The Writer's Corner
The Next Step…
Chapter 63 – Seven
Written by Deanne Bertram
Lucas had just finished chopping wood for their homes and Mark,
with his wrist still in the cast, had finished stacking and was
kneeling down to pick up an armload of wood to carry to his own
home, when they turned at the sound of a horse and carriage
coming up the road. Each grabbed his hat and slipped back into
his jacket. Lucas greeted the elder Mr. Bullock as he stopped
“Good evening, Lucas, Mark! I bring joyous news from the Bullock
Ranch to the McCain Families. My first grandchild was born this
“Congratulations! So is the baby a boy or a girl?” Mark asked.
“A granddaughter!” Mr. Bullock stated with excitement.
“Well, come on in, the wives are in the main house,” Lucas
While Mark offered, “I’m sure you could do with a spot of coffee
to help keep you warm?”
“Right you are. The excitement of the news is warming, but the
temperatures are cooler than those of late.”
Mark tied the carriage horse to the hitching rail and followed
his father and Mr. Bullock inside. After the elder Percy
announced the news that his first granddaughter had been born,
he heartily accepted a hot cup of coffee. All the women wanted
to know what name Tessa and Percy had chosen for their daughter
and the ‘details’.
“Her name is Shawnee Amara Bullock,” Mr. Bullock announced with
pride. “She arrived with a healthy set of lungs at ten thirty
this morning. Mabra is so excited to know the baby is a girl.
She was doting on her niece once Tessa fell asleep.”
Mr. Bullock went on to tell of when they realized Tessa was in
labor and then how nervous Percy had been, that he couldn’t even
saddle his horse. Mabra saddled a horse and rode into town to
fetch Doc Burrage.
“This is a totally new experience for both Percy and myself.”
“As well as Tessa, too,” Gwen stated.
“Yes, for Tessa, too. May we come over tomorrow? We’d love to be
of help to Tessa, if that’s okay with you?” Milly asked.
“Actually, that’s why I came here. I was hoping to ask if either
you or Hope would care to come over tomorrow and help out,
considering you’ve young children yourselves. My wife took care
of Percy when he was an infant, while I ran our bookstore. Tessa
could use some…,” Mr. Bullock looked around and quieted his
voice before he said, “womanly advice. I mean with Tessa’s
parents having passed… well… Me, I’m just an old fogy…”
“We’d be happy to come over. All three of us,” Milly stated.
“Three?” Gwen asked.
“Yes, three. You’ve been cooped up at Hope and Mark’s home long
enough and I think you’re doing well enough with the cast that
you can handle a ride in the buckboard. Mark and Lucas will make
a comfortable pallet for you in the back, for the trip,” Milly
Both Lucas and Mark realized it wasn’t a suggestion, it was an
order. Lucas sidled up to Milly, wrapped his arms around her
waist and replied, “Yes, my love. Is there anything else you
would like done? Before you leave?”
Milly laughed as she tried to push Lucas away, “Go on, now!”
“Mr. Bullock,” Hope started. “We’ve a stew for supper ready and
we did cook a lot more than what we could eat tonight… Let us
send some home for you, Percy, Tessa, and Mabra.”
“Jolly good! Miss Hope, jolly good.”
After Mr. Bullock left, the McCain families sat down to enjoy
their supper together. The conversation was mainly between the
women, excitedly talking of the new baby and their outing the
next day. As Mark held his daughter and listened, he asked, “So
who’s going to watch the children while you three are having a
‘woman’s day out’?”
“You!” Milly and Hope answered simultaneously. Then Hope added,
“It’s the least you can do seeing as how you still have a week
and a half of your suspension to serve.”
“Don’t worry, son, I’ll be right here with you,” Lucas offered.
The following morning dawned bright as the women finished
getting their things together before heading to the Bullock’s
ranch. As they exited their homes, Mark was just finishing
hitching the team to the buckboard and Lucas finished putting
the last of the blankets over the straw bedding for Gwen to rest
As Milly started to walk across the yard to Mark and Hope’s
home, she stopped when she heard Myra call from the porch,
“Mama, please, can’t I come too?”
Milly returned to the porch where she looked to her daughter and
said, “I need you to stay here and help out. Your brother and
father will need a lot of help from you while we’re gone.
They’re not used to taking care of young children.”
“Isn’t it time they learned?” Myra replied.
