the Hennigans at the same time. Mostly because they'd start bouncing off each other, and a scuffle would break out. Conor stood back, surprised, suspicious -- seriously. But stranger things had happened than a Quinn sleeping in a Hennigan bed and the whole lot of Hennigans minus the females rubbing shoulders under a Quinn roof. Merriman started in again. "We actually saw them, the English rabble, pass the homeplace. Norbet there saw them and came running. They took the road...we took the field."

"You better get then, Mark. Can't be taking sides, and you don't want to be caught out there by them." Soldier or not, they wouldn't hesitate to beat the Lieutenant. The door was closed behind him and both Brady and Eion looked at the papers. "Well, the Englishman may beg to differ, but the evidence shows it wasn't you." There was even a note about the letters KD carved on an unobtrusive spot on the hilt. "Sarah, you best get ready with water and bandages, wouldn't put it past them to set the house afire. Colleen, help your mother. Mary Ailish, go up and get Sarah to help you get the children to her room. " He knew Mary wouldn't stay there but he had her out of the way for the moment. Eion rarely wore his sword in the house so he was running upstairs to retrieve it.

That would keep the women busy as Segan geared himself with his bow and knife. If there was going to be a real fight, he was prepared. The adrenaline was flowing already that would high gear him to face whatever was brought before them. He had also learned to temper it too that he didn't fight were a fight was not really needed. He gave a look to his brothers with a slight nod, they knew well what that small gesture meant.

Conor moved around the periphery, snatching up one of the younger Hennigans and hissing in the boy's ear. The youngster nodded and darted to the kitchen and out that back door. Pa came up to the front door and knocked, and when he was let in, he started rallying his troops. Giving out instructions to his boys, sending this pair here, there, out into the surrounding yard to bring in the ranks when needed. Those boys were all about daggers and fists. Ireland flowed through them thick like a peat bog, if they couldn't handle it with their fists, they would die trying. Griffith had scurried off and was back with his carpet paddle, and a kitchen knife, the best he could manage unless Brady offered him something else. But don't underestimate the older man, he'd take on a good half dozen of those English with a jab and a swat, and make quite the impression, by God!

Brady had made his way upstairs as well, returning just steps behind Eion. While the knight held a sword of Heathfield in his hand, Brady held the sword used by Jaxon Quinn, husband of Mary, father of Brady, grandfather to the three men he'd be fighting beside. Eion nodded approval when he saw everyone preparing and headed for the window. He could see torches along the road. "Some are on foot, some riding." He turned to look at the others. "Five minutes until they get here at most."


Date: 02-01-12
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 35

The Battle

There was a Hennigan here and a Hennigan there, there seemed to be a Hennigan everywhere. Luckily none of the womenfolk were with them or he'd be dancing while fighting. They came in all sizes too but the heads were topped in various hues of red and they were all a thin wiry frame, Popeye style. "I'll come up from behind..." as a couple of those Hennigan lads were willing to go with him. Segan was best outdoors, in the woods and would instruct them on what to do. So there was at least five with him as they headed out the back door to start the maneuver around and behind.

Eion nodded as his brother spoke and took some Hennigans with him. He looked at Brady, then Conor and Pa. The five minutes ticked by until the front yard of the house was filled with The Englishman's men. "Come out, Quinn brothers and we will leave the house stand and the women alone. You don't come out and we'll be burning the house after we string the three of you up and enjoy the women." Wrong thing to say. There was a flash of fire in Eion's eyes as he opened the door and pointed his sword at the leader. " Why don't you and I face off and when you die, your men can turn tail and run back to your master." The men laughed, some nervously. "Nah, I think I like the odds just the way they are." Eion just grinned at the answer. "Figured you'd be a coward. Guess we get to do this the hard way." By then, everyone should be in position.

Conor's gaze rested on Brady's sword, a deep breath of realization and acceptance releasing as the shit started hitting the fan and splattering everywhere. Eion stepped up, confronting the English at the doorway, and Conor moved to stand at the oldest brother's shoulder. His gaze scanned the men, remembering what Morgan had said about power. Well, here he had it. All the misuse of the stuff as they would ever need proof of. "Or the easy one." The youngest muttered close to Eion, huffing out a laugh lacking actual amusement. Off to the right, behind the wall of trees, Conor saw two arrows swing around a tree, ready to be released. "I hope they aim better than they punch."

As Conor watched, the Hennigan bowmen set up, tucked within the green pines, blending in as three took such a position. The two left continued with him as they circled around to the other side behind the blackguards that His Lordship sent. They were soon in position by the time the banter ended. Waiting now for any mis-move on any of those with Martin Hopwood, the chickenshit.

Eion almost smiled when he heard Conor's comment but he kept his eyes on Hopwood. No time like the present to confront them head on and he moved on out of the doorway. "Then who's first to die?" Brady came from behind the two, watching as the eldest stepped forward, the sword in Eion's hand glinting in the light of the torches. The men on horses actually fell back, and Hopwood motioned two with swords forward. Now Eion did grin as they charged him. His training on the fields of Heathfield Castle had prepared him for worse. One sword clashed with another as the knight twisted and send the first turning and stumbling back toward the horses. The other man was sent flying as well, though Eion only used his sword to block and send the man to the ground with a punch. He was toying with them and it looked like it.

Conor moved out with Eion but remained on the porch, allowing the eldest Quinn to manage the situation as it currently went. Two English to one trained Heathfield knight? It seemed well contained for now. "Hey, Slopwood. Your Lord Dandy doesn't have the stamina for outdoors entertainment?"

That's when the swooooooshhhhhing sounds started but it wasn't just arrows flying to pick off those in the back. Sling shots were being applied with a sharp rock that would pelt the flanks of the horses. Not enough to really hurt them but the sting would have them rearing up and bucking as they threw their riders.

Hell. Those rearing horses were dangerous, Eion backed up, wincing when one of the men got knocked to the ground by one. The other decided to move back as well, then Eion pointed his sword at him. "Run." He said simply, laughing when the man took his advice. Some of the others were muttering. Hopwood got up from the ground and cursed. "Enough playing. Kill 'em all." The men he brought with him were not fools. They split up into two groups. Some headed into the wooded areas, others charged for the house. Now the fighting began in earnest.

Conor released a curse, pulling his sword around and leaping from the porch. He met the onslaught along with his uncle and David, and dang if he didn't think he heard old Griffin in the fray. Fending off, surging in, this was no barroom brawl. Every Quinn man present had fought to the death before, this would be no different. Arrows were few, picking off only the wayward straggler that stumbled too far from the midst of engaged bodies. The Hennigans had let out their war cry and were deep into the heat of it as well.

The three Hennigans took down the few sent to the woods after them. One got hurt in the process but he'd live to fight a Quinn in a fair fight of fists another day. Segan came charging out from where the three had flanked the group. They all had weapons on them, his was the knife as he ducked a sword swung his way and sliced the man under the armpit having him fall to the ground. The one Hennigan with him finished him off as Segan continued through, ducking, dipping, slashing and dicing. There was going to be a lot of English blood to soak into the Quinn's Irish soil.

Eion was hacking his way through the men toward Hopwood. He felt the bite of steel on his arm but with a spin cut that brigand down. Hopwood charged forward when the Quinn's back was turned. A shout from Brady warned him and he ducked, rolling off to the side. When he came back to his feet, he was facing Hopwood. No taunts, not a word was spoken before the two men were locked in combat. Steel clashed against steel, and although the Sword sang, it's bite was tempered. Finally, Hopwood yelled out and another man stepped up. As soon as he had the chance, Hopwood was on the run, leaving the other to face Eion. He found a horse, not necessarily his, and rode back to the road before calling retreat. But they didn't go far. It was as if they were waiting.

