Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sample Saturday The Zion Trail #4

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 Marshall's little brother John has been sent on an errand.

A few days later, Ma sent John to town with a basket of eggs to trade for a few pounds of sugar at the general store. He returned later than he should have, eggs smeared on his clothing and in his hair. One of his eyes sported significant swelling and bruising. I followed him into the kitchen.

Ma cried out and bent down to grasp his chin in her fingers. Turning his face from side to side, she checked him for additional damage. “What happened, son?”

“Mr. Green wouldn’t trade with me, Ma. I was on my way to the McFate’s when the Green boys . . . stopped me,” he said.

“You fought with them?” I asked.

“They started it,” he mumbled through the washing cloth with which Ma was cleaning his face.

“I hope you gave as good as you got,” I said.

He didn’t answer me on that score at the time. Instead, he muttered, “The reverend preached against us, Ma. Sam Green said he was only doing his Christian duty.”

“Well, Sam Green’s ma is going to get a piece of my mind,” Ma said, releasing John’s chin.

“It was his Pa’s doing,” John protested. He rubbed his cheek where the imprint of Ma’s fingers remained. “I guess it didn’t even start there,” he added. “The preacher started the whole thing, speaking out against us.”

Ma sighed. “You could say we started it.” She straightened up, holding her shoulders high. “We joined God’s true church, but that ought not bring such unchristian treatment down upon us.”

I agreed with her assessment, but didn’t say anything.

“You’ll need a good scrubbing to get that egg out of your hair,” Ma continued. “Go draw a couple of buckets of water, and I’ll heat the boiler.” She gestured toward the water reservoir on the stove.

“Oh, Ma. It’s not Saturday night.”

“No, but you’ll thank me come bedtime.”

“Can’t I just use a bucketful of water and scrub up in the barn?”

Seeing that John had come to no lasting harm, I left him to try his best persuasions with our mother, and went back outside to finish my chores.


Thank you for visiting. The Zion Trail will be published soon as an ebook, and after that, 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 mail list. In your inbox, you will also receive instructions on how to download a free ebook of my last novel, Gone for a Soldier.

Don't forget the ongoing Thanksgiving Blockbuster eBook Sale going on this weekend. Click here for the complete list of books available at discount prices this weekend. But hurry! The sale ends Monday.

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