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Checking Out the Town (Part 3) [MOVED]

Posted on Mon Dec 18th, 2017 @ 5:30pm by Kate Hale & Clara Redmond & Aurelian Redmond
Edited on on Mon Jan 8th, 2018 @ 6:25pm

Episode: The Legacy
Location: Early July, Kalispell General Store, Montana
Timeline: Tags: Aurelian, Clara (optional)

Aurelian paused upon entry to take a moment to give the store interior a bit of a once-over. It was quite reasonably stocked, things appeared tidy enough, the floor was swept, that all spoke well for the quality of the ownership. Now if the man was just the understanding sort that not everyone could pay for things upon purchase. Meanwhile, Clara swept right past him down the first aisle, already engaging in some visual shopping for needed goods. She'd do her usual diligent job, of that he had no doubts.

At the moment no one was behind the counter, didn't mean much though he could be in a back room or showing a customer something out of sight for a bit. The bell tinkle would have notified whoever was working there were more customers. Aurelian wasn't in a rush anyhow as he now ambled deeper into the shop. There was a distinguished looking woman looking over some fabrics who had given him a smile when he first entered so he felt pretty comfortable gambling she would not mind the intrusion from a stranger.

Removing his hat, he smiled, "Excuse me, ma'am. Sorry to bother you but I'm new to town. Would you be able to tell me who and where the proprietor of this store is? I'd be grateful."

Kate looked up from the bolt of cloth she had been considering. The twins always needed new clothes. She saw that it was the stranger that had spoken to her and she smiled at him again, "Neil and Sarah Goodman own the store. They are probably in the stock room. Just ring the bell on the counter."

Feeling a twitch on her skirt made Kate remember her manners, "I am so sorry! I'm Kathryn Hale. Everyone calls me Kate. My husband, Ezra, is the foreman at Lost Lake Ranch." Kate indicated the small boy peeking out from behind her skirts, "This is Cody Harper and this..." she glanced around and frowned.

"I am Nettie!" Cody's twin stepped out from behind a bin of hardware cloth. She looked up at the stranger, "Cody is my twin. He's shy. He calls me Nettles. So does Uncle Ezra and Aunt Kate. But I'm not a nettle. Those sting and I don't sting. My real name is Antoinette. She's a dead queen. Did you know her?"

"Nettie!" Kate was torn between laughing and the need to discipline the little girl.

The woman was immediately helpful with her advice then introduced herself.

"Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Hale. I am Aurelian Redmond and the young lady down that aisle over there is my daughter, Clara," he responded then listened to the jabber of the little ones with a growing smile. His were that young once, and these two were cute.

Putting his hands just above his knees he put himself a bit closer to the children as he spoke to them in an easy tone.

"Hello, Cody. And hello to you, Nettie. As for that queen, she was a bit before my time and in a country far far from my home, but I do happen to know they say she loved cake. What about you then, do you love cake?"

"I like cookies better," Nettie told the man and then pointed at Cody where he stood holding Kate's hand, "Cody likes pie."

"I am sorry about that, Mr. Redmond. Afraid Nettie's never met a stranger. Are you new to Kalispell?" Kate asked, having offered a friendly smile to the young lady that had been introduced as Clara. She knew most people in the region, but new folks came in all the time. Kate always made it her task to see that people were greeted and could count on the men and women of Lost Lake Ranch to help them when they needed it. She and Mary would have a ton of work to do to get together a welcome basket for the new family.

Aurelian paused grinning long enough to dismiss her worries, "Nothing to apologize for. The youngsters just have their opinions is all. We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food."

Then he looked down at the twins once more, "Cookies are fine. I definitely am with Cody on the pie. My Clara makes wonderful pie."

As for Clara, she was too far off and caught up in her silent appraisals of necessaries for the shopping to even notice Mrs. Hale's smile to her. Just then an older gentleman stepped out of a back room and behind the register, his eyes taking in who all might be in the store. Since Clara was the closest, he fixed upon her first trying to place the young miss without success. Clara, of course, spotted him back and approached with her usual confidence.

"Good day, sir. We.........that is...my father would like to talk to you for a moment....that is when he can tear himself away from his current conversation," she declared then glanced over to Aurelian chatting with that woman and the small children in tow.

Kate nodded toward the counter, "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Redmond. It looks like Mr. Goodman is back." She had wanted to find out more about the man and his daughter. Not to be nosy, but to make plans to visit them with her usual welcome basket. She would make a point of asking where they lived once he'd concluded his business with the store's owner.

"Ah yes, I see. Mr. Goodman...very well. I better get over there before Clara gets her claws into him," Aurelian smiled then glanced down at the twins, "You two be good now."

"Thank you, Kate for your help. Nice to meet you and I'm certain we shall be seeing each other around town on occasion," he replaced his hat then and took his leave of the woman. He had some very serious business to attend to.

***

It took awhile and though Aurelian found Mr. Goodman to be a most decent sort, the fellow was still a businessman and was not about to stay in business by making poor gambles. This was the storekeepers livelihood and extending too much credit to many folks who rebound to hurt him financially, Aurelian got it. He had to use all his charm and logic and even threw in an appeal to his kindness to get Goodman to agree to let his first purchases be on credit. Aurelian listened then to the man's conditions for payment and judging them fair, there followed a handshake deal. With that he turned his highly motivated and efficient daughter loose on the store.

It was a good beginning, a crucial first hurdle but there remained a lot of hard work and necessary good fortune to make this new life of theirs, him and his children.

 

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