|The Doctor takes a Wife
Author: Ang-ela1 PM
Doctor Baker has decided that it is time for him to settle down.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 5,756 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-18-09 - id: 5004077
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was a beautiful day in the small town of Walnut Grove. The birds were singing and the children were all on their way to school.
Laura Ingalls and her sister Mary were on their way to school when Annie called to them. "Mary, Laura, do you have a minute?"
"Yes Miss Annie" said Mary.
"You are coming here after school to help me with picking my tomatoes yes?"
"Oh yes Miss Annie, Ma and Pa said it was okay" said Mary.
"I told Mary not to worry about her chores I would do them for her, I help Mary so she can help you" said Laura.
"My, Laura that is so grown up of you. You girls are growing up so fast. Well, I'll tell you what Laura, after school you stop here and I will have an apple pie for you and your family and I was also planning to bake some cookies. How does that sound?" Miss Annie asked.
Laura smiled, "Wow that sounds great."
"Great it is, don't forget stop by and I will have those goodies ready for you."
"We won't," they said. And on their way they were.
The school day went as usual. Willie Oleson spent most of the day in the corner, Laura and Nellie Oleson fought during lunch, and Mary played jump rope and tried to keep out of Laura's way. Even though Mary was older than Laura, she knew that when it came to dealing with Nellie Oleson, Laura was best left alone. Their Pa called Laura Half-pint, she was small but she could handle herself rather well, better than most boys.
After school the girls made their way to Annie's house, Laura stopped in for the pie and cookies, while Mary got the baskets for the tomatoes.
When Laura got home her ma was at the table peeling potatoes for supper. Pa was out in the fields plowing. Annie had asked her to ask her parents if it would be all right if Mary helped for the rest of the week. Annie had planned to bottle her tomatoes and needed the extra hands. Laura remembered and asked Ma and Pa. They said it was fine as long as Mary's chores were done and homework was not forgotten. Laura told them that according to Miss Beadle, the schoolteacher, Mary's schoolwork was fine. Annie also said that she intended to pay Mary for all her hard work, twenty-five cents a day. Laura said she and Mary decided that since Laura was doing all of Mary's chores, they would share the money that Mary earned. Ma was impressed with how the girls were working together.
Friday came quickly; it was Mary's last day of work with Annie. "Annie, how do you bottle tomatoes?" Mary asked.
"Well, after we pick them, I clean them up and cut them up. Then I cook them, kind of the way your ma bottles peaches or pears, I do the same."
"How did you learn to do this?"
"My husband's mother, my mother-in-law, taught me. She and Joseph's father were born in Italy. They came here to America and brought their ways with them. I learn a lot of cooking ways from Josephine."
"Wow, was she a good cook?" asked Mary.
"Yes she was. I have a great idea; your ma is coming over tomorrow to help me bottle these tomatoes. What if I ask her and your pa if it would be alright if you all come over for Sunday dinner?"
"Wow that sounds great!"
"I thought you might like the idea. Let's finish our work so you can get home and get plenty of rest, tomorrow is when the hard work is done."
And so Mary helped Annie with the picking and the cleaning. Annie paid her as promise one dollar and twenty-five cents, twenty-five cents a day. The next morning Caroline made her way over to Annie's with the girls. When they arrived they found Annie over a large pot, large enough for Carrie to fit into. Laura never saw such a large pot. Annie explained that it belonged to Joseph's mother. Josephine used the same pot for her tomatoes. So the women started to cut up the tomatoes and cook them. Annie told them stories of when she was married to Joseph and how his mother would cook for the entire family. While they were cooking Doc Baker came driving past when he stopped and got down from his carriage. He walked over and looked into the pot cooking over the fire. "What smells so good?" he asked.
"Hi Doc Baker" shouted Laura and Mary.
"Good morning Doctor Baker" said Caroline.
"Doc Baker, what brings you out this way?" Annie asked.
"Well believe it or not I am on my way to the creek to do some fishing. It seems that all of Walnut Grove decided to remain healthy today" he said.
Annie smiled, "Well, I just got a great idea. Would you mind if Laura went fishing with you?"
"Of course not, I'd love the company. What are you planning Annie?" Doc asked.
"Well, if it's alright with Caroline, you and Laura catch the fish and clean them, then bring them to me and tomorrow we will have a Sunday dinner that you will not soon forget."
"Go ask Caroline, sounds good to me" Doc said.
