A Foreign World
November, 1862. A last battle is held in Lexington, Kentucky, cornering the Union army against the Appalachian Mountains. A surrender is filed and the Civil War ends. Now it is the middle of the month, and reconstruction has begun...
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SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley snorted. "We don't need you or your wonderful strategies, General. If you haven't noticed, we've been able to support ourselves and win with ourselves and what we already have. The momentary truce was gone as soon as it had started, and Riley's dissaproval of strategizing was evident. He was a resourceful man, but not intelligent in strategy; he worked with instinct and tended to come out on top with that.

2/17/2010 #61
writingbythepower

"Strategy never hurts. You can never be too prepared. Man who thinks he's invicible always dies when he least expects it. Achilles and the Trojan War. A good lesson." He was enjoying this, a little duel. He was never good with words, but when it came to defending what he saw as right the words just come out. We shall learn to get along eventually. "How often do you have wounded or dead?"

2/17/2010 #62
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley folded his arms, glaring. "What the Trojans did doesn't affect what we do against the Indians. The Trojans aren't Indians, if you haven't already noticed that, General." After General Jackson asked his second question, Riley answered, "Not frequently, in one or two raids a month." Making it clear that he didn't want to continue talking of military matters, he moved towards the stallion, reaching out and setting a hand on his rear. The horse glared distrustfully.

2/17/2010 #63
writingbythepower

Jackson ignored the what Riley had said, knew that he had drawn the boy into a corner that he didn't understand. Following Riley to the horse, he looked at it for a moment. He had never been good with horses, or any animal really. However, he respected them very much. The power that they had, the strength. It was something to reckon with.

2/17/2010 #64
SnowClaw of Windclan

After a moment of silence, the horse reared, screeching with anger and kicking at him. Riley moved back, smiling, swore. Wesley threw back his head, loudly barking with laughter at his companion, and Riley turned to him, smirking. "Would you like to try, Wesley?" Wesley raised both brows, laughed again.

2/17/2010 #65
writingbythepower

He was silent for a moment as the men laughed. Not knowing what to do, he walked over ever so silently and began to gentle pat the horse on the head. Animals were never something that he understood, but he enjoyed being around horses. They were strong creatures, good animals. The horse's head was moving now, looking at him with an intense glare. He continued to pet the animal, not doing anything to startle him.

2/17/2010 #66
SnowClaw of Windclan

The stallion reared, lunging first and then turning sharply on his heel, his ears pinned back and his nostrils flaring furiously. Riley folded his arms, glaring at General Jackson. "He's not a fine bred Eastern Thoroughbred, if you haven't noticed. If you were kept captive you wouldn't want a bunch of Yankees all over your face." He would break him the next afternoon, Riley decided, as the horse needed time to calm down. "Wesley, I'm going to take him down to the other corral."

"Fine by me." Wesley moved forward to undo the knots on the post; haned--tossed, rather--the ropes to Riley, who started to lead his thrashing captive to the corral. The handsome creature stopped when they reached the gate, a wild look in his eyes, and reared; when he came back down Riley gave him a slap on the r***; he trotted into the fenced in area with his ears pinned.

At this point Rileyy watched him, smiled to himself. No, he wouldn't castrate this horse, he was far too wonderful of a spirit to do such a thing, he wanted the White Face's colts.

2/17/2010 #67
writingbythepower

When the horse moved, he moved back only slightly. He wasn't afraid of the horse, wasn't afraid of much. He wasn't trying to make it feel captured, but to feel relaxed. He looked over at Riley, thought, Sometimes that's not so easy. Following the man, he watched both Riley and the horse. "He's a beautiful creature. One of God's many beautiful creatures."

2/17/2010 #68
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley nodded, climbing over the fence and slowly approaching the Mutang stallion. The horse--now that he was on his own ground, or as close to--pinned his ears, but didn't flee. Riley started towards him, reached forward; the horse reared again, bolting across the corral and throwing his head before stopping on the opposite side of the men. Wesley clapped a few times, Riley shot him a dark smile.

