It had been what Mama Pollock called three years since her family had rescued John from the wilderness. She stood behind him now, studying the columns of numbers on his slate. “You have a gift for figures, John,” Sarah said. She patted his shoulder, returned the slate to him, and reached across the table for Jessie’s work.
“I wish you’d let me sit beside John,” Jessie said.
Her mother looked up. “You’d copy his work and wouldn’t learn anything.”
Jessie and John looked at each other and grinned.
Charlie came in the door. “Lesson time, Charles,” Sarah said, returning Jessie’s slate to her.
“It’s still daylight,” Charlie protested. “John’s gonna teach me to throw a knife.”
Sarah put her hands on her hips. “Lesson time!” she said sharply. “You need civilizing more than you need to learn how to throw knives.” She turned to John. “Please don’t encourage him.”
Copyright © 2015 Loretta Miles Tollefson