This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
New Mexico Territory
“Ma! Pa! It’s a letter from Hank!”
Susan Sheridan looked up from the shirt she was mending as her youngest child tore past the doorway of the bedroom in a blur of brown hair and green calico. Susan sighed in frustration but quickly put down her work and hurried to the front hall where her husband, Andrew, was already waiting for her. Ike and Dave, the two boys still on the ranch, arrived seconds later.
“Why’d he write, Pa?” Angie asked, watching avidly as her father carefully took the letter out of her hand and opened it. “He’s supposed to be here tomorrow isn’t he?”
“Maybe he didn’t want to bring his girl here and have you embarrass him,” Dave said, nudging his sister.
“I wouldn’t, at least not too much,” Angie cried, shoving back.
“Course not, but you might make his bride a little jealous,” Ike said. He reached out to pinch her, but she was too quick and moved to the other side of her father. As the youngest child, and only girl, she’d quickly learned how to handle her five brothers. “He’s on his way isn’t he?” she asked trying to look over Andrew’s shoulder.
“Be patient and let your father read,” Susan said, her voice sounding calmer than she felt. It had been almost a year since Hank left to scout for the army and they had received only two letters from him since. One was to let them know he’d arrived safely. The other had come not two weeks ago informing them that he was coming home and bringing a bride.
All four silently stared at Andrew until he finally lowered the letter. “Well, at least he gave us a bit more information,” he said handing it to his wife.
As Susan quickly scanned the contents she paraphrased for her children. “It seems his scouting partner was wounded and asked Hank to marry his daughter and look after her. But after her father died she ran away and Hank is going after her.”
“I can’t believe Hank would do that,” said Ike, taking the letter and perusing it himself. “He’s loyal I know, but to actually marry the man’s daughter.”
“He must have been a very good friend,” said Dave.
“But why would she run away?” Angie asked, grabbing the letter from Ike. “Or even marry Hank in the first place if she didn’t want to?”
“Maybe they both agreed just to placate her father,” Ike said.
“Hank would not have done it if he wasn’t fully committed,” Susan said, shaking her head.
“He wouldn’t have made such a promise or taken vows lightly,” Andrew added.
“Do you think he’ll find her?” Angie asked.
“He’ll find her,” Dave said, “Even if she doesn’t want to be found.”
“I hope so, I was looking forward to having a sister-in-law.”
Susan watched her children leave the room then went to stand beside her husband. “What do you make of all this, Andrew?”
For a moment he did not speak, but then he took her hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I’ll admit, when we got the first letter I was shocked and a little wary. Now that I know more about the situation, I am not at all surprised. Hank has a smart head on his shoulders and a good heart, even if he is a bit rash. I think his friend knew he had a good man in Hank. I just wish this girl could’ve seen it as well.”
“I thanked God my boy was coming home,” Susan said with a sigh, resting her head on Andrew’s shoulder. “But it looks like I’ll have to pray a little longer.”
* * * * *
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...
Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...
Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...
LesAnne: I've never come across a plot like this, and I like its originality. At first, the title gave me the impression that the story is about friends making bets, but I've been proven wrong. I like the personality of the female main character, how evident her strengths and weaknesses are. She's become ...
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."