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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  

The Copper Queen

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Mature Content: Not so's you'd notice.

With: Sopeed Guyer, Alice Fletcher, Amos Conroy. Possibly others.
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: Mid August 1876
Time of Day: Mid Day




The ride up to where the Copper Queen was took most of the morning, but their ride was easy and uneventful. The place had not changed since their last visit, since it had only been a few days since they were last there. This visit would be about the listing of machinery needed to continue work. Supplies necessary for a mining operation. There were tools left behind, some in reasonable shape, other the weather had abused and would need to be replaced..


The buildings themselves could use some boards replaced, and others a couple of nails in the right places.  There was a well, and from what they could see, it was clean, which was good. So they drew up a bucket  to see what they had. Clear, cold, water. That was a relief. One less thing to worry about. And, as they had talked before, at least one pump in the event water became a problem in the mine the had, and the ones they planned to sink, provided they showed color. There was a good deal of land, so it was not beyond believing that there were not more veins to be discovered underground.


The promise offered by this tract of land could well start a rush, but only if the word got out about it. Speed would do all that he could to prevent that, but the acquisition of mining equipment seldom went unnoticed. Therein lay the problem. Word would get out that copper had been found near Kalispell, but hopefully,it would be noted that the mine had not been works for several years, and had not produced previously, so it would take an assay report of product from the mine to really draw attention to them. The sale of equipment did not mean they had struck it rich, far from it, it usually meant an investment had been made on the hope that there was riches to be mined.


"We get this list completed as best we can with what we know and then head on back." Speed said. Gather up all of the schematics of the hole, and any other paperwork, leave nothing to be found. With us poking around up here, that will draw attention from the Steelgrave riders, not something I want just yet."


"Thet'll shorely become a problem, Speed." Amos added.


"I had thought about that eventuality. and there's no telling when they'll get wind of us being here. Well, not us in particular, but people being at this mine site, yes that will become a problem." Alice admitted.


"From now on Alice, you keep that Henry rile handy, and I'd feel better if you were to wear a belt gun." Speed directed. "Yes, there will be some problems with them sooner or later. Right now we need to pack up everything and head back. I'll feel better with these papers in my office, where I can lock them up.



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So, the initial list of supplies, material and machinery was long and expensive. Yet, Speed was well aware of what they were going to need to get the operation under way. Men would be the easiest piece of the equation to obtain. Of course, at the moment there was no rush, except for the silver mines. There were men that mined copper preferably. They would work where work was, but if there was copper work, they would take that. At least that was what Speed knew as fact.


"With all of the paperwork safe in the office, I'll rest a bit easier. And from the looks of this list, it will be a hefty loan we're seeking somewhere between ten and fifteen thousand dollars. We need everything on this list to get the mine operational, and I think Wentworth will accept it as fact. I have no idea what he knows about mining, but we'll soon find out." He smiled, Some of that money will be for wages. Two to three dollars a day for eight to ten men will add up fairly quickly."


"That's a chunk a money. Speed!" Amos stated, to which Speed merely nodded.


"But yes, we have to bank wages, and they have to be paid on time. Men won't stay on if there's money problems, so yes we need to avoid that at all costs." Alice added.


"Well, we have this property, the Raven and my business as collateral. So I really don't see a problem there, and it actually may be a while before prospectors come hunting copper. I have no doubt we'll open more than the one shaft on four hundred acres." Speed said, the added, Getting out to the Raven, that might just be having you head out there for a look-see at what we have. This one is the one we start with, the Raven will come on line in due time. I have a good feeling about this, I truly do."


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"Seems to me you'll be risking a lot." Amos observed.


"Yes. that would be true, but then we've all seen the vein. Once we start pulling out ore, well, then we'll begin to payoff what is owned and begin to make ourselves a profit. Speed replied then looked from one to the other, but, I'll not borrow more than I have in the bank in Helena. What comes here is but a stipend."


"A stipend? You manage the business on a stipend?" Alice asked.


"Yes, the stipend and my salary as Marshal. It's not that I have a problem with the local bank, but when I reached the territory it was where I made my deposit and where I had my shares from Wood and Guyer in New York deposited. There is a tidy sum sitting there, but as i said, better to use their money than our own."


"I suppose that makes sense, not tying up your own capital. But if the mine fails, if the vein is not what we think it is, or doesn't produce the way we believe it should? Then what?" Alice asked.


"Quite simply, I then pay off what is owed. However, that vein was widening, they failed before they could follow it any further, why? I have no idea. But, we, the three of us can go down there and start the process of seeing how the vein shapes up by  continuing.  Hard work, slow work, with just the three of us, but it can be done."


"Not with me at the Raven, just be the two of you, but I seen that vein, and she looked like she was a gettin' bigger up til where they stopped. The risk might be worth it."


"It will be, trust me on this. That vein may not be the only one, and it may go both ways. It's just going to take working it to find out."


"The list is done, costs? We'll need to research that." Alice said. "If this is what you want to do, then we should get to it. Get some men here and see what we've really got here."


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"So, all that's left now, is the clean up and the trip to the bank. After looking at the bunk house, it appears to be in great condition. That's important, I'd rather not have to rebuild anything, but we will if we must." Speed said.


"I checked the cook house and I was surprised that it has everything there, just needs to be cleaned up and the utensils washed up." Alice added, "The tin plates and eat ware are okay, maybe washed up.Bedding? Well we''d be ahead of the game if we burned it and bought new. No telling how long its been there. But, the mattresses are in really good shape from what I saw."


