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Emeline Blakesley

Rain Drops Keep Fallin'

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Mature Content: No

Author: Emeline

With: Open
Location: Lick Skillet Cafe
When: September / 1875
Time of Day: Mid-Morning

 

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The rain had tapered off quite a bit, but the streets were still pretty muddy so business had been slow in the morning, and now that it was the lull between breakfast and lunch, Emeline's cafe was quiet.  Not that she minded, she never objected to some time to herself, and it gave her an opportunity to get supper started and to work on some pies.  Even though it was off-season for fresh fruits, there were plenty of preserves, and today Emeline was in the mood for apple crumble and peach cobbler, so she was up to her elbows in four and dough.

 

Humming a lilting tune, Emeline smiled to herself as she rolled out the dough, enjoying the sound of raindrops on the roof of the porch awning now that it wasn't a deluge that drowned out any other noise.  It could get lonely here sometimes, but that never lasted long, and Emeline kept herself busy so that she didn't dwell on things past, things that couldn't be helped and couldn't be changed.

 

Besides, she had that lazy ginger tom cat to keep her company, and he didn't argue with her! @Members

 

@Flip Open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The door to the cafe opened then and the owner could no doubt hear footsteps on the wooden floor of the cafe main room.  She apparently had customers.

 

Clara lowered the top of her coat which she had pulled up over her head due to the rain as she looked about the place. Though an occasional visitor to town, she had yet to set foot in this place. The family ate their meals at their farm and cooked by her. This sort of place was a luxury in her opinion. But she had to admit she was curious about it.

 

Wyatt.jpg

 

Wyatt removed his hat then shook it vigorously in the hopes some of the rain would splatter onto the floor. Well that was until Clara seized his arm and hissed, "Stop that."

 

Wyatt sighed but obeyed as he then spotted the chalkboard on the wall with what seemed to be a whole listing of foods and such. He stepped closer to get a better look, "They got pie here."

 

Clara noticed that too, "I am quite confident I can make a better pie than this establishment."

 

Wyatt frowned, "You don't know that. We should try some so we can compare. "

 

Clara pondered the menu some more, "Maybe."

 

@Bongo

 

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At the sound from the dining area, Emeline called out, "Just a moment!" as she set aside her rolling pin, glad that there were customers to break up the monotony.  Wiping her hands on her apron, she emerged from the kitchen.

 

"Good morning."  She smiled at the youngsters, wondering if they were customers, curious, or waifs like young Weedy, who came by on occasion to mooch treats in return for sweeping.  No matter, she would deal with whatever came.

 

"Welcome in from all that rain.  Do you want to have a seat?"

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

 

 

 

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There was a woman's voice then from another room soon followed by her emergence. Clara eyed her, figuring her for the cook here. Wyatt blinked at her appearance. She reminded him of their mother, even wore her hair like she had. He smiled then. Clara remained unsmiling, it was not really something she did a lot. The young lady was of course much better at being polite and conversational.

 

"Good morning, ma'am," she replied.

 

"Howdy," Wyatt wasn't as proper but genuinely friendly to almost everyone. Except for Donnie Trent, he was a bully in school. Donnie was scary.

 

"I believe we will, thank you," Clara said in response to the offer of a seat, glancing about, "Do you have a preference which table we should take?"

 

@Bongo

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Well, there was no mistaking that the children were well-behaved, although the girl seemed a bit stand-offish.  But then, she may have good cause, there was no telling, and it really wasn't any of Emeline's business.

 

"You may sit anywhere you''d like," she answered the girl, but then she turned her attention to the lad.  "But I have heard that that table," she pointed to a table by the window, "comes with free pie!"

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

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They immediately were told they could pick whatever table they wished, which did make sense Clara figured, it was all about keeping the customers satisfied. But then the woman threw in quite the offer, leastwise Wyatt thought so.

 

"Really? Well then we'll sit there, won't we, Clara?" though the boy glanced at his sister he didn't hesitate to make a beeline for that table as if someone else was going to suddenly race them for it?

 

Clara was a bit more suspicious, that seemed a foolish deal for any business to offer? She started trying to figure out if there was perhaps a catch to this then. She couldn't really but made a far more dignified walk to the same table and sat opposite Wyatt.

 

"Actually we were thinking about ordering pie. My sister says she makes the best pies in the world but we'd love to see how yours taste," Wyatt was far too talkative suddenly for Clara's liking.

