A Loving Proposal

I’m going to take my cue from one of Agatha Christie’s novels as my response to today’s Word Press daily prompt. She had such an interesting way with words. And I love her characters’ names!

Swindolthwarp’s Surprise

Amos stood in the hallway watching the young woman hurry down the staircase. Always bustling around, this young lady. Always seemed to know where she was going and why. He liked that. And she was a pretty young thing. His old ticker skipped a beat.

As she passed him in the hall he caught her arm with the hook of his cane. “You. Miss Whats-your name-again?”

“Arthur. Miss Vivian Arthur.”

“Arthur. Yes. Good English name.” Amos drew her closer and wrapped his fingers around her arm. Nice bit of flesh she had, too. Not like some of the scrawny old birds throwing themselves at him lately. “I’d like to have a word with you.”

“Certainly, Sir. Are you wanting your tea already? I should start with dinner preparations soon.”

She took a step backward and he gripped her arm even tighter. “Never mind the tea, girl. I have something important to discuss. Something very personal. Come with me.” He tenderly pulled her into his study. “I’ve been watching you ever since you showed up — has it been a month already? I’ve see what an industrious sort you are. And not a waster, either.”

“Thank you, Mr Swindolthwarp.”

He leered at her lovingly. “To you I may seem like a poor old man, but I assure you, there’s more to me than meets the eye. I’m a lot more robust than my sons think. I’m not about to drop dead and leave them every penny like they wish.”

“No, I’m sure not, Mr Swindolthwarp. You seem quite robust yet.” She looked down at the hand that was clutching her arm.

“I try not to let on, but I do have quite a bit saved up, actually. I could look after you very well. You wouldn’t have to be a char anymore and work so hard every day. Mind you, I wouldn’t hire another cook, since you’re so capable. Having you doing the meals has suited my digestion to a turn. Once we’re married…”

“Married!” Vivian’s eyes opened wide and she turned pale, but quickly regained her composure. “Well. I never expected…”

“Surprised you, did I?” Amos chuckled with delight. “I’ve grown quite fond of you, you know. My wife, may she rest in peace, was okay, but an insipid sort. Not a lively thing like you. I think you could add some real zest to my life.”

“Whatever would your sons say, Mr Swindolthwarp? I fear they would resent me if I…er…if they thought…”

“Who cares what they say? They can go climb the Himalayas for all I care.” He pounded his cane on the floor twice to emphasize his point. “Right now they’re waiting for me to die so they can get their hands on my money and waste it all. But I can see you’re sensible. You won’t be tossing my life savings to the four winds.”

There came a sudden sparkle in her eye. “So this means no honeymoon on the Riviera?”

“Riviera!” The word made Amos gasp and sputter.

Vivian, alarmed, patted his back. “Oh, dear! Are you all right, Sir?”

One last cough and Amos replied, “I’m fine. I’m fine. Don’t fuss. I hate it when people fuss. But, my word! The Riviera. Do you have any idea how much that would cost?”

“You’re quite right,” she replied, her eyes taking in the threadbare carpet, faded wallpaper and the draperies that must have hung on these study windows for thirty years at least. “The money would be far better put into home improvements.”

“I knew you were a practical girl! Think about what I’ve said. You and I could make a delightful match. And I’m not too old, you know…” He ogled her amorously. “There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still a fire in the hearth. We could have a nice little family.”

He saw the hint of a smile flicker on her lips and took it she was delighted at the prospect.

She pulled away from him. “This is all very sudden. I shall have to give this more thought, Mr Swindolthwarp.”

He reluctantly released his loving grip on her arm. “You do that, girl. Remember, if you’re willing to take care of me, I’m willing to take care of you.”

“Thank you, Sir. This is so kind of you. I must start the dinner.” And she dashed off to the kitchen.

Amos chuckled again. He’d bowled the girl right over. But she’d come round, he was sure. Maybe by his 73nd birthday he’d be a married man again. And his sons could go jump off the cliffs of Dover if they didn’t like it.

Advertisements

“We’ve Got Your Back”

antique-car-al-forbes

Photo courtesy of Al Forbes

He heard the ocean roar, felt the wind, smelled the sea air. He waved to his brother, who’d just loaded up that old car he’d bought, then winced as his nephew pinched his arm. “Car, Car.”

Pierce shook him hard and Carson opened his eyes.

“Hey, Car, where you been?” Pierce shouted over the whump-whump of a chopper lifting off. Carson jerked, instinctively grabbing his rifle.

Norstrom snorted. “Stateside. Where we all wanna be.”

“Guess I zoned out,” Carson admitted, watching two women in burkas sifting through some rubble.

Pierce squeezed his shoulder. “It’s okay, buddy. We had your back.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My response to today’s prompt has been influenced by the book I just finished reading: Rescuing Finley by Dan Walsh. An excellent book! Chris Seger, a US marine who lost a leg in Afghanistan, suffered severely from PTSD. Finley was a shelter dog trained to work with ex-marines like Chris and Amy was the prisoner who trained him. All three of them had their future redeemed because of this program.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for sponsoring the Friday Ficitoneers and to Al Forbes for the prompt picture. This photo is copyright and may only be used in connection with this prompt, or with permission of the owner.

A Book Review: 3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life by Linda Wegner

Janice L. Dick

From cover to cover, this book is a success, offering positive insights and suggestions to a specific group of people: those between the ages of 45 and 64 who are considering creating their own businesses or recreating their careers.

The author writes from her personal experience of being thrust into the position of sole wage-earner after nearly thirty years of a support role in vocational ministry. Instead of dissolving in despair, she pulled up her socks and used the hobbies and skills she possessed to launch her own business: Words of Worth.

3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life is effectively organized into three parts:

* Discovering Your Passion

* Developing Your Plan

* Defending Your Priorities

Each part broadens into chapters beginning with wise quotes such as “You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind (unknown author),” and “The secret of success is doing…

View original post 248 more words

Learning versus Education

Antiquarian Anabaptist

I found the wooden alphabet block with the letter I wanted and added it to the row that was beginning to spell my name — R O B E R T  G O O D N . . .  I needed one more O.  I carefully rotated each of the blocks I had not used, but could not find another O.  This was a familiar problem; there are just too many O’s in my name.  Now I had to take the blocks I had already used, rotate them one by one to find another O, then find a block with the letter I had taken away.  Finally it is done: R O B E R T  G O O D N O U G H.

I was four years old.  This set of blocks was my favourite toy.  With it I could build fences, walls, barns, houses, towers.  When night…

View original post 826 more words

Changing Times, Changeless God

Antiquarian Anabaptist

Do we long for the good old days when life was simpler?  Was there really such a time?

One of my forefathers left England 375 years ago because the law required him to attend his local parish church, where he found no spiritual sustenance.  He crossed the ocean to begin a new life in the unsettled wilds of what is now Massachusetts.

Another was born to a well-established family in France — just before the Revolution.  He later served as a swordsman in Napoleon’s army, lost his wife somewhere along the way, then brought his young family to upstate New York 185 years ago.  My mother’s grandparents left Ukraine 140 years ago to settle in Manitoba.

They lived through wars, revolutions, recessions, depressions, droughts, famines, extreme heat, extreme cold, insect plagues and epidemics of influenza, diphtheria, tuberculosis and polio.  There were countless heartaches as young mothers died in childbirth and…

View original post 408 more words

Songs of Rejoicing

children balloons

SONGS OF REJOICING
by Edgar Guest

Songs of rejoicing,
of love and of cheer,
are the songs that I’m yearning for
year after year.
The songs about children
who laugh in their glee
are the songs worth the singing,
the bright songs for me.

Songs of rejoicing,
of kisses and love,
of faith in the Father,
Who sends from above
the sunbeams to scatter
the gloom and the fear;
these songs worth the singing
the songs of good cheer.

Songs of rejoicing,
oh, sing them again,
the brave songs of courage
appealing to men.
Of hope in the future
of heaven the goal;
those songs of rejoicing
that strengthen the soul.

From his book, Just Folks
©1917 by The Reilly & Britton Company

LIFE

by Edgar Guest

Life is a gift to be used every day,
not to be smothered and hidden away;
it isn’t a thing to be stored in the chest
where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best.
It isn’t a joy to be sipped now and then
and promptly put back in a dark place again.

Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
and one that humblest may well make the most of.
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
wear it and use it as much as you may;
don’t keep it in niches and corners and grooves,
you’ll find that in service its beauty improves.

From the book A Heap O’ Livin by Edgar Guest
© 1916 by the Reilly & Britton Co.