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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
Phinias G. McVay

Advertising For The Fight

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Mature Content:  None

With:  Phinn
Location:  Kalispell Union
When:  August 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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The Posters and the handbills for the boxing match were done and dried. Now the question was, could he tempt young Weddy and his friend Wyatt to deliver the posters and hand out the handbills. Or perhaps the young ladies might be receptive to earning a quarter dollar each to do the job. He knew he could count on his boy, printers devil, Tommy Lane to round up who ever might help.

 

He took down the poster and a handbill to have a look at the finished product, and smiled. He like them. But he was a shade prejudice, of course.

image.jpeg.f6f8816e0a5f84ca96cb4ae0a3a056fd.jpegimage.jpeg.07f86516ce9d64f16d9785dc39e3a20f.jpeg

 

Yes, they were exactly what Crabbe had ;liked, and his donation would cover his ticket to the event. More than one way to skin a cat. Cost, well, a dollar thirty  cents for the paper and ink, plus whatever he had to pay for delivery. That should more than cover his ringside place at the match. He would be able to see every moment and insure he had all the facts for the Special Edition. Better than the demise of Frank Grimes had been.

@any, or not.

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"HOWDY MR. McVAY!!!" 

 

Arabella's leather lunged voice hit the veteran newspaperman's eardrums like a rock thrown at a  mistrel's tambourine.

 

"Lorenzo, er, Mr. Crabbe sent me over about these here... oooh! Is this 'em?!!" The Virginia girl picked up one of the handbills and scanned it eagerly.

 

"Oh, Mr. McVay, these are BEAUTIFUL!" she cooed, clearly impressed.  "Look how you got that picture in the back, how do you DO that?!" she said, amazed. "Lorenzo Crabbe presents Boxing!..." she insisted on reading out the whole thing from start to finish in an awed voice, finally ending with a feeling ".... Ringside... Five Dollars."

 

Eventually, she managed to drag her eyes away from the entrancing little sheets of paper. 

 

"Say, Mr. McVay... how come you never printed nothing yet about Mr. Simons theater what he's buildin'?" she queried. "Did you know that he's already auditioned me? I was about the first actress to get the call!" she informed him, remembering her ambush of the unfortunate entrepreneur in the Lick Skillet Diner. 

 

"Oh just think, Mr. McVay!" she said, clutching the handbill and doing a little twirl on the spot "When I'm a big star actress in New York and them reporters all ask me how I started off, and I say 'Oh, I first trod the boards in a little ol' theater in Kalispell, Montana, and I always got such rave reviews from my good friend Mr. Phinias G. McVay of the Kalispell Union'!" she fantasized, before fixing him with frown.

 

"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

@Flip

 

 

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"HOWDY MR. McVAY!!!" 

 

Arabella's leather lunged voice hit the veteran newspaperman's eardrums like a rock thrown at a  mistrel's tambourine.

 

"Oh, hello Arabella, and how can I help you?" He actually was unsure of what to ask, fearing another demand for whatever she might feel wronged by.

 

"Lorenzo, er, Mr. Crabbe sent me over about these here... oooh! Is this 'em?!!" The Virginia girl picked up one of the handbills and scanned it eagerly.

 

"Yes, that would be them, Miss Mudd." Came the response, and a silent sigh of relief.

 

"Oh, Mr. McVay, these are BEAUTIFUL!" she cooed, clearly impressed.  "Look how you got that picture in the back, how do you DO that?!" she said, amazed. "Lorenzo Crabbe presents Boxing!..." she insisted on reading out the whole thing from start to finish in an awed voice, finally ending with a feeling ".... Ringside... Five Dollars."

 

Eventually, she managed to drag her eyes away from the entrancing little sheets of paper. 

 

"Thank you Arabella. I appreciate that." He said, actually smiling at the compliment. "

 

"Say, Mr. McVay... how come you never printed nothing yet about Mr. Simons theater what he's buildin'?" she queried. "Did you know that he's already auditioned me? I was about the first actress to get the call!" she informed him, remembering her ambush of the unfortunate entrepreneur in the Lick Skillet Diner. 

 

"Because my dear girl, he has yet to begin construction. When he does, I will be sure to print a story all about it." McVay replied, he was actually waiting for Simmons to begin construction then he would certainly devote more than one issue to its raising.

 

"Oh just think, Mr. McVay!" she said, clutching the handbill and doing a little twirl on the spot "When I'm a big star actress in New York and them reporters all ask me how I started off, and I say 'Oh, I first trod the boards in a little ol' theater in Kalispell, Montana, and I always got such rave reviews from my good friend Mr. Phinias G. McVay of the Kalispell Union'!" she fantasized, before fixing him with frown.

