Despite his attempts to carry himself with the quiet dignity of one trained as a Confucian Scholar, Bau-yu can seldom refrain from totally losing his 拉屎 at the antics of the idiotic Westerners he has to work with.
Mr. Crabbe's business associate.
Mining, Explosives, Cooking, Boxing.
Aliases / Nicknames
Mr. Crabbe's store.
Kith & Kin
Mostly killed in the Taiping Rebellion or as part of reprisals in the aftermath.
Born in Xiangxiang, Hunan Province in the year of the Black Dragon (1832), Baoyu was the grandson of Fa Yuping, a farmer with social and political ambitions. He studied in Yuelu Academy in Changsha Prefecture, where he passed the prefectural examination in 1853, only a year after his father, Fa Linshu. He was studying for the provincial examination (juren) when he became caught up in the great Taiping Rebellion and was perforce to join its cause and marry a distant relation of the leader, Hong Xiuquan, in a pseudo Christian ceremony. When the Rebellion was quashed in 1860, he fled to America in (very justified) fear of reprisals.
In America, at first he found only backbreaking work on the railways and in Chinese laundries, but by the late 1860s he had built up enough capital to fit out a mining expedition and ended up that career as one of the 'Would-be Sooners' who were chased from the Black Hills of Dakota by the U.S. Army in 1872. It was there that he met his long time business associate: the American huckster, Lorenzo Crabbe.
Mature Content: No.
Author: Charlie Fa.
With: Robert Cullen, Lorenzo Crabbe. Location: Add specific location information here. When: Early June 1876 Time of Day: Late Morning.
Bao-yu wasn’t used to seeing Crabbe dressed in what would generally pass for ‘working clothes’ these days: lately he was all about the fancy suits (all the better for impressing the gulls with) and the heavy ended walking canes (all the better for stoving somebody’s skull in with) and the derringer hidden in his derby hat (all the better for … well, that one was obvious). Then again, today Bao-yu wasn’t wearing his usual ‘Chinese’ outfit either: both of them were togged out for field operations in boots, slickers, and broad-brimmed slouch hat, all the better to keep off the rain that was helpfully pouring down, making their job in the muddy bank all that much easier.
He’d sloshed around in the stream long enough, just at the bend where the deposits tended to form. Nearby was the roughhewn wooden sluice of the poor placer miner who was wasting his time here. The man from Xiangxiang reached up his hand and the man from Bowling Green reached down and pulled him up the bank.
“Washed out?” asked Crabbe as he hefted the short stout man up. The latter nodded.
“I tol’ you: claim salted!” he pronounced.
In other words, the man who had tried to sell the literal ‘gold mine’ of a claim to them had planted some gold ore fragments to fool them into thinking the place was worth paying the exorbitant price he wanted for it. Crabbe had been suspicious of the feller in the first place. When they’d been shown the claim documents in the lawyer’s office, it seemed that some idiot had signed the land over to him without any form of recompense whatsoever! That was odd. Said idiot, the one who had built the sluices and was even yet working the claim for someone else to reap the profits, that was who they needed to find now: for Lorenzo Crabbe, Bao-yu 'Chinese Charlie' Fa and the lawyer Tubb had a plan to reverse not only his fortunes, but their own.
Half an hour later, boots caked in the rich alluvial loam of Northern Montana, and rain dripping from the brims of their hats and the bottom of their slickers, they found the shack. Crabbe had seen nastier looking shacks out in the rough and ready claims out side Deadwood, but only usually after some kind of accident involving the dynamite store and a stray match.
“Jesus, d’ya think it’s collapsed an’ killed him?!” quipped Crabbe looking at the ‘structure’. But a weak peaty sort of smoke was rising from its rudimentary chimney, so somebody must be home and alive and kicking.
The Kentucky half of the duo knew better than to bang on the door and get a chest full of buckshot, so stood well back and hollered at the rude hut from a safe distance.
“Cullen? Bob Cullen! You in there? Wanna talk some business with you!”
The pair of them kept their hands well in sight, held out in front of them, like they were surrendering to some imagined gunman who held a bead on them. There was complete silence, apart from the patter of the rain on their waterproofs.
"It was my Christian duty and I was happy to do it," Clara replied.
“Ooooh! Christian, yes! Fa Baoyu become Christian during great rebellion in China. Man say he chop head off if no become Christian. Fa very quickly see light! Buy bible, chop chop!” he explained … sort of explained. “Leader of rebellion think he brother of Jesus Christ. Anyone not become Christian, he soon able to swing own head around by pigtail.”
“Give purse, give dress, Fa clean!” then the man smiled at Clara genially “Fa work in Chinese Laundry three year in San Francisco, Fa clean anything!”
"I told her I could wash it but if you can do better who am I to stop you, Mr. Fa," Clara wasn't even sure Chinese folk used 'misters' and such.
“Miss not help, you honorable guest, you sit, Fa bring tea. Need to boil kettle to clean dress and purse anyway.” It wasn’t a Chinese laundry, but Mr. Fa was adept at adapting everyday implements and equipment to serve his needs.
Bridget, meanwhile, was trying to get the dress off and becoming increasingly frustrated and upset over a hook that was jammed. She looked to Clara appealingly for help.
Fa looked back from his water boiling activities.
“Miss Bridget. You take leg off, too, give stump rest!”
Mr Fa and the girl looked on agog as Jay plied his trade, at one point exchanging glances and smiling excitedly.
Scratching his head Jay turned back to her.
"I have an idea....I'd like to get a print of your ...er...stump...and then carve the wood so it fits you better. I'll come back tomorrow to do that. The springs work again."
She hadn’t the slightest clue what he was talking about, but felt his kind intent and gave him a smile that lit the quickly darkening room like the light of a thousand Suns.