A good two dozen more men swarmed over the knoll where Hopwood sat astride waiting. Jerking the reins around, they rode bent for bodies toward the fighting group. No care was taken as to who they plowed down either, English or Irish, the intent was to slaughter. Conor had heard Brady's shout, but wasn't able to look toward Eion. In fact, the two men he fought continued to fight even after the retreat was ordered, as did several of the enemy. What the... why didn't they take off? Conor continued to ward them off, slash out at them. Then the thunder of horse hooves answered that unvoiced question. "Christ Almighty!" Conor bellowed, the ground vibrating beneath their feet as charge neared. "Watch yourselves!" Come on, Hennigans, where were your arrows now? From over top of that same knoll, three more horseman rode hard, bodies low against the strong necks of their beasts.

The youngest Hennigan clung tight to the waist of one, bouncing around on the back of the horse like a unsecured sack, but hanging on for sure. Behind them, a half dozen more men popped up over the hill, armed with pitch forks and shovels, pikes and sickles. No Irish household was going down when there were still Irishmen to prevent it. The English on horseback slashed down at the fighters, using their height to an advantage and their horses as an additional weapon. Except for one, who had snatched his own horse around and was now facing off, man to man, beast to beast, against what appeared to be his comrades. "About bloody time!" Conor yelled, grunting with the blow that caught him at the hip when he allowed himself the distraction to recognize the horseman. "Shut up and watch your back, Quinn!" Ro shouted back, matching the angry volleys at his deception. "We can't always do it for you!" KT and Billy-O pitched off their horses, letting the animals run on into the chaos as they joined in the frenzy. Lord Phillip Morgan steered his mount and his clinging rider off to the side and away from danger for now. He was here to witness what was only suspected until this moment in time. "We need Hopwood!" Conor yelled out to anyone. Everyone.

Segan had worked his way over to his brother to help out there while the Hennigan lads that had been with him met up with others related. The archers were not shooting right off because the game plan changed and had them running to new positions that brought them up the trees to better aim. The multitude was daunting but they would continue no matter. When a group cut off their way, they were down and moving fast to another location to start up again. It was a good plan that had them dancing with the devil when so outnumbered. Segan took down one of the men on Eion as they had not retreated. He was down into a crouched position next in a natural response to the vibrations rolling over the ground around them. "More coming.." warning before he realized who was coming after the first wave to be a wave of their own. "We need to get Hopwood," as he charged off to swing up onto the back of a abandoned steed.

"Thanks, brother mine." Eion grinned at Segan then turned in time to fend off another attack. He had two seconds for a breather when Segan said about more coming but they were friends of Conor and Irishmen besides. He let out a whoops as more men came. Brady was fighting a younger man, making him retreat with the blows the elder Quinn was giving. "Get 'im, Segan! Bluidy coward!" Eion yelled and turned to face still more men, these ones filled with bloodlust. They weren't going to worry about a few peasants were they? Big mistake as those pitchforks and other weapons waded into the fray.

Splattered with blood, English and his own Irish, Conor fought through with no time to register more than survival and the survival of his kin. A quick sweep of the layout marked Segan, and Eion, there was Brady and David...Ro, KT, check...where was...ah, Billy-O. Auburn heads dotted here and there, letting the English have what for. Griffin, huffing it out with a younger man off to the side. Right in his face as he turned to find Pa Henningan, and he barely had the time to raise his sword in defense. Downed men made foot placement dangerous but a stumble, a large step over, managed to keep most in this mini-war. Conor bumped into someone behind him. "Good day to'ya, Conor." The greeting was between grunts and gasps for breath as blows were administered and fought off. "Mister McEachern." Conor was doing the same, the clang of metal against metal blending with his words. "Good to see you."

Seeing his brother taking on another without any more difficulties, Segan was off. He too checked to see were Conor was, in the midst of fighting where he did well. He rode hard and fast through the density of horseflesh and riders, avoiding the swing of a sword to the point he went down against the side of his stallion to avoid it. The hunting knife was no good here but his riding skills were. He had caught sight of the Coward Hopwood trying to sneak away when it was realized he was losing. Luckily the horse had spirit as Segan urged him on to give all he got until the trees were a blur, face against the mane as it whipped either side of his face. Hopwood looked over his shoulder to see the one coming faster than he was moving. Big mistake to look over his shoulder to start! Next moment Segan was flying from his thundering beast to tackle Hopwood from his. Hopwood went flat on his back knocking the air out from his lungs with the ground slamming from behind and the weight of Segan from atop. It was the right hook, however, that turned off his lights. With a much needed intake of air into his own lungs, Segan was up and dragging the man by his collar as he started back to the group.

With the arrival of Conor's three friends, the running away of Hopwood, and the Irish all jumping into the fight, it wasn't long until those still able to run, ride or crawl of the English were running for their lives. Eion sent one young lad on his way by a boot to the rear, then he was over to check on Brady. "We did it," Brady wheezed then laughed. "And with the help of the Hennigans." Yeah, there'd be a couple prime calves running around the Hennigan stead come spring. Brady sat and let out a whuff of air. "Getting out of shape, I'm thinking." "You did Grandda Jaxon proud, Uncle." Eion chuckled and straightened. Good Lord, Aunt Sarah and the girls would be thinking the Quinn men had taken more damage then they had. A few of the younger Hennigans were lobbing rocks at the retreating English, and shouting out taunts and threats. Eion stepped out into the yard to check to see where everyone was. And that's when he took an arrow to the shoulder. It went straight through, the tip sticking out the other side. One last attack by the retreating men. "Shit." Was all he got out before he went down on one knee, hand braced on the ground, the other at his shoulder.

The youngest of the Quinn boys dropped to his knees and then sat back on his heels, blood smeared sword over his thighs. Ro had gone over to Morgan, their heads close in discussion. KT and BillyO were flipping bodies, checking for injuries or casualties. David came over to Conor and placed a hand on his cousin's shoulder, then jerked away, causing Conor's eyelids to open immediately. David was racing toward Eion...who was skewered by an arrow in the shoulder. "Holy God." Conor scrambled to his feet, leaving his weapon behind as he charged off after David toward his brother. He didn't even look for the source, but three of the Hennigans were hotfooting it after a retreating cluster of men. He skidded to a halt and dropping to his knees for that final slide in front of Eion. David was also down beside him, grabbing hold of his good arm to keep him up. "Let's get you inside, Eion. Can you walk?" Conor jerked his gaze from studying Eion over to David after the cousin asked that question. "Jeezus,'s his arm, not his leg." The younger swiveled around and put a hand to Eion's back. "This is going to leave a sexy scar, Eion." Conor rose to his feet. "We'll get you a little liquid courage, Brother Mine, and that bastard will slip out like a greased pig at a festival game." Dang, this was going to hurt like hell!

"A present," wry grin as he dropped the unconscious man at Brady's feet with Griffin near him. "Where the bloke should be, licking your boots clean." Except the excitement distracted him with a whipping glance in that direction. One that had him on the run in the next instance. "Get him inside so we can see to it." Which hopefully would alert the women to prepare a spot. Being Conor reached him before he could and with David's help to haul Eion within, he got to the door to get it open and called out to the women to prepare for an operation. Then a comment over his shoulder, "You'll have Daireann fussing over you for weeks to come." Which had the pang of hope that this would be over and they could return.


Date: 02-02-12
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 36

After the Battle

"You're all damn funny." Eion grunted, trying to ignore the pain without much success. He damn well hoped the Hennigan lads got the sonov... "I can walk and Dairenn will likely fuss at me for getting hurt first." Or Herself would. One step, two steps... he was more then a bit woozy but he was damn well going to walk into the house. "Make sure it's a lot of damn courage. Not a bit." Brady in the meantime, called out to Conor's friends. "Help me get this one into the shed. We'll talk to him after I'm sure Eion's all right. Then come in and have a drink." Of several. That invitation was extended to Lord Morgan.

