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.


25. Chapter Twenty-Five: Assumptions

Chapter Twenty-Five: Assumptions



     Maybelle jumped up from the settee as best as she could considering her bulky eight-month pregnant belly. She embraced Sophia into a big hug and the two laughed uproariously because it was difficult for one another to get their arms around each other for a proper hug. "Gosh darnit Sophia! We never used to have this problem!" Maybelle cried out jokingly. Sophia playfully rubbed Maybelle's belly. "Hey, it's not my fault you're so darn big!" "Just you wait! In another couple of months you will be as big as a house too!" Maybelle retorted with a giggle. "Oh gosh, I already feel as big as a house!" Sophia proclaimed, "I cannot even imagine how I will look by the end of this! I've already outgrown almost all of my dresses. Now I can only wear the ones that Rachel sent to me when she found out I was expecting. I about fainted when I saw how big they were. They look like tents! I swore to Travis that I wasn't going to be that big, but well, I am already wearing them! I have grown even more just since I got here!" "Well, I still have until next month so I am sure I will get a little bit bigger before it's my time to deliver. I don't know how Hank still thinks I am beautiful. I feel fat and ugly. I have also been plagued with nausea and retching since my early months of this. I had planned on visiting you yesterday but was sick all gosh darned day! Anything I tried to eat or drink kept coming right back up. I cannot wait for this little one to come out of me so I can have my body back. Between the swollen feet and ankles and the constant back pains, this baby is starting to over stay its welcome in my womb!" Maybelle laughed. Sophia couldn't help but to stare at Maybelle's stomach. Even through the very loose dress with its empire waist, Maybelle's engorged stomach was absolutely enormous! Sophia then looked down at her own belly and smiled as she seen how big she was herself already. "May, you'll have to be sure to have Hank send me a wire as soon as possible after you give birth. I am going to be on pins and needles until I hear something!" "You bet!" Maybelle smiled fondly, "You don't even have to ask. I had already planned on it!" 


     The two women settled themselves on the settee in her mother's drawing room where the fireplace was blazing to keep the room warm and cozy. Lucinda had thoughtfully brought in a tray of hot tea and creamy chocolate covered crepes for the two women before she went upstairs to spend some more time with Mikey and Hope, leaving the two ladies alone to talk. "I cannot believe you're going to be leaving soon." Maybelle mused as she sipped her tea. "I know." Sophia replied, "The time has flown by so fast. I don't want to go. I wish I could pack ya'll up with me and take you back so we can together like old times." Maybelle about spit out her tea, "Ya'll?" she questioned with a big smile, "Since when do you say ya'll? Are you becoming a southern belle on me already?" "Goodness," Sophia replied, "I hadn't even realized I said it that way. Let me say that again. I wish I could pack you all up with me so we could be together." "That's much better." Maybelle giggled, "There's the old Sophia that I knew and loved! So what's been going on since I have seen you last? Lucinda hinted to me that there has been some drama going on over the last two days but didn't elaborate." Sophia sighed and her mood instantly turned somber. Leave it to her mother to open her big mouth! She really didn't want to talk about any of that stuff right now but she also was fully aware that Maybelle had no idea what was happening either. "Well," Sophia began with some trepidation, "I might as well come out with it. Let's see, where to begin?" Maybelle watched Sophia closely sensing something was wrong. "I guess the biggest news is that while I was in Texas, I learned I have cancer." Sophia's heart sank as she watched her best friend's face crumple in shock. "What? Please tell me you're kidding right now!" Maybelle cried out in alarm. Sophia looked towards the fireplace and stared at the fire. "I wish I was kidding about that Maybelle but its true. I have cancer." The room became so quiet that a pin dropping to the floor could have easily been heard. Maybelle's hands started to shake and she set down her teacup and saucer onto the oval table in front of them. After the news sunk in she replied, "Oh my God Sophia. Are you-- are you.... will you be okay?" Sophia tried so hard not to give in to tears but lost her resolve in that moment. She broke down and laid her head down upon Maybelle's shoulder. Maybelle quickly wrapped her arms around Sophia and remained quiet while Sophia cried. "Oh Soph, I didn't mean to upset you. I am so sorry." she whispered. "You-you di-didn't upset m-me." Sophia said in a broken voice, "I-I won't know more until after I deliver the baby. I su-sure hope so." Maybelle recalled the day Sophia left for Texas where her and Hank were walking down the steps and saw Sophia hunched over. Sophia had claimed she was menstruating that day but now Maybelle realized that perhaps that was not the case. She asked Sophia about it. "Remember when you were on the staircase here the morning you left for Texas? You weren't having menstrual cramps were you?" Sophia guiltily shook her head no. Maybelle's tears came even harder. "Oh my God. Why did I let you convince me that you were okay that day! I knew in my gut that something else was wrong. Why did I not press the issue harder? I'm such a dunce!" Sophia lifted her head up and looked into Maybelle's eyes, "Oh May! Do-don't s-say that! It's not your fa-fault one bit that I wasn't honest with yo-you that day. I didn't know ba-back then that my pains were this s-serious. There's nothing we could ha-have done about it back then. I-I.... well, I knew I needed to see a doctor but there was no way I was going to mi-miss that train. I did end up seeing a doctor s-shortly after I arrived there. He-he did a surgery on me back in mid-July. That's when I found out." Sophia had to take some deep breaths in order to calm herself down. Maybelle sat there clutching her dress. This news had honestly shocked Maybelle to the core. Never in her life had she expected something like this to happen, and certainly not to Sophia! She didn't know much about cancer but she knew enough that it was a pretty deadly condition in most cases. She stared at Sophia intensely. Finally, after many long moments she cried out, "I cannot lose you! I just cannot!" "May, I know this is upsetting for you. But please, let us not waste any more tears over this until we know m-more. I have done so much crying in the last seven months that I am ju-just so over it anymore. I don't want to spend the rest of my time here with any of you mulling over this. I just want to have us be happy. I am here n-now, in this moment, and that is all the truly matters. Please don't cry. Put a smile on that face of yours and be h-happy dammit!" Maybelle couldn't help but laugh at that since Sophia was making a silly face and giving her a cheesy grin, "I suppose I can do that." she said begrudgingly. Sophia's face brightened up into a blinding smile. "Thank you!" Sophia exclaimed, "I swear. I cannot bear to keep crying anymore. It's been one thing after another. I haven't cried this much since June than I have in my whole life!" "Including when you were a baby?" Maybelle teased. "Probably so." Sophia laughed, "I am pretty sure as a baby I was a perfect little angel." 


