The Mistress of Tall Acre

By: Laura Frantz

“I’ll step out and enjoy a cup of punch,” Dr. Craik was saying, “while you and the baby greet Miss Lily Cate.”

He left the door open as Myrtilla wiped her brow and Florie took pains with her hair, rebraiding the lengthy plait that had frayed in the night. Their own pleasure was apparent—they could hardly look away from the heir of Tall Acre.

Mere seconds later, Sophie thrilled to the sound of rushing feet. Lily Cate soon hovered in the doorway, gaze riveted to the bundle in Sophie’s arms. She approached the bed with near reverence, Seamus just behind, as the women left the room.

Still clad in her nightgown, Lily Cate climbed the bed steps and settled on the feather mattress with care.

Sophie placed the bundle in her arms, delighting in Lily Cate’s rapt expression. “Our baby is in need of a name.”

Lily Cate looked up at Seamus. “Papa, is he truly a boy? How can you be sure?”

“Trust me,” he said with a wink.

“He is so small!” Leaning closer, Lily Cate kissed his reddened nose. “Brothers should be big, but he is more like a puppy.”

“He’ll grow in time,” Seamus said, bending to kiss Sophie full on the mouth.

She touched her dry lips as he pulled away, mindful of the anxiety in his eyes. The night had been long and he’d been pacing, coming in once when she’d cried out despite Craik and the women having all in hand.

“Why not call him Seamus?” Sophie offered.

He quirked a brow. “One of us isn’t enough?” When she shook her head, he relented. “Seamus, then. But the lad still lacks a middle name.”

“Let’s call him Adam.” Lily Cate cradled the baby closer. “After the first man God made.”

“Seamus Adam Ogilvy,” Sophie echoed, gauging Seamus’s reaction. At his delighted smile, joy sang through her. “A bonny family we make—Seamus, Sophie, Lily Cate—”

“And baby Adam!” finished their wee daughter.

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