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    Southern Comforts—Chapter 4

    The train attendant led Tina down a long corridor of the train that went through several cars until he came to a stop

    “This is Ms. Porter’s compartment” he acknowledged as he allowed Tina to enter which she did so with entitled intention

    “So you decided to share a compartment with me after all?” Bette smirked as she took off her gloves and placed them inside her coat vest

    Tina ignored her while surveying the room as the attendant set her cases down.  He nodded toward Bette who had handed him a hefty tip for helping Tina

    “Thank you kindly” Bette gestured with a wave of her hand.  Tina rolled her eyes at the display

    “Not a problem Madam..We should depart the train station shortly.  Breakfast is currently being served in the main dining car”

    Bette nodded her head to the attendant in kind as he tipped his hat to the two and exited the compartment.  Tina ran her gloved hand over the cushioned seat.

    “I’m sure some of my father’s cotton went into making this seat..It is rather soft.  I’m sure you will be most comfortable here while I enjoy sleeping on the nice cot you currently have occupied with your carrying cases”

    Bette chuckled as she removed her hat setting it on the rack affixed to the wall

    “Do you really think I would just let you have this cot?”

    “Well it is the gentlemanly thing to do.  Is it not?” Tina asked in a sarcastic tone

    Bette nodded “It certainly is that” she replied with Tina giving her a satisfied look “…..But good thing I’m not a gentleman then”

    Tina scoffed

    “And you definitely aren’t a lady either” Tina quipped plopping herself down on the seat and folding arms in annoyance.

    Bette tapped her index finger to her cheek in thought for a moment “I am not sure how you define a lady but your behavior is far from what I would consider lady like”

    “And you are a pompous shrew!” Tina angrily retorted stomping her feet into the floor

    “And you have just proven my point for the one hundredth time” Bette pointed her index finger at Tina “Which is why I have a proposition for you”

    Tina scoffed raising her eyebrow “What sort of proposition could you possibly suggest.  I’m certainly not going to kiss you if that it is what you are considering.  I see the way you look at me” she says smugly

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    1. Well, Tina has turned a corner. No sense acting put out by being on the this trip or Bette will not be the only one having a miserable time. Common sense says relax, go with the flow and get along with Bette as best you can and you will soon be on your way home. And if you do a good job of getting along with Bette, she will give a glowing report to her parents and Tina will have her debutant ball secure. But, Tina is obviously not one to use common sense. There is something else that is motivating Tina and her behavior – curiosity! Bette is a unique character – attractive, intelligent, comfortable in her own skin, and admired by all she meets. She has a masculine flair but is most definitely a woman. She is a buisness woman, who is well travelled and has been entrusted with her family’s buisness. This woman is a curiosity to Tina… yet she just has not stopped to consider all she knows about Miss Bette and what she doesn’t know and more importantly what does she want to know? If Tina has any intelligence whatsoever, she should be thinking that Bette Porter could be a very important person to have in her life as a friend at least.

      This is an interesting story….. the reason for Bette to be in Charleston, South Carolina is a little thin but this fiction and I will let that slide. I’m just going to assume that Bette needs to be in Charleston to make a sales call for the steel her family produces in Pennsylvania just as she made at Kennard Plantation and now Tina is with her as a favor to the family. It was obvious by the barbeque at Kennard Plantation that war is coming. But with this chapter, war is here. These two are headed for real danger.

      Thanks for this chapter…. I like the turn in Tina’s attitude. She still needs a little more fine tuning to be the lady she thinks she is. Her questioning needs to polished so that she presents her inquiry without being blunt and insulting. Hopefully we will see some improvement as time goes on….

      Please write soon….. thank you…

      • Thanks Martha for the comment..Enjoy your insight as always

        And the reason for Bette to be in Charleston is exactly what you said. Her reason is to coordinate the amount of steel they are calling for and arrange transportation. It is a business deal even though they have been commissioned and there is a contract she has to deal with. I just did not go into detail in this chapter..More will be explained next chapter as I have planned

        And Tina is a rough gem right now to slowly be polished


    2. Thanks for posting, jlr. It seems that being away from her family lets Tina come into herself. The mask of the spoiled brat dropped and already she’s able to have decent, adult conversations. I’m curious to see Tina grow on this little journey. Just hope they will be safe should war break out, especially Bette as a Northerner.


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