Players: - Meriah, Kathryn, Sweet

Summary: What happens when women start to chit chat

Date: 3/24/1883

Log Title Girl Talk


It was mid-morning. Much too early for the Gemstone girls to be up. Yet, there is activity in the main room. The small, dark haired madam, dressed oddly enough in a smiple cotton or broadcloth calico dress with her hair hanging in a thick braid down her back, sits at a table with Sweet, the lovely little blond bartender who is similarly dressed. Gone are the fancy dresses and updos they have during the evenings. At Meriah's feet plays a small child of perhaps three years old. Dark lusturous curls frame the child's face as she plays with the doll on the floor. In each of the women's arms is a small bundle being rocked. The women are talking, laughing a bit, and appear to be drinking something from small china cups. The rest of the Gemstone is dead silent, as if empty.

Kathryn glides in, looking quite tired. There were reports that she fell on the stage the night before, and that CJ and a new stranger to the town have taken interest in the young red-haired woman. Today, Kathryn is wearing a simpler dress of light blue, and a bonnet over her head to protect it from the sun. She pauses at the door, and nods in greeting to Meriah and the female bartender.

Meriah turns a bit as the red headed singer slips into the casino / saloon / brothel so early in the day. "Bon soir, Mademoiselle Sullivan. How are you this morning? Sweet was just telling me what happened last night, non? Are you alright? Do you, perhaps, need to see the doctor?"

"I'm fine thank you, Miss Meriah. I was coming to see if I could take the night off. I know the gentlemen that come here will be disappointed, but since it has warmed up, I really should go out and bring mother in and have her and the stagecoach driver buried properly." Kathryn explains as she walks over to the bar. "Do you mind if I fix myself something to drink?"

Meriah runs the tip of her tongue over the bottom of her teeth. "The night off?", she says quietly. "You are a main draw now, Mademoiselle. IS there not a way your brother and some of the men could bring in your mother? For which I am sorry for your loss, non? But you bring much business to this place..I would hate to lose you, even for an evening…" The blond leans over and murmurs something to Meriah and the madam gives a nod. "Then again, it is Tuesday..and most of the men will not be here…"

"I would ask my brother to do it, if I knew where he was." Kathryn admits, sitting on a stool at the bar. "He's been gone for over a week now."

"A week? That would explain why he did not come in for a job, non? Sweet will make you something to drink. What is it you wish to have?", Meriah asks quietly. "Tea, coffee perhaps?", she inquires as she reaches out to take the other bundle from the blond, who rises to her feet and flashes a sunny smile. Meriah nestles both bundles, one in each arm, against her chest and, for a moment, the cold look of the business woman is gone, replaced by a warmer, more motherly appearance. But only for a moment.

Kathryn nods her head. "Coffee, please. I haven't slept well the last few nights. CJ has offered to go with me to the stagecoach. Hopefully we can put the bodies inside and ride it on back into town. I would like to have my own dresses back. And mother…" she trails off and tears slide down her face as her rests her head and arms on the bar.

Sweet comes back quickly with a heartier mug of coffee and sets it before the young redheaded woman. "Don't you fret, miss…", the blond says with a warm smile. "I am sure all will be settled soon. The ground be too cold to have a burial as 'tis. Mayhap Mister Tietz can help keep your mother until the ground is softer?"

Meriah just smiles softly and nods a bit. "You may have the day off if you wish, Mademoiselle. Though I hope you will sit with us until you are refreshed?"

She sniffles and pulls a kerchief from a pocket in her dress, clearing her eyes. "Thank you." Kathryn replies gratefully and slides off of the stool, putting one gloved hand on the cup, carrying it with her over ot the ladies.

Sweet takes her seat again and takes her bundle from Meriah. Then the dark eyed madam turns her eyes to Kathryn once more. "I have heard, mademoiselle, that a number of our patrons have taken quite a liking to you, non?"

Her skin blushes lightly. "Yes, ma'am." Kat replies as she sits near them. "A few nights ago one of the younger ones was a bit in his cups, and tried to grab at me." she visably shudders. "CJ hit him on the back of the neck with his cane, and knocked him out. He's been walking me home every night since."

Sweet gives what might be called a look of distates and Meriah's face stays non-committally bland. "Monsieur Jackson, non?" the madam says, switching the bundle from one arm to another. "Be careful, hmm? You do not wish a reputation in this town unless you work here as one of my girls. Trust me on this, mademoiselle. And Monsiuer Jackson has a reputation of his own. But I have heard more than he takes a liking to you."

Kathryn raises one eyebrow at that slowly. "I wouldn't have accepted, but Wayde hasn't been around to walk me home. And I grew up in Boston. Not the pretty parts of it either. I will freely admit that I'm more than just a touch scared of walking outside at night by myself. Should I not let CJ walk me to the boarding house?"

Meriah's own brows raise and she gives a bit of a laugh. "Let him walk you home, just be wary, mon amie. And if he tries what he has tried with others, be prepared to stop him, hmm? I would not wish your reputation or self sullied."

Her green eyes go wide. "CJ?" she asks in disbelief. "But he has been nothing but a perfect gentleman to me…"

Meriah gives a non-committal shrug and takes another sip of her coffee. Sweet's blue eyes travel over to the red headed singer. "He likes to pinch women, you know. And try to feel. he did it to Miss Chiane and nearly got himself killed over it. Mister Marlowe wasn't none too happy."

"No… I didn't…" Kathryn says, sounding appauled, the mug of coffee forgotten in her right hand. "Oh dear… my brother would be most upset with me if he knew. I'll not tell CJ, and go and get mother on my own, and tonight I'll tell him that I can walk home on my own, or I'll jsut sleep in the lounge after my shift is done, if that is alright with you, Miss Meriah…?"

Meriah shakes her head a bit and looks to the young woman a moment. Then she speaks to Sweet without changing her gaze to the blond. "Virginia…", she says softly. "Go get my pepperbox out of my room. We will give it to Miss Sullivan for now, until she can purchase one of her own. Buck will keep me safe personally. I would not want to lose such a valuable singer to the attentions of Mr. Jackson>', she says. Sweet nods and rises, heading up the stairs. Meriah continues to speak. "YOu are welcome here but I do not think you will like it overmuch. Others will take you for a working girl. Continue to stay at the boarding house, hmm? Monsieur e Madame Marlowe are personal friends and will see to your safety while there. If any thing should happen, you have but to tell one of us, non?"

"Yes, thank you." Kathryn says gratefully, finally taking a sip of the coffee. "And I will get my leg checked out by the doctor. It's been acting a little weak ever since I came in with that blizzard."

Meriah gives a soft smile. "I am sure Bennet or his new …" there is a slight pause and a frown. "His new friend, Miss Witherspoon…will be happy to help with your leg. Have them send the bill here.", she says quietly.

Kathryn nods her head. "I will. I appreciate it. Doctors are very expensive back home, I can't imagine that thier services would be any cheaper out here. I very nearly fell on the way home as well. CJ didn't walk me home last night, a new man to the town offered to follow me in case anything happened. Mark… Anderson, I belive his name was."

Just then, Sweet comes back downstairs with a small box in her hands. She lays it in front of Kathryn and then resumes her seat. Meriah looks first to the box, then to Kathryn. "Take care of it, non? It was a gift and I wish to have it back when you can afford your own. Though the giver is now gone, it is still very meaningful to me."

"I will, though I admit I'm not a very good shot. Can you tell me how much a gun and some bullets would cost? I still have money saved up, I might be able to afford my own…" Kathryn replies, eyeing the box carefully.

"OPen it…" Meriah says quietly. "And as for current prices, you might as Jed Balcombe. He too his sister's place…" Sweet's eyes lower then and she seems to still for a moment, though the bundle in her arms starts to move a bit as if waking.

Kathryn reaches out, and carefully opens the box, setting her cup down on the table.

Inside the box is a very small, snub nosed gun. Small enough to fit in a corset holster or one on the upper thigh. There is also a box of ammunition, the bullets small but supposedly deadly. "You do not have to be a good shot. Just close enough, hmm?" Meriah says quietly.

