Chapter 9, Part 1
A stagecoach pulled into town. A familiar site that will soon be absolute with the train. As times passes there are fewer people traveling this way. The train is displacing the trail. This stage brought trouble in a derby. A man named Clifton Wellington. He and his two secretaries came all the way from New York City to our fair town looking for a deal and a mark. Wellington works for a major publisher and distributor. In the talk of the day they would call him a dandy. A sharp and well-tailored suit with a walking stick with an ivory knob in the shape of a globe of the earth. His secretaries could have been twin to each other as well as sisters to Candice. He and the women went to the hotel owned by the mayor. The ladies carried the bags and walked about five feet behind him in some sort of deference thing.
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In her time here in the west, Candice had forgotten how much of civilized society treated women. In many places they can’t own property, or they must relinquish it at marriage. The biggest offence is that in the land of the free women can’t vote. Many women are treated like baby machines popping out offspring. She remembers seeing women in their late thirties looking like they were in the sixties. Marriage to many of them is a life time prison sentence. Sixteen-hour work days seven days a week. In a town like Knuckle Smash where convenience is built in for the tourist trade many basics are available making life easier. She used this model for her story of a future west.
I was in my office when this man came in. A woman opened the door for him. He strolled in with a fancy walking stick. She came over to my desk, pulled a chair out and put a handkerchief on the seat of the chair. She then backed away almost disappearing into the wall. He sat down on the chair. I looked up at his derby but he didn’t get the glare as a reminder of protocol. I wanted to knock the hat off his prissy little head. Yankee. He jutted his gloved hand out and said, “Sheriff my name is Clifton Wellington of New York City.” I wanted to say, “no really, New York City!” But I held my tongue. He went on, “I am here to sign a writer here in town to a contract and I was wondering if we could do a little business.” I asked, “what kind of business do you mean?” He looked to his right and then his left in a conspiratorial fashion and said, “I want to intimidate this Candice Warren into signing her rights away to my company.”
I followed this guy over to the print shop. On the way, his secretary or assistant I am not sure what her name is kept looking at me. I eventually said, “yes.” She asked, “are you the Knuckle Smash Kid?” Oh no, not another one. I said, “I already have a wife.” She just cocked her head at me. At the door, I held it open and he brushed past us. I said, “after you.” She replied, “no I don’t like watching that.” I said, “oh I think you will want to see this.” Inside the shop he turned to me in a very grandiose gesture and said, “sheriff shut this place down. they don’t have a license to print literature.” Like any bad theater he suddenly saw Candice and said, “I am so sorry little lady but you can’t just do what you want.” Candice looked at me. I gave the play along roll of my hands sign. He then said, “go little lady find your boss, the owner I need to speak with him.”
Candice turned to me and asked, “is this guy serious?” before I could speak he replied, “I am very serious. I want to sign a deal to help him deal with his legal problems and help him sell this little ladies books. This Candice Warren.” Candice said, “I am Candice Warren and I am the owner of this company.” He noticed the ring on her finger and said, “maybe I should speak with your husband.” I could tell she didn’t want me to speak. She went to the door and said, “get out.” He turned to me and said, “sheriff arrest this woman and find and arrest her husband.” With that Candice started to laugh. He asked her, “what was so funny?” I looked at her and she nodded. He turned to me and asked, “sheriff?” I said, “that’s sheriff Warren to you jack ass.” His eyes went wide when he realized what was happening. He tried to bolt from the shop. Somehow, he forgot how to open a door. I said, “the door opens in.” He violently pulled the door on this own groin. His assistant didn’t follow him. She turned to Candice and asked, “are you hiring?”
The next day Wellington came to my office. He was alone. He was also angry. Wellington struggled with the door. I yelled, “the door opens inward dumbass.” He finally opened the door. I stormed over to my desk. Is was disheveled. The neat and proper was replaced with a guy who most likely never dressed himself before. He said in a very wrong tone, “I suppose you think your funny. I came to do business but you decided to watch me make a fool of myself.” I stood up showing I was about a foot taller than him and I could be menacing. I said in my old southern accent, “listen boy I think you might want to revise your attitude.” He backed off. I said, “if you want to talk about her business then you need to talk to her.” He turned and went to the door. Just before he grabbed the knob I said, “pull don’t push dumbass.”
These stories will be based in the old west and an attempt at a modern western (later on).
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