Western Fiction posted February 14, 2013 Chapters:  ...13 14 -15- 16... 

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Sean kidnaps his daughter.

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

Chp 6-pt 1 - An Orphan's Birth

by c_lucas

Sean Wiley returns to New York seeking revenge against his wife and his tormentors, Mr. Sullivan and sons.


JUNE 1877

Ending of Chapter three, part three. 

“Father, yeh best be teaching forgiveness and repentance. Mudder Ruth not be forgiving me for starting me own school.” (Breanna's speaking)
“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-tale markings of a bite.

0CTOBER, 1877
Caitlin looked up from her math and smiled when Mrs. Sullivan entered the classroom followed by two men.
“May I be interrupting  your class, Miss Ragan?”
“Yes, ma’am. You and your guests are more than welcome.” Ragan Crawford sat at the teachers' desk she shared with Mr. Wolfgang Johansen and Helper Shannon Sullivan, Mrs. Sullivan’s daughter-in-law.
Breanna Sullivan, the founder of the one-room elementary & junior high school, walked to the front of the classroom. “Good morning, class.”
“GOOD MORNING, MRS. SULLIVAN.” The students returned her greeting. They all laid aside their work and stole glances at the two men, before giving their attention to Breanna.
“We are honored to have with us, Assistant Public School Superintendent Randall and “Sheriff” Kelley of Tammany Hall.”  Breanna pointed to each man.
Miss Ragan brought her hands together and mimed clapping. The students applauded.
Mrs. Sullivan motioned for the two teachers to stand by her side. “Our classes were interrupted by the Cholera illness at the end of our first school year. Mr. Randall is in charge of a committee which studied your test grades since your return.  He will call out the names of those students whom the committee has decided to advance a grade. Sheriff Kelley has the diplomas for those who have advanced a grade, or more.” 
Caitlin jumped from first grade to third grade; Lila advanced to second grade.
When school was dismissed, Caitlin hurried upstairs to show her mother the diploma.
Mrs. Wiley lay on her bed with wet cloth over her forehead and a mask tied over her lower face. She motioned for Caitlin to stop. “Put yer mask on, Pumpkin. Th’ fever has returned.”
Caitlin laid her diploma and books on the stand by the door, took her mask off the hook and tied it over her nose and lips. “Do yeh be needing anything, Mammy?” She walked to her mother’s side, but did not touch her.
Kathleen forced a smile when the child stopped. She tried to hide her shaking. “Fetch Mrs. Sullivan and tell her me fever has returned. Be careful walking down th’ stairs.”
The nine-year-old child hurried to the door. She left her mask on its hook and held her breath until she started down the stairs to Mrs. Sullivan’s clinic. “Good morning, ma’am. Me mammy is sick.”
“What be her symptoms, cailin?” She took a sip of tea and waited for Caitlin to answer.
“It’s that mean old fever that won’t leave her alone. She quivering and quaking, it’s not even cold outside,” Caitlin added, shifting from one foot to the other. She watched as Mrs. Sullivan picked up several small packets and put them in Mrs. Kennedy's old carpetbag.
“Yeh be thinking it’s th’ fever that keeps returning ta her?” She picked up the carpet bag.
“Yes, ma’am.”
"I be ready cailin. Let’s go see how we can hep yer mammy.”
The nervous girl hurried and opened the door for Mrs. Sullivan. “Mammy isn’t going to die, is she?”
“No, cailin, if it be th’ same old fever, she’ll be over it in a few days. I can tell yeh more, after I be having a look at her.” She turned toward Mrs. Crawford. “I’ll be in Kathleen’s flat. Ring th’ bell if yeh be needing me.”
As they passed the second floor classroom, Shannon exited and looked at Breanna. “What be th’ problem?”

“Kathleen has th’ fever, again.”
“It’s been weeks since she be bitten by th’ mosquito…”
Breanna interrupted her daughter-in-law. “Would you be checking on th’ nursery and let Joleen have some free time?”
“I’ll be taking care of it.” Shannon started walking down the stairs.
 Mrs. Sullivan started up the stairs and stopped Caitlin once they were at the girl’s flat. She adjusted and tied a mask over her head. “Here, cailin, I best be tying a fresh mask over yer face. Do yeh be knowing why?”
Caitlin turned her back to the woman. “So I won’t be getting any of mother’s germs.” She adjusted the mask Mrs. Sullivan tied on her.
“Very good, cailin. Now, I want yeh to be making a cup of Rosemary tay for your mammy while I be examining her.” She handed Caitlin one of the packets she had added to the old medical bag.
Later that night, Caitlin tossed and turned, trying to get to sleep with the mask over her face. She awakened when she started her dream about the evil man  chasing her. She thought she heard a floorboard creak. That must be mammy getting up to use the pot. She turned over and attempted to go back to sleep.
Sean stopped when his weight caused a floorboard to creak. He waited for a couple of minutes before going toward Kathleen. Why does she be having a mask over her face? He stood, watching his wife breathe, before he placed his hand on her forehead. She be having a fever. He reached over,  grabbed the other pillow and pressed it down on Kathleen’s face. Several minutes later, he removed the pillow and placed it on his side of the bed.  He straightened Kathleen’s body, erasing all signs of a struggle.
A movement on another bed caused Sean to stand still. He identified the sound and moved toward it. A creaking floor board caused him to stop. The killer reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a bottle of laudanum, and unscrewed the cap. He eased toward the second bed, watching the child for any movement.  Sean pounced, pinching her nose and forcing the liquid painkiller into the girl’s mouth.
Sean  continued to pinch her nose and cover her mouth to keep her from screaming. Caitlin began to breathe softly through her mouth. Sean pinched her arm and smiled when she didn’t respond.
In the dim light, Sean noticed a child’s dress and undergarments lying on top of a small chest. I need to get out of here before someone comes to check on Kathleen. He ripped off the girl’s face mask and wadded it in with her clothes. After wrapping the girl and the clothing in a bed sheet, he picked her up and headed for the door. The killer walked down the stairs, placing his feet on the supporting edge to keep the boards from squeaking and made good his escape.
Sean carried the sleeping girl down side streets as he made his way to a different part of the city. He smiled when he thought of Sullivan and his two sons. I be settling the score in a few days. He entered the Red Light District and stopped at his destination.
A heavy-built man answered his knock at the backdoor and allowed Sean to enter. He motioned for Sean to wait in the kitchen and left.
A few minutes later, the brothel’s madam entered the kitchen alone.
Sean laid his burden on the table and unwrapped the sheet. “I be bringing yeh a fresh one.”
New Yorkpublic school system

Note: Tying up some loose ends. My next posting may be delayed.


Thank you, Reuven Azachi, for the use of your image, "The Forgotten."

The Proglogue is a list of characters and chapters' URLs.

Abbreviated list of dialect:
cailin - Irish for Girl
Divil = Devil
tay - tea

Story Line:

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