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    • Montgomery the Pocket Gopher had proven to be lots of fun. Once out of his cage he had proceeded to run up Jemima’s arm and onto her head, and the homely looking girl had had to bend forward to allow Weedy to lift him off and give him a cuddle. Despite his vicious looking incisors, he never nipped at his human overlords, they who knew where the peanuts were kept!   Jemima had something else she wanted to show the diminutive lad, and beckoned him over to a glass tank, a miniature version of the one that Lamia slept in. She pointed to a small, anonymous looking spider in there, sitting grumpily under a bit of decorative tree bark.   “See that, that’s a fiddleback spider: they’re the most poisonous spiders ever. And if it bites you a great big ulcer grows on you and you die a horrible screaming death, foamin' at the mouth and blood spurtin' out of your ears and nose!" she said proudly, as if she were personally responsible for the tiny animal’s toxicity.   “And one time she escaped and we had to look all over for her, and eventually we saw her on the back of the Professor’s neck! And Mrs O’ screamed and near fainted, but I got a jam jar and coaxed it on in there and the Professor said I was the bravest girl he’d ever met!”     @Bongo
    • Her smile was a bit wistful as she added, "There's times I wonder if I wasn't born in th' wrong time an' th' wrong britches."   F. Falmer Browne gave an indulgent smile to this but said nothing. He would have to admit to himself that when he had first lain eyes on Miss Adelaide Chappell, now sat before him in all the becoming trappings of a woman, virtually dressed as a man on her wagon-driving expeditions in and out of town, he had wondered. True, male attire was handier for her trade, but she seemed to go that way at most hours of the day, except for very formal functions like the Ladies (so called!) Society Meeting of this morning.   When he had lived in the vast metropolis of New York, that Sodom and Gomorrah of these disunited United States, he had seen two types of women dressed as men: the first were demimondes of the stage, who dressed as ‘boys’ in fanciful tights to merely titillate their audiences (usually successfully, Browne had to admit) with a well-shaped leg, and secondly, some women of the more bohemian quarters who dressed as men because, apart from their physical form, they were men, in their own minds.   Walking with a friend down Broadway, he had seen two such women, walking arm in arm, and his friend had remarked “See those creatures, Browne? Disgusting! God must weep when He sees such sinful animals on parade. The police should arrest them and some Judge put the filthy animals to hard labor on the treadmill.” Browne had, cowardly he now knew, consented, but really wondered if it was not God Himself who had played such a rotten trick on them. At least in New York, teeming with every nation and type under the Sun, two such ‘creatures’ might find each other. For any man or woman ‘that way inclined’ out here in a small town like Kalispell, such proclivities must result in a lonely and loveless life indeed.   Addy’s talk of Jay Ryker and their evident love for one another did Browne good to hear, despite a slight pang of jealousy: it meant that this lovely woman was not destined for a life of loneliness. There must be others in town, though, hidden and trapped in their unusual sexuality, who were destined to ever drink from the well of loneliness.
    • "Oh, well certainly. If you would rather talk there. Anyplace is fine with us," Clara would have agreed to discuss it even if he had suggested the middle of a river. She just wanted to get it done!   The four of them shuffled back to the rear of the church and through the little-used back door, into the main part of the building where the pews were neatly rowed and the pulpit stood empty at the far end.   The man then offered, "I could fix something to drink? Tea perhaps?"    "No thank you, we do not wish you to have to make a fuss on our account," she gently shook her head in the negative.   “Ooh, It’s no fuss Clara! I’ll fix that, Brother.” Arabella gushed obsequiously “You three will want to talk privately.”   She would also, perhaps a little too optimistically at this point, fetch out a blank marriage certificate, for she knew where Pastor Evans stored them. In fact, she’d had a good root through most of the drawers and cupboards in his little office, off the vestry, and found some amazing and interesting stuff. Her favourites were a collection of pictures in a little book which, she assumed, the good Pastor must have confiscated off some sinful parishioner in the past.   @boshmi @Wayfarer
    • "All right, if this has anything to do with getting rid of ol' Klutz, then I'll do it," he said in a slightly slurred tone.  The whiskey was now starting to affect his speech, "Clara's gotta see that I'm the better man."   Crabbe nodded. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was hoping to get out of this situation, but he had made a living, the last six years of his life, by exploiting other men’s passions, and this young feller had passion in spades. Lorenzo recognised it for the sort of dangerous, jealous, twisted, brooding passion that so often haunts the hearts of men where women are concerned, and knew it would have to be handled with kid gloves to benefit himself any.   “Problem is, he’s ensorcelled her with these here love poems.” Lorenzo slyly took up a theme that Charlie himself had mentioned. “You attack him, she’ll just cleave tighter to the stupid lookin’ bastard.” He’d never seen this Klutz feller, but it didn’t harm to insult him in Charlie’s presence.   “We gotta work on her.” He said, thinking fast. “First of all, we gotta make you a more attractive proposition, er, make her kinda jealous of you, see? Make ol' Clara see you in a better light. Hmmm, you know any girls? I mean, not like Arabella, pretty girls.”   @JulieS
    • "Well." Thomas declared, sitting upwards in his chair. "I wonder what Arabella has gotten up to. I do hope I haven't complicated anything by bringing her along. Your wife seemed... er... unenthusiastic about her presence."   As if on cue, there was a crashing noise from the distant kitchen and Arabella’s voice sounded an “Ooops!”, but nonetheless, the two women presently appeared, carrying coffee and cake.   “Now, how are you two boys getting along?” asked Arabella, as if Thomas and Gideon were two five-year olds on their first playdate. Mrs Evans attended to the domestic stuff while Arabella jumped up and down, plexing her fingertips together with excitement.   “What do you want me to play on the harmonium, fellers?!” she asked excitedly, just hoping it wasn’t that well-known mondegreen “Bringing in the Sheep” which required notes that the poor old instrument could no longer sound. Arabella always had to substitute other notes in the same chord which made her playing sound like she’d invented jazz forty years too early.   @JulieS @boshmi

