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    • "It's just to your right.  Would you like some help?"  There!  An offer, but Frances' choice.   Miss Grimes flicked her stick to the right and struck the package, bending down to retrieve it. "Oh, thank you, Mrs Pike, I have it." she smiled picking up the package and feeling it over for tears. "I hope none of it is peeping out, it is some undergarments and an old dress that needed repairs. I can sew but it's a laborious process for me, and we will be on our way to Kalispell tomorrow."   She managed to bundle up everything in one arm, packages, stick, and stuck out the other to somewhere near Emeline again.   "Goodbye, I hope to see you in Kalispell when you return" she did not shy away from using the 'S' word "And I shall certainly look up Mrs Connolly at the Diner."   @Bongo 
    • "Oh..."  Emeline gasped as the girl dropped her package, and started to bend down to get it, but then hesitated, wondering if perhaps she even wanted help, or might feel insulted at the offer, that it would imply that she couldn't do for herself.   "It's just to your right.  Would you like some help?"  There!  An offer, but Frances' choice.   @Javia        
    • He took Frances' hand and gently shook it, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Grimes."   "And you, Mr. Simons." she smiled sweetly.   "If you are interested in joining the ladies group my aunt Rebecca Wentworth will be running, I can get her to send you an invitation or she can personally come to see you."   "Oh, that sounds wonderful, I shall have to see if, er..." stammered the blind girl, and Crabbe could guess why.    "And it doesn't cost anything to join, does it, Ben?" Lorenzo put in.   "It sounds absolutely wonderful Mr. Simons" said Frances, now much more firmly "Please, just an invitation, I mean, just knowing when and when your Aunt would be holding the meetings would be all I need. I shall find it with no problem. What a kind thought, thank you, Mr. Simons."   At the sound of Ben munching, she decided that she had probably outstayed her welcome at his tableside and said "I shall leave you to your repast, Mr Simons, thank you again."   @JulieS    
    • "First off, proper grammar, it is 'like a blind person' not people," Clara pointed out , "And secondly we are here in this kitchen to cook proper meals for paying customers. That is a responsibility I take most seriously. Kindly be more....adult."   "Ain't it funny, Clara, I'm always makin' mistakes like that when I talk in my regular voice, but when I do 'personations of folk, I can speak right if I needs to. Listen to this:..." the gangly, scruffy teenager suddenly stood up ramrod straight at the frying pan and repositioned the spachelor in her hand like she was holding a dainty quill, then started to speak in a refined, maybe even pretentious voice, very unlike her own, with no trace of a southern accent:   "Arabella, would you please desist from precipitating those most distastful and less that utilitarian anecdotal confabulations. I find them most distressing!" All right, the words might not make sense, but anyone who knew Clara would have recognised the rhythm and tone of her voice.   @Wayfarer
    • "There ain't no 'we', Ara, this is between me n' the cowpoke here. You did not knock and I did not say you could come in," Caroline now pointed out as calmly as she could.   "I know..." replied Arabella sadly "An' I know I promised to do all them things but..." she shook her head a little "when I heard all them terrible horrible rotten things what happened to you, I was just so shocked and sad and angry that some low down bastard could do that to my sweet, pretty, lovely little Caroline, I just... well my soul kinda flew out to you, and my big ol' feet foller'd right along behind it."   She reached across and hugged her again and kissed her on top of her head again. Brendan then put in his two cents' worth.   From there, he looked down at Caroline. "Hey. What I was tryin' to say...goin' to say...is that...I understand."   "Good ta know, hon. Just wait a minute and we can continue this conversation once Ara leaves the room, shuts the door, and assures me she won't be listening in anymore. Got that?" Caroline eyed the teenager.   Arabella nodded compliantly enough, but then twisted in the bed so she was face to face with Brendan, whom she stared straight in the eye.   "But before I go, Brendan Connolly, you gotta tell me that you forgive me for all them silly things I said before and all them silly things I did cause even Caroline's forgiven me and she's the one I did and said them things to and we gettin' on all right now and I found out some stuff which made me change and I'm a better person now and it just ain't fair that you're still treatin' me so mean and, and..." she gulped down a sob and a lone tear appeared in the corner of her eye.   "... I really want you to be my friend again..." she wiped away the tear "... please."   @Bailey @Wayfarer
Richard Orr

The Long Awaited Town Council Meeting

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Matilda had been sitting listening to everyone else talk, it was so obvious that the public - leastwise those who were in attendance - were all for the hospital but that the stumbling block was this imperious Orr. Arrogant bastard.

