Dunstan’s not king yet, but Tristan despairs for his people under his drunken, idolatrous brother. A raging river drags Tristan away to an isolated, impoverished village. Can no one can help him get home? In one agonizing night Tristan may lose his love and his future hope. Can God still somehow make him the savior of his kingdom and his beloved?
“Do you mind if I continue on a little way?” Tristan asked casually. “I thought I heard voices up ahead, and there’s that cursed smell of smoke again.”
“All the more reason you should come back with us,” Alex said firmly. “None of your men are out here at this time of day. I can’t pretend to hear what you’re talking about, or smell it either, but if there is someone out there I don’t want you here alone.”
Tristan drew the sword he always carried when he left the estate, again, in spite of Mayra’s protests. “Alex, men are coming this way. I have no idea how many, but it sounds like at least twenty. They’re still a mile or two off. As you say, they aren’t ours, but I do hear sounds like armor and swords clashing. I need you to take the Lady Mayra back to the house and bring some of our men as quickly as you can.”
“I can’t leave you here!” Alex cried.
“I can’t run,” Tristan said desperately. “I can try to hide, and I will, but I have to know that you’re taking Mayra to safety.”
As much as Hamilton Jessup hates high society and pity as a wounded war hero, a marriage of convenience solves his financial crisis. Secrets and lies, his own and those of beautiful celebrity singer Maeve Collinswood, draw him into a passionate alliance, a deadly confrontation, and a reliance on God he has never imagined.
I wanted to lay your concerns to rest, ma’am,” Ham drawled. “It was kind of you to call Doctor Evans, and I apologize for being generally impossible to live with.”
Maeve looked at him in astonishment. “Doctor Evans said you were feverish, and you seemed to be in pain. Hamilton, what happened last night?”
“Last night, ma’am?” Ham seemed to be thinking hard. “Would you believe me if I told you Nat Grover drugged our punch and hired someone to try to kill us?”
“What?” Maeve stood up. “How can you stand there and speak such a lot of nonsense? Why do you hate Mr. Grover so much? What has he done to you?”
“Since that’s how you respond, you got a bit faint and I got a bit thirsty and I sent you home and went out and wet my whistle.”
Maeve appeared to be studying him. “You were drunk, and suffered from a hangover,” Maeve summarized finally.
“In essence, that is what must have occurred, since Mr. Grover is sacrosanct from my unprovable accusations.”
“Hamilton?” Maeve said suddenly.
“Yes, ma’am?” Ham asked.
“The story you told about Goliad,” Maeve said, looking pained, “Was it some sort of alcoholic raving or did you tell a true tale?” Ham looked away. “A true tale, ma’am,” he said. “I could never be intoxicated enough to show so much disrespect to the memory of that event as to fabricate a tale about it.” “Thank you,” Maeve said.
While meeting New Mexico Territorial Judge Bartholomew Durant, Leah Masters steps into an assassination attempt, her brother’s imprisonment for murder, resentment from a best friend with a cavalry sword, and a rival in the form of a beautiful and godly best friend. While cleaning house and keeping accounts she falls in love with a bitter, scornful suitor whose opinion she’s too afraid to change.
“Miss Masters!” Governor Markham exclaimed. “Here, sit down.” He drew a chair up. “You shouldn’t be out of bed.”
“Thank you for your concern, Governor, but I’m perfectly well. I’ve come to ask if I may see my brother.”
“Your — your brother — ” the governor faltered.
“I know he’s in jail, and that he’s been acting like a madman. Everyone in town has been all too eager to talk about it. I think I can persuade him to calm down. He’s frequently like this at home. Maybe he’s worse than usual, but I’ve always been able to make him be reasonable.”
The Governor studied Leah in silence for a few moments. “I doubt if you’re strong enough, Miss Masters. You’ve been pretty sick.”
“I don’t like to think of Randall locked up in a cell,” Leah replied. “I may be tired and weak, but it’s not as if he would hurt me.”
“I’m not sure what he might do, ma’am. Since your brother arrived, he’s threatened about a dozen people, including the judge himself.”
“I — I thought the judge was away on business.”
Carrie Wilkes, a Northern woman married to a Southern man, has had enough of stares and shunning. Robert Salinger might be handsome and a friend of her dying husband. But why is he either boring his eyes into her or ignoring her? He blames himself for Ben’s death. He swears he will look after Carrie and the children, but they go home from the funeral alone. Will that deaf and dumb stranger, Robbie, be any real help to save her farm?
“Not now, Ben,” murmured Robert, turning his eyes away. “Talk to your wife. She’s very frightened.”
“Carrie Sue, I love you,” Ben said, reaching out a hand and stroking Carrie’s hair.
“I love you too, Ben.” Carrie said. “We’ll get you home and everything will be fine.”
“Carrie, Rob got you here … because I ain’t comin’ home,” Ben gasped. He patted Robert weakly on the arm, and the young man looked up at his face again. “Rob, I gotta wet my whistle.”
Robert produced a canteen and Carrie gave Ben a drink. He choked and groaned. “Carrie, I don’t … want to leave you … alone like this,” Ben said when he could speak again. “All alone.”
“I’ll look after them, Ben,” Robert said suddenly, gripping the dying man’s shoulder. “As God is my witness. This was my doing, and I will take care of your family.”
“The work’s got to get done … ” Ben said faintly.
“It will,” Robert promised.