Title: Once Upon A Train
Maggie De'Chevalier - January 26, 2012 12:55 AM (GMT)
Why did she even bother looking out the window? The scenery hadn’t changed in two days. Nevertheless, Maggie couldn’t help but gaze out the window near her seat. The East Coast of America had been breathtaking. The land was verdant with towering pines, and the air was cool and fresh. She could remember thinking I believe I am truly going to like it here! Was all of America as wonderful as this? Her destination was a place called Colorado. BUFFALO CREEK BAY, COLORADO was scrawled across the top of the ticket that she held in one gloved hand. Anyway, Maggie had no idea what to expect from this new place, but she hoped, oh, she fervently hoped, it would not be like the land they crossed now. Ever since the train had sped through Iowa, the beautiful trees disappeared. In this part of the country, there was nothing but flat prairie and waving grasses. The sky seemed so vast; Maggie thought it might swallow her whole! She did not like this. She did not like this at all.
The trip had been a nightmare. Maggie had found out the hard way that her stomach did not fare well with the rolling waves. After a few hours aboard the ship to America, she became terribly sea sick. She ate almost no food whatsoever for several weeks. As time passed, the sickness gradually faded, but she never quite felt well during the voyage. The train was slightly better considering that there were no waves to rock back and forth beneath it. Still, the French girl struggled with nausea as she watched the landscape speed by in a blur.
When the west-bound Union Pacific train made a brief stop in Kansas, Maggie managed to hail a train employee in broken English. “Monsieur! Please, zis…zis le train, umm…train. Colorado, when?”
The man had barely understood even the words she spoke in English, for her accent made her words a confused and muddled mess. He examined her ticket, though, and smiled kindly. “We will be in Colorado by tomorrow, miss. You’ll be home in Buffalo Creek in two days.” Maggie stared at him blankly, not understanding. The only word she caught was home. The man thought she was going home? Ha. She had left her only home far, far behind her. In an attempt for more clarification, she again asked, “Buffalo Creek, when?” The man continued in a long sentence that Maggie did not remotely comprehend, so she changed tactics. She forced a slip of paper with a handwritten address into his fingers and pointed at it. “Write. Tell, I come. I come. Yes?” Somehow the man gathered that she wished to send a wire to the address, explaining the date of her arrival. He nodded at her and walked away to take care of the matter.
The next day at a midday stop, Maggie received a telegram in response. Her husband-to-be would be waiting for her at the station. A mixture of anxiety, fear, and excitement coursed through her. What would Richard O’Shee be like? All she knew was that he was a tailor, which gave her an impressive measure of reassurance. Even if he and this town and this strange country turned out to be wretched, at least she would have clothes.
The journey seemed to drag on and on, but before she knew it, the train heaved to a stop – the final stop for Maggie De’Chevalier. She had dressed with particular care and took longer than usual to pin her hair. She wore a light rose colored dress with lace trimmed sleeves. She had also decided on only wearing a small hoop under the skirt. Atop her carefully arranged locks, she wore a merlot velvet, upright bonnet, tied beneath one ear with a satin bow. As if in a trance, Maggie stood with the rest of the departing passengers. She stepped off the train at last, several young men carrying her valises behind her. The crowd of passengers parted like the Red Sea around her, but Maggie did not take another step. She gazed around at the men in the crowded station, wondering with whom she would be spending the rest of her life.
Richard O'Shee - January 27, 2012 06:06 AM (GMT)
The previous night had not been a good one for Richard O'Shee. He'd spent a good portion of the eve hard at work in his shop, being called away only when his friend and owner of the Mercantile told him that he was closing and it was well past time for Rich to go home, had even suggested Rich stay in town for the night. Michael, the owner of the Mercantile, was one of his closest friends here in town and the men had known each other for at least two full years now. Michael had actually been the one to mention the mail-order bride thing, Rich had never heard of such a thing ever before. It had sounded intriguing to Rich and like a good option for him, so after doing a little research, he'd jumped right in.
Of course, one was still naturally nervous in these situations. She was a pretty face, but what kind of a woman was she, really? He was going to find out soon enough – he'd gotten a wire from Miss De'Chevalier a few days ago explaining as to the date of her arrival, and had at once sent an answering telegram to the next town he knew she'd be in, assuring her that he would be there at the station, waiting, upon her arrival. There was no backing out, now. Not that he would have anyway, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking of a situation. He could only imagine how the woman herself felt, traveling so far away from home to come to a completely unfamiliar place, where she knew no one, to marry a stranger. Well, he wouldn't force her to marry him, if it ended up that way. It was his plan to let her stay in town at the Inn a few days to gain her feet, and then see where they stood.
Last night, though, Rich knew he'd not be able to get any shut-eye, so he'd turned his attention to his work. Something that proved to perhaps not be the best idea, as Michael was all-too soon pointing out. Rich was simply much too distracted to focus – the sleeves for the blouse he'd been making were much too large and too long, and it had taken Michael to point this out. Uttering a silent curse, Rich had grabbed the scissors and carefully cut the threads to unravel and start again. Rich wasn't a simple man, however, and knew his own limitations; Michael was right, he needed to go home. Heaving a sigh, Rich had set his tools down for the evening and left the shop, saddled up his Irish Sport and headed back home.
