From her home in the forest, writer Marsha Ward offers up an eclectic collage of musings on life, insights into the writing process, sample scenes and snippets from her work, book spotlights, and author interviews. Now including "The Characters in Marsha's Head."
Welcome to Sweet Saturday Samples. The morsel from Spinster's Folly below is a continuation from last week. I hope you enjoy it.
An hour later, Pa did call a halt for dinner when the company came upon a stream with a pebbled bottom. After the boys watered the steers in the stream, they drove them up the southern bank and onto a grassy area. Then they watered all the horses and picketed them nearby on the grass.
Marie opened the saddlebags, spread a cloth on the bank, and put out tin plates and cups for her father, her brothers, and herself. She unwrapped the cornbread and beef she and Ma had prepared and put a portion of each on the plates. Then she went to the creek, upstream from the place they'd crossed, and dipped a bucket into the water.
She had almost carried it back to the eating area when Albert swooped in, snatched the bucket, and poured the water over himself.
As he wiped the water from his eyes, Marie cried out, "You oaf! That's drinkin' water!"
"Works just as well to cool me off," he said in a sneering tone, shaking himself like a dog to make Marie wet.
"Bertie, I'll get you," she cried, and picked up the bucket to hurl at him.
Rulon restrained her arm, and thrust the container into Albert's stomach. "Fetch clean water," he barked. "Now."
"Ah, you're no fun." Albert rubbed his abused belly. "You sound just like Pa, orderin' me about."
"That's enough," Pa said, coming onto the scene. "Do as your brother says. Fetch fresh water."
Albert scowled and muttered, but did as he was bidden, stalking to the creek and back with ill humor.
Marie's hand trembled as she ate her meal. Although she was in good health, the sun, wind, dust, and insects all had combined to sap her strength during the morning's drive. Her muscles ached from unfamiliar use. She wondered how she would fare for the rest of the day, and the morrow's trek, as well. However did I forget to bring my bonnet? She regretted that she'd been in so great a haste to leave this morning that she gave no thought to effects of the sun.
She scratched surreptitiously at a fly bite on her neck. Her cheeks burned from sun exposure, and her throat was dry and scratchy, no matter how much water she drank. She raked her fingers through her tangled hair, with little success at smoothing it. Then she sighed.
I'm surely going to make an impression on Tom Morgan, and not for the better!
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