Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hannah's Treasure~Part 1

The journal Max found hidden in the chest of drawers was page after page of the life of Hannah and Simon Lane. They were childhood sweethearts. Simon and his brother, Caleb were only a year apart in age and were the best of friends as well as brothers. The first several pages of the journal were filled with what seemed to be the perfect life of a young couple. Eventually the twins were born and the happiness continued until a woman named Sylvia came into their lives.
Caleb had been to town enjoying a few beers with some other fellows when the very beautiful Sylvia Reynolds entered the pub. Caleb took one look at this dazzling young woman and fell madly in love. Sylvia sat down next to Caleb and ordered a beer. Caleb had never known a woman who drank beer before. His sister-in-law, Hannah made cranberry wine and apple brandy every fall but he never saw her indulge in a man's drink like beer. Sylvia was like no other woman Caleb had ever known. She wore a very low cut dress and Caleb had a hard time keeping his eyes away from the obvious endowments the good Lord gave her.
Back at his cabin, Simon began to be concerned about his brother. He hadn't heard Caleb return home as yet and he knew his brother couldn't hold his drink. Simon was afraid he might run into trouble. He kissed Hannah goodbye and started off to town to check on Caleb. Sure enough, Caleb was slumped over the bar. Simon threw him over his shoulder and started off for home.
The next morning, Caleb woke up with a terrible headache but knew he had to find Sylvia, the love of his life. He paid a visit to Simon and Hannah and told them that if all went well, he would be bringing home a wife very soon. Simon wondered where Caleb had found his intended and then remembered seeing a very striking young woman looking at him the night before as he was carrying his brother out the door. Caleb arrived in town and was disappointed to see Sylvia walking arm in arm with a nattily dressed gentleman. She spotted Caleb and introduced the gentleman as her brother, Horace Reynolds. Horace had just accepted a position as a reporter for the Greensboro News. The brother and sister were planning to settle down in this area and were looking for a place to live in Camden Corners. Caleb was overjoyed that Sylvia would be staying in town. He invited both Sylvia and Horace to supper that night. He shared his meals with Simon and Hannah and hoped Hannah wouldn't mind two extra mouths to feed. Horace thanked Caleb for the invitation. He had a meeting to attend that evening but he would appreciate it if Caleb would keep an eye on his sister for him.
Hannah was happy to have company that evening and took special pains to prepare a company meal. She thought she might even take out a little of her elderberry wine for the occasion. Hannah liked Sylvia upon meeting her. She was like no one Hannah had ever known. She laughed and joked and fussed over the twins. Hannah was happy for Caleb and when he announced his intention of marrying Sylvia a week later, Hannah was thrilled. Simon wasn't so sure but he congratulated his brother and kept his doubts to himself. The wedding was a quiet affair with a friend of the Reynolds family officiating. It took place in the woods behind the Lane cabins. None of the townsfolk were invited. Only Simon, Hannah and Horace Reynolds attended the ceremony.
Caleb was ecstatic for the next few weeks and then everything began to change. Sylvia was spending more time with her brother in Greensboro than she was with Caleb. When she wasn't with her brother, she was having tea with Hannah. Even Hannah seemed to be changing. She was tired all the time and not the happy go lucky girl he had known all his life. Simon didn't seem to notice. Although Simon initially wondered if Sylvia was right for his brother, he had become quite fond of her.
Marriage wasn't anything like Caleb had anticipated and he began to find solace in visiting Joel Mason's still more and more often. Hannah wrote in her journal that she was feeling poorly. She didn't seem to have energy anymore. She was beginning to wonder if Sylvia was really her friend. Maybe she shouldn't have told her about the treasure.
Hannah's great uncle, Reginald, had given her a satchel filled with money. He told her the day may come when she would need some extra cash and she should save it for a rainy day. She had put it away and hadn't mentioned it to Simon because she had been so happy with their lives and the money didn't matter to her. The entries in the journal were changing. Hannah's beautiful penmanship had become shaky and the content was difficult to understand until all the pages were blank except the very last page which said. I must keep this journal away from Sylvia. She wants the treasure.
Max and Sarah were so engrossed in what they were reading they didn't hear the front door open or the man walk in with his gun pointed at Max's heart. He opened the bedroom door wider and didn't realize Sarah was behind it. For some reason she carried her book bag into the cabin with her. The bag contained 4 of her favorite J.K. Ellingsworth novels. She picked up the bag twirled it in the air around her head and with all her might let it fall onto the top of the intruder's head knocking him out cold. The bullet ended up in the foot of the bed.
Sarah was shaking like a leaf but managed to chuckle as she shouted “Delmartin Trent to the rescue.”
She found some rope in the bottom cabinet in the kitchen and Max tied the stranger's hands and feet and still unconscious deposited him in the buggy to deliver him to the sheriff.

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