A wistful, frail beauty. Due to an accident as a child, when she was run over by a wagon, her right leg is amputated above the knee, she usually wears a prosthetic wooden leg.
Traits & Characteristics
Bridget is considered simple or 'an innocent' by the people of Kalispell but she really just has a different way of looking at things.
Considered virtually unemployable until 'discovered' by Lorenzo Crabbe and brought to Kalispell to help him in his burgeoning 'entertainment' and other business ventures.
Good at walking very fast, despite her disability.
Aliases / Nicknames
Squeaky, Simple Bridget, various other names called out by nasty people.
The rooms above Mr Crabbe's store.
Kith & Kin
Not exactly an orphan, but abandoned in Helena as a child after her accident. The family, who were passing though on their way west, skipped town to avoid paying the medical bills.
Her chronology is hard to construct as she remembers nothing before the accident, but she is now around 18 or 19. Crabbe discovered her in Helena, Montana Territory a few months ago, took her to Ogallala and started trying to to pimp for her there, but found that she was singularly unfitted for the profession. When he decided that competition in that town was too hot for a single operator, brought her and his Chinese partner, Charlie Fa, along with him to Kalispell to make a killing there.
Friendly but a seemingly a little dopey and quiet, she copes extremely well, both mentally and physically, with her disability.
Arabella stormed out of the hotel shaking her head at Matt Wentworth’s rude behavior. What did he have against her?! Mrs Wentworth seemed nice, but the lady needed help with sorting out her unruly sons.
Rebecca sighed as she watched Arabella go off in a huff. The girl needed help and so did Bridget, who was now asking about some cake.
“Cake!” repeated Bridget, smiling. Smiling always seemed to make people do exactly what she wanted them to. The big man with the patent leather hair and the nice suit seemed to respond suitably. She marked him down as a soft touch, like she'd done with people when she'd been a beggar. Not in so many words in her head; but he would be a good person to approach for anything, like Lorenzo. The one called ‘Fancy Pants’ by Arabella looked a little harder.
Matt smiled and went off to get some for her and that only left Rebecca and Ben to look after Bridget. Seeing no real chance for escape, Ben sat down in the chair that had been vacated by Arabella. "Well, Aunt Rebecca now you've met two of Kalispell's young ladies, what do you think?"
Looking over to Bridget, she smiled, "Mr. Wentworth is getting your cake...it won't be too long."
Bridget smiled and nodded. She knew that, she wasn’t stupid. Those who knew her best knew that she was, well, not exactly clever or intelligent, but sort of sly in a fox-like instinctive way. In fact, Mr Fa sometimes called her a ‘Fox Spirit’, and the notoriously tight-fisted and money mad Lorenzo Crabbe somehow found himself shelling out fistfuls of gold dollars on hats, dresses, dolls, even a pony and trap for the manipulative girl. Well, technically Janella was a mule but Bridget didn’t know the difference and everybody else that knew her had been sworn to secrecy on the matter.
She then turned to Ben, "What I think is that some young ladies in Kalispell need help."
"Help in what way," Ben asked, partially suspecting what the answer would be.
Bridget tipped her head, listening too.
"Oh, in just the rudimentary things such as social etiquette," she mused, "I have feeling that Arabella is only the tip of the iceberg." She neglected to mention Bridget as she didn't want to alarm the poor girl who seemed content waiting for her cake to come.
When they looked at her, she smiled. She tried to remember these words, but they were hard. “Ettyket” “Eyesburg” “Ettyket” “Eyesburg” “Ettyket” “Eyesburg” She’d try and get Arabella or Mr Fa to explain them later. They were good at explaining, they would act out the meaning for her. For instance, Arabella would say, ‘Well this is drinkin’ yer coffee without Ettyket”… and act like a barbarian quaffing down his beer, “… and this is WITH Ettyket, and then act like a princess taking the minutest sips of a miniscule china cup with her pinky finger pointed directly outward, and she would get it.
On the other hand, if she asked Lorenzo the same question, he would inevitably reply “I’ll tell you what Ettiquette is, Bridg’, it’s a pile of horseshit!” Which seemed to be his dictionary definition of most things in life.
Matt brought the cake, she did that pathetic sort of grateful and delighted smile that seemed to melt most people’s hearts.
Then Crabbe appeared.