     Sophia reached for a crepe off the tray and took a large bite. She hadn't eaten anything since she broke her fast that morning and she was famished! Looking over at the crystal clock on the fireplace mantle, she silently observed that Nellie would be serving luncheon relatively soon. "So other than what we just talked about, what else has happened?" Maybelle asked nonchalantly even though her gut instinct was telling her there was more going on than what Sophia had already confessed. Sophia rolled her eyes, "Oh my goodness. You'll never guess what happened yesterday!" "What?" Maybelle replied as her eyes took on a look of curiosity. From the tone of Sophia's voice it had to be something pretty interesting. Sophia quickly finished the rest of her crepe then used a cloth napkin to wipe off her hand. Tossing it on the table, she looked back over at Maybelle and said, "So, Rachel and I went over to the American House Hotel for lunch and just as I sat down guess who was sitting only two tables behind me?" Maybelle narrowed her eyes, "Oh I think I can figure that one out easily enough. Jeremy." Sophia nodded her head yes, "And guess who was with him?" "Angelique." came Maybelle's dry reply. "Yes. It never even once occurred to me that I would run into him. I hadn't even thought of him since I got back here to be honest." "So what happened?" Maybelle asked, "The suspense is killing me. Out with it and don't leave out any details!" Sophia smiled, "Well, when I noticed Rache;'s look of horror, I looked behind me to see what she was staring at and that's when I first saw him; he had already been looking over at us. I suppose he was just as shocked to see me as I was him. I hadn't even realized that Angelique was sitting at the table with him right away. Her back was facing me. But the second she seen Jeremy's expression and noticed he was staring at someone, she of course turned around and spotted who he was looking at." "Which was you?" Maybelle interjected. "Correct." Sophia said, "May, I swear, if looks could kill I'd be dead right now ! Anyhow, I was quite upset and got up from the table just after our waiter approached. I cannot even remember what the waiter said to us, all's I know is that I grabbed my coat and got out of there as fast as I could. Rachel found me outside shortly after and I was close to hysterics at that point." "Go on!" Maybelle said with rapt attention. "So we weren't outside very long when Jeremy came running out. He was asking to talk to me alone. Then out comes Angelique who is furious at him. She started screaming and literally dragged him away. Rachel and I got into the carriage and that's when she told me all about Jeremy and how he had been miserable and stuff since I left. She also filled me in on Angelique's big lie." "Yes" Maybelle replied shaking her head, "That little bitch sure pulled a number on him! Well, on you both I suppose. Everyone in this town hates her now. I cannot even believe she would do something so devious like that! She didn't just lie, she created a whole whirlwind of trouble by splitting you and Jeremy up. She messed with both your futures!" Sophia just sat there for a minute thinking about what Maybelle had just said. If Angelique hadn't done what she did, then Sophia wouldn't be married to Travis right now. She wouldn't have Mikey, Hope and even the Mister and Missus Cox in her life. The thought of that gave her little chills that ran down her spine. As devious as Angelique had been, Sophia couldn't help but feel grateful that she was. She was blessed actually. As it turned out, Angelique actually did her a favor by preventing her and Jeremy from getting married. Everything really did happen for a reason even if Sophia couldn't see that at the time. She sure did now and couldn't be any happier with the outcome of the situation, well, except for the cancer part but she would have been diagnosed with it either way. Sophia continued telling Maybelle her story. "After we got back here to the house, I waited until after Rachel got out of the carriage. Then I told Stevens to drive me around. I was pretty shaken up but had decided after a while that I needed to talk to Jeremy. Alone." Maybelle shook her head and her curls bounced vigorously around her head. "Please tell me you did not speak to him? Not after what he's done to you?" she questioned. Sophia lowered her eyes in shame, "I did. I spent quite a bit of time contemplating the situation beforehand but decided it had to be done. I felt like I needed some closure. I just had to see him." All of a sudden, the door to the room that had been slightly cracked burst open fully. Travis stood in the doorway with a tempestuous look on his face. The two women jumped a little in fright from the unexpected intrusion. Travis glared at Sophia harshly, "I came down here to talk with you. To hear your side of the story. But after hearing how eager you sound right now to be discussing your former fiancé, I have decided I've heard more than enough! So you just had to see him did you? To the hell with that!" He turned back around and threw the door closed behind him then stomped up the steps very quickly. The door to the drawing room was still moving back and forth from the force of his exit.


