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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  

Not Good News


Elias Steelgrave
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Mature Content: Language?

Author: Put your OOC username here ONLY if posting with a Shared NPC.
Location: The Evergreen Ranch House
When: April, 1 1876
Time of Day: Mid-morning

 

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The big house seemed a mere shell of what it had been to Elias Steelgrave. His wife, Elinor, and run off and promptly disappeared. His best efforts to find her were rebuffed by a typically harsh winter with transportation at a near standstill. His suddenly rebellious daughter was in Kalispell, refusing to return to the ranch, and then barred from such action by the winter.

 

Even his sons, Ben, Clay, and Zeke were rare visitors and where they had spent the winter was not known. And Case, he was on the mend in Kalispell from injuries suffered during the disaster which was the demise of Whitefish. Though it was possible to get through to the ranch and had been for a number of weeks, he had not done so.

 

So, Elias Steelgrave was alone. Alone for the first time in some forty years, and he didn’t like it. Oh he’d made some mistakes along the way, but none he didn’t believe he had or could repair. The incident wit Leah, well hadn’t he been drunk? It was not something he repeated, and he had regaled her with money, accounts in town, in Helena, wherever she wanted to go. Always first class. Still she refused to return.

 

Seated across from him were his attorney Cole Latham and Nolan Ashworth, a man ensconced in the fabric of Kalispell and it’s citizenry. Neither had a pleasant look on their faces.

 

“A rebuild of Whitefish is simply out of the question.” Latham said wearily. “There is no backing for such an undertaking. No backers are interested in funding it.”

 

“And why not?” Elias demanded.

 

“Interest is now to the south, in Kalispell.” Ashworth interjected in reply.

 

“The hell you say! Why if it weren’t for Lost Lake Ranch and the Thornton-Cantrell bunch Kalispell would be a speck and Whitefish would be resurrected.” Elias stated. “And what’s the big deal with Kalispell?”

 

“Perhaps you should see this.” Ashworth volunteered, holding out a copy of the Union.

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TBC

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And there it was in black and white, his daughter, Leah Steelgraves name with that of two doctors, one he had considered to be in their camp.

 

"How the hell did this happen?" He bellowed, "A hospital? And, an orphanage? She's involved in the pursuit of these entities?"

 

"Up to her pretty little neck" Latham stated. "It seems she somehow through hook or crook managed to get the right of ways for the coming railroad and has given, mind you, given them to the town, supposedly for property to build these structures."

 

"But," Ashworth interjected, "Judge Ben Robertson is leading the charge for the town council to finagle the right of ways as if they had procured them."

 

Elias thought for a moment. "Fools! She will have made copies, or had duplicates produced to prove it was her, not them, stupid, stupid little man! And the Town Council? How do they stand on this?"

 

"They have not met as the Council yet, but there has been talk among them, that's for sure." Latham explained.

 

"Well, let them start construction and I'll put an end to it!" Elias threatened.

 

"We need to wait on the council meeting to see what happens. I will request an injunction. See if we can prove an impropriety with the rights she obtained, or in the manner in which she obtained them. I believe we'll have the Council's backing for that. In fact legally we can stall this for months, even into next winter if need be."

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TBC

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  • 2 weeks later...

Elias glared at him. “I may disagree with my daughter, and I may disagree with that Town Council, but, I’ll not sit by and have her disgraced, lied about, and dragged through the mud on this.” He growled. “I’ll kill any man that has part in this!”


“Elias, for Christ’s sake! You can’t threaten the Town Council like this. What the hell are you thinking?” Latham demanded.  


“Listen, They want to take on my daughter, they take on me! And where the hell is her brother?”


“He’s there. He had a serious head wound, that was slow to heal, and he’s not quite the same as yet.” Ashworth commented. He dare not say that Case had secluded himself, that he had tremendous  headaches that all but disabled him. “There are two doctors working with him. Doc Boone you know, and Doctor Jonah Danforth, the local doc. Anyway, there’s been talk of him going to Great Falls, or a specialist in Denver, but that’s all hearsay.”

