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Authors: Al Lacy

The Tender Flame

BOOK: The Tender Flame
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OTHER BOOKS BY AL LACY

Angel of Mercy series:

A Promise for Breanna
(Book One)
Faithful Heart
(Book Two)
Captive Set Free
(Book Three)
A Dream Fulfilled
(Book Four)
Suffer the Little Children
(Book Five)
Whither Thou Goest
(Book Six)
Final Justice
(Book Seven)
Not by Might
(Book Eight)

Journeys of the Stranger series:

Legacy
(Book One)
Silent Abduction
(Book Two)
Blizzard
(Book Three)
Tears of the Sun
(Book Four)
Circle of Fire
(Book Five)
Quiet Thunder
(Book Six)
Snow Ghost
(Book Seven)

Battles of Destiny (Civil War series):

Beloved Enemy
(Battle of First Bull Run)
A Heart Divided
(Battle of Mobile Bay)
A Promise Unbroken
(Battle of Rich Mountain)
Shadowed Memories
(Battle of Shiloh)
Joy from Ashes
(Battle of Fredericksburg)
Season of Valor
(Battle of Gettysburg)
Wings of the Wind
(Battle of Antietam)
Turn of Glory
(Battle of Chancellorsville)

Hannah of Fort Bridger series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):

Under the Distant Sky
(Book One)
Consider the Lilies
(Book Two)
No Place for Fear
(Book Three)
Pillow of Stone
(Book Four)

Mail Order Bride series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):

Secrets of the Heart
(Book One)
A Time to Love
(Book Two)

This book is a work of fiction. With the exception of recognized historical figures,
the characters in this novel are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.

T
HE
T
ENDER
F
LAME
© 1999 by ALJO PRODUCTIONS, INC.
published by Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

Multnomah
is a trademark of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.,
and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

A
LL RIGHTS
R
ESERVED

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 prior written permission.

For information:
Multnomah Publishers, Inc.•Post Office Box 1720•Sisters, Oregon 97759
Library of Congress Cataloging–in–Publication Data

Lacy, Al.

The tender flame/Al and JoAnna Lacy.

    p.cm.—(Mail order bride: bk. 3)

eISBN: 978-0-307-87484-9

I. Lacy, JoAnna. II. Title. III. Series: Lacy, Al. Mail order bride series; no. 3.

98-53481

PS3562.A256T4     1999

813’.54–dc21

v3.1

With deep affection this book is dedicated to
Deanne Morris
,
wife of our beloved editor, Rod Morris
.

Thank you, Deanne, for your enduring patience as your husband’s
attention is drawn to our manuscripts when deadlines draw near
.
Thank you also for being a fan of our books … and
a cherished friend
.

With love and appreciation to you and your precious family—

AL AND JOANNA
2
T
HESSALONIANS 3:16

Contents

As for God, his way is perfect
.
P
SALM
18:30

T
HE
E
NCYCLOPEDIA
B
RITANNICA
reports that the mail order business, also called direct mail marketing, “is a method of merchandising in which the seller’s offer is made through mass mailing of a circular or catalog, or advertisement placed in a newspaper or magazine, and in which the buyer places his order by mail.”

Britannica
goes on to say that “mail order operations have been known in the United States in one form or another since Colonial days, but not until the latter half of the nineteenth century did they assume a significant role in domestic trade.”

Thus the mail order market was known when the big gold rush took place in this country in the 1840s and 1850s. At that time prospectors, merchants, and adventurers raced from the East to the newly discovered gold fields in the West. One of the most famous was the California gold rush in 1848–49, when discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, near Sacramento, brought more than 40,000 men to California. Though few struck it rich, their presence stimulated economic growth, the lure of which brought even more men to the West.

At this time, the married men who had come sent for their wives and children, desiring to stay and make their home in the West. Most of the gold rush men were single and also desired to stay in the West, but there were about two hundred men for every single woman. Being familiar with the mail order concept, they began advertising in eastern newspapers for women to come west and marry them. Thus was born the “mail order bride.”

Women by the hundreds began answering the ads, wanting to be
married and to make the move west. Often when men and their prospective brides corresponded, they agreed to send no photographs. They would accept each other by the spirit of the letters rather than on a physical basis. Others, of course, exchanged photographs.

The mail order bride movement accelerated after the Civil War ended in April 1865, when men went west by the thousands to make their fortune on the frontier. Many of the marriages turned out well, while others were disappointing and ended in desertion by one or the other of the mates, or by divorce.

As we embark on this fiction series, we’ll tell stories that will grip the heart of the reader, bring some smiles, and maybe wring out some tears. As always, we will weave in the gospel of Jesus Christ and run threads of Bible truth that apply to our lives today.

O
N
M
ONDAY
, J
ANUARY
18, 1841, the brightening sky over Montgomery Village, Maryland, was tinged with the opalescent hues of morning. In moments, the sun peeked over the horizon, sending bony shadows of the naked tree limbs across a layer of snow that had fallen early the night before.

As families throughout the village and the surrounding hills prepared for a new day, thin wisps of smoke floated reluctantly from chimneys, meeting the chill of the air.

Men who worked in Washington, D.C., and other nearby cities left their homes early, riding on horseback or in buggies. By eight-thirty, children were trudging through snow toward the schoolhouse at the south edge of the village.

At the Duane Reynolds home, Beverly Reynolds was making sure her two children—fourteen-year-old Lydia and twelve-year-old Billy—were bundled up.

Beverly tied Billy’s scarf about his neck and studied his black eye. “Your father told me that if you have any more trouble with those bullies, he’s going to talk to their fathers and see that something is done about it.”

On the previous Friday, fifteen-year-old Frederick Kendall and sixteen-year-old Gerald George had decided to walk Lydia home from school, even though she made it clear she didn’t want their presence. Billy, as usual, was walking with his sister and told them to leave her alone. An argument ensued, and Gerald punched Billy. The younger boy had fought back, but both of the teenage boys had pounded on him, giving him the black eye.

Lydia pulled a stocking cap over her light brown hair. “Mother, I hope Gerald and Frederick stay away from me; then there won’t be any trouble between them and Billy.”

“Well, if they do bother you again, just ignore them. I don’t want your brother getting in any more fights.”

Lydia picked up her schoolbooks. “They’re pretty hard to ignore, but we’ll try.” She placed a hand on her brother’s shoulder as he opened the door for her. “I appreciate my little brother protecting me.”

Billy, who was almost as tall as Lydia, stood a little straighter and said, “That’s what brothers are for, isn’t it?”

She gave him a mock scowl. “What about last summer when my brother put a june bug down the back of my dress? Was that protecting me?”

Their breath plumed in the frigid air as they laughed.

“There have to be a few exceptions,” Billy said. “Brothers have to have a little fun now and then.”

“So do sisters,” said Lydia, tucking her books under her left arm. She grabbed a handful of snow off the porch railing and flicked it in his face. “And that was fun!”

Billy had started to retaliate when his gaze fell on his mother, who was shaking her head.

“But Mom!” he protested.

“Son, she’s just paying you back.”

“That’s right!” Lydia said. “And now we’re even, William John Reynolds!”

“Ah, but William John Reynolds will have the last word. I don’t get even, I get ahead!”

Beverly laughed at her children’s sparring and said, “See you two this afternoon.”

BOOK: The Tender Flame
5.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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