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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

We Are Gathered Here Today


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Mature Content: Possibly language

With: Gilcrest, Bridget, Charlie, Caroline, and Mrs. Wentworth
Location: The old funeral parlor
When: July 1876, the day after Crabbe's death
Time of Day: Mid-morning

 

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Brendan scowled at Gilcrest's outburst. He already knew how ridiculous the whole thing was, and the older man's reaction wasn't helping, nor was his picturesque description of what Brendan's fate would be if his story didn't satisfy the powers that be at Evergreen.

 

"Fine," he grumbled, turning to mount the steps of the funeral parlor. "C'mon and I'll show ya." He beckoned Gilcrest inside, leaving the door open behind him, and moved past the table where Crabbe had met his demise. If Charlie wanted to follow them in, he could. But he wasn't going to invite the deputy in, not when he so clearly looked down on Brendan.

 

He trudged up the stairs, missing any sounds of Reeve and Arabella's investigating in the other downstairs rooms. That was probably just as well, because he'd have been highly suspicious of the man. His main focus was to get upstairs to Bridget. As he cleared the landing, it became clear that it was not just Caroline and Bridget inside Bridget's bedroom. He didn't know the other lady he could see through the doorway.

 

"Caroline!" he called, his voice sliding up the last few stairs with a hint of panic in it. Funny how it was Bridget who occupied his thoughts most of the time, but when things went wrong, Caroline always sprung to mind first as someone to help. Although she might not want to help him anymore after their argument.

 

He leaped up the final steps and burst into the room, glancing back to make sure Gilcrest was following along. He had no idea what was about to happen, but he wanted Gilcrest to witness it so he could vouch for the oddity of whatever did happen. Because this situation was about as odd as you could get.

 

 

@Flip @Javia @JulieS @Wayfarer

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Bridget didn't usually pay much mind to grown up talk, but Caroline was talking about Lorenzo so she pricked up her ears a little and listened to what she told the Becca lady. 

 

"He was a good friend of mine, helped me out on occasion. In fact he was the one who told me about the job opening here at the saloon which turned out good for me," Caroline declared.

 

"But yes, he rescued that girl from a real sonof....well, a bad man. And he has since taken care of her. I knew he wouldn't forget her in case he went...you know ...to his final end," she added.

 

"So...yer here as to why then - if I might ask?"  

 

Bridget smiled when Caroline said nice things about Lorenzo but when she mentioned her rescue, a horrible feeling of fear made her tummy lurch. Yes, Lorenzo had shot and killed that man who kept her like a slave and sent her out to beg and who beat her and worse when she didn't bring enough money back. But her limited brain couldn't be sure that he was gone forever: somehow Lorenzo's passing made her feel unprotected now. 

 

There were footsteps outside and suddenly Brendan was there: but her grin of surprise and happiness suddenly turned into a shriek of horror as she saw the man behind him. It was hardly poor Gilcrest's fault that his bushy beard and eyebrows and long nose gave him a passing resemblance to the doctor who had tortured and abused Bridget in the past: but she wasn't going to stick around to doublecheck his identity. She jumped up, surprisingly swift on her false leg and, the doorway being blocked by a no doubt surprised Brendan and Gilcrest, ran wailing to the window, which she pulled up and tried to climb out of, oblivious to the danger of the fall that awaited her on the other side.

 

@JulieS @Flip @Wayfarer @Bailey

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"Well now what in the Sam Hell's a goin' on here!" Gilcrest wanted to know, "You best grab that girl afore she's outta that winder an' ends up broke up, 'er dade, Connolly!" Gilcrest was far from used to females , let alone their antics. Besides having no real idea of what was happening, nor who he reminded her of.

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@JulieS@Javia@Bailey@Wayfarer

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Caroline had just asked this woman why exactly she was here when they heard clomping up the stairway and then Brendan call out her name. Now what?

 

"Yeah, I'm still here," Caroline called back.

 

Brendan appeared but he wasn't alone, some older jasper was with him. Now what?

 

For some unknown reason Bridget reacted in horror, you'd have thought a man-eating grizzly bear had just entered the room? The old coot looked harmless enough to the saloon girl however Bridget's reaction was bad, real bad starting with a loud shriek.

 

The girl jumped up, surprisingly swift on her false leg and ran wailing to the window, which she pulled up and tried to climb out of!

