Dear Diary
Chapter One


Chapter One | Chapter Two

Enter subhead content here

1 September, 1872

I can't believe that I am on my own. Not only just on my own but going across the United States of America. Good bye Colorado Springs hello Concord, Massachusetts. Good bye Ma, Pa, Brain, Katie. Hello Plumfield and Grandmother Quinn.
Plumfield .... I can't believe I got the teacher's job just through letters. This Mrs. Josephine Bhare is an very trusting woman; hiring me without even meeting me face to face. She puts an ad in every newspaper in the country looking for a permeant teacher to teach at her boy's boarding school; Plumfield. I answer the add saying that I would love to come to Massachusetts and have an interview for the portion. But she wrote saying no need and just wrote a bunch of questions; which I of course answer; and the next letter I receive from her is of her hiring me without meeting me face to face.

Ma was of course skeptic about all of this. So I wrote to Grandmother Quinn and asked her what she thought of the school Plumfield. She wrote back with raving reviews of not only the school; but about the headmistress and the headmaster. She also said that sadly Mr. Fritz Bhare just passed away and that was why Mrs. Josephine Bhare was looking for an permeant teacher.

Well after Ma read Grandmother Quinn's letter she finally gave her blessing to me.

After the letter from Mrs. Bhare arrived hiring me; Pa took me out and tested me. He made absolutely sure that I knew how to an shot gun, pistol, revolver, throw an tomahawk and shot brow and arrows. Which I proved perfectly.
The day finally arrived for me to leave for Plumfield. Ma looked concerned when I put the pistol, tomahawk in my Hosta. I told her not to worry. I will probably not have to ever use them but just in case. "Like I said when I learned how to use all of these; if I have to learn I might as well learn from the best. If Sully didn't teach me the I correct way on how to use; you never know how I'd learn to use if from someone else." I told Ma. She didn't look that relived.

After hugging and weeping at the train station I finally brooded the train with Lassie that will take me to Massachusetts. I put Black Beauty <which I will not ever leave behind> in the horse car. I am finally on my way.

8 September, 1872

I am just setting in my room at Plumfield. Mrs. Bhare she insists that I call her Jo meet Black Beauty, Lassie and I as we were just stopping at the front door. I can not believe what the first thing I said after we got our "hello's" and "Pleased to meet you's" over with. I asked to see the school. Well Mrs. Jo had this surprised look in her eye but she didn't say anything except of course. She led me to an old barn explaining that she and her late husband decided to turn it in to the school. As soon as I entered I went straight up to the teacher's <mine> desk and just sat down behind it. I didn't say anything I just stared out in front of me at all the children's desks in row. I sat like that for a few minutes than I collected myself and said "Thank you for showing me the school Mrs. Bh... Jo." She smiled knowing and showed me the way to the house. Once entering we were met by her small son Robby. I said that Robby is the same age as my adopted sister Katie.

Robby took my right hand and started pulling me to the stair case, Jo laughed and said ok it is time to show me my room. I found out my room is across from Little Rob's and just next to Jo's. Once entering I found my bags next to my trunk <which I shipped ahead of time to Plumfield>. Jo said oh the boys decided to be helpful to their new teacher. After saying that she took Rob into her arms and said that she will see me at dinner later on this evening and left.

After I fisted unpacking I laid down on my new bed; and I didn't realize how tired I was until Little Rob awoke me by getting up on my bed and put his little right hand on my check and said "teacher", I awoke and smiled softly and I got up. When I sat up I notice Jo leaning against the door with a soft smile on her face. She said dinner was ready. I got up and she took Robby down and I freshen up.

When I reached the supper table I saw all the boys standing behind their seats waiting for the signler to sit down. After the Grace Jo told me their names. I sat between Nat and Dan the two orphans that Jo's brother~in~law Mr. "Teddy" Laurie Lawersence sponsor. Rob was next to Nat; Jo to the right of Rob; Jack on her left; Emil to the right of Jack, Franz <Jo's nephew by marriage>, who is going to Oxford next week plus the other students.

After dinner Jo said there were few more hours free before bed and the boys ran off, all except Robby. I started clearing the table; Jo and little Rob helped. I have already met Asia the hired help and basically the only good cook at Plumfield. I instered on helping washing and drying the dishes and putting away the left overs away. I told them about how I used always help with dishes every night back home.

After that I asked if I could borrow a book from the library. Jo said ok. I found a copy of "Sense & Sensibility". I sat down and started to read; Little Rob had followed me in and all sudden he climbed onto my lap and I of course put the novel down. I told Little Rob all about Katie. After a bit I notice that Robby had fallen asleep so I took him up to his room and dressed him for bed and I put him in his bed and bent down to kiss his forehead. I got up to leave and I saw Jo leaning against the doorjamb watching. I asked if she minded she said she didn't.

I said goodnight and that we will have more time to get to know each other in the morning and I went to my room. Now it is time to get some shut eye.

9th September, 1872

After breakfast I told the boys that I excepted them in their seats in twenty minutes. They all ran off to gather their school books. "Well I must be off also; I don't want to be late on my first day." I said after helping with the breakfast dishes. After gathering my things
I walked alone to the school room. Once entering I found every student in his desk waiting quietly for the new teacher to arrive. I went to the front of the room and put my books neatly to the right side of mine desk. I stood facing the class for a few moments in silence. "Class as you know already my name is Miss. Sara Wentworth, and I am your new teacher. You may call me Miss. Sara during school hours and Sara after-school hours. I am a very fair person. I keep my mind open to every possible thing in life except .... abusing others, cheating others, lying, hurting others." I pause for a breath. "I except you to be in your seats ready to learn twenty minutes after breakfast. I expect your homework to be done on time. You already know that you can go to Mrs.. Jo for help; now you may also come to me for help after-school. I expect you to at least try to answer my questions when called upon. I expect you to work well together when I allow you to work as a team." I pause again to allow this to sink in.
"Now..." I said as I sat down in my chair. "Who can tell me where Mr. Fritz left off in each subject?" So they told me where each grade is in their subjects. After I found out what they already knew I dismissed them for morning recess. Once they got back in I asked each one what they had problems with in each subject; which they told me. After finding out I dismissed them for lunch. They all gathered around me to walk me back to the main house with them.

After lunch was over I told them to be back in their seats in half hour. I helped with the lunch dishes. Jo asked how my first morning as an teacher went. So I told her that all I did was find out how I could help the boys learn better. She smiled and said good; and was I going to assign any homework on my first day? I told her that I was going to assign an essay. Just a get to know you better essay due in a week time. She said that was a great idea.

Walking back to the school hours to begin the afternoon session I saw that the boys already beat me to the school room. Once I entered it I again saw the boys in the seats waiting quietly for me. "Okay class from now on if you beat me to class you may chat among yourself until I call quiet." They all looked relieved.

"Now I am assigning each and everyone of you boys to write me a four page essay about yourselves due next Friday. You do not have to worry about margins or spelling or punctuated. I am not grading them; I just want to know more about you; and this is the easiest way to do that. One rule I am giving you; write about your life before coming to Plumfield; life with Mrs. Jo and Mr. Fritz." I dismissed the class early today.

After I picked up my stack of books I walked out of the school and headed toward the main house. I watched the boys play while I walked. After I entered the front door I went up to my room. I changed into a riding skirt and my blue checked blouse, I strapped on my holster and put the tomahawk and pistol in, then I left the house. I went to the horse barn and saddled Beauty. I mounted Beauty and I couldn't help it but I jumped the fence and Beauty and I galloped into the woods sounding Plumfield. Lassie was by Beauty's side all the while. Us three explored Plumfield for a few hours than we headed for home.

After brushing down Beauty and sending him to eat the grass outside I headed to the main house. Once entering I met Jo in the palor. She looked started upon seeing me. I looked down to see what was wrong and then I noticed that I was wearing my holster. I explained that in Colorado everyone wore them everywhere they go. But I guess they don't in Concorde? She shook her head. I told her that it was so familiar that I don't even notice that I put it on anymore. "I'll be more careful from now on and try not to wear it around here." She said that she understood but it is not wise to wear it around the boys. I totally agreed. That Ma would not approve of me wearing it eighter. I left to put it away in a safe place where the boys could not find it.

