Hello! Here is chapter three of my story, A New Beginning. You can find the first two chapters here.
One chilly night, while all of the children were sleeping, Mr. Walsh came inside with a load of wood in his arms. Mrs. Walsh was washing dishes. “George, what are we going to do with Nina?’ she asked suddenly.
“Well, I have been praying about her–”
“Yes, and so have I, but I do not feel any direction as to where she should go,” Mrs. Walsh said, her face showing an exasperated look. “I do know one thing though, she cannot stay here. She has been having the grandest of times with Annamarie and Katherine and she is quite taken by Susan and Charity. I do not want to tear her from them but it seems we must. I do not know what to do!”
“Elsie, do you realize you interrupted me?” Mr. Walsh asked.
“Oh, no, I did not,” she answered. “What were you going to say?”
“I was going to say that I have prayed about her and I think I know what we should do.”
“Yes, I think maybe we should send her to live with the Cromwell family.”
“Why, yes, the Cromwells! They mentioned at church a few weeks ago that they wanted someone to help them around their house. Nina would be perfect for the job. I shall speak to Mrs. Cromwell about Nina as soon as I can.”
“That sounds good, but there is one more thing: what if Nina refuses to go to the Cromwells? You know she is a very headstrong, opinionated girl. She tried to run away from me when I first found her.”
“If she does not want to go to the Cromwells, we can just explain to her that we cannot keep her and we do not want to send her to an orphanage. She simply will have to go.”
“That should work. She will certainly understand.”
“Good, we can tell her in the morning.”
The next morning Nina woke up and looked around. She saw Mrs. Walsh flipping flapjacks over the fire. “Sorry if I am in your way, Mrs. Walsh,” Nina quickly said, grabbing her blanket and sitting up.
“Do not worry,” Mrs. Walsh said. “You were not in my way.” Then Mr. Walsh came through the door with another armful of wood.
“We never have enough wood to burn at this house!” He said jokingly, even though it was mostly true. So much wood was needed to keep the fire burning. Then Mr. Walsh turned toward Nina and said, “Nina, my wife and I have decided where we want to send you.”
“Where?” Nina said, looking up at Mr. Walsh’s tan, wrinkled face.
“The Cromwell family from our church said they could use some help around their house,” Mr. Walsh said. “You might be just right for the job.” Nina gulped. I do not want to leave the Walshes, she thought. But I should have known I would not get to stay here. She said nothing.
“We will take you to meet the Cromwells as soon as we can,” Mrs. Walsh said. “If they agree to take care of you, then so be it. If not, then you shall stay with us longer until we can find someone else to care for you. Does that sound good to you?”
“Yes,” said Nina, rather hesitantly.
Mrs. Walsh, sensing her hesitation, said, “Do not worry Nina. You will like the Cromwells. They are very nice.” Nina smiled rather weakly and headed out to the horsefield. She ran up to Ranger and stroked his nose, trying not to cry. She had really bonded with Katherine, Annamarie, and Ranger during their races across the field. It made her very sad to think of leaving them. The Walshes had been so kind to her and showed her a love she had not known since her parents had died.
Soon Annamarie came in and called cheerfully, “It is time for breakfast, Nina!”
“Okay,” Nina replied half-heartedly.
“What is wrong?” Annamarie said, wondering what was troubling her friend.
“Your parents want to send me to the Cromwells,” Nina said. “I shall miss you all terribly.”
“Oh, we shall miss you very much as well,” Annamarie said, tears rising to her eyes as the two friends hugged. “I hoped Mama and Papa would let you stay, but I guess it was not meant to be. We will see each other at church though, if the Cromwells were to take you in.”
Later at the breakfast table, Mr. Walsh announced, “Children, I believe we have found Nina a home. We are going to see if the Cromwell family will take in Nina.” The girls looked down at their plates sadly and picked at their food. “You girls should see yourselves!” Mr. Walsh chuckled. “Your faces look as though we are going through a famine, but we have an abundance of food in front of us.”
“We are just sad that Nina has to leave,” Annamarie said.
“Do not be sad,” Mr. Walsh said cheerfully. “We will see her at church, and maybe she could even come and visit us sometime. Now let us enjoy having her here instead of thinking about her leaving.” And everyone did just that.