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 Bullet in My Hand, Danry
Henry Scarborough
Posted: Mar 29 2012, 05:02 AM


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Joined: 1-February 11



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I know why I'm in this hell
I just don't wanna believe
Past that line you just can't tell
But right now

There's someone lookin' out for me
I came out of the darkness
With a bullet in my hand
I got one more shot at livin'
I'm lucky that I can
Cause I got a little roughed up
Yeah I really got f***ed up
I came out of the darkness
With a bullet in my hand

April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 8:30am



It had taken Russell a few more minutes of arguing through the door to get Henry in bed the night before. He sounded like a child telling him he wasn’t tired, he tasted blood, was too hungry, too lonely and it was too dark but by the time Danny got back Russell could hear the occasional snore coming from the room to his back. Henry curled up in the middle of the bed almost like he had crawled up there on his knees and then just collapsed over them with his hands between his legs like a toddler, his ass in the air and his face buried in his pillow. He slept for the allotted ten to twelve hours the remedy guaranteed, nearly from nine last night to nine this morning. Well rested but queasy like he normally was he slowly came out of it as the mid morning sun continued on its rise toward noon. Rusty was gone for the day, had gotten up to do chores and then swung by the Scarborough residence, now abandoned, to check on the animals and search the house again for bottles of Henry’s little friend, but found nothing and reported it to Danny before heading back out with the promise that come lunchtime, he would tear Henry’s office at the bank apart for similar reasons.

He stretched out his legs and rolled over for the first time since falling asleep, his joints popping discernibly in the small room. Russell had come in after he fell asleep last night and taken his shoes and jacket off, and removed anything breakable and light enough to pick up from the room, then of course put a chair in there for Danny and what few books he owned. The groggy banker yawned and held off on opening his eyes for a moment but something wasn’t right. Even lying here with his eyes closed he could somehow tell he was not where he thought he was, the lighting was wrong, the sounds and smells . . . was that the lingering scent of bacon? Bella didn’t normally cook bacon. At the thought of food he could feel that fervid bubbly acid boiling in his belly and then his chest as it burned in his esophagus. He became noticeably more uncomfortable, curled back into a fetal position as if to go back to sleep before a gurgle of noxious gas escaped his throat, burning though his nose at the same time. His face screwed up and all at once he was bent over the edge of the bed puking into a conveniently placed bucket.

Pushing back toward the center of the bed the banker’s pain was evident as he wrapped both hands around his head and groaned into the sleeves of his tattered shirt before pulling his jacket over himself a little more. Even in April, nights in Colorado got a little chilly and that chill was lingering. He opened his watery eyes and looked a little confusedly around the room before sitting up a little, the only sounds in the room were the creaking springs in the mattress. That was until that shudder crept through him as he turned to look over his shoulder and caught sight of Danny. His eyes immediately went to the door, closed, probably locked, shit. The events of the night before, though fuzzy came flooding back, and Henry could only look at Danny pleadingly like he expected to be beaten without mercy at any moment. Goddamn his head hurt like a bitch and come to think of it he could remember a blow to the head last night. The banker eyed the door again with trepidation, like a convict. His freedom was so close yet so far away, he could get to the door, but he probably wouldn’t get through it before Helm ripped him away. One thing was for certain, he was not withdrawing from this shit again. He could do it himself, he wasn’t badly addicted, he would just cut back until he was in the clear, no big deal he could do it within a few short weeks. Turning back to his friend he knew he wouldn’t be convincing him of that anytime soon, “Goddamn . . . I feel like I got hit by a train.” he mumbled into the comforter after dropping his aching head back down. The bedsprings creaked again as he sat up and was obviously dizzy, reeling a bit and blinking wearily before massaging his temples for a moment. He wasn’t going to ask how he got here or act like he much cared instead he unsteadily got to his feet and looked over at the clock, “I gotta go Danny, the bank opens in thirty minutes . . . I need a new shirt too.”


Lyrics: Bullet in My Hand by Redlight Kings
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Daniel Helm
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 03:40 AM


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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 8:30 am


There was a penetrating chill that lingered in the room, a deep-seated cold that settled in Daniel’s chest and left the air in his lungs thick and heavy. It was a crushing pressure, that cold, like someone had reached through his chest and grasped his lungs tight with a crippling grip, leaving his breathing labored and overtaxed, but that cool Colorado morning had not a thing to do with that paralyzing ache in his breast. The rancher’s murky gaze turned out the open bay window, searching that horizon as the sun just began to crest over the western canyons and wondered waywardly how close Bella and the children were to New York. That cold in his chest deepened and any flickering warmth that had lingered in the darkest pits of his soul evaporated and sheltered the deepest of his sympathies for that woman and the blackest of his venom for the catatonic banker that slept not but a few feet from him. Daniel had done all he could to ease the blow to Henry’s wife, did his best to seem optimistic and believed that the banker would make a full recovery and makes amends yet again for his less than honorable mistakes- but honestly even Daniel didn’t have much hope in that man anymore. After the woman had had the time to soak in what new transgression her husband had forced upon her and their children Daniel promised to do everything that he could possibly imagine to fix this, not for the sake of Henry Scarborough, but the sake of their family. It was late and despite knowing the following few days were gonna be hell Danny stayed, helped Bella gather her frayed bearings and get things in order. She was leaving, Bella had every right in the world to leave this all behind and Daniel wasn’t going to stop her, he didn’t have the gumption and he certainly didn’t have the right. He helped her pack, get the buckboard hitched and the children ready, only after having her promise, that if by some miraculous feat he helped Henry overcome this newest demon, she’d come home. She promised and he swore he’d do his best and after boarding the broken family up on the train he wished her the best, begged that she write him to let him know how she was and if she needed anything.

It was nearly two in the morning by the time Daniel had returned to his own homestead. He’d returned to the Scarborough ranch only to board up Attila and get Buck, made sure the house was locked up and that Gypsy had some feed and water, looking as if she weren’t bound to leave that herd without protection while Dog moseyed on behind Buck and followed the rancher back home, Danny could only think was because the mutt smelled Henry on his clothes. Sitting at that window Daniel looked across the way where the dogs had all hunkered down for the night, the others quickly taking to Dog and allowed them into their huddle. Watching Dog sleep peacefully he envied that animal something awful, in all his time of knowing Henry that creature in the dust was the only living, breathing thing that he had not seen Henry betray and hurt for his own personal gain. Maybe it was because Dog couldn’t talk back, couldn’t tell Henry he was being stupid and to shape up, maybe that’s why Henry liked to be with that dog so much. With that animal he was free to be self destructive, free of judgment but most of all free to be himself. When Daniel had met Henry of all two years ago there wasn’t a part of him that would have wished to change that man he’d rode with to Denver. He was smart, brave, funny and had a simplistic love for the world that one couldn’t even find in a child. Henry was happy to be Henry, happy to be alive and back then that’s all he needed and more than anything in the world Danny wish that man was still alive today.

But that man died a while back, replaced with the man that was just beginning to come to as the smell of the ranch hand’s breakfast hit the air. The man he’d become was broken with envy and hindered by past grievances, horrible memories and lackluster dreams that burdened him to the point of self harm, to the point he stopped caring about his family and his life and just decided to throw it all away. Kicking his feet up Danny leaned back in his chair, watching as his men went to work for the morning, having already talked to Rusty that morning of what needed to be done he was confident they could run the place without his input- they’ve done it before when he’d been dying back in the winter, they could handle it now. Reaching across his lap he pulled up a bottle of scotch he swiped from the kitchen liquor cabinet, it was gonna be a hard few days with predicted little to no sleep, he needed a drink or two to keep him grounded. Sipping at the tumbler he looked at the stack of books Russell had graciously left for him to read, shuffling through the pile until he brought out a fairly recent copy of Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon” and flipped to the first page to help keep his mind from reeling back into that blackened abyss of his emotions.

