Sunday, July 22, 2012

Waiting For Avery Again

I have been doing all the chores but not worrying about the freight office. With two babies here at home, I cannot take them down there and leave the house empty. Here at least, I feel safe. Some other men in town went with William. Taking a woman against her will, even if it is her husband's doing is not thought of as being right around here. I wish I'd hear something from Avery. At least to know that he is well and on his way home. Right now, I really need him.

Today I heard hooves coming up the road at a fast clip. I said a prayer that it would be Avery, but I knew it wasn't. He'd be driving our freight wagon home and would not be riding a single horse fast. That is unless something happened to the wagon and team and I'd hate to think of that happening. It turned out to be Mr. Masters the man at the telegraph office. He brought me a wire from Avery! Oh boy, I was so excited that I almost forgot to offer Mr. Masters something to eat and drink. He took a hand full of my sugar cookies and drank down a large glass of lemonade I had just made. He had to get back to the telegraph office and had no time to loiter.

As soon as he left, I ripped open the telegraph message. It read:

"Rachel, detained. On trip home now. Arrive in 3 days. Avery"

I jumped up and down! I grabbed Benjamin and sang, "Your Daddy is coming home! Your Daddy is coming home!" He smiled and giggled at his mommy's silliness.

I quickly put my apron back on and hauled out the flour, "Time to make some bread! Avery will be starving for some of my home cooking when he gets home."

Benjamin was still smiling at me. I looked at him and thought with all the things going on around here, he probably could feel how stressed I had been. First Avery had gone on this long trip and then Lola was kidnapped and William leaving to go look for her. Avery had counted on Lola and William being here to help me but now it was all on me. That has caused me to neglect the children as far as enjoying them and doing things together. Now Avery is coming home! 3 days!

Later that evening, I was out in the barn securing the doors. I had brought in all the horses since Lola had been missing. With just me here, I had to be extra careful. That Loomis gang knows where all the good horses are around here. Better be safe than sorry as Father always says.

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lola Is Kidnapped

I worked on fixing one of the posts in my vegetable garden that had been pushed over by someone or something. I hoped it was a wild something and not a human something. Someone might have wandered this way, looking for a bite to eat out of a garden near a house. I hoped it was just that and not a man hiding out here looking for his wife. I don't know when Avery will be back, but I am hoping it will be soon.

It wasn't long before William had come riding up on the horse he had bought from Avery for his own. I looked up and saw he looked like something was wrong. I quickly put my hammer down, and ran out the gate to where he was dismounting.

"What is wrong William?"

"He's got her!"

"Who? Got who?"

"Lola! She is gone! I knew he'd get her!"

"What happened? I thought Lola was with you."

"She was. I went to the blacksmith to bring back the horses that he had shoed. She was in the office when I left. When I got back, the furniture was overturned and my gun was gone. So was Lola! I saw blood on the floor and don't rightly know what happened."

"Are you sure it was her husband?"

"Yes, Tad Arnold was across the gully near the barn and he said he saw a man who matched her husband's description. I am sure it was Addison. Who else would be after Lola? Fighting to get her?" He tied his horse to the hitching post, and headed toward the house.

"Where are you going?"

"I am going to get my other gun. I intend to kill Clint Addison this time when I catch him."

"Wait William! Did you notify the marshal?"

"He's nowhere to be seen, as usual. I can handle this better than that no good drunkard."

I followed William into the house. He went upstairs and I put together a bag of food for him to carry with him. I knew this is what Avery would do in his place. If Avery was here, he'd be going with him.

After William was gone, I sat in the chair on the porch holding Samuel thinking about Lola. She lived a whole different life before she came here. I tried to imagine her married to this man I pictured in my mind. A  man who treated her like a whore and servant. Poor Lola. Then to have a man such as William, to completely love her and treat her like a queen. Now he was risking his life to save her's.

I picked up Samuel and headed inside after hearing Benjamin waking up from his nap. I better get the children tended to, and start some supper in case William came back with Lola in a few hours. Or in case Avery came home early. I had to keep busy or I'd go crazy with worry.

"Please God, protect my loved ones tonight. Please do not let this man hurt Lola or William. Bring them back safely. And of course, Lord, please keep my husband safe and in your sight at all times. In Jesus's name, I ask it all. Amen."

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ruth's Dilemma

I started checking the orchard and around the barn with my gun every morning and William checked it every evening. The whole time he was down there, I was on pins and needles hoping nobody would get him and then come up here for us. Lola was scared, but didn't show it. She spent most of her time fussing over the children. Samuel was tiring me out. He cries and fusses often. Even after just nursing. I end up holding him on my lap and falling asleep in the chair with him. During the day, Lola does what she can for me. Since Samuel is still nursing I am the one who has to feed him. I can't wait for Avery to return home.

All of a sudden I heard hooves, and ran to the window knocking over a bucket of apples on my way to it. I looked out and saw Ruth dismounting her horse. I started picking up the apples as she came to the door. I opened it with a smile, but saw she was flustered and out of breath.

"What is it, Ruth? You rode here like the town is under siege!"

"It is, in a way," as she bent down to help me pick up the apples which had rolled all over the floor.

"Sit down, I'll get them. I spilled them by jumping up so quickly. I was hoping William was coming and jumped up to see if it was him I heard."

"Sorry to disappoint you," she replied, "but I had to talk to someone. And you are elected." Ruth laughed lightly, her old self again.

"What is it?" I asked, intrigued and welcoming something to take my mind off the matters around here and Lola's crazed husband.

"It's Mr. Bentley!" Ruth sat down in the chair and put her cup out as I poured some hot tea in it. "He is after me."

"You mean old Mr. Bentley? Your lawyer?" I smiled thinking of the old man I knew from around town. He seemed too old for such things.

"Yeah, you'd think so. Not at all. He wants me to marry him so I can keep running the hotel."

I knew Ruth's husband had died leaving the hotel and restaurant to her, but had to be under the guardianship of someone, a man, and had his lawyer agree to do it. He agreed to let her keep running it but he oversaw it since a woman could not run a business on her own. I took my cup of tea to the table and sat down, "What are you going to do?'

"Rachel, I don't know. I don't want to give up my home and business. I know people talk about me running a business. Being woman, and especially that type of business. But I like doing it."

"Ah, who cares what those old coots think? They are just jealous that you are making money and their husbands aren't," thinking about rumors I heard around town.

"I am trying to figure out what my next step is. I can't lose it. What can I do?"

She looked up me and it was the first time I ever saw Ruth show any type of fear. I sat there thinking, and all of a sudden I had an idea, "Ruth, I know! I know what you can do."

"What Rachel? I need to do something soon!"

"You need to get married."

"Married? That is what I am trying to avoid." She looked miserable again.

"No, marry someone with the understanding of you running the hotel. Like a partnership. Some marriages are like that anyhow."

"I don't know any man who would agree to that arrangement."

"Not yet. But we will find one." I knew there must be some man somewhere who would not mind a pretty wife and a thriving business to boot!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016