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    • F. Falmer Browne was as impressed with Addy’s barn and selection of transportation impedimenta, including the draught animals who pulled the things as he was with Addy herself.   “Splendid! Splendid!” was all he could say as he peered about the place with a quick and intelligent eye. “A veritable Aladdin’s Cave!”   "Wagon's there," she nodded, "an' once ya check that over, I'll introduce ya to th' horses.  Ya got a saddle mount'a yer own?"  If he didn't have a horse, she could just bring Arabesque, the mare was accustomed to being ponied behind wagons.   The slightly eccentric older gentleman approached the vehicle in question, hands clasped behind his back, head bent forward slightly, in a pose of complete and curious absorption – as if he was seeing, for the fist time, some fabulous beast of lore. He ducked down, quite lithely for his age, and came up again smiling broadly at Addy, a look of supreme satisfaction on his face at the condition of Miss Chappel’s springs.   “May I?” he asked, indicating that he would like to climb up onto the land ship.   Whilst happily bouncing there, he answered her question about the horses. “Yes, I would like you to take care of all the arrangements around horses, equipment, even hiring another hand if you think it meet, Miss Chappel. I leave all in your hands, no expense spared.”   He was clearly very pleased with the bounce on the wagon as well that of its driver.   “You know, I have many times observed you, reins in hand, piloting this very vehicle. If it is not too impertinent of me, may I ask from whence you obtained these skills, so unusual in an attractive young lady?” the old masher asked.  
    • "Yes, Miss Clara."  Grinning, Weedy handed her the bread.  She was at that awkward age for a boy, that she was too old to refer to by her given name, but really wasn't so old as to be a 'Ma'am'!   "Miz Addy sent some bread," he explained, holding out the package, then telling Clara what he'd told Wyatt.  "She got it from the Lickskillet, so she didn't cook it."  He grinned.  "She makes black bread!  And then the whole room smells burnt for a week!"  It was safe to say that, since she wasn't here!   @Wayfarer
    • As unorthodox as she was, Addy wasn't adverse to having her chair held, nor a door opened, and to that end she gave Mr. Browne a chance to open the saloon doors for her.  But the big doors to the front of the barn were something else, and she took it on herself to push one of the huge pair aside, flooding the open breezeway with light and eliciting eager nickers from the barn's occupants.   "Wagon's there," she nodded, "an' once ya check that over, I'll introduce ya to th' horses.  Ya got a saddle mount'a yer own?"  If he didn't have a horse, she could just bring Arabesque, the mare was accustomed to being ponied behind wagons.   @Javia
    • "Marshal Guyer?  Of course."  Emeline smiled as she poured coffee.  "I guess that means you can have whatever you'd like."  While it didn't happen often, it wasn't unheard of that someone was sent over from the jail for a meal, and they usually took full advantage, ordering a steak and potatoes, then pie.  She didn't mind, she was always paid.   "Oh and say.....could I have  Little Miss Pigtails wait on me? I'd like ta talk to her?"   "Oh, I'm sorry, there's no one here by that name."  Emeline smiled sweetly, really wanting to pour hot coffee in the boy's lap!  "So, what can I get for you?"  Mister No Manners, she added silently in her head.   @Wayfarer  
    • She stopped, a rider was coming, it only took a moment to see that it was her Pa, she lowered the Henry. That was a normal reaction for her to begin to shoulder the weapon. A woman on her own should take no chances.   She was anxious to hear all about Kalispell and the people he had met while he was there. It would be like him to stock up on goods while he was there, unless there was a problem with his getting paid, which happened time to time. Though she was not one to wear anything fancy, she did like to know about what the women he saw were wearing. She had trained him to notice.   He came into the yard with the pack horse in tow, obviously with a load of groceries. He paused a moment, as he usually always did before dismounting.   "Dang McClellan, ain't near a s comfortable as it once was." He complained as he usually did. "Might have ta get me one of them modern high backs. Might make this old man feel a sight better."   "I'll believe it when I see it, Amos Conroy." She had heard that one before.   "Lotsa calico, seen lotsa calico, but did see a couple ladies in their finery, Not like we saw in Denver, but purty high-falutin just the same." He reported.   "Thanks Pa." She smiled as she spoke.   "Saved the best fer last. Never guess who I run onto in town." He waited, but she didn't take the bait. He led the horses to the corral where he tied them.  Alice began unpacking the supplies, each taking part of them and starting for the house. At what they call the Municipal Bulidin' sittin' in his office was the town Marshal." He paused, she glared at him. "Speed Guyer, badge an' all." Still she said nothing but went about what she was doing.  "You remember Captain Guyer?"   "Thought you'd like to know." He said to her silence.

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Jay took another swig and placed the bottle on a small wooden table. She had even suggested that he'd go back to the woman, he was sweet on. Maybe she wasn't all that terrible after all.

"Thank you, mam....what do I call you?"

 

“Mrs Miggins to you!” Nellie informed him, in no uncertain terms. “Just cause I’m keepin’ quiet about your little escapades don’t mean you should be getting’ over-familiar!” she warned.

 

Before he left he had to tell her one more thing, though. "I swear you're not making a mistake by keeping my secret hidden. I'm not a bad person, I just ran with foul company. But since I arrived here I've not done anything bad."

 

“Hmmm, we’ll see!” said the old woman. To be frank, she didn’t give two hoots about whether Mr. Jay Ryker was a devil or an angel when he was in town, as long as he behaved himself and did a good job of the barbed wire when he came out to her homestead.  

 

Now, there was only one person in the whole wide world whom Nellie Miggins would admit to that she’d made a mistake, and that person was Nellie Miggins. Thus it was that she now began to regret and chide herself for encouraging Jay to go back to the Chappel woman and make things up. She still had an unmarried old spinster of a Granddaughter back at the homestead, all of 25 years old. Sure, she'd been a little sickly of late, been practically shut-in all of Winter, but now she seemed a little better, sitting up and even walking around a mite.  Maybe…

 

 

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Brendan and Charlie

 

So making assumptions about Clara was a risky business, and not one that Charlie advised. Brendan was learning that the hard way. And Charlie's tale about how Clara up and left the Thornton kids didn't paint her in a more favorable light. It seemed irresponsible, even to Brendan who liked to get out of work whenever he could.

 

"I guess it would take a lifetime to figure out Clara and that's too long.  What isn't long is the line at the bar.  Care for another?"

 

Brendan had had time to finish his beer by the time Charlie finished dishing up everything he knew about Clara. And he didn't even know the half of it! He wasn't sure if he should finish his story about his first meeting with Clara. He looked at his empty glass and nodded.

 

"I think I do. But I ain't even told you the worst part about meetin' Clara yet. C'mon." He grabbed Charlie's arm and headed for the beer table. "So there I was, ridin' down to say hello to what I thought was a real friendly gal. I even offered to help her with the laundry. And then she ups and points her Colt at me!"

 

"Well," he continued, "I did some quick thinkin' and quick talkin' and things was goin' a little better, but then the hands I come over with took a shot at us...at Clara, I guess. They missed, but it sure didn't make things better between us. But you know what? She defended me earlier when that deputy started askin' too many questions about what happened that day."

 

@JulieS

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[Clara & Jacob]

 

Jacob listened to Clara’s advice on arm-taking etiquette (for want of a better phrase!) with an intensely interested look on his face, like a scholar desperate to be illuminated by wise old professor.

 

"Well....perhaps you should not in here...in public. We have just met afterall.”

 

Jacob nodded, and said the words that every woman longs to hear.

 

“You’re right!”

 

Good old sis and her clever advice. He was rewarded by a heart thrilling addendum by the beautiful girl in the blue evening gown.

 

“But once we are outside I would not mind it," she believed she had come up in a good middle of the road solution.

 

Bingo! Lutz didn’t dare get too excited about things, though, like that might jinx the good luck he’d had so far.

 

And with that the pair finished the last of the waltz, nodded to each other and exchanged 'thank yous' before then making their way out the wide barn doors into the cool evening air. Though outwardly calm, Clara's heart was pounding in excitement even nervousness.  This farm boy was so much nicer to get along with than those cowpokes. He was literally a breath of fresh air.

 

His heart was banging too, but he managed to stroll on out of there, hands clasped behind his back, like he was sauntering off on a stroll on his own, not walking along side the prettiest girl in Kalispell, or maybe even the Territories. Or maybe even the World.

 

Once they had stolen out of the barn and gone a little way away from it, for there were many a folk milling around outside, he shyly put out his left arm and looked at it like it was the first time he had seen it in his life.

 

“I guess this is how I do it!” he smiled. “My sister says that a gentleman always offers his left arm so that he can draw his sword if he needs to defend his lady.” He added. “Or in my case, the penknife I use for whittling.”

 

When the moment came to feel her perfectly formed bare arm in his, he took her hand with his spare hand, his sword/penknife hand, as if to hold her safely and  securely in place: but really because he just wanted to hold her hand. To be sure, his head was swimming for a moment: he was holding Clara Redmond’s hand! Christmas morning had nothing on this!

 

He looked down and at her lovely face, her pretty little nose and her beautiful brown eyes: so full of intelligence and yet always, he felt, clouded by a little sadness, too.

 

“It’s funny, now we’re out here and I’m looking at you; I hardly want to view the moon.” He said, with an air of wonder at just how lovely she was. “But I don’t want you think this was just an excuse to get to hold your hand, so we’d better step over yonder, where there’s a gap in the houses.” He said practically. Indeed, the moon was low and they would need to stroll even further away from the barn to really see it properly.

 

It was magnificent. It’s position near the horizon made it look enormous. An illusion, of course, but a stunning one. The bright part of the moon was nothing more than a thin slither, like the shard of glass you never see after you accidentally smash a glass on the floor and don’t discover until you tread on the darn thing the one time you walk into the kitchen in bare feet. Inside this silver sliver’s grasp could be clearly seen the round form of the dark moon, like a person hiding in the shadows: there and not there at the same time, a cave of gray black light in clear deep indigo night sky.

 

Just as beautiful was a bright white star just below, following the Sun which had long dipped below the horizon.

 

"That's Venus." Jacob said simply. "Boy, has she got a lot to answer for!" he added with feeling, squeezing Clara's hand a little .

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQt6KMIV2P091d02nsk4vd

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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[Arabella and Benjamin]

 

"Oh, I wouldn’t ever try and make you leave the army if I married ya, I’d be that proud to be married to a officer: ‘How dya do? I’m Mrs Captain Benjamin Barlow, U.S. Cavalry.’ Gee Cap, I think you should get married, maybe to a nice Southern girl, y'know, healing the divide.”

 

Benjamin smiled but did not reply, how do you answer that from a child? He knew exactly what nice Southern girl she meant afterall.

 

“I think takin’ a Mrs Barlow would be good for your career, too: I mean, all them big Army Generals is married, ain’t they? Like General Useless Grant, and General George Armstong Custard, and General Terry…, er, I don’t know his second name, but I’m pretty sure he’s married, too.”

 

"I doubt highly I will ever attain the lofty rank of general. By the way, it's Custer and he actually is only a lieutenant colonel. He was a general in the war. Oh and Terry is that worthy's last name too," he gently corrected her. 

 

After the dance, the good Captain tried to say his goodbyes, but he hadn’t reckoned with the Clinch Mountain barnacle.

 

"Well...on that note then, I thank you for the dance, young lady, and I need to take my leave. I intend on parching my thirst with a drink at the beer tent. Good evening," he smiled then gave a nod of the head sort of bow.

 

“Oh, that’s good, I’m a headin’ that way m’self!” she beamed happily, taking his arm and hanging on like a limpet: the kind of limpet that other limpets criticise for being ‘too clingy’.

 

She was? He had not expected that.

 

“I work at the saloon so I know all them folks in the beer tent, like Mr Flandry, he’s the barman and he’s got a beard like you, and Mammy Cookie, she’s a big fat black lady and I love her and she used to be a slave but she ‘scaped on the railroad, and I’m allowed to go behind the bar, well it’s more like a table really, but it’s like the bar tonight and I could get you your beer so you don’t have to get in line, because I reckon that’s beneath your station, what with you bein’ a war hero and all.” She chattered away breathlessly as they walked.

 

"I did not say I was a war hero, girl," again he felt compelled to make a correction. She works at the saloon?

 

Messalina saw them coming and shook her head.

 

Arabella introduced him excitedly.

 

“Cookie! Cookie! Permit me to introduce Captain Benjamin Barlow” she yelped, then struck a dramatic pose. “The name he was given at birth, the rank he hath earned!”

 

A very uncomfortable Benjamin nodded, "Hello."  There he was literally the only one with female accompaniment amongst all those menfolk customers and quite a few noticed.

 

“Beer Cap’n?” asked the cook “Or do you feel in need a something stronger?!”

 

"I could use ..........how about a shot of whiskey. Good whiskey, not the cheap stuff," he replied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Clara and Jacob outside]

 

The boy was certainly proving to be most agreeable, Clara definitely like that. The pair left the barn then, strolling out the wide open doors and slowly walked thru other people gathered outside too, paying no attention to the chatter and laughter all about them. When they were a bit more in the clear, Jacob then offered his arm for escort.

 

“I guess this is how I do it!” he smiled. “My sister says that a gentleman always offers his left arm so that he can draw his sword if he needs to defend his lady.” He added. “Or in my case, the penknife I use for whittling.”

 

"Looks good to me," Clara happily agreed as she then entwined her arm with his, this was a first for her.

 

"A penknife? Well then let us hope that I do not need defending," she quipped.

 

They moved on a bit further and he was holding hands with her then, Clara had no objection.

 

“It’s funny, now we’re out here and I’m looking at you; I hardly want to view the moon.” He said.

 

"Oh? "

 

“But I don’t want you think this was just an excuse to get to hold your hand, so we’d better step over yonder, where there’s a gap in the houses."

 

"Hmmm, very well, but I am trusting you do know the proper boundaries though," Clara just wanted to put that out there  though she was not really alarmed, she had faith in the boy.

 

They found a perfect spot though and, in truth, the view of the night sky and the sliver of crescent moon was amazing. Clara had never really bothered to do this sort of thing before and for the first time, she realized what she had been missing.

 

"Oh gosh!" she just stood still and gazed upward.  There was more too.

 

"That's Venus." Jacob said simply. "Boy, has she got a lot to answer for!" he added with feeling, squeezing Clara's hand a little .

 

"Oh indeed? Why do you say that?" Clara prided herself on her education, though much of it had been self taught but she knew very little about the stars and planets.

 

This farm boy was full of surprises!

 

 

 

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"Mrs. Miggins." Jay repeated her name. It tasted a tad sour in his mouth and he surely wasn't overly keen on becoming buddies with the woman, who had taken a shot at him and was now black mailing him. She had to be able to read people really well because she seemed damn sure he wouldn't repay the favour with the bullet.

 

"Well, mam. It's been a pleasure coming to an agreement with you. I will come to your place in two days time with my tools. If you'd excuse me now?"

With a polite gesture he walked to the door, asking her to follow. After all she was sitting in his chair in the middle of his home.

 

Perhaps this could really turn out as a chance to stay in Kalispell.

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[Clara and Jacob outside]

 

"Hmmm, very well, but I am trusting you do know the proper boundaries though," Clara just wanted to put that out there  though she was not really alarmed, she had faith in the boy.

 

“Miss Clara Redmond, your boundaries are as safe as a barbed wire fence while I’m around” he assured her, drawing a simile from the piles of the stuff that were stacked up in his Granny’s barn.

 

He maneuvered her over to where the view of the stars and planets was best on this miraculously clear evening. 

 

"That's Venus." Jacob said simply. "Boy, has she got a lot to answer for!" he added with feeling, squeezing Clara's hand a little .

 

"Oh indeed? Why do you say that?" Clara prided herself on her education, though much of it had been self taught but she knew very little about the stars and planets.

 

“Well in ancient times, they named the planets after their Gods” he explained “Jupiter was the King of the Gods, Mars the most warlike, and Mercury was the cleverest; but the most powerful of all was Venus, because she was the Goddess of Love.” He said, still holding onto her hand with their arms entwined.

 

“Why, that little lady made the Greeks launch a Thousand Ships to rescue Helen of Troy from her lover Paris, she made Mark Antony give up half the Roman Empire and his own life for the love of Cleopatra of the Nile…” he was warming to his subject now “And even in modern times, she makes farm-boys spend their last two cents on a slice of pie, just so they can sit in a diner, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl they’re sweet on.” He said, turning to her now and looking down on the prim but gorgeous face.

 

“Why, she’s so powerful she can even make that same farm-boy forget the solemn promise he made to respect that same, very beautiful girl’s barb-wire boundaries.” He finished, bending slightly to try and kiss her gently on the lips.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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 [Arabella and Benjamin]

 

“I did not say I was a war hero, girl," again he felt compelled to make a correction. She works at the saloon?

 

“Oh, course not. You’re too modest!” she informed the veteran, patting him on the arm approvingly.

 

When they got to the beer tent, a large woman behind the makeshift bar seemed to divine what the good Captain might need, judging by his company.

 

“Beer Cap’n?” asked the cook “Or do you feel in need a something stronger?!”

 

"I could use ..........how about a shot of whiskey. Good whiskey, not the cheap stuff," he replied.

 

“Only the best!” Messalina confirmed and shooting a sideways glance to make sure Ralph wasn’t listening, added “On the house, I reckon you’ve probably earned it.” She handed him a double.

 

Arabella wasn’t listening, one of the men in the tent had shouted “Hey Reb, who’s your boyfriend?” and she was busy replying a matter of fact “It’s Captain Barlow from the Fort.”

 

She turned back to the said officer and waved a depreciating hand at the ribald and inebriated crowd of men.

 

“Oh, I know all these drunken reprobates, Captain.” Clara had taught her that last fancy word. “See him, that’s Mr Jarman, he used be a bigshot lawyer back East, but he turned up in court all lickered up one day and told the Judge what he could do with his gavel. I don’t know what a gavel is, Cap, but I’m sure you ain’t supposed to do what Mr Jarman told that Judge to do with it. Anyhow, he got disbarbed or something.” She explained, pointing to the man who had asked her who her boyfriend was.

 

“And that young feller there, the one that doesn’t look even old enough to drink, he’s Charlie Wentworth. He’s the biggest lush in town and me and Mr Flandry have to drag him out of the saloon just about every night – I’m in charge of makin’ sure he don’t bonk his head on the steps outside!” she added proudly. “An’ one mornin’ I went to mop the floor and he was asleep under a table and he’d been sick all over…”

 

Messalina interrupted this detailed character assassination of all the loyal saloon customers in the tent with a question for the military man.

 

“Say Cap’n, I’ve been reading about this big expedition against the Indians coming up, are any of you boys up at the Fort going to be part of this ‘Montana Column’ that they’re talking about?”

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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[Ryker & Miggins]

 

"Well, mam. It's been a pleasure coming to an agreement with you. I will come to your place in two days time with my tools. If you'd excuse me now?"

 

“You are excused, just make sure you do a good job on that there fence. It’s tricky stuff, that wire.” She said sternly, standing up and bustling to the door and pushing past him with a tart “Ladies first!”

 

Stepping out into the street, Nellie could feel well satisfied with her day’s work. She’d decided to let Jacob stay at the dance while she went home in the pony and trap. Last time she’d seen him, he’d been pitching woo at that snooty little Redmond girl: well, good luck to him there, she didn’t fancy his chances with that po-faced little Madame. If she’d been a boy she’d have gone after that gormless redheaded piece. Only one leg, dumb as a stump, but probably anybody’s for a slice of pumpkin pie.

 

Yeah, if she’d been a boy, things would have been different. It was a man’s world, but if a girl put her mind to it, she could have all of those fellers dancing to her tune and putting up barbed wire fences till Kingdom Come.

 

Jay was locking up before heading back to the dance.

 

“Night Night, Mister Ryker” she simpered with sickly sweet smile that would have charmed any passer by into thinking ‘what a wonderful grandmotherly figure of a woman!’

 

@Jack

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[Clara & Jacob outside]

 

“Miss Clara Redmond, your boundaries are as safe as a barbed wire fence while I’m around”  Jacob declared.

 

Strange allusion, but she got the point, "Very well."

 

It was time then to talk about the moon and as it turned out the ancient pagan gods, the Trojan War,  planets and more. The boy might be a farmer but he certainly was not an ignorant bumpkin.  Clara enjoyed listening to him.

 

“And even in modern times, she makes farm-boys spend their last two cents on a slice of pie, just so they can sit in a diner, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl they’re sweet on.” He said, turning to her now and looking down right into her eyes.

 

Oh my! So he not only knew about her, he it seemed doted on her, spending hard earned money just to catch sight of her at the diner. And she had had no idea. They had never even spoken.  She was flattered, more than that she was touched.

 

"Oh Jacob.." she started but he was not done yet.

 

“Why, she’s so powerful she can even make that same farm-boy forget the solemn promise he made to respect that same, very beautiful girl’s barb-wire boundaries,” he finished, bending slightly to try and kiss her gently on the lips.

 

Wait! What was he doing? His face was coming close, her eyes went wide.

 

"Whoa!" and that's when Clara put up one hand about even with both sets of lips, blocking any contact even as she stepped back.

 

"Jacob, we ....we have only known each other now for....minutes not even hours," she pointed out in a voice just above a whisper.

 

"I meant what I said by boundaries, apparently unlike you," Clara wasn't angry, more like disappointed.

 

clara-all-dressed-up.gif

 

 

 

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[Clara & Jacob outside]

 

Jacob’s attempt to kiss Clara wasn’t successful, but the reaction could have been a lot worse.

 

"Whoa!" and that's when Clara put up one hand about even with both sets of lips, blocking any contact even as she stepped back.

 

The failed Romeo let his Juliet separate from him and stood with his hands held out uselessly where the pretty little pie maker had just been standing. He looked down at them, deciding the least embarrassing way to dispose of them. In the end he shoved them in his pockets, out of the way and maybe symbolically putting them where they couldn’t be tempted to do more mischief.

 

"Jacob, we ....we have only known each other now for....minutes not even hours," she pointed out in a voice just above a whisper.

 

He nodded sadly. “I guess that was pretty stupid of me.” He admitted.

 

"I meant what I said by boundaries, apparently unlike you," Clara wasn't angry, more like disappointed.

 

He gave a tight little philosophical smile, the kind you do when something you know is going to go wrong does go wrong, and nodded.

 

“I’m sorry, Clara, that was unforgivable. I can’t expect you to forget it: I can only beg you to try and find it in your heart to forgive me and not to think too harshly of me in the future. You see, I don’t think I’ll ever be this close to you ever again: and if I hadn’t have tried to kiss you, even ever so chastely, I’d have woken up tomorrow morning, and every morning after that for the rest of my life, and kicked myself and said ‘you idiot Lutz, why didn’t you try and kiss the most beautiful girl you ever met on that one magical night when you stood arm in arm with her under a new moon.’”

 

“Course, what I forgot was that you’re not just a pretty face, you’re not just a vision of loveliness for me to moon over and sigh about, you’re a real person, you’re an intelligent, interesting, wonderful person, funny too, in your own dry way.” He smiled a little. “And I just ruined any chance of getting to know that person as a … well, as a real friend, what with my…” he rolled his eyes at himself “…’romantical ways’. So, it looks like I swapped one regret for another. Well, that’s life, I guess.” He sighed sadly.

 

“I’d better take you back to the dance” he said, then added rather stiffly, as if he felt it necessary to draw a line under the whole affair “I’m really, genuinely sorry for my ungentlemanly conduct Miss Redmond, and I honestly hope I haven’t ruined your evening too badly.”

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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[Clara & Jacob outside]

 

Suddenly Jacob reminded her of her kid brother when he got caught doing something stupid, something he knew was wrong. He shoved his hands in his pockets and had a sad puppy look as he admitted, “I guess that was pretty stupid of me.”

 

"I meant what I said by boundaries, apparently unlike you," Clara wasn't angry, more like disappointed.

 

“I’m sorry, Clara, that was unforgivable. I can’t expect you to forget it: I can only beg you to try and find it in your heart to forgive me ..." and the boy proceeded to unleash a profuse tide of further apologies and regrets.

 

Apparently he was convinced this was going to be his one and only chance to be this close to her and had not wanted to miss that golden opportunity?  And of course he laid it on thick too with the most sweet compliments about her beauty and even more than that, he thought her 'intelligent, interesting, and wonderful'. She had her doubts about the interesting and wonderful parts but at least he recognized how smart she was. She prided herself on her intelligence though she realized menfolk often had little interest in that quality in a woman.

 

She huffed a bit though at his attempt at  'funny'. No one thought her funny. Even she conceded that weakness, "I doubt that."

 

“And I just ruined any chance of getting to know that person as a … well, as a real friend, what with my…” he rolled his eyes at himself “…’romantical ways’. So, it looks like I swapped one regret for another. Well, that’s life, I guess.”

 

"Oh Jacob," she sighed, he was trying so hard and he practically oozed sincerity. Or so she wanted to believe.

 

“I’d better take you back to the dance” he said, then added rather stiffly,  “I’m really, genuinely sorry for my ungentlemanly conduct Miss Redmond, and I honestly hope I haven’t ruined your evening too badly.”

 

Gosh sakes, the boy could be as bad as Arabella as far as letting a person get a word in edgewise. Well, she was determined to have a say in all this sudden drama now too.

 

"Jacob, stop! Hold your horses once. Let me talk for a bit, please?" Clara paused for effect but moved on fast enough, lest he start up again.

 

"First of all, it is not romantic unless both persons agree to it. I was not asked nor had I agreed," she would start with a mild correction. But she did not want to browbeat him with criticism, although in truth that was something she was pretty good at.

 

"I have no idea why you thought this would be the only time we might see each other or be in each other's company? We both live just outside Kalispell, we are not that far apart. Especially now that we have met. I, for one, would welcome a chance for future opportunities to spend time with you. "

 

"And what you did was hardly 'unforgiveable'. I have already forgiven you. That said - and listen carefully - I fully expect to have a say in any future romantic attempts on your part. If we are really to be - as you just said - friends, then I think I deserve that level of respect."

 

Oh she could say more but she stopped then, allowing her points to sink in (hopefully) and (again hopefully) Jacob would agree with her viewpoint. She liked the boy, she really did.

 

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[Arabella and Benjamin]

 

“Only the best!” Messalina confirmed and shooting a sideways glance to make sure Ralph wasn’t listening, added “On the house, I reckon you’ve probably earned it.” She handed him a double.

 

Benjamin smiled, "Why thank you and I would agree."  He took a sip first, yes it was the good stuff or at least damn good enough to fool him.

 

In the meantime the girl was chattering away, some of these men knew her (Benjamin did not like to think just how they knew her but none of his business he told himself). Then she started in on pointing out various menfolk and disparaging them with no sense of overstepping boundaries. He could only hope this did not start an incident. Benjamin made a point of pretending not to even hear all this gossip but just tried to enjoy his drink. This liquor was far too good to simply gulp down, it was to be savored.

 

Messalina interrupted this detailed character assassination of all the loyal saloon customers in the tent with a question for the military man.

 

“Say Cap’n, I’ve been reading about this big expedition against the Indians coming up, are any of you boys up at the Fort going to be part of this ‘Montana Column’ that they’re talking about?”

 

"Honestly, ma'am, I do not know. Such planning is above my pay grade. Though even if I did, it is not permissable to discuss military operations with the general public," Benjamin remained polite but firm.

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[Clara & Jacob outside]

 

Well, the Lutz boy had laid his cards on the table, made his apologies and was now ready to face the consequences. What was the saying “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”? Well, he’d just have to see if that was true as he would no doubt go over and dissect his botched attempt at romance in his mind over the next few days. And weeks. And years. But Clara was about to throw him a lifeline.

 

"Jacob, stop! Hold your horses once. Let me talk for a bit, please?" Clara paused for effect but moved on fast enough, lest he start up again.

 

“Soft, she speaks!” whispered Jacob to himself: his words had tumbled out but now they were spent, he was more than willing to gaze on Clara and listen to the sylphlike golden tinkle of her voice.

 

"First of all, it is not romantic unless both persons agree to it. I was not asked nor had I agreed," she would start with a mild correction. But she did not want to browbeat him with criticism, although in truth that was something she was pretty good at.

 

Jacob nodded in silent assent to this first admonition, though he couldn’t help imagining how lame it would have sounded if he had indeed asked the girl, in a formal manner, ‘may I kiss you at this time Miss Redmond, and if so, could you please indicate precisely whereabouts on your pretty little person and how passionately said kiss may be placed?’ But he knew enough to keep quiet right now.

 

"I have no idea why you thought this would be the only time we might see each other or be in each other's company? We both live just outside Kalispell, we are not that far apart. Especially now that we have met. I, for one, would welcome a chance for future opportunities to spend time with you. "

 

He nodded again. “You’re right.” He said sheepishly. Of course, she wasn’t – he’d been trying for months to get a chance to speak to her, but a combination of bad luck, his own business on the farm and sheer nervousness had always banjaxed each and every opportunity. The one time he had managed to speak to her, all his clever lines had been forgotten and he’d only just managed to stammer out ‘another slice of treacle tart please.’

 

 "And what you did was hardly 'unforgiveable'. I have already forgiven you. That said - and listen carefully - I fully expect to have a say in any future romantic attempts on your part. If we are really to be - as you just said - friends, then I think I deserve that level of respect."

 

He was about to say something grand and heartfelt and expressive of his absolute and hopeless devotion to her, but he knew now that that wouldn’t do: the last thing this girl wanted was a love-sick pup throwing himself at her feet and kissing the hem of her dress. She was a farm girl and was used to farmer’s ways and that’s how he’d have to woo her.

 

He stuck out his hand.

 

“It’s a deal.” He said, as if he was agreeing to sell her twenty bushels of corn at 2 cents on the pound.

 

“You know, I should have realized that you’re not the ‘Venus’ type at all, Clara, you’re much more like Diana, she was the Goddess of the moon, and she was intelligent as well as pretty, and handy with the shooting irons too, just like you are, I hear.” He said, indicating with a nod of his head the celestial object the viewing of which was the ostensible reason they were out here in the first place.

 

“Mind you, when a feller tried that mushy kissing stuff on her, she was a lot less understanding than you’ve been with me: she turned him into a stag and set her hounds on him. Tore that poor love-sick fool to shreds.” He patted himself all over. “I’m doing pretty well compared to him.” He joked about 'that mushy stuff', to mask his own aching heart.

 

“So, what’s your Pa planning to plant in that big north field of his, this Fall?” he asked, steering away from the subject of love.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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[Arabella and Benjamin + Brendan and Charlie]

 

Arabella didn’t even notice that the Captain and Messalina were having their own conversation as she loudly continued to paint portraits of the fellows in the tent.

 

“An’ that’s Brendan Connolly. He’s new round these parts, but judgin’ by the way he’s knockin’ ‘em back over there, he’s probably a toper too; so I reckon I’ll be seein’ a lot of him in the saloon. He has trouble talkin’ to women: y’know, always puttin’ his foot in his mouth, but I give him a few pointers and seem to ‘ve fixed him up all right.” She blathered on until she realised that the army man wasn’t listening to her and she had to reclaim him off of Cookie.

 

 "Honestly, ma'am, I do not know. Such planning is above my pay grade. Though even if I did, it is not permissable to discuss military operations with the general public," Benjamin remained polite but firm.

 

“Oh, he can’t tell you military secrets, Cookie, you might be a Injun spy!” she butted in. “Now Cap, come and meet some of these fellers…” she grabbed him by the arm again and pulled him toward where the two cowboys from the rival ranches were situated.

 

“Lookee here Cap’n, this here’s Mr Connolly and Mr Wentworth. Now Charlie here, you should try and get him to join your army, he’s about the bravest fellow I know. The other evening in the saloon, I asked if anyone would take me and my friend Bridget up to the Mission by the Lake tomorrow … she’s a catholic …” she whispered the last bit like she was telling him some dreadful secret about the girl.

 

“… and all the other fellers there was too scared because of the Injuns bein’ on the warpath and they might get scalped. But Mr. Charles Wentworth Jnr stood up and said ‘I ain’t scared of no Injuns, I’ll accompany you two young ladies on your religious visit!’ So he’s takin’ us tomorrow, bright and early at 8am.”

 

She then let go of the Captain’s arm and strode over to Charlie and slapped him on the shoulder with a look of misty, tearful admiration in her eyes. “Charlie, you’re the bravest man I know!” she sighed, knowing very well that, as per usual, the youngest Wentworth son had been 'three sheets to the wind' that night and probably couldn’t remember a single thing about what he’d said or done.

 

It was sort of a fib she was telling, but all for a good cause, so that made it all right.

 

@JulieS @Bailey @Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Jay did not trust the old lady as far as he could throw her. He was pretty sure that, once the fence was completed she'd find something new to blackmail him with. It was better than running from the law, though.

"Good night, Mrs. Miggins." He replied and pulled the front door close. Then he walked along the sidewalk with the odd glance back to make sure she really left, which she did.

 

From afar he could hear the music, talk and fun, which people were having. Maybe he could still have a bit with Addy, not some one legged over eager gal.

 

As he returned, he had a good look around to see where she was.

Edited by Jack (see edit history)
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[Arabella and Benjamin + Brendan and Charlie]

 

Charlie was about to head back to the bar for the next round of beers when he was accosted by Arabella and some army dude.  He and Brendan had been participating in a chugging contest with some of the other men gathered around them.  It was his turn to go and buy beer for what was either the fourth or fifth round of the competition, he couldn't quite remember.  For all he knew there could have been a lot more rounds but right now he didn't care.

 

“Lookee here Cap’n, this here’s Mr Connolly and Mr Wentworth. Now Charlie here, you should try and get him to join your army, he’s about the bravest fellow I know. The other evening in the saloon, I asked if anyone would take me and my friend Bridget up to the Mission by the Lake tomorrow … she’s a catholic …” she whispered the last bit like she was telling him some dreadful secret about the girl.

 

“… and all the other fellers there was too scared because of the Injuns bein’ on the warpath and they might get scalped. But Mr. Charles Wentworth Jnr stood up and said ‘I ain’t scared of no Injuns, I’ll accompany you two young ladies on your religious visit!’ So he’s takin’ us tomorrow, bright and early at 8am.”

 

She then let go of the Captain’s arm and strode over to Charlie and slapped him on the shoulder with a look of misty, tearful admiration in her eyes. “Charlie, you’re the bravest man I know!” she sighed, knowing very well that, as per usual, the youngest Wentworth son had been 'three sheets to the wind' that night and probably couldn’t remember a single thing about what he’d said or done.

 

"Uh?" Charlie replied, for a moment not knowing quite to say.  She was saying something about him being the bravest and indians, but since he wasn't in a position to argue, he just nodded his head, "That's right I did say that I would...at least I think I did."

 

At this point he was having a hard time remembering what he did that morning, let alone the last time in was in the Stardust Saloon, which had been nearly a week ago.  If truth be told he had difficulties recalling anything he said or did when he was really drunk, so all he could do was take Arabella's word that he had indeed promised to take her wherever she wanted to go.  It was either that or look like a coward in front of the army man.

 

@Javia @Bailey @Bongo

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[Arabella, Benjamin, Charlie, Brendan]

 

So now he was being practically dragged toward some of those self same cowboys she had just maligned. By now the military man in him was getting pretty tired of being 'hoohrahed' by a little girl but the gentleman in him didn't yet have the heart to simply say 'no'. He was getting to that point though.

 

Arabella left him and latched onto a tall young cowpoke who from one glance one could see was drunk and busy getting drunker. At least she left him, Benjamin noted with approval. The girl proceeded to buttering the fellow up and talking about his bravery regarding Indians and on and on. Fine, maybe the girl would glue herself to that unlucky fellow's arm.

 

"Excuse me, everyone," he nodded to the cowboys, "Don't want to break up your fun, gents."

 

Then he turned and headed the opposite direction. Might be time to head back to the fort.

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[Clara and Jacob outside]

 

He stuck out his hand.

 

“It’s a deal.”

 

Clara seemed surprised by the offer of a handshake on the agreement but extended hers for a shake. For such a scrawny fellow, he had a good grip to him.

 

"Very well," she nodded.

 

“You know, I should have realized that you’re not the ‘Venus’ type at all, Clara, you’re much more like Diana, she was the Goddess of the moon, and she was intelligent as well as pretty, and handy with the shooting irons too, just like you are, I hear.” He said, indicating with a nod of his head the celestial object the viewing of which was the ostensible reason they were out here in the first place.

 

The boy was back to talking a mix of the planets and Greek gods. Clara couldn't help but wonder where he got all that from? Not that it was a bad thing. If nothing else it indicated he was quite a reader. Just as she was, not that she read books about those subjects. He was less knowledgeable about her though.

 

"I am hardly handy with guns. I know how to use them, father taught me that much, but I have never shot so much as a squirrel let alone a human being," she informed him. 

 

“Mind you, when a feller tried that mushy kissing stuff on her, she was a lot less understanding than you’ve been with me: she turned him into a stag and set her hounds on him. Tore that poor love-sick fool to shreds.” He patted himself all over. “I’m doing pretty well compared to him.”

 

"Diana sounds like she had temper issues," Clara quipped in that dry manner of hers, no smile.

 

“So, what’s your Pa planning to plant in that big north field of his, this Fall?” he asked, steering away from the subject of love.

 

"Fall? It is April, we are concentrating on our spring planting. Corn, beans, some wheat.  Perhaps we shall do lettuce and cabbage in the fall, not my decision to make," Clara answered.

 

"But that big north field, that is for corn during the summer," she added.

