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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
Adelaide Chappel

Special Delivery

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Mature Content: No

With: Alice & Amos
Location: The Ranch
When: April/24/ 1875
Time of Day: Early Afternoon

 

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It was a nice day, and Addy was enjoying the drive out of town, not that she ever didn't for the most part, so long as it wasn't snowing or pelting down rain!  But it was Spring now, and although still cool, the snow was melting and the fields and hillsides were starting to blossom with color...the most beautiful time of year!

 

Of course, the roads were fairly muddy because of the snow melt and recent rains, so Addy had opted for a four-up hitch to deal with any extra burden the boggy roads might put on her team.  The harness was jingling merrily, and Addy was singing a lively, albeit a bit off-key tune.

 
"I wanted much to go to war,
And went to be examined;
The surgeon looked me o'er and o'er,
My back and chest he hammered.
Said he, "You're not the man for me,
Your lungs Are much affected,
And likewise both your eyes are cock'd,
And otherwise defected."

 

So, now I'm with the Invalids,
And cannot go and fight, sir!
The doctor told me so, you know,
Of course it must be right, sir!"
 
Finally reaching her destination, she turned into the drive, pulled her team of Belgians to a stop, then set the brake and hopped to the ground and called out, "Delivery's here!"
 
@Flip
 
 
 
 
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Alice had seen the wagon coming from a distance, and for a change, she did not have the Henry repeater in her hands as she came out of the house. That it was a woman driving took her just a bit off guard. Stepping outside the woman was standing by the wagon, loaded with her furnishings, such as they were.
 

“Morning. I’m Alice Fletcher, thanks for coming out, we’ve needed these things.” Alice said with a smile. “Hard sleeping on a pallet on the floor when you know you’ve a bed.”


“What sort of town is Kallispell, Pa never said much about it. Wasn’t sure if he’d even spent any time there, just made the deal on this place and headed back to the boom in Virginia City. Then winter hit.” She spoke as she took down a chair, setting it on the ground as there was no sense carrying in one chair at a time.


“I wished Pa was here, he’s gone to town, seems the Marshal has a mining concern so he went to see what that was about, maybe sign on if it appeals to him.” She explained as they began taking more of the furnishings off of the wagon. “What sort is he? I met him just after the war, he’d saved my Pa’s life. Seemed a decent sort, but men change In this country.” She had decided to ride in and see him, since they were acquainted, but Addy could give her information in advance, if he could, and if she would.

@Bongo

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"Mornin', Miz Alice."  Addy nodded, touching the brim of her hat in greeting.  "Good ta meet ya, an' yer right, better ta sleep on a nice bed, an' I just happen ta have that!"

 

Grinning, she started unloading the wagon, pleased that the other woman was willing to pitch in and help.  There were those ladies who thought that they were too delicate to help out with such things, which was far from the truth.  And it was good, practical sense to take everything off the wagon first, then put it in the house in a logical order.

 

“I wished Pa was here, he’s gone to town, seems the Marshal has a mining concern so he went to see what that was about, maybe sign on if it appeals to him.”

 

"Sounds like too much work," Addy commented with a wry grin.  "An' so far off, can't mind both."  She knew that Barnabas Pike had a mine somewhere, too, or interest in one, but she didn't know how it worked that you had property in a whole other territory.   "Ya talkin' 'bout Speed Guyer?"

 

“What sort is he? I met him just after the war, he’d saved my Pa’s life. Seemed a decent sort, but men change In this country.”

 

"Can't say as how he was before," Addy commented, setting rails for a bed by the chairs, "but he's th' best sort there is, I reckon."  She shrugged.  "I'd trust th' man with my life, an' good counsel, too.  I count him as a friend, an' a good boon to th' city."

 

@Flip

 

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Posted (edited)

Alice looked at the woman a long moment. “You don’t say, that is quite an endorsement. And his wife, I suppose he’s be married by now.” She fished. His marital status would determine how she could approach him.” She looked at the table and grabbed it by the legs, pulling it toward her. To hear he was much the same as the man she had met so long ago was good news because she had always liked him. It seemed like romantic notions, and it may well have been, but then too, he would be a fast friend, married or not


“And the town, what sort is it? I haven’t had the chance to go in as yet, but plan to once I get this place together. I know some are rough and tumble, and I suppose that’s to be expected out here, but then a couple of places I’ve been were not.” She liked this woman, it was evident that what one saw was what one got. It was how she chose live life, it was much easier that way was her theory. “We get this unloaded, if you’ve the time, I’ve got some coffee on.”


She knew that she could learn a lot about the people and the area from Addy and her council would be of value going forward. Having knowledge would insure she had a read on the climate in Kalispell. That would be important as she became acquainted with he town. She wouldn’t always be out here on the ranch.

@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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"Coffee's always much appreciated," Addy declared with a grin and a nod as she helped with the table.  "Got some right pretty things here, oughta make a good home."  She was still working on furnishing her new home, although Jay was making some of the things, and she was used to living in a single room with just a bed, table and a couple of chairs.

 

"Far as I know," she explained, "Speed Guyer ain't married."  She shrugged, then chuckled.  "Well, 'less he's got her hid real good!  An' Kallispell ain't a bad place, 'bout what ya'd expect out here.  It's growin', th' seat of th' territory, so it has plenty'a amenities. Folks there is good, too.  Oh, there's rascals, a'course, an' th' Steelgraves bear watchin', but there's worse places, that's certain!"

 

@Flip

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"Coffee's always much appreciated," Addy declared with a grin and a nod as she helped with the table.  "Got some right pretty things here, oughta make a good home."  She was still working on furnishing her new home, although Jay was making some of the things, and she was used to living in a single room with just a bed, table and a couple of chairs.


“Well I have gathered over the years. We’ve enough for two rooms and the parlor and kitchen. Was married once, now a widow, but I’m in no rush to marry.” She gave a knowing smile to Addy. “Men are sometimes far more trouble than they are worth.”
 

"Far as I know," she explained, "Speed Guyer ain't married."  She shrugged, then chuckled.  "Well, 'less he's got her hid real good!  An' Kallispell ain't a bad place, 'bout what ya'd expect out here.  It's growin', th' seat of th' territory, so it has plenty'a amenities. Folks there is good, too.  Oh, there's rascals, a'course, an' th' Steelgraves bear watchin', but there's worse places, that's certain!"

 

“Steelgraves?" She quizzed. “Are they a bad lot? Rustlers and the like, that’s the reason for the Henry by the door. Of course we don’t have the herd we plan on having.” She had a vague feeling of longing for the success of the ranch, and for a better, far less dangerous, life for her father. He was getting up in years and tracking men for a living could not go on much longer.

 

“So there are good, hard working, folks in Kalispell, as well as gentlemen and ladies.” She surmised, perhaps a town not as rowdy as Virginia City, or Bannack or too many to remember outside of Montana. “I’ll have to get over there and have a look. Come on in, we can drag a chair in and have some coffee.”

@Bongo

 

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"Ain't much ta see," Addy chuckled as she helped carry the chair in, then settled for coffee.  "Can't say on Virginia City, been past Alder Gulch, but never did stop at Virginia City, nor Nevada City, but Bannock..."  Shaking her head, she laughed.  "Kalispell ain't that rowdy...ain't no Saint Louis, but ya can walk th' streets at night without too much fear'a bein' molested.  'Course, reckon that's part due ta Marshal Guyer an' Deputy Pike.  As fer th' Steelgraves, they ain't rustlers, not so as anyone would know, just that Elias wants ta think he's Moses, Noah an' th' Messiah all in one!"

 

That summed most of it up!

 

"When ya do come in ta town, stop at th' Lickskillet, it's a great cafe run by a nice lady named Blakesley.  She has a way with pies, no disputin' that.  An' ya'd be welcome at my house, too.  Just bought it all proper, so I have a real place fer me an' Weedy ta live.  Ain't right havin' a boy livin' in a barn."  Then she quicky explained, "Boy's an orphan, so we're kin now."

 

@Flip   (Wafie and I know where Bannock is!)

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"Lickskillet, now there 's a name for you!" Alice exclaimed with a grin. "I doubt anyone passing thru would likely forget it." Now she was a hand in the kitchen, so hearing about this woman and her way with pies intrigued her. "I must go in town and stop at the cafe to sample the fare. The place sounds as interesting as Miss Blakesley."

 

"I'd be happy to drop around your place while I'm there as well. It would also give me a chance to see Marshal Guyer, maybe do a bit of shopping, window and otherwise. My Pa, Amos, he tries real hard, but after all, he 's a man, and men just have different priorities than we women. Don't you agree?"

 

Her smile was warm and sincere as she poured the coffee. "And, I must meet young Weedy, he sounds like a grand young fellow. I applaud you for taking him to care for. Not all the orphans in this country are so lucky. Montana, if not the west, is hard on people, be it ruffians, or Indians, or just living in general. Oh, and a Doctor, there is a physician in town, isn't there?"

@Bongo

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"Men'er a mystery, that's certain!" Addy agreed, picking up her coffee mug.  "Thank ya.  There's a couple'a nice shops in town, I reckon, not like th' big city, of course, but there's trinkets an' ready-made clothes and such."

 

The trinkets she could pretty much do without, but for Addy, the store-bought clothes were a godsend...she didn't sew, except for some mending, so it was worth a little extra to get decent clothes.

 

"There's docs in town."  She took a sip of coffee and smiled.  "Two'a 'em, old Doc Boone, an' some fancy Easterner.  They're workin' on establishin' a hospital in town, an' a orphanage, too.  Gonna be real good fer th' folks in th' territory, an' a place fer children...would not'a helped with Weedy, his ma was around until that big storm hit Whitefish last winter.  But he'd been stayin' with me mostly anyway, so now it's just a proper arrangement, so we got us a proper house."  And maybe a proper father for the boy as well!

 

@Flip

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The trinkets she could pretty much do without, but for Addy, the store-bought clothes were a godsend...she didn't sew, except for some mending, so it was worth a little extra to get decent clothes.


“That is good to know. I sew, but then again, it’s a time consuming thing to make clothes for either one of us.” She confessed. “I mean to say that I can, and I do, mostly during the winter months when I’ve more time to devote to such things.
 

"There's docs in town."  She took a sip of coffee and smiled.  "Two'a 'em, old Doc Boone, an' some fancy Easterner.  They're workin' on establishin' a hospital in town, an' a orphanage, too.  Gonna be real good fer th' folks in th' territory, an' a place fer children...would not'a helped with Weedy, his ma was around until that big storm hit Whitefish last winter.  But he'd been stayin' with me mostly anyway, so now it's just a proper arrangement, so we got us a proper house."  And maybe a proper father for the boy as well!


“A hospital? What a grand idea!" She exclaimed. "And two medical men in town, there’s something one doesn’t see out here. Kalispell has no idea how fortunate they are in that respect, or maybe they do, I may have spoken out of turn, but my experience has been that people tend to take have a doc at all for granted.” She was smiling as she talked it was good to have another woman to talk with.


“And an orphanage? Good heavens, you have some industrious people in town there. And from what I know, and have seen and heard, both projects should be welcomed with open arms. I know if it were up to me, why I would accept their proposals with a large smile and a firm hand shake.”

@Bongo

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"Well, ya see now," Addy explained after another sip of coffee, "th' main backer fer it all is a Steelgrave...Miz Leah, th' daughter, an' folks seem ta think she's doin' all this fer her father."

 

Addy shrugged, sipping more coffee, enjoying the conversation, even though she wasn't a gossip.  But this wasn't gossip, it was facts, pure and sure. 

 

"Now, I don't understand what would be so bad if she was speakin' fer ol' Elias...there'd still be a hospital, an'' eventually a orphanage..."  She shrugged.  "Some folks'er just contrary."

 

@Flip

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 "Well, ya see now," Addy explained after another sip of coffee, "th' main backer fer it all is a Steelgrave...Miz Leah, th' daughter, an' folks seem ta think she's doin' all this fer her father."


“And of course the town looks down on mister Steelgrave, I mean to say, deservedly so, he sounds like the overbearing type from what you’ve said.” Alice gave a pause for a moment, “There’s always on like that wherever you go, but to take it out on the daughter trying to get something good done."
 

Addy shrugged, sipping more coffee, enjoying the conversation, even though she wasn't a gossip.  But this wasn't gossip, it was facts, pure and sure.

 

"Now, I don't understand what would be so bad if she was speakin' fer ol' Elias...there'd still be a hospital, an'' eventually a orphanage..."  She shrugged.  "Some folks'er just contrary."

 

“I agree. What could the harm be? Do they think this Elias is going to impersonate a doctor?” Alice asked, in jest. “I’m sorry, but people can be so ignorant about what is in their best interest when a good disliking gets in the way. How does Marshal Guyer see this situation?”

@Bongo

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"Marshal's all in, far as I know," Addy commented, "but then, he's a sensible man,"[/b] grinning, she winked, "an' right handsome, too!"

 

For a moment, she laughed, but then turned more serious.  "I just hope that them that are against th' idea don't cause so much trouble that it comes ta shootin'.  An' th' funny thing is, may be Elias Steelgrave himself that causes problems, if he reckons that Miss Leah is tryin' ta be defiant."

 

She never would fathom how folks' minds worked, that was certain.

 

@Flip

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 "Marshal's all in, far as I know," Addy commented, "but then, he's a sensible man," grinning, she winked, "an' right handsome, too!"


Alice smiled at the statement. “Sensible, I didn’t know there was such a thing in men these days.” But she remembered him a bit differently, he was a man traveling on business, as if he had no roots, nor wished to have any. It would seem that that had chsnged.
 

For a moment, she laughed, but then turned more serious.  "I just hope that them that are against th' idea don't cause so much trouble that it comes ta shootin'.  An' th' funny thing is, may be Elias Steelgrave himself that causes problems, if he reckons that Miss Leah is tryin' ta be defiant."

 

She never would fathom how folks' minds worked, that was certain.


“I’d like to meet this Leah Steelgrave, defiant sounds just like her, well from what you’ve said about her. Seems to me she wants something and is willing to fight for it, no matter what anyone says.” Alice pointed out. She thought she might like this woman, now there was yet another reason to ride into Kalispell and have a look see for herself. "As far as Mister Steelgrave causing problems, problems that involve shooting or not, he and the rest best stand back and watch what a woman can do."

@Bongo

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"Miz Leah surely is a body ta be reckoned with," Addy declared, although she couldn't say if her motives were purely personal, or a way of seeking some sort of revenge on her family.  It didn't matter, in the long run there would still be a hospital and orphanage in the territory.

 

"Problem with Mister Steelgrave, 'sides th' fact that he's Mister Steelgrave," Addy observed, "is that he's been here a long while.  Now, yer Eastern gents, they expect a bit more refinement an' propriety from ladies 'cause they don't know 'bout us out here.  But ol' Elias, he knows we ain't ta be ignored, an' he won't care that it's ladies he'd be fightin' against."

 

The man had no scruples, so he'd surely not hesitate to kill a woman, should he feel the need, even if that woman was his own daughter.

 

@Flip

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“It’s the trouble with the foolish men, thinking that we can be ignored, used as they wish, that we have no rights to live as we wish.” Alice declared. “Sorry, I do tend to go on about such things. It seems that this Mister Steelgrave is a danger to the community as well as to his own daughter.”

 

She shook her head in disgust. “Hopefully there are those that watch out for her, though from what you’ve said, it seems Miss Steelgrave is plenty able to take care of herself. Yes, I do need to make her acquaintance. More coffee?”  It was good to have a woman to talk with, one that was of the country they were in, not one of frills.

 

“How does Marshal Guyer view this situation with Miss Steelgrave? Has he had to interfere in this at all?” She asked, wondering what his stance was, both personally and as a peace keeper.

@Bongo

 

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"Well, I know there's  a couple'a men that trail Miz Leah," Addy commented, "ta keep her safe, 'though I ain't never heard'a such a thing fer someone that ain't a politician."  She shrugged, then added dryly, "Fer all th' good it did President Lincoln."

 

Then there was another question about Speed and Addy had to start wondering on the interest.  Still, it wasn't hers to say, nor to ponder on.

 

"So far ain't been nothin' fer him ta intervene on, but I've no question he would, should th' need arise.  He did take her to th' dance a while back."  She shrugged and took another sip of coffee.  "Don't recall that they danced, though, an' he had ta go out on patrol, so I think it was Dr. Danforth who seen her back." 

 

Of course, she hadn't been paying that much attention to anyone but Jay, and that had been pretty distracting! 

 

'But then, Speed...he don't mind helpin' where he can.  He's been helpin' me with some'a th' legalities with Weedy.  He's a good friend."

 

@Flip

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“Body guards? The woman has body guards? Who pays them? Forgive me, but I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Alice responded, somewhat taken aback by the notion of body guards.


“I heard tell that Kate Warne, you know her, first woman Pinkerton? Well she was blunt about it, said was she on guard at Ford’s theater, well, it never would have happened! Booth would never have gotten close to Lincoln’s box.” Yes, she needed to meet this woman, there was a whole lot more to her than it seemed this town was able to see.


And she wanted to see Marshal Guyer as well. A man always willing to help? Surely didn’t sound like the man she had met after the war, but that was close to ten years back. Not that he was not the type that wouldn’t help, that was obvious, but he seemed caught by the wanderlust.


“Seems to me Miss Addy, you quite the interesting town.”

@Bongo

 

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“Body guards? The woman has body guards? Who pays them? Forgive me, but I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

 

"Reckon she pays 'em," Addy observed, "heard she has her own money, not tied ta her family."  Something like that!  "Funny thing is, it's mostly her own family why she has 'em."  And how sad that anyone felt it was necessary to seek protection from your own kin.


“I heard tell that Kate Warne, you know her, first woman Pinkerton? Well she was blunt about it, said was she on guard at Ford’s theater, well, it never would have happened! Booth would never have gotten close to Lincoln’s box.”

 

"Danged pity she wasn't."  Addy may have helped the Confederacy, but she still had understood Lincoln's importance to the nation's recovery, and what a loss his death had been.


“Seems to me Miss Addy, you quite the interesting town.”

 

"Certainly has its moments, an' its characters."  Addy grinned.  "I think you'll like it well enough, leastways until Winter hits an' makes th' roads impassable, an' th' cold creeps inta every bone!"

 

@Flip

 

 

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“Seems to me Miss Addy, you quite the interesting town.”

 

"Certainly has its moments, an' its characters."  Addy grinned.  "I think you'll like it well enough, leastways until Winter hits an' makes th' roads impassable, an' th' cold creeps inta every bone!"

 

Alice laughed, "Sounds like the Dakotas. Miserable winters, but come spring with the wild flowers, simply beautiful. But hard winters, best be layin' in wood and supplies to last it out. Nothing I haven't been tasked with before. Of course there's the stock."

 

"Pa has this idea of increasing his heard, well, our heard I suppose.  If a man could call near two dozen head a herd. But we've horses, ten, a stud an' eight mares, so we'll see some foals drop come next spring, Caves too. Prob'ly gonna need a couple hands before summer's out. Dread that, but to grow, we'll need hands."

 

There was a barn, which needed work, a couple out buildings, also needing repairs. One must have served as a bunk house, by  the size of it. Actually, it was clear that the place had been a going concern at one time. She would have to ask her Pa what had happened. If he knew.

 

"You now anything about this place?" She asked suddenly.

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"Heard some rumors, but can't say how much is true."  Addy sipped her coffee before continuing.  "Was a family lived here, name'a Armentrout, ran horses an' cows, like ya'll are plannin'.  Were doin' right good, 'till Mr. Armentrout got th' crazy notion ta go down ta Texas an' buy him a few'a them camels that th' Army tried usin' back before th' conflict."

 

Grinning, she shook her head.  "Had th' thought that he could breed them critters an' use 'em pack animals an' such."  Rolling her eye, she laughed.  "I seen a picture once a' them funny creatures, don't know where ya'd put nothin'.  Any rate, th' Winter'a seventy was right bad, killed cattle an' camels alike...was several ranchers moved on...I heard th' Armentrouts went back ta Indiana or somethin', an' there's still tales of folks spottin' camels 'round here now an' then."

 

A sight she would truly love to see, for even with having seen images of them, she didn't believe that such beasts were real!

 

118.jpg

 

@Flip

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I remember somewhere I read about them being used on the western frontier by the army." Alice recalled. "Dromedaries, the lighter breed. As I remember they were bred for racing and riding in general. I have never seen one, other than a rendering in a book."

 

"To think, the man tried that here, where the winters are harsh, as you say, a camel, the one with two humps, now if I remember correctly, they were bred for the cold where they come from.  Of course that may well be what this Mister Armentrout brought up from Texas."

 

Then she laughed at herself, "Imagine a mounted troop on camels, either one, what a sight that would be! Do you think it could out run a horse?"

@Bongo

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"Can't rightly say."  Addy had to chuckle at the thought of the odd, lanky beasts being used in a cavalry unit.  "From what I recall, they got pretty long legs, but that don't mean they'd be faster."  She cherished horses, and hated to think that there might be some critter that could outdo them. 

 

Of course, there were mules, but they had a use more as pack animals, and could be difficult to work with.  "I did hear that them camels could cross th' desert without water.  Even th' mules couldn't do that, but wantin'a water ain't really much a problem in these parts."

 

Leaning back in her chair, she chuckled.  "Surely wouldn't mind seein' one'a them...nor all manner of critters.  Pity 'bout Mr. Barnum's American Museum, I wouldn'a liked ta see all th' wonders there.  'Course, I doubt I ever would go ta New York City...far too civilized!"

 

@Flip

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"Oh, I read about that. Such a shame. All those artifacts lost, not the first fire, but the second one that took it to the ground." She said of the museum that was lost. "Pa, my husband Arthur, and I we in New York, I was twenty-six at the time and have never forgotten the experience. Too crowded. The city was all but shoulder to shoulder. A myriad of languages to be heard. And the sights, well, they may well have been worth it. And then the war came."

 

"I did see a camel while there. They look clumsy, all long legs holding up the rather large body. Odd creature. But a sight not many out here have seen." She confessed.  I do imagine a traveling circus would do quite well out here in the west."

@Bongo

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"Reckon that'd be somethin'!  Sorta like a medicine show, only without th' snake oil...an' with all manner'a critters!"  Addy would pay a decent sum to see a whole menagerie of exotic critters right here in town!  "'Course, seems like it'd be an awful lotta trouble ta pack all that around.  On a train, I suppose?" 

 

She pondered over how many cars that might take, although she had no idea what the logistics might be, but then her thoughts wandered further.  "Aren't there them animals with real long necks?  Gerfs, or some such?  An' Elephants are real big...might not even fit in a train car...'less they make a hole fer them gerfs' head..."  She was on a roll!  "But then, they'd not know ta duck when they got to th' tunnels..."

 

That would be bad!!

 

@Flip

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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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Founders: Stormwolfe & Longshot

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