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

Flowers for Madame

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Mature Content: No

With: Miriam & Hector
Location: Pettigrew and Peckham’s Dressmakers & Corsetry Emporium
When: August, 1876
Time of Day: Mid-Morning

 

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Timing and rhythm were an intimate part of the nineteen-year-old’s life. The rhythm of his finger on the telegraph key, tapping out the messages going from Kalispell down to the office at Helena and beyond, or decoding missives coming back the other way, gave the whole jumble of dots and dashes meaning. Equally, when earning a little extra money sawing out a tune on the fiddle or plinking out a melody on his little ‘taterbug mandolin, timing and rhythm were paramount to getting the musical message across. 


And now, as Hector Wigfall loitered across the main street opposite Pettigrew and Peckham’s Dressmakers & Corsetry Emporium, timing was essential again. He had already had to throw away one carefully collected bunch of wildflowers, earlier in the week. His timing couldn’t have been worse, then: every time he'd gone to enter the store, some old biddy had gone in or some young girl had been coming out. By the time the store was clear of everyone but… but her… it had been too late. He’d had to get back to work at the telegraph office. 


But today felt different. He watched Mr. Pettigrew leave, he knew there were no customers inside and, most importantly, he knew that his horrible sister wasn’t working there today. Now, now, now!!


The bell over the door dinged as Hector entered the dressmaker’s, taking off his hat and assembling a smile of delighted surprise on his handsome face as his brown eyes lit on the lovely Miriam. In his hands he was holding a well-chosen bunch of very beautiful wildflowers: fresher and sweeter than any that could be bought in a dusty city store.


“Oh hello, Miss Kaufmann.” He cooed nonchalantly “I don’t suppose you could help me at all? I want to present this nice bunch of flowers to a young lady of my acquaintance, and I was hoping to buy a nice ribbon to tie them up with. I don’t suppose you’d help me to choose something nice?” he asked, innocuously. “I’m kinda hoping to impress her.” He added shyly, glancing downward.

 

@Wayfarer
 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Miriam had just put away the dustpan and broom, having finished a quick sweep of the store floor. Mr. Pettigrew liked a clean store and given the dirt nature of the town's streets people dragged in a lot of dust and soil during their visits. It was inevitable. The bell tinkled signaling a customer had arrived so Miriam cleared her throat and prepared to greet said customer with one of her smiles.

 

Oh my, it was the Wigfall boy, Hector. And with a handful of flowers too?

 

"Good day to you," she beamed her greeting.

 

“Oh hello, Miss Kaufmann.” He cooed nonchalantly “I don’t suppose you could help me at all? I want to present this nice bunch of flowers to a young lady of my acquaintance, and I was hoping to buy a nice ribbon to tie them up with. I don’t suppose you’d help me to choose something nice?” he asked, innocuously.

 

"Oooh, lucky young miss, those look very nice," Miriam nodded her willingness to help, "But let me show you where the ribbons are located."

 

“I’m kinda hoping to impress her.” He added shyly, glancing downward.

 

"Those should do the trick. I especially like those vibrant yellow ones. Did you know they eventually turn reddish?"  she had only recently found out they were a common spring early summer plant here in Montana, aptly named yellowbells.

 

 

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"Oooh, lucky young miss, those look very nice," Miriam nodded her willingness to help, "But let me show you where the ribbons are located."

 

Following behind, Hector realised suddenly how short Miriam was! He was tall for the times at 5'10", sure, but he seemed to tower over her. It made him feel like a powerful giant of a man! Might be awkward if he tried to kiss her, but... well best not think about running before you could walk!

 

“I’m kinda hoping to impress her.” He added shyly, glancing downward.

 

"Those should do the trick. I especially like those vibrant yellow ones. Did you know they eventually turn reddish?"  she had only recently found out they were a common spring early summer plant here in Montana, aptly named yellowbells.

 

"Well, I guess they'll match me. I reckon I'll turn pretty reddish myself when I give them to her." he joked gently, picking up one of the yellow ribbons that she had suggested. "Gee, I don't suppose you'd tie it round them for me? I reckon you could do it a whole lot prettier than me." he reasoned. 

 

"I'm hoping that she'll like them. She's sorta too pretty for me, really, but I'm going hope for the best and ask her for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday... or at least ask her Father for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday." he explained. 

 

@Wayfarer

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Well, I guess they'll match me. I reckon I'll turn pretty reddish myself when I give them to her." he joked gently, picking up one of the yellow ribbons that she had suggested.

 

"Aren't you the shy one?" Miriam seemed amused.

 

 "Gee, I don't suppose you'd tie it round them for me? I reckon you could do it a whole lot prettier than me." he reasoned. 

 

"Certainly, I can do that for you then, free of charge too," Miriam nodded, "The tying I mean not the ribbon, that's not free."

 

"I'm hoping that she'll like them. She's sorta too pretty for me, really, but I'm going hope for the best and ask her for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday... or at least ask her Father for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday."

 

Miriam wished she knew which girl he was talking about. Truth was though she did not know a lot of young people in town, she was still so new.

 

"Too pretty for you? Nonsense, you are a very handsome young man. Any girl would think so. I'm sure she will be tickled to get these wonderful flowers from you," Miriam disagreed but in a supportive sort of way.

 

"A walk after church............sounds like a good plan ........yes indeed," she added.

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"Aren't you the shy one?" Miriam seemed amused.

 

He tipped his head a little, gave a little shrug as if to say actually, yes. He didn't know if Miriam knew his reputation as a big mouth and a jokester, but she almost certainly didn't know the quieter side of him that all that noisy obstreperous banter hid.

 

 "Gee, I don't suppose you'd tie it round them for me? I reckon you could do it a whole lot prettier than me." he reasoned. 

 

"Certainly, I can do that for you then, free of charge too," Miriam nodded, "The tying I mean not the ribbon, that's not free."

 

"That's all right, I got money." he said. It was true, too. For some reason, the late Tricky Dicky Orr had left him a wad of cash in trust. He couldn't get his hands on it until he was 21, but still, knowing it was there was a comfort. 

 

"I'm hoping that she'll like them. She's sorta too pretty for me, really, but I'm going hope for the best and ask her for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday... or at least ask her Father for permission to take her walking after church on Sunday."

 

"Too pretty for you? Nonsense, you are a very handsome young man. Any girl would think so. I'm sure she will be tickled to get these wonderful flowers from you," Miriam disagreed but in a supportive sort of way.

 

"You're very kind." he laughed "I think you are. I think that you are a very kind sort of a person." he added more seriously, as she tied up the flowers for him and he fished out the price of the ribbon. 

 

"A walk after church............sounds like a good plan ........yes indeed," she added.

 

"I hope her Father thinks so!" he smiled back. "If I get that far... but you've tied those flowers so beautifully, I can't imagine any girl resisting them now." 

 

When the business transaction was done, and Hector was just stood there holding the sweet little bouquet, there seemed to be a second of absolute silence, when the clocks of the whole town stood still: as did the very motes of dust caught in the the shafts of morning sunlight that shone through the store window. Then Hector held out the flowers to Miriam and said simply:

 

"Miss Kaufmann, these are for you. May I ask permission of your Father to take you walking after church on Sunday?"

 

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"You're very kind." he laughed "I think you are. I think that you are a very kind sort of a person." he added more seriously, as she tied up the flowers for him and he fished out the price of the ribbon. 

 

"Thank you, nice of you to think so," Miriam thought he was a lot nicer than his grumpy sister made out.

 

"A walk after church............sounds like a good plan ........yes indeed," she added.

 

"I hope her Father thinks so!" he smiled back. "If I get that far... but you've tied those flowers so beautifully, I can't imagine any girl resisting them now." 

 

"Well, she won't even notice the tie, it's the flowers that will impress her. At least that is my opinion," Miriam handed the bouquet back to him then.

 

And that seemed that.....they both just stood there silently for a moment. Fortunately the silence did not last long enough to become awkward.

 

 Then Hector held out the flowers to Miriam and said simply:

 

"Miss Kaufmann, these are for you. May I ask permission of your Father to take you walking after church on Sunday?"

 

Miriam was stunned, the look on her face showed it too, "Me? You meant me all this time? Oh my gosh!"

 

Wait! Walking after church? No, that would not happen. He just didn't know about her and her family. She immediately felt compelled to tell him them, well right after she thanked him of course!

 

"That is so nice of you, Mr. Wigfall. I had no idea. Oh....wait, I suppose I should accept them," she hadn't even reached out for the bouquet yet.

 

Once she had them in her grasp, she smiled and said yet again, "Thank you. I am touched."

 

 

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"Miss Kaufmann, these are for you. May I ask permission of your Father to take you walking after church on Sunday?"

 

Miriam was stunned, the look on her face showed it too, "Me? You meant me all this time? Oh my gosh!"

 

Hector's face was a picture: embarrassment, yes, but also a big grin. "Sorry, I thought you'd guess." he smiled "After all, you're the prettiest girl in town, who else would I give flowers to?" 

 

"That is so nice of you, Mr. Wigfall. I had no idea. Oh....wait, I suppose I should accept them," she hadn't even reached out for the bouquet yet.

 

"Thanks" he said, handing them over "I'd have felt pretty silly walking home with them."

 

Once she had them in her grasp, she smiled and said yet again, "Thank you. I am touched."

 

He seemed to be in a trance for a second, just staring at the lovely girl holding the lovely bouquet. Then he laughed at himself and shook his head "Sorry, Miss Kaufmann, I guess I'm just entranced! Listen, you don't have to decide yet about Sunday, I don't want to hustle you any, just let me know through Jemima."

 

'Jemima', he usually referred to her as 'my sister' or 'my ______ sister' and the blank wasn't something nice, either. Was love, or the prospect of it, softening his heart toward his twin? 

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Hector was grinning, "Sorry, I thought you'd guess. After all, you're the prettiest girl in town, who else would I give flowers to?" 

 

"Oh I am most certainly not," she protested even as she sniffed the flowers, very nice.

 

The boy seemed to be in a trance for a second, just staring at her. Then he laughed and shook his head "Sorry, Miss Kaufmann, I guess I'm just entranced! Listen, you don't have to decide yet about Sunday, I don't want to hustle you any, just let me know through Jemima."

 

"Well about Sunday. I think I should tell you this........... I do not attend church services, my whole family doesn't," she revealed although suddenly she realized that shouldn't he know that if he went to weekly services?  He would have never seen her there.

 

"You see, we are Jewish. If there were a temple in Kalispell, we would attend that but of course there isn't one."

 

She stopped there just in case he was one of those who utterly disliked her people and then ....well, that would be that.

 

 

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"Well about Sunday. I think I should tell you this........... I do not attend church services, my whole family doesn't," she revealed although suddenly she realized that shouldn't he know that if he went to weekly services?  He would have never seen her there.

 

"Ha! I don't if I can help it!" he agreed. And very often, he could help it! His Ma was usually to busy to go and his sister went to that weird Spiritualist gathering, so he got away with it. Also, he was often needed at the telegraph office, even on a Sunday: no matter what some of the more pious folk might think of the fallen sending telegraphs on the Lord's day. 

 

"You see, we are Jewish. If there were a temple in Kalispell, we would attend that but of course there isn't one."

 

"Oh, I know." he said matter-of-factly "About being Jewish, I mean, Jemima told me. She said you wouldn't be interested in a Christian boy, but I thought 'what the heck?' If a girl's beautiful and nice and, well, just about the prettiest girl in town, and she gives you a sorta achy feeling in your heart and a kinda jumpy feeling in your tummy every time you think about her, then a feller ought to tell her so, even if she gives him the brush off..." he looked back up at her, a little red faced "Sorry, I guess I'm babbling." 

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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"Ha! I don't if I can help it!" he then surprised by that admission. Then why did he want to take a walk after services?

 

Miriam then explained why, her Jewish religion. That left him unfazed though too.

