The Final Goodbye By: J.L. Jacobs © 2015 (Full Length Book)

Out of sheer desperation, Sophia Lancaster flees her small town of Wellington, Ohio in order to become a mail-order-bride. Naive and full of hope, her world is shattered once again as she is quickly wed to Travis Ewing who seems to despise her from the moment they meet.

Over time, they fall madly in love with each other but Fate has other plans in store for them. This is a suspenseful and very emotional love story that is set in the 1890's where history comes alive. You will laugh and cry over Sophia's journey through hell and back as she fights for the only thing she truly believes in: Love.

*I love to hear your comments and feedback but please DO NOT POST ANY SPOILER ALERTS OR GIVE AWAY STORY INFO. This ruins the reading experience for others.* This is a rough draft version. This book is for mature readers over the age of 17 only. It does contain some profanity and a few graphic love scenes. The synopsis will be re-written, and I will be updating the book with edits.

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5. Chapter Five: The Journey South

Chapter Five: The Journey South

 

     The train would be nearing her final destination soon, Forrest Park Station, which was a depot located in the heart of Dallas County. It was one of the major hubs where the Texas and Pacific Railway trains made frequent stops. Sophia couldn't get off this dreadful train soon enough! All though the first class passenger section had beautifully appointed decorations, plush seating, and the food was surprisingly good, the compact and very humid compartments kept Sophia covered in a layer of sweat during her entire ten day journey. Then, because of the heat, many windows were opened on the train which brought in lots of dust that seemed to cover her body and stick to the layer of sweat. She had a small personal compartment to sleep in at night which contained a small bed framed in solid wood that had built in drawers underneath it to store items or clothing in. Next to the bed on the other side of the wall there was a small writing desk that was attached to the wall and could be unlatched and pulled down when it was needed. The compartment contained one tiny window, that when opened, provided very little relief from the heat with the exception of at nighttime when the temperatures dropped enough to make it less humid and hot in there. Luckily, she had the small compact room to herself since she was a first class passenger, all thanks to the generosity of her father who had upgraded her ticket prior to her leaving the train depot in Wellington. Other passengers who were not in first class had small compartments like herself with the exception that each one held two bunked beds, each with a very thin mattress. There was one set of these bunk-style beds on each wall where four passengers total had to share one tiny room. Those types of rooms were used for all females or all males. In some cases they were used by the servants of passengers who stayed in the first class compartments. Sophia was glad for her father's thoughtful gesture and would be sure to thank him properly upon her arrival in Dallas. She had never thought of staying in first class when she purchased her ticket, so her dad's experience of having to take the train before on long journeys came in handy. During the ten day ride she had plenty of time to read the books on basic homemaking, cooking, child rearing and even some gossip rags that kept her thoughts at bay. Nellie had given her a blank leather-bound book before she had left telling her to write about her experiences and new life. Nellie had said that one day, Sophia would come to appreciate having those memories to look back on and read. Not one who was ever big on writing, Sophia politely thanked Nellie for her kindness but never planned to use the journal. That is, until during that train ride when her boredom got the best of her. Sophia then began writing in it just to have something to occupy her time with. Her first entry had been on Independence Day when not only her boredom got the best of her, but also her loneliness and the fact that she was already very homesick. She continued to write in it every so often which actually did make her feel a little bit better. She learned that keeping a journal wasn't as tedious as she had envisioned it to be and wished she had done so long before now.

 

 

July 4, 1890

Nellie gave me this journal. I honestly never planned on using it but I am so dreadfully bored on this god forsaken train! I feel like I have spent months on here instead of only a few days. I have been covered in a constant layer of sweat and dusty dirt and I long for a much needed bath; not only to cleanse myself and give my hair a thorough washing, but to also soak in to help ease my aching body. I pray to the Almighty that Mr. Travis Ewing has a tub in his home or I might be tempted to live in a nearby hotel until he installs one. Today I cannot help but to think of home as its July 4th. Wellington has had a long time tradition since its founding days of having an early morning parade followed by an all day festival for the town in celebration of our nation's independence. I know that right about now Rachel is working at the lemonade stand and probably cursing me out in her head for me not being there with her. I cannot say I blame her. --- S.A. Lancaster

 

July 5, 1890

Just this morning the train made yet another stop. I don't even know which city it was in because the conductor announced to the passengers that we would be staying for several hours so the train could get something worked on. I didn't pay much attention to the details because once I heard him say the words "several hours" I instantly knew we'd be allowed enough time to visit whatever city this was as many passengers may have done. Not I however. The first thing I did was take a long, hot, blissful bath which I had ordered from the local saloon. I felt like I was in heaven! Then, later that evening, I boarded the dreaded train again and not two hours later I was sweaty and covered in a layer of dust again. But for several hours I was clean and feeling so refreshed. It's hard to believe I took the little things like a hot bath for granted. I won't be making THAT mistake again! --- S. A. Lancaster

 

July 8, 1890

I was called "hoity toity" during dinner tonight. A gentleman asked if he could sit with me at my dining table and I politely declined his offer. I have been keeping to myself while on this train because I was warned by Father that you couldn't trust strangers when you were traveling alone. So I told the gentleman "I appreciate your offer to dine with me but I must politely decline." He then called me that name which I have never heard before in my life. Thankfully he sat somewhere else. Hoity Toity... what does that even mean? I must ask Travis Ewing sometime about that if I can remember to. Since he lives in the South, he more than likely knows what is means and can tell me. We're technically in the South now; maybe they speak differently than the Northerners do. They sure do have different accents too, which sounded a little strange to me at first, but then it sort of sounds soothing at the same time. Either way, I have been reading the "Basics of Cooking" book and I seem to be gaining a general understanding of certain things. But it's talking about things like needing measuring cups for certain ingredients and the only cups I have ever heard of were drinking cups so how will I know which one to use? For example, in a recipe it says to use a one cup measuring cup for one particular ingredient. Then with another ingredient, it says to use a one-fourth cup. So that part is what confuses me. Perhaps the one cup is a regular drinking glass and the one-fourth cup is a tea cup? There are all kinds of other weird looking things called utensils that I will have to use and they show illustrations of each of them. Many of them look like odd weapons of sorts. I sure wish I had taken Nellie up on her offer to teach me how to cook all those times over the years. Now I just feel like some spoiled brat who cannot fend for herself in the kitchen. Lordy, Lordy. I sure hope I can manage how to learn to do this on my own! Otherwise, it will be my goose that's cooked, not me cooking a goose! --- S. A. Lancaster

 

July 9, 1890

One more day until I reach Dallas County. I'm getting more and more nervous the closer I get. I have decided that if I see this man, Travis Ewing that is, and he's some old degenerate then I am getting right back on this train and heading back home! Speaking of this train. IF I do end up going back home, I will NEVER step foot on another train as long as I live! I bet it's not so bad in the winter time when the sun isn't blazing hot and you don't have to open windows. That would eliminate two problems I am having with this trip at once. #1: I won't be covered in sweat at all time and #2: I won't be covered in dusty dirt that sticks to my sweaty skin at all time. --- S. A. Lancaster

 

