Who will win the battle of wills?
|Gentle is the hand that brushed the wind-blown hair from the urchin gazing up at her. No, this young daredevil set a new record. “You promised not to muss your clothes before church, Little One.”
“They made me. Said girls couldn’t keep up. But I showed ‘em. I beat ‘em all.” The frank declaration of a champion was evident in the curt bob of her head and set of her lip.
“Well, I guess you did show them, at the cost of your best Sunday-go-to-meetings. I do declare you will be the death of me one of these days, to that I can attest.”
Mable laughed merrily at Mother’s protestations. She did try to act like a lady, but it didn’t always work out so well. “Oh, mama, Preacher Simms don’t much care. He just wants butts in seats.”
“Daddy says it!”
“I know, but he knows better, too. Remember your manners and get to the carriage so we can get there somewhat on time. I do detest allowing Mrs. Markle to start her guilts on us.”
Bill waited patiently for his wife to arrange her skirts before flicking the horse’s rump. “Calm thee down, Wife. No one believes her witch’s tongue.”
“William Hanover, you mind your mouth. She is an elder, after all.”
“Eh-hm. Gid up.” The stead took off at a gentle cantor, picked up the scent and sound of others making their way to town, and its cantor built to a steady fast gait to catch up.
“Yippee!” Mother was not quick enough to clutch her hat to her head, but Mable was.
Papa looked back and smiled. “Nice catch, Daughter.”
Mable coaxed, “Make him go faster, Papa.” Mama stared at Papa and Papa stared at the horse’s rump, his fingers feathering the crop.
Dare. Not. William.”