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Dusty
Who is Dusty? Well I can tell you I am someone who enjoys creativity in many forms, the logic of code, the turn of a good phrase, historical genres (among many) and well-rounded written plots.

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Flint
Howdy all! You can call me Flint or Her Royal Highness or, of course, the ever popular Magnum PI, but if you can’t remember all that, I still answer to Tens :). I started writing when I was young but it wasn’t until my college years that I discovered RP. Yeah, never looked back, haha. I adore characters and plot lines and have way too many of them, if I’m being honest, but the heart wants what the heart thinks it wants! I play mainly males, finding them to be more comfortable in my mind, but I have my odd princess and I’m always ready to play! I do some graphic work for the site, advertising, and canon writing, and I can always help any of you with app and sizing issues, so just holler!
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Shooter has been writing with her fellow admins for up to five years! In 2014 she earned her degree in graphic design and now uses her skills to edit images for the site as well as design the maps for the area. Think of her as Heart of the West's personal cartographer and unqualified city planner. Fun fact; The Devil's Cradle Saloon used to be called The Blue Larkspur, this is the name of a plant as well as a race horse, a sport Shooter follows closely. Blue Larkspur raced for a stable called Idle Hour, which is the name of the hotel in Woodhurst. Every place on the maps has its own story!
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Indy arrived at HOTW to assist in written aspects of the site as well as moral support and has been role-playing for a decade now. In the past she has written in such genres as fandom, historic, and fantasy. She has a bachelor's degree in history and is currently a high school world geography teacher.

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Blue came over to the HoTW to assist with coding and general admin duties. During weekdays there is always an excellent chance that she is lurking about the site as work gives her the flexibility to do so. So if you are about, swing on into the cbox and say hello!

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Location: Coalchapel
Born: 28 January 1972
Website: No Information
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Horses, horse breeding, ranching, hunting, shooting, carpentry
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Application link: http://heartofthewest.jcink.net/index.php?showtopic=1477
Character age: 45
Alias: Shooter
Tracker link: http://heartofthewest.jcink.net/index.php?showtopic=144
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Occupation: Miner
Romantic partner: Widowed
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Joined: 9-May 17
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Last Seen: Jun 12 2017, 02:15 PM
Local Time: Jun 28 2017, 03:44 PM
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Colin Murphy

Miners

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May 22 2017, 05:30 PM
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<b>December 24, 1868<br>
Coalchapel, Wyoming Territory<br>
11am</b>

<p>The two bony chestnuts walked into Coalchapel in the late December morning, their half frozen riders not even aware that it was Christmas Eve. Colin was so cold it felt like his eyes were frosting over as he held Ciara close to him, bundled in their blanket, Sean shivered in the saddle of the old gelding, both animals looking worn down with heads low upon seeing the settlement ahead. Rest, shelter and food awaited them all. Tauntingly, the train sat at the depot chugging steam, the train they had pondered taking before out of Cheyenne, but hadn't enough money and Colin wouldn't part with the colt. With the three of them on Amigo he knew the old gelding would drop dead before they got to Coalchapel, and Colin couldn't walk the horse there.

<p>He was impressed with the cobblestone streets, and Sean seemed a little confused by them as well, having never seen them before as faster paced, healthier animals overtook them on the road, riding past and going about their daily business in the blustery cold. Never mind finding Davion, Colin needed to get his children indoors and next to a warm fire with some food in their bellies. He also had an eye out for a pawn shop, spotting one on the next street over between the space of the bank and post office.

<p>He had never been this cold in his life and wouldn't be surprised if his toes were frost bitten as he dismounted in front of a promising looking establishment and realized his boots were frozen to the stirrups. Sean was so stiff he needed help dismounting. They tied the horses off stomped into the trough to break up the ice and stepped into the Journey's End Hotel. Upon seeing the upper scale interior he thrust an arm out to halt his son,<br>
<b>"Wipe your feet."</b> he whispered from the side of his mouth so no one could hear, as if somewhat embarrassed he had to remind his heathen child to do so. They were from dirty, dusty old Texas, what did they know? The place just looked so damn clean, was all.

<p>Slowly pulling back the blanket from his shoulder, Colin revealed his young daughter with her head full of dark wavy hair and inquisitive hazel eyes, bringing forth a smile from the woman behind the desk,<br>
<b>"You all look cold."</b> she pointed out and Sean leaned on the counter, resting his chin on the edge,<br>
<b>"Freezing."</b> he insisted and was clearly shivering, Colin made note of the pale blue of his lower lip,<br>
<b>"Here, take your sister to the fireplace."</b> the worried father instructed, setting the girl on the floor as Sean took her hand and led her away, <b>"How much for your cheapest room for tonight?"</b> he asked and winced slightly at the answer, jingling the change in his pocket, <b>"Sean?"</b> he called the boy back from the fireplace, Colin noting that an older woman had taken up interacting with his daughter, rubbing her hands and seeming surprised by how cold she was, <b>"Go out to the horses, I have a little extra change in Admiral's saddle bag."</b> this seemed to concern the nine year old,<br>
<b>"But that's our emergency money, how're we gonna buy food?"</b> he almost sounded on the verge of panic,<br>
<b>"Meals are included in the room price ... right?"</b> he turned to the woman behind the desk as she confirmed this, <b>"I'm gonna feed ya, I promise."</b> he still seemed a little irritable as he shuffled outside, back into the cold,<br>
<b>"Ain't et since yesterd'y."</b> he mumbled,<br>
<b>"What name should I put down?"</b> he was suddenly asked,<br>
<b>"Colin Murphy."</b> he answered clearly, taking note of the names of the owners on a plaque behind the desk. He hoped this Helen and Floyd Mercy lived up to their names and offered them a little of said mercy should Sean come back with a change purse just short of their needed funds,<br>
<b>"My name is Fwanklin Muphy."</b> it was a small voice, a young child, maybe not much older than Ciara and Colin was surprised when he turned to see the little lad in his checked shirt and trousers, a thick head of brown hair and big hazel eyes ... he looked just like Davion,<br>
<b>"Hidy, Franklin!"</b> he answered back gruffly, <b>"How old are you?"</b> and he laughed when the little boy held up four fingers, <b>"Four?! You're big ta be four."</b> his baritone voice filling the room. This seemed to satisfy Franklin and he grinned back, <b>"What's your daddy's name, Franklin Murphy?"</b> why did he expect an answer any different from the one he got?<br>
<b>"Daddy."</b>

</div></div><div style="width: 500px; height: 1px; background-color: #957a67; padding-top: 14px; letter-spacing: -1px; text-shadow: #000000 1px 1px 1px; text-transform: lowercase; text-align: center; font-size: 40px; font-family: wire one; color: #faf7f2;"></div>

