I breathed deeply; I had come out of my tent and simply sat down on the ground in an attempt to get fresh air, though there was seemingly nothing fresh about it. Shifting my position, I looked to the small pile of letters we had accumulated from home. Most all were written in my mother's hand. My bit of home. My bit of normality. I felt strangely lost in this place. With the passing days, most of which sitting idle, I grew more and more anxious, more and more longing for home.
I pushed aside several of the papers to pick up one of the only ones written by Katrina. She had always been my friend somehow, even if she did get on my nerves occasionally. Why didn't she write any longer? Her letters usually made me happy; they were light-hearted and sincere, telling me of the things at home and how they missed us. And why did Mother not write anything to tell me of her? There was not one mention. With Jon no longer delivering letters, Father and I had been deprived of his occasional company, which he used to tell us all of what was going on firsthand and reassure us of how they really were.
It seemed somewhat coincidential. It was almost as if Katrina and Jon had disappeared at the same time. We all knew that they were fond of one another.....wouldn't have Mother told us if something had happened...between them? And why would they do something such as run-away, if they did....it was well known we all knew of their relationship and approved of it.
I sighed. I doubted that. Could Katrina have simply stopped writing me? But that Mother made no mention of her made me anxious....
Sighing, I came across the letter which Mother had sent to us, reporting of Ed's death and the woman--and the possible child!--he had left. I still remained in a state of shock. As his closest brother in age, we had been close and a deep sadness overwhelmed me at every thought, every memory of him. I sniffed, rubbing my eyes so I wouldn't tear up again. Yet, how could he leave that woman....how could he have done that? It made me feel like I didn't even know him.
I was drawn from my thoughts as Father and another younger man stepped forward. "Hello, Luke," Father said. I gathered the letters--trying not best to show them, yet the young man did catch a glance of them, a certain envious expression crossing his face--and stood to face the two. "This is Lewis Evans...son of the Mr. Evans."
The wealthy man's son? How did he end up here, with us farmers? I offered my hand, and he heartily shook it, briefly nodding. Father led him inside the tent, beckoning me to follow.
For a while, we talked of home and something of our past. I hardly said anything, though this Lewis Evans appeared like a decent person, though very polished and almost stiff in his manner in proof that he was in fact an Evan. If anything, he appeared somewhat lonely, as he shortly mentioned, when asked, that he had recieved no word from his family or home.
He dined with us that evening, and, as Lard had moved to another tent a few days before, Father offered Lewis to bunk in our tent. It appeared he knew no body or heard from those he knew. At first, he refused. But with some prodding, he was almost forced to give in.