Travels through Time, part twelve
by Jamie

Amy knew she had a lot of planning to do, if she wanted to
get Lt. Bracegirdle and Eleanor together. The first thing
was to see if she was allowed to go to town with Marianne.
Working as a servant, meant you were constantly to be on hand
for something or other. Amy had to go to town. She had to
ask Archie about Bracegirdle. Why couldn't phones be
invented in 1800? If a phone was all ready invented, all she
would have to do is call Archie and ask him. But, Amy did
admit that seeing the illustrious Mr. Kennedy in person had
its advantages.
She told Megan and Marianne of her plan to go to town.
Megan excitingly said, "It sounds so romantic. A rendezvous
with your beau. Of course, I will act as your stand in. We
should ask Lady Pellew for permission. Do you think you
should show her the letter, in which he asks you and Marianne
to meet him?"
"I don't want Lady Pellew reading my private letters," Amy
muttered.
"You showed me. Just in case, milady does not believe us.
It will show that he does want us to meet him in town. Don't show her
unless she demands it," Marianne explained.
Amy got the letter out of her dresser drawer and put it in
her pocket. Then the three of them went to the parlor.
"Begging your pardon, milady, may we speak with you a bit?"
Marianne asked.
Lady Pellew looked up at the girls standing in the doorway
and said, "Come in girls, please sit down."
They took a sit and Amy requested, "Would it be all right if
Marianne and I went into town, perhaps tomorrow? Megan has
agreed to do our duties for us."
"And may I ask why you want to go into town? Could it be to
see your men?" Lady Pellew asked.
Amy shrugged and a faint blush came to her cheeks. Marianne
seemed to fidget in her seat.
"I really don't mind taking more duties, Ma'am. I know this
is a forward request, but, ah-- Amy needs to get something in
town. She told me that she wanted to have something to do
with her yellow dress. She wants to look good for her Mr.
Kennedy. If she looks good at the Ball, that in turn, will
look good on you," Megan quickly bluffed for her friends.
Lady Pellew smiled and said, "You two can go, but I can not
afford to have you take a coach. You don't mind walking into
town, do you?"
"Walk?" Amy asked.
Marianne put her hand on Amy's and replied, "We don't mind
walking, thank you, milady. We will be on our best behavior
and will be back before dark tomorrow."
"I am sure you will do nothing to disgrace the household.
Have fun and say 'hello' to your boys for me," Lady Pellew
said with a sly smile.
The next morning, Marianne and Amy walked into town.
Marianne told Amy, "Good thing you are wearing your boots.
It is a three mile hike one way."
"Three miles? One is all right, two, maybe, but three? I
will be tired by the time we get there," Amy said as they
walked.
"It is not all that bad. We can talk and we will be there
before you know it. I have walked it a couple of times. I
usually don't because I am afraid to go by myself. That and
asking permission is a chore."
"But, Lady Pellew is cool, so it isn't so bad in asking,"
Amy replied.
"Cool? That is one of your American phrases, isn't it? It
seems like you have another language in America. Strange
though, we basically speak the same language."
"I noticed that, too. I like it here. I would not mind
staying here. Plus, the fact, I don't know how I would ever
save enough money to go back home."
"I would not want to go home, if I were in your place. If
you go home, Mr. Kennedy would have to go across the sea to
see you. I would miss you, too."
"Thank you for that. You and Megan have made my stay here
more enjoyable. What do you think of matching your sister up
with Lt. Bracegirdle?"
"You mean Jonathan Bracegirdle? He and my sister used to be
good friends. At least until he married his wife. I heard
she just passed away a few months ago."
"Your sister spoke of a man she loved, is the Lieutenant
that man?"
"I believe so. You aren't seriously going to ask Jon to
start dating my sister, are you?"
"I thought it would take some of the heat off of me and it
would make your sister happy."
"He broke her heart when he married his wife. He only
thought of Eleanor as a friend. His 'best' friend, but
nothing more than that. I was only a little girl at the
time, but I remember her crying about it. She has not cried
of much since."
"How many years are there between you and Eleanor?"
"There is 12 years age difference. She is the eldest and I
am the youngest. We have three brothers and a sister between
us. They are all married and are all over England. Eleanor
is the one who got me this job. Someday, I hope that Davey
and I can get married. Right now, he doesn't have enough
money to support me. I don't mind working, while he is at
sea. If you and your Mr. Kennedy got married, I am sure you
two could have a nice little house together."
"Is marriage the only thing on ladies minds? Back in
America, I worked in a store. Nobody ever paid mind to me.
Not until Mr. Kennedy, that is."
"That should be another reason you should want to stay in
England and not go back to America for. Look, I can see the
docks from here. That means we are on the edge of town.
Three miles flew by, didn't they? Are you tired?"
"Actually, I am not. I feel a bit energized. Ready to face
the world kind of thing. So, you think maybe we should get
something for my dress to keep up with Megan's little tale?"
Amy asked.
"If you want, in fact, maybe you can get your Lieutenant to
buy it for you," Marianne said with a knowing smile.
On the decks of the Indefatigable, Styles and Davey Jenkins
were doing their duties. Styles looked on the land and said,
"Lookey there, Davey, there is two ladies waving at us."
Styles smiled brightly and waved to the girls.
Davey took a casual look over the side and then said in a
cheery voice, "That is my Marianne! She has come to visit
me!"
Davey took a mad dash to the gangplank when Archie stopped
him. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"
"Marianne is ashore with a girlfriend of hers. I -- may I
have permission to see her, sir?" Davey asked.
"A girlfriend is with her? Does she have blonde hair?"
Archie asked.
"Aye, aye, sir," Davey replied.
"That must be my Amy. Would it be all right, if I go with
you?"
"Sir?"
"Well, I have a confession to make, My girl works with your
girl and I told her to come to town with your girl. It was
mainly so I could see my girl again. . ." Archie said
somewhat hesitantly.
Davey smiled and said, "I understand, sir."
"So do I," Styles said with debauched grin.
"Belay that Styles! Get back to work!" Archie shouted at
Styles.
"You and Davey can have fun and I can't?" Styles asked as
he shook his head and turned to go back to work.
Archie pulled Davey towards the gangplank and greeted the
girls.
"Archie! I did what you told me. You asked me to come
visit you and bring Marianne with me," Amy said as she
reached out her arms to him.
"I see you did. Would you like to go for a walk? I promise
none of what happened last time," Archie said as he
whispered to her.
Amy whispered back, "I didn't mind what happened last time."
Archie gave a little chuckle and took her arm.
Right before he and Amy left, he told Davey, "Behave
yourself while we
are gone."
Amy added, "In other words, don't do what we would do."
Archie tickled her for that remark. Amy gave a little
shriek-like laugh and when away with Archie by her side.
"So, why did you come into town? It wasn't just to see me,
was it?" Archie asked Amy.
"Well, actually it is to ask a favor. Does Lt. Bracegirdle
have an escort to the Officers Ball?" Amy asked Archie.
"What is in that mind of yours?"
"Why Mr. Kennedy, you act like you don't trust me. There
are a few things on my mind. One of them is, if the
Lieutenant doesn't have a date, I know of someone he can go
with. Would he want to go with the Pellew's maid, Eleanor?"
"Are you planning on having everyone on the Indy to start
courting the staff of the Pellew house? I don't think the
Captain will like that. I had to ask permission to ask you
to the Ball."
"You asked permission? How sweet," she said to Archie.
"Amy, it is one thing to steal my heart. It is another
thing to play with other peoples hearts," he said in a
fatherly tone.
"I like playing Emma. She gets her Mr. Knightley in the end
and I hope to get you," Amy said. Emma and Knightley were
two of Jane Austen's creations, one of Amy's favorite
authors. The character of Emma, liked to play matchmaker for
her friends.
"I have no idea who Emma or Knightley are, but, you have all
ready got me," Archie said as he pulled her into an embrace.
"So, how have I got you, may I ask?" She asked as she looked
into his eyes.
"You bewitched me. I plan on giving you something special
at the Ball."
"Surprises? I love surprises. But, do I have to wait?
Can't you give it to me now? It would still be a surprise,"
Amy told him.
"No, it should wait. So, you want to have me ask Bracey to
ask this Eleanor to the Ball, don't you? What does this
Eleanor look like. I hear that she is the older sister of
Marianne. If that is the case, she is most likely pretty,"
Archie said as he took Amy out of his embrace.
"Marianne tells me that Lt. Bracegirdle and Eleanor used to
be friends, so if you tell him that it is Eleanor, who wants
to go to the Ball, he will agree," Amy said in a matter of a
fact tone.
"Wait a minute, here, is it Eleanor, who wants to go, or is
it you, who wants Eleanor to go?"
"Well, I asked Eleanor, if she met the right man, would she
be interested in seeing him. She said that she once met a
man, who she felt was the right man, but he married another
woman. Now, that man is free again. Eleanor has a chance to
experience love. It is a wonderful thing, love is."
Archie smiled at Amy and told her, "You are quite a little
matchmaker, aren't you? So, who else do you want to pair
up?"
"I will tell you when I see the right pair," Amy said as
she walked down the street. She came to a silversmith's
store and looked in.