“Howdy folks!” he beamed, taking off his hat and bowing a little to Mrs Wentworth. “Hope this young lady ain’t been eatin’ you all out of house and home!”
"I tell what, Crabbe, I may not be able to take of Bridget but I do know someone who can. My Aunt Rebecca will welcome the chance to meet some of the ladies who live here in town as she has just arrived. I had the job of escorting her to here to join my uncle. You've probably met him since he owns the bank."
Crabbe just laughed gently at this. “Do you really think I’d trust my money in a bank, the blessed thing spends most of its time getting robbed!”
Bridget looked a little alarmed at this notion and Crabbe had to pat her hand to calm her down.
“Don’t worry, I think your three dollars and thirty two cents is safe.” He said and shook his head at Ben.
“No, this here’s the person in the family who has had the pleasure of meeting your esteemed uncle, Mr. Charles Wentworth Senior, and bless my soul, fancy you bein’ his nephew!” It was a small world indeed. He turned to the addlebrained Miss Monahan and explained what the Dickens they were talking about in terms that she could fully comprehend. He pointed to Ben.
“His Uncle is Mr Bank Owner, Mr Wentworth. You wanna go with him and meet his wife, Mrs Bank Owner? Mrs Wentworth?” having been abandoned as a child, the concepts of nieces and nephews quite eluded the pale crippled girl, but Crabbe often introduced himself as her uncle to avoid awkward questions, so she knew its meaning well.
At first, Bridget just goggled open mouthed to learn that this new friend was not just handsome and well dressed, but also connected to the nice Grandfatherly man she gave her filched and found pennies to, for she would never give her red cents to any clerk but always to the very owner of the bank, if she could help it.
Then she dropped Crabbe’s arm immediately, and like an army of turncoats changing sides in a battle, marched over to Ben and turning volte-face took his arm instead.
Clara glanced but had no problem with the sight, "Well, quite a few men do. He is quite the gentleman and a handsome fellow besides being smart what with him being a medical man."
Bridget listened open mouthed to Clara’s description of Dr. Danforth. Sounded like Clara liked him all right! Maybe he should try his charms on her.
"But he will get no where with her, for she is marrying the town deputy. I know they are very much in love," Clara declared with confidence. She had much less confidence that such a thing would ever happen with her.
That was right, she had met Mr. Pike at the dance: he had the most beautiful, shiny, star shaped badge in the whole wide world. No wonder Ms. Em Loved him. Dr. Danforth had no such badge. The flame haired idiot-savant (all right, so she wasn’t a savant, but the description was half right, at least) was working swiftly, she had already managed to lift two of the plates off the shelves and carried them carefully, one by one, over to the table. The effort was pretty exhausting, but she soldiered on. There was something about ‘silverwear’ too, but she couldn’t quite remember what.
Clara was still slicing and plating the pies when Emeline already was up and had joined them in the kitchen. Well, that was a short rest?
"Ladies, thank you so much for your help." She gave Bridget a light hug, returning the young lady's earlier gesture. "You should set aside a pie to take home with you, if you'd like."
Well, Ms Em had seen sense and dumped the doctor. Probably found out he didn’t have a badge, and all. She hugged Emeline back. Hugs were nice. Clara didn’t hug. She wondered if she wanted to. It seemed a little bit unfriendly to leave her out.
"That is what you pay me for," Clara sagely pointed out. But honestly it was more than a job to her, she was very fond of Emeline, it was almost like she had a mother again in a fashion.
Em addressed Clara. "Would you mind wrapping up a dozen or so biscuits for me? I'm going to take that and some stew and pie over to the marshal's office."
Bridget, inspired by all this bustle, sprang into action: slowly taking the third plate off the shelves. She had to be careful because the shiny porcelain of the crockery felt slippery in her lace gloves and she wasn’t used to doing this sort of thing. Mr Fa would let her nowhere near the kitchen at home.
"Of course but I hope you are not thinking of feeding those malefactors, let them go hungry if you ask me," Clara responded even as she turned to get the biscuits ready.
Bridget frowned. Ma-la-fact-ers. She didn’t know what they were, but they sounded interesting. Some kind of creatures or monkeys maybe. She’d seen a monkey once. It was funny. And you weren’t allowed to feed them, neither. She immediately resolved to go along with Miss Em. To see the monkeys in the cages.