     Sophia looked over at Maybelle with a look of surprise mixed with horror. "What just happened?" she asked Maybelle weakly. Sophia's gut tightened up. "I have no idea but I can see that perhaps it's time for me to take my leave. We can catch up on the morrow." Maybelle put her hand on the arm of the settee and pushed herself to a standing position. She waddled out of the room and made her way to the foyer to put on her coat, gloves, and boots, then let herself quietly out the front door. Sophia was unable to move fast enough to give her best friend a proper goodbye as she seemed to be rooted to her spot on the settee. But the second her senses returned to her, she shot up from the couch and made her way upstairs as quickly as she possibly could. When Sophia reached her bedroom and tried the door knob, she found it was locked tight. "Travis!" she called out as she banged on the door, "Let me in! It's not what you think!" He remained quiet but Sophia could hear lots of rustling sounds coming from within the room. "Travis! Give me a break already, you need to allow me to explain!" Again, nothing. "Oh my goodness!" she thought irritably to herself, "When am I ever going to catch a damn break?" 


     Sophia went down the hallway to the room where Mikey, Hope and her Mother was at and walked inside. Rachel was sitting in one of the rocking chairs drinking tea with her mother while the children were sprawled out on the floor playing with the Lincoln log blocks her mother had bought for them. Sophia didn't want to bring up what had just happened in front of the children so she elected to remain silent as she sat herself down on the floor to play with them. "Look Mama Sophia, I am making a castle!" Hope said excitedly. "And I am making the tallest tower I can." Mikey gushed. Both the children looked so happy. Sophia made a mental note to get a few sets of those lincoln log blocks after they got back home. Sophia began to build the base for a house she planned on making, but not even five minutes later, Nellie appeared in the doorway. "Luncheon is served." The children hurriedly grabbed their blocks to put them away in the tins they came in, and when they were all put away they ran out of the room excitedly. Rachel and Lucinda got up from their rockers and made their way past Sophia to head down to luncheon themselves. Lucinda paused in the doorway when she noticed that Sophia wasn't getting up. "Did Maybelle leave already?" she inquired. Sophia looked up at her and pasted a fake smile on her face, "Yes she did. Our visit was cut short unfortunately." Lucinda gave her daughter a knowing look, "Did something happen with Travis? We heard the door to your room being slammed pretty hard, then a few minutes later we heard you banging on it and asking Travis to let you explain." Sophia forced herself to give her mother a reassuring smile, "He's just in a mood. I am sure the stresses of this morning left his temper intact. He just needs some time to calm down." "Are you coming down to luncheon?" Lucinda asked, "Your father and Joseph went hunting a little bit ago to blow off some steam so I don't think they will be back until it gets dark or just before supper. Whichever comes first." "Yes, I am coming down. I am actually pretty hungry." Sophia replied as she got up from the floor which was a tad bit harder with the bulk of her stomach. She followed her mother down the hallway until she reached her room. When Sophia paused before the door, Lucinda looked at her daughter curiously. "Go on ahead Mother." Sophia whispered, "I just want to let Travis know that luncheon is ready in case he decides to come down. I'll be there shortly." Lucinda nodded her head in acknowledgement and walked away. Once again, Sophia knocked at the door, "Travis, I just wanted to let you know that luncheon is ready. I sure hope you can come down and eat with us. Please my love?" There came no reply. "Okay. I understand you are upset with me but I hope you give me the time to explain. If you get hungry, you know where we'll all be. I love you Travis." Sophia sighed and made her way downstairs. 


