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Sagas of the Wild West
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Some Things are Never Easy


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She smiled at him. "I know they are suspicious of anything with the Steelgrave name attached to it, and well they should be, Rest assured I am not an agent for my father. You may trust in that."

 

Matt nodded, "I hope I can and I hope the ladies waiting to you speak can too.  From what I've heard, there are a lot of people in favour of your plan but not in favour of you being behind it.  You know this already so be prepared to hear no...this time around."

 

He took a moment to look at Leah.  In a way he felt sorry for her and he wanted to help her.  "If you really want to do this, then you may have to go a few rounds before you get a yes.  I don't recommend you going ahead and start building without the town behind you either as that may cause more animosity.  This is just my opinion but you have prove that you are not your father's daughter.  I know some people see what you have done already by going ahead and procuring the land without the blessing of the town as something your father would do and that they are being railroaded into something they might regret in the future."

 

Leaning forward a little, he smiled apologetically, "I know this is probably something you don't want to hear but I thought it would be fair to warn that it could be a long fight before they say yes. My advice is, don't give up and make the people of Kalispell see you in a different light.  As I said before...prove to them you're not your father's daughter."

 

Standing up, he gazed down at her, "I have to go now and check with the kitchen to make sure everything is running well.  If you wish to ignore anything I've said, then that is fine I won't hold it against you.  I just hope you will consider what I've said before making your next move.  I wish you the best of luck with the ladies this afternoon, Miss Steelgrave."

 

@Flip

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Addy neither considered herself a 'lady' nor a 'society' type of person, but she was a business woman of sorts, and was interested in the goings-on in town, at least the important things, such as the hospital that she heard was being discussed today.

 

Business had kept her late, though, her last delivery had taken longer than she'd anticipated, so she'd just taken time to throw on a clean shirtwaist and brush dust from her wool skirts before trotting over to the hotel.

 

Fortunately, it didn't seem as though the actual meeting had started yet, and more important, the food hadn't been served!

 

But there was punch, and she allowed as how she was parched after the long day, so she poured herself a glass, feeling a bit awkward at using the delicate cup, but as soon as she took a swig, she grinned.

 

This was going to be a fun meeting!

 

@Javia; @JulieS; @Flip

 

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But there was punch, and she allowed as how she was parched after the long day, so she poured herself a glass, feeling a bit awkward at using the delicate cup, but as soon as she took a swig, she grinned. 

 

Arabella arrived at the punch bowl about the same time as Addy and hovered back a little as the lady finished serving herself, then moved in and ladled some of the harmless looking juice mix into one of the impressive cut glass cups. She smiled over the bowl as her blue eyes met Addy’s brown.

 

“Hello, my name’s Arabella!” she smiled brightly.

 

She had seen the Amazonian mule skinner working around the town, coming in and out with stage coaches and freight wagons: the teams of horses under her firm hand, and she was an object of intense curiosity to the saloon scullion. She did a man’s job and wore men’s clothes and, reputedly,   killed Bears with her bare hands for past time. However, the redoubtable hoyden must have heard the rumor about this being a fancy dress party, because she’d come to it dressed as a woman.

 

“Us fancy dress folk is sat on the front row!” Arabella informed the formidable looking wagoner. “We got Lady Liberty and a Bear and I’m a Vivandière. But don’t go killin’ the bear, ‘cause it’s just a person in a suit, really.” She informed helpfully before taking a big swig of the punch, frowning, staring at the glass, and then smiling happily. She put her free hand to her throat.

 

“It tickles!” she announced, delighted.

 

@Flip @JulieS @Bongo

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Matt nodded, "I hope I can and I hope the ladies waiting to you speak can too.  From what I've heard, there are a lot of people in favour of your plan but not in favour of you being behind it.  You know this already so be prepared to hear no...this time around."


“I am fully aware that I am not the one they would like to have done this, unfortunately for them, I am the one. What most in this world do not understand, Matthew, is the word no is a complete sentence. One I have heard far too many times in my life, and one I will hear too many more times  before I am finished.”
 

He took a moment to look at Leah.  In a way he felt sorry for her and he wanted to help her.  "If you really want to do this, then you may have to go a few rounds before you get a yes.  I don't recommend you going ahead and start building without the town behind you either as that may cause more animosity.  This is just my opinion but you have prove that you are not your father's daughter.  I know some people see what you have done already by going ahead and procuring the land without the blessing of the town as something your father would do and that they are being railroaded into something they might regret in the future."

 

“I can understand that, I truly can. Not proceeding with the plan, but before too long the snow will fly again, and those in need of what the hospital will represent will continue to do without proper medical care.” She paused, “it’s not as if I expected the citizens of Kalispell to fall all over themselves congratulating me.” It almost made her laugh.

 

Leaning forward a little, he smiled apologetically, "I know this is probably something you don't want to hear but I thought it would be fair to warn that it could be a long fight before they say yes. My advice is, don't give up and make the people of Kalispell see you in a different light.  As I said before...prove to them you're not your father's daughter."


“I do understand, honestly I do.” Was her response, but after all, she was in fact her fathers daughter. It may take some effort, and it may take time she did not have, to convince people that the very last thing Elias Steelgrave would do would be to benefit anyone other than himself.
 

Standing up, he gazed down at her, "I have to go now and check with the kitchen to make sure everything is running well.  If you wish to ignore anything I've said, then that is fine I won't hold it against you.  I just hope you will consider what I've said before making your next move.  I wish you the best of luck with the ladies this afternoon, Miss Steelgrave."


“Thank you Matthew, you have always been a good friend.” She said. Probably not what he had intended, but it had always come across that way, and it seemed genuine to her.

@JulieS(?)

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“Hello, my name’s Arabella!” she smiled brightly.

 

Addy smiled as she looked down at the girl, taking in the unique outfit and the eager face.  "Hello there, Miz Arabeller, I'm Addy, pleased ta make yer acquaintance."  If she wasn't mistaken, the child had been at the dance, and had been quite the...dancer.

 

“Us fancy dress folk is sat on the front row!” Arabella informed the formidable looking wagoner.

 

"That so?"  It took a bit of doing not to laugh at the girl, but Addy managed to keep a straight face.  "Front's th' best, I hear."

 

“We got Lady Liberty and a Bear and I’m a Vivandière. But don’t go killin’ the bear, ‘cause it’s just a person in a suit, really.”

 

"Ah, good ta know."  As far as why there was a bear and a Lady Liberty here, Addy wasn't sure, but what mattered was what sort of  food was being served later.

 

Belatedly, she noticed the girl at the punch, and she winced.  This could make things interesting!

 

“It tickles!” she announced, delighted.

 

"That's one way ta put it," Addy laughed, wondering if she should stop Arabella from having more of the spiked punch, or if telling her not to would just make her want more?  No matter, Addy would keep an eye on her so she didn't get into too much trouble!  Of course, if she overdid it, she'd feel it in the morning!

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"That so?"  It took a bit of doing not to laugh at the girl, but Addy managed to keep a straight face. "Front's th' best, I hear."

 

“Oh sure!” agreed Arabella “I got to be handy too, I’m on the programme, right after…” she had to glance at a small slip of paper with the order of business on it to remember the name “… ‘Miss Steelgrave’. I’ve writ a poem to recite, it’s all about a man who has a fight with a monkey.” She informed Addy matter-of-factly, like that was a common theme for poetic treatment. She pointed out the array of fancy dress folk on the seats facing the … well, it wasn’t so much a stage, just a table and two chairs where the Chairwoman and Secretary of the Meeting would sit.

 

“We got Lady Liberty and a Bear and I’m a Vivandière. But don’t go killin’ the bear, ‘cause it’s just a person in a suit, really.”

 

"Ah, good ta know."  As far as why there was a bear and a Lady Liberty here, Addy wasn't sure, but what mattered was what sort of  food was being served later.

 

Belatedly, she noticed the girl at the punch, and she winced.  This could make things interesting!

“It tickles!” she announced, delighted.

 

"That's one way ta put it," Addy laughed.

 

Arabella nodded, knocking back the rest of the glass and smacking her lips with a satisfied “Ahhhh! That stuff’s better’n cough medicine!” She indicated that Addy, too, should empty her beaker. “Drink up and we’ll get another one before we sit down.” She advised, winking  conspiratorially, and only wishing that she could surreptitiously fill her empty brandy barrel, part of her outfit, before they left the bowl.

 

The Bear was very polite and stood as Addy and Arabella approached the seats. Granny Miggins just shot her a glare.

 

“This is Addy, she’s a mule skinner, and…” started Arabella.

 

“Oh, I know Adelaide Chappel!” butted in the old woman with the spikey crown and unconvincing torch of liberty, not sounding like knowing Addy was an agreeable thing at all. However, the name made the big Bear bow low.

 

“Ah! Miss Adelaide Chappel, how very charming to meet you Miss Chappel. I would very much like to discuss a certain matter with you privately after the meeting, if you do not have to rush off.” Came a rumbly, and sophisticated man’s voice from within the bear’s head.

This so amazed Arabella that she dropped into her chair open mouthed with a thunk, although she was very careful not to spill any of the precious cordial from her glass.

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“Ahhhh! That stuff’s better’n cough medicine!”

 

"Reckon you could say that."  Of course, most cough medicines likely had more alcohol in them than the punch did, that was why folks bought them, and why they 'worked'.  "Just gotta take it easy."  Then the girl slurped down the rest of her glass in one gulp!

 

“Drink up and we’ll get another one before we sit down.”

 

"Good idea, that."  While she didn't want to encourage the girl, neither did she want to deprive herself a little reinforcement in the face of the upcoming ordeal!  She just made sure that she didn't fill the glasses as much as she might.

