(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 7; see Part 6)
“Good lord, I feel more exasperation than longing,” Ebenezer thought as he walked through the market, looking for a present for Elizabeth. He heard a man calling out, “Geese for sale. Buy a lot of six for the price of three. Ready for laying. Geese for sale!”
Ebenezer walked toward the peddler and saw a gaggle of geese in a fenced area. A buxom, young woman was tending to them.
“Hullo, what have we here?” Ebenezer asked the peddler, who turned to the young woman and said, “Ursula, round up six fine geese for the gentleman.”
The peddler then turned to Ebenezer and said, “Good day to you, sir. For the price of three, I have a bargain for you, just for today.”
“I will take you up on that. I like bargains,” Ebenezer said. He was looking at the young woman gathering the six geese. The peddler noticed him eyeing her. “That’d be my daughter, Ursula, sir, and she’s not for sale.” The peddler laughed, making his daughter blush. Ebenezer laughed along with the man and winked at the girl after he paid.
Horace was still approaching Elizabeth’s residence when the door opened and both the aunt and Elizabeth were already meeting him halfway.
“I see we’re back to our fowl friends again,” Elizabeth’s aunt said, as she collected the geese and herded them toward the back of the house.
“My, oh my,” Elizabeth said. She was at a loss for words.
“I’m sorry if I’m starting to get tiresome coming over every day, even though I bear only gifts and the best intentions.”
“No, please, don’t apologize. I-I just can’t believe how benevolent this admirer of mine is. How much longer will this keep up?”
“I might as well tell you that it will be until the eve of Christmas. He wants to reveal himself to you on the first day of Christmas so by then both of you could celebrate the holiday together . . . through the 12th night and . . . hopefully onward . . . ”
“Are you saying that I may expect a proposal?”