The SS America 4

Chapter Thirty-One – Sarah Gibbs and Franklin Stalin

Two years had passed and it was 1932.  Franklin was not an attractive man but his proper manners, dark hair, and kindly brown eyes made him attractive to the right kind of person. Jesseline was thankful that the Stalin family had been loyal to the Munroe’s for years. They were all very kind and loving people. She would do everything in her power to give Franklin his hearts desire.

Later that day she spoke of him to Sarah and was delighted to find that Sarah adored Franklin but being so young and shy she had kept it a secret from the servants. She was delighted to have someone to talk about her passions to. Jesseline sat there with a big grin on her face; she would speak later to Franklin about this matter. She had an opportunity later that evening when Franklin brought her some soup and asked her how she was feeling.

Jesseline grinned, “I’m very tired.  Having a birthday for a two year old is exhausting!”

She looked at Franklin with a smug look on her face, “I think it’s time for you to start having some children of your own as well. You are a good man and you dote on my little Jonathan like a loving father would.”

She had a twist of bitterness in her voice as she thought of Jake.

Jesseline said, “Franklin time goes by quickly and I don’t want you to be alone anymore. I have noticed your affections for my Nanny Sarah Gibbs and I give you permission to court her. The girl, who is very shy, absolutely adores you. She has never broached the subject; I wish to see the two of you married as quickly as possible. I know a good match when I see one. I have been watching the two of you for the past few months, hoping you would make the first step. I decided to do some matching making of my own and informed Sarah that I would be speaking to you of this matter. Now run along and take your dearest for a walk and give her that kiss you’ve been pining for.”

Franklin turned red with embarrassment but the relief on his face enormous, he had tears in his eyes, “Thank you for helping me with Sarah, she’s a beautiful girl, I have been tongue tied since we met.”

Jesseline nodded, “Yes now, go! I am fine here, send one of the scullery servants up here, and let them know they can openly gossip about you two now.”

Franklin had a puzzled look on his face when she added, “I’m not always asleep when the servants come in, they do love to gossip about the two love birds in my home.”

Franklin was mortified, “They all know? How could they? I’ve never said a word to a soul?”

Jesseline laughed, “My dear, words were not necessary, the looks on both of your faces, your mannerisms, and flushing of skin told the whole story for you.”

Franklin blushed beat red again smiled and walked happily out of the room. He could not believe his good fortune, to have such an understanding Mistress! Most homes frowned upon the servants having relationships unless already courting or married before arriving at a position. Jesseline was a dear and not like other women. Sure, she had her dark side but deep down inside she was really a loving creature most of the time.

Sarah Gibbs had been pacing impatiently in the garden waiting to see if Franklin would do Jesseline’s bidding. She was relieved and happy to see him come around the corner, he almost knocked her off her feet, and he had run down the stairs and around the garden wall and came face to face with the love of his life. He stood there for a moment, she looked up at him with those rosy luscious lips, and he could not help himself, grabbed her, and kissed her passionately. Sarah was breathless because of her first kiss and touch by a man.

She felt odd, somewhat elated inside. She had been daydreaming of this very moment now for several months.

In the background, sudden snickers pulled the two of them apart. There was the kitchen and cleaning servants all peeking over the wall.

They turned and ran quickly away and shouted, “It’s about time you two!”

Sarah started to laugh and Franklin not prone to showing any emotion had tears of mirth in his eyes. It felt good not to be so stuffy and modest. He asked Sarah if she would mind courting him for a short period. At first, the girl was terrified, she wondered if he meant to have his way with her.

When Franklin saw the distress in her eyes, he softened his hold on her, “My dear I fully intend to make you my wife at Jesseline’s request. She would be delighted to have put the two of us together in matrimony and has suggested I start my own brood of children!”

Sarah looked up at him and said, “I will love being your wife and the mother of your children, let’s get married soon.”

Franklin was delighted, “he hated the idea of courting her for too long, he wouldn’t be a total gentleman and keep her virtue intact, he had been dreaming about her being in his bed every night. Usually one of the maids from the adjoining estates would take care of his needs, but not now, he would be totally loyal to his wife.”

Franklin smiled, “Tomorrow my dear we shall go and get our wedding rings and a marriage license, I’m sure Jesseline will want to get out of bed and help with the festivities. She is dying to throw a party! Shall we go tell her the news? I’m sure she will be more than happy to let us have a day off to be together.”

He had no sooner expressed these words than a joyful voice interrupted him from behind.

Jesseline said, “It’s so good to get some air and yes you two will have the day off tomorrow. I will call Lorraine and ask for her assistance in your wedding preparations. Sarah is anyone helping you with the wedding invitations. How shall I contact your family?”

Sarah looked uncomfortable for a minute, “I have no family, and I’m from an orphanage in Montreal. They gave me a good reference so that you would hire me. They are friends with the Stalin family and wanted me to have a good position. I am sure Mother Sampson will be delighted when she hears of my engagement to Franklin Stalin. She will definitely say that her prayers and fate brought us together and take full credit for arranging my future.”

