Title: Beautiful Dreamer

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Finch falls for a woman with a secret (so what else is new)

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, and therefore could not

derive any funds

from this story.

Beautiful.

She stepped off of the stagecoach, and into the sun. What

awaited her, she didn't expect. Her first reaction, was that it was very dirty and

dusty. The smell of horses and unwashed bodies hit her almost immediately. There were mostly men, as women and children were seldom part of this rough lifestyle. She did see a few women who were usually indistinguishable from the men. She sometimes had to look at the hair, and even that wouldn't give it away completely.

What an oddity she appeared to be, with her frills and ruffles.

The people stared. She couldn't blame them, really. She's just too clean, they

thought.

Almost immediately, heads turned. There was a certain novelty to new

people in town, but what mad this woman extra special was her beauty.

This was her first experience in the West. She was not a snob, but this

place was certainly different from any other place she had been.

Seeing her standing there, the stage master said, "Miss, there's a hotel just down the street a ways." she thanked him, and then she remembered.

"Sir, can I get someone to deliver my valises to the hotel?"

The stage master tipped his hat, and began taking the said

valises down from the stage.

The woman turned and spoke to another woman whom had climbed down

from the coach.

"Isn't this exciting, Frannie?" she asked the woman.

Frannie didn't appear to be happy to be there at all. She

grabbed her own bags and trudged along after the woman.

"I was not at all happy about coming to this God forsaken place,

so please don't expect me to be happy about being here now."

Eileen was used to Frannie's moods. She simply laughed it off.

"Don't worry, as soon as you have a nice hot bath you won't be complaining––much." She laughed.

The two women made their way toward the hotel oblivious to the

stares of the passers-by. One man in particularly stood stock still as he gazed at the beautiful woman. Larimer Finch had just come out of his office. He had been running some experiments all day, and his eyes were feeling the strain. Little did he know that they would be treated to such an exquisite treat.

He could see, clearly, that this woman was out of place, but it

wasn't just that had caught his attention. He would think on this later, and still be able to come up with what it was that made her so intriguing. She looked so lost and vulnerable, and yet, there was a sense of adventure in her eyes.

He wanted to go over and speak to her, but he could see that the Mayor had beat him to it. His Honor was now introducing himself and taking her

slim hand into his. Finch could not help but to feel a slight twinge of

jealously from this gesture. He was annoyed by it. Why should he feel any sort of jealousy where this woman was concerned? Why, he had not even been properly introduced to her.

He felt the twinge grow stronger as others came over to be introduced

to the woman. He turned and headed back into his office just missing the

moment that the woman gazed in his direction.

Once they were settled into their rooms, Frannie could tell that Eileen had something on her mind.

"All right, let's have it. What are you thinking?" Eileen had a

faraway look on her face.

"Did you see that man who was looking at me?" Frannie rolled

her eyes. It wasn't that her mistress was a silly-headed woman. She wasn't like this all of the time. It just seemed to be more nerve wracking because she wasn't like this all of the time.

"There were several men looking at you, Miss Eileen. I didn't

notice anyone in particular."

This seemed to annoy Eileen.

"He wasn't part of that crowd." She seemed to drift off as her

mind wandered back to Finch. She had to stay focused. There was a reason why she was here. She had a job to do. She took the letter from her reticule, and examined it once more. Anger burned in her lovely green eyes. Yes, she had a job to do.

Finch found that he could get nothing done. His mind kept

drifting back to the

woman he saw in town. Who was she? He had to find out.

He stood, grabbed his hat, and marched out of the office. He

went straight to

Kate's. Kate, who was right in the middle of preparing Old Mule

Simmons for

burial, looked up when Finch walked into her office.

"Hey Finch, whatcha know good?" she saw the look of utter

confusion on his

face, and smiled.

"What's going on?" she translated.

He took a breath, and went for it.

"I was hoping you could help me . . ." he started.

Thinking that it concerned a case, Kate dried her hands on an

old rag and came

over to where he stood.

"Did you hear about the woman that arrived in town today?" she

had heard

some commotion in the street that morning.

"I'm trying to find out who she is." He said matter-of-factly.

Kate stifled a

giggle.

"Why don't you just go up and introduce yourself?"

Men!

Finch became nervous.

"I couldn't do that. It wouldn't be proper. After all, she's a

real . . ." He broke

off, his eyes traveling up and down the filthy smock that Kate wore.

Kate knew

exactly what he was thinking, and began to get angry.

"What makes this woman any different from the women here?"

Finch tried desperately to dig himself out of the hole that he

found himself in.

"What I mean to say is that, she is used to finer things . . ."This line of thinking

was not persuading Kate.

"Oh Bloody Hell! She's just different. I don't know why."

