Since 1998 

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Quinn Cousins

Date: 03-08-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 41

The Royal Saloon

One of the owners recognized Jacob and was over with a huge smile, "good to see you again Mr Anderson, come with me, better accommodations," giving a wink the very pleasant fellow by the name of Drew Walters led them pass the crowds and jammed areas to a balcony area above the main room. "If you wish cards later, ask for the Blackwood room and that I sent you. Enjoy your evening," Giving Jacob a squeeze to his shoulder. Jacob couldn't help the smile for the pleasant surprise. He had hoped Drew was still a part owner of this establishment. It made it obvious he'd been here before and had been involved in such a way the man was very glad to see him. "Good to see you again Drew, if I can I will catch up with you before our mission is done here." Gripping his shoulder in like before released as Drew spoke up again, "I'm the owner and you have a room, a meal, anything you want when here." One of the tenders was shouting his name as he gave a quick bow of his head and was on his way hurrying through the crowds. One of the waitresses appeared from the back, one of the better looking ones and decently clad. "Here is the menu, Drew says you have whatever you want tonight on him." Which the young lady  was curious over but tried to hide it. This was one of the special rooms and there was bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice already at the one end of the table. A window that looked out onto the street and otherwise set apart from the rest of the restaurant area. He saw Mercy to a seat, nearer the window where it was safer than the aisle.

Liam was impressed and taking in the sights, sometimes half walking backwards and around before he collided with anyone. Once the man was over showing them off to a better section, free meal and all, he was grinning more as he repeated himself when Drew was off being called. "I really like this place." The mention of cards was tempting too. He took a seat across from Jacob and Mercy and looked over the menu the fine looking lady left them. He noticed she certainly checked the three of them out as it was obvious who Jacob was with. He gave her the once over and she didn't go lacking as the growing smile foretold. Perhaps she even modestly blushed but hard to tell in the dim lighting. "I'll have the land and sea platter, medium done for the steak." Knowing that would be asked. "Some Kilbeggan too."

Mercy wasn't surprised that Jacob knew someone here, in fact, she would have been surprised if he hadn't. She was trying not to laugh at the three, as well as not do the same herself. Thank goodness she had Jacob to guide her. Drew was given a warm smile as was the young woman who waited on them. She studied the menu then chuckled when she heard Liam. He certainly had decided quickly. "I think the sea food platter, and wine to go with it." She probably wouldn't be able to eat all of it but at least there was a good sampling there.

Ciar didn't know which way to turn, there was so much going on. He nearly bumped into Liam once, laughing when he stopped just inches then almost into another customer who just nodded at him when he apologized. The balcony was a welcome surprise and once Mercy was seated, he took a seat beside his brother. "I want a porterhouse steak, medium well, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and a bowl of clam chowder to start." If he wasn't full, he'd order dessert. "I like this place too." He muttered to Liam, watching the pretty lass as she took their orders.

Evan followed his brothers and friends in a sort of daze as they wound their way through the crowd, and finally to a table. He was still sort of off in his own world until the waitress came up to take his order, and then he blinked out of it. "Ah, steak for me, medium rare, mashed potatoes on the side. Thanks." Handing off his menu with some awkwardness across the table, for they sat rather tightly packed. He also realized his mistake and quickly added an order of whiskey for himself. Sitting back slowly, looking around while the others conversed and he awaited his order.

"I'll have the stuffed haddock with crab meat and a small lobster on the side." Which Jacob handed the waitress his menu as all had their orders in. "If you will excuse me, I will be back," getting up and taking his leave. He had noticed Drew was done with whatever the tender had needed him for and he was going to corner him for a little conversation while he waited on his food being delivered. Drew was a good source of discreet information.

Liam gave a quick up nod Jacob's way as he took his leave. The bottle of Kilbeggan having been delivered first he filled up a glass as he studied Evan. Concern would remain with a slight furrow of brow as he lifted his glass, "to good fortune in finding that which we seek in a timely manner." He also noticed a group of men at a table near the bar across the room; being the balcony room was set above the main floor and offered a bird's eye view of the place yet keeping them fairly obscured. There was something about them, the quick looks where Jacob and Drew stood talking just barely seen in the hall that probably led to the kitchen. He kicked back his drink following the toast and poured another to follow as if doubling the good omen.

She smiled as Jacob left then turned her attention to the others. Her glass had been filled and when Liam made the toast, she picked it up. "To good fortune." She took a drink, then placed her glass back down. She glanced down on the main floor, eyes narrowing briefly but there was nothing else to be noted about the men. "I'm glad you suggested eating somewhere like this. Better than a stuffy restaurant."

"I'll drink to that." The ale he had asked for as an afterthought was a good brew and went down easily. He leaned back and nodded agreement with Mercy. "If the food is as good as everything else, we should be well satisfied."

Evan nodded to the toast, lifting his own whiskey which had been delivered, and knocking it back in one clean shot. Right after he reached for the bottle to refill his glass. Bringing it back to his lips for a slower sip, he let his eyes roam about the place, lingering a moment on a group of men near the bar who seemed to be engaged in some intense discussion, before moving on idly to others.

Liam had a very protective, hot temper, nature at times. Times like this when he saw the glint of steel come out and two of the men from the table first got up looking like they were headed for the bar. Another two got up heading for the hall through the waves of people moving about. He knew that any action had to be swift as he was up so fast his chair tumbled to the floor behind him. Next he was vaulting over the balcony separating them from the room below. It was only abut ten feet as he landed on an unoccupied table before down and on the run to stop the men headed for the hall while gesturing to the bouncer of the ones headed for the bar. Two still at the table were starting to get up, hands placed like one that had it within reach of a hidden weapon.

Mercy blinked in surprise when Liam was suddenly up and jumping over the railing and she stood as well, though she didn't knock her seat over. "Trouble, lads." She said to the two still there. She stayed put, not wanting anyone to have to worry about her but Mercy could handle trouble if necessary.

"Wha... " One never knew when Liam was about to do something 'dashing' and apparently tonight was the night. He just gave Mercy a grin before he was following Liam over the rail. Instead of going to bar or hall, he headed for the two at the table, going for his own knife. "Why don't you two lads sit this out?" The suggestion was made knowing that those two would likely not listen.

Evan blinked as Liam was there and suddenly not, taking off for the growing brawl. Frustration welled within him, a rebellious thought of... couldn't they ever go out anywhere without getting into a fight? Muttering a curse beneath his breath, he jumped over the railing and moved to position himself between his two blood brothers in a triangle. Not sure where they'd need him, for now at least he could see them both there.  He pulled out his knife and waited.

There were even more of Wilmont's men about as all chaos broke out with Liam drawing attention to what was going down in that crucial moment. Milton Wilmont wanted to take Drew down for competition sake and a long history of hate between the families. He had gotten bold in coming to his saloon to do the dirty work through his thugs but he planned to plant terror in all associated that no one would point a finger out of fear. Fists started swinging, knives were brandish as one of the bouncers got stabbed before he could react. The first one they reached but the second and third had been alerted from the man flying down from the balcony drew their attention fast. So now they had a fighting chance as Liam reached the second one heading to the hall to tackle him down. Women started screaming, some scattering to get away while others joined in the brawl, some having no clue who were the good guys or bad, only that it was a fight.

Mercy leaned over the rail to watch, taking note of the two men who turned to face Ciaran. It looked like Liam had his hands fulls. A narrow stiletto was pulled from the fold of her skirt and she sent it flying into the arm of one of the men at the table. As he let out a howl, she leaned to see where Jacob and Liam were.

Ciar stepped forward to catch the arm of one of the men, twisting before he could draw his weapon. He used his elbow to send him to dreamland then looked at the second who was howling. A grin was sent up to Mercy and he took that one down too before he was heading for Liam and the others.

Evan was rapidly abandoning any hopes for a quiet evening of drinking. Landing on the ground with bent knees, no sooner had he lifted his knife arm than were attackers were upon him. He couldn't even tell which were the original instigators and which were simply men who'd joined in for the hell of it. He let out a growl as he turned his face, nearly meeting a fist but for his quick dodge. He dodged again when the man threw his other arm, then used the butt of his knife handle to slam into the man's head..... whose eyes rolled up before he crumpled to the floor. Whirling to meet another, Evan simply threw him aside into a chair, which collapsed like toothpicks beneath the stunned man. Evan was shouting for people to leave off, it wasn't their fight, but nobody seemed to be listening. The tension was running high and there were too many in here looking for a fight.

Liam rolled but landed a precise punch that had the man out cold. All the while there were customers streaming out of the place to get away while the sirens started outside and the guarda were on their way. Mass confusion but when the sirens started those that had just joined in for the sake of fighting abandoned the quest for they didn't want to land in jail. Milton's men, however were struggling to achieve what they set out to do, but because of the interference and a plan gone wrong they had lost their edge and became careless in their frantic. It was do or die for if they didn't achieve what they were sent to do, they were as good as dead. Of course Milton was not here but away in a secret place awaiting his men to return safely and a new regime to begin. Liam rolled just as a bottle came crashing down where his head had been, the assailant fleeing as he jumped up to his feet and sucker punched another of Milton's men who attackrf in the defense of his fallen comrade. Now he was fallen too.

Jacob put himself between Drew and the man coming down the hall with the knife in full view and intent on being used. Blocking his way he wavered in front of the man to the precise moment when he grabbed the man's wrist and twisting it down in a fast pace moved that brought the knife up and under to be buried in his stomach. Not a fatal wound but one that would put the man down and harmless. "I would say someone has left their calling card for you but failed, Drew." A few of the guarda getting as far as the hall made certain Drew was all right and the injured man dragged away. "We got the others and you can be sure Wilmont will be put behind bars this time." Assuring Walters they finally got the direct connections to bring that man to justice.


Mercy could see it all from where she was, except if Jacob and his friend were all right. Once the troublemakers were taken out and not seeing Jacob being carried away with injuries, she took a deep breath and sat down once more.  A smile appeared with the thought that there seemed to be excitement wherever they went, whether it was on purpose or not. She picked up her glass and took a sip of the wine as she waited for the others to return to the table.

Ciar gave Evan a grin as he retrieved Mercy's knife and wiped it on one of the fallen men's coat. His own was slipped away as well and he nodded to the guarda who took the men away. The place had cleared out some at least but he was still hungry and started for the steps that would take him back up to the balcony once he was certain Liam, Jacob and Drew were fine.

Evan didn't return the grin from Ciaran, he was still scowling and breathing hard as the fight slowly dissipated. He stood in defensive pose for a moment, knife up until it was clear that the fight was over and even the guarda had trickled away with their quarry in tow. Quick motions had him wiping off his knife and tucking it away into his belt, then he all but stomped up the stairs back into their private dining area. At some point his food had been delivered and was now growing cold, but he didn't even glance at it, instead retrieving his whiskey before he even sat down and kicking it back thirstily.

It was this way for the lands were not tamed and a history of violence that was being taken under law to turn it around and ensure peace with freedom. Drew spoke up to Jacob, "once more you have my gratitude and thanks as well the men with you. They are welcome here anytime, room and board my pleasure in seeing to for what they did this night." Knowing well it would have turned out differently. "Please, continue with your meal and enjoy the evening what is left of it." Drew motioned to the small orchestra as they started up playing and certainly murmurs would continue for the rest of the evening about all that had happened. The one bouncer was taken to the hospital and expected to live, luckily. "I will go speak with the Guarda and catch up with you later." Jacob gave a nod and a grasp of his friend's shoulder, he had given him some valuable information to be found at Hunt's Landing when they got there. "Until then my friend," leaving Drew to move off with the guarda and he back to join the others at their table. Giving a pat to Liam's, Ciar's and Evan's shoulders with a pleased smile, "let us eat."

Giving a nod as Jacob passed he was soon in his wake, taking the steps back up to the balcony room above the main floor. "I'm famished." Then with a grin, "I like this place!" Taking his seat as he was immediately eating like one starved. Well, he had worked up a better appetite.

Mercy offered the men a pleased smile when they returned though she was concerned about Evan. She'd speak to Jacob on him later though and instead laughed when she heard Liam. Being the food had been delivered, she set to enjoy it as well. Conversation would be at a minimum for a time.

He snickered when he heard his brother, though he gave Jacob a grin. He found himself thinking they should had visited Philadelphia before even if it was likely they'd never see it again. Once they were back at the table he returned Mercy's knife, then sat to enjoy his food and the ale.

Evan still looked like he could happily punch someone out, but he was working hard to calm himself enough to be amongst pleasant company once more. Whiskey finished, he sat stiffly, reaching for his plate. Knife and fork taken up to cut his steak methodically, a large bite taken before some mashed potatoes were stuffed in his mouth too. Hopefully he could use the excuse of having a full mouth for a few minutes so nobody would talk to him. He wasn't sure why this nameless rage was crowding up inside him, it was something that happened sometimes, usually when he was stressing about something else. Times like this, he and his mood were better left alone till he could talk himself down.

Jacob caught Mercy's eyes a moment, held in a way much was said without a word before attention was turned on the brothers. "Drew is very grateful for what you all did and to let you know you are welcome here anytime, food and boarding free. It is his way of saying thank you." Which also meant if they were ever in a bind, he was a man who would help them out. Eyes met upon each before he started in on his meal to enjoy. Once done he sat back with his glass of whiskey, "I have some information, thanks to my good friend, that might prove useful once we get to Hunt's Landing." Not certain exactly until they got there and he looked, he could not give them anything more than that.

"I might take him up on it if we should pass this way again. Maybe a boxing match of their finest for entertainment." Liam wasn't averse to the idea and one never knew what fate had in store. They were here right now and that had not been expected. He raised his glass of Kilbeggan, "may the information gained pan out to help us all out and me sister found soon. We've waited a long time, it is due." At least that was how he felt about it all.

That look had a touch of pink coming to her cheeks and she had to smile again. She never blushed so easily before she met Jacob. She looked at him as he spoke, head tipping slightly. If Jacob felt the need to mention it, then it was likely a good thing. She lifted her glass in agreement to Liam "It is indeed, and I'm certain she'll agree once you find her."

He enjoyed every bite of his meal then sat back, patting his stomach. Certainly content and the news about Drew and the possibility of finding something useful had him grinning. "Past due." He added then took a drink of the ale. He motioned to the waitress for a refill.

Jacob stood finally after his drinking was done. Although he would take the bottle with him for later, share a drink with Mercy and some conversation. Right. It would probably end up more than conversation. Perhaps that was one of the reasons behind his words, "time to get back and some rest, tomorrow will be a long day. If you wish," as he would not play father to the lads, if they wanted to find some fun on their own before hitting the sack. More, a warning that if they did, they still had to get up early tomorrow to stay on schedule. Plus he was anxious to see if the information panned out or not once there. Offering his arm to Mercy, "by your leave milady," the smile reached his eyes that held only her at that moment.

Liam watched Evan a moment then a look towards Ciaran basically on their blood brother and concerns. When Jacob stood, he was soon to follow, "aye, might catch a card game iffin me brothers are not ready to turn in." He doubted Jacob nor Mercy would be seeing their beds before the next hour or even possibly their bed being one. Nah, Mercy seemed too proper for that? He shook away such thoughts as they would only get him in trouble. He would wait on his brothers as they knew the way back to the hotel and didn't need to go in a group back.

Evan more or less sucked down his entire meal without really tasting it. At least it filled his belly. Letting the conversation swell around him, he kept out of it, finishing up his bottle of whiskey reluctantly when the others stood. He rose from his chair too, giving a nod of farewell to Jacob and then to Mercy. "See you in the morning." Cutting his hazel eyes to his blood brothers, he went on once the other two had left. "Think I'll walk around some, find another bar for a drink." Sober Evan would have never wanted to venture out on those crowded streets again, but slightly drunk Evan wanted more. Not here though, it was too bright and open for his tastes tonight.

The time spent with Jacob would be well spent certainly. She slipped her arm through his, and offered the three men a dimpled smile. "Good night, gentlemen. We'll see you at breakfast come morning." They had probably gone with little sleep more than once so she wasn't worried on them.


He gave Liam the slightest hint of a frown so that his brother would know he shared his concern. His attention was quickly on Jacob and Mercy as he stood. "Aye, a card game would finish up the night well enough." He didn't think Evan would get lost but another fight was always a possibility. However, if their blood brother didn't want company, they couldn't force it on him, could they?

He watched a moment as Jacob escorted Mercy out. Hard to read his expression except in that gears were turning behind it. "Well, yea have me company this evening. I wouldn't mind seeing what else this fine city has to offer." Obviously they got a taste already and that very fact meant that Evan should not wander it by himself when he didn't have to. It was smart for them to watch each other's backs. Giving a grasp to Evan's shoulder as he moved away from his seating the table. A few coins tossed for the waitress too. "What do you say on leading the night, Evan?" Letting him choose where to pay a visit.

Evan was torn, part of him wanting to strike out on his own, but the smart part of him saying that could be a bad idea in an unfamiliar town. So he paused when Liam put a hand to his shoulder, turning around to eye Liam a moment then finally giving a shrug. "You said you wanted a game of cards? We'll find somewhere with cards then." His tone a little brusque, something his friends didn't deserve and Evan knew it. So he finished it up with a slight smile, grabbing up his coat and heading for the door.

Or maybe they could? He shrugged and grabbed his own coat, and even added more coins to the pile for the waitress. It seemed they were going to have a look around and hopefully share a bit of luck over a game of cards. Be nice to leave with a little extra coin.


Date: 03-09-10
Poster: Mercy LaCorte
Post # 42

Trip to Fort Pitt

Jacob was awake and out barely as dawn started to lighten the sky. He had made ready their horses to take them to Fort Pitt. Once there they would secure a boat to take them down the Ohio river to the ruins of Hunt's landing. He would be found in the kitchen by the time the others were up, sitting at a table having breakfast with coffee and a smile on his face as he reflected on the time last evening spent in Mercy's company. He got a few looks from those who passed his table but he never noticed. His expression had a few reflect a grin for whatever reason it triggered such in some others.

Liam was up once the first bit of light broke through his window, being his bed faced it. Up and dressed he was soon out in the hall, belongings with him. A fisted hand came in a pounding on his brothers' doors as he passed. The hard sharp sound long enough to wake the dead behind those doors. Grinning he was soon bounding down the steps and into the kitchen. Catching sight of Jacob he was over to join him. His bag stuffed under the table next to Anderson's.

Mercy followed Liam down the steps, though not quite as lively. The brothers must have had a good night. She was dressed in doeskin for the trip west, pants that fitted nicely, a fringed shirt and boots. Her coat was carried over her shoulder and she was also carrying her bag. Jacob was given a look along with a smile before she spoke. "Good morning, Jacob, Liam. You both look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning.

Ciar groaned when he heard the loud knock though he had been up for a while.  He pulled on his boots, ran a hand over hair that was going to be trouble all day and gather up his gear. At least he could pull a knit cap down over it  when they left. He made his way downstairs and joined the others with a sheepish smile. "Think I drank a bit too much last night." Truth was, he barely remembered returning to the hotel!

"Ugh." Evan was suffering from a righteous hangover and the loud knocking was not appreciated, as it reverberated in his aching head. Rubbing his hands over his face, he pulled himself out of bed and dressed quickly, back into his older dusty travel clothes. Boots tugged on, he stuffed his belongings into his rucksack any which way they would fit, then slung the bag over his shoulder. One last glance around the room to ensure he'd not forgotten anything and he headed down the stairs, into the kitchen where he heard the others' voices. Squinting in the too-bright morning light. "Mornin'." A greeting for them all in general as he tossed his back beneath the table and slumped down into a chair. He'd be better after a cup or two of coffee.

Jacob stood from his seat as soon as he saw Mercy arriving after Liam. He was over to help her with her bags, putting them under the table with the others. "A grand morning to you all," as Evan and Ciaran were also joining them. "Time for breakfast but then we must go, horses are ready," though he eyed Liam a moment for the odd shaped thing strapped to the back of the saddle of the horse he would be riding. Still, he didn't ask what it was having a feeling he would be evasive and in time they would find out when the man was ready.

Liam was up after giving his order as Mercy arrived with his brothers. "Top o' the morn, a day that sets us closer." He seemed the total contrast of Evan, all cheery. Something was up his sleeve. Once his breakfast arrived he was setting in to eat it like a starved man again. One thing was certain, Liam had brought his appetite with him. The drinking hadn't affected him as much as his brothers and any lingering effect would be chased away by the coffee he ordered a pot of.

Mercy thanked Jacob for the help then settled at the table. Since she liked traveling, no matter if it was by horseback, coach or ship, she was looking forward to this journey. The fact that it would be through wilderness didn't bother her in the least. She ordered a good breakfast and instead of coffee, opted for tea.

There were times when Liam was just too cheerful and this morning was almost one of them though since he had done well with the cards, he wasn't in a bad mood. Just a little hung over. "Good morning to you all as well. Liam, you're too bluidy cheerful." The last was said with a laugh. It was good to see at least one of his brothers in a good mood.

Liam was WAY too cheery, that was for certain. His best friend was given a narrow-eyed stare in return for his sunny greeting. No, Evan would be in no mood for laughter until his second cup of coffee at least. The first he was already chugging down. "Why the hell are you so peppy?" He asked Liam, not mincing words as he set down his coffee and ordered himself a plate of eggs and bacon.

Jacob discreetly listened to the brothers as his hand slipped under the table, coming to rest over Mercy's a moment with a light squeeze. Once he was done eating he saw to some canteens filled with the coffee to keep them all alert along the trail. "Keep your weapons handy. You'll find a flintlock in each of your saddle bags as an extra." Obviously Jacob felt it necessary. "There is food packed for I doubt we'll find a place to eat along the way." Unless someone had built such since the last he was through this way. Always better to be prepared for any adventure across the wilderness. Collecting his bag, he waited on the others after getting out Marcy's things for her also.

Liam only grinned in his blood brother's scowling face, "I've a mission that has set me mind at ease in coming here." That was all he would say on it as he reached over with a grasp of hand to Evan's shoulder in caring. It was brief as his breakfast was done and he too collected one of the canteens with coffee in it for the road. They would find another canteen already packed filled with water. He was up and heading out for he wanted to check on that what he ordered had been packed properly on his horse.

She was amused by the brothers though she didn't show it except when she looked at Jacob, eyes bright with mirth. The squeeze to her hand had her smile growing. She took the time to enjoy her food even as she went over everything she had prepared. "We can hunt too, if need be." She waited for Jacob before heading outside to the horses. "Man is definitely up to something." She said to Jacob while watching Liam head on out.

When Liam was that cheerful, it could be a bad thing but he didn't think so in this case. "Ready when you all are." Now that he had food in his belly and the coffee waking him up, he hefted up his pack, ready to go.

Evan tended to agree with Mercy about Liam being up to something. He knew his blood brother well and that scheming grin of his was a dead giveaway. But Evan didn't press further as Liam stepped outside, instead just rolled his eyes and shoveled in the rest of his breakfast. Canteen of coffee taken for the road, he grabbed up his pack, turning to the door though pausing to speak to Jacob along the way. "How long are you guessing the trip to Fort Pitt will take?"

Liam mounted up making sure the odd covered items were secure. He had his canteen of coffee that he would be making use of as they headed out. Water only if needed. He would hang back behind the others keeping an alert eye upon the terrain especially after they left the city.

Jacob would be up front, as it turned out, with Mercy by his side, the brothers behind them as he studied the various streets they had to travel through to leave the city limits. "It's changed a lot since I was last here. Many more businesses, factories and people." More mussed but certainly Mercy would hear his comment.

Mercy took note of a few things as they headed for the city limits. She looked at Jacob and smiled slightly. "Progress I guess though I hope they leave most of the land untouched." As they neared where the city ended, they could see where farmland had been cut out of the wilderness. Of course, the fields were still under snow but it wouldn't be many more weeks before the farmers began to prepare the soil. She knew they had displaced many of the native people too but none of the city folks she had talked to had heard much about any problems there. It would be wise to be alert however and she would join in any watches set as they traveled.

Ciarán glanced at Liam and then at the covered items before chuckling again. He glanced at Evan and shrugged. He'd let them know what he was up to when he was ready and not before. Still not fully awake, he took to looking around as they rode. Once they reach the true wilderness, he'd be more awake and alert.

Evan just returned the shrug, not bothering to ask Liam again what the bundle was. Like Ciaran he realized his friend wouldn't give up any information till he was good and ready to.. and then, likely in a big dramatic reveal. So he just shook his head slightly and mounted up on his horse, his belongings secured in the saddle pack. Settling comfortably on his mount, he let his eyes roam as they passed through the streets, which were more sedate at this hour. One thing was for sure, he wasn't sorry to be leaving this crowded mess of a town behind.

To answer Evan's earlier question once they were on their way, Jacob dropped behind a few moments to come up alongside Evan. "It will take us a good week to get there riding at a decent pace during the day, resting at intervals then letting the horses rest all night as well ourselves." Quick smile before he caught up alongside Mercy again. He noted the farmlands that had sprouted up and by the stretch their fences, grown larger. One had cattle another had sheep and most were for growing crops. Fields that once contained tribal encampments were now void of them, pushed back further into the woods, inch by inch, mile by mile. Although they didn't seem to have any problems, certainly it could not continue that way. Maybe not here in this city but last stands before the tribes had nothing at all. By that time it might be too late for them. All in the eye of progress. He didn't say anything on it but he had that thoughtful pensive look about him Mercy would recognize.

Liam knew his brothers were curious but it wasn't the first time he did a stunt like this, getting their curiosity and not appeasing it right away, and it wouldn't be the last. "All in good time, then you'll understand." Certainly Evan had not asked him but it was in his eyes and expression as was it in Ciaran's. All he has asked him so far was why he was so peppy, as he put it.  A week was doable if they paced themselves as Jacob said, not bad but their backsides would be feeling it by the time they reached the fort. He too noticed the farmlands and ranches stretching out and fewer the further they were away from the city. More woods and forests becoming prominent.

Mercy winked at Jacob as he returned then fell into silence. As they progressed, the road began to grow rougher and then smaller. There were places where one wagon would barely fit on the road that had likely started out as a path and been widened. Though they didn't see any Natives during the first part of their trip, there were times when one could feel eyes watching. Once they came across the burned out ruins of a farm that gave off such an eerie feeling the horses wouldn't venture near and one pack mule nearly took off. They came to a small village alongside a frozen river and the settlement of Fort Bedford where they could buy some supplies for a high price. Once they left there, they followed the river west,  through the hills. Fort Ligonier was another resting place and the soldiers there warned them there had been some trouble with the Indians but not since the heavier snows had fallen. They were on the last leg of their journey and if all went well, would find themselves at Fort Pitt the evening of the next day.

Ciar didn't really mind the riding, or the fact that it seemed like they were being watch, though it certainly made him nervous. He didn't mind the villagers or soldiers whispering about them, or charging high prices. What he did mind was it seemed he would never get warm enough. Though the days were starting to show signs of spring, the night were still cold and the chill stayed with him long after the sun rose. He was glad to hear they were close to their first destination and hoped by the time they reached their old home, the days had truly warmed up.

Liam didn't mind the cold for the underclothing he had the foresight of wearing. He could tell his brother was cold and he rummaged through his saddle bag that evening and tossed him the extra pair of long johns, trap backside in case he needed to take a crap without the need of getting out of them. Of course that part hung open in the toss, having them land on his brother's shoulder. "Wear these, don't care to lose you to pneumonia." Hopefully the next morning he had worn them as they set into the usual pacing of the horses. Up early as each day followed a routine and on their way.


Jacob would ride ahead or off to the sides to scout. He knew they were being watched at times but the fact there were enough of them, any raiders would hesitate. Usually it was parties of two or three they would attack. A lone family, sometimes taking the children if they were young enough. A few abandoned wagons were seen along the way, some of those burnt and belongings still spilled out on the grounds around them. No sign of life or dead bodies so left one wondering their fate. They were making good time and that mattered, only making camp in the late evening and up as the sky showed signs of dawn. It was towards evening the next day that a group of Indians blocked their path. They were not wearing war paint so that was a plus as Jacob moved ahead putting himself between them and his group. They had arrows, spears and knives, a band of about eight out scouting for their tribe or renegade party.


The leader, a strong looking male in his late twenties moved his horse ahead speaking in his language as he gestured towards those behind Jacob. Luckily this was one of the languages he knew as he move a few paces closer, shaking his head as he spoke. The brave once more gestured to one behind Jacob then had one of his men bring around two horses. Jacob shook his head repeating what he said before. The man didn't seem to want to give up as he had another of his men bring around another horse laden with furs as well. Jacob once more shook his head, stern words repeated but a few more added. The brave was not happy but in the next moment he was gone with his small troop. A breath was released in relief as Jacob turned back to the others. "I suggest we move quickly to the pass but not take the one we intended to but another that diverts a little out of our way. I don't think this small group likes taking no for an answer. They are the type to try and ambush and then take what they wanted."


Mercy had dressed warmly and hadn't realized Ciar might be cold until she saw the long johns flying and landing on his shoulder.  She laughed and looked at Liam. "Aye, that would be a shame."   She meant it of course.  It wouldn't be good for any of them to become ill.  It seemed the rest of their journey was going to be quiet until the group of braves appeared.  As she watched, Mercy had an idea what they wanted, and she was sure it wasn't horses. She had watched the interchange a little nervously, but made no sign outwardly, and was careful not to let them see her touching the flintlock on her saddle for a little assurance. When the band left, she couldn't stop the sigh of relief then she nodded. "You'll not get an argument from me." The sky was starting to darken, not just because of the approaching sunset but clouds were  moving in. Hopefully the rain would hold off for a while longer.

Ciar's horse was a little skittish and each time they passed one of the burned wagons, would shy from them. It was likely the scent of smoke that still hung in the air but he kept the animal under control. He grinned at Mercy when Liam tossed the long johns on his shoulder, his ears turning a little red.  Once they stopped, he made sure to put them on and was glad for the extra warmth.  As the day progressed, that off feeling grew stronger so he wasn't surprised to see a scouting party appear, or maybe it was a hunting party, but the tribe wasn't known to him. Watching a moment, he met the graze of one until the brave moved and brought the furs  forward to their leader   He watched them ride away then looked at the others.  A nod was given in answer to Jacob, not feeling the need to speak.

As they traveled along into the deeper wild, Evan's mood only grew darker. Every burnt homestead, every abandoned farm sent pangs of pain and fury through his heart. It was a shame, a damned shame what was allowed to occur out here and it only conjured up memories of his own. Blinded by the bloody memories, he didn't see the way that many Indian villages too were abandoned, nor the way that the tree cover was being pushed back slowly but surely by white civilization. All he saw when he looked upon the approaching Indians was people just like the people who had killed his family, and Evan's usual easygoing features were etched in nothing less than hatred. He said not a word throughout the exchange but kept his eyes trained on the Brave, needing only the smallest signal to fly into a fight. When they finally left his eyes moved to Jacob, jaw unclenching enough to ask,  "What did they want? Us in exchange for those furs and horses?"

After continuing on in silence until a suitable spot was found to make camp, Jacob said nothing until he dismounted knowing well the small party would not be close or watching them presently. They would make it seem like they left, had lost interest but Jacob knew better. An apologetic glance Evan's way, "I needed to wait until I was sure they were out of earshot." He was a little surprised that Mercy had not asked him that question but guessed she realized what they were up to. "The leader wanted Mercy as his squaw, he offered two horses then three more with furs. That very fact tells me they are the ones that have been following us for the past three days or so. It also tells me that he has not given up even with the last me telling him she was not only my squaw but she was carrying my child. Usually that has them give up. We should take turns keeping watch tonight, two at a time instead of one. They are probably headed for the pass we were going to take to set up an ambush but always pays to be cautious so we'll be taking another way." Why the watch doubled up. All the while he was taking the saddle off his horse for the night, would be using it as a pillow for his head.

Liam had his hand on his hunting knife the while the Indians talked to Jacob, he already picked out the two he'd take down first but luckily it wasn't needed. He was certainly getting a good look at how things were in the Colonies these days. It had been a long time since they were here and much had changed and probably much had not, like the senseless killings on both sides. With the look upon Evan's face he wasn't certain there for a bit if his blood brother wouldn't charge ahead and launch an attack on the band of Indians. Luckily it had not come to that. "I'll take first watch." He wasn't tired so best make use of it.

Mercy's mouth had dropped open when Jacob told them what he had said, but more because that hadn't discouraged the brave. "I wonder if they've lost some women." She murmured, more to herself but didn't speculate further. She dismounted, making sure she had the flintlock close at hand before she settled for some sleep. "Wake me when you take watch," she told Jacob still grumbling a little as she settled in. "Should have dyed my hair."

Ciar just shook his head when he heard Jacob and glanced at his brothers. "I can do the extra watch if needed," being there were five of them, someone might and he didn't seem to sleep as well when something was going on ... like traveling through the wilderness.

"I'll sit with you for the first watch." Evan offered Liam shortly, knowing that he would find no sleep this night. Might as well use his on-edge energy to help keep the others safe. With the others settled in for slumber and the horses seen to, Evan took up a seat on a log across the tiny fire from Liam, hands clasped across his knees as he watched the flames. Even with his remote gaze it was clear that all his other senses were keenly alert for any strange sounds or moving shadows.

"Winters are sometimes hard and with the tribes being pushed back more and more, it is very possible. I think in this case they broke from their tribe and without women for the raids they would be going on. Once they settled, made a place then settling ideals fall into place but hard to do without women. They might not be welcome back in their original tribe they broke from. Usually it becomes a matter of pride." Once the sparse meal was seen to, he encouraged Mercy to sleep next to him so there was no chance of her being stolen away. Most of the time they would try to avoid too much conflict especially this close to the Fort. A missing woman would not be too much of a concern to start up disputes over.

Liam was pleased that Evan took up the post with him of first watch. It gave him time to enjoy conversation, in a low murmur not to wake the others, like old times. He didn't hit on his concern for his blood brother for certainly Evan was aware of it. He didn't talk on Hunt's Landing either as soon they would be there. He talked of old times, pranks they had played as kids and later ones too, happier subjects, ones that hopefully brought a laugh from Evan in remembering. Some of the things they got into had been funny if not downright hilarious. Like the time they hid in an outhouse and Evan nearly fell into the sewage below as the floor started to give way but instead managed to lure the local bully in who fell in instead.

It was the reason they were such good friends and as close as brothers could ever be. Liam had always known how to deal with Evan's sometimes volatile swings of emotion. If Liam had tried to bring up Hunt's Landing or anything serious like that, Evan probably would have just gotten mad or walked away. But the talk of old times helped, somewhat. It took a few minutes for his jaw to unclench but gradually, he relaxed, enough to smirk at the stories Liam recounted. Eventually there'd even be a chuckle or two though he let Liam do most of the talking. The memories were bittersweet, from another time as they were, but ones he cherished nonetheless. He didn't need to say it but he was grateful to Liam for knowing just what to say at times like this.

