Stacy White and Demora
Demora White looked lovingly at her husband Stacy’s still body. She could not believe that he was finally gone. Stacy had been ill for year and finally travelling to Canada did him in. Their life had been full of hardships. Stacy was hoping for an inheritance to take care of him financially only his Father Wilbur he did not as if the face that his son was so weak like his Mother Flora despised his health. She was always ill and it annoyed Wilbur every day of his life.
Stacy was a thin sickly child and William was athletic and husky. Wilbur was proud of his older son. His many accomplishments in school, then in university where he excelled in his business studies and prepared to take over the family shipping business called White Star Shipping Lines.
They had a fatal blow to the company in 1912 when the Titanic sank, taking millions of dollars with it. The insurance pay offs almost crippled the company. They would have to look for new inventions to help pull them out of the red and attract new investors into the company. Wilbur White was good businessman, he just had one problem, he loved to gamble.
The first time Demora met him she laughed at how bushy Wilbur’s eyebrows were, his grey eyes looked so small under all that hair and then his large bulbous nose reminded her of a clowns. Even to this day, it made her smile to think of it. Wilbur also had long ears, often called Jumbo ears in school so he was quite insensitive to anytime considered embarrassing.
Stacy was a quiet child and William was always teasing him about his thin body. Demora met William first just after high school but did not even know his name. She had her first kiss with him and was deeply in love with him but never got a chance to find out whom he was until a few years later.
Even though Demora grew up in a poor home it did not matter to Stacy who was in love upon seeing Demora one day out in his father’s garden. There was a family church picnic and Stacy would just stare at Demora who was fifteen at the time. He was too shy to say hello to her. Demora’s long black curly hair was the first thing he noticed. Her beautiful white milky skin stood out against the contrast of her dark hair. Demora was a gentle, kind, loving, creature and Stacy felt comfortable around her. He could see that she loved children.
She always babysat the six kids that lived next door. An only child finds it fascinating to watch how a large family interacts with each other. The young couple enjoyed walks in the park until Stacy’s mother became ill. Stacy could not tear himself away from his mother’s bed and both he and Demora grew apart. Stacy was the one that broke off the relationship with Demora; she was heartbroken until she met his brother William.
It was during one of her shopping trips that she happens to bump into the tall handsome boy. He gave her a kiss at graduation years ago. He was charming right form the start. Offering his hand, he helped Demora carry her parcels home.
They only saw each other for several months, secretly because William did not want to upset his brother Stacy. He knew what his brother was deeply in love with Demora. William felt guilty about seeing her and then he too fell in love with her. He was heart broken when his father informed William that he must stop seeing Demora.
During this time, Wilbur’s sickly wife Evangeline died. They held the funeral and Wilbur enrolled William into the University of London. Wilbur was sure to tell Demora that William was going off into the navy when she asked about him. In fact, Wilbur found a suitable wife named Francesca for William. A tall beautiful, blonde girl who was a little bit older than William was.
Francesca found William to be smart and attractive and she sent him many gifts. Once Demora figured out what really happened she was crushed. She found out the hard way that Francesca and William were dating when she arrived at a Christmas party at the whites. Where they announced their engagement Stacy of course was there to comfort Demora.
Francesca and William married and a year later, they had a little girl named Merry. Demora kept her friendship with Stacy and hoped that William would tire of his demanding wife, but he could not. He ignored her letters and finally she gave up.
It was out of spite that Demora started to see Stacy again. William was angry about it but did not pursue her as she hoped. Wilbur made it clear that in order for William to inherit his fortune he would have to marry Francesca. William’s desire was to take the White Star Shipping Lines and make it a success.
He did not suffer from gambling problems like his father in fact he despised him for it. Stacy was always ill and it was difficult for him to work at times. When Wilbur became ill, he offered his home in exchange for Demora’s nursing abilities.
During this time, Demora and Stacy courted for a few years, married and then a year later they gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Marion. Little Marion White was the spitting image of her mother. Her Cousin Merry, a few years older would often take care of her out in the garden. The two little girls enjoyed playing outside most of the time, as they grew older.
When Merry was eight years old, Wilbur sent her away to a private girl’s school. He did not want Merry to associate with Marion anymore. He wanted to prepare his daughter to marry royalty. Demora took the time to home school Marion. Wilbur did supply tutors for her math and science lessons.
Marion enjoyed the experiments in chemistry. She refused to do the biology lessons on frogs.
She kept setting them free. Marion finished her lessons at age fifteen. The next few years she spent most of her time around the house helping in the kitchen because she loved to cook.
When Marion turned eighteen, Demora was planning to send her to Raine Carrington’s school but then Raine passed away and the school closed.
Demora knew that Luvena would open the school again someday and when she did she would send Marion in hopes of finding her a good husband funny how fate changes things…
Demora came back out of her day dream and thought about how kind William was these days…Upon hearing about Stacy’s death, Demora found out that she would be entitled to his portion of his father Wilbur’s fortune. Stacy was so ill that he never opened up his mail. Demora was surprised to find a letter from the estate naming an amount from the late Wilbur White’s estate. They had suffered all this time for nothing!
Now Marion would not have to marry Count Frederick Fontaine. She could tell him her fortunes change and he would not feel so inclined to marry her. Even if Patricia could resolve it peacefully, Demora did not want any hard feelings. She was planning to go back to England but then World War II started and all the docks were bombed.
She would have to remain in Canada where it was safe. Patricia and Luvena would have to wait for their plans to go to Paris, France until the war was over…
It had been lovely so far at Chateau Frontenac, after leaving the SS America, Patricia and Merry drove straight to Chateau Frontenac. A week passed and both women were feeling quite restless. Patricia was looking at a new gown that Merry White picked out. The two of them were shopping at an Haute Couture Fashion Boutique in Montreal.
Merry said, “So what do you think?”
Patricia smiled, “It is very flattering on you. I am sure that Count Frederick Fontaine will find it very fetching on you.”
Merry smiled, “Even Father would find it fetching.”
Patricia grinned, “Yes William always notices a woman’s apparel. That is probably why he loved your mother Francesca. She was always dressed in the latest fashions.”
Merry looked troubled then quietly said, “I don’t think father every loved mother, it was more about financing his ship building plans. Father is richer now that mother is gone. He also received her inheritance from a great aunt that passed away at the same time. I received a portion too, so now I can live comfortably on my own. Nevertheless, father wishes me to stay with him at the mansion. I agreed on one condition.”
Patricia said, “Let me guess! You demanded your own suite?”
Merry nodded, “That is another reason why I came on this trip. Father is renovating. I was worried about the bombing in London. We live out in the country. They shipped several thousand children out to the surrounding towns, so he should be safe.”
Patricia said, “Well this war could go on for a few years, where will you stay?”
Merry said, “I shall marry Count Fontaine and stay here at Chateau Frontenac. His cousin Viscount Frontenac owns it.”
Patricia said, “I forgot they were cousins. I do like his fiancée Genevieve. I think the two of you will get along famously. In fact I think that is her over there.”
