A loving sister and granddaughter, very practical about the farm and in trying to keep her brother's life on the right path during his teenage years. A little sad that she never found love, like her sister Josephina.
Helps run the Miggins place.
Aliases / Nicknames
"Lee" to her family.
Kith & Kin
Nellie Miggins - Grandmother
Josephine Konrad - Sister
Jacob Lutz - Brother
Old Lawrence - Farm Hand
Born Leonora Lutz, 9th August 1850 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Ernst and Geraldine Lutz (nee Miggins)
Ernest was born Ernst Jakob Lütze in Karlsruhe, Germany in the late 1830s.
Fiercely loyal to her little brother, but practical and aware that he isn't quite so little any more.
"A Farmer's Union? That sounds like a good idea," Bern said, "However, it will depend on what our father has to say about it. Maybe you can tell us more about it over dinner?"
"Dinner?" echoed Leonora, she didn't know if he meant now or some other day. She told herself that the idea was an attractive one as she might be able to round up some more members for the Union, not because she wanted to round up Bern.
Ella nodded, "Yes, that would be nice, providing you are available. We wouldn't want to take you away from your family more than we already have."
Bern smiled, "Err...no we wouldn't want to inconvenience you in any way. If not, maybe next time I...um we are in town."
Ah, they meant right now. "No, I mean yes, that would be an excellent idea. 'Strike while the iron's hot!' as they say. My sister-in-law runs the diner right across the street, if that would be convenient." Also, why not get Clara some extra business while they were at it.
Seeing that Mr. Wentworth was a bit uncomfortable, Ella stepped in "Leonora, I have no doubt that you are right but unfortunately Mr. Wentworth is as helpless as we are. He can only do what he is told to do or risk losing his job. I'm sure you'll agree that you don't wish him any harm or blame for what his bosses tell him to do."
"Oh Ella, it is very gallant of you to defend them, but I do believe that Mr. Wentworth and his brothers are big enough and bold enough to defend themselves and are certainly well in enough with Shade Thornton and Ezra Hale to influence their decisions. And Mike's the Foreman up at that ranch, not just some hired hand. Still..." she gave Sam a frosty smile "... no hard feelings, eh, Mr Wentworth."
"Besides..." she smiled more genuinely at Ella "... I'm trying to start up again the Farmers Union within in the County, to protect our rights and further develop in the area agriculturally. Might that be something that you or your brothers would be interested in helping with?" she asked, the sort of Evangelical glint flashing in her eyes that she had evinced when inviting the little Jewish seamstress Miriam Kaufmann along to church on Sunday.
Her eyes moved to Bern's hopefully, and avoided Sam's, pointedly.
Hoping to keep the conversation away from what they did, Ella smiled, "Nice to meet you."
She turned to Leonora, "Are you acquainted with Mr. Wentworth?"
Lee gave a tight smile and a nod in Sam's direction. "Yes, Miss Albrecht, all the farmers in these parts are familiar with the Wentworth's and their bosses Mr Thornton and Mr Hale: we are even more familiar with their cattle, when they stray onto our land and ruin our crops."
Even though she had forebodings about it at the time, now that it was up, she felt like defending their recent erection of barbed wire fences around their land by going on the offensive.
"I am sorry to say that when that happened a few years ago, and my Grandmother requested compensation, Mr Hale told us we could to go to court and sue for damages, fully knowing that we could not well afford such an undertaking: well, now we have the barbed wire up, and if any cattle damage themselves upon it, Mr. Hale can blame himself!"
"Oh, no thank you. It is kind of you to offer but I am certain my father would not want me to do any such thing. I am so glad though that Arabella is so devout, what with her organ playing and singing. She talks about it with such...enthusiasm."
"Yes. We must always obey our fathers" agreed Lee, but then remembered "Yet I cannot but help remember the last words my father said to me when I was a little girl, just before he died. He looked at me and he said 'Leonora, mein liebes kleines Mädchen, Sag niemals nie' which, as you probably know, means 'Leonora, my dear little child, never say never'" She looked a little teary eyed for a moment and then pulled herself together.
