In the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory in 1874, a Captain of the U.S. cavalry must choose between two ways of life...and two very different women.
Will this stoic Cavalry Captain find the peace and happiness he craves?
Will this stoic Cavalry Captain find the peace and happiness he craves? Captain Jeffery Hunter's assignment was all but completed in the Black Hills, just about very Indian was rounded up and now on a reservation. The task itself was most distasteful to Jeff, perhaps it was time to resign his Captaincy and become a civilian again.
He had not been home to England in over 11 years, he did take a leave after the Civil War ended and went home for a few months. But he longed to return. Perhaps now it was time to go home permanent.
Jeff looked up at the sky, it was starting to hail. Perfect. Jeffrey Hunter came to America in 1860 and joined the Army, longing for adventure. He soon found it, caught in the middle of the American Civil War. But he stuck it out, much to his parents horror back in England, who frequently wrote him and begged him to come home and take his proper place in society.
But Jeff reveled in the wide open spaces of America and the open and honest way of the American people. It was getting rather nasty out, if only he brought his hat! But the small trip to Lead took longer than he thought. He was on the road from Lead to Deadwood when he came across a rather ramshackle abode, there was a young woman standing in the muck, crying quite piteously. She seemed oblivious to the stinging hail and cold rain. Jennie Palmer could not take anymore. She was alone with her daughter Grace out in the middle of no where, only 2 scrawny roosters left on the whole property. Even the laying hens were gone. She had only a few pennies left, nothing to sell, no credit left at the merchantile. She was at the end of her rope.
Where could she go? She looked over at the grave of her husband gone these 5 months. She had no family in the area, she was quite alone...her despair finally overtook her, and she wailed. Jeff tethered his horse General to the fence. "Excuse me ma'am, is there anything I can assist you with?"
Jennie stopped crying long enough to look up, it was a cavalryman. Her eyes were blurry from the rain and crying, she couldn't quite make out his face or his rank.
"It's nothing...it's everything..." She stated ruefully.
The storm was getting worse.
"I wonder if you would be so kind to let me take shelter until this storm passes, do you have a barn I can put my horse?"
Jennie could not get over his speech, the accent. Such a commanding voice, use to giving orders no doubt, but kind as well.
"I am sorry, the barn fell down long ago. You may take shelter sir, such as it is." Jeff had a good look at the young woman, she was dressed in rags, thin, drawn and weary looking.
A crack of thunder snapped behind them. "We had better go in then." Jeff said softly. "It seems to be getting worse."
Jennie led the soldier into her small cabin. Jeff stepped inside the cabin, there was a few sticks of furniture, mostly rotted. He looked up at the roof, at least it was not leaking, at least for now.
In the back of the small cabin was someone lying on a makeshift bed. "My daughter, Grace. She...she is not well, she has caught a chill."
No bloody wonder...it was freezing in the cabin even though it was late September, it was getting cold at nights. Jeff glanced over at the stove, when was that last lit? He walked over toward the bed. Lying on some filthy straw covered in a moth eaten blanket, was a pretty young girl whose breathing was ragged and uneven. A disturbing rattling sound rumbled deep in her chest.
"How long has she been ill, Mrs...Mrs..."
"The name is Jennie Palmer, and she has been ill for 3 days." Jennie said worriedly.
"I am Captain Jeffrey Hunter. Would you allow me ma'am, to try and get a fire going?"
Jennie shrugged wearily. "You are welcome to try, I could find no wood." Jeff ran outside, the wind had picked up, he felt bad for General, being out in the elements, but his horse was used to it. He would give him extra care when they got back to Deadwood.
He managed to find a few sticks of wood that were not too wet. He ran back in, shaking the excess water off his coat. "It will be warm in here in just a few moments."
"I...I can't thank you enough, Captain." Jennie's voice trembled. Jeff pulled up a chair. "As soon as it lets up, I will go fetch Dr. Corbett to look at your daughter."
"No! I...I can't afford it, Captain, I cannot even offer you a crust of bread, or an apple for your horse." Jennie exclaimed.
"Where is your husband ma'am, is that his grave out back?" Jeff asked gently.
Jennie nodded, biting her lower lip.
"You have been alone since?"
Jennie nodded again. "I tried, but, we didn't have much to begin with. I had a small vegetable garden, but we ate everything, also we had eggs, but we had to eat the chickens...Bill used to pick up a few odd jobs in Lead, but...but since he died..." Jennie flushed, shame over her state of wretched poverty covered her from head to toe. "There is no one to assist you at all?" Jeff asked.
Jennie shook her head. She wiped her eyes and looked at the Captain more closely. Dear heaven he was imposing, and very good-looking. 'Jennie, stop admiring the man like he were a prime-rib steak.' she admonished herself. She flushed again, and looked away.
"You must allow me to assist you Mrs. Palmer. As soon as I get back to Deadwood and fetch the doctor I will bring you some much needed supplies." Jennie began to protest. "I will hear no argument, ma'am." Jeff said firmly.
Jeff began to think of Clara, the woman he was seeing socially. He had only just met her at the church social...a stark contrast to this poor unfortunate woman... Jeff remembered back to a few days ago, when he had bid on Miss Clara Wilson's picnic basket. The young ladies put up their baskets to raise money for the new church. There was some mighty heavy bidding on Miss WIlson's basket, but Jeff had won. Took almost a half-months salary.
They shared the lunch in quiet solitude, she seemed nervous.
Jeff cleared his throat. "You can feel autumn in the air," he declared. "A certain crispness I daresay." Clara sat down next to Jeffrey. "Let's start fresh, Miss Wilson. I am pleased to meet you, I am Captain Jeffrey Hunter of the 8th Cavalry."
Clara smiled slightly. "Pleased to meet you sir, I am Miss Clara Wilson."
"There, that wasn't too hard! All politeness on both sides! Even a common soldier can reach down and be civil when the moment calls for it." Jeff smiled.
"I would hardly call you a common soldier...you are a Captain. You must have a great deal of responsibility, your men to look out for." Clara said.
"I am curious Captain, your accent, not from around here?" Clara questioned sweetly.
Jeff smiled again. "Alas, no. I am from England. I came here some years ago looking for adventure, I certainly found it, I daresay."
"You must have seen a lot of the country." Clara marveled.
"Yes, perhaps too much. I wouldn't want to bore you with my many adventures. Not suitable for a young lady's delicate ears at any rate. I must confess I am becoming weary of it, I have been in the army over 15 years..." Jeff stated.
Clara looked over at Jeffrey. 15 years!
He must be well into his thirties! She could see the tiny lines that fanned his eyes, the deep creases in his forehead, that wonderful mix of grey in his hair and beard. Clara moved a little closer to Jeffrey. She caught a faint whiff of his enticing shaving soap, it was very pleasing. She loved the look of him.
Jeffery for his part, was becoming quite interested in the enchanting Miss Wilson. Jeff stood, reaching down for Clara's hand to assist her to her feet. She slipped it into his, the contact immediate and heated to Jeff.
"I rather enjoyed our picnic, Miss Wilson. Perhaps we can see each other again, I could take you for a ride, this Sunday afternoon. I can hire a carriage at the livery..." Jeff asked hopefully.
"Oh dear..." Clara sighed. "I am afraid I really do not like horses Captain. Not one bit. They smell. They...frighten me."
"I will protect you, I will find the gentlest horse in town, and hopefully, the beast will not smell too much." Jeff teased.
"All right Captain, I place myself in your hands..."
"...did you hear me Captain? I can't thank you enough for all you have done." Jennie said firmly.
Jeff snapped back to reality. When the storm had let up, he went for the doctor and brought back some supplies. Mrs. Palmer made a quick bite for them. "It was my pleasure ma'am." Jennie Palmer smiled, for the first time in months. Thankfully the Doctor said Grace was not seriously ill. With plenty of food and warmth and rest, she would recover, and thanks to this Cavalry captain, they had enough wood and food to last for a couple of weeks.
She almost felt as if she wanted to cry. Jeff stood suddenly. 'I really must be going, my horse General needs attending to. I should get back to my men. I thank you for the shelter during the storm."
Jennie looked up into his handsome face. She felt a wave of disappointment roll through her over his departure. "You more than paid for the shelter. Again, thank you Captain." Jennie went over to the window and watched Jeff Hunter walk out to his horse. She sighed.
He stopped for a moment, turned and looked back at her.
Jennie nervously raised her hand in farewell.
Jeff swung himself into his saddle with effortless grace and headed toward town. Sunday afternoon rolled around, and Jeffery did indeed hire a horse and buggy, and as promised, took Clara Wilson for a ride on the outskirts of town.
