Friday, October 08, 2010
Release date: March 2011
Center Point Publishers
The muddy North Platte River paralleled the train tracks and scattered buildings at Patterson's Siding. Mountains of firewood blocked Catherine Goodwin's view of the river, but as she and Race Hillyard strolled west, the river and bluffs behind it came into view.
To the south, short, dry, brown grass sprawled for miles across treeless, rolling prairie. Occasional wagon ruts recorded the direction of an intrepid pioneer.The morning sky flashed a deep, royal blue with high streaks of white clouds that looked like thick paint slung across the sky. A slight breeze drifted towards them.
Catherine's high, lace up brown leather shoe slipped off the gravel. She grabbed Race's arm. "Excuse me, Mr. Hillyard, I hope I didn't twist my ankle." She stretched her foot.
"You're just trying to butter me up for a loan."
She poked him in the ribs, then pulled her arm away. "You better be teasing me."
He reached over and slipped her arm back into his. "As long as the good Mr. Phillip Draper won't mind, I'm happy to assist a pretty lady on a walk."
"Hmmm. . .a compliment from Mr. Race Hillyard. Should I be suspicious?"
"I'd be disappointed if you weren't."
Catherine studied the faces in the train car beside them. "You know, yesterday I held you in deep disgust."
"Has that changed?"
"Yes, today I hold you in mediocre disdain."