KT lifted a hand in thanks for the offer, and everyone, including the Hennigans, were eager to get the site cleared up so that they could take Brady Quinn up on his offer. Whether he meant the auburn headed crew and the lot of volunteers or not. But knowing Brady Quinn, and most of them did, he would have emptied his store of potcheen and sent out for more after a fight like tonight. Since Ro was the closest he came over and helped Brady heft the Englishman's henchman, hauling the man with feet dragging behind to that very shed. "I've got this Mister Quinn, you go see to your nephew." And Callum sure did have 'this' even though BillyO hurried over to hook a shoulder under the armpit of the limp man to take over for Brady. "We promise not to have too much fun until you get back, Brady, aye?" BillyO chuckled through his words, offering a respectful nod to the laird of the Quinn clan. Phillip Morgan would follow behind the 'two with prisoner' just to make sure things remained copasetic in the meanwhile. Inside, Conor cleaned the kitchen table with a quick collection of any odds or ends on it, then accepted the quilt brought down by his aunt and, with a flourish, spread it across the wide, flat surface. No comforts of cushion or mattress. This was hard core, right at working level, able to strap down if needed, close to water and towel access ... ready.

"You want me to take it out Bucko?" Segan flashed Eion a grin from over his shoulder as he washed his hands up good. Next he cleaned that very hunting knife that had taken a few lives and was over to temper it in the flames of the cooking hearth where a pot of water boiled as well. "Did they take care of that Scoundrel?" Addressed to Conor being he was in after he was. The blade was turned over to heat the other edge before removed from the flame and dipped into a basin of cold water. It was now sterilized.

It was Brady who was last in, clapping a hand to Conor's shoulder. "Conor's friends are seeing to him." And if they wanted to start questioning, that was fine with him. Eion gritted his teeth, as with David's help, he set on the table. The arrow had gone straight through, with the head sticking out through Eion's shirt. "Aye, get it out of there." He was bleeding already so what did it matter? Accepting a bottle of potcheen from Brady, he took a long, loooong drink from the bottle. Nothing like the pure to help matters. Then he handed it off to Conor. "Pour it on." Might as well clean it all off. Hopefully Sarah could salvage both quilt and table.

Conor nodded to Eion, taking the bottle. "All right then, Eion Quinn. Lay you down on your good side. No reason to have you passing out cold on us and falling onto the floor." The youngest helped the eldest to get situated, leaning him back a bit so that they could strip off the shirt, and cut the fabric from around the site. "Oooh, nice looking." Conor actually physically cringed with the sight of that barbed end protruding from Eion's muscle and flesh. He forced a swallow and then took a deep breath. "Draw it in, Brothermine, because this is going to burn like fuck." Before Eion could even respond, Conor lowered his weight of hip to his brother's good arm stretched out on the table, tossed back his own swallow and then ... poured.

After the shirt was removed, torn off being it was no long good anyway, Segan got a hold of the shaft close to where it met bloody flesh. "Grit your teeth hard, this is going to hurt you more than me," trying to add humor but he was doing the deed of slicing off the end that with the feathers et all attached. Once that was done, he reached over to run the blade over the flames and before Eion could react, he pulled the shaft the rest of the way through. Being it came through clean, he didn't need to do any digging and so cauterized the back opening with the tip of his blade. He was eying his brother the while as he wiped the bloody blade off on the clean white towel left there before running it through the flame again. "One more time..." given in warning.

First he had to deal with the burn from the potcheen but that helped numb it some. Even so, he cursed in Gaelic from the burning. Then came the rest. "Nothing to bite on? Just wait, Segan... " He might threaten and growl but Eion appreciated his brothers more then he could tell them. The yell came out more a howl of pain, probably scaring the bairns upstairs. The second? Eion didn't feel it. He was out cold.

Scaring the children and the women, hell, that response caused Conor to flinch and grit his teeth. He shot a look from one sibling to the other until Eion was silent. "Thank God." Conor wheezed, watching Segan close things up now that Eion wouldn't feel a thing. "Maybe we should have knocked him out to begin with." He looked toward the door where a few of the Hennigan brothers stood, witnessing the scene. "Bet we could have gotten volunteers."

"Aye," all the better as he first cleaned up the wound to make sure there were no shards, none were found and soon the skin was seared together and the bleeding to stop. "Aunt Sarah, if you have any of the medicated salve." Which she was right there waiting as Segan grinned taking it. Enough was applied before he was up and Auntie took care of the rest bandaging both sides then wrapped around his chest and up and around over his shoulder. "I think we would have been insulting him if we knocked him right out to start." He as sure Eion would deny the need. "He'll be like new in a couple of weeks and hopefully home by then.." all the while he was cleaning off his knife which was then slid into its sheathe that hung from his belt. A chuckle came with a nod to the Hennigan lads, "you'll have to earn it.." which was all fair.

Mutterings and chuckles were Segan's reply from the Hennigans, but when they saw Eion was okay, they each turned and made their way out. No doubt to report to their Pa. What was Pa Hennigan's name anyway? Conor wasn't sure he had even ever known. Conor stood from where he held down Eion's other arm and, with a tilt of head, studied his unconscious brother. He was all wrapped up tighter and prettier than a Christmas package. Conor offered Aunt Sarah a smile of thanks, then looked to Segan while he cleaned off his weapon. "Help me get him somewhere soft?"

Brady nodded his approval, then slipped outside to see what was happening there. Some of the men who had been helping had taken away the English dead and wounded and were tending to their own wounded. He wasn't sure where Pa had gone but he'd be searching the man out soon enough. Instead, he made his way toward the shed, just to have a look at what was happening.

"Aye, you take the high road and I'll take the low road and together we can get him onto the couch in the next room. Rather than put him upstairs and have him bellowing for this or that once he is awake." With a strong grip he had Eion's legs and ready to go as Conor got the head and shoulders. He was also listening for any tidbits on Hopwood, any of the wounded, and the cleanup going on outside.

Inside the shed, Hopwood had been perched on a crate, tied with his arms behind him to the center mast of pole holding up the roof. Rohan was close to his face, meeting the man's scowl, growled out words shared between them. BillyO was off to the side, leaning to a stack of hay bales with a foot braced on the side of Hopwood's crate. For all appearances casual and calm, he was chewing on the end of a piece of that straw. KT had collected a pitchfork, the prongs resting against the wood planks of the floor, his arms crossed over the handle, his head dipped slightly to the side resting on his shoulder, listening. As was Phillip Morgan as he stood to the other side of Hopwood, a frown pulling his brows tight. At first the man had refused to speak, but didn't Callum have a special way of persuading someone to do what they didn't initially think they even wanted to. This is what Brady would walk into.

As Brady stepped inside, he studied the scene before him and nodded. Looked like the lads had it all under control. He stepped closer to Morgan, lowering his voice as he spoke. "Have you learned anything?" He was hoping his nephews would not have to face the Englishman again. But if they would, so be it. Either way, the man would answer for what he had done.

Once they had Eion on the couch, and Mary Ailish putting an afghan over him, Segan started to retreat, "let me know when he wakes up." One glance to Conor before he was back out into the kitchen then outside heading for the shed. He earn the right to see what went down after being accused and thrown in jail. He was quick to slip in and take up a spot in the back with a stance that had arms folded and feet slightly spread apart.

Phillip turned to Brady when the man spoke. "Indeed, Mister Quinn. This man has been forthcoming in all manner of information. For one, it was under the direct order of Lord Cunnyngham that they come here to do bodily harm and property damage. There was to be no quarter given. You had, after all, stood against him when he wished to purchase your lands outright." Phillip didn't know Segan, but recognized the resemblance to this Quinn and to Conor. He offered him a nod of acknowledgement. "And more, he has worked directly with said Lord for confiscating numerous properties, peacefully and with force when necessary." Hopwood squirmed on his makeshift seat. "I won't admit to saying that!" He barked out. Bravado. Alas. Callum had straightened to listen to Phillip, but when Hopwood spoke, he turned his head to settle his gaze back on their prisoner. His hand lifted and he patted the man's cheek, with a bit more emphasis than necessary. "Shhhure you will."

