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    • As Weedy walked forward to see the fate of the cute little creature who had been temporarily entrusted to his care, Browne went with him, keeping a comforting hand on his shoulder. Little did he know that the poor lad had already seen much worse tragedy than this in his young life.   Sighing, Addy picked up the miniature gopher, cradling it in her hand as Weedy scaled the fence, looking eagerly from the other side.     "Sorry, Weedy."  Addy shrugged, looking past the boy to Browne...this would tell what sort of neighbors they would be, but the man didn't look at all angry.   Browne, indeed, managed a slightly sad but encouraging smile to the radiant young woman. “Nature’s way, Miss Chappel, nature’s way.” He intoned.   "I didn't mean for that to happen," the boy repeated, even though the Professor had assured him that the little critter was old and likely to die soon anyway.  "Can we bury him?"    “Er, yes, I dare say!” agreed Browne, hoping it would help ameliorate any guilty feelings the young chap might have about the tragic affair, although he knew that Buster would no doubt use any freshly turned earth as a toilet at the earliest possible convenience, thus adding insult to injury.   "I reckon..."  Addy looked to Browne again and shrugged.  "Maybe under a tree, an' you can say some words over him?"  Yes, it was absurd, but it would make Weedy feel better, and besides, it was absurd!   Just then, the Angel of Death herself appeared on the scene and came over from inside the house. “Oh Jemima, I’m afraid there has been a fatality, er, Montgomery escaped and the ginger gentleman from next door that we have seen, er, ‘Buster’ … I’m afraid.”   Jemima just uttered a flat “I’ll get the spade” and clomped off, soon returning with a shovel and a large cigar box.   Falmer Browne encouraged Weedy forward.   “Let us collect up the remains of the departed.” He said in a comforting voice.   Jemima approached Weedy and shoved the cigar box in his hand, it was a big one with ample room for poor Montgomery’s corpse.   “I’ll get diggin’.” She announced and looked at Addy “Where’d you want him plantin’?” she asked.     @Bongo
    • 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    
Arabella Mudd

The Ways of the Lonely Ones

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Mature Content: No.

Author: Arabella

With: Dr Danforth, Aoife Leane.
Location: Dr. Danforth's Practice.
When: Second Week of July 1876.
Time of Day: 9.05am.

 

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It was working pretty well. The one per cent of people in Kalispell who cared about, or even knew, Arabella Mudd were convinced that she had been besotted with Billy. Hadn’t they seen her throwing herself on his body and being carried off, in a dead faint of shock and grief? Hadn’t they heard Jemima Wigfall’s scuttlebutt that Arabella and Billy had shared more than just a kiss? Hadn’t they seen her, ever since his untimely death at the hands of Brendan Connelly, dressed in the deep black mourning clothes she’d been given by Crabbe when she was helping with the Memento Mori photographs? Hadn’t they heard about the execrably transcribed and composed poetry left at the lad’s still fresh grave and the basic wooden cross that she had paid for at its head?

 

She was dressed in her mourning black now, as she rapped on the fancy brass knocker on the glossily painted door of the stolid brick townhouse that contained Dr. Jonah William Danforth’s prospering medical practice. Maybe it was the black of the bonnet and the high neck of the sombre dress that made her face look so pale, as her thin white fingers played nervously with the tasselled edges of her black woollen shawl.

 

 @Bongo @boshmi

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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It was  little busy this morning, so at the knock, the only person available to answer was the cook, Mrs. Towberman, and she readily wiped her hands and set aside her task, heading for the door, relieved that it was just a knock that summoned her, and not the frantic pounding that accompanied emergencies.

 

When she answered, the woman managed to maintain her composure while she wondered what perceived excitement brought the child here.

 

"Good morning," she greeted with a smile, for the over-zealous girl reminded her of her sister when they were children, "what do you need?"

 

675b75feceaabb32d36815ac882ce118.jpg.51e10ba9dae810eb04c507ee81aed190.jpg

 

@Javia; @boshmi

 

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Aoife had come in fairly early that morning, for the encroaching height of summer had obviously not been lending itself well to the health of Kalispell's townsfolk, and the Doctor had needed plenty of help managing their inventory and attending to the influx of patients. She sat at the kitchen table, pencil in hand, as she marked down the various quantities of the medicines, creams, and syrups that adorned the surface around her.

 

Her brow was furrowed in concentration, and she scribbled with such speed that her exasperation was unmistakable to any eye. The busyness of the last few days had left this particular task on the ice for a while, along with time for meals, sleeping, and washing. Indeed, she'd hardly been back to her place at the Wigfall boarding house for two nights now, having instead slept in one of the practice's spare rooms, which, in itself then needed to be made up and cleaned, creating a cycle of work.

 

Needless to say, Aoife Ciara Leane was not at her most presentable; clad in sweater and shawl rather than blouse and ribbon, hair tied back sloppily, and with a mood to match. So when there came yet another knock at the door, she did not even lift a finger in reaction, leaving Mrs. Towberman to answer.

 

"Good morning, what do you need?" came the woman's voice from down the hall, and Aoife once again felt amazement at that lady's patience, for as yet another strand of hair slipped out of the knot behind her head, she had to take a moment so as to prevent a most vulgar outburst.

@Javia@Bongo

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She was just about to chicken out and make a run for it when the ominous clunk of the door handle being turned from the inside sealed her fate and made her tummy do a somersault. She vaguely recognised the woman who stood within, although wouldn’t be able to put a name to her face or know what role she played within the practice. Maybe she was like a nurse.

 

"Good morning," she greeted with a smile, for the over-zealous girl reminded her of her sister when they were children, "what do you need?"

 

Arabella could usually bellow her way through any situation with a raucous unthinking stream of blather or an unrelenting relay of inane questions. Saloon full of rowdy cowboys? ‘Out the way fellers! Precious beer comin’ thru!’ Distraught parent about to have their dead child photographed as a last keepsake? ‘Oh ain’t she just the prettiest little darlin’? What was her favourite game? Did she like playing with dollies? What was her favorite flower?...’ Talk, talk, talk, that’s all she did all day long until sleep finally closed her eyes and her mouth at night.

 

The small, lost voice that now sounded from her lips, she hardly recognised as her own.

 

“Please Mam and can I see the doctor?” she mumbled looking at the woman’s feet rather than her face, her head swimming a little at what she was about to do. “I got money.” The only thing that made her brave enough to carry on was that she always had her back up plan: if she really needed to back out at the last minute she would tell the Doctor that she was there on account of her suffering so very badly with painful cramps when the curse was on her each month, which was true, though maybe no worse than for any other woman.

 

@Bongo @boshmi

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"He's with a patient right now," the woman commented, standing back to let the girl in, "but you can wait in the parlor.  It should just be a few minutes."

 

She glanced to see that Arabella was following as she led the way to the room that served as home parlor, clinic waiting area and library.  "You may have a seat," she nodded to one of the red padded velveteen chairs, then continued, "would you like some tea or milk while you wait?  Dr. Danforth has a new nurse working for him, she's quite smart, if you'd like to talk to her instead?"

 

If Arabella agreed to that, she'd have to warn Aoife, but then, the nurse lived with the Wigfalls, and they and Arabella could be written by the same hand, were they fictional characters!

 

@boshmi; @Javia

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“Please Mam and can I see the doctor? I got money.”

"He's with a patient right now, but you can wait in the parlor. It should just be a few minutes. You may have a seat. Would you like some tea or milk while you wait?  Dr. Danforth has a new nurse working for him, she's quite smart, if you'd like to talk to her instead?"

Aoife set down her pencil slowly, and stared at the list on the kitchen table for a few seconds. It would seem that the inventory would likely not come to fruition this morning either. This patient had better have a serious problem, or at least one worth adding to the ever-growing list.

 

She took a second to remove the scowl from her face, and rose from the table, ducking her head into the hall to listen for the girl's answer.

@Javia@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"He's with a patient right now," the woman commented, standing back to let the girl in, "but you can wait in the parlor.  It should just be a few minutes."

 

Arabella wanted to get this over and was disappointed at the delay but nodded compliantly; she was completely out of her comfort zone here and was scared that there were special rules and regulations about being at the doctors which she dare not break. She followed the lady to the parlour like a sleepwalking hypnotic subject following her own personal Caligari.

 

She glanced to see that Arabella was following as she led the way to the room that served as home parlor, clinic waiting area and library.  "You may have a seat," she nodded to one of the red padded velveteen chairs, then continued, "would you like some tea or milk while you wait?

 

“No thank you, Mam.” Arabella squeaked nervously. Were she telling her usual audience of saloon patrons and friends of this adventure, she would improve her performance in the retelling and have herself at this point making jokes and funny comments, very far from her current, terrified reality. But no matter, she would never tell anybody of this visit, ever.

 

Dr. Danforth has a new nurse working for him, she's quite smart, if you'd like to talk to her instead?"

 

Arabella almost jumped out of her seat. She hadn’t expected this choice: her mind had been set on seeing Dr Danforth, as described by Jemima Wigfall: Danforth the advanced medical practitioner; Danforth the gentle; Danforth the man. For although one might describe her ailment as an uniquely feminine one, it was also one that she was loath to have to disclose to another woman.

 

“No! I don’t wanna see no silly old nurse, I gotta see a real doctor!” she gasped urgently, in something of a panic that she was about to be thwarted “I got money!” she assured the woman again. Had she known said nurse was listening, she might have been a little more complimentary.

 

@Bongo @boshmi

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Well, I can't say as I blame you," Mrs. Towberman agreed with the girl, after all, she was a mother, had her own girls close Arabella's age, and despite her opinions on the child's dramatics, her motherly instincts were strong.  "Nurses are quite knowledgeable, Miss Leane is an excellent nurse, but I'll let the doctor know you are waiting.  I don't think it will be any more than ten minutes or so."

 

As she headed back to the kitchen, Mrs. Towberman had to wonder what had the normally anxious and over-the-top girl so sober and serious, and while she was speculating, she would leave it at just that.

 

When she saw Aoife, she asked the young woman to watch for Dr. Danforth and let him know the girl was waiting for him in the parlor.

 

@boshmi; @Javia

 

(Feel free to have Jonah finish with his current patient!

 

 

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“No! I don’t wanna see no silly old nurse, I gotta see a real doctor!”

The frantic words were a relief to hear, even if they were a little insulting. At any rate, it meant that Aoife could get back to the inventory work, and so she sat back down at the kitchen table. Where had she been? Ah yes, rolls of bandage. Eight, to be precise, but no sooner had she picked up the pencil, down the hall came Mrs. Towberman again, with the admonition that the Doctor's presence was once more required.

 

Aoife gave a short nod, and put her head down again. Bandage. Rolls. Eight of them.

 

The pencil touched paper and an adjacent door swung wide, from whence Jonah emerged, evidently having finished with his patient. She put down the pencil. Again.

 

"There's a girl, in the parlor, asking for you. Doesn't want to see me." Aoife told him quickly. Bandage rolls - Eight, she quickly scribbled, defying any divine intervention that might have further postponed that particular line.

@Javia@Bongo

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It was a long and anxious wait for Arabella in that parlour, each tick of the large wooden clock on the mantle seeming to echo into a vast, long silence before spawning its answering … tock.

 

Arabella suddenly heard her name called and stood up, walking forward on numb, wooden legs like an automaton. Marching where she was bidden, she passed a serious looking nurse sat at a table doing something vaguely medical, caught her eye, and just as quickly looked away: feeling that the pale beauty must somehow be able to divine her exact malady and automatically despise her for it. In the back of her mind it registered that the aethereal young nurse must be the female Irish boarder at the Wigfalls’ that Jemima had told her all about and who was hardly ever in her room, sleeping scandalously over at the Medical Practice with Dr. Danforth.

 

But the Virginian girl was too preoccupied with her own troubles to think overly upon this and the alien atmosphere of the Doctor’s office-cum-examination-room did little to quell her nerves, with its impressive dark-wood desk and chairs, examination bed, disrobing screens (Jemima had described those, and how she’d had to strip to the waist behind them, in gratuitous detail) and cabinets full of all sort of exotic bottles and preparations and medical equipment and surgical impedimenta. It was all fascinating and terrifying at the same time for a girl who had never visited a real life bona fide certified physician before.

 

She stood, twisting her shawl into a knot as the great man himself (he whom she had once accused of looting the pie store) followed into the room behind her.

 

@Bongo @boshmi [if you feel the need!]

 

 

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Jonah had to wonder why a young woman would want to see him specifically, since most ladies seemed to be more at ease with another female, but then, some felt that a nurse was 'just' a nurse, and not qualified to deal with even the most minor of complaints. 

 

Oh, well, it was what he was here for, and how bad could it be?

 

Then he entered the exam room and just about ran for St. Louis, slamming the door behind him!   That Arabella!  Good lord, what was in the child's craw now?

 

But she looked so earnest and serious, so he pushed aside his thoughts and nodded to Arabella, keeping some distance for now.  "Miss Mudd, isn't it?  What's the problem today?"

 

He sat in a chair across from her to feel a little less threatening, and smiled, trying not to speculate on what her current ailment might be.

 

@Javia; @boshmi

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But she looked so earnest and serious, so he pushed aside his thoughts and nodded to Arabella, keeping some distance for now.  "Miss Mudd, isn't it?  What's the problem today?"

 

The figure in black didn’t know if she was supposed to stay stood up, sit down or lie on the examination bed; when she saw the doctor sit down, she decided to do that too, but half expected to be told off for doing so.

 

She couldn’t look at him, she felt so ashamed of her condition, and stared at the desk in front of her in a sort of stunned daze. Her later visual recollection of the whole alien event centred on Dr. Danforth’s impressive and ornate wooden pen and ink stand. She glanced up at him quickly and turned her gaze back down as she asked him an initial question.

 

“Well, ‘fore I say…” she forced herself to take a breath “Well, this friend of mine, she said … well, is it right that you doctors take this here hypocritic oath and you’re not allowed to go telling folks anything that sick people tell you ‘bout themselves?” she asked anxiously, twisting on a tassel of her black shawl. “Even that nurse girl.” She added quickly. The somewhat jealous Jemima Wigfall had told her that the two of them, doctor and nurse, were virtually ‘living over the brush’ and she could just imagine the doctor and his pretty lover laughing over her very personal problem in the comfort of their boudoir. The idea of anyone knowing made the very blood freeze in her veins.

 

@Bongo [ @boshmi stocktaking! :)]

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Jonah tried to keep a straight face as he nodded somberly.  "Yes, we take the Hippocratic Oath at the end of our training, and part of that involves the privacy of our patients and their ailments."  He offered what he hoped was a reassuring smile.  "I'm not in the habit of discussing my patients anyway, so you needn't fear that anything will go beyond us."

 

Well, unless it was something that he needed advice on, since there were a slew of ladies problems that were still a mystery to him, and that, frankly, he preferred to remain so for all time!

 

"So, how can I help you today, young lady?"

 

@Javia

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Arabella nodded thoughtfully at Dr. Danforth’s assurances that anything she tell him be treated in the strictest of confidence. There was still the opt-out of telling him about her period pains, but no, she had come this far, she must go on.

 

"So, how can I help you today, young lady?"

 

She glanced up at him for a fleeting second and then began her monologue to the quietly listening desk before her.

 

“Well, you’re a doctor, right? So you know all about the birds and the bees and all that ornery stuff. Well, … well I’m a good girl but, well sometimes I do wrong things, but the Lord always forgives me”. she took a deep breath.

 

"Well, any old how, couple months ago, me and this boy, well, he kissed me and then we did some wrong things together and, well, I ain’t proud of it, but there it is.”

 

She gave him a quick glance to see if he was following her tale of woe.

 

“Anyhow, that stuff we did together, well, you know, it wasn’t that bad but I didn’t like it much really, kinda like eating oat meal, you can get thru it but you don’t get a real hankerin’ to do it again any time soon.” Clearly, Arabella’s first clinch with the young man Billy hadn’t been anything to write home about.

 

 “Well anyhow, after that, well, me and this friend where I work we was funnin’ around and she was a little bit worst fer wear with the booze, you know, because, boy, is that one a drinker!” the girl in black actually managed a weak smile at this, but that quickly collapsed back into a frown as she carried on. “And … and … and, well, we, I mean, it was me, I kissed her and, well, then we funned around like I done with the boy that time, and … and…” now she looked at him full in the face and tears were starting to brim in her eyes.

 

“Well, listen Doctor, I’m sick, see?, I’m real sick, I got something… wrong about me. I like girls the same way as I’m meant to like boys. I’m ill, see? And I thought you might have some medicine that can help me, I .. I got money see? I can pay!” she stood up and opened her little clutch purse and, her hands visibly shaking, started to pull out coins, coppers, silver, even some notes and hastily started to pile them clumsily on the desk.

 

“There’s fourteen dollars there, nearly, or maybe there’s a operation you can do, I’ll pay. If it’s more than fourteen dollars, well, I’m earning good money, I can, I can pay it off in instalments just, just please, please, please, help me!” she pleaded, the tears really rolling down her cheeks now.

 

She was practically begging him on her knees now. Jesus had turned His back on her, God did not forgive her trespasses. Seeing the doctor to cure her ailment, this sick disease within her, was her only chance to have a normal life again.

 

@Bongo @boshmi 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"No, no, no..."  Jonah reacted first to the easiest of the list, shaking his head.  "It's only two dollars for the visit."  He offered an uncertain smile, dismayed now that any means of stalling on the confessions was spent, and that he'd have to address the child's concerns.

 

Where to start?  Of course, her primary worry was the perceived attraction to women, and that was something that Jonah very much doubted was covered in medical school, should one make it all the way through.  It was considered a psychological aberrancy, something wrong in the brain, or just a mistaken impression by the sufferer...something that they could 'teach' themselves to stop.

 

But...Jonah wasn't ready to quite address that just yet (ever!), so he instead reverted to her first confession. 

 

"So, you say you 'sinned' with a boy?  Could you be more specific on that?  What exactly did you do?  Besides kissing, I mean?"

 

Oh, dear God, could the child be pregnant?  Did she even know what caused pregnancy, or of she had had intercourse (EW!) with the boy, that a child could result?  And where the hell was her mother?!

 

@Javia

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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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