The Conestoga wagon pulled to a halt. Deadwood – 75 miles. Lydia recognized the red slice of wood. Ilex verticillata – black alder or fever bush.
The words were carved into the wood and filled with flake white. Flake white, lead.
“If we don’t break another axel, we should be there in three days,” said Frank Newton.
“You just cursed us,” muttered Addy from the back of the wagon.
“You shut up, or I’ll put you out here!” growled Frank.
The baby mewled.
“Shut that brat up.” He swung and missed the child, hitting his wife in the mouth and splitting her lip. “Shit!”
“It’s just time for her to eat, Frank.” Lydia glared at her husband as she wiped the back of her hand across her mouth – a trail of blood and saliva.
“She’s always eating.”
Dear God in heaven, he’s jealous of the baby at my breast. I can’t imagine what he’ll do once the twins are born. Of course, she hadn’t told Frank she was carrying two.
Just as she hadn’t told the doctor her mouth filled with gall when he gave her the ‘blessed’ news.
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