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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


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