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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

The Reception


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Mature Content: No

With: Same cast as the wedding one.
Location: Redmond Farm
When: Same day as the wedding
Time of Day: Late afternoon

 

 

 

content-divider.png

 

Well, she was a married woman, Clara let that sink in yet again even as she changed out of that lovely blue dress she had been married in, Emeline's gift to her, something she would always treasure too. But ever the practical one, she now changed into a more appropriate work dress because it was on her to feed the arriving guests as they pulled up to the Redmond property in buggies or riding horses. She was going to have to feed a good dozen folks and was a bit apprehensive at the responsibility too. Not that she didn't know how to cook, she had been doing that regularly since her mother died. No, she worried if she would have enough for all the guests.

 

In the oven was a ham, her father had bought it just the day before, he called it a 'large ham', it was a HUGE one but that was a good thing what with this many mouths to feed. Last night she had baked two full baskets of corn bread dodgers  to provide the bread. While she did not dare ask Emeline for such (what with all the woman did for her) she hoped her employer might just bring a baked loaf or two of bread. Emeline was already providing the wedding cake and Clara was excited to see what she had done with it, Emeline was such a good baker.

 

As side dishes she had made a large batch of beans with molasses and flavored with some bacon tossed it too then some cooked carrots with honey, opened a jar of pickles, also a plate of pickled eggs she had gotten from the general store.  Dessert would have to be the wedding cake, god, she hoped it was large enough to allow everyone a slice at least. She would make it a point to tell Jacob to cut the slices thin if necessary.

 

Last night she had brought out all the plates and dishware the family owned and washed them, ditto with the silverware. Another issue she could not fix was the fact their dining table in the farm was a small square thing, big enough of course for her father, Wyatt, and her but not going to seat this many guests. Her father came to the rescue by setting up two saw horses and placing a wide plank between them. Even using some barrels they just did not have enough chairs to seat everybody though. Some would have to stand or eat in shifts. Too late Clara realized it would have been smarter to have the dinner at the Lick Skillet!  Live and learn.

 

Now suitably garbed (more for a work day than a party) the young brunette proceeded to the kitchen to do the last minute tasks which awaited her culinary event.

 

***

 

Wyatt had convinced his father to let him pound a few stakes into the ground and hopefully he could entice some of the guests to play some horseshoes. At least they could have a little fun at this boring affair.

 

***

Aurelian was not much of a drinker, well he had been as a young man but gave it up for assuming the reponsiblity of being a proper family man. But there had to be some sort of alcoholic beverage to do up toasts for the bridge and groom, to drink to their future so right after the wedding he had duly marched over to the saloon to try for a purchase of a bottle of some sort of wine. The bartender mentioned they had champagne in the back, the cost proved prohibitive though so Aurelian had to decline. That's when the man realized this was the wedding Arabella Mudd was attending, she had been given the day and evening off for it. As a goodwill gesture, he simply handed over a bottle of the champagne and said it was a wedding gift for the young couple. Aurelian gratefully accepted.

 

There would be coffee and tea provided too for the dinner, with fresh cream if anyone so desired.

 

 

Chased out of the kitchen by a harried Clara, Aurelian now stood outside to greet the attendees as they arrived. He had even resolved to tolerate Granny Miggins and hope for the very best.

 

 

 

 

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Everybody was doing something, preparing food, talking, bustling and hustling in the house. Jacob, one of the two stars of the show, was feeling amazingly shy and, frankly, a bit of a spare part until they all sat down to eat. He found himself oddly wandering outside, hands in pockets, where another outcast from the adult world was idly pitching horseshoes at stakes.

 

The groom ambled over to his new brother-in-law to whom he had never spoken in his life.

 

He watched him finishing his turn until all the shoes were pitched.

 

“Can I have a turn?” Jacob asked Wyatt, the 17 year old nonchalantly broaching the question to the boy four years his junior like two new kids sizing each other up in the schoolyard. There was an almost unwritten rule that if the one kid said no, the other would say “Huh! Didn’t wanna anyways!”

 

He looked down at the little squirt, waiting for an answer: he could see Clara in him, and somehow also, by unconscious triangulation with Aurelian, immediately felt he knew exactly what Clara’s mother had looked like.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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For a bit Wyatt simply tossed some by himself but  who should stroll up but Clara's brand spanking new husband. They actually hadn't really ever officially met let alone had a conversation. But there he was watching Wyatt in action.

 

“Can I have a turn?” Jacob asked Wyatt.

