Romance Fiction posted March 25, 2012 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 

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Dr. Phillip Martin meets Heather's Father

A chapter in the book A ROUGH BEGINNING

Chapter Seven - Part Three

by c_lucas

This novel is written in the Omniscient point of view. It is about life in the Irish Slums, which filled to overflowing after the 1850's Potato Famine.


JUNE, 1875

Ending of the last post:
Again, Heather freed herself from his grasp. “We best be going before Fader sends someone ta find out what we be doing.”
“Yeh be a wee bit late for that, me little darling.”
Heather jumped when she heard Conor’s voice.
Heather quickly broke free from Phillip’s arms. She turned to face her brother. “Yeh scared me.”
Conor chuckled. “Aye, if that be only true.” He glanced at the doctor. “Me sister don’t know th’ meaning of fear. She’s been waltzing around like a love-sick cow. Now I see why. Me name be Conor." He offered his hand to Phillip, who shook it.
“Welcome ta th’ family. Yeh have me blessings. Now all yeh need is our fader’s. I need yeh and Heather ta go stand in front of Mrs. Kennedy’s door.” He left them and went back into the building.
Heather gave Phillip a quick peck. “Let’s go.” She grabbed his hand and followed Conor. Once inside, she positioned her ‘doctor man’ near the door to Mrs. Kennedy’s apartment. “Stay there.” Followed by another quick kiss, she grabbed the door knob.
Conor came half-way down the stairs and stopped. “Oh! There yeh be. Fader is waiting”
Heather took Phillip’s hand and started up the stairs. “Mrs. Kennedy was impressed and didn’t want ta let me Phillip go.” She stopped on a step passed her brother and turned.  “Phillip, this be me brudder Conor. This be th’ man I’ll be wedding, Dr. Phillip Martin.  Mrs. Kennedy has given her blessings.”

Conor offered his hand to Phillip and they shook. “Arthur told me he has given his blessing. I give yeh mine. Fader is waiting.” He started up the steps and never looked back.
Heather reached for Phillip’s hand. She released it when Conor reached the landing. He faced them for a few steps until he reached the stairs leading to the third floor. With her brother’s back turned, Heather took Phillip’s hand. The facade ended when Conor reached the fourth floor. He turned toward the couple who had their arms linked.
Heather winked at Conor, who winked back.
Phillip hesitated when they reached the top floor. “Is your Father bigger than your brothers?”
“Yes, but not by much. Arthur and Conor do his bidding without questioning it. Yeh’ll be fine.”
“Okay, let’s face the music.”
Conor opened the door and the couple stepped into the room. “They were just coming out of Mrs. Kennedy’s apartment.” Conor lied as he took his seat beside his father, across from Arthur.
“Fader, Mudder, this be Dr. Phillip Martin.”  Heather turned toward Phillip.  “These be me parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen Sullivan.”
Phillip went through the formality of shaking Mr. Sullivan’s hand, and Heather’s two brothers, before kissing her mother’s hand.
“Yeh must be hungry after visiting with Mrs. Kennedy for over an hour,” Mr. Cullen nodded toward the foot of the table. “Make yerself comfortable.”
Phillip noticed the two settings were not side by side, but across from each other, next to Mrs. Sullivan.
Heather walked around her mother and stood behind the empty chair. She stared at Phillip until he walked over and pulled the chair out for her to sit.  He adjusted the chair until Heather said, “Thank you.” With every eye on him, Phillip walked to his chair and sat down. He realized that none of Heather’s younger siblings were at the table.
Mr. Sullivan closed his eyes and crossed himself. Everyone but Phillip did the same. Phillip closed his eyes and waited for Heather’s father to bless the food.   
After the blessing, Phillip looked at Mrs. Sullivan. “I was under the impression that Heather has some younger siblings.”
“She does, but tonight Heather’s sister, Doreen, has bedded them down next door at Mrs. Wiley’s, who with Caitlin, are spending the night with Mrs. Kennedy. Shall we eat?” Mrs. Sullivan asked politely, placing some meat on her plate. She handed the platter to Phillip who started to choose a piece when he caught the look in Heather’s eyes.
Phillip cleared his throat and passed the platter to Heather who thanked him, chose a piece of meat and returned the platter to Phillip. He chose a piece and passed the platter to Conor.
Conor passed the platter to his father without taking a piece. After choosing his meat, Mr. Sullivan passed the platter to Arthur who took a piece and returned the platter to Conor.
Phillip caught on to the hierarchy of food passing and the dinner went smoothly.
The clearing of the table became Heather’s responsibility. She stood and gave a slight negative sign when Phillip started to help her.
Mr. Sullivan cleared his throat. “Heather tells me yeh be wanting ta talk ta me.”
All eyes at the table were on Phillip. He glanced at Heather who was busy cleaning the plates. These are all no nonsense individuals. He made eye contact with Heather’s father.  “I’m asking for permission to marry your daughter.”
Mr. Sullivan ignored Phillip and looked at his wife. “Do yeh have any questions of this young man, Breanna?”
She nodded and turned her attention toward her daughter’s suitor. “Have yeh finished yer studies ta be a doctor?”
“I’m already licensed as a doctor. I am working to become licensed as a surgeon and will start my residency at the new Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. They accepted my petition last January and I will start my three year residency in August."
“How do yeh plan ta take of care me daughter while yeh be learning this surgery doctoring? Love not be filling th’ stomach, or paying th’ bills.”
“If you are asking if I love your daughter, yes ma’am I do. As for income, my father, who passed five years ago, left me a small sum. Pursuant to my father’s instructions, his banker is handling the funds. I am given an annual stipend from these funds. Each year my father’s funds grow. I received a hundred and fifty dollars last January and will receive a higher amount this coming January. The funds come from stocks in the railroad, mining and steel industries which he left me. These are adequate funds to housed and feed your daughter.”
Mr. Sullivan smiled. “Indeed, there are my boy. I too have set up a dowry for my daughter. As you may know, I own a cabinet-making business. Heather has twelve and a half per cent of it. My lawyer will work out th’ details; her dowry will be two hundred and fifty dollars on her wedding day. She will split th’ money with her husband, and my banker will maintain her half. Her part of my business will remain in her hands. Might yeh have some questions for me?”
Phillip maintained eye contact with Mr. Sullivan. “My only question is, do I have your permission to marry your daughter?”
Mr. Sullivan stood and leaned over the table toward Phillip. He offered his hand to the doctor. “Welcome ta th’ family.”
Phillip stood and shook his future father-in-law’s hand. “Thank you, Sir.” He shook Arthur’s and Conor’s hands. Mrs. Sullivan remained seated but offered the back of her hand. Phillip kissed it. To his surprise, Heather was standing next to him and he locked eyes with her.
“Do yeh have a kiss for me?” She offered him the back of her hand.
Phillip acted like he was going to kiss her hand, but he pulled her close instead and kissed her lips passionately.

The spectators laughed.
“Boys, why don’t you take th’ good doctor down to Hennessey’s. Buy th’ first round and have O’Malley put it on me tab.  Introduce Dr. Martin to Hennessey’s version of the Blarney Stone. I’ll be visiting with yer mother and sister, then I’ll be joining yeh.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t drink.” Phillip tried to protest.
Mr. Sullivan pretended to be speechless. “Yeh be a teetotaler? Th’ saints preserve us. Well, boys, yeh heard him. Th’ poor doctor is afflicted with sobriety and he be wanting to marry yer sister. What are yeh going ta do about it?”
Arthur turned the doc around and grabbed him under his armpits. Conor grabbed Phillip’s feet.  “We’ll delouse him with Murphy’s Stout.” Arthur laughed.  “Fader yeh best burn some candles in here before yeh die of sobriety.”
“Aye. I’ll be having a word with yer sister. Baptize him easy.”
Phillip quit struggling. “You can put me down. I’ll go with you.”
“Nay,” Arthur said. “O’Malley would draw and quarter us if we defiled his floor by having a teetotaler step on it.” They started down the stairs and out into the street, drawing a small crowd.
Phillip noticed the group of men following them kept growing in number.  A few ran ahead of the procession. When they arrived at the saloon, a heavy-built man with a mug in his hand, blocked the doorway. 
Conor released Phillip’s feet, and Arthur pulled him into a standing position. “Fader O’Malley, yeh see before yeh a poor soul who has spent his lifetime without th’ healing elixir of Murphy’s Irish Stout. Worse, he'll be marrying our sister and will afflict her.”
“Here, brudder, yeh be needing ta be cured.” O’Malley offered the mug to Phillip.
“No thank you, I’ll have a glass of tea.” Phillip adjusted his clothing when Arthur released him.
O’Malley looked around. “Th’ divil be having a strong hold. We’re going to have ta do this th’ hard way.”
Before Phillip could react, he was grabbed and hoisted, spread-eagled in the air. Someone held his head up and pinched his nose shut. When he had to open his mouth to breathe, O’Malley filled it with Irish Stout.
Phillip spit it out. He was able to get a couple of breaths, before his mouth was filled, again. I’m not going to get free until I take a sip.
The crowd cheered as Phillip swallowed.  Much to his consternation, every time he swallowed, his mouth was refilled until the mug was empty.
O’Malley held up the empty mug. “I proclaim this sinner healed and can enter through th’ gates of heaven.” He walked back inside as the crowd cheered.
Once again, Phillip stood on his own.  He suffered some sound blows to his back and arms by means of approval and congratulations. He was pushed inside the saloon and blocked in at the center of the bar.
“First three rounds are on the Sullivans,” Arthur yelled, “and bring me future brudder-in-law th' Blarney Stone.”
A filled oversized mug, with an image of Ireland’s beloved rock frosted into it, set before him. Phillip never completely emptied the mug because O’Malley refilled it every time Phillip made some headway.


Image source is Google Images.

The history of hazing stems from crude behavior of 19th century frontier town. Cowboys, and later it found its way military boot camps and basic training rituals.
Today, hazing is a tradition looked upon as a rite of passage but is unnecessary and sometimes dangerous.

This is a rewrite. Regular readers may not get any rewards.

Caitlin Anna Wiley will change her name to Joanna 'Jo' Wiley when she is arrested for theft of a two cent apple.

Cailin = Irish for girl.
Divil = Devil
Fader - Father
Help = hep
Me = my
Mammy = mother
Mudder = mother
Ta = to
Tay = tea
Th' = the
Yer = your
Yeh = you
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