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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

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Mature Content: No

Author: Flip

With: Hector Wigfall, Dutton Peabody,
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: May / 1 / 1876
Time of Day: Morning.

 

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It would become a busy day at the telegraph office, what with the regular in and out messaging regarding orders from the mercantile, the general store, and several other businesses along main street, including ink and paper for the Kalispell Union, two message for two men in town arrived almost at the same time, one right after the other. Although not out of the ordinary by any means, it was where they were from, and what they were about that was out of the ordinary.


Each would be life changing missives for the two men involved. Funny how these things happen in the stream of life, one day a body is laying plans for what they will do, perhaps the following day, or in the weeks and moths ahead, and the next, everything is dashed. Something more important has intervened, be it a crisis, an change in employment, a death, actually, any number of things, the point being, change was occurring.


The first to arrive most likely raised young Hector Wigfall’s eyebrows as he jotted down the message, from whom it came, and for whom it was intended. The Territorial Governors Office, Helena Montana, for Dutton Peabody. The second, a cry for help from the neighboring community of Columbia Falls, some twenty miles north east. This one was for Doctor Josiah Boone, who, while in Whitefish, had also been available to Columbia Falls whenever he was needed.

 

Now young Wigfall held their futures in his hands.

@Javia

 

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Hector recognised his best friend, Helena Central operator Henry Clay Lomax's, distinctive hand immediately as the message came through and got it in one, long though it was. Pretty neat piece of work, if he said so himself: he immediately sent the received signal back in a strong, clear Morse. People thought that the secret of good electric telegraphy operation was speed, it wasn't. The fellow at the other end had to get the message first time if possible, not be amazed at the rapidity of your taps.

 

The second was actually from the Columbia Falls office, via Central. Hector didn't know this operator’s name outside of the wires and dubbed him, in his head, Columbia Falls operator number 3. He seemed to have replaced #2, but he couldn't sure. Number 3 was slow and a little clumsy, but at least wasn't trying to run before he could walk and normally the message was through clear in two attempts. 

 

It was an odd world: he thought of some of these operators as personal friends, they were closer to him than just about anyone in his home town: but he had never seen their faces, never heard their voices, never shaken their hands, never even seen their handwriting. Yes, they were intimates; a friendship in electric blips: dots and dashes.

 

Another operator was about to begin his shift, so Hector stood up and grabbed the two important messages. As per usual, there was no sign of the asthmatic fat boy that had been hired as a telegraph delivery boy. “I’ll take these.” he explained to his relief man, slapping on his cap and pulling on his pea jacket, into which he slipped the messages and a couple of receipt forms. He wasn’t about to parade round Kalispell with a Western Union satchel around his shoulders: people might think he was a mere delivery boy, not a fully fledged operator.

 

Instead of going straight to the Saloon after work, like he usually did, he found his way to Doctor Boone’s place and rapped on the door. While he waited for an answer, he fetched out the two telegrams and put the one for Peabody back away, holding onto the one for Boone carefully, not to crumple or get fingerprints all over it.

 

@Flip

 

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The rap on the door interrupted Josiah and Dutton who were discussing what it would take for Dutton to maintain his sobriety, as perilous as it might be, it was just days, but in actually it mattered not, if the recovering party took his malady seriously, and was willing to fight for what he had gained.

 

"Coming, be right back Dutton." Josiah turned and went to the door opening it to find young  Hector Wigfall standing there with the notorious yellow papers in his and. "Hello hector, both for me?" This was highly unusual to receive one wire, let alone two. "Well, come in, come in."

@Javia

 

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"Coming, be right back Dutton." Josiah turned and went to the door opening it to find young  Hector Wigfall standing there with the notorious yellow papers in his and. "Hello hector, both for me?" This was highly unusual to receive one wire, let alone two. "Well, come in, come in."

 

“Just this one Doctor Boone, it looked important, so I brought it right over.” he said.

