Rimfire Bride

Free Rimfire Bride by Sara Luck

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Authors: Sara Luck
“That’ll do it, and you can send both telegrams for less than the first one would’ve cost you.”
    “I do appreciate your help,” Jana said, smiling at the kindly telegraph man.
    Jana and Drew waited as Draper sent the two messages. After each one, the telegraph key clacked on its own.
    “Both messages got through,” Draper said with a smile.
    “Thank you,” Jana said. Then she turned to Drew. “You said you knew some other places we could try?”
    “Yes, and I have a good idea where to start.”
    Greta, Tom McGowan, and the bartender, whose name Greta learned was Carl Meunch, were in a small storeroom just off the saloon.
    “I think this would work fine as a kitchen,” Tom said. “What about you, Greta?”
    “I think it will be fine, as soon as we can get a cookstove in here.”
    “Oh, that’s no problem. We can go see Ollie Beal,” Tom said. “He’ll give us a good price on a stove, and he’ll even deliver it and put it up for us.”
    “Good,” Greta said. “That’s the most important thing we’ll have to get.”
    “What about dishes and such? What ya gonna cook in?” Carl asked.
    “Greta says we won’t need very many,” said Tom.
    “That’s right,” Greta said. “If we’re only going to serve one thing, all we’ll need is a couple of pots, a frying pan, some serving bowls, and an equal number of spoons.”
    “Don’t forget a dishpan, and a water pail. You can’t use mine.”
    “Oh, Carl, since I’m here, maybe I’ll wash your glasses, too. Would you mind that?”
    Carl smiled. “All right, I’ll get the storeroom ready for you.”
    “I know just the place to buy our supplies,” Tom said. “Greta, you go out the front door of the hotel and turn right. About three doors down you’ll find a place called Cheap Jake’s. Pick out everything you need and have Jake deliver it for us. If we can get everything put together in time, do you think you can fix something for tonight’s supper?”
    “I’m sure I can. I used to put something on the table in just an hour when my mama was out in the field. I was best at putting together a soup when itseemed like there was nothing in the house to eat. Even my father didn’t complain about that.”
    “That’s good to know, because if this harebrained idea you and Hank cooked up about givin’ the food away doesn’t work, we may have to resort to stone soup.”

    I t’s too bad Charley already hired Lucy. That would’ve been a great job for you,” Drew said as he and Jana left the Western Union office.
    “Maybe it’s for the best. Did you hear him say she was only going to work a couple of days a week? I really need more than that.”
    Drew smiled at Jana. Somehow this smile, no more than a friendly smile, connected as it was to the confident, almost possessive way he had held her arm, caused her pulse to race.
    “Don’t worry, we’ll find something for you to do.” Drew unconsciously took her hand in his, then immediately dropped it. “Oh! I’m sorry.”
    Jana didn’t respond. The feel of his hand felt intimate, if only for a moment. She thought that it might have been the first time any man had taken her hand in his, other than in a handshake. In college, she had been determined to get a degreeas quickly as the school would allow it, so all her time was spent in study. Her responsibilities had always come first, so she had never taken the time to be interested in a man.
    “You said you had an idea of where to start looking?” Jana asked so as to break the disquieting connection she was feeling toward this man
    “Yes, I do. How about working in a shop? Would you be willing to do something like that?”
    “Oh, I don’t . . .” Jana started, thinking of the butcher shop where she had worked in Chicago. But no shop in Bismarck could be as bad as that place. “I don’t know why not.”
    “Then I know just the place. I’ve done some work for Walter Watson, and he’s an honest man. He might be a little peculiar

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