LittleLace Chapter 5
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Moira knew what they were all thinking. Momma and Poppa and everyone else thought that she was unhappy because she was worried about Magda. In truth, Moira WAS unhappy, but not because she was worried. No, absolutely not; Moira was unhappy because she was completely consumed with jealousy. She envied Magda. Oh, how envious indeed she was, of Magda's reckless courage in running away.
How many mornings since then had she sat out on the Canyon's rim with Megan, brooding about Magda and her newly-gained freedom. As Megan played in the sunshine, Moira wished desperately that she could have the courage to leave, as well. Oh, certainly not to run away like that, and break Momma and Poppa's hearts, but to have the courage to follow her own path. Now, how on earth could she even think about leaving? Not with Momma and Poppa so upset, and feeling that she needed to help out even more now that Magda was gone. But now that Poppa had decided to move the little family back East, Moira found her spirits beginning to lift. At least it would be a change.
Moira found the train trip to be totally absorbing. There was the excitement now of seeing constantly changing scenery and many different people. She was fascinated by seeing with her own eyes places that she had only read about in books. Moira had finished the little bit of schooling she could get a couple years ago, and she still missed it. She had enjoyed school tremendously, and had been very sorry when it ended. Books and newspapers had been hard to come by, and those she had found she had devoured eagerly. Now she was seeing so many new things, and her desire to study and learn was returning full force. Perhaps Uncle Jake would have books that she could read. Or perhaps, maybe, even a school that she could attend once they were settled. Moira found herself almost daring to hope.
Uncle Jake was waiting for them when the train pulled into Boston. Although he was somewhat prepared for what he would see, he was still privately shocked at how sad and unhappy his brother and sister-in-law looked. Once he had gathered up all the luggage and they were safely in his wagon, he told them of the plans he had made. He had booked several rooms in one of the local hotels for a few days. He wanted them, especially the girls, to have a few days to see the sites. What he did not tell them was that he was hoping to distract them all from their grief and perhaps cheer them all up somewhat. He was pleased to see that they all seemed to brighten up a bit at the prospect. Especially Moira.
Moira was overjoyed with Uncle Jake's plan. She was so happy to see the North Church and Boston Harbor, and there was so much water and green trees, she hardly knew where to look next. Uncle Jake knew a lot of the history of the area, much more than Moira had been able to learn in school, and she found herself clinging to his every word. None of this was lost on Jake. He saw how eager she was to learn, and certain thoughts started percolating in his head. Perhaps he should take a chance...
The last day in Boston, Jake told them that they were going to take a short trip out of town. Eagerly they all climbed onto the train for the journey. Moira was excited. Uncle Jake had told her that he wanted to show her someplace special. How surprised she was, then, when they got off the train at a station named "Wellesley". Momma and Poppa wanted to know what was here for them to see. All Uncle Jake would do was smile.
They walked to the grounds of the most amazing thing Moira had ever seen. She could hardly believe Uncle Jake when he told her that this was a college just for women. Moira was totally overcome by the beautiful grounds and the imposing buildings. This had to be the answer to all her dreams and desires. The more they walked and looked around, the more Moira found herself desiring to come here and study herself. Oh, could it only be possible?
Uncle Jake knew he had been right in bringing Moira to Wellesly. But could the girl come here? Was there even a hope? As Moira walked around, peeking into the halls and classrooms, he took Momma and Poppa to the school offices. There, even though both Momma and Poppa seemed interested in possibly giving Moira the chance to attend, the tuition alone was far more than anything they could all hope to ever raise. Quietly, they decided among themselves not to say anything to Moira. But Moira knew. She had seen them go to the admission office, and had seen their long faces when they came out. She knew that it was far more expensive than they could afford. Quietly she continued to walk about the grounds. It could have been so wonderful, but she knew that it was not to be.
In the late afternoon, the LittleLace family boarded the train again to return to Boston. The next morning, they began the long wagon ride to their new farm in New Hampshire. Moira sat in the back of the wagon by herself, watching the Massachusetts countryside disappear from view. Soon they would be in their new home, and her days of helping Momma and Poppa on the farm would begin all over again.