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    • "Just when I was thinkin' this was a cake-walk!"  Justus' grin didn't show under the bandanna, but he was trying to take it all in stride.  But he did realize that either way, it was going to be miserable.  The wind stirring up the dust was annoying at best, but if it got bad enough, it could make vision next to impossible.  But if it started to rain...well, there was a whole mess its own issues, none of them pleasant.   Funny thing was, it sounded like the worse conditions got, and the harder they had to work, the more the chances of a good, hot meal and decent rest went down.   Not much to do about it but take it as it came, unless he just bugged out, but it would take something far worse than weather to get him to quit!   @Flip
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The Plans and The Property Question


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Mature Content: One can never be certain

With: List characters and NPCs in the thread.
Location: The Belle-St. Regis Hotel
When: Mid-July 1876
Time of Day: Mid Morning on.

 

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Well, it had been two days now since the horrible fire, and the ghastly death of Richard Orr. Leah, although she despised the man, felt for the mans family. No one deserved to die the way he had, and no one deserved to be left behind in the manner that Mrs Dorothea Orr and daughter Anaesthesia Orr were. The estate of Richard would leave them well enough off that neither would have to worry.

 

But, there was a hospital to get built, and time was wasting. Leah Steelgrave was most certainly used to getting what she wanted when she wanted it, except for the past year when she broke off ties with her father, and her mother had absconded without so much as a word to her or anyone else.

 

It was time then to make a move on the property selection, and she had a good idea of where she would want to have it built, just south-east of town, just off the trail that ran east to west. It would be close to the route the railroad would take, close to town, and not far from the fort. It's immediate service area would be at it's most advantageous. True, the outlining ranches and farms to the north would be a greater distance from the hospital, but property in that north and north-eastern areas were not good, nor were they available, due mainly to the smaller ranches and farms not to mention the area Lost Lake and the Evergreen encompassed. So it was time.

 

She gathered up her materials, drawings, and plans, put o a bonnet and scooped up the material and headed out the door, From across the street three men left what they were doing to follow along behind her. The destination was quickly known to them, she made her way directly to the Belle-St. Regis Hotel. Opened the front door and stepped inside. She went directly to the front desk, her entourage taking up positions across the street.

 

"Good morning Mister Simpson. I wonder if I might speak with Mister Wentworth?" She asked.

@JulieS

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Walter Simpson smiled and briefly looked at the bundle she was carrying, "Good morning, Miss Steelgrave.  If you would wait for just a moment, I'll let him know that you are here."

 

He went to the door of the office and knocked on it a couple of times before entering.  After telling Matt about his visitor, he came out again.  "Come right in, Miss Steelgrave."

 

As he held the door open for her, Walter thought about why she had come.  He was pretty sure it had something to do with the hospital business and now that Orr was dead, his boss was acting Secretary, so it made sense that she would show up here sooner or later.

 

He stood there for a moment, waiting to hear what she had to say but he was dismissed by Matt.  Knowing that whatever was going to happen he would have to find out when everybody else did.

 

After Simpson had left, Matt turned to his guest, "Morning Leah."

 

@Flip

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"Good morning Matthew. I hope I'm not interrupting anything important." She greeted in return.

 

"I am here about acquiring the property, but with the Orr tragedy so fresh, this might be a bad time." She smiled, "However, we are losing time on the hospital construction. The men and supplies will have to come from Missoula. I would have had them here, but the delays would have not been cost effective, and actually delayed things financially."

 

"So, my purpose is to obtain the property and hopefully begin construction before fall and the coming winter, which would require house the workers, or sending them back to Missoula, and seriously, we don't have the rooms here for the workers." She smiled again, while wondering if any progress could be made.

@JulieS

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Matt stood and listened to what Leah had to say.  It made sense that she would want to get the construction of the hospital started as soon as possible but a part of him felt that she should go about it more carefully and diplomatically.  Even though there was no real opposition on the town council, there were still people who didn't like the Steelgrave name being attached to any project in Kalispell.

 

There was also the matter of Orr's untimely death.  The man had family and friends in town, and they may see her eagerness as something more malicious.  Prudence and maybe respect for the Orr family at least had to be considered.

 

"Leah, I understand the need for getting the hospital built but I feel that maybe we should delay the actual transaction for the property until after Richard Orr's funeral," he said solemnly before raising his hand, "Now, that doesn't mean you don't have to get the supplies ordered...by the time they get here enough time would have passed.  No matter, what you thought of the man, his wife and daughter should be given some time to grieve."