 

"I did not say anything of the sort. How would anyone be able to judge all the pies in the world," she frowned at her goofy brother. Kids!

 

@Bongo

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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The men sat watching the interaction with the children, Pike leaned forward, “Don’t know about you gents, but life as a child, miss it sum, if you know what I mean.”

 

Phinn snickered, “Yes, yes I do. Where’d all that time go anyway?”

 

Speed took a breath, “On the road to Appomattox I ‘spose. Went from being boys to becoming men under fire. Changes the perspective of living.”

 

They sat quiet watching the interactions between Emiline and the kids. “Seems like I ought to be doing something.” Speed reflected.

 

“You are, yer sittin’ here with us, jawin’.” Pike stated.  “Darn rain anyhow, had thought to take a ride this morning, but not in this.” His eyes not leaving the widow Blakesley.

 

“I need some inspiration for the paper, but alas, it just isn’t coming.” Phinn bemoaned.  He followed Pie’s eyes and grinned. “Mister Pike, you’re apt to burn a hole in her dress you keep staring like that.”

 

Pike’s head snapped around and he glared at the newspaper man. “Not likely to happen, Phinn. I was lookin’ out the winda.” Pike’s voice carried more than he would have liked as it caused Emeline To look up quickly, and right at hem. Pike, to save face raised his cup, as Speed seemed to have trouble containing a laugh. “Fine lotta friends you two are.” He all but mumbled.

 

Tag @Bongo

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"Actually we were thinking about ordering pie. My sister says she makes the best pies in the world but we'd love to see how yours taste,"

 

"Oh, well, I hope mine measures up."  Emeline held back a chuckle as she nodded to the boy, he was so earnest.  Still, there was an undertone of melancholy -- he reminded her of the potential lost when she'd miscarried...it was why she had a soft spot for boys.

 

"I did not say anything of the sort. How would anyone be able to judge all the pies in the world," she frowned at her goofy brother. Kids!

 

"That's a good point," she agreed, "and there are so many sorts of pies, some with ingredients we can't even get here.  And, of course, everyone has their own taste.  Me, I don't care for cherry or rhubarb." 

 

The men across the room got a little loud and she glanced that way, nodding as Mr. Pike raised his mug, not noticing that there seemed to be some gentlemanly needling going on.

 

"So, I have apple, pecan and peach pie right now.  What would you like?  Oh, and did you want anything else?  A meal first?"

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

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"I like any kind of pie no matter what," Wyatt asserted  while Clara rolled her eyes.

 

"That statement makes no sense since you have not eaten more than just a few kinds your entire life. Like the lady says, there are pies we have never even heard of or cannot get ingredients for. Like from..... India or China," Clara was the ever logical one.

 

As to the woman's remark about what she disliked, Clara shrugged, "I am in agreement with you about the rhubarb, unless you drown it in sugar it is too bitter. However, I do like cherry pie, the canned cherries can be rather expensive though."

 

"I'd like a big slice of apple pie, ma'am," Wyatt was quick to choose.

 

"No thank you on the meal, we are only here while our father is over by the blacksmith," Clara explained.

 

"To get us out of the way," Wyatt grinned up at the lady.

 

"I believe he was referring to you," Clara cast him a sidelong glance then it was back to the woman, "I however would like to try your pecan pie, please.  I have only had it one time previously and while it was ........ interesting I was not particularly impressed. Thought it could have used a bit more time in the oven, you could tell by the crust of course."

 

@Bongo

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Apple for the gentleman and pecan for the lady."  Nodding, Emeline smiled, then commented,/ to the girl, "I try to use a combination of shortening and butter, cold, in my crusts, but I have to admit, they aren't always as flaky as I like.  The weather seems to have some effect."  As proud as she was of her cooking skills, she was willing to admit that all her efforts weren't exactly successful!  "I'll just be a moment."

 

Before going for the pie, she grabbed the pot of coffee and headed to the other occupied table.  "Refills, gentlemen?"  Her smile brightened as she raised the pot.  "And are you sure you don't want anything?  PIe?  I have a peach cobbler about ready to come out of the oven."

 

@Flip; @Wayfarer

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 "Refills, gentlemen?"  Her smile brightened as she raised the pot.  "And are you sure you don't want anything?  Pie?  I have a peach cobbler about ready to come out of the oven."

