10 Pages in 10 Days – Waltz in the Wilderness – Day 7

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Chapter 1 – page 9

At last, a dark-skinned man in a long black waistcoat answered the door. “Yes?”

“I’m Jim Brooks, here to see my brother, Henry Davidson.”

Eli looked at Pa. “Why’s he got a different last name than you?”

Pa squinted at her. “Same ma, different pas. My ma married Henry’s pa after my pa died when I was eight.”

“So he’s your half brother?”

Pa nodded as the servant motioned for them to enter, and Eli followed Pa out of the rain. Their wet boots squeaked on the sleek wood floor. A narrow table stood flush against the wall, topped with an expensive vase filled with dried flowers. A fancy mirror hung above it. Warmth radiated from an open doorway.

Why hadn’t Pa suggested they visit his brother last winter?

A tall, dark-haired man wearing spectacles emerged from a doorway down the hall and hurried toward them.


“Henry.” Pa nodded. “I hope we’re welcome.”

Eli blinked at Pa. Why wouldn’t they be welcome?

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Uncle Henry grinned as he pulled Pa into a tight hug.

Pa returned his brother’s embrace before stepping back.

They stared at one another a moment before Henry took Pa’s shoulders. “It’s been too long, brother. Tell me, how are you?”

“Well, actually…”

Uncle Henry’s gaze swung to Eli.

He offered his hand. “Oh, do forgive me. I’m Henry Davidson. Welcome to my home.”

Eli accepted Uncle Henry’s hand. “I—”

“This is Eliza, Henry.”

Had someone come in behind them? Eli turned to see whom Pa was speaking of.

“My daughter.”

Oh. Of course. It was so long since she’d heard her full name she’d almost forgotten it.

Uncle Henry’s mouth rounded as he released her hand.

“Your…daughter?” His stared at her, eyes wide.

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