And now.. for the second part of Prairie Child.. part 2 😊
Panicking, Amber climbed up a tree, hoping they wouldn’t see her. The four men on horseback stopped right under her tree, obviously looking around for her.
“Where’d she go?” A man with curly brown hair and a black Stetson asked, seeming to be greatly annoyed.
The other men paced around on their horses, appearing to be nervous and fidgety. Finally, another one of the men, who looked to be the burliest and shortest of them all, spoke up. “I dunno boss, but I’m not likin’ this. I mean, first we kill the old man, and now we are huntin’ down the girl. What for? Why don’t we just take the money we came for and get the livestock.. and be on our way?”
Amber listened intently to see what “Curly” would say. He looked at the horizon of the prairie and spat on the ground. “You afraid, Shorty? If you are-” he cocked his pistol and turned his gaze back on Shorty. “Then maybe you’d wanna stay here, huh?”
Shorty pulled a whip from his saddlebag, all the while fidgeting. “Naw, I just don’t think we need the extra trouble.”
Curly rode up beside Shorty. “Now listen ta me. We aren’t goin’ to stop huntin’ this girl, until I say so, ya understand? She’s knows where the old man’s real fortune was. Now ride! All of ya!” He spat once again on the ground and steered his horse around and galloped across the prairie, the other men following him. Shorty hesitated, looked around, and followed.
Amber breathed out her relief in sobs. After they were no longer in sight, she climbed from the tree, cautiously. She jumped to the ground, hearing a rip. My dress! Finding that it was only a bit of the seam at the bottom, she shrugged. I guess it was my work dress any way. She sighed. “Where do I go?” Keep going until you reach a brick house. Her grandpa’s words came back to her. In which direction? The riders went straight, so I’ll go..uh left. Conflicting emotions tormented her. She wanted to stay and see if Grandpa Jake was really…dead. She didn’t want to leave, yet she knew she must- that it wasn’t safe for her. “Oh, Grandpa Jake. What on earth is goin’ on?” She wrapped her sweater tighter around her as the air grew colder, and snowflakes started falling. Feeling scared and cold, Amber did the only thing she knew to do. “Dear God, I’m feelin’ right scared. I think Grandpa Jake is.. dead, and some men are after me. It’s a tough fix I’m in, and I’m just prayin’ you’ll help me through this mess. Please help me to find that lady’s house. Amen.”
With one last look to her beloved house and farm, Amber bravely continued. Step after step, she hoped she was getting closer to safety.
Having five children of her own, including twelve orphans she took in to safety and as her own, Mrs. Candela had plenty of experience with children. That’s why she was put in charge of the church’s annual Easter picnic. Although she was hoping for sun and warm weather. It was not to be. Snow started falling, and the picnic was cancelled. “Oh, Simeon,” she complained to her husband, “I was so looking forward to this event. I could tell it was goin’ to be a huge success!”
Simeon sighed. “Well, now, Mary, I’m just not sure, but don’t worry, it will be even better when we can do it in warmer weather! Maybe it’ll even give ya more time to prepare, although I don’t think ya could prepare any more than ya already have.”
Mary smiled. “I suppose ya are right, as always, Simeon. The children do need ta get to the doc, any way, and ya never know if another child would land on my doorstep. Do ya think that Jake Simmons has sent any more over here?”
Simeon looked thoughtful. “It’s possible, Mary, but I suppose we won’t know until they arrive. Are ya sure we can fit another child in this house of ours?”
Mary looked at him with a twinkle in her eyes. “I reckon we can. We always have room for one more. Besides, Jessica is probably gettin’ hitched soon, any way, to Joshua Brien.”
Simeon nodded and got up. “I’m goin’ ta bed, dear. Good night.”
“All right. Goodnight.”
Simeon gave her a kiss on the cheek and climbed up the stairs. Mary sat in her rocking chair, thinking. I do hope another child comes soon, an if one does come, who will it be?
That thought persisted in her mind through the night.