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Charlotte’s fear of her husband sent her West in search of her father’s sister, Josephine McPherson. The last thing she thought she would find was love.
When the white woman came to the reservation, Tall Elk couldn’t help the hatred growing in his heart. How things changed he never knew.
Charlotte Martin cringed under the blows raining down on her from her husband’s fists. She’d waited supper for him, knowing full well he was in the tavern with his friends and he wouldn’t arrive home until late. When he did, he would be in a foul mood, as he always was when he got drunk.
“Who was he?” Jacob shouted between blows from his clenched fists. “You didn’t think I saw you talking to that man, but I did. You’re my woman and you have no business talking to a man if I’m not with you.”
“I was talking to the new minister,” Charlotte sobbed. “If you came to church more often, you’d know who he is.”
“What would a parson have to say to the likes of you?” Jacob demanded, before slamming his fist into her stomach.
“He-he,” she gasped trying to get the breath back into her lungs.
“Don’t stammer, woman, answer me.”
“He asked me to help him set up the Sunday School for the children. He...”
“He probably asked you to spread your legs for him. I know all about your kind of woman. What do you know about teachin’ younguns about the Bible?”
Before she could answer, she saw her son enter the kitchen. “Why are you hurtin’ my ma?” he cried, as he pulled on his father’s arm.
“Stay out of this, boy. It ain’t none of your concern.”
“It is my concern, menfolk shouldn’t hurt women. That’s what the preacher says.”
Jacob turned his wrath on Matt, giving Charlotte time to reach for the butcher knife lying in the sink.
“Get away from him,” she shouted, stopping Jacob before he could backhand their son. “Get away from him or I swear I’ll castrate you with this knife. I won’t have your life on my conscience, but I’ll at least have the satisfaction that you won’t ever be a man again.”
Jacob turned back toward her and stared at the knife in her hands. Even if he doubted she had the courage to carry through with her threat, he knew she had the ability. Only last week she’d helped him with the castrating of the hogs.
Pure hatred radiated from his eyes as he backed away from Matt. Without saying a word, he turned and ran out the front door. As soon as he disappeared into the night, Matt slammed the door and bolted it before running to her side.
Relief flooded her being as the knife clattered to the floor. “Did he hurt you, Ma?” Matt asked as he wound his arms around her waist.
She cringed with the knowledge of her son’s concerns and his need to be comforted brought pain to her newly bruised midsection. “We don’t have time to waste,” she said as she disentangled her son’s arms. “Go and get the bag from under your bed and put your clothes in it. I don’t think he’ll be back tonight, but you never know. We’ll leave through the back door and go to Grandma and Grandpa for help.”
While Matt ran to do what she asked, Charlotte took her one spare dress and a change of underwear from her bedroom, along with the egg money she kept in the sugar bowl. Her parents lived in the next county, but by taking the horse they gave her as a wedding present, they could easily arrive by morning.
In less than ten minutes, she mounted the mare and held Matt in front of her. She’d taken more time in mounting the horse than in packing their belongings. Doing something she usually did so easy now brought pain to her battered body. She looked back only for a moment before leaving behind the farm where she’d made her home ever since her marriage to Jacob. Tonight Jacob finally ended their marriage with his drunken rage.
It didn’t take long for Matt to fall asleep in her arms, leaving only the star-studded sky as her companion. She kept the horse running at a gallop until there was enough distance between her and the farm to slow her down to an easy gate.
With each step the horse took, the pain Jacob inflicted grew more intense. She prayed she’d make it to her parents without passing out and putting Matt in danger of falling from the horse.
A Wisconsin farm girl, Sherry married her high school sweetheart two days after graduation from high school. Since then she has become wife, mother and grandmother, but first and foremost she is a writer. She’s given up the country life for that of a retired woman living with her husband of 45 years in a condo, where she writes at least four to five books a year.
Becky's Rebel: Ms. Derr-Wille brings the spirit of understanding the plight of the Civil War survivors. Becky Larson and her Rebel, Joe Kemmerman, reminds us that love and faith overcome all obstacles. A must read for those who still need to understand there is no different in the hearts of people, North or South. Becky’s Rebel will make you laugh, shed a tear or two and have you falling in love, once again, with a time and it’s people that is uniquely America’s ... the Civil War era. -- Debbie Fritter – The Perfect Match – Whippoorwill Press
Hello Do You Know Me is a wonderful heart-warming love story. It touches your heart from the very beginning. It has everything that makes you turn the pages. Matt Bratzman has lived another man’s life for thirty-five years. Betsy Connor is a widow again. Now out of the blue her first love is back from the grave. But it can't be. Jerry Fellows was killed in Viet Nam. Sherry Derr Wille’s characters are real and you find yourself cheering for them and wanting them to find a happy-ever-after. If you like stories that grab a hold of your heart and don’t let go. You'll love this one. Along the way there is some humor and tears and love that survived through time. There were many tragedies out of the Viet Nam War but thanks to Ms. Wille this one had a happy ending.-- Judy Leigh Peters, A Father’s Hope, Joshua’s Faith, http://www.judyleighpeters.com
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 271
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