Matt ran so fast that he stumbled into the doorway of Mammy’s, causing all the breakfast eaters to look up with a jolt. Mammy putting the last of the pancakes on the grill caught his eye and bid him over. Before she could speak he stuttered the words, “I have to go and find Goldsmith, Mammy, it’s really important. I was hoping he would be here.” Matt glanced around the room looking for the familiar tall frame at his local table. Mammy knew this never happened with Matt. He was the most reliable worker she had. Shy and withdrawn for the most part, but faithful. “Go on then,” was all she said and then gave Matt a warm, and curious smile. “Come back for your cleaning after you do!” Matt nodded thankfully and headed out the door. Thoughts flooded his mind, as he walked briskly down the dirt road, seeking to find Goldsmith. His mind nothing but turmoil and confused emotion. Thoughts of his mother and father flooding into grief, thoughts of Florence, how embarrassed he was to have her see him this way. How he wished he had said something more appropriate. Self condemnation, doubt and anxiety flooding his every move. “If only he could have handled Florence better.” Clearly troubled at heart, and full of self-doubt, Matt almost missed Goldsmith on the corner of the Hardware store, talking with Black Jack. “Sir!!” He almost croaked out. “Sir! I have to speak with you! I… well …I….” Matt’s face was now flushed and twisted all full of anxious thoughts. Goldsmith looked penetratively at the slight figure and felt a surge of compassion for this almost broken looking soul. “What is it son, speak up, tell me what you have for me to hear?” Matt looked shyly into Goldsmith’s eyes and said, “You need to read this” and handed him the deed to the mine, and his mother’s dying words, written on now aged , yellow, paper.
Goldsmith felt the urgency and took the papers, read silently every once in a while, looking deeply into Matt’s troubled face and reading once again.
There was a silence for what seemed like a lifetime, and Goldsmith finally spoke to Matt. “Let’s go.”
Matt looked into the penetrating, honest eyes and felt a drop of comfort in his chest, and obediently followed Goldsmith down to the Mayor’s office, Matt still so full of turmoil from all of the recent events, could hardly keep from running away and hiding in his room. But on he followed Goldsmith, entering the kindly Mayor’s office to a “Well good morning Goldsmith! Looks like the fall weather may be changing soon! Wouldn’t you say!”
With that Goldsmith smiled a nod, and handed the Mayor the young troubled boys, deed to the mine.