10th September 1872

Dear Ma, Pa, Brian and Katie;

I am safety settled here at Plumfield. You all would absolutely love it here. I can not wait until you decide to visit. We can all visit with Grandmother Quinn and Aunt Rebecca and her family then visit here at Plumfield.
Don't fret to much about me Ma. You would absolutely love Mrs. Josephine Bhare. Matter of fact Mrs. Bhare instants that I call her Jo. She is like you Ma. A very independent woman. Her heart and her mind works in the same faction as yours. She is no weak woman; she doesn't believe that men overrule women. She doesn't believe in having weapons of any kind around. She doesn't believe that fist fights will solve anything. I know that I will learn a lot from Mrs. Jo just as I have from you about womens rights and their rightfully place on this earth.

The boys are so divinely wonderful. Only two Nat and Dan are orphans. They didn't live like Amy, Matthew, Colleen, Brian and I did; but both lived on the street. I am so glad that you, Ma took all five of us in; even though you were still single. Five children all alone had to be tough. But you have dealt with the situation very well. I don't know what I would do if I were in that situation ... yes I do I would do what you done; and what Mrs. Jo is doing here at Plumfield with a houseful of children by herself. <expect for Asia, the cook.>

Katie; you would absolutely love Little Robin Bhare. Mrs. Jo and Professor Fritz Bhare <God rest his loving, and honorable soul>. Robby can not wait until he meets you my darling baby sister.

Pa and Brain you would love to go on outings here in Concorde Massachusetts. It is nothing like Boston. Boston is a fully grown city, while Concorde is just a small town.
School is going fine. I just love teaching these fine upstanding boys. They do I must admit have rough spots but they will be ironed out into positive outlets by the time the boys are grown and ready to face the world as men.

Love you lots;

Your loving daughter; and Sister


11th September, 1872

I had a dream about my birth mother last night. My dream started out with her lying in Ma's bed in the old homestead dying of a bad heart. When suddenly I had a flash back on when father took Amy and me away from Mama. I saw clearly the heartbreaking cry of my mother when he hit her so hard that she fell hard against the wall. I saw father roughly throwing me under his arm pit head facing backwards & pushing Amy rough out the front door. I saw me watching my mother go unconscious. I saw the heartbreaking pain in her eyes right before she passed out. I awoke suddenly in an cold sweat. I wonder why I dreamt that. I must remember to ask Amy if that really happened. She will know; she was three when it happened. If that is the truth; why did God reveal that to me? I would not have remembered that I was just a few months old when I was so roughly stolen from my mother.

I must remember to tell Amy not to tell Ma or Pa about it; if it does turn out to be true. I don't want Sully or Dr. Mike to be even more angry with father <even through father is dead; and even if he wasn't; he sure was not someone worth protecting.> I just feel that Amy and I need to be protected from pity over this. They and Matthew, Colleen and Brain already pity us for the rotten father we had, and for having our mother die; right after Amy and I were reunited with her. I can't stand anymore pity. Epecially over an rotten father like my damn birth father.

12th September, 1872

I have decided in my brief time with Dan to take him home with me this summer. I know that he would absolutely love Colorado Springs; better yet he would absolutely love California. Which I plan on taking him for a visit to Chet and Amy. I am not going to say anything to him quite yet. I want to wait to surprise him when school lets out for summer. I am going to let Jo know of course. Plus I am going to invite her, Robby, along for the summer. Nat to of course. But this trip is especially for Dan. He so wants to go to California; I just want him go now with someone who cares about him instead of making him wait until he comes to age in four years. I don't know if he can stand that long of a wait.

I just came form telling Jo that I would love to take Dan and Nat home with me to Colorado Springs and to California for the summer. She agreed without hesitation to my request. She told me that she trusted me completely with the care of Dan and Nat. I extended the invitation to her and Robby; but she couldn't agree right away for them two. She said that she'll let me know when the school term comes to an end for the summer. She agreed with me that secretly is the best idea for this up coming trip. Mainly because it is only for Dan and Nat. Plus she doesn't want Dan to have California foremost on his mind and neglecting his school work which is upmost important.

