Dear Maggie,Jack,Paddy,Hannah,Sam,Ben,Annie,Matt and Emily,
Goodness! Writing everyone's names takes up half the page!
As I told you in my other letters the coachline is doing well. We need Jack to help! Things just aren't the same without everyone.
Texas is beautiful although it isn't Australia. When I can I'll send some flowers from a cactus.They're yellow and very pretty.I think Hannah would especially like them. Tell Sam and Emily we'll be sending for them soon.Con and I want them here to see their new baby brother or sister.
I can just imagine your faces as Maggie reads the last paragraph. Paddy,maybe you can hear them but soon there'll be little feet pattering about the place.Oh,I wish I could see everyone and tell the new my self instead or a letter!
The baby isn't due til late January so if any of you want to come to see him or her (and Sam and Emily HAVE TO!)you'd better start making plans about August or so.I would like it if someone would travel with the children for safety's sake so take that for a hint!
We've discussed a few names already and have considered quite a few. Before we decide I thought I should tell everyone we'd like to use the name Charles as a middle name for a boy. If it is too soon for that please tell us. We don't want to hurt anyone especially Maggie.
I've just looked at the clock and realized how late it is. So I'll close now and I hope to get a letter soon.
Sam,Emily,Hannah,Jack,and I will be coming. Unfortunely the only ship we could get doesn't leave until August 13th. I hope that leaves us with time to spare.
Not all of us are sure yet on how we feel about the middle name Charles but we have all agreed that Charles would have liked the idea. You never did tell us a girl's name you and Con liked.
Everyone is excited and we all want to come but it would be impossible. With all the suggestions we have for names maybe it is good we can't all come because we'd never leave you alone! Matt has said that he thought Amanda was a fine name for a girl. That was also his sister's name,I believe. Paddy like the name Josie.Jack wants you to have a boy so you can call him Charles Withers Madigan.
If we are ever going to come I need to start getting things together and ready. I know we don't leave for a month but there is so much to be done and so little time! Ethel is going to take over the Haven while I'm gone and the girls and Sam need to have new clothes. We're going to be there over the winter so I have to make winter clothes.Don't worry about sending money for clothes for Sam and Emily.
I can hardly wait to see you again,Kate! It has only been about a year since you and Con left but it feels like forever!
With all my love,
Kate Madigan looked up from reading Maggie's letter."Con,"she called,anxious to tell him who was coming.
"Kate,is something wrong? Do you want me to go after the doctor?" Con sounded concerned.
Kate laughed,"All you do is worry! I'm fine,there isn't any reason to get Dr.Miller!"
"Oh,good,"said Con,relieved.He hadn't wanted to go back out anyway. He had just come in for a long hot day taming horses. "Kate is right,I do worry too much," he mused over this thought for a while.
"Look,Con!" Kate's voice was excited now."Sam,Emily,Maggie,Hannah,and Jack are coming! Their ship left Sydney on August 13th so they should be here by the beginning of October!"
Con took took letter out of his wife's hand. He scanned it happily.Sam and Emily were coming! And Jack! "That's wonderful,Kate!"He was very happy but,"Isn't Hannah supposed to be at that boarding school?"
"She is,but she isn't. With all that has been going on in the past year to Maggie, Hannah wanted to be with her. She'll go back to school when they return to Australia."
Maggie Scott couldn't believe the letter Kate had sent her.A baby! "Well,probably would've happened some other time.What is wrong with now?" Maggie said to herself.
Sam's voice cut into her thoughts."Maggie,we leave in two days! How long does it take to get to Texas?"
"About six to eight weeks,"she answered,still distracted. "Why don't you find Hannah and Emily now?"
Sam ran off to do just that.He remember Hannah had been across the ocean before.Maybe she would be more willing to answer questions.
"Kate is going to proud of that boy."Ben Jones interrupted this time. "Con,too. Sure wish I could come along."
"You could come,Ben. I know they'd be glad to see you."
"No,ma'am. I can't come. Too old for globe-trottin' ". Ben sounded sad."Sure am glad for Miss Kate though! She'll be a good little mother. You tell her I said so,OK?"
"I won't forget," answered Maggie,smiling."Maybe sometime they'll come back for a visit with the baby."
"Sure hope so." said Ben."Bet it'll be a little girl for Kate to doll up."
"Are you men all taking bets on what'll be?"Maggie was no longer lost in her thoughts.
"Not just the men.Annie,too."
"Ben!"Maggie laughed."How can you even think about betting on such a thing?"
"Nobody said that it was going to be easy," Kate said,to herself.
"Talking to yourself again,Kate?" Con stepped inton the kitchen."Once Maggie is here,you had better stop or else she'll think you've gone crazy! She might even try to take you back to Australia with her!"
His laughter filled the kitchen,while Kate stood at the stove,trying to decide whether to laugh with him or yell at him.
"I suppose you think that is funny?" asked Kate."You try being pregnant and running this stop-over station!"
"Actually,Kate,that isn't fair! I wasn't trying to make you mad!" Con wasn't really mad at her but sometimes Kate could be so moody! "I was coming in here to tell you that Maggie,Jack,and the kids are in San Francisco."
"They are?! Oh,Con,I didn't mean to sound that way! Oh,could we meet them halfway?" Kate was so excited Con had to make her sit down and calm down.
"Yes,they are definitely in San Francisco,here is the telegram that Maggie sent.And I don't know about meeting them halfway,Kate,are you sure you could do that? It would be nearly a week there and nearly a week back."
