This Fall marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri to New Mexico. I was going to write a piece about why the Trail was important to the U.S., then I found this. I think it pretty much covers everything I was going to say…..
“I seen him! I seen him!” The boy stopped, breathless, just inside the kitchen door.
“You mean you saw him.” His mother shook her head at him as she lifted the lid from the Dutch oven in the fireplace to check the biscuits. She smiled. “Who did you see?”
“Kit Carson! He was on the other side of the street, going into the Governor’s house.”
She nodded. “I heard this morning that he was back. What is he like?”
His shoulders sagged. “He didn’t look anything like the pictures in the book Grandpa gave me when we left Kansas City.”
“That was just a story,” she pointed out. She turned to stir the great pot of venison stew.
“I know,” he said. “But he wasn’t what I expected at all. He’s just a man.”
Copyright ©2013 Loretta Miles Tollefson
About this time 200 years ago, a man named William Becknell was on his way from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains to trade with the Indians. Or so he said. This is his story, as told by the Kansas Genealogy website. I love the old-fashioned language used in this report. I think it may closely reflect how he would have described what happened. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Captain William Becknell
“The first successful venture to Santa Fe over the Santa Fe Trail was made by Captain William Becknell. With him, according to Gregg, were “four trusty companions.” They left Arrow Rock, on the Missouri, near Franklin, but in Saline County, September 1, 1821. On the 13th of November they met a troop of Mexican soldiers, who prevailed upon them to voluntarily go, in their company, to Santa Fe, whither they were returning. At San Miguel they found a Frenchman who acted as interpreter for them. They were accorded a friendly reception at Santa Fe, and provided the facilities necessary to dispose of their goods. These sold at such rates as astonished the Missourians, calicoes and domestic cotton cloth bringing as much as three dollars a yard. The enterprise proved most remunerative. The party set out on the return journey on the 13th of December and reached home in forty-eight days.
That adventure may be said to have established the Santa Fe trade, and Captain Becknell had justly been called the father of the Santa Fe Trail, for that which he followed was accepted as The Trail from the Missouri River to Santa Fe.
The favorable termination of the trading-journey of Captain Becknell being extensively told on the borders of Missouri, others determined to engage in that commerce. Colonel Benjamin Cooper organized a company which left Franklin for Santa Fe early in May, 1822. His nephews, Braxton, and Stephen Cooper, were members of the party, which numbered some fifteen souls. They carried goods to the value of some five thousand dollars to Taos, using pack-horses. The result of the expedition must have been satisfactory for the Coopers remained in the trade for some years, Braxton Cooper meeting his death at the hands of the Comanches some years after this first trip across the Plains.
Captain Becknell was resolved to continue in the trade which had given him such good returns. Within a month after the departure of Colonel Cooper he again took the trail from Franklin to Santa Fe. The value of his cargo was about five thousand dollars, and there were thirty men in the expedition. On this journey he abandoned the use of packhorses and used for his transportation, wagons drawn by mulesthe first wagon-train over the Santa Fe Trail and the first to cross the Great Plains. It was four years before Ashley took his wheel-mounted cannon into the valley of the Great Salf Lake, eight years before Smith, Jackson & Sublette went into the Wind River country with wagons, and ten years before Captain Bonneville drove wagons into the valley of Green River. This first caravan to depart from the usual means of transportation used three wagons.
This second expedition of Captain Becknell was the pioneer party over the Cimarron Route of the Santa Fe Trail. Captain Becknell had, through his travels, conceived the true geography of the Southwest. It was plain to him that the nearest way to Santa Fe from the Arkansas River was to the southwest by the Cimarron. When he had arrived at that point afterwards known as the “Caches” he turned south. He was not familiar with the country which he was entering. It bore a desert aspect and proved entirely destitute of water between the Arkansas and the Cimarron. The supply carried in canteens was exhausted at the end of two days. It seemed that they were destined to die of thirst on those parched and blasted plains. They killed their dogs and out off the ears of their mules to drink the blood, but this desperate expedient served only to aggravate their suffering. The mirage taunted them with the appearance of water rippling against the shores of false lakes. They had, however, come near the Cimarron without knowing it. They resolved to turn about and try to regain the Arkansassomething they never could have done. In the last extremity, when despair was settling upon them, some of the party observed a buffalo coming up from a depression they had not before seen. It seemed to come up as from the depths and stand upon the burning plain with distended sidesas though gorged with water. It was immediately killed and opened. The stomach was filled with water taken but a few minutes before from the Cimarron. This filthy water was drunk as nectar from paradise. Search was at once made for the stream whence had come this lone providential buffalo, and the Cimarron was found. Water was carried back by the refreshed travelers to those perishing on the desert, and the party was saved. The journey was continued over that route, and water was fortunately found in quantities sufficient to enable the party to reach San Miguel.
