I grabbed my sketch book and pencil as my father called up the steps again.
"Kasey, get down here. We need to leave now, or we'll be late."
"Yes father. I'm on my way right now," I called back as I raced down the stairs almost running into my father.
"Good Heavens, Catherine, be more careful. I don't need you falling," he chided, taking my wrist.
"Don't call me Catherine. You know I don't like it," I hissed.
"Do not talk to me in that tone. I will not tolerate it," he warned.
"Sorry father," I said quietly. I kept my head down, staring at the ground as my father pulled me along to the carriage.
The horses began to move, and the carriage lurched forward, the wheels rattling as we traveled.
Our carriage rolled along the cobble stone path next to the train tracks. After a few minutes, my father called to the driver to pull to a stop.
"What is happening?" I asked. We weren't even near town.
My father jumped out, ignoring my unanswered question.
"Good day, Jeffery. What are you doing out here, all alone?"
Oh... He's stopping to speak with Jeff. Of course. My father is unusually sociable, and loves to hear himself speak.
I rolled my eyes, wondering why I can't linger in my bedroom or we'll be late, yet when my father decides to stop to talk, it's perfectly well.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Milestone. I like to come out here to sit and think. Heading to town, are you?" Jeff replied, overdoing his politeness.
"Oh, yes; yes indeed. Would you like to com e with us? We've plenty of room in the carriage."
"No, that's alright. It's not long of a walk," Jeff answered.
"No, no, I insist. I'm sure Catherine would be delighted to meet you," my father insisted.
"Father, I've already met him. I thought you said we were running late," I called out the window. My voice had a bit of a biting edge to it. "Anyway, he's already declined your more than generous offer."
"Now, now, Cath. Don't be rude. Come on, Jeffery. It will be splendid," my father clapped him on the back and began to drag Jeff to the carriage.
"Oh, I don't suppose it could hurt anything," Jeff sighed, almost seemingly enjoying himself.
"Carry on, Mr. Wartle," my father called to the driver.
The carriage heaved forward once more, and we were off to town again.
"Good afternoon, Miss Milestone," Jeff greeted warmly.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Cape," I replied curtly. I was more than displeased with my father--embarrassing me so.
"Oh, Kasey, be more kind," My father chided.
"Kasey?" Jeff queried.
"Oh, yes, it's her nickname. She hates her given name, though I can't fathom why," My father answered merrily.
"Father, I've told you many times before, and I refuse to answer again in present company. This is not a discussion for strangers to witness," I said angrily.
Jeff tilted his head, clearly pondering my odd remark.
"I apologize for my daughter's behavior. She's usually more contained," my father warned me.
For the rest of the journey, I kept quiet and stared out of the window, trying my best to ignore my father's cheerful chatter with Mr. Cape. I resented every foul moment I spent with the two of them.