The night passed quietly, even the rain holding off until the next morning and then it fell in a fine, cold drizzle. The road between the two Forts was better traveled and a little better maintained, but it would turn to mud as the day grew warmer. By the time they were making their way into the valley where Fort Pitt sat, the rivers were starting to swell a little from the melting snow and rain. Farms started to appear and the folks who greeted them seemed a touch friendlier. Finally the Fort itself could be seen in the distance. They reached the small inn near the fort as the evening meal was being prepared , the smell filling the air giving the promise of hot food and warm beds before they started on the next leg of their journey.



Date: 03-11-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 43


Fiona and Fawn had both checked into their rooms and taken a moment to freshen up. Oisin took a bit longer though. Fifi's reaction to the native bothered her on some level and Oisin was far too intrigued by the man to let her companion's reaction slip. However, she didn't want to aggravate Fi, so without needing to be pestered, she met her in the hall of their rooms then continued with her quietly to where they were supposed to meet Bradley and Adam to proceed to the markets.

While they waited for the ladies, Adam decided to stand outside and smoke. He removed the pouch of tobacco from his coat, as well as a pipe and within a few moments, was enjoying a favored blend. This way, he could study those moving through the streets and in and out of buildings without too much notice by anyone else.

Bradley joined his friend in having a smoke but kept his eye on the window where he could see in and when Oisin was down with Fiona. Seeing the two finally appear, he dropped what was left of the cigarillo to crush out under a booted heel. Only a glance given Adam as he opened the door to step within, a slight smile appearing, "ladies, this way if you are ready." He would hold the door for them and catch up with the pipe smoking Captain soon outside.

Fiona lead the way by half a step or so with a firm grasp on Oisin's arm to keep her close. The older woman offered a nod to Bradley and a polite smile, but Oisin didn't look any too enthusiastic at the moment about this little venture they were supposed to be going about. Fiona was the one to answer with the ready, and Oisin simply nodded, keeping her thoughts to herself at the moment. Once past the door, Oisin looked to the place that Wolf Paw had been
standing with a passing glance, then looked around. Not necessarily for him specifically, but just a general look.

When he saw Bradley heading inside, he tapped the pipe against the side of the building, making sure it was out before tucking it again. A smile was given to both women as they stepped outside. "Ladies," he greeted them politely then glanced at Bradley. He was curious if he knew where exactly they were headed.

This was where Oisin wanted to be and it was where he took her along with Fiona. He was not certain exactly how she was going to go looking for her brothers as she had not shared any particular plans with him. He, along with Adam got her here. It was a step. "Do you remember this town at all?" Curious question as he started them off down towards the square. Adam got one of those shrugging looks as he was probably just as clueless to the mind of the young Oisin. The streets were starting to come alive as the shops had opened or were opening presently. Vendors were setting up in the square and most of the snow gone from there. Carriages passed by, wagons and the like along with those on horses. The streets were not paved like Porto Bello and there were nearly as many Indians in this town as there were whites.

Drawn from her thoughts, Oisin looked to Bradley before looking around again. Things had changed from when she'd seen it last, but she nodded. "Some of it." Not much. She and Fiona walked with them towards the square. Oisin wasn't so much looking at the people but the buildings and names of businesses for something that stood out as far as her brothers were concerned. Somewhere she'd remember them going, but so far she was having a hard time remembering.

He bit back a bit of a smile, not wanting to offend the young lady. He was afraid she might not remember any of it. As they walked through the square, a white-washed wooden building could be seen at the western end. Huston's Mercantile could be seen painted on the side in blue, with the words "goods and supplies for sale at reasonable prices". There was also a hat shop, a seamstress shop and bakery, along with the small street vendors. Adam placed his hands behind his back as they walked, enjoying a few of the sights.

Fiona made sure to steer her charge in the right direction, in the wake of their two male guides. The hold on Oisin's arm was also a comforting one, for she sensed the girl's suddenly subdued mood. She cast an interested glance down to the lass at the question, remembering how much Oisin might remember... if those memories were good or bad. If Oisin caught her eye, Fi would offer a smile, perhaps an apology for her earlier cranky mood. Right now she was mollified by all the stores and shopping, pointing out this and that along the way.

There were gangs about, be they white or red skinned so Bradley put himself between them and the ladies. In town, they would be kept near his side as much as was possible. They had that look about them that meant trouble but when they turned it Bradley's way, they would find a murderous look back. No fear, no nervousness but sheer confidence. Something that worked as good as a weapon most times and was working this day thus far. He had them pause by a vendor that sold ladies trinkets and ribbons. Picking out a few pretty colored silk ones he paid for them then offered each of the ladies a few. A smile came with the small gift before they were moving onward. He was sure they had coins to spend as well. Their trek was bringing them closer to Huston's mercantile.

Oisin glanced to Fi and offered a small smile in return. She couldn't honestly say she was uncomfortable here, despite the dangers that were obvious even to her. Likely it was that sense of curiosity that held any cautiousness at bay. Stopping with Bradley, she took the offered ribbons and smiled to him. "Thank you." No sarcasm or spite in the genuine words before attention drifted once more to the buildings surrounding them. Time changed everything from the faces, to the buildings, to the color of wood that the buildings once were, which made things frustrating to no end. She felt like she should have remembered more than this. Huston's was seen and observed for a moment, but more than remembering it was that nagging feeling. Not quite as strong as the nag that had convinced her to speak with her parents and dare for this venture, but it was a nag that was hard to ignore. "Can we go there?" Motioning to the shop as the distance was drawn closer.

Bradley was doing better today than he had been, and Adam chuckled. He nodded to the vendor before Oisin spoke. "Certainly." And he started in that direction, taking the lead to make sure they weren't stopped. There was a porch though only high enough for one step, but it helped to keep the customers out of mud. In warmer weather, there would be rocking chairs on the porch where folks might rest their feet. Adam opened the door for the ladies and Bradley to allow them to enter first. Walter Huston was an older man, his hair starting to gray. He didn't bother with wigs or fancy clothes but he was clean shaven, and his clothing, though not fancy, were well made and serviceable. He was waiting on a teenage girl, handing her over a basket, covered with a blue and white cloth. "Now you tell your mother that everything she ordered is there but the blue thread and that should be in tomorrow." The girl nodded and turned, pausing to study the strangers. She gave a quick smile to Oisin before she was dashing out. Turning to the newest customers, "good morning. How may I help you folks today?"

Fi gave Bradley a bright smile as she accepted the ribbons, then watched as Oisin smiled to the man too. Oh how her grin did grow but to her credit, she said not a word. Instead just settled her arm comfortably through Oisin's as they stepped into the mercantile.

With Adam answering Oisin, he gave a gesture of hand towards the building, that all were on their way. He took up the rear as Adam led them into the place, offering a hand for that first step up of each then soon within. He gave them their space once inside as this place seemed to be well organized. Taking his leisure in seeing what they had to offer.

Adam's lead was followed into the shop and Bradley's hand taken, with a glance to the girl who offered a smile. The smile was returned with attention following over her shoulder before looking to the man. After a quiet moment of studying him with a thoughtful tilt of her head; the man looked familiar. Enough that she smiled and tightened her arm around Fi's to drag her over to where the man was standing. "Good day, Sir. ...." She wasn't sure where to start. Another moment of thought passed. "I am hoping that you can help me. You see, I am looking for my brothers. I...think perhaps they used to come here."

Adam too, wandered about the store though he paused to look at Oisin and the gentleman she was talking to. Walter squinted as the lass stepped nearer with her companion. "Well, I've had a lot of folks come through here. Some selling, some buying, some asking questions. What might their names be?" He had a kind voice and a soft way of talking, though if need be, he could handle trouble.

"Oh!" A surprised laugh as Fi was unceremoniously dragged over to the merchant himself. Brown eyes bouncing between the man and Oisin, she gave Walter a polite smile while allowing Oisin to answer for herself.

That oh so hopeful tone returned to her voice as she looked at the man with a soft smile. If this was the right place and he was the man she vaguely remembered, would he remember her brothers? Ever hopeful. "Quinn, sir. Ciaran and Liam Quinn." Both hands latched onto Fi's hand tightly, but not painfully. In her head, she could hear the man laugh and say he remembered them, and knew where they were! Then she'd hug Fi and dance her around. Such daydreams. Some part of her though, kept her grounded with a vague notion that her little day dream could be all wrong and this man had no clue who her brothers were.

Bradley had noticed the ladies going over to the proprietor and so moved closer to hear what was being said. He took pause when it seemed she recognized the man.

Walter had leaned forward slightly and now he straightened, his expression intent. "Had a friend named Evan Hunt? Three of them used to bring furs, sold them to me. You're wee Fawn?" He laughed and came around the counter so he could see her more clearly. "Tiny Fawn grown up and safe and sound. Lord bless you, it's a miracle." He chuckled as he looked at her companions, "A miracle!" Raising his voice caused a woman to come out of the back and he looked at her. "Margie, it's Fawn Quinn, wee Fawn Quinn, looking for her brothers."


"Fawn?! I would never have known." The woman looked at Fawn and her smile faded. "Your brothers aren't here, dear. They went looking for you as soon as they learned you were still alive."

When the man recognized the names and even gave the name of Evan, Oisin smiled brightly. She could have hugged the man for the recognition!....but she wouldn't hug him. Fifi might have issues with that. Her smile couldn't have gotten any brighter and was accompanied with a couple small bounces where she stood, likely crushing poor Fi's hand out of excitement. It was a fleeting moment though as Margie spoke of her brothers leaving to look for her. That at least meant they were alive then, and Oisin had complete faith that they were still alive. The smile faded as did her tight grip of excitement on Fi. "Do you by any chance know where they went?"

"Well," Margie looked up, thinking, "I do believe they said they were going to head for Boston. They had gone to the Fort near your home and the officers there weren't very cooperative. But, one of the enlisted men told them that the men finishing up their time were being sent to Boston. Your brothers didn't stick around long. Bought some supplies and off they went." She gave a nod and looked at the young woman. "They were on foot so going would have been slow for them." She said the last to assure Oisin they did try.

Fifi was trying to keep the smile on her face as it felt like her hand was being smashed by a hammer named Oisin. Her shared happiness was genuine though, and she gave a soft laugh once she managed to extricate her hand from the girl's grip. "That's wonderful news." Her smile remained though in truth part of her was shocked that they'd been able to find out information so soon... and information that pointed to her brothers still living. Fi had already been prepared to comfort a devastated Oisin before they even left England.

Bradley continued to listen having drawn closer behind the two ladies as Margie went on. "Your brothers are alive. The question is, where are they now in these six years that have passed. I suppose the logical choice will be to go to Boston from here." A straying glance given Adam for something else that mentioning Boston brought about then back to the ladies. "Of course we will take you. A coach goes out tomorrow morning." Which he would see to them taking. Once again he would be riding and they could hope the other travelers were few and not overweight like the one had been.

Oisin's joy was far from gone. It just meant that it would take a bit longer to find her brothers. She looked over to Fi and smiled. "Hear that? They went looking for me!..." as if that should have surprised her. Stepping into Fi's side, she looked to Bradley with a nod. Going to Boston would be the logical place to continue the search for her brothers, then looked back to Walter and Margie with a bright smile. "Thank you both, so much. You've been most  helpful."

"You're welcome, darlin'." Margie patted her arm, her smile wide. "When you find them, you give them our love and well wishes. I'm so glad you're here and you've grown into such a lovely lass." She would be talking about this for days and even years to come.  Though she wondered if the boys had stayed in Boston for all this time.

Uh... Fi smiled and nodded and went with Oisin wherever they went next!


Oisin smiled to the woman. "I will, I promise. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to hear that you are still here and remember them." Turning then to her guardians with a bright smile. "Then tomorrow we ride to Boston."


Since it seemed they were finished there, Adam moved over to the door. Walter handed Oisin a bag with a twinkle in his eyes. In it were all the types of candies he used to send home with her brothers. Oisin's reappearance was a miracle in his eyes and they'd certainly be sending up prayers of thanks when they went to church on the Sabbath.



Date: 03-11-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 44

"Tomorrow we ride for Boston but tonight, I think we should find a place to eat and enjoy the marketplace before it closes." See any sights along the way as only a rough colonial town could offer. He was heading out with the two ladies in escort. "Is there anything else in particular that you would like to do or see before we find a place to eat?" He would see them with a hand down the step out into the street and where they could, up on the walk constructed along the strip of stores within buildings. The two ladies were attracting a lot of male attention in their finery. In a way it had Bradley going on the alert and a few stare downs with his hand on the hunting knife at times in emphasis.

"Somewhere where we might find..." she trailed off a moment, eyes trailing along a beggar-looking bloke who stumbled across their path. Nose wrinkled as she finished, "polite company, if you please, sir." Arm looping through Oisin's again, skirts lightly hefted from the muddy streets underfoot as they started on their way.

Oisin took the bag of candies in both hands and glance down to see what it was, then giggled quietly. The bag held against the bodice of her dress like some great secret. "Thank you." Whispered quietly to the man before turning with Fi and heading to the outside. Since Fi spoke up her preference of places to go, Oisin just nodded and clutched the woman's arm between her own and side. Oblivious to most others around them, her head tilted down as she started digging around through the bag of candy with the occasional giggle.

As they started walking along towards the other side of the square that offered a board walk, some roughens, stinking of whiskey and long over due bathing, started whistling as well making some vulgar remarks while passing a bottle between them. "Eh pretty lady want tae warm me s'eets? Fine skin likin your'ins better t'an ole squealin' squaw." Nudging the one next to him, "like ole one eye 'ere." Which would draw attention to the one with only one eye. The socket sunk in with stitched up skin and a scar that ran up over the brow and down the cheek. One eye was leering at them like a cat in heat.

Adam knew there was an excellent restaurant in the inn where they were staying, but there was another as well. He would suggest it shortly. He followed Bradley and the ladies, frowning when he heard the men. They didn't seem to care that the women were not alone. A step forward had him eyeing the three, his hand on the hilt of his sword.

Three and three more as when the ones' buddies realized these two men might not be dandies as expected, and possibly could fight, the rest of the group gathered. Those in front and now three coming up from behind.

Well, Oisin had been happy in her land of candy. Even offered some to Fi with a big smile, but then those men had to go talking the way they did. Was Oisin supposed to hold her tongue still? Brow quirked, she looked at the men who spoke so lewdly to and about them. "With compliments such as those, I am willing to bet it was a woman who knocked those missing teeth out." Bet Fi wouldn't like that very much. Heh.

"Oisin!" No, Fi did not like that very much at all. She shot Oisin a reproachful look, meanwhile drawing her closer as they came to a pause. Nervous glances cast about them as the rough-looking men surrounded them. Thank goodness they had Adam and Bradley with them. She'd let the men deal with the ruffians and make sure Oisin didn't get out of line with that mischievous tongue of hers.

Bradley was about to warn Oisin not to say anything but ignore the ones but she made a remark of a kind that was a challenge to these type of men. He put himself between them and the women as the three came rushing, one spewing on about, "I'll s'ow yea 'ow tae tremble and beg fir more," his knife out as his buddies drew their weapons about to take on Bradley and Adam both. Two dancing with knives as the mouthy charged on Bradley. The knife missed by a fraction of an inch as he twisted his arm back and shoved him to the ground. A few seconds to trip on the second man but the third was impossible to stop in that short span of time going in for the women. The three coming up from behind had one charging on Adam knowing that one of them would get through if not two.

Adam drew his sword as soon as Oisin opened her mouth. Men like this weren't accustomed to women who answered back. He turned to face the three who were behind them and held two off. The third was going to slip by, but Adam put his foot out to try to trip him. Not the best tactic perhaps as that had the man stumbling straight for the two women. He managed to skewer one in the arm but the second moved in to try to take him out, his knife ready for a deep strike.

One of these days Oisin would learn to keep her tongue silent and speak her thoughts to her pillow. Hard to tell if it was Fi's quick reprimanding or the attack by the first three men on Bradley that had her squeaking with a jump back, pulling Fi back with her. "Bad men!" She piped up and threw the bag of candy at the man who got past Bradley, aiming to knock him right in the face with it, and ended up getting stumbled into by the man who passed Adam, causing her to stumble into Fi a few steps while swatting at the man's head. "Back! Get back!"

Fiona let out a high-pitched shriek as the men charged in earnest, brown eyes opening up wide in horror as she drew a step back. Her arm wrapped tightly around Oisin's shoulders, refusing to let her young charge come to any harm while she still had breath left in her body. She squealed again as the 'bad men' reached out for them, using the end of her shawl to swat at them. "Help! Attack!" She called out, senselessly thinking there must be someone here to enforce the law and keep the peace!

All this would happen in the span of ten minutes. The bag of hard candy hit the man's forehead leaving a welt to start forming with a trickle of blood. This little wound certainly would not stop a mountain man like he and his buddies. He had plenty of scars she would note as he got close, rancid breath, a few missing teeth and what was let half rotting and yellow. He lunged at Oisin to rip her away from the other. The man Adam half tripped got hold of Fifi to drag off into a small alleyway between the buildings. Bradley put the second man down and was after the third to pull him off Oisin without her getting hurt if at all possible. The first man was up and coming after Bradley as were the other two around, one drawing his sword on Adam and into swordplay with him while the first tried to get in  closer to stab or slit his throat. Bradley felt the sharp sear of a blade cutting into his shoulder near his collarbone as he managed to get the one off Oisin then turning to stop the one from behind.

A shadow was moving in the alleyway and the man that was ripping at Fifi's skirts while an arm crushed over her breasts was soon rendered unconscious in a swift motion by the shadow. Seeing she was all right it continued to emerge into the light beyond the alleyway to appraise the situation and help his two friends. By this time the Guards' whistles were blowing and men put in service of keeping peace in this town were coming.

Adam had to do some dancing to keep the second man from actually getting to him. He lunged in suddenly, taking his attacker's blade to his side in order to get close to him. Grabbing him, he turned so that the ruffian's friend hit Adam's attacker. When the man with the sword went down, Adam used the hilt of the sword to smash into his face. The man's nose had been broken previously and Adam just added to his looks.

Torn away from Fi, the man easily lifted Oisin up off the ground enough to try to carry her away. "You let go of me!" She sounded more mad than fearful though as she started kicking and hitting the man. She managed to get a couple good kicks to the man's shins and put both hands on his face, trying to push his head back to get him to let go. Between that and Bradley's attack, he dropped Oisin and turned to swing at Bradley. Oisin was dropped and landed on her bum, but was quick to get up and ran past them to where Fi was. "Fi!" Not quite sure where she'd been carried off to since she'd been occupied by her own filth.

Fiona screamed again, wrenched away from Oisin and whisked off to the alley. She battered her attacker with hands and feet, though her feeble blows were next to useless. True panic set in as he began clawing at her skirts, and she made frantic squeaking sounds as she tried in vain to get away... when suddenly she was released. Her legs gave out and she all but fell to the ground. She looked up just in time to see that shadow step past her and into the sunlight but at the moment she was in such a state she couldn't move. That is till she heard Oisin's voice calling out and she scrambled to her feet. "Oh thank God!" Breathlessly yelped as she gathered Oisin up into a rib-cracking hug. SQUISH against her ample bosom.

The man that was scrambling to his feet, took off instead of trying to help his buddies. The second assailant on Bradley abandoned the mission to run off down another street. All that was left was the man Bradley pounded into the ground with his fist and the one Adam had taken down. "Are you all right Oisin?" About to go into the alleyway after Fifi but seeing Wolf Paw come out he knew he took care of the other. "Thank you but best you disappear." Catching sight of Fifi to know she was all right as well.

Wolf Paw nodded as dark eyes quickly scanned the area, people were scattering off to the side to see what would come of all this. The guards were almost in sight running their way. "I will see you soon, brother." Which had Wolf disappearing back down the alleyway he emerged from. He knew that even standing around one of the attackers could try and say he had started it and it would be assumed they told the truth over anything he had to say or even white friends in his defense. It was better to disappear.

Adam joined Bradley after he had taken the man down, ready to help his friend but with them all taking off, he had little to do but put his sword away. He nodded his thanks to Wolf Paw and turned his attention to the two women.  They looked a bit shaken but unharmed otherwise.

Oisin latched onto Fifi. "You're alright!" Dark eyes scanning the area quickly before falling to Wolf Paw with a quick shift of expressions into the one that was more intrigued, but it was short lived. Letting go of Fi, she stepped back and looked the woman over to make sure she was unharmed, then looked to Bradley and Adam with a frown. "You're both hurt." Duh, Oisin! Hard to decide who had the worst of injuries, but she went to Bradley first provided Fi let go of her so she could look at the wound in his shoulder.

"Yes, yes, fine," she answered distractedly. She hardly noticed Wolf Paw's passing, too busy was she looking Oisin over to make sure she wasn't hurt. "I could kill those men," harsh words muttered beneath her breath, now that the danger had passed. She released Oisin reluctantly, trailing after her to join the two men again. "How can we ever thank you both enough... you saved us." A smile surfaced on her tense expression, first at Bradley and then Adam.

"I will be fine." Although he could feel the pain, the blood running down under his cloak and shirt to trickle down his hand. He got out a clean handkerchief to pour some whiskey on and stuffed it in under his shirt and cloak to sterilize the wound. It had him grind his teeth a moment with the initial pain. The guards reaching them by this point as he explained what had gone on. They were told in return that this group of trappers, actually pairs out in the wild when trapping had caused them trouble before and were warned. The two left unable to flee were taken away to spend time in the jail. Once the guards were gone with their prisoners he turned attention back on the two ladies. "It was Wolf Paw that rescued you Lady Fifi," figuring she may not have noticed but gave the man credit. "Shall we find that restaurant?" He was hungry and dressing his wound would come later, it was not that bad or more, he had suffered worse in the past.

Adam waved off the injury, more concerned with the two women and Bradley. He smiled at Fifi, leaving Bradley to explain about Wolf Paw. Adding his two cents to the guards, he watched them drag the men off. "Aye, the restaurant sounds like a good idea." Like Bradley, he'll deal with the injury later. There wasn't much blood at all, so it was nothing more than a flesh wound.

Oisin didn't dare touch the wound, but she looked it over, and did the same towards Adam as the guards came to find out what had happened. She looked at both men when they verbally waved off the wounds and frowned a bit more. She had nothing to say at that moment, just took Fifi's side quietly, hooking her arm around the other's.

Bradley was about to reprimand Oisin about saying anything to men like these no matter how tempting, they were better ignored and possibly what happened could have been prevented. Lips parted but just as quickly were pressed together again with a passing look from Fawn to Fiona. Last thing he needed was the French poodle barking at him again. Instead he flanked them as they headed for the restaurant, the muscles along his jaw line still clenched.

He wasn't about to take his shirt off in the middle of the square. If she wanted to look at the wound later, he wouldn't argue. But, for now, it seemed tension had returned. He offered a look heavenward and perhaps a prayer as he stepped up beside Bradley. One more day and they would be back on the Rose

Wolf Paw? Who on earth was Wolf Paw? Ah... suddenly it came clear, connecting the man who had knocked over her attacker. Her brow knit but she didn't say anything in reply. Instead just tucked her arm securely with Oisin's and fell into step, smoothing out her rumpled locks as they went.

She really didn't need to be reprimanded. She was doing a fine job that on her own with her head down and expression as it was. She knew that her quick witted tongue had been the cause of that whole scene. She genuinely felt bad  about it. She just walked silently with Fi to whatever restaurant the men had chosen for their meal without another word, and without looking at anyone in passing.

Bradley walked squared shoulder, that something off  for the wound. A stiffness and not trying to move it much. He didn't want what happened to ruin the good news of the day. "The food smells good," as the wonderful aroma was already reaching their nostrils as they neared the restaurant. He saw them with a hand (good arm) up to the board walk before moving ahead to open the door. He'd hold it open until Adam passed in last, knowing he would lead the ladies to a good table. A good table being one chosen away from vagrants like they just encountered, one near a window preferably.



Date: 03-15-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 45

Fort Ligonier

Mercy, for one, was delighted with the idea of a filling meal, a hot bath and a warm bed. She had been spoiled since she lived in Heathfield, her assignments keeping her there more often than not. Of course, it was good to be doing something different. Chasing down missing cats, children and spouses could be a bit wearing and not much of a challenge. The men would have to hurry to keep up with her once the horses were tended to, and extra coin given to the stable boy to see to their gear. She couldn't wait to get inside.

Jacob was relived for Mercy's sake mostly to get her inside an Inn this close to the Fort. They were all road weary as he approached the tender, enough money to see to all the extras like baths and a good meal. "I think we can all take a rest and talk over a good meal. Say one hour from now down in the dining area," which was very rustic looking but clean. It seemed the man had a few daughters working for him. Keys were gotten and distributed before he was heading upstairs, one that had a walkway balcony with the doors the room on the other side.

Even Liam was feeling the grim and grit from the long week on the road. Time to feel human again or he'd be growling like a bear, taking over Ciaran's old role. The thought had him chuckling as he collected the key and with a glance his brother's way before he was following quickly in Jacob's wake for a bath and some real rest sounded like a bit of heaven right now.

Though all of them were used to plenty of travel, the long hours on horseback still tended to wear on a man. Evan was relieved to have somewhere to sleep tonight that wasn't a soft patch of ground by a campfire. Handing off his mount to the stable lad he piled in with the others inside, getting a room and a key from the innkeep with a nod of thanks. Then it was up the stairs for a quick bath, after which he actually laid flat on his back on the bed. Just a moment of rest, he thought, but an hour later he was still snoring away. He hadn't been sleeping well on the road and his body seemed to leap at the chance for some stolen zzz's.

Ciarán didn't say much as they turned the horses over and then headed upstairs to their rooms after signing in and obtaining keys. He just wanted a few moments to himself. The bath would offer that and so would taking a little rest. And if it took a little while for the tub to be filled with heated water, that was fine too. He stood at the window and watched as the street lamps were lit then finally enjoyed the bath.

"A bath will be absolutely wonderful." Mercy grinned as they finally were heading upstairs. She gave the four men a wave before heading into her room. The grit and dirt of the road was soaked away, she used some wonderfully scented soap the lass had given her on her hair and when it was time to join the others for a meal, she was ready, once again wearing the clothes she had in Philadelphia.

Jacob's soaking was when he rested as he let the steam open up his pours and draw out the grime he felt embedded with at this point. He was finally out as the water started to cool and he becoming a prune in the shape of a man. With a towel wrapped around his lower torso, he was over to stand by the window off to the side. Harder for anyone to see him from below as he watched the night streets and the types that wandered them. Seemed women of quality walked with escorts, laughing with nary a care in the world. There were a few mules loaded down with trapper's equipment which would be about par for the area. There were probably a lot more of them at one of the few local taverns. He had counted at least four places on the streets they passed getting to the Inn. He was tired but not mentally tired and if he slept presently, he knew he'd have a hard time sleeping tonight. So, he got dressed, tied back the mass of wet curling hair and headed downstairs. He would have a drink at the bar and wait on the others until they arrived. He had splashed on some light spicy scent after the bath as it seemed appropriate to do so.

They were all probably soaking at the same time, a lot of dirty water would be emptied by the chambermaids tonight. Liam had tried taking a nap but he was restless, tossing and turning until he finally gave up the ghost and got up and dressed. He was a window watcher and so stood by his a long few moments taking in the scene, or there lack of anything really exciting, before heading across his room and out the door. Locked behind him he was soon pounding on Evan's door with a wicked grin, Ciaran's next before down the steps in a quick pace as if demons were on his heels. Very possible they could be! He spotted Jacob at the bar so averted his steps in that direction and wsa soon joining him.

Liam might hear a startled snort as his deep breathing of sleep was suddenly disrupted, followed by a solemn series of cursing. Ahh bugger, he hadn't meant to sleep so long. Pushing himself upright on the bed, he rubbed his eyes fiercely then realized he still only wore a towel around his waist. Stumbling around he made quick work of getting dressed, shirt tucked in and fisherman's cap pulled onto his head as he headed downstairs soon after. Hazel eyes still a bit bleary but a drink would fix that.

Naniko was not born to this new world, but had been there long enough to learn her way around and become accustomed to the ways of the people. She had to for her own survival before her means of arrival to this new world caught up with her, which she knew it would. She remained obscure most of the time. An obvious woman, traveling alone and not dressed like a lady was just as bound to draw attention. It was easier to keep to the shadows. It also enabled her to keep an ear for work, to keep her moving from one place to another. When the group of gents and the lone woman came in, their presence was noted from her place at the far end of the bar. Obscure enough while they checked in that Naniko would go unnoticed beyond perhaps a glimpse in her direction, but now as they gathered they had a bit more of her attention in the most subtle of manners.

Ciar laughed when he heard the pounding at his door. Could only be one person, so he finished dressing, pulled his hair back with a rawhide strip and headed down the steps. "I feel human again," he declared as he joined the growing group at the bar. "Now for some food, and then sleep." The journey to Fort Pitt would be of a shorter duration.

Mercy was the last to come down. She had even managed to twist her damp hair into curls. "Now, there is a sight. Four handsome men, cleaned up and ready for dinner." She slid her arm through Jacob's as she joined them, cinnamon brown eyes bright. While the rest of their journey could very well be without any comfortable place to stay, tonight she was going to enjoy herself.

Jacob drew her close a moment as words came low near her ear, "you smell delicious." The last word being stretched out and certainly a compliment. Easing from the closeness for company and a public place, to linger would be stepping over some rules of propriety, not that he figured they wouldn't be even more forgiving in these parts, he respected Mercy. "I like your hair that way, " those words a lot clearer than the former. "Do you wish to eat here at the bar or one of the tables," not that there were any really near a window which were small and heavily curtained.

Liam was taking in the place and keeping his eyes from the little love doves. He was tempted, by his nature, to tease Jacob but he felt Jacob would get even if he did. That kind he would keep to his brothers as it was a long ongoing family thing. Weren't they lucky! It was then he noticed the one lass that stood out from all the others even though somewhat hidden in shadows. There were a few trappers here for a meal and seemingly of a nature not here for anything else. A couple were secluded away from the others so they could get in those little intimate whispers and touches, but it was the odd one out that eye contact was actually made with before giving a discreet nod out of respect. He had seen the menu as he spoke up, "I'll have the stew, brown bread and sauteed haddock in the lemony sauce.." heading for a table whether the others did or not, there was something about eating his dinner at a table if he could than the bar. He turned out a couple chairs until claiming one that gave him a good view of the room and the woman that stuck out like a sore thumb in the place. Or, at least to him.

Yaaaaaaaawn. Evan nodded his greetings to everyone, then took a cursory glance at the menu. "I'll have the same as this man," said with a clap to Liam's shoulder, for the stew and haddock sounded good to him too. "And a bottle of whiskey for the table." Food and beverage ordered, he turned around to wander after Liam, pulling out a chair till he could lounge his long limbs into it. He was still waking up but did notice Liam's glances across the room, and followed his gaze, catching sight of the somewhat exotic looking woman. Evan arched a brow at Liam wordlessly.

Naniko...definitely stood out. It wasn't by choice, but exotic features donned a light olive complexion and the slant of eyes that would have hinted to at least partially an eastern heritage perhaps it if it'd not been for the dark red hair that fell inches below her bum in length. Attire was mostly oriental in design with a qi pao style tunic that fastened up her neck with small red frog style closures against the white material, and comfortable, loosely fitted pants with typical fashion shoes of what most assumed her culture. Amber colored eyes that bordered red in color watched the group, returning the nodded gesture to Liam while watching them take to their table. Her observation wasn't outright. A glance over her shoulder and attention followed as far as the corner of her eye, lingered there a moment before turning to the drink she held in a wooden mug. They seemed foreign to this particular area. She would offer tracking services, but not while they ate.

Ciar looked at the menu, then nodded. "I think I'll have the venison pie, with a side of fried potatoes. And ale." He gave a nod at the last, then headed for the table as well. A glance was given to those around, including a double take at the woman his brothers had noticed. Giving a shake of his head, he sat and waited. And yes, his stomach growled.

Mercy smiled, pleased with the compliment. "Thank you," she said softly then she decided on supper. "I think I'll have the game hen with potatoes and whatever vegetable you have in season. And hot tea to drink." She turned to look at Jacob. "Table is fine. Do you want to sit with the brothers or take the table beside them?" They'd be less crowded that way and still able to talk.

"I'll have the shepherd's pie with rice pilaf on the side, brown bread and a bottle of wine and whiskey for the table." He was up from his seat as a hand slipped to the small of her back. "I think we can butt the tables together so we can all feast together." They had become a mini family on this trip, facing dangers together. He noticed the lass by herself, and heritage was something Jacob passed over as he spoke up. "Lady, instead of sitting by yourself to sup, you are welcome to join us as there is plenty of room. A wise man once told me, a friend is but a stranger away." If she chose to join them then he would extend introductions. He moved the tables together then saw Mercy to a seat next to his. The whiskey and wine were delivered as he would have some wine with his dinner to be followed by a glass of the whiskey.

Liam caught that arched brow and chuckled under his breath. "I didn't expect to see an exotic blossom blooming in this wilderness." Especially one with red hair but that didn't need to be added or what was said about redheads. They may end up butting heads. He helped Jacob move the table and curious if the exotic lady would join them. Certainly it would have the meal go by far more interesting. He was seated again and soon pouring a shot of the whiskey to enjoy. Then lowered words would reach Evan and Ciaran's ears in the least. "The Bear is back.."

Evan smirked some at Liam's comment about the exotic blossom, though if the lady did come over, his smile would be entirely polite to welcome her. With the table moved and them all settled, Evan poured himself a whiskey to savor then leaned in a bit to catch Liam's words. Which brought a low chuckle to his lips.

Attention given to her mug was interrupted when a voice was directed towards her. Or so she guessed as the invitation was extended. Thin brow arched curiously before picking up her lean from the counter to accept the invitation. It would give her a chance to offer her services. Or at the very least, feel out whether this group was in need of them. Once the tables were pushed together, she offered a small bow to the group. "A pleasure. Thank you to invite to join." Her English not the best, but understood despite wrong words and the heavy eastern accent that accompanied. An available seat taken, ankles crossed and tucked beneath the chair with a very upright posture about her as she casually looked to each face present.

