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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.

The Long Awaited Town Council Meeting


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Mature Content: No.

Author: Mr Richard Compton Orr

With: Mayor Scott Cory (?); Judge Ben Robertson (NPC);  Matt Wentworth; John Anderson (NPC); Hector Wigfall acting as amanuensis for Mr Orr.
Location: Town Council Meeting Room.
When: Early-Mid July 1876
Time of Day: Early Evening.

 

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Blood is thicker than water.

 

That had been 'Tricky Dicky' Orr's main consideration during his ongoing opposition to Steelgrave's brat of a daughter's bombastic and self glamourizing little plan to build a hospital and orphanage in Kalispell. But, increasingly, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Oh sure, political cronyism had its uses: thanks to his position as a party animal of the Grant administration, the Governor of the Territory,  another creature of the party machine, had secured him the salaried post of Postmaster (no pun intended) of this Town which not only provided a stipend, modest in comparison to the dollars he made in his legal and business dealings, but also a certain degree of power and pull in local affairs.

 

The downside was that the Governor, he gathered, was increasingly pro- the plan and now, nearer to home, so was his own darling sweet little daughter, Anæsthesia, who had actually extemporised a poem lauding both the scheme and Miss Steelgrave at a local meeting of the Ladies Society! As Secretary of the Town Council - a position involving some degree of work, and therefore coveted by few - he held the power of actually calling the meetings, and therefore was able to play the age old politician's trick of prevarication and filibuster: the council hadn't had a meeting in months, and thus Miss Steelgrave's plan could be neither motioned nor passed. Also, as Secretary, he was responsible for producing the minutes (although he paid a scribe to do the donkey work) and thus was sometimes able to somewhat rewrite the history of the deliberations of this august body.

 

However, at the end of the day, he had his own motions to propose and had been reluctantly forced to call a meeting. He arrived first and ensconced himself in his usual position, flanked by his amanuensis, or scribe, young Hector Wigfall: funny, sitting together like that, a stranger might actually take them for father and son, so alike were they. Orr wondered who would turn up next. Wentworth was usually pretty prompt, Anderson and Judge Robertson would probably turn up, if a little tardily. As for Mayor Cory, no one had seen him for months: was the fellow even still alive? Maybe not. The possibilities of the Mayorship dangled before his own eyes, only to be dismissed: the Mayoral chain glistened, but all that glistened was not gold.

 

He had called the meeting with very little notice, of course, in the hope that no members of the public would get wind of it and crowd the public gallery as was their right under the constitution of the increasingly large town.

 

@Flip @JulieS @Stormwolfe+ anyone who wants to be there.

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Word came down to Speed about the proposed meeting to be held upstairs in the meeting room that evening. He looked up at the clock, a meeting at five would be dinnertime. Folks that worked would just be getting off about that time, and ranchers and farmers, well, there was no time for them to make the trip in, if they even got word of the meeting.

 

He was up out of his chair, putting on his hat, and stepping through the door marching across the street, dodging traffic and other folks that were crossing and up on the the boardwalk on the opposite side of the street.  With Pike gone on his long delayed honeymoon, Charlie would have to go to the meeting with him. Neither would have a say or a vote, but it was customary for both to attend for crowd control, and he doubted there would be a crowd. Something was just plain wrong here.

 

He stepped through the door of the Kalispell Union, "Phin? You hear about the meeting of the Town Council, slated for five o'clock this evening?" The newspaper man looked up, eyes narrowed at the question.

@JulieS@Javia

(Change what you need to. that fluid time really messed me up)

Edited by Flip
fix meeting room error (see edit history)
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"Phin? You hear about the meeting of the Town Council, slated for five o'clock this evening?"

 

"Hell no! You think them four flushing , jackwagons'd invite the Union to one of their contrived meetings? No on your life, son!!" Came the response, "But you can bet I'll be there, this should be good. Maybe, just maybe they'll bring up Miss Steelgrave's hospital project they've shelved for no good reason but their own egos!"

