CHAPTER I–MOSHUN COTTAGE (pronounced Mishun)
The year was 1890. The Tuckerman family was once again sitting in Frenchman Bay, anticipating another joyous summer on Mount Desert Island.
“Can we see Moshun Cottage from here, father?” Wilhelmina asked as the steamship Mount Desert slipped steadily into the bay.
“It’s on your left,” Samuel replied as he passed the long glass to his daughter. “It’s the gray one with the Widow Walk on top,” he continued as he pointed out the cottage to his children.
“Oh, father, thank you for including a Widow’s Walk to Moshun. It was my favorite part of Hamilton Cottage. Thank you. Thank you,” Willy told her father.
“You’re welcome, my dear,” Samuel told her.
She could just imagine all the time she and her friend Emma would spend enjoying the Widow’s Walk.
“Can I see, please, please?” Joey pleaded as he jumped up and down.
Willy handed the long glass to her brother; then gazed with adoration at the misty green mountains at the hotels and homes nestled against them, and at the sky so blue. She had almost forgotten how blue the sky was on Mount Desert. She had wondered why and had reasoned that the sea had made it look so very blue. As she stood there mesmerized by the beauty of it all, she couldn’t decide if being out in Frenchman Bay looking at Mount Desert was more beautiful or being on Mount Desert looking out at the sea was more fine.
As the spirited Mount Desert pulled expertly up to the pier, Wilhelmina could see James with the landau. Charlie was with him.
“Where was Emma?” she wondered.
Suddenly, movement caught her eye. There was her friend Emma flying down the hill on Nabowset! Wilhelmina scrambled down the gangplank and up the pier to where her forever friend stood with her horse. Oh, how she had missed Emma!
“I’m so glad to see you!” she gushed as the two friends embraced.
Emma stood back and gingerly removed the “Piece of Eight Necklace” from around her neck and placed it around Wilhelmina’s.
“You can wear this for the summer,” she said softly.
“Oh, I’d love to!” Wilhelmina replied as she gently stroked the impressive paint horse.
“Willy, we’re ready to go to Moshun,” her father called as he finished loading their gear onto the landau.
“Can you ride with me on Nabowset? Emma asked.
“I’ll see,” Wilhelmina answered as she skipped off to the landau to get permission from her parents.
“Mother, may I ride to Moshun with Emma on her horse?
“We have ridden double many times before,” she implored.
The fact that they had ridden double before was news to Elizabeth, but she conceded and let her daughter ride with her friend.
With a hand from Emma, Wilhelmina mounted the gallant Nabowset, and the two rode aptly up the hill toward Douglas Avenue.
Wilhelmina thought how wonderful it was to be on Mount Desert. As she was taking in the wonderful simplicity of the many small shops and the wooden sidewalks, she realized she and Emma were being looked at with great scrutiny.
Everybody was looking at the beautiful Indian girl riding with a city dressed girl on the back of her horse. They were after all an improbable pair.
“They’ll just have to get used to seeing us together!”
Wilhelmina admonished. “You will always be my friend,” she continued.
“Nitaps (Needubs),” Emma said turning to look at her friend.
“Nitaps forever!” Wilhelmina replied.
Before they knew it, they were in the yard of the Tuckerman’s new summer cottage. Wilhelmina looked around in amazement at Moshun Cottage. Luther was working diligently in the huge yard. He had planted many flowers, and the lawn had a pretty good start. It would be beautiful by the end of summer.
“Our house is over there,” Emma said pointing to the small gray house.
“I can hardly wait to see it. I can’t believe you’re going to be living so close by,” Wilhelmina replied.
The whole place looked wonderful! There was the main house; it was made from granite on the bottom with cut stone around the first floor windows. The piazza on the front facing the ocean was also made from granite. The windows in the front went all the way to the floor. What a grand view of the ocean they would have! There was the big barn and big marvelous white fenced paddock; the carriage shed; and Emma’s house. They all had grey fish scale shingles to match the big house. The balustrade around the Widow’s Walk was painted white which complimented the paddock.
The sound of horses’ hoofs hitting the ground; the rattle of the landau; and the sound of much agreeable conversation alerted the girls that the rest of the Tuckerman family had arrived.
Poppy was waving excitedly from the back piazza. It also was made from granite with white rails.
Wilhelmina slipped easily off from the beautiful paint horse.
“I’ll take him to the barn while you get settled, Emma said.
“OK. I’ll come out and ride with you later,” Willy promised her friend.
“Come on, Willy,” Joey chimed.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” she answered.
The door to Moshun was every bit as impressive as Hamilton Cottage. It had a stained glass insert in the door itself; then had stained glass panels on the side and over the top of the door. Wilhelmina had to admit that it was a highly pleasing entrance to the Tuckerman’s new summer home.
Come on in, ”Poppy said with a gesture of her hand.
The family entered the foyer.