One day Rebecca woke up early. She slipped out of bed and got her dress on. She soon realized that she could not button it up by herself. Her sisters usually buttoned it for her, but they were asleep. She opened the door a crack and peeked out. She was hoping to find someone to help her. She saw no one but Rose at the table downstairs. I must be up really early, she thought as she stepped out the door and closed it. “Rose, would you come and help me button my dress?” Rebecca asked.
“Why do you need my help?” said Rose in a mocking tone.
“My sisters are asleep,” Rebecca explained. “Please come.”
“Can’t you button it yourself?” Rose questioned.
“No, can you button your own dress?” Rebecca retorted, feeling angry.
“I guess not,” Rose finally admitted, and came up the stairs to help Rebecca. “I am surprised your sisters are not awake, being that you talked so loudly,” Rose scoffed.
“They are sound sleepers,” Rebecca said.
Rose buttoned every one of the many buttons. As Rose went to leave, Rebecca noticed that Rose looked different somehow. “Are you okay, Rose?” Rebecca asked. “Why are you up so early?”
“What business is that of yours?” Rose retorted, her green eyes flashing.
“You are my sister. I care about you,” Rebecca explained. “Are you sick?”
Rose looked at Rebecca, her face showing fatigue. “Yes, I am sick, and tired too. I only got four hours of sleep last night.” Rose barked.
“I am so sorry, Rose, but please be quiet.” Rebecca said. “We don’t want them to wake up.”
“I am not being any louder than you!” Rose snapped, and left. Rebecca went to her bed and sobbed. She did not know why Rose was so mean. She was sad that Rose was sick. Maybe that was the reason Rose was so mean to her. Then a thought popped in Rebecca’s head. Maybe Rose was sick because she was pregnant! It was an exciting thought, but she could be wrong. Whether she was right or wrong, it cheered her up enough to go downstairs and help Mother, who was making breakfast by then. When everyone had their morning chores done, they all sat down to eat. Afterwards Rebecca went to the Bradley’s house.
The next two weeks were good for Rebecca. Everything went well at the Bradley’s, and Rose did not say as many mean things. When Rebecca came home one day, Mother, Annie, and Amelia were cooking; Sarah and Rachel were sewing; and Matthew and Benjamin were playing checkers while Ruth and Baby Joseph tried to take the checkers.
“Where is Rose?” Rebecca asked after greeting everyone.
“Rose is in her bed,” Mother said. “She feels sick.”
Rebecca started making some biscuits to go with dinner. Amelia snatched a bit of dough.
“Amelia!” Rebecca chided.
“You know I love biscuit dough!” Amelia said, giggling.
Ever since Amelia got engaged she has acted like a little girl, Rebecca thought. As she was rolling out the biscuits, Father, Gabriel, and Joshua came home. They had been working on Gabriel’s house all day and were very tired. Soon supper was ready and everyone but Rose ate. The meal was so delicious. Gabriel still had many stories to tell, so every meal was entertaining. It was a good night, but soon it was bedtime. Rebecca was lying in bed thinking about her day when she heard the door open downstairs. Then she heard Walter’s voice. She sat up and looked at her sisters. Annie was asleep, but Amelia looked wide eyed at Rebecca. They sneaked to the door.
“I will go downstairs,” Amelia whispered as she slipped on her dress for Rebecca to button. “It is Walter.”
Rebecca stayed by the doorway. She heard Father say, “Walter, what brings you here at this hour?”
“I came to talk with you and Amelia,” Walter said, as Mother walked into the room, and Amelia ran down the stairs. “My parents received a letter this evening from my aunt and uncle who inherited the family farm in Springfield, Massachusetts. They are moving from their home in Manchester for the weather is good right now. They said I could buy the property in Manchester if I am interested. I am interested, so I came to talk to you. If I am to buy the property, I would need to leave in three days, as they will be selling it to another if I am not there. They are giving me a reasonable price for it, and I have seen how lovely the property is. I came immediately to talk to you. Amelia, would you like to go with me to Manchester? I would never leave you behind. It is a good farm, with a barn, creek, and a two-story farmhouse. Would you like it? I have enough funds to buy it. We could get married in two days. Then we could go off together and buy a house of our own. What do you think?”
“That sounds wonderful, Walter,” Amelia responded. “We will get married in two days and–” then she looked hesitantly at her parents and asked, “Is this okay with you?”
“Yes. It sounds wonderful,” Father said.
“I am so happy for you two,” Mother said, “Though I will miss you terribly.”
After Walter left, Rebecca went downstairs. She gave Amelia a big hug. “I can’t believe it!” she called, louder than she should have. “You are getting married in two days!”
“Quiet, Rebecca. The others are sleeping. But it is so exciting,” Amelia said as she grabbed Rebecca’s hands excitedly.
After a while Rebecca went back upstairs to bed. Amelia and Mother stayed downstairs talking well into the night.
The next day, Rebecca and her sisters woke up. Annie was immediately apprised of the news. She was so excited! They all went downstairs to eat breakfast. Amelia told the rest of the family the news. Everyone but Rose showed their excitement. As soon as breakfast was over, Joshua rode to town in order to tell all the guests that the wedding would be in two days, and to tell the Bradleys that Rebecca would be busy for the next three days. Rebecca wanted to spend as much time as possible with Amelia before she left.
Mother baked the wedding cake, and Amelia started packing. Rebecca volunteered to do the finishing touches on Amelia’s bright blue dress she was planning to wear for the wedding. Rebecca sewed quickly. She was excited about the wedding. They did not go to bed until late that night.
The next morning was the day of the wedding. Mother made hotcakes for breakfast, Amelia’s favorite. Then the girls went to their room to dress. Rebecca got on her Sunday best. It was a long red dress trimmed with lace. Annie’s dress was the same style, but with pink fabric. Rebecca cried as she buttoned Amelia’s dress. “This is the last time I will do this for you.” Annie cried too. The three sisters hugged. Then Rebecca and Annie stepped back and looked at Amelia. Rebecca said, “You look so beautiful!”
“Thank you, Rebecca,” Amelia said. “I am getting married!” Then the entire family left for the church. When they arrived, they saw two of their friends in the side lot arranging the food that folks brought. Everyone wanted to celebrate with the bride and groom after the wedding. They hitched the horses and went inside. Walter was already at the front of the church with the parson. The family sat at the front of the church while Amelia joined Walter at the front.
Amelia to Walter said their vows. Rebecca held back tears. “I now pronounce you man and wife,” the preacher said. Then they all went outside for dinner on the grounds. When the meal was over, Walter and Amelia left for a day in the country. They stayed overnight at the inn on the edge of town. The next morning Walter and Amelia came by the Peters home to get Amelia’s things.
Rebecca sadly said, “I wonder when you will come here again, Amelia.”
“I do not know,” Amelia replied.
“Goodbye, dear sister,” Rebecca said, as she hugged Amelia and cried.
“Do not be so sad, Rebecca,” Amelia said. “You can visit us sometime.” Then they all said goodbye and waved as Walter and Amelia rode away.
See complete list of chapters here.