Montana was a tough nut to crack, she was quite attractive, long brown hair done up, eyes that had seen the hardscrabble side of life. A generally serious demeanor, but still able to laugh. She was smart as well, but a different kind of smart, now days we call it having "street cred," but then again she was what they euphemistically called a "soiled dove." This didn't matter to me, and I told her so, as professor Harold Hill said in The Music Man, "A sadder but wiser girl for me." This chick held a lot of secrets and I wanted to find out what they were, one evening after we had been drinking, she opened the "door" just a crack, but it was a start.
She told us that she was born in Sedalia Missouri, but her family moved to St. Joseph Missouri when she was only three or four. Her father was a teamster but didn't stay around home much.
"After we moved to St. Joe," she said, "My father was gone a lot hauling freight out to the western forts, or once as he claimed, to Santa Fe New Mexico Territory. Mother made ends meet working part time in her brother's mercantile, or by taking in laundry. My mother did the best she could, my brother and I grew up all too fast, having to help my mother. Father never contributed much, when he was home he never gave mother much, drank the money up, then they would fight, one time my brother tried to stop him, but only got hit in the face for it. A year later my brother told me he had had enough, bid me goodbye, and left, said he was going to see what was out west, haven't seen or heard from him since."