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    • "I suppose it will dissuade any trouble makers to have more men guarding the interests.  And I'm glad she doesn't want you out in the Winter, you'd fall into a drift and we wouldn't find you until Spring thaw!"   “Tha’d be the idea. ‘cept’in it’s our idea an’ not theirs.” Was his reply. “Cain’t do no buildin’ in the winter, an’ fact is, ol’ man Steelgrave ain’t got wind of it yet. Come the thaw though, things’ll shape up differ’nt. ‘Course now, if he has him eyes an’ ears here, might find out afore the thaw, which I don’t like, since they’d be free ta figger a plan afore we get set. But I need ta parlay with Speed on this afore it goes any further."   Tag @Bongo
    • Ben smiled, "No, what I have can wait.  What is it that you would like to discuss with the town council?"    “Well then, Ben, best you take a seat, the lady has quite a proposition for you.” Speed said.   “Judge,” She began, I do have a proposition I believe will benefit everyone concerned. You know that the railroad had plans to cross the state, but no one knows where. I know where, but not exactly when. Now before the questions begin, perhaps you best have a look at these.” With that she looked to Speed who handed the sheaf of papers over to the Judge.   She gave him a few minutes to look over the papers. “As I had mentioned to Marshal Guyer, Doctor Danforth and I are planning to build a hospital, and later, an orphanage. Both will be privately funded. Then, what we need from the Town Council is the land to build them on. So, in exchange for the work done on the right of way, we would like to select some sites for the Council’s consideration to grant us for that purpose.” She cocked her head and smiled. “No strings attached.” Tag @JulieS
    • "Have you seen the Gulf, then.   “Have. Pa wanted to look at some land on Matagorda Island, so we rode on down fer a look-see. Water as far as the eye kin see, an’ nary a drop ta drink. Fact was it was too far from the mainland fer Pa. I mean runnin’ cattle on a island jest ain’t practical, ‘er so he said.” Barnabas explained. “Couple hundered mile ride.     An’ yes, Texas is hot, mostly too hot, but I guess folks get used to it, like I had ta get used to differ’nt weather in ma travels. Cold was the hardest thing but time spent up on the Comstock in Nevada, got both and well, I liked thet.” He looked at her and slowly smiled. “I’m glad I stayed on too, ain’t never been a bonafide food taster afore, nor a dish washer. An’ I’d’a surely never met you had I left.”   Tag @Bongo  
    • He laughed at the dishes remark. “ Yes Ma’am, glad of thet. Was a good ride, needed ta get a few things worked out, an’ the best place fer thet’s in the saddle, least ways fer this hombre it is.” He paused.   “Would ya step on outside a moment, Em?” He asked.   Pronto openened the door for her, and tied to his saddle horn was was a lead rope to the horse she ridden on that Sunday they shared, with a large red bow in it’s mane, saddled and ready in the fading light. “A mite early, but the feller at the stable said he’d not be gettin’ outta bed come daylight fer me ta fetch it.”   Tag @Bongo  
    • Emeline nodded slowly.  ...anything that’s worth doin’.   That said a lot, and certainly a hospital was 'worth doing', and she knew that few good things came without the prospect of sacrifice.  Besides, Barnabas knew what he was doing, and after all, Andrew had been killed in a stupid mining accident, for nothing...life out here was dangerous, and a man had to stand up for what he believed was right.   "I suppose it will dissuade any trouble makers to have more men guarding the interests.  And I'm glad she doesn't want you out in the Winter, you'd fall into a drift and we wouldn't find you until Spring thaw!"   @Flip
Clara Redmond

Sharing the Love (Of Baked Goods)

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"Onions and potatoes are a good choice, and perhaps some carrots?"  Emeline pulled out the vegetables, then a couple of knives.  "I think we should dice them pretty finely, though.  And no, I won't keep you late, although with Winter coming, it will restrict the hours."  Between the shortening of the days and being in the mountains, there won't be much daylight.  And I don't mind at all if your father was to visit...I know my father would have done the same."

 

It was actually reassuring to know that her father was concerned enough about her well-being that he'd want to know who she was with, even if it was a woman.  "He can drop by any time.  I think it will be wonderful, and there is certainly no harm in having another cook with ideas of her own."  She had a notion that they would work well together, and enhancing the menu was never a bad thing!!

