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A Dilemma For Jamie By Angela Rigley

The second book in the Victorian saga

A Dilemma For Jamie

“Mama, it’s snowing.” Eleven­year old Jamie Dalton pressed his face up against the nursery window. “And they’re the biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen.” He turned to his little sisters. “We’ll go out and build a snowman later, shall we?”

Picking up Annabella, who had started to grizzle, Tillie replied. “I’m afraid not, Jamie. The twins are much too little, and Auntie Ruby tells me this little one was coughing again during the night.”

Fifteen-month old Alice toddled over to the window. Tillie noticed her red frock was becoming rather short. She would have to see about having new ones made for each of the twins. Something else to arrange.

Alice climbed onto the seat next to her brother and put her podgy hand into his.

He pointed outside. “Look, Alice, snow. Isn’t it great?”

She nodded, cuddling up to him, her thumb in her mouth as usual, her golden ringlets contrasting with his darker hair. Beneath her little bonnet, her bright eyes―the image of her father’s, and as blue as sapphires in her round face―beamed with love each time she looked at her big brother. Tillie couldn’t wish for a closer relationship between her children and, although Annabella was so often confined to bed with illness, so hadn’t developed such a tight bond, she knew Jamie loved her just as well. Although she’d wanted to call her ‘Amelia’, David had decided, on the morning of their christening that, as Alice had been named after Tillie’s grandmother, he wanted their other twin to have his mother’s name. So Annabella it was. They could always name the next baby ‘Amelia’.

She patted her belly and, shaking her head when she heard her son whispering to Alice, “We’ll ask Papa when he comes in, eh?” she placed the now sleeping Annabella in her crib and crossed the room to stand behind the pair at the window.

“I heard that, young man, and no, you mustn’t bother your father. He has much more important matters to deal with. Anyway, he won’t be back until late. He…” She had been about to give him some bad news, but decided against it. There was no need to tell him just yet.

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