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
"Oh..." Emeline gasped as the girl dropped her package, and started to bend down to get it, but then hesitated, wondering if perhaps she even wanted help, or might feel insulted at the offer, that it would imply that she couldn't do for herself.
"It's just to your right. Would you like some help?" There! An offer, but Frances' choice.
"All our possessions were destroyed: my clothes, the musical instruments I depended upon to earn our keep, and my precious, irreplaceable embossed books: the only ones I can read. Oh, oh Mrs Pike, my entire life was destroyed that day!" she sighed and the poor little blind girl, her shoulders heaving, dissolved in unstoppable, salty, sightless tears.
"Oh, goodness, I'm so sorry." Emeline shook her head as she patted the girl's hand. "You would think that a house of God would be a safe refuge." But then, what good was a church when the community's livelihood was destroyed? "I suppose Kalispell has a wild side, too," she admitted, "most smaller towns out here do, you just have to be aware." If the poor girl wanted safety, she'd best stay in Portland, of maybe go to Seattle.
"I'm sure you'll do just fine, especially with your brother's help," Emeline tried to reassure her, "and there's a fine church that has an organ that I'm certain they would let you play on Sundays." And pianos in the saloons, but she didn't mention that, as those places weren't appropriate for a lady.
At that point, Miss Eleanor returned with the packages. "Here you are, dear. Are you going to need help with these?"
"Oh, Mrs Pike, when I get married, my poor husband will have enough to do looking after me: I don't think I could bear to make him wash the dishes, too."
"He was my employee," Emeline chuckled, "when he wasn't working at his job as a deputy. And I've no doubt there is a fine man who will take care of you, although you seem to be pretty self-sufficient, and once you are settled in your own home, you'll do well." After all, once she learned her way around an area that didn't change, it should be fairly easy to find her function.
"Mr Pike must be a wonderful gentleman, and very lucky one, too, in his choice of bride. You see, I have learned to judge people very quickly by their voice and the feel of their hands; I know it sounds mad! But I have never found myself to be wrong: and there is such a warm sunny tone to your voice, Mrs Pike, and such a gentleness to your grip: I hope we can become fast friends when you return to Kalispell."
Returning the girl's squeeze, Emeline smiled. "I'm the one who is lucky, I think. I had no plan to marry again, but then he came into my life...sometimes these things just happen without you knowing it until you do."[/i] The best kind of love, she supposed, when you were friends and it took time to realize you were more.
"And I'm certain we'll be great friends, I look forward to it." By the time they were back in Kalispell, Miss Frances and her brother should be well-settled. "Tell me about Virginia City, is it a nice place?"
"Yes, of course." Emeline reached for the girl's hand, steering her toward a sofa. "Let's sit a moment." She was impressed that the child seemed so fearless as she navigated a sightless world. Emeline was certain she wouldn't go anywhere without an escort should something happen to her eyes!
"My name is Frances Grimes, I am on my way to Kalispell with my brother who has been found a job there by an old associate of his, a Mr Lorenzo Crabbe. Do you know that gentleman? I fear that my brother's associates are not always of the best: if this job falls through I shall have to work for the both of us. I am blind and my skills are consequently limited: I can play music, tune pianos and teach the embossed writing to blind people: do you believe that there are any opportunities of that nature in Kalispell?" she asked.
"Mr. Crabbe? I've heard of him, yes, but I'm afraid I don't know him personally. I own a cafe there, and he's been in a time or two, but he's pretty new to the town." She wished she could be of more help. "Oh, and I'm Emeline Pike. I'm certain you'll find some sort of employ there. You can even speak to the young lady running the cafe, Clara Connolly, she could likely use help with the dished and such." She chuckled, "You see, my husband, Barnabas, was our dishwasher, and here I've stolen him away for a honeymoon!"
Emeline watched as Barnabas headed for 'Wigfalls', wondering just how many of that name there could be, and how they couldn't possibly all be related, which caused her a brief pang of sympathy for her husband as she hoped that the tailor had no connection to the odd assortment of Wigfalls back home.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of a young woman whose eyes were covered by a cloth, an odd thing that the child should be alone if she wasn't able to see.
