Another month went by and Alice hadn’t received another letter from Jacob. She was worried but knew that mail traveled slowly, and also knew that Jacob was working hard.
She found herself remembering that in his last letter, he said that he was a little bit in love with this lady. She could understand the attraction of a wealthy, high-born, poised older woman, but he hadn’t said that she was an older woman.
What if she was a younger woman? A younger woman who might confess that she was a little in love with Jacob? A younger woman with aspirations to leave a bit of herself behind, just as Jacob wanted to leave his mark?
Alice quickly dismissed what she told herself were silly notions and patiently counted the days until she received another letter, and even more anticipated, the return of her beloved.
Still, she wondered why he hadn’t told her much about what he was doing. It wasn’t so much that she thought he was keeping something from her; he just wasn’t being very forthcoming.
Thirty-eight days after the last letter, Alice was delighted when she received a letter. As she opened the envelope, her hands shook slightly with nervousness. With absolute joy, she began to read:
My dearest darling,
By the time you get this,
I will already be on my way back
to you. Please forgive my indolence
in writing but things were being hurried.
I have been successful,
although there have been some
disagreements with the builders.
I will be traveling with the lady, but I
want you to know that I have remained
and will forever remain true to you,
my darling Lissy.
Upon my return, I have a marvelous
surprise for you my dearest.
P. S. I have enclosed a picture of
the lady I have been working for
and will be traveling with.
I think when you see her, you will
understand my infatuation.
Until we meet again, my dearest
darling, I remain,
Your loyal and faithful husband,
Alice clutched the letter to her chest with her right hand and carefully rubbed her stomach with her left. She had a marvelous surprise for him, too. As she put the letter down, she opened the small envelope enclosed with the letter. “Ah,” she said to herself. “This must be a picture of the lady he has spent so much time with.”
She opened the envelope and took out the picture. Across the top, in bold letters was written:
THE RMS TITANIC