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The Bradford Legacy- Chapter 13


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The Bradford Legacy- Chapter 13

  1. 1. Welcome to Chapter 13 of my legacy. To refresh your memory, Chapter 12 brought about several major events in the lives of the Bradfords. Matthew and Jan‟s inequitable treatment of their children Jefferson and Elizabeth caused problems for the family. Carolina fretted about her family, and Matthew and Jan‟s true colors began to show through in their treatment of Alex and his SimIrish bride Kaylynn Langerak. Phily and her best friend, Meadow Thayer, departed for SimEurope, and Alex and Kaylynn elected to go West. If you want more of a recap, please go back and read the first 12 chapters, and the two interludes. And now, I give you Chapter 13 of the Bradford Legacy.
  2. 2. Spring was beginning to emerge in Massimchusetts, and the Bradford family had enjoyed an unseasonably warm day before coming in for dinner. “Thomas, did I tell you that we had a letter from Philomena today?” queried Carolina. “You did? What did Aunt Phily have to say?” exclaimed Elizabeth. “Elizabeth, be still! How many times must I tell you that children should be seen and not heard?” admonished Jan. The little girl‟s shoulders dropped, and she turned her attention to her bowl with suspiciously bright eyes. “Philomena and Miss Thayer have having an excellent time. They have recently arrived in Simland, and will be spending some time there before they depart for SimFrance.” Jan sighed. “She‟s quite a lucky girl. I wish I could have gone on a Grand Tour.” “Tut, tut, darling,” said Matthew, patting his wife‟s hand. “Phily‟s never been to Simpan, and you have.” “That‟s true,” she replied, looking somewhat placated. “Still, SimEurope is nothing to be scoffed at.”
  3. 3. Jefferson cleared his throat. “May I read Aunt Phily‟s letter, Grandma? I‟d like to learn about SimEurope firsthand.” “Of course you may, Jefferson,” replied Jan just as Carolina was opening her mouth. “Your father and I have hopes that we‟ll be able to send you there once you have graduated from SimHarvard.” Jefferson and Elizabeth exchanged glances, and Jefferson gave his twin a small smile. Jan‟s lack of reproach of Jefferson speaking out of turn had not gone unnoticed by the pair or their grandparents. Matthew and Jan‟s obvious favoring of Jefferson over Elizabeth caused both twins a great deal of distress. But Jefferson did his best to make sure that his sister, who he alone was allowed to call Lizzie, was treated as fairly as possible. “Children, if you are finished, you may be excused to finish your homework,” offered Carolina. “Thank you, Grandma,” they chimed in unison as they got up from the table and headed out of the dining room.
  4. 4. After the children had left and the door closed behind them, Carolina turned to Jan. “Jan, I would appreciate it if you wouldn‟t interrupt me when I am about to speak.” “Why, Mother!” gasped Jan. “I would never dream of doing such a thing. Forgive me, but I knew that you would let any one of us read Philomena‟s letter, so I merely answered Jefferson‟s question so you wouldn‟t be bothered.” “My grandchildren could never be a bother, Jan, and I do not like it when others speak for me.” “I think that you are getting rather upset over a rather trivial matter,” dismissed Jan. Carolina looked to Thomas, hoping that he would intercede on her behalf.
  5. 5. Before Thomas could speak, Matthew interjected. “Jan is right, Mother. You‟re making a mountain out of a mole hill.” “Your mother has concerns, Matthew. You should address them before dismissing them so quickly.” “Father, I do not believe that Grandmother or Grandfather questioned they way you raised us. I would expect the same courtesy of you and Mother as to how Jan and I deal with our children.” Thomas opened his mouth, as if to speak about exactly how his son and daughter-in-law were raising their children, but he bit his tongue. Any time there was a hint of tension in the family, he instantly fled from it. Thomas remembered all too well the rift in the clan over Patrick‟s beliefs in state‟s rights, and he had no desire to be the cause of such a rift again. Instead, he excused himself from the table, and retreated to his and Carolina‟s bedroom.
  6. 6. Carolina followed him shortly after, and found Thomas lounging on the bed. She joined him. “Why can‟t you stand up to Matthew?” she demanded. “You flinch at the first sign of any conflict.” Thomas stared off into space, lost in his own thoughts. “Can you not understand that I am terrified of causing another rift in the family like the one we faced when we lost Patrick for all those years?” he finally replied in soft tones. “Oh, Thomas. I‟m such a fool. Of course I understand that you don‟t want to force people to take sides. But something must be done. Matthew and Jan treat Jefferson like a king and indulge him ridiculously, and poor Lizzie gets snapped at and is practically forced to beg for any little thing.” “I know, Carolina. But I can‟t help but think that Matthew is right – we have no right to tell him how to raise his children. As their father, that is his job.” Carolina sighed. “But we can shower both of them with as much affection as they can bear, can we not?” “We can do that, my love. We can make sure that Jefferson and Lizzie know that they‟re both loved and are important to us.”
  7. 7. The next morning, Matthew joined Jan for a late breakfast. She was still seething about Carolina‟s reproach the night before. “Matthew, I am practically the lady of the house. Your mother simply cannot speak to me that way. At least she had the common sense to wait until the children were out of the room.” “Jan, I know it is frustrating, but take heart. My father is in his mid seventies. He does not have much time left. Before you know it, I‟ll be head of the family and my mother relegated to a dowager role.” “I know, Matthew,” she smiled. “It just seems like a long time to wait for what is ours.” “It will come, Jan. It will come. Where are the children today?” “Jefferson is in the study, reading like a good boy.” “And Elizabeth?”
  8. 8. “Your mother insisted on teaching her how to garden. Thank goodness I was able to make her put on an old dress and coat before she went out. Really, Matthew, we can afford a gardener to take care of such things, can we not?” “Of course we can, Jan. But we will need to wait a little longer. That garden has been tended by Bradford wives since the family first came over on the boat. If Father or Mother caught wind of a stranger tending it…no, that is a battle I do not wish to fight. We‟ll wait a little longer before we hire a gardener.” “But Elizabeth…” “I suppose it won‟t do her any harm. If you‟re so worried about her make sure she wears a hat so her complexion doesn‟t get spoiled.” “Yes, Matthew,” replied his wife, her tone making it quite clear that she was not pleased with his response to her concerns.
  9. 9. As spring slowly strengthened her hand on the land, the Bradfords marked several notable events. Maurice Alcott, grandson of Thomas‟ sister Eliza by way of her son Lawrence and his wife Lorraine, grew into a child.
  10. 10. Eliza‟s daughter, Amelia, finished up at Mrs. Seymour‟s Finishing School, and promptly became engaged to Ashley Pitts, a student at nearby SimHarvard.
  11. 11. They moved back to Simsfield where they were married, surrounded by family and friends.
