Virginia Slade Waiting

“We can imagine Virginia Slade waiting for jack. As the twilight closed in on Meadow Valley, she lit the candles. She knew that complete, velvety black darkness was not far-off and she hoped desperately that Jack was not far-off either, but galloping home on his faithful horse, ‘Old Copper-bottom.’ Jemmy, their thirteen-year old adopted boy, brought in wood for the cook stove, then he sat quietly reading, asking his ‘mother’ words now and then. Virginia peeled potatoes, put them on to boil; made a venison stew; cut the still warm bread she’d baked that day; filled a white jug with milk.

Outwardly calm, inwardly deeply upset, she went on waiting. Finally, she fed Jemmy and pushed the remainder of the food to the back of the stove to keep warm. She seated herself in a chair with some sewing, listening for the hoof beats of ‘Old Copper-bottom.’ Many an anxious evening wore on for the dark beauty in her still, lonely stone house.”