Wiry frame, fast runner. Good looking, and knows it, in stark contrast to his twin sister Jemima.
Traits & Characteristics
Something of a know all. Hates his twin sister but will knock the block of any man that insults her. Ambitious.
Started as a telegraph operator at his father's Western Union telegraph office when he was 15, is now one of the fastest despatchers and receivers on the line. Does occasional work for the Kalispell Union as a compositor, especially when hot news comes in on the wire and a special edition has to be put out quickly. As a child he and Jemima had fiddle and mandolin lessons respectively, he excelled, she was tone deaf, now he plays both with enough skill to pick up extra cash as a musician on occasion.
Single finger Morse operation, 26 Key Hughes Printing Telegraph, would also be able to send and receive using the new Baudot code if only his Father and Western Union would adopt it.
News print composition.
Fiddle and 'tater bug mandolin.
Aliases / Nicknames
Wiggy (to old school pals) Heck.
Mrs Wigfall's Boarding House, Kalispell.
Kith & Kin
Father George Wigfall, Western Union Office Manager.
Mother Mary Wigfall, Boarding House Mistress.
Younger Sister (by five minutes) Jemima Andrea Wigfall, Scrubber and cleaner.
Born: Hector Lupin Wigfall, Christmas Day 1856, Kalispell, Montana
Work for Western Union, 1870-Present, 'Fastest Finger in the West'
Fill in Compositor for Kalispell Union 1873-
Plays fiddle and mandolin for local frolics for extra cash
Clara now stomped on straight over to the young man, he was a convenient lightning rod for her bad mood. With one finger she poked him hard twice in his chest as she spoke.
Wigfall threw his hands up in surrender, but that did not save him from the vicious double poking, which elicited an "Ow" and an "Oooh!" from him. He rubbed the place on his sternum where the two jabs had hit while Jacob sidled over to a rickety sideboard and filched an apple, which he ate quietly while Hector took a hit for him, for a change.
"And you! That was not funny! Not funny at all! Trying to give me such a scare. Indians indeed! I will have you know that my mother was murdered by those savages. And I took an arrow right in the chest and almost died."
"Oh! I... I'm sorry, I didn't realise!" he said in genuine shock. "I'm really sorry." he repeated taking off his cap as he was inside and trying to make amends.
"But... you oughten't be mad at Lutzy, he's been a real bear this trip. It's thanks to him the Indians this side of Lake Koocanusa are still friendly..." friendly to the Western Union company, at least, he might have added!
"... when we got out there, the old boy we used to deal with, Chief Antelope Sits, well he'd upped sticks and gone off to the Happy Hunting Grounds, and the new Branch Manager, Chief Bald Eagle, he wa'nt too friendly at all, I thought the pair of us were gonna get our wigs lifted!" It was becoming clear that Hector Wigfall could have given Arabella Mudd a run for her money when it came to imparting breathless narratives. He now folded his arms and did a passible imitation of a stoic Indian Chief.
"'Western Union men not powerful. No have guns like Cavalry. No have guns like Settlers. Just have lines in sky!' and old Lutzy, he just pulls off his shirt and he says 'I'll fight any of your braves or beat 'em in a shooting contest, and then you're see the power of the Western Union men!' and that stern looking Chief was just about to agree when this pretty little Indian maid runs out from behind him and says she likes this white warrior and wants to marry him! And she was real pretty too, in her buckskins and braids, and I was thinking Oh Lord, how's he going to get out of this one!? and your husband looks at the Chief and says 'I already have a wife' and then the Chief says 'No matter, Indian brave can have more than one wife!' Say, Lutz, what was that pretty little girl called again?"
The sound of Jacob, speaking with a mouth full of apple, came from the corner "Possum Fat."
"That's it, Princess Possum Fat. Anyhow, now we're for it, I thought, Lutz is either going to have to refuse and the Chief'll be hoppin' mad an kill us, or he'll have to marry the squaw and Clara'll kill us instead! And then Lutz just stands there cool as a cucumber and says 'Chief, in my tribe, when two women are as beautiful as my wife and Princess Possum Fat are, they are deemed to deserve a husband of their very own!' And guess what? The old boy swallowed it, and more amazing yet, so did the Princess!"
Hector had budged up a place when Judge Robertson had arrived, of course, and was now perched on the end of the big, impressive council table, scratching away with pen and ink; trying to make as accurate and legible a record of the Council's deliberations as possible. Generally, his minutes were precise and concise, although he did allow himself some leeway when he described the poetic interruption of Miss Orr, lavishing a good deal of ink and a considerable expanse of paper on a description of the beautiful Miss Miriam Kaufmann's fanciful costume.