 

Elias fell silent, thinking. “Latham, I want you to hunt down Leah and offer to represent her in this. If anyone will destroy her dream it will be me! But you push this, take it to the capitol if you must! Those self-important, small-minded little fools! They have no idea who they’re toying with. They will rue the day.


The attorney simply nodded that he understood what was expected, which was a better option that threating to kill the Town Council.

 

“There’s another problem, well, possible problem. They have a new owner of the bank, one Charles Wentworth who may just present a problem in all of this. Seems he has family in town, owner of the Belle St. Regis and three up at Lost Lake. One is Thornton’s foreman.” Ashworth explained.

 

Elias’ head snapped around to look at the man. “Yes, this could be a problem.”

 

TBC

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The front door opened and as the men turned to see, Case Steelgrave walked into the room, the front door closing loudly behind him. He stooped at the entrance to the parlor, which was nothig more than draperies pon either side of the wide opening.


“They have an election coming up. I’m running for County Sheriff.” Case announced. “I already know that Guyer doesn’t want it.”


Three men stood somewhat taken aback by Case’s bold proclamation. He waited for something from them, but no words were said. It was as if they were in shock.


“That’ll trim the power of these people some. Guyer ain’t bad. I mean he ain’t a trouble hunter, and he has decided to back my sister, so that should count for something.” He continued.


“What do you mean, back you sister.”

 

"Just what I said, old man. He’s behind Leah and the hospital-orphanage plan she has. It’s good for the town, and it’s good for the county." Was the answer.


“I’ll not have it, you hear me, I’ll not have that girl betray her home and heritage like that. Giving in to those milk-toast fools down there. I had an empire planned, and by the Lord harry, I intend to have it and crush Kalispell along with the Thornton bunch! You run for County Sheriff. You just do that!” He roared. “Don’t you cross me boy, not on your best day, you hear?”


“Easy Pa, I got plans myself. I’ll handle Kalispell, don’t you worry.” He looked to the other two men, besides, you got your eyes and ears here. Don’t go your way, why, you’ll be the first to know.”

 

TBC

 

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Elias stood, mouth agape, stunned by this turn of events.

 

"Remember that gun hand you thought was going to work for the Thorntons? Well Pike is Guyer's new Deputy. And he salty, I really don't know about Guyer as far as gun work is concerned, but if he's half as good and Pike is supposed to be, it could be real trouble." Case declared.

 

"Pike was a Texas Ranger back a ways, I found that out from the telegrapher. Some further checking, he hired out his gun in protection of sod busters and the like. The man's poison with those six-guns he wears."  Ashworth informed them. "Don't under estimate Guyer either. I can't get a history on him, I don't believe he's any kind of gunfighter, but that don't mean he can't shoot."

 

"Well I think we have a trump card none of you realize." Latham announced with a sadistic smile. "Seems there's no way to get to Speed Guyer, but Pronto Pike? Now that, gentlemen, is a horse of a different color."

 

TBC

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  • 3 weeks later...

"And you mean what by that, Latham?" Elias demanded.

 

"You see there is the matter of one Emiline Blakesley." Latham stated almost as a matter of fact. "She and Pike are to be married soon, she owns the cafe in town. Seems Mister Pike has done well for himself in the past. Bought fifteen hundred acres at the falls. He's building a place for them. Be a shame if something were to happen to her. I mean this is wild country after all. She could well turn up missing, or drowned, or thrown by a horse, snake bit -."

 

"Alright, I've heard enough. Yes, all of that is possible,very possible." Elias said almost angrily. Latham did tend to go on. "Running for County Sheriff  would give us an edge, that for sure. And there's no one that might be running against you?"

 

"Nope, I mean, who? they got a passel of shop keepers out there. Doubt any of them out at Lost Lake, they've not the stomach for job like that. Reporting to the Town Council, doing their bidding. No, I don't see anyone that would be a threat, one we couldn't neutralize."

 

Elias thought a moment, "Yes, we've done that before, and we've the men to make it look any way we want, no matter who the target is." The he laughed, and the Indians are out, or so I've heard. This country is becoming mighty dangerous."

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TBC

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"I see from the Union that there's a shindig in town." Elias looked to each of them, "I want no trouble from any of our boys that might decide to attend. If there is, I'll kill them personally. There are bigger fish to fry than some stupid incident." He paused and looked to Case, "You let Layton Harris know what I've said, if you would."

 

"Sure Pa, the last thing we need is a problem in Kalispell." Case agreed.

 

"And what of your daughter?" Nolan Ashworth asked painly. Indeed, what of Leah Steelgrave?

 

"I'll attend to Leah, in my own way." Elias stated. "I'll see an end put to this notion of the hospital and the orphanage, don't you worry." Big talk considering who his daughter was and how she had been raised before the molestation, and how she responded afterward.

 

"We need to be clear on all of this Elias, her, the project, the local law. There has to be a plan where we are protected from charges. We will always be suspected, but without evidence, well, no convictions, not even a trial." Latham stated. The men laughed, knowing he was right about that.

 

Case interrupted the laughter, "Don't forget Bannister and Santee. They've gone over to Leah's side. And they ain't no push overs!"

 

Things went quite.

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"The last damn thing I want is a war in town, of course, if it comes to that, well, sometimes terrible thing happen. But we will be forced to do whatever is necessary to reach our goals." Elias stated flatly. He did not want gun trouble in Kalispell, burning any progress that was made, that would be one thing, killing would be a whole nother matter and that could get really ugly, really fast.

 

"Elias," Ashworth said almost wearily. "What we need to do is see what assitance we can be to the Town Council. It seems they want the credit for this whole project, and whether or not the build anything is not as important to them, or so it seems, as the right of ways for the railroad." 

 

"By the Lord Harry Ashworth! I believe you're on to something! Yes, yes, we can work with the those people to stop what may happen." Latham exclaimed.

 

Case looked quickly to his father, "They may be right, Pa. Siding with those old fools may be just the ticket to begin the take over!" At last, one of them stated the obvious, Elias Steelgrave wanted to take over Kalispell, just as he had Whitefish. The question really was, who would stand in their way?

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TBC

 

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Elias' brow furrowed, he eyes narrowed, then he looked up suddenly, "Yes. However, I cannot be involved, though you two might well pull it off, beings you're a part of the community. I say we do what we can along those lines. At least we'll know what their plan is and how best to toss a wrench in Leah's plan."

 

Case nodded, but from the look on his face, he was not all that invested in the plan, after all, she was his sister, blood relation, he would have to think on this course of action.

 

"I believe we can just worm our way right into the middle of their plans without being a part of the council, that might prove exceedingly difficult." Latham stated, "I mean, hey are aware that I am from Whitefish and a likely ally of yours, but Ashworth here can certainly finagle his way into their trust."

 

"Yes, actually pretty easily as I'm known to all of them, and, there's no real connection to you." He smiled. "Just Nolan Ashworth, Assistant Postmaster. I should be able to glean whatever information is available. I might even be able to attend the meetings, McVay from the union does. Not a real stretch."

 

"Then, by all means, involve yourself with those fools!" Elias agreed, Case simply nodded, the other two smiled.

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TBC
 

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“Time that we headed back to Kalispell. Big doin’s in town today and tonight. I’d like to be there as much as I can.” Ashworth said with a smile.


“Yes, I should hope that while you’re fooling about at this dance of theirs, there will be loose lips to aid in our situation. Elias stated, always looking to enrich himself, be it money or information.


“Oh, I’m sure the liquor will take care of that, well, if there’s anything to learn. The Town Council has yet to meet, but I’m sure there is a great deal of talk between the members.” Latham added. “In fact both of us will most likely be on hand and perusing the inebriates who might have some idea of what he council is up to.”


“Good, good. Yes, this might prove to be a valuable event, after all.” It was clear that Elias had no use for social events, unless of course he could profit from them. It did appear that perhaps there would be invaluable information to be gleaned from loose lips at this affair. “Then I will hear from you when you’ve something worth reporting, and do beat the Union to it!” The men shook hands and departed, Case pausing at the door.

 

"I'll be seeing you." He walked out pulling the door closed behind him. Meanwhile, Elias poured himself a brandy.

 

End

 

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