 

"Sure ya can. I reckon you know how to play then?" Wyatt was game.

 

He let the older boy, no way was he calling Jacob a man, not by a long shot even if he was Clara's husband, arm himself with a few horseshoes.

 

"Just wanna say I'm sorry I didn't get you two a present," Wyatt figured he better get that out of way right off.

 

He also couldn't resist adding, "But it is not like we got a lot of time to get something."

 

Wyatt.jpg

 

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“Can I have a turn?” Jacob asked Wyatt.

 

"Sure ya can. I reckon you know how to play then?" Wyatt was game

 

“Know how to play?! Huh! I invented this game!” humphed Jacob and started to throw a few good ‘uns.

 

He let the older boy, no way was he calling Jacob a man, not by a long shot even if he was Clara's husband, arm himself with a few horseshoes.

 

"Just wanna say I'm sorry I didn't get you two a present," Wyatt figured he better get that out of way right off.

 

“I should think so, too!” replied Jacob laconically, keeping his eyes on the stumps as he threw. “I was relying on you to get us something decent. All that stuff people gave us is kinda … girly. There wasn’t a catapult or a shotgun or a bag of marbles in the bunch.” He sneered. “Oh well, just get me double for Christmas or something.” He was, of course, joking: they were both fellers, fellers didn’t get all touchy feely, they joshed each other.

 

He also couldn't resist adding, "But it is not like we got a lot of time to get something."

 

Ouch! Yeah, well, either Wyatt got it or … did he really not know why he suddenly had a new Brother-in-law?!

 

Before he had time to try and work it out, the door opened and another runaway made his way out of the suffocating domestic atmosphere of the wedding party preparations. It was Wigfall. He ambled over to Jacob and Wyatt.

 

“Say fellers, can I have a turn?” he hailed them both, giving Wyatt a nod of greeting, which for men of any age is as good as any long and wordy introduction, if not better.

 

“You any good?” asked Jacob.

 

“I can beat your sorry backside, Lutz.” Boasted Hector before proceeding to miss every single throw.

Heck had worked out that the younger lad must be Clara’s brother.

 

“What’s wrong with these horseshoes, Redmond? They miss each time.” He asked over Jacob’s derisive laughter. They were all different ages and sizes but basically, they were three boys playing together in the schoolyard.

 

@Wayfarer @Flip @boshmi [if any other fellers want to escape outside while the wimmin do wimmin's work]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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As various dribs and drabs of guests started to roll up in wagons, pony and trap, and on horseback, they slotted into their God appointed slots. Granny Miggins tried to take over the kitchen arrangements, inevitably clashing with Clara; the more or less useless Bridget and Leonora Lutz found seats and sat awkwardly and silently next to each other.

 

Until the Pikes and Father Thomas got there, Arabella buttonholed Aurelian, with her henchman-like companion, Jemima, hovering threateningly behind her. Arabella pulled the hair out of her eyes for the millionth time that day, the sooner Clara un-borrowed that ribbon the better.

 

“Oh, I hope you didn’t mind when I took your arm during the service Mr Redmond but when Clara and Jacob and Wigfall went up to sign the register and we was just left there like that standin’ around like a couple of toads in a hole, well I thought we looked kinda silly standin’ there like that so that’s when I took your arm, so don’t worry, I wan’t implyin’ that I wanted ol’ Father Thomas to marry us next, Hur hur hur!!” she burst out laughing “Course, plenty of girls would wanna marry you Mr. Redmond, you’d be a real catch, wouldn’t he, ‘Mima?”

 

Jemima Wigfall had been staring hungrily at Aurelian with those intense coal black eyes throughout this typical soliloquy by the Mudd girl, and simply growled “Yeah, I’d marry him.” And then reached into an apron pocket and produced a long brown object and pointed it at Aurelian.

 

“You want a cigar, Mr. Redmond? How about we go outside for a smoke?” she asked, in that slow, low, lugubrious flat voice.

 

@Bongo @Flip @Wayfarer @boshmi

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"No you didn't, Pa said he played horseshoes when he was a kid," Wyatt rolled his eyes, Clara's husband wasn't going to fool him with such talk. But the guy was pretty good at throwing them and Wyatt had to give him his due. After one particular ringer, Wyatt even complimented him, "Good shot."

 

Wyatt was also taken aback that Jacob still wanted a present, the boy had hoped an apology would do.

