Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #67
…We lost our maid Olla to the Endlichoffers across the lake, which is where John went not too long ago… spends a lot of time there for some reason…
A huge English sheepdog bounds up Hillside’s lane, one of two such, the other being a German version, branching off of San Luis Road. Just how that animal can distinguish friend from foe through shocks of long gray and white hair covering his deep-set eyes, is a mystery. The Ferrell family dog may have been expecting to “see” his master. Upon further review, he adds an earnest bark to his bushy wagging tail.
The ruckus, interrupts another lazy afternoon, brings the lady of the house out of the large front doors. She greets the visitors. “Good day, Herbert… and Willy Campbell… so nice to see you.”
“It has been too long indeed,” Love admits.
“And you have a young little helper with you… Al____?” she tries to recall.
“Alfrey… Missus. Ferrell ma’am.” Willy fills in the blanks, eager to speak his peace. “We never properly thanked you fo everything you fo alls you did for us.”
“We were prepared to take you in, you know. If it weren’t for Jefferson Smythwick’s unfortunate end,” she points to a smaller version of her own home, the servant quarters, “that may have been your home.” In fact, we have an opening. We lost our maid to the neighbors across the lake, which is where John went not too long ago… spends a lot of time there, for some reason. I imagine the old couple take the place of his mother and father, died within a month of each other a while back, hasn’t been quite right since.”
Love politely takes in her rambling in his usually patient manner, before asking, “Would you kindly point us in the direction of John Ferrell?”
“Oh pardon me, yes.” Martha struggles to explain the amount of time he spends there, mostly to herself. It doesn’t help matters that she is not included in these many visits. She assumes it is because Olla is uncomfortable with the hastiness of her departure, the change of employment.
“You came in from the south, right, well then go back in the direction you came, around the second bay to the southeast side of the lake. The Endlichoffer house has a distinct Alpine flavor. It reminds me of the class trip my college French club took to Switzerland. It looks like it belongs on Lake Lucerne, not San Luis.”
“I believe we spied it ourselves.” Herbert tries to keep him and Willy from permanently bended ears. “We must be going, Martha. We need to be back to Quincy before dark.”
“If you find yourself without recourse, feel free to return here. I would enjoy having the children meet Mr. Campbell. They have been listening to the exciting stories of that liberation night very often. Oh, and we have adopted young Miss Abigail. Thankfully she has none of her late father’s inclination of keeping slaves. She is a fine young lady.”
The sun hurtles toward the western horizon, like a fiery ball downhill.
“Thank you for your kindness, Mrs. Ferrell, the fresh lemonade really hit the spot. Perhaps we will see you later.” Love sees that as a likely outcome, regretting that there is no way of letting those in Quincy know of their daylight dilemma.
Alpha Omega M.D.