 

Phinn seemed somewhat perplexed and it showed in his face wondering just how this became all about Arabella Mudd? But of course, everything eventually became all about Arabella Mudd, whether it actually  concerned her or not.

 

"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

"Why, it stands for Goeffry dear girl. Why do you ask?" He asked, then realized that could be a mistake.

@Javia

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"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

"Why, it stands for Geoffrey dear girl. Why do you ask?" He asked, then realized that could be a mistake.

 

"Well, Jeff." Arabella answered seriously, helping herself to a spare chair in his office and making herself at home "... it's like this. My friend Mr. Pettigrew at the dress shop, well, he's more of a 'Mentor' really, he told me that I talk too much about myself and I should spend more time getting to know other people properly." she explained, before folding her arms and staring at McVay intently, as if trying to see into his very soul.

 

"So, tell me, are you from Georgia? People tell me you're from Georgia. And did you always want to be a newspaper man, or did you kinda drift into it, like sorta by accident?" it was time for the grizzled journalist to be interviewed for a change.

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Well, Jeff." Arabella answered seriously, helping herself to a spare chair in his office and making herself at home "... it's like this. My friend Mr. Pettigrew at the dress shop, well, he's more of a 'Mentor' really, he told me that I talk too much about myself and I should spend more time getting to know other people properly." she explained, before folding her arms and staring at McVay intently, as if trying to see into his very soul.

 

'Pettigrrew? Doddering old fool. Mentor indeed!' He thought, wondering just what the now seated Miss Mudd was going to do now.

 

"So, tell me, are you from Georgia? People tell me you're from Georgia. And did you always want to be a newspaper man, or did you kinda drift into it, like sorta by accident?" It was time for the grizzled journalist to be interviewed for a change.

 

"I thought you were sent to pick up the flyers and handbills by Mister Crabbe?" He asked, "But yes, Albany to be exact." He exhaled, 'So here we go.' He thought. "Yes, I've worked in the printing business the last 33 years, well, except for the war years. Actually, twenty-three years, not counting the war, and  a period afterward." He smiled not because of the questioning, but because of the memories. "Rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest, known as 'the wizard of the saddle.' But yes, then to answer your question, I've been in printing one way or another my whole life."

@Javia

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"I thought you were sent to pick up the flyers and handbills by Mister Crabbe?" He asked

 

Arabella shrugged. "No hurry." She rested her chin on her steepled fingers and prepared to listen to McVay's memoirs, only making the odd comment here and there to show that she was paying attention. 

 

"But yes, Albany to be exact."

 

"Oooh, that's way down South!" Arabella cooed, sounding impressed.

 

He exhaled, 'So here we go.' He thought. "Yes, I've worked in the printing business the last 33 years, well, except for the war years. Actually, twenty-three years, not counting the war, and  a period afterward." He smiled not because of the questioning, but because of the memories.

 

"So was you in our Army, er, I mean the Confederacy?" asked his one girl audience.

 

"Rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest, known as 'the wizard of the saddle.' But yes, then to answer your question, I've been in printing one way or another my whole life."

 

Arabella jumped up with excitement at this news. "You rode with Forrest? By Jiminy Mr McVay, I never knowed you was a war hero! Why! To think: our Mr. McVay, one of the gallant Southern gentlemen of the battle of Fort Pillow!" She hastened to explain how she knew of Forrest's most famous victory... "See, my Mama was red hot sesesh, and she used to talk all about all them brave sojers after the war, but General Forrest was her favourite, 'cept she didn't call him no 'Wizard of the Saddle', she called him..." the girl frowned, trying to remember "...oh, I  know ... 'The Grand Wizard'! Same sorta thing I guess though." 

 

She suddenly remembered her vow not to talk about herself and plopped back onto the chair.

 

"So what was the first story you ever wrote what got publishized in a real live newspaper?" she asked, wanting to know about his debut piece as a reporter. 

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Actually, that would have been filler articles. I was relegated to filler articles for quite a while before I was able to actually take information and write an article on it. I believe it was an extensive article about Veterans of the late war how they were getting on, conventions and the like. Interesting stuff. I was even afforded the opportunity to attend a convention in Omaha."

 

Those had been the days, when he wanted to cover important stories, get out with the people that he was writing about, or the situations he was seeing and reporting on. But he was no reporter, he was a columnist. Often he was to take provided information and write a column about it. But then too, he was married to Beth, and life was good, until it ended just two years ago with her passing.