It was another half an hour before Henry had managed to roll out of the rest of his lethargic slumber, by the time Danny was a decent ways into his book and had a good quarter of his scotch gone. One of the hands had been kind enough to bring the boss over some leftovers from breakfast, handed it through the window and now sat half empty. Daisy and Dog both must caught scent of the scraps and while the rest of the pack were out running with the herds they had jumped up with their front paws on the window ledge, begging for the remnants of Daniel’s breakfast. Tossing the both of them a few strips of bacon they went about on their way just when Henry had tossed over and got sick. Daniel ignored the man until he spoke up and any sign of Daniel’s reserved anger dissolved and his features solidified into an unwavering glare. “At this rate you’re gonna wish you were hit by a train,” He’d replied bitterly before knocking back the rest of his drink, filling it back up and turned back to his book. Flipping through a few pages he half heartedly observed from the corner of his gaze Henry staggering to his feet, giving a rough grunt when Henry asked to leave, shaking his head, “Ya ain’t going anywhere. Rusty’s gonna take care of the bank for ya,” He stopped and hitched a thump toward the corner where a few set of fresh clothes sat for Henry, “Your clothes are over there if ya want t’change.” He reclined a little further, sipped at his scotch and before Henry could get a word in about really needing to leave he sat his book down, unfolded his legs and stared at him with that unmistakable Helm glower. “Your sorry ass isn’t going anywhere until you work the lot of that stuff out of your system and you start to plan how the hell you’re gonna piece together the mess you went and made this time around and so help me god,” He emphasized the last few words by slamming his feet down on the floor, “If you think that bitching and whining is gonna get you outta here, I’ll lock ya in here by your god damn self.
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Henry Scarborough
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 06:04 AM


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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 8:30am-12:30pm


That sour bitter taste lingering in the back of his throat made him want to turn around and revisit that bucket by his bed. A bed he wouldn’t be leaving for quite a while unbeknownst to him. There was also a vanity, but the mirror was gone and a fine line of dust across the rear of the Chester piece told him there had been a mirror there at one point, why was it taken down? A wardrobe stood in the corner and hanging on one of the doors were several changes of pants and a few shirts that he recognized as his own, surely they didn’t mean to keep him in here! He began to feel a little uneasy especially at the rancher’s response to his comment of being rundown by a locomotive. A hot tingling sensation of dread in its purest form crawled across his skin, from his toes to the nape of his neck and he found himself subconsciously talking himself down from another trip to that bucket to void his stomach. Daniel was nice enough to point out his clothes over on the door of the wardrobe, “Uh, thanks.” he quipped and made his way over to them and plucked a shirt off the hanger but was suddenly feeling less willing to change his shirt with Danny in the corner, tossing it back over the door and stood there looking a little sheepish with the ruined shirt he had on hanging off one shoulder and exposing his chest a little. Where the bullet had gone and done its damage was an ugly scar now but certainly looked much better than it had and was in no need of painkillers at its late stage of healing. He crossed his arms tight over his chest obviously still feeling a little chilled and looked over at Danny and managed a meek sort of half grin, “Rusty? I don’t think he even went t’school . . . oh well I’m sure he can’t do much damage.” no he hadn’t an inkling of assurance his younger cousin could pull off the banker image. His shallow rattled breathing seemed too loud to him, he couldn’t tell if it was from drugs or maybe years of smoking he always breathed a little noisily. Mostly though it was from having his nose broken a few times and he couldn’t really breathe through it anymore, but in the silence of the room he could hear his heart racing as the words of the rancher reached him. What Danny said didn’t put the fear of god in Henry, it put the fear of Danny in him.

He put on his poker face and raised his hands to the man in the opposite corner in surrender with a genuine and nonchalant smile on his face, “Okay . . I know a promise when I hear one.” the banker crossed the room slowly and picked a book from the box Rusty had left and eyed Danny’s own faded hardback novel, “That’s a good one, read it when it first came out.” he muttered before taking a seat back on the squeaky mattress, fishing his glasses from the pocket of his coat spread on the bed and started to read “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” by his old friend Charles Dickens. This particular series was completed just two years before he was born and was still one his favorite childhood books, his father had done something with his copy though and since then Henry had never really made the attempt to get another. He hated to think about it but he was sure his copy had been either thrown out like the trash his father saw it as, or he may have even burned it. His father was one reason why Henry didn’t want to change his shirt in front of anyone, so he sat there reading looking rather ridiculous in his one shouldered, no collared get up.

A good hour ticked by and Henry suddenly spoke up after holding his tongue for this long, seemingly completely at ease with the whole situation, like sitting in the doctor’s office awaiting an appointment with nothing else to do for the rest of the day. He cleared his throat and didn’t even look up from his book, “This is a waste of time.” he turned a page and looked over his glasses around the room a little, but didn’t look at Danny, “I’m fine,” he assured and finally had the confidence to look over at the rancher watching over him like a hawk rather than the angel he was used to, “It’s a medication Danny, prescribed by my doctor and I was quitting anyways, just cuttin back like he said, but I’ll stay here if it’ll humor you.” show no fear in being locked up in this room and maybe he would see no point in it, even if so far Danny seemed as immovable as the Rockies. He returned his attention to his book and kept his place on the bed, hadn’t moved at all, not an inch as he devoured page after page.

Another hour came with more commentary, “Looks like the cattle’re doing well.” he noted, looking out the window at the spread of Black Angus in the north pasture, working the prairie grass like locusts. He still hadn’t budged even when noon rolled around and Rusty stopped by to let Danny know he had searched the house this morning but found nothing, then searched the office at the bank and found a bottle but it was empty. The foreman asked if he could bring his baby up from Henry’s and stable him here, he was speaking of course of Wabash and had already taken the liberties of bringing the horse up here. When he was given permission he let the cat out of the bag and smiled a little, said it was done and the paint stud was bedded down just fine, “I even brought the saddle and uh . . . found this.” he reached into his coat pocket and produced what they had been looking for, only a swallow or two left but it was still there, “I’m fixin t’make lunch, y’all want anything in particular?” the foreman had been a very busy man today.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: Apr 7 2012, 11:41 PM


Anah
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Group: Cowboy
Posts: 445
Member No.: 51
Joined: 9-April 11



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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 8:30 am


There was a seething blaze reflecting back at Henry, the younger man’s sharp beryl gaze boiling like the sear of a scorched length of metal, aglow with a flickering golden testament to his bridled fury. It was almost like staring back into the belly of a cast iron stove, the only protection from the wrath within was the slated door that any moment could succumb to the overbearing heat and melt away, leaving what unfortunate sole to reap the disastrous results, in this case, leaving Henry Scarborough at the mercy of a spiteful Daniel Helm in a room by himself with no possible means of escape. But for whatever reasons Henry had managed a little luck that day, for as soon as Danny had said what needed to be said he turned back to his reading, that smoldering in his eyes easing as he fully immersed himself back into his reading and refused to even acknowledge Henry’s presence. When the banker regarded the novel folded neatly in Helm’s massive palms the man’s eyes narrowed and his grip on the book tightened, the grating sound of his molars gnashing together grinding behind his cheeks as he narrowed his eyes in Henry’s direction, as if daring him to speak further to him in such a manner. The nonchalant way that other man smiled, beamed back at Helm with such an easiness, it was nauseating, the acrid boil of sick climbing up Helm’s throat. This wasn’t a joke, this wasn’t some sort of game, this was reality and whether Henry chose to accept that now or later, Danny didn’t really care because no matter when he decided to buck up and handle this like a sane man it was all going to have the same outcome. Henry would end up in the middle of the bed, sweated through his clothes and begging for a swift and painless end to his pathetic life and the only one that’d even be willing to listen to his mournful mewling would be Daniel Helm, sitting stoically in the corner with a new bottle of brandy waiting to get his life back form the son of a bitch who seemed so intent on ruining it.

