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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

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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

 

 

 

 

  • Made Me Cry! 1

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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

 

 

 

 

  • Made Me Laugh! 1

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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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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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