 

"I departed Grand Island Nebraska in late '74 with a wagon loaded with my press, ink and paper, and, here I am. Editor of the Kalispell Union, for better or worse."

@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Arabella was finding that, once you took time to listen, other people were really quite interesting (almost as interesting as her, in fact) A couple of bits of Phinn's terminology made her frown a little, but she sat on her hands (literally) and let Mr. McVay say his piece before asking questions.

 

"I departed Grand Island Nebraska in late '74 with a wagon loaded with my press, ink and paper, and, here I am. Editor of the Kalispell Union, for better or worse."

 

She put her hand up; she actually put her hand up like a kid in a schoolroom.

 

"Oooh, ooh, please, Mr. McVay, what's a 'Fiiller' 'n' what's a 'Convention' an' ... an' McVay...." she tipped her head to one side and looked at him for the first time as a person, a real person with feelings and needs and wants and ambitions and a life lived "... are you ever sad?"

 

@Flip

 

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Phinn couldn't help but laugh at the raised hand and the question, "Of course I am saddened at a number of things. Richard Orr's death, for one. My late wife's passing, actually a great many things. The passing of the hospital project has me saddened for the length of time it has taken and the property was not discussed at all." He smiled as he shook his head.

 

"Sadness, young lady, is a part of living. Things happen or don't happen that affect people, allowing them to feel sadness. We would all like to feel joyous, happy all of the time, but I'm afraid that's just not possible in the grand scheme of things. Life has too many ups and downs for that to be even remotely possible."

 

Yes, there was a great deal of sadness in the community over a great number of things. Some large, some small, but saddening just the same, yet folks didn't go around with long faces all day. Far from it. Setbacks were just a part of everyday life, so the majority of time, people found happiness in a great many things, from the sight of a friend, to the sun rise or sun set. To a new foal, or calf, or crops maturing in the field. Yes life had it's hard parts, but the good far out weighed to bad. A rather deep question from the young lady, he thought.

 

@Javia alias Tombstone
 

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Phinn couldn't help but laugh at the raised hand and the question, "Of course I am saddened at a number of things. Richard Orr's death, for one. My late wife's passing, actually a great many things. The passing of the hospital project has me saddened for the length of time it has taken and the property was not discussed at all." He smiled as he shook his head.

 

Mr. McVay once had a wife?! Her mouth dropped more at that than at his expressed sadness that Tricky Dicky Orr had died (after all, town gossip had it that the two men hated each other, based on the editorials Phinn had published in the days leading up to the Post Master's fiery death). She, good girl, let the newspaperman finish his oration before butting in with her own opinions. 

 

"Sadness, young lady, is a part of living. Things happen or don't happen that affect people, allowing them to feel sadness. We would all like to feel joyous, happy all of the time, but I'm afraid that's just not possible in the grand scheme of things. Life has too many ups and downs for that to be even remotely possible."

 

Arabella sagged. "Guess you're right Mr. McVay, even if I do get to become a famous actress in New York one day, I guess I'll still have both sunshine and shadows in my life. Mind ya' I sorta enjoy havin' a good cry now and again! Kinda cleans out the drainpipes if you know what I mean!" she laughed, despite the sad look on her face as she stared at the man with a keen sympathy in her eyes.

 

She approached the next question with a certain amount of hesitancy, for she did not wish to appear merely nosey. 

 

"So, Mrs. McVay ..." Arabella's voice dropped to a whisper, as if she did not wish the woman to hear her talking about her "... when did she pass beyond the veil?" Then she caught herself "Oh, if it ain't too upsettin' to talk about!" she quickly added.

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Not my favorite subject, but I can talk about it. I met Beth in the early spring of '71, courted her proper I did. We married before the end of summer. Sort of what they call a whirlwind affair. Fast for some folks, too long for us." He related, "Now we were not kids by any means, I was twenty-eight, she, but seventeen. Her folks weren't happy about her choice, but then too, they were happy to pass on her support to me."

 

"We married and settled into a small place that I bought for us, and we were happy as a couple could be. Oh we tried for a child, we did, but to no avail. Just wasn't in the cards for us I suppose. But we had one another, and that was enough. Without a child to raise, we were free to do as we pleased, so we attended socials, dances, concerts in the park. Had friends in, as well as visiting them at their homes." He paused.

 

"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." 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." He fained a smile, but his now red rimmed eyes were forming tears. "And, here I am."

@Javia

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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

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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