63:New York. January 1861
From the day they set up Vessy & Blake, Finbar had left the finances to Liam. As soon as the business began generating surplus cash, the former banker had began making a number of shrewd investments. There was nowhere near enough liquidity to fund an entire invasion but Liam had no hesitation agreeing to Finbar’s request that they use the company’s money until HBC can be persuaded to bankroll the entire operation. General Todd, had put together a team of officers, all former colleagues who had been overlooked by the Union. Liam had been given a shopping list of armaments and had employed agents in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York and ironically, Britain, to purchase the arsenal required. Deposits had been paid, securing leases on a fleet of military shipping on the Great Lakes. Knowing that purchases of this scale could not go unnoticed, Liam had put the word out that Vessy & Blake were moving into the arms business, speculating on the Civil War lasting longer than expected.
64:Lower Fort Garry. January 1861
Sinclair has quickly grasped how the invasion aids his takeover. The main annual Board Meeting of the HBC was scheduled for late September. If Finbar’s plan was on track the invasion would be complete by then and Finbar would be entering into negotiations with the British. The HBC board would only see problems resulting out of the recent events in Canada. Finbar speculates that HBC stock would drop another 20-30% on the news. It was at this point that Watkin’s company should launch their takeover bid, which Sinclair, of course, would advise the Board to grap with both hands. To further hook Sinclair, Finbar offers that Liam in New York would be only too happy to introduce Watkin to his many wealthy friends and banking connections. With arrangements made for the clandestine HBC funding to be transferred to the New York bank set up by Liam to pay for the campaign, Finbar leaves to return to the Metis town. During the journey he reflects how much he disliked Sinclair.