Kate paused.

"Would you like for me to find out who she is and introduce you

to her?" He

didn't say; his eyes conveyed everything.

"Frannie, I've got to put my plan into effect." Frannie felt

that this whole plan

was a bad idea.

"I have to find Leonard Milford. The Mayor is having what he

calls a Soiree to

introduce me to prominent people here in Silver City. I'm bound to

be introduced

to Milford."

Frannie rolled her eyes again. She didn't know why this

beautiful, now rich,

young woman was bound and determined to ruin her life.

"And what do you plan on doing once you find Mr. Milford?"

Eileen was ashamed to admit that she didn't know how to proceed

in her plan.

She, again, looked at the agreement between her father and Mr.

Milford. Tears

sprang up in her eyes as she thought about her beloved father who

committed

suicide a few months earlier.

Frannie placed a loving hand on her shoulder. They had

practically been raised

together. Frannie's mother had been the Lawson's family maid until

her death two

years earlier. Frannie had become Eileen's personal maid when Eileen

was fifteen,

but they were more friends than anything else.

That moment, there was a knock on the door. Frannie went to

answer it. Eileen

could hear hushed voices in the doorway. It was probably someoneelse wanting

to meet her. She couldn't for the life of her understand why she was

such an oddity

to these people. Oh well, she thought, as she patted her hair self

consciously. She

was surprised to see a young woman being escorted into the sitting

room by

Frannie.

"Miss Eileen, this is Katie Owen. She's the Mortician here in

town." Eileen's

look of surprise escalated to something akin to shock. Why would the

Mortician

want to see her? She shook hands with Katie, however, and indicated a

chair for

her to sit down.

"Frannie, would you see what can be done about getting us some

tea?" Frannie

nodded and curtsied, something that she only did when Eileen had

guests.

"Please, sit down. How can I help you?" Eileen was reminded of

how much

she sounded like her mother, or her horrible Aunt Elizabeth.

"Several of us . . . um . . . were just curious . . . you

know, about where

you're from, and who you are." God, she couldn't believe that she was

doing this

for Finch.

Sensing her apparent discomfort, Eileen tried to change the

subject.

"I don't know that I'll need the services of a Mortician any

time soon." She

joked. The smile faded from her face as she realized how close to

home her

statement was.

"I just wanted to welcome you to Silver City, Miss . . ."

,

"Lawson. Eileen Lawson." She could hear Frannie cough loudlyin the

background.

"I'm from . . .the East. I'm passing through on my way to San

Francisco."

she lied. Kate took this information in carefully. She wanted to be

able to relate

every detail back to Finch. Lord knows she didn't want to have to

come back and

talk to this woman again.

Noticing the lapse in conversation, Eileen continued.

"I just love your town. We don't have anything like this back

East."

Why did she keep saying that? It was very obvious that this

woman was from

England. She had the same sort of accent that Finch had, although

she was

desperately trying to hide it.

"Well, I'd better head back to the shop. Got a dead body on the

table and all."

Kate saw the look of disgust on the woman's face and was glad

that her words

had hit their mark.

"It was very nice of you to come and call. I find it very

difficult, at times, to

make the acquaintance of females." She smiled sweetly, and Frannie

sounded as if

she had pneumonia.

Kate shook her hand and left as quickly as possible. She was

going to kill

Finch.

"I'm telling you, Finch, she's not what you think she is. She

sounds like a high-

priced whore." she realized that her words were harsh, but after the

incident with

that Miranda woman, she didn't want to see him make a fool out of

himself.Finch remained silent; Kate couldn't tell if he were angry, or

what.

"She said that she's from the East, but she sounds like you."

The soiree, as everyone was calling it, was taking place at the

hotel that evening.

Eileen had bought sturdier clothes for her trip West, but wasn't

ready to put them

on just yet. She had told Frannie to ready her yellow, silk dress

for the festivities.

Frannie did as she was told, but not without some reprimand.

"Miss Eileen, I know you don't want me to say a word, but I

can't just stand

by and watch you do this."

Eileen continued fussing with her hair as if she hadn't heard a

word Frannie had

said.

"Have you decided what you're going to do yet?" she asked Eileen

stopped her

fussing and turned to speak to Frannie.

"This Milford man will, most likely, be at this soiree. I'll

meet him, and work

my wiles." She didn't have a plan after that.

"T'is a dangerous thing you're flirting with, Miss. These men

are different.

They're not gentlemen. You're playing with fire, and likely to get

burnt."

Eileen usually poo-pooed Frannie's old Irish wisdom, but she was

a little

worried, even if she wouldn't admit it to herself.