"Oh, but you are right about Miss Mudd's enthusiasm, and it would be a pity if you could not witness the way she plays on that harmonium. I am constantly surprised by the sounds that she manages to get out of it."
Then it was back to business, she pulled off the too tight gloves, with some difficulty, and asked Miriam if they had them in a bigger size. By the time Mr Pettigrew had finished helping Ella with her purchases, Miriam had made a sale.
After purchasing the fabric, she went up to Leonora, "I'm ready to go back to my brothers. If you wish to stay longer, that's fine. However, I would like to thank you for bringing me here just in case we're gone by the time you get back."
"Oh, that it quite all right, I shall walk with you." replied Leonora, but before she went nodded to the store owner "Good day to you, Mr. Pettigrew, and my compliments on your new assistant, Miss Kaufmann has been most helpful!" She gave Miriam a winning smile and mouthed Remember what I said.
"Oh I...well my family have not gone to church here in Kalispell. You see we are Jewish and there is no synagogue around here of course," she could leave out her family also were not exactly fervent Jews.
Leonora's smile probably looked a little frozen on her face and her eyes were probably bigger and rounder than usual, but at least she managed not to faint. Jewish! Ughh, poor child. Yes, once you knew, you could see it in the features. Well, there was nothing Leonora could do about the girl's race, but she knew her duty as far as religion went and devoutly remembered the Jewish peoples' peculiar claims upon the sympathies and prayers of all Gentile Christians. Here was a chance to 'partake in the glorious work of hastening the day when the superscription of the Cross shall be the confession of all Israel' as her church elders would say.
"Well..." she began, turning a sympathetic smile upon Miriam "Should you wish to accompany your friend Miss Mudd to Church on Sunday, under no compunction to join in Christian worship, of course, but merely to attend as a... a fellow member of the community, please do come and sit with me in our pew. You would be more than welcome." she gushed, giving Miriam a kindly touch to the arm: in no fear of being infected with her Jewishness, but rather hoping some first tingling infusion of Christ's holy spirit might be planted as a tiny but goodly seed in the girl's soul. Laying on of hands, as it were.
"Oh it is. My grandparents came from Germany," Miriam informed her.
"Do you know whereabout they came from?" asked Lee with interest "My Pa came from Karlsruhe after the revolutions. He was involved." she sighed wistfully as she pulled on the gloves, which were far too tight. "Poor Papa, he was probably the reason they failed." She then asked Miriam if she liked the Town.
"Yes, we do....thus far. It was a hard journey but Papa believes it was for the best. This town is very....peaceful," Miriam nodded.
"Peaceful and prosperous, and becoming more civilised every day." she agreed. Apart form the odd shoot out and bank robbery.
"Have you made any friends, yet?"
"Oh yes, I have indeed. One girl in particular, my own age too," Miriam beamed, "She is teaching me so much about the town and the people. We spend all our free time together, she works at the saloon you see. She is an orphan and the saloon owner agreed to take her in."
Leonora frowned for a second and then realised of whom Miriam spoke. "Oh, you mean Miss Mudd!" Leonora considered for a moment: the child was somewhat loud and garrulous and ran helter-skelter like a mad thing around the place, but Jacob spoke well of her, in a wry sort of way, and she decided that if Miriam was her friend, then she should be charitable about her.
"Yes, you are lucky to have a friend who is such a paragon of the Church." was about the only creditable thing to say about her that came to mind. "I have not seen you at Church with her, though, Miss Kaufmann, perhaps you follow another denomination" she said it as a statement, but it was really a question. Apart from the Baptists and Mrs Orr's nutty Spiritualists, most other denominations lumped in with the Reverends Evans and Reed's Methodists. It was too horrible to think for a minute that the girl might not attend any church.
"Oh, well they are right over on that shelf, ma'am," Miriam helpfully pointed out.
