May 9, 1885
The bell chimed in the front of the shop where Maggie had been tinkering with an ornate lock on a trunk that she had purchased. Mr. Moretti had taken a small excursion to pick up another purchase that she had made at auction. So Maggie put down her tools and went through the door into the outer shop to find Penny perusing the glass cases.
“As if you don’t get the first pick of the lots?”
“Well you never know when I might overlook something that may not be as shiny until you or Mr. Moretti clean and repair it,” Penny said with all the seriousness of a priest during confession.
Maggie gave a chuckle and put her hands on her hips as Penny came around the case she had been peering into.
So have you any idea on where we can find the rest of the journals yet? I know you Penny Davenport, you’ve likely slept very little since you took them from this workshop.”
Penny tucked her gloves into the small bag she carried with her and smiled. When Penny began to relay the details of her plan to find the other journals, Maggie was delighted yet unsurprised.
Maggie adored airships. They were a new technology that made her heart pound. Despite her treks to Port Huron for various auctions, Maggie had never actually been on an airship. It was always a luxury for which she couldn’t spare the expense. With Penny making the plans, there was little doubt that she would finally be able to take make a reality of that adventure.
“I have a good idea of where the journals could be located. I wrote to the estate and learned that it is actually up for sale. I had to come over early this afternoon to tell you. Quite frankly, this makes our task easier. It isn’t going to be so difficult for us to get in and take a look around at length,” Penny said.
“We could always take a train, Penny,” Maggie suggested.
“Nonsense, I’ve already got the tickets to leave first thing tomorrow. I was certain that you could have Mr. Moretti look after the shop. I hope that’s acceptable. I didn’t think that you would want to delay any further.”
Penny was keenly aware of Maggie’s stance on the matter of money. Penny had never had a need to worry about it. When she wanted something she purchased it, when she needed something, it was provided. Sometimes she forgot that Maggie, despite her solid financial status, didn’t have disposable income. Except that it wasn’t so much that she forgot about it, as it was that she didn’t understand why it needed to be a hurdle for them to overcome constantly. Penny had the means to provide their way and she was more than happy to do so; especially when it was in the pursuit of knowledge
That is acceptable, Penny,” Maggie assured with a smile.
“We will need to stay overnight in order to exhaust the possible options. I’ll take care of the accommodations as well.”
“If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to handle that portion of the trip. It is the least that I can do considering that you’re taking us on an airship.”
“Very well,” Penny said with a kind smile, “I have to meet with a caterer this afternoon. Father is having another gala to celebrate the electoral win.”
“Then I’ve no doubt that you’ve been busy,” Maggie said, feeling no envy for Penny’s role as the lone woman in a family of wealth and stature. It meant a whole lot of duties that Maggie knew she had zero patience. But, since George Davenport now sat at as one of the most powerful men in the county, as its commissioner, Penny would need to host parties and teas and other despiteful social engagements. Poor Penny, Maggie thought.
“We’ll be having it a week from tomorrow,” Penny said. “You’ll be there, won’t you?”
“It would be poor taste if I weren’t,” Maggie smiled, although Penny saw a flash of dread. “I suppose I shall simply have to don the formal apparel again and make the most of it.”
Penny smiled and chuckled. She knew that her father would be pleased to hear of Maggie’s RSVP even if informally.She was quite certain that they would eventually find time away from the throngs of people in their home to talk about whatever they might find.
In the silence that ensued, Penny remembered a piece of information that was sure to make Maggie more interested in attending.
“Andrew will be there actually.”
“Yes, I reckoned.”
“I had a letter from him in the post yesterday. He’s making the trek and is likely already on his way. We’re expecting him to arrive the night before, at minimum,” she confirmed.
Maggie had always liked Andrew. He was more like her despite his status. He’d been given the unfortunate task of taking over part of the family business. Since Penny’s other brother George had become an attorney, someone in the Davenport family had to take over their textiles business. It was an unfortunate part, in Maggie’s mind, of being a male member of the family.
Andrew was, by his nature and curiosity, an inventor. He was one of the few people aside from Fynn and Mr. Moretti that Maggie would entrust with her valuable finds. However, his love of invention had placed him in good company. He didn’t often find time to come back to Detroit; however, it was always a treat when he managed the trek.
“I’ll look forward to seeing him. It will allow me to hide away from all of the sociable people while you’re mingling with the crowds.”
Penny knew that Maggie would decline any sort of trip to see a caterer about a social event. So they set a time that Penny would pick her up by carriage and she bade her good afternoon.