The SS America 5

Chapter Forty-One – Shopping for Mrs. Moisan

The next day Lenno decided to go shopping with Nuna and Helen. This time they would look at the wholesale goods for beads, jewelry, yarn, and material for dresses. Mrs. Moisan had asked Lenno to do a bit of shopping for the store. Lenno decided to let Nuna pick out the fabrics and he was pleasantly surprised at her knowledge of cottons and prints. She always made sure to buy material that was already prewashed so that the dye would not run.

Helen looked at her young niece with admiration, most young school girls would stammer when speaking to strangers. Nuna spoke clearly and as though she was an adult. Helen explained that she was training her protégé for future business; the shop owners were delighted to meet the young Miss .Totenmyer. They would enjoy doing business with such a pleasant and funny girl.

Nuna had a sunny, wise disposition and people always assumed that she was older than Sasha was in years because of her adapt way at conversation. They were always surprised to find out that there was a years difference in age between the two girls. Nuna was eighteen years old and Sasha was nineteen years old.

Nuna made her purchases, had them wrapped, and ready for shipping the next day. The store sent them directly by post to Mrs. Moisan. The rest they sent to the Fur Trade Shop in Place Royale. Heta would be delighted with the new material. Maybe she would make a new dress for Sasha.

Who always wore the same native rawhide dresses, but she would be happy to add some new colorful beads to her ensemble as well.  Nuna was sad about her father leaving. She would miss him terribly.  She hoped that she was doing the right thing by staying in London, England.  Only time would tell if she was right.

Chapter Forty-Two – Chago Sima the Spanish Gypsy

Lenno boarded the ship in the late afternoon and waved goodbye to Helen and Nuna. It would be a long trip home without his daughter.  However, he felt in his heart that all would be well at home.  He knew that Heta would see him travelling alone.  She would be alarmed at first but then if she connected properly with the Great Spirit he would show her there was a plan for Nuna.

Lenno received a letter that morning from Joseph Munroe with a payment for his Yacht ideas; he would also receive royalty checks as well. Helen liked the beauty products sent to her from Mrs. Moisan’s shop and asked to buy the patent for Heta’s inventions, so they could mass-produce them in Paris, France. Heta would receive a check from the royalties and so would Mrs. Moisan, both would be very rich from their little enterprise.

The ship was not a comfortable trip at all. Several people had fallen ill. Lenno thought about Nuna often while sitting out on deck trying to get fresh air.  The smell of sickness on the ship turned his stomach. During his trip, Lenno some very interesting people on that ship. He shared the story of Helen’s beauty factory in France and one of the men, a Spanish Gypsy named Chago Sima thought it to be a good investment for Spain, Italy and the United States. Chago was actually on his way to Canada to purchase some furs, so he was delighted to spend the two week journey talking to Lenno about various inventions in Europe and Canada.

Lenno had decided upon his returning home to start educating Sasha about the Fur Trade and Canoe Factory. His next business trip would be to Hudson Bay. It just happened that Chago Sima wanted to do some business there as well. Chago was planning to make his way across Canada and take the railway out west.  Chago Sima loved to travel, he would stop by and say hello to Lorraine Atkins first before heading out west. He was going to prove to her that he could be a rich and wealthy man. Maybe someday they would be together, but for now, he must make his fortune in life.  Heta was surprised when Lenno showed up with the unannounced guest. Her dreams had told her that Nuna was staying in London.  The Great Spirit soothed her soul and told her that it was the right thing for her to do.  Chago was not too happy with the lack of luxury in the small quaint cottage.

Heta smiled at him and said, “I prefer a simple life.”

Chago was delighted to meet Sasha; she was such a beautiful girl, much more attractive than her Sister Nuna was. She was like a fresh flower and she was very passionate about sharing her Native folklore stories with Chago.  He stayed for the evening then headed to Cote de La Montagne and sent a note to Lorraine Atkins of his arrival.

Lorraine was surprised to be receiving a note so late in the evening.  Anthony had been in Montreal for a few days and she assumed he would be for a few more.  She grabbed a horse and rode off towards Cote de La Montagne.

Lorraine clung to Chago with a passionate kiss and asked, “My darling why so late?  We usually spend the day together?”

He explained his ships journey with Lenno Totenmyer and visiting their home for an evening. He only had a few days before continuing his journey out west.

Lorraine was disappointed, “I hardly ever get to see you, why must you travel so much?”

Chago sighed, “Because I want to build my empire so you will leave that silly husband of yours and come to be with the man who truly loves and adores you.”

Lorraine smiled, wrapped her arms around him, and started making love with him…

Chapter Forty-Three – Sasha Goes to London, England

It was almost a year later when Lenno Totenmyer opened up a letter from his Daughter Nuna dated June 1939.  His jaw dropped when he read that she had eloped with a wealthy merchant boy named Barney Rosewood.  They were living in London, England with Mr Bartholomew Rosewood, the father.

Nuna mentioned that they lived close to Joseph Munroe and the two men knew each other from their University days.  Bartholomew was an old friend and when he spotted Nuna one day while she was having tea with Joseph at a cafe in Paris, he insisted on introducing her to his son.

Now Barney Rosewood was a bit on the wild side, but Nuna was a sensible and smart girl.  Besides being a Totenmyer and known to be extremely wealthy in her own right, Nuna was sure to expand the fortunes of the Rosewoods with her expert opinions and ideas.  William White bragged about the genius of a girl who was changing the way women did business with men.

The people of England knew Nuna as Patricia Rosewood.  It was apparent that she was hiding her true culture as much as she could.  This bothered Lenno and he decided he needed to see his daughter again.

Jean Moisan had shown him a business conference that was going on in England.  He could use that as an excuse.  Heta was angry when she read the letter.  She expected Nuna to marry into the Littlewolf family.  How would they explain all this to Andy?

