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A Simple Yes

A Simple Yes

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A Simple Yes

77 Seiten
49 Minuten
Feb 7, 2015


Kansas 1886

Sam Haid is desperate to take his sister Caroline back to Texas because he feels he abandoned her years earlier. Caroline is afraid of being lonely and wants to bring her friend Ruth along. Ruth longs to go but her father won’t allow her to leave home unless she is married.

The answer to everything is completely obvious. Practical even. But will it be as simple as Sam and Ruth believe?

Feb 7, 2015

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A Simple Yes - Charlotte Thorpe

A Simple Yes

a novella

Charlotte Thorpe

Copyright 2015 Charlotte Thorpe

All rights reserved. Before Someday Publishing

Smashwords Edition

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

~~ ~~

Kansas 1886

He approached the house slowly. This was partly because he was nervous about seeing Caroline again. And it was partly because it looked as though sudden movements might cause the small shack to topple down around her. There were holes in the walls and in the roof. The well-tended garden likely meant that she was at least not going hungry.

He turned abruptly, telling himself that he wanted to get a better look at the far end of the garden, but he knew he was stalling. He kept himself near the line of trees where she might not see him if she happened to look out a window. A grave marker caught his attention and he walked towards it. The word in town was that Caroline’s husband had been killed in a bar fight several months earlier and that she’d lost a baby.

Next to her husband’s grave, however, was not one but three tiny graves. Each one was marked simply Baby Stanton. The sight brought him to his knees. Caroline had wanted to be a mother since she was a kid. He used to resent her attempts to take care of him when she was only a year older. She’d been through so much in his absence. How could he even begin to make it up to her? There was nothing left to do but to try.

He took a direct path and walked resolutely towards the house. She probably wouldn’t recognize him so it might be dangerous to look as though he was trying to sneak up on her. He’d made it to about ten feet from the door when he heard the cracking sound of a rifle being readied. The end of it came through the front window where there was no glass and a female voice called out, What do you want?

He froze and cleared his throat. I just want to talk.

What about?

I, uh… He took off his hat and faced the window. Caroline, it’s me.

It seemed that even the Earth halted its rotation in the two seconds he waited to see if she knew him. Then the gun disappeared from the window and he heard movement inside the house, as though furniture was being rearranged. The door flew open and a young woman stood on the stoop. Her skirt was stained on the lower half as though she spent a lot of time kneeling in the dirt but her fair hair was tied up in a tidy bun. Her eyes were wide with disbelief. Sam? she said.

He dipped his chin in a nod. That was the only movement he could make before she ran out and threw her arms around him.

I didn’t think I’d ever see you again, she said. How are you? What have you been doing? Why didn’t you ever write? Are you back for good? She released him with a glowing smile. Look at you. Taller than me now. I bet you’re even taller than Pa. Do you have a family? Will you come inside and tell me everything?

Sam nodded again, at a complete loss for what to say. All the words he’d rehearsed were no good. He’d been prepared to beg for forgiveness and that seemed to be the only thing she wasn’t asking of him. He followed her into her house.

Coffee? she asked.


Sit down. Sit down. Caroline practically pushed him into a chair and then began to flit around her own kitchen as though she didn’t know where anything was kept.

Sam watched quietly while she poured the coffee, casting several quick glances over her shoulder at him. Perhaps she feared he’d disappear for another ten years if she turned her back long enough. She was so thin he wondered if he was wrong about her eating well.

She placed a cup on the table in front of him and sat in the other chair. I don’t drink coffee very often. It’s providential that I had some ready for company. I hope it isn’t too weak. She smiled and took a sip from her own cup. Now tell me all about you, she said.

The cup was warm in his hands. He took a drink only to delay speaking. Whether she asked for it or not, an apology was the only way he could think to start. I’m sorry, Caroline. I never meant to abandon you and Lucy.

I know, she said. We both thought it was a good idea at the time. And I don’t blame you for wanting to leave. You were right about Pa. He was worse after Ma died.

All the more reason I should have stayed to protect you.

Trying to make your own way was a good idea.

Sam shook his head. He didn’t want to hear his sister defend his selfishness. It would be easier to have her angry with him.

It was naïve to think you’d have a place for all of us within a year but you were fourteen, Caroline said. And I believed it, too. But the longer we went without hearing from you, the more convinced we were that something terrible had happened to you.

Sam released a ragged sigh. The only terrible thing that happened to me was that I became a coward. I should have checked on you years ago. He didn’t tell her that the reason he hadn’t returned was that he feared finding his sisters had escaped their father by marrying men little better. People in town weren’t shy about telling him that was exactly what had happened to Caroline. At least it sounded as though Lucy might have been luckier.

Caroline waved her hand as though she was literally clearing the air. You’re here now, she said. And it looks as though you’ve done all right for yourself.

Better than I deserve.

Enough of that. Tell me where you’re living.

Texas. I’ve been working on a ranch there since a few months after I left home.

She nodded encouragingly.

"I, uh… the owner was a

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