The Wedding Quilt – Episode 28

Smiling, Beasie wondered how her mother meant to achieve that aim.

Matt Burke had a stubborn streak, and once he’d dug his toes in there was no moving him. She had learned that at an early age when she’d hoped to attend high school in Ararat and he was dead set against the plan.

She’d passed the entrance exam with good marks, and although he’d been proud of her achievement he’d refused to change his mind. Beasie had begged and pleaded, all to no avail. Her formal education had come to an abrupt end at the age of fourteen.

Well, she had done her best to get her mother to agree to this new plan, and the next move was up to her. Beasie would have to try to curb her impatience while she waited to see what transpired.


Donald Stewart leaned back in his steamer chair, sipping a cup of bouillon that he had just been handed by a white-coated steward.

There was a bracing wind that made him feel grateful for the rug over his knees, but he felt comfortable and contented as the Empress Of Britain steamed on.

Perhaps his doctor had known what he was talking about when he’d prescribed a sea voyage for his health; Donald felt better than he had for many a long day.

He felt a pleasant sense of anticipation as the great ship drew nearer to Canada. He felt sure of success in tracing descendants of the missing Dugald Stewart, and not because that would mean receiving a share of the legacy left by that earlier Donald Stewart, his great-grandfather.

It was the thought of meeting with relatives he hadn’t known he had; family was everything! He had never married, never having met the right woman, and until he had found Robbie Clark’s family he’d been on his own since the death of his parents.

This voyage was the first real holiday he’d had in years. He’d been so busy keeping the business on an even keel during the war years that he’d barely had time to turn around.

His troublesome chest had exempted him from war service, but much of his workforce had volunteered or been conscripted.

Sadly not all of them had come back and skilled labour was hard to find. As a result he’d found himself working far longer hours than was good for him, leaving little time for play.

He wondered how Robbie was getting on in his absence. Donald sensed that the man’s confidence had been eroded by the war – not so much by the leg wound he had sustained in action, as by the fact that the injury had hurt his job prospects.

If this trip to Canada proved successful Robbie would be set up for life.

And how was Jessie, his able wife, getting on with Eula Graham? He chuckled to himself, remembering the expression on his housekeeper’s face when he’d broken the news to her that he was going away, possibly for months.

“I know you’ve been wanting to visit your sister, so this is your chance. And I promise you won’t suffer by it.”

“Not suffer by it!” she exclaimed. “With me having to take a dip in my wages!”

“But you won’t have any work to do, Mrs Graham. In fact, you don’t even need to go near the house. There will be other people in residence while I’m away.”

“Other people! You’re letting strangers into the house, you say? Some other woman will be taking over my kitchen?”

“Not strangers. My cousin, his wife and their two bairns. Mr Clark will be supervising the factory and his wife prefers to do her own housework, so you can enjoy your holiday with a clear conscience.”

Eula Graham glowered at him.

“His wife doing her own housework? It’s not fitting, Mr Stewart. I’m surprised at you thinking that it might be! The men won’t respect this cousin of yours if he permits that. It will be the talk of Perth; a scandal. You mark my words!”

“Oh, I daresay the town will survive the shock,” Donald replied

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.