The SS America 2

Chapter Eleven Jesseline’s Fear

Luvena and Jesseline were sitting out in a cafe in Italy enjoying the sights and sounds of the local people.

Luvena looked at Jesseline and said, “What are you thinking about my dear?”

Jesseline sighed and said, “I’ve always dreamed of being a movie star.  I once tried to audition for a play and I got stage fright.  How am I ever going to become a star if I can’t get over my fears?”

Luvena smiled and said, “Stand up, right now and sing happy birthday to me.”

Jesseline roared, “It’s your birthday!”

Without thinking, she stood up and started to sing Happy Birthday.

Jesseline finished the song and the crowd applauded.

She turned red with embarrassment and tried to sit down.

Luvena clapped her hands and yelled, “Encore!”

A woman came over and said, “Please miss, sing a love song for me and my new husband?  You have such a beautiful voice.”

Jesseline looked at the two young lovers, got up, and sang a lively song then she began to dance.

The crowd went wild, clapping their hand and asking for more.

It was an hour later. Jesseline was thirsty so she had some more of that delicious grape juice.

Jesseline was feeling somewhat groggy and tipsy.   She looked at her friend then sat down.

Luvena laughed and said, “Wine cures all fears…”

Jesseline giggled and said, “Thank you my friend, I shall never fear the stage again…”

Chapter Twelve Joseph’s Bitter Disappointment

Joseph was not happy with the stories he was hearing about his sons.  Themus was bright, but he was getting to be too wild.  Jake was worse.  Their constant partying was bringing scandal to the Munroe name.  Joseph had spent the last few years drinking and carousing and now his sons were following his example.  A family of rakes is what they were being referred to these days.  Joseph had to do something soon or risk having a scandal again in England.

He received a letter from Ronel Thirkill reminding him of his agreement several years ago.

Where had the time gone?  Jake was twenty-one years old and Jesseline was twenty-three.  Joseph was not getting any younger and he wanted an heir.  That was the whole point of the marriage arrangement he had made years ago for the two children.   He would have to do something soon in order to have an heir to take over his fortune.

Joseph worried that Themus who was constantly partying would never settle down with anyone.  Jake would be graduating soon; he would ask that the marriage take place after the graduation.  Let the boy sow some more wild oats.  Then he would be happy to settle down with the gorgeous blonde-haired woman pictured before him.  Ronel had made sure to send a photo of the glorious blonde haired Jesseline Thirkill, a virginal looking girl with a shapely figure.

Joseph felt a stirring in his soul.  He always wanted Jesseline.  The Virgin Slayer would arise again and this time Anthony Atkins would not be able to stop it…

Chapter Thirteen -Ronel Thirkill’s Letter

Jesseline had been surprised when her Father informed her it was time to come home.  He explained those years ago, he had promised her in marriage to Jake Munroe and now it was time for her to marry him and provide an heir.  Jesseline was furious; she was embarking on her career and taking acting lessons.  She did not want to marry Jake Munroe.

Her Father explained that through several bad investments that his money was tight and that Joseph Munroe was willing to pay her a large amount of money to marry Jake and produce a child.  The money would help to further her career and she could do whatever she wanted.

Jesseline thought about it and then asked, “Father, is Jake handsome?”

Ronel nodded and explained, “Jake has been away travelling himself and isn’t all that keen on marriage but in order to produce an heir and keep his fortune he must or he stands to lose millions.  I drew up a will with Joseph that in order for Jake to inherit his money he must marry first and produce an heir or all will be lost.  Joseph wants the two of you married within a month and an heir produced within a year.  Then you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams my dear.  He also left a share to you and your child even if you were to divorce Jake, you would still get the money.”

Jesseline was holding back angry tears, she almost had a part in a play in England, and now her dreams were on hold.  She may never get a chance like this again.  Then she thought for a moment and asked, “Where are we supposed to live?”

Mr. Thirkill cleared his throat, “You will be returning to the Munroe Mansion in Place Royale, Canada.  It will be your new home and you will have money to decorate it any way you please.  Just think Jesseline, you could get to know many of the famous people of Canada and it would further your career.  Why limit yourself to England?  Besides the greatest movie, stars are in New York City and Hollywood.  You would be much closer in Canada and probably meet a movie star in Quebec or Montreal.  I have heard that many tourists like to visit Chateau Frontenac for it holds the highest society functions and balls for all the local residents and dignitaries.  We shall not argue about it.”

