She continued to read the collection of letters. The next one said, Margaret, I am so glad to hear you are willing to come visit me. I think about what happened to us when we left Korea often, and I don't go through a day without thinking about you at least a dozen times. Crab Apple Cove is beautiful in the winter, and the spring, and the summer, and the fall. It doesn't matter when you come. The fact that you are there will make this small town even more beautiful. Please write, and tell me when you plan to come. Love always, Hawkeye.
That letter did not help Molly in her search, but she continued to read. This letter had an envelope with it. On the envelope there was a return address. It said B.F. Pierce, 24 Pinewood Lane, Crab Apple Cove, Maine. His name wasn't really Hawkeye. It was B.F. Pierce. Molly continued to wonder if this man was her father. She opened this letter, and read it. Margaret, the weekend of July 16 is clear for me. It is only two weeks away, and I can not wait until I can see you. I have already made reservations for two, and the Lobster Shack. The best place in the world to get lobster that is if you like it. If not, I will find somewhere else. My father is also looking forward to meeting the woman, whom I talk about constantly. I promise I will be at the bus station promptly at four thirty. My home is only five minutes away from the stop. I haven't told you much about my work here in Crab Apple Cove. I work in a hospital in the neighboring town. It is the soul hospital for the four towns in the area, and is rather large. I fix people here everyday. Not once since leaving Korea have I seen a bullet lodged into anyone, nor shrapnel and I can't tell you happy it makes me to say that. I have to go dinner is almost ready. Can't wait to see your beautiful face, love, Hawkeye.
Molly read the letter. She figured out that since her birthday was in the beginning of April, if her mother went the weekend she had planned to this B.F. Pierce man, was her father. The thing that perplexed Molly the most was the pile of letters was still high, and her mother said that she hadn't heard from her father since the weekend she went to see him.
Molly continued reading, hoping she would find some bigger clues. My dear, dear Margaret, the letter started, I have never had so much fun in my life. Last weekend was as if we were living a dream. My father thinks you are lovely, and wants to know when you will be gracing us with your presents again. Margaret, the nights we spent together this past weekend were pure pleasure. I can not fully describe how I felt, because there are no words to describe it. I only hope that you had as much of an amazing experience, as I did. I can not wait until I see you again. Perhaps, I can come and visit you in Boston. I haven't seen the city since my residency, and I am quite certain that it has changed a bit. With all my soul, my being, and my love, your Hawkeye.
Molly looked at the picture of B.F. Pierce, and her mother, and BJ Hunnicutt. B.F. Pierce did resemble her. She sat on her mother's bed in awe. She was looking at her father's picture, and he had no idea she was even alive. Molly needed to know more about this man, and decided she was going to finish reading the letters.
She looked at the dates of the letters, and they seemed more spaced out. There was a Christmas card for each year, and one or two other letters. Each asking her mother if she was mad at him for something and always asking her why she had not written. The spirit of the letters had previously been filled with hope and joy; the later ones were filled more with sorrow than anything else. They became less and less personable as the letters were more recent. The newest was from two years ago. Molly's mother kept the envelope for the last one as well. The address was still the same. B.F. Pierce, 24 Pinewood Lane, Crab Apple Cove, Maine. This was where Molly's father was, and she was determined to find out more about him.
Molly carefully packed everything back into the bag, except the newest letter from B.F. Pierce, and the picture of her mother in his arms. She put the box back into its original home, and went into her own room. There she picked up the phone, and dialed the operator.
"Hello," the woman answered.
"Hi," Molly said, "Can you tell me if there is still a B.F. Pierce at 24 Pinewood Lane, in Crab Apple Cove, Maine?"
"Sure," the woman said politely, "It will take just a moment. I am going to put you on hold."
Molly didn't know what she was going to do with this information. It was just for security, she supposed. She had no plans to contact the man, at least not right now. Molly Houlihan felt more whole that afternoon than she did her entire life. She had solved the mystery of her entire life.
"Ma'am," the woman came back on the line, "There is a Daniel Pierce, and a Benjamin Franklin Pierce at that address. Would you like to have the phone number?"
"Yes," Molly said.
"It is area code 714. The number is 633-9801."
"Thank you," Molly said, and hung up the phone. Her father's name was Benjamin Franklin Pierce. She looked at the picture again of her mother, and her father, and smiled.
The holidays was quickly approaching, and Margaret Houlihan had plans to go to New York City to speak to an editor about the beginning of her memoir. She planned to leave the weekend before Christmas.
"Mom," Molly said as her mother was packing her things to go on her trip, "You really don't need Gram to stay with me."
"I know, Molly," Margaret said, "I would feel better if I knew someone was there just in case of an emergency."
"I wish I could go with you," Molly said.
"No, you don't," Margaret said, "I am not leaving you home alone in Boston, where you have lived all your life. Don't think I am about to let you roam the streets of New York City alone."
"All right, Mom," Molly smiled. She had better plans anyway.
Margaret left the next morning to catch her flight to New York, and Molly was left with her Grandmother.
"Gram," Molly said.
"Yes dear," Margaret's mother said.
"I need to ask you a question," Molly said.
"Sure, darling," she said.
"My father's name was Benjamin Pierce, right?" Molly asked.
"Yes," the woman said, "Yes it was, Benjamin Franklin Pierce, but everyone called him Hawkeye." Molly's grandmother thought it wrong for Margaret to keep all this information from Molly. She believe that Molly had a right to know everything she wanted to know about the man that was her father.
"Have you ever met him?" Molly asked.
"Once," the woman said. "You have," Molly asked intrigued, "When?"
"Once before you were even thought about," she said, "Your mother had him down for dinner. I met him then. He was a very charming man."
"Gram," Molly said as if she would burst without telling her this, "I am going to see him."
"Gram," Molly said, "You have to promise not to tell Mom."
"I have been doing some detective work on him," Molly started out, "He is living in Maine. I made plans for this weekend to go to Maine. I knew Mom would be away. I don't know if she would approve. I have a round trip bus ticket, and two nights reserved in a motel in Crab Apple Cove. I want to met him, Gram. Actions do speak louder than words. I don't need to tell him who I am right away. I wanted to let you know, before I left though."
Her grandmother shook her head. She was so proud of Molly, though. "There is nothing that will stop you, is there? I don't think your mother could even do it. I have a question before I give you permission. How did you get the money?"
"I have been saving," Molly said, "Normally, half of my money from the store goes to my college fund, and the other to my pocket. I have been saving my half, since I knew I wanted to meet him."
"Molly," her grandmother said, "I want you to go. But, I need you to know some things, this man, doesn't know you are alive he may not welcome you with open arms. I think he is a good man, but this may be a little hard to believe, and take grasp of."
"I understand Gram," Molly said, "I am going on this trip fully understanding what may happen. But I have to go, or I will miss my bus. I'll be home Sunday night."
"Good luck dear," she said, "Call me when you meet him!"
Molly had never been so excited, yet so scared in her life as she boarded the bus for Crab Apple Cove, Maine. With her, she carried a backpack, and a duffel bag of clothing. In her backpack, was the photo of her mother, and father together in Korea, the last letter with his address, and the slip of paper she wrote his phone number on. "Benjamin Franklin Pierce," Molly said out loud. She tried to sleep on the long trip up, but couldn't.