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Mar. 26th, 2009



Effie was still tucking her shawl back into place as she came out of Dr. Roberts' office, a shy smile on her face as she looked for her husband. Four months gone, and she was beginning to show, stays laced looser, and her dresses let out as far as their seams would allow.

Feb. 19th, 2009


Open -

It wasn't even a day past all the happenings in town, and Sadie found herself still unsettled. Every noise in the workroom, accustomed or not, was making her jump. The thought of little machines (or whatever they were) causing so much damage was frightful. At least, if they'd been animals, she could use the excuse that they didn't know any better. That they'd been acting on instinct. But machines, machines implied intelligence. They implied that someone, somewhere had made them with intent to harm.

Finally, muttering apologies to her assistant, she'd gone outside, letter from her sister in hand but unread. She took a deep breath and tried to settle herself.

Jan. 12th, 2009



The warmer weather didn't seem to mean that the evenings didn't draw in any later. Effie was sitting in the parlour in the late afternoon, her lamp lit to cast light over her pillow and her feet securely on a footstool when she paused, looked up at the calendar on the wall, and frowned slightly. One hand strayed down to press her skirts to her stomach, then back to the buttons over the lacing of her corset, before returning to her pillow.

When Jonathan came home, she was still sitting there, her hands idle, the room dark except for the lacemaker's lamp on the desk next to her pillow, her eyes closed, head still upright as was her posture in the upright chair she used for work.

Dec. 31st, 2008



Effie rarely slept heavily. A warm December still felt wrong to her, after Boston and Glasgow, but even without the warmth, and the restlessness left from leaving the chamomile teas the apothecary had recommended, she still slept lightly.

When the scratching started, it slipped into her dreams. As it continued, it turned them to nightmares, translating to moving furniture and nails scraping against bolted wooden doors. When it still didn't stop, she woke, suddenly, still and stiff, her eyes wide in the darkness and a chill left from the nightmares that had nothing to do with the temperature of the room.

Oh, stars, she was going mad. She had to be. First the whistle that no one had heard, and now...the scratching. On and on, on the edge of hearing, on the edge of waking, keeping her so still beyond the occasional tremble she could not stop, silent to try not to disturb Jonathan from sleep beside her.

Nov. 29th, 2008



Early Saturday morning. 

Jonas had been up early to the stables to muck out and feed Ginger, putting a extra blanket on her to keep out the chill. He'd got a brew on when he got back, and was currently trying to warm *himself* up, his hands curled around his coffee cup attempting to leach some heat from it. It may well have been cold out, but the morning was clear and crisp, and Jonas was out front of the Sheriff's office. He was enjoying watching the town gradually wake up in the early morning sunlight, and he was in bouyant spirits.

"Good Morning", he called when someone caught his eye as they walked nearby.

Nov. 2nd, 2008


Effie- Wedding

The ceremony had been simple, quiet, and Jonathan couldn't stop smiling. Couldn't stop looking startled, but couldn't stop smiling. He rubbed, gently, over the band around Effie's wrist. "It suits you, I think."

Oct. 23rd, 2008


forward-dated - Saturday, Jonathan

Saturday, and Effie's head was whirling. So many things to discuss, so much, and all of it important. Not that they couldn't change the contract later if necessary, if they both agreed, but she wanted it right first time. Nerves and anticipation and happiness warred for her attention, all hidden under a veneer of calm as she waited in the small hotel parlour for Mr. Ibis to arrive.

By the window, a small desk held numerous sheets of paper and several pens, spare nibs, and ink, to record their discussions and decisions.

Oct. 12th, 2008



Jon showed up Sunday afternoon, after church with a sheave of flowers and a book of poetry. He sent a maid for Effie and when she arrived, offered the flowers and asked, "Come with me?"

Oct. 1st, 2008


Open to those that want to play poker

The inquiries had been discreet and almost unnoticed until each person got a formal invitation, hand delivered.

Mr. Jonathan Stanton IV
cordially invites you
an evening of cards and socializing
at half past eight in the evening
on the first of October.
Refreshments will be provided.

Your company is eagerly awaited.

Jon had the back patio readied, the screens were open and lamps were lit. Several varieties of whiskey, cordials, wine and tea were ready on a table along with trays of pastries. The cards and chips were already sitting at a round table covered in a soft gray brocade cloth.

