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Shade Harper

Welcome to the White Rose Inn

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Scene Rating: PG
Scene Type: Joint Scene
Characters: Shade Harper, Elisabeth Blackburn, Nettie Harper
Location: White Rose Inn, Kalispell, Montana
Timeline: Late Evening, July 1875

 

The White Rose Inn and Cafe had stood resolute since its construction in 1872. The owners had first opened its doors before the civilian town of Kalispell had been built. Back then, it had been an aging building lying just inside the gates of the old trading fort, Fort Kalispell. When the army had taken it over, the Corps of Engineers had been tasked with moving all of the civilian homes and businesses five miles north to the new town's location. That had included the White Rose.


The new building was a sturdy timber and frame construction consisting of three floors. The top floor was the family's apartment. It was spacious and airy, warmed by the sun shining through large windows during the day and kept cozy by wood stoves and fireplaces at night. The second floor consisted of the guest rooms with two of those new-fangled water closets added in recent months. The main floor housed the inn's lobby and common room, the cafe, and a large kitchen. On pretty days, guests could sit out in a sheltered courtyard behind the inn and on its rear or front verandas. The building was kept in good repair, sporting a recent coat of white paint with dark green trim. It was not as grand as the new Belle-St. Regis Hotel but it was clean, comfortable, and welcoming.


It was also just what Shade Harper needed. When he had agreed to bring his little niece into town with him, it had been a typically clear and hot Montana day. His business had taken longer than expected and the sky was darkening ominously by the time he picked Nettie up from her friend's house. He'd thought about leaving her with the Evans family for the night, but Mrs. Evans was heavy with child, and he just didn't feel right about putting her out. So, Shade had taken a tired and rather cross Nettie to the Belle-St. Regis only to learn that the massive hotel was booked solid. Before he had finished speaking to the clerk, the first raindrops were falling. Half an hour later, the storm was worsening, not improving.


Shade pulled his rain slicker around Nettie and snuggled the little girl against his chest. Wind and massive crash of thunder made the boards of the sidewalk under his feet shake. The rain lashed at him and the front of the building. He blinked water out of his eyes and almost groaned as he saw the closed sign hanging on the door. He could see a light glowing from within. Having no intention of taking his niece back out into the storm, he raised his hand and pounded on the door.

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Elisabeth tossed and turned in her bed; the sound of thunder crashing above their tiny town did nothing to help her sleep.  Her sister, Sarah was likely awake and would be equally as miserable, come morning.  Sarah had feigned some sort of illness to which their father took pity and dismissed her from her duties.  She would likely not lift a damned finger tomorrow either.  Elisabeth was desperate for sleep.  With her father out of town and a useless sister to depend on, much of the managing would fall to her.  

 

She cursed at the storm as she hopped out of bed, her mind on a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen.  If anything would make her sleep, it was whiskey.  Hopefully, she would be functional and without a raging headache in the morning.  Bess shrugged on her dressing gown and stepped into her morning slippers before creeping out her bedroom door.  She slipped down the stairs and was on her way to the kitchen when the sound of banging on the front doors caught her attention.

 

Bess rounded the corner and peered into the darkness at the strange figure on the other side of the glass. She sighed, knowing it was probably someone just trying to find shelter from the storm.  She wasn't about to turn them away, but she wasn't going to let the inn's services be taken advantage of either.  "Just a moment!" she called through the door.  She fumbled with the lock as another flash lit up the sky and the crash of the thunder shook the building.  "Come in! Come in!" the young woman called as she swung open the door and ushered the oddly shaped figure inside before locking it back up behind them.

 

Shade slid into the warmth of the building past the young woman that opened the door. He stopped inside the foyer because he did not want to drip water all over the place. Gingerly, he slid his hat back from his face. "Sorry to disturb you so late, ma'am. I've been trying to wait out the storms before heading back to the ranch. Didn't want to get my niece soaked to the bone," he explained as he leaned down to set Nettie on her feet so he could shrug out of his slicker. "Would you happen to have any rooms available?"'

 

@Witchy  Tags for @Elisabeth Blackburn

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Sagas of the Wild West is a roleplaying game set in the American Wild West of the 1870s. It is based on the classic television and movie westerns of the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s.

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