<div style="width: 500px; height: 4px; background-color: #5E3929;"></div><div style="width: 500px; background-color: #957a67; padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; text-transform: lowercase; text-align: center; font-size: 15px; font-family: timesnewroman; color: #faf7f2;"><font color=e1a48f>Notes: </font> Word count: 775 tagged: Clem! @Dusty </div><div style="width: 500px; text-transform: lowercase; text-align: center; font-size: 10px; font-family: timesnewroman; opacity: .5;">Created by <a href="http://z10.invisionfree.com/CAUTIONTOTHEWIND/index.php?showuser=25663">Blitzy</a> of <a href="http://z10.invisionfree.com/CAUTIONTOTHEWIND/index.php?act=idx">Caution 2.0</a></div>
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May 9 2017, 01:32 PM
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Colin Murphy

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<div class="head">basics</div>
<thing>full name:</thing> Colin Seamus Murphy
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<thing>nicknames/aliases:</thing> N/A
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<thing>age:</thing> Forty-Five
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<thing>date of birth:</thing> January 28, 1823
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<thing>place of birth:</thing> Monticello, Kentucky
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<thing>current residence:</thing> Drifting
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<thing>hometown:</thing> La Grange, Texas
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<thing>gender:</thing> Male
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<thing>occupation:</thing> Unemployed
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<thing>member group:</thing> Miner
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<div class="head">appearance</div>

<thing>playby:</thing> Jeffrey Dean Morgan
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<thing>height:</thing> 6'2"
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<thing>build:</thing> Broad but lean
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<thing>hair color:</thing> Dark brown with some silver, facial hair is silver/white
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<thing>eye color:</thing> Hazel
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<div class="head">relationships</div>

<thing>relationship status:</thing> Widower
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<thing>current partner:</thing> N/A
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<thing>children:</thing> <li>Sean Colin Murphy b. 9 Sept, 1859</li><li>Ciara Luella Murphy b. March 19, 1866</li>
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<thing>In game siblings:</thing>
<li> None</li>
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<div class="head">Appearance</div>

<p>Like most Murphys he is tall, broad in the shoulder and narrow in the hip, never overly heavy but a stiff wind couldn't blow him over either, he has a bit more substance than his cousin, Davion. He sports the same mixture of green and brown in his eyes as most of his family and the same head of thick, dark hair that is moderately curly like his mother's, though in his middle age it is peppered with silver throughout and his facial hair is almost entirely gray. Speaking of which he is never seen clean shaven and will almost always sport a beard to some degree. He has a lovely smile when someone can get him in the mood and a humorous laugh. The lines that have collected on his face over the years tell of a man that has laughed often and spent most of his days under the bright Texas sun.

<p>Colin is a working man and you won't catch him in a suit, he doesn't even own one, preferring his trousers and cotton shirts and leather vests. He will at least wear his cleanest clothes to church on Sunday. He wears a hat any time he is out of doors and a duster in the winter when things cool down but he is generally pretty resilient to heat as well as cold. Colin carries a rifle in the scabbard of his saddle and a Colt at his hip and he's pretty damn handy with them both. His hands are rough and he has a multitude of scars from his years working a ranch and serving his country in two wars, including one across his right cheek bone and the corner of his eye from a bayonet that very nearly blinded him. Speaking of horses he rides a sorrel gelding from the family bloodlines, named Amigo, this horse is one of few survivors of the old Murphy lines, and barely a survivor at that, having served in the war he is covered in white hairs from scars and missing half of his right ear.

<div class="head">Personality</div>

<p>Though he doesn't smile as often as he used to Colin can still at least appear happy for the sake of others. He still hasn't come to terms with the death of his wife and though he knows she would want him to move on with his life and not linger on losing her, only time will tell if he can truly be happy again. For now, he lives for what he and his wife have left behind whom currently consume most of his time as well as his frustration and impatience, pushed to the limits by two confused, scared, displaced and equally grieving children. His move up north is seen by his son as a selfish act and not in his or his sister's best interest, he holds some resentment for his father, saying he has never been involved in their lives and it was their mother who raised them. He is deeply critical of his father's impulse control issues with money and gambling as well as drink. As a result Colin's relationship with his son is strained at best with the child simply viewing him as an authority figure but he has little respect for him and resents that Colin is his father.

<p>Though Colin has tried keeping a lid on things he does occasionally have the tendency to make childish, selfish and stupid mistakes, "But everybody else was doing it" was a common excuse to his parents when they confronted him about doing something stupid. He is sometimes reckless and doesn't think of the consequences of his actions and has trouble dealing with his emotions and finding proper, constructive outlets for his anger and grief. He feels like a failure in most aspects of his life, however, and is currently trying to focus mostly on raising his children, as he promised his wife he would. He can become easily disillusioned and lose sight of his morals if he becomes overwhelmed by his situation and inner conflicts. This was made all too clear in the war when he broke free of his ranks and started terrorizing civilians in the latter years of the War, something he will never speak of. Always discouraged from showing any emotion he tends to bottle everything up and bite back on anything he may be feeling, he certainly won't talk about it, at least not to anyone he doesn't absolutely trust. As the saying goes, <i>"Idle hands are the devil's workshop."</i> Colin always tries to busy himself with something, he either wants to be working or too exhausted to do anything other than sleep, somewhat fearful of what any free time may result in. He doesn't want to think about anything.

<div class="head">History</div>

<p>Barely old enough to be considered adults, the Murphy brothers, Seamus, Sean and Lloyd, arrived in New York City during a tumultuous time in this country's history. Within a few years, the boys joined the battle against the same enemy they had tried to escape by leaving Ireland, narrowly escaping the Irish Rebellion that claimed the lives of many of their family members, including their father, Liam. Still angered by the loss of their relatives and their home, the Murphys were quick to act once the opportunity to fight the British arose once more in this new home, and fight they did until the conclusion of the War of 1812 when the two remaining brothers moved to Monticello, Kentucky. Here, Seamus married Sean's widow, Mary and the couple had their first and only child, Colin in 1823.

<p>When he was just three years old the family moved its successful horse ranch from Kentucky to present-day La Grange, Texas where the Murphys became one of three hundred families to settle Texas, at the time a province of Mexico. Lloyd brought his new wife, Ellen and the two had a son, Davion, soon after settling. The boys grew up strong and educated in the ways of the land and survival. With The Old Three Hundred spread out over so many miles it wasn't often Davion and Colin got to spend time with other people their own age so they grew up in one another's company more brothers than cousins; playing, fighting, hunting, fishing, getting into trouble and meddling with local natives, bringing home arrowheads, feathers, bead work and the like, much to their parents' displeasure. The Murphys were Protestant and not overly fond of their children spending too much time with <i>heathen</i> indians.

<p>Colin was only thirteen when the bloody Battle of the Alamo sparked the Murphys to join the Texian revolt against the Mexican government led by a cruel Santa Anna. Though neither Lloyd nor Seamus were present for the battle, their fighting spirit was spurred by the event and they left the Murphy Ranch to join the fight and had a hand in Mexico's defeat at San Jacinto just a month later. Inspired by their fathers' loyalty toward the Texian Army and the United States, Colin and Davion made the decision to aid the US Military the moment they were old enough.

<p>In March of 1842, Mexico invades and occupies San Antonio, in the year that follows Colin is an active member of the Army and in training, preparing for the inevitable as President Santa Anna threatens war while Texas fights for annexation and eventual statehood. Battles rage on the water as the US and Mexican Navy exchange fire on the ocean and as 1844 creeps along Davion has moved to New Mexico and been deputized over a small town called Taos. The ranch struggles with her men off fighting, Colin's mother dies of a fever while he is fighting Mexican insurgents on the Nueces River in October of '45. Seamus returns home at word of his wife's demise.

<p>Colin and Davion never met on the battlefield, the former never even knew the latter was fighting until the very end. Hearing that his sister-in-law has died, Lloyd also returns home to help his grieving brother with the ranch, selling most of their horses as cavalry remounts just to get by. Meanwhile Mexico lacked unity, she lacked determination, leadership, loyalty, organization and effective weaponry. Battles were chaotic and often ended in lots of gunfire but little results. Mexican cannons were evenly matched with the Texians but their aim left plenty to be desired while Colin could plant a six pound ball in a wagon at over five hundred yards, rising him through the ranks as one of the best cannoneers of his regiment. Along with that he was fierce in battle, his riding skills were superb and he was also a backup farrier, able to nail four shoes on a horse within a matter of minutes while under enemy fire. Colin became quite useful with his combined skills in "flying artillery" devastating Mexican forces in the Battle of Palo Alto. While those in the East opposed the war, Colin saw no other alternative and if he had the chance to kill someone, he took it, with little remorse. He was invaluable to his men and through it all remained humble and never forgot the reason for his enlistment. There was always a burning fire in his heart, pride for his country and pride for his fellow soldiers and the exhilarating thrill of victory only fanned those flames at the conclusion of every skirmish.

<p>As the war raged on there were disagreements among the army, displeasure toward those volunteering mostly, claiming them to be loose cannons after multiple incidents of excessive force were witnessed by many. Caught in the moment and simply following his fellow soldiers, Colin was occasionally guilty of such things; burning down houses, stealing livestock, looting and ransacking homes was not out of the question for him. The way he saw it, this was his home, he knew what the enemy was capable of having seen the brutality firsthand. The army? They were from other states, they didn't understand, they had no loyalty nor understanding of what it meant to be a Texan. As the war raged on it slowly bled out of The Lone Star State and into Arizona, New Mexico and California where Davion became mixed up in a tangled mess called the Taos Revolt. Colin and his crew of fellow volunteers were happily discharged as more professional military men carried on, much to Colin's displeasure. Even his skills as a cannoneer couldn't help the Army see past his transgressions against the Mexican civilians. He returned home to a grateful father, and a dead mother. He only fought for six months.

<p>Davion swung by for a short visit following his own eighteen month stint in the army before leaving for the marshals service, he would never again step foot in La Grange. To take his mind off things Colin immediately began working the ranch, rebuilding what all the family had lost after the negligence and downsizing their business had suffered. Over the next several years the Murphy Ranch grew considerably, churning out quality stock once more to supply all the surrounding homesteads with top notch cow horses to work their land, replacing those that had been lost to the war. All the while he had his eye out for something else, something he felt might complete his life, and it wasn't a horse.

<p>In 1855 Colin was thirty-two and still working his father and uncle's ranch as well as making rounds to neighbors to help out wherever he could. He never made much money, in fact most folks paid him in food or favors, always being a simple man it wasn't something Colin particularly minded. The Spencer family lived not far from the Murphy sitio and had four daughters and two sons, their middle daughter being born some time after Colin's uncle and father had rooted themselves in La Grange. She was always in the house minding the dishes or the cleaning, or hanging the laundry, gathering chicken eggs or watching her two younger brothers when Colin was around lending his hand. If she wasn't working she was sitting on the porch reading, always reading. They had a few moments of awkward eye contact on occasion, broken by a nervous smile that often had her running back inside. She never spoke to him, but her sisters were certainly smitten and quick to tell him all about her strange habits, how much she read those dreadful dime novels or spoke of the stars or wild adventures that got her hushed by their father at the dinner table. Her name was Luella and she was a bit of a Plain Jane with no defining characteristics, shown up by her younger, prettier sisters who were quite green when, despite their efforts, the handsome Colin took a shine to <i>her</i>, bringing her books from town, talking to her when everyone else was out of earshot, smiling and laughing together. No matter how much her envious sisters tried to steer him away from her he suddenly asked their father's permission to court her. Luella was just as surprised but quite happy to entertain the idea, at twenty-three she was almost certain she had been passed over, as her eighteen year old sister had been married the year before. Envy turned to teasing as they told their sister, quite frequently, that Colin had been sleeping around the settlement for a while now. Luella simply told them they were getting him mixed up with his rogue of a cousin, Davion. The relationship was a surprise to Colin's family as well but they said nothing to him and the couple were married just a year later with the new husband taking up residence in a small house on the outskirts of the Murphy property.

<p>She was full of life and personality, dreams and a mischievous heart with more love to give than Colin could ever reciprocate. For that, he grew to love her as a best friend, the two were inseparable and no one ever claimed to have heard them have a cross word with one another. Over the next six years one got to know the other more and more and though times were difficult the new family survived, welcoming a son just after Davion's parents both passed away, Ellen of pneumonia and Lloyd of a broken heart just months later. They were laid to rest next to Colin's mother and Davion was nowhere to be found to announce the passing of his dear mother and father. With Seamus's blessing Colin named his son after the heroic uncle he never met, the man that was supposed to have been his father, Sean. With a healthy little boy to focus all their attention on as well as a working ranch, Luella and Colin agreed to wait before adding to their brood. The wait would be longer than expected.

<p>Little Sean wasn't even two years old when the South fired on Fort Sumter in '61, sparking the bloody War Between the States. Many of the Texas volunteers mounted up again and followed their old commanders into battle, for the South. Though Colin's own family owned a few slaves over the years it wasn't what he was fighting for, but felt that same need to defend his home as before, a home that just so happened to be in a seceded state. Saying goodbye to his wife and son, Colin left for war, again.

