60.6 – Fiasco (19th Century)

The one thing I can say about Johnny Behan is that he is persistent. He persistently shows up at my doorstep, trying to be every bit the dandy and impress me with flowers and bits of ribbon or niceties that any man could buy for any ten women who’ve caught their eye. Johnny Behan also quite persistently succeeds in raising my ire, just as surely as one would make a cat sore at rubbing her fur backward. Still, with the offer of dinner and the possibility of meeting some of the town officials that could possibly help me with my cattle problem at the Hacienda Las Glorias, I found myself relenting to his relentless, if not overzealous, entreatments.

I took my time getting ready, but not so that he would notice. Surely, though it was dinner out, I made certain to dress modestly. I made it absolutely certain that I would be staying at hotel – alone and would pay for it myself. There would be no talk, I was not about to have that. It would not do to have the Tombstone gossips getting the idea that I was doing anything other than taking the evening with Johnny Behan and going straight back out to the Hacienda, even if I had to arrange passage myself. To say I did not have an idea who to trust at this point is quite the understatement.

The town was bustling with activity. Johnny Behan did not bear any mind to the other wagons and horsemen in town that kept at a steady pace, but rather would pass them as if he were on fire fleeing Lucifer himself! The lurching and ratling of the buggy was nearly making me ill, and to be honest, I was already regretting agreeing to this night in town, but what was done was done. In our haste, I caught sight of Wyatt Earp who tipped his hat to me. I only prayed that he did not think worse of me for being with who I was. Business, as I have always said, is business – and even if I am a woman, I expect to be treated as any other person of commerce. I had a ranch to run and I was damned if I was going to let my sex stand in the way of being treated with deference and respect!

We pulled to an abrupt stop in front of a restaurant called “The Star”. It was a very rustic place, but it was clean and well known in the Territory for having very good steaks. We went inside and were immediately seated and given menus.

Johnny Behan wasted no time in going over the wine list and pretended to deliberate. After some moments he ordered a bottle of Bordeaux that was a bit more expensive than the rest. Clearly Johnny Behan was trying to impress me.

“After dinner, my dear,” he said after the initial toast, “ I was thinking we could take in a show. There is so much to do in this town and all the finest people will be out,” he said stroking his moustache, “leave it to me to introduce you to those who can best help you. We’ll get to the bottom of that unfortunate cattle problem of yours, rest assured.”

We perused the dinner menu for several minutes. After careful deliberation I decided that perhaps I would like to have the steak. A man, rather oily and nervous came out onto the floor of the restaurant, a towel draped over his arm I the fashion, I was certain, that he perceived that waiters at fine eating establishments must all do. On this particular fellow, unfortunately for him, it looked ridiculous. In his hand he carried a bottle of French cognac and two small snifters.

“Why Johnny Behan, I’m so glad to see you here, and what a lovely guest!” he turned to me with nearly a flourish, offering me a sweaty palm to shake, I’m Isaac Clanton and this is my place.”

“Oh yes! Forgive my manners. Miss McKay, this is Ike Clanton. He’s quite the man about town these days. He has a spread with his brothers further out. It’s quite the holding.”

Without asking he poured one for Johnny Behan and one for myself and placed it on the table. I watched him carefully and noticed that his smile was a bit too wide, his hands trembled just a bit too much and his manner was just a tad too friendly. I knew the Clanton name well enough from the times that my Uncle Angus had mentioned them. Old Man Clanton, who I thought must be Ike Clanton’s father, was definitely not one of my uncle’s friends. In fact, from what I could recall, their association had always been a tense one. Still, I was going on what my Uncle had relayed and could not be entirely sure that the sins of the father could be visited on the son.

I managed a small, but minimally polite acknowledgement. There was something about the oily little toad of a man that didnae sit well with me at all. His overreaching and eagerness to please was just too attentive.

“Can I interest you in the oysters tonight?” Ike asked solicitously.

“No, Ike,” Johnny Behan said, with a decisive tone, “I want steak. Fanny?”

I nodded in agreement, “Aye, that would be fine.”

“The lady will have the steak as well,” Behan said in keeping with how most of genteel society ordered dinner, “While you’re at it,” he said, “this wine is very good, have you another bottle, Ike?”

“Why I am sure that we do, Johnny,” Ike nodded overemphatically, “but I will have one of the staff check in the cellar to be sure. Now you all let me know if you all need anything, you can trust ol’ Ike Clanton! Yes’sirree, Ma’am! This is my place and Im right glad to be meeting Angus’ niece. I heard tell she was pretty, but the stories don’t match up to the reality. I’ll go get on those steaks right now!”

I watched as he retreated into the kitchen. There were a few shouts and scurries that could be heard along with some clanging of pots and pans. To be honest, it left me wondering if I would be hearing the sound of a cow’s lowing next.


Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Folklore / Mythology History (Tombstone)
Word Count: 400-ish

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “60.6 – Fiasco (19th Century)

  1. I do hope that if you should ever find yourself in my town, you will permit me to show you far better hospitality than this Ike fellow did.

    OOC: Jacki here. Just wanted to tell you I think this is a terrific post!

    • And what town is it that you are in, Sir? I might be agreeable if I but knew your name.

      OOC:Oh, thanks! 🙂 It is from some earlier work I did and I honestly do like writing Western material, it is just that in the past they rather ‘derailed’ for me. I would not mind doing them again. This is a great character you have here! 🙂

      • Curtis Wells, in the Dakotas. It is a small town, but I have a vision of great things for it. The new Atlanta, that’s my goal.

        Colonel Clayton Mosby, of Virginia, at your service.

        OOC: Thank you! I’ve been writing him for years, but yes, like you said, not many people are into this genre. I love my dandified scoundrel, though it is funny to see his actor on Will and Grace after seeing him like this. Manda and I wrote a lot of stories for LDTOY at . It’s got a lot of rich characters in it, but Clay is my favorite.

      • I have not heard of it yet, but that doesnae mean much, since I am not from around here – as if you might nae tell from my way of speech. I have been to Atlanta – lots of construction going on there since the War.

        A pleasure to meet you, Colonel Mosby. Frances Moira McKay of Clan McKay by way of Glasgow and the Highlands of Scotland.

        OOC:Well cool! Hey, if you are ever in a place where you want to or are in the mood to bring him out for RP and cowriting, I am more than game. I am always anxious to play with others who actually like the genre, and it sounds like you do! Lonsome Dove is one of my favourite Western novels, and Larry McMurtry is the Master!

      • Atlanta is a place of refinement, where art and opera flourish. I hope to bring that sort of civilized grace to this town. I did notice your accent, ma’am, and I must say I find it refreshing. Scotland is a beautiful land, I’m told.

        Miss McKay, I hope to show you around my town, when you have the chance. I would be the envy of every man in the territory, with a lady of your beauty on my arm.

        OOC: That sounds fun! I know Jaye expressed some interest in having a post war Hsu stop in Curtis Wells. It’s a great genre to play in, very good setting with lots of story possibilities. This series only lasted two years on TV, but had lots of amazing characters and actors in it.

      • I only was passing through Atlanta from my ship to come out West to be with my Uncle Angus in Tombstone, so I didnae get much of a chance to see any operas or much art while I was there, but it was impressive, no doubt.

        *smiles* Scotland is a beautiful land – but it can be a tad rainy from time to time. I like the land here. It has so much more variety in landscape and such wonders.

        I have a chance now,l but I donnae know how much of an envy I would be making for you right now with all the road dust and all.

        OOC: Oh, that would be fun cosnidering that Frances and Hsu know each other already. *g* Well, let me know. I would love to play. 🙂

  2. I like this one. . I almost feel bad for Ike and his lack of class. 😀

    • OOC:

      *chuckling* Thanks! I am glad you liked it. Actually the reason why Ike is so nervous and tripping over himself, and I really didnt get to go into it here is that the steaks he was serving that night was from some rustled cows from Frances’ Uncle Angus’ ranch! *g*

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