"What do you see?" Archie asked as he walked behind her.
"Remember last time we were in town together and you said
you would get me a trinket from one of the stores?" Amy asked
as she turned to look at him.
"Yes, I remember. It is also the first time I kissed you.
What do you see that you want to get?" He asked as he put his
hand gently on her shoulder.
"Well, I like that little locket, but I would like to keep
on looking. I don't want you buying me half of the town,"
Amy said.
"For you, my dear, I would buy the world."
"I like that. Would you get me the world?"
Archie laughed and said, "I am not so sure I can afford it."
They went into a couple of stores, including a haberdashery.
Amy saw nothing as nice as the locket she saw in the first
window. Archie went back and got it for her. It was silver,
heart shaped and had a filigree design on it.
Amy said to Archie when she looked closer at it, "It looks
as if it has an 'A', a 'B' and a 'K' engraved on it. See?
It was made for us."
Archie looked at it and said, "Yes, it is very pretty. Let
me put it on you." Amy turned around as he secured the clasp
of the necklace around her neck.
Archie said, "It is as pretty as you are. We should put
something in it. Custom says that you can put a lock of your
loves hair inside."
"Maybe we can put a lock of both of our hair inside."
"Yes, I think that would be a lovely idea," Archie told her.
Around that time, Marianne and Davey met up with Archie and
Amy. They went to a pub for something to drink and then it
was time to go home.
"We have to walk home now, before it gets dark. I promised
Lady Pellew," Marianne said to the boys.
"Walk? It is near three miles. Let me rent you a carriage
to drive you home in. It should be no trouble," Archie told
them.
In a moment Archie had left and went to get them a carriage.
Marianne said to Amy, "You have to hold onto your Mr.
Kennedy. He is a keeper, he is. I might take him, if you
don't want him."
"What about me?" Davey asked, feeling slightly hurt.
"It's all right, Davey, we like you, too," Amy said trying
to cheer him up.
Archie came in the pub and with a graceful bow, said,
"Ladies, your carriage awaits."
"Why thank you, kind sir," Amy said to Archie, as she
curtsied.
On the ride back to the Pellew house, Archie asked Marianne,
"Are you sure I should ask Lt. Bracegirdle to take your
sister to the Ball? Does your sister want to go? Was she
asked? I don't think she was asked, yet, was she?"
"I thought that the Lieutenant would do the asking, Archie.
What you think, Marianne? Shouldn't Lieutenant Bracegirdle
ask your sister, Eleanor, to the Ball?" Amy asked.
"Yes, I think that would be nice. I don't know if the
Lieutenant would want to take her. Maybe they would want to
go to something less formal. Eleanor doesn't have a fancy
ball gown like Miss Amy does," Marianne explained.
"Yes, I will get to see my dress and the new locket I gave
you. That locket suits you, Amy. Do you like it?" Archie
inquired.
"Yes, thank you. We are here all ready. In a few days the
Ball will be here. I plan to look my best for you. I do
want to make you proud of me, Archie."
"I am all ready proud of you. I shall pick you up at 6
o'clock. The Ball starts at 7 o'clock. If you want to be
fashionably late, I can pick you up at 7."
"I would like to be early. It is my first Officers Ball, I
want to make the most of it. I am sure you will save every
dance for me," Amy said to him.
"Of course, but, there will be some dances that other men
may want to dance with you. I should let them have a dance,
but nothing more, mind you," He told her.
"I don't want to make you jealous, do I?" Amy said with a
shrewd smile.
"No, I think not," he said congenially, as he let Amy and
Marianne out of
the carriage.
"Thank you very much for the ride, Mr. Kennedy. Good day,"
Marianne said as she left the two of them alone.
"Well, Miss Amy, we are alone again. We are at the point
where we have a little good night kiss," Archie said to her.
"Well, I think we should follow the rules, don't you think?"
Amy said as she put her arms around his neck.
"Rules, Miss Amy?" He asked as he put his arms around her
waist.
"You did say this is the part, where you give me a good
night kiss, didn't you? I am waiting. I am willing to let
you kiss me, Mr. Kennedy."
"I do believe you would welcome anything I did or anything I
gave you."
"I do believe you are right about that," Amy said they
kissed each other.
He then smiled and said, "Until we meet again, Miss Amy."
"Until we meet again, Mr. Kennedy. I expect an interesting
evening the night of the ball," Amy said to him as he broke
the embrace and went back to the carriage.
"I promise to give you an interesting evening. Good day,"
Archie said as he turned the horse around and waved good bye.
Amy waved back and watched him drive down the lane. She
thought of what Marianne said to her. She, indeed, had found
herself a keeper.