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ImageLaVonne
Nov 21, 2011 7:36 PM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

Girls I have been writing a story in hopes it will be good enough for publishing even if I have to self =publish.

I would like to share a few chapters with you and then get your feedback...so here goes:

The story takes place in the 1800"s in the early west and Philadelphia. The main character is Sarah Marie Langford. The story tells of her desire to return to LockWood Valley where she was born and enjoyed a simple life.

BACK TO LOCKWOOD VALLEY
By
Dorothy Lavonne


Chapter One


It has been said that one can never go home. I suppose that could be
true, but would it hold true if one felt as though she had never left in the
first place?

I was a small child of tender years, no more than 7 years old at the
time. As I sit here now, looking out over the valley, I recall that day as if it were only yesterday. My father sat astride his thoroughbred bay stallion, and I on my light gray dappled Arabian mare. Jake, our handyman, was at the reins of our wagon, loaded with all our worldly possessions. Hitched to the rear of the wagon was Jake’s gelding, Shadow, so named because his coat was a smoky gray. I was just a toddler when Jake joined us. He came riding over the hill one day and was looking for work, dad hired him and he never left. In many ways he became one of the family. We sat there, Dad and I, holding hands and looking back to the place we had called home.

My father had come here to this valley with his young bride, my mother, Elizabeth. Together, they had tamed this wild land and built the home where I was born and spent my happiest years. My earliest memories are following my mother into the garden to plant the seeds that in time would grow and give us the vegetables that would grace our table for the rest of the year. When they sprouted and began producing then we would go and gather up the squash, corn, beans, onions and potatoes. These were hidden under the soil. I always found that fascinating. When I got a bit older mother would let me collect the eggs while she milked the cow and then together we would go in the house and she would let me help her prepare breakfast. In the afternoons we would go out back and sit under the Weeping Willow and she would show me how to mend the clothes that we needed and make new ones from the ones that she and I had outgrown. Although I am not so sure that she actually outgrew her dresses, I think she just said that so that there was new material for my clothes.

Dad taught me to snare rabbits, fish in the stream that was just over the hill and in time to shoot his rifle and go hunting with him. Sometimes we would be gone over night. I learned to sleep in a bed roll and listen to and identify the animal sounds that were heard in the woods. During the day he taught me to read the trail and identify what animal had made the tracks.

About every three or four months Jake and Daddy would hitch our
mule Toby up the wagon and head for the nearest town to buy the staples that we needed. They brought back things like salt, sugar, flour and some cured meats that supplemented our diet of the game we caught. The round trip would take them a week in good weather. I always wanted to go, but Dad said it was too long of a trip for one as young as me. Perhaps when I got older I could go.

It was like paradise, just the four of us! The valley was host to a
variety of trees and shrubs. There was even a stream that flowed through it. There were birds, deer, rabbits (which mother could not keep out of her garden, try as she would) and fish in the stream. In the Spring the hills were clothed in the colorful mantle of wildflowers. Our home was built from the trees that daddy had cut to clear the area for the cabin to be built. It had 2 rooms for sleeping, a large area for cooking and eating an area for sitting by the fire on cold winter evenings and listen to a story.

Every so often, someone would stop by and bring news of the outside world. My parents would entertain our guests, asking questions, and I would sit and watch these visitors with awe as they told numerous and interesting stories. I listened attentively, my eyes wide with wonder, the eyes of a child who knew things beyond her years. My mother said I had the look of a “wise old woman.” At least, that was what Momma had called that “look.”

One day Momma called to me: “Come and sit with me, I want to tell you something important.” Momma was radiant, smiling, and her deep blue eyes sparkled. When she sat down, Momma put her arm around me and told me that a wonderful thing had happened, and that soon, I would have a playmate! She was going to have a baby, a new brother or sister for me! Momma told me that when my baby sister or brother grew up, I would have someone I could play with! I remembered feeling perplexed. I knew what a baby was…I had seen the baby horses, calves and chicks…and once, an Indian family had stopped by and they had a baby with them…it made an awful noise!

With that thought in mind, I wrinkled my nose, which made Momma laugh, and she told me that it would be all right. In time, Mother did give birth to a baby boy. She named him Aaron after her paternal grandfather. He was so little. He cried so pitifully most of the time. Mother took sick after Aaron’s birth and one day they both died within hours of each other. Oh, how I cried! Not so much for my brother, I hardly knew him, but for my Mother. Father cried, too.

