Bravely trying to hide her disappointment, Alice asked Papa to take her home. As he was turning the car around to leave, Jacob caught a glimpse of Alice and couldn’t hide the surprised look on his face.
Alice looked straight ahead as they left, and neither she nor Papa said a word as he drove down the road. Papa felt helpless and he knew about sadness. He knew about loss and he knew about the pain that they caused.
He didn’t want his precious daughter to know those feelings at such a young age, but he knew that after a period of mourning, her heart would heal. She had her whole life ahead of her and love would find her again. He was sure of that.
Alice retreated to her bedroom and stayed there for the rest of the day. Papa knew that grief makes one so terribly tired and maybe sleep would give her the strength to face tomorrow.
Early the next afternoon Jacob arrived, unannounced and uninvited. When Papa greeted him at the door, he stepped outside so as not to disturb Alice.
Jacob introduced himself and said, “forgive my familiarity, but my intentions are to call on Lissy.”
Papa was a kind man but he became a fierce warrior when it came to protecting his daughter. He told Jacob that he and Alice had both seen his “intentions” at Tierney’s, and he and his familiarity were not welcome.
Before Jacob could protest, Papa said, “as you can imagine, my daughter is very precious to me. She is my only child and I will not allow anyone to toy with her affections. I appreciate your help when my car was stuck in a ditch, but my gratitude does not include your trifling with my daughter’s heart. Now, off you go.”
A pleading Jacob said, “Forgive me, but I don’t understand.” Papa said, “Alice and I saw you holding another woman in town yesterday.” Jacob took a deep breath and said, “what you saw is not what it seems, and if you would just let me explain…”
Papa interrupted and said, “son, I don’t want to be impertinent but I know men like you. Handsome, charming men who are loyal to many, but not to one. I feel quite certain that there are many young women who would be more than happy to accompany you in your life’s many endeavors. Alice, however, will not be one of them. Now, I really must ask you to leave.”
Jacob started to walk away but turned and quietly said, “the woman you saw me embracing yesterday is named Grace, and she is my sister.”
To be continued_____________