 

Looked important. Of course, Hector knew exactly what the sealed message said as he had had to process it. In a way, Hector was like Doctor Boone, trusted with secrets, bound by oath not to reveal them, not to intimate to the recipient that they knew their most joyous or terrible news far sooner than they themselves did.

 

“Can I get the receipt signed… just er…” he started to get the receipt slips out as he followed the doctor in. He would then let the medical man have a chance to read it and see if there was reply needed.

 

The other message he tucked into his pocket.

 

He wondered if Dutton Peabody was in the Saloon this evening, as per usual. He hoped so: half the time the drunken old bastard was ‘of no fixed abode’ which made it difficult to deliver messages to him. Not that they were exactly inundated, this was the first ever to come in with his name on it: -.. ..- - - --- -. ....... .--. . .- -... --- -.. -.--

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Well certainly I'll sign the receipt, must be important to require a signature." He agreed, he was smiling but the reception of a wire was generally perceived as bad new, and he really didn't need bad news at the moment.

 

It had been said that Doctors notoriously had terrible, if not illegible hand writing. Not Doc Boone, His scrawl was almost artistic. Once signed he reached into his pocket and withdrew a quarter dollar to pay the young man "Thank you, I hope."

 

Dutton walked out of the other room, a cup of coffee in his hand. He smiled and nodded to the young telegrapher and proceeded to the table and chair to set the cup down and have a seat. He surmised that there was certainly more to discuss about his malady.

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@Javia

 

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"Thank you, I hope."

 

The telegram had been paid for at the sending end, so Hector took the quarter as a tip, and was not too proud to accept it. He quite liked money. Transaction complete, he just waited now for the doctor to read it. Knowing what it said, he did his best to maintain as neutral a face as possible. He then had to wait for any reply and as he did so, a surprise met his eye.

 

Dutton walked out of the other room, a cup of coffee in his hand. He smiled and nodded to the young telegrapher and proceeded to the table and chair to set the cup down and have a seat. He surmised that there was certainly more to discuss about his malady.

 

Judge!” yelped Hector, calling Dutton by his usual nickname “Er, I mean, Mr Peabody. I…” he felt about himself and fished out the other telegraph message. “I’ve got a message for you, too!” he said, proffering the sealed card and bending forward to look into the room that the usually drunken man had, quite soberly, walked out of.

 

“You got anybody else in there, Doctor Boone?!” he wondered as he squinted in.

 

@Flip

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The telegram had been paid for at the sending end, so Hector took the quarter as a tip, and was not too proud to accept it. He quite liked money. Transaction complete, he just waited now for the doctor to read it. Knowing what it said, he did his best to maintain as neutral a face as possible. He then had to wait for any reply and as he did so, a surprise met his eye.

 

Dutton walked out of the other room, a cup of coffee in his hand. He smiled and nodded to the young telegrapher and proceeded to the table and chair to set the cup down and have a seat. He surmised that there was certainly more to discuss about his malady.

 

“Judge!” yelped Hector, calling Dutton by his usual nickname “Er, I mean, Mr Peabody. I…” he felt about himself and fished out the other telegraph message. “I’ve got a message for you, too!” he said, proffering the sealed card and bending forward to look into the room that the usually drunken man had, quite soberly, walked out of.

‘What’s the matter, Hector? Never seen a man with a cup of coffee?” Dutton asked with a smile. “A wire for me? How odd, who would that be from, I don’t believe I owe anyone the kind of money that would warrant sending me a telegram, for God’s sakes.”
 

“You got anybody else in there, Doctor Boone?!” he wondered as he squinted in.


Josiah laughed, not yet unfolding the paper. No, no, Dutto is it. Here lad.” He said fishing out another coin. “By the way, how is your sister, your mother, these days?” Professional inquiries into the boy’s family, though he really could not be considered a boy any longer, he was just younger looking than his true age. He still held the telegram as if it  were nothing more than a note from some local asking for an appointment.

