The news spread through the kingdom quickly. Griffin readied Nuelle and the carriage. There was a buzz the likes Griffin had not experienced before. Honorary guest began to arrive in advance of the arrival. Hundred's of animals began to line the route of what looked like was the beginning of a procession.
Griffin looked at the name in the book. He had never seen a movie, but was around music now and again. He was in the stable finishing up the polishing of the carriage brass when a handsome man appeared wearing slacks a white starched shirt, sleeveless pullover sweater, and a smile that Griffin was sure could be seen from a mile away. The man extended his right hand, “My name is Rock Hudson;” the men shook hands.
“Griffin Chaffey,” he released Mr. Hudson's hand.
Six carriages back, a four piece band began playing Sentimental Journey.
“I have been waiting a long time to see my friend again. It took years to convince the counsel that I would be welcome to ride with her on the last leg of this journey. I am not the only one, but they could not all fit into your carriage. There will be at least a dozen in all. Mostly for the animals.”
Griffin looked down near his feet. A small dog bounced around, tail wagging, with a smile of eager anticipation. “A dozen you say?”
“Yes, all the permits are in order. That James Garner, once he heard I was granted this privilege, he lobbied and was granted permission to be here. That opened the floodgate. Davis Niven invited himself and James Stewart wanted to come along for the ride. Cary Grant broke an engagement just to be here on this day. That is just a few of the Hollywood crowd. There are two carriages full of musicians. She loved music. She began her career dancing and singing.”
The small dog had moved forward and was barking at Nuelle. There was a sense of urgency in his tone.
Griffin looked again at the name in the book. He tossed the book underneath the seat and climbed in. Rock Hudson climbed aboard and the small dog leaped up to the front seat and sat next to Griffin.
James Garner, David Niven, Cary Grant and James Stewart climbed aboard the second carriage. The two young angel's charged with driving the second carriage were giggling.
In no time the procession reached the pick up point. Griffin climbed down, “This will just take a moment,” he addressed the small dog who could barely contain himself.
Griffin watched her approach. Her skirt reached her calf. She held her shoulders back. She wore a white blouse, and the jacket matched the skirt. She wore a small matching hat, upon a crown of golden hair. Her smile matched the fellow Rock Hudson's who sat in the back.
The small dog sat up smartly twitched and swayed, when he was sure, he leaped from the carriage and raced toward her. She stooped as he jumped into her arms. He began licking her face.
A moment later she reached the carriage, she lifted Tiny into the back and Rock Hudson took him. Her eyes were like saucers seeing her old friend there to greet her.
Griffin held out his hand, she took it and climbed into the carriage sitting next to her friend, once again holding his hand, feeling the warmth of his smile upon her heart. Tiny, the dog, curled up between them, reunited and content at last.
Rock Hudson, still holding her hands, said, “You came a long way from Cincinnati, Ohio. You played every man's girl next door. You represented an ideal, that frankly no one could live up to. You personified sweet innocence. A goodness that we all hoped to encounter. Every middle class man in America wanted to swing open the white picket fence, walk to the front door and be greeted by Doris Day lush, dewy-eyed, and amiable, fresh off the Madison Avenue drawing boards.”
Nuelle had cut through a park. Happy dogs lined the streets. They ran together, jumping thankfully in appreciation of their lives that had been extended and improved from the work and dedication of the star passenger.
The four piece band began playing Fly Me to the Moon.
“I sang my way to success. Starting with Les Brown, that was a beautiful experience. Top composers wrote songs with me in mind. It was a wonderful time to be alive. Right after the war, America bloomed with new found vigor, new found ideas. There was an awakening, I was lucky to be part of that. There was a taste of victory in the air. We fought hard and now we wanted to play hard.”
The four piece band began playing Fools Rush In
Rock Hudson squeezed her hand. “The years working with you were my best years. I always had such fun on the set with you. We laughed so much and tried to make it fun for everyone. I think that can be seen in the chemistry that we produced on the screen.”
When I Fall In Love
Nuelle had made another turn. Grand estates lined the avenue; cottages could be spotted in the clearings of this perpetual early Autumn wooded area. Birds performed aerial acrobatics, forming angelic sculptures gracing the skyline.
Doris picked up her pet and moved closer to Rock Hudson. “Can you tell me what year it is in Heaven?”
The carriages that had been following had fallen back out of sight. Green foliage lined the lane. Light played tricks as it danced through the branches and falling leaves of red and gold. A cottage appeared, a sliver of smoke escaping the chimney stack. A pair of beautiful golden labs stood patiently waiting on the covered front porch.
Rock Hudson answered, “The year you felt most beautiful.”
Doris looked around, “Where are you taking me?”
Griffin looked over his shoulder, “Anywhere you want to go?”
Doris looked around at the cottage the setting, the autumn leaves, the two adoring pets waiting to become part of the family. “Anywhere I want to go? I think this will do just fine.”
Griffin stepped down and extended his hand for the women who filled so many hearts with splendor and charm.
She stepped down, her small brown dog in her arm. “Rocky, my old friend,will you join me for tea? We have a lifetime of catching up to do.”
© 2019 mckbirdbks