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Sagas of the Wild West
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The Reception


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Guest boshmi

"Texas? Where at, big place, Texas. Days I miss it, other days, glad I'm shut of it."

"Er, Fort Texas, and Palo Alto." Thomas replied. "Pretty country." Until it's pockmarked with shells and washed in blood. he internally added.

"Rode with the Eighth Texas durin' the late trouble, Rangered a while. After that I just moseyed place to place til I got here."

"That's the way to do it." Thomas reaffirmed with a grin. "I was in the 12th Kentucky, and later the second Dragoons. Bit earlier on though, during the war with the Mexicans."

 

Ironically, it would seem their stories had panned out much the same. Soldiers, wanderers, and family men, though not in congruent order.

 

"Looks like that angel servin' up them eats over there's gonna settle me down some. Da-'er, dern good woman she is."

The reverend looked on approvingly at Emmeline, where she chatted idly with Clara. The way the deputy looked at her...

I looked at a woman like that, once.

"I'd hold on to that, Mr. Pike." he advised, with just a hint of a smile. "The love of a good woman is a precious commodity."

 

As though she'd heard his comment, the good woman in question made her way over to where the menfolk stood, eyes only for her husband. "Are you up for a dance, Mr. Pike?" she asked Barnabas, holding a hand to him, "as husband and wife, of course!"

Thomas gave them both a look of amused deference, and stepped back to the table, where he placed a cut of meat upon his plate while the couple fell in love all over again.

@Bongo@Flip@Javia@Wayfarer

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"If you'll excuse us Padre, seems I the chance to dance with my wife." Barnabas said, excusing himself from what had been an interesting conversation.  He took Emeline by the hand and led her out where there was room, then pulled her close as was respectable and began the dance.

 

Little time for conversation as they moved to the upbeat tune, but it was good to be on the floor, dancing, and with his wife. It struck him then, it had been, a what he felt, was a long way from December's snows to May's sunshine flowers and their wedding. How amazing it had been to have found this woman, here, in this this small town of Kalispell, Montana. To have been able to find two exceptional women in one lifetime gave him the chills. How was that even possible?

 

"Well Missus Pike, are you enjoying yerself at this shindig?" He asked. "You know you look beauteeful taday, just like ever day. Ain't quite sure how I got so lucky."

@Bongo

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"I thought I told you," Emeline chuckled as they swirled around the dance floor, "I needed a good dishwasher!"  She laughed.  "I still do!" 

 

While life hadn't been horrible after she'd recovered from Andrew's death, and making a living had kept her busy and distracted, once Barnabas had showed up, she admitted that she'd been lonely, and while she'd been content to occupy her evening hours with reading or sewing, she really did miss companionship, someone to talk to, to share her thoughts and troubles and to help make decisions.

 

And of all the men who had passed through her cafe, it was Barnabas Pike that made his way into her heart and her life, and she was happier than she could ever remember having been.

 

"So, really, you aren't so lucky, I've just enslaved you with my womanly wiles!"

 

@Flip

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" So, yer wileys figger ta have me all wrapped up an' worshin' dishes, that it?" He asked with a grin. "What if i was ta tell you I had other plans fer you an me? What if I was ta tell ya I got the really honeymoon all planned out so's we got that time tagether we talked about, an' I can take care of some bidness that needs tendin' to? What about that?"

 

Of course he was not about to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but he had in fact already taken care of planning the event down to the last moment. He wanted the world for Em, and he fully intended to deliver it, as best he could. The house was completed on schedule, some out buildings were being finished, the cattle and horses would be delivered almost a month out. They were coming from a distance and slowly so as not to lose much of their weight. He had planned that as well, to allow for the surprise honeymoon.

 

"So this here bein' enslaved? As Depitty Town Marshal I could arrest you ya know." He said,aking a hollow threat.

@Bongo

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While Clara did her best to explain why Pike did not have his deputy badge on for the occasion, Bridget just seemed to look at her but it was less clear how much of Clara's efforts were sinking in? No matter, Clara figured she could only try.

 

Suddenly Bridget reached out a hand and laid it gently on Clara’s tummy.

 

“Clara make … good Mama.” she said reassuringly, wise simpleton that she was.

 

Clara's eyes widened, oh gosh! How could Bridget know, of all people. She wasn't even showing yet, she should know, she looked at her belly every morning and so far, nothing.

 

"Oh no, not yet, it is too early for that. Jacob and I have just got married this very day. Hopefully someday it will happen though. I do want to become a mother. And I think Jacob will be an excellent father," Clara recovered her surprise quickly and answered.

 

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Nuthin’ doin’ with Mr. Redmond. No other available men around, Jemima drifted back to the sisterhood. Arabella was making music with her brother, how sickening. Black mark against sister Arabella. Sister Bridget it would be, then. She didn’t say much, but she was certainly a good listener, and nodded a lot to show you that she was listening and she sorta understood what you were saying. Of course, you could say two totally opposite things in a row and she would nod enthusiastically at both of them. Well, you can’t have everything.

 

Also, she was physically fascinating. The stump. Jemima liked to touch the stump. She had other grotesque features, too. The sisters had no secrets. That was a precondition of the sisterhood: the Order of the Mopses, Mr. Pettigrew had called them once, and they’d adopted that name. Every member had to be single, and unlikely to ever not be. Every one of them had to have something wrong with them. They each knew each other’s secrets. They didn’t really do anything, the Order, the sisterhood. Just made up new rules and talked about people. New members would have to pass a test. They talked about what that test would be endlessly.

 

There wasn’t that much for young unmarried girls with no takers to do in Kalispell, to be honest.

 

She was looking at the ground as she walked and realised too late that Bridget was talking to her.

 

Suddenly Bridget reached out a hand and laid it gently on Clara’s tummy.

“Clara make … good Mama.” she said reassuringly, wise simpleton that she was. 

 

"Oh no, not yet, it is too early for that. Jacob and I have just got married this very day. Hopefully someday it will happen though. I do want to become a mother. And I think Jacob will be an excellent father," Clara recovered her surprise quickly and answered.

 

Jemima nearly physically crashed into this touching scene.

 

Bridget looked up suddenly and smiled at her furry friend.

 

“Clara! Is Jemima!” she shouted enthusiastically, pointing to the plain looking girl with the greasy hair and bad posture.

 

“Congratulations.” Jemima found herself saying to the clever, pretty, nothing-wrong-with-her, new Mrs Lutz, and clenched her fists at annoyance with herself. 

 

@Wayfarer

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Jacob wandered around outside feeling, like many grooms before and after him, something of a spare part at his own wedding. Women were all right, they seemed to be able to be able to talk to each other for hours and hours about absolutely nothing at all. Even now he could see Clara chatting away to that ginger haired dummy, Bridget Monahan. As he watched, Jemima Wigfall joined them and he felt a sudden urge to move in the opposite direction.

 

Men were usually a little more reticent, Father Thomas was happily sitting munching some food and didn’t look like he wanted to be disturbed, Mr Pike was dancing with his wife as Wigfall and Mudd played music. Wyatt had disappeared somewhere, probably getting more food. Oh shit, that left himself and Aurelian both standing in the area in front of the door to the homestead and no excuse not to talk to each other. Damn! He looked around desperately for something else he should be doing: milking a cow, fixing a barn roof … picking daisies… nope, it was no good, he’d have to talk to him.

 

Damn, damn, damn.

 

Literally, if two men didn’t have something that they legitimately wanted to talk to each other about, then they didn't. Worse, Jacob and Aurelian actually did have plenty that they needed to talk about, but all in uncomfortable areas, best avoided until sometime other than now! So, no inclination to talk about big issues, and no female ability to make gossipy small talk.

 

Jacob strolled toward his new father in law pulling a face that was meant to express sentiments of vast relief that he had at last gotten to talk to the man.

