Posted by Many Flags on December 21, 2000 at 18:49:48:
21 December 1758
Womelsdorf, County of Berks
Colony of Pennsylvania
My dearest Cousin Malcolm,
This is a time for rejoicing, for many, many reasons!
Aye, a married man I am. This evening, by candlelight, I was married to the beautiful Magdalena Gutshall. Her father the Pastor, with stern face, yet a hint of a smile, married us by candlelight here in the Lutheran Kirche. MacFarlane had arrived this morning and delivered your letter and your kind greetings from all my comrades in the 77th. Magdalena’s four sisters had decorated the church with holly and pine boughs, with bits of red cloth made into bows and, well, my Magdalena, was the most beautiful lass I ever beheld. Brother Tales stood by my side and so did MacFarlane. Magdalena’s sisters fussed and giggled as they arranged her dress and took their place by her side. And then it happened!
Before the good Pastor Gutshall could begin the service to marry us, there was a commotion in the back of the church. We turned and could not believe our eyes! For there standing among the pews was Sign Talker, Uncle Angus, Uncle Quasi, Nancy, several of the sheep, and yes, dear cousin, our own Cousin Seamus, laying on a bed of furs between the pews. Three Tales and I rushed to the back of the church and we first embraced Cousin Seamus, whose eyes were bright and he had a smile on his lips. Although his head wound still scars his face and his full faculties are not evident, Seamus greeted us with, “Ahhh cousins, ‘tis good to see you. You are being married, Flags. Are you going fishing?”
I realized that Seamus’s brain was still a bit addled from the wound, but no one minded for there was rejoicing all around. Such hugs and singing and tears among all of us, no one has ever experienced. The church became a din of laughter, the baaing of the sheep, Uncle Quasi’s “hee, hee, hee”, Uncle Angus’s guttural Gaelic mutterings, Nancy was fussing over Magdalena and admiring her gown, so that finally my father-in-law to-be shouted, “Enough of this jabbering in God’s house! I have a daughter to get married off!”
The service began anew and upon the pronunciation of the bond between Magdalena and myself, we fell into each other’s arms with tears of joy and the din from all our relatives and the sheep began anew. We retired to the parish house for an evening of merriment and many toasts with elderberry wine (made by my mother-in-law, who next to Magdalena and my own mother, is the finest woman God ever created). The small house was crowded and the party retired to the outside cold several times, but Magdalena and I were safe and warm in each other’s arms as we entertained the guests. Poor Seamus, although he seems to be near to his old self, his legs and arms do not work all together as of yet, but he kept asking me, “Are you going fishing?” Each time, I would laugh and remind him that I would be traveling back to his cabin in the morning with Quasi and Angus to hunt, not fish. (Nancy has decided to spend some time here in Womelsdorf with Magdalena and her sisters while I am gone).
Magdalena and I had already decided not to spend our wedding night in our new cabin, it being too much of a trip after the candlelight wedding and the merriment. I am at this time waiting for my Dear in my in-laws’ spare room, where a pallet has been laid for us surrounded by pine boughs and candles. It is like a forest bed lighted by stars. I await my Magdalena, who excused herself to “become ready” (as she stated) for our first full night together. I am excited and my heart is raising, ...I mean racing... I believe it worse than readying myself for battle! But, no battle this will be, only a sweet tryst and an alliance of love.
I will be sending this message with Sign Talker who is headed west tomorrow morning. And, I will be leaving for the hunt tomorrow morning with the Uncles, Seamus and MacFarlane. Poor Seamus continues to be addled a bit. When I left the guests a while ago to become one with my Magdalena, Seamus again asked, “Going fishing, Cousin?” Uncle Quasi and Uncle Angus snorted, laughed and told him to hush up. It almost seems like a private joke between the three of them, for other than this mix-up with fishing and hunting, Seamus seems almost back to normal. Dear Malcolm, our Seamus even got up from his fur travois to walk a bit during the after-wedding merriment. However, I did see Uncle Quasi slip him a bit of amber liquid from a flask. It is powerful drink!
Ahhh, the door opens and my Magdalena approaches. I must close. It is late and my dear Magdalena understands that tomorrow I must leave for a half a fortnight to do the hunt, since game is so scarce in this area. My heart grieves because I must leave this vision of loveliness and goodness which stands before me, but my Magdalena is certainly an understanding woman....yes, a true woman....yes.....I must close immediately!!!
Pax Aye! May my comrades in the 77th have a joyful day celebrating the birth of the Christ Kinder!!
Oh, I almost forgot....we must speak sometime of the words “red bud”, for I have also had a strange experience concerning this. And, your dream of Wee John MacKay.... well, we will speak of that also.
Many Flags, married man of Mistress Magdalena Flags Hooooo....Ahhhhh!!!
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