July 10, 1890

Today is the big day. I couldn't sleep a wink last night. The couple in the compartment next to mine who boarded the train that morning was making these weird noises all night long and there was this thumping sound on and off during the night. When the thumping noises were going on it sounded like the woman was moaning, like she was in some sort of distress or something. I have never been so scared in my entire life! What if she was being tortured slowly only to be murdered? I just kept thinking he'd come to my compartment next so I made sure my door was locked. But that poor woman! I often heard her calling out to God. She was saying, "Oh God! Oh God, OOOOOHHH GOD!" Then the man would tell her get up and bend over. Seconds later I heard this constant smacking sound and the woman kept on moaning. Once she even yelled "FASTER!" Was he spanking her like a child or something? If he was it must have been very painful for her to be yelling faster like that. If I were being tortured slowly, I suppose I would want him to just kill me quickly and be done with it. But as it turns out, I seen the same couple during breakfast this morning and they looked quite happy and, dare I say it, in love! She was smiling at him and they would hold hands talking to each other until their breakfast had arrived. Even though she was wearing a dress, I didn't see one mark on her body to prove he was torturing her. You'd think there would have been bruises all over her from all the noises I heard last night! I can't seem to wrap my head around it especially seeing her look so happy with him. Perhaps all her bruises are in places that her dress (which is quite lovely I might add) covers up? That still doesn't explain her very pleasant demeanor this morning though. Unless.... perhaps she's a kidnapping victim being held for ransom and he told her he would kill her unless she pretended to be happy? That scenario seems to make sense. So instead of breaking my own fast, I was too worried about that poor woman to eat anything. She sure seems to be a great actress. I don't think if I were in her shoes I could act nearly as well. So I got up from the table and pulled aside one of the train attendants. She was a woman who worked as a hand waiter for the dining compartment in first class where I was sitting and I explained the whole story to her, not leaving out any of the details. Instead of being alarmed she asked me if I was married. I told her no, and asked what that had to do with anything? She said "once I was married I would understand the situation much better." Then she laughed and walked away from me. Is she implying that when you get married it's perfectly normal for a man to torture a woman like that? If so, and Travis Ewing is that type of a man, then I will be going home, no doubt about it! I know not all men are like that as Rachel, Maybelle, and even my Mother have never once complained of being tortured like that nor did any of them ever have marks or bruises to prove they were. So I am pretty certain that not all men torture their wives. Let's just hope I am one of the lucky ones. Lastly, why did that woman laugh at me when I told her about all of that? Doesn't she care about the fact that one of her passengers was being tortured by her husband? Now I am just scared about getting married in general. Which could be today or tomorrow. What have I gotten myself into? Oh God. (no pun intended)

--- S. A. Lancaster

 

     Yes, her journal writing did help to pass the time. When Sophia wasn't reading, looking at the magazines she had read through about nine times already, and writing in her journal, (especially at night by the single glow of her lantern that was secured to the wall) her fears and worries tended to get the best of her. She was also plagued by that pesky pain in her abdomen every so often. She would have to make it a point to visit with a physician sometime soon to get it checked out. It began to pile onto her ever-growing pile of worries. She felt on edge the entire trip; truly regretting leaving her home, family and basically everything she had ever known in order to make a very rash decision by agreeing to marry a man she had never met and knew nothing about. What was she even thinking? Then she would think of Jeremy and the pain of all that had happened and her resolve would come back a little bit. She began to wonder about Travis Ewing for the hundredth time. What was he like? Was he older or younger? Would she be attracted to his appearance? Was he kind? Are the children agreeable? What happened to his first wife? Did she die? Hopefully he didn't kill her. Instantly the things she heard from the night before from the room next to her came to mind. Maybe he was doing those things to his wife and the torture went too far and he killed her! So many thoughts and nothing but ten days' worth of time to think about so many things. She was utterly and truly frightened by this point. It didn't help that the mugginess from the small rooms on the train kept her uncomfortably warm either. 

 