 

"Well now what in the Sam Hell's a goin' on here!" Gilcrest wanted to know, "You best grab that girl afore she's outta that winder an' ends up broke up, 'er dade, Connolly!"

 

Caroline wasn't waiting for that though but rushed to Bridget and took her by one upper arm, "Whoa there, Bridget! Where you goin', girl?"

 

She also glanced at Brendan, "Well, a little help please?"

 

@Bailey @JulieS @Javia @Flip

 

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Poor Brendan was bewildered. Bridget loved him. Why was she running away from him? Maybe it was his gun. Maybe she connected the gun and him to Crabbe's death. His heart crumpled at the thought that he might be the one she was afraid of.

 

Whatever the reason for her fear, Gilcrest was right. He needed to stop Bridget before she hurt herself. Caroline got over to the window faster than him and grabbed Bridget by the arm. "Well, a little help please?"

 

He bounded across the room and grabbed Bridget under both arms.

 

"Bridget, it's me!" he proclaimed, attempting to forestall any further misunderstandings or struggles by scooping an arm under her legs and pulling her close to his chest. "I'm back. It's all right." Holding her protectively in his arms, he moved back towards the spot where Bridget and Caroline had been...playing dolls? 

 

Caroline playing dolls? He turned to her. "What's wrong with her?"

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"I'll be go ta hale! I ain't never see'd the like! Just whot in tarnation is the prob'lum here? She even in her right mind? Grab holt of her Connolly and quiet her down some!" Gilchrest bellowed. This was beyond his learning as a hospitalman during the civil war It was clear to him that she was not right, and she was a cripple, only havin' one leg.

 

He would for sure plead Connolly's case to Elias himself, if need be. Brendan Connolly had sure got himself in fix this time, one he was not liable to get out of any time soon, and the girl? The Evergreen would be no place for her, nor Connolly wet nursing her, though the term was more apt to apply to a hired breastfeeder than a caretaker for this girl.

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@Bailey@Javia@JulieS@Wayfarer

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Caroline had at least stopped her jumping out of the window, but now Bridget was incoherent as she struggled in Brendan's arms, obviously terrified of something. She could only wail "NO!!""NO!!!" and as Brendan brought her away from the window and toward the amazed Gilcrest it all got to much and she started to fit. 

 

"Bridget, it's me!" he proclaimed, attempting to forestall any further misunderstandings or struggles by scooping an arm under her legs and pulling her close to his chest. "I'm back. It's all right." Holding her protectively in his arms, he moved back towards the spot where Bridget and Caroline had been...playing dolls? 

 

Caroline playing dolls? He turned to her. "What's wrong with her?"

 

"I'll be go ta hale! I ain't never see the like! Just whot in tarnation is the prob'lum here? She even in her right mind? Grab holt of her Connolly and quiet her down some!" Gilchrest bellowed. 

 

Bridget suddenly made an odd noise and stiffened in Brendan's arms, then lost consciousness; blood dribbled from her mouth as her teeth spasmodically bit down on her tongue. Then, as the seizure spread from one side of her brain to the other her breathing virtually stopped and she wet herself. 

 

@Wayfarer @JulieS @Flip @Bailey

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Posted (edited)

Instead of calming down, Bridget squirmed more in his arms and made his progress toward Gilcrest difficult. He winced at her wailing and paused, trying to calm her down.

 

"I'm tryin!" he shot back at Gilcrest over Bridget's cries.

 

But then Bridget went stiff in his arms and...oh, God, what was wrong with her? He gaped in horror as blood trickled out the corners of her mouth. He sank down beside the bed with Bridget still in his arms, holding her close to him regardless of the dampness that seeped into his clothes. Was she dying? That was what the blood in her mouth meant, wasn't it?

 

"Caroline!" He looked wildly around at the saloon singer, at Gilcrest, and even at the older woman he didn't recognize. "Gilcrest, do somethin'!"

 

As Bridget's head lolled against his shoulder, he grabbed her hands and chafed them as if that would help revive her. "Please wake up. Please wake up."

 

@JulieS @Flip @Javia @Wayfarer (Hope it's okay if I sneak a reply in here since Brendan's holding Bridget and we don't have a posting order. I don't want to leave anyone out but figured Brendan's reaction might be most immediate.)

Edited by Bailey (see edit history)
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Alright this was bad, the girl was plainly in full panic. Caroline had never seen her like this. Now more than ever she realized what Lorenzo had to deal with, poor man. Brendan was doing his part now to help, holding her, trying to comfort her.