Ciarán gave his brothers a half grin. Didn't really bother him when his stomach growled. He thought it was funny. When Mercy came to the table, he stood and helped move then stood again when the lass came to the table. He sat again, falling silent as he picked up the tankard of ale left for him and took a drink. After setting down the tankard, he picked up his spoon and began to tap lightly on the table with it. Of course, if anyone gave him a look, he'd stop!

Mercy nodded, then smiled as they joined the others again. She smiled at the young woman when Jacob spoke to her and nodded agreement with his invitation. She heard the noise Ciar's stomach made and laughed softly. It did sound like a bear's growl. Her attention was drawn to the young woman again however, and she smiled warmly. "I'm Mercy and these gentleman are Jacob, Liam, Evan and Ciarán."



Date: 03-15-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 46

Liam got to his feet as the exotic looking woman was invited over. She was a sight to feast upon especially out in this god forsaken part of the world. "I'm pleased you would join us, otherwise I get to look at these two mugs all night," teasing as he indicated his brothers. "I'm Liam of that list," easing back down into his seat once she was seated. The elusive smile hinted upon complimenting unreadable dark eyes other than the feel she was indeed welcome at their table.

Gee thanks Liam. Evan just smirked and shook his head lightly, clambering to his own two feet for politeness' sake when the lady joined them. "Don't listen to me mate Liam, he's been hit in the head too many times. Evan," he introduced himself, and sat back down once she had claimed her own chair.

Jacob kept from chuckling under his breath for the charm being shown by the brothers. Had it been a few years ago it would have been him, until he met Mercy and all that changed.

It was strange to be welcome to their table. She'd gained nothing but grief since her escape, and it made her a bit leery. It never surfaced though; instead a small smile to Liam, then Evan as he introduced himself. "Naniko. You here?" Logical since they were residing at an inn temporarily. Amber hue drifted to each in turn once more. Curious bunch. Their manners so much more civil than most she'd met here. It was almost easing.

Ciar stood as well until the lass sat then nodded. "Ciarán. Nice to meet you." He didn't even attempt to say her name but fell into silence and went back to tapping with his spoon. At least until the food came, then he'd dig in.

"A pleasure, Naniko. Such a pretty name." She nodded to the question. "Yes, we're passing through more or less." She wouldn't give out more. That would be up to the others.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Naniko," which seemed to fall from his lips easily. Then again Jacob Anderson had been many places not necessarily by choice but demand. "Are you from these parts or traveling through like we are?" Though he asked the question in all politeness she would probably get the feeling he knew the answer already. It was also an open for her to add anything she wanted to say about herself or ask questions. They wouldn't seem to be a too closed group just by the fact she had been invited to join them, that usually meant socializing.

Liam gave one of those silent grins Evan's way. A glance to Ciaran for his elusive ways even more than his own then up to find a barmaid coming over with a platter with their dinners on it, at least half for right behind her was another fine looking lass with the rest of them. Dark eyes shifting back to the oriental lass, "a pleasure to meet you Nan-ik-o," being careful to pronounce her name close as he could for the definite accent had it sounding just a bit different but one some liked.

"Thank you." To the compliment from Mercy, followed with a nod to her confirmation that they were traveling through. Her attention to each remained polite, now and again sipping from her mug. "I am not from these lands. I am from the far east." Most would question it given the lacking dark hair and eyes, but it was what it was. Many things about her did not turn out the way they should have. "If assistance you seek to where you go, offer such perhaps I can." The offer spoken casually over her mug before another drink was taken. Certainly not attempting to take away from their meal and not expecting an answer right away if they needed time to think about it.

By then, their food was delivered, and since Ciar didn't really have anything to say, he just dug in. If Jacob and Liam wanted to hire her as a guide that was fine with him, though he was wondering if she wasn't  from these lands, how would she help?

Mercy looked at Jacob then back to the young woman, a brow lifting in question. "What kind of assistance are you offering exactly?" It could be any number of things.

That was exactly the question he would have asked next. Mercy took the initiative which had him smiling all of a sudden. Brief before he started in on his dinner as he waited for the answer. Certainly for them to hire her would depend on what she could do.

Soon as Liam's plate had been set down before him, he was digging in. Probably didn't seem like he heard anything else around him but that would be the first and last mistake some had made.

Evan was busy stuffing his face with his fish and stew, washing it down with small swigs of whiskey. Though he glanced up occasionally amongst the others to show he was listening, especially when Naniko offered her services... like Mercy, he wondered what exactly she had in mind.

Once more she looked to them all, clearing her throat softly. "I am familiar enough with the area to guide you the safest path." That of course didn't guarantee there wasn't a risk in traveling, but she knew the least traveled ways into and out of the area.

"Have you lived in these parts for some time then, lass?" He paused , a slight frown appearing. "I mean, Naniko. No insult meant. Just ... this is pretty rough territory. " He glanced at Mercy then back and grinned., "not that I'm saying you couldn't handle it, just wondering how you learned it." That didn't sound quite right either but it was the best he could do.

Mercy had felt that look from Jacob even if she didn't look his way. The smile she offered Naniko showed she would welcome her help, but like Ciar, she wanted to be certain the young woman knew her way through the wilderness. Of course, once that was established, it would be up to everyone to decide.

Jacob continued with his meal as he listened, all was being asked that he would have and what was good about it, made all a part. He had finished his meal and now sat back to enjoy more of the wine.

Liam subtly nudged Evan with his elbow being he sat next to him, more in, LOOK, CIARAN SPOKE UP, the world was going to end. Although he kept a straight face. Admittingly it was good to hear him speak up finally for hisbrother was usually so quiet.

Huh what? Evan looked up at the nudge, catching Liam's look, translating it easily once he glanced to Ciar. Being he was halfway through a bite of fish his snicker was half a choking fest. Fist pounded to chest, he leaned back in his chair and took a drink to minimize being such an interruption! Yes, listening very solemnly.

"Not that much different than other lands, it is. The finer details I have learned with spending time here, as it seems that those like myself welcome are not." Those of a fairer complexion had little like for olive complexions and slanted eyes. "Learned well I have for myself I hunt and rarely come to such establishments this one as such. An easier way of life for me, it is."

Ciar glanced at his brothers and smirked but he didn't say anything to them. That would come later. "Do you know the area from here to Fort Pitt?" He dropped his voice a touch, not sure they should announce it but then again, it was the stopping point to there.

Naniko nodded to Ciarán. "Fort Pitt, I know where is." Another nod, though to herself as she looked down into her mug. It was strange being the center of attention. It made her uneasy, but she sat there, still and quiet except to answer questions.

Well, that would be the extent of his questions because honestly, he didn't have any more. He looked at Liam and Jacob and shrugged. Now they'd have to make a decision.

Jacob finally spoke up. "What payment do you ask and do you know the area around the place called Hunt's Landing?" He doubted anyone in this place, which had dwindled down to themselves, would care about their conversation.

He flinched at the destination named. Well there went his relatively good mood. And down went the whiskey! Meal finished, he pushed away his plate and leaned back in his chair.

Attention rose from her mug to Jacob with a nod. "Hunt's landing also I know. An almost obscure passage to there I have traveled. Payment I seek would depend on how far travels you plan to go with guide."

Hunt's Landing. Ciar looked down at his empty plate then picked up his tankard to finish the last of this ale. He didn't feel as bad as Evan obviously but those ghosts that he had pretty much put out of his mind would likely be back tonight.

Mercy watched the three men a moment then looked at Jacob. They each dealt with it in their own way but she truly was worried for Evan.

Liam was the one most unfazed when Hunt's Landing was mentioned, in fact, he looked forward to getting there as much as his need to find Fawn. He held concern mostly for Evan for he still hadn't come to terms with that day. He was hoping what he had planned would help him. Time would tell and worth the shot, it would help him, that was exactly why he was anxious to get there. He turned a dark eyed focus on Naniko as she certainly was a curiosity.

Jacob studied her long and hard. "Depends on how good you are in how long we shall keep you with us. First we'll get to Fort Pitt." It was getting late as it seemed all were done with their meals that had one. "Let us get some sleep for we travel at the break of dawn. We will see you here for a quick breakfast, I hope you have a horse?" Otherwise they would have to see about getting one for her. He rose at that point as the barmaid was over to collect the empty plates and drinking vessels.

Evan placed his empty glass down on the table and pushed back in his chair. "Aye, think I'll get myself to bed. See you all in the morning," a few coins tossed on the table and with that, he headed up the stairs.

"A horse I have. Take you I will, in exchange for with you, you will take me to where you are destined?" She had little use for coins, since she hunted for herself and slept outdoors, and clothes were easy enough to come by. As it seemed that everyone was ready to retire for the evening, she stood from her seat with a respectful bow. "Grateful am I for your kind invitation to join you."

Ciar was hoping that seeing Hunt's Landing would give him a kind of closure. Leaving as they had to try to find Fawn had been quick and while it was a good thing at the time, he needed to lay those ghosts to rest. He stood, watching Evan's abrupt departure then he smiled at the others. "Well, then. Until dawn ... rest well." He would wait for Liam, and walk upstairs with him, maybe voice his worries about Evan.

Mercy stood as well, waiting for Jacob of course. "Good night everyone." Nan received a warm smile. It would be nice to have another woman riding with them.

"A fair deal, Naniko, see you in the morning," which in the least would work out for them and learn more of this lass of foreign grounds in the interim. Everyone had a story. A hand coming to rest upon the small of Mercy's back in escort to their rooms.

Oh yea, Jacob and Mercy definitely had something special between them even if Jacob tried to pass it off as courtesy. Smile turned on Naniko as he slightly bowed his head. "Good night sleep have." Speaking her language as he found it charming. One glance to Ciaran as he was on his way in the wake of the others.

Blink at Liam. "Sleep good you have." And out she went!

Date: 03-21-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 47

Fort Pitt

Mercy was up with the dawn, having had a good night's sleep. She had everything packed away, and was back in buckskin shirt and pants, having had them washed out the night before and drying before the fire while she slept. She waited for the others to come down before ordering her breakfast but was enjoying tea.

Ciarán took his time getting up this morning. He was still tired but that would pass once he ate and they were on the road again. Yawning, he opened the window, trying to use the cooler air to wake himself up.

Evan headed downstairs, dressed in his usual worn but now-clean travel clothes, linen shirt and waistcoat and dark brown pants loose enough to be comfortable while riding. His bag was slung over his shoulder, packed and ready for their departure. Catching sight of Mercy already there, he nodded his greeting. "Morning Mercy." There was a slight smile of hello on his face, but the lines around his eyes were tired. He'd had a rather bittersweet dream last night and was still trying to shake it to wake up fully and enter the real world once more.

Naniko was up and about. Had been since shortly before dawn to collect her things, have a bite to eat and prepare her horse for travels. The group she'd offered to guide would not find her inside the Inn, but she would be outside within earshot and eye sight for when they emerged.

Jacob came from outside, his bag already on his horse which he had all five of them there and ready. Naniko's horse was not with them basically because he didn't know which horse was hers. Which it seemed she was there and eager to get going anyway. "Good morning Naniko," dismounting before seeing to tying the horses off at the hitching post then inside to have another mug of coffee with the others if they were up by now. Breakfast had been completed probably just missing Naniko this morning like ships passing in the night. Smile spread seeing Mercy there as he was soon joining her and Evan. "Your brothers still sleeping?"

Liam had been window watching early as the sky lightened with the approach of dawn. The sleepy town starting to come alive for those who needed to be up. At that point he grabbed his rucksack to sling over a shoulder as he pounded on his brothers' doors in passing. A sort of ritual with him whether they be within or not. He was down just in time to hear Jacob, "not I," noting Evan, "seems only sleepy eye Ciaran.." grinning as he took a seat and had the waitress over with a plate of eggs, bacon, hash browns and a mug of coffee. He dug in.

Mercy's smile was warm for each, but it brightened a touch more when Jacob came in. "And here I thought I was the first up." She laughed then settled in for breakfast. Not quite as much as her companions but the eggs and toast would keep her going until they took a break later.

Ciar heard the knock and just grunted out a reply. He headed down the steps a few moments later, giving a brief order to the serving girl before joining the others. "Morning," said in somewhat low tones and this morning the bear was quiet.

Evan turned to Jacob and gave a slight shrug. "They must be - " stopping when Liam came bounding in to join them. Still in the maddeningly sunny mood of his, was Liam. It wasn't the first time Evan wondered what was going on with the man, that he seemed so unaffected and actually cheerful about returning to the place of so much heartache. Then came in Ciaran, looking as worn and quiet as he was feeling himself. Greeting both brothers, Evan ordered himself a coffee and some toast and shoved his pack under the table for now.

"Naniko is waiting on us outside." As a heads up as he enjoyed the mug of coffee. They would take as long as the slowest one of those here in finishing their meal. He was ready to go and would wait on Mercy, not the brothers.

Liam did a good imitation of the first vacuum cleaner as he sucked down his breakfast before he was up and heading outside. "See you on the other side." Always anxious to get where they were going. Each mile closer in fulfilling his plan. He was in a good mood, odd as it would seem to his brothers and possibly the others, but after the moment of truth they might understand. Out into daylight as he  lit up a fag, drawing in the smoke to let ease from his lips as he was over to check on his possessions strapped to the horse. "Morn'in Naniko." Without even looking her way for the task.

Evan didn't feel like inhaling his food this morning, but he ate quickly to save time, not wanting to dawdle while the others were waiting. He finished all the toast on his plate, took a final swig of coffee and pushed back from the table. "See you outside." Grabbing his pack he slung it over a shoulder and headed outside, crossing the yard to see to his own mount. The pack strapped to the saddle, he looked over at Liam over the back of his horse. "You take care of that package better than you would an infant." He commented with a wry smirk, obviously still curious about the wrapped-up something that Liam refused to talk about.

Mercy didn't take long either though she didn't inhale her food. Once she had finished the meal, she pushed away from the table, and smiled again. "We better not keep them waiting." She grabbed up her coat and started for the door, giving the owner of the inn and his family a wave.

Ciar didn't really take his time. He didn't eat. He had coffee and asked for some bread to take along to eat on the trail. He might eat it later but he wasn't hungry now.

Naniko was standing with her horse in patient wait. The wait she didn't mind too much, as it seemed this group was as eager to move out of the area as she was. She looked up to one of the men as he came out and greeted her once more. "Morning, Mitso." Casual lean was taken against the horse while she waited on everyone to gather for this ride out to Fort Pitt. As the others came filing out one at a time, they received a nod from her, but otherwise she was silent for the time being.

He was right out the door with Mercy as they all vacated the tavern. Over to help her up even if she could mount a horse without assistance. Yes, it was for those other reasons and she'd see his smiling face looking up once she was situated before he was up and over to mount up. A click of his tongue as he started off in the direction of Fort Pitt. "How have things been in these parts, more killings or not?" Directed Naniko's way as they had a long ride ahead of them and so would make the most of it in news. If she had been hanging around these parts she would know the latest.

Dark eyes met those of his brother's as he finished, carefully, tightening the straps. Slight grin like one who had a secret and was keeping it for a time being more. Only the quick wink at the end would give any clue away that whatever it was, it was treated like an infant. He was up into the saddle and on his way with the others. Derby atop his head and dipped to shade his eyes from the sun as it came up stronger.

"Good morning, Naniko." She smiled at the exotic lass, then as she was about to mount her horse, Jacob was helping her. The smile grew wide and she resisted the urge to tousle his hair. Once she checked to make sure her rifle was in reach, she was ready to go.

Ciar was feeling more awake as they went outside and he grinned at Liam. Yes, he was curious about what the eldest was hiding but he knew how Liam was about keeping secrets. "Morning... " He finally gave a greeting before he was up in the saddle of his horse and ready to head out.

That sly dog. Evan only rolled his eyes at Liam, leaving it at that. Fisherman's cap pulled over his brow, he mounted up and settled into the saddle. The stirrups would be adjusted some as they began at a walk, and by the time they picked up a faster pace he was comfortable. Another day on the road, bringing them ever closer.

Naniko was up on the horse along with all of her gear, which wasn't really all that much. A couple saddle packs and her bed roll and chosen weapon hung from a strap down her back. Attention shifted to the inquiry. "Violence seems to have become a second nature here." Murders and other forms of violence, including robbery and such. Her tone was grim as they headed away from the Inn and she put them on a less used path in the right direction. The path wasn't guaranteed to be completely safe, but it was less riddled since it wasn't quite as well known. "Road bandits too, enjoy the takes they seem to do."

At least the day was cooperative as any drizzle had subsided and the sky was clearing up. "I'm not surprised you want to get away from all this." If one could get away. Well, some could at least where he came from but that was not brought up. Wasn't the time or place and better to get to know the oriental woman. He rode almost side by side with Mercy, leaving Naniko a pace ahead being the tracker-scout. "We hope to avoid any violence of any nature, to do what we set out here," dipping a glance back to the brothers, skipping over Mercy only to come to rest upon Nan again, "then get back to where we are from. Hopefully with answers for the brothers." He was keeping an eye on the terrain and tree line for any unusual movement or the like. Sword was ready at his hip, knife and a flintlock.

Liam continued to wear that secretive smile that would quirk off to the side now and then as if reflecting his thoughts on whatever had it there. He rode leisurely by his brothers, all staggered but remaining close enough. At least the sun wasn't in his eyes so he could as well watch, more street savvy but he had the right kind of instincts to survive no matter where he was.

Mercy listened to the talk as they started out, her eyes constantly moving. She glanced at Jacob then looked forward again. They had known there would be dangers and none of them would leave their guard down. A slight smile was given to Jacob, even if he wasn't looking her way. Flintlock in reach, she felt a bit safer.

As Ciarán listened to the talk, he felt a slight feeling of nervousness. It was normal, no matter where they were for him to feel it. It kept him more alert. And he felt confident with those who were here. He and his brothers had handled everything life had thrown at them. Now they had additional help.

Evan rode in companionable if a bit tense silence, alongside the other brothers. He knew exactly where on his person all his weaponry was, ready to use it at a moment's notice. They'd already encountered issues with some of the natives and so he kept alert, a frown along the tree line every once in awhile almost daring them to come out and attack.

Naniko simply nodded to the comment of getting away from all of this. This...wasn't what she was trying to get away from. Not as far as the greater of reasons. "This path, safety I cannot promise, but less dangerous than major roads are mostly clear from my experience so far."

"Yes, seems the more traveled roads are the ones that get hit especially in areas that promote an ambush," stating what he figured was common knowledge as he finally reined in his stallion. "Let us take a ten minute break. We've been riding for about three hours at this pace." Of course he chose a spot by a shallow brook with stepping stones scattered across. The depth maybe two feet at the deepest point and the water running clear over stones. "If you wish to scout ahead?" Naniko knew the area as he did not and would know if that was needed. Dismounting he brought his horse over to drink while he would eat something small and have a drink. Always watching as he did.

Liam would follow suit, pleased to get out of the saddle and stretch his legs. Something to eat and drink as he led his horse over to the brook to have a drink and partake of the sweet grass growing in clumps along the edge.

Mercy slid from her saddle as soon as they stopped, leading her horse to the stream. She watched the horse drink, allowing her other senses to take over. Sounds filtered through but nothing was out of the ordinary.

As soon as he was down from the saddle, Ciar stretched out the kinks. He let the horse wander to the stream while he helped himself to a slice of bread. He was glad to be out of the saddle, even if just for ten minutes.

Evan was happy to get out of the saddle for a few minutes, and joined the others at the stream, letting his obedient horse wander freely to eat and drink. He'd do the same, but knelt first along the creek's edge, the cold water scooped up in his hands to splash over his face.

Naniko too was stopped and getting down from the saddle. Before letting her horse go for water though, she was digging around in one of the packs. "Scout, yes." Which she planned on doing and had prepared for it ahead of time. From within the pack, she collected four small dolls crudely made of gray yarn. each had a head, body, legs and arms, well proportioned and only about three inches tall. The horse was patted, giving him the go ahead to the water while she crouched down and started digging through the pockets of her qipao, pulling free four different colored lengths of ribbon and spent a short moment of time fixing the colorful bands around the necks of each doll.


That certainly was a curious sight when he noticed Nan with the dolls. Nothing was said as he finished up his food then was down to wet a length of cloth to then wrap around his neck. A glance given Mercy if she noticed the sort of ritual too, although he spoke on present matters. "We should be arriving at the fort in two more hours. If we can procure a flatboat promptly then we need not stay there but set out on the river to our destination. Arriving there before evening. We can set up camp there or go inland to the site and stay there." He didn't think the Brothers would be keen on the latter idea but it was an option to present to them.

Liam had his derby off and his hair soaked for splashing water over his head, damp areas spreading on his shirt. It was then he sent a good splash Evan's way and next Ciar's way. It was on the turn around from the brook that he halted after taking a few steps to find Naniko playing with dolls. Which meant it was something else for grown women didn't play with dolls unless a certain kind. Had brows lifting as he slid the derby back over wet hair.

Mercy leaned against her horse as she had a light meal, cinnamon colored eyes turning toward the exotic Naniko. She watched her a moment then looked at Jacob and nodded to show she had heard. Camping didn't bother her but like Jacob, she wasn't sure the brothers would care to camp near the burned out village.

Ciar let out a yelp when the cold water hit but just laughed rather than try to get his brother back. He saw Liam stopping, then moved around his horse to have a look-see at what Naniko was doing. Interesting.

Maybe he should have but Evan hadn't expected they'd arrive at the fort so soon... soon enough to get them to Hunt's Landing by tonight. Not tomorrow but tonight. He was just absorbing that when Liam splashed him but he just sent a brief distracted glance to his brother, before wiping his hands across his wet face. Talking himself into what was about to happen.

Naniko continued what she was doing. One brightly colored ribbon around each doll's neck until they were secure with no hanging ends. Scouting was always easier when you had eyes other than your own to spread out and cover more ground. The last thing she needed was a thread of hair. Well, four of them. One for each doll, which was plucked from her own head, wrapped around the ribbon of each, then she looked at each of them thoughtfully. It would take four breaths to put the dolls into motion; a deep breath was taken as she brought all four closer to her face -her mouth- then exhaled slowly. The breath expelled came out like an iridescent fog, almost like breath on a winter day, but shiny. The breath hovered there in the air for a moment. "Scout." When the command was given, all four of the dolls jerked to life and she dropped them on the ground. They landed on their feet and spread out, heading in the direction of the path set head for the group. Naniko stood up. "Return I shall. I go to scout." With the first movements of the dolls, the colors from the ribbons faded into a slate gray, using the color of their animation.

Voodoo or necromancy came to mind as Jacob discreetly watched. He'd seen a lot of odd things in his day not to have him overly surprised. Perhaps not this exactly but other things done with innate objects brought to life. "We will be mounting up and head in the direction you take." Which would put them maybe five minutes behind her and the dolls. He was already seeing to the straps of the saddle on his horse and to make sure the stallion was refreshed enough to continue as well as the others. Once Naniko was out of sight he was over to help Mercy up as before. Once the task was done he would be mounting up to ride at her side.

This was not something Liam had seen. Oh, he had encounters with those that could do things others could not and even deemed impossible. Something like this, however, he'd not seen before as he stood there frozen to the spot in a sort of awe and a bit of superstition rising in his gut making him wonder if he should give the sign of the cross or something. He snapped out of it and swung up into the saddle as the others prepared to leave. He went more on how Jacob reacted then the others. Although alongside of his brothers, he mumbled. "What dea yea think o' that?"



Date: 03-21-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 48

She might ask Naniko about the ritual later but they needed to keep moving. Giving Jacob and the others a smile, she checked on her pack, made sure her horse was ready and then accepted Jacob's help. Once settled, she made sure the flintlock was within reach.

Ciar was having second thoughts about the lass. He'd be keeping an eye on her for certain. "Not sure," answering Liam, he stared in the direction the woman had gone. "Guess we'll see, aye?"

Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of color, and glanced up in time to see Naniko with a set of dolls. That was strange enough to distract him from his thoughts, and he watched. It soon became outright staring when she seemed to breath life into the dolls and had them skipping away into the forest. Blink, blink. Well that was different. He shook his head as if to clear it, only giving Liam a brow-arched look in response. Like the others he felt a tad wary towards Naniko now. Seemed like their break was up and he rose, going over to claim his horse and swinging back up into the saddle.

Naniko had of course taken her horse with her. At least part of the way and she wasn't running off ahead of the miniature scouts. She let them run on ahead and kept from catching up while keep to the sides of the path, out of immediate view and on the softer earth to help muffle the horse's sounds. Ears were kept keen on the surroundings while she watched the ground, keeping an eye out for any one of those dolls to come back and relay information to her. It wasn't really a voodoo sort of magic. It was magic that everyone held within them and a good portion failed to realize. With the rest of the group a short distance behind her, it gave her time to scout ahead. One of the little dolls made its way back to her. No voice came from the little figure at all, but the communication was there on a level that was given through Breath. The information relayed was enough for her, she turned back with more haste to halt the group's path before they got much further.
Once everyone was ready, he forged on ahead with Mercy close behind him, a few paces or so as he followed suit in keeping to one side. If Naniko felt that was the way to proceed along this part of the journey then he would do in like. "Heads up and alert," normal tone that they would hear. He was keeping a look out for others and for Naniko. As he caught sight of Naniko heading back their way, he held up a hand but made no sound. Sound could give them away if danger was that kind of close.

"Aye, brother. At least she is on our side using it and not against us," words lowered as they started out after Jacob and Mercy. That would be the last he'd speak presently as idle conversation might distract them from something needing all their focus. That became even more real as he saw Jacob's hand go up and further out Naniko riding towards them and so halted with the others.

Mercy gave a nod when she heard Jacob, giving her horse a pat to make sure he stayed calm. So far the horses were proving to be well trained so she wasn't too worried that he'd bolt. He hadn't done so when the Braves came on them. Seeing Naniko returning, she stopped as Jacob raised his hand.

Ciar gave a slight nod but he didn't say anything. He was still going to wonder about her. But that was normal for one who wasn't really used to magic. He halted, startling his horse a little but he calmed him easily enough.

Evan wondered a lot of things about her now. It was just rather unnerving to watch four little dolls run off of their own power. Evan pulled up quickly when he saw Jacob's hand, glancing up to see Naniko hurrying back in their direction. He reached forward to pat the horse's neck, soothing the animal into keeping quiet.

Naniko didn't come at them at a full run, but it was quicker than she'd left them and quicker than they were moving. "Around this area we must move. Return to the path when we reach the water again, to cross over the bridge." If  they wanted more explanation than that, she'd give it, but they needed to get off the path. There was an animal trail that veered off the path and would take them a short distance out of the way before rounding over to the water again and bridge that crossed and would put them back where they needed to be. She didn't wait, but went ahead and directed her horse to the trail.


"Lead on then," that was why Jacob hired her for she knew this area better than they did. He had known some of the other but they were lucky to find a guide here where there seemed to be a lot of Indian activity in this vicinity. They had been warned there would be a lot more the further they got from civilization and between the distances to the forts. He would veer off the main trail to the one she indicated and let her take over in showing the way.

"Remind me to ask how you did that some day," words low with a wry smile to hint as he neared Naniko as they started off the trail. Curiosity would always get the best of Liam until it was sated. They say it killed the cat but there was the part too that satisfaction brought him back.

Mercy didn't ask why right then. She would later, or one of the others since Liam seemed curious too. Urging her horse forward, she was grateful for the snow and mud that would keep the steps of the horses quiet.

Now he was curious too, but this was no time for talking. Instead, he became more alert, more concerned with where they were going. Naniko was the guide and for that reason, he'd trust her.  He patted the neck of his horse to assure him before urging him forward again.


What wasn't to trust about living breathing dolls? Naniko at least had that aura of power about her, in his mind, to make her worthy of listening. So he swiftly turned his horse's head to follow the others' path, off the road. It was impossible to know what had caused their guide's concern but he kept his senses alert for whatever it might be.

Naniko offered a small smirk to Liam requesting to learn how to Breathe. It came with an expense, as most things did, but it could be built upon to minimize the expense it caused on the body. There were all sorts of low branches along the path since it was just used by wildlife, but if anyone paid enough attention, they'd see that other horses and a few boot steps were here and there, but nothing fresh by any means, and all lead either to or away from where their original path would have lead them.

They were a distance along that path, probably half way through when shouts in the distance could be heard of a kind that one knew in their gut there was a fight going on. High pitched war cries that would send a chill up one's spine not use to them or being pounced upon unprepared. There were gun shots too. It was instinctive for Jacob to want to go help but his priority was keeping the Brothers and Mercy safe. Not a word spoken as the noise was loud enough to cover the distance to them, especially since they were silent, muffled as most of it was, it was a dire situation for those there.

Liam didn't like the sounds at all coming their way. Acute hearing he probably picked up a lot more. Made him even more alert with quick glances around as they continued on before muttering more to himself, "if they are there, they are not here." Which was a good bit of reassuring logic.

Mercy's breath caught when she heard the shouts and sounds of a fight. She knew they couldn't turn off the path and help but she didn't have to like it. She glanced at the others then looked forward to Jacob.

Ciar cussed softly under his breath, shaking his head. For a moment he wondered if it was the group that had stopped them the day before. Likely they'd never know. He glanced at Liam and nodded. Had to agree.

Evan was content to follow the others... that is till those bone chilling cries reached his ears. Distant as they were, the sounds got under his skin, reminding him of the memories that had played through his mind all too vividly in the past days. He rode with his entire body taut and tense, eyes bouncing back over his shoulder, to the sound of the battle. His brothers who knew him well might recognize that look that came over his eyes, the way his jaw set firmly. But that was the only warning they'd get to his next actions. Without so much as a glance to the others, he suddenly turned his horse sharply around. Being last in line, there was nothing to stop him, and he set heels to the horse's flanks. "Yah!" As soon as he was on the clearer path of the road he took off at a gallop, leaning down close and intense over the horse's neck as he rode towards the cries.

Naniko heard the cries and shots and stopped her horse. This was her way out and away from everything she didn't want anything to do with anymore. She had moved her horse into a small clearing so a couple of the others had passed, with full intentions of dismounting and going to make sure that whatever was going on, didn't come any closer to the group, but it seemed that Evan beat her to it. Some form of cursing in her native tongue, she looked at the others. "To the river, keep traveling. Do not stop and do not take way of your other." Meaning Evan. Her horse was reined around and took to weaving through the trees on a parallel path to try and catch up with Evan.

That's all Liam needed as he was in front of Evan. He'd have nightmares for the rest of his life if he didn't go and help fight. At least try. "All for one," which was the saying between brothers as he turned his horse around and was right behind his brother. No way in hell would he let something happen to him. They had been in so many scrapes together it would be sacrilege to let him go alone. He had not even heard Naniko.

Jacob was here to protect the brothers, two were already on their way to get into that fight, "maybe we are to make the difference. Nonetheless I must follow," glancing to Mercy as he hoped she would stay, although he highly doubt it because she would be the only one staying and that was probably more dangerous. Jacob was trained basically as a ninja warrior and knew Mercy was also trained. He was turned around in the next moment and giving chase after the others.

Of course Mercy wouldn't stay behind. She urged her horse forward, following Jacob as she leaned forward and low to the neck of her horse. She wouldn't put herself into more danger than necessary but she'd not cower either.

Ciar just sighed as everyone headed for the fight. It seemed the trip would be delayed just a tad longer. But they had to do what was right.  He gave a slight shrug and set his horse into a run behind Mercy's.


Evan was heedless of whether any of the others were following him or not, he only knew that he had to get there in time. His chest tightened when the cries began to get fainter, voices seeming to retreat, and he kicked his horse to spur him onward. Minutes passed and he couldn't hear any sound now, but he followed his instincts to the location. With a clattering of hooves he rounded a corner, and then had to quickly yank on his reins, causing the horse  almost to rear up beneath him. The sight before his eyes was nothing less than a massacre. Three wagons, one of them turned over and spilling crates onto the road. There were bodies strewn around, some natives but mostly settlers, and the soldiers who had been protecting them. Clearly the battle had only just ended, for some people stood staring off into the forest where the natives must have retreated. It was too late, the damage had been done and there was nobody to fight. "Dammit." Evan swore beneath his breath, looking with barely bridled rage at all of the bodies, some smaller ones of children and some women too. He swung down from his horse and approached the soldiers, holding his hands up to show he meant no harm. "We heard your screams, I tried to get here as fast I could... what happened? Who attacked you?" He had a strong suspicion but wanted to be sure.

Naniko hissed when it seemed that her words had been ignored and she could hear the rest of them coming along. Hard to offer them any form of protection with they running off into gods knows what! Naniko was only a couple of lengths behind Evan when he came out onto the scene. Her own horse pulled to a stop, causing him to skid and toss up his head, Nan looked around the remains of what looked to be a brutal attack. There were survivors though. There wasn't much they could do about the attacks unless the entire group wanted to track them down, which probably wasn't a wise idea since there was no way to know how many of them there were for sure. Since Evan was doing the questioning, Nan looked to the next to come onto the scene behind herself. "Search for survivors, I shall see. Their cart turned proper we should not leave them behind." Even if their horses were taken, if the cart was still in working condition, the survivors should get out of there.

Liam galloped a short distance from where Nan and Evan had halted. Leaving Evan to questioning the soldier, he was down to help a man up out of the way that was wounded. Next he was helping another turn the wagons back that were still in one piece and help load the bodies into one of the dead and those living into another. In moving some crates he came across a little boy of about three who clung to him when he tried to pass him off to those in the wagon of the wounded. He screamed and so he ended up keeping him with him. He could ride into Fort Pitt that way until they found out who he was.

Jacob came up alongside Evan. The information gathered was that they had been hit by a growing renegade tribe, the description of the leader was that of the one they had encountered which Jacob told him about. It was at that point a troop from the fort came riding in and the man excused himself to report to his commander. The man sent a number out on the trail of the Indians and some of their men and a few to help those of the settlers. It seemed it was a group starting out from the Fort and now would have to go back until further notice. "We're not going after them," giving a stern look amongst the brothers, "but we can help those here get back to the fort." That was a whole other animal and best left to the fort soldiers. He dismounted at this point to help out. So much for getting the flatboat today in time to sail. They would go early morning, procure the boat once at the fort this evening.

Evan nodded to the soldier, half-listening to the explanation as he looked angrily around. Part of him itched to join the soldiers in pursuit of the Indians, but Liam was right, that would be senseless. He could help here and that would have to be enough. Except that it wasn't. With jaws clenched he moved about the scene, checking the prone bodies to determine who was dead and who might still live.. which proved good a moment later, when he came across a man who appeared lifeless but then blinked his eyes open. Evan helped him up then moved on, comforting a girl who was nearly hysterical with fright and grief.

