FINDING A ROSE
A Civil War time travel romance, the direct sequel to FIND ME !!
Carolyn was trying to be everything at once, new mommie, wife to her long-separated husband,
and doctor. She felt nearly overwhelmed with all the emotions flooding through her, but
managed to direct R. J. to the sterile scissors to give to Dr. Bailey to cut the cord as well as
issue other directions for the care of the newborn and the delivery of her placenta.
When it was all tended to and the baby had been wrapped in a small blanket she'd brought
and was, at last, in her arms, she looked up at James on her left still.
"Name?" she asked.
R. J. groaned on the other side of the bed. "Do McConnells ever come up with anything
besides Randall or James? We've got one of each in the room already and my R. J. combo.
Any hope for something different?"
"My father was Gerald," Randall offered.
"Gerald McConnell," R. J. smiled. "Good idea. What do you guys think?"
Carolyn was still looking at her husband. "If he likes it."
"I think it's quite fine," James smiled. "Gerald, there's a dignity to it."
"What a relief!" R. J. sighed dramatically. "Great, great grandpa Gerry. Big mouthful for
such a little guy. Turn him so I can see GeeGee's face."
"GeeGee? Don't tell me you actually..."
"I won't tell you then, Doc. Hi, there, twerp." He touched the baby's chin lightly. "Gads, you
look just like your Pa."
"Strong genes," Carolyn added. "I'm quite pleased about that."
"Same names, same faces. At least the kid gets a different moniker."
"What are we going to do about you looking so much like James, R. J.?"
"I absolutely refuse to cut off my nose."
"I mean, how do we explain who you are?"
"He looks like my younger brother. I think people will notice that," James commented.
"Well, we cannot pass him off as that," Randall explained. "It is well known around here
that you are my only surviving son."
"Did your father live in Montgomery, Randall?" R. J. asked.
"No, we lived in Tidewater Virginia and I came here only after he had passed away."
"Well, then, maybe folks around here would accept you had a twin brother who stayed back
in Virginia and I'm his son and all these strong genetics would explain why I look so much like
my first cousin here, our fathers being twins 'n all."
"Yeah, the little thingies that get passed down from generation to generation and determine
what we look like."
"Little thingies?" Dr. Bailey cocked a brow.
"If you'd like, Doc and I can fill you in on some stuff...later. I think right now the new mom
here needs to rest."
"I think I'd like that. Thank you, R. J. You're the best descendant I've ever had."
"I try," he grinned. "The other dozens are all slackards. Worthless lot."
When R. J., Randall, and Dr. Bailey had gone, taking R. J.'s bags with them, Carolyn scooted further over to the right-hand side of the bed. "Lie with me, my darling."
"Is...is it all right?"
"It's more than all right. I want us to hold our son between us. I want us to be a family."
He slid off his boots, lying atop the covers facing her. "I was so worried about you."
"I didn't realize it would be like that...that my pregnancy would..." With Gerry cuddled in
her left arm, she reached toward James with her right, caressing his cheek. "It was worth
it, you know. It was worth anything to get back to you."
He put his hand over hers. "And you're staying. R. J. says you're staying."
"He did this, you know, so I could. He gave up everything he had, James, so I could come
back and stay with you. I owe him so much."
He moved her hand so he could kiss her palm. "We owe him so much."
"I want it to be all right for him, darling. I want him to be ok here, to be happy here."
"I shall personally do my utmost to that end. I know Father will, too."
"He's an attorney, James, like the two of you. Do you think he might be able to..."
"Work with us? I don't see why not. He knows more law than we possibly could. He'll
probably have to brush up somewhat on what is current in this time, but we'll see to that."
"Good thing he's not a pilot."
"For an airplane."
"Oh, yes. Quite right. That would be bad. Not much use for pilots in 1865."
He was now gazing down at Gerry's little face. "I'm still amazed at this little fellow, that we
"At Spring Hill."
"Yes, at Spring Hill. I'll never forget that night."
An odd look passed quickly over her face and he added, "Ah, yes. I already did, didn't I? But
never again. I remember every blessed moment of it. I'm so sorry, Sweetheart, that I hurt you
"It wasn't your fault. You had no control over being taken out of my time or what that would
do to you while you were injured."
"Still, it had to be awful for you."