They were buried together, in the coffin that he made for them, under
Mother’s favorite tree, the Willow tree, where she used to sit and read, mend clothes and just enjoy the breezes that the weeping branches created when the wind came down the valley in the afternoon. The days turned into weeks, then months, and try as he would, Father could not bring himself to work the land nor tend the animals as he used to, and so he made the decision to leave it behind and return to the East.

After all, he still had a young daughter that needed to have a woman to teach her things…things he could not. She needed schooling, and the proper place to become a lady and have ample opportunities for a better future than he could provide for her in the wilderness. Remaining in the wilderness would not provide these necessities. So, he sent word
with the next visitor that passed by that his livestock was up for sale and he wrote a letter to be delivered to his family in Indianapolis, advising them of the death of his wife and infant son and that he would be returning with his daughter in the Fall. Then he penned a letter to his attorney, requesting him to make sure that his land would be secured for the future…he did not want to sell the land…it was to be my inheritance.

Once everything that was to be sold was sold, Dad and Jake packed our remaining possessions and loaded them onto the wagon, then boarded the house up tight. We mounted up and slowly turned and rode away, stopping, above the valley for one last look. I promised this peaceful valley that one day I would return.


Chapter Two


It was mid August when we left and the trip to Indianapolis would be long and difficult. As we rode, the scenery changed slowly. The tall, lush trees and mountain slopes gave way to open plains, dried grasses and dusty trails. The deer became fewer and my eyes beheld a new, different animal. This animal was very large. Dad called them Buffalo. We saw Indians living in tepees near watering holes, small children running around and their mothers tending the circled fires. The warriors were watching the camp’s horses and edges of the camp. Most of the time Dad just kept going, but at other times we stopped and shared the evening with the Indians.

At night father tried to find lodging and when it was not available, we made camp in the woods. Jake taught me to gather wood for the evening fire and to set up camp. At first the sounds at night would keep me awake, then, as time went by I grew accustomed to the sounds and they became a lullaby.

This trip I viewed as an adventure. I was learning that there was a whole new world outside my little valley. I found the towns and the people were the two things that amazed me the most, especially, the women in their fancy dress. Naturally I picked the ladies in the short, bright colored dresses as the most interesting. Father told me they were working women and they led a hard life. It was not the life that he wanted for me. That was one of the reasons he had decided to go back to my grandfather’s home.

As the weeks went by, the weather began to change. The leaves turned into shades of red, yellow, gold and amber. The nights grew chillier. During the day the sun was bright but its warmth had faded and so had the adventure. All I wanted now was for it to be over. We had been on the road for over 3 months.

It was mid November when we finally arrived in Indianapolis. On the last day of the journey father insisted that I ride in the wagon. I lay there on a blanket bed, that dad had fixed for me, being rocked to sleep by the movement of the wagon as it lumbered along. We were tired and hungry when father and Jake pulled up in front of a very large house. I was barely awake. It was aglow with lights and there were people in fancy dress getting into just as fancy carriages. We must have looked a sight. Father dismounted and then helped me down. Together we walked up the steps to the front door. Father said something to the doorman who hurried away, and after a few moments returned with others who began helping us into the house and into the parlor. A large black man came from the side of the house and helped Jake get the wagon and horses off the street and sheltered in the barn. Loud voices accosted my ears. A woman with hair like burnished copper, dressed in a deep blue gown, greeted my Father with a hug. She then called a woman, who I learned later was a servant, to come and take me upstairs and to clean me up and put me to bed. I remember starting to protest when I heard father tell me it was ok…it was late and I would feel better after a good bath and rest. There would be time in the morning to sort things out. Once upstairs I was turned over to another girl, not much older then I was. She had flame red hair and her skin was as white as cream. After I was given a warm bath and dressed in a soft sleeping gown, my hair was brushed and braided. I was encouraged to eat a bowl of hot soup and some bread, and then was tucked into bed. Oh, and what a bed it was! I had never seen such a bed. I felt so small in it, and just like a princess. It was large and had curtains that hung down along the posters. Pulling them together enclosed the bed into darkness. The mattress was a bit firmer then I was used to, but it felt good, especially after sleeping in on the ground all those weeks. It wasn’t long before I was drifting into sleep.

Chapter Three

I awoke the next morning with a start. There were sounds of birds coming from inside my head…at least that was what it sounded like…as I came fully awake; I noticed that the bedroom window was open and that the sounds were actually coming from there.

