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Saturday, June 8, 2013
In Brist's Time - Chapter 12
and Raven woke up early that morning, and quietly let themselves into
Brist’s room. They stroked her hair and tickled her face until she
you two know that it’s too early to be up yet?” Brist yawned.
Then she noticed that Sarah was completely under the covers, and so
Brist peeled them back to check on her new child. She was so tiny
that for a moment, Brist thought that she was a much younger baby.
Apparently, she was not the only one who thought so.
Raven exclaimed. “You had a baby last night!”
didn’t you tell us that you were with child?” Regan asked in awe.
I hold her?” They asked simultaneously.
“With child? Me? I didn’t have
her!” Brist sputtered.
Don’t these girls know anything
about how babies are born? She wondered. At that moment Sarah
started to cry in her sleep.
“Oh, there now, don’t cry,” Brist
comforted the girl, holding her and rocking her gently. When that
didn’t work, she got out of bed, walked around, and patted the
child on the back in an effort to calm her.
child, I’m guessing, is over 2 years old, probably three. I
certainly didn’t have her last night. She’s not even mine. One of
the thieves gave her to me last night. Her name is Sarah,” Brist
Regan then Raven exclaimed.
night, I went to rescue my horse. While I was there, I ran into the
head thief and his wife. His wife, Belana, gave me their daughter to
take care of. See, they don’t have any food for her and she is
starving,” Brist briefly recapped the events of the previous night.
want my mummy!” Sarah cried.
“There there, Sarah.
Don’t cry, your mama – like an angel – gave you to me, because
she wanted you to have a better life, and I decided to keep you,
because I couldn’t bear to see you starve,” Brist told Sarah.
she pretty?” Sarah asked, her tears drying up as they were replaced
course she is. Don’t you know how pretty your mama is?” Brist
can’t remember. I haven’t seen her since I hit my head on the
ship,” Sarah said, talking very clearly for a child her age.
your head? You mean you can’t see?” Brist asked incredulously.
Sarah shook her head.
is your name?” She asked Brist.
your mom said that you should call me
your mommy now, but my name is Brist. You can decide for yourself
what you want to call me.”
thought about this for a moment. “How about Mummy Brist? What do
you look like?”
“Well I’m…” The twins and Brist
spent the next hour talking and playing with the adorable little
dearest, eat,” David gently bade his wife.
I can’t quit thinking about how you’re making me abandon my
babies. David you can’t tell me that you won’t miss them
terribly. This is the first time we’ll have ever been separated!”
make yourself sick if you don’t eat, Regina.”
David! I hardly think missing one meal is going to kill me! Oh, I’m
too worried to eat!” Regina exclaimed in agitation. David watched
seven of his sons roll their eyes in amusement at their mother’s
“Where is Nicholas? He’s usually
the first one to come to breakfast; he must be awake by now. Morgan,
go find him and bring him here. I have some things to discuss with
him,” David ordered his son. Morgan rose from his chair and went to
do his father’s bidding. He heard his mother ask Curtis to fetch
his sisters as he left.
Morgan reached Nicholas’ bedroom door, and quietly let himself in.
He whispered his brother’s name a few times in a feeble attempt to
wake him, and then – getting into the spirit of things – he began
jumped, or at least he would have if he hadn’t been lying down.
“I’m tired and I’m trying to sleep! Go away and leave me
alone!” He shouted back.
“My! Aren’t you
grumpy?! I’d leave you alone, but I can’t. Father ordered me to
fetch you to him,” Morgan explained.
what? I just got to bed an hour or so ago,” Nicholas groaned.
Nicky, you didn’t!” Morgan jumped to conclusions.
didn’t what?” Nicholas’ mood grew darker as he growled over the
me you didn’t take advantage of Brist,” Morgan demanded.
I didn’t take advantage of precious
Brist. I saw that
saw her take off and I followed her,” Nicholas began through
gritted teeth, conveniently forgetting to mention that if he'd had
his way, Brist would have most definitely been his bed partner.
where did she go?” Morgan asked, intrigued.
walked directly into the thieves camp, at which point I stepped in
and tied up the entire camp. After that, I rescued our horses and
recovered our belongings. Brist begged me to leave her with the
thieves, but I decided that I had to drag her back to face our
family. She insisted on bringing a child with her, and as a result, I
spent the entire night leading her and the horses back home, all the
while carrying a child,” Nicholas fabricated mostly and embellished
really tied up the entire camp?” Morgan asked, impressed.
I have to tell mother and father!” Morgan started to turn away.
may not be such a good idea,” Nicholas stopped him. “I just told
you how events should
have happened. However, Brist may remember them differently.”
differently?” Morgan asked with an amused grin, catching onto his
sure you’ll find out.”
I’ll go and tell father that you’re on your way, but Nicky,
hurry. Father seemed to be getting impatient.” Morgan took his
I’m not meant to get any sleep today. I must remember to thank
Nicholas grumbled as he crawled out of bed. He ended up getting
tangled in the blankets and tumbling out of bed, landing flat on his
later, he joined his parents at breakfast, managing to enter just as
Morgan was explaining that he’d be in shortly.
wanted to see me father?” He asked.
son, we shall have to make plans to retrieve our horses,” David
“Done! Can I go back to bed now?”
Brist! Please stop!” Sarah giggled. Brist paused in her tickling of
me one good reason,” she demanded impishly.
I’m hungry,” Sarah pouted.
am so sorry, baby! I should have gotten you something to eat much
sooner,” Brist apologized, feeling like the worst bitch who ever
“Don’t be sorry, I
was having so much fun that I forgot that my belly hurt,” Sarah
poor baby! How could I be so thoughtless?”
worry, I’ll be fine,” Sarah reassured her.
certainly talk very well for a toddler! How old are you anyway?”
Brist asked as she carried her downstairs, followed by the twins.
Sarah held up three fingers.
next birthday is in four days.”
then you’ll be four?”
group of girls approached the dining room.
do you mean done? Nicholas what have you done?” David questioned,
his voice ringing with concern.
I haven’t done anything!”
Nicholas, you could have gotten hurt!” Regina exclaimed.
should have waited until we were prepared to handle things together,”
didn’t want to wait until you MEN were ready. I wanted my horse
back immediately, and I wasn’t going chance that you wouldn’t get
her back soon enough,” Brist said huffily.
family sat in stunned silence. Nicholas couldn’t decide whether to
be smug that his parents were so rudely informed that they shouldn’t
be yelling at him, or whether he should maintain his grumpy mood and
simply return to bed.
smirked at him. “I see you managed to make it home.”
grumbled and began to eat.
look!” Regan and Raven exclaimed. “Brist brought Sarah home last
had already set Sarah in a chair, and now placed a plate of food in
front of her.
you feed yourself?” She asked. Sarah shook her head in shame. Brist
took Sarah’s right hand and placed it over the child’s mouth.
“Then I guess it’s about time that you learned. You feel your
the spoon?” Brist asked as she placed a spoon in Sarah’s hands.
Sarah examined the spoon with her hands, then nodded. “You hold it
like this, now place the round end in your mouth.”
tried to do as Brist instructed, but couldn’t quite manage to find
her mouth. Brist guided the child’s hand, and soon, Sarah was an
expert at bringing the spoon to her mouth.
and Sarah were the center of attention, but only the twins knew why
the toddler had difficulty learning to feed herself. The room was
silent, as if they were being held spellbound by Brist.
comes the fun part.” Brist continued to instruct her new child. “On
this plate, I have placed some sort of oatmeal or grits, see?”
Brist made sure that the porridge wasn’t too hot, and then placed
one of Sarah’s fingers in it. Using the fingers, Brist pushed some
food onto the spoon, and the spoon in the child’s mouth.
you try,” Brist encouraged. Sarah successfully repeated the actions
of placing food on the spoon, and the spoon in her mouth. “Perfect!
Now onto the fork, uh you should lick your fingers clean.” Sarah
did this with no problems.
“Now, you must remember to be careful
with this, it’s pointy and can hurt, see?” Brist poked Sarah’s
palm with the fork, who proceeded to take the fork and place it,
correctly, in her mouth.
good! Okay, also on this plate, there is an egg, some fried potatoes,
and a pancake. Feel them?” Sarah nodded. Then, in a purely American
manner, Brist helped Sarah stab a piece of fried potato with the
fork. Sarah ate the piece, and then tried to stab another, but was
unable to catch one. Brist showed her how to use her finger to hold
the piece steady, and at the same time, how to not stab herself in
Regina exclaimed. “ I don’t know what it’s like where… uh…
you come from, but it is unbecoming to teach a child to play
with her food.”
“I’m not teaching
her to play with her food,” Brist stated, but before she could
explain further, she was distracted by Sarah, who – startled by
Regina’s outburst – had missed her mouth, poked herself in the
cheek with the fork, and promptly began to cry.
plucked the crying child from her chair and comforted her.
let me kiss it and make it feel all better.” Brist kissed Sarah’s
nodded and Brist placed her back in the chair. As soon as the child
was occupied with feeding herself once more, Brist took the
opportunity to fill a plate of her own. Just as she had sat down, she
noticed that Sarah’s plate was empty, except for the egg.
Brist, can I have some more?”
Before Brist had finished her own
breakfast, Sarah had asked for another two child-sized helpings, and
then finally, everyone was full.
goodness, you certainly ate a lot!” Raven exclaimed.
was afraid that you’d eat so much, you’d make yourself ill,”
was soooo hungry, I haven’t eaten in this many days,” Sarah held
up three fingers. “Thank you Mummy Brist”
days!” The twins and Regina exclaimed.
The last thing we had to eat was some bread, but that was divided
amongst us children, and I barely got a bite before someone took my
chunk!” Sarah said the last part emphatically. “Mum and everyone
else haven’t eaten in a week, and I feel so
bad for them for their tummies must hurt much more than mine did,”
she ended sadly.
terrible!” Regan exclaimed.
should help them!” Raven added.
“They are thieves!”
Regina exclaimed, but she couldn’t decide whether she should hold
that against them, or help them anyway.
don’t want to be thieves. They only steal to survive, and they only
steal from you because they think that your family is to blame for
making them pay everything they had for passage here. What they want
to do is claim some land and farm it, but they don’t even have the
resources for that. I have an idea that might help them, and at the
same time stop them from stealing from you,” Brist told them,
looking at David.
look at me. I bought this place and built this house for Nicholas. It
will be up to him to hear you out and decide what to do. Also, I have
decided, Nicholas,” David was now looking at his eldest son, taking
advantage of the momentum of the last subject to finish the
conversation he had planned to have with Nicholas before he found out
that the horses had been recovered. “My affairs are in order here,
and I see no reason to delay my departure any longer.”
father! No!” The twins exclaimed.
“I’m not finished!” He said,
effectively stopping his daughters in their protestations. “Your
mother and I have decided to leave you here; as long as you promise
not to cause your brother any trouble. Also, we are hereby hiring
Brist as your chaperone. That should give Brist something to do, as
well as some spending money.”
turned to look at the rest of his sons, then back at his eldest. He
continued. “I’m not the only one anxious to be off; the ship that
will provide Curtis with his captain training has been waiting in
port for me to send them on their way. Lastly, Regina’s ship is
scheduled to arrive within the week, and I want to be gone leaving
room for it at the docks, and-”
ship! I thought you said women couldn’t captain ships?” Brist
exclaimed in surprise.
“Of course they can’t captain a
ship, but Regina – just as the twins will when they’re older –
owns a ship called The David, and she has full control over the cargo
her ship acquires, and she is allowed to keep all profits made. Of
course, she funds all expenses too, but that is neither here nor
there,” David explained brusquely.
see...” Brist said simply. She bit her tongue and decided not to
expound the rights of women.
can see that you disapprove of something,” David observed.
why is it that women are allowed to own ships, but not to operate
them,” she asked.
are ill suited. I’m not saying that they are physically incapable,
but in addition to the fact that women are generally not as strong,
the men on board would certainly try to… misuse them... but even in
the case of the twins, for example, when they are older and own ships
of their own, they could remain on board their ships to oversee
things. Provided that
they have a trustworthy crew, and men to guard them from harm.”
David paused in his explanations to take a drink, and Brist looked a
little more hopeful.
hated to think that anyone in her
family would be as
prejudiced against women as men in this time were supposed to bed.
Her hopes were crushed a moment later.
why would they want to? They will have husbands to do that for them,
and babies to look after, and-”
gaped at David a moment, she couldn’t even respond, and so,
instead, she picked Sarah up and left the room. As she left she
muttered, “Honestly! Why do men
assume that just
because they have
in their pants, they have the right to subjugate
Regina placed her hand
over her husband's. “Don’t be angry with her, she was raised to
believe such notions.”
not angry,” he smiled, chuckling. “Brist certainly knows how to
keep one on one’s toes, life around her will never be dull.”
we really get to stay?” The twins asked eagerly.
their mother answered forlornly.
you really think it wise to hire Brist
as their chaperone?”
Nicholas questioned with a raised brow.
It’s actually an ideal situation; Brist wants a job, and the girls
can teach her how to behave in these times. Besides, Brist has proven
that she can handle herself should they ever happen to be separated
from a male escort. She’ll keep the twins out of your hair, and
they’ll keep her
away from you. Hopefully, the two of you will eventually learn to get
along... Perhaps you’ll actually even come to like
one another,” David suggested in amusement. “Now that we have
everything situated, I suggest that Regina and I pay a visit to our
injured son before we depart. Come dear.”