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Chapter 7 Forsake

Chapter 7 Forsake

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Published by Henry Taft Miller

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Published by: Henry Taft Miller on Feb 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lydia stroked Florencia’s hair while she slept. “It’s a miracle thatshe came to me alone.” She was overwhelmed as she envisioned the girlwalking on the main road from Balatunang to Santa Cruz.
 Florenciawould have traveled nearly fifty miles along that route. The girl’s quite young,
she marveled
it’s only by God’s hand that she ended up hereinstead of somewhere far to the north or to the east.
She kissed one small hand and studied each delicate finger. Whenthe sun completely set, Lydia slipped from the room. She strode to theopen front door and whistled once.The dog immediately charged up the steps to her side.“Come with me, Mr. English.”He padded with tail wagging down the hall behind his master.When Lydia stopped at Florencia’s room, she snapped her fingersand pointed.Mr. English obeyed by lying on the mahogany floor in the opendoorway.“It’s your job to watch over Florencia,” she instructed.
The dog looked to where she signaled to the sleeping child.“That’s right, she’ll be staying with us now.”Mr. English crossed his paws and perked his ears straight up.“That’s a good dog.” She touched his nose and left him guardingthe child.Outdoors, Lydia returned to the cooking house to gather a kerosenelamp and carried it down the sloping hill past her lengthy flower garden.She felt content while making her way to the plantation’s weavinghouse.Clear skies and a slight cool breeze made for a pleasant evening inFebruary for the villagers to enjoy before the coming rainy season. Yet,Lydia was simply happy to work after the set of the hot tropical sun.After the short walk from the main house, Lydia entered the nearbyweaving house. Fresh woven sheeting drew her attention to the back of her loom, so she cut two yards of the natural gauze and stenciled on it adress pattern of her design. The dress would be simply cut with a plainhem that would reach to the girl’s ankles. All the while, she formulateda proposition for Gorio.
 I’ll have to visit him soon.
She rubbed her forehead. It wasn’t a task she relished but was grateful for theopportunity.It grew quite late before Lydia finished sewing a small dress for Florencia. She examined the article and decided to embellish it with
29knotted pink rosettes about the neckline. “I hope `Encia likes this,” shesaid aloud while holding it up to the light.The next morning, Lydia woke heavy-eyed but excited. She dressedand peeked in on her young guest before rushing to the spring to drawenough water to carry back to the cooking house. Once she prepared themorning fire, she fried rice, eggs, and pork strips for breakfast. Her bestfriend, Gloria, was the first to arrive as she gathered the foods on a bamboo tray.Gloria snickered. “We’re awful hungry this morning, eh?”Lydia grinned. “This isn’t all for me. Listen, I have something toshare with you, but you must keep it to yourself for a while. All right?”Gloria nodded.“Do you remember my telling you once about Florencio's baby girl?”“Sure.” Gloria scooped several cups of black-eyed peas from a basket.“She’s here--little `Encia is here now.”“What do you mean she’s here?”

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