 

Speed smiled, "Be my take you don't much cotton to the Town Council we have."

 

I do not sir! They do nothing for this community, nothing that doesn't benefit them. Just like any other city government anywhere. Their goal is to enrich themselves an' the hell with everyone else. Like they were some kind of royalty, for Christ's sake!" He shook his head. "Crooks, the lot of them worse than Elias or Case Steelgrave because they don't take it all at once, but a little bit at a time."

 

"Now I'd have to agree with that, and I have to go and take young Charlie Wentworth with me to protect them.Ironic, ain't it?"

 

"Well, damn sure should be interesting this evening." Phin added.

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As Matt approached the door of the meeting room, he took his watch out and checked the time.  It was nearly 5pm and there was hardly a soul outside.  This sudden meeting had even surprised him.  Orr probably had some reason for calling it and no doubt it had something to do with his own plans.

 

When he had been asked to join the Town council back in January, Matt had thought he would do some good.  Considering that had only two or three meetings since then, was a bit odd but then again he knew one of the reasons why they hadn't happened.

 

In theory, the town council approved of the plan for a hospital and orphanage.  It was having the Steelgrave name attached to it that was causing problems.  It was a shame that Leah hadn't done enough to distance herself from her father - enough that was to convince the council and most of the town that her father wasn't the one behind the whole scheme.

 

Even if he voted in favour of the plan, it would be probably end up in a stalemate, depending on which way John Anderson went.  Orr and Judge Robertson, who for most of the time was a reasonable man, were against it for now.  A stalemate would result in another delay, which along with all the other delays including the Indian troubles had probably dragged this out longer than it should have been.

 

However, voting on the hospital and orphanage would only happen if it was bought up in the agenda.  He had only found out about the meeting an hour ago, when young Hector Wigfall had informed him about it, so there was no time to go through an agenda, if there was one.

 

Opening the door to the meeting room, he saw Orr standing near the table where the town council sat.  "Good evening, Mr. Orr, " he said as he closed the door behind him, "Care to enlighten me on what this meeting is all about?"

 

@Javia

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As Mr. Wentworth entered Hector glanced up and saw him; he rose and gave a half-assed sort of a bow or nod of acknowledgement of respect and then plonked down in his chair again, trying to get his notepaper in order and fill his fountain pen.

 

Dick Orr looked around majestically and the pleasure at seeing that it was Matt who had arrived was clearly etched upon his patrician brow. 

 

Opening the door to the meeting room, he saw Orr standing near the table where the town council sat.  "Good evening, Mr. Orr, " he said as he closed the door behind him, "Care to enlighten me on what this meeting is all about?"

 

"Hullo Wentworth! Oh, we just need to wave through some urgent business that has come up." he boomed, pacing over to shake the hotelier's hand. Just a normal handshake - firm and dry though it was. When he had first met the man he had given him a masonic handshake, but not receiving one back, had regretfully concluded that he was not of the brotherhood. 

 

"It shouldn't take too long if Anderson or Robertson will get a move on: we only need one more to be quorate. I'm hoping the public won't get wind of it and start crowding the agenda with their petty quibbles. Oh, and er, if you happen to see my daughter, I'd appreciate if you didn't mention this little affair, she's been bending my ear about that dratted hospital again!" he added.

 

"What's become of Cory anyway?" he then asked the other man. not that he particularly missed the relatively newly elected Mayor's meagre contributions to the meetings. "Nobody's seen him or his daughter for months." 

 

Perhaps Wentworth, like a spider at the centre of the web, catching the flies who travelled in and out of Kalispell, might have picked up on some intelligence on the matter. He had no clue, of course, that Matt was a professional agent working for the Government.

