The two solitary figures rode side by side into the untamed town of
Corners. People on the boardwalk stopped to watch in silence as the two
newcomers entered their town. They were teenage girls; pasts unknown and
thoughts hidden from view. One was elegantly dressed in a blue flowered
dress and the other wore dark brown overalls with a plaid flannel shirt
underneath. Their hats hung low over their eyes masking their faces from
the on lookers.
"God awful town, looks like a hole," one exclaimed. The
stranger's strong opinions made her seem taller and more imposing than her
small stature would suggest. Her blue-green eyes pierced those who dared
"Better than most of the places we've ridden through before,"
voice came from behind the small dark brown Stetson. The deep big brown
eyes shone behind her black oval rimmed spectacles, taking in all their
"We need to check the local paper. Heard them desperadoes we're
passing through these parts," the dark haired opinionated one, called
"You check the paper and I'll see to the horses and find us some
Nutmeg replied hopping off her strawberry roan and taking it's reins and
her buckskins in her hand. She waited patiently for Elixir to dismount and
then took her piebald reins from her. "I'll get some rooms at the boardin'
house and then meet with you at the restaurant later."
""I'll catch you later then," Elixir responded and headed off
in search of
the town's paper head office. A door creaked and Elixir's attention was
directed to a fair-haired woman who stepped up from behind her desk.
"Excuse me Ma'am, but do you know where the paper office is located
in this town?" Elixir asked politely.
The woman smiled, as her eyes examined the young figure across
"What's you name, hon?"
"Elixir, and I'm looking for the paper office," she repeated earnestly.
"Well you've found it," the woman replied. "My name is Mary Travis
own the paper. What are you looking for?"
"I need to see the most recent issue of your paper."
A deep soft voice arose form the shadows. "I'm afraid I have the
issue," said a lady of twenty-two. She had an elegant silk dress of
violet, which accentuated her rosy cheeks and dancing ice blue eyes. Mary
Travis stepped out leaving the two to deal with it. Elixir picked up the
woman's soft southern drawl and eyed her skeptically.
"I am in dire need of that paper Ma'am," Elixir said as politely
The woman looked at her annoyed at the teenagers' mock sweetness.
"Look here now, I paid for this paper and unless you start doling out
cash, you can't have it."
"There's an article I'm looking for so if I could just see it
we could go
our separate ways." Elixir's eyes pierced into those of the strangers, both
of them locked in a battle of wills. Finally satisfied and done assessing
one another, the woman handed her the paper. Elixir took it scanning the
pages to look for an article that might help her find her families murderers.
She intently read each page, and was about to give up when she came across
an article titled, "BANK HEIST - BAND OF OUTLAWS INVOLVED."
She quickly read the article, intent on finding where they were headed.
"Purgatorio, that's where they're going. Damn bastards, you're
in hell when I find you!" Elixir stormed in vengeance. The stranger's face
turned in disbelief.
"Who are you after?" She demanded to know.
"That's none of your damn business," Elixir retorted. "Here's
now you ain't seen or heard nothing, you hear?"
"You know, I don't take kindly to youngin's that threaten me."
"Who you calling young?!"
"What's the ruckus all about ladies?" Nutmeg had heard the shouting
outside and had decided to intervene, before someone got hurt and Elixir
did something drastic.
"This child tried to attack me," the southern belle, Gabrielle
proclaimed stepping away and moving towards the door. She turned just as
she was about to exit and added, "By the way dear I have perfect hearing
and 20/20 vision. Good day," and she sashayed out. Nutmeg watched her
leave and turned to see Elixir's face contort with seething anger and
frustration. She shot her friend a warning glance and they walked out
together, Elixir collecting herself.
"I did some checking around earlier, nobody should recognize us,"
said between mouthfuls of stew. They were sitting in a restaurant eating
That's good," Elixir replied.
They were an unlikely pair, Nutmeg and Elixir, but their understanding
camaraderie kept them together. They had met in the circus, but had never
really gotten to know each other till six months ago. Desperadoes killed
Elixir's family when she was twelve and the circus, needing trainees, had
recruited her. She had learned to throw daggers and use a whip with great
expertise and had picked up medicine from the circus doctor who she had
bonded with. Nutmeg, on the other hand, had run away from home at
thirteen. Her parents were poor and couldn't feed her and her younger
siblings so she decided to leave. Nutmeg then joined the circus for money
and a place to stay, but sent all her earnings to her family back home.
She learned to stunt ride, shoot and rope exceptionally during her stay
with the circus and her skills with the bow and arrow and animals came in
handy too. She had befriended a Native animal healer who taught her to
understand animals and heal the creatures as well. Where as Elixir was
good at healing people, Nutmeg could heal animals and talk to them. Then
the circus managers and owners started cutting back on wages and treating
the performers and animals miserably. Whenever anyone messed up an act
they would beat him or her and take their earnings away. The people tried
to revolt and demand better treatment, but as a show of power and to keep
the performers in line, the managers killed Nutmeg's dear old Native
companion. Nutmeg went in to a blind rage and stormed one night in to the
master's tent. There she found Elixir being whipped and beaten. In
Nutmeg's fury and Elixir's they killed the manager and his other two men
that were in with him. Thus, wanted and on the run, they formed a great
bond and learned about each other's pasts and dreams for the future. They
only had each other and relied on their companionship and abilities to stay
alive and out of the law's grasp.