Mercy slowed her horse as she came onto the scene, eyes sweeping over the area. She was down from her horse quickly, moving among the survivors and helping where she could. She had some medical training and so could help there.  Mostly, she did it to avoid looking at the bodies, especially of the children. She found herself comforting a small girl and her mother as the soldiers came. Once they were seen to the wagons, she looked around for Jacob and the others.

Ciarán was the last of the group to reach the scene. He remained on his horse for a full minute, just taking it all in. Finally, he dismounted and began to see where he could help. An elderly man was trying to get his wagon to move forward so he could help some of the survivors to the fort. Somehow both his oxen had been spared. Once the wagon was out of the mud, Ciar started to round up those survivors who seemed fine, though in shock, and helped them climb in.

Naniko had gone around the general area, looking for more survivors or anything of importance, along with the scouting dolls. Nothing other than the dolls was found, so she returned to where the rest of the group was helping out with the survivors. And...she was not happy. She looked at Evan first, then the others. She had a temper that rivaled that red hair of hers and it showed in the narrowing of her eyes with a huff. "You...." Deep breath. Very deep breath. She decided not to say anything. Instead she dismounted from the horse to pick up the dolls, and then went to help up with the survivors and getting them fit to travel.

The lad's father was dead and his mother badly wounded it turned out. So Liam kept Tyler, having discovered his name, with him and set him up on his horse before swinging up into the saddle behind him. It was better he rode with him than in the wounded wagon to see his mother in such rough condition. There were others working on her to bring her back to consciousness as they tended to her wounds. It was believed she would live. A sight, however, the lad shouldn't see. Though he had seen probably too much already for the way he clung to Liam. A wagon containing the dead was starting off towards the Fort with a few others, so Liam joined them to get the lad as far away from the scene quickly as possible. The wounded would take more time in getting into any available wagons. It was probably a sight to see Liam thus and probably the last! Wasn't every day a young lad clung to him like life and death. An up nod given to his brothers, Jacob, Mercy and Nan in passing, one arm around the lad to keep him steadfast in the saddle.

Jacob noticed Liam on his way returning the up nod as he was one helping the wounded the last of usable wagons. "Best get going and get these people to a doctor," which he called out to Liam, "warn them of more incoming wounded." He was over to retrieve his horse which was near Mercy, "we should all get out of this place in case they decide to circle around and be back. Something that the soldiers would not suspect but a fool's errand if they do." The wagon was pulling out to follow the others with many grunts and groans of those in pain. He was up into the saddle to wait on Mercy and the others before starting off after the others.

Evan, on the other hand, forced himself to look at every face: the shocked, the grief-stricken, the lifeless. It only fueled the anger that had been lying latent within him for so many years. Those glowing embers were threatening to explode into deadly flame but he kept it locked up behind his tightly clenched jaw. Mutely, he helped to load the bodies onto one of the wagons, then moved to help the survivors into the other. Naniko's single word had his eyes moving to her sharply, almost daring her to criticize them for trying to help. His look was close to hateful fury though of course, the bulk of that emotion wasn't meant for her but for the attackers. Had one of them stepped from the trees at that moment they would have been dead at his dagger point in seconds. As it was though, there was nobody to fight in vengeance. With all the wounded loaded he swung up into the saddle and urged his horse close to the wagon, there to protect the people inside.



Date: 03-21-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 49

Naniko would not have criticized them for helping, but she had an earful for them all about tactics. Now wasn't the time though. She helped get the people into wagons and back into movement before remounting her horse with the collection of dolls in her pocket, then was in motion herself in the direction they were in need of going. A keen ear was kept on their surroundings, just to make sure that no one tried to sneak up on them.

With a final word of comfort to those in the wagon, Mercy returned to Jacob's side. She looked up at him with eyes filled with moisture though the tears wouldn't fall. And before he mounted his horse, she hugged him, tightly. After releasing him, she climbed into the saddle again, staring ahead.

Ciar didn't stop until the last of the wounded was in the wagon, then he was over to his horse. Evan though, had him stopping in his tracks. He touched his arm briefly before he was over to his horse. His thoughts on Fawn and what she had gone through, he could only clench his fist tightly around the reins.

Liam was one of the first of the group to get there as he rode in with the others directly behind. "Get any doctors, there are many wounded," as the doors were pulled open to allow their entry behind the safe walls of the fort. Shouting started as people rushed about, some to get the doctor and others that knew how to treat wounds, field medics. Luckily one of the soldiers was there to answer any questions of the attack that had been lucky to survive it. Liam headed over to the Inne where he dismounted, then taking the lad down and brought him inside. An older woman knew of the family and agreed to take over, bringing the child into the kitchen for some cookies to distract him. She would keep him as long as necessary before the mother could take him back. It was a relief as he was back outside to the porch, derby taken off as fingers ran through wavy hair as he waited for his brothers and the others.

He hugged Mercy back, heartfelt but said noting so she didn't end up spilling the tears seen in her eyes.  Mounting up and heading out it wasn't much longer that he passed through the fort doors and into the chaos of people scurrying to help. The bodies taken to the undertaker until claims were made and identifications. "There's Liam," spoken to Mercy and the brothers as well Naniko if she was caught up. "I could use a drink," more muttered under his breath as he headed that way. Dismounting once there and tying off his horse.

Evan didn't want to be touched or comforted at the moment, he wanted to kill something. He tensed even at his brother's comforting touch, but didn't look his way or say a word for fear of his rage leaking out into hurtful actions. Ciaran didn't deserve that. So he kept his eyes locked ahead as they rode, trailing the wagon of wounded, their muffled moans grating against Evan's ears. The fort came into sight after a time and silently, he agreed with Jacob. He swung down from his saddle and tied up his horse securely, then went quickly to help unload the wounded, assisting the injured carefully down out of the wagon, where they were helped along by the medics.

She was glad to see the fort and as they rode into the chaos, decided to wait to see if she was needed. They seemed to have plenty of hands but she would help if needed. She glanced at Jacob and nodded, agreeing though she paused when she saw Evan. "He's going to explode, Jacob. Something will set him off and we may have trouble." A soft word of warning given before she dismounted.

He was sick at heart, and suddenly tired as they rode through the gate. Rubbing his forehead, he allowed the horse to follow the others. When he spotted Liam, he dismounted, tied off the leads and moved to join his brother. "I wish ... " That was all he said. Didn't need to say the rest.

Naniko watched as chaos started to help the survivors of the bandit raid and take off with those who didn't survive it. She really didn't have much to say and had little desire to keep the company of most of the group. Evan though, had her attention. In more than one way, and none of them were attraction. She waited until he at least stopped his horse and drew up next to him, not yet dismounting. Amber eyes ignited with a bit of her temper. "Do know how to use a sword, you do?" Might have seemed an odd question, but it came with purpose.

"Aye, there bae a lot of wishes right now," spoken low as his brother approached. He was shaken up but his personality was different from both his brothers. More even keel. Anger was there but he knew what they contributed was the best they could. They were not here to get into the war with the Indians, but in this matter, hard not to help when it came that close, so they had. "A few drinks would do us all...," words halting there as eyes narrowed, Naniko was itching to be the fuse for Evan to explode. "I think we may have another situation." He was already stepping down from the boardwalk and towards his brother. If he had to cold cock his brother he would if it kept him from trying to kill the lass.

Jacob was sure hoping things could be reassured as he dismounted, watching two of the brothers gather towards Naniko. Her ways were different from theirs and the last thing they needed was a scene. "Anyone for a drink?" Called out to them to distract them from any negativity, or so he hoped. He wasn't that far from where the others were but stayed the distance. Last thing Naniko needed was to feel they were ganging up on her, not that he felt the brothers would.

Evan stayed by that wagon until every single wounded man, woman and child had been tended to by those better trained than he. He stood watching them get ushered off, hands reflexively bunching into fists then flexing open once more. He turned sharply, about to look for a drink or something to do with his burning energy, and Naniko was right there. With a look in her eye that he recognized even if her question was a bit off. He stared her down for a moment before biting off a short answer. "Yes." To his credit he was making an attempt to avoid an altercation, knowing as well as the others did that he was on a very thin edge of losing self-control. So he stepped purposefully to one side, to move past the red-haired guide. He didn't want to take out his anger on anyone much less a woman but if she went on, it would be all too easy.

She looked at Liam and quirked a brow before shaking her head some. He wasn't going to hurt her. Drinking would either inebriate Evan, or further entice his rage. Depended on what he was drinking more than likely. It could be far worse than what she had in mind, and she'd seen liquor fuel such anger too many times. Evan was a grown man. She wasn't trying to prod at his anger, she was trying to help him dispel it in a...healthier way. Foot caught in the stirrup, she dismounted and looked at Evan. The rage  that reflected in her eyes wasn't at him or any of the others of their group. It was for what happened those people. "With me you spar, then. A clearing is not too far off." She left the choice up to him. She was soft spoken and not at all attempting to force him into anything. But if someone had that kind of energy, good bad or otherwise, dispelling it was better than trying to drop it into the bottom of a bottle, and she hoped that even as enraged as he was, he'd see what she was offering.

A situation? She turned to see what was happening but didn't move forward as of yet. Liam was heading that way, and Naniko might feel outnumbered if another joined in. "I don't know if they're listening." She glanced at Jacob then looked back.

Ciar looked over at Evan and Naniko then smacked his palm against his forehead. He wasn't sure what they were doing, but it looked awful tense over there. "I'd really like a drink," was muttered under his breath.

Liam usually got into a hand to hand fight with his brother. A good ruckus. Being a street fighting boxer he could take as good as he gave. He usually gave better for natural skill. For either of his brothers, he'd pull a lot of punches as to not really hurt them as he could. They knew but it also dispelled the pent up anger in times past, even for himself. The look in his eyes held that challenge for Evan. He wasn't sure he'd sword fight with a lass. Not that a lass couldn't be just as good. He didn't say anything, he waited, standing there near the two. If he chose the challenge with Naniko, he'd watch.

"I think they will solve things," more to Mercy but Ciaran might well hear his lowered comment. "We'll see to rooms and a meal in an hour's time." Called out to the group before a hand came to rest against the small of Mercy's back in escorting her back inside. "I will need to find out who has the flatboats and go talk to the owner to rent one." So once he got the rooms he would see to that task.

Well, that was not at all what he'd expected. Angry words about him disobeying her advice, perhaps, but not an offer to join in swordplay. He blinked once, eyeing her a moment, torn between acceptance and refusal. At the moment, the monster of his anger was so volatile and unpredictable that he was almost afraid he'd hurt her unintentionally. But the idea of bashing around with a sword was singularly tempting. Even more tempting than the bottle. Though there was a snag. "I don't have a sword, only knives." It was the truth but partly an excuse too, to avoid a potentially disastrous situation.

Naniko ignored the others for the moment. Her attention was wholly upon Evan. In truth, she expected him to refuse the offer, simply because it would have been, and was kind of suggested by his brothers, and because she was a woman. So when he accepted the proposition, apparently with a bit of negotiation, she nodded once. "Knives is it, then. Shall we?" She had more than just a simple sword on her. And if he was worried about hurting her, he shouldn't be. A nick here or there wasn't going to make a great difference to her. "When ready you are."

"So it does." She smiled up at Jacob then looked toward the three. Once Jacob was ready, she turned and made her way inside. She'd take the opportunity to clean up and rest.

Ciar was torn between watching and getting that drink, then maybe taking a nap. Drink and nap won out though. He wasn't sure about supper. His appetite was definitely off.

Liam wasn't about to go where not welcome as he eyed the two. "Is this going to be a private thing?" If so then he would go get a drink and wash up. There was enough blood on him from helping both dead and wounded into the wagons that he looked wounded himself.

He had their keys as the other three were left for one the others got in. "Soon as you freshen up, you can come with me if you like, Mercy," deciding he'd like her company for this smaller task.

Evan was still undecided, completely torn between giving in to temptation and, quite frankly, the smart decision. The fire flashed in his eyes as he looked at her. Then his gaze strayed across the way, to where a wounded woman was slumped on the ground and weeping as she was treated by a medic. His jaw set again and he turned his eyes back to Naniko. "Fine." He said shortly and set off for the Fort's gate. Liam was just given a shrug. "Come along if you want."

Naniko could have very easily baited Evan's anger into a spar. She had a feeling though, since he seemed to be considering it, that she wouldn't have to. Not that she would have. That was just...kind of wrong to do with people she didn't know. When he agreed to it, she finally looked to Liam. "Welcome to join, you are." Watch, join, accompany. A moment taken to drape her horse's rein over a post, she turned to follow Evan beyond the gates of the fort where this could happen without interjection or commentary from an un-understanding crowd.

It wasn't often that Liam's mood grew dark but it did just then. Eyes of dark brown turned near black but he didn't say a word. One part of him wanted to go find a fight of his own, easy to do in a town like this but if they were going to fight with knives then there should be a witness. He didn't say anything and let them head out before he decided to follow, keeping his distance so he didn't say anything.


Evan paused outside the gate long enough for Naniko to join him, since he didn't know where this clearing she had suggested could be found. He walked along quickly, with long and determined strides. There could be consequences to this but he refused to entertain them just yet. Surely he could control himself. He'd never kill a woman, nor anyone innocent, not without cause besides his own unsettled anger issues.

Naniko continued on and around to the far end of the fort. The walk wasn't that far, but it was far enough to get them away from the entrance path and eye/ear shot of anyone passing along to leave or enter the concentration of peoples. Consequences were to be expected when sparring. Even if they weren't using real weapons, there would still be bruises and such, and considering she expected to use real weapons, well...that was fine. She wasn't worried about it. She had enough confidence in her own skills that if nothing else, she could block most of his attempts for minimal damage. The clearing wasn't massive, but neither was it small and it was mostly guarded by a surrounding of pine like trees. When the reached it, she hooked her thumb beneath the strap of the saya and drew it off over her head, removing the sword to hang it from the limb of a near by tree.

It would be hard to read Liam at this point if he was even close enough to be attempted. He continued to keep a few yards distance and put them between himself and the fort, putting him on the outskirts of woods, consisting mostly of pines, trees and brush just starting to bud. He noticed shoots of green and some wild flowers defying the snow with blooms. Removing his knife before breaking off a dead branch from a tree, not having the heart to even break off a living branch, as he started to pace, whittling the piece as he went along this outer invisible perimeter.

Evan walked along with the others around the Fort, not glancing its way nor back over his shoulder as they entered the cover of trees. There was a certain serenity to be found in nature, something that usually soothed him but its power seemed useless on him today. Upon reaching the clearing he peeled off his vest, hanging it up over a tree limb, then did the same with his hat. Untrimmed brown locks fell long and straight into his eyes as he rolled up the sleeves of his linen shirt. He didn't look at Naniko until he was standing at the ready, knife in hand.

Was he only going to spar with one knife? Once her katana was hung, she turned towards the center of the clearing, reaching around to her back to withdraw two knives from beneath the lower hem of the qipao she wore. Brow quirked to see him holding the one, and..then brought out another! Her own in hand, left held for defense and the right held for offense, she moved closer to where he was standing at the ready and took a defensive position, drawing her arms up in front of herself. "Come." She was ready.

Evan took a breath and released it through tight lips, a way of calming himself some before the fight began and adrenaline ran wild. He needed no further urging than her beckon, and stepped forward, at the same time taking a swipe for her midsection with his right-held knife. This was more a test of her reflexes than a full-on attack.

Naniko seemed calm. Jaw was set tightly and eyes narrowed with focus. Once Evan was on the move, her stance squared so she could bow back out of the assault to her midsection. Defensive hand was brought up at an angle to deflect any further attempt right away, she brought the other hand up to take a swipe at his exposed arm before she turned out away from.

He stopped whittling as he watched, maybe the lass knew how to fight. It made sense if she lived in this area for some time even if not from here."

She was quick but so was he. Evan reacted immediately to the strike at his arm, taking a step back to avoid it by several inches. In the same fluid movement he swung his other arm to strike at her low.

When he took the step back with his next move, she dropped down into a crouch with one foot sliding forward; extending her leg to carry her closer as she took a swing for the outside or front of his thigh. her other foot moving her forward, she used the back foot to propel her around in a spin that would take her out from under his arm, towards his side.

Nature had its own clock in calling as Liam sheathed his knife and dropped the stick he was only slicing away to expend his mood upon. He disappeared into the bushes to meet that need.

These first few moves were almost an exercise, a test of each other's strengths and quickness. Evan smoothly sidestepped the swipe aimed at his thigh, using that step to do a full bodily turn which ended with him facing her again. Her knife was met by his with the slithery sound of steel on steel. He pushed against her blade strongly to force her back a step and then made a stab towards her stomach. Of course every motion was strictly controlled lest he actually draw blood. Though as the tempo of the spar picked up, so did that dark look in his eye.

Naniko wasn't skeered! Bring it on. She was putting as much focus on him as he was putting onto her. Just as she came up, he the grind of steel was sounded and he pushed on her. She took the step back, and rather than fight it, she followed through with into a back bend, his blade missing her stomach by nothing more than a breath. Once it passed over her, she kicked her feet , aiming to kick his arm up, possibly to lose his balance while she returned to her feet.

He hadn't been gone that long before there was definite rustling in the bushes as Liam broke through trying to keep his pants from falling down around his ankles. "RUUUUUUUNNNN!!!" Shouted! There was none that could run as fast as a Quinn when a demon was clipping at his heels. This demon happened to be in the form of a 500 pound grizzly intent on doing harm. A male. Not as big as they could get but this one seemed a renegade to be this close to the fort and on the prowl for a kill. Liam was running so fast one could say by leaps and bounds, the derby flying from his head as he ran right pass the two with that bear barreling down on them all.



Date: 03-21-10
Poster: Liam David Quinn
Post # 50

Her foot connected painfully with his elbow, the funny bone, but he managed to keep a hold of his knife and turned to face her next attack... which was when Liam came running from the woods, screaming like a banshee and nearly losing his pants. He watched his blood brother run past them, blinked, then heard a growl. Looking back to the tree line, he saw the source of Liam's anxiety. Eyes widened and he only had time to let out a curse before he grabbed Naniko's hand to yank her up from the ground. "Run!" He yelped at her. In truth he knew that worst thing to do was run, though it was a hard impulse to resist with a beast like that bearing down on you. But if they could get away and to safety he could be the one to battle the monster. He was pale but jaw was set determined as he turned to meet the bear with both knives raised.

Doh! She was so ready to counter whatever attack Evan brought at her when Liam came screaming like a banshee to run! Everything paused for the moment as they waited to see what it was that had him running around in the woods, holding onto his britches, but it all became all to clear. There was some slipped word there in her native tongue as she was grabbed up to her feet, she took a couple steps back and tightened the grasp on her knives, ready to go right along with Evan! "That way!" She pointed in the opposite direction she was taking her few steps running so they could split up. The bear could only chase one of them. She didn't run far though. Not to say she wasn't pumping with adrenaline now, but she spun around to face the bar to watch him and see who he'd take off after before attempting an attack.

The bear reared up on its hind legs, growling and showing off its teeth in threatening. Growling at Evan then Naniko before starting towards Evan for whatever reason. The distraction gave Liam time enough to secure his pants so he wasn't fighting bare assed with a bear. A fight he definitely wouldn't win with his pants tangled around his ankles. He swung around, his knife at the ready now that he had a chance to unsheathed it. One of the soldiers along the fortress wall-walk turned hearing the shout and appraised the situation. He blew on a whistle before shouting to a few by the fort entry who heard the sound then his shouts and started out to help out although they were a distance away for these critical few minutes.

Evan had only a split second, not enough time to tell Naniko to get the hell out of here. Instead he had no choice but to go along with her plan, running off to the opposite direction. He didn't retreat long before he heard the bear's lumbering gait heading straight for him. He spun around and raised his knives. It would be a similar style as any life-or-death fight with a human... he'd just slice and dice for all he was worth until his opponent was worn down. Of  course this situation was something more desperate with the bear having four sharp daggers in the form of claws on each paw. One of these swiped perilously close to his head as he ducked hastily and tried to jab one knife into the bear's shoulder.

Seeing that the bear was going for Evan, she stopped long enough and waited for the bear to be in the length of his gait before she threw one of the knives. It sailed end over end before embedding itself just behind the bear's front leg and into the ribs. It wasn't enough to stop the bear by any means, but it was enough to buy Evan a few more seconds while the beast staggered and growled in anger. Naniko went the distance to where her sword was and snatched it off the branch, stripping it of the saya which she dropped during the run to close in on the beast.

He wasn't letting little brother go in there alone as he was fast behind him. He ducked a swipe of claws after Nan's knives had gone sailing, indeed hitting marks to slow the bear down but enraged him more. Liam got to embed his knife deep into its side but at the cost of a swipe of claws over his one forearm. Slicing the cloth and skin beneath. Due to the accosting of the others, the bear moved just so when Evan tried to bury his knife into his shoulder after other numerous cuts and jabs, getting him in the throat instead. It brought the bear down, nearly on top of the man.


The bear was blindly enraged now and when it stumbled, its paws waved wildly everywhere, catching Liam in the arm and Evan across the chest. He didn't even feel the sting though, since the 500 pound animal was still trying to kill him. He'd left one knife buried in the bear's hide and had only the one left, which he raised then for another blind stab. Evan was shocked when the bear let out a gargling growl and stumbled, sagged, then collapsed. On top of him, or nearly - enough to knock him off his own feet and to his back with the bear halfway across his legs. For several seconds he just looked at the sky and caught his breath, shock leaving as the adrenaline rushed through his veins. Finally he let go of the knife and started shoving the massive animal off himself.

Naniko had made a couple of crucial swings at the beast, such as the back where the spine was located, and some others. Eventually the bear toppled over though. She moved over to the side and reached out with her free hand to grab a handful of fur and tried to bring the bear over off of Evan, kind of rolling it back. With Evan pushing and whoever else might be helping, it didn't take much, then she was offering her hand to Evan to help him up off the ground. "Alright, you are?"

The soldiers reached them by that time, one going right up to the bear's head to pull the trigger of the flintlock he had to make certain the animal was dead. "That's for Henry," which they would find out later was one of soldiers' buddies still unconscious for being mauled so badly a few days ago by this very bear. Had they known the three were coming out here they would have warned them. Liam's arm was bleeding good at this point soaking through the material that he kept close to his side as unnoticeable as possible. He was over to use his good hand in helping up his brother. "You killed it." Slight grin tipped as he was proud of his brother for the killing blow to the throat. "Let's go get that drink." The soldiers would see to the carcass and the meat made use of. Once he was to his feet, Liam was off to retrieve his derby then headed for the fort's entry.

Evan nodded to answer Naniko's question, using her hand and then Liam's to haul himself up to his feet. The four claw cuts across his chest were deep but clean, probably healing with neat scars. That would be a story to tell anyone who asked. He glanced to the soldiers as they arrived, then looked down at the bear, nodding slightly to Liam's statement. "I did." There wasn't much pride in his voice, only slight bewilderment. And all of that anger of his was for now in the background. Nothing takes the wind out of a man's sails like a bear attack. He paused a moment then bent, quickly swiping his knife across the bear's paw then putting something into his pocket. He had an idea to use those claws for. Then he turned back to the others, arm lifting to Liam's shoulders a moment. "A good strong drink." He agreed, and some bandages for the both of them. Ciaran would have questions when he saw them coming back like this! As they walked he glanced to Naniko and gave a slight smile. "You got some good blows in there too. Thanks."

Once Evan released her hand, she collected back the one knife still embedded, then went to get the saya of her katana, giving the two brothers a moment. When attention turned to her, she glanced to Evan with a single nod and very slight smile. So slight, it could easily have been missed. "Mitsu." In parting, she had some things she needed to tend to, and would leave the brothers to tell their tales, because surely word that they had killed the bear would spread quickly. "In the morning, I will meet you."

Derby hat got tipped forward as Evan swung his arm around his shoulder. "Thank you both, I wasn't too sure I wouldn't become that bear's dinner tonight. That would have ruined this whole trip." Adding some wry humor as they headed into the fort then the Inne not too much further in. "Sleep well, Naniko." Thoughtful look her way for a moment before shrouding it away like he usually did. "If Ciaran is not up let's drag him down." Which was something they did to each other on various occasions. Yes, first they would need to get bandaged up.

Evan nodded to Naniko, lifting his hand in parting. "Be safe." That was his version of farewell as he gave her a thoughtful glance too. She had seemed the strong sort but he hadn't expected such skill with the blades. Perhaps she'd be willing to spar again, with any of the brothers. Glancing back to Liam he fell in step with his brother to get back to the fort. "Agreed."

Ciaran had gone upstairs, Liam, Evan and Naniko headed outside to spar, at least the latter two and Liam to watch from what he picked up on. Jacob had refreshed himself up in his room, washing off the trail grim and blood from helping earlier. Once done, as he couldn't sleep if he wanted to presently, he was down to have a drink at the bar while waiting on Mercy having invited her to join him.

Mercy checked on Ciarán before she headed downstairs to join Jacob. Once again she was wearing a gown, probably for the last time until they returned home, or a larger city. She had managed to bath, having coaxed hot water from the innkeeper's wife, and even added a touch of perfume, just in an effort to make herself feel a touch better. When she saw Jacob, she was over to join him, smiling in spite of all that had gone on. "Are the others still outside?"

Jacob caught sight of Mercy in the mirror behind the bar coming into the room. Brows lifted before he was up and around to take in how beautiful she looked head on. Smile dashed as she joined him. "You look exquisite." First things first, "I believe so for they have not returned yet. Would you like to have a drink before we find Earnie Snood. I'm warned he is a crotchety old man with a chip on his shoulder as long as the Ohio River. His small place of business is located next to the fabric store if you'd like to spend time checking it out while I talk to him." Knowing she was curious as to what the various colonial towns had to offer.

His reaction pleased her and she smiled warmly. "Thank you, and a drink would be perfect." She chuckled as she continued. "Chip on his shoulder, huh? Well, it seems most feel it's justified but maybe the stories are exaggerated. I'd like to see what the store has to offer." Perking a bit. She was still feeling pretty bad about what had happened.

Leaving her to order what she wanted and he would pay for it along with another drink for himself. It would help to settle badly abused nerves. "Most of the wounded will survive, the tender was telling me," offhanded casual conversation as the drinks were delivered. "The accommodations here are a lot better than I would have thought being a fort and so far out." Kicking back his drink as he would wait on her. He was antsy to get going.

"Aye, they are but it is a good location with the rivers." She ordered a small brandy and wouldn't make Jacob wait too long. Once finished, she pulled on her cloak and smiled at him. "Shall we?" She was also anxious to see their surroundings.  As she stood, she looked at Jacob. "I'm glad there were as many survivors as there were, but I can't help wonder how it would have gone for us had we taken that path."

"Luckily we had not been." He offered his arm in escort, tipped glance her way with a smile and something else in dark eyes that spoke on emotions that ran deeper. Although he hadn't verbalized them, she probably knew but in time some things needed to be spoken. Man of few words most times would come around eventually. A man coming in held the door for the couple leaving as Jacob thanked him then proceeded to escort her up the walk, wary of those about not to bother them for how lovely Mercy was. There were other couples about, children running around, men riding horses, carriages with women and men in them and those walking. All seemed to cross over one another without collision. Then again no one was really going that fast. Once to the Fabric store he lowered his arm so that he could open it up for her. "I will be right back as the place is only a couple store fronts up."

Arm sliding through his, she proceeded to enjoy the short walk. The atmosphere was certainly different than in Philadelphia or even the smaller Forts where they had stopped. The man who held the door had been given a quiet thank you, and then her attention was on the people and buildings. A small boy stopped in his play to stare at them, grinning when Mercy wiggled her fingers at him before running away. It was hard to believe there were dangers not far away. "All right. And I promise, I won't buy too much." She was teasing since she didn't want to have to see to carrying material around with her.

"Buy what you want," certainly he had the coin and he was certain she had a bit of her own too. They also had the monies, reasonably charged, for escorting the Brothers on this trip and finding out what they could. "It seems that in spite of the constant danger these people choose to live in, they don't go around moping or like death was at their door even if it may well be." More mussed before he left her to her shopping and headed up to meet this Earnie Snood fellow. The name alone had images to emerge in one's thoughts. There was a bell on the door as he stepped within but no one in sight. He waited around at least five minutes before ringing another bell on the counter. Still no answer. It was then he heard noise come from a back room, one that had the door left open and so he wandered to it to see if he could see the man. Maybe he was hard of hearing?


Earnie was hard of hearing and that fact stirred up a lot of his bad  moods. When he turned to see a stranger standing there he grabbed his flintlock and started on a rampage of cursing. Jacob held up his hands defensively as he explained, "I'm here to rent one of your flatboats." Earnie retorted, "ain't got any fer the likes of yea, get out of my place." Which was not really good for business, "I've the money up front to pay you. I'll give you a hundred for two days," which he knew was a good amount. Earnie almost hesitated with the bait and the fact it would be paid in cash, not barter or owing. But he was mad he had not heard the man come in and so persisted in threats as he cocked the trigger on the flintlock and aimed it at Jacob's chest. "All right," but Jacob wasn't going to give up that easily. He would try through the man at the Inne if he had to pay him to change Earnie's mind. He practically backed out the door before he was pushed out and headed back to the fabric shop to get Mercy. Stepping inside he waited, glancing around to see if he could spot her.

As soon as she stepped in the shop, Mercy was surprised by the amount of goods that were there. Then again, being this practically a jumping off spot for travel down the river, she realized she shouldn't be surprised. The woman who owned the shop was pleasingly plump with rosy cheeks and brown hair going to gray. She had two daughters working with her and they were always glad to meet new people. Of course, when Jacob stepped in, the girls noticed him almost immediately and took to giggling. "Jacob." She was smiling but it faded. "Is something wrong?"

He cleared his throat, glancing from the older woman and her two daughters to Mercy, "aye, seems this Earnie took an instant dislike to me and says he has no flatboats for renting." That's when the owner of the shop, rosy cheeks and all spoke up, "don't mind old Snood, he's like that towards ninety five percent of the males, you should have your Missus speak with him. He's not blind to a pretty face.." Brows were up not even catching the assumption as dark eyes were on Mercy, "you want to give it a try? I will wait outside and one yell from you.." he would be in to rescue her from the man.

Missus? She smiled at the woman, not correcting her. So the crotchety old fellow didn't want to rent Jacob one of his flatboats. She'd see what she could do about that. "Aye, I'll give it a try. And you hold onto that blue linen for me. I'll be back." That would be the least she could do for the woman's advice. She straightened her skirt, then looked at Jacob. "One flatboat, cash? And how much shall I offer?" She glanced around then started for the building, though slowly so Jacob could tell her.

He smiled at the woman as Mercy spoke with her and half noticed the young girls staring again, flushed cheeks and giggling. Made him wonder if his face was dirty or still had blood on it. Once they stepped outside he spoke, "do I have dirt or blood on my face?" Then right onto her question, "offer him 50 coins for two days. And if we need it longer, 20 coins each additional day. That is the usual going price. Perhaps if you spare him one of your smiles, he may go for 30 coins for the two days and 10 every extra one." Giving her a wink as certainly it was a compliment. "He says he doesn't have any to rent but there are three I'm told not being used." By this time they had reached the shop as he would wait outside, "good luck, holler if you need me."

She laughed as she shook her head, but would explain the girls later. "Your face is fine. And I'll certainly do my best." She gave him an impish look, "And I'm sure I'll be fine." Stepping through the door, she looked around to see the man standing with his back to her, flintlock still in hand. He was peering out of one of the windows as if he were looking for Jacob. "Good eve, sir, " Mercy called out, stepping back when Earnie whirled around. Seeing it was a woman and not Jacob returning, he lowered his gun and offered a smile that showed a mouthful of bad teeth. "Good eve, miss." He was trying to smooth out his vest as he spoke with little result


Mercy gave him one of her prettiest smiles as she spoke. "I would like to rent one of your flatboats for two days." She even batted her lashes at him. "Is there one available? Will it cost very much?" Of course, the elderly man was flattered! "Got three and can let you have the best one for say, oh, 40 coins for the two days, 15 if you go over those." Not quite the lower amount, but she decided not to argue. "Oh, how very lovely. You're a life-saver. It would be terrible to have to ride along the river with all these raids going on, wouldn't it?" By the time she was out the door, with papers in hand, Earnie Snood thought he was the most gallant gentleman in the colonies and maybe the bravest. She handed the papers over to Jacob. "Forty cents for the two days, anything over fifteen to be paid on our return."

He was watching some of the people mulling about before Mercy was back out. Smile leaped to life as she joined him, "I'm impressed. Now I know who to send in to work on grumpy old men." Giving her a wink in teasing as he took the papers to fold away to an inner pocket. Once that was taken care of he offered the bend of his arm, "shall we go have something to eat and see how the others are doing?"

"I think he's just very lonely and becomes defensive because he is elderly." She slid her arm through his and leaned slightly against him. "Dinner sounds wonderful and my dear Jacob, those young ladies were giggling because they're at the age when they notice handsome men and don't quite know how to react." And she offered him a dimpled smile as she added, "and you happen to be a very handsome man." Not likely to get him to blush, but she could give compliments too.



Date: 03-24-10
Poster: Evan Quinn
Post # 51

Hunt's Landing

Jacob still woke with a grin from what Mercy told him of giggling blushing girls. The fact she said the words, as he told her last evening, had flattered him deeply. No, he had not blushed but he was sure pleased with the words. Such fleeting thoughts before he was up and dressed meeting the rest of them down at breakfast. The story of how he and Mercy got the flatboat told of course, much to his manly chagrin, but there was humor in it too and certainly not really a gauge of his manliness. The flatboat was big enough to take their horses as they would be needed for the ride into their village and to the other fort. They were finally that close. The boat came with two trained men, one at each end to guide the boat down the river with log poles that were used. There were extra poles in case needed with a few pairs of hands to be made use of. Anything needed, including food, was packed in the saddlebags.

Liam was anxious, up early and wide awake. Breakfast seen to long before the others as well coffee. He was out on the porch with a fag pressed between his fingers, leaving the smoke to trail as he watched the sky streak with the morning light. A gradual steady process. The butt flicked out into the street as lights came on in various homes and business, people getting up and ready to face the new day. A day that he and his brothers had been waiting for, fought their way to and now were here. A great anticipation swelled for what he knew he had planned. Something long overdo. His horse ready, he waited on the others and joined them in heading for the dock with the flatboat and getting his horse aboard along with himself.

Mercy had enjoyed the little adventure last evening, even if it wasn't as exciting as finding a bear. She had gone back to collect the material as promised too, and was given a basket of bread and cheese for them to enjoy on the journey down the river. She was back in buckskin as she made her way downstairs, her pack carried by its straps and over her shoulder, the basket on her arm.

