- 48. The Wedding Quilt – Episode 48
- 49. The Wedding Quilt – Episode 49
- 50. The Wedding Quilt – Episode 50
- 51. The Wedding Quilt – Episode 51
- 52. The Wedding Quilt – Episode 52
When the train disgorged its passengers, she elbowed her way to Frank.
“Is this true? Are you going West without telling me? Has Paddy Ryan talked you into this?”
“Neil spilled the beans, has he? I can assure you I have no intention of going homesteading!”
“It’s not true, then? You’re not leaving?”
“I’ve applied for a job with the CPR, Beasie, and with my experience there’s a good chance I’ll get it. It’ll be a step up for me and a good deal more pay.”
“But it goes all the way out to the coast,” she complained.
“That’s why they call it the Canadian Pacific! Just think of it, I’ll see the prairies. I’ll travel through the Rocky Mountains. I’ll walk on beaches beside the Pacific Ocean. This is the chance of a lifetime and I intend to take it. After all, there’s nothing to keep me here.”
“Oh!” Beasie clutched at Drusilla’s sleeve. “I’m sorry, Dru, I can’t stay. I have to go home!”
Drusilla stared at her in amazement.
“You surely don’t mean to walk home in the dark!”
“I’ll be all right. There’s a moon, and I’ve walked that road a thousand times.”
“All right, if you must, but you shouldn’t go alone. Do let us come with you.”
“What’s happened? What’s the matter with her?” Frank asked, as they watched Beasie disappear into the darkness.
“Don’t ask me. I’m sure she’ll be all right in the morning.”
Behind his back she gave the thumbs-up sign to Neil, who grinned back at her.
“Mission accomplished?” he whispered.
“This is the year when I’m going to retire,” Matt told his wife. “I’ll keep up the deliveries until the snow falls and then we’ll close the store. Added to what we’ve managed to put by, the income from your inheritance will keep us going for the rest of our days if we’re careful.
“I’ll double the size of my potato patch, and I thought we’d invest in some strawberry plants and raspberry canes. And we’ll keep hens if I can figure out some way of keeping them warm in winter.”
“Speaking of winter, what will you do with yourself when there’s no work outdoors? You’re too old to go to the shanty and spend months cutting logs.” Mamie smiled to take the sting out of her words.
“I’ll apply to keep the post office on. A lot of rural post offices are in private homes.”
“That’s a good idea. You might train Beasie to follow you in the job. She’ll need something to keep her busy when the store closes.”
Matt looked at her over the top of his glasses.
“Oh, don’t worry about Beasie, my dear. I don’t believe she’ll be with us very much longer.”
His wife looked up from her knitting in alarm.
“She’s not still thinking of moving to Ararat, is she? Has she said something?”
“Oh, she won’t want to do that when she’s a married woman, living at Carmody’s.”
“What are you trying to tell me? Do you know something I don’t know?”
But his reply was lost when a distraught figure burst into the kitchen, frightening the cat, who jumped down from the dresser and fled upstairs.
“Beasie! What are you doing, coming home at this hour?” Mamie demanded. “I thought you were staying the night with Drusilla.”
“Oh, Mum!” Beasie flung herself into her mother’s arms, sobbing.
“Just you wait while I make you a nice hot cup of tea, and you can tell me all about it. Whatever it is, it can’t be as bad as all that.”
“It might even be very good,” Matt muttered, with a silly grin on his face.
His wife glared at him.
“I’ll talk to you later!”