 

"You know, yer majesty, I mean Mr. Orr, you might want to give a think on how you got this here position? You got elected and it seems to me going against the will of the people of the town is a surefire way of getting you voted right out next election. I can pretty much promise you if you don't decide on constructing this hospital there are going to be a whole hell of a lot of us who will do everything we can to see you lose this election," she pointed out in a clear loud voice.

 

"It takes a mighty bold man and a very stupid politician to go against the tide of public opinion," she added with a smirk.

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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."

 

"Yes, yes" Orr sighed wearily, "... please add Dr. Danforth's name to the minutes, Mr. Wigfall. I hadn't realised that Miss Steelgrave had brought her personal lapdog along to the meeting, as well as her hired gunmen to try and overawe the Council. You can note that Dr. Danforth fully supports the motion to provide him with a sinecure of Chief Medical Officer for the hospital." he drawled. 

 

This remark seemed to sting Tildy into action again.

 

"You know, yer majesty, I mean Mr. Orr, you might want to give a think on how you got this here position?"

 

"Your Majesty, I like that, very good." Orr chuckled at Matilda's jibe, even if it was aimed at himself.

 

"You got elected and it seems to me going against the will of the people of the town is a surefire way of getting you voted right out next election. I can pretty much promise you if you don't decide on constructing this hospital there are going to be a whole hell of a lot of us who will do everything we can to see you lose this election," she pointed out in a clear loud voice.

 

The resultant murmur of assent from the crowd made it impossible for Orr to reply immediately, and his eventual success in getting quiet by banging his gavel only gave the feisty and beautiful saloon owner to get another few words in.

 

"It takes a mighty bold man and a very stupid politician to go against the tide of public opinion," she added with a smirk.

 

The black-bearded Dick held up his hands in a sort of mock-surrender. "I have to own that our lovely Mrs Deverau has a good point: but I am afraid that my chief responsibility as a Town Councilman is not to garner popularity or votes, but to make the right decisions for the prosperity of our community. Oh, yes, the idea of a hospital and orphanage appeal mightily to the limited intellects and overdeveloped emotions of the fairer sex, but this matter has been given full consideration by the men of the..." 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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Orr's oration was cut off as the door to the public chamber flew open and a figure in white flew in, like a fairy on the breeze: followed by a motley trio of costumed girls: Miriam Kaufmann, looking somewhat terrified and dressed in some sort of toga affair*; Bridget Monahan, with her false leg off, her crutch under her arm and a strawberry jelly splattered bandage around her head and Arabella Mudd, dressed in a sort of sack, soot smeared on her face, and her spindly white legs and arms poking out all over the place like a Granddaddy Longlegs. 

 

The three formed a sort of tableaux vivant behind Dick Orr's own daughter, Anæsthesia, as she launched into a fancy poem that she had written in support of Miss Steelgrave, the hospital and the orphanage.

 

"The Goddess smiles on the Orphan and the Maimed,

The..."

 

Furious banging by Orr's gavel drowned out the rest of the poem and he, for the first time, seemed to lose his temper.

 

"Deputy Wentworth, please arrest my daughter for breech of the peace and throw her in a cell! And remove her confederates!!" he bellowed and a few southerners, hearing the word 'confederates', including the symbolic orphan behind Miss Orr, gave excited rebel yells.

 

@everybody

 

*50% of the audience guessed that she was 'Liberty', 50% guessed she was 'Truth', 0% guessed that she was the Goddess Hygeia.

 

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Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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As the meeting continued with various speakers popping up, Matt wondered how the vocal minority who were in support of the hospital got to hear about the meeting before the rest of the town.  Most people in town were from what he knew, in favour of the hospital and orphanage but wanted nothing to do anything that was linked to a Steelgrave.  It was a kind of impasse that until now showed no signs of being resolved.  If things keep on going like this, Leah Steelgrave would get her hospital but at what cost to both her and the town?  Once again, he mused that Leah should have done more to distance herself from her father and perhaps the rest of her family.

