Frederick Returns Home

Image by Trevillion

“Oh, Freddy, it’s so good to have you home again,” Mrs. Livingston said to her son, her eyes filled with delight.

“It’s good to be home, Mother,” he replied with a smile. He put his hat and walking stick down on the sofa and walked over to her. They hugged.

“How did you like England?” Mrs. Livingston asked.

“I like it very much, especially the countryside.”

“Did you attend a lot of dances?”

“A few. The Hardcastles had a ball which Louise and I attended.”

“How did you find the Hardcastles, particularly, their eldest daughter, Amanda?”

“They were very amicable and Mrs. Hardcastle inquired about you and Dad. Mr. Hardcastle was pleasant. Amanda was engaging when it came to conversation but she was very critical of Rebecca.”

“Perhaps she saw Rebecca as a rival.”

“A rival?”

“Yes, for your affections.”

“Mother, you know I’ve never had any romantic feelings for Rebecca.”

“I know but I was hoping that would change. Some couples fall in love after they marry and they’re very happy.”

“I’m sorry, Mother, but any possibility of marriage between Rebecca and me is out of the question and it has nothing to do with what has happened.”

“Yes, I heard the dreadful news the day after it happened. What an unspeakable tragedy. Rufus Johnson was such an agreeable man. I had no idea that he was well…you know, having relations with one of the servant girls. How shocking it must have been for Annabelle to walk in and find them together like that. It’s no wonder, she went berserk and shot them. I haven’t been to see her since the incident. I wouldn’t know what to say to her or how to act around her. And, poor Rebecca. She adored her father.”

“Yes, it has been very hard for her. Her father is dead and her mother is responsible.”

“She must have been very grateful when you went to see her.”

“Well, I didn’t actually see her. I saw Mr. Johnson’s cousin instead. He told me that Rebecca was indisposed but was grateful for my visit. He said that I was the only friend who had gone to see her.”

“It’s times like these when we see who our true friends are.”


“So, who’s this cousin of Mr. Johnson’s?”

“Well, his name is Vernon and he came up from Providence, Rhode Island as soon as he heard the news. He’s staying at Frogmoss until Mr. Johnson’s brother arrives. He will be the new owner.”

“Neal Johnson is a nice, quiet man, not as handsome as Rufus but quite likable. His wife, Emmeline is at Frogmoss. She arrived shortly after Rebecca went to England.”

“I didn’t see her when I went to Frogmoss. I’m happy that she and Mr. Johnson’s cousin are there.”

“Me too. At least Rebecca wouldn’t be all alone when her mother…”

“No. When it’s over, Mr. Johnson’s cousin will her to Providence. He plans to marry her once they are settled.”

“Rebecca is going to marry her father’s cousin?”

“Yes. He’s in love with her.”

“But what about Rebecca? Does she want to marry him?”

“I don’t know. He seems like a decent fellow.”

“He must be much older than her.”

“I don’t think he’s that much older.”

“Well, I think it’s a good idea for Rebecca to leave Savannah and begin anew elsewhere. My wish for her is that she will find happiness with this man.”

“That’s my wish too. By the way, where’s Dad?”

“He’s in Atlanta on business. He will be back in a fortnight. He’ll be very disappointed that he wasn’t here to welcome you home.”

“What new and exciting things have happened while I’ve been abroad?”

“Amy Jefferson is engaged to Ned Truman, a very nice young man. The Colbys are expecting another grandchild. I’ve lost count. And, your father and I bought Hester.”


“Yes. Hester. We bought her from the Johnsons.”

“Rebecca mentioned that her father had decided to sell Hester but she didn’t mention that it was to you and Dad.”

“The sale probably hadn’t taken place at the time she told you.”

“She told me why her father decided to sell Hester.”

“She’s in her thirties and barren.”

Image by Richard Jenkins

“That must be hard for her.”

“It would be hard for most women.”

“From what Rebecca told me, it seems like they were glad to get rid of Hester.”

“Well, I’m very thankful for her.”

“They bought Cissy to replace Hester.”

“Was Cissy the girl who was murdered?”

“Yes. She was only seventeen years old.”

“What a shame. If she hadn’t been sold, she would still be alive.”

“Yes. And Mr. Johnson would still be alive too.”

“Let’s not talk any more of the tragedy. I don’t want to be sad when I should be happy because you’re home.”

“Yes, Mother. The last thing I want is to make you sad.”

“Lunch will be ready shortly. I’ve asked Bilah to prepare smoked lamb.”

Frederick rubbed his hands together. “I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. All the time I was in England, I thought a lot about good Southern home cooking.”

His mother smiled. “I’ve sure you did. Why don’t you go and wash up and then meet me on the back porch where we will be having our lunch?”

“That’s a good idea.” He went over to the sofa and took up his hat and walking stick. After casting a glance over his shoulder at her, he quickly exited the room. Yes, it felt good to be home again after being away for so long.

Sources: Wikipedia; Black Voice News

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