Anæsthesia Orr is as pretty as an angel with a perfect figure. She has perfect teeth, perfect diction, is poised elegant and has dainty little perfectly formed feet and hands.
Traits & Characteristics
Is transforming from a bratty spoiled daughter to an angelic and extremely nubile young woman.
Hardly required. Her Father was, until his recent death, the Postmaster General of Kalispell, for your information.
Anæsthesia Orr can do a little desultory fine point embroidery and play one song, Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster, learned by rote, on the piano, and recite one poem, Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. However, she is learning to be a teacher to a local illiterate woman.
Aliases / Nicknames
'The Beau-laurels' townhouse in Kalispell's upmarket Residential District.
Kith & Kin
Parents: Mr Richard Armstrong Orr and Mrs Dorothea Bosco Orr, née Dransfield.”
Born 1st May 1858. Avon, nr. Hartfort, CONN. The birth is difficult and Mrs Orr's advanced young doctor uses Ether as an anaesthetic. In gratitude, Mrs Orr decrees that the baby girl be named Anaesthesia Ether (later changed to Esther on her birth certificate my Mr. Orr).
After occupying a number of important offices, Mr Orr becomes Postmaster in Kalispell, Montana Territories. Mrs Orr teaches school, showing marked favouritism to her daughter in the class.
Known as a rather spoiled, petulant and unfeeling child by her classmates, but the apple of her parents' eyes, as she reaches Eighteen, Anaesthesia is starting to feel bored at home and somewhat trapped by her parents' wish for her to stay at home as a companion for her Mother and not to marry, especially as no man locally would be good enough for her.
However, through copious reading of The Young Lady journal, she is improving and becoming a better person, especially after the horrible death of her father.
Only likes Lemon Cake made with Fresh Lemons, she says.
Anæsthesia shook her head at Josh's attempts at whistling.
"It is considered rather uncouth to whistle in public" she informed him rather pompously , but then couldn't help adding "... however, if you must insist, try doing it with your teeth, she said and, glancing around to make sure that nobody was watching, whistled the opening bars of Dixie through her teeth. She hadn't done that since she was twelve.
Addy chuckled at Josh's attempts at whistling, although it was actually enough to attract the cat, who had been lounging on the porch in the sun. Buster chirped a little as he rubbed against Josh's leg, then waited for pets. The boy reminded her of Weedy, when he'd first started hanging around her barn, about the same time Buster had.
"That there's Buster," she explained to Anæsthesia, "feisty ol' tom cat, don't rightly know what happened ta his eye, he was like that when he started comin' 'round, but it don't keep him from bein' a great mouser!"
"Then binocular vision is clearly not required." nodded Anæsthesia.
She led the way outside, pleased that her brother had already started to teach Josh good manners. "Barn's just up th' street," she commented, "keep th' wagon there, an' th' big horses fer that an' th' stage, an' I got my own mare there. Named her Arabesque." She honestly couldn't remember where she'd heard the ballet term -- she'd never even seen a ballet -- but she'd liked the way it sounded.
Anæsthesia nodded politely and let the harum-scarum tomboyish woman rattle on; the name of the horse raised her eyebrows a little. "How curious!" she smiled "I presume the creature cannot stand on one leg! I mean, that is what an Arabesque is." she said and, not being able to resist showing off, looked around again, to ensure they were unobserved and actually performed one herself! It was hard to see exactly what she was doing under all that clothing.
"It is a position in the ballet." she added as she became bipedal again.
"Ya ever been ta a ballet?" Miss Anæsthesia seemed pretty refined, maybe she'd had a chance to go to the theater. "Oh, an' there's some kittens..."
"Once, in Helena" Anæsthesia murmured to Addy in confidential tones. "It was not very good. I thought I had been taken to see the hefalumps at the zoo! I'm sure that the kittens in their gambolling will be much more pleasant to observe!" She was excited about the kittens. Oh, this was all so unladylike! but after two weeks of doom and gloom and hysteria and having to act the grown up, this was just what she needed.
Addy wasn't particularly sure she cared for Miss Anæsthesia's manners, but maybe she was just nervous. "Boy's name is Josh, named after one'a my brothers who was kilt in th' War Between th' States," she pointed out, "his ma passed, so him an' his Pa have come ta stay here."
