he group of The Post sat around the huge table as they had ever since coming together. Tobias had put some money into enlarging it, both outside the hill and had miners create several cavities within the hill. These were used to store their supplies and few outsiders knew they were even there.
So there was ample room for the group to live comfortably for years if need be. Even the horses had their own cave extending into the hill from the corral into this safety in case of fire, blizzard, tornado or attack. There was even a tunnel cut through solid rock leading from it to the living quarters. The entire group had put many hours into it for a haven of safety.
One of the things they had done of which they were quite proud was to have a huge cavern in the rock mined out in which they had built and placed the Round Table. Reminiscent of King Arthur's Knights, Tobias was proud to live up to the 'righteous code' of King Arthur.
King Arthur represented a man who was the epitome of good against evil light against darkness, and that eternal, never-ending struggle between what is right and that which is wrong, and Tobias knew the men who sat around the table, were true to this code.
There would be many discussions, planning sessions, legal sessions, business sessions around the Round Table. Tobias was brought back from his dream to the present conversation by a question from the judge.
"Tobias did you finish the report Sheriff Davis requested?"
"Yes sir. It is in your tray in the grey envelope marked SB" he answered as his mind went over the ordeal. The list of charges against the men brought back from Santa Barbara was long. When they saw the lists and the Lawmens names who knew them, they knew there was no way out, so they all plead guilty, were hung and had expanded the graveyard. All in short order.
That was one thing Judge Randall was very thankful for. That the graveyard had been built on the side of a long sloping hill and was well above any floodplain threat. While none of their graves had been washed, there were still remains being found from the fire and flood. The Smile graveyard was quite nice in itself, laid out in diamond shaped rows.
The Judge was talking and Tobias, while daydreaming again missed some of it, but heard the part that brought him out of his dream again. "This time, we'll build it right, and we won't have the problem of what we just experienced. If we're a mind to rebuild the city, we need to act fast because the railroad will just mark us off as a ghost town and a water stop."
He paused for a moment, then wistfully "they could even move the track or discontinue it. Especially with the loss of the Columbia bridge."
"Who says we have to build again? We didn't set out with a plan to build in the first place . . . " The voice of the speaker trailed off as everyone at the table turned to look at him.
The conversation went nearly dead. The point hit home and threw the subject in a whole new direction. It pretty much sounded the death nell for the city called Smile. That is, it would have had Judge Randall dropped it. But he had some things to say, and he wanted to say it now.
Tobias just listened. He had been proud of the city even though there were definitely some problems associated with it. Water problems, sewage problems, contamination problems, regular problems of traffic jams, causing tempers to flare up.
He knew one thing for sure. If you build it, and there's a way to make a living, they will come. He decided to go ahead with the planning. He and Violet had made quite an immense fortune from the gold mine and unbenownst to any at the table, had hit a new vein and it was the richest yet. They had decided to build a huge house marking the new beginning of the city named Smile.
Also, across the valley in the hills facing The Post another substance was found called Borax. He had some other information with which to share with the owners of The Smile of the gods Trading Post.
Violet and I have some information with which to share, and the offer for all those in this group who wish to throw in as partners in the mine, can do so. If you have other interests, you might want to hear the rest of the information which we have to share regarding the city."
He paused for a moment as Sheriff Trey Goodsen and his wife Laura and two children, Sam and Heidi, came in. "I'm sorry we're a little late. You know the law business" he finished.
"That's quite all right Trey. Youn's eaten yet?"
Upon a negative answer Stacey and Monet got up from the Round Table and immediately served them some hot beef and gravy with some big biscuits.
"You've come in at the right time Trey. I wanted the invitations to be extended to you as you've pretty much become a part of the group here at The Post."
Trey and Laura Goodsen and their children dug in while Judge Randall continued.
"Violet and I have made quite a fortune with the mine. Those of you have threw in with us have profited extremely well. The hammer mill is back up and operating and the entire mine system is back in working order. Plans for a whole new bunkhouse with which to house two hundred men are final and the lumber is already on its way."
