The Inn-Keeper's Wife

(COMPLETED) This is a one-shot/chapter monologue about what it would have been like to be an Inn-Keeper's Wife at a tavern during the revolution and colonial times! I will be performing a version of this for my school's project in a couple of weeks. Enjoy!

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1. The Inn-Keeper's Wife: A Monolouge

My first husband died over 20 years ago, and we carved our initials into our tavern which we built together, everything from the gables to porch out front. It was 1748. I was a happy young woman, just married. Then we had our first dear daughter, right here, and all of her siblings. We were married for 12 wonderful years. Then he died. For a few years I mourned, but knew I couldn’t manage the tavern anymore alone. So I married again, hoping that we could last forever. We continued the tavern, which was good, but there was no love in the marriage. Then he got sick. I knew we were never meant to be. Our children and I watched as he passed on. The whole town knew, and they starting calling the lovely tavern which my first husband and I had built long ago Lonely Widow’s tavern. That leads us to now, all those years later.

 

I run the tavern alone, with help from my oldest daughter. We wake up before the sun, put on our aprons, and get to work. In the kitchen, we cook many different kinds of food. There is everything from savory foods like beef, sausage, pig, and chicken pot pie. We even have sweeter foods like apple dumplings, apple cake, coffee cake and sometimes even fresh fruit. Every nationality has different foods, but people seem to like the food that we have, and I enjoy cooking it. We get water from wells outside, and sometimes we can get tea leaves too. After about two hours of cooking for breakfast, it is finally ready, and we ring a bell for the visitors to come down the the dining room. Breakfast is served, and then when the guests are finished we clean all of the dishes by hand. Later, after all of the guests are served my seven children eat the remainder of the food, and I get any left after that.

 

Then, any new guests come in there is vacancy and we check them in. I have a book where we write everyone down. Then we check out the guests at the end of their stay and they leave. We clean all of the vacant rooms, as well as our living space, in the low-ceilinged attic on the top floor. Normally some of those jobs would be for the men, along with looking over the stables and bar which my eldest son normally does. Often he will help we with the receptions of the guests too. There is even a room for a little school where children can come on Sundays and my eldest son teaches them how to read and write.

 

The tavern is always a lively place, with people coming and going, here and there. If I ever get a free minute I like to sit by the window and watch people walk by in the streets. One time, however, about a year ago, I saw something less calming. Fog and mist was present that morning. I was standing with my youngest daughter in my arms, when I heard the loud cracks of guns outside the window. It was the great and towering General Washington! Men lined up in dirty, blue scrappy jackets faced the pristine red coats of the British. Men lay on the ground, many wounded or dead, as the day went on. The streets were covered and colored red with blood. After the final shots were fired, the air reeked of the smell of bullets and sweat. I covered my daughter’s eyes as a man on a stretcher passed by, moaning with pain and frustration. A sea of red coats streamed through the streets, taking many American soldiers captive. We brought out food for the hungry soldiers, trying the best we could to help at all. The army fled, leaving our poor dear city defenceless. But I don’t blame them. As the sun set, and the defeated patriots rode off on their horses, and I saw the great General Washington take off his hat as he took one final look at the city in ruins.

 

Mixed emotions. That’s how lots of people felt. Glad for the soldier's safety in a nearby hiding place, but endangered and angry at the British. And that’s how I feel now. I like cooking, and I am glad to be alive to see my children grow up. But sad. Sad about the never ending war. Sad about my husband. Sad about my children left fatherless. And worried. Worried about the future of my tavern. I am doing the best I can, but sometimes I wonder if that will ever be enough for my dear husband. We built this tavern together. And sometimes I run my finger over our initials. Remembering how happy I was. I guess someday I’ll find out. Someday soon I suppose, or maybe someday far. Sometime, anytime. All that matters is someday- someday I know I will see my dear husband again. I can’t wait. And I know he can’t either.

 

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