"You know, I think you should take the rest of the day off. You have been thru a lot and - not sure you have even noticed but....you have some blood on your dress. I can finish out here and close it up then," Clara suggested.
Bridget stared wide eyed at the blood stains, which were quite big when you spotted them. Blood was notoriously hard to get off, it always left a brown, dirty-seeming stain. She knew only one person who could get rid of such a thing entirely: Charlie Fa. She would let Ms. Em know this, but first she had more selfish ends in sight.
“A come … t’see … Malfacts” she stumbled forth the words: out loud, too. She was getting pretty good at this speechifying business.
"No, Clara, that's fine." Taking a deep breath, Emeline smiled and nodded. "I commend you for giving them refuge." She glanced at Bridget. "Are you all right, Miss Bridget? I think pie is in order...for everyone."
Bridget nodded enthusiastically, this was all very exciting: a bank robbery and free pie all in the same day. The first event, she took quite placidly, even the witnessing of Mr. Olsen biting the dust. Things like that had felt like an everyday event in Deadwood, although it was a bit of a shock to see it happen in this usually placid little town. Free pie, though, that really was extraordinary.
She looked back at Clara. "We'll give out what food we have prepared, I won't be serving dinner tonight...I'm just..." she shrugged...Clara would understand.
The red haired girl frowned now, Ms Em, that strong, calm figure: so like the Mother she only half glimpsed in her oldest of old memories, was starting to seem a little rattled, now the initial, unreal shock of the events was wearing off, and the reality of what had happened, and worse, what could have happened was hitting home. The fussily dressed, and maybe a little dim-witted girl put her parasol down and instinctively went over to Emeline and gently put a comforting arm around her as Clara got her to take a seat.
"Of course, you just sit down. I will take care of everything. Let me bring out some plates and then we can finish however much pie and later I can give the rest away to whoever wants some," Clara was eager to help and headed right for the kitchen...well not quite, she paused to speak with Bridget.
"I wonder if you might help me for a few minutes?" she asked of the redhead, not because she needed the help because she did not but Bridget might like to feel like she was doing something useful.
Bridget nodded, and dumbly followed Clara. Mr Pike had gone, but the handsome and dashing Doctor, who had helped the striking-looking piece of gingerbread out of danger a few minutes ago, moved in on the pretty auburn-haired pie lady. Was no-one safe from his charismatic medical charms?
"Shaken?" With the young harridan gone to torment the newspaper man, Jonah had ventured into the dining area of the cafe, carrying a tray that had mugs and the coffee pot on it. "Have a seat, dear lady, and allow us to take care of things."
"Oh, well, thank you." Sitting, Emeline took the mug of coffee, her hands starting to tremble now.
As they entered the kitchen, Bridget turned to see Doctor Danforth comforting the Diner’s owner with a brimming goblet of his hot and heady percolated potion. She tapped Clara on the shoulder so she could see, too. “He …” she closed her eyes and forced it out “… He likes ladies.” She observed, innocently.
"Miss Redmond," Jonah bowed slightly to Clara, then gently took Bridget's hand and placed a light kiss on it. "And Miss Bridget, it's a pleasure, you can call me Jonah. And a lady doesn't need her pennies when a gentleman is around. So, what are we buying?"
Bridget watched the doctor kiss her hand with interest, and studied the lacy gloved back of her hand afterwards as if expecting it to look different somehow for his attentions. Jonah. She wondered if he was the man she had heard about who got swallowed by a fish.
"Oh Doctor, I apologize but I cannot concentrate on serving customers right now. My employer, Mrs. Emeline Blakesley, is in that bank even now I believe and I am too worried for her safety. I am going to keep watching and as soon as it looks safe, I will head over there to check on her."
Bridget audibly gasped to hear that Ms Em was still in the bank. She thought she’d seen her go in but, somehow assumed she had run away when the shooting started, like Arabella had. She immediately dropped the hand-kissing, fish-dwelling Doctor and moved to the window too, peering out with her nose practically against the glass.
She waved toward the back, "There is a pot of coffee on the stove and help yourself to any of the bakery. I trust that the diner will be properly compensated for whatever you take."