 

@Flip @JulieS

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Just about then one of those so-called members of the public opened the door and walked on in, heading straight for the first row of seats. It's not like she didn't have the pick of any of them, thus far at least. The well dressed young woman picked one right in the middle and seated herself. She then reached into her purse and extracted a fine gold pocket watch, snapping it open she glanced at it then at the wall clock and shrugged.

 

Looking up at the various gentleman - and boy - she simply commented, "Your clock is about five minutes fast. Not that anyone would ever say the same about the council, would they?"

 

Correction and jibe accomplished, she snapped the timepiece shut and returned it to the purse.

 

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John Anderson hurried across the street from his store to Municipal Building for the impromptu meeting of the Town Council. Wondering why at that time, with no notice for the rest of the citizens?  Yet all the while hearing the word of his wife Mary Agnes, the one who provided the new Winchesters to Marshal Guyer, than God they had not been fired! 'If the hospital comes up, I hope that you know how to vote. And should I find out it slipped your mind, things will be very unpleasant for you around here.'

 

He went up the steps two at a time in his haste to not be the last one there. He entered the meeting room and was shocked by the lack of citizens present. Not even a mere handful. Something was wrong, very wrong! He went to the long table and took his customary seat.

 

"Ev'nin' Matt, Dick. Must be important whatever drags us here at suppertime." He pointed out. "And your dad, Charles,  from the bank? He coming?"

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@Javia@JulieS

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"What's become of Cory anyway?" he then asked the other man. not that he particularly missed the relatively newly elected Mayor's meagre contributions to the meetings. "Nobody's seen him or his daughter for months."

 

"I think that a question we would all like to know the answer to. Personally, I think..."

 

Matt stopped as the door to the meeting room opened and in walked Matilda Devereau.  He watched as she sat in the front row, took out her watch and looked at the wall clock.

 

Looking up at the various gentleman - and boy - she simply commented, "Your clock is about five minutes fast. Not that anyone would ever say the same about the council, would they?"

 

He smiled, as he politely acknowledged Matilda.  She had a point and he wondered if Orr had anything to do with setting the wall clock ahead and it wouldn't surprised if the man did.  Orr was in sure fire hurry to get this meeting started as soon as possible.

 

Before anything else could be said, John Anderson walked in and asked about his father.  "I can't say if he'll be here or not.  This meeting was a bit unexpected, so he might not have heard about it."

 

Remembering that the town council had asked his father to do some looking into the hospital and orphanage plan, Matt continued, "In regards to the matter, we asked him to look into, that report is now with Judge Robertson who will present the findings, if the subject comes up."

 

Staring intently at Orr, he then asked, "Is the subject going to come up?"

 

@Javia @Flip @Wayfarer

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Emeline had her sources, and while there hadn't been much notice about the town council meeting, she'd managed to hurry everyone out of the cafe and close up early, then left a note for Barnabas before hurrying to the town hall.  Fortunately, the meeting hadn't started yet, and as she was entering, she noticed that Dr. Danforth was just trotting up the steps.  With a gracious smile, he opened the door for her, then they both found seats.

 

One way or another, the hospital, at very least, would be discussed tonight, or Emeline would block the door and make sure no one left!

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So far, so good.

 

Enough of the 'Hospital Faction' had been leaked information about the surprise meeting to bring them bustling into the meeting hall: red-faced and anxious to discuss the matter and get permission to build the thing passed, and he had little doubt that many more would tumble through the door as he tried 'exasperatedly' to get the meeting going.

 

When 'Tricky Dicky' Orr made a plan, there was only one thing that could derail it: the presence of a pretty woman. Matt Wentworth was content to merely acknowledge the clever and alluring Mrs Deverau: Orr considered the man must have insipid water in his veins instead of hot, red, American blood, to ignore such a flame. For his part, he could not resist a moth-like journey over to her, to play around her flaming good looks. 

 

Looking up at the various gentleman - and boy - she simply commented, "Your clock is about five minutes fast. Not that anyone would ever say the same about the council, would they?"

