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Sagas of the Wild West

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Mature Content: No

Author: Jonah Danforth

With: Leah Steelgrave
Location: Town
When: September / 1875
Time of Day: Evening

 

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The rain had finally let up, and the skies were clear now, with the stars starting to twinkle brightly against the darkening purple of dusk, and it was quite lovely, if one bothered to look.  But Jonah was too busy concentrating on staying on the planks that someone had generously laid over the mud crossing the side streets to help keep pedestrians out of the thick muck.  After all the hassle of drying out after his earlier adventures, he didn't want to have to start over, especially since his shoes were actually still damp.

 

Finally, he made it to the hotel and stepped inside, grateful for the warmth as he looked to see if Leah was waiting or if he was going to ask the clerk to send her a message.

 

@Flip

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1646524572_1leahsteelgrave.jpg.ba1c69f5c72ea4cd13ccf06033a083e1.jpglarge.Bannister.jpg.aecdccccee8932cce6740c6edc305d35.jpglarge.Santee.jpg.94847727987a9a96e3b8bb128a4ef05d.jpgLeah was at the staircase and saw Jonah when he entered the hotel lobby. She was talking with Santee and Bannister, and by their expressions the conversation was serious.

 

It was no secret that the two were her security when she was away from the Evergreen, and it was not uncommon to see them talking with  their charge. She was alternating talking with the men and watching the door, so when Jonah entered she saw him a held up her hand.

 

Looking to Santee she said; "If you're riding back to the Evergreen, you can tell my father I have business here and will not be returning any time soon, if not, my offer stands."

 

"Yes Ma'am, I'll not be heading back, and I believe I'll accept your offer." Santee said. Bannister smiled.

 

"Good. I have a dinner engagement, so, as I said, I'll need to speak with the man I mentioned." She explained.

 

"Yes Ma'am. I'll, uh, we'll see to it." Bannister stated. Leah smiled and stepped away.

 

"Jonah." She said with a wide smile.  "Business I'm afraid. Seems my father is demanding my return to the Evergreen." She laughed lightly. "Too much to do here to be running back to the ranch any time Elias snaps his fingers. So, shall we?" She crooked her arm, as the two gunmen walked out into the night.

 

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"It would be my pleasure."   Jonah took her arm, heading for the door behind the men.  He found it a bit unusual that a lady in these parts would have body guards, but then, from the rumors he'd heard of Leah's family, particularly her father, it wasn't a surprise.  And at least they weren't going to be tailing her to dinner...at least he didn't think so!

 

"I'm pleased to hear you won't be leaving soon," he added, again, finding it unusual that she would defy the man in her life, even if it was her father.  Besides, from what he was learning of Leah Steelgrave, she had her own mind, and she had the strength and intelligence to make good use of it.

 

"I'm sorry you didn't get to see more of the house today than the entry and kitchen."  Jonah chuckled.  "Hopefully, we'll get a chance to get to that.  Where are we headed this evening?"

 

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"It would be my pleasure."   Jonah took her arm, heading for the door behind the men.  He found it a bit unusual that a lady in these parts would have body guards, but then, from the rumors he'd heard of Leah's family, particularly her father, it wasn't a surprise.  And at least they weren't going to be tailing her to dinner...at least he didn't think so! “Where are we headed this evening?”


She stopped and looked at him. “Other than right here, all that would be available would be the stew at the saloon, that’s where Santee and Bannister were going.” She chided. “Had we started earlier we could have tried the café, but I’m afraid it’s a bit late for that, so I believe this is it.”
 

"I'm pleased to hear you won't be leaving soon," he added, again, finding it unusual that she would defy the man in her life, even if it was her father.  Besides, from what he was learning of Leah Steelgrave, she had her own mind, and she had the strength and intelligence to make good use of it.


She guided him to a table as he spoke and waited for him to pull out the chair for her. “Well, not to the Evergreen. But I may need to leave for the state house in Helena. I’ve contacts there and we will need support for our endeavors but that’s not tonight, nor tomorrow.”

 

"I'm sorry you didn't get to see more of the house today than the entry and kitchen."  Jonah chuckled.  "Hopefully, we'll get a chance to get to that."

 

“Yes, I’m sorry as well. But the rain has stopped, but tomorrow’s another day, fortunately.” She smiled, “There is just so much to do early on with these projects.” Purposely not mentioning what they were, as the were a few people in the dining room that she didn’t recognize and one that she did. A direct line to her father, though she was sure no one else in town knew that. She leaned forward. “We should keep our voices down about exactly what we are doing, don’t you think?”

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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"Yes, perhaps we can get a table that is away from others?"  Jonah wasn't sure why they needed to be secretive about such beneficial projects, but then, he supposed, there were people who might seek to undermine them simply because it was a Steelgrave who was involved, which was really a sad thing to consider, especially since he couldn't think of any ulterior motives Leah might have.

 

At their table, Jonah held the chair for her then settled across from her.  "At least if you can look over the property, you'd have a better idea of what to tell any investors," he suggested, "and maybe we can talk to the local eateries about providing meals?"

 

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At their table, Jonah held the chair for her then settled across from her.  "At least if you can look over the property, you'd have a better idea of what to tell any investors," he suggested, "and maybe we can talk to the local eateries about providing meals?"

 

"Of course, that has to be a priority in the morning." She stated. "And checking with the eateries about meals as well. But you have not said what you would like to see in all of this. The hospital of course,  and the orphanage to be sure, but you. How about you?"

 

Leah looked at him, wondering exactly what she had asked him, and wondering if she had met a man unlike her father,  unlike her brothers. Her world was changing rapidly.

 

Tag @Bongo

 

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"Me see out of this?"  Wasn't that obvious?  "Of course, a modern facility for caring for patients. This territory is growing and there will be an increasing demand."  He frowned and shook his head...he'd never thought of himself as being in charge of anything, much the less something as large and important as a hospital, but if Leah was going to be involved, it was worth it!

 

"And, of course, the stray children can certainly use a safe place to stay, a place where they are fed and clothed, and they can attend school."  His tone was uncertain, although he was smiling.  Again, not something he would normally pay attention to.  Not that he was cold enough to just walk by a waif on the street, but it was easy enough to ignore after handing the child a coin or an apple, and go on his way, telling himself that they would be just fine now.  No, he was a selfish man, looking only to himself,

 

"I suppose it will be an investment in the community, I hadn't necessarily thought to settle her for the long-term, but maybe..."

 

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"Me see out of this?"  Wasn't that obvious?  "Of course, a modern facility for caring for patients. This territory is growing and there will be an increasing demand."  He frowned and shook his head...he'd never thought of himself as being in charge of anything, much the less something as large and important as a hospital, but if Leah was going to be involved, it was worth it!


“Yes Jonah, a modern hospital, with room to grow, of course, that would be in the future as the area grows, which it will.” She interjected. “And the orphanage, we shouldn’t forget that.”
 

"And, of course, the stray children can certainly use a safe place to stay, a place where they are fed and clothed, and they can attend school."  His tone was uncertain, although he was smiling.  


“Oh, but of course. Not only will all those things you have just mentioned happen as a result. There will be jobs, steady jobs, not dependant on the weather, or crops, or even finances, as there are ways to fund this project.” She added.
 

"I suppose it will be an investment in the community, I hadn't necessarily thought to settle here for the long-term, but maybe..."


“A grand investment in Kalispell, but Jonah, I don’t want to have to begin a search for a new medical director. It would be most difficult to run the hospital if you were not here.” She pointed out. “I must warn you, there will be trouble along the way. There will be those that want to stop what we’ve planned, and may go to any lengths to see plan prevail.” She paused, “I am taking precautions to that end. Not to worry, just understand that there are those who would not want these things in Kalispell, or anywhere close for that matter.”

 

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Jonah nodded, knowing that this was his time to gracefully back out, and as much as part of him was screaming to take it, the foolish part of him wanted to stay and help her, because..

 

Well, because it was for a good cause, right?  But then, when had Jonah ever thought of anything other than himself as a good cause? 

 

"I've dealt with detractors before, and honestly it just makes me dig in my heels and try all the harder."  Jonah looked at her evenly.  "I can't imagine how anyone would oppose either a hospital or an orphanage, unless it's because of your name, and that is ludicrous.  And we can't hide your involvement, so I say we just press on and defy the odds."

 

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Leah actually laughed out loud. "Ludicrous is the perfect word. But Jonah, I don't want you to worry about a thing at this stage. There are problems associated with an new venture, it's to be expected." She paused, looking directly at him. "I have contingencies for whatever may happen, believe me. I have thought this out."

 

She had not quite thought out every aspect, but security, she was two thirds there already, and the final third would be approached soon. "We need plans, and then lumber, windows and doors, beds and bedding. I have a plan, the one that will get all of this, plus your medical equipment.For now, you just need to care for your patients and manage your barn yard full of payments." She smiled. "Now, about dinner."

 

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