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    • James smiled back, forgetting again that she could not see it.  Truthfully he would be hard pressed to stop himself from doing such things even in her presence but for those who had sight, they would struggle to imagine how she lived as well as she did without it.  It was as ingrained in him as it was for her doing without.  Because he’d been raised at all-male boarding schools, the young British man had very limited experience with the fairer sex, this was simply a fact, one that James had no trouble acknowledging.   When she joked with the Marshall regarding being weighed down with metal coins, James chuckled at her jest, stopping suddenly as something occurred to him.  “I say!”  He exclaimed, then rushed on, “Have you ever given thought to folding each kind of bill in a different way so that you can tell which is which?”  He caught his breath then, waiting to see what she or the Marshall thought of his latest idea.  If she needed his assistance in the folding, he'd be happy to help her.   As she suspected, James was obvious to the fact that she was gently flirting with him, taking everything at face value, his inexperience with the fairer sex once again rearing it’s head.  He caught something of the heat that colored her cheeks, and the errant thought passed through his mind that she might be falling ill.  Not uncommon so soon after the passing of a loved one.
    • He tried to make it sound important enough that she should be interested in local politics but really what good did being interested do her? She could not change anything. She could not vote so to hell with it. The people she lived with, worked with were what was important to her. But she wasn't going to argue with him about it.   "Sure, I reckon," Caroline shrugged.   Then handsome young soldier...correction, officer now launched into a nice long tale of his family roots. It was fascinating really he knew all that much about his family history and those who came before. She didn't know a damn thing about such things in her own life. She was pretty damn sure the woman she called Ma had been the one to give birth to her but she was not positive. And there was even more doubt about her father or step father. No matter, they had been a family and stuck together til two out of three died. So now it was just her. Well, her and her saloon family.   "Interestin'," she nodded, enjoying the way he told the story as much as the actual story.   "So you see, in a hundred years time... the president of the United States will be tracing his roots back to a beautiful saloon singer in old Kalispell and a tramp in the street'll be vaguely aware that he is descended from the once great Greenes of Vermont." He shrugged. "Who cares, rich man, poor man, beggar man thief." he looked into the depths of her blue eyes "... or lady, baby, gypsy, queen."   "Not gonna happen that way. I'm never gonna get married and I ain't gonna have any children so no one is descendin' from me, hon. But I liked yer tellin' of it," she liked him, this dinner date had turned out better than she had figured it would.          
    • "Ah yeah, the mayor's election. Why should I care who wins? I can't even vote in it, "Caroline waved it off. Oh she would clap for and cheer on Mr. Priest whom her boss was pushing to win but she personally did not give a damn.   Greene shrugged. "Maybe not, but the person who's elected could make your life a lot better or a whole lot worse. You ever hear of a abomination that goes by the name of a 'dry county'? The poor b... er, denizens of a place like that probably didn't realise until too late what they were voting in." he laughed, although it was no laughing matter: reformers and prohibitionists were even in these early decades starting to make their voices heard.    He then mentioned being interested in listening to her and Ara perform.   "Please do. I don't want to sound like I'm braggin' but most folks say I've got a real nice singing voice. I admit my dancing is not that special but I just show them a little leg.......or more than a little...and they clap alright," she informed him.   "I can imagine!" he smiled. But it was a nice smile. A friendly smile. Not the sort of lascivious smile that indicated that he already had been imagining... frequently.    They talked of the famous Dance.   "Yeah, must have been before I arrived in town. No local dances for me yet...besides I got a feelin' my sort would not be welcomed at any such town affair. Those things are for proper folks."   Greene frowned. He didn't like to think of this beautiful woman being denigrated in any way: though he was not unaware of the snobby often hypocritical attitude of those who felt them selves a cut above the type of folks who worked in certain professions, including soldiers - at least the non-commissioned kind. Sometimes with good reason, often times not.   "You know, one of my aunts once had our family tree drawn up, just like the noble families of Europe. The fellow who did it even drew it like a tree, leaves, and apples, and all. We're real Vermont blue-bloods, you see, despite the green name. Aunt Mary-Anne expected our forefathers to have come across on the Mayflower, or with Captain Smith to Jamestown."   He smiled happily at the memory of it.   "Imagine her delight when the feller delivered our family tree and revealed that the first Greene to set foot on American soil was an indentured servant, a virtual slave, who'd been transported here for, get this, stealing apples from some rich lord's orchard!"    He enjoyed the memory of his snobby aunt's discomfort for a moment then returned to the present.   "So you see, in a hundred years time... the president of the United States will be tracing his roots back to a beautiful saloon singer in old Kalispell and a tramp in the street'll be vaguely aware that he is descended from the once great Greenes of Vermont." He shrugged. "Who cares, rich man, poor man, beggar man thief." he looked into the depths of her blue eyes "... or lady, baby, gypsy, queen."   @Wayfarer        
    • "Debate, you dumb bitch, it's called a debate," Caroline mumbled under her breath but the woman figured it out just then too.   Priest wasn't going to be rushed though. He would reveal all later was all he would promise. In that way the man was a true politician, promises a whole lot, she'd see if he actually delivered on anything. The politicians in Chicago had been crooked, the mayor of Helena had been well meaning but a bumbling fool, and the one here in Kalispell was ......well, she didn't even know who the hell that was, he was pretty much invisible. The town seemingly had been run by that one council member before he lit himself on fire.   Just then they got themselves a trio of new customers, rough looking lot but a customer was a customer. Fortner invited them to have a drink and they promptly bellied up to the bar. Of course Ralph was there, waiting to hear what they'd like.   "Three whiskies," one of the men said, after reaching into his coat and putting down some coinage.   "Sure nuff, comin' right up," Ralph nodded and reached for one of the cheap bottles, he was a pretty good judge of customers' taste and proclivities. He poured three shots of the powerful liquor.   Caroline swung into saloon girl mode too, sashaying up to the one lined up at the bar closest to her, gifting him with a bright smile, "Welcome! Have a long ride, did ya, hon?"    
    • He gazed up at the domed ceiling and was awe struck at it's beauty. He was taken aback by the obvious talent that it took to create such a beautiful thing. "Dang near as pretty as you, Em." was his comment. "Took 'em a while to get that done. Never seen the like."   And that was a fact. There had been nothing that he had seen before to compare to the glass domed ceiling, nothing. He suddenly felt out of place, something odd for him to feel, at any time, in any place, but it struck him here in this place. The sheer beauty of it touched him. What man could accomplish given the opportunity   "Now 'at's somethin'. Best we see what other marvels they got in this place. May not have time ta see everything." He pointed out. @Bongo
Adelaide Chappel