 

"Mrs Deverau, you are as witty as you are beautiful this evening." the handsome, bearded (and married!) man declared, turning a proffered shake of her hand into a kiss of the back of her dainty glove, while in the background a squinting Hector Wigfall looked between his own watch and the clock on the wall, deciding which to adjust, before settling on neither. 

 

"You will excuse me, I hope, while I attend to this tardy Council's business. Perhaps we may converse together later." Orr oozed in his deep Texan tones, excusing himself with a little bow. 

 

He re-joined Wentworth, and now Anderson. They were quorate now.

 

Remembering that the town council had asked his father to do some looking into the hospital and orphanage plan, Matt continued, "In regards to the matter, we asked him to look into, that report is now with Judge Robertson who will present the findings, if the subject comes up."

 

Staring intently at Orr, he then asked, "Is the subject going to come up?"

 

"Well, I'm afraid, Gentlemen, that the subject of the Hospital or Orphange has not been submitted to me either as an agenda item or as a matter of 'Any Other Business' for this meeting." frowned Orr. Of course it hadn't - nobody had known the meeting was happening.

 

"I have on the table a standard planning application by a Mr. Robert Cullen for building works on his claim which I was hoping we could go through in some detail. It is rather a long document but I have looked it over myself and there are no major problems with it, but I expect it will take us the whole meeting to look through." he informed them ponderously. 

 

"Of course, in the Mayor's absence, I as Secretary will be Acting Chair of this session..." Oh, tricky Dicky knew the Town Council's Constitution like the back of his hand.

 

"I am sorry to say that it is highly unlikely that the matter of the Steelgrave Hospital will be discussed tonight." he sighed, sitting at the table and picking up his gavel.

 

@Everybody 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"That sir, is a gross misnomer. It is most assuredly not the Steelgrave Hospital. It is the Kalispell Hospital! Probably a good idea if you were to remember that for future reference!" The voice was strong and defiant, belonging to one Leah Steelgrave, who marched in and took in seat in the front row, directly across from Mister Orr.

 

But behind her came Phinias McVay, and Marshal Guyer with Deputy Wentworth, each posting up on either side of the meeting room. Arms folded across their chests. when the doors opened in in came Barnabas Pike, sans his badge, with Emeline on his arm, and behind them, Santee, Bannister and McKenny.

 

Despite all of the attempts at refinement, Kalispell was still a rough and ready town, where armed men were commonplace.

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@JulieS@Javia@Bongo@Wayfarer @Bailey@boshmi and, anybody else.

 

 

 

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Matilda nodded back to Wentworth, they had chatted only once before when both were quite new to town and that had been the extent of it. However the fancy dan with the goatee was a good deal more forthcoming.

 

"Mrs Deverau, you are as witty as you are beautiful this evening."

 

"Thank you, Mr. Orr," she knew of him but were barely acquaintances, she smiled back but it was a hard one to read, whether sincere or affected.

 

"You will excuse me, I hope, while I attend to this tardy Council's business. Perhaps we may converse together later." Orr oozed in his deep Texan tones, excusing himself with a little bow. 

 

"We shall see," Matilda left it at that.

 

Once the quorum was seated for this affair, that same Mr. Orr seemed to be in charge, useless mayor was a no-show - in her no-nonsense opinion he needed to be voted out of that office, the turd. And then, covering himself with jabber about rules and procedure it was plain the man planned on doing everything he could to dodge the big issue for this town - a hospital.

 

"That sir, is a gross misnomer. It is most assuredly not the Steelgrave Hospital. It is the Kalispell Hospital! Probably a good idea if you were to remember that for future reference!" The voice was strong and defiant, belonging to one Leah Steelgrave, who marched in and took in seat in the front row, directly across from Mister Orr.

 

Matilda frowned and raised one gloved hand but wasn't optimistic enough to wait til she was officially acknowledged and given permission to speak.

