Helena had planned on enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon ride but now it looked like she would be interrupted. She spotted Looney Lewis ahead, should she turn around? No, she would just hope he didn’t try to stop her.
Looney Lewis was well known in the small town of MapleGrove. He was harmless, just a looney loon. Helena couldn’t say that she ever had one on one encounters with him, but she had heard the stories.
Miss. Tuttle always went on and on about how he didn’t leave her side one day when seeing her in the woods. But Helena had leaned from Miss. Amelia that Miss. Tuttle had actually been lost in the woods and Looney Lewis led her out of them.
Dignified Lady Laura told how Lewis caused her such great distress. She would often dab at a tear in her eye when telling the story. Helena rolled her eyes every time, knowing that there was hardly ever a time that Lady Laura wasn’t in “great distress.”
Then there were the Shrew Sisters that were still upset from the time that he dropped their bags in a big mud puddle. Helena knew how it was to shop with the Shrew sisters. She guessed that he was probably loaded down with bags, so could anyone blame him for dropping some?
She was getting closer to him, and she held her breath. Would he try to talk to her?
Thoughts of speeding up passed through her mind but she didn’t want to be rude. It would be fine she told herself as she caught up to his horse and they rode side by side.
He was quiet, not saying a word. What had she been all worried about? Getting herself in a tizzy over nothing. She began to breathe normally again, enjoying her ride through the countryside.
“Excuse me Miss.”
Helena drew in her breath, she had relaxed too soon.
“Do you mind stopping for a moment?”
Well it looked like looney was going to be an apt description. Why would she stop? He was pretty bold for asking.
“Sorry, I can’t, I have to go.” Giving her horse a little kick she got her to pick up the pace and soon they left Looney Lewis in the dust.
Whoa! Why was Toffee, her horse, slowing down? Oh No! The horse swayed, leaning to the side. Helena quickly brought her to a stop on the side of the road.
Dismounting from Toffee Helena watched as she sunk down to the ground. What was wrong with her horse? What was she going to do? She was out here all alone. Her ears perked up at the sound of a horse’s hooves growing closer.
Lewis pulled up to her and dismounted not saying a word. He walked over to Toffee and rubbed her. “Its okay little one, you are going to be okay. Helena watched in great shock as he pulled out a giant thorn that had become embedded in her hoof. Poor Toffee!
“Thank you Loo…Lewis!” She covered her mouth with her hand as a flame arose in her cheeks. Did he know she was about to say Looney? Did he know the rumors that had been spread about him? Something told her that he did.
“You are welcome Miss. You may want to put some balm on the sore hoof, the one that had the thorn in it.” He handed her some that he took from his pocket. “I always like to carry some with me when I go on rides.”
He tipped his hat and trotted away as she stared after him in shock. He had been nothing but a gentleman to her and had helped poor Toffee.
After rubbing some balm on Toffee’s hoof it wasn’t long til she was on her feet again and she whinnied. “I agree!” Helena said to Toffee. “Lets go girl.”
Soon they caught up to Lewis. “Excuse me sir, there is a creek up ahead. Would you like to stop and rest a little, give our horses a drink from the creek?”
Lewis smiled, “Are you sure you want to be seen with me? What if someone passes by?”
Helena’s face burned, he did know what others thought.
“Let them pass by, I have always enjoyed giving people something to talk about.” She grinned with mischief in her eyes. His periwinkle blue eyes twinkled as they headed to the creek.