With reins pulled tight on that churning rage in the pit of his belly Danny eased back into his chair, thanking god for the silent that filled the room, knowing soon enough that it’d eat away at Henry’s “I’m okay” façade and force him to open his clouded eyes to see what hell he’s caused this time. The hours ticked by, each second scored by the faint click of the old clock hanging in the corner. The only sound for the majority of the morning was the quiet wisp of pages turning, Henry assured he was alright a few times but seemed to give up a little while after he realized Helm wasn’t going to even validate him with an answer. The most that would prove Danny had even heard Henry talk was his hand moving to his forearm scratch vehemently at the skin there until the skin was inflamed and swollen, little ruby droplets of blood blossoming up from a few deep gouges. That scratching happened almost incessantly for an hour or two, Danny’s jaw working as his nails bit deeper and deeper into the supple flesh, that radiating pain in his arm, that glisten of crimson bubbling up the only grounding force that kept him from storming right over to that bed and thrashing Scarborough until he couldn’t even twitch.

It kept on like that for a long while. Danny kept to himself, flipped his pages as he read slowly and deliberately to keep his mind occupied, clawed at his arm when Henry chose to speak up and assure that it was only medicine and he was fine, knocked back a few more shots of his bourbon until the bottle was empty. That familiar glaze of tipsiness coated Helm’s eyes when the distinct sound of Russell’s footsteps resounded down the hallway, the first time Danny’s had been on his feet in hours he greeted his foreman at the door. It didn’t take much for him to allow Rusty to bring that stud back on the ranch, he loved that horse too, and wasn’t all too surprised to hear that Rusty had already done that. Buck would enjoy the stud’s company that was for sure, especially with Helm locked away in here trying to make amends with Henry’s demons and get him back on his feet before he ruined anything else. The fire in Danny’s eyes seemed temporarily stemmed until Rusty produced that bottle of Opium, handed over to his boss and it was like he’d tossed a match onto a pile of kindling because all that rage came surging back into his eyes as they snapped around the room, igniting Henry with the fierceness of them. “Thanks Rusty,” He bit back the slight slur in his voice and turned that bottle over in his hands a few times before handing it back to him, “Toss it in the brush pile, we’ll burn it with the rest of the debris from the east pasture.” Easing back across the room Danny took his empty bottle of bourbon and handed that to the man as well, “I ain’t that hungry, but if you could bring me another bottle from t’house that’d be wonderful.” His eyes wandered a bit until he glanced at his own arm, the swelling from his scratching had only gone up, the beads of blood clotting and leaving behind fresh scabs. Knowing that his foreman would only worry for the magically appearing wound he tore at his sleeve to cover it up, placing his hands on his hips, “After you get done with lunch Rusty, could ya check on Darla for me and then just take the rest of the day off, huh? Whatever paperwork that’s left, bring it t’me and I’ll finish it up in here and you can pick it up tomorrow morning.
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Henry Scarborough
Posted: Apr 8 2012, 01:49 AM


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Joined: 1-February 11



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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 12:30-4:30


The hours rolled slowly on and as the banker watched the clock his sickening dread only intensified with each twitch of that noisy second hand. His stomach churned and roiled with waves of nausea and he hadn’t even lapsed into the full effects of his impending withdrawal but just the thought of the living hell he was about to endure scared him shitless. Danny didn’t seem to care and hadn’t responded to him at all when he spoke to him, unless that disturbingly incessant scratching at his forearm was his answer. When Rusty showed up and Danny went to the door, Henry took the opportunity to get up and move to the wardrobe where he stripped off his tattered shirt and replaced it with a fresher one and took off his suspenders altogether. As the banker moved back to the bed, that familiar burn of anxiety gripping his innards didn’t show, rolling up his sleeves when Helm turned that smoldering glare on him, Rusty had found one of his little friends. He sat back down on the bed, took up his second book and started reading again, quietly and contentedly as if he suspected nothing.

Russell came back with the bottle of whisky and Henry felt a little worried now for the stability of the man who had watch over him. He thought about saying something but from the man’s past reactions Henry had learned that it would get him nowhere. Two o’clock came and went and the banker was still turning pages but at a subtly slower rate. The silence consumed the both of them and never before had Henry understood the phrase “silence is deafening” until now. He was much more sensitive to sounds, the ticking of the clock, the low of the cattle in the pasture, a familiar whinny from the stables, birds, footsteps on the road by the house, the swish of the whisky from Daniel’s bottle. He could hear his own heart beating in his chest, a very slight rattle in his throat when he breathed. The scratchy, raw and gravelly voice he carried around these days, the result of the acid erosion on his abused esophagus after so much drinking and purging over the past two months.

Three o’clock, his attention was no longer wholly satiated by his novel and he turned to biting his nails, opened his book, shifted his feet, bobbed one of his knees or stared into space a little. The pressure in his ears built, a peculiar sensation and all of a sudden his acute sense of hearing was hindered and he started yawning to alleviate it. His mind ran rampant behind an otherwise calm guise. He hadn’t been on the stuff that long, maybe he either wouldn’t go into withdrawal or it wouldn’t be that bad. Maybe he was dreaming, maybe when he got home Bella wouldn’t even notice he had been gone.

Four o’clock. His hair had begun to droop as the beads of sweat broke out and dampened the once champagne locks, darkening it considerably. His vision kept going blurry necessitating he blink constantly, opening them wide like he was falling asleep. The pages of his book flipped slower and slower until he was reading the same page over and over and over but taking none of it in. His face flushed and at one point he unbuttoned his shirt some to air out. Henry fidgeted, crossed and uncrossed his legs, ran his fingers through his hair, stared at the number sixty-four on the page he was reading and wondered how long it had been there, an hour at least. Time was dragging by and that sickening wave struck him again but this time instead of keeping his composure and staying on his feet, it knocked him beneath the surface of the churning briny waters and held him there without mercy as he clawed desperately at the surface. His glossy eyes roamed the room frantically like a trapped animal. The door, the clock, wardrobe, window, door, window, door, clock, wardrobe . . . Danny. For the first time in hours he looked to his “caretaker” with his dampened hair hanging in his face. His heart was beating in his throat now, f*** page sixty-four. “A Tale of Two Cities” sailed across the room and the infallible aim of the baseball pitcher made sure the hardback struck true and smashed the face of the wall clock in an explosion of glass. It was an ornate little piece, such a pity its incessant ticking had driven the banker partially mad. But as the iron framed clock slid down the wall and clattered to the floor the bent second hand continued to tick in one place, forever stuck between the delicately painted four and five.

Even on weakened legs Henry managed to stagger across the room and stomp what little life remained, out of the insanity inducing clock. Like a cornered animal the banker had that wild look in his eye as he turned toward the door and wrenched the knob only to find it stubbornly immovable, the jamb clattered in the frame as he gave one honest lurch on the handle before resting his sweated forehead against the solid oak. In a jerk he swiveled on his heel and paced the room a few times like a captive crazed animal, eyeing the window and the stalwart door before stepping closer to Danny, “You better let me outta this goddamn room!” the panicked banker growled through clenched teeth. From his stance he made it perfectly clear that if he didn’t get the answer he wanted he was going to pounce like a spitting tom cat.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 03:15 AM


Anah
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Group: Cowboy
Posts: 445
Member No.: 51
Joined: 9-April 11



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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 12:00 - 4:30 pm


The relentlessly clawing at his forearm left the flesh inflamed and swollen, angry flushed scours drew congealing beads of blood to the surface, already drying and adhering to Daniel’s sleeves that slid down past his elbows. The crimson bleeding through the tawny flannel was the singular reminder that it could very well be Henry’s blood staining the rancher’s sleeves instead, the radiating burn in his forearm grounding Helm to reality and keeping that overwhelming frustration broiling in his chest in check. But even the pain in his arm was losing its vigor as shot after shot slithered down his throat and curdled in his sloshing belly, depleting that stable state of mind that was already just barely clinging to the notion of not driving his foot up Henry’s ass. But even with that withering few threads on his self-control he thanked Russell for the returned bottle of whisky and returned to his perch next to the window. Having a good stack of paperwork still needing to be done Daniel dragged in one of the desks from the hallway they’d removed earlier and set to work on crunching numbers and getting orders ready for shipment. The nagging sense of the need to strangle Henry slowly began to fade as he immersed himself in his work, still downing a shot or two every so often to ward off the headache that was developing in his temples, a headache that was due to his lack of food that day and the drink he seemed to refuse let dry on his lips before he took another drink.

