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Sagas of the Wild West
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Do the Right Thing


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Mature Content: No

With: Marshal Guyer
Location: Marshal's Office
When: Early April 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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Excuses were easy to come by, and Addy had scores of them, but courage was something else, and it had taken some time for her to finally do what was right, even if it meant consequences that she didn't want to face.  But she'd lingered long enough, too long, and there were no more excuses.

 

Taking a breath, she stepped into the Marshal's office, having spiffed herself up with a wool skirt, and a real ladies shirtwaist, she had her hair in a neat braid and had left her slouch hat at home...this was business, and she wanted to look...business-y.

 

"Mornin', Marshal, sir."  She smiled and nodded to Speed...a good man, she knew he'd have the right answers.  "Might I have a moment of yer time?"

 

 

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Quickly sliding his boots off the desktop, and sitting up straight, he said; “Addy, hello. Been a spell. Come in, have a seat. Got coffee on if you’d like a cup.” She was dressed far differently than normal, and her trademark slouch hat was missing. Something was up.

 

Though out of the ordinary, a visit from Addy could hardly be construed as cause for alarm, and the way she was dressed said something else entirely to Speed, who had been thinking of other problems he knew were headed his way. “So, what can I do for you?”

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They were friends, and had been for some time, and Speed's easy manner reminded her of that...he would help her and give her good council, and hopefully not bite her head off for lingering on the matter.

 

"Coffee'd be good, thanks."  She gave him a nod as she flopped into a chair, then dug in her pocket and pulled out the telegram, dated December 24, 1874, and handed it to him.

 

"Seems like that Weedy's Ma was in Whitefish durin' th' storm," Addy explained, "not exactly sure what happened, but I couldn't tell him on Christmas..."  Surely, Speed would understand that.  "Been meanin' ta tell him, meanin' ta come ta you, but there was always somethin'..."

 

Shaking her head, she shrugged, then looked Speed in the eye.  "He's a good boy, happy here, he quit askin' on his ma a time ago...I was afraid...I'm afraid he'll be shipped off ta some home, alone, with no one ta see after him.  He's happy here, got lots'a friends -- you, too, right?  People been lookin' after him most all his life anyway, an' he'll pine in an orphanage..."

 

Well, there it was, she laid out her argument, although she wasn't even sure what sort of legal say Speed had on any of it.

 

(Telegram:

Miss Adelaide Chappel, Millegan Stage Co. Kalispell, Mt

 

Miss Chappel,

 Regarding Porter James, it has come to our attention that you sometimes care for the boy.  If you know his whereabouts, please contact local authorities regarding his disposition following the tragic death of his mother, Mrs. Chloe Porter, in Whitefish, Mt this week past.)

 

@Flip

 

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Speed listened as she explained her visit, as that’s what friends do, and as she spoke he pondered the problem at hand, it was not just about her or Weedy it was about this town, his town, her town, Weedy’s town. The boy was a part of Kalispell.

 

“Best we get a hold of Miss Mercer and see if we can’t toss a wrench in this. Ain’t no way I can see Weedy being uprooted much less put in an orphanage!” He said. “ If you’d like we can go hunt her up right now. I afraid it’ll take a lawyer to keep that boy here.” Then he smiled. “‘course, you’ve done what was asked, you have contacted, what was it? Oh, the authorities. That would be me. Shame about Chloe.”

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Addy's nose wrinkled up, she wasn't too keen on lawyers, even if it was someone as nice and good as Harriet, but she had already reckoned that was going to have to be done. 

 

"Woman didn't deserve ta die," she agreed, but then shrugged.  "But truth be said, I allow as how it's better fer Weedy she's sure an' gone, not just...not there but there?"  Certainly, Speed would know what she was talking about.  Chloe was more often than not drunk or occupied with a man, so that even when she was in town, Weedy avoided her.  It was sad, and un-Christain, but Addy was relieved that that was over with and the boy could go on with his life.

 

"I know that don't make me a good person, but..."

 

@Flip

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“There is no but, Addy. Like it or not, you are a good woman, and a good person.” Speed interrupted. “That boy ain’t your concern, but you took him in anyway. Now why on earth would you do such a thing? I mean, what’s in it for you? There’s a church in town that could have provided care for Weedy, but no, you took on that responsibility.”

 

“No one in the Whitefish disaster deserved to die. Not a one, but the fire and the storm didn’t take that into account. Both did what they do and the results were terrible, plain and simple.” Speed explained. “I guess what I want to get a handle on is why you got a telegram and no one else has come to me with one like that.”  He considered that aspect a moment.

 

“Perhaps there’s a Mister Porter? Or other family around?”

 

Tag @Bongo

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Addy's frown deepened as she felt her chest tighten at the suggestion that there might be a father somewhere.  Of course, she'd considered it, for a few seconds, but had then dismissed it.

 

"Don't know what become of his pa, nor even if his mother is certain who it was.  She told th' boy he was killed by Injuns, but I don't know the truth of that, nor his name, nor if her name was his..."

 

Maybe there was a man, somewhere, but how would they ever find him, and what were the chances he was alive, and what were the chances that Addy wouldn't just take Weedy and move to Mexico?

 

"I hate this," she muttered, "it ain't fair..."  Although she didn't specify if it wasn't fair to Weedy, her, or both.

 

@Flip

 

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“I’d figure if anyone would Weedy’s family history n town it would be you. But, having said that, where was Weedy born? Do you have any idea?” Speed quizzed. “And who is that telegram from? The very first thing I want to know is, what is their authority, and secondly, why is that the only such telegram that’s been received.”

 

Without a name and their authority attached it was just a meaningless document. How was anyone supposed to get back to whomever sent it in the first place.

 

“You don’t worry about a thing, Addy, you’ve done what was asked by reporting to me. Now I’m going to hunt down the telegrams sending. There should be a record. Then I am going to see Harriet Mercer about the options that we have in this. No reason for you to go with me, but know you’re welcome to if you want. Let’s get to the bottom of this!”

 

Tag @Bongo

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"I never did see th' need ta ask questions...didn't think I should make Weedy dwell on it, an' never did talk much ta Miz Chloe."  She shrugged.  "Boy showed up one day, dirty an' scrawny, started helpin' with th' chores without me askin'...I started feedin' him, then got him clean clothes...was near a month before we really even talked."

 

She wished now that she knew more, but then, maybe the boy did?

 

"Reckon th' man at th' telegraph office'd know who sent that?  An' then I reckon we should find Weedy."  Boy might not be her own flesh and blood, but she'd fight tooth-and-nail for him.

 

@Flip

 

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"Well then, let's go see the man and find out who sent this. Odd the name and how to contact them, or him, or her is missing." Speed advised. "We'll get to the bottom of this, and then we'll know who we're dealing with and what our options are."

 

The telegraph office was not far and the operator was a friendly sort, so he saw no problems finding out who had sent the telegram. Then he could find out why. The telegrapher should have a book with records of all in coming and out going telegrams, meaning it should be simply enough to get the name they were after.

 

"Don't you worry Addy, we'll make sure young Weedy stays right here in Kalispell." Speed promised.

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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