Jesseline laughed, “I’m sure Jake will be surprised but not dismayed, he has a romantic heart.”

She was right when Jake arrived the next morning he was surprised when Franklin did not answer the door. He came upstairs and Jesseline was not in her bed, then he heard Jonathan crying and went to the nursery to investigate. There sat Jesseline in a flowered dress in a rocking chair with Jonathan in her arms. Jake looked at Jesseline with hatred in his eyes but then they softened. It was time to let go of those bad feelings, here was the Mother of his child, and Jesseline was looking at Jonathan with such love in her eyes…

Jesseline looked coldly at Jake, “I have some news for you.”

Jake tried to pick up Jonathan but he began to kick and scream.  Jake was angry, grabbed the boy roughly, and gave him a hug.

Jake hissed, “You’re a fighter like your Grandpa Joseph.”

Jesseline laughed as Jonathan leaped from his arms and ran to his mother’s side, grabbing onto the hem of her dress, hiding behind it.

Then Jake asked, “Where is Franklin, is he ill?”

Jesseline smiled, “Actually no, he’s off to fetch some wedding rings and a license with his intended bride Sarah Gibbs!”

Jake smiled, “It’s about time those two have been sappy since the day they met.”

Jesseline surprised, “I’m delighted that you noticed such things.”

Jake smiled, “I do pay attention to people around me from time to time. Now I shall be paying some attention to my little son here. He seems rather shy?”

Jesseline said, “Yes dear, you scare him.  He hardly ever sees you.  What do you expect?”

Jake snapped, “I’m a busy man.  So when do they plan to marry?”

Jesseline said, “I’m going to give myself a few days rest and then I’ll be contacting Lorraine to assist me in the wedding preparations. I fear Sarah Gibbs is an orphan from Montreal, so not to worry about family. Franklin’s family is close by and they will be happy for him. I will hire Mr. Moisan and Lorraine’s servants to help cater this event. I want all the servants to be able to attend the party, what do you think?”

Jake smiled at his wife, “My dear, that is a warm and loving idea, I am sure they will all be delighted to hear this good news.”

No sooner had the words left his mouth then the sound of joyful shouting rang through the air.

He turned to Jesseline, “I swear these walls have ears.”

Jake hoped that by having the wedding, it would soften Jesseline’s heart and she would fall in love with him too.  Joseph Munroe after receiving the joyous news sent a letter of congratulations on baby Jonathan. He invited them to visit him when the baby was older. He was also happy to hear of the pending nuptials between Franklin Stalin and Sarah Gibbs.

Joseph agreed to a meeting with Lenno Totenmyer after Jake wore a long letter explaining the benefits of a friendship with him.  He would be delighted to see the plans for a yacht. He decided he would order a sail boat as a gift for his son and his wife. He knew Jesseline enjoyed sailing.

He was so pleased to have an heir. Joseph sent a large sum of money to Jake and a separate amount to Jesseline’s Father to put in a trust fund for Jesseline.  She would be able to withdraw from it in the future. Joseph was not aware of the tension in the home.

Chapter Thirty-Two – Mrs. Stalin and the Community Quilt

It was a few weeks later that Franklin and Sarah were married.  They had a few days off for a short honeymoon and went to stay at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec.  Jesseline had made the arrangements as a wedding gift for the two.  Jake had given Franklin his measurements and asked him to find him a proper hunting outfit.

Franklin was surprised that Jake did not want to get it himself but his response was, “My garden needs tending and it will soon be time to harvest, I have many long hours ahead of me.  Anthony will be pleasantly surprised when I show up with my new outfit.  He hates my old one.”

He laughed as he said this, “Anthony told me to burn it!”

Franklin did not like to have anything wasted, and suggested he put it away in a trunk in the attic for his son to use as play clothes someday.  Jake thought it a superb idea!

Franklin and Sarah Stalin had a wonderful time in Quebec but they missed the Munroe home and were glad to go back to it a week later.  It was strange for Sarah to return as Mrs. Stalin, the servants had moved her things from her small room into a larger suite.  Franklin was thankful for the larger room; he was tired of his cramped space of before, always knocking his head on the rafters as he climbed into bed.  Now they had a big double bed of straw and new feather pillows.  The servants had been busy quilting with the village women.

Jesseline invited her garden party with Lorraine, Mrs. Moisan and the Totenmyer women to help get the ready-made quilt for the bed.  It was large patches of material from everyone’s old dresses.  Sarah felt like she finally had a family and tears of joy brimmed on her eyelashes.  It was a very emotional time, and she thanked Jesseline for the pretty curtains and lovely new furnishings in their rooms.  Jesseline felt great for doing such a nice thing for her butler and nanny.  She almost felt a twinge of regret for what she was going to do in the future.  Jake tried hard to get Jesseline to fall in love with him, but after several months, he gave up and went back to drinking.  He tried to keep himself sober during the day for the sake of his son.  The Totenmyers words constantly rung in his ears, about molding a son after himself, Jake took those words to heart…

Chapter Thirty-Three – Jesseline Goes to New York City in 1935

It was two and a half years later, in the summer of 1935 when Jake looked with anguish into Jesseline’s vibrant sea blue eyes, the glorious face of a goddess and roared, “What do you mean you want a divorce and plan to be an actress like Greta Garbo?”

