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Relief Effort


Adelaide Chappel
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Mature Content: No

With: Jay, Weedy
Location: MIllegan Stage barn
When: Mid-December/ 1875
Time of Day: Evening

 

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Although the caravan carrying the Whitefish survivors had rolled into Kalispell in the early afternoon, by the time the people had been placed in rooms both public and private around town, cleaned up, given fresh clothing and hot food, it was getting dark, and the cold that came with night was settling in.

 

As weary as she was, Addy still had to see to not only her own team that had pulled the freight wagon, but the four-up hitch from the stage as well, then rub them down, feed them before she could finally take some time for herself.  With luck, Weedy would be still be in the barn.  The ten-year-old had taken charge of the three animals that she'd found in the barn in Whitefish, and even though he was a little guy, he was handy around the horses, and she had no doubt that he'd gotten a good start already.

 

Through it all, she realized, Jay had been at her side, a silent shadow, offering aid where he could, he'd fallen asleep in the saddle a couple of times during the ride to town, but his horse was steady and he'd kept his seat.  But now, he was still there, lurking quietly, and, she realized, it was late to find him a place for the night.

 

Trudging toward the barn, she glanced at Jay.  "You can leave yer horse at th' barn here for th' night," she commented, then added, "reckon there's no harm in ya stayin' th' night, too.  It'll be close, but it'll be warm an' clean." 

 

As they entered the barn, she was happy to see Weedy there, standing on a wooden crate as he brushed down one of the big stage horses.  While the lanterns hanging around on posts, it was still easy to see the boy as he glanced over and grinned widely, his dark blonde hair sticking out from under his had.

 

"Evening, Miz Addy," he called, "whose that with you?"

 

"This is Jay.  Jay, that there's Weedy...he stays here now an' again."  She didn't mention that his father had left a long time ago and his mother was not always pleasant to stay around.  "He helps out a lot around here."  Indeed, it looked like there were only a couple horses to see to.

 

"Yer horse can go in that stall."  She pointed.  "Next ta my mare, Arabesque.  I'll get us some water heatin' so we can clean up, an' send Weedy ta get us some grub, that sound good?"  She grinned, but she wasn't really sure that Jay was even still really awake.

 

@Jack

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Keeping quiet and unsuspicious seemed to be the best thing to do, especially since Jay wasn't a great conversationalist.

It was also easier to mask the pain he was in and devestation after seeing what the burnt down houses had done to the poor people. A solid plan formed to one day pay Thomas back for that.

 

For now he was happy to follow Addys lead, who had something, that he admired and felt intrigued by,  he'd have a roof over his head, even if it was a barn. The prospect of a warm meal and a wash was even better.

 

His clothes were also soiled. Perhaps he could wash them.

 

When they arrived, he forced himself to be more alert and took in his surroundings.

 

"Howdy, young man." Jay used the greeting most people in this land did, but his British accent kept coming through.

When she said that Weedy stayed there a lot Jay smirked. "Takin in all the strays."

 

Her offer was generous, so he nodded.

"That sounds wonderful after this long day."

He grabbed the horn of his saddle and used it to dismount but the motion jarred his new wound.

Careful not to let it show he made some more conversation. "Do you live here alone now? I mean unless you have house guests? Lots of work, isn't it?"

He took off his hat and exposed so greasy blonde hair that was in desperate need of a cut and looked much darker than usual.

He ran a hand through it in an attempt to look more presentable.

"Not looking very nice right now....forgive me."

He considered putting his gun in the saddle bag but then decided against it.

 

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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"Howdy, young man." Jay used the greeting most people in this land did, but his British accent kept coming through.

When she said that Weedy stayed there a lot Jay smirked. "Takin in all the strays."

 

"Yes, sir!" the lad declared, "she's even got an old cat, too."  He lowered his tone, "But you'd best watch out, she makes me go to school!  And take baths."

 

"That sounds wonderful after this long day."

 

"Won't be a real bath 'till mornin', I ain't got a tub," Addy pointed out.  She knew a few folks that had them, but there were going to be pleny of baths tonight for the Whitefish survivors.  "You can clean up with water from th' basin, though, an' I'll get ya ta a real bath tomorrow."

 

She was looking forward to a bath, too, and knew a couple places they could go besides the bathhouse.  For now, it was a matter of taking care of the animals first, getting everyone fed and bedded down for the night.

