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    • "Maybe, fer this special occasion," Addy suggested, "we can try a little'a each?  That way, we can get a taste'a everything, so next time, we know what our favorite is."  It was a plan that appealed to her, so she didn't have to decide which she wanted!   "Never turn down help," she declared, "but seems ta me yer th' one needs help brushin' them horses down."  She glanced at Weedy and Josh, considering for a moment if it was safe to let the boy go up into the loft, but then, his father could stop him, and, after all, he was a Chappel!  He'd grown up around horses, and was of hardy stock!   With them all working together, it wouldn't take too long to get the horses settled, and then they could be on the way to treats!   @MD
    • "We'll get on."  Addy was determined, and once she grabbed hold of the crude rope halter, she had control of the animal.  "Here..."  Cupping her hands, she made a step for Caroline, to give her a boost up.  "Just grab his mane."   TBC   @Wayfarer                    
    • Mature Content: Doubt it With: Tyrell Garret Thornton Location: Add specific location information here. When: Mid-July 1876 Time of Day: Encompasses a couple of days     Place holder
    • Anæsthesia wasn't exactly convinced by all these homilies about falling out of trees, breaking arms, and sleeping in the mud: she smiled politely, if a little tightly. Truth to tell, she felt a little bit 'got at' - the snobby girl was getting a taste of her own medicine in the form of the inverted-snobbery of these rough frontier folk.    She suddenly blurted, rather defensively "I have learned to shoot a gun!"   "I have a 1858 model Lefaucheux double action revolver, and really am rather a good shot with it." she said proudly. Now maybe they'd stop telling her that she needed to fall out of a tree to be able to claim that her life had any meaning.    Of course, the hypocrisy was that she was quite willing to tell others what they should be doing with their lives: like learning to read.      @Bongo @MD
    • Mr McVey was chattering away as Arabella grabbed her non-packable items: two dresses, spare bonnet, basket and three large round circles made of bamboo. These were very hard to carry and to manoeuvre through the doorway.    "You and I disagree on a number of things, yet, we agree on others. Mister Reeve is certainly one to keep an eye on. And I would say, he is dangerous in another way, to the political atmosphere in Kalispell. He is an odd fellow, yet, so is Mister Pettigrew. Perhaps the goal of him running is to slit the vote? I'm not exactly confident on that assumption."   "Now don't you be mean about Mr Pettigrew, Mr McVey, he's been right nice to me: teachin' me all about how to speak proper and act like a lady." she objected. Pettigrew had taught her something else, too, something more important than those surface embellishments, something at her very core.    He hoisted the trunk that was surprising lighter than he would have expected. "As time moves on, we'll have a better idea of Pettigrew's purpose in the grand scheme of the elections this fall." He added, then, "I'm following you, Arabella."   "Hold on, I'm all tangled up!" she yelped, the three bamboo circles seemed to have minds of their own and were doing their darndest to stop her getting through the doorway. "I'm takin' these hoops with me, in case crinolines come back in!" she informed him.    Eventually she got herself through the door and down the stairs, with a shout of "I'm goin' now, I'll be back at seven!" at Caroline's door. When the two of them reached the bar, there was a ragged cheer from some of the rounders who were regulars "Don't worry, I'll be back at seven, boys!" she assured them.   "Oh damn!" one of them joked.    "You movin' in with him?!" another joshed. Arabella laughed and didn't say yes and didn't say no: well, Phin had said he didn't care if people talked!   @Flip
Weedy

Not to Worry

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Posted (edited)

Mature Content: No

With: Weedy, F. Falmer Browne
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: Aug 30, 1876
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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While it wasn't particularly unusual that Addy didn't come back from a run, it still didn't happen often, and although he wasn't really worried -- yet -- Weedy was feeling a bit unsettled.  The stage was supposed to be back yesterday evening, and still there was no sign of her when he got home from school.

Still not to worry on, any number of things could have delayed her, most of them annoying more than anything, but as much as he tried to convince himself that it was all right, Weedy was starting to get a little antsy, and he finally decided to go talk to Professor Browne...not about Addy, necessarily, no, he probably had some arithmetic he could use some help with, and maybe he could mooch a good meal...and not have to stay alone in the big house, or retreat to the barn, where he might feel more comfortable...

Math book tucked under his arm and Buster trotting beside him, the boy clamored over the back fence, then up to Professor Browne's door, knocking firmly, then taking a step back and waiting.