Heta figured that Nuna would grow tired of England, become homesick and return home.  This apparently was not the case.  Sasha missed her sister so much that she got over her fear of travelling and begged her father to take her with him to England.  She did promise her mother that she would return.  Sasha never wanted to leave Place Royale she loved it there.

She would hate going to England but she wanted to see Nuna again.  She wanted to find out what it was like to be a married woman and be with a man.  She feared that her mother would make her marry the evil Andy Littlewolf.

Lenno decided to break the news to Andy before leaving.  Sasha was the one to tell him.  Andy was drunk and he slapped Sasha roundly across the face and called her a bitch for telling him this news.  He said he hated Nuna and he would get revenge on her.

Lenno went to see Andy and told him if he ever laid a hand on his daughter, again he would kill him.  Tensions ran high between the Totenmyers and Littlewolfs and it was worse when they ended up on the same ship to England.  Mr Littlewolf was also planning to attend the same conference as Lenno Totenmyer.  They kept their distance from one another on the ship after having a huge row.   The Captain swore to have them both arrested and thrown in jail if they started up again.  He moved each of them to the furthest points on the ship and told them not to eat at the same time in the dining room.

Sasha avoided Andy at all costs.  The men on the boat were falling over themselves because of her beauty.  But Sasha would have neither of them.  She wanted a spiritual man.  One who knew how to be powerful with the Great Spirit but also one who knew how to do white magic.  Sasha loved the supernatural and she would often meditate and communicate with the dead on various occasions.  She kept it to herself because people would treat her strangely if they knew what she did.

Andy would often pace back and forth watching Sasha.  Seeing how beautiful she was he began to have fantasies about her in his bed.  But Sasha wouldn’t even look his way.  Andy’s bitterness towards her and Nuna grew steadily over the next two weeks.

When they reached England, the two families headed towards the Bailey’s Hotel in London each making sure to get a room on a different floor.  Lenno did not like the way that Andy was looking at his daughter.  It was inconsiderate and evil the way he licked his lips and stared at her breasts.  Lenno knew his daughter’s beauty would cause a bit of a stir in London.  He would have to keep an eye on her at all times and he asked her not to go out for walks alone at any time.

They sent a letter to Patricia when they arrived in England, but received a note from her staff that Barney and Patricia were travelling for the next few weeks and they would probably miss being able to visit them.  Sasha had been disappointed.  Lenno was troubled.  What would his daughter do during his meetings?  He tried contacting Helen she too was away.   Sasha had to occupy herself during the day by enjoying the sights of London and going on various tours to the art galleries, museums and theatre.

Lenno usually went to a meeting then came straight back to his room. It was several nights later.

Lenno decided he needed a drink after the meeting so when the men invited him along for a drink he accepted.  He assumed since Sasha had done quite a bit of touring that day that she would go straight to bed.

Sasha did go to bed early that night but then she woke up and could not sleep.  The stars were shining brightly and it looked like such a romantic night.  The warm breeze was blowing and she could see boats along the pier, party lights and music.

Sasha decided that her father was being too paranoid.   She got dressed, sneaked out the back door…

 

Chapter Forty- Four – Andy Littlewolfs Revenge

It was a dark and cloudy night and the cobbled stone streets of London, England looked menacing to Sasha.  She wandered into the night looking for the docks.  She managed to find a spot to stop and look at the moon, the stars, and the ships out in the waters.  Sasha heard the sounds of rivalry nearby.  Fear was slowly taking over her and she began to feel paranoid.  Her round blue eyes staring wide eyed at the ratty looking street and houses.  She looked out of place in her Native dress and moccasins walking silently down the street.

 

She was lost and trying to find the Hotel. She never should have wandered so far while out for a walk.  She could not remember the street or the name of the Hotel.  Everything looked so different in the dark.  Down the street a Native man, drunk, staggering along, and hiding in the shadows, his long black wiry hair in braids was carefully watching the young girl.  The shadows revealed his chiseled face and body in the moonlight.  He was dressed in his Native costume and he staggered over to the girl and realized that it was Sasha Totenmyer.

 

With his words slurring Andy said, “Sasha is that you?  What are you doing out here all alone?

Are you lost?”

Sasha heaved a sigh of relief, “I wasn’t sure who it was.  I am glad it is you Andy.  I see that you have been drinking.  My Father has been at the Fur Trade Convention all week and I stepped out to get some air.  I seem to have wandered too far and lost my way.”

Andy smiled and said, “I can take you back to the hotel.”

Sasha was grateful, took his arm, and walked along side of him.

She said, “No wonder I’m lost I was going in the opposite direction.”

 

Suddenly without warning, he pulled her into a dark and deserted alleyway and pulled a knife out, and put the cold steel blade against her throat.

Andy snarled, “Don’t make a noise or I’ll kill you!”

Sasha tried to get away but Andy was too strong.  He started to pummel her with his fists until he knocked the wind out of her.  She muffled a cry of dismay as he pulled up her dress, ripped her panties, and thrust himself into her, kissing her with his disgusting whisky breath.  His saliva was running all over her mouth.  It took everything in her not to gag at the smell of him.  When she felt the searing pain she blanked out.

Sasha woke up in a bed.  Her body badly beaten, her face swollen beyond recognition, Lenno looked at her with rage in his eyes and demanded, “Who did this to you?”

Sasha hoarsely said, “Andy Littlewolf beat me then raped me.”

She could see the angry shock turn to hatred in her Fathers eyes as he turned and ran out of the room.  Lenno Totenmyer was a tall man with braids in his hair and broad shoulders.  When he walked into a bar, everyone turned around and stopped what they were doing.

Lenno asked, “Has anyone seen Andy Littlewolf tonight?”

One of the men said, “Yeah, I think he’s passed out in the brothel down the street.”

