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    • Mr. Smith knew a stacked deck against him when it was presented to him. He wasn't surprised really, the men were sticking up for the pretty gal instead of justice. It was the way of things. But he would try and get at least something out of his misery.   "Oh alright, I won't press charges but only if she pays whatever the doc here is gonna charge me for this here treatment," he answered.   "Of course, Miss Mundee here, well, she’ll have to wait on Anderson to decide her immediate fate.” Speed said. “With those others awaiting trial, have to take her to the County Sheriff’s lock up. Just about looking at a full house, well except for the basement cells.” He smiled at her.   "Fine! Not like I got any say in this do I?  Just a kindly young miss defendin' some poor innocent dog from mistreatment. Yeah, incar....incar..ser..?" Caroline was stumped.   "Throw me behind bars and lemme rot then," she shrugged.   "Hey Doc, you seem like a nice man? Can you let the saloon know where I am, please? Maybe my boss can post bail or somethin'? She is gonna need her singer/dancer tonight," she now addressed Danforth.   She pointed to herself, "That be me! You should come and hear me sometime. I admit my dancin' ain't the greatest but everyone sez I can sing real fine."   ooc: Forgot about this when I came home from my trip! We should be close to finishing it soon anyhow.   @Flip   @Bongo    
    • The good reverend had the kindness to offer to write down justwhat  it was the couple were going to have to recite from memory and scribbled the words down as he said them too. Clara was grateful for that much. Her dripping sarcasm seemingly had failed miserably on Jacob so she was stuck learning this. Fortunately it did not seem too long or so bad. That is if her nerves didn't fail her. Well, she would just have to find out. Besides, even if she bungled the vows, it could be easily sorted, nothing was going to stop them from getting married!   Hearing that all present would have to agree to the marriage gave Clara a bit of a new worry. Unanimous? So it would take only one to ....to scuttle the whole thing? A new thing to be nervous about. Afterall there would be Granny Miggins present.......oh and Arabella too. So far Arabella had been most supportive about the young couple but it was afterall Arabella. Mercurial described the child to a tee.   Clara took her copy, "Thank you, Reverend."   Then Jacob began to recite the whole thing. Now? Both Redmonds turned their gaze to watch and listen to the little performance. Strange.   When he had finished, Clara could only comment, "You are a bit early. This is not the ceremony yet."   Since Aurelian could not help with the ring, he then turned to the minister, "What is the cost of the marriage ceremony, use of the church and such? I will pay for it. It is tradition the father of the bride pay for the expenses."            
    • "Oh, really? Congratulations, then, Mrs. Soon-to-be Pike!" Lucinda smiled warmly, but her smile was tinged with sadness, as were her thoughts. This woman had found someone she liked enough to marry again, but Lucinda doubted that she ever would. Out here, anyway. Back east was a different story.   "I would be glad of the company if you could spare a few minutes," she answered. Now the question was...what would they talk about? All Lucinda wanted to know was news from the east, but it wasn't likely Emeline would know any more than she did. And as far as news went, living by yourself for six months didn't give you a lot of news-worthy things to talk about.   "Could I also have some water? I don't know about you, but stagecoaches make my throat terribly dry."
    • "White... fish?" José repeated, a little incredulous at such a name. Not that Kalispell was much better, but at least it was a name, rather than a color of aquatic creature. "No, I wasn't headed there. Why?"   "Uh, jest that it ain't there no more, an' you'd be wastin' your time huntin' her up.  Wasn't all that much anyway. I mean there was people what lived there, they had stores and all, but it jest never felt right. You know, somethin' off about the place." Carson explained as well as he could.   "Nest for outlaws mostly, a man had ta be careful what he said, an' such-like. But now Kalispell? That there's a growing concern. Most folks 'er friendly, Marshal seems to be a fair man. Yeah, a good place. So, what sortta work you looking for?" It was easy conversation for a lengthy ride across the range, pushing through the cattle when they crowded up.   "You might wanna douse that there lamp. Moon an' stars shed plenty of light out here." What he was thinking was, that a moving light crossing the Evergreen might bring on problems neither of them wanted, or needed.  @boshmi    
    • "Clara, your response is the same, merely with the first line as; 'I, Clara Redmond, take you, Jacob Lutz, to be my husband,' of course."   Jacob smiled warmly at Clara, his heart filling with joy at the thought of it, and catching Aurelian’s eye a lesser, more respectful one.   He wrote out the vow once more on a separate sheet, though with said amendment.   "Just before the vows, you will both declare intent, and I will ask the greater family if they give their blessing, at which point, Mr. Redmond, you and others of the family present must reply unanimously with 'we do.'" he told Clara's father. "Once that is sorted, you may exchange rings, or items, and say a piece of your own, if you so desire. I will bless the items, then your marriage, and finally, you will be man and wife, given that we have signed the certificate, either before or during the ceremony."   Compared to many other undertakings in life, the whole thing seemed ludicrously simple: there seemed to be only one factor that could make it go wrong; the usual one; people.   The priest took the vows he’d written and moved down from the lectern to pass them to Jacob and Clara. “They aren’t too long, so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to memorize them.”   Jacob glanced down his script, and then folded the paper, and closing his eyes intoned in a sort of sing song voice he used for memorising poems and passages of prose he liked: "So… 'Inthe nameofGod,…. I JL, take you, CR, tobemywife, tohaveandto holdfromthisdayf’rw’rd, forbetterfor worse, forricherfor poorer, in sickness and in health” for some reason he said these words more distinctly, like they were less familiar or didn’t quite fit into his mnemonic process “…toloveandtocherish, untilwearepartedbydeath. Thisismysolemnvow.In the name of God… yeah, I think I got it." He opened his eyes to see everybody staring at him.   “What?” he asked, blinking.   @Wayfarer @boshmi
Arabella Mudd

Love, Jealousy and Hate

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Posted (edited)

Mature Content: Unlikely, but hey, who knows?!