 

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Edited by Bongo (see edit history)
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They say that while the cats away, the mice will play. Not that Jemima Wigfall wanted to play, she wanted to get on with her work at the Professor's house: there were bell jars doming over strange exhibits to dust, exotic Persian carpets to beat, mundane laundry to mangle: all the labour-intensive tasks of a nineteenth century home to complete. She had hoped that the old gent being out on one of his 'field trips' collecting geological samples and Mrs O'Houligan being down with the croup would give her a chance to actually get on with things.

 

However, nature abhors a vacuum, and the empty house seemed to be sucking in all the waifs and strays of the neighborhood. Now there was someone knocking at the door again. As footsteps approached to answer it, said waif (or was he a stray?) could hear through the door the distinctive husky voice of Jemima Wigfall yelling to someone in another part of the house "No, it isn't spirit rappings, it's just the door again!"

 

The door opened and Jemima looked out, blinked, and then looked down.

 

"Oh it's you!" she said, then pulled a concerned face "You'd better come in." she said, and then quickly added "Have you seen Miss Chappel today?" 

 

She was still trying to work out if what she had just been hearing was true, or the product of a perpetually feverish imagination of one of Kalispell's residents. 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"BoooOOOOoooooOOOO!"  Giggling, Weedy waved his arms around in his best imitation of an spirit, not that he had any idea what one would look like.  Then he shook his head, looking quite serious.  "It's just me, Weedy, Miz Jemima.  I haven't seen Miz Addy today, that's why I'm here, I need help with my homework."

 

As if Addy could accommodate that, and as if anyone thought she could!  But it was an obvious excuse.

 

"Is Perfessor Browne in, please?  Oh, and I didn't mean to scare you!"

 

@Javia

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"BoooOOOOoooooOOOO!"  Giggling, Weedy waved his arms around in his best imitation of an spirit, not that he had any idea what one would look like.  Then he shook his head, looking quite serious.  "It's just me, Weedy, Miz Jemima."

 

"Oh it's you!" she said, then pulled a concerned face "You'd better come in." she said, and then quickly added "Have you seen Miss Chappel today?"

 

"I haven't seen Miz Addy today, that's why I'm here, I need help with my homework."

 

Jemima followed behind the short boy as he traipsed down the hall toward the parlour, a route he knew well enough by now. 

 

"Is Perfessor Browne in, please?  Oh, and I didn't mean to scare you!"

 

As they reached the door to the parlour, Jemima replied "You didn't scare me, she did." There inside, instead of the Professor was Arabella Mudd, and she looked as serious as the Wigfall girl. She stood up as soon as Weedy walked in with her friend, as if expecting some bad news. To an extent, that is what they were bringing. 

 

Arabella and Weedy's orbits didn't usually coincide, except perhaps at Church on Sundays, so the saloon worker gave him a nod and called him by his real name "Porter James!" and then looked at Jemima "Is there news about Miss Chappel?!" Jemima frowned at her to shut up. This could be delicate. 

 

"Take a seat Weedy" said Jemima "And you!" That was directed at Arabella, who was standing up still, nervously fidgeting with her fingers. She herself put a surprisingly gentle hand on Weedy's shoulder.

 

"Listen, Arabella here's had what we spiritualists call a presentiment - that's like a premonition but it's something that's happening right now. It doesn't usually happen to people who aren't naturally clairvoyant unless something very..." no, don't say bad "... unless something important happens. Arabella saw something happen to the stagecoach, but that Addy is all right. Her friend Miss Mundee was on board this morning, and she is all right, too. Now, I'm going to go and see my brother Hector at the telegraph office and find out if there's any news about exactly what's going on, all right? I want you to stay here with Arabella."

 

She then did something that surprised Arabella, at least. Jemima knelt down and gave Weedy a big hug. Then she stood and told them. "Now, you two try and distract yourselves" to Arabella, she added "Help him with his Math homework." 

 

In a flash she was gone, leaving Arabella complaining "Huh, I didn't get a hug!"

 

The Southern girl stood and took up Weedy's maths book. "Don't you worry, Mister Jeems, I was best at sums in the whole of unoccupied Virginia, I'll answer these questions for ya!" she said, trying to sound buoyant and not worry about Caroline. 

 

"Let's see... oh these is easy questions! 'What is a Hypotenuse?' Well that's just a big ol' animal that lives in rivers in Africa!" she announced. "'Define Pi'... hmmm, Pi is vittles with a crust on top!" She looked down at him. "why ain't ya writing this down?"

