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  1. He remained nonplussed as Matilda went about her brusque style of business talk. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and always felt she had to be hard and clear about it, too many men were dismissive of women in careers especially something like saloons. "I don't want to insult your intelligence, Miss Devereau. Why don't you throw an number at me, and we can work around it? " She nodded, "Very well as long as 'work around it' doesn't mean try to bargain down the price to something I will not agree to. I know what I bought this place for and I know I've made it more profitable than the previous owner did. I will not be low balled," she asserted. Matilda seemed to think for a moment as if tossing figures about in her head then suddenly came up with a lump sum number. As prices go it was a fair one, while she would not be cheated she also was not out to take advantage of Fortner either. "Oh and that is only marginally higher than what I paid for it - just so you know," she added.
  2. "You don't got to say it like that," he mumbled, shifting his legs uncomfortably. "I'll say it anyway I please," she retorted but without bite. " "But...yeah. He looked at her from the corners of his eyes. "I've wanted to since...since I saw you that night in the saloon." "Don't you think I knew that too? You men think we women are pretty stupid sometimes," Caroline seemed amused. "But then that's the difference between that sonofabitch back in Chicago and you - you both wanted to do the same thing but unlike him, you never tried to force yerself on me. You always have left it up to me, like a friend not just a ............whore," she explained, this whole exercise thus far did have a point behind it even if it took a long time to arrive. But there it was, whether he understood it or not, she'd made her point. "Thank you, hon, thank you," she smiled then leaned in and planted an enthusiastic kiss right smack on his lips.
  3. "I'm sorry Mam, er, Miss, it's just that I've only been trained to bark orders at men, they didn't cover talking to beautiful young ladies at West Point." "Seems to me your education is missing out then? I've heard women are over half the world's population," Caroline teased. "Er, do you have a bet on either of the fighters?" the handsome officer now asked. "Oh no, I don't really know either of them. I don't even make a bet on poker unless I know for sure who is gonna win. Fortunately for me, SOMETIMES I do," she answered with a grin. Let him make of that statement what he will.
  4. "I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss Kaufman." With a smile, Jonah touched the brim of his hat. "Ah, Miss Mudd, a sweet young lady..." "Delighted myself, sir," Miriam beamed, "And no better friend than her." "It looks like there's going to be a good turnout here. I just hope it stays civil." He flashed another smile. "I'd prefer not to have to work." "Civil? Oh I agree but I believe it is required of both of them to punch each other which in my humble opinion is hardly civil," Miriam confessed. "You can stand anywhere, Doctor. And I hope you have no need of using your skills." A man standing directly behind the good doctor grumbled aloud, "Hurry it up, missy. There are others who 'd like to come in too ya know. "
  5. Not sure why Crabbe suddenly wished to reveal the news about the man who had swindled him out of his claim (or so Crabbe claimed, Robert was still uncertain of all the complicated details) but he did. Also he had not realized that Lafferty was an associate with the man with the bottle thick glasses, interesting! "Oh, well, I guess I owe you a thank you then. I am still gettin' paid for this fight though?" suddenly it occurred to the young Irishman was that supposed to be in lieu of payment for the boxing bout? If so, he wasn't going to agree to that. The man got back to encouragement about the match but then left. Crabbe could talk with such confidence, he didn't have to go out there and prove it. That was up to Robert. He had made a good point though, nothing was more valuable in one of these fights than experience.
  6. Both breakfast and lunch time had been suitably busy, the diner was a popular place for the locals, Emeline had established that. Clara was - she hoped - ably filling in for the woman until she and her husband returned from their wedding trip. At this time in the afternoon though customers were much fewer as a matter of fact the tables were empty. So Clara was taking advantage to wash some of the dishes when she heard the oh so familiar tinkle of the front door bell. Glancing up at the clock, she quickly wiped off her hands on a dishtowel, laid it next to the sink, and out she went to greet the latest customer. It was a single woman, well dressed, quite striking really but also not really familiar to her. Oh, wait perhaps she had seen the lady at Sunday services? Yes, that was it. But knowing the name or having ever spoken to her, no. "Good day, ma'am, welcome to the Lick Skillet. How may I help you?" she greeted the woman with a nod of acknowledgement plus a hint of a smile too (coming from a young lady who had always found it difficult to indeed smile or laugh and that was even before seeing her mother brutally murdered by Indians before her very eyes.
