Arabella had time for a few more words of advice before she was called away. “Looks like you’re on your own, champ! Remember what I told ya: go in humble; apologize; shake hands and whatever ya do, don’t try to justificate yerself!”
Well, he had the humble part down pat - at least he thought so. But he forgot to put his hand out to shake and Clara didn't extend hers. In fact, she didn't seem very charmed by his apology. It obviously didn't measure up to her perfect standard. She did make a few good points, but he didn't want to admit that.
"So... is that it? Is that all you wanted to say to me?"
Brendan glanced back as if Arabella would come running to his rescue, but of course she wouldn't. Well, he could either ask Clara for a dance now, or back down and wait for Arabella to put in a good word for him so he could ask later. But he didn't have a chance to make a decision because the deputy stepped in...and all of a sudden everything got worse.
"Excuse me, Clara, was it Brendan? I'll need to get some clarification on this shootin' affair. That'd be a strong accusation, attempted murder. First I need to know who fired the shot. And boy, you might just tell me who you ride for an' why you didn't know you was on Redmond range."
Brendan gulped. "Well...uh...I ride for the Evergreen ranch. And like I told Miss Redmond here, I didn't know I was on the Redmond range 'cause I was learnin' the property lines. And two of the hands told me the Redmonds was squatting on Evergreen land."
He didn't want to say anything else about the shooting unless the deputy prompted him...or unless Clara brought it up.
[Present: Emeline & Arabella]
"So, you have the first gentleman for your dance card?" she asked, truly curious as to who the hapless man might be.
“Oh don’t talk to me about dance cards Ms Em, I been sayin’ we should have had proper dance cards, like they do in Old Vienna, but no-one ‘d listen, But I’m goin’ to make my own dance card out of cardboard tomorrow and write down on it every fella I get to dance with tonight, ‘cept maybe if it’s a Paul Jones, because then you get to dance with them all, and that’ll be a long list an’ I ain’t made o’ cardboard, you know!” she informed the pie-mistress-general of the town as she gave Aurelian and Wyatt a friendly wave.
She didn’t go over and say hello, as they were in a hurry to get the cream, and also that odious little Weedy was with them. She didn’t know why she didn’t like that boy, but it may have been because he was a rival orphan and seemed to get all of the town’s sympathy about it.
"That's wonderful! The first dance is always important, you know. And I bet he's a crackerjack gent! What is your best dance? I think I prefer a waltz." It was an elegant dance, and you got to be close to your partner!
“Oh, it’s only Mr. Flandry!” Arabella laughed as they stepped outside, trying to pick up the pace of their walking, “See, when I was a little girl, I’d always have the first dance with my Daddy, and this is the first dance I been to since my Dady died and went to Heaven, and, well, you know, Mr. Flandry’s ‘bout the nearest thing I have to a Daddy anymore.” she said, cheerfully enough.
She looked at the woman walking next to her and smiled “Say, I sure am glad you’re not marryin’ that old scraggly sheriff. When you said ‘Mr Pike’ I didn’t know you meant Pronto. That’s what they call him when he’s in the saloon. I asked Mr. Flandry if it was ‘cause he was ‘quick on the draw’ but he said it’s cause he drinks his whiskey down so fast. "
"Mnd’ya, you never know when Mr. Flandry’s joking or not, he’s kinda dry, you know?”
This minor bombshell imparted, Arabella moved on to her real point.
“So, if you and Mr. Pro…Pike is getting married, does that me you ain’t allowed to dance with any other fellers tonight, cause that’d be kinda boring! Oooh, what if some handsome feller tried to dance with you and Mr Pike arrested him fer tryin’ to steal his woman.” she then launched into an impromptu impersonation of Pronto and this imaginary Lothario.
“’I’m arrestin’ you fer stealing, you ornerary dawg!’ ‘I ain’t stole nuthin’ Depidy’ ‘Why yes you did, you tried to steal the woman of mah dreams!’” Arabella clapped her hands “Oooh, that’d be exciting, and romantic!”