Lenno nodded his thanks, made his way carefully down the street, and crawled up the balcony at the back of the brothel.  He peered into each of the windows.  No one noticed him for they had all been heavily drinking and were passed out by now. He spotted Andy lying in a bed, smelling of whisky, drooling and snoring loudly.  He looked around the room to make sure that Andy was alone before crawling in through the window.  Lenno picked up the knife that was lying on the floor beside the bed, grabbed it and quickly slashed Andy’s throat.  He stuffed a pillow over his head but it did not make any difference Andy did not stir once.  Lenno quickly made his way back down the balcony and disappeared into the night.  Lenno walked into the hotel room lifted Sasha’s light frame off the bed and carried her straight to the shipping yard to board a fishing boat, which he knew would take them back to Canada where he had friends in Montreal to help him get home safely.  Lenno explained to the Captain that his Daughter was ill and needed to get back home. The Captain understood and gladly accepted the large sum of money given to him to keep his mouth shut about the matter.

It was two weeks later, in the early morning, which Lenno burst through the door of his home, while holding Sasha in his arms.  His Wife Heta looked up in surprise.  She had a feeling he was coming home and had decided to sit in the living room and wait for his arrival. She had a terrible vision that something bad had happened to Sasha. Lenno placed Sasha carefully into her bed, kissed his wife goodbye, and whispered something to her, Heta began to cry, and then Lenno turned and ran out the door into the night.

A month passed and Heta was wondering if Lenno would ever come back.  No one questioned them about Andy Littlewolfs death.  They did not tell a soul about what he did to Sasha.  Heta thought that Lenno should have sent word by now.  Then Heta got word from the clan that the Littlewolf tribe found out who killed Andy.  They vowed to find Lenno Totenmyer and kill him.

Heta feared for his life and so she decided she would head up north towards Hudson Bay where Lenno was hiding to warn him of impending danger.  A few weeks later Sasha received a wire telling her that, some visitors were on their way from overseas to see her mother and  they were due to arrive in two weeks time.  Sasha felt so alone without her Father and Mother.  She had not heard anything from either of her parents for the past month and was worried sick about them.

 

Chapter Forty-Five – Goderich Lafleur and Themus Munroe

Meanwhile in London, England, it was August 1939 and a pub was full of the choruses of men singing a Scottish Ballad about the days of old.  The Pub was located close to a shipping yard where an Ocean liner called the SS America would be docking soon.  Two young men were sitting at a table cheering with the crowd around them.

Once the noise had died down, one of the men named Themus Munroe drawled, “Goderich my boy, what are your plans now that we’ve graduated from University?”

Goderich smiled and answered, “I’m toying with the idea of moving to Canada, I hear the land is cheap and there is lots of work to be found.”

“Goderich you don’t need to work.  Why would you want to work?  Your pockets are lined with gold and silver.”  Goderich smiled at him, “Ah, Themus my boy, I love the great outdoors and the smells of wood and grass I find London to be too crowded for my tastes.  I am tired of bumping into the same snobbish people day after day, decked out in top hats and tails, and fine dresses, women galore chasing me here and there for my money.  I’m just tired of it all Themus, really I am.”  “  I see what you mean Alchetta, my dearest, loves it here in London with all its finery, balls, gaiety and because of that, I fear that I cannot draw her away from it!”  “  Themus, you may change your mind once you have seen Canada.  You know our friend Brandon Deere is heading to Canada because he bought a large parcel of land there.  Brandon is planning to build a Lumber Yard, an Inn, and a cabin for himself.  He says if I come and work for him he will make me a foreman in the yard.”  Themus asked, “What about us getting some lodging there?  Goderich replied, “Brandon says I’ll be able to purchase a parcel of land next to his and build myself a grand hunting lodge.  I will get free timber wood from Brandon and some of the men will help me build it.  What do you think?”  Asked Goderich with a twinkle in his eye, Themus added, “Now I can see why you would be itching to go to Canada.  I am sure you two will do well there too.  Alchetta and I will want to hear from you.  Just send your post to Millennium Baileys Hotel London.”  Goderich got up and said, “Were off tomorrow, taking the SS America over to Canada.  It will be a four week journey of hell I’m sure!”  Then they parted ways.

 

Chapter Forty-Six – Brandon Meets Marion White

It was a bright and sunny day.  A day of promise for the travelers, congregated around the dock of the SS America.  People from Europe were preparing for their voyage to Canada.  Four young people were standing amongst the throngs of bustling people.  Goderich stood tall, slim, and muscular with broad shoulders and short blonde wispy hair and he was very handsome with sparkling sky blue eyes.

Brandon who was about a foot shorter then Goderich stood with a husky build and had dark curly brown hair and brown eyes and broad shoulders and was known for his very big feet.  Themus was a tall man with a medium build, blonde hair, and robin blue eyes with a chiseled face.  Themus received a portion of his trust fund when he had become engaged to the lovely Alchetta Bailey from his Father Joseph Munroe…

He would receive more money once they were married.  Beside Themus, stood a lovely woman named Alchetta Bailey, who he met while at University.  She had dark hair, light blue eyes, and a beautiful face.  Her parents Melville and Retta Bailey owned the Millennium Baileys Hotel in London.  She had grown up being pampered and rich, but she did not act snobbish in any way.  She was rather down to earth but loved her many luxuries.

Themus was looking somewhat sad, at seeing his two friends leaving but he was hiding it with a false smile.  The four of them had just been discussing the lovely weather, when a stagecoach driving slowly by had caught Brandon’s eye.  Goderich had been busy talking to Themus and Alchetta and did not notice Brandon beginning to follow the stagecoach.  He had caught sight of a vision of beauty, milky white skin, and black curly hair framing a petite face.