Patricia walked over to the gorgeous young girl that walked into the shop. The young girl turned when Patricia asked, “Are you Genevieve?”
The girl nodded and curtsied, her thick French accent made it difficult for Patricia to understand her. The sales woman turned to Patricia, “Miss Genevieve doesn’t speak English well.”
Genevieve smiled at Patricia who turned and introduced Merry White to her. Genevieve nodded and smiled.
Merry looked at Patricia who turned to the sales woman, “Please let Genevieve know that merry intends to make Count Fontaine’s acquaintance at the debutante ball. I will be presenting her.”
Genevieve smiled and started chatting in French with the sales woman who turned to Patricia, “Genevieve says that the Count has been worried about something lately. He said a girl name Marion was coming?”
Patricia smiled, “Please tell Genevieve that Marion will no longer need to marry him he is free to pursue other interest.”
The sales girl spoke quickly in French and Genevieve laughed she said something to the sales woman who said, “Genevieve says he will be relieved to hear this. For he heard that Miss Merry White was coming to Canada, and looks forward to seeing her again This news will bring him great joy.”
Genevieve nodded and walked over to the other side of the boutique. Patricia grinned, “Well Merry now we know two things. You will not be spending too much time trying to attract Count Fontaine attractions and you will have to have an interpreter around until you can learn to speak French fluently.”
Merry shook her head in dismay, “I’ve taken French for years and it’s a different dialect them the one she uses.”
Patricia sighed, “I think they have over eight hundred dialects in French.”
Merry gasped, “How does that happen? I always thought there was one.”
Patricia shrugged her shoulders, “I guess each “clan “want to be unique. It is like my native culture. We have different tribes, customs and cultural differences. Most people aren’t aware of that until they meet the different native tribes.”
Merry said, “What was it like for you as a child?”
Patricia looked a little sad as she reminisced about the past, “There were a lot of wars between the white man and the natives. The white man took over all the lands. If the native people did not leave, they killed them. My father Lenno Totenmyer owned most of the land and so did my mother Heta. The white man took it all from them.”
Merry said, “What happened to change all that?”
Patricia said, “My Uncle married a wealthy English woman. She bought all the land and upon her death, she willed it all back to my father.”
Merry says, “Sounds crazy.”
Patricia said, “Yes it was. I remember playing in the watering hole near Place Royale one day with my sister Sasha. This little white boy named Jake Munroe always chased us away.”
Merry grinned; it is a small world that we live in. My father is friends with Joseph Munroe. They went to University together.”
Patricia was surprised, “So they were in the same business marketing class?”
Merry nodded, “Yes and they also talked out your father Lenno Totenmyer. It was after Tate Totenmyer married your aunt Helen. I remember them making a joke about history repeating itself.”
Patricia grinned, “Helen is the niece of my great aunt. In a way, history did repeat itself. Aunt Helen ahs been so supportive of me she helped me go to Raine Carringtons School, and change my name. I used to be Nuna Totenmyer. I wanted an English name so when I married my husband Barney Rosewood people only knew me as Patricia.”
Merry’s eyes twinkled, “it’s like you had a secret identity. Well I think were finished here. Let’s pay for our purchases and then go eat at that lovely cafe down the street.”
Patricia’s tummy rumbled as they walked down the street.
Merry asked, “What is your sister Sasha like?”
Patricia felt a pang of regret, at that moment she felt strange feeling of fear come over her. She shooed it off and said, “Sasha is a very gifted person. We noticed it when she was just a child. She always made people wonder for she can foretell their future…”
Merry gasped in delight, “Does she read tarot cards?”
Patricia shook her head no, “Sasha has dreams and visions. It is strange when it happens in the daytime. She stands till and goes into a sort of trance…”
They arrived at the quaint cafe, with its Victorian tables and white chairs. There was a festive air about the place. Several street performers were nearby. There were two young men doing a mime act. Another one was juggling and the third was playing a strange looking instrument.
Merry said, “I think that’s an accordion and it sounds like he’s playing some polka music.”
Patricia laughed, “It looks like several young couples are taking dance lessons. It looks like fun. Perhaps we should join them…”
Merry said, “Not until after I eat something.”
Patricia agreed. Both of them ordered sandwiches and soup then watched the different performers.
Patricia said, “Sasha will never see these kinds of things. She refuses to travel. Maybe she will change as she gets older.”
Merry looked shocked, “But Sasha did travel to London a few months ago your father Lenno had a meeting with Joseph Munroe about some investment opportunities concerning my father. There was a business conference for the trades. I thought you knew about it?”
Patricia looked surprised, “That’s odd because Barney would have known about it. He was planning a trip to Germany before he died.”
Merry said, “That’s strange because he was scheduled to have a meeting with Joseph Munroe, and my father at the conference. They said he was coming with his wife?”
Patricia shook her head, “I think my husband Barney was a stranger to me. He lived two lives. One that I wasn’t aware of…”
Merry took her hand and said, “I’m sorry Patricia, you’ve been through so much.”
The two of them enjoyed their meal then they headed over to the train station.
A Business Proposition
It was not long before they arrived back at Chateau Frontenac. Merry decided to go out into the gardens to enjoy the view.
Suddenly a familiar male voice said, “Bonjour Madame!”
Merry turned around and smiled, “Count Fontaine it is such a pleasure to see you again. How have you been?”
Count Fontaine sighed, “Much better now. I am sorry for evading you all this time. Genevieve has given me some good news today.”
Merry grinned, “Whatever made you want to propose to my cousin in the first place?”
Count Fontaine looked pained for a moment then said, “I was drunk and felt sorry for the girl. I had no intention to marry her. It was the honourable way to entice her to come to Canada. I have many young male friends that want wives. I do this all the time. My poor mother Ami calls me fickle! It is the only way to stop her from harping at me. She is demanding that I marry soon or she will stop my trust fund. I do not want to marry a young girl, I prefer someone older and more mature. I really do not want children either. Most women want to have a child.”
Merry looked down for a moment and had tears in her eyes. She looked up and said, “I am sorry for crying, it has jut that… I wanted to have children when I was younger, but then I had to have an operation and I cannot have children now… It’s one of the reasons that I never married…”
Count Fontaine had a tender look in his eyes, were you ever in love?”
Merry looked up and grinned, “Yes I was twice in fact. Once when I was younger and he couldn’t marry me because he had to have an heir and second…”
Count Fontaine said, “Go on tell me more…”
Merry blushed, “The other does not know of my feelings for him. I was afraid to say anything because I assumed he too wanted an heir, but now I know differently…”
Count Fontaine looked deeply into Merry’s eyes, “I’ve thought about you every day since meeting you. I assumed your father would want an heir…so I never hoped or dreamed… My dear Merry…”
He leaned forward and kissed her. Their lips locked and it was like magic for Merry as it was her first kiss. She stood there, her knees wobbling as Count Fontaine wrapped his arms around her and hugged her dearly. Merry melted into his arms and began to sob… As she said, “I never thought this would happen, not in a millions years… Fate has brought us together…”
The count looked down at her, “merry since both of us do no want children and we care for one another, will you marry me?”
