Strengths and Weaknesses (depending on the situation)...
Can push boundaries
Likes discovering and using new things and ideas
Rational and practical
Original - likes to experiment with new ideas and solutions
Communicates clearly, with direct and factual questions and answers
Can be insensitive at times
Loves to solve problems here and now
Can be defiant
A professional gambler by trade but will do other work if he needs to raise money for a big game, venture or bet.
Can a handle a gun and rifle
Is an expert card player
Aliases / Nicknames
Bent St. Clair
Nowhere in particular
Kith & Kin
Relations in Kalispell...
Uncle: Charles Wentworth Sr.
Aunt: Rebecca Wentworth
1845 - 1865
Born in Washington D.C. on 27 February 1845 to Elizabeth (nee Martin) and Jacob Simons.
Has a good and well-rounded education with an interest in mathematics especially the laws of probability. His interest in card games and gambling in general begins in his early teens.
Sister - Eliza (Liz) is born in 1850.
His father, Jacob joins the Union Army at the start of the Civil War and is killed in battle in 1863. Ben becomes the provider for his mother and sister
Two years after his father's death, his mother remarries. Since his step-father is a man of means and able to support his mother and sister, Ben uses this opportunity to strike out on his own.
1865 - April/May 1876
Becomes an expert card player and travels around the country always looking for the next big game or at least one that will keep him solvent. He also works in various odd jobs when he needs to raise some capital.
He changes his name to Bent St. Clair as it sounds more like a professional gambler's name than Ben Simons.
Due to an unfortunate incident, Ben is forced to go back to Washington, where he offers his services to his Aunt Rebecca (his mother's sister) and escorts her on her trip to Kalispell.
"No she hasn't, " Ben said in a slightly amused tone. "In fact the cake has only just arrived. Bridget's friend Arabella was here for a while telling us her's and Bridget's stories."
He looked at his aunt briefly, before turning back to to Crabbe, "May I introduce to my aunt, Mrs. Rebecca Wentworth. Aunt Rebecca, Mr. Lorenzo Crabbe."
After the introductions had been made, Ben sat down again. It was going to be an interesting conversation, especially since they had been informed by Arabella about Crabbe's current endeavours. Thankfully, he didn't have to wait long.
Rebecca nodded, "Mr. Crabbe, I hear you saved Bridget from a terrible misfortune and that you have been taking care of her since then. I also was told that you are now a photographer here in Kalispell."
Ben approached his aunt with Bridget and Arabella in tow. He could see Matt talking to one of the waitresses and Rebecca sitting at one of the tables sipping on a cup of tea. His aunt rarely drank coffee and he hoped that she wouldn't find it too difficult to get it here in town. Kalispell was a long way from most places and so things would be harder to get here. As part of his investigations into the town, he would be checking if any of his favourite foods and drinks were available here. If they weren't then he would see if something could be done to make sure they were.
However, the first order of business was to leave the two girls with his aunt as soon as possible. Smiling, he leaned down, kissed his aunt's cheek before turning to introduce the ladies to each other. "Aunt Rebecca, may I have the honour of introducing you to two paragons of virtue...Miss Bridget Monahan and Miss Arabella Mudd."
He went over to his Aunt and stood by her side, "Miss Monahan and Miss Mudd, may I have the pleasure to introduce to you Mrs. Rebecca Wentworth."
A frown quickly appeared and then disappeared off Ben's face. Did she honestly think that he was up to no good with Bridget? If that were the case he wouldn't be dragging her here to the only up-market establishment in the whole town. The only things he wanted to conduct here other than having a meal was to have some high stakes poker or blackjack games, providing his cousin Matt would let him, as well as the occasional business meeting. If he ever had a dalliance with a woman it would be at her lodgings or his own, which he didn't have at the moment and finding it now was number one on his list to do here.
"No, my aunt would in the dining room have a cup of tea and probably visiting with her son. Besides it wouldn't be proper for us to meet in the lobby," he paused for a moment as he looked at both of the girls. Maybe neither of them of didn't know what the etiquette for meeting publicly entailed. Crabbe certainly wouldn't have taught Bridget any of that and it was clearly that Miss Mudd had no idea either. Aunt Rebecca didn't know it now but soon she would have something to do.
"Shall we go and see my Aunt," he said in a light-hearted, "I think you and Miss Bridget will be pleasantly surprised.
Ben stopped abruptly and stared down at the girl who had just come charging up to him and accusing him of planning something he wouldn't do even if he was paid. Bridget was not his type but it wasn't because of her faults or her personality, it was simply because she was a redhead. A few years ago, he had a bad experience with one redhead who would never stop pestering him and ever since then, he had been avoiding them like the plague. Besides, Bridget was far too young for him and he was pretty sure he was safe with her.
