"Both causes are honorable and needed, I can't imagine how there could be any major protests." Hell, it would make a good scam, in all honesty, pull at people's heart-strings, then grab the profits and run. But he wouldn't even think of doing that to Leah, and besides, he really was getting to like the idea and wanted to see it through...when did he become altruistic?
"And with your charm and innovation, I have no doubt this will be an amazing success." He chuckled and shook his head. "I never would have thought when I came here that I'd be more than just a simple doctor. Honestly, I'm a man of little ambition, but you have inspired me."
"No need to apologize, please." Jonah smiled. "I'll hunt down Miss Mercer, I've heard she was on a cattle drive, but she should be back by now. I'll send word to you tomorrow, one way or the other."
Harriet hadn't been around much lately, she seemed to be spending more and more time at the Thorton place, but she was still part-owner in the house, so she needed be be consulted, not that he didn't think she'd be full-in on the plans.
"She'd be a good ally, too, an asset that will be helpful in the community." And they needed all the help they could get!
"A Festival of Lights sounds...charming." And quaint, but that was to be expected in a quaint town, and that was why he was here and not some fancy, big city with luxuries, so you didn't have to worry about fire wood.
"I might have to consider some sort of decorations for the house," Jonah commented, grinning, "although I'm not exactly sure what that might be. But there is time, and perhaps I can gather ideas and trinkets from my patients in the mean time." He chuckled. "I suppose I might get some peppermint sticks for the children, too."
Was he really contemplating such...mundane things? Or becoming an integrated member of a community? Well, there was no harm in it, so long as it didn't really cost anything, and if it helped settle him into the town, that could only help with support for the hospital and orphanage.
"It's been a long time since I cared about Christmas, but we'll have to think about holidays once there are children..." Orphans, especially, deserved holidays that were memorable for something more than not being memorable.
"I'll have to be sure I have a good supply of wood." He certainly didn't want to have to worry about that in the middle of a blizzard, and he most assuredly wasn't going to chop wood himself...no, he'd have to hire out for that, or barter for services. "That house is fairly large, it will take a lot to heat." Which made him think about heating a building large enough to be a hospital or orphanage, which made him realize that there were, indeed, a great number of things that he had no idea that he needed to know, and suddenly things were daunting again.
But there was time, there had to be resources that would lead him through all this, and there was nothing to lose, so he had no excuse to get cold feet just yet. "I'm glad that I have the Winter to figure this out, but I suppose we'll learn as we go, too. Do they have any sort of celebrations or whatnot?" He grinned. "I remember as a boy, there were snow forts and snowmen, and a Winter dance, a break from the hum-drum of cold." He'd actually enjoyed the festivities quite a bit, but it had been some time since he had even really celebrated Christmas, because life just hadn't followed that path.
"Ah, yes, Winter." Jonah nodded, then added, "This will be my first here, so I'm not familiar with the signs." He laughed. "I know in St. Lou they say that if you notice the squirrels gathering acorns early in Fall, there will be a late Winter and it will be mild. Never did pay much attention to squirrels myself, though!"
There were all manner of 'wive's tales' and myths on such things, although Jonah could allow that they must have some basis in observation or they wouldn't be a thing. "I've seen some harsh winters, but I think I might be in for an education this far north. I'll have to invest in snowshoes!"
"Next thing you know, we'll have a library and a university, and be a civilized city!" He laughed, but then had to wonder if he would want to live in a place that had become so civilized that it was over-moralized and unlivable. Of course, that was a long way off, and by then he could just slip away to another wild town where he wouldn't be noticed.
"Actually, a library might not be a bad idea..." Has he actually suggested that? Boy, he was getting soft! "I might even have room now to dedicate, and we can ask around for donations." Then he laughed again. "See now what you've started? I'm too ambitious, I should just finish dinner before I start making more grand plans!"
It was difficult not to get caught up in her enthusiasm, and the way she presented it, it almost seemed possible. "Well, there is time while you are laying the groundwork for me to so some research. I have colleagues in Saint Louis that I can consult with, perhaps get a book or two, so I'll be more prepared when the time comes." He grinned. "I'm thinking that there is a good deal of delegating!"
He realized that administering had to do with all manner of aspects such as ordering supplies, paying doctors and workers, maintaining the buildings and hoped there were books on the subject, it was just a matter of finding a good one.
"It is going to be grand, isn't it?" He'd never been involved with anything 'grand' before, and at the moment, the idea of being involved in a legitimate venture was intriguing.
"Forgive me, I didn't mean to imply that your motivations were less than noble, and I'm more than honored to help you in these projects. I just had never thought of doing anything like this. And I don't expect to become wealthy at it, after all, it seems that there will be a good deal charity work, especially if we have trouble from investors."
After all, there would still be patients paying in the form of critters and foods, and an orphanage could hardly turn down children in need, even if they didn't have the resources, so it didn't seem to be propositions that would lead to wealth. But there was no harm in seeing what it was all about.
"Just tell me what you need from me, and I'll do the best I can, considering I have no experience in any aspect of this!"
"Ah, so you are going to defy the family and do the good thing?" Well, he had to admire that, and the fact that she cared to make better of herself than what her family expected. It couldn't be easy, even if your family was as bad as the Steelgraves appeared to be. "I'm more than happy to help you in that venture." At least until she was in a place where he wasn't as necessary to her goals. Funny, though, that her effort to remove herself from her family's taint, he was violating his own self-serving tenets.
"I suppose my luxuries would mean good for the community, since we'd have a hospital." He laughed and raised his wine glass. "Here's to my luxury and your revenge!"
"Medical director?" Jonah chuckled. "Never thought of myself as anything like that, but I do like the way it sounds." So he said, but there seemed to be a bit more permanence to it than he cared for, and that actually frightened him in a way, although he supposed he could look on it as a challenge to live up to a commitment. But then, he liked neither challenges nor commitments! And he certainly didn't want anyone to have confidence in him whatsoever, be it his skill nor his commitment, but then, he was in it this far, and he really didn't want to disappoint the lady.
"And I suppose I can't argue with a bit of luxury now and then, although I'd prefer it didn't come with hard work!" He chuckled, but there was more than a jigger of truth to the statement. "What about you?" he asked impulsively, "What do you get from all this?" Altruism could only go so far.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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