She replied smugly, “I’ve been offered the opportunity to be a stage actress.  I’m moving to New York right away.”

He gasped, “What about our Son Jonathan?”

“I’m sure you will enjoy raising him on your own,” she replied candidly.

He retorted with exasperation, “Jesseline you can’t do this to me!”

With a voice of steel she said, “Jake Munroe we are from two different worlds you and I, you love the country life and I need the bright lights and city comforts.  I can’t stand this boring life with you anymore.”

She stormed out the door, got into the waiting carriage with a dark haired man, and left.  Jake and Jonathan Munroe never saw or heard from Jesseline Thirkill Munroe again.  He looked down towards Jonathan, patted his head, and said, “Your Mother is a selfish woman, and we will be better off without her.”  The boy nodded silently in agreement for his Mother had ignored him since the day he was born.

Jake wrote a long letter to his Father explaining all that had happened.  Joseph was angry when he found out that Jesseline had left Jake and he invited his son and grandson to return to England and come live with him.  Jake was not sure about leaving Place Royale he had his garden, his son, the fresh air and the beautiful countryside.  He would take some time and think about it…

Chapter Thirty-Four – The Story of Nuna Totenmyer and Andy Littlewolf

Three more years had passed and now it was 1938.  Lenno Totenmyer took his eighteen year old Daughter Nuna with him to London, England. Nuna was excited when they boarded the ship, it was not a very grand one, but it would get there just the same. At first Nuna felt a little off peak because of the rolling waves, but she soon got used to it. She loved sitting out on the deck for hours and watched as the birds flew above the ship. She wished she had a one of those cameras.

Nuna asked Lenno if they could get one and he replied, “It’s best to use your imagination and creativity. Then he held out some pencils and paper for her to use.”

She looked up, “When did you get these?”

Lenno smiled down at his daughter, “I knew you would need something to occupy you and I’ve seen other people drawing on the ship. I bought it just in case you asked.”

Nuna hugged her Father and quickly sat down at a table and began to draw. At home, she was always busy making potions and studying books. She never took the time to draw anything and was pleasantly surprised at how lovely her writing was and sketches.

A young native man with brown eyes and dark curly hair stood for a moment then sat down at the table he whispered, “You draw very nicely Nuna.”

She looked up in surprise to see none other than Andy Littlewolf.

She glared at him and snapped, “What do you know about drawing?”

He pulled out a sketchbook from his leather pouch and showed her some magnificent drawings of wolves, bears, and eagles.

Nuna was impressed and had a great idea, “You know those would look great on our canoes, a sort of symbol and different arrangements, people would buy canoes simply because of the artwork on them. We could see some to museums and stuff. I know how Europeans love art.”

Andy Littlewolf stared tongue tied and then smiled, “so you like them?”

Nuna nodded her head, “You should be an artist, and you draw so well.”

Andy smiled, “Yes I would like to be an artist and go live in Paris, but Father will not let me. He says my duties lie with the Family.”

Nuna felt sorry for Andy, he had such great sorrow in his eyes.

Nuna asked, “How come your on the ship; did you come with your Father?”

Andy nodded his head and said, “Your Father invited both of us to come with him to England for some business meetings. My Father does trade with the Iroquois Indians up near Hudson Bay and works with your father from time to time on different investment ideas. He really likes your father’s plans for a yacht; he also has made some designs for a faster sailboat. I think your father plans to take them to Joseph Munroe. We will be waiting for the news back at the hotel.”

Nuna smiled, “Which Hotel is yours?”

Andy said, “The same one as yours, I believe it’s called the Bailey’s Hotel in London.”

At first Nuna was disturbed that her Father had not warned her, but being a wise girl, she assumed this was his way of getting her to like Andy before suggesting she marry him in the future. She was annoyed at this but happy to have some company. The ship and trip was getting boring, as her Father was busy discussing business all day with the other men on the trip. It seemed as though he was gathering investors for his invention.

Father always planned things ahead of time; he was a sharp man when it came to making money. He never left an opportunity unturned; Nuna would learn to be a good as her father in business matters. She wanted to be wealthy, make her own fortunes in life too. Andy was happy that Nuna had accepted him, until now she had shown him nothing but sheer anger and hatred. She really hated the idea of an arranged marriage between the two families.

He knew how important it was to build strong allies between the two families; joined together their wealth would stretch further north and west in Canada. His father was greedy for money Lenno just did it naturally.

At times Andy’s Father had been jealous of Lenno Totenmyer, especially when the girl he was in love with “Heta” ended up being betrothed to Lenno. Her parents had decided that because Lenno was a successful Businessman that she would do well with him. Heta had some feelings for Mr. Littlewolf but not entirely, Lenno stood a head taller was more athletic and attractive to her. Mr. Littlewolf had been bitter at first until his Father put some sense into his head and told him it was more important to be friends with Lenno than enemies were.

