The Sheriff and Deputy Clyde Winters
- @May96 @Cleverbird @TitusCaecilius
"....Well shucks, I just made a right fool of myself didn't I?" Clyde stuck his hands into the pockets of his vest and let his arms hang loose, shaking his head in self-derision. "Both feet straight into m' mouth. This always happens around the pretty ones, so don't feel special now." He covered up his embarrassment at the mistake with a flippant bit of flirtation, before pulling his hands out and gesticulating thoroughly as he spoke.
"Well, er, as I was sayin'... Japanese, not Chinese...Need to make a note of that..." As if beholden to his words, the man produced a pencil and a small notebook where he did indeed seem to make a swift note before continuing to speak. "The folks in charge of the wagon told us the story, said how instrumental you were in making it here. As deputy of this town, I'd like to formally request that you join the Sheriff on an excursion to the adjoining Jefferson farmstead. Some...Right foul business has taken place, and considering your usefulness to the caravanners, it'd be a shame if I let the opportunity slip past to ask you along."
Then, as if an afterthought, the young man snapped the fingers of his right hand and pointed at Uzume.
"There's money in it for ya, prove yourself useful and you'll get a whole twenty five dollars!"
The Sheriff halted in his step at the unfamiliar voice yelling his name, and the tall man swiveled where he stood as he heard the rest of Red's words. With a sigh the man hefted the case of supplies he was holding over to another man and spoke some quiet words, directing him where to go. The Sheriff then lifted a hand and pulled his hat off, his other hand running through the thin, greying, hair upon his head as the supply distribution carried on past him and his sudden conversation. His eyes settled upon Red with immense weight, though he didn't look her over like most men would a woman. His eyes rested on hers and he seemed to find something within them, because he nodded and put his hat back on.
"We set out in an hour. I don't normally like workin' with womenfolk, makes me uneasy, but you've seen some shit. I won't need to hold your hand. From the looks of 'em, they're married to those pistols you got anyhow."
The man's words weren't playful or accusatory, he simply spoke as if what he said was truth and there wasn't any two ways about it.
"Welcome to Ulysses, stranger. We ain't got much, but what we do have is good solid folks. Do anything to mess with those folks or the town and you'll reckon with me and Clyde."
At those words the man leaned to the side and glanced past Lily towards the aforementioned deputy, before shaking his head.
"....God almighty, looks like I'm gonna be riding to that farm with womenfolk and drunks today. Foreigners to boot." He stifled a sigh of exasperation, seeming to find the idea of working with a foreign woman was somehow the crossroads of two different evils. His exasperation carried his attention to the lurking Guilhartz, however, and his demeanor grew stern and authoritative once more. He cleared his throat and whistled at Guilhartz, before gesturing him closer.
"If I'm working with a foreign woman, might as well put this foreign bastard to work too." he grumbled quietly, as if Lily were not present. "Good man, you've been holed up in that saloon for days now. Barely said a word to anyone. Now you're standing there with idle hands and no work to put them towards- in an hour you'll be riding out with the rest of us to go and get a look a that farm."
- @Clever Hans
The girl stared at Jack, in utter silence, for quite a while. It wasn't until he started to sing that she crept forward and looted the pile of goods he offered to her. She gnawed at the bread ravenously, then drank the water sparingly. She stared at him as he sang, her eyes steadily softening. At last, seeming satisfied, the girl nodded at Jack, then curled up by the fire in the blanket as if Jack were a companion of years rather than minutes. She drifted to sleep in an instant.
Firelight. Stretching far. Casting its heat across the plains. The kiss of fire licking at the grass, kissing the sparse trees, dancing upon the dirt, and reaching towards the sky. Fire that filled Onawa's mouth with a salty tang, the roiling scent of gunpowder and blood carried by the smoke on the winds that flowed through her body.
She followed the fire, danced through its touch, laughed as her feet created puddles of coolness in its wake, only for it to be consumed by the flames once more as she leapt away. She rode the smoke, soaring through the air on unseen wings as she leapt higher and higher through the air, feeling the wondrous heat of the blaze beneath her.
And as she rose into the air, spiraling so high as to look down and see the entirety of the place she called home, she saw that it was all aflame. The fires spreading so far and wide as if to swallow all of the plains, then the forests, then the oceans. Her eyes widened at the sight, and the giddiness she felt at dancing through the red glow was replaced by a gut wrenching fear.
But soon she calmed. Just as her father had taught her, she closed her eyes and let the sensations roll through her as she fell back towards the ground. Much of the flame was ghost. Not alive. But it was spreading. Spreading from...
She opened her eyes as she fell, and soon let her unseen wings guide her descent towards the heart of the blaze. The fear that gripped her stomach twisted and gnawed at her, and soon she found the heat to be unbearable rather than enjoyable as she plunged into the heart of the raging inferno.
When her feet hit the ground, she lifted her head and looked into the white heat.
When morning came, Onawa jerked awake and leapt to her feet with a yell. The knife she had was suddenly in hand and the girl thrashed around, waving the blade frantically in all directions. As swiftly as the panic came upon her, it dissolved however- and a fatigue seemed to fill the young girl's body and she visibly drooped as if she had spent the whole night in a wild sprint.
She spoke quietly, in the queer tongue of her people, but in a grave tone. Something strange to hear from one so young. The girl hugged the blankets to herself and looked to Jack.
she silently lifted a hand and pointed west, though she seemed to sway from a sudden lack of strength and her hand shook and shifted north. She seemed to indicate either towards Ulysses, a frontier town, or the Mountains and the apache people's therein. Her weakness obscured her intentions.
"Safe." She said this word with some struggle, as if forming the language took considerable effort. The girl then swooned and seemed to fall asleep- the onset of slumber like a curtain being pulled over her eyes- her body falling heavily to the ground.