"Oh, certainly," Jonah agreed as he led the way to the kitchen, then motioned to the table there -- he wasn't in the mood for the formal dining room, and besides, that was too big and impersonal. "He has far more experience and knowledge in the specifics to the area, and I'm sure he'd have good ideas."
“Indeed, and that’s what I had been thinking since we saw him in Whitefish. Having two medical men involved with this hospital plan can be nothing but helpful.” She explained. “I have no idea why I thought that...” Her voice trailed off, and her head dropped a bit.
He poured them both coffee, then sat across from her at the small table. "And you are right, he has a stellar reputation, and many patients who respect him, so having him with us will give detractors more to have to push against." And maybe he'd have some good ideas for what we need?"
“I’m fine, Jonah. I had this thought that maybe someone besides Marshal Guyer would be happy with the deal.” She said, a touch of disappointment in her voice. “And I certainly agree, Doctor Boone adds even more credibility to this project and I’ll be damned if I’ll stand by like the proper woman and take what some old men have to say about a place that will save lives. Where babies will be born safely.
And there's something else. I had not thought to use it, but I will go to the Union and Mister McVay with the story and we’ll see what his readers think, elections are coming.” The smile would be deceptive, there had been venom in her voice, no longer any disappointment.
"So, if they want your money, they'll have to help you with the hospital." And wouldn't that just be irksome to the old biddies! "I can gather some statistics, we can sit down and put an argument together that they can't dispute."
“One would think so, however, there’s no telling about these people. Big fish, small pond. You know, stand firmly in the way of progress if it’s not their idea, but then, it could be just the one person. We’ll have to see.” Leah agreed with a sneer in her voice.
That sounded simple enough to him, but he'd never dealt with grants before.
"But please, take off your coat and have some coffee...or a shot of whisky!"
“Thank you, coffee might be the better choice. This damned snow is going to slow everything down. I wish I’d never given the papers to Ben Robertson, but the damage is done. The man has the power to do what he wants with the deed to the land.” She was angry, mostly with herself. Leah had expected that perhaps the town council to perhaps delay a decision but at the moment it seemed that perhaps, the judge could just bury the deed until it was needed to receive payment.
“I wanted to ask you, what do you think of bringing Doc Boone into our little plan here. Another doctor, gives us a bit more credibility as we move forward, and we will move forward!” She said determinedly, while another plan was forming in her head.
Leah smiled as she stepped inside. “Profitable? Yes, beyond what I had hoped. We have the right away, but more important, we have a grant to help with expenses building the hospital from the governor himself.” She exclaimed, producing papers from her coat and handing them to Jonah.
“However, there is already a snag.” She continued. “ It seams the good Judge Robertson is delaying with the need for something akin to a town hall meeting to discuss the trading of land. Of course, since the property for the right away is already deeded to the township, we could be on the outside looking in.”
“The contingency is the grant money and my own if necessary. Perhaps being a Steelgrave means the sanctimonious of Kalispell will oppose anything and everything I try to do here. That is except for my money, they’ll take that.” Being rebuffed by the judge had not sat well with her. But she was determined to provide the town with a first rate hospital. With or without the support of Kalispell's stuffed shirts.
Mature Content: No.
Author: Put your OOC username here ONLY if posting with a Shared NPC.
With: Leah Steelgrave, Dr. Jonah Danforth. Location: Dr. Danforth's Office When: Mid December 1875 Time of Day: Mid Day
Leah Steelgrave had left Helena Montana by stagecoach just as the wave of storms approached. The coach eventually could no longer continue on, the sow was too deep for the fur up team and the heavy coach, so the trip almost ended in a return to Helena. Fortunately for her, there was a man with a pack mule team that was willing to fight the snow to see her through to Kalispell.
It had been a harrowing experience, but at last she found herself safe in Kalispell with all of her belongings tanks to one Abe Lyndowski and his team of mules. A fearless man the had been willing to fight through the adversity of the storms to deliver his charge safe and sound. She had amply rewarded him and offered him a place in the hotel, but he declined, spending one night in the livery before pulling out the next day during a lull in the continuing storm.
