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Thursday, February 28, 2013



Leon tried to prepare himself for meeting whoever was answering the door bell.

He heard the latch being opened and the door swung open revealing a strikingly pretty if not somewhat older woman.
cortesy photobucket

She was more than impressive; her eyes seem to melt you into butter. She with a strong French accent said, “You must be Leon.”

He had never heard his name spoken like that before with a drawn out "ong" sound. It sounded like Le' ooongg, actually he rather liked it said that way, it had a sound of sophistication.

In this heavy French accent she spoke English mixed with a French word thrown in now and then.  
She said, “You must be Kathryn's young man.” He didn't know exactly what that meant but said, “Yes I am,” just in case he was suppose to.

This woman was far beyond anything he had ever met and she completely disarmed him.

Thankfully Kathryn appeared and said, “I was just changing from a beautiful dress FiFi had purchased for me.”
As Kathryn stepped out the door FiFi said, “He isn't bad looking, perhaps we can make something out of him. Until tomorrow then, À demain, Kathryn.”

Ellie had told him of her friend FiFi, a girl she had been friends with as a child.  Her name was Louise in those days but at the age of six she had been taken to France by her aunt and was raised there among the Bohemian life style people.

He and Kathryn left in a hurry and headed to a restaurant FiFi had recommended.  Leon was pleasantly surprised it seemed normal although the waitresses wore lacy low cut uniforms. The food was different from anything he had ever tasted before, but all in all he liked it.

As they ate he told her of the investments he had made and some potential plans he had for their money.  He said he would try to keep her better informed in the future as he hoped to have more time to do so.
He told Kathryn that he would like her to join him in making these decisions when she was free but understood she was busy like he was.

It seemed that she was detached from all this talk about money which was certainly different from the time they ran the store in Nome for there she was involved in everything.

As the time went by he could see that FiFi’s influence was beginning to show in many ways. As he thought about FiFi he was hoping Kathryn didn't end up like her with all the flare she had.

Leon asked her about something that bothered him, “What did she mean about ‘Your young man is here’?”

Kathryn admitted that she wasn't sure.  “She could have meant someone who served me, or someone who was my boy friend or even my lover. What do you think she meant?”

Leon just sat there not answering. He thought that someone who served could have been closer to what he was, but even that didn't seem right for they were partners.  
Then it occurred to him that he had promised her father that he would watch over her and not let anything bad happen to her. The one thing he was worried about was they seemed to be on dissimilar paths and headed in different directions.

As they parted he said, “I have a couple appointments before I head back to Oakland so I had better get going.”  Then she did something she had never done before, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

After trying to figure that out he concluded it must have been something she learned from FiFi.   

San Francisco through the fog
Leon finished his meetings and as he was leaving the office he saw the fog beginning to move in fast. He hurried down to the ferry and hoped that the ferry wouldn't get fogged in so he couldn't get home.  

Luckily he managed to get boarded just before the ferry left.

As the fog moved in the lights of San Francisco faded in the distance.

To be Continued   


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leon Chapter 13

So Much To Learn
Kathryn as she was now being called had started her training by FiFi and was just beginning to realize how difficult it was going to be.

FiFi laid out about fifty things that were to be accomplished. Two things stood out as questionable were Math and English.  Kathryn felt it was unnecessary for she could speak English and count numbers.  

FiFi explained that there are many levels of English, there is that which is used by gutter people, and that which is used by the aristocrats, and all that which is in-between. 

She went on saying you are judged within society by the level of English you speak. Aristocratic English is too snooty, so we will choose a couple of levels below that, and you will not be judged to be inferior to anyone that counts.

Now as to math you need to know more than just how to count your money for you will be left out of many conversations by your lack of knowledge.

As Kathryn thought about it, she came face to face with the reality that many of the conversations that went on around her were filled with words she didn't know the meaning of, and as such she was in the dark as to what it was about.

Meanwhile Leon was being introduced to people who worked in high finance.  He felt like a newly planted sapling among a forest of giant trees.

He was suffering with the same problem as Kathryn in as much as he didn't understand many of the terms they used.

When he expressed his concerns about his feeling of inferiority to Ellie she said he would soon learn everything he needed to know for she was paying them to teach him.

In a very short time, he would learn what it had taken his instructors years to become skilled at, but they were willing to share it for a price.

For both Kathryn and Leon, the work was tedious, but never boring for each day brought something new to gain knowledge of or to experience.
Each was challenged to use the things they were studying in a real life situation.  When Leon was taught about banking he had to work in a bank and Kathryn learned how to set a table for a formal dinner by helping in the formal dining area for special events.

Further she learned what every thing on the table was to be used for during the meal.  

This day was going to be interesting for it was the first time in weeks that Leon and Kathryn had time to talk alone.

Today they were going to go out and have lunch together.

Leon's days had been spent with people from every aspect of the financial world.  He was gradually taking over Ellie's East Bay investments from Hughes her present manager. This required Leon to be located in Oakland instead of San Francisco although you could be in San Francisco in an hour via the ferries which ran every few minutes.

The ride was exhilarating being on the upper deck looking out over the bay with the fresh air blowing on your face.  They were passing by ships going to and from all parts of the world, with untold stories of events while sailing to foreign ports.

But today he was having lunch with his business partner.  He with Ellie's help had invested part of their money, and it was doing very well.

He wanted to bring Kathryn up to date on the transaction he had made.  As he approached the address of the house where she was being trained, for some reason he felt uncomfortable.

The house itself looked foreboding with steps that led to a large carved door.

With some trepidation he rang the bell and shortly he heard a voice from within say, “I’ll get it!”     

To be Continued  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Mademoisell FiFi

Mrs. Loomis had some time to think after Leon and Nellie had gone to bed. She thought to herself, “These kids are something special or could be.”  In her mind she mapped out a plan for each of them, and hoped they would show some interest in them.

She knew a lady by the name of Mademoiselle FiFi. Of course that wasn't her real name but it added flair to her persona.  When Ellie first met FiFi, her name was Louise and they had been friends ever since.

The next day Ellie took Nellie to see FiFi and wanted her opinion of Nellie. An hour later FiFi said here is a list of what’s wrong with her but if she is willing that can be corrected in a few months.

She confirmed what Ellie (Mrs. Loomis) had concluded and Ellie asked her if she was up to fixing her?  FiFi said, “As you know my evenings are full but for the next few months if she is willing to be here early and not miss a day except for Sunday, then I would enjoy making her over.”  Ellie spoke up and said I don't want you to change her too much.

They called Nellie in and went through the list FiFi had made up, and explained the reason for each item.  It almost made Nellie cry to think she was as bad as all that, but FiFi hugged her, and said they could help her become something special in a short time.  FiFi had a finished product in mind and a plan to follow which was rigid but do-able if Nellie was willing.

Nellie said she was curious as to what could be done to make her more sophisticated.  FiFi said, “Then tomorrow is the day we begin, and don't be late. There is one thing for you to think about and that is your new name for Nellie has to go.”

That shocked Nellie at first for she had always been just Nellie, and it suited her just fine, but then she thought maybe I would like to be called something else.  She had always liked the name Kathryn which meant she could be called Katie; she loved the sound of Kathryn better than Nellie.

She had been named after the song "Nellie Bly" and had been teased about it when she was small.  She asked Mrs. Loomis what she thought of the name Kathryn and Ellie said it sounded great.
When Mrs. Loomis told Leon, about Nellie’s new name, he wasn't as enthusiastic as Nellie had been, but it was settled.  From now on Nellie was to be known as Kathryn.

While Ellie and Nellie had gone to see FiFi, he had spent the day across the bay with Mr. Hughes checking out Ellie's holdings on that side of the bay.  

Hughes readily admitted that he wasn't able to keep an eye on this side of the bay, and that they needed someone to live here and to watch over the holdings on a daily basis.  

He said, “Mrs. Loomis has not told me but, I think she has you in mind for the job.”  Leon thought to himself, “The experience I had running the store in Nome taught me the discipline needed to make a business profitable.”  Then he realized he was day dreaming, because she had not spoken to him about a job.

