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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

Leah Steelgrave


The Old Ranger
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With: Leah Steelgrave, Matthew Wentworth, Jonah Danforth and
Location: In town.
When:  1875
Time of Day: Mid Morning

 

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Leah came down the stairs looking elegant, as she always did when she was in Kalispel, which she preferred of the rowdier Whitefish. Their hotel could not compare to Kalispel’s Belle-St. Regis Hotel. As she reach the lobby she noticed Matthew Wentworth behind the desk and simply could not resist, after all he was quite good looking.

 

She glided effortlessly town the front desk with just a hint of sway, enough to move her day dress somewhat seductively, yet with an air of innocence, which she was far from. “Mister Wentworth, would you know if the good Doctor Danforth is in town?” She asked demurely.

 

Tag @JulieS

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Matt smiled at Leah partly because he was amused at how she presented herself.  He had seen Leah's type so many times and even married one once, that women like her and the way they used their assets was so phony that he had to smile.  Sometimes he felt like laughing but this was not the time.  The last thing he wanted to do was to get on the wrong side of any of the Steelgraves.

 

His smile was therefore mostly the charming smile he usually put on for all his guests.  He would let Leah try her hardest.  Maybe every now and then he would respond but only enough to make her think that she was succeeding.  Keeping Leah happy whenever she stayed here was important to his mission.

 

Looking over at his desk clerk, Walter Simpson, he could see that man liked what he was seeing.  Hopefully, the man had the sense to know that Leah would only be interested in him only if she wanted something from him.  Putting down the letter he had been reading, he greeted Leah, "Good morning, Miss Steelgrave."

 

Pausing for a moment, he continued, "I'm sorry, but as far as I know, Dr. Danforth should be in his office unless he is out on some sort of emergency.  If by chance he shows up here or if I see him in town, would you like me to mention that you're looking for him?"

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Looking at Wentworth and seeing his disdain for her, or possibly her family in general, she smiled . "Thank you, sir. That would be much appreciated as I have several things to accomplish this morning, a visit to him is high on that list. And might I add, the service here has always been splendid and continues to be so."

 

Leah Steelgrave knew how she looked and was aware of the looks from men. She dressed appropriately, always. Clothes they say make the man, but clothes certainly enhanced the allure of the woman. Always tastefully attired, Leah Steelgrave was the paragon of current fashion. She smiled, "good day to you sir."

Tag @JulieS

 

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, The Old Ranger said:

Looking at Wentworth and seeing his disdain for her, or possibly her family in general, she smiled . "Thank you, sir. That would be much appreciated as I have several things to accomplish this morning, a visit to him is high on that list. And might I add, the service here has always been splendid and continues to be so."

"I'm glad that you are pleased with our service. At the Belle we always endeavour to make sure our guests have an enjoyable visit."

 

12 hours ago, The Old Ranger said:

Leah Steelgrave knew how she looked and was aware of the looks from men. She dressed appropriately, always. Clothes they say make the man, but clothes certainly enhanced the allure of the woman. Always tastefully attired, Leah Steelgrave was the paragon of current fashion. She smiled, "good day to you sir."

 

"And a good day to you as well.  I hope that you are able to find the doctor."

 

As he watched Leah leave, Matt wondered why she wanted to see the doctor.  She certainly didn't look like she was sick or had any visible injuries.  Whatever it was, he hoped the doctor had heard enough about Leah to not fall for her charms.  If the doctor hadn't, then Matt suspected that doctor would be in need of medical attention at some future point.  As long as he was useful to Leah, he would be fine.

 

Turning back to pick up the letter he had been reading, he noticed that Simpson was still watching Leah leave.  Clearing his throat, to get Simpson's attention, who at the sound, smiled meekly.  Walter shrugged his shoulders and went back to sorting the day's mail which made Matt shake his head and laugh a little.

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Leah breakfasted in the dining room, a small meal with a cup of tea, as corsets have a way of limiting the amount our ingests. Learning to dress herself came early for her.  Her mother had taught her how to apply the corset by herself, how to don the the bustle skirt or dress, and the blouse and all the underpinnings without any help at all.

