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A Silent Yes

A Silent Yes

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A Silent Yes

68 Seiten
1 Stunde
Sep 12, 2014


Kansas 1884 – Matthias Baker lives on an isolated farm with his brother. Their quiet life is interrupted when a young woman is hastily left in their care. The woman has nowhere else to go and a wedding seems like the obvious solution to avoid impropriety. But Matthias quickly develops feelings that would make a marriage more than a convenient choice. When the preacher arrives before he has the time to work out how she feels about him, it’s unclear to both of them whether or not their marriage is for show.

Sep 12, 2014

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A Silent Yes - Charlotte Thorpe

A Silent Yes

a novella

Charlotte Thorpe

Copyright 2014 Charlotte Thorpe

All rights reserved. Before Someday Publishing

A Silent Yes is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, events, etc are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

~~ ~~

Kansas 1884

You hear a wagon?

Matthias Baker looked up from the cornbread he was pulling out of the oven and perked his ears before he nodded to his brother’s question.

The Griggs wouldn’t pay a call this time of year, would they? Justus didn’t even look up from his whittling as he asked. It’s past Rev. John’s time though, isn’t it?

Matthias stared at the cornbread knowing Justus wasn’t waiting for answers. He simply liked to think out loud.

The preacher wouldn’t bring a wagon though, would he?

The heat from the pan began to sear through the towel. Matthias dropped the contents rather unceremoniously onto the table and tossed the pan into the washtub.

Who do you suppose could be headed this way? Justus asked. He still hadn’t moved. A wagon could be heard for some time before it arrived at their house.

Matthias glanced at the meat for two on the stove and hoped whoever was coming didn’t plan on staying.

He took his rifle down and propped it by the front door before he opened it. A covered wagon was approaching the house, driven by a gray-haired man and a plump older woman who was likely his wife. By the time they stopped the horses, Justus was at his brother’s elbow to help greet the unexpected and unknown arrivals.

Good afternoon, the man at the reins called out with a jerk of his head. Which of you is the head of this household?

I suppose that would be me, Matthias called back. As the older brother, the title was technically his. Justus was only two years younger though and didn’t exactly require ordering about. I’m Matthias Baker. This is my brother Justus.

Silas Mitchell, the man answered. He gave a nod to the seat next to him. My wife.

All four paused to acknowledge that introductions had been made. There was still much sizing up going on though and Matthias didn’t move from arm’s reach of his rifle.

Who all you got living in this homestead? Mr. Mitchell asked.

I might ask how that’s any of your business.

I mean no disrespect, the man said, rubbing a hand over his sun-hardened face. We, uh, we got ourselves a bit of a situation and are, uh, trying to judge the appropriateness of asking you for help.

This Mr. Mitchell seemed to be choosing his words carefully, but Matthias had decided that he did not pose an immediate threat. He took a few steps onto the porch. You’re looking at the entire contents of this household, Mr. Mitchell. Why don’t you step down and tell us about this problem of yours and we’ll decide on the appropriateness of offering help.

Mr. Mitchell exchanged a worried look with his wife before he passed her the reins and climbed off the wagon.

Justus flanked his brother but let him do the talking.

What’s the bind? Matthias prompted once he was face to face with the stranger. He thought he heard a soft moan come from inside the wagon. He ignored it for the moment.

Well… Mr. Mitchell passed his hand over his face so hard it seemed he might be trying to rub the rough whiskers right off his cheek. The wife and I are cooking for a cattle drive passing by here. Just before we left, we got burdened with escorting a young woman. We were told she’d help out in exchange for vittles, but she’s been more trouble than… I knew it was a bad idea.

When the older man paused for breath, Matthias glanced back at his brother. Justus appeared to be thinking along the same lines, that this was either a complicated problem or a simple one with a long-winded explanation. He wasn’t sure which he should be hoping for.

Mr. Mitchell continued, Then the girl went and took ill two days ago. Completely useless now even more than before. We can’t afford any more delays and the fact of the matter is we’d be much obliged if you’d take her in for us.

Matthias looked at his brother again. He wasn’t sure he had heard right. The befuddled expression on Justus’ face said that perhaps he had indeed understood the man correctly. Mr. Mitchell, if I followed your story all right, you propose to leave a sickly young woman in the care of two, uh… strangers? He figured that saying strangers was bad enough without mentioning the added inappropriateness of both of those strangers being men. When do you plan on coming back for her?

Mr. Mitchell shifted his weight impatiently. I realize it’s inconvenient and not exactly proper. I… We simply can’t afford for anyone else to get sick on account of her.

Matthias scratched his head a moment. There must be something else going on here. Surely this man wasn’t as callous as he was sounding. Where is this woman? Can I talk to her?

The older man rubbed his face hard again and glanced nervously at his wife. Then he motioned for Matthias to follow him to the back of the wagon. You can try to talk to her but she’s completely knocked out by the fever. He lifted a flap.


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