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Sagas of the Wild West
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Grin and Bear It


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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!]

 

 

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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.

 

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@Bongo

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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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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! 

 

“Ooh, you’ll not be needin’ yer Bowie knife, Addy, Lamia’s as harmless as they come! Just a tad over-affectionate, especially where the Professor’s concerned! A regular Saint Patrick he is, when it comes to charmin’ the serpents!” she gasped under the weight of the overgrown Behemoth.  

 

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!

 

Jemima seemed to be taking the brunt of the weight of the snake as the two women carried it over to the waiting tank. Meanwhile, 'Professor' Browne collapsed on a chair and panted some breath back into himself. Mrs O’Houlighan had hold of Lamia near the head.

 

She smiled over to Addy. “Would young Master Porter like to give her a little stroke on the head? She’s quite harmless, doesn’t bite or anything like that. As long as you don’t fall asleep in yer armchair when she out and about, she’s no trouble at all.”

 

Jemima caught Weedy’s eye “But if you DO, she crushes the life outta you and eats you up whole, and then someone’ll find her lying there all comfy with the shape of a human body showin’ quite quite clear in her middle!” she told him with ghoulish delight. “Some times we give her a chicken and you can see the whole bird movin’ through her, and it don’t stop flappin’ its wings fer ever so long!”

 

“Stop dat Jer-mima! You’ll give the poor lad nightmares!” chided Mrs O., but the frowsy house-maid just nodded knowingly at Weedy, she knew that little boys like him loved macabre details like that.

 

021012-jenny-tomasin-british-actress.jpg

 

@Bongo

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Weedy's eyes widened at the description of seeing a person inside that snake, but then when the maid talked about chickens flapping around, he gasped and stepped closer.  "Can you hear it squawking, too?" he asked excitedly.  How awesome would that be?

 

And at that point he moved right in to stroke the beast's head, grinning in the way that only a boy confronting a mythical creature could.  Oh, he'd handled snakes before, there were plenty of snakes around, and like any boy, he was fascinated.  Then something the woman said sank in.

 

"He squeezes things?" he asked, looking up at the maid.  "Like a rubber boa?"  Sure, those were a lot smaller, but that's how they killed their prey, and you could see the lump in their body, but it didn't move like the chickens did.  But maybe because this was a million times bigger?

 

By now, Addy had moved up and was stroking the soft scales as well.  So long as it wasn't a rattler, she didn't mind snakes in the least, except maybe that this one was unnaturally massive!

 

@Javia

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Weedy's eyes widened at the description of seeing a person inside that snake, but then when the maid talked about chickens flapping around, he gasped and stepped closer.  "Can you hear it squawking, too?" he asked excitedly.  How awesome would that be?

 

“Yeah!” drooled Jemima ghoulishly, as she helped Mrs O’Houlighan put Lamia back into her tank. “Buque, buque, buque!” she started to impersonate a chicken. “Jer-mima! Stop dem foul noises!” admonished the Housekeeper. But Weedy had more questions.

 

"He squeezes things?" he asked, looking up at the maid.  "Like a rubber boa?"  Sure, those were a lot smaller, but that's how they killed their prey, and you could see the lump in their body, but it didn't move like the chickens did.  But maybe because this was a million times bigger?

 

“Yeah, but she don’t sqeeze ‘em right to death, she likes to feel ‘em wake up inside her and wriggle and struggle!” replied the plain looking girl “Imagine if you fell asleep in the armchair one evenin’ and woke up inside a snake!” she suggested gleefully, but this was too much for Mrs O. “Jemima Wigfall! You’ll be givin’ the boy nightmares! Now get out and fetch them fancies. I’ll play jailer here.”

 

By now, Addy had moved up and was stroking the soft scales as well.  So long as it wasn't a rattler, she didn't mind snakes in the least, except maybe that this one was unnaturally massive!

 

“Feels quite nice, don’t she?” commented the Irishwoman “I always imagined snakes to be all cold and slimy and slippery, not warm and dry. O’ course, we never had the meetin’ of them in Ireland, good old St. Patrick drove them all out, Bless his Soul!”

 

“Nonsense! They were driven out by ice!” Falmer Browne finally spoke, rising to his feet now he had caught his breath “But enough of speculative geology, may I welcome you both, Miss Chappel and Mr James, to our humble abode!”

 

@Bongo

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“Yeah, but she don’t sqeeze ‘em right to death, she likes to feel ‘em wake up inside her and wriggle and struggle!” replied the plain looking girl “Imagine if you fell asleep in the armchair one evenin’ and woke up inside a snake!” she suggested gleefully, but this was too much for Mrs O. “Jemima Wigfall! You’ll be givin’ the boy nightmares! Now get out and fetch them fancies. I’ll play jailer here.”

 

Weedy grinned, reaching to try to help with the snake's incarceration.  "It didn't squish the Professor," he observed, "I think she was just hugging him."  A reasonable observation, from a distance!

 

"A big hug!" Addy agreed with a chuckle, giving the snake one last pet before stepping back as it was secured.

 

“Feels quite nice, don’t she?” commented the Irishwoman “I always imagined snakes to be all cold and slimy and slippery, not warm and dry. O’ course, we never had the meetin’ of them in Ireland, good old St. Patrick drove them all out, Bless his Soul!”

 

“Nonsense! They were driven out by ice!” Falmer Browne finally spoke, rising to his feet now he had caught his breath “But enough of speculative geology, may I welcome you both, Miss Chappel and Mr James, to our humble abode!”

 

"But we have snakes, and there's ice in the Winter," Weedy observed, so cold didn't mean no snakes, especially since 'Winter' was pretty much six months here.

 

"There's different snakes," Addy tried to correct, giving the boy a light nudge to be more polite.  "Maybe them ones from Ireland swum here?"  She grinned, although she hadn't know that Ireland was so cold.  Maybe she had it mixed up with Iceland?  But then, why call Iceland 'Ice'land if it wasn't icy?

 

"Thank ya fer havin' us, Mr. Browne.  Good ta get ta know yer neighbors better, right?"

 

@Javia

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"But we have snakes, and there's ice in the Winter," Weedy observed, so cold didn't mean no snakes, especially since 'Winter' was pretty much six months here.

 

“Ah, a logical conclusion, Mister James!” nodded Falmer Browne sagely, “…but I speak of no mere ordinary Montana winter of snow and ice – devastating though they may be…” If he had known about the death of Weedy’s mother in the snowstorm at Whitefish, he would never have alluded to such a thing, of course. “But imagine a winter that lasted a million years and covered whole continents, that, my boy, is what killed the snakes of Ireland!”

 

"There's different snakes," Addy tried to correct, giving the boy a light nudge to be more polite.  "Maybe them ones from Ireland swum here?"  She grinned, although she hadn't know that Ireland was so cold.  Maybe she had it mixed up with Iceland?  But then, why call Iceland 'Ice'land if it wasn't icy?

 

“He he, a fanciful notion, to be sure.” Chortled the older man, good naturedly at her joke. Well, he hoped that she was joking. “There are some varieties of sea snake, of course, that… Oh, but where are my manners?! Here I am blathering on about sea snakes while my guests are left standing! Please, please, do be seated, both of you and Mrs O’Houlighan and Jemima shall bring us tea and cakes. Or perhaps for Master Porter something cold!”

 

"Thank ya fer havin' us, Mr. Browne.  Good ta get ta know yer neighbors better, right?"

 

“You took the words right out of my mouth!” beamed Falmer Browne, now fully recovered from his breath-taking experience.

 

Jemima reappeared with neither tea nor cakes but a large glass with a cloudy liquid in, which she set before Weedy with no little pride written on her homely features.

 

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“Lemonade, made with REAL lemons from our greenhouse!” she boasted, as if she herself had built the glass structure, transported and tended to the trees and made the beverage from its fruit. In fact, all her contribution consisted of, really, was to pour some of it into the glass. “Try drinking some, without going…” and she pulled a ludicrous face of someone squeezing their eyes shut and pursing their lips at the taste of the sweet-sour drink.

 

@Bongo

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