That morning he'd gotten up bright and early, rising with the sun as soon as it started to lighten the world outside. He consumed a quick, light breakfast, and was then hitching up the wagon and was heading into town. He wasn't sure when the train, exactly, was due to arrive but knew it was often not exact on its timing to begin with. So, parking his wagon out in front of the Mercantile, Rich hopped down and stepped up onto the board walk. Today he was wearing one of his better suit, with a fresh, crisp white cravat, a dark button-down vest, black top hat and boots and a long black overcoat. In the inside pocket of said overcoat, he was surreptitiously keeping guard over a small black-and-white picture of his wife-to-be that he'd cut out from the ad she'd been listed in.
Michael was standing at the entryway to the Mercantile, leaning against a post. Michael had tipped his hat to Rich as he passed by on his way to the train station, to which Rich had responded with a thin smile and a nod. Rich was unbelievably nervous, but doing his best not to show it. Standing tall, he made it to the train station and now set in for the hardest part: the waiting. Richard stood there for hours; hands in and out of his pockets, head down and pacing back and forth along the platform. People may have been giving him somewhat of odd looks but Rich paid them no mind. He was rehearsing in his mind what he would be saying when she first arrived. Should he speak in French or English..? Better start with English, since they were in America now, and see how much of it she knew...
At some point during this time, Michael had found his way over to the train station. Rich forced out a breath of air previously trapped in his lungs for a good few seconds and headed over to Michael, may as well have some back up while he waited. Michael knew Rich was nervous and wanted to offer some form of support, though for the most part it was just silent support. Finally, after what seemed like even more hours, the train was pulling into the station. Slipping a hand into his inside coat pocket, Rich withdrew the picture he had of her and held it close before in his hand, so only himself and Michael could see. Rich held his breath, scanning the people getting off the train but could not discern her to be among them yet. And then, a young lady in a light rose colored dress stepped off the train. The passengers all seemed to part around her for the sole purpose of giving Rich and Michael a better view of her.
Richard's breath was simply stolen at the sight of this young lady in vivid, living color, and for a moment completely forgot about what he was supposed to do. Michael was rather breathless himself, he'd never seen a woman looking like that before, 'least not around here. It was quite the sight to feast one's eyes upon. Michael's sudden words of, ''Man, maybe I should look int' gettin' me one,'' regarding a mail-order bride, finally brought Rich out of his revere. Chuckling lightly, Rich grinned over at Michael, then strode forward, quickly replacing his picture to its resting place in the inside pocket of his coat.
"Miss De'Chevalier?" Rich called out as he stepped towards the woman, stopping a few feet in front of her to still give her reasonable space. "I am Richard O'Shee," He introduced himself quickly, bowing slightly towards her while at the same time lifting a hand to raise his hat up, nodding to her, before replacing it snugly upon his blond locks. "At your service, madam." He said, pausing a second or two as he straightened up and glanced at the train, suddenly searching for words. "I trust that your journey was a safe one? Hopefully also enjoyable." He added, opting for that instead of commenting on how long the trip must have been for her. He still remembered what it was like, traveling over seas and then taking other means of transport to get all the way here, this far inland. It was not a trip he hoped to be making again any time soon, perhaps not ever.
Maggie De'Chevalier - January 28, 2012 06:36 PM (GMT)
As she scanned the crowd, Maggie's mind jumped to the worst case scenario. This man could be absolutely anyone. Even if the man were the most slovenly, rude, unbearable person on the planet, she had to stay with him. She could not go home. Her De'Chevalier pride would not allow her to return home, defeated. After all, what would her father think if she ran home with her proverbial tail between her legs?" She was...she was scared.
A large fellow, a farmer by the looks of him, waved his arm towards the train platform. A pit formed in Maggie's stomach. No...please, no. His stained, button-down shirt barely concealed his protruding stomach, and a piece of wheat was clenched between his teeth. His greasy, yellow hair fell over low, dark eyebrows. She steeled herself for the worst. Then, another middle-aged man broke out of the throng of newly-arrived passengers and shook hands with the farmer. Maggie breathed a sigh of relief. She knew she ought to relax and stop worrying so much. There was no reason to borrow trouble.
"Miss De'Chevalier," she suddenly heard a voice say. Well, this was it. This was not a false alarm. Soon, her fate would be revealed. She slowly turned towards the voice. And allowed a small smile. God had not forsaken her.
The gentleman was well dressed, tall, and had very blue eyes. He also pronounced her surname correctly, which was more than she could say about most English speakers in this country. Did he have knowledge of the French language? Maggie could not understand most of what he said, but she did hear "I am Richard O'Shee," and that was all she needed to know. If he hadn't stepped forward to meet her, she might have run to him, for she was so very relieved! He was even rather handsome! What luck!
She bobbed a little curtsey in return. "Marguerite De'Chevalier," she replied with a smile. "Maggie." Because she hadn't understood his words, she resorted to a simple English greeting phrase she had been taught. "How do you do?"
Richard O'Shee - January 29, 2012 10:08 PM (GMT)
She'd turned her head to look at him, after he'd called her name, giving him a good view of her face. Certainly, this woman had to be her, and in a few moments he was proven correct. As Rich's eyes lingered over her facial features for just a few seconds more than was needed, he was able to note how she had the most beautiful deep blue eyes. The picture, truly, had not done her justice. He would tell her this, eventually. But first he needed to ascertain as to which language they should speak in and if she knew any English at all. When she curtsied, he smiled. Which continued when she introduced herself and then added her nickname, apparently, 'Maggie.'
