white wolf - part 11

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Hans gave the trio a tour of the house, pointing out the many features and asking John what he thought of certain things. Hans was understandably proud of his work and John was really pleased with the craftsmanship. He told the German what he thought, congratulating him on his outstanding talents and thanking him for the effort. These accolades made Hans puff out his chest and grin continuously until Standing Bear suddenly quipped “well done Mr Hans even I can tell you are a master builder but just as well for you, because if your work wasn’t this good my white friend here would shoot you.” This wiped the silly grin from Hans’ face as he digested this comment but it was soon replaced when he saw the trio laughing. “Ya Standing Bears made goot joke,” said Hans also joining in the laughter. John slapped him on the back and the four men enjoyed a drink of strong German style coffee, followed by a more fiery liquor Hans produced from seemingly nowhere.

That night all of them camped inside the new house and for the Indians this was a totally new experience. John lit the fire and soon it was blazing while Hans checked it was drawing correctly. The heat was very nice so the 4 men sat in front of the fire swapping stories and finishing off the German’s liquor and home baked biscuits. Snowy the wolf patrolled around the outside of the house so the men knew they were quite safe inside. The following morning John rode into Helena while the others stayed behind. Hans soon got the warriors helping him and he told John with the extra help, he’d be finished in a day or so.

John visited the bank withdrawing enough cash to hand over to Hans and square them away. He also made a purchase of the finest German coffee beans and cigars, to give Hans as a bonus for a job well done.  John also bought a good supply of bullets, tobacco, sugar, flour and coffee for himself and his friends. He outfitted himself in new boots and work clothes and also found some suitable clothing for his wife and son.

John’s next stop was the White Wolf Transport Company office where he found his partner Dave busy talking to customers. One of the men was quite angry and began yelling at Dave. John just sat on the bench outside the office and listened to the hothead complaining about Dave not being able to transport his goods. Dave was very patient with the rude customer, calmly explaining that they didn’t have a wagon available today but would have one by tomorrow if he wanted to wait till then. This wasn’t good enough for Mr Hothead who proceeded to rant and rave and then even threaten. By now John had heard enough and so walked into the office grinning at Dave. He went straight up to the red faced man and asked him to settle down and stop swearing. This of course seemed to inflame the bad tempered customer who continued to yell and bluster at both owners. John quietly asked Dave if he minded if he dealt with the customer and Dave was only too happy to let John take over. It didn’t stop the rude fellow from ranting though so John simply grabbed the man by the arm and behind the neck and frog marched him out of the office tossing him into the main street. A final boot up the backside sent the man sprawling.

As John entered the office he was met by a grinning Dave who thanked him for taking over. The two of them had a good laugh then closed the office for the afternoon so they could catch up.  John found out the rude man he’d thrown out of the office, was a newcomer to town who quickly made a nuisance of himself and had run up debts at most businesses he’d dealt with. John and Dave agreed to eject the trouble maker if he was game enough to show himself again.

Business was continuing to prosper and Dave said they needed to expand some more to take advantage of the town’s growth. John agreed with the plan was to buy another 6 wagons and then find enough drivers and horses. John thanked his partner for running the business so well and for helping out with supervising the building of the house. Dave explained how  Hans was an excellent person to work with and he could be relied on. This John already knew but he was happy to hear it from someone else. John checked on the furniture orders then arranged for Dave to transport the items out to the new house in the coming weeks. They both ventured across the street to enjoy a quiet drink in the town’s smallest hotel.

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