Once the dessert was wolfed down by the ladies and John Lee, I proposed that we all turn in. We would be up at the crack of dawn to begin our trek back to Shepherdstown in the morning.
Reluctantly, everyone rose from the table and ambled back upstairs to the upper landings of the hotel. As we began the climb to the second landing, Daphne tried to get next to Mrs. Douglas, but Hattie had positioned herself at Mrs. Douglas’ elbow as if she were at the beck and call of the so-called prophetess.
Daphne and I were behind the two ladies, and they were chatting away about Mrs. Douglas’ deceased husband William. Daphne leaned forward trying to hear the conversation, but apparently, she could only catch snatches of what was said.
At the second landing, the two ladies continued up to their room on the third floor, and we turned down the hall to go to our room. However, once we got a few steps down the hall, I turned to John Lee, who had been behind me and asked, “Could ya see tha ladies safely to their room?”
He nodded and turned back to be the body guard for Hattie and Mrs. Douglas.
I added, “Tha room down tha hall from us is still yours for tha night. We need to get up at dawn, so if ya get up before I do, please wake me.”
Again, he nodded.
Daphne and I proceeded down the hall, and I opened the door to our room. We walked in, and Daphne quickly lit the two lamps that provided adequate illumination for the meager room.
Turning abruptly she demanded, “Why didn’t ya want to know what my cousin learned from tha spirit of her husband about our baby’s name?”
I was so shunned at her outburst that I just looked at her for a few seconds to recover. Then I answered, “’Cause I don’t believe it.”
“Why not?” she demanded.
“Because I have helped spirits that were trapped on earth move to tha Other Side, and I don’t remember them being able to appear in dreams to tha living,” I explained.
The answer made her gasp. She looked at me with a tinge of fear and stammered, “Y, y, ya’re a spiritualist?”
I took a deep breath and answered, “No, but, once I used to receive words about tha spirits of soldiers killed in battle, which I turned into poems. Some of tha poems created such an emotional burden that I employed a spiritual medium to help me find out what tha problem was. We didn’t solve my problem, but we did release soldiers stuck in an in-between realm to move to their just rewards. It was very gratifying to help them.”
As I related my spiritual experience, Daphne’s demeanor changed from one of fearfulness to one of astonishment and tenderness. She walked across the room and entwined her arms around me.
I wrapped her in a gentle embrace. I could feel her crying and ask, “What’s tha matter?”
“Nothing,” she sputtered. “It just seems that each day I get to see another part of you, and I am amazed at tha wonderful things you have experienced in one lifetime,” she added.
I was moved by her devotion, but felt guilty that she didn’t know my true identity.
Once she had stopped weeping, I could feel her body tense as she asked, “So ya don’t believe my cousin?”
I answered, “Daphne, I don’t really know. It’s just that I’ve never heard of tha departed spirits of family members appearing to tha living in their dreams. It’s up to ya, Liebchen. I would just treat it with a grain of salt.”
I could feel her body relax in my embrace. Then she gave me a mighty hug and slyly suggested, “Ya know this will probably be the last night of our honeymoon.”
“Probably,” I agreed.
“Well, don’t cha think we need to make it memorable?” she proposed.
“I certainly do,” I granted.
She moved her lips next to my right ear and whispered, “Well, why don’t ya go downstairs for just a minute and let me get into something more comfortable?”
I gulped and stammered in a love induced stupor, “I, uh, I’ll be right back.”
I turned and walked to the door. Opening it, I looked back at the women of my dreams. She had the most devilish and wanton smile for me. I knew I was in for a night of passion and wild abandon.
I suddenly felt weak in the knees. I took a very deep breath and walked out the door.