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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.

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Mature Content: No

With: Addy, Isiah, Weddy, Josh, Open
Location: Millegan Stage Co. Barn/Chappel Residence
When: Aug 31 / 1876
Time of Day: Midday

 

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Addy was grateful that her brother was here to drive the wagon back home...while she could have done it, she was exhausted, both physically and mentally.  She'd helped take care of the injured until they got to the fort, but once they were on the rode back to town, she'd relaxed with Caroline in the back of the wagon, where both ladies endured Weddy and Josh's earnest ministrations. 

 

Still, Addy had pretty quickly fallen asleep, and only woke up when they stopped in town to drop off Miss Mundee at her home.  After giving the young woman a firm hug, she climbed onto the seat next to her brother, leaning against him with a sigh.

 

"Good ta be home," she muttered, although there was a lot to do before she could relax.  "Least ways I got me a horse outta it," she added, indicating the Indian paint tied to the back of the wagon.  "Gonna hafta take a team out an' get th' coach." 

 

Sighing, she rested her head on her brother's shoulder.  "Gotta get me some boots an' a good meal first, though.  It was good ta see ya there."

 

@MD

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"Good ta be home," she muttered, although there was a lot to do before she could relax.  "Least ways I got me a horse outta it," she added, indicating the Indian paint tied to the back of the wagon.  "Gonna hafta take a team out an' get th' coach."
 

Sighing, she rested her head on her brother's shoulder.  "Gotta get me some boots an' a good meal first, though.  It was good ta see ya there."

 

Isiah had felt terrible that he wasn't there even sooner.  "I woulda been there sooner if I coulda." He let her know as he leaned some towards her so she didn't have to lean so far to rest her head.  The bruise and swelling from the hit she'd taken to her face looked painful, and he supposed it was only going to get a little bit worse before it got better. 

 

"I was told not to though, warned not to." He wanted to be sure she was clear on that, to know that he would have been out there fighting for her, but showing up in the middle of the battle, folks not knowin' who he was, well it would have caused more trouble than help.  

 

"I knew you were tough, Addy, but d*amn, I didn't know you were this tough." He held the reigns of the horses, guiding them back to the house.  He was so glad he was here to help take care of her and the house and anything else she needed.

 

"Don't worry about the coach, I'll go and help whoever needs it to get it back here.  You'll be home resting for a while." He told her, his firm tone, knowing she could be just as stubborn as he was!  He stopped the horses and wagon in front of the house.  He jumped down and went around to help her get down. "Jemima cooked a good meal for the boys and ... " He couldn't remember the other girls name right now. "Oh another young girl..." He shook his head since he couldn't remember. "So you'll be eating good once we get you inside." He smiled to her as he lifted his arms to help her down.

 

When they got home, Josh came running around to stand beside Isiah, wanting to help me, he tried to push his Pa out of the way and he held his arms up like his Pa. "I'll help ya down Aunt Addy!" He had enjoying helping with the ladies in the back and now he wanted to help more, even if he was feeling tired after all this!

 

@Bongo

Edited by MD (see edit history)
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Grinning, Addy let her brother and Josh help her down from the wagon, then sighed and nodded.  There were more pressing things than fetching the coach, and she figured by the time she'd gotten those done, the coach would be back and polished!

 

"Thank ya.  Reckon I'll get t' th' house an' clean up."  She did have some old boots there, although she wasn't of a mind to go anywhere for a while.  And she knew Isiah would take care of the team...in fact, Weddy was already starting to work on the harness.

 

"Wouldn't'a made no sense ta come out any sooner, not in th' dark."  Even she wouldn't have tried such a thing in the dark, not knowing exactly where she was going, or what she was riding into.  "Glad yer here, though."

 

She wanted to talk to him, but that would have to wait until the horses were put up and she'd had a real meal...and a bath...and a few shots of whisky!

 

"C'mon, now," she held her hand to Josh, "you can help me in th' house, show me whacha made fer supper."

 

@MD

@Javia

 

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If Mrs O'Hoolighan hadn't suggested it, Jemima wouldn't have gone calling at the Chappel home, that last day in August. Not because she didn't care about the injured and abused Indian captive who was just then being brought home, or her adopted son Porter, who had endured a tough night of it, no doubt, but because she did care for Miss Chappel's brother, Isiah. 

 

Arabella had told her about this thing called 'the hard to get game' which girls were supposed to use on men they wanted: but any plans that Jemima might have to try that on Mr Chappel were sorta busted by her turning up like a bad penny with a pie (nicely covered in a gingham cloth) a jug of cordial and a bar of fancy scented soap that  Mrs. O'H. had donated. 

 

Addy, Weedy, little Josh and (*sigh*) Isiah, were just making their way in when she appeared, toting her 'welcome home' package. It so happened she caught Isiah's eye first, and quickly looked down to the ground, blushing furiously. 

 

"Mrs O'Hoolighan said to bring these round and see if Miss Chappel wants any help with anything... any lady things." she announced, somewhat mysteriously. But terrible things could happen to a women at the hands of the Indian savages, things Addy may not be able to disclose to a man, even her brother.

 

@MD @Bongo

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Before they could get into the house, a familiar face (which there weren't many of those for Isiah at the moment) rounded the corner, branding a nice warm pie and an offer of help.  Isiah just thought the girl shy around him, since he was new to her, when she looked away, blushing the way she did, as his mind was far from any relationship with his wife just passing and his sister just going through this fiasco.  

 

Jemima had been nothing but kind to him and Josh so far, even if she had been a bit ornery during their first meeting.  She had always seemed to be willing to help and here she was again lending a hand.

 

"Afternoon, Jemima." He tipped his hat towards her, giving her a smile as Josh held tight to Addy's hand continuing to help her to the door.  "Mighty kind of you and Mrs. O'Hoolighan...." He hoped he said that right.  "We still had left overs from last night, but this looks nice and warm and no doubt delicious." He held his hand towards her, offering to take the pie off her hands.  "I'm sure we could use some help if you don't mind and have the time, because you..." he said looking at Addy as he walked towards the house and he opened the door for her and Josh.... "are going in, getting cleaned up and resting." He said to her with a wink and a smile.

 

He turned his attention to Weedy as he held the door.

"Thanks, Weedy...be right there to help ya!" He hollered, since the boy was already getting the team and the wagon put away.

 

@Bongo @Javia

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"Miss Jemima."  Addy nodded to the young woman, the way she was eyeing her brother, like a big ol' grizzly bear watching a one-finned salmon trying to swim upstream -- no, wait, it was F Falmer who was the bear, right?  So, more of a...

 

"That pie ya got there?"  Addy grinned, allowing as how she really was pretty famished, and for real food!  "Don't know as I got no 'lady things' ta worry on, but a nice, hot bath'll be just th' thing!  Thank ya fer offerin' help, Miss Jemima.  Ya can put some water on ta heat."

 

She didn't really need a bath hot, but neither did she relish a cold bath!

 

"Should be done 'bout th' time yer done with them horses," she told her brother, "then we c'n all sit down ta a feast...an' whisky fer them what's old enough!"  She needed a good shot!

 

Out in the barn, Weedy had dragged over the crate he used so he could reach the buckles on the harness, and handing some of the smaller pieces down to Josh.  "Just lay those by the tack room," he told his cousin, "and we can hang them up later."  Even he needed the crate to reach the pegs.

 

@MD; @Javia

 

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"Miss Jemima."  Addy nodded to the young woman.

 

"I'm glad you're all right, Miss Chappel." the girl said simply.

 

"That pie ya got there?"  Addy grinned, allowing as how she really was pretty famished, and for real food!  "Don't know as I got no 'lady things' ta worry on, but a nice, hot bath'll be just th' thing!  Thank ya fer offerin' help, Miss Jemima.  Ya can put some water on ta heat."

 

Jemima nodded her comprehension and tried unsuccessfully to appear oblivious to Isiah's presence.

 

"Afternoon, Jemima." He tipped his hat towards her, giving her a smile as Josh held tight to "Mighty kind of you and Mrs. O'Hoolighan...." He hoped he said that right.  

 

Jemima just gave Isiah a quick, coy smile and looked back down again: too shy, even, to correct the terrible mis-pronouncement of Mrs O'Hoolighan's name, even though she'd just said it herself. 

 

"We still had left overs from last night, but this looks nice and warm and no doubt delicious." He held his hand towards her, offering to take the pie off her hands.