Ciarán was awake early enough but he didn't head right downstairs. He cleaned up again, dressed, tied back his hair and finally went down, carrying his saddle pack. Not too hungry again, and blaming it on nerves, he settled for coffee and bread with blackberry preserves and a bowl of oatmeal, far from his usual fare. Of course he greeted Mercy and Jacob and asked the expected question, "Where's Liam and Evan?" They were soon all heading for the flatboat, himself a bundle of nerves.

The Battle of the Bear yesterday had been a somewhat disorienting distraction... but now that the day of their arrival in Hunt's Landing had dawned, his former thoughts returned like a punch to the stomach. He couldn't eat a thing at breakfast and didn't bother trying, instead slurped some coffee to keep him going and went outside. Liam was there early too, and he nodded greeting to his blood brother. The pack over his shoulder was stowed, and his horse led aboard, the nervous animal hushed with a murmur and pat to the neck. The horse was tied securely to prevent him moving too much for the voyage, and then he went to join Liam where he stood waiting for the others. Not a word said or exchanged but the warfare of emotion was written across his tight features.

Once they parted ways after the bear incident, nothing was to be seen nor heard of Naniko. They would eventually find that as nothing new, but it probably didn't concern them in the least. She'd gone about her normal morning ritual and routine, which was a short distance away from the fort, but was here now, expecting that the group would be gathering to continue the journey shortly, if they weren't already. Reins in hand, she came approaching the inn they were staying at, nodding to those already outside once close enough, in greeting.

"I think we can find them down at the boat," in reply to Ciaran, who probably got the best rest of them all. He noticed Nan had not joined them for dinner last night nor seen of until outside heading for the boat, those left to do so. "Good morning Nan," quietly as seemed befitting this early in the morning or the fact what the day would entail. He had lingered to be one of the last down in making sure everyone was there and everything needed on the boat before they set sail. Being the last to board behind the others. "Let us be off." The trip should not take long for the current was with them this day.

Eye contact was made with Evan as he joined him on the boat perhaps ten minutes before the others. "How's the chest?" His arm was wrapped up and the cuts tended to last evening by one grateful doctor who would not be needed to attend to anyone else being mauled by that bear. There was something about him that spoke on being anxious of one with an ace up his sleeve and not really trying to hide that emotion. Eyes were bright with that light of anticipation.

"Morning, Nan." She greeted the woman with her usual smile then did the same with the others. Though it was hidden, Jacob would know she was feeling a bit of nerves herself, perhaps picked up by the others. Once her horse was tended to, she settled in for the ride. Studying the boat, she made a face but would trust in the two men who would guide it.

Ciar gave everyone a nod instead of talking this morning. He stayed by his horse as they waited to start on this last leg of their journey to Hunt's Landing. It wasn't that he didn't want to be around anyone. He just wasn't much in the mood to talk.

"It's fine." His chest was wound with fresh bandages, the wounds not horrible but the kind that could get infected easily, so there was a salve the Doctor had spread on as well. Evan glanced to Liam, noting the near gleeful anticipation on his face. Evan didn't understand it, not a bit, and he could almost hate that expression Liam bore. His own stomach was in knots of dread. He went to stand off on his own by the railing, hands wrapping round it as they got underway.

Another nod given to Liam and the others, she quietly followed the lead of the others for this ride and just took a place somewhere by herself with her own thoughts and scanning of the landscape.

At least the trip was scenic, the river a clear blue with steady currents and waves though not rough in this part. He stood by Mercy at the rail, tucking an arm around her shoulders to keep her warm for even if the sun shone down brightly as it rose higher in the sky, the air still had a chill left over from winter. The trees were budding and the grass was getting greener, a few early flowers were in bloom. He didn't say anything for to do so would be to interrupt this peaceful beauty.

Liam was doing his hardest not to be overflowing with enthusiasm around his brothers or get beaten up for it like he had when kids. 'What's that grin for? Wipe it off your face, Liam.' Which of course he not only couldn't but made it worse, so young fists went flying even with two on him they could not best him for his natural talent. Still, he remembered in a fond way the ruckus that taught him how to fight well. He separated himself as well for he knew Evan wanted to stew and Ciaran to brood. He to plan over and over in his mind until it could be physically done.

Mercy took the time to enjoy the quiet and the beauty as it passed by. Of course the fact the brothers were so quiet wasn't missed and she wondered briefly how long it would last. Still, for a little while, she could forget they were traveling down a river to a place that could only remind everyone of how dangerous life could be.

Ciar wasn't brooding exactly. More he was wondering if it was possible to get sick on the river and where he had put the potion that Alex had given him. So far, it wasn't bothering him and he had to snort out a laugh when his horse suddenly nudged him hard enough to make him move a step. "I get it, I get it. I'm crowding you." He moved to the railing and leaned there, glancing at Liam and shaking his head, though the smile remained. How could his brother keep his secret for this long?!

Evan didn't glance at his brothers, knowing it would only make him angry to see their smiling faces. True, this trip didn't hold quite the same intensity of emotion for them as it did for him, but still. In his mind there was nothing to smile about where Hunt's Landing was concerned. So he kept his eyes on the landscape, oblivious to its beauty, fingers tight around the railing as each moment brought them closer.

The trip went smoothly and Jacob was grateful for that. Very few things went smoothly so something to be mentally praised and thank god above. Certainly there could easily have been some disaster when on water like this. The two men guided the flatboat into a slip along the dock that had been left here at this landing even if not much else remained as far as human life was around. Eventually it would be resettled for it was in a good spot. Settling was at a standstill for all the Indian raids. They helped those aboard to disembark, getting the horses on land without spooking them too much. There was some rebellion as horses tended to do but no disaster resulted from any balking. "How far inland is your village and in which direction?" Although he had an idea, he was sure the Brothers knew every inch of this place by heart.

Liam had some trouble with his steed, having to hold tightly onto the reins as he doubled stepped trying to pull at the bit for the horse being scared of getting onto the dock from the boat. One thing to get in it, another to get out. It was managed and soon both were on land, letting the horse settle before he would mount him again. By that time everyone was off the boat. He pointed in the direction where their village use to be, "just up there over the knoll." From here nothing could be seen of any ruins of what was their small port.

Mercy's horse was a bit skittish until her feet touched ground. The dock had bothered her apparently but the filly settled immediately as soon as she was off it. Mercy mounted and looked at Liam then in the direction he pointed. It was quiet except for the normal sounds of birds, and maybe a squirrel or two chattering away in the budding trees.

He wasn't quite sure where he expected for them to put to shore but to be honest, he was glad it wasn't right at the landing. He mounted his horse and patted his neck, thanking him for behaving. A mixture of fear and excitement filled him now as he recognized one of the places where they used to go swimming and fishing.  It all seemed unreal now.

Evan was close to shaking as he stepped from the boat and went through the motions of retrieving and calming his horse, checking his pack, all done mechanically. He didn't look up at Liam's gesture towards the knoll but rather swung up into his saddle, jaw twitching where it set firmly. The easiest thing to do seemed to be blocking all of the emotional whirlwind that filled him, which he attempted to do as they rode towards the Landing. Easier said than done.

Naniko had kept to herself for the journey this far. She and her horse until everything came to a stop and she was once more looking around while listening to the brothers. Unlike the others, her horse was calm enough to walk off the flatboat without much more than just a light pat and a few words of her native tongue to the animal, and then she was mounting and taking up the reins with a glance to the group.

He noted where the ruins were of what was home once to these lads. A look given Mercy with lowered words. "See if there is anything here while I see to another place I was told of." Which then he was over to Naniko, "help me find a church between here and two other villages that I'm told existed. Although the one was not sure of its location or if still standing. It would be a few miles inland," as he mounted his horse and would first head up over the knoll to where the ruins were.

The time was here as he mounted up and started for their village and a certain mound that would be called a Fairy Fort in time. "Brothers, can I have your help?" Loud enough for both of them to hear as he rode ahead to the mound that all were buried beneath whom perished those six years ago. Though he and his brothers had not been able to stay to help see to this task, to give chase immediately after sister, he had found out later on exactly where everyone had been placed. A group grave had been chosen for so many had died and many not recognized for the massacre and burning of the village. In life they had lived together and that day they had died together so befitting to be buried together. There was not the usual wake in sending off a loved one and .traditions skipped for they had to be. That is what weighed on Liam as he dismounted near the large mound, flat on top and extended a good twelve feet around. He first unfasten the ropes holding the items of curiosity. Now was the moment of discovery as they were unveiled. Two sturdy beautifully carved crosses that were five feet tall made of thick cedar that would survive the climate for countless years to come. On one was carved their father's name along with Evan's family for they had always been that close. On the other was carved all the known names of those that had died that day. He carried each up onto the grassy flat top of the mound to place the Crosses side by side and waited to see if his brothers would help him to erect the crosses securely into the ground. He had a sledge hammer.

Mercy nodded as Jacob spoke, then dismounted. "Be careful." Was all she said before she was looking around. Of the wooden buildings that had been burned, little was left except rubble. Saplings had taken root among the boards, and brush and vines were covering them. The buildings that had been spared were slowly being torn down it seemed, perhaps by those that were passing through to other places. Mercy peered through windows, and stepped inside opened doors to find little. A couple of the buildings were stone, and though the walls stood, most also had been burned, leaving only shells. While Liam called to his brothers, she rooted through ashes and rubble, collecting bits of  jewelry, a small box that contained letters, a Bible that had been tucked into a small niche and was untouched by weather or fire.

Ciar dismounted as they rode into the village and just stood there for a moment. He wasn't remembering the bodies or the smell of burning wood, but a place where children laughed, and adults talked and gossip. The town square had been a meeting place of sorts. Liam's call startled him and he jumped before turning. He was over to see what his brother was up to and followed him up the knoll. Touching one cross reverently, he looked at his brother. "They're ..." That was all he managed to get out. Too much emotion and he had to remain quiet while he gave Liam his help.

His feet felt as if they were made of lead and his heart was pounding as he slowly dismounted and followed Liam and Ciaran over towards the mound. Not recognizing it, he was about to ask, then watched Liam reveal what he'd been carting all along: crosses. The realization fell into place heavily as he looked back at the mound. It had to be the mass grave, created by the survivors after he and the Quinns had fled. His mother, father, brothers, sisters, all were buried here not five feet in front of him. It had been so much easier, all these years to deny what had happened but now it was staring him in the face. For a long moment he didn't move but just stood there, staring at it. The hardness of his features dissolved for once into sheer, sharp grief as he fought for composure. Eventually he found it and climbed the mound gingerly to join his brothers. Only then could he read what was written on the crosses... one of which was a tribute to his own family, the founders of this ill-fated village. Emotion clogged his throat to choke his voice as he managed two words. "Thank you." A hand clasped Liam's shoulder, in gratitude, and for his own strength. Holding there for a few seconds.

Naniko got settled in her saddle with a glance around to where they were, noting too the expression and seeming moods of those of the group. It made her curious, but she wasn't going to ask. It wasn't her place. This place though, rippled with sorrow and grief. It was very... consuming. Hearing Jacob, she snapped out of her own thoughts and watching the others with a quiet snap of the reins to send her horse in motion, following after Jacob with a nod of   agreement to the request, then she was off for the search of this church that may or may not, be there.

He had things to say but right now they would not get past the lump in his throat as they secured the crosses in place, side by side. His hand first going over Evan's shoulder in a good grip then released. Once done, he crouched down as he dug a hole and finally getting his voice beyond the lump there which he swallowed away first. "There is enough coin to see to paying all your passage from the Underworld," dumping the coins into it that would have been placed on their eyes had they a proper funeral at the time. Once done covering it back over he stood for a time not saying a word before finally breaking his silence again. "Death should be the celebration of one's life, and for each of you that have touched mine I will remember and speak kindly of you if not proudly. I have been honored to have known you all to some degree and some to a far deeper degree. I celebrate your life," his words somewhat choked upon for the emotions welled up inside, "until the day we meet again on the other side." Taking out a bottle of Kilbeggan from inside his cloak before holding it up in salute, one of his father's favorites. Liam first pour some onto the ground before taking a good slug of it then held it out for his brothers to take and say anything needed to be said in closure. Though they would always be kept in his heart.

Jacob lingered a few minutes to note what the brothers were doing. A slight smile touched with an approving nod more to himself before they continued on. There was a trail leading from the village that would span off into different directions. At such an intersection he paused to leave Naniko to her expertise. He sat there listening to the world around them, all of nature that was coming alive in a rebirth.

Mercy came out of one of the buildings and saw what the brothers were doing. There might still be other things to be found but she remained where she was, watching. When they were finished, if nothing she found was of value to them, they could add it to the mound.

Ciar bowed his head as he listened to his brother, eyes misting over. He accepted the Kilbeggan and took a drink but shook his head as he offered it to Evan. He couldn't find the words but before they finished here, his voice would return and he might surprise his brothers as he recited the 23rd Psalm: The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever,  just before they retreated down the hill.

His chest was swelling to the point of pain as he listened to Liam's brief but eloquent eulogy, and then Ciaran's own tribute. He accepted the Kilbeggan and took a swig but he could barely swallow it, handing it back to Liam. He was barely holding it together, far from the ability to speak so he didn't add his own comments. Not yet. When the others turned to leave he managed to speak, quietly in a voice roughened by his swollen throat. "You two go on. I'll catch up." He needed a moment here, alone.

Naniko came up behind Jacob and stopped at his side. Attention moved over each of the paths, taking in finer details of the nature that had grown here, and smaller things such as animal tracks, the way branches grew and other such things. A couple of moments of studying everything and taking it all in consideration, and allow the nature around them speak to her. The moments passed quietly before she tilted the reins and directed the horse to one of the paths that forked out from there. "This way, I believe it is." She was confident enough in her skills that she had the right path according to the indications she'd had seen and was then in motion.

He understood and at least his brothers had agreed with his words or they would have said something. See, Liam had been just as much affected by all that happened but he dealt with it in his own way. He did something about it, what he was able to do. There was one last thing before he left the mound, "I have not forgotten me promise father," one he had made that day and continued to pursue. Putting the bottle away for later, he was down from the mound carefully, it was up in a sloping five feet from the rest of the ground, so one made their way down from it. He was over to sit on the wall of their home, one of the stone ones and let the tears fall. Finally. A grown man could cry under certain circumstances and this was a long time coming. He didn't try to hide it either.

He discreetly studied Naniko as she tuned into nature which had him asking a question. "Have you ever stayed with a druid or shaman?" The method was similar and hence the curiosity. He turned his horse onto the path she directed which became overgrown after a while. Most likely the others would to or perhaps the fact the ruined church was not a place most would try and get to anymore. It wasn't long, a mile or so, that they came upon a stone wall half crumbled away. He dismounted and walked the horse closer, that was until he heard the rattling sound, his horse rearing up out of fear and nearly knocking him into its path. One lucky thing for him was it was this early and such snakes were not quite awake, sluggish.

She would give them time to themselves as they finished and mourned. Into another building to look around, but there was little left. She moved to an empty hole where a window had been and stared out over the river. As she turned away, a glint of metal caught her eye and she was over to pick up a small gold necklace, its chain broken. It was tucked away with the rest of the things.

Ciar nodded when Evan asked for more time. He needed the same but not up here. While Liam sought out one place, the younger Quinn walked to the water's edge.  He hadn't cried even that day, but he was now. Squatting down, he picked up rocks and tossed them into the water. He knew where his ma was buried and would walk there soon. When he was ready, with tears still in his eyes, he walked to her grave.  Spring flowers, planted there long ago were starting to grow and he pulled away the dead remains of weeds.  The flowers would be seen  by any who passed.

Once the others had trailed away he went to kneel before the crosses. A hand reached out to trace along the one bearing his family's name, fingers moving slowly and tenderly across the etchings. "I miss you." He whispered it. All the old anger was powerless to stop the tears that finally came then. His head bowed as the first sob ripped from him almost like a gasp. Hand closing around the cross to hold himself upright, his shoulders shook with the expulsion of grief and anger that had waited so long to be released.

Blinking out of her moment, she looked to Jacob and shook her head. "No. Have not I." The rest of the mile or so was ridden in silence until the reached their seeming destination. She didn't dismount. She was keeping an eye on their surroundings while Jacob went to investigate. Or so she assumed. Until the rattle sounded off, causing both horses to rear and Jacob to land on the path. forward lean to keep from sliding off backwards, she quickly snapped the reins into the far direction from Jacob to make sure that her horse didn't come landing too close -or directly on- the man. The sound paused then started up again, free hand went around her back to grab one of her knives, which was sent ailing to the ground with a flick of her wrist to pin the serpent to the ground. More rattling, it wasn't an instant kill sort of hit, but it wasn't going anywhere. She actually didn't intend to kill it. Down off her horse, who moved further way, she went over to where the rattler was pinned and crouched down next to it but out of bite range. Her hand followed over its head, tossed back and forth, until she just snatched and closed her hand around just behind the jaw to hold it, then pulled the knife out and stood up, letting it wiggle and squirm.



Date: 03-25-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 52

The Findings at the Church Ruins

Jacob managed to still his horse and settle him down as Naniko took care of the snake. "Thank you. It is always better not to kill one of nature if able." Which was his philosophy, he picked up a long stick to use as a means to flush any other varmints out as he moved through the underbrush to where the stone wall was. Unfortunately, upon inspection it was not the church but a home. "I can hope this is where the preacher lived and the church would be close by." Sometimes almost atop the home and sometimes a short walk. Seems this one would be a short walk as he moved about the walls and found none connecting.

It took a bit of time before Liam wiped his face dry and the lump in his throat dwindled. He was up and off to the hilly side were a few wild flowers dared to bloom, picking a couple before he headed for their mother's grave near the mound. At least they had buried everyone near the others. His thoughts spoken within his mind than outwardly.

Mercy had finished her explorations and though she found very little, she hoped it might be something of worth. She stepped outside into the sunlight and tipped her head back, studying the sky. Movement caught her attention, and she looked toward the wood. It seemed to be nothing more than a curious deer but she had that prickling feeling of being watched. She moved further into the square, and sat on the remains of the well wall.

Ciarán was still kneeling at their mother's grave when Liam came near. He kept his head bowed for a few more moments, then stood, swiping the back of his hand across his eyes. "That was a grand thing you did, Liam." He put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "I know both Ma and Da would have approved."

The sobs were ripped from him until there were no more tears left, and then he remained where he was, kneeling with head bowed in the silence. There was much he wanted to say, but knew that the things which truly mattered... were the things his family already knew, wherever they were. That he loved them, and would never forget them. Evan could only hope that they would be proud of him, if they could see him now. Eventually he took a deep breath and mopped his face dry with his sleeve. But he was loathe to leave the burial site just yet, knowing he might never see it again. Perhaps... he could leave a part of himself here, with them. A hand went to dig around in his pocket until he found the tiny wooden bird he always carried around. His father had carved it for him when he was just a child, saying it was good luck, and dutifully he'd carried it in his pocket ever since. Evan's father had done some whittling just as a hobby and perhaps it was this which inspired Evan's later interest in woodworking. Evan turned over the little bird in his fingers, feeling the familiar grooves of the wood. Then he set it down on the ground gently to lean against the Hunt family cross.

Naniko nodded to Jacob. "Reason there is none to kill it." She looked at the serpent in her hand before walking off some distance to put it down and let it go on about its way. The injury was minor enough that it would heal, sans any possible infection. Unlikely, given it was the end of winter. Once she was sure the rattler was off in another direction than where he'd been found, she walked back over to where the horses were. "Looking for what, you are?" If she had a better idea, she might be able to help.

"A church, rectory of some sort," giving a smile over his shoulder as he set off in what might have been a walk at one time now buried under bramble, vines and leaves. At least they had a similar view on certain things. He continued forward which led him a good fifty yards away, having him disappear through separated twin pines until he found an opening that had once been cleared. There wasn't much left of the church but the altar was still intact. Stone didn't burn, that and a few statues not completely destroyed. One could tell the place had been ransacked over time, anything of value taken away. Broken candles on the floor that had once lit the room. There was something about a church at night only lit by candles, the feeling of something holy lingering keeping all safe. Jacob was over to check the length of the altar, fingers running along the design on the right end until something clicked and the marble slab atop, slid back. It was in here he was told was stored the most important documents. Something of the families. He collected all documents as he would transport them back to Fort Pitt and the church there to take care of. Except those marked by the Quinn family. These he would give them. The first was marked confidential and asked to be put in the hands of Evan Hunt and to be shared with Liam and Ciaran.

"I'm pleased you approve and I think Evan does as well," brought around from his wandering thoughts to meet the clasp of his brother's shoulder. He had remembered the ritual when their mother had died as it had been imprinted on his mind, he did his best knowing it would have to be modified but as long as it met the requirements, he felt he had done right by them.

Mercy stood again, and began looking for a place that might be a good place to make camp. She wanted to ask the brothers if they preferred a place away from the ruins, and closer to the landing. Still, she didn't want to interrupt any of them yet. The deer bounded off and she watched as it disappeared then moved closer to the water's edge.

He smiled at Liam and nodded then sighed. The deer caught his eye and he smiled. They used to come nearly into the village at this time of night, much to the delight of the youngsters. He had understood the necessity of hunting, enjoyed it in fact, but sometimes he let a deer go, just because of those times. "You know... I hope someday someone does start another village here. It's a nice place."

He would leave the little bird there, a piece of himself perched upon the earth where his family would rest for eternity. It was all that he could do. After a few more moments he rose to his feet and slowly stepped down from the mound, moving to join his brothers where they stood by the river. His features were a little pale and swollen from the weeping, but he was calm. For probably the first time since this trip had begun. He didn't speak but just looked at them both, then stood silently alongside them, his unspoken pledge of solidarity with the men who had become as good as brothers to him.

Naniko nodded. A glance to the horses who had settled, she remained where she was for the moment to leave Jacob to explore. Most holy folk lived near, if not on some level of their place of worship. If there was anything left of the church, it would be found. She'd just keep an eye out to make sure nothing tried to sneak up on them. Just never know where lurking happens, either animals or humans.

Which Jacob appreciated as he came from the church, satchel loaded with important information for many that would seek such besides the Brothers. "It's a nice place here, where they had built the church," holding out a finely carved piece that looked like a totem pole that hung from a leather strip. "Although I don't think the was part of the church. Looks like a good omen carved of totems that guides the spirit, would you like it?"

"I think they will, someday, someone will settle here again. Luckily they had not until after this day or it would have been harder to do what I needed to do." Tracing a glance Mercy's way as he noticed her moving about before he was up from his crouched position to clasp Evan's shoulder. Nothing needed to be said for words would fall short. Relying on that other level of communication instead.

Once she saw the three together, she moved in their direction. "There's not much left, I'm afraid, but I found some." In her hands she held a brooch, the gold cross, another pendent that looked like a flower, a bit of a silver chain, and various other small items as well as the Bible. "If none of them are things you know, maybe we can put them on the hill before we find a place to camp." The offer made so they could start to prepare. It was then the bushes moved again but this time several Natives came out. One held up his hand in greeting. He had recognized the three men, in spite of the years that had passed. He was from their grandfather's tribe.

Ciarán looked at the items in Mercy's hand after he too, greeted Evan in that silent way. "I think the Shaw lass wore that flower pendent. I don't recognize the others." He smiled at Mercy. "But I think that's a good idea." When the Natives came out of the woods, he started then half smiled. The one that greeted them was in fact, Dove's brother, and like their mother, half-white. "Greetings, Uncle. It's good to see you after all these years." He was over to offer a clasp of hands.

Evan nodded slightly to Liam, reaching up briefly to clasp his blood-brother's shoulder in return. Then he turned towards Mercy when she came bearing a few trinkets. He leaned over to look them over, fingers lifting to carefully lift the brooch from Mercy's palm. "This belonged to my mother." He said it quietly as he turned the jeweled brooch over in his fingers. He would never have remembered this random item off the top of his head, but seeing it, he recognized it instantly. He remembered the way she'd worn it with her 'Sunday Best'.... the very mention of which caused the Hunt children to groan. His lips curved into a faint and fleeting smile as he pocketed the brooch, then turned when the brushes rustled. He was on his guard till Ciaran went straight over, and he recognized the man. A nod of his head given in greeting.

Naniko had been looking around until Jacob came out. Understandable that there wasn't much left of the church. She'd surmised for herself that this must have been the place that at least a few of them had come from the area at one time. When he offered the small totem, she looked at it for a moment before reaching out to take it carefully. "Thank you, Mitsu." Drawing it in closer, she studied it for a moment, brushing off the time that had collected over the carvings.

Liam turned in direction of the brave as a smile finally hinted. "It is good to see you again Uncle," knowing that this might be the last they ever see him again once they leave. "I hope you and the rest of the family are well." He knew his uncle probably came for a reason even more than just seeing them again and so he waited respectfully for their elder to speak.

"You are welcome," feeling it was meant for her on another level he was not immune to. "It is time to get back and set up camp." Tonight after they set up camp and around the fire, he would present the document to Evan to read with his brothers. "Night falls quickly though later in hours," more mussed as he headed to where he had his horse tied off, one that was rented so not trained like one of his own. Swinging up into the saddle as he started him off back towards the ruined village. The trip back would not take as long.

Mercy was startled when the men appeared but the reactions of the brothers assured her all was well. She nodded her head in a quiet but respectful greeting. It was nice that at least one of those pieces of jewelry were claimed.

"It is good to see you again."
He greeted each, including Evan, as they had all three been at their camp more than once. "We knew of your coming several days ago. I want you to know that you may rest well this night and for as long as you are staying. We will watch and make sure none approach." He also motioned toward the grave and burial mound. "And for as long as we remain, we will watch over this place as sacred grounds." He had been close to Dove and he and Michael were blood brothers as well as being kin. Ciar felt the lump in his throat return but this time, he gave a slight smile. "Thank you, Uncle."

Evan listened to the Brave speak, and he was touched by the man's promise. It meant a lot to him that the knoll would be watched over and protected, and he had no doubt that the man was sincere. He nodded to the Brave, the gratitude etched into his features.

Naniko sided her horse and swung herself up onto the saddle. The totem was looked at once more before being tucked away within the qipao safely, then she turned to follow Jacob back to join the others. Once more falling into her quiet state as attention drifted around their surroundings. Not quite in a paranoid manner, but certainly cautious.

"Will you sup with us Uncle?" As he set to starting up a pit by placing stones in a circle before it got too late. A grassy spot chosen that would lend it more comfortable. They had food with them he knew their Uncle would enjoy. He was actually getting hungry as a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. To know there were others here that would devote time to the graves was a comfort as well. Once the stones were set, he would set about getting kindling then logs to drag in, probably with the help of his brothers.

Jacob was content to ride in that silence, birds fluttered between the trees as they were starting to settle in. Smaller animals scurried and a lone wolf could be heard howling to the rising moon in the distance. They reached the others by that time, time to settle in and have something to eat. Dismounting near where the older Indian brave spoke as he gave him a nod in greeting then set to helping Liam get the fire going.

While the men talked, Mercy placed the items on the top of a wall so they could be collected before they left and buried. When Liam spoke of food, she set herself the task of going to collect it from the packs while he built a fire pit. Seeing Jacob and Naniko return brought a smile to her face. Hopefully he had found the church.

"I will stay."
Their Uncle's full name was Coyote Runs. Of course, almost his white kin, Coyote was just used. The other three braves faded away after nodding their farewells. "They will patrol the area before returning to the village to report if all is well. If there are enemies about, they will return here." Ciar was over to help Mercy. "Wasn't as bad as I feared," he admitted to her before heading back.  Once there, he introduced Coyote to Mercy, Jacob and Naniko.

Evan nodded his farewell to the natives and then melted off into the bush, returning some minutes later with an armful of firewood. This he piled up alongside the stone circle that Liam had made, a crouch taken up to spark the first tiny flames of their campfire.

Once they reached where the others were, she dismounted with a passing glance and nod to the Brave, along with a moment of study before seeing what the others were doing. To see if perhaps there was anywhere she could lend help as far as the fire or such things were concerned. It seemed that they were efficient enough to have such things handled on their own though, so she occupied herself with loosening the tack on her horse to be removed for his comfort.



Date: 03-25-10
Poster: Jacob Anderson
Post # 53

Liam had brought over his saddle once done with getting the fire started and used his blankets to buffet between himself and the hard leather. He settled in to making some tea they could enjoy before the meal.

Once everyone was settled in, Jacob was back over to get the parchment and small pouch from his saddlebag. He approached Evan with the document. "I found this in the old church used by your family and others here. It was not only a place of worship but one where they kept their important documents safe. This one calls for you to read with your brothers." Whether out loud or not would be left to them as he gave them space. Once they read it, he had something else to give them along with another document. Inside the sealed casing was a parchment in the handwriting of Michael Quinn, it read as follows:
I'm penning this note to be given over at my death to Evan Hunt, and to my children, in the event that Katherine Hunt it also deceased.  It is the truth of your birth, Evan, and not easy to write because of the circumstances.  If my words cause pain, I am sorry.  I just don't know how else to write this. In the winter before your birth, there was a raid on our village by a party of Iroquois. They took my wife, Dove, Conrad Hunt, Mary Winston, Clark Willison, Katie Willison and their children, and several others.


For three months, we heard nothing and had lost hope.  Your mother, Evan, was a handsome woman, strong and not given to emotion.  But one night as we sat talking, she broke down.  We had been drinking, that I will admit.  I attempted to comfort her and one thing led to another.  Neither of us was proud of what we had done but perhaps it was needed for news back had us all believing those taken prisoners were executed. It later turned out to be a  different tribe and their prisoners.  Not long after, those lost were rescued.  They had been slaves of the Indians, some tortured but they were all alive.


Nothing more of that night was mentioned until Katherine came to me and told me she was pregnant with my child.  I don't know how she figured it but women have a way of knowing.  That child was you, Evan.  It was decided that it would be best if it was thought you were Conrad and Katherine's child.  Easier on all and it would cause less heartache but Katherine made me promise to tell you in time.


She's a good woman and not telling the truth is hard on her.  This might explain why you're so close to Liam and Ciaran and why everyone who didn't know the families mistook you for brothers. I hope you  can forgive us, for what we did and for not telling you everything.  Not sure what else I can say but your mother is hoping to write the same.  I'm giving this into the care of Father Joshua.  He has a place to keep things safe.


M. Quinn

There was all the fixings for a good, hardy stew, including beef that had been preserved with salt, dried and preserved vegetables and the bread from the Fabric Shop owner. Mercy wasn't sure what else was in there but she had tucked a kettle among her things even though Jacob had teased her about it. Now he would understand why!

Ciar talked to Coyote as they sat, asking about things after they had left. The brave had also looked for clues to Fawn's whereabouts, but the soldiers were even less cooperative. Of course, he was curious about the letter, but if Evan wanted to read it first before sharing that was fine with him.

A few minutes later saw them all settled comfortably around a good fire, Evan sitting atop a folded blanket, looking tired and thoughtful. He was drawn from his reverie by Jacob joining him and holding out a parchment. Brows creased into a curious frown but he nodded slightly, and took the paper. A glance was given between Liam and Ciarán, wondering if they knew anything about this, before he turned his eyes down to the parchment. As he read, the frown vanished, smoothing his expression into a blank look. He had to re-read some lines several times and still it could not make sense. It was like a story, a fable, this couldn't be about him. He reached the end of the letter and didn't react for a moment. Sudden movement had him on his feet. "No." He let the letter flutter to the blanket he'd been sitting on, letting the others read it while he paced. Eyes darting first to Jacob. "Where did you find this?" Almost accusing but soon he was going on. "This letter, if it is real, is a farce. It can't be true." Pace, pace. Visions of his parents together were flashing through his mind, snatches of memory, all of them recalling his mother and father as a single unit, laughing together, kissing before the hearth fire when they thought the little ones were abed. There was no way his mother would have ever betrayed his father like that. It couldn't be.


Liam had no clue of the document or what it contained. He was as surprised as Evan. He read over the discarded parchment after Evan dropped it being it was addressed to them all even if it concerned Evan more directly but certainly affected him, Ciaran and even Fawn when they found her. Positive thinking that they would find her this time with the expertise help of the Private Investigators. They already found out more than ever expected! A low whistle escaped under his breath. As Evan struggled with his mother's indiscretion, so he struggled with his father's. He didn't say anything right off but finally voiced his ultimate opinion after his mind raced through a lot of varying thoughts. "We are asked for our forgiveness as if we are to judge those we love especially after they have passed. I'm not sure how to word this but I cannot judge them as if my right. Though we are told the truth, I don't know how it was for them to feel they had lost everything in a grief so deep they had turned to each other. It would have been more for them to have asked forgiveness of their spouse, and if they had and were forgiven, I could not offer less than forgiveness too or should even without knowing. On the brighter side, to know you are my brother, Evan, is pleasing to me." There was always a brighter side to things and Liam usually tried to find those. He left the paper for Ciar to read.

He waited for Liam to finish speaking before replying to Evan. The accusation in his voice came as a surprise but then understood too. "I found these in the old church a few miles from here where it was also used to keep safe important documents. I had learned of this and sought it out for being told if there was anything it would be inside the altar itself. The altar survived the ruins and also these documents," as he was over to offer Liam the next that affected all three, "were amongst them. The rest I will be delivering back to Fort Pitt and the church there to decide what to do with the rest. At least they can safe keep them until any family members or relatives come looking." There was a deed of lands that were Michael Quinn's to be divided equally between all three sons and his daughter if they wished them.  If not, they could sell and divide the monies. There were three rings, one would go to his firstborn, Liam, to signify his status as head of the family. Each of the others as a reminder of his love for them all. A necklace for Oisin, that he had given her mother but would safe keep it here with the other rings. Descriptions of each of the rings and who they would go to was written with the will of his lands. Jacob handed the pouch along with the document for Liam to disperse.

Ciarán remained sitting while Evan and Liam read the letter and while they both talked, he picked it up to read, being he had no clue what the two were talking about. Evan was their brother? He read it over, not once but twice, before he looked up at Jacob. He was as stunned as his brothers, but also could understand though he wondered if they had told their spouses. It hadn't changed their treatment of any of the children and indeed, Conrad Hunt had always treated them well, and he and Michael had remained good friends. He thought Evan's mother was a good friend to Dove as well, but couldn't remember too well. "I have to agree with Liam, Evan. I'm glad you're truly our brother but I can understand your anger. I just hope you don't feel different toward us." He wasn't sure what to do with the letter so he held it for now.

Mercy listened quietly as the three brothers talked then she looked at Jacob. "I have a family Bible here that we can add to the things you're going to deliver to the church. The rest we can bury on the mound." She glanced at the brothers then at Coyote who watched with no expression of judgement. Perhaps he too, had known.

Everyone was talking an awful lot, but it did nothing to ease his agitation. He was still pacing, a hand raking through his hair and then rubbing the back of his neck furiously. Other memories were going through his head now, the way that Michael Quinn had always been particularly kind to Evan above all the other Hunt siblings. Evan had figured it was because he was so close to the Quinn siblings. Now he realized that Michael had been watching a third son grow up from afar. "How could they do this to us, never tell us?" He muttered it to himself, wondering with a pang if Conrad had ever known. It was difficult to say. He stopped pacing when Ciaran spoke and finally paused long enough to look at Liam and Ciaran. "This letter doesn't change anything. My father is Conrad Hunt." He said it firmly, but the anger dissipated some as he went on. "And you are my brothers whether it is by blood or otherwise." Despite all his upset and sense of betrayal at this discovery, that would never change.

Liam took the other deed of lands and the pouch while his heart went out to Evan. Perhaps it would dawn on him, in an odd sort of way, that his family was not all dead. "I feel the same, in that I agree that this document doesn't change things but it does strengthen them in a way. It is not just wanting it to be so, making it as such, it is. I think we should burn this document once Oisin has a chance to see it and know the truth by our father's handwriting. Once we find her." He had the deed to show the others which he passed to them to read and the pouch which he opened to spill out the rings and necklace. "My opinion on the lands, I think we should hand over to Uncle for then they cannot be pushed away from these lands, keep it in our name just so the authorities can't say he can't own land as laws have been passed that are not right. I know he will keep them and live out his days here where it is his home." And the rest of his family which all of them could rebuild over what had been destroyed.

Ciar's brow furrowed as he listened and he nodded slowly. What both said made sense to him and he nodded. "I like the idea of making Uncle guardian of our lands." He smiled at Coyote then looked back to the paper and whistled.  "And it's a goodly amount of land too. I agree too on burning the paper. It doesn't change a thing when it comes down to it." He looked at Evan and gave him a half grin. "Just shows why you find it so easy to get in trouble like the two of us."

There was more? Evan hesitated when Ciaran held out the paper then stepped forward to take it. Both brows lifted as he read it over, and gave a dazed shake of his head. He couldn't imagine himself a landowner, much less lands given to him by his until-now secret blood father.... and so he nodded in agreement with Liam's suggestion. "I'll trust my part of the lands to Coyote as well." A glance to the Brave and slight nod of respect given. Looking to Ciaran at the quip he just let out a hollow laugh. His initial angry reaction was fading, leaving the bewilderment lingering behind. This would take some processing for him to come to terms with everything it meant.

"You do realize that you had two fathers," for Conrad had raised him as his own and there was his best friend who was the father. A situation if all knew, and he suspected they may have, was accepted and worked with rather than separating the families as enemies and any fight over Evan to tear him up as a child. That was why he was not told until he was older and might understand better. Though one needed to get over the initial shock. He slipped the ring on his finger, finding it fitted, that his father wanted him to have, "it feels odd to be considered head," more mussed to himself and this too would not change things. He held out the other two rings for them to take, each had their own. "I will safe keep Fawn's gift." Which he would put back into the pouch and into a pocket of his cloak.

Ciar snickered then looked at Liam. "Why would it feel odd? You already are the one who comes up with the plans that get us into trouble." He took the ring and tried it on. "Little big, but I'll have it fixed once we return to Heathfield. With Fawn." He looked at Jacob. "Thank you for finding these. It means a lot to have them."

Evan took the ring, looking at it for a moment before slipping it carefully into his pocket. Until he came to grips with everything and had reconciled it within his own mind, he didn't feel as if he could wear it. But he would safeguard it until that time. When they mentioned Fawn's name he realized that this meant she was his sister, too. One thing was certain, it made him all the more determined to find her. He'd still been standing apart from the others but now he finally moved back to join them, sitting by the campfire with lanky legs drawn loosely to his chest.

Jacob had given the Brothers space, taking himself to sit near Mercy. The two quietly talking as they prepared the dinner which was just about ready. When spoken to, the idle chat with Mercy ended as he looked up between the Brothers. "I'm pleased I could be of service." It was a step and the biggest fear, though not a real fear, was not to be able to help the ones that hired them. "I am hoping we can find out more at Fort Westover, which we shall be leaving for at dawn. Come, let us eat." Slight indication of hand to the fare set out.

Liam worried on how Evan would react with the ring. At lest he didn't refuse it or throw it as far away into the forest as he could, or river for that matter. He noticed it was pocketed in a discreet glance without comment. In a way, it would signify when he came to grips with it and if one day he wore it, accepted the situation for what it was. It wasn't the end of the world and had benefits in a way. At this point, only thing he said was, "I'm starved," perhaps for the mental drain the whole of the matters had wrought. A clasp to Evan's shoulder as he came to sit with them and then was digging in to fill his plate as they were passed out.

It seemed another situation was handled and well. She smiled at Jacob then picked up the plates to hand to each. The food smelled good and she was suddenly very hungry.

He just snickered since Liam didn't slug him like he expected. Truth was, he felt a lot better than he had when they first arrived. It had brought a closure that he had needed, even if he didn't realize it. As the plates were passed out, he waited his turn to fill his and dug in without another word. Coyote did the same.

There were other things to be said, a lot that Evan might want to talk about with the brothers in the coming days, but for now silent brooding was his choice. Taking his plate, he nodded his thanks and dug in, eating without tasting it only because he knew he needed the food's strength. Exhaustion of the body and spirit were creeping in on him... it had been a long day.

He didn't slug Ciar because it was true but he finally made a comment on what had been said, "without me your lives would be dull," shooting a grin their way in between bites before he was back sating his appetite. All washed down with coffee before he made his saddle comfortable to sleep with his head upon it and the ground softened with blankets between.

"Aye, it would have."  He had to agree with Liam!  The meal finished, Coyote bid them good night, promising to return in the morning before they left. Ciar too, settled in for sleep. They didn't need to worry about setting a guard knowing the men of Coyote's tribe would watch over them as they slept.



Date: 03-27-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington
Post # 54

Ride Back to Porta Bello

The meal consisted of good plain cooking, nothing fancy but delicious never the less. In spite of what had happened, everyone seemed to relax a touch once the meal was served. When they had finished, they took a leisurely stroll back to the inn, noting that any of the ruffians that might have been about were gone. Good nights were said and the four retired to their rooms. When dawn came, all were well rested and ready for the ride back to Porta Bello. The coach was less crowded than it had been for the journey inland and luckily, there was no repeat of the smellier one.

Thank God! That was Fiona's thought at least, once they had settled into the coach, which had fewer people and less of a stink than their previous journey. She sat next to Oisin, mostly recovered from the attack in town though her nerves were still tattered. Enough so that she hadn't slept well, and now took the opportunity to doze. Her mouth hung slightly ajar as her head tilted forward, slowly, then snapped back with a bounce of the carriage. She gave a  muffled snore and shifted some but didn't seem to wake, eyes remaining closed as she dreamed of fresh scones, tea cakes and the Butler...

Oisin...well Oisin had been mostly quiet. Whether she was in thought or disturbed by the events of the evening prior, none would know except her journal and herself. She'd opted not confide her feelings and thoughts on the matter anywhere but there. She was relieved for the lack of stench in the carriage, enough that it made it a bit more comfortable as she settled next to Fiona. For a while she'd been content in her own silence, dark eyes cast out to view the passing world with their own unreadable expression until all the rocking motion got the better of her and she ended up with her head on Fi's shoulder, doing a bit of her own dozing.

Bradley had helped in an Indian Princess and her matronly escort. Dark mahogany skin and slanted eyes in a flawless completion was offset by a beautifully beaded white leather dress. The work intricate as much as the braiding of her hair. She gave shy glances to the two fine white ladies that didn't escape her curiosity. She was all of maybe eighteen while the woman she was with was gray haired and expressionless. A word in their native tongue under her breath to keep her charge in line to not look at the ladies as they might take it wrong. Bradley once more chose to ride a horse, the one he rode in on to return to Porta Bello when reached. His shoulder was bandaged good and so was still a little stiff as the wound was loaded up with salve to not get infected. Infection was more the killer out in these parts. He set a pace at the side of the carriage that they could see him if they chose to glance out the window.

Adam choose to sit beside Fiona and Oisin so as to not offend the Native women. He smiled at them when they first came into the coach, then looked out the window as their journey began. It was not that he was offended by the presence of the two but didn't wish to have them think he was being forward. He did peer at Fiona once, pressing his lips together to keep from laughing as he glanced at Oisin who was asleep as well. He had rested well enough that he'd not be doing the same.

The carriage wheel hit a rut, giving them all a sharp bounce, enough to have her jerking awake. Her eyes flew open as she looked about, startled for a moment until she recalled her surroundings. Fi calmed herself when she noticed Oisin sleeping on her shoulder, keeping herself still so she wouldn't wake her young charge. She gently brushed a strand of dark hair out of Oisin's face, the gesture tender as if Oisin were a child of five and not a woman grown. It didn't seem so long ago that Oisin was a young girl and in some ways, she always would be in Fi's eyes. A soft smile touched her lips and she looked up, eyes meeting Adam's for a moment and then moving on to the other two women seated across from them. Fi wasn't certain what to make of them but part of her was curious, for it seemed a similar arrangement, an older woman and young girl.

Undoubtedly Oisin had taken interest in the Indian princess and her dress, but not overly interested as she didn't want to offend the young woman, nor have Fi silently reprimanding her for her curiosity. Once she was asleep though, it wouldn't much matter. Hitting the rut did little more than cause her to bounce forward and jerk her head back. Maybe she'd not slept at all the night prior. The gentle gesture from Fi was noted on some level. "Mm...just a few  more minutes?..." And then she was getting even more comfortable, securing her arms around Fiona's that was closest.

"Shh, my sweet, keep dreaming." Fi murmured soothingly to the dozing lass, wrapping one arm about Oisin's shoulders to make her more comfortable.

The Native woman was not a full blood if one really knew how to look. The finer bones of the white man were in her mixed heritage. She was quite beautiful and started to smile back upon Adam before she was elbowed and quickly looked out the window instead. She had been spared the rougher life and some white family of importance laid claim to her. When they hit the bump she was openly regarding the two women, Oisin in particular for being around her age. Perhaps there was a bit of laughter in dark eyes even the older sour looking woman could not squelch. Bradley fell back a pace as the carriage hit a rut to get a good look of the wheel and make sure it was not wobbling.

He gave Fiona a wink when she looked his way, then caught the Native lass' smile and nodded his head though he did take note of her stern guardian. When the carriage hit the rut, he leaned slightly to watch Bradley. If he'd signal they needed to stop, Adam would be out to help.

Fiona looked away modestly at the wink, as any proper Englishwoman must, though a smile dimpled her cheeks almost coquettishly. Catching the Indian girl's stare, she looked at her in return... and might have even ventured to speak if there had not been a sudden commotion outside.

They appeared from out of nowhere, melting from the trees and into sight between blinks. The half dozen or more native Braves were bare-chested and carried sharp weapons, and clearly had their eye on the carriage, which was bound to contain expensive goods or moreover, people that could be captured and ransomed or kept as brides. The men outside would barely have time to react before the Indians were upon them, some going for the driver and others charging Bradley.

Oisin might have continued to sleep, but it seemed hitting that rut was enough to at least take her away from a deeper sleep, and that nagging sensation was enough for her to open her eyes to. Nagging. That was the same one that had her requesting to leave home and venture out to find her brothers. It was getting far more persistent though. Thoughts wouldn't dwindle there long, though, as the commotion outside jerked the carriage into a momentary halt. Oisin lifted her head to peer out the window. "I wonder what's goi..." Interrupted by the sudden rush of Braves on the carriage.

Bradley pulled out his flintlock shooting the first brave coming down on him in the shoulder. It didn't kill him but it put him out of action as he barely hung onto his horse in moving pass, half hanging off the side. The second brave just missed him coming with his knife and Bradley had his in hand already being they only had one shot for the flintlock before filled up with powder and another bullet could be made. Certainly he didn't have time for that. The one bullet already used wisely. His knife was out and sliced the brave's arm as he headed up to pull one of the braves off the driver and the man next to him fighting a few.

Adam carried pistols but they had the same problem. One shot each, and they were done. He was up from his seat and fired out the window, one shot taking down a brave, the other pistol misfiring. He had his sword but in close quarters, it wasn't very effective. The guard inside the coach fell, an arrow in his chest as Adam pulled a knife from his boot. As the door was pulled open, he jumped from the coach onto the brave who was trying to gain entry.  They both went down, rolling as they hit the ground, then up again, facing one another.

Fiona let out a moan as the telltale sounds of battle started up outside. "Not this again!" She clasped her arms around Oisin and held her tighter, pressing the girl's face against her bosom as if that would protect her. Then the guard slumped as blood poured from his mouth, and she screamed while holding Oisin all the tighter. By God she would not let them take her little girl!

Adam had gravely wounded one brave, who groaned on the ground, but the man whose arm he'd slashed came back for more. Bradley and Adam fought well but they were outnumbered by the Braves, especially with the one guard now dead. The driver of the carriage was no warrior and one of the Indians got a clean shot, slicing him deeply across the abdomen with his long knife. The driver fell off the bench and hit the ground hard.

It was not looking good as it seemed more and more braves were descending upon them. Somewhere in the fighting, his horse reared up taking an arrow to its shoulder and sending Bradley flying back down into the brush and edge of the road on his back, wind knocked out of him as everything went black.

"Madam!" Oisin trying to push herself up from being nestled and sheltered against Fi's bosom by prying at least one arm from holding her so close. Another of the Braves came to the carriage door just as Oisin managed to get a glance around to see what was going on, and find another one of the Braves coming up to the open door trying to get in. She did the only thing she could think to do since now it was just the four women in there. She shot the heel of her boot out towards the Brave just as his head ducked down to climb in, kicking either at his face or chest, which ever she could manage to reach and hope knock him back out of the carriage.

The older Indian woman was one use to fighting as she procured a knife from some unseen fold of material and cut another brave's throat that tried to get in, keeping herself between the attackers and her charge.

Fiona was no warrior but like the older Indian woman, she would do everything in her power to protect her charge. A gasp escaped her when the other woman so expertly cut their attackers throat, staring at the woman in a mixture of horror and gratitude.

Meanwhile outside the fight raged on. Bradley was ignored when he hit the ground out cold, more attention paid to the men still standing and in the way of the carriage. The one guard still on his feet was fighting bravely but he was against two big, strong men. It was then that there was a rustling in the bushes, one which grew louder and louder till it could not be ignored. Then a muted grumble began, which quickly increased into a low growl. Something big in the woods was making a lot of noise and it drew the warriors' attention, enough so that they stopped what they were doing and stared at the tree line.

Adam had been surrounded by three men and felt he was about to be overpowered when he heard the low growls. The three stopped advancing, turning to stare at the tree line, their attack forgotten. He stepped back, looked at them, and his gaze shifted, also to the tree line. "What in the hell ... "

Oisin looked at the Native woman and blinked. Not horrified like Fi might have been. Not at all in fact. Intrigue would have been a good word for it despite the slight twist from seeing blood, but then her attention was drawn beyond the carriage when all but the growling stopped. Brow arched curiously, she moved closer to the window to look out and see what was going on.

Mostly the wind knocked out of him, had him appearing to be dead when he took a sharp intake of breath, so sharp and abrupt, it startled the brave sanding near him about to attack the coach again. Instead he yelled something about dead man walking as Bradley shot to his feet, little woozie but he fought that way before. Lots of blood on him and hard to tell if it was his or not, certainly enough of it was and over half his face. Even if the Brave would attack a 'dead man' there was the disturbance of something very big coming from the bushes and that fear it brought with it of the unknown. It seemed as if the whole scene of those left alive had become frozen in space and time. A scene of ones looking like zombies standing amongst the dead staring at the tree line.

The natives seemed to have completely forgotten their enemies, and now stood in a huddle, talking anxiously with eyes trained on the trees. "Nuk-luk. Nuk-luk." Those words repeated themselves urgently amongst them and then one word  burst free from their speech. "Sasquatch!" By then it was too late, the natives didn't have time to scatter from their cluster before a bone chilling roar ripped through the air.

"wwwwaaaaAAAUUUURRRRR!" It sounded like no animal they'd ever heard, and when it came loping from the bushes it was a repulsive mix of man and beast. Ten feet tall and covered in thick, matted black hair, with a leathery nose and mouth, and eyes that shone with dumb fury. With one swipe of its massive meaty hand the Sasquatch knocked two natives off their feet and to the ground like bowling pins. The 'Nuk-luk' had been disturbed in his foraging and was still hungry. The natives were hollering and  screaming as if Death itself was upon them, helping up their comrades that still lived and fleeing for the trees. The enormous ape-like creature looked around, grunted, lifted his head. His nostrils flared as he apparently scented  the scene around him. Then his head turned sharply and he looked directly at Bradley.

Oisin was watching from inside the carriage. Watching everything but most of her attention was in the direction the growling was coming from. When the natives screamed and tried to run, and that furry thing came breaking through the tree line, she jumped just from the startle, with a gasp. Not so much that she couldn't see at least part of what was going on. That thing was just...massive! "Don't move." That was spoken to Fi, possibly loud enough to be heard by anyone standing close enough to the carriage. Most animals like that were more than likely to attack due to movement. Maybe if they were still, it would go away.

Adam stood unmoving as the creature charged out of the brush.. He was some distance away but started toward Bradley. He wasn't sure he could make it to his friend, but if the creature attacked Bradley, he would do his best to aid him. The reactions of the Natives were barely noted.

Fiona couldn't have moved even if she wanted to. She sat rooted to the bench, eyes almost popping from her head and jaw hanging open slackly as she stared at the horrifying creature stalking about outside.

This was the first time he saw one of this notorious creatures believed to be myths. Their size alone would have them as fierce killers but he heard they were elusive, private creatures that were gentle on the norm.  He was weaponless at this point, the knife having been dropped as he held his hands out from his sides, splayed open. He stood there much smaller than the Sasquatch but not in fear. If he was to die, he would not die in fear. He was more curious than not, a quality these creatures possessed too.

The Sasquatch looked at Bradley for a long moment, the weathered black skin of its face creased into lines of anger. For a moment he stood tensely, just as Bradley did, looking across at the creature so like and yet unlike himself. The massive hominid took a step forward, and grunted again, this time on a lower key. He seemed to study Bradley and at this close range, the young man would see the light of intelligence in the beast's eyes. Then the Sasquatch saw movement from the corner of his eye and turned his head quickly towards Adam, who was creeping around the perimeter. "Aaaaauuurrrggggh." He let out the long growl as he backed up a step or two, and then just like that, he disappeared from whence he came. Long arms swinging from sloped, hairy shoulders. The only sign of his split-second visit left behind were the huge footprints on the ground, almost twice the size of Adam's or Bradley's.

Oisin was far too intrigued by all of this for her own good. She sat still and quiet watching the beast from inside the carriage and even dared to move closer to the window. Very carefully and very slowly. Undoubtedly this whole experience was something she'd write about. When the beast turned to Adam with that loud growl, she jumped just a bit then watched the thing go running off back to where it came from. A brief moment of thrill was quick to pass as a reminder of the cruel battle was looked upon; dead and injured bodies on the ground around the carriage. "Madam!" Just like that, she was picking up her skirts to get out of the carriage to see if any of the injured survived and to help tend to their wounds, including Bradley and Adam.

Adam came to a sliding stop as the creature turned toward him, his eyes going wide. He froze in place then let out an exhale of air. "Bradley, are you all right?" Not from the creature of course, since it had not attacked his friend. "What was that?" Though he was grateful the creature had appeared.

It was a whole Alpha male moment. He had not run nor made any motion to attack but instead stood his ground while respecting the male Sasquatch's ground too. He stood there breathing hard for a suspended moment. Certainly pleased he didn't decide to attack for certainly he was not up for a fight, the swipe of his hand brought blood smeared over it from a head wound. He knew they bled worse than they were as he ripped part of his shirt off to pressed against the opening along the side of his head. His horse was gone, so was the driver. "I'll drive the coach," he obviously knew how.  He was in no shape to lift any of the dead men on his own but he help the one guard left alive of the five. "Take one Indian body with you so the tribe can be identified." Picking one out that seemed to be important by the feathers in his hair. Barely hearing Adam, "I'll live, but I suggest we load the dead men on top of the wagon and get out of here." He stood a moment glancing off to where the Beast retreated, "that was one of those unbelieved to be real, Big Foot or known by the Indians as Sasquatch."

Fiona was still sitting, frozen, wide-eyed and slack-jawed but Oisin's sudden movement broke the spell. "Oisin!" She squeaked, making a grab for the girl's arm but missing. She had no choice but to hasten outside after Oisin, eyes swinging around anxiously as she half-expected Indians or monsters or both to come charging at them once more. Instead, there were bodies on the ground and pools of blood everywhere. She looked around at each of them and then at Bradley, feeling her stomach turn over. The thought of touching any of those bodies was repellent but she found her stern voice. "You are in no shape to drive, Mr Harrington." A glance cast to Adam then to check on his injuries, if any.

Oisin made it a few steps out beyond the carriage and looked around while listening to Bradley, then looked to both him and Adam, giving a brief inspection of what injuries could be seen. "I'll help." She'd help where she could, at least. Fi was right. Bradley was in no condition. Not that she had much strength to offer, but she'd help none the less.

Adam had a few scratches and bruises and he was dirty from his jump from the coach. He'd be sore come tomorrow but adrenaline was still flowing through his veins. He helped with the bodies then looked at Bradley again. "I can do it." Though he knew his friend could be stubborn. He also looked inside to check on the other two women.

He cleared his throat, one very stubborn man that was more stubborn than Fiona. "I am in far better shape to drive than the driver." Who was, unfortunately, dead. His words blatantly truthful. "I'll need one to ride guard." The guard that survived would ride inside with them. The older Indian woman helped them with the bodies as good as a man, she was kind of built like one too. The younger girl was made to stay in the coach under stern words in their native language. She looked on the brink of tears as it were.

"Don't be absurd. Captain Smith will drive. If he wishes somebody to ride beside him, I shall do it." She took a breath and huffed it out, brows lifting as she looked between them, daring them to disagree. Though her proclamation had probably shocked them. "Do you think I was always a maidservant? I think I can handle a small knife at least." She spoke far more confidently than she felt, but the determination was real. And they all knew she'd die before letting anything happen to Oisin who would be riding inside. "Miss Oisin will see to your wounds in the carriage." And she gave her charge a look that suggested she escort him inside the coach before he could protest any further. With that she hitched up her skirts and climbed up onto the driver's bench, chin up as she waited to be off.

Oisin had helped when and where she could before Fiona spoke up. Brow arched at the woman before a small smirk surfaced to her determination. It was almost comical to Oisin, but whatever laughter she might have let out, was held with a nod to Fi's order. Before Bradley had much chance to protest, she was off to his side. "Come now, Mr. Harrington. Into the carriage with you." And leaned in a little closer. "I wouldn't upset her. She might start growling." Spoken in but a whisper to Bradley. "Imagine it worse than that beast."

If they ever saw a prime bull with a red cape waved before him, that is how Bradley looked at the moment (his face half red in blood), one could almost feel the snorts and eyes to blaze red. Amazing what adrenaline could do in that moment as he was over to haul Fiona from the driving seat and down to stand in front of him in one easy motion like a rag doll. Nose nearly touching hers as the measured words hissed through his teeth,  "you ... will... ride.. in the ... coach .. with .. YOUR .. charge." It was why she was hired and this was her duty first and foremost. Bradley would not ride in the carriage and it had nothing to do with any of them. "I have been hurt worse and done more. Now get!" Stepping aside as he gave a swat to her bottom. No woman had ever bossed around Bradley Harrington and this was not going to be a first. The men were loaded and he was up into the driver's seat taking the reins in his hands. The horses side stepping wanting to be out of here. Obviously like a bull seeing red, he had not even heard Oisin!

He just stared at Fiona, hands on his hips, lips quirking as he tried not to laugh. Oh, this was going to be interesting. And there went Bradley. Arms crossing over his chest now, he waited to see Fiona's reaction then before war erupted again, he was up in the seat to ride shotgun. The flintlocks were all collected and he would re-load them as they rode. He wasn't looking at Fiona either or he would laugh!

"What-! Mr Harrington! Mr Harrington - put. me. Down!" She protested as he hauled her right off the bench - which would be a feat, considering her pleasantly plump build. She was a bit surprised at the intensity of his response but she was not about to be cowed, either. Her full cheeks darkened with angry color as Bradley stubbornly climbed up onto the bench himself, hands fisting on her hips. "Captain Smith, will you talk some sense into him please?"She appealed to the more even-tempered Captain, more like demanded his alliance as she looked at him with impatient expectation. Instead he climbed up into the driver's seat himself. She stared up at them both  for a long moment then threw up her hands. "Fine. If he bleeds to death where he sits, Captain, it is on YOUR head. I care not." She was still huffing as she climbed into the coach. "Stubborn mules the both of them..."

Of course he hadn't heard Oisin. That happened a lot. She stood there and watched, trying not to laugh as Fi was hauled down out of the driver's seat. Quite literally having to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing, but the grin was there. When she'd had her moment to tantrum, Oisin moved over to Fi's side, still trying not to laugh. "Madam, come now. You're going to get yourself into a heated fit, and for what? Mules?" Fi was ushered into the carriage and Oisin followed with a quiet smile to the two native women as she pulled the little door closed. Then would tend to the guard's wounds as needed.

Oisin was spared a wry grin as she referred to them as mules. Eyes locked a moment before she was ushering Fi within and he could get them the hell out of this area easy for another ambush if those particular Indians decided to brave coming back. He highly doubted it for knowing what he did of their beliefs, although the renegades were not predictable. They had rebelled even from the old ways of their people. A few hours later they arrived in Yorktown and the authorities alerted. He'd have to pay for the horse he lost but that was a minor consequence. He hated when a good animal was taken down. "I will go see the doctor here, you should too if needed." Not knowing the extent of Adam's wounds but a head wound should be looked at, and he would probably have to get a few stitches. This he already knew as he was down and heading for the doc's.



Date: 03-27-10
Poster: Bradley Harrington:
Post # 55

The return to Yorktown after the ambush was a mostly quiet one. Once the guard was bandaged and comfortable, Oisin settled in for the ride and hoped another would not happen again. Occasionally her attention drifted to the Indian Princess, and as much as she wanted to attempt to communicate with the woman who appeared to be about the same age, but didn't since she had no desire to get her in trouble with her chaperone. So instead, just the occasional smile was offered before turning her attention out the window. Eventually the scenery changed from the road of travel to Yorktown's populace of bodies and buildings. It was a relief to see and even so when the next day came, to know that they would soon be on their way to Boston. Morning came, Oisin snuck into Fi's room ever so quietly, hopefully the woman was asleep before Oisin announced. "Rise and Shine, madame! The sun is out and it's a lovely day! We shouldn't be late for the mules shall be knocking our doors down!"

Fiona was exhausted after all of their travels and had dreamed of oversized, over-hairy and mulishly stubborn men chasing her and throwing her about. It wouldn't take a mystic to interpret that dream. When the knock came she woke with a start, still in bed and hair all done up in curling rags. A soft groan as she reminded herself, yet again to tell Oisin to quit waking her up that way... "I am up, naughty girl, so leave me be till I can properly dress myself." She chastised the lass and hoped it would be enough to steal a few more minutes of slumber.

The Indian Princess pressed a small gift into the white woman's hand her age, it was a pretty bracelet made of exquisite beads. Her smile said more than words as words were not spoken but dark eyes held those of the white woman's before she was ushered away by her matron. Bradley cleaned up as best as possible and even shaved. There were scratches and hints of deeper wounds along the side of his neck but the worse, bandaged up, was hidden beneath a stylish top hat that was popular. He had stopped in one of the stores and more concern that it hid the bandaging than popularity. His arm had to be redressed for having been upset when he was thrown from his horse, opening the wound again. At least half his face was no longer covered in blood. Actually he didn't knock on their doors as he was already up and downstairs to have breakfast by the time he was back. If anything, after the harrowing day they were put through, he would let them sleep. Captain Smith was on his own schedule and could leave when they were ready. If Adam was up, he would join him in a cigarillo outside.

Adam had gone to his ship when he woke up but returned in time to see Bradley outside. He grinned as he joined him, and yes, he also enjoyed a cigarillo. "Everything is ready for when our passengers are awake. Did you rest well?" He had changed his clothes and had the ship's surgeon check him over to make sure he didn't have any injuries that were actually serious. He also had to redress the injury to Adam's side. Back in his Captain's clothing, more or less, including the fancier hat.

Oisin went to the window to draw back the curtains with a quiet giggle. "Come now, Madame! The morning dwindles away and you are missing it." Once the curtains were drawn open, Oisin turned to face the bed, watching Fi. Nothing more said just yet. But she had a mischievous expression if the woman dared open her eyes to look at Oisin.

She winced when the sunlight fell across her face, then heard nothing but silence, and dared to squint one eye open. The expression on the girl who stood before her set off alarm bells in her head. "What has you looking so cunning so early in the morning, hmm?" She asked as she pushed herself to sit up slightly, sore from the bouncy coach ride, then began unwinding her hair from its many bindings.

"Fitful," being truthful and why he was up so early. It was easier being up than trying to sleep. "He gave me some pills to take which I may once aboard your ship." And where he was safe to basically pass out. There was far more going on with Bradley Harrington that would have his life at risk if anyone found out. If certain ones found out, certain others would risk keeping him safe. There was a cold war going on behind closed doors he was a part of, one that would eventually explode into a full fledge one that even the Indians would take side with certain white men. "I left them to sleep as long as they wish," taking a puff of cinnamon scented smoke that was not really inhaled. "Times are a-changing but we have time at least to see these ladies safely to Boston."

Ooooh how that smile just seemed to surface and slow steps were taken towards the foot of Fi's bed. "Oooooh... nothing. I just hope you don't lay back down, otherwise..." Then she sprung up on the bed with a couple of bounces closer to the woman. ".....I will have to take drastic measures to have you out of bed and ready for the day." Though she knew better to mention sailing because Fi's stomach just didn't seem to agree with the ocean. "Up, madame!" Then she was bouncing over the woman to get up and head back to her room to get dressed.

"Mmm. might be a good idea. You'll need to be on your toes once we reach Boston." Adam was one of those who would risk his life keeping Bradley safe. "They probably need it after the day we had yesterday. I fear those renegades will cause much more trouble and death before they're stopped. If they're stopped." He chuckled as he looked at Bradley. "You handled Mistress Fiona well."

Fiona gave a long-suffering sigh and called after the girl, "You're lucky you are too big for me to spank your bottom now." Which is what the wisp deserved for waking her so rudely! Of course, Fiona didn't mean it, she just tended to grumble come early mornings. When Oisin danced her way out, Fiona pushed herself into a stand, wincing and stretching a moment before dressing herself. Petticoats donned, corset fastened, dress smoothed and hair done up in a bun, she finally ventured from her room.

"Plus it gave me more time to affect being like nothing happened." That his wounds were not bad enough to cause distress. He was taking care of them now. "At least I can have the surgeon on your ship change the dressings tonight and fix up as needed." The cigarillo being done, or as much as he wanted of it, was dropped to be crushed out beneath the heel of a polished boot. "I think I'm ready for some breakfast, especially some decent coffee." Giving a nod to the rest, "at least they know which renegade tribe they are from for that dead brave. They may well work out a truce if they want the body back. From what I could ascertain under the circumstances, I think it was a chief's son. They will want to honor the body so he goes to their happy hunting grounds." Although the matter would be no concern of his once they left here. He turned to head inside knowing he should eat as best he could as that would help in clearing his head and his body to mend.

"Madam! You would have to catch me first." Giggling her way out. Given enough time, she too got dressed in all the appropriate layers and a dress of light pink with her hair pulled back but left down in soft ringlets. Out in the hall she met with Fiona once more, still in her chipper mood with a bright smile that it just seemed that she couldn't rid herself of. "Shall we move on to breakfast, Madam?"

"Aye, he's a good man," speaking of the surgeon, "and he knows his job." He looked at Bradley and grinned then nodded. "I'm hungry too. Whatever is being cooked certainly smells good." He motioned for Bradley to go in first and he followed. "I'll be glad to be back on the ship."

Fiona on the other hand was NOT looking forward to being back on the ship. Upon joining Oisin to go down to the hall, she would dawdled over breakfast, then over her packing, until finally there were no more delays to be invented and she had no choice but to follow the others to the ship when the time came.

Bradley looked the epitome of the English gentleman he was bred as he stepped within. Grey blue eyes dipping in an appreciative glance over Oisin who looked like spring itself. He was quick to catch himself with looking away towards Adam who was right behind then with him. "I believe we shall have the company of the ladies." Whom they would soon be in step with as the foursome entered the kitchen where breakfast was being served buffet style. "Ladies, ..." but he didn't add anything,  just a pause then a slight dip of his head before stepping ahead to hand them their plates.

Pooor Fiona and her unsettling for the ocean. Once they were near the kitchen and met up with the others, a nod and smile was offered to both. "Gentlemen." Attention lingered on Bradley briefly before taking the plate and making her way around to pick up a bit of this and that. Mostly fruits and breads and a bit of juice, then would join with the others at some chosen table for their meal.

"So it seems." He gave Bradley a look then chuckled to himself. "Good morning, ladies." He bowed slightly before he stepped back and waited for them to help themselves. Then he'd join them with his own breakfast, one that was hearty, with eggs and country fried potatoes and plenty of bacon.

"Hmph." That was Fiona's greeting to both men. Or mules, as she now called them. She was not pleased with either of them after yesterday's episode, and the way that they had treated her so poorly. Not listening to a word she said and even manhandling her physically! She maintained an icy silence for both of them, snatching her plate from Bradley and then going along the buffet with her chin held high.

When Fifi Fluff hmphed, he only spared her a glance then was right back to getting in line to fill up his plate and mug. She had no idea then what real manhandling was. He took a few slices of the Irish bacon which were thicker slabs sauteed to perfection. Bradley was more interested in drinking a few cup of coffee along with eating hearty. Silence was preferred, especially from the bossy mouth.

Oisin really had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at Fiona's little fit there in front of the men. Just before wandering to get her own breakfast, she grabbed Fi by the hand and pulled her along. A quiet breakfast was fine by Oisin. She had plenty of her own thoughts to keep her entertained, a long with Fi's antics after yesterdays little....air of differences. She couldn't help but snicker quietly to herself on occasion between bites and the occasional drink.

