The sun is shining and it's supposed to be warmer than yesterday. Yesterday's high was in the low 60s, but that was better than it has been. I enjoyed the sunshine yesterday and I'm hoping it will stay sunny today. I have a yard to mow tomorrow and I'd rather not have wet grass.
How was my week? Well, the conference down in TX went well, but I'm glad to be home and not have another one this weekend. :) We came home Sunday late afternoon. The rest of the week has been spent at home doing "normal" things, lots of reading because our internet was down until late Tuesday afternoon, and just enjoying taking care of things at home.
What about writing? Well, I've been wanting to write, but I just couldn't seem to get any ideas. I wanted to work on "Dr. Morgan" but I was stuck. I wanted to write a short story, but I couldn't think of any ideas. I thought perhaps I'd write another story for "Ria and the Gang" (sequel to "Home Fires" for my new readers), but nothing seemed to come. I considered started TCR-4, but wasn't sure just when book 4 starts, so . . . I was rather stuck. Then I figured out one little thing about TCR-4 and I've been writing it ever since. As of this morning I have the first 3 parts written. Now, that's not the first 3 chapters. That's the first 3,000 words. I think you'll like this book.
But that's my week. Tomorrow S and I head to help out with a friend's wedding by watching several of the children. I'm hoping to get the yard mowed before then though. :)
And now I hope you enjoy the last part of this story. Tell me what you think of it.
It took the combined effort of Raymond and Levi to move the tree enough for Preston to gently pull Danielle’s foot free, and when it was out, Danielle sighed with relief. “Thank you. I just knew some wild animal would have me for his dinner or at least his midnight snack.”
“Why didn’t you send your horse back to the house for help?” Raymond inquired, brushing his hands off.
Rubbing her foot and ankle, Dani replied, “Oh, I couldn’t. Poor Sundance has hurt her foot or her leg. I don’t know which. She started limping and I got off and tried to lead her back and that’s when we got lost and I caught my foot in there,” and she nodded in the direction of the tree.
As soon as she mentioned her horse’s injury, Levi had quickly moved over to Sundance who was patiently standing in the trail. “Which leg?”
“Her right foreleg. She’ll be all right won’t she, Levi?” There was concern in Danielle’s voice as she watched her brother.
His answer wasn’t to her. “Hold a lantern over here, Ray, so I can see.” His strong, knowledgeable hands gently felt the horse’s leg and then he tried to pick up her hoof. “Come on, up,” he spoke firmly and Sundance lifted her foot.
“Well?” Preston queried after Levi and Raymond had examined the leg in question and then straightened.
“Can’t tell for sure, but it looks like it could be just a bruise.”
“Dani,” Raymond asked, “did you try riding Sundance through a stream?”
Dani nodded. “There’s one somewhere along the trail and I thought we’d cross it, but then she wouldn’t go all the way and when I turned her, she started limping.”
“She’s not carrying anyone home,” Levi declared flatly. “Someone will have to walk her back.”
“Speaking of home,” Preston said, offering his hand to his sister to pull her to her feet. “We’d better start back now. Raymond, you think you can find the way out of this tangled patch of trails?”
“I’ll take Sundance back at a slow pace,” Levi announced. “Just leave a lantern in the trail where I have to turn and I can find the rest of the way back.”
At that Danielle clasped her hands together and exclaimed in delight, “Then I can ride Arrow! I’ve always wanted to ride him.”
“No, you may not, Danielle Perry,” Levi replied quickly. “You’re not strong enough to handle him, and I’m not about to let you possibly injure yourself so you get out of chores for weeks.”
“You’re riding double with me.” Preston’s voice had a “don’t-even-try-to-argue” tone in it and Danielle didn’t press further.
“Well, are you two coming?” Raymond’s voice moved Preston into action and, after swinging up into the saddle, pulled his sister up behind him, and they started for home, leaving Levi to follow slowly with Sundance.
