By closing time, Lonnie had not returned to the store. Wes shrugged off his dissatisfaction. His brother had probably headed home early to bear tales to Dad of how badly Wes had treated him. Sack of lazy bones, he thought, and locked the front door. He had one stop to make at the butcher’s, then he’d get home.
The house was a mere block away when Wes had completed his errand, and he covered the distance at a fast pace, gripping the valise in one hand, and a parcel containing a cut of beef in the other. Maggie, the Haught's housekeeper, had requested a roast for tomorrow's dinner. Wes had first thought of bringing home a goose someone had brought in to trade for groceries, but had dismissed the idea. Dad shouldn't have rich poultry yet. Beef broth is better for him while he mends.
Grove Haught's injuries had come about when he was thrown from the seat of a freight wagon and run over by a wheel. Fortunately for him, Wes had run to stop the team before the second wheel crushed his father’s chest. Even so, the first wheel had done significant damage, and Dad had been in bed recuperating for some time.
This morning, he had seemed better, and said he wanted to get out of bed and sit in the parlor for a while. He had grudgingly accepted Wes's assistance, after asking why Lonnie hadn’t volunteered to do the task. Wes had to explain that Lonnie had already left the house to get in his gun practice before the store opened.
Wes hoped the evening at home would go better than the morning had. Someday Dad will see I'm of more worth than a dozen of Lonnie. He half expected his father to fit out his brother in a coat of many colors, like the man in the Bible had done for his favorite son. Before Lonnie could gain more favor with their father, Wes was determined to prove his worth. Today, he had made a good start, getting those leases sewn up.
A wash of satisfaction swept over him, and he grinned. Another pleasant thought popped into his mind. Miss Nina. Matters could not look better in that department. She as much as begged me to see her again. He realized he hadn’t firmed up any plans to that effect. I’ll have to make an appointment to take her on a picnic or to a dance as soon as possible. He inhaled a lungful of sweet night air and decided that, on balance, it had been a splendid day.
Watch for next week's cover reveal for Blood at Haught Springs.
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|The Zion Trail|
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