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Tales From the West

San Miguel

a part of Tales From the West, by The Cherry Cow.

A small border town in between Mexico and Texas.

The Cherry Cow holds sovereignty over San Miguel, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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San Miguel is a part of Tales From the West.

Places in San Miguel:

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A town between Mexico and Texas that's in a constant power struggle between Mexico, America, and the Benson Gang selling weapons to both sides. When the residents aren't hiding in their homes during times of fighting, they're at:
The saloon/inn
The bank
The sheriff's office/prison
The hideout of the Benson Gang, who make their money robbing trains, coaches, and banks as well as selling weapons
The graveyard/Undertaker's
A small, one-room school
One of several small houses
The snake-oil salesman's Wagon , where many travelers come to trade goods as well as buy food, clothing, or other various extras the salesman sells.
There’s also a line of railroad tracks that go into upstate Texas, almost always carrying valuable cargo and wealthy passengers.

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Character Portrait: Nobody
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The man in the tan long coat and matching flat hat stumbled towards the cluster of buildings he had been traveling to. When he'd first seen it, he thought it was some thirst-induced hallucination. Being aimless in the first place, he had walked to the town. Now that he was there, he saw how small it was. There couldn't have been more than thirty buildings in the entire town, and as he walked through the street, he couldn't have seen more than half that. The first building he'd walked by that was right next to the dirty sign that read "Welcome" from the perspective of someone entering town, and "Adios amigo" on the back was a large building that read MAYOR on a sign at the very top. The man would've called it the largest building in town, but another building-one on the other side, right behind a big well-gave it a sure run for it's money. That one simply said GUNS, and the man made a note to go there soon. First, however, he needed a drink. He stood in the middle of town and scanned for the building marked SALOON and when he did, he made a beeline. He stepped inside and was slightly surprised by the amount of people there. Many wore farmer's clothes, and were probably locals, and others wore guns, just like the traveler. Drifters? Bounty hunters? A gang? He didn't know, and he didn't worry. He didn't plan on staying in this town long. He took a seat at the bar, two seats away from another man with a gun as big as the traveler's Colt .45 and waved over the bartender.

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Character Portrait: Clementine Stanton
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The day was boiling hot, as most days usually were in the small town of San Miguel. Of course, Clementine wouldn't ever put that in a letter to her parents. Many of her letters depicted the town as quaint or comfortable when the most suitable adjectives would be dusty, filthy, and dangerous. The adventure thrilled her, but also kept her on her toes. More than once, a drunk male had wandered into the schoolhouse wielding a gun. Now, nothing life-threatening had happened to Clementine so far, but she was always kept on her toes.
Clementine was sewing at a small rickety table in her home, waiting for her loaf of bread to be finished baking. The home could barely be considered a home, but it was a home nonetheless. The one-room building contained a stove, bed, blanket, and a frayed rug that was so thin in some spots you could see the wooden floors beneath it. The young woman loved her home, though, despite its worn out appearance. She had bought it herself, with the small amount of money her parents sent with her. To her, it was a work in progress. To others, it was just messy.
The blonde stood suddenly, almost forgetting about the bread. She scurried over to the stove and opened the little stone door, revealing to her a perfect loaf of sweet bread. She took it out with a grin and did a little happy dance. It wasn't often that Clementine was able to bake her sweet bread, but when she did you bet it was fantastic. This particular loaf of bread was for the town bartender/innkeeper as a thank you for letting Clem and her students use the inn one evening for a performance. The children had put their heart and soul into the performance, and they had wanted to perform it for the entire town to see. Unfortunately, the schoolhouse was on the very edge of town and most parents didn't like their children wandering far from home when it was dark. So Clementine struck up a deal with the bartender that she would get the whole saloon for a couple hours in exchange for a loaf of her town-famous sweet bread.
Once fully cooled, she took the bread and transferred it into a little wicker basket and laid a towel over the top, keeping the heat (and hopefully taste) inside. She set out of her home toward the saloon, keeping her head down and basket close to her breast the entire way. One only knows what kind of things you can encounter in this type of town.

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Character Portrait: Nobody Character Portrait: Clementine Stanton
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The traveler finished his drink and the bartender asked if he needed anything else. The traveler nodded. “You got a bank? Somewhere that sells gold?” The bartender nodded. “Yes, yes. If the traveling wagon is here, you can sell it there but you can make far more by taking it to the bank.” The wanderer nodded and put a small gold coin on the table and stood up. He had a massive sum of gold in the pockets of his long coat, and he was ready to cash in. After the fight he’d gone through to find it and then a walk through the desert, he felt he earned it. He swung open the doors of the bar and almost walked right into a small, blonde woman.

