Story Go Round 10/19/2001, round 3, #2


He completed the third leg for the piano bench by lunch that day. His younger brother had appeared at the doorway to the earthen floor workshop delivering a meal from the kitchen. Alone, thinking about the supplies he wondered if he had chosen the right wood, the right design for her house. Maybe when Stewart brought him supper that night, he could stay longer. Then they could talk, catch up and then by slow degrees, he could ply Stewart for his opinions about Kate's opinions. Honestly! He smiled inwardly at the spectacle of going through an intermediary just to get her feelings. It was like needing a priest to talk to God. But hadn't it been necessary? At the ball, his quivers had been uncontrollable in her proximity. She looked up at him with moist, happy eyes, and he was aware of having an enviable physique.

Finishing his lunch, he set the tray aside and went back to work. The fourth leg was almost done when he realized it was already dark, and he was not going to finish it that day. Should he keep working anyway? He had until tomorrow sundown to finish, but there was also Mr. MacDougal's cane to fix.

He set another tallow candle in the brass holder, and another at the doorjam for Stewart, though he knew the way well enough even in the dark, and set to work on the cane.

"Am I disturbing you?" Stewart asked when he reached the doorway.

"No, brother. Please come in." He moved out a chair and motioned Stewart towards it. Stewart smoothly concealed the look of surprise they both knew would appear and approached the chair.

"I'm in love with Kate Morningdale," was out of Stewart's mouth in a rush.

He set the cane down. This would require a lathe. That was his first thought. He grabbed a random plank and started easy, measured strokes, venting considerable pressure through his palm. He shot concerned glances at Stewart and said, "That's serious. Many have hopes of her. Do you have reason to believe she reciprocates your affections?"

"Oh Brother, that's half the tragedy. Our walks have been frequent, and not during prescribed hours of daylight."

Sean's already knotted innards went pretzel on him. He couldn't determine whether he felt more hurt and disappointed that Kate would make eyes at him while dallying with his brother, or whether he was more angry with Stewart for having already formed not just an attachment, but a real connection, with Kate.

"Oh, Brother, I am in love with her and she confides in me that she is in love with someone else! She doesn't even recognize my heart!" Stewart now sat, head hanging off his frame, and a tear stained the dirt floor below.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange