As I departed the carriage that I rode in for nearly two weeks, I took a breath of fresh mountain air. It was a little hard to breathe. But what was I expecting from the elevation here in Colorado? I guess I am going to have to get used to it.
I looked around for the woman who married my brother. I have yet to meet her, but my brother has told me much about her. She was, in his words, a lovely woman who was short in stature. She had a spirit about her that could rival any man he has ever met. He said in his letters that she reminded him of me in the way that she had a sharp tongue. He would boast about how no man ever dared to raise his voice in her presence or act in an unseemly manner toward anyone in the establishment. I am looking forward to meeting the woman.
As the coachmen unloaded my belongings, a group of woman across the street dressed in, slightly out of date, dresses in various shades of blue. They were huddled in a group staring at me as they spoke to each other. I did not doubt that I stood out in my pink dress. I am glad that by brother informed me not to bring any of my "overly fancy" dress since I was going to be in the west. I did not understand his statement then, but now I do. I am wearing one of my most casual dresses I own and to the standards here, I am over dressed.
I spied a cluster of lights behind the woman. It was made up of what looked like yellow, green, pink, and blue lights. I wonder how the lights were able to be that color and that small. I will have to inquire about them later. As fast as I spotted them, they disappeared. If it were not for the voice beside of me, I would have thought they were a figment of my imagination.
"You say them too?" a soft and gentle voice asks.
I turned to see a woman dressed much like the others in this town but in a light cream color. She had her brown curls tied in a bun atop her head. She stood as tall as me with a slightly fuller build. Her warm brown eyes and dazzling smile had me feeling more welcome than the other women. I smiled back at the woman as I extended my hand towards her.
"Hello. I am Marie Canton." I introduce myself to her.
"Annie Canton. Pleasure to meet you, Marie." she introduced her self as she shook my hand.
"The pleasure is all mine. I'm glad to finally meet you. Henry has told me so much about you in his letters."
"And the same can be said about you. When James arrives to collect your luggage, we will be on our way back to the house." Annie explained as she motioned to my trunks of belongings.
We chatted about the surrounding area, the people in the town, and Henry as we waited for James. It was not very long before a tall man around Henry's age approached us on a wagon. He had calming blue eyes and black hair. I could tell by his uniform that he was the marshal for the area. Annie stood when he was close to us and I followed suit. I came to the conclusion that this man was James.
Annie greeted him with a friendly smile as she spoke. "James, this is Henry's sister Marie Canton."
I held out my hand to the man. As he shook it, he said in a deep southern accent, "U.S. Marshal James Logan ma'am. It is a pleasure to meet you."
"You as well. Thank you for your help today, Mr. Logan." I replied as I gestured to the wagon and my trunks.
"Please call me James ma'am." he replied as he started loading my trunks into the wagon.
"As long as you call me Marie. I have a question for you." I replied as I remembered the lights in the trees earlier. "What were those lights in the trees? I have never seen any as such. They disappeared so fast."
"Those would be the local fairies." James said as he helped Annie into the wagon.
"Fairies? I was told that they were all gone." I questioned as I joined Annie.
"Maybe in New York they are. But here in Colorado, we have plenty of them. As long as you don't bug them, they will stay out of your way. Also keep all of your shiny things in a drawer or locked away and your window shut. Fairies love anything that sparkles." Annie informed me on the ride to the house.
"Will do." I replied to her.
"Make sure to not go into the woods without a local. The fairies are not fond of new comers." James added in. "I reckon that they stopped by earlier to see you. If Annie weren't with ya, they might not have shown themselves."
"Oh." was all I could say as I took in the information.
"But no worries, you will are only going to be here for a short while. Your father sent you here to gather the ledgers for this years mines operations after your fiancé died. It will be a good time here for you. Maybe the fairies will convince you to stay for a bit longer." Annie assured me.
