Authors: Jenny Moews
A Dark Amish Night
(book one of the Dark Amish Series)
Copyright © Jen Gentry 2015
All rights reserved. This book or parts
thereof may not be reproduced
in any form without written
permission from the publisher
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents either are a product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,
business establishments, events or
locals is entirely coincidental
Author: Jenny Moews Gentry
Editor: Sarah Smith writing as Precarious Yates
Cover Designer: Fury Cover Designs
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A special thank you to some of the wonderful friends I have made on this journey to be a published writer. You are my go to people for encouragement when I am discouraged, advice when I am lost, cheers when I am accomplished, and a fire under my butt when I grow dim. So to all of you Samantha, Darlene, George, Sarah, Cindee, God Bless You!
To my team at the Christian Women Writers Club (CWW), You all are truly an inspiration. Your dedication to our cause is so much more than appreciated. I wish I could name you all out here but alas I only have so much room. You all know who you are.
To my Family who has to put up with all the nonsense a writer brings into the home. The crazy hours, the strange questions about guns and bullets and such, and those moments when you find me talking to myself as I try to work out a plot in my head. I love you all so very much.
Derek, Cory, Anna, Jarod, Heather, Emily, Kimberlee, Koll, and Killian, you all forever hold my heart.
To all my readers, God Love Ya! Because he knows I do.
And to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I am not worthy of You, but Praise be to You that You are mine and I am yours.
A note to my Readers
Thank you for purchasing my book A Dark Amish Night. That is the highest compliment a writer can receive is to have their work read by readers like you. A little known fact about me is that I am descended from German immigrants. My maiden name Moews is German for white seagull and is pronounced Maze. I have done a ton of research for this book in regards to the Amish (plain folk). What I learned was fascinating. The Amish are such dedicated and loyal people. They work hard and take joy in the simple things in life. Much to my surprise I learned that there are many many different sects of Amish and each sect has their own Ordnung (rules and bylaws). So each sect is unique and special in their own ways. The Amish here in Oklahoma are different from their cousins in other parts of the country. They have had to adapt to the difficult living conditions here. For example the Amish here use tractors because the land here is clay and is almost impossible to plow with horses. I have included some of what I learned about the Oklahoma Amish in this story. I pray you enjoy my work and please feel free to drop me a line anytime at [email protected]
A Dark Amish Night
A Dark Amish Night
“Ma, Pattie Sue’s comin’ up the road.” Ten-year-old Timothy knew his mother would not be pleased by another of Pattie Sue’s impromptu visits. For some reason, Pattie Sue always put his mother on edge. It was one of things he did not yet understand about adults, especially the womenfolk. He jumped off the slat wood porch and headed for the barn. His father was there and Timothy liked nothing better than to be in the barn working with his father doing menfolk work.
Hannah Hershberger watched her son head off to the barn through her front screen door.
It’s just as well. The boy should be with his father and let the women talk of women’s things,
she thought as she noticed Pattie Sue’s black carriage pull into her front yard. With a heaving sigh, she put on her most welcoming smile, straightened her prayer cap over her dark blonde locks and smoothed down her pinafore black apron over her gray dress, then went to invite her unannounced guest in.
Ruth Anne, Hannah’s three-year-old, was playing in the corner with wooden blocks her father had handcrafted and smoothed to a polished finish for his little girl.
“Ruth Anne, you stay here in the house while I go speak to Pattie Sue, all right?”
“Yes, Momma.” Ruth Anne looked up adoringly at her Momma and Hannah’s heart caught in her throat. At age three Ruth Anne was the most adorable toddler in the whole county. With her Daddy’s red curls and infectious smile everyone loved her. Hannah loved both her children with a passion that other Amish would consider ungodly. Shaking the awful notion from her head she opened her screen door and stepped out into the bright sunny spring day.
“Pattie Sue, we weren’t expecting you till next week. What brings you all the way out here and on Good Friday eve? Surely you must be swamped at the store today.”
“Milo’s covering for me. His wife is off visiting relatives and he needs something to do. I decided that today is just too fine a day for me to be cooped-up in the store. So I thought I would pay my dear friends, the Hershbergers, a visit and get some fresh air in the process. Besides, I got your flour and yeast order in early and I brought it with me.”