While I was in with Jo I noticed an opened thick notebook that she was writing in. I guess my eyes stared at it without meaning to because Jo explained to me it was her "conscience" book. I asked her "what book" she explained that she has a page with each boys names on it and each day she writes a little something in it which the boy did and each night she show the boys' page to the boy and he'll know his good points and bad points; bad points to work on. She also explained that only she and the boy knows what she wrote on that boys' page. I praised her on her thoughtfulness. That I know in the long run the boys will fully appacient it when they are fully grown into men.

Robby just left. He knocked softly on my door just after I finished the last paragraph to this entry. I called come in. Robby crept in and shut the door quietly behind him. He crept toward me and just stood before me with an quilty look on his face. "Yes Robby?" I said very seriously with an very serious look on my face. But I knew within me that Little Robby who is only four could not have that bad of an confession to make. "Miss. Welch ..." he said very softly. "Just call me Sara, Robby." I said gently. All a sudden Robby let out a sob. I quickly gathered Robby onto my lap and let him put his head on my chest. "Oh Robby what ever is the matter?" "I....I... I... listened at Mama's door. I heard you asking to take Dan and Nat to Colorado Springs and to California. I also heard that you wanted to keep it a secret." Robby corked out. "Oh Robby I am not at all upset over what you did. You don't have to be this upset over it." I wiped his tears away from his eyes. I looked deep in his eyes and said "But Robby easdropping is never ok. I am glad that you confessed your little sin right away. Always let the people you easdrop on know that you did and apologetic. If what you overhear is apposed to be kept a secret promise to do and do it." I also add... "But Robby if you know that the secret is life and death you always tell someone." He nodded his little head. Tears gathered in his eyes and spilled over his onto his cheeks again. I wiped them away and said "I forgive you dear. I just wanted you to know that easdropping is a sin. But a very forgivable one." He put his arms around me and hugged me tight. "Sara..." he whispered. "Yes" I whispered back. "Is the invitation for Mama and me still open?" "Why of course Robby. There is nothing in this world you can do to take that invite away." I said in an quiet voice. "Good. I hope Mama agrees to go." Robby still whispered. "Why?" I asked. Robby looked me straight in eyes and said "Mama needs to get away. She's been so sad since Papa died that she needs to get away and visit new places." I nodded understanding. "Well Robby you and I will just need to convince her that the vacation is just want she needs during the school year. But I have an idea how about if we work on secretly without any pressure ok." Robby smiled and nodded. He gave me one last hug and I put him back down onto the floor. He walked to the door and before opening the door he looked back and tried to wink with one eye but he winked both eyes. I winked back with my right eye. He opened and left the room than closed the door.

It later in the night before dinner. Today in history classes I assigned the boys an six month project. I told them to pick any state or country in world to research. I told them I expected an minume of forty page with an maxima of sixty page paper. I also want an oral pretension, without what ever they come up with to help with their speeches. I said that I will set aside two weeks for them to present they speeches to me. I expect their speeches to cover the full hour of history.

13th September, 1872

I took Beauty and Lassie out again to explore more of my new home. I must admit I absolutely love it. It reminds me so much of Colorado Springs. I love Concorde better than Boston. Boston is just to crowed. I always knew Sully was never comfortable there. I always knew it was because he doesn't feel at home in an city; look at how he acted before he and Ma were married and when Ma had an chance to open up a practice in Washington D.C. I agreed with him than I had enough with city life myself. What I have seen of city's with my natural father and sister didn't give me pleasure. Even now just thinking about them all gives me a cramped up feeling in the chest. San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, Austin, Baltimore, Oklahoma City, Bismarck, Pierre, Asheville, Columbia, Norfolk, Charleston, Burlington, Manchester, New Bedford, Pittsburgh, Camden, Atlanta, New York City, Casper, Omaha, Detroit, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Decatur, Indianapolis, Lexington, Nashville, Birmingham, Wichita, Jackson, New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Boise, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Arlington, Tampa, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Anchorage, Providence, Hartford, Bangor, Dayton, Dover, Newark, Billings, Des Moines, Little Rock. A city in every state. We even crossed the ocean to go to Hawaii and Alaska. I admit I won't mind going back to all those state... not alone through. I hope Ma, Pa, Amy, Chet, Matthew, Brian, Katie, Colleen and Andrew might like to come. Timothy to of course.