 

"Do you live here alone now? I mean unless you have house guests? Lots of work, isn't it?"

 

"Just me an' th' cat an' Weedy now an' again...and all them horses."  Addy grinned, leading the way toward the back, now that the horses were seen to.  "Suits me fine fer now, 'though I wouldn't mind gettin' a cabin one day, just never got to it."  Besides, it was convenient being right here with the horses and wagons.

 

"This is i fer th' night."  There was a small room at the back of the barn, pleasantly warmed by a pot-bellied stove that had a kettle of water on.  There was a bed, wash basin, trunk, small table and a couple of chairs.  A few pegs on the wall held a variety of plain clothing.  It was neat, clean and small.  "We can put a pad on th' floor for ya.  How 'bout you gents clean up an' I'll give ya some privacy, hunt down some food?  Weedy can help ya, Jay, he knows where things are."  Not that there were many 'things'.  Addy had a simple life, but a good one.

 

Pioneer-Cabin_bed.jpg

 

@Jack

 

 

 

 

 

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The back room was more than he could ask for. It was simple but clean and warm. Jay had been sleeping in strange beds for such a long time that this seemed perfect.

"Thank you kindly." He told her. Hat still in hands.

 

As she left Jay turned to Weedy. "She's a very warm hearted lady."

He threw his hat on the small table and took off his boots after sitting down. There were holes in his socks and the smell not very pleasant.

If he could, he'd just sleep.as dirty as he was because he was spent but her blankets were clean. So he'd better not soil them. 

Weedy watched the man with curiosity as he took off the woolen jacket and scarf and hurried to hang it up for him. "Thanks."

Jay poured some water in a wash bowl and used both hands to clean his face when the kid handed him a cloth and then pointed to the stain on the side of his shirt.

A little shocked Jay shook his head. "Don't mention it to Addy. She'd only be worried. I don't want that."

"I'll wash it." Weedy nodded and waited for the man to hand him his shirt.

Jay thoroughly cleaned his upper body and face and put on one of the long sleeve undershirts.

Then he remembered the kitten and took him out of the sling where he'd been sleeping. Gently the small creature was placed on the wooden floorboards and started sniffing around.

He also offered her some water and sat down.

@Bongo

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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"She's a very warm hearted lady."

 

Weedy grinned as he grabbed a couple of clean towels and set them out.  "You ought to see her when she's riled!  She can give a great tongue lashing then lay a man flat with one swipe!"  He laughed.  "I heard she killed a bear with her bare hands, and he thanked her for it!"  Well, the part about killing a bear was true, but that had been with the help of a shotgun!

 

When he saw the blood on Jay's shirt, the boy's eyes went wide, and his young curiosity piqued, but he'd been around long enough to know not to ask questions.

 

"Don't mention it to Addy. She'd only be worried. I don't want that."

 

"No, sir, but don't be surprised if she notices.  Miz Addy drove an ambulance in the War Between the States...she was at Chickamauga, seen plenty of injuries."  He wasn't sure why Jay wouldn't want his wound treated, but again, knew better than to ask. 

 

He helped with rinsing out Jay's shirt, changing the water in the basin on occasion from the pump in the corner of the room, making sure to set more water on the stove to heat...Addy would be grumpy if she didn't have hot water on such a cold night!

 

Then the kitten appeared and the boy was quick to pick it up and scratch behind its ears.  "Is this yours?  He's real nice.  What's his name?  There's an old barn cat here, Buster, Miz Addy says he owns her!"  He laughed.  "He only has one eye, he got sick when he was a kitten...but don't worry, he likes other cats.  Not mice, though, he's probably chasing them out of the barn right now!"

 

@Jack

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"No, sir, but don't be surprised if she notices.  Miz Addy drove an ambulance in the War Between the States...she was at Chickamauga, seen plenty of injuries." 

 

That surely didn't make him feel calm. He would need to be careful.

Jay made sure to turn away from the kid when he changed shirts.

 

Then the focus shifted away to the kitten. Jay picked the little guy up and motioned for Weedy to sit down on the bed next to him after he was done setting the kettle on the stove, that gave off a good amount of heat to warm the outlaws chilled body.

"Come here."

 

Once the boy sat down Jay placed the small furrball in his lap. "Hold him...actually I don't even know if it's a boy or girl. I just found her yesterday. Doesn't have a name yet."