"I am sorry to hear of the loss to your family." replied Anæsthesia: a set of words that written down would look trite, but there was a mist in the girl's eyes and a slight huskiness in her voice that betrayed a resonance with her own recent bereavement. The boy had recently lost a parent, just as she.
She softened a bit as she reached to give Joey's shoulder a light squeeze, then explained, "Isiah's my youngest brother...still older'n me...I'm th' baby in th' family, had eight brothers growin' up...lost five in th' war."
"They died in a glorious cause, the defence of their homeland." the 18 year old Yankee replied, but followed it with an explanatory addendum "My Father was an aide to General Mahone in the Army of Northern Virginia." she said, rather proudly "And he was with Lee 'til the end."
But now she turned to the little boy, to whom, as a fellow mourner of a much beloved parent, she felt more empathy, although she had not the knack of changing her tone when talking to a small child.
"So, Master Josh... Joshua, I suppose. Do you know your alphabet yet, young man?"
"He's real smart, he is, not like ol' Addy, who didn't get no education." Well, at least not schooling, but then, she truly believed there was more to education than book learning.
Anæsthesia deplored Miss Chappel's use of the double negative, of course, but bit her lip: after all, she was here to teach the poor woman to read and write, perhaps elocution could wait for another day. She rather fancied the wagoneer's rough language might rub off on the child, though.
"Ya sure ya don't wanna see th' horses? An' I'd wager ol' Buster's out there, too." She grinned. "He's an old one-eyed cat, took a real shine ta Josh here."
She had really planned to go straight home after the lesson but, on reflection, what a home to go back to! Her mother hysterically trying to get in touch with her Father, all her odd Spiritualist friends around every evening, not just the Sunday service, including that dreadful Wigfall girl.
Anæsthesia frowned, and was about to say something to the furtive figure outside the door about 'listeners never hear well of themselves' but it turned out to be just a little boy.
"Hey, Josh, c'mon out an' meet Miss Anæsthesia, she's teachin' me how ta read an' right real proper." Her grin widened. "I bet you can read better'n me any ol' day!"
The prim and proper girl was surprised to hear Addy admit her shortcomings to a small child, for the lad could be no more than five or six years old, let alone laud the boy above herself. Too much of that, and child might become conceited and unmanageable. Anæsthesia had read an article about young children and how to deal with them in the pages of The Young Lady and fancied herself quite the expert on the horrible little creatures.
The author of that particular piece had leaned hard on the side of strict discipline and children being seen and not heard. Consequently, Anæsthesia cast a rather cold eye on the boy, almost willing him to do something to disapprove of. She conveniently forgot what a horrible little monster she had been herself at that age.
"Hey, I bet Miss Anæsthesia'd like ta see th' big horses over at th' barn." Even though Josh was still a small kid, he had the family genes, and love of horses.
The girl gave a tight smile. No, she certainly didn't want to see a bunch of smelly horses.
"No thank you" she said, rather coldly "Is the boy a relative?" she asked Addy, friendly enough, but ignoring the subject of her question as if he wasn't even there.
Phew! Only when the lesson stopped did Anæsthesia realise how exhausting the whole thing had been. She had little realised that teaching is not so much telling people what you know, as listening to what they do not know, and seizing upon any small chink of illuminating light that does penetrate their understanding and building upon it with further insights, as with building blocks. She puffed out her cheeks and blew; she felt like she'd just fought 20 rounds in the ring with Bobby Cullen.
Addy was a little surprised as well that the time had gone by so quickly -- she was enjoying herself, and felt like she was actually learning something -- and she nodded as she stood. "I'm right grateful fer yer time an' tolerance, ought'a only get easier from here, right?"
"Oh it really has been a pleasure, I do hope that you found it useful Miss Chappel and that you wish me return for further... meetings." she beamed, standing too, to match her host.
Standing, she held out her hand to shake. "Do ya need a ride home? Arabesque does real good double, an' it ain't no fuss."
Anæsthesia took her hand and suddenly realised that the woman in the masculine attire, whom she had always somehow supposed to be taller than herself, was, in fact, a good two inches sorter. This made Anæsthesia feel slightly beanpoleesque! She was about to say something, when she became very aware of the door to the room creaking gingerly open, as if someone had been wanting to enter for some time, but had politely waited until the lesson was over.
"Oh Miss Chappel, it is, it is!" Anæsthesia had had little to be happy about lately, but Addy's correct answers were producing smiles on the young lady's face that were as genuine and spontaneous as they were beautiful. She had not come unprepared, however, and had thought long and hard about the difficulties and inconsistencies around the English language when you really sat down and thought about how to teach someone to read and write it.
