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Sagas of the Wild West
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Seeking Out Wisdom


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Mature Content: No

 

With: Clara, Emeline
Location: Lick Skittle Diner
When: May 1, 1876
Time of Day: Morning

 

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  Given that Clara lived outside of town on her family farm, usually by the time she arrived at the diner, the owner and her employer, Emeline Blakesley, was already started on the necessary baking for the day. A large pot of stew was simmering on the stove. Upon entering in thru the back door straight into the kitchen, Clara could instantly smell the aroma of the soup, it was a popular one with the customers. Clara looked forward to a bowl of it if there was some left at the end of the day.

 

"Good morning," she nodded as she took off her coat and put it on a hook next to the door.

 

"It is rather ....fresh out there," was Clara's word for 'too cold'.

 

"Anything special planned for today?" she inquired as most days they would vary the menu a bit, daily specials that sort of thing.

 

@Bongo

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It was always a pleasure when Clara showed up, and even Buster was quick to trot over and rub against her legs.  Even though the girl was relatively somber, Emeline enjoyed her company, and they always found something to chat about.  And even the silence was comfortable between them. 

 

And, as usual, Clara was punctual, her arrival giving Emeline an idea of how long they had until opening.

 

"Good morning, Clara."  Wiping her hands on her apron, she took a moment to talk.  "It is a brisk out, isn't it?"  She chuckled.  "The chickens were none too happy about giving up eggs today.  I didn't have anything particular in mind for the restaurant, but Mrs. Orr asked us to make a cake for her daughter's birthday party, so that will take some time."

 

While cake decorating wasn't a particular specialty, Emeline could make a tasty cake, and options in town were limited.  "She wants vanilla cake with lemon filling, so it shouldn't be too difficult."

 

@Wayfarer

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"Good morning, Clara."  Wiping her hands on her apron, Emeline took a moment to talk.  "It is a brisk out, isn't it?" 

 

"I eagerly await warmer weather," Clara declared.

 

She chuckled.  "The chickens were none too happy about giving up eggs today.  I didn't have anything particular in mind for the restaurant, but Mrs. Orr asked us to make a cake for her daughter's birthday party, so that will take some time."

 

"I do not blame the chickens," observed Clara in that dry manner of hers.

 

"Very well then, a cake," Clara did not have to wait to find the details of what sort of cake.

 

"She wants vanilla cake with lemon filling, so it shouldn't be too difficult."

 

"Certainly not," Clara was confident but just in case she asked, "I take you checked to see if we have a can of lemon filling on the shelf?"  Not a lot of lemons in Montana afterall.

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"I have some lemon curd in the pantry, we can use that for the filling," Emeline explained, "and make a nice vanilla icing.  As for decoration, I think I can manage some flowers and perhaps the girl's name."  She grinned.  "How are you at handwriting?   I'm afraid mine is atrocious!"

 

While cakes weren't a specialty, and she didn't make then often, she could manage the basics well enough, but doing something elaborate, or making them beautiful was iffy.

 

@Wayfarer

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"Very well, that will have to do. I am happy I never much cared for lemon cake," Clara shrugged then replied to Emeline's next question.

 

"My handwriting is quite legible, Mother would make me practice a lot so my letters were impeccable. The funny thing was her own penmanship....well, could have used work. Oh, do you know the name of this daughter? I do not know this family so I cannot help you with that."

 

"Speaking of helping people out....would you mind if I asked you a few questions and perhaps got your take on some things that are currently on my mind?" she suddenly asked.

 

"It is about men...well, boys."

 

A weighty topic indeed.

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"My handwriting is quite legible, Mother would make me practice a lot so my letters were impeccable. The funny thing was her own penmanship....well, could have used work. Oh, do you know the name of this daughter? I do not know this family so I cannot help you with that."

 

"Oh, her name is...Anastasia."  Emeline chuckled and rolled her eyes.  "Such a burden to a little girl...and we'll need to find a way to fit it on the cake.  Maybe arch it along the top?  We can practice."  Once the decoration was applied, it was hard to take it off, and tedious to start over.

 

"Speaking of helping people out....would you mind if I asked you a few questions and perhaps got your take on some things that are currently on my mind?" she suddenly asked.

 

"Certainly, of course."  While she had only known the girl for a few months, Emeline thought of her as a sort of sister, and she enjoyed their conversations, although the topics hadn't seemed so serious before.  "Ask me anything, and I'll do my best."

 

"It is about men...well, boys."

 

"Oh, well..."  Emeline couldn't help but laugh.  "I guess I know a little on that, but I'm no expert, so don't expect too much!"  She was actually a little surprised that the young woman was asking about boys, but also pleased.  Had something happened at the dance?  "What do you need?"

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

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As Clara had hoped, even expected, Emeline was quite willing to oblige her request even after hearing the planned topic.

 

"Oh, well..."  Emeline couldn't help but laugh.  "I guess I know a little on that, but I'm no expert, so don't expect too much!" 

 

Clara hardly thought the topic was comical in the slightest but was determined to press on, to her it was quite important.

 

"Thank you," she started with a quick nod of appreciation then got right to it, "Now I know your experience with men is far more extensive than mine. You were married and I imagine you may well have had suitors prior to that, given your beauty and charm. And now you have attracted your current fiancee, Deputy Pike."

 

"Now me.........nothing. No one. In fact, those few young men I have met and conversed with...cowboys mind you .....seem to share one thing in common regarding myself. They do not like me. Even though two of them danced with me, I still got the impression they remain quite unimpressed with me. So be it. I do not need them."

 

"However....I did meet a farmboy, Jacob Lutz. He lives outside town....obviously, farmboy after all," she realized she probably hadn't needed to include the last bit, Emeline could figure that out easily enough.

 

"He was quite the gentleman. And conversationalist too. He loves books and knew quotes besides just knowing about farming. And he was also full of compliments about me....." she paused then as if suddenly thinking of something.

 

"Oh and again thank you for letting me wear that beautiful dress. He declared how pretty I looked in it," there was a wisp of a smile on her features this time.

 

 

 

 

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Ah, the age-old dilemma of love! 

 

It was good that Clara was finally dabbling, and Emeline had no doubt that she'd do well in that regard, as discerning as she was.  She just needed to learn that there was no wrong nor shame in not jumping into the arms of the first man who made a flattering remark.  And she highly doubted the girl's assessment of her dance partners' opinions of her.

 

"I'm glad you liked the dress.  You did look lovely, and you carried yourself well."  It was one thing to put on a dress, and quite another to actually fit into it.

 

"It sounds to me that this Jacob boy might be worth seeing again," she observed, "he has interest in some of the same things that you do, and that's a good foundation."

 

The fact that the young man was interested in reading was a good sign, it seemed that too often men got caught up in work and had no time for the frivolities that made life worth living.

 

"And he compliments you?  He isn't just trying to turn your head, is he?"  She hated to suggest that he might not be genuine in his flattery, and sincerely hoped that he was sincere.  Clara didn't need any disappointments when it came to love!

 

@Wayfarer

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"I'm glad you liked the dress.  You did look lovely, and you carried yourself well."

 

"Oh thank you, I appreciate that," Clara treasured any praise she got from a woman like Emeline because she felt it was always said sincerely.

 

"It sounds to me that this Jacob boy might be worth seeing again," the woman observed, "he has interest in some of the same things that you do, and that's a good foundation."

 

"I was thinking the same thing," nodded Clara, but it was good to hear that she wasn't the only one who felt that way.

 

"And he compliments you?  He isn't just trying to turn your head, is he?" 

 

That was indeed a fair question, Clara had considered the possibility already, more than once even. But still...

 

"He might. I agree. However he says he compliments me because he is impressed and likes me. And when you think about it - how does one really know when the compliments are said for the right reasons or for ulterior motives?" Clara mused.

 

 

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"Honestly, I'm not too worried about some boy turning your head," Emeline observed, "in fact, quite the opposite.  Caution and skepticism are good, they protect you, but they can also inhibit you."

 

She wasn't sure how well she was expressing herself, and she hoped she didn't sound too harsh, or just plain silly, especially since she truly did admire Clara's attitude toward the opposite sex.

 

"I think it might be more difficult for you to accept that a boy would compliment you and be genuine, but because of that, once you give in, you can be well assured you're right."

 

Taking a breath, she admitted, "It can be difficult in any event to give that trust to another person, no matter how much your heart tells you it's right.  But once you do, it's amazing."

 

@Wayfarer

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