(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 2; see Part 1)
Silas chose the winning head side of the coin. He bade his friends farewell and went home to think. He was glad no one was in the drawing-room, where he sat upon his favorite chair. He mused about Elizabeth — her dainty hands, her bow-shaped lips . He knew then what to give her.
He would go look for a succulent partridge that would more than sufficiently feed her parents and three sisters. They could then finish off the lovely repast with sweet pears. Such a gift would immediately endear him to the whole family. Horace didn’t say one couldn’t write a poem with the gift. He’ll sign it anonymous, but he will make sure his prose provides a clue that might make her think of him.
Horace knocked on the door of Elizabeth Harding’s family residence.
“Good afternoon, sir, may I ask who is calling?” A pudgy woman wearing a worn looking apron asked, as she answered the door.
“Horace Freeley for Elizabeth Harding please.”
“I assume a young buck like you would be referring to the daughter. Mother and daughter are both named the same. Such cause for confusion sometimes.”
“Yes, of course. The fair, young Elizabeth indeed.”
As the assumed housekeeper was about to take leave, the woman saw the cart behind him and exclaimed, “Ooh, what a nice, fat partridge and a lush pear tree.”
Horace tried to contain his impatience and said, “Yes, I’ve come to deliver this fine present to your mistress Elizabeth.”
“Don’t be so hasty in your judgment, young man. She is my niece. I shall get her.”
Horace’s eyes widened at the sight of Elizabeth, as he took in the bounciness of her tread and the afternoon sun falling gently on her long, wavy hair, loosely tied with a ribbon.