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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
Father Thomas Reed

A Man of God, and his Vices

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Charitable town indeed! Ralph snorted.

 

"That sonofabitch," muttered Ralph, Peabody had bought an expensive bourbon and paid only a nickel for it.

"Last time he ever gets a drink from here without FIRST paying for it," he added, mostly to himself.

 

Matilda just shrugged, "Smooth talkin' lawyer. I think I like him better when he's drunk."

 

But it did not poison their doings with the new preacher as the woman smiled at the fellow.

 

"Don't mind us, Reverend. This happens on occasion. Hazards of the trade," she shrugged.

 

"Please don't mind Arabella, she gets carried away on occasion in her zeal. She did not learn her hatred of Catholics from us, I assure you," she continued.

 

"Now, as far as a place to stay. Yep, we got a hotel but it's not cheap. Just right down the Main street, you can't miss it. There are a few boarding houses too but not sure of the people's names who run them as we live here on the premises, on the second floor."

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"Last time he ever gets a drink from here without FIRST paying for it," he added, mostly to himself.

 

“It is better to give than to receive.” Pronounced Arabella, hand on heart and finger pointed heavenward, you could almost see the halo shining around her head.

 

Matilda just shrugged, "Smooth talkin' lawyer. I think I like him better when he's drunk."

 

The Mudd girl nodded vigorously at this opinion, seeing Dutton sober had been just plain… unnerving.

 

"Don't mind us, Reverend. This happens on occasion. Hazards of the trade," she shrugged. 

“And don’t mind Mr Flandry lookin’ all grumpy, that’s normal. He’s what us Christian folk call ‘a diamond in the rough.” Added Arabella.

 

"Please don't mind Arabella, she gets carried away on occasion in her zeal. She did not learn her hatred of Catholics from us, I assure you," she continued.

 

“And don’t mind Miss Devereau all stickin’ up for Catholics, Father, she’s gotta say that because…”she lowered her voice to a whisper and pointed surreptitiously to Ralph, who had turned his back to tend to some bar tendery thing “…  I think he is one! See,  I found this thing, like beads and it was all dusty so he don’t use it no more but…” As Ralph turned back to them, she suddenly spoke loudly and robustly. “Yep, them Catholics is all right I guess, even if I don’t agree with ‘em!”

 

“Now, as far as a place to stay. Yep, we got a hotel but it’s not cheap. Just right down the Main street, you can’t miss it. There are a few boarding houses too but not sure of the people’s names who run them as we live here on the premises, on the second floor.”

 

“Ooh! Ohhh!” Arabella jumped up and down with her hand in the air “We could be like good Samaritans and let him stay here for the night, till he finds a cheap place to stay. He could sleep in my bed and I could sleep on the spare room floor!!” offered the girl excitedly.

 

@boshmi @Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"That sonofabitch,"

"Last time he ever gets a drink from here without FIRST paying for it."

"Smooth talkin' lawyer. I think I like him better when he's drunk."

The torrent was as withering as it was precise, delivered with classic saloon spirit. Most barfolk Thomas had encountered seemed to be quick of wit, and it appeared that Ralph and Ms. Devereau were no exception.

 

"Don't mind us, Reverend. This happens on occasion. Hazards of the trade," she shrugged, before adding; "Please don't mind Arabella, she gets carried away on occasion in her zeal."

"Oh, no, don't let my presence deter you." he insisted. "There is a catharsis in this sort of thing."

Truth be told, he was rather enjoying the little exchange, even if it was most unchristian-like. As he said, there was a catharsis in it, and no doubt Ralph would deal with plenty more problem customers before the end of the day.

 

And don’t mind Miss Devereau all stickin’ up for Catholics, Father," interjected Arabella, pointing at the preoccupied Ralph. "She’s gotta say that because… I think he is one! See, I found this thing, like beads and it was all dusty so he don’t use it no more but…”

"A rosary? Why, rosaries are a universal tool for prayer, Arabella, not just with Catholics. You could use one, if you'd like." he told the girl, though as Ralph turned back to them, she suddenly spoke loudly and robustly. “Yep, them Catholics is all right I guess, even if I don’t agree with ‘em!”

Thomas merely smiled. It would probably take more than a few lines over a shot of bourbon to change Arabella's mind about anything, let alone her very faith. Best to let things lie.

 

"Now, as far as a place to stay. Yep, we got a hotel but it’s not cheap. Just right down the Main street, you can’t miss it. There are a few boarding houses too but not sure of the people’s names who run them as we live here on the premises, on the second floor.”

Thomas opened his mouth to thank the saloonkeeper, but an excited bout of hopping and squealing from Arabella interrupted him.

“Ooh! Ohhh!” she cried, jumping up and down with her hand in the air “We could be like good Samaritans and let him stay here for the night, till he finds a cheap place to stay. He could sleep in my bed and I could sleep on the spare room floor!!” offered the girl excitedly.

"Oh, Arabella, that's very kind of you, but I wouldn't want to impose." Thomas quickly said. He didn't dare wonder what sharing a room with the energetic teenager would be like, even on a temporary basis.

@Javia@Wayfarer

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The conversation turned to where the newcomer might stay for a night. There were choices of course. The hotel but that was in truth rather expensive. Then there were a few boarding houses but Matilda was not familiar with any of them or their owners.

 

Ooh! Ohhh!” Arabella cried, jumping up and down with her hand in the air “We could be like good Samaritans and let him stay here for the night, till he finds a cheap place to stay. He could sleep in my bed and I could sleep on the spare room floor!!”

 

 

"Oh, Arabella, that's very kind of you, but I wouldn't want to impose." Thomas quickly said.

 

"We do have a spare room. So certainly you could have the use of that til you get settled in. There is no bed set up in it currently but we also have a cot and extra blankets. Arabella, you just stay in your own room," Matilda offered, she was supposed to be the girl's guardian.

 

"The only thing is it might do you any favors with the local church going community to find out their new minister was staying in a saloon? Perhaps not the best way to start your career here? Pastor Evans and a sizeable number of the community would prefer this place be shut down."

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"A rosary? Why, rosaries are a universal tool for prayer, Arabella, not just with Catholics. You could use one, if you'd like." he told the girl.

 

Arabella looked at Father Thomas like he’d just suggested that she try drinking poison, and took a step back.

 

Ralph turned back to them, she suddenly spoke loudly and robustly. “Yep, them Catholics is all right I guess, even if I don’t agree with ‘em!” 

 

Talk then turned to places where the reverend Father might find a place to rest for the night, and Arabella’s overeager suggestion that he could stay in the Saloon itself.

 

"Oh, Arabella, that's very kind of you, but I wouldn't want to impose." Thomas quickly said.

 

"We do have a spare room. So certainly you could have the use of that til you get settled in. There is no bed set up in it currently but we also have a cot and extra blankets. Arabella, you just stay in your own room," Matilda offered, she was supposed to be the girl's guardian.

 

“Ooh! I know where that cot is and me and Mr Flandry could carry it in there and I could get it all set up so nice and cosy for you Father Thomas, why you won’t ever wanna leave!” beamed Arabella, putting aside her slight misgivings that, despite his protestations to the contrary, the churchman did have the whiff of incense about him. Maybe he was an Episcopalian, them fellers was as good as Catholics, they were just missing the Pope.

 

Mrs Devereau, of course!, then tried to throw a spanner in the works.

 

"The only thing is it might not do you any favors with the local church going community to find out their new minister was staying in a saloon? Perhaps not the best way to start your career here? Pastor Evans and a sizeable number of the community would prefer this place be shut down."

 

“Oh he’ll be all right about it! I mean, I work here and he lets me play the harmonium for him, and collect up the hymn books, and give him his medicine, and last Sunday after the service, he took me into the vestry and guess what? He got out his concordance to show me, and you never seen anything so big! Why, he could hardly hold in two hands himself!” Arabella assured them.

 

“Ah, come on Father, say you will, say you will!” she cried excitedly, holding her hands together in a prayerful manner.

 

@boshmi @Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"We do have a spare room. So certainly you could have the use of that til you get settled in. There is no bed set up in it currently but we also have a cot and extra blankets. Arabella, you just stay in your own room."

“Ooh! I know where that cot is and me and Mr Flandry could carry it in there and I could get it all set up so nice and cosy for you Father Thomas, why you won’t ever wanna leave!”

“Ah, come on Father, say you will, say you will!”

 

Thomas glanced back between the enthusiastic girl and the open barkeep, before finally finally giving in.

"Well, I suppose a night or two couldn't hurt. So long as you do allow me to properly pay you back, once I'm settled." he provisioned. "All this charity is making me feel quite miserly, I must say."

 

With that decision, the priest stacked his two empty glasses atop each other, and rose from his position at the bar. In such a short time, he'd come to know the affable barfolk of the Stardust, the eccentric Arabella, and Mr. Peabody, still enigmatic as far as he was concerned.

 

"...and to that end, I'm sure Mr. Flandry and I can manage the cot on our own, Arabella."

 

(ooc: we could probably end scene here-ish, provided there isn't anything else you two wanted to add?)

@Javia@Wayfarer

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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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