Heta helped the two of them become friends by telling Lenno that he was a close friend of the family. Lenno hired him immediately and together they had built the various outlets up North for the Fur Trade and Canoe Shops. They had also arranged for most of the importing and exporting of native goods to the commerce people from Europe and America. It had made Lenno Totenmyer a very rich man, and Mr. Littlewolf received a fair share. Many a time he had thought of going it alone but knew that Lenno Totenmyer was too powerful a man to go up against here in Canada.

He did not want to anger the Totenmyers because he knew of their supernatural powers as well and feared them. Instead, he thought of gaining riches by joining his son, their daughter in matrimony. He had suggested it to Lenno when Sasha had been born. Lenno who believed that love was more important than arranged marriages had told his Wife Heta not to write anything in stone just yet.

He would agree to let one of his daughters marry young Andy Littlewolf but only if the girl was in love with him. He would let his daughter decide their own fates. Both men had agreed that when the two were eighteen they would introduce them to each other and allow them to fall in love gradually before addressing the marriage agreement.

The girls would have a large dowry of gifts and the Littlewolfs stood to make a small fortune if any of them married Andy.

Sasha was the oldest and she should have been the one to marry Andy.  But when Andy saw Nuna he fell head over heels in love with her.

Andy whispered, “Nuna I love how smart you are. To think of a way for us all to make a profitable business never ceases to amaze me. You should have been born as a boy.”

Nuna had a sheepish grin on her face, “I know it’s a shame that women cannot be more involved in politics and business. Men seemed threatened by it. Sasha says though that someday things will turn around and Women will be allowed to vote and run for power in the government!”

Andy looked in awe of this, “Your sister is quite gifted in seeing into the future isn’t she?”

Nuna nodded, “She scares me sometimes when she goes into that trance like state, and it’s like looking at a zombie or ghost. She even talks to the spirits that roam around, but she sometimes closes them off. She gets exhausted when they remove all the energy from around her and she says they are way too cold for her.”

Andy marveled, “So that is why I shiver when I visit a cemetery. Ghosts make your body cold. Do they want us to feel death or something?”

Nuna nodded yes, “It’s their way of letting us know they are there. Sometimes they try to speak to people but then they just thing they are going crazy from too much stress. When actually it’s a spirit with some unfinished business asking for some help to give a message or do something for a loved one before they can pass to the other side.”

Andy was interested in ghosts and spirits; he had heard the rumors about Sasha Totenmyer studying to be a white witch.

He asked, “Do you practice any type of witch craft or spells.”

Nuna’s eyes darted around in fear and she rasped, “You’re a silly boy to bring that up on here, some people don’t take kindly to any witchcraft! Let’s not speak of it here, please!”

Andy turned a few shades of red then changed the subject and asked, “What are you going to practice drawing?”

She looked down at the paper and just stared at it, “Do you think you could teach me to draw a wolf?”

Andy nodded his head and smiled, so the two of them practiced their drawings every day for the next few weeks. Nuna was impressed at how fast she had learned to draw and how much it had improved over the following weeks.

Lenno and Mr. Littlewolf had been pleased to see the two getting along famously. Lenno advised Mr. Littlewolf that he wanted them to be friends for a year before any courting. Lenno was quite attached to Nuna he didn’t want to let her go.  He wouldn’t bother to suggest Sasha, who could love anyone.  It was obvious that Andy only had eyes for Nuna…

 

Chapter Thirty-Five – The Quarrel

When Lenno and Nuna Totenmyer finally reached England, they checked into the London Hotel. That is when Lenno decided to contact his Sister- in- law Helen Totenmyer to see if she would like to have a visit from her niece.

 

Helen Totenmyer was a beautiful woman with dark green eyes and light brown hair. She usually wore it up in a bun unless she was at a social function then it would be put in curlers and placed on top of her head in various designs. Helen could not wait to see Nuna for it had been ages. Lenno had sent her the odd sketch of the family from time to time but had never brought any of the children over for her to see. Helen dreaded travel by ship and avoided it at all costs. She sent a letter inviting them to stay with her for a day or so and she was accepted.

 

Lenno Totenmyer could see that Nuna was tiring of Andy’s company for they had begun to quarrel over things. He decided instead of staying at the Hotel for the next week, he would only spend one evening there and the next day goes see his sister in law Helen, drop off Nuna then go have his meetings with Joseph Munroe.

 

Mr. Littlewolf was disappointed but understanding, he too agreed that the children needed some time apart. Andy was sad about Nuna leaving he wanted her to like him so badly.  Andy had tried to propose marriage to Nuna but she refused him and told him she was too young to think about it.  He asked her when would she be old enough and Nuna just shrugged her shoulders.

Andy was confused and angry he couldn’t understand why Lenno didn’t force his daughter to marry him.  He knew about the marriage agreement.  His father constantly pressured him to create ties with the Totenmyers.  His father would thrash him again for failing to secure a relationship with Nuna.

 

Andy told his father it was like night and day with her; as soon as they had reached England, she had turned her nose up at him and started to ignore him. He did not take kindly to this and told her so and that is when the row between the two began, and it never ended.

