...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
"I never said that," refuted Emma.

"You didn't have to," harrumphed Josiah. "I'll be seeing you before sundown." Then he left, leaving Emma to lift the bar back over the door.

Josiah's moccasin sank into the soft snow, compacting until it reached the ground. It was only a few inches deep, so he had no need for snowshoes this early in the winter. Squinting as his eyes traveled across the patches of white that reflected the sun's glare, Josiah searched for signs of game. The corral needed to be finished, but his last few mealtimes had caused dissatisfaction with the buffalo jerky and his stomach urged him to go hunting.

Descending down the slope of the mountain, Josiah entered the valley below. Game was more plentiful here, and he was more likely to find deer. Josiah's mind wandered back to Emma, and he had to force himself not to break concentration and expose himself to carelessness, simply because of a woman's tears.

Back at the cabin, however, Emma was no longer crying. After Josiah had left, she found a measure of peace in her solitude and was now sitting beside her small sewing shelf by the window and mending yet another petticoat. She was ashamed that Josiah's words could have induced such tears, for she had no illusions that he loved her. Still, it had jarred her to hear him say it in such plain, uncaring terms.

Emma thought back to her girlish hopes of what married life would be like, and then compared it to what she was presently enduring. Resentment welled in Emma's heart, and she could feel the bitter tears sting her eyes. It was a great disappointment for which she could find no expression but tears.

"Lord," she whispered, "have I waited so long for a husband, only to become the wife of this wild man? Is this what I have been waiting so patiently for?" When Emma realized she was toying with resentment toward God, she quickly put her emotions in check. She reminded herself that she was God's to do with however He best saw fit. If He wanted her here, then she had to believe there was a purpose to all this heartache. To believe otherwise, would be to call God a liar, for His word had said, "All things work together for good." It was difficult for Emma to see any good coming from this marriage, but she held fast to her faith and pressed on with her sewing.

The day wore on, and Emma ate her jerky alone in the cabin. She was too cautious of leaving the safety of those four walls, and was content to remain where she was. As confining as the small lodge was, it was far better than being exposed to every animal that approached their campfire back in the Yellowstone. Emma's one liberty, however, was to keep the window shutters wide open. She enjoyed looking at the wilderness surrounding her, all the while remaining safely indoors. If trouble arose, she could quickly close the shutters and go for her pa's shotgun. Emma prayed that would never be necessary.

The sun settled momentarily on the distant horizon, casting pink and orange hues onto the glittering snow. Then, all too soon, the last of the warm rays slipped behind the Rockies, leaving Josiah to tramp back to the cabin in the moonlight.

The tired hunter paused long enough to adjust the bundle of wet buckskins and fresh deer meat slung over his shoulder. Perhaps he should have camped for the night, and returned the next day? However, the thought of Emma fretting over his absence was enough to push Josiah onward. He knew she had promised not to worry, and even though he guessed she worried about him less now that she had shelter, he was loath to risk more tears if he didn't have to.

Josiah trudged on, until the cabin came into view. He could smell the chimney and knew Emma had a warm fire blazing inside.
continued on next page...
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!