     The largest room on the train contained the dining compartment where she ate her three meals a day where she mostly sat alone. But today a woman had approached her during the luncheon meal. "Pardon me. I don't mean to be forward." she began in her soft southern drawl of an accent. Sophia looked up from her bowl of stew, then put down the book she was reading to meet the blue-eyed gaze of a very thin woman who looked to be in her early twenties. The woman continued on by saying, "I noticed that you seem to be all alone. I wondered if you would mind terribly if I sat down to dine with you? I am traveling alone without a proper chaperone and I could use the company." Her blue eyes twinkled. Surprised, Sophia nodded her head yes to indicate that the woman could sit down and share the small table with her. "My name is Elsie. Elsie May Prescott." Sophia smiled kindly to her and spoke up, "I am Sophia Lancaster." "I got on from Abilene a couple days ago," Elsie said, "and I have noticed that you are always alone so I figured I would ask to sit with you today. I am so thankful to have someone to converse with finally." Sophia noticed that Elsie was wearing a very plain but stylish dress of light blue with a white and dark blue checkered pattern. It was belted at her waist which made her already very tiny frame look even smaller. Her hair was a dark brown color and was pinned up. Sophia scrutinized Elsie's appearance closer; at a first glance she seemed quite plain looking. But now that she was sitting directly across from her, Sophia decided that she was actually quite an attractive woman. Her eyes were a very light shade of pale blue that positively sparkled. She had fine porcelain skin. When a hand waiter came up to the table to take Elsie's order, she only asked for a simple garden salad and a cup of sweet tea. After the waiter left Elsie began to talk at once while Sophia ate her own food. "Where are you headed to?" she asked Sophia curiously. Sophia replied, "Turtle Creek in Dallas County." Elise literally squealed and gave a little bounce of her bum on the velveteen padded seat, "I am headed to Dallas myself. I actually live there. Turtle Creek isn't far from Dallas. I was just visiting my married sister in Abilene and I am now on my way back home. Turtle Creek is more of a resort area now and has many natural hot springs. Are you heading to one of the resorts there?" Sophia shook her head no. "Actually" she answered, "I am to be a mail-order bride, and my soon-to-be husband lives in Turtle Creek." Elsie smiled politely and said, "Beg my pardon, but he must live closer to Dallas proper or in between as Turtle Creek isn't much other than a resort place to visit. Other than Mr. Ewing who has about one hundred and fifty acres of land and a nice ranch operation there. He refused to sell when Henry Exall came in to buy up all the land for his beautification project that---" Sophia cut off Elsie mid-sentence. "When you say Mr. Ewing, do you mean Travis Ewing?" she asked Elsie. Elsie replied, "Why yes, Ma'am that's him. The one and only. Why do you ask? Are you acquainted with Mr. Ewing?" Sophia chuckled and responded, "That's who I am to marry!" Elsie's eyes opened wider in surprise and utter shock. "You don't say!" she exclaimed, "Why, I had no idea Mr. Ewing was even in the market for a new bride! He's a catch that one. His wife, Rebecca, died a couple years back from childbirth complications. The baby, a little girl I heard, didn't make it either. Poor Mrs. Ewing had just lost too much blood. I heard that the doctor could have saved them both if he hadn't been so inebriated. Came straight from The Blue Moon Saloon, that man, and he was pretty deep in his cups if you know what I mean." Sophia nodded in understanding while Elsie prattled on, "I also heard that Mr. Ewing gave Dr. Folsom quite the beat down afterwards. He took the death of his wife and baby girl pretty hard and blamed their deaths on that doctor. But Mr. Ewing has that big ranch and a woman named Mrs. Cox, who is the wife of the ranch's cook for the cookhouse, who has been helping him out since with his younger children. I feel for Mr. Ewing and those little kids, I really do. What a tragic loss it was for them. I knew Mrs. Ewing fairly well as we ran in the same social circles and all. She was such a beauty! She had this dark red hair and these eyes that were a light brown but somehow almost matched her hair color. She was a spitfire that one but very gentle towards her children and very well respected in Dallas society. We all miss her dearly." Sophia felt a pang in her stomach hearing all of that for some reason because back home a few months ago her former fiancé, Jeremy Thompson, had a similar situation happen to him with one of his patients and that situation was so hard for him to handle that he drank too much whiskey that night and ended up getting Angelique Milton pregnant! That