“Yes, but you know how Hope and I take care of the boys. I want
you to be here to help your father and brother, when they need
“Do I have too?”
“Yes, young lady. Or would you prefer to sit in time out until I
return?” Milly asked.
“I’ll be good. But if they don’t do it right…”
“You will politely help them out,” Milly stated as she pointed
her finger towards her daughter.
Mark had just finished drying and putting away the dishes from
breakfast when heard a rider coming, he stepped to the front
porch and saw Billy Lehigh pulling his horse up short.
“Hey Billy! What brings you here in such a hurry?” Mark called
as he stepped from the porch and ran over to where Billy
“We got problems, the herds, MCCain’s and Jackford’s, they
busted through the fence sometime last night and they’re
Lucas stepped to his front porch and overheard Billy, “I’ll
saddle up Blade and follow you out.”
“Let me get my coat and I’ll get Copper saddled…” Mark started
“Whoa, there son. You’re not going anywhere,” Lucas stated.
“But Pa, you two can’t…” Mark didn’t get to finish his thought.
“Someone needs to stay here with the children. Besides with your
wrist still in the cast…”
Raising his arm, Mark interrupted, “I can still ride with this.”
“And considering most of the children are yours… You get to stay
behind,” Lucas stated as he smiled.
“Actually, Pa. We’re split fifty, fifty... Okay, okay,” Mark
replied, holding up his hands as Lucas turned around and started
to point his finger towards his eldest son, his face held a look
of mock anger. “I’ll go get YOUR three over to MY home.”
Mark entered his former home and helped Myra and Little Ted get
their coats on and then he bundled up Levi and carried him, as
the three headed back to Mark’s home.
The women returned to the ranch later that afternoon. They were
laughing as the pulled the team to a stop in front of the barn.
They saw Mark step from the house, shirt-tail untucked, water
soaking the front of his shirt and pants, and the expression on
his face gave every indication that Mark was frazzled.
“Mark? What’s wrong?” Hope asked as he approached the buckboard.
Under his breath he mumbled, ‘nothing now,’ but replied, “I’ll
tend to the horses,” not answering her question. “Why don’t the
three of you go inside and warm up by the fire. By the way,
Gabby, Little Ted and Levi are in our home,” Mark answered as he
assisted his wife, his mother, and Gwen down from the buckboard.
Hope and Milly made sure Gwen made it up the steps okay with her
crutches, then the three women stopped and turned on the porch,
and briefly watched as Mark proceeded to take care of the team.
Continuing to laugh amongst themselves, they entered Hope’s
home. They removed their shawls once the door was closed behind
As Gwen sat down in the chair in front of the fireplace, she
asked, “I wonder what that was all about?”
“I think he discovered what his wife goes through when he’s not
home,” Milly laughed, as she and Hope peaked in on their
“It couldn’t be that bad? Everything looks in order,” Hope
stated as they turned around and headed to the kitchen.
“Hope, we need to allow him to tell us in his own way. Remember,
he’s never taken care of all the children on his own,” Milly
stated as she started to get ready to fix supper.
As Mark entered his home, Milly asked, “Where’s your father?”
“Billy Lehigh came by about an hour after you left. Said, the
herds busted through the fence and were mixed together. Pa went
with Billy and left me with here with the…” frustration could be
heard in Mark’s voice and seen on his face. Mark headed straight
for his bedroom. The women tried to hide their laughter as Mark
shut the door behind him.
A few minutes later Mark returned to the front room wearing a
fresh, dry shirt and pants.
“Mark?” Hope asked. “Did something else happen while we were
“Yeah, if you only knew. It was total chaos! They’ve been
nothing but a headache ever since Pa left.”
“Have not!” Myra hollered from one of the rooms.
“Gabby!” Mark called and rolled his eyes, then Milly asked him
to tell them what happened.
“Everything was fine for a while, after Pa left. I was able to
get Levi and Emmy down for their naps, Gabby was sitting in
Hope’s chair reading, and the boys…” Mark closed his eyes and
took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes, he looked from his
wife to his mother and he knew he was getting no sympathy.
“Little Ted and Josh decided they wanted to play, they started
running around, whooping and hollering like Indians, yelling I
was the cowboy and needed to chase after them. Zach was pleading
with me to play, he didn’t want to be an Indian, he wanted to be
an outlaw. And I had to be the Marshal. And then there was Eli,
going back and forth from being an outlaw to an Indian. I tried
to get them to quiet down because the babies were sleeping, but
that only made them rowdier. I ran after them to try to catch
them to put them in time out, but they just kept running and
laughing an hollering. They were knocking things over and... I
swear this was worse than when the three-some all started
walking at the same time!”
Mark paused as he looked to the bedroom where the boys were and
then the door next to it and saw his sister standing in the
doorway. Mark motioned for her to come to him and wrapped his
arms around Myra as she jumped up into his arms and sat on his
hip. He carried Myra over and sat her down in his chair.
“Next thing I know, Levi’s awake and crying. So I went to pick
him up, only to find out his diaper needed changed. No problem,
I’ve done it before. But then Gabby had to tell me just how
WRONG I was doing it.” He looked directly at his sister, “Gabby
stated ‘that’s not how Mama does it’, didn’t you?”
“Well it wasn’t,” she pleaded. “I tried to tell him to keep a
clean diaper over him while he was removing the dirty diaper.
But he just kept it over his shoulder.”
Milly, Hope and Gwen lowered their eyes, trying hard not to
laugh, as they envisioned what had happened.
“Levi just kept fussing and fidgeting and wouldn’t hold still
while I was trying to pin the diaper in place. Then Emmy started
crying. I got Levi all changed and placed him back in his
bassinet and checked on Emmy, her diaper was fine. But Levi was
still crying and Emmy wouldn’t quiet while I tried soothing her.
Then GABBY informed me it was well past their feeding time…”
Milly and Hope looked to Myra, who replied, “Well it was!”
Mark continued after taking a deep breath, “And then she tells
me that I should get their bottles ready. All the while the BOYS
were still running around like, like… RENEGADES!”
“Mark, lower your voice or you’ll wake them,” Hope chastised her
Mark was so intent on remembering all that happened and telling
his story, he didn’t heard his wife. “Once I got Emmy and Levi
fed and back in their bassinets, the boys started yelling they
were hungry, so I fixed them sandwiches, only to have them tell
me they didn’t like how or what I fixed them. I finally got them
to eat and convinced them to settle down to take their naps, so
I could clean up the mess they made.”
“Only because Mark threatened to take them to town and throw
them in jail if they didn’t go to sleep,” Myra stated.
“Mark! You didn’t!” Hope declared, trying to hide her laugh.
“He did too,” Gabby replied, as any good sister would in
tattling on a brother.
“Mark, they’re just children,” Milly stated, covering her mouth
with her hand in an attempt to hide her smile.
“I know, but you don’t know what it’s like to take care of
Milly and Hope looked at each other, not believing what Mark had
“I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get the house put
back together and the three of you decided to return just as I
put the last item back in place. I didn’t even have time to
change into clean, dry clothes before you got home. How can four
boys be such terrors?!”
“Mark,” Hope state. “They’re your children and your siblings.
How can you say such a thing?”
“Easy, you’ve not suffered as I have,” the tone of Mark’s voice
held a hint of the indignation he was feeling.
“I’m sorry we were gone for so long, but we lost all track of
the time,” Milly offered.
“I hope you enjoyed yourselves today. They’ve never ganged up on
me in such a fashion. I don’t understand; they’ve always been so
much better behaved.”
“You’re not a Mama,” Gabby innocently declared.
That was it. Milly, Hope, and Gwen, none could contain their
laughter any more.
“I get no sympathy!” Mark declared as he set Myra to her feet,
looked to the others, and finally started laughing as well.
“Guess I should be thankful that I normally deal with outlaws
all the time and not the McCain Seven.”
Milly laughed even harder when she tried to say, “At least
that’s better than having to deal with the McCain Eight.” Milly
placed a hand to Mark’s arm and then gave him a kiss on the
“Guess I deserved that. I’m sorry, I just never realized how…
rowdy boys could be,” Mark quieted.
“Mark, for so long it was just you and your father. You got into
enough trouble on your own, I can only imagine what it would
have been like if you had a younger brother or two,” Milly
replied. “You’ll have to accept that the boys are getting older,
they’re spreading their wings, and just being… well… boys.”
Since Lucas hadn’t returned to the house yet, Milly decided to
stay at Mark and Hope’s and help with supper. Gwen sat in the
front room and read aloud from a book, with the boys and Myra
sitting at her feet.
