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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

"I Will Understand..."


Clara Redmond Lutz
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Mature Content: Yes but not in action only talk

 

With: Clara and Emeline
Location: Lickskillet
When: Early June /1876
Time of Day: Morning just before opening hours

 

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Clara had dreaded this but she simply could not keep putting it off any longer. Emeline had to know the truth, the whole sordid truth even if the woman then reacted very badly to it. In fact, Clara steeled herself to the distinct possibility Emeline would end their friendship or whatever it was they now had. Certainly it would mean the end of her working for the woman. She knew many customers would be appalled, even angry if Emeline let someone of such 'loose morals' work there. It would hurt the business and Clara would not allow that to happen to this wonderful caring woman.

 

As she opened the back door to the place and stepped into the kitchen, there was the woman she rather thought of as a mother, busy already preparing for another long day. Clara was going to miss this so much too, not just because of the money, but she so enjoyed their time together, why it almost didn't even seem like work.

 

"Morning," Clara addressed her, her youthful face looking most solemn, for indeed she was.

 

"I ....well, I hate to interrupt the work but could I speak to you? It is of utmost importance and it is not going to be easy for me to ...tell you but I simply must," she moved right up to the woman, plainly nervous.

 

@Bongo

 

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"Good morning, Clara."  Emeline smiled brightly as the girl came in, it was always good to see her, she enjoyed the companionship, and even appreciated Clara's droll demeanor.  But as soon as she really looked at the girl, it was apparent that she had something serious on her mind.

 

"I ....well, I hate to interrupt the work but could I speak to you? It is of utmost importance and it is not going to be easy for me to ...tell you but I simply must," she moved right up to the woman, plainly nervous.

 

"Yes, of course."  Setting aside the batter she was working on, she wiped her hands on her apron, then leaned back against the counter, a dozen possibilities going through her head, and she fervently hoped the girl wasn't going to quit, she'd miss her, and she's have to start looking for someone she trusted to keep the place, if she decided that was what she wanted to do.

 

"What is it, Clara?"

 

@Wayfarer

 

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Emeline of course agreed to stop what she was doing and give her full attention to what the girl wanted...make that needed to say. There was no avoiding it now, Clara knew she had to go thru with it however unpleasant.

 

"What is it, Clara?"

 

"This is not going to be easy but I must tell something about me, something that happened. Well, that I let happen. I have only myself to blame," Clara sighed.

 

"I am not the person you think I am. I am .... well, a hypocrite I suppose. I have done something sinful and now I cannot undo it."

 

Her eyes were tearing up as she got right to the heart of the matter.

 

"I am going to have a baby."

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There was a growing sense of dread as Clara started to lay out her case, not so much as to what the transgression might be, but how she was going to respond to allay the girl's misgivings.

 

But then came the conclusion, and Emeline was at a loss for a very long moment.  There were so many thoughts, that trying to sort and organize them was daunting, but they always came back to two that were outstanding.

 

"Oh, Clara..."  Moving forward, Emeline wrapped the girl in a gentle hug.  "What happened?"  Well, of course she knew what happened, it was more a matter of what happened, and that made a difference.  "Were you attacked?"  Had Billy or one of his friends gone after her?  "We'll figure this out...does your father know?"  She didn't know the man well enough to be able to predict how he might react.

 

@Wayfarer

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Though normally not one for hugs, this time Clara melted into the woman's kind gesture, maybe Jacob had taught her that human contact wasn't so bad. Of course, on the other hand, the two of them had certainly overdone it! And of course the woman had questions, inevitable and fully expected questions. Clara had to answer them. It was why she came to Emeline even.

 

"Oh no! Not attacked, nothing like that," Clara quickly quashed that worry as they separated then to better talk to each other.

 

"It was my doing...well and Jacob too of course. But I swear to you, he did not force himself upon me. We were swimming at the lake  by the farm and we were .......well, without clothing. We started kissing and then one thing led to another and both of us knew it was wrong but neither of us had the self control to stop until...." she paused.

 

"Well, you know," Clara gave a sad shrug, she figured Emeline knew how it worked. She had been married once and even had a child too. Til tragedy.

 

"And now a little more than a month and a week, I have missed my bleed," she announced glumly.

 

"And no my father does not know yet. I have not been able to force myself to tell him. He is going to be angry with me but even more so, so disappointed in me. It is a serious sin I have committed," a tear was trickling down one cheek by now.

 

hailee-steinfeld-gif-hunt-gifs-58d4e7a62

 

@Bongo

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Swimming naked?  How had that happened, especially with as guarded as Clara was?  And why had she not realized that one thing led to another?

 

"Oh, dear..."  Well, at least she hadn't been assaulted, although that might have given her a better 'excuse', but that was the sort of trauma that no woman should have to live with. 

 

Of course, Clara was right, it was indeed a serious sin, one that would likely effect the rest of her life. 

 

"Oh, dear..."  What more was there to say?  Disappear somewhere for a few months?  But she didn't think that Clara was the sort that would give up a child just for the convenience of it, and that would likely haunt her forever.

 

"Well, what's done is done...what about the young man?  Jacob...have you told him yet?  He should do right by you and the child..."  And if they were married quickly enough, then timing might be excused.  That plan hid its own difficulties, they'd have to act in the next couple of days, so without telling her father until it was done, and they might not be compatible partners, much the less in love, but those were consequences of indiscretions.

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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"Oh dear."

 

Emeline said that not once but twice. Yet Clara supposed that was mild compared to what the woman might have expressed on hearing what she was being told. Though - at least so far- Emeline had not outright said how disappointed she must be with her doing such a thing, Clara was certain it was in her thoughts. But Clara had laid it out on the table and wanted to hear more from her mother-figure than  'oh dear'.

 

Fortunately Emeline continued, "Well, what's done is done...what about the young man?  Jacob...have you told him yet?  He should do right by you and the child..." 

 

"Yes, I told him as soon as I suspected it. And he immediately said he wanted to marry me. It is almost as if he is looking forward to it, he seemed happy more so than shocked," Clara replied.

 

"I am not certain he has thought it through yet though, how we are going to be perceived by many people. Despised I imagine as the sinners we are, I guess," she sighed.

 

"And I will understand if you need to dismiss me here at the diner. You can hardly afford to alienate customers with your continued employment of someone like....me," Clara stiffened even as she said it.

 

This was her fault and Emeline's business and reputation should not suffer for her weakness.

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Well, if there was any good in this, it was that Jacob was willing to take responsibility.  After all, he could turned his back on her and denied it, calling her all manner of things in the process.  But that he seemed eager to marry her, that was a good count in his favor.

 

"No, no, don't worry about me dismissing you."  The poor girl had so much else to think about, and there was no reason to let her go.

 

"Oh, Clara...there isn't time to contemplate anything...you gave away your options when you..."  She took a breath and shook her head.  Clara knew what she'd done, no need to drive that home.  "If you marry now you can explain the child as just being a little early."  Well, a lot early, but who was counting?  "The longer you wait, the harder it will be."

 

Good advisor she was, telling the girl to lie!  And to betray her father and just elope...not a great way to start a marriage, but that was lost a few weeks ago.

 

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"No, no, don't worry about me dismissing you."

 

Her unwavering support, well at least kindness, was touching, it truly was but probably not the smart business thing to do.

 

"But you may well lose customers on my account," Clara stressed but on her other options she really did want to hear what the woman had to say.

 

"Oh, Clara...there isn't time to contemplate anything...you gave away your options when you..."  She took a breath and shook her head,  "If you marry now you can explain the child as just being a little early. The longer you wait, the harder it will be."

 

"Yes, I agree. Time is against us. Jacob knows that too," Clara nodded, "But I think you are right, we need to marry and do it quickly. And then deal with the consequences."

 

"Oh god....I wonder what my mother thinks of me right now? " there was a tear coursing down one cheek now from the normally unemotional young woman.

 

claragif2.gif

 

 

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"I'm sure she's thinking that you'll be a wonderful mother."  Using her apron, Emeline wiped away tears, wondering if she would be this calm should the situation arise with her own child.  But then she thought that she'd be so grateful to have a child live to adulthood that she wouldn't care...it would take something far more than this to alienate her.

 

"And I'm sure you'll love being a mother, but you can't take this guilt into it, Clara.  I can't say for certain, of course, but if you always think of the baby as a sin, it might interfere with your feelings."  Well, 'interfere' wasn't exactly the word Emeline was looking for, but it conveyed the idea...Clara and Jacob both needed to embrace this.

 

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"I'm sure she's thinking that you'll be a wonderful mother."  Using her apron, Emeline wiped away tears.

 

Surprisingly Clara did not recoil from the kindly gesture despite her usual aversion to close contact with other people. She was getting better about that issue, at least with a few select individuals such as Jacob and Emeline.

 

"You think so?" Clara sniffled.

 

Emeline continued, "And I'm sure you'll love being a mother, but you can't take this guilt into it, Clara.  I can't say for certain, of course, but if you always think of the baby as a sin, it might interfere with your feelings."

 

"Oh no, I get what you mean. But I would never blame the baby, the fault...the sin is mine. And Jacob's too but I should not have allowed him ...I just wanted.....I ...." Clara stopped midsentence and spent a few seconds composing herself before continuing.

 

"Jacob and I both want this baby. We talked about it, we both agreed. I assure you."

 

 

 

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"Oh, I do know what a powerful draw that passion is."  Emeline's cheeks turned bright red at the confession.  She had loved Andrew, and the physical connection had been strong, so much that they had almost given in to the temptation before they married.  And with Barnabas, the draw was even stronger, and it was the knowledge that there wasn't much longer to wait...and maybe because they were more mature, it was easier.

 

"You're fortunate that Jacob will stand by you, many young men would betray you."  She sighed.  "I know this is a lot for you to have to face, but I'll help you in any way I can.  And if you need to go talk to your father, I can handle things here for the day."  The implication being that maybe that was just what she needed to do.

 

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"Oh, I do know what a powerful draw that passion is."  Emeline's cheeks turned bright red at the confession. 

 

Clara was all ears.

 

"You're fortunate that Jacob will stand by you, many young men would betray you."  

 

Clara nodded, "I believe that and if Jacob were like many young men, I would have never consented to let him....you know."

 

Emeline sighed.  "I know this is a lot for you to have to face, but I'll help you in any way I can.  And if you need to go talk to your father, I can handle things here for the day." 

 

"Oh, I thank you so much. You are the kindest person I know," Clara reached out to touch one of the woman's hands, that was about as intimate a gesture as the girl allowed herself.

 

"But if customers start complaining, you should let me go. You do not want to harm your business over my mistake," she reminded the woman.

 

 

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"We'll deal with that if it happens," Emeline declared.  "When you start to show, we can just switch positions and you can work the kitchen, then no one needs to be any the wiser." 

 

It wasn't really anyone's business, although Clara was right, there were plenty of self-righteous people who would raise a fuss at having a girl who had gotten pregnant out of wedlock working here.  But maybe if that did become an issue, by then Emeline would be happy just selling the place and only selling pies.

 

"You'll need to start saving, too.  Children take a lot of money, and in a few months you may not be able to work as much."  Then something occurred to her.  "Has anyone ever told you what to expect?  With the pregnancy, I mean."

 

She rather doubted that Aurelian had imparted any wisdom in that area, and really, a man couldn't explain it nearly was well as a woman who had given birth!

 

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"We'll deal with that if it happens," Emeline declared.  "When you start to show, we can just switch positions and you can work the kitchen, then no one needs to be any the wiser."   

 

That might work, Clara had not thought of that idea.  Emeline moved on then to other very important stuff.

 

"You'll need to start saving, too.  Children take a lot of money, and in a few months you may not be able to work as much."  

 

"Oh yes!  Excellent point. I have been giving all my wages and tips to my father for the farm," Clara had yet another worry to consider now. It was all piling up!

 

Emeline added, "Has anyone ever told you what to expect?  With the pregnancy, I mean."  

 

"Why no, not really. I mean I do recall somewhat when Mother had Wyatt but just bits of it. I know when the time came a local woman came over to help her have it and the woman would let me or my father into the room. In fact I seem to remember Father and I on the front porch. He walked back and forth while I sat there," Clara answered, "I was going on five then."

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"You'll have plenty of help when the time comes, so long as you stay in the area, no worry about that."  Of course, she didn't know that 'Granny' Miggins might be involved, and more help than a body could ever want!  "It's the other things...the morning sickness, mood swings, swollen ankles..."  Emeline chuckled.  "There is a lot before the delivery, but we can sit and talk that over later."

 

It made sense that these things hadn't been discussed, her own mother hadn't even talked to her about it until she was pregnant with her first child. 

 

"But first things first.  Do you feel that you can talk to your father?  Or would you rather work the day and plan things out a little?"  In a way, it seemed that the quicker she got it done, the better, it would be so easy to procrastinate forever!  But that was up to Clara.

 

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Clara was dubious she would have plenty of help when that time came but she was certain of one thing, she could trust Emeline. She trusted the woman like she had relied upon her own mother. And Emeline had experience, she knew things about this whole process that Clara had no idea about it. So it made sense to listen and learn from her.

 

"It's the other things...the morning sickness, mood swings, swollen ankles..."  Emeline chuckled.  "There is a lot before the delivery, but we can sit and talk that over later."

 

Oh gosh!  Clara was not looking forward to all that but yes, it might help to discuss in more detail later.

 

"Yes, hopefully I will not have all of those symptoms too early into my pregnancy. I have got time I guess," she nodded.

 

"But first things first.  Do you feel that you can talk to your father?  Or would you rather work the day and plan things out a little?"  

 

"Well, if we elope, I guess I will not be talking with him until after we have already tied the knot," Clara reasoned, "But, of course, at some time I need to tell him everything. We have always been very close and my father is a good man. I do not think he will reject me and certainly he would never do anything to physically harm me."

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"He may be disappointed, but once he looks into his grandchild's eyes, he'll turn to mush!"  While Emeline didn't know Aurelian well, she did know that he was a good and fair man, and yes, he'd be upset at what had happened, but if Clara and Jacob worked out, he'd be proud.

 

She laughed.  "He may resent being a grandfather, I know that Papa did!  He blamed me for making him old, I just wish...he could have actually seen her."  Her smile was bittersweet.  "I know he would have doted on her..."

 

Taking a breath, she looked at Clara.  "Savor every instant, every pain and pleasure...and watch Jacob's face the first time you hand him that baby."

 

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Clara nodded, Emeline probably was right on the money with the statement about how her father would melt at the sight of the baby. No matter how angry he might get, Clara was totally positive he would never transfer that anger to an innocent baby.

 

"I think that quite possible," she said softly.

 

Emeline added something else,  "He may resent being a grandfather, I know that Papa did!  He blamed me for making him old, I just wish...he could have actually seen her."  Her smile was bittersweet.  "I know he would have doted on her..."

 

Clara couldn't help but feel badly once more for the woman, she had lost her baby and that had obviously caused her so much pain, she still had not gotten over it, probably never would. Clara prayed that her baby would be healthy. That God would not take it out on the infant for the sins of the mother and father. They always say 'God is just', 'all kind'. But yet so many bad things happen to babies, their lives seem so fragile.

 

Taking a breath, Emeline looked at her.  "Savor every instant, every pain and pleasure...and watch Jacob's face the first time you hand him that baby."

 

"Not sure how well I will do on savoring the pain parts but yes, I understand your point. And I just know Jacob is going to be a devoted father, he is already so excited about it rather than fearful," Clara could just picture that moment. Hopefully it would all come true.

 

claragif2.gif

 

 

 

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"I think you're both going to be just fine," Emeline observed.  "Yes, you are young, and there is a lot to learn along the way, but that's half the fun, and you'll have plenty of people to give you advice, even your father."

 

After all, Aurellian had had to deal with the children while tending a farm, and he'd managed to do a fine job, so there was no need to count him out as a source of help.

 

"I'm excited for you, Clara, and I have no doubt this will all work out, even though the situation isn't ideal."

 

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Emeline was so optimistic. Clara liked to hear it but it was hard to go along with the idea. But she certainly hoped the woman was right and her own fears for the worst were wrong. And it did no good to give in to one's fears. She had to be better than that, stronger than that.

 

"Oh, thank you for this encouragement. I so want you to be right," Clara declared.

 

"I'm excited for you, Clara, and I have no doubt this will all work out, even though the situation isn't ideal," Emeline added more words of comfort or at least encouragement.

 

Clara swallowed back emotion and tried to compose herself again.

 

"If the baby is a girl, I am going to ask Jacob if we can name her after you," she announced solemnly.

 

 

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"Oh, well..."  That caught Emeline off guard, but in a good way.  "Of course, if you'd like...that would be an honor."  She smiled widely, moving in to give Clara a quick hug again, even though she would really have liked to smother her in a hug.  "Just keep in mind that you aren't obligated, of course.  There may be someone in Jacob's family you'd prefer to call her after."

 

Or perhaps Clara's own mother would be a worthy namesake.

 

She chuckled, then, and added, "Or, there is always Miss Arabella...if she is in town when the baby comes, I'm sure she'll be happy to name it for you, whether you like it or not!"

 

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