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Sagas of the Wild West
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Two At Breakfast


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The morning air was not quite crisp, not quite warm, one of those mornings when a hint of the coming fall was in the air, not too odd for July, though the day would mature into a normal mid-eighties from the high fifties. But the day promised the normal sunshine drenched afternoon. For the present, the two men walking up the boardwalk to the Lickskillet Diner were enjoying the morning cool.

 

"Life will take a different turn for the Town Council, as well as the Post Office. Looks like Nolan Ashworth takes over again." Speed observed.

 

"He might seek to take Orr's spot on the Council." Phinn pointed out. A direct line out to the Evergreen, you're aware of that connection. Either him, or maybe Cole Latham, the other Steelgrave man in town. Well, that we know of."

 

"I can see that, for sure. Give the old man a voice on the Council, and the knowledge of what's going on." Speed agreed, adding, "I expect maybe Elias might hold sway with some we're unaware of."

 

"You know, you've a point, Speed. To be real honest about it, I have no idea who might be in old Elias' camp. Well, he ain't that old, but mean as he can be, I agree, he's the old man alright."

 

They had reached the door of the cafe, Speed a step ahead stepped up and opened the door, both men stepping inside, hit with the smells of fresh cooked bacon, beefsteaks, and sausage frying. The heady aroma of boiling coffee, all the things that entice the appetite. As they moved into the room they both saw Ben Simmons and Lorenzo Crabbe at a table together. Speed smiled.

 

"So Simmons, I hear there's to not only be a prize fight, but some talk of a stage play? Interesting." Then, "Mister Crabbe, you involved in all of this? doesn't seem to be in your bailiwick. Well, maybe the fight."

 

Phinn stood looking at Crabbe a long moment. "Crabbe, Simmons. You let me know the dates, be in the Union. We do posters and hand bills as well, if printed adverts strikes your fancy for either event."

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@Javia@JulieS

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"So Simons, I hear there's to not only be a prize fight, but some talk of a stage play? Interesting."

 

Lorenzo let Ben field this question, as it was aimed at him. He himself was always careful what he said to the bloodhound newspaper reporter and editor. Not that McVay ever printed lies: but he had a knack of printing what you did tell him in such a way that did quite give the impression of yourself that you had hoped for.

 

Then, "Mister Crabbe, you involved in all of this? doesn't seem to be in your bailiwick. Well, maybe the fight."

 

"Mr McVay, I'm sponsoring and running the whole shebang. And it's going to be an exciting and educational exhibition of the fine science of pugilism, too. We've got local talent in the form of Kalispell's very own Deputy Marshall, Mr. Charles Wentworth Junior taking on a wild young Irishman called Battling Bob Cullen. And it's a real grudge match, too!" he added on a whim. People were more interested in a fight if the two combatants were known to hate each other, rather than a couple of disinterested sluggers throwing hooks and crosses at each other.

 

He'd have to invent a story as to why the two young men hated each other, probably something involving an argument over a girl, that always went over big with the general public.

 

Phinn stood looking at Crabbe a long moment. "Crabbe, Simmons. You let me know the dates, be in the Union. We do posters and hand bills as well, if printed adverts strikes your fancy for either event."

 

"Will do that, Mr. McVay!" nodded Lorenzo "'It pays to advertise' as they say. Soon as I'm sure of the exact time on the 6th, I'll send one of my people around with the details." 'One of his people!' Crabbe thought that sounded pretty grand.

 

"Of course, there will be free entrance to the gentlemen of the Press who will no doubt wish to report 'pon the proceedings!" he added as a sweetener to a, hopefully, favourable piece on the event. A pretty cheap sweetener, too, as Phin was about the only 'gentleman of the press' in town.

 

@JulieS @Flip

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Hearing the familiar tinkle of the front door's tiny bell as it opened, Clara paused in her kitchen work then headed on out to greet the latest customers. She knew them both instantly, Marshal Guyer and the local newspaperman.

 

"Good morning, gentlemen. Pick a table and have a seat," she addressed them but for the moment the newspaperman was conversing with Mr. Simons and Mr. Crabbe so she would wait until they were sitting to take their order.

