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
"That would be a lot of work with the cafe," Emeline mused. Homesteading really wouldn't be possible while she was working in town, but she didn't have the means yet to give up the cafe.
Then she chuckled. "Well, it sounds like a lot of work anyway. House wouldn't be too bad, just a simple square to start, right?" Her wheels were turning, however slowly. "So initially it comes down to having the funding to buy your cows and have...or my horses...and the equipment to care for them...but that means a barn for the Winter since there aren't really any lower pastures to keep them over the cold season..."
Homesteading sounded like a good way to have some independence, but as a single woman, she'd need a decent savings built up first.
"I might try that someday. Have my own place, raise Morgans and donkeys...because they're cute!"
"I can put the bell up over the door," Emeline commented, "I don't keep it there when I'm down here because it can get pretty annoying when it's busy."
She wiped her hands on a towel, then laid her apron over the back of a chair. "You'll have to forgive the mess, though, I haven't had much time to devote to housecleaning."
After slipping the bell onto its holder on the door she led the way upstairs. The stairway opened to a small room that served as living quarters, appointed with a sofa, a desk, a small table with a couple of chairs, and a bookcase that held not only books, but some nick-knacks including a stereoscope. Past that was the doorway to the bedroom, where a bed with a wrought-iron frame was covered in a colorful quilt.
"Here it is! My luxury home...but at least the kitchen downstairs will keep it warm in the winter!"
"Do you think so?" She glanced over at him, pondering. "I have no real knowledge of ranches, but I always thought that you had to have a thousand head or so to make a herd. Back home they'd come through town and stretch for miles, on their way to the stockyards." Her nose wrinkled up. "I have no interest in finding out what happens after that...at least until I make them into pies!"
She laughed. "I admit, I do like the end product! So, a hundred or so cows, a half dozen Morgans, a small vegetable garden and a dog...oh, and Buster, of course! It sounds really nice."
Owning a cafe hadn't been in her thoughts until Andrew died and she needed to find a way to support herself. Emeline had been looking forward to getting to Oregon and having a small farm where they would raise a family. That hadn't worked out, but she wasn't going to pine over it. She was doing well for herself, and maybe she could save enough to buy some land.
"Of course...food is the great equalizer, everyone has to eat, so if you can make something palatable, all the better!"
Well, she had to admit, the fruit pies were decent as well, so there was a new venture for her.
"So, a cattle ranch?" She glanced at Barnabas. "I don't know what would be easier, ranching or farming, but I think I'd prefer not having to break the land." Farming was hard, back-breaking work, but then, ranching was hard in other ways, and all were subject to the whims of nature.
"Cows stink, though." She laughed. "They are so cute when they are little, but then they grow up! I've always been interested in Morgan horses, but I don't know anything about breeding...I mean, besides the...breeding." Her cheeks went bright red as she hastily asked, "Are the fruit pies to your liking?"
Emeline's eyes followed his vision for a ranch, and she couldn't help but smile as she pictured what he was saying, adding her own touches, like a rabbit hutch, a little picket fence around the house, that had flower boxes under the windows. and a tree with a swing. A wistful smile crossed her lips...it was the sort of place where you could make a good life and raise a passel of children.
"Well, hopefully the soldiers will be inclined to behave if they have officers to be accountable to," she commented. "I don't begrudge them some fun, of course, but within reason."
She looked out toward the falls for a moment, then asked, "Were you a soldier, Barnabas?" As soon as it came out, she regretted it, there was no need for politics, but now it was out there. "I'm sorry, it's none of my business. Try a peach pie...or apple, I'm not certain which is which."
"Oh, that would be perfect!" Emeline sometimes had a hard time remembering from one day to the next what she was doing, or what needed doing! "And the place isn't yours until I actually write out my will, so you need to keep me alive!"
Laughing, she passed the plate, then tried one of the fruit pies. "Oh, that's really good, too. It would be better with cream, but I'm not sure how we'd do that." Little jars, maybe, but that would be expensive and logistically difficult. "I do think we have success! Did you want to go up and look at books?"
"Wonderful!" Of course, they had tried the pies, and they had been tasty, but to get a non-involved opinion was a good thing! "I do believe I'll start adding these during the week, help boost the business." It was always good to have an experiment work out, and this should make things easier for the miners. "Just a matter of remembering what we did!"
She laughed then, and added, "We just sort of threw things together by instinct, so I may not be able to replicate them.' Well, they were fairly basic, might not be exact, but anything she made would be good!
"This would be a nice place for a house, don't you think? Maybe a bit loud, but it would be amazing to have this to look at every morning. Have you heard about the fort that's coming in? That could be a boon to the community, I mean, besides the protection...it should be good for businesses."
Even if they had their own services and supplies, there still would be things they needed, and the men would have leave to come into town. But then, that was just another level of rowdy on top of miners and drovers...
"Ah, let me take the risk?" Emeline grinned, grabbing a fork, then cutting into one of the savory pies. "Oh, it looks good!" It was cooked through, not too juicy inside, seemed to be holding up well. "Here goes..."
She took the bite, smiling and nodding. "Good spices, flavor is good, and..." Then her eyes suddenly rolled back and she grabbed her throat, rolling back in her chair. For a moment, she was still, then she sat up, laughing. "It really is good! That part is a success! Do you remember what we put in it?" They hadn't written down the process, but then, she rarely did.
"Well, then, we'll see about the quality, then." Emeline laughed, not really noticing his speech patterns, since she was used to that, and far more crude language from many of her customers. "Miss Clara and I made these yesterday, sort of...hand-pies, I was thinking of selling them to men on their way to the mines and mills in the morning."
She placed one of the pies on a cloth napkin and handed it to Barnabas, then took one for herself. "I suppose the taste is the paramount thing...then maybe I'll have to think of a better way to package them, so they don't fall apart so easily...maybe a bit thicker crust."
Looking at Pike, she chuckled again. "Well, at least the scenery and the day are lovely, if nothing else. And be honest...don't hold back, I can take it, I promise to only cry a little!"
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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