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Jacob Eversby stood in the entry of his father's office. The smell of fresh plaster nauseated him and he thought of the confrontation ahead. "Please tell Father I need to see him immediately." Jacob announced as the secretary behind the oak desk stared over her papers.
"Jacob, your father is in a meeting and does not wish to be disturbed. Perhaps if you..."
"He will see me now!" Jacob demanded, pounding his fist on the desk.
"Such an impatient boy." The secretary took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, Jacob, there's nothing I can do. If you would like to wait, you may. The newest Gazette is fresh off the presses and I've placed copies on the table." A spindly finger directed Jacob to the corner.
Jacob looked to the corner and took a step forward.
In haughty accomplishment, the secretary reached back and patted the bun at the base of her neck, as if to say he was predictably more easily distracted than his father.
Jacob grinned politely as he interpreted Miss Lewis' expression. He knew she thought he gave up easily. He took another step toward the table and watched as she bent her head to resume her typing ignoring him. Disregarding the animated expression instantly crossing the older woman's face, Jacob turned and tackled the three long strides to reach the door to his father's office, turned the knob, and barged in. "Father! We must talk now."
Herbert Eversby looked from his desk with a frown. "Jacob," he began calmly, though his scowl said otherwise, "I'm in the middle of something. We'll meet another time."
"This will not wait, Father!"
"We've already been over this and concluded! Further discussion isn't necessary,"Herbert replied as he adjusted his tie and cuff links. He shuffled the stack of papers in front of him. "If you don't mind, I must get back to work." He pointed his son back to the lobby.
"I do mind. Emily and I are going to Oklahoma whether you agree or not." Jacob's words were adamant. "I have to make my own life. I have to do something besides take what I'm given. I have to do this for myself and my family, for my very sanity."
Herbert placed his pen in the inkwell and left it. He looked at his son. "Jacob, I understand the feelings of restlessness you're feeling, as well the fact you need to be a man. I love you, you know that. I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I did at your age. You're only twenty-two. I'm not quite sure you're thinking clearly. You have a wonderful life here. You have a lovely home, plenty of money, and a steady job. I've worked my entire life to build this for you and you want to leave? How could you give up everything I've done for you on a whim?"
"A whim? Is that what you think? You think Emily and I want to go to Oklahoma on a whim? We have thought about this. This is something we both want." The muscles in his arms tensed as he spoke and his teeth grit together. How could his father think he hadn't thought this through?
"Hogwash!" Herbert's voice echoed against the walls with hostility. "If your mother and I wouldn't have allowed you to wed that commoner, you would not be thinking this way at all. Emily's frivolity started this. She should be happy to have married so well, instead she wants to drag you off to the wilderness!"
Jacob had no idea his father thought of Emily as a commoner. He knew his parents could afford all the luxuries of life and were considered the upper crust of Boston society, but he had no idea they were snobs. He grew up in luxury but was taught not to shame those who were less fortunate. His father's words shocked him. "Emily? What does class have to do with anything? I love her. If that was the way you felt, you should have said something before the wedding."
"If we would have voiced our opinion, would you have stopped seeing her?" Herbert questioned.
Unfettered denial pressed across Jacob's anger darkened cheek.
"I didn't think so." Herbert pushed up the sleeve of his black tailored suit and looked at the hands on his gold watch. "Nearly nine o'clock. We must go and check our presses. The customers are waiting for the afternoon edition!"
Eversby stood, walked around the large desk, and examined Jacob. "Jacob, you're a smart boy, maybe too smart. And headstrong, you get that from your mother. Going to Oklahoma is an audacious task. It's preposterous. It's high time you dropped this foolishness. End this discussion and accompany me to the presses."
"No, Father. I'm a man with a wife and family on the way and I want my son to be born in Oklahoma. There are wonderful things happening there! Land is wide open and opportunities abound. You're a newsman. Don't you read what you print? Can't you hear what people are saying? I want my son, my children, to grow up where everyone isn't stacked on top of each other like bees in a hive. Oklahoma is a place where horses run wild and people are free to make anything they want of themselves. I intend to carve out this path, even if you don't like it." Jacob's face grew red with annoyance.