Thursday, November 14, 2019
Poplar Mountain Part 48 by Dellani Oakes
After talking to the sheriff, Luke and Will decide that spending the night with the girls again, is a good idea. They talk about Big Earl's wishes for the land.
"He let me keep my house land," Will said stubbornly. "I got me a few acres to work if I have a mind. It will surely do for us and ours when we've got kids. I don't need more than that."
"I decided that Will can share the land evenly with me once it's mine," Luke said. "Mama has the house for her and the young'uns. We work the land and provide for them like we promised. I don't hold with Daddy saying Will ain't his son. He's my brother and we went through hell with that old man. If I could of gone with Will, I would of."
Dollie took his hand in hers. "You're a fine man, Lucius Henry."
He smiled, kissing her fingers.
"Reckon you should go into town and check the bank box," Will said.
"Your father had a bank box?" Patty was shocked.
"Yup. He had a lawyer too," Will replied. "He took me up there one day, introduced us and all. Did he do that with you, Luke?"
"No, this is the first I heard of it. How long ago was that?"
"It was a few months before I left home. He had a long talk with the lawyer, but I wasn't in the room. He had him a pretty new secretary I was trying to get to know."
"Before or after you met Patty?" Luke winked at his brother.
"I'd met her but we weren't courting," Will replied, his ears going red. "Once she told me she'd date me steady, I didn't even talk to another girl except at work."
"I guess you'd better go with me," Luke said.
"We'll go tomorrow," Will replied. "All that nonsense with Ed got me thinkin' maybe there's somethin' he knows that we don't—and we should."
"First thing in the morning. Can you take the time from work?"
"Mr. Prentice gave me a few days bereavement leave." He snorted.
"It gives you a chance to get things in order," Patty said, taking his hand. "And you can spend some time working on the house."
"Every minute I can," he promised.
"It's about time to go to bed," Dollie said suddenly. "You men need to bathe and get to bed so you can be up early and head to town."
Patty exchanged an unhappy look with Will. "She's right. Much as I'd like to spend more time, we need to get some rest."
The men agreed, Will reluctantly, but he followed his brother as he went down the hall.
"You think Dollie was trying to keep us apart?" he asked Luke as they headed to the showers.
"Yup, I do. And she's right. Y'all aren't married yet. I know you're excited, but you got to keep it under control, Will. What would her daddy the preacher say if his daughter had to get married?"
"Reckon he'd wanna kill me."
"Yup, I reckon he would."
They bathed in silence and finished getting ready for bed. They lay down and put out the lamp on the table between them. Will stared at the ceiling. Luke could see the outline of his profile in the moonlight that drifted in from outside. A worried frown creased Will's brow.
"Who do you suppose it was that broke in last night?"
"I been wondering that. Got no idea."
"You think he'd try comin' back?"
"Not if he knows we're here. He'd be a fool to do that."
"We ain't sleepin' in with the girls. We're way on down the hall. Lot can happen in a minute. I think they ought to sleep in here with us. And I do mean sleep. You and me could take turns resting and the girls could take the beds."
"You think they're asleep yet?"
"Doubt it. Let's go find out."
They put on their bathrobes and tapped on the apartment door. There was a scurrying inside and Dollie opened the door. She peeped up at them, dark eyes wide.
"Is something wrong?"
"We got to thinking," Luke said. "You ought to come down to our room and sleep there. We'll behave," he added, holding his hands up where she could see them. "We're a little concerned about last night's visitor. We'd feel better if you came down to our room."
"Patty?" Dollie called over her shoulder. "What do you think?"
"I think it's a great idea." She came out of the bedroom in her bathrobe.
They walked the women to their room. The rooms were equipped for four girls, so they made up the two other beds for Patty and Dollie. They curled up and went to sleep. Will lay down to rest and Luke stayed up, sitting in one of the desk chairs with his feet up on another chair. It was uncomfortable, which was why he'd chosen it. He hadn't counted on the fact that, despite his desire to stay awake, his body needed sleep. He was still recovering from a serious infection, his body drained of its usual reserves. Before long, he'd dozed off, head lolling over the back of the chair.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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