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"Of course, there will be free entrance to the gentlemen of the Press who will no doubt wish to report 'pon the proceedings!" he added as a sweetener to a, hopefully, favourable piece on the event. A pretty cheap sweetener, too, as Phin was about the only 'gentleman of the press' in town.

 

"Well, not everyday there's a prize fight in town, I will of course wish to be ringside to report on the event." Phinn replied to the most generous offer, one he had not expected but was pleased to accept, and threw in a ringside request.

 

"Good morning, gentlemen. Pick a table and have a seat," she addressed them but for the moment the newspaperman was conversing with Mr. Simons and Mr. Crabbe so she would wait until they were sitting to take their order.

 

"Good morning Clara, ah Missus Lutz.  We'll get to that here in a moment, rest assured." Speed greeted. It already seemed odd that Emeline was not there. "A bit of business to discuss I'm afraid." He couldn't help but notice the blind sister of Frank Grimes. 'Pity,'  He thought, 'saddled with a brother like Frank Grimes.' A man destined to come to a bad end if he continued along the path he was on. He brought to mind Caleb Barnes, who fancied himself a gunfighter. Too many dime novels! He waited on Ben Simmons to elaborate on this proposed stage production which was bound to be a success in Kalispell.

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"So Simons, I hear there's to not only be a prize fight, but some talk of a stage play? Interesting." Then, "Mister Crabbe, you involved in all of this? doesn't seem to be in your bailiwick. Well, maybe the fight."

 

Ben nodded, "Yes, there will be not just one play but many in the future but first I have to build the theatre."

 

As he listened to the others speak, Ben thought about how he probably wouldn't have to worry about advertising for his theatre.  It seemed that word of mouth was much quicker and cheaper than putting anything in the Union.

 

When Crabbe mentioned the fight being a grudge match, Ben raised one of his eyebrows.  He had no intention of disputing what the man was saying unless it was something of a personal nature.  Charlie was his cousin and after all family was family.  Besides, Crabbe was smart enough to know that if said something against a Wentworth, he would have to contend with the whole lot of them.

 

"Well, not everyday there's a prize fight in town, I will of course wish to be ringside to report on the event." Phinn replied to the most generous offer, one he had not expected but was pleased to accept, and threw in a ringside request.

 

"If either of you two would like to make a wager on the fight, I'm running very good odds on both men.  It seems the town is divided on who will win," Ben said, before addressing Speed, "By the way, Marshall, I run a clean book...you have my personal guarantee."

 

@Javia @Flip

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"If either of you two would like to make a wager on the fight, I'm running very good odds on both men.  It seems the town is divided on who will win," Ben said, before addressing Speed, "By the way, Marshall, I run a clean book...you have my personal guarantee."

 

Crabbe wondered whether he should mention that all of his operations were strictly above board and legal, too, but then realised that this would only serve to weaken Ben's position rather than bolster his own. Guyer was good enough a lawman to have taken Crabbe's measure the first minute he laid eyes on him, and Crabbe was good enough a chancer to know it, and to make sure he steered clear of any trouble with the men carrying tin badges.

 

"My only problem is finding a referee" he said instead "I was going to ask you, Marshall, what we you being a respected and neutral party; but now ol' Charlie's your Deputy, you might be seen as partisan. Any ideas?" he asked. It was a genuine question, the person overseeing the ruckus in the ring needed to know about boxing and been entirely impartial. 

 

He then added one last comment.

 

"Oh, and order some breakfast, will ya fellers, this poor girl's been standin' here an hour." he tipped his head toward Clara. Oh, Lorenzo was always considerate to the ladies. 

 

@Wayfarer @Flip @JulieS

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"If either of you two would like to make a wager on the fight, I'm running very good odds on both men.  It seems the town is divided on who will win," Ben said, before addressing Speed, "By the way, Marshall, I run a clean book...you have my personal guarantee."

 

Before either could get in a word regarding a bet  on the fight, Crabbe cut in.

