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Mature Content: Maybe some unladylike language.

 

With: Caroline Mundee, Oskar Winter
Location: Gun Shop, Main Street
When: Late June, 1876
Time of Day: Early Afternoon

 

content-divider.png

 

One thing about Caroline, she never failed to enter a place like she owned it, sauntering on in with all the confidence in the world. It might have been an act of course but she sold it each and every time.  Most locals recognized her right off by now and opinions about her varied. The proper sober God fearing townsfolk glared at her or avoided her approach like she had the plague. Some of the menfolk though admired her looks and if they spent time in the Star Dust saloon, most loved her performances  and not just for the songs. She had a real shapely pair of legs too.

 

Now Caroline was without a hat or any head covering, she refused to abide by such feminine decorum. She did wear makeup and painted her fingernails like those saucy East coast theatre actresses though. Her dress was bright red and to say it had a low neckline did not truly describe it. Much lower and folks would  catch a glimpse of another pair of her body parts besides the legs. More than once she had been called 'whore' or 'harlot' while strolling down the boardwalk to which her usual reply was  "Fuck off!" or "Go ta hell!"

 

Closing the door behind her she gawked about the place, it was crowded with all sorts of shelves filled with guns of all sizes and sorts. Immediately she called out in a clear ringing voice, "Anybody here? You got yerself a customer. A payin' customer at that!"

 

@boshmi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oskar would likely have never heard Caroline's entry into the store, regardless of how loud she had been, for around the back he had his nose buried in some of the most exciting reading he'd ever laid eyes upon. Early in May he'd sent for the schematics of the new Winchester 1876, and finally, after months of waiting, he'd received his model, and the means to produce more. It's showing at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia had been impressive by all accounts. A high-caliber, repeating, centrefire rifle! Truly, they were living in the future, and Oskar had spent much of the morning poring over every last intricate detail of this weapon.

 

"Anybody here? You got yerself a customer. A payin' customer at that!"

 

A clear and shrill voice rang from the front of the store, and Oskar froze in his reverie. A customer! Now!?

 

Slowly and reluctantly, he lowered the scheme sheet carefully to the side, tucking it beneath the half-assembled rifle to which it belonged. He'd just have to finish up later...

 

"Good afternoon, Miss." Oskar greeted cheerily as he emerged into the front of the store, taking in his 'paying customer.' A rather scantily-clad girl stood behind the counter, wearing attire reminiscent of the cancan dancers in Paris. Not that he was one to judge, or so inclined to care all that much about the female physique in his old age.

"How can I help you this afternoon?"

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Well, there was someone. Had to be the owner or gunsmith, he did not look like a simple clerk to Caroline. She smiled, "Aha, good day!"

 

"Good afternoon, Miss." Oskar greeted cheerily as he emerged into the front of the store. "How can I help you this afternoon?"

 

"Miss Caroline Mundee, I'm fine with just plain Caroline. It's a pretty name, don't ya think?" she gave an airy introduction then followed it up with, "Hot damn! Nobody told me the gunsmith would be such a distinguished lookin' fella such as yerself, hon."

 

That was said without even a hint of sarcasm, Caroline had a way about her that made most everyone she conversed with feel like they were chatting with a longtime friend.

 

"Don't tell me, lemme guess, before you arrived here in town you were a governor or maybe one of them congressmen sorts. No, they're crooks and I'm bettin' you gunsmiths are fine upstanding professionals," she grinned.

 

"So.....I didn't just show up to have a friendly chat though those are always nice too. I got me a gun and it don't work fer shit so wonderin' if you might be able to take a look see and maybe fix it?"

 

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"Miss Caroline Mundee, I'm fine with just plain Caroline. It's a pretty name, don't ya think?"

"Oh, yes, quite." Oskar affirmed. "From the Latin Carolus, I believe. A name shared with the former King of Sweeden, if my memory serves me correctly!"

"Hot damn! Nobody told me the gunsmith would be such a distinguished lookin' fella such as yerself, hon. Don't tell me, lemme guess, before you arrived here in town you were a governor or maybe one of them congressmen sorts. No, they're crooks and I'm bettin' you gunsmiths are fine upstanding professionals."

