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Spread the Wealth [Ended]


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Another investment opportunity had presented itself, and Max was not the type to pass it up. The new town of Appleoosa had only just been founded, yet it was already slated to be an important waypoint in the western trade. Any smart business pony could see the potential bits to be made there, and Max was determined to seize it first. He would like to just buy the town and be done with it, but he had been informed that it may not be so easy. Of course, Maximilian needed a plan.

This was just the premier visit, a simple affair that was meant to create 'recognition' with the town's inhabitants. A very important thing for a business pony. Maximilian simply needed to show them that he was an honest pony, who was genuinely interested in the well being of the town and its inhabitants. The focal point of his plan was the tourist trap, a simple business meant to sell worthless trinkets and capitalize on potential tourism for the town. Of course, it would make bits, all tourist traps did. He would use it to make a good impression on the town folk, and then he'd work from there.

This was an opportunity to do something his father never did, spread the empire west. The Rockefilly family had influence all over Equestria, with only one part of the country eluding their grasp, but that was about to change. Max would take every precaution to make sure it would work out.

It was a long trip, and the rich pony was glad that he had reserved a few of the train cars for himself. Max finally collapsed into bed, able to rest now that he had determined his potential course of action.

It wasn't complicated, he just needed to get off on the right hoof with the locals. Max would buy some real estate, open a tourist trap, buy more real estate, open a bank, buy more real estate, and continue the process until he basically controlled the town. Once he did that, any pony hoping to ship goods to the gryphons through Appleoosa would have to talk to HIM first. Of course he would just operate under the pretense that he was spreading the wealth, failing to mention that it was just being given back to him in the end.

He woke up the next morning, refreshed and ready to put his completely legal scheme into motion. Eventually, the small settlement rolled into view, the train pulling ponies slowed down, and Max prepared himself for departure. He had a single suitcase which magically held enough items for a long stay, it stayed by his side as the doors of the train car opened.

"Hello, Appleoosa, meet Maximilian Rockefilly jr."

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HoneyThread was sprucing up her shop for another day of crocheting and waiting for a possible customer. After a couple hours she finished a blanket she lifted it up with her magic looking it over but was not satisfied with it so she started to unravel it all and started over again and again for a few more hours. In the middle of her third try she decided to put it down and go for a walk 'maybe it will help clear my mind' she thought.

Honey went for a walk through the Apple Orchard stopping under a tree she ate it and was staring at the trees. Once finished with the apple she took a quick trip on Appleloosa's famous pony drawn carriages, then joined the ponies drawing pony drawn carriages. She was going to stop by the Ol' Salt Lick but decided it probably wasn't the best place for a young mare like her to be at just yet so Honey went to the train station seeing if there would be any new arrivals as she got closer she saw a well dressed stallion talking to himself 'well if that isn't the weirdest thing I ever saw . . .' she thought but decided not to judge a book by their cover and went to give the new face a Appleloosa welcome. "Welcome to Appleloosa! My name is Honeythread but you can just call me Honey. What brings you to our little town in the west good sir?" flashing him a quick smile making sure he knew she was a friendly.

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While on his usual patrol in the frontier city of Appleoosa, Sheriff Silverstar trotted down the street.

"Looks like another typical day in our fair town! The sun is shining, the horses are drawin' horse drawin' carriages near the Town Square, the Wild West dances have started while the Mild West dancin' is still goin' on and.."

"MORNING SHERIFF!" a cheery female voice echoed from above.

"And Miss LaMare is taking her morning flight," the mustached stallion giggled as he looked above at the airborne brown furred Pegasus mare hovering above him. "Top of the mornin' to ya, Miss LaMare!"

"Please Sheriff, call me Louise," she said as she landed beside him. "Out on your morning patrol I see."

"Absoltively! It's my sworn duty as the Sheriff of this here town!"

"Oh look! The train's arriving at the station! Bet we'll get a lot of happy tourists here!"

"Now don't go throwin' a shoe, Louise. Better mozy on over thar and greet the newcomers."

"I want to come too! After all, I am the newest resident of Appleoosa and I'd love to meet new ponies!"

"You ain't gonna take NO fer an answer, are ya?"


"Didn't think so, foller me," the Sheriff giggled as he and the winged mare trotted over to the train station. They arrived just in time to hear Max's greeting.