  7. Caroline left the man and her employer to their privacy, none of her damn business really Before she even got down to the main floor, there was an excited (what else) Arabella waylaying her. "Caro! What's goin' on? Why's that feller goin' to see the Missus?!!" she asked breathlessly. "They're talking business and it ain't none of our affair either," Caroline replied, "And don't you dare go eavesdropping. If she would catch you..." The girl spied on her many times and Caroline was far easier going than Miss Devereau.
  8. "And you are? " asked Matilda, "You obviously already know my name." Frank held his bowler with both hands, pressed against his stomach, and exhibited straight posture. "My name is Frank Fortner, new to Kalispell, and looking to settled down. I admire what you've done with the Stardust, ... it reminds me of an establishment I owned in the past. I would like you to know that if you ever wanted to part with this saloon, I would be honored to offer you a generous price. So, please keep me in mind if that day ever comes." "Really, Mr. Fortner?" the woman was obviously surprised but hard to tell if it was 'pleasantly' surprised or what? He smiled courteously, and executed a slight bow. "Oh. Sorry about the fracas downstairs. Gun play is always my last resort, but the man couldn't be stopped." "I heard the entire exchange but I did not see the actual shooting. No need to apologize, we have had trouble with the now 'late' Mr. Grimes in the past. He was asking for it as far as I'm concerned," there did not sound like an ounce of pity in that voice of hers. "Sit down, Mr. Fortner, I'd offer you a drink but what I would like to do is engage in a very serious conversation about business. I'd like you sober afterall I don't know how many drinks you've had already," Matilda gestured toward the sturdy wooden chair opposite her desk. "Now, I don't want to insult your intelligence because you look like quite the competent fellow but you realize the purchase of a saloon, especially a successful one like mine is would cost a lot of money? And you can afford it? I'm not talking promises - I will want the money upfront and it would be up to do to deal with a bank then regarding such things as loans."
  9. At the door, Jonah scooted toward the young girl with the dark hair, hoping to get in without Miss Wigfall noticing. "Miss." He flashed a smile. "I'm here in an official capacity as doctor." Miriam was expecting this well dressed gentleman to fork over some cash but instead he mentioned he was a doctor. Perhaps that same doctor Arabella always gushed about? He really was quite the distinguished fellow, definitely had the look of an educated man in her opinion. "Oh, hello Doctor. Yes, you can just go right on in then. It's very nice to meet you by the way, I'm Miriam Kaufmann, I'm a good friend of one of your patients, Arabella Mudd. She speaks very highly of you, sir," Miriam had been told not to chat idly but take the customers money and keep it moving but she couldn't help herself. After all this one was a doctor. @Bongo
  10. Caroline had just finishing acknowledging another pleasant regular customer from the saloon who also was in attendance when a voice she did not recognize spoke up. Turning it was a soldier boy - emphasis on 'boy'. He had the look of an officer, not that she recognized specific ranks but also looked awful wet behind the ears. "Do you have one of these fancy Five Dollar tickets, too? I think the fellow running this whole shebang is pretty smart, giving them out to parties he wants to keep on the good side of." "Nope, I bought a two dollar ticket but I am gonna stand right here cuz I want to. You ain't gonna call on one of your squadrons ta come and kick me out now, are ya, gen-rul?" Caroline flashed him a cheeky grin. Well the handsome jasper just stood there grinning right back. "Cat got yer tongue, hon? Come on now, a fine lookin' soldier boy like you shouldn't be shy?"
  11. The man promoting this fight and of course paying him for his part in it, slipped into the screened off cubicle to check on him. Robert looked up with a smile. "Still..." Crabbe declared, "don't go and finish him off too quick, mind, Bobby-boy. I mean, if it's all over too quickly, those hyenas out there'll be baying for more blood! Me and Con' there'll have to strip down and knock seven bells outta each other!" "I wish I could do such a thing as easy as all that...decide when to win the fight. Especially since I've never even seen this boyo in action," Robert shrugged. "Oh and I'd bet on Conor if you two did," he then grinned. "Anyhow..." Crabbe continued, "I reckon that flabby Charlie Wentworth's as good as laid out on the the canvas already!" "I don't be intendin' on losin', Mr. Crabbe but I think this here Charlie will have somethin' to be sayin' about it too," Robert was determined not to get overconfident.
  12. "You are both quite welcome, sirs. Enjoy," Clara nodded and then was about to leave them alone to their breakfast but the marshal had a question too about Emeline and her husband. "Not so far, sir. I would hardly expect her to bother with a letter while they are traveling about though. What is the old saying though? No news is good news?" Clara replied. "I have confidence everything is fine though, they know how to handle themselves."
