The Scholar (Emerson Pass Historicals 3) - Page 25

“Very funny.” Mama rolled her eyes as she perched on the arm of his chair.

It was a long-standing joke between them. The first time Papa had given Mama a whiskey, she’d choked and coughed. She’d never again had one.

“I’ve never been as thankful to have the guest cottage as I was today,” Mama said.

“Agreed,” Papa said. “I’m glad they can have privacy while they grieve.”

“I asked if they’d take their meals with us,” Mama said. “We’re a few less at the table these days.”

Papa patted her knee. “You did a wonderful job with everything today. Thank you.”

“Lizzie and Matilda did all the work.” Mama let out a long sigh. “What a sad day. I can remember like it was yesterday when Pamela and Simon came here to take Louisa home with them.”

“Time marches on,” Papa said. “Whether we want it to or not.”

“Speaking of which,” Mama said as she directed her gaze toward me, “Martha Neal said her husband sang your praises today.”

I smiled, pleased. “That’s good to hear. Neal’s a hard man to read.”

“Martha said he’s been home for dinner on time every night since you arrived,” Mama said. “Which is a very nice thing for a wife with three little children.”

Papa picked up his whiskey glass. “Theo, how has your sleep been since you’ve been back home?”

He was referring to my sleepwalking, which had come back after the war. I’d had a few incidents as a child. When I returned from battle, I’d had more than a few rough nights. However, at university, I’d not had a single incident. “No problems thus far.”

“I hope they don’t return,” Papa said.

I didn’t think they would. Both times I’d had problems were directly after a trauma. The first being my mother’s death, the second my time at war.

“Have you been sleeping all right?” Mama asked.

“I’ve slept like a baby every night.” This wasn’t completely true. I’d had a few restless nights with strange dreams. However, as far as I could tell, there wasn’t any evidence of sleepwalking.

“Good news,” Papa said.

“I know you two worry about me, but I’m fine.”

“We’re delighted to have you home,” Mama said. “Being here doesn’t bring back bad memories, does it?”

“Mama, the best memories are all in this house.” The worst, too. However, those were such a small number compared to the happy ones. “Especially after you came to us.”

Mama rose from the chair to place her cool hand on my cheek. “My sweet Theo, we missed you very much.”

“I missed you too.”

“No regrets, then?” Papa asked. “About the decision to become a general practitioner?”

Originally, I’d hoped to be a surgeon. However, the longer I was in school, the clearer it became that I wanted to come home to my family and to the small town I loved. “Not one.”

Mama cocked her head to one side, clearly observing me for cracks.

“What is it?” I asked, teasing. “I can see you want to ask me something.”

“I was wondering about your feelings for Louisa. Are they still there?” Mama asked.

“I already asked him,” Papa said, chuckling.

“And what was the answer?” Mama asked.

Tags: Tess Thompson Emerson Pass Historicals Historical
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