My Version of the CC Sequel
Michigan, September 1916
The Sun was slowly setting. The time to return home has come.
- Candy, are you coming with us? - asked Albert, looking questioningly at the girl.
- Sorry, Mr. Albert, but I don't want to return to Chicago yet, - answered Candy, smiling softly. - Forgive me. I want to stay here a little bit more.
- But Candy... - Archie began, coming to Albert.
- Archie, don't, - said Anny quietly, gently touching his hand with hers. She came up to Candy and embraced her. - It's okay, Candy. We understand.
- Oh, Anny...- Candy smiled and thought: "You are a stupid girl, Candice White. Why did you think you could hide anything from your friends? They can see right through you!" Then she said. - I'll visit you soon.
- Of course you will, or we'll drug you by ears! - her friends told her and all of them laughed.
During the trip back to Chicago Anny sat becide Archie, having laid her head on his shoulder. They sat like this for a while but then Anny spoke:
- I want Candy to be happy so much!
- She will be happy, Anny, - Archi reassured but then said quietly through gritted teeth: - If only I could see that bastard of Grandchester now...
- What? - Anny brioke the embrace and looked at Archie with concern. There was pain somewhere deep in her big blue eyes. - Archie, do you still love Candy? - she asked suddenly.
Archie looked at her for a second then answered:
- Yes, I love her like a sister. Why do you ask? There's only one woman I truly love, Anny, and it's you, so please stop talking nonsense. - He didn't speak for a momment then said in a casual voice: - Will you marry me?
- Oh, Archie, of course I will! - answered the happy girl.
At the meantime Candy was sitting at her desk in the Pony house reading a letter from Patty. It arrived in the morning but she didn't have any time to read it.
"Hello, dear Candy!
I'm sorry we aren't together now but I'm thinking about you all the time. How are you? How is Anny, Archie and Albert? I hope everything is fine. I'm fine too. My granny is entertaining me all the time. You know, Candy, I decided to become a teacher. I want to come to Pony house and teach here. I love children, they can make you forget about everything....
Oh, Candy I miss Stear so much! He comes to me in my dreams every night! Candy, I didn't even have the chance to tell him I loved him! Do you think he knew? Do you think he loved me too?
Oh, what a selfish person I am! I come to you with my problems and you are probably suffering just as much because of Terry! Forgive me, Candy, please! Don't be angry.
Candy started to write the answer at once:
Everything is just wonderful. And you can't imagine what happened! Remember I told you about Great Uncle William who adopted me? Well, he's Albert! Can you imagine this?
Anny and Archie are both allright. They love each other and I hope that they will get married soon. Will you come to their engagement?
Dear Patty, There's nothing to forgive. We all miss Stear very much and he will stay in our hearts forver. Maybe it will sound cruel to you, but life goes on nevertheless. And by the way, Pony house is the best place to forget about all your grieves! I came here after Anthony's death and so I think you should come too! I'll be waiting for you.
P.S. You know, I don't miss Terry that much now. On the contrary, I'm very glad he is back to the theatre. And he and Susanna are together. And she loves him so much! She is such a nice girl, I'm sure someday he'll love her"
Candy re-read her letter for the last time. She knew that the last part of it was a terrible lie. She didn't want her friends to be worried about her, but she couldn't lie to herself. She was still in love with Terry.
- No, - said Candy quietly, letting her tears run freely down her cheeks. - It can't be. We did the right thing. We couldn't be happy if we knew that Susanna...but why am I feeling so miserable, so lonely...Terry, oh Terry...
The young and promising Broadway star Terruce Graham Grandchester, or
just Terry for short, was sitting in the nearby bar drinking whiskey
and cursing himself.
"I'm a total nothing, he thought. I don't deserve even pity...but what can I do if my heart belongs to you, Candy? Where are you, my Freckled Tarzan?"
Having put the empty glass on the table with a loud bang Terry went outside. He was so drunk that could hardly stand. The young man looked at the sky where full moon was shining, but he could see only Candy's smiling face.
- But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she! - cried the young actor in desperation, not being able to contain his emotions much more.
A second later he fell on the ground.
- Hmm - mumbled Terry, standing up. - To be or not to be - that is the question...Poor Yorik...
And so in a sudden wave of inspiration Terry, never stopping to recite the famous Hamlet's soliloquy went on shaking legs to the only person in New York who could still console him.
Poor Terry, I must say. But still, it seems that Candy can bring him inspiration any time)))))
A beautiful blond woman shuddered when she heard someone knocking at the door and a second later she heard something dropping.
Eleonor Baker jumped from her chair and looked at the man sitting next to her.
- Stewart, could you please look what's going on? - asked she in a low voice.
The man went out but soon returned with Terry in his arms. Eleonor gasped and rushed to her son. Stewart understood everything immediately and said:
- It's all right, Madam. He is just drunk.
- Bring him to the bedroom, Stewart, - that was all that Eleonor managed to whisper.
Stewart did as she asked. But when he returned he replied grimly:
- I beg your pardon, Madam, but the young duke can't behave as he does. It's inappropriate for his title.
Eleonor smiled softly:
- He is just a boy, Stewart. Don't forget about it. Excuse me please, I'll go to him, - and Eleonor went to the bedroom.
