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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

Sigogglin


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Mature Content: No.

Author: Arabella Mudd

With: Caroline Mundee.
Location: Saloon.
When: Mid July 1876 (Same day as Voices)
Time of Day: c.9.45am.

 

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Until today, a performance like that would have had Arabella, the future thespian, slapping herself on the back at her bravura performance and laughing up her sleeve at Doctor Danforth and that frosty Nurse Leane for falling for it. In fact, she felt rather sick about the whole thing. But Pettigrew, when he had hustled her into the laundry room in back of the saloon yesterday evening, had insisted on the necessity of going through the whole sham hypnotic treatment. He had told her exactly what to do and say and most importantly of all, how not to get actually hypnotised: which eventuality would have caused him the most enormous complications.

 

But that had been the least part of what the fussy, slightly selfish, but essentially good little man had told her. He had told her about herself, who she was, what she was. Labels, the horror of modern liberal thought, had actually helped. She now had words for her condition, and an argot in which to speak with others of her stamp: and the knowledge that there were others of that stamp somewhere 'out there'. Her favourite label was 'oyster girl' and she had spent the night practicing in a singsong voice 'Don't bother givin' me no flowers mister,  God made me a oyster girl!' 'Why, I cain't help bein' born'd a oyster girl!" and similar phrases. 

 

But the phrase that brought it home to her, that her difference was not evil or bad or wrong of itself, Pettigrew had borrowed from her own mountain lingo. It was just that, in affairs of the heart, she was simply sigogglin. Just like Robert Cullen's shack, which defied all the laws of physics and architecture by staying up and sheltering him, or that the horrible looking, slightly burned and hardly risen dried apple stack cake that she had placed next to Clara Lutz's magnificent coconut cake at Mrs Pike's wedding reception, and which those brave enough to taste it had found oddly chewy but strangely more-ish: well just like them, her heart was kinda sigogglin.

 

And she would be all right, in her own sigogglin way: as long as she was honest with herself and with those who mattered to her. She must always be honest and try not to let her sigogglin ways cause them any pain or heartache and she must never, ever, take advantage of them for sigogglin reasons.  And that led her to her next task. She had wronged Caroline and wronged her bad. It was, she felt, beyond repair, but Pettigrew had been clear: with those she had wronged in her confusion, she must now, in the light of clarity, strive to right those wrongs.

 

She didn't knock on Caroline's door, she knew that she would still be fast asleep at this hour of the morning. She let herself into her bedroom and sat on the bed with a creak. It would take more than that to wake the sleeping beauty. A prince might have kissed her to wake her. A sigogglin oyster girl might too, but no. She would not compound those wrongs she had already committed.

 

She shook Caroline's shoulder.

 

"Caroline. Caroline. Wake up. I gotta talk with you." she said, quite loudly.

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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It had been another long night stretching into the early morning hours but everything had went smoothly down in saloon. No big troublemakers, her performance went well as it drew it's usual loud applause. In fact when one of the gamblers had her sit on his lap while he played a crucial hand in a poker game, the man won the pot and, in a fit of generosity, gave her ten dollars worth of it! So an added perk that topped off a good shift. And then it was crawl into bed and sleep, usually til noon or so at least.

 

But not this morning...

 

Caroline awoke with a start and wide eyes staring up at the ceiling as something jostled her, "What?"

 

"Caroline. Caroline. Wake up. I gotta talk with you," it was a very familiar voice.

 

Glancing to her right, there was Arabella, that brought an immediate frown.

 

"What do you want? Does Matilda wanna see me?" she half demanded. Because it couldn't be anything personal because since that horrible night, Arabella and her no longer had anything personal between them. Just strictly saloon business.

 

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"What do you want? Does Matilda wanna see me?" she half demanded. Because it couldn't be anything personal because since that horrible night, Arabella and her no longer had anything personal between them. Just strictly saloon business.

 

Arabella would normally have been halfway through her first diatribe by now, but instead she waited a good long time before she even opened her mouth. She was looking at Caroline in a new way: not as a rival of Arabella, not as a friend of Arabella, not as the singer whom Arabella accompanied, not as an object of Arabella's desire. She was looking at her as just that: Caroline. What on Earth must it have been like to have to deal with her these last couple of months? The poor woman!

 

"I probably don't have the words to do this right, but I'm gonna try anyhows. Sorry for wakin' you up, but I gotta do this right now." she stopped herself from gabbling on and breathed before continuing.

 

"See, ... all them times before when I been annoyin' or silly or ... or lookin' for attention, I always apologised after them times because I wanted you to like me and be friends again. And then, onct you did and we was friends again, well, I'd just up an annoy you all over again. See?" again, by sheer force of will, she stopped herself from rattling on. Allowed herself to listen.

 

"Now I done more'n annoy you, I ... I done insulted you and... and thrown your friendship back in your face and trampled it in the mud. It was ... I was unforgivable." 

 

She frowned and shook her head, looking down and picking at Caroline's bedspread. 

 

"I don't even know why I do it, all I know is: everything I ever done, I done it for me. Even when I ever tried to be good and walk in Jesus's footsteps, I done it selfish. That old lady I helped cross the street yesterday? ... why, she didn't even wanna cross the street." she said by way of example. 

 

Eventually she got to the main point. 

 

"So, what I want to say to you, Caroline Mundee, is 'I apologise un-re-served-ly'" she sort of bobbed her head up and down as she said this word, like she had been practicing it to make sure she got it right "'... and I neither expect nor deserve forgiveness.'" If that had sounded carefully rehearsed the next part was more off the cuff and heartfelt.

 

"... and I am so, so sorry about t'other night. That was wrong of me, I ... I took advantage of you and your ... you know... problem with the booze..."

 

That was it. She stood up suddenly and looked like the weight of the world had suddenly fallen from her shoulders. She beamed down at Caroline, still abed, looking like The Rapture had come.

 

"Oh Caroline! We ain't never gonna be friends no more! That means I cain't never hurt you no more! Ain't that wonderful?!" 

 

@Wayfarer

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Oh god, what did she want now? An exasperated Caroline propped herself up on her elbows only reluctantly willing to hear her out. A part of her just wanted to tell the kid off and chase her out of the room.

 

"Alright, say what you gotta say," she grumped.

 

Arabella started up by relating all the times she had previously messed up and how she had apologized then did the same kind of thing over and over. Like Caroline didn't already know that.

 

"I know that...go on," she frowned, hell she had lived it.

 

Now the girl got to the crux of the matter, THAT NIGHT. That awful night that came out of nowhere and broke their relationship.

 

"It was unforgiveable and that's why we are at where we are now," Caroline icily pointed out.

 

The girl started making excuses then, she didn't know why she does things like that. Well, that was still on her. Hopefully she wasn't going to try that stupid  'brain fever' routine again? And now something about helping an old lady across the street? Fortunately she got back on track then.

 

"So, what I want to say to you, Caroline Mundee, is 'I apologise un-re-served-ly... and I neither expect nor deserve forgiveness.''

 

Caroline blinked, there was more though.

 

"... and I am so, so sorry about t'other night. That was wrong of me, I ... I took advantage of you and your ... you know... problem with the booze..."

 

Caroline frowned, "I don't have any problem with booze. I was drunk that night and I tried to do something I've never done, just as a favor to you. And you betrayed me for it."

 

The girl suddenly stood up with this totally unexpected happy look on her face?

 

"Oh Caroline! We ain't never gonna be friends no more! That means I cain't never hurt you no more! Ain't that wonderful?!" 

 

"So that's it? That's what you wanted to let me know. That it's wonderful we ain't ever gonna be friends again? You think that is what I want? You think after all the times and things I did to be friends that I want us to end up like this then?" as Caroline spoke she was tearing up.

 

"So no - Ara - it is not wonderful! It is painful. I never wanted it like this. All I ever wanted from you was to be friends. Like family, we both don't have any family anymore, they're all dead. All we got is here, this saloon. This life and each other," a tear was trickling down one cheek.

 

"But bully fer you, kid, I'm glad yer happy about this because I think it's fuckin' awful..." and for the first time since the death of her father, Caroline Mundee began to cry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caroline frowned, "I don't have any problem with booze. I was drunk that night and I tried to do something I've never done, just as a favor to you. And you betrayed me for it."


“Yep.” Nodded Arabella. It didn’t matter that she had been passing feverish when she had said those terrible things: they had clearly come from her brain and her mouth so why try and argue over it? She had said it, Caroline had been hurt. That was the point. Arabella would always hurt Caroline, and the hurt that had already been done could never be erased.


The girl suddenly stood up with this totally unexpected happy look on her face?


"Oh Caroline! We ain't never gonna be friends no more! That means I cain't never hurt you no more! Ain't that wonderful?!" 


