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Wanda C. Keesey
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Sara Benning and her friend Hattie Carter travel alone into the teeth of the Confederacy to get their own lives back. Hattie’s means to release her husband, Charles, who was taken into slavery. Sara’s means to revenge her murdered husband and son, and for her own scars.
The coach seat she bought was for one. Hattie was not permitted under any circumstances, or for any amount of money, to ride inside the carriage. She had to ride on top with the luggage.
“She is a valuable piece of property. I can’t take the chance of losing her, or having her injured,” Sara had argued, frustrated that she could not voice her objections louder.
“That would be a problem, Ma’am, but it’s not ours. She will not ride inside. If you like, you can find other means.”
“You know there are no other means.” The railroad bridge was washed out at Harper’s Ferry, making the stagecoach leg necessary. “What are the arrangements on the train? Must she hang from the window ledge?”
“Lady, I’m doing the best I can. The train has a car for slaves. She’ll be happier with her own kind anyway. Now do you want the tickets or not? There’s others waiting.”
“What choice do I have? How much did you say?”
“That’s three dollars for you and four bits for your girl on the coach, and two dollars and four bits for you and two bits for the girl on the train. That’s a total of six dollars and seventy-five cents.” He stamped the tickets and slid them toward the grate. He waited for his money, his fingers resting on the brown pieces of paper.
“It’s six dollars and twenty-five cents, and you should be ashamed for trying to overcharge a widow.” Sara put the coins on the counter and snatched the tickets from the agent.
The smirk on his unshaved face didn’t do anything to lessen Sara’s anger.
Turning to leave, she wanted to shout to the others in the room to watch their purses, but she knew her feeble voice wouldn’t carry beyond the man nearest her.
~ * ~
The heat and stench inside the moving carriage threatened to smother Sara. She pushed the flapping curtain aside, but there was no relief in the swirling road dust. She allowed the curtain to drop and cover the small opening.
Sweat tickled between her breasts and down her back, adding to her general discomfort.
“I’ve never seen it this hot in October,” she said, her husky voice just above a whisper.
The Reverend Geller, one of two men traveling with Sara, leaned nearer. “Indeed, it is hot for the turn of season. But perhaps we should be grateful that we are not troubled by the dangers of ice and snow.”
“Thank you, Reverend Geller. You do have a way of putting everything in perspective. But still, I find the heat and dust distressing after my accident.” Sara coughed into her handkerchief.
“I am sorry, Mrs. Benning, of course you do. Please have a sip of my water. It may not be cool, but it will wash the dust from your throat.” The leather pouch appeared from the carpetbag on the seat between them. She had given their small water pouch to Hattie.
Sara gratefully accepted the offer. Lifting her veil, carefully, she kept her scarred face hidden, and took a sip of the stale water. Her throat was raw, and the water was soothing. Her head was pounding in time with the beat of the horses’ hooves. The pains in her body and head had started on the first leg of the trip to Harper’s Ferry, and the intensity grew as the journey stretched on.
When they reached Fredericksburg they would board a train to Richmond. Sara felt a shiver creep through her, radiating from her stomach outward. Doubt and fear of the unknown shook her resolve. She imagined Edward sitting next to her, urging her to go on. She took another sip of the tepid water.
Will I be able to avenge Edward and Teddy? Will Hattie find Charles?
Wanda C. Keesey has passed on, but her husband has given permission for us to print her last novel.
Wanda C. Keesey lived with her husband and herd of cats in a small bedroom community in south-central Pennsylvania. She was a student of the Civil War era, and the people who lived in that time, and a staunch supporter and long time member of Pennwriters, Inc. Her short stories were published in several forums. Learn more about her and her work at her website (http://www.wandakeesey.com).
Lost In The Mist: "A fun read with romantic possibilities blended with visits with a woman from the past as two lives run parallel to each other. The settings are like open doors that offer the reader a look at times past and how the present has changed them." -- Anne K. Edwards, Hannah Clare Mystery Series
In Lost in the Mist, W. C. Keesey has done a masterful job in her description of the grueling anguish of America's Civil War. Against this tragic backdrop, she has blended past and present to create a story that will intrigue fans of time travel, romance and mystery. There was more than one unexplained heirloom in Connie's inheritance. Can we hope for a sequel? -- Donna H. Parker, author of Donovan's Dream, http://donnaparker.w4aw.org
Lost In The Mist: "The author does a good job of describing the area in both time periods and captures the mood of the Civil War well." --Maura, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
"Lost In The Mist: I’ll admit, romance isn’t my usual reading fare. But Wanda Keesey’s first novel had me hooked from the beginning." ... "An intriguing plot, believable characters and a good dose of conflict—what’s not to like?" -- review by John R. Lindermuth, multi published author of adventure and mystery novels and short stories. http://www.authorsden.com/johnrichardlindermuth
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 290
Paper Weight (lb): 12.5
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