Violet and I are beginning a new home just outside the draw and to the left about five hundred feet. It will encase the entire block and I have blocks lain out with all your names on them if you wish. You may register them in your names at the courthouse which is back in operation. You can build or just let the land sit and hopefully increase in value."
The bank will be back in operation within the month, and there are plans for twenty two other businesses to be rebuilt. I have approached most of the original owners and have offered them financing with which to rebuild."
"Another thing I have done is hired a engineering firm to open an office here. This firm will lay out the new city of Smile and will build in many new technologies of construction. We will have an underground water system, a sewer system, and several other accouterments of modern invention.
The bank will be financing newcomers to the city with building business or home. One thing for sure, we will plan this new city of Smile to have safeguards against what has happened to the original Smile.
"New grain mills and silo systems will be constructed away from Smile to aid in protecting it from some similar explosion and will also be poured in concrete. Any questions so far?" he finished.
"Yes sir. I Have a question" Deborah said. Are you offering partnerships within any of the other entities you have mentioned here tonight?"
"Such as?" Arthur countered.
"Such as the bank, and any of the other businesses you said you'd be financing?"
"What do you have in mind Deborah?"
"Well, I haven't spoken to William about this in a long time, but, I'd like to begin a business of book keeping, and later add to it interior design and decorating along with sales of materials for same."
"Well, the only answer I can give you on that is, I'll not only finance the venture, but it will be interest free, with the first ten thousand paid to get your venture off the ground, built and functional. Then, you're hired as our personal decorator and as the official book keeping service for the city of Smile. I'm sure that several other businesses coming into town will want to make use of your services as well."
"Another thing, we'll be able to procure an arm in which your services will be needed and that's the registry of State required information such as property registry, marriages, births, deaths and those sorts of things."
No less than thirteen other businesses were formed that very night, with Arthur offering them the same deal to begin their businesses as well. But, there is always someone who has to throw a wet blanket over the fire, and that was from the new wife of Moses. His original wife he'd married just a year ago had been killed in a holdup.
He new wife, Roletta (Grayson) was bright and a little younger than Moses or his first wife. She was known to think ahead and draw conclusions no one else seemed to come up with. "I have an obrogation" she said raising her hand.
"Yes, Mrs. Register."
"First, I have to request you stop calling me that. I am Roletta" she smiled, then continued. If we create all these businesses with no one around to purchase from us, how will we be able to stay in business?"
"Very good question Roletta" Arthur said. "'A wise man once said, "If you build it, they will come.' You saw how quickly Smile built up in the first place, and how it was easily destroyed. We will have much more to offer than the original Smile offered, and we now have the means of making sure we're getting good solid citizenry as well as quality housing and businesses."
"Also, it is not a secret that there is work here and plenty of it, as well as places in which to live, which will be built and already waiting for them when they get here. We have confirmation of a newspaper interested enough to put a remote office here. It will be connected to the main office in Los Angeles and we'll get plenty of coverage and free advertising from it."
"We will have a proper Law enforcement force here as well as a Fire Fighting Force with proper equipment. The possibilities are endless for anyone who is willing to come and work to create a life for themselves. We'll need men to man these arms of city upkeep, and those are another thing which will be reported on."
Another hand went up and the owner asked "Judge, what are we going to do about saloons and the like as well as the the trouble which will surely follow?"
"That is a question of which I have expended many, many hours of thought. There is no keeping them out of a town. They have as much right as American citizens as anyone else. However, there is a way of controlling where they place their business. There are a set of laws which I've drawn up which will keep them outside of the city limits. Who can help it if city limits is a mile in every direction from city hall?"
He received a hand clap of approval for that, then he said "I have need of a city council, a Chairman and Co-chairman of same as well as other officers. They will approve the laws as written, or reword them to the point of their approval. At that time, the laws will be put out to vote to all the registered voters of the city."
After about two more hours of discussion, nominations, voting, accepting and the ins and outs of creating and bringing to life the government of the city, the meeting was adjourned. The following list was the result of the nights vote:
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All total there were thirteen members of the Smile city council.
Was the city of Smile just an expensive hope? Would she would live on and become a city in which much would be returned?
There was the possibility she would live, but, at the moment, Smile was just a dream. And until the dream came true, Smile was still dead.
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