"But ain't th' letter there at th' end," she pointed to the 'y', "what makes that 'eeee' sound? So, that's 'E'?" Somehow, she thought 'E' looked different, without the tail. But maybe that was what made a letter bad? It looked like one letter but sounded like another?
The young teacher shook her head sadly, as if she were beholding the sight of a once good young man who, tempted by the ways of sin, had strayed from the path, and was now on his march to the gallows.
"I am afraid, Miss Chappel, that poor "Yuh" is one of the naughtier letters. He started off faithful and true, and at the beginning of a word always sounds "Yuh" - but in the middle he often turns into a "iy", as in 'trying, and then by the end, goes totally to pieces, sometimes an 'eee' as in Addy, sometimes a "Yuh" again, as n Pay."
"Like th' Apach' sittin' in th' rocks, plain as day, only just ya can't tell 'em out from th' rest 'cause he looks just like th' rocks?"
It took Anæsthesia a second to get her drift, but then she nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, these naughty vowels camouflage themselves just like the Indians! Whereas our friends "buh" "duh" and "kicking kuh" always stand up brave and true, in full view, just like our brave soldiers in blue!"
She did frown a little at the analogy though. "However, although they are rather naughty, 'a' 'eee' 'i' and 'o' and 'yuh' do at least have their uses, unlike the useless red man and his squaw, and our language would be so much less poetical and interesting without them." she pontificated.
And so the lesson went on, Anæsthesia varying the pace using little cards on which she had written different letters, and practicing writing some of the words they explored on the slate until, in what seemed like an instant, the little chime on her watch sounded: for it was a very clever watch: and she pulled it out with a little cry of "Oh, is that an hour already? Goodness!"
Still, she felt satisfied with what they had achieved in 60 tiny minutes and had to admit to herself, she had probably learned a lot more about teaching in the last hour than Miss Chappel had learned about reading and writing.
"Well, ya put th' 'duh' in front'a my name, so it'd be...duh-aa-duh-duh-eee?" Her mouth twisted up as she looked at the girl. "Well, that don't make no sense. Now, if'n ya took 'addy' an' put that there letter...it'd be...daddy?" Her eyes brightened as she grinned. "Is it 'daddy'?"
"Yes, YES! Daddy!" yelped Anæsthesia excitedly, before she pulled herself together and continued with the decorum befitting a teacher. "Ahem. That was very good Miss Chappel. You rightly point out that the 'Yuh' changes its sound to "eee" in your name. It is one of the naughtiest set of letters in the alphabet for inconstancy. The vowels. 'a' 'eh' 'ih' 'o' uh'" she enunciated the usual sound of each "We will ignore those naughty letters for now, and concentrate on our good and constant friends. For instance 'Buh'."
She wiped of the initial D from the slate "daddy, addy..." she wrote in a lower case 'b' at the beginning of 'addy' and looked enquiringly at her pupil. 'Buh'.
Leah smiled, "Perhaps we'll have some tea and discuss her employment in the dining room. A bit more quiet than the Lickskillet." She paused and laid a gloved hand on his arm, "Thank you Matthew, I appreciate this."
Anæsthesia didn't really like the term 'her employment' - it could, of course, be taken as meaning 'her role' but there were connotations of being employed in a menial position for monetary remuneration which, as a woman of some means herself now, was quite repugnant to her. Still, this was no time to pick holes around semantics.
She turned, "So young lady, how about a cup of tea, perhaps snack, or a light lunch?" She offered. "We have some things to discuss about what you can do going forward with the hospital project. And, what you might like to do. That would be more to the point, I think." Her smile was warm and genuine. This was an opportunity for both her and for Anæsthesia.
That was more like it, and she realised that she herself had been somewhat boorish in bursting in on their private meeting like this.
"That would be wonderful!" she acquiesced "I shall retire to the Hotel dining room whist you and Mr. Wentworth finish your meeting: I am afraid I rather disturbed your tête-à-tête, I do hope that you will both forgive the impulsive actions of a young woman in rather trying circumstances." she apologised, before turning and graciously exiting the office.
Anæsthesia entered the house and looked about: it was certainly clean, if not too neat, and she was pleasantly surprised on seeing "how the other half lived", especially when they entered the kitchen, which Addy had clearly made an effort to tidy up and make a suitable space at their table for them to have their lesson.
