Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sunday, August 09, 2015 - ,

Love on the Oregon Trail

by Abigail Armani
Published: Jun 24, 2015
Words: 36,352
Category: western, romance
Orientation: M/F
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Independence, Missouri, April 1848

"What?! Reuben?! You're going to stay here and marry Reuben Bolton?!" Rosalind stared at her sister in disbelief. "Like hell you are! I won't allow it!"

Jane tossed her head defiantly. "I am. He asked me and I said yes, and there ain't a thing you can do to stop me."

"Jane - you can't do this." The enormity of her sister's unexpected announcement would change everything. In that brief moment, Rosalind saw her dream of a bright future crumble into dust. "What about our plan?"

"Oh, stuff the plan. Life will be a great deal safer for me here in Independence as Mrs Bolton than it would be spending 160 days in a covered wagon, having to contend with Lord knows what dangers on the trail."

"But ... but we've talked about this for months ... planned it all. You can't opt out now. You can't! We're going to Oregon."

Jane's expression softened. "I'm sorry, Rosalind, but my mind's made up. It was a silly, harebrained scheme anyway. I don't know why we even considered it."

"Well we did consider it - most carefully," snapped Rosalind, "and planned things out to the last detail."

"Oh well - guess we'll leave the adventuring to others, little sister. Reuben says you can come live with us. There's a small room above the saloon earmarked for you. You'll love it."

"I will not - and if you think I'm going to live in some flea pit of a bordello, you're very much mistaken."

"It's a respectable saloon," sniffed Jane, "which my Reuben has turned into a fine and profitable concern." She lowered her voice. "And if there are one or two working girls plying their trade upstairs, so what? Reuben takes a slice of their earnings ... a mighty big slice. Think of all the fripperies and fine gowns we can have. Making do will be a thing of the past. I'll look after you, Rosalind, like I always have since Ma died. You listen to me now, I know what's best."

"Huh. You may think you know what's best for you, but you sure as hell don't know what's best for me. I can't believe this ... you must reconsider, Jane. What do you want to marry Reuben for anyway? He's old and fat and has warts on his nose."

"Oooh - he does not have warts on his nose!"

"Yes he does."

"No he doesn't."

"Does too. And if he's been sampling the charms of the likes of Pearl and Laura, he's likely got warts on another part of his anatomy."

"Why, you little ..." Incensed, Jane threw up her hands. "My Reuben has eyes only for me! Enough of this stupidity. There's been a change of plan, but you'll soon adjust to your new life."