The Wagon Train, PoetLove and Pairjax

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Pairjax, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. [​IMG]
    Billowing clouds to the east, and a fresh scent of the open air.

    A story of a family and their adventures alongside the train boss as they attempt to reach Oregon by way of wagon train.

    Here is where the meat of the story begins!
     
    #1 Pairjax, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  2. Jeremiah Hyatt gave his grandson a huge bear hug before rubbing his hand over the thick hair atop the boy’s head. “You be a good helper for your folks now,” he said with a loud voice. He scooped up Rose and held her tight to his chest, “I sure am gonna miss you little darlin’ I sure am.” He gave her a soft kiss to her cheek which produced the expected giggle. “Grampa your beard tickles!” she laughed as he lifted her into them back of the wagon.
    Jacob Hyatt had already said his good-byes to the children and was now at the front of the wagon helping his older brother hitch up the team. “You sure this is a good idea,” he asked for the third times in as many weeks.
    “Jacob,” Daniel said patiently, “We’ve been over this time and again. Nothing here but death and hardship. Oregon is the place where a dream can live and where I can build a better life for my family.”
    Jacob frowned, “I just heard a lot of folks never get there is all...it’s a hard trip…” He was worried about them all for sure, “Be sure you write at each stop so we know you are all well.”
    Clara Hyatt came from behind the wagon upon hearing Jacob and she rested her hand on her brother-in-law’s shoulder and smiled, “Now Jacob,” she scolded gently, “You know I will write at every opportunity and you will be so entranced by my letters that you both will soon follow and join us!” She really had tried to convince the two men to come along but they had refused. She did hold high hopes that they would follow though.
    Jeremiah Hyatt left the back of the wagon as well. He hated seeing them all leave, especially to go so far away. He didn’t know if he’d ever see any of them again and it bothered him a lot more than he was showing. He gave Clara a Hug and whispered in her ear, “You be well Missy...you will be sorely missed.”
    Clara hugged him back. She’d come to think of him as dad, and even more so since her own father had passed. “You know I will,” she whispered back, “You take care of yourself too. I expect you to visit once we get settled.”
    Both men laughed and nodded, “Yes Ma’am.”
    Daniel lifted Clara up into the wagon and then climbed up himself. He tipped his hat to both men and then slapped the reins on the team’s back and whistled for them to start moving. They pulled hard and finally the team was able to get the heavily laden wagon moving. He was glad seeing that struggle, he’d listened to his father and purchased that fourth set of oxen to add to the others. He also had three horses tied to the back as well. He leaned out and waved as they moved down the road and toward the meeting place for the train. The kids were calling out from the back of the wagon and waving energetically.
    Later that morning they arrived at the departure area and he pulled on the reins to stop the team. He’d been training these oxen for months and they were easy to lead and stop. His dad and brother had been a great help with that, since they were both better at handling animals than he was. He’d always been good with wood crafting and such, but not so gifted with cattle or horses. He handed the reins to his wife and hopped down. “Be right back Clara,” he said and left the wagon to go find the train boss.
     
  3. Joseph adjusted his belt, and put his sheriff's badge to the side. He scratched his rusty-brown beard, taking a good look at the photo of his family. It was a bittersweet feeling, because they looked so beautiful. He missed them already. He wiped the single tear that had formed in his eye, and pushed the picture under his bible.
    As he hopped off his wagon, he saw a man in the distance waving. He knew it was most likely one of the newcomers to the train, so he gave his best smile he could. Smiling was hard, though; this would be a hard journey. A long journey. But he felt every one of the people on the train were up for the job. If they weren’t, they hadn’t weighed the risks quite right.
    As the man came closer, he gave a loud shout for him to hear. “Name’s Joseph! I’m here yonder train boss! Are you comin’ for the long haul?”
    Daniel extended his hand and held Joseph’s hand in a firm grip, “Daniel Hyatt. Yes, I am along with my wife and two children. Is there a place you have set aside to form the train?” He asked, “I can get my wagon settled in with the others and be ready for when we leave.”
    “Good thinkin’,” Joseph muttered. “Well, I’m glad to have you, but we ‘aint leavin. Not for another few hours. I’d say you’d get yourself some time with your loved ones ‘fore you head off. It’ll be a stressful trip, I’ll leave it at that.”