Carefully he placed the leg next to her on the bed and then went to the door to leave this room, where he felt quite uncomfortable.
As the limb was placed down, she reached over with her hand and placed it on his, almost like a mother comforting her child, and the smile she bestowed upon him now also had that queer reassuring air about it, like fixing her leg was something that would help mend him as much as her.
Outside he asked the Chinese. "How did that happen...and who is she? Is she someone’s daughter? Or ...."
Charlie looked at Jay with a quizzical look, of course she was someone’s daughter – all women were! And as for how it had happened: “She do Polka!” he explained “Big mistake with wooden leg! Should stick to waltz or … John Paul Jones!”
he didn't want to say 'amuse the boss' so he cut himself off. Then he did it anyway. "Is she here for personal entertainment? Her clothing was a little...well...taunting."
“Ooooohh!” cooed Mr. Fa in realization “You think she big whore?” he chuckled a bit “No, no, she not big whore, she very special!” His mien took on an almost mystical cast “Miss Bridget, some of her body live here in floating world with us, but Miss Bridget leg and mind, they live in spirit world with Honorable Ancestors and demons and other Fox Spirits. So …”
This bizarre speech was cut off by Lorenzo shouting at the bottom of the stairs. “Come on fellers, drinks are ready, and we got rockers and sluices to look at!”
Charlie shrugged but said one last thing, in a quiet voice, to Jay before they descended the stairs. “Mr Lorenzo Crabbe, he think she special too. He like real crab: all hard on outside, but tender inside, he kill any man who lay finger on Miss Bridget.”
"I'm not sure how that worked but I'm most certain that I can repair the damage."
Mr Ryker’s confident statement brought a look of delight to the faces of both the girl and the Chinese man. The latter hustled out of the room with a cry of “I go get tools!”
The girl lay there and smiled up at Jay.
“Does it hurt you?”
Her smile faded a little and waved him in to whisper in his ear.
“My leg hurts some.” She revealed, and nodded her head, as if somehow that would make him understand.
Charlie Fa returned up the stairs post haste with a fold out canvas tool kit which would be suitable for medium to fine work, pliers, awls and the like. “These are suitable?” he asked.
Maybe it was psychosomatic, but after being asked about it, the girl suddenly winced in pain. She let out another pathetic whimper and Fa jumped into action.
“Oh, her leg hurt now!” he stated the obvious and treated Ryker to the odd sight of him pulling off the ‘For Show’ leg with a gentle tug, popping it onto the bed, and lifting up the leg of Bridget’s pantalets to expose the disturbing sight of her round white stump, looking if anything, like an egg, or the head of a bald man.
The girl was clearly in agony now, trying to hold back a scream of anguish as the sensation in nerve endings that were no longer there grew stronger.
“It her leg that gone that hurt her! Ghost leg.” Fa explained to the metal worker “Fa help using ancient Chinese art of Zhēn cì.” With this he produced two long, thin, and frankly vicious looking needles that her proceeded to push firmly but gently into a place above the stump and then another, incongruously, into a similar place in her other, whole leg.
Instead of increasing the young lady’s pain, as might be expected, this operation clamed her and she sank back into the bed with a look of relief on her face.
“You fix now?” asked Fa, holding up Bridget’s ‘Walking Leg’. He was clearly un-phased by what must be a daily drama in this odd household.
After exchanging a look with the boss he declared. "I'm not sure why, but of course, I'll follow your request."
“Well, don’t waste too much time on her!” grumped Crabbe, looking for the decent whiskey.
The Chinese man looked delighted, and bowed the way “Please, Honorable Ryker go first. Top of stairs, first door on right.”
Jay put the bottom of his shirt in his pants and ran a busy hand through his hair before he knocked on the door up there.
"Excuse me, Miss?"
There was no reply audible, so Mr. Fa, who had now reached the top of the stairs himself, reached past Jay, twisted the knob and opened the door.
Inside was a room that made stark contrast to the ramshackle but business-like atmosphere downstairs. There was no bare wood on show here, apart from the furniture. Flock wallpaper, silky looking drapes and a large eiderdown covered bed dominated.
A fancy looking porcelain doll sat on a chair, the beautiful glass eyes staring into space, and upon the bed, a red-haired young woman in her late teens or early twenties, wearing nothing but a déshabillé collection white layered undergarments of linen and frothy lace, stared just as vacantly as the two of them.
“Look Missie Bridget, man come to fix leg! You show, you show.”
The girl smiled and, still lying on her back grasped her long petticoat at the top and pulled it up, revealing a pair of shapely legs, clad in white silk stockings and pink garters, her modesty being protected by a pair of voluminous silk pantalets.
Fa frowned and then laughed. “Ha ha! Oh, big mistake. Not this leg!” he hustled over and with a bunched up fist gave a sharp rap on the girl’s right shin, which made her laugh, too, as it made a loud wooden knocking sound.
“That leg just for show! Where walking-along leg, Missie Bridget?” he asked the girl politely.
She pointed dumbly to a fancy looking painted cupboard in the corner, from which the excited Mr. Fa retrieved a complicated looking tangle of wood, leather straps and metallic spring-loaded joints. This false leg he brought over to the bed and placed it along side the girl’s more realistic, but practically useless, carved, painted, ‘just for show’ leg.
“This very clever contraption, Mr Ryker, you see how it work? Very strong spring here and here. But look, all bent now.” Fa pointed out to the mechanism that controlled the bend in the knee and allowed Bridget to walk along almost normally when strapped onto the stump which terminated her right thigh.
The girl herself said nothing, but looked very pleased that someone was here who might be able to fix things.
She waved Jay in close to her, so she could whisper. “I broked it doin’ the poker” she informed him, seriously. By which she meant doing the Polka, of course.
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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