Has taken over Richard Orr's law business in Kalispell. Still has connections in Virginia City.
Land Law, Water Law are his speciality.
Aliases / Nicknames
Currently living at the Orr residence.
Kith & Kin
Half-Sister, Anaesthesia Orr.
Born June 1851, Sedalia, Missouri, then a cattle railhead. His natural father was a young cowboy called Dick Orr. His mother named the illegitimate child after her Uncle Lewis Cass, who did much to help support the young child.
The family moved several times during the Civil War which ranged constantly through the border State.
At some point in 1963 the Widow Reeve, as she advertised herself, and her twelve year old son, bumped into a Confederate Staff officer who, despite the changes of a dozen years and the growth of a bushy beard, the wronged woman recognised, strode up to and declared "You are Richard Orr, you are the father of my child!"
Orr, despite his many faults, and the fact that he was married with a five year old daughter, not only accepted the charge of paternity but henceforth paid for the boy's upkeep and schooling.
1868-1873 Lewis studied Law under the tutelage of James Studley of St. Louis, Missouri. Called to the Missouri Bar.
1874 on the death of his beloved Mother, Lewis moves to Virginia, City, Montana Territory to practice Law.
1876 on the death of his natural father, moves to Kalispell, Montana.
Meanwhile, Reeve had found Caroline and Bridget. If he had been expecting to find the two ladies sitting in armchairs sedately sipping tea and eating cucumber sandwiches or deep in prayerful mourning, he was in for a surprise; they were both on the floor playing dollies. Bridget could be very persuasive and insistent when she wanted to do something and, despite not having had dollies herself as a kid, and perhaps not knowing quite what to do with them, Caroline had been accommodating.
Reeve looked from one to the other: all he knew about this Bridget person was that she was a simple-minded cripple. Maybe it was the old trope about dumb blondes which swayed his judgement, but he looked at straight at Caroline and said "Miss Monahan, I presume?"
"Do you mind if I go through these before I sign them?, " Charles asked, "In the meantime, my wife will be happy to accompany you to check on Miss Monahan, so that she can better assess the situation and what needs to be done."
"Of course, I think you will find everything in order, Sir." he stood and gave the documents to the Wentworth patriarch with a reverent bow.
Rebecca nodded, "Yes. We're not quite prepared to have another person staying with us. Also she would need a few things, so knowing what she has will help me out tremendously."
"Please, allow me to escort you, M'am." Reeve said, offering his arm courteously "I need to visit the place myself to make sure that what is in there matches what is manifested in the last will and testament".
They were met at the door of the Old Funeral Parlour by Arabella Mudd, who had the look of someone who had been running around like a chicken with its head cut off - which indeed she had. The immediate shock and sorrow of Lorenzo's death had been quickly replaced by fear: fear that all the photographs he had taken of herself principally, but also of Miriam Kaufmann in 'Historical Tableaux' might be found. She'd spent all morning looking though Crabbe's albums for prints and hiding them. It would be a longer job to check through the glass negatives.
"Howdy, Mrs Wentworth, Howdy Mr Reeve." she beamed, "Come on in, I 'spect you're here to see Bridget and offer your condolences." she presumed, understandably enough.
"I need to look around in a legal capacity, Miss Mudd, I'm Mr Crabbe's executor."
"Well you're too late to execute him, he's already up and died!" Arabella replied.
"I need to check everything is here that should be, that nothing's been removed."
Arabella looked as guilty as sin. "Well, nobody's been hiding any of his photographs, if that's what you're saying!" she confirmed.
Reeve shook his head. "Mrs Wentworth here would like to see Bridget, however." He turned to the gracious lady in question and stooped to take her hand. "Please let me know when you are leaving, Ma'am, and I will escort you back to the bank." he conjured her softly, his gaze lingering. When he had gone, and Rebecca was about to find her way to the newly bereft redhaired waif and stray, Arabella touched her on the arm.
"Missus Dubble-yuh!" she gasped wide eyed "May I talk to you fer a second: woman to woman?!!"
