Avery came into the kitchen while I was kneading my bread. He looked upset. I stopped what I was doing, "Is there something wrong?"
"Yes, I think Jacob is gone."
"What do you mean gone?"
"Just gone. He is no where to be found."
"Are you sure? Did you check to see if his stuff is still here."
"His things are gone too. He didn't even say good-bye."
I knew how Avery had grown fond of his older brother. He didn't seem to notice the inconsistencies I noticed in Jacob's stories. I was not surprised at all that he flew off in the night like a robber. I would not say anything like that to my husband. He wanted to love him. So I stayed quiet on that subject. I have to admit I was glad he had left.
Later when I went down to the larder in the root cellar where I stored our cheese, I found that one was missing. I also found a small crock of salted beef was empty. Hmmm, it looks like he took some food. Well I wouldn't want him to starve. It would have been nice if he asked first.
Avery stayed out in the barn all day. I finally went out there and he was pacing back and forth.
"Avery, I have supper ready to put on the table. Are you coming in any time soon?"
"Rachel, I can't understand why he would have left. He had a place to stay for the winter, food to eat and he was with family."
"Maybe he didn't want to be with family. He left your family once long ago."
"That wasn't his doing. That was Pa's. My father caused him to leave."
"I know your father, and he would not have kicked one of his children out without good reason."
"What kind of good reason would make a man do that? To his own son?"
"Ask your father."
"I can't do that. I promised Jacob I wouldn't mention him being back here."
"Well, just ask your father like you were curious about Jacob all these years and you wondered what really went on between them."
"I guess I could do that. I'd really like to know."
"Did you ask Jacob about it?"
"I did. He said he'd rather not ever think about it or talk about it."
"If you want to end your wondering you will have to ask your father. He is the only one who can answer your questions."
"You know Rachel, I would never do that to Benjamin. Never. I can't figure it out because my parents were so good to me and the rest of us. You see how they are."
"I agree. He must have done something really bad to have brought that on himself."
After supper I was cleaning up the kitchen while Benjamin was listening to a story Avery was reading to him in the front room. I was thinking about my own parents. They would have never kicked out any of us. I am sure whatever we did no matter how bad it was they would not have done that to us. Yet, Mr. Longworth is a very loving father and grandfather. I see him holding Benjamin and looking into his eyes, smiling and laughing with him. He doesn't seem like there is a mean bone in his body.
Jacob. What is there about him that makes me uneasy? Why do I feel that we have not seen the last of him? I tried to get him to listen with Avery when I read the Bible aloud at night, but he would go outside until I was finished.
Avery is a very Godly man. He prays often, not just when we are having our devotionals in the evening like some men. He often tells me that he needs God in his life in his line of work. I will pray for Jacob, that he is safe and no harm comes to him. But I will not pray for him to come back here. I am sorry Lord, if that is against my husband, but you know what is best for all of us. Maybe you put me on my guard with Jacob from the start, and that is why I didn't trust him. I wanted to, and I tried to. I just couldn't.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole