This is my own invention from between the chapters "Almanzo Goes Away" and "The Night Before Christmas" from the book These Happy Golden Years

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. They belong to the brilliant author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

"So this is the college for the blind. It looks pretty fancy."

"Laura said it was taking nearly all she earned for teaching plus most of what the Ingalls made on their crop this year to keep Mary in school."

"Well I hope it is all they expected it to be."

"You know; maybe she should just leave the letters on the front desk here and leave. We still have a long way to go…."

"No, we are going to see Mary and this time you are going to talk to her, even if it is only to introduce yourself. Look, here comes someone now."

"Excuse me gentleman, can I help you with something?"

"Yes M'am. We are here to see Ms. Mary Ingalls please. We have something for her from her family."

"Whom shall I tell her is visiting?"

"Almanzo and Royal Wilder M'am."

"If you will both come with me, she is in a class at the moment but if you are willing to wait about ten more minutes she will be finished for the afternoon."

"Well if she is in class…."

"We'll wait. Thank you M'am."

"Almanzo!"

I feel a little guilty right now, but if he loves her shouldn't he speak to her at least once? Even if it is for only a few moments, those moments can mean the world; I know my few moments with Laura before we left were precious and something I will not forget.

"Roy, ten minutes is not that long, it would take that long for us to get back out to the horses anyway. We might as well stay and stretch our legs while we wait. Besides, I feel I should introduce myself to my future sister-in-law."

"Remind me to make you walk the rest of the way to Minnesota!"

"Nowhere to run now, it looks like the class is getting out now. Just say who you are, I will say who I am and then you will give her the letters. We can go right after that, I promise."

"You know, if Father did not have to talk to you I think I would kill you now and simply burry you in a place nobody could ever find you!"

"Ha ha! I know you don't really mean that. Wait, is that her over there in the blue?"

"Gentleman, if you will come with me Mary has said she will meet you both in her classroom."

"Hello, Mr. Wilder, Mr. Wilder. Now if you will just tell me which one of you is the one Laura has been writing about so much in her letters I would be most obliged."

"That would be me Ms. Ingalls. My name is Almanzo."

"Almanzo. Laura told me how you got your name, what a funny story. And please don't call me Ms. Ingalls, call me Mary. I am sure Laura has told you about our entire family and it must feel odd calling me by a name you are not use to hearing."

"It did feel a bit strange. I thank you Mary for making it less uncomfortable."

"I am going to assume that the Mr. Wilder with you is your brother?"

"Correct again Mary. This is my brother Royal."

"…Pleasure to meet you Ms. Wilder."

"Oh, that will be too confusing to have one of you call me Mary and the other Ms. Wilder. Please, both of you just call me Mary."

"Mary it is then."

"Now Ms. Hart said that you had something for me from my family? How did they know you were coming here. For that matter, why are you here?"

"Well Almanzo and I are heading to my Folk's farm in Minnesota, and we realized that your school wasn't that far out the way. So we asked your family if they had anything they wanted to send you as long as we were on our way. They have several letters and your Christmas present. Although I am under direct orders from your father to tell you that you may not open it until Christmas."

"Ha ha, that is so like Pa! Well I thank you gentleman for coming to bring me the letters and my Christmas present. What a treat to have!"

"It was our pleasure Mary. We do have to get going, but it was wonderful getting to meet you. I know Almanzo here has something he wants to share with you, although I am sure your sister's letter has the news as well."

"News?"

"Well yes, see Mary, we are going to be brother and sister by next year if all goes as it should. I asked Laura to marry me and she said yes. We are engaged."

"Engaged?! I mean...she wrote of you often, but...engaged!"

"Yes, I love Laura very much and as of today we have been engaged for four weeks and three days."

"Oh, well...Congratulations! I do wish you only happiness. Laura would not have said yes unless she was truly in love with you."

"Thank you, that means a lot to me."

More than you realize Mary.

"I suppose I will read Laura's explanation in her letter. I would love and talk more with you both, especially considering the situation; however, I promised a friend of mine that we would go into town later this afternoon. Thank you again for coming. I hope you both travel safely back to your parent's farm."

"It was our pleasure Mary. Since we will not see you for at least six months, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

"Thank you, to you too."

"Royal, I am going to go get the horses ready if you want to give Mary her letters and gift."

I know I'll hear it from Royal later because if looks could kill I think I would be dead right now. But I really feel this will be good for him, to have these few minutes alone with her. It is worth the death glare.

"Oh, right. Here Mary. I'm sorry if the letters are a bit wrinkled, they were in my pocket so I wouldn't lose them."

"That is alright, I would rather have wrinkled letters than no letters at all. Besides, I don't actually read them myself. We have someone here who sees and she reads us our letters. But I thank you for the warning anyway."

"Take care of yourself Mary, I wouldn't want anything to….happen to you."

"I will. Thank you again for everything, I truly appreciate it."

"The pleasure was all mine."

"Goodbye then Mr. Wilder."

"Royal, please."

"Well then, goodbye Royal. Be safe."

"I will, and if you happen to write to Laura you can tell her I am keeping Almanzo safe and out of trouble."

"I will."

"Goodbye then Mary."

"Goodbye…Royal."

"Alright Almanzo, you don't have to say it. I know."

"All I was going to say was that I had never seen your eyes so full of love before. Do you know that they turn a lighter color when you look at Mary?"

"Don't say it Manzo, I know it can never be, please help me let it all go. Just don't talk about her, please. She is happy where she is, and even if we can never be together I at least know that much. All I want is for her to be happy and if this is it for her than I am happy for her."

Did I do the right thing? Is he going to be alright?

"Let's get going, we have a long way to travel before dark. Is everything ready?"

"Yes, the horses are ready and everything is packed away. I just have one question, was that gift really from the Ingalls?"

"…Not exactly. I overheard Mr. Ingalls talking to Mr. Foster about the gloves, that is what the gift is, gloves, so I knew they wanted to get Mary some new gloves. I simply bought them for her so the Ingalls wouldn't have to spend the extra money."

"How are you going to explain that to the Ingalls when they get a letter from Mary saying she loves her Christmas gift and they did not buy her the gloves?"

"Oh, I told Mr. Ingalls I bought the gloves for Mary, but that they were really from you, her future brother-in-law. When they get the letter they will assume that she left you out because you told her to so Laura wouldn't know."

"Clever, and yet deceitful."

"It would have been completely inappropriate for me to give her a gift, this way everyone thinks they are from someone else and nobody feels hurt. And I get to give the woman I love a gift, even if she never knows it is from me. Now if we are done I really think we should be going, we have a few hours of light left and I want to get as far as we can before dark."

Well, this trip has been quite the eye-opener. I really hope Royal is going to be alright. I know first hand how strong love is….if only I had known! I feel so terrible that I never saw how in love he was. Everything happens for a reason…right?

A redo of chapter five, which is really the third part of chapter three, is ready for your thoughts, critiques, questions and requests. So please let me know.