Friday, February 17, 2012
Trial by Fire, Part 4
“Oh, Alice. What will we do?
“Nothing. I don’t know where to go. You don’t know where to go. We’ll never find our way to the river.” Alice cried. Patches laid down by Alice. He closed his eyes. Would they ever find their way? Or would they wait until it was too late?
“What was that?” Patches lifted his head. It had been about five minutes. Alice had her head in her hands and was softly crying.
“No, that wasn’t the sound I heard,” He looked at Elizabet and Cora and Ada. They had their eyes closed and were leaning on each other.
“No, they aren’t making any noise. I head something, though.” Then Patches head it again.
“Alice? Alice! Where are you? Patches?” It was a faint voice. Patches stood up and wagged his tail.
Bark! Bark! Bark!
“Patches, be quiet,” Alice said.
Bark! Bark! Bark!
“Patches! Be-oh! Do you hear something, boy? What is it?” she asked, seeing the floppy tail.
“Alice, I hear something too! Listen!” Elizabet opened her eyes. Both girls listened very carful.
“Alice! Alice? Where are you?” Alice’s hear leaped along with her feet.
“It’s my Father! Father! Father! FATHER!” she yelled as loud as she could.
“Alice? Keep yelling, darling! Keep yelling! I’m coming!” she heard him call. She looked around the corner and saw him running toward her.
“Father! Oh, Father!” she sobbed. running eagerly to his open arms.
“Oh, my Alice, my Alice.” he cried, embracing his only daughter. He kissed her forehead and looked into her tearstained face.
“Come on, now. We have to get going. The fire is very close.” He turned to get Patches and was surprised to see three children standing there.
“Father, I’ll explain later. We need to go,” she said, eyeing the heavy smoke. Four children, one father, and one shaggy dog ran through the smoky streets leading to the large bridge across the north branch of the Chicago River. they crossed and were finally in safety.
“Father, I have one question,” Alice said as they made their way through the thick crowds.
“How did Patches get that cut?” she asked.
“Cut? Oh, is that why he has your handkerchief around his leg? All I know is that as soon as you left to find Irene, he dodged after you. I have no idea how he got it.” Alice only half listened to her father’s explanation. She was searching the crowds to find Mother. When she spotted her, Mother looked very sad. But when she saw Alice, a joyous smile spread across her face.
“You found her!” she cried. Once she had hugged her Mother and James, Alice told her Mother and Father all that had happened. Mother glanced over at Elizabet, Cora, and Ada.
“Wait right here,” she said. Alice watched her push her way through the crowds to a couple who were crying. She saw her talk to them. The couple looked surprised, happy, and excited. They followed her back to where Alice was standing.
“Alice, meet Mr. and Mrs.-” before Mother could finish, Elizabet cried out.
“Mom! Dad!” and with that, the entire Hilby Family was hugging and crying in each other’s arms.
“This meat looks delicious, Nora,” It was October twelfth; two days after the fire had stopped. The Bakers were residing with Mother’s sister, Aunt Nora, and her husband, Uncle Benny, until they could find a place to live. They were now gathered at the dinner table about to enjoy a delicious meal.
“Joseph, would you pray for us?” Uncle Benny asked.
“Certainly,” Father replied. After he prayed, they began dipping roast, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, and much more.
“My goodness, Nora, you are a good cook!” Mother exclaimed.
“Oh, thank you. It was fun cooking for more people than just Benny and I,” she laughed.
Later that night, Alice laid on her bed, thinking.
"You know," she said to herself, “I’m glad I was able to convince Mother and Father to let me go and find Irene. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have found Elizabet and her sisters. And if I hadn’t of found Elizabet and her sisters, I would’t have been able to become friends with them,” and with that, she fell into a deep slumber, dreaming of the friendships the girls would build together, and the many years they would spend making memories.
Thanks for reading, everyone!!!