Ellie asked him how the day went with Mr. Hughes.  Leon answered saying, “I sure learned a lot about your businesses, and how they were being run.”

She said tomorrow I want you to meet some professional people and they will help you understand more about how to run a successful business.

While the things you saw were fully functioning businesses, to me they are holdings to be bought and sold at a profit, and it is important that they are showing a profit.    

To Be Continued

(Nellie Bly song)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Where Have All the Old Folks Gone repost

Old Man
Once there was ole Uncle Bob, actually he was great uncle Bob to me.  He had his own music he danced to I guess, for he sure was different from other people.

Great Grand pappy’s generation had checked out before my birth except Uncle Bob and he joined them shortly after my appearing.  

There is one thing about being a little strange, and that is people remember many things you have done, and Uncle Bob’s modus operandi was off the wall.  In today’s world he would have been place in a State run facility, but then you just kept them at home, and hoped they didn’t burn the house down.

Both Grandpas’ generation has long since gone to their eternal home, but still I can put the names and faces together and remember a few of their idiosyncrasies.  Because of their being rural people, this lumped them into similar existences, but each had their own distinguishing traits.

Seton Moser thought that whiskey was supposed to be drunk, and he drunk his share and a little bit more.  His wife aunt Mattie was a quiet shy little thing that was longsuffering and kind.  Seton was easy to get along with as long as you drank with him.  The last time I saw him he was in Waco Texas living with his two sisters. They took his bottle away from him and took him to church.  During our visit my dad took him for a ride and asked him if he would like a drink, and he said yes.  He took a long swig and said, “Ahhhhh that sure was good.”  That was the last drink he had, for he died shortly after.

My favorite, Great Uncle Henry, and his wife Cora whose only daughter married what was called a, “No good,” and died young.  She left two boys for Uncle Henry to raise.

Brown Parish and Aunt Ada with her brood of several boys and girls contributed to a mass of cousins.  And then there was Gus and Ethyl Herald with daughter Josephine who had four children.

Grandpa had fifteen children all of which are gone except Uncle Herman who married Aunt Geneva.  He is a tough old bird and is going to live until he dies.  He is the prototype of one with a positive attitude. 

And so, when I think about where the old folks that I have known have gone, I realize that I and my generation have become the old folks and we have already began to pass from the scene. 

Little by little we are changing, a little more weight, a little less hair. A little more wrinkles and a little less memory.  A few more aches and a little less action.

This Christmas I'm going to shop for one of those mirrors that lie, because the one I have doesn't reflect the real me…. Or does it?  Soon the next generation will say; where have all the old folks gone and they will be talking about me.

The answer being "Gone to be with the LORD"

This post was shared at "Tell Me a True story"
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Cable Car San Francisco

Mrs. Loomis had her cook fix a big breakfast for Nellie and Leon and she said we have a lot of things to talk about today.

She mentioned, “You indicated that you would like my help getting settled and investing your money.

If this isn't true speak up now for when I start a project I don't spend a lot of time considering people's feelings, and trying placate them for it takes too much time and energy.  

I am all business when it comes to handling money whether it's mine or someone else's.”

She spoke directly to Leon, “Here is the name and address of someone I wish you to meet and spend the day with him.  I have told him to expect you and what I wish him to do.  

You can walk down a block and catch the cable car that will take you to the office where you are going.  Remember where you got on so when you come back tonight you will know where to get off. 

Oh yes, finish your breakfast before you leave.”

Leon didn't have any idea what he was getting into but did as she had instructed, and arrived in front of the office that said, “Gabrielle Loomis Investments.”  

When he went inside he was greeted by a secretary who ushered him into the office of Mr. Hughes.

Hughes pulled down a map of the entire bay area. On the map were stars that Hughes explained represented investments Mrs. Loomis owned.  

Hughes said that he was the manager of all these holdings. He went on to say that she has other investments he didn't know about only that he knew they existed.

He spent the entire morning explaining what each investment was and how it was managed.  Hughes said, “This after noon after lunch we will visit those that are in San Francisco.”

