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    • "Well thank you Walter." He looked to Bradley Fairchild. "Interesting. Shall we put pour bags in the room and perhaps catch a bite and a drink or two? I have no idea what this could be but we'll know soon enough."   "Yes, let's, I could use a drink after that ride out here, maybe a couple, and something to eat, that sounds about right to me." The two men headed to their respective rooms to drop off their bags, then each headed toward the dining room, Tyndall clutching the mysterious envelope.   Each placed his order for an early dinner, and ordered drinks at the same time, those would be served right off so, without further ado, Carson Tydall opened the envelope and removed it's contents. A number of papers, on top a note of explanation. 'Mister Tyndall, Enclosed you will find a copy of a contract between the town of Kalispell and Leah Steelgrave. We believe that due to that absence of the signatures of myself, and Judge Benjamin Robertson there was no legal quorum, and therefor this contract is not valid. C. Latham'   There was the contract, a list of the council members and a copy of the minutes of the meeting where the contract was approved and a bank draft for five hundred dollars.   "Latham, he can be such a pain in the rump!" Tyndall stated.  
    • Rating: PG-14 Content: N/A With: Tully, Clara, maybe more? Location: Lickskillet Cafe When: September/ 1876 Time of Day: Night Tully had a good deal of patience, and could sit very still for hours, it was a skill she had learned at a young age, to stay hidden and unobserved.  Tonight, as she had a few times before, she was crouched at the end of the alley near the cafe, waiting for the last of the customers to leave.  After that, there was a short time when the young woman running the place would leave the kitchen to clean the dining area, and that was when Tully could sneak in the back and grab something...anything, she didn't care, so long as it was edible.   Finally, that last group left, and Tully quietly moved closer to the back door, waiting, listening, and when the lady left the kitchen, she slipped in the back door, grabbing a biscuit and stuffing it in her mouth, then reaching for more that disappeared into pockets.  There was some stew on the stove, but that would have to be put into something easier to carry than the large, hot kettle.   In her haste to pour the stew into a ceramic pitcher, Tully didn't consider that the kettle would still be as hot as it was, and as she picked it up, she let out a yelp, dropping the kettle as well as the pitcher.    Panicked, she looked toward the dining area as she scrambled for the back door, only managing to slip on the stew, tangle in a chair and fall to the floor...   @Wayfarer
    • "Well next time you're 'helpin' a friend', move the bed away from the wall: I had to darn near stuff cotton wool in my ears when I was sleeping next door!"   "You are being overly dramatic....as usual.....that was ONE time and one time only. It just happened, we are not in any sort of a romance," Caroline was annoyed at the very idea of that.   That's when Arabella informed her that Brendan had picked up a job.......at the town butcher shop recently opened by that Jewish man from the East. Very welcome news, that!   "Say, I'm just running to the stores now, look, I got my little basket with me - why don't you come with me and we can call in on him and say Howdy and have a good look at his meat."    Caroline made a face, "I do not cook, you know who does at the saloon by now. She also does the shopping for groceries. I have never been in a butcher shop in my life."   She had other plans in mind, she wanted to head over to the Wigfalls and see Lt. Greene.   Suddenly she had an idea, "But I'll make you a deal. I will accompany you there but in return you must promise me that you will not show up while Lt. Greene and I are dining. Like last time."
    • A perplexed look appeared on Walter's face. Even though he had been looking at the envelope, he hadn't bothered checking out who it was addressed to.  It had been in the slot where mail was dropped off for guests who hadn't checked in yet.  The hotel was busy at this time of year, that the mail slots were only for use for guests who were currently staying at the hotel.  The former occupants of the rooms where Mr. Tyndall and his friend were staying, had left only a few hours ago.  Thankfully, Mr. Wentworth had a hired maids who did their jobs well enough to have the room ready in time.   Reading the name on the envelope, he saw that it was indeed address to Tyndall.  Smiling sheepishly, he handed over to the man.   He hefted the envelope wondering what was inside, but there was time to look at it when he was in his room. "Who dropped this off for me? Mister Latham perhaps?"   "Sorry, Mr. Tyndall I have no idea.  It was probably dropped off some time during the night.  You could ask the night clerk when he comes on duty at 8 o'clock."   @Flip
    • They returned to the Marshal's office which doubled as the Copper Queen's office for the time being. And, as Town Marshal, he needed to be in town as much as possible, which was not fair either Alice or Amos, at least as far as Speed was concerned. Yes, there was Charlie, but heaping too much on him was not fair either. He was hired to protect the town, no his own personal interests, although that was common in some parts of the country.   But with Alice for company, that made sitting at his desk a whole lot more pleasant. Waiting for Amos, who might be days getting back to Kalispell, would be worry enough for the pair of them.   As Speed was about to ask Alice about the wedding plans a man stepped through the door. A man he had seen, and possibly talked to, wearing two guns.   "'scuse me Marshal, I can come back." He said.   "No, it's alright. What can I do for you?" Speed asked.   "I was wondering, could you use some help, or know where a man short on cash might find work?" Speed looked at the man, "Names Thornton, Tyrell Thornton."

Now I know my A.B.C.


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Mature Content: One would most sincerely hope not!

With: Adelaide Chappel and possibly Isiah Chappel, Porter 'Weedy' James and Joshua 'Josh' Chappel
Location: Addy's House
When: Early August, 1876
Time of Day: Late Morning

 

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Mother wasn't really getting any better. She had thrown herself into the regulation two year period of mourning for her dead husband with gusto, and in reverse proportion to the care he had ever shown toward her when he was alive. Anæsthesia found the atmosphere at home stifling, and she found her mother's hysterical sobbing and wailing and her manic attempts to contact the late Richard Orr through her Spiritualist group wearing on her nerves. At last, after many delaying tactics by Mrs Orr, the daughter of the stricken family had been allowed to 'slight the mourning', to lay aside the crape and the veils and adopt a slightly less stiff and frigid form of dress (dark grey and mauve were allowed now, as well as black) and to leave the house: to finally live again.

 

She prayed that the time that had elapsed had not dulled Addy Chappel's desire to learn to read and write; for it had only increased Anæsthesia's ardour to teach her. Still, excited as she was as she approached the door of the neat little house where the female wagoneer lived, she could not quite quell her nerves. Miss Chappel was older than herself, a grown woman with a fiancé and even an adopted son. Who was she? A mere slip of a girl, only a couple of years out of school: closeted and cozened by her over-indulgent parents and knowing little of the real world other than that which she had read in the pages of magazines like The Young Lady, The Woman's Journal and that awful rogue copy of The Truth Seeker that had been delivered by accident. How silly and girlish she must look with her juvenile features and her blonde locks curled beneath her sombre bonnet as she hurried along, gripping hold of the materials she had produced for their first lesson, clutching them in her tastefully gloved hands like a drowning man might grasp desperately to a lifebelt.

 

She closed her eyes, frogs leaping around in her belly, or so it felt, took a deep breath, and knocked upon the door.

 

AEO.jpg.0a2d547928ae69b1a4c72d2f6f8bfa67.jpg 

 

@Bongo @MD

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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There was always something that needed doing, mostly around the barn, but there was plenty to do here at the house, even with Weedy helping with the chores.  Of course, he was just a boy, so she did her best not to put too much on him while making sure that he was learning responsibility.  No one had ever told her how hard taking care of a child would be.  It had been different when he was just hanging around, all the time, instead of going home to his mother...except it really wasn't.  It just seemed different, and she was working on how to reconcile being his mom now as well as a friend.

 

When the knock came on the door, Addy was sitting cross-legged in a blanket that had been spread over the carpet to protect it as she scrubbed harness before putting on a layer of wax.  This was a chore she normally did at the barn, but she knew Miss Orr was coming by, and the chore needed doing, so this was her best option. 

 

"Come in, please."  Setting aside the rag she was using, Addy stood, wiping her hands on her britches, then heading for the door to greet her guest.

 

@Javia

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"Come in, please."  Setting aside the rag she was using, Addy stood, wiping her hands on her britches, then heading for the door to greet her guest.

 

Anæsthesia heard the summons and gingerly popped her head inside the door. She tried to hide her shock that Addy was dressed in her male, workaday attire and was clearly in the middle of some task involving pieces of long leather, some sort of horse harness, perhaps. She had rather imagined them both sitting down like two ladies at high tea, in elegant dresses, as they genteelly discussed the niceties of the English tongue. She steeled herself to the fact that today was going to be a steep learning curve for both of them (good girl) and walked in.

 

"I am Anæsthesia Orr" she said, holding out her hand "I do not believe that we have ever been properly introduced." It was ridiculous, of course, they both knew who the other was, but Anæsthesia knew from the March 1875 issue (pp.5-6) of The Young Lady that social intercourse set without the proper conventions of polite behaviour could lead to terrible chaos and confusion.

 

"I do hope that I have arrived at the correct time" she added, pulling at a thin chain that led from a front button of her dress to a small watch tucked into a tiny pocket on her dress, created for that very purpose. But that was so much theatre, Anæsthesia knew she was here at the right time on the right day: her heart sank a little, perhaps Miss Chappel wasn't intending to take these lessons seriously. 

 

@Bongo

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"I am Anæsthesia Orr" she said, holding out her hand "I do not believe that we have ever been properly introduced."

 

"Oh, um..."  Addy didn't want to seem impolite, but her hands had soap residue on them and she didn't want to ruin the girl's pretty white gloves.  But then, gloves were there to protect your hands, whether from barbed wire or soap, right?  She gripped the girl's hand firmly, but without squeezing.  "Addy Chappel, thanks fer comin'."

 

"I do hope that I have arrived at the correct time"

 

"Yeah, yeah, yer right punctual.  Sorry 'bout th' mess, I was just tryin' ta make th' best of time.  C'mon in here."  Stepping over the harness, she led the way to the kitchen, then nodded to the table.  "Have a seat there while I wash up."

