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    • Barnabas listened, understanding the young mans desire to venture out, and also his hesitance to leave his sister behind. Life has those twists and turns that are possible blocks to what feels like their calling. "Well, you know, there are ways that you could manage that education, and there are ways that Lillian here could go with you." Then he cautioned, "I would certainly hesitate to travel to the Dakotas until the Indians are pacified. I'm sure they are filled with the power of their defeat of George Custer."   "Then again, should you attend the university, things could be settled before you graduated and ventured out. Education is a fine thing, Tom, whether you use it here, or the Dakotas, or wherever  you might venture forth. I only wished I had had the luxury of education beyond what I managed at my mothers knee and that one room school house in Texas." But fortune had smiled on him, the poker hand and what he had brought him, and then Em. His life was good, all things considered.
    • Their cab driver was waiting for them, he'd stayed close, alert to when they would return, and he was content, having had a wonderful lunch that Mrs. Pike had had packed for him.  Now, he helped get the remains of their picnic loaded, then made sure everyone was settled, with blankets in case they needed them, and started back for town.   "That was a wonderful outing!" Emeline declared, chuckling.  "Although I think I ended up with half the beach in my shoes!"  That had been something she hadn't thought about when going barefoot...putting the shoes and socks back on had been a challenge, especially with no way to keep the sand out!   She settled in, wrapping a blanket around her knees, since the hem of her skirt was damp, then rested her head against Barnabas' shoulder and was soon asleep.  Across from them, Lillian was also dozing.   "Thank you for letting us come with you, sir," Tom murmured quietly, "my sister works too hard and it's good for her to have some fun.  And I appreciate the advice.  College sounds like a good plan, if we can afford it.  I'd love to go to Montana or the Dakotas, but I don't want to leave Lillian."   @Flip
    • "Guess you're right about just showin' up at the ranch like that." He agree, and that is kind of you, but I've cash put by for this trip I've made. The hotel does sound good. And the local fare? Which is the best place to eat. Lookin' for big steak dinner I am. Been sometime since I was able to get somethin' like that. It was a trip to remember, long, hard, and with every temperature you could imagine."   It had been that and a bit more. There had been Molly McGuire, he was missing her, but Kalispell would not be the place for her if all that had been said came to fruition between Lost Lake and the Evergreen. He had waltzed in on what could be a real corpse and cartridge affair, and one that went on an on til they forgot what it was about, or who started it.   "I appreciate your offer, and your council about town and holdin' off till the ranch hands were in town. I'll do just that. @JulieS    
    • Benjamin gave up on the fruitless pursuit of the surviving war party, they were down a six or so anyhow and more than likely just heading back to their home village. If it was one thing the US cavalry learned about chasing Indians, you didn't catch 'em.  Best horsemen in the world maybe. So he ordered his scouts and troopers to turn back and then spent the better part of a few hours just getting back to the rest of his command. It being dark did not help at all but the scouts were up to the task.   Once back he found out that a lot had happened - almost all good too, well except another trooper had been killed. But Lt. Greene found (had lucked into it really but no criticism there - it was the great Napoleon who had said  'better a lucky general than a good one') the women and they were alive. Looking a bit worse for wear but no dangerous wounds, the saloon girl was already wearing trousers and a bluecoat lent her by eager troopers. And Greene had a face to face encounter with an Arapaho brave looking to kill the ladies. That Indian was dead. Barlow didn't press the young officer on the details, that he could read in the report Greene would have to write out later back in the fort, for the young man was wounded and in considerable discomfort. They didn't have a doctor with this detachment but one of the troopers who knew something about wound treatment assured Benjamin the boy would live and keep his leg. Well unless he didn't take care of it properly and get gangrene.   The stage driver was quite the tough gal too. She was sporting a large bruise from where the Arapaho had belted her with his gun butt but in good humor and even told him that the two women had killed their guard and escaped on their own.  Barlow was impressed.   "Well, it's a pity we don't allow women in the army, we could use a couple more like you and your friend," Benjamin remarked to Addy.   It was a tough call to make - normally traveling at night was not the wise thing to do but they had the wounded to think of and the sooner they got them back to better medical care at the fort or even town, the better. He decided darkness or not, they would head back and issued the appropriate orders.   They kept the pace deliberately slow but steady. He wasn't worried about Indian attack - Plains Indians did not attack at night and besides that war party was good as destroyed and definitely dispersed.  No, the bigger danger was loss of a horse or horses to prairie dog holes or god knows what else whilst traveling in the darkness.   Then there was a holler from ahead.   @MD  @Bongo @Flip @Javia
    • Both men had agreed, it had been a hell of a day. That Bannister came to them had been unexpected, but welcomed.  As they walked to the hotel after stabling their mounts they paused on the porch, taking up seats on the porch. Both men silent as they turned over the events of the day. Neither weary as they should be after a long hard ride back to Kalispell.   "This shapes up different than I was thinking it would. I mean hell, this is father against daughter." Cook said, "Seen a few that was father-son, never father-daughter."   "Odd one, that's fer shore. Now This Elias Steelgrave, you know much about him?" McNue asked, wonder what type of man is a threat to his own flesh and blood.   "Some, none of it good, and none of it arrestable, if that's even a word. The man skirts the law in a way he gets what he's after without consequence. Though I've heard there's a dark past with some bodies, but again, no real proof. Well, we'll check in with Guyer in the morning, see what we can do."   "Sounds to be a good idea, as dos gettin' our fair share 'o shuteye." McNue agreed. Both men got to their feet and entered the hotel. On this night their prospective of what was happening had changed.
Lucinda Dietrich

