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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

LEON CHAPTER 5


Wagon courtesy photobucket.com
 
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

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