Little Men

"Farewell Appearance"

Chapter Seven: Act II

Hannah and Daniel looked nothing alike really. Hannah with dark brown hair and blue eyes. Daniel with brown eyes and blondish brown hair. Daniel looked more like Emma, Sarah, and Grace with their light brown hair and brown eyes. Henry with his fiery red hair and blue eyes. Will was pensive and reasonable like the rest of the family, Hannie stood out like a sore thumb, hot heated with a temper even hotter.

"Why do you care so much, Hannie? He did nothing for you, didn't even know you existed." stated Will Davis. For the second Daniel Madison, it hurt to much to be without a father for so long. He resented Dan so much for dying, for abandoning him. Wounds that deep take a long time to heal. Hannah Rose saw it differently, it was not their father's fault that he died, she saw that clearly. Hannie couldn't leave him dead and buried- her hair, Danny's eyes, the way he walked, all belonged to their father and she needed to know more.

They couldn't have been closer, but at times Danny drove Hannah Rose crazy, like his ridiculous need to be called William Davis instead of his birth name, how everyone did just as he asked. He had always went along with everything, fitting in perfect in his life. Danny became a carpenter like Jacob, even maturing faster then Hannah. Danny and his wife Alice were expecting their first child in the winter.

Hannah had the beauty of her mother, the elegance of an ape and the manner of an adolescent male.

"You never did understand, Danny." Hannie sighed for the second time that night, looking out the window.

"Come on Hannie, don't pout. Have some tea before you get home. I miss talkin' to my big sister."

"I'm going to Colorado." Hannah Rose announced in the middle of her grandmother's parlor several weeks later. Bess, Amy, Jo, Meg, Nan and Emmy stared at Hannah blankly.

"What ever for?" Emma stated hurt, it was the first time her sister hadn't shared something this grand before to her.

"Papa's, Dan's, sister wrote me back she asked me to visit her in Denver."

"How do you know that this woman is really Dan's sister?" Jo questioned. The years had aged her, Sam was off and married living in New York City, Rob away in Europe, Nick and Jo's two younger sons, Teddy and Mike almost men at fourteen and thirteen. She had seen dozens of Plumfield students begin and end their schooling at Plumfield but none touched Jo as much as Dan, Nat, Nan, Bess, Tommy, and Emil.

"The way she described him is just like your stories, Aunt Jo. Besides she said he had a birthmark exactly where he had one." Hannah Rose offered not daring to look her mother in the eye.

Katherine Sullivan Thomas, making Daniel Madison really Daniel Sullivan, had been eleven years old when their parents Maggie and Michael Sullivan died of Typhoid Fever on the streets of Boston in late 1857. Dan was only two years old and Kate found it hard to keep track of the rambunctious Dan and their seven year old brother Paddy. One day Dan wondered off and Kate had been looking for him ever since. However, she and Paddy were sent on an orphan train out west, and Kate gave up hope of ever finding her brother. Until eighteen years later when she saw an old story in a Boston newspaper, describing a lost boy who eventually ended up in the care of a Mr. Theodore Laurence of Concord, Massachusetts.

This had stated with Katie forever: "Dan," the little girl started: "Ma and Pa are gone, they'll be gone for a long time."

"Will you go to Katie?" the dark haired toddler asked his sister looking deep in her eyes.

"No, I'll be here. I'll take care of you always." Kate had said and in the end she hadn't kept her promise. It pained her to know that Dan had died without ever knowing who he was.

Amy dropped her paint brush abruptly. She hadn't been any happier to learn of Bess' engagement to a carpenter but had let it go for her daughter's sake. Children weren't meant to be replicas of their parent's wishes. Still she hadn't been able to protect Bess, and now she wished to protect her granddaughter in some way from the dangers of the world." A young lady your age shouldn't be traveling alone."

"Grandmother I'll be fine, really. I have to do this. Besides Danny has no interest." Hannah Rose stood firmly. Everyone wished to keep their demons hidden: Bess' Dan, Jo's Fritz, Nan's baby, Meg's John, the March girls' Beth. But, Hannah didn't wish to be like her family, moving on didn't mean forgetting. "I'm going and that is all there is too it. I'm nineteen years old I can make decisions on my own." the young girl stated running out for a second time. Emma sat up to go comfort her sister but this time Bess stopped her. "I'll go."

Once again Bess knew exactly where to find her sullen daughter at the once place Hannie always went when she thought all had failed her. She stood at her father's grave rubbing his epitaph. "Why did you leave before I got a chance to know you?"

"I miss him too."

Hannah turned around quickly. There her mother stood, tears in her eyes. Suddenly Bess felt like she was seventeen years old again, alone, pregnant and scared. Standing over the grave of the only man she thought she'd ever love. "When I was young I thought marrying him was a good idea, I was in love and he was dying. I thought it was my only chance. But you and William had to grow up without knowing your father. I don't think that was fair."

For the first time in a long time, Hannah felt like she belonged.

Hannah Rose sat nervously tugging at her new dress. She was on a train headed for Colorado. The past had held her down for so long, that was the real reason why she postponed college, her life. She had been jealous of Danny, of her mother who seemed so intent on living out their lives looking forward. But Hannah had been different she couldn't look forward without knowing how she got there. She would find out about her father's past for him, for herself and the lives of her family would go on back in Concord, and afterwards hers would to.


A/N: Please review, as much fun as I had writing "Farewell Appearance" I hope you've had reading it!