The Wedded and the Widdowed

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Lucinda began to feel more at home around Aurelian and his humor. Humor always helped any situation, especially one like this one that could have proved quite awkward if they both did not have a sense of humor. Sitting across from him, she felt much less flustered than she had felt back in the church.

 

She listened intently as Aurelian described his farm. She should have realized the difference between a farm and a ranch before now, but had not. But now she knew. Francis hadn't wanted to be a rancher, he'd wanted to be a farmer like Aurelian.

 

"A lake," she murmured, her eyebrows rising. Francis had had to dig a well for them to get water for themselves and their animals. Would it have made any difference if they had had a lake? Probably not. Anyway, Aurelian was right. The good did come with the bad. Having a lake might have led to other problems.

 

When he finished speaking, she waited for a few seconds, her eyebrows furrowed. "You would never want to go back east? That wouldn't be starting over...would it?"

 

For her, it wouldn't be. She could go back to her family, to society, and to comfort. But it would be as a widow, not as an unmarried woman fresh from her societal debut. Would that change her life back east? Out here she was still considered marriageable.

 

@Wayfarer (Can't remember if the link for this one worked on Discord this time. I think it did?)

Edited by Bailey (see edit history)

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"A lake," she murmured, her eyebrows rising.

 

"Yeah, sure....you know....those big things with lots of water in them," Aurelian teased. His conversations with Clara had often been filled with this sort of give and take and he missed that.

 

"You would never want to go back east? That wouldn't be starting over...would it?"

 

"Afraid it would, I left that world behind me. Sold what I had to pay for our trip out west. Later had to buy a wagon and team, supplies, to get around out here. I've got nothing back there. So, no, I would never want to go back anymore. It would almost be like Katherine died for nothing then if you know what I mean?"

 

@Bailey

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Lucinda grinned at Aurelian's unnecessary explanation of what a lake was. "Oh, I thought those were rivers," she said, a touch of cheerful sarcasm in her words.

 

The mood dampened slightly as they began to talk about going back east, or in Aurelian's case, not going back east. He was in a different boat than she was. He had nothing to go back to, where she had her family.

 

"I know what you mean." She reached across the table to take his hand impulsively. She understood, even if she had given up Francis's homestead. It wasn't that she didn't care about everything they'd sacrificed, it was that she knew it was impossible for her to take care of the homestead on her own.

 

She looked down at their hands, and then up at him.

 

"So you're working the farm with Wyatt. What happens when he gets old enough to move away and get married?" It was a long time before Wyatt would actually be old enough to marry, but it was worth thinking about.

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ooc: Sorry, this got lost. Remind me if I don't answer in a few days....

 

"I know what you mean," the woman reached across the table to take his hand impulsively.

 

Oh he noticed alright but did not pull away, why would he? He figured she was probably just lonely, being a widow n' all. He full well knew the sorrow of losing a spouse you were in love with .

 

"Fair enough," he nodded.

 

"So you're working the farm with Wyatt. What happens when he gets old enough to move away and get married?"

 

Aurelian smiled, "That'll be some years yet I figure. Although Clara left the nest a whole lot earlier than I ever figured."

 

"Besides, Wyatt tells me he's never gettin' married, he hates girls. I asked him about the girls in school, even all of them? And he said they were worse than Clara," Aurelian chuckled.

 

"We both know that can change though as boys get older."

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

"Well, Clara seems happy," Lucinda ventured. "I hope her life with Jacob is easy." She looked down at her hand which still clasped Aurelian's, and finally let go, grinning at Wyatt's philosophy about marriage and girls.

 

"Enjoy him hating girls while you can," she said with a laugh. "Soon he'll be like Hector, following me around like I've bewitched him!"

 

At first she'd tried to be polite to Hector, but living with Jemima and Mrs. Wigfall had soon shown her a better way to deal with the young man. She let his sister or his mother take care of Hector, and just kept to her room when she wasn't eating.

 

"But never mind about Hector," she continued. "How was Clara's pie? Up to her usual standards?" She looked down at the empty plate. He had sure cleaned the plate up, so it must have been good.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Bailey (see edit history)
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"Well, Clara seems happy," Lucinda ventured. "I hope her life with Jacob is easy."

 

"I think she is. I know she loves him deeply....Clara never does anything other than all out," Aurelian smiled.

 

He leaned in closer to Lucinda then as if to tell her something hush hush.

 

"She is pregnant. She doesn't want people to know yet. She only admitted it to me when I outright asked her. It's not showing obviously yet but I could tell," Aurelian confided in the woman.

 

"It's going to complicate their lives alright. I know that well, having been a father three times," he added, then figured he should explain, "We did lose a child at birth sadly."

 

Wyatt was still too young for any such serious things and Aurelian pointed out the boy had yet to discover girls as it were.

 

"Enjoy him hating girls while you can," she said with a laugh. "Soon he'll be like Hector, following me around like I've bewitched him!"

 

"Oh that young Wigfall....I know of him. Friend of Jacob. Clara does not like him. But - and don't tell Clara I said this - but Clara does not like a LOT of people," he smiled.

 

"But never mind about Hector," she continued. "How was Clara's pie? Up to her usual standards?"

 

"Always. A bit of a father bragging about one's own but did you know that she won the pie baking contest at the Kalispell fall fair the very first time she entered. She was the youngest contestant and almost no one knew her. But then Mrs. Pike had not entered that time or it might have been a harder decision by the judges. They both love their baking though. They make a good team. Mrs. Pike is the mother that Clara no longer has............if that makes sense?"

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Lucinda's eyes widened. Clara was pregnant? Newly married Clara? She wondered if Jacob knew. The shock on her face was evident as she stared at Aurelian. Luckily, she didn't have to respond since Aurelian continued.

 

It's going to complicate their lives alright. I know that well, having been a father three times," he added, then figured he should explain, "We did lose a child at birth sadly."

 

Lucinda looked down at the table, her shock dissolving into sadness, both for Aurelian and for herself at the reminder of her own dead children. "I was pregnant three times." She stopped and swallowed away the grief, not planning on saying anything else unless Aurelian asked her.

 

The conversation moved on to Clara's pies. Lucinda was impressed that Clara had won prizes for her pies. She smiled at Aurelian's fatherly bragging. "I didn't know that. She doesn't seem like the type to boast about her own accomplishments, though. And...to be fair...we only met today."

 

She sobered at the mention of Clara's mother. "Why, yes, that makes sense. Emeline strikes me as a very motherly type. I think she's the reason I wanted to stay, even if I didn't realize it at the time."

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"I was pregnant three times." She stopped and swallowed. She didn't say anymore but then she didn't need to, Aurelian got it and frowned.

 

"I'm sorry. That must have been terrible for you and your husband," he responded in sympathy.

 

They both didn't want to dwell on all that sadness in both their lives so he moved on to talking about Clara's baking skills, a little bragging like a typical proud papa.

 

"I didn't know that. She doesn't seem like the type to boast about her own accomplishments, though. And...to be fair...we only met today."

 

"Oh she wouldn't bring it up but she was quite proud of that blue ribbon she won.  Can you blame her?" it was a rhetorical question.

 

He then mentioned that Emeline has played a vital role in Clara's life as a sort of replacement mother figure, hoping the woman would get what he meant.

 

"Why, yes, that makes sense. Emeline strikes me as a very motherly type. I think she's the reason I wanted to stay, even if I didn't realize it at the time."

 

"Oh I believe that. I was impressed with her the very first time I met her and felt very comfortable with allowing Clara to work for her," he nodded.