"Lord ... he didn't call himself when m'boys went to see him." Well, now, wasn't that a surprise. Still the information given made him nod and cast an eye toward Hopwood. "I'm thinkin' you'd be wise not to cross these men." He liked Conor's friends! He nodded at Segan then asked Lord Morgan another question. "So, what do we do with this information?"

Segan gave a nod to those he realized where his brother's friends. A knowing look with that slight dip of his head before blue eyes were on Brady. "What shall we do with the Bloke, bury him where he'll never be found?" If that were put to vote, Hopwood would be sure on his demise if he wanted to continue down the road he was taking.

At the moment, in this situation, away from the gaming rooms and the whore houses, Phillip Morgan was all business. His eyes widened a bit with Segan's suggestion. "Goodness no, Captain Quinn." Since he had learned Eion was the one that took the arrow, this had to be Segan. And then to answer both, he indicated Hopwood with a cant of head. "This man will return with me to England, where he will bear witness to the deeds perpetrated by Lord Cunnyngham." Phillip looked to Callum. "And he will bear witness." BillyO gave his foot a shove and rattled Hopwood's seating arrangement, causing the man to curse under his breath. Ro offered Lord Morgan a dip of head as agreement. Phillip continued. "When Conor delivered your missive to me, and I to his Majesty, we were in need of more than just a landowner's concerns. After all, we all know that in Ireland, tempers can run hot and the smallest issues are soon exploding with volcanic intensity." Callum snorted out a comment under his breath. Lord Morgan smiled slightly and turned his eyes to that particular Irishman. "Did you have something to add, Mister Rohan? I may be born and bred English, hold the titles of England, but I'm an Irishman at heart, to be sure." "Aye, Lord Volcanic Intensity." Ro bowed at the shoulders, chuckling under his breath. Phillip narrowed his gaze on the man, but there was no hostility there, before looking back to Brady. Back ... to business. "Excuse the interruption. As I was saying, Conor suggested I come and see for myself. It was agreed. And I have seen...and heard...and will now bring this all..." He made a roundabout motion of hand toward Hopwood, including him with that 'this all'. "...back to the King. I will also send my own men out to collect Lord Cunnyngham, until a final decision can be made. You should have no further disruption to your everyday lifestyles, unless of your own making of course."

Brady listened, smiling at the interruptions but then he nodded. He was glad to see this all come to an end. His nephews had been away from home for far too long. "Then, we'll leave this all in your capable hands. Eion is resting but I can offer you the hospitality of my house." He was going to have a party, inviting everyone who had helped, including the Hennigans, before the three left though. He knew his wife and daughters would hate to see the lads leave. So would he.

That only had a swift wide grin, "aye, let the English take care of him. There are things worse than death." And Hopwood would know how the English tortured their own that stepped on any of the royal toes. "I would like to be sharing a drink with you all." The glance paused more on the trio that were Conor's friends. A friend of his brother's was already a friend of his. They earned the celebration of victory this day and of going home again.

"Aye!" KT agreed with a laugh, swinging the pitchfork around and moving to hook it back to its nail. "Like English cuisine. Any man that puts spotted dick in his mouth..." And he left it at that. "Meet us in town, Captain." BillyO broke in, giving Segan a two fingered salute off his temple. "We need to see this bit of garbage back, but following, you and your brothers...and your Uncle..." A twitched wink and nod for Brady. "...and a goodly number of shots would make for the perfect ending to this venture." Considering the number of dead and wounded, and that the majority of them leaked English not Irish blood, it was a darn good night.

Brady let out a laugh, then inclined his head to Lord Morgan. "You're always welcome here, and you three as well. Now, I'm going to see to Eion, and to getting my ladies settled down." He wanted to make sure everything was as cleaned up as possible and that might while mean he'd be up the rest of the night. Who could sleep after all this? Out the door he headed, first to the house, then to work.

"Aye, I'll be following you in. Got a ship to check in on and have the crew make her ready." He was sure Conor would be going with him and possibly Brady would see to brining Eion in if he woke up and expressed the interest. Well, that is if he could get past Aunt Sarah in convincing her. He needed to get his horse ready so with a nod he was out the door in Brady's wake. He would catch up with Conor and check on Eion before departing.

Conor remained with Eion, practically counting his breaths as he was squatted by the couch, just staring at him. He didn't need to worry or think about Hopwood, confident he was being well tended to. There was another time, not under this roof, but under another Quinn roof, when Eion lay wracked with fever, in and out of consciousness and his youngest brother starred, with concern, unmoving. His mother had come and gone, tending to the cold cloths, the tonics, the poultices to hopefully bring the heated flesh to normal. And still yet, the youngest ... lingered. With concern. Unmoving. ---I'm sorry!---

Eion's eyes fluttered as if he felt that watch and finally opened. Though blue eyes were dull with pain, they focused on the younger brother. "Ah, that's no' th' face of a angel." Eion spoke as if his tongue were swollen but he was smiling. "So I'm still alive. What's happenin' now? Is there still fightin'?" Ugh. When did he drink cotton?

At that very moment that Eion spoke up, coming back to life, Conor would feel the clamp of a strong hand to his shoulder. "There is no keeping a good Quinn down.." chuckling with the comment that came from Eion. "Aye, it be so unless you had your angel here." Meaning the man's wife. Something that almost happened to him but then life decided otherwise through no fault on either. "We're going out for a pint, want to come? Going to meet these men our brother has as friends.." grinning the while but he was checking for signs of any fever or the like. "Although you've had a bit o' the drink already soaked into that wound."

"But his angel isn't here, only us, and he'll be right as rain before she even gets a glimpse of him." Conor had looked up to Segan when he felt that touch, but he couldn't help but bristle with the mention of Eion's wife. All lovey dovey. Smoochey. Huggy. Dang, Segan. Conor stood slowly, brushing off his thighs as he did, like the position had added those blood stains and not the fight. "If you need help to change, Eion..." Conor thumbed over a point to Segan. "He's your man. I'll just be a few to make sure Uncle Brady has everything he needs, and all is as it should be, then I'll join you."

He listened to them and chuckled, then squinted at Segan. "Aye, but I'm going to need some help getting up until I figure out how to maneuver." He paused though and looked from one brother to the other. "If I haven't said so yet, I couldn't wish for better brothers. Now get me up so we can get out of here before Aunt Sarah catches us." No wound would keep a Quinn from drink, but an Aunt, wife or Gram. Aye, those would!

He was the man to do it. "Well, first let's get you a shirt to cover that all up now that the bleeding has stopped or one of those wool sweaters." Which Aunt Sarah had brought a couple choices down that had been set to a chair near the couch. He too would do a quick change before they left for certainly blood stained was not in style, least not at the better places. He had a feeling a better place would be the choosing and just as well as he had enough of fighting and killing for one night. So he would help his brother get on what he wanted to wear before washing up and putting on clean clothes too.

It was Conor's turn to ease out to the shed, a few words shared with his friends, thanks, promises, this that the other, and then he returned to find Uncle Brady. Thanks. Promises. This that and the other. Then Conor was up the stairs to rid himself of the grime, the blood, the foul aftertaste of battle. A silent prayer lifted. Thanks. Promises This that and the other.

A shirt and clean pants were what he needed. Sarah had seen to the cleaning up even while Conor was there and damn if Eion wasn't stark naked under those covers. He hoped that Sarah had chased her daughters away, or at the least, Mary Ailish! Once he had those on, and while his brothers were making themselves presentable, he sneaked out to the kitchen to get his boots. Took a bit of a tussle, but he got them on. And managed to steal a bit of bread to appease his belly.

Eion would find out soon enough if any comments were made. Eventually. Certainly. They were Irish. All cleaned up, he was back down to an awaiting Eion and Conor, "what are waiting for?" And hoping Eion was really up for this but then ... he was Irish. Drinking was involved. Good time with good friends and those yet to be made. He too grabbed a few biscuits to appease until they got back for they could be sure that Aunt Sarah would keep some warmed up for them. They could take the buckboard in, much like how they had arrived and far easier on Eion than trying to have him ride.

