Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #32
…Remember Sara and Abram of the Bible, rumor has it that she came late John – she is only fifteen…
The Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club Summer Cotillion is this very night.
“Abigail Smythwick is going to be there.” Agnes knows the reason for her brother’s sudden cooperation. She is the daughter of Jefferson Smythwick, born in his sixth decade to the silence of her mother’s still heart.
“I almost forgot that we sent invitations to Midway and Quincy. They are not as refined as we are, you know, though Abigail’s daddy owns much land thereabouts,” Martha offers what she knows. “Is she pretty, how old is she, does she have any manners?”
“Yes in her own quaint way, fifteen I believe and I hope so, though she did not have a mother to help her.” Daughter fills in the blanks.
John Ferrell adjusts his new bow tie, as he walks by.
“Why do you ask?” he asks – a wondering.
“It seems that your son James has a fancy for the Smythwick girl. She will be at the cotillion this night and I do not want to appear ignorant of our neighbors to the west,” like it was a world away instead of 15 miles.
“Fort Sumter South, wealthy, quite old, I thought… his daughter would be forty. Has James taken a fancy for women the age of his mother?”
He prefers to keep what he really knows about the man to himself. Why upset Martha by raising the still broiling subject of slavery. Her lectures, planned or spontaneous, about the difference between slaves and servants are legendary. They can wear a person out.
“That is a cruel way to put it,” she admonishes, “especially since her mother died giving birth.”
“That is too bad, I’m afraid,” John says, snatching his watch fob from out his vest pocket. “Say, we best be going, that’s if you want to set the tables before everyone arrives.”