    Daniel nodded, “Already spent the morning doing just that,” he said with a gentle smile forming on his lips, “Only have my father and one brother left. Lost my other two brothers in a mining accident a few years back. Hoping this trip will lead to bigger and better for us.”
    Joseph recognized his loss. “I’m sorry for yer troubles. Mining accidents . . . they get the best of us. I’ll say for my own right that this’ll be a long trip, and a hard one. But bigger and better is a rightly fine way to put it.”
    Daniel accepted the condolences with a sad nod of his head, “Miss them boys, I do.” he said honestly, “The one was barely eighteen. Just starting out in life. Times like that a man wonders at God’s ways.” He looked back at his wagon and tipped his head a bit, “I’m grateful i was spared for my family’s sake...but I have often wondered why I survived. I suppose that’s natural…”
    “I never was in the mining business . . . but I say, I can call myself brave. Think I earned that title. Been in the office of law for a mighty long time, a good twenty years. Ain’t that a prideful man, to say that? But I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in my time.” He bragged.
    Daniel listened, “I can well imagine. Men can be all of those at times. It’s a sorry shame though. I appreciate your work and I feel a bit safer on this trip knowing we have a law man leading us. I’m sure the wife will as well, though I think she has a brave spirit and probably doesn’t give it much thought. In some ways she’s braver than I am I think.” He chuckled a bit, “She wanted to make this trip last year, but I wasn’t ready. She’s right though. It’s the best thing for all of us.”
    Daniel gave a wave as he turned and went back to the wagon. He hopped up and Clara handed over the reins. “How’d it go?” she asked.
    Daniel smiled over at her, “That was the train boss, his name is Joseph.” he replied, “Used to be a law man. I think we chose a good train, Clara.” He replied, “He seems capable and reliable, so I’m encouraged.”
    Clara let out a soft sigh of relief, “Former law man,” she repeated, “Wonder why he left it?” She asked out loud. She didn’t expect an answer, but the question hung there.
    Benjamin poked his head out of the back and interjected, “Maybe he got shot? And he’s scared now.”
    Rose poked him, “Law men don’t get scared Benji,” she said confidently, “You just take that back.”
    Benjamin shook his head, “Will not!” he said to her with his arms over her chest, “maybe he had to shoot someone and he doesn’t want to do it again.”
    Rose poked him again, “Law men shoot people all the time,” she said triumphantly feeling as though she’d won that argument, “only bad guys though.”
    Clara held up a hand, “Stop it both of you,” she said, “Neither of you nor I know why so speculating about it is only going to be forming gossip in your mind. Best be praying about that right now.” The two were immediately contrite and moved away from the front of the wagon to do as she’d bidden.
    Daniel meanwhile had been leading the team into the line of wagons and had them in place. “Joseph said we’d be heading out in a few hours,” he informed everyone, “Maybe we should all get out of the wagon and walk about for a bit. We are going to be doing a lot of sitting from here on out.”
    Clara stood and shooed the kids out of the wagon. Daniel hopped down and then reached up to lift her off and onto the ground. “Thank you Daniel,” she said with a warm smile on her face. “Things are going to be well. I can just feel it!”
    Daniel smiled, “I think you may be right Clara,” he said and kissed her cheek, “I’ll just check the wagon and hitchings.”
    Clara nodded, “I think I’ll go meet our neighbors.” Daniel just grinned at her. She was such a social person. Loved making friends and meeting people. He loved that about her. Clara walked to the next wagon and saw a woman scraping and wiping dishes. As she approached the woman lifted her eyes and gave a stern looking kind of nod Clara’s way. Clara for her part smiled a bright happy smile, “Good morning,” she said, “I’m Clara Hyatt. We are in the wagon right behind you. I just wanted to introduce myself…”
    Before she could finish though the older woman started talking, “No time for chit chat missy,” she said, “Best you get it into your head that this is a hard trip and that you ain’t here fer friends ner pleasantries.”
    Clara blinked and both her brows flew up, “Forgive my intrusion.” she said and left to make her way to the next wagon. She knew it was going to be a hard trip, but she didn’t see why that meant they couldn’t all work together and be friends. Why did one exclude the other? She arrived at the next wagon and smiled a hopeful smile at a younger woman with a baby on her hip. “Good morning,” Clara tried again, “We are a few wagons back and I thought I would introduce myself. I’m Clara Hyatt.”