 

"A shotgun!  I can't afford a shotgun. We don't even own one, we haven't got a whole lot of money," he declared.

 

About the time Jacob just said double it for Christmas, it finally dawned on Wyatt (whom Clara complained was too 'literal') this guy was kidding around.

 

"Sure, I'll do that. I'll buy you a unicorn," Wyatt promised. It was a running joke in the family that when there was talk of impossible stuff, unicorns always entered into the conversation. Of course maybe Jacob wouldn't know what a unicorn was? Wyatt only knew because of Clara who knew way too much stuff. This guy didn't look as smart as Clara.

 

Another young man ambled up, a friend of Jacob. Mostly Wyatt knew of him as the guy who worked in the telegraph office. Not that he had ever been able to either send or receive one of those telegrams but maybe some day. He wanted to play too.

 

"I guess," Wyatt agreed but the two older boys didn't wait for his permission. This one was kind of a smart aleck too.

 

So he could brag but he sure couldn't throw horseshoes to back it up. Wyatt joined Jacob in snickers at first which became laughs as miss followed miss.

 

“What’s wrong with these horseshoes, Redmond? They miss each time.”

 

"Nothing. They didn't miss for me n' Jacob. It's gotta be the thrower," Wyatt half smirked.

 

 

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Aurelian had to look away and remind himself not to get in involved when he saw and heard Clara in a kitchen disagreement with Granny Miggins. He did not envy the girl having that for relative by marriage. Suddenly  there was fiesty young Arabella standing there in front of him.

 

"Yes?" he raised one eyebrow.

 

“Oh, I hope you didn’t mind when I took your arm during the service Mr Redmond but when Clara and Jacob and Wigfall went up to sign the register and we was just left there like that standin’ around like a couple of toads in a hole, well I thought we looked kinda silly standin’ there like that so that’s when I took your arm, so don’t worry, I wan’t implyin’ that I wanted ol’ Father Thomas to marry us next, Hur hur hur!!” she burst out laughing “Course, plenty of girls would wanna marry you Mr. Redmond, you’d be a real catch, wouldn’t he, ‘Mima?”

 

"Well.....I should..." Aurelian started.

 

Jemima Wigfall had been staring hungrily at Aurelian with those intense coal black eyes throughout this typical soliloquy by the Mudd girl, and simply growled “Yeah, I’d marry him.” And then reached into an apron pocket and produced a long brown object and pointed it at Aurelian.

 

“You want a cigar, Mr. Redmond? How about we go outside for a smoke?”

 

Aurelian was surprised to be sure but recovered quickly, "I'm sorry but I do not indulge. Thank you though."

 

Like he was ever going out and smoke cigars with a young lady!

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By the time Thomas arrived at the Redmond homestead, the vast majority of the guests were present, milling about in demographically congruent clumps and making idle chatter. He bore with him a marriage certificate, tucked under his arm, and a bottle of fair whiskey, procured from the Stardust (and paid in full!). He knew that the family of the couple had probably purchased their own drinks, but he felt as though he needed to offer some sort of gift.

 

His jacket had been discarded, owed to the more casual nature of a reception, and he walked with a more comfortable ease along the track leading out of town. People seemed happy with the wedding, and there had been no one barging in to protest a union of wedlock. Both his own reputation, and that of the couple, would tenuously survive another day.

 

Outside the homestead gathered the boys; Jacob with his best man, and Clara's younger brother Wyatt, all taking turns at slinging horseshoes.

"Good day!" he greeted, waving with his free hand as he approached. "Master Wigfall, Master Redmond, Mister Lutz."

@Javia@Wayfarer@Flip@Bongo

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Emeline was bursting with happiness as Barnabas drove them out to the Redmond farm along with the other members of the wedding party, although they were lagging a bit behind the others, as Emeline had impressed on Barnabas the need to drive carefully and avoid the larger holes -- they were transporting the wedding cake, and Emeline was on edge that it arrive unscathed.

 

Although she was passing fair at baking, decorating was something else, and she'd had little time to practice.  Still, she was proud of what she'd made, and was anxious that it make it to the farm intact, since trying to repair it would be a nightmare!  Ensconced in a crate that Barnabas had made just for the occasion, it should be all right, but they wouldn't know until it was unpacked at the farm.

 

Even once there, Emeline was on pins and needles, but she held her tongue, having no doubt that her new husband would handle the crate as gently as he could, and she didn't need to badger him about it.