The following day found Leah trudging through the snow to Doctor Danfoth’s office to share the results of her mission to the capitol. She reached his doorstep finding it at the end of shoveled pathway. Smiling at effort she rapped on his door.
“Judge Robertson, we can’t possibly consider construction before the spring thaw, that’s a given.” She stated. “However, realizing that there will be objections to a hospital and an orphanage in Kalispell, and that there might well be interested parties that would come to a town hall meeting in opposition, I suppose that we can delay plans to begin building as long as is deemed necessary.”
It was to be expected, that her name would overshadow anything she might attempt. However, they would happily take the granted right of way. “When considering a hospital for a town with a small clinic, I’m sure there will be a great deal of objections, perhaps Judge, we should abandon the project altogether, until someone not a Steelgrave comes forward with such a proposal.” Her anger simmered just below the surface.
“You have the right of way for the railroad that is coming, I’m sure that even though it was given to the town by a Steelgrave, and a woman on top of that, that you’ll come up with a way to have it seem completely different that the facts dictate.” She was on her feet now. “Perhaps what this town needs is a mayor. Someone like Shade Thornton, or Quentin Cantrell. I suppose until that happens we’ll just wait on the hospital. Good day gentlemen!” And out the door she went.
“Dang!” Speed exclaimed. “That set her off, Ben. Imagine she could be a real wildcat when she gets going, and she's pert-near there!”
After Ben had looked through the papers, he frowned, "There's a lot to take in. It will me some time to go through it all and then I'm sure the other council members will probably want to take a look at it as well."
Leah smiled politely as the Judge spoke, knowing what was coming, so she said, “Of course, Judge. A great deal of information is there and needs to be presented to the rest of the Town Council, probably sooner than later."
Facing at Leah, he smiled apologetically, "A plan this big also deserves to be discussed by the citizens of Kalispell as well. We will probably need to hold a town meeting, at the earliest in spring to make sure there are no objections. After all the land, the council has at its disposal is for all intent and purposes owned by the town. We just can't go putting up any building, no matter how beneficial it may be to the community. Then there's also federal and territorial laws to be checked on. I can use the winter to start get the ball rolling on that."
Now he was getting to the crux of the matter. This was not about presenting Kalispell with the right of way for the future railroad, it was not about the requested land, it was about her last name. It was anti-Steelgrave, not the idea of the hospital or the orphanage, the idea that a Steelgrave had done what the Town Council had not, taken the bull by the horns and done what was necessary for the idea, and for the town. She was neither surprised nor upset.
He sighed, "I'm sorry, Miss Steelgrave, but putting up any new building can a long and drawn out process especially if you want to do it right."
“Oh, I agree Judge. Doing it right is most important, so I will leave this gift in your most capable hands.” She concurred.
Ben smiled, "No, what I have can wait. What is it that you would like to discuss with the town council?"
“Well then, Ben, best you take a seat, the lady has quite a proposition for you.” Speed said.
“Judge,” She began, I do have a proposition I believe will benefit everyone concerned. You know that the railroad had plans to cross the state, but no one knows where. I know where, but not exactly when. Now before the questions begin, perhaps you best have a look at these.” With that she looked to Speed who handed the sheaf of papers over to the Judge.
She gave him a few minutes to look over the papers. “As I had mentioned to Marshal Guyer, Doctor Danforth and I are planning to build a hospital, and later, an orphanage. Both will be privately funded. Then, what we need from the Town Council is the land to build them on. So, in exchange for the work done on the right of way, we would like to select some sites for the Council’s consideration to grant us for that purpose.” She cocked her head and smiled. “No strings attached.”
"Miss Steelgrave. Marshal. I hope I haven't come at an inconvenient time."
“Judge Robertson.” Leah said cordially.
“What bring you out in this weather, Judge?” Speed asked as he rose and extended his hand. “Must be important. And no, actually Miss Steelgrave has some information she’d like the Town Council to consider.