Hughes hired a horse drawn cab and they proceeded to cover many of Ellie’s holdings.  
By the time they were finished Leon was worn out and wanted to head back to Ellie's house. 
Meanwhile Mrs. Loomis had spent the day chatting with Nellie to find what she wanted her future to be.  

By the time she got through she knew everything that counted about Nell.

Ellie said, “Unless you and Leon have a plan to follow you will end up broke and separated. There are people who will cheat you out of your money and men that can turn a young inexperienced girl's head and make a fool of her. “

Ellie told her quite bluntly, “There are several things you need to know and to do, and if you are willing to take some advice I will tell you what they are and why you need them.

You might think, ‘What’s wrong with me they way I am?’ and I will tell you.

You will need to compromise with the world to some extent and meet their standards or they will not accept you.  Without proper instruction you will be isolated with only one or two people to relate to and they will drop you if it is to their advantage.

It will be a case of eliminating things that make you unacceptable and enhancing those qualities that are your strong points.  Being pretty is not enough. That will only make someone want to use you for their pleasure and they will diminish you instead of helping you.

Survival skills will give you a measure of success but at what level?

The bottom line is, what can we do to help you excelling in this world's society?

I want you to meet a woman who can help you make the most of yourself.

There needs to be some basis for being proud of your self and not just settling for being less than ordinary.”

To be Continued   

Sunday, February 24, 2013


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Having sold everything Nellie and Leon were getting ready to leave Nome.

The last thing to do was to pack up the money and gold that had been accumulated over the years since they had been in Nome and Leon was surprised at how much it was.

There was money hidden everywhere in the walls and under the floor boards. Nellie knew where it all was, and they packed it into suitcases.

Instead of clothes their luggage was crammed full of cash.  

On the ship they had two connecting rooms with the door between them which they kept open except when privacy was needed.  

They never let on about having a small fortune hidden away in their suitcases, and since they wore tacky miner's clothes no one was interested in them or their baggage.

As the days passed they discussed their future. With Leon reaching the age of eighteen and being considered an adult he could do anything he wished.  

When they arrived at San Francisco the first thing Leon wanted to do was to look up Mrs. Loomis.  He felt she would give them some sound advice as what they should do next.
Maid courtesy
They took a cab to her house but he felt strange standing there with Nellie and their entire luggage and arriving unannounced.

He rang the bell and presently a maid came and asked what they wanted to which Leon replied; “We're here to see Mrs. Ellie Loomis.”  The maid asked for his name and closed the door.  

Shortly Ellie came to the door and grabbed Leon and hugged him and kissed him on the cheek.
After greeting him further she then turned her attention to Nellie and said, “Who is this lovely creature; don't tell me you have gotten married?”

Both Leon and Nellie turned red and Leon said, “This is a long story and will take some time to explain if you are interested.”  
She assured him she wanted to hear all about what he had been doing and why he had a young girl in tow.

She said before that let's get you settled in your room and give you time to freshen up.

After a while Leon came down stairs first and began to tell what had happened after he had left San Francisco.  He reminded her that she given him some extra money, but he had figured a way to earn his transportation to Nome and to have a pay check when he arrived.

She was excited to know all the details about his adventures.

Nellie joined them about this time and wanted to hear the story also as Leon understood it. They talked on late into the night and Nellie almost went to sleep.  

Mrs. Loomis suggested that Nellie go to bed but tomorrow she wanted to talk to her by her self.  She knew Nellie would speak freer if it was just two women chatting.

After Nellie went upstairs, Leon said, Nellie has been raised by her dad and has been around men most of her life, and now she is in need of some female companionship, and to be taught all the things that go into being a lady.

He said I was hoping you would aim me in the right direction in accomplishing that for her sake.  She has so many fine qualities but is sorely in need of some refinements.

Mrs. Loomis said let me talk to her alone tomorrow, and after that I will know how to proceed.

To be Continued   

Saturday, February 23, 2013


 For Sale

The events of the last few months seem to repeat themselves, miners discouraged and heading home.

Some having luck and losing their gold to the gamblers while waiting for the ship to arrive and men getting shot and killed for little or no reason.

Nellie's goods were arriving without any trouble with the captain. Wolf would go out with Leon now since they had become friends and Leon insisted Nellie take the dog along if Leon wasn't with her.