 

ARA.jpg.5acc12dea3e37383c185e6ebcadc7c75.jpg

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Weedy frowned, a little discombobulated (OMG, spell check knew that!) at Miz Jemima leaving him alone with Miz Arabella, who started going on about animals and crusts, and he had  no idea how that related to math, not that he particularly cared.  He was distracted, worrying about Miz Addy, and he was hungry, and he didn't like homework anyway...what boy did?

 

"Africa?  Isn't that...near Alabama or something?"  At least he thought so.  "But what does an animal there have to do with math?"  He grinned.  "Do they count with their toes so they know how many pies they ate?"  Kinda made sense, but not really.  Maybe the teacher was just testing how gullible they were, making things up to give them a laugh?

 

"Hey, is there some milk for Buster?  He likes Miz Jemima's cookies, too!"  Right!

 

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"Africa?  Isn't that...near Alabama or something?"

 

Arabella nodded "That's right, just a little further South. Pity this ain't geography homework, looks like you're pretty good at that." 

 

At least he thought so.  "But what does an animal there have to do with math?"  He grinned.  "Do they count with their toes so they know how many pies they ate?"  

 

"I dunno." Arabella frowned and turned the exercise book over "Says Math Homework on the cover. It'll be that Miss Bowen, too busy stealin' other gal's beaus instead of writin' the homework questions right. Hmm, this one looks more like it... John has 231 apples, he eats 109 of them, what does he now have?" she thought for a second, looking up to the ceiling for the answer:

 

"... write 'Tummy Ache'!" 

 

This clever answer clearly put Weedy in mind of food.

 

"Hey, is there some milk for Buster?  He likes Miz Jemima's cookies, too!"  Right!

 

"Oooh, hello pussy!" cooed Arabella, bending down to tickle Buster just below the ear where he liked it. The large Tom emitted a number of resonant throaty purrs. "Yeah, we're too distraught to eat but I'll get something for this big boy." she said and hustled off to the kitchen, returning amazingly quickly with a large tray piled with drinks for them, a saucer of milk for Buster and a capacious cookie jar. Arabella put the saucer down for Buster and pulled off the cookie jar lid.

 

"Let's try and keep up our strength, we'll eat 'em straight from the jar to save Jeima any washing up!" she announced thoughtfully, grabbing a large cookie and shoving it whole into her mouth.

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Weedy chuckled at her answers to the questions, scribbling them down, since he was pretty sure he could make a good argument for them!  Besides, it sure made math a whole lot more fun!

 

Buster was happy enough with his saucer of milk, but he enjoyed the occasional cookie crumb that Weedy tossed him as well.  And Weedy was happy to gobble up cookies, too, to keep up his strength (wink wink!).

 

"How did you get to be so smart?" he asked his companion.  After all, the way Miss Arabella was answering questions wasn't what he was being taught in school, so she must have been trained by some genius, maybe even F. Falmer himself!  "I don't think I ever met someone so smart, except for the Perfessor!  I bet you could be a perfessor, too, someday!"

 

@Javia

 

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"How did you get to be so smart?" he asked his companion.  After all, the way Miss Arabella was answering questions wasn't what he was being taught in school, so she must have been trained by some genius, maybe even F. Falmer himself!  "I don't think I ever met someone so smart, except for the Perfessor!  I bet you could be a perfessor, too, someday!"

 

"I reckon you're right!" Arabella nodded. "But that's the one thing I don't know - how I ever got this smart. See, I never went to no school house, I just growed up on a mountainside. And for years and years I was just as dumb as a stump. Then one mornin' I woke up, oh I must've been about twelve or thirteen I reckon, and, well, you know what, Porter Jeems? I was just the smartest person I knew!"

 

She thought back on that miraculous event with a frown and a shake of her head.

 

"At first I just thought my Mammy and Pappy suddenly went stupid or something, cause they was just talking hogwash morning, noon an' night. But then I met lots of other grow'd ups and guess what: I was cleverer than them, too! I think it's a gift from God and Jesus, because I'm a good Methodist girl and I try and do at least one thing every day just like Jesus would. "

 

She looked at Weedy carefully.

 

"What's your demon-a-nation?"

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Weedy didn't think it worked like that, getting smart took a lot learning and study over time, you didn't just get that way.  But then, here she was, pretty clever.

 

"Demon-a-nation?"  He wasn't sure what she meant, so he shrugged.  "The nation is the United States of America, right?  No demons, I don't think, 'cause I go to church, too."

 

He thought for a minute, then shook his head.  "Angels aren't demons, so no, I don't have any of those.  Do you?"  Maybe that's hpw she got smart so fast?  She was possessed!