Conor pulled on a short, wool coat as he hurried down the stairs. No denying his haste to be out and on their way. Irish guilt could weigh heavy and if Aunt Sarah caught them dragging Eion out this close to injury, they'd be catching a barrel of it too hefty to bear. He turned as he passed the kitchen door, still on his way toward the front, and jogged those last few steps backwards. "Biscuits later, boys...lets go."

He trusted his brothers to see to getting him back home if it was too much to handle. And expected the drinking to dull the pain of the wound. Grinning at Conor and Segan, he grabbed for his cloak rather then a coat. Be easier to get on. "Hurry. I think I hear Aunt Sarah coming down stairs." They'd no sooner be in the wagon when they'd hear her call out for Eion. And down the lane when she called out the door for Brady. David had been left behind but they'd make it up another day. He was laughing as he settled in the wagon. "Feels like when we were kids, sneaking out."

No worries, David had his own succor...he was married...and had his wife at 'hand'.

Too late, Segan was grinning around the biscuit shoved him his mouth. A couple more in his pockets as he ushered Eion out with help. Help in a way it would look none the wiser to his wound. David might get some hell if he went out drinking with the boys! They were well on their way when he offered over one of those flaky buttery biscuits to Conor. "Can't have you go drinking on an empty stomach and passing out in front of the Hennigan faction." He was sure they would find them wherever they ended up.

Conor took the biscuit, looking down at it then over to Segan. He was .. kidding...right? After all these voyages of heaving that left him empty of all but his good intentions and then the drinking that followed on that emptiness a biscuit....why the hell not. The youngest took the short time needed to enjoy the taste and texture of one of their family's best kept secrets. Their biscuits. It did feel good though, the three of them, that adrenaline rush of having to make it out and away in time. Not that they didn't have one hellova' tidal wave of adrenaline just hours before, but maybe it was because of the lingering thrum of battle, and the need for release, that spurred on this current state of excitement. It did feel like they were youths again. And it felt good! Conor let out a 'Whooop' into the night air, the sound echoing around them.

Eion was just glad to be alive after the events of the day. What a tale they'd have to tell. "You know, Conor, we haven't heard what you thought of the English court or London. You'll have to tell us when we're on our way home. At least, when you're not heaving your guts out over the side of the ship." He looked at Segan and grinned. "Then we can re-live our adventures here for you." He wasn't worried about seeing the Hennigans tonight. If there was any fighting, Eion was well out of it. And any English skulking around would find themselves in trouble right quick.

After Conor let out his whoop, he let out a battle cry that almost harmonized in a way. It felt good but it also felt better that they would be getting back home finally and what a story they had to tell. "Aye, we can swap stories, embellish some too if you want." Which in this case, they didn't need to! It wasn't long until they reached the Winding Down Inn and Pub just on the outskirts of the harbor. A place that didn't get any-and-all that spilled out from the guts of the never ending ships that sailed in and out. "I have a feeling these friends of yours will be interesting to meet and perhaps they will share how they caught up with you." Reining in the horses before he was down leaving them in the care of one of the lads that took care of such for a coin. He slapped his hands together. "Ready?" with a slight upnod of his chin towards the closed door. It looked like the place was closed but they knew it was not, just selective as to whom they let in after hours. It was late at this point.

Conor swatted at the crumbs, what few there were and gave a quick nod of head to Segan. Afraid his brother might be disappointed with the whole meet up and hang story. With the brothers gone on to find their lives, and Conor's life deep in leather and work, what time he could find, he found himself in the pubs. And so were the three. Each for their own reasons. History from there was set in stone. "I'll get the first round." He laughed, intent on that entrance.

Any story would be interesting. It was a part of what they didn't know about Conor's life once they had left. He managed to get down from the wagon on his own, refusing help if offered. Pausing to catch his breath, he also made sure he had his pouch of coins yet. "Then I'll get the second." It was going to be a long night, probably a longer day tomorrow when the painkiller wore off. They likely wouldn't remember half of what happened. Only that it had been worth every drop drank.

Segan took up the rear to make sure Eion got in all right. Place was full too and a lot of them were the Red Top Hennigan clan. The night was going to prove interesting as history is rewritten.


Date: 05-02-12
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 37

The Submersible

Segan had been missing in action for a few days. To the point his brothers might wonder where he was, what was keeping him. It was not like there was any female interested in him that might have snatched him away. The best place to find a Captain would be at the port. Evening was settling in, red sky on the horizon mixed with light blues making purple streaks. A beautiful sight as the waves rolled in continuously beneath reflecting those colors as if alive. A normal sight for a quiet spring night. Breeze was warm that flowed in off the ocean as the seagulls still dive-bombed for scraps left by those milling about or what they could steal off any of the ships.

Conor wouldn't have noticed if Segan had been gone for the entire month. The amount of work that had awaited him once they returned had held him prisoner, though willingly so, within his shop. He had reached a point, though, that one more stitch, one more stretch of leather, had been enough. Better to just walk away. Breathe. And return again later ready to immerse himself into the means to his finances. Whether or not Segan had any female interests wasn't even a thought. What was a thought...he pondered on...while he strolled along the walkway in front of the many shops that lined the dock.

Eion had been spending as much time as possible with family when he wasn't on the training field or performing his duties as a knight. Part of those was still wandering the dock areas, though his days working undercover were mostly over. He spotted one brother as he strolled along the docks and put a hand on Conor's shoulder. "So, you've emerged for some fresh air. Shall we see what our Captain brother is up to? " He knew Segan's ship was in port. Time to collect that brother.

Once down near pier number 9, they would notice the familiar form of their brother standing out on a rock ledge overlooking the bay where commercial buildings ended. He had a spyglass in hand and the direction, if followed, was the sight of his former ship crashed upon the rocks out a good distance. A giant skeleton at this point, with ripped sails snaking out with the breeze. The main mast broken in half and only one of the smaller ones still intact. Half of it was under water as it slanted up at a forty five degree angle. It was wedged there as if one had carved it out of the rock itself. Such had been the impact during the Hurricane. He was giving coordinates to his second mate who committed all to memory before Segan folded up the spyglass and turned. The second mate was off to give the orders, two of the dinghies from the Anaconda II to head in that direction yet giving the cut off cliff a good berth. It was then as he started down to the pier that he caught sight of his brother and hailed-waved them over.

That clap of hand on his shoulder caused Conor to stiffen, but the voice was familiar so he just lifted his head from that deep thought and smiled over to Eion. "He is up to what he is always up to, wouldn't you think? Something that involves...salt water." Shudder. But Conor nodded all the same, finding Segan was as good an option for the evening as most. "Ah...and lookie there." Conor raised a hand to return the acknowledgement from the Captain who shared their blood.

"Aye, there he is." Eion grinned at Conor. "Hopefully we'll have no more problems anywhere that involves sea travel." He headed on toward Segan. "Herself has been asking about you. Best present yourself soon or she'll be headed down here to look for you." Whether Mary actually had been asking about Segan or not, didn't matter. Eion said it for the reaction.

It was only the mention of Herself that had this Captain squirm some. Only one that could have that effect. "Aye, been busy but I think the story will have Grandmother forgiving my absence." He missed out on the best of meals too. "I've been to see the Alterians, Mellan and Hugh in particular." Which he had mentioned to them, the pace kept would have his brothers keeping at his side along the pier. It was once the 9th pier was reached that he indicated a small barge anchored out a short distance holding the strangest contraption. An invention that had him in awe and an explanation that went over his head, all he knew was that it worked. It looked like a large glass bubble with two pontoons either side with perpendicular flaps at the ends. It was made of some alloy he had not heard of before but it was lighter than steel, stronger too. Inside was a dashboard with levers and buttons to push that he was shown how to use and what each did. He had yet to try it in water! That would be tonight, hopefully, as his men were first scouting the area and protecting it from anyone not authorized to be in that particular area now marked off.

