One evening, Calista was in the lodging house, talking with Snipeshooter and Dutchy. They were playing poker with Racetrack and drinking some cheap beer that Blink had somehow acquired. The upper room was filled with raucous laughter and smoke.
"Royal flush. Pay up, boys," Specs said triumphantly.
Grumbling, all the players put in their share of money and various other valuable items. Calista put in a few coins, then stood up to leave.
"Good evening, fellows. I'll see you all tomorrow." She stood to walk away, and a loud rip was heard. Calista turned around to reveal an enormous rip down the back of her blouse, revealing a lacy white undershirt. Her face fell when she realized, in her half-drunken state, what had just happened.
After rummaging under his bunk for a few moments, Dutchy tossed a blue striped shirt at her. "'Ere, take dis. It's too small fer me anyhow."
"Thanks, Dutchy," she said, giving him a kiss before heading to the washroom to change.
Exactly six weeks after Calista had arrived in New York City, Dutchy and Calista were walking in the park, talking and laughing. Calista turned to Dutchy and felt a hand clamp on her shoulder. She swallowed nervously and looked up at the men behind her.
"Hello Simon. Gerald," she said quietly.
"You're to come with us, Miss Greyhart."
"Can't I just have one night to say goodbye? Please? One night, that's all I ask."
They glanced at each other. "Fine, but your father is not to hear of this. Do you understand me?" said one.
She nodded with a grin. "Thank you so very much. You know where I live by now, correct?"
"Yes ma'am. We're staying in an apartment down the hall. We're to accompany you everywhere you go."
"Oh, Simon, can't I have a bit of privacy with my friends? I promise I won't run away. Honestly, I won't."
"We're sorry, ma'am, but we've got orders."
Calista sighed. "Come on, Dutchy, I've got a lot of good-byes to say."
By ten o'clock that night, Calista and Dutchy were both exhausted from all the things they'd done that afternoon. Simon and Gerald consented to leaving the two teens alone for the night, but only after giving Calista a stern, private talk, leaving all three quite embarrassed.
Calista locked the door and looked over her apartment. She leaned against the door. "How can I leave New York? It's such a wonderful city."
"Don't leave, Lis. Please don't."
"Dutchy, I have to," she said with a sigh. "Can't we just forget about it for tonight?"
He nodded and lay down on her bed. "I jest want ya ta know dat I really like ya, Lis. I t'ink it could be love. I ain't positive, but I t'ink dis is it."
Calista sat down beside him and kissed him intensely. "I love you, Dutchy, so much."
"I'll start savin' my money, an' as soon as I got enough, I'll come ta Greece an' we can get married," Dutchy promised.
"I'd better start packing," Calista said after a lengthy kiss. She was soon assembling her few possessions into her worn blue bag.
"Here's your shirt back," she said, tossing the striped shirt at a half-asleep Dutchy.
"Keep it," he mumbled sleepily.
"As long as you don't mind. I do like it," she said. She kept her blue shawl, pleated skirt, and striped blouse out to wear for the next day, then began removing her clothes to get ready for bed.
"D'ya want me ta move?" asked Dutchy quietly.
"No, that's all right."
Dutchy was wide-awake. "What're ya suggestin'?"
"What do you think?" Calista had a sly grin on her face as she climbed into bed.
Grinning, Dutchy shook his head. "I love ya, Lis."
The Albatross sailed at nine o'clock the next morning. For about an hour, Calista moped in her room, depressed about leaving her precious Dutchy behind. But they had promised to write, and it wouldn't be long before Dutchy could save enough money to visit her in Greece. She peered out the window to see a clear blue sky and sea, shining with hope.
"Jackie, Jackie, there's Calista!"
"Jackie! Reese, hello, I've missed you so much!" Calista stepped out of the carriage and dropped her bag to hug her two sisters. Jacqueline, called Jackie by her sisters, was twenty-one and very pretty. She was very popular among Grecian society, and she hosted many balls and parties at their mansion, seeing as Mrs. Greyhart had died years ago. Theresa "Reese" Greyhart was a very energetic, outspoken girl. She was eleven and loved tennis and riding as much as she loved dressing up and tea parties.