 

 

 

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[Clara and Jacob outside]

 

"I am hardly handy with guns. I know how to use them, father taught me that much, but I have never shot so much as a squirrel let alone a human being," she informed him.

 

“Oh! That’s not what I hear…er, I mean, you should come hunting with me sometime, then you’d really be like Diana.” He said. The Reb maintained that Clara Redmond was a dead shot and had winged several of Steelgrave's men - only sparing their lives to avoid trouble with the law. However, he didn’t want to keep going on about what Arabella had told him. Number One, she was clearly an unreliable and over zealous source, and Two, his sister had advised him never to keep piping on about other girls when you were talking to one particular girl.

 

“Mind you, when a feller tried that mushy kissing stuff on her, she was a lot less understanding than you’ve been with me: she turned him into a stag and set her hounds on him. Tore that poor love-sick fool to shreds.” He patted himself all over. “I’m doing pretty well compared to him.” 

"Diana sounds like she had temper issues," Clara quipped in that dry manner of hers, no smile 

 

“Ha!” he laughed. “Dry. Very dry.”

 

Dry. Oh, that reminded him...

 

“So, what’s your Pa planning to plant in that big north field of his, this Fall?” he asked, steering away from the subject of love.

 

"Fall? It is April, we are concentrating on our spring planting. Corn, beans, some wheat.  Perhaps we shall do lettuce and cabbage in the fall, not my decision to make," Clara answered.

 

“Uh huh.” He nodded approvingly.

 

"But that big north field, that is for corn during the summer," she added.

 

“That’s what I wondered.” He said seriously, something was obviously bothering him. “You might want to tell your Pa that, well, a few years ago…” he looked like he was about to tell her that there was a dead body buried there “…  I was passing by that field and I noticed it’s liable to flooding come Fall. Course, we had a passing dry September last year. Still, made me wonder if he’d ever dabbled in asparagus, your Pa. They do say asparagus loves wet soil.”

 

Oh Lord, he realised that he’d swung too far the other way now. Asparagus indeed. He needed to talk about something that was dear the radiant Clara’s heart, but not too intrusive a subject.

 

“Read any good books lately?” he asked, inspired, again, by something the Reb had told him about the girl’s great ‘book learnin’ and interest in the written word.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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[Arabella, Charlie, Brendan]

 

[OOC: I pushed in so Brendan has something to react to]

 

"Uh?" Charlie replied, for a moment not knowing quite to say.  She was saying something about him being the bravest and indians, but since he wasn't in a position to argue, he just nodded his head, "That's right I did say that I would...at least I think I did."

 

Arabella looked like the cat that got the cream - Charlie had swallowed her story: hook, line and sinker! She and Bridget would be going to the Ball, er, Mission. But for every Up there was always a Down: all of a sudden, the Captain was sounding the retreat.

 

"Excuse me, everyone," he nodded to the cowboys, "Don't want to break up your fun, gents."

Then he turned and headed the opposite direction. Might be time to head back to the fort.

 

Arabella only had time to give a sad salute and mutter “Bye Captain…” Why did this always happen?

 

She lifted her arm and, in an incredibly unladylike but powerful bit of mummery, pretended to sniff underneath it, before turning to Brendan and Charlie.

 

“Do I smell or sumthin?! My men always run away from me!” she cried puzzled and frowny, her hands on her hips. The skinny teenager rounded on the two of them, as the nearest of the blotto throng. “I mean, look at me: I can sing, I can play the pianna and tell funny jokes; I can dance, I can turn cartwheels; I’m interestin’ to talk to, I’m… pretty.” Her voice faltered at the last part, but she rallied and frowned again “What wrong with all o’ you fellers anyhow?!” she demanded and then looked down at their empty glasses.

 

“What is it, boys, five beers?” she asked, seemingly recovered from her rant, now she’d got it all off her chest. Without thinking, she’d slipped into pot girl mode, like they were all back in the Saloon. Well that was one thing, in the saloon she was a Princess: laughing and joking with the drunken cowboys, sassing them and getting sassed back, banging out a few tunes on the Old Joanna. Sure, Ms Devereau was in charge, but she was the one who played the floor, and there was no competition to drag attention away from her there.

 

Boy, was she in for a nasty shock.

 

@Bailey @JulieS

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[Clara and Jacob]

 

 

“That’s what I wondered.  You might want to tell your Pa that, well, a few years ago…” he looked like he was about to tell her that there was a dead body buried there “…  I was passing by that field and I noticed it’s liable to flooding come Fall. Course, we had a passing dry September last year. Still, made me wonder if he’d ever dabbled in asparagus, your Pa. They do say asparagus loves wet soil.”

 

"Oh? Interesting. We have been here one fall already and the field was  as dry as any. But we both know weather can vary. So I will be certain to pass that along though, thank you," Clara nodded, he was trying to be helpful afterall.

 

“Read any good books lately?” he now asked.

 

"Actually Miss Emeline, you know, my employer, is letting me borrow some of her fine collection.  She has quite the variety. Mostly fiction but I do enjoy fiction," Clara answered.

 

"Nothing on Greeks or the planets though I have sad to inform you," she added with a bit of a smile.

 

She supposed that she really should ask him something? He was trying so hard to carry the conversation, that much was obvious. Besides, she wanted to know more about him also.

 

"So, Jacob, enlighten me then a bit about you. What do you do for entertainment, pleasure, past time?"

 

She might just discover an activity they could do together then? Well, besides what he had in mind just minutes earlier.  She was not ready for that.

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[Clara and Jacob, under the Moon]

 

“Read any good books lately?” he now asked.

 

"Actually Miss Emeline, you know, my employer, is letting me borrow some of her fine collection.  She has quite the variety. Mostly fiction but I do enjoy fiction," Clara answered.

 

Jacob nodded enthusiastically: like Clara, he had the reading bug, but unfortunately didn’t have a reliable source of new literature, like the lucky Miss Redmond. Bout time they built a library around here, never mind all this talk of hospitals and orphanages. He wondered if Miss Emeline had anything he might be interested in.

 

“I think it’s wonderful to find anyone else around here who loves reading.” He said in heartfelt tones. “I mostly like history books, about ancient times and such but I actually did read a novel last year, by accident. It was called ‘Roughing It’*. I thought it was a sort of survival manual for living out in the wild, but it turned out fiction. Funniest thing I ever read, mind.” He added, grinning dopily.

 

“So, your Miss Emeline’s a good source of books then?” he asked; you could almost hear the cogs spinning in his brain.

 

"Nothing on Greeks or the planets though I have sad to inform you," she added with a bit of a smile.

 

“Oh, I’m not hard to get along with, I’ll read anything!” he assured her.

 

"So, Jacob, enlighten me then a bit about you. What do you do for entertainment, pleasure, past time?"

 

He shrugged a little. “Well, you know, usual stuff a feller does; hunting, fishing, I read a good deal, as you know. Mostly I just like to wander …” he looked off into the distance, staring at the Moon and Venus in the sky. “I like to lie on my back up in the mountains at night, just looking off into the stars … millions and millions of miles away … past beyond the angels … and, well, just thinking about the bigness of it all. I think that you loose that in town, everbody’s just looking at the next step ahead of them on the boardwalk, pressing their noses against store windows. But looking up there…”

 

He snapped out of it.

 

“The other thing, don’t tell anybody…” he looked a little shy now “… I write poems, too. Nothing… not epics, not like Paradise Lost or anything… just fragments really… just trying to, I don’t know, get it out of me. I’ve never even shown them to anybody, not even my sister. I suppose it’s just ... too private, it’s like baring your soul. Sometimes I can barely stand to read them myself. I just write them and burn them.” He laughed a little at himself and his odd ways “Or feed ‘em to the hogs.”

 

“Do you ever do that?” he asked her now, remembering not to hog the conversation “…write, I mean, not feed poems to hogs!”

 

* by Mark Twain, 1872.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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[Clara and Jacob, under the Moon]

 

The boy certainly seemed quite sincere and enthusiastic about books and reading. Clara was impressed. It also proved something. City folk sometimes seemed to think farm people were ignorant rustics and she never liked that attitude.

 

"Roughing It? I will remember that if ever I should spot it someplace," Clara declared. Then at his mention of her employer she had an idea.

 

"Say, I will ask her if she would mind if you borrow a few of her books, that is if you interested. I am quite confident she would not refuse, she is most generous that way. Just make sure you are responsible enough to return them once you have finished them."

 

Clara of course had been diligent and punctual about a quick turnaround when she borrowed volumes from the kindly woman.

 

She then inquired about the sort of things he did for what bits of leisure time he might have between farm work, fun activities as it were. Yes, even she had occasions where she indulged in a bit of fun. Life did not have to be all work.

 

His early listing of activities sounded very much like some typical boy, Wyatt would approve of any of them. Well, until he got to the part about being enthralled by staring up into the stars.  And he expressed it quite elegantly too.

 

"Well said, Jacob," she sincerely complimented him.

 

But then he added a revelation she would never have guessed. Poetry. He wrote poetry?! At first it sounded hard to believe but on second thought what with all his love of books and his suprisingly impressive way of speaking, it did make sense.

 

"So, Jacob Lutz, a poet? You are quite the unique young fellow I must say. Although it does seem rather a waste of time and effort if you simply destroy them rather than share with a reader. Perhaps they are quite good, people might just enjoy them?"

 

The reality was, in fact she had declared such to Miss Emeline when they discussed books and yes, poetry, that she personally did not like poetry. It seemed foolish and held no interest for her. Still, she was not about to admit that to Jacob. In this particular case just MAYBE, she might peruse his work and approve.  Now her own favorite pastime, though granted she seldom got to do it, now seemed much more mundane. She liked to swim in the small lake just off their farm property. Nothing was more refreshing after a stretch of hard labor on a hot summer day.

 

"Well, we do not have hogs although Father has expressed an interest someday in purchasing a few. And no, I have never attempted to write poetry. I do not think I would be very good at it anyhow. Although...."she paused then continued, "I would someday like to read at least one of yours. Perhaps you might wrote a poem about me? I would be honored of course."

 

 

 

 

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[Clara and Jacob, under the Moon]

 

"Roughing It? I will remember that if ever I should spot it someplace," Clara declared. Then at his mention of her employer she had an idea. 

 

Jacob shrugged. “Well, we might have very different tastes, but I don’t think you know if you’ll like something unless you try it one time.” He was presumably talking about literature.

 

"Say, I will ask her if she would mind if you borrow a few of her books, that is if you interested. I am quite confident she would not refuse, she is most generous that way. Just make sure you are responsible enough to return them once you have finished them."

 

The rustic lad shook his head almost dolefully. “No need to worry there, I do hate to borrow anything.” He revealed. “Be it as small as a tack, it sort of weighs heavy on my soul until it’s returned to its rightful owner. It’s like old adage: ‘Never a lender nor borrower be’. I’ll never be a debtor if I can help it, that’s one good thing.” The very idea of being in debt seemed to revolt his very soul. “New books to read are the one exception, that’s the one forbidden fruit that I’m tempted enough to borrow.”

 

His early listing of activities sounded very much like some typical boy, Wyatt would approve of any of them. Well, until he got to the part about being enthralled by staring up into the stars.  And he expressed it quite elegantly too.

 

"Well said, Jacob," she sincerely complimented him. 

 

He shook his head a little in surprise at the compliment. When you talked about something as beautiful as the night sky, or the majestic scenery of Northern Montana, or a girl like Clara Redmond, well, it was hard not to wax poetical.

 

"So, Jacob Lutz, a poet? You are quite the unique young fellow I must say. Although it does seem rather a waste of time and effort if you simply destroy them rather than share with a reader. Perhaps they are quite good, people might just enjoy them?"

 

He frowned a little at that idea. “I doubt that. And I certainly wouldn't enjoy anyone reading them. It’d be like …” he searched for a suitable embarrassing simile “… being stripped naked and paraded down Main Street!” He smiled at that. “No, I think the hogs enjoy them more than any potential reader of the things, anyway.”

 

"Well, we do not have hogs although Father has expressed an interest someday in purchasing a few. And no, I have never attempted to write poetry. I do not think I would be very good at it anyhow. Although...."she paused then continued, "I would someday like to read at least one of yours. Perhaps you might wrote a poem about me? I would be honored of course."

 

“What makes you think that I haven’t already?” he grinned sheepishly, before adding “I didn’t feed those ones to the hogs. I can assure you. Mind you, though, they’re pretty well hid!”

 

He quickly moved on from the subject, feeling a little exposed.

 

“And how about you, Clara?  I know that you like to read, too. But, well, if you had a whole day off of work, how would you spend it?” he asked by way of enquiry about her pastimes.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (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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