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    • "That's quite a bit of responsibility for a young man," Emeline commented, impressed.  "It shows a good deal of character."  Hopefully not at the expense of life in general and Clara specifically.  It was too easy to be consumed with your work and not have time for anything else.  but if he could find that time, Emeline thought that he might be the sort of gentleman that Clara needed.   "Well, you know he wouldn't owe me if he borrowed books, but I understand.  He does seem like someone that would be good for you to get to know better.  Maybe you should ask him on a picnic, I'm sure we can spare some fried chicken and a slice or two of pie!"   @Wayfarer
    • Well, she'd given it a good go, but Addy couldn't ditch the man , and unfortunately she wasn't wearing her pistol, since she was attending a meeting and not going out on the trail.  Of course, she supposed, it would be rather blatant and risky to just shoot the man on the street, so, she figured, it was better anyway to lure him into the barn, where one of the huge draft horses could 'panic' and trample him to death...   Such dark thoughts!  Addy shook her head, but then, she'd do whatever she had to to protect Weedy.   Turning to face the man, her nose wrinkled up.  He had the look of a lawyer about him...one that had been eaten by a bear and was fighting to get out!   "Yeah?  Whacha want?"   @Javia
    • “Well, yeah, she is. She’s nineteen now, getting to be an old maid, and what with bein’ too attractive for men to dare to ask her out, she’s scared she’ll miss the boat; she’ll just be left there to sit, all alone, on that big pile of money she’s goin’ to inherit when her rich old uncle dies.”   The way this odd girl was gushing on about this enchanting and soon to be rich gal was simply too good to be true. All that going for her and yet she was supposedly available and just waiting for some dirt poor young cowpoke she never met come and sweep her up? It was all a load of bull shit, Billy scoffed.   "Don't believe you for a minute, besides............."   He then came up with what he thought a brilliant excuse to get away from her and her madwoman schemes. Surely even this girl would not follow him into a bath house. Not to mention the owner would definitely kick her right out. Well, Billy did not reckon with Arabella alright.   “What d’ya want to do throwing away money on bathhouses for? You can have a bath for free, right now, right here!” she jerked a thumb toward the stairs. “Ms Deverau’ll have just finished hers. Water’ll still be nice warm and I can top it up with that kettle I just boiled for the plates. And she don’t tiddle in the water like some folks do.”    "Deverau? Ain't that the lady who owns this place? Like I am gonna go jump in her bathtub without a by your leave? She might well shoot me or have that bartender of hers do it. Word has it that man is a real killer too. I'm not taking that risk," Billy protested.   “Listen, I was watchin’ you playin’ cards in there, and you looked to me like a feller who was just about to have a winnin’ streak. So, you go have a bath, first door on the right…” she frowned down at his hand and then tugged at his right sleeve “… that’s that side, and then go back in there, get in the game, win a whole bunch of money, and you can buy Bridget Monahan a nice bunch of flowers when you take her for a promenade after church tomorrow. I’ll get Mundee to come and stand next to you at the card table and put her hand on yer shoulder, blondes are good luck for gamblers, y'know!”   "Bridget Monahan? That's this beautiful rich lady friend of yers? I know of her. She is some sort of a half-wit who wanders the streets all the time. Somethin's wrong with one of her legs too, limping about like she does," he frowned.   "Well no thanks, not to mention the fact i don't ever go to any church services. As for that bath, I was almost tempted but only a fool would trespass onto that woman's private quarters. I already got one of the Lost Lake owners wantin' to shoot me first chance he gets, don't need a big shot woman lookin' to do the same," once more he started to try his escape.
    • I think it wrapped up nice there.
    • [Sarah, Leah, Anaesthesia]   Directing her attention back to the young lady who was now addressing her, she took a deep breath, "Yes, I agree with your summation that Miss Steelgrave's plans should be looked at in great detail before a decision is made.”   “I am gratified that such an eloquent voice is joined with mine” smiled Anaesthesia, but Sarah’s initial sally was merely a feint. There was an almost inevitable ‘however’:   “I am sure the town council is doing just that and I hope we all have the good sense to know that those men will endeavour to make sure that they have all the information they need to do so.  Hence my question, which unfortunately now seems to have become an opportunity for certain ladies who are currently in the audience to disrupt this meeting."   Miss Orr might not have been a young woman of supernatural intelligence, but she possessed an undeniable advantage over many of her more cerebral peers, she listened. She smiled again, lighting up that angelic face, and held out an innocent white lace gloved hand to the older and wiser woman sitting on the front row of seats. “Then please, most respected Madame, will you not join me in asking her? I am young and silly and know so little of the world, but I do know that I must learn. For although our affairs may be so often in the hands of men, are not we, their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters, most often in the position to influence them so very strongly for what is good and right?”   Big blue honest eyes searched the shrewder brown gaze of the worldly wise writer from the civilised West Coast, who needs must either grasp that plaintiff offered hand or overtly reject it.   @JulieS @Flip

