Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book Four): Banished Saga, Book Four

Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book Four): Banished Saga, Book Four by Ramona Flightner Page A

Book: Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book Four): Banished Saga, Book Four by Ramona Flightner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ramona Flightner
attempt to corner the market of a Butte copper company, United Copper Company, owned by F. Augustus Heinze. “You landed on your feet,” Patrick murmured around a sip of beer, licking at the foam along his upper lip.
    “Well, we Ma … Sanders always do. My mother would hardly recognize me if she saw me now.” He shook his head. “I was a weak, pampered ass when I left Boston.”
    Patrick twitched his head to the side as he took in his friend’s fine clothes, styled dull-brown hair and manicured hands. “They couldn’t call you weak.” Although lanky, his friend exuded a sense of lethal strength, akin to a rapier.
    “Oh, I toughened up. Hard to believe I’m saying this, but the Panic was the best thing to happen to me. Made me much stronger. I realize now that a little adversity is good for the soul.”
    Patrick grunted as he followed Samuel to a pair of chairs. “You say that now because you’ve found success again. If you were still begging for notice, eking out a survival, you’d feel much differently.”
    Samuel lowered his voice to barely above a whisper. “I’ve warned you, none of that which could be misconstrued as Socialist nonsense.”
    Patrick raised an eyebrow. “In all your time with the Company, have you ever actually spoken to a miner? Listened to any of their concerns?”
    “Why should I?” Samuel lit a cigarette and blew a puff of smoke above their heads, then spit out a piece of tar.
    “I think you’d find it illuminating. They don’t like this new rustling card system you’ve come up with at the Company. And it can only bring trouble if enough of them become agitated.”
    Started the previous year, the rustling card system required each man desiring to work in a mine to keep a card listing all the mines he had worked in. In theory, when he approached a new mine boss, the boss could easily determine that he was a good worker by what was written on the card by previous foremen. The miners didn’t like it because they thought it unfairly favored the Irish and the members of the miners’ union. Without being a paid member of the union, a miner couldn’t obtain a card.
    Samuel leaned forward, wagging his cigarette at Patrick. “Listen, I took you under my wing because I thought I saw a bit of me in you. Ambition. An understanding that sometimes ruthless measures must be taken for success. An unwillingness to accept defeat.” He raised his eyebrows in a challenging manner. “Tell me if I’m wrong.”
    “Of course I want to succeed. I’m merely saying that your methods may end up hurting the Company, and that would end up hurting you.”
    “Ah, well.” Samuel leaned back, relaxing against his chair and crossing his legs. The aged leather creaked with his movement. “I appreciate your loyalty. However, all it will do is cause the miners to fight among themselves. And discord among the miners is a good thing for the Company.” He took another puff from his cigarette and spoke as he exhaled. “The worst thing is a unified group, speaking as one. When they’re fractious, they’re powerless.” Samuel sighed and took another draw of his pint, nearly draining the entire glass in one gulp. He nodded to the nearby attendant for another pint. “How do you like your work?”
    “It’s mindless. It’s fine.” Patrick brushed at his slacks. “I’m thankful for the good work.”
    Samuel grunted. “As you should be. You never know what could come of it.”
    “Tallying numbers doesn’t take a genius,” Patrick grumbled.
    “No, but honesty, integrity and loyalty are harder to find than you’d think.”
    Patrick nodded.
    “I have the ear of those up above. Don’t mess things up, and you could find yourself doing much more than tallying rows of figures.”
    Patrick nodded again, taking a deep sip from his glass of beer.
    “Don’t become enamored with any of the miners’ twaddle you hear. The Company has all the power in this town and in this state. Don’t worry about those who

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