"I have met Miss Monahan, on a number of occasions, mostly in passing or when we happened to here at the same time," she replied, "I found her to be agreeable and maybe with the right help, she might overcome some of her disadvantages."
That sounded positive to Reeve: from what little he knew of Crabbe's ward, that she was a grown up simple-minded cripple, she was not exactly an attractive prospect for a guardian. But Mrs Wentworth sounded like she was already planning the girl's new life.
Looking back to Reeves, she smiled, "The least I can do for now is to check on the young lady to make sure that she is fine. However, I would like to know if you require me to start taking care of her immediately or do we he have to wait until the will is read?"
Reeve produced the documents with an almost alarming rapidity. "Oh no, if Mr Wentworth were to sign the papers right now, er... you'll excuse the haste, I hope. Every minute Miss Monahan remains without a guardian she is in danger of being taken into the care of the county, probably put in an institution. I believe the Territorial Government is building such a hospital at Warm Springs and, well, even the most modern madhouse is still just that..."
Before he could say any more, there was a knock on the door. Getting up from his seat, he went and opened it. Seeing that it was his wife, he smiled and ushered her.
The slightest rustle of petticoats and crinoline had the tall young man on his feet. As he turned and beheld Mrs Wentworth he couldn't hide his surprise: he'd expected an old lady, not a woman in her prime, her looks still radiant despite the apparently fruitless attempts of Old Father Time to ravage them.
"Mr. Reeve, my wife, Rebecca Wentworth."
The kiss to her hand was perfect, but the look into her sparkling blue eyes lasted perhaps a fraction longer than it ought to have. "May I observe that you bring a welcome taste of the sophistication of our great capital to this dusty frontier town, Ma'm." he heard himself say.
He turned to Rebecca, "Mr. Reeve has something he wants to put forward in regard to Miss Monahan."
The lawyer dragged his gaze away from Rebecca for long enough to pull out a chair for her to sit upon before allowing himself the effrontery of being seated in her presence. Poor old Charles didn't get a look-in now as Reeve leaned forward in his chair in a confidential manner toward Rebecca.
"In short, Mrs Wentworth, the girl has been cast upon the world upon the death of her guardian Mr Crabbe last night. Marshall Guyer seems bent upon making her a ward of the County, and heaven knows what will become of the poor child then. Before he died, Mr. Crabbe was planning to ask your husband to become her Guardian and manage her financial affairs."
He looked a little abashed at his next words.
"I must admit, I had assumed that Crabbe chose your husband due to his financial acumen and the respect with which the whole town holds him. But now that I've had the honour of meeting you, Ma'm , I can't help wondering if he was more thinking of the care that you, a wonderful loving mother, even if still an extremely young one, could foster upon her."
"You're right in stating that Mr. Crabbe didn't seek me. In fact, this is the first I have heard about what any of his intentions were," Charles answered solemnly.
Reeve nodded but didn't say anything, he tried to avoid voicing suppositions and guesswork out-loud in his legal work: but he imagined that Crabbe had wanted to exhaust the Connelly marriage route before approaching the wealthy banker. Events had curtailed those plans.
"As for Miss Monahan, it is indeed a tragedy that the young woman is now in need of help. Before we continue, I think that my wife should be present as she will be the one who will be looking after the girl most of the time."
"I think that's a splendid idea, Sir." Cass concurred. Well, that was good: it showed that the head of the Wentworth family was at least taking the idea seriously. Had he known Mrs Wentworth's propensity for do-gooding, he would have entertained an even more sanguine outlook on his prospects of securing the agreement.
Luke responded and left immediately. Going back into the office, he looked at Reeve, "I hope you don't mind waiting for my wife to arrive so that she can hear about the request. In the meantime, tell me more about what Crabbe's will says."
"That would be my pleasure, Sir." Said Reeve. Actually, he would normally reserve the right to keep the contents shady until the official reading, but in this case he was of the opinion that it was in the interests of Miss Monahan to disclose as much as possible to her would-be guardian.
