Charles was outside working on the barn when Brian walked over to the house.
"Young man, where are you from? Do you have a Ma and Pa?" Brian shook his head no.
"My Pa ran off and my Ma passed away." Charles walked over to him.
"Come on, we're going in the house." Charles and Brian walked into the house where Caroline, Laura, Albert, Carrie and Grace were at the table. Caroline stood up.
"Who's this Charles?" Caroline asked kindly. Brian's hands were in front of him. He didn't look up at her, but continued to look at the floor. Charles touched his arm with his hand.
"She asked you a question boy." Charles said. Brian looked up at Caroline and took a breath in.
"My name is Brian, ma'am. Brian Cooper." Brian said.
"Hello Brian. Where are your Ma and Pa?" Caroline asked.
"My Pa left when I was very young and my Ma died a few years later." Brian replied.
"Where are you staying son?" Charles asked.
"I don't know. I've not found a place to stay yet." Brian squeaked. Caroline gasped and looked at Charles.
"Oh Charles." Caroline said. Charles looked at Caroline and then down at Brian.
"You've found a place now." Charles stated. "Albert, please take him out and show him the loft." Albert nodded.
"Yes sir." Albert replied. Brian and Albert walked outside and over across the yard to the barn.
"What's it like to live here?" Brian asked Albert. Albert shrugged his shoulders.
"It's okay I guess. I have too many sisters. Grace, Carrie, and Laura live with us and then there is Mary. She's the oldest. She and her husband Adam run a blind school in Sleepyeye." Albert eyed Brian.
"Where are you from?" Albert asked. Brian was hesitant to respond. "Are you a runaway like me? I ran away from my family a long time ago and Mr. Ingalls took me in after about a year or so. I did okay on my own, but I like the idea of living here, going to school and being part of a family instead of being by myself all the time." Albert said. "So Whatcha running from?" Albert opened the barn door.
"I'm not running from anything. I told you, I don't have a Ma or Pa. My Ma died when I was little and my Pa ran out on us before I can really even remember him." Brian said.
"Well somebody must be takin' care of you. Where are you staying?" Albert asked. Brian shrugged.
"I used to live in Colorado Springs, but not anymore. They walked into the barn and up into the loft. "Is this where I'm going to stay?" Albert nodded.
"Until you tell Pa more about your folks this is where you're staying. Supper is soon, I have chores to finish before dinner, so I should get to them." Albert climbed down the ladder and outside of the barn. Brian lay against a hay bale. Why should he go home so soon? This sounds like the perfect arrangement for right now. Ma and Sully didn't really care about him. Neither did Colleen or Matthew. If they did, why weren't they looking all over for him? Brian wondered to himself as he closed his eyes and fell asleep in the Ingalls barn.