None to soon too...to his way of thinking, as he studied the 'Dandy' in the photo from the only application received from the ad placed in the New York newspaper. He would have to do...the school was finished and the town was ready for their children to resume their studies after the untimely and sudden death of their teacher and the mother of his children.
Under the signature was a well penned postscript...Arriving April 10 by train. Ready to assume teaching position. Self assured 'Dandy'...not waiting for a confirmation, thought the rancher as he continued to study the photo.
The next day the entire town turned out to welcome the new School Master with a 'Welcome Mr. Crossley' banner. As the train conductor helped the first of the travelers down the steps, Carter pulled the photo from his jacket pocket. Not one of the disembarking passengers looked like the Dandy School Master. A hush fell over the crowd of anxious children and their parents as the last passenger stepped off the train, looked out over the crowd and spoke...
"Thank-you for the warm welcome. It's wonderful to be here after such a long journey." At that moment, the conductor, escorting two men carrying a makeshift pine box asked, "Where should we put this box?"
Suddenly everyone started talking at once. The children were crying. The train whistle was blowing and steam poured from the smoke stack as it stoked up for departing the station. Finally, Mr. Malone directed the assumed pall bearers to his wagon noting how easily they bore the weight as they practically tossed it onto the wagon.
Turning his back to the crowd, he came face to face with a pair of familiar eyes. Still holding the photo, he held it aloft near the New Yorkers cheek confirming his suspicion. He felt as if he had been punched in the gut. He took the travel worn satchel, nodded toward the pine box and asked, "Is this all of your baggage?"
Georgina W. Crossley, affirmed with a nod of her head that the satchel and pine box was all of her baggage...for now.
To be continued with Letter 'W'