 

Of course she didn't wear a bustle dress everyday, far from it, Split skirts and blouses were generally the order of the day, but when in Kalispel she dressed to the nines for two reasons, first for the envy of the ladies and second, for the looks from the men.

 

She left the the dining room of the  Belle-St. Regis Hotel , stepping out onto the boardwalk in the morning sunlight. Now to the bank and Stanley Croft with reports on her investments. Again, her mother had taught her to become self sufficient, relying o no man, including her father and brothers. She made her way along the street to the bank, stepping inside and up to the cage. Luke Johnson smiled at her.

 

"Mister Croft please." She stated.

 

Tag @JulieS

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Seeing a beautiful woman had always given Luke a cause to smile.  For a moment, he forgot who she was and marvelled at how elegantly she was dressed.  One day he would be able to buy his wife Ruth dresses like that.

 

The thought of wife, brought him out admiring the woman.  Leah Steelgrave had no interest in him and he had no interest in her.  Every time he saw her remembered poor Hank Walker who had left  town under mysterious circumstances when he had gotten mixed up with her and her family.

 

Still she was a customer and he treated her accordingly.  "Good morning, Miss Steelgrave.  Mr. Croft is out but should be back any minute now.  Would you like to sit down and wait for him?"

 

@Flip

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Leah smiled at the young mans offer. "I would, thank you." She responded and retired to the upholstered bench where customers waited. She was not happy about having to wait, rather that Stanley Croft was not in where she believed he should be, but that was life. Something she grudgingly accepted, which forced her to continue a pleasant demeanor.

 

This was not the big cities she loved, far from it. Kalispel was most certainly growing, people seemed to be arriving every day. There was construction as evidence of the growth,both business's and homes. And as she reflected on this growth, if her father wanted to get more than a foothold there, he'd better have a plan, or Kalispel would grow beyond his "influence."

 

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Kate opened the door to the bank and entered.  As she waited for her eyes to adjust to the room, she slowly looked around.  She could see the bank teller working on something at his post and not with a customer.  She was glad that there was no line today as she had a number of things to do and she didn't want to spend too much time here.

 

As she approached the counter, she noticed a young woman sitting on the bench.  The woman was immaculately dressed in what was probably the latest fashion.  Kate wasn't certain what the latest fashion was as she usually stuck to clothes that were practical for her line of work.  She did have a couple of dresses that she wore to dances and on special occasions but nothing like what the woman was wearing today.

 

Figuring that she must belong to one of the more well-to-do ranches or homes that were around here, Kate would've had liked to find out more, especially who her dressmaker was.  Knowing that she didn't have the time, she just smiled at the woman and went up to the counter.

 

For the next few minutes, she paid more attention to what she had come to do.  When she had finished, she thanked the teller for his assistance and made her way out.  As she was leaving, she once again acknowledged the woman seated on the bench with a smile.

 

Upon exiting, she made her way towards the schoolhouse.

 

@Flip

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The opening of the door distracted Leah from her thoughts, expecting Stanley Croft, but instead it was a local woman, well, she surmised that she was local. The made eye contact, the woman smiling, and Leah, quite out of character smiled in return.

 

The woman was new to her, possibly new to Kalispel and in what capacity? Her dress did not give away much in the way of her position in town. Pleasant enough looking, but certainly not of the town's upper crust such as it was. Not by the manner of her attire. Leah paid much attention to how the ladies in Kalispel dressed, and how they appeared in public. She was very judgemental in that way.

 

It was abundantly clear that this one, like the rest of Kalispel's women, was no threat to her. She understood the word vain, and considered herself the epitome of vanity because she was a Steelgrave. Therefor she again smiled as the woman left the bank, yet she wondered about her, who she was, what she did.

 

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For the next few minutes, Luke continued to work on  the accounts.  He became so completely absorbed in them that he almost forgot about Leah.  When the door opened again, he looked up and saw it was Mr. Croft.

 

"Sir, Miss Steelgrave is waiting to see you."

 

Stanley Croft looked over to the bench and saw the woman sitting there.  For him it was hard to form a personal opinion for clients who had plenty of money.  To him, their business was more important than what their or their implied reputations were.  "Good morning, Miss Steelgrave.  I'm sorry to keep you waiting.  What can I do for you today?"

 

@Flip

 

 

 

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"Good morning, Miss Steelgrave.  I'm sorry to keep you waiting.  What can I do for you today?"

 

The greeting startled her as Leah was deep in thought involving her stocks. Often considered an empty headed vicious woman, all but the empty headed part was correct. Holding stock in both the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads, and the fledgling Standard Oil of Ohio as well as the Farmers and Merchant Bank of Los Angeles Leah Steelgrave was well on her way to considerable wealth of her own.

“Good morning Stanley.” She replied as she rose to her feet. “I have come to check on my investments, and of course, to see if you might have some other tid-bits from your colleagues in the east.”

 

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Croft guided Leah towards his desk and after they both sat down,  he reached for a piece of paper that was on his desk.  When he had quickly checked the paper, he motioned to Luke and asked for Leah's file.

 

As he waited for the file, Croft addressed the woman seated in front of him, "Well, Miss Steelgrave, there's not much from friends in the east.  Most of them, usually take their summer holidays at this time of year.  There should be some news in early September."

 

His speech was interrupted by Luke, who handed him the file.  Taking a few minutes, to read over the notes, Croft smiled.  "As for your other investments, they seem to be doing fine.  Other than the normal ups and downs you are still in a good position, financially."

 

@Flip

 

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Leah smiled. "I hadn't thought of holidays, but then I would suppose there could be a great deal of stress in their lines of work." She could be uncompromising to be sure, yet she could also be understanding in some instances. "I'd like you to look into shipping for me. You know, steam ships, overland, I've seen some promising possibilities, but I would of course, trust your judgement, and that of your contacts."

 

She reached into her purse and withdrew  a small packet of bills and presented them to Stanley Croft. "Five hundred dollars. Your fee, and the rest for shares in Standard Oil of Ohio. I have a feeling on that one."

 

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Croft jotted down the requests from Leah before taking the five hundred dollars.  "Luke, could write out a receipt for Miss Steelgrave.  Make sure that you state that part of the amount is the fee and the rest is for shares in Standard Oil."

 

"Yes, Mr. Croft,"  Luke replied.

 

A few minutes later, Luke handed the receipt to Leah. He turned to Croft, "If you don't need me for anything else, I would like to take a break while things are quiet."

 

Croft nodded, "That will be fine, son."

 

After Luke had left, Croft turned his attention back to Leah, "Now is there anything else I can help you with?

 

@Flip

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She smiled her sweet smile at Croft. He was, she thought, quite good at handling her affairs discretely. He always provided her stock certificates when the arrived, and proved to be an honest man. She appreciated that.

 

"I may be in later to view my certificates," she stated as she rose from the chair, "but for now, you've been most helpful, as usual. Thank you sir, and a pleasant day to you." With that  Leah Steelgrave, independent woman, walked out of the bank and directly to the doctor's office.

 

She enjoyed Kalispel, far more than the family controlled Whitefish. She had never felt comfortable in the neighboring town. Here she was a curiosity, and that fed her ego. And besides that, Kalispel was far more entertaining than that rough crowd to the north. Arriving at office of Jonah Danforth, she paused, the rapped gently on the door.

 

Tag@Bongo

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  • 2 weeks later...

With his wayward supplies finally delivered, Jonah was busy arranging shelves of books and stowing equipment, such as there was, in cabinets where he could find it when he needed it.  There wasn't really a lot, he had the basics for taking care of most common ailments, and had gathered a few more things, and the books were there more to instill confidence in his skill.  He'd found that a healthy supply of books, particularly with Latin titles, impressed people, and people who were impressed believed, and wasn't that half the battle?

 

He was actually relieved at the rap on the door, he was bored and almost anything was a welcome diversion, especially when it didn't have the urgency of a crisis.  Or unless it was Old Mrs. Tillery with her ingrown toenail...again.

 

"Yes?"  He smiled as he opened the door to a very pleasant surprise, wishing now that he'd taken the time to put on his jacket so that he wasn't just in his shirt-sleeves and vest.  "Can I help you?"

 

@Flip; @JulieS

 

 

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"Yes?"  He smiled as he opened the door to a very pleasant surprise, wishing now that he'd taken the time to put on his jacket so that he wasn't just in his shirt-sleeves and vest.  "Can I help you?"

 

“Oh Doctor Danforth, perhaps I should come in more than once a year so that you would remember me.” She said coyly. “I was thinking that since I was in town it would be an excellent opportunity to see you about a check-up on my arm, you know, the one I broke last fall?”

 

It had healed properly, though there was still some pain, though her research had revealed something known as 'phantom pain.'  She calculated that it would be a good excuse to perhaps ferret out information on this Pike fellow.

 

Gun shot wounds seldom heal themselves.

 

“Have you been busy?” She asked, to begin her delving.

 

Tag @Bongo@JulieS

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“Oh Doctor Danforth, perhaps I should come in more than once a year so that you would remember me.” She said coyly. “I was thinking that since I was in town it would be an excellent opportunity to see you about a check-up on my arm, you know, the one I broke last fall?”

 

"Ah, yes, of course."  He didn't know what game she was playing at, but he'd only been here a few weeks.  Not that he cared, any excuse to see a pretty lady...although he would have to take care to keep things on a professional level, at least for now.

 

“Have you been busy?” She asked, to begin her delving.

 

"I've had some work," he commented, standing back so she could enter.  "Come in, please, so I can take a proper look at your arm."  He led the way to an exam room, then nodded to a chair.  "Please, have a seat...and remind me of your name?"  Hopefully, she wouldn't be too incensed that he didn't know her name, but it would make things easier.  "Would you like some tea?"

 

@Flip

 

 

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“Please, and Doctor, excuse me I confused you with the fellow who was here last year. I believe my haste I confused the two of you.” Leah explained, and actually, she was. She had acquired Danforths name from her mother, and believed that was the local man she had seen. Generally, she and he family went to Billings unless of course it was an emergency.

 

She actually blushed at he faux pas. Cunning, smart, she should never have made such an error, but perhaps she could salvage something from her error.

“Leah, Leah Steelgrave. Actually, I only saw him the one time.” She began again, “It was suggest that I come to see you, so I naturally assumed that you were him. I am terribly sorry.”

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“Please, and Doctor, excuse me I confused you with the fellow who was here last year. I believe my haste I confused the two of you.”

 

"He must have been exceedingly handsome and charming."  Jonah gave her a cheeky grin with a slight bow.  She was engaging, no question on that, and a young lady who was accustomed to getting her way and being catered to.

 

“Leah, Leah Steelgrave. Actually, I only saw him the one time.” She began again, “It was suggest that I come to see you, so I naturally assumed that you were him. I am terribly sorry.”

 

Steelgrave....that explained a lot!  "Don't worry about it."  He nodded to a chair.  "Please, have a seat, did you want that tea?  And I have some cinnamon cake...made by one of the ladies in town, so you needn't fear the quality."  He chuckled.  "I've a growing collection of cakes, jams, cookies, not to mention chickens and rabbits in payment for my services.  I had never fancied myself a farmer, but I have managed to make a coop."

 

@Flip

 

 

 

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Leah smiled, "Yes, tea sounds wonderful, and I've no livestock to offer, hopefully cash will do? It would be a long trip to bring back a cow or such like." He was a pleasant enough man, and she realized that she could like him was it not for the information she was seeking. If this Pike person had made it to town he would have needed medical attention, or an undertaker at least. Either way, the Doctor would know of it, and the man.