The drawing room at the hotel was the perfect to hold the

soiree. Everyone in

Silver City seemed to be there. Dressed in their finery, such as it

was, they now sat

or stood around, none of them quite sure what one did at a soiree.

She made her entrance down the staircase with Frannie on herheels. There was

no way Frannie was going to let her do this alone.

Eileen hated such displays, but it would serve her purposes.

She surveyed the

room, and her eyes fell on the man she had seen the day before. His

penetrating

eyes seemed to cut right through the crowd, to her. She felt herself

blush slightly,

which only added to her charm.

Finch literally felt his heart stop as she descended the

staircase. Her dark hair

was wound and piled in some intricate style. Her skin was like

porcelain, and her

green eyes blazed with the reflections of hundreds of candles. Even

though they

had recently received gas lights, candles seemed more intimate and

romantic.

Beautiful was far too inadequate a word to describe her.

As her feet touched the floor of the room, she was bombarded by

people who

came forward to be introduced.

Marshal Stone stood at the bar near Finch, knocking back a

whiskey.

"So, what do you think of all of this, Finch?"

Finch was surprised that he even heard Stone when he spoke.

"She is beautiful." He said finally, trying to sound as

uninterested as possible.

"Yeah, I suppose. Why do you think everybody's getting so worked

up about

her?"

Finch knew why he was getting worked up; he thought that the men

in town

were using the same reason.

"Something new, that's all." He replied as if he didn't care.

Truth be told, he

was dying to rush over there and introduce himself. To the Devil

with propriety!But, he didn't want to look like the others who were drooling

over her.

She was watching him, willing him to come to her and say hello.

No, I have to

stay focused, she thought. She looked around the room.

"I'm looking for a Leonard Milford. Has anyone seen him here

tonight?" she

was saying to someone.

"What do you want Milford for?" a voice said. Eileen looked up

to see Finch

standing there. She was flustered. She had just meant to drop the

name and hope

that someone would remember and steer Milford in her direction.

But now, she was on the spot.

"Nothing in particular. I was told that he was very . . .

generous." She batted

her eyelashes at Finch. She was acting again, he noticed. But why?

They stared at one another. It was a challenge, he realized.

He blinked first.

"Miss Lawson, I hear you've been looking for me." It was

Leonard Milford.

Finch was forgotten, for now.

Eileen extended her hand, and Milford took it and kissed her

fingertips lightly.

Finch couldn't help but be jealous. In fact, he was seething. He

turned on his heel

and walked away. Eileen noticed him leaving. Must stay focused, she

thought,

must stay focused.

"May I ask how you know about me?" Milford asked casually.

"Oh, around. Your name was mentioned as someone who could be

very helpful

if one ever went to Silver City." It sounded plausible. She

wouldn't have to

actually mention anyone that he might know. He accepted this

explanation.

They continued talking as Finch headed to the bar. He ordered abottle of

whiskey and one glass. Stone, who was still there, noticed slightly.

"What are you upset about?" he asked.

Finch was slightly annoyed that his anger was showing. He tried

to rein in his

feelings.

He looked up when he heard her laughter. It sounded like music.

Eileen looked

up and her eyes connected with his. She took a sip of her wine,

peering over the

glass at him. She laughed again. She was performing, for him.

The entire scene was not lost on Frannie. She could see the

exchanged glances

between Miss Eileen and a very handsome man. She was sure that he

must be the

man that Eileen had mentioned the day before.

She wished that her mistress would give up this whole scheme

thing, and just

settle down and get married. She had an offer. That nice Mr.

Westmorland had

wanted to marry her, but she had turned him down flat. Yes, he was a

lot older, but

he would have protected her, especially after what her thieving Aunt

and Uncle had

tried to do. She had been through so much in her young life. She

needed to settle

down with a good man.

Come On Eileen

( Dexys Midnight Runners )

(Come on Eileen!)

(Come on Eileen!)

Poor old Johnny Ray

Sounded sad upon the radio

He moved a million hearts in monoOur mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them?

Now you're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

And we can sing just like our fathers ....

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess

Verge on dirty ......

Ah, come on Eileen!

(Come on Eileen!)

(Come on Eileen!)

These people round here wear beaten down eyes

Sunk in smoke dried faces

They're so resigned to what their fate is

But not us, no not us

We are far too young and clever

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

Eileen, I'll sing this tune forever

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

Ah come on, let's take off everything

That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)

Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess

Verge on dirty ......

Ah, come on Eileen!

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

Ah come on, let's take off everything

That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)

Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

Finch remained silent a moment longer. Then, he said, "I want

to see her for

myself." Kate could see his jaw clench and unclench which was

something that

Kate had noticed when he became very serious.

"Well, I hear that the Mayor is throwing a Shindig for her

tomorrow. That'll be

your chance to meet her."

