Caroline has lived in saloons all her life, literally. She was the only child of a saloon keeper and his common law wife. She started young doing errands, washing dishes, sweeping floors, anything her folks needed. By age 13 she was taking drinks to tables and on occasion serving beer or whiskey behind the bar to thirsty customers when her father needed a break. By age 15 she began singing and people liked it, she had a good voice. By age 16 she was dancing too as part of the act.
Since then she has worked in a few saloons and now has arrived in Kalispell to take a job at the Star Dust saloon. She knows no other life style but loves her job and she's very good at what she does.
Aliases / Nicknames
Kith & Kin
None, both parents are deceased.
1854 - Born in Chicago to Lalaine Stills. Father, Edmund Mundee.
1867 - Already working steadily at her father's saloon in the rough side of Chicago.
1870 - She was both singing and dancing by then in the same place
1870 - Her mother died of an unknown illness.
1872- Her father was killed in a saloon brawl and had left no will. A rival grabbed the joint and there was no room
for her anymore. Consumed with revenge, she stalked her father's killer and shot him down in an alley. Right
after she left the city and headed west.
1872-1876 Worked in a few saloons in various places out west.
1876 - Through a friend in the business she found out about a job opening in some burg called Kalispell and decided
to take that job. Singer/dancer - exactly her calling.
"Hello, Caroline. Better give your friend some water," the young officer, who she now noticed was wounded, now handed her a canteen which the saloon girl reached up for.
Addy was up on her feet and in good enough shape to make a quip though, she was tough alright. Caroline held out the canteen to the stage driver.
"Take some. When yer done, I'd like a few swigs. Less our dashing young general here happens to have some whisky on him?" Caroline figured he would not but - if by some miracle he did, she would avail herself of some. Addy noticed the same as Caroline that the officer might be best staying mounted.
A few more soldiers were closing in on them now, attracted by the shots fired. But it seemed to be all over, thank the Lord!
"Joseph....thank ya for findin' us. I thought we were goners," Caroline wanted to thank him.
"Oh, we heard a lot of shootin' earlier, did you run into the rest of the Indians? Hope you killed every last one of those bastards."
OOC: We could jump a bit further now to get this group and the Barlow and his detachment along with Flip's scouts together again in one thread? Start heading back toward Kalispell then?
"Well now," Mason Fink said softly. "That sorta puts me in my place. Don't it?"
Caroline just glared, she did not like this man. Not at all.
Fortner stepped forward. "Leave my crew alone, Mason, or they'll go on strike and leave me high and dry."
Caroline glanced at her boss, if he'd have been a good boss, he'd have snapped at the man right off when the insult was made but Fortner had laughed too. Caroline silently noted that.
"Ah sure, Frank," Mason said defensively. "I was just joshin'. That's all." He turned to Caroline. "Sorry miss, I didn't mean no harm."
"Should be apologizing to the girl," Caroline muttered but why bother, she didn't think his apology even sounded sincere.
By now, Hiram Priest sidled over to the group.
"You boys look like you're sellin' something," the old codger drawled. "The last time I saw fellers like you it was at an emporium in Chicago, and they were selling silk ascots."
Caroline decided to let them jabber away, she needed to discuss the night's song selection with Frances. She turned to leave.
"Well," Cadwaller began. "You pegged us right, Mister. But we aren't selling ascots, silk or otherwise. We're selling an investment -- a sure thing."
Hiram nodded. "Well if you can sell Miss Caroline your sure thing, you can sell it anybody in town. Cause she's no fool."
Cadwaller turned to Caroline and removed his hat,
"That right, Miss?"
"That's right. And a wise man I once knew told me that anyone who sez they got themselves a ..... sure thing ...well, there is no such thing. So leave me outta this. I got a job to do, I'm workin. I gotta do my act so excuse me."
"Er, yeah, Clara's fine, and baby Arabella. Thanks for asking Miss Mundee," the young man replied, poor thing looked real nervous.
"She had the kid already?" Caroline was stunned, it was awful early for that given the last time she'd seen Jacob's young wife in the diner only a few days ago.
Whereas the boy looked rattled the same could not be said for his companion.
"Well Howdy, beautiful! Miss Monday is it? And as pretty every other day of the week too, I'm sure!" he drawled, bowing and sweeping his battered hat like a cavalier of old, doing his dusty best to ooze Southern charm.
"Yeah, I try to look this good every day of the week," smirked a bemused Caroline.
"Permit me to introduce myself, Mr. Clement Craddock of Kosse, Texas, Scrappy to my friends, perhaps you already know my esteemed partner in cowography, Mr Jesse Matthews..."
"Nope, but I knew a Clement back in Chicago once. Always liked that name," Caroline smiled.
"And my new friend Mr. Lutz, it seems, has the unbearable pleasure of being already acquainted with your glorious self."
That got a laugh from the veteran saloon gal, "Might want to go easy on the compliments there, Clement. Though I do appreciate the sentiment."
"Say Jake, Miss Monday looks thirsty, why don't you throw a drink into her, I mean, er, would you permit us to buy you some form of liquid refreshment, 'fair vison of my idyll'?"
"Sure thing, thanks hon," she of course took note the cowpoke from Texas wasn't paying but the poor hubby to Clara. Cheapskate this one.
"Ralph, I'll take my usual, thanks. And hey, don't charge young Mr. Lutz this one. It's on the house in honor of his newborn babe. Hope she's doin' well," Caroline offered.
"Sure thing," Ralph of course poured a whisky from Caroline's special bottle under the shelf, colored water, "Congrats, kid."
Brendan least wasn't fool enough to defy the fiesty saloon gal in the mood she was in so he gave up his arguing. He moved to turn down the lamp, then stopped. “Guess I’ll leave this on.”
"Yeah, you can for now," Caroline sounded calmer now too.
He trudged past Caroline, his footfalls heavy and tired. “I’m gonna get my things from your room. I’ll come around here after sun-up sometime and…figure out somethin’.”
"Yeah, wait....here's the key. When yer done lock it up again and then give it ta Ralph. Not my new boss.........Ralph," she handed over her key with specific instructions. She trusted he wouldn't steal anything of hers.
As he went out onto the landing, he looked back at her. “I’m…glad you’re here with her,” he said gruffly.
"You know I'm real fond of the girl, she'll be safe with me. You'll see her soon enough, hon," Caroline nodded.
"I can't leave her," Brendan protested Caroline's order, "I told her I'd be there when she woke up."
"Oh hon, you can and you will. I'm not debatin' this with you," snapped Caroline, in no mood to repeat her arguments of just a moment earlier.
"I asked at the livery stable a while back," he suddenly said, mustering a smirk.
Seriously? Caroline frowned.
"Really? How old are you? That's a job for fourteen, fifteen year olds. Part time work too. Yer gonna support Bridget as a stable boy?" Caroline was obviously unimpressed with his career attempt there.
"Now....git......leave. Or am I gonna have to make ya?" she put her hands on hips.
Fortner would not need to summon Caroline, the entertainer was there, already on her work shift, sitting at a table with a old gent. He had been telling her all about his adventures in the Mexican War. Caroline didn't know if she believed it all but no matter he was in a good mood and had bought the saloon gal a few drinks already.
Caroline noticed her new piano player, the blind Frances, had just come into the saloon. The new men with Fortner also noticed and not in a good way.
"Who the hell is THAT?" Mason Fink asked. "I thought Buffalo Bill's freak show's already left town."
They all laughed.
Well not all, Caroline didn't laugh, in fact she glared in the speaker's direction. Patting the veteran on his hand, Caroline thanked him for the drinks and the fascinating stories. Then stood up.
"She works here, --- sort of," Fortner said. "Just a minute."
"Hey Frances? You want me to get Caroline for ya?" he called.
"No need, boss, I'm right here. Be right with you, Frances, just gimme a minute," Caroline announced.
Then Caroline approached the man who had made the 'freak show ' remark until she stopped just short of him.
"Now I don't know who you are, mister, but you certainly aren't a gentleman, making fun of a blind person. She's an employee here, she works with me. And if you ever make another crack like that, I will have to forget I'm a lady and you won't like what happens," Caroline spoke calmly and clearly and if the man made eye contact, she did not blink.
Ralph poured a second beer for the one cowpoke, the young Mr. Lutz was nursing his and would awhile, if ever, before he'd finish up. He swept up the nickel then when Jacob spoke up.
"How are you getting along without Arabella, Mr. Flandry?" Jacob asked.
"We seem ta be surviving without the girl," Ralph hadn't approved of the girl up and leaving but she was getting the age to run her own life. And quite plainly she didn't like it at the saloon anymore.
"Did you get anyone yet to take over the cleaning? I think she's doing OK at the funeral parlour. She did my Aunt Hildie and I went to see her and she'd got her looking real nice." he told the bearded man "My cousin Jess's just gone over to see her."
"Hiring people ain't my job, kid," Ralph shrugged, "I just work here."
As for the rest Ralph had no idea how to comment on that. What the hell did he care about some dead woman he never heard of.
Another man joined them, bellying up to the bar, must be Lutz's cousin. He did look vaguely familiar but then Ralph sees so many faces in his line of work, they often blend together.
"Howdy, Mr. Flandry," the man knew him apparently.
"Howdy, can I help ya? " Ralph meant as in serving him a drink, nothing less nothing more.
Meanwhile, Caroline had by now noticed Ralph had a trio of new customers up at the bar. That called for her presence. She might be the saloon entertainer but another vital part of her job involved in mingling with the customers and getting them to buy more drinks. She had been sitting at a poker table with four locals deep in a long drawn game of five card stud. As they played, she encouraged the men, flirted a bit with them, and on occasion went to fetch them more drinks from the bar.
"See ya later, boys," she smiled then rose from her chair to sashay on over to the trio at the bar. Time to do her tried and true routine.
"Well, well, I do believe the young men of Kalispell do seem to be getting more and more handsome all the time," she greeted them. She sort of knew Jacob Lutz thru Arabella and that he had married that brunette girl running the diner. That gal was visibly pregnant when she was last in the diner to buy a pie.
"Jacob, you know if that ....farm girl of yers hadn't snapped you up, I mighta claimed you for myself. How ya been? Your wife doin' well, I hope?" she beamed, eyes sparkling as she gave him a playful pat on one cheek.
She figured he'd handle the introductions on these other jaspers.
"How are we gonna find out all that at this time a' night?" Brendan now asked, as if she knew all the damn answers, he really could be rather... immature in her jaded opinion.
"We aren't, ya idiot," Caroline sighed, "But we will find out soon as possible."
He went on, "I don't care about the property or money! We just need somewhere to stay."
"Bridget can stay right here, it's gonna be her place soon enough unless I'm wrong about Lorenzo's final decisions. He wouldn't let her be homeless. There are other women besides me who care about the girl, we will make sure she isn't alone," Caroline answered.
"As for you, find someplace, even if it's a barn for a few nights. It'll look really bad if you just move in whilst Lorenzo's body ain't even cold or buried. Your reputation ain't the best and that's puttin' it nicely," she added, "tonight, it's summer, yer a cowboy, you can sleep outside for once. You must have done it many times before."
He wasn't done whining yet either, "Where do you expect me to get a job? Who'll hire me after this? Before it would've been hard enough with me bein' an Evergreen hand. But now..."
"There are a few ranches out there besides Evergreen and Lost Lake. There's one run by a woman I think even. Can't recall the name, never met her. But I've heard about it. Go out there and at least fuckin' ASK. Tell me...right now....name me the places you've gone to and asked about a job since yer stayin' in my room? Go ahead.....bet you haven't done a damn thing."
"Well, if you really value Bridget and wanting to be responsible for her, it starts here and now," she glared him right in the eye, course she had to look up to do it.
"Oh god, I forgot. You got the boy back home. Well, least you are on your way back ta see him, it could have been worse," Caroline sighed.
"Well, reckon he can help me make out th' reports t' th' stage company, they're gonna want ta know what happened. Hopefully, th' horses made it back."
"You don't know how to write? I never went to any school but I can read and write. My mother taught me, arithmetic too," Caroline was proud of that really.
Addy paused, then added, "I'll hafta make sure them others is buried proper, an' family's notified."
"That shouldn't have to fall on you, let the undertaker get a burial party out there. Hopefully the wolves n' bears don't get at 'em," Caroline had heard the animals did that sort of thing. Wait, there were vultures too.
"Sounds like they're done fightin', " Addy observed.
"Hopefully that's a good thing," Caroline nodded.
"Well, maybe I don't need your bedroom anymore! Maybe I don't need you anymore!" he snapped, putting his hands on his hips. "You ever think about that? Bridget needs me. She needs me here with her until I find us something better."
"And that is supposed to hurt my feelin's?" Caroline laughed but not a happy one. She had been more than a good friend to him. She had even shared an intimate night with him, and he was the only man who could say that since the night she had lost her virginity when she was brutally raped back in Chicago. Apparently none of that counted for anything with him.
"Ahha! So now yer gonna move in here with her so you don't have to pay anythin' for a roof over yer head...figures!" Caroline smirked. What was somebody like him called? Oh yeah, freeloader.
But he wasn't so argumentative when he got to answering her question about whether Bridget had been there at the death.
"She saw it all," he said miserably, sliding down the wall into a sitting position.
"Goddammit," Caroline muttered. She had been dreading that answer.
"She saw it all, Caroline. And the look in her eyes..." He shut his own eyes tight.
This time her voice was not angry, accusatory but more reflective, sad even.
"My father was killed right in front of my eyes. I can well imagine the look in her eyes. It - that moment - is still with me. I will never get it out of my mind. "
At least by now Caroline was quite convinced that Brendan had not in fact killed Lorenzo, thank god for that. But there still was the raging issue of Bridget and her future. She didn't doubt - for all her anger - that he was fond of the girl, despite her damage and her addled brain. But fondness was not going to support the young woman.
"Will you please stand up like a man?" she started for she had suddenly made up her mind what to do here.
"Alright, nothin' can change the past. All of us gotta just live in the here and now. So here's how I see it. Lorenzo knew he was dyin'. In fact he was talkin' suicide and I had hoped I had talked him outta that. And he wasn't broke...so we need to find out first of all if he made a will. Then how much money he's got in the bank...the deed to this place, and so forth."
"If he did make that will, I'm pretty damn sure he named Bridget to inherit it all. Other than that china man of his, he didn't have nobody else. So I'm bettin' her financial situation is not that bad, least for the short run."
"But here's how it's gonna work, yer not gonna just waltz on in here and take over her property, her money, and her care. Nope, not til you first learn to stand up on yer own two feet and get a goddamn job. Save up some money. Prove you can take care of yerself before anyone should trust you to take care of poor Bridget."
"And don't buck me on this, don't make me get nasty. Cuz, you've never really seen that side of me and - trust me - you don' wanna either. Clear?"
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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