 

From his investigation into the Steelgraves, he knew that Elias wouldn't take what his daughter was attempting to do, passively.  He would find a way to gain control of the hospital and anything else his daughter attempted to do.  He was that kind of man.

 

However, his ruminations were interrupted by what was happening in the room.  Orr was still trying to take charge when his daughter and three other girls entered.  Matt for a moment wondered how the four young ladies had gotten prepared so quickly considering the short notice of the meeting.  Then Orr told Charlie to arrest Anæsthesia, which in a way was not so surprising.

 

Charlie's reaction was one of complete uncertainty as he looked over to the Marshall for help.  It was apparent that Charlie was not eager to do Orr's bidding and take on the four of them and this made Matt smile.  In fact, the whole situation was bordering on the hilarious and it took Matt all of his control not to burst out laughing.

 

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Speed laid a hand to Charlie's arm, as if to restrain him, even though he didn't appear to be heading for the girls. "Mister Orr, if anybody will be arresting anyone tonight, sir, it will be me, not a brand new Deputy." Then he smiled.

 

"The girls may have been an interruption, but it is clear that they meant no harm. And I don't believe the place for  young women is jail when their correction should be in the hands of their parents." Was that a murmur of agreement and light laughter?

 

The doors suddenly opened and two badged men entered, followed immediately by Dutton Peabody, and then, the stately, tall man with the graying hair.  A smile on his face. “Very nice, ladies." To the girls. He walked to the front of the room. "Good evening. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Thomas Samuel Houser, Territorial Governor Samuel Thomas Houser.” He looked then to the members of the Town Council. This gentleman is Territorial Senator Lincoln Ellisworth, and, and you all know Dutton, Duton Peabody who now serves as my Aide, and the man who insisted I come to your fair town."

 

“Gentlemen, I’m not here to take over your meeting, not at all, however I, I see that Miss Steelgrave is present, which is the reason I am here. Hullo Leah” Governor Houser began, turning back to those present. “You, you’ll forgive me for the intrusion, and I’m sure that none of you have any idea of the work this young woman did on your behalf, just to be permitted to build a hospital, and yes, later, an orphanage, once the railroad is built.”

 

“I am just as sure that none of you realize the amount of money expended by her to make this dream of hers a reality.” He then slowly scanned the council members, then back to the citizens. “Now, now, it would seem to me, that the gift of these right of ways would conjure up some feelings of, of gratitude. And, and maybe you gentlemen of the council, might see your way clear to forgive her last name, and, and to allow her to select the site for these buildings, oh, which she has said that, that the construction costs will be borne by her and not town funds.” He smiled and nodded. “And, and through some shrewd investments on her part, the hospital should remain self-sufficient for, for years to come.”

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@Bongo@Wayfarer

@Javia@JulieS

The tags wouldn't align for some reason

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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ooc: Just throwing this quick comment by Matilda in here.

 

The saloon owner seethed as this Mr. Orr not only refused to give in but even insulted them with his snide remarks.  Matilda regretted not sending Caroline here to this meeting because by now the high strung entertainer would have already stood up and punched the fellow right in the face.

 

Three girls including Arabella who was her ward now attempted some sort of recital or poem or whatever only to have Orr demand the lead girl's arrest by the local lawmen. Seriously?

 

"So now you are going to throw children in jail? That is simply outrageous, you are a brute!" she snapped.

 

Fortunately the marshal was having none of it. This drama was then interrupted by the sudden arrival of none other than some real territorial big shot, the governor even!  Seemed everyone in Montana had gotten wind of this town council meeting?

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Arabella, Miriam and Bridget had been just about to throw a protective ring around their delicate leader and poetess, Miss Orr, to ward of Deputy Wentworth's never-to-be-executed orders, but instead had been the first to come face to face with the august party who now invaded the meeting.

 

"It's the Territorial Governor!" gasped Anaesthesia, amazed. Arabella goggled at this news. "Do we have to kneel?!" she asked, thinking that's what you would do if a Territorial Governor or a King or a President or a Grand Vizir should happen to amble in on you while you were half way through a tableaux vivant.

 

"No, curtsy ladies, curtsy!" ordered the well bred Miss Orr.

 

A smile on his face. “Very nice, ladies." To the girls. He walked to the front of the room. "Good evening. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Thomas Samuel Houser, Territorial Governor Samuel Thomas Houser.” He looked then to the members of the Town Council. This gentleman is Territorial Senator Lincoln Ellisworth, and, and you all know Dutton, Duton Peabody who now serves as my Aide, and the man who insisted I come to your fair town."