 

"Well, miss Mundee, consider me charmed at your assertion." he continued, indeed feeling a cautious relaxation at Caroline's chumminess. "I have rubbed shoulders with a few governors, dukes, and freiherren, but I'm afraid I have never been one. As you say, a decision probably made for the better." She seemed a very bubbly sort of girl, all happy and carefree, which really begged the question; what was she doing in a gun store?

 

"So... I didn't just show up to have a friendly chat though those are always nice too. I got me a gun and it don't work fer shit so wonderin' if you might be able to take a look see and maybe fix it?"

 

Oskar frowned. "Of course... you er... say you got the gun recently? Allow me to take a look." he offered, clearing some of the documents and items from the counter to make space.

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Caroline laughed, "Well, not sure I wanted to hear I share the same name with some king of Sweden. He should have stuck to male names, ya know?"

 

The man admitted he had mingled with some pretty swell sorts of individuals such governors, dukes, and some unknown bunch but he agreed with her opinion his choice of calling was probably a wise one.  She liked his accent too. It only added to his gentlemanly look. But she really had come here for a practical reason not chatter so..........

 

"Alrighty then, gimme a minute..." she reached into some pocket of that scarlet dress of hers and then extracted a small firearm, a derringer.

 

derringer.png

"There ya go...don't worry. It ain't loaded, not like it would matter. The damned thing can't be trusted," she plopped it down on the counter.

 

"And no, I didn't just get it. I've had it a few years. Worked just fine ...well, I think. But last time I needed it to shoot, it missfired. Almost got me killed too," she gave a dramatic sigh.

 

@boshmi

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"Alrighty then, gimme a minute..." and with that, Caroline deposited a little Remington Model 95 Derringer onto the table.

 

Oskar made a thoughtful 'hmm' as he looked over the firearm. It didn't appear broken from the exterior, but broken or misfired weapons seldom did.

He picked it up, and with his thumb he eased back the hammer, checking the little space between the firing pin and trigger mechanism for anything that might have slipped in and jammed it. There didn't appear to be any foreign objects when he lowered his eye to the gap, but he did notice that the spring was coiled unusually tight, as though it was struggling against something.

 

He lowered the hammer and put the derringer down, still with an expression of thought on his face. "Well, what was the nature of the misfire? Was there a poor powder burn? That is - did smoke emerge from the barrel at all? Or would it simply not fire and the hammer never fell?"

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The man picked up her gun then and began to examine it so she watched him, especially the expressions on his face. He certainly was focused from what she could tell.

 

Then the fellow lowered the hammer and put the derringer down, "Well, what was the nature of the misfire? Was there a poor powder burn? That is - did smoke emerge from the barrel at all? Or would it simply not fire and the hammer never fell?"

 

"Nature of it? The damn thing didn't work," Caroline frowned but he had follow up questions.

 

"Nope, no powder burn. No smoke, cuz nothin' happened when I pulled the trigger. The hammer moved but no bang ...no nothin. Then the fella whose face I was aiming at got mad and slapped it outta my hand to the floor then belted me a good one too. I thought I was a goner then when he pulled out his own gun, a revolver, don't ask me what kind. Lucky for me, another fella shot him down like the dog he was. He got blood splattered all over my dress too when he fell on top of me."

 

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"Nope, no powder burn. No smoke, cuz nothin' happened when I pulled the trigger. The hammer moved but no bang ...no nothin. Then the fella whose face I was aiming at got mad and slapped it outta my hand to the floor then belted me a good one too. I thought I was a goner then when he pulled out his own gun, a revolver, don't ask me what kind. Lucky for me, another fella shot him down like the dog he was. He got blood splattered all over my dress too when he fell on top of me."

 

"That sounds quite frightening." Oskar told her compassionately. "and a lucky thing too, that it turned out alright."

The fact that the hammer moved but the gun didn't fire suggested either an issue with the ammunition or the hammer spring itself, and either way, the barrels would need to be removed to ensure it wouldn't happen again.

