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Thursday, November 21, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 22 NEW PLANS


River Boat
courtesy photobucket.com
 

Without telling anyone, Jean and Elise were planning to make a move of their own.  

It would be six months before they felt secure in leaving Jean2 and Levine in charge of the Post.  They also had to see to it that the Westward Inn Out Post was kept supplied.

This had been a very successful venture although some of the outposts in Canada weren’t too happy.  

Jean felt as long as they could count on Lucas everything would be alright.  Of course there would be Doc and his wives.  Then some of the workers had been there almost from the start and didn’t give any indication of leaving.  

Since they had been doing very well, Jean gave Moses and Mary an increase in their salary.  They seem to have a knack for dealing with the trappers and Indians.  

One thing that wasn’t profitable was the Clinic.  Usually the people who were sick didn’t have any money and Doc wouldn’t push them for money.  Elaina was better at get something out of them than the Doc was.  

The bottom line was jean had to pay all the expenses for keeping the clinic open.  He kept the Doc and the two wives along with their kids.  He paid the Doc a small amount and they helped themselves to the store room goods.
 
Jean was determined to keep the Clinic open for there were getting to be a large number of people in the area the needed help from time to time.

During the last three months before Jean and Elise were to leave they made some trips to St. Louis and tried to make a decision where they wanted to stay.  

It was going to be either St. Louis or New Orleans.  Elise hadn’t lived in New Orleans only visited for a short time and they had a good setup at St. Louis but with a cold winter coming on the decision was made to head for New Orleans.

The night before the ferry arrived they pitched a big party for Jean and Elise for they didn’t know if they would ever see them again.  

Everything was in place with Jean2 and Lesley at the North Out Post, Moses and Mary at the Wayward Inn, Phillip running the ferry and Monet handling the business at St. Louis.

St. Louis being the hub with the base for the ferry and the Main Outpost along with the several hundreds of acres the farmers farmed had become a large enterprise.  Jean could have sold the holding for a huge amount of money rivaling some of the Eastern Moguls but he chose to be fair and share everything with those who earned it.

Jean knew he probably would never go back and see any of the people past St. Louis for his interests lie elsewhere.  

They booked the best cabin on the ferry south and just for the fun of it Jean made several swaps on the trip south and had a lot of expensive items to sell when they arrived.

Their plans were to spend a year or more depending on how things went in New Orleans and enjoy being with his family.  It had increased greatly since he saw them last.

Of all the brothers and cousins he and Elise were the only ones without children.  They talked to Doc Adams about it and he said it was because of all the stress they were under so when they got to New Orleans to relax and let nature take its course.  

Normally any trip Jean took was about business, but this time he wasn’t doing business and he and Elise were thoroughly enjoying this journey.

Sitting on the upper deck they were checking out the view hour after hour.

There was one incident that happened; a couple of ruffians came upon the upper deck where they had no business, and began to speak crudely to Elise.
 
The Captain saw them and signaled for the crew to come and deal with them.  Before the crew came they tried to put their hands on Elise while still talking vulgar to her.

Jean hit the one nearest to him and stunned him.  At the same time he had his knife at the other one’s throat and backed him to the rail and pushed him over.

The crew arrived and the Captain told them to throw the other one overboard also.  The Captain apologized profusely but Jean said don’t worry; it just added a little excitement to our trip.

The rest of the trip was without incident. On the upper deck where Jean’s cabin was the Captain placed a guard at the stairs that led to the upper deck.

Down below there were several fights but that was normal where booze and gambling were going on.

When ever the ferry had to stop for loading and unloading passengers and freight, Jean and Elise would visit the popular spots and stretch their legs for a while.


To be Continued

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