Saturday, December 05, 2015

Sample Saturday The Zion Trail #5

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This scene is an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, The Zion Trail, which will be available in ebook format early next year. Lije expresses his concerns to his father following John's altercation with neighbor boys. Caution: Mormon beliefs are briefly discussed in this excerpt.

By suppertime, John looked like a new man—well, boy at least—with his damp hair combed into submission and the egg residue absent from his person.

Ma said she would sit with us at the table that night. She told John he was to take the tray into Pa’s room to explain his altercation and help Pa eat, if he needed any assistance.

Before we sat down to supper, I looked in on Pa. He looked better with the color fading from the bruise on his face. He was able to open his eye now. I could tell he chafed at Ma’s insistence that he stay in bed, as he wasn’t a man to be idle.

“Elijah,” he greeted me.

I sat beside his bed and gave him a report on the farm work. When I had finished, he stared into my eyes for a long moment, then nodded.

“You are doing well, son, but what is troubling you?”

I don’t know why I was surprised that he had read me so easily. I took a moment to formulate an answer.

“Reverend Silcoe has added to our woes,” I said. “He preached against us on Sunday, according to John.” I paused. “I should let him tell the tale. He’ll be here shortly with your supper.”

“All right. I’ll hear him out. You are fretting, Lije.”

“I didn’t expect folks to beat you and pick on John merely because we chose to join a different church. Ma said the same.” I looked down. My fists were clenched so tightly that my knuckles appeared as snow-capped mountains. I eased my hands open and gripped my knees instead.

Pa reached out his hand, and I took it gingerly. “That book the elders left. The Book of Mormon. At the beginning, the prophet Lehi was laughed to scorn because of his belief in God’s word. His sons were in danger of their lives when they returned to gather records. Can we expect better treatment?”

I shifted in the chair, remembering my promise to President Peters to read that book. “I guess not.”

Pa nodded. “So it was anciently. So it is today. People sometimes fear truth, especially when it calls for change.” He squeezed my hand. “Go to supper, Lije, and give no more worry to the matter.”

I left him then and went to eat, trying to let his counsel sooth my own fears.

Thank you for visiting. The Zion Trail will be published in 2016 as an ebook, and if there is sufficient demand, in print. To keep up-to-date on when The Zion Trail will be published, along with other new releases, and to learn of special offers and sales, click here to join my Readers email list. In your inbox, you will also receive instructions on how to download a free ebook of my last novel, Gone for a Soldier.

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