More than happy to be away from all the fuss, and at least he could be helping, since he figured that Mrs. Blakesley was likely to be too frazzled to want to do anything, and besides some water might help settle her. And it gave him something to do to feel useful.
Of course, he didn't know the lay-out of the kitchen and had to snoop around some to find drinking glasses and coffee mugs, and in the process he found a one-eyed ginger cat, curled up on a chair, staring at him through a single eye, and a small supply of elderberry and dandelion wine, something he might need later!
But then there was some shouting, and that harridan child was pointing at him and jumping up and down excitedly.
"What?" There was the reinforcement he needed to stay with his conviction that he never wanted to have children...Good Lord forbid he ended up with half a dozen Arabellas...there wasn't enough elderberry wine in the territory to make up for that!
Inside the Lickskillet, Clara, Bridget, Jonah, incoming Emeline and Ralph
Jonah had meant to distract the young ladies from what was going on outside, and had assumed that Bridget's pennies were to buy treats, but apparently, the drama was far more attractive than anything else, not that he could say he disagreed. Such occurrences were rare, especially in the day time, and caused quite a stir!
"It looks clear," he observed, peering out the window, "if you ladies would like to go to Missus Blakesley's assistance, "I'll fetch her some water...or coffee, perhaps..." Or maybe there was something stronger hidden in the kitchen...something to help settle the poor woman's nerves.
Jonah was quite relieved when he and the young woman made it to the safety of the cafe and the door was shut behind them...he was no hero, so he was more than happy to be off the street. At least the farmer who had been tossed from his wagon was up and moving, so Jonah could see to him later.
"Hurry, come in! Bridget are you alright?" Clare greeted them.
"Thank you." Smiling, Jonah nodded to the waitress, impressed to see that she was ready for trouble, and hoping that trouble didn't come this way! And it was a relief that she knew the girl from the street, Bridget, so it might help keep things from getting too awkward.
“Bank’s robbed” she managed, closing her eyes in an act of will to force the words out of her mouth, and then blinking as she squeezed out a supplementary “Got ma pennies.”
There was something in the speech pattern, even those few words, that indicated some sort of problem and helped to explain why Miss Bridget had been so oblivious to the danger.
As for the gentleman, "Doctor I believe...I am Clara Redmond. I know Bridget, we are friends."
"Miss Redmond," Jonah bowed slightly to Clara, then gently took Bridget's hand and placed a light kiss on it. "And Miss Bridget, it's a pleasure, you can call me Jonah. And a lady doesn't need her pennies when a gentleman is around. So, what are we buying?" Especially while the bank was being robbed!
In the Street/Lickskillet, Bridget & (clueless) Jonah, Clara
At least the young woman was willing to be led out of the street, and as Jonah glanced toward the bank he could see one of the law men running up to the front, so it was evident that something was going to happen soon, and they needed to be off the street.
“Where can… where can we go?” she asked.
"We'll just go inside the cafe here, all right?" He nodded to the door of the closest building, the Lickskillet, just wanting to be clear of the street, and not at all understanding what the girl was asking. "You're Bridget, right? I saw you at the dance."
Her limp was making the going painfully slow, but they eventually reached the door and he pushed, not considering that whoever was inside might not be welcoming patrons at the moment...
"Yes, yes it is." Now that he had a chance to really look at the young woman, Jonah recognized her from the dance, realizing that she wasn't 'all there', although he had no idea what her specific problem was. At least she was fearless, whether that was because she was bold, or was addled, he didn't know.
"Come, dear." Gently, he took her by the elbow and started to steer her toward the boardwalk. "We need to be out of the way." His calm demeanor belied his racing heart, and it was little consolation to think that some of the Indian populations thought that addled people were blessed by the gods and couldn't be harmed, particularly in battle. Of course, that was absurd, but he at least hoped that they could get to cover before the streets got really crazy!
At first, Jonah was inclined to ignore the shooting and just continue with his shopping, after all, he was hardly a gunman, and he was certain that there were plenty of men in town who would be more than pleased to play the trigger-happy hero, and anything he had to contribute would be of little help.
But that choice was effectively taken from him when an old man who was peering out the window at all the excitement shouted, "That wagon tipped! There's a man trapped there! Doc!"
Doc what? Jonah almost rolled his eyes. Of course he would be expected to go help, he was, after all, a doctor. And as much as he'd like to at least put off the inevitable until the shooting had stopped, he had too much at stake here, and folks were staring at him.
Taking a breath, Jonah abandoned the items he was about to buy and dashed out the door, staying crouched low, grateful, at least, that this time he wasn't the specific target of the shooting. Staying low and close to buildings, he headed toward the spilled wagon, but before he even got there the hapless driver had been pulled free. At least the wagon and debris provided some bit of cover.
