Pre-occupied with his experiments and bothered by the attempts of his housekeeper to keep order in his ramshackle library-cum-laboratory of a house.
To feed mankind!
Stocks and Bonds, Agricultural Science.
Aliases / Nicknames
'The Professor' 'Farmer Brown' 'The odd Farmer'
Residential Area of Kalispell.
Kith & Kin
None in this world.
Born 3rd June 1816, Amherst, MASS, where his Father taught Agricultural Studies.
After numerous office jobs, young F.F. found his way to New York, banking and the burgeoning stock market after the big crash of '37. Indirectly profiting from the Slavery of the South and the arms race of the War Years, F.F. Browne sold up in 1867 and returned to his early interest in Agriculture and Scientific progress in the pursuit of happiness for all mankind.
In 1874, in order to find peace and quiet to work in, and to try out his theories, he moved to the remote township of Kalispell, Montana.
Falmer Browne is a gentleman of some breeding and refinement, rich enough and sated enough on the 'blood money' as he calls it, that he accrued in the past, to be completely unambitious in everything except his pursuit of the Benefit of All Mankind. He is a vegetarian for Scientific reasons. He is rather fond of the ladies, but gallant and courteous, and tries not to let them distract him from his important work..
Jay watched the paint drop onto his immaculately polished boot. and shook his head.
"You wouldn't stand a chance. But you're lucky. I'm not gentleman and I won't be duelling you. Not for this. If you were actually in love with Adelaide and wanted to court her...maybe."
"You won't fight, Sir?!" This idea was somewhat beyond F. Falmer Browne's sphere of comprehension. Was the man part of some strange pacifist religion, like the German Bretherin perhaps?
He took the pain brush from the mans hand and set it down so it wouldn't mark up his shoes any more. "You can have the first punch, though!" Now it was Jay's tone that had become self assured and mocking.
"Oh! Fisticuffs, eh?! Very well, as the challenged party, you have choice of weapons, of course. And I am willing to dispense with seconds if you are. You will have to pick up your own teeth from the sidewalk!" Browne warned, pulling off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves.
So, she was stomping back, and in time to see the men squaring up.
Browne, for his part had taken a scientific stance, legs bent and akimbo, first circling somewhat ridiculously looking in front of him in pure textbook style.
"Come come! I'll have you know I used to box at Amhurst! I took the Bronze Medal at the 1838 intercollege bout, I'll soon settle your hash, you brute!" F.F. taunted, circling round and making feints and jabs that nearly put his back out of kilter.
But Addy had other ideas.
"Ain't gonna be no duelin'!" she declared as she barged between the two, "an' th' only one doin' any punchin'll be me!" To that end, she gave F. Falmer a firm jab in the chest.
"Ow! That hurt." he complained, rubbing the afflicted area.
"You, go home before I do somethin' I'll enjoy!"
"But... he snatched my brush!" protested Falmer Browne weakly, before sighing "Very well. Miss Chappel, Mr Ryker." he gave them both a small stiff bow and sloped off, then had to step back and retrieve his jacket from the steps before trying again.
"An' you," now it was Jay's turn, "ya come with me, if ya ever did have any feelin's fer me, an' I know ya did, an' I you, so jest...C'mon, let's talk this out."
There was too much at stake to just let this go...
Rather than withdraw his slanderous slur, Mr. Ryker compounded it further.
"You have a sleazy grin, sly tongue and not much to back it up is what I think so you need to go around and steal other mens ..." What could he call her without saying too much. "...treasures."
"You have gone too far Sir. How dare you! How very dare you?!! To imply, that I ... with ... your treasures! I..." Falmer Browne spluttered with wounded dignity. "You will withdraw those comments, Sir, or suffer the consequences!"
"Bring on the consequences. I dare you."
Ryker's paintbrush wielding rival turned suddenly from red-faced outrage to a sort of pale faced calm, as he pulled himself up to his full height and became very calm. The die was cast. There was no choice but death before dishonour.
"Very well." he said, looking down his nose at Jay "As a gentleman, you offer me no other choice. You will please name your second, and my second, Mr..." Oh crikey, who could he name as his second? Being something of a recluse he didn't really have any male friends that he could rely on to hold his coat in a duel of honour. Oh, there was the lad who delivered him farm produce sometimes! He'd have to do.
"My second, Mr Jacob Lutz, will wait upon your second." He stood waiting to hear who Ryker's second would be as a blob of paint dripped onto his boot.
"I will be accompanying the two." Jay clerified in a slightly threatening tone.
"Oh! How very reassuring for them both." Browne replied and gave a little smile as if he had said something very amusing which he, but not Jay, could understand. Ah! The self satisfied smile of sarcasm: the last refuge of the scoundrel!
But then Addy changed the course of the conversation.
"Jack Ryker, if ya got a problem with me havin' friends what are men, ya'd best leave now!" she declared, facing that particular victim. "Ain't no cause fer it, an' if yer gonna git all gizzard up 'bout it, I ain't gonna stand fer it. 'Sides, just says ya don't trust me, an' I don't need that kinda grief!"
F. Falmer Browne lowered his brush and looked with mock pity on Jay, or Jack, or perhaps 'Jackass' Ryker as he received his well deserved (probably) dressing down by the fiery beauty of the Buckboard. He even allowed himself a sad, but self satisfied, shake of his head, as if to say 'poor fellow, he just doesn't know how to handle women!'
Then... she started on him!
"An' you..." now she turned on F. Falmer, "ya know I ain't available, so's I don't even know why yer fussin'." She shrugged. "An' here I thought you were bein' a friend, wantin' ta help 'cause yer...a friend."
Browne gave a little squeak of shock and nearly dropped his brush. "I... I..." he stammered, quite taken aback as she stormed off.
The way she had talked to him just because another guy intruded on his territory made him angry.
"My name's Jay!"
Falmer Brown scratched his head and disagreed. "I rather believe that your name is mud at this point in time, and mine also! But by God, what a magnificent woman "
He called after her.
When she didn't turn back he faced the unwanted guest instead.
Falmer Browne watched Miss Chappel stalk off with regret, wonderful sight though she was from all angles. "Oh dear, well, you made rather a mess of that, I'm afraid." said Browne with his usual mixture of pretend regret and secret satisfaction.
"well done. You made her mad!"
"ME?!" blustered Browne, "I will have you know that I was helping!" He held up his paintbrush as if to prove it.
"What a great help you were. Trying to sweet talk her with you lemonade, handsome clothes and sleazy smile."
"Sleazy?!" repeated Browne, almost dropping his brush with injured dignity "How dare you, Sir! How dare you! You will take that back; you will take that back this instant... or suffer the consequences!"
"... I understand that Jemima has suggested the little fellow visit his Mother's grave in Whitefish..." the 'Professor' continued as he painted.
"Yes, sir, that's so." With a nod, she glanced at Jay. "We're goin' out there in a day or so, try'n find th' grave. Jay's makin' a marker fer her, so's folks'll know where she is."
"Indeed!" nodded Falmer Browne. He looked over to Ryker and slowly said "That is very good." carefully annunciating his words, like he was talking to someone of limited intelligence.
It was a good thing he was doing for the boy, and by relation, for her as well. "Sad thing, that th' woman seemed ta just be gettin' her life right, just ta have it snuffed out."
"Ah, indeed" sighed the next door neighbor "None of us knows when our lives may be unexpectedly cut short." He looked in Ryker's direction, hopefully.
He scowled at the comments and motioned for the paint brush. "Watch your stroke or you might ruin the beauty of this new home."
"With Miss Chappel in the frame, any picture would look beautiful!" Falmer Browne smiled, but that confounded Englishman brought the conversation immodestly back to his own contribution to the solemn journey to Whitefish.
"Yes, my dear, I will be making a very fine marker." He confirmed calling her 'dear' for the first time out loud.
"I am sure that you will do your best." replied Falmer Browne with faux-friendliness and, in the words of Alexander Pope, 'damning with faint praise'.
To Addy, he added. "I do hope that you and Master James have a stout gentleman to accompany you to the graveyard, Miss Chappel: it is my understanding that there are both hostile Indians abroad in the countryside and some rather unsavoury characters still about in Whitefish itself."
So he said. "Very well, Mr. Browne. You paint here and we'll do the other side."
"Splendid!" beamed Falmer Browne, bowing slightly "All the better to gaze upon Miss Chappel's beauty!" he flirted with gentle grace. "I hope you don't make me miss my stroke, Miss Chappel!" he chuckled easily as Jay scowled at him.
He briefly looked at Addy checking the way she drank her lemonade and the way she looked at Browne. Jay did not like this new development.
"Pray, how is Master James recovering after his unfortunate incident with Monty? I do hope that he has not taken the accident to heart, I cannot reiterate enough how the affair was none of his fault. Oh well, give her her due, Jemima may be rather an odd girl, but I think her little prayer did help him come to terms a little with the matter..."
Browne babbled on to Addy, not looking at Jay, and pointedly picking a topic of conversation that he knew the Englishman would have difficulty joining in with: private jokes and little points of information that would freeze him out as coldly as the superior lemonade he had provided and conversationally 'sending him to Coventry'.
"... I understand that Jemima has suggested the little fellow visit his Mother's grave in Whitefish..." the 'Professor' continued as he painted.
Taking a pristine, tall glass , she poured lemonade into it, then gave F. Falmer a kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, I..er..." Falmer Browne giggled like a shy schoolgirl, clearly pleased at the attention the beautiful Miss Chappel paid him.
After taking a good swig of the tart sweetness, she smiled widely and nodded. "This is real good! Here!" she handed the glass to Jay, "try some! Say, Mr. Grizzly, ya know how ta paint? We could use some help here."
"Oh, well, I have dabbled in watercolours before now..." mumbled the neighbour modestly "I daresay the principles are the same for painting gates..." he reached down for a brush, but Addy's friend's reception of his efforts to be neighbourly was as sour as the lemonade.
Jays gaze darkened considerably before he gave her the eye.
"I really don't think we need any help, Addy."
"Oh!" breathed Falmer Browne, brush poised in mid air, glancing to Addy in a way that said 'I'm talking to the organ grinder, not the monkey, thanks'.
To the man he added.
"Thanks for your neighborly offer of a drink. Feel free to return to your own duties now."
"Duties?!" repeated the older man, looking somewhat affronted "I can assure you, Sir!, that as a gentleman,..." he said the word with emphasis, so as to underline that he didn't think that the term applied to Jay "... my only duties are those that pertain to offering help to Ladies in need of assistance!"
F. Falmer Browne had spotted his new neighbor, alone, working outside on the steps of her own house in the hot sun a few minutes previously and had immediately bidden Mrs O’Houlighan rustle up a large jug of iced lemonade for Miss Adeline’s refreshment. The good lady loaded him up with the tempting refreshment and two glasses on his own doorstep on a large teak tray, and he had watched his feet carefully as he walked down his own steps and then turned to present himself to the dazzling beauty of the wagons.
He looked up as he approached, only to see the horribly unwelcome presence of some other man! Ughh! He cursed his luck, but it was too late to turn back now. He must strive manfully on. Curses, the dreadful fellow was kissing her now in a most familiar manner!
"So what can I help you with here?"
Was he talking to him or her?!
“Oh, how do you do! My name is F. Falmer Browne, Miss Chappel’s neighbor. I have just brought over some…” he noticed the water already in place next to Addy on the steps.
“… lemonade!” He felt a bit crestfallen that she had been already supplied with a nice drink, but then added quickly “and it has ice and slices of fresh lemon in it!” The other man’s offering only had bits of (slightly worm eaten) apple in it, plus some disreputable looking particles of some weed or other, he felt that his offering was somewhat superior.
As Weedy walked forward to see the fate of the cute little creature who had been temporarily entrusted to his care, Browne went with him, keeping a comforting hand on his shoulder. Little did he know that the poor lad had already seen much worse tragedy than this in his young life.
Sighing, Addy picked up the miniature gopher, cradling it in her hand as Weedy scaled the fence, looking eagerly from the other side.
"Sorry, Weedy." Addy shrugged, looking past the boy to Browne...this would tell what sort of neighbors they would be, but the man didn't look at all angry.
Browne, indeed, managed a slightly sad but encouraging smile to the radiant young woman. “Nature’s way, Miss Chappel, nature’s way.” He intoned.
"I didn't mean for that to happen," the boy repeated, even though the Professor had assured him that the little critter was old and likely to die soon anyway. "Can we bury him?"
“Er, yes, I dare say!” agreed Browne, hoping it would help ameliorate any guilty feelings the young chap might have about the tragic affair, although he knew that Buster would no doubt use any freshly turned earth as a toilet at the earliest possible convenience, thus adding insult to injury.
