The 'smith and the Undertaker


ohls_icon.jpg cay_icon.jpg


* George, bartender, Silver Dollar Hotel Cafe

Summary: A chance meeting between Ohls and Cay leads to a business proposition. And a couple of whiskeys.

Date: 5 February, 1884

The 'smith and the Undertaker

Division Street, later, The Silver Dollar Hotel Cafe

Cay hobbles down the street, leaning heavily on his cane. a smoldering cigarette is clutched in his free hand and he draws from this as he makes his way along. As he gets closer, it can be heard that he his singing some tune in a soft voice.

If the winter days this deep in the season are bad, the nights are even worse. Still, Arden seems to taking her time, moving carefully along the street, walking to avoid the wagon wheel ruts. Walking in mud, well, that never ends well. Of course, that means having to look down as often as you look up, and the man with cane steps out into her path when she's looking down and not up, and it takes a stutter step to stop from walking right into him, as she comes out from the darkness of main street, "Excuse me." Polite in tone, accented with a lilt that is definitely not from these parts.

Cay stops abruptly and looks up,"Whoa! Sorry there ,boyo!" The short man exclaims. then while looking up to the taller woman he stammers."I mean…lass…uh forgive me, i meant ye nay dishonor." An eyebrow quirks as he surveys the woman's attire.

"I'm not easily offended, sir. But I should be the one apologizing for nearly running you down." Arden steps back, not wanting to be in the way, and the surveying gets a quiet silence. clearly, she's used to the looks she seems to get from, well, just about every one.

Cay seems to accept Ohls clothing with a barely visible shrug then chuckles,"Well, since we seem comfortable enough with each other to bowl one another over in the streets, then I guess an introduction is in order." He sweeps off his hat with a showman's grace and gives his head a little bow."Caidian McClarty, at yer service." he gives a crooked grin."…and ye would be?"

The grin is answered with one of her own, and Arden offers a half bow, in answer to the sweep of the hat, "Arden Ohls. A pleasure to meet you, Mr. McClarty. I'm glad to see a friendly face on a night as cold as this one. I hope that I haven't kept you from any urgent business."

Cay plops his hat back to his head and states,"Nay,lass, not at all." he gives his bad leg a rub."Winter's pretty hard on me leg. If i don't give it a good stretch once in awhile she hurts like a sonova bit…"Even in the dark his blush is evident,"…uh mean it hurt sumpin' fierce."

"Arden if you like." She offers. And she finally steps out from the corner, approaching, but still at a distance that would only be polite, "I've both heard and said worse, myself. But if you mean to walk, you should continue on. Where were you headed? I'm still learning the town myself."

Cay gives another shrug,"I was thinking on heading down to the Hotel fer a coffee…or praps a toddy." he gives a wink."Helps a boyo sleep, ye know." He pushes his hat back on his head, giving him a distinct boyish look."Yer welcome to join me if ye like." he offers.

"I do indeed. My father was quite fond. And being that I'm staying at the hotel, I actually happen to know where that is. I'd be glad to join you." Arden steps into line with you, a hand sweeping forward to indicate that you should lead on their walk, "Ireland?"

Cay chuckles and gets his cane tapping in the mud again as he begins limping south.

Cay's voice gives a slight growl as he walks along,"so judgin' by yer dress, I suspect ye work back at yonder blacksmiths or the carpenters." He gives her another once over with his eyes then states."Blacksmith…even in the dark I can see the coal dust on ye." There's no mocking in his voice, only what seems honest curiousity."

Arden keeps her pace steady, allowing you to set the speed, though she does move to place herself on the outside, an unconscious gesture, perhaps, but still, an attempt to put herself between you and whatever traffic might find itself on the main street this late in the evening. "I'm a blacksmith and farrier by trade, yes. Never saw much point in wearing what wasn't useful. And a dress near a forge is just asking to be lit up like a candlewick."

Cay nods matter a factly at her words however when they do reach the hotel entrance, he opens and holds the door for her. then with a pondering look says,"Hmmm…never a pretty picture when smithing in a dress, I'm sure." he fights a half grin as he waits for her to enter the hotel.

The darkness of the street, broken only by the occasional light from building and door is replaced by the brightness of the hotel lobby, and Arden's mixed heritage becomes a fact, rather than a supposition, one which seems to lead out from her accent, french-canadian, if you're familiar, "Thank you, Mr. McClarty." A step inside, and out of the doorway, before she turns to wait for you to join her.

