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    • Clara dismissed the other girl's arguments with a simple, "I enjoy working here. And I am being paid for it."   Then the child mentioned somebody named Bridget whom Clara did not recognize.   Her employer now made her appearance, Clara smiled right back. It was amazing really and doubtful Clara even realized it but she actually was doing more smiling as they grew accustomed to each other. The young lady loved her time spent with Emeline.   "Some girl who was dancing with Arabella. How one could break their leg doing such a simple thing is beyond me..." Clara left it at that but shrugged.   Emeline did not know Arabella so it seemed appropriate for a quick introduction.   "Oh this is Arabella Mudd, she stayed with this for a short time after the Whitefish tragedy. And this is Mrs. Emeline Blakesley."  Frankie was already known to both parties now.
    • "Who broke their leg?" Emeline asked as she came in from the root cellar, where she'd been collecting some onions and dried herbs.  She smiled at Clare, then glanced at the young woman.  "Looks like Frankie has taken a shine to you, young lady.  Now, I know he can't dance a polka, but he is pretty talented."   As she set the things on the table, she looked the girl over, than asked Clara, "Who is your friend?  Is she helping, or just keeping Frankie out of the way?"   @Wayfarer; @Javia
    • Well, at least Billy agreed with him. He had saved Clara's life (if Greer was as good a shot as he bragged) and probably his, too. Brendan gave the younger cowhand a short nod. Not quite an apology, but close enough to one for now.   Greer seemed confident that sooner or later - sooner, it seemed he thought - they would wind up killing the Redmonds. He was just "getting a jump on it," which seemed like an awful thing to think.   "Well, get a jump on it when I'm not down there too," he snapped. "I don't fancy bein' shot 'cause you decided to use me for bait."   He edged his horse closer to Greer, getting in his personal space and looking down at him.   "And I don't know what's good for me, I guess. But if Mr. Steelgrave thinks he c'n order me to shoot that gal down there, he's damn wrong. Now put that rifle away an' let's get out of here before her pa comes after us."
    • "We know that there's four of you who don't want go to the dance but there are still twelve that do.  Since we need another four to stay behind the only way to do this fairly is by lottery."   Mike looked over at the hands gathered in the bunkhouse.  The annual Spring Dance was a popular affair and most of the men were eager to go.  He could see that they were all in agreement about whether or not they go would be a game of chance.  He picked up the upturned hat that was on the table.  "Inside this hat are twelve pieces of paper.  Four of them have a cross on it.  If you get one of those you're staying behind."   Ben raised his hand, "You part of this too?"   "Yes, me included," Mike answered in a slightly sarcastic tone, "Afterwards if you want to negotiate with one another than that's up to you."   As the men made their pick from the hat, the reactions to what they got ranged from joy to displeasure.  Charlie, who even though still doing chores around the main house had already started his training, smiled as he looked at his piece of paper.  He glanced over at Sam, who had obviously drawn one of the pieces with a cross on it. Seeing that Charlie was going, Sam got up but before he even reached his brother, Charlie put a hand up, "I'll save you the trouble.  There's no way I'm giving this one away."   Sam frowned before going over to Mike.  "Well?"   Mike smiled, "Sorry, it's a no from me as well."   After a few minutes, Mike raised his voice, "All right, men.  Now that we've got that sorted out, it's time for those of you on duty tonight to get out there. Don't want ole Sage thinking that we've gone and forgotten all about him.  Remember, to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity."   The men who had been assigned night duty, left the bunkhouse with a few of them trying to wrangle a deal that would let them go to the dance.  Those left behind spent the remainder of the evening catching up on their mending or socialising with the others.
    • "Checkers, then."  Emeline nodded, a little surprised at how much she was looking forward to just a day of games, so reminiscent of Sunday afternoons growing up, when the family was all together.  She had always enjoyed that time, and was looking forward to having it again.   As he set up the board, she poured them coffee then set on a fresh pot to brew.  Back at the table, she shooed Frankie off her chair, then sat and picked the cat up again. "I call red!"  She gave him a serious look.  "Lucky for you I'm not a gambler, or you'd lose your shirt to me!"   @Flip
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Charles Wentworth Sr.

A Business Proposition

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Mature Content: No

With: Charles Wentworth Sr and Judge Ben Robertson
Location: Helena, Montana
When: Late March 1876
Time of Day: Morning

 

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Charles looked at his watch for what was probably the fourth time in the last ten minutes. His old friend was due at any minute and he was anxious to know why he had come all this way to speak with him when they could have done so in Kalispell.

 

He had left Washington as soon as he could and thankfully it had been a trouble-free trip so far.  The plan had to been to find either a stagecoach or hire someone to take him the rest of the way to Kalispell.  The snow was already melting making the trip there impossible.  It was a trip he had wanted to make for some months, ever since he had found out that Charlie had quit college and headed west to be with his brothers.  The imminent arrival of his first grandchild and the coming winter had made it impossible to go back then.

 

In a way, it was a good thing the mission to go get Charlie and drag him back to college had been delayed.  It had given time for him to calm down and along with a few other things that had taken place in the last few months, a chance to re-assess his motives and relationship with his sons.  Even Becky had her say and what she said had made sense.  Even though, he would always try to convince one or more of his sons to join him Washington, deep down he knew that they had made their own paths just like he did.

 

Picking up the telegram that he had received upon his arrival in Helena, he re-read it.  Ben had asked him to stay at Helena until he could get there as he had something important to discuss.  The telegram had been a surprise as his last correspondence with Ben was in late November.

 

A knock at his room door, alerted him to the fact that his guest had arrived.  Going over to the door, he opened it and smiled, "Ben, it's great to see you.  Come right in."

 

Judge Ben Robertson, smiling a bigger smile, entered the room and shook hands with his old friend.  They had both grown up together in Wilmington, Ohio and even though he was a couple of years old than Charles, they treated each other like brothers.  When the time came to go their separate ways to seek their fortunes, he had gone westward, while Charles had headed east.  They wrote to each on a regular basis and had even managed to see each other a few times over the years.

 

The two men spent the next thirty minutes reminiscing and catching up with each other.  Charles, reluctantly decided to get to the reason why Ben had wanted to see him now.  "Your telegram said that it was important.  I hope it has nothing to do with my sons."

 

"No, they're not part of this, well at least not yet.  We're hoping to ask Matt, but I wanted to ask you first.  I have a business proposition for you and I'm hoping that you will agree to it.  The stakes are high, and the future of Kalispell depends on it."

 

TBC

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"The future of Kalispell?  That sounds a bit ominent.  I hope it isn't that bad."

 

"It could be," Ben answered, "It all depends on you ask."

 

Leaning forward in his chair, he sighed deeply, "Kalispell is a good town and we all want the best for it.  The town has been offered a couple of concessions in exchange for land to build a hospital and an orphanage.  The hospital and orphanage will be privately funded by one person."

 

Charles frowned, "I don't understand.  If the town doesn't need to worry about financing this project, then what's the problem?"

 

"The financing and in particular the person doing it is the problem.  If the town council agrees to this project, then the land and not to mention the hospital and orphanage will be owned by a Steelgrave."

 

"I think you better start at the beginning."

 

Ben nodded, "I think you're right.  When you know what the problem is, I'm sure you will understand why we need your help."

 

For the next few minutes, Ben told Charles about the Steelgraves and their history in the area.  When he had finished, he leaned back in his chair.  "As you can see, we are in a bit of a quandary.  Even though Leah says that her father has nothing to do with her plans and that she is estranged from him, there's always the possibility of them reconciling their differences and getting together on this."

 

"I see," Charles replied.  He already had an idea of where this was going but he wanted to know more.  "A hospital and orphanage is important but since you don't want a Steelgrave to fund it or be in charge then you have to find another solution.  What does the town council want to do?"

 

"To put it simply, the town council feels that we should find a way to do this ourselves.  People in town are aware of Miss Steelgrave's plan since she has had a lot of stories written about it in our local newspaper and therefore we can't say no to her unless we have a plan of our own.  We already have some local business owners interested in investing, but they wish to remain anonymous as they do business with the Steelgraves.  The bank has decided to stay out of it all together since it can't be seen as favouring one side over the other.  So, we're looking for major investors and please forgive me on this, but since I knew you were coming, I wanted to ask you to invest in our town.  Hence, the reason why I asked you delay here before heading to Kalispell."

 

Looking at his old friend, Charles could see the hint of desperation.  Whoever these Steelgraves were, they were a force to be reckon with.  The least he could do, was to see if the town was worth the investment.  "All right, tell me what you want to me do and I'll see.  I can't promise anything until I look over the town and hear what the town council has to say.  I may also want to do some investigating of my own before I make my final decision."

 

Ben smiled, "That's all I ask.  For you to consider what we propose is more than enough and more than I could ask you to do.  It's a pity your sons don't know you the way I do."

 

Lowering his head, Charles sighed, "Yes, I've made a lot of mistakes over the years where they are concerned.  A large part of the problem, was my own dogged determination to have them be what I wanted them to be and not what they wanted to be.  A lot of things have happened in the last six months or so that's made me start to think about my life and what I have should have done."

 

Ben placed his hand on Charles's shoulder, "It's called getting older and wiser, and we all get there sooner or later.  I just hope it's not too late."

 

"Thanks, I hope it's not either," Charles lifted his head up and pulled out his pocket watch, "Well, it's nearing lunch, so how about we go downstairs to the dining room and we can talk this over some more."

 

 

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About Sagas

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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