 

“I need to make my rounds, Ma’am. I’ll see you gentlemen later.” Speed said as he got up, laying a quarter on the table.

 

“And I need to get started on that next edition.” Phinn said as he too got to his feet, and laid an equal amount on the rough hewn table. More than the pennies a cup of coffee required, but they had taken up a table so gratuity seemed proper.

 

“Me? Believe I’ll have me some o’ that cobbler, Ma’am, an’ a refill on the Arbuckles.” Pike said. “Be seein’ you gents later then.” Though he did not look away from Emeline as he spoke to the others.  “Seems I’ve been comin’ in here a while now an’ I don’t rightly know yer given name. Mine’s Barnabas, Barnabas Pike. Most folks call me Pronto though. Easier on the tongue I expect.” The words just seemed to tumble out.

 

Tag @Bongo

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Clara listened to the woman talk about her technique for making a good pie crust, she did that also so obviously approved. As for the possible mysterious effect of the weather on the final product, another good observation.

 

"I do the same and yes, I have noticed the weather seems to affect it on occasion. Unsure as to why though," Clara was warming to this woman.

 

But the woman had a business to run and there were other customers who needed her attention too, ever the practical one Clara understood such realities and nodded, "Very well, we are not in a hurry."

 

@Flip@Bongo

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Thank you, gentlemen."  Emeline gave the men a nod, noting that they had both been very generous with their tips, and while she knew it was far more than they should have left, she wasn't going to challenge them.  Besides, it gave her an opportunity to help out others who needed a little lift in life, something she would do regardless, to the best of her ability.

 

“Me? Believe I’ll have me some o’ that cobbler, Ma’am, an’ a refill on the Arbuckles.” Pike said. “Be seein’ you gents later then.”

 

"Of course."  Despite her best efforts, and not thinking there was anything to it, she still felt a blush tint her cheeks at the way the man was looking at her.  It wasn't unusual, necessarily, ladies of any sort were at a valued and respected commodity in the West and male customers were always sending her glances and kind words, but they didn't make heat rise in her cheeks.  Even so, she ignored the sensation.  "The cobbler is a perfect choice, fresh from the oven!"

 

“Seems I’ve been comin’ in here a while now an’ I don’t rightly know yer given name. Mine’s Barnabas, Barnabas Pike. Most folks call me Pronto though. Easier on the tongue I expect.”

 

"Barnabas."  Her smile brightening, Emeline nodded.  He had a good point, though, she really didn't know the names of most of her customers, even the regulars.  "A strong name, a disciple, if I'm not mistaken?  Pleased to meet you...properly, I mean.  And I'm Emeline Blakesley."

 

Belatedly, she remembered to pour him coffee, then she stammered, "I'll be just a moment for that cobbler...and pie for the children."

 

@Flip; @Wayfarer

 

 

 

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 "A strong name, a disciple, if I'm not mistaken?  Pleased to meet you...properly, I mean.  And I'm Emeline Blakesley."


“That’s what they tell me, Miss Blakesley. Not sure I fill them boots though, me bein’ a former Texas Ranger an’ all. Not that Rangerin’s a thing to be ashamed of.” His face gained a shade of pink, bordering on red, thinking he may have said too much, or that what he had said might not be taken very well.

“Real nice name, Emeline.” Now he was in a quagmire as far as what to say next without embarrassing himself further.

 

Tag @Bongo@Wayfarer

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"Oh, well, I was almost 'Borcy' or 'Altje', so I'm certainly glad my parents came to their senses!"  Emeline laughed, then added, "Although I did have a brother they named 'Elsipath', so it could be worse!" 

 

She had noticed the tint to his cheeks, but didn't think anything of it, or at least chose not to attribute anything to it.  "That cobbler will just be a few minutes, then I'll probably sit down a few minutes myself."  She'd been working hard all morning, and now, while it wasn't overly busy, would be a good chance to take a bit of a break back in the kitchen.

 

She headed to the kitchen then to dish out the various goodies, then carried a tray laden with the orders back out to the dining room, going first to the children.  "Here you are."  She set out the pie along with glasses of milk.  "Enjoy.  I hope it comes close to yours," she addressed the girl.  "And I would always be open to some pointers."  After all, only fools didn't think they had nothing to learn.

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

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 It didn't take the woman all that long to be back to their table with a tray, after she had first spent some time with the menfolk at that other table. Well, made sense, she had a business to run and practical minded Clara could appreciate that .

 

"Here you are."  the woman set out the pie along with glasses of milk.  "Enjoy.  I hope it comes close to yours," she addressed the girl.  "And I would always be open to some pointers."

 

 

"Thank ya!" Wyatt grinned as he reached for his fork then stabbed into the pie, no hesitation on his part. Clara was more patient, intent on conversation first with the woman.

 

"Thank you very much, it certainly looks impressive," Clara gave her immediate assessment, taste would count for more though of course.

 

"Well, I would hardly be so bold as to offer such to someone who runs an eating place," Clara pointed out but added, "I did happen to win a blue ribbon at the festival pie baking contest."

 

She didn't want to brag but .... well.....she did win!

 

  @Bongo

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Oh, well, I was almost 'Borcy' or 'Altje', so I'm certainly glad my parents came to their senses!"  Emeline laughed, then added, "Although I did have a brother they named 'Elsipath', so it could be worse!"


Pike grinned at the options, especially her brothers name. “Yes Ma’am, I reckon it could’a been be much worse. Yer folks had an odd snse fer names. That’s for sure. But I like Emeline, got some strength to it.”

 

She had noticed the tint to his cheeks, but didn't think anything of it, or at least chose not to attribute anything to it.  "That cobbler will just be a few minutes, then I'll probably sit down a few minutes myself."  She'd been working hard all morning, and now, while it wasn't overly busy, would be a good chance to take a bit of a break back in the kitchen.


“Well you’d sure ‘nuff be welcom to sit here, if you’d like.”  He heard himself say.

 

Tag @Bongo@Wayfarer

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The boy digging into the pie was more than enough compensation for Emeline, and she smiled brightly.  He'd be welcome any time, as far as she was concerned!

 

"Well, I would hardly be so bold as to offer such to someone who runs an eating place," Clara pointed out but added, "I did happen to win a blue ribbon at the festival pie baking contest."

 

"See, then, I've never won any ribbon, so you've got that on me," Emeline declared, "and besides, it's never wise to think that you know every aspect of a craft, then you close yourself to learning new things.  If you ever  want to come by and do some baking, I'd love the company...and you'd be welcome to sell whatever you make, and your brother doesn't eat!"

 

@Wayfarer

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The woman fortunately did not take her revelation of her baking prowess the wrong way, as bragging. Because Clara liked to think it was not that, just that Clara had wanted to prove she did know a thing or two about pie making. In fact the woman seemed genuinely taken by it and even made a most kind offer which both surprised and impressed the young miss.

 

"Really? That sounds ......wonderful. I would love to do that," Clara actually beamed, even Wyatt noticed though said nothing as his mouth was full of pie.

 

"I have a job already  but it is not a daily one. Well... besides doing the farm chores and cooking. But I am certain I could make time to come at least say.....once a week," her mind was already racing thru possibilities. Selling pies for money would add to the family coffers too.

 

Suddenly it struck her. They did not even know each others names thus far. Something that needs be corrected immediately.

 

"Oh, I believe it time to make our formal introductions. I am Clara Redmond, daughter of Aurelian Redmond and that is Wyatt," she announced as she then extended her hand out to shake, "Pleased to make your acquaintance."

 

Wyatt grinned but had just shoveled another mouthful in so again no time for words.

 

@Bongo

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Really? That sounds ......wonderful. I would love to do that,"

 

"That would be great!  I usually do my baking early in the morning or this time of day, between breakfast and supper."  Usually, those were the slower times of day when she had a bit more free time.

 

"I have a job already  but it is not a daily one. Well... besides doing the farm chores and cooking. But I am certain I could make time to come at least say.....once a week,"

 

"Name the day, whenever you're ready."  Honestly, Emeline would welcome the company, and she figured that talking to the girl was better than the cat!

 

"Oh, I believe it time to make our formal introductions. I am Clara Redmond, daughter of Aurelian Redmond and that is Wyatt," she announced as she then extended her hand out to shake, "Pleased to make your acquaintance."

 

"Miss Redmond.  I'm Emeline Blakesley.  Pleased to meet you."  As she shook the young woman's hand, she wondered if there was a 'Mrs. Redmond', but it wasn't hers to ask.  "Otherwise, for now, let me know if either of you need anything."

