Below is the second installment of one of the chapters that did not make it into Tom P's Fiddle, A True Texas Tale when it was published. If you have not read the first part, skip down a post, then come back. This is the continuation of the story of Lina, Tom's older sister who is married to Jasper McGee.
“I don’t know! I don’t know!” retorted Lina almost to herself as she continued to walk. At the window she looked out across the yard. Her eyes rested thoughtfully on the old slave quarters about a quarter of a mile from the main house. It wasn’t the first time she had considered her predicament.
“It’s not the best solution, but I think I’ve got it!” she exclaimed.
“Got what? Make sense!” admonished Docia as she moved the coffee cup away from the edge of the counter.
“Don’t you see? I’ve got a problem and sitting not too far from here is the answer!” Lina paused, turned to her mother beaming, “The old slave quarters.”
“What? You can’t be serious?” replied Docia too shocked to say more.
“You bet I am.” Lina headed for the door. As she grabbed her bonnet and apron, Lina almost didn’t hear her mother’s attempt to dissuade her.
“It’s too small. I can’t believe you want to do this!” Docia exclaimed as she followed Lina.
“Mother, please understand. Every married woman wants her own home. I’m about to get mine! I can’t wait for Jasper. If I do, I’ll be an old woman with grandchildren first!” Lina exclaimed vehemently.
Not waiting for any more arguments from her mother, Lina headed out the kitchen door and down to the somewhat dilapidated old slave quarters. Standing in the doorway, Lina was keenly aware there wasn’t much to work with here, but she squared her shoulders and set out to make the best of it. Dust had settled everywhere and that broken window would have to be replaced. Hauling buckets of water from the well, Lina scrubbed the one room abode. The old stove was particularly challenging but Lina was never one to give in where there was work to be done. When she got back to the main house, she found a resigned Docia had already started gathering odd pieces of furniture no longer being used, along with bits of crockery. Smiling, Lina headed for her bedroom to break down and lug her marriage bed down the road. Her energy was fueled by determination.
Jasper arrived back home shortly after dark and was startled to see a light glowing from the window of what he thought was the unused slave quarters. . . .