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How to Return a Mail Order Bride

Genres: Fiction , Historical Fiction , History , Romance , Western

“Ma’am, I gotta tell you, there ain’t no rancher with the name of Henry Smithers. Not a Hank, either.  No Bar Double X or nothin’ sounding like it.”  Zeke hated telling this young woman these truths because with every one, he seemed to be pounding one more nail in her coffin.  “You’ve got the names mixed-up or someone led you on a very bad joke.”

            “But Sheriff Layton, Mr. Smithers wired me the train ticket with this message, right here.”

            He accepted the piece of paper with the telegraph company’s name plainly at the top. He read it out-loud in case there was any miscommunication.  “Miss Standish, Cincinnati, Ohio. STOP. Please consider the deal closed. STOP. Sending funds. STOP. See you in two weeks in Coller Creek. STOP. HS.”

            Folding the paper and handing it back, he said, “Well, Miss Standish, as I said I don’t have a man here in town by that name.  What does he look like?”

            Embarrassedly she glanced away. “I don’t know.  I was supposed to meet him and we were to be married at the Methodist Church before leaving for his ranch, the Bar Double X.”

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