Sweet romance, with some profanity.
©2013 Verna Clay (P)2013 Verna Clay
In Cry of the West , recently widowed Hallie Wells is facing a difficult situation. The sudden demise of her husband after selling their farm and just about everything they owned to travel west on the Oregon Trail, has left her stranded with an eight year old son. Dare she ask Cooper Jerome, recently returned from the War of the States, if he would put his life on hold for, say, five months to drive her wagon; and that doesn't include his return trip. At this point, she's out of options.
"Mr. Jerome, would you be interested in driving my wagon to Oregon? I would pay you well."
Cooper blinked, forcing himself to look away from the pleading in her eyes. "Uh, well, ma'am..." He glanced back. She looked like she was about to cry."Uh, ma'am, now that would take me away from my place through planting season and harvest, and longer." He dreaded her expression if he flat out refused.
"I would pay you whatever you would make during harvest and more." She blinked and brushed at a tear that kept welling up in one eye. "Mr. Jerome, I'm desperate. I have no home. I have no husband. I have no family to turn to. I have a young son to care for. And I have very little time to prepare before departure. The wagon train leaves the end of April. Believe me, if I were capable of driving the oxen myself, I would do so. But, as you can see, I am neither large, nor strong. I fear I would kill myself and my child. Besides, I doubt the train master would even allow me near the team after he saw me crack a whip." She gave a pathetic smile at her attempt at a joke.
Cooper forced his eyes away from hers and glanced down the street at the big "saloon" sign. He wanted that drink. Stalling for time, he removed his Stetson, slapped it against his thigh, replaced it, scratched his neck, and finally met her gaze again. "Give me some time to think about it."