The room was warmed from the golden rays that cascaded through the open curtains and window, creating a beautiful glitter of light as it refracted through the bottle of bourbon on the desk and cast a ember glow on the far wall. The sun slid up to noon and began its descent in the west, creating long construed shadows in the front yard. The few times that Helm looked up from his work were when the men came from the pastures, told him the report of each herd and went to have their lunch. They went back to work a little after two and the only company left that Daniel didn’t mind was Daisy and Dog who’d taken to laying below the window sill, peeking up through the open frame to nudge a slobbered on stick across the white washed wood. Tossing the stick a few times for the canines seemed to satisfy them plenty until Rusty called the pack to dinner and they were as good as gone again, leaving Helm to his mind numbing paperwork and the sweated man in the corner, who was beginning to lose his composure in the waning hours of the afternoon.

The breaking point came a little after four just when Danny had just finished an order back east when something went sailing over his head, cracked hard on the wall and both tome and clock ended up in a broken heap on the floor. The rancher bit back a bark at Henry, hand lifting up that bottle once again and knocked it back with a bitter recoil as he swiveled in his chair to watch Henry stomp out the last few working pieces on the ornate clock he had been given by his father. The mangled time piece laid in shambles as Danny knelt down to investigate it, seeing if it was even remotely salvageable but there was no such luck and before Danny could even pick it up off the floor there was a panicked growl directed at him from the locked door. Leaving the clock where it lie the rancher extended himself to his full height again, and where rage would normally have been in his narrowed eyes was only an agitated exhaustion as he turned to his desk, neatly folding his papers and reaching for his bottle again. “I really liked that clock, ya know? My Pa got it for me, came all the way from Ireland where my Ma was born.” He knocked back another shot, straight from the bottle, ignoring the tumbler on the desk as he swiveled on his heels, leaning across the window with a lackadaisical expression on his pursed lips. “And no, I ain’t gonna open that door for you. Not now, and not tomorrow, and probably not the next day either. So just perch your ass on the bed and get used to it.” He stole another swig with a rather cynical sneer, “What’s the matter anyway, Henry? I thought you said you was ‘fine?’ Gettin’ a little hot under the collar?
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Henry Scarborough
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 07:17 AM


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Group: Townfolk
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Joined: 1-February 11



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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 4:30


He had to get home, he hadn’t been there last night and Bella would either worry about him or think he wasn’t coming back for whatever reason, his kids needed to see him what was he still doing here, oh yeah Danny wouldn’t let him leave. That man sitting behind his little table doing his work like there was nothing wrong, nothing at all, just in a room with the door locked so his charge could not escape, like a prison. Oh well, at least Rusty hadn’t admitted him to a hospital this time, the nurses strapped him to a bed and he had to endure that for hours on end. But the infernal racket of that damn clock had to go and one of the first symptoms of Henry’s withdrawal showed its ugly face when his increasing irritability set his frustrations off an a common household item most normal people could withstand with no ill effects. It was as if his acute hearing picked up on it in a way he had never experienced before and the headache pounding in his temples beat in a rhythmic cadence with the ticking of the maddening clock. So maybe if he destroyed it, obliterated it he would no longer suffer the pain in his head.

“If ya liked it so damn much why the f*** wasn’t it in your house?! Now let me outta here!” he demanded again and stepped over toward the door like it would be that easy, Danny would be somehow shaken by his volatile eruption and simply open the door and let him go. He didn’t give a damn about the clock, who had gotten it for Danny or why, he didn’t care about anyone or anything just get the hell out of here like somehow he was going to feel so much better if he could get out of the house. Rusty had found the bottle in his saddle but he knew of another somewhere, if he could just get to the house.

Almost blinded by the crazed desire to get away, just escape and run until he couldn’t anymore, Henry paced the room like a lion he had seen at the Philadelphia Zoo once when he was “visiting” his Uncle Graham, not showing up unannounced begging for money. A caged, frightened, frustrated, fearful wild animal yearning for the freedom just beyond that impassable barrier. For Henry it was a door and Daniel Helm, “No! Open the goddamn door! You can’t keep me here!” he demanded as Daniel refuted his efforts to leave the house and Henry sounded kind of like a lawyer again and more like he was looking to settle this dispute with the legal system rather than violence. Danny mocked him, no he was not “fine” he was far from it and Helm poking fun was not making it any better. He felt the blood in his face the heat in his ears and even heard them pop maybe from the pressure building up. Henry couldn’t recall the last time he was this angry, his mind couldn’t even function like that right now, he had his one goal and was focusing all his efforts on getting out that door.

He had to do it, before he had a chance to think about it, before logic took over and talked himself out of it, before he could calm and cool down. Timing was key, he set his jaw grinding his teeth and clenched his fists, “You son of a bitch!” Rusty stopped what he was doing, all the way back at the ranch house with a pepper shaker suspended over a steak he was tenderizing for dinner. Straining his ears into the silence, he was sure he had heard Henry’s voice, maybe he was hearing things. Not but a second later he heard the clamor and looked out the window at his place, but the window facing him was the kitchen and he couldn’t have known what was going on, “So it begins.” the foreman dropped everything and headed for the door.

As soon as Henry’s momentum collided with Danny he heard the unmistakable sound of shattering glass as the wooden frame gave out behind the rancher and the force of the blow carried both men out the window where they landed in a heap onto the lawn. Shards of glass scattered across the grass and Henry sat up looking down at his friend, both hands still wadded up in his shirt. He took a moment to process what had just happened as his breath came back to him, “ . . . shit.” paying no mind to the glass littering the grass Henry attempted to crawl away as the sound of Rusty’s feet drew nearer. He was out of the house, if he could just scramble clear of Danny he could outrun Rusty easy.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: May 5 2012, 02:25 AM


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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 12:00 - 4:30 pm


The sun was waning along the western horizon, making her fervid sojourn toward the mountains in the distance where she would lie in a fiery slumber for the night. In the dwindling hours of day the afternoon sun sent a radiating glow through the window, torqueing the bright beams across the back of the rancher, silhouetting his burly figure in an angelic golden splendor. But there was something sinister whispering along the edges of his deadened stare, deep in the depths of his faded beryl stare that scorned the divine bloom that cast his shadow along the far wall. Any affection that had once been there, the pain that now resided there squandered any genuine form of concern or love, accompanied by exhaustion and the film of dazed drunkenness. There was nary even a flinch when Henry whirled on the rancher and raised his voice that it resonated the wiry spindles on the bedframe, just stood there as stoic as a dying oak and watched the unraveling with those dead eyes. When Henry seemed quiet, still itching with that very distinguishable fury Danny turned to grab his bottle, scoffing at Henry’s short lived tantrum with a roll of his eyes. “See? Yellin’ ain’t gonna get you anywhere with me and ya know it so just sit down and stay a whi-

Henry’s battle cry was still echoing dully in Helm’s ears when he found himself trapped beneath the scrawny banker’s body, shards of glass digging into his back, while his dazed eyes swiveled in there sockets to try and regain his lost composure. By the time Henry had managed to wise up and began to crawl for his safety Danny had come full circle and was dragging himself up to his feet, the man that found his footing now far from the stoic gentleman that had been standing in the boots not moments before. That deaden stare ignited into a burning inferno, a rage that only one other man had ever witnessed before, the man who’d killed his mother nine years ago. But now that same look of pure and unadulterated vehemence was settled on a man that Daniel Helm had proudly called brother, someone he’d defended countless times despite the danger to his own health. A man he had almost died for.