Mark was working at his desk, even though he was on suspension,
he still kept up with the reports filed by his deputies and all
the notices and reports from Denver. He was just finishing when
he let his attention drift and listened to Gwen read of
Gulliver’s Travels and his adventure to Lilliput, by Jonathan
We were now in the latitude of 30 degrees south; there were
about fifty men in the ship; and here I met an old comrade of
mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good character to the
captain. This gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I
would let him know what place I came from last, and whither I
was bound; which I did in a few words, but he thought I was
raving, and that the dangers I underwent had disturbed my head;
whereupon I took my black cattle and sheep out of my pocket,
which, after great astonishment, clearly convinced him of my
veracity. I then showed him the gold given me by the emperor of
Blefuscu, together with his majesty’s picture at full length,
and some other rarities of that country. I gave him two purses
of two hundreds sprugs each, and promised, when we arrived in
England, to make him a present of a cow and a sheep big with
I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this
voyage, which was very prosperous for the most part. We arrived
in the Downs on the 13th of April, 1702. I had only one
misfortune, that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep;
I found her bones in a hole, picked clean from the flesh. The
rest of my cattle I got safe ashore, and set them a-grazing in a
bowling-green at Greenwich, where the fineness of the grass made
them feed very heartily, though I had always feared the
contrary: neither could I possibly have preserved them in so
long a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me some of his
best biscuit, which, rubbed to powder, and mingled with water,
was their constant food. The short time I continued in England,
I made a considerable profit by showing my cattle to many
persons of quality and others: and before I began my second
voyage, I sold them for six hundred pounds. Since my last return
I find the breed is considerably increased, especially the
sheep, which I hope will prove much to the advantage of the
woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.
I stayed but two months with my wife and family, for my
insatiable desire of seeing foreign countries, would suffer me
to continue no longer. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my
wife, and fixed her in a good house at Redriff. My remaining
stock I carried with me, part in money and part in goods, in
hopes to improve my fortunes. My eldest uncle John had left me
an estate in land, near Epping, of about thirty pounds a-year;
and I had a long lease of the Black Bull in Fetter-Lane, which
yielded me as much more; so that I was not in any danger of
leaving my family upon the parish. My son Johnny, named so after
his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a towardly child. My
daughter Betty (who is now well married, and has children) was
then at her needle-work. I took leave of my wife, and boy and
girl, with tears on both sides, and went on board the Adventure,
a merchant ship of three hundred tons, bound for Surat, captain
John Nicholas, of Liverpool, commander. But my account of this
voyage must be referred to the Second Part of my Travels.
“The second part?” Josh asked, as Gwen closed the book.
“Yes, this was only the first of Gulliver’s Travels that Mr.
Swift wrote about,” Gwen stated.
“Children, time to wash for supper,” Milly called.
As Hope finally got all the children cleaned up and headed in
the right direction for the table, the front door to their home
opened. The boys turned and ran to greet their Papa and GrandPa,
“Well, how are my boys tonight?” Lucas asked as he pulled his
hat from his head.
Before he could remove his coat the boys were excitedly talking,
“We’re not your boys, we’re Lilliputians.” “Lilliputians!”
“Yeah, lilly put ins, GanPa!’ Eli called as he too ran to Lucas.
“I’m sorry Mr. McCain, I just finished reading to them of…”
“So I hear. Gulliver’s Travels. Glad to hear my ‘Lilliputians’
are excited about learning.”
“Pa, how did it go? You and Billy were sure out there a long
time,” Mark stated as he tried to shoo the boys back to the
“It took longer to round the cattle up, must be a storm fixing
to brew, they sure were nervous. But we finally got the herds on
the correct side of the fence and then got it restrung. Luckily
it was just the wire and none of the posts,” Lucas answered as
he sat down at the table and took to blessing the meal.
The families chatted and enjoyed their time together over
Lucas and Milly had collected their young children and returned
to their home. After all three were put to bed, they prepared to
go to bed themselves.
“Lucas, did it really take you all that time to round up the
cattle and fix the fence?” Milly asked.
“Well, the cattle were really spirited, I think a storm is
brewing. But no, not really. Sam and Oat had most of the cattle
separated by the time Billy and I arrived. Then Oat wanted to do
some talking. So I spent most of the afternoon over at Oat’s.”
Lucas noticed Milly laughing and asked, “Why?”