"Anyways I'm gonna go check on the horses and give Cody some excercise.
Reckon we could both use some. If you need me you'll know where I'll be,"
Nutmeg told Elixir as she got up, flipping some coins on the table and
pulling her hat back on. She pushed her long straight dark brown hair off
the side of her neck, and dusted the breadcrumbs off her brown overalls.
She smiled down at her friend, "Guess I'd better find some work too, seein'
as we'll be stayin' here for a while."
"I'm going to go get some shut-eye. Oh, and check on Raven
there," Elixir added yawning widely and placing her money on the table as
well. She got up and they walked out together. Both were about the same
height, Nutmeg at 5'4 and Elixir at 5'5. Elixir had a small, thin build
and Nutmeg a small, but filled out more form, both average.
"Later I guess," Nutmeg said, and they parted going their separate ways.
Nutmeg strolled down the street casually, relaxed and glad to be
staying put for a bit in this small, untamed town. She placed her hands in her
pockets and whistled gingerly all the way to the Livery.
"Howdy, sweeties," she called to her horses, Cody and Daisy, and they
nickered in response from their stalls, placing their heads over the
doors. She patted them on the noses giving them each a kiss and then she went
over to check on Elixir's mount, Raven.
"Looks like you and Daisy could use some fresh air while I excercise
She opened the stall door for Raven and he willingly followed her out, not needing
to be led by a rope. She came back and did the same for Daisy placing them both
in a small fenced in pasture outside. Nutmeg then went back in to brush and saddle
Cody and when she was done hopped on, riding off to find an open area to
practice her riding stunts. She found a nice smoothed out section of land
just outside of the town, and began to warm up as Cody trotted widely in a
perfect circle. Nutmeg rolled off backwards over Cody's rump, landing
neatly on her feet and asked him to canter. She practiced various
stunts, from somersaulting over her gelding to standing and flipping off its
rump, and all the while Cody cantered and galloped neatly in a circle.
"Well, would you look at that," Buck said, pointing in the direction
of the teen riding her
mount, practicing stunts on it. Him and Vin had been riding in from Nettie's farm and had
come across Nutmeg. They watched with awe and fascination at the tricks the teenager
could perform with such ease and grace on her buckskin.
"I've only seen that kind of riding in the circus," Vin commented, noting
that the Judge had
warned the seven in a telegram about two runaway youths from the circus, that were wanted
Nutmeg, seeing the two men watching her stopped, annoyed that they were
sitting there, staring. She turned Cody around to face them and clucked to him to gallop at top
neck speed towards the onlookers. As she sped towards them she swung low in the saddle to pick
up her felt brown hat and skidded to a halt right in front of the two men, dust and chunks of dirt flying
everywhere. They looked at her astounded, their mounts snorting, and Buck grinned realizing it was
a girl who could ride so well, and Vin looked a little shocked as well. Nutmeg's buckskin snorted
impatiently, tossing his head and sniffing the other two horses in front of him. He stomped his feet
restlessly, his taunt muscles wound up like a cord, ready to spring at any given moment.
"Can I help you boys?" Nutmeg drawled in a mock southern accent.
She regarded them warily,
smiling, only putting on a polite act for their sake. She disguised her voice so they wouldn't know
of her true origin. They regarded her just as warily, Buck with an oafish grin curving on his
lips and Vin trying to read her thoughts.
"That was some ridin' there Miss," Vin drawled taking out his canteen and taking a swig.
"Ma'am you wouldn't be happenin' to be stayin' in Four Corners now would
you?" Buck inquired
looking at the girl warmly, noting her big brown eyes and soft features. She reminded him of a girl
he had once met at a circus a long time ago, someone he had befriended, but had lost contact with.
"Don't think that's any of your business sir. I must be going," Nutmeg
shot back, her eyes flashing,
and turned her mount towards Four Corners. "Next time I'd appreciate it if you'd not spy on me,"
and she galloped off, her long brown braid flapping behind her.
"Wonder what that was all about?" Buck asked, his eyes following
the girl until she was out of sight
and then he glanced back at Vin.
"Don't know, but I think we should find out." The two silently nodded
in agreement and trotted towards
the town, both having troubled thoughts on their minds.
Nutmeg entered the town quietly, chewing the end of a piece of grass,
thinking about the tall man
with the mustache that she had just met. Something about him was awfully familiar, but she couldn't put her
finger quite on it. She looked around the streets and spotted Elixir talking with a young handsome gentleman.
Figures, she thought, a smile played at the corners of her lips and she watched, laughter in her eyes. She sat
sidesaddle atop Cody, her left leg swung over the horn lazily.
