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Saturday, August 13, 2016

A little bit about a Butterfly...

A snippet from a WIP I'm hoping to finish soon:
Butterfly Bride
Sequel to Hand-me-Down Bride
Set in post Civil War Pennsylvania


Here, Elfie -- Sophie's little sister-- attends the first big event of the summer in the valley--the Ice Cream Social.

She's been invited by the Schwans, whose nephew, the Reverend "Wash", has taken an interest in the pretty newcomer.

When the reverend is distracted by church business, she spends the day with other young people, first, a pair of wealthy neighbors, Ripley King and his cousin 'Dina, and later with Sam and Mellie Moonshine, who are from a big extended farm family that live atop the nearby ridge.

At the very end, Washington finds her again. He's disappointed at the way the day has gone.

http://amzn.to/1Nn8iOw  Big Sister Sophie's story...

The sun lowered, the shadows grew long. Tomorrow would be another work day. People were packing up their picnic baskets, collecting straying children and dogs, and preparing to return home. Washington held Elfie’s arm as they walked back to his wagon.

“I’m sorry to have stayed gone for so long.” Elfie thought she’d better take the bull by the horns.

“Well, never mind. All’s well that ends well.” Elfie was about to sigh with relief, when Washington added, “You are rather a butterfly, aren’t you, Miss Neiman?”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”  They turned to face one another. He looked, she thought, rather critical, one of those “I’m older and wiser” kind of faces that she resented.

“I had hoped,” he said calmly, “to spend a little more time with you today.”

“Well, um, ah, yes! And I was also looking forward to that as well, but um…I was so hoping to see the lake and Mr. King and Miss Wildbach were so kind as to invite me...” Her mind had darted about looking for an answer which would—she hoped—mollify him. She rather hoped a non-apology would do.

After all, this was not her fault, was it?
A reverend had to deal with those committee men upon whom his permanent appointment to the pulpit might depend, so, really, what else should she have done? Stayed with his aunt and her middle-aged friends and talk about knitting, or folks she didn’t know and a mob of babies when she’d finally escaped her sister’s house? Good Lord!

Still, she knew she’d disappointed him. She didn’t like to think about herself that way, and thought she ought to try to make it up to him. He was really a very pleasant, genteel fellow.
How much my dear lost Papa would have liked him…

Along the way back to the carriages, ‘Dina and Rip crossed their path. Behind them trailed Mrs. Green and Judge Markham and a pair of tired looking maids. When, from a little distance, Mrs. Schwann called to Washington to “go get our conveyance, my dear, I’m simply walked off my feet,” and he excused himself and walk away again, Elfie lingered.
Soon, the truant threesome had drifted together again.

“Ah, good! You’ve found the Schwann’s,” ‘Dina said, catching her hand. “We weren’t sure where you’d got to.”

“Like a sleek little duckling, Miss Elfie always comes up paddling.” Rip grinned. He was still damp and not, Elfie noted, entirely steady on his feet. He blew a big kiss in her direction.

“She’d better learn to swim, if she’s going to live ‘round here,” said ‘Dina, giving Elfie a woman-to-woman look. It was clear that she was, to some extent, was supporting Rip. As they stood together, Elfie caught the scent of bourbon. Ripley must be even worse for wear than he’d been earlier!

As if to confirm her suspicion, close by, a disapproving elder was heard to say: “Young fella’s thoroughly corned…”

“Come along, Miss Neiman!” Aunt Schwann had turned back and again raised her voice. Elfie thanked heaven that Washington had gone ahead, for their wagonette.   She spun about to respond with a bright wave.

 “Um, yes, Ma’am. Comin’ right away!” Quickly turning back to her new friends, she added, “Good-bye, Miss Wildbach. ‘Bye, Mr. King. Thank–you so much for taking me across the lake!”

'Dina winked and said, “Run fast, or the old goose will leave you behind, I swear! What a sour puss!” At the same time, Ripley made a dramatic gesture of farewell and said something that sounded like: “Pray do not absquatulate, m’dear  Miss Neiman…”

Whatever that meant! He was an endearing figure, playing the clown, and remaining so appealing with his bright hair, blue eyes, and young body.
He and 'Dina really were like matching bookends, so blonde, so well-dressed and ever so gay! 

“See you soon, Miss Neiman,” said ‘Dina. “Come along now, Mr. King, you great booby!”

Elfie had to grab the brim of her hat and dash after the receding figures of the Schwann party. By the time she caught up, the step stool had already been placed and Aunt Schwann was being helped into the back...

~~by Juliet Waldron


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