She turned to study the rest of the delightful room. The paneling had retained the rich, golden hue Laura remembered so well. The room now had a cheery look, though. She was quick to see why. The dull-brown plank floor had been covered with a light-blue rug, and several of the stuffed chairs had been reupholstered with colorful fabrics decorated with large embroidered flowers. As she looked to her left, she saw the kitchen had a new cast iron stove. Lemon-yellow curtains framed the windows. Laura was eager to see what had been done to the rest of the cottage, especially the small bedrooms upstairs, but knew that too many questions had to be answered first. After Laura told Nanny how the Malcolms had lost their plantation, she said, “We’re going to come here to live with you.” She continued, “Nanny, why didn’t anyone tell me you were here?”
Nanny settled down in one of the brightly upholstered chairs across from Bradford, who had just entered the cottage. “I’m so happy you’re going to live with me! It will be nice to have your family in the house.” Nanny continued, “Well, after the war the Taylors lost all their money and couldn’t afford to keep me on since I’d already served my time as an indentured servant. After Gerald passed on, his parents sadly decided to leave Vicksburg. Your father asked me if I’d like to stay here and keep up the cottage. He gave me some money to fix up the place and make it a little more cheerful. I’ve really enjoyed trying my hand at that,” she added with a chuckle.
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