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Chapter 17 - Great News

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Michelle P.
Margaret McCain
Margaret McCain

Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 6398

Location: Harrison, AR

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Chapter 17 - Great News  Reply with quote

During the winter blizzards, there was still school.  The pupils were Kate and Missy Berry, and the teacher was Mary.  “I don’t know about other frontier children, but my children will be well taught!”  Mary declared to Amelia.

Mary’s girls complained somewhat awful.  She remained firm, however.  Amelia smiled at her firmness, thinking how much Mary was like her own mother.  Amelia knew too that she would want the same from her children – girls and boys.  She hoped that by the time her children were ready to start school, they would have enough children to begin a real school.

Soon it was time for Amelia and Will to start for town.  There had just been a blizzard.  Will wondered and worried over when they should leave.  A week after it was over, he and Amelia shut the door to their small, shabby cabin and rode away from their family.  There was nothing to worry about, Will said, because there wouldn’t be another blizzard right away. Amelia trusted Will’s judgment and knew that God would watch over them on the trip.

Carri hugged Amelia the morning they were to leave.  “Hurry back.  I can’t wait long to see that baby, Milly.  Tell Elizabeth we send our love.  Oh Milly, I’m so excited for you!  This is the last time I’ll see you as just a wife.  When I see you again, you will have a little baby in your arms and a giant smile on your face, unless I miss my guess…Good Luck.”  Carri hugged Will.  “May I say in advance: congratulations?”

“It does seem strange at that,” Amelia smiled.  “But it’s true.  I’ll be a mother when I return, and Will a father.  I will have my baby in my arms.”  Amelia turned to Sara Jane then.  “Sara Jane, you and Mary are showing now.  When I return, you’ll be even bigger.  You will be getting ready to start your life as a mother.  So you take good care of yourself.  Carri,” Amelia laughed, “Don’t work too hard on surprising me when I get back, you hear?”

They quickly said good-bye.  For a known reason, it was rather difficult to say their good-byes to their dear family members.  They all waved as they watched the wagon get smaller and smaller.  Amelia took Will’s hand in his and said, “I hope we can return soon.”

Five days later, taking it longer because of Amelia’s condition and winter, they pulled into town.  They immediately drove through town and went to Matt’s farm on the outskirts.  Will helped Amelia from the wagon, and they walked slowly up to the front door of the cabin.  Will looked at Amelia then knocked after her nod.

When Matt answered the door, Will watched his face as it came to the realization of who had come to visit them.  “Well, I’ll be!  Come on in, Will…Amelia!”  Matt gave Will a firm handshake and Amelia a warm hug.  “Lizzy, come here and see who’s come for a visit.”

“Matt Darling, please keep it down.  I’ve just gotten the baby-” Elizabeth’s words died as she rounded the corner.  “Oh my!”  Elizabeth ran over to Amelia and Will with a screech.  “Oh, it’s so good to see you two!”  She backed away and looked at them.  “Oh, my how you have grown,” she teased.

Amelia rolled her eyes toward her friend.  “Oh, Elizabeth,” she declared.  “It is good to see you too…and to see that you haven’t changed one little bit.  Now, I want to see that baby of yours!”

Elizabeth sighed, “I just put her down for a nap.  It seems every time Matt and I think we have some time for ourselves…” Amelia saw a saddened expression cross Elizabeth’s face.  Then she brushed it away and said, “Oh never mind.  Come.  See the baby.”

On the way, Amelia suggested that they come back later so she and Matt could have some time to themselves.  Elizabeth only shook her head sadly and opened her mouth to say something.  Quickly, she shut it and turned from Amelia as she led her to their sleeping daughter.

They went in to see her.  After quietly admiring the baby, the two couples left her undisturbed.  “Matt, we won’t stay much longer tonight.  We can’t afford a hotel and we need somewhere to stay.  Do you know of a place where we can stay? I can work for the board.”

Matt looked at Will as if he was offended.  “What’s this foolish talking about?  You can stay right where you are for as long as you are here. I thought that had already been understood”

“No!  We won’t stay here.  We’ll put you out.  Besides, Amelia isn’t but about eight months along and no telling how long we’ll be here after the baby is born.”

“Will, look.  You and Amelia helped me and Elizabeth both when we needed you the most.”  Amelia noticed the struggled features of his face as he remembered the incident.  He looked as if he was having confused feelings.  “I can help you now.  You helped Lizzy sort out her life as well as helping me over the d-death of Cris-my wife.  You have done so much for us.”  After seeing their protesting faces, he added: “We won’t take no for an answer.”

“But, Elizabeth just said she never has any time alone with you,” Amelia reminded him. “If we stay here, she definitely won’t.”

Elizabeth had another look of sadness on her face and Matt suddenly grew uncomfortable.  Elizabeth waved a hand towards the expectant couple and gave a stiff chuckle.  “We never have time.  Besides, we have the rest of our lives to spend together.  You will be gone soon, and no telling when we’ll see you again.”  