 

She nodded to a well-used chair of dubious origin that was one of four around a small table that was covered in a white linen cloth, not frilly, but clean and obviously ironed.  On the table was a chipped plate that held small cakes, two pewter mugs, a pitcher of water with mint leaves in it, and a slate that had the letters, ADDY, neatly printed in chalk.

 

"Help yerself ta water an' them cakes..." she offered as she washed her hands in the sink, "I didn't make them cakes, they come from th' Lickskillet, so they're safe!" 

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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Anæsthesia entered the house and looked about: it was certainly clean, if not too neat, and she was pleasantly surprised on seeing "how the other half lived", especially when they entered the kitchen, which Addy had clearly made an effort to tidy up and make a suitable space at their table for them to have their lesson. 

 

"Yeah, yeah, yer right punctual.  Sorry 'bout th' mess, I was just tryin' ta make th' best of time.  C'mon in here."  Stepping over the harness, she led the way to the kitchen, then nodded to the table.  "Have a seat there while I wash up."

 

The rich girl nodded and looked at the choice of seating furniture, not so much Shaker as shaky, but she understood that Miss Chappel's fiancé was some sort of handyman, and so presumably had made the chairs quite safe: at least for dainty posteriors.

 

"Help yerself ta water an' them cakes..." she offered as she washed her hands in the sink, "I didn't make them cakes, they come from th' Lickskillet, so they're safe!" 

 

It took a few seconds for Anæsthesia to realise that Addy was making a joke, and so her forced smile came a little to late to be effective. She was not completely without a sense of humor, but had never been particularly quick on the uptake when it came to repartee: people often had to explain jokes to her and why they were amusing, which usually killed the thing dead. 

 

As Addy joined her she lifted the slate and examined it. She did not intend to shilly-shally, she intended to jump right in. 

 

"We have a friend here" she said, pointing to the letter D. "Letters that do not change their sound, where-ever they may roam, will be our best friends on our journey Miss Chappel." she declared.

 

"Duh." she pronounced, pointing at the D and reached for the cloth "I hope you will not mind me destroying your handiwork, Miss Chappel, but I believe that we should commence with lower... little letters, and learn their sounds and not their names. No not think that I am treating you as a baby, if I prefer, instead of A.D.D.Y.,..." she wiped the slate clean and wrote addy in a beautifully clear printed hand on the slate in chalk.

 

"... a duh duh yuh" she enunciated. "duh is always duh" she repeated, as she expanded the word to spell daddy "so if I add 'duh' to the beginning of addy, it makes...?" she turned her eyes hopefully toward the older woman. 

 

@Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Little letters?  The letters that the young woman didn't seem to be any smaller than the ones she'd made, just different.  But Addy still recognized them as her name, although she didn't know why the same letter looked different.

 

"So, um..."  The 'D' was 'duh'?  So her name was Aduhduheee?  That made no sense either, but Miss Anæsthesia was the teacher and knew what she was doing, so maybe the answer would come in a bit.

 

"Well, ya put th' 'duh' in front'a my name, so it'd be...duh-aa-duh-duh-eee?"  Her mouth twisted up as she looked at the girl.  "Well, that don't make no sense.  Now, if'n ya took 'addy' an' put that there letter...it'd be...daddy?"  Her eyes brightened as she grinned.  "Is it 'daddy'?"
 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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"Well, ya put th' 'duh' in front'a my name, so it'd be...duh-aa-duh-duh-eee?"  Her mouth twisted up as she looked at the girl.  "Well, that don't make no sense.  Now, if'n ya took 'addy' an' put that there letter...it'd be...daddy?"  Her eyes brightened as she grinned.  "Is it 'daddy'?"

 

"Yes, YES! Daddy!" yelped Anæsthesia excitedly, before she pulled herself together and continued with the decorum befitting a teacher. "Ahem. That was very good Miss Chappel. You rightly point out that the 'Yuh' changes its sound to "eee" in your name. It is one of the naughtiest set of letters in the alphabet for inconstancy. The vowels. 'a' 'eh' 'ih' 'o' uh'" she enunciated the usual sound of each "We will ignore those naughty letters for now, and concentrate on our good and constant friends. For instance 'Buh'."

 

She wiped of the initial D from the slate "daddy, addy..." she wrote in a lower case 'b' at the beginning of 'addy' and looked enquiringly at her pupil. 'Buh'.

 

@Bongo

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Buh...addy."

 

What the tarnation were 'good' and 'bad' letters?  And consonants?  She knew hames and thoroughbraces, and the differences and uses of snaffles and curbs and hackamores, but...bad letters?

 

No, she was going to learn this, and she'd only just started, so it was far too soon to be discouraged.

 

"Baddy?  That's right, ain't it?  But ain't th' letter there at th' end," she pointed to the 'y', "what makes that 'eeee' sound?  So, that's 'E'?"  Somehow, she thought 'E' looked different, without the tail.  But maybe that was what made a letter bad?  It looked like one letter but sounded like another?

 

"Like th' Apach' sittin' in th' rocks, plain as day, only just ya can't tell 'em out from th' rest 'cause he looks just like th' rocks?"

 

Or maybe she was just getting ahead of things?

