The Life and Times of Lee Graham, Chapter Four: Almost Thanksgiving

Chapter Four, Almost Thanksgiving
by Lulabelle Gimlin

The day before Thanksgiving the year Lee's mother was expecting his baby sister, Josiah Graham returned from one of his long trips out west. He  said California was the very best market for bibles.  He said all them Spanish conquistadors and the priests they brought with them had laid a fertile groundwork for modern-day bible salesmen. 

Evidently that autumn's trip west had been a particularly lucrative one.  Lee's father came home in a better mood then usual and he brought his family presents.  For Polly, there was a set of wooden embroidery hoops, along with needles and thread and cloth.  "A fine little lady who lives in Sacramento helped me pick them out for you, Polly.  I met that gal on the train from San Francisco and we had such a nice time and she was about your age, so I figured she'd know what you would like." 

Truthfully, Polly had never been much for sewing and had no idea how to use the items her husband had purchased for her.  Still, she appreciated the gesture.  This was the first time Josiah had ever brought her any sort of gift at all.  "They're perfect," she told her husband.  "I've always wanted to learn to sew." 

Josiah Graham actually kissed his wife on the cheek then.  "Oh good!" he said.  "I was hoping to make you smile." 

Then he'd opened his big suitcase and pulled out a small white ball and a wooden stick.  Lee looked at them quizzically, noting that the ball was firmer than any he had seen before.  "It's for baseball," his father cried out, reaching into the bag one more time to pull out a leather glove.  "They're not new.  They've already been broken in by a man I met in Denver.  He sold them to me so you could learn to play the game.  That man told me baseball is the best game a boy can play." 

Lee held the bat in one hand and the ball in his other.  He had no idea at all what he was to do with them.  Nevertheless, taking his cue from his mother, the boy looked up at his father and said, "Thank you, Father.  This is the best gift a boy could ask for!" 

Josiah Graham actually patted his son on the back then and beamed brightly as if he was proud to be the father of such a perfect boy.  "There's one more present," he told his wife and son. 

"There is?" asked Polly, amazed. 

"Oh boy!"  shouted Lee.  "What is it, Father?" 

"Follow me," said the man as he led them down the stairs of their tiny apartment over the general store.  On the street, he turned to the left and walked the full length of Alma's main street, one block.  At the end of the block, there was a tiny house which had become vacant when the old woman who lived there recently died.  Josiah opened the front gate and led his wife and son up the walk that led to the front door of the house.  There, he turned the handle on the door and walked in.  He passed through the tiny living room and even tinier kitchen.  They passed two small bedrooms along the back hallway.  At the end of that hallway, there was a door, which Josiah opened.  From there, he walked into the back yard of the house, which was much larger than the house itself and which contained a line for drying clothes and an old tool shed that looked like it might fall down if the wind blew hard through it. 

"Well?" Josiah asked, as if they were to know what it was he was asking.

Lee looked up at his father, confused.  Not wanting to wreck her husband's unusually good mood, Polly tried to answer, though she did not understand the question.  "Well..." she said.  "It's...uh...nice?" she said with a questioning lilt in her voice. 

"It is a nice, house, Polly.  I hope you like it." 

"The house?  Oh yes, the house is a fine house." 

"Well," Josiah replied, "Good, cuz this is your new home." 

Just as Lee was  realizing that meant this great big yard was his now, something charged out from behind the shed. Gobbling frantically, a large turkey charged toward the family standing near the back door of the house.  Acting on instinct, Polly grabbed hold of her son and pulled him into the house.  Also acting instinctively, Josiah Graham pulled a small pistol from his pocket, aimed it at the advancing bird, and fired.  The turkey fell to the ground, bleeding from the neck. 

Josiah, turned to his wife and son and said, "And that is the last of the presents I got you.  That is Thanksgiving dinner!"

* Lulabelle Gimlin is an SL RP character of Stephanie Mesler.  The Life and Times of Lou Graham is copyright Stephanie Mesler, 2014.  This story may be reprinted for inworld RP purposes with proper attribution to its author, Lulabelle Gimlin (Stephanie Mesler). 


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