 

Orr stood, as much out of shock as respect for his political boss, and glanced over to Leah Steelgrave, who looked as amazed at the turn of events as himself. He somehow managed to pull himself together, and addressed these most inconvenient visitors:  

 

"Governor, Senator, Am I to assume that you are here to make a gubernatorial intervention into the sovereign affairs of this municipality?!" he asked with a dignified mien.

 

“Gentlemen, I’m not here to take over your meeting, not at all, however I, I see that Miss Steelgrave is present, which is the reason I am here. Hullo Leah” Governor Houser began, turning back to those present. “You, you’ll forgive me for the intrusion, and I’m sure that none of you have any idea of the work this young woman did on your behalf, just to be permitted to build a hospital, and yes, later, an orphanage, once the railroad is built.”

 

Hello Leah? For a few prurient minds in the room, the penny dropped. 

 

"Oh Governor, may I assure you, that we have heard all about Miss Steelgrave's efforts many..." Dick Orr looked daggers at the girl who never shut up about herself and her dang hospital "... many times." But the head of the territory merely continued to eulogise the attractive brunette.

 

“I am just as sure that none of you realize the amount of money expended by her to make this dream of hers a reality.” He then slowly scanned the council members, then back to the citizens. “Now, now, it would seem to me, that the gift of these right of ways would conjure up some feelings of, of gratitude. And, and maybe you gentlemen of the council, might see your way clear to forgive her last name, and, and to allow her to select the site for these buildings, oh, which she has said that, that the construction costs will be borne by her and not town funds.” He smiled and nodded. “And, and through some shrewd investments on her part, the hospital should remain self-sufficient for, for years to come.”

 

"My sentiments exactly!" cooed Orr, who could smell which way the wind was blowing.

 

"Oh Father! You said that the hospital would be an ulcerous hotbed of disease and the orphanage would attract useless waifs and strays from miles around!" gasped Anaesthesia, aghast at her own father's duplicity. But Tricky Dicky just laughed "Oh ho ho, dear daughter, it is merely my duty to play 'Devil's Advocate' in these matters, to make sure that the Council discusses all sides of the argument, takes on board all possible views. Now, Mr Wigfall, if you would just... MR WIGFALL!!"

 

While every single other person in the room had been staring fixedly at imposing figure of the venerable Governor, Hector alone hadn't even noticed him and it was only now that he drew his eyes away from Miriam Kaufmann's beautiful, bare shoulder!

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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“An ulcerous hotbed of disease, you say? That the orphanage would attract what was it? Oh yes, useless waifs and strays from miles around. Well, well now, that’s a matter of opinion, yours in fact.” He pointed out, very clearly repeating Orr’s remarks. Then he turned back to those present, the meager few who had ‘gotten wind’ of the meeting.


“Now, now I ‘m sure some of you believe that Elias Steelgrave is somehow involved with this project of hers, and, and that’s fine. That’s fine. I have known Elias Steelgrave, and his entire family for better than a decade. And yes, he would love nothing better than to do what his daughter had been able to accomplish. Would he attempt to undermine the project? Of course. He cannot stand to be upstaged, especially from his estranged daughter, or anyone else."


"So, so yes, you all certainly have the right to decline her proposal. And, and yes, should that be the case, well, we have an alternative site for the hospital and, and the orphanage. Since the right of ways are in the name of the town of Kalispell, well, well, they are yours.” He paused, smiled as if he was witness to a good joke. “Again, I, I’m sorry for the intrusion.” He turned to the council members present, “Proceed gentlemen, proceed. I’m sure there are matters of great importance to your community on your agenda.” There was a slight pause, “Good to see you again Dick.”


And with that, Territorial Governor Houser, Senator Ellsworth, and the Territorial Marshals left the room, the doors being closed behind them. Dutton took a seat next to Leah patting her hand.

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As the Territorial Governor and the Senator walked into the meeting, Matt frowned.  As he listened to the Governor, he was a bit dismayed by the over familiarity between the man and Leah.  Even though it was a platonic relationship by all accounts, doubt had now been thrown on that.  From now on, people would be wondering just how much Leah really did to get what she wanted.

