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    • Brendan simply sat in the bed and listened to Caroline. That was the least he could do. But at least she was saying good things about him. He would have felt proud in any other circumstances, but right now he just felt guilty, as though he had somehow had a hand in Caroline's horrible fate.   His eyes widened in surprise as she kissed him. The kiss was not deep, but it was still affectionate, although not the kind of affection he had imagined when he had imagined being kissed by Caroline. But, in a way, this was better.   He lifted a hand and put it at the back of her neck. Doing that felt all right - to him, anyway. It was the natural thing to do when someone kissed you. He knew that if his hand slid down, it would be resting between her bare shoulder blades. Instead of sliding his hand down, he let his fingers slide off the back of her neck and down onto the sheets as she pulled away.   "I've never been so glad to get a consolation prize," he said in a light-hearted tone. Because that's what the kiss had been.
    • "Oh, Miz Addy doesn't scare easy," Weedy pointed out, "she even killed a bear that killed one of her horses!"  He was real proud of her for that, even though she didn't make much of it.  "Gave the carcass to the Piutes, but she kept a couple of the claws."   He led the way into the kitchen, where there was a table that (barely) seated four, although there were only three chairs, a small stove, pantry and a sink complete with indoor pump.  "Here's some water."  Carefully, Weedy used the pump to fill a tin mug that he handed to Isiah.   "We can put the horses behind the house, and you can just stay in here when she gets home."  He looked up at the man with a grin.  "Are you the brother who pushed her in the lake or left her in the tree to find her own way down?"   @MD
    • Lucinda smiled as Clara emerged from the kitchen. The girl was so young, and so solemn, even though the expression on her face was pleasant. She had been slightly nervous about asking the new Mrs. Lutz for work - never having asked anyone for work before - but how could she be scared of a woman as young as Clara was?   "Well, actually, I was hoping that I might be able to help you." She held her hat with both hands so that it touched her knees. "My name is Lucinda Dietrich. I don't know how much Emeline told you, but I'm new in town. I helped Emeline wash dishes one night and she told me that if I couldn't find work, to come back here."   She paused, unsure of what to say next. Up until now she'd just been filling Clara in, but now she actually had to ask for work. How did one do that?   "Could...could you use an extra hand in the kitchen? Or out here?"
    • "Hello? Who is there, please?" asked Frances, raising her voice that the stranger outside might hear.    "Marshal Speed Guyer, Miss Grimes," He announced.   When she realized that it was the Marshall, she let him in immediately. "Is this about my brother?" she asked, in a voice that betrayed the fact that she would be surprised if it was about anything else.   "I'm afraid so ma'am," He was not not surprised, "Perhaps you'd like to sit down." He gave her a moment before continuing, "I'm afraid that your brother Frank got into an argument with some men at the Stardust Saloon earlier.  Unfortunately for him, he drew his pistol, and was killed." That did not come out the way he had intended. It sounded hollow and cold.   "I have what money he had on him, and some from the sale of his gun totaling thirty-five dollars." He added. "Also, there is the question of his horse and saddle. If you like, Miss Grimes, it can be sold and the money would come to you." He had hoped to make the delivery of Franks death much more smooth, but he felt a failure in that department. @Javia
    • Arabella listened with rapt attention to Mr. McVay's story about how he and his late wife had met and married. Oh, it was no heart-pounding tale of wild romance, as might be found within the yellow tinged pages of a dime novel; but neither was it the cold and stodgy retelling of some arranged twinning based upon financial dowries and settlements, as was so often the case. No, it was a nice, cosy, warm story: and Arabella smiled happily through the bulk of it.   But then came the dreaded and awful denouement.    "The winter of '74 Beth took a serious fall while I was at work. By the time I got home her leg was swollen, the house was like ice, and I was in a panic."   Arabella, who had been imagining Mr. and Mrs. McVay's idyllic life together so vividly, gasped, and her face fell.   He paused again. "I got her to the doctor who had her admitted to the hospital where they tended to her leg, but within days pneumonia set in. Not having the necessary strength to fight it, she succumbed."   "Oh, McVay..." sighed Arabella, leaning forward, eyes wide, her lower lip beginning to tremble.   He fained a smile, but his now red rimmed eyes were forming tears. "And, here I am."   The girl from Virginia, who was given to wearing her heart on her sleeve and crying at the drop of a hat at the best of times, now burst fully into great sobbing tears and running over threw her arms around the hard bitten reporter and wrapped him in a chaste and heartfelt hug.   "Oh poor Beth! And poor Mr. McVay!" she wept, before disentangling herself and wiping her nose on her sleeve. "and now you're here and... you're all... all alone in the world. Sniff."    @Flip
Clara Redmond Lutz

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It ended though with a bit too much information, Clara looked puzzled at the other girl, "I have no idea what that means and I am quite uncertain I wish it to be explained to me either. Besides, I need to serve our customers."

