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    • It was long, tedious work, even though, for the most part, it was just plodding along with the cows, making sure they all stayed together and went the right way they were supposed to.  Even after the wind picked up, there were only a few mavericks who tried to wander off on their own, but the drag riders managed to coax them back to the herd.   As the day progressed, Annie became less jiggy, and Justus could tell she was getting tired.  "It's all right, Miz Annie."  He patted the horse's neck, then tightened the bandanna that was keeping his hat from blowing away.   "Ya think this is just a dry wind?" Justus called to Loredo, "or somethin' more movin' in?"  There wasn't the smell of rain in the air yet, nor clouds, but he knew that the weather could change quickly.  "Will they try ta settle in camp early?"  It seemed to him that if there was 'weather' moving in, it was better to have the cattle settled than moving, but what did he know? He just hoped it didn't impact supper!   @Flip
    • "Wonderful!"  Jonah almost clapped, for this had been going on for so long, that he really expected that this would be some sort of new setback, and Leah certainly didn't need any more complications.  "I'm sure it's going to be a huge relief when they finally break ground.  It's going to be rewarding to watch it take shape, and for you to know you are responsible for it."   He hoped, for her sake more than anything, that the weather cooperated, and that the progress was swift and without complications.    "You'll be overseeing the project?"  He couldn't imagine that she'd step back now, and not assure that every detail was right.   @Flip
    • "Boss, we found us a herd ripe for the pluckin'. Maybe we oughtta move on it afore they change where they're grazin' 'em, an make it more difficult." Toole suggested. "We can take close to a hunderd head easy enough, they move 'em, thet might not be the way of it."   "'Scuse me men, but Toole here is on to something, and cattle is our other business. We've customers waiting up north." Case said, not happy at being interrupted, yet realizing that what he said was true. It was why they were there, and it was what the did. "So go on and make yourselves to home while I get this job situated."   "Oh sure thing, Case, an thanks for the offer. We appreciate it, 'mon boys." Shannon said, and with that they walked outside to find the other building Case was talking about.   "Alright Toole what did you have in mind?" Case asked.   "The place is just at the foothills where they have their cattle. Now any buildin's 'er maybe a mile, mile'n a half away. What we saw was just maybe four riders wit the cattle, may not hav'ta kill any of 'em. We just filter down through the trees and then rush 'em. Maybe eight 'er ten of us, circle the heard an' push 'em back the way we come which was the long way around , and shore they'll be tracks alomst all the way to the dry river bed, maybe  whot, two mile from the tree line. Hard ground to river bed, but they won't catch us, not seein's they're out numbered."   Case gave it some thought, but Toole had been plotting how they would steal a herd for quite a while, and he knew what he was doing. Besides, no County Sheriff, no problem!   "Pick your men, Toole and get it done." Case said, knowing if they got a hundred head, that would be enough to drive north, once the brands were altered.
    • Having a second thought, to bolster the findings he sent for Fairchild before he could leave for New Orleans, and in the vicinity of Elinor Steelgrave, that could be done at another time after this meeting with Elias himself.   It was like hedging his bet on the situation. He wanted Elias to meet the man who could explain what was in the file in detail, much better than he himself.  might be able to. Nothing like being prepared. Elias could be unpredictable when upset, if a man like Fairchild explaining what he had found could manage to keep Steelgrave manage-ably clam then the expense was worth it to all concerned.   He had to congratulate himself on the idea. It just might work!
    • 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.

Banking on a Change


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Mature Content: No

With: Matt Wentworth; Charles Wentworth, Sr. and anybody else (purely optional - just want to leave it open for others to join in)
Location: Kalispell National Bank
When: April 1876
Time of Day: Morning

 

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"Well, I have to hand it to you.  When you say you're going to do something you really do it."

 

Matt looked around at the bank's interior.  It was about an hour or so before opening.  Luke Johnson, the bank's main teller hadn't arrived yet and wouldn't be expecting a new boss. Watching his father inspect the area behind where the tellers worked, he couldn't help but smile a little.  The man had only been in town for less than a week and after explaining why he had come here and why he was re-locating the whole family to this area, he mentioned looking for a business to buy to get a foothold in the community.  Matt didn't expect it to be the bank.

