Chapter Seven - All Shall Fade

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He waited until that afternoon when her, Mrs Smith, her sister and mother had left to assist in cooking for the soldiers before going to see General Lewis. Benedict Whitefield had loved Grace Lewis since they had begun to grow closer five years ago. He had never before met with a kinder and more loving sound than her voice; he had never known a more faithful and courageous woman nor had he ever come across someone with as much resolve, compassion and sense of justice than she. Grace had borne his opinions and reserved scholarly ways like no other. Even after four long years apart she did not seem to have lessened one bit in her opinion of him, which he figured was sufficient encouragement for him to proceed with what he had been rehearsing since he had gotten off the ship from England.

He found her father alone in his tent busily writing his weekly update to General Washington.

"General Lewis." He began in order to get his attention, "There is something I've been meaning to speak with you about, but I can come back later if you are too busy to receive me now."

"Nonsense, I'm finished with my dispatch to General Washington and would be glad to hear whatever it is you have to say."

"Miss Lewis -"


"I took the particular opportunity to come to you while she is away so that I may ask your permission for your daughter's hand in marriage. I understand that there is a war on but I can assure you, General, that your daughter will be safe and comfortable. Before I left from London I received a letter from a parish in northern Virginia that would be very happy to take me on as their minister. I would be provided commodious lodgings and a good yearly sum to live on."

"I do not doubt that, but for my daughter's sake and the sake of my own conscious I must ask, do you truly love her?"

"Dear General Lewis, I love your daughter devotedly, affectionately, lovingly, and more than life itself. If ever there were a man who loved a woman more than I do your daughter I should certainly like to meet with him."

"You speak the truth?"

"I should be a most treacherous man if I were not."

"Than I could have never asked for a better future son-in-law, but I must ask you one more question, have you spoken of this to Grace?"

"No, I have not. I was planning on it as soon as I was sure of your blessing."

"Then you have it." The general smiled warmly as he shook Benedict's hand, "If Grace accepts we shall celebrate tonight. The engagement couldn't have come at a better time, festivities will certainly lift the solider' spirits."

"I am very glad, Sir, very glad indeed!" He could not stop smiling as he exited the general's tent to go and find Grace.

He found her walking out of the tent where all the woman had been cooking with an empty bucket in her hand.

"Grace!" He called out to her as he jogged over to where she was. He was planning on taking her for a nice walk where he might propose by a lovely little brook or someplace else that would be a bit more romantic than in front of a military kitchen, but he could scarcely contain his joy.

"What is it, Ben? You look like you have just received some very good news."

"I have, although it will be you who shall hopefully make it complete."

She blushed, figuring what he might be alluding to.

"I love you, Grace. Will you do me the honor of being my wife?" He got down on one knee as he said this. Grace's blush grew even deeper as she dropped the bucket and her hand flew to cover her mouth in surprise.

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