Jesseline’s eyes narrowed, “I assume that you too will profit from this little venture?”

Mr. Thirkill hung his head in shame, “Joseph has promised to cancel my many gambling debts for me, once you are married.  We can both start fresh.  It’s been difficult for me since your Mother died; I am not a strong man.”

Jesseline hugged her Father; she always had a soft spot for him, then said, “I know Father it’s been hard on both of us.  I have thrown myself into work and you into gambling and booze.  Okay I agree to this marriage.  I will inform my teacher that we have to cancel my lessons, but you owe me several pounds.”

Mr. Thirkill kissed his daughters cheek, “Thanks my dear I shall ever be grateful to you.”

Chapter Fourteen Jake’s Dismay

Jake could not believe the vision of beauty before his eyes.  He had been in a sour mood all day and had come in after drinking quite heavily.  There in the parlor was a gorgeous, slim blonde-haired woman that looked familiar.  He was going to say hello, when he fell over and passed out.

Jesseline grinned at Joseph and her Father, “The man likes to drink I see.”

Joseph apologized, “My son isn’t a drunk he’s just a bit off from this marriage bit, and he’ll be okay tomorrow.  The boy has always loved you my dear, surely you’re aware of that?”

Jesseline felt uncomfortable, it is true she had received many letters from Jake over the years but her maid had been the one to respond for her.  She hated writing letters and told her she could write anything she liked.  Now she was wondering what the girl had written.”

Joseph grinned, “All those flowery words of love, ah Miss Thirkill I see you are blushing.  Not to worry, you will be reunited with your love soon and both of you will be happy to be together.  Maybe the two of you can travel once your pockets are full of gold.”

Jesseline smiled at the thought, she was tired so she excused herself and went up to her bed.  The two men with the servants help carried Jake up to his room and put him quietly to bed.  Jake was snoring loudly.

Joseph grinned at Mr. Thirkill, “quite the first impression for a son in law isn’t it?”

Mr. Thirkill looked uneasy, “yes you could say that.  Are you sure were doing the right thing?  Maybe they do not love each other.  Jesseline didn’t look too happy and I’m worried about her.”

Joseph said, “Not to worry my good man, your daughter will love being rich and I will enjoy having such a lovely daughter in law.  She will definitely make handsome children.”

Mr. Thirkill felt uncomfortable; he had assumed that only one child was expected and tentatively asked, “How many heirs will you require?”

Joseph gave him a funny look and said, “One will do just fine, but I’m sure these two love birds will produce more.”

Mr. Thirkill smiled sheepishly and excused himself for the night.  Joseph felt troubled but refused to give into the feeling he had inside.  He would have his heir and nothing or no one would stop it!

Chapter Fifteen -The deal with the devil is made

The wedding was an elegant one on the Munroe Estate in England.  All of high society was invited, and this impressed Jesseline.  Joseph had even invited people who were involved in the theatre and musicals.  Jesseline was delighted, and Jake well once he had set eyes on Jesseline, all the old feelings of love had emerged.  He was head over heels in love with the girl and now she was such a luscious well-developed creature.  Every man in England was envious of her beauty and wished to bed her.  Jesseline would never have them; she was not that kind of girl.  Besides the sooner she got pregnant she could get back to the career she wanted for herself.

The happy couple found themselves well matched.  They enjoyed the many festive events in England, went to France to do some shopping and then boarded a ship to Canada.  Jesseline did not know what to expect when she got there but armed with magazines and money she intended to make her a lovely palace and then entertain to her hearts content.  Jake was feeling somewhat odd to return back home all the old memories come back.  He would remember how his Mother used to grow the loveliest of gardens.

He mentioned it to Jesseline and she suggested that he build a grand garden in honor of his Mother.

He looked at her and kissed her roundly, “You are such a smart woman!  That is a marvelous idea my dear!  I shall order plants and seeds from all over the world and build a lovely garden room in the back of the house.”

Jesseline thought for a moment and said, “Why not build a large ball room overlooking a garden room?  That way our guests can dance and enjoy the view and smell the scent of many flowers.”

Jake smiled and said, “I love the way you think dear your something else.”