After giving Bridget a reassuring smile, he addressed the dark-headed brat in a controlled but light-hearted manner, "My dear, I can assure that I have no bad designs on your friend. In fact, I am escorting her, with her guardian's permission, to meet my Aunt in the hotel. If you wish you can join us. I'm sure my Aunt will be glad to be introduce you as well, Miss?"
Ben had to laugh a little when Bridget grabbed his arm. It was awkward but a bit funny at the same time, "All right Miss Bridget, we'll go and see Granny...er Aunt Rebecca over at the hotel."
Turning to Crabbe, he smiled, "Nice seeing you again, Crabbe. I'll drop in sometime to check your photography business out or if I need your advice on something."
Tipping his hat, he said, "Good day."
Looking down at Bridget, he gave her a warm smile. "Off we go."
As they walked to the hotel, Ben wondered how Rebecca would feel with having a girl like Bridget left in her care. He had no doubt his Aunt would endeavour to find out all she could about the girl. Rebecca would no doubt take it upon herself to make sure the girl was well cared for and not in any physical or moral danger. Another grin appeared on his face...poor ol' Crabbe was going to need all the luck in the world for what he was soon to encounter.
OOC: Will let you reply and then we can move this over to the hotel for Rebecca and Bridget to interact with each other.
Ben looked at Bridget. In a way he felt sorry for the girl but then again he wasn't prepared to be stuck her while Crabbe went off to conduct some business. Still he didn't want to seem unwilling to help as he may need Crabbe's assistance some in the future. It was always a policy of his to foster good relations. He thought about it for moment when he suddenly remembered something or in particular someone who would gladly help out.
"I tell what, Crabbe, I may not be able to take of Bridget but I do know someone who can. My Aunt Rebecca will welcome the chance to meet some of the ladies who live here in town as she has just arrived. I had the job of escorting her to here to join my uncle. You've probably met him since he owns the bank."
“Ohhhh. That name get a little hot for you did it?” he smiled “What was she a Blonde or a Brunette?”
Ben smiled, "It was a blonde. Remind me to tell you about it sometime when we're not in the company of a lady."
“Oh, this is Bridget.”
Taking Bridget's hand, Ben bowed as he smiled, "It's a pleasure ma'am."
He wasn't about to kiss the girl's hand as he didn't know how impressionable the girl was. The last thing he wanted was to have some young girl fawning over him.
“Say, best count that those rings on your fingers are still all there when you get that hand back, Bridg’!” joked Crabbe “IF you get your hand back!”
Ben just raised an eyebrow at this remark and let her hand go gently. He turned to Crabbe, "You've been here longer than I have, is there any place you recommend that I take a look at for some excitement?"
“Well, your best bet around these parts for a game is that Stardust Saloon yonder. Might find a few rubes in there. I’d treat you to a drink in there, but I’m barred.”
"Barred? From the only saloon in town?" For Crabbe to get himself locked out of the only place in town where he could make must have taken some doing. Ben hoped that he would fare better. At least it was probable that he would since he wasn't into the solicitation of women. To him, women, no matter how low they were on the social rung, we're to be treated respectfully and not sold to the highest bidder. That was one thing he didn't like about Crabbe but the man could be useful in other ways.
Before Crabbe could answer Bridget said something about a hat and Ben turned to her, "Yes, you have and might a say it is very becoming."
Looking at Crabbe, he asked, "I'm guessing that since you can't get into the Stardust, you've got no chance of getting into my cousin's establishment at the hotel?"
Ben frowned as he heard someone say the name he was known as outside of Kalispell. He had chosen the Bent as it was a shortened form of his own name, Bentley and it sounded more like a gambler's name than Ben. Ben was what his family and those he had grown up with had called him. As soon as he left home to live the life of a professional gambler, Ben Simons was gone and Bent St. Clair had been born.
Turning to see who it was, he squinted a little and then a look of surprise came on his face. Kalispell was the last place he would have expected to see the likes of Lorenzo Crabbe. Then again, Kalispell was the last place he would have been in himself, if it weren't for that unfortunate incident.
Standing next to Crabbe, was girl of about 17 or 18 and definitely not the type that he had been with the last time they had seen each other. Crabbe was more of a business acquaintance than a friend, hence the statement about Kalispell, which Ben had no problem agreeing with to a degree. In his opinion, any dreary town could be made more livelier with a bit of work and imagination. Kalispell had possibilities and maybe Crabbe might have some insight into what some of them could be.
