Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples. Last week I was in Las Vegas, Nevada, attending the 60th Anniversary Convention of Western Writers of America. It was fun to see all my friends again, but I'm glad to be home again.
I'm not sure whether or not I'll be able to use this snippet of a scene from my WIP, Gone for a Soldier. I hope you enjoy it, even if it doesn't show up in the completed novel.
One day Peter fetched the mail back from town. He waited until supper was over and the girls were clearing the table to mention offhandedly that Rulon had received a letter.
Ben said, "That's probably from the Harrisonburg company captain. Why didn't you leave it off for him at Hilbrands' store? Hand it over, boy. I'll see he gets it tomorrow."
Peter put on a truculent countenance. "Who says I have the letter in hand? Who says I didn't deliver it directly into his greedy palm?"
Ben eyed him as he worked a toothpick around his teeth. He stopped long enough to say, "I thought the lad was on his honeymoon."
Peter raised an eyebrow. "I sent Ida to knock on the door with my message. It took him long enough to come downstairs." His smug grin disappeared when his mother bopped him on the head with a wooden spoon.
"Mind your thoughts, son," she said above his howl of pain. "Keep 'em out of married folks' business."
Ben chuckled, and she turned on him.
"The same goes for you, Benjamin. Have an ounce of respect. If not for Rulon, at least for that young wife."
"Don't you be a-chastening me with that thing," Ben protested, putting his arms up for protection. "I've taken a mite too many whacks from it." He felt over his head. "Yup, I have lumps aplenty from that ol' spoon." He said as an afterthought, "I meant no harm to Mistress Mary."
Julia waggled the implement in his direction. "You're not too old to take another lick if you don't curb your tongue and shackle your unruly thoughts," she said.
"Rulon don't mind a bit of rough talk," Peter said, rubbing his head.
"I mind," Julia said, her voice firm as she gestured with the spoon. "I mind on my own account, and that of your sisters here, and because I don't want you growing up rough and godless. The Man Upstairs has put his bounds on loose talk, and I won't have it around my table, nor amongst my children."
"Yes, Ma," Ben said.
Peter muttered something, and Ben gave him a poke.
"Yes, Ma," Peter blurted out, then turned and cuffed Ben in the arm.
"No fighting at the table," Julia said. "If you want to wrassle, go out on the porch."
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