  13. Caroline was now back in bed, trying to get back to the conversation at hand before Arabella's dramatic interruption. "Uh...I was tryin' to...well..." Brendan risked a glance sideways at her, exhaled loudly, and shrugged. "Well? Go on," she waited for him to actually finish a thought. "Look. I don't know what to say. I hope that son of a bitch got...got mauled by a bear or somethin'. He don't deserve to be alive still." "Yeah, well I'll never know one way or the other what happened to him and I haven't wasted any worry on it. It's all in the past," Caroline lied some, it was water over the dam, yes but it still bothered her whether she admitted it aloud or not. But she also believed a person had to live for the present not dwell on the past. He worked his jaw back and forth, and finally said, "You know I ain't like him, though. Don't you?" "I don't know for sure. But if I had to bet on it, I'd wager you are not like him, not at all. We're friends after all. But don't you go lying ta me none though now...." this time she paused, mostly for dramatic effect. "You want to hump me, don't ya? You've wanted to for a long time. I mean besides the friendship, that's a part of it, ain't it, hon?"
  14. "Let me say this. If you hear that Miss Devereau ever wants to lay down the burden of running a place like this, tell her Franklin Fortner is interested in taking it off her hands. In fact, if I ever get a chance to visit with her, I can do it myself." Caroline nodded but then offered, "You know she is upstairs right now, she has got an office up there. Truth be told she spends most of her time up there, she keeps the books, does all the buying, you know all that boring business stuff. Anyhow I could take ya up there." He mentioned land deals and purchases too outside of town but that all was boring to a gal who almost never left the saloon let alone the confines of the town. Fortner then changed the subject, "So, enough about me. Did you grow up around here or did some westward wind blow you into Kalispell?" Caroline smiled, "Nah, you don't get my life story so easily less you buy me another drink. I'm on the job now you realize." *** Matilda had watched from the top of the stairs as the marshal had come into the place to check on the shooting and the corpse on the floor. Unknown to most there was a vent just above the bar which was always kept open, this allowed her to listen in to much that went on downstairs most times and in fact though she was not an eyewitness to the shooting, she heard it and the conversation which brought it on. Had it sounded like Ralph needed help, she would have rushed down there gun in hand. Yes, she was quite capable of using a revolver, she had done it a few times in her life including the night she killed her husband with one. But the death of that useless Frank Grimes was nothing to bring her downstairs, not like she cared about the man. Now she was back in her office poring over some - of all things - newspapers from San Francisco. She had a few delivered to her last month. There was a soft knock on the door then followed by a most familiar voice. "Miss Devereau, excuse me but I got someone who wants to see ya for a minute. It's business regardin' the saloon," Caroline explained. Matilda closed the vent to the first floor so whatever conversation would now occur in her office would not be audible to anyone in the saloon itself. Then sat back in her cushioned chair, "Door's open." With a turn of the knob, the saloon girl then led in some man she had never seen before. He had the look of an Easterner perhaps and very much that of a businessman sort. "Thanks, you can head back down then, Caroline. I got it from here," as usual Matilda was no nonsense direct. Caroline was used to such an abrupt dismissal, in fact she expected it and left without a word. "And you are? " asked Matilda, "You obviously already know my name."
  15. Caroline chuckled at the girl collecting the money, it was Arabella's Jew friend, Mary or something like that, "Well, that's stupid. How you gonna keep track of who sits where once you take our money?" Miriam just shrugged, "I don't know. We just collect the money." They had not been given tickets to hand back to the people flowing in and besides there were no ushers. This wasn't New York just a barn in a small town in Montana. Miriam was a bit surprised a woman would even be buying a ticket to something like this. Fighting was an event for menfolk. It had been hard enough for the girl to convince her parents just to be able to secure this pre-fight job. Her mother had strictly admonished that Miriam was not to stay and watch such viciousness. "That's just fine, hon. I'll sit where I damn well please anyhow. And if yer boss don't like it tell Mr. Crabbe he can come and throw me out personally. Or let'em try," Caroline gave a saucy grin then entered what was already a crowded scene. She had been to a professional fight once before in Helena but everyone had just stood about the ring. Noisy affair and she recalled the two big lugs in the ring pounded the begeezus out of each other before one finally couldn't answer the bell. Miriam just flashed a sort of intimidated glance at her money collecting partner, Jemima, but did not mouth her thoughts. That saloon whore was quite something alright. Caroline immediately began to mingle with some of the local menfolk in attendance, they knew her from the saloon of course. None of them seemed at all taken aback she'd be in attendance.

About Sagas

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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