 

The old man was yelling, that was plainly no help only making a bad situation worse and as for this other woman, she was plainly useless as a tit on a bull. Then it got worse, Bridget was bleeding from the mouth and was going into ...convulsions? Caroline had seen a customer once in Helena suffer from something like this. But everyone in the saloon had just stood there and luckily it passed though the poor bastard had a hard go of it.

 

Caroline!" Brendan looked wildly around at the saloon singer, at Gilcrest, and even at the older woman he didn't recognize. "Gilcrest, do somethin'!"

 

"I don't know what ta ....." Caroline started then rounded on the mouthy geezer, "And will you just shut the fuck up!"

 

She also fixed a look at the woman but withheld her tongue then suddenly remembered Ara was downstairs with that legal eagle. She worked for Lorenzo for awhile, maybe she might know something how to deal with Bridget like this.

 

She shouldered past Gilcrest and out the door just enough so she could shout downstairs.

 

"ARA! GIT UP HERE NOW! IT'S BRIDGET!" 

 

Why they hadn't heard Bridget's screaming downstairs was beyond her. 

 

As Bridget's head lolled against his shoulder, he grabbed her hands and chafed them as if that would help revive her. "Please wake up. Please wake up."

 

@Javia @Flip @Bailey @JulieS

 

 

 

 

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Arabella was only half aware of all the banging and shouting coming from the ceiling above, as she showed Reeve about the place. Sounded like they were having a fun party up there! Suddenly, though, a door opened at the top of the stairs and Caroline's leather lungs opened up.

 

"ARA! GIT UP HERE NOW! IT'S BRIDGET!" 

 

The Southern girl needed no further bidding, deserting the young lawyer and running up the stairs in her clunking boots without a by your leave. When she got to the top, panting,  she had to push past Gilchrist (hold on, what the heck was he doing here?! No time to stop and find out...) And there was Brendan, holding an unconscious Bridget; and Caroline was there, and Mrs Wentworth and, gosh, it was easier to list who in Kalispell wasn't in her bedroom.

 

As Bridget's head lolled against his shoulder, he grabbed her hands and chafed them as if that would help revive her. "Please wake up. Please wake up."

 

Arabella took one look at the scene and her shoulders drooped "Aw, I ran all that way, I thought somethin' awful had happened! She's just doin' one of her fits. Stick her her on the floor, Mississippi, quick, she's likely to fill her drawers, oop, looks like she already did." she noted the liquid dripping on the floor. "Here" She grabbed a pillow from the bed and threw it on the rug for Brendan to lay the redhead's pretty head upon and then frowned.

 

"Aw, she bit her tongue." she looked at Gilchrist, for some reason. "You ever notice how when you bite your tongue, you keep on biting it again and again for about a week?" 

 

"What brought it on? You didn't try to play with her favourite dolly did you, Cara'?" Arabella asked Caroline, with a look of suspicion on her face.

 

@JulieS @Flip @Bailey @Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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After seeing the look Miss Mundee had given her, Rebecca set her mind upon what to do next.  It was true that she did feel helpless and unsure of what to do as she had never really come across a situation like this before.  However, she was also beginning to work out what had happen.  Everything had seemed fine until the two men walked into the room and so it figured that one of them must have been the cause.

 

Seeing the younger man rush to help Bridget, left only the older man.  Perhaps he was the cause and it would be better if left.  Just as she about to approach him, Arabella Wentworth came rushing into the room and proceeded to deal with what was going on.  It seemed that this wasn't the first that poor Bridget had suffered something like this.

 

While the others were occupied with Bridget, Rebecca walked over to the older man, "Mr. Gilcrest, it might be wise if you go and get the doctor."

 

@Flip @Javia @Wayfarer

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Gilcrest looked to the women who made it seem this was his fault? He looked to the girl who was as scared as he'd ever seen, and maybe he reminded her of some terrible time from the past, that could be, he wouldn't say it couldn't, or didn't. Then he looked at Brendan and shook his head.

 

"I'll fetch the Doc alright, and Brendan, I'll ride back ta th' Evergreen and tell what I seen here.  Ain't sayin' they won't come for ya, ain't sayin' that a'tall." With that, he turned and went out of the room, down the stairs, and out the front door.

 

He got his horse and located the Doctor's place , dismounted and strode to the door where he knocked and waited  for him to answer.

