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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 6 WINTER IS OVER




Handy with a knife
courtesy free clip art

Elise kept to herself for the most part, but now Jean began to seek her out and talk to her.

He taught her how to bargain with people and get things they bought in at the lowest price and the things they sold at the highest price they could.

He told her all of the business life revolved around the ability to bargain successfully.  
 
Always remember this he told her, “You make your money when you buy, not when you sell.”  


There wasn’t much business going on due to the weather but between storms there were a few people who would drift in wanting some tobacco or other necessities.  
 
This gave her some time to learn how to deal with people in a real life setting.  The snow was beginning to melt and the trappers had left or were leaving.  They had just about cleaned the post out of foodstuffs.  

Jean had gave a few he thought were honest some things on credit.  They never disappointed him except some who were killed by the Indians.  Above the border the Mounties kept the tribes in order and would track down the guilty ones and punish them according to what they had done.

Unfortunately below the border they weren’t quite as far along as the Canadians in keeping people safe.  The first mule train was due and Jean was looking forward to receiving the goods as he was almost out of everything.

He went out and met them and hurried them up.  He wanted a quick turn around so he just unloaded the mules and hauled the goods into the barn structure to be dealt with later.  

One of Jean’s brothers (Acel) had come with the mule train to see if he made it through the winter alright.  When he saw how well the post was set up he was amazed how far he had come so far in a short time.

Elise had dressed down and tried to hide her good looks for the men who were hungry for female companionship were really stimulated by someone as attractive as she.
              
When Acel saw her he wanted to know all about her and if Jean had taken as a companion yet.   Jean said, “No and didn’t intend to as of now.”

Acel said, “I didn’t mean married to her.”  Jean said, “I know what you meant, but you have to know she isn’t something you take and then throw away.”

Acel said, “If you haven’t had her then I will give it a try.”

Jean said, ‘You leave her alone otherwise you will be sorry.”

Acel found Elise alone in the store and struck up a conversation with her which quickly led to him trying to overpower her.  She had her knife in her hand in a split second and slipped the blade up his nose.  She said, “Don’t move or I will cut it off.”

This is where the apologizing began in earnest and quickly led to begging her not to cut off his nose.  She said, “Don’t try that again because I won’t stop and talk about it next time.”

He was still saying he was sorry as she removed the knife from his nose and wiped the blood from it.  She gave him a rag to stop his bleeding and he said “Thanks.”

Jean saw him leaving the post and asked, “What happened?”

Acel said, “That crazy Indian cut me.”

Jean said, “I warned you not to mess with her or you would be sorry.”

He said, “I didn’t mean anything, she is just crazy dangerous.”

Jean said, “That she is, but she has never bothered me for I have always respected her and treated her accordingly.”

Acel suggested, “You should run her off for she may do you in.”

Jean said, “No, I don’t think so and I want her here, maybe forever.”

Acel said, “I’m loaded with the furs and I’m heading home and won’t be back as long as she is here.”

Jean said, “By the time you get back to St. Louis you will realize it was you were entirely to blame and she was only trying to defend herself from you.”

Acel answered and said, “Maybe so but don’t you go marring that nutty woman.”

Jean said, “I haven’t said anything about marriage you are the one who brought that up.  When you get back be sure to give Monet the list of goods I need.”

One thing Jean wanted was a doctor at the post so he sent a message to the medical schools saying that he needed a doctor for the many people who were settled in and had no medical care.
 
He offered to build a new doctor a building where he could practice without cost to him.  

To be Continued

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