Sunday, July 24, 2011

Being Watched

Things have been hectic around here since our son, Samuel was born. Avery got an important contract and had to get back into driving the freight wagon to deliver the freight for his new client. Mr. Bernstein has been building hotels and stores across the country.William and Lola are still here, so William is running the freight office until Avery is back. It was a good thing they were still here, because it gave us this opportunity to make more money.

I was sitting here today having my raspberry leaf tea, watching Benjamin throw a ball for Peanut, when Lola came in. She has become more comfortable here, but at times is as jumpy as a cat. Today, she looked scared, "Rachel, I think he has found me!"

"Your husband?" I hadn't heard her mention him before. She never called him by name.

"Yes, I was out in the apple orchard and I heard something. I looked around and saw a movement in the bushes."

"Oh, that could have been a deer or a rabbit," I relaxed. I didn't want her husband coming here when we were alone.

"No, I know their sound. It was human steps. I went back to the barn and got the gun from the barn. When I went back he was gone."

"Maybe it was a bum looking for some work to do for food."

"Then why didn't he say something? I know it was him."

I didn't say anything back, but I was thinking of what we could do if he did show up. From what I understood, he could handle a gun a lot better than Lola or me. Just because William had beaten him one time, did not mean he was a weak man. William just got him in a weak moment, when he was beating Lola.

I got up, "Lola, you stay in the house with the children. I'll go take a look."

"Oh no Rachel! If harm came to you, your husband would never forgive me."

I went to the drawer in my table and took out my pistol. I checked that it was loaded. Lola raised her eyebrows, "No, don't go."

"I can use this as good as any man. Father taught all of us girls to shoot. And I mean REALLY shoot. If he is out there, I can protect myself."

I checked the whole area around the apple orchard and didn't find anything. What is that? I saw something. There were some footprints! A man with boots. So someone had been here, but there was no way to know if it was her husband for sure. It probably was though. Who else would be snooping around?  I'll tell William when he gets home from the freight office. Avery isn't expected for another week.

On my way past the barn, I checked the horses. Then locked the back entrance, just in case. Don't want to walk in here and have someone hiding on me. At least out front, I'd see him or Peanut would. I couldn't wait for William to get home. For now, I will keep an eye out.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
 All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do I Want To Be Rich?

It has been two months since our second son, Samuel was born. He is a lot more demanding than Benjamin was and is. Benjamin is God's gift to me for a first child. He is sweet and loving and does what he is told. Even as an infant he was easy to care for. It is gardening season and I am out in the garden much of the time. When Lola offers to care for Samuel, I can take Benjamin out with me. He follows along with Peanut and me and helps in his own way.

Twice I have seen Ruth since she came here after Samuel was born, to tell me about a man looking for Lola. She said that man has been back twice to see if a woman had shown up. He told Mr. McCleary that the woman he was looking for might come to a hotel looking for work. Now it makes me wonder why he thinks she would go to a hotel to find a job. Even though we have become closer to William and Lola since the night they told us their real story. Lola still isn't that open to us. She talks about what is going around right now, with the children, with the animals, the garden, food. Not  a word about her past or about William and her.

I was out in the garden weeding when Avery came riding up. He was excited about something, "Rachel, I've just got the biggest contract of my life!"

I wiped my hands on my apron to get the dirt off them, "What are you talking about?"

"Mr. Bernstein, the man I told you about. The one who is opening a line of hotels with stores along the trail out to the plains."

"Yes, what about him?"

"He hired me to deliver the freight to the hotels and stores. It is a big contract and will make us rich!"

"Rich? " I paused, I realized Avery was thrilled about this contract and I should be too. But what did it mean? Did it mean that Avery had to go back to driving the freight wagons again because we only have three drivers? If so, it would be difficult for me to accept it on the basis of making us rich. I feel as if I am rich already.

"Well Rachel? What do you think?" He grabbed a hold of me and lifted me off my feet and swirled me around. I couldn't help but laugh as he was in such a mood. "I'll be able to finish this house for you and you can decorate it however you want."

"Avery, I like it fine the way it is."

"Woman, you need a house to suit you. You are a very beautiful woman and you need a beautiful house. And we will fill it with more young'uns."

I had to laugh in spite of myself. I got caught up in Avery's mood. In my mind, I was already rich being married to man I loved with my whole heart. To have my two sons who are healthy and happy. My life is certainly turning out to be blessed with good fortune.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated  2016

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Samuel Martin Longworth's Appearance

My second child,  Samuel Martin Longworth, came into the world crying and screaming. He gave me a fright. Avery was scared that I would not survive, but Lola assisted Amanda and seemed to know exactly what to do to help. Amanda was praying while Lola handled it and saved both my life and our son's. I will always be indebted to her.

