Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Second Time Around ~ Part 2

The weeks ahead were filled with happy times. Nettie couldn't wait to decorate a little alcove of her apartment for baby Faith. It became clear that her cozy apartment was just not big enough. Polly was apologetic that she and Faith had caused Nettie any inconvenience but Nettie was happier than she had been in a very long time.
Oscar had a solution, the women could move into his large home. There was way too much room for just one person. Polly and Faith would each have a room of their own. Nettie blushed knowing there were only three bedrooms in the house but Oscar sat her down on the sofa, tried his best to get down on one knee and slipped a beautiful diamond ring on her finger. Nettie said yes and they were married in the chapel that very weekend. The reception was in full swing when the door of O'Sullivan's Pub swung open and James Philpot appeared with a smirk on his face.
“Where is my daughter” he shouted staring directly at Polly.
Diana Taylor was holding the baby at the time and stepped into the background. Oscar approached the cocky fellow and was pushed aside. Robert and Richard were on their feet immediately. Oscar, always the negotiator, tried talking quietly to James. James walked directly to Polly and demanded she present him with his baby.
“You mean the baby you wanted me to get rid of, James”.
He was surprised by the strength in her voice but continued “My child is somewhere in this room and I will find it, take it and you will never see it again.”
That was all Sheriff Mendenhall needed. He slapped cuffs on James and with the help of several of the men dragged him to the jailhouse to sober up and cool down.
Polly was mortified. Because of her, James had ruined Oscar and Nettie's wedding reception. “No, no” said Nettie “The party has just begun”.
The festivities went on but Polly found herself wondering if James really did have any claim to Faith. Randy Burke was watching Polly from across the room. He had been attracted to her the moment he first laid eyes on her. He could tell she was a loving mother just the way she cared for little Faith. Maddie Mackenzie saw the glint in her brother's eye when he looked at Polly. Maddie, always the romantic, knew this was a match made in heaven and encouraged Randy to court her. Randy knew Polly wasn't ready for a relationship with anyone. He was willing to wait awhile before he let her know his feelings. Even though Polly was smiling, he knew instinctively that she was afraid of James Philpot and what he might do.
Randy pulled Oscar aside and the two of them went out the back door and into the law office down the street. Oscar put some papers together and sent Randy on his way to the jailhouse. Randy was a big, husky fellow and looked extremely mature for his age. He walked through the jailhouse doors and confronted James in his cell. James had sobered up just enough to be aware of Randy's presence.
“Hey guy,” called Randy “I knew I couldn't be the father of Polly's brat. I've got here some papers for you to sign telling the world that you are the kid's father. Old man Crowley says I'm responsible for that kid until she is 18 but I don't want any part of it. Polly's kinda cute but who needs to be dragged down by a dame and a kid. Sign these and I'll be outta here.”
“Hey, wait a minute, that's your kid? Hey Sheriff, let me out and I'll be out of town before the street lights go on.”
“Not so fast” came a voice from behind. “My client here is willing to give up custody of his kid to you” drawled Richard Crowley. “I've got some papers for you to sign Pops”.
“Hey, wait just one minute” chimed Robert Crowley. You shouldn't have to be saddled with a kid now when you are such a young fellow. I have some papers here saying you are not the father of the little troll. Sign these and for a small fee of $100, I will file them in court for you tomorrow and just let that Polly try to collect any child support from you.”
James reached in his pocket and gave Richard all the money he had, grabbed the papers, signed them and was gone before the cell door closed behind him. The four men shook hands and delivered the papers and the $100 to Polly who was noticing Randy Burke for the first time. Everyone joined in the celebration as Oscar exclaimed
“Love is lovelier, the second time around”.
Polly looked into Randy's eyes and whispered. “Falling in love for the first time is quite lovely too.”

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