Bridget turned and, with a serious look on her face, waved poor Dr. Danforth off to the coffee pot, too. What happened next was hard to see from their angle, but there were more shots and then they could see a man being led off clutching his hand and Mr Flandry and Ms Em together. Bridget thought they made a handsome couple, but wasn’t Ms Em marrying Mr Pike? Bridget found this all oddly disturbing that, from their angle it looked like the Pie Lady had been rescued by the wrong hero.
She leaned over to Clara at the adjacent pane.
“We can go to?” she asked, meaning should they run out and see if Clara’s boss was all right.
Bridget was more than pleased to be taken into the diner by the nice, slightly sad, man. She didn’t realize that she was meant to be cowering in fear from the outlaws in there, she was looking forward to a nice slice of Ms. Em’s Apple Pie, and to looking at the pretty menu and pretending she could read it.
"Hurry, come in! Bridget are you alright?" Clare greeted them.
The ginger girl beamed a broad smile to see her friend Clara. She liked the serious dark-haired girl, and not just because she’d saved her from the bullies who had pushed her in the mud, or because she brought her nice things to eat when ever she came into the Diner place. Clara took life seriously and tried to do things right. Bridget trusted and felt close enough to Clara, indeed, to actually speak out loud in her presence, even if it was in halting and uncertain tones.
“Bank’s robbed” she managed, closing her eyes in an act of will to force the words out of her mouth, and then blinking as she squeezed out a supplementary “Got ma pennies.” And she opened the palm of her hand, clad as it was in a fine lace glove to show Clara the two red cents that she was just about to try and deposit in the raided bank.
As for the gentleman, "Doctor I believe...I am Clara Redmond. I know Bridget, we are friends."
The man was a doctor? Bridget’s heart leaped in fright. The only doctor she had ever known had kept her as a virtual slave for years, made her beg for him, treated her like dirt. She instinctively drew back from him: but then looking again at him, decided he wasn’t evil, she just felt he was kindly and nice and wanted to help her.
“Good doctor.” She assured Clara, in case she was worried, too.
"Come, dear." Gently, he took her by the elbow and started to steer her toward the boardwalk. "We need to be out of the way." His calm demeanor belied his racing heart, and it was little consolation to think that some of the Indian populations thought that addled people were blessed by the gods and couldn't be harmed, particularly in battle. Of course, that was absurd, but he at least hoped that they could get to cover before the streets got really crazy!
Bridget took one last look at the exciting bank robbery as she was led away by the gentleman whom she only now turned to regard properly. At first glance, he reminded her of Mr. Crabbe, her guardian. Same sort of age same sort of build and, like Lorenzo, neatly turned out in a suit and cravat. But closer scrutiny revealed a very different character indeed. As a beggar, she had gained a sort of sixth sense about how a person was going to act toward her, based on…, well, she didn’t know how she came up with the feelings. She just knew that if she had been begging, this man would have gone to great pains, not just to throw her a few coppers, but to talk to her, ask her questions, maybe too many questions, and actually try to help her.
People observing his actions would be impressed, they would admire him doing all the right things.
A successful, admirable, happy man. Maybe.
He was close to her, as he guided her to the side of the street. Close enough for her to whisper in his ear.
“Where can… where can we go?” she asked.
Yes, when she had been begging, the men who wanted to talk to her, the ones who wanted to help her, to rescue her, to save her, they were always the lonely ones. The sad ones. Sure, some had wanted bad things, but most had wanted just to talk to someone, just to be with someone, someone they didn’t need to impress or keep up appearances with. Maybe this nice man wanted that.
Bridget felt it in the air even before it happened.
She had been walking to the bank with two cents that had been given to her. People did that now, since it got round about her unusual visits to the bank. Some people did it to make fun of her, others out of a misguided pity for, in truth, the young woman wanted for nothing in the material sense. Others yet gave her dribs and drabs of copper coinage because they figured it would make her happy, which it did. She had no self-pride, and took the meager proffering as readily as she had when she begged for a living.
She knew that her usual ‘teller’, the owner of the bank, the nice Mr Wentworth wasn’t there today, she felt that too. No matter. She was improving and now gave her pennies over freely to the others. Young Mr Johnston had taken her last measly deposit. But when Arabella had bumped into her with an excited “You goin’ to the bank, I’ll come with ya!” she had stayed her friend’s progress, raised her ginger tousled head and sort of sniffed the atmosphere, like she could already smell the acrid tang of cordite and burnt black powder.
