A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 140: One Tin Soldier

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Contributing Muse: Tarasandia, 12 May 2021

Editor: nnpdad 18 May 2021

Supper was finished and I wish I could say that it had been glorious. Changes would be coming to this kitchen soon. At the very least, Rachel Byrne could get involved and train the staff. The breakfast had been good, but it hadn’t been great. This just would not do.

We moved to the sitting room so the servants could clear the dining table. There wasn’t really enough seating for all of us in the sitting room, but we’d only be here a short while. As everyone settled in I immediately begged forgiveness from all to have a quick side word with Amos and Sheriff in the study.

The topic was obvious and while wine and spirits were being offered to our guests, I spoke with a very nervous Amos in the study.

“Do you know what to say? Do you have a flower?”

Of course, no one had thought to give him a flower to offer and he certainly didn’t have a ring. Sheriff started to leave to fetch one just as Aunty showed up with a single elegant rose from the garden. “I was sure y’all wud forget this part. I figured he didn’t have time to get a ring made.”

Damn that woman was good, she handed the rose to Amos and I took over again, “We’ll all go in and you just wait to a count of fifty. Then come in and walk straight to Madeleine. Kneel down, look her in the eye, hold up the rose to her and say your offer. Understand?”

He barely nodded and I thought he might be shaking.

“You’ll be fine. Just remember to hold the rose up to her while you say the words. If she accepts, just sit on the seat next to her and hold her hand gently.” With that, we left him to suffer in his well of anxiety and took our places in the sitting room.

I had barely picked up my glass when Amos walked in the door. The ladies had sat Madeleine on a loveseat by herself, but with so many people standing around, he had trouble locating her. Everything went fairly smoothly from there. They both pulled off their lines and Sheriff offered a toast to the newly engaged.

We split into groups after the toasts, but it was destined to be a short night. The only bit of public excitement left was when Amos went to lead his fiancée to the servants’ quarters. He was diverted and guided upstairs, where a proper bedroom awaited with a bow on its door. Amos seemed utterly confused at this point but Madeleine knew what was happening here. She took over and dragged him into the room. It was actually kind of comical.

I retreated to the office, I wanted to look out the window a bit and think. There is no rest for the wicked though and Jeb was there, the wheelwright was with him. I had forgotten all about them. The plus side was that Brin was there. One of the servants had brought him a horse blanket to lie on, so he could hang out with me. Brin, I knew and could easily relate to.

The wheelwright turned out to be the easiest conversion of all. He and his wife had heard the speech and they wanted in. In fact, they looked like the newly converted lining up for baptism; too bad I didn’t have a ritual for them. I had to trust Jeb with the details and he left with the couple in tow. I wasn’t even sure if I’d been told their names. Is this what it was like? If it was, we’d have to change how it was done. I was left with the feeling that he would have cheerfully said, “Sure you can f•©k my wife,” as she eagerly threw herself on the bed. It reminded me of what had happened earlier with Grace. Did that really happen today?

Did Hitler and Kennedy feel this way when it happened to them? Was that Castro’s deal?

Brin was a great contemplation buddy, much better than bourbon ... which I’d now had too much of. So I had a last cigarette and took myself off to bed.

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