The misfortunes of the party under Baird, which went out in 1812, the members of which were imprisoned so many years at Chihuahua, did not quench the passion for trade over the Plains in their leader. In 1822 he induced some adventurers at St. Louis to join him in taking a trading expedition over the Santa Fe Trail. He was joined also by Samuel Chambers, who had aided in securing the cargo to be carried, and who had descended the Canadian in 1821. The expedition consisted of some fifty men and an ample supply of horses and mules. It left Franklin late in the season and was overtaken by severe weather on the Upper Arkansas. It took refuge on an island in that river, no doubt for the reason that it was covered with willow and cottonwood timber. So rigorous did the winter prove that these men were compelled to remain there three months, and most of their animals perished from exposure and starvation. This calamity left them without the means to carry their merchandise into New Mexico. They were under the necessity of concealing their goods there while they went to New Mexico for horses and mules to carry in their lading. They left the island and went up the north bank of the river some distance where they dug pits or “caches” in which they placed their goods, covering them in very carefully. They then went to Taos, where they secured the necessary animals, with which they returned and on which they packed their merchandise to that town. The several pits were left unfilled when the goods were removed, and they stood open there on the Trail for many years. In Gregg’s day they were still open and their walls were covered with moss. They came to be a marking point on the Trail, and this point was known as the “Caches.” The “Caches” were about five miles west of the present Dodge City, Kansas.
In the year 1823, there is record of but one expedition from Missouri to Santa Fe. Early in May Colonel Cooper left Franklin with two packhorses laden with goods valued at two hundred dollars. He returned the following October with four hundred “jacks, jinnies, and mules” and some bales of furs.
Gregg erroneously dates the commencement of the Santa Fe trade from the year 1824. And he falls into another error in saying that the first wagons were used in the trade that year. At the Franklin Tavern, about the first of April, 1824, there was a meeting to discuss the trade to Santa Fe. The point of assembly for the expedition that year was fixed at Mount Vernon, Missouri, and the time was set for the 5th of May. Each man was to carry a good rifle, a dependable pistol, four pounds of powder, eight pounds of lead, and rations for twenty days. The expedition was composed of eighty-one men, one hundred and fifty-six horses and mules, and twenty-five wagons. Thirty thousand dollars was the value of the goods carried. The expedition started on the 15th of May, 1824, crossing the Missouri about six miles above Franklin. The organization for the long journey was effected as soon as the caravan was well under way. A. Le Grand was elected Captain. M. M. Marmaduke, later Governor of Missouri, was one of the party. The Arkansas River was reached on the 10th of June, and the expedition arrived at Santa Fe on the 28th day of July. The financial results of the venture were satisfactory.
It is not necessary to the scope of this work to present an account of every expedition over the Santa Fe Trail, and it is not the intention to do so. The design is to give a historical review of the Trail which will furnish the student or casual reader of history such information as will establish in his mind a clear but not a detailed outline of this important highway of the Plains.
By the year 1825 the Santa Fe trade had assumed sufficient proportions to attract the attention of Congress. There was also a growing apprehension of the wild Indians of the Plains. While there had been no trader killed on the Trail and no robberies of enough importance to report, there was a gathering of Indians along the way, and it was feared that outrages would be committed. Congress, in the winter of 1824-25, passed a bill (approved March 3, 1825) authorizing the President to have the Santa Fe Trail marked from Missouri to the frontiers of New Mexico. The Commissioners appointed to carry that act into effect were enjoined to secure the consent of the Indians whose lands were infringed, to the survey and marking of the road. For that purpose a treaty was entered into, at Council Grove, between the Great and Little Osages and the Kansas Indians on the 11th day of August, 1825. The object of the treaty and what resulted from it will be best shown by the instrument itself. There were in fact two treatiesone with the Osages and one with the Kansas. As they are identical in terms, except as to the preliminary paragraphs, only that with the Osages is given.”
“I sure could do with some raised biscuits,” Peter Kinsinger said over his shoulder as he and his brother Joseph trudged east through the snow toward the top of Palo Flechado Pass.