"Nutmeg, where are you going?" Elixir had seen her friend try and ride
by inconspicuously, but had noticed the
girl watching her and JD. JD watched the two girls open mouthed with curiosity, as they talked openly in the
"Don't you recall what happened last the time you went in a Saloon?"
"Hell, this town could use some rousin' up and I'm dying for a drink,
haven't had a sarsaparilla in a long time."
Nutmeg smiled devilishly, the grass dangling wildly between her teeth, and was now sitting backwards on
her mount, who was intent on getting to the Livery. She was trying to finish her conversation with Lixie, but
Cody would have nothing of it.
"You're more than welcome to join me Ma'am, oh, and ah, bring your friend."
She quickly turned in the saddle, not wanting Elixir to see her
laugh, but could feel her friends eyes bore into her
back. Elixir just smiled, knowing Nutmeg was just teasing her, and she returned to talking with JD.
"Well, here goes..," Nutmeg told herself and pushed the swinging doors
of the Saloon open striding in to the
sparsely lit room. The tinkling of the piano in the background made her smile contentedly. Music, finally, she
thought and sidled up to the bar. She noticed a couple of eyes on her, but just put her hat lower over her eyes
and sat down in a stool. "Uh, bartender can I get some service over here?"
"What can I get you boy…uh, I mean Miss?" The bartender looked at Nutmeg
warily, but she smiled sweetly at
him, hooking her thumbs on her gun belt.
"Can I get a sarsaparilla?"
"We don't serve youngin's here, kid. Specially not girl youngin's."
"Look, all I want is a nice, cool sarsaparilla and then I'll go. It's a promise and no trouble will come to you."
"Trouble?" He laughed in her face, making her grimace at his bad breath,
but she stayed calm even though she
felt like shoving a shot glass down his throat. He went to go get her a bottle chuckling all the way. "Men…,"
Nutmeg grumbled, but cheered up as he put down the drink in front of her. He left her alone and she gulped it
down savoring the cool drink, slapping the bottle atop the counter when she finished. "Ahhhhhhhh." She stretched
out spying around the dimly lit Saloon, not noticing a young woman watching her from one of the far tables at the
back. Chris watched her too, as well as Josiah and she glared at them.
"Jeez, these guys are gonna bore holes in the back of my head for Pete's
sake." Her interest perked up as she
spotted a fashionably dressed con man cheating at poker at a table near the door. He was really good, they hadn't
even caught on and she watched intently, amusement on her face.
"Hey, you, boy get the hell out of my stool!" A big burly man had come
up from the side of Nutmeg and she
turned to face the bar, trying not to pick a fight. Noticing a half filled shot glass of whiskey in front of her
she put it in her mouth, and fished around in her pockets for a match. Out of the corner of her eye she spied the
woman who was watching her earlier cock her gun under the table. Great, she thought to herself more trouble.
Finding the match, Nutmeg struck it up against the bar watching it burn slowly, hopefully she wouldn't have to use it.
"I said, get the hell out of my stool boy!" The big ugly man spun Nutmeg
around in anger and in an instant she spit
out the whiskey onto the flame of the match, creating a blowtorch, searing the burly man. He cried out in pain,
trying to douse the flames off his clothes, running out of the Saloon shouting back at her, "I'll get you, kid. You
were lucky this time!"
"Kid, who you callin' kid! And I'm a girl dammit!" She turned
back to the bartender to offer an apology for the scene.
"Sorry 'bout that sir," Nutmeg apologized to the bartender as he stormed over to her. She gave him a sheepish grin,
but he began yelling at her.
"Get the hell out of my Saloon, you trouble maker! You're scaring my
customers away! I don't ever wanna see
you in here again, is that understood?"
"Hey, he attacked me! Geesh, what's with this place anyway? Aw,
forget it," Nutmeg muttered, getting up to
leave noticing the lady watching her again as well as Chris and Josiah.
"What?" She just walked on though, shaking it off, stopping at
a poker table right before the door. She
pointed at Ezra smugly, who watched her, holding a hand of cards. He was playing against some of the locals.
"He's cheating y'all, damn good con artist too, got an ace of spades up his sleeve," and she walked out almost
barreling into Elixir and JD on their way in.
"Hey, where are you going?" Elixir asked, knowing by the look on her friends face that she had been kicked out again.
"We gonna start this conversation again? Don't even say it, okay, I know what you're thinkin'."
"Say what? I told you so?" Elixir grinned widely and Nutmeg just shook
her head, rolling her eyes exasperatedly.
She walked off breaking into a huge grin, chuckling all the way to the Livery and the people on the street just
stared. Elixir turned to JD and they walked into the Saloon, a fight had erupted at a poker table and Ezra was in
the midst of it all trying to calm the locals down. He definitely had a bone to pick with that rowdy teenager. Chris
and Josiah just sat back and watched, taking it all in with laughter written on their faces.
"You got some friend there Miss Elixir," JD said shaking his head and
pulling out a chair for Lixie to sit down on at
one of the tables.
"That I do Mr. Dunne."
Tell Nutmeg what
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