Thursday, August 1, 2013

GOSSIP MONGERS of Red River Valley


Wednesday, Early Spring 182
       During the late afternoon, bi-weekly quilting bee at the Sulphur Fork Prairie Methodist Brush Arbor, just prior to the evening prayer meeting.

Log Cabin Pattern
            Mabel pulled her needle through the material high into the air. “Such a disgrace! Can you believe it?”
            She looked over her friend’s shoulder. The children played tag while the men pitched horseshoes. Greta frowned. “How sad for his poor mother. Are you sure that it’s true, Mabel?”
            “Yes, ma’am, I am. Positive, because Hortense, that’s my neighbor Bea’s sister, was there, in person I tell you. She saw him with her own eyes.”
            At the far end of the quilt, Vera shook her head. “I heard the man was soaked, so drunk he couldn’t walk. Why, he passed out right there where he was under the wagon. And in public!”
            Thelma sat at the corner to Vera’s right. “According to a very reliable source, he’d been sharing a jug with a slave, too. Drinking right after him. They said he didn’t even bother to wipe it off.” She shook her head with a disgusted expression. “Put his arm around that darkie and acted like it were nothing to be drinking with a colored man.”
            “Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Mabel chided. “I had such high hopes for Henry Buckmeyer, him being a veteran and all.”
            “Well, I heard that him and ‘Lizbeth Akins were sparking.”
            “Really?”
            “No!”
            “Who told you that?”
            “Can’t say, but it’s the Lord’s truth.”
            “Well I never, she’s only a child.”
            “And him a grown man. That’s awful.”
            “And a lay about drunk!”
            “Does Brother William know? Or Martha?”
            ‘Heard he’s the one caught ‘em. Heard Martha whipped the girl ’til she could barely sit down.”
            “Well then, ladies, we have a duty to pay Sister Buckmeyer a visit. She needs to know.”
            “I agree.”
            “After all, she’s his mother, she has a right to know.”
            “Perhaps with the Lord’s help, she can do something with that no-count son of hers.”
            “I do hope so. And before it’s too late.”
            Thelma shook her head. “Bless her heart. Might just be the undoing of a fine woman. Henry’s all she’s got.”
            “Yes.” Vera gave a sideways glance to her left, her right, then all the way to the other end of the quilt. “Because she certainly has no husband.” She hiked her brows at the other women and nodded with her lips pursed.