"Hello Mr. Rockefilly! I'm Louise LaMare, welcome to Appleoosa!"

"And I'm Sheriff Silverstar, we are all peached as punch that ya came to visit our fair town! If'n yur lookin' fer a place to stay while yur here or lookin' for a good home cooked meal, I recommend Madam Bistro's Bed and Breakfast right down the street from here. She makes THE finest coffee in all of Equestria!"

"I'm staying there myself, until I can buy a farm with a sturdy house on it. Are you travelling alone? Is there a Mrs. Rockefilly?"

"Louise! Don't git so nosy with yur questions!" the Sheriff scoulded before turning again at the newcomer. "Anywoo, sir, if'n thar's anythin' ya need, jist give me a holler, ok?"

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Hoo Boy.

This trip was already off to a flying start, not even in town for two seconds and he receives a warm welcome. Maximilian smiled in a completely false manner, presenting the image of a friendly stallion. his first comment was directed to Honeythread. 

"Now it is just a great pleasure being in this fair town of yours. I've heard a lot of good about it back in Manehattan, and I just had to check it out."

Max gave a warm chuckle as he faced the sheriff and his friend. Trying to hide his annoyance at her question, he spoke slowly and with lots of fake emotion. "Now Ma'am, I don't mind at all. There isn't a Mrs. Rockefilly quite yet, I'm afraid."

He gave the sheriff a look over, he seemed to be a tough old stallion, but he shouldn't give Max too much trouble. 

"Well, Sheriff, I'm pleased as punch to be here! I'll be sure to check out Madame Bistro's as soon as I get the chance."

Maximilian straightened out his Tux and looked around. "Priorities first, though. I myself was thinking of picking up some land here, a pony could do a lot of good with a plot here. A lot of good for every pony..." He flashed a grin and adjusted his suit again, trying to stress his wealth in a stealthy manner. 

Any land would do, and Max knew that they key was starting small, maybe even losing money at first. Of course, if he played his cards right, he'd make the money back and then some. Max kept looking at the sheriff, with a sly grin and a falsely warm disposition. 

Max asked a very important question. "Now sheriff, I must admit that I'm not entirely up to date on the land laws around these parts, and the last thing I'd want would be to make your job tougher..." He paused, giving the pony with the badge a respectful nod. 

"So do you know where I might procure a list of available properties?" Max didn't expect the sheriff to actually give him a list, the statement was meant to show how much he 'respected' the legal procedures. 

Max smiled. "Now I don't want you rushing around on my behalf, I have a few days to spend here. I can just grab some famous apple pie and some coffee while I wait, take your time!"Max didn't really mean that of course, he just didn't want to come across as impatient.

He gave a playful wink to the two mares nearby. "I might even do some sight seeing."

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Meanwhile, In Madam Bistro's, It was a pleasent enough day that the outside cafe' deck was in use. A russet donkey was rushing about getting ready for the rush of customers that usually accompanies a train, when he stopped and stared for a moment at something that caught his eye across the street. After a moment, he went back inside and whispered to the mocha mare herself.

Bistro smoothed her apron and spared a glance outside. "A Rockefilly here in person? My my, this could be interesting... I wonder if he's been to any of my other locations?"

She rubbed a cloth on an empty table to make it spotless, thinking * Looks like my instincts on this town's prospects are right. His must be buzzing too... Interesting! There's possibilities in that also... *

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When the new arrival smiled back at her Honeythread couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed she felt her cheeks were feeling a little hot 'Thank goodness for this dark pelt of mine or I'd be even more embarrassed that he could see me blushin!' she thought with a sigh of relief. As the sheriff and his friend arrived to meet n' greet Mister Maximilian Honey gave a small bow in acknowledgement also stifling a giggle when she heard the other mare named Louise ask so many personal questions. Honey sat silently listening to the conversation hearing that Mister Maximilian came here to buy some land she frowned slightly knowing that's what most new arrivals come here for was to buy some land for a fancy smancy business they want to run. "So why exactly do you wish to have a bit of our land Mistah Max?" her accent wasn't to heavy but you could tell she was an Appleloosan "Oh and if you eva need a chauffeur ah'd be more than happy to show you around our lovely town I also have a shop of mah own it's called Sugar threading."

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Arrow Plain was soaring. She glided past the Salt Block and whizzed near the schoolyard, zigzagging her way through the alleys that ran perpendicular to Main Street. She dodged empty barrels and flew under the clotheslines that hung in between the buildings in the alleys. She was certainly showing off. Down the main road, she did a few somersaults and landed with her signature move, the Filly Flathoof. But she wasn't done just yet. She continued flying past the Bistro towards the train station, unaware of the new train that was unloading traveling ponies from other regions of Equestria. As she continued flying, she closed her eyes in the excitement of the adrenaline. But her lack of sight crash landed her into an unknown object.

Arrow was making buzzing noises with her mouth up to the point where she crashed. She fell back from running into the other pony, probably an adult that was bigger than her. Arrow stood up quickly and smiled innocently at the pony. As she smiled, the two apple tree leaves strapped to her back fell off. At this point, her imagination left her and her flying dreams were interrupted once again. "Oops...," Arrow re-sized herself back to her silly filly personality.

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As the group stood at the train station continuing in friendly conversation, Sheriff Silverstar was the first to spot the wayward flying yellow furred unicorn heading their way.

"What in tarnation?" he neighed before pointing his left front hoof up in the air while screaming "INCOMING!!!"

At this point, Louise LaMare screamed seconds before Arrow Plain collided into the mustached stallion, knocking him over and causing both herself and the Sheriff to come to a skidding stop in front of Maximilian Rockafilly.

"Are you alright, young lady?" Louise asked."Do you need medical assistance?"

"What about me?"

"You're a rough and tumble lawpony. I'm sure this is all in a day's work for you," the brown Pegasus mare neighed as the Sheriff directed his attention to Arrow Plain, who was now lying on top of him.

"Young filly, ya better have a powerful good explanation fer this!" Sheriff Silverstar neighed as he slowly got back up on all four feet. "A thousand pardons, Mr. Rockafilly. Normally, things here in Appleoosa ain't so strange."

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Maximilian faced the young, red, unicorn mare and smiled. She wasn't being annoying, and he didn't see any harm in answering her simple question. 

"Well, I might just open a second home, maybe even a business. There's a lot of opportunity in this town, and I'm not the type of pony to pass it up."

Max gave a gentlecolt's bow and humbly added, "I couldn't think of a better chauffeur, I do love a hard working pony.

He would've continued, but a shout from the sheriff caught his attention. A moment later, Max saw a yellow streak collide with the mustachioed pony, sending them both into the ground. After a quick exchange, it appeared that the two ponies were ok, and the young filly was receiving a reprimand. 

"A single pardon will suffice, Sheriff. We have plenty of rambunctious young fillies back in the big city..."

Maximilian approached the young Unicorn and stood over her, looking down with power in his gaze.

"No worries. I think you've harmed the sheriff's pride more than anything else." Max smiled, if she had collided with him, he'd be infuriated, but he simply found this situation amusing. 

With a flamboyant turn, Max shifted his attention to a small shop across the way. He read their sign, and started to make his way over, motioning for the other ponies to follow. "Let's continue this over there, my treat. I do believe a nice cup of coffee would pass the time nicely, maybe I can even learn a little more about the town."

Max raged in his head. Like about those darn properties!

With a 'cheery' disposition, Maximilian headed over to Madame Bistro's. 

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The stetson wearing donkey, Thorn trotted out onto the cafe' deck in his capacity as waiter should the approaching plutocrat pony go there first.

Meanwhile, Madam Bistro waited inside by the open doorway as several of the train engineers went in for their caffene fix.

She smiled pleasently to the approaching ponies 'Well Good Morning! Welcome to my humble establishment. Feel free to dine inside, or enjoy this beautiful morning on my cafe' deck."

Bistro smiled and nodded to the Sherrif. "Good morning Sherrif, Miss LaMare. Would you both like your usual?"

Madam Bistro swished her tail energetically, the smile and pleasent demeanor toward a customer honed to a fine art from her youth in Manehattan...

