The Writer's Corner
The Next Step…
Chapter 59 – Sugar and Spice
Written by Deanne Bertram
Through what remained of June, a member of Mark’s family was
always close by. He had finally talked out his fears with his
family, but they still were concerned. Could he slip back down
that road again? Mark knew of his families’ concerns because it
concerned him. He worked hard to regain his physical strength
and he chose to talk of his future, rather than his near death
One afternoon while Lucas and Mark were working on the corral,
Mark said, “Pa, I know we’ve talked about what happened and
don’t worry, I’m not slipping backwards. But, there was one
little thing that stood out in the dream Ma showed me about my
“Your future in having to deal with a daughter who’s just so
much like you?” Lucas asked as he gave a little laugh as he
remembered Mark describing his dream and dealing with a daughter
who didn’t want to go to school.
“Well, it’s getting to be that, maybe, Hope and I should
purchase our own buckboard. I mean you and Ma have your hands
full with Myra, Little Ted, and Levi, and Hope and I have the
twins and Eli, with one more on the way.” Mark looked to Lucas
and smiled as he said, “It’s getting a little crowded in the
back of the family buckboard.”
“And…” Lucas asked.
“It also would mean to purchase a second team of horses. We’d
need to build a second barn for all the horses we have.
Money-wise it wouldn’t be a problem. Hope and I can afford it,
it’s just that…”
“This is still your ranch. I mean, I know it’s our ranch,
together, but such a big undertaking to build a new barn, I felt
I should have your approval first.”
“Mark, we’re partners. You don’t need my approval to build a
barn. Especially since I’m not paying for it. This ranch is as
much yours as it is mine.”
“Once we finish fixing the corral, do you think we could measure
and stake it out and then put together a list of everything we’d
need to purchase?”
“Sure Mark. So is this going to be a father and son project?”
“No, I think its time the McCain’s celebrated. I was thinking
about a good, ole fashion barn raising. We could start passing
the word at the Fourth of July celebration. And schedule it for
the end of July. That’ll give us enough time to get all the
lumber ordered from the Hardware Store and people to put it on
their calendars. Figured it would take the weekend and Saturday
night we could have a hog roast with all the trimmings.”
“Sounds mighty wonderful. Been a while since the McCain’s have
had a big celebration out here.”
“Yeah, the boys’ first birthday. I can’t believe they’re going
to be three already,” Mark replied as he let out a whistle.
“I can’t believe you’re twenty-three.”
As a family, the McCain’s headed to North Fork to celebrate
Independence Day and to start spreading the word about the barn
raising and hog roast.
Oat Jackford and his crew came into town and after he heard the
news, he headed directly for Mark McCain.
“And just what’s the big idea?” Oat demanded, catching Mark off
“Big idea?” Mark sputtered out.
Lucas tried to intervene.
“McCain, you stay out of this. This is between Mark and me.”
“Sir?” Mark replied.
“I hear tell you’re planning a barn raising with a cookout.
Ain’t Jackford cattle good enough for you?”
“Boy, you can’t have a barn building and a cookout without
Jackford cattle being served!” Oat laughed and slapped Mark on
the back as he sat down next to him. “Well, come on. Tell me
about this shindig you have planned?”
Lucas stepped aside, laughing at himself for forgetting just how
‘soft’ Oat really was when it came to Mark McCain.
Though the next several weeks, Mark pushed himself to get
stronger, he wanted to be ready to really work while his barn
was being built. It was the Friday before the big weekend, when
Hope informed Mark, “You have an appointment with Doc Burrage
“Because I said so. Mark, you’ve been pushing yourself to get
better so you can do your fair share when it comes to building
our barn. I just want to have Doc say that you’re really doing
okay. Please? Besides, I have an appointment for him to see how
our baby is doing, too.”
“Okay. If it will put your mind to ease,” Mark stated as he
pulled Hope to his lap after she set their breakfast on the
“We go too?” Josh asked.
“Don’t you want to stay here with Grandma and Grandpa?” Mark
“We see Grandpa Seth?” Zach asked quietly as he looked at his
“See Ganpa,” Eli mimicked.
“Okay,” Mark answered as he allowed Hope to get off his lap and
then sit down in her chair.
They arrived in town that afternoon to have Nils holler over to
them, “Hey Mark!?”
Mark pulled up the team.
“Got a wire that your buckboard is coming in on today’s freight
train. I let Billy Lehigh know yesterday and he said that he or
Oat was going to bring to town those two horses your purchased.
If you’d like, later this afternoon, I can hitch the team and
bring them over to the hardware store and we can use your new
buckboard to load your supplies for this weekend. If you want, I
can even drive the new team for you.”
“Thanks Nils, I appreciate it if you would, hitch the team and
buckboard and get them to the Hardware store, Pa said he’d ride
in later this afternoon and he can help me get the new team and
everything back home.”
“No problem Mark. We’re still on to start at eight o’clock
“Only if my wife let’s me get to sleep tonight.”
“Mark!” Hope exclaimed.
“See ya Nils!”
Mark drove the buckboard on to Seth’s home and dropped his three
“Father, I hope you don’t mind. But they wanted to come to town
and spend a little time with you.”
“No problem. Come here boys and give your Grandpa a big, ole
Both Hope and Mark smiled at the scene and then headed on to the
“Hope, everything is as it should be. Your baby’s heartbeat is
strong. You’re to start taking things a little easier, seeing as
you’re in your final two months of pregnancy. I don’t want you
over doing it this weekend.”
“I don’t think anyone will let me lift a finger,” Hope stated as
she saw Mark about to reply.
“The only thing she’ll be lifting is a fork to eat with,” Mark
“Good, now Mark, your turn. Go ahead an unbutton your shirt
Seth proceeded to examine Mark, checking out how well the scars
had healed. Only faint traces remained. He listened to Mark’s
heart and lungs.
“Okay, Hope, I declare Mark fit enough for this barn building
shindig, but if you see him tiring in the least little bit…”
“I know, I know,” Mark answered.
“Okay, well, Abigail, Savannah and I should arrive around ten
o’clock tomorrow morning and then we’ll be there for the rest of
The morning dawned bright at the McCain Ranch, Hattie and Micah
along with the McCafferty’s were the first to arrive. Mark and
Hope’s home was to be where all the children five and under
would be watched, while Lucas and Milly’s home would house the
children up to ten years old.
Sarah McCafferty walked to Milly after Lucas had helped her down
from their buggy.
“Miss Milly?” she asked.
“I was wondering, if…”
Milly looked at Sarah and waited patiently.
“Well, I don’t know if you know it, but, I’ve been helping Miss
Hattie and Mr. Micah at the day care and I’ve also been spending
a lot of time at the clinic, helping Miss Abigail and... I was
wondering, if today, I could watch over the young children. I’m
so much wanting to be a nurse and Doc says I have good instincts
about what to do.”
“Sarah and think that Hope would love to have someone else help
her watch out over all the young children who will be here
today. She’s far enough along in her pregnancy that I’m sure
she’ll appreciate your help.”
“I didn’t want to say something and have her think poorly of
“Sarah, no one will think poorly of anyone today, when it comes
to people wanting to help out. Go on, get over to Hope’s and ask
The bulk of the barn had been framed, the deck of the hayloft
had been constructed, and the roof was in place when Lucas and
Mark called an end to the day’s construction. Only a few smashed
thumbs had to be tended to by Doc Burrage.
Most all the town’s men folk had come out to help build and
their wives came to cook or had bake pies and cakes for the
occasion. It was shortly after the sun had set when the final
person left to head home. As each person left, Lucas made sure
everyone realized that church was to be observed on Sunday and
for those who wished to return, they’d see them back to the
ranch no sooner than one o’clock.
Milly had put their young children to bed and then went out to
help Lucas and Mark finish cleaning up for the night.
“We had a wonderful turnout for Mark and Hope’s barn raising,”
Milly stated as they entered their home.
“That we did.”
“It was so good to see Mark laughing and doing. I mean, if
someone hadn’t known what happened the beginning of June…”
“I know how you feel.”
“It was also good to hear and see you laughing, too.”
“Me?” Lucas replied as he sat down in his chair, he pulled Milly
close to him.
“Lucas, I know you too well. Admit it, until today, you still
had a little doubt that Mark could truly put that whole episode
“I did have that little bit of doubt, but today, it totally
“You know Lucas, you could really use a bath right now,” Milly
stated as she stood up from sitting on Lucas’s lap.
“I’ve been working all day.”
“I know you have and you smell that way,” Milly replied with a
“Okay, I know you won’t want to share my bed until after I’ve
bathed. I’ll just head down to the creek…”
“No you won’t Lucas McCain. I’ve the tub already filled with
warm water in our bedroom.”
