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

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Mature Content:  None

With:  Phinn
Location:  Kalispell Union
When:  August 1875
Time of Day: Morning

 

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The Posters and the handbills for the boxing match were done and dried. Now the question was, could he tempt young Weddy and his friend Wyatt to deliver the posters and hand out the handbills. Or perhaps the young ladies might be receptive to earning a quarter dollar each to do the job. He knew he could count on his boy, printers devil, Tommy Lane to round up who ever might help.

 

He took down the poster and a handbill to have a look at the finished product, and smiled. He like them. But he was a shade prejudice, of course.

image.jpeg.f6f8816e0a5f84ca96cb4ae0a3a056fd.jpegimage.jpeg.07f86516ce9d64f16d9785dc39e3a20f.jpeg

 

Yes, they were exactly what Crabbe had ;liked, and his donation would cover his ticket to the event. More than one way to skin a cat. Cost, well, a dollar thirty  cents for the paper and ink, plus whatever he had to pay for delivery. That should more than cover his ringside place at the match. He would be able to see every moment and insure he had all the facts for the Special Edition. Better than the demise of Frank Grimes had been.

@any, or not.

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"HOWDY MR. McVAY!!!" 

 

Arabella's leather lunged voice hit the veteran newspaperman's eardrums like a rock thrown at a  mistrel's tambourine.

 

"Lorenzo, er, Mr. Crabbe sent me over about these here... oooh! Is this 'em?!!" The Virginia girl picked up one of the handbills and scanned it eagerly.

 

"Oh, Mr. McVay, these are BEAUTIFUL!" she cooed, clearly impressed.  "Look how you got that picture in the back, how do you DO that?!" she said, amazed. "Lorenzo Crabbe presents Boxing!..." she insisted on reading out the whole thing from start to finish in an awed voice, finally ending with a feeling ".... Ringside... Five Dollars."

 

Eventually, she managed to drag her eyes away from the entrancing little sheets of paper. 

 

"Say, Mr. McVay... how come you never printed nothing yet about Mr. Simons theater what he's buildin'?" she queried. "Did you know that he's already auditioned me? I was about the first actress to get the call!" she informed him, remembering her ambush of the unfortunate entrepreneur in the Lick Skillet Diner. 

 

"Oh just think, Mr. McVay!" she said, clutching the handbill and doing a little twirl on the spot "When I'm a big star actress in New York and them reporters all ask me how I started off, and I say 'Oh, I first trod the boards in a little ol' theater in Kalispell, Montana, and I always got such rave reviews from my good friend Mr. Phinias G. McVay of the Kalispell Union'!" she fantasized, before fixing him with frown.

 

"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

@Flip

 

 

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"HOWDY MR. McVAY!!!" 

 

Arabella's leather lunged voice hit the veteran newspaperman's eardrums like a rock thrown at a  mistrel's tambourine.

 

"Oh, hello Arabella, and how can I help you?" He actually was unsure of what to ask, fearing another demand for whatever she might feel wronged by.

 

"Lorenzo, er, Mr. Crabbe sent me over about these here... oooh! Is this 'em?!!" The Virginia girl picked up one of the handbills and scanned it eagerly.

 

"Yes, that would be them, Miss Mudd." Came the response, and a silent sigh of relief.

 

"Oh, Mr. McVay, these are BEAUTIFUL!" she cooed, clearly impressed.  "Look how you got that picture in the back, how do you DO that?!" she said, amazed. "Lorenzo Crabbe presents Boxing!..." she insisted on reading out the whole thing from start to finish in an awed voice, finally ending with a feeling ".... Ringside... Five Dollars."

 

Eventually, she managed to drag her eyes away from the entrancing little sheets of paper. 

 

"Thank you Arabella. I appreciate that." He said, actually smiling at the compliment. "

 

"Say, Mr. McVay... how come you never printed nothing yet about Mr. Simons theater what he's buildin'?" she queried. "Did you know that he's already auditioned me? I was about the first actress to get the call!" she informed him, remembering her ambush of the unfortunate entrepreneur in the Lick Skillet Diner. 

 

"Because my dear girl, he has yet to begin construction. When he does, I will be sure to print a story all about it." McVay replied, he was actually waiting for Simmons to begin construction then he would certainly devote more than one issue to its raising.

 

"Oh just think, Mr. McVay!" she said, clutching the handbill and doing a little twirl on the spot "When I'm a big star actress in New York and them reporters all ask me how I started off, and I say 'Oh, I first trod the boards in a little ol' theater in Kalispell, Montana, and I always got such rave reviews from my good friend Mr. Phinias G. McVay of the Kalispell Union'!" she fantasized, before fixing him with frown.

 

Phinn seemed somewhat perplexed and it showed in his face wondering just how this became all about Arabella Mudd? But of course, everything eventually became all about Arabella Mudd, whether it actually  concerned her or not.

 

"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

"Why, it stands for Goeffry dear girl. Why do you ask?" He asked, then realized that could be a mistake.

@Javia

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"Say, what's the G. stand for?"

 

"Why, it stands for Geoffrey dear girl. Why do you ask?" He asked, then realized that could be a mistake.

 

"Well, Jeff." Arabella answered seriously, helping herself to a spare chair in his office and making herself at home "... it's like this. My friend Mr. Pettigrew at the dress shop, well, he's more of a 'Mentor' really, he told me that I talk too much about myself and I should spend more time getting to know other people properly." she explained, before folding her arms and staring at McVay intently, as if trying to see into his very soul.

 

"So, tell me, are you from Georgia? People tell me you're from Georgia. And did you always want to be a newspaper man, or did you kinda drift into it, like sorta by accident?" it was time for the grizzled journalist to be interviewed for a change.

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Well, Jeff." Arabella answered seriously, helping herself to a spare chair in his office and making herself at home "... it's like this. My friend Mr. Pettigrew at the dress shop, well, he's more of a 'Mentor' really, he told me that I talk too much about myself and I should spend more time getting to know other people properly." she explained, before folding her arms and staring at McVay intently, as if trying to see into his very soul.

 

'Pettigrrew? Doddering old fool. Mentor indeed!' He thought, wondering just what the now seated Miss Mudd was going to do now.

 

"So, tell me, are you from Georgia? People tell me you're from Georgia. And did you always want to be a newspaper man, or did you kinda drift into it, like sorta by accident?" It was time for the grizzled journalist to be interviewed for a change.

 

"I thought you were sent to pick up the flyers and handbills by Mister Crabbe?" He asked, "But yes, Albany to be exact." He exhaled, 'So here we go.' He thought. "Yes, I've worked in the printing business the last 33 years, well, except for the war years. Actually, twenty-three years, not counting the war, and  a period afterward." He smiled not because of the questioning, but because of the memories. "Rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest, known as 'the wizard of the saddle.' But yes, then to answer your question, I've been in printing one way or another my whole life."

@Javia

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"I thought you were sent to pick up the flyers and handbills by Mister Crabbe?" He asked

 

Arabella shrugged. "No hurry." She rested her chin on her steepled fingers and prepared to listen to McVay's memoirs, only making the odd comment here and there to show that she was paying attention. 

 

"But yes, Albany to be exact."

 

"Oooh, that's way down South!" Arabella cooed, sounding impressed.

 

He exhaled, 'So here we go.' He thought. "Yes, I've worked in the printing business the last 33 years, well, except for the war years. Actually, twenty-three years, not counting the war, and  a period afterward." He smiled not because of the questioning, but because of the memories.

 

"So was you in our Army, er, I mean the Confederacy?" asked his one girl audience.

 

"Rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest, known as 'the wizard of the saddle.' But yes, then to answer your question, I've been in printing one way or another my whole life."

 

Arabella jumped up with excitement at this news. "You rode with Forrest? By Jiminy Mr McVay, I never knowed you was a war hero! Why! To think: our Mr. McVay, one of the gallant Southern gentlemen of the battle of Fort Pillow!" She hastened to explain how she knew of Forrest's most famous victory... "See, my Mama was red hot sesesh, and she used to talk all about all them brave sojers after the war, but General Forrest was her favourite, 'cept she didn't call him no 'Wizard of the Saddle', she called him..." the girl frowned, trying to remember "...oh, I  know ... 'The Grand Wizard'! Same sorta thing I guess though." 

 

She suddenly remembered her vow not to talk about herself and plopped back onto the chair.

 

"So what was the first story you ever wrote what got publishized in a real live newspaper?" she asked, wanting to know about his debut piece as a reporter. 