 

So, in the end the Governor would give Leah what she wanted if the town council voted against it.  She was in, as his cousin Ben would say, a win-win situation.  Maybe if Leah had taken time to foster some goodwill and not try to rush it, she might have stood a chance with the town council.

 

What happened next would depend on Orr.

 

@Javia

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The Governor’s party crossed the dusty street to the hotel, and Dutton Peabody was quick to catch up with them. They were hungry and tired after the their trip from Helena. It was long, hot, and dusty. Most of all, the food along the way was not the best, filling, but hardly what any of them were used to in the larger city. All except for Dutton Peabody of course, who had tested and tasted the fare along the trail more than once.

 

As they stepped up onto the boardwalk at the front doors of the Belle-St. Regis, Houser stopped. “John, would you mind going back and getting Marshal Guyer for me, have him join us for dinner, and, and John, don’t take no for an answer.” He started to take a step, then paused, turning toward the Territorial Marshal. Take McNue with you, and John, whatever is going on, allow it before you ask the Marshal. “And, and John, Miss Steelgrave as well.”

 

“Yes sir.” John Cook replied. “McNue, you ask the lady, I’ll get the Marshal.”

 

“Right.” McNue said. And at the point, before the pair was out the door, Dutton spoke up.

 

“Perhaps I should go back, I’m thinking they’ll make something of your friendship with Miss Steelgrave. Something that derails everything she’s tried to do here.” Dutton pleaded, knowing how people were, and what just might happen because of it.

 

“Now, now Dutton, no. I came here to support Leah, not force the issue.” Houser stated. “This is their community’s issue to solve, or, or not. They either vote for it, or they vote against it. In which case there is an alternative.” He shook his head. “The woman did a lot of work for this town, but it is their town, not hers, not mine. They will do what they want. Too bad Dick Orr pulled a fast one on these folks. Too bad indeed. I too fear we have done damage to Leah’s plans.”

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                                                               John Cook               Bill McNue

@Javia@Bongo@JulieS@Wayfarer

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Dick Orr, for his part, couldn't be more delighted. He had thought to 'talk out' the motion - to filibuster until time ran out and the decision to build the confounded hospital adjourned to the following meeting. However, the Governor's unexpected and baffling appearance and then disappearance on the scene seemed to have breathed new life into the members of the public in the room, and they were filibustering for him. At the moment a very old man was standing up and orating painfully upon the complete history of plans to build hospitals in Kalispell.

 

h@om_Sydney%20Bromley.jpg

 

"... and then old Josiah Pendlebury was planning to build one on main street. That's not the same Josiah Pendlebury as the Josiah Pendlebury I mentioned before, this was his son, but they were very similar both in looks and temperament. But, of course, that was stopped when the war broke out. Not the late war, you understand, I mean the Mexican War what we fought again General Santa Claus... er, Santa Anna. You see young  Josiah Pendlebury... the son not the father, you understand... well he..."

 

When someone had called on the Council to 'shut the silly old fool up' Orr had indicated that it was 'imperative' that they listen to 'the voice of experience'. Hector Wigfall had given up trying to make notes on it all, and just sat mooning over Miriam Kaufmann, who, along with the other girls, was now ensconced on the front row of the public seats. Next to her was Arabella Mudd, and Arabella Mudd was painfully close to where the newly minted Deputy Charles Wentworth Jnr. was standing guard on the proceedings.

 

"Psssst, Charlie!" came Arabella's whisper. "Pssst!!!" As soon as she managed to catch the lawman's eye, she pointed at his symbol of authority. "I like your badge!" 

 

"Pssst!..... Pssst! Charlie! ... d'ya like my outfit?" she hissed next, indicating the sack she was wearing in her guise of 'Little Orphan Arry' "It's kinda draughty!" she half whispered, half laughed, indicating her bony white knees and shins. Normally she would have been scandalised to show even her ankles, but this was fancy dress, so it was all right. 

 

@Everyone

 

OOC PS If someone doesn't demand that the council vote on the hospital, Orr will successfully 'time out' any decision being made.

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John Anderson sat facing the small crowd that had shown up, despite the best efforts to keep them away. He knew that Orr was opposed to the hospital, he had no idea why, but he knew that to be the man's stance on the issue.

 

He also reflected on the appearance of the Governor and his entourage, but Anderson was looking at it from a different point of view, one that was purely business. Maybe there had been a liaison between the two, and maybe there had not. Perhaps, and he was leaning toward this explanation, the Territory had expended a great deal of time effort and money behind this project of Miss Steelgraves. The man had shown up to protect the Territory's interests, it could be as simple as that.

 

What he also considered was the fact the Governor could not have known about this meeting in advance. That he may have come to see what the hold up was. Dutton Peabody would have filled Houser's  ear about Leah Steelgraves problems with the project and the Town Council. All of that seemed relevant and believable.

 

John leaned over toward Dick Orr and asked; "Why are we listening to this fool's babbling about nothing?"

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@Javia

 

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Jonah was wondering, too, what the old man was going on about.  He appreciated the history lesson, but it really was moot, and he wasn't going to hesitated to say so.  But what did make him hesitate a bit was the collective murmur that had gone up when the Governor had spoken up for Leah...of course, the lesser minds had dredged up the possibility of 'favors owed', and he was afraid, for her, that the same mutterings would be directed at their relationship, and that speaking for her would just encourage that.

 

Still, there was too much at stake to not push the agenda of the meeting.

 

"Take a vote!" he called, standing.  "Previous efforts to establish a hospital have no bearing on the current issue.  As for a 'hotbed of disease', you do realize that there is disease here regardless.  At least a hospital will help us contain it and treat it, rather than having to take care of the ill at homes scattered around the town."

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Matilda was far too jaded to think the governor's arrival here out of all places in Montana was no mere coincidence, she didn't believe it that sort of coincidence. Apparently the old guv liked the pretty young Leah, well it wouldn't be the first political alliance based on sexual favors.  Frankly she didn't care either. The point was to get this town a damn hospital.

 

Matilda had all she could do to not interrupt that old fossil droning on about......the past, it was the future that was supposed be discussed. That bastard Orr was letting the man blather on to use up precious time.  Finally the town doctor had the balls - glad someone did - to call out.

 

"Take a vote! Previous efforts to establish a hospital have no bearing on the current issue.  As for a 'hotbed of disease', you do realize that there is disease here regardless.  At least a hospital will help us contain it and treat it, rather than having to take care of the ill at homes scattered around the town."

 

"Well amen to that, doc!  Take a vote! I second that.....stop the stalling and take a vote," Matilda didn't bother to get up but her saloon volume voice was clear enough thru the whole room.

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Marshals Cook and Nue crossed the street again, theirs was not to fathom what was transpiring inside the meeting room, upstairs in the Municipal Building, their job was to protect the Governor and the Senator. Montana was a long ways from being accepted into the union and everyone in Helena knew that, a steady hand on the tiller is what they needed, and Houser was that hand.

 

They mounted the stairs, spurs jingling loudly in the hollow stairwell. Each looked to one another and Cook opened the door. They stepped in as one man, well dressed was calling for the vote. Both men paused for a moment, until the man finished speaking, then each moved to their specific person. Cook siding up next to Marshal Guyer and in a voice barely above a whisper said, "The Governor would like you to join him for dinner after this." Speed looked at him and simply nodded. "Hotel dining room." Cook added.

 

Moments later, hat in hand, Bill Nue sat down next to Leah Steelgrave, "The Governor'd like you ta join him fer dinner after this is over at the hotel, Ma'am." He said in low tones. Leah looked at the man and simply nodded. Bill got to his feet and started for the doors and Cook did the same. Both men met at the door and slipped out, only the sound of their spurs to mark their passing as the old man droned on.

 

"Ever see the like, Bill? Folks fightin' over somethin' they need like is was ta be harmful to 'em?" Cook asked as they descended the stairs."

 

"Not that I remember, but ya know it's how government works, folks say what they want, but the big fish in the little pond do what they want anyhow." McNue replied, adding, "Local politicians, oughtta ride 'em outta town on a rail, if ya ask me!" The two crossed the street and entered the hotel.

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@Javia@JulieS@Bongo

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Judge Ben Robertson had just returned from an enjoyable day of finishing when he was greeted with the news that a meeting had been called by Dick Orr.  Not knowing why the unscheduled meeting was being held, Robertson had quickly made his way over to the municipal building.

