"It has indeed been a fine evening." Quite different that what he had anticipated, but profitable in more ways than one, although he suspected that he might regret his generosity later -- he wasn't the charitable sort, it was too much bother, but somehow, the young woman and her enthusiasm had him actually looking forward to the projects and thinking on how they could make them work. "I'll keep this to myself, it would be a pity to have it ruined before it is even off the ground."
He gave her a nod, then added, "I'll see you in the morning, then?"
"I do appreciate your altruism," Jonah commented with a smile. "And perhaps that will help shed you in a new light to the people here. It can be difficult breaking old impressions, but I think you may have some success at that once the town knows your generosity."
Unless, of course, their minds were so tainted that they would just see her efforts as a ruse to win favor, and there was nothing you could really do for that.
"I'll look forward to seeing you in the morning, then, and have tea ready." He'd have to talk to Harriet and let her know what was going on, although she may object to the players, she certainly would approve of the plan.
“Perhaps Jonah, you might consider what people would say at my going to your home after dark. You realize that I do not have the best of reputations in this town. I am still a Steelgrave, they like my money and that I spend freely here.”
"I appreciate your concern," Jonah commented with a nod, "I suppose I don't have a particular reputation yet, and it's best to keep it that way...it's just too bad people want to think the worst." He surely didn't want old biddy tongues wagging about him!
“However, they, the ladies of the town, think me far beneath them, and such a rumor as my going with you to your home after dark would do you or our project no good at all.” The concern in her voice was evident because her being seen at the residence on any man after dark had and would spark ugly rumors. “Think of how Miss Mercer might receive such rumors, and what damage it might do.”
"Ah, yes, the good lady does have her morals." While he was sure that Harriet would fully approve of the project and would understand the business agreement, he also suspected that she would insist on keeping appearances, well, appear proper.
She smiled. “I can meet you in the morning and we can certainly look over the property.”
"That will be fine." Jonah chuckled. "It will give me time to clean the place up a bit and make certain that my union suit is stowed away and the bed is made!" He gave her a friendly wink. "And I'll have coffee on...unless you prefer tea?"
"Of course, and you are right, it's best to keep the Kalispell name, make it about the town and not individuals." That way they might have a better chance, too, at getting supporters.
He smiled. "Never thought..." There was a slight shake of his head, then he shrugged. "How about you come over and look at the house, see what we have to start with?" Then, realizing how that might sound, he amended, "Professionally, of course. You might have some ideas on how we can use the space most efficiently."
Jonah couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm, thinking that perhaps there was something more to her excitement, but that wasn't his to judge. He was just happy that he could bring such a smile to her. Pretty, rich, intelligent...maybe a bit intimidating, but a smart man would see her as an asset and a valuable business partner. Maybe, together, they could actually do something with this?
"The house will give us a start," he observed, "and maybe the property around it is available? We have half an acre, and it would be so much easier if we could buy the land around it to expand." He shrugged. "It's close town but away from the chaos." Grinning, he raised his glass. "To the Leah Steelegrave Hospital and Children's Home...well, maybe we should leave the last name off?"
"Ah, well, I'm afraid I can't really say on that." Jonah gave a slight shake of his head. "He was fairly ill at that point, not much in the mood to be talking." Then he frowned as he looked at her. "Protection? Do you really think that will be necessary?" Who would want to stop a hospital or orphanage? But then, she knew the area and people better than he did, so maybe there was some sort of resentment based solely on the association of the Steelgrave name.
"I haven't been in town long enough to know who might be useful for such a task. Would they live there as well?" He chuckled at that. "Teach them to nurse and we can kill two birds with one stone!"
"I'm so glad that you've an interest in perhaps building for the future. Admittedly this tack would surprise my detractors, though they are most certainly have a right to their view points."
"It's a shame that people are so petty as to judge a person solely by their name." Of course, he didn't know Leah that well, and she may very well be like the rest of her family, but he would be surprised to find out that was completely true.
"I look forward to a meeting with Miss Mercer and have her opinion on the viability of our little plan here. I'm excited about this, Jonah."
"As I said, she's kind and generous." He shook his head and chuckled. "I have to say, this small town has more than its share of good people." He really didn't think it would be hard to find support for both projects.
"I wonder Jonah, could you tell me a bit about Mister Pike."
"Pike?" He looked at her, a bit startled, off-balance from the change of topic, and honestly having forgotten about the man. "Oh, Pike, yes...shot in the shoulder, somewhere outside town." He shrugged and munched more food. "Some sort of surprise attack, he wasn't sure who did it. His horse managed to make it to the Millegan Stage barn, the driver there is the one who fetched me, and as far as I know he's still there." He smiled. "He'll be fine."
"Yes, that's an idea," Jonah agreed, "I would do better with unconscious patients than rambunctious children!" He laughed, then took a bite of chicken, savoring the smooth blend of flavors, a far more sophisticated combination than he'd gotten accustomed to since moving here. "At any rate," he added, "I'd still need to find a nurse, and honestly, as far as housekeeping goes, there would be...unpleasantries..." Blood, vomit, excrement, things better not discussed over a meal! But then he laughed. "Well, I suppose you'd have the same issues with children!"
This was more than he'd ever intended to get into, but it really would be worth the fuss for the benefits. "As you say, it would certainly ease the burden to have meals prepared, so long as they understood that patients might have specific dietary needs." Depending on medical conditions, meals could be complicated, although not necessarily elaborate.
In any event, there was a great deal of planning if this was what the lady really wanted.
"Yes, sir!" The boy grinned enthusiastically, then called out, "Hey! Doctor Danforth, they want you!" He looked at the men. "Come in." Stepping back, he watched them, determining to stay close by so he could hear everything.
Shaking his head, Jonah headed for the parlor with a bemused grin. Weedy was a good lad, but sometimes...a boy!
"Gentlemen." He nodded to his visitors. "Can I help you?"
"Of course, a fine way to make restitution." Jonah nodded, although he wasn't particularly sure if she meant the Steelgraves or perhaps some rival in a veiled insult? No matter, it would benefit both the town and the participants, so it would be worth pursuing.
He smiled and nodded to the waitress as the food was placed in front of them, then glanced at Leah. "You know, the residence I use has several rooms, it's certainly large enough for the beginnings of your orphanage." After all, there were several rooms upstairs that they could modify. "I don't believe Miss Mercer would mind, but," he added with a grin, "Of course, we'd have to hire someone to take care of them and cook and whatnot. I'm far to busy to give that the attention it deserves!" More like, he wasn't about to run herd on undisciplined harridans!
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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