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@Bongo

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Caroline was glad Arabella could be so calm about it all, it meant this wasn't apparently as bad as it looked. Biting one's tongue was painful but if that's all the blood came from things could have been far worse. And wetting one's pants...again embarrassing at best and Bridget wasn't the sort to be embarrassed about pretty much anything it seemed. On account of her being slow witted, poor dear.

 

As for Arabella's question to her,  Caroline glared, "No I did not. Don't go blamin' this on me. She was fine and then just like that she started screaming and then...well, this."

 

She glanced at the bearded man. Hmmm, he had just come in? Maybe....nah, the old geezer didn't even do anything...other than shoot his mouth off.

 

"So, yer sure she's gonna be alright then?" Caroline hoped Ara knew what she was talking about. There were a whole lot of times when she didn't afterall.

 

The man was gone, that left this Wentworth woman so Caroline looked her in the eye.

 

"So...why you here again?" Caroline once more tried to get some info out of her.

 

@Flip@Javia@Bailey@JulieS

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After Gilcrest had left, Rebecca had started to work out in her head what she would do next.  Thankfully, she had a nurse on the way to help look after Ruth, who was now bedridden due to the complexity of her injuries.  The nurse would be a great help if Bridget were to have another fit like she did today.

 

The man was gone, that left this Wentworth woman so Caroline looked her in the eye.

 

"So...why you here again?" Caroline once more tried to get some info out of her.

 

Rebecca sighed.  Considering what had just happened, she felt it a bit inappropriate to divulge as to the reason why she was here, but Miss Mundee seemed like someone who would keep persisting until she got an answer.

 

Glancing over to make sure Bridget was fine, she turned her attention back to Caroline, "I'm here because of request that was made by the late Mr. Crabbe.  He left clear instructions in his will about Bridget in the event of his untimely demise."

 

@Javia @Bailey @Wayfarer

 

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Brendan gaped at Arabella as she took charge of the situation. "You mean she's done this before?" He eased Bridget's head down onto the pillow, keeping a hold on one of her hands.

 

Momentarily distracted by Gilcrest's words, he looked up at the older man and nodded. "Thanks, Gilcrest." The word thanks, although simple, expressed more than just thanks. Even though Granger and the rest of the hands at the Evergreen might still have it in for him, Gilcrest's testimony could mean the difference between life and death.

 

Once Gilcrest was gone, he turned his attention back to Bridget, lifting her hair off the back of her neck in hopes that would help her revive. Poor, sweet Bridget. What had brought on this fit? Would she be able to tell him when she woke up?

 

His head jerked around at Crabbe's name. The older woman talking to Caroline had said it, and something about a will. Leaving his place at Bridget's side, he stood slowly. "Did he...leave her enough to live on?" he interrupted, conscious that he knew nothing of wills and inheritance.

 

@Wayfarer @Javia @JulieS

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Rebecca looked at the young man.  He seemed genuinely concerned about Bridget's welfare but she wasn't quite sure how far that extended and if it would after he heard what she had to say.

 

"My husband is going over the details now of Bridget's legacy," she answered.  Realising that she hadn't been properly introduced to the man, which was understandable given the circumstances, she continued, "I'm Rebecca Wentworth."

 

Once again, she looked over to Bridget to see how she was faring.  The poor thing still hadn't stirred much since her outburst.  It would be impossible to move her until the doctor had assessed her.  Hopefully, Dr. Danforth wasn't out on a call, the quicker he got here the better so that they could be taken to more comfortable and warmer surroundings.

 

Glancing at both Caroline and the young man, Rebecca took a deep breath.  "Mr. Crabbe's will stipulated that Bridget will be indeed taken care of...by my husband and myself."

 

@Wayfarer @Javia @Bailey

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Brendan gaped at Arabella as she took charge of the situation. "You mean she's done this before?" He eased Bridget's head down onto the pillow, keeping a hold on one of her hands.

 

"Oh sure" replied Arabella matter-of-factly, pushing her way through and helping Brendan make Bridget comfy. She was a bit confused when Gilchrist was sent for a doctor but guessed these more grown up folk knew best. 

 

"So, yer sure she's gonna be alright then?" Caroline hoped Ara knew what she was talking about. There were a whole lot of times when she didn't afterall.

 

"Oh yeah, I mean, this ain't the bad part, that's when she wakes up an' she's all groggy. Sometimes she barfs up..." she was kneeling close enough to the bed to turn and reach under it, pulling out the china potty to act as a sick bucket if needs be "... an' sometimes she gets pains in her ghost leg real bad and Lorenzo used to give her laudanum for that." she chirruped on in her usual breezy way.