 

"I been to a few town council meetings in various towns and there is always something called New Business where the council opens things up for discussion from the floor. Surely not everything has to be scheduled ahead of time, Mr. Orr? "

 

"Don't we live in a democracy?" she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Matt leaned back in his chair as he watched the goings on.  Orr was trying his best to get the meeting started when Leah Steelgrave walked in followed by a small group of people, including his brother Charlie, who for some reason had decided to become a deputy.  He made a mental note to ask Charlie about it one day.

 

After Leah made her statement, Miss Devereau proceeded to get up and have her say ending with a very astute question.  It would be interesting to see how Orr would answer it considering the fawning he had given her.  As for Anderson, Matt still had no idea where the man stood as he didn't have much of chance to say anything at the moment.

 

Looking over to Orr, he smiled, "I do believe, Miss Devereau has a point, don't you agree?"

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Already the small but growing collection of members of the public were calling out their opinions at the meagre Town Council, as Orr sat and grabbed his gavel.

 

"That sir, is a gross misnomer. It is most assuredly not the Steelgrave Hospital. It is the Kalispell Hospital! Probably a good idea if you were to remember that for future reference!" The voice was strong and defiant, belonging to one Leah Steelgrave, who marched in and took in seat in the front row, directly across from Mister Orr.

 

Richard Orr stood and gave the young woman a stiff bow and intoned her name "Miss Steelgrave" noncommittally. He went to sit down again, but now the feisty and attractive Saloon owner was haranguing them again.

 

"I been to a few town council meetings in various towns and there is always something called New Business where the council opens things up for discussion from the floor. Surely not everything has to be scheduled ahead of time, Mr. Orr? "

 

"That's right!" shouted someone from behind her.

 

"Don't we live in a democracy?" she added.

 

Before Orr could dismiss this facile line of argument, Matt Wentworth weighed in on her side. 

 

Looking over to Orr, he smiled, "I do believe, Miss Devereau has a point, don't you agree?"

 

"Certainly not!" the Postmaster said quietly so that only those at the council table could hear. "But the scene I had hoped to avoid has been unfortunately thrust upon us. I don't know who blabbed about this meeting but I'm afraid we are now faced with a situation of riot if we do not at least pretend to listen to the spurious arguments for the Steelgrave Hospital." he frowned. "I regrettably suggest we wave through Mr. Cullen's business and use what remains of this meeting in killing this fool notion off once and for all." he sighed, looking down sadly at his annotated copy of the boring legal document on the table. Hector scribbled all this down, with a rather self-important look on his face.

 

BAM! BAM! BAM! Orr banged his gavel, and a couple of nervous types actually started for their six-shooters. 

 

"I bring this meeting of the Kalispell Town Council to order!" He boomed. "Present: Mr. Matthew Wentworth, Mr John Anderson, Honorary Treasurer, myself Richard Orr, Secretary and Acting Chair. First point of business, Planning Application by Mr. Robert Cullen, passed on the nod. Any new points of business?..." before the members of the public could all shout out, he reminded them "... Tax-paying members of the community may speak through the chair, and new motions proposed by members of the Council only." 

 

He looked about the audience as if wondering who would pipe up. Maybe Leah wouldn't get picked to say her piece, and some well-meaning but tongue-tied idiot might manage to get in first and totally foul up the proposal about the Hospital.  

 

@Everybody

 

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Meanwhile, an unusual site would have greeted any number of townsfolk on the boardwalk, had they been there. Those that were in town at that hour were upstairs in the Municipal Building in the meeting room, listening to Richard T. Orr open the meeting of the Town Council.

 

A coach rolled into town, drawn by four lathered horses. With it, four riders, the metal of their badges flashing in the sunlight, as their coats yielded to the wind. The coach rolled up in front of the Belle-St. Regis Hotel and stopped, the riders quickly dismounted and one opened the carriage door as the other three posted up.

