The Pursuit

Burk,

We’ve settled down in Greensboro. Pa is having a lot of trouble setting up shop. I got an apprenticeship with the local blacksmith. Pa said if I can’t help him out I may as well stay busy.

Mr. Poirier is kind. Didn’t yell when I spilled the ashes. Handed me the broom and said to keep learning. His boys are good too. Jake helped me forge my own anvil.

Tell Bessie I say hey.

- David

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David,

Good to know you’ve joined a shop.

All is well here. Bessie says hey and thinks of you every time she makes her raisin cookies. That woman is a gift. We have a little one on the way now.

Best,

- Burk

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Burk,

Congrats to you and Bessie. Let me know when she pops. You should send me some of those raisin cookies. I’m tired of Mama’s grits.

Pa’s got something of a shop going now. Makes me clean his ashes after work at Poirier’s. Grumbled about it and he boxed my ears.

Nobody here knows about the incident at Mainsfield so that’s good.

- David

___________

David,

Glad you have a second chance. Work hard at it.

Best,

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Pa did it again. Got in an argument and hit the man. So much for the new shop.

Poirier’s figured him out too. Says I can sleep in the attic above the forge. It’s hot but quiet.

- David

___________

Dear David,

A man can move 50 miles but he’s still the same man. Too bad.

Bessie made her cookies again. Midwife says any day now. Baby inside churns like a furnace. If it’s a girl I’m gonna have a handful.

Best,

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Thank you for the cookies. Good to hear about Bessie. I hope it comes out safe.

- David

___________

David,

We have a baby girl. Named her Susie. Bessie went into pain two nights ago and only just finished out this morning. Midwife sent me out of the house. Bessie is weak. Susie is tiny but strong. Your prayers are appreciated.

Best,

- Burk


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Burk,

I will pray. Please keep us in your thoughts here. Pa got himself in jail.

- David

___________

David,

Bessie passed last night. Susie is with the midwife. Work is slow.

- Burk

___________

Burk,

You should visit us. Poirier has a large commission from the armory and the forge will be hot for a month. He says he could use another hand.

- David

___________

David,

That would be good. I’ll finish here soon. See you in a few days

Best,

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Poirier liked your work. I guess Ron taught us something after all. Good to sweat with you again.

Let me know about Susie,

- David

___________

David,

Susie is good. Getting fat. Good to see you again too.

Best,

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Pa is out. Says he wants to move again. Mama is beside herself.

- David

___________

David,

Let me know where you go. Too bad you have to leave Poirier’s.

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Poirier and Pa had a standoff. Poirier said I was his apprentice and the choice to leave was mine. I did turn 18 last week. I said I’d stay.

Pa was a fury. I hope one day I’m as big as him. Good thing Poirier’s boys were there. Mama cried like when he leaves a mark.

Best,

- David

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David,

Glad you can stay. Poirier is a good man.

Best,

- Burk

___________

Burk,

Things are good here.

I scared myself last week. Got mad at a piece of iron and threw it in the ash. Burned my hand and ruined the metal.

Poirier took me outside for a walk. Didn’t say nothing. Took me back inside the forge and told me to try again. I hope one day I can be a real blacksmith.

Hope Susie is well.

Best,

- David