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Archive for May 1st, 2013

Alex picked his way down the trail. Dusk made it still possible to find his way, but he’d have to hurry. Guilt gnawed at him. Was it because she was a woman, or her youth and apparent vulnerability that gave him second thoughts about taking the pack? If she carried mail for the Rebels, he had an obligation to his government to obtain any information that would help the Union cause.

Plus, he’d asked her to come with him, and she’d refused.

Now, where is that damn cabin?  He’d seen the house clearly in daylight, set back a bit from the trail. He’d have to find it soon before impending nightfall made it impossible to find anything beyond the pines.

A cold gust of wind whipped around him, stinging his face, and intermittent drops of rain plopped on his coat. His luck could not have gotten any worse. Suddenly, the sky broke and sent rivers of icy rain down. His felt slouch hat and wool greatcoat gave only mild protection against the onslaught.

“Damnation! That cabin’s got to be here somewhere.”

Rusty turned his head and neighed in reply. No light shone through the surrounding wooded area. If the cabin were here, no one was home. Where had he seen it?

A clattering on the trail startled him. He turned Rusty around to face the sound. A rider on horseback approached rapidly. Alex grasped his revolver and tensed for whoever raced toward him.

When the stranger drew closer, Alex whipped the revolver out.

“You bloody thief!” the rider yelled in a high, strident voice. “Hand over me bag, you bastard!”

Alex kept the revolver before him but relaxed his grip. That crazed Irish Rebel had followed him.

She reined up abreast of him and didn’t flinch at the sight of his drawn gun. Curls slicked against her head, and water dripped down her face.

She glowered at him, blowing out a puff of steam. Her breath came out in gasps, and the horse huffed.

“Hand over me bloody bag.” She held out a leather-gloved hand, oblivious of the revolver still pointed at her.

“What makes you think I have it?”

“Yer a thief and a liar. Give it here.”

“You most likely left it back at the stream. Just didn’t see it in the dark.”

Her nostrils flared. “‘Tis not that dark. You have it, and I want it now!”

Icy rain continued to pelt them. Alex bristled. She was keeping him from finding the cabin, where he could get dry and warm. As far as he knew, she didn’t have a weapon. She’d lost her sidearm in the stream, and he hadn’t seen a rifle among her belongings.

“Look, ma’am.” He pointed the gun for emphasis. “I’m not going to sit here in this freezing rain and argue. When I find the cabin, you’re welcome to come inside. I’ll prove I don’t have your bag. Fair enough?”

She bit her lip, apparently considering his offer. “If I don’t agree, are you going to shoot me, then, Mr. Hart?”

He lowered the gun. “Of course not. I just wanted to convince you that we need to get out of this rain, before we both come down with pneumonia.” He shook ice pellets from his hat and brushed his coat to emphasize his point. “We’ll freeze out here.”

Read opening chapters at my website: http://susanmacatee.com/confederateroseone.html

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors!

2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award!

Confederate Rose available for $2.99 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Confederate-Rose-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545568/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

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