Buelah Land–Part II


Tuesday, April 22, 1884

The wire has been fairly silent again today, though it is still early (before noon) and I know that things can sometimes happen very quickly.

Oh, this may be of interest, though it is probably not: Mrs. Harvey Renquist, the wife of the town’s only doctor, has been back East in Ohio somewhere visiting with her sister for the past several months.  The story went out, I guess, that her sister was ailing and needed Mrs. Renquist’s help, but another story has also been making the rounds that Mrs. Renquist had left her husband over some grievance with a hired girl the Renquists had employed last fall.  At any rate, Mrs. Renquist is coming home, and will be on the train from Omaha this Friday.

Dr. Renquist seemed pleased enough to hear the news when I took the message to him. Again, I sincerely hope all is well with them.

No word yet from Miss Evans.  I can only wait, and wonder.


Wednesday, April 23, 1884

Miss Evans broke her silence today, bringing me a note written on the back of an old envelope that read: “Mr. S. Turner, esq.—Have considered matter and decided boy should come here as soon as possible. Send on next available train and spare no expense. Miss S. Evans.”

Miss Evans had that set to her jaw again, and her blue eyes were steady and strong.  (Oh, how I love those eyes of hers!  I love the snap and life in them, and wish they would look in my direction.  I should be a happy man if they ever did, to be sure). I tried to stay very businesslike as I sent her telegraph and took the odd coins she counted out from her pocket to pay for it.  She nodded to me and wished me a good day and I did the same, and that was that.

I am still wondering whom it will be to arrive by train very soon, and what the reaction will be from the people of Beulah.  If it is a baby or very young child, I fear the worst, for I am well aware (as is everyone else) that Miss Evans has never been married, and such a scandal would put a quick end to her teaching position here.  But it may be another type of boy, perhaps a young cousin, or an orphan child she has taken in.  I guess we will all know soon enough.

Either way, scandal or not, does not matter to me.  I will not think the worse of her if it is a baby, for I thought from the moment I saw her that she was altogether a very fine young lady and the presence of a baby will hardly change my mind.

Speaking of babies and on a somewhat different note, I must admit that I am an incurable observer of all the people who get on or off the trains that run through Beulah.  Just this morning I witnessed a young mother of no more than eighteen, perhaps nineteen at best, with three identical little baby boys who got off the train for a spell to eat and refresh herself a little.  A young man whom I take to be the father of the triplets was also in tow, and he looked every bit as careworn and tired as did his young wife.  I have seen one baby exhaust a mother and father, and two babies is even more daunting; but I can hardly imagine what it must be like for that young couple to be traveling cross country with three babies under the age of a year.  Surely, they are braver than I would ever be.

I must also admit that my mind runs ahead of my good sense as I wonder what any baby Miss Shiloh Evans and I might someday conceive would be like.  Would our baby inherit her beautiful face and fine disposition?  Would such a child be like me in respect to his (or her) interest in people, and a natural will to write things down?  I can only dream at this point, and do indeed find myself dreaming when I should be logical and sticking to my business.

(To be continued, next week)

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