Jake felt at peace and the two of them glowed.  The other passengers were happy to see this newly wed couple so enamored with one another.  They had read in the gossip news that it was an arranged marriage but now seeing the two of them together, they decided it was hogwash.

While Jake was sitting down and drawing up his garden plans, Jesseline was busy talking to the women on the latest gossip.

One of the women asked, “Where do you plan to live in Canada?”

Jesseline replied, “A place called Place Royale.”

Both of the women smirked, giggled, and said, “You must pay a visit to Lorraine and Anthony Atkins; they have a lovely mansion there.  Lorraine will gladly introduce you to many people, her husband he is rather charming, and a bit of a rake.  Be careful my dear, once he sees your beauty he will be like a bee to honey.”

Jesseline smiled, “This honey doesn’t share with other bees” and she got up and walked away miffed that everyone thought she would be so easy to seduce.

Did she look like a seductress?  She must start acting like a smart, intelligent boorish person.  She could practice her acting skills here on the ship.  It would be highly unlikely that anyone here would travel in any of her circles.  After all most of the people on the ship were tourists.  She was so very wrong and found out later much to her dismay that her little game would have its consequences…

Chapter Sixteen – The Honeymooners

They had finally arrived in Quebec and decided to spend a few nights at Chateau Frontenac and get familiar with society there.  Jesseline noticed at the parties that several women would have their heads close together and then quickly part whenever she walked by.  It began to trouble her and make her feel the butt of some joke.  She just did not understand what the joke was until she overheard someone one day.

She had been lying in the sun with a large floppy hat on her head by the poolside.  Two women had passed by and sat close by.

One of the voices said, “Jesseline Munroe is such a doll, too bad she is so boorish.  No one will want to attend any of her parties; she would not have a clue how to entertain anyone.  It is hard not to yawn when she goes on about her Father and acting.  The woman is obsessed with stage plays; really she should be concentrating on her social skills and proper etiquette not the next production going on in New York.”

The other woman giggled then said, “Do you think Lorraine Atkins will like her?”

The response was, “Are you kidding?  She will be trying to hold Anthony back from the minx; every woman will be terrified that she will become the next mistress.  We all know how persistent Anthony Atkins is, Jesseline the “Ice Queen” is sure to melt.”  Both women giggled and walked away.

Jesseline sat there frozen and tears began to stream down her face.  She missed her Father and now she did not feel very welcomed in Canada.  She was already starting to hate the place.

She went to find Jake and demanded, “I don’t want to stay here another minute.  These tourists are intolerable and mean can we leave please?”

Jake offhandedly said, “Sure darling we will leave in the morning.”

Jesseline stood there then screamed, “Can’t you even look at me for a minute!  Put those plans away and hold me, I need comfort.”

Jake looked up at her and saw the tears welling in her eyes.  He put his things away, grabbed his wife, and made passionate love to her all night long.

Chapter Seventeen – Gathering Souvenirs in Canada

The next morning Jesseline was exhausted and decided to lie in bed when Jake got up for breakfast.  She had her food brought to her room instead.  She was not ready to face the world or its mockers just yet.

True to his word, Jake had a stagecoach waiting for the two of them a few hours later and they started the long journey to Place Royale.  He decided they would visit each of the little towns along the way and buy a souvenir from each of them.  Jesseline just wanted to get home but could not argue with Jake.  He suggested they order a piece of furniture from each store, just for fun and she liked that idea.  They actually had fun looking for things to furnish their new home.

When they finally pulled up to it a few days later, Jesseline was disappointed.  It was a large house but it had no sparkle and it looked neglected.  A few servants had come to ask for employment but Jake had turned them away.  He wanted to see if anyone from the Stalin family would be able work for him.  He found out that his Mother’s servant Viktor had died but his brother had children were looking for employment.  Jake asked that they come around and work for him.  He promised to pay them well.

Chapter Eighteen – Renovating Munroe Mansion in 1928

The next day Jesseline and Jake went into town to see Anthony Atkins about adding the ballroom and garden room onto the grand house.  Jake pulled out several design ideas that he had made while on the ship.

Jesseline was surprised and looked at him saying, “I didn’t know you could draw building designs?”

Jake smiled, “I guess I’m more talented then I thought.”

Anthony was impressed with the detailed Architectural drawings.