"Excuse me, Ma'm. Did I hear you say you are from Kalispell? Kalispell in the territories?"
"Oh, yes, we just came from there," Emeline explained, then smiled. "My husband and I are on a honeymoon." Then, to Miss Eleanor, "Please, see to the young lady, I can wait."
"Very well." Eleanore turned her attention to the child. "Are you lost, dear? Do you need help?" The words were kind, but there was a hint of condescending in the tone.
"Oh, yes, of course, Mr. Pike." Eleanore smiled brightly as she nodded. "Just two door up, Wigfall's Haberdashery and ice house. He's very good at what he does, I'm sure you'll be very happy."
"Deserting me?" Emeline whispered in Barnabas' ear as she stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. "I just might make sure you pay for that!" Not that she could imagine spending more than a few dollars, but she'd do her best! "I will see you in a bit, then, and be the proper lady!"
Stepping into the shop, then waiting for Barnabas to be at her side again, Emeline took a moment to look around and wonder where to start. But she didn't have long to ponder when a woman rushed up to them, all smiles.
"Good day! What can I do for you folks?" While her demeanor was formal, she didn't seem to be looking down on them at all.
"I need...something more presentable?" Emeline smiled, looking down at her garb, then back to the woman. "We just came down from Kalispell, in Montana, but we're going to San Francisco, so I need..."
"Of course!" Hooking her arm into Emeline's, the woman continued. "I'm Miss Eleanor LaMotte, I can help with everything. And you are?"
"Mr. and Mrs. Barnabas Pike." Emeline's smile widened and she tried not to laugh. "My husband is very happy to be here."
"Indeed!" Eleanor chuckled as she looked at the man. "Mister Pike, can I get you some wine? We have cookies and small cakes, too, if you'd like while you wait." She nodded to a padded chair.
It was all actually a bit overwhelming, a glimpse at how 'the other side' lived, and she never would have thought of herself as 'the other side'! Of course, that was a good deal attitude, and she knew that neither of them would be arrogant or rude.
"You don't need to get a top hat, I was just teasing." If he wanted to, that was fine, but if that would make him uncomfortable, she wasn't going to insist. Besides, such a thing would have little need in a place like Kalispell, much the less on a ranch!
"So, what about that one?" She pointed to a shop that had 'Lulu's' painted across a large window in flowing gold script. Behind the letters was a display of dress forms swathed in fashionable dresses. Beyond that, the shop itself was spacious, neatly appointed and clean.
"Well, Mr. Pike, shall we look like we know what we're doing?" Emeline laughed.
"I believe we shall, Mister Pike. And did I tell you that you clean up nicely?" Smiling cheerfully, she took his hand as he walked them along the streets. "I don't suppose once the underpinnings are settled on, that the outer garments will take much more than settling on different materials, swags and whatnot. And then just a couple of nice skirts and waistcoats."
She was thinking home, simple, and never even considered items such as shoes, stockings, gloves and purses.
"And you're right, I think men are a little easier to buy for. Change your vest and it changes the whole outfit. Oh! Are you going to get a top hat?" The idea was a bit absurd.
The room was nicely appointed, even better than home, except for personal touches, and it was certainly an improvement over the trail, although Emeline had to allow that sleeping 'under the stars' had its good points.
The bathhouse that was attached to the hotel, sadly had no accommodations for couples, so they'd had to bathe separately. Emeline took the opportunity to luxuriate for a bit, soaking in hot, rose-scented water, where she was offered silly little sandwiches, scones, tarts and wine. They'd not need lunch, and there was something exotic about eating in the bath! Then she finally dressed in the best she had, a simple pleated skirt and matching waistcoat.
Smiling as the cleaned-up Barnabas appeared, she reached up to pat his smooth cheek. "You smell good, Mister Pike!" Laughing, she kissed him, then took his hand. "Well, do we shop for you first, or me?" She assumed they were going to stay together, although she wouldn't protest if he didn't want to go with her, it would likely be boring for him.
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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