"Well, there are a number of small bequests to specific individuals. Mostly, er, ladies. Apparently he also had a son by an Indian woman on the Agencies, he has a reasonable bequest, although tracking him down should be interesting. There's an inordinate amount of photographic equipment and costumery left to a certain young lady in this town. But the bulk of the property, including the Old Funeral Parlour, and his more liquid assets are left to Miss Monahan, to be administered by a named guardian."
A slight frown creased his smooth forehead.
"The only difficulty could come from the aforementioned son, who might claim a greater part of the estate, or anyone who wanted to make trouble by pointing out that the young lady has not actually be certified as incapable by any medical or civil authority. Connelly, for instance, once the extent of Mr. Crabbe's legacy becomes known, might decide to try and marry the girl after all. It seems certain, from the Marshall's report that he has already violated her. I'm sorry to use such terms, Mr. Wentworth, but you ought to know that before your good lady wife arrives."
"Yes, a tragic event. I doubt we will ever really know the full truth of it, considering who the witnesses were."
Reeve gave a terse nod, one was mentally incapable and the other, Brendan Connelly, had a dim reputation in the town due to some previous unfortunate history. The rumour was that he had been involved in a gunfight and turned on a young lad called Billy who was ostensibly on the same side as himself. This was a drastic over-simplification of what had happened that tragic day, but it was what the hive-mind of the town thought had happened that mattered.
The first Sunday of every month, flowers appeared on Billy's unmarked grave: some folk said, erroneously, that a guilt-ridden Connelly put them there.
"Had he not died, Mr. Crabbe might well have been sitting here himself, Sir." Reeve started, showing due deference for the older man. "He left a somewhat complicated will and a reasonably large amount of money and property. He seems to have imagined three possible scenarios at his death:"
Reeve glanced up, to see if Mr. Wentworth was happy for him to carry on.
"His first and main expectation was that he and Miss Monahan, his ward, would die at the same time, the bulk of the estate being left to a third party." He did not mention the large amounts of laudanum found on the premises which could have been used to humanely and painlessly put the crippled girl to sleep forever, or the name of the third person.
"Secondly that Miss Monahan would have married Mr. Connelly at the time of Crabbe's death. The bulk of the estate would then go to the girl with a regular stipend to Connelly. That did not happen."
"Thirdly, as has come to pass, an unmarried Miss Monahan is left with everything except the mental capacity to look after herself and no legal guardian. Mr. Crabbe's will names your good self as that guardian Mr. Wentworth, but my understanding is that he died before he was able to seek your agreement to such an undertaking."
He waited to see if 'his understanding' was correct.
Mature Content: No.
With: Charles Wentworth Snr. Location: Bank Manager's Office. When: Day after Crabbe's Death, Summer 1876 Time of Day: Late Morning
It was good of the owner and manager of the Kalispell Bank to see him at such short notice, and Mr. Lewis Cass Reeve, late of the Missouri Bar, late of Virginia City, and late of Mrs Richard Orr's breakfast table was inordinately grateful. Any delay in this matter would have made him.. well, late.
But he was not here to see Charles Wentworth Senior in his capacity as bank manager, although the young lady he was here to talk about was one of the bank's most frequent depositors. The fact that what she did deposit was usually a cent or two she'd found on the streets, or that some soul had given to her, was neither here nor there.
Oh. And those souls who gave Miss Bridget Monahan pennies were not always kind souls, by the way. They were often cruel bullies who used to make sport of her by making her do and say things to earn the shiny coins she craved. Clara Lutz had saved her from such bullies on one occasion, but Bridget's friends couldn't be there all the time to look after her.
This was all germane to Reeve's visit.
He was shown into Wentworth's office and beheld a man yes, white haired, but bluff and hale and hearty for all his 56 years. It might seem rather crass of Cass Reeve to take this into account, he even went so far in his head to calculate that that a man like that might live, what, another twenty years or more in relatively good health. Wentworth was certainly rich enough to look after himself, he'd heard.
The young man held out his hand.
"It really is very good of you to see me at such short notice, Mr. Wentworth, I'm exceedingly grateful. My name is Lewis Cass Reeve and I represent the estate of Mr. Lorenzo Crabbe who sadly died last night." he said concisely.
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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