See Part 8 here and Part 9 here
“This is it.” I thought as I approached the farm. It looked so much more run down than I recalled. They must have gotten along terribly after everything happened…
“Hello! Anyone home?” I called out.
“Can I help you, Sir?” A young pregnant woman called from the stream near the house.
I dismounted my horse and walked over to the young woman who was now in front of the house with a pail of water in hand. “How do you do, Ma’am. I was hoping to find Liesel Bennet here.” I greeted.
“I’m afraid I don’t know any Liesel Bennets… Or even a Liesel for that matter.” The woman said.
“She used to live here with her mother and father. Do you maybe know her mother? Mrs. Amelia Bennet?” I asked, desperate for answers.
The young lady swept her hair out of her face as though in deep thought. “No, I’m sorry. My late husband and I bought this place from an elderly woman, Ms. Donalds about two years ago. Never knew anyone else owned it.”
“Ms. Donalds… Do you know where she’s staying now? Perhaps she knows where I can find the Bennets.”
“Um… I’m sorry to tell you this, but, Ms. Donalds passed away. Not long after my husband… There was a terrible epidemic…” She said solemnly.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” I turned my head away to hide my disappointment.
“Would you like to come inside? I have some lemonade ready for my son, but there’s plenty if you’d like some.” She offered kindly.
“That’s kind of you, but I should be going. Thank you for your help.”
Before I could say another word, a small boy around 7 years old came running up.
“Mama! Mama! I caught myself a fish!” He yelled proudly.
“That’s wonderful, Charlie! We’ll have us a real feast tonight.” His mother praised. It was then I realized just how poor they were. Just a widowed mother with a child on the way, it must be hard to make end’s meet. If one fish caught with nothing more than a little net was a feast, I’d hate to know what their every day meal was like.
“Charlie, I want you to say hello to…?”
“Edmund Richardson. It’s nice to meet you, Charlie.” I flashed him a friendly smile.
“Go on inside now and get washed up, okay?” His mother instructed.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help to you. Good luck on your search.” The kindly woman said with a smile.
Before I headed off, I glanced at my fishing rod and I knew I had one last thing to do.
“Hey, Charlie! Come here a second.” I called him over just before they disappeared into the house.
“I want you to have this.” I said, holding out my fishing rod.
He looked at me, as though unsure if he should accept it or not.
“It’s okay, honey. Go on.” His mother gave her approval…
And he came over and grabbed the rod, a smile so wide on his cute little face.
“Look, Mama! My very own pole!” He exclaimed.
“It’s lovely, son. What do you say to Mr. Richardson?”
He beamed up at me and said thank you and I nodded.
“Can I go catch another fish for supper, Mama?” Little Charlie asked. “Alright, but be home before supper.”
“That was very kind of you, Mr. Richardson. I think it’s just about the greatest gift he’s ever received.” His mother thanked me with grateful tears in her eyes. “Before you go, I just remembered, there is a new princess in Uceda by the name of Liesel. She was close to poverty when the prince asked for her hand. Maybe she’s the one you’re looking for?”
“Thank you. I’ll be sure to look into it.” I said with a bow of my head.
“Goodbye! And thank you!”
As I rode away from the old farm, I couldn’t help but worry. If that was Liesel who married the prince, there was no way she was happy with him. I certainly hope she’s not married….
Next part coming soon! 😀