Dorothy Garlock - [Wabash River]

BOOK: Dorothy Garlock - [Wabash River]
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A Time Warner Company

YESTERYEAR
. Copyright © 1995 by Dorothy Garlock. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

 

For information address Warner Books, Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

 

A Time Warner Company

 

The “Warner Books” name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

 

ISBN: 978-0-7595-2278-7

 

A mass market edition of this book was published in 1995 by Warner Books.

 

First eBook Edition: June 2001

 

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com

 

 

 

 

Books by Dorothy Garlock

 

A
nnie
L
ash

D
ream
R
iver

F
orever
V
ictoria

A G
entle
G
iving

G
lorious
D
awn

H
omeplace

L
onesome
R
iver

L
ove and
C
herish

L
arkspur

M
idnight
B
lue

N
ightrose

R
estless
W
ind

R
ibbon in the
S
ky

R
iver of
T
omorrow

T
he
S
earching
H
earts

S
ins of
S
ummer

S
weetwater

T
enderness

T
he
L
istening
S
ky

T
his
L
oving
L
and

W
ayward
W
ind

W
ild
S
weet
W
ilderness

W
ind of
P
romise

Y
esteryear

 

Published by

WARNER BOOKS

 

 

 

This one is for the O’Haver clan

Betty and Louis O’Haver

Sally Nan and Mike Kenny

Missy and Beau

Michal and David Long

Eric

Rebecca and Shane Cloyde

Tyler

And . . . Garrett O’Haver

CHAPTER

*  1  *

A
ddie’s eyes blazed with anger.

“Get out of our way! It’s no wonder the South lost the war with a vile creature like you fighting for it.”

“Ya better watch who yore callin’ names.” The drunken soldier’s face turned mean. He peered under the sunbonnet of the young girl standing beside Addie.

“L-looky here, Nate. Looky here. Ain’t she a sight?”

“She’s the nigger we heared about.”

“I ain’t carin’ none a’tall. She don’t look like it. She’s pert nigh white.”

Addie moved quickly between Trisha and the man before Trisha could get the knife out of her pocket.

“She yore nigger, ma’am?”

“If you’ve got a decent set of manners to your name, I suggest you put them to work.” Addie tried not to raise her voice and draw attention.

“Wal, now. Ain’t you high-tone, considerin’ what ya are.”

“Pay ya two bits fer a hour with ’er.” The man put his face close to Addie’s. His breath was so foul that it made her stomach churn. She put out a hand to shove him back, but he refused to budge.

“If I scream, every decent man on this street will be on you like a duck on a junebug.”

“Quit yore play-actin’ an’ come ta terms. How much fer a half-hour? Come ta think on it, I’d not last a hour.” He laughed. “I ain’t had me no woman in a coon’s age an’ I’m ’bout ta bust my britches.”

“Is they a-botherin’ ya, ma’am?” A bearded man in a cowhide vest towered over them.

“Yes, they are.”

“No, we ain’t. She’s storyin’ is what she’s doin’. We’s tryin’ to do some business, is all.” It almost sobered the drunk when he looked up at the giant. To cover his fright, he put a cocky grin on his face. “We’re a-wantin’ ta use her nigger. We’re willin’ to pay. Hey . . . whatcha—”

The bearded man seized the drunk’s shoulders with two large hands. He lifted him off his feet and shook him like a wet kitten before tossing him into the dusty street. Landing on his back, the drunk gulped in the air that had been knocked out of him, shook his head to clear it, then scrambled to avoid the hooves of the horses tied to the rail.

“Ya had no call ta be doin’ that.” The second soldier began to back away.

The giant followed him and spoke so quietly that Addie had to strain to hear the words.

“I ain’t a-arguin’ with
horse dung.
Get that boozy bum away from these ladies or I’ll make fodder outa both of ya.”

The two men moved out into the rutted street, and when they had several horses and wagons between them and the man in the cowhide vest, the one who had picked himself up out of the dirt, yelled, “I ain’t never heared of a nigger an’ a whore bein’ called
ladies!
” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he ran.

Addie put her hand on the arm of their defender when he stepped off the porch to follow the two.

“Let them go. Please. We’ve caused enough commotion.”

“Miss Addie!” Colin came running down the walk. “Ya all right?”

“We’re all right, Colin. Did you give the horses water?”

“Yes’m. But—”

“This gentleman got rid of the trash for us,” Addie said calmly and smiled up into the man’s warm brown eyes.

“It was pure pleasure, ma’am.” The hat he removed was wide-brimmed, turned up in the front and held with a long silver pin that pierced the brim and the crown. Dark brown curly hair hung down over his ears and was chopped off straight as if it had been cut with a knife. He reminded Addie of a woolly bear, and she had to bite back the urge to tell him so.

The big man glanced at Trisha, who stood with her head lowered.

“You and the little lady ain’t to worry. I’ll keep a eye out for them weasels.” He looked down at a small boy clinging to the woman’s skirt and a girl a few years older holding on to him. He struck Colin’s shoulder a playful blow. “I’m thinkin’ I ain’t even ort to a-stuck my oar in. This here feller could’a took on them hornswogglers. He was ’bout ready to wade in with fists flyin’.”

“I’m aimin’ to get me a knife.” Colin straightened his thin shoulders.

“Using a knife to go at a man bigger than you ain’t such a good idee. Remember this, boy. Take ’em by surprise. Use whatcha got and hit ’em where it hurts. Ya could’ve butted him with your head.” He leaned down and whispered something in Colin’s ear. “Do it hard and it’ll lay ’em out cold. I seen it done by a lad not half yore size.”

“Thanks, mister.” Colin had a rare grin on his face.

“Good day, ladies,” The man gave Trisha another long look, put his fingers to the turned-up brim of his hat, and walked away.

“He was a nice man. Wasn’t he, Trisha?”

“I guess so,” Trisha mumbled.

“What’s a hornswogg-ler, Miss Addie?” Colin asked.

“I’ll be doggoned if I know. It isn’t anything good, I’m sure of that.” She bent to straighten the hat on the head of a small boy and the bonnet on the head of the five-year-old girl who now held on tightly to Trisha’s hand.

“I knowed it! I knowed I ain’t ort ta a-come!” Trisha mumbled. “I should’a stayed home. Lordy! Oh, Lordee, mercy me! I wish I’d stayed home.”

“Stop moaning and groaning, Trisha. Hold up your head and spit in their eye.” Addie glanced at the three children, who were looking up at her and listening closely. “Oh, my. Fine example I’m setting. We’ll talk about this when we get home.”

“I ain’t nothin’ but trouble,” Trisha muttered under her breath, but still Addie heard.

“Not to me! You’re the dearest friend I have in all the world. Now come on. Let’s go to Mr. Cash’s store. I have two pairs of men’s socks to barter.”

Addie settled the strings of her drawstring purse on her arm, straightened three-year-old Dillon’s hat once again, and smiled down at the rest of her family. Crowds made Addie Hyde nervous and frightened Trisha half out of her wits. Addie glanced at her and saw that she’d pulled in her lips and held them between her teeth, and her large, expressive eyes swept from side to side as if she expected to be attacked at any moment. Addie knew the girl’s fear and stayed close to her as they made their way down the crowded boardwalk with eleven-year-old Colin leading the way.

BOOK: Dorothy Garlock - [Wabash River]
6.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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