<p>Taking ten Murphy Morgans with him up the Mississippi this depleted the ranch yet again but Colin felt it was the right thing to do at the time, fearing that the Union would soon seize control of the river and the horses would be inaccessible or even taken by Union soldiers anyways. He joined one of twelve Texan cavalry battalions that joined the war effort and a year later found himself fighting in Virginia where his battalion was praised numerous times by Robert E. Lee himself. He sent letters home whenever he could, none he received back were as full of as much hope and pride as he sealed in his own. His wife and young son had gone back to live with his in-laws, Seamus was running things as best he could but the slave hands were disappearing little by little every day as they left the property, running for Union lines. As expected the US Army was blockading everything they could, closing off trade routes and Seamus was forced to sell some of his horses just to eat. Texas held out for as long as she could as one after the other each Confederate state gave up the fight until only Texas and Georgia were left. Then in the spring of '65 the riots began as demoralized rebel soldiers, hungry, tired, defeated and living in rags plundered trains, ships, stores and it was all Seamus could do to keep what few remaining horses he had as the barn burned to cinders one night in late May. He had not heard from his son in over a year, not since he had stated in a letter that he had been moved up to the rank of Captain and his troop was entering Maryland, the aging man feared him dead.

<p>Sharpsburg had been the last time Colin sent a letter home, gearing up for one hell of a fight with the Yankees as the Captain of his own artillery troop. A lethal force of over two-thousand men charged into the fray with a ferocity that took the Union fighters aback, forcing them to retreat momentarily into a cornfield. Once they reached the treeline it became apparent that the boys in blue had more backup than Colin and his men had been expecting, the dreaded Iron Brigade. When it was all over the Confederate general stated that he had lost all of his men, not even knowing if a single one had survived. One could have crossed the entire field and not once touched the ground so many soldiers and horses lay dead or dying. Fighting next to men he had just been playing cards with the night before, smoking and laughing, made it all the more gut wrenching to see their bodies ripped apart by cannons and bullets right in front of him. Men he commanded, men he lead into battle ... men he led to slaughter. He had never been this far from home before, he couldn't remember what Sean's face looked like, knew he was here while his son learned his first words and took his first steps. This wasn't the Mexican War, this wasn't Mexico, these weren't little disorganized skirmishes and easy victories, this was so much different. This was hell. Defeat was a gut wrenching feeling that left him hollow and sick. Having seen so much death and violence the once stoic and level-headed cannoneer finally lost what little bit of humanity he still had in him after that hard fought battle in Sharpsburg, Maryland. He stopped eating, didn't speak very much and his fellow soldiers worried he may have suffered a blow to the head. His general had him carried to the infirmary once he was too weak to stand, there he lay on a cot and watched men get their limbs sawed off and die of cholera and infection in fits of screaming agony being eaten alive by swarms of maggots. Even when sheer exhaustion overtook him and he was able to sleep he was plagued by disturbing nightmares.

<p>Even more withdrawn, war weary and appearing dazed, Colin was left behind once the Confederates regrouped and moved onward. He and his horse disappeared from the field hospital days later and many suspected he had left in some effort to catch up with his comrades, but no one ever saw the troubled captain again. Some suspected he had been picked off by a troop of straggling Union soldiers, or he went in the opposite direction. Could one of the best artillery captains really have deserted? Before the battle a few of his fellow soldiers recalled him expressing concern for his family back home, saying they were starving and worried sick about the raids. Still others simply said, "war is hell" and they couldn't blame him and that it took more courage to leave than to stay.

<p>Morale for Confederate soldiers lowered dramatically in general as they fought on through it all and soon realized they were losing as the rags on their backs thinned and tore away, their ribs became prominent and their faces gaunt with hunger and exhaustion. Colin withered away to a mere husk of his former self by the time he fought his way south past all the Union soldiers with nothing but the clothes on his back and the horse beneath his saddle. Amigo was littered with scars from bayonets and shrapnel, half of his right ear had been shot clean off. Along the way Colin teamed up with fellow Confederate deserters and formed a sort of posse of renegades that may have constituted in that time as bushwhackers. When they got hungry they stole, when they needed clothes they robbed and when their horses were done in they simply raided small farms and rested up. They hid along the trails and ambushed Union scouting troops as if in some effort to continue fighting the losing battle. In some way it helped Colin to cope with his hard loss in Maryland. It is these last few years of the war that Colin often refuses to talk about and says he has blocked it from memory and can't even recall very much if asked, simply stating he did "terrible things to people that didn't deserve it." But he had to survive, is how he is able to justify it, he had to get home.

<p>But clearly he was in no hurry, inwardly ashamed of himself for deserting and unable to even write a letter to his family to ensure them he was alright. The longer he waited to pen that letter the more comfortable he became with the thought they had accepted that he had been killed on the battlefield and died with honor and dignity, not a coward, and were no longer awaiting his return. His inner conflict came to a head in late December of '62 when he was shot by a startled homesteader in Virginia as he was breaking into her house he had assumed abandoned, seeking shelter from a snow storm. Having never suffered such a serious gunshot wound, Colin feared he may die and never see his family again. The home owner, Mrs. Campbell, seemed to feel guilty enough about it to look after him for the few weeks it took for him to get back on his feet. After recovering he made it a priority to return to Texas.

<p>In April of '63 his arrival to a war ravaged Lone Star State and the ruins of the once proud Murphy Ranch was difficult to stomach, his wife and son were at a neighbor's with other remaining settlers that were still holding on to what little they had. Explaining that he had been discharged as he hugged his wife and the child that didn't even recognize him, the lie settled into the pit of his stomach like a stone, too ashamed of the truth. Luella was concerned with the more lithe frame of her normally stocky husband, his beard was almost totally white as well, he had aged ten years it seemed. But time would reveal it hadn't just been his physical appearance that had changed.

<p>June of '65 saw the state inundated by Union soldiers there to restore order, emancipate any remaining slaves and raise the country's flag at the capital of Austin, there were just four remaining Murphy Morgans; Colin's battle fatigued gelding, two mares and a stallion. If things weren't bad, they were about to get worse.

<p>In some effort to preserve the lines of the horses his father and uncle had fought so hard to establish Colin bred one mare to their remaining stallion and walked the other all the way to a neighboring farm fifteen miles away to be bred to another stud that had originated from their ranch. They had to get things back on track, Luella was expecting again. With the town of La Grange in shambles the family felt isolated and abandoned with the newly seated state governor offering amnesty to all ex-Confederates so long as they promised to pledge their allegiance to the Union. It was hard for Colin to swallow but he saw no other alternative, at least not one that was constructive as many other veterans returned home and immediately started raising hell, once more resorting to looting and rioting,<br>
<i>"What de hell else is t'ere left ta steal?!"</i> Seamus had grouched from his armchair in the den when word reached them of the revolts, holding his granddaughter, Ciara, for the first time. A frail man of seventy-eight, his fighting spirit had all but gone and when the yellow fever epidemic of '67 hit, he wasn't up for fighting any longer and soon joined his brother, wife and sister-in-law in the family grave, buried by a heartbroken son who hadn't been ready to face any more loss.