"Proposed: vote on Kal. Hospital - Dr Danforth" he scribbled "Seconded: Judge Robertson" He didn't make a note of how Mr Anderson had visibly started and paled when his wife had walked in, although the hawk eyed youth had certainly noticed it.
He started himself when 'Uncle Dick' called his name.
"Mr. Wigfall, we will require four slips for the vote." Orr boomed. Hector sprang into action with a sort of swift dignity that he hoped would impress Miriam watching from the public seats. He even flashed her a smile as he did his clerkly duty.
As Richard Orr reached for his gold-nibbed fountain pen from his inner pocket, he gave an inadvertent flash of the huge revolver he habitually carried under his jacket. "This is a simple, confidential Yes or No vote, gentlemen. You may abstain, of course, if you can spell it!" he joked, apparently quite at ease over the whole matter. "A majority vote will trigger an order of the Council convening a Hospital Board meeting." he explained. It all sounded very authoritative; Hector sometimes wondered if Uncle Dick sometimes just made this stuff up.
"We don't have a ballot box gents, we'll have to put 'em in Hector's hat!" he chuckled deeply as he ostentatiously wrote on his slip of paper and then, with immense showmanship, held the 'secret' voting slip up for all to see: there in a fine copperplate hand was the single word: Yes.
"Jesus, Orr's voted For!" a voice gasped from the back of the hall.
"Lucinda Dietrich." She leaned forward to watch as the woman wrote her name down and then looked at the tea tray. "Might I pour you some tea, Mrs. Wigfall?"
Mrs Wigfall had shoved the completed guest-book in Hector's direction, but he had unceremoniously dumped it on the antimacassar and bustled in to take over the tea pouring duties.
"Please allow me, Mrs Dietrich, after all, you are our guest, even if you're a paying guest!" he beamed. "And may I say, how very brave of you to come to a new town and make a new start so soon after your sad loss. You must please, please tell me if there is ever anything I can do to help. Even for a very beautiful young widow it must... yow!!"
Mrs. Wigfall had reached for a toasting fork and shoved it in his backside.
"Hector! Stop drooling in Mrs Dietrich's tea cup and go to work! She'll have to deal with enough mashers like you outside of here, don't add to her troubles when she's at home!" Hector tramped off, rubbing the affected area and Mrs Wigfall shook her head.
"I don't know what to do with him, Mrs Dietrich, girl mad he is! Oh, I've tried all the usual remedies: bromide in his cocoa, cold showers, bible readings, nothing seems to work."
"Fortunately I am neither Irish nor foreign," she said with a small smile.
Mrs Wigfall nodded, that was indeed fortunate, for both of them. She had a small confession to make: "We do have one Irish girl saying, Hector had more or less invited her in, so I had to take her. I'd taken the sign down to clean the inside windows..." Mrs Wigfall was obsessed with cleanliness "... but she had turned out to be a good, clean girl: she is a nurse over at Dr. Danforth's and pays her rent on time." came the glowing tribute to Aiofe. It was an unfortunate side effect that she now couldn't really put the "No Irish" sign back up in the window.
Finally she looked up, searching the older woman's face to see how shrewd she might be. "I am unsure how long I will need to stay. I do plan to stay in Kalispell for a time - a month, at least - but I am not sure if another living situation will present itself. Shall we say full board for the time being and then we can amend our agreement if need be after the first month?"
"Very good, as long as you give me good notice if circumstances change." replied Mrs Wigfall as they went on to fix rates and the date of payment.
Hector reappeared with a tea tray but before he had a chance to smarm around the pretty new inhabitant of the boarding house, his mother sent him to fetch the guest-book. "What name shall I enter?" asked Mrs Wigfall.
Lucinda smiled at Hector's "showing off" and quirked an eyebrow, impressed once again by Jemima's strength. "A pleasure to meet you, Hector," she called to the nearly-collapsing boy. Hopefully that bit of attention would satisfy him and he wouldn't follow her around like a puppy.
To give him his due, Hector pulled himself together pretty quickly after having been thrust aside like a rag doll by his twin sister. "The pleasure's all mine, Miss'!" he smiled engagingly, while tucking his shirt in.
Hector's face fell. Damn, why were all the beautiful ones snapped up!?
"... I suppose. I'm...newly widowed." That was something she didn't remember learning at school. Maybe she had learned it but had just forgotten it. After all, who would have thought that her husband would die so soon into their marriage?
