A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 133: Bankers and Blacksmiths
Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran
Contributing Muse: Tarasandia, 8 May 2021
Editor: nnpdad 10 May 2021
The rest of the day fit my personal idea of hell: rushing back and forth, dealing with a steady succession of people on a range of topics far too broad to address any of them well. Definitely not my preferred mode of operation. Next trip, I’d be holding all my meetings in whatever office we managed to set up here in town. In this staggering economy, a tail like me could afford to wag the dog a little bit. I had the feeling that, somewhere in my future, I would be summoning people to Rulo instead of me going to find them.
I used the short period left between lunch and my dinner meetings to ride back over to the tailor’s and check on progress. My new suit was ready and Sheriff had been well outfitted in a very nice suit of his own, including a decent pair of boots. He now completely looked the part of a young travelling aristocrat. The upshot was turned out to be that one of my suits under construction had been repurposed to fit him, though Sheriff assured me that it would never have come close to fitting before his recent unfortunate adventure. At least it didn’t hang off of him, regardless of the jibes bandied about. They went on for hours.
I took a moment to equip him with several items Amos had scavenged from our auction loot pile, as well as my .22 auto. I would simply shoulder carry the M1911 under my suit coat. The weapons hiding was more than just technology security, it was good manners as well. No true gentleman ever wore his weapon exposed, even in the wild west. That was just a Hollywood fabrication for visual effect and drama. Here in the actual frontier, there was plenty enough drama, thank you very much, without every Tom, Dick and Harry going around flashing iron. Even the famous Bat Masterson simply carried his revolver in his pants pocket, and Wild Bill hid his in a sash underneath his suit coat. There is a cold hard truth behind the saying, “Manners maketh the man.”
I was personally already haunted by the growing myth and legend surrounding my name. I truly craved anonymity and feared that was never going to be possible again. I had to shake those thoughts aside and get on with business. We needed to get over to the granary and see what was available. Then dinner with the blacksmith, and finally a meeting with the bank’s board. I decided I needed Jeb and Aunty at the blacksmith dinner and Sheriff at the bank board. I was fairly sure the man knew how to schmooze, and now he also looked the part: clean, with a fine suit and modern manners, as well as a neatly trimmed beard and haircut, courtesy of Lucinda,. If he could work a room for his masters and PhD, then this should be a cakewalk for him. Clara was politely taking coffee with the ladies while all of this grooming and plotting went on.
I updated everyone. Getting Clara up to speed took the longest, and was significantly extended by the frequent pauses for her to catch the record up. I think she feared meeting Sonya and accounting for my actions correctly. Amos may have inflicted a little juvenile mischief here, or even Jeb or Timmons, for that matter. Whatever the reason, the poor girl was frantic to record everything correctly. I’d had panicked P.A.’s before, but she was at an entirely new level.
In light of the fact that she would need to accompany us, Amos stepped up and hired a four person open carriage for us to use. This was a splurge, but it did show thoughtful initiative on the young man’s part. It also further indebted the livery to me, because most of their fleet of wagons and carriages had sat unused since the Panic. We weren’t just at the top of the list of their customers, we were basically the only company on the list currently. I was really unable to leverage that further, proving that I still really needed an agent here in town. I just couldn’t think of who could even possibly be a candidate.
We took our leave from the tailor’s, dressed to the nines in tailored suit with jacket, lacking only top hats and canes to be truly ‘Putting on the Ritz.’ Actually, I kind of liked that idea, and had a thought that society life might get very interesting in St. Louis in the near future if things went well. Again, I was letting my mind wander away from important things. It was hard to overcome that particular habit, but I had important meetings in front of me, and I needed to focus.