 

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"Demon-a-nation?"  He wasn't sure what she meant, so he shrugged.  "The nation is the United States of America, right?  No demons, I don't think, 'cause I go to church, too."

 

"Well, that's just what I'm jawin' on. What's yer demonanation. Like I'm part of the Connexion, Methodist." she explained. 

 

He thought for a minute, then shook his head.  "Angels aren't demons, so no, I don't have any of those.  Do you?"  Maybe that's hpw she got smart so fast?  She was possessed!

 

"Listen, Porter Jeems, we ALL got demons and devils and imps and even Old Nick himself gambollin' around: they are peeping out of just about every little hidey hole there is in our lives, trying to trick us into making mistakes and committing sins!" This might sound dire but it seemed there was a sunny side:

 

"That's why it ain't really our fault if we does bad things sometimes: it's just one of them there little devils a-temptin' and a trickin' us to do awful stuff. Like t'other week I..." she looked around, to make sure the Professor's geological rock samples weren't listening.

 

"... well, I did somethin' real awful. You know that feller as runs the General store? Well, he was sorta rude to me, so what I did, I got this right fancy little carboard box, all tied up nice and fancy with ribbons and everything, and I left it on the counter for him when he weren't looking. An in it, I went and put the nastiest, smelliest, most maggot crawlin' dog doin's I could find on the street - 'n believe me, there was quite the choice. An' I put a note on that there box as said 'Dear Mr Clarkson, I saw this gift and thought of you. Signed, an admirer' And me and Bridget watched though the winder when he opened it and you outta seen that feller's face!! He he he!!!" she started to laugh at the memory of it. "And the smell darn near cleared the store!! He he he!!!" 

 

She had to have a good laugh then, holding her sides while she chuckled, and then eventually wiped the tears from her eyes and sniffing her nose added.

 

"Ohhhhh, well, that was an awful sin, but a devil tempted me and when I asked Jesus his forgiveness afterwards, he was right understandin'. I reckon he used to play tricks like that, you know, on the Twelve Disciples." Then she started laughing again and muttering you should ha' seen his face! 

 

Then she grew a little more serious all of a sudden as she wiped her nose.

 

"Course, there's other sorts of demons: but they're just more like sad things in life you just have to live with. You're a orphan like me, so I know you know what I mean." she said, giving him a sympathetic and quite un-Arabella-ish little smile. She might not be the genius she thought she was, but she was possessed of a certain native emotional intelligence.

 

@Bongo

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Weedy wasn't too sure how he felt about Miss Arabella's prank, after all, not only did it seem a bit much because someone was rude to her, but it was aimed at an adult, and Miz Addy had taught him to be respectable to adults, unless they were bad people, like bank robbers and snake oil salesmen.  Even so, he laughed at her tale, thinking how that might be a good trick for some of the boys at school who liked to tease him!

 

He shrugged at the talk about other kinds of demons.  "I know my Mama's an angel, and she looks out after me...Miz Jemima said."  Of course, that didn't explain why she hadn't looked out for him while she was still alive.

 

For a moment,  he munched pensively on a cookie, then asked, "Do you think Miz Addy would be an angel, too?  I mean, if anything happens to her?  Nothing's gonna happen, she's too savvy, and I don't think she'd make a good angel anyway...she's too cantankerous!" 

 

He just wished she'd come home.

 

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He shrugged at the talk about other kinds of demons.  "I know my Mama's an angel, and she looks out after me...Miz Jemima said."  Of course, that didn't explain why she hadn't looked out for him while she was still alive.

 

"Well, course she is! An' course she does!" Arabella confirmed quickly. "An my Pappy and my little brother Johnny are, too." She frowned at the next point "Not so sure about my Mammy. She was kinda a crosspatch. Oh Lordy, but if she ended up in the other place, she'll be givin that ol' Devil merry hell by now! Poor old boy." She had difficulty remembering her mother with much affection, to be fair, but she knew that she herself had inherited many of that annoying woman's foibles. 

 

For a moment,  he munched pensively on a cookie, then asked, "Do you think Miz Addy would be an angel, too?  I mean, if anything happens to her?  Nothing's gonna happen, she's too savvy, and I don't think she'd make a good angel anyway...she's too cantankerous!" 

 

"Oh well, her and Caroline... Miss Mundee... they ain't deaded, that was in my dream. So don't you fret on that." she assured the lad.

