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.
"Bridget is a very unique special lady, Mr. Pike, you know," she declared then tried thru the look in her eyes and body language to get across the woman was not quite all there in the usual sense. Hopefully the man would catch on then.
While Clara was busy defending her, the unique and special lady had picked up a nice big slice of pie from the virgin, untouched spread, and shoved it in her mouth. It was a success: a great deal of the filling didn’t end up on her chin and quite a few of the crumbs didn’t land on the front of her froo-froo dress. She wondered vaguely why nobody else was tucking in, it was delicious.
With her free hand, she pointed at Mr. Pike and whispered to Clara.
“I tol’ him I like his badge.” she explained, before taking another bite of the pie, chewing away as she stared mesmerized, at the lovely shiny, sparkly five pointed star. Occasionally, her eyes would flick up to Pronto’s, just to make sure he was still there and hadn’t sneaked off, then they would be inevitably be drawn back to the deputy’s badge. Maybe nobody had ever told her that it was rude to stare.
"This is Miss Clara." She laughed, adding, "I wasn't sure you would recognize her in her pretty dress. And this is Bridget."
“Miss Clara, a pleasure.” He said with a slight bow. “Fact is, I might not’ve had you not introduced us. That’d be a change from what I’ve seen of you before. A right pleasant change I might add.”
"Nice to meet you, sir. Emeline always talks about you and it is always complimentary," Clara replied, "Thank you, well she provided the dress and bustle. Helped me fix up my hair so the compliments should go to her mostly."
"I hear you are going to be a rancher? Going to give up the deputy job then?" Clara inquired, just to be conversational as much as anything.
Bridget observed the man carefully, her head cocked to one side as she took him in, chewing her bottom lip distractedly while the polite chit chat of the others carried on like so much background noise. Despite her internal block on speaking out loud, she was not as shy and scared of strangers as folk tended assume.
In fact, sometimes the opposite problem manifested itself. What she did next was not polite, it disrupted the niceties of convivial conversation, but to her, it seemed to need doing.
Bridget Monahan, walked boldly forward toward Mr. Pike, leaned in so that she was close enough to accidentally tickle his ear with her lips and whispered “I like your badge.”
She then stood back, looked at the tin star with its inscriptions and leaned in again, kissing close, and added “It’s shiny.”
Bridget watched Arabella talking to Brendan completely agog. She didn’t even notice the teenaged girl and her slightly older boss change places as they laid out the pies and divvied them up into neat slices.
“Is that lady bad?”
"Who, Clara?" Emeline kept her voice low as she shook her head. "No, not at all, she's a fine young woman. And I have a feeling that it's all a misunderstanding and Master Brendan is not so bad either."
Bridget nearly jumped a mile when she realized that she’d whispered into Ms Em’s ear and not Clara’s. Still the answer that the lady gave to her question showed that she was nice, and she automatically smiled and nodded at the assurance that even Brendan wasn’t as awful as Clara made out. She felt much safer for Arabella now too, and stopped eying the pie knife on the table.
She smiled and lightly touched the girl's arm. "Your dress is beautiful, and you wear it well." Grinning, she took a couple of sashay-steps, rather awkward, then added, "Dressing up is one thing, but being able to move gracefully is another." She didn't mind the bustle and layers of material on occasion, but she always felt a little out of place.
Bridget understood the complement. All her dresses were pretty. As for wearing it well, she guessed that was a compliment too, but it made her wonder how you’d wear a dress badly. Then she remembered when, a couple of times, she’d got a new dress and put it on back to front, and understood what the kind lady meant.
She had a compliment for Ms Em, too, and a heartfelt, genuine one at that. She leaned over and, cupping her hand, whispered into Mrs Blakesley’s ear – on purpose this time – “I like your pies!”
“Is that man bad?” she asked in a whisper.
"I do not know for certain, he probably is though. He works for a very bad man," Clara answered then glanced at Bridget and decided the poor thing needn't get involved all this drama, probably well beyond her comprehension anyhow.
Bridget listened to this verdict open mouthed and nodded her comprehension. She looked over to where Arabella was talking to the probable villain with a fretful look on her face, biting her bottom lip, and played nervously with her parasol handle, worried about the safety of her friend.
"Say, I like your outfit. You look very nice," even as she complimented the other young woman, her mind was made up - regardless of how much effort it took she was going to see at least one man, or more, would dance with Bridget this night. Well, just slow dances.
Bridget turned back to Clara, looking surprised at being addressed, and then down at her dress and nodded vigorously, before leaning over and whispering in her ear “I got lots of ‘em.”
