Reviews for The True Measure of Wealth
IcyWaters chapter 7 . 3/27/2012
Hooray, matters have finally improved!

I really enjoyed this alternate take on “The River Monarch,” but the conclusion feels too…tidy. It also left me with a lot of unanswered questions. One cattle sale and they’re back on solid footing? Where did the new contracts come from? Did the negative opinion toward the Barkley family cool down over the past few months?

I must also admit I was hoping for a happy ending where they cleared Tom’s name, but I admire how you stuck to your guns and chose a bittersweet finish –- the family is certain of his honesty while doubts remain for others.

As for the fire at the orphanage, I’d expect nothing less from the Barkleys than to jump into action, yet a small part of me wished they step back and rub it into the townspeople’s faces. Of course, those children deserve better and Victoria and her brood will make it right. :-)
IcyWaters chapter 6 . 3/27/2012
Wow, things just keep getting worse. Eventually, the Barkley luck has to return, right? Then again, I’ve always wondered about that luck -– the boys sure do get hurt a lot, though I suppose they always pull through without any lasting damage. At least all of them are healthy at the moment, hehe.

It’s good to see they can still laugh and joke amid the turmoil. :-)
IcyWaters chapter 5 . 3/27/2012
Ah, poor Nick – he can’t go brawling like he used to. :-) On a side note, I always love that smile he gets just before throwing the first punch.

Geez, can things get any worse for them?
IcyWaters chapter 4 . 3/27/2012
A 40% interest rate? Boy howdy, talk about highway robbery! Isn’t there one decent person left in Stockton? I like Victoria’s determination not to sell the ranch. It’s that type of resolve that built it in the first place.
IcyWaters chapter 3 . 3/27/2012
"I always thought it was a bit pretentious, anyway," she said, trying to make light of the situation. –- I could see the expression on Victoria’s face and hear her voice as I read that line.

Sniff…Heath feeling responsible for the townspeople questioning his father’s integrity was heart breaking. I’m glad Victoria set him straight! :-)

In regards to your author’s note, I never quite realized how true that is until your mentioned it. The Barkleys were always the first people to donate food and supplies, lend a hand in rebuilding, and help out in anyway they could. Yet anytime the tables were turned, the townspeople didn’t waste a second vilifying them. Very sad.
IcyWaters chapter 2 . 3/27/2012
It’s disturbing how quickly the people in Stockton can turn on them after all the Barkley clan has done for them. It’s a good thing Nick has Jarrod to confide in – the guilt he’s shouldering is enough to consume a man whole.
IcyWaters chapter 1 . 3/27/2012
This is a fascinating premise for a story.

I do hope they will be able to clear Tom Barkley’s name.

One million dollars was a lot of money back in the 1870s. While the Barkley family didn’t have that much cash sitting in the bank, they had a foothold in everything – ranching, mining, lumber, shipping, orchards, etc. It’s difficult to comprehend how tricky it would be to raise that kind of capital in 30 days…and this story really helps to put that in perspective.

Nick’s observation about how they’d be lucky to get fifty cents on the dollar hammered home just what a challenge they’re in for. The legal wrangling (Melanie’s testimony not being admissible) was a nice touch as well.
woundedhearts chapter 7 . 3/24/2011
It looks like things are looking up for the Barkleys. But i have to say i'm saddened that the same can not be said of the poor children from the orphanage. Still, I have no doubt that the children will survive and the town will rebuild.

I loved what Victoria said at the end and a wonderful irish proverb. One of these days i'll have to make a trip to Ireland. :)

Looking forward to the sequel. :)
woundedhearts chapter 6 . 3/24/2011
Where is Eugene when you need him. I know, I know...LOL! I can't believe its come to this. But i'm not surprised that the family is persevering. They can get through anything. It's a shame to see Jarrod contemplating such a drastic move. His lawyers mind is not one that should be wasted. I hope all is well in the next chapter.
Tauna Petit-Strawn chapter 7 . 3/23/2011
Wonderful story! Glad they stuck it out, had help to stand by then etc.
Christiangirl chapter 6 . 3/22/2011
I LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! This was a great chapter, I especially loved the camaraderie of the Barkley children. I'm with Victoria, I sure am proud of them, but I'd still like to see them prove Tom Barkley's innocence. After they finally prove Tom's innocence, we can then ask the townspeople this great question: "Would you like a little crow with your coffee?" Great work on this great chapter! Keep up the great work and please update this great story ASAP!
Tauna Petit-Strawn chapter 6 . 3/21/2011
Glad they're pulling together, still hope they can prove Tom's innocence.
Christiangirl chapter 5 . 3/20/2011
You know, when it rains, it pours. I definitely hope that things get better for the Barkley Clan. I'm sure glad that Nick defended Audra's honor when that J.R. creature started making those snide remarks about Audra! How stupid can one get? I mean, didn't he know that Nick would kick his butt? This guy has got to be dumber than a bag of rocks! Dumbo got what he deserved, didn't he? He got thrown out of a window! GREAT JOB, NICHOLAS JONATHON BARKLEY! I really liked that scenario! (HEE HEE HEE!) Okay, things must get better and really soon! Great chapter! Keep up the great work and update this great story ASAP! I just can't wait to read more!
woundedhearts chapter 5 . 3/20/2011
Ooo will they save the day? I hope so. They need to have something good happen in their lives.
Tauna Petit-Strawn chapter 5 . 3/20/2011
Good crud...tells me this gets better.
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