Ch 29 Benjamin and Jacob Court 1
Chapter 29 Benjamin and Jacob Court 1
it went… Hurd Tailor Shop 1674 Benjamin’s POV
I was working in the tailoring shop with John Jr. Joseph was with Sarah and my father was in his study taking care of the books. The girl I have been watching every Sunday in church entered the shop. I drop what I was sewing, and stare at her in awe. I have had a crush on this girl for years. I just never had the courage to approach her and meet her. John Jr sees her come in as well, but he encourages me to go to the counter and talk with her. I approach the counter and ask, “Hi, how can I help you?” The girl has auburn long curly hair, hazel eyes and looks into my eyes in shock. I pray to myself, ‘God, she is so beautiful. Help me have the courage to talk to her.’
After an awkward pause of a few moments, she comes out of her trance and says, “Hi, I am here to pick up some cloth that my father ordered from yours. He is a tailor himself. His name is Robert Field. He ran out of a certain fabric and your father has enough for him to buy.”
I thought this was an interesting development since my father never mentioned it to any of us. I said to her, “Let us check with our father because he never told any of us about this order. I asked, “JJ can you go get father and inquire about this matter?” John rushed to the back and he had my father come out of the study. He approached us with a sly smile on his face.
He said to me, “Benjamin, meet Elizabeth Field. Elizabeth this is my son, Benjamin.” He looked between us and said, “Her father and I mad this plan for the two of you to meet. I noticed that you were yearning for her at church, but you never approached her, so we arranged this meeting for the two of you. We think that this match is perfect because I know she feels the same for you.”
I looked at him in astonishment, “Are you jesting?”
My father looks at me and said, “No, I am not jesting.”
I gave Elizabeth a coy look and stated, “Hi Elizabeth, I am Benjamin Hurd and I have liked you for a long time, but I was too bashful to approach you, and I have been encouraged by my father to meet you. This is planned between are sly fathers. Do you feel the same for me?”
She gave me a coy look through her long lashes and said, “Well, I have liked you for years too. I was waiting for you to approach me, but I understand why you did not. Well, I guess our fathers were crafty in their planning of this meeting…. huh!” she stated with a wink. I smiled and winked back and stated, “I agree! We started to chuckle at the thought.
I asked to step out of work for a little while. My father said, “You are free to visit one another for the whole afternoon. I said, “Thank you father for your intervention! He said with a smile, “You are welcome, my son. I want you to be happy and I know you are shy, so I helped you along. Your mother helped set this up and she has tea and cakes ready for you two.”
I asked Elizabeth if she would like to have some tea and snacks. She said, “I would love too.” I said, “Great! We went into the house and I introduced her to my mother. My mother already knew who she was, but she played along with the plan. She had made the tea and served little blueberry cakes for us to snack on. We drank our tea and ate the cakes while we talked about different topics and found we had a lot in common. She was a beauty. She loved Jesus and reminded me of my mother in temperament. We laughed some more about how our parents had arranged our meeting, but both of us were coy and needed a push. I asked, “Elizabeth, I realize you just turned 16 years old, but I really like you, and I think we would suit. Would you be interested in courting me?”
She said, “Yes, I would love to. I said, “Great! Let us go to your house and ask your father for permission.
At the Field House
When we arrived at Elizabeth’s house, her parents were expecting us. I asked her father to talk to him privately and he said, “Yes!” We went into his study and he offered me a drink of brandy. I opted not to have an alcoholic beverage, so I asked for a cup of tea instead. He seemed very happy that I did not have my father’s habit. I told him that my father deals with stress and loss by drinking, and now he is addicted. My mother is instrumental in monitoring his drinking by limiting his intake. He does not get drunk anymore which is good. Robert was very pleased with this information. I did not want to delay the topic of our conversation today, so I said, “Mr. Field, I was informed that you and my father arranged this meeting between Elizabeth and I today. After talking to her, I realize that she is only 16 years of age, but that does not matter to me if you are okay with us courting. I also want to state that I have been yearning for your daughter for quite some time, but I never found the gumption to pursue her. I think at the time, she was still very young, and that made me chicken out. We are six years apart so you can see my dilemma. I was going to wait, but since you and my father arranged this, I assume you are allowing a courtship?”
He responded, “First, please call me Robert. Second, she started taking an interest in boys when she was 12. One day at church, she noticed you entering and said to me, “Father, is that Benjamin Hurd? He is a tailor like you. He is the one I want to get to know someday.” I said, “Yes, his father is a good friend of mine, but I want you to wait until you are 16 years of age before you show interest in meeting him. I checked with you father to see if you were interested in anyone to court. He told me that you were interested in my, Elizabeth, and I was stunned. Both of you are shy and you are similar in personality, so we thought you would be a good match. We arranged this meeting to give you both a little courage to meet.
I said in between sipping my tea, “Well, it worked. Thank you! Can I court your daughter, and if we suit, will she be able to marry at a young age? That is if she agrees to marry.
He said, “You have my blessing. Yes, it okay for her to marry early. I just want you both to be in love and happy. There are a couple rules to follow.
1.You must not be a stranger. Please visit daily and take her to your home as well.
2.Pray and read your Bible every day.
3.As you progress and get closer to betrothal. I would prefer if you can keep her pure until marriage. Bundling will be a large temptation that will test you both. Do your best not to fall into it.”
I looked at her father and said, “I totally agree with all these rules. I also want my bride to be pure until the wedding night. My father has taught us that this was very important and that it is extra special to wait.”
With that discussion over, I left the study and went straight to Elizabeth, and I asked her to go for a walk in the garden. She agreed.
As we were walking, I said, “Your father approves of us courting! With a smile on my face. Let us take time to visit one another daily, do things together, and pray together. If it is God’s will, we will marry. Is that a good plan?”
She replied with here eyes wide and her hand on her mouth as if she were shocked, “Oh Benjamin, I think that would be wonderful! I know I am young, but you caught my eye. You have a steady income, you are handsome, and after meeting your parents, I noticed you favor your father in looks. I have been infatuated with you for years. I noticed you feel the same for me especially when you kept peaking at me during church. I remember you winking at me one Sunday a few weeks ago. I gushed about it the whole day and drove everyone in my house crazy. Benjamin, I really like you. You make me smile.”
We stopped walking and I stood there for a moment and said, “I am so sorry that I was a coward and afraid that I would embarrass myself if you did not like me back. I like you, too, and feel we will suit well.”
“I agree, we have so much in common”. She stated with a smile on her face. We continued our walk and talked about all our siblings including Jacob, who I am closest to. He just finished his apprenticeship, and he is going to see Anna today.
I told her about Anna and Jacob, and she thought it was wonderful that they were fated that early in life. I said, “I hope she keeps her promise and keeps his quest for her hand.” Elizabeth said, “I think she will because they seem very fond of each other.” I said, “Yes, they are.” I will see him tomorrow and find out how it went…
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