     A few minutes later, Sophia was seated at the table feeling a bit out of sorts but she couldn't help but giggle over seeing her step-children dig into their egg salad sandwiches. "This is so good!" Mikey exclaimed. "Yeah," Hope piped in, "we don't have these in Texas. Mama Sophia, can you please make these for us sometime after we get back home?" Sophia's heart soared hearing Hope call her Mama Sophia and she fondly nodded her head yes, "I sure can! I cannot believe you've never had these before. They are my favorite type of sandwich. I will gladly make then for you anytime you'd like. As a matter of fact, I can show you how to make them. That's something you and I can do together." "Where's my Pa at?" Mikey asked nonchalantly. Sophia forced a smile on her face, "Oh, I'm not sure if he was hungry. I don't think he's coming down." "Is that 'cause he's in a bad mood?" Hope asked innocently. "I suppose so." Sophia replied honestly as she ate her sandwich. "Don't worry Mama Sophia. He gets like that sometimes." Mikey said casually as he reached for his second sandwich. Lucinda looked over at Hope and said, "I understand you have a birthday at the end of this month. What kind of present would you like?" Hope's eyes widened up, "Yes I do Grandmother Lucinda. It's on the twenty-ninth. I think I would like a new dolly." "Then a new doll it shall be!" Lucinda proclaimed. "I will get you one tomorrow. As a matter of fact, I can take you with me so you can pick out the one you like the best. It will be an early present. As for you Mikey, since your birthday is at the end of March, I will send your present in the post. Your Grandfather Louis already told me what he wants to get you and I think you will be awfully pleased with it." Both Mikey and Hope sat there smiling happily as they ate their food. Everyone proceeded to eat and made small talk for the next few minutes. Then loud footsteps could be heard and Sophia knew it was Travis. She could recognize the sound of his cowboy boots. He didn't come to the dining room right away but when he did, he didn't waste any time on pleasantries. "Mikey. Hope. I need you both to come with me right now without a word out of either of you." The children looked at each other thinking they had done something wrong based off the serious tone of their Pa's voice and wondered what it could be. Travis cleared his throat indicating he wasn't in the mood to waste any time waiting on them.Sophia looked at him in question but he refused to meet her gaze. The two children quickly got up from their seats and walked over to Travis. Hope looked over at Sophia with her big eyes and there was a pout on her mouth. Lucinda spoke up, "Travis dear, why don't you come sit down and eat luncheon. I know you must be hungry. That boy of yours ate two whole sandwiches quicker than I could finish just one." "Yeah Pa," Mikey smiled, obviously proud of himself, "I ain't ever had those kind before and they were really good! Mama Sophia even promised she would make us some when we are all back home." Travis ignored his son and grabbed each of his children's hands and began walking away with them. Sophia, Rachel, and Lucinda all exchanged looks of bewilderment with one another. "Should I go talk to him?" Sophia asked out loud, feeling like something was very wrong. Lucinda shook her head no, "Just let him cool down for a while. He'll come to you when he's ready. I think if you tried talking to him right now it might only make him angrier." "Why is he so mad to begin with? That stuff with Jeremy earlier wasn't your fault. It's not as if you knew Jeremy was coming to the house after all." Rachel said to Sophia. Sophia put down her mostly eaten sandwich and rubbed her forehead out of frustration. "He's upset with me because he found out that I was with Jeremy yesterday. I know he was mad earlier when we were still outside and said he was done with me, but I figured he would calm down some by now. I did try to talk to him right after all that happened but he locked himself in the bedroom. So when Maybelle came over a bit ago, I started telling her about how I ran into Jeremy while Rachel and I were at lunch yesterday. He had come down during that conversation and overheard something but I am not sure what exactly. He got furious then stomped back upstairs. Maybelle left so then I went back upstairs to try and talk with him again but the door was locked."


     Just as Sophia finished talking, the front door could be heard slamming shut. "That must be Louis and Joseph coming back home. I'm surprised. They weren't gone very long at all." Lucinda commented. She got up from the table and walked out of the room smiling but after a minute or so she quickly returned with a grave look on her face. "What is it Mother?" Rachel asked. Sophia's heart lurched when her mother looked right at her and said, "It's Travis. He left with the children. Their coats are all gone from the coat rack and their boots are missing from the floor." Sophia jumped out of her chair and rushed past her mother. Sure enough, their stuff was gone from the foyer just as her mother had said it was. Sophia decided to go upstairs to see if their luggage was still there. When she reached her bedroom the door was wide open. Looking around, she could see that all of Travis's things were gone including his suitcase. However, all of her things were still there in the room, just where she had left them. She frantically made her way to the bedroom next to hers that the children had been using and sleeping in, only to see that all of the children's things were missing along with their suitcases. "No!" Sophia said screeching out loud, "No! no! no! no!" Rachel and Lucinda appeared behind her only moments later after hearing her wails. Sophia turned around and became quite panicked, "Their gone! He took them. All their stuff is gone!" "What?" Rachel and Lucinda both said at the same time as they opened their mouths in twin looks of shock. Sophia tried to get past them but Rachel grabbed a hold of Sophia's shoulders to prevent her escape, "Sophia. Calm down for a moment. Think of the baby. You've already had a taxing day. Let's not get worked up about this just yet. You're absolutely certain all their stuff is gone?" Sophia looked at her sister frantically, "Yes they are gone! For certain! All their stuff is gone. Their luggage too! I have to go after them!" Lucinda spoke up next, "I don't think that's a good idea sweetheart. I want you to get off of your feet. I will go look for them myself. They couldn't have gone very far and it's not like they could just get on a train right away. He must be going to the hotel so I will check there first and have a talk with Travis about all of this. He's obviously thinking pretty irrationally right now but after a while he'll calm down and come back. He would never leave you behind, especially in your condition." "Mother," Sophia cried out, "what if you're wrong and he leaves me for good? He did say earlier this morning that he was done with me but I thought he was just saying that out of anger. Now I am not so sure about that anymore! We were supposed to leave here the day after tomorrow to go back home." Lucinda took Sophia by the hand and led her back to her bedroom. "I want you to lie down and rest. If you promise me you will do that, I will go look for them. Rachel can stay here with you. Travis would never leave town without you. He loves you. He wouldn't do something so crazy like that. Like I said, he most likely just needs some time to cool off." With Rachel's help, Sophia laid down on her bed and rolled over on her side so she could face the direction of the door. "Please go and find him Mother. Quickly!" Sophia wept. Lucinda kissed the top of her head and left the room so she could do as Sophia had requested.


     Rachel went over to the other side of the bed and sat down upon it so that she was right next to her sister. She lightly rubbed Sophia's back as Sophia cried in silence. "So he overheard you talking to Maybelle about yesterday?" Rachel asked after a short while. "Yes." Sophia whimpered as she sat up and leaned against the wooden headboard. "Gosh, I am so sorry Sophia. I know you still hadn't had the chance to speak privately with him about it so you could explain fully what had happened." "I know." came Sophia's weak reply. Rachel took hold of Sophia's hand and held it tight. Another few minutes had passed before Sophia spoke up again, "Why do I seem to have the worst luck in the world? Why? I have never done anything in my life so terrible that I keep having all these bad things happening me! Why? I just don't understand!" She put her head down in her hands as she wept profusely. "I don't have a good feeling about this Rachel. I just don't."Sophia mumbled. Rachel didn't know what to say to her sister. She didn't have a good feeling about it either but she replied as cheerfully as she could, "Mother will find him and talk some sense into him. Heck, she may even box his ears for putting you under even more stress." Sophia couldn't help but giggle when the image of her mother boxing Travis's ears popped into her head. Rachel smiled. "I haven't told anyone about this before, including you, but not long after you left for Texas my hormones were in a serious uproar. I was pregnant with Jocelyn which explains why but that's neither here nor there. Joseph came home from work one day and I was cooking supper. He was in a fairly rotten mood after having a bad day of work at the bank. I remember being somewhat cross with him because he didn't bring me back an icee like he usually did and I had been looking forward to it really bad. Joseph was sitting at the table in our kitchen going through some of the bills that had been sent to our house that day and there was one from Dreama's dress shop. As it turns out, the bill was actually yours from when we went shopping the day of that horrible storm and somehow she ended up putting my name on your bill and it was sent to us. Well, Joseph thought it was mine and I kept telling him that I hadn't spent that much money on clothing and the other stuff that was on the invoice. Yes, I had bought a new dress and hat that day but the invoice also had all your items on there as well. Since the invoice had my name on it though, he was getting pretty mad at me thinking I was being dishonest with him over it. We ended up getting into this really big fight. I mean, it was downright awful! The worst one we've ever had, even to this day. My hormones were causing me to go nuts and I started throwing things at him while we were screaming at each other. He got so mad that he went upstairs with me hot on his trail behind him. He took his leather bag and started packing some of his clothing in it. He kept calling me a crazy woman which only incensed me even more. As he was packing, we were still screaming at each other. I then began throwing more things from my vanity at him while I was crying hysterically. It was as if my body had been possessed or something. I have never, ever, in my life acted even remotely crazy like that before. After his bag was packed he began rushing down the steps towards the front door. I was following him like a mad woman and kept poking him hard in his back. He opened the door and it was then I realized that he had packed his stuff to leave me. It hadn't occurred to me while he was upstairs that was what he was doing as I was too consumed with my rage to pay it any mind. Well, I then started to freak out even more. Instead of screaming at him, I then began to cry even more hysterically. He walked outside and went to his horse out back. As he started climbing on it, I grabbed a hold of his leg and it made him fall over. Actually, we both fell over to the ground. While I was still lying on the ground, scrambling to get myself up, he had already gotten up onto his horse and began to trot away.After I got up, I started running after him. I began chasing down the street after him. I don't think I have ever ran that fast in my whole life! I was screaming after him not go, but he didn't stop and made the horse go faster. It didn't take very long before I had to stop running because I was winded, and only after I did and catch my breath, I looked up and realized that Joycie and Joshua Jenkins were across the street in their yard looking at me with horrified looks on their faces. I swear Sophia, I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life! Can you even imagine me doing all that?" Sophia looked at her sister with a look of shock, "Oh my goodness Rach, what happened after that?" Rachel laughed, "Well, I went back home and got inside my bathing tub and took a nice long bath while I had a good cry. I just couldn't stop crying. To make a long story shorter, I ended up completely burning dinner and Joseph didn't come back home until after work the next day. Of course I had been frantic the whole time thinking he had left me. He told me that he had gone over to the hotel and stayed there that night in order to calm down. The doc warned us both when I found out that I was pregnant that pregnancy hormones can be crazy, and cautioned Joseph that I would have probable mood swings. Looking back at that, boy was he right about that!" Sophia's eyes lit up, "So everything was fine with you's two after that?" Rachel smiled slyly, "Let's just say that the night he did come home after that big fight we made up. In bed. A lot!" Rachel winked slyly at her a couple times which made Sophia burst out laughing, "Well, I sure hope that when Travis calms down and comes back that we can make up. In bed. A lot!"



     Over an hour and a half later, Lucinda came back and walked up the steps after having already removed her coat and boots. When she walked into Sophia's room, she saw that Sophia was fast asleep on the bed. Lucinda couldn't help but to feel a little bit relieved when she saw that. She did not want to be the bearer of bad news just yet. Then Lucinda walked down the hallway and peeked her head inside Rachel's room to see her youngest daughter breast feeding the baby. Rachel looked up saying, "Did you find them?" Lucinda crossed the room to pull out the chair to the writing desk and sat down on it. She was still winded and pretty tired by that point. "Stevens was still here with the carriage when I had left so I know Stevens didn't take them anywhere. I checked everywhere in town that I could think of, beginning with the hotel. According to the front desk clerk, no one by Travis's description or with two children had checked in. The guy I talked to at the front desk even checked the log book and Travis's name wasn't in it. I then had Stevens drive me around after that. When I stopped at the hackney rental place, they confirmed Travis had paid to get a ride to the train station." "Oh no." Rachel said quietly. Lucinda's eyes began to form tears, "When I got to the train station the clerk there said a man with two children did purchase tickets. I'm afraid he's gone! A train heading south to Kentucky left only five minutes before I got there."


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