Today, I just about gave up hope. I was so tired of the waiting and not knowing. Then a man rode up here with a letter. He said it was very important and he'd wait for a reply if needed. It was from the marshal in Pennsylvania. It read:
I have good news for you. Your husband has been located and accounted for. He has asked me to contact you and let you know that he is okay and will be making the return trip home immediately.
Marshal Mark Johnston
He is coming home! He is alive! I started jumping up and down. The man stood there waiting. I said, "I am sorry, I didn't catch your name?"
He replied, "Max. Max Smith."
"Well, Max Smith, there won't be any reply. My husband is coming home! He is okay."
"That's good news, Mrs. Longworth. The whole town has been worried. Talked about sending a posse after him. Everyone around here likes Mr. Longworth."
Yes, no need for a posse now. Max, are you hungry? I've got a pan of ham and eggs waiting to be eaten. My brother was supposed to come and never showed up. My sister, Esther is in the house and finishing our breakfast. Would you like to join us?"
"No thanks, ma'm. I've got to get back. Good news on your husband's return," and with that he swung up on his horse and took off.
I hurried inside to tell my sister. She'd be be happy to hear the good news. So would Benjamin. I ran up the stairs and Esther looked up to see what was my hurry. She looked at my face and could tell I had good news, "What is it Rachel? What have you heard?"
"All I know is this," I handed it to Esther and she read it. I looked over at Benjamin who was just waking up, "Benjamin, your Daddy is coming home........soon!" I smiled as I got my plate of food and moved my chair closer to his daybed.
"I would not want to be married to a man who is in danger all the time like Avery is." Esther said as she filled her dish.
"Well, you won't be. From what I understand you are marrying a lawyer. Nice and safe." I smiled, not sure of how Esther felt on her upcoming marriage.
She stuck her tongue out at me then said, "Who says I have to marry him?"
"You don't want to get married? You always said you did."
"To Will Delaney? He is a book worm. Don't you remember him?"
"I barely remember him. He was older than us. Like Avery. Besides being a book worm has led to him becoming a lawyer. He'll probably support you pretty good Esther."
"He's a law clerk, not a lawyer. It's not like he is a man like Avery. I'll be stuck living in town the rest of my life."
"Esther, it might not be that bad living in town. It's just that we never have, so we don't think we'd like it. But Avery's family lives in Norwich. Right in town. His sister Margaret lives in town and she loves it. My friend Ruth lives in town and seems quite happy there."
"Maybe. I am scared of marrying him. Scared of what to say to him. I mean what do you say to a lawyer?" She looked over at Benjamin and smiled, "Then I look at Benjamin and think, Lord, I could have a baby of my own just like him next year."
"That's right. I was scared to marry Avery too. Really scared that first night after the wedding. I was scared of being alone with him. Now, I love our time alone. Like Mother and Father are. Just wait and you'll see," that made me think again of Avery. He is not dead and he is on his way home to me and Benjamin. Thank you Lord, I thought silently.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole