A new generation of Strasburg is in full bloom. The twins Cinderella and Henson Andrews are nineteen now and home from school for a month. And they’re no less mischievous, to the entire town’s dismay.
Cicely has loved Abel Carter for most of her life. But last year, when he put her across his knee for one of her pranks on another Strasburg citizen, she decided she could never face him again.
Abel, now known as the firm and fair judge in Shenandoah County, has never stopped loving her. But he’s determined that she will begin to act like a grown up young lady instead of the impish, naughty child she’s always been.
Cicely is determined to please him and to turn over a new leaf, regardless of what it takes. Unfortunately, trouble seems to follow her, no matter where she goes or what she does. And when she ends up facing him in court, she can’t believe it’s happening.
And Abel is the one person in town who can – and will – see to it that she behaves.
Publisher’s Note: This is a delightful story of young lovers, containing sweet romance yet firm disciplining of errant young ladies. If this sort of tale offends, please do not purchase.
There were two figures left.. Mrs. Baxter was lying on top of someone; with utter dismay, he saw that it was Cicely. Abel ran, as fast as he could.
Kneeling down over the last little figure in the street, now, he put his hands on her.
“Tell me, sweetheart. Are you all right?” He reached down and touched the developing bruise on her face gently, and she winced.
Her voice was subdued. “Yes, sir. I think so.”
His hands moved down to her shoulders, then her ribs, checking to see if she was hurt. “Move your legs and wiggle your toes.”
She obeyed. “I’m sure I’m all right, Abel.” But she had difficulty meeting his gaze.
He heaved a sigh. “That’s good. Because you, young lady, have no idea just how much trouble you’ll be in when I get you home.”
Narrator: Welcome to the home of Judge Abel Carter, the fair and firm judge of Shenandoah County, and his darling wife Cicely, in Strasburg, Virginia! You two, I have a few questions for you! Cicely, you’re nodding, so I’ll ask you first.
When is your first memory of Abel?
Cicely: It was during the civil war. My twin sister and I were seven that year. The soldiers took over the houses of all of our friends so they came to Pembroke Estate to take refuge. Abel was always looking after us. We were supposed to have a governess and stay in the nursery, but she couldn’t keep up with us. It seemed as if Abel was always there, watching out for us. He taught us the best places to hide. And he taught us to be quiet if the soldiers came up the stairs.
Abel: (looking at his wife lovingly) Being quiet was something foreign to both of them.
Cicely: (laughing) Oh, hush, Abel!
Narrator: Abel, would you tell us what you remember about that night?
Abel: It was right after the wedding of Miriam and the Captain. The very same night. The Union soldiers had tried to confiscate the house just a few days later. But that night, it was the Confederates. Cicely and her sister Polly managed to scare off the whole army that night, just as we were about to run out of ammunition. They saved the day. I never quite figured out, however, just how they managed to get that “Quarantined” sign outside the house without me seeing them.” (He’s looking at Cicely with a raised brow, now.)
Abel: But I didn’t actually fall in love with her until I saw her attack a poisonous snake one day, to save Katie Adams. That’s when I realized how loyal and passionate she was.
Cicely. “But I loved you before then, Abel. Always. You were my hero. My mentor. You saved me, so many times. (Cicely sighs.) The truth is, trouble seems to follow me everywhere I go. It always has. I’m so thankful I have Abel to protect me. (She is laughing.) Sometimes, from myself.
Narrator: What’s happened to you recently?
Cicely: Well, (Looks guilty) A friend came to spend a month with us. That was before Abel and I were married. We used to do skits at school all the time. The other girls at school thought it was great fun. The staff there? Well, they didn’t think so at all.
Abel: And they decided to enact one of those at the courthouse one afternoon while court was not in session. I won’t let Cicely to go into all of it, but it did include her playing the part of a judge, lighting up a cigar and blowing smoke rings, before her friend turned my chair to face the front and she saw me standing there.
Cicely: Oh! You should have seen his face!
Abel: Let’s just say, I was not amused. (laughing) It’s funny now. But it wasn’t then.
Narrator: What’s the most recent thing you’ve been involved in, Cicely?
Cicely (looking at her husband, makes a face embarrassed, and whispers) Should we tell her about the town brawl?
Abel: (with an eyebrow raised) You mean the Ladies town brawl? The first one ever to take place in Strasburg?
Cicely: (looking sheepish) Yes?
Narrator: (laughing) And I think, my friends, that concludes our interview. But please, don’t forget to read “Judging Cicely” to find out the rest of the story!