 

"That was just Tater Pie, this is steak and kidney, we made it specially to build up Miss Chappel's strength after her ordeal." she explained. When he held out his hands to take it though, she demurred "That's all right, I can bring it." she said. After all, he might be tall and handsome, but he was still just a man, and a man might clumsily drop it or put it in the wrong place in the kitchen and besides, pie-care was women's work, even in the topsy-turvy house of Miss Addy, where women wore men's clothes and drove stage coaches!

 

"I'm sure we could use some help if you don't mind and have the time, because you are going in, getting cleaned up and resting." 

 

She didn't really need a bath hot, but neither did she relish a cold bath!

 

"Should be done 'bout th' time yer done with them horses," she told her brother, "then we c'n all sit down ta a feast...an' whisky fer them what's old enough!"  She needed a good shot!

 

Jemima went in with Addy and put the pie somewhere sensible then looked out some suitable kettles to heat the water up on the hob where, just last night, she had stood and cooked up some vitals for Weedy and Arabella and then Josh and his father too. 

 

She couldn't help comment on Addy's black eye. "That's a nice shiner they gave you, Miss Chappel; would you like me to fetch some raw steak to put on that, we didn't use it all in the pie?" she offered.

 

"Mr Chappel was awfully worried about you, he wanted to set off and find you in the middle of the night, we even had words about it." she confided, finding an odd thrill to relate the very minimal conversation she had enjoyed with her brother: that they had spoken at all, even if he had ended by scolding her, was something to her, it meant they had some sort of 'relationship'.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTcCXr-QzVGHwGgIqUuPFw

 

@MD @Bongo

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Isiah was happy to have Jemima here to help, to draw up the warm water and showing up just in time with a warm meal for Addy.  She deserved that and so much more.  Once the two ladies were inside Isiah hurried over to help the boys.  

 

Weedy was a hard worker, he could tell that and he was glad that Josh seemed to be looking up to the boy and following his every move.  He found them in the barn working together.  Arriving just in time to lift the saddle from the horse they were working on.  "You boys have been a big help." He said to the pair and he placed the saddle in it's spot. Then coming back to the horse, he checked him over for any rubs or sores from all the hard work as the boys started to work on the other horse.  

 

After caring for the horses, getting them water, cleaning up their hooves, etc he looked at them both, the three of them hot and sweaty by now. "I bet Addy's done with her bath and it's time to eat.  I'm mighty hungry, how about you two?" He raised a brow, already knowing the answer to this question from the two growing boys.

 

He headed back towards the house with them, not taking for granted the peace he was finally feeling, knowing his sister was home, safe, and unharmed (for the most part).  

 

@Bongo @Javia

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Addy went out to the back where the 'tub' was, a converted trough that needed to be filled with water from the pump, and she really didn't want to wait for the water to be hot.

 

"Grab a bucket there," she asked Jemima, then she grabbed another...it would go pretty quickly with both of them working. 

 

"They gave me a shiner, an' Miss Caroline's got even more scrapes, but we took care'a one of 'em, so he ain't gonna bother no one no more."

 

She dumped some water into the trough, then went back for another round.  "I'm glad that lunkhead didn't come out in th' dark."  Glancing at Jemima, she shook her head.  "Wouldn't just got lost out there an' ended up back here, th' horses would'a come home."

 

Lordy, she would have been worried if she'd thought that Isiah would have been wandering the mountains in the dark! 

 

Finally, she peeled out of what was left of her clothes, then sighed and stepped into the tub, only shivering a little as she settled down.  "I thank ya fer lookin' out fer th' boys.  It's good ta know they weren't alone."

 

Closing her eyes, she sighed.  "Would ya mind goin' in my room an' grabbin' my nightshirt?"  She'd need something to put on when she got out of the water.

 

@Javia @MD

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"Grab a bucket there," she asked Jemima, then she grabbed another...it would go pretty quickly with both of them working. 

 

"They gave me a shiner, an' Miss Caroline's got even more scrapes, but we took care'a one of 'em, so he ain't gonna bother no one no more."

 

"Good." growled Jemima, with a look of grim satisfaction on her face. She would have enjoyed hearing exactly how the redskin had died at the white women's hands, but it was a bit unseemly to ask. She'd find out from the saloon whore Mundee, via Arabella. 