 

As he was approaching the building, he saw two federal Marshalls exiting.  He wondered briefly why they were around before continuing on.  If this meeting had anything to do with the hospital, he might be already too late.

 

After receiving an unbiased assessment from the owner of the bank, Charles Wentworth, Robertson was convinced that the only way the hospital and orphanage could proceed was to have Leah sign legal agreement to step away from the project completely if her father became involved.  If Leah agreed to this, then his vote would be yes.

 

Stepping inside the meeting room, Ben was greeted with a number of people shouting, "Take a vote!"

 

Going up to the podium where the rest of the town council was gathered, he made his apologies as he took his seat.

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Posted (edited)

Orr saw the Judge enter and made a small calculation in his head. Apart from anything that the Judge might have to say on the matter, in terms of votes, the situation was still the same: if the die were cast and it was two votes for and two against, he, as acting chair, would have the casting vote.

 

That confounded quack Danforth, no doubt showing off for the benefit the Steelgrave beauty, was loudly calling for a vote and 'Tricky Dicky' smelling which way the wind was blowing, loudly rapped his gavel on the sound block as Robertson took his seat. He held up his hands in a plea for silence.

 

He then began to explain the complicated process by which the affair must move forward, according to the overwrought and minute rules and regulations of the Town's internal constitution, drafted long ago by a lawyer as tricky as Dicky himself.

 

"Very well, very well. A public motion has been put by Dr. Danforth that the Committee vote on the proposal to give permission to build a hospital in Kalispell. Such a demand requires seconding by a member of the Committee itself. Do any of you gentlemen second that proposal to vote upon the motion?" he turned to Wentworth, Anderson and now Robertson. It only needed one of them to say an unequivocal 'yes'.

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)

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John Anderson avoided the look from Orr, his feeling, let someone else do it. He was content to just cast his vote, which of course would be by secret ballot as they always were. And he also felt it was none of anyone's business which way he voted on any subject, one of the reasons he rarely spoke on any of them. He kind of smiled to himself, and that was when things changed, completely.

 

Mary Agnes Anderson stepped through the doors and into the room. Another citizen to witness what was about to transpire, whatever that was, and, however that went. But, the vote would be secret, so no one would ever know how he voted, personally. It had not dawned on him that if all the votes were 'NO' she would know instantly, if all the votes were yay, well then, it wouldn't matter, even if there was just one yay, he would be alright.

                                                                ----0----

Mary Agnes Anderson strode into the proceedings not to keep an eye on husband John, but to see what trickery and deceit Orr would play on those present. She had heard that the Governor had been to this meeting and she wondered just what the man interest  in Kalispells Town Council was. She had seen McVay on her way in, so it would all be in the paper sometime tomorrow.  So she made herself comfortable as Dick Orr droned on about Kalispells Constitution, and the current approved rules of order of the Township of Kalispell, continuing to emphasize how the general populace was not allowed voice or vote.

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@Javia@Wayfarer@JulieS (?) or whoever wrote Judge Robertson, and/or anyone else in attendance or wants to be.

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As he listened to Orr go on about the rules and regulations, Judge Robertson knew that there would be no chance to approach Leah or talk to the other council members about his idea.  This snap meeting had killed whatever leeway the council had in the situation.  Since the vote would be silent and having no guarantee that Elias Steelgrave wouldn't interfere, there was only he could go.  The town didn't deserve to be caught in the middle.

 

"Very well, very well. A public motion has been put by Dr. Danforth that the Committee vote on the proposal to give permission to build a hospital in Kalispell. Such a demand requires seconding by a member of the Committee itself. Do any of you gentlemen second that proposal to vote upon the motion?" he turned to Wentworth, Anderson and now Robertson. It only needed one of them to say an unequivocal 'yes'.

 

Standing up, he answered, "Yes."

 

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Hector had budged up a place when Judge Robertson had arrived, of course, and was now perched on the end of the big, impressive council table, scratching away with pen and ink; trying to make as accurate and legible a record of the Council's deliberations as possible. Generally, his minutes were precise and concise, although he did allow himself some leeway when he described the poetic interruption of Miss Orr, lavishing a good deal of ink and a considerable expanse of paper on a description of the beautiful Miss Miriam Kaufmann's fanciful costume. 

 

"Proposed: vote on Kal. Hospital - Dr Danforth" he scribbled "Seconded: Judge Robertson" He didn't make a note of how Mr Anderson had visibly started and paled when his wife had walked in, although the hawk eyed youth had certainly noticed it. 

 

He started himself when 'Uncle Dick' called his name.

 

"Mr. Wigfall, we will require four slips for the vote." Orr boomed. Hector sprang into action with a sort of swift dignity that he hoped would impress Miriam watching from the public seats. He even flashed her a smile as he did his clerkly duty.

 

As Richard Orr reached for his gold-nibbed fountain pen from his inner pocket, he gave an inadvertent flash of the huge revolver he habitually carried under his jacket. "This is a simple, confidential Yes or No vote, gentlemen. You may abstain, of course, if you can spell it!" he joked, apparently quite at ease over the whole matter. "A majority vote will trigger an order of the Council convening a Hospital Board meeting." he explained. It all sounded very authoritative; Hector sometimes wondered if Uncle Dick sometimes just made this stuff up. 

 

"We don't have a ballot box gents, we'll have to put 'em in Hector's hat!" he chuckled deeply as he ostentatiously wrote on his slip of paper and then, with immense showmanship, held the 'secret' voting slip up for all to see: there in a fine copperplate hand was the single word: Yes. 

 

"Jesus, Orr's voted For!" a voice gasped from the back of the hall.

 

@Everybody

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Matilda had been quiet a while now but inwardly she seethed. Who the hell made up these council rules. For she did have some experience with other town councils - Chicago, Helena being two. All votes were public, the council members had to reveal their stands to all who wished to know. Somehow, this method was a travesty which could allow an unpopular councilman to get away with his outrageous votes.

 

Still not like she could do a damn thing about it.

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"Jesus, Orr's voted For!" a voice gasped from the back of the hall.

 

Still, Leah felt her stomach drop and the sick feeling of failure engulf her. She watched, feeling as utterly helpless as she was while the men each deposited their slip of paper in Hector Wigfall's cap. That Richard Orr had flashed his 'yes' vote to those present gave her a fleeting feeling of hope, though she felt doomed. She began to doubt why she had ever begun this project in the first place.

 

The Governor had said there was an alternative, of that she knew nothing. She supposed that she would learn that location, or plan, when she joined his party for dinner. That Dutton Peabody had influenced Houser to come to Kalispell and support this idea was evident to her, and that made her smile in this moment of anxiety over the vote.

@JulieS@Javia@Wayfarer@Bongo and any anyone else.

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It was a pivotal moment, and Speed was well aware of it. His right hand dropped from his belt to closer to the holster. He looked to Charlie, who was in conversation with young Miss Mudd, and he had no way of knowing whether the new deputy was aware of what was happening or not.

 

The young man was across the room, stationed opposite of him offering better coverage of the room. Not that he expected gun trouble from those present, but there could be quite a problem on had if the vote went against the wishes of the crowd. He wondered if any of those men on the dais understood what that could mean for their re-election, not to mention their safety.

@any.

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Pike could feel his blood coursing through his body boil, as the vote began. Unarmed, and with no badge, he suddenly felt naked in light of what might happen, no matter which way the vote went. To him it was common knowledge that there were strong feelings both ways on this issue, the sad part being that it was not about the hospital, but about the Steelgrave name.

 

He admired her courage in all of this, the heckling she had endured, the threats he knew had been sent her way, and all the while her resolve to remain steadfast had not buckled. However, he saw her head drop slightly as the balloting commenced.

 

In that moment he wanted to beat Richard Orr within an inch of his life! The pompous ass!

@Any

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Phin nearly dropped his pencil when he looked up to see Orr flash his 'yes' vote. "Grandstander." He muttered, not caring if anyone heard the remark or not. Realizing of course, that his popularity vacillated with whatever was in the current issue.

 

To him this was the way of most town Councils, small, narrow minded, in it for themselves their constituents be damned! He knew that there was no money in it for any of them, and money spoke. The job, and they received a stipend monthly, was to to do what was best for the community, what would serve the people rather than what would serve them.

 

And it seemed there was always a four-flusher in charge of these debacle prone boards. Always. A man smart enough to be better, but corrupt enough not to give a good goddamned! Not about the town, it's citizens, or the welfare of anyone, except himself.  And that would be "Tricky Dick" Orr.

@any

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About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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