Walter Stewart looked at the woman and thought how beautiful she was. He was Richard Grandchester's right hand and the closest friend of his. And he had loved Eleonor Baker all his life.
Walter remembered how they met for the first time. Richard wanted some entertainment so they went to New York and came to the theatre. Eleonor played Cordelia in Shakespeare's King Lear, and Richard and he couldn't take their eyes from her. During the intermission Richard sent Stewart to buy flowers, and after the play the director of the troupe, Robert Hathaway, introduced them to the actress. Stewart knew that this woman would never love him and unfortunately that was true. She was nice to both of them but Richard caught her attention from the first sight. So Walter could do nothing but love her from a far and keep silent.
Eleonor and Richard were madly in love with each other and a year and a half later she gave birth to a beautiful son. Richard wanted to marry her but she refused to leave the stage because acting was her life and she had to do it if she was to become a duchess. And at last the pressure from Richard's relatives took it's toll on him and he broke up with Eleonor and married the woman his parents chose for him. After the marriage he did everything to hide this "shameful relationship", as he called his affair with Eleonor now. Stewart, who became a close friend of Eleonor's, secretly consoled her when she needed a shoulder to cry on.
But it seemed that fate wanted to be cruel till the end. Half a year later after the break-up Richard remembered he had a son and took Terry from his mother. He thought that as the son of duke Terry had to be brought up properly. The boy was three then.
And Eleonor cried on Walter's shoulder again and he didn't dare to tell her about his feelings. And perhaps he never will.
Stewart knocked at the bedroom door. A minute later Eleonor came out.
- Go home, Walter, - she said softly and this was one of these rare occasions when she addressed him by his given name. - Go home. You are tired. I'll take care of Terry myself.
- Yes, Madam Baker, - he answered, nodding respectfully.
- There is no need to be so formal, Walter, - she laughed softly. - We are friends, after all. But...go.
- I'll come tomorrow, Madam Baker.
- Yes, please. Terry has to learn the news, and I will not be able to tell him myself.
- Good night, Madam,- the man kissed her hand and went away.
Eleonor came back to the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed. She looked at her sleeping son. There were tears on his cheeks and lashes. Eleonor touched his brown locks gently.
- Oh, Terry, - she whispered. - What have you done with your life?
The sun was rising above the half-destroyed square in Paris,
illuminating an old and almost destroyed building. Long ago it was a
concert hall and now the field hospital was situated here.
On the second floor of this building a young, strict-looking nurse in glasses was sitting near the window holding a hand of a young pilot lying in bed.
The nurse's name was Flanny Hamilton. But nobody knew who this pilot was. Flanny found him almost three months ago in a destroyed burnt airplane. The young man's heartbeat was very weak, his face was covered in burns, cuts, scratches and blood. He had no documents with him. Now he was covered with bandages. Flanny took care of him 24 hours a day but he was still unconscious. Sometimes she heard him moaning a girl's name - Patricia.
"Where is she, your Patricia, why didn't she come to you?" - thought sadly Flanny during such moments.
The young man stirred and moaned. Flanny rushed to him instantly.
- Don't move, please. It may be harmful for you.
The young man moaned again. His lids shuddered and he opened his eyes slowly. With great difficulty he whispered hoarsely:
- Where am I? What happened?
- Lie down, - said Flanny strictly. - You are in the field hospital in France. I don't know for sure what happened to you. I just can say that you were rescued from a burnt airplane.
- Oh...- the young man moaned. - No...Patricia... - he was tossing and turning on the bed.
- Shhh,shhh, mister, - Flanny tried to calm him. - You mustn't worry.
- You don't understand! -suddenly the pilot took her hands in his with a sudden strength. - My bride...my friends...my relatives...they probably think I'm dead!
Then he began coughing. Flanny brought the mug with water to his lips, and the young man swallowed hungrily.
- We'll write to your family, I'll do it myself, - Flanny said dryly. - But I must know at least your name.
- Alistair Cornwell, - said the young man hoarsely and started coughing again. - Flanny brought the mug to his lips, he swallowed one more time and lay down on the pillows.
- Well, mister Cornwell, - Flanny said. - I'm going to write the letter and you must have a rest.
Flanny went out of the building and closed her eyes blinded by the bright sun. When her eyes got used to the light she saw doctor Michael sitting on the bench. Flanny came up to him and lay her hand on his shoulder.
- Doctor, - she said.
- Miss Hamilton - Michael smiled. - What can you tell me?
Flanny sat beside him.
- That unknown pilot awoke a few minutes ago.
- Really? - Michael's brows rose ip in surprise. - And what? Who is he?
- He told me only his name. He is Alistair Cornwell.
-Cornwell? - Michael frowned. - Isn't he a relative of the Andrew family?
- Andrew? - it was Flanny's turn to frown now.
A minute later she suddenly remembered something and turned to Michael.
- Doctor, do you remember meeting one of my classmates, Candice, during your visit to our nurse school?
- You mean that pretty freckled blond? - Michael smiled. - Of course.
- Then you must remember that she is one of the Andrews. I could write to her.
- So what are you waiting for?
- I just don't know if she is still in Chicago, - said Flanny hesitantly.
- I think you should at least try, - Michael encouraged her.
- Ok, I'll do just that, - said flanny smiling.
She stood up.
- I must return to the hospital. Excuse me.
And she went away.