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.
Lucinda tilted her head back and laughed at Clara's humor. The girl was more witty than she seemed at first glance. "Yes, Clara, that's how it should be. Oh, gracious." She put a hand to her cheek, leaving a smear of soap suds which she then had to wipe away with her sleeve.
"That must be quite nice to live where you're working. Do you miss living with your parents? When I moved out here with Francis, I knew I'd probably never see my parents again. I cried myself to sleep the first night that we stayed on our land."
Her eyes lost their sparkle for a moment as she remembered how utterly lonely those first few nights had been, even though she'd had her husband beside her. But she blinked a few times and then smiled bravely at Clara.
"But you can visit your father if you want, so there's no need to fret." She washed the last dish and grabbed a towel to start drying them off. As she did, she was struck with a lightning bolt idea. If Clara did hire her on a more permanent basis, and she did go to visit her father at some point, she might be able to accompany the younger woman...and visit with Aurelian.
Lucinda set a clean dish to the side and picked up a new one as she listened to Clara. The girl was very wise for her age. Many girls got married as young as she did, but not all of them seemed to be as mature as Clara was. "That's good." She smiled. "I don't know if anyone's told you this, but arguing and making up after an argument is better than not arguing at all."
She'd been simultaneously excited and frightened when Francis decided to go west, and they had argued. They had argued on the arduous journey, too. But they had always made up, and their marriage had been stronger for it. Which was why she felt so lonely now.
"Do you and Jacob live close to your father?" She couldn't remember whether Clara knew that she'd met Aurelian already, so she didn't want to pry too much. Her question was a reasonable one: it would be good for a young couple like Clara and Jacob to be close to their families.
"Oh, don't let that fool you." Lucinda turned partway around from the sink and showed one of her dimples again as she smiled. "I was never nearly as distinguished as my parents would have preferred me to be."
"I'm from Pennsylvania, too. I lived in Harrisburg until I married. And no, I don't have any children." She turned back toward the sink to hide the way her face fell. Maybe she just wasn't meant to be a mother. But surely there had to be a less painful way for God to break the news to her than letting her lose three children. Why hadn't He kept her from getting married in the first place?
She scrubbed at some potato starch stuck on a plate and listened as Clara transitioned into talking about her recent marriage.
"Emeline told me you'd been recently married. Has your marriage been all sunshine and roses so far?" She glanced back with a knowing gleam in her eye. "Or have you two hit some bumps in the road already?"
The blissful stage of marriage lasted longer for some couples than others, and poor Clara and Jacob probably had had their blissful period cut short simply because of the way things worked out here. There was never really any time to just enjoy life out here. You always had to be thinking about survival.
Lucinda followed Clara into the kitchen, once again basking in the hominess of it. She set her hat to one side and worked the handle on the pump a few times to prime it, then started filling the sink.
"I can put things away if you'll tell me where they go later. That way I'll learn faster." She reached for the box of soap flakes with one hand and kept pumping with the other, then sprinkled the flakes in the water when she had enough.
She nodded at Clara's request - or requests. Calling the girl Clara wouldn't have seemed odd normally, but this girl...young woman, really, was now her employer. And she was so serious, like a woman twice her age.
"You may call me Lucinda if you'd like," she said as she picked up a few dishes. "I'll try to remember to call you Clara." She dunked the plates into the water and glanced back at Clara. "What is it you'd like to know? I'm from back east, but then I suppose everyone here is, too. And I'm a widow."
"One week?" Lucinda broke into a smile at Clara's offer. That was better than she'd hoped for. The most she'd hoped for was a trial day, and the least was a flat-out no. "That would be quite generous, Mrs. Lutz."
She held out her hand to seal the deal with a handshake, since that seemed to be what people did out here. Men, anyway. Back home it would not have been proper for women to shake hands, but out here...Lucinda had an inkling it was different out here.
"I can start today. Right now, if it's convenient. I know it's not terribly busy right now, but I'm sure you have dishes I can wash."
She smiled at the younger woman, showing one of her dimples. She had had enough of sitting around in her room reading, enduring the Wigfall's spats at the table and in the parlor and...well, wherever there happened to be more than one Wigfall at a time. Even if her fingers shriveled up like an old woman's face, it would be better than being spied on by Hector.
Well, that was awkward. Lucinda hadn't expected Emeline to pass everything on to Clara, but it would have made things easier if she had. Clara was so serious, and her questions were so probing that Lucinda actually began to feel nervous, which was ridiculous, because the solemn-faced girl had to be at least ten years younger than her.