fateful night was exactly why Sophia was now on the train, and despite being reminded of it, she wanted more information from Miss Prescott. "Oh, please Elsie, do tell me about the children and everything you know about Mr. Ewing! I know next to nothing!" Elsie was downright intrigued by this turn of events. She had no inkling that Travis Ewing had been seeking a new bride... and a mail-order one at that? With all the Dallas beauties there were for him to choose from, it just seemed so bewildering to her that he would go about getting married again that way. Elsie was more than willing to dole out information to Sophia. The two women got up from the dining table as the luncheon hour was now over and decided to go to the card room compartment on the train where there were tables they could sit down at to continue their discussion. Typically the card room was off limits to the woman folk after dinner so the men could drink and play cards but it was pretty empty at the moment and a perfect place to talk. "Okay." Sophia said, excited that she happened to have met this woman who knew more about her soon-to-be husband than she, herself, did. She was dying to learn as much as she could about him, and Elsie was equally happy just to have someone to talk to. Circumstances couldn't have been more ideal, "Tell me everything you can! Considering I am about to be married to the man, I want to know whatever you can disclose." Elsie smiled and began to share what she knew, "Well Ms. Sophia, I know that he's in his early thirties, and he's such a handsome fella. Tall, muscular, has a thick head of gorgeous dark brown hair that almost looks black. His eyes are a very light color; I cannot recall what shade exactly. He has a pretty successful ranch called The Ewing Ranch which he started years ago despite the protests of his ailing father who was cotton farmer that used to live there. When his father grew ill, Travis took over the management of the business. He must have had a keen eye or something because even against his father's protests, Travis started to plant tall grass in order to begin a cattle ranch. His father then passed away and left everything to Travis in his will. Everyone thought Travis was crazy to stop growing cotton like his daddy used to do. But it seems that Travis knew was he was doing. As it turned out, the farming industry here in Texas had taken a turn for the worse. Farmers racked up charges with the local merchants and was forced to use what little profits they had from their crops in order to pay back their debts. But not Travis. No, he was one of the lucky ones who had very profitable returns on his longhorn cattle enterprise. I don't know exactly all the details on how it all works and most of this is information I heard from my own daddy who was a farmer most of his life up until about ten years ago. Then he invested in the railroads and he's done real well with that, but he still likes to do farming on the side. I suppose it's in his blood because he sure loves doing it even if he isn't making money for all his efforts. My daddy respects Travis Ewing. That is one thing I am certain of. As a matter of fact, if he had known that Mr. Ewing was in the market for a bride, I am sure my daddy would have pushed me his way. Truth be told, I wouldn't have minded one bit! I still cannot believe he wanted a mail-order-bride." Elsie stopped talking long enough to drink some of her sweet tea which gave Sophia the chance to talk. "Elsie, what can you tell me about his children?" she asked. Elsie took a few more sips of tea then began to talk again. "Well," she started, "I don't know a whole lot about them but I do know that there are two of them. His youngest child is a daughter and she looks to be around four or five years of age. Then there is his son who is the oldest child. I think his name is Mikey. I am not sure on the daughter's name. But Mikey has to be around six or seven years of age. Both of them seem like well-behaved children for the most part. I heard that after the death of their Ma a few years back they both took it pretty hard. That's why Mrs. Cox stepped in to help Mr. Ewing out." Sophia sipped on her own tea and inquired, "Who is Mrs. Cox again?" Elsie quickly answered, "She's the wife of the Ewing Ranch's cook who works in the cookhouse." "Oh," Sophia smiled, "all this information is so helpful but it will take me some time to get all the names right. You are such a help to me. If I am being honest, I have been scared for the last month over coming here not knowing a lick about him. You are putting some of my fears at ease." The two women continued to talk by getting to know one another better over the next two hours until they were interrupted by one of the train attendants telling them they would be arriving in Dallas soon and that they should both head back to their compartments and pack up whatever belongings they had there.

 

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     Thirty minutes later, Sophia sat in her compartment with her traveling reticule all packed up. The train had just stopped several minutes ago and the passengers who were getting off at the Forrest Park Station were now allowed to get off the train while the workers were busy unloading their luggage and crates from the storage compartment. Sophia looked down, noticing that her hands were trembling. She was actually still scared even though Miss Elsie Prescott had told her a lot about her new family. But now it was time to go and she wouldn't be missing this train at all. Since her new friend Elsie didn't live very far from Travis' ranch, she had promised Sophia she would be delighted to call on her sometime soon. That thought made Sophia smile as she stood up and smoothed away some of the wrinkles as best as she could in her light green traveling dress. She had already pinned the matching hat to her hair and was all set to go. Outside her private compartment she could hear the footsteps and voices of the other travelers who were getting off the train. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed her traveling reticule and took one last nervous look around the cramped room she had been using for the last ten days. Then she opened the door and followed the other passengers to the nearest open door of the train where she stepped off onto a broad wooden platform that was crowded with people. The day was overly warm and the sun was out in a large blue sky dotted with perfect white puffy clouds. The air was still dusty from the train making its stop and that dusty air seemed determined to make a home on her already sweaty skin and dress. "Just lovely," she thought to herself, wishing frantically there was a way she could clean up before meeting her soon-to-be husband. There were so many people everywhere! This drain depot was tripled in size compared to the one in Wellington. How would she possibly know who Travis was? How would he know who she was? "I think that sign is for you Sophia." remarked Elsie who had walked up from behind her. Elsie pointed towards a man who held a small chalkboard in his hand. The name on it said Miss Sophia Lancaster. Elsie gave Sophia a quick and friendly hug, "I told you I would call on you soon and don't worry!" she laughed after noticing the look of trepidation on Sophia's face. Sophia gave Elsie a tremulous smile and waved goodbye to her one and only friend in Texas as Elsie walked away. Sophia stood there for a moment, seemingly unable to move quite yet. She looked at the man holding the chalkboard. He was much older with white hair that peeked out from under his dusty cowboy hat. He wore a red flannel shirt with a leather vest over it and blue jeans complete with a buckled belt. His cowboy boots were made of brown leather and looked well-worn. He was completely covered in dust and dirt over his wrinkled skin that was so tanned it looked like leather. He just seemed pretty dirty in general. But here she was, the kettle calling the pot black, on that one. She wasn't exactly very clean herself. He was looking at all the passengers and then caught her own eyes. They stared at each other briefly until Sophia walked over to him saying, "I am Miss Sophia Lancaster." The man sized her up from head to toe very slowly which made her feel squirmy under his scrutiny. There was a look of appreciation in his eyes when he finally looked back into her own. He spoke to her saying, "The boss will sure be mighty pleased. Mighty pleased. Wooo weee, you are sure perty!" His voice was gravely and had a southern drawl like Elsie had. When he began to smile at her, Sophia noticed some of his teeth were missing while the other ones were brown and rotted. The left side of his cheek was puffed out due to his wad of chewing tobacco that she espied when he had smiled at her. She knew that for a fact because many of the farmers back in Wellington liked their chewing tobacco. "Thank you for your compliment, um, Mister... what is your name sir?"  "Oh!" he laughed, "I am Gerald Cox. Everyone calls me Gerry. You can too if you'd like, either that or Mr. Cox as the boss likes to call me. I work for Mr. Ewing Ma'am and I am to escort ya to the hotel where there's a fancy-like room for ya to get cleaned up in. The boss told me he thinks you'd be wanting that after such a long trip and all. He also said there'd be a hot meal delivered to ya. In the meantime, me and some of the other fellers from the ranch will load up the wagon of yonder with all yer belongings and get them taken over to the ranch for ya." He then spit at ground which had disgusted Sophia greatly. "Let's get a move on Ma'am." he continued by leading the way. She automatically began to follow him while taking in the sights of Dallas. Just from the train station she could see that it was a much bigger city than her hometown of Wellington was. There were buildings lining both sides of the street; most of them being as much as four or five stories tall! There were people everywhere going to and from wherever they were headed. The dusty street itself was congested with wagons, single rider horses, and various types of carriages going in two different directions. Dallas seemed to be such a bustling and busy city and Sophia was utterly amazed. She never really thought about what it would look like if truth be told. 

