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   Chapter 4 NO.4

The Sommersagan's By madairifa Characters: 7456

Updated: 2018-01-12 12:47


Mack returned home with barely enough time to get ready for dinner. He took a quick bath though his muscles ached for a much longer stay. The day had been fruitful and the cowboys in town gathered a big enough herd that would almost make the two-month drive to Arkansas a prosperous one.

He wore the best clothes he owned. He knew Hanna, she liked what were seemingly simple dinners to become fancy affairs. He walked out his room to find Dr. Sommersagan in front of the fireplace sitting on the rug dealing with a trinket Mack couldn't make out.

"Mr. Rosenberry, " he greeted looking up at him. "It's for you icebox, " he explained at Mack's confusion.

"What does that do?"

"It'll keep your box cold longer and you'll need less ice."

Mack watched him as he grabbed a tool and made the mechanical box clatter with excitement. One click and the miniature machine came to a stop. He missed with it some more, all kinds of different sounds came from it and it made Mack wonder if the man was truly a doctor or just a man who was good with his hands.

"You don't need to do this, " Mack told him.

"It's my way to repay you for your hospitality."

"Yeah, well. There's no need for that."

The doctor chuckled at Mack's resistance. "There's a new world out there, Mr. Rosenberry. You sure are missing out of its wonders. This whole town is, for that matter."

"Is that right?" Mack replied. He had heard about the new technology that the Doctor and his daughter seem to be enamored with. He had seen those wonders up in El Paso when he had to deal with his father's will and testament. Machines of all sorts that made lives better, from means of transportation to housework, but Mack didn't want to have anything to do with it. He couldn't trust things that worked without the aid of a person, to him people were more trustworthy, no matter how unpredictable they were.

Boots on his wooden floors came from behind them. The Doctor stood with a sigh as his daughter stood before them, her hair was pulled back but a few curls managed to fall out in front of her face.

"How do I look?" she asked breaking the silence.

"You look magnificent, " her father replied.

Mac could not find the right words to express what was going through his mind, the best he could do was to take his hat off and hold it against his chest. It was his mother's dress alright, but she made it her own and it brought a smile to his face.

She turned to look at him and smiled, "Shall we go then?"

"Let's go!" her father replied excitedly. "I'm looking forward to this. It's been a while since we were invited to a dinner party, isn't that right, Joanne?"

Joanne nodded. "Well, we haven't had the luck to meet such welcoming folk." She accepted her father's arm and made their way out Mack's house.

"You traveled a lot?" Mack asked gladly for the conversation.

"From England, " Doc replied.

"England? What the hell you doing all the way here?"

They turned to each other. "That's a private matter, " he replied.

"I see, it has to do with Athena, does it?" Mack enquired.

Neither of them offered an answer, which was all that he needed. "You don't sound English."

"That's because we weren't there for long, " Joanne replied.

Mack put the subject to rest as the Doctor seemed to get uneasy. Joanne turned to Mack as they stood in front of Garrison's door. She gave her an apologetic look, which Mack figured it was for the lack of answers they were giving him. He could tell she herself, did not know the answers to Mack's inquiries.

The minute the door opened, Hanna bombarded the Sommesagans with questions and comments. Through which he discovered new information about the mysterious fami

ly that showed up shooting their mechanical monster into the air.

"So, what kind of doctor are you?" Isaac asked once they were settled down on their dinner table.

"The kind that works too hard with very little reward, " he replied.

It made the lady laugh but Isaac failed to see the humor, and frankly so did Mack.

"My father is an inventor, mainly, " replied his daughter for him. "But he has a doctorates degree in chemical and nuclear engineering."

"My, I've never heard of such big words, " replied Hanna.

"Just a bunch of fancy words from a fancy girl, " said Isaac taking a swig from his glass of whiskey. "All that just means he's good at making weapons. Where the hell were you when we were fighting the Mexicans?"

"My father supported the American troops to the best of his capacities, otherwise, we were indisposed."

"Yeah? Doing what?"

"We were in Spain."

The table became quiet except for the senseless talk from the two-year-old girl beside Mack.

"Spain, uh? What business did you have in Spain?"

Mack cringed at Isaac's constant pestering. Doc didn't seem to be bothered by it since his disdain was directed at his daughter.

Joanne looked down at her plate of rice and beans. "Business."

Isaac let out a laugh. "Business? In Spain? God damn it, you mean you're important people?"

"Isaac, don't curse, " his wife reprimanded motioning her head at their child as if he had forgotten she was even there.

"Tell me, what is it that ya'll be doing in Spain?"

"I'm afraid we are not at liberty to say."

Isaac slammed his hand on the table making everyone jump. Mack reached for the little girl and held her against his chest, his heartbeat sooth her nerves before she had a chance to react to his insolent father's outburst.

"Then what the fuck can you say?"

"Isaac, " Hanna scolded firmly.

"You're hiding something and I don't like it. So, I suggest, Dr. Sommersagan you start talking before I see myself obligated to contact the authorities."

"We're not breaking any laws, " Joanne defended.

"Do you always let your daughter do the talking for you, Doc?"

He didn't reply, he didn't even look up from his plate.

"Give it a rest, " Mack told Isaac.

Isaac eyed his friend and his gaze went down to Mack's arms where his daughter watched him with her big blue eyes. He gave him a nod, emptying his glass of whiskey he sat back down without a word.

Joanne watched his father intently, Mack could tell she was waiting for his father to speak, for any kind of reaction that would put Isaac's thoughts at ease.

But that reaction never came. She dropped her eyes to her hands. "Pardon me, " she said quickly before heading out hastily.

"Damn it, Isaac, " Mack broke the silence. He sat the child back in her seat and rushed out the door.

He found her sitting on his porch steps. He thought twice before he could approach her. She stared up into the night sky, she looked up for so long, it seemed like she was counting the stars.

He wondered what was going through her head. What was she thinking about her father's secret work? Did she find it suspicious just as everyone else did? Or was she going along blindly?

Mack took a step forward but the opening of the door behind him interrupted him. Doc stepped out slowly and without acknowledging him, and walked past him towards his daughter.

Mack watched as he approached her. He spoke a few words and she didn't look up as if he wasn't even there. The Doc spoke some more and at last, he was able to make her smile. Mack smiled at himself, why was he smiling, he did not know, but he decided to step back and let them be, returning to Isaac to give him a piece of his mind.

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