 

It was with a surge of relief that she saw the cake was intact and unscathed, but it wasn't until it was sitting in the middle of the main table, amid garlands of tiny blue and white flowers that matched the flowers that had been woven into Clara's hair.

 

"It's perfect."  Glancing at Barnabas, she smiled, then kissed him on the lips.  "Thank you for being so careful...and for putting up with my nagging.  And I promise I won't make a habit of baking wedding cakes!"

 

@Flip; @Wayfarer; @Javia; @Bailey; @boshmi

 

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"Sure, I'll do that. I'll buy you a unicorn," Wyatt promised. It was a running joke in the family that when there was talk of impossible stuff, unicorns always entered into the conversation. Of course maybe Jacob wouldn't know what a unicorn was? Wyatt only knew because of Clara who knew way too much stuff. This guy didn't look as smart as Clara.

 

“Oh, you mean a rhinoceros? Well thanks, Brother, that’s mighty generous. Just the cost of bringing one over from Africa must be a Million Dollars!” he plucked a figure from the air. “You know that unicorns are just legends descended from the writings of a ancient Greek traveller who saw a rhinoceros in Africa; ohhhh, ‘bout four hundred years before Jesus was born, right?” he asked. Yeah, showing of his knowledge of the ancient world a little, but why not?

 

Oh, talking of horny beasts, here came Wigfall, who played with them, badly, a while.

 

18715.png

 

“What’s wrong with these horseshoes, Redmond? They miss each time.” He asked eventually.

 

"Nothing. They didn't miss for me n' Jacob. It's gotta be the thrower," Wyatt half smirked.

 

“Don’t talk shit, look at this one…” he held up the horseshoe “It’s all bent!”

 

Even Jacob, who was no friend to Hector’s low sense of humor, had to give a involuntary “Ha!” at this quip.

 

A figure appeared down the road and Hector held up a shading hand to his eyes.

 

“Oh shit, boys, it’s Reverend Methusulah headin’ our way; you two sinners had better stop swappin’ dirty stories and doin’ all that damn swearing.” he warned the other two jokingly.

 

They all watched the clergyman get closer and closer, to Wigfall’s muttered comment of “Hurry up Grandpa, we’re losing the light.” He was safe to do so in front of Wyatt, unless Jacob had married into a family of snitchers!

 

"Good day!" he greeted, waving with his free hand as he approached. "Master Wigfall, Master Redmond, Mister Lutz."

 

The sardonic Hector was the first to walk up and greet the tall man of the cloth with a shake of his hand.

 

“Hello again Reverend! I didn’t get a chance to say before what a wonderful and moving ceremony that was earlier. I’m man enough to admit I … well I got a tear in my eye once or twice during it.” He oozed, while Jacob just gave a slight shake of the head. Wigfall hadn’t changed a bit since he used to encourage them to mess around in the classroom and then creep around Mrs Orr the teacher, bringing her apples and such, the big hypocritical jerk.

 

Jacob shook the old man’s hand next.

 

“Do you throw horseshoes, Father?” he asked “My brother in law here set it up.” He was trying the new phrase out for size... and liking it!

 

@Wayfarer @boshmi

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Two weddin's, ares an' thiers pert near o toppa one another. Reckon that ain't about ta happen again any time soon, so I ain't worried, well, not too much anyways. Might'a started a trend here." He chided. "Man get a strain carryin' them cakes like that from the cafe ta wherever. Plumb wear him out." At least he had a chance to change out of his 'monkey suit'  for this part of the wedding.

 

As common courtesy dictated, he did not wear his guns, so he didn't wear his badge either. Didn't seem right somehow to be showing up armed for a celebration. Noticing that some of the men, and boys were slipping out back, Barnabas  said, "Best see what the stir is out back. Mosta the other 'er out there."

 

He walked out to the back, hearing the repeated 'thunk' of what he knew would be horse shoe pitching, and the stream of well intentioned insults, it was a lively game. Ther stood the 'sky pilot' in his shirt sleeves.

"Afternoon Padre, nice weddin' taday."

@Bongo@boshmi@Javia@Wayfarer

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“You want a cigar, Mr. Redmond? How about we go outside for a smoke?”

 

Aurelian was surprised to be sure but recovered quickly, "I'm sorry but I do not indulge. Thank you though."

Like he was ever going out and smoke cigars with a young lady!

 

Mr and Mrs Pike arrived then, and Arabella departed with an excited shriek to help them unpack the cake, which up until then had been a source of great speculation to the majority of the girls of the party. This left Jemima and Aurelian face to face and as alone as one can be in a crowded homestead. Given the choice between a hunk of cake and a hunk of a man, it was ‘no contest’ in Miss Wigfall’s book.

 

She quickly filled the gap that Arabella had left and came up as close to the dishy widower as was propriety would allow, and perhaps a shade closer than that. She folded her arms and looked him up and down appraisingly, before making him a proposal in her plain sounding voice, made perhaps a little huskier by the sight of him, all togged up in his best britches.

 

“See here, Mr. Redmond, now your daughter’s leaving home, you might need a woman to come in and look after you, like a housekeeper. I could move in and, you know, take care of you, if you like. How’d that grab you?” she asked, trying (unsuccessfully) to sound like she didn’t want to take the handsome brute up into the hay loft right now and make mad passionate love with him.

 

But, Oh Lord, was he a fine looking man!

 

@Wayfarer

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The arrival of Emeline and her husband was a relief to Clara for a few reasons. There would be another woman in the kitchen besides Granny and Lenora. Well, Lenora was nice and quiet, she was fine though not much for conversation it seemed. And more importantly Emeline was bringing the wedding cake. Clara had not seen it yet but was excited for her first glimpse. She just knew it would be great.

 

After the cake was carefully brought into the home and then set on the kitchen table, Clara took a long loving look at it. It was simply............

 

"Amazing! You did such a great job. Thank you, thank you so much - for the cake, for everything," Clara gushed with an enthusiasm she seldom revealed to anyone. This whole marriage deal was opening her up though as never before.

 

"I will almost hate to see us cut into it," she admitted.

 

Well, the main meal was ready for people to start on it, not everyone would be able to eat together around that small kitchen table of the Redmonds, in fact it was piled with the assembled food such as the ham and side dishes and dinnerware to put the helpings upon.

 

"We should let everyone know that dinner is served," Clara declared with confidence.

 

 

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Hello again Reverend! I didn’t get a chance to say before what a wonderful and moving ceremony that was earlier. I’m man enough to admit I… well I got a tear in my eye once or twice during it.”

Thomas gave Hector a look, reasonably akin to that which he had given the boy just before the ceremony. His commentary and eager dissolution of the event seemed entirely counterproductive to his declaration of a 'wonderful and moving ceremony.'

Still, he said nothing, for either the boy was a pathological liar or experiencing emotional whiplash, and neither was worth spoiling the occasion over. Besides, Hector was hardly subversive in his mannerisms, and it was a fair bet that most in the town already understood his disposition well enough.

 

Jacob approached, with a contrasting degree of sincerity in his tone; a boy... man whom Thomas was pleased to shake the hand of.

“Do you throw horseshoes, Father?” he asked “My brother in law here set it up.”

"I have, on occasion." he said, giving Wyatt a quick smile. "You've done a fine job, setting the peg up real straight."

 

He turned back to Jacob and placed an approving  hand on his shoulder "...and you, Jacob, have done a fine job too. This all must have been daunting, talking to Aurelian, and having a proper wedding, but it was the right thing to do, and now, this..." he gestured to the Redmond homestead "...is your reward. Support, and a family. I trust you'll be a good husband and a proper Father."

 

He gave Jacob's shoulder a quick pat, before leaning down to set away the whiskey and pick up a horseshoe. "Now, I should hope I haven't grown rusty with age..."

 

"Afternoon Padre, nice weddin' taday."

"Deputy Pike. I thank you, but I was merely an officiant. Jacob, and Clara, and of course everyone who attended, are those who made it worthwhile." Thomas said, tossing the horseshoe underhand. It clanged off the peg and landed awkwardly in the sand.

He stood straight and regarded the pit with a contemptful eye. "Care to take a throw?" he offered the Deputy.

@Bongo@Flip@Wayfarer@Javia

 

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This was turning out better than the boy expected, as first Jacob then his best man (if that was the BEST of Jacob's friends, Wyatt felt sorry for him), then the minister showed up to play. Probably lost in the greetings of the clergyman, Wyatt did offer his own sincere, "Hi ...Parson." 

 

That's what they had called Parson Evans but young Wyatt was a bit confused as to what to address this old fella as. He certainly did seem a very nice man though. But then clergy probably had to be, part of the job one might say.

"You've done a fine job, setting the peg up real straight," complimented the minister.

 

Wyatt beamed, "Thanks I just pounded it in the same ol' hole we've always used."

 

His new brother -in -law and the parson had a little chat but then then the old fella picked up a shoe to try his luck. Not bad a throw really.

 

"Oh nice try!" Wyatt encouraged him.

 

And now there was yet another possible participant, the deputy and the man who married Clara's boss lady. No gun or badge though. Hopefully he didn't lose his job?

 

 "Care to take a throw?" the parson offered the Deputy.

 

"Yeah, you should. You couldn't do any worse than Hector," grinned Wyatt.

 

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"Two weddin's, ares an' thiers pert near o toppa one another. Reckon that ain't about ta happen again any time soon, so I ain't worried, well, not too much anyways. Might'a started a trend here." He chided. "Man get a strain carryin' them cakes like that from the cafe ta wherever. Plumb wear him out."

 

"I appreciate all the effort."  With a grin, Emeline kissed Barnabas again, then added, "I'll be sure to let you have plenty of rest tonight."  She chuckled, and then he was off to play with the boys, something that she certainly didn't begrudge him.

 

"Best see what the stir is out back. Mosta the other 'er out there."

 

"Keeping law and order!"  Laughing, Emeline went to join the ladies in the kitchen, to offer help and provide a buffer in case Granny was in a mood!

 

"Your cake made it in one piece," she announced, her smile widening at Clara's expression when she saw it.

 

"Amazing! You did such a great job. Thank you, thank you so much - for the cake, for everything,"

 

"Of course, anything for my best worker!"  And a dear friend!

 

"I will almost hate to see us cut into it," she admitted.

 

"I'll forgive you."  She laughed again, they looked around the small kitchen, beaming with pride at the fine job of organizing everything that Clara had done.

 

"We should let everyone know that dinner is served,"

 

"Oh, goodness, I wish we had thought about this," Emeline sighed, "I could have brought some dishes, and maybe even a table or two.  We'll find a way to make this work."  Unfortunately, it was too far to go back into town, but maybe they could improvise some?

 

"We can pull out some hay bales and stack them, cover them with sheets?" she suggested.  "Folks might have to stand to eat, but I don't think they'd mind."  After all, this wasn't some stuffy, formal bash where everyone had to stand straight and be uncomfortable...this was more of a casual, family gathering, everyone was having a good time, and no one was going to be picky about the details.

 

@Wayfarer; @Javia

 

 

 

 

 

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"You've done a fine job, setting the peg up real straight," complimented the minister.

 

Wyatt beamed, "Thanks I just pounded it in the same ol' hole we've always used."

 

Hector thought of a dirty rejoinder to that comment, but forbore considering the company.

 

His new brother -in -law and the parson had a little chat but then then the old fella picked up a shoe to try his luck. Not bad a throw really.

 

"Oh nice try!" Wyatt encouraged him.

 

Hector had heard a rumour about Father Thomas, that he had originally arrived in town armed to the teeth and that he spent all day long in his ‘Love Shack’ at back of the church cleaning and oiling an arsenal of weaponry so immense that it put Harper’s Ferry to shame. But if he was a deadly shot with a gun, such skills clearly didn’t translate well to pitching horseshoes.

 

And now there was yet another possible participant, the deputy and the man who married Clara's boss lady. No gun or badge though. Hopefully he didn't lose his job?

 

 "Care to take a throw?" the parson offered the Deputy.

 

"Yeah, you should. You couldn't do any worse than Hector," grinned Wyatt.

 

“Ha ha, you’re funny!” commented Hector, balling a fist where Wyatt could see it in mock fury. He assumed that the smaller kid would know he was joking but Jacob made it clear, just in case.

 

“Ignore him, Wy, last time Wigfall had a fight it was with his sister, and he lost.” He said, remembering a schoolyard incident.

 

Hector was about to bite back but some kind invisible mental force field stopped him talking about the time Jemima had put Jacob in a headlock when they were all around twelve or fourteen or, for that matter, any kind of anecdote at all that placed the Groom and his sister in the same room at the same time. The usually insensitive blowhard just knew, somehow, that this was not a good place to go.

 

“Oh he know’s I’m just clowning, Lutz. Besides, he looks like he could pack a pretty good punch himself.” said the telegraph operator, giving Wyatt a rough boyish compliment.

 

Well, the old fellers were hogging the horseshoes and now they were being called in for food.

 

@Any

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Deputy Pike. I thank you, but I was merely an officiant. Jacob, and Clara, and of course everyone who attended, are those who made it worthwhile." Thomas said, tossing the horseshoe underhand. It clanged off the peg and landed awkwardly in the sand.

