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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

A Stitch in Time


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Mature Content: No

Author: Edward Darling 

With: Miriam Kaufmann and supporting cast.
Location: Pettigrew's, White Rose Theatre.
When: September 4th 1876
Time of Day: 10am.

 

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Mr Pettigrew and the stranger had been up in his private quarters for over an hour now and apart from the occasional muffled sounds of talking, laughter, or the heavy tread of Mr P as he walked back and forth to the drinks cabinet, sounding through the floorboards above, neither Miriam Kaufmann nor Jemima Wigfall, serving in the dress shop below, had a clue what was going on. 

 

Eventually, they heard Mr Pettigrew's door open upstairs and the sound of the two men descending the steps down, talking loudly with an air of bonhomie and good humour. The visitor was a man who should not have been attractive: slight, not particularly tall, getting on a little perhaps. Jemima, who was pretty good at guessing these things, reckoned him to be about 50: his hair was receding a little, his nose was too long and the tell tale crow's feet of age decorated the edges of his eyes.

 

Still, there was something not unappealing about the overdressed man with the Mephistophelian beard: a certain rakishness, a certain je ne sais quoi.

 

He shook hands with Mr Pettigrew and turned to the two of them as they stood behind the counter of the store, bowing and doffing his hat. "Ladies." It was one word, yet he said it in a way that, even to Jemima's provincial mind, brought forth visions of gallantry and knights of old and doings at the court of Catherine de Medici; and considering that Jemima had never heard of Catherine de Medici, this was some going!

 

As soon as he departed, Worchester turned to his two employees with a look of ebullient pleasure on his fat, florid features.

 

"Well girls!! This is a signal day, a signal day indeed!! That gentleman was the famous actor Mister Edward Darling! Why girls, do you know, I saw Mister Darling give his Coriolanus in New Orleans twenty years ago?! It was a triumph, I tell you! A triumph!" For a moment the rotund draper's mind drifted, overcome with nostalgia for his beloved Louisiana and the days when he still had something to offer another man. 

 

"Anyway, I have offered Mr Darling your services for the rest of the week, I want you cut along to the theatre right away. Take your things, and report to him every morning for whatever tasks he may assign you. His main want and need is for a skilled seamstress, and I have informed him, Miss Kaufmann, that you are the most skilled young lady with a needle and thread in the whole of the territories, so do not let me down!" he admonished with his usual avuncular tone.

 

"What's he need me for?" asked Jemima in her flat, nasal voice.

 

"Well, there may be cleaning, painting, er, heavy lifting..." That was maybe not so flattering, Worchester quickly added "... and I have told Mr Darling that you are a competent seamstress to boot, Miss Wigfall." 

 

Jemima's placid features didn't really register pleasure or pain at this backhanded compliment, she tust turned to her coworker with weary "Come on Miriam, we'd better get our bonnets and shawls."

 

RARE2.jpg.05bc4ea73efbde386ef58edebcb79e10.jpg

 

Photo credit: A.S. Mudd, 1876.

 

@Wayfarer

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Though she could of course hear nothing clear of the conversation above them, other than the footsteps of  her employer, Miriam didn't think much of it but just kept working on the hem of Miss Mundee's latest dress. That woman sure went thru enough dresses, it must be nice to afford that many.  Her focus was only interrupted as the men came down the stairs and past them. She had no idea who the fellow was, he did look rather fancy, dignified. Something about him said 'big city' sort, there was no way he was a rancher or farmer. She nodded politely toward him when he doffed his hat on the way out.

 

That's when Mr. P directly addressed her and Jemima.

 

"Well girls!! This is a signal day, a signal day indeed!! That gentleman was the famous actor Mister Edward Darling! Why girls, do you know, I saw Mister Darling give his Coriolanus in New Orleans twenty years ago?! It was a triumph, I tell you! A triumph!"

 

"Oh? How exciting, " Miriam lied with pretend enthusiasm, she had never heard of Darling and Coriolanus meant nothing to her either. But he was from the South. Very well.

 

"Anyway, I have offered Mr Darling your services for the rest of the week, I want you cut along to the theatre right away. Take your things, and report to him every morning for whatever tasks he may assign you. His main want and need is for a skilled seamstress, and I have informed him, Miss Kaufmann, that you are the most skilled young lady with a needle and thread in the whole of the territories, so do not let me down!"

 

Well, that was not expected. Miriam was taken aback by her sudden assignment but he was the boss and she would do as she was told. It would be different and might even be rather fascinating. Her uncle had once taken her to a theatre in NYC for a performance and it had been quite delightful.

 

Mr.P made it quite clear she had a reputation to uphold for quality work and Miriam nodded, "Of course, sir. I will do my very best. Oh...and thank you for the compliment."