I didn't remember any of it. Probably because I passed out. Not that I can't stand the pain, I am not a sissy by any means. This was not in my hands. God decided I needed to sleep through it and put me to sleep so my baby could come into the world. He is not an unusual baby of any sort. Not too big or too small. Just has a set of lungs on him.When he cries, I know it. Matter of fact, everybody knows it.

Ruth drove her buggy out to see me this morning. She seemed a little nervous, until Lola had brought us tea up in my room. I was still recovering from childbirth and Lola was taking care of me. She would not let me do a thing and for awhile I let her run things. Lola actually was doing a fine job. Caring for Benjamin and doing my chores. I'll be back at them before long. Laying around in bed is not something I could do for very long.

As soon as Lola left, Ruth turned to me, "Rachel, somebody is looking for Lola."

"What do you mean? Who?"

"A man rode in on a horse last night and asked Mr. McCleary if we had any guests in the hotel. Mr. McCleary asked why he wanted to know and who he was looking for."

"What did he say?"

"He said a woman and described Lola. Said she may be with a man. Though he wasn't sure about that fact."

"What did Mr. McCleary tell him?"

"He told him there were no women guests in the hotel. That there hadn't been any in quite some time. Said the guests were usually business men."

"Did he believe him?"

"Well, it is the truth. So yes, I think he did."

"What did he look like?"

"Older, fancy horse and saddle."

"Sounds like her husband. Thank you for telling me this. Don't mention it in front of her. I will tell Avery and he can tell William. You are the only one who knows their story. So far, our families just think we are helping them out. Which we are."

"Now show me that new baby," she motioned with her head toward the cradle.

I smiled, "this is Samuel Martin Longworth and I must warn you, he has a mighty set of lungs!"

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated 2016

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Ready For Our Second Baby

I started having labor pains in the early morning hours. Avery went to get Amanda Stewart. She delivered Benjamin and now would be delivering our second child. I kept praying everything would go well with this baby just like it did when Benjamin was born. I have been very careful with everything I did so as not to cause any problems with the baby.

Lola came in carrying a cup of tea, "Drink this, it will settle you down." I took it from her and noted that she seemed more relaxed and friendly around me now. Ever since her and William told us the truth about their situation. William had moved his things into the bedroom across the hall from her room. He didn't have to sleep on the floor anymore.

"Thanks." I took a sip.

"Rachel, I am sorry to have caused you so much worry."

"Don't worry about it. Things are fine now. I understand why you felt that you couldn't trust me."

"I was scared."

"Now you aren't?"

"A little but not as much. Before I was afraid of you and Avery finding out."

I let out a yell, "Ooooh, do you think Avery is back with Amanda yet?"

"I'll go look." she hurried out the door.

The pains were coming more regular now. I knew Amanda would be here soon and she'd take over. I had sent a message to her yesterday with a passerby telling her I'd be needing her in the next couple of days. I could just tell. Not that I am that experienced having had only one baby so far. I knew this one was going to be here soon.

I heard footsteps, but knew they were not Lola's, they were Avery's. He came in and said, "How are doing? Pains coming faster?"

"Yes, they are. Is Amanda coming?"

"She is on her way. Following in her wagon. I rode on ahead to get back here in case you needed me."

I could see the worry in his face I reached my hand out to him, "Hey Mr. Longworth, we are having our second child here today. What do you think? Will it be another son? Or our first daughter?"

He took my hand and knelt down by the bed, "I feel a need to ask the Lord to get us through this day."

I nodded, "Go ahead. I'll try to be quiet."

He bent his head, "Lord, Rachel and I are having our second child today. Please make it a safe and easy birth. Lord, you helped me find Rachel to be my wife and mother to my children. I am very happy with that choice. Please keep her well, and our new baby too. It doesn't matter to me if it is a son or a daughter. Just as long as it is healthy, and the birth is easy for my wife. Please Lord, I could not bear my life if anything happens to Rachel. In Jesus's name I ask it. Amen."

As he bent his head, I saw a tear in his eye. "Avery, I will be fine. My mother had all of her children with nothing ever going wrong. God is with me and our child."

"I just worry about you that is all."

"Go see if Amanda is here yet. If she is tell her to come right up. If Lola hasn't already heated water, tell her to do so now."

Avery smiled, "Lola has it boiling. Cloths are ready too.I'll go check on Amanda. She should be here by now."

He left the room as I had another stabbing labor pain. I made myself be quiet and not cry out. This baby is going to be a easy birth like Benjamin was and will be healthy too. I know it will be so.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting Answers

After I came in from the barn, I set the table for supper while Lola brought the dishes to the table. I didn't say a word as Avery and William walked in. I noticed that Avery seemed comfortable again with William and wondered what had transpired between the two of them. I didn't have long to wait. As we all sat down to the table, William cleared his throat and looked at Lola very seriously and spoke, "It seems that Rachel here has been harboring some ill feelings toward me. Lola, I hope you will allow me to share our story with Rachel and Avery. After all we are guests in their home, and, I abhor the thought of being thought of as a wife abuser."

Lola looked grieved, but looked at us and back to William and shook her head yes. Then she looked down as if she was embarrassed.

"Avery, I told you our story in the quick version. I was afraid of what you would do to me out in the barn. This is  our story and it is God's honest truth, or may He strike me dead."

"I told you I came from New York City. I worked lots of different jobs through the years and never settled any one place. Been so many places I doubt I could name them all. Then I got a job down in southern Pennsylvania on a big tobacco farm. Real fancy place, so I figured I may as well see if they need help. I worked there for over ten years. Clint Addison was the owner and still is." He paused and looked at Lola, who had tears in her eyes.

"One day Clint tells me he is going on a trip and will be back in a couple of weeks. He wanted me to oversee the whole operation. He paid me very well for it. When he came back, he brought a wife," he  motioned toward Lola, "Lola here."

Avery and I both looked at Lola, me with surprise in my expression I am sure. She looked down in her lap, still had tears running down her face.

"At first things were just like usual. Except that Clint was married. He showed Lola off. Bought her all kinds of fancy duds. Let her fix the house up to her liking. No amount of money was sparred. Then it started. Clint wanted a son. He started blaming Lola for not giving him a child. I'd hear her screaming at night. I'd hear him beating her. I'd put on my clothes and head for the house. The door was locked. I finally got up the nerve to yell up to him, he opened the window and told me to go on back to bed. Said he'd handle this. She was his wife."

"Oh Lola," I turned toward her, she had put her head down and covered her face. I got up and went to her, put my arms around her, "Lola, it wasn't your fault. You poor thing. It wasn't your fault. How awful for you."

"This went on and on. Sometimes Clint would leave and be gone for a week or so. Those were the best times. I'd bring wildflowers to Lola and she'd smile. Finally she started talking to me. But never said a word about Clint or their situation. If I tried to mention it, she'd change the subject."

"The last time about nine months before we came here, I heard Clint beating her and heard her screaming. I could not stand it another second. I got up and went to the house and broke the door in. I went right upstairs and pounded on the bedroom door. Clint yelled for me to go away and mind my own business. I broke that door down and went right in. He had Lola down on the bed and was beating her with his belt. I....."

Finally, Lola spoke, "William came into the room and grabbed Clint and Clint laughed at him and said, "oh boy, city boy, what do you think you are going to do me? I am so scared." As he said that, William punched him so hard in the face, blood went everywhere. I think he broke his nose. Then William beat him over and over until I threw myself in between them before he killed him. William grabbed me and picked me up and carried me out of there."

It was my turn to feel embarrassed now. "Oh my, William, I am so sorry. I am sorry I jumped to conclusions."

"Rachel, it's okay. What were you supposed to think? How would you have known?"

Avery spoke, "So do you think this guy is looking for you? Are you in danger?"

"Possibly. He is not one to let things go. So we have been laying low. I made it look like we went out west. In that area, he is well thought of and respected. No telling what he has said."

Avery looked at me and then said, "Let's eat. We will figure out what to do about this. I don't want you to have to live looking over your shoulders the rest of your lives. I don't want my family in danger if he tracks you here. I have some ideas I will discuss with you later."

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
Photograph Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sharing The Truth

It has been tough for me knowing what I saw on Lola's back. The bruises and scars that had to be inflicted on her by her husband's wrath. I still cannot believe that of William Saunders. I have kept my distance from him and have tried to keep Lola from being alone with him as much as possible. That has been hard. She goes looking for him if she hasn't seen him in awhile. I cannot comprehend this.

I was sitting on a bench in the barn when Avery rode in. Lola was inside finishing up in the kitchen and I was resting out here not expecting Avery to come riding in at this time of day. He smiled when he saw me, "Hey this what you are doing when I'm off working all day!"

I knew he was kidding me, "Yep, I figure while the husband is gone, I may as well take a rest."

He got off his horse, Black Knight and said, "I came home early because I need to talk to you." He looked around nervously, "Alone."

"We are alone. William was with you I thought. Lola is in the kitchen and I doubt she'll be coming out here to the  barn."

"William asked me to speak to you. Without telling Lola."

"About what?" I immediately got on the defensive and stood up, "What is he saying about her?"

Avery chuckled, "Not about her.........about you!"

"About me? What'd he tell you about me?"

"He said you have changed toward him. He feels that you all of a sudden you hate him and he is uncomfortable."

I didn't say anything, but looked down. Wondering if I should tell Avery or if that would get Lola in more trouble with her husband.

"Rachel?" Avery's tone had become very serious.

