I believe everyone got at least a taste of chocolate cake and the praise and thank you’s abounded for Mrs. Douglas, or should I say, the Widow Douglas. She stated that she really appreciated the school being reformed and that the students were thriving in the new environment. The parents looked at me and started clapping. I have to admit I blushed and bowed to one and all.
Finally, the music got under way again. I saw Peggy and Jonah take to the dance floor in a slow dance and they seemed to just glide together as if they could read each other’s moves before they happened. They were a striking couple and I could see some of the ladies smile and nod their heads at each other with a knowing glance. Here were the makings of a good future family for the region.
Even Jeremy got on the floor with Ruth Pry. They weren’t as smooth as Peggy and Jonah, but they really enjoyed each other’s company.
I had been helping with the punch and food when I felt a pull on my sleeve. I turned to find Daphne staring straight into my eyes.
“Aren’t you going to dance with me at least once tonight?” she asked with downcast eyes.
Before I could answer, Hattie took the knife with which I had been cutting pies and cakes from my hand and pushed me toward Daphne, who quickly whisked me to the dance floor. I am not a good dancer, but I did succeed in not stepping on her toes. I felt as if every eye in the place was watching us. Daphne reveled in the attention and was gracious enough to sort of lead the way and let me follow her.
After a few turns around the floor, I looked her in the eye and she smiled and began to giggle. I began to laugh from the pure joy of seeing her so happy. It was then that I began to lead in the dance. To have this beautiful young woman in my arms, although it was at arm’s length due to her dress, was just heavenly.
When the music stopped, everyone clapped and came over to say what a good dance couple we were. Daphne and I thanked them, then we walked outside to view the moon and stars. For some reason, tonight they seemed ten times brighter than usual. We judiciously stayed where we could be viewed and kept a few feet between us, but how we both longed to be in each other’s arms.
I decided at that moment that I wanted this woman to be my wife for all time. I looked at her and began the age-old request, but I stopped when I heard thunder on German Street. We both turned to see riders with blazing torches riding into town.