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A Secret Valentine Love Letter

Updated on May 28, 2021

Rose Ellen and Granny Purvis

This is my second story of Rose Ellen who was the Angel of Boone's Gap, and her Granny Purvis. The first story was "The Hayride in Boone's Gap" the beginning of Rose Ellen's adventures. Dedicated to my lifelong friend Rose Ellen, who is a very beautiful person with a big heart, and an earth Angel.

And, now for the second story: Victoria's Secret Valentine Love Letter

Victoria Waits for her Lover
Victoria Waits for her Lover

1912 in the Great Smoky Mountain of North Carolina

It was February 1, 1912 in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and all who lived in Boone’s Gap were experiencing the snowstorm of the New Year. The wind blew so hard and fast it made a roaring noise as it swirled the snow flurries all through the Gap and in the Hollows. All the wild animals and birds took refuge in their caves, burrows and nests, waiting until the storm ceased.

Granny Purvis had plenty of wood chopped for the big fireplace and it was piled neatly in her wooden box near the window.

Over the wood box in the corner was a portrait of her Great-Grandmother Lillian, it was a little faded after all these years, however, that only seems to make her blond hair and beautiful light blue eyes even more lovely. She could tell that Little Rose Ellen was going to be just as beautiful as she was all those eons ago. At least that was what Granny Purvis was thinking as she stood admiring it.

Her house was bigger than other homes up and down the mountain sides of the Appalachian Mountains. And, Granny always told her little Angel Rose Ellen how blessed they were to each have their own bedroom.

Rose Ellen was her granddaughter from her daughter Alice who died from complications in giving birth, and at a time when they desperately needed the country doctor, he was on the other side of the mountain helping others who were sick.

Granny did not blame the doctor, because she had once been a nurse and she knew how things worked in the mountains. So, God took her daughter Alice home with him to live without pain.

But she could never tell her little Rose Ellen her thoughts about her mother, because she might think she was to blame---and that was not true. So she would save some opinions to herself, and from her preciously little Angel.

Now, her Rose Ellen was 12 years old, and she thought she was so lovely with her blond curly hair and light blue eyes, just like her, and Granny Purvis was so proud of that fact.

But most of all she was proud that little Rose Ellen was growing into a young lady, and she was such a good child.

The Preacher said one Sunday night at church after Rose Ellen finished playing the piano and singing, “Amazing Grace” ---he said, “I feel like God called for a hand full of sunshine and a pinch of moonlight and rolled it into a ball and put it on a spring, and blessed us with this bundle of joy. Because she always has a smile on her face, as she bounces around the Gap helping people—we are blessed—and thank you for playing and singing for us tonight, Rose Ellen.” And the congregation all joined in an “Amen” with the Preacher.

Rose Ellen

Rose Ellen smiled and took her seat by Granny Purvis. She was accustomed to the people in the Gap making kind remarks to and about her, and she appreciated it, but she did not take it seriously. Rose Ellen thought the people of Boone’s Gap were like her extended family. So it never occurred to Rose Ellen to be conceited, or feel superior in any way whatsoever. She was always thinking of ways to help other people and make them smile.

When Sunday Night Church was over the howling winds had ceased. Granny Purvis and Rose Ellen stepped through the double doors of the church, they looked up to see the stars twinkling in the icy night. It was very cold, but not too cold to walk home, as they only lived a half a mile from the church.

However, Brother Simon would not allow them to walk as he took them home in his carriage. Everyone knew that he wanted to be more than a friend with Granny Purvis, as she was still young in her fifties, and still an astoundingly beautiful woman, with only a few gray hairs, that gave a hint of her age.

Later that night Granny Purvis and Rose Ellen were sitting in front of the Fireplace drinking their nightly hot chocolate—a treat from Rose Ellen’s Uncle Joseph, her father’s brother.

Uncle Joseph

Rose Ellen, your Uncle Joseph is coming to the Gap tomorrow for a few days, and he wants to take you to visit his childhood friend’s grave in the Boone Cemetery, at the old Boone Plantation.

You are old enough now to enjoy his company and learn from his business knowledge.” Granny said thoughtfully, knowing that soon Rose Ellen would be grown and gone from Boone’s Gap.

How would she endure not having her Gap Angel with her, but life would not stand still for any one, she mused.

Oh! Granny that is exciting, and maybe I can explore the old Boone Plantation while we are there----I am sorry Granny you were saying we would be visiting a grave? Whose grave, Granny and where is it?”

Carrington Boone

His name was Carrington Boone, he died in 1872, and in a duel he was fighting for the honor of a woman. Who everyone said was the most beautiful creature that ever walked the Gaps and Hollows of the Appalachian Mountains.

Her name was Molly MacLean, and no one knew where she came from, only that she caused trouble wherever she went. It was said that Carrington loved her more than life. And, he proved that the day of the duel.

When the duel was over, Molly McLean left with the winner, Peter Dukenburg,a rich man who had a questionable past.

And, as the story goes, he fought another duel which Molly’s honor was the topic of the duel. As the old saying goes, what goes around—comes around, again to stare you in the face. It was another tragedy in that duel; because Peter Dukenburg died. Then Molly disappeared from the United States forever.”

“Granny, when is Uncle Joseph coming for his visit?”

“Tomorrow, so it is time for bed and some rest. So you will have the energy to explore all you want tomorrow, My Sweet Angel.”

Joseph Van Barrington was a brother of Rose Ellen’s Father, and was a very busy International Business man. But he was also an Uncle and he loved his brother’s only child, and therefore, he made the effort to spend quality time with her.