She had another birthday and Leon noticed that men of all ages were becoming very friendly and some were trying to be with her, and at the same time she seemed to enjoy all of the attention heaped upon her.

When he first met Nellie she wasn't like that for she wouldn't have even spoke to them except to sell them something.  He wasn't sure how to handle this or even if he should.

Then he had a strange thought and that was he wished Mrs. Loomis was around for she would know how to handle this situation.

Thomas had been gone for two years now and both Leon and Nellie were worried for he wasn't supposed to be gone that long.

Then one day there were three miners came into the store.  Nellie had met them before for they had bought equipment from them a couple of years ago.

They told Nellie they were bearers of some bad news concerning her father. 
Apparently Thomas had fallen and by the time they found him he had died. They would have come sooner but they had to finish out the season for they were not doing very well mining.

They brought Thomas' things and they also brought his pouches with quite a sum in gold. Their claims didn't pan out for them and after Thomas died they mined some gold from Thomas' claim which they included in the pouches.
They said they felt it was only right to bring her his gold but wondered if she could see her way clear to buy them tickets home for they were almost broke.

Nellie said she would like to be alone but asked Leon to give them whatever they needed.

She realized they could have kept it all and never said anything about it.

Leon gave them enough for their tickets and money to spend for food and some extras.

They were very grateful and said that Thomas' claim is worth quite a bit of money for it was producing a good amount of gold. Leon kept the store open until closing time and then went to where Nellie was still weeping.

He took her and held her close and stayed with her through the night. The next morning they went about their business as usual but their minds were on Thomas and the loss they felt.

Leon felt it was time to go back home or at least to San Francisco so he talked to Nellie about it and after thinking it over she concluded that this was her fathers dream, and not hers and agreed to return with Leon.

They had too much to do so they couldn't leave with the next ship but would depart in about two months when the ship returned again.

The next week the ship arrived with several loads of goods for the store.  This time Nellie had not made a list for things the store would need because the store would be sold “as is” which included Wolf, their guard dog.

They let it be known that Thomas' mining claim was for sale and it sold for a good price the very next day.  
During the next two months they sold the store including the building with all the remaining goods.  The new owner agreed to keep “Wolf the Dog” as he was good security to guard them by sleeping near the pot belly store.   

Now Leon and Nellie waited for the next ship to arrive.

Before the ship had docked they had bought two first class tickets and soon were on their way to San Francisco.    
To be Continued   

Friday, February 22, 2013


The ship had A New Captain

Leon felt a little empty after Thomas left and the whole atmosphere seemed different somehow.

While Nellie busied herself  doing things that she needed to do, and telling him things he needed to do - - it allayed the strange feeling somewhat; but when they were not busy he could see Nellie was feeling the same.

As the days went by he and she began to get along better, and they actually began to enjoy each other's company.

They were beginning to run low on some things, and Leon had brought most of the stock from the storage and put it on the shelves.

The ship would be back in a couple of weeks, and they were looking forward to that.  Leon expected that they would sell most of the miners gear once again to the new bunch of hopeful miners coming by ship.

It seemed like a long time ago since he arrived in Nome, and by now he had become a pretty good merchant. Their troubles had been minor for which they were thankful.

When the ship arrived in a few days with their new supply of goods, they were going to be very busy.  They had made ready with some wagons and gathered some extra help from men trying to get enough money to sail back home having failed as miners.

Once again Nellie had the new list made out and the money in an envelope ready for the captain. When the ship docked and unloaded Nellie's goods there was a new captain, and when Leon and his hired men started to load their wagons the captain said, “Stop loading those wagons. This stuff will be sold to the highest bidder.”

Nell told the captain, “This merchandise belongs to me and I have paid for it in advanced.”  He said, “Here is you money back and you don't own anything.”  

To Leon's surprise Nell just smiled and sidled up to the Captain, slipped her hand in his pocket and said, “If you say that those aren't my goods again this little pistol in my hand will start firing.”  
The captain felt the gun pushing against his groin and yelled out, “Start loading her stuff.”  

