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Jonah Danforth

Feast With Abandon

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpgI'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." She said, also taking a bite of the chicken, and like the good doctor, finding it moist, tender and flavorful as, perhaps as good, if not better than anything served at home on the Evergreen.

 

"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." She stated in all honesty. This was way beyond the scope of anything she had every been involved with, and for perhaps the first time, where no one got hurt.

 

"I wonder Jonah, could you tell me a bit about Mister Pike."

 

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Nate Bannister stood at the bar in the White Rose Inn sipping a beer and keeping an eye on his charge, Leah Steelgrave, who was dining with Doctor Danforth. To him that was not strange at all, but there was a difference in her demeanor this evening. He could see the look in her eyes, and he knew that she, for all her purported faults, was not attempting to lead the man on, at least not her usual way, and that was out of character for the daughter of Elias Steelgrave.

 

He had been her escort, alone or in concert with others for the last five years and he knew her, knew her actions and what they meant going forward. Whatever this was, was not her normal behavior with a gentleman. He new Danforth, and the term fit him to a T. Their conversation appeared light and friendly, but there was something more and it was not sensual.

 

What was she up to? He, far more than any of the others that might be assigned to keep an eye on her, did that. To him, Leah Steelgrave was his responsibility. Though he had not been with her in her hour of need with the O’Malley boy, he had been within range ever since that day. He had no notions about her, that was not what his job was. He was to keep he safe, not to interfere, just ensure she is neither compromised or hurt. He was good at his job.

 

Most interventions were merely words, nothing serious, sort of “words to the wise.” Only twice had it ever gone beyond that, though neither time no one died. So this strange, out of the norm situation intrigued him. He tossed off his drink and walked out into the evening air and posted himself across from Danforth’s office. He was hardly ever where he could be seen by her, at least, not for very long.

 

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"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."

 

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"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."

 

“No, I meant what kind of a man is he?” She re-asked, having just seen him she was aware that he was on the mend, up and around. “”What I want to know is you assessment of the man. Is he a man of his word, do you think he could be trusted? That sort of thing. Our endeavor may require men that will protect our interests. One or two, possibly three men of that sort.” A man's evaluation was important, going forward there could certainly be trouble.

 

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"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!"

 

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg"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?"

 

“Jonah, out here all things are possible, most of them probable. There are unscrupulous people everywhere and if you think about what we are about to embark on, there will be a lot of cash involved and our town Marshall may not always be available to see to our protection.” She explained.

 

"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!"

 

She laughed. “No, they would not live in either local, nor wold they nurse. We’ll get nurses to assist you with the patient load, proper folks to administer to the orphanage and the children. It will take some doing, but it can, and will be done.” She appraised him for a long moment. “I trust you are in?”

 

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"Yes, yes, of course."  Jonah nodded, deciding at that moment to really go all-in, so long as there were no major complications.  After all, he was intending to be here for some time, as back-water as it was, so he may as well do something worthwhile.  And if it helped his standing, all the better.

 

"So, what do you think the next step should be?  I don't imagine that we need approval to open a hospital, although I imagine there would be some sort of overseeing of an orphanage?" He honestly didn't know the logistics of such things.  "Of course, we do have an attorney in Miss Mercer to help with those things."

 

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 "Yes, yes, of course."  Jonah nodded, deciding at that moment to really go all-in, so long as there were no major complications.


“Good. Really Jonah, what would a hospital be without it’s doctor.” Leah beamed. Suddenly this was not going to be just work, but fun!
 

"So, what do you think the next step should be?  I don't imagine that we need approval to open a hospital, although I imagine there would be some sort of overseeing of an orphanage?" He honestly didn't know the logistics of such things.  "Of course, we do have an attorney in Miss Mercer to help with those things."


“I agree, we’ll probably need to meet with the town council about this, but really, what possible opposition could there be to building these two needed projects.” She smiled wide, “We have an attorney, well, we hope to have an attorney to speak on our behalf, funding, I promise will not be a problem. The land acquisition, there could be some problems, but I believe nothing which we cannot over come together.”


“This is so exhilarating!”  Said a woman who had never done a single thing for anyone but herself in he entire life. For her, the moment was beyond anything she had ever known. It was pure of selfishness, a benefit to others who needed the two undertakings. She could hardly wait to meet with Miss Mercer.

 

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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?"

 

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"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?

 

She responded to the toast, then said. “The house is a perfect start.” She agreed, taking the last bite of her meal, then adding; “Property, whether it is around the house or in another location in or near town is actually the smallest of problems.” She smiled. “We’ll not use the Steelgrave name, nor mine on this project. Perhaps as we move forward with you friend Miss Mercer’s name, or Kalispell. What makes a difference is that the town will have a real hospital, and an orphanage close by. When the railroad gets here, we’ll be prepared. Wouldn’t you say?” She was absolutely alive with the possibilities.

 

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"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."

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“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.


She smiled, and it was as uncharacteristic as for once it was genuine. There was a rush of excitement coursing through her at the prospect of this endeavor. “Yes, and it gives the appearance of belonging to the town, that it was created by the town, for the town. Which it actually will be, We will simply own the property it sits on, and you it’s director.”


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."


Leah actually laughed aloud almost as a schoolgirl would. “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.”


“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.”


 She smiled. “I can meet you in the morning and we can certainly look over the property.”

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“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?" 

 

@Flip

 

 

 

 

 

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpg"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?" 

 

Leah smiled at the offer, “Tea would be fine, Jonah. And please, understand that who I am, who I am perceived to be, may not be one in the same. Parts will be true, parts will be surmised to be true and some, well, some will be made up, but none of it will be good, and several men’s reputations have been ruined due to their association with me. I’d prefer that not happen to you, nor Miss Mercer.” She smiled again. “This has been delightful.”

 

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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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