|Abby's Dad said we should sit in the Parlor|
Monday, February 15, 2016
NORTH OF AUSTIN - chapter Three
We hired a neighbor’s boy to do the chores and feed the animals while we were at the wedding.
Pa told me to go and check to see if he had done everything he was told to do which I did. I noticed there was couple of things missing so I explained to Pa what my suspicions were.
The next day four of us went over to the neighbor’s farm and asked the boy about the missing items, and he said he didn’t know anything about them. He went on to say, he was finished by five and as he was leaving there were a couple of hard cases coming by and they passed him without saying anything.
Upon hearing that Pa told us to gear up. This meant for us to get our guns and food for a couple of days. The neighbor and his son decided to join us so we headed for the trail.
We had a good idea where they were heading so by morning we spotted them asleep by a creek. Seems they had found a gallon of hard cider in our barn and had drunk it all. This put them into a deep sleep so we walked right up on them.
We quickly found our goods and several other items that belonged to someone else. Pa had us tie them across their saddles which were an uncomfortable position to travel in. We turned them over to the sheriff and he was glad to see them. They had been robbing farms in three counties.
With Ben’s marriage that left four of us who were single. Charles was sixteen, I was fourteen and Lester being twelve and the baby Franklin was ten. Since Ben had moved, we were nigh unto needing another hand but Pa said we could make out it would just mean a little more work for each of us.
This extra work cut in on my time with Abby (which wasn’t much) and I wasn’t too happy about that nor was Charles. Finally our complaining paid off and Pa hired a hand from town. We fixed a room in one of the barns for him and he ate with us.
He was pretty pleased with the arrangement for he scarcely earned enough to feed himself in town. As it turned out he was a good worker who earned his keep and we felt we were lucky to have him.
We were awfully busy and time passed quickly. Charles was next to get married and he wanted to stay and work the farm with Abner. We built him a house near Abner and his brood. He had four children now, two of each boys and girls. They were two sets of twins so his family was growing fast.
Between Ma and my oldest brother Abner’s wife they soon had Charles wife in hand. The two daughters- in- laws were a great bit of help for ma in handling all the women’s chores. Abner’s kids reminded me of when I was young and doing the chores relieving the older ones to do more important things like plowing and sowing the crops.
As I turned fifteen, Abby’s father had a talk with me. He wanted to know what my feelings were for Abby. This surprised me for I didn’t know what was coming next. He asked me if I was serious about her or if I just had some ideas of fooling around with her.
I got his meaning right off and told him if she would have me when we were older I wanted to marry her. I said I haven’t been able to get her to commit to me so far but was going to continue chasing after her if it was okay with him. He then surprised me by saying it is okay for you to start using the parlor, just you remember I will be in the next room and won’t stand for any messing around.
I wasn’t sure just how to act in the parlor for I never courted before. What was I supposed to do in the Parlor? Abby had finally let me kiss her and a couple of times and she let me hold her close enough to feel her heart beating ...
Her mother Sally had warned her about being too close to a young man and how that could excite him. I had to admit her mom was right about that one and Abby found that out also.
I think she thought it was funny but it embarrassed me very much. It was then I figured her father felt it was safer to have us in the house than being out of sight. I was surprised to realize that Abby was beginning to have some of the same feelings as I was and at times initiated a spell of kissing.
I will remember a certain evening as long as I live for it was on that evening we committed to each other for life. It was going to be another two and a half years before we were wed but I felt she was really mine from that moment on.TO BE CONTINUED