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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)


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