"You're probably right, we need to put that on the list then." Then he laughed, "Here we looking over machinery, or list what machinery we need for the mining operation, and we're looking at housekeeping materials. Well, that is just as important to the men that'll be working here. That and food, but that should be no problem, or the ice to keep it cold." He added looking up at the snow caps which could still provide ice."


"Ice house is sturdy 'n secure. So that might oughtta be one'a the first things gettin' done." Amos piped up. "Now, yer sure we need me goin' off to the Raven, when there's all this ta be done? I mean, there a passle a work waitin' here, mebe we need to get this 'un up an' runnin' afore we tackle the other place."


"Your right Amos, we need the three of us working at this right now, maybe even hire on a couple men to help out, but yes, we need all the help we can get right now." Speed agreed, And we need to start stocking the place up with supplies, which means, we need watchmen when we're no here. So, the bank is first off once we get this list figured out with prices but Anderson can help with that."


"Then we best be heading back and getting this going. Between the mercantile and the general store we should be able to get most everything we need." Alice stated.


"Leave 'er to a woman!" Amos said.



Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"Well you can leave it to a woman, that's fine with me boys. I just comment on what I see as necessary, and getting at this is necessary. I also believe you're right Pa, no sense in anyone ruinnin' off to the Raven with all we need to get going here. We'll likely need to hire on help to get this this ready to be worked."


"And you are more right than you know. Looking at the list we've drawn up, just for this place, it will be a mountain of work, and I cannot leave the job as Marshal to come up here to work on my mine, our mine, in place of the Marshal's job." Speed admitted, and there was a great deal to be done before they could  begin pulling ore out of the ground, it was like what was he thinking, that they just walk in and go to it?


That was possible, but that would be the hard way, and likely why the last owner failed. They had to get the proper equipment in to make the job that much easier. They had to have the machinery that was out there in order to make the work more cost effective.


"And like I said," Speed added, "We need to get the prices for what we have to have, and then go barter with Wentworth for the money, so I don't end up broke before we start."


"So, what'er ya waitin' on? Christmas?" Amos asked.


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Speed laughed, "Hardly Amos. We should get back to town, talk to John Anderson about prices and Daniel Wilson at the general stoie if need be. The list is long already." Speed said as they started for the horses. "The clean up can wait. We do need to get this business rolling."


"Yes, the sooner we're funded the better, once we start mining this copper, the soon we begin to turn a profit. I don't know much about mining, but I do know we need to sell ore to make any money." Alice interjected.


"Alays count on a woman to know what needs doin'." Doting father Amos said. "'course now there a sight a things thet need doin' so it's a help."


"Yes, a sight of things. But we'll get there. It's not beyond what we can do until we hire some miners to get after that vein. I almost hate to bag up samples for the assayer. Hate to see a rush, but then, it may be inevitable."


"That's mining. And, in your business of buying and selling, word is always going to get out about any find. It just matters where the copper miners are, and if it attracts those that mine silver and gold."


Speed stepp aboard his horse, "You know, I've never thought of that, because once the sale was complete, we were out of it. Not so this time around. Well, let's get after it and the try and find some copper men."  With that they started out at a gallop, wanting to get everything in motion as quickly as possible.


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List in hand, they made their way back to town and to the Anderson's Mercantile where they laid out their list of needs. John and Mary Agnes looked over the list and began adding prices, plus shipping where it was warranted.


"So, you're in the mining business Marshal?" John asked.


"We are." Alice replied with a wide proud smile on her face. Speed just looked at her.


"Amos here found a property to good to pass up, so I bought it myself." Speed said, "Actually two properties, the other on is off to the west, but this one is just north of the Evergreen Ranch a couple of miles."


"Ah that would be the Henshaw mine. Sad about his wife passing on so suddenly. Life can be hard out here, it was just too hard for Martha Henshaw, though she tried as hard as anyone could." Mary Agnes said. "Most all of what you have here we have in stock. Most all of this was on Henshaw's list as well, he just quit before he paid for it. I believe we can give you a good price on the machinery out back. Right John?"


"Yes we can, The fact is Speed I'll let you have it at our cost, plus the shipping expenses, of course. Be good to free up that room back there. Let me see here at my cost, yes, well, it looks to be just under three thousand dollars, without the things we have in stock that wasn't Henshaw's."


Fair enough John, and we appreciate it. Now, if you'll let me get up to the bank, we want to use their money until we get started, and then we'll settle up."


"Makes sense to me, it's what we did. Hated those monthly payments, but it worked for us." John agreed.


"We'll be back." Speed promised.


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Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."


"John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."


"And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.


"Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."


"Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. "Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"


"First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.


Edited by Flip
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The trio walked up to the Kalispell National Bank and paused outside. Perhaps a slight case of jitters, borrowing money was never a given, even with collateral, which he had. Still it was asking for a loan, and that was other peoples money the bank used.


The four hundred acres north of town was attractive, above the Evergreen Ranch as well as the White Fish Lake, it could be put to many good uses, though the proximity to Steelgrave's property might be a bit of a drawback for some, unless the buyer was from out of the county.


And, his business which was just down the street, and recently paid off. So the idea that he was in the position to be a very good risk upped the odds considerably. But the specter of refusal remained. Nothing concerning money and the bank was a given.


"Well, shall we?" Speed asked


"Best git too it, Speed, we's wastin' the day standin' around out here." Amos added.


"Yes Speed, we should get at it and get it over with, after all, it's only money," Alice contributed to the conversation. Then together, they filed through the doorway into the bank proper, and up to the tellers cage and teller Luke Johnson.


"Hello Luke, wonder if we might see Mister Wentworth" Speed asked.





Edited by Flip
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