Jonah was wondering, too, what the old man was going on about. He appreciated the history lesson, but it really was moot, and he wasn't going to hesitated to say so. But what did make him hesitate a bit was the collective murmur that had gone up when the Governor had spoken up for Leah...of course, the lesser minds had dredged up the possibility of 'favors owed', and he was afraid, for her, that the same mutterings would be directed at their relationship, and that speaking for her would just encourage that.
Still, there was too much at stake to not push the agenda of the meeting.
"Take a vote!" he called, standing. "Previous efforts to establish a hospital have no bearing on the current issue. As for a 'hotbed of disease', you do realize that there is disease here regardless. At least a hospital will help us contain it and treat it, rather than having to take care of the ill at homes scattered around the town."
"'Betters' is open to debate!" In the back of the room, Jonah stood, putting in his opinion. "It's abhorrent how you can delay the best in medical care for the citizens of this territory, and no," he smirked as he looked directly at Orr, "I'm not implying that I am the best there is, but a man can only do with what he has to work with. A new hospital will give us advanced equipment and services, and attract the best."
That was his say, and as he sat down, he honestly had to wonder where the passion had come from, except that he hated bullies!
Again, Jonah found himself on the verge of bursting into laughter as the child started rambling on about the unfortunate Cousin Buford, but he managed to keep a straight face, and was relieved with Miss Leane started to hurry her out the door, although, with Miss Mudd, 'hurry' seemed to be limited to her speech.
"Good afternoon, Miss Mudd, I'm glad we were of help." Then, on a whim, he added, "You should consider following in the steps of Samuel Clemens, putting your capricious anecdotes to pen. I'm sure there'd be a wide interest, and you would attract a diverse readership." He hesitated, then quickly amended, "Except Cousin Buford...I don't imagine he is doing much reading these days."
"Oh, I think a dollar fifty will suffice," Jonah commented, glancing at Pettigrew and hoping that he wouldn't ask for more, after all, it was a day's wages for the girl, and while he didn't want to offend her senses by offering charity, neither did he want to bilk her of her hard-earned money.
That said (or thought), he wouldn't dispute Pettigrew if he named a different amount, unless, of course, it was something outrageous.
"And, Miss Mudd, please don't hesitate to return if you feel the need." He hoped not, he was out of ideas for this particular ailment!
"We all say things we regret," Jonah observed, then chuckled, "and we are all going to say things we'll regret, it's just a matter of learning when to hold our tongues." Of course, some people never learned, but then, there were people who had a knack for rambling on so openly that little of what they actually said was heard, and Miss Mudd seemed to have that gift.
"If Mr. Pettigrew is done with your therapy, I think Mrs. Towberman has some ginger cookies and milk?" he addressed the girl, "Just to smooth things over? Or you can take some with you, if you wish."
Then there was the matter of payment, but that was up to Pettigrew, although Jonah wouldn't let him bilk the child.
Jonah was immensely relieved that the girl didn't want to kiss him, and this being an honest response under Pettigrew's spell, and not the child just saying what she thought they wanted to hear. As for their tastes in ladies, he found that they were quite similar, although, as an adult, he knew the difference between 'wanting', 'dreaming' and 'doing', and that you couldn't give in to all your urges.
At the suggestion that she find kissing girls 'silly', his lips turned up a bit in a grin, but it was, for Miss Mudd, a good suggestion, and now to see if she would come back to 'normal', (god forbid!), though at the moment, there was no way to test the process, for he wasn't going to put his new nurse in the position of potentially being kissed by the child by making such a suggestion.
Perhaps the little man had other ideas.
And then a thought, accompanied by a cold chill -- kissing was only part of carnal relations...so, what about hugging, touching...really touching, not to mention impure thoughts and ideations...?
This could be very bad...messing with someone's head could be as bad as already having your head messed up!
Even seated a few feet back, Jonah could see the moving figures through the slits in the contraption, and it was, indeed, mesmerizing, more for the wonder of it than the actual repetitive movements. He'd seen similar contraptions in bigger cities and they'd always fascinated him. Seemed like there was more that could be done with them besides children's amusements and hypnotizing subjects.
Unbidden, he started counting jumps along with Arabella, listening to the man's voice, relaxing, not really closing his eyes, but neither really aware of anything but the jumping horses and the low voice...
The slight movement beside him as Aoife glanced his way roused him, and he looked at the nurse, belatedly registering that Miss Mudd wasn't rambling on incessantly about...well, anything! Could it possibly be that the child was truly in a trance? Something had quieted her, that was certain.
He glanced at Pettigrew and frowned, wanting to ask questions, but knowing better...and wanting to ask the man to make this Miss Mudd's normal demeanor, and knowing better!
"Miss Mudd, I hope you are feeling well." Jonah smiled to the young girl, sincerely hoping that when she left today, she would be free of her affliction. He held a chair for her, then one for Aoife, near the table where the contraption was sitting, but at as discrete a distance as could be achieved in the small room, and finally he sank into the chair next to his nurse.
This was no doubt going to be very interesting, if not educational, and he was curious to see what part the Zoescope had to play in it .
Jonah was waiting in the room, and thanked Aoife for her help. He knew the young woman was curious, but also that she'd not intrude or mention anything, even as much as he was itching to talk about it to someone!
"Mr. Pettigrew, thank you for coming." Jonah smiled as he let the man into the room, quietly closing the door behind them. "I have everything ready, the young lady should be here shortly." Letting out a breath, he added, "If I can help..?" He wouldn't mind seeing what the process was all about, but he wasn't sure the man would want to reveal his secrets.
Mature Content: I hope not!
With: Pettigrew, Arabella Location: Dr. Danforth's Office/Home When: Mid-July / 1876 Time of Day: Morning
Word had been sent to Miss Arabella Mudd to make her aware of her appointment in the morning, and she'd sent word back that she would be there. Jonah had made sure that there was a room set aside at the rear of the building, where it would be quieter. The windows were covered to block most of the light, and candles were providing flickering light.
The aroma of fresh baking bread wafted from the kitchen, and Mrs. Towberman had some small cakes and cookies set out.
Now it was a matter of awaiting the other players in the drama!
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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