 

Jemima was going along too, to do mostly drudge work it sounded like , poor girl. Miriam had gotten to know the other girl and they got along well by now. However she could not replace Arabella. Miriam missed her best friend. There had not been a fight or anything but Arabella was busy now with her new job and plus that Christian women's ...whatever it was. Miriam was not Christian so............Her parents had forbade she even enter the place. 

 

"Come on Miriam, we'd better get our bonnets and shawls," said Jemima.

 

"Yes of course. Who knows, this might be quite.....exciting?" Miriam was usually an optimist in life. 

 

@Javia  @JulieS

 

 

 

 

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"Oh? How exciting," Miriam lied with pretend enthusiasm, she had never heard of Darling and Coriolanus meant nothing to her either. But he was from the South. Very well.

 

Jemima cast Miriam a sidelong glance. The big suck-up! She gave the ginger fatso an equally unbenign look as he outlined their work for the rest of the week

 

Mr.P made it quite clear she had a reputation to uphold for quality work and Miriam nodded, "Of course, sir. I will do my very best. Oh...and thank you for the compliment."

 

"Come on Miriam, we'd better get our bonnets and shawls," said Jemima.

 

"Yes of course. Who knows, this might be quite.....exciting?" Miriam was usually an optimist in life. 

 

Jemima just gave a non-committal grunt, but on their short walk from the drapers to the new theatre she waxed more loquacious . 

 

"Now, you be on your guard with these theatre folk, Miriam Kaufmann." the older girl warned "They're not really respectable. That Mister Darling feller looks like he's got an oily tongue, and as for that beard!: looks like he got it straight off the devil's chin." In Jemma's world, the facial hair on a man was as a mirror to his soul. 

 

"We need to make sure we protect our honour in this house of ill repute!" she added as she gingerly cracked open the newly painted door of the White Rose Theatre.

 

As they entered, a stentorian voice echoed from within.

 

"But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Miss Jemima Wigfall is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more fair than she."

 

Jemima screwed up her piggy black eyes and squinted into the gloom, emitting a bovine "Uh?"

 

As their eyes adjusted, the figure of Mr Darling could be seen advancing upon them.

 

"Aha, and the nibble fingered Miss Kaufmann, too. Splendid! A very Jessica in beauty and grace!!" he complimented her stooping to kiss her hand, although when he tried to do that to Jemima, she snatched it back. 

 

"We're here to work, Mr Darling, not have our hands slobbered over!" she informed the fancy feller. 

 

The actor's eye lit up as if with fire and he addressed Miriam "Ahh! Your friend Miss Wigfall has spirit as well as beauty, Miss Kaufmann! I shall clearly have to watch my Ps and Qs with you two nymphs of the prairies!!"

 

Nymphs?! Jemima crossed her arms over her chest protectively. 

 

8D5yBFFuMXT0n6t19N4ZsprekRd.jpg

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Evelyn had been out in the back checking the scenery when she heard Darling go into his soliloquy.  They had been rehearsing almost every day since their arrival in Kalispell almost two weeks.  Well, rehearsing was practically all they could do since the town offered very little else.

 

The White Rose Theatre was very small in comparison to what she was used to.  Ben told her that it would seat about 100 people which to her seemed more than adequate for a town of this size.  She would be surprised if they got fifty.  The building itself had been some sort of boarding house but the top floor had been converted to house the theatre, and a backstage area with three small dressing rooms.  On the bottom floor was a room that Ben called home, another that contained an office and a couple of other rooms.  One of these rooms was for storage and the other, to her surprise (no correction...it wasn't really that much of surprise considering that Ben was a gambler) a room where Ben held invitation only poker games.

 

She had been only partially listening to what Darling was saying but she heard two more voices and female at that.  Curious to see who the man was talking to, she walk out from behind the stage.  Thankfully, Ben hadn't taken out the windows in the audience area during the renovation as it allowed the daylight to come and she could see who it was.  Two young girls were conversing with him and one seemed to be very much on guard, which was good considering Darling thought he was still a young man of thirty.  It was too bad that he hadn't yet settled into playing the type of roles he should be playing for a man of 50.  The quicker she found someone younger to replace him as her leading man, the better.

 

Going up to the group, Evelyn smiled and said hello.  She then turned to Darling, "And who do we have here?"

 

@Javia @Wayfarer

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Upon entry into the newly remodeled building, now to be a theatre, none other than that actor fellow was there, the one Jemima had just warned her about and he greeted them with gusto. 

Miriam nodded.

 

"Aha, and the nibble fingered Miss Kaufmann, too. Splendid! A very Jessica in beauty and grace!!" he complimented her stooping to kiss her hand. 