I had forgotten for a time that my dear Gabe was not coming home. He was a marshal, the same as James, in New York. He was killed by two men who were trying to steal the local banks hippogriff. He stopped them but not without loosing his life. It has been six months since then but the pain is still there, as fresh as the time I opened the door to the men who told me about his death.
I shook my head to rid of the terrible thoughts. I needed to get past it. The trip to Colorado is supposed to help me start with the process of moving on.
We arrived at Henry and Annie's house that was located on the outskirts of town. The house was so big that they decided to start renting out the rooms to travelers or locals. Henry once told me that being the son to one of the countries most wealthy men had it's perks. I can see that this house was one of them.
I dismounted the wagon with the help of James. As Annie was getting down, a group of ran past us on their horses shouting to the winds, drunk no doubt. I was taken back by them as they ran past. Annie shouted after them to mind where they are going and to stop their foolishness. Her shout were not heard over the rowdy bunch. James laughed at my reaction as he unloaded my trunks, which were taken away by servants.
After my senses returned, I walked inside the house. I was instantly greeted by a group of house elves that were cleaning. I was not accustomed to such creatures as New York banned many magical creatures long ago unless they serve the state. I stepped around the elves and made my way to Annie and James who were in the living room.
"Have you never seen a house elf before?" Annie asked me as I sat in front of her.
"Not since my childhood when they were banned from the city. It is going to take me much time to get used to the magical creatures here." I replied as I looked around.
"That is what Henry said when he first moved here." Annie laughed. I could see it happening as well.
I spent the remainder of the day speaking to Annie about the different creatures here. In the mines, the gnomes work throughout the day. The centaurs work for the logging company in the forest. She told me about the imps in the forest that are constantly causing a ruckus with the fairies. I listened to her tales about them and her encounters with each one. I was excited to see the little bit of magic that they had around.
When dinner was served, Henry arrived home. He was followed by James and a handful of other men. I learned that the school teacher stayed here as well. We all ate dinner after introductions were made. The talk at the table was lively and boisterous. I welcomed it as opposed to the quiet whispers of the New York aristocrats.
Not long after dinner was finished I retired to my room. I did as instructed by Annie with all my jewelry before I went to bed.
In the middle of the night, I was woken up by a loud crash against my window. I jumped out of bed as another sounded. I barely had my robe on as I ran out of my room and down the stairs in a hurry. I tripped over something small in the darkness at the bottom of the stairs. I could see a small creature straighten up as it grumbled under its breath. I was about to scream when a light came from the open door to my right.
I straighten as I looked up to see who was standing wit the light. To my relief, it was James. I stood up with his help as he looked down the hall to see why I was on the floor. He started chuckling when he seen the grumpy creature.
"Why are you laughing? What is that creature?" I asked him as I wrapped my robe tightly around me.
"I am guessing Annie forgot to mention the brownies. Well it is best that you do not roam the house without light. I'll take you back to your room." James said quietly as to not wake anyone in the house.
"Thank you." I replied as I walked beside him.
When we reached by room, the crashing outside my window was still continuing. I jumped with each crash, making James chuckle as he looked at the little balls of light floating outside my window.
"Do not worry. It is the imps and fairies. They do his every night." he said as he lit one of my candles next to my bed for me.
"What will make them stop?" I asked him as I walked to the window.
"You just have to leave a light in the window. It will keep the imps away from your window. Sadly the fairies are not afraid of the light so they may seek in the light." James informed me as he placed a lit candle in the window ledge.
"Will they make any ruckus?" I asked him as more fairies of different colors joined outside the window.
"No. They are seeking peace from the imps, not to cause the same ruckus as them." James said as he walked to my door.
"Thank you, James." I said to him as he reach the door.
"You are welcome, Marie. Good night. I will see you in the morning." he replied as he shut my door.
I crawled into bed and blew out the candle on my bedside table. I drifted off into a peaceful slumber after I watched the fairies dancing outside my window. That marked the end of my first day in the magical wild west.