Wide Weird West
Adelaide Maltster aka Addy Duille
Female distiller/madam, ~30 y.o., l-o-n-g, curly black hair, slanted emerald eyes, tan, 5'7", ~140 lbs (10 stone).
I go by Addy, or Addy Duille, for my family; the Duille is a nickname my mama gave me when I was young; mama kept a few peppermint plants when she was a bitty thing and she always said the color of my eyes reminded her of the way the early mornin’ dew, gathered in the veins of her peppermint plant’s leaves, clarified the color of those leaves, so the ‘duille’ means leaf. Her kin always gave their girl children names from the Gaelic, handed down in bits ‘n pieces from their kinfolk what came from the old country. I don’t have much a’ the Gaelic, but what I got, I got from my mama. ‘Round Colorado Springs proper—if a body can call anywhere in Colorado Springs ‘proper’—most call me Addy Maltster on account of me running the only distillery of fine scotch whiskey in five hunnerd miles, maybe a thousand. Sure, there are plenty o’ home operations sprung up here ‘n there, but they’re all slap jobs; not a one of ‘em has the traditional know-how I’ve got—it makes a difference. My liquor is nectar, veritable angel’s ambrosia, an’ plenty ‘round here have said as much. You can belly up to any reputable tavern around and order a finger of Aisling ag Donas (pron. Ash-leen ek dow-nus) and you’ll pay triple what you would for any other ol’ rotgut, but when it slides over your tongue, you’ll feel like the woman of your dreams just nestled up next to ya’ an’ ran her finger up yer spine. ‘Course, the goin’ price speaks for it, it don’t make no never-mind what any folk say.
That’s all well and good, but I have a 50/50 partnership in the female companionship concern run from the upstairs of the Deadshot Saloon, too. Never been a comfort woman myself, but I met Sister Sam when I was risin’ fifteen and been friends with ‘er ever since and she hadn’t had the opportunities I have, so I wanted to give her a helpin’ hand. She set up there with them gals, and they’re up there and they ain’t goin’ away, ever’ town’s got ‘em and won’t there always be some gal or other who sees that choice as an option? Well, damned if I’m gonna let some predatory bastard knock ‘em around or have ‘em go hungry in my town! Don’t get me wrong, I’m no philanthropist, I get my share of the take, but I been a woman on my own for many years and wealth is power and protection and, at least in this town, I’ve got a measure of the first so I figure I can use it as I see fit. Ain’t a one of them girls ever lacks a meal or warm clothes on her back or some time to take care a’ what she needs to do, an’ if one of ‘em feels she ain’t up to the task at hand, she can take her gold eagle, her best dress, a two hunnerd mile train ticket, and our thanks and be gone. Enough of business though.
My mama passed away when I was twelve, birthin’ my little brother, who died right then too. We didn’t even give the mite a name. Since then it was always my papa an’ me. Seems like mama took the best o’ him with her, somedays. He weren’t never one to be too sentimental, but, then again, if weren’t for him, I’d a never been the rider I am, nor know nothin’ ‘bout keepin’ fellas at bay. Growin’ up with his Tsalagi folk, he learned how to hold his own against a fella that wants som’thin’ you don’t wanna give—been a sight glad several times he passed that knowledge on to me. My papa, he’s no sentimental fool, like I said, but he always loved me in his own way, he ‘us a good papa and I’m glad to have him around. He helped mama with the maltin’ and distillin’ when I was just a littl’un, and they both brought me up knowin’ what’s right, what’s wrong, an’ what’s what from Ben Franklin to Isaac Newton—I can’t complain. I been the boss of my distillery for nigh on eight years now—daddy leaves sometimes for months at a time. He never says where he goes, but he gets a look in his eyes like he’s thinking about that Shawnee girl or the way the summer wind used to ruffle the corn when he was a boy and I know he’s thinkin’ about his People. He comes back and picks up the maltin’ rake or the mash paddle as if he’d never left and we just go on, but somethin’s settled about him when he returns—for a while. I reckon he misses his Maggie Beag. I miss her too, but it don’t do no good to set around boo-hooing, jes’ gotta carry on. The days when I got teary eyed over mama are gone, but now an’ again somethin’ll come up to make me think a’ her and one can’t help but get a bit choked up. Ever’ single one of us only got the one mama.
So, I’m headin’ over to Salt Lake to git’ some barley, ‘fore all them farmers git to plantin’ it, I gotta claim my share for the malt floor. They got the best stuff out there about fifty miles from the city, just gotta do the riding.
What brings you to the Denver Pacific line?