Timothy ONeil.... I wonder what he is doing right this moment. I wonder if he is riding Prince somewhere in the woods wondering if I am doing the same here. I can still picture his coffee brown wavy hair as the wind blowing it around his head when he leaves his hat off. I still see his coffee brown eyes looking at me so kindly when we first met. I remember how he desperately fought my father off of me when my father was once again beating me senseless. I remember when I can to on the ground outside of our tent when all I could see at first was his face looking so deep into my face waiting to see if I came to. I looked deeply into his eyes and saw my protector there. I was so right. He has protected me when father tried to get me away from Dr. Mike's cabin where he token me once I came to. I remember Tim pulling a gun out of his hosta which was sitting on a chair, and him pointed it at father; between the eye and commend father to leave Dr. Mike's cabin and to leave Amy and me alone for the rest of our lives. I remember Sully helping Tim lead father outside and hearing Tim say leave and never darken this doorstep or all of Colorado Springs ever again. If he did he would have to deal with Tim.

I closed my eyes at this thought and saw in my head an different picture. Of finding my father's remains after the vaulters had fistanted eating him. I saw myself vomiting where I stood and Tim put his arm around me and after I was done he pulled me to him and backed away with my face to his chest. I saw when he pulled me far enough away he sat me down on a rock and sat next to me and held me while I wept. I didn't weep because my father was dead; I wept because no human being should have been eaten my vaulters.
My eyes opened quickly and I leaned over Beauty and vomited. Lassie and Beauty waited patiently until I was done and than Lassie led the way back to Plumfield.

14th September, 1872

Not much to report today. Expect I got to know Jack a little better. He told me that he was so jealous of Nat when Nat first came that after Dan came and than left and than came back again; he decided to still a dollar from Tommy's egg tin box. He knew the blame would have been laid solely on Nat; which it was. But it didn't take all that long for Dan to say that Nat didn't steal the money that he himself did. Proffosser Bhare told Dan to pack his bags that he was out of their come morning. Well Jack felt so guilty that Dan took the blame that he confessed in a little saying that he Jack stole the money and that he went home. Jack said a little time went by and he was allowed to come back to Plumfield. He still doesn't have everyone's complete trust. But he knows that in time he can prove that he has changed for the better.

15th September, 1872

We got an man to help today. His name is Nick Riley. He is an merchant marines. Jo and I first meet him while we walked back from the garden after she resued the bettle that Tommy was about to kill. We joined Little Rob and Dan to see who was doing the hamming that we heard.

Nick heard in town that Jo needed help at Plumfield so he came by and saw the shutters that needed fixing so he took it upon himself to fix 'em. Nick says that he can only help for week because he was going to board an ship out of Boston Harbour. Well Jo agreed to give him room and board for a week.

16h September, 1872

We got an new student at Plumfield. Anthea Harding. The first female student at Plumfield. Nan which she intists everyone to call her is a total tomboy. She was interduced by Jo this evening at dinner.

I talked with Jo before going to bed this evening and Jo told me more about Nan's situation. She just lost her mother and her father wanted her away from him. He just can see that he can grieve with his daugther and that both of them would help each other. Nan feels the loss of her mother deeply and is very confused at why her father is keeping away from her mentally and physically.

18th September, 1872

Jo bonded with Nan this evening. It came about this way. While berry picking yesterday Dan challened Nan to a race through the woods. Well Nan of course acctepted <she told me later; that she had to prove herself to the boys>. Well while they were racing they won't paying attention and Dan tripped over an branch that was postined where you could put your foot through it. Dan found that he couldn't move his ankle and Nan stayed with him. Jo and Nick found them to later that night and brought them back home. Well she told Nan that she must be punshied and Jo knew extactly the way to do. She tied an rope around Nan's waist and around the end of her bed post and told Nan that she had to stay that way for the entire day. She could only walk until the rope stopped. Well Jo left the room and Nan was going to untie the rope and leave by the window; when suddenly Jo opened the door and said " Because by waiting until tomorrow, you will have proven yourself an honourable young girl. Therefore, you will have earned my trust. Whatever you decide about it is entirely up to you." Nan of course decided to stay tied to the bed post. Well right after school started Jo untied Nan from the bed post. Before leaving Nan. Nan said "I was winning. When Dan twisted his ankle, we were racing and I was winning. Not that anyone cares." "So that's why you got lost. You challened Dan to a race in the woods." Jo said. "He challenged me. I couldn't back down." Nan replied. "It's not easy being a young woman in a man's world, is it?" Jo asked. "I do all right" replied Nan. "Yes, you, do. And so do I. Sometimes even I need a little help, someone to tell my troubles to. Someone who knows exactly how I'm feeling. Maybe you could be that someone for me." Jo said. "Sure" replied Nan. "And maybe I could be that someone for you." Jo said. Nan didn't say anything she contiuned to clean up her mess. She finally tuned her head around to face Jo and nooded and smiled an small smile. Jo told me all this during all nightly catch up's. She said that she knew she found a friend in Nan and knows that Nan feels the same.

Nick is going to be Plumfield's new caretaker for a while. How it came about is this way. Nick was leaving for Boston when on the road he saw Emil's uncle passing. He felt uneasy so he cam back. He walked into the barn right when Captain Hoffman was roughy hauling Emil out of his seat. Nick rushed over and grabbed him and said "The boy doesn't want to go." Captain Hoffman suddenly pushed past Nick and Nick pushed him back causing Captain Hoffman to fall backwards. Well the Deputy was in the school when this happened and he grapped Nick and said "You're coming with me." Once in the yard Nick was hancuffed in the Deputy's carriage.

Well Jo was upset with the way Nick handed Captain Hoffman, but she cooled down and went to town and talked to the deputy to bail Nick out of jail. On the condition that Jo is respobible for Nick till his sentencing is up. Well Jo said that she needs an caretaker.

So Nick is the caretaker of Plumfield until his sentencing is up. I sincerely hope that after his sentencing is up Nick will decided to stay on at Plumfield.

16th October, 1872

I don't know what it is about Jasper but he makes me uneasy. Right after he arrived late this morning to visit with Dan and Nat I had an very direct feeling that danger was upon him. Very much so that I went up to my room and changed into my wide green plaid skirt and white blouse that Mrs. Dorthy made for me before I left home. I don't know what made me do it but I went over to my dresser and pushed it aside and got the strong box and opened it and grabbed my pistol. I cleaned it loaded it up. It was natual for me to put it in the waist band of my skirt. I made sure that nobody could tell that i had it on me and than I left the room.

As I was leaving the house to go to the barn for class I saw that Dan was talking to Jasper. "... why go to school? You don't need it." Jasper was saying. Dan looked at the barn and replied "No ... I like school...." "Dan time to go to class now." I said I looked over at Jasper and invited him to come if he would like. Jasper only lifted his head and after sizing me up <which made me uncomfortable> he said mocking "No I don't need school. I would much raghter work outside than to be cooped up inside." I smiled and said "Well than Jasper why don't you help out around here than." I saw Nick comming up behind Jasper. "Why there is Nick Riley; Plumfield's caretaker. He can sure use you help today." I waved Nick over and he came up. "Nick this Jasper an friend of Dan and Nat. He has so kindly offered to help you out today while Dan and Nat are in school. " I said very pleasuable. Nick said that he was pleased that Jasper will be helping out and that he has tons of work that needs to be done and done today. Jasper looked angerly at me. "...but..." Jasper started to say. I quickly cut him off "Nick why don't you get Jasper started shoveing over at the front gate." Nick looked at me with laughter in his eyes but with concern also. "Yep. Come on Jasper lets get some honset sweat on your brow boy." He said as he put his arm around Jasper's shoulders and led him away. I can feel Nick doesn't trust Jasper eighter. "Come on Dan off to school." I said. Dan nodded and he and I walked to the barn together.

I told the children that I was going to give an test on all subjects in an weeks time and that I expect them to take the week and study, study, study. They of course groaned but I told them that these tests are important for when and if they decided to go to college.