They exchanged a few pleasantries, and as the afternoon wore on, Jeffrey came to a startingly conclusion, Miss Clara Wilson was vapid, vain and he was soon to find out, mercenary. They were in the middle of a discussion of wealth. "But it is important Captain! One cannot have true contentment in life without a cushion of money! Where is the pleasure of scraping out a meager living on the land? It wears you out, ages you before your time! No, I will have no part of any farm or ranch. I hate farm animals. I plan to marry rich, there is no reason I cannot get a rich, influenial husband, and I will find him!" Clara declared. Jeff could not believe what he was hearing. His thoughts immediately went to Jennie Palmer and her young daughter Grace, scraping out an existence on her muddy piece of scratch. Aging before her time.
He wondered how they were making out. It had been a little over a week since he had taken shelter in the cabin... Jeffrey turned and looked out the window. And hang it if he was going to tell Miss WIlson that he was a rich and propertied man, that as the youngest son of a Viscount, he had a large estate back in England. An estate he was thinking of returning to, maybe with a new bride...an American one.
Clara continued her narrative, but Jeffrey heard nothing. He was deeply disappointed. Serves him right for being bewitched by a pretty face. Jeff stopped the buggy and they took a bit of a walk together. A Good stretch of the legs, Jeff told her. Frankly, he just wanted the change of scenery, hoping she would change the subject away from money, and the fripperies money can buy.
Her conversation was growing quite tedious. After awhile, they took a seat in the grass. Birds trilled a pleasant tune in the nearby trees.
Jeff did not know what to say. This was not turning out as he had hoped. She seemed so sweet and modest at the picnic. It was a shame, really. Her cool beauty was indeed breathtaking, she could be a glorious woman. But something was lacking. A heart, perhaps? Jeffrey was not sure.
"So Miss Wilson, it is a rich husband or no one. What about love? What if you met some lowly dirt farmer who touched you deeply, you would walk away from a life of love and desire for the comfort of money?" Clara sighed. "Love is not enough, what good is love if one is starving? I think it is overrated, anyway."
Jeff could not stop himself, he laughed out aloud. Surely she must be joking.
"I am in deadly earnest, Captain." Clara sniffed.
Jeff snorted. "Spoken by a person who has never been in love, I daresay. You Miss Wilson, have no idea of which you speak. Life would be desolate indeed, if there were no love in it."
"And what of you Captain, do you know of what you speak? You have been in love?" Clara asked.
"Yes...I was once. I came to America to forget her. She too, threw our happiness away with both hands to choose a man who was titled and very rich. My parents wrote me of her, she is miserable. All that money and prestige did not bring her happiness in the end." Jeff whispered. It was the first time he had spoken of his heartache aloud to anyone.
Jeff helped Clara to her feet. Now it seems he is attracted to another mercenary woman, or are they all like this? Jeff was conflicted. Clara's beauty mesmirized him, yet her personality froze his heart.
Again, his mind drifted to Jennie Palmer, lovely despite her weariness and poverty. Was she too, mercenary at heart? Regardless, he cupped Clara's chin and leaned in to kiss her. He just wanted to see if her lips felt as soft as they looked.
He barely touched them, when Clara winced and pulled away. "I don't like being kissed, Captain Hunter. I find it vulgar and unsanitary." Clara grimaced.
Jeff looked into her face, it was twisted in disgust. God's blood, this woman was an icicle! "Then you have been kissed before I take it?" Jeff snapped, a sharpness to his voice.
"A few times, I found it most unpleasant. I...I would like to go home now, Captain." Clara said softly.
"Of course, without delay." Jeff said coldly. After Jeff dropped off Miss Clara Wilson, he swung by the merchantile to pick up some more food stuffs, piling it in the buggy next to him, he headed out toward the Palmer's Cabin.
It was the neighbourly thing to do, he told himself. He also wanted to see if the child had recovered from her illness. Jennie Palmer came out to greet him. "Captain Hunter! I did not expect to see you again! How wonderful!"
Jeff smiled. The young woman seemed genuinely pleased to see him. He motioned to the buggy. "I have brought some more food, where can I store it?"
Jennie tried to protest, but Jeff would have none of it. He stored the flour and corn and potatoes in the cabin. He also brought her a couple of laying hens so they could have fresh eggs.
After emptying the wagon, he came in to find the child, Grace, sitting next to the fire. Jeff had a good look, she seemed much better, far healthier than he had observed last week. He shuddered to think what would have occured if he had not happened by. Would the child have perished?
"Thank you Captain..." Grace said quietly. Jennie stepped in the cabin, looking around at the sacks of food. "You have done too much, Captain."
"Nonsense, I have no family here in America, let me help you out a little, it will gratify me greatly. Perhaps I can help you obtain some work of some kind, I can ask around in town..." Jeff offered. Jennie thought a moment. "Well...I can sew..."
"Excellent!" Jeff smiled. "I will ask in town. See? Things are looking up already. It is not all hopeless. And your daughter is recovering nicely." Jennie looked at the Captain, she smiled slightly. Such a gentleman. She could not help it, he was affecting her. Poor Bill not dead these 5 months and here she was admiring another man.
But she could not help it.
It was if he was a guardian angel that appeared just for her. Jennie politely offered that the captain stay to supper, but he declined. After saying good-bye to Grace, he went outside to hook the horse back up to the buggy.
Jennie stood inside the cabin for a moment, then ran outside. "Captain, wait!" She stopped in front of Jeffrey Hunter. What could she say that had not already been said? She thanked him, expressed her gratitude.
"Please do come and see us again..." Jennie said softly. "I would like to prepare a nice meal for you. I know Grace would enjoy your company..."
Jeffrey impulsively reached out and caressed Jennie's cheek with the back of his hand. "Just Grace?" he whispered huskily.
Jennie's cheeks flushed furiously under his touch, that heat traveled through her entire body.
Jeff did not pull away his hand, he continued to stroke her cheek, looking at her intensely. Her skin was soft, pleasing.
"I...I would be pleased to see you again as well, Captain..." Jennie said breathlessly.
"Then I will come...name the day."
Jennie gulped. "Next...next Sunday?"
Jeff smiled, a slow, lazy seductive smile. "I will be there." A few days later, Clara Wilson sat in the small garden outside her home that she shared with her preacher older brother and spinster older sister.
She could not stop thinking of her ill-fated buggy ride with the handsome captain. What had she done? She shrank from his innocent kiss, speaking far more bluntly than she intended, she was horrible, not the impression she wished to leave with him.
Clara sighed deeply as she watched her dog Tippy dig in the grass. But why did she care what Captain Hunter thought of her? She did speak the truth, she wanted a rich husband. She wanted a life of comfort and priviledge. Following the drum as a Cavalry Captain's wife certainly did not appeal.
But the man himself...did.
Clara's coffee grew cold.
She decided suddenly she wanted Jeffery Hunter to pay court to her. For she heard gossip at the merchantile that Jeff Hunter was buying sacks of food, and trying to find some strange woman work. What was he up to? Who was this woman? Clara was determined to find out... The next night, Jeff took a long walk around the barracks of the small fort. He thought of both women, both had their appeal. Despite the awkward way they ended their Sunday buggy ride, he was still attracted to Clara Wilson, something about her cool beauty. He could see her as the lady of his English estate, his parents would approve, no doubt.
Clara would fit in with English society and the drawing rooms quite easily. What about Jennie Palmer? He admonished himself for taking such liberties with her, caressing her cheek in that manner. But he could not deny the feelings that rushed over him when he did.
Why did he have to choose between either woman? He could just walk away from them both, continue his career in the Cavalry, not bother going home to England. It would break his parent's hearts, but it was his life.
He shook his head, no. He had enough of Army life. It was time to return home, and start a family. His older brother would inherit the Viscount title, but he did have a duty to his family nonetheless. He would make his choice...soon. Clara decided not to waste a moment. She made her way out to the small outpost where the cavalry was temporarily stationed, begging her brother to take her for the ride. She was quite pleased to find Captain Hunter there, and they went for a walk, winding up not far from the nearby lake.
She poured on the charm and grace, ensnaring Jeff afresh. He soon forgot his reservations from the previous week. Clara in hushed, gentle tones, apologized for her abominable behaviour on their buggy ride. "Truly Captain, I must have seemed horrible, a greedy, grasping woman. I am moritifed."
Jeff listened to the seemingly heartfelt apology. But something deep inside picked at him, that her words lacked conviction...truthfulness. Clara reached out and touched his arm, the wool of his uniform tickling her fingers, she began to stroke his arm, feeling the muscles tighten underneath her touch.
Kiss me...she murmured to herself. Kiss me now... It was if Jeff had read her thoughts, for he pulled her close and kissed her hard. This time she did not shrink away, Clara still was not keen, but she forced herself to endure his embrace, his kiss.
The longer he kissed her, the more she thought that maybe this was not so bad after all. Jeff at last pulled away. The kiss certainly affected him, how he was not sure.
He gallantly kissed her hand, promising to call on her soon.
She seemed to enjoy that show affection more than the kiss itself.
Jeff, sighed, she was so beautiful... Ever since Jeff left, Jennie went through the next few days attending her chores, but her mind never left the handsome English Captain.
Her cheek still throbbed from his gentle caress. Dear heaven, what had gotten into her?
As if a proper English gentleman, an officer, would look twice at her. Sunday arrived at last, Jennie went to her trunk and took out the one dress she had left that wasn't torn, moth-eaten or stained.
Putting on a fresh, crisp apron, she began to prepare the Sunday supper.
Her heart began to leap in her chest, waiting for Jeff to arrive. She had hardly slept the night before. She had made an apple pie, with some of the apples Jeff had brought. The cabin was filled with the aroma of cinnamon, apples and fresh pastry.
Jennie had not been able to cook like this in months, it was giving her great enjoyment.
As she began to prepare the meat, she heard a sharp rap at the door. Wiping the flour from her hands, she made her way to the door, her knees knocking under her petticoats.
Jennie opened the door, her breath almost caught at the sight of him, he looked so handsome, the cool breeze ruffling his hair, his open shirt, showing the muscled plains of his broad chest.
Jennie gulped deeply. Get control...
Jeff took a seat next to Grace, who now seemed fully recovered. Her cheeks had colour in them, as did Jennie Palmer's.
Jeff watched Jennie as she moved briskly and efficiently around the kitchen area.
She looked different today, was it the different dress, the fact she did not look so weary or pale? "Captain Hunter, do you like apple pie?" Grace asked shyly.
"I do, I can smell it, I cannot wait to have some." Jeff smiled.
"Do you have apple pie back in England?" Grace asked.
"Not really, sometimes we have apple dumplings." Jeff replied warmly.
"England is a long way away, Mama said so. Are you going back there?" Grace inquired. Jennie froze, waiting for his reply.
"I have been away from my home a long time, I have been thinking of returning." Jeff said quietly.
Jennie felt as if a knife had been deftly plunged into her heart.
"Supper is ready..." she announced sadly. The meal was delicious. If there was one thing Jeff loved, was the simple meat and potato meals Americans seemed to prefer. Beat yorkshire pudding or kidney pie in his mind.
And home cooking...the slop he was usually served at the barracks did not even come close to this. Pleasant conversation broke out at the table, Jeff found Grace to be a sweet child, she certainly spoke her mind, and had a keen curiousity. She soon had Jeff smiling and laughing.
Grace dominated most of the conversation, he found Jennie strangely quiet. Jeff in turn regaled Jennie and Grace with some humerous stories of his life in the Cavalry.
Suddenly, Grace asked, "Can we come with you to England?"
Jennie gasped aloud.
"Grace my dear, you shouldn't say such things. Captain Hunter cannot take us to England. It is not proper. Finish your supper like a good girl."
Jennie was inwardly mortified. What must Jeff Hunter be thinking? That she was walking around the cabin wistfully speaking her dreams aloud to her daughter?
She felt her cheeks begin to flush from embarrassment.
Jeff looked at Grace, whose lower lip was now quivering, then at Jennie, who was blushing and looking down at her plate.
The thought had crossed his mind, marrying Jennie. He would have a ready-made family. It would rescue them from their wretched circumstances.
But Clara Wilson's beautiful face kept appearing... Jeff complimented Jennie warmly on the meal. The apple pie too. He could not remember when he had eaten so well.
"Why don't we take a walk, Mrs. Palmer. We can do the clearing up later." Jeff smiled.
It was a beautiful early summer evening, they walked, side by side, chatting amiably, then soon found themselves back in front of the cabin.
Jeff put a hand on her shoulder. What would become of this kind woman and her sweet daughter if and when he returned to England?
Maybe he could bring them with him, she could work at his estate, or his parents.
