The Wedding Quilt – Episode 14

This is going to hit Beasie hard, Matt thought when he had waved Josh on his way. He happened to know that she had written to the lad regularly when he was serving in France, and had received the occasional crumpled and mud-spattered letter in return.

As the postmaster, he was bound to have known of this. What he didn’t know was whether there had been an understanding between them.

He’d thought at the time that Beasie had taken on the task as some kind of war work. Perhaps there was no more to it than that because she seldom mentioned the lad.

“Best not to spring the news on her the moment they get home,” he told the cat, who immediately stood up and stalked off with his tail in the air.

She and Mamie would have enjoyed their little holiday. There was no need to take the joy out of it when they came in the door. There was nothing he could do to soften the blow.

The bad news would surely keep until later.


“Did you have a good outing?” Matt asked, smiling at his wife as she entered the store with Beasie.

“Lovely. Was anything in the mail for me?”

“Two for you, and one for you, Beasie.” He reached into the pigeonholes on the wall behind him.

Beasie tore open the envelope and sighed.

“I’m invited to a kitchen shower for Susan Brown. Drat! Why couldn’t this have come sooner? I could have bought something for her when we were in town!”

“We’ve plenty of kitchen items right here, my girl,” Matt said. “Clothes pegs, wash bowls, scrub brushes. You’ve no call to go lining the pockets of those grasping town merchants.”

Mamie laughed.

“It’s a wedding, love. A bride wants pretty things. Time enough for reality to sink in when she’s been married awhile. I’ve been invited to the trousseau tea her mother is hosting. I don’t suppose we’ll see too many scrubbing brushes among the gifts on display.”

Matt grunted.

“I see by the postmark your letter is from Toronto. It’s probably from your cousin, Sarah, writing to let you know her girl is getting married as well. The whole world seems to be rushing to the altar this year!”

Beasie winced. She was two years older than Stella Foster, without a beau in sight. Didn’t Dad realise it was a sore point with her?

She bit back a retort when she heard her mother gasp.

“It says that Stella has had an unhappy love affair,” Mamie told them. “Sarah wants to send the girl to us for a while in the hope it will help her to get over it.”

“That’s all I need!” Matt moaned.

“Stella is family,” Mamie reminded him. “Surely we can find room for her in our hearts and home?”

“Of course we’ll make her welcome, love, but what if her man turns up begging her to elope with him? Surely it would be better for her to be at home where her father can keep an eye on her?”

“It’s not so simple. Apparently it’s the boy’s mother who has put her foot down. They’re one of Toronto’s old moneyed families, and he is expected to marry a debutante who can help him in his chosen career. The daughter of a deputy bank manager doesn’t quite meet their standards, apparently.”

“I see. Well, by all means let the girl come. You and Beasie will have to bear the brunt of it, for I won’t be much use to a lovelorn girl.”

“Won’t she find this place a bit quiet after Toronto?” Beasie wondered.

Stella would be used to theatres and concerts, and department stores filled with glittering merchandise.

“Nonsense!” Mamie said. “I’m sure we’ll find plenty for her to do here. I’ll be glad of an extra pair of hands when we get started on the wedding quilt.”

Beasie shook her head slowly. Wouldn’t all that be rubbing Stella’s nose in it when she’d just been jilted?

Surely the girl should stay in the city, where she could have her pick of suitable young men? With a new admirer at her side she could hold her head high and put the gossips in their place. That’s what Beasie Burke would do!

She began to giggle. Who did she think she was? She couldn’t find one fellow for herself, let alone two!

Mamie looked at her sternly.

“I hope you’re not amused by your cousin’s unhappy situation, Beatrice! This is no laughing matter!”

“Of course not. I was thinking she’s probably had a lucky escape. What sort of man jilts the girl he loves on his mother’s say-so? Perhaps he was glad of the excuse to wriggle out of their engagement.”

“You may be right. And that woman sounds like an absolute horror. Imagine having someone like her for a mother-in-law!”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.