Merry stopped for a moment in shock as the Count pulled out a big diamond ring and she looked at him and grinned with a mischievous look on her face, “Does this mean You do not pity me and that we get married? What about my father He cannot attend the wedding…”
The Count said, “We could elope and down the road we can have a wedding celebration when we move back to England. I have no desire to live in a hotel for the rest of my life.”
Merry smiled, “Who told you?”
The Count grinned, “Genevieve said that you were renovating your mansion in England. She does understand English and speaks it quite well. ”
Merry’s jaw dropped and she asked, “Why did Genevieve pretend not to?”
The Count said, “She wanted to eavesdrop on your conversation. She wanted to find out what kind of person you were for me. I asked her too. I know we chatted briefly before, but I wanted her approval before asking you to marry me. I figured that William might send you after Marion so I bided my time until I could ask you to marry me. I wanted to that day, but knowing how strict William is, I didn’t dare…”
Merry’s eyes were open wide; shocked she just stared at the Count then roared in laughter. She put her finger towards him and he placed the ring on her hand as he kissed her.
Suddenly a joyful female voice rang out; I see that congratulations are in order.”
Merry swung around in surprise. There was Genevieve and Viscount Frontenac out walking in the garden. The count looked happy as he grinned, “Darling I asked them to come along and be our witnesses. They too want to elope but they cannot. So we will get married at the local vicar later this week.”
Genevieve said, “When I told Frederick how much you loved him, he stared making arrangement right away. He is friends with Vicar Smith so he agreed to marry the two of you this weekend. There is one other thing. Your father gives his blessing…”
William White stepped out of the shadows and gave his shocked daughter a kiss on the cheek.
William said, “Forgive me for deceiving you daughter. I am sorry dearest but if I told you, I wanted you to marry Frederick you would have refused. I planned all of this from the very beginning – months ago. When I saw how Frederick looked at you I had a meeting with him about it.”
Merry’s eyes narrowed as she looked at the count, “Did my father offer you a large dowry?”
William stood behind her and was frantically shaking his head at Frederick who said, “Sorry William I cannot lie. Merry I love you and I have my own fortunes, which are a secret for obvious reasons. I refused the dowry.”
Merry grinned, “I was only teasing you. You know I would refuse to marry you if you accepted it.”
The Count said, ”
I know and darling please call me Frederick, I like that better than Count Fontaine.”
Merry turned to Genevieve, “So when do you two plan to marry?”
Genevieve smiled, “We are planning our wedding a few months from now. My relatives are over seas, so they are having some difficulty getting here. Most of the guests arrived this week; we are still waiting for the Viscounts family to arrive. They are coming by train. Their ship is in the United States. They wanted to explore America before coming to Canada. I was in Montreal for my wedding dress fitting…”
Merry said, “So that is why you went into that room on the other side of the shop. You didn’t want us to know about it.”
Genevieve said, “Yes we are trying to keep the location of the wedding a secret for now. The press will be all over the place if they knew.”
Merry said, “my lips are sealed.”
Then Merry turned to her father, “What would you have done with Marion’s?”
William said, “Demora just found out about Stacy’s fortune. It seems that my absent-minded brother failed to read any of his mail. Demora is quite upset about it.”
Merry said, “Grandpa never told her?”
William nodded no, “He was afraid she wouldn’t take car of him anymore. H liked her as his nurse. She was so kind compared to the ones from the hospital.”
Merry laughed as she looked at everyone, “the nurse from the hospital was a three hundred pound Swedish woman. Ugliest thing you ever did see. She had a hairy mole on her big nose, big ears and mean attitude. She resented coming to take care of grandpa. He fired her and made Uncle Stacy and Aunt Demora think they were poor. He Knew that his son would not open his mail He kept the envelope hidden from them and then upon his death. The lawyer was instructed to put it in with Stacy’s “other” letters,”
William said, “I wasn’t award of their circumstance until Frederick mentioned it to me. We planned to get everyone to Canada safe and sound. We knew about the war starting a few months ago thanks to Genevieve relatives. They work in the government office.”
Merry hugged her father and said, “Thank you father. Are you going to tell Demora all this?”
William said, “Let her grieve her husband’s death for now. I will approach her when the time is right. In the meantime, tomorrow morning we shall invite your chaperone out for the day so I can explain everything to her. I saw her earlier today with Luvena Carringtons. They seem to have hit it off. I also heard that Melville and Retta Bailey are coming with Themus, Joseph and Alchetta. Perhaps we can invite them too.”
Merry looked at Frederick, “I though we were eloping?”
Frederick had a sheepish look on his face when he said, “Actually your father planned a small ceremony…”
Merry snapped, “Father! How could you!”
William smiled and calmly said, “Dearest I know you would not want to bother with such things…”
Merry said, “Wait a minute! You asked me if I ever got married… All those questions… I knew you were up to something… Father what is going on?”
William hugged his daughter, “Forgive me, but you planned your own wedding without knowing it…”
Merry stared laughing as she looked at Genevieve and said, “Do you see what I have to put up with?”
Genevieve dryly said, “I told Patricia to take you to that place in Montreal. They needed your final measurements to complete your wedding dress. We are around the same size so they used me to get an idea of what to make for you. I did not try the dress on. Patricia will take you back tomorrow for your final fitting.”
Merry said, “Who picked the pattern?”
Genevieve said, “I did, I found it in Blaise Marchand’s catalogue book.”
Merry was excited, “I love her fashion designs. I miss her. She was a lovely woman.”
Genevieve said, “Did you hear about her husband Duvall’s murder? They never caught the thief. It’s another one of those mysteries around here.”
Merry said, “What do you mean?”
Genevieve said, “People have been mysteriously disappearing in Montreal and Place Royale. Most of them are transients. I heard about it form my maid.”
Merry said, Well we will be staying here until the war is over. I am already missing England and I suppose you miss Paris?”
Genevieve smiled and nodded, “Sometimes I do, but I am happy to stay here with my future husband. We have a lovely suite in the hotel for now. We plan to build a large home in Montreal. I want to have many children. Oh I’m sorry….”
Genevieve could see the blood draining out of Merry’s face she looked miserable and tearful.
Merry composed herself then said, “Its okay. I used to be down about it all the time. Now I know why it is that way. Fate has a way of putting people together that have the same problems. Frederick does not want children and I have found someone who does not care if I can provide an heir for them. So it is good that we have found one another.”
Genevieve agreed, “I am lucky that Viscount Frontenac wants to have lots of children. Whenever I talk about wanting a large family, men would try to talk me into only having two children. I love children. I want a mansion and ten little ones running around. I find children amuse me. I want to make little crafts with them. Some of the men were horrified when I said I only want a part time nanny.”
Merry said, “Are you serious?”