 

She dumped some water into the trough, then went back for another round.  "I'm glad that lunkhead didn't come out in th' dark."  Glancing at Jemima, she shook her head.  "Wouldn't just got lost out there an' ended up back here, th' horses would'a come home."

 

"I offered to show him the way!" Jemima blurted "But I don't think he thought girl should go on adventures like that. He wanted to keep me safe." she uttered, feeling an odd mixture of resentment still, that he had rejected her offer, and cosiness at the thought of him considering her safety. A little dreamy look came over her face, which was usually quite placid and bovine anyway, and then she snapped out of it and went to fetch one of the kettles - she could at least take a little of the chill out of the pump water for Isiah's sister.

 

Finally, she peeled out of what was left of her clothes, then sighed and stepped into the tub, only shivering a little as she settled down.  "I thank ya fer lookin' out fer th' boys.  It's good ta know they weren't alone."

 

Jemima looked at Addy's naked body as she dipped into the makeshift bathtub. She was surprisingly womanly in her form for such a tomboyish person, her body would be attractive to a man and she could see what that feller, whatshisname, Jay Ryker, had seen in her. When she told Arabella that she'd given a naked Addy Chappel a bath, that weird little Miss would be as jealous as Hell; but the sight of an attractive female form just made Jemima sad: she herself was even less attractive with her clothes off than she was with them on, and that was saying something.  

 

Closing her eyes, she sighed.  "Would ya mind goin' in my room an' grabbin' my nightshirt?"  She'd need something to put on when she got out of the water.

 

"Sure" nodded the girl and came back presently with both the mannish nightshirt - no pink ribbons and bows here - a towel, the other kettle and the posh soap from the Professor's. 

 

She dumped the soap, towel and nightshirt and brought the kettle round to the front of the trough to pour it in where it wouldn't scald the bather. "Spread your legs" she suggested, so she could pour the water in safely. For some reason, that lead her to her next question. 

 

"Why'd that Mr Ryker leave, is he coming back?" she asked the other woman bluntly. 

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Isiah, Weedy and Josh made their way inside.  Finding no one there he assumed they were out back and she was finishing up with her bath.  "You boys stay here in the kitchen, Addy's out back finishing up with her bath." He told them, not wanting either of them to slip out there by mistake and startle the women. 

 

"Here, let's get this table set." Isiah glanced around the kitchen.  This definitely wasn't somewhere that he knew his way around, nor was he comfortable, but his mother and late wife had taught him enough that he could get by.  He grabbed the plates and handed them down to Weedy and Josh.

 

"These'll go on the table." He said to them and started thinking that he wished he had time to go into town to get Addy's some of that pie he knew she loved so much.

 

"We don't have time now but maybe later you two can go into town and get Addy some pie at that restaurant that she likes so much." He knew Weedy would know just what she'd want and where to go and Josh could help him.  That would give Isiah some time to talk to his sister, see how she really was.  

 

@Bongo @Javia

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There was an urgent knock on the front door followed by the sound of someone boldly letting themselves into the house, a man's voice - a well spoken one, too - no hobbledehoy this - grew loud as it approached the kitchen, which was the hub and hearth of this household.

 

"Miss Chappel! Miss Chappel? Miss Chappel, are you there!" it called, in quite a state of agitation. "Miss Chappel, I have just heard... oh!" The tall, spindly figure of Mr. F. Falmer Browne, often inappropriately labelled The Professor by the denizens of Kalispell, due to his reclusive habits and odd agricultural and geological enthusiasms and erudite studies, skidded to a halt at the threshold of the kitchen proper.

 

The sight of Isiah seemed to puzzle him enough for the man to screw up his eyes and stoop forward to make sure he wasn't seeing what he hoped he wasn't seeing.

 

He looked relieved. It wasn't his rival in love, the odious Ryker, returned! But there was always the worry that this might be some new paramour, again, younger and more attractive than himself!

 

"Oh, how do you do? I am Miss Chappel's next door neighbour, Falmer Brown. I have just been appraised of the most execrable news of that fair lady's incarceration by the savages of the plain! Er, you are...?" 

 

@MD

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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As he and the boys prepared the table for dinner, waiting on the ladies Isiah heard the ruckus at the door and being on edge, after everything that had happened he rushed to go and see what it was, pushing the boys behind him and nearly running into the gentleman as they rounded the kitchen door corner at the same time.  Isiah reached forward and steadied the man that he nearly knocked down, seeing immediately that he meant no harm.

 

"Sorry about that." He stepped back as Mr. Brown introduced himself and gave the reason for his visit and rush into the house.  Isiah was happy that Addy had neighbors concerned over her well-being.  

 

"I'm Isiah Chappel." He extended his hand to greet the man. "Addy's brother.  Just arrived about a week or so ago." He quickly let the gentleman know of his sister's well being. "And Addy is just fine.  Physically at least." He had no idea what kind of mental toll this might take on her.  She was tough though and he knew she's bounce back. "Mighty kind of ya to come and check on her." He said with a nod of his head.

 

@Javia

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"I'm Isiah Chappel." He extended his hand to greet the man. "Addy's brother.  Just arrived about a week or so ago." He quickly let the gentleman know of his sister's well being.

 

Browne's face was a picture of worry: he had been away collecting geological samples for a week and knew nothing of Addy's long lost brother coming to live with her. Had her brother been called here because of some family tragedy? Had Addy not escaped totally unscathed from her savage captors?

 

Chronologically, it didn't make logical sense, but the older man couldn't help but feel disquiet over the brother's presence.

 

On the other hand... at least it wasn't a new boyfriend, popped up in the morning dew like a mushroom to replace Jay Ryker.

 

"And Addy is just fine.  Physically at least." He had no idea what kind of mental toll this might take on her.  She was tough though and he knew she's bounce back.

 

Well, that was a relief! And that relief showed on Falmer Browne's features.

 

"Mighty kind of ya to come and check on her." He said with a nod of his head.

 

"Oh, think nothing of it, my dear Mr Chappel" Browne shook his head in turn. "Your sister is very, very dear to me, I mean, to all of us, the whole community!" he corrected himself, not wanting to sound too creepy. 

 

@MD

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Regardless of the bath being a little on the cool side, Addy sank gratefully into the water with a sigh.  It was always good to clean up after a hard day, but this had been more than one day, and 'hard' was hardly a way to describe it. 

 

"Thank ya, Miss Jemima," she murmured as the warm water was added, then she breathed in the scent of the fancy soap and smiled.  "I think this just might be too good fer me!"  Working up a good lather, she soaped up her hair, then her body before rinsing off and standing.

 

""Why'd that Mr Ryker leave, is he coming back?"

 

Something Addy had been pondering on for a time now, and something she didn't have a good answer to.  "I don't reckon we'll be seein' him again."  She shrugged, disappointed that she'd made a mistake, but there was no reason to pine over it.  "I don't have no misgivin's that he loves me, nor that he's fond'a Weedy, but I reckon some gents just can't handle bein' commited or bein' in one place." 

 

She shrugged again, slipping her nightshirt over her head, then combing her fingers through her wet hair.  "I'm done with love, got my brother here, an' nephew, an' I got Weedy, that's enough.  Ain't worth th' fuss."

 

Grinning, she patted Jemima on the arm.  "Let's go get some'a them good vittles ya made!"  And with that, she marched, unabashed, into the house!

 

@md

@Javia

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Weedy showed Isiah where all the tack went, and using an upturned crate, he helped brush out the horses, letting Josh stand with him so he could pitch in.

 

Finally, they headed back to the house, and there was a little skip in Weedy's step...it had been a long day, but he was so happy that Addy was back, and was all right.  And then Uncle Isiah suggested pie from the Lickskillet, and that made it all better!

 

He started helping with the dishes, but then Professor Brown came in, and Weedy ran over to him.  "Professor!"  He hugged the man tightly, then, even though introductions had been made, he made them again.

 

"This is my Uncle Isiah!  And that's Josh, he's my cousin, because Isiah is Miz Addy's brother, and Josh is his son!"  There, now the Professor had all the details!

 

"Uncle Isiah, this is Professor Brown, he lives behind us, where Miss Jemima does.  He has spiders and crickets and snakes and gophers..."  Well, he did have a gopher!

 

@MD

@Javia

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Isiah smiled warmly at Mr. Brown as he spoke about his sister so kindly and chuckled a bit as Weedy made the 2nd round of introductions.  It warmed his heart him calling him Uncle like that.  The kid sure had a way of making him feel most welcome.  

 

"Thanks, Weedy." He could tell that Mr. Brown must be a nice man or Weedy wouldn't have been so happy to see him.  "We are all relieved that Addy and the other young lady escaped mostly unharmed. She's got quite the shiner but other'n that think she's gonna be just fine."  When Weedy said he lived where Jemima does he figured the two must be related?...or maybe she worked for Mr. Brown.

 

"Jemima's in the back now helping Addy get cleaned up." He stepped to the side showing where they were in the process of setting the table and the nice pie that Jemima brought over. "Won'tcha stay fer dinner?" He asked. "There's plenty.  Jemima brought over a steak pie." He smiled as Josh came over from setting the last plate in it's place, standing beside his Pa he waved at the gentlemen and in a small voice "Hi." He said as he hid a bit behind his father's leg, always shy at first around new folks.

 

@Javia

@Bongo

 

 

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"Uncle Isiah, this is Professor Brown, he lives behind us, where Miss Jemima does.  He has spiders and crickets and snakes and gophers..."  Well, he did have a gopher!

 

"Thanks, Weedy." He could tell that Mr. Brown must be a nice man or Weedy wouldn't have been so happy to see him.  

 

Falmer Brown chortled indulgently. "I must admit, Mr Chappel, that Master James is correct in his resume of my small collection of local fauna, but Miss Wigfall is only a peripatetic visitor; I fear no cage could quite contain her; she is a most remarkably strong young woman." he let Isiah know.

 

He could hardly have an unmarried young woman living under the same roof as himself unchaperoned, even if she was rather too unattractive for anyone to believe that there could be any impropriety involved.  

 

"Jemima's in the back now helping Addy get cleaned up." He stepped to the side showing where they were in the process of setting the table and the nice pie that Jemima brought over. "Won'tcha stay fer dinner?" He asked.

 

"Oh, I wouldn't want to deprive you of, er, ...." He demurred politely although, to be fair, the ingredients in the pie had originally been intended for his tummy!

 

"There's plenty.  Jemima brought over a steak pie." He smiled as Josh came over from setting the last plate in it's place, standing beside his Pa he waved at the gentlemen and in a small voice "Hi." He said as he hid a bit behind his father's leg, always shy at first around new folks.

 

"Oh, well, if you insist!" Browne hadn't been hard to convince to stay, that was for sure.

 

"And who is this young gentleman?" he asked, bending down and smiling benignly at Josh.

 

@Bongo @MD

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Why'd that Mr Ryker leave, is he coming back?"

 

"I don't reckon we'll be seein' him again."  She shrugged, disappointed that she'd made a mistake, but there was no reason to pine over it.  "I don't have no misgivin's that he loves me, nor that he's fond'a Weedy, but I reckon some gents just can't handle bein' committed or bein' in one place." 

 

Jemima nodded - not to indicate that she knew this already, but to indicate her understanding and comprehension, that she was learning from the more experienced woman. She'd have to make sure she didn't lose her man for those reasons.

 

Jemima heard the front door and a familiar voice out front. 

 

"Professor Brown's here." she said in her flat nasal tone. "Pity he isn't twenty years younger. He's rich as anything, he's clever and he's nice. Gentlemanly like. I guess you know he likes you. I mean, really likes you." she thought a second, and then added. "But a young woman needs a young man. Satisfy her needs." she gave her opinion bluntly. 

 

She shrugged again, slipping her nightshirt over her head, then combing her fingers through her wet hair.  "I'm done with love, got my brother here, an' nephew, an' I got Weedy, that's enough.  Ain't worth th' fuss."

 

Jemima shook her head. "That's all right for you. You've known love. I never have." she concluded. 

 

Grinning, she patted Jemima on the arm.  "Let's go get some'a them good vittles ya made!"  And with that, she marched, unabashed, into the house!

 

The hardworking, lovelorn, frowsy-looking girl nodded sadly and followed Addy through.

 

@MD @Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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While she had heard the comment about F. Falmer being fond of her, it hadn't quite registered in her head that said F Famler was actually in her house...after all, he'd been gone for a few days, and she wasn't sure when he'd be back.

