He Jin wants to make John sweat not knowing that Inola already got rid of what he was most worried about. So they went to Astila room first. Next to the vanity there is a gilded full length mirror just like in He Jin room. They go and check it out first to He Jin surprise it was not there. Looking around some more she sees on the floor of the walk in closet is a framed carpet. Astila kneels down and moves it just slightly and a door opens. It's big enough to stand inside . Lighting the lantern at the bottom of the step. They see it is actually a room. Not a closet.
"Wait which room is under here?" Debra asks
"It's the sitting room this room is the same size as the sitting room. This room was used to hide runaway slaves. Later it was used to store moonshine. If you look here there is still some moonshine,brandy and whiskey left from prohibition. Our great uncle was a moonshiner. Aisling lifts the lantern so that they can see the shelves of old liquor bottles lining one side. On the other there is old black powder guns and bows. One item catches Astila eye. On a shelf under some old clothes is a large hide. Taking it he looks at it closely. It's actually a tepee hide . He looks at the girls.
"Do you know what this is . It's a hide that they used to use to make tepee with. See here it's been painted. It looks like your grandmother did not get rid of everything from her tribe." He folds it back very carefully as to not damage it.
"That's not all in my room we found wedding clothes and a water drum." Salali told him.
"You want to see something even more beautiful?"Aisling pulls a trunk from the low shelf under the liquor. Opening the truck she pulls out a medicine mans headdress and clothes. Under them is turquoise and rose quartz jewelry. There are a few other things like pottery as well.
"I have not seen something so well kept this must have belonged to Onacona. " Salali looks at them in awe.
Aisling stands picking them up and walks over to Inola.
" I would like to give you Onacona's trunk. The things in this room belonged to him. When they decided to live like unega they put everything of his in here. If you would like them you may have them. I take them out twice a year and clean them to keep the leather soft. The same with the wedding clothes from your room. In this trunk are his medicine man clothes and tools. " Inola looks at her.
"Aisling I understand why you would want me to have them. These items are your heritage and I know that it's hard for you right now. With you not seeing him anymore. When we come back in a few months I will bring a special person with me. They will be able to tell you about each item of his. " he gently places the items back into the trunk. They go back up into Astila room and close the door. He Jin looks at them with excitement.
"So who's room is next?" Debra speaks up and takes them to her room though quite a let down after Astila's room. She had never been in there before. He parents never told them where the room was. In her room it was mostly her high school diary and pictures of old boyfriends. They all look at Aisling they really want to see what she has kept in her room. Once inside her room they look around and He Jin is the one to see the odd looking picture on the wall. It looks more like a window with pictures inside of the frame. Going over and moving it slightly to the left the door opened. Inside of Aisling's closet is. Stacks of trunks He Jin begins to pull them out. Inside the smallest one is a little girls ball gown and slippers. In fact all of the trunks are filled with ball gowns from the civil war era. Looking at her Debra asks her.
"Where did these come from. I know you have never once told me what was in here but why old ball gowns?" They are beautiful and smell of dried lavender.
"These are the clothes left from when the house was a saloon. In a few of the trunks are the girls going out clothes. Which are the ball gowns. In other are their corsets and undergarments. As well as trinkets left by clients. I sometimes think between all of the different eras in this house it could be a museum. You know I hate disturbing any of these things . They belonged to someone. And I feel they should be respected. That's why this is the first time I have ever allowed anyone to look for them. Every room of the house holds secrets. Some bigger than others. Did you know that in the kitchen there is actually a small closet for hanging and preserving meats. I use it for the root vegetables. It stay rather cool all year long. In the sitting room there is just a small cubby that hold a wine decanter and glasses. It also has a much lower ceiling because of the room in Astila room. The living room has its cubby in the floor as well as one in the wall. One has a pistol and the other has small wooden toys. The dinning room as a cubby in the wall it has a box of silverware hidden. In every room there are also a small pouch of crystals. These pouches contain seven in each pouch. These pouches have been here since the house was built. No one knows exactly where they are. I found the one in my room. Also in the actual foundation of the home is seven crystals .there is also a silver coin hidden in each room . The coin is from the era of the house being built. It's an old tradition to place money inside the house so that only good fortune will come in. For me I know at the time the cubbies and secret rooms were needed. Now they are like time capsules into our families past. Not all needs to be known or disturbed."Aisling is not wanting to have people tearing up the house or wanting to take it from her because of the hidden treasures inside. Knowing this Debra looks at her sister.
"No one is going to take your home from you or try to take the treasure hidden inside. Except for the elders and us I don't think anyone from the younger generation even knows."
He two uncles walk in hearing her sadness at the fact that a few of the secrets have been found out.
"Baby girl no one is ever going to be able to find all the secrets in this house. Not unless they take it apart brick by brick. This house was bought and paid for by you. The money your father used to keep this house going and to pay the loans that had to be taken out by my parents was yours. It was your college money. That is why you inherited the house and property. Not just because you loved it the most. It's because you worked for it. You paid for my mothers funeral and for the Mortage. That in itself is why before your father and mother passed they signed everything over to you. The elders have led you to believe that they can take it back because they like that they have been able to control you to a certain extent. They also use that to get you to give them money for their own gain. That's why I let everyone know that anything of value found on the property was yours and only yours. That no one was entitled to any of it. I also told them that if anyone even tries to borrow or guilt you into giving them one cent. I will take them to task. You are the sole owner of the fifty acres and house. Not a single person can tell you what to do." The commander let everyone know that he meant business and was not going to let anyone walk over her.