Genevieve said, “No I was joking around. I wanted to see if they really like children. I found out they did not. It was always about my fortune. It is nice to meet a man who is richer than I for a change am. The Viscount was worried about it too. Then one of my ex suitors told him that was something I always complained about to him. He is a dear friend of mine and he introduced me to the Viscount. His name is Chago Sima. I met him during a cruise around Europe before all this talk of war started. It is very distressing. I was hoping to go to Paris and visit family there. We will have to wait until things calm down. In the meantime, I think we will tour various parts of Canada. I have always wanted to see Vancouver. I hear that is a lot of things to do there.”
Merry smiled, “I’ve never seen a rodeo before. Maybe we’ll go to the Calgary Stampede and have some ribs and go horseback riding.”
Genevieve said, “There are some nice places outside of Quebec where you can ride the trails. I believe that Goderich Lafleur is building a hunting lodge out near Place Royale. You can go fishing or rent a canoe and do some horseback riding. It will be popular for the movie stars that visit Montreal and Quebec.”
Merry said, I wonder if my cousin Marion will like it out there.”
At that moment, Marion White appeared with her mother Demora and Patricia.
Patricia smiled at Merry, “Sorry I haven’t had a chance to talk to you lately.”
Merry showed her the ring. They all ooed and aahed at the ring.
Patricia said, “Merry I’d like to introduce you to your cousin Marion and Aunt Demora.”
Marion was shocked, “Merry? I have not seen you since we were children. What are you doing here?”
Suddenly Demora blushed as William came strutting around the corner. Dressed to play golf, William looked extremely handsome. He nodded at Demora and turned to Patricia, “I see that my daughter is finally reacquainting with our relatives. How are you Demora? I am so sorry about Stacy… I missed the funeral, if I had known I would have found a way to be there for you.”
Demora blushed. Patricia watched the two of them and smiled. Marion’s was staring at Genevieve then she whispered in awe, “You have such flawless skin. A beautiful complexion I am envious.”
Merry said, “I am sorry where are my manners Marion this is Genevieve she is engaged to be married to Viscount Frontenac.”
Marion curtseyed and smiled. She felt self-conscious in her shabby gown. She wishes she had changed. Genevieve was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen in her life. They all decided to go for a walk out in the gardens.
Merry said, “Patricia I have some news…”
Patricia smiled, “I can see that the Count has proposed.”
Merry blushed as Marion smiled, “you lucky girl. What are you engaged too?”
There was an uncomfortable silence as Merry looked desperately at Demora than Marion and then finally at Patricia who saved the day by saying, Merry is getting married to Count Frederick fontaine!”
Demora gasped and Marion looked shocked then with a wide smile on her face she said, “Congratulations! I am happy for both of you. ”
Merry heaved a sigh of relief and gave a thankful nod to Patricia.
William smiled at Demora and said, “I hear that Marion met a young man named Goderich Lafleur on the SS America?”
Demora blushed. She was tongue-tied.
Patricia came to the rescues, “It’s a funny story actually William. Goderich Lafleur is traveling with his friend and business partner Brandon Deere. Both are quiet fun to be with Marino become close to Goderich and Louise Picard was closer to Brandon Deere. However, things rather fell apart between those too since then. Both girls wanted Goderich at first. I did try to set Marion up with the very rich Brandon Deer but her heart is with the poorer one – Goderich Lafleur.”
William grinned to himself and said, “Is this the first time you heard of Goderich Lafleur?”
Patricia nodded, “For some reason I know nothing about his family. The same with this Brandon Deere I was quite put out about it too. You know that I thrive on the latest gossip about everyone.”
William nodded and winked at Patricia. Demora felt a wave of jealous wash over her. It surprised her. Patricia said, “I guess you didn’t receive that latest gossip. I was told that you were go ing to invest in a project with Joseph Munroe?”
William sighed and said, “Bartholomew was supposed to have a meeting set up. Then Barney your husband passed away and I forgot about it>”
Patricia said, “The memo is probably on your desk in England. Joseph will be delighted to see you here in Canada. He is travelling with his son Themus and soon to be daughter in law Alchetta Bailey.”
Williams jaw dropped, “Do you mean to tell me that Melville and Retta’s prized possession hooked up with that notorious rake?”
Patricia grinned, “It’s all about financing their chain of hotels… They wanted to make sure I was still providing Barney’s portion of the investment.”
William was thoughtful, “I hear that Melville and Joseph have become close friends, now I know why. It was probably Joseph’s idea.”
Patricia smirked; “Yes the arranged marriages seem to always be in the forefront of that man’s mind.”
William blushed; he was guilty of doing it himself. William looked at Demora but he was speaking to Patricia, “Arranged marriages for financial gain aren’t always the best thing. They can be heaven for some and hell for others…”
Merry scolded her father, “That is no way to refer to my mother even if it was true.”
Merry looked at Demora and said, “If father ever remarries again. It had better be for love. He has lots of money now…”
Patricia laughed and looked at William and said, “She’s a saucy one I see.”
William was humbled he quickly excused himself saying he needed to get some sleep. The rest of the party dispersed after that… Tomorrow would be another day…
Sasha and the Great Spirit
Sasha Totenmyer sat there feeling foolish. Her sister was in Canada and she was staying at Chateau Frontenac? Why did Nona refuse to see her family? Tears poured down Sasha’s face. She would have to send another letter to Patricia and demand her to come and visit.
Sasha sat thinking about the past. It was so long ago when she and Nuna played at that old swimming hole. Sash went outside grabbed her bicycle and pedalled like made down the dirt path outside of town. She pulled up to a large tree that had a rope and tire swinging in the wind. She parked the bike, went down to the dock, removed her worn leather beaded moccasins and placed her hot feet in the cool water. She watched as little schools of fish darted around in the clear water. Along the edge, she could see small turtles crawling slowly out and sitting on the large rocks.
Sasha thought about how wonderful bedtime was as a little girl. Their mother Heta would tuck them in then tell them a story of her past. Heta Totenmyer grew up near Hudson Bay in Canada. Her father was the chief of the Native tribes. He was a gruff old man, who always had a pipe in his mouth. His long black hair braided almost went down to his waist. He taught Heta the importance of listening to the Great Spirit and to one’s dreams. She said they were messages from the Great Spirit. Some would be to help you with the future; others would concern other people’s futures. Sasha remembered long ago, her first dream when she came across a young boy named Jake Munroe at this same watering hole.
He chased the girls away that day.
Sasha went home to talk to her mother about a vision she saw. It was of Jake Munroe, but he had blood all over him and he was crying about his son, a baby boy who lay beside him covered in blood as well. It was a vision, a nightmare, that plagued Sasha’s mind for the next few years and then it stopped. Heta told her it was a vision for the future. Looking back Sasha wondered why Jesseline Thirkill did not show up in the vision. Sasha was horrified to read about their deaths years later in the Montreal Gazette.
A tear slowly rolled down her cheek, Sasha blamed her for Jake’s death. Perhaps if she warned him about it as a child, he would have been more careful. Heta scolded her and said, “Sasha we cannot change what fate has in store for people. Most would not believe you. They will call you crazy and insist that you need to go to a mental hospital.”