Finch remained silent as Kate left.

He didn't know what to think. This latest information didn't

jive with what he

had seen earlier. He was convinced that it was an act for Kate, but

why? This

woman was becoming more and more a mystery to him.

Artist: Steven Curtis ChapmanAlbum: All About Love

Title: Holding a Mystery

Lyrics:

I know that look on your face

I know the secrets you tell

You're every mood I can trace

I guess I could say I know you well

But how can I say I know you well

Cause when I look in your eyes

I see a million miles across an endless sea

I wanna sail the waves and make the great discovery

And when I hold you in my arms

The beating of your heart

is calling out to me

I'm holding a mystery

How many songs will be sung?

How many words will be said?

How many stories of love

Lie deep within you

Waiting to be read

And I want your story to be read

Cause when I look in your eyes

I see a million miles across an endless sea

I wanna sail the waves and make the great discovery

And when I hold you in my arms

The beating of your heart

is calling out to me

I'm holding a mystery

The beating of your heart

Is calling out to me

Only a God

of endless wisdom, love and mercy

Could have created such a wonder as you

I hear the beating of your heart

calling out to me

I'm holding a mystery

http:songbook.manueladam.com

The soiree, as everyone was calling it, was taking place at the

hotel that evening.

Eileen had bought sturdier clothes for her trip West, but wasn't

ready to put them

on just yet. She had told Frannie to ready her yellow, silk dress

for the festivities.

Frannie did as she was told, but not without some reprimand.

"Miss Eileen, I know you don't want me to say a word, but I

can't just stand

by and watch you do this."

Eileen continued fussing with her hair as if she hadn't heard a

word Frannie had

said.

"Have you decided what you're going to do yet?" she asked Eileen

stopped her

fussing and turned to speak to Frannie.

"This Milford man will, most likely, be at this soiree. I'll

meet him, and work

my wiles." She didn't have a plan after that.

"T'is a dangerous thing you're flirting with, Miss. These men

are different.

They're not gentlemen. You're playing with fire, and likely to get

burnt."

Eileen usually poo-pooed Frannie's old Irish wisdom, but she was

a little

worried, even if she wouldn't admit it to herself.

The drawing room at the hotel was the perfect to hold the

soiree. Everyone in

Silver City seemed to be there. Dressed in their finery, such as it

was, they now sat

or stood around, none of them quite sure what one did at a soiree.

She made her entrance down the staircase with Frannie on herheels. There was

no way Frannie was going to let her do this alone.

Eileen hated such displays, but it would serve her purposes.

She surveyed the

room, and her eyes fell on the man she had seen the day before. His

penetrating

eyes seemed to cut right through the crowd, to her. She felt herself

blush slightly,

which only added to her charm.

Finch literally felt his heart stop as she descended the

staircase. Her dark hair

was wound and piled in some intricate style. Her skin was like

porcelain, and her

green eyes blazed with the reflections of hundreds of candles. Even

though they

had recently received gas lights, candles seemed more intimate and

romantic.

Beautiful was far too inadequate a word to describe her.

As her feet touched the floor of the room, she was bombarded by

people who

came forward to be introduced.

Marshal Stone stood at the bar near Finch, knocking back a

whiskey.

"So, what do you think of all of this, Finch?"

Finch was surprised that he even heard Stone when he spoke.

"She is beautiful." He said finally, trying to sound as

uninterested as possible.

"Yeah, I suppose. Why do you think everybody's getting so worked

up about

her?"

Finch knew why he was getting worked up; he thought that the men

in town

were using the same reason.

"Something new, that's all." He replied as if he didn't care.

Truth be told, he

was dying to rush over there and introduce himself. To the Devil

with propriety!But, he didn't want to look like the others who were drooling

over her.

She was watching him, willing him to come to her and say hello.

No, I have to

stay focused, she thought. She looked around the room.

"I'm looking for a Leonard Milford. Has anyone seen him here

tonight?" she

was saying to someone.

"What do you want Milford for?" a voice said. Eileen looked up

to see Finch

standing there. She was flustered. She had just meant to drop the

name and hope

that someone would remember and steer Milford in her direction.

But now, she was on the spot.

"Nothing in particular. I was told that he was very . . .

generous." She batted

her eyelashes at Finch. She was acting again, he noticed. But why?

They stared at one another. It was a challenge, he realized.

He blinked first.

"Miss Lawson, I hear you've been looking for me." It was

Leonard Milford.

Finch was forgotten, for now.

Eileen extended her hand, and Milford took it and kissed her

fingertips lightly.

Finch couldn't help but be jealous. In fact, he was seething. He

turned on his heel

and walked away. Eileen noticed him leaving. Must stay focused, she

thought,

must stay focused.

"May I ask how you know about me?" Milford asked casually.

"Oh, around. Your name was mentioned as someone who could be

very helpful

if one ever went to Silver City." It sounded plausible. She

wouldn't have to

actually mention anyone that he might know. He accepted this

explanation.

They continued talking as Finch headed to the bar. He ordered abottle of

whiskey and one glass. Stone, who was still there, noticed slightly.

"What are you upset about?" he asked.

Finch was slightly annoyed that his anger was showing. He tried

to rein in his

feelings.

He looked up when he heard her laughter. It sounded like music.

Eileen looked

up and her eyes connected with his. She took a sip of her wine,

peering over the

glass at him. She laughed again. She was performing, for him.

The entire scene was not lost on Frannie. She could see the

exchanged glances

between Miss Eileen and a very handsome man. She was sure that he

must be the

man that Eileen had mentioned the day before.

She wished that her mistress would give up this whole scheme

thing, and just

settle down and get married. She had an offer. That nice Mr.

Westmorland had

wanted to marry her, but she had turned him down flat. Yes, he was a

lot older, but

he would have protected her, especially after what her thieving Aunt

and Uncle had

tried to do. She had been through so much in her young life. She

needed to settle

down with a good man.

Come On Eileen

( Dexys Midnight Runners )

(Come on Eileen!)

(Come on Eileen!)

Poor old Johnny Ray

Sounded sad upon the radio

He moved a million hearts in monoOur mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them?

Now you're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

And we can sing just like our fathers ....

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess

Verge on dirty ......

Ah, come on Eileen!

(Come on Eileen!)

(Come on Eileen!)

These people round here wear beaten down eyes

Sunk in smoke dried faces

They're so resigned to what their fate is

But not us, no not us

We are far too young and clever

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

Eileen, I'll sing this tune forever

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

Ah come on, let's take off everything

That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)

Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess

Verge on dirty ......

Ah, come on Eileen!

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

Ah come on, let's take off everything

That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)

Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)

At this moment, you mean everything

She had him. She had him right where she wanted him, except she

didn't know

what to do now. She wanted to ruin him for what he had done to her

father.

Even now, she couldn't quite bring herself to do what needed to

be done. She

agonized over it.

"Oh, Father, what am I to do?" She said aloud.

Frannie heard her mistress, and approached. Eileen wiped away

her tears and

continued in business-like fashion.

"Have you found out anything about our Mr. Milford?" She

asked. Because

Frannie was a servant, people felt that they could speak freely in

front of her.

"He is very rich. He owns a stake in a mine." Frannie had

picked up the

vernacular of the region. But, this wasn't anything new to Eileen."They use dynamite to for those mines, do they not?" Eileen

asked as she

thought aloud.

"I suppose so, Miss. What on earth are you getting at?" A slow

smile spread

across Eileen's face.

"What if there were to be an accident with the dynamite?" she

asked

rhetorically. Frannie could not hide the look of horror on her face.

"Oh no Miss, surely you don't plan on killing him." Could it be

that she didn't

know Eileen as well as she thought she did?

"Of course I'm not going to kill him. That would let him off

too easily. I want

him to suffer."

The dark figure scampered through the night. There was no one in

sight. Even

the saloon had cleared out. The clouds covered the moon, so that the

figure was

not easily seen. The figure paused outside of a warehouse. Once

inside, the terrain

was surveyed carefully. The flame flickered into existence. Intense

green eyes

stared into it. Suddenly, she couldn't do it. No matter how much she

hated

Milford, she couldn't go through with it, it wasn't right.

Beautiful Dreamer, wake unto me,

Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;

Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,

Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away.

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me!

2. Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,

List while I woo thee with soft melody;

Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,

Beautiful dreamer awake unto me!Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

3. Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,

Mermaids are chaunting the wild lorelei;

Over the streamlet vapors are borne,

Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

4. Beautiful dreamer, beam of my heart,

E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;

Then will the clouds of sorrow depart,

Beautiful dreamer awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto

Finch couldn't sleep. He kept picturing her body every time he

closed his eyes.

Damn! Before he could think any more about it, a loud explosion

rocked the town.

The match had burned too closely to her fingers, and she dropped

it. The fire

quickly caught before she could stop it.

"Oh, my!" she tried to put it out, but it was no use. She

hurried out of the

building just before it exploded.

She hurried through the darkened streets which were now

beginning to fill with

sleepy people. She didn't realize that someone saw her as she climbed

the ladder to

the roof and entered the window of the hotel.

"We found the match that, most likely, was used to start the

fire in Milford's

warehouse, but it was too burned to get any prints from it." Finch

was saying to

Stone and Katie. They all figured that they would never find out who

really started

the fire.

"Marshal . . ." it was Chipper.

"I saw something last night you might be interested in."Chipper went on to tell them how he had seen someone run from

Milford's

warehouse after the explosion. This person had climbed into the

hotel, and he was

almost certain that it was that Lawson woman.

They all just looked at him, at first.

"How can you be so sure that it was she that you saw?" Finch

asked.

"I'm sure it was her, sir." They knew that he was sure.

Finch went over to the hotel to question Miss Lawson himself.

He knocked on

the door, and Frannie opened it.

She was very surprised to see the handsome man standing before

her.

"Ahh, it's about time that you came to see her." She said.

"Excuse me?" he asked.

"Never mind. Come on in."

Finch entered Eileen's sitting room and there she was. He was

stunned by her

beauty.

"I need to ask you some questions about the explosion last

night."

He saw a flicker of fear cross her face, and then the facade was

back.

"What would I know about the explosion?" Again she challenged

him with her

eyes.

"Do you mind if I have a look around? It's in the interest of

justice."

She was caught. She had no doubt in this man's abilities, and if

she refused to

let him search, it would make her look guilty anyway." She nodded.

Finch went straight to her closet. It didn't take him long to

find the very dress

that she was wearing the night before.

"This dress has soot on it, and it smells of smoke. Can you

explain that?" Shecould not.

"Frannie, can you leave us alone, please?" Frannie was reluctant

to leave, but

she did.

"I didn't mean to do it. It was an accident." She could tell

that he was having

trouble believing her.

"You have to tell me everything. Don't leave anything out."

He went over and sat down.

"I'm really from England."

Finch had a look on his face that said, tell me something I

don't know.

"My father died a few months ago. They said that he had

committed suicide. I

had to go and live with my Aunt and Uncle who treated me like dirt.

Then, I found

out that my father had been left some money by his friend Sir Henry

Collingswood.

Dad didn't know about it before he died. After I became an heiress,

my Aunt and

Uncle tried to get the money. I only wanted to do one thing with the

money."

Eileen saw that Finch was not following her story. She stood

and began to

pace.

"My father had invested some money in the Milford mine. He

thought that the

mine. He thought that the mine had gone under, and he lost all of

his money, all of

it. Aunt Elizabeth had a party, and there was a man there who had

known Milford.

He said that the mine was very profitable. My father never received

any money

from it."

He sensed her anger, and he couldn't blame her.

"I went over to my father's solicitor, Roger Westmorland, andtold him of my

plans of coming to America and finding Milford. I wanted to ruin

him."

Finch realized that she was actually confessing to the crime.

She could see what

he was thinking.

"I went there to start the fire, but, in the end, I couldn't do

it. But, I dropped the

match. That's what started the fire." Even she didn't believe

herself. She would

hate to know what he was thinking now.

He watched her face. Her story sounded far-fetched, but he could

tell that she

was telling the truth. It had been a horrible accident. Fortunately,

no one had gotten

hurt.

"I am willing to pay for any damage." She said.

"Well, I'm sure that would make Milford happy." He said

sarcastically. He

stood and went over to where she was standing. He was standing too

closely now.

She could feel his breath on her face. She had been looking down.

She knew that

all she had to do was raise her head slightly, and she would be

looking into those

intense eyes.

He could feel it, too. He wanted her to look at him. He wanted

to see those

green eyes. He placed his fingers under her chin, and gently lifted

it so that he

could look into those lovely eyes.

He could feel his heart slamming against his chest, and he

almost thought that

she could hear it, because she placed her hand on his chest.

She had never known that she could have that affect on a man.

The wonder of

it was all over her face.He knew that he was going to do it before he actually did. He

wanted to kiss her

desperately.

His fingers were still cradling her chin, so he lowered his head

and kissed her

lips lightly.

Electricity came into his mind. He thought of the numerous times

that he had

received a small shock from his various experiments. This is what he

felt like at this

moment. He wanted more of this feeling, so he deepened the kiss.

Suddenly, a bullet whizzed through and shattered the window that

they were

standing in front of. Out of instinct, Finch pushed her to the

floor. Eileen saw the

blood on his shoulder and screamed.

Finch sat with his shirt off on Katie's table. He definitely

refused to lie down on

the table; that would just be too creepy.

"It's just a scratch. That bullet barely grazed it." She said

as she cleaned it up.

Finch knew that it wasn't bad, but Eileen had insisted that he have

it looked at.

"So, you went there to question her, and someone took a shot at

you?" Stone

asked. Finch nodded. He grimaced. It might be just a scratch, but

it hurt like the

dickens.

Eileen sat there, and was unusually quiet. Finch looked at her

before he

continued. He told them all of what Eileen had told him.

