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Outlaws of the Outback 

Part One 

Dead or Alive. 

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Writers

IceTe3a
CharlotteCarrendar

CharlotteCarrendar: – Snorting, braying horses pushed to their limits by their riders. Sweat streaking down their sides, with foam at their mouths. The horses gallop through the bush as though being chased by the very devil himself. Loud crackles of gunfire only spur them on in their haste. The two riders, both wanted for crimes against the Crown are one with their steeds. Spiriting their horses on to gain greater distance between them and the coppers. The riders are sinners; wanted men with a heavy price on their heads that would feed a family for a year. Sons and daughters of Irishmen, their names are folk lore, their deeds spread by the printed word that ran the length and breadth of the Devil’s own land. A loud whip crack and the two riders don’t look back. Once they pass the gorge, they were free from the clutches of the constabulary. <3>

IceTe3a: The devils land, named rightly so as this barren landscape was cruel and unforgiving. The lifestyle of the people that were forced to live here was anything but luxury, if the bush didn’t kill you the sun would. The heat of the sun bared down on the two riders as they made their best efforts to out run the law without getting a bullet lodged into their backs, with full trust and hope in their horses as they galloped through the rocky terrain whipping past and nearly hitting large gum trees as the horses breathed hard while pushing their limits. The sweat on his back was nothing in comparison to the sweat slowly rolling down Jacks dust covered face, raising his right arm he wiped the sweat from his forehead a momentary pleasure one of the few things he could afford to do at this point. His eyes sharp and darting around as he surveyed the rugged land glimpsing over to his partner in crime though he did not turn to look back there was no point as they both knew what was coming after them. ” You’ll never get us alive you lads!” He spits as it momentarily moistens his dry and cracking lips the wind soon to dry them up once more “Bloody coppers… HYAA!” another crack from his whip as the sound of gunfire and bullets whizzing past, forcing his head to duck and weave around in hopeful luck in dodging every single bullet they let loose. The gorge was in view, two large mountains creating a deep and narrow path to the no man’s land, not just anyone could survive out there and the coppa’s never dared follow as it was out of their territory. His hope rising as he stood in his spurs knees bent as he moved with his horse“Come on we can make it!! HYAA!!” another crack of the whip as the guns blare behind them. Even if they did make it through the gorge and to no man’s land, they had little water and little food to retreat to, they needed shade and these were the least of their problems a long day and a longer night awaited the two bush rangers.

CharlotteCarrendar: – With gritted teeth, Annie spurred her horse faster, though you could feel the horse was just about at its limits – breathing hard as it powered on. The brush and low hanging branches made it treacherous going, if you weren’t careful. Dodging and weaving, the horses and their riders were one with the surrounds. Both knew the bush like the back of their hands, but you could never trust the coppers, who were fast to shoot now and ask questions later. Dead or alive it didn’t matter to them. The dust and dirt flew up in their wake with leaf litter being churned beneath the heavy falls of the horse’s hooves. Annie could hear the sharp whistle of the shots being fired, and one near got her shoulder – whistling past only to slam into a tree. So close…too close. They needed to go faster. The sight of the gorge was fast approaching, but would they make it? Annie was riding so hard, that her hat near flew off her head, and she reached up to slam it down leaving only one hand on the reigns – her legs tight around the horse’s middle. The girl was not born in the saddle, but she’d been a quick learner and soon rode as well as many a man her age. Though to look at her, you would not even know it was a girl. Her trademark red hair tied up and kept well under her hat. Boys britches and a plaid shirt homemade probably for one of her many brothers was loose fitting on her and caught the breeze as she rode on hard. ”HEYYA!” Annie roared at her horse. Faster, she had to go faster. Jack was already gaining and if she didn’t keep up she’d be shot for sure. Annie’s horse snorted loudly heeding her cry and galloped on harder through the rugged terrain. <3>

IceTe3a: He watched her closely from time to time as they continued to ride down the path towards the gorge, he didn’t need to tell her to keep up she already knew what would happen if she fell behind. Dust kicked up leaving a dusting trail for the coppers, jacks mouth smirked at this moment as he knew they were free bound soon enough, there’s no way the coppa’s could catch them now save a rogue bullet collected them. As they made their way towards the opening of the gorge their horses came in closer as he looked over at her and smiled, they had made it; you could hear the horses of the coppers screeching as they were brought to a halt, rapidly wasting their ammo in chance to hit one or both of them “Next time we see you two you’re both dead!!” a fair warning was given. They would have to be more vigilant while riding through patrolled lands from now on, the prices on their heads had surely doubled after their last robbery. As they galloped through the gorge and finally out of sight of the coppers, passing through the other side to the barren dirt filled terrain. It was all the same around here, they would need to find shade soon enough to let the horses drink and rest, that means finding a river or a billabong. Lucky for them they both knew the terrain fairly well, and a hidden billabong in the bush around some higher forming rock faces allowed for a cooling bath, drink and shade. The perfect place to set up camp for the day “ We made that one by the skin of our teeth, lass” his sharp eyes glanced over to her as he looked her over head to toe as he checked on her “We’re heading to the billabong, horses need a well deserved rest” slowly he brought the horse to a walking pace, the least he could do now was let them breath as they headed over to make camp. “Thing’s can’t keep going this close, we need to make changes” he knew they needed a smarter way to get food, to pull of robberies, they needed new clothing.. to arm themselves properly and they needed to eat, the list of problems were long as he sighed slightly and sat back in his saddle, wiping the dirt and sweat away from his face.

CharlotteCarrendar:- A bright smile formed upon Annie’s dusty face as she heard the coppers scream abuse at the pair for making it beyond their reach. There was no way they would follow them into the gorge, and Annie knew it. The last bullets fired ricotched off rocks and showed that the coppers were too tired to even aim straight. But Annie was near hoarse from the ride, her throat so dry and parched that she needed a drink just like the horses did. Though safely away from the coppers, they needed to find water and shade or they would surely suffer a terrible fate. If one was unfamiliar to the lands they would easy go round in circles for days for every tree, every rock looked the same. Slowing her horse down, Annie had caught up with Jack who had also slowed. He was dead on the money that they had just survived by the skin of their teeth. ”Aye..we got lucky this time.” Annie added whilst keeping a good look out for the billabong that shouldn’t be too far away. Speaking of changes, Annie knew that her clothing was near ragged after the past few days ride. She was sure she’d torn her pants and in the worst place possible for a girl. Good thing she kept a needle and thread in her duffle bag. Annie lept down off her horse and then led it by the reigns as the gurgling sound of water was heard. The billabong. No finer sight for sore eyes in a place as desolate as this. It gave her a slight spring in her step and as she approached, she brought her horse to stop and started to untie the saddle. The horse’s back was soaked in sweat and dirt. Much like her rider. Taking off the saddle and placing it on a low hanging bough, she then led the horse to the water to drink, patting its side gently. <3>

IceTe3a: He smirks as his sharp eyes gleam with delight, a laughter roars out from his stomach as they once again have escaped death with some well needed money for supplies. As they walked on towards the billabong he could see Annie was slightly more excited than he was, he smirked as they finally made it to the billabong, it was covered mostly by a large cut mountain, with the thick gum bush being the only way in or out it can be missed by those who do not know its existence, he actually has never seen anyone else visit this place before it was like that a lot here. He stripped his horse from saddle and reign as he gave her a solid pat “Easy girl..” he said as he brought her down to the water and left her to her own will, he sat down by the billabong and cupped the water in his hands as he washed his face and neck, a cooling moment as the breeze came through it cooled his skin as he sighed happily “ well, we made off with a good amount but it will go fast.. we need to decide what we need to replace and what we need to get” he of course was thinking about the items that needed to be replaced and what they needed to get, the list was long but priorities were priorities. After resting for awhile he smiled and stood up as he started to collect twigs, pulling off some bark from the gum tree it was paper like and perfect to start a fire with, bundling them all up in a neat fireplace he started to rub a twig against the gumtree bark creating friction until a spark lit and a small flame rose. Quickly tending to it as he helped it light up the twigs until it roared into a steady fire placed with few good logs. The days were hot but the nights were cold, and they needed to eat as he looked up at Annie with a slightly arched brow “What we got left to cook?”

CharlotteCarrendar: – Letting go of her horse’s reigns to allow her to drink and then feed on some grass, Annie put her hands on her hips and looked around the billabong. What she wanted first off was to wash, but the most important thing that she needed to do was ensure they had food. Jack had asked her what they had left to which she replied ”Flour…some salt. Tea..” Thinking for a moment, she then looked to the billabong. ”Could try for some fish.” There was darts of silver movement within the stream, and she didn’t mind trying something different. Annie took off her hat, and smacked it against her side – the dust billowing around her as she then hung her hat on a tree. Reaching up she untied her hair, the red curls falling down and about her shoulders. ”Either that or we try for grubs.” Witchety grubs were a common source of protein in the bush, though they didn’t look all that appetizing. At any rate, she had the ingredients for a bush damper and that could starve off hunger at the very least. Jack had already made a start on the camp fire, so Annie went to see what she had in her swag. Pulling out the bag of flour and salt, along with the tea, she brought them over to the fire side and dumped them on the ground at Jack’s feet. <3>


IceTe3a: He watched as she started to look around while pulling her hair out, he smiled as he watched her red locks flow gently down against her neck. Then she talked about fish in the bong or grubs, well if they were the choices he had it would be fish. No one exactly knew how it happened, but billabongs were full of fish in the most part, some say from birds transferring eggs or small fish that get stuck in their feathers others say the bongs are all connected by a underground water tunnel, either way he was sure there was fish in this one. “You can have grubs if you want, but I want fish” he laughed lightly as he came to a stand, stripping his worn out boots off, he rolled up his long jeans and took of his long armed shirt, he looked around in the shrubs as he finally found his hand made spear, made from a strong tree he leaves it here to fish with. “Tend to the fire, I’ll fish for dinner” he smirked as he stood there bare-chested and muscle bound, built up from the hard laboring work he has done over the years his body was riddled with different scars as well as a few prison brandings. He walks down into the water waist deep and stands still with a refreshing sigh “Oh this is bloody brilliant” he smirked as his body was getting cooled down, he stood still with spear in hand, it took a few strikes and waiting for the fish to stop spooking but eventually he got a nice sized barramundi, more than enough to feed the two for the night. they will eat like kings, it squirmed and wiggled on his spear as he grabbed it “Wooo! Dinners up! “ he smirked as he came out of the bong soaking wet, slowly he placed the fish on the ground and pulled the spear out, laying the spear down he unsheathed his old knife from behind his back and cut the fishes throat to let it bleed out as he sat down next to Annie. “So, what do we need to buy with our new found riches?”

CharlotteCarrendar:- Nothing beats a fresh fish meal, especially barramundi – the best fish that you can catch. Annie knew that Jack would rather eat nothing if he was up against just having grubs. ”Fish it is then, if ya can catch it.’ Annie said with a laugh, taking her turn to stoke the fire and add twigs and bark when needed. She sat herself down, peeling off her boots which were well worn and tossed them to the side of her. Annie was still filthy, from the ride through the bush but she would wait before attempting to bathe. Last thing she wanted to do was scare the fish. Annie made a start on the damper, which would last right through to the next day. All it took was flour, salt and water before working it into a dough, then placing the dough in amongst the burning embers of the fire. Be burnt on the outside, but so good on the inside. Not like the bread you would get from the bakers, but this was true bush tucker and saved many a man from starvation. Annie lifted her head when Jack called out how blood brilliant it was to be standing in the cool of the stream. Half his luck. She’d get her turn soon enough. A bit later he came back with his prize – a good sized barra which was wriggling around on his hand made spear. She had to admit, the man could fish like no other. While the fish bled out, Annie was asked what they should do with their new found riches. ”New pants.” Annie replied, feeling the breeze in hers. You could say they were holy. <3>

IceTe3a: He chuckled as he heard her say she wants new pant’s, it was true their clothing was almost worn out, they did need clothing but they also needed to arm themselves and get food.. a new kettle and so much more. He started to gut and clean the fish as he thought up a plan in his head, soon enough the fish was ready to start cooking. “throw some salt on her and she’ll be right as rain” he smirked as he tossed the fish on a smoldering log in the fire to cook, as he looked over at the horses they seemed to be enjoying themselves, they needed to pay a blacksmith to get new horse shoes for their steeds. He came to a stand as he walked over and picked up his swag and threw it next to Annie’s, the fire alone wouldn’t be enough to keep them warm so sleeping together was a smart move. Sitting back down as the smell of cooking damper and fish flew through the air making his mouth salivate. “How about.. we use the gold to get us some guns. Then we can rob a few stores, holding a bank up with a knife just aint gonna cut it anymore. If we arm ourselves we can go rob and hunt for food, may as well hit up the town we get the guns from anyway” his sharp eyes glance over to her with a smirk growing on his lips, it was true if they had firearms it be easier for them to rob stores and they could protect themselves, it would give them the next step they needed to get them to where they want to be.

CharlotteCarrendar: – With Jack back and tending to the fire and the fish now cooking on the smouldering log, Annie pushed herself to standing. Tired and dirty, she started to peel off her shirt that was still wet from sweat. She took it off, unashamed of her naked torso. He had seen it all before and there was no modesty between them. Annie took off her pants second, and then carried them all to the stream. Wading in, she instantly felt relaxed. The cool of the water invigorating. Dumping her clothes on a rock, she dived under the water and then swam a good couple of metres before her head bobbed above the surface. To her tired and aching bones this was sheer heaven, and she floated on her back. Her arms spreading out as she simply enjoyed the moment. She knew she had to wash her clothes, and Jack’s but first she wanted to wash the grime off herself. Annie asked Jack to toss her the soap that they picked up in the last town, and soon she was washing the clothes on the rock, before hanging them up on a low hanging branch to dry. Without a stitch on, she came up out of the water, and rifled through her duffle bag for her only other change of clothing. Hand me downs from her older brothers. Made tough for the environment, but did nothing for her figure. She rang out her hair by hand, watching Jack cooking the fish. The smell making her all the more hungry. Sitting back down beside him, talk came to how to spend their fortune. It never lasted long, what with the items that they needed and guns was on the top of the list. ”I’m all for a good pistol, Jack.” Annie offered, adjusting her sack behind her comfortably. <3>

