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    • "Wonderful!"  Jonah almost clapped, for this had been going on for so long, that he really expected that this would be some sort of new setback, and Leah certainly didn't need any more complications.  "I'm sure it's going to be a huge relief when they finally break ground.  It's going to be rewarding to watch it take shape, and for you to know you are responsible for it."   He hoped, for her sake more than anything, that the weather cooperated, and that the progress was swift and without complications.    "You'll be overseeing the project?"  He couldn't imagine that she'd step back now, and not assure that every detail was right.   @Flip
    • "Boss, we found us a herd ripe for the pluckin'. Maybe we oughtta move on it afore they change where they're grazin' 'em, an make it more difficult." Toole suggested. "We can take close to a hunderd head easy enough, they move 'em, thet might not be the way of it."   "'Scuse me men, but Toole here is on to something, and cattle is our other business. We've customers waiting up north." Case said, not happy at being interrupted, yet realizing that what he said was true. It was why they were there, and it was what the did. "So go on and make yourselves to home while I get this job situated."   "Oh sure thing, Case, an thanks for the offer. We appreciate it, 'mon boys." Shannon said, and with that they walked outside to find the other building Case was talking about.   "Alright Toole what did you have in mind?" Case asked.   "The place is just at the foothills where they have their cattle. Now any buildin's 'er maybe a mile, mile'n a half away. What we saw was just maybe four riders wit the cattle, may not hav'ta kill any of 'em. We just filter down through the trees and then rush 'em. Maybe eight 'er ten of us, circle the heard an' push 'em back the way we come which was the long way around , and shore they'll be tracks alomst all the way to the dry river bed, maybe  whot, two mile from the tree line. Hard ground to river bed, but they won't catch us, not seein's they're out numbered."   Case gave it some thought, but Toole had been plotting how they would steal a herd for quite a while, and he knew what he was doing. Besides, no County Sheriff, no problem!   "Pick your men, Toole and get it done." Case said, knowing if they got a hundred head, that would be enough to drive north, once the brands were altered.
    • Having a second thought, to bolster the findings he sent for Fairchild before he could leave for New Orleans, and in the vicinity of Elinor Steelgrave, that could be done at another time after this meeting with Elias himself.   It was like hedging his bet on the situation. He wanted Elias to meet the man who could explain what was in the file in detail, much better than he himself.  might be able to. Nothing like being prepared. Elias could be unpredictable when upset, if a man like Fairchild explaining what he had found could manage to keep Steelgrave manage-ably clam then the expense was worth it to all concerned.   He had to congratulate himself on the idea. It just might work!
    • List in hand, they made their way back to town and to the Anderson's Mercantile where they laid out their list of needs. John and Mary Agnes looked over the list and began adding prices, plus shipping where it was warranted.   "So, you're in the mining business Marshal?" John asked.   "We are." Alice replied with a wide proud smile on her face. Speed just looked at her.   "Amos here found a property to good to pass up, so I bought it myself." Speed said, "Actually two properties, the other on is off to the west, but this one is just north of the Evergreen Ranch a couple of miles."   "Ah that would be the Henshaw mine. Sad about his wife passing on so suddenly. Life can be hard out here, it was just too hard for Martha Henshaw, though she tried as hard as anyone could." Mary Agnes said. "Most all of what you have here we have in stock. Most all of this was on Henshaw's list as well, he just quit before he paid for it. I believe we can give you a good price on the machinery out back. Right John?"   "Yes we can, The fact is Speed I'll let you have it at our cost, plus the shipping expenses, of course. Be good to free up that room back there. Let me see here at my cost, yes, well, it looks to be just under three thousand dollars, without the things we have in stock that wasn't Henshaw's."   Fair enough John, and we appreciate it. Now, if you'll let me get up to the bank, we want to use their money until we get started, and then we'll settle up."   "Makes sense to me, it's what we did. Hated those monthly payments, but it worked for us." John agreed.   "We'll be back." Speed promised.
    • The single shot was loud, even with the traffic, the jingle of the trace chains and the people on the boardwalks conversing. It had been some time since that had been gunfire in town,  especially in the middle of the day, he was up, pad in hand and heading for the door. "That was a gunshot!" He said to Sarah. "I have no idea what it's about, but I intend to find out!"   He stepped out the door to see a crowd gathered and Marshal Guyer leading a man away, a man who looked familiar, but one he could not identify right off. He started down the street to see who belonged to the body laying on the boardwalk. There should be a story in this, it would appear someone had been murdered in broad daylight!   When he arrived at the body, it was of a man he did not recognize, not that he was aware of every drifter that passed through town, but the one being led off was familiar enough, he just could not place him at the moment. But clearly Chester and  Myrtle McIneery stood close behind the body, Chester steadying his wife who splattered with blood, no doubt from the dead man.   He then saw Arabella Mudd scurrying across the the street to the Municipal Building. He would be over there in a few moments himself but just then, the slower moving Mister Jolly and young Raymond, his other assistant, arrived on the scene. "Mister Jolly." He greeted, "Raymond. I see Miss Mudd is already at the Marshals office." @Javia

This Could be Heaven or This Could be Hell


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Mature Content: Good god, I hope not!

With: Wigfalls
Location: Wigfall Boarding House AKA Hotel California
When: Second Week of July 1876
Time of Day: Mid-Day

 

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Sometimes, Jonah  couldn't help but question the decisions he'd made in his life but it was too late now to go back and do it again, and honestly, he wasn't sure the path would have been so different, except for finding some other no-account town far from any true civilization, and by-passing Kalispell, along with Miss Arabella Mudd and anything Wigfall.  

 

But it was too late for that now, he  was too far invested in the place now, and didn't yet have the means to move along anyway.  Sadly, chickens and berry preserves didn't buy much.

 

So, here he was, mounting the steps on the porch to the Wigfall Boarding House, seeking a Mesmerist...Mesmerizer...Mesmerologist?   No matter, he just needed someone who could make the girl believe that she was hypnotized so she might be cured of her ailment.

 

Straightening his brocade vest, he took a breath, then knocked on the door...

 

@Javia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jemima opened the door expecting to see some mendicant merchant plying his wears, or another traveller come seeking bed and board, or perhaps the fellow in Room 6 had forgotten his key again. That the portrait framed by the doorway was that of the handsome and debonair Dr. Jonas Danforth, he of the gentle hands and understanding bedside manner, was a shock, but a welcome one to be sure. The sluggish blood in her veins roused itself and her heart throbbed slowly and surely in her breast.

 

She jumped to the obvious conclusion, he must be here to check on how that big cyst on her back was healing up after he’d drained all of that smelly, yellow pus from it, during their last romantic encounter. “Come into the parlour and I’ll take my clothes off.” Were the only words of greeting she uttered in her usual deadpan voice that gave no hint of the intense excitement she was feeling right now. A couple passing on the street hurried past with a cry of “Well, really!”

 

By the time they reached said room, spotlessly clean, of course, but cluttered with all the fussy impedimenta of 19th Century sensibilities, she had been sadly disabused of this misunderstanding. The only other person in the parlour was Hector Wigfall, between shifts at the telegraph office, lounging with one leg sprawled over the arm of an overstuffed chair, reading The Telegrapher journal, or rather reading something else, disguised by being placed inside of said learned publication.

 

He jumped up when Dr. Danforth and his hated sister entered and shoved the journal, along with Memoirs of a Portuguese Nun under the chair. He glanced between the two of them and drew the obvious conclusion.

 

“Oh, er, if she’s going to take off her clothes I hope you’ll excuse me, Doctor. I’ve seen enough horror in my young life!”

 

“He ain’t here about the boil, stupid. He got a question for us!” she spat at him, before turning more loving cow-eyes upon the medical man. “Don’t you, Doctor Danforth?” she simpered, somewhat sickeningly in Hector’s opinion.

 

“Take a seat, Doc” shrugged an intrigued Heck “What can me and Wiggy do for you?”

 

anne-with-an-e-gilbert-bythe-lucas-jade-

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Oh, dear, there was Miss Jemima, and ready to peel down for him, so Jonah quickly put a stop to that.  "No, no, I just have a question..."

 

And he was herded into the kitchen before he could explain what he was here for, which could have just as easily been discussed from the safety of the porch!

 

But at least the boy was staying, so for now he was relatively safe.  Remaining on his feet, he made his request.  "I was really hoping to speak to your mother in confidence."  If such a thing was possible in this house!

