Almas mail order husband.., p.1
Alma's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 1), p.1Kate Whitsby
Alma’s Mail Order Husband
Texas Brides: Book 1
Copyright © 2014 by Kate Whitsby
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This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously.
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“I’ve gotta tell you something.”
Alma Goodkind poked the fire with a stick. Her sister, Amelia, leaned against the mesquite tree shading them from the ferocious Texas sun. Amelia gazed toward the south Texas horizon, where dust devils spun over the hard-baked earth and occasionally whizzed up into the sky.
Her sister, Allegra, squatted on the other side of the fire. “What is it?”
Alma took a deep breath. “I’ve made a decision. I’m getting married.”
Amelia’s head jerked around and her eyebrows flew up, but she fell back into her remote brooding and stared off into the distance again.
Allegra, on the other hand, laughed in Alma’s face. “How do you plan to do that?” She pretended to look around her. “Where are you going to get the man from, I’d like to know. You don’t have one hiding under your bed, do you?” She laughed again.
Alma waited until she stopped laughing. “No, I don’t have one hiding, and I don’t even have one around here. But I’m getting one. I’m getting a mail-order husband.”
That really brought Amelia’s head around fast. She actually gasped in shock. “What? What on earth possessed you to do a thing like that?”
“I told you,” Alma replied. “I’ve decided to get married. I had to get a man from somewhere, and they have this mail-order matrimony service going on, matching people up all over the country. So I wrote in, and I’m having a husband sent out.”
Allegra laughed again. “You’re having a husband sent out? You make it sound like you ordered a hot water bottle out of a catalog. You sound like you’re getting in a new breeding mare or something.”
Alma smiled. “It’s something like that.”
Allegra couldn’t stop laughing at the idea. Amelia took her eyes and her mind back off to the far distant reaches of the desert. Her eyes roamed the shimmering mirages where the red desert soil met the sky.
Allegra chuckled. “So when are you getting in your new hot water bottle?”
“We’ve agreed to meet at the church in Eagle Pass at the end of the month,” Alma told her. “He’s going to make his own way down, and we’ll meet there on the thirtieth of July and get married. Then we’ll come back home as man and wife.”
“Just like that, huh?” Allegra asked. “And how have you managed to arrange all this, right under our noses?”
“I told you,” Alma repeated. “It’s all done by mail. Haven’t you noticed that I’ve been receiving letters from him recently? We’ve arranged everything in our letters back and forth. It’s all set up, and we agree on how we’re going to do everything.”
“You mean,” Allegra asked. “You agree on how you’re going to run the ranch and where you’re going to sleep? Don’t you think some of that concerns us?”
“I know what you’re thinking,” Alma returned. “You’re thinking that, because the three of us have run the ranch by ourselves for the last five years, how is it going to work with a man around who will want to have a say in it, too. Isn’t that what you’re thinking?”
“You’re right,” Allegra admitted. “He’s a man. He’ll want to be involved in running the ranch. He might even want to take over from a bunch of women. I’ll tell you right now, I don’t plan to give up without a peep. As long as I’m here, I’m going to work the ranch and I’m going to have a say about how it runs. As long as you and your man understand that, I don’t mind.”
“No one’s asking you to give up without a peep, Allegra,” Alma murmured. “No one could expect you to do that.”
Allegra smiled. “And how is it going to work with you sleeping with a man in a one-room shack in the middle of nowhere with your sisters and your father in the beds just next to yours? Did you think of that?”
“I thought of it,” Alma told her. “But I think we can work all that out without too much trouble. After all, we aren’t going to be raising the rafters with you and Amelia and Papa watching. We’ll keep all that private, of course.”
“And does this mystery man have a name?” Allegra asked.
“Of course he does,” Alma replied. “His name is Jude McCann, and he’s a cowboy from Amarillo. His parents still live up there. He has a brother in the rodeo circuit and a married sister in Silver City. Does that satisfy you?”
Before Allegra could answer, Amelia turned her penetrating eyes around. Both Alma and Allegra fell silent when she spoke. “And have you talked to Papa about this? What does he think of your plans?”
Alma blushed. “I haven’t told him yet. I wanted to tell you two first.”
Amelia shook her head. “You should have told him first. Better yet, you should have asked his permission before you went ahead and made your plans. That wasn’t right of you.”
Alma waved her objections away. “That’s exactly why I didn’t tell him, because I didn’t want to ask his permission. That might be the traditional Mexican way of doing things, but none of us is our dead mother. None of us is the dutiful Mexican housewife who bows to the wishes of her husband and her father. We’ve been running this ranch on our own ever since Papa broke his back falling off that horse. He can hardly walk anymore. We make our own decisions, and this is no different.”
“We might not be Mama,” Amelia agreed, “but Papa is used to a certain kind of behavior from women. You know how he is. He doesn’t even like us wearing pants to ride horses. The only reason he puts up with it is because he has no choice. He has to let us do things our way or the ranch would fail.”
“And this is no different,” Alma shot back. “He married Mama because he knew a part Mexican, part Apache woman would never stand up to him or raise her voice to him. He wanted a woman he could order around, and that’s what he got. But none of us signed up for that. He knows he has a different kind of woman to deal with in the three of us, and he accepts that.”
“You should have taken his feelings into account,” Amelia insisted. “You’re gonna break his heart when he finds out.”
“I don’t think so,” Amelia maintained. “I think he’ll accept it, just like he had to accept everything else we’ve done. He knows better than to fight us anymore. He knows we’re going to do whatever we want, no matter what he does. It’s better that way.”
Alma's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 1) by Kate Whitsby / History & Fiction / Romance & Love / Western have rating 3.4 out of 5 / Based on17 votes