She pulled her hand out and pushed the gun into his stomach and warned him, “Don't ever try to cheat me again for I will surely keep you from enjoying your ill gotten gains.”

The captain didn't dare touch Nellie because she was a young girl and second he believed that she would shoot him on the spot.

She stood near him while they finished loading her supplies and then gave him her new list and money for the goods she wanted on the next trip.

She said, “If you wish to bring goods to sell to the highest bidder I have no objection, but you can't use my money to buy it with.”

Leon was amazed at the gumption Nell had, and couldn't help admire the way she stood up for herself.  As for him he would have used his pearl handled pistols if the captain or anyone else had touched her. It was then he realized what an unruly place Nome could be.

They went to the store and unloaded the goods into the storage room and paid off the wagon master and other help and did an inventory of what the captain had brought her.

Neither of them mentioned the events of the day that evening, and went about their business of getting ready for the crowd tomorrow. There would be a lot of hopeful miners wanting supplies so they could head for the hills.  

Finally after a week Leon had to ask, “Would you have shot him?” She smiled and said, “What do you think?”  Leon said, “I don't know but if I had been the captain I sure wouldn't have risked it.”

Again she smiled and said, “I knew you would have backed me up, and that is where I got my courage from.”  

Leon thought, “Well can you beat that?”  He thought, “It looks like I have me a little sister to take care of.”     
To be Continued

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Leon wanted to be alone with his thoughts for this didn't fit into his dreams.

He was hoping to have a great adventure and become rich beyond his expectations digging gold. Then to find a fair young maiden and marry her.

After all he could have got a job back home; of course he wouldn't make the kind of money Thomas was talking about.

Then there was the responsibility of taking care of Nell; he knew she would be bossy, and he wouldn't like this young girl being the boss over him.

But then he thought about what Mrs. Loomis had told him before they separated; "There will be more money made in Nome than in the gold fields. It will be up to you to figure out how to make it."

Thinking about that made up his mind then and there and all of the negatives faded away. While the miners were slaving away and being dirty and cold and without the best food he would be making far more money than most with a good bed and plenty of hot food.

There was one more thing he had to do before he gave his answer to Thomas and that was talk to Nell about the whole situation and see how she felt about all this.

When he asked her what her feelings were concerning her father leaving and him coming to stay with her, she was quite honest about it and said, “I don't like it at all, but some things are meant to be, so you have to go along with it. She said if you do what I tell you everything will be fine.”

Thomas returned from the discussion with the captain and said he wished to leave early the next morning and wanted to know what Leon had decided about the plan.

Leon answered and said, “I believe that Nell, Wolf the dog and I will be able to handle everything alright.”   

Thomas said, “Great, there is one last thing and that is; be quick to back Nell up if any trouble starts for she is always fair and on occasion someone will try to bully her.  If that happens tell them to get out and don't come back.

Nell carries a small pistol in her apron and knows how to use it, if necessary, and there is a sawed off shotgun under the counter for protection.  

Most of the time you will be dealing with good people, but there is some scum that might show up and they will be a threat.  As a last resort you may have to defend yourself but never pull a gun unless you intend to shoot some one.”

Thomas then gave Leon a nice pair of pearl handled pistols that were 38 calibers and told him to carry them at all times.

He further stated, “That this would be unheard of where he came from but the realty of the situation here will call for protective measures.  When men lose all their gold by gambling and are drunked up they do things they wouldn't ordinarily do and they will harm you.”

Thomas said, “If things go well I will be back in a year or so, but until then I depend on you to keep things in order.”

As he was leaving he asked Wolf if he wanted to go with him instead of staying at the store.  I guess Wolf's answer was he wanted to stay for he went back in the store and lay down by the pot belly stove.

As time went by, Leon was glad he decided to stay and work the store, for many "would be" miners never made it big in the gold fields. The hardships caused them to give up and return home. 
Leon would buy their gear for ten cents on the dollar and he would wait for the next boat to land for his new customers.

After seeing how enthusiastic they were when they landed and started to the digging and how depressed they were when they returned to Nome,  broke and wore out he was glad he heeded the words of Mrs. Loomis.