He admonished himself for his snobbish thoughts, because she was poor, she was only good for a servant? Jeff pulled Jennie into his arms and kissed her quite thoroughly and deeply.
She immediately responded, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him with equal vigour.
No...Jeff thought to himself, not as a servant. He groaned aloud...this was a devastating kiss. Jeff stepped back, Jennie was looking at him quite frankly, her eyes soft, her lips still red from his passionate kiss.
"Jennie...I...I..." he was at a loss for words. If he was confused before, now he was only more so. He smiled at her. "I should not have done that, but I am glad I did."
Jennie returned his smile. "I am glad too...Jeff."
He liked her saying his name, a warmth rolled through him. He had to go before he did or said anything else. He promised to come by again soon. The next day, Jeff went over to Clara Wilson's, he had to see her, talk to her, to get a few things straight in his mind.
He soon found himself before her brother, the preacher, who asked Jeff some pointed questions on his intentions. "Do you intend to marry Clara?"
The question was direct and to the point.
Jeff thought he should be just as direct. "No, I guess not."
And in speaking it aloud, Jeff found he was speaking from his heart, as much as Clara's looks appealed to him, he really did not want her for his wife.
Jeff heard a gasp, Clara had stepped into the room, just in time to hear Jeff's declaration.
"Clara gave me a different impression, she told me you took liberties with her." The Reverend huffed.
Jeff felt his cheeks flame in anger. "I took no such liberties, I merely kissed her..."
"I do not know how you act in England, but here a kiss is only exchanged between a couple that is betrothed. That was not the act of an officer and a gentleman." Reverend Wilson admonished. Jeff turned to Clara, she looked in turns, angry and hurt. He closed his eyes in shame.
Perhaps he did give her the wrong impression, but he knew now, that Clara, for all her ravishing beauty, was not for him.
"Please forgive me, Miss Wilson, I did not mean to trifle with your feelings. I will be leaving for England in 2 weeks time, I wanted to come by and say farewell, it was an honour to meet you." Jeff said quietly. He took her hand and brushed his lips over it. "You are a very beautiful woman, someday, you will find what you are looking for. Heed my advice Miss Wilson, money is not everything. Let your heart be able to recieve love where you may find it, even if it is a lowly dirt farmer."
Jeff gallantly bowed over her hand and left the house. He knew now what and whom he wanted... Jennie Palmer was doing her chores, scrubbing furiously at her stove, when she heard the sharp nicker of a horse, not just any horse, she knew deep down, it was General, Jeff's imposing black stallion.
Her heart leapt in anticipation, what was he doing back here so soon? Her insides were fluttering as madly as the few monarch butterflies that gathered in her front yard. It was Jeff!
She smiled warmly and walked toward him. "Good Afternoon Jennie..." he smiled. "I hope you do not mind that I came unannounced. I wanted to ask you a question..."
Jennie breath caught in her throat. "Of Course Jeff..."
"I wonder how you would feel, being a cavalry Captain's wife..." Jennie ran into his strong arms. Oh, only in her dreams did she imagine this happening.
"Yes Jeff...Oh yes..." she whispered.
Jeff pulled her closer. "It won't be an easy life, could wind up in a remote outpost, it will be rough, maybe dangerous. I would understand if you and Grace did not want such a life."
"Oh Jeff, we would follow you anywhere, as long as we are with you..." Jeff did not let Jennie finish her sentence, his kiss silenced her. He knew he made the right decision, this wonderful woman was just the type of wife he was looking for, honest, sweet, hardworking...and to his great surprise, he found he had fallen for her.
She would follow him anywhere...his heart soared. Jeff stepped back. "Would you follow me to England, my love? You and Grace? I am leaving the army for good and returning home. It will be quite the change, but I promise you can put your personal touches on Werry House..."
Jennie arched her eyebrow. "Werry House?"
"Ah...I neglected to tell you I am quite well off, the youngest son of a Viscount. Werry House is my estate. Marry me? I have fallen quite deeply in love with you, Jennie." Jennie began to sob, she buried her face in his broad shoulders. "Dear me, I did not expect that response..." Jeff laughed gently.
"I am just so happy...yes Jeff...I will marry you! I love you too, I think I did from the start, the day of the hail storm..." Jennie cried.
Jeff laughed and spun her around. He found her, the woman of his dreams, his heart, and she was glorious, did not care if he was rich or not.
His choice was a wise one...
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