    The young woman offered her a warm smile in return, “Good morning to you, Miss Clara Hyatt,” she said. Her blonde curls were escaping the bonnet she wore and her blue eyes shone with joy, “I’m Betty Tipton. My husband Frank is around somewhere,” she said as she craned her neck to find him, “Probably chasing after Gabriel.” She sighed, “That boy is always off doing something…” She looked back at Clara, “Where is your family headed to?” she asked.
    Clara smiled, “We are going to Oregon,” she replied, “My husband Daniel is wanting to get into the lumber business.”
    Betty nodded, “Seems to be a prevailing sentiment,” she said with a shrug, “I don’t much care where we live,” she said, “I can make a home anywhere as long as we are all together. Can’t say I’m looking forward to this crossing but once we get there I’ll be fine.”
    Clara nodded, “I’ve never been west of Kentucky before,” she admitted, “So I’m looking forward to seeing the wide open plains and the mountains. I bet it’ll be beautiful.”
    Betty smiled, “Miss Clara,” she said with a big smile, “I do believe you and I are going to be great friends! We seem to be of a similar mindset.” She leaned closer and whispered, “Just steer clear of the wagon behind us.” She warned, “Mean spirited old bitty back there.”
    Clara smiled as well, “I do believe you’re right Miss Betty,” she agreed already feeling a kinship with the woman. She leaned forward to hear what she’d say and chuckled a bit, “I have been scolded by her already. I plan to pray my hardest for her to accept friendship and aid, because I cannot do otherwise.”
    Betty raised her brows, “Well then you’re a better woman than I! I do wish you luck though. Oh no...excuse me please. That’s my boy.” She said as she took off for a rather large tree not far away and snatched the boy from the lowest branch before he could get any higher. She marched back with the toddler on one hip and the boy dangling from the other. She plopped him down and bent to look him in the eye, “Franklin Ezekiel Tipton the Third,” she said in a very serious voice, “How many times have I told you not to climb trees when no one is nearby?” The little boy of 5 or 6 looked properly contrite with his head bowed and his fingers fidgeting, “A lotta times.” he confessed. “Yes,” Betty said, “A lot of times.” She swatted his behind and sent him to the wagon. She turned back to Clara and smiled an apologetic smile, “Boys...that one will be the death of me.”
    Clara grinned at this whole spectacle, “It gets better,” she assured her, “I have a 12 year old. He used to be just like that. Now he’s a helpful sweet young man.” She leaned closer, “I have a daughter that’s 8 who is my ornery one. Stubborn...no idea where she gets that from!” The two women laughed a delighted laugh with each other. “It has been lovely meeting you, Betty,” she assured her, “I guess I better get back and check on my husband and children. I’ll see you when we stop.” she said over her shoulder as she headed back to her wagon. She gave the woman in the next wagon and dazzling smile which was greeted with a huff of air and a turn of the head. She shrugged and moved past that wagon to her own. Daniel was just finishing up his inspections.
    Daniel straightened when he saw her approaching, “Everything looks good,” he smiled, “Make some new friends?”
    “That’s good,” she said and then chuckled, “Well yes and no. The woman in front of us has told me I should not expect to have a good trip, but that it is a lot of work and no time for friendship. The wagon ahead of her is a lovely woman with two small children. They are Frank and Betty Tipton, and I believe she and I shall be very good friends very soon!”
    Daniel hugged his wife, “I bet so. I’m glad you found a friend, Sweetheart.” he called to the kids who came running back to the wagon and climbed into the back. Daniel lifted Clara up into the wagon and then climbed up himself to wait for Joseph to signal them to start out.
    The billowing clouds to the east were a break to the sky which enveloped the day. The shade of blue was so light, almost white, in contrast to the deep shades of the earth. The whole of the wagon train was preparing for departure, yet one person was still waiting just a little longer.
    Joseph came to the side of the wagon near the front, just behind his, and gave a light knock. The curtain of the wagon peeled out, and a lady stepped out of the wagon. “Good day!” said the lady. “My name’s Betty. What is the occasion, sir?”
    “Well, I reckoned ain’t nothin’ better than to get to know the people I be takin’ good care of.” He gave a slight smile, but kept himself in good manners. “Name’s Joseph Clarkson, train boss of yonder travellers. Wish you the best of luck, ma’am.”