<p>The South was soon inundated by Northern land buyers, seeping into the southern states like the plague and offering desperate families just pennies for land they had been living on for generations, the Murphys were no exception. With taxes on their land as well as other bills due and debts that had piled up while Colin had been away and no horses to sell for a decent amount, the family saw more hardship and finally sold once the stress took its toll on Colin and his wife begged him to release his weakening grip on the family property. Moving what little they had left to Luella's parents' shrinking spread in March of '68 when Ciara turned two, Colin looked to find a niche once more.

<p>In some attempt to make a little more money the tired veteran started frequenting the saloon armed with the skills at cards he had learned while in the military. He was gone most nights and exhausted or hungover by morning, unable to help out much around the farm, much to his in-laws' displeasure. To top it all off he tended to lose more money than he won. A rift suddenly began to form between the once loving couple as Luella confronted her husband time and again about possibly finding other means of earning money to support them. She also told him he had changed, seeming distant, troubled and unstable since coming home from the war, claiming it seemed as though the man she had fallen in love with years before had never come home at all, replaced with some stranger. They spent many nights lying awake, staring at the ceiling in silence, Colin ashamed of himself and Luella feeling helpless in the situation.

<p>They persevered, raising their two children the best they could with what little they had as Colin tried not to be too wasteful at the poker tables in town. The two colts Colin had bred upon returning from the war were nearing selling age at this point, it was only a matter of getting them some time under saddle to make them appealing to buyers and the struggling Murphys could enjoy a nice pay day, maybe Colin would even smile a little more often. Luella was riding the more placid of the two youngsters to her sister's house on a sweltering mid-August afternoon when the young horse spooked at something in the bushes and threw his head. Colin returned from working at a neighbor's to find his wife laid up in bed with a bloodied nose. Once the swelling went down it was only the bruising that remained and he thought nothing more of it as Luella stoically endured a painful, nagging headache for three days before her health rapidly deteriorated. She became highly sensitive to light and remained indoors with the drapes drawn after the accident, sending the children away with her mother as loud noises also perturbed her. Colin became increasingly concerned when his normally healthy Luella was suddenly having difficulty walking, was speaking strangely and had developed a fever. He rode into town to fetch the family doctor, but to his dismay the man claimed there was little he could do but make her comfortable as her delirium worsened. Luella succumbed to her short-lived, mysterious illness on the morning of the fourth day, breathing her last in Colin's arms.

<p>He hit the bottle, hard, for the next few months and as much as his grieving in-laws hated it, they felt for once that they couldn't blame him. Nearing the end of October the grieving widower found himself on his knees in front of Luella's grave, telling her he had to leave after falling into debt with some bad people. Having lived a life of mistakes and hardships, never seeming to have enough money for anything, Colin had thrown it all in one night on a high stakes poker game and lost, badly. Having previously sold the last Murphy stallion to the military and the two mares to neighboring farms all he had was his trusty old gelding and remaining colt, the other having suffered the misfortune of falling victim to one of Colin's drunken rages. Storming home from the saloon one night to drag the animal responsible for his grief out of the barn, he shot the chestnut colt point blank between the eyes. The act had deeply disturbed the man's in-laws, but since then Colin had gone from irrationally angry to more of a hollowed out shell, it was just unfortunate they felt more comfortable around him now that he was practically dead inside. Sean and Ciara's surviving grandparents watched from the window as Colin saddled up his two remaining horses and headed north with his children, hoping the troubled man would find some peace. He had lost his mother, his father, the war, his dignity, the family ranch, and now his wife, he wanted desperately to reconnect with the only family he had left in Davion Murphy, whose last whereabouts had been a town in Southern Wyoming called, Coalchapel. He arrived on a frigid, blustery morning in late December, 1868 and soon took up a reluctant but well-paying job, toiling away in the coal mines. Only time will tell if a deadly concoction of his poor judgement, need for money and close proximity to crooked miners will result in him bringing trouble to Coalchapel.

<div class="head">Writing Sample</div>
<p>Quite a lot to read, mostly flashbacks and then Colin arriving to town.

<p><b>August 21, 1848<br>
Murphy Ranch<br>
9:30am</b>

<p>A stranger wandered into town in the blistering heat of the day on a black horse like death itself, the shadowy figure shimmering at the end of the road as he closed the distance to the ranch and Colin watched with his uncle, Lloyd, squinting warily. Having had unwanted company to the sitio before, there they stood, rifles in hand,<br>
<b>"Big T'oroughbred, eh Colin?"</b> the grizzled Irishman asked his nephew before spitting into the dirt,<br>
<b>"Looks like one."</b> the broad chested younger man agreed and swung his rifle across his shoulders, still squinting up the road,<br>
<b>"Ye caught t'at rogue yet?"</b> Lloyd asked next, quietly as if worried the stranger would hear,<br>
<b>"No luck, he's a smart son of a bitch, I got traps set all along the bottom, Old Man Perry let me set some up on his land too, right around where all those tracks are. Told me he'd keep his dogs tied 'til I catch it."</b> Colin answered, lowering his head to try and see better, <b>"Eight altogether, if I don't catch 'im we'll borrow somebody's hounds. He's just so damn inconsistent, all over the place, never goes in a straight line, never hits the same farm two nights in a row."</b> Colin assured him as the mystery rider was now about a quarter mile off,<br>
<b>"That's Davion ... "</b> Lloyd gasped, his shoulders seeming to suddenly drop at his surprise, Colin just squinted harder, <b>"It's me boy, it's Davion! Go get Ellen! Davion!"</b>

<p>With literally nothing to go back to in Taos, his dream job in law enforcement was over it seemed, he was coming home. Spurring his new horse into a canter he rode up to the ranch, dismounted and embraced his father. It was a homecoming Colin had to admit he was slightly jealous of, not getting to see his mother when he came home from the battlefields. Now here he was standing on the porch as Ellen held her son's face in her hands and cried, telling him how worried sick she had been and how he needed to shave and wash up, eat something.

