...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.
But there was his problem. Telling Emma. It galled him to no end that Emma should know, when it had nothing to do with her. The Shoshone woman had been his business, and Emma didn't need to find out. The burden on Josiah's conscience, however, would not let him go, and Josiah finally decided that he had no choice. If he didn't tell Emma, he would slowly go insane.

The afternoon of the next day, Emma started Mary on her lessons. The girl had been a fast learner, and Emma had picked up the pace at which she had been teaching her. Mary was ready for words, or at least very small ones, and so with Mary at her side, Emma opened their Bible and began to read. Every time Emma came across a small, easy word, she would pause as Mary sounded out the vowels and consonants. Words such as "the," "to" and "it" kept slowing the progress of Emma's reading, but Mary eagerly kept up.

"I am reading!" Mary said in awe, when they had come to the end of the passage. "Pa!" Mary looked across the cabin to where Josiah was brooding on his buffalo robes. "I can read!"

Josiah grunted, obviously preoccupied with his own thoughts.

Not wanting to dampen Mary's victory, Emma gave her another hug, and then declared the rest of the day a holiday from lessons. The cabin filled with Mary's excited clamor of how she was reading words, while Emma kept a silent watch on the man seated on the bed.

Josiah had a knife in one hand, and a stick in the other. He absently kept shaving wood from the stick, until nothing was left. Then Josiah would pick up another, and repeat the process.

As Emma watched Josiah, he looked up at her and their eyes met. He looked oppressed, as though carrying a burden that was too great for him. Emma's heart went out to Josiah, but he remained silent, and turned his full attention back to the whittling stick.

That evening after supper, Emma sat beside the fireplace with her mending while Mary sleepily played with her dolls. It was nearing Mary's bedtime, and Josiah waited for Emma to put the child to bed. Instead, Emma let Mary stay up a little later than usual.

Trying to ease his restlessness, Josiah pulled out his knife and began to work on another stick when he heard Emma announce that it was bedtime. Finally. Tossing the stick into the flames, Josiah waited as Emma got Mary ready for bed.

When Emma joined him on the buffalo robes several minutes later, she looked ready to fall asleep.

"I've been waiting to talk to you," said Josiah, trying to stop Emma from lying down.

"Oh?" Emma tiredly sat up, covering her cold legs with the blankets. "What is it?"

Josiah fumbled with the fringe on his hunting shirt.

"Would you rather talk in the morning?" Emma asked with a stifled yawn.

"No, I--" Josiah stopped short. He sorely wished he didn't have to go through with this. Going over his rationale one last time, Josiah let go of the leather fringe. "I ain't making you any apologies, so don't you go thinking that I am."
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!