Melinda Jane is not as fun to be around as she used to be. We used to race our horses, climb trees, and fish together for hours on end. When I was stuck in San Francisco during a scarlet fever epidemic, Melinda and I had fine times together. Aunt Rebecca took us to the seashore, and Melinda seemed very happy that I had come to visit. We even survived an earthquake together!
Then, all of a sudden it seems, Melinda grew up. Oh sure, she still likes to ride her horse Pandora (Panda for short), but it’s not the same as it was before. Overnight, after she returned from Miss Whitaker’s Academy in the city, Melinda turned into what folks call a “young lady.” She suddenly discovered corsets, Godey’s Lady’s Book, and social events in town. Her golden hair is always in place, and she never trips and falls into the horse trough or is late for meals. Melinda is never in a hurry, and she always thinks things through before she makes a decision. She enjoys learning how to run a house. It’s not that I don’t want to learn those things, it’s just that going on a cattle drive sounds like a heap more fun than sewing a new dress. In spite of all this, I really do look up to my sister, and we get along pretty well.
Recently, it appears that the young men of Fresno have figured out Melinda’s grown up. They think she’s charming. I’ve seen a few of them make fools of themselves when they come calling, trying to win her attention. It doesn’t help that my brothers mill about whenever Melinda has a gentleman caller. It seems to make the fellas mighty uncomfortable, but it makes me laugh.
For awhile, we thought Melinda would end up marrying a shady character by the name of Jeffrey Sullivan. She had blinders on for sure, because even Mitch could see through Jeffrey’s shenanigans. He wanted to “catch” a rich prize–Melinda Jane Carter. But I helped save the day and showed Melinda his true self.
Then Peter Wilson started courting Melinda, with the whole family’s approval. I was ecstatic! No more Jeffrey Sullivan. And I’ve loved Peter since I was small and used to tag along behind Mitch and Peter, his best friend. It nearly killed me to have to testify against Peter in a murder trial (Price of Truth), but thankfully all of that got straightened out. Peter is a fine, upstanding you man, even if he is a bit too serious. He works at his father’s bank.
Peter and Melinda make a fine couple! He looks like a banker, doesn’t it? He and his younger brother Johnny (more about him later) do resemble each other, but the similarities end there.
Melinda and Peter married in September 1884. She never let on, but it must have been very hard to wait five long years to finally give birth to her sweet baby boy, William John, who was born October 1889. Melinda just glows these days, and baby William is a quiet, happy baby.