 

A tall, somewhat thin man with graying hair emerged, dressed in a black suit, he stepped down and looked about. then strode up on the boardwalk to the hotel doors stepping inside. Making he way to the front desk he began, “Ah, now, now where in town could a man hold a meeting with, ah, with your town council, if I might ask?” Another man had followed him inside, of somewhat shorter stature, by a good foot at least, longish white hair, and wearing a white suit, and behind him, a third, one Dutton Peabody, Esquire. He too was dressed in a black suit, with a large smile on his face as he looked at Walter Simpson. “And, and just how long would it take to rustle them up?”

@JulieS

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"You'll discuss the proposed hospital and orphanage!"  Emeline jumped up, her tone firm.  She wasn't much one for activism, but that Orr man was just...obnoxious, and she wasn't going to let him get away with this!

 

"And you will discuss, sir, not dismiss!  If there isn't fair debate on the topic, with fair input from both sides, I promise you, they'll have the news all over the territory, from Helena to Denver, that our fine town council is against improvement, against the safety and good health of our citizens, and against security and kindness to children!"

 

With her spiel said, Emeline was suddenly aware that folks were looking at her, and she was inclined to apologize, but she knew she was right, and just stiffened her spine and stood her ground.  She'd faced down bank robbers, the town council wasn't going to rattle her!

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A tall, somewhat thin man with graying hair emerged, dressed in a black suit, he stepped down and looked about. then strode up on the boardwalk to the hotel doors stepping inside. Making he way to the front desk he began, “Ah, now, now where in town could a man hold a meeting with, ah, with your town council, if I might ask?” Another man had followed him inside, of somewhat shorter stature, by a good foot at least, longish white hair, and wearing a white suit, and behind him, a third, one Dutton Peabody, Esquire. He too was dressed in a black suit, with a large smile on his face as he looked at Walter Simpson. “And, and just how long would it take to rustle them up?”

 

Walter Simpson looked at the men who came in and simply raised an eyebrow.  Whoever the two first men were, they had an air of importance.  As for the third, he knew Dutton Peabody as the town drunk, who had somehow managed to clean up his act.  The last he had heard about Peabody was that the man had left town in disgrace shortly after the Case Steelgrave trial, never to be seen in these parts again.  Well, whoever put that rumour out was being proved wrong.

 

"To answer, the first question...the town council meets in a room in the municipal building, as Mr. Peabody should be well aware of," Walter replied, with a slight smirk, "As for how long it would take to rustle them up..."

 

He looked over to the wall clock near the front desk and then back to the three men, "Try about ten to fifteen minutes ago.  Knowing what Tricky Dicky Orr is like, you might just be in time to catch the end of it."

 

@Flip

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"Well then, we best get over there." Without another word, the two men turned and headed for the door, as Dutton stepped up to Walter's desk.

 

"Good to see you again Walter, we'll need four of your finest rooms. We'll register when we get back. I don't want to miss this." With that Dutton turned and hurried out the front doors behind the other men with no introductions or explanations.

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She sat, quietly, she had said all there was for her to say, done all that there was for her to do, or tried to at least. She had hoped to see Jonah Danforth, but now, as the only Doctor in town, he was probably on a call or seeing patients.

 

It was when Emeline Pike stood up and spoke her mind that the fire coursed through Leah's veins, and she came to her feet as the Deputies wife sat down. "In the off chance that someone does not know me, I am Leah Elinor Steelgrave, only daughter to Elinor and Elias Steelgrave." She began, "I am here on the matter of the hospital that you 'gentlemen,' and I use the term with much disdain, have been avoiding since the first of the new year, now half gone. Do your worst. I am prepared for that eventuality, you can count on that. Anything that I might say or do here tonight would be a waste of breath or energy."

@Javia

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When Emeline rose to her feet Pike prepared for the worst, and was ready to pounce. He knew Speed and Charlie were there and the two would not let the meeting get out of hand,  but he was more than ready. This was his wife, and he dared anyone of the council to say anything off color, or derogatory to, or about her!