Dani had finished her supper, which would have been more than bread and butter in the kitchen had not Preston put his foot down and gently but firmly reminded his mother of what she herself had told Dani, and she was now seated in the family room telling about her adventure while Raymond bound her ankle, for she had twisted it in the tree. Preston could tell she had begun to think she was quite important because of the fuss being made over her, and he thought it was time that idea was changed. Before he could say anything, however, the door opened and Levi entered.
“How’s Sundance?” Dani asked eagerly, catching sight of him.
“She’ll be all right after a week’s rest.”
“A week! How can I survive without being able to ride her for a whole week,” Dani wailed. “Poor Sundance, she won’t like it either when I ride another horse and leave her behind.”
Preston cleared his throat. “You won’t be riding any horse at all for the rest of this month, Danielle.”
Turning to stare across the room at her oldest brother, Dani gasped, “Not ride?”
Levi leaned over Preston’s chair and muttered, “Don’t forget her chores.”
A very faint nod was answer enough for Levi, and he crossed to a chair to sit down and take off his boots.
“But, Preston,” Dani asked, “what about going to town?”
Her brother’s voice was quiet. “You’ll ride in the carriage with Mother and Natalie. And as soon as you are firmly back on your feet, you’ll be doing your regular chores and any others that Levi assigns until this month is over.”
This seemed too much for Dani and she burst out, “Extra chores! Preston, why? You can’t mean that—”
Levi opened his mouth to speak but Natalie leaned over and whispered something to him and then the two of them rose and slipped from the room, Raymond following as soon as he had settled Danielle’s foot on a stool.
Preston listened in silence to his sister’s protests until the others had left the room, then he interrupted. “Danielle, I mean every word I said. You have been late for supper four times this week alone, . . .”
“But—” Danielle started, but her mother’s hand on her arm silenced her.
“You have neglected your chores and then talked Raymond into helping you finish them, you frightened Mother and the rest of us by riding off into the woods alone, which you know you are not to do unless you have permission and,” he added, his voice slightly stern, “I haven’t heard you say you were sorry as though you really meant it.”
At that Dani burst into tears and flung her arms around her mother’s neck. “Oh, I am sorry, Mother, I am. I didn’t mean to make you worry, but please, please say I can ride as soon as Sundance is well. Please Mother! I promise I’ll never go into the woods again if you will.”
Mrs. Perry stroked the tangled locks of her youngest daughter and sighed. Why was it so hard to say no to her? Wanting some help, she looked up at the face of her eldest who had risen and was now leaning on the mantle, and as he shook his head firmly, she said, “No, Danielle. Preston has given sentence and I’ll not change it. You must learn to be responsible.”
Finding that her mother wouldn’t yield, Danielle tried to persuade her favorite brother to change his mind. Turning tear-filled eyes on him she began, “Preston, please—”
“Dani,” he interrupted. “I’m not going to change my mind. And if you put up a fuss about it, I may be tempted to do what was suggested to me and turn you over my knee. And I will do that if I ever hear of you neglecting your chores for pleasure again. Is that understood?” Preston hadn’t spoken sternly, but with a firmness which his sister knew and understood.
Swallowing back her tears, she nodded. With her eyes fixed on the floor she sat in silence for some minutes before she said in low tones, “I’m sorry, Preston. I know I shouldn’t have gone into the woods, but I just didn’t think. And then after I did think, . . . I just kept going. Will you forgive me?” She looked up.
The corners of Preston’s mouth twitched and he smiled. “Of course I will. Now you’d better tell Mother good night, and I’ll carry you up to your room. It’s late.”
As Mrs. Perry hugged her daughter, she heard her whisper, “I am sorry, Mother. Maybe this punishment will make me stop and think before I do something.”
“I hope so,” Mrs. Perry whispered back with a kiss.
What did you think of this story?
Do you think Dani deserved her punishment?
What would you have told her?