Lucinda is a woman of average height and weight. She has blue eyes, fair skin, eyebrows that give her a perpetually quizzical expression, and curly blonde hair. She keeps her hair pulled back in a chignon as is appropriate for a married woman and tends to wear an outfit consisting of a white blouse, patterned shirtwaist, and several different colored skirts. However, she is not opposed to wearing trousers if the situation calls for it, like the winter she spent alone after her husband's death.
Traits & Characteristics
Lucinda has a sense of humor, fun, and mischief that was not knocked out of her at finishing school and that has not dulled during her married life and hardships. She likes to test each boundary and rule to see how far she can bend it without breaking it. She is generally perceptive and good at interacting with others, but when it comes to people of a "lower class," she does not know quite how to relate to them and may become slightly more introverted and aloof-seeming. Moving out west has helped with this, but there are times when she longs for the society back home that she grew up with. She enjoyed flirting with Francis and might engage in harmless, coquettish flirting as learned at finishing school, but she never means for anything to come of her flirting.
Lucinda has never had "a job," but she spent time at a finishing school back east before getting married, and then took on the responsibilities of a housewife. Since her husband's death, she has been searching for a place to settle down and some way to make money. She feels a little lost since the west is so different from her home in the east. Her ideal employment would be a governess, but those positions are few and far between out west. Right now her morale is low, and she is considering anything...anything.
Lucinda is an "accomplished" woman who is well-educated and is capable of running a household, but her passion is learning. She is fluent in French and knows a smattering of Spanish and Latin. Although she has sold many of her belongings in order to pay Francis's debts, she has managed to keep her most precious possessions - her books - and rereads them often. She knows everything there is to know about etiquette and how to entertain in polite society, and she even has a decent voice, but her acting and performing skills are lacking.
After spending a winter by herself, she knows how to care for livestock and how to live simply, but she considers it a miracle that she survived the winter alone. Francis showed her how to shoot a gun, but she has never yet shot an animal or human, and is rather frightened by the idea of guns.
Aliases / Nicknames
Kith & Kin
Francis Dietrich - deceased
A stillborn son
Two unborn children who were miscarried
Ambrus and Abigail Goodwin
1845 - Born in Harrisburg, PA to wealthy parents.
1860-1863 - Attends finishing school in Philadelphia.
1863 - "Comes out" into society and is engaged to Francis within the year.
1864-1865- Suffers one miscarriage early in her marriage, but enjoys married life until the Francis goes off to fight in the War between the States.
1866 - Francis returns home from the war with a bullet scar in his arm and decides to make a new start out west. He and Lucinda spend a few years preparing and saving money, then begin the long journey across the country and reach Idaho in early 1872. Lucinda miscarries while they are traveling.
1872-1873 - Francis and Lucinda stake a claim, build a house, and start making their homestead into a home. Francis, not being a born and bred farmer, buys far too much seed and supplies, all on credit, and is not able to harvest enough to break even for the year. Lucinda becomes pregnant and gives birth to a stillborn son in late 1872. Their second year of homesteading goes better, but Francis's debt increases slightly still.
October 13, 1873 - Francis dies from consumption.
1873-1874 - Lucinda tries to keep the homestead going, but wintering on the homestead by herself is much too hard and Francis's debts are too great, so she sells the homestead and makes plans to travel back to Harrisburg.
Late June, 1875 - Arrives in Kalispell on her way back east, but realizes her money has nearly run out.
Oh, dear, what if he thought she had been staring through the whole service? She wanted to say something, but that would almost make things worse. And should she correct him? She wasn't married anymore, so to speak, but her proper title was Mrs., so maybe she should say something.
In the end, propriety won out over her desire to seem young and...well, desirable. "Mrs. Dietrich, technically. But I will accept Miss. It makes me feel young." She smiled, and whenever she did that, one corner of her mouth turned up a little higher than the other, which gave her otherwise serene face a spark of mischief. She continued, "a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Redmond. And you, Wyatt."
She gave the boy a smile even though he didn't seem particularly interested in her or seem pleased to meet her. What was wrong with children in this town? First the dark-haired girl was harrumphing about her dropping the hymnbooks and how this boy was practically ignoring her. Maybe that was the way children were.
But Aurelian was asking her a question about her purpose in town. Her eyes flitted away from Wyatt and the dark-haired girl back to him.
"Both," she answered quickly, then realized that that sounded odd and laughed. "I had planned for this just to be a stopping point on my way back east. But money is tight and then I met Emeline...just yesterday, fact, when I came in on the stage. I've decided to stay here, at least until I can get a little money saved up."
Lucinda laughed a little bit at Emeline's joke, but it was a sort of humor that she didn't quite understand. Wouldn't the grizzly come out of the fight looking less hurt? Emeline's laughter and attitude was contagious, though, and Lucinda found her spirits brightened considerably more than they had been in a long time.
And speaking of attitude, Emeline had a set way she preferred to do the dishes, so Lucinda though she should try it that way. Personally she would have rinsed off each dish as she went, but it never hurt to try something new.
As she sprinkled the soap flakes in the water and swished them around with her hand to make the most of the bubbles, she marveled at how much Emeline seemed to know about animals and how they defended themselves...or was she talking about people? Maybe it worked the same way for both people and animals.
Emeline's question startled her slightly, but she looked up from the dish she was washing and shook her head. "Good heavens, no. I sold Francis's rifle and pistol this spring, having used neither of them the whole winter." She could hear the pride in her voice and remembered that she would not have been quite as hungry during the winter if she had used the rifle to try to go hunting.
What was she to do? She was all right, and she didn't really want to accept his help. But...it would be the ladylike thing to do, and it would give her the chance to talk to the talk dark stranger who looked so much like her husband. What was wrong with her? She was thinking like a school girl. Wintering alone was obviously detrimental to her mind. She shook her head and offered an embarrassed smile to the man.
"Oh, thank you." She took his outstretched hand and pulled herself up, trying to make it seem like she actually needed his help while also trying not to pull him down while she got up. She could have managed it by herself, although his help did make her ascent seem more graceful.
"I believe I'm all right." She swatted her skirts with her free hand and then realized that she was still holding his hand. What a perfect time to introduce herself. "I'm sorry for staring. You look like...someone I used to know. My name is Lucinda Dietrich."
With that, she shook his hand firmly and met his eyes, trying to ignore the mutterings of the young girl who was picking up the hymnbooks she had dropped. She should really thank the girl, but she had more important things on her mind, and the girl seemed not to be terribly happy about her presence for some reason. Her ears caught the word strangers but nothing else. Oh, dear. That didn't sound good at all.
Mature Content: No
With: Aurelian Redmond (also possibly Wyatt), and anyone else Location: Kalispell Church When: Sunday, June 20, 1875 Time of Day: After the morning service
Lucinda had missed being in church. The sound of all the voices around her joining in harmony with the harmonium (most of the time) was so refreshing. She felt tears come into her eyes once again during the closing hymn, tears of happiness at being able to congregate with people once again. You never knew how much of a blessing fellowship was until you didn't have it for a while.
She slid her hymnbook back into the seat of the pew and stood, waiting until there was a path for her to leave. Even though the singing had made her feel like she belonged, after it was finished she felt like a stranger again. There were a few people she recognized from her first night helping Emeline, but she hadn't been officially introduced to anyone yet.
She definitely wasn't going to introduce herself to anyone right now, so she stood aimlessly by the edge of the pew with her arms crossed over her red patterned vest, watching the congregation as it dispersed. Her gaze fell on the hymnbooks on her pew and the ones behind her, and she realized that she could be doing something useful while she waited.
She walked down the aisle and gathered up the hymnbooks as she came to them, then turned down the next aisle and did the same thing. Her arms were nearly full, but she had room for a few more books, so she decided to cross the aisle and get the books from there, too. As she reached the edge of the pew she caught sight of a man standing across the aisle. Her mouth dropped and she stared at the man. Francis?
Her foot thunked against the end of the pew and threw her off balance. A few stray hymnbooks tumbled from her arms as she tumbled, too. A jumble of thoughts ran through her head, the foremost of them being how embarrassing it was going to be picking herself up, how loud noise of the hymnbooks falling to the floor seemed, and just how much like Francis the man across the aisle looked.
She hit the floor, bumped her chin on the stack of hymnbooks, and blinked. The man was still there, and he still looked like Francis. Not as much as he had at first glance, but still enough that she couldn't take her eyes off of him.
Lucinda felt for the first time in over a year that she was somewhere where she belonged. She hadn't been raised to work in a kitchen, or even to be in a kitchen at all, but this just felt right. set the dishes in the sink, then primed the pump and started running water in the sink so she could begin washing the dishes.
Before she started, she went over to the corner to say hello to Buster, looking back at Emeline as she moved. "Oh, we used to have cats in the barn when I was younger. They were big mean tomcats, not like...oh!" She finally got a good look at Buster and made a surprised and slightly disgusted face.
It wasn't that the deformity was horrible, it was just unexpected. Her world had been perfect until she had come west and she was still shocked by her new world sometimes. "He only has one eye!" She looked back at Emeline worriedly. "What happened to him?"
Lucinda's first thought was that she couldn't accept Emeline's generosity. It had been drilled into her that she should never take charity from anyone and that she would never need to accept charity. But the thing was, no one who taught at finishing school had ever been stranded, practically penniless, out on the fringes of civilization.
"Oh, are you...well...thank you." She got up and watched Emeline gather the plates, in awe at her good fortune. "I'm sure I could wait tables passably...as long as no one proposes to me!" she added suddenly with a bright smile. "As for cooking, well, I can keep myself alive but I don't know that anyone else would want to eat what I cook!"
She unbuttoned the cuffs of her sleeves and started to roll them up. "Let me take the dishes. I know I can do that."
"I believe I will walk up there later and see if they have a room free, then." Lucinda drank the last of her tea and sighed. She felt much better; a little rested and a little less like a maple leaf in an autumn breeze. She had a direction to go with her life now and a suggestion for a place to stay.
"Now, how much do I owe you for the meal? And are you short on help today? I could...well, wash dishes if you could use the help."
The diner was nearly empty and it seemed like business was slow at the moment, but there was no telling what was going on behind the scenes in the kitchen. Washing dishes wasn't the most ideal way to spend her time, but she would be helping Emeline and, to tell the truth, she wanted spend more time with just Emeline before going and meeting other new people.
Lucinda knew how painful losing her husband had been, but Emeline's loss, so much more sudden and presumably horrible, must have been worse. "I'm sure. With Francis it was consumption. I saw it coming and just had to watch him waste away. I don't know how I would have coped if it had been...sudden."
She sipped her tea, trying to avoid steering the conversation into more sensitive territory. It wouldn't do to ruin the beginning of her friendship with Emeline by making her relive her pain. Thankfully, Emeline was able to move on from the subject easily to one of more importance: employment, food, and the slew of marriages happening in Kalispell. Well, not a slew. Just Emeline and her waitress, but still that was a lot.
"Gracious, are you sure you don't put anything special in your food that lures men in? If both you and your waitress are getting married you must have some secret." Lucinda laughed and relished the feeling that the laughter awoke in her. It had been a long time since she had laughed.
Emeline's reassurance helped, but it also brought up a new problem. What skills did she have that would make her worth hiring? She was afraid the answer out west would be none.
"I'm afraid the only thing I might be good for is a clerk at the mercantile. I don't know anything about waitressing, but if you need the help and I need the job..." she paused, then shrugged and set her fork down on her now-empty plate. "I'll see what comes up." She looked around the diner with new eyes.
"In the meantime, is there a cheap place I could stay until I figure something out? I'm afraid a hotel is beyond my means at the moment, but a boarding house would do nicely."
Lucinda nodded and smiled as she continued eating, although she hadn't been around enough miners to experience men's adoration in quite the same way Emeline had. Francis had always tried to keep her away from that sort of thing.
She couldn't imagine cooking for a bunch of dirty miners...and them proposing to her! The thought made her skin crawl! But even though she didn't find Emeline's statement quite as humorous as Emeline did, she could relate to one thing.
"You...you lost your husband, too? My Francis died last fall. I had to winter alone on our homestead. That's why I'm just starting to head back east."
As she spoke, Lucinda realized that she felt a connection with Emeline, the first one she'd felt with anyone in a very long time. Losing a spouse was a commonplace occurrence, even back east, but it was still a painful one, and she and Emeline were united in that pain.
She was seized with a strong reluctance to leave the diner and the town where this kind woman stayed. And she was also seized with the sudden need for advice. "Emeline...may I call you Emeline? Well...my husband had run up debts when he died. I paid them off, but I'm not sure I can get back home. You made yourself a new life here. Do you think I could, too?"
Lucinda took a bite of the chicken and dumplings and sighed contentedly. It wasn't that the food she'd had at the stations between Spokane and Kalispell had been bad, but this was so much better. She took a tentative sip of her tea and nodded appreciatively. Honestly, it was almost like Christmas.
She continued eating and listening to Emeline. After a winter completely alone, it was surprising to hear one person talk so much.
"No, please don't apologize," she said quickly, realizing that she'd been staring at Emeline. "My conversation skills just need some dusting off, that's all. I think it's wonderful that you've been able to support yourself this whole time. Did you have any cooking experience before you started the cafe?"
She wondered if she might be able to start some business to support herself, but then laughed inwardly. What a ridiculous idea. Once she made it back home, she wouldn't have to support herself any more. But would she be able to make it back home?
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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