 

"Oh, I know." he said matter-of-factly "About being Jewish, I mean, Jemima told me. She said you wouldn't be interested in a Christian boy, but I thought 'what the heck?' If a girl's beautiful and nice and, well, just about the prettiest girl in town, and she gives you a sorta achy feeling in your heart and a kinda jumpy feeling in your tummy every time you think about her, then a feller ought to tell her so, even if she gives him the brush off..." he looked back up at her, a little red faced "Sorry, I guess I'm babbling." 

 

"She should not try to speak for other people - your sister. And again I am certainly not that pretty. But I would not simply give you ...the .........brush off," Miriam informed him, "Or any boy...that would be mean."

 

"It's alright though...about your babbling I mean," she paused for an instant, " not that you were babbling I mean."

 

"But...if you want you can talk me for a stroll. I do not think we need ask my father or mother about it," Arabella had certainly influenced her boldness alright.

 

 

 

 

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"She should not try to speak for other people - your sister. And again I am certainly not that pretty. But I would not simply give you ...the .........brush off," Miriam informed him, "Or any boy...that would be mean."

 

"Well, you know Jemima!" he grinned "She isn't backward about coming forward. And we'll have to agree to disagree about just how pretty you are... and kind... though I wish you would give all the other boys the brush off! Sorry, there I go babbling again!" he looked shyly at his feet, going an interesting shade of red. 

 

"It's alright though...about your babbling I mean," she paused for an instant, " not that you were babbling I mean."

 

"Ohhhh, I'm babbling all right, Mam!" he laughed at himself.

 

"But...if you want you can talk me for a stroll. I do not think we need ask my father or mother about it," Arabella had certainly influenced her boldness alright.

 

Hector looked delighted, mainly because Miriam's reply indicated that she was keen on the idea, and not just acquiescing because she felt sorry for him or something. But then he wrestled with his higher conscience.

 

"Well, I wouldn't want to... you know... I wouldn't wish to compromise your reputation." he said. In his mind Miriam seemed so shy and innocent, she probably didn't even realise what boys were like, and the sort of awful things most of them wanted to do to a pretty girl: like kissing and cuddling and... well, more kissing!

 

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"Very well then, Mr. Wigfall, we can respectfully disagree on that topic," Miriam nodded with a smile. It was very nice of him to keep showering with compliments but her sense of modesty was a bit uncomfortable with it.

 

She also gave her permission for him to accompany her on a stroll. It could be quite.......interesting.

 

"Well, I wouldn't want to... you know... I wouldn't wish to compromise your reputation," he pointed out, again the gentleman. Jemima was just plain wrong about her brother in Miriam's opinion.

 

"Oh I am not worried about such a thing. People traipse up and down the boardwalks all the time, everyone's virtue and reputation remains quite intact," she scoffed at the thought.

 

"And afterall you do not seem too concerned about your own reputation possibly being scuffed by being seen in the company of a Jew?" she wasn't naive, she knew there were people about who despised Jews. What were they called sometimes? Christ-killers....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Well, I wouldn't want to... you know... I wouldn't wish to compromise your reputation," he pointed out, again the gentleman. Jemima was just plain wrong about her brother in Miriam's opinion.

 

"Oh I am not worried about such a thing. People traipse up and down the boardwalks all the time, everyone's virtue and reputation remains quite intact," she scoffed at the thought.

 

"Sure. Long as we stick to traipsing, no one's reputation's going to be in aaaany danger at all." he said, catching her eyes and immediately glancing away. Her eyes were like searchlights, boring into him. Her gaze was so clear and direct. He assumed that was the sign of a person with a clear conscience. She was so pure and chaste and untouched, it made him feel like a heel, kinda soiled in comparison.

 

"And afterall you do not seem too concerned about your own reputation possibly being scuffed by being seen in the company of a Jew?" she wasn't naive, she knew there were people about who despised Jews. What were they called sometimes? Christ-killers....

 

His face grew serious. 

 

"Don't ever say that, Miss... Miriam. There's no one in this town or this Territory or this whole country I'd be prouder to walk along side, and I don't care who knows it." Again, his soft brown eyes met hers. 

 

Then... the door burst open, and Mr. Pettigrew's form filled the doorway, with an almost horrified cry of "Mr. Wigfall, Sir! Do you have the effrontery to pay court to one of my employees while she is the commission of her duties, Sir?!" His face was purple and he sounded like he was about to challenge the young man to a duel with sabres at dawn.

 

Hector was about to clap his cap to his head and run out of the place, but then he remembered what he'd just said to Miriam. Miriam! He squared his shoulders and looked the portly store owner straight in the face. 

 

"Yes, Sir, Mr. Pettigrew, yes I am. I'm paying court to Miss Miriam Kaufman and I don't care who knows it!" 

 

"Good Heavens!" was all Pettigrew could say, as Hector put his cap casually on his head and touched his finger to the peak, giving a little bow to Miriam. "Miss Kaufmann, I shall look forward to escorting you on Sunday, Mr. Pettigrew, your servant!" he bowed again to them both and walked out of the door whistling Nancy Dill.

 

Miriam's boss put his hands on his hips and turned his gaze upon her.

 

"Well, Miss Kaufmann, and what have you to say about these most unprecedented proceedings?!" Yes, Hector had extracted himself with no little élan, but he had rather left Miriam holding the sack.

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Sure. Long as we stick to traipsing, no one's reputation's going to be in aaaany danger at all."

 

Miriam knew sarcasm when she heard it but she had meant what she had said. But she also wanted to remind him of her Jewish background. For some that was a red flag.

 

"Don't ever say that, Miss... Miriam. There's no one in this town or this Territory or this whole country I'd be prouder to walk along side, and I don't care who knows it." Again, his soft brown eyes met hers. 

 

Miriam blinked, well that was a passionate response. She nodded, "Thank you. "

 

Suddenly her employer was back and apparently shocked that the pair of them were chatting. 

 

"Mr. Wigfall, Sir! Do you have the effrontery to pay court to one of my employees while she is the commission of her duties, Sir?!

 

Stunned, Miriam wanted to leap to their defense but Hector spoke up first.

 

"Yes, Sir, Mr. Pettigrew, yes I am. I'm paying court to Miss Miriam Kaufman and I don't care who knows it!" 

 

Wait!  What?  They were certainly not courting!

 

"Umm, no, that is not exactly...." Miriam dissented but probably far too soft in tone and volume.

 

Her boss was obviously taken aback and with that Hector announced his intentions for this coming Sunday and jauntily left the shop, whistling at that.

 

Mr. Pettigrew  "Well, Miss Kaufmann, and what have you to say about these most unprecedented proceedings?!"

 

"I assure you, sir, we are hardly courting. He asked me for permission to ask my father if he could take a short walk in public with me after Sunday services. I pointed out I do not even attend such services being that I am Jewish.  Not by any stretch of the imagination can that be called courting," Miriam tried to straighten this all out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"I assure you, sir, we are hardly courting. He asked me for permission to ask my father if he could take a short walk in public with me after Sunday services. I pointed out I do not even attend such services being that I am Jewish.  Not by any stretch of the imagination can that be called courting," Miriam tried to straighten this all out.

 

"Can it not, indeed?"  queried the large man rhetorically. "And what, pray, are these?"

 

Mr. Pettigrew maintained his serious mien, but he could not hide the twinkle in his eye, as he reached out for the flowers. He gave them a sniff. 

 

"I shall take care of these, Miss Kaufmann, you may attend to your duties." he said as he marched over to a waste paper bin by some shelves behind the counter, and for a minute it seemed as if he were about to throw the beautiful wild blooms away. Instead he bent over, no doubt putting a perilous strain on the seams of his old fashioned chequered trousers, and came up proudly holding a slightly dusty vase. 

 

"I thought we had one somewhere!" he muttered to himself, disappearing into the back room muttering something about "... put 'em in water... with a little sugar in it..."

 

When he reappeared, the flowers were nicely arranged in the vase, which he placed with artistic care on the counter in just the right position to show them to best advantage. 

 

Mr. Pettigrew stood back and took in his handiwork, still muttering to himself:  "Beautiful flowers. Walking after church. 'Hardly courting' indeed!" He seemed quite giddy at the romance of it all, one might have thought that the posy had been brought in for him! 

 

He disappeared into the back again, and then came back; he seemed quite distracted. 

 

"Oh come, come Miss Kaufmann: do stop wasting time on those buttons. We need to decide what you are going to wear!!" he declared, all of a flutter.

 

@Wayfarer

 

 

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"Can it not, indeed?"  queried the large man rhetorically. "And what, pray, are these?"

 

Drat, he found the flowers! What could Miriam say. He was not upset about it though but ended up finding a nice vase for them. Some employers might have been furious, she felt lucky she had a kind boss.

 

"Oh how nice," Miriam had to compliment the man's efforts.

 

Mr. Pettigrew stood back and took in his handiwork, still muttering to himself:  "Beautiful flowers. Walking after church. 'Hardly courting' indeed!"

 

Well technically they were not going to be walking after church but she kept quiet.

 

He disappeared in the back but certainly not for long. She turned to see what it was that he wanted this time. Maybe some actual sewing? It was what she was originally hired for.

 

"Oh come, come Miss Kaufmann: do stop wasting time on those buttons. We need to decide what you are going to wear!!" he declared, all of a flutter.

 

"Oh nothing special. I certainly cannot afford to buy a new dress right now either. I do have a suitable wardrobe though, I assure you," she pointed out.

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"Oh come, come Miss Kaufmann: do stop wasting time on those buttons. We need to decide what you are going to wear!!" he declared, all of a flutter.

 

"Oh nothing special. I certainly cannot afford to buy a new dress right now either. I do have a suitable wardrobe though, I assure you," she pointed out.

 

He picked up the now discarded ribbon, which was still perfectly clean, and held it up.

 

"Oh, but have you got something in your collection..." (perhaps 'collection' too grand a term for the items in Miriam's press, but Mr. Pettigrew was becoming slightly overwrought by the idea of dressing a lady for an occasion, he didn't get a chance to do that much these days, out here in a cow-town) "... that will both blend with and highlight this aureolin ribbon?" Pettigrew never dirtied his mouth with prosaic terms like 'yellow' or 'green' - items were always 'canary' or 'puce' or 'Prussian'.

 

"I believe it would be a very romantic touch to wear this ribbon in your hair" Worcester fluttered excitedly "... and I have just the dress to go with it - the white milanese with roussed skirt - we can add some aureolin ribboning and take it in so it fits perfectly. Oh! You will look so heavenly, Miss Kaufmann, and a perfect advertisment for our wares, to boot!!"

 

Then the door tingled open and Pettigrew started to shout "We're closed!" but then saw it was Jemima.

 

"Lock the door, Miss Wigfall, and put up the closed sign! Today..." he drew himself up to his full height "... we are CREATING!!"

 

@Wayfarer

 

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The man would not let up, so full of plans was he for HER life, her privacy. Miriam sighed but it was hard for her to argue with adults especially authority figures like one's employers. She guessed a mere ribbon wasn't so bad though although blanched at his use of words like 'romantic'.

 

.. and I have just the dress to go with it - the white milanese with roussed skirt - we can add some aureolin ribboning and take it in so it fits perfectly. Oh! You will look so heavenly, Miss Kaufmann, and a perfect advertisment for our wares, to boot!!"

 

Oh heaven above! Miriam mildly protested now though, "That is an expensive dress, what if I should get it dirty or, god forbid, tear it on a nail or something."

 

Then the door tingled open and Pettigrew started to shout "We're closed!" but then saw it was Jemima.

 

"Lock the door, Miss Wigfall, and put up the closed sign! Today..." he drew himself up to his full height "... we are CREATING!!"

 

Oh no, not Jemima! This whole thing was exploding so fast and now Hector's own sister was to be involved?

 

"Excuse me, I do not mean to be forward, sir. But you are making far too much out of this and I am very uncomfortable with the whole direction this is going. No offense, but I must decline your kindness," it took all her nerve to say even this much.

