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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: Nope

With: List characters and NPCs in the thread.
Location: Lickskillet Cafe, the Pike Ranch, and back.
When: Sunday, April 23, 1876
Time of Day: Morning

 

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It was near seven o'clock in the morning. Barnabas "Pronto" Pike was busy saddling both horses for the promised Sunday ride with Em. As he worked he considered just how lucky he really was. He had found a place to call home, something he thought was not in the cards after Julia Dey passed, but he was wrong.

 

Kalispell Montana had been a pleasant surprise for him, in more ways than one, the most important being his meeting Emeline Blakesley, and that she was not attached romantically.  Just the thought of her made him smile. And then there was Speed Guyer, a man that excepted him for who he was and included him in keeping the peace in Kalispell.

 

Yet thinking of his friend, he wondered about him. The one ad only time he had ever seen him with a woman was at the Spring Festival dance when he appeared with Leah Steelgrave, but then left to make his rounds, so he wondered, as there were many a single females in town.

 

 With the horses saddled and ready, he mounted and trotted both animals to the cafe where he stepped down and tied them up, fortunate to find room at the hitch rails. He skipped up onto the board walk and opened the door, stepping inside.

 

"Ready when you are, Em." He said with an ear to ear grin.

@Bongo

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Emeline had been in the kitchen, finishing packing lunch when the sound of footsteps caught her attention and she smiled, looking forward to seeing Barnabas, and looking forward to the day ahead with him.  After he had given her her own horse for Christmas, she had made a split-skirt for riding, so she didn't have to wear over-sized men's britches any more, and along with that, she had on a hunter green shirtwaist and riding boots.  Her hair was pulled back in a braid, and she plopped on a floppy straw hat as she turned to face Barnabas.

 

"Just in time!" she declared with a grin, stepping over to give him a hug and a kiss that probably lingered a bit longer than proper, but what matter?  It would all be right and proper soon enough!

 

"I'm ready!  Let me grab the food and we're off!"

 

@Flip

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“You know me, Em, never late, if I can help it. I figger an early start gives us more time together.” He said, adding, “Reckon we can worship the Lord under the open sky today. ‘Course, most of us been doin’ that off an’ on fer some time now. Don’t figger He minds none.” He was excited for her to see the progress that the boys and he had made on the house.

 

It was no cabin, it was a house, with two stories, plenty of room for a growing family. He would be able to regale her with how the barn would be next, along with pole corrals. And all the while the falls would be the music they would hear.

 

He went in to help her with the food, thinking he should have had a pack mule, but they would make out alright, and it really wasn’t all that far out.

@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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"I like the idea of having our worship in the open air, and I don't think God will mind on occasion."  Smiling, Emeline closed and locked the door, then strolled with him to the street, giving Noel a greeting hug before swinging easily up into the saddle.  She'd been a little rusty with her riding when Barnabas had gifted her the horse on Christmas, but since then her skills were back to what they were when she'd been a wild young teenager in the Ohio plains.

 

"I'll carry the basket," she commented, "and the other parcels should be all right in the saddle bags."  As promised, she had a couple of pies for the workers, and those had been too big to put into containers that would protect them on the trip.

 

@Flip

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"Well, as said afore, I doubt the boys'll be up there, bein' Sunday an' all, but they might." He replied with a smile, but then she always made him smile. "'nother thing, it'll be good ta get outta town for a spell. Plumb tired of that jail."

 

He stepped into leather and looked at her. "An' no racin', this here's us a goin' up to the place! takin' our sweet time about it too. Ain't like we get to do this ever' day yet." The he laughed. "Sides, it'd ruin them pies an' our lunch!"

@Bongo

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"Oh, of course!"  Emeline gave him a sweet smile, patting Noel's neck as they started out of town, then leaning forward to whisper -- loudly -- to her horse, "He's knows we'd beat them!"

 

Then she laughed and sat up.  "The pies will keep until tomorrow, so we can just leave them there...a nice treat when the workers show up tomorrow!"  She glanced over at Barnabas, unable to stop grinning, she was so happy to be out with him alone for a day.  ""I'll bet those jaspers in the jail are happy not to see your face for the day!" 

 

She laughed again, but then added, "I'm more than happy to look at that handsome visage all day!"  And she silently vowed to do her best not to think about the fate of the men in jail.

 

@Flip

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"Oh, of course!"  Emeline gave him a sweet smile, patting Noel's neck as they started out of town, then leaning forward to whisper -- loudly -- to her horse, "He's knows we'd beat them!"

 

"Oh see, now there you go. Tellin' that poor horse you'd win the race, when you both know that ain't the truth."  He prodded back.

 

Then she laughed and sat up.  "The pies will keep until tomorrow, so we can just leave them there...a nice treat when the workers show up tomorrow!"  She glanced over at Barnabas, unable to stop grinning, she was so happy to be out with him alone for a day.  ""I'll bet those jaspers in the jail are happy not to see your face for the day!" 