He winked at Oisin when he saw her expression then settled in to enjoy the meal. Quiet was always welcome and he certainly didn't want to be the cause of breaking that silence. The food helped in that it was excellent.

Pleasant silence for them, stony silence from her. She spoke only Oisin and then quietly, eating her breakfast primly.

A ravishing appetite was soon sated as he announced in a normal tone, yet sounding much louder for the silence amongst them, "no time to dawdle," getting up as he was over to see to their chairs. "The bus boys will have your luggage to the ship by this time and we should be off. Nice day for a walk," stretch their legs before they had to get use to the sea beneath them.

She smiled to Adam in return for the wink and finished up her meal. Fi was just begging to be picked on, and got a small nudge for her sour temperament this morning. A smile given to Bradley. "I think that sounds like a fantastic idea!" Then looked over to Fi. "Don't you think it sounds fantastic, Madam? A chance to walk before we return to the ship."

Oisin's mood was certainly a good one and it had him slightly suspicious though it seemed her mischief was plotted toward Fiona. "We'll be able to walk off our meal a touch." He was contentedly full and patted his stomach as he stood. "The weather promises to be pleasant all the way to Boston. Nothing like fine spring weather on an ocean voyage." Even one that kept the shore in sight.

Be afraid! Oisin's happy! Be very afraid!




Date: 03-30-10
Poster: Adam Smith
Post # 56

Heading for Boston

The walk to the pier was not overly long but a good chance for all of them to stretch their legs. A chance to see the various stores and shops that were budding about the growing town. It was raw, rugged and at the same time exciting. Something else for Bradley Harrington appearing to be one thing and yet another. A few men recognized and just eye contact made in passing, one had bumped into him slipping him a note he would read later. The man apologizing while Bradley put on an act of disdain he should touch him or more the fact he was wounded. That he didn't have to put an act on for. He kept close to both ladies to put himself between them and any ruffians. They probably had enough adventure for a while in such a world far different than England had offered them.

Breakfast had been finished with a few little nudges to Fi for her temperament this morning, but all in good fun. Well, Oisin was having fun! That smile hadn't left in the least and it was for good reason. Even if no one else knew the reason. Now though, she was happily walking along with her arm wrapped around Fi's, taking in the sights and sounds and returned to her normal, seemingly oblivious nature. That's not to say that she hadn't noted the brief exchange between Bradley and the fellow who bumped into him. At least for was much as it looked to be, but she just went on about her way happily.

Oisin's good mood was contagious and Adam chuckled at how she teased poor Fifi. He enjoyed the walk through the streets, pointing out a few places that had been built since his last trip here. The exchange between Bradley and the man was barely noted, other than to mention there were certainly more people about lately. He also took note of a couple of British sailors whom he recognized. It seemed the English had a Navy ship in the harbor. A glance was
sent in Bradley's direction to make sure he took note, then he pointed out the masts of the ships over some buildings. "Ah, nearly there."

Ah yes, her happy little bird was chirping away this morning. Fifi, for her part, missed England. She wrinkled her nose at the muddy streets and rough-edged shop fronts. God save her, the sooner she left this frontier the better.

He noticed and noticed well though he didn't pay them much mind or so would come off. Once they were away from earshot of any Englishmen from that ship he spoke up. "Boston is in a situation, in particular. Last December 16th three ships from England bearing their East India tea, were bordered by Mohawk Indians who dumped all the tea into the port. England was trying to establish a monopoly and setting American companies against each other." He didn't add that the Indians were whites dressed up so to not be recognized and that he and Adam had led a group of fifty each. The English would love to know that. "It is said that England is now retaliating that until Boston pays for all the tea that was dumped a policy of coercion is being applied against Massachusetts, closing the Boston port until payment is made." He kept any expression at bay, the usual chisel look about the set of his jaw as they reached Adam's ship. He offered his arm to Oisin who was closest to assist her in boarding up the plank.

Oisin turned her attention to Bradley as he began the little new lesson for them and the happenings of Boston in the past. Oisin did not miss England, though she miss her parents. She looked genuinely interested in what was said. "Surely Boston would not take such treatment. Do you think it will come to a battle?" Inquired as she took his arm, wrapping her hand about the bend of his arm lightly and set dark eyes totally on him, trusting his guide to board the ship.

"Hmm. I wonder how much trouble we'll have there then. We may not be able to run the blockade." He wouldn't put the ladies in danger if it came down to it. They were piped aboard the ship and Adam bowed to the ladies. "If you'll excuse me, I'll tend to my duties." He exchanged a look with Bradley before heading for the upper deck and his waiting First Mate.

"Why on earth would the natives care about British tea politics?" She scoffed. Even Fifi sensed that there was something a bit off in that story. The hems of her skirt lifted daintily as she stepped up the gangplank of the ship.

He led her to the rail a distance from where they embarked. Enough out of the way that he could explain what he knew without seeming to be a part of it and that his information came through the upper crust of English society. "When they did this, it spurred other staged similar acts of resistance in other colonial seaports. Some were able to get those of the ships to resign and avoided the confrontation like Boston had. It has brought about passions about the issue of taxation without representation, that England can do whatever it wants and the Colonies have to suck up." Which he cleared his throat, "please forgive the rude expression. What is duly noted is that it is the women of the colonies that mostly drink the tea and now are becoming the leaders of the effort to boycott.  By closing the port, it will only promote more resistance and rebellion until there is a war. Something, I fear, is inevitable at this point." Then to answer Adam's point of concern, "I think being we do not bear cargo we shall be able to enter the port. I am not sure it has been put into effect yet." He had not been to the port since last December, as was recommended he disappear. To answer Fifi, as it was a legitimate question, "I'm sure they were paid to do it." Which would have it seem he really didn't know what really went down.

Oisin took Fi with her free hand to bring her along to the rail while listening to Bradley. There was something very...enlightening to hear that women were joining as leaders to the effort. She couldn't help but a thoughtful smile to the idea, but otherwise kept her opinions and thoughts to herself. Bradley's arm released, she laid both hands on the railing and turned to look out towards the water, lost in her own ponderings.

He gave Bradley a quick nod to show he had heard him, then set about giving orders. The crew saw to the gangplank while dockhands cast off their lines. A few youngsters waved the those on the ship as the Rose began to leave the slip. Out in the harbor, a man-o-war was anchored, the sailors exchanging friendly greetings, while Adam called out his destination. The other Captain said nothing of a blockade so for now they could assume they'd have little trouble gaining access to the port.

"Hm." Was her reply to all that, a slight shrug given. Fifi had no head for politics especially when it did not seem to concern her directly. Of course, she wasn't thinking far ahead to the possibility of Boston being restricted to them. She moved to stand beside Oisin as the ship began sailing, eyes closing briefly and hands tight on the rail as the ship inevitably began to sway.

Which was a relief, he'd hate to butt heads and tempers with her again! "If you will excuse me," being it seemed the two ladies wished to cling together, he stepped away from the rail with a polite nod of his head and headed to a different section, the forecastle to be exact, to take out a piece of paper burning in his pocket of curiosity to read. Whatever was written had brows dip deeply before he took the time to shred it up into small pieces and let the wind take them to scatter over the ocean beyond the rail.

Oisin perked a brow and glanced across her shoulder to Bradley after he excused himself and watched him head off, briefly, before turning her attention to Fi with another of those coy grins. She didn't say anything right away. Just looked at the woman, snickered softly and looked back out to the water.

Once the Rose cleared the harbor and was out in open seas, Adam turned the helm over to his First Mate and joined Bradley. The Rose would stay in sight of the shore for the journey, accompanied by gulls and occasionally dolphins. He watched the two women a moment then chuckled. "I do believe Mistress Fiona is holding onto the rail for dear life."

Yes, yes she was. And looking a bit green around the gills as she adjusted to being back aboard a swaying vessel. Though she caught Oisin's snicker and cracked one eye open to look at the girl. "Wicked child, are you laughing at my pain?.. Oh my," that added with a dry swallow as the ship rocked enough to have the lines creaking briefly.

He'd been staring out over the ocean where the confetti landed and vanished before turning to Adam as he joined him. The look in light hazel eyes distant until pulled back. Took him a moment as he blinked a look towards Fiona with twitch to his lips to follow. "Yes it does. Something to quiet the feisty protective .." almost saying French poodle but the words never escaped his lips, leaving it blank instead.

Oisin looked at Fiona with a rise of both brows and smiled brightly. "Madam! It hurts that you would ever think such of me." Just a hint of a pout, but it didn't last long due to another smile. Was she going to say anything more? Nope. She just smiled, notched her chin up and looked back out over the water.

He laughed, shaking his head, then his expression became serious. "Is all well, Bradley?" He glanced back over his shoulder, studying the harbor they had left behind. No other ships were leaving at this time and his crew was, as always, on alert.

"Not really. We will need to mind our associations here and steps. There is to be a secret meeting conducted by Samuel after meetings with others in certain colonies, certain men." Which he kept his words lowered and would halt if any of the sailors got within earshot.

No reaction from Fi? She slanted a glance to the older woman, but didn't say anything. Instead she just smiled and decided to leave the woman to her thoughts while Oisin went for a walk along the railing for a better view beyond the ship.

The rest of the journey would be a peaceful one, which would surely be a relief to Fiona. The waters remained calm, there were no attacks from other ships, though the sailors went on high alert when a French ship was noticed further out but it made no move to attack. Night would pass with the stars bright in the heavens, and the full moon giving everything that wonderful silvery glow. Boston harbor was in sight as the sun brightened the sky. Much to Adam's relief, the blockade had not been put into affect yet. The others would awaken to find the ship anchored in a slip and ready for them to disembark.

A large relief indeed! Even with the smooth seas her stomach had a difficult time of it, the poor woman constantly experience indigestion that hampered her appetite. She was gratified to see land early that morning, expelling a sigh before hurrying back to her cabin to change. She had heard rumors of Boston, which was supposed to be the most civilized city in the colonies, and so she dressed to impress. Her best clothes and hair done up in a fancy coif. A bit later she emerged onto the deck, patting her hair into place. Now she was the one impatient for her companion. "Oisin, hurry! We are here."

Bradley woke from a night of fitful sleep. He looked it with dishevel hair and a tired cast to his eyes. He tried to smooth it over but to no avail. Giving up the ghost, and he almost looked like one, he headed from his cabin to the upper deck. A top hat on would at least hide dishevel hair. That was until it was blown off and he had to go chasing it down the deck. Almost went overboard before he caught it up and carried it for now. Otherwise, even if a little wrinkled around the edges, he looked the epitome of an English gentleman. If things got worse here, he may have to be seen as his undercover or might be in danger of his life. It was a precarious path to walk these days. He waited for the ladies as a carriage was hailed. They would need to find adequate accommodations that Oisin and Fiona could settled into for more than a few days, even a few weeks but possibly months.

Oisin had been nice enough to let Fiona sleep without her ranting and silly antics, and now she was being rushed! Well, it made her smile. Nice to see that Fiona was looking forward to something. It had Oisin laughing quietly to herself. It wasn't long after Fi appeared from her cabin that Oisin stepped out to join her. Not nearly as fancy as her companion, but well to do enough with an empire waist line dress and her hair styled in curls over one shoulder. From there she'd accompany the woman with a casual walk to where it seemed the carriage was being hailed.

Adam gave orders to his First Mate and other officers, then joined Bradley and the ladies. They would need to resupply and some of the men were given shore leave. Now it would be a matter of finding an inn suitable for the ladies, unless of course, Oisin had something else in mind. "You'll find Boston to be quite civilized." He informed them, though it was mostly for Fiona's benefit. He had no doubt that Oisin would manage anywhere she found herself.

Bradley inquired of the driver for certainly they knew all places within the city and their reputations. "Bring us to the best Boston has to offer, not expense in being flashy but one that is comfortable, clean and noted for their meals." Flashy for the upper crust he could bear with when necessary but he was looking for comforts that one had to live with for many days. "Tha
t would be the South Hampton Inn, run by a respected family here, not England. Reasonably priced, best food in town." Bradley gave an agreeing nod, "Take us there." Which he saw to helping Oisin within the carriage then Fiona.

"I should hope so," Fiona answered Adam as she lifted the hems of her silk skirts and alighted from the ship. She looked about herself eagerly, taking in the sights and sounds of the larger city with an interested air.

It was true. Oisin could probably content herself just about anywhere. Off the ship and much like Fiona, she was looking around, taking in the sights and sounds as they came into view before reaching the carriage. Grin flashed to Bradley, she thanked him and stepped up into the carriage and made room for Fiona to join her.

He offered Fiona a smile, then waited until all were seated before also climbing in. Now they could enjoy the ride to the Inn.

She returned Adam's smile with a dimple in her full cheeks. By now she had forgiven the gentlemen for their lapse back on the road, though certain glances every once in awhile reminded them that they were skating on thin ice.

Brad actually rode in the carriage, seated on the side with Oisin, he placed his arm along the back of the seat in case the ride got rough, he could make sure Oisin didn't get jostled. Steel hazel eyes were on Fifi however as she sat across from him. Not a word said, just eye contact. The driver rambled on as the Inn he spoke of was across town and not directly in the main district. Which in his opinion was good.

Oh, let her be jostled around. She was far too intent watching out the window to car about bumps and ruts at the moment. Though having Bradley sitting next to her, don't think she didn't notice. He even got a little bit of a smirk from her. One rut though was enough to jostle her side into him. "Sorry." Smile, little hint of blush hopefully hidden by her darker coloring. Then she looked at Fi with that grin again. That one that was the expression of waiting for something only Oisin would understand.

Adam was being a perfect gentleman! He smiled as he watched Oisin, then looked out the window when he heard a sharp yell. Glancing out the window, he spotted a few young men running from the red coat wearing soldiers. Several of the crowd yelled at the soldiers, another at the men. A cart was upset but their driver avoided it all. He did look thoughtful as he sat back again. It seemed tensions were running higher than when they last were here.

Fiona, too, was preoccupied with looking around the city, letting out an occasional sound of comment, or turning to point something out to Oisin. For now she seemed to remain oblivious to the subtle gestures exchanged between her charge and the Harrington man. Though the latter's stern gaze eventually did earn her attention. She blinked and returned Bradley's look, quirking a dark brow in silent and slightly challenging inquiry. Distraction came when there was a shout outside and she craned her neck to peer out the window. "Oh dear..." she watched as the young men ran from the uniformed ones. "I wonder what they did." For she could only assume that the young men were criminals of some sort.

A strong hand curled around Oisin's shoulder as she jarred in her seat into his side. It would only last a moment as she regained her balance. Kept her from spilling onto the floor. The touch warm, his hand rugged for one that was of English society. Hands that saw work that left them rougher than a dandy's. It lasted a few seconds before the cut of steel grey eyes caught Adam's in communication without words. They would talk later. The meeting would be one he could go to if he wanted and it would be done under the cover of night when he got word again. Actually, the man driving the carriage was one of them and now knew where to find him.

Oisin's attention too went out the window to the yell and chase given by the soldiers in red coats. She looked to Fi when she spoke up then just shook her head and went back to sight seeing. She was looking forward to getting to their destination and not have to travel around for a while. Short or long, she was ready to settle for a while and know where she was. Not that she didn't love the traveling, but it was all much when it was just a night here or there to be spent in one place.

"Hard to say." He smiled at Fiona. "Could have been something as simple as yelling at the soldiers." He gave the slightest of nods to Bradley then proceeded to point out a few places of interest to the ladies. It was a busy lively city but as he had said, much more 'civilized'.

Appeased by that explanation, she smiled back at Adam and then patted at her coif a bit. She had put an effort into her hairstyle today, thick brown hair twisted up with twin silver combs, their ends sparkling with gems. A smoothing of her lace-edged dress as she peered out the window at the city, which reminded her somewhat of bigger towns back home... though this place had a certain sense of excitement, even recklessness, running through it. Her Mama would never have pictured where she was today, Fi thought with a light smile touching her lips.

Something he noticed had caught a slight smile to hint at the corners of his lips as he looked away out the opposite window just as they arrived at the Inn. He was out fast as if he couldn't wait and would offer a hand to each of the ladies in helping them down. Their baggage would be seen to as well as once they were out, he headed within to register for two rooms, next to each other for the two ladies. Another  room next to theirs if he needed it but most likely he would not be staying there. This place had guards and had security many didn't offer.

Oisin caught sight of the small smile, which she couldn't help but smile softly to. She was pretty sure that this was the first time since their leave of England, that she'd seen such a genuine expression from Fiona. When they stopped, she followed off the carriage, once more thanking Bradley for his hand and waited there for Fiona before venturing into the Inn with her.

This was much nicer than having the ladies angry at either or both of them. Adam was glad to be out of the coach though he would likely have to find another for the trip back to the docks. He followed Bradley in, mostly to make certain that all was well here, something he'd find out by talking to the guards while Bradley took care of the rooms. He also oversaw the removal of their luggage. Once the ladies were seeing to settling in, he and Bradley could find a place where they could talk.



Date: 03-31-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 57


The Rooms each had a small back yard for those renting for a longer time could enjoy. The other rooms, ones for a few days, did not have these extras. Keys were given which he then escorted them to the rooms down along a strip set apart from the Inne but attached with with a covered walkway.  A bus boy taking their luggage in once they had their doors open. Bradley would store his things in the one next to theirs even if there would probably be many days he would not be staying overnight. "I have a trusted lad here that I have hired and he will be around in the Inne if you have need of me when I am gone. He will know where to find me but he will not take you directly, he will come for me so give him some time notice. His name is Joey." Which they would find him to be a pleasant, freckle face lad of about fourteen. Probably taller than them already. Leaving the women to their things as he saw to his unpacking. Once he was done he would be seeking out Adam in the bar area of the Inne.

Oisin just looked at Bradley and blinked as he explained about the young lad there to help them or find him should they be in need. A tilt of her head, she nodded. "Very well." Then turned to Fiona with a small grin. "The day is young. We should go explore."

Yeah so Fi inspected the rooms, they were lovely, etc etc! A nod given to the busboy and then she turned to Oisin. "Yes, alright." She agreed without too much of a fuss. "Just let me freshen up, and you ought to do the same, hm?" A gentle reminder that properness was still important after all their travels... especially because of it.

He gave them this freedom because he felt it was something they both had wanted but he was there if there was an emergency and he would be around to check on them. Oisin, he was told, near refused his offer to take her to the Colonies to start which had concerned her father and mother. She didn't want to trouble her cousin, didn't want him around. Time would tell if they needed him or the fact he might well be in the vicinity without them knowing. Of course if something came up and there he was, they might catch on. He freshened up then was gone, locking the door behind him before seeking out Adam. The South Hampton Inne was a rustic looking place and very clean. The tap room wasn't crowded this early afternoon as he caught sight of his friend at the bar having a brew. He was over to order an ale for he had worked up a thirst.

Adam was waiting right at the bar, leaning against it as he talked to the keep. When he saw Bradley, he grinned at his friend. "Did they seem to be satisfied with the rooms?" Heaven knew if they weren't, they'd likely move and they'd have to hope they could find Joey so they could locate them. Adam would be back and forth along the coast but never away more than a half day.


Fiona was lucky that Oisin didn't shed all those ridiculous under layers that she so hated. A small frown at the suggestion of freshening up. "Yes, yes, Madame." Hands brushed into her skirt as she swung around and turned to go into her room to freshen up. Silly things to have to do to appear proper. Oh well. If it made Fiona happy, then she should. It wouldn't take long though. A bit of straightening of her hair and smoothing things out, she considered herself done and was out in the hall to meet with Fiona.

Fifi was taking her time, humming lightly to herself as she smoothed out her coif, tucking a few strands back in with the rest of her hair. She straightened out her dress as well, turning to gaze at herself over her shoulder in the mirror... noting the way it warped her already curvaceous form into something like a swollen hourglass. Sigh. Then she heard Oisin step into the hallway and bustled out to join her younger charge. "There now, don't you feel better?" She smiled as if straightening up were the grandest thing in the world.

Bradley knew the owner of this Inne, Joe Lackey, middle age, self made man that many respected. Joe took over waiting on the two men for he set a folded, sealed, envelope on the table for Bradley.  "This has been waiting for your arrival about three days." As a heads up as it could contain old news in that case. "We had a few run ins along the way," which Brad didn't get into details on. Joe nodded understanding, "I've got your back if you need me," giving a pat to the bar with the flat of his hand, "drinks are on me tonight. Good having you back Bradley and good meeting you Adam, hope to see you around." Then he was off to give them some privacy. Bradley had gotten a tankard of cold ale of which he took a long good drink from.

He watched the exchange with a bit of interest but if it was something he need to know, Bradley would tell him. "I'm certain you will." He saluted the tender, then took a drink of his own ale.


Well, Fiona was quick to join her. Quirking a brow at the woman before she smirked. "Oh yes! Nothing like tending to the threads and loosened strands of hair to make one feel better." That might have come off just a bit sarcastic, but not in a smart ass kind of way. It was meant to be humorous. Looping her arm around Fiona's, she smiled brightly. "I await your lead, madame!"

Fifi gave Oisin a sharp look, sensing the sarcasm there, oh yes. But lucky for the lass, she was in a good mood. So she only returned the smile and walked with Oisin down the hall, into the common area which also held the bar. She spied the Mules there and went to join them. "Gentlemen." Then she arched a brow at their drinks and spoke mildly. "My goodness, is it evening already? I hadn't noticed..." Of course, it was still early afternoon and she knew it! Just a gentle jab at their habits.

Once Joe had respectfully left, he opened up the envelope being there is no one else about. Something read over quickly. "Samuel Adams himself," taking a moment to burn it in an ashtray and luckily out by the time the ladies arrived at the door or they might be asking questions. "There is someone I wish you to meet later tonight if you want to join the cause," all spoken low that only Adam would hear before he was standing from his stool as the ladies crossed over. "Would you like something to eat before shopping or afterwards?" Which had him paused looking between the two, "you both plan to see some of the closer shops?"

"Of course," was all he said to Bradley as the ladies appeared. A brow lifted at Fiona's words. They were drinking ale not hard liquor but then he just chuckled and let Bradley talk.

Oisin sweetened her smile for that sharp look and took the lead to follow with Fiona to where the men were. Smell of burnt paper was not hard to miss, but she said nothing. Instead she gave Fiona a subtle nudge for her jabbing at the habits of the two men. "I'm not particularly hungry. Are you, Madame?" Looking from Bradley to Fiona curiously.

"No, not particularly." With a knowing look to Oisin. The girl was so eager to go, she would likely not be able to eat in peace anyway.

"Then I shall meet you back here in four to five hours and sup with you tonight." He could only speak for himself as he didn't know Adam's plans and was more or less up to him to come. There was no obligation on either of their part for that matter and he wasn't sure how much they wanted them around. He'd play it by ear. He had a few things to see to and one of them was introducing Adam to certain men now that he'd taken an interest in the Cause.

"I should be able to join you as well." He'd be interested to see how their explorations went. "Enjoy yourselves, ladies." He was certain Oisin would but poor Fiona would probably want to soak her feet once she got back!

Fiona was right. She probably wouldn't be able to eat in peace. Oisin was far too excited to have a chance to explore some. "Fantastic. On that note.." A waggle of her fingers to the men, sounded like they had a plan. Turning some, with a subtle gesture to Fiona, but wouldn't tug her along. She was kind of waiting for the woman's ready.

Fiona dipped her head to the men with a smile and then she was being ushered along by Oisin. Off they went for an afternoon of shopping, something which always perked Fifi up!

After the ladies took their leave, he finished his ale and waited on Adam so that they could be on their way. It was in a rougher side of town at a certain bar with back rooms and one of those back rooms led downstairs to a basement set up for meetings that most didn't know existed. Hard to find the way down and there were a lot of men between the front door and there for anyone to get through that wasn't suppose to get through.

Adam finished his ale as the ladies left then picked up his hat. He wasn't dressed as formally as usual, so he'd not stand out. Of course, he didn't expect a meeting of this sort to be among the upper echelon so he was well prepared as they made their way to the meeting place.

Once through the doors of the Inne, Oisin paused to have a look around and get a better idea of what was around. "Where shall we start, Madame? Is there anything in particular you need or perhaps just have a desire for?"

Fifi held her head high as they began their jaunt through the city, eagerly taking in all the sights. She tilted her head towards the younger girl to catch Oisin's question over the hustle and bustle of wagons, carts and plenty of walking people. "I have lost nearly all of my ribbons, between the packing and unpacking, and the wind of the ships.... perhaps we can find a hat shop." She posed the question casually, but Oisin probably knew of her weakness for headgear. Likely it wasn't really ribbons that she was after.

Oisin just smiled. The woman loved her hats. No doubt about it. Her smile was knowing as she nodded. "Very well then, Madame. To a hat shoppe." Oisin was thrilled to be out amongst the populous of the colony. All the different people and such hustling around! It was many wonders for the youth. A few moments of walking and looking around, she looked back to Fiona. "Are you going to continue to call Bradley and Adam mules?"

"Of course I am, don't you think the term suits them?" She spoke in a light tone, but there was a wicked gleam in her eye as she cast a smile to Oisin. Then she let out a gasp and moved forward quickly, for she had spotted a hat shop, with all manner of ornate head-dresses displayed in the window. Lace and silk and muslin.... she exulted over them in front of the shop window.

"Well, I thin...." Cut off and tugged along quickly, she laughed softly and followed along to the store front and looked over the display set up. "I think perhaps mule isn't the right word. I think it's your way of covering a blush in front of the Captain." An innocent expression, she quickly pointed to one of the hats with flowers and all sorts of lovely things on it. "Oh, I think that one would suit you."

She cut another sharp look to Oisin at that. "I think Mule is the perfect word for it, and that you are imagining things." With that she stepped inside, reaching for the hat Oisin had gestured to. A salesmen moved to hover nearby as she placed the mouth-watering creation delicately atop her head, and stooped to admire it in a mirror.

Oisin tried not to laugh. "I am not imagining things, Madame. I see the way your cheeks apple when you two talk." Once the hat was on her head, she reached up to tip it off to the right just slightly. "That's lovely. It'll be a fantastic accessory with spring showing up."

"Then perhaps you ought to have your eyes examined, or better yet your head, for you are speaking nonsense." She huffed, lifting the hat from her head and replacing it on the rack, reaching instead for another. This was a more flat number covered in lilac silk with sprigs of dried baby's-breath along it. She pointedly didn't look at Oisin but instead focused on getting the hat just so upon her hair. "Or mayhap you were distracted by your own doe-eyed glances at Mr Harrington?" Two could play this game... she arched a brow at her charge.

She had to keep from laughing and did a fair job, but couldn't help the smile. "My Doe-eyes at Mr. Harrington are for my own amusement because he has his nose up in the air. And there's nothing wrong with my eyes nor my head. I've seen the way you look at the good captain, and there's no hiding that rosing of cheekings when he looks back to you." An affirming nod, she picked up one of the hats from the rack. It was a woman's version of a top hat, smaller with a short veil down the back, and set it on her head.

She didn't buy that, not one bit, but for now she only arched her other eyebrow and said nothing about Mr Harrington. "That suits you," she said instead with a glance to the hat Oisin had just donned. She herself was moving onto the next item, this one rather large and ostentatious, which was meant to be worn dashingly sideways atop one's head. She settled it there and considered it in the looking glass. "Well, it hardly matters anyway, does it? The Captain is far too busy and important to care for our company much longer, and I've a feeling Mr Harrington is only hanging 'round for your sake." She wasn't quite ready to let that go yet... and leveled a knowing gaze at Oisin. "He is a good enough man, my dear, but hardly the sort you ought to conduct yourself with.. outside these unusual circumstances." Did Oisin get her drift?

She'd do well not to speak of Mr. Harrington any further. She just might be giving Oisin incentive to speak of the Captain while he was present. And don't think Oisin wouldn't do it! She turned to the mirror, looking at the hat on her head. She wasn't much for hats, really. She'd prefer to leave her hair down as often as she could get away with. "The Captain travels here often enough, or so I have gathered from his and Mr. Harrington's talks." She removed the hat and set it on the stand again, turning to Fiona. "Oh? That's not what you said when we first met up with the Captain and Mr. Harrington, now is it?"



Date: 03-31-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 58

Brown eyes glanced to Oisin and then moved away as she feigned disinterest. "I've absolutely no idea what you're talking about." This hat was too flashy for her, Fi decided, and put it back on the rack. She reached again for the very first she'd tried on, the one they'd seen in the window.

Brow perked up, she turned to fully face Fiona. "Oh? Should I remind then? I'd be more than happy and I'm sure our current company would love to hear such a tale." Speaking of course of the clerk in the shop.

She glanced over to the clerk and then back to Oisin, now frowning. "I'm sure you wouldn't dare." Something about Fi's gaze warned Oisin that she OUGHN'T dare.

She just smiled brightly with a glance to the clerk, then back to Fiona. "Does that mean you recall the comments when boarding the Captain's ship?"

Oisin was doing her best to drag it out of her but Fifi could dig her heels in when she wanted to. She lifted her chin, ignored Oisin, and then replaced the hat on the rack. "I do not think I am interested after all, thank you," she sang out to the clerk. Then with a tinkle of the bell hanging over the door, she was stepping back outside.

Oisin watched with a very obvious look of amusement. Turning to the clerk, she offered enough to pay for the hat quickly, and requested to have it delivered to the inn they were staying at, in a rush of course, before coming out the door behind Fiona. "Oh come, Madame! There's nothing wrong with finding interest."

"There is, when it is you finding an interest that does not exist." She huffed, lifting the hems of her skirts in a gentile manner as they started back down the street. And she had really wanted that hat. "Now hush about it and enjoy this city that you've been so looking forward to seeing. Oh look, I do believe that is a shoppe full of perfumes...."

Gotta love how Fiona tries to deter Oisin's attention. Stepping up to her side, arm curled about Fiona's with a bright smile and tip of her head. "As you wish, Madame. But I must say, his eyes are very kind when they look at you." She turned her head then to the shoppe with perfumes and snickered quietly to herself as she pushed the door open to let Fiona in first.

Brown eyes shot to Oisin. "Do you really think?" Oh wait, she was supposed to be faking disinterest. Her features smoothed over blandly and she looked away again, ushering Oisin into the next shop, which was nearly overpowering with its mix of scents... florals and musks. There were hundreds of perfumes and colognes, sold in glass bottles of every shape and size. Many of them were arranged upon a silver tray for sampling, and Fi picked one of these up, lifting it to spritz it upon her neck. Then she was wrinkling her nose and coughing, waving her hand about to rid the scent, which was too strong for her tastes.

Brow arched, she slowly looked back to Fiona and smiled. "Yes. I do." Then ventured off further into the shoppe. Different bottles were picked up and sniffed at rather than dousing herself in them. Some of them ... just ...  wow! "How can you wear this stuff?"

Fi might have been smiling to herself at that, but she kept it to herself well. "I suppose some people enjoy smelling like an overgrown rose..." She wrinkled as she sniffed another bottle, even less appealing than the first. "Come, let's get some fresh air." Taking Oisin's arm to hasten out of the stuffy store.

Haste out of that store was welcome. More than happy to follow her out and take a deep breath of fresh air. "I think you need a new dress, Madame." She smiled and lead back the way they'd come to a tailor shoppe that had some premades.

"What's wrong with what I have?" She asked with a concerned frown down at the gown she wore, though she admitted after a moment, "I suppose they are rather shabby after this journey..." They were nothing of the sort, at least not compared with what more common folks wore, but any excuse for a new dress as she followed Oisin to the tailor's.

She looked down at the dress and shook her head. "Nothing, but you never know when you might need something fresh and new." Into the shop, she smiled to the clerk, then to Fiona. "I was thinking something in....spring colors. Perhaps a light blue? Or maybe green. It would be so lovely with your hair."

She did enjoy the color green, which indeed brought out the hazel flecks in her brown eyes and the creamy cast of her complexion. So she nodded affably. "And you shall have a new dress as well. Let's see... perhaps a dark rose? Pinks are becoming on you," she gave a nod to the clerk, who hastened over on cue to show them the wares.

Well, Oisin had reason to suggest a new dress for Fiona. "Oh, Madame. You know I'm not all that interested in fancies." Trying to get out of a new dress. She found one dress the clerk had and held it up. Light green with a scooped neckline and fitted bodice, she held it against Fiona with a tilt of her head.

"You ought to be. A girl your age... it's important to look as beautiful as you truly are," that with a smile to Oisin, then she too was looking down at the dress being held up against her. Dark brow lifting as she searched Oisin's face. "What do you think?" It seemed as if it might be a bit... tight.

Oisin ignored the -girl of your age- comment and smiled. "With all the under layers we wear, you're worried about a fitted bodice?" Brow quirked curiously, she just smiled brightly. "I'm sure the clerk could let it out a bit if need be."

"Well I don't want to be... you know, bursting forth," she said with a wave of her hand to gesture, in an undertone so the clerk wouldn't hear it. With a determined air she swooped up the dress and went to try it on, behind a tall folding screen that served the purpose of a fitting room. They might overhear a breathless "Oh my" as she fitted herself into the dress, then reached behind herself to tie up the bodice. When she stepped out from behind the screen she was pink-cheeked from the exertion and... as she'd predicted, somewhat bursting forth at the bosom. "Well?"

Oisin waited with the clerk, offering a kind smile while Fiona went about trying the dress on. When she came out, she tilted her head thoughtfully and looked it over before approaching. "Perhaps just a bit taken out through the sides and..." Hm... she motioned across the scooped neckline. "An adding of a bit of material through here. white. Satin, and gathered into small pleats so it's not quite so low?" Of course, asking Fiona since she was the one who'd have to wear it.

"Yes, yes, that sounds perfect." Fifi was quick to nod her agreement, for she needed to get out of this corset if she wanted to continue to breathe. Back behind the screen she went, soon emerging in her old clothes and with the green dress, which she handed off to the clerk to make the necessary modifications. Arrangements made for them to pick it up this afternoon. "Now then... what about you?" She had that eager light in her eye for she did love dressing Oisin up.

Content to wait, she was perusing when Fiona gave her that look. She really wanted to protest, but sighed in defeat. "Alright, Madame. What do you have in mind?" Had to keep Fiona happy after all she put up with from Oisin.

She nearly clapped her hands in excitement when Oisin capitulated. "I think definitely some shade of pink or perhaps lavender. Let's see..." as she began pawing through the racks of dresses, looking for something in the right shade and size. "Ooooh...." She lifted out a pretty dress, pale purple silk trimmed in delicate lace at the neckline and at the sleeves, which were puffed. An empire waistline, which was so becoming on the lass. "With a new pair of long gloves.. what do you think? You must try it on," and she was pushing the garment on Oisin before she even had the chance to answer, shooing her off towards the screen.