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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"Baddy?  That's right, ain't it?"

 

"Oh Miss Chappel, it is, it is!" Anæsthesia had had little to be happy about lately, but Addy's correct answers were producing smiles on the young lady's face that were as genuine and spontaneous as they were beautiful. She had not come unprepared, however, and had thought long and hard about the difficulties and inconsistencies around the English language when you really sat down and thought about how to teach someone to read and write it. 

 

"But ain't th' letter there at th' end," she pointed to the 'y', "what makes that 'eeee' sound?  So, that's 'E'?"  Somehow, she thought 'E' looked different, without the tail.  But maybe that was what made a letter bad?  It looked like one letter but sounded like another?

 

The young teacher shook her head sadly, as if she were beholding the sight of a once good young man who, tempted by the ways of sin, had strayed from the path, and was now on his march to the gallows. 

 

"I am afraid, Miss Chappel, that poor "Yuh" is one of the naughtier letters. He started off faithful and true, and at the beginning of a word always sounds "Yuh" - but in the middle he often turns into a "iy", as in 'trying, and then by the end, goes totally to pieces, sometimes an 'eee' as in Addy, sometimes a "Yuh" again, as n Pay." 

 

"Like th' Apach' sittin' in th' rocks, plain as day, only just ya can't tell 'em out from th' rest 'cause he looks just like th' rocks?"

 

It took Anæsthesia a second to get her drift, but then she nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, these naughty vowels camouflage themselves just like the Indians! Whereas our friends "buh" "duh" and "kicking kuh" always stand up brave and true, in full view, just like our brave soldiers in blue!" 

 

She did frown a little at the analogy though. "However, although they are rather naughty, 'a' 'eee' 'i' and 'o' and 'yuh' do at least have their uses, unlike the useless red man and his squaw, and our language would be so much less poetical and interesting without them." she pontificated. 

 

And so the lesson went on,  Anæsthesia varying the pace using little cards on which she had written different letters, and practicing writing some of the words they explored on the slate until, in what seemed like an instant, the little chime on her watch sounded: for it was a very clever watch: and she pulled it out with a little cry of "Oh, is that an hour already? Goodness!" 

 

Still, she felt satisfied with what they had achieved in 60 tiny minutes and had to admit to herself, she had probably learned a lot more about teaching in the last hour than Miss Chappel had learned about reading and writing.

 

@Bongo

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Addy was a little surprised as well that the time had gone by so quickly -- she was enjoying herself, and felt like she was actually learning something -- and she nodded as she stood.  "I'm right grateful fer yer time an' tolerance, ought'a only get easier from here, right?"

 

Standing, she held out her hand to shake.  "Do ya need a ride home?  Arabesque does real good double, an' it ain't no fuss."

 

@Javia

 

 

 

 

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Phew! Only when the lesson stopped did Anæsthesia realise how exhausting the whole thing had been. She had little realised that teaching is not so much telling people what you know, as listening to what they do not know, and seizing upon any small chink of illuminating light that does penetrate their understanding and building upon it with further insights, as with building blocks. She puffed out her cheeks and blew; she felt like she'd just fought 20 rounds in the ring with Bobby Cullen.

 

Addy was a little surprised as well that the time had gone by so quickly -- she was enjoying herself, and felt like she was actually learning something -- and she nodded as she stood.  "I'm right grateful fer yer time an' tolerance, ought'a only get easier from here, right?"

 

"Oh it really has been a pleasure, I do hope that you found it useful Miss Chappel and that you wish me return for further... meetings." she beamed, standing too, to match her host.

 

Standing, she held out her hand to shake.  "Do ya need a ride home?  Arabesque does real good double, an' it ain't no fuss."

 

Anæsthesia took her hand and suddenly realised that the woman in the masculine attire, whom she had always somehow supposed to be taller than herself, was, in fact, a good two inches sorter. This made Anæsthesia feel slightly beanpoleesque! She was about to say something, when she became very aware of the door to the room creaking gingerly open, as if someone had been wanting to enter for some time, but had politely waited until the lesson was over. 

 

@MD @Bongo

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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(I'm going to jump in with Josh right now and them maybe Isiah can come in later....ya'll let me know if this doesn't work...we can always delete or edit!  I suppose I need to create a bio for Josh, I can do that soon.  I'm seeing him as around 4 or 5 years old.)

 

Josh had fallen asleep in the back room after lunch, not realizing that he had napped because he adamantly always refused those darn things!  Such a waste of time!  All this riding across the country to come find his Aunt Addy had worn him out.  He was just getting ready to come out of the room to see where everyone was when he heard a voice he had not yet heard since his arrival.  He stood at the doorway to the room watching as his Aunt Addy and some other girl stood there talking by the table.  He was mighty shy until he got to know people so there was no way that he was going to just bust up into the room. 

 

He decided he would just wait here until the girl was gone and he could come out and see if he could find Weedy and maybe he would play with him.  However the door where he stood had a mighty back squeak to it and as he went to back away it made an awful loud sound, at least to him anyway and he feared he would be busted for eavesdropping on the two ladies.  He wasn't really eavesdropping but it gave that appearance.  He froze there in hopes that maybe they wouldn't see him, closing his eyes even...maybe if he couldn't see them then they wouldn't see him!

 

@Javia @Bongo

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Following Anæsthesia's gaze, Addy spotted the boy just as the door screeched on its hinges.  She broke into a wide grin, still getting used to having family here, and even better, her very own nephew! 

 

"Hey, Josh, c'mon out an' meet Miss Anæsthesia, she's teachin' me how ta read an' right real proper."  Her grin widened.  "I bet you can read better'n me any ol' day!" 

 

She and Isiah were going to look into school for the boy, but they wanted him to have a few days to settle in first, and Weedy was more than happy to let him help with his homework, and to read to him from McGuffy's. 

 

"Hey, I bet Miss Anæsthesia'd like ta see th' big horses over at th' barn."  Even though Josh was still a small kid, he had the family genes, and love of horses.

 

@Javia; @MD

 

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Anæsthesia frowned, and was about to say something to the furtive figure outside the door about 'listeners never hear well of themselves' but it turned out to be just a little boy.

 

"Hey, Josh, c'mon out an' meet Miss Anæsthesia, she's teachin' me how ta read an' right real proper."  Her grin widened.  "I bet you can read better'n me any ol' day!" 

 

The prim and proper girl was surprised to hear Addy admit her shortcomings to a small child, for the lad could be no more than five or six years old, let alone laud the boy above herself. Too much of that, and child might become conceited and unmanageable. Anæsthesia had read an article about young children and how to deal with them in the pages of The Young Lady and fancied herself quite the expert on the horrible little creatures.

 

The author of that particular piece had leaned hard on the side of strict discipline and children being seen and not heard.  Consequently, Anæsthesia cast a rather cold eye on the boy, almost willing him to do something to disapprove of. She conveniently forgot what a horrible little monster she had been herself at that age. 

 

"Hey, I bet Miss Anæsthesia'd like ta see th' big horses over at th' barn."  Even though Josh was still a small kid, he had the family genes, and love of horses.

 

The girl gave a tight smile. No, she certainly didn't want to see a bunch of smelly horses.

 

"No thank you" she said, rather coldly "Is the boy a relative?" she asked Addy, friendly enough, but ignoring the subject of her question as if he wasn't even there. 

 

@MD  @Bongo

 

[OOC: Argghh, didn't like doing that!!]

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Well that didn't work!  Josh slowly peeked with just one eye and to his surprise his genius idea of closing his eyes had proven to be ineffective.  His Aunt Addy's cheerful words though made it easier for him to part from his hiding spot.  He went out to her, standing beside her he kinda half hid behind her leg, gripping onto her pants some as he peaks around at this new girl. 

 

"Hey, Josh, c'mon out an' meet Miss Anæsthesia, she's teachin' me how ta read an' right real proper."  Her grin widened.  "I bet you can read better'n me any ol' day!" Read?  Write?  Well I can't do none of that.  He looked up at Addy from his hiding spot behind her leg; trying to speak only loud enough for her ears to hear him. "Well Ma started ta teach me some but I don't 'member nuffin'." He said to her and then to the mention of going out to show this girl the horses he lit up a bit.  Excitement grew in his belly.  That was something he could do and he wasn't shy about it.  He parted his lips to speak and to come out from his hiding spot, but then this Anæsthesia girl spoke and stopped him in his tracks.

 

"No thank you" she said, rather coldly "Is the boy a relative?" she asked Addy, friendly enough, but ignoring the subject of her question as if he wasn't even there.  She wasn't even interested.  Hadn't even so much as acknowledged him and spoke about him as if he wasn't even in the room.  Josh quickly retreated the half step he had come out, back behind Aunt Addy, now hiding his face too from the girl. 

 

@Bongo @Javia

 

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Addy wasn't particularly sure she cared for Miss Anæsthesia's manners, but maybe she was just nervous.  "Boy's name is Josh, named after one'a my brothers who was kilt in th' War Between th' States," she pointed out, "his ma passed, so him an' his Pa have come ta stay here."

 

She softened a bit as she reached to give Joey's shoulder a light squeeze, then explained, "Isiah's my youngest brother...still older'n me...I'm th' baby in th' family, had eight brothers growin' up...lost five in th' war."

 

Of course, there were very few families east of the Mississippi who weren't effected by the war, one way or another, but Anæsthesia was likely far too young to recall much of those consequences.

 

"He's real smart, he is, not like ol' Addy, who didn't get no education."  Well, at least not schooling, but then, she truly believed there was more to education than book learning.

 

"Ya sure ya don't wanna see th' horses?  An' I'd wager ol' Buster's out there, too."  She grinned.  "He's an old one-eyed cat, took a real shine ta Josh here."

 

Taking the boy's hand, she started for the door.

 

@Javia; @MD

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Addy wasn't particularly sure she cared for Miss Anæsthesia's manners, but maybe she was just nervous.  "Boy's name is Josh, named after one'a my brothers who was kilt in th' War Between th' States," she pointed out, "his ma passed, so him an' his Pa have come ta stay here."