Mr Olsen getting shot was a strangely beautiful sight to the girl: the whole thing was a sort of poem about life and death and the thin skein that separates the two. She had watched open mouthed and wide eyed, not in horror, but in awe, as the blood fountained magically out of his chest and the once vibrant human animal collapsed into a pile of meat, offal and bone. Arabella’s reaction was more prosaic and expected: she’d given an ear-splitting scream and run away as fast as her clumpy lace-up boots could carry her. Then again, she’d done exactly the same thing a few days ago when they had both seen an unusually large spider.
Then somebody shot someone else.
Then a wagon turned over.
All these exciting things on one day, it was like being back in Deadwood.
Then a man grabbed her and started to drag her away.
"Miss, we need to get out of the street..." He really did want to get out of the way...quickly!
He seemed to mean well, so she went with him and when they were somewhere the man deemed to consider safe, she whispered to him “It’s a bank robb’ry.” She gave the Doctor a big smile and craned her neck to try and see what would happen next.
She seemed to have to gather herself before answering his question, “Live in old … funeral parlor.”
“Ah, interesting," he nodded with a smile.
Bridget nodded, wide eyed and enthusiastically at this observation.
“Still got coffins!” she confided in his ear. It was true: amongst the other bric-a-brac in the abandoned premises there were two coffins, one very large and one very small, that had never found suitable occupants. As a body who many times during her vagrant childhood, had spent a lot of time feeling empty in side, both emotionally and in purely gastric terms, she had sot of sympathised with them. Mr Fa had made a great fuss about the bad luck that would ensue if they broke them up like Lorenzo wanted to, so they’d kept them. The big one acted as a sort of bench to sit on, and the little one Mr Fa kept the fresh veg in.
A moment later into the dance steps, she decided on a quick question, "You at fort?"
"Yes I do, I live wherever the army assigns me and for now it is at the fort," he immediately answered then thought he would amplify the reply.
Bridget tipped her head with interest. That’s how she felt. Wherever the men in her life had wanted her to go, she had to go with them.
"You see when you sign on to the army, you can expect to move around an awful lot. I have been in many forts and outposts in my military life. You certainly do get to see the country in this career. Though you don't get any choices of destination, you go where they tell you to. It is not a good situation if one has a family especially children which is why many soldiers are not married."
The girl didn’t know much about soldiers, only that they fought Injuns and in some olden days they used to fight each other, and in those days some wore grey uniforms and some wore blue ones and the blue ones won. And what if a soldier did get married; would the Mrs. soldier have to wear a uniform too? She had seen Arabella wearing an army uniform that she had made herself. Maybe she was intending to wed a General.
Well, maybe marrying a soldier wouldn’t be too bad; she wouldn’t mind having to wear a uniform if her husband was as big and handsome as this Captain. Ooops! She’d forgotten all about Brendan for a while there. She felt sort of guilty, even though any loyalty towards the handsome cowboy was completely in her own head ... or heart. She was already finding that Romance was quite a complicated affair when you started paddling in its murky waters: she’d have to ask Arabella for advice on it all: apparently, Ara’ was the biggest expert on affairs of the heart in the whole of unoccupied Virginia.
She swayed happily with the music and enjoyed the strong arms holding her and beamed a pretty smile.
She suddenly inquired in almost a whisper, “You fight injuns?”
"Yes, on occasion. It is part of the job, miss," he nodded but kept his answer simple enough.
Bridget stared up at him in wonderment. Brendan was handsome and fun, but this man was a hero! Fought Injuns, he did. Probably killed them and everything! She tightened her hold on him slightly, got a little closer. There was something safe and dependable about his big strong arms around her as they danced.
He decided to ask her a question then and hope she did not think him prying, "So do you live in town or on one of the ranches, farms?"
She understood the question. She knew what a ranch was. It was where they kept lots of cows and horses and cowboys. She just had to get over her speech impediment. It took her a couple of gulps to get those ever-elusive words to the front of her mouth.
“Live in old … funeral parlor.” She eventually managed to get out. It was hardly the acme of sparkling conversation.
After a few more one-two-three-one-two-threes she stammered out “You at fort?” She took a deep breath, all this talking was a bit exhausting.
Actually, all of a sudden, she felt a little light headed, but she fought through it; she was tough, in her own frilly, lacey way: and this was wonderful, she wouldn't let it end.
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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