Underneath the Pines - Part 3 [MOVED]
Location: Edges of Kalispell
Timeline: July 1875
He grinned for a moment then explained his amusement, "Tell ya, darlin', when I strike it rich first thing I'll buy will be a nice big bathtub."
"Perhaps you ought to build a great big home to go with it?" she smiled.
She felt guilty. She was born into wealth and she wondered what made her more deserving that Robert. She thought what the consequences might be if she chose to help him. Not to be charitable, but because she liked him. Perhaps convincing her father to hire him as a foreman, if he was qualified of course. She wanted to see him succeed. It wasn't fair that he should have to wait for his dreams to come to fruition.
"That'll be on my list too...well, not that I can make a list. I can't write," he shrugged, lack of education never really was a big deal to him.
It was her turn to blink at him.
"For example, lass....you are educated n' all but you canna swim. I can swim just fine. All us kids used to swim in the river near home as much as we could in the summer," he pointed out. Those had been some of the good times in his young life.
"How about we strike a deal then? I'll teach you to read and write if you teach me how to swim?" The suggestion brought a smile to her face as it gave her an excuse to see him again.
Robert considered it for a moment, "Not sure that's fair, lass....I mean to you. It'll take me a long time to learn to do all that and I can have you swimmin' in a day."
Not to mention where on earth was she going to teach him. She could hardly bring him into her home? Her parents would not be pleased, he was sure of it.
Cecilia's face fell and a frown replaced her smile. "Oh, I understand..." was her only response. What was the point in pushing it? Robert obviously held some reservations about being around her. He had dismissed her when they first met and now, it felt like that all over again.
"Umm, alright...you do, huh?" Robert frowned also, he had apparently hurt her feelings he was guessing. Wait...she was moving then.
Sissy held back a dejected sigh as she got to her feet. She dusted the invisible crumbs from her skirts as she spoke, "I suppose I shou'd be getting back before it gets too late..." She wasn't going to beg and plead with him. If he wanted to get to know her better, he'd have to make the effort this time around.
Quickly he scrambled up onto his feet then too, trying to figure out what to say. He wasn't about to agree to months of lessons on something he had little real interest in, pretty gal or not. Children went to school for years to learn that stuff, he was too old for such nonsense. Yes, he was interested in her but not as no school marm.
"True, a lady shouldn't be wanderin' 'round in the dark then should she? Well, thankye fer the sweets, I really liked 'em. Yer a fine baker you are," he talked as she began to walk.
Should he just let her walk off...........like the last time? Angry, sad, whatever she was. So how was he to stop her, grab her by the arm? One didn't do that to a lady especially a proper one like Cecilia.
Cecilia had knelt to collect her basket, knowing full well her mother would wonder should she return without it a second time. With a half smile, she told him, "It was my pleasure. I look forward to our next run in."
"Ahh, lassie. If yer of a mind to truly learn ta swim, you come on by my cabin sometime....it's just further down this road, you can see it thru the tree line on that side of the road," he pointed toward the north side of the road out of town.
"I'd be happy ta teach ye but.....don' bring no books or pencils....maybe just a big towel to dry off with," he added.
The girl paused in her step, peeking over her shoulder at him. She shrugged and sighed, "Perhaps."
Oh he was going to burn in hell for this, he just knew it. And he'd probably arrive there right after her parents killed him for catching him with their precious daughter.
A smile flickered on her face and she quickly turned back to the path ahead of her. "Good bye, Mr. Cullen!" she called, before she disappeared out of sight.