1862/01/22 Letters And Lies
Scene Letters And Lies
Characters Fallon Cooke Peter
Place Pony Express Office
Date Sunday 22nd January, morning

Sunday morning bright and Early finds Fallon sitting on his wooden chair on the front step of the Express office. the church bells had rung and found the boy absent. Dressed in his buckskins, his beat up, ever present hat sitting on his head, even the cold weather didn't seem to assuage the boy from his usual habits. a Horse blanket across his lap as he goes about mending it.

Traildust-covered, weathered clothes and unwashed, a fellow walks into the Pony Express office. He looks ill at ease, nervous even.. The written word though legible does not come easy to this man. He ducks a little on his way in, so that the long rifle protruding from over his shoulder clears the door, then straightens up and removes his wide-brimmed hat. He takes a step toward the desk, expectantly.

Peter makes his way to the pony express by his usual method. That is, with his walking cane held ahead to hit any potential obstacles, he walks from building to building, his free hand outstretched to brush along the front wall of each building he passes. Once he reaches the Pony Express building's door, he turns in, steps to just one side of the doorway, then stops there.

Looking over his shoulder into the office, Fallon pushes his hat back on his head and calls out. "He'p you gentlemen?" As he speaks, he stands and steps in after them. Looking like a teenager himself, the tanned youth moves around to the desk.

The very dusty and trailworn man leans an elbow upon the desk, laying his hat atop it. "Anythin' fer Jed Cooke?" he asks, gruffly, rubbing a calloused hand against his chin. He puts his eyes to the youngin' in charge of the messages. In charge of a message that could mean fortune or failure to Cooke. "I'm expectin' a letter" he explains.

Peter smiles uncertainly, but it gets a little more certain when Cooke answers. "I take it I've found the Pony Express, then," he says, with a little chuckle. "I'm waiting for a letter, as well. Peter Clarke."

Kicking some of the snow from his moccasins, Fallon moves to check the inbound messages. flipping through a stack, the boy hands a dog eared and well traveled envelope to Jed. "one f'r you mister." still riffling through the stack, he adds idly. "Thought you wasn't s'posed to be out of the church on Sundays Padre. But yer letter's here." moving across the floor on quiet feet, the youth places the letter in the priest's hand.

Cooke looks over his shoulder, then scoots out of the way. "Yer'onner" he says to Peter, touching his forelock, or at least where his forelock would be if he had hair.. He takes up his envelope greedily, almost snatching it. "How long you had this?" he asks Fallon, "What date is it now?" He opens the envelope and peers at the paper inside.

Peter gets a bit of an amused look at that, and accepts the envelope. It's a rather thick one, compared to a normal letter. "Oh? Are you Catholic?" he wonders, politely, to the boy. "I don't remember meeting you, so you'll have to excuse me… It's a lot of new voices to learn." He opens his on the spot as well, but not with quite the…enthusiasm of Cooke. Instead, he carefully tears the end and slips some pages free. There's no writing on them, but he slides a few fingers across the front, then smiles and slips them back into the envelope. "Exactly what I was waiting for. Thank you."

Looking at Cooke, Fallon considers for a moment, then shrugs. "come in day 'fore yesterday. Good timing really." Looking back to the Preacher, he adds. "Me? I'm Tsehesenestsestotse." Unbeknownst to the preacher, he didn't look it.

'So it be.. The.. The.. Consigner.. No.. Consigarner.. No.. Ah, *Consignment* of arms and ammunit-' Cooke's finger scrapes across the paper before him, the reads aloud, though quietly the words he can understand.. He looks up suddenly, as he still had half an ear open, his brow furrows. "That's an Injun name, you don't look it, boy"

By the blank look that Peter gives, it's clear he's never heard that one before. And oh so politely, he smiles, and wonders, "Is that one of those new Protestant sects?" And then Cooke's observation clarifies things for him, and his brows lift with surprised realization. "Oh! Oh… I'm sorry." He looks a little less comfortable than he did a moment before that realization.

Grinning at Cooke, Fallon nods. "Irish actually. but raised Cheyenne since i was about tick turd tall." Trying not to listen to the brigand's reading of his letter, he moves over to throw another log in the wood stove. "You need someone to read that letter for you Padre?"

Cooke grins, "Well, fair" he says, "Can't none of us help how we we're named. For our bastard fathers, from natives, or even from fuckin' Irish" he gives nod to the blind Padre, "Beggin' yer pardon, yer honour" He scrunches up the letter in his hand and puts it into the empty holster at his hip, saving it for later.

Peter shakes his head a little, and takes a step slightly toward the doorway. "No, it's all right. This one's in Braille… And in any case, I'm sure Sister Mercy would help." He gives a faint smile. "You know… um. You don't have to call me that. Father Clarke. Or… Peter's fine…. I should probably be getting back to the church." He then proceeds to knock an elbow into the doorway with a hollow 'thunk' and a grimace. Oops.

Moving over to the desk, Fallon settles into his chair and nods quietly. "You have a good day Padre. The singin's mighty pretty from here." looking back to Cooke, the boy chuckles. "Yeah…names. I've got more names than I could write on a piece of paper. you Anglos call me one thing, my people call me something else. Blackfeet have another name for me. Gets so I forget which one is me from week to week."

Cooke chuckles, then takes on a concerned look as the Padre bumps into the doorway. He leans over the desk, beckoning with his finger. "Listen close, son" he says to Fallon, his voice barely more than a murmur, oblivious of the knowledge that lack of one sense enhances the others. "You ever get a Federal bounty sent this way for Josiah or 'Jed' Cooke you keep it and don't pass it on. Let me know and there's coin in it for you. If one appears then your's is the first door kicked down. How's that?"

Watching Jed for a moment, Fallon raises an eyebrow as the man gives him the ultimatum. Leaning back in his chair slightly, the boy Eyes him for a full 5 count before he speaks quietly. "You ever rob an express rider Mr. Cooke?"

Peter said he was going to leave, and perhaps he really ought to do that… But it's awfully hard to go with such interesting business so easily overheard. He lingers in the doorway for a moment, pretending to rub at the bumped elbow and gather himself. Totally not eavesdropping, nope.

Cooke leans both his elbows on the desk, shoving his resting hat aside, concentrating, seemingly oblivious of eavesdroppers. "Now where's the profit in that?" he asks, "Just supposing.. Letters and papers?" he shakes his head. "If it don't gleam, well.. I got some friends, and everyone needs their share. Papers ain't worth nothin' to me and mine. I never stopped a rider and that's my word on it" he says, matter of factly.

As Jed reassures him, Fallon finally grins and shrugs. "Well then, So long as my boys is left alone by you and yours, What do I care what you Anglos do mister?"

Peter tilts his head slightly, then ducks out through the door and into the street, where he has to pause again. This time, not for eavesdropping purposes, but to get reoriented.

Jed Cooke gathers up his hat, plonks it upon his head then touches the brim to Fallon. "You don't care at all, son" he says, grinning, "And it benefits you to not care, I'll see you right" he winks. "I don't give a half a damn what your name is, them as help me out get looked after, and I'll tell you good morning" He nods again, then steps to the door, "Yer hon- Ahm, Father Clarke, let me help you find your way there" he calls.

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