(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 8; see Part 7)
Silas marked the day in his daily journal as halfway through this wretched plan. He had slept fitfully and woken up early. His only thought was of how he missed Elizabeth’s laugh and their repartee. He was utterly besotted with her. His appetite had also been weak of late. He decided to sketch to distract himself. After some time had passed, he realized again how deeply enamored he was with Elizabeth. The sketch before him were of three pairs of swans, inspired by thoughts of Elizabeth’s own long, slender neck. Each pair formed a heart. Above the column of the six swans was a lone swan twisted into a heart shape.
“Oh, my Muse, my love, ever in my thoughts. My art reflects how my heart grows fonder of you each day. May you find me in it . . . ” Silas finished his drawing and decided this would be his next present to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and Horace were in the sitting room and chatted a while about how the household was currently in turmoil because Elizabeth had infected her parents, sisters and now her aunt with whatever ailment she had the previous day. The local boys who usually came around to milk their cows didn’t show because they heard there was sickness going around, although Elizabeth believed it was only for a day that she felt ill. So Elizabeth had to milk the cows and was feeling rather weary after this labor.
“I’m sorry you had to work so hard today. Perhaps this will ease you.” Horace gave Elizabeth her present.
Elizabeth took out the drawing from the wrapping. Even Horace was amazed at the earnestness of such a piece. Elizabeth broke the silence and said, “I can truly feel the love that was put into such beauty. Please let my admirer know that I shall treasure this gift.”
Horace now started to feel a twinge of guilt in his heart.