Read What Once We Loved Online

Authors: Jane Kirkpatrick

Tags: #Historical Fiction, #Fiction, #General, #Christian, #Religious, #Historical, #Female friendship, #Oregon, #Western, #Christian fiction, #Women pioneers

What Once We Loved

BOOK: What Once We Loved
5.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Praise for
What Once We Loved
“Masterful storytelling continues in this real-as-rain portrayal of the Oregon-California 1850 s frontier. Big-hearted heroines face past and present challenges with unswerving dreams and hardscrabble labor. Eventually, their faith and friendship triumph over daily struggles and wrongheaded past decisions… A compelling tale.”
—Craig Lesley, author of
The Sky Fisherman
Storm Riders
“Jane Kirkpatricks
What Once We Loved is
a mesmerizing tale of strong women in a heart-breaking time. A priceless story not to be missed!”
—Angela Elwell Huntauthor of
The Note
“Fascinating, courageous women in a beautiful, yet challenging setting come full circle in their lives and loves together, making this the crowning glory of the Kinship and Courage series.”
—Randall Plattauthor of
The Cornerstone
Honor Bright
“I am proud to hand-sell this incredible series on a daily basis.
What Once We Lovedbr'mgs
our eleven frontier women to their final purposes. Again Jane weaves their individual stories together with tenderness and great compassion. Following these women along their historical paths has been a powerful journey.”
—Robin PowersSt. Helens Book Shop
“Jane s characters live on the page.
What Once We Loved
is a book that draws the reader in to lie in a cool stream on a hot day—first your toes, then your knees… Before you know it, you are swimming and the book becomes impossible to put down.”
—Linda Hallauthor of
Sadies Song, Katheryns Secret
, and
Margarets Peace
Praise for Books One and Two
in the Kinship and Courage Series:
All Together in One Place and No Eye Can See
“Rich in detail,
All Together in One Place
is the compelling story of a band of pioneering women as told in Jane Kirkpatricks unique style. Here is the journey west as women saw it—burdensome and often cruel, yet not without moments of compassion, love, and humor.”
—Jack Cavanaughbest-selling author of
While Mortals Sleep
The Puritans
“Come enjoy Jane Kirkpatricks
No Eye Can See
, a novel that captures the rich historical path of eleven women pioneers. A new life awaits, one that will require courage, love, and faith even greater than the journey west. They are building for themselves and their families a place to call home.
No Eye Can See
comes alive under Jane s pen, a tapestry of faith woven together in beautiful words. It is a book that should not be missed by those who want to feel and breathe the journey west to settle a new frontier.”
—Dee Hendersonaward-winning author of The O'Malley Series
“No Eye Can See
breathes with authenticity, nourishes with its depiction of women of courage, and inspires with its simplicity. It is truly an expe rience in faith and hope.”
—Patricia Lucas Whitebest-selling author of
Edwina Parkhurst, Spinster
“No Eye Can See
is a poignant story of compassion, courage, and tender relationships. Rich with hope, it spoke gently to my heart.”
—Alice Grayeditor of the Stones for a Woman's Heart series
All Together in One Place
No Eye Can See
Mystic Sweet Communion
A Gathering of Finches
Love to Water My Soul
A Sweetness to the Soul
(Winner of the Wrangler Award
for Outstanding Western Novel of 1995)
A Burden Shared

This book is dedicated to
my brother, Craig Rutschow:
a man who chooses to stay within reach
of his wife, his children, his faith, and his kin.

The women of
All Together
    in One Place
Mazy Bacon, a dairy farmer
Suzanne Cullver, a former
    Clayton and Sason, her boys
Tipton Kossuth, a newlywed
Sister Esther Maeves, a cleaning
    lady and attendant to
    Suzanne; former contractor
    for mail-order brides
Ruth Martin, a horsewoman and
    auntie to Jason, Ned, and
    Sarah, and mother to Jessie
Elizabeth Mueller, Mazy s
    mother and a baker
Lura Schmidtke,
    a businesswoman
    Matthew, her son
    Mariah, her daughter,
    a young horsewoman
Adora Wilson, a shopkeeper
    Charles and Tipton,
    her son and daughter
The surviving Celestials:
    Mei-Ling and her daughter
    Naomi and her daughter
Additional characters
Chita, housemaid
    to Nehemiah and Tipton
Angus Flaubert, an actor
Seth Forrester, a white-collared man
Gus Grotefend, Shasta City
    hotel owner
Nehemiah Kossuth, Crescent City
    packer, husband of Tipton
Burke Manes, a Jacksonville area
    farmer and pastor
Michael O'Malley, a former
    pit boss and miner
Joe Pepin, the Schmidtkes' teamster
Sterling Powder, tutor
    to Clayton and Sason
Zane Randolph, a.k.a. Wesley
    Ruths husband
Matthew Schmidtke, a cattleman
David Taylor, mail carrier
    and Mazy s stepson
Grace Taylor, David s sister
Oltipa Taylor, a Wintu Indian
    woman, wife of David
    Ben, her son Estella
“Esty” Williams, a milliner
Thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Where, except in the present, can the Eternal be met? C. S.
Christian Reflections
If you always do what you've always done,
You'll always get what you've always gotten.
Context Associates

Fall 1853

Whipped-cream clouds danced across a stage of blue before an audience of oak. Shadows softened the suns glare on the water, allowing Ruth Martin to peer beneath the rivers surface. She'd seen that wily trout. Today she'd catch him without getting her feet wet.

She retied the bent sewing needle at the end of the butchers twine. California morning sun glinted on beads of water dotting the wet string like pearls. “Just one more little nibble and I'll have you,” she said. Firm yet slender as a whip handle, Ruth sat astride her horse. Old miner's pants covered her legs. Jumper, her horse, wiggled his ears, lifted a back leg to scratch at a fly, splashed when he set his hoof down. “Don't lose concentration now, Jumper,” she whispered, more to herself than the horse.

Certain the needle was firmly attached, she flicked the willow fishing pole and watched as the breeze picked up the string, then set it and the makeshift hook adrift along the riffle. A reddish leaf broke loose from a willow, gentled in the stream following her line to the shaded pool. She eased the hook across the water. Waiting.

She'd have to head back soon. She still had pack boxes only half filled. Flannels needed steaming and hanging, and the wagon wasn't nearly loaded. Then there was that Joe Pepin to contend with. The
wrangler'd said he'd take them north, but he'd been acting scarce of late. Still, Ruth Martin could make it happen on time. She was sure. She just wanted to bring in this last big trout before she headed back. Astride Jumper, she could do it without getting wet. She smiled.

BOOK: What Once We Loved
5.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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