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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Butterfly Bride~Hand-me-Down Bride's Little Sister


“Waiting for someone, Miss?” A tall, good-looking American swept off his hat in an exaggerated gesture. He had short brown hair, a tanned face, blue eyes, and a neatly trimmed moustache. He wore a yellow waistcoat with a golden pocket watch chain.

“Yes sir.” Elfie hoped the conversation wouldn’t get too complicated. She was afraid her English wasn’t yet up to it. Aunt Ilga, who had brought her from Philadelphia, had just disappeared into the crowded little station house to see if there was any message for them and hadn’t yet returned.

“Well, I’m waiting for someone, too. Perhaps,” the smiling young man leaned closer, “it’s you.”

Elfie had seen him earlier, one of a group of three, who had all come piling out of a buggy with a double-hitch of chestnut geldings. The horses were lathered, so they’d obviously been going fast. They’d arrived in a cloud of dust, practically running down a newsboy who’d been crossing the yard, just as the train had pulled in. They’d looked around a bit, and she’d noticed them just as they’d noticed her. The best looking, the one who had come over, had lifted his hat, but Elfie had turned away, pretending to be distracted by some children who were racing along the platform. 

A moment later, when she turned back, here he was, boldly walking up. She hadn’t been in America long, just a few weeks, but in Philadelphia, she’d seen his like when she’d been out walking with her Aunt Ilga. “A swell,” her Aunt would call him.  Aunt Ilga had warned Elfie about young men like him.

Elfie looked him up and down, trying her best to appear severe, but it was not an easy thing for a willowy girl who was barely eighteen to do.  Besides, she knew she looked pretty, in a green dress and with a darling new hat which sported a curled feather atop her dark brown curls.

“I don’ tink zo.”

“Oh—hahahaha—tink what, you adorable creature?”
He leaned in even closer, and Elfie took a few prudent steps back, putting her steamer trunk between them.

“Come on—tell me your name, Darlin’ and where you want to go. We’ve got plenty of room in the buggy there. Me and my friends will be happy to drive you anywhere you want to go.”
From a work in progress, Butterfly Bride, the sequel to Hand-me-Down Bride. Elfie arrives in Pennsylvania, and proves to be quite different from her earnest, hard-working older sister Sophie. Instead, Elfie is an impulsive beauty who turns the heads of every young fellow in the Great Valley.


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