"Well, she didn't actually offer me an official job. She just said to come back here if I couldn't find something. It was more of a...a charitable act, you see." She bent the brim of her hat back and forth in her hands, trying to decide on her answer to Clara's next question.
"I grew up in a wealthy family, so I'm still learning about cooking. I can bake bread and biscuits, but both end up burnt more often than not." She paused for just a second, then forged ahead. "I'm boarding with the Wigfalls, and Jemima seems to think I would make a good waitress. Or dishwasher. But Jemima doesn't work here, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt."
That was stretching the truth and embroidering it, too. Jemima had given Lucinda plenty of advice if she did get hired to work at the diner, but hadn't expressed any opinions on which jobs at the diner she would actually be suited for. However morbid and mannish she might be, Jemima was very observant, and Lucinda felt sure that Clara would know that. The question was: was Jemima's falsified diagnosis good enough for Clara to hire Lucinda?
Lucinda smiled as Clara emerged from the kitchen. The girl was so young, and so solemn, even though the expression on her face was pleasant. She had been slightly nervous about asking the new Mrs. Lutz for work - never having asked anyone for work before - but how could she be scared of a woman as young as Clara was?
"Well, actually, I was hoping that I might be able to help you." She held her hat with both hands so that it touched her knees. "My name is Lucinda Dietrich. I don't know how much Emeline told you, but I'm new in town. I helped Emeline wash dishes one night and she told me that if I couldn't find work, to come back here."
She paused, unsure of what to say next. Up until now she'd just been filling Clara in, but now she actually had to ask for work. How did one do that?
"Could...could you use an extra hand in the kitchen? Or out here?"
Mature Content: No
With: Lucinda and Clara Location: Lickskillet Diner When: July 10, 1876 Time of Day: Mid-afternoon
Lucinda had waited long enough and searched hard enough for a job. There were very few jobs that she was suited for out west, and time and time again her thoughts returned to Emeline's offer. Finally, almost a month after she had arrived in Kalispell, she set off for the diner, tiptoeing down the stairs so as not to disturb Mrs. Wigfall or any of her offspring.
She had already heard from Mrs. Wigfall...or maybe it was Jemima...that Emeline had gone off with her new husband to set up their new home, leaving Clara Lutz in charge of the diner. Clara Lutz, Aurelian's daughter. Lucinda's cheeks flushed as she remembered how googly-eyed she'd been around Aurelian that Sunday.
She took off her hat as she entered the diner, inhaling the warm, foody smell. "Mrs. Lutz?" she called, venturing toward the kitchen. She'd deliberately come at a time she thought would be un-busy so that Clara would be free to talk. Although based on how Jemima liked to talk about other people when she was around, if she was close to Clara, she'd probably have been disparaged already. But hopefully the mention of Emeline would outweigh anything the morbid Jemima had told Clara.
Lucinda laughed at Mrs. Wigfall's optimism about her chances of gentlemen callers, her cheeks flushing slightly. "I would welcome any input you have about any men in town," she said graciously. Or at least that was what she started to say. She had gotten as far as "I would welcome" when Jemima lost her temper.
She winced and waited with her hand on the door during another mother-daughter altercation. How many of those did they have in a day? Finally the spat was over and she felt that she could leave without being rude. She left, calling behind her, "Thank you, Jemima!" to the teenager's advice. How many times had she thanked Jemima in the past ten minutes? Too many to count. Hopefully the advice was good.
She headed back for the Lickskillet, the keys to her room and the Wigfall boarding house adding a welcome weight and security to the little bag at her wrist. Now she had a place to stay.
It was just as she had suspected: widowhood out here was not a tragedy but a normality. And maybe that made it all the more tragic. If this wild land was so deadly to the men, what chance did the women have in it? Her thoughts were much less optimistic than the ones she had voiced to Jemima previously. And speaking of Jemima...
Lucinda smiled again. "Thank you, Jemima." She wasn't sure if being called optimistic in this case was a compliment, but it never hurt to be polite.
She politely ignored Jemima's aside about Hector and listened to Mrs. Wigfall's house rules, of which it sounded like there were few...for her, anyway. She took the keys from her new landlady and slipped them into her handbag. "Thank you, Mrs. Wigfall. I doubt that I will be receiving any gentleman callers, but I shall be sure to inform you if I do."
She moved toward the door. "I hope you both have a pleasant evening. I am going back to the Lickskillet to help out Mrs. Pike, but I will not be out too extremely late. Please give my regards to Hector. I'm sorry he was unable to stay with us." She smiled again and put her hand on the door handle.
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.
Connect With Us On
If you would like to join the Sagas' Discord server or are already a member, click the image to open the Discord web application.