 

"Now if they had been killed, though, well Miss Mundee... I'm sorry to say, I love her dearly but she's so full of the sins of the world, an' unrepentant about it, she'd be..." she pointed downward with her forefinger, indicating straight to Hell. "But Miss Chappel? Hmmmm... that a good one, see, she is generally a good person and even goes to church sometimes, but she was real mean to me onct upon a time. See, I was supposed to read this nice pome I writ called “The Man what had a Fight with a Monkey” to all these fancy ladies at the hotel, but she went and dragged me out o' there fer no reason at all and spoiled it fer me and I think Jesus is still mighty angry with her about that." she told him, reflecting more her own feelings on the matter.

 

"I missed out and all them poor ladies missed out, it's such a cryin' shame, and Miss Chappel never apologised to me the onct... but I reckon if she asks Jesus for forgiveness, like 'Oh please Lord Jesus, please, please, please forgive me for spoiling that pretty, sweet Miss Arabella Mudd's pome what was called “The Man what had a Fight with a Monkey”' then he'll let her off and she can go in the pearly gates and get her wings."

 

She reached into the cookie jar and her fingers met thin air.

 

"Jeeps! Did we really eat all o' them cookies?!" she yelped. "Don't worry, I'll hide the jar so no one knows till we're well outta here." she assured him. 

 

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They did, indeed, eat 'all o' them cookies', and the aching in Weedy's belly confirmed that.  Even so, he'd keep eating if there was more to keep eating!

 

"They were real good," he declared, "I don't think anyone would fault us for eatin' them, after all, why make something this good then get mad when folks eat it?"  He never did understand why someone made yummy things like cookies and cake, but didn't let you eat much, but made you eat a lot of yucky vegetables.

 

As for Miz Addy's sins, he had no fear of her going to Heaven, even if she took away Arabella's poem.  In fact, he was pretty certain that she'd saved Arabella from eternal condemnation by making her not torment the Ladies Society with a boring old recitation!

 

"What was your dream?" he asked.  His dreams were about catching snakes and chasing bandits, nothing helpful!

 

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"They were real good," he declared, "I don't think anyone would fault us for eatin' them, after all, why make something this good then get mad when folks eat it?" 

 

"You're right!" Arabella agreed with Weedy enthusiastically. "An' when I help Cookie at the saloon out by testin' her apple pies for her by taking a slice while it's coolin' on the window ledge, that's just me bein' helpful." Well, that was that settled: they were a pair of little saints.

 

"What was your dream?" he asked.  His dreams were about catching snakes and chasing bandits, nothing helpful!

 

"Well, that's just it!" replied the girl dramatically. "It wan't just a usual dream like when you're sleepin' nice and mild in bed; I have lots of them. In fact, I used to keep a little diary o' the best ones, but Cookie found it and said what was in it wan't nice and burned it in the stove. But anyways, this one I had about Caroline and Miss Chappel was more like a vision."

 

She stood up and acted it all out, for extra dramatic effect but also to help her show exactly what she had seen. 

 

"So, this is me, I wakes up and realises I overslept an' missed seein' Caroline off on the stage" she put her hand to her mouth in horror and opened her eyes wide in alarm. The rest of the story was accompanied by similar heavy handed mummery. "Then I ran down the stairs and got to the bottom and then it happened: I wan't in the saloon any more, I was out in the wilds somewhere and there was this old witch there, like she sorta summoned me. An she was a Indian witch and she was speakin' Indian talk but I could understand her, see?"

 

She thought about that for a second, in a way, that had been the oddest part of the vision. She shook her head and carried on.

 

"Anyhow, she said 'Walks-in-Snow, your friends are in danger' and took me to this place where, oh, it was just awful there was all dead folks on the ground all real bad sliced up and flies and birds a peckin at 'em and there was a man and a woman and a boy standin' nearby lookin' kinda sad at it all, and I said, well, they ain't my friends."

 

She looked a little guilty at the next part. "Anyhow, then she took me to another place and there was Caroline and Miss Chappel and I could see them, all tied up, but they couldn't see me, and I said 'well she's my friend but she ain't' an I told that old witch about the poem and all, but she just grinned and said 'she will be your friend' and then 'send your most able brave to rescue them'"

 

That begged an inevitable question. 

 

"Well, I decided Jacob Lutz was the bravest feller I know, because he tried to kiss Clara Redmond at the dance and, phew, that's takin' your life in yer hands! An' I found him and I told him all about my vision and all, but that was this mornin' and will yuh look at the time now?!" she cried, staring at Professor Brown's fancy carriage clock with a worried frown.