“That can wait for you to conduct your business with the Marshal here.” Leah deferred, her presentation would like take a bit longer than anything Judge Robertson had to convey. And of course, she was a bit nosy as well.
“So what you are saying to me is, can I withhold your admission to stealing money from your father to build a hospital, and, that there would be no cost to Flathead County or the Town of Kalispell for the railroad right of way.” Speed asked. “Seriously?”
She reached into the inside pocket of her coat and withdrew a sheaf of papers. “You may want to call a meeting of the town council after you look over those papers. I’m sure they will be interested.” Then she added, “Marshal, I’m not asking that you forget what I admitted to, but even I know that until there’s a complaint technically I’ve done nothing illegal, and certainly nothing I’m ashamed of. Those papers you’re holding are made out to the Township of Kalispell Montana, they are not some sort of bargaining chip. I merely signed the agreements in the name of the town.” She waited while he read the agreements, sifted through the property deeds and grants with the railroad, and with the Governor’s office.
He dropped the hand with the papers in his lap maintaining a firm grip. Then with a sigh handed them toward her.
“Not my problem anymore, I got them here, now, it’s the Town Councils problem.” She said with a smile.
“So Miss Steelgrave, what is it you want after all this?” Was he question.
“Marshal, it’s quite simple. Let’s call it a trade. I’ve provided the town with the right of way, perhaps the town could see their way clear, in writing, to donate the land of our choosing for the Hospital and for the orphanage.” Leah offered.
“Of your choosing?”
“Yes, we’ll select the plots, and as soon as the thaw, we’ll begin construction.” Then she uncharacteristically laughed. Uncharacteristic because business was a serious matter with any of the Steelgraves. “Pardon me, I just find it amusing our back and forth. But we’ll see what the Town Council has to say about this. Have no doubt Marshall, I'll not run should this work against me. I'll be right there, standing next to you."
Bannister drove the buggy while Santee rode his horse. The streets were fairly chewed up from traffic as folks got out between storms. The sun had a way of breaking out on and off, and that helped in the melting of the snow in the streets.
Brute labor of shoveling off the boardwalks had piled the snow to nearly blocking any visibility out of the windows. But openings had been made at every doorway, some wider than others, allowing access to every shop along Main Street. Bannister stopped the buggy at the Municipal Building for a two fold visit. Her brother, and Marshal Speed Guyer. Case would be first on the list.
She made her way the few steps to and onto the porch, stamping her boots to free them of the snow and mud, she opened the front door and walked inside. Guyer had the front office with the Window facing the street, Case would be in the back office which was for a non-existent County Sheriff so she went directly back and through the office door. Case was in is recuperating in the first cell, of which the door hung wide open.
It had all the trappings of some sort of recovery room. He had a table which held a wash basin, bandages for his head wound and an array of medications, such as aspirin, and liniments. He was sitting up when she walked in.
“Little sister.” He greeted. “Seems to me you’ve got Pa in a tizzy. If it weren’t for the snow and the disaster in Whitefish, the boys’d be out huntin’ you.”
“Really?’ She responded. “And you? Which side would you be on big brother? Daddy’s or mine? Loaded questions I know, but I need to tell you I am taking precautions in the event he actually trys to kill me,”
“Kill you? No, no little sister, he wants you back on the Evergreen, where he says you belong.” Case remarked quite candidly. He smiled, “I wouldn’t expect them to be too genteel with you, nor would I expect that you’d ever be allowed to move about freely.” He let that sink in for a few moments then added, but he shouldn’t expect my help, and neither should you.”
“Like I thought you would be there for me against our father? Ha, well, your town is gone, your outlaw friends are either scattered, or on the Evergreen to do daddy’s bidding. Which I might point out leaves us both subject to his wrath.” Leah pointed out.
Case was speechless at her points. So she concluded the visit with, “I’ve business with Marshal Guyer. Take care of yourself, Case, it’s something you’re really good at.” She turned on a heal and walked out of the office and down the hall.
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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