Sasha could not understand why people felt that way.
Heta said, “Most are not spiritually connected to the great spirit. They must learn to mediate and be quiet with their own thoughts.”
Sasha asked, “Did grandfather teach you how to meditate?”
Heta nodded, “Yes and he also taught me to listen to nature and the spirit guides that come in the form of animals.”
Heta loved the long walks and conversations about the Great Spirit with Sasha. It always bothered her that Nuna did not want anything to do with it. She chose to believe in science and fact. Nuna was always reading articles and magazines about the latest scientific inventions. She also read her father Lenno’s business newspapers from the New York Times and the London Papers from Europe. Nuna was always talking about Europe. Rushing to the library to read the latest news Mr Jean Moisan from the local grocers store in Place Royale started to subscribe to various magazines and newspapers from around the world they sold well, even months after being published. Young immigrants coming from the Western parts of Canada – the parries – would visit Eastern Canada. They always stopped into Place Royale to get the latest news from Europe. It became more frequent in September 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. Many families worried about their loved ones overseas. Lenno and Heta lost their parents at a young age. They were both fourteen years old when they married. It was many years before they had children. Lenno was busy setting up trading posts all over the northern parts and eastern parts of Canada.
Heta and Lenno lived in tepees, provided by the different tribes. After they established the fur trade and canoe making factories and Heta got pregnant, they found a little cottage with a thatched roof and dirt floors in Place Royale. The community welcomed them warmly. They were not superstitious of Heta’s magical potions as they embraced them with open arms, hungry for something to cure what ailed them.
When Heta met Jean Moisan, things changed for her. He convinced her to sell her homemade remembered for floors, beestings and beauty creams in his store. Soon his brothers Albert and Edward began to sell the products where they lived too. When Uncle Tate Totenmyer visited them with his wife Helen, the girls were shy. Nuna latched onto Aunt Helen right away. Sasha was partial to Uncle Tate. She even had a bit of a crush on him. He was the most handsome native man in all of Canada. When Aunt Helen met him, she fell in love with him right away. At first, her father objected to the marriage, but then Aunt Helen threatened to disown her family, so they eventually accepted Uncle Tate.
Aunt Helen told Nuna about their big wedding and showed her photos of the honeymoon. Sash a figure that is when Nuna decided that Place Royale was beneath her, and she decided she was to be an English woman and nothing else. It was then that Sasha had dreams about losing her sister to a distant land. She could see great heartache in store for her sister and her family. When Nuna argued with Heta about having to marry Andy Littlewolf, things became very tense around the house. Sasha saw a vision of Andy losing his head. She just told herself it was another dream. Not all of her dreams came true; she just wanted them to stop sometimes. Plagued by fears and visions, she could not sleep. Heta would always come running at her crying out in the night her father Lenno understood her pain and told Sasha she could stop her gift but then it could be used for greater things in the future. Sasha wondered if her mother saw her parent’s death.
Alternatively, how life would be difficult as they traveled. Sash wondered if her mother knew about the people who disappeared when they came to Place Royale. People murmured about it every now and then, and it would stop for a while. It did stop when Anthony Atkins married that horrible woman Lorraine Picard. She did not like Sasha for some reason. Heta told her it was because Lorraine was jealous of her youthful vitality, and gorgeous face. Many men admired Sasha, an exquisite creature, with a beautiful face and slender lithe body. Sash could out run any man. Sasha smiled and then noticed it was getting dark outside. She grabbed her bicycle and pedalled back home. The starry sky greeted her and the moon shone on the dirt path. She would offer a prayer up to the moon god that evening asking the Great Spirit to bring Nuna back to her roots. To make her forget her bitterness towards her family to appreciate and love them and accept whom she really was…
Alchetta and Retta Bailey
Retta Bailey patted Alchetta’s head as she said, “You were out in the sun all day. We are not used to this kind of weather. I will take some time to adjust.”
Alchetta said, “Mother have you noticed how Themus flirts with all of the women? I worry that I will fall in love with him and become heart broken. I am already missing the hotel and London. I worry about my friends. This war is so unnecessary. Why do people always have to fight? I hate war!”
Retta was beginning to lose patience with her daughter as she said, “Alchetta Bailey, this is a good thing. Canada is wonderful. It always takes time to adjust to things. Once you start planning and decorating your new home, you will feel better. Is it the wedding plans? You can wait until after all your renovations are complete. Plan your wedding for summer time, close to the fall. I think you should marry in September of next year. That will give you time to adjust and complete those renovations. If they take longer, then you can post phone the wedding…”
Alchetta was grateful; she was feeling queasy ever since she stepped off the ship in Quebec. She had a feeling of foreboding. It was frustrating not knowing how to speak French. Alchetta struggled with her strong English accent. People could not understand her. The culture was so different here. Themus hardly spoke to her and Joseph seemed moody. He was being plagued by nightmares according to Themus.
It was hard for him to come back to Canada. He lost his wife Ophirah here and it was bringing back many memories. Themus was moody. Part of him wanted to join Brandon and Goderich, the other part of him wanted to stay in the luxurious surroundings at Chateau Frontenac. Joseph won the argument. He refused to go Place Royale and begged Themus to stay with him for a few months until they all got used to being in Canada.
Melville and Retta were discussing a trip to New York City before the wedding. They were going to put the hotel plans on hold. World War II was disrupting everything. It would be profitable for them to buy land for cheap during the war. They could build later.
Count Fontaine Gets Married
Everyone enjoyed attending the small ceremony for Count Frederick Fontaine and Merry White. She looked lovely in the white lace dress, with a small collar of lace close to the neck. Decked in diamonds and long earrings, her hair pulled up in ringlets, Merry looked ten years younger.
The gasps from the crowd were loud but Merry blushed as she walked down the aisle proudly beside her father William. He was quite emotional during the ceremony, crying and dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief. He was embarrassed and Joseph Munroe was having fun ribbing him about it.
After the ceremony, they all went out into the gardens at Chateau Frontenac for some photos and then a nice patio with tents decked out with tables of sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. The French chefs prepared some cultural European dishes to satisfy the palettes of the different dignitaries and royalty that attended the wedding. The hotel was full of guest from all over the world.
People avoiding the ravages of World War II all brought together in this one place. Montreal was humming with business and many new ideas and inventions were the conversations that day. Changes would be coming to the world and the business community wanted to be ready to redevelop its strategies when the time was right.
The conversations went from the topics of a stock market, the falling dollar and the creation of factories and women working to replace the men that were shipped off to war. It was a time of change for everyone and Goderich Lafleur was thankful that he was in Canada, starting a new life with a lovely girl named Marion White.
When Merry and Frederick were presented as Mr and Mrs Fontaine the crowd cheered as the band struck up some lovely tunes and they finished that evening dancing, singing and getting drunk on the fine wines from the Cartier’s in France.