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Mature Content: No

With: F. Falmer Browne, Esq/Dame Addy, Bar Killer
Location: The street
When: April/ 1875
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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“My apologies, Miss Chappel, if my appearance alarmed you, I had supposed that you, of all people, would not be alarmed by my unconventional garb … it is just, the young lady whom you escorted from the building, our absent poetess, had informed me that this occasion was to be a ‘fancy dress party’ and I must confide, I am most exceeding partial to ‘fancy dress parties’.”

 

"Why don't that surprise me?"  Shaking her head, Addy muttered, "Reckon it likely was in that child's head."  It was no mystery that Arabella was subject to flights of fantasy, and it was no surprise that she preferred a 'fancy dress party' to a dull meeting.

 

“F. Falmer Browne, at your service, Miss Chappel” he tried the bow again “I believe that we are new neighbors. My card…” he went to fetch out his carte de visite from his vest pocket, but found a layer of dead bear in the way. “Oh, I shall ‘pop’ my card around later. Ahem! It is also my intention to avail myself of your very particular services at some time in the very near future, Miss Chappel. Perhaps we can arrange a time to meet and ‘talk it through’ at your convenience, of course.” He proffered.

 

As she continued to watch him skeptically, Addy speculated that it was not a problem that he didn't have a card, since she couldn't much read anyway, and when he declared that he wanted her services, she frowned, wondering what, exactly, he meant, and still not convinced that he wasn't here to take Weedy.

 

"Can do that now, if you've a mind," she muttered, then shrugged.  "Can just head over to th' saloon an' you can buy me a beer."[/b]  Not offering to give him time to get out of the absurd costume he had on...good to keep him a bit off balance, wasn't it?

 

@Javia

 

 

 

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"Can do that now, if you've a mind," she muttered, then shrugged.  "Can just head over to th' saloon an' you can buy me a beer."  Not offering to give him time to get out of the absurd costume he had on...good to keep him a bit off balance, wasn't it?

 

However, Falmer Browne looked delighted by the idea, only pausing to shout to the page inside the hotel lobby “Boy! My head, if you please!”

 

The bell boy ran out, carrying the disembodied ursine noggin, handing it over with an optimistic “Will that be all, Sir?” which was the internationally recognised bell boy or hotel porter argot for Now where the hell’s my tip?

 

Again, the gentleman in the costume found himself embarrassed at his inability to get to his pockets. “Thank you boy, er, I shall send you a tip over presently!” he tried cheerfully, although the lad would have none of it, giving Browne a look of vitriolic disgust and muttering “I bet!” as he turned on his heel and marched away, cursing.

 

“Oh dear, I believe I have quite made an enemy there!” he chuckled sheepishly as he escorted the equally surly seeming Miss Chappel to the saloon. It was rather improper for a lady to enter such a place, he had to admit, but, dressed in a bearskin, he could hardly cast aspersions upon her unconventional ways.

 

As the swing doors opened, there was a high pitched scream, and a shout of “She’s come t’ break my other arm!!!” followed by the sound of boots running at top speed along the wooden floor of the place and a blur of blue as a female in a Zouave uniform disappeared out of a far doorway, leading to the back of the place.

 

Falmer Browne beamed at the bearded barman as he started to divest himself of the bear outfit (he was fully clothed beneath, of course!), who didn’t bat an eye at the unconventional sight of a beautiful and refined lady like Miss Chappel entering such a common and low dive as a public bar.

 

“Barman!” he addressed the man “A glass of your finest Sarsaparilla cordial for myself, and whatever my fair guest would like to imbibe. I’m sure that they have a number of beverages suitable for as refined and delicate a palate as yours, Miss Chappel.” He smiled, this time able to reach for his pocket book.

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"I'll take a whisky," Addy declared, watching in amusement as the bear skin spit out its victim, rather reminding her of the tale of 'Jonah and the Whale'.  

 

And as the man made himself whole again, she took the opportunity to go to the back door and yank it open.  "I done broke yer arm, Missy!" she called out, "so ya best mind yerself that I don't actually hunt ya down an' break it fer real!"

 

That done, she returned to the bear-man and smiled sweetly.  "So, what's this business proposition ya got?"

 

@Javia

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"I'll take a whisky," Addy declared, watching in amusement as the bear skin spit out its victim, rather reminding her of the tale of 'Jonah and the Whale'. 

 

“A whiskey?!” Browne repeated, agog, but recovered himself quickly “… and a … a whiskey for the lady, please. Neat?” he looked at Addy “Er, yes, neat please … and in a lady’s glass, of course!” he added, in an effort to ameliorate his shock at the woman’s hard drinking ways.

 

And as the man made himself whole again, she took the opportunity to go to the back door and yank it open.  "I done broke yer arm, Missy!" she called out, "so ya best mind yerself that I don't actually hunt ya down an' break it fer real!"

 

There was another scream from upstairs and the sound of a door being slammed shut.

 

Falmer Brown was busy paying for the drinks with an enormous golden ‘Double Eagle’ $20 piece, the change from which completely decimated the barkeeper’s float of smaller coins, even after the moustachioed man had added “And one for yourself, of course!”

 

That done, she returned to the bear-man and smiled sweetly.  "So, what's this business proposition ya got?"

 

“Oh please, let us sit.” Said the now fully human Browne, carrying their drinks to a table not too near the bar. Once seated, he took sip of his sarsaparilla and leaned in closer to Addy over the table.

 

“Well Miss Chappel” he half whispered “I am willing to pay whatever it takes to complete this deal, but before we proceed too far into things, I should like to examine your undercarriage.”

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Addy might be just a little on the 'uncouth' side, but she knew to let the man hold the chair for her, and she settled across from him, taking a sip of the whisky rather than just swigging it at once.

 

“Well Miss Chappel” he half whispered “I am willing to pay whatever it takes to complete this deal, but before we proceed too far into things, I should like to examine your undercarriage.”

 

"Oh, well, see here, Mr. Browne Bear," Addy was actually on the verge of chuckling, understanding, she thought, what he was asking, but hearing the double entendre.  "I made th' last man that wanted ta inspect my undercarriage marry me...an' that didn't last but fer th' night, 'til th' likker wore off."

 

Throwing back the rest of the whisky, she set the glass on the table and looked the man straight in the eye, her expression serious.  "So, Mr. Browne, what are ya prepared ta offer me fer a gander at my undercarriage?  Make it good..."

 

@Javia

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"Oh, well, see here, Mr. Browne Bear," Addy was actually on the verge of chuckling, understanding, she thought, what he was asking, but hearing the double entendre.

 

“Oh, ‘Brown Bear’ ha ha! Very good, Miss Chappel, very good!” the man chortled, appreciating her quick, rapier-like wit. Clever as well as radiantly beautiful, he thought.

 

"I made th' last man that wanted ta inspect my undercarriage marry me...an' that didn't last but fer th' night, 'til th' likker wore off."

 

Falmer Browne suddenly stood up, the scraping of his chair drawing a few gazes, and gave a slight bow. “To unfortunate man who allowed you to slip through his fingers, I offer my sincere condolences; speaking on behalf of the bachelors of the world, I offer him my thanks.”

 

He suddenly looked sheepish, got a grip of himself and sat back down This was one of the reasons he lived as a virtual recluse; he couldn’t afford to get distracted from his important work. And women, especially extremely attractive ones like Miss Adelaide Chappel, were a distraction sans pair.

 

Throwing back the rest of the whisky, she set the glass on the table and looked the man straight in the eye, her expression serious.  "So, Mr. Browne, what are ya prepared ta offer me fer a gander at my undercarriage?  Make it good..."

 

“Ah, that is a mere preliminary, my good lady, to see how well your springs are loaded. You see, I have some very delicate items which I need to be transported from Helena to Kalispell. Now, I am prepared to pay double the usual amount for such a service, IF, you can guarantee that the items can be delivered unharmed.”

 

He sat back and took her in, resisting the urge to fall on his knees and ask the beautiful creature to marry him there and then. To be fair to the other ladies of Kalispell, he felt the same way about most of them, too, when he passed them on the street - or sat disguised amongst them disguised as a big old grizzly bear..

 

“What, Miss Chappel, do you think of my proposal… er… offer?

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Well now, a challenge and a handsome reward...what more could a teamster want?  Still, there seemed to be a bit of a mystery about the cargo, and Addy would have to know specifics on that before she made any commitment.

 

Still and away, she was relieved that the man wasn't after Weedy, and she could use a good job. 

 

"Well, sir, I got a right fine rig, I keep 'er in top shape," she declared proudly, "an' fine springs...not as smooth as th' thoroughbraces on a coach, but as good as ya'd find on a wagon.  An' I can give ya two-up or four," she continued, referring to the horses on the team, "dependin' on weight.  Ya know it's a good eight ta ten days, right?"

 

Which meant she'd need to plan for meals and camping, but that would be fairly easy. 

 

"So, ya wanna go take a gander at my underpinnin's?"

 

@Javia

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"Well, sir, I got a right fine rig, I keep 'er in top shape," she declared proudly, "an' fine springs...not as smooth as th' thoroughbraces on a coach, but as good as ya'd find on a wagon.  An' I can give ya two-up or four," she continued, referring to the horses on the team, "dependin' on weight.  Ya know it's a good eight ta ten days, right?"

 

“It will be well worth the journey if these items can be brought safely to Kalispell.” Said Falmer Browne.

 

"So, ya wanna go take a gander at my underpinnin's?"

 

“Of course, but there is something else, Miss Chappel, before we go … I shall need to supervise the operation, be there to take care of the … items.” he said mysteriously. “Would that be a difficulty? If I were to ride ‘shotgun’ as they say? Or alongside on horseback, if that is more to your liking.” He asked.

 

“I certainly do not wish, in any way, for you to feel that I am ‘looking over your shoulder’ all the way there and back. You are the professional and I trust to your judgement implicitly. It is more the nature of the cargo requires my careful attention.”

 

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"I don't mind."  Addy shrugged, looking the man over, wondering if he was actually up to the trip, but she knew full well that appearances didn't count for naught when it came to the measure of a person.  Still, she allowed as how it would be interesting.  "Just need a few more supplies is all."  And maybe more comfort, as the gentleman might prefer indoor accommodations to camping when it presented.

 

"Might be best we at least have a saddle mount along, just in case we have need."  She was already planning the logistics in her head, but first things first.

 

"So, shall we go check my underpinnin's?"  She stood.  "When ya wanna get this done?"  She'd have to arrange for another driver for the stage, but that wouldn't be hard.

 

@Javia

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"I don't mind."  Addy shrugged, looking the man over, wondering if he was actually up to the trip, but she knew full well that appearances didn't count for naught when it came to the measure of a person.  Still, she allowed as how it would be interesting.  "Just need a few more supplies is all."  And maybe more comfort, as the gentleman might prefer indoor accommodations to camping when it presented.

 

“Oh Spendid! Splendid indeed! I am so glad that you are interested in my proposition!” he beamed, holding up his glass in salute and taking a swig.

 

"Might be best we at least have a saddle mount along, just in case we have need."  She was already planning the logistics in her head, but first things first.

 

He nodded, looking serious. “As you suggest, Miss Chappel, as you suggest. I am completely in your expert hands, my very good woman.” Addy was filling him with more and more confidence that the journey of his special items was actually feasible and doable.

 

"So, shall we go check my underpinnin's?"  She stood.  "When ya wanna get this done?"  She'd have to arrange for another driver for the stage, but that wouldn't be hard.

 

“Oooh, well, er. ‘As soon as humanly possible’ to coin a phrase, but to tell the truth, whenever possible is better than never!” he said, a little confusingly. “My items are quite safe in Helena, as we speak, but I am most anxious to be reunited with them at the earliest possible convenience!” he enthused.

 

“But yes, please, let us away! I can hardly wait to test your springs!” he smiled, standing and helping her out of her chair like a true gent.

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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

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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.

 

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Attractive?  Well, there was something odd about the man, and this just proved it! 

 

Grinning, Addy shrugged, not finding it too odd that he'd seen her, in particular, around town, after all, she stood out, there was no doubt on that.

 

"Oh, I grew up around critters," she explained, "my pa an' brothers worked with mules, an' I just took right to it!"  She shrugged as she reached to stroke a big, fuzzy nose that poked over a stall gate.  "'Course, now, I was th' little one, an' seven brothers...was just a natural thing ta do."

 

Looking up at the man, she added, "Started drivin' ambulance durin' th' war, fer th' Confederacy," she wanted that clear, not that it made a difference then, nor now, "an' after that come here from Tennessee ta drive stage."

 

So, there was her part of it, now for his.  "What's this tender cargo yer wantin' ta get?  Won't engage in nothin' unlawful, just so ya know."

 

@Javia

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"Oh, I grew up around critters," she explained, "my pa an' brothers worked with mules, an' I just took right to it!"  She shrugged as she reached to stroke a big, fuzzy nose that poked over a stall gate.  "'Course, now, I was th' little one, an' seven brothers...was just a natural thing ta do."

 

Falmer Browne smiled wistfully at Addy’s reminiscences of her early, happy-sounding childhood. It made him think of a time, a magical time in his own early youth, a Christmas morn in the old family place in Amherst about 1822. Five or six years old, ripping open the wrapping paper on his present, a little whip and spinning top, while his mother fussed about the place tidying away the paper and his father sat jovially in his armchair, pulling on a long briar pipe. It fair brought a twinkle of a nostalgic tear to his eye and a maudlin smile to his lips beneath his grey moustache.

 

But Addy’s life story was moving on…

 

Looking up at the man, she added, "Started drivin' ambulance durin' th' war, fer th' Confederacy," she wanted that clear, not that it made a difference then, nor now, "an' after that come here from Tennessee ta drive stage."

 

She had driven an ambulance, in the war?! He gave a thoughtful frown and jumped down from the wagon.

 

So, there was her part of it, now for his.  "What's this tender cargo yer wantin' ta get?  Won't engage in nothin' unlawful, just so ya know."

 

He shook his head pensively, and murmured “No, no, it is just some rather delicate scientific instruments.” But it was clear that there was something on his mind.

 

“Miss Chappel, you have seen the full horrors of war. It matters not which side of that dreadful conflict you served on: all did their duty gallantly, as they saw fit. Well, almost all.” He jerked his head in a sort of nervous twitch, as if he was steeling himself to reveal something awful.

 

“Some people did not do any sort of duty, except to themselves. I was one of those. I was rich Miss Chappel, as rich as Croesus, I might add. I didn’t need more money, but I took it. I invested in steel, iron, armaments, black powder, even uniform cloth… death, injury, destruction! The more bloody the battles became, the more gold poured into my coffers.” He stood, shame faced, staring at the ground. Then he looked up at her, there were tears starting to brim in his old eyes.

 

 “I was on the docks in New York, Miss Chappel, at the end of the war, watching the unloading of some cargo that would bring me in even more filthy lucre, when I saw the first steamboat bringing back the prisoners from Andersonville. Human skeletons, starved almost to nothing, mere … rags and tatters of men. Most had died on the steamer, killed by the shock of being fed properly for the first time in years. They blamed the Confederate commander of the camp, Wirz. They hanged him for it. I watched it. They should have hanged ME, Miss Chappel. Jesus forgive me, they should have hanged me!!” he sobbed, his shoulders shaking, pulling out a hanky and squeezing it to his eyes.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Reckon we all did what we thought we had to."  Addy shrugged, watching the man, seeing the guilt.  "Sometimes it's better ya not engage in somethin' ya've not go a aptitude for...ya go out playin' soldier when yer heart ain't in it, yer as like ta get folks killed as not."

 

She stepped forward and put a hand on his arm...awkwardly.  "Can't change what's past, Mister Browne, only can do yer best goin' forward, right?"

 

She wasn't much one for philosophy, but her pa had imparted a good deal of practical wisdom that had been reinforced by life.  Besides, she just wasn't one to overly fret on what couldn't be changed.

 

@Javia

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She stepped forward and put a hand on his arm...awkwardly.  "Can't change what's past, Mister Browne, only can do yer best goin' forward, right?"

 

Falmer Browne blew his nose with a loud rasp. “Quite right, Miss Chappel, quite right.” He patted her hand with his own. “After I saw Wirtz hanged, I returned home and considered doing the very same to myself for, indeed, I deserved such a fate as much as he. But what good would that do? It was the coward’s way out of my misery." he stood in contemplation for a second, recalling that darkest of dark moments in his life. Then he sighed.

 

"Instead I considered the money I possessed, my early training in the sciences, and determined to dedicate all of my considerable resources, and the remainder of my life, to putting things right: to try and ensure that men on this continent would never starve as those poor wretches in Andersonville had starved!”

 

As he spoke, he kept his hand upon hers, resting on his arm.

 

He patted it again and let it go.

 

“You are a very wise woman, Miss Chappel.” He said, considering her.

 

“Now, about that young lad who lives with you…”

 

@Bongo

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"Well, it's good yer usin' yer money an' talents ta make things better fer folks."  She wasn't really sure how he might accomplish his goals, but they were, indeed, lofty and honorable.  "Might could be why th' good Lord spared ya, no matter how th' means."

 

But then, the question...

 

“Now, about that young lad who lives with you…”

 

"What of him?"  Her demeanor had changed in an instant, and she regretted that she didn't have her pistol on her!  "He ain't none'a yer concern, ya wanna do business'er not?"  She was starting to have second thoughts...

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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 “Now, about that young lad who lives with you…”

 

"What of him?"  Her demeanor had changed in an instant, and she regretted that she didn't have her pistol on her!  "He ain't none'a yer concern, ya wanna do business'er not?"  She was starting to have second thoughts...

 

Falmer Browne gave an audible “Whaaa!” and jumped back, thinking the formidable, if beautiful, young woman was about to deck him. “Please, let me explain…” he stammered, startled at Addy’s reaction to his innocent introduction of the subject of his new neighbor’s young ward, Weedy.

 

“Our gardens conjoin, you see” he realised that in his voice sounded nervous, like he was trying to hide something, but pushed on. “Your young fellow was looking in at my greenhouse windows, no doubt intrigued by the exotic flora I have growing there, lemon trees and what have you. I’m afraid that my sudden appearance there rather alarmed him and he ran away. I only wished to say…” in his haste to explain everything to the amazonian woman before him, he had rather forgotten to breath, and had to stop to take in some air.

 

“I only wished to say that you and your young friend are very welcome to visit at any time and look around my collection of herbalia. You could, perhaps, come around for High Tea one evening around Five O'Clock, should we say?” he invited them cordially. Young friend. He didn’t make a guess at the unmarried young woman’s relationship with the lad, in case it was an embarrassing one, … such as son.

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Addy relaxed ever so slightly, still glaring at the man as she tried to assess Mr. Browne's intentions...and translate what all he'd just yammered on about.

 

"Flowers?  He did come in one afternoon, all excited 'bout flowers, but I didn't pay him much mind."  After all, Weedy was a boy, he got all worked up over guns and horses and the like, not flowers.  And truth be told, she'd noticed the odd house of glass on the next property, but had been far too busy to pay it much mind.

 

"Tea, ya say?"  Why in a ground hog's belly button anyone would have tea was beyond her, but the man had asked politely, and it didn't seem neighborly to turn him down.  "I reckon we might could do that.  This before 'er after ya wanna go ta Helena?"  Either would give her some time to figure out just what he was up to, and if Mexico was in her future!

 

@Javia

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"Tea, ya say?"  Why in a ground hog's belly button anyone would have tea was beyond her, but the man had asked politely, and it didn't seem neighborly to turn him down.  "I reckon we might could do that.  This before 'er after ya wanna go ta Helena?"  Either would give her some time to figure out just what he was up to, and if Mexico was in her future!

 

“Oh, I should say the sooner the better! As soon as humanly possible. This afternoon, if you like. It will be an opportunity to get to know each other a little better before embarking upon so potentially egregious and exhausting an expedition.” He smiled, happy that she seemed willing at least to visit him in his ramshackle nursery-cum-laboratory-cum-bachelor’s household. “We usually take high tea around 4pm, tea, cakes, fancies, the usual sort of thing. My housekeeper, Mrs O’Houlighan, is an excellent baker.”

 

He was curious as to why Miss Chappel was so very guarded at any mention of the young lad who lived with her. Perhaps he was indeed the fruit of some ill famed past liaison, and the father or father’s family wanted custody of the little b… boy. In his experience, the opposite was usually true, and the farmer who had sown the seed wanted nothing to do with the resultant crop. But still, none  of his business, and a topic he would steer well clear of from hereon in.

 

@Bailey

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Far be it for Miss Addy Chappel to turn down free food, especially baked goods, so she may as well appease the man and take him up on his offer.  Besides, he was right, they could discuss specifics of the trip.

 

"Reckon I could do that," she finally agreed.  "Four o'clock, ya say?  That ain't too far off, not sure if I can find th' boy, never quite sure where he's at."  Well, she could find him if she wanted to, and chances were good he was home now anyway, working on his homework so his evenings would be free.  Still, she was wary of the man's motives.

 

"I'll give ya a list then, on whatcher gonna need fer th' trip, an' you can think on when ya wanna leave."

 

@Javia

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Falmer Browne had been very enthusiastic about Addy’s willingness to call on her new neighbour that very tea-time (alien concept though that may be) and he had seemed suitably unconcerned as to whether Weedy, too, could come along or not. It had to be said, though, that the scientist took that delight in children so natural to those who did not have to keep any themselves. He would have a wonderful time showing the curious lad around his collection of exotic flora and scientific curiosities, and then be able to hand him back to his mother at the end of the adventure.

 

At 4.30 prompt, It was the housekeeper, Mrs O’Houlighan who answered the ting-a-ling of the bell on the shiny painted front door, a woman whose redoubtable frame was as wide as her Irish brogue.

 

“And if it isn’t Miss Chappel, come from next door!” she boomed with hearty cheer “The Professor’s been expectin’ yuh, so he has! Come in, come in! No strangers here, just friends we've yet to meet!” she said, ushering the Wagoneer into the house.

 

Angela Baddeley, older sister of Hermione (England). Adored for her Upstairs  Downstairs role as Mrs. Bri… | Upstairs downstairs, Upstairs downstairs  1971, Upstairs

 

[OOC: Didn't go any further - depends on if Weedy is along or not!]

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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There hadn't been much changing to do, since Addy had been wearing her 'go-to-meetin'' clothes to the Ladies Society, but she had taken some time to redo her hair so that the braid was neat and the stray wisps were tucked away.  As for Weedy, the boy had on a clean shirt, a contrast to his dusty bitches that showed he'd been playing some rough boy-games after school.

 

And the lad's expression showed that he was less than thrilled to be here, and was really expecting something exciting to make it all worth while, but he doubted it!

 

The enthusiastic greeting put Addy at ease -- mostly -- and she couldn't help but smile.  She'd seen the woman over the fence and they'd exchanged simple greetings, but had never formally met.  And surely no one so seemingly kind could work for someone evil.

 

"Afternoon."  Addy stuck her hand out to shake.  "An' it's Addy, please, an' this here is Weedy." 

 

@Javia

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"Afternoon."  Addy stuck her hand out to shake.  "An' it's Addy, please, an' this here is Weedy."

 

“Oooh, a woman after me own heart!” beamed Mrs O’Houlighan “An’ you must call me Kathleen! And this young gentleman is Mr Weedy is it?” She beamed down at him “And what’ll be beein’ yer first name, Mr Weedy?”

 

At that point a frowsy looking maid joined the throng at the door way. This unfortunate girl’s very plainness was a condition of her employment: ‘Professor’ Browne had insisted to Mrs O’Houlighan that the maid she employed must in no way tempt him away from his concentration on his work, given his weakness for the fairer sex. In finding Jemima Wigfall, Mrs O’Houlighan had fulfilled this condition to the enth degree.

 

RUBY FROM UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. | Upstairs downstairs, Upstairs downstairs  1971, Downstairs

 

“Mrs O, Mrs O, come quick! The snake’s got the Professor again!” screamed Jemima and they all ran through to the Drawing Room where F. Falmer Browne stood staggering, wrapped in the coils of an enormous boa constrictor! His face was an interesting color of puce as he pawed impotently at the thick body of his serpentine assailant. Looking like they had done this a million times before, Mrs O’Houlighan and Jemima sprang forward and started to prize the creature from their employers struggling frame, one unpeeling it from the head the other from the tip of its tail.

 

“Don’t worry, Addy, the Professor’ll be right with yous presently! Mr James, would you be a dear and remove the lid from yonder glass tank!” the grandmotherly Irishwoman boomed, nodding with her head toward an extremely large vivarium in the corner of the room.

 

skynews-boa-constrictor-essex_4409897.jp

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“Oooh, a woman after me own heart!” beamed Mrs O’Houlighan “An’ you must call me Kathleen! And this young gentleman is Mr Weedy is it?” She beamed down at him “And what’ll be beein’ yer first name, Mr Weedy?”

 

Addy grinned...she liked the woman, she was practical and down-to-earth, didn't seem to have any pretentions. 

 

As for Weedy, he wasn't too sure yet, and his nose wrinkled up.  "Folks call me Weedy, ma'am.  My given name's Porter James."   There was no time for further explanation as they were interrupted by yet another maid.

 

“Mrs O, Mrs O, come quick! The snake’s got the Professor again!”

 

What in Jee-hosephat's name did that mean?  Addy looked at Weedy, who was looking up at her, and the pair shrugged then gave chase to the maids, curious as to what 'the snake's got the Professor' was!

 

"What in th' name'a Diedrich Knickerbocker!?"  Stopping in the doorway, Addy grabbed Weedy by the shoulder and pulled a sgian dubh from her boot, ready to do battle with the scaly beast and free the Professor!

 

“Don’t worry, Addy, the Professor’ll be right with yous presently! Mr Weedy, would you be a dear and remove the lid from yonder glass tank!”

 

For a second, Addy kept her grip on Weedy, but finally nodded and let him go, although she kept the knife in hand, calculating how long it might take to saw the head off the snake, if that was what it really was...she'd never seen anything the like in all her years!

 

Mindful to keep a fair distance between himself and the drama, Weedy shuffled over to the tank in question, then pushed the lid aside, his eyes wide and mouth agape!

 

@Javia

 

 

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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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