With the San Francisco train scheduled to depart at 5pm Jarrod bid Victoria, Audra and Nick farewell and then climbed aboard the buckboard driven by Barrett Johnson. Barrett Johnson and Schad Williams, who was sitting on the back of the buckboard, would be retrieving the crates containing Gene's personal items that Myles had packed while securing Gene's Philadelphia home.
During the afternoon hours Emily and Ida had left the Barkley private railcar so the porter could clean the railcar. The ladies had a filling lunch at the Cattlemen's Club, after which they walked along the boardwalk looking at the various businesses on Stockton's main street.
Upon returning to the rail car Emily found that Gene had left the music box on the desk. Picking it up, she tearfully climbed out of the car and walked the short distance to where the crates holding Gene's things were waiting to be taken to the ranch. Noticing that the lid was nailed down. Emily looked for something to pry the lid open. Just then Sid, a local boy who worked for the depot manager came walking by.
“Excuse me sir. I need to put something inside this crate for Mr. Barkley. Could you please help me with the lid.”
Sid not sure if he trusted the lady hesitated a moment before he remembered seeing the woman with Jarrod on the Barkley private car said, “Sure let me get the crowbar.”
After prying the lid loose, Sid helped Emily to lift the lid of one of the crates. Once the lid was high enough, Emily gently placed the music box inside and together with Sid closed the lid on the crate.
She climbed back into the rail car and paused, crying just inside the backdoor.
Jarrod, Barrett and Shad had just arrived back at the train station, when Jarrod noticed Emily and Sid replacing the lid on one of Gene’s crates. He wondered what the young woman could have placed in the crates. As he climbed down from the wagon he tried to get her attention to no avail. He hurriedly walked towards the family railcar in attempt to catch up with and ask her what she had placed in the crate, when she opened the backdoor of the car and stepped through it closing it behind her. Turning to the ranch hands as he climbed up the steps, he said
“Barrett those are Gene’s things over there”
Barrett replied, “We got them Jarrod. You have a nice trip to San Francisco.”
Hearing Jarrod’s voice outside the railcar, Emily quickly wiped the tears from her cheeks and stepped into the seating area of the railcar and greeted Jarrod as he walked into the car.” Hello Jarrod did you have a nice afternoon?"
"It was quite enjoyable to be home,” replied Jarrod
"The train departs in about ten minutes are you and Ida ready to go?"
Emily replied with a smile "Yes Jarrod, its time for our new beginning in San Francisco."
The train arrived at the depot in San Francisco shortly before 8 pm. Jarrod's butler Sune Yun-shan was there with the carriage to greet them. Spotting Jarrod as he assisted Emily from the rail car, "Mr. Barkley” called out Sune. Jarrod, along with Emily and Ida walked to where Sune was waiting to take the ladies overnight bags.
As they traveled the short distance to Jarrod's town home, Jarrod said "Emily, how about you and Ida stay at my home tonight and then tomorrow we will get you settled at your new home?"
“That would be very nice Jarrod,” replied Emily.
Once at his town home, Jarrod escorted Emily and Ida into the front parlor while Sune carried the ladies bags up the stairs to the guest rooms.
“I will unpack your things Emily,” offered Ida before leaving the room. She was met at the foot of the stairs by Sune, who escorted her up to the guestrooms.
Once Ida had left the room, Jarrod offered Emily something to drink, which she declined stating,
“If you will excuse me Jarrod, I am tired and want to nap and get cleaned up.”
“Of course, Emily, let me show you to the rooms”
After everyone had rested and freshened up from the long journey, Jarrod treated Emily to a dinner of pepper steak at Monty's.
As the weeks of fall passed Emily settled in to her new life in San Francisco. Jarrod had spoken to Robert Polk, the director of the nearby orphanage, about Emily and the time she donated to assist at the Philadelphia orphanage she and Gene had founded; Emily began helping out at the orphanage several days a week.
The quite evening hours often brought thoughts of Gene, and the memories of times spent at the home they had shared in Philadelphia. Emily missed Gene greatly but still felt deep in her heart that he deserved better. Often recalling her arrival in Stockton and the introduction to Gene's childhood sweetheart Melody Shelton she would think to herself, “I am happy you have found that special someone Gene.”
Back in Stockton Gene had met with Stockton's long time doctor, Howard Merar, and had reached an agreement to take on many of Dr. Merar's patients, as the older doctor was getting along in years and was looking forward to retiring.
Many days were long and tiring for Dr. Barkley, but the practice of healing the sick was a meaningful one for Gene.
Each night before Gene turned down the bedside lamp, he would open the wooden box marked with the Cross B, which was on the nightstand, and gently pick up the sapphire ring. Looking at the ring his thoughts were always of Emily and the part of his heart that was missing. “Oh Emily I want and need you so. In my eyes you are the perfect woman for me.”
As life was taking on a new routine for Gene and Emily in California. The family was also returning to a life of normalcy with Heath and Nick doing the necessary things to prepare the ranch for the coming winter season.
Jarrod tried several cases out of his San Francisco office before visiting Stockton, the second week of November, to see to ranch business and call on Rachel Parker.
Audra's former beau, Carl Wheeler, had returned to the valley with his two young children, five year old Donnie and one year old Janet. Carl's wife had died the previous year from an infection that developed after Janet's birth.
Audra was drawn to the motherless children and started spending many days at the Wheeler Ranch. Carl and Audra found that each still felt a fondness for one another and he began calling on her as romance was again blossoming between them.
Gene continued to call on his longtime friend Melody, but knowing in his heart he needed to be honest with her about his intentions an awkwardness had formed between the two childhood friends. Melody, who had given much thought to the words of advice from her older sister about Gene, noticed that he was drawing away more and more from her as each day passed.
Thanksgiving week had arrived and Victoria, along with Myles and Silas, began making plans for Thanksgiving dinner. In addition to the family, Victoria had invited Rachel Parker, Charlotte and Melody Shelton, as well as Emily and Ida to the ranch for the celebration.
Jarrod, accompanied by Emily and Ida, arrived at the ranch on Tuesday evening. The family gathered in the foyer to greet them. Myles took Emily's bags and showed her to the guest room upstairs while Silas directed Ida to the servants’ wing on the lower floor.
The family was gathered in the parlor for their traditional pre-dinner drinks when Gene arrived home from a long day assisting Dr. Merar. Going to Victoria, who was seated on the settee near the fireplace, he greeted, "Sorry I am late Ma”.
Acknowledging Nick and Heath he continued as he turned to greet Jarrod, "I will go clean up and….” He stopped as his eyes met Emily's, who was sitting in the chair next to Audra.
"Emily, I am so happy to see you." Gene stepped to stand beside her and placing a hand on her shoulder, he leaned down, kissed her cheek before excusing himself then headed up the stairs.