One Dark December
Author's note: This book for me was a joy to write as I got to know a special little girl named Stephanie and... Show full author's note »
An Eventful WeekSaturday, October 27th, 1917 – Early Morning
I am the only other one awake besides Father. I am in the parlour right now snuggled up in the big comfy armchair. I have a blanket around me. Oh, I almost forgot, yesterday Emily Belle did the cutest thing. Everyone else was in town but I stayed behind to look after Emily Belle because she had caught a cold, also to finish up on some homework. Well, I had finished my homework so I came down to the kitchen and decided to make Emily Belle and I hot cocoa. When I came into the kitchen I saw Emily Belle sneaking around.
‘Emily Belle, what are you doing?’
Well, she took one look at me and started to cry. I came over to her and hoisted her onto my lap as I sat down. I hugged her and assured her everything was all right and asked what was wrong. Well, she took one look at me with those sad eyes and said, ‘I knew if I got any sicker Mommy would give me Cod Liver Oil so I poured it out into the sink and filled it with tea since it has the same color.’
Well, that just got me to laughing and it started up Emily Belle too. The two of us laughed and laughed and laughed. After a while we calmed down and I told Emily Belle what a smart girl she was and told her this would be our little secret. Then I made us some hot cocoa. It felt good to laugh like that. I have not done it in a long time. Today is the day that the War Trophy exhibition is in town. At first, Mother was not sure if she would let Aaron, the twins and I go on a Sunday, but Aaron persuaded her by saying if we did not go Mr. Mellows would be mad. She finally gave in to him. Well, I hear someone else moving around upstairs so I better go before they get a peek at my diary.
Sunday, October 28th, 1917
Well, lobsters and a kettle o’ fish! I HATE Colleen. I cannot even believe we are RELATED!! Today when we got back from the War Trophies exhibition (I will l tell you about that later), we came in the door and saw Mother and Father glaring at us.
‘You let Cassie off the leash and she knocked a sailor into the water?’
Well, Aaron and I and the twins were dumbfounded.
‘How do you know that?’ Susannah asked nervously.
‘Colleen told us!’ My Mother shook her head as though she did not know us.
‘Well, we saw Colleen flirting with a sailor,’ Charlie piped up.
‘What you call flirting was Colleen helping the poor fellow out of the water!’
Well, the little sneak; turning the story around so she would look good and us bad! Susannah started to say something but Father gave her a look that would silence the whole world pretty much. He told us to get to our rooms so he and Mother could talk about our fate. I ran up here dragging Susannah with me. When we got into our room Susannah burst into tears. I told her if she wanted I would take most of the blame. She perked up a bit and started reading, so I am writing to you dear friend. I hear footsteps on the stairs; I better stop. I am so nervous I am sweating!
An Eternity Later
Father opened up the door and Susannah gripped my hand tight. He called Charlie and Aaron in and he yelled at the four of us for an hour. He said our actions were ‘irresponsible’ and that it caused an innocent gentleman to fall into the water. Then he marched each one of us down into the study one at a time. All I can say is ouch! Emily Belle was crying the whole time, but Colleen just looked smug. Well, my sentence includes having extra chores for a week, an earlier bedtime and I have to come right home after school, no friends. Well, I’ll be. Cassie getting let off her leash was an accident. Yeesh! Emily Belle is going around all scared of everyone. Well yawn, yawn, yawn! What a day. The War Trophies thing was downright boring. All the talk about war and everything – it is not worth recording.
Wednesday, October 31st, 1917
I have just not had time to write, dear and faithful friend. Mother has the twins, Aaron and I working to the bone. Whenever we thought we were done she had more for us to do. Air out the mattresses, do the laundry, beat the rug, dust the piano, set the supper dishes, clean the supper dishes, do the ironing, clean the parlour windows! The list went on and on! I finally got a break for myself today. Oh, I am so excited, for tonight is Halloween. The twins, Aaron, and I are going to dress up as each other. Did I tell you that the sailor we saw Colleen flirting with came over to the house to thank Colleen for saving him? Well, he did, and then he asked if Colleen would be allowed out for a stroll. Mother gave permission and Colleen went to get her wrap. When we were alone the ‘gentleman’ gave me a sneer. I was about to respond with a nasty comeback when Colleen walked into the room, took the sailors arm, his name is Harry, and they walked out the door together. Poor Emily Belle cannot go trick or treating for she still has a case of the sniffles!
Tonight went just swell. Everybody in the neighbourhood loved our costumes and could not tell which of us was which. Many said, ‘Okay, you are Stephanie. No ... wait. Is that Charlie?’
We got loads of popcorn, candy apples, caramel and hard candies and from Mrs. Lovely – taffy! I have a tummy ache from all the candy I ate. Mother made us take three big glasses of water when we got home. I shared some of my stuff with Emily Belle and she was happy about that. Oh, I almost forgot! At around 10:00pm when we were getting ready for bed, Colleen walked in the door with Harry. Well, I called Mother to the door and ran upstairs to spy. When Mother walked in she saw Colleen and Harry kissing! Well that blew her off. She had gone to get some hard candies for Harry but she just shoved him out the door yelling at him, ‘You disgusting brute. Get off my property!’ Since Colleen is ‘too much of a lady to get the strap’, Father lectured her for what seemed an eternity about the human body and how to control it around a man and all that other stuff. I have to say when Colleen came out of his study her face was flaming red. When she walked past, I giggled but Colleen just gave me a look and walked away. I think I will write a letter to Hugh about this week’s events. It certainly has been interesting. Now the only one left to get a lecture by Father is Emily Belle. I wonder if Mother will find the bottle of cod liver oil.