"Just a moment, let's see if we can't figure this out." he said, ducking down below the counter to collect a small turnscrew; one suited to the derringer's unique size. With nimble fingers he released the catch, pulled up the barrels and swung the weapon open. A few turns of the lug at the hinge would free up the barrels, and he first raised them to his eye, to check for any issues with residue.

When he saw nothing, he moved on to the striker itself. Giving the hammer a quick pull and a snap of the trigger, he found the striker lowered itself in rather a roughshod manner, as though the notches on the trigger wheel had been worn, or had come disconnected somehow.

 

"Were you using any special ammunition?" he asked, narrowing down the potential diagnosis. "Anything other than .41 short?"

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"That sounds quite frightening." Oskar remarked, "and a lucky thing too, that it turned out alright."

 

"Very lucky. Oh well, when it's yer time to die, yer gonna die but not before. It's fate," Caroline shrugged. "And yeah that was the second most frightened I've ever been my whole life."

 

She watched as he continued to examine and then even dismantle the gun with complete confidence and focus.  It was plain he took his job as earnestly as she took hers. He also had a question again.

 

"Were you using any special ammunition?" he asked, narrowing down the potential diagnosis. "Anything other than .41 short?"

 

"Special? I don't know, just the rounds they came with when I bought it. Tell ya the truth there, hon, they all look kinda short to me," she grinned.

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"Special? I don't know, just the rounds they came with when I bought it. Tell ya the truth there, hon, they all look kinda short to me."

"Hmm? Oh, yes. Aha." Oskar absentmindedly responded, uncertain if there was a rude joke being made or not. "Well, if it wasn't the ammunition, I'm afraid I'll have to open this up..."

 

He set the turnscrew upon the frame of the derringer, and carefully set about removing the grip, then separating the body. The screws in question were tiny little things, matching the tiny little gun in which they sat, and so it was no small effort to set them all in a little pile to the side of the counter. Finally, Oskar removed the top half of the frame, revealing the guts of weapon - it's trigger, lug, camwheel and hammer.

 

"Aha!" he said, as prospector might upon finding a thick vein. With steady fingers he reached down to pluck out the camwheel, and held it up to the afternoon light. "Here is your culprit, Ms. Mundee. The wheel's notches have worn quite severely. Likely the hammer was not falling with sufficient energy to strike the primer."

78c9e7372358ece8fb9f081b575862c5.jpg.a09a7a516e75e9761c3ee7b81ee1c23b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(OOC: piece number 5 is causing the trouble!)

@Wayfarer

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
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The gunsmith now had to really show his skills as he proceeded to take the whole damn gun apart and quite deftly too. Caroline was impressed.

 

"Yer good with your hands for an older gent, ya know?" she complimented him and threw in a teasing zinger too but with an infectious grin.

 

"Aha!" he said, with steady fingers he reached down to pluck out the camwheel, and held it up to the afternoon light. "Here is your culprit, Ms. Mundee. The wheel's notches have worn quite severely. Likely the hammer was not falling with sufficient energy to strike the primer."

 

"Caroline, hon, just Caroline, I ain't one for fancy titles," she quickly commented but then squinted for a closer look.

 

"Oh alright then, so....................give it to me straight, doctor, can it be saved or is my gun a goner?" as usual she was having fun, not a lot bothered her.

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"Yer good with your hands for an older gent, ya know?"

"Oh, you have a sharp wit, Miss." Oskar responded, matching her smile. This time, her humor was not lost on him, and to the old gunsmith's surprise, he too found himself amused at the admittedly crude joke. 

 

"Caroline, hon, just Caroline, I ain't one for fancy titles. Oh alright then, so... give it to me straight, doctor, can it be saved or is my gun a goner?"

"Well... Caroline." Oskar articulated, with only the smallest sense of difficulty in using a first name for a customer. "The gun can be fixed, but the camwheel is, like you say - a goner. I will need a replacement piece, which will need to be sent for, and likely carried up in a regular shipment from Missoula. It will realistically be a process of a week or two, I'm afraid."

 

He glanced down at the disassembled gun, lying quite uselessly on the countertop. "Alternatively, for a small fee, I could offer you a similar weapon in the interim, if your personal defense situation cannot wait that long."

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"Oh, you have a sharp wit, Miss."