 

 

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Pettigrew completely pooh-poohed Miriam's objections that she might dirty the dress he was proposing that she wear for the 'big date' and ordered poor Jemima, who hadn't got a clue what was going on, to close up the shop. But suddenly, the shy young seamstress piped up in a slightly quavering, but determined voice. 

 

"Excuse me, I do not mean to be forward, sir. But you are making far too much out of this and I am very uncomfortable with the whole direction this is going. No offense, but I must decline your kindness," it took all her nerve to say even this much.

 

"But....!?" Mr. Pettigrew was more than a little taken aback: he fair staggered. "I..." he looked ashen, lost for words; he pulled out a beautifully white handkerchief and dabbed the sweat from his suddenly beaded forehead. He looked almost pleadingly at Jemima, who returned his look with a frown and a flat question of "Am I closing this, or what?"

 

He swayed a little and gripped the counter.

 

"Miss Kaufmann. Please forgive a... a very silly old man. It was not my place to interfere... I must..." he looked a little lost, like he had never seen the interior of this shop before. "I must retire to my chambers..." he muttered weakly, and made his way stumblingly toward and through the velvet curtain.

 

Jemima watched him go with a look of mild confusion on her  bovine features before swivelling her small eyes to Miriam, sniffing and asking the inevitable question: "What in Sam Hill was all that about?"

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Miriam had managed to get out her refusal of her employers kind but far too enthusiastic assistance, this was all too much too fast. Next thing you know he would want to fit her for her wedding gown at this pace! Poor man, he took it all rather badly though thankfully he did not fire her at least. No, instead he seemed very sad, almost stricken. As he retired into the interior of the shop, Miriam winced and called out, "But thank you anyways."

 

Jemima was standing there though and she had definitely witnessed the last strange moment so of course she had to ask, "What in Sam Hill was all that about?"

 

"Nothing....well, of course it was not nothing, but  I'm sorry," Miriam sighed then continued, "It was a simple misunderstanding between us. I would ask that you not ask anything further as it is something personal and I have a right to my privacy. And now I would rather not talk about it." 

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"What in Sam Hill was all that about?"

 

"Nothing....well, of course it was not nothing, but  I'm sorry,"

 

"Uh?" was Jemima's monosyllabic, yet eloquent, reply.

 

Miriam sighed then continued, "It was a simple misunderstanding between us. I would ask that you not ask anything further as it is something personal and I have a right to my privacy. And now I would rather not talk about it."

 

Jemima put the sign to 'open' and shrugged. Then, as she walked to the counter, pointed at the flowers in the vase. 

 

"What's them?" she asked with a slight wrinkle of her nose: as if they were not beautiful and fragrant objects, but something ugly and objectionably smelly and ugly instead.

 

@Wayfarer

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Surprisingly but also thankfully, Jemima did not press the issue but respected the girl's request, Miriam noted. The store was reopened by a flip of the sign and for now things were back to normal. As for between her and Hector, Miriam needed to plan on how to handle that issue differently than the path it had been roaring down. It was going to be all about privacy and that meant no public walk down the boardwalk.

 

Jemima noticed the flowers and obviously was not much of a fan, "What's them?"

 

"Flowers, silly. Mr. Pettigrew put them in a nice vase and thought they livened up the place for the ladies. Women love flowers after all," Miriam explained leaving out a key detail.

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Jemima noticed the flowers and obviously was not much of a fan, "What's them?"

 

"Flowers, silly. Mr. Pettigrew put them in a nice vase and thought they livened up the place for the ladies. Women love flowers after all," Miriam explained leaving out a key detail.

 

Jemima considered the blooms with a considered sniff and suspicious narrowed eyes, which she then turned on the rather too bright-as-a-button Miriam.

 

"All seems pretty queer to me!" she muttered and went through the velvet curtain.

 

 

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"He is the owner of the shop and our employer, if he thinks flowers brighten the place up then more power to him. I rather like them too," Miriam then decided to go upstairs and sew something....anything just to end this most uncomfortable conversation. She'd make new plans with Hector before Sunday.

 

ooc: End thread?

ooc: Yep.

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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