 

"I am sorry to hear of the loss to your family." replied Anæsthesia: a set of words that written down would look trite, but there was a mist in the girl's eyes and a slight huskiness in her voice that betrayed a resonance with her own recent bereavement. The boy had recently lost a parent, just as she.

 

She softened a bit as she reached to give Joey's shoulder a light squeeze, then explained, "Isiah's my youngest brother...still older'n me...I'm th' baby in th' family, had eight brothers growin' up...lost five in th' war."

 

"They died in a glorious cause, the defence of their homeland." the 18 year old Yankee replied, but followed it with an explanatory addendum "My Father was an aide to General Mahone in the Army of Northern Virginia." she said, rather proudly "And he was with Lee 'til the end." 

 

But now she turned to the little boy, to whom, as a fellow mourner of a much beloved parent, she felt more empathy, although she had not the knack of changing her tone when talking to a small child.

 

"So, Master Josh... Joshua, I suppose. Do you know your alphabet yet, young man?"

 

"He's real smart, he is, not like ol' Addy, who didn't get no education."  Well, at least not schooling, but then, she truly believed there was more to education than book learning.

 

Anæsthesia deplored Miss Chappel's use of the double negative, of course, but bit her lip: after all, she was here to teach the poor woman to read and write, perhaps elocution could wait for another day. She rather fancied the wagoneer's rough language might rub off on the child, though.

 

"Ya sure ya don't wanna see th' horses?  An' I'd wager ol' Buster's out there, too."  She grinned. "He's an old one-eyed cat, took a real shine ta Josh here."

 

She had really planned to go straight home after the lesson but, on reflection, what a home to go back to! Her mother hysterically trying to get in touch with her Father, all her odd Spiritualist friends around every evening, not just the Sunday service, including that dreadful Wigfall girl. 

 

"Very well" she heard herself say "Do lead on."

 

@MD @Bongo

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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His Aunt Addy sure did remind him a lot more of his Pa and this lady here reminded him a little bit of his Ma. The way she was dressed and the way she talked and stuff.  Josh was more like his Pa he supposed.  His Ma was real prim and proper and had tried to show his Pa how to be the same, but every time his Pa did something like that he looked real goofy like and complained the entire time.  Josh had gotten in trouble too many times by his Ma for laughing at his Pa when he had to do that stuff!

 

Addy made him feel right at home and comfortable.  That squeeze on his shoulder was just what he needed when she had mentioned his Ma passing.  While she might have been prim and proper and maybe a bit too strict, Josh sure missed her something awful.  He was glad when they started talking about something else.

 

He didn't believe Addy when she said she wasn't smart.  She had shown him some of the very best things in all the world he supposed! Just like that one eyed cat and the way she could whistle was just something special! He swore one day he was going to be able to do the same, though right now he could do nothing but blow hot air between his lips.  Learning to whistle like her was way higher on his priority list than to learn his alphabet. 

 

"So, Master Josh... Joshua, I suppose. Do you know your alphabet yet, young man?"

 

Master Josh?! Wow that made him sound something official!  He shook his head though and finally spoke for the first time.

 

"I think my Ma tried to show me some of that stuff, but I don't really remember it.  Something about A's and apples and B's and bears..." He tilted his head with a bit confused like expression. "Is that right?" He said to the girl as he took Addy's hand for a moment only to let go quickly when the girl finally agreed to come out to see the horses and the cat.  He ran ahead and pushed open the door.  Now was a good time to try and do that whistle.

 

He pursed his lips together, formed an 'o' and blew hard as he could through his lips. "I'm callin' the cat!"  He explained to the two women.  But again, nothing but hot air between his lips.  He tried again.  Lips together, 'o' and blow!  He blew so hard his face was turning red as he stood there holding the door open for the two ladies.

 

@Javia @Bongo

Edited by MD (see edit history)
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Addy chuckled at Josh's attempts at whistling, although it was actually enough to attract the cat, who had been lounging on the porch in the sun.  Buster chirped a little as he rubbed against Josh's leg, then waited for pets.  The boy reminded her of Weedy, when he'd first started hanging around her barn, about the same time Buster had.

 

"That there's Buster," she explained to Anæsthesia, "feisty ol' tom cat, don't rightly know what happened ta his eye, he was like that when he started comin' 'round, but it don't keep him from bein' a great mouser!" 

 

She led the way outside, pleased that her brother had already started to teach Josh good manners.  "Barn's just up th' street," she commented, "keep th' wagon there, an' th' big horses fer that an' th' stage, an' I got my own mare there.  Named her Arabesque."  She honestly couldn't remember where she'd heard the ballet term -- she'd never even seen a ballet -- but she'd liked the way it sounded.

 

"Ya ever been ta a ballet?"  Miss Anæsthesia seemed pretty refined, maybe she'd had a chance to go to the theater.  "Oh, an' there's some kittens..."

 

@Javia; @MD

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Anæsthesia shook her head at Josh's attempts at whistling.

