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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
Arabella Mudd

The Ghost – a story of Christmas Eve 1875

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Posted (edited)

Mature Content: No (unless you're a scaredy-cat)

Author: Javia 

With: Anybody
Location: Stardust Saloon/The Barn where they put the Corpses
When: 12 / 24 / 1875
Time of Day: When it's Darkest, just before dawn.

 

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At a time when small children as young as six or seven were sent to work down coal mines, up chimneys, and in-between the death dealing jaws of industrial machinery, it was remarkable how unwilling Miss Matilda had been to let her anywhere near “front of house” when the saloon was open for business. But needs must when the Devil drives, and it wasn’t long before business had increased to such a high pitch (entirely due to Arabella’s influence, of course) that she had ended up waiting on tables, collecting up empties, and generally running up and down like a zany, fetching this, that and whatnot for Mr Flandry, while the assorted assembly of ranch hands, cowpokes, and rough and tumble men, laughed, drank, fought, farted, argued, gambled, throttled each other, and then laughed all over again; and all to the background music of that incessant jangling ‘pianner’ in the corner.

 

Not all of these ruffians appreciated being waited on by a “skinny little girl”: they were hoping for something a little more developed to go with their two fingers of red eye, and oft times would chide and tease her as she brought over a tray loaded with grog or beer or even tasty pastries, prepared by Miss Em’ over the road. There was a lot to criticize, but for some reason, these varmints seemed to take exception most of all to the extreme pallor of Arabella’s skin. “Ugh, it’s that whey-faced kid again! We wanna see a real woman!”, “By Jiminy, she’s as white as a sheet, what are you girl, a ghost?! Ha ha ha!”

 

Depending on the group at hand, sometimes she’d ignore them, sometimes she’d call them names right back, and sometimes (the cruelest retort of all) she’d plain bust out crying, accompanied by a wild claim that her mother had just died that day, and how could they be so mean? Sometimes it was her brother or sister or Father who had kicked the bucket, but generally it was killing off her mother that worked the best. She’d had a whole bunch of mean looking gunslingers in tears with that sorry lie on occasion, and another time the feller who’d insulted her nearly got his teeth kicked in by his outraged companions, until that old spoilsport Mr. Flandry had stepped in and broke it up.

 

However, sometimes, if the group of ruffians was of the right sort of temper, and the place was pretty quiet, and that dang-blasted pianner wasn’t jangling in the corner of the room, she would lean in conspiratorially to her tormentors and say something along the lines of “Well, If you gentlemen are brave enough to listen, I will tell you the true story of how I got this a-way…”

 

TBC

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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The four drifters seated in the saloon on this quiet Wednesday evening went by the arresting sobriquets of ‘Curly’, ‘Rowdy’, ‘Pete’ and ‘Short’. Whether they were straight up honest cowboys, or God forsaken rustlers, gunslingers or bounty hunters, nobody knew, and nobody really cared. They’d be here today and gone tomorrow, and if they made a little noise and acted a little rough, well at least they paid for their liquor promptly and in good hard cash.

 

Miss Matilda, as Arabella and Cookie called her, didn’t like the pallid little girl being out front: most folks assumed it was due to an unexpected protective and maternal side to the tow-haired, petite firebrand who ran the Stardust Saloon, others opined that it was more likely to do with Arabella’s short lived (but worryingly effective) attempt to start a Temperance movement from behind the bar of the place. When the management had realized exactly why mean and dusty looking cowhands were rolling up to the bar sporting a blue ribbon pinned to their shirts and ordering a sarsaparilla instead of two fingers of red eye, they soon put a stop that that, and Arabella was lucky not to be kicked back out into the snow.

 

That was one of many occasions when Cookie, for all her complaining about Arabella’s mischief, nonsense and good-for-nothingness, stood up for the girl. The rotund black woman had some practical good reasons in wanting to keep her there, of course; Arabella was a mighty useful help about the kitchen, and liked nothing better than to run both ways to all the stores and pick up whatever Cookie needed, without her herself having to venture forth onto those treacherous Kalispell boardwalks. There was something more personal and emotional, too.

 

As soon as Arabella had met the talented and versatile cook, on that cold January morning when she had turned up for an unexpected and unannounced ‘interview’, the skinny girl had run up and thrown her arms around her plump waist, with a cry of “Aw, you just like my Aunt Rosie!” and just about once a day ever since, she’d done the same, usually with a excited cry of “Oooh, Ah just love my Mammy Cookie!” or words to that effect. It wasn’t much, but Arabella was about the only person in Kalispell who’d shake the black woman’s hand, let alone give her a hug. And then there was the songs. Oh, those two would just about sing the day away: washing, cleaning, polishing, peeling, baking, griddling. You name the chore, they’d sing to it. There repertoire was vast, and they’d teach each other songs, too. But their favorite combination was scrubbing the bottom of blackened cooking pots to their warbled strains of “Kingdom Coming and the Year of Jubilee.”

 

Of course, Arabella had her faults, too: her constant chatter, her inability to lift anything heavier than a tray of drink or food, and a knack of making a two minute run to the store, or to Miss Em’s place, turn in to a two hour adventure from which the girl would return panting, laughing fit to burst and possessed of a funny story about what had happened, but not with whatever she had been sent out to fetch in the first place. But all in all, Cookie liked to have the child around.

 

Anyways, this night, Arabella was the one delivering the grog to the table of the four strangers…

 

TBC

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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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