 

@Bongo

 

[OCC: Sorry, got a bit carried away with that one!]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Tied up?"  Weedy's eyes widened in alarm, and he jumped up so quickly that Buster, who had finished his milk and was peacefully napping on the plush rug, hopped up and scampered away several steps before stopping to look that there was no immediate danger.

 

"We have to go find them!  You know where they are, you can show me!" 

 

Without waiting for a response, he started for the door.  "We can take Arabesque, I know Miz Addy won't mind, since we're rescuing her...them...and we can take the gun."

 

Well, 'gun' was a nice way to put the old flintlock that Addy kept in a trunk in her room.  The thing hadn't been fired in years that he knew of, but she had shown him how to load it, and it was better than nothing.

 

"Come on!  You can ride behind me."  Arabesque was a good horse, and wouldn't mind, but it didn't occur to him that maybe Arabella couldn't ride.  Oh, well, he'd teach her right quick.

 

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"We have to go find them!  You know where they are, you can show me!" 

 

Without waiting for a response, he started for the door.  "We can take Arabesque, I know Miz Addy won't mind, since we're rescuing her...them...and we can take the gun."

 

It was to be expected that a grown up girl of sixteen would immediately attempt to stop this mad idea. Instead, Arabella was on her feet, agreeing with the lad vehemently.

 

"That's a good idea, I'm sick of sitting here doing nothing!" she yelped. "Hold on, I'd better get a weapon, too!" she rushed over to the fireplace where there was a dull metal 'fireside companion' containing various implements: a soot brush, dustpan, pincers and poker. She grabbed the poker and gave it a couple of swings. "Oh no this is too light! Hold up a sec!" she said and ran out, coming back seconds later from the kitchen brandishing a vicious looking butcher's knife.

 

"This'll do fer cuttin' the Injuns throats AND the ladies ropes!" she announced.

 

"Come on!  You can ride behind me."  Arabesque was a good horse, and wouldn't mind, but it didn't occur to him that maybe Arabella couldn't ride.  Oh, well, he'd teach her right quick.

 

"Oh heck, that's no good: I'm scared of horses!" the girl admitted. "Oooh, I know, my friend Bridget's got a nice little pony and trap, well, it ain't a pony, it's a little mule called Janella, but she's ever so tame. We could take that. Oooh, an' we'd better take something to eat with us and drink: for the girls when we rescue them." she remembered. "Ooooh, and it gets mighty cold out there nights, so we should take some blankets to wrap 'em in cause they'll be all cold and shiverin' after their ordeal at the hands of them naked savages."

 

She waited for him to agree with her. 

 

"Say, Jemima told me that the Professor'd gotten some poisonous spiders in his menagerie; how 'bout we take them along, too? we could sorta sneak 'em into the Injuns wigwams and they'd crawl all over 'em and sting 'em to death while we tippy-toe in and rescue Caroline and Miss Chappel." 

 

By crikey, if only women could become Army officers, General Arabella Mudd would have the Injun Problem licked by Christmas. 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Weedy rolled his eyes, wondering why he'd asked a girl along on this, but then remembering that she was the one who knew where they were going. 

 

Still...

 

"Gonna take too long to get all that, and a silly mule and cart can't get through the brush and on some of the narrow trails.  Besides, it's too slow!"  He shook his head adamantly.  "Nope, we're taking Arabesque, but we do need water, and a blanket is good." 

 

That was that, he was laying down the law!  "I'm going to go saddle Arabesque, be ready when I'm back, or...or I'll just leave without you!"

 

So long as it didn't occur to her that she was the one who knew where they were going!  Even so, he'd likely leave alone, just to...just to try!  He knew the road to Helena, he might be able to spot something, and he couldn't just sit here, no, he had to help!

 

...Or let the sugar rush die down!

 

@Javia

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"Gonna take too long to get all that, and a silly mule and cart can't get through the brush and on some of the narrow trails.  Besides, it's too slow!"  

 

"But..."

 

He shook his head adamantly.  "Nope, we're taking Arabesque, but we do need water, and a blanket is good." 

 

Arabella gasped and she looked at Weedy in a new light. "Why, Mr James Porter, you're... so manly!!" If he'd been her type she might have kissed him. He had a lucky escape!

 

That was that, he was laying down the law!  "I'm going to go saddle Arabesque, be ready when I'm back, or...or I'll just leave without you!"

 

She saluted. "Yes SIR!"