Whirling on the retreating man Daniel’s eyes narrowed as he bared his teeth like a rabid dog and snatched him up well before he could make his escape. The calloused and scarred hands fisted the lapels of Henry’s shirt and with one fluid motion had the banker pinned to the side of the guest house. With Helm’s face mere inches away from Henry’s he dragged him up along the whitewash boards until they were staring eye to eye and Scarborough could see the genuine ferocity radiating back at him. “You ungrateful piece of shit!” Flecks of spit were flinging off of Daniel’s lips as he bellowed at him, a volume that rattled his chest and would have even put his father in a stunned stupor. “I’ve done everything for you! Everything that possibly could do for you and your family. I’ve given you everything that I’ve had to make you better, to fix that broken god damn head of yours and you do this?!” He emphasized his rant by thrusting Henry against the wall again, the knuckles that kneaded up in his shirt going stark white in every effort to prevent himself from ripping Henry’s arms off. “What the f*ck is wrong with you? Huh?” Any coherent line of thought was lost now and he wasn’t sure why he was so god damn pissed, just knew he was, biting at the bit to beat Henry in his god forsaken face and be down with it. “You have everything in the world that any man should ever want! Ya got a family, money, a business, why are you so persistent in f*cking that all up? Do you like ruining your life? Like seeing your wife cry and your household broken?” That composure was finally spent and he coiled back that one first, knotted it into a tight ball and hissed, “I’m tired of it. I’m tired of you. If you’re so set on ruining your life how about I ruin your face to match it?” Cranking that arm back his voice got eerily quiet, “I’m done holdin’ on t’hope for you. I’m done with you. You’re dead t’me.
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Davion Murphy
Posted: May 5 2012, 04:49 AM


Heck
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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 5:00pm


A passerby had heard a commotion and was on his way to let a local lawman in on the suspicious shouting out at Hellfire Ranch but ran into the marshal as he was riding past the Scarborough place. The gangly lawman was on the porch with his hands planted on his hips looking as if he were awaiting a stage. He was a local man, probably headed for the saloon for an evening drink when he reined his horse and informed Murphy there was a scuffle down at Hellfire and it sounded a little serious, hell that was two miles west of here. Never mind the mysterious absence of Henry and Bella Scarborough, if something was going down at Danny’s he wanted to be there. He mounted up on Argo and kicked him into a hard run, his wolfhound Angus barking in excitement as he raced alongside the galloping black Thoroughbred.

The strangled squeak from Henry’s throat when Danny jerked him to his feet was more fear than anything, he could almost feel the anger radiating from the rancher in a kind of supernatural heat. Dust was exhaled from the thin spaces between the wooden siding of the house at the force of the banker’s body colliding with it, his head bouncing off the springy boards and almost hitting the incensed rancher when he drew closer and roared into his face. He was officially angry and Henry now realized his seemingly stoic behavior earlier was not Danny remaining calm it was Danny putting on a front and that boiling anger that he had kept suppressed now multiplied tenfold. He was in trouble, the rancher was a scary motherf*cker all by himself, make him angry and it was like jostling a hornet’s nest, don’t poke the bear unless you’re willing to get bit. He was more than in trouble, he was a dead man and desperately struggled against the man that held him pinned against the wall but his heels just skipped over the loose rocky soil and gained him no traction. With the shirt tight across his throat he fought to breathe, managing to suck in a few breaths when he could push up with his feet against the wall to his back. Already turning red in the face he figured since his efforts to free himself were in vain he would try and listen to Danny, the veins standing out on his forehead as he pulled at the hands choking off his air supply.

Helm stated the absolute truth, he and many others before him and probably after him had tried to do right by Henry and fix him up into a respectable man and the fact he was ungrateful was now being to annoy. He opened his mouth in an effort to speak before Danny forced him into the side of the guest house again and the sound of Rusty coming around the corner caught his attention for a brief moment, “M’sorry Danny, sorry.” the banker wheezed, rolling an eye over to his passive cousin he was terrified to see that look of neutrality on his face, the foreman may as well have happened upon he and Danny standing there watching the sun set. He thought he was going to be sick, the ringing in his ears from the rancher screaming at him and all he could do was turn his head either way like he thought at any moment Danny would head butt him in the nose again. Much like he had looked into the smoldering glare of his would be killer that winter when he was shot outside the land office, he eyed the drawn back fist with fear and uncertainty in his eyes, a pleading gesture to just not carry it that far. The waver of tears on the rims of his eyes blurred his vision but also made them appear that brilliant shade of sapphire blue that rivaled the autumn sky on those cloudless September days. Drawing his first full breath since coming out the window, it shuddered against his already trembling ribs and he waited for that fist to suddenly grow larger in his vision, that blinding burst of white light and the sharp pain followed by numbness. He was used to getting beaten and knew what to expect, sadly he was also used to the warm sensation that had spread across his trousers.

Rusty had taken on a more concerned guise observing the confrontation, having seen the state of his window he was almost hoping Danny would just plow his cousin right in the face. But his eyes deviated to a monster of a wolfish looking creature as it stepped around the far end of the house, his hand instinctively going for his revolver, “Am I . . . interruptin somethin?” the marshal asked as he turned his horse some once he was within sight, leaning over the saddle horn and looking around at the three men gathered here behind the house where he hadn’t seen them from the road, but damn could he hear them, “Danny, I dunno what the son a’bitch did to ya this time but . . . he ain’t worth it, trust me.” and with that he dismounted and took note of the labored breathing from the banker, his eyes going up on him a little as the surge of adrenaline wore off so fast it left him completely drained and weak in the knees. As soon as Danny released his grip on him he was going straight down onto the ground, but if it was soggy he shouldn't have minded since it appeared he had already pissed his pants, “Why don’t y’all two go on inside, I’ll have a chat with Henry an’ then you c’n tell me all about this . . . alright, just go cool off.” Rusty brushed past him, Davion putting on an annoyed look as the foreman bumped him a little harder than was needed, he’d break his foot off in his tight ass if he did that shit again. Danny was too old for Davion to have that father son type of relationship the rancher seemed to have with Sam, so he assumed position of older brother, he guessed that made Henry and Rusty his brothers too, oh joy. But as much as he sometimes had that strange love hate relationship with that banker he wouldn’t stand idly by and let Danny pummel him.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: May 6 2012, 01:20 AM


Anah
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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 5:00 pm


Any effort Henry made fruitlessly to remove himself from the clawing grip of the enraged rancher went unnoticed. His gaping mouth and wheezing apology brushed past the larger man’s flushed ears and drifted off into the whistle of the spring gale to go unheard and unheeded. The sound of his own blood in his ears was deafening, silencing any outer source from deterring his intentions on beating Henry into a bloody pulp, the only sight that his rage glazed eyes could find was his target’s terrified eyes and he locked onto them like a lifeline. The knuckles in his cocked back arm cracked, his molars grinding against one another as that remaining amount of control withered away. Looking back on this, Daniel Helm really couldn’t understand how Henry couldn’t believe in God because the man had someone looking after him. Just as soon as that last sliver of control disappeared out of no where the marshal appeared from around the edge of the house and essentially saved the good for nothing man a well needed and well deserved beating. “Who went and stuck their nose in business that wasn’t theirs?” Daniel ground out bitterly, breaking his gaze from Henry’s face to glower vehemently at the older man. Turning his attention back to the man still struggling vainly to release Helm’s grip he growled menacingly, “No one asked you to come and get in my way, Marshal. You don’t know how much I deserve….need to beat his brains in.” Daniel stepped back and released his grip and watched Henry collapse on the dirt, “I guess you do have something right though, Davion, he ain’t worth shit.