Cay follows Arden into the lobby and with a smile motions her to go with him to the cafe."It's to our benifit that we met tonight,"he chuckles,"I may have some work for you if you are interested."

A nod, and Arden moves away from the door, footfalls, nearly silent on the carpetting, indeed heading in the direction of the cafe, "What is it that you might need from me, then?" When she gets to the cafe, she again steps in first, and then turns to wait for you.

Cay gives a nod towards George,"Evenin', boyo." he greets. He flashes a smile to Arden then gives a quick scan of the room…near empty. He limps his way to the nearest small table and waits for the woman to take her seat before he does.

"Evening, George," is the woman's answer to the bartender's greeting. And despite the fact that she's hardly dressed in the normal fashion, Arden at least seems to have been taught proper etiquette, and so, she accepts with a, "Thank you," before she settles into her chair, hands settling on the table, "So, you said that you might have work for me?"

Cay takes his hat off and sets it on the table before him. still leaning on his cane, he settles down into his chair."Aye." he holds his hands up in mock surrender."Now ye will have to hear me out. ye may not have had a request like this before." His eyes flick away from her gaze for a momment then lock back to hers."I'd like to hire ye to make locks, hinges and metal banding for coffins."

"I worked with my father for many years, Mr. McClarty. I've probably had a hand in making just about everything that can be made from metal." And then Arden pauses, to listen to the request, "Trying to keep something from getting in, or from getting out?" A shake of her head as she waves the comment aside, "You must work for the undertaker."

Cay smacks a hand to his forehead and chuckles,"I guess I forgot to tell ye that part,"A boyish grin crosses the young man's face."I AM the Undertaker." He leans back in his chair,"Cay's Caskets and Funeral Services. I'm just a little further past the Blacksmith shop."

"Well, then that certainly explains it. I think I could certainly make what you need. And I imagine you'd be needing a steady supply, so it might work out well for both of us. I try to keep my rates reasonable, but I'm willing to work that out with you, if times are hard, or the circumstances of the family are." She settles back into her chair, "Hopefully, I'll be able to meet with the land office soon and make arrangements to take over the smithy."

Cay nods,"I'm sure we will be able to work something out." he looks down at his hands."I've some coffins on order with the carpenter, four plain pines and two hand carved oak." he frowns a momment then shifts his gaze back to Arden."Have ye any skill in softer metals?…silver?…brass?"

"Silver and brass both, usually for architectural details, decorations, dinnerware, though I had a phase where I made quite a few belt buckles." A wave of her hand, "I was young." As if that explains everything, "I'm no jewelry smith, however, and I haven't the tools for very delicate work. But what did you have in mind?" Arden looks over towards George, "You wanted a toddy, if I recall correctly?"

Cay smiles,"Aye, I did." he quirks an eyebrow,"Will ye have one with me O' noble smithy?" Be fore she can answer he beckons to George."Two whiskeys, sir." he shifts his gaze back to Arden as George moves to fill the order."Well, I'd like to have some gilt on some of the oak coffins."he leans in for a stage whisper,"Some of the more well to do folk don't like the idea of spending eternity in a plain pine box." he straightens when George brings the shots of whiskey to the table."Ahhh,"sighs Cay,"There we go boyo." George simply rolls his eyes.

"I'm hardly noble, Mr. McClarty. I work hard for my pay." A glance to George as he hears the order, before Arden returns to the conversation, "I understand. Moneyed or not, when you put a loved one to rest, I imagine you always want to make certain that their remains are respectfully contained. Some simply have different requirements than others." Arden accepts her shot with a, "Thank you," and then lifts it, "Your health, sir." A simple toast, but one nonetheless, "Would you want the designs made to order, or should we draw up standard decorations that they can choose from?" She downs the shot and then settles in to talk business.

Cay takes up his shot and holds toward Arden."Anyone who works hard at what they love to do is noble in my eyes." with that , he drains the shot. He lets out a hiss through clentched teeth."good."he growls. once recovered he takes his hat and stands."It was a pleasure to meet ye Arden but I fear that now i've had me bracer, it would be best if I left so as to save me temtation for another."He gives her a little bow."I trust ye will be fine on yer own?"

A quirk of a smile, just at the corner of her mouth, as she watches you take the shot, before she nods, "Then thank you for the compliment, Mr. McClarty." She rises, as you do, to at least walk you to the door. It's only polite, after all, "I'll be quite alright on my own, thank you." And with that you go, and she goes, and the night ends without you running into temptation, or she running into you.


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