He hitched the aspen pole that supported the yearling elk carcass between them into a more comfortable spot on his shoulder. “I hear tell Kennedy’s wife knows how to make ’em real good. His place is only a few miles now and his prices are reasonable.”
“You could wait for Elmira’s biscuits,” Joseph said. “She’ll be waitin’ on us.” He hadn’t liked the looks of the Kennedy cabin when they’d passed it on their way into the Pass and Taos Canyon beyond. They now had the meat they’d been hunting and he was tired of November snow and cold.
Peter turned his head and grinned. “I’m a mite chilly, ain’t you? And thirsty. A fire and a little liquid refreshment would be a right comfort just about now.”
Joseph chuckled. Peter’s Elmira was a stickler about alcohol. Peter found it easier to stay away from the Elizabethtown saloons than to experience her tongue when he stumbled home from them.
But a man deserved a nip now and then. And with the weather so inclement, it was unlikely there’d be anyone else drinking the liquor or eating the meals that Kennedy sold to passersby.
“It is mighty cold out here,” he acknowledged. “And we’re still a good ways from home.”
The road leveled out at the top of the Pass, then the brothers began to descend, careful of the icy patches in the shady spots. They were about a quarter of the way down the mountain when they heard the echo of first one rifle shot, then another.
“Sounds like Kennedy’s huntin’ too,” Peter said.
“You may not get that drink after all,” Joseph said. “I hear tell his woman don’t open that cabin door if he ain’t there.”
“Too bad,” Peter said. “I truly am thirsty.”
Joseph chuckled. “It’s still a ways. Maybe he’ll be back before we get there.”
But when they came within sight of the Kennedy place three-quarters of an hour later, they both forgot all about liquid refreshments.
A man lay face down in the middle of the frozen dirt track that skirted the Kennedy hollow. The snow and dirt were splashed red with blood. Charles Kennedy’s bear-like form crouched beside the sprawled body.
The Kinsinger brothers eased their elk to the side of the road and hurried forward.
Kennedy looked up, his black beard bristling around a perpetually angry mouth, his eyes watchful. “Injuns,” he said.
Peter and Joseph looked at each other, then Kennedy.
“Is he dead?” Peter asked.
Kennedy nodded. “I fought the Injuns off.” He stood and gestured toward the cabin. “Bullet holes in th’ door.” He nudged the dead man’s torso with the side of his boot. “Greenhorn ran.”
Joseph leaned down, reached for the man’s shoulder, and rolled him over. “I don’t recognize him.”
“Came from Taos,” Kennedy said. “Merchant there. So he said.”
Joseph straightened and looked away, down the road to Elizabethtown.
“When’d it happen?” Peter asked.
“Couple hours ago,” Kennedy said.
The Kinsingers nodded, eyes raking the hollow and bloody snow, careful not to look at each other or Charles Kennedy.
“Well, we have meat to get home,” Joseph said. “We’ll tell the Sheriff’s deputy in Etown, and he can come fetch the body.” He looked down. “Whoever he is, I expect his Taos friends’ll be wantin’ to give him a proper burial.”
Kennedy nodded. He stood next to the dead man and raked his fingers through his beard as the Kinsingers returned to their elk, hoisted its carrying pole onto their shoulders, and trudged past him.
The brothers were out of sight over the rise to the northeast before either of them spoke.
“Injuns my hat,” Peter said over his shoulder.
Joseph spat into the snow at the side of the road. “Sure a convenient excuse though, ain’t they?”
“We didn’t see anything different,” Peter pointed out.
“Wouldn’t want to get crosswise of that one,” Joseph agreed. They trudged morosely on up the valley toward Elizabethtown.
from Old One Eye Pete
Since I write fiction set prior to New Mexico statehood in 1912, most of the story of Blackdom is outside my time frame. I wish someone would write a novel (or a series of them) based on this town. It would be high on my reading list!
A curandera plays an important role in the story from Old One Eye Pete that I shared on July 21. This video provides some insight into the types of remedies that she might have used in her work.
The four young people stood inside the ranch cabin’s newly whitewashed walls and looked at each other uncertainly.
“What will you do?” Andrew asked. His sister Alma frowned at him, but Kathy only shook her carefully braided blond head, white handkerchief to her blue eyes.
William went to the window. A line of Taos Pueblo riders moved steadily toward the cabin through the gap from the southern part of the valley. “Here they come,” he said. He turned to his sister. “You gave your word.”
Kathy nodded, then shook her head. “Not precisely,” she whispered.
“I beg your pardon?”
Kathy lifted her head. “I didn’t say that I would marry Peter,” she said. “I didn’t say those precise words. But I’m sure that’s what he understood me to say.”
William’s jaw tightened under his reddish-blond beard. “And you didn’t disabuse him of that notion, either.”
She shook her head and turned away, to the only other woman in the room. “Oh, Alma, what am I going to do?”
The dark-haired, deeply tanned, and sturdy Alma put her arms around her pale thin blond friend. “You should follow your heart,” she said, feeling the inadequacy of her words.
Kathy shook her head against Alma’s shoulder. “I don’t know,” she sobbed. “I’m so afraid.”
Andrew was at the window now. “You’ll need to decide pretty quickly,” he said. “They’re almost here.”
But by the time the Taos Pueblo party rode into the dirt and gravel yard, Kathy had disappeared out the cabin’s back door. William and Andrew moved outside to provide an initial greeting and deal with the animals. Alma took a deep breath and faced the doorway, her square brown face anxious. She tucked an unruly curl behind her right ear.
Peter entered first, his dark face bright as an expectant schoolboy’s. He wore a blue and white checked shirt and pants so new they still had fold creases across the thighs. He took one look at Alma’s face and his expression fell. He moved to the far wall and faced it quietly, dark head bowed. Several children followed him inside and Alma scooped up a three-year-old boy she’d never seen before. “Where’d you get those big gray eyes?” she asked him. He giggled and she held him to her chest as she faced Peter’s father, Oscar, as he came through the doorway, dressed in traditional Taos garb, long hair tucked into a bun at the nape of his neck.
“Who is this little man?” she asked. “I haven’t met him before.”
Oscar’s eyes swept around the whitewashed room and came to rest on his son, face to the wall. “He’s my wife’s nephew’s child,” he answered. “The one who married the half-French girl.” He turned to the two men who had followed him in and shook his head slightly. The men turned back to the yard, shutting the door behind them. Oscar glanced at Peter, then Alma. “And where is my son’s Katarina?”
Alma’s eyes dropped and she set the little boy on the floor. He looked up at the two adults uncertainly, then he and the other children moved to the door.
Oscar let them out, then turned back to Alma. “Is there a problem?” His voice was mild enough, but there was an edge to it, as if he already knew the answer to his question.
“There has been a misunderstanding,” Alma said.
Peter made a muffled sound and turned to face them, slim body tense. “There has been no misunderstanding.” He looked at his father. “I have built us a house. Katarina may have misunderstood, but I did not.”
Oscar’s jaws tightened. “It is because we are Pueblan.”
Alma shook her head and spread her hands, palms up. “It is just a misunderstanding. Perhaps some confusion of languages.”
“There has been no confusion,” Peter said stiffly.
“Come, my son,” Oscar said. “We will not waste our words on this matter.”
“I am so sorry,” Alma said helplessly.
Oscar nodded slightly, acknowledging her words as he turned away. Peter, on the other hand, scowled into her face before he followed his father from the cabin and its mocking white walls.
Alma stood in the center of the room for a long time, eyes closed against the windowed sunlight, grieving for the pain in Peter’s face, the controlled anger in Oscar’s. The man had been her father’s good friend. Would he ever forgive her for her part in this? In the yard, men’s voices muttered and horse hooves stirred the gravelly dirt. A child asked a plaintive question, then the group from the Pueblo was gone.
Alma slipped out the back to look for Kathy and found her hunched on a small boulder on the hillside, staring south at the receding horses, her face wet with tears. “Oh, Alma, what have I done?” she asked plaintively. “I have hurt him so much.”
“It’s better to hurt him now than to live a lifetime of misery together,” Alma said stoutly.
Kathy shook her head. “It would not have been a complete misery.”
“I told him there had been a misunderstanding.”
Kathy nodded, her eyes still focused on the horses moving steadily toward the lower Moreno Valley, where they would cross Palo Flechado Pass and move west down the Rio Fernando valley, then north through the village of Don Fernando de Taos to the pueblo. “Misunderstanding is certainly the appropriate word,” she said ruefully.
