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The Story of Robert A. Cahill’s Iron Box (Part 2)

Continued from previous blog post.  Make sure to read past installment!

On the night of June 6, 1943, Robert A. Cahill Jr. and his wife Marie were alone in their expansive house.

“My dear, Marie,” Robert Cahill’s hand shook as he reached for his wife’s.

“Yes, dear?” Marie responded, her fingers busy with her knitting.

This had become their life.  Robert, his health ailing considerably, remained on forced bed rest.  Only one bout of fresh air each day, the doctor cautioned Marie strictly only a fortnight ago.  For Robert, the doctor’s words came as a death knell.  He lived for the open air and never stayed long within four walls.  He felt restless and constricted indoors. 

Although born into wealth as the son of Robert A. Cahill senior, Robert could not resist the call of the sea and left home to join the navy.  Robert did not return to his family for some time.  He moved up the ranks and became captain of his own vessel.  A war injury brought about an early retirement with full honors. 

In celebration of his son’s return and his decorated military service, Robert A. Cahill senior hosted a grand event.  It would be that fateful night when Robert would fall in love with Marie Sterling.  The courtship was short, the ceremony planned, and the bride and groom settled into their home, to all the world a happy couple.

Robert and Marie never had children.  With no little ones to spoil, Robert spent his time and attention indulging his young bride.  That is, up until a year ago when Robert’s age coupled with the extremities he experienced during military service, took their toll and Robert’s health began to fail.

Now they spent their evenings in Robert’s room.  Marie knitting, Robert lying in bed with the comforter pulled up, reminiscing at intervals about the sea.

Robert dropped his weak hand to his side.  His voice grew thin as if coming from far away, “There … is one thing I would like.”

“Yes, Robert?” Marie asked, her eyes counting stiches.

“To return to the sea.”

Marie looked up from her work quickly, her confusion apparent.

“You can’t, Robert … the Doctor said …”

“No, my dear,” Robert stared at her intently, desperate to relay his message.

Continued next time!

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