Brothers & Their Gals

Refugees, mostly pioneers and settlers, from nearby Indian raids piled into the town of Durant, Nebraska looking for shelter, food, and work. Ruth's heart ached to see so many misfortunate people. They had come from all over, mostly from random settlements in Iowa or from other random places they had already passed by in Nebraska.

She was in the kitchen of the church tent, boiling up a huge pot of soup for the refugees whenever Sean, her assistant pastor and now friend, walked up to her with a sad look across his pale face. "Miss Ruth, I heard some people talkin's, says an elder white man dressed as a preacher was riding with the attacking Indians."

Ruth just quickly nodded her head in understanding, in pain, in heartbreak, in shame. How could her father be so cruel, do such things?

It was as if Sean could read the young lass's thoughts cause he placed a hand on her back and pulled her into a comforting but also caring hug. They were silent for a while until Ruth broke it by mustering out, "Thank you, Sean, for telling me and not letting me overhear."

"Ruth, if ye needs to talk to me ye can."

"Thank you, Sean, but not now. Now I must help the misfortunate, must help the least of the least as Jesus has commanded of my service."

"Yes, Miss Ruth, I shall help ye by starting to bring out bowls to them." Sean simply said as he grabbed some bowls and scooped some of the hot chicken and potato chunky liquid into the bowls.

Sean cared about Ruth but he wasn't dumb, hell was had been a shrewd businessman once along with a liar and a cheat, he knew that now wasn't quite the right time to pursue a relationship with the young lass but he also knew that now was the time to let her know subtly that he was there for her when she needed him.

"Thank you, Sean." Ruth smiled weakly at Sean. For the first time, since well ever, she felt that maybe just maybe this man could be trusted. He was kind, had turned his life around, had arranged for the church's plot to be rent free from Durant himself. He wasn't all that bad, not like the other men in her life had been. Her father Reverend Cole had been a drunkard and her Joseph had gone back to his heathen roots.

"You give us 25% of your earnin's." Mickey told a group of 4 new girls that Nell had just hired, as he stood next to Nell in the middle of the whorehouse. "I provide protection for all ye girls so don't gotta worry bout drunkards bashin' heads in."

Nell, with a hand on her popped out hip, told her new girls, "Mickey stays here, if any of you girls have any problems with customers tell me and I'll get him or just go straight to him."

The new girls just nodded their heads, showing that they understood everything they were just told. All the girls felt that their new bosses seemed nice enough. The man owned the saloon so they figured they'd be able to roam around the bar at night to get a few fellas.

"Good, ye get to work." Mick told the new girls, a smile trying to cross his face which was stern and business like for the meeting.

"You heard him, now get!" Nell screeched at the 4 new girls, waving a hand at them, making them hurry off to their newly assigned rooms to start their days work.

"Aww, my sweet Nell, don't be too hard on 'em." Mickey told Nell as she picked up a broom and started to clean the floors of her whorehouse. "Just lost their homes to the injuns." Mickey yapped on.

Nell continued to sweep the floor while telling Mickey, "Hey, it's just business and they know that. Nothin' 'gainst them, they just gotta make money and get to work is all."

Mickey chuckled and then pulled Nell into a hug as he stood behind her. "You sure are something else, my lass." Mickey smiled and kissed Nell on the cheek.

"Ain't I." Nell simply responded with a sly smirk as she patted Mickey's smooth cheek.

Durant sat at his fancy desk in his fancy railcar pouring himself glass after glass of Brandy. Oh, it had been 3 months now since Lily had disappeared, why couldn't he find her? Why was his head of security refusing to find her, better yet why was he refusing to hunt down Bohannon? Oh Bohannon, now that's a name that made the chubby ginger haired man's skin crawl. Oh how he hated the man that name belonged to.