Archive for February, 2022

Gray Lace, Part Thirty-two

Egad! If my theme, my brand, my whatever, is “Finding the Heart of the Mystery”, then today, The Feast of St. Valentine is an appropriate time to continue. Trevor and Catherine are finally arriving in Charleston, SC. With their friends, Joann, Ross, and Mr. Newsome, they begin to end their perceived problems. Sometimes it’s difficult to see down the road, paved with those good intentions or not so much.

Catherine helped Joann prepare a feast in their moving freight car and soon Trevor and Ross helped them devour their first meal of the long and fearful day. “Now, my friends, in the box on that machine,” Jacob Newsome pointed above their heads, “there is a bag of sweets a kind elderly gentleman made for me.” Ross retrieved the bag and divided up the candy. He carefully walked the few steps to Jacob and handed him a fair share.

“Thank you for giving us what is probably your fortune. God sent you to us and I thank you again.” He offered his hand in friendship.

Jacob took the bag and stored it in his pocket. “I’ll save it for a rainy day in Charleston. Thank you, Mr. Garrett.” He smiled up at him and they shook hands. “Am I correctly assuming that’s where you’re all headed, back home with Miss Randolph?”

“You’re assuming correctly, Mr. Newsome,” Trevor answered, as Ross returned to sit with Joann.

“So, if I may ask, what evil has brought you to my current mode of transportation?”

Catherine mentally sized up the strangeness of their situation. Here they sat in a cold rumbling cargo railroad car carrying on the politest conversation she had heard since fleeing Charleston. He thoughts of home brought up the ugly memories and her own objectives. These kind people should be far away from her nightmares. An idea began to form in the sleepiness of her mind. “Mr. Newsome, where are you headed?”

“Not sure, my dear, why do you ask?”

“Maybe the Garretts and Mr. Coffman, here, could help you find a shelter, perhaps some employment.”

Ross chuckled out a laugh, “You can’t get rid of us that easily. Have you forgotten The Three?”

“Three?” Jacob’s eyebrows headed north.

“Yeah,” Ross continued, “Our Catherine is popular with three men who’ve been bothering the dickens out of her since we met a few weeks back. There were four, but our good Mr. Coffman took care of one of them.”

“Well, that was a coincidence. Please allow a correction,” Trevor interrupted, “Someone else lost control of a bullet that was meant for me.”

Catherine had nearly forgotten Cranfield. Hopefully, he and the others had given up the chase. Right now, she needed to get Trevor safely away. “Listen everyone, Charleston is a port town and recently a navy base has opened. Ross, Joann, Mr. Newsome, could you not help Trevor to find his way there and possibly a ticket home?”

“Why would they want to that?” Trevor pulled her closer, a deeper embrace than they had been enjoying before.

She hid her face and mumbled, “I have something I have to do.”

“Yes, you do, but I’ll help you, Sweetheart,”

She lifted her head and hugged him back. “Trevor, from what I’ve read about your British aristocracy in this day and age, it is obvious you need to find an heiress. I am not her. Yet.”

“Obvious?” asked Trevor.

“Heiress?” Jacob joined in.

“Yet?” Ross whispered.

Joann pretended to wake and added, “Listen to the girl more often, gentlemen.”

Enough! more later. Maybe.

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