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Sagas of the Wild West
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After the Ball Was Over


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Mature Content: No

Author: Bongo!

With: Emeline Blakesley, Barnabas Pike
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: April 22, 1876
Time of Day: Night

 

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"I had a grand time," Emeline declared as she and Barnabas strolled arm-in-arm down the main street of town toward the Lickskillet Cafe where her rooms were.  It was late, after midnight, and it had been a long day, and while she was still very awake from all the excitement of the dance, Emeline would be glad to crawl into bed.  Besides, she needed to be up extra early to get back to the barn and clean up the tables she'd used for her cookies and pies...that was waiting until  morning.

 

"It's good to see everyone enjoying themselves and getting along so well.  I really do think this will be a good place to settle and raise a family."

 

It was dark as they walked up the gravel path to the front of the building, but both of them had been on that path so many times before that they didn't need more than the Moonlight to negotiate it.  In a way, though, Emeline was sad to see the evening end, but at least she had a kiss to look forward to!

 

But as the stepped onto the porch, she stopped...the door was ajar.  "I thought I locked this after Bridget and I left," she murmured, looking up at Barnabas with a frown.  "But maybe I was just absent-minded."  It wasn't as if there should be trouble, right?

 

@Flip

 

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"I had a grand time," Emeline declared as she and Barnabas strolled arm-in-arm down the main street of town toward the Lickskillet Cafe where her rooms were.  It was late, after midnight, and it had been a long day, and while she was still very awake from all the excitement of the dance, Emeline would be glad to crawl into bed.  Besides, she needed to be up extra early to get back to the barn and clean up the tables she'd used for her cookies and pies...that was waiting until  morning.

 

“It was that, to be sure. Seems to me everyone had a good time of it.” Barnabas said in agreement, it had been a great time that evening.  

 

"It's good to see everyone enjoying themselves and getting along so well.  I really do think this will be a good place to settle and raise a family."

 

“Better be, ‘cuz this is where we’ll be doin’ just that.” He smiled at her. “Hadn’t much thought of havin’ a wife again. Reckon time does heal them wounds, when pone runs onto the right person.”

 

It was dark as they walked up the gravel path to the front of the building, but both of them had been on that path so many times before that they didn't need more than the Moonlight to negotiate it.  In a way, though, Emeline was sad to see the evening end, but at least she had a kiss to look forward to!

 

But as they stepped onto the porch, she stopped...the door was ajar.  "I thought I locked this after Bridget and I left," she murmured, looking up at Barnabas with a frown.  "But maybe I was just absent-minded."  It wasn't as if there should be trouble, right?

 

In an instant there was a derringer in his hand, cocked, and ready, his left arm holding her back as he stepped forward, nudging the door slowly open, eyes fixed on the moonlit interior, but not as much light as he would have liked as he probed the shadow for any movement.

 

He then stepped inside, scanning the room slowly, as not to miss anything. Pronto stepped forth easily, slowly, not knowing quite what to expect in the shadows of the Lickskillet. He moved  toward the kitchen area where there was a back door, but, nothing. Then he froze, there was a creek of a floorboard, followed by a clatter in the dining area, how had he missed who, or whatever was in the darkness?

 

@Bongo

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Staying close behind Barnabas, but mindful to not be restricting any move he may have to make, Emeline peered into the darkness, jumping a little at the clatter in the kitchen.  Was someone looking for food?  There wasn't much else of value in the place, unless they got upstairs to her living quarters...

 

Then there was a blood-curdling screech, followed by more clattering, and Emeline surged forward, almost passing Barnabas.  "Buster!"  Someone was after her cat! 

 

There was another flurry of noise and an instant later something rushed at them from the kitchen, relatively small, down at ground level, pursued by a yellow ball of one-eyed hissing fluff! 

 

Dancing out of the way, Emeline cleared the way to the door, asking, "Is that a raccoon?"  Even though the way was clear to the front door, the creature seemed to be running in place, at least until it wobbled and flopped over, then struggled to stand again as Buster sat and growled.

 

@Flip

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Dancing out of the way, Emeline cleared the way to the door, asking, "Is that a raccoon?"  Even though the way was clear to the front door, the creature seemed to be running in place, at least until it wobbled and flopped over, then struggled to stand again as Buster sat and growled.


“Liked ta had me a coonskin cap, had I been a mite faster.” Barnabas said. “Best get a light lit so’s we can see what the damage is.” He hadn't heard any glass break, so that was a good sign.

 

Racoons don’t open doors but, yes, she may have left it unintentionally unlocked, what with a rush to get things to the site of the dance. But, might be a good idea to check the place over.


“Best we have a look upstairs, just in case the racoon followed someone inside.” Not something he thought might happen, Kalispell was pretty quite, for the most part, and he’d not seen a break-in of any kind since he signed on with Speed.

 

@Bongo

 

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Mr. Raccoon finally managed to stagger out the door, and as Buster started in pursuit, Emeline snatched him up by the nape, chiding, "Oh, no you don't!" 

 

Even at arm's length, there was an odor coming off the squirming cat, and Emeline frowned.  "Oh, you did not..."  She glanced at Barnabas and shook her head.  "He reeks of elderberry wine.  I think that poor raccoon is drunk!"

 

Buster wouldn't actually drink the stuff, but if the raccoon had knocked the bottle over, the cat would have tramped through it, and it did explain why the wild critter was so off-balance.  And sure enough, once she lit the lamp in the kitchen, the evidence was there on the floor.

 

"Oh, good heavens!"  Letting go of the cat, she started to laugh.  "I always wondered what Buster got up to when I was gone!"

 

@Flip

 

 

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"Oh, good heavens!"  Letting go of the cat, she started to laugh.  "I always wondered what Buster got up to when I was gone!"


“Well, now you know, but how did the door get left ajar?” He asked, then added, “It’s surely possible that you thought you locked up, but didn’t. So I believe the mystery here is solved, and the culprit has staggered off into the night.”

 

“Nothing like a little late night excitement to get the blood pumpin’ again.” He had to laugh, a drunk racoon, not something one sees every day. “So, I think all’s well here, less you want me to have a look upstairs.”

@Bongo

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"Perhaps you'd better."  While Emeline didn't think there was anything more amiss than her own absent-mindedness, it wouldn't hurt to err on the side of caution.  "I'll get this cleaned up..."

 

She hadn't planned on sopping up spilled elderberry wine, it had been a long day and she'd been up early, but at least the bottle wasn't broken.

 

"Buster, you are supposed to keep critters out," she chided with a soft laugh as she grabbed a towel then set to work.  "Are you trying to frighten Barnabas off?  You know he knows about you, and besides, it's too late."  Reaching over, she scratched the cat's ears, "He already proposed and the date is set, so trying to make us look like wild heathens by inviting your friends over won't work!"

 

@Flip

 

 

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 "Perhaps you'd better."  While Emeline didn't think there was anything more amiss than her own absent-mindedness, it wouldn't hurt to err on the side of caution.  "I'll get this cleaned up..."
 

“No ma’am it wouldn’t, I’ll just be a minute.” With all the noise they were making, and the cat as well, anyone upstairs would be either ready to fight, or already out that window up there, but all the same, he’d have a look, no way that he’d leave her alone until he was positive she was.


She hadn't planned on sopping up spilled elderberry wine, it had been a long day and she'd been up early, but at least the bottle wasn't broken.


"Buster, you are supposed to keep critters out," she chided with a soft laugh as she grabbed a towel then set to work.  "Are you trying to frighten Barnabas off?  You know he knows about you, and besides, it's too late."  Reaching over, she scratched the cat's ears, "He already proposed and the date is set, so trying to make us look like wild heathens by inviting your friends over won't work!"


He came back down, the derringer tucked away, a smile on his face, overhearing Em talking to the cat. “That’s right Buster, I know all about you, and yes, I’m hornin’ in with yer owner, like it or not. Ain’t no one been up there that shouldn’t have been, so it looks to be just the drunken racoon. Dangdest think I ever seen. I’m worried some about the comp’ny you keep.”

 

@Bongo

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Emeline rolled her eyes, then laughed.  "Oh, just wait until you see the man who won my heart, he'll make that poor raccoon look like the Prince of India!"  She rinsed out the rag she'd used to clean up the wine then hung it on the edge of the sink.  "And even better, he drinks his wine from a glass and cleans up his own messes!"

 

Grinning, she stepped over and kissed him, then nestled against his chest.  "I promise I'll pay more attention to locking up, but I'm glad I have you here to keep me safe."  Chuckling a little, she added, "Out at the house I suppose there will be all manner of critters looking for my biscuits and elderberry wine!  They'll all be welcome, though."

 

Even if there were wild creatures lurking around, Emeline would want to help them....well, she'd keep mountain lions at a distance, but the smaller things she wouldn't mind.

 

@Flip

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Emeline rolled her eyes, then laughed.  "Oh, just wait until you see the man who won my heart, he'll make that poor raccoon look like the Prince of India!"  She rinsed out the rag she'd used to clean up the wine then hung it on the edge of the sink.  "And even better, he drinks his wine from a glass and cleans up his own messes!"


“Zat so?” Barnabas asked. “An what’s this about the Prince of Inda? Never heard of the man.”
 

Grinning, she stepped over and kissed him, then nestled against his chest.  "I promise I'll pay more attention to locking up, but I'm glad I have you here to keep me safe."  Chuckling a little, she added, "Out at the house I suppose there will be all manner of critters looking for my biscuits and elderberry wine!  They'll all be welcome, though."


“Well, I figger you were in a rush to get those baked goods to the dance ahead of the crowd. Givin’ yerself time to get set up an’ all. Happens.” He said understandingly. “But he didn’t do much in the way of damage, bottle didn’t even break, just smells a bit like elderberry wine. Best open the windas, air the place out afore breakfast.”

 

@Bongo

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