 

@Flip

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Leah smiled. "Of course, I am not trying to hurt anyone here, and I fully realize that any situation or move by me would of course be construed to be of harm to Missus Orr and her daughter. Not my intent, not my intent at all. I simply believe this should have been resolved at the meeting, yet it was not." She explained.

 

"Yes I could have the supplies delivered, and yes, I could also have the men come up. Where would we house the men, perhaps a dozen or more? And, of greater concern would be, where would the building materials be stored while we wait on whatever decision, whenever it is made?

I'm sure that you will agree that we have been delayed for quite some time already." Then she softened. "Matthew, I'm not an ogre with no regard to others, especially not a widow and an orphan. Believe me, could this be done another way, a way where the project is not delayed until it is too late to begin construction, I will be all for it."

@JulieS

 

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"There will be no need to delay on our account."

 

The voice that sounded behind Leah was softly spoken but firm. Anæsthesia, clad from head to toe in a very becoming mourning black, from the tip of the fingers of her black gloves to the muzzy black veil that obscured her pretty face, gave a little nod to both Matt and Leah as they perceived to whom they were speaking. 

 

"Please excuse me, I did not mean to eavesdrop." she explained "I had hoped to speak to you, Mr. Wentworth, about the possibility of holding my Father's wake in your large state room. My mother is still quite..." she struggled for another word, but gave up "... is still quite hysterical, and will need to retire to our home after the funeral and rest quietly. I shall host the required gathering of society here if that is at all possible, Mr. Wentworth."

 

She now turned to Leah. "Please believe me, Miss Steelgrave, it is my ardent and earnest wish that your wonderful project proceed with all alacrity: and that any and all of the materials that my Father had gathered to outbid your plans be wholly at the disposal of your workmen, should they be needed."

 

She gulped and took a second to look down at the plush carpeted floor beneath her dainty black boots, gathering herself: for it was still difficult to speak of her Father without becoming upset.

 

@JulieS @Flip

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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 "There will be no need to delay on our account."

 

The voice that sounded behind Leah was softly spoken but firm. Anæsthesia, clad from head to toe in a very becoming mourning black, from the tip of the fingers of her black gloves to the muzzy black veil that obscured her pretty face, gave a little nod to both Matt and Leah as they perceived to whom they were speaking.

 

 Leah turned around sharply at the sound of the feminine voice, somewhat stunned. She instinctively took a step toward Anæsthesia, her hand out to the young woman.

 

"Please excuse me, I did not mean to eavesdrop." she explained "I had hoped to speak to you, Mr. Wentworth, about the possibility of holding my Father's wake in your large state room. My mother is still quite..." she struggled for another word, but gave up "... is still quite hysterical, and will need to retire to our home after the funeral and rest quietly. I shall host the required gathering of society here if that is at all possible, Mr. Wentworth."

 

She now turned to Leah. "Please believe me, Miss Steelgrave, it is my ardent and earnest wish that your wonderful project proceed with all alacrity: and that any and all of the materials that my Father had gathered to outbid your plans be wholly at the disposal of your workmen, should they be needed.

 

 Leah stood, mouth almost agape at the offer from the daughter of her most fervent antagonist. She was completely unaware of what materials Richard Orr might have stockpiled in his bid to topple her plans for the hospital and orphanage, taking full control of both.

“Anæsthesia dear, I, I don’t know what to say, other than thank you, and, I am so sorry for your loss in this terrible time for you and your mother.” What more was there to say to the young lady, and she was no longer a girl, she had transcended.

 

She gulped and took a second to look down at the plush carpeted floor beneath her dainty black boots, gathering herself: for it was still difficult to speak of her Father without becoming upset.

@JulieS@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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"Please excuse me, I did not mean to eavesdrop." she explained "I had hoped to speak to you, Mr. Wentworth, about the possibility of holding my Father's wake in your large state room. My mother is still quite..." she struggled for another word, but gave up "... is still quite hysterical, and will need to retire to our home after the funeral and rest quietly. I shall host the required gathering of society here if that is at all possible, Mr. Wentworth."

 

Matt nodded, "Of course."

 

While Leah answered Anæsthesia, Matt wondered briefly how the young lady was able to bypass the front desk.  Simpson probably felt sorry for her and let her through or he was busy and didn't see her.  It didn't matter that she was here now but if it had been someone else, then it could have meant trouble.  Maybe it was time he hired an assistant or secretary to help with visitors especially if he decided to run for mayor.

 

Seeing that Anæsthesia was getting upset, Matt went over to her, "Miss Orr, take as much time as you need to.  We're in no particular hurry."