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Actually, that would have been filler articles. I was relegated to filler articles for quite a while before I was able to actually take information and write an article on it. I believe it was an extensive article about Veterans of the late war how they were getting on, conventions and the like. Interesting stuff. I was even afforded the opportunity to attend a convention in Omaha."

 

Those had been the days, when he wanted to cover important stories, get out with the people that he was writing about, or the situations he was seeing and reporting on. But he was no reporter, he was a columnist. Often he was to take provided information and write a column about it. But then too, he was married to Beth, and life was good, until it ended just two years ago with her passing.

 

"I departed Grand Island Nebraska in late '74 with a wagon loaded with my press, ink and paper, and, here I am. Editor of the Kalispell Union, for better or worse."

@Javia

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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Arabella was finding that, once you took time to listen, other people were really quite interesting (almost as interesting as her, in fact) A couple of bits of Phinn's terminology made her frown a little, but she sat on her hands (literally) and let Mr. McVay say his piece before asking questions.

 

"I departed Grand Island Nebraska in late '74 with a wagon loaded with my press, ink and paper, and, here I am. Editor of the Kalispell Union, for better or worse."

 

She put her hand up; she actually put her hand up like a kid in a schoolroom.

 

"Oooh, ooh, please, Mr. McVay, what's a 'Fiiller' 'n' what's a 'Convention' an' ... an' McVay...." she tipped her head to one side and looked at him for the first time as a person, a real person with feelings and needs and wants and ambitions and a life lived "... are you ever sad?"

 

@Flip

 

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Phinn couldn't help but laugh at the raised hand and the question, "Of course I am saddened at a number of things. Richard Orr's death, for one. My late wife's passing, actually a great many things. The passing of the hospital project has me saddened for the length of time it has taken and the property was not discussed at all." He smiled as he shook his head.

 

"Sadness, young lady, is a part of living. Things happen or don't happen that affect people, allowing them to feel sadness. We would all like to feel joyous, happy all of the time, but I'm afraid that's just not possible in the grand scheme of things. Life has too many ups and downs for that to be even remotely possible."

 

Yes, there was a great deal of sadness in the community over a great number of things. Some large, some small, but saddening just the same, yet folks didn't go around with long faces all day. Far from it. Setbacks were just a part of everyday life, so the majority of time, people found happiness in a great many things, from the sight of a friend, to the sun rise or sun set. To a new foal, or calf, or crops maturing in the field. Yes life had it's hard parts, but the good far out weighed to bad. A rather deep question from the young lady, he thought.

 

@Javia alias Tombstone
 

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Phinn couldn't help but laugh at the raised hand and the question, "Of course I am saddened at a number of things. Richard Orr's death, for one. My late wife's passing, actually a great many things. The passing of the hospital project has me saddened for the length of time it has taken and the property was not discussed at all." He smiled as he shook his head.

 

Mr. McVay once had a wife?! Her mouth dropped more at that than at his expressed sadness that Tricky Dicky Orr had died (after all, town gossip had it that the two men hated each other, based on the editorials Phinn had published in the days leading up to the Post Master's fiery death). She, good girl, let the newspaperman finish his oration before butting in with her own opinions. 

 

"Sadness, young lady, is a part of living. Things happen or don't happen that affect people, allowing them to feel sadness. We would all like to feel joyous, happy all of the time, but I'm afraid that's just not possible in the grand scheme of things. Life has too many ups and downs for that to be even remotely possible."

 

Arabella sagged. "Guess you're right Mr. McVay, even if I do get to become a famous actress in New York one day, I guess I'll still have both sunshine and shadows in my life. Mind ya' I sorta enjoy havin' a good cry now and again! Kinda cleans out the drainpipes if you know what I mean!" she laughed, despite the sad look on her face as she stared at the man with a keen sympathy in her eyes.

 

She approached the next question with a certain amount of hesitancy, for she did not wish to appear merely nosey. 

 

"So, Mrs. McVay ..." Arabella's voice dropped to a whisper, as if she did not wish the woman to hear her talking about her "... when did she pass beyond the veil?" Then she caught herself "Oh, if it ain't too upsettin' to talk about!" she quickly added.

 

@Flip

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"Not my favorite subject, but I can talk about it. I met Beth in the early spring of '71, courted her proper I did. We married before the end of summer. Sort of what they call a whirlwind affair. Fast for some folks, too long for us." He related, "Now we were not kids by any means, I was twenty-eight, she, but seventeen. Her folks weren't happy about her choice, but then too, they were happy to pass on her support to me."

