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“What is the matter with you? We do not need his money!” She stood behind him; her hands on her hips. “It’s not about the money.” His voice was calm. He could have told her what day of the week it was with the same level of excitement. “Then why? Why must you go back and try to get yourself killed? You have responsibilities here!” Sam stopped brushing and seemed ready to turn and face her. He then thought better and did not. He returned to brushing the horse. “Samuel, you turn around and face me! You tell me why I have to get ready to mourn a second man in my life. You tell me what I’m supposed to tell our children!” His turn was powerful and deliberate; he faced her, “Our children, Laura? It wasn’t that long ago you told me in no uncertain terms they were your children and I was a bad influence. You share them with me only when it suits you. They are our children if you think you can use them to your advantage.” “Is that why you’re doing this? To punish me for what I said?” “Laura, please. Do you really think that little of me? I gave the man my word. I promised him I would avenge him if this happened.” “You promised? You promised? You also promised my husband you would look after us. I know Wiggins was your friend, but he is cold and dead in the ground. There is nothing you can do that will change that.” Sam’s’ brows furrowed, “And how is that different from William, your husband? Is he not also cold and dead in the ground?” Laura stepped forward and took his free hand. She placed his hand on her chest, between her breasts, “Does this feel like it’s cold and dead? Do you not feel the love that surges through my body with every beat of my heart? Tell me what I have to do to keep you here? What must I do to change your mind?” Sam Moses was in a quandary, a crossroads. He had followed the beautiful Laura Stoddard and her children to Missouri in order to care for them as he had promised the dying William Stoddard, the husband and father. He was determined to keep his word. Now, he had received notice a friend had been murdered. A friend whom he had promised to avenge if such a thing happened; now, it had. Avenging his friend would most likely kill him but he had given his word. Now, after living most of his life not being beholden to anyone, he must choose, which promise is the higher calling?
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I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams When classmates of forty years ago ask me, "What have you been up to?" they may not be prepared for the recounting of my meandering. I have had a varied life, if not an interesting one. I spent twenty years in the U.S. military and ten years as a civilian policeman. I worked in covert narcotics investigations and later I was a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor. I worked on the far side of the Berlin wall while the Iron Curtain was still up. I have been a partner in a successful business and an owner of one that failed. I have worked construction and I have driven over the road semi-trucks. All of this wandering and meandering from a guy who started life on a dairy farm and quarter horse ranch in Idaho. What has all this qualified me to do? Well, I think and I hope you will agree with me, that it qualifies me to be a writer.
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