Lucas looked to his wife, “Lucas you’ve also been worried about
me. Could I put behind me the fact that I can no longer have
children? Lucas, it’s been almost five months. Tonight, I’m
going to be your wife and I’ll not hear any protesting from
Lucas stood and with his arm around Milly’s waist, he closed the
door behind them as they entered their bedroom. Lucas saw the
lantern turned down low on the table. He saw the wash cloth and
soap on a small crate next to the tub. On one of the kitchen
chairs, Milly had brought into the room, he saw several towels
neatly folded as well as his shaving blade and shaving cream.
Lucas proceeded to strip and then stepped into the tub and sat
down. As he reached for the wash cloth and soap, Milly batted
his hand away, “This is my responsibility tonight,” she said as
she picked them up and worked to soap the wash cloth into a good
lather. Lovingly Milly scrubbed Lucas’ back and then from
behind, enjoyed reaching around and bathing his chest. She was
as gentle with Lucas as if he was her child, but she knew he was
her husband, and deep down she yearned. She allowed Lucas to
rinse himself off before she sat on the edge of the tub and
proceeded to shave away the stubble from his face. As she set
the blade back to the seat of the chair, Lucas reached for Milly
and pulled her into the tub with him. He didn’t feel her tense;
in fact, he felt as if Milly had planned the whole evening to
happen as it was. Passionately he kissed her and he felt her
respond. Lucas reached around and unbuttoned the back of Milly’s
dress. In time, Lucas stood and set Milly to her feet. He
carefully pulled her dress from over her shoulders, letting it
fall into the tub. Milly slipped off her camisole and slip and
let them fall into the water as well. Lucas lifted Milly and
carried her to their bed.
Neither had been asleep for very long when the rooster outside
announced that the sun was rising.
By the time Lucas and Milly had their family ready for church
and out the door, Mark had already harnessed and hitched both
teams. Mark smiled as he saw his parents exit their home and
walk with their youngest children to their buckboard and loaded
the children into the back.
“Sorry if we worked you too hard, yesterday, Pa,” Mark stated as
he handed the reins to Lucas.
“You’ll be even sorrier if you don’t wipe that smile off your
face. Today is Sunday,” Lucas answered.
“I know and last night was Saturday night.” Mark replied then he
ran to help his family get in their buckboard.
“You little imp!” Lucas hollered.
“I don’t think the ‘acorn’ fell too far from the ‘tree’, Pa.”
With Lucas and Milly leading the way, Mark and Hope followed.
“What was that all about?” Hope asked.
“Don’t you know?”
“If I did, I don’t think I’d be asking,” Hope replied.
“Didn’t you see the expressions on Ma’s and Pa’s faces as they
came from the house?”
“Guess your pregnancy really has you out of sorts, if you can’t
pick up on what happened in their home last night.”
“Mark McCain, they’re your parents!” Hope exclaimed.
“I know. How do you think all their children came to be born?”
Mark couldn’t help the devilish smile that spread across his
“You better put an extra offering in the plate today to atone
for your thoughts!” Hope laughed as she covered her mouth with
“So you do understand.” Mark laughed and rein slapped the team
to catch up. “Should I give extra for you, too?”
It was the beginning of August when Mark was allowed to return
to standing watch over North Fork. His first night back, Seth
and Johnny insisted on being present. Both had known the
struggles Mark had faced, and even though he had come to terms
with what had happened and had seen him enjoying himself like
never before at the barn raising, no one knew exactly what would
be in store on Mark’s first night back.
That night, a number of trail hands and drifters were having a
good time and getting drunk over at Sweeney’s. It was
approaching midnight and the party appeared to still be in full
steam. Sweeney had tried to close the bar down, without any
luck, when he finally went to the Marshal’s Office.
“I need your help, and I know it might…” Sweeney started as he
“What’s up Sweeney?” Johnny asked.
“They won’t leave. Say they’re having too good of a time. I need
to close the bar down for the night,” Sweeney replied.
All three, Johnny, Seth, and Mark returned to the saloon with
Sweeney. Outside the door, Mark hesitated as his thoughts
flashed back to that night. Soon he felt hands on his shoulders
and a firm squeeze. He looked left to see Johnny and right to
“You okay? We can do this if you’re not up to it,” Seth stated.