Walking up to the man, he smiled, "Well, Crabbe it's been a while, not since that time in Denver a while back. By the way the name's Ben here. Bent has sadly been retired for the foreseeable future."
Ben took a sip of the brandy, he had as he stared at the fire in his uncle's study. The brandy was pretty good considering that he was out in the middle of nowhere but the middle of nowhere was the safest place to be at this time.
A noise alerted to him to the fact that his uncle had returned. Turning around Ben, smiled as he watched his uncle poured his own brandy. He liked and respected his Uncle Charles, who had been a man of influence in Washington. Whatever his reasons for moving out here and buying the local bank must have been good. Then again, all of the man's sons had by some sheer stroke of luck had all ended up in Kalispell as well. Wanting to be near your family was a good reason in anybody's book and Ben was no different. Maybe his enforced stay would give him the opportunity to get re-acquainted with cousins.
Charles took a sip of brandy before sitting down on one of the two large armchairs near the fireplace and invited Ben to take the other. When he had, Charles stared at him for a moment, "Now, perhaps you can tell me the parts of your story you didn't want Rebecca to hear."
A grin formed on Ben's face, "Nothing gets by you, Uncle Charles." Taking another sip of brandy, he leaned back in the chair, "I guess it started when I met the lady. I was new in town and didn't know that she was married until, well let's just say, until I was well and truly involved with her. Her husband must have found out and that's probably why he invited me to that particular game. A high stakes card game with some very influential men who had lots of money was very tempting and one I couldn't pass up. No doubt he had the rumours of me being a cheat, which are not true. As you know, I am very knowledgeable in mathematics and the laws of probability and I use that my advantage. As God is my witness, I promise you that I never have or never will resort to cheating to win a game of cards."
"That's good to know," Charles said, "I'll hold you to that promise because if I ever find out that you've done something dishonest, especially during your stay here, I'll be the first to make sure that you leave town."
Nodding, Ben half-smiled, "I have no doubt that you would."
After taking another sip of brandy, Ben continued, "Well, as you know the man did end up accusing me of cheating and was ready to draw on me, when his wife came. That's when I found that she was married. I didn't have much to think about it until later but at that point, I just grabbed what I had and took off as fast as I could. Thinking back, I am very grateful what she did for me. I have no idea of the consequences she suffered in doing so...maybe one day I will."
He paused for a moment to think of the fair-haired woman he had come to know and hoped that she was able to survive her husband's anger. As for him, that was another story. The man he had crossed was powerful and it seemed he had friends everywhere. The best plan was to come here where nobody knew of Bent St. Clair, professional gambler and once again become plain ol' Ben Simons.
Mature Content: No
With: Ben Simons, Charles Wentworth Sr. and Rebecca Wentworth Location: Add specific location information here. When: First Week of May 1876 Time of Day: Evening
"No...I just used the laws of probability to my own advantage. Unfortunately, my opponent saw it as cheating."
Ben smiled graciously at his uncle. Aunt Rebecca had warned him that his uncle wasn't going to like this unexpected visit. Well, visit wasn't the right word...more like an enforced stay. From what he had seen of Kalispell so far it was going to be a very long one.
Charles looked at his nephew and sighed heavily. Even though Ben was a likeable fellow, it was his choice of profession that he didn't like and now it had gotten the man into deep trouble. "What happened then?"
"Well, as you might have guessed, he drew his gun on me and that's when his wife stepped in." Ben paused for a moment looking for the right way to phrase the next part of his story. After quickly glancing at both his aunt and uncle, he stood up.
"What I mean is that is wife literally stepped in. She came bursting through the doors of the parlour and stood between me and her husband."
Sensing there was more to this than Ben was actually saying, Charles just nodded his head, leaned back in his armchair and waited for the rest.
"Thanks to her timely appearance, I was able to get away. I have no doubt she kept her husband at bay long enough for me to go back to my lodgings to collect my things and hightail it out of town. It's a good thing I travel lightly."
Rebecca smiled a little at Ben's remark. Turning to her husband, she said, "That's when he turned up in Washington. As you know it's too soon for Mary and the baby to travel and with Frederick starting work with that Senator, I was looking at taking the journey here on my own. Ben was a great help in getting me here safely."
"Yes, and I am grateful for that."
"It was a pleasure, Uncle Charles. It was also a good way to get re-acquainted with you, Aunt Rebecca." Looking up at the clock on the mantel, Ben smiled again, "Perhaps we can continue this over dinner and you can tell me more about this quaint town."
"And you can tell me more about this situation you've gotten yourself into, " Charles replied as he stood up.
Ben nodded, "Yes, it's a situation and one I don't see ending any time soon."
To be continued
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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