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Howell & Agent Beales

32 Wildcards: Deadlands - Twitter RP - Season 3

Howell Melton visits Idella in jail, and learns more than he was prepared to.

Howell: The day after the posse was taken into custody and eventually freed by the 'confession' of Beales, Howell decides to get some answers from the woman. He walks into the Marshal's office and nods at Marshal Hayes. "Mornin', Marshal. I was wonderin' if I could speak to Miss Beales?"

Marshal: Marshal Hayes cocks an eyebrow, and gives Howell a long, hard look. "Wasn't expectin' to see any of you folks back here so soon," he says, peering at Howell as though trying to bore into his skull. "What exactly do you need to speak to the prisoner about?"

H: Howell crosses his arms and gives the Marshal a stern look. "Well, with all due respect Marshal, I don't think what I discuss with my friends is any of your business." He then points at his deputy badge pinned on his own vest. "Besides, you can trust me. I'm a man of the law."

​M: The marshal smirks in spite of himself at Howell's earnestness, and nods to one of his deputies, who begins unlocking the door to the jail cells. "I'll grant that's the case under ordinary circumstances, Mr. Melton. But I've a responsibility to keep my 'charges' behind bars, where they belong." He sighs. "I suppose there's no harm in a simple conversation. But my deputy here is goin' to keep an eye on the two of you. Fair?"

H: "Fair enough. But an eye is all your deputy gets. Tell em' to keep their ear out of our talks. It's private and I don't want anyone tellin' stories." Howell waits for the deputy to finish unlocking the door, and then walks inside.

M: Hayes rasps a bemused laugh, shrugging at his deputy, who closes and locks the door to the cells behind the frontiersman. Howell can feel the deputy's eyes on him as he walks further in. Beales glances up from a book and beams. "Why, Mr. Melton! What a pleasant surprise!"

​H: "Well, you're awfully full o' sunshine for someone who's behind bars." Howell sits down on a bench across from Beales' cell. "What are ya readin' there?"

​M: "Oh this? One of those dime novels... Marshal was kind enough to indulge me. Just a silly story about a man who lives off the land, fights for what's right." She smiles at Howell. "He kind of reminds me of you." Then her expression hardens. "You shouldn't be here."

​H: "Well Beales, neither should you. Unless you really want me to believe you murdered a man in cold blood for no reason, and then turned yourself in?" Howell leans back and crosses his arms. "Now, I don't know much about murder or blood, but I know a good person when I see one."

​M: She blushes slightly, but her eyes never leave yours."I don't think you know as much as you think you do, Mr. Melton." Her eyes flick over to the deputy's watchful face at the door, and she lowers her voice. "Your friends killed that man. I don't know why, but I'm sure they had a good reason. Mr. Bogue has a singular focus, and one I completely understand. I am in here so that you all won't be, because I realized that you all can do the things that I cannot. And I am willing to sacrifice whatever I have to in order to see that the job is done."

​H: Howell leans forward and takes off his hat, setting it on the bench. He lets out a sigh and rubs his face with a hand. "God damn it, Bogue. That ain't right. You can't go around killin' folk willy-nilly and leave others to suffer for it." He looks back up at Beales. "I'm sorry. Me and him are going to have some words when this is all through. But you shouldn't be sittin' in here locked up for what my posse did. Look, I'll tell the Marshal to keep me in your place while you go an' fetch the gunslinger."

M: She sits forward, a sudden coldness in her eyes. She's all Agency now. "You'll do no such thing, Melton. If you think me getting out of here in any way supersedes the Baron being stopped, kept from unleashing more things like that train on innocent folks...then you're not the man I thought you were." Her expression softens then, and she looks suddenly tired. Beales suddenly can't meet Howell's eyes. "And I would very much like you to be the man I think you are," she says, blushing again.

