Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Lacey: Blogging the #AtoZchallenge

Meet My Imaginary Friends: Lacey Mulhearn

The Memory Quilt of Lacey Mulhearn in The Bucktail Cap in the Trunk is based on a true story about the first Irish immigrants to Marienstadt. In it an ancient memory quilt is found in the attic of an old house and it tells the story of Paddy Mulhearn, an ambitious and successful immigrant who built a fortune for himself, but could not find a suitable wife to share it with. When he heard about a fifteen year old girl from his home town in Ireland who had gotten "in the family way" by a married man, Paddy sends for her, hoping to give her a better life than she could have ever had there. In this scene it is Lacey's second night in America. They are at a hotel in 1872 Baltimore and Paddy wants to take her out to dinner, but she is proving more of a handful than he had imagined.

Sir?” A light tap on the door was followed by the maid from the previous evening poking her head inside.
Is everything all right?” he asked. Following their visit to one more dress shop to find a suitable evening dress, he had brought Lacey back to the hotel and arranged for another bath. If his future wife was going to indulge in an extravagance, he figured loving baths was as pleasant a vice as a husband could hope for. When they got back home he would see about purchasing the most luxurious bathtub he could afford for her.
I helped the young lady to dress,” the maid said, “and did her hair for her. She looks lovely but I think you need to talk to her.”
Paddy pulled on his jacket and followed the maid down the hall.
What’s the problem?”
I’ll let her tell you.” The maid walked along beside him. In a soft voice she added, “She’s a very determined young lady.”
Paddy snorted and couldn’t help but chuckle.
Since Lacey had shown no interest in the shop they went to, he selected an evening dress of sky blue taffeta with a modest bustle and a sweetheart neckline that left her shoulders bare. He had thought the color would be perfect with her eyes and he was correct. Lacey stood in the center of her room and he caught his breath in wonder at her beauty. Her fiery red hair had been done up, showing off her lovely neck and shoulders, and the dress fit perfectly giving her slender figure the appearance of more curves than he had imagined.
You look absolutely gorgeous,” he said, barely able to speak.
I can’t go out like this!” Lacey glared at him.
What do you mean?” He studied her as he walked around her nearly dumbstruck at her beauty. “You look wonderful. You look like a fine lady.”
My Mam would take my hide off if she saw me.” She folded her hands over the modest swell of her breasts above the neckline. “Showin’ my boozies like this.” She blushed and the soft rose in her cheeks made her even more lovely.
Lacey.” It took him a minute to realize what she was talking about. “Lacey, you look beautiful. Almost all ladies wear dresses like this in the evening.”
All whores, you mean. I’d die before flauntin’ myself like this.”
Paddy stared at her then glanced at the maid who stood with her hands clasped in front of her, eyes downcast, and an expression that told him she had already tried all these arguments.
I have an idea. I’ll be right back.” Paddy strode down to his room and fetched the silk shawl hanging folded on the back of a chair. He shook it out as he returned to her room and draped it over her shoulders. “There,” he said. “How’s that?”
She pulled the shawl tightly covering herself up to her neck. “I’m not taking it off,” she said.
Paddy sighed. “Fine,” he said.


  1. Well this is very intriguing. A young girl pregnant by a married man being so incredibly modest. It sets up many questions in the reader's mind which is brilliant.

  2. Ha ha, not the attitude of today, is it?
    Lovely excerpt!

  3. This is in the 1870s and I suspect things were much different then.

  4. I like the sound of Lacey - a perfect heroine for a book. The story is made all the more fascinating because it's based on a true story. Good stuff!
    That's Purrfect

  5. I love the image of the young girl. She's lovely. It would be interesting to find out what her life turns out to be after this scene.

  6. lol she's firm in her beliefs, good for her!

  7. Lacey turns into a very good wife though she certainly gives Paddy a run for his money!!! Thanks for the visits.

  8. You tell a very interesting story. She's probably very shy. I have put the book on my TBR list.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  9. Interesting character. She slept with a married man and is knocked up. (You didn't mention rape.) Yet, she's on a morality kick about the dress. ~~~ I like this character because she's not perfect. Often we try to present an image that may not necessarily be what we are. This was a good excerpt. Thanks!

    Piper Presley
    L is for Love: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

  10. Thank you for the visits. Poor Lacey is very much a product of her times. In 1872 girls were raised to be very modest and, though she was not actually raped (although she was in a statutory sense), she was very much taken advantage of. Poor little girl doesn't realize how lucky she is that Paddy is taking care of her.

  11. My boozies. LOL. She's someone you could have fun with over a drink or two.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

  12. Oh! I like her right away. Glad to have met Lacey today.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  13. Thank you. She's a strange person but has a beautiful soul.

  14. I guess she doesn't realize that being married means she can get away with stuff like that. In time...

    Liz A. from
    Laws of Gravity

  15. I like this. I especially like the different cultures coming out and the lovely attempt at ajusting on both parts.
    Thanks for sharing :-)

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

  16. Haha :D She sounds like a handful! And I like the way she talks :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary


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