"Very well, mademoiselle Maggie." He said with a dip of his head, nodding in an expression of his understanding. "I am well...merci." He added, looking into her eyes for any signs that she might actually know more than those few English words. It was beginning to look doubtful that she could actually understand much English, despite the words she'd just said. So, even though he was rusty and may or may not make much sense to her ears, he opted to try and converse with her in her mother tongue. "Comment a été votre parcours?" How was your journey? He'd asked, coming up to her side an offering her the use of his arm.
"Avez-vous des bagages?" Have you any luggage? He then asked, looking around. Assuredly, she had to have some luggage. He wondered if it were still on the train, or if maybe those young men behind her carrying several bags – maybe that was hers? Highly possible, given how they seemed to be watching her. Was he jealous? Maybe just a tiny bit, which was ridiculous as because they had only just met. Being young men, he knew the other and very valid reason why they could be watching her. But Rich had plans of his own to keep her busy for a little while; after welcoming her to the town and perhaps showing her around a little bit, he'd have to ask her where she preferred to stay for the night. The Inn or the boarding house; though he'd not seen the caretaker for the boarding house in quite some time...
Maggie De'Chevalier - February 1, 2012 05:41 AM (GMT)
Maggie understood the simple English phrases. He had used a typical, polite response that she had been taught. He was good. No, he was well. . Good or well...good or well...what difference did it make? Maggie did not comprehend the silly rules of this language. Then, oh goodness then, Richard opened his mouth and spoke French.
Her lips parted in ill-concealed surprise. He could speak in her native tongue. She hadn't heard a single French word in several months. Her eyes closed involuntarily, her eyelashes laying softly upon her cheeks. She thought to herself, Okay, this will do. Sign me up for this marriage thing. She wondered where he had learned French, but now was not the time to ask. He inquired how her trip had been. What was she to say? That it was the most miserable, nightmarish experience of her life? Such words would not seem very gracious. Instead, Maggie opted for, "C'etait... Ça fait longtemps que voyager " It was...it has been a long time to travel.
She took his offered arm without hesitation, her hand resting lightly upon his forearm. Her luggage? She cast a backward glance at the helpful young men. On both the ship and train, she had always met the nicest men! They were willing to carry her bags, open doors, or save window seats for her. Maggie's only regret was that she didn't have more valises to carry. How would she ever restore her wardrobe to its former glory?
Turning her attention back to Richard, she smiled. "Oui, ces messieurs qu'il a pour moi." Yes, the gentlemen brought it for me. "Merci," she said to the men, casting a curt nod over shoulder at them.
What would she and Richard do now? She wasn't entirely sure how these proceedings worked. Did they walk straight to the chapel from here and be tethered together for all eternity? Or would they spend time together first? If they didn't marry today, where would she stay? Surely not with him, for that would not be proper at all! Maggie didn't want the reputation of a hussy after having been here only a day. Speaking of which, what would she do all day if she didn't live with her husband yet...or what would she do if she did share his home? She had never cooked nor cleaned a single thing in her life. Would he expect her to? And at night, would he expect her to do the other task espoused women did for their men? Maggie bit her lip and peered at her fiancee from the corner of her eye. There were so, so many questions and no answers at this point.
Richard O'Shee - February 5, 2012 10:48 PM (GMT)
A smile tugged at the corners of Rich's mouth upon seeing Miss Maggie's response to his speaking in her native tongue. Ah, had he forgotten to mention that in their limited transactions? … Not exactly, he'd just never been able to say much at all up until now, and didn't want to raise her hopes too high because he didn't think he was completely fluent and it'd been a little while. Or, maybe it was more that he had been hiding it until now to surprise her whenever she would arrive. Looks like that plan had succeeded rather nicely, anyway. She had answered him again, of course, in the French tongue. Those words were not so hard to understand and he was able to readily comprehend their meaning, responding in turn with a small, understanding smile that almost reached his eyes, dipping his head down a little as he did so.
His smile had started to fade when she took his arm, it a pleasant sense of pride that he'd missed, to be walking along with a pretty woman on his arm. That was when she'd answered his question about having any luggage, and he, too, glanced back to see that indeed the bags carried by the men were her's. Not a terrible many but still a decent start. He knew the hassle of carrying too much luggage from over seas, but he planned on helping her expand her wardrobe a little bit, provided she would actually decide to stay on here and become his wife. He'd had some plans in mind already, considering what colors and styles would best fit her coloring and frame. But that would be yet in the future. Right now, he had to tell her what he was planning for the immediate future.
Stopping them on the boardwalk once they were a little ways away from the train station, Richard turned to his bride-to-be. She looked nervous, biting her lip the way she was...he actually felt a little bad for not having spoken up before now. "Maggie," He began, looking down at her, and paused. He slowly pressed his lips together, still staring at her, as he tried to think of the words he wanted to say, translated into French. "Uh... Passez une nuit ou deux, ou plus," Spend a night or two, or longer, Rich told her, amending his statement a little with a quick wave of his free hand, and continued. "à l'auberge, ici en ville." at the Inn, here in town. He said, pausing just a second or two to smile before again continuing, "Je paierai les frais de votre séjour, ne vous inquiétez pas." I will pay the cost of your stay, do not worry. He assured her with another small smile. He hoped that was all correct, he'd been praticing with those phrases in particular. And one - well two really - more...
Pausing again for a moment, he gestured to the men carrying the luggage and went on with, "Tout bagage vous n'avez pas besoin à l'auberge, je vais prendre à mon domicile. Accord?." Any luggage you do not need at the inn, I will take to my home. Agree? He asked first to be sure there were some she didn't need immediately, but surely there were. So, he went on and turned to the men and spoke to them in English, "Will you please load whichever pieces she will indicate into my wagon," here Rich pointed out which one was his, "And carry the rest to the Inn?" He asked them, giving a small smile before quickly returning his attention to Maggie.
"Et puis, après," And then, after, He'd kept it simple this time, smile still present as he turned towards the street. "Voulez-vous déjeuner avec moi?" Will you have lunch with me? He asked, and nodded towards the Saloon. At least this time of say, it wasn't usually so crowded and noisy as it was at night. And he was sure they could find a table away from the smoke, or at least the majority of it...if it wasn't to her tastes, heck, he was preapred to order the food then take it over to his shop and set up a table to eat it there. After traveling for so long, she would probably just want to rest, though, but hey everyone needed to eat.
Maggie De'Chevalier - February 11, 2012 07:35 PM (GMT)
She processed his words. It appeared they wouldn't be married immediately, then. This was absolutely fine, of course. They would have a few days to become accustomed to one another before jumping into the arrangement. Maggie would stay at the inn until then, which she had no problem with. In fact, it offered a small measure of relief that she wouldn't have to fulfill any wifely obligations for at least a couple more days. Richard had also volunteered to pay for her stay, and Maggie was very grateful. She had a small sum of money tucked away in a reticule in one of her valises. It was earned from selling most of her mother's jewellery at auction, and she didn't want to use it unless there were an emergency. "Merci," she said with a small smile. "C'est très gentil." Thank you. That is very kind.
She turned towards the men carrying her luggage. One contained basic necessities: soap, perfume, hair things, corsets, night gowns, stockings, and so on. She would need those. Another contained simple day dresses and sensible shoes. After glancing around at the other people in the vicinity, Maggie figured she would need those as well. The people here, at least in this immediate area, did not dress extravagantly. This was...this was a hick town, she thought with some disgust. The third valise contained her formal gowns and hats. Those, regretfully, wouldn't be needed. She pointed out that particular bag to the young men, indicating it should be loaded into Richard's wagon.
Her stomach still felt a little queasy from the trip, but she supposed a little food would make her feel better. Surely she could handle a cup of tea and perhaps a biscuit or something small.
Then, she realized Richard was referring to the saloon as their dining place. A tavern. She had never stepped foot inside a tavern in her entire life! They were full of drunks and prostitutes! Did he intend on subjecting her to such horrors? She would sooner starve than eat in such a place! Why, at home, she... Maggie cut off that thought as soon as it entered her mind. It didn't matter. She wasn't in France any more. This was America, and sooner or later, she would have to become accustomed to the way things were around here. Eating lunch in a saloon? Goodness, but this was a rough country!
Still, Maggie did not want to appear ungrateful to Richard, particularly since he had just offered to put her up at the inn; however, she had never been a humble creature, and there were some lows to which she would not stoop. Nevertheless, she fought the spoiled, inner child who wanted to throw a tantrum. She needed to be civil to the man who had saved her father from financial and social ruin. Alternately, she said simply, "Je crains je ne suis pas encore faim, monsieur. Mon estomac n'a pas tout à fait remis du voyage. Vous comprenez."I fear I am not yet hungry, sir. My stomach has not quite recovered from the trip. You understand.
Richard O'Shee - March 12, 2012 04:11 AM (GMT)
His only response to her thanks was a small half-smile; inexplicably, he had a sudden hesitation to this all...they were complete strangers, and she was in brand new country here. Brand new continent. He didn't know her at all, what if she turned out to be everything he did not want in a wife? Someone lazy who didn't want children and wouldn't help him in their up-bringing. Or worse yet, what if she was only here long enough to earn his trust, maybe birth some children, then turn around and steal his money and disappear? … He did have a bit of an imagination, granted, but in this day and age one could never be certain.
His thoughts were carrying him away, surely. She was going to be his wife, they were going to be living together soon. How was this any way to start off a relationship – being overly suspicious of his bride-to-be? Still, he couldn't deny the sudden sinking suspicions as he noted the borderline disgusted look flitted across Maggie's facial features as she glanced around the town. Did she think herself above all this? Richard frowned at the thought that she may be of the high-and-mighty type that he'd been trying to get away from in coming here, like his step-mother for example. He forcefully pushed these thoughts away to focus on the here and now, for she was most definitely not his step-mother.
Her air hadn't much changed after his offer of taking her for a bite to eat, but when she looked over at the Saloon there was a sudden fire in her eyes he hadn't noticed before and a rigidness in her body language that had not been there before. Glancing over at the building himself as she spoke to him in French, declining his offer, he tried to wrack his brain for why she might not want to – oh.
A high society lady. A Saloon full of what she probably thought were drunken cowpunchers and ladies of the night. And she'd be mostly correct. 'Smooth move there, Rich.' Richard thought to himself, mentally giving himself a sound slap. He'd been living here a few years himself and had forgotten. Besides that, he'd never really had to worry about a female companion before, what she would think...not for a long time. Well, he'd best get started in re-learning everything, he supposed. And learning new things, of course. Shaking his head slightly, he wore a slightly abashed smile as he returned his attentions to the lady and went over what she'd said. She wasn't hungry, stomach not yet recovered from the trip. Yes, he understood that.