Leaving the man in the dirt to wallow in his piss soiled britches Danny followed his foreman back to the main house. Passing Davion just as he’d regained his balance he shoved into him hard with his shoulder, grunting with a sneer. “He’s lucky you came along.” Stalking behind his foreman Daniel looked more an infuriated grizzly, shoulders hunched and eyes narrowed, his paws still furled at his sides as he climbed the stairs. He’d just reached the second when he cocked that same arm back, the one he’d intended on sending through Henry’s face and crashed it against the front porch post. The beam shuddered but held but not without being scarred itself with a knuckle shaped dent and a fresh stain of crimson. With his freshly busted knuckles Danny went inside, stepped past Russell without a word into the kitchen. Snatching up a pail of water left for drinking and a rag he collapsed at the table and shoved his sleeve up, exposing the scabbed up red patch on his arm from earlier. Soaking the rag he began to clean his self inflected wounds, watched the rose tinted water congeal on the table top before he finally spoke, his words biting and unforgiving. “You get that son of a bitch off my ranch. Throw his useless carcass back in that empty house of his and let him wallow in his own problems. I don’t want him anywhere near here. Ever. Again.” Danny sat back and watched the blood run off his busted hand in rivulets before he turned that still fuming gaze back to Rusty, “If he steps foot on my land again I have every right to beat him where he stand, and don’t you doubt that I will. Get him outta here.
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Davion Murphy
Posted: May 6 2012, 04:31 AM


Heck
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Group: Lawman
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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 5:00pm


A little put off by having his question answered with another question Davion gave the rancher that narrow eyed look that conveyed both confusion and annoyance, “It’s my job.” he said slowly as if speaking to a child. He was a keeper of the peace and this was certainly not peaceful. He had seen Rusty get near red in the face talking someone down for speaking poorly of his cousin and his family and yet here he was showing no intentions towards stopping Danny from beating the shit out of the banker. And actually someone had asked him to come and assess the reason for the commotion at the ranch so technically he had been asked, not that he needed to, since it was indeed his job to ensure no one got beaten to death, or shot, or stabbed. Raising a hand slightly as if to steady his friend, Davion squinted a little sympathetically, “And you’re the first in line Danny but don’t do nothin stupid.” god knows Henry had wronged Danny more than just about everyone but Davion needed to know what was going on. The banker had been missing for a few days and no one had seen his wife neither, and then the house looked abandoned and he happens to come here and find the man he is looking for about to be pounded into a bloody pulp behind the house, it looked like an execution or something, apathetic witness present and everything.

Finally talking the rancher down and convincing him to release his captive Davion stood there looking down at the shaken banker, white as a sheet and sweating from every pore in his body. He didn’t look good, Rusty had been at the bank this morning and when asked about Henry had said the man was very sick and wouldn’t be coming in today. How sick was very sick? He looked like shit, and if he was so ill why was Danny looking at him with death in his eyes, and why the hell was the window broken? He had so many questions and no one seemed to want to answer them as the foreman pushed by him and Danny said Henry was lucky, and shoved him even harder. The Marshal set his jaw and glowered at the backs of both mens’ heads knowing they were angry and just looking for a punching bag. As irritated as it made him he said nothing watching the rancher take out the remainder of his anger on a porch post.

Loose rocky soil native to the region grinded under the heels of his boots as he slowly returned his attention to Henry, “You alright? Wanna tell me what’s goin on . . . Henry?” he only got that stony cold glare and instantly felt like the biggest prick on the planet, the guy everyone hated, again. Looking back up at the house he wondered what was going down inside.

Rusty listened to what Danny had to say and that rock settled into the pit of his stomach. He could fully understand how his boss was feeling but Rusty had been taking care of Henry since he was just an eighteen year old boy when they ran off to Ohio and Indiana. Henry was family, he couldn’t quit on him, who else did he have? But there was nothing refute, Danny was his boss and he had never defied him before. Knowing full well he couldn’t handle Henry on his own Russell was feeling doubtful about his cousin’s recovery now. Folding his hands in his lap all he could do was mutter a low, “Yes’sir.” if he dragged Henry home he would out muscle his smaller cousin, break away and get right back into his ugly habits, there would be no withdrawal. Plus with what Danny had said about his home being empty, in his depressed state Henry would just go out to the barn and swallow a gun barrel to end it all with a bang.

A muffled scuffle from the bedroom down the hall where no one was piqued the foreman’s curiosity for a moment but then Davion came stomping in from the yard, muttering something about ‘that man not being in his right mind’ and disappeared down the hall. Angus came to the door in an effort to follow his master, planting his front paws on the threshold of the doorway, cautious about coming in uninvited. The man his owner was talking too suddenly jumped up and clamored through the broken window when Davion reached for him, so now he was in here. Rusty looked over at the wolfhound, slumped down in his chair with that tired look on his face, “That’s a big ass dog.” he noted aloud and took a sip of his water.
“Henry . . . c’mere! Dammit I’m talkin t’you, get out from under the goddamn bed!” Russell arched his brow at the muffled voice down the hall, straining his ears for a little more of the conversation. A light scuffling as if the marshal was down in the floor trying to reach for the banker, and then an explosion of thrashing as Henry undoubtedly lashed out, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” the sudden outburst ringing through the little house made the foreman jump in surprise, the gangly wolfhound startled, spooked and shied away like a skittish horse.
“Heck, you need to change your pants.” the marshal spoke slowly as if conversing with a child. Rusty guessed he could have gone down the hall to help the man out but he wasn’t feeling up to it, “GO AWAY!” a dejected, defeated sigh and the sound of the marshal getting to his feet and then he came thumping down the hall brushing his Stetson before approaching the kitchen table and taking a seat, putting his hat back on. An awkward silence ensued, the darkness taking over the landscape at this point and dimming the light in the house, “Well . . . I’ve scared aplenty men in my lifetime but . . . never t’the point he pissed his pants.” he arched his brow at Danny almost as if complimenting him or feeling impressed by his feat. He turned to look down the hall at the sound of a sneeze from the bedroom, must have been dusty under that bed, “So . . . anybody wanna fill me in? So I don’t just go assumin what I think is goin on.” that could be a dangerous way of thinking. As far as he could tell Henry was indeed very sick and definitely suffering from a fever that was inducing these angry outbursts, hence the broken window and frustrated rancher and foreman. A pained moan echoed down the hall when the banker doubled over, his arms laced tight across his stomach followed by a series of struggled breaths, “If you two can’t uh . . . handle ‘im, I c’n take ‘im into town, lock ‘im up in a cell or somethin.” he suggested amiably.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: May 7 2012, 01:51 AM


Anah
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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 5:00 pm


If the rancher’s wrath was any more palpable in the stagnant air a black abyss would have tore a gaping hole at his feet, where ravenous hellfire would lick up at the poor souls who had wronged Daniel Helm. Though that blackened pit of rage was reserved for one man and Danny wasn’t too positive that he had a soul to cast to the sweltering degrees of perdition and eternal damnation. A broiling froth of hatred bubbled up and settled against his throat as soon as he’d proclaimed to the man’s cousin that he were to be banned, cast away from his ranch for the rest of his days for all Danny cared. His steely gaze lifted from his knuckles and arm, tossed the soiled rag into the bucket and muttered something about getting some fresh water for Rusty before he left. Settling his gaze on the younger Scarborough the fire that glowed vehemently instantly diminished and a look of regret washed over his face. God he wasn’t sure how the hell the Scarborough’s had perfected it, but those sad kicked puppy eyes would strike the strongest and hardest of men right to their core. Daniel Helm had spilt more blood for Henry Scarborough than he had the intentions of giving, was done dragging him out of the water when he’d slipped too deep, he’d finally given up. But looking at Russell he couldn’t help but feel like he was letting his foreman down. He’d heard the stories from Russell, of what he had endured by the hands of Henry at a much younger age, nothing less of what he had and still he stood there and was set on saving his cousin. He couldn’t let him do it alone. “Jesus Christ,” He muttered harshly before rolling his eyes.

