Western Fiction posted December 25, 2012 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Breanna must close her school

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

c3-p3 Outbreak

by c_lucas

This will be the story of Caitlin Anna Wiley. Her name will change to Jo Wiley when, as an orphan, she will be arrested for stealing an apple, valued at two cents.

MAY, 1877
Ending of the last chapter:

Mrs. Doyle, Lila’s mother, walked in followed by the two girls. “Top of th’ morning, ta yeh. These two be chasing a bully from th’ park.”
Kathleen looked at Lila and Caitlin. “Would that be Timothy Flannigan?” She stared at her daughter, who nodded.
“Lila be getting a drink of water and Timothy be sneaking behind her. He be forcing her face into th’ fountain. I be getting behind him and giving him another lesson. He released Lila, grabbed me legs and threw me down. Lila started ta give him a lesson. She missed, but I be getting up and kicking his right leg. He ran off.”
 “Pumpkin, yeh best be telling Mrs. Doyle, what yeh be telling me.” Kathleen took a sip of tea.
“Do I need ta be getting me Mantle of Truth?” Breanna asked.
Lila’s face paled. Caitlin took her hand. “No ma’am, we be telling th’ truth, this time.”
Timothy Flannigan worked by the light of the midnight moon. He carried bucket after bucket of contaminated water and dumped them over the park’s water fountain.  “Now, that should pay back Lila and Caitlin for what they did ta me.”  He returned home, unseen and slipped into his bed. During the following week, the rains removed most of the contaminated waters. Three weeks later, Timothy Flannigan showed signs of having Cholera.
June 1877
Breanna Sullivan could not understand why five of her seventeen students, including Lila and Caitlin, were stricken with Chicken Pox and two with Cholera. That be seven students. She reread the letter from the Superintendent ordering her to close her school until the diseases had run their course.
I be closing th’ school and sending th’ children home. One of us must visit and tell th’ mudders how ta treat th’ two diseases.
Someone knocked softly on the clinic door. Mrs. Sullivan answered and welcomed Father Paul Slocum to enter.
“Please make yerself comfortable and let me get yeh a cuppa tay.”
“Thank you, but I have come seeking your help.”
Breanna poured a cup of tea and set it on the table for her guest. “Please be seated. Fader; How can I be of hep ta yeh?”
“You know a couple of weeks ago, we lost Timothy Flannigan to Cholera.  We know three cases, two girls and a boy have Cholera. The Sisters have quarantined them, but the Reverend Mother is worried they will not recover. There’s a total of twenty four children in our infirmary. We’re wondering if you will look at them.”
Breanna walked behind the stove where five lines of twine hung from the ceiling. She pulled the fourth and fifth line.
The priest watched her movements. Two small cowbells in a different area sounded a soft note.
Breanna turned toward the Father. “Wait a few minutes so yeh not be repeating yerself.”  She poured and placed two more cups of tea on the table across from where she was sitting. 
A single knock and Shannon Sullivan, Conor’s wife entered. “I be just about ta come down and pick up me babies. Joleen be a Godsend. Hello, Fader. It’s nice of yeh ta visit.”
The door leading to the children’s room opened and Kathleen Wiley entered. “I be making sure Caitlin be wearing her mask and staying away from th’ babies. Evening, Fader.” She nodded a silent greeting to Breanna.
“Before yeh tell us about yer problem, Fader.” Mrs. Sullivan waited for the two new arrivals to seat themselves on either side of her. “Would yeh lead us in prayer? Please pray that yer problems can be solved.”
Everyone sitting at the table, crossed themselves at the end of the prayer.  For the next forty-five minutes the priest talked about the children’s illnesses and the nun’s attempt to heal them. He answered each question as completely as possible.
“Yeh be having twenty-four children at th’ convent’s infirmary and most are not in quarantine?” Breanna asked.
“We have others being treated at their homes.” 
“Mrs. Wiley and me be getting together some supplies and will meet with the Reverend Mudder in about an hour.”
“Do you needing anything? I can help you carry whatever you need.”
“Nay, Fader, we will need yer assistance when we arrive.” 
The three women waited until the priest left before holding hands.
Breanna prayed using an old form of Latin mixed with modern words. “Brigit, yer healing powers be needed…
                            Brigit, Mudder of Healers,

