Faith

Free Faith by Lori Copeland

Book: Faith by Lori Copeland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lori Copeland
surely ruin the whole day.
Reaching behind her for the shotgun, she carefully eased it
out of the holder. She'd take care of that creature before it
did any harm....
    Liza turned around. "What on earth-?"
    Springing to her feet, Faith blasted both barrels into the
coiled reptile. The gun's kick nearly toppled her.
    Nicholas jumped as if he'd been shot when the gun
exploded.
    Liza choked, swallowing the pinch of snuff she'd just
stuck in her mouth.

    Slapping her hand against her thigh, Faith squealed with
delight. "Got it!" The same instant the horse reared. Wideeyed, Nicholas fought to gain control.
    The runaway horse tore off down the road, out of control
for over a mile, trailing a cloud of dust the size of a Texas
twister behind the buckboard. The old wagon rattled and
shook their teeth, threatening to split apart as it careened
over potholes and gullies. Liza's hairpins came loose,
spinning recklessly in the wind.
    Nicholas stood up and sawed back on the reins, using
brute strength to bring the horse under control. Gradually
the wagon rattled to a jerky halt. The three shaken occupants slowly climbed out.
    Liza's braids dangled below her shoulders, her face flushed,
looking mad as an old wet hen.
    Color rushed to Faith's face. She probably should have
warned them before she shot....
    Nicholas seemed surprisingly calm. "Is anyone hurt?"
    Liza made a strangling sound, and Faith reached over and
whacked her on the back. A wad of snuff popped out of her
mouth.
    "There," Faith soothed. "That feel better?"
    Then Nicholas went up like a keg of dynamite. "What
were you thinking?"
    Faith stammered, "I-I didn't want the snake to spook the
horse, so I-"
    "You didn't want the snake to spook the horse?" Nicholas
said a dirty word. So dirty it brought a blush to Faith's
cheeks. He should be ashamed of himself. God would not think highly of that! "You took it upon yourself to fire a
shotgun ten inches from my eardrum? Mama, are you all
right?"

    "WHAT?"
    "ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?"
    "I CAN'T HEAR A BLASTED THING!"
    Well, that did it. She had only tried to help, and they
were acting as if she'd committed a crime against the
government.
    "In the future, kindly refrain from lending your help!"
Nicholas tipped his head to the side, trying to clear his ears.
"Do you have any idea how idiotic that was?"
    "I'm not stupid, Mr. Shepherd." Faith glowered. "I just
didn't stop and think."
    "In the future-"
    "I know! Stop and think!"
    Nicholas glowered at her.
    "I said I was sorry. What more do you want?"
    He pointed to the wagon seat. "I want you to sit on that
bench-no thinking, no helping, nothing-until we get to
the Johnsons. Do you understand?" His eyes snapped blue
fire. Papa had never used that tone of voice with her. "And
keep those trigger-happy fingers in your lap where I can see
them!"
    She nodded.
    The three climbed back aboard the wagon, and Nicholas
turned the team toward the barn raising.
    Faith glanced at Liza. "Mother Shepherd, I'm sorry about
your braids."

    "WHAT?"
    "The bouncing shook them loose." Faith reached over to
fix them. "Let me put them back in place-"
    "Don't touch me." Liza scooted as far as she could away
from Faith.
    Faith sighed. Poor Mother Shepherd. Everything Faith
did was wrong. At this rate, they were never going to be
friends.

     

EXCITEMENT grew when the Shepherd
buggy rolled to a stop at the site of the barn raising. Faith's
eyes drank in the sight of buckboards, colorful jenny Linds
and various other conveyances. From the very moment
Nicholas had mentioned there was going to be a barn raising, she had looked forward to the social event. She was
eager to form new friendships in the community that was to
be her new home. She hoped Nicholas would introduce her
to women her age.
    Young Brice Johnson and his bride, Elga, appeared to
greet the new arrivals. The young couple smiled and
shook hands, welcoming the Shepherds to their home.
Levi Johnson, Brice's father, was

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