"It was, but I'm stout-hearted," she smiled. "And it's all fine now."
Randall had led R. J. down the hall, showing him to a room that would be his. "I gather James'
room was yours before."
"It was, but no matter. This will do fine. I have all my stuff in here now and just need to
"Did, um, you happen to bring a law book from your time?"
"As a matter of fact I have several. You might find them quite interesting."
"I should love to read them, yes. It would be a marvel to learn what legal developments there
will be over the next century and a half."
"I think you might be surprised by some of the things that are now law," R. J. smiled.
"I look forward to talking with you at some length, Son...I mean, R. J. You look so much
like James I'm still getting used to it."
"From your current appearance, Sir, I would expect you looked much like him when you
were his age."
"I did, indeed. There's an old portrait in one of these rooms. I'll show you later. Right now
I'm taking the carriage downtown to locate a cradle for young Gerald. Would you like to
come along, see Montgomery as it is now? I imagine it has greatly changed by your day."
"I bet you're right." He paused, closing his eyes.
"Are you all right, R. J.?"
"My day. I was just trying to connect with the fact that your day is now my day."
"I think you will face many adjustments."
"Yeah, I kinda figured that before I came. Not as much as James did in what used to be my
"Yes, I imagine that would be very true. You have studied history?"
"Rather intensively, so I do have some idea, at least, of what to expect here."
"That should, indeed, stand you in good stead. James said he felt as though he were on an
"I can see how he'd feel like that," R. J. nodded.
When Percy had the smaller carriage ready, the two men drove the short distance into the
main part of town.
"I've ridden a saddlehorse," R. J. said, "but have never driven a carriage or a wagon. I have
no idea how to hold the reins for that."
"We shall take care of that at the first opportunity," Randall smiled.
Percy was driving them and R. J. asked, "Was he a slave? I'm sorry if that's offensive, Sir, but
I'd like to know."
"No, Percy was born free. His parents, Joseph and Olivia, came freely into my service when I
was at university in Boston. I am southern born and bred but have never owned a slave."
"The 13th amendment that was proposed back in January gets ratified early this December."
"How many amendments are there in your day? A number more I would think."
"Twenty-seven, though there are several on the table not yet ratified."
"Twenty-seven. That is somewhat more than I would have thought the Constitution required."
"Well, in early 1870 there's the 15th that prohibits denial of suffrage based on color, race, or
previous condition of servitude."
"Ah, so the former slaves get the vote."
"The men, Sir, only the men. This is likely to rankle Doc as women don't get to vote until
the 19th amendment, which is ratified in August of 1920."
"Women voting? What a strange concept."
"Get to know Doc and you won't think it's strange at all," R. J. smiled. "Then the 18th
amendment in 1919 started prohibition."
"Liquor, Sir. It was against the law to drink."
Randall's eyes widened and R. J. chuckled, continuing, "That lasted until the 21st amendment,
which was an amendment to repeal the 18th amendment."
"Truly. That was in 1933. Of course people drank anyway, only more secretively. I think..."
He stopped mid-sentence as they entered the main square. "Ah, yes, no fountain. I forgot the
big fountain wasn't here yet."
"Yes, right there."
"Where the artesian well is?"
"Yes, they filled all that in to make a plaza and there's a fountain smack dab in the center."
The Montgomery town square then and now.
R. J. was studying everything, all the horses, the wagons and carriages, the Federal soldiers
who seemed everywhere. Reconstruction. He was living in the very beginning of Reconstruction. Good Lord, indeed! He blew out a long breath, hoping he hadn't bitten off
more than he could chew. Being inside the house had still been familiar, though all the modern
things were gone, but out here was like finding himself in the midst of Gone With the Wind
or some such. A feeling of being an alien, almost as strongly as James had felt it, suddenly
swept over him.
"R. J.? What's wrong?"
"I...I guess it's just me. I've read about all this, sure, but being here, well, that's a different
ball game and...and...well, it's just...a lot."
Randall patted R. J.'s leg affectionately. "You are not without guides in this foreign land.
Percy stopped the carriage in front of a furniture store. "Here we are," Randall said. "Let's
find your great, great grandfather something suitable to sleep in."
"Good Lord," R. J. mumbled under his breath, following Randall out of the carriage.
ON TO PART 2
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