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Speed had been loafing against the wall until Emeline stood, then he came to a full stance, looking to Charlie, as he prepared for the one person he knew would be primed for trouble. That would be his friend and deputy, Barnabas Pike.

 

He would allow anyone to have their say, so long as it was civil. He would not allow anyone to physically attack the members of the council, verbally? They were free to speak their minds, and he would guarantee them that right.

@any

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His pencil was moving as fast he he could to record the goings on of the meeting, paying close attention to Richard T. Orr who was orchestrating the meeting to head in only the direction he chose. This was age old in the halls of any government.

 

Phin had a smile on his face as Missus Pike unleashed on Dick Orr. And it was, to his way of thinking, well deserved. And then Leah Steelgrave got to her feet and let loose her sentiments, which he agreed with. This was shaping up to be quite the next edition!

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"Chair recognises Mrs Emeline Bla... oh, Pike, now, of course." said Orr lazily as Em sprang to her feet. 

 

"You'll discuss the proposed hospital and orphanage!"  Emeline jumped up, her tone firm.  She wasn't much one for activism, but that Orr man was just...obnoxious, and she wasn't going to let him get away with this!

 

Dick leaned forward, resting his elbows on the desk and steepling his fingers before him, looking upon the pie-making mistress of the Lick Skillet with a sort of patronising bemused look on his face at her excited yelp.

 

"And you will discuss, sir, not dismiss!  If there isn't fair debate on the topic, with fair input from both sides, I promise you, they'll have the news all over the territory, from Helena to Denver, that our fine town council is against improvement, against the safety and good health of our citizens, and against security and kindness to children!"

 

Orr turned to Hector "Mr Wigfall, please note that Mrs Pike ordered the Town Council to discuss, not dismiss, the Hospital and Orphanage" he directed him with a slightly derisive tone in his voice.

 

"Discuss not dismiss..." mumbled Hector as he scribbled.

 

As one lady sat down, another popped up. "Like a room full of Jack-in-the-boxes!" Orr grumbled to nobody in particular.

 

It was when Emeline Pike stood up and spoke her mind that the fire coursed through Leah's veins, and she came to her feet as the Deputies wife sat down. "In the off chance that someone does not know me, I am Leah Elinor Steelgrave, only daughter to Elinor and Elias Steelgrave."

 

"I'm sure that we're only all TOO aware of your face and voice, Miss Steelgrave. Feels like we've been listening to you describing your vanity projects for a long, long time." retorted Orr.

 

She began, "I am here on the matter of the hospital that you 'gentlemen,' and I use the term with much disdain, have been avoiding since the first of the new year, now half gone. Do your worst. I am prepared for that eventuality, you can count on that. Anything that I might say or do here tonight would be a waste of breath or energy."

 

"Well, I'm glad that we agree on that, Miss Steelgrave, perhaps, then, you should resume your seat and let you elders and betters take care of the business of the Town!" chuckled Orr smugly, hoping that scribbler McVay was getting these bon mots down for his report.

 

@Everybody

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"'Betters' is open to debate!"  In the back of the room, Jonah stood, putting in his opinion.  "It's abhorrent how you can delay the best in medical care for the citizens of this territory, and no," he smirked as he looked directly at Orr, "I'm not implying that I am the best there is, but a man can only do with what he has to work with.  A new hospital will give us advanced equipment and services, and attract the best."

 

That was his say, and as he sat down, he honestly had to wonder where the passion had come from, except that he hated bullies!

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Leah turned, as did most of the others present to look at, and listen to, the Town Doctor. She smiled, he had heard about the meeting and he had shown up for it, now he was speaking in support of a project that was his as much as it was hers.

 

He had been busy, especially since Josiah Boone had left for Columbia Falls, so they had not seen much of one another, so his appearance , and his support, might just be enough to turn the tide.

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