“Oh, Lucas, don’t you ever let on to Mark that you weren’t
working the cattle this afternoon. You best warn Billy, too. If
Mark were to find out, you both might just end up in jail, for
dereliction of duty.”
Milly recounted their wonderful day helping Tessa with her
newborn daughter. And then, while trying to keep a straight
face, told Lucas of their arrival back at the ranch and what
Mark had told them.
“Oh, no. They didn’t!” Lucas stated.
“They did. Mark was quite frazzled when we arrived home, he came
from the house, the front of his shirt and pants were soaked
with water. And to top it all off, it was because of happened
when he was changing Levi…” Milly couldn’t contain her laughter.
Lucas couldn’t contain his laugher. “Oh Milly, if you only knew
how many times that happened to me during the first month of
Mark’s life, when Margaret was…” Lucas quieted.
“It still hurts, doesn’t it?” Milly asked.
Lucas closed his eyes. It had been a long time since he had felt
that longing and pain.
“I’m sorry to remind you of those memories,” Milly quietly spoke
as she rested her head to Lucas’ shoulder as she lay down next
“I’m not. It makes my time with you all the more precious.
You’ve accepted that Margaret will always be a part of this
marriage, but you, Milly Scott McCain, you’ve made this man live
Lucas raised his head from the pillow and placed a kiss to
Milly’s head. Milly looked into Lucas eyes and asked, “No
“None,” Lucas whispered to Milly. But in his heart, he knew
there was one. That he’d let her leave town and return back
east. He regretted that he hadn’t followed soon after and
confessed to her that she had stolen his heart when she left.
That he hadn’t insisted she return all those years ago.
“I love you so much,” Milly whispered.
“Then prove it,” Lucas teased as he put his hand to her chin.
“And just how am I supposed to do that?” Milly coyly asked.
“I think you know,” Lucas said as he leaned close to Milly and
pressed a kiss to her lips.
Lucas and Milly expressed their love for each other, as a
married couple could. Lucas gently ran his hands over her body,
sensing her vibrant love for him. His mind cleared of any and
all thoughts and there was nothing left but his feelings; the
emotions that he had once thought only Margaret could bring out
in him. But this woman, his wife, so much different than her,
Milly completed him. He still marveled how he had never expected
to feel this way again. As a young woman, Milly had been raised
proper and, such things were not discussed, but the way her
husband made her feel, she desired these moments and never
wanted for the night to end. She marveled at the strength and
gentleness that was in this man, her husband.
After Milly and Lucas had left, Mark put his sons to bed while
Hope retired to their bedroom to nurse their daughter.
“They enjoy listening to you read,” Mark stated as he returned
to the front room and saw Gwen still in the chair in front of
“Its fun reading to them,” Gwen replied.
“Gwen, I know we’ve not really had a chance to talk and all…”
Mark tried to speak.
“I know things with your job have been… kind of… I really do
thank you and Hope for taking me in. I promise once I get out of
this cast, I’ll find a job and I’ll repay you for your
hospitality and your generosity.”
“That’s not necessary,” Mark replied.
“Oh, but it is. I mean, it’s only proper. I shouldn’t be
beholden to anyone.”
“Gwen, that first night, in the cave… What were you doing out
there all on your own? Now I remember you telling of your
parents having passed, but a girl on her own out in this
“Trying to find somewhere that I could be accepted for who I am,
not what I am. Not to be told I can’t do something because I’m a
woman. My Pa raised me to be independent and maybe a little fool
hardy I guess.” Looking Mark in the eye she realized he saw
through her guise of carefree. “I’m not fooling you, am I?”
“Are you trying to?” Mark asked.
“I wanted to go west and I thought traveling with another family
would be the best way, I could earn my passage. At first, things
we wonderful. But then, things changed the farther we got from
civilization. The man told me I had to repay his kindness since
he was letting me ride with his family in their wagon. Said it
weren’t enough my helping his misses, he tried making advances
towards me and the final night, he tried… taking advantage of me
when his wife was sleeping in the wagon. I was sleeping in a
bedroll beside the campfire, when I felt the blankets pulled
from me. He…” Hope stopped and closed her eyes. “I couldn’t pay
that price. I ran away. I thought if I could get away and get to
a town, I could be safe.”
Mark saw the honesty in Gwen’s eyes.
