I'm writing this Thursday morning since I know I probably won't have time to write anything Friday morning. You see, there have been a change of plans. I was going to be at home this weekend babysitting Doodle Bug and Puggle Boy with maybe a few others, but the kids got sick. So, Sis-in-law is staying home with the kids except for Pickle Puss. (Really, I should call her Sissy now as she's rather outgrown Pickle Puss.) I told my brother I'd go with him to the Wichita conference and so, that's where I am. If you are going to be here, stop by Light of Faith and say hi. :) I'd love to get to visit in person with you.
I have been writing when I could. But, since I worked as an election judge all day Tuesday, I only wrote Monday and Wednesday nights. And sorry, I've been writing more about Dylan, Fern and the Woods. I hope you don't mind too much. :) I want to get back to TCR-6, but this other story was just moving, so I decided to keep with it this week.
This story idea came in a vague form to me when I was writing Christmas stories, and couldn't start it. Right now I have "2 chapters" written. Each one is 4 parts long. Hopefully you'll enjoy this story. Or at least the first part of it.
And, even though I'll be at the conference all day today (and tomorrow), leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it.
Hymns in the Hills
Taking her carpet bag from the conductor and thanking him for taking such good care of her, the young girl looked about. It was a tiny station, not much more than a platform with a shack on one side and a bench next to it. Her lone trunk stood rather forlornly by itself. No one was in sight except a man who she thought must be the station master, for he was inside the shack sitting at a desk and was not paying any attention. The girl, about ten years old, moved slowly over to the bench, though she didn’t sit down, and watched as the train picked up speed and, with a parting whistle, hurried off down into the valley.
“Oh, what a lovely view,” the girl exclaimed, looking all around her. Across the tracks stretched rolling hills, piled one behind the other as far as she could see, some carpeted with nothing but grass and flowers while others wore a heavy blanket of trees. There seemed to be a path winding down through the meadows and disappearing into the trees, but she wouldn’t have thought to call it a road. To her left, the girl found only trees which blocked her view, so she turned at once to the other side. Here, around the corner of the station she discovered a road and several houses or buildings beyond. “I wonder if that is the town.”
For several minutes she watched the comings and goings and wished she thought it right to go down and look about. “But it might not be proper for a young girl like me to go down there alone when I don’t know anyone. It would be different if I had been living here and knew folks.” A tear slipped from her eye and rolled unbidden down her cheek.
Straightening, the girl tipped up her chin and winked back the mate to the first tear. “I won’t cry. It would be a shame for Aunt and Uncle to see me for the first time with red eyes. I will sit on the bench and look at the beautiful view and wait.”
Resolutely she turned away from the action of the town and perched precariously on the bench which sloped slightly to one side. As lovely as the view was, it felt hard for the active child to remain in one place without someone to talk to for very long. After wondering where her uncle could be, the child began to sing. Her voice, pure and clear, though a trifle shaky at first, grew steadily stronger as the song went on.
“All my doubts I give to Jesus!
I’ve His gracious promise heard
‘I shall never be confounded’
I am trusting in that word.
I am trusting, fully trusting,
Sweetly trusting in His word.
I am trusting, fully trusting,
Sweetling trusting in His word.
All my fears I give to Jesus!
Rests my weary soul on Him;
Thou’ my way be hid in darkness,
Never can His light grow dim.”
As she finished the line of verse, her voice quivered suspiciously, but bravely she kept going into the chorus.
“I am trusting, fully trusting,
Sweetly trusting in His word.”
When the song was ended, the child, still humming the tune, swung her feet and looked up into the clear blue sky.
“Where did ye come from, miss?” a gruff, but not unkind, voice asked.
Turning her head, the girl smiled up into the face of the station master. “I came on the train, sir, but you seemed busy so I didn’t bother you.”
“Humph. What’s yer name? And what’er yer waitin’ fer?”
“My name is Belle Standish, and I’m waiting for my uncle to come for me. His name is Benjamin Russum. If I knew the way to his house, I might be able to walk there and save him the trouble of coming for me. I’m a good walker, but I don’t know what I’d do about my trunk.”
“It’ll be safe enough here till it’s sent fer. Russum, did ya say yer uncle’s name is?”
“Yes, sir. And Auntie’s name is Lillian. Isn’t that such a lovely name? Do you know where they live?”
“Reckon I do,” was the answer, but the man looked queer. “It’s a might too far fer ye ta be walkin’ that ways alone. But I might could fetch one a yer cousins to go ‘long with ye.”
At that, Belle looked astonished. “Cousins? I have cousins? Why, I didn’t know that! How many have I got, please?”
The station master gave a shrug of his shoulders. “Ain’t fer shore, never was able ta keep count. Reckon ye can can ask yer cousin. He oughter know.”
“Oh, yes, that would be good.”
Giving a slight nod, though his face still wore an expression Belle didn’t understand, the man turned away and limped down the road.
“Cousins. Maybe my visit won’t be so hard after all.” And Belle, clasping her carpetbag with both hands, let it swing with her feet as she sang, “I am trusting, fully trusting, Sweetly trusting in His word.”
She had sung her song twice through before the heavy tramp of feet was heard, and Belle looked around eagerly.
The station master came around the corner of the station, a young man beside him. The youth had brown hair, much the same color as Belle’s own, but his looked like it hadn’t seen a hairbrush for a week. His clothes were too small for him, and his boots needed polished more than any pair Belle had ever seen. As Belle’s eyes moved to the new face, she smiled; the young man’s eyes seemed kind, and if she had felt any dismay at the first sight of him, it vanished. Standing up, she held out her hand with a pretty air and a sweet smile. “Oh, are you one of my cousins?”
“Dunno’s I am,” was the low reply, and a hand, dirty and hard, briefly touched the small one held out.
Have you ever met cousins you didn't know you had?
What do you think of this story?
Will you be back next week?