 

"We married and settled into a small place that I bought for us, and we were happy as a couple could be. Oh we tried for a child, we did, but to no avail. Just wasn't in the cards for us I suppose. But we had one another, and that was enough. Without a child to raise, we were free to do as we pleased, so we attended socials, dances, concerts in the park. Had friends in, as well as visiting them at their homes." He paused.

 

"The winter of '74 Beth took a serious fall while I was at work. By the time I got home her leg was swollen, the house was like ice, and I was in a panic." He paused again. "I got her to the doctor who had her admitted to the hospital where they tended to her leg, but within days pneumonia set in. Not having the necessary strength to fight it, she succumbed." He fained a smile, but his now red rimmed eyes were forming tears. "And, here I am."

@Javia

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Arabella listened with rapt attention to Mr. McVay's story about how he and his late wife had met and married. Oh, it was no heart-pounding tale of wild romance, as might be found within the yellow tinged pages of a dime novel; but neither was it the cold and stodgy retelling of some arranged twinning based upon financial dowries and settlements, as was so often the case. No, it was a nice, cosy, warm story: and Arabella smiled happily through the bulk of it.

 

But then came the dreaded and awful denouement

 

"The winter of '74 Beth took a serious fall while I was at work. By the time I got home her leg was swollen, the house was like ice, and I was in a panic."

 

Arabella, who had been imagining Mr. and Mrs. McVay's idyllic life together so vividly, gasped, and her face fell.

 

He paused again. "I got her to the doctor who had her admitted to the hospital where they tended to her leg, but within days pneumonia set in. Not having the necessary strength to fight it, she succumbed."

 

"Oh, McVay..." sighed Arabella, leaning forward, eyes wide, her lower lip beginning to tremble.

 

He fained a smile, but his now red rimmed eyes were forming tears. "And, here I am."

 

The girl from Virginia, who was given to wearing her heart on her sleeve and crying at the drop of a hat at the best of times, now burst fully into great sobbing tears and running over threw her arms around the hard bitten reporter and wrapped him in a chaste and heartfelt hug.

 

"Oh poor Beth! And poor Mr. McVay!" she wept, before disentangling herself and wiping her nose on her sleeve. "and now you're here and... you're all... all alone in the world. Sniff." 

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"Now, now, Arabella, I assure you that yes, I was filled with self pity after Elizabeth passed, however I have come to terms with the fact that  there was very little I could do about the pneumonia, or it's results." He explained. "But, what I can do is to be the best me that I can be. I can understand your distress that I find myself alone, but she is always with me. In spirit. In memories."

 

"You will learn, as your life progresses, to shoulder setbacks and loss. It is as much a part of living as breathing. It will then be what you do a bout all of it that matters. How you move forward rather than remain in place that will count. You are stronger than  you know young lady, and I'm sorry to say, you will learn just how strong as time and life goes on."

@Javia

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Arabella nodded her understanding as Mr. McVay explained how, although losing his wife had been painful, he felt her presence still. It was exactly how she felt about her dear, dear Father, her dear, dear little brother, and her mother. Well, Mother was a more distant memory: and maybe less pleasant, but still, she felt her with her, especially at times when fortitude and bravery were required. 

 

The editor of the Kalispell Union had more words of wisdom to impart.

 

"You will learn, as your life progresses, to shoulder setbacks and loss. It is as much a part of living as breathing. It will then be what you do a bout all of it that matters. How you move forward rather than remain in place that will count. You are stronger than  you know young lady, and I'm sorry to say, you will learn just how strong as time and life goes on."

 

She straightened as he spoke these inspirational words. "I will grow stronger!" she intoned, somewhat misty eyed.

 

"Mr. McVay, people laugh at me when I say I want to be an actress and sometimes I think maybe they're right: but, why, your wise words have put new heart into me!" she said emphatically, standing up. 

 

@Flip

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"Yes well, if acting is what you want, if entertaining others is your ambition, then let nothing deter you. Forge ahead with your plan to attain that goal. And, perhaps Kalispell is not the place to launch your career on the stage, we are no metropolis by any stretch of the imagination, just a sort of wide spot in the road. Oh, with good upstanding, people to be sure. But a place where an actress could begin her career? I wouldn't know if, in fact, that would be in the best interest of beginning your journey to the footlights as a career."