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@Javia

 

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‘What’s the matter, Hector? Never seen a man with a cup of coffee?” Dutton asked with a smile.

 

Heck just gave a tight smile. Sure, he’d seen plenty of fellers with a cup of coffee; he’d just never seen Judge Peabody with one. it was ... disturbing.

 

“A wire for me? How odd, who would that be from, I don’t believe I owe anyone the kind of money that would warrant sending me a telegram, for God’s sakes.”

 

Again, Hector couldn’t even pass off the pleasantry of don’t ask me! He knew that Dutton knew that he knew the contents of the missive already.

 

“You got anybody else in there, Doctor Boone?!” he wondered as he squinted in.

 

Josiah laughed, not yet unfolding the paper. No, no, Dutto is it. Here lad.” He said fishing out another coin. “By the way, how is your sister, your mother, these days?”

 

“Oh, Mother’s just wonderful, Mister Peabody, I’ll tell her you asked after her.” He nodded, finding himself treating this new, sober man with some respect: there was a kind of gravitas about him in this condition, which he had always lacked when he had been boozed up and boasting of his court room exploits or lying dead drunk in a puddle of his own making in the middle of the street.

 

“No improvement with Jemima though, sorry. We’re thinking of taking her to the veterinarians to be put to sleep. Kindest thing really.” He joked in a deadpan and utterly earnest manner. Many a true word spoken in jest, he ruminated.

 

Professional inquiries into the boy’s family, though he really could not be considered a boy any longer, he was just younger looking than his true age. He still held the telegram as if it  were nothing more than a note from some local asking for an appointment.

 

“Any reply?” asked Hector, automatically. “Er, either parties?”

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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“Any reply?” asked Hector, automatically. “Er, either parties?”

 

Both men stood there, each still holding the folded yellow papers, neither appearing any too concerned about the contents of the telegrams. Dutton for instance, was more interested in the coffee he was sipping than some bad news that could most definitely wait, as he was in no hurry.

 

“Well,” Doc Boone began, “‘spose I ought to have a look, I can’t for the life of me understand why I would be getting a wire it just,” the paper was unfolded and he was beginning to read the words, ‘My God!”

 

“What is it Josiah?” Dutton asked, dropping his own message as he took a step forward.

 

“Why Leland Howard died of a stroke yesterday and there is an outbreak of some sort, according to the message, they want me to come to Columbia Falls immediately to take over for Leland. He was the Doctor there. Known him for years.”

 

He dropped into a chair. “Yes, yes, tell them I’m on my way, or will be shortly.” He craned his neck to look at Dutton. “And yours, Dutton, what does yours say?”

 

“Why I have no idea. Some bad news I’m sure, gageing by yours.” He was looking around until he located the missive, then bent down and picked it up. Setting the coffee back on the side table, he opened the message and read the words to himself.

 

“Well?” Josiah asked

 

“Uh, oh, ah, well it’s from the Governors office. I’m requested to be there as quickly as possible. A meeting with Governor Samuel Thomas Houser, Territorial Governor, of course. Sent by the Secretary Lincoln Ellsmore. I must have really done it this time.”

 

Josiah was back on his feet. “Just don not take that first drink, Dutton, you’ve worked to hard to throw it all away.” There was a pause. “I’ve people to see, things to pack , this couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time. And you Dutton, what of the trial?”

 

Dutton looked at him a long moment. “Well, yes, the trial. Ah, Hector my boy, please reply that I am currently prosecuting and there is no replacement. I am bound to continue, but I will be there as quickly as possible. Yes, that should do it.” He took out a half dollar and flipped it toward Hector.

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@Javia

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While Doctor Boone absorbed the devastating news of the death of his colleague and friend at Columbia Falls, Hector, pulled out a transcription pad and a pencil to get down the reply.

 

He dropped into a chair. “Yes, yes, tell them I’m on my way, or will be shortly.”