 

So, she was a bit startled when she walked in on him, along with her brother and the boys.  "Oh!  It's Sir Browne Bear!  Didn't 'spect ta see ya here!"  She grinned, aware that she wasn't properly attired for company, but then, Addy was no stranger to non-conventional attire, and besides, it wasn't as if there was anything inordinately revealing in the linen dressing gown. 

 

"Are ya gonna join us?"  Well, Weedy had already set an extra place on the table, so that was settled!  "I'm starvin', let's eat!"

 

@MD; @Javia

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Isiah knew that he probably should have checked with Addy first about having visitors over for dinner, but now it was done and he couldn't go back on his word.  

 

When Isiah felt Josh beside him he placed his hand on his shoulder and brought him around front of him from hiding behind his leg.  He lifted the boy up then holding him. "This here is my boy, Joshua." He smiled proudly.  "He lost his Ma and me my wife a bit ago.  That's what brings us ta town.  I had ta move on, so comin' here to see Addy seemed most appropriate." 

 

Josh wrapped his arm around his Pa's shoulder when he lifted him up and he smiled a bit at the man and waved again.  All that stuff sounded right nice and he thought he'd like to come and see it some time.  "What's fauna?" The boy asked way after the fact of Mr. Brown saying something about it.  And what's pertetic?" He asked, meaning when he referred to Jemima as peripatetic.

 

When Addy came in Isiah pulled a chair out for his sister to take a seat. "And you get the biggest slice and I told the boys they'd go into the Lickskillet later ta get you some pie!" 

 

@Bongo

@Javia

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Fauna's animals," Weedy declared, looking up at the Professor, "isn't that right?  But I don't know what that other thing is."  He knew a lot, but not nearly so much as Professor Browne!

 

"C'mon, now, let's dig inta this grub!"  Addy glanced at her 'company', gesturing to chairs...well, and a crate or two, her kitchen wasn't set up for so many people!  "I ain't had nothin' good fer near two days, an' this smells wonderful!  An' we gotta eat supper so we can have that pie, right?"

 

She glanced at Jemima and smiled.  "It's right kind'a ya ta bake these fine vittles, Miss Jemima, an' Mr. Browne Bear," she grinned, "was right neighborly'a ya ta loan her t' us!"

 

@Javia; @MD

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"Fauna's animals," Weedy declared, looking up at the Professor, "isn't that right?  But I don't know what that other thing is."  He knew a lot, but not nearly so much as Professor Browne!

 

"You are quite correct, Master James. As for peripatetic, I merely indicate that Miss Wigfall is not a permanent inmate of my humble abode." Browne explained opaquely.

 

"I just clean there, part time." Jemima made things more transparent.

 

"C'mon, now, let's dig inta this grub!"  Addy glanced at her 'company', gesturing to chairs...well, and a crate or two, her kitchen wasn't set up for so many people!  "I ain't had nothin' good fer near two days, an' this smells wonderful!  An' we gotta eat supper so we can have that pie, right?"

 

The company was seated and with no Arabella present this time, they all somehow forgot to say grace and tucked straight in.

 

She glanced at Jemima and smiled.  "It's right kind'a ya ta bake these fine vittles, Miss Jemima, an' Mr. Browne Bear," she grinned, "was right neighborly'a ya ta loan her t' us!"

 

Jemima was shy about having all the attention on her (just Isiah's attention would have been quite ample and quite nice too, thank you) and looked a bit embarrassed. 

 

Luckily, Farmer Browne moved the conversation on as some present had given a confused look at Addy's nickname for him.

 

"He he, 'Browne Bear' well, there is rather an amusing story behind Miss Chapel's unusual appellation for me." he chuckled and heads turned his way.

 

"You see, er, I once went to an event, and I was dressed as... a brown Bear!" He waited for the amused laughter and tittering but heard only silence and the clank of the boys cutlery on china. "Well, er, I suppose one had to be there to er..."

 

"I'd stick to flora and fauna and leave the jokes to Bret Harte and Mark Twain, if I were you Professor." said Jemima, raising her thick eyebrows mischievously at Weedy and Josh. 

 

@MD

Jemima W2.jpg

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