July 15th, 1869
Around 9:30 am
Watching the ebony gelding skirt across the paddock nervously he could only imagine what those scared haunches had endured his short and cruel existence. Daniel Helm was no stranger to such things as fickle things, his own sturdy frame marred with years upon years of misfortune and trial. He didn’t blame the poor creature for being so fearful and violent, if cruelty was all man had dealt him his life, if he didn’t even know happiness, how could one condemn him for his actions? Thin patches of scars covered his back, angry looking things that would take a while to heal and fade away. They were a reminder of the cross’s terrible beginnings, and a reminder to Helm to be patient. Recovery wasn’t going to be easy for the animal, but just maybe, they could save each other. Two broken souls so cut off from the true beauty of the world they were standoffish and refused any sort of help despite their dire need. They were two misfits who would find their place in life again, together or not at all. This was it, Danny decided, this was his chance to save someone’s life and just maybe, save his too.
Letting the volatile creature let off the last of his fear he gave him his space, let him have the paddock and instead went to Gander. His eyes narrowed almost sadly, shifting to his dust encrusted boots. How could Henry talk so highly of him? It sickened him to think that he was so deceiving that anyone could think of him with such respect and doting; to the point he told his son stories of his hijinks. “You really think it’s good to tell ‘im stories like that? I mean…
” I’m not that special. My life is just one big f*cking mess- do you really want your son dreaming of things like that? “Couldn’t it give ‘im the wrong idea? The last thing you need is him running off t’Denver hoping to run into some renegade natives.
” They were good stories, were
good stories. Before time could tarnish them, made those adventures seem so distant they weren’t even really a part of him anymore. He wasn’t that same boy anymore. He was old, broken, chaffed, and worn- nothing any boy should really hope to someday meet or even strive to be like.
“Buck’s a good ‘ol boy, he’s been living kinda easy though recently. He’s had plenty of adventure lately and he just need some relaxing.
” The horse was as valiant as any cowboy could ask for, loyal to no fault and as feisty as his rider. The horse had been with Danny through his most fierce trials and now that everything seemed to settle down, despite his recent loss, he deserved a break. “But he’s gettin’ restless, Buck don’t like being a pasture horse none.
“He’s a skittish one, that’s fer sure. But give me some time, I’ve worked with these kinda horses a while. I know how to handle myself, hell, Buck was just as temperamental when I started breakin’ ‘im, look at ‘im now.
” He was gonna explain just how he planned on tackling the situation when Henry turned that line on him and he lost the sound in his throat for a short moment. Don’t you call me that, he wanted to hiss, his eyes puckering with the hotness of tears. “Special, hmph,
” He grunted, wiping his nose to hide the fact his emotions were frayed and easily triggered, “More like professionally trained.
Danny nodded a few times, listening to what Henry explained about his council position that he was running for. Denver was sure as hell in for a treat when Henry Scarborough got on that board, a lot a chance, he assumed, for the better too. They needed someone like Henry on the council. Not just those higher up politicians and aristocrats that could just throw their lot in and think nothing of the poorer folks. Henry was good financially as of now, but he came from just as humble beginnings with his own fortune. He made himself his money and he could understand the plight of the others. “I’m more than sure you’ll be on that council in no time.
They’d finished their business, but Henry was still meaning to stick around. Probably here to check up on him and make sure he wasn’t drunk as hell trying to do any wood chopping or horse busting. Henry seemed the only one in the entire town who even realized there was something wrong with him, saw his quiet nature and knew that there was a whole lot more than he was showing. In a way he was grateful knowing that Henry gave a shit enough to notice the difference, but it bothered him too, wasn’t there other things Henry could be tending to? His family? House? His business? The last thing he needed was to be riding out to Hellfire at all hours of the day just to make sure his friend hadn’t killed
himself. “I think we’ve all had our fair share of bad winters.
” His fingers grazed his chest, trailed down till he felt the jagged flesh that was still blanched white and scarred over from his last bought with adventure. He was lucky he was even here, he reminded himself every day, though some days he wasn’t sure how lucky he really felt.
Before he could let those kind of thoughts cross his head he glanced back to the horse, “Well Henry it’s been wonderful, really,
” He was sincere, but he was tired and wasn’t much in the mood for talking about what Henry wished to. “But now with this little hellion I’ve got me a lot of work t’do, a lot of preparing and planning. I best be off to work.
” Just leave so you stop looking at me with that pity in your eyes. “I’ll catch you later, huh?