 

"Be a nice surprise, if the varmints don't get 'em! But we'll make sure that don't happen." He answered. "Now them boys in the lock up'll just have to miss out out on yer vitals and my face. I'm bettin' ol' Speed'll figger somethin out. Maybe the hotel, 'er the Star Dust."

 

She laughed again, but then added, "I'm more than happy to look at that handsome visage all day!"  And she silently vowed to do her best not to think about the fate of the men in jail.

 

"Thank ya for the kind words ma'am. I surely do appreciate them!" Came the response to her compliment. "I 'spose you'd like ta talk about this here weddin' of ours comin' up right soon now."

@Bongo

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"It seems like it was so far off," Emeline chuckled, "and now, just over a week."  Of course, she'd been married once already, and even then hadn't cared for anything too elaborate in a ceremony.  Sure, she wanted more than just to run off to the justice of the peace, but to spend so much money that you could buy a house just didn't make sense.

 

"Everything is on track, especially since we're doing a potluck, most of what's left is last minute, like gathering flowers."  She glanced over at him with a cheeky grin.  "I only have a little left on my dress, and...did you want the standard vows, to write our own, or maybe a combination?"

 

@Flip

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"Everything is on track, especially since we're doing a potluck, most of what's left is last minute, like gathering flowers."  She glanced over at him with a cheeky grin.  "I only have a little left on my dress, and...did you want the standard vows, to write our own, or maybe a combination?"

 

"Just a week left on ma own. Reckon I best have a look about an' see what's left I ain't done yet." He chided, with as serious a face as he could muster. 

 

"What was that? About the vows? Never heard of folks writing' up their own, but I 'spose if the sky-pilot don't mind. What is it you want ta do?" He asked, "Weddin's ain't about the men folk, they're all about you ladies. All about them gowns, an' the fixin's, an such. Don't matter how big 'er how small, how plain 'er how fancy, it's a day for you ladies. This ol' ex-Ranger knows that much. Been to enough of 'em. So Whatever it is you wanna do, we'll do do 'er." He had his own thoughts, but those were for the honeymoon.

@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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"You're going to be there, too, you know."  She glanced over at him, then raised an eyebrow.  "You will be, right?  You'd better be, I need it all official so I can have you legally in my clutches!"

 

She laughed, then nudged her horse closer to his so she could take his hand.  "I have no objection to the normal vows...'Do I take you', and all that...but I might just be brimming with things to say...good things!  And I might not be able to hold back.  But if I do, that doesn't mean you have to as well."  She shrugged.  "I can tell what you're thinking just by looking at you...mostly!"

 

@Flip

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Pronto looked across to her as she spoke. 'Funny thing about women,' he thought, 'they get a bee in their bonnet and a man just oughtta stand back.' "You can?" He asked. Clutches was it?

 

"I plan on bein' there. Last I knew it took two, that'd be the both of us, ta get married." He said, trying to hold a straight face. "As far as what we gotta say one way 'er tother, seems like it's just what we wanna do. You wanna write 'em, then we'll do jest that. Don't see no problem there."

 

Suddenly they were at the foot of the hill and the wide trail that had been cut out of the bank leading up to the main part of the property. It would be easy to get a wagon up there, far easier for people on horse back.

 

"After you, Em."

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Getting to see the progress on the house had been simmering in the back of Emeline's mind, but it wasn't until they were at the end of the drive that she realized how excited she really was to see the progress, and just what their future home was going to look like.

 

Glancing at Barnabas, she grinned,  then nudged Noel into an easy lope, the only thing really keeping her from going to a full-out gallop the pies she was toting.

 

As soon as the home-site came into view, she pulled the horse to a stop.  "It's beautiful!"  Far from the timber frames she'd last seen, there were actually walls, a roof, the real look of a home.  "Come on, I want to see it with walls!" 

 

It wouldn't be finished, of course, no paint or curtains yet, but it would be so much easier to envision it now.  She urged Noel forward again, loping up to the house then hopping to the ground.

 

"All right, give me the grand tour!"

 

 

@Flip

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"All right, give me the grand tour!"

Pronto walked his horse to the hitch rail in the front of the place and stepped down, flipping the reins over the cross bar. “That there’s the porch, notice how it sortta wraps around the house. And them holes in the walls are windas waitin’ on the glass. Betwixt ‘em’s the door, which ain’t quite finished yet, but she’s hung proper.”

 

Once he was finished ducking he took her hand and led her up on the porch, pushed the door open which was waiting on the hardware and stepped inside. The room was large and open wit the fireplace in the center wall. There were doors to either side which led into the enormous kitchen with plenty of room for furniture. Of course, to one side was the large pantry, still though, much of the ground floor was simply framed in. But the stove was already in place.

