Aunt Beatrice was still breathing, but unconscious. I asked the housekeeper if there was a Dr. close by. She said there was indeed a doctor who had been called to the estate quite often when the children were still here. She left to put in a call and I stayed with Aunt Beatrice. She certainly did not look well.
I had no idea where Aunt Bea had been going with her diatribe. I too was a little nervous about Uncle Charles running around unchecked, but there was nothing I could do until the doctor got there, and could tell me the seriousness of Aunt Bea’s condition.
By the time the doctor arrived, Aunt Bea was making some moaning sounds. It wasn’t long before she started coming around and opened her eyes. She looked at the doctor adoringly, batting her eyes, which coudn’t have been easy considering her heavy false eyelashes.
“Ms. Sanders, it’s obvious that you have been in an overwrought state. Have you been taking your medication?” he asked.
“Oh, dear,” she whimpered, “I’m afraid Charles is out of control again. I’m sure that nurse isn’t keeping him sedated. Where on earth did you find her? Everything has just been so unsettled around here, and of course, I have to manage it all. I did win big at bingo last night, it had been such awhile you know.” she was clearly enamored with the handsome doctor.
“You’re just having one of your spells Beatrice,” he concluded. ” I recommend a couple of days bed rest and you’ll be as good as new. You and Gladys really must stay out of the smoking section at your bingo games,”he added. He looked at me when he said, “I have someplace I need to be right now, but I will be back tomorrow morning to check on Charles. It’s very nice to meet you Ms. Allen, I will see myself out.”
After Aunt Bea gained some strength back, the housekeeper and I helped her back on her electric wheel chair and managed to get her back to her rooms. She was asking the maid for a bell and some magazines when I left. I needed to tend to Mandy.
I walked into Mandy’s room expecting to see her playing with her dolls, or reading with the young maid I had asked to stay with her. I didn’t want my daughter alone when she was not with her teacher, her father, or me.
There was no one in the room. It appeared that Mandy had been playing with her dolls, and the huge doll house. Alice and Andy were there, but Abby Ann was still gone, and in her place, was a new little boy doll.
I found the maid and Mandy walking along a path outside that looked like it led to the fenced school yard. I must go take a look at the deserted building that had once been a school, but not now. I wanted to relax with a cup of tea and read about Abby Ann.
Abby Ann was only five years old when she came to live at the country estate owned by Charles Sanders and his spinster sister Beatrice. Mr. Sander’s wanted his daughter Amanda to attend school on the estate, and to that end, he built a little school house. He felt it was important to give his daughter schoolmates, but he was a benevolent man as well, and wished to help children who needed some security in their lives.
Abby’s Mother was widowed shortly after Abby was born. She was a good Mother, and loved her little girl very much. Providing a home and food for the two of them proved to be a near impossible task. It was made even more difficult because Abby had been born deaf.
In her search for a better life for her daughter, she was made aware of Mr. Sander’s desire to help children such as Abby Ann. She immediately wrote a letter and asked that her daughter be considered for a scholarship. She was accepted and came to live at the estate. Abby was the first to come, and she and sweet little Amanda became very close friends. Both girls were taught sign language and they delighted in playing tricks on the household who didn’t know How to sign or read lips.
They enjoyed a happy life for three years, then when they were eight, two people they knew and trusted, came and took them away.