Elfie attends the much longed for Ice Cream Social. She's been wondering if anyone in this valley "ever has any fun?" She hopes to spend time with the handsome preacher who is courting her, but instead...
Final edits now on this sequel to Hand-me-Down Bride,
a traditional historical romance.
"...The young men carried the oars and the girls carried baskets, and they trooped down a gravel path toward the little lake, whose surface could be seen placidly shining in the distance. They arrived at a crowded dock with many rowboats, but laid claim to three of them straight away, someone having already given a tip to the old man who was in charge.
The oars were placed and there was some giggling and jesting while the ladies were helped in. Elfie was unsure about the rowboats. All of them had water in the bottom and each was supplied with a little gourd dipper.
“I don’t want to get my feet wet!” Addy protested, flipping her fine skirts away. Her sister agreed. “These boats are dreadful old wrecks.”
“They’re what we’ve got, so let’s make the best of it,” said Dina. She appeared devil-may-care and game for anything.
“That’s my bold Dina!” A voice sang out behind them. Cutting through others who were trying to negotiate an hour or two on the lake, with wicker basket in hand and his hat at a jaunty angle, came Ripley King.
“Oh, hello Rip! At last! Which one is ours? Is that one yours?” Dina, who rarely waited for an answer, held her hat against the breeze and pointed to a boat, tied at the very end of the dock. It had a fresh coat of paint and shiny brass oarlocks.
“That’s it!” said Ripley. “Got it ready special, just for today.”
“You did not.”
“That’s for me to know and you to find out. Oh, good-day, Miss Neiman.” He grinned, touched the brim of his hat and swept a comic bow. “How pleasant to see you here!”
Elfie caught the scent of spirits as he leaned close.
“Well,” said Dina, taking Ripley’s arm, “she, poor creature, was stuck with Reverend Schwann, his aunt and uncle, and all that stuffy bunch from the Grace Church choir. I have released her to freedom!”
Elfie blushed, as everyone was now staring, but she managed a smile for Dina. “Mrs. Schwann wanted to know if your Aunt and the Judge were here.”
“Well, they are, of course. What does she think of me?”
“Of course she wanted to know, the old busybody,” said Ripley. “If there’s a way for that bunch to keep us from having a bit of fun, they will certainly find it. Come my ladies—you’ve made your escape!” He presented his other elbow to Elfie. “Let’s go take a ride in my boat.”
But when they arrived, it too could be seen to have a scud of dirty water in the bottom. “Oh drat!” said Ripley, “that old fool said he had it all patched up. At least the oarlocks look like they’ll work.”
“I think rowboats just naturally collect water,” said Dina. “Don’t worry about it.”
At the actual moment of climbing on board Elfie was apprehensive. “It’s—so—will it—ah—umkippen?”
“What’s that when it’s in English?” Ripley chuckled.
“Tip over.” Dina explained, while Elfie nodded and studied the boat anxiously. “No, it won’t. Just don’t stand up all of a sudden or anything dumb like that. Come on, Elfie! Now that you’ve escaped your captors—don’t be a ’fraidy cat...”
See all my historicals at:
And, please, if you've got a moment, check out these talented
Books We Love Authors:
http://triciamg.blogspot.com/ (Tricia McGill)