She stood back and looked at Clara and smiled and nodded, as if to say ‘I like your dress too.’
But then she frowned, looking at Mrs Blakesley and whispered “Is that lady bad?” If the pretty cowboy was bad, maybe the pretty lady was, too.
"Hardly the best reason for conversion but I suppose it is the end result that counts," Clara listened to the chinaman's tale of conversion. She had her doubts about how heartfelt such a thing was but could hardly blame the man.
“Oh, Fa change back when rebellion over!” he admitted happily. “Only become Christian because Brother of Jesus give death by thousand cuts if no convert!”
"I think that fellow needed a few history lessons. It was quite impossible to be the brother of Jesus," she couldn't help but add.
“Hong Xiuquan dead now. Order all followers to eat 'manna', he call poisonous weed manna. He eat manna, he die. Hong Xiuquan need cookery lesson, not history lesson.” quipped the Chinese.
"Oh let me do that for you. It is always easier with an extra pair of hands," Clara deftly undid the hook then assisted her out of the garment, making certain the woman did not fall down.
Bridget smiled gratefully, as Clara helped her and they handed the dress to Mr. Fa who seemed unperturbed at the sight of the young woman in her corsets and many undergarments.
“Miss Bridget. You take leg off, too, give stump rest!” shouted the chinaman.
"You need to rest your stump?" That sounded odd but what did she know about it?
Bridget nodded and sat down on the chair again and pulling up the leg of her pantlets started to fiddle with the straps.
"Can I help with that, be happy to," Clara hovered over Bridget to be of further assistance.
The ginger girl looked gratefully at Clara but shook her head. She knew what she was doing.
Mr. Fa bustled up with the purse. What the Hell he had done must have been some kind of Chinese Alchemy, because it was clean as a whistle, but a little damp. He took her leg and then fetched her a crutch, in case she needed to hop around anywhere in the house.
“You like cup of tea?” he asked Clara. Bridget was rubbing her stump and Baoyu realized it must be a bit of a shocking sight if it was the first time a body had seen such an injury.
“You not scared by Miss Bridget stump, you very brave girl, what you name?” he asked. By telling her she was brave, he hoped make her so. He knew that it was upsetting for Bridget when other people became upset by her affliction.
"Of course, I will go back with you. You will not fall, I can catch you if necessary," Clara started to head the way she had pointed.
Bridget nodded her understanding. Her leg wasn’t too bad, in fact it was generally easier to walk on anyway, since Mr. Ryker had made his deft repairs and adjustments to the knee joint part, but she was scared that it would suddenly give way. She looked sadly at her purse as they walked. “Dirty.” She whispered quietly.
"As for your purse, I can wash the mud off that, it will be as good as new," alright so that was probably a lie, but a white one and those were permissible.
The girl seemed to brighten at this and smiled bravely. It wasn’t just that the mud had ruined the purse and her dress, it was also that it reminded her of a time when she seemed to be mud caked and dirty all the time.
"By the way, my name is Clara. What is yours?" it couldn't hurt to ask.
Instead of whispering the information to her, which seemed to be the queer young lady’s primary mode of communication, she brought them to a halt and, staring right ahead, gulped down some courage, made a few preliminary starts and then said out loud and clear “My name is Bridget Monahan.” It actually sounded more like ‘Bijit Monyhan’ but the meaning was clear.
Soon they were at their destination, the old abandoned funeral parlor right at the ‘wrong’ end of the street, where few people happened to walk unless they had particular business there. The green door to the place door started to open even before they reached it and Bridget put her head close to Clara’s and whispered urgently “Don’ tell Mister Crabbe!” just before an oriental face peeped through the crack at a low height and looked horrified at the sight of the bedraggled girl and her helpmeet.
“Ooooh! Miss Bridget! What happen?!” he chattered as he came out to help her inside. “Some boys pushed me over!” she said quietly and started having to hold back tears again. Clearly, this wasn't 'Mr. Crabbe'.
“Pursez all dirty.” Bridget added, and the Chinaman looked around worriedly. “Oooh! No tell Mister Crabbe!” he warned, chiming the same bell as the girl. Fa looked the prim and proper looking Clara up and down, nodding gratefully. “You very nice lady, you help Miss Bridget!”
The redhead was still leaning on Clara as she entered the door, which rather put the onus on the supporting maiden to follow her inside, where the busy Chinese man was already making preparations to fix things up.
“Give purse, give dress, Fa clean!” he realized this might seem impossible to the dark haired girl, but he smiled at Clara genially “Fa work in Chinese Laundry three year in San Francisco, Fa clean anything!”
"It is fine. I am happy to help," without even looking Clara tossed the broom aside for now, she would pick it up and place in back in the right barrel later.
Bridget at least managed to reach out to the side and get hold of her muddied purse, once so pretty, and her now broken parasol. She tried to get up again.
Stooping down she grasped at Bridget with both hands, getting under her armpits then, with a grunt, hoisting her up, "I will not drop you. I am stronger than most folk think."
Between the two of them, they got her up. Bridget took a first step. It just didn’t feel quite right, but she couldn’t tell if it was just the straps that needed redoing or it had broken again. It had been sort of funny when she broke it doing the polka with Arabella, but this was different. Some mean people had been the cause of it. This new girl was helping her. In her head she thought of her as ‘Brown Girl’ because of her dress.
She hung on to Clara and turned a tear stained face to her.
“Wanna go home.” she stated in a quiet voice that was almost lost in the slight breeze of the morning. She pointed down the Main Street with the wreckage of her sun brolly.
Bridget’s head had started to swim; the grabbing, the holding down, the hands lifting her skirts, it all came back in its full suffocating, painful, humiliating horror. But this time it ended differently. There were no deafening bangs or blinding flashes of light in the dark, no men yelling and screaming even louder than she had been, no sound of a man’s voice, begging for his life, no blood covering her dress. Just a pretty girl, broom in hand, looking down at her from the boardwalk on a bright spring morning.
Clara lowered her 'weapon' then turned her focus on the girl, "I am so sorry. Do you need assistance getting back up?"
Bridget looked around, unsure how she got here. The leg didn’t feel right. She glanced up at the girl, and wiped away the tears that she had tried so hard to suppress during the attack. She self-consciously pulled up her skirts, with her own hand this time, to adjust the straps which held her false limb firmly in place when she walked on it. A few passers by looked on curiously. She tried to get up, and floundered.
She looked up again at the girl with the broom and nodded. Yes. Please help me.
Mature Content: Contains scenes that some viewers may find upsetting.
Author: Bridget Monahan
With: Bridget Monahan, bullies, plus her rescuer (you know who you are). Location: Main Street. When: April 1876 Time of Day: Morning.
The three boys wouldn’t have been out so early, if they’d had their druthers, but they’d been sent out straight after breakfast to attend the silly school that had been set up in the town. The three of them (to hide their blushes, we will call them Fatty, Ugly and Titch) had pretty quickly decided to form a compact to not only play hooky from school, but to have as much fun at other people’s expense as they could possibly muster. No man, woman, child or animal would be spared, unless, of course, it was someone who could whup ‘em.
They were all around the 12 to 14 mark, and at various stages of adolescence: Fatty and Ugly as tall as grown men but juvenile in aspect, their recently broken basso profundo voices occasionally squeaking high; Titch was yet to hit his growth spurt, but despite this, was the evil mastermind of the whole outfit. They struck gold straight off, there was that imbecile woman walking along staring at the boardwalk, like she was looking for something. Titch sniffed, like a coyote smelling an easy kill. “Hey fellers, look at this dumb b____h” he snickered, showing off his mastery of the vernacular.
The three of them crowded the boardwalk in front of her, so that she would have to step around them and onto the muddy road. Bridget jumped as she nearly walked right into them and gave a little gasp. “We in your way, Gingerbread?” snarled Fatty, “Gee, why your freckles so ugly, ugly?” spat Ugly. “Go round, idiot!” shouted Titch. Bridget stepped back with a frightened look on her face that made the little men feel big and tough. She went to step down to the road, and Titch thrust out a foot to trip her and she tumbled into the road: parasol, purse and legs flying.
“Christ, she’s got a wooden leg!” roared Fatty, wide eyed.
“Ha ha!” laughed Ugly “Redhaired, Ugly an’ a Peg-leg! What a mess!!”
Titch jumped down to the street, a look of malicious delight on his cherubic features. “Grab her boys, I wanna good look-see!” This was actually a little too far for the other two, bigger boys, but they dare not loose face by disobeying their diminutive lord and master. While Bridget flailed around in the mud because her leg straps had half twisted round, the bullies jumped down and held her while Titch grabbed the hem of her skirts and pulled them up, revealing the strange prosthetic limb.
“Whoooo!” he screamed in joy, not only at the curious and, to the uninitiated, grotesque sight of the leg, but at the utter distress and humiliation of the of the tearful girl on the ground.
[The rest of Bridget's day is covered in the thread Ups and Downs]
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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