 

They were just about to put the masterplan into action when the front door opened and the familiar clomping step of Jemima was heard. As soon as she entered the parlour Arabella filled her in. "Me and Porter are going to rescue Caroline and Miss Chappel: he's got a gun and a horse and I got this big knife and I'm gonna get some blankets too, an' he's gonna teach me to ride a horse real quick and..." her words were cut off as as Jemima bodily pushed the other girl backwards and into the chair that she had been occupying with a terse "Sit down, you!"

 

"And give me that knife before you hurt someone." she ordered holding out her hand.

 

"But..."

 

Jemima put her hands on her hips and gave Arabella a very stern look. She held out her hand and the knife was placed in it. 

 

Then she looked down at Weedy. "Have you been influencing her?" she asked frowning.

 

p1236833_e_v8_aa.jpg

 

@Bongo

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"No, ma'am!"  Weedy shot Arabella a sharp glance...yet another reason to leave girls out of things!  For all that she claimed to be so smart, it really was amazingly stupid for her to open her big mouth and tell an adult what their plans were.  Of course Miz Jemima would say they couldn't go, and now Arabella was stuck here.

 

"We just were talking about looking..."  As he spoke, he was shuffling slowly toward the door, bent on making a break for it!  Even without Arabella's precogmonition, he could at least check the trails he knew.

 

@Javia

 

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"We just were talking about looking..."  As he spoke, he was shuffling slowly toward the door, bent on making a break for it!  Even without Arabella's precogmonition, he could at least check the trails he knew.

 

Jemima slowly turned her gaze on Weedy.

 

She could have stepped in his way, or just grabbed the collar of his neck as he bolted past, but she had recently found out something that had surprised her: the four foot high boy, who was dwarfed even by the diminutive Arabella and  whom she had always assumed to be about 8 years old at the most, was actually more like 12 or 13 years old, his growth no doubt stunted by deprivation as a kid. When she realised that, Jemima had made her mind up to treat him like a fellow young person: rather than a toddler. 

 

"Well, I'm not going to stop you going, but listen Porter, how's Addy going to feel when she gets back tomorrow, and you've gone missing?" she asked, fixing him with her basilisk stare. "When she gets back, she's going to need someone to look after her, especially with Mr Ryker away: not the kind of worry and fear over a loved one like you're suffering from now." she asked.

 

"Hey, how come he gets the nice talk and I get pushed into a chair?" complained Arabella, who hadn't dared get up again.

 

"Be quiet, you." Jemima warned the Southern girl and then turned back to Weedy to hear his answer.

 

@Bongo

 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"But..."  Frowning, Weedy looked up at the woman, knowing the game she was playing...trying to guilt him into doing the 'right' thing.  "But what if she can't come back until I find her?"  Then he corrected, "We find her.  Miss Arabella knows where she is...Miss Caroline, too, and we don't have much time."

 

He was trying to stress the urgency of the situation, even Miz Jemima could understand that, right? 

 

"We can find them, I know it."  But, as much as he wanted to defy the woman, he was better mannered than that, so all he could do was try to persuade her.  "You can come with us, if you are so worried..."

 

Although he was hoping she'd say no and just let him and Arabella go...he was pretty sure she'd just slow them down.

 

@Javia

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"But..."  Frowning, Weedy looked up at the woman, knowing the game she was playing...trying to guilt him into doing the 'right' thing.  "But what if she can't come back until I find her?"  Then he corrected, "We find her.  Miss Arabella knows where she is...Miss Caroline, too, and we don't have much time."

 

"No, you've got to stay put." she ordered him now.

 

"We can find them, I know it."  But, as much as he wanted to defy the woman, he was better mannered than that, so all he could do was try to persuade her.  "You can come with us, if you are so worried..."

 

"I'm not worried, there's a cavalry detachment on their way to pick them up from where they're stranded. It's miles away so they'll take 'em back to the Fort first to stay the night and then come home tomorrow. So you going out getting yourself lost won't help anyone. The Cavalry'll just have to go out again and fetch you home instead: and boy, you'll look silly then, and poor Miss Chappel'll be all worried about you."

 

This all wasn't a total lie, just more of a half truth, or maybe quarter truth. Jemima wasn't used to lying, she hoped she was making a good job of it. The truth of the matter, as told by Hector, who had just telegraphed a report to General Gibbon's headquarters and was usually more tight lipped about such things, was that Colonel MacKenzie had received a report of two or more white women captured by a band of Arapahoe and had sent out a column under Captain Barlow to reconnoitre. The scene she had described to Weedy was just the best possible outcome. 

 

Her main aim now was just to keep him safe.