"Yeah, yeah, yer right punctual. Sorry 'bout th' mess, I was just tryin' ta make th' best of time. C'mon in here." Stepping over the harness, she led the way to the kitchen, then nodded to the table. "Have a seat there while I wash up."
The rich girl nodded and looked at the choice of seating furniture, not so much Shaker as shaky, but she understood that Miss Chappel's fiancé was some sort of handyman, and so presumably had made the chairs quite safe: at least for dainty posteriors.
"Help yerself ta water an' them cakes..." she offered as she washed her hands in the sink, "I didn't make them cakes, they come from th' Lickskillet, so they're safe!"
It took a few seconds for Anæsthesia to realise that Addy was making a joke, and so her forced smile came a little to late to be effective. She was not completely without a sense of humor, but had never been particularly quick on the uptake when it came to repartee: people often had to explain jokes to her and why they were amusing, which usually killed the thing dead.
As Addy joined her she lifted the slate and examined it. She did not intend to shilly-shally, she intended to jump right in.
"We have a friend here" she said, pointing to the letter D. "Letters that do not change their sound, where-ever they may roam, will be our best friends on our journey Miss Chappel." she declared.
"Duh." she pronounced, pointing at the D and reached for the cloth "I hope you will not mind me destroying your handiwork, Miss Chappel, but I believe that we should commence with lower... little letters, and learn their sounds and not their names. No not think that I am treating you as a baby, if I prefer, instead of A.D.D.Y.,..." she wiped the slate clean and wrote addy in a beautifully clear printed hand on the slate in chalk.
"... a duh duh yuh" she enunciated. "duh is always duh" she repeated, as she expanded the word to spell daddy "so if I add 'duh' to the beginning of addy, it makes...?" she turned her eyes hopefully toward the older woman.
Seeing that Anæsthesia was getting upset, Matt went over to her, "Miss Orr, take as much time as you need to. We're in no particular hurry."
'We are in no particular hurry' - it occurred to Anæsthesia now that she had barged in on a private meeting: how inexcusable! "Oh, I have be very rude to enter your office unbidden, Mr. Wentworth..." she began, but Miss Steelgrave calmed her down.
"Now, now, Anæsthesia, please, have a seat here," Leah motioned to a vacant chair. "There's no need to get yourself upset. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your father and that we seemed to be at odds. That was just business, Anæsthesia. As simple as that. There was nothing personal involved between he and I. Your father was a man determined. That is a fact. A man that went after what he wanted, a man that knew what was good for Kalispell." Leah attempted to console the young lady.
Anæsthesia sat and listened gratefully to Miss Steelgrave's oration. "What is good for Kalispell, will be your hospital." she stated simply.
"And you will help me, if you'd like. I need a strong woman to help me with this project."
"Oh, do you really mean that?" gasped Anæsthesia standing and gripping the other young woman's hand. "I really do want to help, and not just writing silly poems this time: I wish to be of real practical help!" she gushed, her sky blue eyes shining behind her veil.
"... once I have buried my Father, of course." she added, sadly.
"Come in, please." Setting aside the rag she was using, Addy stood, wiping her hands on her britches, then heading for the door to greet her guest.
Anæsthesia heard the summons and gingerly popped her head inside the door. She tried to hide her shock that Addy was dressed in her male, workaday attire and was clearly in the middle of some task involving pieces of long leather, some sort of horse harness, perhaps. She had rather imagined them both sitting down like two ladies at high tea, in elegant dresses, as they genteelly discussed the niceties of the English tongue. She steeled herself to the fact that today was going to be a steep learning curve for both of them (good girl) and walked in.
"I am Anæsthesia Orr" she said, holding out her hand "I do not believe that we have ever been properly introduced." It was ridiculous, of course, they both knew who the other was, but Anæsthesia knew from the March 1875 issue (pp.5-6) of The Young Lady that social intercourse set without the proper conventions of polite behaviour could lead to terrible chaos and confusion.
"I do hope that I have arrived at the correct time" she added, pulling at a thin chain that led from a front button of her dress to a small watch tucked into a tiny pocket on her dress, created for that very purpose. But that was so much theatre, Anæsthesia knew she was here at the right time on the right day: her heart sank a little, perhaps Miss Chappel wasn't intending to take these lessons seriously.
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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