 

     Mr. Cox continued walking for several minutes with Sophia not far behind until he stopped in front of an impressively built building. It was magnificent! The outside was cream colored brick and stone and it was over four stories tall! There were windows running all along the entire building which glinted like diamonds from the sun shining its rays upon them. Sophia sucked in her breath at the sight of this beautiful example of architecture that she instantly admired and loved. "Here we are Ma'am. This is where yer room is." Mr. Cox informed her. "Mr. Cox," Sophia asked, "What is this place called?" "Oh!" he exclaimed, "Pardon me, I didn't even think to tell ya. This here is the Windsor Hotel and I am sure you will be mighty pleased. It's one of the finest hotels in all the south! Well, except fer perhaps the new Oak Cliff Hotel that is opening tonight in fact. The boss tried to find rooms there but they were all booked up. There is to be a splendid grand opening gala there this evening." Sophia was sure he was right; she had never seen such a fine building in all her life! Every time she had visited Cleveland, she had always been in awe of the city. But Dallas was by far an even grander sight to behold. She followed Mr. Cox inside and was even more awestruck! The inside was even more beautiful than the outside was. It was enormous and had marbled flooring covered in intervals with very plush oriental carpeting. There were very large crystal chandeliers running the whole length of the spacious lobby and the grandest looking staircases she had ever seen. Nothing prepared her for such a luxurious hotel. Mr. Cox proceeded to walk up one of the staircases with Sophia trailing not far behind. The stairs were covered in a carpet runner of the finest material and it was so plush that she wanted nothing more than to walk on it in her bare feet. But of course, that would be unheard of! He led her to the second floor and they walked down a long hallway until he stopped in front of one of the hand carved wooden doors. The numbered placard on it read 224. Mr. Cox opened the door for her using a key he had taken out of his pocket. He then handed the key to her and gestured for her to walk inside. Before shutting the door he told her, "The Boss will give ya a couple hours to freshen up and eat a meal before you both proceed to the courthouse to get hitched." "Hitched?" Sophia asked him in question, not understanding the term other than when horses were hitched which made no sense to her. "Married Ma'am." he answered her before shutting the door behind him.

 

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     Sophia had been pretty exhausted from the trip but was filled with a bit of excitement at this large and booming city of Dallas. Just from the walk to the hotel from the train station she had seen so much. There was lots of construction going on everywhere; some buildings were being expanded upwards as far as five to eight stories tall! She then took notice of her room and it was indeed very nice. There was a large wooden armoire made of a dark cherry wood and it had bright brass accents on it where the handles and hinges were located. There were two large windows that had beautiful draperies covering them. The bed was large and beckoned to her. It looked so comfortable compared to the cramped bed she had to sleep on during the train ride. Sophia then noticed another door and when she opened it, she was surprised to find a bathing room with a large claw-footed bathtub. There was wooden counter that held a deep sink and above the sink there was a mirror hanging over it. In the rear portion of that bathing room was a commode which Sophia quickly made use of. Then she delighted in peeling off her dirty clothing until she had nothing else on. She walked butt naked into the other room and once her bare feet touched the plush carpeting she gave out a little sigh of contentment. This was nothing like she had ever seen before. Her parents were very well off and even their carpeting could not compare to this! She had to tell her mother about it and suggest they get some installed in their house. She then reached into her traveling reticule to get out her rose scented essence oil that she would use in her bath. Taking it with her, she went back into the bathing room and stood in front of the mirror to take down all the pins she had in her hair, putting them one by one on top of the counter next to the sink. Finally, once the last pin was out, she used her fingers to run them through her long hair. Being covered in sweat and dust, she couldn't wait to get into that wonderful looking bathtub! She walked over to it, turning the faucets on until she found the right temperature for the water, then put the plug stopper in the hole at the bottom of the tub to stop the water from draining out. Going back to the counter, she grabbed the bottle of essence oil and poured a generous amount into the water. She was smiling the entire time, so happy over being able to bathe herself again. She walked back into the other room and put back her bottle of essence oil into her reticule. She searched in the bag until she found what she had been looking for. Rose scented soap, her brush, and her small tin of lip stain. The only other time she had used the lip stain was for her wedding to Jeremy and that didn't work out so well for her. She prayed fervently that her wedding to Travis Ewing would actually take place, especially after her traveling all this way. She then proceeded to take a nice long bath, allowing her body to soak for a period of time before she washed her hair and body. She felt so relaxed afterwards that she fell asleep right in the tub!

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