 

At that, she returned to the kitchen and loaded the tray with two plates of fresh cobbler, coffee, sugar and cream.

 

"I believe I'll take you up on that offer, Barnabas," she commented as she sat across from him, "I have a few minutes, and I need to sample my cooking now and then to make sure the quality doesn't slip."  Grinning, she poured a bit of the cream over her cobbler then offered the decanter to the man.  "You'll let me know if it doesn't meet standards?"

 

@Wayfarer; @Flip

 

 

 

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"Please call me Clara," the girl encouraged her new acquaintance. A part of her wondered if this woman was married? Certainly she must be. She was quite striking, well for her age anyhow, and very nice to converse with. For a few seconds she thought of her now widower father but then dismissed the possibility of him remarrying. He still missed his wife, the children's mother too much. Clara missed her mother very badly still too. But you had to carry on with life.

 

"Thank you, go tend to your other paying customers now," Clara stated as the woman then left to do just that.

 

After another few bites, Wyatt was finished with his pie, "That was really good. How is yours?"

 

Clara did not answer at first, she had a mouthful but once that was swallowed she nodded, "It is excellent. She really is a good baker. I fear I am in for some fierce competition next festival."

 

"Though I must confess if I were running this place, I would not be giving away free pie such as this. Seems a waste of resources and labor," she pointed out, ever the practical one.

 

Then she watched as Emmeline conversed with the cowboy at the far table. She did not know the man but if looks were any indication of personality, he was a mean one.

 

@Bongo@Flip

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"I believe I'll take you up on that offer, Barnabas," she commented as she sat across from him, "I have a few minutes, and I need to sample my cooking now and then to make sure the quality doesn't slip."  Grinning, she poured a bit of the cream over her cobbler then offered the decanter to the man.  "You'll let me know if it doesn't meet standards?"


Pronto smiled wide waving off the decanter. "Thanks, but I figger if the good Lord wanted cream in coffee, why he’d’a up an put it in the bean to start with. Might add some to this here cobbler though” Realizing why she offered it. He half rose as she sat down. “Now, I ain’t hardly one ta be a judgin’ much of anything, but it surely does smell good.” He dug his fork in and drew it out a fork load which went directly into his mouth. It sat there as he savored it a long moment before he chewed and swallowed. “Now that’s cobbler, Emeline!”

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"I'd like to say that it's an old family recipe, but I'm afraid my mother wasn't much of a cook."  Grinning, Emeline took a bite of the cobbler, then nodded.  The creme offset the sweetness of the peach mixture, making it just right.  "This is from Mrs. Higgens, 'up the street', and I actually pulled it off this time!"

 

After a sip of coffee, she added, "I'm always looking for new things to try, so if there's something in particular you'd like, let me know and I'll see what I can do."  Her grin widened.  "No promises, of course, and I'll blame any major errors on the cookbook!"

 

@Flip

 

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"This is from Mrs. Higgens, 'up the street', and I actually pulled it off this time!"


“Can’t say as to what you were after Miss Emeline, but this here’s right fine cobbler. Yes Ma’am!” And in his mouth disappeared another fork load.
 

After a sip of coffee, she added, "I'm always looking for new things to try, so if there's something in particular you'd like, let me know and I'll see what I can do."  Her grin widened.  "No promises, of course, and I'll blame any major errors on the cookbook!"


“Problem is I’m one of them beef and potato kinda fellas, but I’d be willin’ ta test whatever you’d be a mind to try.” He stated. “Oh, I like me some soups an’ a course chili when I kin find it. A bit north though for it.” He paused a second to muster up some more courage. “So where is it yer from? I mean if that ain’t here, well, ah, you know what I mean I reckon.”

 

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"Men and their meat and potatoes!" Emeline commented with a smile and a quick shake of her head.  "I convinced my Andrew there were other things that were at least palatable, so maybe I'll make you my next project!"

 

She munched on another bit of cobbler, then answered, "I'm from Illinois originally, but Andrew got caught up in the silver fever and moved us to Dakota."  Her tone was even, but there was a hint of sadness.  "He was killed in an accident a few years ago, so I started cooking to support myself."  It was really a lucrative business, especially with women being a relatively rare commodity in this area, so she was doing well with it.  "I just relocated here when I heard that the cafe was available...a building beats a tent any day, especially when it's cold and wet!"

 

@Flip

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About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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