 

Aha, that got a smile out of him, Caroline was pleased. She liked people she dealt with to be happy.  Then, icing on the cake, she succeeded in getting him to call her by her name. Now that was progress indeed.

 

"The gun can be fixed, but the camwheel is, like you say - a goner. I will need a replacement piece, which will need to be sent for, and likely carried up in a regular shipment from Missoula. It will realistically be a process of a week or two, I'm afraid."

 

The saloon woman gave a bit of a pout, "Oh, well......shit. Do what you hafta do then, I'll pay."

 

  It seemed he had something to offer though, "Alternatively, for a small fee, I could offer you a similar weapon in the interim, if your personal defense situation cannot wait that long."

 

"Well, you understand I don't exactly plan out when the dangerous stuff comes at me. Not like I put down  'drunken gunman...appointment on Thursday evening' in my note book," Caroline grinned, amused even at the thought of it.

 

"So yeah, I could use a spare then. Depending on this here small fee? " she lifted one eyebrow.

 

"Take mercy on a gunless helpless little lass, won't you?" now she was hamming it up but good.

 

@boshmi

 

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"Well, you understand I don't exactly plan out when the dangerous stuff comes at me. Not like I put down  'drunken gunman...appointment on Thursday evening' in my note book. So yeah, I could use a spare then. Depending on this here small fee? Take mercy on a gunless helpless little lass, won't you?"

 

"I understand, of course. The part itself will be around a dollar, and I would be willing to lend you a weapon at the rate of forty cents a week, provided that it is returned afterwards with no substantial damage or wear."

 

He smiled, in a pastiche of Caroline's own countenance. "...and in my mercy, I believe a have a Sharps four-shot around here somewhere..."

 

Taking a key from his pocket, he turned to one of the cabinets behind the counter, unlocked it, and swung the hinges wide. After a moment of poring over the weapons array within, he selected the little four-barrel derringer, and lifted it carefully onto the counter for Caroline to see.

sharpsderringer-13.jpg.86e54205d4fe22e597bf4697b1fe59ee.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It loads similarly to your Remington, though of course, holding four shots rather than two, with a little toggle here to open the breech, load the rounds into the barrels, close the breech, cock the hammer, and fire. Yours, as I say, for forty cents a week."

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Edited by boshmi (see edit history)

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ooc: Question for ya.

 

        How does this four shot pistol compare in size to her old derringer? I cant tell by the photo because there is nothing to compare it to?

 

           Reason I'm asking if it's bigger than hers and it looks like to me, she is not going to want it. The small size is because she can hide it in her dress.

 

         Thanks!

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OOC: funnily enough, I think they're about the same size, with the four-shot potentially being smaller. I can't say for sure, since I've never seen either in real life, but the specs online say that the Remington 95, her first gun, had 3" barrels and fired 41. short, meaning the barrels would have to be at least .41 inches wide. The Sharps Four-shot's barrels are listed at two-and-a-half inches long, and with firing calibers as small as .22. Of course, the fact that there are four barrels instead of two means the gun is probably a bit wider, but as far as it's length and height is concerned, I think it's actually smaller.

 

Here's a picture of each in someone's hand, for reference;

sharpsderringer-5.jpg.b0188c6bcfdc873cd967f8b6f4d66546.jpg1570401283_ScreenShot2021-07-27at7_46_21AM.png.c81941dc681dace280e8687c330faf89.png

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Excellent research!  Yeah the pics tell the story. Cool, I will get my post up tonight then.

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IC:   Caroline watched him bring out another possible gun for her to use while she waits for this part from Helena. It looked quite different than her model. She liked it immediately.

 

"That's a pretty gun," she gushed, he was probably unused to hearing his merchandise called 'pretty' but welcome to Caroline's world.

 

"It loads similarly to your Remington, though of course, holding four shots rather than two, with a little toggle here to open the breech, load the rounds into the barrels, close the breech, cock the hammer, and fire. Yours, as I say, for forty cents a week."

 

She nodded as she then picked it up, it felt good and it would be able to be properly hidden within her wardrobe, a necessity for any weapon she would want.

