PatienceBold RiderPatience''s story begins with an unspeakable event as she approaches the age of sixteen. On her own, except for her horse, Logan, she is no easy victim. She capably picks up her daddy''s deer rifle, mounts her pony and takes revenge.Raised by a father whose words were spare, she too, chooses her words carefully, unless visceral reaction overcomes her. Like her dear "Pa," her aim is true, her seat in the saddle superb and her code of honor set in cement. When circumstances show her there are other ways of being, she is ultimately able to weigh the right and wrong of it in order to adjust this code.In her observance of men and their world, modest Patience slowly discovers the innate power of her gender and instead of discarding it, or succumbing to it, she plays her card well, with results which, like a new toy, amuse her and charm the recipient.Patience is part alter ego and part my antecedents; part truth and part fiction. She lightly brushes her tattered petticoats along the fringes of 1860 history on her journey of action adventure and self-discovery. Blessed with a good and moral heart and her magnificent Morgan stallion; extraordinary skills and a proud and reckless daring, she pays a dear price for her independent and stubborn nature.Like her young country, she comes to value freedom above all. But this is not a time when women were allowed to roam freely in a savage new man''s world. They were chattels and vessels of new life. One misstep brought rejection by society, danger at every turn and a devastating loneliness.In spite of this, it seems a quintessential and logical choice to Patience. No drudge to a man, and no terrors of the childbed for her. Now if she can just resist the enigmatic Kade...for one.PatienceAs they approached the pitch of the Missouri riverbank, she hauled Logan in hard, dropped from the saddle and looked over the narrows in front of them. On the opposite bank was a small figure in some sort of distress. She got back on the pony and urged him forward, cautiously picking the way down and out into the rocky shallows. They crossed slowly so as not to bruise Logan''s hooves, he not minding the cooling experience in the least. As she drew closer, she hesitated. It was a man, albeit a slight one, and his arm seemed broken. Cautiously, with an eye to any surprises, she continued step by step toward the figure she now decided was actually a boy about age sixteen, like herself. Jauntily, Logan sidestepped in a way that displayed himself to best advantage, as though to dazzle any random mares or hostile stallions about. Outside of barns, humans were of small interest to him now, but humans meant mares were around, too. Patience drew her rifle out and rested it gently and, she hoped, casually, across her saddle horn for easy access.Closer they drew, until, "Haloo!" and the young man''s good arm shot up in greeting. The smile seemed genuine. She halted about thirty feet from where he sat and sent him an "Haloo," back."I need some water real bad Missy. The sand shifted under my horse, I hit the rocks and my pony kept on going.""Looka here, he continued, pointing to his red shirt with pride, "I''m Pony Express!" She could now see he was older, but small, like a jockey - suitable for a Pony Express rider.Impressed by his occupation, if not his skill at it, she threw her water tin his way and took in the "uniform." It was a red plaid shirt, a yellow scarf, a brown vest, blue jeans and a brown western hat."How long ago you lost your pony, sir?"Twenty minutes about," he replied.Pony Express, she thought, with a mind to be a little show off-y herself, knowing plenty about ponies. She wheeled Logan to the East up the shifting bank, which he gained with no trouble at all, to the old wagon road and did a half spin and rear, making her scalps fly. Nudging her heels into the pony''s flanks, she was after the rider less horse with a twenty minute handicap. The fallen rider''s mouth was still open in mid-word when
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