Annie went over to Caroline and they spoke for a while, Laura then went over to Doc Baker with Annie and Caroline. "Well Doc, if you don't mind, stop by the Ingalls place so Laura can get her fishing pole and you two catch as much fish as you can. Tomorrow we'll have a feast" said Annie with a smile.
Doc Baker and Laura left, Annie and Caroline went back into the house to finish the bottling. Caroline smiled; a thought had crossed her mind.
"Annie" Caroline started.
"What are you thinking Caroline?" asked Annie.
"I don't want to sound intrusive, but, well, have you ever thought about remarrying?"
"To who? It's not like I'm being courted, why?"
"Well, did you see the way Doctor Baker looks at you?"
"Caroline, Doc Baker? He is a handsome man, a kind man, but you think he might be interested in courting me?"
"Oh, Annie, I see the way he looks at you, I see that look in his eyes."
"Annie, you can't tell me that you don't see it" Caroline said.
"Caroline, I see a man who is friendly, helpful, and kind. I don't think the doctor is interested in courting anyone" said Annie.
"I don't know" said Caroline.
"Caroline Ingalls, I never thought of you as a matchmaker" Annie said with a smile.
"Ha ha! Well, when I see two people who would make such a great couple…"
"Let's finish our work, if we don't finish this tonight we won't have dinner tomorrow" Annie said.
And so nothing further was said about Annie and Doc Baker courting. The ladies finished their work; Caroline went home with Mary and Carrie. Laura and Doctor Baker made a stop at Annie's with the fish all clean as promised, and then he took Laura home and made his way to his own home.
Sunday morning the Ingalls were up with the sun. Early morning chores were done and everyone got ready for church. Once the family arrived at the church they greeted everyone, Caroline went over to Annie and asked if there was anything that she could do or bring, Annie told her no, just to bring their appetites.
The day's sermon was beautiful. The Ingalls spoke to Reverend Alden; Annie was speaking to Harriet and Nels Oleson. Annie and Harriet were cousins; their mothers were sisters. Harriet and Annie had a very close relationship as children, but for some reason as adults they rarely got along. Annie always felt that the reason was that Harriet never liked her husband, Joseph. Nels and Joseph were the best of friends. When Joseph and Annie became engaged, Harriet was totally against the marriage, stating to Annie that Joseph was not good enough for her. Joseph was absolutely devoted to Annie; she could never understand why Harriet disliked him so. Annie and Joseph never had children. They traveled to Europe where Annie met Joseph's family. His parents had come to America but his sisters and brothers were still in Italy. They returned to America and stayed in New York for a while with Joseph's parents. They then returned to Walnut Grove where they had purchased land and a home. Joseph worked hard farming the land and doing things to the house to make everything better for Annie. He not only built a larger kitchen, but also an icehouse and a storm cellar. Joseph had gotten ill and died that summer. That was five years ago.
She bid good-bye to the Olesons and made her way home.
The Ingalls and Annie arrived at the same time. Charles helped Caroline out of the backboard and Annie invited them all into the house. Caroline and Annie went into the kitchen, the girls followed, Doc Baker had arrived and Charles greeted him. The doctor was not at church services because he had to make a house call.
"Laura, Mary, would you girls please set the table? I will show you where the dishes are" Annie said.
The girls followed Annie and started to set the table. Caroline told the men that it would be best if they just sat on the porch and waited until dinner was ready, this way they would be out of the way.
Annie put the finishing touches on dinner she called everyone to the table. Caroline made sure that Doctor Baker sat next to Annie. They all sat and Annie asked Charles to say the grace. Caroline suggested that they all hold hands. Annie gave Caroline a look, which Caroline ignored.
They all took each other's hand; Caroline couldn't help but notice how gently the doctor took Annie's hand.
"Lord, thank you for this abundance of food and for good friends. Thank you for our good health and good fortune, amen" said Charles.
They ate and enjoyed the meal. Annie had made a fish stew with the tomatoes that were bottled and the fish that was caught. Everyone loved the dinner. Annie gave credit to Josephine; her mother-in-law taught her much in the kitchen.
"Well, why don't you men go and sit out on the porch while we women clean up the dishes" said Caroline.
The men went out to the porch and the ladies cleared the table. Annie had made an apple pie and asked Caroline if she wouldn't mind putting coffee on. She then asked the Mary and Laura if they would go out to the icehouse. "You both need to go; one hold the door open while the other goes inside and on the table you will see a pail with a lid. Bring it back and don't peek inside" said Annie.
"Yes madam" the girls said together. Laura and Mary ran to the icehouse. Laura held the door open while Mary went inside to get the pail. They then made their way back to the house. They found the adults and Carrie out on the porch. Annie had brought out the coffee and apple pie. There was a table and a few chairs on the porch. They all sat around the table and Annie opened the lid on the pail.
"WOW!" shouted the girls. Inside the pail was vanilla ice cream.
"What best to go with apple pie than vanilla ice cream?" said Annie.
They talked and laughed. The day ended and all went home. Laura, Mary and Carrie went straight to bed. Charles and Caroline sat outside for a while.
"Such a lovely night" said Caroline.
"Yes it is" said Charles as he lit his pipe.
"What do you think about Doctor Baker and Annie courting?"
"What? Caroline, what are you up to?" said Charles.
"Well, they make such a lovely couple…"
"Caroline, stop playing matchmaker" said Charles.
"Charles, when two people are made for each other, they just need a little help seeing it themselves" said Caroline.
"Well I'm going to bed, goodnight Caroline."
"Charles? Charles? Goodnight" sighed Caroline.
The next morning the Ingalls household was as busy as ever. Caroline had made breakfast and the girls were on their way to school. Charles went into town to work at the mill and Caroline was in the barn gathering eggs. Caroline would bring eggs into town to the Oleson's store and sell them to the Oleson, who would resell them to their customers. After Caroline finished her business at the Oleson's she went over to see Doc Baker. One way or another Caroline was determined to match make the doctor and Annie. She had spent half the night thinking of ways of bring them together.
Caroline went into Oleson's Mercantile to sell her eggs, as she left Annie came into the store. "Harriet, where are you?" Annie asked.
"Yes? Annie, darling, what are you doing here?" asked Harriet.
"I needed some items. Where is Nels?"
"He's in the back. So what do you need?"
"I need some sugar, cream of tartar and some coffee" said Annie.
Harriet called Nels and told him what Annie needed. He went into the back of the store to get the items while Annie and Harriet caught up on family news. Harriet and Annie were cousins, their mothers were sisters; they grew up together and as children, were close. But now as adults they were as close as they wanted to be. Harriet never approved of Joseph. Annie never could understand why, Joseph and Nels had become very good friends. Annie had never seen a man cry, but when Joseph died she saw the tears in Nels' eyes.
Nels got Annie's order together and placed the cost into the credit book. When Joseph knew that he was dying, he made up his will. In it he had left everything to Annie, but because women could not own land, he placed Nels as the guardian. Harriet did not know this, which was the way Joseph wanted it. He was afraid that if Annie should meet someone in the future, Harriet would step in and make life miserable for Annie. And so no one except Nels, Annie and Mr. Sprag, the banker, knew that Nels was the guardian for Joseph's estate. Harriet only knew that it was someone in Joseph's family and assumed that they lived in New York.
Nels placed the order in Annie's wagon and when Annie left the store she saw Caroline at the mill. She asked her if she would like to have lunch together. Charles helped Caroline onto the rig and the ladies headed towards Annie's house. When they arrived Annie found flowers at her door.
"Who could have left such beautiful flowers?" said Caroline.
"Well there is a note, oh my…Sorry I missed you, thank you for Sunday dinner, Doc Baker" said Annie.
"Oh, he brought you flowers. Oh Annie, they are beautiful."
"Caroline, they are thank you flowers, please don't read anything into it" said Annie.
They heard a carriage driving by and saw that it was Doc Baker. He stopped and walked to the door. Caroline opened the door before he could knock. "Hello Doctor Baker" she said.
"Caroline, hello, is Annie here?" he said.
"Why yes, do come in. Annie is in the kitchen getting lunch. Annie, Doctor Baker is here."
"Doctor, would you like to join us for lunch?" asked Annie.
"No, I was wondering if I could speak to you Annie."
"Why don't I just go into the kitchen and see to lunch" said Caroline and off she headed out of the room.
"Well, I see you have lunch plans so I won't keep you. I was wondering if you would like to join me for lunch maybe tomorrow?" Doc Baker said.
"That sounds nice. Where you thinking maybe a picnic?" asked Annie.
"Yes, we can go to the lake I'll make the lunch" said Doc.
"That sounds nice. Yes I'll join you. What time?"
"I'll see you at one" said Annie.
"Well then, until tomorrow" said Doc Baker as he left.
Caroline walked in with a tray of food. "Did Doc Baker leave?"
"Yes he did" said Annie.
"And you're going for lunch tomorrow?"
"Caroline Ingalls, you were listening."