He can stay Rusty,” He concluded, glancing up at him with a bit more toleration and control in his gaze. “He can stay as long as it takes us to fix ‘im of this but as soon as he’s sober, he’s gone and he ain’t comin’ back.” Daniel was just edging back in his chair, propping his feet up on the table with an exaggerated groan, “I ain’t gonna let you take care of him alone, can’t do that t’my best worker and my friend.” Ignoring the ruckus in the back room Daniel instead turned his attention to large animal standing in the doorway, quite impressed with its size as he stood up and went to the kitchen for a quick moment, snagging a piece of salted pork from the pantry before returning and beckoning the dog closer with a whistle. “Lord knows that no cattle rustlers would be after the cattle if we had a pack of him running about.” He tossed the creature the pilfered just as Davion came from around the corner and instantly Helm’s calm manner grew stony again as he glared at him.

I wouldn’t go calling Henry Scarborough a man, Marshal,” Daniel’s voice was cold, chilly with the disconnection he made by referring to his friend by his job title rather than his fond nickname. Leaning back in his chair again Danny just threw his arms behind his head, closing his eyes in frustration. “All ya really need t’know is that Henry went and f*cked himself up again, in turn his family who went off to New York to get away from him while he gets better.” Danny opened his eyes again when Davion suggested throwing Henry in a cell and he was mildly interested, glancing over at Rusty but instantly shook his head with a groan. “No….no, we can handle him just fine. Believe me, what you saw coulda been a hellava lot worse.
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Russell Scarborough
Posted: May 7 2012, 04:09 AM


Heck
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April 19th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 5:00pm


From the enraged shouting of the banker down the hall Rusty guessed that irritability commonplace with the man’s condition was showing through. He was embarrassed, he was scared and he felt like shit, lashing out violently was a no brainer especially when the man was Davion Murphy, the most passive marshal anyone had probably ever seen. So he could get away with yelling at him just like Rusty and Danny could get away with shouldering him. Back in the day Sam used to order him around like a child; get my coffee, sweep the floor, throw that motherf***er outta here and the marshal did whatever he asked with a scowl on his face.

The foreman didn’t even notice Danny looking at him as he sat there leaning over the table, staring at his sad reflection in the polished oak looking bitterly abandoned. His boss groaned the lord’s name which roused little interest in Rusty who was going over in his mind how the hell he was going to pull this off alone. He finally said Henry could stay and Russell looked over at Helm like a kid whose father had just told him he could keep the beat up stray mongrel he had brought home. As Henry was being coaxed out from under the bed Danny took up interest in the marshal’s four legged companion who was showing his gentlemanly nature by standing just outside the door unless invited inside. His panting mouth snapped shut and the half pricked ears swiveled forward at sight of the meat and Angus’ nose quivered clearly interested but his feet remained planted. Just as he was snapping up the gifted morsel from the floor that first angry eruption echoed down the hall and he sprang back from the door before trotting off to finish his treat, “I bet he don’t hurt a fly.” the foreman muttered before scratching his head and looking up at his boss, “Thank you Danny, means a lot for ya t’keep tryin even after . . . that.” he gestured down the hall as Davion was coming back. At the sound of the familiar boots in the house the wolfhound returned still licking his lips, this time after a subtle gesture from Davion he came in and sat next to the marshal, resting his head on the lawman’s shoulder to be scratched.

Hearing that Henry had ‘f***ed up again’ came as no surprise but from the sound of the pained banker down the hall the marshal could only guess what it was he had gotten into this time. Well he knew where the Scarborough’s were now, Henry was here, Bella and the kids were in New York. At the suggestion of locking Henry up like an animal Rusty looked up at Davion, then to Danny with that somewhat expectant expression, hoping Helm would say no and was relieved when he did. The marshal nodded in agreement, yeah he could have gotten here five minutes later and found Henry in a broken bloody heap instead of in the clutches of the angry rancher, “Well alright . . . I uh, wish you luck boys I really do, it’s a shame but it happens.” he said soberly and stopped scratching the dog’s head, opting to throw his arm around him instead like a buddy at the bar, the scruffy hound rested his head on the tabletop.
“I done this before, I’s just eighteen but I admitted ‘im to a hospital so, I think I know what t’do, just need somebody bigger n’him t’help is all.” like now with him under the bed refusing to change his pants, of course from the sounds down the hall it seemed he was changing his pants, then opened a drawer, and another, and another. Rusty sighed looking back down at the table listening to the delusional banker rummaging through a drawer, pulling out spare bed sheets, clothes, pillow casings, candles searching, looking for what was not there. But in his desperation there was a shred of hope, no matter how small, that what he sought would miraculously appear in one of the dressers. Rusty stared down the hall with a blank expression, hoping someone would get up and go handle that man, he certainly didn’t want to. Drawer after drawer was pulled open to its max, a thud resounding in the hallway as each one meet the end of its track and was then relieved of its contents. Henry crawled to the middle of the room and laid down in the pile of misplaced items in his fresh pants and shivered as if from cold. Crossing his arms over his chest Henry grabbed fistfuls of his shirt in a tight white knuckle grip and prepared to ride out the first of many painful muscle cramps.
“Sounds like he’s havin fun in there.” Davion remarked when a cry of pain echoed down the hall, sounding about half terrified at the same time.
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Daniel Helm
Posted: May 8 2012, 03:46 AM


Anah
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April 20th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 12:00 pm


Daniel Helm had made a complete fool out of himself countless times on account of his easily triggered temper, clobbered more men than he’d care to count and owed upwards to a couple thousand in damages for his short fuse. The Helm temper was a curse bred into the men, slithered through their veins with each cantankerous beat of their heart. It was embarrassing how easily such a large and normally stoic man could be shaken to his core. Nathan Helm had been the proprietor of the infamous temper that left men moaning in the gutter and carted off to the doctor, there wasn’t a man in all of Nevada that could challenge that man’s level of uncontrollable rage- that was until the youngest boy. Daniel Helm was as ornery as an enraged bull and a right hook to match. Danny had embarrassed himself dozens of time, throwing his good name in the dirt with being so quick to take offense, that was, when he was younger. As he grew older, settled down and sought to make a life for himself he’d rose above that handicap. That hellfire that had normally triggered so many fights was stored away in the back of his heart, replaced that hot and heavy exterior with a man who handled situations with a stoic reservation. He’d managed to rein in that wrath for a while now, but there was something about Henry Scarborough that sent that countenance into shambles. Daniel wasn’t particularly proud of his brawling days as a younger man, was ashamed of how he could be so manipulated and driven to such a state. He was quick to apologize for his fights, often being the first to punch.

But when he’d thrown Henry against that wall he was wholehearted prepared to beat him within an inch of his life, with not intentions of feeling remorse for his actions. Daniel had not reservations of allowing that temper to rise back to the surface, he just let it surge over him like the choking surf of a flash flood and any coherent thought was gone. Sitting back, Daniel wasn’t sure what scared him more, his lack of effort to try and hold back or the fact that he just wanted to kick Henry’s teeth in. That thought alone kept him up the entire night before, even curled next to his wife with her sweet smelling hair tucked into his face, that ache in his chest only began to build. How could he let himself lose himself in such a pity emotions such as anger? Hadn’t he learned from past experiences where that gotten him? Hadn’t taking a knife to his stomach and waiting on death’s threshold been enough to convince him to curve that volatile and deadly temper?

It was only four in the morning when he finally realized there was no way he would be able to get a lick of sleep. Kissing Darla as he rose he went and got ready for the day, sat on the front porch and watched the sun rise in the distance. Watching that golden globe crest the horizon, that ache only began to intensify by the moment. He was so willing to throw down with Henry, like he craved it in some sick, sadistic way. A man he’d once seen as his brother, would have laid his life down for just months before- he was fully prepared to watch his blood stain the gravel. The thought of that alone left Helm hunched over the edge of the railing and purging whatever contents his stomach had to offer. Kicking a layer of dirt over the pile of sick he went about his normal chores for the day, letting the mind numbing grunt work eat away at the hours until the sun was beating down from the horizon.