 

"Say.....pardon me if this is too bold, I am not good at this sort of thing but.." Aurelian paused for the right words, "....would you want to come out to the farm once and see how the Redmonds do farming? Not that it is in any way spectacular but you might just want to take a look, I could cook up something or ...........maybe a smarter move...ask Clara to make something I could serve. Feel free to decline, I would not take offense."

 

 

 

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Lucinda stared at the table, absorbing Aurelian's sympathy. She knew everyone out here dealt with loss in one way or another, but Aurelian's loss seemed so similar to hers. It made the loneliness seem less lonely.

 

She was surprised by Aurelian's proposed outing to the farm and stared at him open-mouthed for a moment. Then, slowly recovering her sense of propriety and ability to talk, she nodded. "When I left the homestead, I never wanted to see another farm again. But your farm...it sounds different than the one I left. So...yes, Aurelian, I would be happy to go out to the farm with you."

 

She smiled at the last bit of Aurelian's invitation. "I would be happy to cook a meal while I am out at the farm, but I'm sure it would be a better meal if Clara cooked it."

 

Some of the sparkle had come back into her eyes at the prospect of going out to the farm. But then she realized there was a problem. "I don't own a horse. How would I get out to the farm?" She knew very well how she could get out to the farm - ask someone from town going out that way to take her - but if Aurelian offered to fetch her she wouldn't refuse him.

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"When I left the homestead, I never wanted to see another farm again. But your farm...it sounds different than the one I left. So...yes, Aurelian, I would be happy to go out to the farm with you."

 

Aurelian was a bit taken aback by that first part but managed a smile, "Well, most farms are probably basically the same but I suppose each have their own personal touches too depending on who lives there, that sort of thing. I don't claim mine is anything special but I have become quite attached to it."

 

"I would be happy to cook a meal while I am out at the farm, but I'm sure it would be a better meal if Clara cooked it."

 

"No, no, I wouldn't think of inviting you out there and then making you do the cooking. You will be my honored guest. Besides when I ask Clara, it is a valid excuse for her to come back home and I get to have her home with me even if it is just a few hours. I don't mind admitting, I miss her," Aurelian replied.

 

 "I don't own a horse. How would I get out to the farm?" she suddenly considered.

 

"Not an issue. I would of course come and pick you up. I have a wagon, you need not even get on a horse," he had a quick answer for that problem.

 

"Honestly, all you have to do is say 'yes' and I got it from there," he smiled.

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Aurelian had a point about all farms being similar. Lucinda knew that his farm wouldn't be grand. It was a farm, not a ranch, after all. But his farm was a farm, not a homestead. A homestead was only the beginning of a farm, and Francis had left her all alone on a homestead.

 

"Of course you miss her," Lucinda said sympathetically. "She's your daughter." Not that she knew what it felt like to have a daughter, or a child past infancy. But she knew how easy it was to get attached to children, even those that weren't her own.

 

Aurelian luckily had a solution to her problem, and a quick one at that. It almost made her wonder if he'd been thinking about asking her this for a while. "Well, you make it sound so easy. So...yes," she said with a smile.

 

Then, remembering that she was technically at work, she grabbed Aurelian's empty pie plate and headed back for the kitchen, beckoning to him. "Don't feel like you have to rush off. But don't forget Wyatt's pie when you do leave."

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"Of course you miss her," Lucinda said sympathetically. "She's your daughter."

 

Aurelian nodded then smiled, "I'm not so sure my father would have said that about me. Not all parents and offspring are close." 

 

The woman brought up a few other possible stumblings blocks to his invitation but the man deftly had an answer for them.  Finally she agreed.

 

"Well, you make it sound so easy. So...yes," she said with a smile.

 

"Good! So then, now that we have that straightened out what day would you be available to come?Oh and you don't have to give me an answer right off. I do not want to rush you," he added.

 

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Now that the awkwardness of the invitation and transportation issues were taken care of, Lucinda began to be excited about the prospect of riding in a wagon with Aurelian, looking at a farm with Aurelian, and...well, spending time with Aurelian.

 

She put Aurelian's dish by the sink and turned to cut another slice to send home with Wyatt. As she did, she thought aloud. "Well...what about next Tuesday? I'm sure that if we talk with Clara she can make arrangements for the diner or send some food for us if she can't be there to cook for us. And I should talk with her anyway since I'm working for her."

 

She smiled and risked a glance upwards at the ceiling before looking sideways at Aurelian. "I don't think I should disturb her right now, however. I'll talk with her and tell you what she said on Sunday. How does that sound?"

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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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