Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sweet Saturday Samples - May 18, 2013

Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples. Today I'm sharing a short scene from my WIP, wherein Rulon Owen learns his fate, at least in the short term. Enjoy!

Rulon stood on the bottom step outside the church, clasping his hands behind his back. He knew his foot was tapping rapidly against the brick. He simply could not control it as he waited.

"Young man!"

Rulon swung around at the sharp tone he heard in Randolph Hilbrands' voice. It sounded like the man intended to give him ill news. "Sir?" he said, hoping his face bore a conciliatory aspect.

The man descended the steps, a frown bending his thin moustache in a downward curve.

A chill raised the hairs on the back of Rulon's neck. Had he lost Mary? He couldn't feel his hands.

Mr. Hilbrands stopped on the step above where Rulon was standing, and stared down at him. He took a quick breath. "My daughter wants to be your bride," he said, a fierce look on his face. "She says it must be now, before you enlist. I told her that was a fanciful notion."

Rulon didn't dare say a word. He couldn't hear himself breathing.

"She is most persuasive in her reasoning. She is young, but she seems to have a firm grasp of what she is fixing to do. Given the circumstances, I am giving consent."

Rulon felt himself toppling, and slid his left foot back to maintain his balance. His ears rang with the man's words: "I am giving consent."

"Tha-thank you, sir." He struggled to stand upright, instead of sagging as he felt inclined to do. In point of fact, his knees begged to kiss the step, but he conquered the impulse after a long moment, and reached out to seal the bargain.

Mr. Hilbrands solemnly shook his hand, but added, "Her mother is not convinced as yet, but may come around in time. You would do well to spend time in that effort."

"Yes, I will, sir. Thank you again." Rulon left off pumping the man's hand, expecting to take his leave and go to Mary's side to ask her to marry him.

Mr. Hilbrands forestalled him, saying, "I spoke to the minister. It appears there are several weddings taking place due to this war fever. He does not have any open days until May 11th. Will that suit?"

Rulon hoped his mouth wasn't gaping as Mr. Hilbrands' words swirled in his brain. May 11th. That was an age away. He gulped. "Yes, sir. That suits just fine. Give Mr. Moore my thanks."

"He'll want your coin for the service. Two dollars."

Rulon gulped again. Two dollars. That was four days' wage at the pig iron furnace, provided he could hire on for a short term. He'd never thought of any cost involved in getting wed. Two dollars! What would Pa say?


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  1. It's so hard to realize how much two dollars was worth back then, until you put it into terms like wages per day. But I think Rulon believes it to be worth the price. Love his characterization in this sample. :)

    1. Thank you for visiting, Jenna. I enjoyed your comment.

      Yes, in our wealthy era, we really don't give attention to the cost of goods and services in the past until we get a comparison.

  2. You've done a great job showing this tense moment for Rulon. I can feel his anxiety! I'm looking forward to this book.

    1. Thanks, Sandy! I'm looking forward to discovering more about Rulon and the others, too.

  3. Love the intensity of emotion between the two men. Great scene.

    1. Thank you, Sherry. When your hopes and dreams--and hormones--are on the line, such a situation can be anxiety-ridden, for sure.

  4. I could feel his anxiety. I could picture his job making pig iron as well. (We visited the remains of a few historical iron works in different ages along the way last year.)

    1. Hi Donna. Thanks for visiting. I know you had a wonderful trip last year, but I had no idea you took in so many varied sites. What a wonderful opportunity!


I welcome your comments.

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