 

@Javia

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But at least the boy was staying, so for now he was relatively safe.  Remaining on his feet, he made his request.  "I was really hoping to speak to your mother in confidence."  If such a thing was possible in this house!

 

“Our … mother?!” Hector paled and flopped back into the chair “Is she … ill?” he asked, aghast. Jemima, already uncomfortably close to the good doctor and fixing him with that unnerving gaze, leaned in even closer, within touching distance you might say, and intoned a question that seemed more hopeful than otherwise “Is she gonna die?”

 

“Shut up you! Of course, she ain’t gonna die, is she Doc? She’ll be all right won’t she?” Hector yelled as he jumped up. “Don’t you say that!” he shouted at Jemima, giving her shoulder a shake ”You’d like that though, wouldn’t you?!” he continued “You’d like her to die.”

 

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“I’d like you to die!” Jemima countered and, slapping his hand away with ease, grabbed his nose and gave it a twist, forcing him sideways and down.

 

“Arrghhh! Get her off Doc, get her off!” Hector shouted nasally as his sister used her other hand to grip his free arm while his other hand kept him from being completely floored. It was this Laocoön-like sight that greeted Mrs Wigfall as she entered the room behind the doctor to see what all the noise was about.

 

“Oh, hello Doctor Danforth, can I help you at all? I do hope Jemima hasn’t been bothering you again. I’ve told her and told her to keep away from your house and that it’s wrong to stare through people’s windows but she is such a impulsive child, I…” she looked down at the two nineteen-year olds writhing on the carpet. Jemima was fully astride Hector now as he lay trapped on his back, her knees on his shoulders, he crying “Pax, pax!”; she continuing to twist his nose and wondering how best to employ her free other hand to inflict further pain.

 

“Oh, do excuse me one moment, Doctor” Mrs Wigall smiled sweetly, marching toward the two teenagers. First she grabbed Jemima’s ear under her greasy black locks and gave it a smart twist, forcing her to stand with the pain and marching her in a stooping position toward and out of the door into the hallway. To give her her due, the stoic girl never once uttered a peep at the intense pain this must have caused.

 

Hector scrambled to his feet brushing down his clothes with a look of fury and embarrassment on his face. “She’s a damned ape!” he informed his mother as she strode back into the room. His reward for this observation was a smart slap across the cheek that would have done Moe Howard proud and to have his ear grabbed and himself kicked out of the room in a similar manner to Jemima. “You DARE to use such language in front of your Mother!” she bellowed “You’re not too big to be put across my lap and spanked, the pair of you! Now GET OUT and stay in the dining room until you’re called for!!” she admonished them.

 

She re-entered the room dusting her hands together.

 

“Children!” she sighed, before continuing her conversation with their visitor like nothing had happened. “Oh, please do be seated Doctor. Would you like some tea, or coffee? Do tell me what I can do for you.”

 

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@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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No children...never...ever...never...no children...ever!

 

"Your mother is not ill," he tired to explain calmly, to tell the pair that he was the one doing the calling, but by then they were locked in mortal combat, and no sense trying to talk sense to them.  Fortunately, he elder Wigfall broke it up and shooed them off.

 

“Oh, please do be seated Doctor. Would you like some tea, or coffee? Do tell me what I can do for you.”

 

Thank you, no, coffee isn't necessary."  Jonah smiled, although he was anxious to get this over and be gone!  "I have work to get back to, but I was wondering if you might help me?  I have a patient who could benefit from hypnosis, and I have heard talk that you have some experience in that field?"

 

@Javia

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Thank you, no, coffee isn't necessary."  Jonah smiled, although he was anxious to get this over and be gone!  "I have work to get back to, but I was wondering if you might help me?  I have a patient who could benefit from hypnosis, and I have heard talk that you have some experience in that field?"

 

“Hypnosis?! I?!” gasped a horrified Mrs Wigfall, holding her hand to her heart “I fear you confound me with my daughter, Doctor. She is the one who goes to that terrible Spiritualist Church with its trances and its … oh! Spirit rapping.” She pulled out a hanky and dabbed at her eyes “Oh Doctor, I do worry so about that girl. Hector has his problems, I know, but they are those of a normal young man… well, relatively normal… but Jemima! If only she could find the … the proper attentions of a nice young man, it would work wonders with her and calm those … urges of hers, but, well doctor, you know what she is… you know of her…. Condition.” she sighed. "There was one young man but, well, his attentions weren't quite normal I fear, he.." she petered out. What she caught Jemima and Jacob Lutz doing together that time wasn't scandalous or anything, just sort of odd.

 

“Well, if anybody knows of such things, it is she.” Without getting up from her chair, Mrs Wigfall bellowed out her daughter’s name at a deafening volume “JEMIIII-MAAHHHHH!”

The door opened and the sullen looking girl entered, followed by Hector who took the opportunity to sneak back in, grab his Journal and hide himself behind it in  a chair in the corner.

 

Jemima stood there, arms folded, looking daggers at her mother.

 

“Now, Jemima, Dr. Danforth requires the services of a hypnotist. Perhaps you know of some person who dabbles in such things?” she explained like she was talking to a five year old. Jemima pulled her basilisk stare away from Mrs Wigfall and looked at Danforth, as if she was weighing him up. Could he be trusted? He was so ruggedly handsome, with those soft, beautiful brown eyes, and his manly bearing… of course he could be trusted!

 

She looked at him coolly and pronounced: “Oberon! OBERON!”

 

From behind The Telegrapher hector quietly added “King of All the Fairies”, but Jemima ignored him.

 

“Oberon sees all and knows all. He is the master of mesmerism and the black arts. I follow the Christian path, but I know of Oberon, and I can take you to him. But Doctor Danforth, be warned…” she chid him, in her same old flat monotone “… you may be led into the path of temptation during your dealings with Oberon, I will take you to him, and be ready to protect you.”

 

“Nutty as a fruitcake” commented The Telegrapher, sotto voce.

 

“COME!” she commanded, holding out a grubby hand to him.

 

Mrs Wigfall stood in semi-alarm, a look of deep concern on her face. “Oh Doctor, you will be all right won’t you?”

 

Hector turned a page. “As. A. Fruitcake!” he repeated.

 

@Bongo

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Great, just his luck that it would be Jemima who knew where to find what he was looking for, and then she started wailing about 'Oberon' and he frowned.  What did a fictional character have to do with anything? 

 

But then she had clamped onto him and was dragging him out the door ranting about being led down dark paths or somesuch thing, Oh, but she would protect him, praise the lord!

 

"Miss Wigfall, I..."  Well, he had little choice in the matter now but to go with the girl and hope for the best.  Besides, he had to admit that his curiosity was piqued!

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No doubt Dr. Danforth had expected to be taken to meet the great sage Oberon in some soaring wizard’s tower or a mysterious never-before-noticed door in a creepy back alley. He could hardy have expected Jemima Wigfall to lead him, in eerie silence, to the tinkling store front door of Pettigrew & Packham (Deceased) Drapers, Millinery, Haberdashery, Specialist Corsetry Emporium and Ladies Outfitter.

 

As they entered the house of feminine apparel, they were greeted by the nondescript, mousy, but skilled little seamstress that Pettigrew had taken on to do the donkey-work of the dressmaking and repair work and also to hold the fort while he was engaged in more esoteric pursuits.

 

Jemima seemed to know the girl, but before they could talk the more alive member of the Pettigrew & Packham partnership glided through the heavy velvet curtains that divided the front of house portion of the store from the stock room, fitting room and cutting room in back.

 

“You may go sort out that new shipment of buttons, child.” The new arrival ordered the little seamstress away and turned his benign gaze onto the unlikely pairing of Jonah and Jemima.

 

Worchester Pettigrew (those who pronounced his name Wur-Chester, he would correct by saying ‘Wuster, Wuster, it rhymes with Fluster!’)  appraised the pair  with a look of slight surprise. Well, it was hardly for him to criticise another man’s taste in women, to him they were all just mannequins waiting to be dressed and adorned, not any kind of prospective wife or lover. He knew Jemima well, she ‘did’ for him scullery-wise and even took on some of the rougher 'piece work', but really her sausage fingers were good for little more than tacking. In fact, you might describe her as ‘a rough piece of work’ herself. But today she appeared in the guise of a valued customer, and he would be appropriately sycophantic.

 

“Why Dr. Danforth, and your, er, young lady, how wonderful. What might be your pleasure? A new dress perhaps, or we have some wonderful new bonnets in, all the latest styles from back East. Oh, it so much better when a gentleman actually comes in with his sweetheart so we can obtain measurements!” he cooed in his soft Louisiana drawl, coming out from behind the counter with his ever present tape measure around his neck.

 

He started to take Jemima’s vital statistics, although it was difficult to decide where the strangely built girl's bust, waist and hips were actually supposed to be. “You know, buy them something too small, and you will embarrass them, buy them something too big and you will insult them …” he tittered obligingly. 

 

“He seeks OBERON!” boomed Jemima and Pettigrew stopped dead in his tracks becoming suddenly more serious.

 

“Oh… Miss Wigfall, watch the store!” he ordered.

 

To Doctor Danforth, he signalled silently that the medical man should follow him through the velvet curtains, behind which there was a set of stairs to the upper quarters of the house.

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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It was in this moment that Jonah vowed never again to imagine how any encounter with the Wigfalls was going to be, for no matter how bizarre the circumstances he mentally prepared for, the reality was ten-fold that, in ways that his brain never would/could have never even started to imagine!

 

Finding no point in protesting the assumed relation with Miss Wigfall, Jonah just rolled his eyes and tolerated it, then sighed in relief when the focus went back to the topic...Oberon, whatever the hell that meant!

 

As he ascended the stairs behind the man, he had the impression that he could be in some dime-store novel, going up to nowhere, then being shoved out a door that just led to open space!  The only thing missing was a thunderstorm to add drama and atmosphere!  Of course, that was absurd, no one would ever build stairways to nothing, much the less write about it!

 

@Javia

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Usually it was beautiful, rich young women, or delusional fat and frowsy rich old women, that Worchester Pettigrew led up these stairs, to the exclusive bespoke fitting room on the right at the top of them. The idea of leading a handsome man like Dr Danforth up those same steps to his personal quarters was the stuff of phantasy; and in the realm of phantasy it would remain. Even if the darkly good looking Jonah had been interested in men, it was unlikely that he would be interested in old, fat, balding, ginger haired men. No, those days of love and lust must be kept in the past, locked away in his memories of hot, frenzied, antebellum New Orleans, when he was a gay young blade and finding others of his inclination in that wild cosmopolitan meting pot of cultures and races was as easy as falling off a log.

 

Cold Kalispell was his final resting place now, where the spectre of decrepitude and death alone knocked furtively at his door.

 

The room into which he showed Dr. Danforth was neat and beautifully appointed: reflecting the style and panache of its decorator, the trammels of the zeitgeist (never were so many knick-knacks and curios dwarfed by so large and dominating an aspidistra plant) and the peculiar interests of its inhabitant. For every fashion plate on the wall (those of his most successful creations in his heyday) there was some ornament of the arcane or occult. Here a marble head, with the phrenological regions painted upon it; there a deck of curious cards of the Etteilla variety, which he used to read for the amusement of a bohemian drawing room; on a sideboard, an ephemeris and a copy of William Lilly’s ‘Christian Astrology’.

 

“Please do be seated, Doctor.” Bade Pettigrew, indicating an overstuffed easy chair “May I offer you some light refreshment, perhaps a teensy-weensy glass of sherry?”

 

“Now, please do tell me what I can do to be of service…” he dropped his voice to a whisper “… is it Miss Wigfall? Are you, perhaps, requiring a wedding dress that… well, hides a protrusion that just shouldn’t be there?”

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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There it was again, that assumption that he and Miss Wigfall...he shuddered.  Did people really reasonably think that? 

 

"I'm not aware of Miss Wigfall having any upcoming nuptials...or a fiance, for that matter."  Jonah offered a bit of a smile, "I would offer her congratulations should that happen...everyone deserves happiness."

 

Just that 'happiness' varied from person to person! 

 

"I'm seeking someone who has some expertise in hypnosis...for a patient who needs to alter a poor habit."  Maybe they could deal with Miss Mudd's hysteria while they were at it, not that that would be ethical, but then, he wasn't sure any of this was ethical, nor if he cared!

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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"I'm not aware of Miss Wigfall having any upcoming nuptials...or a fiance, for that matter."  Jonah offered a bit of a smile, "I would offer her congratulations should that happen...everyone deserves happiness."

 

“Oh, that’s such a relief!” sighed Pettigrew, pouring himself a sherry even in Danforth hadn’t indicated an interest in the sweet fortified wine. He wasn’t bothered about the medical man’s love life, just the prospect of losing a hard worker, one who could actually operate the new-fangled sewing machine, to boot, to the altar.

 

“I’m seeking someone who has some expertise in hypnosis…for a patient who needs to alter a poor habit.”  Maybe they could deal with Miss Mudd’s hysteria while they were at it, not that that would be ethical, but then, he wasn’t sure any of this was ethical, nor if he cared!

 

“A … poor habit?” asked the Louisiana man. His accent made it sound like a “paw habit” Well, how ‘paw’ the habit was depended what the patient was pawing!

 

Pettigrew poured Danforth a sherry whether he wanted one or not and handed it to him.

 

“Well, doctor, when I was a young man and in society in New Orleans, I developed a number of parlour tricks to keep me popular and invited to all the best soirees; oh… played a little Schubert at the piano” he waved a hand at a beautiful if seldom played piano in the corner of the room “… read the future in the cards or the stars or the palm… oh, the usual occupations of the bored.”

 

Oh, to live again in yesterday!

 

“A young friend of mine, French gentleman I recall, with the most amazing curly black hair and jet back eyes… er, ahem, he showed me the wonders of Mesmer’s methods. Turned out I was quite the natural, but er… well Doctor, I soon found out that with great power comes great responsibility. I’m sure you can imagine… the sort of thing. I swore on my dear Mother’s sweet immortal soul there and then never to misuse the strange and very real powers of hypnosis that have been, somehow or other, granted to me.” He drained the small sherry glass of its contents.

 

“Therefore, Doctor Danforth, you will understand if I enquire what exactly is the poor habit with which this unfortunate, afflicted soul suffers.” He asked seriously.

 

@Bongo

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"Oh, yes, of course."  Jonah nodded, it made sense, after all, no doctor could solve every ailment, and there was no use wasting the man's time.

 

"I'm caring for a young woman...a child, actually, who finds she has a preference for her own...sort.  Inversion, I believe it's called.  She's tormented by the sin, of course, and is seeking answers, if not a cure."

 

Neither of which Jonah was sure existed, but at least if hypnosis eased some of Miss Mudd's suffering, it would be a start!

 

@Javia

 

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"I'm caring for a young woman...a child, actually, who finds she has a preference for her own...sort.  Inversion, I believe it's called.  She's tormented by the sin, of course, and is seeking answers, if not a cure."

 

Worchester Pettigrew supped calmly from his sherry glass as the handsome Doctor described a case which, gender apart, could have described himself some fifty odd years ago. He himself had been lucky on a number of counts: he had been effectively ‘outed’ by his vindictive sister to his father, no doubt she had expected a good thrashing, if not total banishment, to have followed. Instead, a stern, frighteningly frank, but bizarrely understanding talking-to had followed: the Commodore had been a man of the world and his experience in the navy provided him with a store of knowledge on the physical and emotional difficulties of men who loved each other as had the ancient Greeks.

 

Secondly, Worchester had never suffered any agonies of the soul by dint of what either a vengeful and cruel Old Testament God or a gentle and forgiving Jesus might think of him. Thirdly, and most importantly, he had lived in a bustling cosmopolitan port city where finding others of his ilk and proclivities had been easy, and finding many like himself had soon ceased to think of himself as in any way an unnatural freak.

 

Now he considered this nameless ‘child’ – a young woman, no doubt, in mortal fear for her soul, echoes of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were always resonant in these situations; a young woman who knew no others of her nature, and who possibly did not know that any others existed in this world, and certainly not in straight-laced, parochial Kalispell, a hundred worlds away from the demi-monde atmosphere of antebellum New Orleans.

 

Finally, she had found herself in the hands of the medical profession. He shuddered to think of the fate of some of the companions of his youth who had been handed over to Physicians by their well-meaning families to ‘cure’ them of their fetid sickness. Straight jackets; chastity belts; concoctions of bromide and arsenic; beatings; freezing cold baths and, in one awful case, castration had all been seen as the lesser of two evils. He hoped that his involuntary shudder would be mistaken for horror at the girl’s ‘malaise’.

 

“A sad affliction, poor child. But I believe that I can help you effect a cure, Doctor.” said Pettigrew, as disinterested sounding as if he was agreeing to mend a tear in the patient’s frock.

 

@Bongo

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Nodding in relief, Jonah let out a breath, glad that he wasn't in this alone anymore, and that, apparently, the mousy little man understood.  Still, he felt compelled to advocate for his patient.

 

"Nothing drastic or harmful," he clarified, "I'm not fully convinced the young woman is actually 'inverted', she's still very young and just starting to realize her awakening, so there is bound to be some confusion."

 

He really didn't know why he was so concerned for Miss Mudd, he really was sure her affliction leaned more toward hysterics than anything else, but he was here, he was trying, so he may as well do the best he could.

 

@Javia

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"Nothing drastic or harmful," he clarified, "I'm not fully convinced the young woman is actually 'inverted', she's still very young and just starting to realize her awakening, so there is bound to be some confusion."

 

“Oh, bound to be, bound to be!” agreed Pettigrew, his metaphorical fingers metaphorically crossed. He didn’t like to fib, but it was unlikely to be some bid for attention or cry for help, although some teenaged girls were apt to do that. He suspected that the child would indeed be confused and distressed at these strange feelings: especially if she had started to experiment with boys and found them wanting, or with girls and found them more fulfilling. But, confused or not,  feelings, strong feelings, strong enough to make a body seek out expensive medical help of her own volition, they were indicative that the girl had probably been born that way: a barley seed had been sown in a field of wheat and had now grown to a height where the difference could be noticed. Well, they would see, but Pettigrew suspected that the girl was as firmly different as he himself was.

 

“Still, I am at your disposal Doctor: when would you like me to meet with this poor unfortunate? And, ah, presumably this would be in the environs of your surgery?” he asked, wondering which methodology would be best to use: the magnets, the watch, or the zoetrope.

 

@Bongo

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"Tomorrow morning, if that is all right?"  He could send word to her this evening, give her time to plan.  "And it's probably best we do this at the clinic."  It was a more professional setting, and he didn't want to raise any suspicion around the girl.  Mrs. Towberman knew to be discreet, and even so, she didn't have anything to do with patients directly.  As for the new nurse, he knew she'd keep quiet, too.

 

"I appreciate your help in this, Mr. Pettigrew, I'll have Mrs. Towberman prepare refreshments for you, too.  Will there be anything else you require?"  Hopefully, it would go smoothly, would solve the problem, and no one else would suspect him of having a romance with Miss Jemima Wigfall!

 

@Javia

 

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"Tomorrow morning, if that is all right?"  He could send word to her this evening, give her time to plan.  "And it's probably best we do this at the clinic." 

 

“Certainly, Doctor, certainly. I will ask Miss Wigfall to come in and watch the store. I will be at your surgery at five to nine promptly and bring along the paraphernalia.” Nodded Worchester seriously.

 

"I appreciate your help in this, Mr. Pettigrew, I'll have Mrs. Towberman prepare refreshments for you, too.  Will there be anything else you require?"  Hopefully, it would go smoothly, would solve the problem, and no one else would suspect him of having a romance with Miss Jemima Wigfall!

 

“No, no, I think I have everything I need. I cannot guarantee a result, of course. For reasons we do not clearly understand, some individuals do not make ready mesmeric subject, whereas others fall under the trance at the mere snap of a finger.” He said, clicking his fingers by way of illustration.

 

They stood to go.

 

“I will let you out the back, Doctor, unless you particularly wish to bid your adieus to Miss Wigfall.”

He thought not.

 

Just as her let the medical man escape round the back of the store like some fugitive, a last thought struck the rotund dressmaker.

 

“Oh, I suppose it might help me plan for the morning if  were to know the identity of the poor mind-crippled creature we are going to attempt to help, if it’s not against your oath to reveal it. I suppose I will meet her tomorrow anyway.” He threw out nonchalantly.

 

@Bongo [OOC: That can be it though, on to the next thread...]

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