Read Ashes and Ice Online

Authors: Tracie Peterson

Tags: #ebook

Ashes and Ice

BOOK: Ashes and Ice
11.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

ASHES
and
ICE

ASHES
and
ICE

T
RACIE
P
ETERSON

Ashes and Ice
Copyright © 2001
Tracie Peterson

Cover design by Jenny Parker

Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the King James
Version of the Bible.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438

Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 978-0-7642-2379-2

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Peterson, Tracie.

Ashes and ice / by Tracie Peterson.

       p. cm.—(Yukon quest ; 2)

ISBN 0-7642-2379-8

1. Married people—Fiction. 2. Alaska—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3566.E7717      A9         2001

813′.54—dc21                                     2001002507

BOOKS by TRACIE PETERSON

www.traciepeterson.com

A Slender Thread
 • 
I Can’t Do It All!
**

What She Left for Me
 • 
Where My Heart Belongs

A
LASKAN
Q
UEST

Summer of the Midnight Sun

Under the Northern Lights

Whispers of Winter

T
HE
B
RIDES OF
G
ALLATIN
C
OUNTY

A Promise to Believe In

A Love to Last Forever

A Dream to Call My Own

T
HE
B
ROADMOOR
L
EGACY
*

A Daughter’s Inheritance

An Unexpected Love

B
ELLS OF
L
OWELL
*

Daughter of the Loom

A Fragile Design

These Tangled Threads

Bells of Lowell
(3 in 1)

L
IGHTS OF
L
OWELL
*

A Tapestry of Hope

A Love Woven True

The Pattern of Her Heart

D
ESERT
R
OSES

Shadows of the Canyon

Across the Years

Beneath a Harvest Sky

H
EIRS OF
M
ONTANA

Land of My Heart

The Coming Storm

To Dream Anew

The Hope Within

L
ADIES OF
L
IBERTY

A Lady of High Regard

A Lady of Hidden Intent

A Lady of Secret Devotion

W
ESTWARD
C
HRONICLES

A Shelter of Hope

Hidden in a Whisper

A Veiled Reflection

Y
UKON
Q
UEST

Treasures of the North

Ashes and Ice

Rivers of Gold

*
with Judith Miller
**
with Allison Bottke and Dianne O’Brian

TRACIE PETERSON is a popular speaker and bestselling author who has written more than seventy books, both historical and contemporary fiction. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.

Contents

Part One

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Part Two

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

Part Three

CHAPTER TWENTY TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY ONE

Part One

MARCH 1898

   When thou passest through the waters,
I will be with thee; and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee; when thou
walkest through the fire, thou shalt not
be burned; neither shall the flame kindle
upon thee.

I
SAIAH 43:2

—[CHAPTER ONE]—

“FIRE!”

From somewhere in the deepest recesses of Karen Pierce’s slumbering mind, she heard the word, yet she failed to make sense of it. Licking her lips, she tasted the acrid smoke in the air and felt a burning sensation in her lungs.

Something didn’t seem right, but in the world in which she found herself, Karen slipped deeper and deeper into darkness. With an indescribable weight pressing her down, she was helpless.

“Fire!”

It was that word again. A word that seemed to have some sort of importance—urgency. Karen struggled against the hold of sleep. There was something she needed to do. Something . . .

Then a scream pierced the night, and Karen felt a chill rush through her body. The cry sounded like that of her young charge, Leah Barringer. Now realizing that some element of danger existed, Karen forced herself to awaken.

Groggy and barely able to comprehend the need, she teetered on the edge of her cot. Drawing a deep breath, she coughed and sputtered against the bitter smoke.

Fire!

Her heart raced. That word. That was the word she had tried to figure out—the word that made all too much sense now.

“Aunt Doris!” she called, choking on the thick air. Karen pulled on her robe and tried to feel her way through the darkness to the door. “Aunt Doris, wake up! There’s a fire!”

Karen knew her elderly aunt slept not four feet away, but in the blackness, Karen could see nothing. With burning eyes and lungs that ached to draw a real breath, Karen pushed herself beyond her fear. Her hand brushed the door and finally the knob. Both were hot to the touch, but it didn’t stop Karen from deciding to survey the situation beyond her room.

