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Archive for the tag “novel”

The Hensel House — Chapter One

Chapter One

          Standing in front of Grandma’s pride and joy, it was the spring of 1875, six months after receiving the letter from Mr. Martinez, and what he had described in his letter was true. The life blood that once traveled through The Hensel House had drained out onto the dusty road beneath my feet. Nothing resembled the tintypes Grandma had sent when she first arrived in California a decade earlier. Now it was up to me to restore and run the once treasured landmark. I silently vowed, as I stood outside the door, to do whatever I had to do to make her proud. Exhausted and overwhelmed from my journey, I felt my knees begin to buckle. As I reached out for the door to steady me, I was surprised when the door easily pushed open. When my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness inside, the shadows of what I saw made me shiver. I reached out in front of me, searching for something to grab onto.

“Mrs. Hensel?”

To be continued….Stay tuned!

The Hensel House — Prologue: Part 2

Recognizing the location of the postmark as I walked outside, I had a bad feeling that this letter was not bringing happy news, so I opened and read it as I walked home.  I greeted my daughter with a kiss on the cheek as I came through the front door, showing her the envelope. She looked at where the letter came from, and a concerned look crossed her face, as she studied it more closely, and then handed it back to me. I gathered my children together in the parlor and then read the letter to them:

 

Dear Mrs. Hensel,

                    My name is Mr. Guillermo Martinez, and I write to you today with the sad news that your grandmother died several days ago, peacefully in her sleep. Representing your grandmother’s estate, I don’t know if your grandmother ever discussed with you her desire for you to inherit ownership of Hensel House upon her death. Over the course of your grandmother’s declining health, the boardinghouse fell into disrepair and it became uninhabitable to its residents. The townspeople offered their help by taking in the residents who had no other family or friends to live with. Grateful I’m certain by the townspeople’s generosity and support, but not being able to run the boardinghouse she loved so much for the last decade, truly broke her heart and I would hazard a guess, hastened her death.

                    My law partner has informed me that you are recently widowed, with two minor children and a grandchild. So I understand fully that it will more than likely take some time for you to decide if, or when you’ll fulfill your grandmother’s wish, and, whether or not you decide to bring your family with you to California.

                    If I can help you in any way as you make these decisions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your grandmother entrusted me to first and foremost oversee that you and your family are taken care of, and her cherished boardinghouse be passed along to you now or in the future, and to future generations to come. Please accept my condolences and the condolences of the townspeople of Ciudad de Lorenzo. Mrs. Hensel, your grandmother was a pillar of and well-respected member of our community and she will be greatly missed.

Sincerely,

Guillermo Martinez, Attorney-At Law

The Hensel House — Prologue

PROLOGUE:

 

My name is Mary Frances Hensel and I was born in 1838, in the town of Meadville, Pennsylvania, located in Crawford County. I’ve lived in Meadville all my life.  My beloved husband of eighteen years, Harry, died   on October 14th as a result of an industrial accident while working at the railroad roundhouse in Ashtabula, Ohio, some thirty miles away. Harry and I have two children. Our daughter Etta is 18 years old with an infant daughter and our son Harry Jr. is 14 years old. If you asked my children how they would describe me, they would be quick to tell you that I’m a fearless trailblazer. And they would be exactly right. This is my story.

On the way home from visiting my husband’s grave today, I stopped at the post office to mail a stack of thank you notes for the many messages of condolence and the meals that were prepared for us since the funeral. On my way out of the post office, the clerk called out to me.

“Mrs. Hensel, I’m glad you came in today. A special delivery letter came for you.”

I returned to the counter. “Special delivery, you say? Thank you so much.”

Interested in reading more?  Please leave me a comment…… Thank you! 😀  

“Bethie”

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