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La Belle Christiane
2011 Copyright Lyn Cote
All rights reserved
Christiane and John waited on the rough dock at New York harbor, looking up to Alfred who stood on the deck of a ship. Their expressions were somber and the day was brisk as only a late March day along can be at the Atlantic. Christiane held onto her hat and clutched her cape, all the while trying to wave farewell.
The ship had just cast off and was picking up the wind, using it to edge away from the dock. Alfred waved again and John answered it with almost a salute, just a stretching up of the arm. Then the ship was bucking away bound for England.
The husband and wife stood, watching, till the ship completely disappeared. Then they turned without words and mounted their horses. Slowly they edged their way through the narrow and busy streets of New York City, heading west to Hobb’s Ferry and home.
So many memories came through Christiane’s mind as she remembered her first trip to this city almost eight years before. It seemed a lifetime ago. She glanced over at her husband. He was deep in thought also. It was a year now since they had come to their understanding, a year of great happiness and contentment for both of them. After years of wandering they both–at last–had settled down. The only unhappy occurrence had been the death of Josiah at the beginning of January. After nearly fifty years of marriage Sarah Anne was alone. And now Alfred, John’s last link to Easthaven, was leaving. She wondered again if John had any second thoughts about staying.
Both of them had wanted to break with their families. She knew the price she had paid when she came to this land. It had been a price much higher than she could ever have imagined. Did he question his decision to stay? The sun came out from the clouds and shone brightly. Suddenly she smiled and flicked John’s arm lightly with her crop.
“What, madame?” he asked, looking up.
“Nothing,” she answered pertly, “I just wanted to see you smile.”
“What man wouldn’t smile at you, madame?” He smiled broadly.
“I love it when you flatter me. Don’t ever stop.”
“As long as I have breath, Christiane.” He beamed at her.
“Are you all right, John?”
“Worried about me?” he answered lightly.
“I just want you to be happy.”
“I am happy.”
“Upon my word, madame, I could not be happier and live. I am glad that Alfred is going home to his family and Easthaven and you know I have sent with him a letter to my father, explaining our marriage, our decision to stay and announcing Sarah’s birth. He may not be happy, but, at least, he will know where I am and that my life is in order.” He looked at her probingly. “Now, madame, are you happy?”
“Of course! But my happiness depends on yours. I don’t want your mind to be concentrating on what might have been.”
“My lady, my heart is set on you and my mind is turned toward the future! The land near Meadow Farm is purchased and this year work on our own estate will commence. We live in exciting times. The peace treaty is nearly signed. We will be raising our family during the birth of a whole new country and government. I am filled with expectation!”
Suddenly she felt the thrill he was expressing. It would be exciting, a time to experience, a time to remember. Then immediately she felt an overwhelming desire to be home. Glancing over at her husband, she saw the same yearning in his eye. They smiled and quickened their pace.
THE END–THE END–THE END!!! Seven months of posting 3 scenes a week and I have finally finished. I hope you enjoyed this wild ride! I have valued your comments and appreciate those who have stayed with me.
I hope you will leave a comment here and elsewhere so that others can enjoy Christiane’s brave story. On Monday, I will reveal the beautiful cover that I had made for this book. For yes, La Belle Christiane is going to become an ebook and a print book this fall! I will keep you posted on developments. Until then tell your friends. If they didn’t want to read it on their computers, it will within a few months be available!–Lyn