  12. 12. Lyndsay Louie Turner, wife of Andrew Turner and daughter-in-law to the infamous Patrick, gave birth to a daughter they named Josephine.
  13. 13. Josephine was shortened to Jo almost immediately, and the little girl showed all the signs of being a tomboy to match her nickname. She was adored by all her family, but she especially by her grandpa Patrick. When not at work, he could be found in the nursery, holding the little girl or passing time with her and her toys.
  14. 14. And Esther and Eldon Bear, the only children of Anne and Joseph Bear, had their teenage birthday. “Esther, why did you not wait for your brother and blow out your candles together?” asked Anne as her daughter finished with her candles. “I‟m impatient, Mama,” the girl replied. Eldon blew three times, but could not generate enough force to extinguish his candles, and he was left out of breath. “Here, son. Let me help you,” said Joseph as he moved over to help Eldon with his cake. “Thank you, Papa,” replied the boy, obviously embarrassed that he hadn‟t enough strength for a simple task like blowing out candles on a birthday cake.
  15. 15. The Bear twins grew up well, but their goals differed greatly. Esther sought romance in her life, and hoped that her love of cooking might materialize into a career path. Eldon, on the other hand, followed in his father‟s footsteps and decided seek fortune. He hoped that he would be able to amass a great fortune over the course of his lifetime.
  16. 16. While much of the family was celebrating happier events, Rebecca Thompson Ryan was busy playing nursemaid to her ailing husband, Timothy. Their only child, Matilda, had no idea that her father was on his deathbed. Despite Rebecca‟s protests, Timothy had been most insistent that Matilda not be written to. One morning, Rebecca had brought up a breakfast tray that Timothy had poked at but eaten nothing. “Rebecca,” he muttered, in a raspy voice, “I don‟t have much time left.” “Timothy,” she began, but a weak motion from his hand stopped her words.
  17. 17. “Rebecca, you have been a good wife to me,” he said. “I wish I could have done more for you, darling,” she interjected. “The only think I could have wished for is a son and heir, but that was not in the cards for us, my dear. Still, you have done well. There is only one thing that I feel is unsettled with my affairs – who I shall leave my estate to when I go.” “Timothy, I wish you wouldn‟t speak of such things.” “Rebecca, we will all die at some point, and I know that my time is very short. I doubt that I will last the day. I spoke with my solicitors not too long ago, and I have made a change to my will. I am leaving my fortune to you to do with as you see fit.”
  18. 18. “But what of Mr. Pratt?” “I am not concerned about him, and neither should you be. He bought one of my business out from under me not to long ago, and was absolutely unpleasant about the whole affair. He can make his own way in this world.” Rebecca face betrayed no emotion. “And your fortune will be mine to do what I want with?” “Whatever you want, Rebecca,” he nodded, giving his consent to the unasked question hanging in the air. “You can do whatever you want with the money.” “Thank you, Timothy. I will use it wisely.” “I have no doubts about that, Rebecca,” he muttered as he slipped into sleep.
  19. 19. Later that night, Death came for Timothy, just as he had predicted.
  20. 20. Before dawn the next morning, Rebecca came downstairs in her mourning to inspect her husband‟s coffin, as it lay in state in the parlor. Having shed all her tears the night before, she sighed. Oh, Timothy, I do wish I could have given you a son. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have also lost my daughter. She made a few quick adjustments to the floral arrangement that rested atop the casket. Everything had to be perfect for the funeral later that day. It would be the last thing that she would be able to do for her husband.
  21. 21. After assuring that all the parlor was in order, Rebecca sat down at her writing desk and took up her pen and a fresh sheet of paper, properly trimmed in black to announce her newly widowed state. After scratching down a few sentences, she signed her name and put it with the other correspondences that were to go out with the mail later that morning.
  22. 22. Across town, at the Robert Alcotts, Matilda Ryan Alcott walked out to the mail box to fetch the day‟s post. She immediately noticed the envelope trimmed in black. The handwriting was vaguely familiar, but she couldn‟t place it. Shuffling it to the front of the pile of letters, she went into the dining room to deal with her correspondence.
  23. 23. After opening the letter in question, Matilda collapsed forward onto the remaining mail and began to sob. The news of her father‟s death had come as a shock – since her estrangement from her family she had somewhat lost track of their ages. And it was hard to believe that no one had written that he was ill. Oh, Father, she sobbed. If only things could have turned out differently.
  24. 24. It was there that her son, little George, found her when he returned home from school. “Mama, are you okay?” he asked, worry evident in his tones. “Mama is very sad right now, little George. Can you play by yourself for a while?” “Yes, Mama,” he replied. Instead of going off to play as his mother instructed, he ran off in search of his father.
  25. 25. “Sweetheart, what‟s wrong?” asked Robert as he came into the room. “My father‟s dead,” she replied in a flat voice.
  26. 26. Robert pulled his wife into his arms, and wiped away her tears. “I‟m sorry, dear.” “So am I. I have no idea why I‟m so upset. I haven‟t spoken to him in years, and it‟s not as though our last meeting was pleasant.” “He was your father. No matter what happened between you, you can‟t change that fact.” “No, I suppose you can‟t. Mother asked for permission to call. Shall I reply that she can?” “If you want her to, I‟ll be here to support you.” “Thank you. Now, I really must make sure that everything is in order for little George‟s birthday. I‟ve neglected the house horribly today.” “I‟m sure that everything will be fine, Matilda, but I‟ll keep George occupied while you see to the cake.”
  27. 27. Despite the fact that they should have been in mourning for Timothy, the family had a small party for little George, complete with cake. He was very enthusiastic about becoming a teenager.
  28. 28. George, who refused to answer to “Little George” any longer, was quite the handsome young man. Despite never having met, he took after his grandfather Timothy and sought fortune, but he wanted to earn his way as a lawyer.
  29. 29. A few weeks later, Rebecca called on Matilda and Robert while George was at school. Matilda was shocked to see her mother out of mourning already, and commented on the fact. “Black never did suit me,” was her reply. “I always marveled that Eliza was able to were it for ten years for her first husband.” Matilda raised her eyebrows in Robert‟s direction. She knew how her mother had gossiped about her mother-in-law‟s behavior in marrying her second husband, but chose not to comment. If she were going to mend fences with her mother, questioning her would not help matters. “Why did you want to see me, Mother?” she asked, trying to sound as polite as she could. “Matilda, your father left me his fortune and estate to do with what I see fit. I have decided that I would like it if you would move back home and take your rightful place as your father‟s heir.” Both Robert and Matilda were shocked at Rebecca‟s request. Robert recovered his facilities the quickest. “That is a very large decision for us to make, Mrs. Ryan. May we have a few days to consider?” “Of course you may,” she nodded. “I must excuse myself; it really isn‟t proper for a widow to be out and about so soon after her husband‟s passing.”