2/17/2010 #69
writingbythepower

Jackson watched, looking from each man to the horse over and over again. He was only slightly concerned for them, knew that they knew what they were doing. It was all so foreign, and rather exciting. It is a new land, a new world. You haven't been here in a long time, but you'll get used to it.

2/17/2010 #70
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley started towards the horse again, but he reared and cantered in another direction still, his tail lashing. After about thirty minutes, Riley climbed back over the fence covered in dust, sitting on a log by the campfire from the previous night and taking out some food wrapped in a dirty cloth, started to eat.

2/17/2010 #71
writingbythepower

Not truly hungry but willing to have a conversation, Jackson sat by the man. He stared at the burnt logs where the campfire had been, looked over at all of the land. It was as beautiful as he could remember, nothing had changed. It was the West, Texas and Mexico and all of it. It was his home away from home, and he loved it.

2/17/2010 #72
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley watched him with dislike for a moment before he turned back to his food, bending forward to pour some coffee into his dirty tin cup from the pot that had hung over the smoldering, still-smoking ashes. He moved his chewing tobacco to the side of his mouth and took a swig of the coffee from his cup, smelled the smoke, remembered. After a moment he turned his mind back to his previous line of thoughts, the stallion in the corrall about twenty feet away.

2/17/2010 #73
writingbythepower

It was silent, the way Jackson prefered it. He sat and thought of Virginia, the war, Mexico, of Mary. It was all so distant, so far away and only in the back of his head. Yet, there it was, right in front of him at the same time. He was unsure of how to feel, didn't know what to think. He did the only thing he could think of. He began to pray, raising his arm in the sky for both the prayer and his circulation. Silently, only in his thoughts, he began to speak to God. Dear Lord, thank You for this day. You have blessed me in so many ways, in the simpliest of ways. I ask You, Lord, to be with my wife. Help her in her daily struggles, that we may be together soon. Your loving power and goodness is a light before me....

2/17/2010 #74
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley turned, heard the prayer. Texas wasn't nearly as religious of a state as Virginia, neither was his home state, and thus, he wasn't a very religious man. To Riley Simon, 'religion' consisted of maybe a prayer when he was in danger--maybe--but for the most part, although he believed in God, he didn't practice Christianity faithfully. "You've got a wife," he stated when Jackson was done. For once his words weren't entirely meant to sting.

2/17/2010 #75
writingbythepower

Jackson finished praying, turned to Riley. "Yes, I do. She's on her way from Virginia. I haven't seen her much since before the war. Even in peace it seems impossible to be near each other. I miss her, of course." He sighed slightly, thinking of Mary. Turning back to Riley, he asked, "And do you have a wife, Riley?"

2/17/2010 #76
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley shook his head, spat out a spitoon to his right, away from Jackson. Taking a new piece of chewing tobacco, the ranger stated, "I don't. I'm no dandy, Mr. Jackson, if you haven't noticed. I don't have any money to give her and I'm a ranger sent out to fight Indians. There aren't parties and dances here. What you see is what you get."

2/17/2010 #77
writingbythepower

"I don't believe being married has anything to do with dances or being a dandy. I know what I get here. I get everything I deserve, everything that I earn. It's the way man was meant to live, the way I prefer to live." He nodded, looked at Riley and then back to the campfire. Turning to his bag on his side, he took out a lemon and a knife. After cutting it, he began to eat the lemon silently.

2/17/2010 #78
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley snorted, rolling his eyes. "Apparently that's not the way you prefer to live, or you wouldn't live in Virginia with a herd of politicians and high brass peacocks masquerading as Generals." He bent forward, putting his elbows on his knees and looking at the smoke. He would visit the citizens later, call on a few friends in the town.

2/17/2010 #79
writingbythepower

Jackson shook his head. "I live in Lexington. I am a teacher, or was one. I live there because I was born there, I was raised there, and every thing I've ever cared about lives there. I don't care for Generals, myself. Some of them, at least. I've met my fair share of politicans turned Generals and I've met good men. Take each man as he comes." He never looked at Riley, simply continued to eat his lemon.