 

"Mr. Croft apparently has been wanting to move away and go live with his family in Helena for a while.  My arrival provided him with a golden opportunity," Charles smirked, "And I guess it was one for me as well.  He also sold me his house, which will save me some time.  After he moves out, I will have a few months to make any repairs or changes before your mother arrives."

 

"It'll take you a week or two to work out how things work here in the bank."

 

"Thankfully, I already have substantial financial knowledge and managerial experience.  Croft will be dropping by later on today to get me up to scratch on things.  He wanted to give me the chance to introduce myself to the staff and explain the change in ownership."

 

Managerial experience was something he knew his father didn't lack.  The man had been trying to manage his sons' lives for years.  So, when he told the four of them that he had finally albeit reluctantly come to the conclusion, that it was no use and that his sons' had to lead their own lives, they were all surprised.  Charlie, the reason they thought he had come to Kalispell for, was relieved to say the least.  There would be no getting hauled off back to college for him.  Matt knew that there was probably more to his father's change of heart but he decided that the man would tell them in his own time.  For now, he was interested in making amends.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

She knew it was a bank. It said it in big letters on the outside.

 

B A N K

 

Ka$&$&$£  BANK.

 

It was all dark inside the place, this time in the morning, so she got up close to the window.

 

She saw her face reflected in the window get bigger and bigger and bigger, as her face got closer, but then her nose touched the glass and suddenly she could see inside. There were lots of men in suits. Rich men. Well, they lived in a bank so, of course they were rich.

 

She knocked on the window and waved at them to let her in.

 

Nothing happened.

 

She knocked on the window and waved at them to let her in.

 

Still nothing happened.

 

She knocked on the window and waved at them to let her in.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Matt was listening to his father address the staff.  Since Monday was one of the busiest days, all three tellers were there.  He could see that they were interested in what his father had to say and a bit relieved that they weren't losing their jobs.

 

Suddenly, he heard a tap on the window and then shortly after another one.  He turned to see some young woman waving and once again tapping on the window.  For a moment, he thought that it was Miss Mudd but she was Mike's problem and not his, so it probably wasn't her.  Stepping closer to the window, he could see that she was slightly older and the colour of her was red.  Turning back to look at his father, who was now curious to find out what was going on.

 

Nodding, he said, "I'll see what she wants."

 

Stepping outside and closing the bank's door behind, Matt approached the young lady.  He had seen her around town a few times and knew that she was part of Lorenzo Crabbe's entourage, who were setting up a business in one of the buildings near the town centre.  Part of his job for the Secret Service was to keep on eye on the comings and goings.  Kalispell and the surrounding area was slowly becoming an important and strategic place.  He had already sent a letter (coded, of course) back to the office in Helena, requesting information about him.

 

Approaching the lady, he smiled, "Good morning, miss.  Is there are anything I can help you with?"

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One of the rich gentlemen with the lovely suits and shiny shoes from inside the bank appeared and spoke to her "Good morning, miss. Is there are anything I can help you with?"

 

She wanted to speak loudly and boldly to him, just like she’d heard her friend Arabella do to people. But after a couple of tries, which stuck in her throat, she reverted to form and shuffled up to him and leaned in close to whisper in the nice gentleman’s ear.

 

“I … I got some money for the feller what owns the bank.” she informed him.

 

She was a complete innocent, but had there been a Mrs. Wentworth, she might not have enjoyed the sight of the two of them pressed together so close like that on the boardwalk outside the bank.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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At first, Matt was a little surprised at her stepping forward to speak to him. From what he knew about her was that she was the quiet type and didn't say much even when she wasn't being teased by some of the more insensitive types around town.  He realised that she about to say something and so he leaned down to hear her.

 

“I … I got some money for the feller what owns the bank.” she informed h

 

Matt straightened up and smiled, "Well, I think the fellow who owns the bank will be very happy to see you."