 

"My only problem is finding a referee" he said instead "I was going to ask you, Marshall, what we you being a respected and neutral party; but now ol' Charlie's your Deputy, you might be seen as partisan. Any ideas?" he asked. It was a genuine question, the person overseeing the ruckus in the ring needed to know about boxing and been entirely impartial

 

"Well sir, you've a valid point, to be sure. No matter, some would say I was partial, win or lose." Speed replied. "Now was I to be looking for an unbiased referee, believe I'd go with Ralph Flandry for my first choice. I'd consider Doc Danforth, but then he'll likely be at ringside. Maybe Quentin Cantrell, or Judge Robinson, or even Matt Wentworth, of course he'd be suspect on account of Charlie. Looks to be a dilemma."

 

"Well there's always Oskar Winter over at the Gun Shop, or the Reverend Reed. Buut I believe I'll wait to see some odds before I place a bet, see which way the money's going." Phinn stated, not much for a gambling man, but inclined to support anything local.

 

"Oh, and order some breakfast, will ya fellers, this poor girl's been standin' here an hour." he tipped his head toward Clara. Oh, Lorenzo was always considerate to the ladies. 

 

Speed smiled at the suggestion from Crabbe. "Now about that theater, good luck with the project and the Town Council. Though I doubt you'll have much trouble getting it through." Speed said addressing Ben Simmons. Turning to Clara who had been patiently waiting he said, "Beef Steak and eggs, coffee'll do just fine and make that steak medium."

 

"Yes! I'll have the same." Phinn added. "Gentlemen." Both nodded and went to an open table taking their seats. "A real theater, now that'll be something!"

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@JulieS@Javia@Wayfarer

 

 

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Mr. Crabbe took a moment from the conversation to kindly point out Clara was standing there, sweet of him to notice. She nodded acknowledgement but did not wish to rush the customers afterall. Thus reminded both men turned to her then.

 

Turning to Clara who had been patiently waiting the marshal said, "Beef Steak and eggs, coffee'll do just fine and make that steak medium."

 

"Yes! I'll have the same." Phinn added.

 

"Very well gentlemen, two orders of beef steak, medium, and eggs plus coffee. I will get right on that, pick a table when you've finished your conversation," Clara replied then headed back into the kitchen to get right on those beefsteaks.

 

 

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"Very well gentlemen, two orders of beef steak, medium, and eggs plus coffee. I will get right on that, pick a table when you've finished your conversation," Clara replied then headed back into the kitchen to get right on those beefsteaks.

 

Both men smiled at Clara nodding as she turned and walked toward the kitchen. Pinn looked back to Crabbe and added, "I can, rather I will, do up a poster and perhaps a hand bill that you can look over, and if you like them we can talk price. There will be free advertisement in the Union. We'll talk."

 

Speed nodded to the two men then spotted a vacant table. "Gentlemen," He said then turned and walked to the table and took a seat as he considered what this fight might produce insofar as problems were concerned, and enjoying the fact that Phin was actually attempting to provide printed materials for the event. It could be quite the draw locally. Possibly beyond, he suddenly wished Pike was there, Charlie was new, inexperienced, and with the possibility of a large crowd on hand, most anything could happen.

 

"I got them thinking about posters and handbills, Speed." Phin said, still smiling as he sat down. "Take an afternoon to put 'em together. Simple enough. So, maybe we move forward from the Orr tragedy. I kind of like the idea of a theater in town, probably won't be an opera house, but it will be a place that puts on shows, and just might make a good deal of money for Simons."

 

"Sounds like it. The fight, well, that should do okay, but a theater, even if it's in a tent for a while, well, that would be just what this town needs, and I believe with very little Town Council conflicts." Speed agreed, grinning.

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@JulieS@Javia@Wayfarer

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It was about fifteen minutes later when Clara brought out the two breakfast plates ordered by the gentlemen, a medium cooked steak took a bit or it would have been faster. She followed up with returning with cups of steaming coffee, black.

 

"There you go, gentlemen, enjoy and if you want anything else feel free to let me know," smiling never came easily to the serious young lady but it was good customer service to do so. Besides she had learned from Emeline, who was always so pleasant.

 

 

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