Authors: Lori Wick
HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS
All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Except for well-established place names, all names of persons and places mentioned in this novel are fictional.
Music and lyrics for “My Rock, Refuge and Savior” by Timothy Barsness and Lori Wick. Used by permission.
Cover by Terry Dugan Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cover image © eStock Photo/PictureQuest
About the Author
is one of the most versatile Christian fiction writers in the market today. Her works include pioneer fiction, a series set in Victorian England, and contemporary novels. Lori’s books (more than 4 million copies in print) continue to delight readers and top the Christian bestselling fiction list. Lori and her husband, Bob, live in Wisconsin with “the three coolest kids in the world.”
THE LONG ROAD HOME
Copyright © 1990 by Harvest House Publishers
Published by Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon 97402
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The long road home / Lori Wick.
Sequel to: A Song for Silas.
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, digital, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America
05 06 07 08 09 10 11 / BC-MS / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
To my own
precious gift of God.
I’m so glad He knew I wanted you.
Seated side by side in the wagon, Silas and Paul Cameron headed to town. Though neither one knew when he would see the other again, the ride was strangely silent—or maybe it was because of that fact.
Paul knew his life would be changing radically in the next few months. Bayfield—his destination—was no quick trip home to Baxter. Baxter…having just been there, Paul wondered when he would see his family again. He said a quick prayer of thanks for being able to stop off in Neillsville, where Silas was staying. Otherwise he wouldn’t have seen him at all before going to his new job.
A bit of excitement shot through him at the thought of going up north. He had already spent a few weeks up there preaching and talking with the congregation, and then waiting for their decision. When they called him to be their pastor, he accepted, knowing that it was not a matter to be taken lightly. He had committed himself to preaching every Sunday, and there was no predicting which days he would be called upon during the week. As he finished up his visit with Silas, Paul was glad that they had given him permission to delay his start with them. Once in the pulpit, there was no foreseeing when he would be this way again.
“I wonder what’s going on. Everyone seems excited about something.” Silas’ voice cut through Paul’s thoughts and caused him to look around. The citizens of Neillsville did seem to be in a dither over something.
“Hmmm, I don’t know.”
They continued on to the station. Once there they both noticed the relative quiet of the train yard after the din of town. They spoke to no one, but comments came to them as they waited—something about a mob at the banker’s home because the bank had been robbing people.
Paul and Silas exchanged looks a few times but said nothing. When Paul asked Silas if he wanted to go now and check into the situation, Silas declined. “I’ll go after your train leaves. Maybe things will be calmed down enough by then so I can find something out.”
Paul’s arms went around his older brother, and the men embraced as the train vibrated to a stop. “Take care of yourself, Paul, and write. I’d like to meet Corrine.”
“You’ll meet her. As much as I’ll miss all of you, I can’t wait to see her again.” Silas laughed with understanding as the two men embraced.
Paul boarded the train and waved to Silas from the window. He then stowed his bag and settled into his seat. Within seconds his mind was on the woman waiting at the end of his journey, and he smiled.
Corrine Maria Templeton. Tall and very slim, she always seemed unbelievably fragile to him. Her skin was clear and pale, accenting her blue eyes—eyes that always held just a hint of pain, Paul thought. He wished she were beside him, and then smiled at the impatient thought. They couldn’t be together soon enough for him. He’d felt that way since the first Sunday he had preached in Bayfield and met Corrine at her aunt and uncle’s.
Just a few weeks ago Paul would have laughed at the idea of love at first sight, but something had happened that day,
there was no denying that. He was sure of what he was feeling, and once in Bayfield he would only have to see Corrine to know if he had mistaken the look in her eyes.
As the train increased in speed, Paul’s mind moved briefly to his finances. His grandmother had given him money for the train fare to Bayfield, and he had been very thankful.
“Maybe,” he thought to himself, “I should have told her how little money I have.” Almost as soon as the thought entered Paul’s mind, he dismissed it. He had enough to get where he was going. Once in town he had a home with Corrine’s uncle and aunt, Lloyd and May Templeton. They would take no money for his room and board, so Paul really had no pressing financial needs. He was especially thankful for not having to take work outside the church like so many pastors of small congregations.
The trip was a long one, and Paul changed trains more than once. Paul’s bag held his Bible and, when he wasn’t dozing or visiting with some of the other train passengers, he read. The train moved rapidly past scenery that was breathtakingly beautiful: rolling hills and valleys, grassy areas with little more than a few flowers, or dense areas of forest where trees, towering far into the sky, cast long shadows over the land.
By the time the train rolled into Bayfield, Paul’s long legs felt cramped. He was glad the Templetons lived uphill from the depot; he needed the exercise.
As he walked a sense of well-being overcame him, and he praised God from the depths of his soul. This was his town now. God would use him to reach out to this bay-side village and show them the way to Jesus Christ. He pictured Corrine by his side and felt as though God had placed the world at his feet.
“Oh yes,” Paul thought, as he walked up the steps of the home in which he lived, “Corrine and I are going to win Bayfield for God.”