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Emeline & Barnabas

 

There would be so many more dances, at fetes like this, and in their own privacy, and finally Emeline was able to really let herself think about a future and how wonderful it could be, without having those thoughts dashed by dark shadows of what might happen.  With Barnabas at her side, nothing could touch them!

 

When the dance stopped, she laughed and hugged Barnabas.  "I could do with some punch, what about you?"  Linking her arm in his, she started for that table, but then hesitated when she spotted Clara and Brenden.

 

"Wait just a bit, I don't want to disturb her."  She nodded to Clara.  "She's so unsure of herself when it comes to boys.  I suppose I never had to worry about that, Andrew and I were friends since grammar school, so I never had much to worry about boys in general."  She smiled widely.  "And then you just stumbled into my life like the silly cowboy you are...I've been blessed."

 

@Flip

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W&W, Pigging out!

 

"Oh they won't have liver, they only have good food for one of these things,"

 

"Too bad every meal isn't a party!"  Weedy laughed as he filled his plate, then followed Wyatt to one of the long tables set up around the perimeter of the hall.  "I don't even know why anyone would want to eat liver anyway," he commented, then taking a big bite of the beef.  "Thish ish sho goo', why hav' liver?"

 

After swallowing, he then continued, "I don't even know where they get liver from?  I know it's supposed to be beef liver, but how can something so awful come from a cow?"

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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Leah & Jonah


“That is true, she actually shot and killed the bear that a party of hunters went out after. Something of a local hero as I remember.” Leah informed him. “I must get to know her better, she’s one that would see the need for the hospital and the orphanage, I’m betting.”

 

 "She has been seeing to a boy, Weedy, whose mother is...inadequate.   Of course, that doesn't make the lad an orphan, but he may was well be, and Addy lets him stay with her and insists he goes to school and does his lessons."  He nodded.  "You are right, she would be an asset, she isn't intimidated by anything, and her freight business could be of use.  Perhaps we could even have some sort of ambulance?"

 

Well, mostly that was just a glorified freight wagon anyway, so that would be simple.  "As for orphans..." he chuckled, "she can teach them the more base things such as working with animals and swaggering!"  Leah and Addy would certainly be an odd combination!

 

@Flip

 

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Jay was deep in thoughts about Addy when he walked away from the barn just to get whistled at.

He stopped and looked just to see Crabbe around the corner.

"Why are you hiding back there, Mr. Crabbe?"

Turned out he wanted to spy on Bridget.

"She's fine. I was dancing with her. You should just give her some..."

He stopped when an army captain was mentioned and turned back to see.

"Maybe....not sure."

 

It was probably advisable to get out of the line of sight.

So he joined the man in the shadows.

"Women...you know." Jay explained his miserable state.

"I should get going."

 

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Benjamin and Bridget

 

Fortunately the officer had just finished his slice of pie when a young woman backed into him by accident then turned to see just who she had made contact with. Benjamin had saw her dancing before, there was just something about the way she moved out there, like maybe she had a leg or foot injury? No matter. Now even though it had certainly not been his fault - their little accidental contact, he was a gentleman.

 

"Oh excuse me, guess these things can happen sometime in a crowded situation like this," he shrugged and smiled at her.

 

There was also something about her look too, like ...........well, he couldn't quite put his finger on it. But at least she did not appear at all put out by it. That was good.

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[Jay Ryker and Lorenzo Crabbe]

 

It was probably advisable to get out of the line of sight. So he joined the man in the shadows.

 

"Women...you know." Jay explained his miserable state.

 

“Ohhhh, trouble with the ladies, huh?” Lorenzo consoled “Or one particular lady?” he asked, more to the point.

 

"I should get going."

 

“Whoa! Hold on there, friend.” The slickly turned out man steadied the Englishman.

 

“What’s the hurry? Listen, I’m just driving myself crazy here worrying about ol' Bridget in there, what say we go back to our place for a nice sip o’ whiskey and you can tell Uncle Lorenzo all about it? They reckon a problem shared is a problem doubled, Hell, no, that don’t sound right – problem halved, that’s it.” he cajoled the stressed looking craftsman.

 

Crabbe had known many women in his time, some were good and some were bad; some were so beautiful it almost made you cry to look at ‘em, others were more what you might call ‘homely’; some you could rely on, some would do you wrong. One thing was for sure: no man could do without them!

 

Well, unless he was one of them there funny fellers.

 

@Jack

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Brendan and Clara

 

"Ahh, I see," Clara replied. She took the cup of punch and thanked him, so Brendan turned to get one for himself.

 

"Harder for me? How so, if I might ask?"

 

He turned back and studied her face, trying to look for signs that she was trying to catch him saying something disparaging about her. But women were harder to read than animals, and Clara was harder to read than most women Brendan had spent time with. They all wore their feelings on their sleeves - or at least a set of feelings. He supposed saloon girls must have hidden feelings, too.

 

After sipping his punch to give himself time to think of an answer, he replied with only the barest hint of caution, "'Cause you have to get asked to dance and I don't." He suddenly realized in an uncharacteristic flash of self-reflection that that might have sounded boastful.

 

He was distracted by the sight of Bridget talking to (or not talking to) an army officer over Clara's shoulder. Army men weren't always nice men for nice girls like Bridget to be around, and Brendan almost wanted to swoop over and pull Bridget away from the man. But then Clara would feel snubbed, likely, so he didn't.

 

"Uh...which brings me back to what you said earlier. Why didn't you think nobody'd ask you to dance? You're all done up like a princess, almost."

 

@Wayfarer

 

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Benjamin and Bridget

 

"Oh excuse me, guess these things can happen sometime in a crowded situation like this," he shrugged and smiled at her.

 

She smiled back in her usual frank and ingenuous manner. She stepped up to whisper in his ear, raising herself slightly on her good foot.

 

“That lady made … the pies.” She informed him and pointed to Emeline and nodded in confirmation of what she’d just told him.

 

She followed this with a total non sequitur, telling the tough Army Captain “I can dance … slow ‘uns.” In his shell-like ear.

 

She liked this Army man with his exotic uniform clothes, his shiny shoulder straps and buttons and most of all his bristly black moustache and beard. Problem was with Bridget, when she found someone interesting or attractive in any way, she tended to just stare at them in a most unnerving way: wide eyed and sometimes open mouthed (although Mr. Crabbe often admonished her ‘If’n you gotta goggle at folks, at least keep your trap shut while you do it!’ which at least ameliorated her habit a little on this occasion).

 

So, the ginger haired girl just stood there staring, quite happily, at Captain B.T. Barlow, United states Cavalry, as he finished his slice of pie.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Wait just a bit, I don't want to disturb her."  She nodded to Clara.  "She's so unsure of herself when it comes to boys.  I suppose I never had to worry about that, Andrew and I were friends since grammar school, so I never had much to worry about boys in general."  She smiled widely.  "And then you just stumbled into my life like the silly cowboy you are...I've been blessed."


“A shame, nice looking young lady.” Barnabas said as they paused. “Going to make a baker out of her, are you? Seems to me she has the knack for it, maybe not as good as you, but then you’ve had practice.” He chuckled a bit at his own humor.

 

“The young man, seems to have her attention, an’ perty much that’s a good thing, I’d say. A bit self-conscious maybe, but it looks to me like it’s goin’ just fine, well, from here it does.” He looked at her a long moment and added, “Don’t know about you bein’ blessed, but I’d say I surely have been.”

 

@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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He nodded.  "You are right, she would be an asset, she isn't intimidated by anything, and her freight business could be of use.  Perhaps we could even have some sort of ambulance?"

 

“Yes, Addy Chapple would be an integral part of the hospital and the orphanage when the time comes, that is for certain.” Her eyes got a bit bigger. An ambulance, as they had during the war and in the larger cities. “Fantastic Jonah! Utterly fantastic! And there are other things that this town needs, no, requires. A fire department, but that is for someone else to propose. I shall stay with our two projects, they will be big enough, to be sure.” Her excitement began to wane a bit as she thought of the other things that wold be required before to very long.

 

Well, mostly that was just a glorified freight wagon anyway, so that would be simple.  "As for orphans..." he chuckled, "she can teach them the more base things such as working with animals and swaggering!"  Leah and Addy would certainly be an odd combination.

 

“There is so much that can be done with the right people in place, especially with the orphanage. People will make all the difference. The care for them must be of the highest caliber. Some of the horror stories out of the east cannot be repeated out here. No. People just like Addy is what we need, not some headmaster that lives by corporal punishment as a means to an end, but education, training as they get older so that they have a chance in life. Have a trade, abilities to care for themselves properly. Oh Jonah, if we can just get past the people that want to keep Kallispell small and behind the times.”

 

@Bongo

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W & W pigging out

 

"Too bad every meal isn't a party!"  Weedy laughed as he filled his plate, then followed Wyatt to one of the long tables set up around the perimeter of the hall.

 

"No, not really then we'd all be fat and I don't wanna get fat," Wyatt declared in all seriousness.  He well recalled old Mr. Horngold who could barely walk twenty feet without being out of breath and he had been wide as a house.

 

   "I don't even know why anyone would want to eat liver anyway," Weedy commented, then taking a big bite of the beef.  "Thish ish sho goo', why hav' liver?"

 

"They say it's good for ya but you ever notice how everything they claim is good for ya doesn't taste good," Wyatt sagely pointed out.

 

After swallowing, he then continued, "I don't even know where they get liver from?  I know it's supposed to be beef liver, but how can something so awful come from a cow?"

 

"Oh, it's from the guts of the cow, I watched once when they butchered a cow. Clara said it would ruin my appetite to watch but I did it anyhow and I had no trouble eating lunch later. I butchered a chicken once and they got livers too. Well, actually I just lopped it's head off and then Clara took to gutting it. She uses the chicken liver and kidneys for putting in stuffing. It's all ground up and it's good in the stuffing," Wyatt was a regular font of knowledge when it came to livers.

 

westrpgson2.jpg

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Brendan & Clara

 

"Harder for me? How so, if I might ask?" Clara was curious, worried that might just be a crack on her looks.

 

He took a sip of the punch before answering, "'Cause you have to get asked to dance and I don't."

 

His answer was a reasonable one and Clara nodded, "Oh right, that makes sense. We ladies are dependent upon the mens' initiative."

 

"Uh...which brings me back to what you said earlier. Why didn't you think nobody'd ask you to dance? You're all done up like a princess, almost."

 

"Do you think it is too much? I had my doubts but Emeline was confident it would do the trick if she did my hair and dressed me in this fine dress. So I trusted to her experience with men and agreed," Clara even surprised herself by asking for HIS opinion on the matter but it was out now. He did not seem the type to varnish the truth, leastwise as he saw it.

clara-all-dressed-up.gif

 

 

 

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Jay was in no mood to go drinking with Crabbe. If he couldn't be dancing with the woman he truly cared for, he surely wouldn't be knocking back shots with the old man, who seemed truly worried about Bridget.

"She's a big girl. Bridget is quite good at taking care of herself, I reckon. She's having fun...dancing....chatting...you know. Go join her. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

 

He drew his jacket closer around himself and looked back towards the street where he heard jolly music and peoples chatter. Everyone was having a good time, everyone, who deserved it.

 

"I must be on my way home now, Mr. Crabbe. Early morning tomorrow."

 

@Javia

Edited by Jack (see edit history)

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Leah & Jonah

 

“Yes, Addy Chapple would be an integral part of the hospital and the orphanage when the time comes, that is for certain.” Her eyes got a bit bigger. An ambulance, as they had during the war and in the larger cities. “Fantastic Jonah! Utterly fantastic! And there are other things that this town needs, no, requires. A fire department, but that is for someone else to propose. I shall stay with our two projects, they will be big enough, to be sure.”

 

"You are right on both counts about a fire department," Jonah commented.  "As the town grows, we'll need something more organized than just a bucket brigade, and yes, that can be someone else's problem."  He grinned.  "Isn't that why we have a town council?"  It might keep them occupied.

 

“There is so much that can be done with the right people in place, especially with the orphanage. People will make all the difference. The care for them must be of the highest caliber. Some of the horror stories out of the east cannot be repeated out here. No. People just like Addy is what we need, not some headmaster that lives by corporal punishment as a means to an end, but education, training as they get older so that they have a chance in life. Have a trade, abilities to care for themselves properly. Oh Jonah, if we can just get past the people that want to keep Kallispell small and behind the times.”

 

"Of course, if we are to have an orphanage it will not be just a place for them to stay," he agreed, "it will have the best environment we can give them, school and whatnot."  Finding them good homes would be the best outcome, but there was no promise of that, although the love and nurturing they'd need would be more difficult in a group setting manned by employees, regardless of how kind they were.

 

As for the town growing, he wasn't really too keen on that.  "We do need to keep up with what is going on in the bigger cities, but I really am not eager for Kalispell to get too large.  The current leaders are bad enough, but once it gets bigger..." he shook his head, "so do the egos."

 

@Flip

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Benjamin and Bridget

 

"That lady made … the pies.” the young lady informed him and pointed to Emeline and nodded.

 

Benjamin nodded back with a smile, "Well she certainly did a fine job of it. It is delicious. "

 

But that seemed to be all the strange lady had for conversation then, she just looked up at him smiling as she did seem almost entranced by him. Or was it the uniform?  Well, someone had to say something and it was a dance afte rall.

 

"I say ....miss....seems like they are about ready to play another number. May I ask you for a dance?" he suddenly decided.

 

"By the way, I am Captain Barlow but you can just call me Benjamin, I'm not on duty right now," he added in that calm relaxed tone of voice of his.

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She laughed. “You’re probably right about the egos. And there will be a bunch of folks from God knows where trying to run the town. Yes, you’re right, from the frying pan into the fire.” She added.

 

“The point is, it’s progress. Of course who knows how long it will take the railroad to come through here, it might be years off, but the need for a hospital, that will be the sooner the better. People just don’t realize that as yet, but, they will. That, my dear Jonah, is why we will build it first.”

 

“Now, since we’ve solved the town’s problems, perhaps we should go back inside and join the festivities. You know, wives to meet, others to socialize with, that sort of thing.”

 

@Bongo

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Emeline & Barnabas


“A shame, nice looking young lady.” Barnabas said as they paused. “Going to make a baker out of her, are you? Seems to me she has the knack for it, maybe not as good as you, but then you’ve had practice.” He chuckled a bit at his own humor.

 

"She's very good at it."  Emeline hadn't really thought much on Clara's future even though she'd considered the girl to manage the cafe at some point.  "I know she enjoys it, but I see her more as a World traveler, exploring exotic lands."  She chuckled, then shrugged.  "Of course, that isn't highly likely, but at least she isn't going to be swept off her feet by the first cowboy who comes along." 

 

Too many young girls were anxious to be married that they didn't put thought into who they were marrying, and after the charm wore off found themselves in a less than ideal situation, missing the love they'd been seeking.  She really wasn't worried about that for Clara, though, the girl had good sense.

 

“The young man, seems to have her attention, an’ perty much that’s a good thing, I’d say. A bit self-conscious maybe, but it looks to me like it’s goin’ just fine, well, from here it does.” He looked at her a long moment and added, “Don’t know about you bein’ blessed, but I’d say I surely have been.”

 

"Well, of course you have!"  She gave him a cheeky grin.  "I was fighting off suitors just waiting for you!  But then, I not only have a fine, handsome, brave man, but one who can do dishes as well!"  She kissed him lightly on the cheek.  "That's exactly what I was hoping for!"

 

@Flip

 

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[Jay and Crabbe]

 

"She's a big girl. Bridget is quite good at taking care of herself, I reckon. She's having fun...dancing....chatting...you know. Go join her. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

 

Yes, she was a big girl, that’s what he was worried about. “Nah, that kind of a bean feast is more fer respectable folks, I ain’t about to sully it with my sorry presence.” Lorenzo muttered.

 

"I must be on my way home now, Mr. Crabbe. Early morning tomorrow."

 

The shifty operator shrugged. “Oh well, have it your way. Guess we’re both a couple of pikers. But listen, come around tomorrow if you can, I got a new ‘business opportunity’ on the stove, just about to come to the bubble if ya get m’drift. Should keep us in healthy funds until the mining and theatre plans’re nicely cooked.”

 

Yes, if his idea to become Kalispell’s first professional photographer was to come to fruition, he’d need some technical assistance with backdrops and the like: both for portrait photographs of the living and, in a period where a lot of people didn’t shell out for a image to remember a relative by until they up and died, the dead. In fact, he was hoping Jay could help him construct some kind of an armature that would help keep both the quick and the deceased in a stiff position (no pun intended), while the exposure cap stayed off the camera.

 

He stood considering his plans as Jay departed.

 

He’d already taken a few pictures and developed them and was now hungry to make some profit on his investment of time and money on the project.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Benjamin and Bridget

 

Bridget didn’t find anything strange about standing or sitting with someone and not saying anything, they did it all the time at home: the silence only occasionally broken by Mr. Crabbe muttering something to himself or Mr. Fa humming a strange dissonant tune of the orient. She didn’t quite get that it wasn’t the thing to do at a social gathering. She had trouble enough saying out loud things that did interest her, the concept of small talk quite eluded her carrot topped noggin.

 

Luckily, the gallant Captain was more than capable of saving the day.

 

"I say ....miss....seems like they are about ready to play another number. May I ask you for a dance?" he suddenly decided.

 

Bridget nodded enthusiastically, then reached up again to confirm “If is slow.”

 

"By the way, I am Captain Barlow but you can just call me Benjamin, I'm not on duty right now," he added in that calm relaxed tone of voice of his.

 

This allowed Bridget to do her party piece and she was getting better at it all the time with the practice she’d been having lately, and she screwed her eyes shut tight and proudly announced out loud, though in a pretty weedy voice “My name is Bridget Monahan!” She opened her eyes again to see if the handsome officer was impressed. She wanted to add that she was off duty, too, but decided to quit while she was ahead.

 

The band struck up something that was slow enough for her to handle without mishap and they took the floor. Bridget was learning something: men were all very different. Even in a slow waltz, Brendan had felt light, young, effusive and gay; there was something more solid and strangely purposeful about dancing with Captain Barlow: a feeling of great powerful reserves being carefully harnessed and repressed. This was dancing with a man, a serious man. Dancing with Brendan and Jay had been fun, dancing with Captain Barlow felt more important. And, whatever he said, she couldn't help the feeling that this man was never off duty.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Well, of course you have!"  She gave him a cheeky grin.  "I was fighting off suitors just waiting for you!  But then, I not only have a fine, handsome, brave man, but one who can do dishes as well!"  She kissed him lightly on the cheek.  "That's exactly what I was hoping for!"


“Fightin’ ‘em off, were ya?” There was a crooked grin and an evil twinkle in his eyes. “Dish doin’ was a job I was doin’ ta help you out. I’m a sworn in deputy fer the township of Kalispell Montana, an’, whats more, I am the construction boss fer the house and home we’ll share, ‘sides, truth be told I was washin’ them dishes just to be near to ya.” He said, “So don’t let it go to yer head. There’ll be work a plenty to go around once we’re hitched an’ moved in.”

 

@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Brendan and Clara

 

Whew. Clara didn't seem to be bothered by his comment, but she did have a question of her own for him.

 

"Do you think it is too much? I had my doubts but Emeline was confident it would do the trick if she did my hair and dressed me in this fine dress. So I trusted to her experience with men and agreed."

 

At Clara's question, Brendan took the opportunity to study her closely. Not that he hadn't already, but this time he could do it without worrying about her saying he was looking too long. After taking in the whole picture she presented, he took a closer look at the way her hair hung over her shoulders and the way the dress hugged and draped her body. Yeah, it did the trick.

 

"Weeeellll," he said slowly, sipping his punch again, "it sure is a fine dress. And your sure does look nice undone. You're the prettiest girl I've danced with tonight."

 

He gave Clara a smile that perfectly matched the flattery he was serving up. What he'd said was true, but he'd only danced with Arabella and Bridget and neither of them could compare to the way Clara looked right now, although Bridget's fancy dress put her second in the running in Brendan's mind.

 

"So...I don't think it's too much." He grinned suddenly as a thought popped into his head, hesitated for only a second, then took the risk and said it. "I bet Billy an' Greer would say it's too much, though."

 

@Wayfarer

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Bridget, Benjamin

 

He decided he would at least ask the young miss if she wanted to dance, Benjamin had enjoyed his first dance and wished to do some more. It was a social after all, so be sociable. She agreed without hesitation but one stipulation, "If is slow."

 

"You're in luck, it's a waltz. Quite basic really," he recognized the tune.

 

Before they got out onto the dance floor he quickly introduced himself, which seemed to be the polite thing to do. She returned the favor in a strange sort of fashion though.

 

Bridget screwed her eyes shut tight and proudly announced out loud, though in a pretty weedy voice “My name is Bridget Monahan!”

 

Then opened her eyes, now that was indeed odd. Benjamin was by now fully aware the young lady was not normal...well, she had some issues. But no matter, it was just a dance and she seemed pleasant enough if child-like.

 

"Nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Monahan. We better get on out there then, the musicians aren't waiting for anyone," he smiled and escorted her on out among the other assembling dancers. He could tell she had a bit of a hitch in her walk, maybe a past (or even recent) injury or maybe a birth defect? He would need to be careful.

 

 

 

 

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Brendan, Clara

 

Well, she went and asked him for his opinion so now Clara braced herself for his take on her gussying up for this dance, she had little doubt he would be honest (some would say blunt) about it, he was certainly not shy to voice his opinions. She could hardly be critical about that in the young man though given her own proclivity to tell anyone and everyone just what she thought of things. She stood there then as his eyes went up and down studying her, it was nerve-wracking but a part of the process she convinced herself.

 

"Weeeellll," he said slowly, sipping his punch again, "it sure is a fine dress. And your hair sure does look nice undone. You're the prettiest girl I've danced with tonight."

 

OK, so Clara had his verdict and it was oh so positive. A silly romantic sort of girl might just go and melt on the spot but Clara prided herself on not being the sort to get all emotional. However warm it made her feel to be complimented just then.

 

"Why, thank you, Brendan," she actually smiled.

 

But then he had to go and ruin the moment of course.

 

"So...I don't think it's too much." He grinned suddenly, hesitated for only a second, then  said, "I bet Billy an' Greer would say it's too much, though."

 

Why on earth would he bring up those two ruffians? What did it matter what they thought? Yet that was what was running thru his mind? Clara's smile vanished.

 

"Ahhh, yes! Your friends from Evergreen. The ones who tried to shoot me from ambuscade. The ones you continue to work with and befriend despite their murderous proclivities. And to think I did my best with the deputy to keep you out of trouble before. Even though you were obviously fine with condoning their actions...." she paused just for a second before she went any further and it became a full fledged tirade. That would be unseemly especially in this public event.

 

"Oh nevermind. You do not really understand or you simply do not care. So, Brendan, I thank you for the dance and for your compliments. Have a nice evening. I must go back to the bakery table in case I am needed there," she kept her voice firm and as unemotional as she could.

 

But she certainly was not going to get drawn into a debate on the issue so she spun about and headed for the forementioned table.