“I was there too Mark. No cause for shame.”
“No, I’m alive. We can do this.” Mark stood a few inches taller
as they walked into the saloon.
The noise in the saloon quieted as the patrons realized who had
just walked in the room. Slowly, one by one, every man turned
“Now men. The owner of this establishment has requested that
closing hours be observed. You are asked to quietly leave this
establishment and sleep off your liquor,” Johnny stated.
“And who says so?” one man asked.
“The marshal of this town,” Johnny replied.
“And his deputy,” stated Seth.
“And a U.S. Marshal,” Mark said last.
“U.S. Marshal?” someone else managed to squeak out.
“So if any of you are more willing to spend a night in our jail,
Slowly, the men filed out of the saloon.
“You be okay Sweeney?” Johnny asked.
“Thanks, I appreciate it.”
Seth and Mark watched as the men walked or staggered to wherever
they were heading. From behind, they both felt a hand placed on
their shoulders, as Johnny came up between them and said, “You
did good, real good. You ready to head back to the office?”
“Yeah, Johnny, thanks for the understanding and support,” Mark
As they were half way across the street, the sound of a running
horse could be heard approaching. Mark steeled himself, took a
deep breath, and turned around.
“Marshal, Marshal, where’s the doc?” the rider yelled.
“Sleeping at home, like you should be. Freddie Toomey, what are
you doing racing your horse through North Fork at this hour?”
“It’s Carolina, the baby, I think the baby’s coming!”
“I’ll go get Doc,” Mark said as he finally exhaled and ran to
The McCain ranch was full of activity as summer wound down and
Mark and Lucas, with the help of Jake McCafferty, prepared for
harvesting their crops and weaning the cattle in preparation for
winter. September was close to an end and since Hope was still
pregnant, Mark had moved her into town, and stayed at the hotel
with her. Milly had insisted she could take care of all the
children, however, Hattie and Micah would not hear of it. They
insisted on their being allowed to care for the twins and Eli
until the blessed event happened.
“I can’t believe I’m still pregnant,” Hope said as she and Mark
lay in bed, Mark massaging her back. “I must look like a
“Well, you know women are the one’s to always keep men waiting,
guess she’s letting us know she’s all female,” Mark laughed as
Hope laughed and then reacted to Mark getting the right spot and
relieving the discomfort in her back. “Are you so sure of the
date when we made this little one? Maybe you got the date
“Mark McCain!” Hope stated with a little bit of a mocked tone in
her voice. “Oh how I wish she would just get this over with.”
“All in due time. All in due time.”
In time Hope and Mark fell asleep for the night. It was close to
three o’clock when Mark woke after Hope let out an involuntary
groan and bolted upright in bed. “Mark! I think its time!”
Mark jumped from bed and quickly pulled on his pants and boots.
He helped Hope get up from bed and helped her pull on a robe.
Carefully, he helped her down the stairs and out the front door
of the hotel. Another groan escaped from Hope as she doubled
over from the pain, grabbing at her belly, “Mark, I can’t. It
Mark leaned over and picked Hope up in his arms and carried his
wife the rest of the way to the clinic. He entered the clinic
and carried Hope into the first available room.
“Hope, I’ll be right back, let me run and get Doc.”
“Oh hurry Mark! She’s not waiting,” Hope called and let out
The sun was peaking over the hills surrounding North Fork when
the sound of a baby crying came from the room. Thadd handed the
baby to Abigail, who took the baby to the basin filled with warm
water and proceeded to bathe the child.
“Doc?” Mark asked as Hope laid back against him, exhausted.
“Well, I think that’s the quickest you’ve ever delivered a child
Hope,” Doc commented and he proceeded to tend to Hope.
“Doc, do we have… a son or… a daughter?” Hope asked as she tried
“Oh, the baby. Did you have a preference?”
“Doc?!” Mark asked.
“You have a beautiful baby daughter,” Abigail replied. “Thadd
shame on you for teasing them in such a manner.”
“Typical female! Makes you wait forever and then quick to demand
everyone’s attention!” Mark commented.
“Mark!” Hope quietly said as she looked up to Mark.
“Abigail, once you have the baby cleaned up, why don’t you bring
her over here so the proud parents can look her over.” Then
turning to Mark, “Mark just let Hope rest back against you until
Abigail brings the baby over, then you can help her sit up so
she can nurse the baby.”