"Oh! Yes! Would you get them... er, oh, no, don't worry, I'll get them!" Leonora realised that the girl was so short that she would probably have to get the steps to reach them.
"Are you new around here, Miss Kaufmann?" the customer asked, "You have a most intriguing accent, if it's not rude to mention it."
"It isn't rude, ma'am, it's fine. I have only been here for a few weeks, close to a month now. It is probably because I come from New York. I was born in New York and lived there with my family until Papa decided to move out west and set up his own business. "
"Really? It sounds almost German." replied Leonora, tipping her head curiously. "How brave of your Papa, and your whole family, to come out here, how do you like it?" she smiled, looking at one of the gloves and gauging whether it would fit.
Ella's induction into the back of the store: a place of cutting tables, stock rooms, ledgers and the new fangled sewing machine, left Leonora alone with Miriam, who, she could not help but notice, was really tiny, not much over five feet high, she reckoned.
"Well, this is a little embarrassing, having a whole person to 'attend to my needs' when all I really want is just to look at some gloves." she laughed nervously, for Miss Lutz was the sort of person who didn't really like to be the centre of anyone's attention: her natural tendencies in that direction having been deepened by her recent illness. Being 'shut in' for a year had left her nervous and agoraphobic, and given to fainting fits.
"Are you new around here, Miss Kaufmann?" she asked, to draw attention away from herself "You have a most intriguing accent, if it's not rude to mention it." she added in a stumbling sort of way: she really did feel that she had forgotten how to speak, sometimes.
Leonora had rather clammed up when Ella had started to assure her that her brother Bern would have been 'aware of how well she looked'! Like she was interested in what he thought about how she looked. Really!
"Good day, ladies, may I help you with anything?" she greeted them with a genuine smile , spoken in a rather distinct mix of Yiddish and New York accent.
Leonora was a little taken aback by the appearance of the little stranger. She had rather expected Mr. Pettigrew himself or Jacob's weird friend, that dreadful Wigfall girl, to appear through the velvet curtains. Before her illness, there had been another girl here, the name escaped her, Daisy Mutlar or something, but she had clearly moved on.
"Hello, are you new?" she asked, rather redundantly but with a friendly enough smile.
"I've just been telling Miss, er, Miss Albrecht here about your stock of blue fabrics, but I don't see any to hand. Do you have some stock in back?" she asked: she would feel shown up if the promised material was not here after all.
"It really is the best place in town for material" she assured Ella, hopefully.
Once the young man, Bern, had gone, Leonora immediately felt bad that she had been, perhaps a little brusque in her manner. She considered the fact that perhaps she was just a little antisocial after her long confinement, rather than the man having overstepped any marks. But soon she was in too deep a conversation about the blue material with Ella to give it any further thought.
"Nice, isn't it?" she asked rhetorically and then glanced up to make sure the store keeper wasn't listening "But they have some finer over at Pettigrew's, and about the same price, too." Well, she needn't feel guilty about losing the Storekeeper a sale, after he'd hiked the price on flour!
"Does this Pettigrew have a large range? I'm looking for something to suit my sister and my mother as well as myself."
"Oh, much better than here!" Lee half whispered to Ella. "And he's much more likely cut you a deal if you're buying in bulk."
She paused for a moment as she wondered if this Pettigrew would be interested in buying some of their woollen items, "Now that I think about it, maybe a visit to this Pettigrew might be worthwhile. Would you mind showing me the way?"
"Well, I have to go there myself for some buttons" she eyed the small haberdashery section of the General Store with what could only be termed 'cold distain' "They've got a much finer selection than this place." she said in a hushed voice.
As they exited the store and headed across the street to Pettigrew's, Leonora felt courageous enough to pipe up about Ella's brther.
"I hope I wasn't short with your brother. I... I've been ill this last year, bedridden for much of it and I fear I have lost some of the niceties of society while I've been shut in. He seems... very engaging." She felt herself coloring, not too sure why she had blurted all that out.
@JulieS + @Wayfarer if you would like Miriam to be on duty at Pettigrews.
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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