He was dressed down slightly, no jacket, although his shirt sleeves were down and his vest was on and buttoned. When he heard the first knock, he hurried to the door with a bright smile.

Sep. 25th, 2008


Jonathan Ibis

8 in the morning seemed very early for a call, but Effie hadn't wanted to wait any longer. Indeed, she was ready half an hour before, sitting nervously in the window and trying to focus on her work as distraction from the butterflies in her stomach.

At five to eight, she gave up any pretense at calmness, checked her hair one more time, bit her lips, pinched her cheeks, smoothed her skirts, and went down to the hotel lobby to await Mr. Ibis' arrival.

Sep. 23rd, 2008


Delivered to Effie

A neatly carved box, perfectly sized to fit the bobbins he made, with her name carved inside. A note's on top.

When may I see you?

Sep. 19th, 2008



Jon found his way to the Beloved's hotel Friday afternoon with a picnic lunch and a chaperon who was more than inclined to be part of the game. Jon sent his card up to Hattie with a maid then waited in the foyer for her.

Sep. 16th, 2008


Card to Hattie

Ms. Palmer,
I would be honored to call on you at 3 pm on Friday afternoon, if you would be able to receive me.
Thank you,
Jonathan Ibis

Sep. 11th, 2008


Mr. Jonathan Ibis

Although the earthquake had caused no damage to Effie's delicate bobbins, several had been damaged in her journey, and when she came to trying to find a pair for her gimp thread, the discovery that all but one of her thumpers had snapped in transit drove Effie out of the hotel, the precious intact bobbin wrapped in a bundle of cloth to protect it along with one of the broken ones. Ms. Hastings accompanied her as chaperone, and Effie was dressed in the green gown that Hattie had so generously lent to her, much more comfortable in the warmer climate.

Mr. Ibis' workshop was simple to find, and she paused at the doorway, blinking into the dim interior, and knocked against the doorframe to attract attention, a little nervous and her heartrate increasing a little in anticipation of seeing him again.

Merely as a slightly familiar face, of course.

"Mr. Ibis? Are ye available?"

Sep. 9th, 2008



Jonathan had woken to his bed shaking. After his later to certainly denied yell, roll out of bed, and instinctive covering of his head, listening for the thundering roll of canon fire that never materialized. He took a few deep breaths before rolling into a stand, pulling on his trousers and a jacket over his long johns and heading outside to make sure there weren't any problems.

Aug. 30th, 2008


Backdated to Friday Afternoon

Jonathan polished himself up, brushed his hair, put on nice clothing, before going to the hotel with a Mr. Eddington, a beloved barber who'd trimmed Jonathan's hair for him earlier in the day.

They arrived promptly at three, sending word, then waiting for Amy in a sitting room.

Aug. 29th, 2008


Note to Amy

Ms. Mais,
I would be honored to call on you at 3 pm on Friday afternoon, if you would be able to receive me.
Thank you,
Jonathan Ibis

Aug. 28th, 2008



Letters to Ascendants )

Beloved )

Aug. 27th, 2008



Effie had lifted the gloves from her pillow the night before, and carefully pressed them between clean handkerchiefs inside her bible. This morning, she packaged them up, wrote the destination address in neat script on the outside of the parcel, and requested the services of one of the chaperones to accompany her to the post office.

It was a fine morning, and a treat to be outside in precious daylight rather than using it to continue work on her next commission, but bobbins could be wound by lamp light and she was hardly overwhelmed with work. Her mind was still on the possible stitches she could use in the panels of the fan when they reached the post office and she stopped abruptly, clutching her parcel securely to her chest and stepping back when she saw someone on their way out. "Oh! Excuse me, please, I didn't...please, after you."

Aug. 25th, 2008



A new morning, a new town, a new start. Thomas had located a building that would do excellent well for his store the previous week, and arranged for a joiner to install shelving. A visit to a local auction house had neatly supplied tables and sundry chairs, and the till would be delivered in another week.

This, though. This was his favorite part. The crates of books had arrived early on Monday morning, and he was humming to himself as he unpacked them, laying them out on tables until he could decide where each subject would most suitably sit in each location. When the bell above the door chimed, signifying that it had opened, he turned, a volume of philosophical essays in his left hand and a rather flustered smile on his face.

"I'm terribly sorry, the store isn't actually open yet. May I help you?"

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