 

"It is considered rather uncouth to whistle in public" she informed him rather pompously , but then couldn't help adding "... however, if you must insist, try doing it with your teeth, she said and, glancing around to make sure that nobody was watching, whistled the opening bars of Dixie through her teeth. She hadn't done that since she was twelve.

 

Addy chuckled at Josh's attempts at whistling, although it was actually enough to attract the cat, who had been lounging on the porch in the sun.  Buster chirped a little as he rubbed against Josh's leg, then waited for pets.  The boy reminded her of Weedy, when he'd first started hanging around her barn, about the same time Buster had.

 

"That there's Buster," she explained to Anæsthesia, "feisty ol' tom cat, don't rightly know what happened ta his eye, he was like that when he started comin' 'round, but it don't keep him from bein' a great mouser!" 

 

"Then binocular vision is clearly not required." nodded Anæsthesia. 

 

She led the way outside, pleased that her brother had already started to teach Josh good manners.  "Barn's just up th' street," she commented, "keep th' wagon there, an' th' big horses fer that an' th' stage, an' I got my own mare there.  Named her Arabesque."  She honestly couldn't remember where she'd heard the ballet term -- she'd never even seen a ballet -- but she'd liked the way it sounded.

 

Anæsthesia nodded politely and let the harum-scarum tomboyish woman rattle on; the name of the horse raised her eyebrows a little. "How curious!" she smiled "I presume the creature cannot stand on one leg! I mean, that is what an Arabesque is." she said and, not being able to resist showing off, looked around again, to ensure they were unobserved and actually performed one herself! It was hard to see exactly what she was doing under all that clothing. 

 

"It is a position in the ballet." she added as she became bipedal again.

 

"Ya ever been ta a ballet?"  Miss Anæsthesia seemed pretty refined, maybe she'd had a chance to go to the theater.  "Oh, an' there's some kittens..."

 

"Once, in Helena" Anæsthesia murmured to Addy in confidential tones. "It was not very good. I thought I had been taken to see the hefalumps at the zoo! I'm sure that the kittens in their gambolling will be much more pleasant to observe!" She was excited about the kittens. Oh, this was all so unladylike! but after two weeks of doom and gloom and hysteria and having to act the grown up, this was just what she needed.

 

@MD @Bongo

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Josh let the front door swing closed once both the ladies were outside and he reached down and rubbed 'ole Buster on the top of his head.  He had learned quickly not to try'n pick Buster up.  Buster had dealt him a nasty slap across his hand and left a gash behind that last time he'd tried that.  Josh didn't care though he still loved the cat!  He ran ahead, pulling his brow together though when Anesthesia said that whistling was uncouth.  Uncouth?  Was that good?  He got the feeling though that it wasn't but then she impressed the heck out of him when she whistled like she did!  Boy she and Aunt Addy were good at that.  He was going to have to keep practicing!  

 

As they got closer to the barn where they could show Anaesthesia the horses Josh could start to hear his Pa in there making a ruckus and the words comin' out of his mouth weren't very nice!  Josh knew, even at his young age, that these weren't the kind of words you would say in front of a lady and certainly not a lady like Anaesthesia!  His eyes grew wide as the saucer the kittens were drinking milk from and looked at his Aunt Addy as they continue inside and his Pa's ruckus got even louder.

 

Isiah had been in the barn working to repair some of the Addy's saddles for her horses.  Their arrival to the barn was a bit untimely as seconds before they entered he had, instead of hammering down on the saddle, hammered down on top of his thumb.  His thoughts still distracted by his late wife he was making mistakes that a handyman like him did not normally make.  The choice words were raining from his mouth as he went between shaking his throbbing thumb, to holding it in his other hand to try and ease the pain.  Of course had he known there were listening ears he wouldn't have made a peep and done a much better job at concealing his pain!  

 

"Dad-blasted! Son of a ...." ((OOC: You two can fill in the profanities! I need to read to see what's allowed and not!))

 

@Bongo; @Javia

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As the three of them approached the barn, the most unholy joining of curse-words was to be heard issuing forth from that cathedral of horse husbandry. Anæsthesia had heard her late Father swear, of course, but had often been unable to locate the precise meaning of many of the words he used, even in the family's enormous, morocco-bound 1864 Unabridged edition of Mr. Noah Webster's dictionary.

 

The said tome went straight from  Fuchia to Fuel, straight from Cunning to Cup and right from Shirty to Shiver with no elucidating stops in between to explain the words he used. Even the words she could find, seemed to have a number of meanings different to the way Papa had used them. She had never heard her mother swear at all, until the reading of her Father's will, but that was another matter entirely. 

 

"Dad-blasted! Son of a _______ (noun: female dog)"

 

Anæsthesia's new role as a Teacher (with a capital T) must have been getting to her, because she selflessly allowed her own ears to be defiled by the filthy swear words and used her hands to cover Josh's protuberant lugs.

 

"Oh, do not listen, dear child, I am afraid that your Papa has so demeaned himself as to have uttered an oath!" she cried, melodramatically.