"I just heard him ask you…"
"Caroline, please don't make anything out of this."
"Annie, its just lunch."
"Yes, just lunch, not courting" said Annie.
"Yes, but it could…"
"Caroline…" said Annie.
"Let's have lunch" said Caroline.
The ladies had their lunch and Caroline did not speak about Doctor Baker for the rest of the afternoon. She headed home after lunch; she wanted to finish any housework before the girls arrived home from school. She couldn't help think about Annie and Doc Baker. The doctor had never married and Annie had been alone for such a long time. Caroline just knew that they belonged together. She could see the look in their eyes when they looked at each other. They had that look, the look that just told you they belonged together.
The girls arrived home and did their chores. Laura asked her ma if she could go fishing for a while. Caroline told her to just be sure to be home in time for supper. Charles came home from the mill and went into the barn to milk the cow. Caroline brought him a cup of coffee and told him that dinner would be ready soon and that he should start to wash up. Laura came back, the fish just weren't biting today. The family sat down at the table and said their grace. Once they thanked the Lord for all that was good in their lives they started to speak about their day.
"So girls what did you learn today in school?" asked Charles.
Mary and Laura looked at each other and started to giggle. "What's so funny?" asked Caroline.
"Well, Willie Oleson split his britches during recess" said Mary.
Laura laughed, "He was making faces at the girls and bent over to pick up a rock to throw, and that's when they split."
"Serves him right, he's always making fun of someone" said Mary.
Charles and Caroline looked at each other and Caroline said, "Now girls, it's not nice to laugh at another's misfortune."
"Yes ma" said the girls.
"How was your day Charles?" Caroline asked.
"Busy, we have a large order to fill at the mill. Mr. Becker is building himself a new barn. How was your day? How was your lunch with Annie?"
"Nice. Doctor Baker stopped by to thank her for Sunday dinner."
"Oh? That was nice of him" said Charles. They ate the rest of their dinner in silence. After dinner the girls help their ma with the dishes and Charles went outside to smoke his pipe. The girls had homework to finish up and Caroline was knitting a new blanket for Carrie. When the girls finished their homework they sat for a while talking with their ma and pa; then they got ready for bed. The girls said their prayers and went to sleep.
The days had become weeks, the weeks became months; the holidays had come and gone. Doc Baker and Annie spent Thanksgiving with the Ingalls and Christmas they spent with the Oleson's. Annie felt uncomfortable there because she could feel Harriet glaring at them. She knew that Harriet did not approve of her and the doctor courting. She had promised herself that this time things would be different; she was not going to let Harriet cause any unhappiness between herself and Hiram Baker. The pain that Harriet caused Joseph was enough.
And so the winter came and went and soon spring had arrived and all the farmers of Walnut Grove had begun their planting. Annie loved the spring; she would work in her garden morning until night if she could.
Easter was coming soon and she had volunteered to help Caroline with the yearly Easter egg hunt for the children at the church. Doctor Baker had made plans of his own; he had decided that it was time to ask Annie to marry him. He had it all planned. He would ask her after Easter church services in front of the entire town. He was so happy with her. He felt like a new man every time they were together. He had never felt this way about anyone before. He truly loved her.
He had decided that he would go into Springfield and purchase a ring. It was the week before Easter and he had to think of a way of going to Springfield without Annie suspecting anything. He told Charles what he was planning to do, Charles was very happy for him. But when he told Annie that he was going into Springfield, that he needed to purchase some medical supplies and that the Olesons did not have what he needed. Well Annie was very happy to hear this; she too needed things for the Easter egg hunt and needed to go into Springfield. They could go together. Doctor Baker had to think fast, how was he going to be able to purchase the ring without Annie knowing? He had an idea. He suggested that Annie ask Caroline if the girls could accompany them, so as not to get Harriet started with her vicious gossip. Annie thought it was a great idea. Mary was unable to go because she had much homework but Laura jumped at the chance to go to Springfield.
They picked Laura up and headed to town. When they arrived in Springfield, Hiram told Annie that he would head to the general store, she in turn told him that she would do her own shopping with Laura. Hiram went into the store and asked the clerk to show him rings. Laura and Annie headed to the hat shop, Annie wanted to buy an Easter bonnet for Laura and her sisters and for Caroline, to thank them for all they had done for her. When they were done they went to the carriage and found Doc Baker waiting for them. "I hope you didn't wait too long" said Annie.
"No, I just got here myself. Did you find everything you wanted?"
"Annie got us new Easter bonnets" said Laura.
"Did you get your medical supplies?" asked Annie.
"Yes I did, let's go home" said Hiram.
They headed back to Walnut Grove. They had arrived at the Ingalls farm just in time for dinner. Caroline invited the doctor and Annie in for dinner, but they declined. Mary loved her new Easter bonnet and thanked Annie. It was getting late and Annie was feeling tired. Doctor Baker brought Annie home and headed home himself.
The week flew, before anyone knew it Easter Sunday had arrived. The night before Annie and Caroline had cooked eggs and colored them with the help of the girls and Charles. Early Sunday morning Charles, Nels and the doctor met at the church before services, Charles arrived with the eggs and the men hid them for the children to find.
Before too long everyone from the town arrived and services started. After mass everyone went outside and the children were given small baskets. They were then sent out to find as many eggs as they could. While the children were busy looking for eggs, the adults stayed at the church for cake and coffee. The Ladies' League set up a table with cakes and coffee. The doctor took Annie by the hand and led her towards what the children called the "sweetheart tree." There he asked her to marry him. Annie accepted. She hugged him and they kissed. Then, Hiram lead Annie into the middle of the group.
"Attention, attention please" said the Doctor. Everyone looked over to the doctor, there was some whispering but then all anyone could hear was the children laughing and playing. "I, we have an announcement to make. It seems there's going to be a wedding. I have asked Annie to marry me and she has accepted."
Everyone clapped and gathered around the happy couple, congratulating them. Everyone was happy for the couple, everyone that is except for Harriet. Annie was so happy that she didn't notice that Harriet didn't come to her or Hiram to congratulate them.
The next few weeks Annie kept herself busy making wedding plans. She had placed an order for material for a wedding dress, which Mrs. Wimple said she would be more than happy to make. The cloth was a powder blue, Annie loved it. She also planned to ask Nels if he would give her away and Harriet to be her matron of honor. Doc Baker decided that he was going to ask Lars Hanson to be his best man.
Annie was walking towards Mrs. Wimple's home when she saw two girls fighting; then she noticed that the girls were Laura Ingalls and Nellie Oleson. She ran over to break them apart. "Laura, Nellie, stop! What is going on here?" asked Annie.
"Laura started it" said Nellie.
"Lair, you were telling lies about Annie and Doc Baker" shouted Laura.
"Laura, calm down. Nellie what is this about?" asked Annie.
"I don't know what she is talking about" lied Nellie.
Laura tried to pull away from Annie and said "You liar! You take back those terrible things you said."
"They are not lies, my mother told me and she does not lie" shouted Nellie.
Annie gave Nellie a sharp look, "Laura, I want you to go over to the well with Mary, Mary help Laura to clean herself up." The girls walked away, and Nellie was turning to walk away when Annie grabbed her arm. "Just a minute Nellie, I want to know just what did your mother say about me and Doctor Baker?"
Nellie looked down at her shoes and started to shuffle her feet. "Well…"
Annie took Nellie by the chin so that they could look in each other's eyes "Nellie, tell me the truth, you know I can tell when you're lying. Now, what did your mother have to say?"
"She wondered why you were wasting your life with that veterinarian, just like you did with Cousin Joseph" Nellie said.
"Your mother said that?" Annie said and she walked towards the Mercantile. She went into the store and looked around for Harriet. Nels came out to the front from the back room and saw Annie. "Hello Annie, what brings you here?" he asked.
"Nels, where is Harriet?"
"She's in the back. If you want I'll call her."
"Would you please?" Annie asked.
Harriet came out with Nels close behind. "Annie, dear, what can I do for you?"
"Don't you Annie dear me."
"What have you been saying about me and Hiram?"
"I don't know what you're talking about" Harriet said.
"Harriet, I don't understand you. When will this stop? Nellie told me what you said…that you were wondering why I would waste my life with that veterinarian, just like I did with Joseph. Harriet, what is your problem?"
"Harriet, stop. I am not going to sit by like I did before. You are not going to ruin something so beautiful. You made Joseph miserable."
"I made Joseph miserable? How?"
"Oh Harriet, why do you think he took me away from Walnut Grove for all that time? He didn't take me from Walnut Grove; he took me away from you. He knew how much you hurt me with your words." Annie burst into tears. "I will not allow you to do this again to me. I will not allow you to destroy a good man like Hiram. You did enough to Joseph. I have to live with the fact that I never stopped you and put an end to your hurtful words. But this time, I am. Harriet, I was coming here to ask you to be my matron of honor, but I see that I made a mistake, until you change your ways and learn that you do not have the right to judge people I never want to see or speak to you again. Nels, I am sorry that you had to hear all this, I still would like for you to give the bride away, but I cannot have your wife at my wedding, not until she apologizes to both me and my fiancé." And with that Annie turned and walked out of the store. She ran home, she did not want anyone see that she was crying.
Nels turned to Harriet, "Well, I hope you're happy."
"Nels, what are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about your big mouth. You never know when to stop, Harriet, you have to make peace with Annie."
"Me? I did nothing wrong! Besides, I'm right, she is wasting her life with that man" Harriet shrieked.
"Harriet, Annie loved Joseph very much, and he loved her. Why couldn't you see that?"
"I don't know what you're talking about" Harriet said.
"You never do Harriet" and with that Nels walked out of the store and went into the backroom to finish the work he had started.
The next two weeks were hard for Annie. She started to put the finishing touches on her plans. She had asked Caroline to be her matron of honor. Nels did get word to her that he had every intention of giving her away; he would be at her wedding with or without Harriet. Annie had to admit that it was hard for her not to speak to Harriet, as children they had a close relationship, Annie missed those days so. She had seen Nellie and asked her if she would like to be a bride's maid. She accepted. Willie wanted to be a groom's man. Annie told him as long as he behaved himself, he could be a part of the wedding.
The days flew, before Annie knew it, it was the morning of the wedding. Charles dropped Caroline and went to the church. After the ceremony a party was planned in the front of the church. Tables were set up with chairs, the women of the town were cooking all week. They had all come together to make this day very special.
Harriet kept looking out her window, she could see everyone busy running around doing things. Nellie, Willie and Nels said their goodbyes to her. Before leaving her mother, Nellie turned and asked Harriet why she didn't like Doctor Baker. Harriet did not have an answer, just another question "Why?" she asked Nellie. "Well, Doctor Baker did save your life last year didn't he? I mean when you had the appendix attack, how can he be a quack if he was able to do that?"
"Err, well…" said Harriet. With that Nellie left her mother.
Nels and Nellie went to Annie's house while Willie went to the church to wait for them with the other men.
Annie was in her room getting ready with Caroline's help. "Mrs. Wimple did a fine job with this dress" said Caroline.
"It did come out beautiful, didn't it?" said Annie.
Laura ran up the stairs and shouted "Annie, Mr. Olsen is here."
Caroline opened the door and told Laura not to run and not to shout. Nels came up with Nellie, "Annie, you look beautiful" he said.
"Thank you Nels. Did Harriet say anything?" she asked.
"I'm afraid your cousin is more stubborn than a mule" he said.
Annie looked down, "Well, I guess we should get ready to go."
"Cousin Annie who braided the horse's mane?" asked Nellie.
"Laura and Mary did, they also decorated the carriage. They did a fine job."
"Yes they did" said Nels.
There was a soft knock at the door. Caroline opened the door to find Harriet standing there.
"May I come in?" Harriet asked.
Caroline looked at Annie and Annie nodded her head. "Maybe we all should wait for you downstairs" said Nels.
They all left the room and the two ladies looked at each other. "You do look beautiful" said Harriet.
"Thank you" answered Annie.
"Oh, Annie, I…Sometimes my mouth goes before my brain has a chance to stop it" Harriet said as she cried.
Annie started to cry also and hugged Harriet saying, "Oh Harriet, I missed you so."
"I never meant to hurt you or Joseph. I was wrong, Doctor Baker is a good man" cried Harriet.
"Oh Harriet, I shouldn't have said the things I did" Annie said.
"No, you were right, I should think before I speak. I love you so" Harried cried.
The two women hugged and cried, until Nels came back to the room and reminded them that they had to get to the church.
"Harriet, is it proper to have two matrons of honor?" Annie asked.
Harriet looked at Nels and said "I don't know, I never been to any wedding that had two."
Annie looked at Nels and smiled, "Well I think this will be the first, will you be my matron of honor with Caroline?"
The two hugged again, "Yes, I would be honored" said Harriet.
And so the two cousins made their way down to the carriage and Annie spoke to Caroline about having two matrons of honor, Caroline just smiled and thought it was a wonderful idea. They all went to the church; Nels walked Annie down the aisle. At the point of the ceremony when the Reverend Alden asked if there was anyone who felt that this couple should not be joined Annie looked over at Harriet and smiled. Harriet smiled back and said nothing. The two women gave a small giggle and the Reverend continued with the wedding.