"Another time, perhaps." He said in English, forgetting himself for the moment. About to step forward again and escort the young woman to the Inn, a young man wearing a brown hat suddenly stepped up to them. Rich looked up to meet the man's eyes, and suddenly broke out into a smile. Of course! One of his closest friends in Buffalo Creek and the man that had helped him start up his business here in town, Micheal Ames had just stepped up to them.
"Maggie," he spoke up first to get her attention, then waved a hand towards Michael. "Rencontrer mon ami, Michael Ames. On pourrait dire que nous travaillons ensemble." This is Michael Ames. One could say that we work together. Then he smiled at Micheal and said, "C'est – er, This is Miss Marguerite De'Chevalier. I told her we, sorta, work together." Rich introduced them as Michael leaned forward and took off his hat, bowing to her. Michael was glad for the translation, too, honestly Rich could have said anything in that language and Michael wouldn't have been any the wiser for it.
"Pleasure t' meet you, Miss." Michael said, smiling. She really was a pretty thing and he was happy for his friend, hopefully things would work out for them and they'd do well together.
Maggie De'Chevalier - March 23, 2012 06:26 AM (GMT)
Maggie smiled with relief. She wouldn't have to go into that horrid place, after all. Richard seemed to have accepted her excuse, as well, which was perfect. Just because she refused to dine with drunks and prostitutes did not mean she would be rude about it.
The young De'Chevalier girl felt quite smug for a moment. She had won. She always got her way, and this was no exception. However, the feeling was short-lived. Athough Richard's face betrayed no emotion, Maggie had a sudden feeling that she had done something wrong. Something about the firm set of his mouth when he spoke the strange English words gave the impression that she had somehow offended him. Maggie knew she had no friends here. The only person she had was her fiancee...a stranger. The last thing in the world she wanted to do was alienate the man who brought her here in the first place.
Fortunately, she did not have to apologize or make up something charming to say. Another man approached before Maggie had time to make any more mistakes. Richard said her name. "Maggie." She turned her head quickly in his direction and was overcome by a very strange feeling. He had addressed her as Maggie a few minutes earlier, but he had said madamoiselle before her name. This time, he used no title. For some reason, the familiar use of her name sounded pleasant coming off his lips.
Because of the momentary distraction, she missed most of what Richard had said. This man was a...colleague? An associate? What had Richard said the man's name was? Maggie internally chastised herself. What was wrong with her? This might be important! Nevertheless, she displayed nothing but a polite poker-face of sorts. The man said something in English, and she again repeated one of the few English phrases she knew. "How do you do?"
Richard O'Shee - March 23, 2012 10:36 PM (GMT)
Her words were coated in her thick French accent, but Michael had understood them and nodded in response. "I'm good, Miss, thanks for askin'." He replied as he settled his hat back upon his blond locks, then went on. "I reckon your right glad to be off that train an' on sound, solid ground again, eh?" Michael questioned her with a small smirk, though his quick glance to Rich betrayed his wonderings of whether or not she would even be able to understand him. Richard, his arm still somewhat connected with hers, unconsciously drew her a little closer as he spoke up.
"We were about to head to the Inn, so she can have some rest." Normally, now, he may have invited his friend on the walk over, but today Rich was being a little selfish. He wanted another moment or two, another few minutes alone with his bride-to-be...even if it would be silently enjoying one another's company. Well, hopefully enjoying. Glancing at Maggie, he was hoping he'd not offened her with his earlier suggestion. He'd not have much time to ponder on this, however, as right after his comment, Michael was giving Richard the strangest look. His mouth was almost hanging open... "What's the matter?" Rich asked, concerned, as he returned his attention to his friend.
"Yer not takin' her to the Inn, are ya?" Michael asked, aghast. When Richard just cocked his head and blinked, frowning, Michael gave a small sigh and shook his head, briefly closing his eyes. "The boardin' house has a nice guy runnin' it, I think she'd like it there better. 'S got a better vibe there, for a gal like her." Michael explained, smiling as he looked from Rich to Maggie then back again. "I'd highly recommend it, anyhow." A pause, then he tipped his hat to Maggie and said, "Good day, Miss." as he now turned and headed off again. Richard stood there a moment as he looked straight ahead, blinking as he thought things over.
The Inn was actually very, very close to the Saloon – the floor above it, in fact. They could have separate entrances, but they were still in the same building, here. Yes, Michael was right – he should take her to the boarding house. Turning to the men with the bags, he waved a hand and said, "Change of plan, men – bring those to the boarding house, if you please." That done, he then turned to the woman by his side once more, and said,
"Maggie, Légère modification des plans. Je vous amène à la maison d'embarquement, au lieu, pour votre séjour. C'est un endroit plus agréable, et le propriétaire est très gentil. C'est un peu de marche, donc nous devrions y aller." Slight change of plans. I will take you to the boarding house, instead, for your stay. This is a better place, and the owner is very friendly. It's a bit of walking, so we should go. He told her, looking into her beautiful blue eyes. He smiled to her again and then started off, slowly.
Maggie De'Chevalier - April 2, 2012 10:57 PM (GMT)
Maggie waited in awkward silence for Richard to engage the other man in a new conversation. She did not know how to respond, for she did not know what he had said. She sifted through a few English phrases she knew. I am well. It is a pleasure to meet you. Good morning. Yes, please. No, thank you. What was she to respond if she didn't know what the man had said? Regardless, she didn't have to answer because her husband-to-be spoke once again to his colleague.
She watched the movement of their lips, trying to match their quickly exchanged words with the words she knew, but it was impossible to decipher any information. She simply did not know enough of the language. Finally, Richard turned to speak to her once again in her native tongue. Maggie, he had said again. A hint of a smile lingered at her lips.
Apparently, she was no longer being taken to the inn. Rather, she would be staying at the boarding house. That was alright. She trusted that he would not leave her somewhere where she would not be comfortable...would he? Wait...trust? Why should she trust him for anything? She knew next to nothing about the man. She ought not to assume.
"Très bien," Maggie replied. Very well. A walk would be nice. She had been sitting for far too long, and she wanted to learn more about this man. Walking by his side, she gazed at the buildings and people. While Paris had always seemed like a relaxed, romantic, and lazily elegant city, this territory was overflowing with energy. Even the landscape itself seemed to reflect the hardiness of the people and the culture. Beyond the buildings, the rolling land ran far beyond what the eye could see. The sky was huge! There seemed to be more sky than land, and it was the bluest sky she had ever seen.
"On ne peut jamais se sentir bondé ici, pourraient-ils? Avec un ciel comme celui-ci, il permet de se sentir plutôt...petit." One could never feel crowded here, could they? With a sky like this, it makes one feel rather... small.
Richard O'Shee - June 5, 2012 12:18 AM (GMT)
Covertly watching her from the corner of his eye, he thought she'd took the sudden change rather well. He'd honestly expected her to put up a bit of a fight or have him explain just why he was doing what he was doing, or something of that nature. She'd just accepted it and moved along. He admired and respected this. 'Course...it could be because she was simply too tired to care anymore. He preferred to think of it as the former reason, but either would be rather plausible indeed.
Then she spoke, and he found himself looking more fully at her. She spoke how one couldn't feel crowded here in a spot like this, and of the sky, and apparently how the vastness of it could make one feel rather...small. Rich cracked a smile at this, his eyes glancing heaven wards briefly as he considered her statement. She was right, the large, seemingly endless sky could make one feel rather petite. He'd just never put too much thought into anything of the sort before. "Il peut," It can, he conceded with a nod, "Cependant, il est généralement agréable et calme ici. Le plein air est un changement agréable de la foule, la vie en ville étouffante, ne pensez-vous pas?" However, it is usually nice and quiet here. The outdoor air is a nice change from the crowded, stifling city life, do not you think? he questioned, glancing back down at her.
Part of the reason he'd asked was because he wanted to learn more about her, as no doubt she did about him. And he was now revealing that he far preferred the open air of the country to the stuffy, crowded city. He was simply wondering what her views on the matter were; she couldn't have objected too greatly to this reasoning as she had agreed to come and live with him out in the middle of no where, hadn't she? He frowned a little now, hoping she would not prove to be a disagreeable, moody and complaining woman that wouldn't want to at least attempt at pulling her own weight around here.
Maggie De'Chevalier - June 17, 2012 07:07 PM (GMT)
Silently, Maggie reviewed what she knew of Richard O'Shee. They had exchanged a few letters before her arrival in America. Naturally, she had analyzed and memorized every detail that was given. How ignorant she had been, though! The letters were written in French, but she had never imagined her future husband to be fluent in her language. She had assumed that Mr. O'Shee had dictated the words to a translater. There were people who made good money doing just the thing. Nevertheless, Maggie knew she should not dwell any longer in her absurd assumptions. Why had she been suprised at Mr. O'Shee's knowledge of French? She was a stranger in this unknown territory. She must learn not to be surprised by anything.
Anyway, Richard had been born to privilege in a good family. Wealthy. Maggie doubted she would ever understand why he had left a charmed life to "rough it" in this untamed land. Why abandon luxury for hardship? She herself had been forced to do so by her father's gambling and debt, but Richard never mentioned anything like that in his letters. So, why?
His question caught her slightly off guard. Did she prefer the outdoor air to stifling city life? "L'air est agréable," she replied with slight hesitation. The air is pleasant. "Mais j'ai toujours aimé l'agitation de Paris." But I always loved the hustle and bustle of Paris. Indeed, Maggie felt she could never love any place as much as she had Paris. Thinking of home, the memories of her dear mother and brother threatened to engulf her mind. Had it been two years already since cholera had sent them both to the grave? It was too tragic to think of right now. She would think of that later...maybe. Maybe when she had settled into this new life.
Although the Colorado air was lovely to inhale, perfumed with wildflowers, clean and fresh, the sun autumn sun was sweltering hot. The long sleeves of her dress felt uncomfortably warm against the skin of her arms, but there was nothing to be done about that. The white kid gloves, though only wrist length, trapped the heat of her hands. Why must it be so ungodly hot here?
"Si je peux demander," she ventured carefully, "Pourquoi avez-vous venir en Amérique? Et pourquoi ici, à, ah, Buffalo Creek Bay?" Why did you come to America? And why here, at, ah, Buffalo Creek Bay?