Tell Me a Tale

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Mature Content: No

With: Addy, F. Falmer Browne Bear, et al
Location: Residence of F. Falmer B. B.
When: June 1876
Time of Day: Afternoon

 

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The letter had been sitting on her table for a few days, and while Addy knew it was for her, and from Jay, she hadn't read it, mostly because she couldn't read but a few words, and she had been pondering over who to read it.  Not, Weedy, of course, he was just a kid, and if there was something in it bad (she couldn't imagine what that might be, she loved Jay and he loved her), she didn't want him finding out that way. 

 

Work had kept her busy, although it had given her plenty of time to ponder on who she could ask to read it for her, and after miles of hemmin' an' hawin', and thinkin' on this one an' that, she settled on her neighbor, F. Falmer, so now she was standing on his porch, the letter stashed in the pocket of the blue wool skirt she was wearing, and after knocking, she took off her hat and scooped some stray hairs behind her ear as she waited.

 

@Javia

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A gentleman like Felix Falmer Browne never opened his own front door, of course, and with Mrs O'Hoolighan out at the stores, it fell to his part-time maid Jemima Wigfall to fulfil that role. The sight that greeted Addy's eyes, as the glossy green portal cracked open, was unusual: Jemima had on a dress that was tatty, even for her, and was covered from head to toe in soot. There were sheets along the floor of the hallway, leading into a back room.