IceTe3a: He smirked as he watched her enjoy the water before washing their clothing, the fish was cooking nicely and the damper started to let off its sweet intoxicating smell. When she was done and came to sit by him he smiled as he looked her over, not a scratch on her; just how he likes to keep her. “Yeah, a good .45 colt revolver would do us nicely. Then it’s settled, and if we have more we’ll get you new clothing” he smiled as he looked back at her, he didn’t bother worrying about his own clothing he’d wear anything, but Annie insisted on taking care of him. He sighed slightly as the fish finally was cooked, he pulled it off the fire, the heat didn’t bother him to much as his fingers were rough and thick skinned. Laying it down on a fresh gumtree bark he peeled the fishes skin back as the soft white flesh appeared to them both, the best part about barramundi. Taking up the salt he poured some over the fishes cooked meat and smiled “Dig in” as he took a piece for himself and started munching down on it, it was early noon nowhere near dark yet as he munched away on the fish slowly getting replenished he wondered if they should make for the town today, that meant going back through the gorge and to the local towns, any town out this side of the gorge had its own law and was always heavily protected. “Think we should head back through to town before night? “ he glanced over at her and watched her eating.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Annie looked over at the horses, that were both enjoying each other’s company and the freedom of not wearing a saddle. Both riders had pushed them hard throughout the morning, and now with the daytime around noon, there was time to go back through the gorge but they would have to pace the horses. Taking up a piece of white barra flesh which she blew to take the heat off, Annie contemplated what to do. ”So long as the horses can make it without falling lame.” Chewing thoughtfully on the fish, she then swallowed and added. ”Aye, we can go.” She knew that Jack was keen to spend the money that they had stole on equipment, and to be truthful, their food supplies were running low. Living off the land and not going into the settlements meant for hard going, if you didn’t know the bush well. Annie picked up a stick and gave the damper a bit of a prod. She could smell it’s delicious scent and knew that it would be good eating on the way to town. Glancing up at Jack a moment, she asked; ”Was a close call on that ride. I could swear one of those bullets had me name on it.” Wasn’t often that Annie admitted that she had been spooked by one of the shots fired at her. To bleed to death in the bush would be a terrible thing. <3>

IceTe3a: Eating his share of the fish he nodded in agreement, if the horses went lame that would be an expensive issue. Glancing them over he smiled and looked back at her “We won’t ride them hard, by the time we get to town and do what we need to do, they’ll be able to have a short gallop for our get away before we can start to walk them off again” he smiled lightly as he watched her prod the damper, laughing lightly “I swore I got hit, was a bloody ant that bit me though” his laugh got louder as he smiled and munched on more fish. Slowly the fish disappeared as they both ate it dry. Packing up his swag he left the damper for Annie to deal with as he saddled up their horses who were already cooled down and ready to go again. As he walked over he was counting the purse of gold coins “Forty eight.. Forty nine… Fifty.. We have fifty gold pieces, more than enough to buy the guns we need plus belts and spare ammo, with left overs” he was surprised that the purse held fifty coins, he thought maybe 10 at most this meant they had more than they originally thought. More than enough to stock them up with some more food items, weaponry and even clothing for them. He smirked as he took her beaten up pants and shoved them in her bag for later use “Looks like you’ll be getting new clothing soon enough love” he chuckled but he knew they needed to make the money last so he would be using his talents and tricks to bargain deals and con his way into cheaper prices, he waited for Annie to be finished with her meal and watched as she packed up the damper. Kicking dirt over the fire he walked over to the horses and tied the swags on “Let’s get along” he smiled

CharlotteCarrendar: – It was decided. They were going to head off just as soon as the camp was packed up and the damper taken off the fire. Annie rolled it out of the fire and tapped the sides as it was still quite hot. Jack had gotten a start on packing up their swags and the old clothing that had been strung up on the tree branch. He had thought out how to push the horses on the way to town without putting a lot of pressure on them. It was a wise move, and she knew that her horse needed shoeing as well. When the damper had cooled, Annie rolled it up into a large cloth that she kept just for her dampers. It would be packed with the rest of her swag and placed on the back of her horse to be eaten later on. The rest of the cooking supplies would also need to be packed. With the fire having dirt kicked over, they would be ready to set off once again. Annie did laugh when Jack claimed that he thought he had been shot, but it was just a bull ant. ”Well, they do sting.” Annie admitted, not exactly a fan of the ants herself. ”Though, I’d rather that to a bullet anyday.” Wasn’t that the truth? Finding her ribbon, Annie tied up her hair again, and wound it up so that it would be up and under her hat. For one it made her feel cooler without her hair on the back of her neck, and many mistook her for a boy half the time. She was not exactly keen about giving away the fact she was a girl. Annie mounted her horse, which had been saddled up by Jack, and then gave her a bit of a kick to get her going again. They would be heading out of the gorge and relative protection. Hopefully, no one was waiting for them on the other side. <3>

IceTe3a: As they both were ready to go he hopped on his horse and followed slowly next to Annie, the horses appreciated the chance to stop and rest for a while; he knew they wouldn’t go lame but he wasn’t going to take any chances. As they slowly made their way to the opening of the gorge it seemed safe enough, it looked like the coppers had head on home back to their own town, which was not the town they were going to in the first place; neither of them were stupid enough to do that. As the horses trotted along he started whistling an Irish tune, as he smiled looking over at Anne. They both had made names for themselves around the locals, but soon enough he knew their names would be spread and feared throughout the lands. The heat was slowly getting hotter as he took a swig from his canteen and passed it over to Annie “Keep the fluids up” soon enough the town they were looking for came into sight, they had purposely left this town alone as it was the main town for importing wares and such, they needed somewhere to sell their loot and resupply. Coming up to a log tie with a water trot he jumped off his horse and tied the reigns to the pole. “Let’s go see the gunsmith” he said as he smirked, his sharp eyes showing excitement, not many people knew about Jacks cavalryman background, he was a sharp shot and used to be a captain, that was before he betrayed them by refusing orders but the past was all but dust laying on the ground. As they walked over to the gunsmiths store he walked in as a bell rung, noticing a younger man sitting on a chair with a shotgun he had to assume it was loaded, as an elder man stood at the counter. Looking around there were many guns on display from used and broken to brand new among other things. He walked up to the counter and looked over the man “Wat’ll it be, stranger?” he smiles lightly as he gives a nod, “We’ll need two .45 colt revolvers, two belts and 3 extra rounds each, That’s 24 bullets per gun.” he looked over behind the man as the rifles as he examined them closely leaver action rifles would be great for a long distance fight or hunting “And gimme the 50.50 leaver with a few extra rounds too” he looked back at the old man who looked them both over, such an order was uncommon and could be considered dangerous “ Having some trouble?” the old man questioned his intentions as he smiled slightly. “Yeah.. we’re drovers, our boss is pissed, we were held up and lost our guns and the head of cattle to some bloody bush rangers” the old man seemed to relax as he nodded in kind, pulling up two brand new revolvers, two holsters and belts, the extra ammo for all the guns and the rifle. “ That’ll be 25 gold coins, I’ve even thrown in a strap for the rifle” Jack leaned back a bit and looked at the wares and back up to the old gun shop owner, “25 coins?! Are you kidding me? “ the young man leaned forward slightly as the table creaked, “Well either pay the price, or take it up with my son” the old man chuckled slightly, jack turned around and leaned against the table as he looked the young boy over then he got an idea as he looked at Annie with a smirk “How about a wager, If I can outshoot your son, we make it 15 coins, if he outshoots me I’ll pay 50 coins” he knew Annie would have something to say about this but he knew she would trust his judgment for now, he would just cop a beating later. The old man rubbed his beard as he looked over his son who nodded in kind, the old man laughed and shook Jacks hand “Alright but, he’s a great shot brought up with guns. First to shoot 3 bottles 10 yards. We’ll use the store guns and not the new ones. Meet us round back when you’re ready” the old man and young man left the back door open as they left, Jack turned around to Annie as he smirked ”Trust me..”