 

Caroline and Mrs Wentworth were now talking about Bridget's future and Brenden's head jerked around at Crabbe's name. The older woman talking to Caroline had said it, and something about a will. Leaving his place at Bridget's side, he stood slowly. "Did he...leave her enough to live on?" he interrupted, conscious that he knew nothing of wills and inheritance.

 

Arabella looked up too.


"My husband is going over the details now of Bridget's legacy," she answered.  Realising that she hadn't been properly introduced to the man, which was understandable given the circumstances, she continued, "I'm Rebecca Wentworth."

 

"Mrs Wentworth's real fancy, her husband's Mr Wentworth, the bank manager!" Arabella added helpfully, she didn't expect Brendan would know Mr Wentworth, him never having any money to put into the bank!

 

Glancing at both Caroline and the young man, Rebecca took a deep breath.  "Mr. Crabbe's will stipulated that Bridget will be indeed taken care of...by my husband and myself."

 

Arabella gasped at this notion. "Lorenzo left you Bridget in his will?!" she goggled. "What'd he leave me, Charlie Fa?!!" 

 

@Wayfarer @JulieS @Bailey [ @Flip @Bongo ] (Cast of Thousands! 🤩)

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Caroline now got her answer.

 

"I'm here because of request that was made by the late Mr. Crabbe.  He left clear instructions in his will about Bridget in the event of his untimely demise." 

 

Well, this woman clearly wasn't a lawyer so.............. ? 

 

 
  •  
  •   Leaving his place at Bridget's side, Brendan stood slowly. "Did he...leave her enough to live on?" he interrupted.
  •  

 

 


"My husband is going over the details now of Bridget's legacy," the woman answered,"I'm Rebecca Wentworth."

 

"Mrs Wentworth's real fancy, her husband's Mr Wentworth, the bank manager!" Arabella added helpfully.

 

Glancing at both Caroline and the young man, Rebecca took a deep breath.  "Mr. Crabbe's will stipulated that Bridget will be indeed taken care of...by my husband and myself."

 

Arabella gasped at this notion. "Lorenzo left you Bridget in his will?!" she goggled. "What'd he leave me, Charlie Fa?!!" 

 

 Caroline ignored Arabella (something she was quite used to doing given how the girl babbled) and faced Mrs.. Wentworth.

 

"Yer husband and you are gonna raise Bridget? You don't even know the girl. And as you can see she needs a lot of care and......patience."

 

Still it wasn't the worst idea in the world. Brendan couldn't do it. Caroline loved Bridget but she was a realist enough to know she would make for a shit mother. Least this family would have money to throw at the problem.

 

"Alright, I get it. I hope you don't plan on cutting her off from the people she already knows and is fond of?  She'd get powerful lonely."

 

 

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For a minute, Brendan was so stunned he couldn’t talk. He was almost as flabbergasted as Arabella. Crabbe had left Bridget in the care of strangers? 

 

Luckily, Caroline was thinking more clearly. She started questioning Mrs. Wentworth about caring for Bridget. All her points were good ones, especially the one about cutting her off from the folks she already knew. 
 

It didn’t sit right with him; his Bridget being with this family…even if they were bankers. 
 

“Hold up!” He jumped onto the tail end of Caroline’s sentence. Scowling at Rebecca, he questioned, “How come Bridget goes to you? I’m gonna take care of her.”

 

His conversation with Caroline about finding a job was still fresh in his mind, but he wasn’t making the connection that he couldn’t take care of Bridget without a job. He didn’t see why this lady who Bridget barely knew should get her; when Bridget loved him

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Arabella gasped at this notion. "Lorenzo left you Bridget in his will?!" she goggled. "What'd he leave me, Charlie Fa?!!"

 

"Not exactly..."

 

"Yer husband and you are gonna raise Bridget? You don't even know the girl. And as you can see she needs a lot of care and......patience."

 

Rebecca nodded, "Yes, I understand that.  I have already sent for a nurse to take care of another lady who currently living with us.  Her duties will now also include looking after Bridget.  So you need not worry...Bridget will get all the care and attention she needs."

 

"Alright, I get it. I hope you don't plan on cutting her off from the people she already knows and is fond of?  She'd get powerful lonely."

 

"I have no intentions of cutting off anybody unless it is warranted."