It was getting on to noon when he walked through the threshold of the guest house, spying his foreman at the table as he walked up with a sympathetic look on his face, knowing that the younger man probably had an awful hard time sleeping with Henry’s mournful wailing all the night long. No stranger to a sleepless night he clapped his foreman on the back and offering him a thin smile, “How ya doin’, Rusty?” Pouring himself a cup of black coffee he sat across from the man, in silence until he got the courage to speak up. “What happened yesterday, Rusty, I was meanin’ t’apologize about that. I shouldn’t have lost my composure like that,” He took a gulp of the steamy liquid before sighing. “I’ve always had a hard time with that temper a’mine, but it just got out of hand and it shouldn’t have.” He downed the cup in another gulp, turning those baggy eyes back to the smaller man in front of him. “I’m gonna do all I can t’help fix Henry, just like I promised Bella I would, just like I promised you. What I said about bannin’ ‘im and everything….I take it back. The man’s not in his right mind and honestly when I said that, neither was I.

Standing up he turned toward that hallway, “You get yourself something t’eat and get a nap in before the afternoon work, ya probably need it. I’ll look at ‘im for now.” Daniel walked cautiously down the hallway before he entered the room, glanced halfway at Henry before observing the window, the majority of the glass having been swept and cleaned up. He’d have to send one of the hands out to Hanna’s later to get a replacement window. Carefully maneuvering to his familiar seat he stood there for a long moment, gazing intently at a painting they had for some reason left on the wall. “How’re you feelin’ today Henry? Need somethin’ t’eat? Drink?” The calm composure was a stark difference to his enraged shouting of the day before and he only prayed Henry was coherent enough today for him to apologize for what he’d done.
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Henry Scarborough
Posted: May 8 2012, 05:18 PM


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April 20th, 1869
Hellfire Ranch; Guest House
Around 12:00 pm


After Danny had cooled down considerably and left after Davion departed their company Rusty had gone in and sat with his troubled cousin for a while until he could coax him back into bed and out of the pile of crap on the floor. What Henry had dragged out in the space of five minutes took the foreman nearly two hours to fold back up and put away, all the while Henry laid in bed with his arms crossed tight over his stomach, trying not to breathe too deeply in an effort to escape that stabbing pain ravaging his insides. He had said once or twice he wouldn’t be surprised if he started pissing blood. Unfortunately unlike his last withdrawal it wasn’t just opium this time, Henry had gone off on a bender and consumed enough alcohol to kill a horse in a seven week span and now they were just cutting it off on him and his body, having grown dependent on the stuff, was not appreciative. Russell asked him a few times if he was cold since Henry was shuddering like the bed linens were sheets of ice rather than spun cotton and he would just shake his head and go into another coughing fit. He was either coughing, sneezing, sniffling or dry heaving and vomiting. If it hadn’t been for the cramps and the shakes one may have just written his illness off as the common flu but there was something deep, dark and sinister lurking beneath the surface there, something that could very well end him and that was why Russell was keeping such a close watch on him.

Through the night and not a problem to be had until about four this morning. Not that the foreman had been sleeping much, the creaking bedframe in the room rattling with Henry’s shuddering muscle spasms or that steady rhythmic squeak when he gathered himself in his favored corner, wrapped himself around a pillow and rocked back and forth for hours like a disturbed child. Then it got pretty quiet around three, the foreman’s lids growing heavy as he leaned on the back of the chair and as soon as he was drifting off a horrified scream jerked him awake and he turned up the oil lamp to find Henry in the floor tangled in his sheets and kicking at them like they were trying to eat him. The crazed banker managed to free himself and soon after froze in his panic attack awaiting his brain to make sense of his surroundings as Rusty tried to calm him. It had to have been a night terror and he was either still terribly frightened or embarrassed again because after that he tried crawling under the bed, his safe place where it was dark and cozy and nothing could hurt him. But seeing no other way of handling him Russell couldn’t let his cousin go out of sight, he had to check his fever every few hours and that would be difficult with him under the bed. Just as his legs were vanishing the foreman grabbed them and pulled Henry back out into the open room, his nails leaving the unsettling marks of his desperation behind. But he hadn’t said a word, curled up on the floor after he was removed from under the bed and stared into nothingness while Rusty stripped the mattress of the hazardous sheets. After that his cousin broke out in a cold sweat and Russell managed to coax him out of the shirt he insisted on wearing to cover the scars across his back and he cooled down considerably, a breeze blowing through the glassless window was a great help in keeping his fever down but Trusty Rusty had cool rags in the ice box just in case. By five this morning Henry was back in bed with no sheets, shirt or socks just his pants and a pillow he refused to let go of, squeezing it to ride out the muscle cramps and biting down into the fabric when they got particularly bad. In his fever induced delirium he repeated non sensible things over and over, saying his blood hurt whatever that meant. Long, jagged raking nail marks scarred the floor and wall paper but so far that was the only damage sustained since the broken window. Henry was in far too much pain to cause any more problems, he just wanted to go home and would sit and sob like a child begging to go home over and over and over and Rusty would just sit there on the bed and tell him again and again that he would eventually be going home but not today.

The nagging cough turned into dry heaves and if Rusty got Henry to eat or drink anything he would just throw it back up into that poor bucket by his bed. But he had to keep him hydrated, which was hard as hell when he was sweating it back out. Closer to noon around ten that morning he started complaining of a smell, the stench of rotting wood and Rusty could smell nothing until he got closer to the man complaining of the odor and smelled it on his breath. Whatever was causing it had to have been normal because he had mentioned it last time when he withdrew in Ohio. Needless to say neither one of them got any sleep the night before or during the day up until noon when Rusty left Henry to his room for a cup of coffee. Danny came in, slowly as if on a mission of mercy and feeling dejected and soon Russell found out why. As justified as it may have seemed at the time neither one of them had the excuse he reckoned to have blown up the way Danny had, or to have stood by and let it happen like Russell had. The only sane one had been Davion. Of course Rusty was the one that ended up washing Henry’s pants later that day, “I appreciate it Danny, I really do.” a half smirk and the foreman looked down at the table a moment as if at a loss for words in his sleep deprived state, “Sleep . . . sleep sounds great.” he finally agreed, blinking and trying to focus his vision on the clock across the room but it was useless and he slowly got to his feet and shuffled for the door, “If he says somethin weird don’t worry about it, he ain’t makin no kinda sense, just make sure that fever don’t get too bad I got rags in the icebox and a bath in the wash room if it gets real outta hand just dunk ‘im . . . oh, don’t take his pillow he don’t like it, if he spaces out too much talk to him some, if he still don’t snap out of it you c’n try clappin or somethin I just don’t want ‘im driftin off too far . . . and uh . . .” he stopped and came back into the house a little, “When he spaces out like that I wanna bring ‘im around real quick t’make sure he ain’t . . . havin a fit or somethin, Doc said if he started havin fits he might . . . I might a’lost ‘im in Canton.” while they were staying in the hospital Rusty had seen a man having such a fit on the same ward Henry was on, he was sitting there perfectly okay then zoned out and started convulsing, it was undoubtedly the scariest thing he had ever seen. But he didn’t know enough about them to know that even snapping Henry out of a trance would not ward off an impending seizure, if he was going to have one, it was happening regardless. The foreman left for the door again and just as he got there he wheeled around one last time, “Oh! An’ if he starts coughin up blood, that’s normal.” and then left, leaving Danny to wonder how in the hell that was normal.

When the rancher came in and took his seat Henry was in his usual corner, the wall darkened and stained with his sweat, sitting up with a white knuckle grip on the intricate metal bed frame, the tendons standing out on his arms as his ribs spread and contracted with each struggled breath, “Fan-f***in-tastic.” he rasped, his throat dry and gravelly from all the coughing and it had been scratchy before from all the alcohol, now he sounded like an old man. But he scoffed halfway through his answer, unable to express his obvious sarcasm without cracking up at least a little bit. His hands tightened on the metal frame and creaked much like the leather of a saddle as a cramp kicked him in the belly so hard he shuddered again, rattling the bed, “I wouldn’ min’ a glass o’water . . . please.” he slurred and relaxed, the cramps may have come and gone but the aching was constant.
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