 

Miriam had not expected that but did not resist, "Thank you."

 

'Nibble' fingered? Did he meant 'nimble'? She wasn't about to correct the man though.

 

Jemima would not have it though, pulling her hand away and snapping at him that they were only here for work purposes. But of course, Miriam just nodded in quiet agreement.

 

The actor's eye lit up as if with fire and he addressed Miriam "Ahh! Your friend Miss Wigfall has spirit as well as beauty, Miss Kaufmann! I shall clearly have to watch my Ps and Qs with you two nymphs of the prairies!!"

 

"Ummm,  yes, I suppose you should, sir," Miriam  honestly did not quite know what to make of the fellow.  Nymphs? 

 

There was another person now, a very nicely dressed young woman, another stranger to Miriam at least, who approached. Probably another member of the theatre seemed a safe guess.

 

Going up to the group, Evelyn smiled and said hello.  She then turned to Darling, "And who do we have here?"  

 

"Good day, ma'am," Miriam nodded acknowledgement. 

 

@Javia   @JulieS

 

 

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Going up to the group, Evelyn smiled and said hello.  She then turned to Darling, "And who do we have here?"  

 

"Good day, ma'am," Miriam nodded acknowledgement. 

 

Jemima looked the woman up and down and just gave her a sniff of greeting. She looked like an overdressed floozy, in her opinion. 

 

"Ahhh, Evelyn these are the two girls sent by Mr Pettigrew at the drapers..." he leant in and told her the important bit soto voce: "... free gratis, of course, we've got them to slave-drive all week for the cost of a few tickets..." he whispered to Evelyn. Jemima leaned in a bit to hear what the sneaky actor-type fellow was saying, but then he turned to face them again and spoke up.

 

"May I present Miss Miriam Kaufmann, whose nimble fingers will race across our tired old costumery and breathe new life into our theatrical fustian and, mayhap, let out a few seams here and there, for those of us who have gained a few pounds as we have hit the maudlin miasma of middle age..." the fact he glanced at Miss Hardy's tummy at this point indicated he meant her, not him. Oh no, he was still as slim and lithe as a boy!

 

"And Miss Jemima Wigfall, a general factorum of, I am assured, multiple skills and a sturdy constitution. Ah yes, beneath that pretty face and those mysterious black eyes is no fey drooping girlish weakness, but the robust constitution and hard muscles of American womanhood!" he said, lightly squeezing the bicep of Jemima's upper arm and then exclaiming in shock "My God, they are hard!"

 

She shrugged him off and asked "Who's she?"

 

"Now girls, this is Miss Hardy, the leader of our merry troupe and our beautiful leading lady! You must obey her as you obey me." he told them. 

 

@JulieS @Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Miriam listened wide eyed to the gentleman making very frequent use of a good deal of the English language to say the simplest of things. Probably the actor in him? No one else talked like that in Kalispell anyhow. Not even Clara Lutz.

 

"Now girls, this is Miss Hardy, the leader of our merry troupe and our beautiful leading lady! You must obey her as you obey me." the fellow declared.

 

Miriam's eyes narrowed for a moment, he was pushing the whole authority bit a little too much in her opinion. Mr. Pettigrew sent them over to help but neither she nor Jemima were going to be mindless slaves. Still Miriam was not the sort to protest aloud.

 

"Nice to meet you, Miss Hardy. I just love your dress," Miriam offered her best smile.

 

miriamwithhaton.jpg

 

@JulieS @Javia

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evelyn looked at both girls and nodded.  "Well Edward, it seems you have chosen two competent young ladies...unlike that time in Laramie."

 

She grimaced at the thought of nincompoop of a seamstress Darling had hired who had single-handedly almost ruined most of the costumes.  From then on she had taken of hiring girls to look after the costumes in each town they were in.  However, Darling saw Kalispell as his redemption, especially since he found out that the owner of the local fashion emporium belonged to a friend.  He had re-assured her that his friend would only hire the best and she had agreed to let him take care of it.  Besides, she had enough trouble in trying to make this engagement profitable since they were being paid the minimum.  Drat, that Ben Simons and drat her own foolishness for being in a position of owing somebody a favour.

 

Remembering that Miriam had complimented her dress, she turned to the girl.  "By the way, I forgot to thank you for your compliment about my dress."

 

Looking down at the plain dark green dress she wore when she was working backstage, Evelyn grinned and returned her gaze to Miriam, "If you'll come with me I will show you where we keep the costumes.  As for you, Miss Wigfall, what would you like to do?  We have a number of tasks that need to be done."

 

@Wayfarer @Javia

 

 

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