Author: Arabella Sumter Mudd

With: Charles "Charlie" Wentworth Jnr.
Location: Either side of the bar.
When: Early June 1876
Time of Day: Early afternoon.

 

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Arabella always felt tickled to death and pretty full of herself whenever Mr Flandry was busy in the back and she was left temporarily in charge of the bar. Her Royal Domain was more or less empty this early afternoon in June, when someone she hadn’t seen for a while came through the swing doors: alone, unusually.

 

She didn’t know whether she was happy or not to see Charlie or, at least, to see him here. This probably meant that he’d fallen off the wagon. On the other hand, she considered him a good friend and it was always nice to see friends. Oh, sure, he was one of those slightly annoying friends that makes you constantly ask yourself ‘why the heck am I friends with this idiot?!’ but still a friend. He was also eminently and infinitely tease-able. Another thing she’d realised: he was completely and utterly uninterested in her as a woman and, well, she was done with fellers for good, anyway: ironically, that made him someone it was actually safe and fun to flirt with.

 

“Hello stranger.” She said coolly, polishing a glass, as he approached the bar “You come to give me my blue ribbon back?” She reminded him of the small scrap of azure cloth that she had once carried next to her heart, and which had given him by the Lakeside as a sort of amulet to help him overcome his over-drinking habit.

 

@JulieS

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Charlie pushed open the swing doors of the saloon and waited for eyes to adjust.  It was rare for him to be in town during the week but it was his and Ben Hall's turn to escort Mrs. Carleton-Thornton into town and to pick up supplies.  Miss Sarah, as most of the hands called her, was in the habit of making weekly trips to Kalispell and staying overnight at the hotel, to conduct business and some personal matters.  Instead of letting her come to town alone, it was decided that two hands go with her each week and to make the trip worthwhile pick up any supplies that were needed.

 

Since the supplies wouldn't need to be loaded until prior to them leaving the next day, the trip gave the hands the opportunity to have most of the day and night to do whatever they pleased.  After they had left the list of supplies at the general store, Ben had gone off somewhere, he had gone to visit his mother and to have lunch with her.

 

Now he was left to his own devices for the rest of the afternoon and he had decided to go find his cousin Ben who was teaching him some of the finer points of poker.  Ben had initially stayed with his parents for a couple of weeks before he had found lodgings of his own.  Charlie had checked there first before going to the hotel.  Not finding Ben in either of those places, he was now at the Stardust.

 

Going up to the bar, he could see that Arabella was there.  Even though he had seen her since their trip to the mission, he hadn't really talked to her, preferring to steer clear just in case he ended up promising to take her on another trip back there.  The trip had made him realise the trouble he could get into by drinking strong spirits, especially whiskey, so now he was in the process of learning how moderate his consumption by sticking mainly to beer.  He had also enlisted the help of his brothers and a couple of the other hands to make sure he didn't overdo it.

 

“Hello stranger.” She said coolly, polishing a glass, as he approached the bar “You come to give me my blue ribbon back?”

 

He frowned as she reminded him of the blue ribbon she had given him.  It was somewhere but he couldn't remember where he had put it.  So, he feigned a smile and said, "Hello Miss Arabella.  I'm actually looking for my cousin, Ben Simons, you haven't seen him around today?"

 

@Javia

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He frowned as she reminded him of the blue ribbon she had given him.  It was somewhere but he couldn't remember where he had put it.  So, he feigned a smile and said, "Hello Miss Arabella.  I'm actually looking for my cousin, Ben Simons, you haven't seen him around today?"

 

 “Oh, Mr Fancy Pants? Uh-uh.” She shook her head. “He’s cleaned this place out, nobody’s got any money left to win or to pay fer their drinks.” She lied merrily “You havin’ a beer?” she asked. She’d noticed, with approval, that on his few visits he had studiously avoided the hard stuff. Talk of Ben reminded her:

 

“Oh say, I met your Mama the other day, at the Hotel. She sure is a nice lady! Well, you know that already, o’ course. Even old Fancy Pants is all right, really, he took me there. Oooh, but that Matt, he was SO rude to me! ‘Ooooh, your tea went cold, Mrs Devereau won’t know where you are, YOU’D better go home!’” It wasn’t really an accurate impersonation, just her generic dumb male voice.

 

“I never been so insulted: and that’s sayin’ some!” she concluded, pushing the beer toward him and holding out her hand for the money robotically.

 

"But he sure kept that big dummy Bridget there to talk to! And she can't string more than three words together! Hmmph! Maybe he likes her!" she said, cattily. "Well, serve him right if he tries to get ornery with her and comes back cryin' with a splinter in his hand!" she declared roundly, picking up another glass to polish.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Charlie raised an eyebrow at Arabella's assessment of his older brother, Matt.  It was no secret within the family, that Matt these days only had eyes for Miss Sarah.  They usually shared a meal together on the days she was in town, so it probably wasn't much of a secret with some of the town's residents either.  Since Arabella lived in a world of her own making most of the time, he wasn't surprised that she didn't know.

 

As it wasn't his place to inform or correct Arabella on something where the outcome was still unsure, he decided to turn the subject back to the person he came here to find in the first place.  "I reckon Ben doesn't mind being called Mr. Fancy Pants as he's probably been called a lot worse due to his line of work."

 

Now that he was here and the offer had been made, he decided that it would be okay to have one drink, "And as for that beer, I think I'll have just one. Maybe cousin Ben will make an appearance while I'm drinking it.  They do say that if you stay in one spot long enough, you usually find what you are looking for."

 

@Javia

 

 

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As it wasn't his place to inform or correct Arabella on something where the outcome was still unsure, he decided to turn the subject back to the person he came here to find in the first place.  "I reckon Ben doesn't mind being called Mr. Fancy Pants as he's probably been called a lot worse due to his line of work."

 

“Oh I know!” nodded the Virginian girl “I heard what them fellers calls him when he wins all their money. Not to his face, o’ course, but when they come to the bar afterwards, countin’ their coppers, tryin’ to work out if they can still afford a drink!” she laughed. “Come to think of it…” she frowned “… he’s kinda bad fer business.” Oh well, that was Matilda’s problem, not hers.

 

Now that he was here and the offer had been made, he decided that it would be okay to have one drink, "And as for that beer, I think I'll have just one. Maybe cousin Ben will make an appearance while I'm drinking it.  They do say that if you stay in one spot long enough, you usually find what you are looking for."

 

Her clear blue eyes looked at him with an interest that she rarely showed in anything he said. There was something that she was looking for, maybe if she stayed here long enough she would finally find it.

 

Arabella was then distracted by a white handkerchief being waved above the swing doors of the saloon, and then Lorenzo Crabbe’s head poking in, risking getting blown off by Ralph Flandry’s shot gun.

 

“Psst! Mudd!” he hissed “You seen Ben Simons this mornin’?” The professional gambler was the quarry in many people’s hunt this morning.

 

“Why don’t cha come in and have a drink?” Arabella suggested “They say that if you stay in one spot a long time, why, you always find what you’re looking for. Don’t worry, Mr Flandry’s forgotten all about you trying to recruit me fer your house of ill repute!” she lied brightly. She nodded to Charlie. “This here’s Fancy Pants’z cousin, Charlie Wentworth.”

 

Crabbe risked it, it was worth it for the suggestion he had for Simons or whatever Bent St. Clair was calling himself these days.

 

image.png.df49f5b16b37984db32c511a269490f9.png

 

Crabbe nodded a howdy to Charlie “She’s only kidding about the… er.. thing. Even I couldn’t find a customer fer that o… anyway, so, yeah, how’s it going there, Mister Wentworth!”

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Charlie did a double take when he heard Arabella mentioning about being recruited for a house of ill-repute.  For a moment, he wondered why Crabbe would have been interested in having someone like Arabella working for him as a lady of the night but when the man came up closer he could see that man wore glasses with thick lenses and that answered his question.  The poor fellow probably had troubles seeing anything properly.

 

He had seen Crabbe around town a few times (Matt had pointed him out one day, explaining who he was)  but this was the first that he had ever been up close to talk up.  It didn't surprise Charlie, that the man knew his cousin.  Even though Ben was generally a good person, his profession did allow him to be involved in some unusual things.  Most of the times it was unintentional but sometimes it wasn't.  Charlie didn't know which one of these, Crabbe fell under.

 

Seeing that Crabbe was being pleasant, Charlie decided not ask too much about what he did and just stick to being cordial, "It's going fine, other than the fact that I'm looking for Ben as well.  It seems we both had the same idea that he could be found here."

 

@Javia

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Seeing that Crabbe was being pleasant, Charlie decided not ask too much about what he did and just stick to being cordial, "It's going fine, other than the fact that I'm looking for Ben as well.  It seems we both had the same idea that he could be found here."

 

Arabella poured Crabbe a beer and insisted on him paying for it there and then, rather than set up a ‘tab’ that would never get paid off. She had learned to do that in her dealings with him early on.

 

“Hmmm.” Said the bespectacled man, moving back and surveying the youngest scion of the Wentworth family with some interest. “Say, er, Charlie..” he said, venturing to use his new acquaintance’s familiar name, “… you seem like a pretty nicely set up young feller. You ever been in a fight?”

 

Arabella couldn’t help remembering seeing Charlie’s brother Mike, much to her shock and disgust, giving the young man a knockout punch to the jaw at the barn dance. On the other hand, Charlie had been totally drunk at the time and probably would have had difficulty defending himself against an ant. She carried on with her glass polishing duties, humming a tune, but listened with interest to his reply to Crabbe’s question.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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A slightly amused look appeared on Charlie's face, "I've probably been in couple of fights while I've been drunk but I can't remember any of them.  As for any fights while I've been sober, then answer is no."

 

He leaned against the bar, "If this has anything to do with what Ben was talking about the other night while he was playing poker with me and Sam, the answer is still no.  Even if I wanted to, my brothers and father would make sure that I didn't.  Part of the problem of being the youngest in the family, there's always someone who's been there and done that already."

 

Looking over at Arabella, he smiled and asked "How's that beer coming?" before turning his attention back to Crabbe, "Thanks to Arabella, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and getting involved in any fights wouldn't be a good idea.  After a few months of clean living, and most people including Clara Redmond won't recognise me."

 

@Javia

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A slightly amused look appeared on Charlie's face, "I've probably been in couple of fights while I've been drunk but I can't remember any of them.  As for any fights while I've been sober, then answer is no."

 

“Well, I reckon a well-built feller like you would be a natural in the ring!” said Crabbe, starting into a line of patter that would soon have the young man convinced that he was going to be a second Tom Allen or Jem Mace.

 

He leaned against the bar, "If this has anything to do with what Ben was talking about the other night while he was playing poker with me and Sam, the answer is still no.  Even if I wanted to, my brothers and father would make sure that I didn't.  Part of the problem of being the youngest in the family, there's always someone who's been there and done that already."

 

 “Wha..? Oh! Old cousin Bent’s been talking, has he!” grumbled Crabbe, annoyed that his guns had been spiked even before he’d started, and forgetting that St Clair was gong under a new name now. At this rate the boxing match would comprise of Simons and Crabbe belting seven bells out of each other which, to be fair, some people would pay to see!

 

Looking over at Arabella, he smiled and asked "How's that beer coming?" before turning his attention back to Crabbe.

 

Arabella just had to swipe off the excess foam with a ruler-like doo-dad before she plonked it on the bar in front of Charlie with a cheery “There ya go!”

 

"Thanks to Arabella, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and getting involved in any fights wouldn't be a good idea.  After a few months of clean living, and most people including Clara Redmond won't recognise me."

 

Arabella nodded proudly but rolled her eyes at Clara’s name, friend though she was.

 

image.jpeg.7f336a11f1598964a9c5a23b651db52a.jpeg

 

“Yeah, I know this Clara gal, Redmond, Clara Redmond. Sure, nice girl, stood up for my Bridget when some bullies were mean to her.” Well, that was his public description of the pie-store assistant: in his own private notation, she was:

 

  • Age: 16, legal in most States and Territories of the Contiguous United State
  • Looks: A little pug-nosed and heavy browed, large feet, but attractive enough for regular work
  • Temperament: Serious, prudish and humorless, but nevertheless might get herself into trouble, given luck, and come onto the market

 

He sighed, still regretting the lack of available local talent that had stopped him opening his planned bordello.

 

“Oh, Clara, Clara,Clara! That’s all I hear!” grumped Arabella. “Well, you’re out of luck anyway, Charlie boy, because Clara’s got a regular beau now. Yep, while you was in the beer tent at the dance, she was getting swept off her feet by Jacob Lutz!” She let that little bolt hit home, enjoying watching the reaction, but hoping it didn’t send her pet reformed drunkard back to the bottle.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Jacob Lutz...that scrawny farmer boy related to Granny Miggins?"  Charlie frowned.  This is what he hadn't expected.  Clara, it seemed to him at least, wasn't too interested in romance and in particular too young for anything serious.  However, getting all dressed like she was on the night of the dance must have went to head and she picked the first boy who had gushed all over her.  From what he knew about the Lutz boy that was probably the case.  There was a hand at Lost Lake who was a cousin or brother, he couldn't remember which, to some girl that Lutz had a dalliance with a while back.  The hand had mentioned that Lutz was rather fond of sprouting poetry and that the girl in question had been quite taken with it until her father had intervened.

 

Still, Clara was a sensible girl and Charlie hoped that she had enough sense not to do anything she would regret in the future.  Maybe, he should have ignored his decision to wait until she was older and knew some more about life before he started courting her.  He had wanted Clara to experience what it was like to be young, carefree and do all the things girls her age should be doing.

 

There was one thing he needed to find out.  Ignoring Crabbe, he looked at Arabella, "Just how serious is this relationship between Clara and Lutz?"

 

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"Jacob Lutz...that scrawny farmer boy related to Granny Miggins?"  Charlie frowned.

 

Arabella nodded. “He's her grandson, and oh, he might look scrawny, but you should see him tote them big crates of produce around, like they’s light as a feather. And I felt his muscles onct…” Crabbe asked a leery question and Arabella replied “Yes, OF COURSE in his arm!!” before continuing to Charlie “… and them there bicepticles was as hard as iron!” She was enjoying rubbing this in: she was sort of jealous of the attention Clara got from the fellers, in more ways than one, and this was a nice chance to get some revenge for it.

 

“I wonder if he likes fighting?” murmured Lorenzo, still thinking of his much needed pugilist.

 

There was one thing he needed to find out.  Ignoring Crabbe, he looked at Arabella, "Just how serious is this relationship between Clara and Lutz?"

 

Arabella smiled, she looked like the cat who got the cream “Well, let’s just say I’ve been starting to practice the Wedding March on the church harmonium.” She held a glass up to the light to inspect her polishing prowess. “Course, I don’t know how I’m gonna play the wretched thing And be chief bridesmaid at the same time. Say Charlie, don’t you think I’ll look pretty in a bridesmaid’s dress?”

 

Crabbe just shook his head a little at this, even he knew brides always made their bridesmaids wear hideous frocks to make themselves look better.

 

@JulieS

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Wedding?  Even though Arabella had the tendency to add her own twist to things, most everything she said had an element of truth.  Clara getting married was, in his opinion, rather sudden.  The dance was almost two months ago, and it didn't seem long enough especially where a girl like Clara was concerned.  Wearing that dress must have really went to her head. Lutz must have also been spending a lot of time off his farm in order to court her, which made Charlie think of him as a bit irresponsible but then again Lutz was still a kid.

 

However, if Clara had made up her mind to marry Lutz there was nothing much he could do about it.  The thought that he had lost Clara before he really had a chance made him feel depressed.  Somehow the beer in front of him wasn't enough.  Turning to Arabella, he looked at her intently, "I don't know how if you will look pretty or not but one thing I do know is that I need a drink."

 

He dug into his pants pocket, pulled out the money he needed and placed it on the counter, "A glass and a bottle of whiskey."

 

@Javia

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Turning to Arabella, he looked at her intently, "I don't know how if you will look pretty or not but one thing I do know is that I need a drink."

 

“You got a drink!” she replied brightly but didn’t like the look in his eyes one little bit.

 

He dug into his pants pocket, pulled out the money he needed and placed it on the counter, "A glass and a bottle of whiskey."

 

Arabella looked at Charlie long and hard. “What? Because Clara Redmond’s courtin’ Jacob Lutz?!” she asked incredulously. “Why anyone would thing that you was in lo….” She trailed off. Oh Lord, that was it! He must really have romantic feelings about her.

 

She scrabbled to save the situation but knew in her heart of hearts it was too late. “Well, it ain’t worth fallin’ off of the wagon for! There’s plenty more fish in the sea!” she tried. Then changed tack.

 

“Well, I ain’t sellin’ you no whiskey! Don’t do this Charlie, please. It’ll be … it’ll be all my fault and…” But too late, Ralph was making his way back to the bar and he’d sell Charlie as much whiskey as the feller could hold or afford. Arabella was dismissed from her temporary position at the bar, back to the kitchen. She could only make one last parting plea.

 

“Please Charlie, remember the pledge!” It was a pathetic attempt, and she knew it. She kicked herself all the way back to the kitchen. “Me and my big mouth!” she uttered again and again.

 

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Crabbe slapped Charlie manfully on the back.

 

“Women, huh? You’re right, the situation always looks rosier through the bottom of a bottle. Make that a bottle of the best red-eye and two glasses! I got women troubles of my own.”

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Charlie looked at Crabbe, "You know that's the first thing you've said that I like.  Shall we?"

 

Having paid for the bottle, Charlie took his glass and pointed to one of the tables in the far corner of the saloon.  When they were both seated, the drinking began.  Charlie wasn't sure how many glasses he had drunk but after a while the bottle was more than half gone and the effects of the whiskey was sinking in.

 

After finishing off another glass, Charlie began to pour another and as he did he continued his rant, "You know Crabbe, women who act one way and then another really get my goat.  Take Clara for instance, one minute she's like a rock and hard to break, next she's all gone all soft just 'cause some skinny runt starts sprouting flowery words."

 

He slugged down the drink he had just poured.  His emotions were going from one extreme to another.  Picking up the bottle he stared at it for a minute before pouring another drink.  As he held the glass in preparation to drink it, he sighed heavily, "You know I was willing to wait for her.  She's been through a lot with her ma dying and having to take over the responsibility of helping to look after her brother but there was always the chance that she could live a life of her own or at least find out who she really is...now that's all gone for her.  Now that she's getting married, she going to have to start having kids while she is still one herself.  She's in a sure fire rush to grow up and get old."

 

Looking over at Crabbe, "You know what I mean, don't you?"

 

@Javia

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Charlie looked at Crabbe, "You know that's the first thing you've said that I like.  Shall we?"

 

 As they walked to the table, Lorenzo chuckled. “Well, that's about the one thing that most fellers can agree on: when women get you sore, you need a good slug of good old licker to anaesthetise the sting!”

 

 After finishing off another glass, Charlie began to pour another and as he did he continued his rant, "You know Crabbe, women who act one way and then another really get my goat.  Take Clara for instance, one minute she's like a rock and hard to break, next she's all gone all soft just 'cause some skinny runt starts sprouting flowery words."

 

“Oh, is that how he got her?” nodded Crabbe “The sneaky bastard.” He was enjoying the booze, but wasn’t keeping up with Charlie’s rate of consumption, no way.  

 

"You know I was willing to wait for her.  She's been through a lot with her ma dying and having to take over the responsibility of helping to look after her brother but there was always the chance that she could live a life of her own or at least find out who she really is...now that's all gone for her.  Now that she's getting married, she going to have to start having kids while she is still one herself.  She's in a sure fire rush to grow up and get old."

 

The young feller had it all worked out in his mind, that was clear. But that was maybe the problem, in Lorenzo’s experience, thinking about a thing just drove you crazy and nothing actually got done. The exact right moment never came; best just to do a thing now and hope for the best. True, that attitude had landed him in big trouble plenty of times: but that was better than wallowing in doubt about ’what might have been.”

 

Looking over at Crabbe, "You know what I mean, don't you?"

 

“Why sure” the slick Lorenzo assured the love sick pup “Your problem is you care too much for this little girl, you did what’s best for her… selfless-like.” He massaged Charlie’s feelings, going with the flow of the lad’s rant. “Meanwhile this Klutz feller sneaks in with his flowery verses and his oversized farm produce and mixes her all up. Made her forget that she’s supposed to be waiting for you to tell her how you feel.” Yes, it was hardly logical, but when alcohol and aching hearts combined, logic was the first thing to fly out the window.

