Young Family (Chapter 2, page 2 of 4)

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Chapter 2

"Thank you, Lord," the children said in unison.

"Now let us bow our heads and pray silently."

While the others prayed, Samantha heard the front doors of the church open. As expected, Prudence slipped into the last row of seats. Samantha flashed her a smile, but her friend gave no sign of recognition. So she was still upset; this would be harder than Samantha had thought.

After the prayer, Miss Brigham began her sermon. As always, it quickly devolved into a rambling, disjointed speech punctuated with frustrated sighs. She finished by saying, "Well then, I'm sure you all know what I mean. In any case, let us finish by saying the Lord's Prayer."

Samantha hoped to get Prudence alone after services, but Miss Brigham took her arm before she could leave. "Could you lead the children's lesson today, dear? I'm feeling a bit out of sorts today. I don't think that stew last night sat well with me. We really shouldn't let an eight-year-old do our cooking for us. Not that I'm saying Phyllis is a bad cook-"

"I know what you mean," Samantha said. "I can handle the lessons."

"Thank you, dear. I don't know what I would do without you."

Samantha cleared her throat. "Actually, that's something we need to talk about."

"Oh, I see. I suppose I know what this is about." Miss Brigham motioned for Samantha to sit down next to her on the front pew. "I suppose you want to go to the mainland to look for your family. I can't say as I blame you. They are your family, after all. I should think if I still had a family I would want to go look for them. Oh how surprised they would be when they saw me! I would hug and kiss them until they begged me to stop."

"So you understand then?"

"Of course I do, dear. But are you sure now is the right time?"

"Yes. The children are old enough now. And you've got Prudence and Rebecca and David to help you manage them. You don't need me anymore."

"That may be, but no one is better than you at managing the children. They look up to you. They admire you, and so do I."

"Thank you, but I'm sure you can get by without me."

"Perhaps we can, but I would hate to lose you. And crossing the sea is so dangerous."

"Mr. Pryde did it. If he can, then so can I."

"Mr. Pryde was a mean old man. You're still a little girl. The sea is no place for a little girl all by herself."

"Couldn't you come with me? It wouldn't be so dangerous then, would it?"

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