Anthony looked up at Jake and smiled “You’ve made my job easier already, I’ll add the measurements and modify this a bit here and there and we should be ready to build it for you next week.”

He was talking to Jake but kept looking at the lovely Jesseline, he could not take his eyes off her.  She noticed his blatant stare and turned a cold shoulder towards him.

Jesseline crisply said, “We also are planning to redecorate the place and arrange a nursery in one of the rooms.  I’m sure you can take care of that as well.”

The steely-eyed glint surprised Anthony he looked taken back at first then miffed he turned away from her and focused his attention on Jake.  He had been watching the two of them closely and felt a surge of pride; his lovely wife would never give into Anthony Atkins charms.  He would never have to worry about her leaving him for another man…

Chapter Nineteen – Jesseline Meets the Moisans and the Totenmyers

The two of them headed into the grocers shop, JA Moisan’s, and looked around.  Jesseline ordered a few things and inquired about materials for curtains.  She headed towards the catalogues on the counter.  Mrs. Moisan had come out to introduce herself and requested that Jesseline come for tea sometime.  She would be happy to introduce her to the women of the town at their weekly garden party.

Jesseline gave her a thin smile and said, “I’d be happy to attend.”

Deep inside her dreaded it.  She felt a presence beside her and was startled to see an Indian woman gazing at her in awe.  Jesseline smiled brilliantly at the woman who held out her hand and gave a warm welcome.  She introduced herself as Heta Totenmyer and her husband behind her was Lenno.

They had two daughters beside them; Heta turned and said, “Come here Nuna, Sasha meet Mrs. Jesseline Munroe.”

Both girls gasped at the beautiful woman before them.

Sasha asked, “Is it true that you want to be an actress?”

Jesseline faltered in her smile for a minute and she asked, “Who told you?”

Sasha looked at her Mother who nodded at her she turned and said, “The Great Spirit told me that it is your hearts desire to be an actress.  Someday you shall be a famous when you go to America.”

Jesseline stood cold as stone and Jake angry at these words looked at his wife and curtly replied to the girl, “I don’t need any Indian putting stupid ideas in my wife’s head.  In the future you keep your two mongrels away from my wife!”

He pulled Jesseline out of the store and stomped down the road to the carriage.

Jesseline looked back, ran quickly into the store, and yelled, “Thanks so much Sasha!”

She turned with a huge smile on her face and quickly caught up with Jake and yelled, “How dare you insult these people just when we first come into town?  I am trying to make friends…”

Jesseline began to sob and Jake offered her his handkerchief and felt badly, “I’m sorry dear I’m just terrified of losing you.  Today when Anthony tried, his whiles on you I felt assured that no man could take you away from me.  This play-acting has to stop, I will not worry about you leaving me to go to New York, and it is a ridiculous profession!  You have more money then most women, be satisfied with that.  You will be a Mother soon and your duties will be in the home and no where else!”

Jakes words stung Jesseline and from that day, coldness had started to creep in her heart.  Jake had mocked her!  She would never forgive him and she would be sure to seek out the Totenmyers friendship.  She was intrigued on how Sasha would know by the Great Spirit what her hearts desire was.  She was also worried because part of the inheritance agreement consisted of her getting pregnant and it had been two months and still no baby.  Maybe these old women would have a remedy for such a thing…

Chapter Twenty – Tea Time for Jesseline

It was a few days later, Jake was busy with the workers, that Jesseline went for a car ride.  She headed straight into town and to the Moisan’s place.  When she walked in Mrs. Moisan gave her the kindest of smiles and asked if she had time for some tea?  Jesseline nodded her head thankfully and felt relieved.  She figured they would not bring up what had happened the other day with Jake.  She was wrong.

Mrs. Moisan sat down with her and looked at her carefully then said, “I always find when Mr. Moisan doesn’t want me to do something, it’s best to make him think it’s his idea.”

Jesseline smiled feeling relieved she poured out her heart and soul about her desire to be an actor and how Sasha’s words had made her gloriously happy.  She wanted so much to visit the Totenmyers and find out what she had meant by the Great Spirit.