 

Arabella could only shrug: Clara had brought up the subject of Miriam, but now Arabella was about to explain how they had spent some time together yesterday making their own bustles out of thin cane and spare material, she didn't seem interested. Oh well! She busied herself washing up some dirty dishes while Clara flounced off with the fry-ups for the men.

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A mere couple of minutes later, Clara carried out then set  two heaping plates in front of Mr. Simon and Mr. Crabbe,"There you go, gentlemen. Salt and pepper is on the table. Would either of you like any cream or sugar or both for your coffees?"

 

"Black will be fine," Ben answered.  He looked down at his plate, before picking up his fork and tasting the bacon.  "As usual, it tastes as good as it smells.  My compliments, Mrs. Lutz."

 

As he waited for Crabbe to respond, Ben had a chance to think about his plan.  Aunt Rebecca had been working on way to help the young ladies in town for a while now.  She had heard about the tabloid that some of them had put on at the recent town meeting and she hadn't been impressed.  It wasn't the fact that they had presented a tabloid, it was the way they had gone about it that concerned her.

 

Since Rebecca was his mother's sister, she did have a have leaning towards the theatrical.  In fact, the Martin clan had a few actors and actresses littered in its past and in the present.  There was a cousin treading the boards somewhere in New York and another one in Denver, so it wouldn't take much to convince her that what Kalispell needed was a local theatre group where the young ladies could learn a few things.  All he had to do was make it sound respectable in order to get Uncle Charles' approval.

 

After taking a few more bites of his breakfast, he turned to Crabbe, "I want to ask you about your ward, Bridget.  Would she be interested in joing a young ladies group, if my Aunt was in charge of it?"

 

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A huge smile crept on his face, "You know Crabbe, you might come in handy after all."

 

"Well Ben, you know I ain't hard to get along with, what'd you want?"

 

Clara carried out then set  two heaping plates in front of Mr. Simon and Mr. Crabbe,"There you go, gentlemen. Salt and pepper is on the table. Would either of you like any cream or sugar or both for your coffees?"

 

"Black will be fine," Ben answered.  He looked down at his plate, before picking up his fork and tasting the bacon.  "As usual, it tastes as good as it smells.  My compliments, Mrs. Lutz."

 

"Er, yeah, me too." added Lorenzo distractedly, wondering what Simons was after.

 

After taking a few more bites of his breakfast, he turned to Crabbe, "I want to ask you about your ward, Bridget.  Would she be interested in joinng a young ladies group, if my Aunt was in charge of it?"

 

"Why sure! She'd be tickled pink to join that there... er, 'Young Ladies Group'" he beamed. Frankly, anything that got Bridget off his hands for a few hours was welcome. He'd run a few 'Young Ladies Groups' of his own in the past, of course, but he suspected that this was something a little more upmarket and respectable.

 

"So, er, what happens at this 'Young Ladies Group'?" he asked, making it pretty clear he had agreed to something on his ward's behalf without really knowing what it was.

 

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Both men were content with their coffees black and Mr. Simons was even kind enough to throw her a compliment, those were the kind of customers she loved.

 

"Why thank you, sir. I will check back later to see if you two want anything else," Clara nodded then went to check on the Weavers who were about finished. They were still a bit peeved about the 'loud and lewd saloon trash' who had disturbed their breakfast.

 

"Now that is being rather harsh, the girl is an orphan who almost died in Whitefish. Not all of us have had proper upbringings and it is doubtful she gets it over at the saloon," Clara sprang to Ara's defense.

 

"I consider her a friend of mine though I fully admit I can do nothing to control her ......outlandish at times behavior."

 

The Weavers frowned and shrugged but did not continue that train of thought, merely said they were done and Clara could take their plates.

 

"Oh I can do that later if you two wish to pay then head out?"  Clara responded.

 

A few minutes later Clara was back in the gallery with both hands full of dishes, marching them up to Arabella.