Getting up, I walked to the window and looked out into the tree that shaded the room. There, amongst the branches was a family of birds. They were chirping loudly. It seemed like they were all talking at once and no one was listening. I laughed aloud, scaring them and in a flurry they took flight and flew away. My stomach growled then, and I realized that I was hungry. I turned as the hall door opened and watched as the same girl from the night before came in carrying a tray of food. “Good Morning, Miss. My name is Colleen and I am your maid while you are here. It will be my duty to see that you are dressed properly each day and that you have everything you need and desire. Each morning I will bring you your breakfast. Everyone here takes breakfast in their room. After breakfast I will assist you in bathing and dressing for the morning activities.” I found myself staring, and totally struck with awe. She had the most peculiar way of speaking. I learned from dad later that she was Irish and had only been in here a short while so she still had a heavy accent.

“I never had a maid before.” I said. Colleen smiled and said: “Well now, there is always a first time for everything. Now be as kind as to tell me your name, so that I can address you properly, Miss.” I suddenly felt embarrassed. I had totally neglected my manners and not introduced myself. Wishing to make amends, I blurted: “Sarah, my name is Sarah Marie Langford.”

“Well, Miss Sarah, I am glad to meet you and I hope that you find your breakfast to your liking. I brought you eggs, toast, tea, jam and some orange juice. If there is anything that you would rather have, please do let me know.”

“Oh Colleen, that sounds scrumptious. I am terribly hungry this morning, thank you.”

We both giggled then and I knew that we would be close friends. During my breakfast, Colleen continued to give me information that would be helpful and over the years she proved a valuable friend and maid.

After breakfast, Colleen helped me choose my dress for the day. The closet was filled with dresses of every color and description, and shoes to match. It appeared that I would not be wearing any of my own clothes.

My first introduction to the house of my grandfather was overwhelming. Even more overwhelming was meeting the man himself. Martin Langford was a tall man with dark brown hair that was graying at the temples. His eyes were brown and cold. He didn’t smile, but wore a stern face. His voice was deep and booming. At least that was how I found him to be that first day. My grandmother, Beatrice Langford, on the other hand, was as tall as momma had been; her hair looked like the color of aged copper and her eyes were like green jewels that twinkled when she smiled. Her voice was like listening to a melody. Grandmother asked her about her home in the Valley and had she had too terrible of a time making the trip to their home. She was warm, friendly and she smiled a lot, quite the contrast to my grandfather. From the very beginning of our relationship I found her easy to talk to.

My first few days in my new home, for that is what it was, were spent in
learning my way around the house and grounds. I was instructed in what was expected of me, mainly to stay out of trouble. I remember thinking that it must have been quite a long time since they had had a child around. My grandmother took it upon herself to question me about my education. I told her mother had made sure that I could read and write and do simple math. She also saw to it that I read the bible aloud every evening before I went to bed and she would ask me if I understood what I read. Then we would talk about it.

Grandmother asked me if I had any stories that were my favorite. I told her I did. I enjoyed the Christmas story and the story of Moses and Ruth in the Old Testament. On Sunday she took me to church and introduced me to the minister and his wife. From that Sunday on I was to attend church and bible classes.

My schooling was to be private. I had tutors who came to the house every morning. The nursery had been transformed into a classroom. Occasionally we would go out on the lawn to study. Mother had taught me to sew, but I soon learned I needed to advance my skills. Mending and sewing garments were skills that were delegated to the maids and dressmakers. Ladies sewed delicate stitches on hand-kerchiefs, and other non-essential garments. These stitches made flowers or small pictures that one would frame or put into the face of a locket or brooch. It was not too long before I took my new found sewing and began to embellish my plainer dresses and blouses. At first grandmother was aghast then she decided that it was fashionably done and approved. It was not long before I noticed others having the same work done on their garments.

While I was being schooled, my father was also being schooled, in a manner of speaking. He was learning grandfather’s business. Grandfather had amassed a great empire in the import/export business and had a fleet of ships that brought goods from around the world into the port in New York. They were then loaded onto large wagons and brought to my Grandfather’s warehouses in Indianapolis. From there the goods where sorted, reloaded and sent west to businesses along the route to California. Once the wagons reached the west coast, they were loaded with furs and other items that the trappers and homesteaders had arranged to sell to grandfather’s agents for goods. These were brought back to be processed into leather and fur for coats and hats. Grandfather was a very wealthy and powerful man. As I grew into womanhood I was to learn just how powerful.

My education continued in this fashion until I was nearing the end of my 11th year. On my 12th birthday it was announced that I would be enrolled into a fashionable boarding school for young ladies to finish my education. I protested! I did not want to be separated from my father. I didn’t get to see much of him as it was and now to not see him at all, that was too much. Protest as I would, though, I was packed off two days after my birthday, with Colleen in tow, to the Coventry Gardens School for Girls in Philadelphia. It still took us three days by train. We had a sleeper berth and took our meals in the diner’s car.

This was a whole new world for Colleen. She had been born in Ireland and her family had come to America just two years before I arrived. They had gained employment with grandfather shortly after arriving and had not ventured beyond Indianapolis until now. Over the years I had been taken on small trips with father, much over the protests of my grandfather. Oh, how I enjoyed those trips! Father and I would talk and he would stop at times and show me valleys that would stretch for miles. At those times he would get a clouded look about him and I knew he was thinking of our valley back home. He would sigh, pat my knee and say “One day, my girl, we will go back there.” Then we would continue our ride. When we arrived in Philadelphia, an attendant from the school, who assisted us to a carriage, stowed our luggage, and carried us to the school. At the school we were shown the room that we would occupy during my stay. It was a spacious room and I had no doubt that it would be comfortable for us. Colleen and I would be sharing the room.

My grandmother had seen to everything. She had not wanted me so far away, but since it was to be, she was determined that I should have every comfort in hopes that I would not be too lonely. I was informed that some of the furnishings would be removed just as soon as my furnishings arrived. What would grandmother thing of next?


CHAPTER FIVE

There had been many changes waiting for me when I returned home. My room had been re-decorated, there were new clothes, and much of the staff was new. Grandfather looked much older and grandmother had aged as well, though she was still very beautiful. They moved a bit slower and grandfather was a bit crankier. Father looked tired, his shoulders drooped and his step was faltering. It was not long that the management of the house fell to me. I was grateful for Colleen, at this point, she was able to manage the servants and see that everyone did their job. I had insisted that she be made Head Housekeeper. She was the last of the original household servants and knew the workings of the house intimately. Grandfather grumbled, but agreed. She also received the wages that went with the new position. All in all, it was a very good arrangement.

Grandmother insisted that we plan and hold my coming out party on the 4th of July. So I began helping her arrange the festivities, trying to be as conservative as possible. I, for one, did not want a big affair. I helped with the guest list, sending out invitations, ordering flowers, helped Colleen with the menu and seeing to it that the foods were ordered and prepared and that our gowns were acquired.

I must admit that it was a grand party, despite the efforts to be conservative and it was wonderful to see that glint in grandmother’s eyes again. She even had lightness in her step that had been missing. I had not yet reached my 18th birthday and already was feeling older than my years. I so much wanted to get away. I longed for my valley. I had been away far too long. But how could I leave. Father and grandmother needed me. Grandfather was declining rapidly. He had turned the business dealings over to father the previous year and most of his days were spent sitting in his study, or in his bed. His mind wondered a great deal and sometimes he forgot who we were. It broke grandmother’s heart to see him this way.

In the winter of my 19th year he took ill and we had to hire a nurse to come in and care for him. Grandmother refused to have him hospitalized. The doctor came every day, and as the winter deepened, grandfather began to slip away. I feared for grandmother, she was ever to be found sitting by his bedside. I had to insist that the doctor give her something to help her rest. Only then could I get her to go to bed. Grandfather passed away in his sleep just as the first buds of Spring began to make their entrance.


I have given you the first 5 chapters....hope you like it thus far.
http://cubits.org
http://cubits.org/gourds/
http://cubits.org/Diabetes/
http://cubits.org/DMEnterprises/store

Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
[Last edited Nov 28, 2011 9:31 AM CST]
Quote | Post #793738 (1)
Imagetaters55
Nov 22, 2011 6:14 PM CST
Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
Wow, this is a nice story! I had no idea you were so talented! I wish you all the best of luck finishing this and getting it published!
A Crafty Cubit
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean

Imagewildflowers
Nov 22, 2011 6:22 PM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Oh yes, Dorothy, keep writing!