Alma looked away, studying the creek bed below and the cattle in the rich grass beside it. It was fine ranch land, this upper section of the Moreno Valley. Richer in some ways than the land she and her brother ranched in the lower part of the valley. The Taos Valley was well enough. It certainly had beautiful pasture land. But it was dryer there, and hotter in summer. It wasn’t the Moreno, with its green, high-mountain beauty, narrow meandering streams, and cool summer breezes. If she were Kathy, it would be hard indeed to leave such a place.
But then Kathy took a deep, ragged breath. “I have misunderstood my own heart,” she said. “And angered and insulted Peter’s family. Oscar is a proud man and his wife is even prouder. She dislikes me because I am not Pueblan. Now she will have even more reason to object to me.” She turned to her friend, tears welling again. “Oh, Alma, what have I done? They will never forgive me for this!”
* * * *
Three weeks later Kathy paid an unexpected visit to the lower valley. Alma was in the bare yard of the cabin she shared with her brother on the hillside overlooking the head of the Cimarron Canyon, but for once she was paying no attention to the scenic valley before her. Instead, she was carefully following the directions of the old curandera Guadalupita Otero, learning to make soap from yucca roots.
As they did every summer, the Taos folk healer and her son’s family had camped at the eastern end of Six Mile Creek, southwest of Alma and Andrew’s cabin, to graze their sheep and goats and take in the cool mountain air. Alma had happened upon Guadalupita on a nearby hillside, struggling to carry a large basket of yucca roots. As they carried the basket between them down the hillside, the old woman had explained that she would make soap from the roots and Alma had asked to be taught the process. Now they were carefully chopping the peeled and slippery chunks and mixing them into a pot of water simmering over a fire in the yard.
When Kathy arrived, they took a break inside, out of the sun, and Alma used a bit of precious sugar to sweeten the wild mint tea she’d brewed that morning. “I haven’t had time to chill it in the stream,” she apologized.
“It is better for you warm,” Guadalupita said.
Kathy nodded absently. She sipped her tea and looked at the floor.
“How is everything up at the ranch?” Alma asked. She looked more closely at her friend and the pensive tilt of her blond head. “Are you well?”
Kathy looked up and glanced from Alma to the old lady, then to Alma again.
“Claramente, this is a private matter, ” Guadalupita said. She set down her cup and pushed herself to her feet. “We can finish the soap another day.” She turned to Alma. “Finish adding the amole to the water and then…”
“Please stay, señora,” Kathy said. She leaned forward and looked into the old woman’s face. “I may need your assistance. Certainly I need your advice.” She dropped her eyes. “If you would be so kind as to give it.”
Guadalupita peered into the younger woman’s face and then sat down again.
Alma frowned anxiously. “Kathy, what is it?”
Kathy took a deep, ragged breath. “I sent word to Peter that I am with child.” She glanced up, then at the floor. “He is a good man. He will have to marry me now.”
Alma’s hand went to her mouth. “Oh Kathy,” she said. “Are you certain?”
Kathy looked up. A grim little smile passed over her pale face. “I’m certain that I sent him the message.”
Alma shook her head. “I don’t understand.”
“After my foolishness last month, it’s the only possible way to obtain his parents’ agreement.” Kathy turned her head, avoiding her friend’s eyes. “And it will be true soon enough after we’re married.”
“Then you’re not actually….”
“It’s the only way I could think of.”
“But surely they’ll know that you aren’t actually….”
Kathy shook her head. “It’s too soon to tell without an physical examination.” She turned to Guadalupita. “I am not Catholic. The priest is almost certain to ask for confirmation from a curandera.”
“This Peter is the Taos joven? Oscar Lujan’s younger son?” Guadalupita asked. “I think his mother will ask, if the priest does not. I have heard that she is very angry that you rejected her precious hijo.”
“I was a fool.” Kathy dropped her head. “I know that now.” She looked up, her eyes pleading. “Señora Otero, would you confirm it for me?”
“And if you do not become pregnant immediately after el casamiento?”
“I will say that I lost the child.”
Guadalupita clicked her tongue and shook her head.
“And what about Peter?” Alma asked. “Will he believe you?”
Kathy smiled and her cheeks reddened. “He will know it is not true. We have never— I wouldn’t let him—” She looked down at her hands, then at Alma, calmer now. “If he responds with a message acknowledging the child, I will know he has forgiven my foolishness. If he sends a message rejecting it, or if he doesn’t respond, then I will try—” She bit her lip. “I will try to forget him,” she whispered. She covered her face with her hands. “And I will never forgive myself,” she sobbed.
