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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.  



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