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.
At the sound of the male voice, Caroline spun around so sharply almost, that is almost lost her balance, a product of being quite drunk. She raised up the axe handle for just an instant but then focused on the figure and lowered it again.
"You a lawman?" she asked.
At that instant, the man cringing on the ground cried out, "Git her off me, marshal! I think she broke my hand! She's tryin' to kill me!"
Caroline glared down at the fellow, "Not hardly! If I'da had it in mind ta kill ya, I'd have shot ya."
She then turned her attention back to the lawman as she dropped the axe handle to the ground but then reached into her voluminous dress to extract a small derringer holding it up for him to see and grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
"See? Ain't she a beaut? Even got a pearl handle which I think is real pretty," she proudly displayed the weapon.
(Guyer would see that first of all, it is not cocked for firing and secondly, she is not making any attempt to aim it in his direction. Rather she is like a kid proudly showing off a new toy.)
Whatever had gone on seemed to have been pretty much decided by then as Marshal Guyer rounded the corner. There was a blonde young woman in a low cut (and sleeve torn) dress standing over a prostrate man who was in an almost fetal position, both arms covering his head. He was babbling for it to stop and mixing those words with whines and moans of obvious discomfort. The woman had an axe handle in one hand but was using her leg at the moment to inflict some further pain on the poor jasper, kicking him in the thigh and side.
"See how you like it? Still think it's funny to kick somebody? You piece of horse shit!" the 'lady' angrily shouted down at her victim.
Now if Guyer was ever in the Star Dust saloon much, he would no doubt recognize the woman, it was the saloon's singer/dancer. He might well even know her name, Miss Caroline Mundee. She was a big favorite with the menfolk who frequented the place. The man on the ground probably didn't care for her much though at the moment.
Caroline wanted to go get some water in a basin and a few towels but since she had asked what the hell happened and he was now telling her, it seemed rude to rush out again. In her medical opinion, it wasn't like he was gonna bleed out or anything (such opinion pretty much totally uninformed of course).
"So you got involved in this fight even though he had no stake in the game?" she asked using 'poker' terms.
Frankly his explanation wasn't all that clarifying but he seemed to be trying at least. She had one more crucial question but that could wait for a moment as he was asking for whiskey.
"Oh fer god's sake, I ain't gonna charge you for a drink now. Thought we was friends," she frowned and walked over to a drawer, opened it, then pulled out a whiskey bottle. If he actually could read and knew something about whiskey quality, this was a fairly expensive bottle from overseas originally. She also produced a glass and poured it about half full then handed it over to the man.
"Drink that then and I'm gonna go get some clean water and towels, be right back. And don't try and wander off cuz you'll topple down the stairs and break yer neck and I ain't paying for the burial," she announced then went out the bedroom door.
"...and don't act all shy. I've seen half dressed menfolk before," Caroline pointed out.
"I bet you have," he mumbled.
She glared at him for an instant but let it go, she was trying to help him here. She also wanted to know what the hell had happened and how did it involve him bein' shot.
"Huh? Oh...uh...Cantrell did."
Caroline had no idea who Cantrell was but that wasn't surprising.
"As for why...well..."
"Well ..... what?" Caroline pressed him as she tossed the bloddied shirt onto the floor a few feet away from the bedside.
He paused to think. "...'Cause I was tryin' to shoot him? Sorta'?"
"You were? Sorta? And why were you tryin' ta shoot him?" she continued her interrogation even as she now told hold of his shot arm to give it a closer look.
"Went thru, arm ain't busted. That's good. Otherwise they'd maybe have to cut it off. I knew a man who got shot in the leg in a saloon once. Busted the leg below the knee but they had ta cut if off him. Within a week he got gangrene so they had to cut it off above the knee...up by the hip almost. It was too much for the poor devil though and he died while the doc sawed him," Caroline recalled.
"I'm gonna wash that up, retie it up with some cloth bandages, " she decided on a course of action, "you might not need a doctor."
She guessed he did not want to deal with doctors otherwise why come to her?
Look at the jasper, now he claimed he didn't need a wall to lean against. Caroline rolled her eyes, "Then why are you doin' just that then?"
No sooner had he tried to stand up straight then but the effort was too much for his balance yet again. He found her shoulder blindly and draped his good arm over her before leaning on her again, resting more of his weight on her this time.
"You mentioned a bed?" he mumbled. "'Cause...that...that sounds real good right about now."
"Sonofabitch! Men, and you say wimmen can't make up their minds," Caroline snapped but did her part again to support him once more.
"Come on then and so help me god, if you shove me away again, I will belt you a good one," she assured him then assisted him into her room, carefully manuvered him to face the bed with his back to it then helped ease him down onto the mattress lying on his back.
"Damn it!" she realized she had blood now on her dress and yeah it was gonna be on the bed spread too. Part of the problem was his bloody shirt.
"Sit up and lemme git that shirt off ya," she ordered in a no nonsense tone, "and don't act all shy. I've seen half dressed menfolk before."
"And it ain't too much trouble, you mind tellin' me who the hell shot ya and why?"
He claimed he wasn't going to fall. Well hopefully not but Caroline was trying not to take any chances. Bleeding like that he could suddenly faint and tumble back down those steps, breaking something or even worse. She recalled a drunk once thudding down a stairway in Helena, he broke his neck. Small loss though, he had been one of those mean drunks.
"I'm fine," he mumbled each time she tried to encourage him, "I'm fine." But Caroline stayed beside him, helping him up each step. Finally he got fed up and yanked his arm away. "Look, I'm not dyin', I...."
The saloon girl took a step back, "Whoa there! I'm only tryin' ta help ya."
"See? I'm fine." He propped himself against the wall and let his spine curl up slightly as he slouched.
Caroline put her hands on her hips, "Oh yeah yer just dandy. Is that why you need to lean against the wall to keep upright?"
"Well, I guess you don't need no help then. My mistake, tryin' ta be nice. You can go back down now," she snapped.
Somebody had come rushing into the saloon yelling about something and causing quite a stir. Since Caroline had been in the kitchen when that all started she certainly didn't catch most of it. However the secondary shriek was familiar enough, Arabella of course no doubt overreacting to some latest mostly imaginary drama of hers. She had learned to take the girl with a grain of salt......maybe a whole salt shaker on occasion.
But first before she investigated the commotion at the bar, her attention was distracted by a seemingly familiar voice calling her name but the speaker was not in a place where customers could be.
As she drew closer, suddenly there he was. It was the cowpoke Brendan..somethin' or other. And he looked like death warmed over, a second of further study revealed details. His eyes had fear in them and was that? He was bleeding! What the hell?
He said her name as he unsteadily took a few steps in her direction as she tried to take all this in.
"Brendan? What in the blazes?" she blurted, taking some comfort in that at least he did not appear armed. She knew him alright but it did not mean she trusted him. Had he a gun in hand, she would have instantly bolted for the safety of the saloon itself with it's crowd of patrons and of course, Ralph.
"You hear about the...the shooting?" His voice came out sounding strained and he looked scared.
"No....I mean somethin' is goin' on," she answered, but good lord, she had so many questions of her own.
Course by the look of him he might fall down before she got any out. First things first. Caroline was not a woman who frightened easily and she was also capable of decisive action when she felt it was called for. And this was one of those times.
"Here! Lemme get you upstairs. Inta my room," she declared then moved to place herself at his side and manuver his healthy arm around her neck.
"Lean on me if ya hafta, I won't let ya drop. But I'd really appreciate it if you can keep upright til we can negotiate those stairs and get ya onta my bed," she informed him even as she started out with him toward the back stairs steps. Mercifully it was only one floor up. One step by one step they went.
"That's good, keep it up," she encouraged the man with each bit of progress.
It was a hot summer day and all Caroline had to look forward to was a sweaty long night at work in the smoke filled saloon. Mingling with a lot of sweating menfolk, well not like she was smelling like a rose either. Nature of the business. Ralph had a good line 'saloon work ain't for the weak'. He had that damn right. Still, if pressed that very moment to give the career up and do something totally different, she knew she'd pick the saloon work.
She was about to make another pass thru the tables, pausing of course to chat and flirt or be flirted with some of the customers, and of course, convincing them to buy more drinks. She was good at all those things, it was like second nature to her by now. That's when she heard a voice, a familiar one. Behind her....she turned to see who was calling her. No one she could see. Odd?
ooc: sorry, because it's not a saloon thread, I keep forgetting to check on this one.
He agreed it was a nice dress and complimented her for which she nodded and smiled. She loved compliments about her wardrobe. That moment was interrupted though by a sour one as the two women and her had a verbal run in. Caroline assured him had she some liquid fortification she would have punched them out. He didn't sound like he believed her though. Then he'd never seen her in action. Over the years she had had plenty of run ins.
"All right, all right, I give up," he chuckled, "Does that mean you want me to come back and escort you again? 'Cause I'd sure like to."
"Yeah, well I don't figure you can miss work every day but on occasion if you are in town, you are more than welcome to accompany me on my stroll. Yer right pleasant company," she nodded.
"But if you come in some Sunday, we ain't open. I could dress down from this sort of outfit to something more everyday and shabby and then I'd be willin' to sit on your horse or go for a ride or something like that," she offered.
“Don’t you never play ‘let’s pretend’?” asked Arabella.
That was an easy one to answer for Caroline, "Nope."
When Caroline suspected Arabella might have been drinking to suggest something so ....strange, the girl vehemently denied it. And signed some stupid pledge too. Caroline rolled her eyes at that.
"Did I tell you how Addy Chappel dragged me outta that place and darn near broke my wrist? Oh I did, didn’t I. Anyway, I’d best get on.” Arabella ruminated, standing up in her shambolic undergarments.
"You did and I know Addy and she is a nice lady so you must of done somethin' wrong. Your wrist was fine, that was your rich imagination," Caroline was unconvinced about that tale of the girl's.
"So… I guess you don’t want to play where you’re the dead girl and I’m the nau… no, I guess not.” the girl was relentless.
"Geezus! Enough with the dead people. Just go, hon. See ya later, kid," Caroline now waved her off.
She did like the girl but sometimes that child was just plain........odd.
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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