These characters don't belong to me, of course. There are also some characters that come from my previous stories Kentucky Rose and Valley of the Shadow. Please read and review, and this particular story is still in progress because . . . well, I've got a lot of laundry I need to finish. . .
The early morning light was just spreading across the sky, as Daniel Boone stepped out of his cabin. He crossed over to the axe and began to chop up some kindling for Becky. He hadn't noticed that Katie had followed him outside.
"Pa." She said softly.
He jumped startled. "Gracious, girl. You are the quietest thing! I didn't even hear you come out."
"Sorry, Pa." She looked down. He smiled at her.
"Was there something you wanted to talk about?" He asked her, gathering a pile of kindling to bring inside.
"Well, yes," She hesitated. He smiled at her. Sometimes it took Katie awhile to decide what she wanted to say.
"I'll tell you what," He said. "I'll take this inside to your Ma while you think a mite, and then I'll come out and we can have a chat." She smiled and nodded.
He carried the wood inside and stoked the fire. Becky was singing as she made breakfast. The whole house smelled wonderful, and he was sorry that he hadn't suggested they talk after breakfast.
He snuck up behind his wife and distracting her with a kiss, he snatched a biscuit.
"Ow!" He said, his fingers burning.
"Serves you right!" She said laughing. "Sit down and I'll fix you a proper plate."
"Can't right now. Seems Katie and me, are having a chat outside." He kissed her again and taking the biscuit with him, he walked to the door.
"Something wrong?" She asked.
"Dunno. Guess I'll find out." He put his hand on the door, but paused looking at her smiling. "Did I mention that I'm mighty glad you are back home?"
"I think you did." She said smiling back.
Katie was where he'd left her sitting on the stump. He broke the biscuit in half and gave it to her.
"Now, then, you are looking mighty serious. Did you fall in love with some boy while you and your Ma were visiting your sister?" He smiled at her.
She laughed, "Pa! No!"
"Well, that's a relief then. I'm not to fond of my daughters getting married off and leaving me."
"I just was wondering about something." She hesitated. "Andrew loves Jemima, doesn't he?"
"I certainly hope so, seeing as how he married her." He looked at her carefully. "What are you wondering about? If you wanna have a chat about love and such, you might considering talking to your Ma, she's much better about that."
"No, Pa, I can't. I was just thinking. When we visited with them. You could tell that Andrew loves Mima because of how he treats her. They are happy together. And I was just wondering if that's how it is for all married folks?"
"Well, now, I don't know about other married folks. I imagine there's some that are happy and some that aren't. The lucky ones are happy, and it is good to know that Jemima's happy. But I don't imagine she would marry someone she didn't love. What are you fretting about?" He could tell she was troubled, but sometimes words were difficult for her. She spent a good many years in near silence. He waited patiently.
"I don't think my father loved my mother." She said quietly.
"Oh," He said gently. "I'm real sorry to hear that."
"Don't tell Ma. I don't want her to be sad. But I've been thinking about it for a long time. I didn't know married people could be happy - not 'til I came here. And then I thought that maybe that's just how it was for you and Ma. But Mima's just as happy as you are."
"You were pretty young, Katie. Maybe you aren't remembering things clearly. It was a long time ago."
"No, my father came from a family that was wealthy, but they lost all their money. I think it made him angry. He was ashamed of my mother because she had been bound. He used to tell her to keep quiet all the time because he didn't want people hearing how uneducated she was. He used to make her cry."
Daniel felt sick. He glanced at the cabin. Katie looked at him. "It was hard at first, to be here. Ma looks so much like my mother, and I used to try to not really look at her. But then after awhile I realized she actually looks very different from my mother. Ma usually looks happy, and my mother always looked sad. It was hard because it was so different too, and I was always afraid of Indians. But most of the time it was hard because of how much better it was. It makes me feel guilty when I think on it. I'm happier. You love Ma, and don't care a whit about her being a bound girl. And she loves you, and is never happier than when you're home. You'd never make her feel ashamed."
"No," He said horrified by the thought. "Your Ma's the best woman I know. I'm still shocked she said yes to me." He reached out and gathered Katie into his arms, sitting down on the stump with her on his lap. "I'm glad you told me, Katie. It is better if you talk about things, rather then keep them tucked up tight inside. I'm sorry about your mother and father. And I am glad that you are happy here with us. Why, sometimes I feel guilty too, because I'm proud to be your Pa. But I couldn't have become your Pa without them dying. I couldn't imagine you not being here with us."
She snuggled in close and kissed him on his cheek. "I hope when I get married that I find a good man like you."
"And I hope you don't get married for another twenty years." He smiled at her. "C'mon. Your Ma will be wondering what's become of us."