"Now I think John's closet is last in the bedrooms . Let's go see who has the best bongs and pipes shall we. He Jin bring my bongs and pipes from my closet and the little metal box as well. We will meet you in Inola's room." With that John ,Inola and the commander left the room heading to the other room. The girls followed as He Jin went to collect her husbands stash. John was already getting things out of his closet. When they arrived on the bed was a good bit of stuff from his youth when he was heavily into drugs. Except one stone box. Picking it up Debra looks inside. She gasps at what she finds.
"Oh wow I didn't know you had such good taste uncle John." Picking up a gorgeous sapphire necklace from the stone box.
"Ummm don't bother that it belonged to Maureen. She said only the one born with the gift could have that so those three stone boxes are Aisling's. Well I guess they are hers anyway since they are in her house. " handing Inola his box of pipes so that he can choose a few to take back home.
Aisling looks inside the three stone boxes. The boxes themselves are made of different stones. The one with the sapphire is made of lapis and silver. The second one is black tourmaline and gold. Inside of it is a tigers eye ring and a star sapphire . The third box is a roughly carved out rose quartz. Inside of it is lose rough cut emeralds, amethyst ,jasper ,carnelian ,lapis lazuli,chrysolite, turquoise,sapphire ,jacinth,agate,beryl,and clear crystals that had a shimmer to them.
"These are the stones of the ancient zodiac or the breastplate. " John speaks up. Like my brother said everything except for those things that we know belong to one of us belongs to Aisling. So those belong to her as well. Maureen left a diary In the closet as well inside are dried herbs and flowers with the uses for them. Also a few spells I think. I hoped that you not never have found them since some of these things were used in Pagan rituals. " John tells her honestly. Knowing she has gifts that most do not understand.
" thank you uncles for always loving me and protecting me. I know that uncle John that you also have the gift or else you would not have been placed in this room. You see I already knew what was here and now has been removed. Onacona showed me in a dream when I was little to never venture into this room until a man from a far place came to cleanse the dark shadows from it. So I never did that's why. I always asked someone else to clean this room and I actually have never been in here. He told me only someone with the gift could use this room. That a binding spell had been put on it. That someone had used dark magic and did not bind it correctly. That as long as it was locked inside this space it could not bother anyone. Unless they had the gift. That anyone with the gift would have tortured dreams until it was purged and cleansed. I know that you have always had tortured nights in this room for years until you moved out. I also know that if I stayed in here to long I would start to get headaches. It wasn't until Inola came that it was peaceful and I could be in here. What I don't understand is why did you not tell me that you had dabbled and caused a problem. Maybe we could have taken care of it sooner. I do not think that you ever meant any harm. I just think you were too strung out to know that you did something you were not supposed to. Onacona knew that these three people would come one day and he knew that Inola would be able to free this room." Aisling goes over and hugs her uncle and give him the tightest squeeze. Inola looks at the uncles.
" can I still have these . I like the three also can I take the seeds back home to grow in my greenhouse. " he looks through the box to see if there is anything else he likes.
" uncle you may have the pipes but not the seeds. For one if you get caught growing that I am not going to get you out. Neither will our brother . He maybe a lawyer but I don't think he can keep you out of jail if your caught." Inola shrugs it was worth a try
"So I guess we put everything except these back and maybe soon it won't be illegal to grow it. Just like moonshine is no longer illegal. Did you guys know in Astila room is a small room full of really old moonshine and other liquor. Maybe on our next visit commander we can try some and see how good it really is. " they start to put everything back into the closets and get ready for bed Debra and Sam are staying the night so they peek in on the babies. Astila and Aisling go out to sit on the balcony.
"So you know in exactly four days we will be here just the two of us. Or is your sister moving in to chaperone?" Astila hugs his love breathing in her special scent. Wanting to have her to himself.
" actually Auntie He Jin already told everyone that we get at least three days to our selves before anyone can bother us. Her and the elder aunties I think are hoping we will have an accident. One where we have no choice but to get married. Auntie He Jin even mentioned when we were putting the trunks away in my room how wonderful it would be to see me wear the doeskin wedding dress.to have the bridesmaids dress in the ball gowns.I don't think they would match very well but we can see next time" she turns in his arms and raises her face so she can see into his eyes. He lowers his head taking her lips with his kissing her till she was breathless.
" we could have two ceremonies one of my traditions and one of yours. Inola can officiate one and reverend John the other. The commander can give you away in your fathers stead. " he looks into her eyes and pulls a small box from his pocket. Placing the small heart ring on her finger.
" this is not an engagement ring this is a ring that holds my promise to you. I promise to love you and protect you come what may. When things are arranged and settled I will give you the ring that symbolizes our union." He kisses her hand then pulls her tightly into his arms. Kissing her deeply. They stayed on the balcony that night kissing and cuddling under the stars . Talking about their future.