10 Pages in 10 Days – Waltz in the Wilderness – Day 5

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Chapter 1 – page 7

His silence grew long and she lifted her head. He stared at her—no, saw her—in a way he hadn’t seen her in months.


     His eyes pinched at the corners. He cleared his throat. “Eat. I’ll be fine. I got work to do.” He crawled toward the flap.

     She leaned forward to follow, but he held up his hand. “You just stay here. Understand? It won’t take me long to get our things together, so by the time you’re done with those beans, we ought to be ready to go.”

     “Go?” It had taken weeks of pleading to convince Pa to bring her along to California instead of leaving her with neighbors in Oregon. He kept saying he wouldn’t bring a female around so many lonely men.

     “My Pa made that mistake,” he told her during one of their many discussions. “My sister came with us when we went to Georgia. He thought we could keep her safe.” Something had flickered in Pa’s eyes. “He was wrong.”

     He never said more than that, but it was clear he wasn’t changing his mind. Not until Eli dressed as a boy. Somehow, that made the difference.

     But now…

     She straightened. “You’re not taking me back to Oregon, Pa. I won’t stay there. You need me.”

     “Too late to make it, anyway.” He turned away. “Snow’s coming.”

     She grabbed his shoulder. “Then where are we going?”

     He shook her hand off and glared at her. “How long you think it will take for Morgan to get over that scare I gave him and remember what he saw?” She opened her mouth, but he kept talking. “And when he does, how long you think it’ll take him to go blabbin’ the news all over these hills?”

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