Lanky teen, his granny says that he just keeps "eatin an a-growin, growin an a-eatin"
Traits & Characteristics
Quiet but not shy, more of a doer than a talker or a thinker. His sisters taught him how to polka, his Granny taught him how to hunt and shoot, and the school of hard knocks taught him everything else, including how to stay on the top side of a horse. Raised out on the prairie, finds town a little clamorous and discombobulating - but worth it to see all the pretty girls, there.
Wanted to ride with a herd up from Cheyenne this year, but forced to go and stay at his Granny's place as her regular hand up and died of the miseries.
The expected Hunting, Fishing, Riding, Shooting, but also can cook, sew and dance if the situation demands it, but not all at once. Oh, and plowing. Can that boy plow! And plant, and harvest and winnow and make up hay bales and saw and nail and file and mend and make and feed the livestock and milk the cow and paint the barn and string barbed wire fences and, well, everything that Granny needs doing.
Aliases / Nicknames
Granny Miggins' homestead.
Kith & Kin
Two sisters, Leonora and Josephina, and a host of other kin from the vast Miggins progeny. His father, Ernest Lutz passed over to the other side in an incident where he fell through a trapdoor, his mother died of the diphtheria a long time past and he was mostly brought up by his Grandmother and sisters and uncles and aunts.
Born Jacob Lukas Lutz, 17th September 1858 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Ernst and Geraldine Lutz (nee Miggins)
Ernest was born Ernst Jakob Lütze in Karlsruhe, Germany in the late 1830s.
"Good day, Reverend. I hope we did not catch you at an inconvenient time? I am Clara Redmond, daughter of Aurelian Redmond. We are regular attendees at Sunday services. And this is Jacob Lutz, he too is a member of the congregation," she spoke quickly before Arabella could get a word in edgewise, no mean feat, that!
Weirdly, instead of yapping incessantly, Arabella silently nodded at Jacob, as if prompting him to speak, like she fancied herself the major-domo of some great Priest King of the Old Testament, silently ushering others into the potentate’s presence.
“Er, that’s right, Sir!” Jacob nodded, gripping his hat which he had removed, of course, as soon as he entered the strange hermitage. Arabella nodded at him urgently, as if to say go on! And Jacob continued. “We were wondering if you would marry us… we want to get wed.” he announced, a little tautologously.
“They are both very good people, Brother Thomas!” Arabella confided to the white bearded holy man in a sort of hushed whisper. Well, apart from all the premarital sex, of course, but she didn’t mention that. God knew, that was enough.
"Rev. Reed? Ohhh, yes that new preacher in town. Who said he lived here? Nonsense. He's a man of God and this ain't a house of God," she declared, really to protect the clergyman's rep more than anything.
Jacob manfully resisted the urge to point at Clara and say “She did!” Instead he gave a nondescript shrug.
"He did come in here....once, when he first showed up in town. To ask directions and get the lay of the town. But he never lived here," she then smiled.
Jacob thought he’d better make an effort to show he believed her, like it mattered if he’d lived there or not. Wasn’t Jesus friends with publicans? “Who knows how these rumours start, huh!?” he proffered, feeling like his words were strangely pompous somehow.
"One of my employees is an avid churchgoer, she might know where he lives now," she added.
"Yes, Arabella," Clara interjected since no either introduced her nor asked who she was.
"Yes, that's her in all her glory," smirked the woman.
Clara blinked, "If you say so, ma'am."
“Good old Reb!” chimed in Jacob, feeling he ought to chime in.
"Well come on in, get enough bugs in the place without holding the door wide open for more to sashshay in," Matilda now stepped back to allow entrance.
"Oh ...umm, " Clara began but Jacob went right on in so she figured she better follow. The saloon was open, one could easily hear the sound of customers' laughing and shouting, apparently having a good time.
"So....Mr. Lutz, I seem to recall you have an older sister, is this her?" Matilda asked.
Despite the strangeness of the situation, Jacob couldn’t help having to stifle a laugh at this. Lee would have been horizonal in a dead faint by this point in the proceedings, Clara was made of sterner stuff.
"What?" Clara was pretty sure she had just been insulted, "No, I am not."
“Just another pal of Arabella’s” explained Jacob, deciding not to bandy Clara’s still good name around.
Arabella, in a room just off the kitchen when the laundry got done, heard the familiar voices but it never occurred to her that the female one could be Clara Redmond, not here in this disgraceful den of iniquity. Jacob, on the other hand.
“Hey! Is that Hayseed?!!” she yelled with leather lungs. “Get in here, stranger, I need a hand pullin’ down ma bloomers!” she implored, for indeed, the annoying garment had got stuck in the mangle and needed a strong arm to pull them down and out.
Every single time Jacob had been to that back door it had been opened either by Arabella or the Saloon’s rotund cook, Messalina McMahon. Oh, and by Mr Flandry, the barman, once. But to be faced my Matilda Devereau, the owner of the place, was a bit of a shock, and Jacob was speechless for a moment.
"Oh....yer the ....Lutz boy, right? " as she asked she looked at the brunette practically glued to the lad's side and then past them both. No wagon in the alley. Hmmm.
“Yes Ma’m!” yelped the Lutz boy nervously and snatched off his hat in deference.
"You got a delivery for us?" she then asked.
For one horrible second Jacob thought she meant delivery as in a baby being delivered, but then realised that was ridiculous and the women had only ever seen him deliver farm produce. What an idiot he felt.
“Er, not today Ma’m, we were wondering if you could tell us if the Reverend Reed was at home to callers, or if he’s moved on to another abode.” God, why was he speaking so formally? It was nerves, he felt like the woman could see right through them and knew exactly what they’d been up to, what condition Clara was in, and why they desperately needed to see the man of God.
It didn't help that Arabella was always telling him stories about how cruel and heartless and terrifying an employer Matilda was.
"He lives in the saloon. I heard it in the diner," Clara announced out of the blue, "So you want to go in there and look around?" She was not about to suggest she do such a thing.
Jacob frowned. Really?! That sounded a bit odd, but he wasn’t about to gainsay Clara on the matter. Besides, they’d have to go there anyway to ask Arabella where her ‘friend in religion’ actually lived.
“All right, but you come too. Don’t worry, it’ll be all right, we won’t go in the saloon, we’ll go round the back where I make the deliveries. I don’t think I’m in Arabella’s good books right now, but she’ll do anything for you.” He reasoned.
To be honest, he had been avoiding the Virginian girl for some time: not for the usual reason people avoided her – earache – but, at first, because he owed her money. Not a lot, but enough so that, if he paid her, he wouldn’t be able to visit Clara at the diner and sample her pie. Then, after he and Clara had ‘cemented their bond’ he didn’t want Arabella quizzing him about it. He didn’t get the impression that Clara ever actively sought the girl out, either. But now they needed her help.
"I do not know how you can say that? I was only there in your house for a short while and she insulted and called both you and your sister names. She bullied you both," Clara countered.
Jacob was just used Granny’s language, he hadn’t really given it another thought, and technically the old woman hadn’t called Clara a whore, just said that everybody else would call her one, if they didn’t get wed, pronto. But, and this was a very big but, he wasn’t fool enough to say that to Clara, he just hemmed and hawed and grunted agreement at anything his darling little wife to be suggested, hoping for a quiet life. Why, they were as good as married already!
They clambered onto the wagon and, Clara refusing it, he counted up the money as they headed into Kalispell. It might not have been a king’s ransom in gold, but it was a tidy sum and Jacob couldn’t but wonder at the tattily dressed Ned, who presumably knew where all Granny’s buried treasures were hid and didn’t grab the lot and make a run for it. He had heard Ned’s stories about the South and the end of the Civil War when his owners, fearing the approach of Sherman’s ravagers, had given him all the family silver to hide in the cane break while they waited terrified in the house, hoping to stop it being burned to the foundations. The man was just innately trustworthy.