Brandon slowly followed the stagecoach towards the dock where the passengers could be seen lining up to board the SS America.  Making his way over to get a closer look at the beautiful face that passed by, he stood close to the stagecoach as it pulled up.  He was transfixed as a beautiful woman with dark green eyes, stepped out looking so dainty.  She was dressed in the finest white satin with tiny blue, flowers made by a block print on her gown.  It had a large navy blue ribbon around her waist tied into a bow.

On top of her lovely dark hair was a large white hat with pink and white flowers on it.  As she descended, she was busy talking to the woman behind her who had dark hair and light green eyes with a furrowed brow.  They were arguing about a man named Count Frederick Fontaine.

Suddenly Brandon heard a loud snap.  He looked up and saw the strap break and the trunks piled high on the back of the roof started shifting towards the edge, ready to topple on her.  He grabbed her and pulled her out of the way as the trunks came crashing down, missing them both within inches.

Lucky for the woman in the coach, she had turned to speak to a male occupant inside who looked thin, frail, and balding with tired blue eyes, missing the falling trunks within seconds.  Stormy eyes and a face of disgust mixed with repulsion greeted Brandon with a wrathful tone.

The woman he had saved haughtily said, “Who do you think you are!  Get your filthy paws off me!”

As she pushed him away angrily, Brandon was amused.  He was all dirty in his casual clothes from the trip there by horse.  Sweaty and full of grime, he must have looked a sight.  Both he and Goderich had dressed casually for they had ridden there by horseback from the English countryside.  They had purposely looked like a couple of servants so that they would not have to worry about robbers on the road to London, for there had been many problems with that lately.

The young girl’s middle-aged companion came over and gratefully said, “Thank you kind sir for saving my Daughter Marion.”

She turned towards her Daughter and scolded her, “Marion look over there!”

She pointed towards the heap of trunks lying beside the stagecoach and said, “You owe him an apology; he just saved you from harm.”

The girl was mortified and said, “I’m so sorry for being so ungrateful!  I didn’t realize!”

Brandon grinned in a silly way and stood there tongue-tied, as she held out her dainty hand, “My name is Marion White, and you are?”

He stood there with her hand in his and boyishly said, “I’m Brandon Deere, pleased to meet you.”

She pointed to her chaperone, “And this is my Mother Demora and my Father Stacy is still in the stage coach.  He is not feeling very well.”

Brandon shook Demora’s hand and said, “I’m pleased to meet you.  Do you need any help with those trunks?”

Then he noticed that the porters were grabbing the trunks and taking them aboard the ship.

Brandon quickly said, “I have to get back to my friends now; maybe we’ll see each other at dinner.”

Marion thought to herself ‘that will be highly unlikely!’  She watched him with disdain as he began to walk away as she looked down at her gown seeing the smudged fingerprints on each of her arms.  She looked down her nose in disgust then turned on her heel and produced her tickets to the man at the bottom of the plank and the three of them boarded the boat.

Brandon had made his way back to Goderich, Themus, and Alchetta, who had been worriedly looking around for him.

“We were just wondering where you were,” said Goderich with great concern.

Brandon said, “I was just rescuing a fair maiden.  It looks like we can board the ship now.”

They turned to say their goodbyes to Themus and Alchetta.

“We hope to hear from you two soon.  Come visit us in Canada!”  Said Goderich, as he patted Themus on the back, and gave him a hug.

Themus had tears in his eyes.  “I’m going to miss you both very much.  I don’t know how I’ll survive without my two constant companions.”

Alchetta hugged him as they left and said, “There, there my sweet, we shall visit them soon, I promise.”

She hated it when Themus became emotional, but he was such a tenderhearted man, she loved him for that.  Brandon and Goderich made their way to the boat.  Each of them walked carrying their sacks over their shoulders.

“You know, they look like a couple of hobos,” said Alchetta to Themus who answered, “Yes Father is always concerned about being robbed; he didn’t even want me to come here today.  If you hadn’t picked me up, I wouldn’t have been here.”

They stood there for the longest time, watching the people board the huge ocean liner.  Finally, they spotted Brandon and Goderich up on the lower deck waving at them.  They waved back as the crew pulled up the plank and the boat began to pull away from the dock.  They both stood their waving quietly, each lost in their own thoughts; Themus was wishing that he were with them and Alchetta wondering how it would be in Canada.

 

Chapter Forty-Seven – Boarding the SS America

Standing on the lower deck, Brandon and Goderich stood along the side, waving at all the people out on the docks.

Goderich said, “There is Themus and Alchetta, over there waving at us.”

They waved back with smiles of excitement.

The crowds were so large and noisy, they did not hear Themus yelling, “Good luck mates!”

Themus had his arm around Alchetta.

Goderich said, “They are such a lovely couple.”

Brandon replied, “Yes, I dare say they are.  I wonder if we can get them to move to Canada with us, we are going to be missing Themus, which is for sure.  He’s our third mate and it will feel strange not having him with us.”

‘Goderich thought about the fact that the three of them had spent many hours studying in the library at the University in England.  Brandon had obtained his merchants degree to do trade and commerce.  Themus was planning to live the life of a rich and prosperous man, even though he had degrees in the languages of English, French, and Italian.

He would probably spend his time managing his estates, going hunting and fishing and riding his horses in London, England on his Father Joseph’s Estate.  Goderich lived his life in simplicity.  He had taken courses in woodcarving and artisanship for he loved to make things with his hands.  He had read in the Upper Canada Gazette that a fellow by the name of Anthony Atkins, a famous architect, was planning to redevelop Place Royale.  This is why Brandon had decided to build a lumberyard in that area.  They all stood to make loads of money selling wood to the many European settlements in and near Quebec that were building small wooden homes for themselves near the Great Lakes.

Brandon said, “Say goodbye to England.”

Goderich came out of his revere with a start.  England was a tiny speck now.  They headed over to the stairway to look for their cabins.  They were a good size and nicely decorated.

Goderich said, “I guess we should get changed for dinner; hopefully they will have some decent food on this voyage.”