 

Then Arabella introduced her Old Miz Miggins...

 

“This is Addy, she’s a mule skinner, and…” started Arabella.

 

“Oh, I know Adelaide Chappel!”

 

"Right-o!"  Addy grinned widely, not at all put off by the woman's grump, but rather entertained by it.

 

“Ah! Miss Adelaide Chappel, how very charming to meet you Miss Chappel. I would very much like to discuss a certain matter with you privately after the meeting, if you do not have to rush off.”

 

"Oh, well..."  Not only was Addy a little startled finding that she was talking to a bear, but that anyone would want to talk to her at all.  "I reckon that'd be all right," she agreed, then grinned, "so long as I don't fall inta a stupor first...Oh, an' I'd best warn ya, I'm th' best bear hunter this side'a th' Mississippi!

 

@Javia

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"Oh, well..."  Not only was Addy a little startled finding that she was talking to a bear, but that anyone would want to talk to her at all.  "I reckon that'd be all right," she agreed, then grinned, "so long as I don't fall inta a stupor first...Oh, an' I'd best warn ya, I'm th' best bear hunter this side'a th' Mississippi!

 

The courteous bear chortled obligingly at this witticism, although it was hard to read much in his passive features, a gift of the taxidermist’s art. He would have made an excellent poker player.

 

Before any more of this ursine conversation could take place, however, the rapping report of a gavel brought the room to order. Most of the assembled ladies, all in very fine dresses that outshone the motley collection of outfits worn by the front row crew by far, had helped themselves to punch and sat down, ready for the meeting. This was to be “An Extraordinary Meeting of the Kalispell Ladies’ Society” which meant instead of merely sniping at each other, the members got to snipe at a number of guest speakers: and first on the menu was one that they could all agree to dislike on principle: Miss Leah Steelgrave.

 

Some disliked her because of her name, some because of the expensive sounding scheme she had come to talk about today, some because she gave herself airs (walking around with bodyguards, indeed, like she was royalty!) the last quarter just hated her because she was young and beautiful, and they no longer were.

 

The Chairwoman and Secretary sat at the front, facing the other ladies (and bear) and despite the full programme, insisted on going through something called “The Minutes of the Previous Meeting” which seemed more like 'hours' than 'minutes' to Arabella. However, the assembled ladies were so eager to taste Steelgrave blood, that they dispensed with the usual bickering over the accuracy of the record of their last get together.

 

The pompous and crabby chairwoman then took a quick slurp of the laced punch to clear her throat and announced the next item on the Agenda, with a quick rap of her gavel.

 

 “Order, Ladies, order!” she barked.

 

“Item number two, an Address by Miss. L. Steelgrave.” She announced to a stunning round of ... silence. The only applause was from the front row, who presumably didn’t know that they were meant to disapprove of the speaker.

 

@Flip @JulieS @Bongo

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The pompous and crabby chairwoman then took a quick slurp of the laced punch to clear her throat and announced the next item on the Agenda, with a quick rap of her gavel.

 

 “Order, Ladies, order!” she barked.

 

“Item number two, an Address by Miss. L. Steelgrave.” She announced to a stunning round of ... silence. The only applause was from the front row, who presumably didn’t know that they were meant to disapprove of the speaker.


Hardly ill prepared for the silence that followed her introduction, in a way she had expected such. In fact, truth be told, she had expected far worse. But no matter, she was here about the hospital and perhaps a bit about the orphanage plans.

 

“Ladies, thank you so much for inviting me to share our idea for a hospital, which of course will be first and foremost in our plans.” She began. “I fully understand that there are several stories circulating in regard to our plans, so I am here in part to clarify what those plans are, what the cost to the town would be, and how we intend to proceed.”

 

”And, before you ask, the we are Doctors Danforth and Boone, as well as myself.  Perhaps the biggest controversy is the name for the hospital. We have a couple of names already, Kalispell Hospital, Flathead County Hospital, or perhaps publishing a contest in the Union to name the facility. The Steelgrave name will not be any part of this project.” She saw Phinias McVay enter the room, pad and pencil in hand, and in the lobby, Danforth and Boone within earshot of the proceedings.

 

“What is it that we are requesting from the town? A plot of land to build on. That would be in exchange for the right of ways that were procured for the coming railroad which are currently in the custody of Judge Ben Robinson. You should know, those right of ways belong to the town Kalispell, not to any individual.” She paused, expecting questions or accusations.

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@JulieS@Bongo@Javia@Any

 

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"Sounds like a right fine idea!" Addy declared without reservation, "ain't like th' town can't afford some land, an' we certainly could benefit from a hospital."  She shrugged, not minding any rules that might be in place for proper discussion.  "'Specially after what happened in Whitefish, ain't no need ta be travelin' half way cross th' territory if a body needs help."

 

And in the winter, that sort of travel wasn't even possible, with all the passes and roads snowed closed.

 

"Right fine idea, I say."

 

@Javia; @Flip; @JulieS

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