 

"Honestly, Arabella, you really need to be more circumspect with your pronouncements...and actions. The Weavers were affronted," she sighed.

           

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A few minutes later Clara was back in the gallery with both hands full of dishes, marching them up to Arabella.

 

"Putt'm in the sink, I'll just get some fresh water!" Arabella chirruped happily in her work, humming the odd  snatch of 'Carry Me Back To Old Virginny' as she went.

 

"Honestly, Arabella, you really need to be more circumspect with your pronouncements...and actions.

 

"Uh?" she queried dumbly.

 

"The Weavers were affronted," she sighed.

 

"Oh that! Oh they're just Philistines, them Weavers, and should be slewed with a jawbone of a ass. Ol' Shakespeare was always using cuss words, don't stop it bein' high toned stuff. Oh well, I don't wanna lose you customers, I'll go and say sorry before they leave!" she offered and flew out of the door to the front of the diner where she gave an audible gasp of horror and came scuttling back into the kitchen again and literally sheltered herself behind Clara, peeping back around her into the seated area.

 

"Oh Lawd she comin' Clara! It's that blind girl, I'm scared of her! I'm scared she'll see me! I... I..." Arabella struggled to put the source of her angst into words "I don't know what to say to her!"

 

"You'd better go out and see to her - I'll hide out o' sight in here and do the dishes!" she decided, pouncing on the pile of dirty dishes that she was about to wash up anyway, and looking around nervously, like the sightless young woman might glide into the kitchen at any second and put her on the spot. It certainly was a curious phobia for one who numbered the crippled and freakishly hirsute amongst her best friends.

 

The bell tinkled and a young woman wearing a bandage around her eyes and using a stick to feel her way walked quite confidently into the place.

 

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Clare felt compelled to point out the Weavers were still upset. They were not only regular customers but regular church goers and might make trouble for Arabella with the congregation and minister/priest. Ara was non-plussed though.

 

"Oh that! Oh they're just Philistines, them Weavers, and should be slewed with a jawbone of a ass. Ol' Shakespeare was always using cuss words, don't stop it bein' high toned stuff."

 

"Goodness sakes, Ara, are you advocating killing them? Do not be silly," Clara frowned, leave it to the girl to be overdramatic.

 

"Oh well, I don't wanna lose you customers, I'll go and say sorry before they leave!" she offered and flew out of the door to the front of the diner  before Clara could stop her. The Weavers had already departed though. But Ara was back fast enough, scuttling back into the kitchen again and literally sheltered herself behind Clara, peeping back around her into the seated area.

 

"Now what?" Clara sighed, if it wasn't one thing with the girl it was another.

 

"Oh Lawd she comin' Clara! It's that blind girl, I'm scared of her! I'm scared she'll see me! I... I..." Arabella struggled to put the source of her angst into words "I don't know what to say to her!"

 

Arabella Mudd - speechless? That would be the day!

 

"Blind girl?" Clara frowned, "We do not have blind girls in Kalispell, least that I know?"

 

"You'd better go out and see to her - I'll hide out o' sight in here and do the dishes!" she decided, pouncing on the pile of dirty dishes that she was about to wash up anyway, and looking around nervously, like the sightless young woman might glide into the kitchen at any second and put her on the spot.

 

The bell tinkled and a young woman wearing a bandage around her eyes and using a stick to feel her way walked quite confidently into the place.

 

Clara reached for a towel to wipe her hands then tossed it onto the table, "I will handle this then. Just keep working, Ara."

 

Stepping into the dining room once more Clara spotted what was obviously the blind girl alright although wearing a blindfold instead of dark glasses. Well, it wasn't like Clara had any experience with blind people anyhow. But she was certainly not terrified of one, instead more sympathetic. Poor thing.

 

"Good day, miss and welcome to the Lick Skittle Diner.  Are you here for something to eat, drink, or both?" she started as she got closer.

 

"I can guide you to a table if you wish? My name is Clara."

 

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"So, er, what happens at this 'Young Ladies Group'?" he asked, making it pretty clear he had agreed to something on his ward's behalf without really knowing what it was.

 

Ben smiled, "Don't worry.  With my aunt running the group you can be sure that everything will be above board."

 

He took a sip of his coffee before going on, "Now, what I plan is it for to be a theatrical group.  That debacle with the tabloid those young ladies tried at that meeting is a prime example why they need some guidance, especially where deportment is concerned.  I am sure that your Bridget, will benefit greatly from learning such things from a lady."

 

Another grin appeared on his face, "Besides, I think that you'll agree that if Miss Bridget is seen as a respectable and accomplished young lady, you will be able to find her a suitable husband more easily."

 

Before he could go on any further, he was distracted by the sight of Arabella returning to the room and leaving just as quickly when the front door to the diner opened.  Ben looked over to see a young lady with a bandage over her eyes.  The only person in town it could be was Frances Grimes, the sister of that no-account Frank.  Since he had arrived in Kalispell, he had made a few friends, who were eager to let him know the latest gossip, so he knew that the Grimes had only been here a short time.  As a professional gambler, it was always good to know about potential playing partners, especially if you were staying in one place for a while.  Frank Grimes was a person he had no intention of playing a game of cards with any time in the foreseeable future.

 

Clara returned and went to help the girl, which was good as he wasn't prepared to do.  Although he felt sorry for the girl, there was no way he was going to get involved with her.  Maybe it was the coward in him but he wasn't about to risk his life for her...well at least not on purpose.

 

Seeing that Clara was taking care of her, he went back to his breakfast.

 

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Ben smiled, "Don't worry.  With my aunt running the group you can be sure that everything will be above board."

 

"Jesus, that sounds boring!" shrugged Crabbe.

 

mycroft7.jpg?w=252&h=194

 

He took a sip of his coffee before going on, "Now, what I plan is it for to be a theatrical group.  That debacle with the tabloid those young ladies tried at that meeting is a prime example why they need some guidance, especially where deportment is concerned.  I am sure that your Bridget, will benefit greatly from learning such things from a lady."

 

Lorenzo frowned, then remembered Arabella rabbiting on about some lame Tableaux Vivant that she and Bridge and her pretty minx of a friend, Miriam Kaufmann, had put on, under the auspices of that snooty little Anæsthsia Orr. According to Arabella, it had been the greatest thing of its kind ever unveiled to the General Public: although when she mentioned that her knock-kneed legs had been on show, he immediately downgraded the spectacle in his mind. According to Ben, he had been right to.

 

Another grin appeared on his face, "Besides, I think that you'll agree that if Miss Bridget is seen as a respectable and accomplished young lady, you will be able to find her a suitable husband more easily."

 

Crabbe nodded. "Well, I might have a sucker lined up there, but Hell, yeah, why not? Long as it don't cost me nothing."

 

Both men shut up then, each hoping to avoid detection, as Frank Grimes' sister came noisily in, clacking that damn stick all about. 

 

Stepping into the dining room once more Clara spotted what was obviously the blind girl alright although wearing a blindfold instead of dark glasses. Well, it wasn't like Clara had any experience with blind people anyhow. But she was certainly not terrified of one, instead more sympathetic. Poor thing.

 

"Good day, miss and welcome to the Lick Skittle Diner.  Are you here for something to eat, drink, or both?" she started as she got closer.

 

"Please take my hand, I can't see yours." Frances said, holding out hers straight in front of her.

 

"I can guide you to a table if you wish? My name is Clara."

 

"Thank you, Clara. My name's Frances, Frances Grimes, I was hoping..." her stick whacked Crabbe on the ankle bone and the man let out an inadvertent "Ow!!"

 

"Oh, Mr Crabbe! Is that you? Have you seen my brother? Oh, and also he says you owe him some money." the blind girl said, quite forthrightly turning her head as Clara guided her. 

 

Crabbe mouthed a curse, not because he did owe Frank Grimes money but because he'd paid him already and the skunk was obviously holding out on his sister. 

 

"Frank's outta town. He won't be back until nightfall, he'll get paid tomorrow." it was easier to lie than cause a family row. "But, er, let me stand you breakfast, Franny." he offered, nodding to Clara that he would foot the blind girl's bill. He thought to change the subject quick.

 

"Frances!" she corrected him, coldly. 

 

"Say, er, Frances, you're a lady ain't ya?"

 

"I hope so!" Again, there was little warmth in her voice for Lorenzo Crabbe.

 

"Well, I'm sitting here with a feller called Ben Simons and his aunt's starting up a kinda group for young ladies in town, you be interested in something like that?" he asked.

