Upon entering the house, Rose walked into the parlour room and was instantly greeted by her frantic mother, "Oh Rose my child where have you been; I've been worried sick about you"!
"It's alright mother I'm fine, I just went out for a walk that's all".
"Rose you should know better than to go out at this hour of the night and especially tonight of all nights...What if a ghost or goblin attacked you or what if you ran into a skeleton and it decided to make mince meat out of your bone marrow"?
"Mother you're overreacting about all this...you don't need to worry about me I can look after myself, I'm not a child anymore".
"I understand you're not a child and I need to stop treating you like one, but I cannot help myself...I worry about you Rose".
"I know ou do and I'm sorry about that, I don't intend to upset or worry you".
"Now Rose you don't upset me; you worry me beyond belief but never upset me".
"Well that's comforting, I guess".
"Indeed, now please promise me that you will not run out like that again".
"Only if you promise not to agree with Henry's proposal".
Rose sat on the couch and began to explain the conversation she overheard, but before she could finish, Henry walked into the room and approached her, "Oh my darling Rose I'm so glad you're alright, I was very worried about you. Why did you leave without informing anyone...or better yet, why were you outside; you know what day it is".
She looked up at him and sighed, "Yes Henry I know what tonight is and there is no need for your worry or concern, as you can see I am safe and unharmed".
"Well we can't be too sure about that now can we"?
Mrs. VenDel looked at the both of them with confusion, "Excuse me for interrupting but I would like it if someone would explain what this proposal ia all about".
"I take it that Mr. VenDel has not told you yet"?
"No he has not; Rose was just about to tell me".
Henry turned his attention back to Rose, "Were you now? You know that this was to be a surprise".
Rose just rolled her eyes and said nothing while her mother gave them another look of confusion, "Would someone please inform me as to what's going on"?
"Oh of course; as you know I've spoken with your husband earlier".
"Yes, Rose mentioned about that".
"Ah, but did she tell you why I wanted to speak with him"?
"No she didn't; would you mind telling me"?
"Of course; now the reason why I wanted to speak with Mr. VenDel was this...I wish to marry your daughter but I needed his permission before I could ask her myself".
Mrs. VenDel gave a look of shock which then turned into an overjoyed smile, "You wish to marry our Rose"?
"Yes I do; I've wanted to for several years but I've never had the courage to ask her; that is until now", he faced Rose, got down on one knee and took her by the hand, "My lovely Rose, will you do me the honor of becomming my wife"?
She slipped her hand out of his and backed up against the wall, "Why are you doing this to me Henry"?
"What do you mean what am I doing, I'm simply asking for your hand in marriage".
"I can see that but why do you want to marry me? Why can't you find another woman to marry"?
"Now you know better than anyone that there is no other woman in this entire village who I would rather spend the rest of my life with than you".
Before Rose could reply, Mrs. VenDel interrupted their discussion, "Oh don't mind her Henry, she's probably a little taken by all this; she just needs some time to gather her thoughts that's all".
"Ah yes, I agree with you on that matter...she's had a rough day and I believe that my marriage proposal was too much for her to handle".
"Yes that must be the reason but don't worry I'm sure she'll give you an answer soon".
"Very well, I'll give her until New Year's to ponder this over".
"Don't worry she'll have an answer for you before then".
"I do hope so; well if nothing else I shall take my leave and be off for the night".
"It was nice having you over Henry...Goodnight".
"Goodnight Mrs. VenDel", he looked over at Rose, "And goodnight to you my lovely Rose".
Rose stood in silence as Henry walked out the door to which afterward Mrs. VenDel looked at her daughter with disbelief, "Why did you say all those things to Henry"?
"Well mother if you must know why it's because that's how I feel; I believe that he needs to find someone else to spend the rest of his life with".
"But he wants to spend it with you Rose".
"I know he wants it that way but I don't".
"Because if I have to spend my life with him I'll be thrown into missery and I will end up as a sad, sorry excuse of a woman. I cannot imagine a more horrible fate than being married to the likes of him".
"And what part of marrying Henry do you find so horrible, if I may ask"?
"Define "everything" Rose".
"Very well; I find him arrogant and conceited and very blunt at his choice of words and actions".
"What do you mean by that"?
"I don't want to have to explain it, you'll just take his side and not believe me".
"Now Rose I'm willing to listen to whatever you have to say".
"Alright, if you insist", Rose then sat down and discussed the earlier conversation she had with Henry to which afterward she folded her hands into her lap and said in a calm voice, "Now do you understand mother"?
Mrs. VenDel looked into her daughters eyes and placed a hand on her shoulder, "I now understand my child, I'm sorry that I questioned your judgment earlier".
"It's alright mother, you didn't know".
"I realize that now and I plan to make it up to you".
"And how do you intend to do that"?
"Simple, I'll talk with your father and explain everything you said, then he'll confront Henry and reject his proposal to marry you; therefore, you two will not be wed to eachother and your father and I will not have the displeasure of calling him our son-in-law".
"As marvelous as your plan is mother, I hate to point out the flaw in it; you know how close father is to Mr. Orman, they've known eachother since childhood and I doubt he's going to reject the idea of having his best friend become his in-law".
"Well you have a point there but don't worry I'll find a way to convince him and put an end to all this".
"Thank you mother".
"Of course, now you go on upstairs and get some sleep and I'll talk to your father".
"Alright then, goodnight mother".
As soon as Rose departed upstairs, Mrs. VenDel walked down the hall and entered the library to which she saw her husband sitting in his chair by the fireplace, reading the latest copy of the newspaper and smoking his pipe. He looked up from his paper and noticed his wife standing in the doorway, "Elizabeth my dearest, what brings you in here"?
"Well my dear Richard, I wanted to speak with you for a moment".
"Well by all means go ahead; you know I always have time for you", he folded his newspaper and set it aside, "Now what is on your mind my dear"?
She sat herself down in the opposite chair and folded her hands in her lap, "Well I wanted to talk to you about Henry and his proposal".
"Ah, so you've heard have you"?
"Yes I did; I actually wittnessed his proposal to Rose".
"He proposed to her already? Well now I'm completely gobsmacked, I thought he planned to ask her tomorrow afternoon but by Joe I guess I was wrong".
"I take it you're chuffed about all this"?
"Well of course I am, the thought of our daughter getting married; to Henry no less, brings a smile to my heart...Now if I may ask, what was her response"?
"Oh, well she didn't quite give him a response; I said that all this excitement was probably too much for her to handle at the moment".
"Ah yes, I can imagine that she must have felt a little pressured, I mean his proposal was unexpected and she had an eventful day to recover from. I can understand why she would need some time to gather her thoughts".
"Yes well she has until New Year's to ponder it over".
"Well then that should give her plenty of time".
"Normally yes; but after Henry left Rose gave me her answer".
"Oh did she now", Mr. VenDel leaned forward in his chair with anticipation of his wife's description of their daughter's response, "Well what was her answer? Was it "yes""?
"Well...not exactly darling".
"What, she said "no""!?
"In a way yes she did say "no" but she explained her reason".
"And what reason does she have for turning down Henry Orman"?
"I'll tell you if you're willing to listen".
"Very well, I shall listen and after you finish I will respond".
"Alright dear", Mrs. VenDel then explained the conversation she had with their daughter and without sparing any details, she described every word Rose mentioned in the encounter she had earlier with Henry. After she finished talking, Mrs. VenDel sat back in her chair, "Well, what's your response"?
Mr. VenDel got up from his chair, rested an arm on the mantelpiece and relit his pipe, "Elizabeth, would you mind leaving me to my thoughts; I'll get back to you in the morning, I just need time to process this information".
"I understand", she got up and headed out of the room.
He looked over at her then turned back and faced the fireplace, to which he stood there in deep thought and continued smoking his pipe.