Arabella gasped at this notion. "Lorenzo left you Bridget in his will?!" she goggled. "What'd he leave me, Charlie Fa?!!"
"Yer husband and you are gonna raise Bridget? You don't even know the girl. And as you can see she needs a lot of care and......patience."
Rebecca nodded, "Yes, I understand that. I have already sent for a nurse to take care of another lady who currently living with us. Her duties will now also include looking after Bridget. So you need not worry...Bridget will get all the care and attention she needs."
"Alright, I get it. I hope you don't plan on cutting her off from the people she already knows and is fond of? She'd get powerful lonely."
"I have no intentions of cutting off anybody unless it is warranted."
“Hold up!” He jumped onto the tail end of Caroline’s sentence. Scowling at Rebecca, he questioned, “How come Bridget goes to you? I’m gonna take care of her.”
Looking at the young man, Rebecca sighed. It was clear that they all cared deeply for Bridget but the question was were they capable of taking care of her. The answer was probably no since Mr. Crabbe had appointed her and Charles as guardians. "As to why Bridget is coming with us, that is a legal matter, which would probably be better answered by Mr. Reeve or by my husband."
Whatever the real reasons as to why Bridget was now in her care, Rebecca knew that she would do her best to take care of her, even if it meant alienating some of the girl's friends. It was becoming clear that needed help and putting her in a new environment would help. With a little time, maybe Bridget would overcome some of her difficulties.
Rebecca looked at the young man. He seemed genuinely concerned about Bridget's welfare but she wasn't quite sure how far that extended and if it would after he heard what she had to say.
"My husband is going over the details now of Bridget's legacy," she answered. Realising that she hadn't been properly introduced to the man, which was understandable given the circumstances, she continued, "I'm Rebecca Wentworth."
Once again, she looked over to Bridget to see how she was faring. The poor thing still hadn't stirred much since her outburst. It would be impossible to move her until the doctor had assessed her. Hopefully, Dr. Danforth wasn't out on a call, the quicker he got here the better so that they could be taken to more comfortable and warmer surroundings.
Glancing at both Caroline and the young man, Rebecca took a deep breath. "Mr. Crabbe's will stipulated that Bridget will be indeed taken care of...by my husband and myself."
After Gilcrest had left, Rebecca had started to work out in her head what she would do next. Thankfully, she had a nurse on the way to help look after Ruth, who was now bedridden due to the complexity of her injuries. The nurse would be a great help if Bridget were to have another fit like she did today.
The man was gone, that left this Wentworth woman so Caroline looked her in the eye.
"So...why you here again?" Caroline once more tried to get some info out of her.
Rebecca sighed. Considering what had just happened, she felt it a bit inappropriate to divulge as to the reason why she was here, but Miss Mundee seemed like someone who would keep persisting until she got an answer.
Glancing over to make sure Bridget was fine, she turned her attention back to Caroline, "I'm here because of request that was made by the late Mr. Crabbe. He left clear instructions in his will about Bridget in the event of his untimely demise."
After seeing the look Miss Mundee had given her, Rebecca set her mind upon what to do next. It was true that she did feel helpless and unsure of what to do as she had never really come across a situation like this before. However, she was also beginning to work out what had happen. Everything had seemed fine until the two men walked into the room and so it figured that one of them must have been the cause.
Seeing the younger man rush to help Bridget, left only the older man. Perhaps he was the cause and it would be better if left. Just as she about to approach him, Arabella Wentworth came rushing into the room and proceeded to deal with what was going on. It seemed that this wasn't the first that poor Bridget had suffered something like this.
While the others were occupied with Bridget, Rebecca walked over to the older man, "Mr. Gilcrest, it might be wise if you go and get the doctor."
"Miss Mundee, I'm Rebecca Wentworth. Nice to meet you despite the circumstances," was the reply as she looked around for a seat. She was far too old to be sitting down on the floor anymore and besides her clothing made it a little difficult. Whale bone corsets were not known for their flexibility. Finding a chair in the far corner of the room, she brought it over to where Caroline and Bridget were playing.
"I hope you don't mind," she said warmly, "But I'm afraid getting up off the floor may prove to be a bit of a challenge."
For a moment, she took in Bridget's appearance. The girl seemed to be unaffected by last night's incident, which in a way was good. Hopefully, she would also be accepting of what was to come.