“Oh, that was nice of you, but really, you didn’t have to go through the trouble. Eric was planning on a trip to town later this afternoon to pick up some feed for the horses before the Easter weekend begins.”
Pattie Sue jumped down from her buggy. Even though it was an unseasonably warm spring day, the Amish matron was dressed in a full-length, long-sleeved black cotton dress complete with a black shawl and solid black pinafore apron. Her head was covered with a full black bonnet. As both women gathered the large bags of flour and yeast from inside the buggy, Hannah realized that Pattie Sue was planning on coming into the house. That meant she was here for an extended visit.
So much for getting all my laundry done today,
Oh well, maybe if it stays warm out I can hang it out to dry this evening.
Pattie Sue caught the unmistakable smell of fresh bread baking as she entered the house.
“Hannah, are you baking bread on Good Friday eve? Surely you and Eric are planning to honor the fast tomorrow?” There was that chiding tone that Hannah abhorred.
“Yes, Pattie Sue, Eric and I will honor the Good Friday fast. I’m baking bread to sell to the English. I have several orders and Eric will be taking them into town this afternoon.”
“Well, I must say I am glad to hear that you and Eric continue to honor the old ways. I would think that given your precarious financial situation that you would want to have the Lord’s favor in this matter.”
Hannah would like nothing better than to tell Pattie Sue to mind her own business, but that was not the Amish way. Instead she remembered that Pattie Sue was a lonely widow woman who had not only lost her husband, but her only son as well. Her two daughters had married and moved into an older sect of Amish up north in Ohio. And it was kind of her to bring out the much needed baking supplies.
Hannah scolded herself for being so ungracious. “Pattie Sue, sit down and let me fix you a cup of coffee. Ruth Anne, come greet Pattie Sue.” Hannah poured a cup of fresh hot coffee and sliced a generous portion of her famous apple strudel. She honored the matron by serving it with her best wedding china.
Pattie Sue stayed the rest of the morning, and despite the pleasant conversation, Hannah was relieved when she left. Eric came in for the midday meal with exuberant Timothy not far behind.
“So what did Pattie Sue have to say for herself? She must’ve had quite a bit to say as she wasted away your entire morning.” Eric sounded gruff and angry, but Hannah knew he was only teasing her. Eric understood exactly how Hannah really felt about Pattie Sue’s unannounced visits.
When Eric offered up the blessing over their meal, Hannah silently repented for her ungracious thoughts of Pattie Sue. She vowed to make the matron one of her special fruit and cream pies. Pattie Sue loved pie. If she hurried, Eric could drop off the pie when he went into town.
After a hearty lunch of baked chicken sandwiches served with Hannah’s thickly sliced fresh bread and loaded potato salad Eric declared himself full then went out to hitch the horse to the buggy for the ride into town. Hannah quickly threw the ingredients for the fruit-cream pie together and was glad she already had pie crust cooling on the counter. She topped the pie with fine crushed black walnuts and placed it in the freezer to set before she gave it to Eric to take with him.
Hannah’s parents along with Eric’s father remodeled the old farm house as a wedding gift for Eric and Hannah. The electric range and double door refrigerator were the only modern appliances in the house. As New Order Amish the family was allowed to have electricity and running water in the home, but Hannah insisted on doing her laundry and dishes by hand. She and Eric considered this their chosen way, the Amish way. She would always be thankful for what she had and happy that she and Eric continued to be content with their chosen lifestyle. Even if times were trying right now with the continued droughts throughout the Midwest, especially in Oklahoma, the Lord always provided. Hannah’s little family never lacked for necessities. Money was tight, though, and every penny Hannah made selling her baked goods was used to help put food on the table.
Eric had a real talent in woodwork and his handcrafted furniture sold well at the showroom in town. Still, Eric was a farmer at heart, and even though he hid it well, Hannah knew he worried. Each harvest for the last four years, their crops withered on the vines in the harsh drought each summer.
Dearest Father in heaven let the drought cease and bless our crops this season.
Hannah prayed quietly to herself as Eric brought the buggy around to the front of the house. She would hold onto hope,
“Be sure to drop that pie off at Pattie Sue’s first thing, Eric. I packed it in ice, but I don’t want it to melt, okay?” Hannah finished loading the fresh loaves of bread for Eric to deliver to her English patrons in town and placed the pie on top to remind him to take it to Pattie Sue first.