Mark and Hope were oblivious to Thadd and Abigail leaving the
room. Mark was amazed at the newest member of his family. He
smiled and looked over his wife’s shoulder as she placed the
baby to her breast.
“Your dream came true,” Hope whispered.
“Are we really ready for a daughter?” Mark asked.
“Were we really ready for the twins?” Hope replied. “As long as
our house is filled with love, we’ll do fine.”
A rider could be heard whooping it up outside the clinic and
then the voice faded away as the rider raced from town.
“I guess Uncle Johnny’s on his way to let Pa and Ma know that
their newest grandchild has arrived,” Mark commented.
“He’s just proud of his sister’s boy,” Hope whispered.
After the baby stopped suckling and had fallen asleep, Hope laid
their daughter in her lap and re-buttoned her nightgown.
“I love you,” Mark whispered and then pressed a kiss to Hope’s
Mark had fallen asleep with Hope and their daughter in his arms.
Abigail opened the door to the room to allow Lucas, Milly, and
Seth to slip inside. After all these years, Lucas was still
amazed that this was his eldest child and that he was old enough
to have children of his own.
Seth looked on in amazement at his youngest child. Thankful that
it had been Mark, not that many years ago, who had managed to
bring Hope back to her family. Honestly, he was proud to be a
part of the family the two of them were creating.
Lucas picked up a chair and set it beside the bed for Milly to
sit down in. Mark heard the noise and started to wake, “Huh?”
“Congratulations Mark, we heard we have a granddaughter,” Milly
“Guess we fell asleep,” Mark stated still not fully awake.
“That’s okay son. We just wanted a peak and didn’t mean to wake
you,” Lucas replied.
“We can come back later,” Seth stated.
“No, give me a minute…”
Mark crawled from the bed, trying hard not to disturb Hope. He
walked to the wash basin and pulled a rag from the ring on the
wall, wet it and then wiped his face.
“We were up sort of late last night talking and Hope’s back was
really bothering her. Then this morning, Mykaela demanded to
make her appearance.”
“So your dream came true?” Lucas asked.
“Yes sir.” Mark walked over and picked up the bundle that held
his daughter, from lying next to her mother. He carried the
bundle and handed her to his Ma. The baby started fussing a
little bit. “Mykaela Elyse, I’d like you to meet your
grandparents. Ma, this is Mykaela Elyse. She’s sort of named
after Hope’s mother.”
Milly commented, “Myra is going to be so happy to have another
girl in the family.”
The quietness of introductions was interrupted when they heard a
child screaming for his Mama. Hope woke at hearing the child’s
cries even louder as Abigail opened the door, all she said was,
“Mark, it’s Josh.”
Mark hurried from the room while Lucas tried to prevent Hope
from getting out of bed. A few moments later, Mark carried Josh
into the room, followed by Doc Burrage. Tears stained Josh’s
face. Mark held his son as he climbed into the bed so Hope could
“I’m sorry Mark,” Micah stated as he came into the room. “He was
so excited to hear he had a baby sister that he ran out the
front door and tripped running down the steps.”
Doc Burrage asked Abigail to prepare a syringe with a sedative
for the boy. Mark handed Josh over to Hope.
“There, there, Josh. Mama’s here,” Hope quietly spoke as she
rocked her son.
“Hope, I’m just going to give him a sedative to make him sleep
for a little while. This way we can set his broken arm and put
it in a cast.”
Hope nodded. Josh cried out when the needle pierced his skin and
Mark flinched as he hurt for his son. A few minutes later, Josh
was asleep in Hope’s arms.
“Hope, let’s go ahead and lay him down on the bed. It’ll be
easier for me to set his arm that way.”
A half hour after arriving at the clinic, a cast was around
“Mark, I’m so sorry, I…”
“Micah, he’s a boy, he’ll mend.” Mark replied.
Lucas corrected him, “No, he’s a McCain. Don’t worry Micah. This
was bound to happen sooner or later. At least it doesn’t appear
that he knocked out any teeth like his Pa did.”
Mark returned with Micah to get his other children, and Hattie,
so they could meet the newest member of the family.
“Don’t worry Hattie, Josh will be fine. If you don’t mind, I’d
still like leave them with you and Micah until Doc allows Hope
to head home.”
They returned to the clinic. Before they entered the room, Mark
reminded his sons that they needed to be quiet and careful
around the new baby.
“What about Josh?” Zach asked.
“He’s already in the room with your Mama. He broke his arm, but
Doc fixed it up and he’ll be okay.”
Mark slowly opened the door, he didn’t think the room was big
enough for all the people he saw in addition to his parents and
Seth, his Uncle Johnny and Aunt Colleen and his cousin, Lillian
were there, as was Johnny and Lou Drako and Abigail. Carefully
and diligently, the boys walked in. Mark lifted them from the
floor to the bed. Hope held their sister and opened the blanket
for them to see her. Next Hope handed Mykaela to Hattie, who had
tears in here eyes.
After a while, Josh started moaning just as Thadd came back into
“Thought it should be about time for Josh to wake up. Folks, if
you don’t mind, could I have a little time with my patients.”
One by one their friends and families bid another round of
congratulations as they left the room. After looking over Josh’s
arm one last time, Thadd stated, “I’ll want to send home
something to help ease the pain from his arm.”
“Thank you Doc,” Hope answered.
“When can Hope go home?” Mark asked.
“Tomorrow is soon enough. I do have a favor to ask of you and
Hope. You both know that Sara McCafferty is really interested in
becoming a nurse and she wants to specialize in pediatrics.”
“Pedi-what?” Mark asked.
“Pediatrics. It’s a medical specialty focusing on young children
and babies. Anyway, I’ve been really pleased with how she’s been
helping Abigail and I’d like for her to get a little more
exposure to working with babies. Just for today and tomorrow,
I’d like for you to agree that she can be in here while I’m
examining your baby. It’ll be good for her education.”
Hope and Mark nodded.
The following afternoon, Mark drove the team to Hattie and
Micah’s. He picked up Zach and Eli and the bags with their
clothes and toys.
“Thank you so much for watching them,” Mark stated as he put Eli
in the back.
“We’re just sorry about Josh,” Hattie stated.
“Don’t be. You’re still their great-grandparents, nothing to be
Mark climbed into the seat and drove the team to the clinic.
Seth waited by the buckboard while Mark entered the clinic and
in time he brought Josh out and put him in the back. Before he
turned go to back into the clinic, he pointed his finger at his
eldest and gave him one of those, ‘behave yourself’ looks. A few
minutes later, Mark with Hope carrying Mykaela came from the
clinic. Hope handed her daughter to her father and with Mark’s
help, she climbed up to the seat of the buckboard. Seth handed
his granddaughter, back to Hope.
“Take care of the family Mark and we’ll see you next week!” Seth
hollered as Mark picked up the reins.
“Next week?” Mark asked.
“Mark, you need time with your family. My daughter just gave
birth to your fourth child and I’ll not have you abandoning her
just when she needs you.”
“But… Yes sir. Thank you,” Mark replied.
Looking in the back to make sure his three sons were sitting
down, Mark turned and rein slapped the team to head for home.
Milly, Lucas, and Myra were standing on the porch when Mark
drove the team to the yard.
“Welcome Home!” Milly called as they stepped to the buckboard.
Hope handed Mykaela to Milly and then allowed Mark to help her
from her seat. Lucas had stepped to the back of the buckboard
and help his grandsons down.
“GrandPa, look at my arm!” Josh yelled.
“I see. Has your Papa told you of the time he broke his arm?”
“No!” Mark hollered. “And I do not want to give any of them any
ideas that could lead them to do what I did when I broke my
Laughingly Lucas said, “Come on boys, Grandma has some cookies
and milk for you inside.”
Lucas and Milly followed the three boys inside.
Little Ted was already at the table inside. “It’s about time,”
he called. “Ma said I couldn’t have any ‘til you got home.”
Hope walked to the front porch and sat down in the chair. Mark
pulled a second chair next to Hope and allowed his sister to sit
“Gabby, we’d like you to meet you niece, Mykaela,” Hope stated
as she handed Mykaela to Myra.
“Hello Mykaela, I’m your Aunt Myra.” Then looking to Mark she
said, “It’s going to be a while before she can play with me,
“I’m afraid so sis.”
That evening, after Mark had put their sons to bed and Hope had
finish nursing their daughter and tucked her into her cradle,
Mark pulled their family bible from the chest and set it on the
table. From his desk, he brought over the pen and ink well. Hope
returned to the front room and sat down next to Mark and
lovingly recorded the birth of their daughter.
The Next Step — On the Trail
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch