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Mara

Paintbrush -- a beginning

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Mara

Ellie Mae whistled softly to herself as she lovingly polished up the worn bar in front of her with an old rag. Her emerald skirts rustled as she made her way from one end to the other in the Dusty Spur. There was rarely a time when the saloon was completely empty but she made sure she found time every morning to clean up a little. More out of habit's sake than for appearances.

She wiped off her hands with the rag and put it away before getting out from behind the bar to collect some of the dirty glasses left by patrons late last night. They would be washed and dried and ready again for the coming evening. Ellie Mae smiled, remembering the commotion from the night before. Joe had tried to start a fight with the piano player over a song he wanted played, and all through his druken stupor. Yeah, she thought. This town had some interesting people.

The glass she held in her hand squeaked as she pushed a clean rag into it to dry up all the water. The people here in Paintbrush had welcomed her and later her father as if they had been natives. That was the nature of this part of America. People had come from all over, even other countries, to better their score. Ellie Mae rarely missed Ireland these days because of it.

But she did miss her father. Every day she saw his old dusty spurs hanging inside above the swinging doors. He had come back from the California gold rush empty-handed and built the saloon with every last cent he had scraped together. Ol' Scott had wanted to finally settle down somewhere with his daughter, the only family he had left. And so he had nailed up those spurs to let his Elizabeth know he finally meant what he said.

And he had, dying in his room up on the second floor above the saloon, just a couple years later. Ellie smiled sadly and finished off the rest of the glasses and put them away. She had to remember the good times. Keep his memory alive with this saloon.

She saw the sun coming through the dirty window panes at the front of the saloon and squinted. By her reckoning it was just about ten o'clock. Ellie smoothed down her skirts, knowing that a few scragglers might come wandering in for an early drink.

A new day had started; not long after the last customers left, the first ones would be coming through those doors.

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Joclad Danva

At about the same time, a grumbling Roland was awaken by Rover biting his left boot. He slowly sat up and realised he was on his bedroom floor."Get off, ye mutt" he murmered and softly carresed the dog over the head. He scratched his head and tried to remember how his last evening had ended. Not being able to, he concluded that he probably shouldn't have drank the last ten or so wiskey shots at 'the Spur'.

He barely managed to get up off the floor and stumbled to the storeroom next to the living area. He took out his hunting knife and sliced off a piece of pork from the salted meat that was stored there. He also cut off a piece of cheese and took it to the next room. He tossed the meat on a plate on the floor and the ever so hungry Rover quickly moved in. There was still some stale bread left from the day before on the table and he put the hunk of cheese next to it while he peered down the coffee pot. He put the pot on the stove, cause there was nothing good about cold, three day old coffee (hot it was at least drinkable). He ate his simple breakfast while still pondering over how he had gotten home the night before. He hoped he hadn't been too much of a bother, although apart from the bartender he hadn't really spoken to anyone, and he surely couldn't remember fighting with anyone. He would go by in the afternoon and ask, just to be sure. He hated not remembering how his night had ended, always made him worry about what he had done while being drunk.

He actually thought about not opening the shop today, business hadn't exactly been booming the last few days, but then again, that might change today. The town was undeniably getting bigger and rumours about a railroad being built could be heard. Although nothing official was known yet. If it was to come that far though, it could mean alot more business for him. After finishing his breakfast, he went back into his bedroom and put on a new shirt, but didnt bother to change the rest of his clothes. He got his gunholsters from the coatrack by the door (he had left them there before going to 'the Spur' cause he didn't want to be armed while being drunk, that only caused problems), put on his trenchcoat and took an apple out of the fruitbasket on his table. He got out his backdoor into the alley behind his shop, took a bucket with him and went to the nearby pond to get some french water for Rover. When he got there he had already eaten his apple and eventually decided to open his shop today, just out of routine. He made his way back home and decided to check his inventory again if business would be slow once more.

Edited by Joclad Danva

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Mara

After sweeping up outside the saloon and hanging up her broom, Ellie Mae allowed herself a chance to sit down at one of the empty tables in the square room. The day was still beginning, and the saloon wouldn't be busy for at least another hour yet.

She had pulled a worn book from behind the bar and was paging through it, trying to read. But her mind kept wandering to the prospect of the railway coming towards Paintbrush. There was even talk of a station being built right in town. Ellie Mae wasn't sure what this would mean. On the up side, she may gain some business, but on the downside, most of them would not be repeat customers, not if they were just stopping over to make their way farther west.

For now, she was doing fine with her Paintbrush customers and the occasional mailcoach driver or stagecoach party. She was making ends meet even without the railroad. It certainly would be interesting, nonetheless, Ellie Mae thought.

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Andy

Pulling his jacket on, Samuel closed the door to his accommodation above his shop and made his way down the stairs. He stopped by the window to check his appearance one last time, brushing his white hair with his hand to ensure it wasn't out of place, and pushed his spectacles back up his nose.

This early in the morning business was always slow, and most of the shopkeepers were only just opening. He whistled as he went for his morning stroll to the general store to pick up a few things before he himself opened his store.

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Mara

Sitting there bored, hardly paying attention to her book, Ellie Mae thought to herself that it was high time she hired some help. It would certainly help on busy nights, plus she'd be free to roam the town without leaving her saloon open and empty. These townspeople were trustworthy... to a point. Not to a point where there was opportunity for free whiskey.

She got up from her seat and went looking for some parchment and a pen to write up her ad. Moments later she had it posted in the window:

DUSTY SPUR SALOON

HELP WANTED

APPLY WITHIN

Sastified with her handiwork, she went back behind the bar to count up her bottles and see what would need ordering soon.

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