 

Jemima looked Addy up and down, and surprise registered on her soot covered and usually inert features at her appearance, too. The Wagoneer was dressed as a woman! In a skirt! And with no slouch hat! There was one phrase that came to Jemima's mind: Femme Fatale! 

 

She gave a knowing sniff and invited the Professor's neighbor in with a curt "He's in the front" before traipsing back to her work. Before she disappeared,  the lugubrious girl turned and added "I'm sweeping the chimney." lest Addy thought that she was rehearsing for a mistral show. 

 

Falmer Browne was in his shirt sleeves, doing something immensely clever looking with a test tube of green liquid when Addy entered the front parlour. A look of delight crossed his face as he saw her enter, followed by one of confusion and no little embarrassment as he hadn't really seen her since the 'Painting' incident, when she had given him a good telling off. This was soon replaced by delight again as he noticed she wasn't dressed as a man for her visit: she was wearing a skirt! God, she looked ravishing! He nearly spilt the contents of his tube as he put it shakily into the test tube holder.

 

"My dear Miss Chappel, what a wonderful surprise!" he gushed as he quickly cleared a space for her on the chaise longue, which was scattered with papers, notes and formulae for his experiments. "Please be seated, allow me to get you some refreshment! To what do I owe this signal honour?" he asked as he searched the book shelves for a hidden bottle of 'Ald Smellie' whiskey.

 

 

Amazed.jpg.0c5086cba94b72079ce36ad3174007a2.jpg

@Bongo

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Addy smiled and nodded to Miss Jemima.  "Reckon in a house this size that's a big project."  Her own modest place didn't need but a few sweepings of the ashes once a week, although that might change come Winter, when the fire would be blazing all the time.

 

She followed the young woman to the room where where F. Falmer was toiling over fancy equipment, and looked around curiously before reaching to sweep the old slouch hat off her head -- at least she'd taken time to knock the dust off before coming calling!

 

"Afternoon, F...Falmer....Mr. Browne..."  She wasn't sure what to call him...'F' seemed odd, 'Falmer' was his second name, and 'Mr. Browne' was awful formal for neighbors.

 

"Yes, sir, I'd more'n be happy with a bit'a fortification, can always do with that!"

 

Nothing like whisky to still the nerves, and it would be a sin to turn down the 'good stuff'.  "I was thinkin' ta ask a favor, if it ain't too much a imposition."

 

Maybe he was mad at her for giving him what-for that day?  Well, if she had to, she could ask Miss Jemima to read the letter to her.

 

@Javia

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"Afternoon, F...Falmer....Mr. Browne..."  She wasn't sure what to call him...'F' seemed odd, 'Falmer' was his second name, and 'Mr. Browne' was awful formal for neighbors.

 

"Oh, please, Miss Chappel, call me Felix: no formality between good neighbors, eh?" he replied jovially before waving the bottle of whiskey queryingly in her direction.

 

"Yes, sir, I'd more'n be happy with a bit'a fortification, can always do with that!"

 

"Fortification. Yes. Good word! I... too... shall fortify." he said as he carefully poured a generous bumper of the good stuff for each of them and handed the drink over with all the assiduous attention of a high class waiter in a fancy restaurant. 

 

"Now then..." he risked it "Adelaide, is this a purely social visit, or is there something that you would like to discuss?" Oooh, it felt so thrilling to use her Christian name.

 

Nothing like whisky to still the nerves, and it would be a sin to turn down the 'good stuff'.  "I was thinkin' ta ask a favor, if it ain't too much a imposition."

 

"I am entirely at your service." came the instant reply, Browne sweeping an arm and bowing slightly to further indicate his complete and utter willingness to render any aide that the entrancing diamond in the rough might desire.

 

@Bongo

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"Oh, well, now..." Addy took a sip of her drink, savoring the smooth amber liquid.  This caliber of quality was hard to find in the saloons, and if you could, it would be far too costly.

 

And now that she was here, she was having second thoughts.  What if Jay had more to confess and this was all about his nefarious past?  Would Felix understand and respect that he was reformed now, right?  And she was here, and whisky was flowing.

 

Sighing, she pulled the letter from her pocket and held it out to him.  "Jay left this fer me, but I can't make out but a few'a th' words.  I was wonderin' if ya could read it for me?"

 

My Dearest Adelaide,

I don't know any way to do this but just to do it.  I have to leave for a while, to set some things straight, things about my past that need to be cleared up before we get married.  I know you don't care, but I want to do this right, and the only way is for me to be sure that nothing will stand in our way, or come back to ruin things.  I only want the best for you and Weedy, I love you both so much.

Please don't worry about me, I'll be fine, and I should be back in a couple of months.  In the mean time, go ahead and plan the perfect wedding for us, whatever you want.

Remember I love you more than anything.

Jay

 

@Javia

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Sighing, she pulled the letter from her pocket and held it out to him.  "Jay left this fer me, but I can't make out but a few'a th' words.  I was wonderin' if ya could read it for me?"

 

"Oh, er, of course!" Falmer Browne replied with alacrity, but in truth, this put him in rather a difficult position. Read aloud a letter from his hated rival?! To the object of both their desires?! He looked at the letter and immediately saw its import from the clear, neat hand in which the  Englishman had penned the piece. 

 

If Addy couldn't read this writing, she must be completely illiterate! The idea did not put him off her at all: indeed, it only fuelled his passion for the earthy, almost barbaric and strong woman, he could just imagine her as some ancient warrior woman, her brawny skin displayed in a skimpy buckskin... OH! Where was he, ah yes... the letter. 

 

He held it this way and that, a frown creasing his already wrinkled face. "No, no, you are right. It is almost quite impossible to make out." he lied "I think it starts 'My Dear... Dearest? Adelaide." he shook his head again.  "Maybe a fresh pair of eyes: Miss Wigfall?! MISS WIGFALL?!" he shouted, and a sooty, disgruntled looking Jemima put her head around the door. 

 

"Ah, splendid!" Browne smiled amiably "I don't suppose you could try and read this letter for us? Neither of us can quite make out the handwriting!" and with that, he thrust the hot potato into her hands.

 

"Well, she can't read anyway." grumped Jemima, matter-of-factly. Everybody knew that. Not that Addy was alone in that particular handicap in this burgh. She looked at the letter and gave F. Flamer Browne a long hard stare - the handwriting was as clear as type! The amateur scientist stepped to the window and looked out, rather red faced as Jemima commenced to read in her flat toneless voice, making little comments and asides as she did so:

 

"My Dearest Adelaide, [that's you]

I don't know any way to do this but just to do it. [oh oh]  I have to leave for a while, to set some things straight, [huh!] things about my past that need to be cleared up before we get married. [I bet!]  I know you don't care, but I want to do this right, and the only way is for me to be sure that nothing will stand in our way, or come back to ruin things. [well what the Dickens has that feller been up to?] I only want the best for you and Weedy, [oh, Porter] I love you both so much. [huh! so why's he leaving?]

Please don't worry about me, [we won't!] I'll be fine, and I should be back in a couple of months. [believe that if you like!] In the mean time, go ahead and plan the perfect wedding for us, whatever you want.

Remember I love you more than anything.

Jay"

 

She folded the now rather sooty letter and handed it back to Addy with a big sniff. "Well Miss Addy, that's the last you seen of that feller!" she left the room and without turning back shouted "I'm halfway up the chimney, so don't call me again!" 

 

Browne tried to chuckle away Jemima's comments on the content of Ryker's missive.

 

"Oh, don't pay any mind to her, my dear Adelaide, the girl has been disappointed in love so many times, she has a rather pessimistic view of the whole... er... pastime!" he gushed, reaching for the whiskey bottle, figuring that they both needed a top-up after that display.