 

Frances, only just sat down, immediately stood up again and, swishing her stick in front of her to the peril of Lorenzo's still throbbing ankle, moved over to them, sticking out a hand miles away from Ben.

 

"Mr Simons, the theatre manager?!" she beamed (word sure had gotten around fast) "How wonderful to meet you, Sir."

 

Crabbe was aware of Clara left dangling. "Just get her the same as us!" he half-whispered to the pregnant diner manager.

 

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When Clara finally came back into the kitchen area with the order, Arabella was all over her with questions.

 

"What did she do? What did she say? Why's she talkin' to Mr Simons? What did Lorenz, er, Mr Crabbe say  to her?!!" then she gasped out loud with the remembrance of something "Oh! And I saw when she held your hand! Did it feel funny?!!"

 

She peeped around Clara again, biting her lip as she observed the blindfolded girl talking to Ben.

 

"She's sorta pretty, wonder what she looks like under that eye bandage thingamajig?" she wondered out loud. "Say, when you go back out there, see if'n you can peep over the top of it and see what's underneath." she suggested, consumed with a curiosity as potent as her fear.

 

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"Please take my hand, I can't see yours." Frances said, holding out hers straight in front of her.

 

"I can guide you to a table if you wish? My name is Clara," the young woman stuck out her hand and grasped the blind girl's.

 

"Thank you, Clara. My name's Frances, Frances Grimes, I was hoping..." her stick whacked Crabbe on the ankle bone and the man let out an inadvertent "Ow!!"

 

"Oh careful dear, you struck a customer," Clara pointed out without a hint of anger.

 

Turned out this Miss Grimes  knew Mr. Crabbe, small world. Clara just remained standing there then as the blind girl conversed with the man. Crabbe didn't take the whack personal and in fact kindly offered to pay for a breakfast for the young miss.

 

The girl forgot all about her then, enchanted by Mr. Simons being described as a theatre manager? There was no theatre in Kalispell, Clara silently noted.  Fortunately Crabbe rescued her from standing there by adding the young lady would take the same breakfast that  she had earlier served the two men.

 

"Very well," Clara turned and left them to their talk of the theatre (?) then headed back into the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As soon as Clara entered the kitchen, Arabella was on her like a burr stuck to clothing.

 

"What did she do? What did she say? Why's she talkin' to Mr Simons? What did Lorenz, er, Mr Crabbe say  to her?!!" then she gasped out loud with the remembrance of something "Oh! And I saw when she held your hand! Did it feel funny?!!"

 

"Never mind all that, we have another breakfast order, you do the eggs, I will do the bacon," Clara got to work.

 

"And for your information, her hand felt perfectly normal," the no nonsense young Mrs. Lutz pointed out what should be the obvious.

 

"She's sorta pretty, wonder what she looks like under that eye bandage thingamajig?" Arabella wondered out loud. "Say, when you go back out there, see if'n you can peep over the top of it and see what's underneath."

 

"I most certainly will not, that would be extremely rude," scoffed Clara, "Get going on those eggs, you were the one who volunteered to help."

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"Never mind all that, we have another breakfast order, you do the eggs, I will do the bacon," Clara got to work.

 

"Aw!" Arabella pouted, disappointed by the lack of gossip about the alien creature in the dining room.

 

"And for your information..."

 

Arabella gasped with excitement, dashing back to Clara clutching two eggs in her hands. "Yes???"

 

"... her hand felt perfectly normal," the no nonsense young Mrs. Lutz pointed out what should be the obvious.

 

"Hmmm, interesting!" frowned Arabella, fondling the hard smooth surfaces of the egg shells meditatively "I though they'd be sort of clammy, like she'd get the sweats 'cause she was worried about walking face first into a door or wall all the time."

 

"She's sorta pretty, wonder what she looks like under that eye bandage thingamajig?" Arabella wondered out loud. "Say, when you go back out there, see if'n you can peep over the top of it and see what's underneath."

 

"I most certainly will not, that would be extremely rude," scoffed Clara, "Get going on those eggs, you were the one who volunteered to help."

 

Arabella nodded and got the eggs into the fry pan. "Oh dash!" she exclaimed "I done broke one o' the yolks! Oh well, guess she ain't gonna notice!"

 

"Hey, Clara" she shouted over, cooking eggs was starting to bore her, "Let's both close our eyes and see if we can cook breakfast without bein' able to see, like a blind people!"

