In spite of her fears that Karl would disapprove, Emilie soon found her foot tapping the rhythm as well and a bright happy smile was soon plastered across her face as she caught a glimpse of the dancing children in the other room. Just as the impromptu band was at its prime, dinner was announced and the music was called to a halt.
As the men and the children were served their meal, Emilie relaxed and let herself be drawn into the general conversation that floated around her. She learned that these were the families who had so generously donated items of clothing and toys for the Bell children at Christmas time, and she thanked them all profusely for their generous gifts. She learned that one of the families had acquired a telephone and that it would be available for anyone in the community to use once it was installed and hooked up to the new telephone poles being erected across the prairies. She learned that of the three bachelor men who each tried to command her attention, she found she favored Joseph the most. His quietly spoken compliments to the women for providing the wonderful meal, reminded her very much of her dear brother, Wilhelm.
While the three eligible men fawned over Emilie’s attention, Annie and Frederich exchanged amused glances at their young friends confusion. That Emilie was not accustomed to such attention was obvious, and they both knew that in the days ahead, Emilie would receive these three men into Karl’s home many times, before one of them would attempt to persuade her to marry him.
Frederich could see that all the men were instantly attracted to Emilie. Who wouldn’t be, he asked himself as he watched the lovely vision of Emilie blushing girlishly; but he was also pretty certain that another man had already stole her heart. He and Annie had discussed this possibility several times since Karl had left for the mountains, and they both had come to the same conclusion that Karl and Emilie were meant for each other. Perhaps the arrival of these three other men would help to drive the two lovebirds into each other’s arms.
With the meal over, the men once more retired into the living room, while the women washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. Emilie made her way upstairs to settle the younger children to sleep and by the time she returned to the living room there were couples dancing on the small space of wood floor cleared in the middle of the living room.
Joseph, seeing Emilie’s entrance, immediately presented himself for a dance. “Will you join me for a dance?” he asked her in their own German tongue.
She smiled brightly and stepped slowly into his awaiting arms. He even danced like Wilhelm, Emilie thought, as they carefully swung to the music. The tune was a slow one and Joseph, ever mindful of the others in the room, wished only to pull the wonderful woman in his arms, ever deeper into his embrace.
They spoke in German - Emilie telling him how much she missed her family back home, and Joseph telling her his dreams of his future here in Canada. By the time the dance had ended and Emilie was commanded for a dance with another, both Emilie and Joseph knew that a special bond had been forged between them.
The dancing continued long into the evening, and time and again, Emilie returned to the arms of Joseph. When the evening came to an end, she watched as fathers carried their sleeping children in their arms to the awaiting sleighs. Her newfound friends issued invitations for Emilie to come and visit, and as Annie and Frederich embraced her warmly, she knew that in all the months she had been living on the isolated prairie, she had never felt more content than she did this night. She glanced heavenward to the immense black sky filled with tiny stars shinning brightly in contrast, and knew suddenly that she had found a place to call home, here on this lonely isolated plain thousands of miles from her native home.