 

"I realize that Mister Ben Simmons has talked of building a theater here. Many western towns have theaters, Opera Houses, and there are tent shows in the mining camps. Now I have no doubt the man means to do just as he says, but nary a board has been cut for it, and time for such a project is fast disappearing, just ask Miss Steelgrave whose own project is looking at a delay." A hard truth, but a real one. "Just some food for thought, Arabella."

@Javia

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Arabella listened to Mr. McVay's sage advice, and stiffened with excitement as he encouraged her thespian ambitions. But she disagreed with his idea that Kalispell was a bad place to start her march up the ladder of starlight success.

 

"Oh, Mr. McVay, I wanna be famous in New York one day, but I ain't sufferin' under no delusions: when I first get started, I reckon I'll be pretty terrible: and I ... well, I realise that play acting all day long ain't the same as gettin' on a stage and pullin' off the same spell-bindin' performance every single night - oh and matinees, o' course. I plan to iron out my wrinkles on the folks in Kalispell before I go on and wow 'em all on Broadway!" she reasoned. "Just need a stage here to do it on!"

 

"I realize that Mister Ben Simmons has talked of building a theater here. Many western towns have theaters, Opera Houses, and there are tent shows in the mining camps. Now I have no doubt the man means to do just as he says, but nary a board has been cut for it, and time for such a project is fast disappearing, just ask Miss Steelgrave whose own project is looking at a delay." A hard truth, but a real one. "Just some food for thought, Arabella."

 

"Hmmm" sighed Arabella, plonking herself back in the chair looking down in the dumps. "I think he was gonna get Mr. Ryker to help him, he's awful good with wood, but I heard a rumour he's run off so he don't have to marry Addy Chappel." she looked up quickly, remembering who she was talking to "Say, if you print that: don't go namin' your sources!"

 

She slumped in thought again.

 

"If only there was someone else in Kalispell who was good at that kinda woodworkin'" she sighed.

 

@Flip

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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Phinn had to laugh. "Miss Mudd, I'll have you know that the Kalispell Union does not dabble in the romantic trials and tribulations of it's citizens. We here consider it our duty to report news worthy stories that will appeal to all of our readers." Though at one time he had considered a lonely hearts column, he quickly dashed the thought as being unappealing to the customers and advertisers of the paper. A risk not worth taking.

 

"As far as carpenters to build such a thing, and I have no idea what his plans might look like for this theater, there is a crew out at The Pike's ranch building the house and out buildings, however, that is probably of no help to Mister Simmons at this point, since they are no where near completion." He said. "The other option ids to find an empty building to rent, if there is one, out to the barn, like Mister Crabbe and associates have done, though that still calls for a stage to be built for either one. You might suggest that to Mister Simpson when you see him."

@Javia

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Phinn had to laugh. "Miss Mudd, I'll have you know that the Kalispell Union does not dabble in the romantic trials and tribulations of it's citizens. We here consider it our duty to report news worthy stories that will appeal to all of our readers." Though at one time he had considered a lonely hearts column, he quickly dashed the thought as being unappealing to the customers and advertisers of the paper. A risk not worth taking.

 

"Hmmm" Arabella moped. How much more interesting a read the Kalispell Union would be if it did publish the 'romantic trials and tribulations of it's citizens' instead of all that boring political news and reports on worthy causes and what not. She herself had offered to write an interesting and funny advice column, where everybody could have a good laugh at other people's problems, but Mr. McVay had conveniently 'lost' her sample piece - Ask Old Sump.

 

But now the newspaperman was thinking about the putative theatre again.

 

"As far as carpenters to build such a thing, and I have no idea what his plans might look like for this theater, there is a crew out at The Pike's ranch building the house and out buildings, however, that is probably of no help to Mister Simmons at this point, since they are no where near completion." He said. "The other option ids to find an empty building to rent, if there is one, out to the barn, like Mister Crabbe and associates have done, though that still calls for a stage to be built for either one. You might suggest that to Mister Simpson when you see him."

 

"Well, o' course, it ain't just a simple job, I mean, yuh gotta decide whether you wanna raked stage so's everybody can see what' happenin' - but then all the folks actin' on the stage look like they're limpin' around like they got shot in the leg! Course, yuh can can have 'terraced seatin'" instead - that's like the seats is in steps..." she pontificated on. She might not be very experienced in theatre practice, but she had learned all she could from books and magazines and theatre reviews in newspaper brought in from such metropolises as Helena and Missoula.