The 19 year old's face lit up again at this good news, then he remembered to dampen it down again: you shouldn't really be grinning like a Cheshire cat on hearing somebody had been recently been widowed. Still... yippeee!
"I am so sorry to hear that, Mam'" he simpered, reaching out to place a reassuring hand on her arm which Mrs Wigfall immediately slapped away. "Hector, what have I told you about touching the guests?!" she told him off "Go to the kitchen and put the kettle on!" Off he trotted, after one last sympathetic and warmly understanding smile at the new peach in the orchard.
She shook her head once as if to clear the gloomy thoughts away and focused on Mrs. Wigfall again. "How far in advance must I pay for my room?"
"Come and sit down, my dear, and we can take care of all that unpleasant business. I only make Irish and foreigners pay in advance, you can pay in arrears. Now how long would you like to stay for, and will it be full board or just bed and breakfast?" she enquired in a kindly but business-like manner as she led the lady into the parlour.
She cleared her throat and addressed Mrs. Wigfall. "I have come from the Lickskillet Café, but prior to that I was traveling."
"Really dear? I see." beamed Mrs Wigfall, who wasn't particularly bothered whether the woman had come from the Lickskillet or Timbuctoo as long as she could pay the rent and didn't want to have gentlemen callers.
At the sound of the lady's voice, Hector had finally lowered his copy of The Telegrapher and it didn't go back up again. In fact, the technical journal went flying and he himself leapt to his feet straightening his neck tie-less shirt and trying to make himself look half-decent.
"And I am rather tired. Your...daughter informed me that you have an available room?"
"Yes" Mrs Wigfall nodded, "Jemima, take the lady's trunk up" but Hector got there first and giving Lucinda a winning smile, chirped "Allow me, Miss, I'm Hector Wigfield. I'm the... hurrggghh!!" he nearly gave himself a hernia trying to lift the trunk. ".... man of the... hurrgghhhh.... house..." he couldn't lift it, so he was dragging it across the floor.
"HECTOR!" yelled Mrs Wigfall "Stop being ridiculous, you're ruining the carpet! Let your sister do it, you know she's stronger than you!" There then commenced a scuffle over the trunk, the result of which was a foregone conclusion which left Hector anting on the stairs as Jemima carried the heavy piece of luggage up to the room.
The Landlady smiled apologetically at Lucinda "I'm sorry about that, you know how boys are, always trying to show off. Now Miss...or is it Mrs?"
"You've done a fine job, setting the peg up real straight," complimented the minister.
Wyatt beamed, "Thanks I just pounded it in the same ol' hole we've always used."
Hector thought of a dirty rejoinder to that comment, but forbore considering the company.
His new brother -in -law and the parson had a little chat but then then the old fella picked up a shoe to try his luck. Not bad a throw really.
"Oh nice try!" Wyatt encouraged him.
Hector had heard a rumour about Father Thomas, that he had originally arrived in town armed to the teeth and that he spent all day long in his ‘Love Shack’ at back of the church cleaning and oiling an arsenal of weaponry so immense that it put Harper’s Ferry to shame. But if he was a deadly shot with a gun, such skills clearly didn’t translate well to pitching horseshoes.
And now there was yet another possible participant, the deputy and the man who married Clara's boss lady. No gun or badge though. Hopefully he didn't lose his job?
"Care to take a throw?" the parson offered the Deputy.
"Yeah, you should. You couldn't do any worse than Hector," grinned Wyatt.
“Ha ha, you’re funny!” commented Hector, balling a fist where Wyatt could see it in mock fury. He assumed that the smaller kid would know he was joking but Jacob made it clear, just in case.
“Ignore him, Wy, last time Wigfall had a fight it was with his sister, and he lost.” He said, remembering a schoolyard incident.
Hector was about to bite back but some kind invisible mental force field stopped him talking about the time Jemima had put Jacob in a headlock when they were all around twelve or fourteen or, for that matter, any kind of anecdote at all that placed the Groom and his sister in the same room at the same time. The usually insensitive blowhard just knew, somehow, that this was not a good place to go.
“Oh he know’s I’m just clowning, Lutz. Besides, he looks like he could pack a pretty good punch himself.” said the telegraph operator, giving Wyatt a rough boyish compliment.
Well, the old fellers were hogging the horseshoes and now they were being called in for food.
"Oh, I just hope I can live up to your expectations? I hope my father did not over rate me," she quick sought to tamp down wild expectations here.