H: Howell's eyes widen at her sudden coldness. He pauses for a moment, then relaxes. "Oh, I get it. You Agency folk are doin' this for the greater good an' all that, huh? Well, that's honorable and I respect that, but we all need to pay the price for the bad things we do." Howell motions towards her. "But you shouldn't be paying that price. That's horseshit. Now, I know what you're going to say- you got a plan to get yourself out of here. And that's fine. You're tough, you can take care of yourself. I like that about you." "But the law should be better. The law needs to account for evidence other than the ramblings of those two bastards who were yellin' about us yesterday. The law shouldn't just take the word of anyone who walks into the Marshal's office and just says 'Yeah, it was me who dun it.'" "Deputy Bixby Jones would be spinning in his grave if he saw the way the law in this town worked." He slams his fist down on the bench. "It's just not fair, damn it." He looks up at Beales, embarrassed. "Sorry about that. Got a little hot headed for a moment." He picks up his hat and looks at it in his hands. "As for the kind of man I am, Beales... well, I've done all sorts of bad things in the name of searching for the one I love. Things I'm not proud of. Does all that get a pass from the law as well?"

M: Beales looks at Howell for a spell, composing her thoughts. "I don't have a plan. I pulled a lot of strings and called in a lot of favors to be the person who killed Mr. Daehn. My superiors probably haven't even realized what's happening yet, and when they do, I don't expect them to save me. That'd be showing their hand." The set of her mouth is grim and hard. "But as I said...what you four are doing is too important to be hindered by the law. The law isn't designed for the West, Mr. Melton, nor the people and things that operate within it. Being bound by the law is a hindrance that the Baron and his ilk do not share. And you can't stop him from in here. I know your affection for the man, but Bixby Jones would die screaming if he had to deal with just a taste of what's really out there. The law can go to hell for all I care. All that matters is that we do some good, and put a stop to these monsters, metaphorical or otherwise." Beales takes a breath, recovering from her rant. And then she looks at Howell...really looks at him, eyes blazing defiantly. "And as far as searching for the one you love... ...could be she's right in front of you, Howell. So are you going to kiss her, or are you gonna let her swing before you get the chance?"

H: Howell stands up and puts on his hat. "Well, she's actually quite a distance away and there's some damn ticks I gotta get past first, so I don't know how I'd..." he pauses and stares at Beales. "...oh." He flushes beet red and stands dumbfounded. "I... uh... I mean, I'm..." Nervously, he scratches his neck and clears his throat. "Uhm. Uh... I'm flattered and all Miss Beales, really, I am." He raises his left hand in front of him to show her. "But I'm a married-" He stops and glances at his hand, realizing his wedding ring isn't there. He clenches his left hand into a fist, and closes his eyes. "I'm... taken. Someone's waitin' for me, and I can't see her until I finish this job." He opens his eyes and looks up at her. "And I do aim to finish it."

​M: Beales turns bright red, and begins to stammer herself. "Of course...I...sorry, I shouldn't have assumed..." She grips the edge of her cot, angry tears welling up in her eyes. After a pregnant pause, she whispers, "I'm awful tired now, Mr. Melton. I need to rest. And you shouldn't be wasting your time in here with me. You've got work to do, and not much time to do it. It would be terribly ungentlemanly of you to let me go through all of this only to let the Wraith get away." She takes a deep breath and wipes her eyes. When she turns back to Howell, the Agent has returned. "So get busy, Melton."

​H: Howell sees her face and frowns. "I'm... so sorry. I didn't mean to bait you into this situation, honest." He waits for a moment, and when she doesn't speak up he continues. "And don't you worry, we'll get that Wraith fella. You have my word, miss Beales." He turns and walks out. On his way out of the Marshal's office, he stops at the door. He unpins the Deputy badge off of his vest and looks at it. "If the law ain't made for the West, well..." He turns around and throws it across the room onto the Marshal's desk. "...then I ain't made for the law." He gives Marshal Hayes a grim look, then tips his hat and walks out into the sunlit streets of Denver.

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