As he darted into the street, Jonah's attention was distracted by a young woman who was standing in the middle of the street, either paralyzed, or oblivious to all the chaos going on around her. If someone didn't...
And why was he 'someone'? "Well, hell," he muttered, sprinting past the wagon and to the girl. "Miss, we need to get out of the street..." He really did want to get out of the way...quickly!
“The point is, it’s progress. Of course who knows how long it will take the railroad to come through here, it might be years off, but the need for a hospital, that will be the sooner the better. People just don’t realize that as yet, but, they will. That, my dear Jonah, is why we will build it first.”
"We should try to figure out where the tracks will run and start buying up land," Jonah suggested with a chuckle, then shrugged. "Pity we can't see into the future." They could make a killing, but then, he figured they wouldn't be the only ones speculating, and if you didn't have the funds for a little bribe, then the tracks very well may bypass you completely.
“Now, since we’ve solved the town’s problems, perhaps we should go back inside and join the festivities. You know, wives to meet, others to socialize with, that sort of thing.”
"Of course." Grinning, Jonah raised his voice a couple octaves. "We must play nice with the Wednesday Afternoon Tea Clutch to win their favor." He laughed. "I'll make my best tea biscuits and lace them with just a little rum!"
While conning and conniving were needed to achieve great success in business, Jonah had neither taste nor aptitude for politics, even at a local level.
"I'd be more than happy to play the roguish, mysterious doctor for you, and I will stay prudently silent."
“Yes, Addy Chapple would be an integral part of the hospital and the orphanage when the time comes, that is for certain.” Her eyes got a bit bigger. An ambulance, as they had during the war and in the larger cities. “Fantastic Jonah! Utterly fantastic! And there are other things that this town needs, no, requires. A fire department, but that is for someone else to propose. I shall stay with our two projects, they will be big enough, to be sure.”
"You are right on both counts about a fire department," Jonah commented. "As the town grows, we'll need something more organized than just a bucket brigade, and yes, that can be someone else's problem." He grinned. "Isn't that why we have a town council?" It might keep them occupied.
“There is so much that can be done with the right people in place, especially with the orphanage. People will make all the difference. The care for them must be of the highest caliber. Some of the horror stories out of the east cannot be repeated out here. No. People just like Addy is what we need, not some headmaster that lives by corporal punishment as a means to an end, but education, training as they get older so that they have a chance in life. Have a trade, abilities to care for themselves properly. Oh Jonah, if we can just get past the people that want to keep Kallispell small and behind the times.”
"Of course, if we are to have an orphanage it will not be just a place for them to stay," he agreed, "it will have the best environment we can give them, school and whatnot." Finding them good homes would be the best outcome, but there was no promise of that, although the love and nurturing they'd need would be more difficult in a group setting manned by employees, regardless of how kind they were.
As for the town growing, he wasn't really too keen on that. "We do need to keep up with what is going on in the bigger cities, but I really am not eager for Kalispell to get too large. The current leaders are bad enough, but once it gets bigger..." he shook his head, "so do the egos."
“That is true, she actually shot and killed the bear that a party of hunters went out after. Something of a local hero as I remember.” Leah informed him. “I must get to know her better, she’s one that would see the need for the hospital and the orphanage, I’m betting.”
"She has been seeing to a boy, Weedy, whose mother is...inadequate. Of course, that doesn't make the lad an orphan, but he may was well be, and Addy lets him stay with her and insists he goes to school and does his lessons." He nodded. "You are right, she would be an asset, she isn't intimidated by anything, and her freight business could be of use. Perhaps we could even have some sort of ambulance?"
Well, mostly that was just a glorified freight wagon anyway, so that would be simple. "As for orphans..." he chuckled, "she can teach them the more base things such as working with animals and swaggering!" Leah and Addy would certainly be an odd combination!
(The following is brought to you by Maggie's butt:)
“Exactly, Jonah! Naming them for the town means, in essence, it belongs to the town!” She agreed. “And, I believe I’ll withhold our name until after we’ve met with the town council, just to see what they have in mind, besides attempting to steal the whole plan just to feed their egos. Self important fools that they are.”
"The best tactic against men is to let them think that they are in charge, and know what is best." He grinned, although he suspected she knew that. "The bigger the ego, the easier it will be to bamboozle them. And the best part is that those same egos keep them from admitting that they have been duped..."
He looked toward the barn as a young man emerged, shortly followed by Addy. "Do you know that man?" he asked Leah. He'd seen him around town but hadn't had cause to speak to him. "Miss Chappel seems to..." Well, he wasn't sure that the lady had any capacity to be 'sweet' on anyone.
"No mind, that's another lady that can see to herself...when she was delivering my supplies she told me she 'almost got e't by a bar!" He laughed, then shook his head. "Kalispell has many fine examples ladies if one is willing to look."
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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