As soon as the door was open, an assault of more hot, smoky air bombarded her face. Flames engulfed the interior room, and panic immediately gripped her. Frozen in place momentarily, she thought she saw a figure moving through the fire. A big, broad-shouldered figure. Surely her mind played tricks on her.

“Karen! It’s me—Adrik.”

The voice was muffled, but nevertheless welcomed. “The children!” she called.

“I’ll get them,” he yelled above the crackling of the flames. “You have to get out of here. The whole store is on fire. Come on. Now!” His command alarmed her more than the sight of the fire. The urgency was clear.

“I have to get Aunt Doris.”

Karen turned back to the room and saw her aunt straining to get up. “Aunt Doris, we have to hurry. The building is on fire.” With the intensity of the smoke, Karen could barely make out the older woman’s form.

Coughing, her aunt replied, “Hurry, child. Don’t wait for me.”

Karen took up the Bible by the stand at the door. It was all that she had left of her mother and father. Only a few months earlier her father had succumbed to illness himself while nursing and ministering to some of the sick Tlingit Indians. Adrik Ivankov, their trusted family friend, had set out to bring him back to her and Dyea for better care, but God had other ideas. Karen was heartbroken at the loss.

“Hurry, Aunt Doris,” she begged again. “The flames are already blocking a good portion of the room. We will have to run through the fire in order to get to the door.”

Doris bent over in a fit of coughing before recovering momentarily. “Wrap a blanket around you, child.”

Karen nodded and struggled to breathe. She felt panic anew wash over her as she sensed her body was no longer reacting as it should. Her movements were labored, her thinking less clear. She pulled the blanket from the bed and covered her head and shoulders. It seemed like the process was taking hours instead of minutes.

“Here,” she said, taking hold of her aunt’s blanket. “Let me help.” She secured the wrap, then kept a good hold on the blanket. “Come on. I’ll lead the way.”

Stepping into the interior room was akin to stepping into a furnace. The feeling of panic and desperation mounted. They had to get out now!

Flames licked at their blankets as Karen pulled Doris to safety. She stepped out into the alleyway and gasped for fresh air only to find the smoke had permeated the air there as well.

Wracked with coughing, Karen collapsed to her knees and might have fainted but for the strong arms that lifted her and carried her to safety.

She fell back against Adrik’s strong chest, desperate for air . . . questioning whether she would live or die.

“Aunt . . . Doris . . .” she gasped as Adrik lowered her to the ground. “Jacob . . . Leah?”

“I got the kids out. They’re over there being tended to by the preacher,” Adrik replied, pushing back Karen’s unruly curls.

She looked up at him and saw the fear in his expression.“You saved us,” she whispered, then fell into another fit of coughing.

Adrik gently grasped her about her arms with one hand while pounding her back with the other. “You’re full of smoke,” he said, as if she hadn’t already figured it out.

Regaining control, Karen nodded. “Help me up, please.”

He did as she asked, supporting her firmly against him. Karen’s knees wobbled. “Where’s Aunt Doris?” she questioned, looking up at the burning building. Several men were fighting to keep the flames under control. Panic began anew. “Where is she?”

Adrik looked around. “I never saw her.”

Karen tried to head back to the building. “I helped her out. She was right here with me.”

Adrik shook his head. “No, you were alone.”

“I had hold of her . . . I . . .” Karen came back to the spot where she’d fallen. Doris’s blanket lay on the frozen ground.“I had hold of her blanket.”

Adrik saw where her gaze had fallen. The light from the flames made it easy enough to read the expression of her rescuer as Adrik raised his eyes back to hers.

“She’s still inside,” Karen said, barely able to speak. She jerked away from Adrik as he reached out to take hold of her. “Aunt Doris!”

“You can’t go back inside. The place is ready to collapse,” Adrik stated firmly. He took hold of her and refused to let go.

BOOK: Ashes and Ice
11.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Indestructible by Angela Graham
Vampire Charming by Cassandra Gannon
That Old Black Magic by Rowen, Michelle
A Flash of Green by John D. MacDonald
The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas
All Monsters Must Die by Magnus Bärtås
The Bridge by Gay Talese
The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer