"Hey little man!" Dan called up to the hayloft.

A tiny male face looked over the side. He smiled softly and nodded his head. Than he pulled his head back into the shadow's.

Dan shrugged and grabbed the third rung of the wooden ladder to the hayloft. He climbed up and as he reached the topped rung he placed his left foot onto the hay that was laying on the loft. After planting his right foot next to his left he said: "Hey Rob.. what's up?"

The little boy turned his back on the fourteen year old boy.

Dan looked puzzled as he walked up behind Little Rob. "Hey; are you mad at me or something?"

Little Rob kept his back to Dan and didn't say anything at all.

Dan sat on Little Rob's right side and said "Whatever ever I did to make you mad at me; I am sorry for it."

Little Rob suddenly turned on Dan and sobbed and leaned against Dan.

Dan made soothing motions with his hands and said "It's all care Rob. Can you tell me what is wrong."

"It's .... it's .... oh Dan." Sobbed the little boy.

"I think I know what it is. You miss your papa." Dan said in an understanding voice.

Little Rob nodded his head against Dan's chest.

"I miss you papa also. I mean he seemed like my father also. I just wish I had an chance to tell him that." Dan said softly.

Underneath the hayloft an soft footstep took a step backwards to the door and left.


****


After closing the barn door softly so Dan and Little Rob couldn't hear. She leaned her raven head against the doorframe with an sad frown upon her mouth.

"Oh Fritz. Why did you have to die my love? I miss you so much; so does Little Rob; Dan and all the children here at our little school." she whispered softly.

Hearing young boys's voice at the other side of the field she lifted her head and wiped away an sudden tear that feel onto her cheek.

She quickly gathered herself together and turned with an firm smile on her face and started walking toward the house. She turned her head to the sound of the boys' merrymaking and chuckling in delight as she saw that Tommy was once again attempting to catch Franz in an came of blind men's bluff.

As she walked to the front poach she laid her hand onto an wicker chair and suddenly her firm smile returned to an sad line. She suddenly remembered that she had to remain strong for the children. They need her so she firmly placed her smile back on her face and entered the house.

No one noticed Jo's distress expect for one man. He was standing on the far side of the house working in the fields. He saw Jo lean against the barn doorframe and her sudden saddens when she touched the wicker chair. He knew he shouldn't have seen what he seen but he couldn't take it back. But he knew he could never tell Jo what he saw otherwise she would accuse him of spying or pity.

The man went straight back to work more furiously than before.


****

An few hours have passed.

*Darn I can't believe that Fritz Bhare had to die. Why God! Huh. Answer me this ... why would you allow someone as nice as Jo Bhare to fall in love and than snatch her lover away. Huh. Plus why would you tear a little boy's father from him when he is only fours old. Just answer me that. Darn Damn.* Nick thought to himself as he chopped the wood into firewood.

He thought of the moment on the porch when he saw Jo at the barn side being so sad.

He furiously chopped the wood his sweaty arms going up and down, up
and down in an fury. He let his angry thoughts go with his arms.

He didn't notice a little boy's face watching him from the parlor window.

*****

Little Rob watched Nick furiously motion on the front porch. *Why is Nick so angry? I wonder if I should tell anyone?* He shook his head. *No I better not. If mama knew she would go and try to find out what is it and the mood that Nick is in he may quite and leave Plumfield. I don't want Nick to leave. Not ever.* Rob tore his eyes away from the window and backed slowly away from it until his legs bumped onto the sofa.

"Ouch..." Little Rob said as he bent and rubbed the back of his leg. He stood up again and left the parlor and went in search for the other boys to see what they were doing.

He didn't realize that he hurt it much it only hurt for an second when he bumped it. He did noticed that he was limping a lot but he shrugged it off in an four year old way and continued to look for his friends.


{End of part one}