To be continued


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


General Store
courtesy free clip art

Leon decided to take Thomas up on his offer to let him sleep on a cot near the pot bellied stove.

He got a blanket off the shelf for additional cover and proceeded to go to sleep. The day had been busy and Leon was tired and even though he was a little nervous about sleeping near Wolf he dozed off and slept soundly through the night.

Early the next morning Nellie came in and woke him and told him to get up for she was opening the store for business. There were always people waiting for her to open even though she opened early.  

Nellie told Leon to go back to the kitchen, and have some breakfast before it got cold, and her father wanted to talk to him.

Thomas asked Leon what his plans were and he said, “I was thinking about heading to the gold fields.”  Thomas then asked him if he had any experience in gold mining, and if he had enough money to outfit him self.  It will take nigh unto a thousand dollars to buy enough food and stuff to stay up there for a year.

Leon was somewhat taken aback by the news of how much money was needed to be properly equipped for mining and he said, “I don't have that kind of money.”

Thomas told Leon he had a deal for him if he was interested.  “What kind of deal are we talking about here?” Leon asked?

Thomas told him. “I have a mining claim that had been showing a lot of color, in fact the former owner was doing really well until he got sick.  He had to return home because of his illness and he sold it to me.  I need to get up there and begin to work it before some claim jumper tries to take it over.

The weather is breaking and I need to get there right away so here is what I propose; you will stay here and work with Nell, and I will give you one third of the profit we make here in the store.”

Right off Leon said, “I don't know anything about running a store,” to which Thomas replied, “Nell knows everything about the business.
She does all the ordering and managing the actual day to day functions of it. When it comes to the business she is very tough but fair.”

Leon said, “If that is so then why do you need me?”  

Thomas asked, “Can I trust you completely?”  Leon never expected a question like that, but answered, “Sure, I guess so.”

Then Thomas said, “I'm a good judge of character and the way you stood up to those bullies down at the dock when they were trying to take advantage of Nell greatly impressed me.  

She will use you to do the heavy work and it will be up to you to protect her.  Even though she is only twelve some of these guys are beginning to look at her in a way that I don't like, and I would expect you to not let any of them to get too familiar with her, and that includes you, if you understand what I mean.”

Leon assured him, "The thought had never crossed my mind, but now that you mention it - -."  Thomas was ruffled a bit but Leon laughed and said, “I was only teasing you.”

Thomas said he was anxious to pack up and get on his way but first he wanted to give the captain a new list and payment in advance for the goods he needed for the next trip.

Nellie had the list ready and the money in an envelope for him to give to the captain.

Leon said everything sounds good but I need to think it over for a little while.

To be Continued.  



Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Wagon courtesy
Leon was in a hurry to get ashore but first he had to clean the rooms and get them ready for the return trip to San Francisco.

Once the cleaning was done, they were put to work unloading the goods they had brought from San Francisco 

Everyone was anxious to receive what they had ordered which made it that much harder to unload. This took a good part of the day, and what had not been picked up was stacked on the pier.

A merchant had loaded one wagon but still had another load waiting.  He left his daughter Nellie who was twelve to guard his stuff stacked on the dock. People would steal anything they could get their hands on.

Leon had been paid his wages, and was leaving the ship when he saw four guys harassing this young girl.  

They were trying to scare her into leaving her goods so they could steal them without her screaming and attracting attention.  As Leon walked by this scene he noticed they began to push her around.  

She was trying to fight back but they were getting rough.  Leon turned back and told them to leave her alone or he would have to make them stop.  This got their attention, and they decided that first they would give him a good whipping and then throw him into the freezing water. 

Leon kept eye contact as they advanced toward him then he pulled out the pistol he had won gambling and fired it at the feet of the one closest to him and miraculously they all disappeared.

It seemed for some reason they lost all interest in the girl's goods and the whipping they were going to give Leon.

Leon tried to talk to the girl who was still scared speachless and she didn't say anything back to him.  He thought she could have at least said thank you but she remained aloof.  

Since he didn't know what he was going to do next he decided it might be best to stay with her in case the hoodlums returned.
After a few minutes the father arrived, and when he saw Leon standing near his daughter he demanded what he was doing hanging around the girl.