Turning to Caroline, she sighed, "I only met Mr. Crabbe on one occassion. My nephew, Ben was more familiar with him than I was. Whatever type of man he was, there was one thing he made sure of and that was that Bridget would be well taken care of in the event of his untimely demise."
Rebecca raised an eyebrow at the scene that confronted her when she entered the room. She knew who Bridget was but the other girl was a bit of a mystery. Going by the way she was dressed she could make a good guess at what she did for a living. Since she was not one to judge about what people choose to do with their lives, Rebecca would treat her just like any other lady of her acquaintance. Besides, it seemed that the girl had taken it upon herself to look after Bridget and anyone who showed compassion to those less than fortunate was worthy of respect in her books.
Turning her attention to the person she came here to see, Rebecca smiled warmly, " Hello, Bridget. May I join you?"
Rebecca gave Arabella a reassuring smile, "I thank you for your concern but I have intention of succumbing to Mr. Reeve or any other man for that matter. I've seen men like him before, especially in Washington. Besides, if Mr. Reeve were to try anything, he would not only have my husband to answer to but my four sons as well."
She gently placed her hand on Arabella's arm, "As for Mrs. Orr, what she does is none of my concern and it shouldn't be yours either. A young lady if she desires the respect of others, should refrain discussing matters that may embarrass others...even if she doesn't agree with what is going on."
Looking around the room, she began assessing the condition of it. It was obvious that Lorenzo Crabbe had done little to make it a fit home for someone in Bridget's situation and if this was any indication of what the rest of the building was like, then the sooner she got Bridget out the better.
"Now, Miss Arabella Mudd, would you kindly show me the way to Miss Monahan's room so that I may see her?"
Rebecca watched as Reeve left the room. She was still mildly surprised at the swiftness of how he was carrying out his business. Most lawyers she knew took their time in working out the affairs of the deceased but Mr. Reeve was something else.
"Missus Dubble-yuh!" she gasped wide eyed "May I talk to you fer a second: woman to woman?!!"
She turned to Arabella and nodded. Whatever she had to say might have relevance to Bridget, so she decided to listen to it, "All right, Arabella does it concern last night's incident?"
Rebecca listened carefully to what the young lawyer was saying. She wasn't very impressed with the compliments he had been dishing out to her but didn't she show. During her time, in Washington, she had seen and heard it many times by men who had far more experience at false flattery than the young man sitting near her.
"I have met Miss Monahan, on a number of occasions, mostly in passing or when we happened to here at the same time," she replied, "I found her to be agreeable and maybe with the right help, she might overcome some of her disadvantages."
She turned to her husband, who simply nodded. If the girl truly had no-one to look after her, then it was the charitable thing to do. Besides, she would feel bad leaving the girl alone in the house where her benefactor had died.
Looking back to Reeves, she smiled, "The least I can do for now is to check on the young lady to make sure that she is fine. However, I would like to know if you require me to start taking care of her immediately or do we he have to wait until the will is read?"
Rebecca looked around the table and she smiled. Her four sons and nephew, Ben (who she considered a son in some ways) were all settled here and none of them looked like they had any plans to move on. The only ones missing were her daughter and her family. Maybe one day they would come out for a visit once her husband's position in Washington was more secure.
It had taken her a month or two to learn about Kalispell, the surrounding area, and the people who lived. Mostly, she had found that the town was well set up with a good variety of things to do. There were still people needing help after the disaster at Whitefish and she was happy to do what she could. One thing of concern she did find was that the young ladies in town were sometimes left to their own devices, which on occasion had proved disastrous. When she had heard about the tabloid that a group of young women had presented at the town meeting a couple of weeks ago, she was determine to do something about.
A week or so, later Ben had told her about his plans to buy the White Rose and convert it to a small theatre. This got her thinking and when she approached Ben about her idea, she was surprised to find that he was entertaining the same idea. Now, all they needed to was to get Charles to approve of it...not that she really needed but it would be still nice to have.
Her family had always had leanings to towards more theatrical things than her husband's. Ben's showed up in his flair for playing cards and some of the schemes he got involved in. There were some cousins who were actors and there was even one who was a singer somewhere in New York. As, for herself, it tended to show up more in the way she planned parties and family gatherings. Even tonight had taken some time and effort to get everything and everyone there at the same time.
After taking a sip of her wine, she smiled again, "I want everyone to know how glad I am to see that you could all make it here. I'm especially glad that Ben is here as we both have something to announce. Would you like to tell everyone about it, or shall I?"
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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