Queen Of Swords Page 88

The smile widened. ’’Best you stay here then,’’ he said. ’’And see to our brave lads.’’

And he put spurs to his horse, and galloped off with his staff close behind him.

Chapter 65

The wagons pulled out into the street under overcast and rainy skies. Nathaniel Bonner drove one team and Runs-from-Bears the other, while Luke rode alongside the wagons on a sturdy horse. Jennet could look up at any time and see him there, his eyes narrowed as he kept watch.

’’The war is over for us,’’ she told him, and tried to believe that it was true. Jennet glanced at Hannah, who sat next to her father with young Nathan in her lap. Her complexion was drawn and stark with worry, and Jennet thought her own face must look much the same.

’’Where is he?’’ she asked Luke, for the tenth or fiftieth time.

’’Patience,’’ said her husband, and moved his horse out of the reach of her pinching fingers. To Jennet\s eye he looked more concerned than he would admit, and this kept her awake that first night, when they made camp under a clear and cold night sky.

On the second day they made camp after crossing into Mississippi. The women and children slept in the covered beds of the wagons;the men put bedrolls on the ground when they weren\ on watch. Jennet felt safe, but unsettled. Her mood subdued, watchful, reluctantly hopeful. She saw those same things in Hannah\s face.

By the light of the cook fire Jennet thought of the things she would say to Ben Savard if she ever saw him again. And if it meant digging him up to say those things, she would have that satisfaction.

When next Jennet looked up, he was there, standing behind Hannah.

Hannah saw Jennet\s expression and understood before she even got to her feet that everything had changed. It was in her smile as she turned and Ben Savard\s arms came up to draw her in to him. It was in their faces, full of light and promise.

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