The Oldest Flame
for a moment. Then
she added, with a funny little tremble of laughter in her voice,
“When you said all that to me, I thought you were warning me
    “About Mark!” said Mrs. Meade, letting her
work drop into her lap as she looked up in astonishment.
    “You knew that he was suspected, then?”
    Rose nodded. “That day, at the hotel, I
opened my door and Mrs. Lansbury’s maid was whispering in the
corridor with Mother’s Nellie. They were saying how Mark must have
done it—and I knew why. It made me feel so terrible. I didn’t think
Mark could act that way—it wasn’t like him.”
    “It may not have stood up in court,” said
Mrs. Meade, smiling, “but that was what I told Sheriff Royal all
along. As it turns out, you and I were both right about Mark. He
would never do anything so thoughtless and dangerous, even if he
does sometimes lament the shortage of dragons.”
    “Dragons?” said Rose, puzzled.
    “I think Mark has yet to discover,” said Mrs.
Meade, “that ‘dragons’ are just another name for all the little
ordinary difficulties that meet us every day of our lives.”
    “Oh,” said Rose, perhaps not too enlightened,
but looking thoughtful.
    Mrs. Meade did not trouble herself to inquire
why Rose had felt so badly over the idea of Mark’s supposed guilt.
But she was smiling a little to herself as she picked up her
embroidery again.


More Mrs. Meade
    The Silver Shawl: A Mrs. Meade Mystery
    In a small town in turn-of-the-century Colorado, a
young woman has disappeared from the boarding-house where she
lives. Her distraught fiancé is certain that she must have been
kidnapped. But the case takes a new turn when a city detective
appears on the scene, looking for a woman who matches the
description of the missing girl. Was Charity really kidnapped, or
did she have a reason to flee? Mrs. Meade, a gentle but shrewd
widow lady who lives across the hall in the boarding-house, feels
that there is something wrong with the story of Charity’s
disappearance…but can she unravel the mystery before it is too
late? The first entry in the Mrs. Meade Mysteries series,
approximately 15,700 words long.
    Find it at Smashwords:
    The Parting Glass: A Mrs. Meade Mystery
    Mrs. Meade is not the only one in Sour
Springs who is shocked at the news when Clyde Renfrew is accused of
drunken assault on a woman. Clyde, a sober, steady young rancher,
seemed the last person likely to do such a thing. Between an
emphatic witness and Clyde’s own apparent reluctance to defend
himself, the case seems open and shut. But Mrs. Meade—who seems to
have a knack for being just across the hall when things happen—has
a few ideas of her own…
    Find it at Smashwords:
    More books by this author:
    The Ranch Next Door
and Other Stories
    War Memorial: A
Short Story
    Some Christmas
Camouflage: A Short Story

About the Author
    Elisabeth Grace Foley grew up an avid reader and has
always been fascinated with history, so when she turned to writing,
historical fiction was naturally her first choice. Her first
published story, “Disturbing the Peace,” was an honorable mention
in the first annual Rope and Wire Western short story
competition, and is now collected with six others that are
appearing for the first time in her debut short story collection, The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories . A homeschool
graduate, she chose not to attend college in order to pursue
self-education and her writing career. She also enjoys music,
crocheting and spending time outdoors. She lives at home with her
family and a large stack of writer’s notebooks.
    Elisabeth’s Blog:

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