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 jumped as the bell above the door tinkled, announcing that someone had arrived, but when she saw Barnabas, she finally started breathing again. All the time he'd been away, she'd been telling herself that it would be all right, and she had been realizing that he was a part of her life now, and if something happened to him it would be different...in a bad way.
Fortunately, there were no customers at the moment, so she smiled and nodded to the table. "I'll get us some coffee and you can tell me all about it."
"Who said anything about paying you?" Emeline gave him a playful nudge then set about beating the eggs. "What with you eating me out of house and home...or cafe, just a better way to earn your keep!"
She was kidding, of course, he did far more than she asked, and didn't take advantage of her offers of food, and anything he did have was more than paid back with his help and presence. "When they're done, you can pile them on a plate, then sit them on the stove and cover them with a cloth...that will keep them warm."
Cooking for a few was one thing, but on this scale was quite different, and it had taken her time to learn some tricks. "What else can you make?" she asked, grinning, "so I know what to recruit you for...like I said, less work for me if I can put you and Clara to more work!"
She laughed, then refilled his coffee and took a sip of her own.
Emeline laughed. "I've no doubt she is a handful, but you seem to be doing well with her, and she is very smart, no doubt her love of reading will help her enhance her education." Even fiction had bits of history, or at very least accounts of how life used to be.
"And yes, Addy insists that Weedy go to school. She wants him to have the education she didn't." Emeline grinned. "That woman might be a bit crude, but she's surprisingly astute. So yes, it's a good chance that Wyatt knows Weedy. I'm very glad that the boy is looked after. I've heard rumors of a children's home here, nothing specific, but a good thing, although I hate to think that there is a need."
If she could, she would take in every stray that she became aware of, but of course that wasn't possible.
"Thank you." Giving him a warm smile, Emeline allowed as how she really did enjoy having his company, and how having someone else around made the place so much nicer.
"You did all right making pies," she commented, "so it's about time you learn to make flap-jacks. The batter is mixed up here," she indicated a large bowl, "and the griddle is hot. Pour in some of the batter," she demonstrated, making six pancakes of uniform size, "once they start to bubble all over, you flip them."
Her smile widened. "Between you and Clara, I'm planning to manipulate you two into doing all the work for me here!" She laughed.
"Weedy's a lad who...well, he has a mother, but she apparently is a drunkard, neglects him quite often, they live in a small shack somewhere on the edge of town." She shrugged. "I don't know about his father. At any rate, Addy Chappel, the stage driver, looks after him, makes sure he has clean clothes, food, and goes to school."
Many of the people in town knew about Weedy and helped him. "He comes by here now and again for food, and I don't mind feeding him at all, but he insists on doing some sort of chores." She laughed. "He's good at sweeping and better at licking bowls! There are several people in town who help keep an eye on him, make sure he's all right."
"Take care." Looking up at him, Emeline smiled, trying to assure herself that there was no threat, certainly if a Steelegrave meant harm to someone it would not be so blatant, but in the middle of the night, hidden. "I'll be fine, I've plenty to do, and ample time." She smiled. "I'll keep the coffee hot."
She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, then headed back to the kitchen, but stopped at the door to turn and watch him leave with the two men.
Emeline didn't recognize the men, but she easily recognized the change in Barnabas' demeanor, and she became wary, although she was able to smile as she rose. "Would you gentlemen like some coffee?"
The 'Steelegrave' name sent a chill through her, she'd never had any direct dealings with them, but there were plenty of tales to cause one to be cautious. And for Barnabas to go off without his guns...
Emeline debated, but the waited for Barnabas, if he took the guns, fine, if he didn't, she would give him a hug on the way out and slip him the derringer that she carried in her apron pocket. It was only two shots, but if something happened, it was better than nothing.
"Mornin' Em. Thanks for the loan of the floor. Could use some softer boards though."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." Emeline smiled as started straining out the grounds from the coffee. "And I'll look into those softer floors when I get a chance." Laughing, she added, "The ones upstairs aren't much better."
"Coffee smells right pleasant."
"I'll have you test it for me." Grinning, she finished straining out the grounds, then tossed a pinch of salt into the pot to cut any bitterness. "Here you go." She poured mugs for Barnabas and herself, taking a sip and nodding approval. "I'll be making pretty basic things today, I expect we'll be getting a lot of folks today, and I don't intend to charge."
As she spoke, she was getting out bowls and utensils. "I could use some help, if you don't mind putting on an apron." For a few weeks, he had been helping with the dishes and cleaning up the place, and she found that his presence was comfortable and welcome. Any awkwardness had long since fallen away, and they worked around each other easily. She liked having him here...and she didn't like when he had to leave.
"I can put you to work stirring the pancake batter, or...oh, I need some firewood to get the stove stoked." She laughed and shook her head. "And I'm willing to bribe you with a pie of your choice later today."
Mature Content: No
With: Emeline, Barnabas Location: Lickskillet Cafe When: Late December / 1875 Time of Day: Morning
It hardly seemed like any time had passed at all from the time Emeline had dropped into bed the night before and when she had to get up and start her day at the cafe.
But things were different this morning. First off, sleeping arrangements were mixed up -- Martha and her husband Otto had slept her bed, so she had nestled on a pallet on the floor...and her cat had abandoned her to sleep downstairs with Barnabas, who had stayed on the floor of the cafe, using blankets as a bed, since it had been nearly midnight when they had finally gotten the folks from Whitefish settled in.
And food today would be simple and free. While the 'charity' would cut into her homesteading fund, there were so many refugees now, and townsfolk who had gotten home as late as they had, and giving them all a day or two of relief from cooking was an easy way to support the community.
She dressed quickly, and as quietly as she could so as not to disturb the elderly couple, then padded down the stairs, wearing slippers so that she didn't wake Barnabas as she set about breakfast, starting with strong black coffee!
"I'm sure there are plenty of people who will appreciate a library." Emeline knew that she'd like some fresh reading material, and the time to read it! "You know, I could start a book exchange here, maybe I'll put up a notice and see if anyone else is willing to contribute books." Just one more thing to do, but then she grinned. "I can ask Clara to be in charge of that." She was certain the girl would enjoy it, and would have a great system to keep track of the books.
She took a bite of the pie and a sip of coffee before adding, "But unfortunately, I don't always behave grown, but I'll be careful of any antics I drag her into. And Wyatt is welcome to come by, I'd be more than willing to put him to work sweeping the floors in exchange for pies or cookies."
Sure, the lad was a young, but she didn't think he'd really be any trouble, and he might enjoy a change now and then. "Weedy comes by almost every day, he really likes apple pie!"
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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