<p><b>September 6, 1848<br>
Murphy Ranch<br>
8:45am</b>

<p><b>"Only six months, huh?"</b> Davion asked as the two strolled along the trapline at the dry creek bed that separated the Murphy property from the neighbor's, <b>"Ya didn't miss much."</b> the younger man scoffed and looked off into the distance, his face slick with sweat,<br>
<b>"Tell ya the truth, I wanted ta kill as many of them bastards as I could, then all of a sudden, 'thanks you can go!' That was it, sent us all packin' like they were better than us."</b> he sighed in frustration, shaking his head. From his cousin's silence it was clear he didn't quite feel the same way, so Colin changed the subject, <b>"So! You gonna go see Gloria?"</b> he asked tauntingly, a big grin on his face,<br>
<b>"Who?"</b> Davion asked confusedly as he stepped over a fallen log, the moist ground underfoot sucking at his boots,<br>
<b>"Gloria Taylor?"</b> Colin tried to jog his memory but it was clear this poor Gloria girl would not be rekindling any kind of relationship she may or may not have had with the slippery Davion Murphy, <b>"She seems ta think you two might be sweet on each other, been goin' on about how you're gonna come see her when you get outta the service."</b> he teased again but Davion didn't seem to be amused,<br>
<b>"She's gonna look real foolish when I don't."</b> he answered firmly and pulled a chain from the underbrush, dragging out a small hare caught on the trap, dead, <b>"Gotcha a cottontail, Colin."</b> and with a grunt he sprung the jaws and retrieved his cousin's catch, not what he had been looking for but it was something,<br>
<b>"So she's a liar?"</b> Colin probed and took the rabbit, stringing it through the hock and hanging it from his horse's saddle horn,<br>
<b>"Ain't she the same girl that found the Perry's dog and said it was hers? Yeah, she's a liar."</b> Colin laughed as they stepped out of the bottom,<br>
<b>"Oh yeah, that hound they raised from a puppy she was keepin' chained to a tree? I heard her father beat her ass for that."</b> he recalled and they followed a bend in the crick, the mud too thick to walk through, <br>
<b>"What about you? Any girls around here caught your eye, Colin?"</b> Davion teased back, not expecting the answer,<br>
<b>"Eh, I was thinkin' one of the Spencer girls."</b> he shrugged casually,<br>
<b>"Just ... thinkin' ... what d'ya mean?"</b> he inquired as they continued, trying to remember the young women in question,<br>
<b>"Thinkin' of ... marryin' one."</b> Colin finally admitted, already knowing his cousin's views on settling down,<br>
<b>"Marryin' one? What the hell for?"</b> Davion laughed, <b>"Which one? Can't be Cindy, she's pretty much spoken for, that knuckle draggin' son of John Young's got his eye on her, what's the whapper's name? ... damn, poor girl."</b> he cracked,<br>
<b>"How the hell you been here two damn weeks an' you already know Cindy's spoken for?"</b> ... Davion stopped laughing and didn't answer.

<p>Cutting up and teasing one another the boys' boisterous laughter seemed to unsettle something deep in the dead brush just around the curvature of the creek bed. In a flash of silver it bolted from the thicket, snatched back by its front leg and pitched and rolled, struggling to break free from the foothold trap. Branches cracked and splintered, sounding like a crackling fire that nearly spooked Colin's horse,<br>
<b>"That's a big wolf."</b> Davion pointed out the obvious as the animal bristled and snarled, fluffing its coat until it looked to be twice the size it really was, <b>"Is he the one everybody's after?"</b> the carcass of a half-eaten calf lay nearby, their neighbor's that Lloyd had dragged over two days earlier in the hopes of luring the killer to his nephew's trapline,<br>
<b>"I'm about ta find out."</b> the older of the two answered with grit in his voice, unsheathing his rifle from its saddle scabbard, <b>"Take the reins."</b>

<p><b>August 21, 1868<br>
Murphy Ranch<br>
10am</b>

<p>Not that anyone was keeping track, but it had been exactly twenty years to the day since Davion Murphy had last passed through their lives, and aside from sporadic letters here and there scrawled in nearly illegible pen, they had heard little from him. In a way Colin almost felt as though his cousin had never really been as attached to home as he himself was, it had even baffled him when the younger man left for New Mexico, now he was all the way in Wyoming. In his later, bitter years, after losing nearly everyone dear to him, Seamus had taken up a claim that they were not good enough for Davion, something that Colin had considered a time or two. But, honestly, the way things were now, maybe Davion had been smart to leave.

<p>Colin was working on the Perry's property when a hand from his own ranch came riding up like the Devil was after him, leaving a rooster tail of dust in the wake of his pony. Normally, in the heat of the day, Colin would have snapped at him and demanded to know what was so damn important that his employee had to run his horse into the ground leaving his post to come all the way here and bother him,<br>
<b>"It's Luella, Mr. Murphy, there's been an accident!"</b>

<p>His blood had gone cold despite the nearly triple digit heat,<br>
<b>"Did Amos come after you? I told him I was fine, not ta bother you. I'm sorry, I could kick him!"</b> she had been snappy in her frustration, holding the bloodied rag to her face and trying to speak clearly. He had tried his best to look after her the rest of the day as she irritably tried to refuse his fussing, finally relenting when she was too tired to resist.

<p><b>"She, uh ... she was headed ta Cindy's house with some needle work she'd made, took one of our three-year-olds we're trainin' ... he's a good horse, Captain, real quiet. Said she was uh ... leaned over his shoulder, movin' some brush that got caught on her skirt, somethin' moved or a branch snapped, startled the horse and he uh, tossed his head back, hit her in the face."</b> Colin explained quietly in the family sitting room, his in-laws sitting close on the couch, their hands intertwined with worry as their son-in-law explained to the family doctor what had happened. He was an old German man, nearly seventy now, he had delivered every child in both families, including Davion, Sean and Ciara. He appeared very worried,<br>
<b>"Her fever is too severe, I've given her something for the pain, to help her sleep, but ... there isn't much else I can do. I suspect there is some sort of an infection in the brain, I have never seen someone survive from it, I am afraid."</b> he rubbed his hands together, watching the worry on the faces of the woman's loved ones,<br>
<b>"Could it have been caused by the accident?"</b> Luella's aging father cleared his throat and quietly spoke up,<br>
<b>"I am almost certain it was, yes. I have seen similar cases after broken noses. Only one survived, initially."</b>

<p>Colin stayed up with her all night, cradling and talking to her, stroking her hands and only occasionally too choked up for words as she shuddered to breathe and felt like fire against his skin, mumbling incoherently. As weak dawn light teased the Texan horizon, the troubled war veteran felt his head grow heavy and he slipped away into a long awaited sleep, having not rested in the past three days while his wife was ailing.<br>
***
<p><b>"Is that for me?"</b> she asked with a shy smile, not yet sure if she should take the package the young man was offering her,<br>
<b>"Well, it ain't for nobody else."</b> he laughed and she bit her lip, still a little unsure as her eyes looked over the brown paper with the small twist of twine. It was obviously a book, why had he bothered having it wrapped? It was silly but also very endearing,<br>
<b>"I dunno, you been talkin' ta my sister an awful lot, Colin Murphy, people are startin' ta wonder."</b> she answered coyly and backed up against the graying barn,<br>
<b>"Who, Katie? Katie's been talkin' ta <i>me</i>, but I ain't gone off an' bought Katie somethin' nice with my hard earned dime."</b> he insisted and flicked his wrist, offering the book again, <b>"Now take it, you're so red somebody's gonna get you mixed up with a tomato."</b><br>
***
<p><b>"My pa says you asked ta start seein' me."</b> he turned from the fence to see her standing there, her hair braided and pinned up,<br>
<b>"Well, hello! I did, I told ya I was goin' to. Did you like your book?"</b> she smiled shyly and brushed a stray hair from her face, glancing over her shoulder at an expectant mother supervising from the window as she washed dishes,<br>
<b>"I loved it, thank you ... how old are you, Colin?"</b> she suddenly asked and he looked a little taken aback, an expression that gave the hovering mother a little worry as she spied on the two at the displeasure of her husband who barked at her from the den,<br>
<b>"Uh, I dunno, ask my pa, I stopped keepin' up with it."</b> he laughed, hoping it was just a joke,<br>
<b>"Do you know how old I am?"</b> she asked next, not laughing with him, <b>"I'm twenty-three ... don't you want yourself a younger woman, Colin?"</b> a lull passed between them as she awaited his answer, her father's cattle calling out in the distance,<br>
<b>"Age don't matter ta me, I want me a woman like you."</b> she seemed to consider his reply, smiling almost mischievously,<br>
<b>"Well, good, but a woman like me's hungry right about now, where you gonna take me?"</b> she put her hands on her hips,<br>
<b>"... pardon?"</b><br>
<b>"Well we ain't gonna always be standin' around on this dusty ol' farm talkin' in the wind, you gonna take me some place nice for lunch, or what?"</b> he was speechless, <b>"Well, come on, let's go."</b> she took hold of his hand and began dragging him toward the road beyond the fields,<br>
<b>"I don't think your pa's gonna-"</b><br>
<b>"Oh, he can get over it!"</b>

<p>He kissed her for the first time in a sunny wheat field, the wind whipping at her ivory cotton dress as they locked hands and twirled through the golden laced heather, her laughter echoing like some sweet melody. She prattled on and on about her favorite books when he walked her home in the evenings, the cool breeze like a friend, some constant companion always there and forever would remind him of those special times. She talked about the stars when she snuck out to the barn at night to see him and just a few weeks before their wedding neither of them could wait for their special night and made love in the loft. They told one another they loved each other. The hustle and bustle of planning their wedding between working the ranch, no more quiet moments as they were surrounded by happy chaos. His mother-in-law stepped in where his own mother could not and he could still hear her flustered voice as she went on and on about the wedding, fussing over the both of them. They kissed before the preacher that day, he remembered her crying when she first found she was with child and then brought Sean into the world with little more than a few pushes. He had been so proud of her. The following years were a blur, mere flashes of memories, the horrors of war, her cornflower blue eyes and dark curly hair, her smile, the smell of her soap, her tears soaking into his tattered uniform the day he returned home, running his fingers through her hair for the first time in a long time, their daughter's first cries, her infectious laughter, and finally back to the first morning they had awoken together as husband and wife in a tangle of sheets. The yellow of the sun had highlighted her hair, unkempt and falling around her shoulders as she smiled at him,<br>
<b>"Wake up, Handsome."</b>

<p>And she was gone.

<p><b>December 12, 1868<br>
North of Denver, CO<br>
3pm</b>

<p>It had been a relatively warm ride the day before but as the little family continued their trek north it became colder and colder as the horses crunched through the melting snow. Colin sat astride Admiral, the only breeding horse left of his father's line, Sean was on Amigo. Across her father's lap, wrapped in a fleece blanket was Ciara, curled up against his chest and trying to sleep most of the way. Both horses had lost a considerable amount of weight with little to eat and even less rest. Occasionally Colin offered the younger horse some reprieve, dismounting to lead him for a few miles instead. There was no train between Denver and Cheyenne where the Union Pacific had reached the Wyoming city in November of last year. Even still, he couldn't be sure if there were tracks to Coalchapel. There had to be, it was a mining town right? Even still what if he hadn't enough money to get them tickets? He didn't know if he could part with Admiral, or if he could get a dollar for him now that all his ribs were showing. He was afraid one or both of their animals would just drop dead at any minute.

<p>They stopped every hour or so to build a fire, warm up, eat a little of what they had and melt some snow for water. Progress was painfully slow,<br>
<b>"Why are we doin' this?"</b> Sean had been a young man of few words since his mother had passed, quiet and withdrawn not unlike his old man when he was upset about something but unwilling to just bear it on his sleeve. He hadn't even cried, at least not that Colin had seen. Since leaving Texas he hadn't spoken once, the tension between father and son had been building ever since,<br>
<b>"What?"</b> Colin huffed back, ice forming in his beard,<br>
<b>"Why are we goin' all the way out to the middle of nowhere for some guy you think might live up here what's related to you? I don't even know 'im."</b> there had obviously been some confusion as to why Colin had wanted so badly to go north, honestly he wanted to start over, and it would be a little more comfortable with another Murphy around,<br>
<b>"He ain't just some guy, he's like a brother ta me. He's the only family I got left."</b> Colin explained firmly,<br>
<b>"He's the only family <i>you</i> got left, why didn't you leave us with Ma's folks?"</b> Sean demanded and his father halted his horse,<br>
<b>"Because I'm your father!"</b> that was all he seemed willing to say, spurring his mount forward,<br>
<b>"You can't even take care of us!"</b> the boy shouted next, unable to let it go, <b>"I wanna go home!"</b> with that, he dismounted and stomped off into the brush,<br>
<b>"SEAN!"</b> his father's voice echoed over the prairie, startling a covey of grouse to take wing from the sagebrush beyond the boy that also flinched at the suddenness of the sound. Always a soft spoken man, Sean had never heard his father shout before and it scared him, stopping just long enough for Colin to snatch him up by his jacket, proving he was a lot quicker than Sean had given him credit for as well, <b>"I <i>can</i> take care of you, and I will, I promise! But you hafta trust me, Sean!"</b> his voice softened as he gave the boy a stern shake, seeing the fear and uncertainty on his face, his own face years ago when his father might have been yelling at him,<br>
<b>"I want, Ma."</b> was all he could say back as his feet were lowered to the ground, hearing the breath catch in his father's throat, <b>"She always took care of me ..."</b> he trailed off and Colin knew he had a point, even after he got home from the War he had been distant and detached, drunk or gambling away their money. He had been foolish, a bad father and husband, he knew that. He knew his son didn't trust him, even with his life as he dragged him through hell to get them to God-Knows-Where, Wyoming for reasons that may have seemed selfish,<br>
<b>"She took care of me too ... but she ain't here. I lost my momma too, I know you're scared, right now you're thinkin' I got this ornery, old drunk son of a bitch ta raise me, and I'm scared, 'cause God knows he don't know the first thing about me. Hell, I ain't even so sure he likes me."</b> he swallowed, looking into his boy's face, <b>"But right now, I'm the best you've got, I'm all you've got ... so get back on the horse."</b>

<p><b>December 24, 1868<br>
Coalchapel, Wyoming Territory<br>
11am</b>

<p>The two bony chestnuts walked into Coalchapel in the late December morning, their half frozen riders not even aware that it was Christmas Eve. Colin was so cold it felt like his eyes were frosting over as he held Ciara close to him, bundled in their blanket, Sean shivered in the saddle of the old gelding, both animals looking worn down with heads low upon seeing the settlement ahead. Rest, shelter and food awaited them all. Tauntingly, the train sat at the depot chugging steam, the train they had pondered taking before out of Cheyenne, but hadn't enough money and Colin wouldn't part with the colt. With the three of them on Amigo he knew the old gelding would drop dead before they got to Coalchapel, and Colin couldn't walk the horse there.

