I set my suitcase down and look around the room. One bed. One lamp. One washbasin. One chair. One dresser.
A window opens out to the sight of huge grain elevators, and I realize that’s where I’ll be working in just a few days.
The railway line runs right past and soon the back-breaking work of loading the cars will occupy my days.
But my nights?
They say the saloons here are full of fighting and gambling and drinking and women, and I’m all for that. Except for the women, of course.
I left behind the only woman for me. Miss Anglin. Margaret.
Just thinking of her makes me smile. But then I think of Bill. Bill who promised me he’d keep an eye out for Miss Margaret. Who clasped my hand as if now honour-bound to be her protector while I’m away.
Bill who winked at me as he shook my hand.
My heart skips a few beats remembering that wink, because Bill is a cad. He flirts with all the women in town, especially those whose beaus have gone off to find work far from home.
I feel a little dizzy just thinking about it.
As I unpack my suitcase I see the note that Margaret had me promise not to open until I was settled in.
I sit on the edge of the bed, open the envelope with care and read her words, almost hearing her voice in my ear.
“Dear Douglas, I know you will arrive safely, and I will miss you every day. Do not worry about me. Bill has promised to take good care of me while you’re away. Margaret.”
I find the postcard that I bought at the station, and hastily write…
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