"What is New York City like? Is it very exciting? It was very adventurous of you to leave, but I wish you would've let me come along! Father was so terribly angry-"
Just as Theresa said that, the side door opened and out stepped Mr. Greyhart.
"That will do. Simon, Gerald, please take Calista's things indoors. Alexis will take care of them. Jacqueline, take Theresa indoors. It's nearly time for tea. Calista, welcome home. I'd like a word with you in my office after you're a bit settled. You must be exhausted."
"Yes Father," Calista said meekly. Jackie kissed her on the cheek and said, "It's good to have you home" before ushering the youngest daughter into the house.
Forty-five minutes later, after a chat with her personal maid, a bite to eat, and a change of clothes, Calista knocked on the door to her father's office.
"Come in, Calista."
Calista sat down in a chair by his desk and sighed. "It's good to be home."
"Why did you run away? You had us all so worried!"
Taking a deep breath, Calista began to talk. "I thought I didn' t want to get married. I want to have my own life, and I want to be able to act on stage. Father, it's all I ever wanted! I would love to act in front of a big crowd of people. And I know I'm good at it. In London, one day I met a few people from a theater troupe, and they let me practice with them, and they told me I was quite good. I was only twelve at the time, Father, and I knew I wanted to act."
"Yes, so you've said many a time."
"I ran away with Demetrius. You knew that, didn't you? But I left him at the port. He was a horrible boy, Father. You were right. He only wanted to be associated with the most prosperous family in Greece."
"I assumed that much. What on earth did you do in New York City?"
"I wrote my play… and I met some wonderful people. A wonderful boy just my age, actually."
Mr. Greyhart sighed and rolled his eyes. "You fall in love far too easily, Calista."
"He was really wonderful, Father. His name is Dutch - er, Peter Schumaker, and we were courting a bit. He sells newspapers, and he's a very hard worker. He supports his family in Germany by himself, and he's wonderful!"
Her father was impressed. He wanted his daughters to marry out of love, and didn't care much for Grecian society. He had worked hard as a young boy to support both his parents, and hadn't been born into wealth. He would appreciate his daughters marrying someone like himself. "Must be a rather nice boy, to be supporting his family at your age. Well, give me his address, I'll call on him when I go to New York. I am leaving early next week."
"Oh, Father, can't I come?"
"No, you must stay here and help the servants run the household."
"But that's Jackie's duty."
"She's going on a holiday to Italy with Thomas for two weeks. But don't you worry, I won't harm your friend in any way."
"It's so lovely and warm today, isn't it?" said Calista with a sigh.
"No, it's dreadfully hot!" said Jacqueline, fanning herself.
"But it's so much nicer than New York! It was always rainy and dismal and foggy there."
"I suppose you're right," agreed Jacqueline. "We are glad you decided to come back to us. Theresa was beyond herself, she missed you so dreadfully."
Both older girls observed their romping younger sister on the lawn. "I find that hard to believe," Calista said dryly.
A noisy automobile was heard clattering up the cobblestone drive. Calista leapt up, her straw hat tumbling off behind her. "Dutchy!" she cried as she ran across the lawn.
"Lis!" The two teens met in a tight embrace. After their extended greeting, they walked back to the shady porch, hand in hand.
"Reesa! Reesa, come here, you've got to meet Dutchy. Dutchy, this is my sister Jacqueline, and my little sister Theresa. Girls, may I present Peter Schumaker."
"It's a pleasure to meet you. Calista speaks of no one else," Jacqueline said in a cultured voice.
"Yeah, well, she talked 'bout yous goyls plenty 's well," he said with a grin as he shook Jacqueline's hand.
"How d'you do?" said Theresa, bobbing a curtsy. "How long will you be staying with us?"
"'S long 's yer stubbern sista lets me," Dutchy said with a grin.
"I am not stubborn! I'm not speaking to you," Calista said, turning away and fighting a grin.
"Lis..." he pleaded.
The door to the house suddenly opened, and a tall man stepped onto the porch. "So, our visitor finally arrives," he said. "Hello, Peter, it's nice to see you again. How was your trip?"
"Oh, it was fine, thanks fer askin', Mista Greyhart."
"Come on in, let's get you settled."
"Wait, I gotta settle some business wid yer dautta 'ere." He pulled a small box out of his pocket, and everyone knew exactly what was coming. He slipped a small ring onto Calista's finger and said, "Lis, I love ya. Will ya please marry me?"
"You know I will," Calista said with a grin before launching into a kiss with her fiancé.
"Now they're both engaged!" cried Theresa in delight..
Jackie, who had become engaged a month before to Thomas, said, "Yes, and we're both incredibly happy. Come, dear, let's go and leave them alone."
Theresa sighed. "You both look so lovely! I wish I could stay up for the whole ball," she said from her perch on Jacqueline's bed.
"Now Theresa, Father was quite generous in letting you stay up until ten."
"I know," she said with a pout. "Mama would've let me stay up till midnight."
Calista laughed. "You don't even remember her!" She paused. "Jackie, you look so much like her, it makes me want to cry."
Jacqueline turned to the middle Greyhart girl and took both her hands seriously. "She's still with both of us, especially tonight. Aren't you nervous about both our engagements being announced to all of society?"
"Not in the slightest, and I'm the one who should be nervous. What will they all say about me marrying someone who isn't wealthy yet?"
"Don't worry. Peter's simply wonderful."
"Yes, indeed," Calista agreed as she reached for the perfume. "Now, do I look alright?"
"Your corset's showing," noted Theresa.
Calista glanced downwards. "Theresa, don't joke! This dress is rather low and it makes me nervous."
"It wouldn't matter, anyhow, because Peter's seen you in your corset."
Calista glared at her sister. "Dutchy!"
"Take this bundle of energy away from me before I murder her."
"Yes ma'am. C'mon, Reese, let's go have some fun, shall we?" With that, Dutchy and Theresa were off.
"Do I honestly look alright?" asked Calista, spinning around before her sister.
Jacqueline's lower lip trembled. "So much like Mother…"
Both sisters hugged quickly. "She'll be with us," promised Calista. "Is everyone already here?"
"I believe so. Let's go down."
Calista picked up her skirt and swept down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, Dutchy said something to Theresa, who ran off. Then he saw his fiancée and his jaw dropped. She was dressed in a stunning, form-fitting blue satin gown with a thin black sash and a rather low neckline. A strand of diamond beads glittered around her neck, and she did very closely resemble the portrait of her mother that hung in the foyer.
"Ya look… gorgeous."
"Why, thank you," said Calista with a grin. "You do look rather nice yourself. Oh, there's the dinner bell. We'd better hurry."
"I'd like to propose a toast," Mr. Greyhart said, standing up and raising his glass. "To my two daughters, Jacqueline Anne and Calista Elizabeth, and their fiancés, Thomas Westenberg and Peter Schumaker. It is a pleasure to see such wonderful pairs, and I'm sure these two fine young men will take good care of them."
Six months later, Calista Greyhart became Calista Schumaker. Dutchy had found a job in Athens soon after arriving in Greece, and had enough money to buy an average-sized house not too far from the Greyharts' mansion. Calista and Dutchy had loaded their possessions into an automobile and prepared to move out.
"But Jackie's married, and I'll be all alone!" Theresa whined.
"We'll send fer ya ta spend da weekend all da time. Promise," said Dutchy.
Calista hugged her sister goodbye. "You have Father, and you know Jackie and I will be fighting regular wars over who will see you more often. And remember, dear, no one is ever alone." With that, Calista climbed into the automobile to head off to her new life with Dutchy.
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