 

"I like it. I like it a lot, you got yerself a deal, hon," she grinned as she then fished into that dress of hers for some coins.

 

"Does that forty cents include ammo?" she suddenly thought to ask.

 

 

 

 

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"That's a pretty gun."

"I'm pleased you think so. It is quite well-made. A clever design." he agreed, though using strategically different terminology. Caroline would be right to think that 'pretty' was a seldom used term in Oskar's line of work, but not altogether absent.

 

"I like it. I like it a lot, you got yerself a deal, hon."

Oskar mirrored the girl's infectious smile. "Wúnderbar. I'm sure you won't be disappointed."

 

"Does that forty cents include ammo?"

"Hmm, I hadn't thought of that." Oskar admitted, suddenly thoughtful. "In honesty, it isn't very often that I rent guns. I'll tell you what; I'll give you a box free of charge-"

 

He reached beneath the counter and procured a box of .22 rimfire, which he in turn offered to Caroline. "-and should you need to use it, you may pay the usual rate upon return of the gun. That is fifty cents a box, twenty-five bullets a box, two cents a bullet." his voice dropped an octave. "Let's hope it does not come to that, for being attacked once is one time too many, I should say. I digress. If you'll return this time next week, I hope to have your derringer in fine working order, and if not it'll be no less than three days after that."

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Well, looky there! She actually stumped him with her question about the ammo but he reacted with gentlemanly kindness, willing to throw in a box of ammo as part of the deal. Well, almost free, if she fired them apparently she had to pay for the shots fired. Oh well , hopefully she wouldn't have to fire a single shot.

 

"Good, I'll take em then. I expect you'll get 'em all back too," she accepted the box with a smile.

 

He also apprised her of his expectations regarding the repairs.

 

"If you'll return this time next week, I hope to have your derringer in fine working order, and if not it'll be no less than three days after that."

 

"Oh alright then. Hopefully I will remember that," she gave a little shrug.

 

"Say there, you've been so nice ta me, I'd like to return the favor. Tell ya what, why don't you come inta the saloon sometime and ask fer me if I'm not about but I practically live there so that shouldn't be a problem. Then I will buy you a drink on the house," she suddenly offered.

 

"

 

 

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"Say there, you've been so nice ta me, I'd like to return the favor. Tell ya what, why don't you come inta the saloon sometime and ask fer me if I'm not about but I practically live there so that shouldn't be a problem. Then I will buy you a drink on the house."

 

It was true that Oskar had lived for some years now in the US, time enough to broaden his catalogue of Americanisms. That didn't mean he always used them correctly, and herein he had to reevaluate his understanding of the phrase; 'On the house' as Caroline used it. If he understood correctly, she had offered to buy him a drink at her own cost, rather than it being paid from his pocket.

 

"I- on the house?" he repeated, carefully choosing his words to avoid seeming ignorant. "I wouldn't want to impose. Although, I have not visited the Stardust in a little while. It could be a, uh, experience."

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"Yep - on the house. Oh, you bein' a foreigner and all maybe you don't know what that means, sorry!" it suddenly came to Caroline.

 

"What I'm sayin' is you can have a free drink, I will pay for it. I don't make a habit of doin' that for just any customer but it's not an impo....imposition," she now explained more clearly.

 

"As for visiting the place, I like to think it's always a good experience if I have anything to do with it. You really should drop in sometime, hon," Caroline beamed.

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"What I'm sayin' is you can have a free drink, I will pay for it. I don't make a habit of doin' that for just any customer but it's not an impo....imposition."

"Well, if you're quite certain... then I'm sure a drink can't hurt." Oskar replied, with a well-meaning grin.

 

"As for visiting the place, I like to think it's always a good experience if I have anything to do with it. You really should drop in sometime, hon."

"I suppose I shall have to then, shan't I? Seeing as you've credited me with a free drink and all. Very well, It's decided - I'll see you, Caroline, at the stardust within the week. Perhaps I'll have an early fix for your derringer when I do."

 

(end thread? could continue with a follow-up stardust one if you wanted?)

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ooc:  Yep, good place to end this one.  And sure, we can do a saloon one, could be fun.  😀

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Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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