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    • Her smile was a bit wistful as she added, "There's times I wonder if I wasn't born in th' wrong time an' th' wrong britches."   F. Falmer Browne gave an indulgent smile to this but said nothing. He would have to admit to himself that when he had first lain eyes on Miss Adelaide Chappell, now sat before him in all the becoming trappings of a woman, virtually dressed as a man on her wagon-driving expeditions in and out of town, he had wondered. True, male attire was handier for her trade, but she seemed to go that way at most hours of the day, except for very formal functions like the Ladies (so called!) Society Meeting of this morning.   When he had lived in the vast metropolis of New York, that Sodom and Gomorrah of these disunited United States, he had seen two types of women dressed as men: the first were demimondes of the stage, who dressed as ‘boys’ in fanciful tights to merely titillate their audiences (usually successfully, Browne had to admit) with a well-shaped leg, and secondly, some women of the more bohemian quarters who dressed as men because, apart from their physical form, they were men, in their own minds.   Walking with a friend down Broadway, he had seen two such women, walking arm in arm, and his friend had remarked “See those creatures, Browne? Disgusting! God must weep when He sees such sinful animals on parade. The police should arrest them and some Judge put the filthy animals to hard labor on the treadmill.” Browne had, cowardly he now knew, consented, but really wondered if it was not God Himself who had played such a rotten trick on them. At least in New York, teeming with every nation and type under the Sun, two such ‘creatures’ might find each other. For any man or woman ‘that way inclined’ out here in a small town like Kalispell, such proclivities must result in a lonely and loveless life indeed.   Addy’s talk of Jay Ryker and their evident love for one another did Browne good to hear, despite a slight pang of jealousy: it meant that this lovely woman was not destined for a life of loneliness. There must be others in town, though, hidden and trapped in their unusual sexuality, who were destined to ever drink from the well of loneliness.
    • "Oh, well certainly. If you would rather talk there. Anyplace is fine with us," Clara would have agreed to discuss it even if he had suggested the middle of a river. She just wanted to get it done!   The four of them shuffled back to the rear of the church and through the little-used back door, into the main part of the building where the pews were neatly rowed and the pulpit stood empty at the far end.   The man then offered, "I could fix something to drink? Tea perhaps?"    "No thank you, we do not wish you to have to make a fuss on our account," she gently shook her head in the negative.   “Ooh, It’s no fuss Clara! I’ll fix that, Brother.” Arabella gushed obsequiously “You three will want to talk privately.”   She would also, perhaps a little too optimistically at this point, fetch out a blank marriage certificate, for she knew where Pastor Evans stored them. In fact, she’d had a good root through most of the drawers and cupboards in his little office, off the vestry, and found some amazing and interesting stuff. Her favourites were a collection of pictures in a little book which, she assumed, the good Pastor must have confiscated off some sinful parishioner in the past.   @boshmi @Wayfarer
    • "All right, if this has anything to do with getting rid of ol' Klutz, then I'll do it," he said in a slightly slurred tone.  The whiskey was now starting to affect his speech, "Clara's gotta see that I'm the better man."   Crabbe nodded. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was hoping to get out of this situation, but he had made a living, the last six years of his life, by exploiting other men’s passions, and this young feller had passion in spades. Lorenzo recognised it for the sort of dangerous, jealous, twisted, brooding passion that so often haunts the hearts of men where women are concerned, and knew it would have to be handled with kid gloves to benefit himself any.   “Problem is, he’s ensorcelled her with these here love poems.” Lorenzo slyly took up a theme that Charlie himself had mentioned. “You attack him, she’ll just cleave tighter to the stupid lookin’ bastard.” He’d never seen this Klutz feller, but it didn’t harm to insult him in Charlie’s presence.   “We gotta work on her.” He said, thinking fast. “First of all, we gotta make you a more attractive proposition, er, make her kinda jealous of you, see? Make ol' Clara see you in a better light. Hmmm, you know any girls? I mean, not like Arabella, pretty girls.”   @JulieS
    • "Well." Thomas declared, sitting upwards in his chair. "I wonder what Arabella has gotten up to. I do hope I haven't complicated anything by bringing her along. Your wife seemed... er... unenthusiastic about her presence."   As if on cue, there was a crashing noise from the distant kitchen and Arabella’s voice sounded an “Ooops!”, but nonetheless, the two women presently appeared, carrying coffee and cake.   “Now, how are you two boys getting along?” asked Arabella, as if Thomas and Gideon were two five-year olds on their first playdate. Mrs Evans attended to the domestic stuff while Arabella jumped up and down, plexing her fingertips together with excitement.   “What do you want me to play on the harmonium, fellers?!” she asked excitedly, just hoping it wasn’t that well-known mondegreen “Bringing in the Sheep” which required notes that the poor old instrument could no longer sound. Arabella always had to substitute other notes in the same chord which made her playing sound like she’d invented jazz forty years too early.   @JulieS @boshmi
    • "That goes both ways, Barnabas," Emeline countered, "I finally found something good, and I don't want to lose it."  Although it dawned on her that if he was distracted worrying about her, that put him at more risk.   "I didn't count on the man that I fell in love with becoming a deputy, and I don't know how to reconcile that, except that I know that anything can happen to anyone at any time, and there is no way to predict that or stop it."   Of course, law enforcement put a man at higher risk, but she wasn't a widow because of that.   "I'll try to use discretion, that is the most I can promise."  He'd have to accept that as much as she accepted his choice of professions.   @Flip

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Mature Content: No

With: Sarah Thornton-Carlton and Matt Wentworth
Location: Belle-St. Regis Hotel
When: Late September 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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Sarah stretched a little before making the attempt to get out of bed.  The sun had already been out for a while but she was in no hurry to get up.  The trip here had taken more out of her then she realised and except for a trip to the ladies bathroom to get a much needed bath, she had spent most of yesterday in her room.  Thankfully, the hotel did have some sort of room service so that she could have her meals without having to go downstairs.

 

There was a lot to do today with the most important task of getting word out to Lost Lake Ranch and her cousin to tell him about her arrival.  She needed to find someone who was reliable and trustworthy enough to pay to go out there or better still if one of the ranch hands.  The preference was to find a ranch hand and considering the size of Lost Lake, there should be at least one coming into town on a daily basis to get supplies or the mail.

 

After getting dressed, she sat down to write her note to Shade.  When that was done, she wrote out a list of what she needed to do in town.  The first thing was to find a dressmaker so that she could have some suitable clothes to last out the winter.  The air was already starting to feel cool indicating that winter may be early.  Besides, she was hoping to stay for a while so that she could get to know Shade again.

 

Standing up, she went over to the mirror to make sure everything was good.  She probably missed breakfast but had heard that there was a good cafe that had a peculiar name, where she could get something to eat.  Once she made sure that the note to Shade was on its way, she would have to time to go there and explore the town as well.

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After making her way downstairs to the hotel lobby, Sarah went over to the front desk.  The clerk, who she had found was called Walter Simpson was busy with another guest.

 

When he had finished he turned to Sarah, "Good morning Mrs. Thornton-Carlton."

 

"Good morning," she said as she stepped closer to the desk, "Could you please tell me how I can go about getting a letter out to Lost Lake Ranch?"

 

Walter nodded, "Yes, Mr. Wentworth asked me to send you right in when you came down."

 

Sarah frowned a little, "Mr. Wentworth?"

 

"Yes...it seems that he has made some inquiries on your behalf."  Walter smiled, "Part of the service we give at the Belle.  If you ever wish me to help you on any matter just let me know."

 

"I will, " Sarah answered cautiously.  She wasn't quite enthralled by the way Mr. Simpson had subtlety hinted that he would also give to the same depth of service has Mr. Wentworth obviously had.

 

She asked Walter to let Mr. Wentworth know that she was there.  He came back about a minute later and told her that she could go in.

 

TBC

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As Sarah entered his office, Matt smiled.  She looked well-rested and was dressed very smartly.  He went over to her, "Mrs. Thornton-Carlton, it is nice to see you again.  I do hope that you have found everything to your liking.  At the Belle, we pride ourselves on giving our guests the best service we can."

 

Sarah answered his question saying that she was pleased with the service.  She then directed her attention to finding out the reason why he wanted to see her.

 

Matt admired her straightforwardness in wanting to get down to the purpose of his request to see her.  He offered her a seat, which she politely declined.  "Mr. Wentworth, I do appreciate your offer but I do have urgent business that I need to see to."

 

"Yes, I know and what I wanted to tell you that it has already been taken care off."  He paused to gauge her reaction before going on, "I was able to send a message out to Lost Lake on your behalf.  I know a couple of the ranch hands, and one happened to be in town yesterday getting the mail and some supplies.  I expect your cousin will be here either today or tomorrow."

 

TBC

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A frown appeared on Sarah's face.  She hadn't expected anyone to act on her behalf to contact Shade and she wasn't sure what to think of it.  Maybe it was part of the service the hotel gave but the owner should have had at least told her what he done and not spring it on her like this.  Here she was thinking she would have another day or two to prepare and now it could happen today.  The long-crafted letter she had in her hand now felt odd.

 

"i suppose I should thank for your help," she said solemnly, "So, I will say thank you but in the future, I would like to be advise of your intentions."

 

Matt sighed heavily, "You're right I should have told you and I did intend to but..."

 

"I know you were distracted by other things,"  By now she was getting a little bit vexed at what had occurred. "I hope you don't make a habit of interfering with all of your guests' personal business."

 

Before he answer, she held up her in a stopping motion, "It's not that I appreciate your help, it's more the fact that you did not ask me if you could.  I have never liked men making assumptions about me or for me."

 

Sarah turned to leave, "When my cousin arrives could you direct him to my room.  If I'm not there could you please ask him to wait. I will probably out shopping, so I won't be long gone."

 

With that, she walked out of the office.

 

@Stormwolfe (OOC: Ready to have Shade turn up :) )

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Shade walked out of the White Rose Inn and Cafe, pausing on the sidewalk for a moment. He had ridden in early after receiving a short missive informing him of his cousin's presence at the Belle-St. Regis. He honestly did not remember her too clearly, but he was concerned that she had shown up so soon after Chance's death. There had never been much in the way of contact between the various members of the Thornton family that he could recall. Of course, Shade had been gone for many years. Things could have changed during that time. He just hoped that Sarah Thornton-Carlton did not plan on trying to make trouble regarding his niece and nephew's inheritance.


While those thoughts meandered through his head, Shade continued walking along the boardwalk in the direction of Kalispell's hotel. It made a grand statement, but surprisingly, it was also doing very well. Shade guessed that even the frontier needed a touch of class and elegance from time to time.


After stepping through the doors of the Belle, Shade wondered if he looked as out of place as he felt. He removed his hat and brushed a hand through his dark hair as he walked to the front desk to ask for his cousin. He offered a smile for the man behind the desk, "I received a message that Mrs. Sarah Thornton-Carlton was a guest here. Can you get word to her that her cousin, Shade, is here to see her?"

 

@JulieS

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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After receiving Shade's request, Walter Simpson made his way quickly upstairs and back again.  "She'll be down in just a moment."

 

A few minutes later, Sarah came down the stairs.  She went over to Walter who pointed out Shade to her.  As she approached her cousin, she could see a family resemblance, especially to her younger brother, Harvey.  When she reached him, she held out her hand, "Hello, Shade.  It's been a while."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Shade took the offered hand and gave it a brief, warm squeeze while he regarded the woman facing him. She was tall and very pretty with dark hair, dark eyes and engaging features. "Sarah, it has been awhile," he agreed, offering a brief lopsided smile. "Would you like to go somewhere for coffee? Sit here in the lobby and talk?" He did not say it aloud, but Shade wanted to find out why she had shown up in Kalispell out of the blue like this. Coming so soon after their legal troubles over custody of the twins, he could not help but be suspicious.

 

@JulieS

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"We can have coffee here," she said pointing in the direction of the dining room, "There's a lot I want to ask you about, so the sooner we get started the better as I know that you're a busy man."

 

After finding a table at the far of end of the room, they ordered their coffees.  As they waited, Sarah began, "You're probably why I came here.  Well, first of all, circumstances arose that, well, made it necessary for me to leave San Francisco.  My father requested that I come here first to find out what happen to Chance.  He and Chance had been corresponding for some years after the death of your father.  When he hadn't received a reply to his last letter, he was worried."

 

She paused, looking for the right words to say, "I found out on the stage trip here that Chance had died.  I knew I had to get in touch with you as soon as I could so I could find out the details before writing my to father. It was sad to hear about Chance's death.  You both made a great impression on me and my brothers when we came to visit all those years ago.  If you don't want to go into details about what happen, I will understand but I would like to know."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Shade tried hard to remember how he and Chance could have made much of an impression on Sarah when her family had visited. He had been no more than twelve or thirteen at the time, and Chance would have been five years older than that and preparing for college. Perhaps it had been a combination of things. The grandeur of the ranch as well as meeting her two older cousins. It was hard to say. Shade seemed to recall a skinny little girl following him and Chance around as they did their chores. He had made time to take her riding, much more than that was a blur. Shade felt bad about that.


"Look, Sarah, I don't mind tellin' you what I know, which isn't much," Shade finally answered. "You need to know that it's not very pleasant. How much do you really want to know?"

 

"I suppose as much as you can or want to tell me.  Anything that would help ease the mind of my father.  I know that he and Chance had built up some sort of friendship even though they hadn't seen each in other in years.  Father liked keeping in touch with the family here even though he has never had the chance to come back."

 

Sarah smiled reassuringly, "And in a way I would like to pay my respects as well."

 

"Well, we were told that Chance and Regina along with their two oldest children and one of the twins were ambushed by a rogue band of Indians on their way back from Missoula in June. Everyone except Cody, the youngest, was killed and their bodies burned beyond recognition along with their wagon," Shade schooled his voice to sound neutral and as matter-of-fact as possible given the subject matter. "Cody was later found by a passing stage and brought back to Kalispell. The remains were recovered by the Marshal's office, cremated, and the ashes interred at the family mausoleum on the ranch."

 

"To be honest, Sarah, there's some question about who actually killed them. However, taking care of the twins and their inheritance has overshadowed any investigation into the matter." Shade blew out a sharp breath and leaned back in his seat, dark blue eyes shadowed.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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"Thank you for telling me about what happened.  I know that it must have been hard for you, having gone through a loss of my own."

 

Sarah sighed.  There wasn't much else she could say in regards to the matter of Chance's death.  She wanted to help out as much as she could but didn't quite know how to go about it.  There's was no way she could invite herself to go to the ranch - that would have to come from Shade and that would probably depend upon how comfortable he was with having a long-lost cousin come over and stay for a short time.  The best she could was to offer help and let him know that he was welcome to get in touch with her if he wanted to.

 

"I wish I could do or say something that could be of a comfort or a help to you at this time.  I'm not even sure what you think of me but if you're ever in a mind to stop by the hotel and talk or have a meal, I would like that."

 

"The hotel?" Shade raised his eyebrow. If pressed, he would admit that he was wary of a long-lost relative showing up out of the blue. However, there was also and old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It was doubtful that Sarah or anyone in her family had designs on the twins' inheritance, but he could learn more about why she was in town if she was nearby. "The distance in from the ranch might not suit you, but you are welcome at the lodge. It would be good for the twins to get to know family."

 

Smiling, Sarah replied, "Yes, I would like that a lot.  I have to admit that the few days I have been here already, I have been at a loss since I don't know many people.  It will be nice to get to know you again and to meet Chance's children.  If there is anything you would like me to do just let me know."

 

She stood up, "I expect that you would like to leave soon."  She reached into her reticule and pulled out some money.  "If you need to hire or buy a buggy to carry my luggage, this should cover it.  I'll go and get my things and wait for in the lobby."

 

With that she left, feeling a bit relieved that she wouldn't be spending the next few days on her own.

 

Shade rose, intending to hand her the money back, but she had already whisked herself away. He pocketed the money with a wry smile. He could always give it back to her later since they kept a spare conveyance at the livery for just such occasions. Grabbing his hat, he jammed it on his head and headed out to get the trip to the ranch sorted.

 

~ FINIS ~

 

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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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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