The Road to Beauport September 1939
Brandon and Goderich reached Beauport in the late afternoon. Beauport was a great meeting place for those who were involved in trade and commerce. The types of industry: Farming, pulp and paper factories, shipping yards, shipbuilding, and working on the ships, the canal, and fisheries along the eastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean were very attractive to the Immigrants coming into Canada. Many world travelers were talking about imports, exports of merchandise and discussing the general trading of foods and services. Fisheries in the eastern part of Canada were always looking for new recruits. Everyone was hopeful to make his or her fortunes there.
Many Immigrants were heading north to make deals with the Natives who would be trading furs, canoes and various types of foods. Some would head out west and help with expanding the railways, road building, around the great lakes. European Craftsmen and land developers came to Canada to set up communities and industries from around the world. Brandon and Goderich found the AL Moisan Inn. The Inn was in the Loyalist Style, painted white with black shutters and a park like setting on the grounds surrounding it.
They walked up the stone pathway, admiring the lovely garden out front and the willow trees. There were white wooden benches along the park and a round cherub waterfall where you could sit along side of it and enjoy a picnic lunch. They quickly made their way inside and checked in with the woman there. She had a strong French accent. If you were English, she would speak slowly and carefully so that they could understand her.
They followed her up the stairs as she showed them their elegantly decorated rooms. The beds were small but comfortable with red velvet blankets that matched the wallpaper on the walls and the canopied bed frames. Pictures of hunting trips were on the wall and the place had a masculine feel to it. Goderich felt right at home, right away. Brandon followed the woman up to the next flight of stairs and to a corner room.
This one also had red and blue colors, more of a patriotic type of room. The woman explained that visitors from the United States felt at home with the soldier prints on the wallpaper, and pictures of war on the walls. Brandon thanked the woman, dropped off his large bag of clothes then headed downstairs to join Goderich in the dining area. It was a small dining room with patterned cloths, wooden chairs and a few landscape paintings on the walls. They both wanted to try some Canadian beer and could smell roasted chicken they began to drool from the smell of it. The servant could not understand the men and walked away in frustration.
A man walked up to them and introduced himself, “Bonjour Monsieur, Common Cava?”
Brandon looking perplexed said, “I’m sorry chap I do not speak French.”
Brandon looked at Goderich who shrugged his shoulders and said, “My French is kind of rusty, I might say the wrong thing. Do you speak English sir?”
The man smiled and said, “My name is Albert Moisan, I am pleased to meet you.”
He shook both of their hands and asked, “How long do you plan to stay in Beauport?”
Goderich said, “Not long, were just stopping here on our way to Place Royale.”
Brandon said in a grumpy voice, “I am glad that we did for my back is killing me from that treacherous road out there.”
Albert said with a grin, “I’m afraid it only gets worse the farther you go into the countryside. It is almost impassible if it has been raining, for the mud is deep, and it is easy to be stuck with those stagecoach wheels. Most prefer to use canoes on the waters here, but I can see that you two are men of substance and are used to the luxuries of life. When you reach Place Royale, look for my brother Jean who has a grocery store called JA Moisan. Be sure to look him up, he will assist you with everything and anything that you need. I can let him know that you’re on your way if you’d like?”
Brandon said, “Sure, we will need some dry goods when we get there.”
Goderich added, “I’ll need some men to help me build my hunting lodge.”
Albert inquired, “Have you made any building plans yet?”
Goderich said, “Not really, I think Brandon knows someone who will help.”
Albert said, “Might I suggest Anthony Atkins? He is a reasonably talented Architect and he can get you the best deals on everything. He also has a regular team of men working for him from the labor agencies in Quebec and Montreal.”
Goderich said, “That’s good to know, I’ll definitely keep him in mind.”
Albert said, “Anthony’s office is located across from the Old Port Inn. My brother’s store is a few doors down from his. Our younger brother’s name is Edward and he lives by Montmorency Falls, and owns a lumberyard there.”
Brandon said, “I bet he’s shipping a lot of wood up north. Lord knows they are going to need it up there.”
Albert added, “Out west is booming too and many of the settlers are buying land and building farms along the railways. It is a good business for everyone. Lenno and Heta Totenmyer own most of the land in these parts and are nice people to deal with. Their daughter Sasha is a total doll and you will probably meet her once you get to Place Royale. She is an amazing cook and she bakes all sorts of goodies for the market place there. I love going to their place for a bite to eat when I go visit Jean. The Totenmyers also have another daughter named Patricia formerly known as Nuna and I think she is living in England with her Husband Barney Rosewood. I haven’t seen her in ages.”
Goderich looked at Brandon then at Albert and said, “Just thought you should know, we met Patricia on the SS America and she just lost her Husband. She’s actually staying in Quebec at Chateau Frontenac at the moment.”
Albert looked solemn for a moment then said, “So sad if you see her before I do, could you please offer my condolences? She was such a lovely girl too.”
The two men were trying hard to stay awake as Albert quietly said, “I guess you two want to get some sleep, you have a long, bumpy ride ahead of you.”
Brandon groaned at this news, It was not what he wanted to hear. Goderich and Brandon walked up the thin flight of wooden steps and went to their rooms. Goderich was happy because they had rooms on different floors and this time he would get a good night sleep for he would not have to listen to Brandon the sawmill snoring all night!
The Village of Place Royale
By the next day, Brandon and Goderich had arrived in the Village of Place Royale and the first place they headed for was The Old Port Inn. It was a three storey red brick building with large oak double doors. The Inn was dark and kind of sinister looking to some for it had an air of mystery surrounding it. The dark walnut chairs and tables, the dim lighting and the sinister looking men at the tables made Goderich uneasy.
Inside they met the owner Simon Boucher who was a short man with dark hair, grey eyes and a heavy French accent. At first, it was hard to understand him but eventually they caught on to his enquiry if they would need a room.
“Yes, two rooms for the night,” said Goderich as he pulled out his money to pay the man.
They sauntered up the dusty old wooden stairs to their simply furnished rooms. Goderich’s room was on the second floor and Brandon’s was on the third. When Brandon and Goderich opened the door of the first room, it had a small double bed made of straw, linen sheets, a washstand, a white towel, a desk, a chair, and two red armchairs.
Goderich looked at Brandon and said, “This is quite a disappointment compared to the luxuries of Mr. Moisan’s place we should have just gone camping.”
Brandon smiled and said, “We’ll get used to it, not many luxuries here in Canada. It is a new settlement and it will be quite an adjustment compared to what you had in England. It is the life of an outback lumberjack here. Sooner or later, we should be able to upgrade our homes in the future.”
Goderich said, “I will definitely want something more comfortable than this place.”
Brandon looked at him and laughed and said, “You poor baby, such a pampered one to be roughing it out here in the wilds of Canada.”
Goderich grimaced at this sarcastic ribbing. Brandon had warned him it would be a culture shock going to Canada from England.
Goderich grinned and said, “At least I can still get my tea here.”
Brandon rolled his eyes and said, “No need to look at my room, I’ll just drop my stuff off up there and meet you downstairs.”
Brandon ran up the stairs two at a time.