She had gone off on a tangent and not even answered the question about which was her favorite dance.
Arabella chewed her lip and stared straight ahead as she let the little donkey, Janella, pull the buggy steadily along at top speed. She couldn’t go slow, or turn around to see if Charlie was coming or not, that would completely spoil her little game. So they trotted on and a combination of fear and excitement began to build within her: fear of a dramatic encounter with savage, half naked Indian braves on the road, or being stripped of her, ahem, possessions by a despicable handsome highwayman. Needless to say, these were the very same fantasies which added some lurid excitement to the situation, too.
She needn’t have worried (or got excited); pretty soon she heard the clip clop of Charlie’s horse approaching, and muttered “Good doggy! Heel!” under her breath with smug self-satisfaction over her ability to read men like a book and manipulate them to her childish whims, just like them femme fatale ladies did in romantical novellas.
“Why, Mr Wentworth, fancy meeting you here!” she smiled innocently, not even turning to look at him “What brings you here this fine Spring Mornin’? Bridget and me here’s just off to Church.”
If you had sat the girl down and asked her why she was doing all this, she would have been completely unable to answer: she was just a natural tease and a flirt was all, and when all was said and done, she did it without any particular aim in mind. As a plain, skinny 15 year old, the hobby wasn’t a particularly destructive one, but in a year or two, when the ugly duckling had blossomed into something of a local beauty, then the trouble would come in spades, shots would be fired and blood would no doubt be spilled.
But for now, it was nothing but innocent fun: all at Charlie’s expense, of course.
Sarah shook her head at the offer of the sherry. Instead, she was quite eager to get going to the dance. The dance itself would be a good story to write about for Harper's Weekly. They were always interested in stories about life here in the west, especially the social occasions.
She thanked everyone for their compliments and then returned them. "Harriet, I think you will have many admirers as that colour suits you perfectly. As for you Quentin, this is the first time I've seen you in suit since Christmas and I think you should wear them more often."
Turning to Shade, she smiled, "And as for you cousin, I think that your school teacher will be very pleased."
Looking over to the clock that was on the mantle, she noted the time, "I suppose we must be going soon if we want to spend plenty of time at the dance."
As he slowly moved his horse back towards town in the hopes that Arabella would show a lick of sense and call for him to come back, he began to calm down. Last night had started off well but it had ended up with him being drunk and getting a lecture from Mike and his father. Thankfully, Matt had something else, or rather someone else, to occupy him or he would have gotten it from him to.
He hadn't meant to drink so much but a few incidents during the night and the need to vent had lead him to the beer tent, where he found some other fellows who were willing to listen. In fact, some of were there drowning their own sorrows and so they all spent the remainder of the evening consoling each other. It was probably sometime during that drinking session, he had promised to take Arabella and Bridget to the mission.
Now, here was starting to regret his hasty decision to turn and go back to town. If he left the two girls out here alone and something happened to them, he would feel guilty. Having lead an almost sheltered life in Washington society and then at college, he never really learned how to deal with those in the outside world. Drinking was a social activity but he was finding out that it was something that got him into trouble a lot. The time was coming or maybe it had already come to grow up and take responsibility for his own life. Giving up drinking was something he knew he had to do. Alcohol affected him in ways it didn't affect other people and it was time to give it up. Sure, he would teased for it but it would be a lot better than dealing with something he would regret later on.
Stopping, his horse, Charlie turned in the saddle to see where the girls were. He could see that Arabella was still going towards the mission. A look of frustration appeared on his face as he reined his horse and turned around. Part of growing up was dealing with the consequences and this was one of them. He would have to take charge and let Arabella know where she she stood.
After the discovery of gold in the region, Montana was designated as a United States territory (Montana Territory) on May 26, 1864 and, with rapid population growth, as the 41st state on November 8, 1889.
Montana territory was organized from the existing Idaho Territory by Act of Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 28, 1864. The areas east of the continental divide had been previously part of the Nebraska and Dakota territories and had been acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.
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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