 

@Flip @Javia

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"Now, now, Anæsthesia, please, have a seat here," Leah motioned to a vacant chair. "There's no need to get yourself upset. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your father and that we seemed to be at odds. That was just business, Anæsthesia. As simple as that. There was nothing personal involved between he and I. Your father was a man determined. That is a fact. A man that went after what he wanted, a man that knew what was good for Kalispell." Leah attempted to console the young lady. "And you will help me, if you'd like. I need a strong woman to help me with this project."

 

The offer made was genuine. Leah felt that Anæsthesia's inclusion into the hospital project would be not just a momentary comfort, but perhaps some real satisfaction for her going forward. An opportunity to carry on something her father had been involved with.

@Javia@JulieS

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Seeing that Anæsthesia was getting upset, Matt went over to her, "Miss Orr, take as much time as you need to.  We're in no particular hurry."

 

'We are in no particular hurry' - it occurred to Anæsthesia now that she had barged in on a private meeting: how inexcusable! "Oh, I have be very rude to enter your office unbidden, Mr. Wentworth..." she began, but Miss Steelgrave calmed her down. 

 

"Now, now, Anæsthesia, please, have a seat here," Leah motioned to a vacant chair. "There's no need to get yourself upset. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your father and that we seemed to be at odds. That was just business, Anæsthesia. As simple as that. There was nothing personal involved between he and I. Your father was a man determined. That is a fact. A man that went after what he wanted, a man that knew what was good for Kalispell." Leah attempted to console the young lady.

 

Anæsthesia sat and listened gratefully to Miss Steelgrave's oration. "What is good for Kalispell, will be your hospital." she stated simply.

 

"And you will help me, if you'd like. I need a strong woman to help me with this project."

 

"Oh, do you really mean that?" gasped Anæsthesia standing and gripping the other young woman's hand. "I really do want to help, and not just writing silly poems this time: I wish to be of real practical help!" she gushed, her sky blue eyes shining behind her veil.

 

"... once I have buried my Father, of course." she added, sadly. 

 

@JulieS @Flip

 

 

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Despite what people thought of Leah Steelgrave, there was one thing they could never doubt and that was her sensibility.  From what Charlie had told him about Anæsthesia, the girl needed a good dose of it and with Leah as her employer, she would get it.

 

He turned to Leah and said in a warm tone, "Perhaps, we should continue our discussion after you've taken care of Miss Orr? I'll make myself available for the rest of the day so we can sort things out, so please feel free to come back at any time."

 

@Javia @Flip

 

 

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Leah smiled, "Perhaps we'll have some tea and discuss her employment in the dining room. A bit more quiet than the Lickskillet." She paused and laid a gloved hand on his arm, "Thank you Matthew, I appreciate this."

 

She turned, "So young lady, how about a cup of tea, perhaps  snack, or a light lunch?" She offered. "We have some things to discuss about what you can do going forward with the hospital project. And, what you might like to do. That would be more to the point, I think." Her smile was warm and genuine. This was an opportunity for both her and for Anæsthesia.

@Javia@JulieS

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Leah smiled, "Perhaps we'll have some tea and discuss her employment in the dining room. A bit more quiet than the Lickskillet." She paused and laid a gloved hand on his arm, "Thank you Matthew, I appreciate this."

 

Anæsthesia didn't really like the term 'her employment' - it could, of course, be taken as meaning 'her role' but there were connotations of being employed in a menial position for monetary remuneration which, as a woman of some means herself now, was quite repugnant to her. Still, this was no time to pick holes around semantics.

 

She turned, "So young lady, how about a cup of tea, perhaps  snack, or a light lunch?" She offered. "We have some things to discuss about what you can do going forward with the hospital project. And, what you might like to do. That would be more to the point, I think." Her smile was warm and genuine. This was an opportunity for both her and for Anæsthesia.

 

That was more like it, and she realised that she herself had been somewhat boorish in bursting in on their private meeting like this. 

 

"That would be wonderful!" she acquiesced "I shall retire to the Hotel dining room whist you and Mr. Wentworth finish your meeting: I am afraid I rather disturbed your tête-à-tête, I do hope that you will both forgive the impulsive actions of a young woman in rather trying circumstances." she apologised, before turning and graciously exiting the office. 

 

@JulieS @Flip

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"I'll be just a moment Anæsthesia." Leah called after the young lady. She turned to Matthew. "I can meet with you later if that's alright. I think perhaps getting Anæsthesia settled with the idea of being a part of the project going forward is most important, don't you? I mean the poor girl needs something to distract her as much as possible."

@JulieS@Javia?

 

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