After dismissing class for the day I went to the house to find Jo. I found her reading to Little Rob. I just leaned against Rob's bedroom door quietly watching mother and son. I turned quietly around after watching for five minutes and went in search of my dog.

I found Lassie in the kicten with Asia. I sat at the kitchen table and chatted with Asia for a little bit than Lassie and I went up to my bedroom.

18th October, 1872

As I was walking back to Plumfield from my walk in the woods with Lassie; I heard an gun shot. I picked up my speed into an ran; while I pulled my pistol from the back of my plaid skirt. The scene that met my eyes was that of Jasper pointing an pistol in between Little Rob's eyes. "..... Little Robby here is my hostage. If anything happens to me before I leave the border of Massachusetts ... why Mrs. Bhare not only are you going to be husband less but childless too." Jasper said in an threatening voice. "Put the pistol down Jasper!" I said in an soft no-nonsense voice as I walked right up to him and Robby. I put my pistol right between Jasper's eyes. Jasper laughed and said "Ha. that thing is not even load." "My Pa always taught me never have a gun that is not loaded. If you have it out of the hosta plan on using it." I said quietly still in the same monotone voice. Jasper just stared me in the eyes. He had dead eyes; no life in 'em. Robby was still between us. "Let Rob go Jasper." Jasper just smiled an sick deadpan smile and pushed the pistol harder between Little Rob's eyes. "I sure would hate to waste you blood on him Jasper. I will kill you before you even think of pulling that trigger." I said softly. Suddenly Nick pushed Jasper sideways. I pulled Little Rob to me than away to his mother. I trained my pistol on Jasper as Nick was wrestling the gun away from him. Finally Jasper was weaponless and Nick roughly started leading him to the sheriff; when I finally put my gun arm down to my side. I brought the pistol up to my stomach and unloaded all six chambers; I pocketed the bullets and walked inside the house and up to my bedroom. After closing the door I moved my dresser away from the wall and took out the strong box where I kept the gun and bullets. As I was pushing the dresser back into position my body started to shake. After I pushed the dresser back I leaned against it and put my head in my hands and sobbed. I fell down against the dresser and sobbed my heart out.

I finally got myself together again. After washing my face, I brushed my hair and braided it into two little braids and tied them both in back.

I went downstairs and out the front door. I went to the horse barn to check on Beauty. I saw Dan brushing him down nice and shiney. "Dan? Are you all right?" I asked gently. "No Miss. Sara I am not." He looked up at me with an touched look on his face. "What happened to Jasper?" I walked over to him and looked down into his eyes. "I really don't know, Dan. His eyes reminded me so much of my fathers." "Your father? Sully?" Dan asked in wonder. I shook my head. "Not Sully. My natural father. He was an bad man an very bad man. He was not human." I shook myself. "I will tell you about him someday; Dan. But not today. I just wanted to see if you are ok." "Miss ...Sara?" He asked. I nodded. "Can I tell you about Jasper someday. Once I get my feeling clear?" "Yes Dan. Just know that not only am I here for you but so is Mrs. Jo, Nick, Aisa and the rest of the kids here are here for you also." Dan nodded and went back to grooming I left in search of Lassie.

I found Lassie with Little Robby of course. I really didn't expect anything else. I found them both of course in Jo's bedroom. I found Little Rob hugging Lassie like there was no to mower. I saw Jo sitting at Robby's right side protecting and patting Lassie. I went over and sat on Lassie right whence Robby was on her left side where I started to pat Lassie Little Rob let out an croaked sob and crawled over to me. He crawled into my lap and hugged me tightly. "It's all right now Robby. No body's going to hurt you again." I said softly. Jo suddenly let out an chocked sob; but she made no move to her son. She allowed me to comfort him. She knew that I was the only one to confront him at the moment. Lassie put her head on Little Rob's back. Us four sat like that for; I don't know how long when finally Little Rob asked softly "Can Lassie sleep with me tonight, Sara? I nodded "She can sleep with you as long as you need her too." He got off my lap and he and Lassie left the room.

"Jo....?" I began. Jo got up and went over to her writing desk and sat down and opened her conscience book and said. 'Not now Sara. Later. I promise." "Ok ... whenever you are ready to talk about it I'm here." I quietly closed the door after I left.

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