 

 

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"Yes, sir."  Weedy sat on the bed as requested, then took the kitten, holding it gently in his lap.  "Sure is pretty, and soft."  The lad liked animals of any sort and had a particularly soft spot for strays.  If he had his 'druthers' when he got older he'd be a veterinarian.

 

Lifting the kitten, he glanced quickly, then declared, "Looks like a girl.   That'll make it easier to name her.  Miz Addy says that animals tell us their names when they are ready.  I didn't know that that means at first, but being around them more, it makes sense, I guess."  His nose wrinkled up.  "But they don't really talk to you."

 

The door opened, just long enough for Addy to slip in, but she closed the door quickly to keep the heat in the small room.  A scruffy yellow tom darted in with he.  "Whacha got there, Weedy?"  Grinning, the woman held up some pails and a package wrapped in brown paper.  "Got us all some grub, reckon we can spare some for the cats, too." 

 

She set the parcels on the table, then glanced a Jay.  "Looks like ya cleaned up pretty good there, Come mornin' we can get proper baths."  She'd send Weedy to Doc Danforth's to see if he'd let them use his...the boy was good at sweet-talking!

 

As soon as he trotted in, Buster smelled the new scents, and the one-eyed cat sought them out, first exploring the man, sniffing curiously at his legs, then rubbing, looking for a scratch behind the ears.

 

@Jack

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Jay was impressed that Weedy knew with one look how to spot whether it was a boy or girl.The naming would be a bit of a process if it had to have some meaning. "Guess we'd better not call her pussy cat then." He smirked.

 

When the door opened he was glad that Addy had entered after his comment.

His mouth was already watering at the mention of grub. He doubted that there'd be much left for the cats.

 

"Looks like ya cleaned up pretty good there, Come mornin' we can get proper baths."  She'd send Weedy to Doc Danforth's to see if he'd let them use his...the boy was good at sweet-talking!

"I tried...thank you." Jay offered her a smile. Her presence made him want to be nice to her.

The cat sniffed his feet and the Englishman let him because it was important to the animal.

 

"May I?"

Jay started unpacking the food and saw some bread, dried meat and even some vegetables like carrots. Nothing was cooked but he didn't care. His stomach was empty.

Plus there was some water on the stove for a nice cup of coffee.

"I'll be forever grateful for your generosity, Addy." He told the woman and took only a little bit of food.

The long sleeves shirt was so tight that she could probably see that Jay hadn't really have a lot of food lately. Weedy definetly looked better nourished.

 

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"Wish I could'a got better," Addy declared with a shrug, "but what with all th' other folks from Whitefish, rations were low."  She chuckled as she grabbed a carrot and took a bite.  "Just pretend it's...early stew!  I'd cook it up, but I don't want ta take th' time."  It was late and bed was sounding good!

 

"She means she doesn't want to poison us!" Weedy quipped with a grin, dodging the playful swat he knew was coming his way.

 

"Breachy!"  Addy laughed.  "At least I got some'a Miz Emeline's bread an' strawberry preserves."  It wasn't a grand meal, but it would do, and...


"Got us some pie, too."  She gave the boy a quick wink, then shucked out of her coat and glanced at Jay.  "Miz Emeline owns th' Lickskillet Cafe, she's a real good cook."

 

"Her pies are the best!" Weedy agreed, for now setting out the bread and jam , preferring it over raw vegetables.  "Of course..." he looked up at Jay, "we have company, and if he wanted to have pie first..."

 

@Jack

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It was hard to hold back considering how hungry he was. Being a guest and having had strict British parents Jay knew not to simply dig in but when Addy and Weedy started eating he did the same. For a second he closed his eyes to savor the taste in his mouth and grunted a little. "Very good." He chewed joyously and forgot for a moment who he was and what had brought him here. 

He smiled at the two and nodded.

"Go ahead. Eat the pie, kid. Just save me a small bite to try.

He had a big gulp of water, too and felt his strength return to him.

The fire also did wonders to warm him up.

"I have to say this again. Thank you kindly, mam. I'm not taking your  generosity for granted."

Then he became a bit more serious. What if she had offered the same to Thomas. That would be very dangerous.

"You're letti g a stranger come to your place. That's not very safe. But don't worry. I'll do you no harm."

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"Go ahead. Eat the pie, kid. Just save me a small bite to try."

 

Weedy looked eagerly to Addy who just grinned and nodded, watching as the boy carefully split the pie into three almost-equal portions, then started gobbling up the treat.  No harm sometimes in indulging, and Addy grabbed a plate to join him.  The food was food, but the pie was heaven!

 

"I have to say this again. Thank you kindly, mam. I'm not taking your  generosity for granted."

 

"Just th' Christian thing ta do."  Addy shrugged, looking at him with a smile.  "See a body needs help, ya help."  It was the way she was raised, and the way she lived, not to say she wouldn't lay a man out if he deserved it!

 

"You're letting a stranger come to your place. That's not very safe. But don't worry. I'll do you no harm."

 

"Not much ta be done if ya don't want ta reject them that need help fer th' few who are evil."  She shrugged, glancing at Weedy, knowing this was another opportunity to impart Addy-wisdom without being obvious.  "Gotta brace for th' few bad ones, but can't turn away them that's in need.  Don't think I could live that way."

 

She'd surely seen her amount of evil in her time, so she wasn't ignorant of reality, she just wasn't going to let it taint her way.

 

@Jack

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"Right." Jay heard her words and could only think one thing: He was one of them. He was one of those bad guys now that she should be bracing herself for. It hadn't always been that way. But he had taken a wrong turn and made many poor choices. 

"Good cake." He tried to get the talk away from this touchy subject.

The pie was sweet and delicious. A real treat. He could see  the joy in Weedys eyes.

"What about your family. They don't need you around or what?"

Even if his family was not the best they still were in charge of him.

Jay reached for the bread and shifted a little. He was still sitting on the bed assuming it was Weedys.

Then he nodded at Addy before he have the kitten a tiny bit of dried meat. "That little thing probably drinks milk. But her ma wasn't around in the barn. I stayed there for a while. No other cat."

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"What about your family. They don't need you around or what?"

 

Stopping mid-bite, Weedy looked at the man, then to Addy...he had touched a sore spot.  "Mama needs me when she's home," he explained, a hint of pride and a hint of sadness in his tone.  He loved his mama, but she was usually really drunk and sometimes mean, and more often than not she stayed the night somewhere...in fact, she'd been gone over a week this time.

 

"Weedy's pa disappeared when he was just a little guy," Addy put in so the boy didn't have to explain.  "Speculation is that he run afoul'a Indians."  Or, more likely, packed up and left, never looking back.  No one really knew.

 

Then he nodded at Addy before he have the kitten a tiny bit of dried meat. "That little thing probably drinks milk. But her ma wasn't around in the barn. I stayed there for a while. No other cat."

 

"Cow's milk ain't good fer cats," Addy explained, "I know where we can get some goat's milk come mornin'."  She grinned as Buster jumped up onto the bed and started sniffing the kitten, then, after he had checked it out, he started licking it.  "Looks like they've made friends!"

 

Grinning, she dropped a piece of the dried meat into hot water and after a moment she pulled it out and mushed it between her fingers then handed that to Jay.  "Try that.  Buster's gonna mooch, but don't let him have it all."

 

Likely, the kitten was so hungry it would eat readily.

 

@Jack

 

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Unfortunately Jay asked the wrong question in Weedys presence. He'd enquire further when the boy wasn't around but he could tell it was a touchy subject.

He didn't say anymore, nor did he apologize but swallowed his bite instead.

 

Instead he took the piece of meat from Addy. She had hands, that were used to work but they were still cleaner and nicer than his.

 

The cat eagerly took the bite from Jay but she had a hard time chewing it.

Jay gently caressed her head and yawned. He was still cold and worn out despite the fire and food.

It had been a rough few days.

Outside the sun had set a while ago.

"Where do you sleep, Weedy?"

He asked him wondering whether they'd have to share the bed.

 

He briefly looked at Addy in the lights of the candles. The dancing shine gave her skin a soft warm glow. Jay needed to avert his gaze in order not to make her uncomfortable.

 

 

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"Miz Addy has a pallet she keeps under the bed," the boy explained, quickly back to himself...he'd been asked about his folks more than once, and had learned not to dwell on it. 

 

"I'll use th' pallet tanight," Addy commented, dropping some bits of the dried meat on the floor for Buster, who eagerly started eating, "you gents can use th' bed."  Sleeping on the ground was nothing unusual, and a pallet would be almost as comfortable as the bed.  "I'm so exhausted anyway, I could sleep on rocks!"

 

That said, she shucked out of her boots, then grabbed a piece of pie.  Even with the stove, the room was still on the cool side, so it wouldn't be a problem to sleep in her union suit, and there were plenty of blankets.

 

"Ya ready fer yer pie, Jay?"

 

@Jack

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Jay listened to her generous offer. He had assumed she had a house to sleep in unaware that the barn room was her home. Now he felt embarassed to say the least. If he hadn't been so weak, he would have ridden into town to find a place there but he could not let the lady sleep on a pallet.

"Oh no, no, Addy." He shook his head. Jay might have a been a criminal, but at least one with manors.

"You mustn't sleep on the pallet. I will not take your bed away from you. Under no circumstances. I'd rather sleep out there with the horses than in your bed. In fact, I might just do that. "

After all he didn't want people to start talking.

"I don't even think sharing a room would be appropriate, not even with the little chaperone here."

 

The topic was settled in his mind.

"I'll try that pie now. It smells delicious." He looked at Weedy daring him not to say anything against what he had stated. The boy probably had no idea why Jay didn't want to sleep in Addys bed or room for that matter.

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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"Ya don't gotta," Addy insisted, but she could tell that he would be uncomfortable, so she didn't argue with him.  "We'll drag that pallet out there an' fluff it up in some hay."  That would give him some good insulation, along with a pile of blankets.  At any rate, it would be better than where he'd been sleeping in Whitefish.

 

As she munched the last of her pie, she added, "Sorry I ain't got a dog fer ya, that'd keep ya good an' warm, but ya got yer kitten, an' Buster'll likely join ya." 

 

Going to the bed, she dragged out the pallet, along with several blankets that had seen better days but were clean.  "Don't got an extra pillow."  She shrugged, but then Weedy offered his.

 

"There's mine, I don't mind if Mister Jay wants to use it." 

 

@Jack

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If Jay didn't have a hole in his skin he'd probably have helped but this way he held on to the kitten and carried the blankets.

"That's very kind of you. Maybe I csn put some hot coal in that metal bucket out there." He suggsted because the winter was very cold.

When his make shift bed was made he nodded. "That looks just fine."

He took the pillow from Weedy and smile. "You're a good lad. I think we'll become friends."

That of course depended on how ling he'd be allowed to stick around.

"What are your plans? Do you want me to move on tomorrow or do you have any use for an extra set of hands?"

Jay wasn't sure whether he wasn't offering too much because he felt rather weak.

He sat down on the palett and groaned a little.

 

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"Don't mind a bucket'a coal so long as it's tied off ta somethin', just so's it don't accidentally get kicked over in th' night."  After all, a barn was just a big tinder box, and fire wasn't their friend.  "I got a couple'a big rocks we can set in th' fire ta warm, an' we can put those down by yer feet."  Starting the night with warm toes would go a long way to a good night's sleep!

 

"Can always use a hand around here."  Addy shrugged.  "Got plenty ta do, cleanin' stalls an' all.  Not as much work with th' wagons an' stage, but this time'a year I use th' time fer sprucin' up, polishin' harness an' whatnot."

 

It wasn't as if it would be a horrible hardship for her to let the man stick around until he could get settled, especially with what he'd been through.  And it wouldn't hurt for Weedy to have a good male influence around.

 

@Jack

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The idea with the hot rocks sounded great because the barn would surely get cold during the night. "Thank you kindly, Addy."

And her words about letting him stay and work here for a bit didn't sound so bad either. "I appreciate the offer. You don't need to pay me anything. I'm just happy for a roof over my head during these cold days."

He went back to the comfortable room to get his few belongings. The barn was cold, so he put his warm jacket back on and wrapped the scarf she had given him around his neck.

Jay knew very well that staying in the warmth of the room would make things a lot easier on him and probably make his chances of sleep and possibly healing better. But he did not want to put the first person, who showed him so much care, into a bad spot.

So he offered her a smile with his bundle in his hands and then found his make shift bed in the barn.

 

While the stones were heating up, Jay quickly went outside to take a piss. Briefly he lifted his shirt to check his wound but despite the moon shining through a few gaps in the clouds he couldn't see much but he could feel the warmth radiating from his skin. A handful of snow brought momentary relief.

 

Then he returned to the barn to find the small kitten rolled up on the blanket.

"Oh, right, are you hogging my bed?" He lifted her up and then made himself comfortable and put the small animal under his blanket.

Already the cold air in the barn made him wish, he wasn't such a 'gentleman'.

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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"Let me know if ya need anythin'."  Addy said, giving the man a smile, once all was ready, "an' honest, I got no issue with ya comin' in an' sleepin' on th' floor if it gets too cold out here.  Other folks' opinions don't hold nothin' against keepin' ya from freezin' ta death."  She grinned.  "'Sides, ground's too hard ta dig ya a grave.  Might could just hafta leave yer carcass there an' step over it 'till th' Spring thaw!"

 

Laughing, she nodded.  "G'night, Jay.  We'll get ya a proper breakfast in th' mornin'."  She would be up early and make coffee, but once the horses were seen to, she'd take them all over to the Lickskillet for some of Miz Emeline's good cooking!

 

@Jack

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Her joke about the grave was closer to the truth than he would have liked to admit. Yet he laughed at her joke.

"Thanks, too kind of you!"

He did appreciate the offer to come over even though he knew he wouldn't make use of it.

"Good night, sleep tight, you two."

He nodded and gave them one last glance before he drew the blankets up to his chin and tried to be as comfortable as possible. Something was off though, he could tell, and it surely wasn't the lack of food that made him feel bad.

It took a while until he could actually fall asleep despite the pain in his side and the cold surrounding him and creeping into his skin again.

 

The moon was high in the sky but soon covered by dark clouds that brought more snow, which was falling in thick flakes onto the roof of the bar.

The landscape outside was still, most sounds drowned out by the thick white layer. Here and there the howling of a wolf could be heard in the distance. Nothing too close though. The horses were occassionally moving around but generally it was a quiet night.

 

Nevertheless Jay woke up well before dawn covered in sweat and shivering from head to toe. He tried to get back to sleep but he felt too bad. With a groan he sat up and searched for a lamp. He was fishing blind in the dark and couldn't find it. "Fuc*in he*l." He cursed frowning in the dark.

His little companion had snuck away and was eyeing him from a beam up top.

Next thing Jay was knocking over the lamp he had been searching for spilling the petroleum onto the barn floor.

Another louder curse followed.

 

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Addy was a relatively light sleeper, although she was well-accustomed to the usual noises in the barn -- the stamping of hooves, an occasional whinny, little mice feet scurrying away from Buster -- but the first outcry jarred her awake, and for a moment she attributed it to one of Weedy's nightmares, but the boy was resting quietly, and then there was another, louder call from the barn where Jay was.

 

On her feet in an instant, Addy grabbed her pistol, careful not to step on Weedy, then was out the door, barefoot and in her union suit...one couldn't worry about trifles such as modesty if there was a threat, although she wasn't sure if there was a threat at all, or if there was, if that would be Jay himself or something else.

 

Opening the door, she peered into the darkness, th' odor of kerosene hitting her nose.  "What in eternal tarnation!?"  It was only because she was so familiar with her surroundings that she was able to stalk toward the stall where Jay had been.

 

"You set this place on fire an' I swear I'll send ya ta Hades six different way's that'll make Dante cry!"  How dare he repay her kindness by torching the barn, with the animals in it!

 

@Jack

(He'd darned better be delirious!)

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Jay was only half awake and aware of what was going on when a female voice cursed at him in the pitch black barn. He wasn't sure whether he was dreaming or awake until the person walked right into him. 

Groaning again he reached for her to push her back. "Nonono....no fire. There's kerosene....."

Couldn't she smell it?

It took him.a moment to even figure out who 'she' was.

"Addy?"

 

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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"Derned tootin' Addy," she grumbled, "an' yeah, kerosene, soakin' inta hay in my barn."  Well, the stage company's barn, but close enough!  "Whacha doin', throwin' kerosene all over?" 

 

But something was off, not quite right in the way he talked, and he was still on the floor.  She relaxed slightly, thinking that maybe the spill hadn't been intentional.

 

Then Weedy was a the door to her room, candle in hand.  "What's..."

 

"Put that candle out, NOW!" she shouted, far more harshly than she intended, but, of course, the flame could be lethal.  But it had given her a look at Jay, and he didn't look good.

 

Engulfed in darkness again, she knelt down and put her pistol on the floor.  "You all right, Jay?"  Warily, she reached to touch him, alarmed to find that he was hot.  "Get up, we're goin' in my room."  She wasn't taking 'no' for an answer.

 

@Jack

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