It was times like these that Mingo elected to make himself scarce. "I'll wait for you at the fort." He said quietly trying to leave as quickly as possible.

"You'll be waiting a long time!" Rebecca shouted after him furiously. She stormed back into their cabin.

Daniel gave Mingo a weary look. "I'll be along shortly." He turned to the cabin with a sigh following her in.

He had hoped that the children were around, but being wise they had disappeared. She had stormed back to the table where she mercilessly kneaded a helpless pile of bread dough.

"Becky, it has to be done. You know it does." He decided to see if reason and firmness might be his best approach.

"Of course it has to be done. It always has to be done! And it always has to be done by you!" She was furious. One thing he could count on, when Rebecca was angry, he knew it.

He couldn't really blame her. He had, in fact, been home precisely two days when he'd gotten the message. He had been gone for nearly a month - a week longer than he told her originally, and now he had to leave again. Truth be told he'd only been home a week when he'd left for the month. Looking at things from her point of view, it seemed a bit unfair.

She was stormy now - muttering to herself. He sat back and watched her, and didn't really listen to her words. He'd heard them before and no doubt, he'd hear them again. Trying to join in the argument and reason with her at this point would only make it worse. He'd been married to her long enough to know that sometimes she just had to say it and say it loudly. To be honest, he secretly thought she looked beautiful when she got angry. Her blues eyes would light up, and she'd wave her arms around, and invariably her hair would wrestle free and hang down. He smiled thinking about it and watching her.

It was a mistake to smile.

"You're smiling? Daniel! I can't even believe you! You're laughing at me?" She stopped talking. That was never a good thing. She continue to work, making the bread, silent, angry.

"Rebecca," He said softly. She refused to look at him. "Rebecca." He said again.

"Don't Rebecca, me" She responded.

He moved closer to her so that he was standing directly in front of her. "Becky." He said again.

She stopped, and he could see she was fighting tears.

"Fine." She said. "You're right. It needs to be done and there's no other man in all of Ken-tuck who can do it."

He had learned long ago that she sounded the angriest, when she was the most afraid. He figured it was her way of fighting her fears. And seeing as how he'd given her a million reasons to be afraid, he was willing to accept her anger.

"I'll be back in two weeks." He said gently. "In plenty of time to bring in the corn." He waited.

"In two weeks, I'll be a widow." She fumed. "And I just want you to know, I don't expect to be one for very long. You and I both know that Mr. Hallicheck fancies me, more than just a little!"

He smiled, "Well, you do look beautiful in black."

"Don't you forget it! He's not the only one either. Maybe I'll just put on my best black satin and head to Philadelphia. There's plenty who wouldn't mind marrying me!"

"Come to think of it," He said. "You look beautiful in everything. I imagine, you'd find yourself a new husband right quick." She glanced down, hiding her face, but not before he caught her blush. Wisely, he kept his smile to himself this time. He reached out and put an arm around her. He was relieved that she didn't pull away or flinch. She kept her eyes lowered so he couldn't quite see them. He knew she was crying now.

"Rebecca." He said it softly. She threw her arms around him then and cried into his shoulder.

"Please, don't go, Dan." She whispered. "I don't want to marry anyone else."

He laughed and pushing her away so he could look into her eyes he said, "Well, I'd appreciate it greatly if you didn't." He looked at her silently. Her blue eyes were filled with tears and she was trembling. Pulling her close, he whispered softly, "Don't cry, hon. I'll make out alright. I always do. I'll come right straight back home to you. I promise it. Probably nothing will happen but some boring talk, and if anything does come of it - you know Israel's a better shot than any of those lobster-backs." He patted her back reassuringly.

She buried her face in his shoulder, crying. "I don't know what I'd do." Her greatest fear released in a near-whisper.

"Rebecca Boone, I'm coming back to you, so you don't have to worry about it. Don't borrow trouble, love. It will be just fine." He said nothing more and simply held her tight while she cried. After a few minutes she wiped her eyes and started to gather supplies up for him.

She handed him his bag and tried her best to make her face look happy. "I'll just wait here for you then." She said.

He pulled her into his arms then and kissed her. It was probably a mistake because in general, kissing her made him forget just about everything but her. He was already later than he intended and Mingo was waiting. . . After a bit, he released her and said, "I'll be back. Just two weeks, that's all. I promise it." She nodded and holding onto his hand, she walked him to the door.

They walked to the edge of the porch and he put his arms around her one last time. He took a deep breath in and steeled himself to walk away from her - never an easy task. She was looking up into his eyes. "Be careful, Dan." It was what she usually said. It was too hard for her to say anything else.

He turned to go, saying nothing as he usually did, but looking at her, and knowing how scared she was, he turned back to her and said the truest words he knew, "I love you, Rebecca."

Her blue eyes grew wide, and tears spilled down her cheeks. She nodded her head and started to speak, but he interrupted her, saying "You can tell me when I get back." He winked at her and turned and walked away.