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Character Portrait: Nobody Character Portrait: Clementine Stanton
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Walks through town were one of Clementine's most and least favorite times of the day. She loved to people-watch, and she enjoyed keeping up with everybody in town. For instance, she knew that Bill Daley's wife was having an affair with some outlaw who came in and out of town just to see her. It was something she would never have the heart to tell Bill Daley himself, but it was interesting to know about something that you aren't even a part of. In fact, this thought brought a song to mind that her father used to sing to her whenever she began to gossip. Something about a cat and a crow.
She mentally shrugged this thought away. While she had never thought of herself as a gossip, Clementine did have to admit that she had stuck her nose into one too many private matters when she lived in the city. Especially in college. A women-only college is a breeding ground for such type of nosiness.
It was while she was engrossed in her own thoughts that she missed the large door swinging at her. It wasn't until the last moment that she realized she was about to be hit right in the middle of the forehead. Her thought process went something like so;
hm.. Maria did seem to always know about my business... perhaps I blabbed too much about my own- DOOR!
"Oh my word, excuse me! It seems I was a bit lost in my own thoughts there!" Her southern accent permeated her speech, elongating her vowels and giving an almost sweet timbre to her voice.
She glanced up at the man who was on the other side of the attacking door. He had a simple face, possibly unmemorable. But Clementine saw a forlorn, worn-out look in his eyes. The man had been through a lot recently. This look of tireless anguish was completely unique. She scanned her memory for some possibility of seeing this man before, but nothing came to mind.
"Have I ever seen you before? I suppose not. My name is Clementine Stanton, and I'm the schoolteacher of San Miguel. What brings you to our little corner of the South?"

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Character Portrait: Nobody
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The traveler grinned again.
“I’ll be sure to stop by, Miz Stanton. Hope we meet again, ma’am,” he said as he adjusted his hat back over his eyes. He walked away from the saloon and looked around for the bank. He caught the large sign and walked to the building. At the bank he was able to sell his gold for exactly as much as he hoped, and then immediately deposited all of it for the time being with the exception of a fistful of dollars, enough to pay his first night at the inn, maybe get a mule, and buy some rounds for his .45, depending on the price. Off to the side, he heard two citizens talking about the Railroad that was coming into town. It was a big locomotive, and it was a spectacle for such a small town. The traveler apologized to the two for butting in and asked where such a train’s station could be found. He followed their directions until he got to the stop.
The stop was the size of a very small ranch, with a platform next to the tracks and inside was a ticket vendor, chairs, and presumably restrooms. The traveler stood at the platform, marveling at technological advancements these days. He wasn’t going to board the train, but wanted to see it arrive and maybe ask the conductor a thing or two about steam powered machines. Suddenly, a big blonde man with a silver streak in his unkempt beard pushed by the traveler, not bothering to excuse himself but rather quickly walked into the station. The traveler leaned against the outside wall of the station and wondered what that man could possibly be in such a rush for.

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Character Portrait: William Warford
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It was pure luck that woke him up when he did. For the past three stations he had been fast asleep, though he hadn't meant to be. No, he'd meant to be alert and ready for trouble, but the uneven shaking of the train had lulled him to sleep against his will. In a hazy place between sleep and waking, he heard the conductor inform another passenger that the next station was San Miguel. William rubbed his eyes, trying to shake the feeling of perpetual tiredness that hung over him these days. He sat up, peering through the window at the landscape beyond at the same dusty desert they'd been travelling through for miles. No sign of civilisation yet, he noted, though that wasn't unheard of. Outside the city, towns rose out of the horizon like unexpected rocks in the road. It was something he had learned, even in his short time away from the comforts of city living.

San Miguel represented a beacon of hope. It was a long shot, but there was still a chance that Culpeper remembered him. Whether he'd be willing to help was another matter, but it was still the best option. An unexpected ally that Joseph had no reason to know of, and if he did, had no reason to suspect William would go to for help. From Culpeper's house he could plan his next move, hopefully in relative safety before Joseph's goons caught up with him. Of course, there was always the possibility that someone else would kill him before they had the chance to. He had heard tales of the kind of people that lived in these small communities- outlaws, gangs surviving with half of Joseph's wit but twice the cruelty. Nowhere was safe anymore.

William leaned his head back against the seat, his eyes searching for the first signs of buildings, a knot building in the pit of his stomach- a familiar feeling of anxiety.