<p>He was impressed with the cobblestone streets, and Sean seemed a little confused by them as well, having never seen them before as faster paced, healthier animals overtook them on the road, riding past and going about their daily business in the blustery cold. Never mind finding Davion, Colin needed to get his children indoors and next to a warm fire with some food in their bellies. He also had an eye out for a pawn shop, spotting one on the next street over between the space of the bank and post office.

<p>He had never been this cold in his life and wouldn't be surprised if his toes were frost bitten as he dismounted in front of a promising looking establishment and realized his boots were frozen to the stirrups. Sean was so stiff he needed help dismounting. They tied the horses off stomped into the trough to break up the ice and stepped into the Journey's End Hotel. Upon seeing the upper scale interior he thrust an arm out to halt his son,<br>
<b>"Wipe your feet."</b> he whispered from the side of his mouth so no one could hear, as if somewhat embarrassed he had to remind his heathen child to do so. They were from dirty, dusty old Texas, what did they know? The place just looked so damn clean, was all.

<p>Slowly pulling back the blanket from his shoulder, Colin revealed his young daughter with her head full of dark wavy hair and inquisitive hazel eyes, bringing forth a smile from the woman behind the desk,<br>
<b>"You all look cold."</b> she pointed out and Sean leaned on the counter, resting his chin on the edge,<br>
<b>"Freezing."</b> he insisted and was clearly shivering, Colin made note of the pale blue of his lower lip,<br>
<b>"Here, take your sister to the fireplace."</b> the worried father instructed, setting the girl on the floor as Sean took her hand and led her away, <b>"How much for your cheapest room for tonight?"</b> he asked and winced slightly at the answer, jingling the change in his pocket, <b>"Sean?"</b> he called the boy back from the fireplace, Colin noting that an older woman had taken up interacting with his daughter, rubbing her hands and seeming surprised by how cold she was, <b>"Go out to the horses, I have a little extra change in Admiral's saddle bag."</b> this seemed to concern the nine year old,<br>
<b>"But that's our emergency money, how're we gonna buy food?"</b> he almost sounded on the verge of panic,<br>
<b>"Meals are included in the room price ... right?"</b> he turned to the woman behind the desk as she confirmed this, <b>"I'm gonna feed ya, I promise."</b> he still seemed a little irritable as he shuffled outside, back into the cold,<br>
<b>"Ain't et since yesterd'y."</b> he mumbled,<br>
<b>"What name should I put down?"</b> he was suddenly asked,<br>
<b>"Colin Murphy."</b> he answered clearly, taking note of the names of the owners on a plaque behind the desk. He hoped this Helen and Floyd Mercy lived up to their names and offered them a little of said mercy should Sean come back with a change purse just short of their needed funds,<br>
<b>"My name is Fwanklin Muphy."</b> it was a small voice, a young child, maybe not much older than Ciara and Colin was surprised when he turned to see the little lad in his checked shirt and trousers, a thick head of brown hair and big hazel eyes ... he looked just like Davion,<br>
<b>"Hidy, Franklin!"</b> he answered back gruffly, <b>"How old are you?"</b> and he laughed when the little boy held up four fingers, <b>"Four?! You're big ta be four."</b> his baritone voice filling the room. This seemed to satisfy Franklin and he grinned back, <b>"What's your daddy's name, Franklin Murphy?"</b> why did he expect an answer any different from the one he got?<br>
<b>"Daddy."</b>

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<p>Colin here has been through a lot, in the past five years he has deserted from the Confederate Army, lost his father, the family ranch, his son's respect and his loving wife. He wanders into Coalchapel with nothing but his horses, his two children and the clothes on his back, in search of his only remaining family, Davion Murphy. He will be working in the mining camp once he settles in and I am open to plots involving anything to do with the Tabor and Hurst Mining Company, up to and including dastardly deeds as he is desperate for the money.

<div class="head">friendly</div>

<p>Pretty trusting, loyal and easy to get along with, Colin tries to speak to people when he can, raised to be polite and mannerly he will talk to anyone who strikes up conversation whether he wants to speak to them or not. The only thing he will not speak at length of is the war. If you catch him at the saloon with a drink or two in him you may find him good company, a man that seems desperate to have a laugh about something and forget all his worries for a moment. He could also use some work buddies if anyone is up for it, he will be working in the mining camp where he will either make decent money, or trouble.

<div class="head">romantic</div>

<p>Widowed and currently grieving, not looking to get into a serious relationship, I don't see him visiting the brothel either.

<div class="head">antagonistic</div>

<p>Though he was strictly fighting for his home state and not necessarily to keep slaves at his ranch, Colin <i>did</i> fight for the Confederates which could put him on a few folks' shit lists. Other than that he is generally easy going and not as quick to anger as he once was, the war has broken him of that. He isn't particularly fond of Mexicans either. If anyone has any quarrels with his cousin, Davion, they may not take a shine to him either.

<div class="head">other</div>

<p>Colin is the older cousin of Davion Murphy and has two children, Sean (9) and Ciara (2). Sean will be attending the local Coalchapel School. Colin will be working in the mining camp from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon, Monday through Friday with weekends off, exceptions can be made.

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<div class="head">Shooter</div>
<thing>age:</thing> 27
<br>
<thing>pronouns:</thing> she/her
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<thing>timezone:</thing> EST
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<thing>contact:</thing> PM
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<thing>triggers:</thing> ... my name is Shooter lol
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<thing>mature threading:</thing> Open
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<thing>other characters:</thing> <li>Henry Scarborough</li><li>Davion Murphy</li><li>Mary Murphy</li><li>Russell Scarborough</li><li>Doc Schwankl</li><li>Jonah Scarborough</li><li>Teague O'Shaughnessy</li> <li> Hector Scarborough </li><li>Eamonn Phillips</li>
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<thing>about:</thing> Born in a coaltown in Eastern Kentucky I am no stranger to the mines that built Coalchapel nor the drama it causes and the close-knit, family-like bond between miners and their families. I am open to plots of all kinds but some of my characters are limited, please read their bios before asking for threads! I do not immediately jump into romances and would prefer at least six months seniority before I even think about pairing my character romantically with anyone else's. I do not reply to open threads that are not dated, I do not respond to thread requests that ask me to come up with all the ideas and content, I do not make want ads, none of my characters' family/relatives/NPCs are open for claim.
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45. Unemployed. Miner. Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
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<a href="http://shine.jcink.net/index.php?showuser=11594">thanks♥︎</a>
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