“Oh, Kathy.” Alma knelt beside Kathy’s chair and put an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “Are you certain this is the only way?”
Kathy took her hands from her face. “I can think of no other.” She lifted her chin. “I don’t know whether or not I have done the right thing, but that is what I have done. I won’t go back now.”
Guadalupita chuckled. “Verdad you are a child no longer, I think.” She looked out the window for a long moment, then turned to the girl and gave a sharp little nod. “I will help you.”
“Oh, señora,” Kathy said. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
“You would perjure yourself?” Alma blurted, eyes dark with surprise.
The old lady compressed her lips. “I will help you.” The girls stared at her determined eyes and knew that it was not for Kathy that she was doing this thing. But the look in Guadalupita’s face did not invite questioning. “But for now, we will make soap,” the curandera said firmly.
* * * *
As she made her slow way back to her family’s campsite that afternoon, Guadalupita pondered her decision. It had been made on the spur of the moment, but it felt inevitable. Sixty-some years ago her mother had lain with a young Apache man. She herself was the result of that summer romance. But her abuela, her mother’s mother, was one who clung fiercely to the purity of her Spanish blood. She had rejected any possibility of marriage between the young people and badgered her daughter into a rapid casamiento with a pure-bloodedwidower who had three young sons, a temper, and a penchant for Taos Lightning. It was of no importance that he was a drunk and a wife beater: the unborn child would be baptized with a Spanish lineage.
Guadalupita hadn’t known her true origins until she herself was married and her mother was dying. Always she had wondered why her father and abuela disliked her so much. It had been a relief to discover that she was not related to the hombre who had caused her and her mamá so much pain.
She knew Peter’s mother, of her pride in her Pueblo blood lines. Guadalupita shook her head. She would not stand by while another young woman lost her güiso, her sweetheart, as a result of such foolishness. There would be pain enough in the day-to-day living of their love, with a mother-in-law always looking to find fault.
The old curandera stopped to rest, eyes contemplating the green-black mountains that lined the western side of the valley. Below the opposite slopes lay the Taos Pueblo. Guadalupita shook her head and smiled, recalling the look in the blond girl’s face as she’d said “That is what I have done. I won’t go back now.” She was a strong one, that Katarina. Stronger than she knew.
The old woman turned and began walking again. As for perjuring herself: Hah! She was not afraid of the priests. She had ceased listening to them seven years before, on that January morning in the American year 1847 when so many had died in the Taos revolt, including her own esposo. Those who inveigh against a thing and then are horrified when their listeners take action against the thing execrated deserve no respect. They do not speak for el Dios. Guadalupita’s chin jerked defiantly upward, unconsciously mimicking the movement of Kathy’s face three hours before.
from Old One Eye Pete
In No Secret Too Small , Suzanna learns how to weave. In her case, the wool has already been taken from the sheep and transformed into yarn. This video and the one I’ll post a couple days from now, provides a lot more information about the entire process than I could have possibly included in the novel. Enjoy!
Suzanna’s eyes narrowed and her lips tightened. “I did not come to this god forsaken valley to live in a cave,” she snapped. The toddler on her hip started fussing but Suzanna only shifted impatiently and continued to glare at her husband on the other side of the room. “You promised me glass windows. You also said you wanted to farm, that you were finished with trapping.”
Gerald gestured at the beaver pelts lying just inside the cabin door. “I was finding the means to buy glass,” he said mildly.
Suzanna turned away. “The money will just go to something else.” Alma fussed again and Suzanna bent to place her on the floor. “The mule will go lame or cougars will take down a couple more calves.”
“Don’t you ‘sweet’ me!” She straightened, hands on her hips. “I will not be sweet-talked out of this! You can’t expect me to live in a cabin with just shutters at the windows, sitting in the dark whenever it rains!”
“We have lamps.”
“It’s not the same and you know it!”
Alma had toddled to her father. She clung to his leg, looking up at him. “Papa stay home?” she asked. “Mama ang’y.” She shook her dark curly head. “Me don’ like Mama ang’y.”
Gerald and Suzanna stared at each other for a long moment. Then Gerald scooped Alma into his arms and Suzanna threw her hands in the air helplessly and crossed the room. She leaned her head against his shoulder. “I had no idea when you would return,” she said into his sleeve.
Copyright ©2016 Loretta Miles Tollefson
NOTE: This is a prequel to my novel No Secret Too Small
Did you know that there are volcanos in New Mexico?