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HoneyThread almost jumped out of her pelt when the little yellow filly crashed into the sheriff and his companion. Hooves and manes were flying about as the pile of ponies came to a complete stop in front of Maximilian. Honey couldn't help but to let out a laugh at the sight "I hope yall ponies are alright that was quite the collision thar" she said trotting over to the pile and helping the young unicorn get untangled from the pile, after Max had finished talking to her Honey added "I hope this 'ill teach cha about running around without payin' attention to where ya going little miss". After all the commotion Honey followed close behind Max as he headed towards Madam Bistro's establishment, she wasn't quite sure about him he seemed nice enough but something was just off about him. 'Ah well maybe some coffee will help me think clearly and it's on the house so he can't be that bad!'

Dipping her head politely at the mare and donkey who greeted the group Honey suggested they dine on the deck "It's a nice day out and I'm sure Mista Max here is tired of being cooped up inside" she added happily. Even though Honey wasn't quite sure about what Maximilian's true motive was doesn't mean she shouldn't give the same hospitality as she would to anypony else.

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Arrow paused as Louise LaMare concerned herself towards the overall health of the yellow unicorn filly. "What? Am I hurt?" Arrow wasn't hurt. But she couldn't help but dramatize the events, seeing as the Sheriff was already aware of Arrow's mischievous personality. It took her a a few seconds before she knew what to say. She looked at the Sheriff underneath her in the dirt and then looked up again. "Oh, hurt! Um, yeah, am a little hurt, but," Arrow's eyes enlarged to the size of saucers and her mouth cracked an innocent smile. "I think I'll be okay."

Arrow gave a heart-warming smirk while all of the adult ponies in the area giggled and commented on her adorableness, at the Sheriff's expense. She was playing it coy, however. She didn't want the other ponies detecting her mischief from earlier in the day. It wasn't that Arrow was convinced that everything she was doing was that bad. She just didn't think that pushing pigs off the tops of roofs would pass as something 'cute'.

As the Sheriff dusted himself off and the ponies gathered towards Madam Bistro's cafe, Arrow began her suspicion on the new pony dressed in the finest suit. Why was he here? What was he trying to accomplish? It wasn't like Arrow to be welcoming everypony that hopped off the train like all of the other settler ponies do. She was much more territorial than that. I wonder what this fancy schmancy pony is up to, she thought. I better follow him and find out.

Arrow turned to the friendliest pony in the bunch and asked playfully, "Ooo! Ooo! Can I come to the cafe too?"

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While Sheriff Silverstar looked down angerly at the yellow filly, Louise LaMare fell for her 'cute innocent look' routine hook, line and sinker.

"Of course you may come with us, young lady. You're probably too young for coffee, but we can see if Madam Bistro serves milkshakes."

"What in tarnation are you a doin', Miss LaMare?" the mustached stallion protested. "This troublesome filly rushes in like a freight train and knocks me fer a loop and then ya wanna gits her a treat? I never heard tell of such a thing and.. "

Arrow Plain's 'cute and innocent' facial expression stopped the sheriff in midsentence. The kind hearted lawpony couldn't resist her charm, and soon broke out a big smile.

"Well, I reckon thar's no harm, no foul. Come along, youngin'!" he said as the entire group walked across the street and into Madam Bistro's place where they received a warm greeting from the propriator, asking the Sheriff and Louise if they wanted their 'usual.'

"That will be fine, thank you," the brown Pegasus said with a grin on her face as she turned towards HoneyThread. "And dining on the deck is an excellent suggestion!"

"Sounds absotivily good to me, Miss Bistro," Sheriff Silverstar said before receiving a playful nudge from Louise. "Oh yeah, and how about a milkshake fer the youngin', my treat?"

Louise now turned towards HoneyThread.

"Have you lived here long? What do you think of life in this wonderful town? I'm a relative newcomer here myself. I hope I can fit in with the rest of this fine community of ponies."

The Sheriff then walked over to Maximilan.

"So ya wanna buy property here in Appleoola? Thar's plenty of wide open space in our lovely town. But I gotta warn ya, anypony buyin' land outside of the town needs ta keep good relations with our buffalo neighbors. They own a heap of the land surroundin' Appleoosa. We hadda run-in with Chief Thunderhooves and his tribe a while back. Lucky fer us, the Chief loves the taste of apple pie! He don't take too kindly to singing pink ponies though."

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Maximilian made his way over to the coffee shop, hoping that a strong cup of brew could sweeten his mood. The rich stallion bowed to the mare in charge. 

"Madame bistro herself, it's an honor. I'm well aquatinted with your other locations."

