Suitors & Weddings

“I love sunsets, don’t you?”

“Yes. They make me think of God.”

“Freddy, what do you think of Mr. Howard?” Mr. Howard was the solicitor whom she had been seeing a lot of.

“I like him, Charlotte. I think he’s a very fine man.”

Charlotte smiled. “I’m happy you think so. I like him very much.”

“Good. And it seems like your entire family likes him too.”

“Yes, they do. I think he’s going to ask Daddy for my hand in marriage this evening.”

“That would be good. Then, I’ll have three weddings to attend.”


“Yes, Rebecca Johnson’s, my cousin, Louise’s and yours.”

“My goodness. Three weddings! Well, I happen to love weddings.”

“Maybe, there will be a fourth.”

“A fourth? Whose, pray tell?”



“Yes. Haven’t you noticed how receptive she is to Mr. Clayton’s attentions.”

“Yes, I have. Poor Mr. Alden, Mr. Buckley, Mr. Clark and Mr. Davenport. They don’t have any hope of securing her affections now. She thinks them very dull but not so of Mr. Clayton. I think they’re well matched, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do.”

“What about you, Freddy? No wedding bells yet?”

“No. I have to meet the young lady first before there could be any wedding bells.”

“But there are so many single ladies here in Charleston. You mean to say that none of them tickle your fancy? I find that very hard to believe, Freddy.”

Truth be told, he wasn’t interested in any of the young ladies in Charleston because of Hester. Hester. He wondered how Charlotte would react if she knew that he was falling in love with his mother’s house slave. Would she be repulsed? Would she condemn him for loving a negress? Would she think him foolish? Or would she pity him?

He looked away and fixed his gaze on the crimson sky. “Believe it or not, but it’s true. I haven’t met any young lady I fancy.”

“Well, I hope you do. You’re quite a catch, Frederick Livingston and the young lady who ends up with you will be envied by all the other young ladies.”

Frederick didn’t answer. They stood there until the sun disappeared over the horizon and then, they rejoined the others just as dinner was announced.

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