The youngest meandered along in the wake of his older brothers, not exactly focused. His shirt sleeves were rolled up to mid arm, his hands in his pockets, his head dipped...hearing, semi-listening. It wasn't until their steps came to a pause that his head and attention jerked up and then out. What in the bloody ffff.... "That's the strangest damn thing I've ever seen." He muttered under his breath. And obviously he wasn't the only one that felt that way. A crowd had begun to gather to look over the water and study the Alterian strange-ity.

That contraption had Eion staring as well. He hadn't heard of this plan for salvaging Segan's ship so the eldest was slightly confused. "What in the devil is that?" He glanced at Conor and chuckled. "I'd say I agree, Conor." And he looked toward Segan for enlightenment. Seems the folks gathering were interested as well, and a few comments could be heard as they tried to figure it out.

Which had him chuckling, "pretty much my first reaction but I'm assured that it not only works but efficiently. Mellan and Hugh are there for they want to see it tested out here in these waters. They have plans to visit some island where there is other treasure buried of importance to them." Probably a lengthy story behind it that he might have time to listen to in its entirety some day. On that involved Captain Darren McCullen and the lass that had become nanny to his son. Something like that. "Want to see it up close? Want to try it out, Connor? Eion?" Eion was an inventor too so would probably be more appreciative. It was collecting a crowd on shore and on the piers, some vying for a prestigious spot to watch. They had to make their way through the gathering crowd and rowboat that would take them the short distance out to the barge that kept it from the crowd's access.

Conor continued to just stare as his brothers talked, but it was the question that jerked his focus back to Segan. "When you said it was a bubble, I didn't think it was a...bubble." He looked all around them at the people that started to press in. "I'm not even a fan of the salt water being on top of it ... I sure as hell don't wish to roll around underneath it. How can you be sure it is safe for as deep as you may need to go, Segan? You told me that it hadn't been taken to those depths before." Once every face appeared to be studied, Conor looked back to Segan. "You can bet my landlubbing ass that I'll be watching you sink beneath the surface from this very spot...not a single drop closer."

Don't think Eion hadn't noticed Conor's distraction but that could be asked about later. He looked at Conor then back to Segan. "How long has this been going on?" A nod was given to both Hugh and Mellan, though he was grinning at Conor's declaration. Not that he was surprised. "Have you tried it out yet?" He would but it only seemed right Segan go first. "They haven't tried it in deep water?" Hell, that didn't sound good to him and he didn't mind salt water at all.

He gave a shrug, "you would make history and being under the water is different than sailing above it. You'll have a better view from the barge." Else he may not see it at all. He too noticed his distraction as a lingering look held that curious and concern consideration. Conor might well think it was because of what they talked. Distracted by Eion's question as it was addressed as they reached the row boat that was ready and waiting for at least Segan. Plenty of room for them both and even two more if there were more. "They have tried it in deep water but not the ocean." Which should not prove a difference. "There are gauges that draw out in lines where things are hundreds of feet below you and ahead. They named it the Nautilus after Captain Nemo's ship.." chuckling as he climbed down into the rowboat and waited on his brothers to do the same. Now that Segan was on his way out, there was more activity on the Barge as they lowered the contraption into the water, it was on top which had the bubble where he could easily climb down into it. It seated two it turned out.

Conor wasn't kidding. Did Segan think he was kidding? He could see just fine from the pier, maybe not as well as from the barge, but barge equaled rowboat and rowboat equaled rocking passage. The youngest crossed his arms against his chest and nodded to Eion and then the small boat. "I'll keep the dock here all secure for when you two bob back to the surface."

Conor had that no-way-in-hell look and Eion was grinning at him. "Sounds like a good idea, Conor. Though, you sure you won't at least come out to the barge?" And he knew what that answer would be. He climbed down as well, settling on one of the seats. There was no point in forcing the issue was there? Conor did not like the sea, the ocean, or salt water lake, and that was that. He looked at Segan and shrugged.

It didn't surprise Segan on Conor's reluctance but it didn't stop him from being disappointed too. That showed no matter trying to mask it with a shrug. "You can buy us drinks later then." Like that would make up for it. Right... Wrong. It would only take them about ten minutes to get to the barge, it was only about 200 feet out from the pier. "Have you met Mellan and Hugh MacNeils?" Asked of Eion as they arrived. A short rope ladder made use of once arrived. Eion was going to as both were on their way over.

Conor had nodded off his agreement to that deal. He'd buy them drinks all night long, as many as his brothers could down, as long as they came back up...from being down. Segan would never understand the aversion to being in a boat, no matter its size. That was okay though. Conor didn't expect to be understood, but he damn sure would have appreciated the acceptance. That lacking, he would buy the drinks and that would be that as far as the youngest Quinn was concerned. "Crazy asses." He laughed softly, looking over to see a young woman standing next to him. "Oh...sorry." He cleared his throat, offered her a smile of apology then switched his attention back out to lock on the barge area.

"No, I've never had the pleasure." Hell, if Conor was buying drinks, Eion wouldn't argue. He climbed up the rope after motioning for Segan to go first, then waited for the MacNeils to reach them. "Eion Quinn." He offered his hand to Hugh then to Mellan. "Good to meet you both. That's quite a ... what do you call it?"

Nor would Segan, he might be disappointed but he accepted it. He went over to the bubble to check it out while Eion met the MacNeils.

"A submersible ship." Mellan answered when he shook the knight's hand. "After the trip to Captain McCullen's island, it seemed a good idea to create one." Mellan looked at the bubble and grinned. "And there she is."

"Hugh MacNeils and you can count on the Bubble being safe." He took Eion's hand in a shake, perhaps Eion might feel the unnatural heat there but wouldn't burn. "Why not try it out with your brother?" Giving him the opportunity to join his sibling.

If he did, Eion didn't react. There had been no end to unnatural since he came to Heathfield. Eion stepped back and eyed the thing, then shrugged. If anything happened, his family would be taken care of. "All right then." He lifted a hand to wave to Conor. Take care of the family, see to the arrangements. Aye, all that. And he was ready to uh... sail beneath the sea.

Segan was already in and waited on his brother as he was going as well. Huge grin as he joined him, this was yet another adventure for the brothers. At least two of them. This is what Conor and the others on the barge and along the pier and shore would see. The bubble latch which had been open for them to get in. Once in it was closed with a hydraulic sound of sealing the air in. Air was filtered through the water, taken in, purified and circulated through the chamber and back out. The Bubble moved along the top of the ocean until Segan reached the coordinates given him by his first mate. At that point the pontoons shifted straight up beneath the bubble having the flaps now as feet as it lowered itself down into the waters and out of sight. What transpired beneath would be later told by the two. It seemed about an hour before a buoy flag was sent up and the barge moved into place. A large metal arm swung out with grappling hooks which were lowered. Twenty minutes later they were reeling up a long metal box as seaweed and water rolled off. Once above the barge it was lowered and set on the deck. It was one of the pieces of cargo that held finely made weapons.

Conor dropped his arms, squinting out over the distance in an attempt to see better. He shifted to the right, then to the left, then a man moved up close and practically bumped him to get a better view of what was happening across the water at the barge. And...he had a spyglass! "Hey..." Conor said, reaching up and snatching the thing from the man. "Let me use that." He turned to face out again, bringing it up as the man started his protesting. "Ah, shut the hole under your nose, those are my brothers!" Some adventures were worth experiencing, others were just as comfortably watched from afar. The minutes ticked by as the bubble remained unseen and Conor might as well have been under the water without the contraption, because it felt as if his lungs would explode from restraining his breathing unconsciously until that thing'a'ma'bob-bob-bob bobbed back up. He blew out what air remained in his lungs then handed the spy glass over to the man, who had after all, stayed close for it to be returned.

Eion was a bit green under the gills as they came up from the water, but he had a huge grin on his face. No, he still hadn't trusted the thing, even with the reassurances given but there they were, alive! And Segan had managed to save something from the cargo. He looked toward the dock, waving like a mad man so Conor could see they were fine. "That... was amazing." He finally said as he looked at Segan. "I can't believe it worked."