I looked up at him and had to tell him what I knew, "Yes, it has changed. I saw Lola getting out of the bath tub and her body is covered with scars and bruises. She has been beaten! And not just once, many times. I cannot stand William Saunders anymore."

Avery looked thoughtful, "Are you sure?"


"Did you speak to her about it?"

"No, she tried to cover herself. I felt she didn't want me to know. So I didn't say anything." I felt relieved to have shared this information with Avery.

Avery stood there for a few minutes not saying a word. He was taking in all that I had told him. He took Black Knight to his stall and took his saddle off and started brushing him down. He looked back to me with concern in his face then spoke, "Rachel, I have always known men who beat their wives. Many that you would never guess until you saw the black eyes on the women."

"What are you saying? That Lola had it coming to her?" I asked indignantly.

"No, No, I am saying that I grew up with a father that taught me better. That he taught me to respect women and most especially, my mother, sisters and my future wife."

Avery looked up, all of a sudden we saw William coming up the road driving the wagon home. Avery motioned me toward the house. "Rachel, I better handle this man to man."

"Okay, I'll go in and help Lola."

I got up to go inside, "Don't mention anything about this to Lola. Let me hear what he has to say for himself."

"Alright." I headed for the house and ignored William's nod to me as he passed me into the barn.

Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Lola had asked me if I minded if she took a bath this morning. She had cleaned up the kitchen for me while I was out in the barn doing some morning chores. After that she had decided it would be a perfect time for a hot bath, so she got out our copper tub. Avery had bought this particular tub special for me when we first got married. He realized a woman needed a real tub. I loved it and have enjoyed many baths in it since. Lola had brought the water in and was heating it. I never have to help her do anything. In fact, she is the one who helps me the most. I kind of dread the time when the Saunders do move on and out on their own.

I figured if she was taking a bath downstairs, I would get the beds stripped  as today is the day I wash the bedding and hang it in the sun. It is the perfect day today, sunny. So I stripped Avery's and my bed and piled the sheets in my basket and moved on to their room. Their room, the guest room is not really finished yet. I had managed to get a bed for it because of my sisters visiting and staying overnight every now and then. Avery had made a small dresser for it. It is plain. Not like what I planned for my guest room. It didn't seem to be that important. When Jacob was here, he slept in the front room on the little bed that Avery used until we got married.

I went into their room to get the sheets and I pulled back the quilt and I could tell that only half of the bed had been slept in. I looked and saw some blankets folded up with a pillow on a chair. Now what is going on here? They are not sharing their bed? How strange that is if I am correct? William appears to really care about Lola and is very attentive to her. I can't imagine he would not want to share his wife's bed. Maybe I am wrong. I took the sheets off the bed and put them in my basket. I left the room and went downstairs.

I decided to check on Benjamin and saw he was awake and ready to get up. He was hungry and wanting to eat. I took him with me to the kitchen. I knocked lightly on the swinging door before entering since Lola was taking a bath. I was brought up with girls taking baths and didn't think anything of walking into the kitchen to get Benjamin a bit of food. Lola jumped. She was just getting out of the tub and wasn't covered up. She tried to cover herself with her hands.

I said, "Lola, it's just me and Benjamin. Nobody else. I just need to get him a little piece of cracker."

She stood there looking fearful, "I'm sorry". She turned from me to dry off. I looked at her back and she had scars. Not just one scar but it looked like many scars. All over it and she had some on the backs of her legs. I wanted to say something to her, but she seemed ready to run if I said a word to her. I got the cracker for Benjamin and took a piece of fruit and left the kitchen.

I sat holding Benjamin thinking about what I saw. It looks like she has been beaten and not just once. I know what that scarring means on a person. She is a little women. I thought of the size of William Saunders' hands. I just cannot believe he would do such a thing to her. What about all the Bible reading and praying he does? I cannot let him stay here if he is beating his poor wife. No wonder Lola isn't sleeping in the same bed. I wouldn't either. She is so dependent on him though. Always looks to him before she answers Avery or me. She must be afraid of him, though I didn't have a sense of that before.

When I saw Lola outside emptying the tub, I went into the kitchen. I needed to think of what to do in this case. I know William has not laid a hand on her since they have been here. She is safe here with us. So I will try to keep them here longer though no one has mentioned their leaving.

That night I kept a close eye on William and the way he was with Lola. She didn't appear to be scared of him at all. In fact, she seemed to trust him and even love him. It was hard for me to be pleasant to him though. I saw him look at me several times like he couldn't understand what has made me mad at him. I told them I was tired and was going to bed early. I came to bed and just lay there hearing Avery's voice downstairs talking with William. Even Avery likes William, and I did too. It makes me so mad that he has turned out to be a wife beater. I must not be as good a judge of people as I thought.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016