Frannie was fretting over Eileen, as usual.

"Why would anyone try to shoot her?" Katie whispered to Finch.

Frannie heard her and asked Eileen, "Did you tell them that it

wasn't the firsttime someone tried to kill you?" Eileen shot her a look, and Finch

did the same.

"Someone tried to run me down in a carriage just as we were

leaving London."

The question on everyone's mind was, why?

Eileen and Finch were back in her rooms. She was packing.

"I have a plan to draw out the would-be killer." Finch explained

that they would

go out to a one of the miner's shacks on Milford's property in an

effort to keep her

safe. They would make a big show about leaving. There was no

telling who this

person was. Hopefully, this person would try again.

She was silent as she packed. He wondered what she was thinking.

He

broached another subject.

"I talked to Milford." Her eyes flew to him. The thought of him

consorting with

the enemy, angered her.

"He was surprised to learn that your father was Roger

Wellington, your name

being Eileen Lawson Wellington. He said that he had been sending

residuals to

you father's solicitor for years."

He didn't know how she was going to take this news. All of a

sudden she had

no place for her anger.

"I don't understand." She said finally.

"I think I do." Finch said softly.

She turned from him and began to pace the room. Finch could tell

that she

didn't want to believe that her father's solicitor, Roger

Westmorland, had been

stealing the money.

"Could it have been Westmorland who tried to kill you in London?"

She looked up at him with tears in her eyes. Yes, it waspossible, he read in her

eyes. She changed the subject.

"We were supposed to be married, you know." her voice was

faraway. He

wanted to hold her, but thought that it was not the time. He was

wrong. She

suddenly crouched down and began to cry.

"Everyone is gone. I have no one."

He went to her immediately and took her into his arms.

"I'm here, and I'm not going to leave you. I promise."

She wanted to believe him, but she didn't know who to trust

anymore.

Everyone she had ever loved and thought loved her had betrayed her.

Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman

Album: All About Love

Title: I Will Be Here

Lyrics: Tomorrow morning if you wake up

and the sun does not appear

I will be here

If in the dark, we lose sight of love

Hold my hand, and have no fear

'Cause I will be here

I will be here

When you feel like being quiet

When you need to speak your mind

I will listen And I will be here

When the laughter turns to cryin'

Through the winning, losing and trying

We'll be together I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I will be here

Just as sure as seasons were made for change

Our lifetimes were made for these years

So I will be hereI will be here

And you can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we're older

I will hold you And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be here

I will be true to the promise

I have made To you

and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I will be here

Oh, I will be here

http:songbook.manueladam.com

"They're going where?" Katie asked.

"They're going out to Milford's shack. Finch's trying to draw

out the killer."

Stone told her. Katie had never heard anything so foolish before in

her life.

"I think he just wants to be alone with her."

"What?" Tone asked.

"Nothing." Katie stifled a giggle.

Finch had no idea how Eileen would be in Milford's shack. After

all, they would

be roughing it, and she was an heiress. HE smiled as he pictured it.

Eileen carried her pack in. He noticed that she was walking

funny. They had

ridden out to the shack, so he concluded that she was saddle sore.

She brought the pack in and dropped it on the floor. Then, she

began bending

over and stretching the kinks out. Finch tried not to look too

closely at the tight

riding skirt and the outline of her bottom.He turned his back and began building a fire.

"So, how long do you think we'll have to stay out here?" she

asked nervously.

"I don't know. Hopefully the word will spread fairly quickly."

He said as the

fire blazed.

"Why don't you set up the bedrolls, and I'll fix dinner."

Eileen was happy for that arrangement because she knew nothing

about

cooking, let alone cook over an open fire.

She rolled out their bedrolls and then came over to sit in front

of the fire. He

came and sat next to her. The hissing and popping of the fire was

relaxing and

soothing.

He tried to ascertain his feelings for her. He found that he was

falling in love

with her, but she was so vulnerable right now. He didn't want to

take advantage of

her. But, he wanted her desperately.

"What are you thinking?" He was pulled from his reverie, and

could see that she

had been looking at him the entire time. She put her hand on his

cheek.

Finch found himself shaking. She was too close. He had to get

some air.

"I'm going to get some more firewood." Finch rose abruptly, and

left. Eileen

thought that she had done something wrong.

He stepped off of the stagecoach, and looked around the sleepy,

backwater

town. His sources had told him that the girl was here. They had even

tried to

eliminate her, but with no success. She was being protected by some

ex-Pinkerton

man. Leave it the whore to find a man so quickly, he thought withdisgust.

He had discovered where they were, and now he had to meet with

the man he

had hired to kill her.

They sat at the bar, and Westmorland was struck by how unclean

this man was.

