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Monday, February 13, 2017

Moving On -Chapter 7 - Meanwhile back East

Too Much Debt is NOT Good
Chapter 7 - Meanwhile back East

Papa and I had no more financial interest back in the farms my brothers still owned but there was still the family connection. Anything that affected the family was of concern for Papa and me. 

Since both of us couldn't be away from the banking business Papa decided I should go and see what could be done to straighten things out.

Mercy got along with papa's new wife although she wasn't very new now because they had been together for a number of years. Given that she had lived in the East all her life and associated with the lower society (people who were not super rich) she had good manners and Mercy helped her to be proper in the higher societal echelons.

This was where the real money was to be made and Papa wanted to fit right in.  He had no trouble mixing with the men for most of them were a bit raunchy.

However with the women it was a bit more difficult because the women of that ilk were quite catty and gossipy.

The idea was to add something to the subject matter and be able to fight off the slings and arrows that were cast at you; All this while remaining friends with the people you were slamming.

Since my step-mother was quite successful in this endeavor Papa always had an open door for conducting business.

Papa was going to be busy going back and forth between Sacramento and San Francisco but he thrived on all the action he was getting. The only thing I didn't like about this arrangement was he would change the way I operated into his style of doing things. When I returned I would have to change things back.

I finally hired three extra employees to setup an extra set of books and when he wanted to see how the business was doing he could look at his books. He found out what I was doing and started to pitch a fit till I told him it was a check and balance way to keep the employees honest.  He never mentioned it again. He liked the idea of keeping the hires’ honest.

Now it was time for me to head back east and deal with whatever the issue was back there.

As I stated before there was no connection between the two businesses. The ranches belong to the part of the family that had remained and the West coast businesses belong to Papa and me.

When I arrived it seemed that no one was happy to see me. Neither of my brothers wanted to see me so I stayed in town instead of going out to one of the ranches.

Another thing, no one wanted to talk to me so I went to the bank and found out what the problem was. It seemed that some of the in-laws had borrowed quite a large sum of money against our holdings on the West coast. They claimed to be partners with Papa and me, putting up our holdings as security. They wasted the money they borrowed and now it was time to pay it back.

The bank told me that if I didn't pay up immediately they would sue. I asked for copies of proof that the in-laws owned or had an interest in our properties.

They produced some papers and documents which were forgeries and I told the bankers that they should have the in-laws arrested for fraud.

I went on and told them they should come against the ranch properties the families owned. The told me that the ranches were up to the hilt with mortgages and there was no equity left in them.
Cutting Ties
(This saddened me for before I had love and respect for all four of my brothers, Albert, George, Phillip, and Charles.

I wasn't sure why they shunned me; whether they were ashamed or just lost respect for me. Whatever the reason we were finished and no longer a family.)

Upon hearing that I produced evidence that Papa and I were the only owners of the West coast properties with the history of said properties. The bankers could immediately see that what they loaned against wasn't the same holdings as that which Papa and I owned.

They apologized and said they hoped I understood how the mistake had been made. I told them I would forget the whole matter if they paid my expenses incurred by the travel including a new suit I damaged in a fight with a drunk on the main street. They agreed and as I left, the bankers called for the sheriff.  

By the time I left I knew everything about everything. What they did and why they did it. I understood why they didn't want to see me or talk to me. After making the discoveries I didn't want to see them either.

I contacted Papa and laid everything out for him he said catch the next train and come home. He added let them stew in the mess they made family or not.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you Robert for sharing your story with us here at Tell me a Story.


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