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Working Hard or Hardly Working

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Guest
Posted (edited)
Scene Rating: PG
Place: Kalispell Fairgrounds, Montana
Timeline: Saturday, July 31, 1875

Her uncle had just helped to finish set up her stall and she could honestly say she was excited... Beyond excited, even. She was filled with the kind of excitement small children felt on Christmas Eve. All of her hard work had paid off, finally. She wasn't a particularly patient person by nature, regardless of the fact patience was a virtue and tended to catch more fish. Lately, her life had been giving her the river's trash and for once, since the untimely demise of her long lost love, she felt like life was turning around. "Uncle Bobby..." She started then stopped, practically fidgeting where she stood.

 

It was evident in the girl's eyes that she wanted to be left to her own devices and to a degree, that was what she got. Her uncle ambled away with a chuckle and a shake of his head but remained close enough that he could keep an eye on her and the stall. It was inherent for him not to trust people around his darling niece, who he'd raised as he would have his own child. Crowds were unpredictable and nobody in their family enjoyed the mere notion of unpredictability. It oftentimes created chaos. "Thank you." She mouthed, offering a radiant smile in his direction, as she nervously wiped her hands off on the cloth fabric of her dress... Waiting was the hardest part, especially when it came to waiting for customers to come rolling in (metaphorically speaking, of course, as people didn't roll... unless it was a down a hill or in a barrel).

 

Clara weaved her way thru the growing crowd with both hands on the pie plate, she was not about to drop this pie she had so lovingly baked last night for the festival's baking event even if some careless individual bumped into her - which they had better not. But some folk had no manners at all, she disliked that in people. Now that she had gone thru all the trouble and use of limited ingredients, the girl at least hoped she might actually win. First prize was five dollars worth of mercantile goods  and they certainly could use such a windfall given their dire situation. Otherwise she would have never been convinced to even participate in such frivolous nonsense and even then she had checked with Mrs. Hale to make certain win or lose, she could get what was left of her pie back so nothing went to waste.

 

Now most of the booths set up she managed to pass right by and ignore, her mind set on one task at a time. But that's when she saw the seamstress' stall, or rather the varied cloth items piled up for perusal, including some dresses. Clara was down to one dress since those thieving cowpokes from God only knows where took advantage of her to steal her only other dress. She was still angry about it all especially since nothing had been done about since. She was certain the local marshal could care less about locating a girl's dress and arresting those miscreants. Unable to help herself she came to an abrupt halt and gazed down at the materials. That one dress was a nice maroon color. Her luck though it would never fit her.  And with the dance coming up the following evening, making a new dress was out of the question - that was assuming she even had enough cloth - which she did not.

 

Clara turned her attention to the young woman behind the stall, "Excuse me, miss. Might I able to take a closer examination of that maroon dress there?"

She currently still had a firm grip on the pie as she waited for the lady's answer.

 

She nodded her head exuberantly and chewed on her lower lip. "I can make alterations to it as necessary. Shouldn't take too long at all, and I'll only charge for the alterations... But, anyroad, go ahead and take a gander." It was a kind enough offer in her opinion and arguably, also her opinion, the dress itself was worth more than the alterations. Still, one won more flies with honey than with vinegar. Where had that saying even come from, for starters? Flies were disgusting and the only way they were any good was if they were deader than a doornail. 

 

She glanced over at her uncle before turning her attention back to the younger woman. "If you want, you can put what you're carrying on the table. I'll just shuffle a few things aside and reorganize later." It was a simple enough offer. Surely, after all, she'd need both hands free to properly examine the dress. It was one of Callie's better dresses, and she only sold the best to her customers. Subpar wouldn't do any good and it'd certainly win her no favors. She was quick to accommodate, if nothing else... Thankfully, her uncle didn't expect her to be too profitable, which, in itself, was a godsend because she was always giving customers breaks, hoping they'd one day pay it forward.

 

Most of her customers were good and honest people and the ones in need had their pride, sure, but she still tried to help them. It was the least she could do for her neighbors. Imagine, a neighbor, who wanted to be neighborly! She started moving aside the various cloths and other dresses, making a large enough space for what the other was carrying. It was a simple enough feat, sure, but she was particular in the way she did things. "There you go, ma'am." She offered a smile, wiping her hands off on her dress, something that was quickly becoming a bit of a habit.

 

The young woman was certainly friendly enough and accomodating too willing to not only allow her to take a closer examination of the dress but also giving her some space to set down her entry into the baking contest. Immediately Clara nodded her approval.

 

"Oh thank you," she then carefully set the pie down in the cleared part of the table then explained, "It is an apple pie....for the baking contest."

 

However, one little thing had to be cleared up, Clara was more than a bit of a perfectionist at times, "Excuse me but I am hardly a ma'am. I am fifteen years old."

 

That minor correction dealt with, Clara took up the maroon dress and unfurled it so she could compare it with her height. It was a bit long she instantly noted. The young lady had mentioned she made alterations though. But the overall sales pitch had been a little confusing to homesteader girl and she would need clarifications before negotiating further.

 

"You said you only charge for alterations? Well what if someone were to simply want this dress as is? You are implying the dress itself is free?"

 

@Ladybug@Callie Hughes

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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