The wagon rocked along the traveled ribbon of road, hopping occassionally as its wheels jolted over minor debris such as fallen sticks or slight embankments formed by the previous rains. The two passangers mainly rode along in silence, enjoying the fresh spring air on their faces and nature's quiet song.
It was not long before the mare chugged up over the slight crest to look out over the town gathered there. There was the slight bustle of people that came with a workday in a small, rural town, familiar persons here and there about the neatly organized buildings set on their straight, square streets. Atop the opposite crests just beyond you could see the estates of several of the few, wealthy families of Rockhollow. Mr. Jacaby's was one of the more prominent--he was business man who had retired and moved his home to the quiet town snuggled in the lush rolling pastures. Next to the Mayor, who lingered in his stately, humble abode near the center of town, Mr. Jacaby was most respected by the townspeople. His house was a beautiful place, though not as overly extravagant as intintially imagined for such a man. It was a familiar place; the home was easily seen by many as they passed through, and his summer dances on the lawn were a common attraction when his grandchildren came for a holiday.
As Abigail and her mother entered town, passing people gave a happy hello and a wave. All in town were familiar with Abigail and her family; Abigail being the one to teach many of their children in that small schoolhouse. They drove by the general store and then the post office, where she caught sight of some young boys huddled near the steps of the small postal building, a horse tied nearby....the horse of the unusual man that she had come across the previous day.
"What are those boys doing? Going to cause some mischief, no doubt," her mother muttered as they were nearing. "They probably plan to pester that horse. You should go over and tell them to behave, dear."
"I'm not their parent, Mother, and I am not their schoolmistress right now, either," she replied, barely glancing from the open door of the building where certainly the man lingered within.
Her eyes remained there until they turned the corner, stopped before Mr. Halden's. "Don't we need some coffee?" Abigail looked to her as they both stepped from the cart.
"Hmmm....well, we are out, and you know how much your father enjoys it," she came to her daughter's side, shuffling through her bag for the appropriate dollars. "Here, we shouldn't really buy any at this time, but if Mr. Taney has some for this much, then get some."
Abigail nodded and traced her way back toward Rockhollow General, curiously looking to the post office next door. Her heart sank slightly as she realized the horse, and all the commotion that came with it, was gone. She was just so curious.
Shaking her head, she skipped the front steps and entered the store, the bell chirping as she stepped through the door. Lizzie Taney, the owner's daughter, and all her friends stood by the nearby window, giggling and murmuring amongst themselves. Abigail had never been one of them--she was a several years older and very different. They treated her with cortesy and spoke on good terms, yet she was never in on their girlish games or gatherings. But not that she really desired to anyways.
"What's going on?" Abigail stepped over, hunching at what they may be talking about.
They all turned as she burst in on them, some almost appearing bittered at her intrusion but quickly hiding it. Lizzie flipped her bouncy curls and smiled playfully, "There is a fine young lawyer in Rockhollow."
"Was that his horse earlier in the Post?"
"You just missed him," Annie looked back to the window, as if the man was to return.
"A lawyer? Is he here for Mr. Jacaby?"
Lizzie laughed, "That is what we think. But does it matter?"
Abigail opened her mouth, unsure of what to reply, but Mr. Taney entered, greeting her with, "Abigail! Good to see you here. Is there anything I can get you?" As he guided her towards the front desk, he turned to glance at his daughter and her group, "Girls, this is a business. Can you please find another place to gossip?"