 

@Bongo

 

[OOC: Sorry, got a bit carried away there!]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Addy's nose wrinkled up as Jemima was summoned...she really didn't want more people than necessary knowing her business, whatever it might be, but it was too late to protest.  As for F Falmer, she wasn't sure what he was about.  No, she couldn't read but a few words, but she could see that the writing was clear and precise, but for now, she'd let that go.

 

As Jemima read, she nodded slowly, understanding, not really surprised.  Jay wanted to make sure his past was as clear as could be going into marriage and taking on a family, so if there was something he could do, she knew he would.

 

"Well Miss Addy, that's the last you seen of that feller!" she left the room and without turning back shouted "I'm halfway up the chimney, so don't call me again!"

 

Addy nodded, more to the chimney part than the other, she knew Jay, knew he wasn't running out on her, and that he'd be back when he could.  Besides, if he'd changed his mind, he would have just told her to her face, right?

 

"Oh, don't pay any mind to her, my dear Adelaide, the girl has been disappointed in love so many times, she has a rather pessimistic view of the whole... er... pastime!"

 

"Don't reckon as I blame her."  Addy shrugged.  "S'why I don't put much stock in love."  She could do without Jay, she'd been fine before he'd shown up, and she'd be just fine...until he came back.  "Gonna be hard on Weedy, though.  He's got a fondness fer Jay, an' he'll miss him while he's gone."

 

She gladly accepted the second round of whisky!

 

@Javia

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"Don't reckon as I blame her."  Addy shrugged.  "S'why I don't put much stock in love."  She could do without Jay, she'd been fine before he'd shown up, and she'd be just fine...until he came back.

 

Falmer Browne found himself in something of an invidious position. On the one hand, he somewhat agreed with Jemima's assessment: that such a letter was possibly a comfortable way out for a man who was getting cold feet about marriage and settling down. He was also delighted to have a love rival out of the way, no matter how hopeless his own romantical plans were, even without competition.

 

On the other hand, he had the utmost sympathy for Addy, and for Weedy too, for that matter. And it seemed hard that Ryker had not even deigned to give an exact date for his return that Addy could at least pin her hopes on. 'Acouple of months' was vague, when did that become 'a few months'?

 

He tried to be comforting.

 

"I am sure that Mr Ryker will return very soon" he said somewhat stiffly "'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' and all that!" he added, though he could equally have repeated the old adage 'Out of sight, out of mind'.

 

 "Gonna be hard on Weedy, though.  He's got a fondness fer Jay, an' he'll miss him while he's gone."

 

"Well, we must occupy his mind, and your own, until Mr Ryker returns!" the scientist counselled breezily. "You and he are always welcome around here. Young Master Porter seemed to be quite interested in my small menagerie and, for all her strange ideas, Miss Wigfall seems to have an odd affinity with the lad." he offered. He felt a little guilty, for there was definitely  an element of selfish interest in his invitations.

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Boy surely does have an affinity fer ya," Addy commented with a nod.  "I can teach him 'bout handlin' th' horses an' readin' trails, meetin' up with Injuns, shootin' an' whatnot, but there's a whole good deal you know that surely does elude me, an' it'll be good that he learns a curiosity fer science an' all."

 

She drank the last of her whisky, then set the glass down, maybe for a refill?

 

"Need someone ta show me once an' fer all how ta read an' write.  Can't go no longer not knowin' that.  Reckon I could talk to th' school marm."  She'd seemed a nice sort and had held her own against adversity.l

 

@Javia

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"Need someone ta show me once an' fer all how ta read an' write.  Can't go no longer not knowin' that.  Reckon I could talk to th' school marm."  She'd seemed a nice sort and had held her own against adversity.

 

Browne's blurted reply might well have been predicted: "Oh, my dear Miss Chappel, I myself would be only too happy to..."

 

He stopped himself at the precipice, and teetered at its edge.

 

Could he trust himself? Could he attempt to teach this beautiful young woman, this beautiful, engaged woman to read and write without falling hopelessly, foolishly further in love with her? The very idea was grotesque, silly. He was an old man; he had dedicated the remainder of his life to science, to relieving the suffering of mankind. No, he could not risk it. 

 

"... to arrange a private tutor for you." He heaved a secret sigh of relief. He had done it. He had resisted temptation.

 

"There is a young person of my acquaintance whom I believe has all the necessary literary qualifications for the task and, more importantly, the correct..." he struggled for the right phrase "... the right heart. There would be no cost involved..." he assumed that money might be tight around the Chappel household at the moment with Jay away and a growing boy to feed.

 

There was a clatter next door and Felix, deigning to read Addy's mind, quickly added.

 

"This is no silly girl like Jemima of whom I speak, Adelaide, but a very proper young woman only a few years younger than yourself." he claimed, rather generously, to the 29 year old. "We could arrange for a two week trial period, and then the two of you could let me know whether you both wish to continue. If not, then there will be no embarrassment on either side."

 

Falmer Browne said all this in as easy-going manner as possible: though he realised that when it came down to it, being taught by a younger woman might actually be quite an ordeal for the grown up, self reliant, independent woman who sat before him.

 

@Bongo

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Addy pondered for a moment, then grinned and nodded.  "A'right, then, sounds like a right good arrangement, although I'd be remiss not ta pay her somethin'."  She reckoned she could work that out with the young lady, but then her nose wrinkled up.  "It ain't Miss Mudd, is t?  Not that I got nothin' against th' child, but she'd like as not end up in th' manure pile eventually!"

 

Laughing, she shrugged and held out her glass for another refill.  "Deal!  Now I got Weedy ta look after, I gotta be more educated, I reckon, so's now's as good a time as any.  An' I know Weedy'd love ta come over an' help you with...whatever it is yer doin' here.  Be good fer th' lad."

 

@Javia

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Addy pondered for a moment, then grinned and nodded.  "A'right, then, sounds like a right good arrangement, although I'd be remiss not ta pay her somethin'."  She reckoned she could work that out with the young lady.

 

Felix gave Addy an avuncular smile and shook his head slightly. "Oh, I doubt the young lady I am thinking of would be at all interested in any form of remuneration, Adelaide. In fact, if I have read her aright, the arrangement will be rewarding for her in a much more profound and, dare I say, spiritual way." he said, sounding a little more mysterious than he really intended to.

 

But then her nose wrinkled up."It ain't Miss Mudd, is t?  Not that I got nothin' against th' child, but she'd like as not end up in th' manure pile eventually!"

 

Browne frowned. "Mudd? Mudd? ... Oh! Is that the rather hoydenish girl with whom you had the slight contretemps at the Ladies' Society meeting?" As something of a recluse, Browne hardly ever visited either the Saloon or the Church and was therefore, apart from the aforementioned incident, blissfully unaware of the antics of the little pest Arabella. 

 

"By no means. The young lady I am thinking of is extremely well educated and well mannered and, I believe, in dire need of a worthy project to distract her from her woes. It is not my place to mention names, but if I were to inform you that the poor girl recently lost her father in the most horrible and distressing of circumstances, you may well hazard a guess." Browne intoned, aiming to calm Addy's fears. "I hope that such a person might be acceptable to you."

 

Laughing, she shrugged and held out her glass for another refill.  "Deal!  Now I got Weedy ta look after, I gotta be more educated, I reckon, so's now's as good a time as any.  An' I know Weedy'd love ta come over an' help you with...whatever it is yer doin' here.  Be good fer th' lad."

 

"Very good!" beamed Browne, refilling their glasses, only a slight pang of regret that he had done the decent thing in attempting to help Miss Chappel and Miss Orr all in one fell swoop, without indulging his own selfish desires.

 

[OOC: I'll start a new thread, set about a week or so later, with Anæsthesia calling on Addy for the first lesson]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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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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