Westward Ho! Part Four

Fiction By Damaris Ann // 12/21/2014

David Spencer looked down into Claudia's face.
"Yow seem extra happy today, Miss Claudia. May I take the liberty to ask why?"
"Yes, you may!" Claudia laughingly replied. "My dear friend from back at my old home is coming on September thirty-first to spend a whole month with me, and I can't wait! I have missed her so much since we moved, and am so pleased that she will be able to make it for a visit."
"I am very happy for you, Miss Claudia! What is your friend like?"
"Thank you! Well, my family says that if you know me, you know Lydia. Does that tell you anything?" She grinned at David mischievously.
"Yes," he said, "it tells me that I will like her very much."
Claudia blushed and wondered if she had said anything improper, but on reviewing what she had said before she concluded that what she said had not been fishing for a compliment, so she could enjoy it in peace.
"Thank you, Mr. Spencer, that is very kind of you to say, and I am very flattered. But Lydia and I are not completely alike. In fact, we are complete opposites in looks. But our personalities are alike. We tease each other that we should have been born twins."
"She still sounds very promising," he teased, "and there's no need to worry about me getting along with her, if she has the same personality and disposition as you."
The conversation ended there, for the reason that David and Claudia had reached Claudia's home, and Claudia's mother had opened the door and welcomed David.

June 10th, 185-
My dear Lydia,
I can't tell you how excited I am that you are coming to visit this fall. Actually coming! I must have told our whole neighborhood about you by now.
I must say that I was almost frightened when you said that you were going to send my letter to John, but now that I think of it I don't really mind.
Our house is almost done being built, and we will be moving in and making it home by the first of June. I will be so relieved when we are finally settled in.
Papa's business is prospering well and he has been quite busy, but busy in a healthy sort of way, if you know what I mean.
I have made many new friends here; there are so many dear people in our church and neighborhood that I couldn't help it! But don't worry, you will always be my closest and dearest friend.
There is, however, one friend that is threateningly close to our family, but he will never be closer than you! Our whole family adores him. He spends many of his evenings at our place and eats many of his meals with us. But I can't blame him a bit because his landlady really needs some cooking tips. Of course you must have already guessed that I am talking about David Spencer, our young Pastor.
Have you heard from John since I last wrote? I always am interested in hearing about his life in the West.
I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to answer your letter. It seems as if time has sped up in the last several weeks and I can't get enough of it! It must be because of the extra cleaning to prepare our new house.
I hope that this letter finds you well and happy.
Give my regards to your family.
Most sincerely yours,
Claudia

May 21st, 185-
My dearest Lydia and family,
You can't imagine how I long to see your dear faces!
I have been fairly busy, getting the cattle shipment ready, but I can always find time to read my family's letters and write them back.
In my last letter I said that my ranch-house was finally finished-and it was!-but then right after I sent my letter we had a big storm come through here. Thank God, the damages were very minor (just a bit of roofing blown off of a few of the rancher's houses in this area, including mine) and no lives were taken, nor was anyone injured. That is a praise that you might want to mention in your prayers.
I would also appreciate it if you would join your prayers with mine on a few things.
One is that this shipment of cattle will make it safely to its destination and that my two cow-hands will make it back safely and un-harmed.
Another is that there are no single women out here, and I do long for a Proverbs thirty-one women like my mother to keep house for me. In other words, I have been praying for a godly young wife. The oldest single lady that lives within a week-long ride from me is five years old.
You may smile at me for telling you all about my desire, but I can tell you that although my house is big, nice, and comfortable, it isn't a home because I don't have a family to share it with. I guess that something else you might add to the prayer list for me is patience and contentment. I know it's all in God's hands.
Lydia, thank you for sending me Claudia's letter, I really enjoyed reading it. It has helped to make the evenings shorter which is a blessing because when I'm all alone sometimes it seems as if the next day will ever come.
Maybe sometime you all could travel out to meet me. With the railroad in the trail isn't so hard to travel. I will willingly wire the ticket money to you, Pa, as soon as you say the word!
God bless you, every one!
Ever yours,
John

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