 

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Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Arabella nodded and got the eggs into the fry pan. "Oh dash!" she exclaimed "I done broke one o' the yolks! Oh well, guess she ain't gonna notice!"

 

"It is fine, just cook  them properly. Less chatter, more concentration on what you are doing please," Clara replied as she did her part in the breakfast prep.

 

"Hey, Clara" she shouted over, cooking eggs was starting to bore her, "Let's both close our eyes and see if we can cook breakfast without bein' able to see, like a blind people!"

 

"First off, proper grammar, it is 'like a blind person' not people," Clara pointed out , "And secondly we are here in this kitchen to cook proper meals for paying customers. That is a responsibility I take most seriously. Kindly be more....adult."

 

Just this short time Ara had been in the diner now had definitely convinced Clara she would never hire the girl to be a regular employee.

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"Mr Simons, the theatre manager?!" she beamed (word sure had gotten around fast) "How wonderful to meet you, Sir."

 

"Yes, the theatre manager," Ben answered.  It amazed him how fast things got around in town.  In the future, he would probably be a bit more cautious when he was planning something.

 

He took Frances' hand and gently shook it, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Grimes."

 

Letting go of her hand, he returned to his breakfast and continued to eat while he thought of what to say next.  He couldn't personally invite the girl to join the group as her brother might get the wrong idea.  Frank Grimes with the wrong idea was something he really didn't want to contemplate.  Turning to Frances, he smiled, hoping that she would hear the pleasantness of his speech that it caused, "If you are interested in joining the ladies group my aunt Rebecca Wentworth will be running, I can get her to send you an invitation or she can personally come to see you."

 

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"First off, proper grammar, it is 'like a blind person' not people," Clara pointed out , "And secondly we are here in this kitchen to cook proper meals for paying customers. That is a responsibility I take most seriously. Kindly be more....adult."

 

"Ain't it funny, Clara, I'm always makin' mistakes like that when I talk in my regular voice, but when I do 'personations of folk, I can speak right if I needs to. Listen to this:..." the gangly, scruffy teenager suddenly stood up ramrod straight at the frying pan and repositioned the spachelor in her hand like she was holding a dainty quill, then started to speak in a refined, maybe even pretentious voice, very unlike her own, with no trace of a southern accent:

 

"Arabella, would you please desist from precipitating those most distastful and less that utilitarian anecdotal confabulations. I find them most distressing!" All right, the words might not make sense, but anyone who knew Clara would have recognised the rhythm and tone of her voice.

 

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He took Frances' hand and gently shook it, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Grimes."

 

"And you, Mr. Simons." she smiled sweetly.

 

"If you are interested in joining the ladies group my aunt Rebecca Wentworth will be running, I can get her to send you an invitation or she can personally come to see you."

 

"Oh, that sounds wonderful, I shall have to see if, er..." stammered the blind girl, and Crabbe could guess why. 

 

"And it doesn't cost anything to join, does it, Ben?" Lorenzo put in.

 

"It sounds absolutely wonderful Mr. Simons" said Frances, now much more firmly "Please, just an invitation, I mean, just knowing when and when your Aunt would be holding the meetings would be all I need. I shall find it with no problem. What a kind thought, thank you, Mr. Simons."

 

At the sound of Ben munching, she decided that she had probably outstayed her welcome at his tableside and said "I shall leave you to your repast, Mr Simons, thank you again."

 

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"Ain't it funny, Clara, I'm always makin' mistakes like that when I talk in my regular voice, but when I do 'personations of folk, I can speak right if I needs to. Listen to this:..." the gangly, scruffy teenager suddenly stood up ramrod straight for some sort of recital.

 

Clara paused in her work and looked that direction, she would listen if for no other reason than to be polite - busy as she was.

 

"Arabella, would you please desist from precipitating those most distastful and less that utilitarian anecdotal confabulations. I find them most distressing!" All right, the words might not make sense, but anyone who knew Clara would have recognized the rhythm and tone of her voice.

 

Clara sighed, "People do not like being mimicked and an object of fun, Arabella. And, it is not nice."

 

Then she went back to her food preparations.

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Clara sighed, "People do not like being mimicked and an object of fun, Arabella. And, it is not nice."

 

The other girl just grinned. "Oh don't be silly, I ain't makin' fun of you! Remember the old adage: 'Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery' See, the reason I'm so good at 'personating you is cause I used to practice all the time, cause I wanted to be just like you... you was my, whataycallem? My beau ideal!" She got her spatchalor under the eggs so they didn't stick.

