PART V

d n english

PART V

The afternoon was beautiful and warm for a December day. Franklin was sitting on his front porch reading the sheet of paper describing the Social tonight.
He looked up and saw Maggie approaching his heart skipped a beat.
As Maggie dismounted she smiled as she removed her hat and climbed the steps to the porch. Franklin got up and moved the other rocking closer to his as he did he laid the paper in the chair.
“Hello there,” Maggie said as she sat down and picked up the paper
“I see you got the notice of the Social tonight.”
Before he could stop himself Franklin said.”Hello yourself, Would you like to attend the Social with me?”
Maggie smiled. “Well that would be lovely thank you.”
They would talk for awhile then decided they needed to start on exploring so they could
could get back in time to clean up.
For the next two hours they rode down to the river and watch the loading of the steam boat. It was fun sitting on the bank talking about the workers loading the cotton bales and the passengers on board. They made up stories and laughed the time passed soon they had to hurry back to get ready.
Before Maggie left they decided Franklin would come on Dolly to the family home. He could leave her at their house and they would ride with her family in their buggy.
Franklin stood there watching her leave. Then he went in the house ate a bit, cleaned up and fussed over what suit to wear.
As he rode over to the Mercer’s  he could not help but “woolgather” as his grandmother would say “daydreaming” he would say. When he got to the Mercer’ TB was sitting on the porch.
“Come on up Son the ladies are almost ready.” TB said
Out of nowhere one of the younger Mercer boys came from the barn with the carriage and took Dolly to the barn so she could rest.
Before he knew it they were loaded in the carriage headed to the Social. Mrs. Mercer kept the conversation going letting Franklin what the Social was all about and what to expect.  When they got there it looked liked the whole adult population was inside the hall or was arriving.
Franklin got around and helped the ladies out of the carriage while TB got the baskets of goodies out of the back. He then took a basket from TB as they walked inside.
Franklin was overwhelmed by the food table ,the people , the decorations and music.
He thought they did things big in Mississippi but this was amazing.
As the night went on he and Maggie danced, did the cake walk where he won a cake Jeffery’s mother baked. He not only met Jeffery’s mother but so many towns people his head was spinning.
As the party wounded down everyone said their goodbyes and headed home.
Franklin left the cake he won with the Mercer’s since he would be there for dinner tomorrow. Dolly must of been on a mission because the next  thing he knew he was approaching his barn. He unsaddled ,fed and gave her water an headed to the house.He had pleasant dreams but soon it was time to do his chores, saddle Dolly and clean up for church.
Perfect timing he arrived at church just as the Mercer’s pulled up so he assisted Mrs. Mercer and Maggie  out of the carriage. He had learned that in the town of Toone the Baptist had long services today was no exception.
By the time they got back to the Mercer’s it was almost one and everyone was hungry.
Maggie and her mother hit the ground running. He and TB talked while the ladies got dinner ready. Franklin could smell the chicken frying and all other cooking smells he could not help but hear his stomach growl.
Soon he was seated by Maggie at the table looking at a feast there was fried chicken, baked ham, rolls, all sort of vegetables , and a side table of desserts.
He enjoyed his meal, the companionship and could not help but feel like he belonged with this family.
The rest of the afternoon was fun he and Maggie walked around the family  farm ending up by a swing hung from a oak tree. He pushed her as they  talked and laughed soon it was time for him to leave. Once again Dolly had him home before he knew what happened. He knew in his heart he had met his future wife.
Christmas came and went he had spent Christmas with the Mercer’s and written his mother about everything that happened. As for January it was a busy time the train station ha a record freight and passenger month. Also TB had a business proportion for Franklin.
On a recent business trip to Estanaula TB had stopped to visit as friend in Denmark where he found out there was a railroad going through just a few miles away. So TB took
a detour to see the land since it was on the way to Estanaula and that there was land for sale. After he got back to Toone he told Franklin about what he thought would be a good investment.
Franklin did his research and followed TB lead and purchased the land around the new rail line  before it was being put down. While he was at it he contacted the railroad and applied for the job as Station Master. While he was planning his future he had contacted his family to inform them he was going to ask Maggie to marry him. His mother was angry and happy at the same time. Angry because she had not met her future daughter in law but happy her son was happy. Next he had a long talk with TB and his wife to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage they were so happy.
On Valentine’s Day Franklin had planned a special dinner for Maggie at the hotel in Toone. In January he had taken a trip to Memphis to purchase a special ring. He had also purchased a new buggy since he would soon to be a married man. What he did not know but Mrs Mercer had been in touch with his mother and had managed to sneak her and some his family into town.
He headed to  Maggie’s to pick her up nervous as he could be when he arrived Maggie was impressed with the new buggy. They laughed and talked all the way into town little did they know they were being followed by her family. As Franklin and Maggie were enjoying their dinner  the families were gathering in the back room.
As they finished their dinner Franklin got down on one knee and purposed. Even though Maggie knew it was coming some day it was a wonderful surprise of course she said yes. In her heart she had always known she was in love with him from the first day she saw him.
The proprietor of the hotel came over to congratulate them. He then informed them he had a special room set up for deserts for his customers celebrating Valentines Day.
They accepted the invitation and followed him when the doors opened they were greeted with cheers from their  family and friends. Then out of the corner of the room a lady approached ,Franklin froze.
“Mother” was all he could say before she reached out and pulled Maggie and her son into a hug.
“Son i am so happy for you two.”his mother said
Then they explained to the happy couple that the two mothers had been writing for months and planned this sneak attack. Mrs. McGlatherly had been sitting on ready when Mrs. Mercer confirmed Franklin had asked for Maggie’s hand in marriage.
Since Franklin had taken Mrs. Mercer in his confidence about his plan she was on top of what to do to pull this surprise off.
The families had a wonderful time and the newly engaged couple were overcome with joy. Franklin’s mother stayed for a few extra days while the rest of the family went back to Mississippi promising to come back for the wedding. The next day Franklin moved his mother back to his house. Over the rest of her visit the mothers and the bride planned an May 1st wedding.
While that was going on TB and Franklin drew up plans for their new investment. Franklin had gotten the job as Station Master when the station opened. His soon to be brother in law and he would open a general store as they were sure the town would grow.
So many changes to come in the next few years good changes.

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