2/17/2010 #80
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley huffed crossly. "Looked in the mirror?" He continued chewing his chewing tobacco, getting up from where he had sat and dusting off the seat of his britches. He walked over to his mare, mounting and turning to him. "I'm going to go into the town. Come if you have to take notes on that, too."

2/17/2010 #81
writingbythepower

Jackson shook his head, knew that the young man would never understand. After shaking, however, he gave a slight nod. "Certainly, sir. I'll join you. The more I learn the better it seems to be." Trying a smile, he went over and mounted Little Sorrel, turning to follow Riley.

2/17/2010 #82
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley saw the small gesture and huffed, leaning back in the saddle and setting a hand on the horm not for support, but out of habit. In his left hand, he held the reins, spurring the bay mare and bringing her to a trot, kicking up dust behind her and to her sides. They arrived at the small, unnamed town a few minutes later; Riley stopped his horse in front of one of the houses. "Marilyn!" he called, "It's Riley!"

A pretty but slightly plain woman with blonde hair pulled into a messy bun headed down the porch steps, opening the wooden gate. Riley dismounted, smiling at his childhood friend. "Would you like some lemonade?" She asked them, inclining her head towards a pictcher on the wooden table on the porch.

"That would be great, Marilyn," Riley said, smiling.

2/17/2010 #83
writingbythepower

Jackson nodded at the woman, took off his hat. "It is a pleasure to meet you, ma'am. I am General Thomas Jackson." A smile came across his face, looking at Riley. I sense something with this woman and Riley. I can see it, but I won't say anything of course.

2/17/2010 #84
SnowClaw of Windclan

Marilyn smiled back at him as they headed up the steps; she sat down in one of the chairs on the porch next to the table with the lemonade. "I'm Marilyn Ivanov," she said as she poured the lemonade into two cups, one for Riley and one for him. Riley sat down in the chair next to the table with the pitcher on it, taking the cup that she hold out to him. "Thank you very much, Marilyn," he stated, smiling. His friend nodded, bending forward and holding a cup out to Jackson, as well.

2/18/2010 #85
writingbythepower

Jackson took the cup, said, "Thank you, ma'am." Taking a sip of the lemonade, he sighed and smiled. "This is very good. Not too sweet, perfect." It wasn't often that he found lemonade the way he liked it, and it made him feel more at home then even, well, his actually home.

2/19/2010 #86
SnowClaw of Windclan

Marilyn smiled at him, glad that the man had liked it. She saw Riley watching him with jaded eyes, both eyebrows raised as they usually were when he was around military men or government officials. Deciding to distract him, she said, "Did the men like their kerchiefs, Riley?" Riley turned to her, nodding. "They were very appreciative, especially the ones that don't have family from around here." He took a moment to continue chewing his tobacco, setting down his cup. He continued shortly after, going on to say, "We've gotten a few more rangers, green men."

2/19/2010 #87
writingbythepower

He sat back, watched the two as they talked. He was the foreign man, the stranger. He wouldn't intrude into the conversation, would simply enjoy his lemonade and the company of the two. It was pleasant, something he hadn't been able to enjoy in some time.

2/19/2010 #88
SnowClaw of Windclan

The conversation went on for a short time on that line of discussion and then moved to other matters, the weather, the cattle in the town, the Indians. When Marilyn talked to him she was relieved of the memories that haunted her when she was around other men, she was free of the chaining marraige that bound her to her current husband. Riley, however, looked at her as only a friend as he spoke, the conversation eventually winding down.

Marilyn got up, straightening her skirts. "I should probably go back inside and wash the clothes, Riley," she said, smiling slightly. Riley nodded, getting up.

"Thank you, Marilyn. I appreciate it." He left after she went back into the house, heading back down the porch steps and untying his mare's reins.

2/19/2010 #89
writingbythepower

Jackson followed, walking over and getting on his own horse. "She certainly is a very nice, very pleasant young woman. Have you known her long?" He was trying to learn something about the young man, learn what he was like. It was Jackson's attempt to make peace, become Riley's friend.

2/19/2010 #90
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