 

“Hold up!” He jumped onto the tail end of Caroline’s sentence. Scowling at Rebecca, he questioned, “How come Bridget goes to you? I’m gonna take care of her.”

 

Looking at the young man, Rebecca sighed.  It was clear that they all cared deeply for Bridget but the question was were they capable of taking care of her.  The answer was probably no since Mr. Crabbe had appointed her and Charles as guardians.  "As to why Bridget is coming with us, that is a legal matter, which would probably be better answered by Mr. Reeve or by my husband."

 

Whatever the real reasons as to why Bridget was now in her care, Rebecca knew that she would do her best to take care of her, even if it meant alienating some of the girl's friends.  It was becoming clear that needed help and putting her in a new environment would help. With a little time, maybe Bridget would overcome some of her difficulties.

 

@Javia @Wayfarer @Bailey

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Rebecca nodded, "Yes, I understand that.  I have already sent for a nurse to take care of another lady who currently living with us.  Her duties will now also include looking after Bridget.  So you need not worry...Bridget will get all the care and attention she needs."

 

"But she don't need no nurse. There ain't nuthin' wrong with her..." said Arabella, quietly and not sounding too self assured: it was hard to boast of Bridget's resilience and self sufficiency when she was lying unconscious on the floor smelling of pee.

 

"Alright, I get it. I hope you don't plan on cutting her off from the people she already knows and is fond of?  She'd get powerful lonely."

 

"I have no intentions of cutting off anybody unless it is warranted."

 

“Hold up!” He jumped onto the tail end of Caroline’s sentence. Scowling at Rebecca, he questioned, “How come Bridget goes to you? I’m gonna take care of her.”

 

Arabella wanted to join in and stick up for Brendan's claim but when she opened her mouth nothing came out: maybe she realised that in her heart of hearts that, well, although she loved the handsome, socially clumsey cowpoke as much as she could love any man, he could hardly take care of himself, let alone Bridget. And, to be honest, neither Caroline or herself were in a position to offer long-term, lifelong care of the simple-minded ginger waif. 

 

She bit her knuckles and prayed to Jesus to whisper a hint in her ear as to what was best to do.

 

Looking at the young man, Rebecca sighed.  It was clear that they all cared deeply for Bridget but the question was were they capable of taking care of her.  The answer was probably no since Mr. Crabbe had appointed her and Charles as guardians.  "As to why Bridget is coming with us, that is a legal matter, which would probably be better answered by Mr. Reeve or by my husband."

 

"Oh, Mrs Wentworth! How wonderful for Bridget to be looked after by you and your family. I know she thinks the world of Mr Wentworth and havin' that nurse on call'll be just dandy when she gets her funny turns like this. An' please do call on Mr Connolly here and Miss Mundee an' me and Miriam Kaufmann and Jemima Wigfall and, oh, ALL of Bridget's friends when ever you need any little bit of help with her." she said in a sort of strange breathless way. 

 

What Jesus had told her was this: 'Make not thyself part of the problem, my child, maketh thyself part of the solution: fight not against the Wentworth woman, maketh thyself her ally and thou wilt have thy will. So mote it be'. Jesus always spoke to her in that sort of language. She didn't know why he couldn't just speak plain American to her; he'd probably just been reading the Bible too much, she figured.

 

She only hoped Brendan and Caroline didn't just think she was being some kind of traitor.

 

"Oooh, I think she's comin' round!" she then squeeked, and got the potty ready in case Bridget was sick.

 

@Wayfarer @Bailey @JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Caroline had questions and then Brendan closed in all upset at this sudden announcement for Bridget's future. This woman and her husband, a banker, were now appointed to care for and take charge of the poor young thing. Words flew back and forth.

 

That's when Arabella jumped in with her take on things and it was all rather stunning and ...sensible too, the latter not something one heard all that often coming out of the girl. Maybe she was finally growing up.

 

"Oh, Mrs Wentworth! How wonderful for Bridget to be looked after by you and your family. I know she thinks the world of Mr Wentworth and havin' that nurse on call'll be just dandy when she gets her funny turns like this. An' please do call on Mr Connolly here and Miss Mundee an' me and Miriam Kaufmann and Jemima Wigfall and, oh, ALL of Bridget's friends when ever you need any little bit of help with her." she said in a sort of strange breathless way. 