"I reckon..." Addy looked to Browne again and shrugged. "Maybe under a tree, an' you can say some words over him?" Yes, it was absurd, but it would make Weedy feel better, and besides, it was absurd!
Just then, the Angel of Death herself appeared on the scene and came over from inside the house. “Oh Jemima, I’m afraid there has been a fatality, er, Montgomery escaped and the ginger gentleman from next door that we have seen, er, ‘Buster’ … I’m afraid.”
Jemima just uttered a flat “I’ll get the spade” and clomped off, soon returning with a shovel and a large cigar box.
Falmer Browne encouraged Weedy forward.
“Let us collect up the remains of the departed.” He said in a comforting voice.
Jemima approached Weedy and shoved the cigar box in his hand, it was a big one with ample room for poor Montgomery’s corpse.
“I’ll get diggin’.” She announced and looked at Addy “Where’d you want him plantin’?” she asked.
"Buster! Drop that!" Addy was after the cat, hoping to intervene before it was too late, while Weedy just stood on the porch, his lower lip trembling as he looked guiltily up at Browne.
"I'm sorry," the boy muttered, on the verge of tears, "I didn't mean..." He looked dolefully toward the fence, then belatedly chased after Addy and Buster and Montgomery...
“There, there” said the sentimental Browne putting a comforting hand on Weedy’s shoulder; his naturally kindly disposition augmented by the whiskey “The genus Geomyidae have but a short time to live, and Montgomery has had a good long life for one of his kind. If nothing else, we can take comfort that, after many months in captivity, he died a free gopher!” he said, trying to placate the boy's feelings of guilt.
By that time, Addy had scrambled over the fence and was confronting the cat. "Drop it!" she chided, not yet moving in, to give Buster a chance to comply.
The cat had released the strange critter, but was keeping it protectively between his front paws as he gazed challengingly at his mistress with his one eye. His prize was new to him, something special to explore, and he wasn't done playing yet!
As his heart beat faster and faster, and the crimson lifeblood flowed from his wounds, Montgomery looked up, past the chin of the savage sabretooth who held him fast in the primeval fate of his kind, past the form of the human, silhouetted black against the clear blue Montana sky, and into those very clouds themselves and suddenly a comforting light seemed to suddenly envelop him. As his little heart came to a sudden stop, he found himself once more amongst friends and littermates and even, yeah, the father he had never known and the mother at whose teat he had suckled along with his brothers and sisters. And they were there in some heavenly burrow, in a land where busters did not roam in search of prey and where crops grew high and deep all year round ready for the little winged gopher angels to ruin them.
[OOC: This post is dedicated to the memory of Montgomery the Gopher 1874-1876, RIP]
“Yes, er, very friendly!” grimaced Falmer Browne as Buster rubbed his body against him as a new territorial acquisition rather than a new friend.
But just at that instant, Montgomery decided that it was getting a little too warm inside Weedy's shirt, and the aroma of 'boy' was getting to be stifling, so the little gopher critter poked its head out, took one look at the cat and took off, scrambling over Weedy's head, flopping to the wooden porch, and the chase was on!
Pocket gopher, one-eyed cat, sandy-haired boy and laughing woman charged across the yard!
Montgomery had never faced a nemesis possessing the speed and grace of the master hunter who bounded after him as he shot across the garden; the sly but slow moving Lamia had been his only foe. His heart rate beat rapidly, even for him, as he darted away. He had the advantage of speed but lacked a knowledge of the geography of the area outside the greenhouse, and that told rapidly. He was outpacing the one-eyed ginger cat when he came face to face with an unscalable brick wall and had to bounce off it and commit to a 180 that brought him back past the pursuing Buster. Had fate favoured him, and sent him to the Tom’s blind side, he might have survived; but alas things proved otherwise, and in a trice the little furry animal felt the unusual sensation of sharp claws catching his flank and then fangs sinking into his throat.
Buster would no doubt have enjoyed greatly letting the little gopher escape, and then catching him again a few times, but he had experienced the strange caprices of human beings before when he had presented them with little trophies, so he picked Montgomery’s still living, panting, blinking body up in his maw, and trotted away to a patch over a fence that he knew that was out of reach to the human creatures who were even now approaching.
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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