Lately, I've been distracted by my other Fan Fiction family the McFaddens. If you read both, you'll see some similarities in the lead female characters. I like writing about strong women, I guess. This is a Dan and Rebecca story - my apologies to the Mingo fans out there! Being gone a long time wears on your family, but can also bring some unexpected hardships. Please enjoy and I love reading your reviews!
Mingo hesitated outside the cabin. He dreaded going in. No doubt the rumors had spread even here to Boonesborough and she was sure to have heard. Some busy-body had probably run to her with the news. But seeing him without Daniel beside him and hearing him speak it would prove it was true and she would be crushed. He drew in a breath and pushed the door open.
"Mingo!" Katie jumped into his arms. "Where's Pa?" She looked past him.
"Katie, your Aunt Grace just baked a cake. She wants you and Rose to come for a visit. Where's Israel?" Mingo said softly.
"He's helping the Millers put a new roof on their barn." Rebecca said her voice flat. "Go on, now Katie. Your Uncle and I need to talk."
Katie nodded and taking Rose by the hand led her out of the cabin. He closed the door and turned to face her. She stood between the fireplace and the table, her face unreadable.
"There's coffee." She said turning to the fire.
"No thank you. Sit down, Rebecca."
She turned and faced him. "I think I'll stand."
He sighed at her stubbornness. "I . . ." He was unsure how to begin. How do you break someone's heart?
"He's captured. Judged a traitor. They plan to execute him." She said wearily. "I've been hearing it for days now, Mingo."
"It is true." Mingo said avoiding her eyes.
"I told him I had a bad feeling . . ." She sighed. "When?"
"One week from tomorrow." He said. "Becky, please sit down."
She swayed and sat in the chair at the table. "You've never once called me Becky." She said. She looked up at him and he gave her a sad smile.
"A first." He said.
"There's no plan? He's always got a plan." She sounded desperate; she was desperate.
"We are working on it." He sat down across from her and reached for her hand across the table. "I don't know, Rebecca, but you keep up your praying and . . ." He reached inside his vest and pulled out an envelope. He handed it to her. "I'll wait outside." He rose and left.
She laid the envelope on the table in front of her and rose. She couldn't open it. If she did then she would know it was all really true. He was not a man for words and that he'd written her a letter . . .
She wandered from room to room trying to calm her racing heart. She had heard all the rumors, fearing they were true. Just yesterday, she had told Grace that she just wanted to know one way or the other. She had believed that it would be better than wondering. She was wrong this was not any better.
She stood in their bedroom and sat on the bed they shared, sighing. One of his shirts hung on a peg and reaching for it, she hugged it close to her. She buried her face in it. It still smelled like him. Sighing she slid it on over her dress and walked back to the table. She stared at the envelope - longing for it and dreading it all the same; his last words to her.
Mrs. Rebecca Boone
It was written on the outside of the envelope but not by Dan. Steeling herself she sat down and opened his letter. His familiar handwriting covered every inch of both sides of the paper that she held in her trembling fingers.
I stared at this page for an hour trying to think how to begin, but there ain't no words right enough to say all I want to say to you. I just keep thinking, "Tá mo chroí istigh ionat."
It is all I can think and I ain't even Irish! It's like part of you is part of me now - which is just what that means, isn't it?
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.
I'm awful sorry, darlin'. I don't see a real way out of this, and I can't think what to say to you. There's nothing I can say that would fix it for you, and I know after all is said and done, I won't be there to comfort you. You get so stubborn when you're hurt and you need me to . . Who's gonna tell you that it's time to cry? I tell myself you are in the good Lord's hands, but Becky, I am sorry.
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.
I ain't hurt, leastways, not badly. I sit all day and wait, and think. Everything has been decided already, and now I just wait for days to pass. Mostly I think of you. You are the most beautiful woman the world has ever known, and why God saw fit to send you to the likes of me, is beyond my ability to reckon. You could've been living like a queen is some beautiful house on a hill, with maids and such to do your bidding, but instead you wait alone in cabin on the edge of the world working night and day. And you are always smiling. I can't reckon it. That you would choose to love me? I only know I am so grateful.
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.
They only let me have this one piece of paper, so I best think carefully so I can say all I want, but to be honest, sweetheart, I could write for the rest of my life, and there would still be something left to say. That's the whole point of marrying, isn't it?
Remember when Israel asked me what a man needs to make him happy, and I told him, "A good gun, a good horse and a good wife." The truth is all you need is a good wife and then the rest won't matter. I should've said that. You tell him.
The only thing I've ever needed is you.
Please, don't come here. Please. I can face what comes my way, but if I saw you . . . if I saw your beautiful eyes . . . don't come Rebecca, please, don't come. I know what you are thinking. Darling' please, for once, just do as I say.
I've got just this little space left, and all these other words. Go to Pennsylvania but not to my folks. They aren't like me, and they wouldn't treat you right. Go to my brother Ned. He and his wife, will take you in, and love you and the children. Don't stay in Kentuck. It isn't safe, even for a strong woman like you.
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat. There's nothing left then. I love you, Becky. I love you. You are so beautiful and kind. Everything in my life that's good came from you loving me. That's the truth of it. I am sorry. I'll be thinking of how much I love you even when the end comes at last.
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.
She put her head down on the table and sobbed.
Mingo paced on the porch listening to the sound of Rebecca's sobbing. She wept for a long time and he struggled trying to decide whether it was best to leave her alone, or go inside. Her crying was the worst thing he had ever heard. He stepped off the porch and stood in the yard remembering.
"She'll try and come here." He said haggardly.
"I know." Mingo had told him.
"Please, try and keep her away. I can't . . ." His tall friend sighed.
"She's stubborn, Daniel. And when it comes to you . . ." Mingo ran a hand through his close-cropped hair.
"Take her this and tell her . . ." He swallowed hard. "Well, she knows everything, already, I hope."
"She does." Mingo reassured him.
"I wish I'd . . . she said she had a bad feeling about all of this. I should've listened to her. She's 'most always right."
"There's hope still." Mingo said to him, and Daniel shook his head.
"That other business. It's too risky. One man isn't more important than an idea like freedom. I've given myself over to this fate. You tell them . . ." He sighed hesitating. "Listen, I don't care about any of that. You just make sure my Becky is safe and well. Promise me."
"I promise." Mingo had told him, but now it seemed an impossible promise to keep. Rebecca would never be well or safe without Daniel.
"Mingo." She stood in the doorway, the letter in her hand, her face covered in tears. She wore one of Daniel's shirts. "Will Grace keep the children, did you ask her?"
"Yes. She said she would. I've got two horses. We could be there by tomorrow afternoon." He told her.
"You aren't going to try and stop me?" She looked at him surprised.
"Why would I do that?" He asked.
"He doesn't want me to go to him. I know he must have told you to try and keep me away."
"He did." Mingo agreed. She raised her eyebrows at him questioningly. He sighed and stepping closer to her said, "You and Dan can't be separated, not ever. Not even death could do that. And he's wrong to keep you away. He needs you, and you need him."
"We can leave. I'm ready now." She said. He nodded and leading her to the horses, he said, "I am sorry, Rebecca. I truly am."