 

Well, Caroline could not argue with that plus she was also impressed this rich couple had a nurse hired for this sort of thing too. And finally there was one last crucial argument in the Wentworth's favor.

 

"Arabella's right. This is what is best for Bridget," Caroline now spoke up again, very calm, matter of fact.

 

She turned to Brendan, "I know yer upset, hon, but use common sense. None of us, certainly not you, can properly take care of Bridget. And lovin' her is grand but taking care of her is the most important thing for now. Besides, Lorenzo was her caretaker and this is his final wish and we should respect that. I know I do."

 

She wasn't quite done yet with Brendan however.

 

"And don't you forget what I told you earlier. You need...you have to get a job - a regular payin' job before you can even begin to think about a future with you and that gal. I meant what I said then and nothin's changed. "

 

Then it was back to Mrs. Wentworth, "Guess that's settled then. Yer in charge now. Just let us know how we can help whenever it's needed - like Ara said." 

 

"Oooh, I think she's comin' round!" Arabella then squeeked, and got the potty ready in case Bridget was sick.

 

Caroline stepped back, not her area of expertise and she was glad of it too. 

 

@JulieS @Bailey @Javia

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Brendan thought for sure that at least Arabella might agree that he should be the one to take care of Bridget, but the girl started gushing about how wonderful the arrangement with the Wentworths would be. What had Caroline called Arabella that one time? A snake. Once a snake, always a snake.

 

He rounded on Arabella, preparing to tell her to shut up. It wasn't wonderful; it was horrible. But Caroline's reaction made him realize that maybe Arabella wasn't being a snake...maybe she was just being sensible. The Wentworths were bankers, and bankers meant money. They could care for Bridget better than almost anyone else in Kalispell. Caroline still wasn't going to let up on the job issue, either. Maybe he should have thought more about Gilcrest's message from the Evergreen.

 

"All right, all right." He held up his hands toward Caroline. "Common sense ain't one of my strengths," he mumbled, retreating back to the bed and admitting defeat.

 

Any man with common sense wouldn't have gotten in this mess at all. He wouldn't have fallen for Bridget, slept with her, and then refused to marry her just because some Chinese man told him not to. He shook his head and rubbed a hand wearily over his face.

 

As Arabella announced that Bridget was reviving, he pulled himself together to be comforting or to hold Bridget's hair back if she got sick.

 

@Javia @JulieS @Wayfarer

Edited by Bailey (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

"All right, all right." He held up his hands toward Caroline. "Common sense ain't one of my strengths," he mumbled, retreating back to the bed and admitting defeat.

 

"Yep!" echoed Arabella.

 

As Arabella announced that Bridget was reviving, he pulled himself together to be comforting or to hold Bridget's hair back if she got sick.

 

Bridget was hearing all these voices as she started to come round. The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was her potty. The last time she opened her eyes to a potty she'd.... oh! Here it came!! She closed her eyes and barfed. 

 

"Oh God, I think I'm a-gonna be sick too!!" she heard Arabella's voice and even in the wracking spasms of vomiting, that gave her comfort. And Brendan's voice, too. She was not self aware enough to be embarrassed about throwing up in front of him, or the thought it might make her unattractive to him. 

 

She opened her eyes again. Arabella was hurrying out of the room making heaving noises, carrying to china vessal. She could see Caroline and Mrs Wentworth and, yes, him. She smiled up at him, her man, unaware of the... bits on her face.

 

Somewhere down the stairs, Arabella could be heard shouting to some poor soul "Out the way! Potty full o' vomit - coming through!!"

 

@JulieS @Bailey @Wayfarer and @Bongo & @Flip if the doctor has arrived. 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Somehow, Jonah had managed to decipher the old man's frantic ramblings, and after finishing up stitches on little Ebenezer Ermentrout's knee, he grabbed his bag and hurried to the aid of Miss Bridgit at the funeral parlor.  He hoped it was nothing more than an emotional outburst, although from the description he'd gotten, it could very well be the end of the poor child.

 

As he stepped into the lower floor of the building, he barely managed to dodge Miss Arabella and her bowl o' puke, although he did hold the door open for her so she could duck beneath his arm with her burden.

 

He didn't bother to see what happened beyond that, he'd rather  not know, and he had to reconsider his life choices. 

 

Shaking his head, he made his way upstairs, taking in the scene there as he asked, "What happened?"  At least Miss Bridget seemed to be alive, kudos to her!

 

@Javia@Wayfarer@JulieS@Bailey

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