Not too scrawny nor too fluffy, Emeline moves with grace but projects confidence and competence. She is quick with a smile, but just as quick with the rolling pin of you step out of line! She keeps her hair in a braid and dresses plainly but neatly.
Traits & Characteristics
Tomboy! That sums Em up in one word. There is pretty much nothing frail or fragile about her, she has always had a sense of adventure, wanting to learn and explore, learning best by doing hands-on, often with dubious results. More than once, her big brother had rescued her from trees or the roof of the house. She's good at going up, but freezes trying to come down! But she trusted her brother, Aimon, idolized him, and was devastated when he was killed during the war
Dreamer...Like Aimon, her head is often in the clouds, playing out scenarios or creating worlds that are better than this one. Unlike her brother, though, she has the heart and passion of a dreamer, using her free time to write her own stories or act things out, dancing her way through life.
Caretaker...Em has a quiet, gentle way about her that seems to put beasties at ease and make them trust her. And she likes peace and order in her world, as much as she can, so she tends to try to organize things when she is able. And if someone is hurting, be it physically or at heart, she wants to do what she can to make them well again, or at least to dull the hurt, often finding that action a catharsis for her own pain. If she is busy helping, healing or dreaming, there is little time to fret over her own trouble.
Bold...Tomby that she is, she will stand up to a bully and isn't one to back down from a fight, especially in light of what she has been though.
Scared Little Girl...Underneath it all, she is still a child, a little girl who yearns for the safety and security of family, who just wants to be able to play and dream without worrying that her world is going to be torn apart by tragedy and that some day she'll find love again.
Emeline owns the Lick Skillet Cafe
Cooking, of course! Em also has some knowledge of using herbs and has a garden behind her cafe that she cultivates to use in her cooking. She plays the concertina
Aliases / Nicknames
Born in Illinois, Emeline now lives in a small apartment above her cafe
Kith & Kin
1849 -- Born in Taylorville, Illinois, Emeline Harris
1866 -- Married to Andrew Blakesley
1867 -- Andrew moves them to North Dakota to take up mining. Emeline, pregnant when they leave, gives birth to a daughter during the trip
1868 -- Their daughter catches cholera and dies, Em is pregnant again, but mis-carries
1870 -- Andrew is killed in a mining accident, Em opens a cafe in a tent to support herself
Emeline listened silently as the story poured out, her heart breaking for the girl. Loss was never easy, of course, but for one so young, and the circumstances so tragic...there was no doubt why she blamed herself.
"We'll need three tablespoons salt and 4 of sugar mixed in the dry," she instructed as she pulled down the tin of lard. "A mother knows," her words were soft, "when their babies are in trouble, they know, and even if she had made it to safety she would have gone back for you." Of course, she couldn't know for certain, but unless the woman was cold-hearted and self-serving, she would have done what she had to, and, of course, the woman's actions had shown her character.
"It's good that it wasn't you and your brother alone out there." She was trying to think of a way to help Clara look at things from a different perspective. "He seems so carefree, as a boy should be," she smiled, but then let out a breath as she added the lard to the dry ingredients. "How do you think things might have gone if he was the one who had fallen?"
"Spirited, but not wild." A wistful smile crossed her lips. "I used to tear across the fields bareback with my brothers when I was young, I loved it! I just haven't had cause to ride lately. If I go anywhere, I usually need the buckboard to get supplies, and even then, the mercantile will deliver most of what I order."
Shaking her head, she took a sip of coffee. "I've been thinking about taking a day off, and I really haven't had a chance to look over the area. I've heard there's a waterfall, it should be quite active with all the rain we've had...provided we can make it out there." Another good reason not to take a buggy...they could get to more places on horseback.
Maybe she was doing well enough now that she could take off one day a week, or at least an evening, especially if her idea of selling box lunches to the miners and cowboys panned out.
"We'll need five pounds of flour to start," Emeline instructed, nodding to the flour bin. "I'm sorry about your mother." She glanced at the girl with a small smile. "I'm sure she'd have it no other way. I can't think of anything that would stop a mother from protecting her children...but it must be difficult for you, to lose your mother. I'm most of a grown woman, and I miss my mother, and we are only separated by the miles."
As she spoke, she fetched a tin of lard that she measured into the bowl with the flour. "It sounds like she taught you well, and you do a fine job of looking after your brother."
"I'm interested in how to make them, too!" Emeline laughed. "I've heard of them, but have never tried any myself. The key, I understand, is indeed a good crust, and a good seal once the ingredients are put on it." She pulled down a large mixing bowl and set it on the counter. "Do you have experience baking in bulk? I plan on making enough for twenty crusts, but we don't need to use a full crust for each hand pie."
Glancing at Clara, she asked, "Did you learn to bake from your mother?"
"Oh, well..." Similar offers weren't unusual from the cowboys who came through on a regular basis, after all, 'eligible' ladies were at a premium in these parts, but this was the first time she didn't feel the urge to start making excuses. "It's been ages since I was riding, and honestly, I miss that." Her smile widened. "I have Sunday, if that is acceptable, after church, of course. And I can pack us lunch, make the day of it?"
Maybe she was being more enthusiastic than he'd intended, but it had been a while since she had used a closed day for something other than housework or doing something for the cafe, and the idea of just leaving for a whole day was enticing.
"Oh, I don't have a horse myself, though, if that is a problem?"
"Yes, sort of like a box social, only they don't have to date me to get lunch!" Emeline smiled as she moved to rinse the last of the dishes, letting them air-dry in a rack.
"So, all right, if you want to try meat pies, we need crust..." Then a thought occurred to her and she chuckled. "Well, turnovers are essentially meat pies with fruit filling, so we'll only need the one sort of crust. It has to be flaky, of course, but sturdy enough to hold up to a bit of travel. Do you have a preference to start with sweet or savory?"
There was already some chicken and beef stewing, so that could make a good base for the meat pies, and Clara's apples would actually be a good compliment to those.
"The only thing missing is the food, and I did order a World cookbook so I can try different things from around the wold, provided I can find the ingredients, or improvise." She smiled, a bit wistfully. "Then, when I can travel, I'll know which places I'll really prefer...although I can't imagine not wanting to go to Paris...or Rome...Cairo, Vienna, Amsterdam, London..."
Laughing, she shook her head. "At any rate, in the mean time, if I do manage to make something exotic, I can use a taster, even if it is a 'meat and potatoes' sort of gent."
"Oh, wonderful! And fresh apples are great." Emeline smiled as she turned back toward the kitchen. "I've got some preserves but no fresh fruit for today." She glanced back at the young woman. "Cobbler or pie are fine, or I was thinking of experimenting with turnovers, something men can take with them to eat later...I've been thinking on meat pies, too, and providing packed lunches that folks can just grab and take for later."
Certainly, boxed lunches would be an idea for people who had to go to work, or were traveling, and maybe one day she could contract with the train company and stage line to provide those at the stations.
"I think I have everything we'd need for whatever we decide."
Emeline was in the kitchen, just finishing up with the dishes when she heard the call, so she set aside the plate she was rinsing and headed into the main dining room, drying her hands on her apron. "Can I help...oh, Clara! How good to see you!"
She'd been expecting the young woman, but wasn't sure exactly when, and now was as good a time as any. "Are you here to eat, or did you want to do some baking?" She'd surely be happy for the company, and had little doubt that she might learn something from the girl. "I'm just finishing up dishes from lunch, and I have supper started, so I was just getting to my desserts."
"Oh, it's...an apparatus that you hold to your eyes..." Emeline had never thought about describing one, and found that it wasn't easy! "There are cards that sit past the lenses, and they have two photographs on them, and you..."
Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a neatly folded page from a Montgomery Ward catalog and smoothed it out on the table. "That's it. When you get the cards in the right place, you can see a realistic image, just like you were there." Her enthusiasm was starting to show! "And you can get sets of cards from exotic places such as the Pyramids in Egypt, or the Forum in Rome! Some have all manner of animals...lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, kangaroos!" Some of which she wasn't sure she really believed even existed...It's a pity that Mr. Barnum's museum is no longer there, I would have loved to see the wonders that it held."
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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