The gun itself is well made and may appear well cared for. The chasings on the barrel and main part of the gun are delicate, showing some kind of foliage. The handle is exquisiste and small, as if for a very small hand. Inlaid is the picture of a bird among the same kind of vines or branches that chase down the lenght of the barrel.

Kathryn looks at the gun, but doesn't pick it up yet. "Yes. I understand." Her skin goes pale at the thought of having to actually shoot someone, but she looks as if she would use it if she needed too. "Thank you, Miss Meriah."

Meriah nods softly and moves to lay her sleeping bundle in the basket between herself and Kathryn. The blanket falls back to reveal a small face with a shock of dark hair as well. Sweet jostles her small bundle, which shoes to have dark blond curls and big blue eyes. "Would you like some breakfast, perhaps, Mademoiselle?", Meriah asks.

"Thank you, but I'm not certain I could eat now." Kathryn admits as she closes the box. "I'm really quite worried about Wayde. It's not like him to disappear with no word, or not show up to walk me home. And this news about CJ is distressful as well."

"Speak to Buck and Steven and Marlowe. I am sure they will form a party to go look for your brother. The mountains can be dangerous if you do not know them…" Meriah says again quietly.

Kathryn nods her head. "I will. Maybe I can manage a few small bites, if it's not a burden."

Sweet rises a bit and looks to Kathryn. "Will you hold Hope while I go to get the food?', she says, holding out the blond child of about six months of age or so.

"Of course." Kathryn replies with a tiny smile, reaching out to take the babe. "She's simply adorable." she says, looking at the little bundle of joy and trying to tickle her.

Hope giggles and coos a bit under Kathryn's fingers. Sweet smiles and says thank you, then heads back to the kitchen. Meriah watches all of it. "Hope is just slightly older than Cristophe…", she says, looking down to her own bundle. "And Madeline..she is three, non?"

"And I'm quite sure that they are all quite lovely." Kathryn replies with a longing smile. "It must be nice, having children and a family."

"It is..different…" Meriah say sin an odd voice. "But a joy, none the less. Do you wish to have a family some day, Kathryn?"

"I do. I just don't think I'm ready for one yet." she admits, still tickling the baby. Kat then pulls the glove off of the hand that is playing with the little one and lets it pull on her fingers. "Oh my. She's stronger than she looks."

Meriah chuckles a bit and nods. "she is a dear. Her Papa loves her very much…", she says with a smile. Madeline, sitting down on the floor, looks up at the red head a moment. She says something in french and then looks to her maman, who shakes her head softly.

Kat looks at Meriah. "What did she want?" she asks curiously. She then pulls her hand away from Hope and takes a sip of her coffee, finally starting to relax.

"She wished to know if your hair was made of fire.", Meriah says with an indulgent smile. "She is quite curious and quite spoiled by her father and by monsieur Marlowe, hmm?"

A genuine laugh erupts from Kathryn. "No, not fire. Just born of poor Irish temperment, I fear. And I don't mind her asking at all. Wouldn't be the first time someone has asked me that, after all."

Meriah gives a bit of a smile as Sweet brings out some breakfast for Kathryn and something for Madeline to snack on. Madeline's big dark eyes, so like her mother's, look up at Kathryn a moment. She says something in french again and then looks to her mama. "She says you look like Colleen. Colleen Llewellyn is who she means. There are few children in town and the Llewellyns make up about half of them."

Kathryn smiles. "As far as I know, I'm not related to any Llewellyns. But my brother was born in the old country, he would know more of who we are and are not related to than I would."

Sweet pipes up in her lovely little voice. "THe Irish here are a big community and live down by the creek. Llewellyn's, McKenzies, MacTavishes…"

"Goodness. And I would imagine they all have quite large families." Kathryn replies with another good-natured laugh.

Meriah gives a nod and a smile. "Indeed. From what I hear the Llewellyns have seven..or is it eight now?", she says with a chuckle. "But they are good people. Their oldest two used to fight here when we had the fights."

"I see." Kathryn replies and started to eat her breakfast, falling silent once more.

— FTB —


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