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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
JenEllen Fiction: Shenandoah and Beaver! (106* d) RE: Fiction: Shenandoah and Beaver! 06 Mar 06


When they reached the city, Katherine, Bill and Jack bid their good-byes to the preacher and his congregation. They sat on their horses for a moment, quietly stunned by where they were and how far they'd come. Finally, Bill muttered, "All right then, lodging it is." and turned his horse to walk up the main thoroughfare of the bustling city.

Jack felt himself give a sigh of relief as the horses habitually turned to walk in line towards the boarding stable. When they reached the stable, Jack quickly dismounted and grabbed the leads of both his horse and Katherine's. She silently watched him lead the bay pony into the barn. As Jack put his horse into an empty stall, he overheard Bill giving Katherine directions to the hotel. He glanced back over his shoulder and saw Katherine bathed in sunlight. Her arms were crossed protectively over her chest, and she was squinting fiercely, but whether it was at the sun or at Bill, Jack couldn't be sure.

When she turned quickly and walked away, Jack watched Bill enter the barn. Bill was a patient and dependable man, but Jack could tell this trip was wearing on him. "So what's the plan?" Jack asked, grinning at his friend.

"We get her to the barracks in the morning and have done with it." groused Bill. "I've had enough of this frustration to last a life time."

The pair made short work of bedding down the horses for the night. They gave the stable boy a few coins to make a hot mash for their horses and then walked down to the hotel. They secured their rooms and set about to cleaning up for their first real meal since setting out for St. Louis.

When Jack finished his washing up, he walked down the hall to Katherine's room. He knocked on the door and Katherine gave a simple "Enter." When he went into the room, he saw that Katherine had changed clothes and was now wearing the dress she'd been protecting in her bedroll for the trip, and her traveling dress had been given a rinse and was hung over a post of the bed to dry.

"You ready to get us some eats, Katey-girl?" he said, but Katherine took a moment before answering. She was pinning up her hair and staring out the window.

"Yes. That sounds lovely," she replied. "I'm sorry," she said, drawing her gaze away from the window, "I was just trying to figure out what to do next. Any ideas?"

"Well, according to Bill, we're hog-tying you and at dawn, throwing you from a galloping horse right onto the lap of the barracks commander."

"How genteel." she grimaced. "If I were to use one of your expressions, he's shaping up to be a real pain in the ass."

"Now hold it," countered Jack. "I've known Bill a long time and he's been nothing but an honest soldier. Did you ever think for a minute that the problem here might just be you? Neither of us is used to mollycoddling some woman across the country, and maybe I'm just better at hiding it than he is? Ain't neither of us fit to pass judgment on another man in our condition anyways. What do you say we get some grub in us and then we'll talk what to do next?" He then held her arm and escorted her from the room, narrowly missing a pair of uniformed soldiers in the hall, and closing the door behind him.


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