  30. 30. After Robert helped Rebecca into her waiting carriage, he rejoined his wife in their parlor. “What do you think?” he asked. “Is she being sincere?” Matilda sighed. “I never could tell with them. Part of me wants to believe that she‟s changed, but the other part of me knows how badly her reputation was hurt by the scandal of our elopement, and that she would do anything to set it right in the eyes of society. But this isn‟t just about me. What do you think?” “You‟re right; it‟s not just about you. I‟m thinking about George, and what the Ryan family fortune could do for him.” “He could have so much. We wouldn‟t have to worry about paying for university or law school, and he would have enough funds to set him up with his own law firm right away.” “As much as I hate to say it, Matilda, I think we need to seriously consider your mother‟s offer.” Matilda couldn‟t help but shutter at the thought of moving back to the house where she had been a prisoner for so many years. “We need to talk with George first; it is his future we‟re planning for, after all.” “We can talk with him after dinner tonight,” agreed Robert. “But if he agrees, we‟ll be moving.” “I love this house so. I hate to think of strangers living in it.” “I may have a solution to that, too. Ashley and Amelia have been looking for a new place to rent, and I don‟t know why they couldn‟t have this place.”
  31. 31. As planned, the discussion with George took place that evening. “So, Grandmother Ryan is rich, and she‟s finally decided that she wants her daughter and grandson to have a piece of it?” “It‟s complicated, George,” began Matilda. “But you have the gist of the story, son,” finished Robert. “Well, I think it‟s a pretty swell idea. Face it, Papa, you‟re not getting any younger. I know how hard you work at Grandpa George‟s store to provide for us and to send me to college. If there‟s an easier way to pay for my schooling, we should take it. Besides, Grandmother Ryan lives closer to Grandma Eliza and Grandpa George, which means we could see them lots more.” Matilda looked between the two men in her life. The decision had been made, and they would be moving into her childhood home. The thought terrified her, and she was shocked when George took her hand. “It will be all right, Mama. I won‟t let Grandmother Ryan be mean to you. She‟ll be so busy trying to spoil me that she‟ll not be able to worry about you.” “I hope you‟re right, son,” she said.
  32. 32. Robert, Matilda and George moved into the Ryan house without delay or fanfare. George took to pouring over his late grandfather‟s library in preparation for university entrance exams, while Robert enjoyed the space to move around and the well manicured grounds.
  33. 33. Matilda and Rebecca walked on eggshells around each other, both afraid to offend the other. Most of their conversation centered around George, as he quickly became the center of his grandmother‟s world as he already was for his mother. “He has the Bradford nose,” commented Rebecca one day. “He reminds me of my father in some ways.” Matilda couldn‟t help but smile. To her, George looked like a darker version of her husband, but she would never say so. The fragile peace she had built with her mother was precious, and she had no intention of doing anything to upset the delicate balance.
  34. 34. Henrietta Bradford Hutchins was enjoying a rare quiet afternoon. Victor, her son, was still in school, and she had miraculously finished her chores ahead of schedule. She had been able to read Phily‟s latest letter from Simland, and written a long reply. As she relaxed, knowing that Victor‟s arrival home would be her cue to begin dinner, she thought about her life. She and the Professor had been married for nearly fifteen years, and he showed no sign of deteriorating health. She, on the other hand, had found her first gray hair that morning. It seemed that any hope of an early widowhood was not too be, and that the Professor was determined to live until he was ninety just to spite her. If only he weren‟t so cruel to Victor, she might be able to bear it. Her thoughts wandered to her son, the one bright spot in her world.
  35. 35. She was the sole parental figure in her son‟s life. Henri supervised his violin practice sessions, helped him with his homework, and tucked him in at night. She knew that she would never have another child, so she often found herself painting her son, so that she might always remember him during his childhood.
  36. 36. Then one day, without warning, the Professor caught a cold from one of his students. It quickly developed into pneumonia, and the doctors warned Henri to prepare herself for the worst. Henri cared for her husband as was her duty, but one night, her unspoken prayers were answered.
  37. 37. Professor Leonid Hutchins died at the age of seventy due to complications from his illness.
  38. 38. After the Professor‟s coffin had been placed for the funeral, Henri came down in her mourning to make sure that everything was in order. I’m finally free of you, she thought. I can finally raise Victor in the way I see fit, and hire a maid, and not have to jump at your beck and call. And I shall never be another man’s wife. I will be the most distinguished widow that Portsimouth has ever seen. She sighed. Victor had slept through everything the night before, and he would need to be told that his father was dead.
  39. 39. Henri entered her son‟s bedroom, and gently shook him awake. “Mama, why are you wearing that dress?”
  40. 40. “Victor,” she said, drawing in a breath, “Your father has been very ill, as you know. Last night, he died in his sleep.”
  41. 41. Victor looked up at Henri with large, unblinking eyes. “Papa is gone?” “Yes, Victor. Papa is gone.” The boy was silent for what seemed to be a long time. His eyes were very earnest when he spoke again. “Does this mean I can practice my violin whenever I want?” Henri fought back a smile. “Once first mourning is over, yes. Now, get dressed. You need to come downstairs with me. You‟ll want to say goodbye to your Papa.”
  42. 42. Victor stared somberly at the dark casket before him. “Papa is in there?” “His body is. His soul is in Heaven,” If he had one she added silently. Victor let out a strangled cry, and fled into the parlor.
  43. 43. Henri followed him, and knelt down so that she was level with her son. “It‟s all right to be sad, Victor. He was your Papa, and he loved you, even if he didn‟t always show it.” The boy tried to blink back tears. “But I‟m a boy. I‟m not supposed to cry.” “At a time like this, Victor, it‟s okay to cry.” “What‟s going to happen to us, Mama? Papa worked. How will you pay the bills?” “Darling child, you don‟t need to worry about that,” she said, but his question had her worried. She had no idea of the state of the Professor‟s affairs. She made a mental note to write to his solicitor to request a meeting.
  44. 44. “But I‟m the man of the house now, Mama. I‟m supposed to take care of you,” he said, sincerity written across his features. “Victor, you are still a child. In a few years, when you‟ve grown a bit, you can worry about taking care of me. Now, let‟s have a quick breakfast before the other mourners start to arrive.”
  45. 45. “Yes, Mama,” the little boy replied, his features brightening. “I love you, Victor,” Henri said as she pulled her son close. “I love you too, Mama,” he replied.
  46. 46. Later that night, after the funeral and burial, Henri gave into her first real tears of the day. She wept for her lost youth, and the worries she had about her now uncertain future. But most of all, she wept because she missed the one person she could be completely honest with: her sister, Phily. Henri wiped her tears, and sat down at her writing desk to pen a note to Phily. It was short, telling her sister of the Professor‟s death. She hated the thought of her sister cutting her Grand Tour short, but she knew that Phily would take the next available ship home at the news. It was selfish, but Henri decided that after all the years she had suffered, it was all right to be selfish just this once.
  47. 47. In Simsfield, Thomas was reading a letter from Henri when Matthew walked into the study. “What‟s the latest news, Papa?” “Your sister, Henri has written that her husband has died. She is most distraught by the events.”
  48. 48. Matthew took a seat, contemplating this turn of events. As a widow, Henri was now a wild card, and Matthew dislike wild cards. “That is horrible news, Papa. How is my sister fairing?” “She is doing well, all things considered. Right now, she is more worried about how she and Victor will survive without the Professor‟s income.” “Whatever do you mean?” “It seems that the Professor did not leave Henri much to live on. She will need to be very frugal, and it looks as if Victor will need to earn his own way to college.” Ah ha! thought Matthew. A poor widow is malleable. I know exactly what to propose here. “Well, Father. I think that the solution to her problem is simple. Henrietta will simply have to marry again.”
  49. 49. Thomas stared at his son. “Do you really think that Henri will be willing to marry again, after all that she‟s been through? Really, Matthew, I don‟t see how you can even suggest such a thing.” “But Papa, it really is the best solution for all concerned. Henri and Victor will be provided for.” Thomas sighed. “No, Matthew. I cannot agree with you here. I still have my doubts as to whether or not I should have encouraged her to marry Professor Hutchins in the first place. Your sister has always been resourceful; I‟m certain that she will come up with a way to make ends meet.”
  50. 50. For the first time in his life, Matthew lost his temper in front of his father. “How can you be such a simpleton, Papa?” he exclaimed. “Henrietta is the type of woman that needs to be married! You remember what she was like before; do you really want that type of a scandal brought on the family again?”
  51. 51. Thomas was silent for a long time. When he spoke, it was barely above a whisper. “What happened to you, Matthew? Sometimes, I think you care more for the family name than you do for your actual family.” With those words, he rose, the chair barely making a sound as it scraped the floor.
  52. 52. Time passed quickly after the Professor‟s death, and soon it was time for Victor to become a teenager. His party was very small; only he and Henri were in attendance, as convention dictated that they were still not accepting guests. Victor took a deep breath, and extinguished his candles in one blow.
  53. 53. Victor grew into a handsome man who was very much his father‟s son in looks. He decided that he wanted nothing more than to have a happy family life, and that a career in law enforcement would suit him exactly.
  54. 54. As he and Henri enjoyed their cake, he once again brought up the subject of his being the head of the household. “I mean it, Mama. I can find a job to help contribute to the household income.” “Victor, your job should be studying for university. I‟ve managed so far…” “But I know that Papa didn‟t leave us that well off. Please, Mama. I can work and study. I‟ll find the time.”
  55. 55. Henri smiled at her son, wondering how he had grown into such a wonderful young man with the influence of the Professor as his only male role model. “You may take a job, as long as it does not interfere with your schoolwork. If your grades drop even in the slightest, you will need to quit. Does that sound fair?”
  56. 56. “Very fair. Thank you, Mama. I promise that I will keep up with my schoolwork. I‟d like the money I earn to go towards my college tuition.” “An excellent idea,” said Henri, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief. She had wondered how she was going to pay for SimHarvard. At that moment, there was a knock on the front door. “I‟ll get that, Mama. Whoever could be calling at this hour? Do they not know that we are a house of mourning?”
  57. 57. True to her word, as soon as she and the Thayers had disembarked the ship, Phily insisted on being brought straight to her sister‟s house. She rapped on the door again, hoping that the inhabitants of the house were still up. It was a bit late for calling, but she knew that Henri wouldn‟t care of the hour once she saw who was at the door.
  58. 58. Victor opened the door. The woman on the other side looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn‟t quite place her. “Victor?” she said, her voice full of astonishment. “You‟ve grown so much.” Recognition and a smile spread across the young man‟s face. “Aunt Phily! Mama will be so glad to see you. Please, come into the parlor.”
  59. 59. At the sound of Phily‟s name, Henri came rushing. The two sisters hugged for a long time, tears flowing freely from both. Victor brought in a teapot, two cups, and quietly excused himself to let the pair catch up.
  60. 60. After much talk of Phily‟s adventures abroad, conversation soon turned to Henri and her current situation. “He left me with practically nothing, Phily. Thank goodness there were no debts, or I would have had to sell the house and rely on someone‟s charity. My situation is quite dire. Thank goodness that Victor is willing to work to send himself to SimHarvard, or I‟d really be up a creek without a paddle.” “Don‟t you worry, Henri. I‟m going to move in with you and earn my keep.” “That‟s very kind of you, Phily, but it‟s really not necessary.”
  61. 61. Phily smiled at her sister. “But I want to. I‟m going to teach; I should have no problem passing the examination with my background, even if my SimFrench is horrible. I‟ll contribute to the household income, and you can have a little more peace of mind.”
  62. 62. “Why are you really doing this, Phily?” The younger woman sighed. “I have no desire to move back home and have Mama and Matthew force me into marriage. Here at least, I can have a little bit of freedom. Plus, Miss Thayer lives here, and she is one of my dearest friends. I can‟t imagine not being able to call on her whenever I pleased.” “I picked that up from your letters. It seams that the two of you have grown even closer during your time in SimEurope.” “Yes,” replied Phily in a soft voice, not quite ready to tell Henri everything that had transpired on her trip. “And I am quite in agreement with you on Matthew‟s meddling. He‟s worse than an old woman, forcing his siblings into marriages that suit his needs.” “What do you mean, Henri?” “You remember that he was one of the Professor‟s students? Well, Matthew assured me that the Professor was quite well off. But you see my situation now. Sometimes, I can‟t help but wonder if Matthew had an ulterior motive in getting me to marry the Professor.”
  63. 63. “Indeed,” muttered Phily, mulling over this new fact in her head. The fact that Matthew might have used Henri and his treatment of Alex mixed together to form a very unflattering portrait of her brother. She shook her head, trying to shake the dark thoughts away. “Henri, I‟m so dreadfully tired. Let‟s go to bed, and in the morning I can see about finding a teaching position somewhere here in the city.”
  64. 64. Spring was in its glory, and Carolina and Thomas were enjoying an afternoon in the garden. “Carolina, I‟m worried.” “About what, dear?” “About Matthew, and what kind of a head of the family he‟ll make. He‟s…well, there‟s no other way to say it, but he‟s an elitist who manipulates those around him to get what he wants.” “And that wife of his is no better. Her influence just makes him worse.” “I know, Carolina. I can‟t believe that I‟ve been so blind to it for all these years. What happened to the sweet little boy who would beg for a few more minutes of playtime?” “I can‟t help but wonder if he‟s always been like this, and we just chose not to see it.”
  65. 65. Thomas sighed. “You may be right, dear. But what is going to happen to the family when I‟m gone.” “Thomas…” “Carolina, please don‟t. I‟m past my seventy-fifth year; I know that I‟ll probably not be here to see another summer. Matthew will be in charge before too much longer, and I shutter to think of what he‟ll do with any additional power.” “And as the first born son, he‟ll see it as his right,” she muttered. “Exactly. Carolina, you must promise me that you will do whatever you can to keep him in check.”
  66. 66. “What will I be able to do? He sees me as an old woman, and I have no doubt that he has promised Jan free reign as lady of the house once you are gone.” “Carolina,” he said, taking her hand, “It may be too late for Matthew, but not for Jefferson. He‟s a sweet boy, who doesn‟t seem to be easily swayed by either of his parents. Love him. Teach him how to be a good man. And Lizzie. Make sure they grow up to be kind and loving adults. As long as Jefferson sees you as important, Matthew will as well. Use his indulgence of the child to your advantage, and have Jefferson propose your ideas as his.” “Of course I can do that,‟ she said. “It‟s strange. Five of our children turned out to be wonderful people. Where did we go wrong with Matthew?” “I don‟t know, love. Perhaps he was always a rotten apple, and there was nothing we could have done to prevent it.” “I hope you‟re right about that, Thomas. I hate to think that I might have been responsible for creating such a person.”
  67. 67. “Never, sweetheart,” he said, pulling her close. “You are one of the finest women I have ever known, and an excellent mother to all our children. You are the light of my life, Carolina.” “And you are mine,” she replied. “I wouldn‟t change anything about our lives, Thomas Bradford. Good or bad.”
  68. 68. A few weeks later, while Jefferson and Lizzie were in school, the rest of the Bradfords were passing a quiet afternoon in the sun-drenched parlor. “Have you made plans for the twins birthday party later this month?” asked Carolina. Jan smiled. “Yes. We‟ll be inviting a few of the families from the neighborhood. I ordered the cakes, so we don‟t need to worry about anything but a luncheon, which I could use your help with.” Which means you’ll have me slaving in the kitchen while you play mistress of the house, thought Carolina. “Of course I‟ll help. Let us discuss the menu once we‟ve had a chance to ask Jefferson and Lizzie for their input. It is their party, after all.” Thomas looked at his son, who was paying no attention to the conversation. He was still worried about what Matthew would become as head of the family. “Is something wrong, Papa?” asked Matthew, seeing his father‟s dark expression. “No, Matthew. Nothing at all. I‟m just feeling a little out of sorts today. Nothing serious, I‟m sure.”
  69. 69. At that moment, the front door burst open and the twin came rushing into the parlor. “Did you have a good day at school?” beamed Carolina. “Yes, Grandmamma,” said Lizzie, returning the smile. “Jefferson and I tied for best marks on our math exam.” “Very good, children,” said Jan absently. “Do you have homework?” “No, Mother,” replied Jefferson. “Because we did so well on the test, Teacher excused us for the night.”
  70. 70. Thomas rose, and pulled his grandson into a hug. “I‟m very proud of you, Jefferson. I know that you will grow up to be a capable young man.” “Thank you, Grandpapa,” replied the little boy. He then turned to Lizzie, and kissed her forehead. “Stay sweet, Elizabeth. Your kind heart is your greatest strength.” “I will, Grandpapa,” she nodded.
  71. 71. He then gave Jan a kiss on the cheek. “Be kind to my grandchildren; they are wonderful children.” “You needn‟t tell me that my son is a fine boy,” she said. “Your daughter, too,” he muttered.
  72. 72. Next, there was a hug for Matthew. “Son, when you are head of the family, try to follow my example and lead with a steady hand and a kind heart.” “Papa, I have no doubt that I will make an excellent leader of our family.” But I do, the older man thought.
  73. 73. Finally, there was a hug and a kiss for his beloved Carolina. “It‟s almost time, then?” she whispered. “I think so,” he agreed. “Carolina, remember what I said.” “I do, and I will. I‟m going to miss you, my love.” “And I you. But you still have work to do here, my darling.”
  74. 74. Just then, as he had for his father and his father before that, Death came for Thomas Bradford. The entire family was devastated by his loss, though some chose to show it with anger rather than with tears. Thomas Bradford lived to be seventy-seven years old. He left behind a wife, six children, and seven grandchildren.
  75. 75. The night after Thomas‟ funeral, Carolina found she could not sleep. She made her way down to the family cemetery, and headed directly for the elaborate marble tombstone upon which Matthew had insisted.
  76. 76. “Oh, Thomas,” she sobbed. “Why could we not have gone together? I am not sure if I am strong enough to do what you have asked of me.” After a few moments, the tears subsided. “I‟ll try, Thomas. I don‟t know if I will be successful, but I will try. I‟ll do my best to keep Matthew in check by using Jefferson‟s influence.” She sighed. “Using someone to get my way. That makes me no better than Matthew.”
  77. 77. While Carolina was mourning in the cemetery, Matthew was entering what was now his study. Mine. It’s all mine, he thought with a smile as he sat down behind the desk. He caressed its surface, a surface that three generations of Bradford heirs had possessed before him. I have been waiting for this for so long. I can finally run this family as I see fit.
  78. 78. Over in Portsimouth, Phily was enjoying a Saturday afternoon off when Meadow came to call. She looked tired and pale, and Phily instantly demanded to know what was wrong. “Oh, Phily. I should have told you sooner, but I just couldn‟t bring myself to leave them for a moment.” “‟Them?‟ Meadow, what has happened?” “Mother got even sicker from whatever she caught abroad. Father insisted on caring for her, and he got sick too. They died a few days ago, within hours of each other.” “Oh, Meadow. Why didn‟t you tell me? I would have been there in a moment.” “You had your job, and your sister needed you. I didn‟t want to be selfish.”
  79. 79. “Are you daft, Meadow? Do you not remember what happened on the ship home? Of course I would have been there to help you.” “I should have realized,” apologized Meadow. “Forgive me for being so shortsighted.” “Of course. Now, is there anything I can do for you?” “Actually, since I lost my parents, I‟ve been thinking something over.” “Name it.”
  80. 80. Meadow drew in a breath. “I‟d like you, Mrs. Hutchins, and Victor to move in with me.” “Meadow! I don‟t know…” “Please, Phily? It‟s the perfect solution. The house is so empty with just me in it. Your sister could help with the housekeeping, you can keep teaching, and I can maintain Mother and Father‟s social obligations. Plus, Victor would have Father‟s library at his disposal for his studies. And we could see each other whenever we wanted.”
  81. 81. Phily bit her lip. “If it were just me, I‟d say yes in a heartbeat. But I can‟t speak for my sister.” “Of course not. But please, promise me that you‟ll speak with her about it at the first possible opportunity.” “I will, Meadow. I promise.” “Thank you. Now, I must be going. Please, call soon. I miss you so much.” “I miss you, too. I‟ll talk to Henri tonight, and let you know our answer.” “Thank you,” replied Meadow, pressing a kiss to Phily‟s cheek.
  82. 82. As she promised, Phily broached the subject of moving to the Thayer house with Henri that evening. “It‟s a very generous offer, Phily, but I don‟t see how I can accept it. We‟re managing quite well here. Of course, if you want to take her up on the offer, you must feel free. Victor and I will manage without you.” “But Henri, it‟s an ideal situation.” “But Phily, it‟s living off of someone‟s charity. I can‟t do that.”
  83. 83. “Mama,” said Victor, looking up from his book, “What if we were to rent the house, and put the rent towards our keep at the Thayer‟s?” “Why, Victor! I had no idea that you were interested in the idea.” “It‟s an excellent offer, Mama. The Thayer house is huge, and I bet the study is well-stocked with books. Besides, it‟s closer to school, and the shops, and well, everything. If Miss Thayer is offering, we should take her up on it. At least for now.” Henri sighed, knowing that if her son wanted to accept the offer, she was powerless to change his mind. “Very well.” “Excellent,” he said, closing the book. “I‟ll go see about renting the place.” He got up and left the room.
  84. 84. Henri looked at her sister‟s smug expression. “You don‟t need to look so pleased. I would have given in eventually anyway. It will be nice to not have to worry about money for a little while.” “For as long as you want. As long as I have a home with Meadow, you do too.” “How are you so certain that you will have a home with Miss Thayer indefinitely?” Phily twisted the ring that Meadow had given her while they were in Simtaly. “Henri, I have something that I need to tell you about what happened while I was abroad.” And Phily told her sister of her love for Meadow, and how they had promised their lives to each other. Henri‟s initial silence had Phily worried. Had she erred in telling her big sister the truth? “I‟m very happy for you, Phily,” the older woman smiled. “It‟s not easy to find happiness, and you deserve it very much.”
  85. 85. “Thank you, Henri. Your blessing means much to me.” “So, this is the real reason you didn‟t want to move home and be subject to a match of convenience?” “Exactly. Meadow is really wonderful, Henri. You‟ll see that right away.” “I‟m certain I will. If you care about her, she must be a wonderful woman. Now, we should see about what we need to pack. I can‟t be the reason that you and your beloved are separated for too long.”
  86. 86. Several weeks had passed since Phily, Henri, and Victor had moved to the Thayer house. All in all, they were a happy bunch. But Phily noticed that Meadow was slightly moody, and one night, after catching her staring out the window for the umpteenth time, Phily asked Meadow what was wrong. “It‟s nothing, really. Silly, actually. Don‟t fret about it, darling. I‟ll be fine.” “Please, Meadow. Tell me what‟s bothering you so I can help.”
  87. 87. Meadow sighed. “I‟ve just been thinking. I always wanted to have a child. No, don‟t get me wrong, Phily,” she exclaimed when she saw the distress on the brunette‟s face, “I wouldn‟t change anything about our lives together. But I can‟t help what I feel.” “You really want a child?” Meadow nodded. “Family has always been so important to me.” “Why don‟t we adopt, then?”
  88. 88. “Truly? You wouldn‟t mind?” “Not at all. The orphanage has many children that need good homes. You should go meet with the matron.” “I will! Oh, Phily, thank you. I can hardly wait.”
  89. 89. A few days later, Meadow and Phily shared the news that they were adopting a little girl from the city orphanage. “How kind of you!” exclaimed Henri. “When will she be arriving?” “This morning,” replied Meadow. She looked to Victor. “I‟m hoping that you can show her the way to school and look out for her a bit.” “Of course I can! I hope she‟s nice.” “She was very sweet but shy when I met her. I‟m certain that she will blossom with the proper care.” At that moment, the sound of carriage wheels coming to a stop could be heard on the cobblestones out front. “That will be her,” said Meadow, her voice full of excitement. “I‟ll go greet her, and then bring her in to meet the rest of you. Excuse me.”
  90. 90. “Hello,” said the little girl. She thought the blonde lady standing before her had the prettiest dress she had ever seen. “Hello, dear child. What is your name?” “Jane.” “Hello, Jane. I‟m Meadow, and this,” she said, gesturing to her companion who had joined them on the porch, “Is Phily. You‟ll be living with us from now on. We‟ve adopted you.” “Truly?” “Truly.”
  91. 91. The little girl hugged both women in turn. “Thank you. I will do my best to be a good girl, and not to be any trouble to either of you.” Jane‟s sincerity melted both Meadow and Phily‟s hearts, and as they locked eyes, both made a promise to give this little girl every advantage possible. “Come, Jane,” said Meadow. “Your clothes are very neat and tidy, but horribly threadbare. I have some things upstairs for you, and you can try them on.”
  92. 92. With her new dress and a fresh hairstyle, Jane was almost unrecognizable. “Do you like the dress, Jane?” asked Meadow. “It‟s very pretty, Miss Thayer.” “Jane,” said Meadow, “You don‟t need to be so formal with me. You can call me „Meadow.‟”
  93. 93. “Thank you, Miss…Meadow,” Jane said shyly, reaching up to give Meadow a kiss. “You are welcome, dear child. Now, let‟s go down so I can introduce you to Mrs. Hutchins and her son, Victor. They are both very anxious to meet you.”
  94. 94. Dinner that night was a fine affair. Henri prepared a special meal to welcome the family‟s newest member.
  95. 95. Everyone was impressed how sweet Jane was, and that she had such impeccable manners. But the time the meal was done, it was hard for any of them to imagine a time when Jane wasn‟t part of the family.
  96. 96. The Thayer-Hutchins household quickly fell into a steady routine. Henri managed the house, while Phily oversaw Victor and Jane‟s educations. Phily‟s grasp of foreign languages may not have been very good, but she was an excellent music instructor. Both Victor and Jane flourished under her watch.
  97. 97. Meadow, after making her calls and sitting on committees for various charities, spent her time painting the sights of SimEurope from her memory. Soon, the walls of the house were covered with her artwork.
  98. 98. Meadow wasn‟t the only person who had taken to painting. Jan had take up the craft, and she was becoming quite adept at it.
  99. 99. The afternoon of her birthday party, Lizzie came bursting into the parlor. “Mother! I got top marks on my history paper! See!” she cried, waving the assignment around. “For goodness sake, Elizabeth! Stop jumping and shouting. A lady doesn‟t behave in such a fashion. You‟re practically a young lady; it‟s time you started acting like one. Now, go do your homework.” “But what about my cake?” she asked. “Have I not given you a direct command? If you keep behaving like this, there will be no cake. Now go!” Lizzie slunk from the room, all her joy at her accomplishment now gone.
  100. 100. She went to the study, where she found Jefferson, already engrossed in the reading for the next day. “Where did you go?” he asked. “I wanted to show Mother my history paper, but she was displeased with me. Again.” “I‟m sorry, Lizzie. I don‟t know why she must always be so disagreeable.” “Neither do I, Jefferson. Perhaps when we are teenagers she will see me differently.” “I hope so, for your sake,” he smiled. “Now, let‟s get through with this reading so that we can have our cake. It‟s too bad that we can‟t have a real party.” “It‟s still too soon after Grandpapa‟s passing. But at least we get cake. I like cake.” “I know you do.”
  101. 101. As soon as Matthew arrived home from work, the family sat down to dinner, and then Jan and Carolina brought out the birthday cakes.
  102. 102. Jefferson and Elizabeth blew out their candles with gusto. The pair was very much looking forward to moving into the next stage of their lives.
  103. 103. Jefferson and Elizabeth‟s resemblance to their mother continued to be evident. Though they looked similar, the twins couldn‟t have more different goals. Jefferson wanted to get as much pleasure out of life as he could, and had ambitions to design activities for leisure. Lizzie, on the other hand, was more fortune- minded, and hoped that she might be able to be a great businesswoman.
  104. 104. While she was unable to venture into the business world straight away, Lizzie was able to earn herself some pocket money by selling the surplus produce from the garden. She would often spend hours in it with Carolina, tending the to the crops.
  105. 105. Like many of her ancestors before her, Lizzie took great comfort in digging in the dirt. She found it quite therapeutic to pull the weeds, and to spray away the insects. She was quickly becoming a skilled gardener.
  106. 106. There was at least one person in the family who was not impressed with Lizzie‟s skill. Jan was convinced that manual labor, such as gardening, was beneath her and her family, and was most insistent that Lizzie keep out of the vegetable patch. One afternoon, Jan had planned on giving Elizabeth a lesson in flower arrangement. She waited for her daughter for nearly an hour, and then grew impatient. Where was her daughter?
  107. 107. She went outside where she found Lizzie, tugging away at some weeds that had sprung up around the eggplants overnight. “What do you think you are doing?” “I am tending the garden, Mother,” the girl replied. “We are supposed be studying flower arrangement this afternoon, Elizabeth. Go get washed up and meet me in the parlor.” “But Mother…” “No, „buts,‟ Elizabeth. You can finish this later, if there‟s time.” Which I will be certain will not happen. “Yes, Mother,” relented Elizabeth.
  108. 108. Phily had been thinking over the what Henri said to her about Matthew‟s meddling in her marriage to the Professor, and she could stand it no longer. One afternoon, she caught the train to Simsfield to call on her older brother. He and Jan were delighted to see her, as she had barely visited since her return from SimEurope. Jan insisted upon a long chat, where she asked all about the fashion Phily had seen. When at last her demands were satisfied, Phily asked to speak with her brother privately. Matthew took her into the study, and took a seat behind the desk. So he’s going to be like that, she though, sitting down on the sofa. “What‟s on your mind, little sister?” “Matthew, as you know, Henri and I moved in with the Miss Thayer.” “Yes. I know that our poor sister was left in rather dire straights.” “Matthew, why didn‟t you offer her support? She really could have used help from the family.”
  109. 109. Matthew was taken aback by his sister‟s question, but he quickly recovered. “Philomena, I didn‟t know that the situation was bad enough to require my intervention. You know that Henrietta has an independent streak in her – had I know, I would have readily offered my aid.”
  110. 110. For the first time, Phily could see how insincere her brother was acting. He would never have offered financial support to his sister – he was too greedy. “Matthew, how can you brush her off so easily? She‟s your sister. Your twin. Aren‟t you concerned about her welfare?”
  111. 111. “Of course I‟m concerned! But I already offered her a very simple solution to her problem, and she refused to take me up on it.” “What was that?” “Why, I offered to help her find a new husband, of course! If she married again, she and Victor would be provided for. They, and you, wouldn‟t have to be living on Miss Thayer‟s charity, and Jan and I could help you arrange an advantageous marriage.”
  112. 112. “And you think that is an acceptable solution to her problem?” “Well, yes.” “Matthew, what kind of an idiot are you?” she burst out.
  113. 113. “Excuse me? How dare you speak to me that way! I am the head of the family now, Philomena…” “Oh, don‟t you Philomena me, Matthew.” “I see that your time in SimEurope did not improve you any. You should show me a little respect.”
  114. 114. “I‟d show you respect if you had earned it,” she retorted. “Matthew, be honest with me, if just for a moment. Why did you encourage Henri to marry Professor Hutchins?”
  115. 115. “Because she was a dreadful flirt who was gallivanting about with any man who would give her the time of day,” he answered. “Is that all?” she asked, her green eyes boring into his. “No,” he admitted after a long pause. “It didn‟t hurt that I was one of Professor Hutchins‟ students, and he was very grateful to me for finding him a pretty young wife.”
  116. 116. Phily‟s eyes flashed with anger. “You sold your own sister? And for what? A good grade on your final exam?” Matthew answered with a shrug. After his moment of honesty, he quickly snapped back into his usually haughty persona. “She had it coming to her. Maybe if she hadn‟t strung along all those men…” “You took advantage of her situation for your own gain. And don‟t forget how you treated Alex and poor Katie. What kind of a brother are you?”
  117. 117. “Oh, please. Don‟t go all high and mighty on me, Philomena. You would have done something similar if the situation had presented itself.”
  118. 118. “No, I wouldn‟t have. Not everyone feels the need to manipulate others for their own benefit. When I think of all the years that Henri spent trying to keep up with Professor Hutchins‟ demands…how she was half dead on her feet trying to manage the house and take care of Victor. She was miserable, Matthew. And it‟s all your fault.”
  119. 119. “That‟s not my problem. Henrietta made her bed, and now she has to lie in it.”
  120. 120. Phily could feel her jaw clenching, and she fought back the bitter words that were threatening to spew from her mouth. At he silence, Matthew asked, “Is that all? Now, shall we discuss the prospects for your own marriage, Phily? We can‟t have you becoming a spinster,” he laughed.
  121. 121. Phily rose, as did Matthew, and the faced each other. “No, that‟s not all. You will never arrange a marriage for anyone in this family again, Matthew. I will not be used as a pawn in your games like Henri was.” “Philomena…” “No, Matthew. I will behave with the utmost of decorum. You will have no cause to sell me off to the highest bidder.”
  122. 122. “I am still the head of the family, Philomena. I can do with you as I see fit.” “No, Matthew. You can‟t condescend to me anymore. I see what you are, even if you‟ve got everyone else snowed. You‟re a selfish, spoiled brat who doesn‟t care about anything but yourself. I‟ll never forgive you for what you did to Henri. And you had better watch yourself.” “Are you threatening me?” Matthew demanded, his voice both menacing and shocked at the same time. “Yes. Yes, I am. You‟re going to slip up at some point, Matthew. You can‟t keep this side of you hidden away forever. Sometime you‟ll let the world see the real you. And when you do, I‟m going to delight in your downfall.”
  123. 123. At that moment, neither Matthew nor Phily realized that the increased volume of their voices had brought Jefferson down into the game room, where he was eavesdropping at the door. His Aunt Phily‟s accusations about his father‟s behavior in relation to his Aunt Henri were shocking, but he didn‟t find them too hard to believe. Deep down, Jefferson knew that his father was not a kind man, and that he had it in him to do whatever it took to get his way.
  124. 124. The two siblings continued to glare at each other. “Are you quite finished?” spat Matthew. “Quite. Please say goodbye to Jefferson and Elizabeth for me, and give them my regrets for not being able to visit with them.” “I suggest that you wait for an invitation before returning.” “Than I fear will never set foot in my childhood home again. Good day, Mr. Bradford.”
  125. 125. Phily turned on her heal, and shoved open the study door. “Hello, Aunt Phily,” said Jefferson softly. Her scowl softened to a smile. “Hello, Jefferson. I‟m sorry I can‟t stay any longer, but I have a train to catch. Good afternoon.” Phily walked past her nephew and out the front door of the house. Jefferson watched her go, and then opened the door to his father‟s study.
  126. 126. Matthew was still seething when his son came into the study. “What is it?” he demanded. “Is everything all right, Father?”
  127. 127. Matthew shook his head, his features still twisted in anger. “Nothing that you need to be concerned about. Now, what did you need?” “A book for my homework.” “Find it, and go read it somewhere else. I need peace and quiet for a while.” “Yes, Father.”
  128. 128. Jefferson quickly retrieved the book in question, and he brought it to the parlor to read. After fifteen minutes, he realized that he was rereading the same sentence, and that his thoughts were on the argument he had overheard. Could his father really be guilty of the crimes that Aunt Phily had accused him of? He couldn‟t get the notion out of his head. As he always did when he was troubled, he sought out his twin sister. She always had a way of helping him make sense of his thoughts.
  129. 129. Lizzie was enjoying the warm afternoon outside, without a care in the world. Jan had gone to town after her visit with Phily, so she was free to relax in the sunshine without reproach.
  130. 130. “Lizzie, can we talk?” The girl looked over her shoulder in the direction of her brother‟s voice. “Of course, Jefferson. Come sit over here. It‟s such a nice day.”
  131. 131. Jefferson took a seat. “Aunt Phily was here earlier…” “She was? She promised to go over dress patterns with me!” “Lizzie, focus for a moment. She was here, and she had a huge fight with Father.” “About what?” she asked, instantly intrigued.
  132. 132. “Aunt Phily accused Father of forcing Aunt Henri to marry Professor Hutchins because it would help him get better grades while he was at University. She said that being married to the Professor nearly killed Aunt Henri, and then Aunt Phily called Father a selfish, spoiled brat.”
  133. 133. “Goodness!” gasped Lizzie. “I don‟t think I‟ve ever heard of Aunt Phily losing her temper before. Do you think there‟s any truth to her accusations?”
  134. 134. “That‟s what I was going to ask you, Lizzie. Do you think Aunt Phily is telling the truth? I can‟t get the idea of Father manipulating his twin sister in that way out of my head. If it‟s true…I‟m not sure I even want to think it.”
  135. 135. Lizzie thought for a few moments. “I think there may be some truth to what Aunt Phily has to say. I always wondered why Aunt Henri would have married such a man. It obviously wasn‟t for love. If she was manipulated into it by Father, that would fill in a lot of the blanks.”
  136. 136. Jefferson nodded. “I think you may be right. But how will we ever find out the truth? Father won‟t tell us, and I don‟t think Aunt Henri will want to talk about it. We can‟t exactly ask the Professor either. What should we do?”
  137. 137. As Lizzie was opening her mouth, a gasp was heard from the direction of the back door. “Elizabeth! How many times must I tell you to wear a hat when you are outside!” “I forgot, Mother,” she said. “How are you supposed to catch a husband if you are sun burnt and covered in freckles? Inside, now!” “Yes, Mother.” “And Jefferson, I expected better from you. You know your sister isn‟t supposed be out without her hat!” “I‟m sorry, Mother,” he said, shocked to hear his mother raise her voice to him. “Inside with you as well. I‟m sure you can spend your time studying for SimHarvard rather than lazing about.”
  138. 138. That night, Jefferson‟s sleep was restless. He kept thinking about his Aunt Henri. She was a real nice lady, even if he didn‟t get to spend much time with her, but she always seemed so sad. He hated to think that the cause of her sorrow could be his father‟s using her to suit his own needs.
  139. 139. His father. His father had snapped at him today. He had never done that before. Could his father really be the type of person who would sacrifice his own sister, his twin at that, for the sake of passing a few college classes?
  140. 140. “I am the head of this family,” Jefferson heard his father’s voice echo, “And you must do as I command. The heir to the Bradford line must be obeyed!”
  141. 141. Jefferson awoke with a gasp. He looked around, certain that he would find his father hidden in a corner somewhere. He had been so real in his dream, just a moment ago. “Father did have something to do with Aunt Henri marrying Professor Hutchins, and he arranged the marriage for his own benefit. My father is a manipulative monster. I know it,” he said aloud to his empty room.
  142. 142. “But what can I do about it?” he sighed. “It will be years before I‟m head of the family, and who knows what kind of damage Father will have caused by then?” He leaned back in bed, plumping his pillow into a comfortable shape. “At least Aunt Henri is happier now, and Aunt Phily can look after her. I‟ll talk to Lizzie tomorrow, and we‟ll come up with a plan to make sure Father doesn‟t cause this family any more harm.”
  143. 143. ************************************************************************************************************************* With that, we will conclude Chapter 13. I hope you enjoyed. I‟m not going to have a ton of time to play over the next month or so, but rest assured that I am moving forward with the story, and that I will get Chapter 14 out as quick as I can. Next time, we‟ll see how Jefferson plans to cope with his father, and what happens with Matthew as head of the house. Plus, the first members of Generation 5 will start heading off to SimHarvard, and Generation 3 will continue to pass on slowly. I‟ll leave you with one of Jefferson‟s favorite ways to pass the time. Thank goodness for a playful Pleasure Sim! As always, I thank you very much for reading. Please leave comments on the thread at