"You are right about that but I know I could do it," Kate said,reading the telegram. It read: IN SAN FRANCISCO STOP EVERYONE FINE STOP WILL BE IN TEXAS SOON STOP LOVE MAGGIE JACK AND KIDS STOP
"All right." Con sounded doubtful but he knew Kate well enough to know there was no talking her out of it."We'll leave the day after tomorrow if that's all right with you."
"Fine. I'll get some things together tonight and finish packing tomorrow."
San Francisco, California
"Now all three of you stay by me. I don't want any of you getting lost." Maggie told Emily, Hannah, and Sam."Jack will be back soon with our tickets to Lamy."
"Yes, ma'am," the children chroused.
Maggie smiled. They were all growing up so fast. Hannah was already thirteen, Emily would be thirteen in just a few weeks and Sam was fourteen.
"Just wait til we get there, Emily. You're going to like Kate and Con a lot, you'll see." Sam told his sister.
"It's only a few days til we reach New Mexico. I can hardly wait to get there." Hannah said."I haven't seen Kate and Con in such a long time!"
I hope they like me. No one has ever wanted me before." Emily said the last sentence so softly that no one but Maggie, who was sitting next to Emily on the bench.
Maggie sighed inaudibly. No matter what Maggie said or what Kate wrote in her letters Emily couldn't believe someone really did want her.
"Course, they'll like you! Why wouldn't they?" Sam assured his sister. Hannah nodded in agreement.
Just then Jack came up with five yellow pasteboard tickets in his hand."Look what I've got!" He drew from his coat pocket three brightly colored lollipops." Don't know if you kids will like them or not but the bloke who sold me these tickets," he held up the train tickets," asked if I had any kids traveling with me and gave them to me." Jack gave Emily the yellow one, Hannah received the purple, and Sam the green.
"Thanks, Jack." Sam said. The girls said their thank yous,too.
"When does the train leave,Jack?" Maggie asked.
"In forty-five minutes." Jack answered.
"You told me to get tickets on the next train to Lamy and that is what I did." Jack told her.
"All right then. Children, come along, we've got several things to do before we can board the train." Maggie told the children.
They hurried toward the luggage depot to tell the clerk which train to put their luggage on.
"May I help you?" The tall, balding man at the front desk asked them.
"Yes, you can. We want the luggage which is marked Emily Madigan, Hannah Scott, John A.Taylor, Margaret Scott, and Samuel Madigan to be put on train number forty bound to Lamy, which leaves in forty-five minutes." Jack told him.
"All right. The names are clearly marked, correct?" the man asked, bored.
"OK, I'm going to repeat the names so to make sure I wrote them correctly. Emily Madigan, Samuel Madigan, Hannah Scott, Margaret Scott, and John A.Taylor. Am I right?"
Yes. Thank you." Jack then led them out of the luggage depot to the noisy train station.
"Jack, how do we know which one is number 40 to Lamy?" Emily asked, curiously.
"See, near the engine?" Jack pointed out the different numbers on the soot-covered trains. "There's 44, 41, 14, 53, and there is 40! All aboard for Lamy, New Mexico and beyond!"
"I understand, Dr.Miller. It isn't really that far to Santa Fe though." Kate said,hopefully. Dr.Thaddeus Miller had just told her that it wouldn't be safe to travel to San Francisco. In an attempt to stop Kate from doing too much, Con had insisted she go to the doctor and make sure it was safe to travel to San Francisco. It wasn't that Con didn't want her to go; he wanted to go as much as she did but he didn't want anything to happen to her or the baby.
Dr.Miller considered this."Santa Fe should be all right as long as you ger plenty of rest."
"I will,Doctor." And with that Kate moved to reach for her dress as quickly as she was able to.(Author's Note: In those days it was often common for the women to remove their dresses but petticoats and chemises were kept on for properness while visiting the doctors.Dresses buttoned down the back which would have made things rather difficult. So yes, this is appropriate. And no, I don't know if properness is actually a word.)
The doctor slipped out the door, where Con had been waiting."Well,Doc?" he asked.
"To Santa Fe. No farther. I didn't really want to agree to that but as long as she rests as much as possible during the journey it should be all right." Dr.Miller replied, sighing."Himmel! Look at the time! I must get home or Anna will have my head."
The tow men laughed then Con said,"If Kate and I are to make a start on the trip early tomorrow morning we had better get home now."
"Remember, rest as much as possible!" Dr.Miller reminded as he began to leave.
"I won't forget." Con told him. Just then Kate came out, dressed, and ready to go.
"Forget what?" she asked, taking his arm.
Con thought quickly then answered,"To be careful on the trip."
"You don't actually think I believe you, do you?" Kate asked him, laughing.
"Nah. But it was the best excuse I could think of quickly enough so that you might believe me." Con answered.
"All right. What was it really?" Kate tried again.
"I'd rather not tell." Con stated, thinking what Kate would do to him if she knew.
"I'll make you look at baby things at Ainsley's." she threatened, half-joking.
"Let's go. Then we'll head to Hank's to tell him we'll be gone for a while."
Kate stood still a moment, one hand on her rounded stomach.
"What? Should I go back for Dr.Miller?"Con asked, anxiously.
No,no everything is fine. But you never agree to look at baby things so quickly."
"Well, why not? Elmer is my kid,too." Con was cut short when Kate slapped him playfully on the shoulder.
"We're not naming this child Elmer. Besides it may not even be a boy!" Kate told him.
They arrived at Ainsley's Merchantile just then so any argument they might have had over the name Elmer was cut off with Kate showing Con the pretty pastel cotton and flannel cloth for baby clothes.
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