 

clara-all-dressed-up.gif

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Posted (edited)

[Captain Barlow and Bridget Monahan]

 

"Nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Monahan. We better get on out there then, the musicians aren't waiting for anyone," he smiled and escorted her on out among the other assembling dancers. He could tell she had a bit of a hitch in her walk, maybe a past (or even recent) injury or maybe a birth defect? He would need to be careful.

 

Bridget bit her bottom lip and smiled as if in wonderment, being led out for the third time that evening for a dance by a handsome man. Well, to be fair, it was wonderment: this was a fantastic, almost dreamlike, climax to what had been, for her, an amazing year. To think, a little more than twelve months ago she had been a virtual slave, unwashed and unkempt, hopping around on one leg and a crude crutch, begging on the streets of some God forsaken mining town, and not even getting to keep what she begged. That she had to turn over to the doctor who, true, had once saved her life, but now said he owned her until she could pay off the medical bill plus the accumulated credit of ten years.

 

It had been the only life she’d ever known, other than a few vague and scrappy memories from before the accident. The doctor had a dog, whom he treated better than he treated Bridget: and, truth to tell, he didn’t treat the dog particularly well. Thus it had been a surprise when, dirty and unkempt, and sporting a black eye where the drunken, angry doctor had slapped her across the face for not bringing enough money in after a day of begging, the man had tried to do what he did.

 

That attack had hurt her, terrified her, in ways that made the doctor’s cruelties seem paltry. Furthermore, the man who had saved her from the assault didn’t seem a lot better, he was just after her attacker for some reason: beat him half senseless with a lead-topped walking stick, demanding to know where some other man was, Mercier or something, and had then shot her assailant in cold blood. Hardly a white knight in shining armor, her Mr. Crabbe. But she had followed him anyway, and she had found herself here, in a dreamland called Kalispell, where she had fancy dresses, fancy dolls, fancy new leg, even friends and best of all, she was completely free of grey-backs.

 

She tried to forget the past, and bask in the wonderful present. She whispered a question in the burly officer’s ear.

 

“You fight injuns?”  

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Brendan and Clara; Brendan and Charlie in the beer tent

 

Clara seemed to appreciate his compliment, because she broke into a genuine smile that made Brendan smile too. But once again, the smile was doomed to disappear because of his comment about Billy and Greer. That was all it took to set Clara off.

 

"Ahhh, yes! Your friends from Evergreen. The ones who tried to shoot me from ambuscade. The ones you continue to work with and befriend despite their murderous proclivities. And to think I did my best with the deputy to keep you out of trouble before. Even though you were obviously fine with condoning their actions...."

 

"No, I..." Brendan only understood half of the words coming out of Clara's mouth, so it was hard to mount a defense. What was ambuscade? And what were proclivities? But he understood that mentioning Billy and Greer had been a bad idea, and that she was regretting defending him in front of the deputy. "Clara..."

 

"Oh nevermind. You do not really understand or you simply do not care. So, Brendan, I thank you for the dance and for your compliments. Have a nice evening. I must go back to the bakery table in case I am needed there."

 

With that, Clara turned and headed for the bakery table. Her voice had been curiously steady, given how upset she seemed to be. Brendan put his hands on his hips, frowning. Now why did she have to go and do that? He had been about to ask her to join the waltz that was currently going on.

 

"Enjoy standin' around, then!" he called after her, then turned and headed for the beer tent. That was mean-spirited, but he didn't see why Clara had gotten so upset about what he had said. After Arabella and Clara, he sure did need a drink.

 

Inside the beer tent, he got what he had come for - a tall glass of foaming beer - and looked around to see who else was there. He spotted Charlie with a few other men who had to be Lost Lake hands. He walked over to the group of men and edged in beside Charlie.

 

"Howdy. Clara decided I wasn't good enough company for her, I guess."

 

Now, strictly speaking, that wasn't true, since it was his fault she was mad at him. But Brendan thought that Charlie just might be able to sympathize, given how quickly he had disappeared after Clara had started dancing with Brendan.

 

@Wayfarer @JulieS

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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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