"Pa!" Marie let go of the plates and steadied the pair of kerosene lamps teetering on the shelf. "Mind the lamps."
"He's left! He didn't even come say goodbye to his ma."
"What do you mean? Who's left?" Marie went to close the door, a sick premonition washing through her.
"Your brother. He has no more sense than a beetle, pining over a girl who doesn't care for him." He paced around the room, angrily pounding a fist into his open hand.
Marie crossed the distance between them and laid her fingers on her father's arm. The queasiness settled in her stomach. "James? Where's he gone to?"
"North. He has some idea of working your uncle's mine. Darn fool boy." Rod left Marie's grasp and sank into his chair. "He wouldn't even take my coin."
"Oh Pa, does Ma know? She'll be heart-sick."
"Don't I know it!"