 

There were stairs in both rooms which led up to where the bedrooms were to be, a lot of framing for the time being. “Right here, this space, by the front stairs, that’ll be yer sewin’ room with the big winda fer light.” He explained, nodding, “and every room has windas giving the place all the sunlight we can get. Our room is the biggest, of course. That’s the framework for it yonder. Rooms ta either side fer them childern we was talkin about.”

@Bongo

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While it was relatively basic, the house was bigger than anything she'd lived in before, and Emeline looked around in wide-eyed wonder as she was given the 'grand tour'.  The kitchen was spacious and the window would overlook the yard, and she could easily see herself in a few years watching the children playing.

 

The upstairs was well laid out, and there was plenty of space in the main bedroom for a crib, until the little ones were old enough to be in their own rooms, and even then, they'd be close enough to keep an eye on.

 

"It's so much more than I had envisioned!"  She was beaming brightly as she looked at Barnabas.  "And once it has all the furniture and curtains...well, and windows...it's going to be perfect."

 

She moved over to stare out the window then, so that he wouldn't see the tears welling in her eyes.

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

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"It's so much more than I had envisioned!"  She was beaming brightly as she looked at Barnabas.  "And once it has all the furniture and curtains...well, and windows...it's going to be perfect."


“Well, yeah. I mean, how can you picture something what ain’t built yet?” He asked. “I just hope you think you can be happy here. Hope it’s big enough, or not too big, you know. I hope it’s the right size."
 

She moved over to stare out the window then, so that he wouldn't see the tears welling in her eyes.


“Quite the view, huh? Now that has to be everything we thought it would be.” He said moving up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “This is our place, our home. Where them young’uns’ll sprout up, an’ you an’ me’ll grow old together talkin’ 'bout what it was like in the old days.” He kissed the back of her head.

 

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Letting out a shaky breath, Emeline nodded, reaching up to dry her eyes, grateful that he hadn't made a fuss over her silly tears.

 

"Well, there's no way to know exactly how much room we'll need, but if it turns out to be too small, that will be because we are teeming with children!"  A dream she could only hope and pray for! 

 

Then she shrugged.  "And if it seems too big, I'm sure we'll find a way to open our home and hearts if we need to."  Even if fortune wasn't shining brightly on them, Emeline would be hard-pressed to turn away anyone who needed help, especially children, and until there was an orphanage...well, she was pretty confident that Barnabas felt the same...

 

@Flip

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“Sounds to me like you’ve got ‘er pruty well figgered out. Yes ma,am, we’ll make due no matter how big ‘er small the family is. But,” He paused, slightly, “We can always add on, ya know. I made sure there was room fer that.” Then he smiled, “Be a ways off though. Way I see it.”

 

A big family would be just fine with him, as would a small one. To him, it was up to the Good Lord how many little Pikes there would be. He’d just do his part. “Won’t be long till the place is ready ta move in. Best we get some furniture here right shortly, else we’ll be sleepin’ on the floor.” With that he laughed, even though it was true.

@Bongo

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"Oh, yes, I have it all figured out!"  Emeline was smiling brightly as she face him, "With or without furniture, we'll manage.  Of course, you are right, it will be much nicer with a few things."

 

She shrugged.  "I'll keep the apartment above the cafe, in case we need to stay there over night, or I hire some help besides Clara."  Or even if Clara and Jacob had to move in. 

 

Moving close to Barnabas, she wrapped her arms around his chest, grinning up at him.  "We can use the apartment if the house isn't ready when we are." 

 

And she was more than ready, not only to marry Barnabas and start a family, but to start a new part of her life and embrace the future.

 

@Flip

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"Oh, yes, I have it all figured out!"  Emeline was smiling brightly as she face him, "With or without furniture, we'll manage.  Of course, you are right, it will be much nicer with a few things."


“Sure, havin’ the essentials’ll make this a much nicer place to be living in.” He agreed. The fact was, he had already dropped in the Mercantile to see what they might order and how long it would take to receive it. The time was not soon enough, and of course, she would need to see what there was that she liked before any ordering could take place.
 

She shrugged.  "I'll keep the apartment above the cafe, in case we need to stay there over night, or I hire some help besides Clara."  Or even if Clara and Jacob had to move in.


“Good idea, keepin’ the apartment. No tellin’ the use we might have to make of it.” He agreed
 

Moving close to Barnabas, she wrapped her arms around his chest, grinning up at him.  "We can use the apartment if the house isn't ready when we are."


“So far the house here’s on schedule, but that’s right now. No tellin’ what might delay gettin’ done in time, let alone on time.” He explained. “Maybe one day this week we oughtta go over’t the mercantile an have a look-see at their caty-logs. See what they can get and when. Well, I already know it’ll be a while till it comes in, but it’s just over in Great Falls.”
 

And she was more than ready, not only to marry Barnabas and start a family, but to start a new part of her life and embrace the future.

 

"Might be a bit, but it'll all come soon enough." He said with a grin.

@Bongo

 

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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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