 

"But I saw them all tied up!" Arabella objected and Jemima threw her a glance that could have killed. At last the penny dropped in 'the seeress' dull brain. "Oh, I guess that was just a semaphore" 

 

"That's right, just a metaphor" Jemima nodded, keeping an eye on the still shifty looking Weedy: if she had to catch him and drag him back by his ear she would, but she would do it with love.

 

She looked at him kindly. "I know your worried, but I'm going to stay with you tonight, either here or at your place, whichever you want, and my brother Hector's going to bring us any news as soon as he gets it, even if it's in the middle of the night. Porter, will you swear to me you won't go and try and rescue Addy, or do I have to sit on you all night?"

 

Arabella, who probably invented the phrase 'sleep over' put up her hand "Oooh, can I stop over too?! I wanna hear Hector's news in the middle of the night as well, I'm worried about Caroline!" Although she was truly worried, she was slightly enjoying all the drama too, Jemima suspected.

 

@Bongo

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Heaving a big sigh that was worthy of Miss Arabella Mudd herself, Weedy shrugged, then nodded.  "All right."  He hated just sitting around and not doing anything, but he reckoned that if the US Cavalry was on it, there wasn't much better he could do.

 

"I guess I'll stay here with you, Ma'am, if it's all right?  Buster gets scared when Miz Addy is gone too long."  As if it wasn't common knowledge that the cat could make himself at home at any of a dozen places in town, including the current location!  "But I don't think I'll sleep anyway, until I know she and Miss Caroline are safe."

 

Probably not until they were home and he could see for himself...and, as much as he'd mostly been on his own most of his life, now that he was confronted with Miz Addy not being there, he felt scared and lonely.

 

@Javia

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"I guess I'll stay here with you, Ma'am, if it's all right?  Buster gets scared when Miz Addy is gone too long."  As if it wasn't common knowledge that the cat could make himself at home at any of a dozen places in town, including the current location!

 

Jemima wondered if it wasn't just Buster who got scared at being alone, but just said "Yeah, good idea. We'll stay here" and gave him one of her rare smiles. 

 

"But I don't think I'll sleep anyway, until I know she and Miss Caroline are safe."

 

Jemima agreed "We'll just stay up in our clothes. We might doze off on the sofa if we're lucky."

 

"Oh, I don't need to get my nightie, then?" queried Arabella, slightly disappointed at missing out on the innocent fun of all sleeping together. It was going to be a dreary night. She had an idea:

 

"Let's play some games! How about 'doctors and nurses' or... or Jemima's the strict school marm' and me and porter are the naughty children and she has to..."

 

"NO!" countered Jemima "No play acting games!" she remembered how the last one had ended up. Arabella sighed resignedly. "Oh well, how about a game of 'who'd you like to kiss'?" 

 

Jemima looked highly suspicious but somewhat intrigued. "How's that go?" she asked, tentatively.

 

"Well, we go through all the people we know in town, kinda alphabet order, three at a time, and you have to pick which one you'd kiss if you had to: like you'd be shot if you didn't kiss one of 'em." Arabella explained. It sounded very much like she'd just made this game up.

 

Jemima frowned and counted out three on her fingers, "So like... Alistair Fang, Amos Conroy and Aurelian Redmond?" "Uh-huh!" confirmed the other girl, although she did wonder who the dickens this Allister Fang feller was. Jemima went an interesting shade of crimson and muttered "Mr Redmond" which brought forth a whoop of delight from Arabella "Whoooo! Didn't take you too long to make that choice, Wiggy!!" She chuckled gleefully and then turned to poor Weedy.

 

2-2-2.gif

 

"Now, your turn, 'who'd ya like to kiss' out of... urm... Anæsthesia Orr, Bridget Monahan, and, oh I forgot, I'm 'A' ain't I? So: 'who'd ya like to kiss' outta Anæsthesia Orr, Bridget Monahan, and me?!" she asked the unfortunate lad, matter-of-factly.

 

@Bongo

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Kiss?  Really?  Heck no!  Girls!

 

The last thing that Weedy ever wanted to do was to ever kiss a girl!  And since he was never getting married, that wasn't a problem!

 

But, here they were, yammering about kissing...

 

"Me?" 

 

Suddenly, the boy snatched up a very sleepy and startled one-eyed ginger tom and planted a wet kiss on his nose before receiving a swat that caused him to drop the cat, who dashed off, clearly not interested in the game!

 

"Buster!  We're at the 'B''s, right?"  Maybe he'd just go home with the cat for the night?

 

@Javia

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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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