“Before I left their wagon, I saw a knife lying on the drop
shelf; I stole it and then ran into the dark. I swore that if he
found me, I’d… I’d…” Gwen averted her eyes when she couldn’t say
what she would have done. “Anyway, I saw him approaching as I
hid under the bushes. Eventually he returned back to the wagon
and later, drove by where I was trapped. Then, the storm hit and
I had tripped and fallen when a lightning bolt illuminated
everything around me and I saw the cave. I got up and ran
towards it, but didn’t see the trap. It was a short time later
that you came and found me. I really am sorry for holding the
knife on you that night.”
“It’s totally understandable,” Mark answered. “Have you thought
on any plans, once you get the cast off?”
“Not really, I guess I was getting comfortable. I should
probably think about moving on… This was the first time since my
Pa died that I… felt…”
“You don’t need to explain,” Mark stated.
“But I do. I need to. I’m an only child and I always dreamed of
what it would be like to have been part of a large family… Guess
it would sound stupid to you that I felt as if I were a part of
“No, it’s not stupid and I know exactly what you mean,” Mark
“But you’ve a wonderful family!”
“I do know, I mean I have a wonderful family this large, now.
For the longest time, it was just Pa and me. Milly’s only been
my Ma since just after I turned seventeen. Gwen, I found out
today, just what Hope goes through in dealing with our children
and I know that maybe they’re not always that rowdy, but still…
I want to talk with Hope, but think on this… The boys, even
Gabby, really like you. If you want to, you can stay here…”
“No, you… I won’t… I just told you…” Gwen’s eyes got wide.
“Don’t get frightened. I was thinking that Hope could use some
help with the children as well as Ma. There are seven little
ones between the two houses and we can build on to the back of
the house, build you a room of your own. It would open to the
front room here, and then we could also give you an outside
door. When you feel you need to come and go on your own without
having to explain to Hope or me.”
“And how do you expect me to repay you?” Gwen asked, still
“I heard tell, back east, of nanny’s. Women hired to help care
for children. But you’d be more than just a nanny, you’ve become
a friend and a part of this family.”
“A nanny, that’s what that man told me I would be for his
children as we were heading west.”
The final piece of the puzzle fell into place in hearing that
confession from their guest. “Gwen, I have no desires on you… I
mean you are a pretty, young woman, but I’m happily married to
Hope. I just want to help you. And our children are genuinely
fond of you. If it makes you feel any better, I think Jake
McCafferty is smitten by you.”
“The preacher’s son?” Gwen asked.
“Haven’t you noticed how he’s all thumbs when he knows you’re
watching?” Mark smiled. “Gwen, I’m just offering you a home. If
you don’t feel comfortable because of what happened before, I’ll
understand and help make arrangements for you to live somewhere
else, where you can be comfortable.”
“It just surprised me and then my memories returned to that man…
I didn’t mean to be rude.”
“You weren’t rude, Gwen. Let me talk with Hope and if she agrees
and if you agree, then come spring, we’ll start construction on
your room. Until then, our spare room is your room.”
“You’d do that for me?”
Mark stood and walked to his bedroom. “For a friend, yes. Good
Mark retired to his room and Hope was just placing their
daughter in her bassinet.
“Hope, I’d like to talk with you about something,” Mark stated
as he sat down on the bed and unbuttoned his shirt.
“Asking Gwen to be a nanny and help out?”
“Yes. Mark, I’m sorry that we laughed at you this afternoon, but
some of your comments…”
“I know, it just got overwhelming. I got a better picture of
what things must be like when I’m in town over night or
traveling. I just didn’t realize how bad it could get for you.”
Hope walked around to Mark’s side of the bed and allowed him to
pull her to his lap.
“Mark, it’s not bad, they’re our sons. They just took advantage
of you this afternoon.”
“You do know that I want to have more children in the future? As
many as God gives us.”
“Yes, and so do I. If Gwen wants to stay with us, I’d love to
have her help and I’m sure Ma would too. It’s been kind of fun
thinking on her as a little sister. But she’s to get more than
just room and board in exchange for helping.”
“I agree and we can discuss a salary after Gwen agrees,” Mark
replied. “Right now, I just want to go to bed and sleep.”
“And your dreams will be about?”
“Chasing notorious outlaws!” Mark laughed as Hope got up from
his lap and crawled across the bed. Mark leaned over and blew
out the lantern. As he crawled under the covers, he wrapped his
arms around his wife and snuggled tight.
The Next Step — Don't Drink
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch