Meeting Mr. Morgan
By Sally Madison
Sarah’s heart quickened as she saw him come into the room, where she was talking with her sister. The white silk and lace fan fluttered. She had seen him before and knew a little about him. Mr. Morgan was an investor and new in the community, and also an eligible bachelor. He looked so debonair as he scanned the sea of young ladies. Spotting a face in the crowd, he smiled and joined one of the groups. Sarah perked her ears as he greeted Rachel, “you are the loveliest young lady in Alexandria, my dear.” Sarah heard his slight southern drawl, and melted inside. Quickly her soft blue eyes turned to green with envy. Sarah thought ‘that is because you have not seen everyone else in this room. I’ll get your attention, Mr. Morgan.’
Holding her fan discreetly she was able to see him smiling and laughing. Her cheeks turned red with vexation. The majordomo entered the room and announced the first cotillion of the season. Carefully, Sarah sashayed through the crowd to become part of the line up at the door. Her silk fan may have been translucent, but the intricate lace allowed a sideward glance. Sarah maneuvered just in front of Arthur Morgan letting the lace hem of her hoop skirt touch his boots. She saw her opportunity; her feigned swoon
was perfect. Morgan reached forward to catch Sarah by the elbow to steady her. “Are you alright, Miss?” Arthur questioned concernedly.
Sarah spoke softly. “Thank you so much, sir. Could you please help me to a chair?”
After guiding her to a settee on the side of the room, Arthur sat beside her. Having all of his attention to herself, she pretended to be embarrassed. “I should have known better. I haven’t eaten a thing all day. It was just a spell; it will pass; I was just a bit faint.”
“I don’t believe we’ve been introduced.” Arthur smiled, entranced by her beautiful face. “Allow me. I am Arthur Morgan, of Charleston.”
“Although it is not polite for a young lady to introduce herself, I suppose circumstances will allow it. I am, Sarah Hogan.” Her smile was infectious as he stared at her. An awkward silence passed without his response.
Apprehensive about the quiet, Sarah asked the only thing that she really wanted to know. Timidly, she spoke, “I noticed you were speaking to my dear friend, Rachel, a few minutes ago, are you in correspondence with her?”
He broke from his hypnotic state, realizing she had asked a question. “Yes…but no… but actually, she is my cousin,” he replied. With great relief Sarah sighed.
“Shall we join the others?” he suggested as he rose. “Please take my arm and let me support you”, he stood and he bowed, so Sarah could hardly refuse the offer.
With a twinkling in her eye and a blush on her cheeks, Sarah crossed the threshold leaving innocence behind.