Goderich headed downstairs and over to where Simon was and asked, “Is there by any chance a water closet here?”
Simon grinned at him and pointed into a small room.
Goderich walked in and just stopped and stared as Brandon came down the stairs.
Brandon stood behind him and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me? How am I supposed to fit into that steel tub?”
They looked at the tiny tub no longer then four feet and noticed it had a kind of seat in it.
Goderich said, “I guess you’re going to sit in it and wash very carefully.”
Goderich looked at Brandon’s expression of dismay.
Goderich said, “Do you think you’ll be able to fit your big feet in that small space?”
Then he started laughing at the thought of Brandon sitting in the small tub with his feet sticking out and over the edge.
Goderich knocked Brandon in the ribs and said, “You thought that your back was killing you before!”
Goderich roared some more. They both turned and headed over to the bar. Both men agreed that a beer was much needed as they seated themselves down at the wooden table and chairs over by the big dusty window.
Goderich lifted up his glass of ale and said, “Cheers, I toast to a new life and a new beginning here in Canada.”
Clink went the glasses and both men looked out the window at a bus full of tourists heading for Montmorency Falls.
Brandon said, “I’m in the mood to do some horseback riding. Tomorrow we will hire some horses and go find my property. Today we’ll just walk around the village and get a feel for the place.”
They had finished their beers, thanked Simon for his kindness, and walked down the street until they came to a small store and walked into a place called JA Moisans. The smell of freshly baked bread and buns greeted their nostrils. In behind the walls of glass were various kinds of meats, fish, poultry and different kinds of cheeses, scotch meat pies, bridies, cornish pasties, steak and kidney pies, and scones with whip cream in them.
Goderich’s stomach began to rumble rather loudly. “Boy I’m hungry.”
He could feel the saliva building up in his mouth and he licked his lips as he looked at the tasty morsels and pastries in the window then he spotted something out of the corner of his eye and excitedly said, “Hey look at that!”
Brandon turned around to see Goderich heading towards the back shelf. Goderich grabbed a box of the Twinings of London, Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea, which had been in England since 1706.
Goderich said, “I’m craving a nice hot cup of English tea, and scones. I’m so thankful that my favorite tea is here in Canada.”
Goderich’s eyes then travelled along the shelves and he noticed the la Tourangelle-Artisian Gourmet Oils, with the flavors of hazelnut, sesame, and extra virgin olive oil, avocado and walnut oil; he turned to Brandon, “They even have gourmet oils for cooking. Guess it won’t be so bad here after all.”
Suddenly a man appeared from around the corner.
He was short, dark haired with silver-rimmed glasses and he said, “Bonjour Monsieur!”
Brandon flushed and said, “I apologize my French isn’t all that great. I am Brandon Deere and this is my friend Goderich Lafleur. I’m the one that is opening the new lumber yard and Inn here?”
The man stared for a minute, and then light dawned in his eyes, “Welcome! Welcome! We have been waiting with great excitement for you!”
Then he turned to introduce the dark haired woman at his side “This is my wife Chardae, and I am Jean Moisan Senior.”
Suddenly three boys bounded into the doorway and tumbled right into Goderich almost knocking him over.
The eldest boy said, “Excusez-moi monsieur.”
Jean Senior said, “Stop! These gentlemen are the new foreigners opening the lumber yard.”
The boys all shouted with glee, grabbing Brandon’s hand and shaking it wildly, “Welcome, my name is Jean Junior, and these are my brothers Albert and Edward.”
Brandon said, “I guess you were named after your Uncles?”
The boys nodded yes.
Then Brandon said, “I’m pleased to meet you. My Name is Brandon Deere and this is my friend Goderich Lafleur, we have just arrived from England.”
The boys eyes grew round, they turned and looked at their Father and asked, “How did they get here from England?”
Goderich said, “We came across the ocean on the SS America.”
It appeared that the children’s questions were bothering Goderich. He did not like children that were unruly and unkempt; he was not too impressed with them.
Albert said, “You came on the big ocean liner? Father, can we please go on the SS America too?”
Jean Senior looked at his wife Chardae with a feeling of helplessness and she turned to them and said, “Now boys, it’s time to get cleaned up for tea, you must be starving, upstairs now!”
She turned and said goodbye and ran after them.
Goderich looked at Jean Senior and said, “Your children are lovely.”
Jean Senior looked at him then he smiled noting the sarcastic tone of voice, but did not comment on it.
Brandon and Goderich meet Sasha Totenmyer
Just then, the bell tinkled on the door and in walked a woman.
“Ah it’s Sasha Totenmyer. I would like to introduce you to Brandon Deere and Goderich Lafleur,” Said Jean Senior as he pointed to each one of them then he turned towards her.
She nodded and looked carefully at the young man standing beside Brandon, he was almost a foot taller than Brandon was and had very big muscles but the most slender long feet she had ever seen. Brandon on the other hand was a bit shorter and his shoes were the biggest she had ever seen. She wondered where he got them made.
Goderich was standing there staring at her while carefully holding his box of English tea.
“Welcome to Place Royale,” she said with a broad smile and extended her hand towards the two of them.
Goderich liked her on sight. She had long brown hair, tied in braids, a tanned Native complexion and she had on a leather dress with colorful beads decorating it. She was very slender, had muscular tanned legs and then he looked at her dark grey eyes full of wisdom. She seemed to peer deep into his soul. He felt an odd connection to this woman. He knew for some reason, that her family would play a big part in his future.
She said, “I’ll be a few minutes, I just have to take care of a few things, then I’d like to have a word with you two.”
Sasha decided on what groceries and supplies she would need for her place and then she chose the best time to deliver it.
She turned to Brandon and Goderich “How about the two of you come over to my place for a hot cup of English tea and some home baked squares.”
Both their eyes lit up and they unconsciously licked their lips and nodded with enthusiasm. Sasha laughed at them and they said goodbye to Jean Senior and walked out the door. Goderich and Brandon grabbed their horses from the stables nearby and headed over to her place as she pedaled quickly on her bike. They came upon a small quaint cottage that was made of wooden logs, rough wooden windows and it had a porch across the front of the cabin. It was very rustic and rough looking for a woman’s tastes.
Goderich wondered about Sasha once he had seen the cabin. He said under his breath to Brandon, “I can’t believe how she lives.”
Inside were simple wooden furnishings on a wooden floor with a large red Native rug. It had symbols and many different colors in it.
Sasha looked down and proudly said, “I weaved that rug myself; have you had any supper?”
Both men nodded no. She said, “I have some stew and bread if you’d like?”
Both of them smiled. Sasha served them stew with wooden spoons, freshly baked buttered bread and cups of tea with milk and honey. Sasha then served herself a bowl of stew and sat down to eat.
Goderich said, “You’ve made a feast fit for a king. Thank you for your kindness.”
Brandon said, “Yes thank you for the lovely meal”
Sasha replied, “You’re welcome, would you like some dessert?”
Goderich said, “Yes, we would love some.”