He stood straight and regarded the pit with a contemptful eye. "Care to take a throw?" he offered the Deputy.

 

"Used to be a hand at throwin' shoes, been a spell since I tried." Pike replied as he took the offered shoe. "So I'm a might rusty." His body remembered the motions, and the steps well enough, his arm wound back then came rushing forward to where he released the iron shoe. It made a beautiful pair of rolls and returned to earth a good foot and a half past, and to the right of the pin. "Well, she looked good in flight, I'll say that."

@boshmi@Wayfarer@Bongo@Javia

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Wyatt was fairly confident Hector wasn't actually angry with him for his jibe although the fist balled up was not a good sign. Still he wasn't about to act scared, this was his home and Pa was around. Hector wouldn't dare. Plus Jacob assured him “Ignore him, Wy, last time Wigfall had a fight it was with his sister, and he lost.”

 

"Oh really?" Wyatt wasn't going to laugh because he too could not win a fight with Clara, not that they ever fought like that, just argued at times like siblings did. Besides one look at Hector and Jemima side by side and yeah, Wyatt would bet on the tough looking girl.

 

Pike now took his turn at the horseshoes, hefting a nice arc too which in the end missed. No big deal, most shots missed in horseshoes. The deputy remarked it did look good though, in the air.

 

"Yeah, it did. You were pretty close for a first throw ya know?" Wyatt pointed out sympathetically.

 

But the call was for dinner now!  Much as Wyatt loved horseshoes, he loved these big dinners even more.

 

"Hey time to eat! Let's go everybody. We got ham for dinner!" he loved ham.

 

The boy led the way back to the farmhouse. The womenfolk were urging the men to step on into the kitchen, fill their plates and find a barrel about the outstretched planks on saw horses outside or even sit on a bale of hay. The weather was beautiful so no worry from the elements except for some pesky flies.

 

 

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Arabella headed into the farmhouse to check out the cake Emeline and her husband had brought from town. That left Aurelian and the Wigfall girl.

 

She quickly filled the gap that Arabella had left, “See here, Mr. Redmond, now your daughter’s leaving home, you might need a woman to come in and look after you, like a housekeeper. I could move in and, you know, take care of you, if you like. How’d that grab you?”

 

"Oh no thank you, I cannot afford replacing free help with paid help. I will make do, myself and my son. But thank you for your offer," Aurelian quickly dodged that one then decided this conversation had gone on long enough. Why wasn't Jemima hanging around with the rest of the women?

 

"Say, nice talking to ya but I gotta go ...........you know mingle with all the guests as father of the bride. Big day, yes big day indeed," he nodded then left, anywhere just to leave her behind. Good heavens, she was an odd one.

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"Well, she looked good in flight, I'll say that."

"Yeah, it did. You were pretty close for a first throw ya know?"

"I'd second that." Thomas announced. He'd half-expected the dead-eyed deputy to land a ringer on his first go.

 

In another moment there was the call for food from within the house, to which Wyatt's ears seemed to perk up immediately.

"Hey time to eat! Let's go everybody. We got ham for dinner!" the boy cried, enthusiastically darting towards the door in an archetypal presentation of family life's motions.

 

Thomas leaned to pick up the bottle and smooth out the certificate, before following the boy's steps into the house. As they trundled through the doorway, the air became thick with the smell of cooking; meats and vegetables and perhaps the smell of pastry? Either way, the atmosphere was warm, welcoming, and familiar. There was the newly-made Mrs. Lutz, swamped by plates of food and engaged with Mrs. Blakesley; seemingly a significantly more sincere relationship than that of Jacob and Hector.

 

The Reverend picked up a plate, though waited by the wall for a time, until people had been sufficiently served.

@Bongo@Javia@Wayfarer@Flip

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Before he could say anything about the toss, "Hey time to eat! Let's go everybody. We got ham for dinner!" And that cleared the yard. He followed the Priest inside, but waited to take up a plate stood next to the man. 'Was it priest or pastor,' he wondered silently.

 

"Ya know, I'm a bit confused about what I should call you, I mean I realize you are a priest, that much is clear, what I don't get is do I call ya pastor as well." He smiled. "I'm up from Texas, an' we got Priests an' we got pastors, but but they ain't of the same faith, if you see where I'm goin' with this."