He took out his handkerchief which was drenched in scent and shoved

it under his

nose.

"They're holed up at a mining shack about ten miles outside of

town."

Westmorland took this information in.

"I'll take care of this myself. Here is what I owe you."

Westmorland threw the sack of coins in front of the man, and

left.

The man looked around the bar before he also left. As he walked

down the

street, he saw the Widow Hadley, and the bag of coins to her.

"Thank you . . . Marshal?"

Stone held up a finger to his lips and whispered, "Shhhh."

Westmorland had no idea that the real man that he had hired was

in the jail. He

and Westmorland had never met because he was hired through a friend.

When Stone arrived back at the office, Chipper asked, "Marshal,

why didn't

you just arrest that man Westmorland?" Stone began removing the

soiled and

smelly clothes.

"We didn't have enough real proof that Westmorland was connected

at all. We

need to catch him in the act. As far as our friend there is

concerned, we have a

witness that places him firing a rifle from across the street into

Miss Lawson's hotel

room. Right now, we need to get up to that shack to help out Finch."

They gathered their gun belts and headed out the door.

Finch had come back inside with an armload of firewood. They

would need it

tonight.

He found that Eileen hadn't moved from her seat by the fire.

"This should last us the night." He said. Their attention was

drawn to the fact

that they would be spending the night alone in the shack. Eileen had

placed their

bedrolls very far apart on the floor. He began to dish out the food,

and in silence,

they ate.

When they were finished, Finch took their plates and began

scraping them out

with the sand that he found near the fire. Eileen began to make

herself comfortable

on her bedroll, and was soon fast asleep. He watched her sleep for a

while, and

then fell asleep himself.

The next morning, Finch made up the fire and put on a pot of

coffee. HE was

caught up in the sheer mundaneness of the task, and had almost

forgotten that

Eileen was there.

"Do you hate me?" He stopped and wondered why she would ask

such a

question. Then, he remembered how abruptly he had left the day

before to get the

firewood.

"I'm sorry, about yesterday. It wasn't you. It was I." She

looked at him, and

he knew that wasn't an adequate explanation.

"Things were moving too fast. I didn't know if I would be able

to control

myself." He still wasn't sure.

"Eileen, what do you plan on doing once this is over?"

She hadn't thought about what she would do. There really wasn'tanything for

her back in England. There wasn't anything for her anywhere . . .

except here.

"I don't know. I just want to start a new life."

A new life that didn't include him? He wondered.

"That's very noble, Miss Lawson, or should I call you Miss

Wellington."

They whipped around to find Westmorland standing there with a

gun pointed at

them. Finch instinctively stood in front of Eileen.

"This does not concern you, Mr. Ex-Pinkerton. Kindly step

aside." Finch

didn't move.

"Well, no matter. I will just kill you as well."

"I don't think so. Not today." Westmorland thought that Finch

was being

overly cocky for a man who had a gun pointed at him. Finch jerked his

head to

indicate a direction behind Westmorland. Westmorland could feel the

gun pressing

in his back.

"I wouldn't make a move if I were you." Stone's voice was steady

and clear.

Frannie was packing her mistress' things. They were leaving.

Eileen had

decided to move on to San Francisco as she had told everyone that she

would.

Finch didn't want her to go, but how could he ask her to stay?

Katie knew what he was feeling and came to his office to see if

she could cheer

him up.

He was looking out the window.

"What are you doing?" she asked, even though it was obvious.

"So, you're just going to let her go?" No, he wanted to shout.

He didn't want to

just let her go. He loved her.Katie watched the realization of that love play across his face.

"Ask her to stay, Finch."

"I can't ask her to stay. There's nothing for her here."

"You're here."

"Yes, but will that be enough?"

She took one more look on the town that she had come to love.

She needed to

be honest; it was Finch that she had come to love.

"Please don't go."

The tears began to flow before she could stop them.

She turned to see Finch standing there. He also had tears in his

eyes.

"I want you to stay." He clarified.

"What is there here for me?" she asked softly.

"I'm here." He answered.

When I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

When I go out yeah I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you

When I'm lonely well I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man whose lonely without you

When I'm dreaming well I know I'm gonna dream

I'm gonna dream about the time when I'm with you

But I would walk 500 miles

And I would walk 500 more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door

When I'm working yes I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who's working hard for you

And when the money comes in for the work I'll do

I'll pass almost every penny on to youWhen I come home yeah I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

And if I grow old well I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles

And I would walk 500 more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door

When I'm dreaming well I know I'm gonna dream

Dream about the time when I'm with you

And when I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

And when I go out well I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you

When I come home yes I know I'm gonna be

I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

But I would walk 500 miles

And I would walk 500 more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door