 

“Still…” Crabbe had adopted a frown of intense concentration, nodding to himself as if the greatest idea in the world had just come to him. “I reckon you might just have one last throw of the dice, if you’re willing to act and not just brood on the matter.”

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“Why sure” the slick Lorenzo assured the love sick pup “Your problem is you care too much for this little girl, you did what’s best for her… selfless-like.”

 

"Yeah, that's what I did," Charlie mumbled.

 

“Meanwhile this Klutz feller sneaks in with his flowery verses and his oversized farm produce and mixes her all up. Made her forget that she’s supposed to be waiting for you to tell her how you feel.”

 

"He sure did and she's gonna pay for it. Poor Clara, the girl who grew old before her time," he lamented.

 

“I reckon you might just have one last throw of the dice, if you’re willing to act and not just brood on the matter.”

 

Charlie perked up a little.  Maybe there was a chance for him, considering it takes months for people get married.  His own sister, Mary was engaged for nearly a year before she got married.  After drinking another glass of whiskey and filling it up again, he thought about it.  Crabbe might be onto something.

 

"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."

 

@Javia

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"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

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Other girls?  Charlie frowned as he tried to work out what other girls he knew.  Working on a ranch that was miles from town and only coming in once a week didn't allow much time for getting to know other girls.  The only girl he had really gotten to known was Clara and that was because she worked at the ranch before she up and left.  Clara was funny like that, if she had the notion, she could do the unexpected...like getting married to the first fellow who asked her.  That thought made him more depressed...it should have been him.

 

Shaking his head a little in a vain attempt to wipe Clara from his mind, he tried to focus on the other girls.  The only one, other than a few ladies he had met at church, that he had spent considerable time with was that blonde hair one with the funny name.

 

Staring at Crabbe, he nodded, "Yeah, there's others like the one I had to escort at some birthday party...hmm...come to think of it, I think it was hers.  Her name was Ana...Anna..."

 

He frowned again, the girl's name was proving harder to say and remember now that he was well and truly drunk.  Then it came him all of sudden, "That's it.  Anastasia Orr."

 

Happy that he had remembered the girl's name, he took another drink in celebration.  When he finished off the glass, he shook his head slightly, "I don't know about her though, she was a bit...well you know a bit."

 

A realisation then hit him, "Sheesh...I gotta get out more.  Maybe that's it.  I can make Clara jealous by showing her that are plenty of other girls who would be willingly to take her place."

 

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Staring at Crabbe, he nodded, "Yeah, there's others like the one I had to escort at some birthday party...hmm...come to think of it, I think it was hers.  Her name was Ana...Anna..."

 

“Come on think!” encouraged Crabbe “This could be your ace in the hole!”

 

He frowned again, the girl's name was proving harder to say and remember now that he was well and truly drunk.  Then it came him all of sudden, "That's it.  Anastasia Orr."

 

“Oh, you mean Anaesthesia Orr.” Corrected Crabbe, he had heard the name spoken in gushing admiration enough times. He used to think that when he saw women whispering together, they were discussing men. However, since Arabella had started hanging around with Bridget, and he had been forced to listen to the one sided drivel that made up their ‘conversations’, he’d come to realise that women mostly talked to women about other women: I swear Jemima Wigfall’s eyebrows are getting’ thicker every day! And did you see that pimple on her nose?! And say, is Clara Redmond getting fatter or are her big feet just getting smaller? And, Oh, Bridget, you should’a seen Miss Anaesthesia Orr at Church on Sunday, why she looked just like a angel! And so on and so forth ad nauseum.

 

Happy that he had (sorta) remembered the girl's name, he took another drink in celebration.  When he finished off the glass, he shook his head slightly, "I don't know about her though, she was a bit...well you know a bit."

 

“Yeah, a bit rich, beautiful and accomplished: why she’s just perfect for my little scheme to make your little Clara girl green with envy!” Crabbe fair rubbed his hands together with glee, he was getting caught up in this little bit of social engineering now.

 

A realisation then hit him, “Sheesh...I gotta get out more.  Maybe that’s it.  I can make Clara jealous by showing her that are plenty of other girls who would be willingly to take her place.”

 

“Why suuuure!” Lorenzo’s oily tongue caressed Charlie’s willing ears “Just imagine the look on that little waitress’s face when you waltz into the diner or church or what not with that beautiful doll on your arms. She’ll look at you in a nice suit, nice girlfriend, and then that Klutz bumpkin in his shit stained over-hauls and think ‘time fer a change’!” He chuckled to himself.

 

He had no expectation that poor Miss Orr, to be used as a mere tool in this romantic intrigue, would actually pique Charlie’s interest. Life didn’t work like that. A feller got a woman’s image in his head, his heart said ‘that’s the one’ and come hell or high water, she’s the one he’d moon about for the rest of his natural life. He drifted off for a second as was back in Bowling Green, around 1861, just before he’d run off to avoid the war; he wondered what had ever become of her.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Charlie frowned again.  He wasn't quite sure pretending to be enamoured with another girl was the way to win Clara back, especially one like the Orr girl.  Sure she was pretty but she wasn't Clara.  Maybe there was another way to make Clara forget Klutz.

 

"Look I don't know.  Annatesa Orr might want me to become something more permanent if I pay her too much attention.  Look at Clara, Klutz paid too much attention to her and now they're getting married.  I'm too young to get married.  I don't even have enough money saved for a trip to Helena."

 

He filled up his glass again and for a moment looked at the bottle.  It was nearly empty and he wondered whether or not he should buy another.  Maybe Crabbe would buy the next one. 

 

After taking a good slug of his drink, he sighed, "If I had the money, I could go to Clara and tell her that she can have a place of her own here in town or anywhere else she wanted.  Women want a place of their own more than anything. With money, I could buy her all the poetry books she wants. Heck, with a few extra bucks, I can even buy her dinner at my brother's hotel."

 

@Javia

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"Look I don't know.  Annatesa Orr might want me to become something more permanent if I pay her too much attention.  Look at Clara, Klutz paid too much attention to her and now they're getting married.  I'm too young to get married.  I don't even have enough money saved for a trip to Helena." 

 

“Oh, Helena’s a dump!” said Crabbe quickly, dismissing that matter. ”And who cares if the Orr girl falls head over heels in love with you, that’s her problem. Just cut her loose once she’s served her purpose, tell her it’s ‘you not her’ or some mushy shit. Main thing is to get ol’ Clara jealous.” 

 

After taking a good slug of his drink, he sighed, "If I had the money, I could go to Clara and tell her that she can have a place of her own here in town or anywhere else she wanted.  Women want a place of their own more than anything. With money, I could buy her all the poetry books she wants. Heck, with a few extra bucks, I can even buy her dinner at my brother's hotel." 

 

Crabbe shook his head sadly at Charlie’s innocence. It always beat him how a feller could be in love with a girl and understand her so little. Maybe not understanding someone was an actual precondition of falling in love with them? Now, he’d met Clara just the once and reckoned he could read her like a book. She’d be a leather bound, self-consciously respectable, ostensibly erudite but easy-to-read book, too, like an abridged and bowdlerized translation of Voltaire’s La Pucelle d’Orléans. 

 

“No, no, no, no, no!” Crabbe tutted, nursing his drink until Charlie bought another bottle. “That gal don’t want stuff handed on a plate to her like that, she’s a natural Matryr. She likes the romance of the struggle. Right now she’s getting that struggle from walking out with a two-bit dirt farmer with a face a mother couldn’t love. We gotta swap that out with the struggle of you an’ her having ‘a secret and heart rendin’ connection whilst both being committed to another’, that sorta bull-shit. Now let's get the low-down on this Orr piece.” he instructed.  

 

Arabella came back in then carrying some newly emptied spittoons and gave the two of them a baleful glance. 

 

“Hey, Fort Sumter, c‘mere.” shouted Crabbe. She wanted to ignore them, but she had a weird and irresistible penchant for customers calling her nicknames. It was odd really, but whereas ‘Arabella’ might just get her attention, ‘Muddy’, ‘Reb’, or ‘Virginia’ brought her running. In fact, Caroline once informed her that she’d made a loud and involuntary, almost orgasmic grunt of satisfaction when one old gent summoned her with “Hey you, Bonny Blue Flag! Gimme two fingers o’ redeye!” 

 

“Yes? What you two talkin’ about?” she asked them grumpily, sensing Charlie’s already inebriated condition. 

 

@JulieS

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Charlie looked at Arabella for a moment before waving her off, "What we're talking about doesn't concern you. Go away."

 

Since his brain and his emotions were all in a muddle, Charlie immediately regretting shooing Arabella way.  Maybe she could help in some way, "Hey, Arabella tell the truth, how serious is this thing between Klutz and Clara?"

 

Before Arabella, could answer, Charlie turned to Crabbe, "Now about this Anteesha.  I don't think it's a good idea pretend that I like her when I don't know her."

 

He finished off his glass and poured the remaining contents of the bottle into it.  "Besides my pa always told me never to...never to..."

 

Scrunching his face in a vain attempt to try and remember what his father had told, he found that he couldn't or that he had no idea what he was going to say.  "Well, my father said something about something to do with girls.  Come to think of it so did my brothers."

 

After taking a sip of his drink, "Even if I decide to do what you say, she's rich and I'll still need some money to buy her gifts and whatnot."

 

@Javia

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mycroft7.jpg?w=252&h=194

 

Charlie looked at Arabella for a moment before waving her off, "What we're talking about doesn't concern you. Go away."

 

“Don’t mind him” Crabbe assured her “He’s feeling all ‘emotional’.”

 

Since his brain and his emotions were all in a muddle, Charlie immediately regretting shooing Arabella way.  Maybe she could help in some way, "Hey, Arabella tell the truth, how serious is this thing between Klutz and Clara?"

 

Arabella rolled her eyes, Clara again. She herself had recently had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes the one you fall in love with just doesn’t love you back, or at least not in the way you want them to. Just friends. Time Charlie realised that, too, and moved on.

 

Before Arabella, could answer, Charlie turned to Crabbe, "Now about this Anteesha.  I don't think it's a good idea pretend that I like her when I don't know her."

 

“Oooh, you mean Anaesthesia!” corrected the pot cleaner, before chanting in an admiring voice “Anaesthesia. Ether. Orr. Ain’t that a pretty name?” she asked in a dreamy haze.

 

He finished off his glass and poured the remaining contents of the bottle into it.  "Besides my pa always told me never to...never to..."

 

Both Crabbe and Arabella leaned in to hear this gem of wisdom from Charles Senior.

 

Scrunching his face in a vain attempt to try and remember what his father had told, he found that he couldn't or that he had no idea what he was going to say.  "Well, my father said something about something to do with girls.  Come to think of it so did my brothers."

 

They both leaned out again, disappointed.

 

“They probably said to ‘gather your roses while ye may’ or ‘make hay while the sun shines’!” suggested Crabbe.

 

“Yeah, or ‘you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led’” added Arabella, helpfully.

 

“No, no, no. Listen Muddy, tell us what you know about this Miss Anaesthesia Ether Orr. My friend and I are interested in her as a possible romantic proposition.” asked Lorenzo in a business-like way.

 

“Ohh, why she’s the most wonderful person: as pretty as an Angel, with hair like spun gold and eyes as blue as the sky! Just turned 18 years old; a prefect figure; intelligent, but in a ladylike way, not some big know-all dried up bluestocking; demure, charming and sweet. Of good stock and respectable family. Her favourite colour’s lilac and she counts Hiawatha and Grey’s Elegy amongst her favourite poems and has all her teeth, limbs and hair. Of, and of course, is heiress to a good deal of money when her great uncle dies.”

 

Although the term ‘stalker’ in its modern sense had yet to be coined, you had to wonder about Arabella.

 

“Jesus, I think I’ll marry her myself!” muttered Crabbe. Charlie, however was still looking for excuses:

 

After taking a sip of his drink, “Even if I decide to do what you say, she’s rich and I’ll still need some money to buy her gifts and whatnot.”

 

“Weren’t you listening?” sighed an exasperated Crabbe “She’s another one o’ these accursed poetical types, why you can use Klutz’s own poetry game against him. Butter old blondie up with a few lines of verse, she won’t want no presents. Now, who can write us a poem?”

 

Arabella’s eyes narrowed, what were these two up to? The way to find out was to get in on the game.

 

“It so happens I’m a lady poetess!” she announced “In fact, one critic has called me the Sappho of Kalispell!” Ironically, that critic had been the perceptive ancient history nut, Jacob Lutz, and he hadn’t been entirely talking about the terrible verses Arabella had showed him.

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“Ohh, why she’s the most wonderful person: as pretty as an Angel, with hair like spun gold and eyes as blue as the sky! Just turned 18 years old; a prefect figure; intelligent, but in a ladylike way, not some big know-all dried up bluestocking; demure, charming and sweet. Of good stock and respectable family. Her favourite colour’s lilac and she counts Hiawatha and Grey’s Elegy amongst her favourite poems and has all her teeth, limbs and hair. Of, and of course, is heiress to a good deal of money when her great uncle dies.”

 

Charlie rolled his eyes at the mention of poetry.  What was it about poetry that made girls like it?  He had studied poetry at school and didn't find it that exciting.  What interested him was more the stories of Charles Dickens, especially A Tale of Two Cities. Poetry was more brother Mike's thing...maybe he should he send the Orr girl packing off to him?

 

“It so happens I’m a lady poetess!” she announced “In fact, one critic has called me the Sappho of Kalispell!”

 

"The what of Kalispell," Charlie said in a loud voice, not really caring what anybody thought now.  Even though he was well and truly drunk, he couldn't help feeling that something was wrong but the problem was he couldn't tell what it was it.  Another drink was what he needed right now.

 

Looking at the empty bottle, he frowned.  He didn't have enough to buy another, so he looked over at Crabbe and picked up the bottle, "Your turn, I bought the last one."

 

@Javia

 

 

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"The what of Kalispell," Charlie said in a loud voice, not really caring what anybody thought now.  Even though he was well and truly drunk, he couldn't help feeling that something was wrong but the problem was he couldn't tell what it was it.  Another drink was what he needed right now.

 

“Sappho. ESS-AY-PEE-HO. She was a poetry lady in olden times, this friend of mine told me all about her…” she was careful not to mention that the friend was Hayseed Lutz “An’ she was even better ‘n all them men poets in them days!” Arabella said proudly.

 

Looking at the empty bottle, he frowned.  He didn't have enough to buy another, so he looked over at Crabbe and picked up the bottle, "Your turn, I bought the last one."

 

Lorenzo was at a loose end and curious to see how his plan to fix Charlie up with the rich girl would pan out, so bit the bullet and got up to go to the bar and fetch a bottle. He knew better than to tell Arabella to fetch it, she’d made it clear she was unwilling to feed Charlie’s addiction.

 

When he was gone, Arabella sidled into a chair next to Charlie and whispered to him surreptitiously.

 

“Listen, that person who said I was like ol’ Saphho, he said that when I read him a poem what I writ about Miss Orr, so it must’ve been one of my bestest ones! I just had a thought, we could change it a little bit so it sounds like you writ it, if you like.” She, for different reasons, agreed with Crabbe – maybe an interest in a different girl from Clara whom, to Arabella’s knowledge, hadn’t the slightest interest in the youngest Wentworth boy as a romantic prospect, might do him good and save him from the false comfort of the demon drink.

 

“We could send her the poem and some flowers and you could invite her out for a slice of pie.” She suggested “Flowers is cheap, you just have to pick ‘em. Or there’s dozens just going to waste up at the graveyard.”

 

@JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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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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