Segan was exhilarated from the experience. What they got to see was a world inside their world that was purely amazing. Had one reflect on life and their existence in comparison. "I think it is time for a few drinks." giving a wave Conor's way as they evacuated the bubble with the help of Mellan and Hugh who took over from there. All scientific measurements with strange equipment or just without any. "Time tomorrow to do more." Of which his ships would continue their scouting with some equipment on loan from the Alterians for that purpose, locating areas with metal. He thanked the two but didn't keep them as they ware already distracted to checking all equipment and making measurements. To Segan, it worked. Cut and dry.

Conor nodded back to his waving brothers, as if they could see that gesture from the distance. He wasn't thinking about that though, he was just relieved to see them. He stuffed his hand in his pocket, just to make sure he had the funds to make good his part of this deal. All was good, soon it would be time to drink.

Eion chucked as he nodded agreement with Segan. He might never go in the thing again, but what was under the harbor was more then he expected. "Plenty of drinks." He chuckled, then shook his head. "You should get an artist to go with you, sketch it and paint it." Hmmm. There was a thought. And soon they'd be on their way to join the youngest.

There were a few reports for him to look over as their passage off the barge was detained a few moments here and there but finally they were both upon the pier and avoiding all the questions the curious onlookers had. Segan told them that the two aboard , owners of the Bubble, would be the ones to ask. Grin. Grinning too as a hand finally clamped down on the youngest's shoulder. "Time for those drinks."

Conor grinned right back. "Hellyeah." He added a nod and turned, shoulder shoving people out of their way.

"Where are we going?" Apparently it was somewhere that needed coins and not the Thistle. He chuckled as he watched Conor, then just followed.

Segan eyed one place than another further up. "Sparky's," giving a nod more to himself as they distanced themselves from the crowd. In fact they were finally where they could breathe without someone breathing down their necks. "So," without looking at his brother, this being Conor in particular, "what has your thoughts preoccupied?" Had to be that noticeable for Segan to notice!

Sparky's it would be then. Conor set the pace, lifting a hand in greeting to anyone that knew them. "Preoccupied? Me?" Well, shit, he almost passed right by that establishment so he had to backstep it a few to reach for the door. "Just have a lot of work since I've been gone, Segan. All of them special orders, since that's what I do." That's all Segan would be getting from him. At least, until the drinks started flowing.

Eion nearly walked into Conor when he backstepped then laughed and placed a hand on the youngest's shoulder. "Then you need this night out." He caught the door once it was opened, allowing his brothers to enter. "You need a hand at all, Conor?" He couldn't make saddles, but he could help stretch the leather.

Segan had stopped as Connor's obvious preoccupation, furthering his comment, had him stepping beyond, "aye, preoccupied.." giving a firm nod before a laugh escaped. Couldn't be helped at this point. "When have you not had a lot of work to do?" When had any of them not have enough work. Work hard. Party hard too. "You should get some help.." eyeing him with that concern consideration and the fact he wasn't accepting the veiled answer. The look given Eion all but said his thoughts as the three headed into Sparky's Pub and Eatery. It was descent compared to a few down closer to the Pier. Hogger, the nickname given the owner called his wife Sparky and at least she could cook. A little on the greasy side but in a good way.

Conor wasn't here for the vittles, he wanted...."Whiskey, set up the glasses, and keep them coming." He called to the tender behind the bar as the three came to stand there. A forearm rested on the wood surface and he shifted to adopt a lean as he looked to Eion. "Appreciate the offer, but I'm sure you've better things to do with your time than stretch leather. Especially since you've been away from your duties for some time. I'll manage. And yes." He canted his head in Segan's direction. "When isn't there a lot of work to do? It'll all smooth out soon enough." A twist of body and the payment for these drinks were placed on the counter under his hand, the coins were then slid closer to the tender's side than the patron's. "So? Were you able to see much? Or was it too dark that deep?"

He gave a slight shrug, knowing Conor wouldn't speak until he was damn good and ready, and they both knew it. That Quinn stubbornness touched each of them. "The offer still stands, Conor." He picked up one of the drinks but paused with the question. "It was the amazing. And you could almost touch the fish. I swear I saw a mermaid." Grin! And he took a drink.

"Bullshit." Conor breathed, although, from the sound of his response, he very much wanted to believe it.

"Not any women trouble?" Yeah.. Conor might switch topics but Segan had sunk his teeth into this in finding out if he could. There were always women around Conor and he didn't really want to say.. had he gotten one pregnant which would mean facing Mary. No. It would not go over well. "Aye, even I would lend a hand." And he would and he could. However, Eion's comment had him distracted, "best not tell Daireann about that one!"

He was still squinting in half-disbelief at Eion when Segan asked that question. Conor lifted his glass, tossing back a good portion of the liquid before he spoke. As he did, he tipped his glass toward Segan. "How's...that Callihan Captain, Segan? Regan?" Speaking of women trouble. Conor grinned, tilting his glass side to side, although the whiskey never got too near the lip. "Segan. Regan. Segan. Regan. Nice ring."

He chuckled as he lowered his glass. "Daireann would smack me for lying and then Gram would pull me ears." He look at Conor, a brow lifting, then he was looking at Segan again. Now, what was that all about?

"I'd say she's spending time with another Captain.." giving a shrug as he had accepted the somewhat interest to go flat on him. Not that he begrudged her or any she went with. "No ring to it at all." Words were low before he tossed back his drink. "Now, what of you? Perhaps that pretty little Native lass?" Lifting a brow as he sparred one back at him. Neither of them had been at the ball and he wasn't going there.

Conor wasn't invited to the ball. Hence. No Conor. The mention of Kuwan had him smiling. She was no trouble. She was the Forest Goddess. "Well, she's missing out on the best Captain out there. Her loss." Conor mimicked Segan's shrug and scooted his glass toward the tender for a refill. "And if the pretty little native lass you're speaking of is Kuwan, then you really can't use the word woman and trouble in the same sentence. Just don't go together, aye?" Glass filled, he brought it up to drink. If his thoughts were distracted, and if it was because of Kuwan, it wouldn't be women troubles. Period. On to a previous subject and off of the one he wasn't comfortable discussing with his older brothers. Especially after all the hell Conor had given them where females were concerned. "So I saw a crate come up. What did you find?"

"I have no idea what's in the crate, though Segan seemed pleased to find it." He was staying out of that word battle over women and enjoying his drink. Yep, best way to go there.

He appreciated the sentiment about any lass missing out on the best Captain out there but she didn't share the same view. Just one of those things and he didn't comment any more on it. If Conor wanted to get him to shut up, so be it. He started downing the shots. He could become just as tight lipped. It wasn't until the last question that he finally spoke up. "Part of my lost cargo, that on has various hand crafted weapons."

"Nice save then." Conor nodded, glad the conversation had shifted. Conor didn't want Segan to shut up. He wanted him to talk. That kept Conor from having to do it. "So I guess you'll be going down again?"

Again, Eion had little to contribute. "Where did you get them from, originally? What else are you going to collect?" Those came after Conor's question. He had wanted to ask before but the whole experience had him somewhat tongue-tied.

Segan was rubbing the back of his neck. An unconscious tick that happened now and then when agitated about something. He caught himself and used that hand to fill all their glasses again. "Caribbean," giving a slight shrug for he'd been to quite a few ports overseas on that excursion. An ill fated one. "Other goods," being vague for there were others about. Other ears. A few of them sailors. Unknown ones. And so the conversation would turn in a few different directions as the whiskey was consumed before they headed out.


Date: 07-14-12
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 38


The two saw the couple out and then returned to that patio of the back gardens. "Would you like another lemonade?" Oh, it was spiked with pure which blended in far too well of a kind that would sneak up on you. He was already over to the small bar setup and well stocked for when he came to relax here. Watch the birds or the rolling of clouds, the flowers that bloomed and even a nice size vegetable garden.

Chandra was still smiling from the visit, so pleased for her son and Nia. "Yes, I would," she answered as she came up beside him. She looked out over the garden, then back to him and smiled. "You need to explain yourself, Laird McDonough." She placed her hand on his arm, not even trying to look serious. She slid her fingers along his arm as she waited for the drink.

Brows lifted as he turned to give her a tall cold glass of the spiked lemonade. "I do?" Oh, he was playing dumb and she knew he was far from such. Once she took the glass he turned back to fill himself one and hide the grin tucked within the thick beard. "Maybe I should shave me beard for the summer?" Turning back around as he indicated the glider bench they had been sitting upon before Davin and Nia's arrival.

"Maybe." She laughed as she led the way, "and you know very well what I'm talking about." She sat and patted the bench beside her. "Double wedding? I'm surprised Davin didn't ask what you meant too, but I think he was far too happy to really consider it." She took a sip of lemonade, watching him with eyes that held a subtle fire.

Once she was seated, he set his glass aside to the table that would be within his reach once he sat. Instead of sitting, he exaggerated the pain of getting down to one knee in front of her like an old man would do. "Chandra, me darl'in would yea consider being me bride?"Adding the waggle of his brows and a wink of an ice blue eye. "Although, iffin you need permission of yea mother.." he was holding back the grin.

She watched him, laughing but when he spoke, her laughter faded and she smiled. "I think my mother would tell you to sweep me away quickly since she worries I'll be hanging about her house until I'm gray and bent over." Not that Mary Quinn would ever say that! But she knew her mother would be very pleased. "And I would be honored to be your wife, Maurice. I love you with all my heart." And she leaned forward, after setting her glass on a side table, to wrap her arms around him. "And I promise to make you as happy as you've made me.

"That can be arranged." Once her glass was set aside, he was up without effort to bring her up into his arms. The proposal and acceptance would be sealed with a kiss. A long, breathtaking one. Somewhere during, she was eased back to her feet "As I love you," finally stated but the mere fact he asked her to be his wife said a lot. He had been single a very long time, too many years to count only because he waited for the right one this time around. "Aye, and I'll keep yea to your promise," that added with the devilish look coupled with the waggle of his brows again. "The next question is," guiding her down to sit next to him as he spoke, "is when. Do you wish to wed before your son and go to his wedding as parents, or a double wedding, or, sometime after theirs?"

The kiss took her breath away, indeed! And she was still smiling with his words. A touch of a blush had her laughing as they sat again. She chewed at her lower lip in thought. "I don't want to take away from their wedding, though I doubt anything would at this point. She made a face then sighed. "But I don't know if I can be patient to wait after." But neither Davin nor Nia seemed adverse to a double wedding. "This is a lovely dilemma you know." And it was! What could be better then deciding when to get married?!

"Aye, I think we'll have a small ceremony in a week's time." That would solve it as they were older and this was not their first marriage. It would have all the meaning marriage held without the need of bells and whistles. "How does that sound to you?" An arm slid around her shoulders as the glider was set into subtle motion.

"That sounds marvelous." She snuggled against his side after picking up her glass and taking a sip. "Although, just having our families there will make it large enough." She looked up at him again. "Have I ever said how glad I am my family returned to Heathfield. Because I am."

"I don't think you have, not in that way," thoughtful before the smile was back. "I'm sure glad you returned. What took you so long?" Teasing her as he would before draining his glass of lemonade. It was that kind of day that had one thirsty. Luckily he was use to the potcheen. He set the glass aside as he took up her hand, thumb caressing over her ring finger, "would yea like to wear me mother's ring or would you like a new one of your own?"

"To tell you? Or to come back?" She teased right back then looked down at their hands. "I think I would like to wear your mother's ring." She leaned her head against his shoulder. "It will make the day even more special, Maurice. I couldn't think of a more wonderful way to honor her memory." She sighed and closed her eyes a moment. "I'll go to the dressmaker's tomorrow too. It might be a small ceremony but Mother wouldn't be pleased if I wasn't dressed properly." And as soon as she was told, cooking would begin!

"Both, to tell me and the fact you came back, I'm appreciative of," obviously as he eyed her drink and wonder how much she had or if it was affecting her. He leaned in to steal a kiss before he was up and heading back inside. About fifteen minutes later he returned with a very antique ring that his father had made for his mother once he could afford one, and afforded a very expensive blue white flawless karat diamond. It was surrounded by tiny perfect pearls and two marquis diamonds going down the side of the ring. The main diamond raised in a delicate setting. There was the wedding knot around the ring base. It might even fit as he was over to slide it down her finger.

She hadn't drank much at all, just sipped some so she was still clear headed. The glass was placed on the table again when Ice returned and she held out her hand. It was a perfect fit. "It's beautiful, Maurice." She choked up as she looked at it, then hugged him, and of course, there was a kiss given as well since she was close to tears and couldn't say more.

It was still early enough in the evening, "shall we go tell your mother and cousins?" So they would be getting two good tidings this evening. They could give Davin and Nia enough time to announce theirs first.

"I love you, Maurice." She leaned back then nodded. "Aye, we should. Mother might dance in the kitchen for joy." She could just imagine Mary Quinn's happiness tonight. "But be prepared. We might be there until early in the morning." The Quinns were not ones to let an excuse for a celebration to pass by!

"Aye, then we shall go prepared.." which was followed by a deep chuckle as he was up to refresh their drinks. Once back, he handed hers off then took up the seat next to her. "The ring looks good on your finger. My mother would have been happy to see it there. Once we finish our drinks we shall head to your place." Which it was considered her place too and eventually this would be her place. "Have you ever thought about having more children?" She wasn't that old nor was he. They had both started their families young.

Very soon it would seem! "Shouldn't we tell your children as well?" She curled up beside him then nodded. "Yes, I have. I know some would say I shouldn't but ... I've thought more then once how it would be to hold a baby in my arms again." Her eyes were dreamy as she looked at him. "Would you mind having children now?" She knew ways to make sure it didn't happen, but if he said yes, she wouldn't use them.

"Aye, once we catch up with them.." which had him chuckle being Rory and Kia were the closest but they were off on vacation with their children. The glider was set into a slow comfortable swing as they talked. "Then we shall have one or two, god willing it." One child at a time but she was getting up in her years for child bearing. "I would not have asked." It would not bother him and Draven would no longer be one up on him! Not that such would be the basis for having any. It was mostly up to Chandra.

"Then we shall let the gods decide." She decided as she leaned her head against his shoulder again. She sipped her drink then chuckled. "Yes, when we catch up with them." She knew about the vacation of course, though it had slipped her mind for all the excitement. "Will we sneak off for a honeymoon?" She gave him an impish look, fluttering her lashes coyly before she finally laughed. Chandra was anything but coy.

"We shall go wherever you want, even to my tropical islands if you like. Europe, or just home. I may take you out places if you like, other kingdoms, you and I together." It was a thought, it was a few thoughts tossed her way.

"We have time to decide." She leaned up to plant a kiss on his lips. "Shall we take a little more time before we speak to my mother? Just for ourselves?" She kissed him again, then made a soft purring noise.

"On that note, aye, I think we can wait another hour before we head over. We'll be in time for them to feed two more." He knew they would have to eat there as it would be insisted upon. There was always extra made but if they knew enough ahead of time, it was easier on them. "Shall we go inside?" They might have the privacy of the patio but he never knew when a foreman or even one of his hired hands might show up.

"Aye, we should." She stood and offered her hand instead of the opposite. "Our own celebration before we go and give our news as well." A week only, and then they would be together for the rest of their lives.

He took her hand in his as he lifted but once to his feet he was quick to have her up into his arms and heading in. The cook was in the kitchen and the butler was out on the front porch talking to the gardener as he headed upstairs with her, no one went up there unless given permission after the maid had seen to the cleaning in the morning.

They might very well find themselves waiting until morning to make that short journey!


Post # 39


Post # 40


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