 

@Wayfarer

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"Carrots, yes.....adds an extra flavor to it. But carrots need more cooking than onions or potatoes or they remain quite firm to the chewing. Perhaps we should boil them first then cut them up to add to the mixture? Of course I fully admit you would know better about these sorts of things as you have been doing this longer than I," Clara made a minor point but was perfectly willing to be corrected on the matter.

 

As for her father visiting the place, the woman had no objections. Clara did not think she would have so no surprise there.

 

"Excellent, I am confident you two will get along. My father is very calm, easy going," she assured the woman.

 

"So what do you think of this town? Are you content here? I have my reasons for asking. For I would be making a critical mistake if I took up employment here only to have you pull up stakes and leave. Surely you understand my concern?"

 

It certainly seemed logical enough to her.

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"That's a good idea on the carrots," Emeline commented.  The girl did know her way around cooking.  "As for staying, that's my plan.  Kallispell is a nice little place, and it's difficult to relocate..."  She sighed.  "I'm happy here, I like the building and the location, business is good and the town is decent."  She smiled and shook her head.  "As long as the town thrives, I'll be right here."

 

Then she laughed again as she worked on dicing carrots.  "Unless a rich prince from Paris comes by and sweeps me away, but if that happens, you can have the place!"

 

@Wayfarer

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"Oh, that is good.... that you like the building," Clara nodded, it was hard to tell because she was almost always so solemn if she was serious or making an attempt at sarcasm.

 

"Indeed, towns do fail on occasion. Look at Whitefish, they say people are leaving there faster than new folk arrive. Simple arithmetic there states that the town is in trouble. I myself have not been there but Father believes it to be a thieves' den," she gave her own view on the matter.

 

Emeline suddenly grew amused whilst dicing up the carrots remarking about the possibility a prince from Paris could sweep her away from this place at which point she would give it over to the girl. A pipe dream that, Clara inwardly scoffed but the woman was not serious about any of it.

 

"Marvelous and then I shall have to run the place all by myself," she sighed overdramatically, "Unless I can find some annoying girl to offer herself as an employee. What are the odds on that?"

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Oh, well, there's truth in that."  Emeline chuckled.  "There aren't that many annoying girls to be had."  Indeed, she was finding that she really did like this foolish girl!  "Of course, there is your brother, he could be taught to wash dishes and sweep the floor?"

 

She laughed as she scooped the carrots into a pan.  "So, what do you suppose an annoying girl would use to spice this with?  Besides salt and pepper, of course."  There were a few options, and Emeline was curious to see where Clara's tastes and experience lay, and how she worked with spices. 

 

@Wayfarer

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Emeline fell in with her joke about herself, though Clara hoped it was just kidding and not that the woman agreed she was annoying. Clara was a realist and knew there were certainly people who would definitely agree with that assessment however. And as for her brother...

 

"Oh my, I pity anyone who would place any hope on getting much work out of Wyatt. On occasion, Father does accomplish that miracle but only because Wyatt enjoys some farm work. But then I should not be too hard on him, he is a boy after all," she declared the last part rather dismissively.

 

Then Emeline was back to their baking with another question. Clara was certain this was as much a test as any sort of written one in a school house only far more practical.

 

"Indeed, salt and pepper," she nodded thinking fast then adding, "If you have any garlic, mince that and add that. And though this might sound strange, my mother would on occasion add just a touch of cinnamon to some of her meat dishes but be careful to not overdo it. She told me the English always did this. Not that she was English, mind you. She must have read about that. My mother loved to read all sorts of books. I do too when I can get my hands on them."

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Emeline nodded as she set the cinnamon close to Clara.  "I have heard of using Nutmeg in savory dishes, but not cinnamon, so I will leave that to you."  As she started dicing garlic, she commented, "I love to read when I have a chance.  I have some books, you may borrow them if you like.  They are mostly adventures, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Cooper...I think I have some Dickens, but honestly, I get so bogged down in his descriptions that I lose interest.  I think I have a couple of Jane Austen's, too, but her characters seem so meddling..."

 

She added the garlic to the mix, then added, "One of my favorites is 'Little Women', I have that, too.  At any rate, you are free to look.  Have you ever tried your hand at writing?"

 

@Wayfarer

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"Oh yes, nutmeg too, I had forgotten that one. We seldom had any, probably why I did," Clara shrugged.

 

The topic changed to books, the two had that in common also besides just baking and cooking. They both loved books. Clara listened to her tell of the titles she had read and in some cases owned. Interesting.

 

"Oh I have read James Fennimore Cooper's works, all five of his novels. I even read Last of the Mohicans to Wyatt who enjoyed it. He loved the bloody battles and such," Clara remarked then added, "I agree with you about Dickens and then there is Nathaniel Hawthorne, too slow for my tastes."

 

"I have always wanted to read Little Women, I have heard good things about it. Plus a woman wrote it," Clara was intrigued, "If you are sure it is no trouble, I would love to borrow that one. I am a fast reader, I can have it back to you quite rapidly, I assure you."

 

Then Emeline brought up writing?

 

"No, I have not. I had not even given it any consideration to be honest. Do you write?" she turned that question right around on the woman.

 

 

 

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"Certainly you may borrow the book, and any others you like."  Emiline smiled and nodded.  "And I have a couple novels by Walter Scott...'Rob Roy' and 'The Fortunes of Nigel', your brother might like those...he might even be tempted to read some himself.  And no, I've never really tried my hand at writing, I keep a journal now and then, but nothing interesting."

 

The meat mixture went into a large skillet to start cooking, and she commented, "I think we should only cook that part way, since it will go in the oven after we put it in the dough...or do you think we can just cook it right in the dough?"  She honestly wasn't sure which would work best.  "But this is all experimentation, isn't it?"  Laughing, she added, "I guess we'll see."

 

@Wayfarer

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"Let us take it one book at a time, if you can bring me Little Women that would wonderful. Once I finish and return that to you, then we can see about others," Clara thought that prudent then quickly added, "But no hurry, bring it whenever it is convenient, thank you."

 

The meat was now placed into a skillet whereupon Emeline had another question for her, "I think we should only cook that part way, since it will go in the oven after we put it in the dough...or do you think we can just cook it right in the dough?"

 

Clara pondered on it, "Well, I am not sure."

 

"But this is all experimentation, isn't it?"  Laughing, Emeline added, "I guess we'll see."

 

"Well, if you put it that way," Clara smiled but had made her decision, "I believe we should cook it part way at least. For safety sake. But it is your business after all so your call."

 

 

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"All right, then, since it does need to be cooked all the way through."  Yes, this was an experiment, open to failure, but she really preferred not to lose that much inventory, and if this part didn't work out, she hoped they could at least make the remains into a stew or something.

 

"As for the books, my rooms are just upstairs, so I can easily grab it for you before you leave."  Smiling, she added, "And now you know where to find me if you ever want to visit.  So, once we finish these, we can work on the sweet ones, but that should be a little quicker since the dough is made."

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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Later...

 

Emeline had just placed the last of the fruit filled turnovers onto the table, of course they would need to cool some since they were right out of the oven. Clara looked on with a healthy mix of pride and building hunger. They certainly looked good. The beef filled ones had been baked first so they were also lined up on the far end of the table, untasted as of yet but ready by now to be sampled, one would not burn the mouth at this point.

 

"The place smells heavenly. So I would certainly figure that since they all look and smell so tempting, they are going to taste delicious," Clara declared.

 

"It is your place and your ingredients so I think it is only fair you get to sample the first bite in our experiment," she gestured toward the beef side of the table.

 

She knew her proper place here.

 

 

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"Ah, let me take the risk?"  Emeline grinned, grabbing a fork, then cutting into one of the savory pies.  "Oh, it looks good!"  It was cooked through, not too juicy inside, seemed to be holding up well.  "Here goes..."

 

She took the bite, smiling and nodding.  "Good spices, flavor is good, and..."  Then her eyes suddenly rolled back and she grabbed her throat, rolling back in her chair.  For a moment, she was still, then she sat up, laughing.  "It really is good!  That part is a success!  Do you remember what we put in it?"  They hadn't written down the process, but then, she rarely did.

 

@Wayfarer

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"It is your place, your risk," Clara pointed out but of course there was no real risk. Oh maybe that it would not turn out to taste as good as they both hoped and had labored for.

 

Clara watched her cut into it with the fork then take a bite. All seemed well until suddenly the woman went dramatic on her acting like she had just been poisoned. Not that Clara ever saw an actual poisoning mind you. If Emeline's attempt was to scare her, it failed miserably. But it showed she had a sense of humor, something Clara was oft told she needed to work on.

 

"I guess this means it's my place now," Clara remarked cool as a cucumber.

 

Emeline sat up, laughing.  "It really is good!  That part is a success!  Do you remember what we put in it?" 

 

"Look, a miracle!" Clara feigned shock at the woman's instant recovery.

 

But on a more serious note, Clara nodded, "Of course I do. I have an excellent memory. If you wish I can sit down and write you out the recipe?"

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Oh, that would be perfect!"  Emeline sometimes had a hard time remembering from one day to the next what she was doing, or what needed doing!  "And the place isn't yours until I actually write out my will, so you need to keep me alive!"

 

Laughing, she passed the plate, then tried one of the fruit pies.  "Oh, that's really good, too.  It would be better with cream, but I'm not sure how we'd do that."  Little jars, maybe, but that would be expensive and logistically difficult.  "I do think we have success!  Did you want to go up and look at books?"

 

@Wayfarer

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"Wills can be forged or so I have heard. I will need to see your signature though," Clara kept teasing.

 

But she quickly got back to her more usual serious side, "I will write out that list for you before I leave today."

 

Next came the fruit pies, Clara tried one of the apple ones since she had supplied the applies. First bite convinced her.

 

"Oh yes, this is delicious. But I agree cream is impractical. Besides the idea is to keep as simple to eat as possible. Is that not correct?" Clara pointed out.

 

"Did you want to go up and look at books?" Emeline asked when they finished their food. It was actually quite filling.

 

"Certainly, if you think we can leave the place empty? What if a customer walks in?" Clara wondered aloud.

 

 

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"I can put the bell up over the door," Emeline commented, "I don't keep it there when I'm down here because it can get pretty annoying when it's busy." 

 

She wiped her hands on a towel, then laid her apron over the back of a chair.  "You'll have to forgive the mess, though, I haven't had much time to devote to housecleaning."

 

After slipping the bell onto its holder on the door she led the way upstairs.  The stairway opened to a small room that served as living quarters, appointed with a sofa, a desk, a small table with a couple of chairs, and a bookcase that held not only books, but some nick-knacks including a stereoscope.  Past that was the doorway to the bedroom, where a bed with a wrought-iron frame was covered in a colorful quilt. 

 

"Here it is!  My luxury home...but at least the kitchen downstairs will keep it warm in the winter!"

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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"I have two menfolk at home, I am used to things being a bit disorderly, it is fine," Clara informed her.

 

Up the stairwell the pair went and into Emeline's living quarters. Of course Clara could not help but look around as the woman spoke.  There was little to be critical about really. She liked the place.

 

"Here it is!  My luxury home...but at least the kitchen downstairs will keep it warm in the winter!"

 

Clara nodded, "It is very homey. I think it is grand. Our farmhouse is warm enough but we are still having the occasional issues with the roof leaking and ranch cattle trampling our vegetable garden. We get along now though with the Lost Lake ranch but the Evergreen ranch is - to be blunt - a congress of louts."

 

 

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Emeline couldn't help but chuckle at Clara's expressions, that were quite colorful! 

 

"I'll be sure to tread lightly if any Evergreen boys come in," she declared.  "I'd love to have a farmhouse...a real house, but it would need people...children, to make it right.  Maybe one day, but as you say, for me alone, this is homey and cozy."  She was tempted to ask the girl to spend the night sometime, but it was a little soon for that sort of thing.  She needed to be certain they got along well.

 

"So, look over the books and take what you'd like, or anything you think your brother might like...and your father, for that matter.  A new book can be refreshing."  She always liked getting her hands on a book she hadn't read before.

 

@Wayfarer

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Clara hoped that her new employer took her warning about the Evergreen bunch seriously. They were dangerous folk alright. But hopefully even they wouldn't be the sort to come into a nice business and cause any issues. She certainly would not want Emeline to be hurt or her business hampered in any fashion. And not just because she now was an employee of the place.

 

"I like our place but it still needs a lot of work. But my father is a hard worker and I do all I can, we are doing our best to impart those same virtues upon Wyatt. He is a good boy.... most of the time. I am not worried about him. He will be fine once he grows up," Clara spoke with confidence, something she seldom lacked.

 

Emeline told her to browse the book shelf and take what she wished. That would include picking something for her father or even Wyatt.  Clara smirked.

 

"I know what Wyatt would say right now. Are there any really short books?"

 

Her eyes now starting skimming the titles and in a few minutes she had pulled three out as selections. She was still mentally debating a couple others. She did not wish to be viewed as ... greedy.

 

"These are really in excellent condition I see. That's impressive," she commented still not taking her eyes from the shelf.

 

"What is your opinion of poetry? If I may ask," she suddenly blurted out.

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"I've got a couple McGuffy readers," Emeline commented, "they're a good compilation of various stories and histories, for different skill levels."  The Readers were used in many schools for teaching children to read and for learning a bit of history and literature without being overwhelming.

 

When Clara asked about poetry, Emeline had to think that over.  "Well, honestly, some of it is pretty...dull...a long-winded way of saying something simple, and while I have no issue directly with prose, sometimes it gets too much and you lose interest."  She shrugged, not wanting to put the girl off poetry, but giving honest answers.  "And the ones that tell stories...The Iliad, The Song of Roland, Canterbury Tales...exciting stories, but again, by the time you get there you forgot why you started."

 

She laughed.  "And then there is Edgar Allen Poe...I'd wager your brother would like his writings."  Then she shrugged.  "So, my answer is, I take each poem and poet on their merit, and I don't begrudge myself the right to stop reading after three lines and my eyes are crossed at the flowery words!"

 

@Wayfarer

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"Oh, Wyatt has used them in school. Do not bother yourself to look for them," Clara shook her head.

 

More on a whim than anything else Clara then asked the woman her take on poetry. Emeline gave a longer and more reasoned answer than the girl had expected.

 

"I tend to hold the same opinions as you, good to know. I have tried to like poetry but it is just not for me I think," she declared.

 

Then when Emeline mentioned Canterbury Tales, Clara huffed, "I tried that one. I found it too difficult to plow thru because I like to read for enjoyment. That was far too much work."

 

She then had made up her mind, "I think I shall take these three for now. These should keep me occupied for awhile, it is not like I have a lot of leisure time."

 

"Would you want to write the titles down someplace so you can keep track that they were lent out?"

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"I suppose we could do that."  Emeline set out a piece of paper, along with ink and a pen.  "That way, if you know of anyone else that you'd want to lend them to, you can keep track.'  She fully trusted the young woman, she seemed to be very responsible and earnest, and Emeline had no doubt the books would be back just fine.

 

"You know, my husband took me to a fine restaurant once.  It was a special treat, on our first anniversary, expensive, and purported to be best in the territory."  Emeline smiled and shook her head.  "It was awful, and barely any food for the effort.  Poor Andrew was so disappointed.  We should have just gone to a nice little place like this and had chicken pie!  My point is, you are smart not to try to like something because everyone else says it's the best.  Sometimes people praise things because everyone else is.  Poetry, literature, art...make your own opinions."

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

 

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"Oh gosh, I would never lend out any of your books, that would be irresponsible," Clara wanted to clear up any worries the woman might have about that possibility.

 

Emeline then began talking about a memory of her husband and her going to some fancy restaurant. For a few seconds Clara wondered why on earth she would tell her this but by the time she was done, it all made perfect sense.

 

"Yes, fine example," Clara nodded.

 

"As for opinions, most people who get to know me would agree I certainly am full of opinions. Father says I share them a little too openly and often," she smiled, indicating despite her father's attempts, she probably paid him little heed.

 

 

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"Well, I suppose that can be a problem, there are many people who don't appreciate women having an opinion, particularly a young woman."  Emeline smiled as she started for the door.  "But that does not mean you can't have your opinion, and around here, you can speak it freely.  I find the conversation enjoyable."  She laughed.  "Honestly, the food and the cat aren't very engaging, and the customers ar too busy eating or flirting!"

 

It really was nice to have another female around, and Emeline was looking forward to it.  "We'll check on those fruit pies, then I need to start getting ready for supper."

 

@Wayfarer

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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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