Credit to Countrylover99 for character names that aren't identified in the film ;) Thanks, buddy!

It was finally here!

Today was the day of the barn raising and the picnic, no one was more excited than the brightly dressed cluster of girls surrounding the long wooden tables. They greeted each other with warm hugs, kisses on rosy cheeks and compliments on each other's picnic dresses. This rare community event gave them the chance to socialize, enjoy some dancing and step away from their chores for a few hours. These girls had only just seen each other days before but that never stopped them from delighting in each other's company. Female friends were hard to come by in newly settled Oregon territory. This was wild country that was best braved and tamed by menfolk; ranchers, trappers, trackers and farmers. These girls stayed close to each other, living daily life together in their small town.

Lands, they were a pretty bunch to behold! Tall, Juno-esque Dorcas Gailen glided over the group in lavender gingham and a white straw trimmed with matching ribbons trailing down her long raven hair. There was cheery, smiling Ruth Jebson with blonde curls, excitedly twirling the blue skirt of her dress. Proper, prim and proud Martha Hallum in sensible mint green cotton made sure to keep her cool in the warm August sunshine while her bright brunette friend Liza May in pink check was buzzing around the girls with open arms. Sweet Alice Elcott, the picture of a pastor's daughter, just giggled away with her girlfriends from under her pink bonnet. And shy Sarah Kine smiled graciously as she listened to her friends compliment her on her new style daffodil yellow pinafore dress- simply darling! She humbly thanked them and made the most of their sweet greetings and jokes before the inevitable arrival of Carl and the local group of young men. These suitors would swarm in on them like a pack of wasps then lavish them with overdressed compliments, take their arms and not let go for the entire day.

This small town was growing; families and businesses were arriving gradually from the East for adventure and new starts. At present there were still ten men for every young woman in town. These girls knew all the young men in the area and these fellows were constantly attempting to stake their claim upon them. Some had good hearts, some did not. Regardless, it was good manners and custom to receive them with grace. Love was not really a priority in marriage in this town. This good land needed to be settled, their fathers said; no girl had a right to stay single. It seemed that some days they were drowning in the rigors of courtship. They clung to one another's friendship as a chance to breathe and to feel as if they were not just a prospective wife to someone.

It was very apparent among them that someone was missing from their company - their lovely friend Milly. Oh, how they missed Milly! Milly was a kind, sweet and hard working young woman. Having lost her parents Milly, had to look after herself and found work in one of the town's eating houses where she became renowned as a great cook. Lots of the young single men arriving in town sought her out as a wife but Milly always had held off for some reason. A few months back, she had caused quite a stir amongst the town. She up and married the infamous Adam Pontipee, after knowing him for less than a few hours! She had left the town in such hurry, she didn't even say good bye to her friends. Alice was the last of the girls to see her as Milly had been married by her pa (quite reluctantly) in her own parlour. Alice told the girls all about what had happened at the quilting bee back in June. "Oh, girls! It was just so wonderful! Love at first sight! Milly was so happy and that Adam Pontipee..." Alice trailed off and blushed, "...well, he looked quite happy, too."
Sarah, Ruth and Liza gasped in disbelief when they heard the news, they recalled seeing that giant red headed mountain man that very morning at the general store. He was handsome, that's for sure. But goodness, he was arrogant. Who in their right mind swoops into town and thinks they can catch a bride up in one afternoon? They swapped stories of what the other folk in town had said about those Pontipee men, apparently there were seven of them up at that mountain farm, and that they were a wild, slovenly lot. The Pontipees had rarely come into town, so the girls didn't know what kind of men they actually were. But by the way Adam looked, bearded and dressed in rough buckskins, they could only imagine what Millie would have to face and prayed for her safety.

The young men of the town began to arrive at the picnic, sporting their civilized grey and beige waistcoats and tipping their stetsons to all the party goers. Within moments they had flocked to the sides of the six friends; the ladies welcomed them gingerly and indulged the fellows with polite chatting, attentive listening and smiling. The pleasant meeting was soon interrupted by a clatter of horseshoes and creaking wagon wheels rolled in at the distance, bringing with it mysterious cargo decked in rainbow coloured shirts.

More to come, thanks for reading! I would love to hear your feedback!