@boshmi

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Long after the wedding was over, Arabella might oft times talk of the ‘Miracle of the Ring’ but others were more likely to talk of the miracle of the music: the miracle that took two of the biggest problem guests out of the equation. Hector had brought along his fiddle and, after a quick bite to eat, started to play a few tunes on it which gave a very gay carnival atmosphere to the whole event. It also meant he couldn’t be offending anyone or starting any fights. Likewise, the aggravating Arabella had brought along a concertina of unexplained provenance, which she used to great effect in accompanying Hector’s reels and jigs.

 

Nellie Miggins, on the other hand, was very much still in circulation. She was trying, to be fair (very trying, some might say) She tried not to boss Clara around in the kitchen (well, no more than she needed to be) after all, it was her new Granddaughter’s kitchen, she knew it best. And when Jacob reappeared she caught herself before nagging him ‘Take out them plates and pass ‘em round’, instead she managed a “Better ask your wife if she want’s anything a-doin’!”

 

Jacob smiled. Good old Granny.

 

He found Clara. With all these people around and so much to do, he felt like he and Clara had never been so far apart, and this on the day they were supposed to be joined. But it was all a traditional part of the theatre of marriage, they just had to get through it, he knew.

 

“Can I help with anything, dearest?” he grinned, knowing that he was probably in the way just by being in the kitchen.

 

@Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Clara watched hovering close by as the guests filled their plates and chattered away, she wanted to be available in case needed something like the good hostess. In truth though Granny Miggins, when she wasn't suggesting (well telling) her things, did help out some and once Emeline showed up then things went much smoother.

 

The meal seemed to be well received or at least no one complained about the food. Lack of seating was an issue but people made due, it seemed everyone wanted to simply enjoy the atmosphere and company and relax. Jacob's friend and Arabella even provided some impromptu music for entertainment and when Jacob came up to her to ask if he could help she had an idea.

 

"Yes, yes you can. Let us dance as long as we have some music," she promptly announced then the young couple did a crazy sort of more spontaneous jig than anything else, with plenty of twirling about til Clara had to call 'stop' before she got too dizzy. Even her brother clapped loudly as the pair called a halt.

 

"Feel free, folks, to go ahead and dance. And a fine thank you to our wonderful musicians!" Clara now called out.

 

A glance in one particular direction had reminded her of something she dearly wished to attend to in this reception so Clara made her way over to Bridget and sat next to her.

 

"I hope the food was good? And I am so happy you came for the wedding.  Are you having a nice time?"

 

 

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"Yes, yes you can. Let us dance as long as we have some music," she promptly announced then the young couple did a crazy sort of more spontaneous jig than anything else, with plenty of twirling about til Clara had to call 'stop' before she got too dizzy. Even her brother clapped loudly as the pair called a halt.

 

Jacob had heard that pregnancy could do odd things to a woman, the cravings for odd food (and also cravings for their husband’s attentions in the bedroom!) but this was so un-Clara he could only goggle and then laugh and join in as they danced about to Lutz & Mudd’s jolly tune. Adept dancer though he was, he could hardly keep up with her. He gave a deep bow at the end though, just as he had at the end of that first ever dance. That first dance! It seemed like both a lifetime ago and a mere seconds since that fateful night.

 

"Feel free, folks, to go ahead and dance. And a fine thank you to our wonderful musicians!" Clara now called out.

 

Arabella and Hector looked at each other and nodded in agreement and mock braggadocio. Looking at them, playing so beautifully in harmony, you might think that they would have made a good couple: But Hector preferred pretty round faced blonde girls and, frankly, so did Arabella.

 

A glance in one particular direction had reminded her of something she dearly wished to attend to in this reception so Clara made her way over to Bridget and sat next to her. 

 

"I hope the food was good? And I am so happy you came for the wedding.  Are you having a nice time?"

 

Bridget looked up from her plate, her chin and dress was covered in crumbs. Most people had piled their plates pretty high with all the good Vittles on offer, but the ginger girl had created a veritable Tower of Babel on hers, and like its Biblical counterpart, it looked non too stable.

 

“Clara you’re… you’re married!” she managed to say, despite a mouthful of treacle tart that Granny Miggins had supplied. Bridget wasn’t too worried about eating sweet before savoury, or both together if the mood took her. Then she frowned and looking about spotted Emeline’s new husband and pointed at him.

 

“Pike’s lost badge!” She had been pleased to see the lawman arrive, but the lack of shiny silver stars had taken the shine off him as far as the noodle-headed redhead was concerned.

 

@Wayfarer plus anyone.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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