“Oh Miss Kaufmann, Miss Kaufmann, Miss Kaufmann” Pettigrew almost sang her name. “You need only try you best and work your hardest. And I, in turn, will endeavour to teach you all I know. This is an exchange Miss Kaufmann, an exchange. I hope it will profit the both of us.”
They had reached the bottom of the stairs and the velvet curtain. As Worchester Pettigrew pushed through the dark purple material he suddenly grew an inch or two and glowed with a new energy: that was lesson number One: when you were front of house – you were ‘on’.
“Now! Miss Wigfall, you will kindly show Miss Kaufmann the arrangements for taking payments while I proceed to the Bank to arrange your payments to your father, Miss Kaufmann.” He ordered.
That was all very well, although as Pettigrew donned his hat and exited the store, it became apparent that when she was repeating information that she had learned by rote, the Wigfall girl's voice was even more flat and monotonous than usual.
“First we open the ledger” dictated Jemima “We add up and enter the price of goods in the first column. Then we enter the amount tendered in the second column. Then we enter the change returned in the third column. Then we remove the Price paid from the float in the Fourth column. When we close at 5 Of the Clock, we check the accumulated funds in the ledger against actual funds in the float, remove the profit from the float to the main safe and…”
A handsome fresh-faced young man put his head round the door.
Hector Wigfall had a few things to say to his sister about having to go out of his way – the opposite direction from the telegraph office – to take her the pinking shears she’d left at home, as per his mother’s strident instructions. He’d been practicing his mean comments and nasty jokes about what a forgetful stupid ape she was all the way here.
There was an uninteresting, unattractive, mousy looking new girl next to Jemima, he only gave her the merest glance as he strode over to his horrible sister and opened his mouth to begin his stream of invective:
“Hey, Sis, you forgot these! Thought I’d drop ‘em off on my way to the telegraph office… where I work!” he said, suddenly going a very peculiar colour and feeling a bizarre shaking of his right leg. He glanced at the other girl for a fraction of a second and sort of stumbled backwards toward the door and collapsed backwards out of it.
“See ya back home, Sis!” he heard himself saying as he found himself back on the street and once again in full possession of his faculties. What the Hell?! Had he just suffered some kind of stroke?
Inside, Jemima sniffed the pinking sheers suspiciously.
“He’s up to something” she growled, eyes narrowing.
Thank you Hector. I'll be out, but you can leave it, or them with Mister Peabody here. I appreciate that it was you who brought them, would do to start rumors about either of us, you know how that goes."
“Your secrets are safe with me gents, Company Policy!” That was Hector's highest authority: above God, The United States or any theoretical concepts of honor: Western Union!
He looked to Dutton, "be back." and he followed Hector out the door.
For a second, the nineteen year old thought the old doctor was going to catch him up, but he heard the footsteps behind him fall away and as he passed the saloon – looking longingly through the windows as he did so – and turned to see the back of the man as he tramped toward one of the less salubrious sections of town.
An older fellow called Joe was on the transmitter/receiver when he got into the office. Wigfall gave him the messages to send and got out the ledger to enter the details.
“Kinda terse!” commented the shift operator.
“Yeah, that’s how they wanted it!” lied Hector, fetching out the few cents that he would have to pay out of his much larger haul from the two old men.
By Gum, Hector found it was actually a little uncomfortable to hear two grown sober men gushing over each other like this! Sure, when a couple of fellers had imbibed a few too many fingers of red eye together, if they didn't set to knocking each others blocks off over something (or nothing), they instead tended to get passing maudlin and put their arms round each other, and swear off women, and tell each other they were the best pals each other had ever had. But that was the booze talking!
Doc Boone was getting that misty maudlin look in his eye even now.
He looked to Hector. "You take care of your mother and sister”
“Er, all right.” The young telegraph operator assured him. Well, he’d take care of his mother with all of his heart. He’d probably ‘take care’ of his sister with a sledge hammer. Oh, what was the sentimental old twit babbling on about now?
“… Jonah Danforth is a damn good doctor, and you can tell anyone you like that I said that!"
“I’ll, er, tell ‘em, Sir.” Was all Hector could think to say back. He had always assumed Doc Boone and the more fancy Danforth (his sister’s beau ideal) were friends, but to hear the older physician run on about Danforth like this made Hector assume that they must actually be the most deadly of enemies.
Well, anyway, the Wigfall lad decided it was time to beat a retreat.
“I’ll go back to the office and send these.” He informed the two older men by way of paving his exit, waving the transcription pad “If there are any replies back I’ll get them to you right away.” He assured them, opening the door to the street behind him.
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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