After Ned had dropped them off in Kalispell and told them where he’d be if they needed him, the obvious place to go and look for their prospective celebrant was the Church. Like most churchgoers, they assumed that the man who conducted the services was kept, along with the prayer-books and other paraphernalia of religion, in the small dusty cupboard known as the vestry, and fetched out and put in place in the pulpit each and every Sunday. But no dice, he wasn't there.
Jacob looked lost.
“What are we going to do?” he asked Clara weakly, looking around outside the church, hoping the tall pastor, who had taken over many of the ailing Gideon Evans’ duties, might suddenly appear from heaven in a fiery chariot like Elijah in reverse.
“Arabella’ll know where he lives.” He proffered, not wanting to be the one who actually suggested that they go and find her.
"Would she give you money?" she asked of Jacob, "Maybe she is setting a trap? We accept it and then later she tells the law that we stole it?"
Jacob shook his head. “She nuts, and she can be pretty rough on people, but she ain’t mean to her own.” Was his opinion.
Ned chuckled his agreement. “Ain’t that the truth, ol’ Jake here’s the apple o’ that old woman’s eye, even if she don’t always show it. Reckon her problem is: you’re the apple o’ his eye now, Miss Clara!”
Ned then asked where they were going. Jacob glanced to her, "Kalispell?"
"Yes, yes, to town. Thank you, Ned," Clara nodded then let Jacob help her into the passenger seat.
“Yes! Kalispell, and don’t spare the horses!” Jacob pronounced jocularly as he helped Clara up onto the wagon, upon which they would take a bumping, jolting ride it town. Buttercup must have heard that last crack as she tossed her head and whinnied at the injunction.
Ned made a click-click noise with his mouth and the horse pulled them forward. Jacob picked up the bag and was about to count it when, on a whim, he gave it to Clara. “Here you are dear, you’d better have this: housekeeping money.” He liked practicing his husbandly duties, no matter what their nature.
"We were just admiring the view!” shouted Jake as the two of them tried not to stumble too much as they came through the scrub to the dirt road, hand tightly in hand. “Weren’t we dear?”
"Yes of course, a beautiful day," Clara dutifully fell into the act but she felt certain the old fella wasn't that stupid to not know something had been going on out of sight of the road.
Ned tried, unsuccessfully, to look convinced, staring at nothing on the horizon and thinking of something sad to stop from laughing. Poor old Brutus.
“How come you’re out with Buttercup?” asked Jake but pointedly not asking him why he was stopped in the middle of nowhere, just by chance where he and Clara had been canoodling.
“Well, Jake, I was standing in the kitchen after you two lit out, and a certain person who shall not be named says to me ‘Now listen you, don’t you dare go getting that horse and cart and followin’ after that pair!’ she says. And then she says ‘And don’t you be getting’ that money I saved for that ungrateful rascal out from where I hid it!’ And I says to myself, ‘Why Ned, you’re a free man! You don’t need to do what that old woman says. So here I is, here’s the cart and…” he patted a small bag next to him “… here’s your money!”
(He forgot to mention the part where Granny had also had to say to him ‘Well, what’re you waiting for, Slowcoach, they’ll be halfway to Canada by now!’)
Ned looked down at the innocent looking young, young couple. “Well, where we headed, folks?” he asked.
Jacob squeezed Clara’s hand and turned to look into her eyes, a little suspicious of this deus ex machina but happy to have a straw to grasp at.
“It’s Ned!” he hissed to Clara “He’s on the road! In the cart! Just stood there!!”
Clara went wide-eyed but calmed quickly, "Well...he could not have seen anything. We were low to the ground."
“Yeah, most of the time! But not when we … well, never mind that, what’s he doing there?! It’s like he’s just waiting for us! We’d better go back to the road and see what he wants, we can pretend we were just admiring the view.” He looked down at her as she carried on dressing, but more hurriedly now, admiring the view. He was still in sneaking around mode, even though the whole Miggins household now knew that he and Clara were well beyond the ‘admiring the view’ stage.
"Hurry up!" like she needed to tell him as she now hastened to put on her shoes and tie them.
The man on the cart was happy to wait. He was happy to sit on that cart, looking at the miles and miles of expanse, free to ride North, East, South or West; or free to sit stock still and wait for young Jake. It had been eleven years, but what was eleven years compared to the forty five before them? He still had to stop himself saying it in his head. Mars Jake. He was just Jake, and he was just Ned. Sure, Ned, short for Edward. He’d changed that, amongst other things. Ned, not Nero. Those genteel Southerners and their liking for classical names.
He also stopped himself remembering how he had spotted the place where Jake and his lady friend had departed the road and pushed their way through the bushes. He stopped himself remembering how many times he’d helped the overseer track down a runaway, him and Brutus. Brutus had been a hound, by the way, not another slave. Those genteel Southerners and their liking for classical names.
Why, here they came now, doing a pretty good imitation of a couple out for a Sunday stroll. He’d never seen anything quite so innocent looking. He stifled a chuckle and looked serious.
“Jake, Miss Clara. Just fancy seeing you here!” he smiled.
“We were just admiring the view!” shouted Jake as the two of them tried not to stumble too much as they came through the scrub to the dirt road, hand tightly in hand. “Weren’t we dear?” he included Clara and called her what her supposed a man should call his wife.
“I’m never going to write a poem again.” he suddenly announced.
"What a loss to the literary world," Clara replied in that dry manner of hers.
He considered that for a second.
“They’ll get over it.”
"Still, I guess I will still marry you anyhow," she turned, actually blessed him with a warm smile then kissed him on the cheek.
He carried on looking up as the sky but now with a big smile on his face and squeezed her hand tighter. Their union had been perfect. Would it spoil it if he tried for a second round? He was just about to start making overtures but then she sighed, "We really should get dressed and get back on the road. The town is not any closer you know."
He turned his head now.
“I’d forgotten we were naked” he admitted, a note of wonder in his voice “Like Adam and Eve.” But now he remembered that they were the fallen and must carry themselves out of this Garden of Eden and off to the Land of Nod, or Kalispell as it was known in common parlance.
He loved watching Clara getting dressed: it was oddly erotic, seeing her beautiful body being covered, it was as arousing as watching, or helping, her uncover it. As she drew on her plain, utilitarian stockings and underwear he couldn’t resist reaching over and caressing her, stooping to kiss the top of her head.
“We could … no, you’re right!” he sighed, looking around for his trousers. His hat had blown away and got stuck on a bush, back the way they had come. He padded up, naked, to the bush to retrieve the round brimmed hat and gave a shriek! He padded back to Clara, the head-covering covering something else.
“It’s Ned!” he hissed to Clara “He’s on the road! In the cart! Just stood there!!”
Afterward, they lay on their backs in the rough fescue, Parry's oatgrass and Koeleria of the Montana plain, holding hands like they did on that very first night at the barn dance. The clouds were sparse and misty, and they moved across the azure above at a rate of knots like some mystical sailing ships plying some mystical ocean. In his mind, they were already married. This time – only the second – had not been like the first. The first had been fumbling, unsure, guilty, first time love. This time had been sure, no fear, settled, but not tame: it had been intense, and they had enjoyed it.
The warmth of Clara’s hand was enough, he didn’t have to turn and remind himself of her beauty, he knew it was there. Instead he looked forward and up into the forever of the firmament and stared back at God, who had witnessed their union. Reverends, Fathers, Witnesses, Bridesmaids, Matrons of Honor: who needed them? God Himself had just witnessed that they were man and woman and that the woman was quick with child, as behoved His eternal plan.
“I’m never going to write a poem again.” He said to Clara, or to God, or to Montana.
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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