 

"Anyhow, I gotta practice pretending to be other people if I'm going to be an actress. Oooh, did you see my audition fer Mr Simons? I could tell that he was secretly impressed. He was just just pretending not to be so he woudn't have to pay me so much when he takes me on - that's called 'holding out'!" she explained importantly.

 

"I could also tell he weren't interested in me as a woman" she went on, holding her spatchelor up for emphasis "And that's a darn good thing, too, cause Lorenzo, er, Mr Crabbe, he done told me about this thing they got in theatres called 'The Castin' Couch' and believe you me Clara Anne Lutz, you don't wanna be messin' around on that thing, Lady MacBeth or no Lady MacBeth!"

 

She frowned for a second in thought. "nope, I never did meet a feller who was interested in me that a-way and, Clara, would you be completely amazed if I told you I don't even care?" she asked.

 

@Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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The other girl just grinned. "Oh don't be silly, I ain't makin' fun of you! Remember the old adage: 'Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery' See, the reason I'm so good at 'personating you is cause I used to practice all the time, cause I wanted to be just like you... you was my, whataycallem? My beau ideal!"

 

"Oh? Well, that is most kind of you to put me on a pedestal like that," Clara had indeed been taken aback by the compliment, "Doubt I deserve it."

 

Ara also explained she now dreamed of being an actress, well Clara thought the girl was certainly not shy and also had a flair for the dramatic (often unnecessarily).

 

"Well good luck with that then, Ara, I think you would do well," Clara wanted to be supportive.

 

Of course the girl didn't stop there but brought up some sort of nonsense about a casting couch? Why on earth would someone audition sitting on a couch? Unless the role involved sitting....

 

"I see," Clara merely nodded, there was no stopping the verbal locomotive that was Ara barreling down the track.

 

Ara frowned for a second in thought. "nope, I never did meet a feller who was interested in me that a-way and, Clara, would you be completely amazed if I told you I don't even care?"

 

Clara had once thought no boy would ever show the likes of her any interest either and , boy, was she wrong about that as she glanced for just an instant down upon her wedding ring.

 

"Arabella, I am constantly amazed at so much you tell me.  So you have not yet developed an interest in boys? It will come, probably quite soon I would venture," Clara answered.

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"Oh? Well, that is most kind of you to put me on a pedestal like that," Clara had indeed been taken aback by the compliment, "Doubt I deserve it."

 

"Course you do! You ain't just the cleverest girl in Kalispell, you're the prettiest. And you still will be, even when you're all fat and full of babies!" Arabella declared, feeling a little guilty, for she was always telling Miriam the same thing (except for the babies part, of course!)

 

Conversation then turned to the young Virginian's proposed acting career and her (not necessarily unwelcome) unattractiveness to boys, and her own lack of interest in the same.

 

"Arabella, I am constantly amazed at so much you tell me.  So you have not yet developed an interest in boys? It will come, probably quite soon I would venture," Clara answered.

 

"Hmm." 

 

What? For once Arabella seemed to have nothing to say! 

 

Arabella looked over at Clara; maybe it had always been a pretty one-sided relationship, but it had been a very important one to her. She couldn't but remember opening her eyes after her near death experience last December and seeing the girl who had nursed her through it standing over her: she had mistaken her for a Red Indian of all things! And she had bathed her: bathed her poor frozen, emaciated body, like Jesus bathed the feet of the beggars. She had seemed Christ-like to Arabella, then. 

 

And how, in the intervening months she had run after and doted on the now married mother-to-be. But now she had Miriam and Clara had Jacob and things seemed sort of right in the Heavens. Her silly crush on the older girl had been just that, and now it must be forgotten.

 

But. There was always going to be that nagging thought of things that might have been; dreams, odd, intense, impossible little dreams, that could never come true. Arabella walked over to Clara's side and touched her arm, looking up with her dark blue eyes into Clara's Brown and a frisson ran through her whole body.

 

"Clara, I... you see... well... er..... I think these eggs is done!" she stammered.

 

@Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

ooc:  OK, dialog seems to have dwindled and both girls are busy cooking away so I think it's a good spot to call this one.  🙂

 

OOOC: J'agree, this thread's bifurcated anyway - we can always carryon in the other one if inspiration strikes us.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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About Sagas

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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