Give Me a Chance
By Sally Madison
Most everyone had left, after expressing their condolences. The nanny had taken Mavis and Richard to their rooms, and Sarah and Arthur were having a quiet drink at the end of a trying day.
Arthur broke the quiet, “I am not surprised that Alfred Jr. didn’t show for his father’s funeral, after the stunt he pulled. I am confident that his behavior contributed to my brother’s demise. How could he have sold everything without us being aware? My brother was wise to sign over the business to me, but then I suppose that’s what drove my nephew into doing such a dastardly thing after his release from jail. I cannot believe he even sold all of your things.”
“This is true. He sold everything I own. The only things I have of my own are the things I had taken with me on our last trip abroad.” replied Sarah. “I don’t know why, but I took my one precious heirloom with me on the trip. Maybe I felt something was amiss.”
“So, what is the next move? Do you have a plan Sarah?” Arthur prompted.
“I want part of the business. I overheard you and Alfred discussing that I am already involved and subject to arrest, so I may as well assume Alfred’s responsibilities for his share of the profits. I have surmised how I was involved. All those rich people that we were befriending with were marks. All those trips to France and England were not really vacations, they were business contacts. Alfred must have brought the contraband back in forth in my steamers. I also heard Alfred say that you should marry me, if anything happened to him,” Sarah admitted. “Since Alfred is gone and you have the business, then I suppose it is the prudent thing to do. I am being passed around the Morgan family, like one of its clandestine operations.”
“You don’t understand, Sarah,” Arthur grabbed her hands and pulled her to him til’ their forearms touched. “I know that my nephew treated you badly, and my brother married you for pride, but not me. Yes, Arthur did say I should marry you, if he should pass away. But I am speaking for me. I want to marry you, not as obligation. I have wanted to tell you for a long time, but you were my brother’s wife. What was I suppose to do? If you want to be free, I will establish support payments for you and the children, but please, please consider me, for me. I will treat you the way you should have been treated, Sarah, like a treasure, worth more then the business, better than you has ever been treated before. Please Sarah, give me a chance to prove myself to you.”
Sarah had looked at Arthur many times, but this was the first time she really saw him. “If only he had been the one she met at the first cotillion.” She thought.