given name was Blythe Anne Goodwin, and in her mind’s eye, she was
a “lady” now, in every sense of the word. For, at last, she had
reached her eighteenth birthday! What jollity was clamoring within
the innermost reaches of her heart! Today, of all days, there was a
glow about her as warm as the mellowing embers. With auburn hair,
skin that resembled that of a porcelain doll, a voluptuous form and
cheeks that hinted a natural blush, she was no less than
captivating. And, the moment for which she had long been awaiting
will have finally arrived. Just a few more hours---eight down to the
count---spent in breathless wonderment, and then, she would know!
It had been some time since her cousin, Beth
Willingham, of whom she was so fond, had sent word of a gentleman
friend that, indeed, had expressed a desire to meet her in person.
Beth had told her only that his name is Thomas Seymour, a refined
and “well to do” gentleman, and, that he was already an admirer!
Yet, how could this be? For, within her own deepest thoughts she was
far from the beauty one would travel many miles to gaze upon.
Nevertheless, it was this “lowliness of mind and heart” that was
seated at the center of her grace and loveliness. Could he, from
dearest Beth’s description alone have drawn this solemn
conclusion? How ever would she meet his expectations? Furthermore,
would he meet hers? They were due to be arriving by the dinner hour!
There was yet preparation to be done. Her satin
day gown needed to be readied, for it had been purchased and hung
hopefully in her wardrobe since Beth’s mere mention of his name.
There were the accessories to be chosen and her long tresses to be
done in a style that was befitting a lady about to be introduced to
a gentleman caller. The house needed its final touches, although
mother and she had given more than the usual attention to its
cleanliness. Also, she must not forget the freshly cut flowers! As
she hurried down the staircase, she nearly stumbled over the vase
she had placed there earlier from the cupboard. “This was no time
to entertain clumsiness,” she thought. “I am about to meet the
man of my dreams and ...and, I am as unsteady as a newly born colt!
I must somehow find it within myself to gain my composure!”
She headed for the garden and, as the heat of the
morning sun’s rays fell gently upon her arms, she felt a tingling.
Could this be the sensation she would feel, as fleeting thoughts of
his arms around hers passed through her mind? In daydream, Blythe
gathered the floral assortment as quickly as she could, and sped
back up the garden path through the door and hurriedly placed the
flowers in the vase. “I shall wear one of these burgundy roses in
my hair, for their scent is that of the gods!” she bellowed
loudly. “What is that you say Blythe?” her mother called from
the kitchen. “Oh, nothing at all, mother” she atoned. “Can you
help me with my tresses after I have bathed?”
Just then, Rebecca, her sister who was five years
younger than she peeked around the banister. “You had better wear
the whole bouquet if you want to catch a man,” she jeered.
“Oh, go catch a lowly sparrow!” Blythe quipped in dismay. “My
whole life lies within the outcome of this day, and you make little
of me!” she added. Rebecca sneered as she turned away and ran to
the kitchen to see what mother and the maid had prepared for dinner.
Time passed by quickly and it was almost time
for Beth, her brother Derrick and Thomas Seymour to arrive. Blythe
gently gathered her cherished gown of green satin and carefully put
it on, making certain that her petticoats were out of sight and her
bodice was not too revealing. When she was satisfied with the look
of her gown, she perched upon the seat of her dressing table, and
reached for her hand mirror with apprehension. “Oh, I do hope he
is easy to please,” she thought as she glanced at the cascading
tresses and the splendid rose in her hair. “What if though, he
would have me resemble Godiva!” she grimaced as she fondled one of
her curls. “Well, I must be of positive thought and just keep in
mind, that ‘beauty is as beauty does’!” she thought
It was not long thereafter that a knock came at
the door and all three guests entered. “Let me take your cloaks,
and your cape, my dear ones. How good it is to see you once
again,” Master Goodwin said, as he kissed his niece on the cheek.
“And, you my boy,” he said to Derrick, “are already a man---a
dandy one at that!” “Thank you, my uncle, and you are looking
very well yourself!” he replied, as they shook hands strongly.
“And let us introduce to you all our good friend Thomas
Seymour,” he said with pride. Thomas shook Lord Goodwin’s hand,
and bowed genteelly to Lady Goodwin and Rebecca. “My pleasure to
meet you sir and my fair ladies,” he said warmly, as he held a
fabulous bouquet of deepest pink cabbage roses intended for Blythe.
He handed Lady Goodwin one of the roses and said politely, “for
you my lady.”
Lady Goodwin curtseyed with a smile. Then,
Blythe’s father escorted them into the sitting room. As they all
were seated he added, “and let us all have a spot of tea. Do rest
your weary bones as we converse, for you must all be exhausted from
your journey.” They talked for a while.
Blythe was listening at the top of the staircase
and could hardly contain herself. “His voice is so...so
‘manly’; I wonder if, he’s tall or short, dark haired or fair,
stout or slender,” she thought cajolingly.
After a time, Master Goodwin spoke up,
“Rebecca, will you kindly let your sister know that our guests are
waiting for her?” “But, of course, father,” Rebecca replied
respectfully. And, as she stood up, her squozen tea bag tumbled to
the floor and rested upon Thomas’ shoe. Everyone giggled as
Rebecca excused herself and made a beeline for the stairs. When she
reached the top, she whispered to Blythe, “Your Prince Charming
has arrived and is awaiting your presence,” she snickered. “Oh,
Rebecca, don’t be impudent, and you had better not spoil
things,” she warned. “I have waited to time indefinite for this
day to come!”
Descending the stairs, Blythe tried to steady her
quivering knees. She reached the bottom and ever so ladylike,
entered the room. The gentlemen rose and Beth ran over and gave her
cousin a hug. “We have waited so long to see you, Blythe, and
don’t you look simply stunning!” Blythe responded, “ Oh, thank
you, and it is so grand to see you once again!” Over Beth’s
shoulder she caught Thomas’ eye and her cheeks immediately began
to turn bright pink. “He is so dashingly handsome, a man of
stature and a perfect gentleman as well, ” she thought trying not
to reveal her embarrassment. Derrick took Thomas’ arm and led him
to the doorway. He hugged his cousin and said, “Blythe we would
like for you to meet our good friend, Thomas Seymour.”
Thomas had a gleam in his eye. The sunset’s
amber rays shone through the expanse of the window and fell upon
Blythe’s curvaceous silhouette and what appeared to be hair of
“gold,” her “crowning glory”. “It is my utmost pleasure to
know you my lady!” he replied as he offered her the exquisite
bouquet and softly kissed her outreached hand. “These roses cannot
compare with the beauty I see before me.” Blythe was ecstatic!
Never had she been spoken to in such a manner, nor had she ever
experienced such exultation!
Confidently she replied, “You speak as the
poets...you are too kind, my sir, and I thank you for these
magnificent roses! Rebecca, darling, would you mind getting the cut
glass vase from the cupboard?” she asked. “Not at all, my
sister,” Rebecca retorted pretentiously.
Everyone could clearly perceive that this was a
match made in heaven; and as Lady Goodwin beckoned her guests to
dinner, the pair hesitated and slowly walked side by side falling
well behind the others. It was as if they had known each other
forever. “Do you believe in ‘love at first sight’ Blythe?”
Thomas asked in a whisper, as he leaned closely to her ear. “I
suppose I do,” she said coyly. “ And, may I be so bold as to say
that your hair smells ‘divine’ ?” he continued. Blythe smiled,
reminiscent of her own comment when she had retreated earlier from
She pondered a moment and as she removed her
gloves, she exclaimed, “I think that I shall pinch myself that I
may awaken and
this moment will all have been a spectacular dream!” “This is no
dream, my lady, yet, now I must believe that dreams actually do come
true,” he replied. Blythe agreed, “and so must I,” and in
wonder she added, “from where does this harmony come and in such
little time?” Thomas conceded, “but I have known this day of
long ago when I was first given your name,” for it means mirthful,
does it not?” “Why yes,” hesitatingly Blythe offered, “and
would it be too unwitting of me to divulge that in daydream I had
presumed myself quite often to be Lady Seymour?” He smiled as he
stared deeply into her eyes, and gently took her hand. “Come, we
will warrant much distain if the dinner gets cold,” he told her
softly. And then, he escorted her to the dining table. As they
were seated, everyone smiled in approval... with the exception of
Rebecca, who was ravenous and staring at the chandelier in
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