I agree, you are a very talented writer!
ImageJaeRae
Nov 22, 2011 6:55 PM CST
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5, WI
save the rainforest & habitat
Yes, waiting for the next chapter now too...
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
Imagenap
Nov 22, 2011 8:10 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Wonderful, LaVonne!
ImageLaVonne
Nov 22, 2011 8:21 PM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

Alright I will tease you some more with Chapter Six.....then must hold off while I write more...I really want to publish this book and even sell a few copies. My County Library has a program in the spring that invites local writers for a book signing and purchasing of the books that are presented. For that I have to print 100 books minimum. The Library will also purchase at least one to put on its shelf of Local Authors....can't wait... Hurray! Hurray!
http://cubits.org
http://cubits.org/gourds/
http://cubits.org/Diabetes/
http://cubits.org/DMEnterprises/store

Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageLaVonne
Nov 22, 2011 8:22 PM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

Here is Chapter Six of Back to Lockwood Valley

CHAPTER SIX

Spring, a time of new beginnings, new birth, and we met it with the trappings of mourning. The house was thrown into darkness. Black hung nearly everywhere. I refused to wear black. I chose colors of dark blue, hunter green, maroon and russet. I insisted that the drapes remain open to let in sunlight.

In June I decided that we needed to celebrate life and so arranged a small gathering of our closest friends. Grandmother reluctantly accepted my decision and I had a new gown made for her for the occasion. She looked resplendent in her hunter green satin gown adorned with antique white lace and cream seed pearls for accent. Despite herself, she had a good time and was in better spirits. She received a few invitations to tea with friends and I insisted she accept. Over time she came out of her depression and began actively participating at living again. I waited until the year of mourning was
officially ended, and then instructed Colleen to see that the house was once again decorated for the living. I also wanted her to see to it that there were always fresh flowers on the mantle below grandfather’s picture.

My father had settled into the business at last, and had made several
profitable changes. He was happy once again. I went to him one evening while he was in the study and told him I needed to talk with him. I told him that it was time for me to follow my dream. I wanted to return to the valley and make it my home. I had saved up a nice nest egg and was ready to prepare to leave. He asked me “What about your grandmother?” I told him that she was healthy and doing well and that Colleen was here to see to it that all was well in the house. Then he said: “How will you get there, you were just a small child when we left?” I reminded him that I was an excellent horsewoman and that we had very good horses for me to choose from and that I would be traveling the known routes most of the way. I could even travel a good distance with our wagon trains that left for the West almost daily. One of them would be going in that general direction and so that would provide me with a measure of safe travel. I also reminded him that over the years he and I had made several journeys, camping out, while he conducted business in other towns and cities. So I was not a greenhorn and he should not forget that he had taught me how to use a gun effectively. I was a better shot then he was. I knew my proposal would not set easy with him, but I assured him I was very serious about it and would be planning to leave before the end of June. He asked me to give him time to think on it and then we would talk again in a week. I agreed, but assured him I was not going to change my mind. My home was Lockwood Valley. It was where I wanted to be. I left him there
with his thoughts and turned in for the night.

I dreamed of the valley, the trees, the stream, the sun coming up
over the mountain, bathing the cabin with its rays. I sat under the
Willow tree and felt its breezes across my face. When I awoke in the
morning I knew that I would be there soon.

The week went by swiftly and here I was again, sitting in the study with
Father. He looked a bit sad, and that I could understand. His only child was striking out on her own, she was grown up. A woman!

“Sarah, he began, I have given your plan considerable thought and on the whole it is good. My concerns, however, are centered on what will happen to you once you leave the trains. I know you are a resourceful young woman and are endowed with certain talents, but as your father, I can’t help but worry. I would prefer you travel with someone that will see that you are safe and that could help you once you get to the valley. After all, it has been over 12 years since we left. The cabin is going to need considerable repairs. It may even need rebuilding. Also, there is the concern of a woman traveling alone. You are a young, beautiful woman and there are unsavory characters out there who would not hesitate to do you harm. This I would not want to see happen to you.”

“Father, I….”

“Let me finish, daughter. To make sure that you are
safe and have the assistance you require, I am insisting that you take a man in our employ with you. Unfortunately, Jake is too old now for a journey like this, but he has suggested a strong, well-mannered young man who would work out just fine. His name is Brad Evans. He is a few years older than you and has made several treks across the country with our wagons. I think you will find him up to the task at hand.”

“Thank you, Father. I am sure that you have chosen wisely.” I knew
that to argue over this matter would not help. His concerns were valid and I would need a hired hand to help with repairs and such. “When may I meet this Brad Evans, Father? If he and I are going to be traveling companions for several months and then he is to remain and be my hired hand I should get to know him a bit before we embark.”

“Sarah, I do think you should meet him, and even spend some time
getting to know him. He is a fine young man and I know he will see
that you arrive safely and help you once you get there. He will be joining us for dinner this evening. Now, we had better go and find your grandmother and make her aware of your plans. She will be most upset and will need assurances that your welfare has been taken care of. Oh, and by the way, Sarah, I have taken the liberty of contacting my attorney who handles the property there and informed him that you will be returning before winter. I have also deposited a goodly sum into an account for you to make sure that you have sufficient monies to see that you are comfortable. Every year I shall add to it. But I do expect you to provide some things for yourself by making the land profitable. How you do that is up to you. When you leave, the last wagon in the train will be outfitted with everything you need to help you
get started and food supplies to last through the winter. In all I have arranged for four wagons to travel with you. One for the last wagon I spoke about, a wagon outfitted for you to sleep in, one for your personal items and one for the chuck wagon. Should you require anything I expect you to get word to my attorney and he will notify me so that I can arrange for the goods to get to you.”

I smiled hugged him and said: I love you, daddy and please don’t worry about me. I will be just fine!” I looked at him and saw his eyes growing misty, and then a tear emerged and slid down his cheek.

He took me into his arms, kissed my cheek and said: “I love you too, sunshine.” It had been a long time since we had addressed each other in this manner; it felt strange, but good.

We found grandmother sitting out on the veranda having tea with
Colleen. The two of them have become bosom buddies. For that I was very glad. Father and I sat down, Colleen poured us a cup of tea and father began telling grandmother of my plan. Her reaction was what I expected. Looking straight at my father she exclaimed, “Garret Michael Langford, don’t sit there and tell me you are letting her go off to that Godforsaken wilderness!?”

“Mother, Sarah is not going by herself. I am sending Brad Evans and some wranglers with her. All the arrangements have been made. I have seen to it that she has a bank account and contacted my attorney on the matter of Sarah returning to the valley and cabin. He has assured me that he has everything in hand on his end.” Grandmother gave a heavy sigh, and looking very sad, asked just how soon I would be leaving. I interjected and told her I
planned to leave the end of June.

“Oh Sarah, that is only a few weeks away! There is so much to do. We must have a going away party for you!”

“Colleen, start preparations immediately. Make it a garden party.
Invite everyone!”

“Grandmother! That is not necessary!” I exclaimed.

“Nonsense child. Do you think I am going to just sit by and not have a big send off for my only granddaughter? I should say not!” With that she got up and prepared to leave the veranda, returning to the house saying as she went, “I must get busy, so much to do.”

Father shook his head, smiled and said, “If you think your coming out party was large and fancy, just you wait and see what she does now. God help us all!” Then he burst out laughing. I could not help it; I joined him. We both knew we were in trouble.

I left grandmother and Colleen to their party plans and I began making
plans for my departure. That evening, Brad Evans was there for dinner. He arrived while I was still upstairs changing for dinner. I chose a modest gown of cotton and lace, in a soft, warm yellow with satin ribbon roses draping the bodice and sleeves. Looking in the mirror I found that it worked well with my strawberry blonde hair that Colleen had braided and pinned into loops in the back. She also fastened real yellow rosebuds into my hair in a circlet. Ready now to make my entrance I headed for the dining room. As I drew closer to the dining room I could hear bits and pieces of conversation going on. Naturally, none of it made much sense except that it was about my trip. Rounding the corner, I entered the dining room. "Good evening, everyone." Everyone looked up and then I saw Brad Evans. His eyes focused on me and he immediately stood up.

“Good evening, Miss Sarah. It’s nice to meet you.”
With a smile, I responded “Good evening, Mr. Evans. It’s nice to meet you as well.” I made my way to my chair at the table and waited for Hollingsworth to assist me.

Dinner went well with light conversation and then the men retired to the library for their cigars and brandy and talk of the work day. The ladies went into the parlor for tea and conversation. The talk centered around my leaving party, and, of course, my trip back to the valley from whence I had come many years ago.

Mr. Evans and I retired to the veranda to sit and talk about the trip
to Lockwood Valley and how long we had until our departure. We set there watching the traffic on the road subside, and the sunset. Then it became time for me to retire so that I could get an early start in the morning, gathering my clothes that I would need for the trip and my new home. So, I stood and excused myself and wished him a good night.

Going upstairs I rang for Colleen and began getting ready for bed. She
entered with the usual tray of hot cocoa and cookies and found me sitting at my desk going over my travel list. “Thank you, Colleen; I shall miss you very much when I leave.” I looked up at her face and saw a tear slip down her cheek. “Colleen, I wish to get up early in the morning, I have a great deal to do and may even need your help at times during the day. I would like to go shopping at mid morning.” I stood up and hugged her as I dismissed her to tend to my grandmother. A short while later I prepared for bed and slipped between the warm covers to drift off, dreaming about my return to the Valley.

http://cubits.org
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Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
[Last edited Nov 23, 2011 11:04 AM CST]
Quote | Post #794314 (7)
ImageRidesredmule
Nov 23, 2011 7:30 AM CST
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Very Good!!!! I didn't stop reading til I got here. It is a wonderful story.
Thank you for letting us enjoy your Novel.... Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Group hug Lovey dubby
ImageLaVonne
Nov 23, 2011 7:38 AM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

Thank you all for your reading of my story up to this stage. I hope that the rest of it turns out well also so I can publish it and perhaps sell a few books. It is my first try at writing a story from my own thoughts, and it has taken me 3 years to get it to the stage it is.
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Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
[Last edited Nov 23, 2011 11:03 AM CST]
Quote | Post #794483 (9)
ImageRidesredmule
Nov 23, 2011 7:44 AM CST
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
I love it. I think young girls will like it too. Everything is so clear I can see them as I read. You did great LaVonne..... Lovey dubby
Imagetaters55
Nov 23, 2011 7:52 AM CST
Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
You have done a wonderful job, and now we will sit here and wait for the rest of the story! Please let us know when your done?
A Crafty Cubit
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean

ImageLaVonne
Nov 23, 2011 8:32 AM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

I certainly will let you all know when it is done and ready for publishing.
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Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageJaeRae
Nov 23, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5, WI
save the rainforest & habitat
I'm expecting some sort of mystery at Lockwood Valley.....hummmm....
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
ImageLaVonne
Nov 23, 2011 1:52 PM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

We shall see, we shall see Smiling Sticking tongue out
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Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageTallulah_B
Nov 23, 2011 8:50 PM CST
Name: Susan MacKenzie
Torrington, Alberta, Canada
World Famous Gopher Hole Museum
Dorothy - it's obvious you have the "story teller" gene in you!
I've written stories before, and I gotta tell ya - I know it ain't easy! Congratulations on your beautiful story!! Lovey dubby Thumbs up Hurray!

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ImageJaeRae
Nov 23, 2011 9:39 PM CST
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5, WI
save the rainforest & habitat
I have a funny. I started to write once myself. I had a very good novel going and a friend was reading it ...pretty voraciously actually. It had spirit, thoughtfulness, even a bit of romance. Then after about 15 chapters my friend said, "it's GREAT, now you have to put sex in it".

I stopped. I tried. I stopped. I read some other romantic books....hummm...yes, they had sex....hum. I tried again. I stopped. Only in my 'book', I never got that right. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!

Well, that was back in the days of the word processor. I have a bunch of floppies somewhere around here. Nothing reads them now....I want my first 15 chapters back. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing (and I don't want anyone reading the rest! ) Crying
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
ImageTallulah_B
Nov 23, 2011 10:00 PM CST
Name: Susan MacKenzie
Torrington, Alberta, Canada
World Famous Gopher Hole Museum
Jamie - YOU, writing sex novels? Perish the thought Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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ImageJaeRae
Nov 23, 2011 10:20 PM CST
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5, WI
save the rainforest & habitat
No, no! I was writing a 'strong woman' novel. I just couldn't write that other part. Rolling my eyes. It's too much fun to ....oh, nevermind.
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
Imagenap
Nov 24, 2011 9:01 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I used to know someone who wrote for a Christian book publisher. All her novels had romance. None had sex. They were very good, interesting stories. But they sold to a specific segment of the population, which, unfortunately, is ever shrinking.
ImageJaeRae
Nov 24, 2011 10:03 AM CST
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5, WI
save the rainforest & habitat
Well, see my friend may have been correct with regard to her insistance that it 'wouldn't sell' if I didn't put sex in. I just hope no one ever finds and translates those old discs frought with my bungled efforts! If I find them, I should risk the good parts of the story and toss them all into the next bonfire.
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)

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