As Thankful hung the last diaper, she heard Fahy’s laughter in the front parlor. Forgetting how she looked, she ran inside, trailing suds and sand behind her. “Thankful, you look a caution!” Fahy said with a grin. He liked the way she looked.
Thankful nodded his way but addressed her enemy. “Miss Peckham, Mr. Weldon was here awaiting your orders, and he was very sore!”
“Do you mean physically? Because we met him on officers’ row and he was cheerful as a bird in summer. Don’t you agree, Mr. Fahy?” Miss Peckham turned to the officer with a smile.
Fahy nodded in agreement then met eyes with his fiancée. “Miss Crenshaw, I was hoping you might be done with your chores so we could take a ride. I nearly have to get back to work, but our horses are warmed up.”
“Yes, I hope you don’t mind that I let Miss Peckham ride Durie.”
“That horse needs firmer discipline and less feed. If he were my horse, he’d receive a sound thrashing,” Miss Peckham bragged.
Fahy gave Thankful an exasperated look. Thankful dug her fingernails into the soft wood of the little dining table. “It’s very pathetic that you must prove your masculinity by mistreating animals, Miss Peckham. Mr. Fahy never should have been such a gentleman to take you out, but you probably strong armed him.”
“I will have you know, Miss Thankful Crenshaw, that I’ve won at many women’s riding events in New York!”
“Isn’t New York famous for its corruption? It’s the only way you could win a horse show–or a beauty contest,” Thankful said.
Fahy stood with his cigar hanging from his mouth. Miss Peckham tossed her gloves and hat on the sofa and ran up the stairs to Thankful’s room. Fahy and Thankful listened to her muffled cries.
“Damn it, Thankful, that was low of you. Peckham’s no great shakes, and she’s a pest, but really—you’re better than to be so—well—so vicious.”
“She abuses my horse and I’m low?” Thankful asked.
“Well, I took the whip from her pretty quick,” Fahy said.
“Thank God for small favors.”
“Mrs. Markham said that you threw a tantrum over an egg . . .”
“Land sakes! Not even an egg gets by people in the army! I just hate Miss Peckham. She told me last night she was only being nice to William for his family’s connections to the military.”
Fahy laughed. “So what? I’m so tired of Bill Weldon. I don’t care a fig, and you shouldn’t either.” He pulled her close. “I love that you care so much about your homefolk and all, but a different man than me might get jealous.”
Thankful looked at his sunburned and freckled face and his impressive sun-bleached mustache. “My sweet lieutenant, you are the most attentive, kind person I’ve ever met. I hope one day we’ll have adventures of our own.”
“Adventures? You amuse me. Sometimes you really act your age.”
Thankful pulled away. “What does that mean?”
“Well, nothing exactly—you’ve got very romantic and naïve ideas. It’s adorable.”
“Miss Peckham has all the adventure she wants and . . .” Thankful began.
Fahy tapped her nose. “And she will most likely spend her life alone.”
“She has such a full life and . . .”
Fahy grinned. “I thought you didn’t much admire Miss Peckham? Anyway, won’t your life be full enough taking care of me?”
“I plan to care for you, but is that all?” Thankful asked, feeling sweat trickle down her spine.
“No, of course not. There’ll be children and we can take trips if you like.” Fahy looked worried. “Won’t I satisfy you?”
“Oh, Mr. Fahy, you already do. But I never have any larks with you. We both work so hard. I want to play a little more than I do now—don’t you?”
“Life is about work, I’m afraid. Childhood is almost over for you, Thankful. There’s no point clinging to it. That just makes the adjustment more painful.”
Thankful sniveled. “But when we are married won’t we still dance and ride?”
“Of course, silly,” he said.
PREVIOUS EPISODE: WEARY OF RUNNING
Excerpted from WEARY OF RUNNING. Read more about Buck Crenshaw, his sister Thankful and William Weldon’s misadventures when you buy the book today!
“The second installment in The Tenafly Road Series definitely did not disappoint. With the introduction of new characters and the return of familiar ones, Weary of Running made for an exciting read. The protagonist, Thankful, is the real highlight of the novel. She consistently makes very poor decisions but in the end, you can understand why she has made every last one of them. The story ranges from love and romance to questions of faith and morality. It does all this without being preachy and explores many angles of different aspects of life. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.” Amazon Review
“Buck Crenshaw is my favorite dysfunctional lovable character.”
3 responses to “Fiction: Adventurous Thoughts”
Women had few opportunities then and if they grabbed for them, they ended up like Miss Peckham – well observed but not respected. Now Thankful is beginning to sense that what she has is what she will have – choices are slim, aren’t they?
What’s interesting to me is that I was taught to blame “society” for any lack in myself. So many men and women trick themselves into thinking (even now) that they are trapped by their circumstances.
Many 19th century women led productive, happy lives. I think history books tend to present the extremes. Both Miss Peckham and Thankful make silly but understandable decisions, in my opinion. The funny thing is I know modern women who have made similar decisions even with all of the opportunities now available to them (I won’t say who these women are–haha!)
Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your commentary on my story? I sincerely do!
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