Richard O'Shee - June 25, 2012 12:10 AM (GMT)
She loved Paris, hm? The hustle and bustle of it all, and no doubt keeping up with all the latest fashions. She looked like a woman of fashion, anyway; Rich found himself absently nodding to her words, his empty gaze upon the boardwalk while his true focus had turned inward, he was thinking about how he could send off to receive some of those Paris fashion magazines, and try to replicate whatever styles she liked. He would need to order more and better quality fabric, of course, but if it would bring a smile to Maggie's face, then to him it would be well-worth it.
"Hm?" Distracted from his thoughts upon the sound of her voice, it took him a moment to realize she had asked a question of him. He inclined his head a little, glancing at her and then looking straight ahead again. Why had he come here, and why to this area? … He had to think over his answer to this a second or two, not wanting to simply blurt out the first thing that would come to mind. He didn't want to cast his step-family in such a bad light. Though they, or rather his step-mother, had been a rather large deciding factor in his move.
"J'ai entendu parler d'aventure, ici en Amérique, et je voulais obtenir un avant-goût de ce que pour moi-même." He finally replied, starting off with a small smile, and then shrugged one shoulder, keeping his gaze ahead of him as he continued. "Les choses n'allaient pas si bien à la maison, euh ... ma mère passait quand j'étais encore un jeune enfant, et après environ un an, il se remarie. Ma belle-mère et je ne m'entends pas très bien. Il était temps pour moi d'aller."
[Translation: I heard about adventure, here in America, and I wanted to get a taste of that for myself. Things were not going so well at home, uh ... My mother passed when I was a young child, and after about a year, he remarried. My stepmother and I do not get along very well. It was time for me to go.]
Then he went on, "J'ai trois step-siblings. Mon plus jeune demi-sœur, je voulais l'emmener avec moi quand je suis parti, mais elle était encore trop jeune." There was sadness evident in his facial features, revealed clearly through his eyes though he did his best to conceal this by not looking at the woman next to him. He still missed Adaline rather acutely at times; they still kept in touch by letter but not as often as before. Then he sighed and inclined his head once more. "J'ai choisi ce quartier parce que presque dès que j'ai mis le pied hors du navire, j'ai entendu du Colorado avait beaucoup de terres à acheter. J'ai même pensé une fois sur le démarrage d'un ranch de chevaux ou d'un ranch de bétail ... mais je ne suis pas si bon avec les animaux. Je suis beaucoup mieux avec une aiguille et du fil, alors j'ai décidé de rester sur le sujet."
But, enough about him... "Là, maintenant vous savez à propos de ma famille, mon histoire ... Je voudrais en savoir plus sur vous un certain temps." He said, looking at Maggie with a smile. He wouldn't be pressuring her to learn more about her past, he knew enough to know it wouldn't be entirely pleasant memories for her, but anymore beyond that he did not know. He knew her father had some money troubles, hinted in one of the letters...but what exactly had led her to the idea of the mail-order bride? A brave girl indeed, to actually go through with this. Moving away from home to completely unknown surroundings. Either brave, or foolish. And they were rather close to the boarding house, now.
[Translation: I have three step-siblings. My youngest half-sister, I wanted to take her with me when I left, but she was too young. I chose this location because almost as soon as I stepped off the ship, I heard Colorado had plenty of land to buy. I even thought once about starting a horse ranch or a cattle ranch ... but I'm not so good with animals. I'm much better with a needle and thread, so I decided to stay on topic.
There, now you know about my family, my story ... I would like to know more about you some time.]
Maggie De'Chevalier - June 26, 2012 04:36 PM (GMT)
While Richard spoke, Maggie glanced at him out the corner of her eye. In search of adventure? There had to be more to it than that, she thought. One could find adventure in any place if one knew where to look. As he continued, her suspicion was confirmed. Perhaps he had been looking for a life of new interest, but problems within the family seemed to her to be a more driving force to entice someone to travel across the ocean to a strange land.
He spoke of a sister - a half sister - whom he had been reluctant to leave. Maggie wished she could have insisted that he bring the child here to America. But...how old was the girl exactly? She knew nothing about children. Actually, she found them to be rather distasteful. They always seemed to have sticky hands and dripping noses. However, if Richard's half sister were an adolescent, Maggie thought she might be able to handle that. An adolescent would soon be a young lady, after all.
Anyway, there was something different in Richard's eyes when he spoke of the girl. He tried to hide it, but Maggie did not miss the subtle change. She did not know what to say. He missed his sister, and Maggie didn't care to have a child around. So she opted for a vague response. "Eh bien, elle ne sera pas toujours trop jeune." Well, she will not always be too young.
Now Richard steered the conversation toward Maggie herself. Lovely. There were a great many details about her life that she didn't even want to acknowledge, let alone speak of. Still, she had give her future husband a glimpse into her life. Had he not just given her the same? She turned her face towards Richard, expression blank. "Ma mère est morte aussi. Le choléra a frappé ma famille particulièrement difficile. Mon père...." She paused and looked away from Richard. Staring straight ahead, her line of vision seemed to linger on something only she could see. "Mon père ne savait pas comment gérer la perte de ma mère et frère. C'est aussi simple que cela." My mother died as well. The cholera hit my family particularly hard. My father... My father did not know how to handle the loss of both my mother and brother. It's as simple as that.
Richard O'Shee - June 27, 2012 04:08 AM (GMT)
Rich absently nodded; Maggie was right, Adaline wouldn't always be so young...she would be turning sixteen this year, if his math and memory served correctly. Still. He wasn't sure about subjecting her to the horrors that could be the long sea-crossing boat adventures, plus traveling this far inland with what must be several different trains. Or so he figured; he'd been here since before the train, so he wasn't quite sure how many connections would have had to be made, perhaps he should ask Maggie sometime. How she would recommend such a journey for a young lady of a delicate manner, too, and if she would have any cautions for him to pass on to the lass.
Provided her mother would allow her the freedom of travel. Him being so long and far removed for quite some time now, he did not think his step-mother would still carry any spite regarding Richard himself, but one could never be overly sure of such matters. However, now, Maggie's words had carried two meanings for this young man, and now the latter meaning had occurred and was standing out – he had missed several years of her young life, now. Her personality and values, he knew from letters, may not have changed all together much in those years...but as for her physical appearance, he knew nothing on this account.
Casting these depressing thoughts aside, Rich glanced at Maggie and realized she'd been silent for this time. With a somewhat heavy heart, he was beginning to think she had no interest in sharing anything of import with him as to their future felicity, or trust, and her trust was going to be quite a hard thing to win, he could see already. He would have a challenge ahead of him, but he was most definitely up for it. Then, the next thing he knew, she was turning to him with a blank expression, and was telling him of her mother. He blinked, turning to look more fully upon her, his expression somber but showing his due, even intent, interest.
He was silent for a moment, looking away himself, but then he brought his free hand around to pat her gloved one, which was still entwined with his opposite arm. "Je ne pouvais pas l'imaginer, de perdre une mère ainsi que d'un frère ... Je suis vraiment désolé pour votre perte." I could not imagine, losing a mother as well as a brother...I am truly sorry for your loss. He spoke softly, warmly, and stole a glance her way but did not otherwise lift up his head.
Not but a moment or two after this, Richard brought them to a stop, right in front of the boarding house. Looking to the sign up above the door, Rich turned to smile at Maggie. "Ici nous sommes," Here we are,He spoke up, then hesitated only a second or two before stepping forward to hold the door, saying as he did, and with a smile edging on playful as well as a tip of his hat, "les dames d'abord." ladies first.
Maggie De'Chevalier - July 3, 2012 02:57 AM (GMT)
Everyone gave sympathy. Ever since the deaths of her mother and brother, former friends and neighbors had offered profuse condolences. But they had done nothing. They said they were sorry for the De'Chevalier losses, but they turned their backs in the next moment. As cholera swept the city, people cared more about saving themselves than saving each other. Even Captain Langley, her fiance at the time, had declared his sympathy...right before abandoning her. What good was a simple, "I'm sorry," when it was not followed by some sort of action?
For this reason, Maggie did not say a word in response. She returned her expressionless gaze to the horizon. A few steps later, they had reached the boarding house. She cast a quick glance from ground to roof. The building was neat and well-kept. While it was not luxurious by any means, it seemed to be a comfortable place.
Richard opened the door before her, which was a kind gesture. Maggie nodded with a slight smirk to her lips and stepped inside. Merci. With shoulders back and chin held high, she walked forward towards the center of the room. It seemed to be a sort of lobby or reception room. A long desk counter was nestled against one wall. A larger room filled with tables and chairs was visible just around the corner. A dining room. How would the food be? Maggie hoped it was at least edible, for she hadn't the slightest idea how to cook.
C'est très agréable, she said at last, turning over her shoulder to cast a smile at Richard. It is lovely. As far as cleanliness went, this place was far preferable to some of the train compartments on which she had ridden. It was quaint and tidy. Anyway, she would only be here for a short time if all went well.
Richard O'Shee - July 4, 2012 04:11 AM (GMT)
Her silence was taken by this blond gent as something more of a stiff upper lip, rather than a defense caused by his hollow words. If he'd have known her inward thoughts just that moment, her true feelings regarding the uselessness of mere words, he may have tried to follow up with something a little more tangible in offering his sympathies, if in his current nervous state of mind such a thing could even be thought of. As it was, however, he did not read any such inclinations even in her body language; see, this gent could be rather thick-headed at the worst of times. Such as...now, perhaps.
Richard did take notice of her reaction upon first setting eyes on the boarding house. He did not read contempt there, which was a good thing. Or else, she was exceedingly good at hiding it. Rich took a few steps forward, following the woman into the lobby of the boarding house, allowing the door to fall shut behind him. He was now holding his hat in his hands, looking on a little nervously as Maggie stood there, in the center of the room, examining her new surroundings. Then she sent a smile towards him over her shoulder, commenting on how lovely the place was, and Rich looked visibly relieved. A smile quickly found its way upon his own lips.
"Good." He said aloud, forgetting himself for a moment, before blinking wide and breifly shaking his head, smiling a little sheepishly as he quickly corrected with, "Ah, bon." He now walked forward and continued with, "Mettons-nous votre disposition une salle, allons-nous?" Let's get you a room, shall we? Then, as he stepped up to the counter against the one wall, he turned back towards her and asked, "Comment pensez-vous de quatre nuits?" How do you think of four nights? By that time surely, he reasoned, they would know whether this could work or not...and from that point, could then make further arrangements, for whichever way it would go. Though, he truly did hope and wish for their arrangements in particular to work out for the better.