Rise of the Money Lender
When a smart young man of Irish descent stopped in at the Hubbard’s General Store one warm summer’s afternoon, nobody in the fledgling town (with the possible exception of the gentleman himself) had any idea how central a figure he would become.
Cillian Obannan was a man of means, come West to invest. Within weeks he had set up shop in a corner of the General Store and was dolling out loan contracts left right and centre. With the bar and the store now up and running, news spread quickly of a new town in the making with arable land available – an attractive proposition for many would-be homesteaders. What this frontiersmen lacked, was the capital to build and home and seed a farm.
Obannan’s money lending service proved to be the key to turning a jumped-up way-station into the beginnings of a prosperous town. There are few farmers who do not own some fealty to Obannan. Either in gratitude or in arrears.
Before long Obannan’s profits, and his ambition, had outgrown the General Store. Not to mention that his increasing profile and importance in the town had begun to offend Wallace Hubbard and his friend Emmett Haskin. Although they were happy to see him vacate his post at the General Store, their relief quickly turned to anger as they witnessed the construction of a lavish private home on the growing main street, from which Obannan continues to run his money lending operation, now bolstered by the addition of a group of rough young men and women who are quick to dole out “enforcement” for late payments.