 

@Flip

 

 

Edited by Javia (see edit history)
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"While those stage and seating arrangements are quite common all over the east, parts of the mid-western states, and, even out here in places, what will remain are the choices that Mister Simmons considers, and then has constructed. He may well find that Kalispell is not quite large enough to support a theater." Phinn pointed out. 

 

"Production costs will most likely outpace ticket sales, of course I could be wrong, and theater might well flourish here. I really couldn't say. What I do know is that the area has maybe thirty store fronts, including the Church, Livery and the Municiple Building.  How many are vacant? I'm not sure."

 

"This community is at the moment ranchers and farmers. The farmers are not what I would call the upper crust of society hereabouts, that would be the business owners, the ones that are successful, and of course the Lost Lake and Evergreen ranches. I know I tend to paint a dreary picture of the possibilities here, but Arabella, the facts are the facts, unpopular as they may be."

@Javia

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Arabella gasped in horror, in suitably dramatic style, at Mr. McVay's horrible suggestion that the little town might be too small to support a proper theatre of the type Mr. Simons was proposing.

 

"Production costs will most likely outpace ticket sales, of course I could be wrong, and theater might well flourish here. I really couldn't say. What I do know is that the area has maybe thirty store fronts, including the Church, Livery and the Municiple Building.  How many are vacant? I'm not sure."

 

"Oh. but Mr. McVay, this place is growing all the time. And soon there'll be a railroad station an' a hospital an' a orphanage and, who knows what else! Or are you thinkin' the folks round here might not care to go to the theatre, even if there's lots of 'em." She leaned in a little conspiratorially. 

 

"T' tell the truth, quite a bunch of 'em ain't too sophisticated, if yuh know what I mean, not like you an' me!"

 

"This community is at the moment ranchers and farmers. The farmers are not what I would call the upper crust of society hereabouts, that would be the business owners, the ones that are successful, and of course the Lost Lake and Evergreen ranches. I know I tend to paint a dreary picture of the possibilities here, but Arabella, the facts are the facts, unpopular as they may be."

 

"Oh, don't be such a misery, Mr. McVay!" countered Arabella cheerfully, jumping up from her chair and gathering together the fliers. "Why, boxing matches, theatre, music... in a couple o' months good old Kalispell's gonna be the entertainment centre of the whole Fat-head Valley!" 

 

She had never quite grasped the name of the area they lived in.

 

@Flip

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"Well then, in that event, I shall most certainly stand corrected, when all of that happens. Yes-siree-bob. And a grand day that will be!" He stated, as much as he realized that just might be some time in the future as the railroad was still quite a way off, the hospital, perhaps by the next spring, if all went well. The orphanage, that would be dependent on the train.

 

He did admire her enthusiasm however, wish more of the community were so inclined, and if so, what that might mean for it's growth. "It has be a nice Chat, Arabella, indeed, a nice exchange. Please, tell Mister Crabbe I send my best wishes."

@Javia

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"Well then, in that event, I shall most certainly stand corrected, when all of that happens. Yes-siree-bob. And a grand day that will be!" He stated, as much as he realized that just might be some time in the future as the railroad was still quite a way off, the hospital, perhaps by the next spring, if all went well. The orphanage, that would be dependent on the train.

 

Arabella laughed "Hey, I guess you'll have to print another one o' them there retraptions!" she gurgled, remembering the retraction he'd had to print about the very excellent part she had played in the Lutz-Redmond wedding. It had been a sore bone of contention between them at the time, but they could look back and laugh about it now. Well, at least she could.

 

"Oh well, I guess I'd best be taking these lil' old handbills to Lorenzo." she sighed. Just when you were getting settled into a nice chat with somebody, there was always work, work, work to do instead.

 

He did admire her enthusiasm however, wish more of the community were so inclined, and if so, what that might mean for it's growth. "It has be a nice Chat, Arabella, indeed, a nice exchange. Please, tell Mister Crabbe I send my best wishes."

 

Instead of replying, she dropped a funny little curtsey, blew him a kiss and flounced out of the door like she was exiting a stage, in proper theatrical mode.

 

@Flip

 

[OOC: Has the curtain fallen on this one?]

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