 

Andy would always resent England, because of how Nuna treated him that fine sunny day when they had landed. He had offered to take her for some ice cream and after going for a walk she said how much she loved England and he said he hated the place, it was disgusting and too busy and noisy for him, and that is when she turned in anger on him. Things never got back to where they were and Andy could not understand the change in Nuna’s attitude towards him. It went from their warm tender moments of drawing together to hard, distant and cold as a rock.

 

He was confused and hurt.  Andy’s Father informed him that Nuna was going to visit her Aunt Helen instead of staying at the hotel. Andy lost his temper and raised his fists at Nuna, yelling at her about not doing the right thing for the family.  That was the day he showed his dark side to Nuna. She did not care for him one bit and told him so. Andy slapped her across the face then feared the repercussions, she slapped him back and told him the next time he laid a hand on her, that her family would curse his. Andy felt the bitterness rise in him but he turned and left. He had to find a way to get over Nuna, she obviously did not like him, his father was going to beat him half to death for what he had done…

 

Chapter Thirty- Six – Visiting Aunt Helen Totenmyer

Lenno and Nuna went to Helen Totenmyers lovely red brick townhouse, with white shuttered windows.  It was a fair sized townhouse with several rooms, a few servants, and a lovely garden in the yard.  Helen was a beautifully refined and distinguished looking woman, well known in society as the powerful woman of fortune due to her late husband Tate Totenmyer.

The young man had dropped dead one day with no explanation for his death.  He had been having some chest pains at the time but always refused to go see a doctor, they assumed that his heart had caused his death.

Helen gave Lenno a hug then Nuna, “It is so good to finally meet one of my lovely nieces!  You are adorable my dear.”

Nuna stood tall and smiled gratefully at her Aunts warm welcome, she looked at the elegant furnishing in the home with envy.  Someday she would have a fine house and decorate it with rich embroidered carpets and wall hangings such as these.  She loved the look of cherry wood and would have fun coming up with designs for her own furniture.

Helen had asked her a question and said, “Nuna, save your day dreaming for later, pay attention!  I plan to take you shopping with me tomorrow to the shops in Paris; I can see you desperately need a new gown.”

She frowned while looking at Lenno who proudly said, “In Place Royale we have no need for fancy gowns.  What she is wearing is fine.”

Helen bristled with anger, “Really Lenno to parade your daughter around England in such rags?  I think not, you will be the laughing stock of town.  The rich and wealthy Lenno Totenmyer and his rag doll!”

Lenno looked at her angrily but stopped for a moment, he mumbled, “Your right, I’m sorry I did not think.  Nuna has complained now about wanting some gowns, how much money do you require?”

Helen shook her head, “I would like to make a gift of it for my niece, and perhaps we can pick out some things for Sasha?”

Nuna laughed at this, “You will not get Sasha to ever wear a gown, she loves her loincloth Native dress, and that’s all she will wear.  She does love jewelry, beads, and things for her hair, no hats though.  I am the one that prefers to dress like a proper lady, my sister could care less.”

Helen smiled, “The two of you are so different and that is usually how it is with siblings, they are like night and day right Lenno?”

She was referring to his brother Tate, who wanted to dress in the latest English fashions and had purposely sought out a young rich English woman for a wife, so he could be a part of society.

Helen added, “I see that Nuna is like her Uncle Tate in these matters.”

Lenno was surprised, it had never crossed his mind that Nuna was like his brother, but Helen was right.

He looked at her in admiration, “Helen you amaze me with your beauty and your brains.  I had no idea, now I feel much better.  It distressed me many a time seeing the difference between my two daughters.  Tate was not a spiritual man either.”

Helen nodded graciously, “I take it the two of you are hungry?  My cook has prepared a lovely brunch for us.  I understand you are to have a meeting with Joseph Munroe this afternoon.  He had to reschedule your morning appointment, could not reach you at the Hotel, and assumed that you would be dropping in to see me.  He mentions a Yacht; can I see these sketches that you have?”

Lenno pulled them out and placed them on the drawing room table.

Helen was delighted at the designs, “I shall have to order one for myself, I don’t like big ships, but maybe I could handle a smaller one.”

Nuna giggled as she looked at her Aunt Helen then her Fathers look of surprise he turned to Nuna and said, “Now I see where you have inherited your Aunts notions of independence.  Helen is planning to learn how to navigate the yacht as well, right?”

Helen’s eyes lit up with glee, “Now wouldn’t that set tongues wagging, why shouldn’t I learn to sail a boat?  Why should men always have all the pleasures of this world?  Women are not to be wallflowers and doormats for men to walk all over.  I will have you know I am currently on a committee that is trying to change these things.  We deserve to vote, work in business, and do whatever we wish.”

Lenno sternly said, “Try not to get into too much controversy my dear, you will tarnish the Totenmyer grave.”

Helen curtly said, “Tate supported me and told me never to give up on my dreams, I loved your brother with all my heart and soul and he believed in me, when no one else would.  He inspired me to be an independent woman and to learn to do things for myself; you should learn to do the same for Heta.”

