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Emile M Tubiana

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The Spider's Web Part 07
By Emile M Tubiana
Monday, March 23, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Part 7

The Spider’s Web - Part 7

   One day, I went to the neighboring church to see the priest. I told him about my feelings for Mary. He looked at me with a slight smile and said:
   ‘Nothing wrong with this, my son. I understand you want to wed Mary.’ Then he continued:
   ‘I shall visit Mary and hope to be able to convince her. After all, you are a good fellow.’ I felt relaxed, although I did not feel that he had to convince her. At least that was what I thought.
   I returned to the farm and sensed my whole being tremble. The touch of her hand may have been a friendly gesture. I was confused but decided not to think about it. If Mary chose to say no to the priest, I might have to leave the farm. Then I may never have the happiness of seeing her again. The thought saddened me even more. I had not experienced this kind of feeling when I left Josephine. I regretted having spoken to the priest, as I did not want to lose Mary. Between marrying her and losing her, I preferred to be content with the warm feeling of her hand and her presence.
   One day, while I was in the field, the priest paid a visit to Mary. I knew nothing about this. On my return, I was stupefied to see the priest waiting for me at the front door. I thought he wanted to break the news of Mary's refusal to me. I shook like a child. My steps slowed. I wanted to delay the receipt of any bad news. For a split second, I wanted to return to the field. Then the priest called out to me:
   ‘Come, my son, I have good news for you.’ I couldn't stop trembling. I was confused; I stood in front of the priest, not able to meet his eyes. I felt his eyes on me. Then he took my hand and said:
   ‘Congratulations! I shall make arrangements for your wedding.’ My heart raced at his words, I did not know if it was from happiness or from joy. A few weeks later, your mother and I were wed.”
   Vincent looked at his father, his eyes brimming with admiration and love. For the first time, the senior de Montaigne seemed so nice and handsome. Vincent did not stop watching him. He was happy to hear the story of his dad and mom. That night Vincent did not want to sleep alone in his bed. He hugged and kissed his father. Mr. de Montaigne was also very emotional and. kept kissing his son. This story had forged them both with love. Vincent could sense the feeling of the grace which embodied them both, like mother and baby.
   Father and son shared the same bed till morning. The next day the sea was still calm. The sun shone. Both men did not realize that they had slept till noon. Mr. de Montaigne seemed a little uneasy as ever since his wife died, he had never opened his heart to anyone. He also felt relaxed and happy as he had revived his best memories, which due to more pressing paternal obligations had had to be buried.
   He had never openly expressed to Vincent anything about his love for his wife. Now Vincent realized how much his father loved his mother. He felt sorry for his father and for himself, as he wanted badly to see his mother witnessing his father's love. Vincent had been too young to remember all the details about his mother, as he had to move to a different country and to a new way of life. His father's struggle for their livelihood had preoccupied Vincent more than anything else.
   When the senior de Montaigne went to lunch, Vincent opted to stay in the cabin. His father's story had impassioned him. He looked for old pictures that his father had with him. He finally found an old picture of his mother and grandmother. Both ladies stood next to the wells. He tried to feel his mother's love by looking at her eyes. He sensed a vibration and was amazed how the words from his father's story could transmit the sensation from person to person. His feelings came alive and he had the impression that his mother was still living. He felt that maybe he would find her again someday. But Vincent did not want to dwell on this idea. He preferred to keep the sensational feeling that he found in his father's story and in the picture of his beloved mother.
   He rushed to hide the photos before his father returned from lunch, as he did not want to show his feelings. From that day onwards, Vincent's feelings towards his father became more and more wrapped in love and care. He wished he could have been with his mother during her mother's funeral, so that his father would not have had to suffer the presence of Mrs. Johnson. Vincent could easily imagine that time, as he still remembered his mother's farm. His mother had never told him anything about all this. Then he realized that his mother could not have talked to him about his father's love as he had been a child at that time. Although he knew that he was young, such thoughts had emerged naturally. He felt he had to be a part of his parent's happiness. Vincent had just replaced the picture when his father returned from lunch.
   A fair wind had started to speed the ship along. In the late afternoon a stiff gale began to sway the vessel. Vincent remembered the first night. He was immediately on the alert for his father. He felt sorry that his father had had lunch. Personally he felt fine as he had eaten nothing since the day before.
   The captain seemed to be preoccupied with his crew. The passengers began to run to their cabins. As night approached, the movement of the vessel became accentuated. Vincent had already foreseen a rough night ahead. His only concern, however, was his father's health. Mr. de Montaigne seemed blissfully unaware of the turbulence. Vincent's concern about precautions which he meant to take may have been premature, but he did not want to relax even for a moment. He wanted to be prepared in case his father felt ill. The waves battered against the ship's side. The senior de Montaigne seemed preoccupied. This time the revival of his love story had made him stronger. His thoughts followed the same pattern as Vincent's. He took his wife's picture and pressed it against his chest. Vincent observed the scene with mixed feelings.
   The storm did not seem to bother the senior de Montaigne. He looked very young despite his age, as the revival of old memories had influenced his being. Meanwhile, Vincent went to the storeroom to bring some towels. When he returned, his father was still holding the picture of his mother. Vincent did not want to disturb him. During the night, Vincent's father slept like a child. Vincent stayed awake the entire night as the vessel moved slowly and with a painful cadence.
   The next day, the sea was as calm as a pond, as if nothing had happened during the night. The dining room was in complete disarray, with bottles and broken china littering the floor. Once again the senior de Montaigne went alone to take his breakfast. Vincent was now deep in slumber.
   This was the second day that Vincent had not eaten. This time the senior de Montaigne was concerned about his son. He brought back a sandwich and a cup of tea for him. But Vincent was still fast asleep and his father did not want to disturb him.
   He now had the opportunity to observe his son in sleep. His face looked like his wife’s when she was sleeping at the time before her mother had died.
   When Vincent awoke, it was already noon. The sun shone brightly and there was not a vestige of a wind. The sea reflected the shadow of the vessel as it sped along faster than the night before. Vincent was glad to find a sandwich waiting for him and devoured it hungrily.
   After finishing his tea and breakfast he smiled his thanks at his father. But this time he had another reason for smiling; he had dreamed about his mother. In the dream, he saw his father's wedding in the small church. He was certain this was not a dream but a vision. Vincent continued to smile without divulging anything to his father. That day passed quickly.
   The senior de Montaigne asked Vincent to dress well as he wanted to dine with him and celebrate the revival of his happiness. Vincent gladly accepted his father's wish. Both gentlemen dressed in their best suits. The entry of this handsome couple caused many heads to turn in the dining room. They were soon joined at the table by an old man accompanied by a young lady. The old man introduced himself as Mr. Moreland and he said:
   “My daughter, Josephine.” Vincent looked at his father with a hint of a smile. This was a rare coincidence and Vincent found it amusing. As the old man entertained the senior de Montaigne, Vincent felt that he had to entertain Josephine. His father's story was still fresh in his mind. As she talked, he tried to associate her with his father's friend Josephine. He enjoyed her company but he was careful not to be attracted to her, as this name was associated with a bad memory.
   Josephine and Vincent became travel friends. Everyday they promenaded from deck to deck. The senior de Montaigne did not like this young lady. He was apprehensive that this name had something in common with the character of his Josephine. He did not want to express his doubts to Vincent. Vincent, on his side, felt the same way, but he did not want to be unjust to Josephine. In any case, she was a passenger like him and if he could make his travel more agreeable, there was nothing wrong, so he thought. After all, she was from another generation. He could now understand why people sometimes had a prejudice against one another, often without reason, as in the case of Josephine.
   They grew to like each other more every day. The senior de Montaigne observed the evolution of this relationship with skepticism. He liked her as a lady for her education and well-bred manners. Josephine always treated Vincent's father with respect. She had no idea about their thoughts and the senior de Montaigne's story. Her father was a highly respected man. He was old to have Josephine for a daughter.
   The senior de Montaigne limited his conversation with him to business. Josephine's father was a rich man from the United States. He had spent a year with his daughter in Europe before embarking on the vessel to India.

 Copyright Emile M. Tubiana 2009 all rights reserved




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Reviewed by Cryssa C 3/24/2009
I have thoroughly enjoyed this story and wait, anxiously, for the next chapter...
Cryssa :~)
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 3/24/2009
It has been a remarkable few days story at sea, and, having been there my self i can relate, the author has taken me back there, to a familiar territory which such actual and genuine point of related view that one almost feel the slow movement of the ship and are in the front row looking and hearing the personages like they were old acquaintances.


Reviewed by Rose Rideout 3/24/2009
Fantastic story Emile, I am so drawn into it and continue to await your next write. Thank you so much for sharing.

Newfie hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Paul Berube 3/24/2009
Very nicely done Emile. I am truly enjoying this story and your attention to details takes me right there besides your characters. Nice piece of work my friend.

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