"So that's it? That's what you wanted to let me know. That it's wonderful we ain't ever gonna be friends again? You think that is what I want? You think after all the times and things I did to be friends that I want us to end up like this then?" as Caroline spoke she was tearing up.

 

“Yep. That’s about the size of it.” Beamed Arabella. She thought Caroline would be pleased.

 

"So no - Ara - it is not wonderful! It is painful. I never wanted it like this. All I ever wanted from you was to be friends. Like family, we both don't have any family anymore, they're all dead. All we got is here, this saloon. This life and each other," a tear was trickling down one cheek.


The little pot-washer’s smile fell, to be replaced by a frown of confusion. This ‘trying to be understanding of other people’s feelings’ malarky wasn’t easy, it turned out. Being selfish was much more straight-forward.


"But bully fer you, kid, I'm glad yer happy about this because I think it's fuckin' awful..." and for the first time since the death of her father, Caroline Mundee began to cry.


Well, this wasn’t how it was meant to go at all! Caroline was meant to say ‘hey, that’s a good idea, Reb, let’s not be friends any more and that way you can’t ever hurt me again.’ She’d never seen Caroline CRY before: it had never occurred to her, she who burst into tears at the drop of a hat, that Caroline Mundee could cry. It made a lump come to her throat and the tell-tale stinging in her eyes started. She creaked back down on the bed again and threw her arms around the cool sophisticated singer, who was right now a streamy-eyed, snotty-nosed mess. God she looked beautiful like this. 


She kissed her on the head, but it was a chaste kiss, not like the last time. It was the kiss of a mother comforting a child. She made an instinctive shushing noise and rocked her partner back and forth in her arms.


“Heeeeyyy. Shhhh. I still love you. You gotta know that, right? That’s why… that’s why I don’t want you to forgive me.” Well, that sounded like a bunch of gobbledygook. “Oh Cara, if only we could just meet today for the first time ever.” She sighed “Like none o’ that other stuff never happened... But we can't.”

 

@Wayfarer
 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"But bully fer you, kid, I'm glad yer happy about this because I think it's fuckin' awful..." and for the first time since the death of her father, Caroline Mundee began to cry.

 

Arabella now moved closer, in fact she enveloped the saloon girl in a supportive hug! The girl also kissed her gently on the forehead.  Arabella made an instinctive shushing noise and rocked her partner back and forth in her arms. Caroline just let it all happen, sobbing openly.

 

“Heeeeyyy. Shhhh. I still love you. You gotta know that, right? That’s why… that’s why I don’t want you to forgive me. Oh Cara, if only we could just meet today for the first time ever.”

 

"That didn't go so well you remember?" Caroline sniffled as she pointed out the facts of that original meeting.

 

The teen sighed “Like none o’ that other stuff never happened... But we can't.”

 

Caroline wiped her eyes with her hands and sniffled some more then declared, "You got a goddamn good imagination, why can't we? I mean why can't we just pretend NONE of that stuff ever happened? We just start over."

 

"Yer wrong, Ara, about half of what you said. Yeah, I won't ever forget what you done. But I CAN forgive you for it. I can forgive you if promise me you'll never ever treat me like that night again. And.....you get this straight....you gotta keep this promise. You gotta keep this promise like it's a matter of life and death."

 

"You do that, hon, and I'd be happy to start over fresh," a smile broke thru the tears and sadness.

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"That didn't go so well you remember?" Caroline sniffled as she pointed out the facts of that original meeting.

 

"Hmmm. You sang John Brown's Body and I got all uppity 'cause I thought you was pitchin' mud at the Old Dominion." Arabella laughed gently, stroking Caroline's hair now. "Oh, if only we could walk agin in yesterday..." The teen sighed “Like none o’ that other stuff never happened... But we can't.”

 

Caroline wiped her eyes with her hands and sniffled some more then declared, "You got a goddamn good imagination, why can't we? I mean why can't we just pretend NONE of that stuff ever happened? We just start over."

 

"Well..." the mountain girl frowned, not daring to believe that there was actually a way out of this, after all the terrible things that she had done and said. "... if you think Make Believe can... what? Make you forgive and forget...?"

 

"Yer wrong, Ara, about half of what you said. Yeah, I won't ever forget what you done. But I CAN forgive you for it. I can forgive you if promise me you'll never ever treat me like that night again. And.....you get this straight....you gotta keep this promise. You gotta keep this promise like it's a matter of life and death."

 

"Oh Caroline..." she held the other girl's face with her hand "... you would do that for me, the most chief of sinners?" She thought back to what Mr. Pettigrew had said to her last night, about how she must live a life of chastity now unless... unless that one in a million happened... she found one of her ilk with whom she could fall in in love and have that love reciprocated, and how infinitely difficult it was to have friends of the same sex and not, well, not abuse them in some way, and about how horribly self pitying and selfish she would oft times want to be.

 

But that was the rule: she must steel herself to always be chaste in her friendships, no matter hard that might be, if she did not wish to find herself jumping off rooves again and having to be rescued by Spring-heel Jack, the Terror of Old London.

 

"You do that, hon, and I'd be happy to start over fresh," a smile broke thru the tears and sadness.

 

Arabella let go of Caroline and stood up off of the bed with that same old creaking noise that had punctuated this whole scene, she took a step back and then knelt on the balding carpet of the room at the side of Caroline's bed, like she was saying her prayers at night. She clasped her hands together in the same way too, but instead of closing her eyes, she looked straight into Caroline's.

 

"I, Arabella Sumter Mudd, swear before Almighty God, to you, Caroline Mundee, On Pain of Death, that I will from this day forth love, honor and obey you and never do you no harm in mind, body or spirit and will never... well, I won't never try and get you to do them things again, and I will always treat you like the dear sister I never had." she stayed on her knees looking up at Caroline, awaiting absolution.

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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At Caroline's offer, a most generous one if she did say so, the girl looked surprised as she got off the bed and stood up, stepped back only to then go down on her knees?  What the hell?

 

"I, Arabella Sumter Mudd, swear before Almighty God, to you, Caroline Mundee, On Pain of Death, that I will from this day forth love, honor and obey you and never do you no harm in mind, body or spirit and will never... well, I won't never try and get you to do them things again, and I will always treat you like the dear sister I never had." she stayed on her knees looking up at Caroline.

 

Caroline listened to every word, examined the girl's face and body language for any tell-tale clues at how sincere she was being. She had a much better feeling than the last overly dramatic apology by Ara in the saloon alley.

 

"Alright then....fair enough. I will forgive you and we can start all over. Here on in, we never talk about any of that stuff again. We are back to being friends and friends we're gonna stay," Caroline smiled again finally, as she wiped away a few tears coursing down both cheeks with her hand.

 

"So.....you got any new ideas for songs we might work on? No more sad songs for now, I know enough of those. I wouldn't mind something  kinda bawdy. The menfolk always like those ya know,"  she liked things being back to normal again.

 

 

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"Alright then....fair enough. I will forgive you and we can start all over. Here on in, we never talk about any of that stuff again. We are back to being friends and friends we're gonna stay," Caroline smiled again finally, as she wiped away a few tears coursing down both cheeks with her hand.

 

Arabella had, in her head, the great idea of them packing up all of Caroline's things and dressing themselves up as they had been on the day she arrived and replaying the whole thing, but this time she herself would be nice and friendly and... but she stopped herself. Stopped herself!! And thought. And after she thought, she realised that this was a... well, not exactly a stupid idea, maybe slightly ridiculous... but it was probably not something that Caroline wanted. All she wanted was assurance, assurance that Arabella had indeed turned over a new leaf.

 

She stood and nodded and ... kept quiet.

 

"So.....you got any new ideas for songs we might work on? No more sad songs for now, I know enough of those. I wouldn't mind something  kinda bawdy. The menfolk always like those ya know,"  she liked things being back to normal again.

 

Arabella nodded: if Caroline wanted bawdy songs, then bawdy songs she would get. The main problem was that she, being raised a good Methodist girl, didn't actually know any. If Caroline herself could supply some, fine, Arabella could pick them up by ear. If not, then they were stuck, the major music publisher were hardly about to print such things. Maybe they could find some out from some of the men who came in, or elsewhere. Or, they could write their own!

 

Arabella fidgeted a bit, this new responsible demeanour that she was trying to adopt, this thinking about other people and their feelings, it was like wearing a new and and slightly uncomfortable dress whose sleeves were too long. Hopefully, they would ride up with wear.

 

[OOC: wrap?] 

 

ooc reply:   Yep, and oh yeah Caroline would know a few bawdy songs, she worked in saloons before. But I have no idea so we can just say they end up working on a few.

Good thread!

 

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