She read the last lines aloud, as much to strengthen herconviction as to assure hersel she’d said the right thing. “ ‘Iwill be all right. Please don’t send anyone ater me. I’m not
certain where I’m headed, but I assure you I can take care omysel.’ ”And she could. Lacy had a little money and a lot o know-how. She was a good horsewoman and a crack shot with the
rife. There had been no reports o highwaymen since the
weather had turned so bad the past month. There would always
be the threat o wolves, but Lacy could contend with them ishe had to. That let only battling the elements.
Hurrying downstairs, Lacy grabbed a ew items o ood and
stued them into her bags along with her clothes. I a blizzardcame up beore she gured out where to go, she’d be able towait it out. She pulled on her heavy coat and scar and securedher fannel hat. Her last act was to grab matches, a small tinpot, and a canteen rom the back porch.
Blackness enguled Lacy as she slipped rom the house.
Within another hal hour or so her amily would wake up tostart their day. The long hours o darkness didn’t stop or even
slow lie when it came to caring or livestock and seeing that the
community had access to the store. Lacy was glad there wasn’t
a stage due in or out. The weather had reduced the numbero trips being made to Gallatin Crossing, and given Gwen’s
condition, that had been a very good thing. There would be no big breakast to prepare and serve. No abundance o laundryto wash.
Lacy sighed. She elt she ell short even when it came to
doing her part at Gallatin House, the roadhouse she and her
sisters operated. She had done minor repairs and some o theheavier work ater their ather was killed, but now that Gwen