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The Old Ranger

Could I Have This Dance?

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Posted (edited)

Much to his delight, she had no hesitation about accepting his offer to dance though she did point out he might wish to watch out for her boots stepping on his feet, which only drew a chuckle from the young man.

 

"I've had far worse in me life than stepped on toes. I do some fisticuffs on occasion in the ring........for money, not because I be enjoyin' that sort of thing," Robert pointed out as they walked out onto the dance floor, "Granted...no one ever tried to punch me in the feet."

 

The pair then assumed their dancing stances and joined on in with those others waltzing and while they would hardly be confused for good dancers, they did not embarrass themselves either.  And even if they had, neither seemed to be the type to worry about such nonsense anyway.

 

@Adelaide Chappel

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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Surprisingly -- or maybe not -- Addy found herself enjoying the dance, although it was a bit awkward, they still made a decent show, and she did enjoy...well, just dancing.  There was something about sweeping across the floor that allowed her to let loose and have fun, feel like a 'lady' for a few minutes, which, in all honesty, was enough for her!

 

"Ya do that right well," she declared when the music had stopped.  Grinning, she curtsied just a little.  "We both survived, good job!  Yer gonna need a ball room in that mansion of yers, most certain."  She nodded to him.  "Ya need a concertina player, I'm yer gal!"

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"To the best of my knowledge, Doctor, you just need to deal with the bank. I would be happy to read any sales contracts they ask you sign," Harriet replied. "In general, property purchases are fairly straight forward. I have heard nothing untoward about the bank's dealings with people in that regard."

 

Jonah nodded, then chuckled.  "Well, there's a give-away that I've never purchased a property before!"  He laughed.  "I do appreciate the information.  I'm looking forward to setting up business, and the sooner I can get that started, the better.  Besides, I'm expecting a delivery of equipment in a couple days, so I'll need a place by then."

 

It would give  him something to do, too, until he was actually ready to 'open the doors'.  He'd have to find someone to carve him a sign, too, and he would need provisions and necessites, and...well, funds.  But he could work on that, too.

 

"Would you consider joining me for lunch tomorrow, Miss Mercer?"

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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"Would you consider joining me for lunch tomorrow, Miss Mercer?"

 

Harriet could not help but look startled. It was very rare that she was ever asked out except by her clients for working lunches and dinners. She had long since accepted the fact that most men were either intimidated by her or disapproved of her working in a profession deemed to be the purview of men only. Not only that, she had the temerity to be successful. Harriet was strong, intelligent, and resourceful. These things had made her pride herself  in her femininity as well. Still, wearing the latest fashions rarely brought her any kind of an invitation from the opposite sex. Actually, it was rare it happened that a woman asked her for lunch or dinner either. The overwhelming majority of them completely disapproved of her for being a career woman.

 

She turned her wide gray eyes on the doctor and studied his face for a few moments. There was no guile there and no judgement in his brown eyes. She had been friendly and helpful and he was asking her to lunch in return.

 

"I would be delighted to join you for lunch after church, Doctor." Harriet was not the type of woman that ran through the church doors every time they opened, but she did accompany the Thornton family to Mass on Sunday mornings. She enjoyed the the peaceful surroundings of the old Spanish abby. She could drive her own rig separate from the family and stop in Kalispell to meet Dr. Danforth.

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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"Ah, church...tomorrow is Sunday, isn't it?"  In all honesty, he wasn't really a religious man, but he still went to church as a way of keeping a reputation...or, rather, not getting a bad one!  It wasn't so bad, he did believe in God and Heaven and Hell and all that, and church certainly was a good social meeting place.  Not only that, but often, the ladies would host meals, always a chance for food that he didn't have to cook!

 

"Is there more than one church in town?  I prefer the Methodist, but as long as the Word of God is taught in earnest, I'm happy."  At least he'd have the whole day to look around, and to enjoy his time with the pretty woman.  "Perhaps I could rent us a surrey and you could show me around?  We could have a picnic."  Providing she didn't think such a thing would be scandalous?

 

"The church in town is Protestant although I am not sure of the denomination. I believe there will be a new minister taking over soon," Harriet confessed with a slight smile. "The only other option is St. Francis by the River, the abby. It is south of town, between here and Fort Kalispell." And since a day on her own with a new friend sounded like a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon, Harriet added, "I would enjoy showing you the area."

 

"Ah, well, Protestant will do, although I may visit the abbey as well...professionally, of course.  I'd like the people in town to be accustomed to me."  Even if he wasn't Catholic, he could still respect the church and he wanted people to be comfortable with him.

 

"I'd appreciate a tour, the sooner I know my way around the better."  His finances were starting to suffer, so he needed to get to business as soon as he could, but at least he was hopeful there wouldn't be a need to worry about competition.  "How many doctors are in town?  I don't mind competition, but I probably should introduce myself."

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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Harriet studied Danforth. She did not want to scare the man away. Kalispell needed professional people. They were as important to the town's success as the ranchers, farmers and tradespeople. Sadly, most easterners were not prepared for life in the Montana territory. Indian conflicts were on the rise, the winters were brutal, and months of hard work could be wiped out by one bad storm or an early freeze. Even those that did not depend on the land for their survival often felt overwhelmed and left.

 

"Right now, the only doctors in the area are the two stationed at the fort and Dr. Handel in Whitefish. He uses a room at the White Rose twice a month for seeing patients. He is an older gentleman and dislikes traveling," Harriet answered. "The fort allows the use of its infirmary and hospital for severe cases. There are a couple of women that do midwifery and my younger sister trained with the Sisters of Mercy in Sacramento."

 

After supplying the doctor with the information he had asked for, Harriet had a question of her own, "Why Montana, Doctor? Not many professionals are attracted to its smaller towns."

 

Jonah shrugged.  "Needed a change, I was getting tired of cities, the crowds and politics."  Certainly he wasn't going to mention a mayor's daughter, nor some habits that people tended to consider barbaric at least, although those people were pretty closed-minded when it came to research and discovery.  "I'm just hoping for...peace."

 

Then he laughed.  "I know, this is wild and untamed territory, but 'tame' can be pretty uncivilized, to be honest, only they stalk you from behind.  At least here, it meets you head on."  He grinned.  "And the ladies are more genuine, I think."

 

"You might be surprised, Dr. Danforth. Indians and outlaws can be pretty sneaky although I will agree with you about most of the women out here," Harriet replied. She was quiet for a moment, "At least, so it would seem based on my experiences in San Francisco and back east. This land is not easy and can be quite unforgiving. The rewards, however, are worth the struggle."

 

"It's interesting that the adjectives are the same, regardless of the region or subjects."  Until she had made her observation, he'd never really noticed...but then, he wasn't much into contemplating such things.  "After all, professionals and politicians can be sneaky and underhanded as well."  He chuckled.  "Present company excepted, of course!" 

 

He gave her a teasing wink.  "It is just the way of mankind, I'm afraid...oh, I'm not saying that all men are good or evil, I  just think that that distinction has little to do with parentage or circumstance per sae."  He laughed again.  "But, I am not a philosopher, and have little interest in the workings of the mind."

 

"In my profession," Harriet said, her eyes alight with humor, "it pays to be a student of human nature. I dislike learning that the client I am defending is, in fact, guilty of the crimes they are charged with. I do agree that the majority of people, no matter their circumstances, are rarely all good or all bad. Even lawyers and politicians." She laughed, finding that she was quite enjoying the exchange with Danforth.

 

"Oh, I can imagine."  He chuckled.  "I've come across people who pretty much will themselves to be ill.  I don't know why, I suppose looking for attention, or sympathy, or maybe to avoid responsibilities..." He shrugged.  "Some people just want to be sick, but there isn't necessarily any empirical evidence.  Of course, snake oil salesmen count on that."

 

"Precisely! And snake oil salesmen can be found in all walks of life," Harriet gathered her handbag and looked around for the rest of the Lost Lake party. "I should find my friends, especially if I am going to be out again tomorrow. Should I meet you after Mass? Perhaps outside the Belle-St. Regis?"

 

Jonah stood with her and nodded, smiling.  "That sounds perfect.  I look forward to it."  Well, this would be a good introduction to town, and a chance to be in the company of a pretty lady.

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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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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