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.
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.
Mature Content: One would most sincerely hope not!
With: Adelaide Chappel and possibly Isiah Chappel, Porter 'Weedy' James and Joshua 'Josh' Chappel Location: Addy's House When: Early August, 1876 Time of Day: Late Morning
Mother wasn't really getting any better. She had thrown herself into the regulation two year period of mourning for her dead husband with gusto, and in reverse proportion to the care he had ever shown toward her when he was alive. Anæsthesia found the atmosphere at home stifling, and she found her mother's hysterical sobbing and wailing and her manic attempts to contact the late Richard Orr through her Spiritualist group wearing on her nerves. At last, after many delaying tactics by Mrs Orr, the daughter of the stricken family had been allowed to 'slight the mourning', to lay aside the crape and the veils and adopt a slightly less stiff and frigid form of dress (dark grey and mauve were allowed now, as well as black) and to leave the house: to finally live again.
She prayed that the time that had elapsed had not dulled Addy Chappel's desire to learn to read and write; for it had only increased Anæsthesia's ardour to teach her. Still, excited as she was as she approached the door of the neat little house where the female wagoneer lived, she could not quite quell her nerves. Miss Chappel was older than herself, a grown woman with a fiancé and even an adopted son. Who was she? A mere slip of a girl, only a couple of years out of school: closeted and cozened by her over-indulgent parents and knowing little of the real world other than that which she had read in the pages of magazines like The Young Lady, The Woman's Journal and that awful rogue copy of The Truth Seeker that had been delivered by accident. How silly and girlish she must look with her juvenile features and her blonde locks curled beneath her sombre bonnet as she hurried along, gripping hold of the materials she had produced for their first lesson, clutching them in her tastefully gloved hands like a drowning man might grasp desperately to a lifebelt.
She closed her eyes, frogs leaping around in her belly, or so it felt, took a deep breath, and knocked upon the door.
The voice that sounded behind Leah was softly spoken but firm. Anæsthesia, clad from head to toe in a very becoming mourning black, from the tip of the fingers of her black gloves to the muzzy black veil that obscured her pretty face, gave a little nod to both Matt and Leah as they perceived to whom they were speaking.
"Please excuse me, I did not mean to eavesdrop." she explained "I had hoped to speak to you, Mr. Wentworth, about the possibility of holding my Father's wake in your large state room. My mother is still quite..." she struggled for another word, but gave up "... is still quite hysterical, and will need to retire to our home after the funeral and rest quietly. I shall host the required gathering of society here if that is at all possible, Mr. Wentworth."
She now turned to Leah. "Please believe me, Miss Steelgrave, it is my ardent and earnest wish that your wonderful project proceed with all alacrity: and that any and all of the materials that my Father had gathered to outbid your plans be wholly at the disposal of your workmen, should they be needed."
She gulped and took a second to look down at the plush carpeted floor beneath her dainty black boots, gathering herself: for it was still difficult to speak of her Father without becoming upset.
Orr's oration was cut off as the door to the public chamber flew open and a figure in white flew in, like a fairy on the breeze: followed by a motley trio of costumed girls: Miriam Kaufmann, looking somewhat terrified and dressed in some sort of toga affair*; Bridget Monahan, with her false leg off, her crutch under her arm and a strawberry jelly splattered bandage around her head and Arabella Mudd, dressed in a sort of sack, soot smeared on her face, and her spindly white legs and arms poking out all over the place like a Granddaddy Longlegs.
The three formed a sort of tableaux vivant behind Dick Orr's own daughter, Anæsthesia, as she launched into a fancy poem that she had written in support of Miss Steelgrave, the hospital and the orphanage.
"The Goddess smiles on the Orphan and the Maimed,
Furious banging by Orr's gavel drowned out the rest of the poem and he, for the first time, seemed to lose his temper.
"Deputy Wentworth, please arrest my daughter for breech of the peace and throw her in a cell! And remove her confederates!!" he bellowed and a few southerners, hearing the word 'confederates', including the symbolic orphan behind Miss Orr, gave excited rebel yells.
*50% of the audience guessed that she was 'Liberty', 50% guessed she was 'Truth', 0% guessed that she was the Goddess Hygeia.
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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