The two men quickly changed into their evening attire and headed for the main dining hall.

Goderich impressed by the elegance of the dining room.  The lovely Victorian lace tablecloths, gleaming sets of silver candlesticks, set with 5 sets of fine china plates, bowls and tea cups all bearing the crest of the SS America, surrounded by several pieces of intricately designed silverware.

Goderich said, “Judging by the looks of this dining room, I am assuming that we will be enjoying many luxuries.”

As they sat down, the waiters quickly filled their champagne glasses.  They had a hearty meal consisting of roast beef, potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding served with gravy.

“I don’t think I can eat another bite,” said Goderich, as he put down his cup of tea dabbing at the corners of his mouth with his embroidered handkerchief.  “Those pastries were out of this world.  I wonder if I can get the recipe from the cook.”

Brandon sat back and laughed at him, “I doubt if they will share their baking secrets with you.  It would be best for you to find a woman who can bake lovely pastries to warm your heart, for it is highly unlikely that she will be able to woo you in any other way.  Forget about your stomach and let’s go to the billiards room to play some pool, and have a cigar to celebrate our first day.”

“That is a wonderful idea.  I think I want a pint of ale as well,” said Goderich with a wink as they headed towards the billiard room.

Goderich exclaimed, “Robert Adam’s portrait.  I love his architectural designs.  I studied a few of them at school.”

Brandon craned his neck to see the famous portrait.

The man standing next to him commented on the portrait as well, “Robert Adam is pretty amazing; in 1758 he designed a library and a salon at Kendleston Hall in Kenwood House.  I like the roman styles; the swags, garlands, urns, and tripods.”

Both Goderich and Brandon nodded in agreement and headed over to the billiard table, after grabbing some ale at the bar.

Puffing away on their cigars, Goderich asked, “These have a unique flavor, where did you get them from?”

Brandon said, “See that Spanish gentleman over there?  His name is Chago Sima.  He brought some cigars to celebrate the birth of his first Grandchild named Cira Sima.”

Chago Sima stood there with his blue-black shiny hair, brown eyes, caramel colored skin; he was of medium height, slender and well dressed.

Brandon said, “I hear that most women find Chago to be a dashing and handsome bachelor.  He is quite the lover I hear.”

Goderich asked, “Why is he going to Canada?”

Brandon replied in a wry voice, “To visit his Grandchild and to purchase some more beaver coats and hats to give as gifts to his global contacts.  He is involved in fur trade exporting to the other continents.  They say that the hats are “all the rage” in England and France.  You know how they love their furs.”

Goderich replied, “We will probably need some good, thick, beaver coats for ourselves,”

And then he looked down at Brandon’s feet, “I think you will need some extra large snow shoes; judging by the size of your monster feet, when you walk around their going to think a Sasquatch has been there.”

Goderich started howling at his own joke.

“Oh very funny, At least my feet don’t look like birds feet.  I bet you could hang upside down from a tree with those long toes!” said Brandon with a wicked smile.

Goderich stuck his chin out and speaking in a pious voice said, “I like my slender feet and long toes.”

Brandishing a triumphant look in his eyes Goderich added in a lilting voice, “It’s all a part of my fine royal breeding.”

Brandon guffawed at this remark, “Royal my ass!  The only thing Royal about you is that you are a Royal pain in the ass!”

Goderich just looked at him, and in a pious, arrogant way he replied that, “Yes, I am a royal pain in the ass, and I’m proud of it.”  They both roared with laughter.  Goderich was a good soul, a man who was true to his word, dependable, trustworthy and a good hard worker.  Brandon was proud to have him as a friend and partner in his business venture.

After a fun evening of winning at billiards, Brandon said while teetering back and forth, “I think we better call it a night, I can hardly stand,” and with that he slumped down into a chair.

Goderich stumbled over, grabbed his friend, and dragged him slowly across the room.  One of the barmaids came to assist him and they got Brandon safely into his cabin.  The girl left after Goderich thanked her and then he removed Brandon’s shoes for him and put him to bed.  Brandon rolled over and began to snore loudly.

Goderich stood there looking at his friend and he said aloud, “Now I know why you own a saw mill Brandon, you snore like one.”  He smiled and giggled at his own joke and then walked out the door and headed over to his own cabin.  He lay down on the bed and passed out for the night.

 

Chapter Forty – Eight – Patricia and Louise Meet Goderich

It was the second day of the journey.  Marion White and her Mother Demora were on deck and watching the waves lapping up against the side of the ship.  Marion had noticed Goderich standing alone and so had another young woman nearby who begged her chaperone to find out who the man was.

A short woman with a caramel complexion and black hair tied back in a neat bun approached him.  She was dressed in black mourning attire.

Goderich noticed her standing next to him and he said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

She looked up at him with slightly red eyes and a thin lined mouth and sighed, “Yes my Husband was a good man.”

She stretched out her hand and introduced herself, “I’m Patricia Totenmyer Rosewood.”

Goderich had an odd look on his face as he asked, “Are you by any chance related to a Sasha Totenmyer of Place Royale?”

She nodded yes, then wondered at his questioning look and said, “She happens to be my one and only Sister.  My Husband Barney Rosewood passed away and I have just left the funeral in London.  We have a Villa in Place Royale, across from my Sister Sasha’s place.  I’m planning to go live there and who might you be?”

The young man said, “I am Goderich Lafleur; I believe my friend Brandon Deere is purchasing some land from your family.  He intends to build a business there and we will be running things together.”  Goderich continued with pride, “We are also planning to build a hunting lodge there as well.  Brandon and I graduated from University in London, England and he has offered me a new life in Canada.”

She looked at him, gave him a thin smile, and then asked with bored interest, “What did you study at University?”

“Brandon studied management and land development and I studied woodcarving and craftsmanship,” Said Goderich with head held high and the note of pride in his voice was not lost on her.

