“Can I feel her?” and said in a whisper too not her usual high volume.
"There is nothing to feel yet, it is far too early," Clara softly explained, "And we cannot be certain it will be a girl either. Or is that what you are hoping for?"
Arabella didn’t answer. She just put out her hand, ever so slowly, and lightly touched Clara’s still relatively flat looking tummy. She looked up with shining eyes from the sacred spot from whence new life miraculously sprang and gave Clara a small but encouraging smile.
She looked at Jacob and then back to Clara.
“I'll take you to Brother Thomas right now, but... do you need any money?” she whispered.
"No, I mean Jacob has some but the marriage should not cost us anything other than perhaps a dinner for the minister. We just need you to help us find the man for now, Arabella. One thing at a time," Clara was really a bundle of nerves but trying very hard to keep calm and focused.
Arabella nodded and started to sneak to the door of the laundry room and looked about outside. “Come on!” she beckoned the other two to follow her. It wasn’t clear why all this cloak and dagger stuff was needed inside the Saloon, but once they had snuck though the kitchen, grabbing her bonnet and shawl on the way, and made it outside, Arabella started to act a bit more normally. Well, normal for her.
She led them a strange route to the Church which brought them to the back of the building where a peculiar sort of shanty had been constructed with no little skill, it had to be said, but peculiar all the same. At the door of this ‘Hermitage’ Arabella, who had been strangely silent and uninquisitive during their tramp, gave three stentorian knocks on the door and whispered at the crack “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” It was her own idea, the knocks and the codes, so that the tall Patriarch form the Desert would know it was his own little helpmeet who was asking for an audience.
She listened at the crack in the door, awaiting The Word to Come Forward.