CharlotteCarrendar:- The ride into town had been a good one, and with the horse tied and close to water, the pair were able to start shopping for the supplies that they needed. Keeping the brim of her hat down, she followed Jack into the gunsmith’s. She understood the need for the guns, but was curious with how Jack would explain why they needed them. Seeing the young fella holding a shot gun and being on guard of the place, while the old man was behind the counter, Annie knew that they had to tread lightly or face being shown the door in a not so polite way. Annie let Jack do all the talking, as she went to look around the store while keeping one eye on the young gent on the chair. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end though, when she heard the price. That was half of all their gold and a handsome sum at that. She was ready to walk out in protest, but that was when Jack decided to make a bet. This had Annie turn fast on her heel, her jaw falling open when he bet that if the young lad could out shoot him, he would pay the fifty coins they did have for the weaponry. Oh, she wanted to drag him out of that store by his ear. It took a great deal of inner strength not to spit out what she thought of the deal. Course, the gunsmith could barely help himself. Getting a chance to see his sharp shooting son teach Jack a lesson. Watching the pair go out the back door, Annie was about to rip Jack a new ass hole, when he smirked and said ”Trust me.” Annie gave him one hell of a dirty look, then went back out the front way so they could then go round the back when Jack was ready to take part in the bet. ”Men…” Annie mumbled under her breath. <3>

IceTe3a: He smirked as he knew a well earned beating was on its way for even thinking about betting their entire gold, and if he lost it all she’d have him dead for sure. He chuckled lightly as he walked out with Annie and walked around the side, there were the old man and the youngster with 6 bottles lined up 10 yards away. Jack winked at Annie and walked over to the old man grabbing one of the revolvers he checked it out before cocking it “ On your count “ he stood next to the young man who was dead calm and preparing to fire the old man counted down from one to three and .. *BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG* Jack let off six shots shooting all six bottles before the young kid could pop one off, the old man stood there bewildered as jack smiled lightly and handed the pistol back. “Nice shooting son, well I am a honest man and a bet’s a bet. 15 for the lot come right this way.” He looked back at Annie and gave her a wink as they walked back into the shop, He handed over 15 gold coins and took the two revolvers, ammo, belts, holsters and rifle “Sorry sir, I do feel bad for outshooting your son. I’m sure he’s a fine shot” the old man shook his head and smiled “You were the better shot today, It’s good to meet other gun slingers, I’ll sure to be telling you if I have any trouble that’s for sure” he smiled and bid them goodbye. He walked out with Annie in tow and smiled lightly as they exit the shop he walked down the path before turning around, walking up to Annie he wrapped a belt and holster around her waist as he slipped a loaded .45 colt revolver into the holster, passing her a few extra rounds he looked up to her and smiled “I had it under control and we saved 10 coins, don’t hit me too hard” he smiled as he did his own belt up and holstered his pistol, slinging the rifle onto his back he looked around for the general store which basically sold all the foods and equipment they would need, after that they would need to get Annie some new threads “Come on Annie, lets hit up the general store” he chuckled as he walked her along the path towards the general store, this time he’d let Annie choose what wares they’d need.

CharlotteCarrendar; – Lucky for Jack, the bet went in his favour. He was a sharp shooter and made like work of the bottles that the old man and his son had lined up. Annie had stood well back, her arms folded over her chest. Jack truly had the luck of the Irish. Each blast of the gun was accurate and one by one the bottles fell. The old man while shocked was an honest one and agreed to honour the wager. ~Well that’s a first~ Annie thought to herself, as she followed Jack out of the store, only to have him turn around and place a gun belt around her waist, followed by the shiny new .45 colt revolver. The weight of the piece truly felt and she couldn’t help but smile at was truly a gift. Annie smirked at Jack as he gave her a few extra rounds of ammo. ”Don’t hit me too hard.” He teased. ”Oh don’t worry, I’ll get ya back for that.” Did she mean it? Having saved money on the guns, this meant they had more to barter with for supplies, and that meant going to the general store. This part of their shopping was up to her, and she already had some things in mind. Entering the general store a small bell rang, and a well dressed man stepped out and went behind the counter. There were barrels of produce and there was all manner of cookware, such as kettles and pots that instantly drew in Annie’s attention. She pointed up to the shiny kettle that would be perfect for a bush fire. ”The kettle please. Pound of flour…and do you have bush honey?” She was always keen on honey for the damper as it went so well together. Annie looked back at Jack and asked. ”What you be wanting, love?’<3>

IceTe3a: He watched as they entered the door, he leaned against the doorframe resting his hand on his brand new gun as he looked around the shop at the wares, he knew they needed quite abit but this was Annie’s department and she knew what was best as he watched her choosing out what she wanted, was that really all? Honey, flour and a kettle? They needed to supply up to last at least a week in the rough, he rubbed his chin as she called him love he coughed slightly and stood up as he looked around the store “ How about some more foods, something to keep meats from going bad, and anything else you can thing of Darling” he smirked slightly as he started to toy around with a few of the wares in the store. He kept a weather eye on the door for anyone else who may enter, as he walked up next to Annie he stood taller than her. “Rope we’ll need some rope as well” he smiled as he looked down at her.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Jack was right, they would need more supplies to help their foods last. ”Salt.” Was the first thing to come to mind. Sugar was deemed a luxury and she didn’t even contemplate it, since they used the honey as a sweetener. Annie caught sight of a bush oven and her heart near skipped a beat. That would be ideal and be perfect for damper as well as cooking a stew. Happily she pointed up at the oven, and the shop owner had to wonder just how the pair were going to pay for all this. Seeing they were armed made his lip twitch nervously. After deciding on a few more food stuffs that could keep, she then turned to wear they had clothing. One of the wooden mannequins was wearing a fine dress, obviously for someone important in town. Annie looked at it with wonder, before then thinking of being more practical and went to see if they had pants and shirts. She picked out two of each and brought them over to the counter where the shop keeper was adding up their supplies. ”Eighteen gold pieces for the lot.” Annie knew they needed the horses to have their shoes done and wondered if she should put the clothes back. <3>

IceTe3a: He watched as she chose all the items they needed, she even wanted to get a cooking oven which would be useful in the long run. As he watched her closely he saw her stare at a long beautiful dress as he smirked and had to help himself from laughing, the thought of a bad assed female like her had ever thought of wearing a dress was hilarious to him but he wouldn’t let her see that he was laughing at her. Watching as she settled for getting new pants and shirts for herself he smiled as he walked up to the front of the shop where they were, watching as the old man started counting up the price. He said it’s going to cost them eighteen pieces, they had fifty to start with and spent fifteen leaving them thirty five.. He knew the man was fearful of them and he smirked a sinister smirk as he pulled Annie back up to the counter. “Sixteen and not a penny more” he glared into the shopkeepers eyes without even blinking, he was trying to stare him down and shake him a bit.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Annie’s eyes opened wide when she heard Jack say that they would pay sixteen and not a penny more. Then she remembered the way they were dressed and the fact they were armed. Heavily armed. That sinister old sneer on Jack’s face made Annie nearly swallow her own tongue. Would the shop keeper accept such a price? A whole two pieces off? There was silence in the shop for a moment and you could see the bead of sweat on the shop keeper’s forehead. The staring competition was getting intense only to have an elderly lady enter the shop. This changed everything. The shop keeper favoured the lady’s custom and the last thing he wanted was her having a heart attack over a standoff over two gold coins. Annie cocked her head slightly to the left as she waited to hear the verdict, and then it was done as the woman approached the counter.”Yes..yes…sixteen. I’ll have my son wrap it all up for you.” Annie released a breath and then smiled at the old lady, who looked her up and down like she was some tomboy, especially when she saw the gun on her belt. The shop keeper was keen to avert a crisis and then came out from behind the counter to turn her attention away, as a young boy came from out back and started to parcel up their purchases. <3>

IceTe3a: He smirked as the shop keeper gave way to his banter sixteen gold pieces that was a whole two gold pieces off that was a lot. Smiling as he looked at Annie who was a bit flustered almost, he chuckled lightly as he pulled out sixteen gold pieces and placed them in front of the shop boy this lefty them with 14 gold pieces left, that was a lot left over seeming to reshoe the horses would cost 6 gold for both horses. He grabbed everything once it was packed up and followed Annie out, he knew she would say something about his harsh ways. Honestly she was the only one who could keep him in line, he enjoyed that fact as he smirked “We still have fourteen gold pieces left, the horse shoes will cost us six, and you have your new clothing so what else do we need?” he thought to himself as he looked around town they actually needed to get a home base of sorts, some kind of hideaway or something, perhaps they should start putting some gold away and discuss future plans. He walked over to their horses as he packed up all the gear into the swags and carry bags on the horses. Leading the horses over to the blacksmith he could feel the heat from inside as he wiped his brow “Need these horses reshoe’d we’ll be back to collect and pay later” the clanking of metal against metal could be heard as a grunting sound of acknowledgment echoed. Smirking he turned to Annie and looked her over “So whats next Darling?” he smirked cheekly.

CharlotteCarrendar:- So far they had managed to save their money from the gunsmith to the general store and gotten much of what they needed to keep them going a good while. The weapons would be especially handy in the coming weeks, if not months. Now all that was left was to get the horses reshoed. At Jack’s calculations they would have money at the end of it, and this was something that they would save, possibly for something more permanent like a place to call their own. For now however, they lived off their wits and their means. With the horses being taken care of, Annie had a wonderful idea. ”Fancy an ale?” she had a wicked gleam in her eyes, but not only that there was usually a card game on in the drinking establishments. Knowing Jack as well as she did, Annie knew that he could hardly resist that. If they were a bit under the weather, they could always find a room at the pub. <3>

IceTe3a: He heard her ask if he wanted to grab an ale at the local pub, his shark eyes gleamed as he smirked a wicked smirk, where there was a pub of drunks there was a card game with money to be had. “Sure, you can be my lady luck” he gave her a wink as they walked over to the pub. Entering inside the pub he walked over and ordered them an ale, flicking a gold coin at the barkeep that would pay for more drinks to come. As he eyes the tables he eventually found one where they were gambling with cards and gold coins, he smirked as he now had eight seven gold coins left after paying for all their drinks. Handing Annie a ale his eyes gleamed into hers as he took a swig and wondered over to the table. With the seven gold coins clinking in his hands he looked around the table and smirked “Mind If I join you boys?” as he placed down his gold coins and his Ale taking a seat at the table, he was drawn into the game of cards as each shared the opportunity to shuffle the deck. He played his cards right, loosing hands and bluffing his way making him look weak and his bluffs always fall through, finally he was the last person to shuffle with him and six other men at the table, he looked down to his stash of coins he had lost a few purposely and won some back now sitting with 8 gold pieces, the pot already had six gold pieces in it to be won. He shuffled the deck and with his slide of hand threw out hands for everyone, everyone got a decent hand but his own hand would trump all their hands leading them into a insecure bet without knowing. “eight gold pieces is the wager” most of the men chuckled thinking by now they knew his bluffs to well and sort after his coins once and for all. With six gold pieces in the pot and him wagering eight that brought the pot to fourteen and there were six other players if they all wanted to take the risk it would be eight gold pieces each leaving the pot at 54 gold pieces. One by one they all took the bait, their own greed, the great hands they held and the thought of figuring Jack out led them all to their doom. Anne knew her role in this, come running over with bad news about a robbery on their establishment making them having to take the gold and leave. Even though they may have lost their winnings the thought that the man they lost to had just been robbed sufficed their greed. One by one they threw down their hands to show, but in the end it was Jack with the strongest hand and he won all fifty four gold pieces, leaving the men with barely anything to go by, he waited for Annie to play her part, honestly she didn’t let him do this to often, he was to good at it and it could easily go sour. He slowly drunk the rest of his ale as he laid in wait, collecting his gold.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Sipping her ale, Annie had kept well out of eyeshot of the men that were gambling at the table. She knew perfectly well how Jack played and she also knew that when the time came, she had to put on a real performance to make for an easy get away. Nothing worse than drunk men who think they have been fleeced by a card shark. Oh, Jack was ruthless when it came to gambling and left many a man without a shirt on his back. Sipping her beer and then putting the empty glass on the bar, she ventured outside – her attire making her blend easily in with the other men that came in and out the door. With her hat down, few would pay her much attention since she dressed like a lad anyways. When she peered through the dirty panes, it was when she watched as the kitty grew and grew. There was more gold on that table than what they had come to town with. Annie counted to herself as the men were starting to show their hands, each one was not a winner. As soon as Jack splayed his cards on the table, Annie knew it was her time to act. Rushing in she reached the table and blurted. ”Jack…bush rangers…robbed the store!” A collective gasp was heard around the inn, including all the men at the gambling table. The worst thing they could imagine was murderous bush rangers riding into town and stealing from them. The sounds of chairs being pushed back came from all over – just the right time to take the winnings and make a run for it. <3>

IceTe3a: He smirks as he looks up at Annie as he saw her run in, her story and acting was spot on everyone had believed her as whispers of fear and robbers could be heard. “Filthy bloody bastards.. I’m sorry boys I need to take my leave and see what.. if anything they left me” he sighed as he took the fifty four gold coins and walked away from the table “I’ll be back again to try my lucky next time! If I still have a store to own that is” he watched as some of the people walked hastily outside to go guard their own houses and or stores, others were wondering if the robbers were coming this way. He walked out with Annie next to him, they were the perfect duo. He smirked as they were scott free, he turned around and looked at Annie“After paying the blacksmith we have forty eight coins left, Gotta love a man who can look after a woman” he smirked playfully as he went over to the blacksmith and paid the man for his troubles. He led the horses out all packed with gear as he passed Annie the purse of gold, as he hopped on his horse he waited for Annie to get on hers before they rode out of town looking like they were in some sort of rush. After a good ride he slowed his horse down to a gentle walk and let out a roaring laugh “Oh stupid drunk men.. never saw it coming” he looked back to Annie and smiled “You know.. you shouldn’t hide the fact you’re a female, make a name for yourself, your true self. People will think another male rides with me and when they see you as your female self they won’t fear you, that could cause issue” he chuckled and gave her a wink“Besides I like your hair down anyway” as they slowly made their way back to the gorge he wondered just what they should do next, obviously they need their own place sooner or later but where.. and how? Perhaps they should build their own place.