The girl Nellie went over and whispered something to her father and then he came over to Leon and apologized and thanked him for protecting his daughter and his merchandise.  Leon explained that he was one of the crew from the ship that just docked, and when he saw the men harassing Nellie he thought he should do something.

Leon helped load their possessions on the wagon and the father said, “Come on with us in case those guys come back, and after we unload we will have something to eat.”

An hour and a half later they were finished unloading the goods into his warehouse adjoining his store and Nellie had supper fixed.

As it turned out she was a pretty good cook, and later he was told the meat they were eating was Moose.  She had spiced it up to where Leon couldn't tell what it was and because he was hungry he would have eaten anything.

Leon saw that they had a dog that lay near the potbellied stove, and he asked what kind of dog it was. Thomas the father said he wasn't sure but he thought he might be half husky and half wolf from the looks of him.

Thomas said he just showed up one day when he was a pup, and took up with Nellie and that was about a year ago.  Leon asked about his name and they said, “We just called him wolf.”  The dog seemed to be good natured but if anyone got to close to Nellie that he didn't know, he would show his teeth and start growing.

Though the dog took a liking to Leon right away, he thought it best not to get too near Nellie until Wolf knew him better.

Thomas asked Leon where he was staying and he answered “I'm not sure since I just arrived here.”  Thomas said. “You can stay here for the night if you don't mind sleeping on a cot we can put up next to Wolf for he sleeps near the stove where it is warm.”

To be Continued

Monday, February 18, 2013

GRAND OPENINGS reposted from 2010

Please sign up in the "Follow by E-mail box to receive my continued stories.  This post is being submitted for my wife Hazel's Tell Me a True Story blog hop.
San Francisco Bay Bridge

My father was more adventurous than I ever was.  We arrived In California In the summer of 1936, driving a new 1936 Plymouth my dad had picked up in Detroit.

There was four in our family my brother being about 8 months old.

The big news was that the new San Francisco Bay Bridge was soon to be opened, and everyone who possibly could was making plans to cross it on opening day. This included my family, for my dad felt this was mandatory. There would never be the first day again.

So on Nov. 12 1936 we joined all of the other people in Oakland and headed west. The citizens in San Francisco headed east.  It was an exciting day for the Bay area. There was a slight problem, due to the fact that the bridge didn’t open until sometime after 12:30 PM the crowds crammed each side of the bridge.  The streets were filled to capacity the intersections were gridlocked, and nobody could move in any direction.

The police had to start miles from the bridge and back people up so they could clear the intersections enough for traffic to move.  Adding to the problem were those from San Francisco coming back home and further crowding the streets.  We got home about 11 o’clock that evening, but some didn’t get home until the next day.  Adding to the stress was the fact there was no porta potties along the way.

By May 28 1937 the following year, we had forgotten about the problems of the Bay bridge opening and were ready for the Golden Gate first crossing.  The day prior, on the 27th the bridge was open for people to walk across it. 
This lessened the crowds on the next day when we could drive across. So my family loaded up and headed out to cross over the new Golden Gate Bridge, and this was more enjoyable for traffic was not as jammed up as before.

The Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island opened on February 18 1939, and we were in line for the first day it was opened to the public. My father had put in one of the exhibits for the California cotton mills.  It was interesting in as much that the machines would take cotton at one end and a towel advertising the fair on the other. One of the perks my father got was free passes for the expositions.

Being first has its good and bad sides. The first man to sin (Adam) had devastating consequences to the entire human race.

While the sacrifice of one man (Christ Jesus) has provided redemption to the whole world

As one man chose to sin, even now each man must accept his own redemption. One of the most important things in life is choice and the act of choosing brings it into fruition.

There is another event coming and the particulars are found in

1 Corinthians 15:50-55
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

That day of the resurrection will come, and I look forward to being in line waiting for the day, the hour, the minute, the second when the trumpet sounds and the scripture is fulfilled. Each day I am getting nearer to the time when I need that new body.

This post is Shared with Laura at The Wellspring

Also shared with Hazel: Tell Me a Story