 

He pulled out his pocket watch and took note of the time before putting it back in his vest pocket, "However, we will have to wait for a few minutes until the bank is open."  

 

Pointing to one of the seat that was near the door, "Would you like to sit down and wait?"

 

@Javia

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Matt straightened up and smiled, "Well, I think the fellow who owns the bank will be very happy to see you."

 

Bridget smiled and nodded. Of course he would.

 

He pulled out his pocket watch and took note of the time before putting it back in his vest pocket, "However, we will have to wait for a few minutes until the bank is open." 

 

The young woman watched him pull out the beautiful gold and silver timepiece on its thick chain. She loved how it sparkled and glimmered in the early morning sunlight that peeped between the space between the two buildings opposite. She smiled at the man. He seemed nice. She understood that she had to wait, even though the door to the Bank was open.

 

Pointing to one of the seats that was near the door, "Would you like to sit down and wait?"

 

Bridget shook her head, and just stood there.  Sitting down and then getting up again wasn’t easy. At least, it was hard to do without people noticing.

 

She stood silently in front of the nice man in the lovely clothes. Then she craned her head to the side and looked around him into the bank. She clutched at the neat purse which had the money in. She wanted to go in quite desperately now.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Seeing that the young lady was anxious and looking around him to see inside the bank, Matt smiled, "I think it might be all right to go in now.  It's still a few minutes to opening but I have some influence with the owner, so he won't mind."

 

Offering his arm, he glanced at Bridget, "Shall we?"

 

@Javia

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Seeing that the young lady was anxious and looking around him to see inside the bank, Matt smiled, "I think it might be all right to go in now.  It's still a few minutes to opening but I have some influence with the owner, so he won't mind."

 

The nice handsome man’s words were as fancy as his beautiful suit and Bridget frowned as she tried to fully understand them. Most folk who knew her soon learned to spell things out to her in plain and simple words, and her friend Arabella delighted in acting out anything she didn’t quite get. That’s how she knew all about banks now.

 

Offering his arm, he glanced at Bridget, "Shall we?"

 

That gesture, Bridget did get. The man was going to take her in himself.

 

She put down her little parasol and put it under her arm so that she could take his, and still manage to cling on to her dapper purse with its precious contents.

 

The man led her in and all the fancy men in there stared at her something awful, which made her feel funny in her tummy: sort of nervous and proud all at the same time. Some of them were dressed funny, with green visors and garters on their arms to hold their shirtsleeves up like she’d seen Mr. Crabbe wear in the place they’d come from, when he was playing that Faro game with all those angry men. She didn’t get that Faro game at all. Or poker or any card games other than snap. Snap was funny and she was good at it. 

 

There was one man there who looked older and more fancy than all the rest. Bridget leaned in closer to the nice man that she was attached to now like a limpet.

 

“Does he own the bank?” she whispered the question to Matt.

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Matt leaned slightly down, "Yes, he does but don't worry, he's not as a scary as he looks."

 

Straightening up, Matt escorted the young lady to his father.  For a moment, he thought about using her name but stopped quickly.  He knew her name, in fact he knew all the names of the people in Lorenzo Crabbe's little group but showing that he did would inevitably bring trouble as he was unsure of the exact relationship between her and her protector (a term which he used rather loosely).  If she mentioned that a stranger she had only met that morning knew her name, then Crabbe might get suspicious.

 

His father watching him approached, smiled, "Well, who do we have here."

 

Matt let go of Bridget's arm and looked at her, "May, I introduce Charles Wentworth, Senior the owner of the Kalispell Bank and this is...pardon me, I forgot to ask what your name is."

 

@Javia

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Matt leaned slightly down, "Yes, he does but don't worry, he's not as a scary as he looks."

 

Bridget smiled at the nice man. He was thinking of her and her feelings, wanting her not to be scared. He was nice. She wasn’t scared. He wasn’t scared either. The men standing about weren’t scared, she felt. Maybe a little apprehensive, curious. There was only one scared person in the room.

 

His father watching him approached, smiled, "Well, who do we have here."

 

Bridget studied the man with a suddenly serious look on her face, her head cocking to one side a little, like a curious puppy. She must have come to some sort of decision about him because she eventually smiled. But it wasn’t like the wide smile she’d reacted with when Matt was talking to her; it was somehow a sad smile, maudlin, almost sympathetic: the sort of smile a mother would give her child when tending to a scraped knee.

 

Matt let go of Bridget's arm and looked at her, "May, I introduce Charles Wentworth, Senior the owner of the Kalispell Bank and this is...pardon me, I forgot to ask what your name is."

 

She’d got this. She could do this. The young woman made a sort of rocking motion, redolent of someone who was revving themselves up to jump over a creek, and on the fourth rock she stared right ahead and said out loud “My name is Bridget Monahan.” Well, maybe ‘out loud’ was something of an overstatement, but it was just about audible. She turned and looked up at Matt with questioning eyes to see if she had ‘done good.’

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Matt smiled and gave her a half bow, "Miss Bridget Monahan, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.  My name is Matthew Wentworth."

 

Turning back to his father, he continued, "Miss Monahan is here to make a deposit."

 

Charles nodded, "Well, Miss Monahan I would like to thank you for coming and for being my first customer.  This is all still new to me as I only bought the bank a few days ago."

 

He motioned for Luke to come over, "Mr. Johnson will take care of you now and if there is anything you just let me know."

 

Seeing that Bridget was a bit apprehensive, Matt smiled, "Don't worry, Mr. Johnson is very reliable and trustworthy."

 

@Javia

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Turning back to his father, he continued, "Miss Monahan is here to make a deposit."

 

Bridget nodded enthusiastically at this affirmation of her purpose.

 

Charles nodded, "Well, Miss Monahan I would like to thank you for coming and for being my first customer.  This is all still new to me as I only bought the bank a few days ago."

 

The girl opened her mouth in surprise, did folks really go around buying things like banks? Maybe if she saved up real hard, she could buy a bank or a house or a mountain or a river. Well, today was the start of that. Arabella had told her that if you kept on giving your money to the man who owns the bank, it would grow and grow and before you knew it you would have more money than you would know what to do with, and you could buy anything you wanted.

 

He motioned for Luke to come over, "Mr. Johnson will take care of you now and if there is anything you just let me know."

 

The girl’s face fell. She needed to give the money to the man who owns the bank, they were the words Arabella had used. Bridget started to panic a little, this wasn’t how it was meant to go.

 

Seeing that Bridget was a bit apprehensive, Matt smiled, “Don’t worry, Mr. Johnson is very reliable and trustworthy.”

 

She shook her head determinedly and strode over to the elder Wentworth, opening her purse as she did so, and pulled out all her money. It was a muddy looking single red cent – and well might it look muddy, she had found it on the boardwalk yesterday.

 

She thrust the tiny coin into Charles’ hand, and in a paroxysm of delight at having achieved her mission, reached up to kiss the old gentleman on the cheek. Then, smiling happily she turned to exit the room.

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Charles grinned, "Well, I must say that's something I didn't expect on my first day as a banker."

 

Matt shook his head slightly and smiled, "I didn't expect it either but there you have it.  The young lady has made her first deposit."

 

"Yes, she has." Charles looked over at Luke and handed him the coin.  "Open an account for Miss Monahan and the next time she makes an appearance, make sure she gets her passbook."

 

Luke nodded, "Yes, Mr. Wentworth."  Looking at the coin, he half-smiled, "And I'll give this a clean as well so that I can put in the right amount."

 

"Good man," Charles replied.  Turning back to Matt, he smiled, "How about joining me for lunch later today?"

 

"I would be honoured.  I think we should try the Lick Skillet. Mrs. Blakesley makes wonderful meals.  If she didn't own her business, I would have hired her."

 

"That's fine by me.  It will give an opportunity to meet her."

 

After a few more minutes, Matt made his exit, leaving Charles to get more familiar with the bank and his staff.

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