 

"You know what I like about Kalispel? I like the fact that it is much much more civilized than Whitefish , which of course is close to  my home, but not nearly as friendly and welcoming, even for a Steelgrave." She explained. "I'm sure you've heard all about my family, my father and my brothers, things I'm not proud of."

 

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"Yes, tea sounds wonderful, and I've no livestock to offer, hopefully cash will do? It would be a long trip to bring back a cow or such like."

 

Jonah laughed, enjoying her smile and her sense of humor.  "Oh, no, real money is fine, and besides, I don't think a cow would fit in the kitchen!"  Although, from the little he'd seen of her so far, he wouldn't put it past her to show up with a cow!

 

"You know what I like about Kalispel? I like the fact that it is much much more civilized than Whitefish , which of course is close to  my home, but not nearly as friendly and welcoming, even for a Steelgrave." She explained. "I'm sure you've heard all about my family, my father and my brothers, things I'm not proud of."

 

"I've heard some."  He chuckled.  "Not all of it is bad, really, and now that I've met you, I'm skeptical of the reports."  He flashed a charming smile as he poured tea.  "Don't worry, I've learned to judge people based on their own merit.  Would you like some sugar or cream?"  He handed her the cup of tea.  "And tell me, how did you injure your shoulder?"

 

@Flip

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“You’ll think me inept, I fell from a horse, and yes, sugar would be just wonderful.” She responded, returning his smile. “Living with brothers, you know, well I wanted to prove my equal and picked a horse that was just past green broke. Unfortunately, not far enough past green broke to allow for a light weight rider like myself.” She giggled lightly. “I once bragged I could ride anything with hair, I no longer make that boast.”

 

He was somewhat of a surprise for her, far younger that she had expected. A man of obvious breeding, education and manners, something of an oddity in those parts, a most welcome oddity as far as she was concerned and that was beginning to present a problem. How to ferret out information on this Pike fellow and maintain this budding friendship.

 

She was not smitten, far from it, though he would make for interesting company instead of the men that worked for her father or her brothers that filled her life. “So, any exciting news in Kalispel?”

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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“You’ll think me inept, I fell from a horse, and yes, sugar would be just wonderful.”

 

"Oh, well I'm sure the horse was responsible."  Jonah smiled as he used silver-plated tongs to drop sugar lumps in to her tea.  He couldn't imagine that she was a poor rider, especially with the little he knew of her background...ladies in the West were, in his experience, competent riders of necessity.

 

“Living with brothers, you know, well I wanted to prove my equal and picked a horse that was just past green broke. Unfortunately, not far enough past green broke to allow for a light weight rider like myself.” She giggled lightly. “I once bragged I could ride anything with hair, I no longer make that boast.”

 

At that, Jonah laughed and shook his head.  "I imagine you could ride anything that you put your mind to."  He chuckled as he sat across from her.  "Although I doubt that a bobcat would be suitable competition."

 

“So, any exciting news in Kalispel?”

 

"Well, there's the bear that is causing havoc all over the countryside," Jonah replied, leaning back and watching the young woman.  She was pretty, charming and alluring, but there was an undercurrent of danger, a quality that made her all the more appealing over the mundane farm wife.  "There's a party going out to look for him, I hope they find him, he's caused some major problems, and I imagine it will only get worse."

 

After another sip of tea, he added, "Otherwise, there's nothing you wouldn't expect...broken bones, cuts, a shooting here and there..."

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"There's a party going out to look for him, I hope they find him, he's caused some major problems, and I imagine it will only get worse."


Leah’s eyes widened, “Gracious. I agree and hopefully none will be injured.” It was true that the only important person to Leah was Leah, yet she also had some compassion. The thought of what a rampaging grizzly could do sent shivers down her spine.
 

After another sip of tea, he added, "Otherwise, there's nothing you wouldn't expect...broken bones, cuts, a shooting here and there..."


“Shootings?” Now she was getting somewhere, or at least it sounded like it. “You have shootings in the streets, like Whitefish? I never would have guessed that here in Kalispel there would be such uncivilized behavior.”

 

Tag @Bongo

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