She looked at how he dressed so finely and wondered why was he was trying to pass himself off as a person of substance, when he was only a lowly crafts man?

Then he said, “My friend Brandon is resting at the moment.”

He had craned his neck to look at the dark haired beauty that was standing close by.  Her hair was long, dark brown and had wavy locks that glistened in the sunshine.  Her tanned face was oval and she had brown eyes with gold flecks in them.  She was young, but very sensual looking.  The blood was pounding in his ears when she approached.

Patricia noticed his gaze with displeasure.  She tried to get her companion’s attention, but it was too late.

The young girl held out her small hand to Goderich and looked up at him with imploring eyes, “Hello, my name is Louise Picard.”

Patricia gave her a disapproving look for being so bold and said, “Louise’s Mother who is Elsa Picard just passed away recently in Paris, France after an unexpected illness.  Her Aunt Lorraine Atkins has requested that I accompany her on our journey to Place Royale.”

Goderich solemnly said to Louise, “I’m very sorry for your loss.  You are so young to be without a Mother, such a shame.  I’m happy that you are moving to Place Royale; perhaps we can dine together on the ship so that we can get to know one another.”

Patricia paused and said, “Will your friend Brandon be joining us?”

“Most certainly, Brandon and I are attached at the hip,” Goderich laughed dryly.

Patricia thought, ‘I bet your attached, you blood sucker, probably seeping every dime out of your friend‘s pocketbook too!’  “He must be a generous man, I see?”  She asked with a steely glint in her eye.

Goderich answered, “Yes, you could call him that for he’s offered me the position of foreman.  I will be working in his lumber yard and it’s because of him that I’m here.”

Louise was thrilled that this tall handsome man was smiling at her in such a flirtatious way.

Patricia’s eyes narrowed and she said, “Come along now Louise, we must ready ourselves for your dancing lessons.”

Off they went strolling down the deck.  Goderich excused himself and headed back towards his cabin.

Louise turned to Patricia, “What dancing lessons?”

Patricia looked around to make sure Goderich had left then hissed,  “Listen young lady, your Aunt Lorraine advised me that your Mother left you with next to nothing.  It is her plan to educate you and marry you off to a rich old man.  She’s figured your beauty will help you attain one.”

Louise looked angry at this news, “I don’t want to marry some old man for money.  I want a young, handsome, man like Goderich.  He’s dreamy.”

Patricia admonished her, “Never mind him!  He is a lowly crafts man, poising as a Gentleman of substance.  He probably intends to find himself a very rich wife judging his taste for high fashion and Goderich will need someone with money to support him.  You my dear must steer your charms towards the Mr. Brandon Deere, who is obviously very rich.  He has purchased a large lot of land from my family and intends to build a fine business there.”

Louise’s eyes lit up, “Well I hope he’s as handsome as Goderich.”  Patricia said, “Good girl, now I have booked you some lessons with Madame Luvena Carrington.  She is holding dancing classes aboard the ship for young women.  There will be a grand ball the night before we reach Canada and I want you to be well prepared to sweep Mr. Brandon Deere off his feet!

Chapter Forty-Nine – The Dancing Lessons

The classroom was a small room with a lovely wooden patterned floor.  Madame Luvena Carrington was a woman who did not leave much to the imagination, wearing flamboyant colors and a low cut gown with her blonde hair pulled back off her face into a lovely braided bun.  She had a beautiful painted face with bright red lips and she obviously loved drama and the theatre.  It was hard to understand her for she spoke in a strong French accent.

Madame Luvena Carrington said, “Ladies, ladies, I ask that you sit along the wall while I show you how it is done.”

There were five girls sitting prettily along the wall when Louise joined them.  The chaperones were to return in two hours to pick up their charges.

Louise turned to the beautiful girl beside her and said, “Isn’t she such a drama queen!  I cannot believe Patricia insisted that I take dancing lessons again, by the way,” and she held out her hand, “My name is Louise Picard and I’m from London, England.”

She shook the girls hand warmly.

“Hi, my name is Marion White and I’m also from London England.  Is Patricia your Aunt?”

Louise shook her head “No, she’s a friend of my Aunt Lorraine Atkins.  I’m going to live with my Aunt now that my Mother has passed away.”

Marion looked at the sadness on Louise’s face, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Louise woefully sighed, “Yes Mother was a lovely, kind person.  She has raised me on her own since I was two years old.  My Father deserted us then.”

Louise added bitterly, “Mother has struggled financially over the years, being a single parent and all, but she gave me all the love that I needed.  She never had much time for me though, for she had to work long hours as a Chambermaid at Millennium Bailey’s Hotel in London.  The Bailey’s Daughter Alchetta is a very nice girl.

She is rich and pampered but very down to earth.  She had given me her cast off clothing because my Mother Elsa Picard has left me penniless.  Thank God, my Godmother Lorraine is Rich.  She has sent my Mother money several times to help us out.  She is planning to bring me out at the Debutante Ball at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec.  She says with my beauty it will be easy to marry me off to some old rich fool.”

She looked desperately at Marion.

Louise said, “I want a young man, not some old man with one foot in the grave and ready to teeter over!”

Marion giggled and nodded in sympathy, “I know exactly how you feel.  My Mother wants me to marry the rich old Count Frederick Fontaine, of Quebec.  I’ll refuse to marry him but I’ve agreed to at least meet him in the hopes of finding a younger man instead who will take a fancy to me.”

Louise nodded and said, “Yes, I can see your beauty would draw a man.”

Marion added, “Mother is hopeful as Father is severely ill and won’t last much longer.  The doctors said he is strong enough for this trip if he gets lots of rest.  The Count has graciously invited us to visit him and has paid for all of our travelling expenses.  You see, he saw me in London at my Grandfather’s funeral and wanted to make my acquaintance.  At one time my family was rich and powerful, but my Grandfather Wilbur White squandered most of his wealth by gambling over the years so when he died, his estate went directly to his favorite Grandson, William White.  The horrible man has kicked us out of the only home we have had for several years.  The Maid told my Mother that William said we had received enough charity and that he could arrange a lucrative marriage for me at the age of eighteen.

Mother and Father had disagreed about it, but Father had sadly made the final decision.  He said it was the best we could do for now.  Mother feels sorry for me, but he has insisted that I sacrifice myself for the welfare of my family and to secure us a home and provide a financially secure life.  If Count Fontaine hadn’t helped us out when he did, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Suddenly Madame Carrington interrupted them, “Young ladies, pay attention!”

They both looked up and noticed that everyone else was standing and they were the only two seated along the wall.

Marion whispered to Louise, “Let’s talk later.”

They got up quickly to join the others.  The steps were intricate and different from anything Louise had ever seen.  Silently she thanked Aunt Lorraine and Patricia for their hindsight as she began the slow process of learning each new twist and turn.

 

Chapter Fifty – Patricia’s Plan for Louise and Marion

When Patricia came to fetch her later, Louise said, “I never realized how the English and Scottish dance steps were so different from the ones I learned in France.  It was really difficult at first, but Marion helped me.”

Patricia asked with an arched brow, “Where did you meet this Marion?”

Louise answered, “Marion White is in my dancing class, and she’s the same age as me.  She is going to the Ball as well and she is supposed to be meeting the Count Frederick Fontaine in Quebec.  He offered her parents and arrangement of marriage.”

Patricia looked horrified and said, “That old sour puss?”  ‘She thought of Frederick and his short salt and pepper hair, furry brows, dark grey eyes.  He was a man who was very short with a round belly and stumpy legs and a much-wrinkled face!’  “The poor girl, she must be beside herself!”

“Marion is hoping to find someone to care for her and her family.”  Said Louise feeling perturbed about it.

Patricia had thought to ask, “Is she beautiful?”

“Yes, her beauty is even lovelier than mine.  Every man will want her.”  Louise said it with a pouty, sullen expression on her face.

Patricia knew what she had to do.  She would set up Louise with Brandon Deere and encourage Goderich Lafleur to want Marion White.  It would serve him right for being a gold digger.  She told Louise of her plan to tell Marion’s Mother about Goderich Lafleur so that Louise would be able to practice her wiles on Brandon Deere without any problems from Marion.

Louise said, “Marion’s a sweet girl, I want to help her.”

Patricia said, “Never mind her dear, we will just worry about you for now, you can just leave it all to me.”

‘Patricia wanted to be in Lorraine Atkins good graces.  Lorraine had many connections in society and Patricia wanted to be a part of the high society balls and garden parties in Place Royale and in Quebec.’

The two women were getting ready for dinner when there was a knock on the door.

Patricia inquired, “Yes?”

A male voice answered, “I have a message for Miss Louise Picard.”

Patricia opened the door and took the message from the young man standing there.  She read the message, quickly wrote a reply, and then closed the door.

Smiling she turned to Louise, “We have been invited to dine with your friend Marion and her parents Stacy and Demora White this evening.  I have graciously accepted on your behalf.”

Both of them dressed in their finest gowns; Patricia in black because she was in mourning and Louise a dark blue gown with white ribbons at she was in mourning as well but refused to wear black at her age.  Louise had her hair pinned on one side with a jeweled clip.  It had been a gift from her Aunt Lorraine.  Complementing her gown was a matching purse and ballet slippers.  The two women walked to the elegant dining room in silence, each lost in their own thoughts.  Louise spotted Marion on the far side and motioned to Patricia to follow her.  They quickly reached the table.

Marion said, “Mother this is my friend Louise Picard and her chaperone Patricia Totenmyer Rosewood.  I would like you two to meet my parents Demora and Stacy White.”

They all sat around the table graciously as the servants brought out the drinks and soup.  Demora turned to Louise, “I’m sorry to hear about your loss dear.”

Louise nodded and said, “Thank you.”

Then Demora turned to Patricia, “I’m sorry for your loss as well, to whom were you married?”

“My Husband’s name was Barney Rosewood, he was a merchant of sorts in England,” said Patricia in a quiet and firm tone.

Demora said thoughtfully “Yes, he was quite well known, I’m sure our Cousin William White, would have known him as well.  I have not gone out much because of Stacy being ill.”

She lovingly patted her Husband’s frail hand.  There was quite an age difference between the two, yet they looked happy to be together.

At that moment, Marion gasped, “Look Mother it’s that horrid man!  He is all dressed up.  Who is his friend?  What a dashing man!”

Louise looked and her eyes widened, “Why that’s Goderich!  I wonder if that is Brandon.”

Marion looked at Louise, “Yes, that is Brandon, but who is Goderich?”

Patricia gave Louise a certain look then put her plan into action and said, “Goderich Lafleur is a bachelor, who is planning to settle in Place Royale.  He is a lovely Gentleman of modest means.  He is quite talented in the art of 18th century Craftsmanship.  However I must ask how did you make Brandon’s acquaintance?”

Demora explained how Marion had met Brandon.  Patricia’s smile was wide with satisfaction as she looked at Louise.  “And he saved Marion from harm?  Oh how enchanting!”

Just then Brandon had spotted Marion and said something to Goderich who had sat down and he came over to Marion‘s table.

“So we meet again!”  Brandon bowed.

Demora said, “I’d like you to meet our companions, Patricia Totenmyer Rosewood and Louise Picard.”

Brandon’s mouth dropped, but only for a moment, for Goderich had told him about meeting Patricia and the lovely Louise.  Marion had been the beautiful porcelain doll, but Louise, she was the cat’s meow.  She had an air of seduction and beautiful bedroom eyes.  She looked at him with fire in her eyes and a heaving bosom.  He felt an instant attraction to Louise.

“I’m pleased to meet you ladies,” said Brandon in his most charming voice.

Patricia noticed how Brandon had reacted on seeing Louise.  She knew a look of passion when she saw one.  Patricia enquired if Brandon had started eating yet, and if not, would he care to invite his friend Goderich over to join them?  Brandon looked surprised at this, and then decided his companion would not mind.

They made room at the table and Goderich joined them.  The servants served them their soup and drinks and then proceeded to bring out the main dishes.

Patricia said, “I’ll do the honors Brandon, Goderich, I’d like you to meet Demora, Stacy and Marion White.  Of course you’ve already met Louise and me.”

Goderich smiled broadly at Louise and politely shook hands with the Whites.

He sat down beside Brandon and then Goderich whispered, “Which one do you want?”

Brandon smirked and said, “Both.”

Goderich laughed at this and said, “May the best man win!”

As he winked at Brandon, he noticed that Brandon was too nervous to strike up a conversation with the lovely Marion, he seem to become very tongue tied around her.  Brandon had never been tongue tied around any woman.  Looking at Louise though, Brandon seemed to be very relaxed in speaking with her.

Goderich turned to Louise, “So how did the dancing lessons go?”

Louise smiled and said, “They went pretty good.  Thanks to my friend Marion here.  I swear I have two left feet.  The French dances I have learned in London, England are so much different from the English and Scottish ones that we are learning here on the ship.  I am so glad that my Aunt Lorraine booked some lessons for me.  I would have made a complete fool of myself otherwise.”

Goderich looked at her and said, “You are too beautiful to be calling yourself a fool!”

Louise replied, “Thank you” and batted her eyelashes at him.

Patricia was annoyed with Louise’s flirting with Goderich.  Then she noticed Brandon looking at the two of them, sat back, and watched.

Brandon interjected, “Well if you ever need a partner to practice with, I’d be happy to offer my services Louise.  I know every dance and then some.”

Goderich could not argue with that point.

Ruefully Goderich said, “I’m not a very good dancer, I need someone to teach me the dance steps as well.”

Demora kicked Marion under the table and whispered something in her ear.

Marion blushed and said, “I’d be happy to teach you Goderich if you’d like?”

Goderich saw the look of jealousy on Brandon’s face and he could not resist.

Goderich said in jovial voice, “I’d be honored to have you as my lovely dance instructor.”

Goderich looked at Louise and saw a flash of jealousy in her eyes.  Good he thought to himself, she does like me.  Patricia could not believe her good luck.

Things were going as planned and Patricia whispered to Demora, “This is perfect; your Daughter can catch Goderich Lafleur instead of having Count Frederick Fontaine.”

Demora looked worried for a minute and whispered back, “But what if Count Fontaine calls him out?”

“I highly doubt it,” whispered Patricia, “Count Fontaine is a ladies’ man.  He is constantly bringing young girls to Chateau Frontenac in the hopes of marrying him and he gladly disposes of them on the young men of the courts.  It is his Mother Ami Fontaine’s wish that he be married and produces an heir.  However, the truth is that Count Frederick Fontaine prefers the life of a bachelor.

He is hoping his Cousin Viscount Louis Frontenac will marry and produce an heir for the family fortunes.  The Viscount has been courting a lovely young woman named Lady Genevieve Doucette.  It is said that he plans to marry her and have a large brood of children.”

Demora looked at Patricia in awe, “How is it that you know the finest tidbits of gossip?”

Patricia replied candidly, “My Husband and I were involved in many high society events in England before he died suddenly.  You know it was quite a shock, for as far as we knew, he was in great health.  He just dropped dead one day from a heart attack!”

“ Oh how horrible for you,” said Demora with great concern, “My Stacy has been ill for a long time, poor thing.  It seems to run in the family.  The doctors don’t know what the cause is, but his Mother was ill a long time before she passed on.”

Then Patricia asked, “It must have been hard on you, not attending balls and things?”

Demora gave a faint smile “We never had much money to start with and we are just thankful that Count Fontaine took a fancy to our Marion when he did.”

Patricia looked at her with a twinkle in her eye.  She knew then that Demora and she would become fast friends.  Goderich and Brandon had gotten up to take leave of them and excused themselves from the table as the two of them plan to go to the billiard room.  Marion and Louise asked if they could take a stroll out on the deck and promised to return to the dining room after a turn of the ship.  Mr. Stacy White had excused himself from the table and retired to his bed.

As the girls turned to leave, Demora and Patricia watched them go then pulled their heads closer and began chatting happily about the latest gossip.  The sound of giggles could be heard when the two girls were out of earshot.

Louise said, “Can you believe our luck?  We met two fine men in one day.”

Marion smiled and said, “Maybe I won’t have to marry Count Fontaine after all!”

Then she looked at Louise.

Marion whispered, “You know when I met Brandon today he had on the dirtiest clothes and he was dressed as a servant!”

“Yes, but a very handsome one at that,” said Louise with a smile.

Then Marion said, “Goderich dresses like a fine gentleman he has such lovely manners too.”

Louise felt a pang of jealousy, and then she remembered Brandon is the one she needs to be with to be financially secure.

Louise sarcastically said, “I wonder how much Goderich is worth?  I bet he can provide the best of everything for any woman.”

Marion looked at Louise and scolded her saying, “I will never marry a man for money.  I want to fall in love and make babies.”

Louise laughed at this, “Make babies?  You say that you want to be a Mother.  I sure don’t; I want to be filthy rich and hold grand parties and become the toast of high society.”

Marion looked at the gleam in Louise’s eye and thought to herself, ‘Louise sounds so selfish’.

Marion said, in a defensive voice, “I think one of the best things in the world is to be a Mother!”  They headed back to the dining rooms, each a little annoyed at the other.

 

 

 

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