Lenno pointed his finger at her, “Now you look here Helen Totenmyer, I don’t need you putting silly ideas in my wife or daughters head about this new women’s movement!  I have enough problems to deal with.”

Helen smiled and saw Nuna has a distressed face, “Come now Lenno, let us not quarrel, we are happy to see one another and let’s not discuss our differences.  I fear we are distressing poor Nuna here.”

Leno’s face softened as he looked at his worried daughter, “My dear your aunt and I always seem to bang heads when we get together, and not to worry you shall still be staying here for a visit.  The poor girl had some great companionship in the form of Andy Littlewolf but after several weeks of company, the two began to quarrel constantly.  I will stop now; she’s had enough arguing already.”

Helen smiled at Nuna, and then heard the butler say, “Lunch is now served.”

The dining room was full of Chinese tapestries with pictures of various villages and Geisha’s.  The rich mahogany table with its wide solid legs, and intricate designs along its borders was a stunning piece of furniture to look at.  Nuna felt like a queen sitting there with her row of freshly polished silver and she decided to put on some airs.

Helen watched her niece with fascination; imagine this young girl sitting so pretty, she would look amazing in the gowns that her Aunt would purchase for her.  A diamond in the rough, she wished that she could refine this lovely young niece and bring her out at a debutante ball when she was eighteen.  Helen had been unable to have any children and at times felt at loss for not having any.

Tate had suggested they adopt at one time, but Helen found that her impatience with children would not suffice to be a mother to another’s child.  She would enjoy the children from a distant in the park while their nannies would be out for stroll with the large buggies.  From time to time, she would sit and hold a child but found that within half an hour she was tired of them with a headache.  These facts alone had led her to believe that motherhood was not for her and she was thankful that she could not have children.

Lenno was grateful for Helen being such a doting Aunt on his daughter.  He knew that she missed not having children of her own for Tate had often talked about his disappointment for not having any children.

Tate had been a wonderful, dashing, handsome man.  With his short curly hair and big brown eyes, his brother always had a smile on his face and would constantly tell a joke or two.  He never acted as if a Native should and had no interest in the clan whatsoever.  His life’s ambition had been to live somewhere in Europe and be a part of the Trade and Commerce.

At the time a Native was not welcomed at such things, so when he found Helen and she fell in love with him, he decided fate had dealt him a winning card.  With Helen’s wealth, he would build a successful business and help Lenno achieve some form of success as well.  He knew that his mother had suffered when he announced he was leaving for England, but she let him follow his hearts desire.

She died soon after and Lenno had pretty much raised himself.  Their Father had passed away months earlier from contracting a disease while meeting with some white men.  His mother had despised the English because of this, but had learned to forgive and forget thanks to Tate.

Lunch was soon over and Lenno excused himself, gathered his drawings, and made his way over to Joseph Munroe’s Estate.  Helen had offered the use of her driver and car for the day, the two women prepared to take the other car she had and take the train to Paris, France for their shopping trip later that day…

Chapter Thirty – Seven – Lenno Totenmyer Meets Joseph Munroe

Joseph Munroe was delighted when Lenno Totenmyer walked into his study.

Joseph stood up to shake hands, “My son Jake has written many good things about you.  I have been aware of you for sometime but never thought our paths would cross till now.”

Lenno studied the man carefully he knew that the smile was phony and the shackles on the back of his neck stood on end.  He did not like this man but knew in order for his designs to be taken seriously he needed Joseph Munroe who owned shares in White Star.  He would stand to make a fortune if they liked his sketches.  He placed the sketches down on the desk and sat down in the chair nearby.

Joseph asked, “Would you care for a glass of port?”

Lenno smiled and nodded yes, normally he would not drink but in order to be sociable he accepted.  He sat back and tried to relax while watching the butler out of the corner of his eye, the man looked familiar, and he reminded him of Franklin Stalin.

As the butler came to his side he asked, “Do you have relatives in Place Royale?”

The man nodded and looked at Joseph to get permission to speak, Joseph nodded yes, and the man continued, “Is it my brother Franklin that you refer to?  He is with Master Jake and Mistress Jesseline in Place Royale.  I have not heard from him of late, I am not sure if he has my new address.  I had been working for another family but Master Jenkins passed on and my services were no longer required, Master Joseph here offered me a position when he heard of my plight.”

Lenno smiled at Joseph and warmly said, “How very thoughtful and charitable of you Mr. Munroe, I’m impressed.”

He had heard that Joseph was a surly drunk and very hard to work for, but the Stalin has had always stayed by his side for generations.  The pay was good and the lodgings the best in town; no one could argue that, other servants were envious of the Stalin’s, being well looked after.  They had the highest positions in any Munroe household and they each were educated as well.  The Master’s of the Munroe Estates, usually kept to them and liked to discuss politics and news with their servants.

Ophirah Munroe had been very open with her servants, almost treating them as friends.  Society in England did not agree with this.  Ophirah shunned them and refused to move there when they were first married.  She had convinced Joseph that Place Royale was a better place to raise their child and she had almost been right.  People in England were always so judgmental, society had its many rules, regulations, Lenno had to learn all the correct proprieties, and his brother Tate had been very helpful in teaching him everything he needed to know.

Joseph Munroe was a fair man, and he knew a good business proposition when he saw one.  He had a feeling that Lenno Totenmyer’s Yacht idea was going to make him millions.

Lenno asked, “Did Joseph tell you the good news about Franklin?  He is due to be married to the nanny Sarah Gibbs.”

The butler turned around to Joseph, “You knew my brother was getting married and didn’t tell me?”

Joseph looked angrily at Lenno, “I didn’t want you running off to see him, and I need you here.”

Mr. Stalin was angry, “We could have both visited them, you could go see your grandson, and I could go visit my brother.”

Joseph would not have it, “I refuse to travel on those ships again, and I am waiting for something better.  Now Mr. Stalin you are dismissed, and Mr. Totenmyer let’s look at those sketches.”

As the two men put their heads, together looking at the sketches Mr. Stalin quickly scribbled down his address and placed the note next to Lenno, who tucked it in his pocket.  He felt sorry for Mr. Stalin and knew how it was not to see your brother for some time.  When he returned to Place Royale, he would urge Jake to visit his Father and bring Franklin and Sarah with him.  He looked at Mr. Stalin and winked; as the butler turned away and walked out of the room, he had a smile of relief on his face.

 

Chapter Thirty-Eight – Nuna Becomes Fashionable

Nuna enjoyed shopping with her Aunt Helen.  They caught a train to Paris, France and strolled along visiting each of the haute couture Fashion Shops.  Nuna looked lovely in the pink and blue gowns so Helen purchased both of them.  Nuna wanted to get her hair done but her aunt suggested that too many changes would distress her Mother she should take her time in changing things.  It was customary for the English to have teatime around four o’clock, so the two of them headed into a Paris Café called Chez Romere.

The delightful assortment of thick and rich creamy pastries greeted them.  Nuna decided to try the English Breakfast Tea from Twinnings of London; she had heard it was marvelous.  Helen was surprised when Nuna had spoken in perfect French to the Maitre De ordering what she wanted from the menu; Helen was startled but only for a moment, composed herself then ordered some Earl Grey Tea with Honey and apple strudel pastry.

When the Maitre de had walked away, Helen turned to her niece, “My dear where did you learn to speak French?”

Nuna smiled, “I taught myself.  It is my wish to attend Carrington’s Finishing School here in Paris, France and find an English Gentleman of great wealth.  Can you help me convince Father it’s best for me to be here?”

Aunt Helen smiled at her niece, “My dear you are too young for the finishing school!  You must be sixteen years old to do so, but I will suggest you come to England and I shall chaperone you.  I was thinking the same thing earlier, how I would love to present you at one of our Royal Debutante Balls here in London.  Lenno will need someone to take over the family business someday and you my dear will make a great hostess!”

Nuna smiled and said, “I have no interest in running any of Father’s business, and I believe Sasha is more suited for the type of thing.  I prefer to travel across Europe, be well educated, and do a lot of entertaining with my husband.  He must love high society functions and desire to entertain every week.  Lorraine Atkins holds the most lavish parties in Canada.  I prefer England and Paris; I will attend the Fashion shows and enjoy Art and Cultural Events.  I even plan to change my name to Patricia.”

Helen was not sure how happy Lenno and Heta would be to learn of their daughters distancing herself from her native heritage.  Nuna was just like her Uncle Tate in so many ways.  She loved Nuna and understood just how she felt.

Nuna looked at her aunt then asked, “How did you an Uncle Tate meet?”

Helen with a faraway look in her eye said, “I was a rich woman visiting Canada when I met your uncle Tate.  We fell in love at a young age.  I became an orphan after my father passed away from a heart attack; I believe it was brought on by my kidnapping.”

Nuna’s eyes grew round in wonder as Helen continued, “Tate was a strong man, my Father trusted him when he offered to help rescue me from a band of evil Navajo Indians.  They were holding me for a ransom.  My Father suffered a heart attack from the stress of it all and I did not get to see him buried.  Tate had been doing business with Mr. Stamford Smith when he learned of his daughter’s fate.

Armed with a picture of Helen and a band of Ojibwa Indians from his tribe, Tate had rescued Helen and the rest was history.  Mrs. Holly Smith had died during childbirth, so when Mr. Stanford Smith, My father, passed away, I felt very lonely.  I had fallen in love with my strong, muscular, kind Tate.  I did not care about what society would think, I argued with your uncle and finally he gave in and married me in a small chapel here in England.  Your Uncle Tate created an empire with my inheritance, my father would have been very proud of him.

My father had bought most of the land around Quebec, Montreal and all the way up to North Bay.  He had planned to develop the area with the aid of his fellow investors.  Tate was an intelligent business partner and he made a name for himself.