    Betty smiled back, nodding her head, revealing the top portion of her bonnet as her position shifted. “I’ll take that luck, sir. I hope we all become good friends, and have a wonderful time together!” She reached out her hand in a warm welcome, as a light wind tugged at her simple prairie skirt.
    “I’d say we become good friends, and I certainly think we have a darn jolly time ahead.” Echoed the man, embracing the hand in a formal handshake. “Though I do say, wish I could tick the hours way doing good thinkin’ with you, ma’am, I do hafta be headin’ off.” He let go of her hand, and started walking off to the next wagon.
    He gave it a quick knock on the side, but there was no movement from inside the wagon. He was about to leave, before he saw a lady peak her head out. The lady gave a quick look, then gave a strangely twisted, tired smile.
    “Train boss, eh?” The lady reasoned, “Lord-lovin’, law-abidin’. Yer a fine gent for the job. Ain’t want to here no two ways ‘bout it when I say you don’t make these here lovelies think there ain’t gonna be no loss. No good gonna come outta bein’ a child and not seein it how it really is. Ya year?”
    The man fixed his tie, using the spare time to think of an appropriate response. “Thank ye. Can’t say you ain’t got me right on the point. Yes, ma’am, I here am the train boss. I ask of ye, don’t go spreadin’ what you be thinkin’ to my come-alongs. You’ll get ‘em hurt, and you’ll be regrettin’ that. We all know what loss they be. But ain’t one of them gonna let that bring ‘em down.”
    The lady’s expression turned sour. “I curse thee. Ain’t you no boss o’ mine. Ain’t you got no shred of lovin’ in your heart? Then you tell ‘em what’s truthly and rightly.”
    Joseph looked straight at her. “This’ll be my train. Ain’t yours. There’s a mighty fine reason for that, I do reckon. My job ain’t hard, but it sure is simple. All I hafta do is listen. And I’m listenin’ to you. I sure don’t like what I hafta hear.”
    He thought about what he had just said as he walked away. He knew he had left a bad impression on the old lady, but if he was going to have a functioning train wagon, he needed to keep order.
    As he continued down the line, he met many lovely people. He found the train for Daniel’s family, met many new faces, and became accustomed with all of their names.
    The wagon Joseph knocked on was almost perfectly in the center of the whole train. He gave it a good knock, and after a responsive quivering from the whole wagon, a man came out. The man was a peculiar one, with dry, matted hair and hazel eyes. In his hand was a thick, white-leathered notebook, perhaps a journal. He gave a quick, light smile before speaking, his every motion lightly jitterish. “Sorry, sir, I was a bit busy. What was it you needed?”
    “G’day, sir.” Joseph said in a welcoming tone, “I’m just comin’ round to give y’all a warm welcome. Name’s Joseph, Joseph Clarkson. I’ll be your train boss, though you can just call me Clark for now.”
    “Most pleasant to meet you,” said the man. “The name’s Louis Coleton. I’m headed far off to the other side of the coast, though I’ll be tagging along with you guys for now.” He gave a quick nod of his head, then continued. “I’m afraid I’ll have to be getting back to that very important business I was speaking of. I will see you in the near future!”
    With that, he went back into the wagon, closing the curtain behind him. Joseph stood there, tapping his foot. The man, he was sure his name must’ve been something like louie, seemed a bit unprepared for the journey. He would keep an eye on this man.
    For the time remaining, the train boss went from person to person, making sure every last man and woman had become acquainted. He was finally at the end of this incredible line of people, their new, mobile homes in place. He looked back at the endless snake of wheels and white-draped carts. He began to run all the way back to his wagon at the front, until he sprinted so fast his legs were a blur, impossible to discern.
    He ran past every last person, the MacBeths, the Annies, and the Clarksons. The Wyatts, the Hyatts, and the Coletons. Till, finally, he was at the Clarkson wagon. He looked back at the incredible line of people, and then at the horizon in front of him. The beautiful line that formed, up and down from the hills and valleys, the incredible sight of the world, so big, so grand.
    He closed his eyes, and flicked the reins which held his two beautiful, hazelnut horses. Both gave a decisive snort, then pushed forward.
    He turned his head around and shouted to the wagon behind him, “Tell the wagon behind ye’, time’s now, place s’ here! Get movin’! We’re takin’ the high road to the west!”
    And so, the journey begins…
     
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