 

“Sir.” He nodded, hoping that Aurelian would help him out by actually starting a topic of conversation. Did he heck as like! It was all on the young farm hand. There was no getting out of it, he didn’t want to do it but…

 

“Been a warm June, might get us an early harvest d’y think?” he posited, squinting at the fine sunny sky. Immediately he said it, he wondered whether, in the circumstances of Clara’s pregnancy, talking about ‘early harvests’ was inappropriate.

 

@Wayfarer

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Oh no, not yet, it is too early for that. Jacob and I have just got married this very day. Hopefully someday it will happen though. I do want to become a mother. And I think Jacob will be an excellent father," Clara recovered her surprise quickly and answered.

 

Jemima nearly physically crashed into this touching scene.

 

Bridget looked up suddenly and smiled at her furry friend. Clara wasn't sure the girl had even caught her reply due to the distraction. Oh well, she had tried.

 

“Clara! Is Jemima!” Bridget shouted enthusiastically, pointing to the plain looking girl with the greasy hair and bad posture.

 

“Congratulations.” Jemima said with less than enthusiasm.

 

Clara nodded, "Thank you. And thank you for coming to the wedding, I hope you are enjoying the reception?"

 

"You are one of Arabella's friends too, correct?"   Not to mention her husband, Jacob, who seemingly had invited her. Maybe they knew each other from school?

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Aurelian was studying his polished shoes, silently relieved he had managed to extract himself from that strange Wigfall girl.  There was movement right next to him...ahh, the boy husband. Every time he looked at the lad he couldn't help himself, too young for marriage. Just as Clara was but it had already taken place and he had given his blessing however reluctantly. Well, he was determined he would do everything he could to help the young couple, they were going to need it.

 

"Jacob," he nodded.

 

“Sir.”

 

“Been a warm June, might get us an early harvest d’y think?” the lad posited, squinting at the fine sunny sky.

 

"We can certainly hope so," Aurelian softly agreed.

 

However the man was not going to waste time here with such talk and decided to take advantage of the situation presented him.

 

"Well now, you find yourself the head of the household don't you?  Plus in less than a year you will be a father. I'm sure it's a lot to take in. "

 

"So what are your immediate plans then? I mean after today, the wedding night of course. Where are you two going to live? I know the hotel is a bit high priced. Even a boarding house costs money and some places don't accept married couples."

 

"And then there is income. It is the duty of a husband to support the wife, later child. Clara has a job and she told me she can keep it, Mrs. Pike assured her. But what about you, son?"

 

His tone was conversational, no hard glare, he tried to to give off a relaxed posture. A simple but direct conversation is all he wanted. It was not an interrogation.  (Even if it was in a way!)

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“Congratulations.” Jemima said with less than enthusiasm. 

Clara nodded, "Thank you. And thank you for coming to the wedding, I hope you are enjoying the reception?"

 

“I liked talking to your Pa” answered Jemima, truthfully. She stood there with a bovine look of pudgy imbecility on her face, but her eyes were alive with thought as she appraised Clara.

 

“You are one of Arabella’s friends too, correct?”   Not to mention her husband, Jacob, who seemingly had invited her. Maybe they knew each other from school?

 

“We know each other.” Answered Jemima with that same flat reticence. Whether Bridget was, in her singular animal way, scenting some kind tension between the two girls, who could tell, but taking the strain on her real leg, she suddenly stood up and took Clara’s hand standing almost protectively next to her (not that the feisty farmer’s daughter needed protecting)

 

“Clara is …” she paused, three syllable word coming up “… beau-ti-ful.”

Jemima’s dark little eyes took her in.

 

“I know” she informed Bridget but kept looking at Clara “You are very beautiful, Mrs Lutz.” She nodded. She then attempted something so rare and unpractised that had her brother spotted it he would have probably rammed his fiddle bow into Arabella’s ear in surprise. Jemima did her lesser-spotted un-malicious smile. It was a tight lipped, somewhat scary affair, but enough to make Bridget do a more genuine grin and exclaim “All friends!”

 

Jemima glared at Bridget "Course we're friends."

 

@Wayfarer

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