Chapter 4

Written by: Ken Burns

24/12/1873

Two weeks have easily passed by since I last penned my life to you.  I have an important announcement to make...

Meri Kirihimate!  That is Māori for Merry Christmas! I am learning, adapting and able to make each day brand new while taking on this bold life. 

I am finding Māori a beautiful language to get my mouth and sometimes confused head around.  Learning a language when you’re older is definitely not an easy task.  

I am completely loving this foreign life, embracing each day openly.  My heart is filled with aroha!  That is Maori for love.

I’ll write again after Christmas.

All my love

Pearl xxx

Pearl dropped her quill as Hanley came into the kitchen.

She leant forward to pick it up but stopped.  A sharp pain came from her abdomen as she sat up feeling faint and flushed.

Hanley looked at her in a professional but loving way.

“You are three months into pregnancy, dearest Pearl. There are some things in life you need to cut back on to keep your baby safe.”

Pearl’s impatience came to her lips quickly.

“I am not a servant to you,” she snappily replied then caught her fingers over her lips, shocked, her face started to go red with embarrassment.

“This bold new world here has given you much confidence but please try not to be so sharp in your tone. Do that and we’ll get along fine,” came back the doctor’s authoritative reply.

 Pearl felt awkward knowing that Hanley was right.  Pregnancy was getting the better of her and she wanted so badly to believe he was on her side.

The pohutukawa tree was blooming in the summer sun in their front garden.  While the red and green radiant foliage were similar to the Christmas tree environment in England, this new version gave Pearl a greater sense of happiness.

Hanley walked up behind Pearl and gently placed his doctor’s boney hands on her delicate pasty white shoulders.

Hanley was 35 years older than Pearl.  Being encouraged into this marriage by her father made Pearl wonder if she could have taken another course and refused.  Not that she was unhappy to take on this challenge but to be laying down each night with a stranger who was several years old than herself was off putting and unnerving.

A knock at the back door snapped Pearl back to reality.  Taine strode in looking agitated.  Pearl became flustered at the presence of this handsome man in her life.  Admittedly he had brought her husband back to the land of the living with his magic hands and commanding presence and for that she was forever grateful. Yet she felt a massive attraction to him when he was so close in the room.

Taine fell onto his knees in front of Pearl while placing both of his hands on to her pregnant stomach.  He kissed it passionately while looking up to her with attentive eyes crying out,“You have tamariki toru* in this heavenly place!”

*Three children

Comments

She has triplets on the way. My goodness the poor woman. She has had many trials which she seems to have borne patiently despite the occasional understandable lapse into impatience.
This is great, Ken. It is such a challenging serial this one, but you have maintained the pace, the Maori beliefs and the language of the era. You should be proud.
What an interesting chapter Ken. The layers in Pearl's character are opening up. She seems to have accepted her life with Hanley but is secretly attracted to Taine!! Wow, where will this story go next? A potential love triangle? An extra-marital affair? Or will Pearl just settle back in mundane domesticity once the babies are born? You have opened up many plot lines. Good job!
I had to work this one over before I put it in for editing. I was happy with the version I put forward and happy with the changes. The reader gets one go at it and when your work is public make every effort to get it right.
Interesting twist, Ken. Actually, when I wrote the starter I had in my mind that Pearl & Hanley's relationship wouldn't be a happy one!
Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you are having a good time. I never thought they would be having a happy relationship. Triplets in the 19th century! That is a lot to ask!