Oisin stood there and watched in her usual amusement when Fiona was like this. Brow quirked when the dress was pulled from the selection, she looked it over for a moment. "Perhaps without the lace about the neckline?" And before she knew it, she was being shooed off to try the garment on. She looked over on her way to the screen and disappeared behind. Given a few moments, she changed from one dress to the next and came out to show Fiona how it looked. Yes, definitely had to rid the lace around the neck.

She tsk-tsk'ed. "No, my dear, the lace is lovely." It wasn't big frou-frou lace, just a delicate lining of it barely an inch thick, and Fifi smoothed this gently as she turned Oisin around. Then stood behind her to admire it in the mirror. "Perfect. And such a good color against your skin," which was several shades darker than her own. Fiona smiled warmly at the mirror-Oisin. "You will take everyone's breath away."

"It itches..." She pawed briefly at the lace before Fiona started smoothing it and turned her to face the mirror. She wasn't so much looking at herself as she was Fiona's expression. Discretely, of course. She laughed quietly. "And whose breath am I taking away? I've no interest in their breath." No interest in anything really. "But I will wear it, if you wear your new dress while accompanying me."

"Whosoever's breath you want to take away," she answered nonchalantly, and to her credit, would not again suggest who she thought Oisin might be interested in. Instead she smoothed the lace again, nodding her satisfaction.
  "Then you shall be stunning and I will be proud to be seen with you." A smile as she smoothed Oisin's hair, just the way she used to when Oisin was a young lass. "Now, go change so we can go fetch some new gloves."

Yeah, nonchalantly but Oisin knew what that meant. She tilted her head towards the touch when Fiona smoothed her hair some and smiled. "Yes, Madame." And turned to change back into her other dress. "Perhaps while we are here, we can find some event to attend. I'm sure there are many things going on here that would entertain us." Spoken as she changed. Once back in her own dress, she came out with the new dress hung over her arm.

Fiona had been thinking along those lines too, the moment they'd stepped into the tailor's shoppe. "Oh yes, to attend a ball..." A happy sigh at the mere thought. Then she waved her hand, arranging for Oisin's dress to be kept here along with her own so they might pick up both at the end of the day, rather than carry it around. "There must be some event we can attend. Perhaps the Captain or Mr Harrington have some connections we might make to secure an invitation..."

A ball...Oisin wrinkled up her nose and laughed quietly. "I'm sure they can.." She paused for thought. "You know, I'm hungry now. Are you hungry, Madame?" She wanted to get back to the inn so Fiona could be surprised by the hat. By now, it should have been delivered.

"I do believe I have gained a bit of an appetite, yes." Which was a ladylike understatement! She was starving. And so with a smile of thanks to the clerk they were out into the street once more, aiming for the Inne. "Perhaps after lunch we might find you some gloves. And you must need some new under things by now, yes?" The type of question that always made Oisin whine and squirm, but Fifi was there to ensure that her charge always had clean undies!

Out of the tailor shop, she looked at Fiona with the mention of under things and just blinked. "Must you bring up such topics while we're outside of our rooms?" Seriously, woman! Don't make her go back to the topic of Adam! She will! "We shall see after we eat." To the inn, she stepped inside with a glance around. "Why don't you see about a table. I am going to go speak with the keep for a moment." No chance to protest! Oisin was on her way to the desk.

Fiona only shrugged as if to say, everyone needs clean under things! Mouth opened to protest and then Oisin was off. Hmm. Fi didn't think it seemly, her speaking to the Keep by herself but... too late. So she glanced around, finding a table for the both of them near the window, where they could look out upon the passing crowds.

Oisin wasn't gone long, but wanted to wait until Fiona had her attention out the window or otherwise occupied before bringing the hat box over. And she did. Set it on the table and slid it in front of the woman before seating herself across from Fiona. Not a single word said, she looked out the window with interest. Interest wasn't for what was out there at the moment though.

The box slid before her did indeed take her by surprise. "What's this?" She asked but apparently no answer was forthcoming from Oisin as she stared out the window. Fi quirked a brow but opened out the box, then let out a gasp of surprise. Slowly and reverently lifting the hat out of the box. "You naughty girl...." but it was undeniably clear that she was pleasantly surprised.

Only after Fiona looked in the box did Oisin look back to her and smiled. "You loved it so much, it would have been a shame to really leave it behind."

"You really shouldn't have..." But even as she was saying it, she was placing the hat atop her head, adjusting it to get the angle just so. Then she beamed a smile at the lass. "But you are sweet to have done it. Thank you."

"I do a lot of things I shouldn't." She beamed a cheesy smile to Fiona and watched her put the hat on. "It suits you so well and will look fabulous with the dress." She blew the woman an adoring kiss as a server came around for drink and food requests. Oisin ordered tea and whatever the meal was. Hungry!



Date: 04-05-10
Poster:  Jacob Anderson
Post # 59

Trip to Fort Westover

Jacob was up before dawn as was usual for him. He had taken a later watch and made sure the area was secured. It was. He came across their Uncle's braves which he talked shortly with before back to the camp. He was seeing to a fire to cook up some breakfast before they started out on their trip. He did his best not to disturb any of them for they would need their sleep.

Liam had slept like a log, what usually happened to him after an emotional turmoil which certainly last night proved to be. He probably wouldn't awake until nudged by someone when dawn was becoming morning.

Mercy woke just as the sun began to peek over the sky. Birds were chirping in the trees and it promised to be a nice day. She stretched as she sat up, smiled at Jacob, then made her way to the bank of the river to wash her face. Sitting there a moment, she took in the scene as the sun grew ever brighter.

Ciarán yawned and covered his head briefly. He grumbled about the birds being so happy this early but it was temporary. The thought that they could be closer to finding Fawn had him waking fully and sitting up. As he did, Coyote returned as promised. He wanted to say good bye as this could be the last time he saw his nephews.

Naniko was up already. She didn't actually sleep, but had taken her sleeping place a short distance from the others. There as protection, just incase, but far enough to give them privacy from the stranger in their midst. For a moment she watched them all, then turned her attention to the bit of breakfast she had.

Evan was already awake, though he hadn't risen yet from his cloak-bed. He lay flat on his back, one bent arm behind his head as he contemplated the sky. There was still plenty to chew on, and every time he thought about it too hard, the confusion and betrayal and even anger returned... but it was milder today, his mood quieted. Perhaps he was just still drained from the emotional tidal wave of visiting the village yesterday. Seeing the others rising, he rolled up and off the ground, stretching his stiff muscles.

Soon the air would be filled with the scent of scrambled eggs as he had carefully packed enough for a surprise breakfast and today was it. Herbs added as well some tater bits mixed in with stir fried mushrooms and onions. A finer coffee he has procured percolated in the pot set on the coals of the fire. Mugs and plates ready.

Liam would be like the waking dead except for that aroma that filled the air, his stomach growled. Loudly. One might worry on a bear being near. He was up, forgetting the women about as he was only in his skivvies as he headed for the stream to splash cold water on his face so his eyes opened up along with sight as he returned to the land of the living.

Mercy stood and turned to head to the fire and Jacob. She chuckled when she saw Liam and spoke out loudly, "Good morning, Liam, everyone. I hope you all slept well." She was over to help if she could. Otherwise, it was time to enjoy their breakfast.

Ciarán wanted coffee before he started on the food. He blinked as he watched Liam then laughed. "I don't think he's awake yet."

Naniko got up when the others were moving around and took a small leather satchel to where they were bound to gather around the fire and where food was being cooked. "Fruit I have for you, if want it you should."

Evan and his monstrous appetite were not oblivious to the smell of fresh eggs and coffee, something they'd not had in days. A surprised glance was shot to Jacob as he crossed to the stream, crouching down to splash some reinvigorating cold water on his face. A side glance to Liam along with a faint smirk. "Forget something?" Meaning his pants, of course.

"Fruit is good, thank you, Naniko." It would be added to the plates in shared amounts so evenly distributed as was all that he made. "How many days it is to Fort Westover from here, Ciaran?" Being the brothers had traveled it before. Liam didn't seem to be as awake but figured he would be soon enough after cold water on his face and coffee in his system. He was passing out the plates promptly so they could eat and get going. It would not be good to waste too much time.

About to stand from his crouch when Evan made worthy note of his lack of clothing. He had the lean, fit, fighting machine body of a boxer so at least he would not be displeasing to any of the present ladies if their sight should happen to fall his way. It was only then as he started to rise waking enough to glance down. "All essential parts are covered." Wry grin for he didn't think either ladies would notice anyway. "I will be covered up soon so your eyes don't melt in your head from the sight," teasing Evan right back as a hand shot out to ruffle his hair as he passed, steps picking up in case he swung at him he'd miss. Only took a few minutes for him to don his clothes and get over for some of that coffee and eggs before they were gone. "Evan's not hungry this morning, I'll take his portion." Loud enough for his brother to hear of course! He had never heard Mercy prior to the cold water splash.

She laughed softly then settled into eating. "Thank you Naniko." The fruit was much appreciated and enjoyed, and she would leave a bit more for the men to share. "I think food tastes better cooked this way." She decided as she looked at Jacob. Oh, Liam had been noted of course. She wasn't blind!

Ciar chewed the mouthful he had before answering Jacob. "I'd say about a day and a half. We'll travel along the river, and if the paths are the same, should be fairly easy. Most is considered the territory of Uncle's tribe." He looked at Coyote who nodded. "Except for to the west of the fort. Then it becomes enemy." Coyote had eaten earlier with his tribe. He did bring dried venison for them to take with them.

Naniko showed nothing in regard to Liam's apparent lack of clothing. A nod given to the thanks. "Welcome you are." She passed on the offer of eggs and stuck with her fruit, but joined the others. Knees set tot he ground from a crouch before settling on her heels with a glance to Coyote, then back to her food.

Evan rolled his eyes, throwing his arm up at the hair-ruffle but too late to catch him, of course. He did indeed hear Liam's claim and straightened up from the stream, calling back, "Bullshit, I'll take my own portion and thanks." It felt good to joke around like this, as if nothing had changed. Which, in some ways.... he supposed it hadn't. He was over to claim his plate before Liam could steal it, thanking Jacob before settling himself on a rock and digging in.

A glance was given Naniko, knowing she would be taking this all in for she would scout ahead. He would take up the rear but it sounded like the going would be good as long as they stayed in Coyote's territory. The venison would be appreciated as there were no more eggs for breakfast until they reached the Fort and providing they kept chickens. Most likely that would be a yes. "We shall leave as soon as you are all ready." He finished off his meal already and was enjoying the mug of coffee. Once that was done he was over to secure the straps on his horse with the last minute checks. Lastly swinging up into the saddle as he settled in for a long ride ahead of them.

See, he was right! Even if Mercy wasn't blind she really had only sights on one and Naniko, he could run around naked and she wouldn't notice! Which if they had time and if it was under other circumstances, he probably would just to prove the point. Instead he snickered at his brother for falling to the tease. "Eat up, eat hearty, we probably wont have this fine a meal for another day and a half." Which had him digging in whole heartedly before he cleaned off his plate, drank his coffee then snuffed out the fire with clumps of dirt. Once done he would be mounting up after his last minute checks.

Mercy set to cleaning up once she was finished, and the others were as well. She headed into the brush for a few minutes, then returned. "Wonder if there will be a chance of a hot bath at the fort." She muttered to Jacob as they prepared to leave.

Ciar finished his meal, cleaned up his gear and turned to Coyote. There was a quiet good-bye between them, not much else to be said but his mother's people would never be forgotten. Mounting his horse, he waited to get started.

Oooh..Naniko would notice! She wasn't blind, but she wouldn't say anything. She finished her meal quietly before rising to her feet and returning to where her things were to be collected and packed onto the saddle of her horse.  She had indeed paid attention to what was spoken by Coyote and once more would utilize her unique ability by using the yarn dolls to aid in her scout.

Meal scarfed, coffee slurped, gear cleaned up and stowed and Evan was in his saddle. A respectful nod was given to Coyote, for while he still had his doubts about some natives, this man and his tribe had earned Evan's esteem. The reins gathered in one hand, he patted his horse on the neck and then crossed his wrists on the pummel of the saddle, waiting for them to be off.

"I will see that you get a bath, personally." He would pay any extra for her, "and Naniko if she wishes one." He wasn't real sure if it mattered to her but on another level, he suspected she preferred keeping her body clean. Something ritualistic about her in her quiet way of things. He would lag behind the others as they were finally getting on their horses and starting off.

Liam maneuvered his horse over to where Coyote stood waiting on their departure. A hand going to his shoulder. Something in his eyes spoke on how he missed both mother and father as he was sure he missed his sister. "May the spirits you worship favor you from this day onward," knowing in his gut they were not going to favor others of his people be they of his tribe or not. "If we do not meet again in this life, I will see you one day on the other side." The light grip released before he was spurring on his horse so they were all on their way.

Watching the brothers and Coyote, Mercy felt a lump forming in her throat. One part concluding for the brothers, but another part of their life was opening up. She would ride back with Jacob, letting the brothers take the lead.

He lifted a hand in farewell to his uncle then he started his horse forward. For a good part of the ride, Ciar would be silent, lost in memories. He wouldn't be unaware of their surroundings, but he had nothing to say. Every once in a while, he'd smile slightly but finally, he sighed deeply and seemed to shake off the mood.

Hearing her name, she lifted her head from the task she held in hand to look at Jacob and give a nod. "Thank you." Though likely she wouldn't allow him to pay extra for a heated bath. Yes, she liked to be clean, but she didn't mind bathing in nature. Unless it was just freezing cold. There were ways around that though. Looking back to the dolls in hand, she went through the process of breathing life into them, draining the color from their new ribbons and set them on the ground with their command to scout, then watched them all take off in different directions. Once done, she mounted her horse and waited on the others.

They would not know if he paid for the baths or not but hopefully it came as part of the deal for the rooms. The money actually was provided by the Brothers in outfitting this whole excursion and anyone that became involved in it.  Jacob was pleased Mercy lagged behind to ride near him. It was shown in the smile she got and that something in dark eyes that she knew how to read. He would keep alert as he always did as they moved along. Hopefully they would not have any more incidences but, luck was rough out in the wild.

Liam was not far behind Naniko and so, once more was staring as Nan breathed life into the dolls. This time he drew a bit closer so he had a better view of how she did that.


Those enchanted dolls were as unnerving as they were the first time he'd seen them, though certainly they'd already served the group well once before. So he repressed a chill of aversion and made no comment upon it. Evan, too was quiet for the majority of the trip, absorbed in his own thoughts which unsurprisingly revolved around the monumental news shared around the campfire last night. Every once in awhile he slipped a hand into his pocket, fingers along the brooch belonging to his mother that had been discovered amongst the rubble... and the moonstone given to him by a certain lovely lass back in Heathfield. For the hundredth time this trip he wondered how long it would be till he saw her face again.

Mercy did notice both the smile and the look and offered a smile of her own. There wasn't much to be said as they rode, though she would speak at times in a quiet voice to Jacob or to the others, or answer any questions. There was no feeling of something not right in this part of the forest at least. That could change though, and without warning.

Naniko noted that Liam had leaned in closer to watch as the dolls took on their own form of temporary existence and smirked. "Breath is what it is called. Anyone can learn, but extra breath you should have before attempting it." A small nod given, then they were on their way for what seemed like a quiet ride. The dolls were scattered, but now and then visuals of them could be seen here and there up ahead, darting in and out brush or crossing to the other side of the path.

Time passed and Evan glanced across to Ciaran, noting that the younger Quinn seemed as introspective as he. Made him wonder what Ciar was thinking about. Time enough though after they had all absorbed it to talk about it some more.

"I know I've had to catch my breath a number of times," for various reason and certainly for the boxing bouts, the predicaments he got in and usually took his brothers into or they of him. Those thoughts being reflected in a growing smile that was gone as quickly as it had surfaced. "Breath. I'll have to try it sometime." Pausing a heartbeat, "best under guidance if it should come about." Dark eyes held a reflective glint before he spurred his horse to continue on the trail they had set for Fort Westover. He could hope they got further with the authorities there this time around. He managed close in on Ciaran to actually bump legs. Perhaps bring him back to the present as a knowing glance went Evan's way.

Jacob watched all those ahead of he and Mercy in an acute way. They had come a long ways together already and wonder where this day would lead them. Hopefully without incident but incident was a high risk in the wilds of the Colonies, between forts and away from towns. At times he was speaking quietly with Mercy in an easy sort of way conversation wise while both kept a keen eye.

She had watched the dolls take off again then looked at Jacob and grinned. Not only did they have the Braves of Coyote's tribe watching. Now they had the dolls, though she wondered what the Natives would think of them. She said as much to Jacob, more so they'd be prepared in the reaction wasn't a good one.

Liam bumped Ciar after he had come back from his thoughts but he gave his brother a smile to convey his thanks. He frown slightly when he nodded toward Evan and gave a worried look over his shoulder. Evan's expression had his smile return and he looked foward again. If he caught a glimpse of a doll, he pretended he didn't. They still made him a touch nervous.

A soft chuckle escaped her, she shook her head. "Breath not of your own. Unless breath of your lungs you wish to give." The dolls stayed mostly to the brush when not crossing over the path ahead of them. When she instilled the single command, there was more to it than that one word and they followed it to a T. So, hopefully the natives wouldn't spot the little gray dolls. Once Liam moved up with Ciaran, Naniko spurred her horse gentle to move on ahead of the group a short distance to do her own scouting while keeping her eye on the dolls and any signs they might return with of potential danger.

What expression? The lovesick puppy? Yeah, that was probably pretty smile-inducing. At least he was thinking of more pleasant things in between all the brooding. With Naniko moving ahead and Jacob and Mercy staying in the back, Evan's horse fell naturally into step abreast of his two blood brothers. They had indeed been through a lot together and Evan for one was grateful for their company through all of it, the good and bad.


He would give a small fortune to know what was behind Evan's expression. A different one, which in and of itself was good to see for the volcanic type of the past few days. The sun rose higher in the sky as the days were growing warmer. The break taken was much needed for food and water for the horses and themselves. Once more back on the trail seeming endless as the sun gradually dipped to the horizon and camp was set up. The usual fair and a restless night under the stars as they took turns guarding. Their luck was holding so far as the early birds of spring would wake those sleeping by dawn of the next day.

Jacob kept close to Mercy, spending most of his time with her and on the second day would ride up ahead not far behind Naniko. He was appreciating her tracking and overall devotion to keeping them safe as he too was committed along with Mercy. In that way they had formed a tight group which was needed to survive the Wilds of these new lands.

Ciar was glad for the easy journey. It gave him time to go over all that happened and come to even more of an acceptance. As they rode over the final rise in the road, they could see Fort Westover below. It was smaller than Fort Pitt and there was no real village being built around it. The inn was inside the fort itself, set up by an agreement with the man in charge and the soldiers. It was obvious they were soon to close the fort down as fields were not being plowed in anticipation of spring planting.

Naniko rode along quietly, spending most of her time ahead of the others to keep an eye out with aid of the dolls. Luckily, they hadn't come into any trouble, but she kept watch and keen to their surroundings. When night came, as usual, she didn't camp near the group. In fact, she didn't camp at all. She'd keep watch somewhere near by where she could see the entire camp, then come morning, they set out once more to reach the fort.

Evan collected the firewood while the others set up camp and took care of the horses. Soon enough they had a blazing fire to chase away the evening chill and to cook a paltry meal with. Once they'd all eaten he volunteered to take the first watch. Something was dawning on him that had him staring into the fire with widened hazels. Next day they were on the trail again.

"It looks deserted," more mused than not as they paused a moment on that knoll above where the Fort spread out below. "Still, it is a welcome sight in the middle of the wilderness," some protection or at least the elusive feel of such. There was no letting your guard down here. Nan was probably scouting around the fort as he rode in first aside Mercy on her mount. There was not that many people around nor soldiers as they moved trough the town at a steady slow pace. They got curious glances but most minded their own business, well put on those airs anyway. Once to the Inne, Jacob dismounted then was over to help Mercy down.

Liam nudged Evan, "hair of spun gold, eyes of sea mist, a figure..." where he let that one fade off as he grinned. It was his way to tease a reply from his brother on where his mind had traveled. Better places from the look of it. He would probably get swatted but far better a reason. The day and a half went quickly which was good by him, for the sooner they got to where they were going after all these years. He had that feeling this trail would finally lead to where they had been trying to get far too long. It was good to dismount once in the fort and curiosity held his glances noticing it was the beginning of a ghost town, or fort to be more accurate.

He seemed deep in his reverie so that he couldn't even register what Liam said at first, and then he only blinked and shook his head. "No." It wasn't that. Eyes moved over to meet Liam's. "I just thought that I was the last one left. The only one of my blood." He swallowed. "Then I looked at you, and Ciaran, and realized - not all my family is dead." His throat was thick with the heavy realization. Though Liam and Ciar had always been like family to him, to know that he was not the last one left of his blood - it brought a smile finally to his face albeit with misty eyes. That night he'd sleep soundly for the first time in weeks and be alert when they got to the Inne next morning.

Liam had not said much more that night but had thought about it all the way to the Fort, not that it was a distance at that point. "I'm glad that my blood is your blood, not just wishing it to be. Real blood brothers." Which had him grinning as he was around to give Evan a bear hug. More he was thrilled he was finally coming around, finally something that helped to heal the gaping wound.

That had Evan chuckling as he returned the bear hug, though his bear hugs were capable of cracking his leaner brother's ribs. Ciaran got a thump to the back which might have Ciar taking a stumbling step. He'd bring up the fact that when they were younger they used to talk about what it would be like if they were 'real' brothers. Evan had to wonder what Mrs Hunt and Mr Quinn had thought of that, if they had ever overheard it.

As the small group rode into the fort, they were met by the Colonel in charge, James Black. He was cautious, of course, but still offered a warm smile to them as they dismounted. "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen." He bowed to the two women first then inclined his head to the men. "I'm Colonel Black, in charge of Fort Westover. Are you staying the night?"


Ciar stepped up, glancing at the others before he spoke. "Aye, we are, Colonel but we're here to find some information if possible." He kept going, not wanting to lose his train of thought. "Six years ago, our sister was found when our village was attacked by a tribe of Indians and brought here. We weren't able to learn where she was taken but we do know one of the soldiers took care of her. They were being sent home." And then he took a breath, to see if anyone else had anything to say, or if the Colonel would refuse to tell them anything.


Colonel Black  frowned slightly, rubbing his chin. "And you weren't told anything. Odd. When soldiers are sent home, they normally are sent to Boston. A few go to Philadelphia, but a family man, with a child... Boston." He seemed certain though he added, "I can check for certain. I just need to know roughly how long ago."


Ciar wasn't going to stop talking. They were learning more than they had before, and he couldn't help but wonder if it was because they had the two women with them. "Six years. It's been about six years." The Colonel guided the small group to the inn, and returned to his office. Before they had settled for the night, Colonel Black had confirmed that they had indeed gone to Boston. They were closer to learning what had happened to Fawn than they ever had been before.



Date: 04-07-10
Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 60

Day at the Art Museum (Boston)

Fiona stood behind Oisin in the younger girl's room, standing behind her seated charge while doing her hair. They were at Oisin's dressing table and Fi glanced occasionally up to the mirror, gauging the appearance of her work. She was fashioning Oisin's dark locks into an elegant up-do for the excursion they had planned this day. Fi was excited about visiting the art museum, for she loved art even if she didn't have a speck of talent for it herself. Oisin ought to know enough about Fifi's interests to be inwardly groaning, for Fi tended to move at a snail's pace through such museums, chatting about the paintings the whole while. But it was a lovely day outside, the sun shining down. Fi twisted Oisin's hair up and held it there, head tilting at the image in the mirror. "What do you think?"

This was another one of those moments meant to please Fiona. would be a lie to say Oisin didn't enjoy having her hair played with. She did. There was something very soothing to be found in having someone else run their fingers through your hair, but the thought of going to the art museum was just...meh. If it made Fiona happy though, it'd be worth suffering through. Oisin was busy fiddling around with her skirt out of boredom until Fiona spoke up. Looking into the mirror, she tilted her head this way and that then smiled. "I like it. It'll look nice with that little hat that I have." One that she'd brought with her, not bought. "Are we going to spend all day in the art museum?"


Much as Fi was in a bright mood she did notice Oisin's reluctance, even before she asked that question. Fiona put on a hurt air and also put on the air of trying not to look hurt. "Well we don't have to, certainly. You don't need to accompany me if you don't wish, either. You could stay here... reading, or looking at the walls." She spoke crispy, securing Oisin's hair with pins and then stepping away.

Looking at the walls? Oisin quirked a brow sharply to that. "Well, I would, but I'm not sure the good Captain would be comfortable with letting you out un-chaperoned and completely alone." The devilish grin was hidden well enough as rose from her seat and turned to face the woman. "I'll not having you traversing around on your own." An affirming nod, she picked up her gloves and fan.


"Oh, posh. As if I need a slip of a thing like you to protect me. Why, you're so skinny you could be broken in half." She scoffed, but there was the light of teasing upon her features now. That comment about the Captain? Pointedly  ignored. She pulled on her own gloves and then looked back to the mirror, patting her elaborate updo into the perfect place.

"Oooooh Madam! Such cruel words you speak to me..." She feigned a pout to that, pulling her gloves on and noted how she ignored the comment about Adam. She was fighting the smirk though. Lips tightened to keep the pout off, she 
 notched her chin up. "Perhaps instead I should go to the local bakery to put a bit of weight on my stick figure that you're so fond of dressing?"

"Now, now. No need to become like your dear Madame." Fiona was always the first to poke fun at her own round,  plump figure. But her teasing of Oisin's skinniness was good-natured rather than stemming from jealousy. She cast Oisin a smile and reached for her small handbag. "Are you ready?"

Oisin never took Fiona's poking fun seriously. She turned and looked over her shoulder -to her backside- in the mirror. "I don't know, Madame, perhaps I could stand a few more .... well rounded curves?" She always thought Fiona was very attractive woman with her fairer skin and slightly rounder figure. Not sure Oisin could put those kinds of curves on between what she was and how much she tended to bounce around. "I'm ready."


Whereas Fiona admired Oisin's slim, spare form, something she'd never had herself. "Tsk, don't even dream of it." She chided playfully, tapping Oisin on the arm before stepping past her to lead the way out. As they passed through the Inne she automatically looked to the bar area, but it was deserted this time of morning. "I wonder where the Mules are..." she mused more to herself than anything, before moving out the door and into the street. They had been in Boston long enough now for them to know their way about, and she set off confidently in the right direction. She would be loathe to admit it, but she was growing to love this city, its energy and newness and sense of excitement lurking around every corner. It was a far cry from slow-moving, never-changing England.

Lopsided grin given, she turned to follow out of the room when she was tapped on the arm. Reaching the commons and hearing the pondering thought from Fiona, even if she wasn't meant to, she couldn't help that coy grin. "You mean the Captain?" She flashed a bright smile and continued at the woman's side out into the streets of Boston. She too was growing to love this city, but she didn't have the freedoms she enjoyed at home with her parents. Such as sneaking out for her less than lady like riding. Her arm hooked with Fiona's, moving just as confidently. "You know, with your love of art, you should take up lessons."


"No, I mean the Mules, the both of them." She gave Oisin that sharp look. "Though we ought to be counting our blessings, being rid of them for a few hours." She was soon distracted by the change of subject though and she lifted a brow at her charge. "Art lessons? My goodness... I can barely write in a good hand," she replied laughingly. "I fear I have no talent for such things.. I can only admire the talent of others."

She was going to leave the topic of the Mules alone for now. There'd be plenty of time to poke fun at Fiona's crush on Adam. "But that's the beauty of art, Madam. Art is whatever your heart feels like putting on canvas. A single line, a blot of color, an entire landscape. You just follow with a brush where your heart wants it to go."

"You make it sound so easy, but if I were to put brush to paper, I'm afraid the result would look more like a child's musings than my own!" She gave one of her full laughs as they traversed the street. She smiled and nodded to those they passed... well, the reputable-looking folk, anyway. Her arm was linked with Oisin in a friendly fashion, but Fifi had also learned long ago that it was excellent tactic to keep her flighty charge at her side.

Oisin was not flighty! She just had a tendency to wander when something caught her eye. And she didn't tend to pay as much attention to their surroundings as Fiona did in regards to the people. She was far too intrigued by non-people things than the people themselves. Buildings, shop windows, carvings and what not that decorated the city. "You think too much into what art is, Madame. It should be freeing and make you smile when you look at the canvas."

They were not far from the plaza before the Art Museum. One of grandeur, like walking up the steps to a Colosseum in old Rome. Marble steps gave way to a terrace before the doors flanked by columns with scrolls at the top. Ancient carvings of Roman gods done up in a triangle over the massive double oak doors. Ones that were open for spring had come to Boston. With it, the socialites stepping out of carriages like butterflies in yellow silks, orange, pale greens and so forth. There upon the second step stood a figure they would recognize. One properly dressed with the stiff collar of his shirt grazing his jawline. He was flanked by three of those pretty butterflies prattling away with laughter marking this comment or that like tiny bells upon the spring breeze whisking about them. Two of them started away while the third, in yellow, lingered. A gloved hand to touch upon Bradley's arm, or his hand or his chest over the light waistcoat worn. Twice he had started away only to be lured back by the woman until finally at the impatience of her friends she was off to catch up. He started up but then turned and headed back down and over to where the massive fountain was situated. Water gurgling with shooting streams up while others spilled from various sculptures at the center.

"Perhaps it is you who ought to take up art, you speak so eloquently of it. Or perhaps poetry?" She teased lightly, but fell silent with an intake of breath when they stepped into the plaza. At first she was merely agog with the beauty and grace of it, before her eyes alighted upon a familiar figure standing on the steps. With a mix of amusement and disapproval she watched his interactions with the pretty young girls, especially the one that tapped his chest in a gesture that was both hopeful and claiming. "Well, well." She said beneath her breath.

When they reached the plaza, Oisin too was looking around with a sense of awe. It was quite the sight to take in and believe that she slowed her steps in order to have time to take it all in. It wasn't until she heard Fiona's mumble that she looked to the woman, then followed her attention to where Bradley was. She missed the young woman and her flirtations, but had time to figure out the group of ladies he'd been accompanying due to their look backs at him and giggles on their way into their destination. "Hmph." Oisin shrugged it off simply enough.

Bradley didn't get to read what was contained in the card as he was interrupted by two more gents greeting  him. They were with some ladies so didn't linger nor did the next two ladies that approached. He had not actually been accompany anyone but more being accosted by those of Boston's upper crust for who he was and his ties here in this growing city. It was as the last two ladies left that he saw both Oisin and Fiona a few yards away. The smile that followed was genuine but he took the moment to quickly read the card that was addressed to him before slipping it away into an inner pocket of the waist coat. Afterwards he promptly headed in their direction, "I see you have come to one of the most popular spots in Boston." Hesitating only a second, "you are going in the museum? I hear they have added a section on Indian culture, drawings and artifacts. I'm told they have a wax figure of an Indian warrior on the charge that is most realistic and has the ladies gasping." Wry smile touched for they got to see real ones.

Fiona perked a brow at Oisin's 'hmph', which was simple but spoke volumes in itself. She made no comment though, for soon Bradley was approaching and Fi bobbed a curtsy of greeting. "Yes... if it is as lovely on the inside as it is outside, I'm sure we'll enjoy it immensely." And she looked expectantly at Oisin.


Oisin notched her chin up with only the slightest bit of snobbish air after greeting Bradley with a nod. "That we are. Fiona has a love for the arts and we thought we would make a day of the museum for that and what else it holds within its walls."

There were things that went right over Bradley's head, like all those touches by Belle, but the cold edge to Oisin's demeanor as much as proclaimed they were not happy to see him. So much for telling them of the surprise tucked away in that inner pocket of his jacket. He stepped back with a slight nod of his head and a gesture of hand indicating the museum before them. "I shall not tarry you any further then."

Fiona glanced between Bradley and Oisin as her own private thoughts clicked through her head. She noticed the way Oisin seemed to scorn the young man, and indeed, for Oisin's sake she felt the same.... no matter how her charge denied her crush. But at the same time, perhaps she could help to smooth things over. So after a moment of pause she spoke up politely. "Perhaps you would like to accompany us through the museum, Mr Harrington? I daresay you've probably been here often before, perhaps you could act as something of a guide for us." A charming smile lifted her curved cheeks.

Oh good, he took the impression just as she'd intended him to. She wasn't really upset with him at all. Well...yeah. Not really. When Fiona made the offer, Oisin looked at her with a quirk of her brow, then to Bradley. An instant later, she brandished a bright smile. "Oh yes, Mr. Harrington. You should accompany and walk the museum with us. Unless of course you have other plans for the day?" She really tried to not look too hopeful. Despite her antics, Fiona was right about her denial.

Women! One moment the look of scorn upon you and the next beguiling, drove a man crazy. He reminded himself that was exactly why he didn't get involved. Not to say there wasn't a few trysts in his life. Nothing that obviously turned into more. "I have no pressing plans other than reacquaint myself with the City. Seems word gets around quickly," that he was here but he didn't add that. The gesture of hand had him turning in that direction in guide. He walked as close as a guide would as well, not too close. He was a good looking man that would turn ladies' heads but more that turned many of those was who he was. Of course, the two at his side might gradually come to realize his standing in this city. Once the steps were managed as well the small plateau in front decorated with urns of flowers under ceiling held up by the columns. Inside it opened up into a huge rotunda with many doors, eight in all one could choose to go. Two sets of steps led upstairs and other levels from there. The ceiling was what caught one's eyes for the replica of Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

Bradley was supposed to be confused. That was the whole point! Now though she held that bright smile as she and Fiona followed his lead up the steps and into the opening of the museum. No one was going to bump into Fiona, except Oisin. Not a very big bump since she was right at the woman's side. Her attention followed to the beautifully painted ceiling and held her attention for a moment, but the moment passed for Oisin as she leaned around to try and peek at what else could be seen from where they stood. The museum wasn't really her entertainment, this was for Fiona more than herself, but she was always willing to wander around where there were things of interest.

A hand touched upon Fiona's back briefly as he stepped around. "Beautiful, isn't it." More mussed as an understatement. "There are paintings of the various Kings and Queens of England as well France and Spain. Other nobles that looked stiffly noble sitting in a chair with their dogs at their feet or riding a horse in the hunt. He would wait on them before proceeding through the closest door and down the elaborate corridor lined with paintings while vases on stands of the time period broke the monotony of straight lines.

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Hit Counter