He ordered a macchiato, and he faced the sheriff. With a business like tone, he replied,

"I did a little bit of reading on that on the way here. I'm glad you were able to solve the propel before it got out of hoof."

Max looked outside, presenting a contemplative image that was just for show. Believe me, sheriff, I would hate to jeopardize your town through my actions. I plan to buy land close to town, to make sure it isn't on any buffalo land."

The Rockefilly returned his gaze to the mustachioed pony. There weren't really that many obstacles for him, since his plan was completely legal. The only thing that could hamper him would be a prying law enforcer. Those were the kinda of problems and delays that Max wished to avoid. 

Max levitated a folded up piece of paper out of his tux's pocket. He unfurled it and set it on a nearby table. 

"Now, sir..." Max didn't use that term often, and he felt weird saying it."I have something for you to consider..."

Upon closer inspection, the large paper showed a blueprint of a medium size building. The diagram was labeled 'Western Trade'. 

"It's a store, to be specific, it's a souvenir shop. Every town has one, but not Appleoosa..."

Max smiled and continued, pointing at various things on the paper. "It won't infringe on any business' here, it'll give ponies jobs, and it will raise money for the town. But before I build, I have to ask..."

Max paused, he really didn't care what the answer was, but he had to at least act like he valued a second opinion.

"What do you think?"

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Madam Bistro smiled warmly at the Sherrif "Certainly, and a milkshake too. I will have Thorn bring them out to the Cafe' deck."

She then looked to Arrow Plain "So, what would you like? I have the fixings for Vanilla, chocolate, cherry, or caramel milkshakes at this time?" She smiled inwardly as she had seen the suspicious glance Arpy cast at Maximillian's back when he wasnt looking. * Good, whatever he's up to, he's not fooling everyone.* she thought.

When Max made his order, she dipped her head aside in a light blush when he did a courteous bow to her "Why thank you, sir! One macchiato coming right up, Mr Rockefilly."

She wheeled about and trotted off to handle the orders from that group herself, while the inside cafe' was bustling with locals and train crew, handled by the other helpstaff.

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"Can you also get my a mocha frap please Miss Bistro!" Honey called as the mare walked away. Her attention was drawn to the sheriff's eager partner as she asked HoneyThread a question "Well Miss . . . Louise was it? I've lived here in good ol Appleloosa all mah life and it's treated me and my parents well. I've got my own store here as well so if you ever want somepony to talk to I'm your mare, and don't worry I'm sure you'll fit in just fine with the rest of us Appleloosans. You already know our kind sheriff Silverstar so that's a great start."

Getting a little curious Honey moved a little closer to the conversation between the Sheriff and Mister Rockefilly as they discussed his possible future business. Cocking her head to the side as she heard that will be a souvenir shop she wondered why they would need one anyway "I don't think Appleloosa needs a souvenir shop Mista Max seeing as if any tourist who wants any merchandise from our city they can just stop by places and buy useful mementos like mah crocheted items"

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"Chocolate! And, uh, um," Arrow paused and changed her tone with a puppy dog look. "and could you add extra sugar?" Arrow batted her eyes at the cafe pony as she took everypony's order.

As Max talked his gibberish, Arrow made just enough out to understand what he was trying to do, or at least saying what he was trying to do. She heard Max ask the older ponies for their input on his idea, but Arrow decided that he was also asking for her's as well. After Honey Thread spoke her opinion, Arrow jumped onto the table and got in Max's face. "No! What we need is a flight school for non-pegasus ponies, can you do that? Pegasi can be hoggin' all the sky, now can they? That wouldn't be fair." Arrow smiled confidentially as she felt the unicorns and earth ponies would have to agree with her, but then she realized the big pony who gave her a touch of care when she ran into the Sheriff was a pegasus herself. Arrow turn slightly her way, "Of course, they're not all bad." Arrow smiled so big her gums were showing.

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Sheriff Silverstar and Louise gasped at the boldness of Arrow Plain, leaping up on their table and getting into Maximillian's face. The mustached stallion immediately reached over with his hooved front legs and pulled her down off the table.

"That is ENOUGH outta you, young lady! Now I was willin' to excuse your little run-in with me at the Train Station, but now you've gone TOO FAR! Hur-rassin' tourists ain't the way we do things here in Appleoosa! I have half a mind to lock you in the hoos-cow fer bein' a public nuisance, ya troublemakin' filly!"

"How could you threaten to arrest this sweet little angel of a pony?" Louise neighed defensively. "What happened at the Train Station was an accident, and all she was trying to do here was express her opinion, that's all.

(ooc: And now, imagine a halo appearing above Arrow Plain's head like with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in "The Stare Master" LOL)

"Sweet littl' angel? More like a sour littl' demon! I don't tell YOU how to write books, so I'd appreciate it if'n ya didn't try to tell ME how to do MY job, ma'am!" the sheriff neighed before turning his head towards Arrow Plain. "Now you sit thar and finish your milkshake! If'n you tries disruptin' us adults oncest more, I'll do worst than puts ya in jail. I'll tell yur parents everything and they'll put old hickory to yur flanks, got it?"

Then the Sheriff turns back towards Maximillian with a big, toothy grin.

"Mr. Rockafilly, I am powerful surry bout all this. Normally our youngin's are a bit more well behaved than this. Please continue to enjoy all the hospitality of Appleoosa!"

Looking a bit upset over the sheriff's words, Louise shakes it off as she turned to respond to Honey Thread.

"Thank you, Honey Thread. We fillies need to stick together!" the brown Pegasus said, giving a wink to Arrow Plain.

The sheriff then turned his head towards Honey.

"Now don't git all riled up, ma'am. This town's growin'! More families are a-comin' here to settle down and raise foals everyday. Ain't nutin' wrong with more brave ponies startin' up more businesses here. Plenty of customers fer yur store, fer Madam Bistro's, fer everypony's businesses to make a profit!"

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With a gentle nod, Maximilian addressed Honey. “My good pony, I understand your concerns, but do trust me when I say that stealing your business is not my intention. A souvenir shop will only add to the community, and it will certainly attract ponies to the other establishments around town.”

He would've continued, but a small pony leapt on the table. She spouted some nonsense about a flight school for non-Pegasi, and Silverstar dismissed her before Max could. Once the pony had calmed down, he muttered, “I’ll see what I can do about that…”

Max turned and bowed courteously to the law pony. The earth pony’s words surprised Max, being called ‘brave’ was not what he expected. “Now Sheriff, we all know that you’re the brave pony, I’m just a Unicorn in a suit.”

The Rockefilly raised his head and put his chin on his hoof, in a false display of thought. “You know, Sheriff, if you like the plan, I can start construction right away…”

He put the hoof back down and gave Silverstar a very serious look. “But I have to buy land first. I’m sure an authority like you could make the process go a lot faster…”

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Madam Bistro had returned quickly with the orders. Maxamilian's macchiato was quite stylish with the drop of milk swirled into the shape of a vanila blossom and had lingered to hear some of the conversaton as Arrow Plain jumped up on the table. Bistro shook her head in wonder, thinking * a flight school? For non-pegasi? Oh my! It's hard enough to think of travelling by baloon or pegasus cart as a passenger, but to take matters into my own hoof? I'll definitely pass... *

She smiled brightly "Is everyone's order satisfactory?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

HoneyThread looked at Madam Bistro as she returned "Uh actually I would still really like to have that Mocha frap please" she said as she looked back over to Max's plan. Visible distaste showing in having such a store in her beloved Appleloosa, it unnerved her "I really think it's nat necessary to have a souvenir shop way out here it will make our visitors lazy if every knick knack and do dad was in one store. Why they wouldn't be able to see all of Appleloosa's natral beauty they'll be so draw to that store like bees ta honey." she stated in a somewhat stern tone.

Looking over at the Sheriff Honey gave him a hard stare "Now you think real hard 'bout this before you go selling off that piece of land to Mista Max here not that I have anything against him, but I want future tourists to come to our happy little town because of our famous Apple pie or to see our apple orchard not jus ta come here for the souvenirs. Don't you agree?" The question was directed at everypony there in hopes that somepony would agree with her.

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After being verbally put down by the Sheriff's discipline-giving words he gave to her, it was clear to Arrow that the Sheriff wasn't playing nice today at all. Instead, he was just preventing a scene to impress this fancy pony that waltzed into town yappin' about his big business. Arrow pouted at the Sheriff's words, but found comfort and place in Miss LeMare's defense. Arrow sat back down in a chair and leaned up against Louise to satisfy her support. Arrow thought to herself. Puh! I don't know why he is even wasting his time with this fancy pony. He doesn't even know him. Maybe I cause trouble, but at least Mr. Silverstar notices me when I'm cuttin' up. Arrow was pretty sure that the Sheriff was digging up his problems, only to put himself in a different one.

Arrow perked up happily at Madam Bistro who was readily checking on her faithful guests. Arrow treated her like the pony goddess of treats. "Oh yes, Mrs. Bistro! My milkshake is yummy!" As she turned back to the table, she glared at the destructive conversation blooming from across the table. She saw it as a wild buffalo knowingly walking into a bear trap.

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Sheriff Silverstar began to examine the plans Maximillian had unfurled on the tabletop. The mustached stallion was happy to see Arrow Plain was now behaving herself. He then turned to listen to Honey Thread's concerns. She was making sense to him. Would a major 'tourist trap' operation wreck the charm and wonder of this beautiful frontier pony town? Could something like this be a threat to everything he and his fellow ponies had worked so hard to build over the past two years?

"I reckon you got a good point thar, Miss Thread," the Sheriff said with a nod as he began pointing his front hoof at several places on the blueprints as he spoke. "This here land's owned by several pioneer pony families and to my recollection, it aint fer sale. And over here, this section's boundary line is about fifty feet across in buffalo territory. Ya might wanna reconsider that part of yur operation. One more thing, Mr. Rockefilly, I'm only the Sheriff of this here town. Any plans this vast would have to be approved by our Chamber of Commerse, and as I recall, Miss Thread here is a member of that group and so is Madam Bistro. This looks like a great idear, but yur gonna have to do a lot more convincin' before you can start construction."

"Well said, Sheriff!" Louise neighed. "And I agree with Honey Thread. The very reason I came here to live was so I could experience firsthoof the rugged beauty and charm of frontier life. This town doesn't need to grow into a metropolis like Fillydelphia or Manehattan. Appleoosa is special because it's a nice, quiet little town."

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Well, Max had to give the ponies credit. They weren’t going to make this easy for him. These bumpkins were actually going to resist his plan, and they did so in a completely polite manner! He tapped his chin and thought for a moment, trying to decide which alternative plan he would use. For some reason, a genuine concern became present in his mind. With a sigh, Maximilian smacked a hoof on the table.

“First of all, Sheriff, I can make an offer NOPONY can refuse… but I won’t resort to that. I guess that you’re all set on shooting me down?”

Max groans frustratedly.

“Ok, I understand where you’re coming from. You want to keep this a nice, quaint, small town. That’s great!” Max smiles and looks at Louise. “You know the thing about small towns?” His smile quickly leaves, replaced by a scowl. “THEY DIE.”

Max smacks his other hoof on the map. “You see this?” He points to the desert. “This is empty. You know why? Because it is HARD to survive out here! I think it’s great what you ponies have done here, but you simply can’t keep on going as a settlement forever!”

“If you’re afraid that my store will steal business, don’t be! I promise that I’m not here to steal customers! If you think that my store will somehow corrupt your town, it won’t! I don’t want to see an amazing experiment like Appleoosa go to heck because some ponies are afraid of a little change!”

The Rockefilly finishes up with a facehoof. “Honestly. I thought that the wild west was supposed to be the place of opportunity…”

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Madam Bistro smirks at the wealthy pony "First off, Mr. Rockefilly, I'm a Manehattan mare. I too came here because I see possibilties in Appleoosa. If I wanted to I could run my businesses entirely from Manehattan and play the socialite, or even retire and be a socialite the rest of my life. I prefer the hooves-on touch as apparently you do."

She flips her mane and continues "No one said anything about Appleoosa remaining a little town, but the edge of survival is finer out here without a weather patrol. Anything big we do must be planned like a chess match, as they learned last year with the buffalo, or the town will indeed go stagnant if it does not simply blow away. -And you never do anything small that I have heard of."

She slipped closer, looking Max in the eyes and smiled "I have other concerns but those are a start. For now, I'm afraid you must convince my neighbors on your souveneer shop, and inform us specfically how much land is required for a summer home."

She winks "Dont worry, the land will still be here no matter how long it takes you to negotiate with us, together or.. one on one."

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