She gave them some heated apple squares with whipped cream. Once they were finished, they followed her out into a lovely English garden. It was full of wildflowers and exotic plants. Goderich looked around amazed at the variety of herbs, and spices and flowers growing in the garden.
Sasha said, “I get my seeds from all over the world. Many of our customers know that I love gardening so they have been very kind to send me seeds as gifts from time to time.”
Brandon then said, “Sasha, Goderich will be working at the lumber yard as you already know. He plans to build a hunting lodge next door to us, so he needs to purchase that other piece of land from you.”
She said, “Yes, I have the papers drawn up here for you I just need your signature.”
Goderich asked, “How long has your family lived here?”
Sasha answered, “My family is from the Ojibwa Tribe and my Father Lenno Totenmyer and his ancestors were the chiefs of these lands. Most of the Natives have gone to live in their own reserves. We have a fur trading post here and a factory to make birch bark canoes. You will see that our canoes are engraved with a symbol of a bear and a deer and are made from birch bark trees.”
Goderich nodded and asked, “Did your ancestors know Samuel de Champlain?”
She answered proudly, “Yes, our ancestors were the first ones to start the fur trading business with Samuel de Champlain. They helped to create successful business ventures with the Iroquois as well as other Native parties, further north and west of here.”
She said it with a wistful look.
Brandon smiled and added, “I first met Lenno Totenmyer in England at a business convention and that‘s when I had approached him about buying the land here in Canada. Sasha, how are my plans coming along?”
She answered, “Splendid, Anthony Atkins assisted my Father with the designs you sent, I’m sure you will be pleased.”
Goderich had finished signing his papers, and the two of them thanked Sasha for her hospitality. Before they left, Brandon asked, “Where is your Father now?”
Sasha’s eyes brimmed with tears, “It’s a long story, both of my parents are dead, and I still haven’t told Patricia yet. I contacted the lawyers at Neulan & Associates, after receiving your letter, and they said because everything belongs to me; that the sale is still okay. They figured that Patricia would never come back, so they excluded her from their wills.”
Sasha began to shake and sob uncontrollably.
She apologized, “I’m sorry, I’ve been holding my feelings up inside of me.”
Goderich pulled out a clean handkerchief and handed it to her saying, “I’m sorry.”
Brandon just stood there for a minute and then walked over and wrapped his arms around her.
Patting her head he said, “Anytime you need a shoulder to cry on, I’ll be here for you.”
She backed away quickly with a wild look in her eye.
Goderich gave Brandon a stern look. “Listen Sasha, you don’t have to be afraid of Brandon he’s a total gentleman.”
She looked awkwardly at both of them for a minute and tentatively said to Goderich, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to over react to your friend, but something terrible happened to me on my trip to London with my Father and it has changed me.”
Goderich looked at her and said quietly, “Do you want to talk about it?”
She looked into his sincere eyes and saw a kind and understanding soul. “Yes, but please keep this to yourselves.”
“You can trust us, both of us,” and Goderich nodding his head at Brandon.
Sasha continued, “While I was in London, I met a man named Andy Littlewolf, he claimed to know my Father. While I was out for a walk one night, Andy attacked, and raped me.”
She began to shake uncontrollably. “I have just found out today that I’m pregnant.”
The look of sheer pain and grief on her face struck Brandon like a knife. “God, I’m sorry Sasha, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’m always too forward with the ladies and I feel such a fool for being so with you.”
She looked at him and said, “Deep in my heart I know you’re a good man. I trust you both and I thank you for your confidence. I just do not know how I am going to raise this baby on my own, without my parents around. You see my Father, I think killed Andy Littlewolf in London and when he came home he dropped me off and fled up north. Mother got worried and after a month of not hearing from him she went looking for him and I guess his family must have found out and killed both of my parents near the Iroquois reserve. That’s where they tracked them down, and now I fear for my life.”
Brandon looked at her and grimly said, “We shall take care of you and watch over you.”
They both gave her a hug and got on their horses and left. They rode back to the Old Port Inn in silence.
Brandon said to Goderich, “What a way to start here in Canada! Oh that poor girl can you imagine how she felt? How awful to deal with a rape, then raising a child and now her parents are gone.”
Goderich looked at him with a serious and grim face, “How do you propose for us to protect Sasha from the Natives? I hear they can be rather violent?”
Brandon said with a sigh, “We can only try our best, I said it mostly just to calm her down. You know I can’t stand a hysterical woman, she’s lucky I didn’t strangle her myself!”
Brandon decided to go for a nap, while Goderich headed over to Atkins Architecture to discuss his plans for his hunting lodge.
Goderich Meets Anthony Atkins the Architect
The cobblestone street was bustling with carriages and horses. Dust was flying in the wind and into the eyes of the drivers. One of the carriages was heading directly for Goderich and he had to press himself up against the wall to avoid being run over. Once his heart had returned to normal he noticed Atkins Architecture and walked towards the red brick building with the red door. Goderich strolled into the large office and shut out the noisy street behind him.
Along the back wall was a large mahogany desk, with a wide and elegantly designed chair. A long rectangular table stood in the middle of the room, with several chairs surrounding it. A short man with dark hair and beady dark grey eyes came from out of one of the rooms.
“Can I help you?” He asked.
Goderich said, “Yes, I’m looking for Anthony Atkins?”
“That would be me,” he said in a hurried and impatient tone.
Goderich said, “I have just purchased some land next to Brandon Deere’s property and I want to build there. My friend Brandon will supply the timber.”
Anthony asked, “Do you have any idea on what design you would like?”
“Well,” said Goderich, “I plan to use it for a hunting lodge so I will need several rooms in it, nothing too fancy, just simple designs, with a large area of living space. I want a large water closet, a spacious kitchen, and plenty of storage for tools and things.”
Anthony asked, “Will you need a gardener’s cottage?”
Goderich said, “Not likely, I don’t plan to have any.”
Anthony thought for a moment then said, “It should be simple enough, I would advise the picturesque style, so that it will blend in nicely with the landscaping there. Will you require a nursery or female quarters?”
Goderich paused for a moment, smiled when he thought of Marion, and said, “I think yes, female quarters and a nursery.”
Anthony looked at his schedule book then said, “Okay, come back tomorrow, early in the morning and we will work on the designs together. Will you require me to find builders for you?”
Goderich quickly answered, “I think Brandon mentioned that I should ask you about that.”
Anthony smiled, “Good, that simplifies things; it will make it easier to build as well. Most of the time we have to wait for the Craftsmen to come over from Europe, and this can take a lot of time. In this case, I should have your lodge completed within three months.”
Goderich said, “That’s great, how long will it take to get the furniture?”
“We will order it within the first week and have it delivered here within a month. As you can see, I have many catalogues on the table here from which to choose. The most popular ones are Eaton’s, Simpson Sears, and Chippendale’s Furniture. You can take your time browsing through them if you wish.”
Goderich said, “Okay then, thank you for your time I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He walked out the door, down to the Inn and went to lie down and soon he was dreaming about Marion.