 

“Coming shorty.” Murmured the Wigfall youth, scribbling the words. Of course, it was in his, and Western Union’s, interests to make the message as long as possible, but as an Ace operator, he took a certain pride in his ability to encode any long winded message into shorter, more economical cablese. He knew the A.B.C. Universal Commercial Electric Telegraphic Code just about by heart and he and his fellow operators could express many complicated ideas with single words. For instance, rather than spend nearly a dime on saying It is not absolutely necessary, but well worth the outlay why not spend a single red cent on Naloopen?!

 

He craned his neck to look at Dutton. “And yours, Dutton, what does yours say?”

 

After no little farting around, Peabody got his message open and read, too.

 

“Uh, oh, ah, well it’s from the Governors office. I’m requested to be there as quickly as possible. A meeting with Governor Samuel Thomas Houser, Territorial Governor, of course. Sent by the Secretary Lincoln Ellsmore. I must have really done it this time.”

 

Josiah was back on his feet. “Just don not take that first drink, Dutton, you’ve worked to hard to throw it all away.” There was a pause. “I’ve people to see, things to pack, this couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time. And you Dutton, what of the trial?”

 

Hector felt doubly awkward: not only did her know the contents of both of the old boys’ telegrams, but was clearly intruding on some sort of life and death struggle between Peabody and the demon drink! He pretended to look at a picture on the wall. It was a picture of Dr Boone himself. Hector thought that was a bit odd, somehow. Hanging up a picture of yourself. A daguerreotype of you and your family, perhaps, but one of just you? You would come home after a hard days doctoring, look on the wall and think, oh there I am, aren’t I…” His daydreaming was cut shot by the bark of the lawyer.

 

Dutton looked at him a long moment. “Well, yes, the trial. Ah, Hector my boy, please reply that I am currently prosecuting and there is no replacement. I am bound to continue, but I will be there as quickly as possible. Yes, that should do it.” He took out a half dollar and flipped it toward Hector.

 

Heck caught it, pocketed it and calculated: 50 cents minus 1 cent per word = Prosecuting back asap = 47 cents for him! He scribbled down the truncated message.

 

“So you’ll … both be back, right?” he asked tentatively. He knew his mother doted Dr Boone; she thought Dr. Danforth altogether too good looking, and suspiciously successful, with his fancy town house practice and his nurse and his 'warm gentle hands'. She preferred a good old country doctor type, like the more experienced Boone, cold hands and all!

 

@Flip

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“So you’ll … both be back, right?” he asked tentatively. He knew his mother doted Dr Boone; she thought Dr. Danforth altogether too good looking, and suspiciously successful, with his fancy town house practice and his nurse and his 'warm gentle hands'. She preferred a good old country doctor type, like the more experienced Boone, cold hands and all!

 

"I shall return, there is another matter that will be attending to, in the best interest of the community." Dutton stated. But then he looked to the man responsible for helping him in his battle with alcohol. "Of course you'll return my friend."

 

Josiah looked at Dutton, a change in his demeanor. "One can never be sure. Columbia Falls deserves a resident doctor, not a circuit physician whom they are lucky to see but once a year." Then he forced a smile. "Remember Dutton, if you do not drink, then it is impossible for you to get drunk." He paused again, "My friend, I'll make it a point to come back for the business about the hospital. Which reminds me, I must see Leah and let her know what's happened. I'll be back, you can stay here as long as you like, the rent is paid up til months end."

 

He looked to Hector. "You take care of your mother and sister, Jonah Danforth is a damn good doctor, and you can tell anyone you like that I said that!"

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@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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By Gum, Hector found it was actually a little uncomfortable to hear two grown sober men gushing over each other like this! Sure, when a couple of fellers had imbibed a few too many fingers of red eye together, if they didn't set to knocking each others blocks off over something (or nothing), they instead tended to get passing maudlin and put their arms round each other, and swear off women, and tell each other they were the best pals each other had ever had. But that was the booze talking!

 

Doc Boone was getting that misty maudlin look in his eye even now.

 

He looked to Hector. "You take care of your mother and sister”

 

“Er, all right.” The young telegraph operator assured him. Well, he’d take care of his mother with all of his heart. He’d probably ‘take care’ of his sister with a sledge hammer. Oh, what was the sentimental old twit babbling on about now?

 

“… Jonah Danforth is a damn good doctor, and you can tell anyone you like that I said that!"

 

“I’ll, er, tell ‘em, Sir.” Was all Hector could think to say back. He had always assumed Doc Boone and the more fancy Danforth (his sister’s beau ideal) were friends, but to hear the older physician run on about Danforth like this made Hector assume that they must actually be the most deadly of enemies.

 

Well, anyway, the Wigfall lad decided it was time to beat a retreat.

 

“I’ll go back to the office and send these.” He informed the two older men by way of paving his exit, waving the transcription pad “If there are any replies back I’ll get them to you right away.” He assured them, opening the  door to the street behind him.

 

@Flip

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Thank you Hector. I'll be out, but you can leave it, or them with Mister Peabody here. I appreciate that it was you who brought them, would do to start rumors about either of us, you know how that goes." H looked to Dutton, "be back." and he followed Hector out the door.

 

It was an ominous sound, the closing of the door.  Almost a finality to it. It was certainly not the first time Dutton had been alone, hardly. Doc Boone also had house calls to make, other business to attend to but this particular time was different somehow. Though Dutton Peabody had no fear of taking a drink in the man's absence, it already was like he was gone, which even sounded silly to him, but it was how he felt.

 

He looked at the telegram again, Lincoln Ellsmore, he'd not seen him since at least seventy, or seventy-one, and Territorial Governor Samuel Thomas Houser? Sam Houser, now there was a man, self made and a good man. But why would they be sending for him. I supposed he would find out when he got to Helena. Perhaps a place in the Territorial Government, that was a possibility. But there was the upcoming trial and little time to prepare.

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TBC

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The small house was not far from Doc Boone’s place, but the walk seemed especially long. The idea of Leah Steelgrave living in a small clapboard house was more than mystifying to him. She had left the hotel fro reasons known only to her and the plush accommodations it provided.  He shook his head, whatever her plans were, it appeared that no one was aware of them, not even the three men who were across the street, ever watchful.

 

It was Bannister who was seated on the porch that tapped the brim of his hat as Josiah approached the house of Leah. The man nodded approval as Josiah started for the door. He paused, straightened his shoulders, took a deep breath, then the final steps and the knock on her front door.

 

Leah was not expecting anyone, not that she expected anyone to come calling. Jonah was quite busy these days with his burgeoning practice and that was to be expected as more people were coming to the area. He and Josiah Boone were busier than ever these days.

 

Casually she went to the door and opened it expecting Bannister or one of the men, there stood Josiah Boone. Doctor, please come in. My goodness, what brings you here?”

 

He stepped inside the door and removed his hat. “I received word by telegram, Doctor Leland Howard passed of a stroke yesterday. So, this means they are in desperate need of a doctor. They have an outbreak, which is all they said, but an an outbreak is never good.” He paused and she cut in,

 

“So you’re leaving.”

 

“I must. Jonah can handle what is here, I’m sure of that, probably have him busy for a while til he gets organized, but he’ll make do. And you my dear, you keep fighting, that hospital is important to the whole valley, whether or not out illustrious Town Council sees that.” He smiled at the woman so hate by some because of her name. “If you need me when the time comes I’m a telegram and a few hours away.”

“Our plans, you were, and still are such an integral part of what we are going to do.” She said, tears welling up, her voice beginning to crack.

 

“Leah, that hospital needs to be built. Simple as that. The county, the outlaying areas, they need that hospital, I’m a dottering old country doctor, no more, but I will be here when and if you need me. You have my pledge. You get that young nurse of his on your side too, she’ll prove to be invaluable.” He smiled. “I have to get over there and hope to be able to see him, then I need to be off.”

 

She stood, looking at him, a tear escaping as she threw herself on him with an embrace. “I will miss you Josiah. Come back when you can, and I will surely send for you if the need arises.”

 

He pulled away gently, “Wish me luck, Leah. Goodbye.” And with that he turned opened the door and closed it behind him as he stepped outside.

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TBC

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Thank you Hector. I'll be out, but you can leave it, or them with Mister Peabody here. I appreciate that it was you who brought them, would do to start rumors about either of us, you know how that goes."

 

“Your secrets are safe with me gents, Company Policy!” That was Hector's highest authority: above God, The United States or any theoretical concepts of honor: Western Union!

 

He looked to Dutton, "be back." and he followed Hector out the door.

 

For a second, the nineteen year old thought the old doctor was going to catch him up, but he heard the footsteps behind him fall away and as he passed the saloon – looking longingly through the windows as he did so – and turned to see the back of the man as he tramped toward one of the less salubrious sections of town.

 

An older fellow called Joe was on the transmitter/receiver when he got into the office. Wigfall gave him the messages to send and got out the ledger to enter the details.

 

“Kinda terse!” commented the shift operator.

 

“Yeah, that’s how they wanted it!” lied Hector, fetching out the few cents that he would have to pay out of his much larger haul from the two old men.

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Josiah Boone made the walk to Jonah Danforth’s home and office which was close by. Thinking that aside from this goodbye, he needed to pack, load the buggy and be on his way, figuring that he could make Columbia Falls by night fall. He’d get a room at the boarding house, or so he hoped. One could never tell how the place would be this time of year.

 

He also though of his dear friend, Leland Howard, it was good that there was no widow to grieve for him, Annabelle had passed on two years earlier, but Josiah felt Leland had never really recovered from the loss. Now he had gone to join her.

 

He walked up to the door and knocked, waiting for the  Mrs. Towberman  to come open it. It seemed to him, he had just come to Kalispell after the disaster in Whitefish. Just met Jonah and Leah with her plan for a hospital and an orphanage, now they would need to move forward without him on that project, unless of course they needed him for something. He would be available if called upon, considering there would likely be a problem with the Town Council on the project.

@Bongo

 

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Efficient as ever, Mrs. Towberman saw Dr. Boone into the less formal area of the kitchen, setting out coffee and small cakes before going to fetch Dr. Danforth.

 

It took a few minutes for Jonah to finish up with his last patient and clean up before Jonah stepped into the kitchen, grateful for the coffee and snacks, and happy for some company that wasn't complaining about some ache or pain.

 

"Josiah."  Giving the older doctor a nod, he settled across from him at the table.  "What can I do for you?  No hang nails, I hope?"  He chuckled.

 

@Flip

 

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"Leland Howard passed of a stroke yesterday. You knew Doc Haywood? Well, I'm on my way to Columbia Falls to take over for him. They've some sort of outbreak or some such. So, I've packed, and the buggy's out front waitin' on me. Do me a favor, if I can't get back here, take care of Leah, this town needs her, and you by thunder!" He rose and put out his hand. "Been my pleasure, Jonah. Indeed, a real pleasure."

@Bongo

(No rush)

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"Oh, of course."  The news caught Jonah off-guard.  Even though Josiah had only been here a short time, Jonah had come to see him as a friend, and the man certainly had a good deal of knowledge to pass on, and Jonah appreciated that.

 

"I hate to see you go, but I understand.  And I'll look after Miss Steelegrave any way I can."  He smiled and shook Josiah's hand.  "You'll be missed, sir."

 

@Flip

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There was a slight chuckle from the man, "I'll just be over in Columbia Falls, so I may be around now and again but, I do need to be on my way. Good luck to you Jonah. I will see you when I can. If you need me for anything, give a holler." With that Josiah Boone walked out of the house and climbed in his buggy, then turned it north on the old Whitefish-Kalispell trail, on his way to Columbia Falls.

End of Thread...

 

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