The day is starting out beautiful! It is a little chilly so the back door is open onto the screened back porch and the breeze is coming in. I came very close to not posting this morning.:} I was sitting in the living room thinking about playing G-pa in another ping-pong match (We always play best two out of three when we play.) and hadn't even thought of posting once this morning. Then S asked if I had posted! Yikes!
We head home later this morning. Why is it that the days fly when you are on "vacation"? Mom and I went to some used book stores and guess what we got? Books!:) There were a few 'exciting' finds.:)
I haven't written anything at all except here on the posts since I left home Mon. I'll have to get back to it when I get home or I won't have things to post!
Thanks for your comments about chapter titles.:)
That first night at the Triple Creek Ranch was, to Orlena, a night never to be forgotten. She had heard her brother and sister-in-law come up the stairs after the sun had almost disappeared leaving her room dusky. She hadn’t lit the lamp for the gloom sooted her mood better. Hearing soft footsteps approaching her door, Orlena stiffened in her chair. Who was it and what did they want? A gentle knock sounded. Then, when she didn’t respond, Jenelle’s voice speaking quietly came through the closed door.
“Good night, Orlena. Sleep well.”
Orlena didn’t reply and the footsteps turned and were soon gone.
Then indeed did this young girl from the city feel alone. Never in all her eleven years of life had she known such stillness. No streetcars going past, no voices down on the sidewalks, no late carriages leaving for or returning from a party, concert or social event. Here all was still and quiet, too quiet, she thought, almost holding her breath in the unfamiliar and, to her, fearful hush which had descended on everything. Not a sound could she hear besides the own beating of her heart.
Suddenly, with trembling fingers, Orlena reached out and lit the lamp. Its bright glow helped to diminish the feelings of terror which had swept over her as Jenelle’s footsteps had died away. This place, she realized with almost a start, this silent, small place was to be her home. Here she must live day after day with her brother and his wife, at least until school started. Eagerly she began trying to count the days left before the new term opened, but the fatigues of the day as well as her passionate outburst had worn down her strength and, after a moment of trying, she gave it up.
Rising slowly, she soon arrayed herself for bed and in disgust, lay down on the neatly made bed and pulled the quilt over herself. She turned down the light but didn’t dare put it out completely. She didn’t know what unknown terrors the night held for her and she didn’t care to face them in the dark in this unfamiliar place.
“Jenelle,” Norman asked as the two of them seated themselves at the breakfast table, “isn’t my sister going to come down?”
Laughing softly, Jenelle poured her husband his coffee before replying. “Darling, you forget that Orlena is a city girl. They don’t eat breakfast at this unearthly hour. Besides, when I looked in at her, she was sound asleep. The poor child is tired. Let her sleep. I’m sure she’ll be down later.”
Though Norman frowned a little, he could see the wisdom in Jenelle’s words and nodded his head.
Jenelle had been right, never had Orlena risen much less breakfasted at such an early hour in her life. When she did awake, the sun was already several hours high. At first she didn’t know where she was and lay staring about her in bewilderment. Then it all came flooding back to her and she sat up. She was at the ranch, her brother’s ranch! It was at that time that she remembered her clothes were still packed in her trunk. In great disgust she unlocked and raised the lid. After several minutes of rummaging around, she finally pulled from its depths the black, silk dress in which Norman had first seen her. Shaking out the folds, she held it up to her and looked into the small mirror on the wall.
“If I wear this, that rude sister-in-law of mine will know that I’m not to be trifled with. And perhaps it will show my brother that I’m not a child to be ordered around.”
It took Orlena longer than usual to dress for she could not just press a button and summon a maid to assist her in buttoning up the thirty-seven buttons which adorned her mourning costume. At last she was ready and, feeling the gnawing pangs of hunger, she ventured forth from her room.
Though she wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone,Orlena was curious, as most younger ones are, and older ones too, when they are in a new place. Moving slowly about, she quietly peered into rooms and looked about before moving down the stairs.
Jenelle was busy churning when Orlena finally swept her way into the kitchen after wandering about the lower regions of the house. Jenelle had heard her come down and decided to let her have some time to explore, knowing that eventually she would end up in the kitchen if she was as hungry as Jenelle imagined her to be.
“Good morning, Orlena,” Jenelle greeted the young girl with a smile, trying not to give a start at the sight of the dress. “I hope you slept well. Norman is already at work in the fields. I imagine you are hungry. Would you prefer to eat in here or in the dining room?”
“Only servants eat in the kitchen,” and Orlena tossed her head disdainfully.
“In that case, suppose you have a seat in the dining room and I’ll soon bring your breakfast to you, unless you would like to stay and watch. The butter has just come and it will only take me a few minutes to work it.” Jenelle had spoken as she would have to anyone, but Orlena rolled her eyes and with a sniff, swept out of the kitchen.
“If she keeps on sweeping about in that dress,” Jenelle murmured to herself as she swiftly set to work salting and patting the butter into balls, “I won’t have to sweep the house.”
Only a few minutes later, Jenelle carried in and set before her young guest a plate of bread and butter, a glass of fresh milk and an egg in an egg cup.
“Where is my coffee?” demanded the girl.
Jenelle raised her eyebrows in surprise. “Coffee?” she repeated, “only Norman and the hands drink coffee.”
“I drink it,” Orlena stated emphatically, “milk is for babies.”
Any new questions for the next part?