They agreed to stay, knowing that it would be nice to spend as much time as they could with their friends.  Amelia also knew that she would need some time to figure out exactly what was going on with the couple.

The very next morning, Amelia and Elizabeth went to see the doctor.  Amelia waited until they were in the buggy riding along the road.  Then she asked, “Lizzy, is something wrong with you two?”

Elizabeth suddenly turned toward Amelia with as sad expression on her face.  Amelia could see tears shining in Elizabeth’s eyes.  “Yes,” she answered with a sigh.

Amelia laid her hand on Elizabeth’s arm.  “Elizabeth, is it still bothering him that much?”

Elizabeth sniffed and nodded her head.  She was silent for a moment.  Then, she lifted her head and smiled at Amelia.  “So, do you want a boy or a girl?”

“Lizzy, please don’t do that.  Talk to me.  Tell me what’s wrong?”

Elizabeth guided the buggy off of the lane and turned toward Amelia.  She stared at the hands that now lay in her lap.  “It still bothers him greatly.  He’s still married to her.”

“Has he said her name?”


“Has he ever called her anything other than his wife?”


“And that bothers you, doesn’t it?”

“Yes.”  Elizabeth answered softly. She fiercely wiped a tear that had fallen onto her cheek.  “Amelia, I loved Crissie and I miss her.  I can understand his pain.  However, it hurts me so much to hear him call her his wife.  I’m his wife now…at least, he married me.  He never introduces me as his wife.  I’m just…Lizzy.”

“I’m so sorry, Lizzy.”  Amelia laid a hand on her friend’s shoulder.

Elizabeth shook her head.  “I thought maybe we should call the baby Crissie instead of Amelia.  Matt got really angry and said that he never wanted me to say that again.  So I try to avoid the subject all together.  He talks about her all the time.  How they met…what they were doing this time last year…how good he felt when she told him she was going to have a baby…how mature and positive she was…”  Elizabeth sighed and shook her head.  “In a way, that makes me feel hurt.  He calls her ‘my wife’ even when he’s talking to me.  He makes me angry…” Amelia watched as Elizabeth suddenly stomped her foot on the bottom of the buggy.  The horse whinnied, expressing his protest.

“What else?” Amelia asked softly.

Elizabeth looked down at the floor of the buggy.  She wiped more tears from her cheeks. “We haven’t even been intimate…after all these months he never even…”  Suddenly, Elizabeth blushed.  “Oh, forgive me Amelia.”

Amelia shook her head.  “There’s nothing to forgive.  I thought it would turn out different.  She saw the pain this was causing Elizabeth.  “Oh, I’m so sorry, Lizzy!  This shouldn’t be happening.  I’ll talk to Will.  Maybe he can help.”

“No, Milly.  Talking about Crissie only makes him angry.  We do get along most of the time.  We only argue when he’s reminded of Crissie. He does love me.  I know that even though he doesn’t tell me…I can see it in his eyes.  He’s so…gentle…so…special.  If only he would hold me…He just needs more time.”

Then Elizabeth turned back towards the horse and started him back on his trot.  She became silent until they got into town.  Then she said, “Matt is so good to me, Milly.  He’s just having problems.  Who doesn’t?  I love him, Amelia.”

After Doctor Carl Burns examined Amelia, he asked, “When did you say you thought the young one is due?”

“I’d say at the beginning of the year sometime,” Amelia answered.

Dr. Burns grinned.  “I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t worry if it came today,” he declared.

Amelia gasped.  “Are…are you sure, doctor?”  Doctor Burns nodded.  Amelia scratched her head and contemplated this news.

Elizabeth looked at Amelia and squealed.  “Just think, Milly.  You are going to be a mother any day now.”

When they got home, Amelia found Will in the barn.  She smiled at Matt.  “Can I talk to Will alone?”  

Matt nodded and left the barn.  Will narrowed his eyes and cocked his head to one side as he studied his wife.  “Is something…wrong?”

Amelia bit her lip.  “Well…I’m not sure…”

“What?” Will asked

Amelia looked around the barn as if expecting somebody to come in.  Then she whispered.  “Will…the doctor said that…” She suddenly blushed.

“Said what, honey?” Will grabbed her, suddenly concerned.

She turned and looked around again.  “He said the baby could come anytime, Will.”  Will nodded.  Silently he raised his eyebrows.  “According to my calculations, Will…”


“The baby was conceived on our wedding night.”  Will smiled as Amelia’s blush deepened.

“If I remember right, that’s highly likely,” Will smiled as he kissed her.

Amelia gasped.  She firmly planted her hand against his chest and pushed him away playfully.  “I know!  But I didn’t think that…I mean…I always heard that…” She blushed.

Will chuckled.  “You mean…you girls actually talk about that stuff?”

“Well, I…” Amelia turned and walked away, suddenly feeling very silly she ever brought the matter up.  Then she hurried inside to deliver the news.

That evening, there was much celebrating.  Any day now the little one that had already been with them for so long would be here.  The only question was…when?


"Of course, I didn’t ask her about cookin’ and such, cause all women can do that."
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