 

@Bongo (Sorry, I pushed in) @MD

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"What in tarnation are ya carryin' on about, Isiah Chappel?" Addy shouted as they entered the barn, where the words seemed to echo off the wooden walls, prolonging their life, as if such a thing was necessary!  Still, she couldn't help but chuckle at little at the whole scene.

 

"These kids is learnin' how ta whistle, not raise Beelzebub from his fiery rest!"  

 

She slugged her brother in the arm, then, as a means of distraction, scooped up a couple of the kittens and held them to the children.  "I think Buster is their pa, so they'll be real brave an' playful, an' good mousers, too."

 

Kittens solved everything, right?

 

@Javia

@MD

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Well Isiah wasn't much worried about his sister hearing him talk like that.  Growing up around all them brothers and their Pa she had heard her fair share of obscenities!  He had his back to them as they came in and as he first spoke. "Hammered my d - " He started as he turned and saw that his sister wasn't the only one in his presence but instead a young lady and his own son.  He quickly stopped and scrunched up his face a bit "Apologies, missus." He said as he inclined his head to the young lady he had not yet been introduced to.  

 

He thrusted the pounding thumb towards Addy so she could see what he'd been carrying on about, only to quickly reach up and rub his arm where she'd slugged him.  Didn't hurt but of course he jokingly played the victim.  He was real good at that having had 6 older brothers!  He chuckled as she went on about the kittens and Josh was then runnin' over to Addy and taking one from her.

 

"Ma would have had your hide if she'da hearded you talkin' like that in front of me!" He said with a laugh, for which Isiah was thankful...that the boy could talk about his Ma with a smile.

 

"You hush." Isiah laughed some.  Isiah was practically sweating from head to toe from the hard manual labor he'd been putting in in the barn.  He used the bottom of his white tank top to wrap around his thumb, for now it was bleeding some around the nail.  "Who's yer friend there Addy?" He asked as he smiled at the young girl.  At first he extended his hand towards her but then scrunched up his own face at the unsightliness of it and knew such a prim and proper young lady as herself likely wouldn't want to come within 10 feet of him. 
 

(I don’t see his hair being cut quite like this, it’s a bit longer, but you get the idea of how he looks for the scene!)

 

 

 

@Bongo; @Javia

image.png
 

Edited by MD (see edit history)
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 "Hammered my d - " He started as he turned and saw that his sister wasn't the only one in his presence but instead a young lady and his own son.  He quickly stopped and scrunched up his face a bit "Apologies, missus." He said as he inclined his head to the young lady he had not yet been introduced to.

 

Anæsthesia could hardly bear to look at Addys foul-mouthed and uncouth brother. 'Apologies' could not begin to make up for the disgraceful words that had sullied her delicate pink little ears and although men sometimes had to strip down to do manual labour, especially in the Summer heat, they should immediately cover up if a lady happened to come in view. She certainly didn't want to have to look at his grimy, sweaty half naked torso as the perspiration trickled down the rippling muscles of his well thewed and powerful arms and stained his skimpy top with dark sweat patches. 

 

Did she?

 

No!

 

Far from it!

 

She averted her gaze and looked slightly to the side and down at the barn floor hoping that he would get the message that his bronzed brawny biceps were not a pleasing sight. The equally uncouth Addy didn't think anything much of either her brother's appearance or his rather choice language, and young Josh seemed to find it a source of nostalgic reminiscence.

 

"Ma would have had your hide if she'da hearded you talkin' like that in front of me!" He said with a laugh, for which Isiah was thankful...that the boy could talk about his Ma with a smile.

 

"You hush." Isiah laughed some.  Isiah was practically sweating from head to toe from the hard manual labor he'd been putting in in the barn.  He used the bottom of his white tank top to wrap around his thumb, for now it was bleeding some around the nail.  "Who's yer friend there Addy?" He asked as he smiled at the young girl. 

 

Urgh! The half naked barbarian was talking about her now and... oh!... looking at her! AND... oh.. oh no! ... offering his filthy plebeian hand. 

 

 At first he extended his hand towards her but then scrunched up his own face at the unsightliness of it and knew such a prim and proper young lady as herself likely wouldn't want to come within 10 feet of him. 

 

"Please excuse me if I don't shake hands, I've just had these gloves cleaned." she said frostily, leaving him hanging but at least doing him the honour of looking up into his face as she did so. It was all horrible and handsome and yucky, and just looking into his deep blue eyes made her tummy do flips and her legs feel weak. It must be all the revulsion. 

 

But, what had Josh said? 'Ma would have had your hide' Would have? Then he was bereaved, just as she was bereaved. If was her duty, yes duty, to show the loutish man some pity. She suddenly felt herself pulling at her right hand glove with her left. Taking of the pristine white glove, she held out her pristine white hand and took his calloused, dirty, bloodied hand. It was warm, you could almost feel the pulse of his strong lifeblood coursing through it. 

 

She looked up again into his eyes: crystal blue, intense, haunted, perhaps, by recent sadness.

 

"I'm sorry, that was awfully rude of me. I am Anæsthesia Orr. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Chappel." 

 

@Bongo @MD

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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