She chuckled then, and added, "There's one camp that's kinda beholdin' ta me an' Speed...we bagged a bear an' gave them th' meat, 'bout fourteen hundred pounds, see 'em through th' Winter, likely."
“We could certainly do that.” Alice agreed, “Fourteen hundred pounds? That was one big bear! When did all of this happen? I’ve come face too face with smaller predators, never a bear. You must have been really lucky in that confrontation.”
She smiled and added, you were out to purposely hunt a bear, on by accident? I’m thinking that running into a bear by accident would really set you back on your heels.” She had no doubt that Addy would stand and fight whatever the odds, although, a bear? That one would raise the hair an the back of anyone’s neck. “This Mister Guyer tends to get around, it seems.” @Bongo
"I'd like that real good," Addy declared with a grin. There weren't many ladies she could talk to like this, and who accepted her for who she was, nor had any ever asked that she coach them, so she was eager to do this.
“Then we’ll get started whenever you can. I can come to town as well as you coming out here.” Alice offered. “I know some, but like I said, I can always learn more.
"I can show ya what I know...reckon you can drive a team, but I gat a six-up hitch, if ya'd like ta give that a try, an' I know a couple'a th'' local tribes, if ya'd like ta get ta know some Indians...never does hurt ta have good friends."
“Now that would be good. I’ve not met very many, and never on a friendship basis, not that it was hostile, I simply had met them in passing. They are just people after all. And you are right, having good friends is really a blessing, no matter who they are.” Meeting Indians had not been something she had thought about, but when it was mentioned it sounded perfect.
“A six up? I’ve driven four, but never at any speed, so to speak. I mean to say that they walked, or trotted at best. But yes, yes, I’d like that.” She smiled. “Maybe get a job with you once I’m good enough.” Of course that was not really something she would do. But learning to drive a six up, or even a four, would be helpful, because one never knew.
"Ah, heck I don't mind...it's interestin', an' a person'd be a fool not ta want ta learn somethin'." She shook her head and laughed. "Her that pontificatin' comin' from me, who can't hardly read nor write...not ta say I don't got other sort'a learnin'...an' now I'm takin' on Weedy all formal-like, I reckon I should get more book learnin'."
“Knowledge is a powerful thing. Some of us had the good fortune to be born and raised where schools are plentiful. But the things that you know are far more valuable than having seen a giraffe, or lived in places like New York.” Alice acknowledged. “Out here reading sign is more important than reading a book, for now anyway, and for the foreseeable future.”
She wasn't sure she'd ever be able to help the boy with things like the 'Three R's', but she had plenty of knowledge to impart about history, horses, stages, wagons, and bear-hunting to make up for it!
“Addy, if you want, when you’ve time, I’d be willing to help you with reading and writing. Honestly I would.” She offered. “And we could have coffee, and just talk as well. And, tho I do know a bit about reading sign, you could teach me as well. There's a whole lot I don't know, and, I think it would be such fun.”
"Ah, giraffe...knew it was somethin' like that." Grinning, Addy shrugged. "There's all manner'a strange critters, with stranger names all over th' world, an' wouldn't it be somethin' ta see them?"
“It would, something special. Would that we had spent more time at that exhibit, it was huge, five floors of exhibits, and in the basement, a live whale!’ Alice exclaimed, remembering what was advertized that she did not get to see. Arthur had a card game to attend. There seemed to always be a card game for Arthur.
Then she chuckled, pondering a moment before continuing. "Reckon there are folks in places like China an' Wales that are sittin' just like us, talkin' 'bout seein' a grizzly or buffalo or armadillo..." It made sense that others would think that where they lived were odd, even if to them it was just how things were. "Funny ta think that there's folks wishin' they could visit here."
“Yes, and folks keep coming to this country, by the ship load. Part of the problem with New York. It’s the port of entry for most emigrants, but there are others, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. But most entered through New York City, which is known as the "Golden Door." And most immigrants arriving in New York entered at the Castle Garden depot near the tip of Manhattan Island. I like the name “Golden Door,” for that’s what it represents, for those folks. Then they fan out from there, or stay put in the city.” She laughed.
“Goodness, I just seem to be a storehouse of odd information. But I tend to read a lot whenever books and such are available to me.” She concluded.
"Reckon that'd be somethin'! Sorta like a medicine show, only without th' snake oil...an' with all manner'a critters!" Addy would pay a decent sum to see a whole menagerie of exotic critters right here in town! "'Course, seems like it'd be an awful lotta trouble ta pack all that around. On a train, I suppose?"
“They are doing that in the east. They’ve been using trans for some time now, but to bring it out here? Far to expensive.” She explained. “I have some friends back east that write, and they said they saw the circus, and that it came by train.”
She pondered over how many cars that might take, although she had no idea what the logistics might be, but then her thoughts wandered further. "Aren't there them animals with real long necks? Gerfs, or some such? An' Elephants are real big...might not even fit in a train car...'less they make a hole fer them gerfs' head..." She was on a roll! "But then, they'd not know ta duck when they got to th' tunnels..."
Alice thought she might correct Addy about the giraffes, but to what end. It was not a name that she would use with any regularity, if at all. “I wondered that myself. From what they said they use a lot of flat cars for that bigger animals. Some they keep in their wagons. My friends have said it was really interesting.” Then she too thought of the giraffes and the tunnels. "Their name is giraffe, but you were close."
"Oh, I read about that. Such a shame. All those artifacts lost, not the first fire, but the second one that took it to the ground." She said of the museum that was lost. "Pa, my husband Arthur, and I we in New York, I was twenty-six at the time and have never forgotten the experience. Too crowded. The city was all but shoulder to shoulder. A myriad of languages to be heard. And the sights, well, they may well have been worth it. And then the war came."
"I did see a camel while there. They look clumsy, all long legs holding up the rather large body. Odd creature. But a sight not many out here have seen." She confessed. I do imagine a traveling circus would do quite well out here in the west."
I remember somewhere I read about them being used on the western frontier by the army." Alice recalled. "Dromedaries, the lighter breed. As I remember they were bred for racing and riding in general. I have never seen one, other than a rendering in a book."
"To think, the man tried that here, where the winters are harsh, as you say, a camel, the one with two humps, now if I remember correctly, they were bred for the cold where they come from. Of course that may well be what this Mister Armentrout brought up from Texas."
Then she laughed at herself, "Imagine a mounted troop on camels, either one, what a sight that would be! Do you think it could out run a horse?"
“Seems to me Miss Addy, you quite the interesting town.”
"Certainly has its moments, an' its characters." Addy grinned. "I think you'll like it well enough, leastways until Winter hits an' makes th' roads impassable, an' th' cold creeps inta every bone!"
Alice laughed, "Sounds like the Dakotas. Miserable winters, but come spring with the wild flowers, simply beautiful. But hard winters, best be layin' in wood and supplies to last it out. Nothing I haven't been tasked with before. Of course there's the stock."
"Pa has this idea of increasing his heard, well, our heard I suppose. If a man could call near two dozen head a herd. But we've horses, ten, a stud an' eight mares, so we'll see some foals drop come next spring, Caves too. Prob'ly gonna need a couple hands before summer's out. Dread that, but to grow, we'll need hands."
There was a barn, which needed work, a couple out buildings, also needing repairs. One must have served as a bunk house, by the size of it. Actually, it was clear that the place had been a going concern at one time. She would have to ask her Pa what had happened. If he knew.
"You now anything about this place?" She asked suddenly.
“Body guards? The woman has body guards? Who pays them? Forgive me, but I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Alice responded, somewhat taken aback by the notion of body guards.
“I heard tell that Kate Warne, you know her, first woman Pinkerton? Well she was blunt about it, said was she on guard at Ford’s theater, well, it never would have happened! Booth would never have gotten close to Lincoln’s box.” Yes, she needed to meet this woman, there was a whole lot more to her than it seemed this town was able to see.
And she wanted to see Marshal Guyer as well. A man always willing to help? Surely didn’t sound like the man she had met after the war, but that was close to ten years back. Not that he was not the type that wouldn’t help, that was obvious, but he seemed caught by the wanderlust.
“Seems to me Miss Addy, you quite the interesting town.”
“It’s the trouble with the foolish men, thinking that we can be ignored, used as they wish, that we have no rights to live as we wish.” Alice declared. “Sorry, I do tend to go on about such things. It seems that this Mister Steelgrave is a danger to the community as well as to his own daughter.”
She shook her head in disgust. “Hopefully there are those that watch out for her, though from what you’ve said, it seems Miss Steelgrave is plenty able to take care of herself. Yes, I do need to make her acquaintance. More coffee?” It was good to have a woman to talk with, one that was of the country they were in, not one of frills.
“How does Marshal Guyer view this situation with Miss Steelgrave? Has he had to interfere in this at all?” She asked, wondering what his stance was, both personally and as a peace keeper.
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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