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    • Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."   "Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever  you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
    • Their cab driver was waiting for them, he'd stayed close, alert to when they would return, and he was content, having had a wonderful lunch that Mrs. Pike had had packed for him.  Now, he helped get the remains of their picnic loaded, then made sure everyone was settled, with blankets in case they needed them, and started back for town.   "That was a wonderful outing!" Emeline declared, chuckling.  "Although I think I ended up with half the beach in my shoes!"  That had been something she hadn't thought about when going barefoot...putting the shoes and socks back on had been a challenge, especially with no way to keep the sand out!   She settled in, wrapping a blanket around her knees, since the hem of her skirt was damp, then rested her head against Barnabas' shoulder and was soon asleep.  Across from them, Lillian was also dozing.   "Thank you for letting us come with you, sir," Tom murmured quietly, "my sister works too hard and it's good for her to have some fun.  And I appreciate the advice.  College sounds like a good plan, if we can afford it.  I'd love to go to Montana or the Dakotas, but I don't want to leave Lillian."   @Flip
    • "Guess you're right about just showin' up at the ranch like that." He agree, and that is kind of you, but I've cash put by for this trip I've made. The hotel does sound good. And the local fare? Which is the best place to eat. Lookin' for big steak dinner I am. Been sometime since I was able to get somethin' like that. It was a trip to remember, long, hard, and with every temperature you could imagine."   It had been that and a bit more. There had been Molly McGuire, he was missing her, but Kalispell would not be the place for her if all that had been said came to fruition between Lost Lake and the Evergreen. He had waltzed in on what could be a real corpse and cartridge affair, and one that went on an on til they forgot what it was about, or who started it.   "I appreciate your offer, and your council about town and holdin' off till the ranch hands were in town. I'll do just that. @JulieS    
    • Benjamin gave up on the fruitless pursuit of the surviving war party, they were down a six or so anyhow and more than likely just heading back to their home village. If it was one thing the US cavalry learned about chasing Indians, you didn't catch 'em.  Best horsemen in the world maybe. So he ordered his scouts and troopers to turn back and then spent the better part of a few hours just getting back to the rest of his command. It being dark did not help at all but the scouts were up to the task.   Once back he found out that a lot had happened - almost all good too, well except another trooper had been killed. But Lt. Greene found (had lucked into it really but no criticism there - it was the great Napoleon who had said  'better a lucky general than a good one') the women and they were alive. Looking a bit worse for wear but no dangerous wounds, the saloon girl was already wearing trousers and a bluecoat lent her by eager troopers. And Greene had a face to face encounter with an Arapaho brave looking to kill the ladies. That Indian was dead. Barlow didn't press the young officer on the details, that he could read in the report Greene would have to write out later back in the fort, for the young man was wounded and in considerable discomfort. They didn't have a doctor with this detachment but one of the troopers who knew something about wound treatment assured Benjamin the boy would live and keep his leg. Well unless he didn't take care of it properly and get gangrene.   The stage driver was quite the tough gal too. She was sporting a large bruise from where the Arapaho had belted her with his gun butt but in good humor and even told him that the two women had killed their guard and escaped on their own.  Barlow was impressed.   "Well, it's a pity we don't allow women in the army, we could use a couple more like you and your friend," Benjamin remarked to Addy.   It was a tough call to make - normally traveling at night was not the wise thing to do but they had the wounded to think of and the sooner they got them back to better medical care at the fort or even town, the better. He decided darkness or not, they would head back and issued the appropriate orders.   They kept the pace deliberately slow but steady. He wasn't worried about Indian attack - Plains Indians did not attack at night and besides that war party was good as destroyed and definitely dispersed.  No, the bigger danger was loss of a horse or horses to prairie dog holes or god knows what else whilst traveling in the darkness.   Then there was a holler from ahead.   @MD  @Bongo @Flip @Javia
    • Both men had agreed, it had been a hell of a day. That Bannister came to them had been unexpected, but welcomed.  As they walked to the hotel after stabling their mounts they paused on the porch, taking up seats on the porch. Both men silent as they turned over the events of the day. Neither weary as they should be after a long hard ride back to Kalispell.   "This shapes up different than I was thinking it would. I mean hell, this is father against daughter." Cook said, "Seen a few that was father-son, never father-daughter."   "Odd one, that's fer shore. Now This Elias Steelgrave, you know much about him?" McNue asked, wonder what type of man is a threat to his own flesh and blood.   "Some, none of it good, and none of it arrestable, if that's even a word. The man skirts the law in a way he gets what he's after without consequence. Though I've heard there's a dark past with some bodies, but again, no real proof. Well, we'll check in with Guyer in the morning, see what we can do."   "Sounds to be a good idea, as dos gettin' our fair share 'o shuteye." McNue agreed. Both men got to their feet and entered the hotel. On this night their prospective of what was happening had changed.
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!"

 

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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?"

 

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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!"

 

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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!]

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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

  • Made Me Laugh! 1

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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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