                             Goddess of light and fire.
            We be coming ta yeh seeking yer guidance.
      By yer radiance and light, yeh have healed many.
               We be asking for yer light and fire.
Our children and their parents be needing yer healing presence.
                Bless yeh, Daughter of Dagda.
       Yeh be guiding us down yer healing path.
      Blessed be Goddess of th’ Healing Flame.
                       We be thanking yeh.
The women continued to hold hands as a pink mist flowed over them and into their hearts. “Blessed be, thank yeh, Briget.”  Breanna withdrew her hands and the three women crossed themselves. They repeated “Hail Mary,” in union.
“We be taking th’ forty first book of me Heather’s notes and a large bottle of Epson Solution.” Breanna walked toward her daughter’s collection.
In the late afternoon, Breanna and Kathleen, wearing ankle-length, long sleeve dresses carried their few burdens. Breanna carried Mrs. Kennedy’s old healing carpetbag. Kathleen carried the notebook and a gallon bottle of Epsom water. “I be right sorry th’ powers ta be closed our school.”
“It’ll only be for a few weeks. Ragan, Shannon and Joleen be sterilizing th’ room and preparing for our school’s reopening.
“Our children be getting praised from th’ Superintendant for their good test scores.”
“Th’ credit goes ta Ragan and Wolfgang. They be working together ta keep our students’ attention. He be taking his sixth and seventh graders ta task. His lectures be funny, but his tests be hard. None of his students be wanting ta disappoint him.”
They walked along in silence for a few minutes. “Yeh be knowing th’ Reverend Mudder not be liking yer starting yer own school.”
“She and Fader Slocum not be liking th’ wrath of th’ bishop over them causing th’ lost of funds. Cullen be sending money straight ta th’ bishop. He not be letting Reverend Mudder Ruth or Fader Paul know about it. I believe th’ bishop not be mentioning it, either.”
“I be wondering why th’ good fader requested our hep.”
“Me Cullen be telling me, last week, Father Paul would be coming. Also, I be closing th’ school. He still be paying Shannon and Ragan their salaries. He even be giving Joleen fifty cents a week for handling th’ nursery and her drawings. He be having a grand portrait of hisself in his new office.”
“Aye, Joleen be blessed by God for her drawings and paintings. She be making a beautiful painting of me and my cailin.”
Soon, they walked around back of the church and knocked on Father Paul's office door. After a brief greeting, the three walked over to the convent.
Breanna walked in behind Father Paul, with Kathleen following.
“Thank you for coming. The infirmary is this way,” Mother Ruth started toward a door.
Breanna stood still. “I would like ta see yeh and yer nuns, first. Would yeh please gather them?”
The Reverend Mother looked at Father Paul who remained silent.
“Alright, I will get them for you.” She left.
“Father, yeh best be teaching forgiveness and repentance. Mudder Ruth not be forgiving me for starting me own school.”
“We had a bit of a disagreement about me asking you to come.”
Breanna glanced at Kathleen before turning her attention to the priest. “We’ll be stirring th’ pot when I be talking with all of yeh.”
The door opened and Mother Ruth entered with ten of her nuns.
“Be this everybody?” Breanna counted ten nuns when there should be twelve. Sister Abigail and another nun were missing.
“Yes, Sister Abigail and her friend, Sister Rachel, left the order. They were caught in a compromising situation and relieved of their vows.”
“I be wanting all of yeh ta stand in a line and hold out yer hands. Yeh, too, Fader.” Ignoring the hostile looks, Breanna studied each hand and made note of the clothing.  She frowned. “Haven’t any of yeh heard about germs?”
A mosquito landed on the back of Kathleen’s hand. She slapped at it and it flew away, leaving the tell-tell markings of a bite.
Cholera – Early forms of treatment.
Chicken Pox
Prayer of healing


Image source is Google images

Evil Eddie voiced his opinion of my trying to center my prayer. I lost.

Brigid is the name the Catholic Church gave Brigit when they proclaim her a Saint. It increased the number of convert from the Celtic Belief System.

Abbreviated list of dialect:
Divil = Devil
Fader = Father
Mudder = Mother
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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