Anyone who did business with Tate Totenmyer was sure to make a fortune.  He had business partners in England, Scotland, America, and Upper, Lower, and Western Canada.  Lenno and Tate built a large trade with their canoe factory up in Manotick and then they expanded The Fur Trade business across Canada.  All the other native nations brought their furs to them for trade.  Lenno, your father, worked closely with the Iroquois and the natives around Thunder Bay.  I believe a Mr. Littlewolf took care of his matters up there.  When the canals and railways opened up passage to the Western part of Canada, then thing really began to grow.  Trade was easier to come by.  The natives traded for supplies, the English, Americans, French, and Europeans traded for money or goods.  Within two years, the two brothers had amassed a great fortune together and they continue to build their fortunes even after your Uncle Tate’s death.”

Nuna looked at the time, “It’s close to 5:30 pm and the last train leaves at 6 pm, I think we need to leave now in order to catch the train in time.”

Helen looked at her niece thankfully; she had been off in a daze there while sharing her story.  They picked up their bags and headed to the train station close by…

 

Chapter Thirty-Nine – Joseph Increases his Fortunes

Joseph Munroe was also aware of Helen and Tate Totenmyers success in England.  At first, it had been a scandal to have a young rich English woman marries a Native man.  Soon England learned to respect the couple for the wealth they had brought to the world of trade and commerce.  He would be adding more wealth now to his fortunes after signing the deal with Lenno Totenmyer.  Joseph would have to send a bonus check to his Son Jake for sending this good fortune his way…

 

Chapter Forty – Nuna’s Future Plan is Revealed

Nuna watched her aunt as the train rolled along the beautiful countryside. Helen was a refined, kindly woman and had the palest of skin. Nuna revered her Aunt Helen and fashioned herself after her. Nuna could look like her except for her darkened skin; she would have to stay out of the sun as much as possible to stay pale.

Later that evening, Lenno returned from his business dealings with Joseph Munroe and Helen had a sincere discussion about Nuna with her brother-in-law.

Lenno distressed by the news at first but then Helen talked some sense into him by saying, “Need I remind you Lenno that I am a great and powerful woman here in England? It would help to secure new investors in my companies and yours.”

Lenno was surprised, “I was not aware that you still were involved in the business world.”

Helen’s eyes became soft and teary eyes, “When I lost Tate several years ago I wanted something to keep me busy. So I invested in a French Beauty company.”

Lenno looked up and smiled, “My friend Jake Munroe and his wife Jesseline have expanded our business in Canada. We use herbs to make beauty potions and elixirs. I’ve brought you some samples.”

Helen laughed, “You’re a sharp one Lenno, and I really want to take Nuna under my wing. I would like to send her to Carrington Finishing School for Women. She already has the prettiest  manners, is educated, and is doing remarkably well. She has some business sense and this will grow with experience. I could offer her a completely new world, one that she desires with all of her heart. She has confided in me that she wishes to remain in England and marry a wealthy Englishman here.

 

I informed her we cannot send her to Finishing School until you give your consent. I plan to prepare her to take over my business interests in the future. She has suggested that Sasha would be the one to follow your example and run your side of the family business there. Nuna is not happy in Canada. She wrote to me for years about her fascination with England and will never be complete until she follows her hearts desires. You and I both know, dear Lenno that destiny is planted in one’s heart when a child.”

Lenno sighed; Nuna was his favorite of the two children. She was so much more sensible and ambitious then her Sister Sasha. Nuna always wanted to travel with him.  Heta refused to travel with him. Sasha and Heta were very close and they both loved the Native way. Lenno desired to be more like his business partners.

Lenno said, “Perhaps you are right my dear, I’ll have to convince Sasha to travel with me on my next business trip.  She will miss her sister and want to see her I hope.”

 

Helen giggled at this, Tate used to be terrible about travelling. It must run in the family.”

Helen smiled, “I am sure she will be very happy with your decision.”

Nuna said, “Thank you so much Aunt Helen; how do I repay you for your kindness?”

 

Helen looked at the young girl and said, “You will work hard, get good grades and learn everything about society. I have a trunk full of books for you to start reading. They will be very useful in the future when you take over my business. Now off to bed, I will see you in the morning.”

Nuna had pleasant dreams that night and so did Lenno, he was happy for his daughter. He knew Heta would be very angry with him.  Heta did not care for Helen, she was jealous of her because Lenno admired Helen so much. Heta feared that her husband would leave her for the beautiful Helen and Lenno would always brush it off and tell her not to be ridiculous. He figured that Helen would never want anything to do with him after falling in love with his Brother Tate.

 

Lenno would always tell his wife, “You are all that I need my dear! Heta I love you with my heart and soul. We are soul mates. Our mind, body, and souls are connected. I will never do anything to anger the Great Spirit. Our souls are one, only death can break that bond. I shall be your husband until death do us part.”

 

Heta felt silly for suggesting such a thing. Helen was beautiful, but she definitely was not spiritual. Helen did no believe in God, she turned against him when her Father died and refused to attend church ever again. Lenno was worried that Heta would be angry with Nuna for leaving Canada. He knew it would be best for the girl. He fell into a somewhat disturbed sleep that night but in his heart, he felt peace…

 

 

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