1912 Buick
1912 Buick
Boone Plantation
Boone Plantation

The Boone Plantation

The next day after riding on rough roads for miles, in her Uncle Joseph’s 1912 Buick, Rose Ellen was ready to walk around the old plantation.

In its days of Glory the Boone Plantation had to be spectacular, with its huge Angel fountain, in the middle of the circular drive. The old house stood tall and proud with its morning Glory vines wrapped tightly around all the corner posts of the long wooden porch. The big house was surrounded by mighty Oaks with long strands of moss swaying in the morning breeze. Proud but lonely it stood like an orphaned child, its sadness reached out to all who visited.

On the third story of the old house was a balcony, with two rocking chairs which were once painted white, and now looked just gloomy and rejected, and the glass doors behind them, no longer had soft white curtains.

Rose Ellen with her vivid imagination could see and hear the music of long ago as the dancers, floated around the floor in circles. Each lady's dance card; dangled by a ribbon around her wrist. And, any man who wished to dance with her would ask, and if she had a dance available, then she would write his name down. What a time to have lived it seemed so romantic to Rose Ellen's young mind.

She walked slowing to the enormous double door, and turned to Uncle Joseph and said, “Uncle, I am going in the house to look around, when you are finished out here, please come in and join me.”

Uncle Joseph smiled, and indicated he would, and then returned to his visiting his friend’s grave.

Rose Ellen Finds Victoria's Secret Love

Rose Ellen walked slowing into the big house, and stopped under a gigantic chandelier, and looked around the room into the other large room to right and then left. What is going on she thought all the furniture is still here and uncovered, and dust free.

Well, being Rose Ellen, she ventured on up to where she planned to go in the first place---and that was to the attic---spooky or not here I come—she ponders a moment, not wanting to feel afraid—but her hands revealed the truth as they slightly trembled.

Finally, after three and half flights of stairs she was in the attic. Rose Ellen walked over to the small windows and opened them, it was apparent that no one had ever been in the attic to dust or clean.

She stood in the middle of the huge attic and looked around. She saw an old rocking chair, a baby's cradle with a rag doll in it, and old faded blue rocking horse, a tall wicker bird cage, and trunks and boxes lined the walls and the middle of the room. Old quits were haphazardly piled over the trunks and boxes, as if one was in a hurry to hide them and leave.

Oh! Happy day she thought as she began to explore all the treasures in front of her. The second trunk she opened had a hatbox and a small suitcase in it. She opened the hatbox, and found letters tied with ribbons. Four stacks of them, and it brought a big smile to Rose Ellen face, because now maybe she would have some answers to questions she had wondered about.

The letters were addressed to a lady named Victoria, from a man who loved her very much, but he was at war and it was the War of 1812. She read on for the longest, until, she found two letters cautiously enfolded in a silk handkerchief with the initials of ZH.

Rose Ellen delicately opens the first letter---and inside was a Valentine Love Letter to Victoria, and it said:

My Darling Victoria, My Sweetheart divine,

On this Special Valentine’s Day, please be mine.

I miss the touch of you; your skin so pure and white as milk,

It is so smooth---it is like pure silk.

Your blue eyes are so spellbinding that my heart is bewitched,

Our Love is like a thread making sure our hearts are together forever stitched.

The smell of your hair is like the fragrance of a---- Lavender Rose,

With the petals so perfectly formed as your---- button nose.

I cannot wait until I feel your full lips quiver under mine,

We will have our place, and our loving time.

God has granted us to be together in this life,

And, Angels will sing when we are husband and wife.

Do not despair Love of my life, before it is done,

We will be intertwined as one.

Now and forever, we will be together, even when our--- spirits soar,

Towards Heaven to live on this earth---no more.

Zack Harperstein

Rose Ellen folded the letter back as carefully as she opened it. And then searched for the other letter, which she opened with such tenderness as before, but what she found was very sad indeed.

The Old Cemetery
The Old Cemetery

Rose Ellen Cried

On the old brown envelope which was addressed to Miss Victoria Boone, and it was from the War Department, and Rose Ellen slowly pulled the folded letter out and it reads:

It is my duty to inform you regrettably that Sergeant Zackary Harperstein succumbed from his wounds from the battle of Fort Niagara in the year of our Lord 1813, on December 18th. May he rest in peace.

Rose Ellen was sitting by the hatbox with the letter in her hand, crying when her uncle Joseph walked in.

He ran to Rose Ellen and knelt down by her, and she handed him the first letter and then the one she had in her hand.

“Victoria was Carrington’s great aunt, and she died as an old maid. It is sad that no one ever spoke about it. And I am sure Carrington never knew, because I feel he would have told me.”

“Uncle Joseph is Victoria’s grave in the family graveyard?”

“Yes, it is, and we can visit it if you would like.”

“Uncle Joseph who owns this place now? It looks so sad without anyone to love it, and take care of it.”

“I own it, Rose Ellen, and I am in the process of fixing it up. Would you like to help me?”

“Yes, sir, then granny and I can come to visit you, and that will be super.” She said as her voice got higher. Which made them both laugh.

Uncle Joseph, I bet your friend Carrington will be happy to know you are here with him and his family.”

Uncle Joseph smiled at his sweet niece, because he had a surprise of his own for her one day, in a few years. Yes, little Rose Ellen and Granny Purvis were his only family now---and he was going to take care of them both. They just did not know it yet.

Uncle Joseph and Rose Ellen walked hand-in-hand to the graveyard, as snowflakes began to fall lightly upon the still frozen earth.


Do you believe that Victoria loved Zachary until the day she died?

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Barbara Purvis Hunter


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