Herman waited anxiously for his bride and his brother to arrive in Elizabethtown from Denver. After two weeks went by, he began to worry. Was Gertrude sick? Had an accident befallen Peter on his way to collect her?
Then a letter arrived. The messenger delivered it while Herman was drinking at the bar in Herburger’s Saloon. He tore it open and began to read, then groped blindly for a chair. He read it again. The men around him fell silent as Herman’s face grew more ashen.
“Your bride take sick?” Gordy the bartender asked. “Or Pete?”
Herman passed his hand over his face, then looked around.
“He married her,” he said. “They’re coming back now.”
Someone started to laugh, then stopped abruptly.
Herman got up and walked to the door. Then he turned. “I’ll be in my new house,” he said. “Tell Peter and Gertrude they can—have the cabin.”
Copyright © 2015 Loretta Miles Tollefson