Mrs. Moisan looked astonished and said, “Why they are very spiritual people.  Sasha sees visions of the future and her Mother is a white witch.  They cast spells and can foretell the future.  We keep it to ourselves here because the Totenmyers are fine people and many of the elixirs and healing potions we sell in our store are from Heta and her daughters.  They know how to do things with herbs, and even can help with child bearing.  Mr. Moisan and I had some trouble conceiving our first child, so Heta made me a special pouch and it worked wonders.”

Jesseline looked at her round belly; she had not noticed it before.  A thought struck her, what would happen to her lovely figure?

Mrs. Moisan smiled, “Not to worry my dear, Heta has all sorts of potions and lotions to help with the figure.  I am sure you are worried about that wanting to be an actress.”

Jesseline marveled at Mrs. Moisan being able to read her mind, it was rather uncanny.

They had finished their tea and Mrs. Moisan got up and said, “Let’s go visit the Totenmyers, they just live up the road a bit.”

Both women got up into the carriage and headed down the road.  It was not very far and it only took a few minutes.

Jesseline asked worriedly, “Are you sure they will want us to drop in?”

Mrs. Moisan smiled, “More than likely they will be already expecting us.  You see they have special powers and can sense things ahead of time.  I’m sure this morning Heta knew you would come by.”

Sure enough as they pulled up Heta was standing there smiling and practically said the same thing, “Welcome to my humble home, we have been expecting you.”

Jesseline sat in the simple home and wondered how these women managed without the simple luxuries she was accustomed.  She felt sorry for the Totenmyers, such poor people living in such a simple home.

Heta smiled at her and said, “The Great Spirit talks to us in dreams and during our prayers.  In ancient times, we would spend part of our day in prayer at time.  My husband is the great chief over all the natives in this land.  We own a fur trade company and we have a canoe factory in Manotick and in Montmorency Falls.  We have many riches but choose to live life the way we were raised, so my dear golden flower, please do not pity me.”

Jesseline had turned three shades of red; she had not realized the Great Spirit could read her mind and thoughts.

Heta looked at her carefully and said, “You have a great destiny ahead of you, but it will take you away from your husband and son.  I see there is not much love in your heart for your husband.  In time, you will love another but he will break your heart as well.  It is the law of Karma, what we do to others shall happen to us.”

The two girls sat down on the floor looking up at Jesseline and asked her to act out a drama for them.  They would be the Indians and would tie her up and her life would be in danger.  Jesseline was delighted to play with the two girls and did so for some time.  Mrs. Moisan had excused herself and said she would walk back to the store.  She told Jesseline to come again for tea next week.

Jesseline was troubled and Sasha grabbed her hand and held it.

Sasha said, “Lovely golden flower do not worry for the women of Place Royale shall bring you true friendship and your hearts desire.”

Jesseline felt strange whenever Sasha talked to her she looked like she was in some sort of trance, then she snapped out of it and looked at Jesseline and asked, “How did I do?”

Jesseline cracked a smile and realized the girl was acting!  She felt relieved.  Nuna scolded her sister for making fun of the Great Spirit and told her to stop it.

Heta looked at her and said, “Your sister is right, it’s not good to make fun of your gift.  Do it in other ways, you can put on plays and things for our guests next week.  Jesseline maybe you would like to work with the girls and help them write a play for the women’s entertainment?  We hold the garden parties out here.”

She opened the back door and Jesseline gasped at the large amount of flowers and shrubs and the lovely white painted garden furniture.

Jesseline trailed her hand across the garden furniture, “Where did you get this, what is it?”

Heta smiled, “I knew you would love it, it’s made from wicker.  I painted it white myself and now it’s become the rage.”

Jesseline thought for a moment, “I’d like mine a light green to match with my plants and flowers.  Anthony Atkins is building a new ballroom and garden room for us at the house.  I was glad to get away today; all that hammering was giving me a headache.”

Heta nodded and handed her a little satchel.  You are to wear this around your neck at all times and put these under your bed when you are trying for a child.  Soon you will be pregnant with a son.”

Heta had placed her hands over Jesseline’s womb area while saying a prayer in a foreign tongue.  She spoke in a melodious voice and song, Jesseline felt a warmth pour over her body and it was as the wind dashed through her soul.  Jesseline had never been a spiritual person but she felt at peace for the first time in her life.  She knew that she was doing the right thing and that fate had put her and Jake together in marriage and brought her to Canada to meet the Totenmyers and Mrs. Moisan.  She felt at home here now, it was wonderful.

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