Story Grace, Mercy and Blessings


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The small somber group that assembled on the knoll and dug the grave for TJ did no talking. Heavy hearts and anguished spirits worked silently. Toby deferred to Seamus to do the speaking over the body, he and Rennie held on to each other in a tight embrace, heartbroken.

Rennie felt a load of guilt for the way she had thought about TJ; still, there was no way she would have let him hurt her other two children; no matter what the circumstances were.

Toby had heart pains for the way TJ had started life and the care his folks had given to nurture and bring TJ to the capability the youth finally had.

Seamus watched the couple, correctly reading the regrets they were exhibiting in their demeanor. All the time that the men took turns digging the grave, Seamus was praying for guidance from above. He was asking if he should reveal the truth to Toby and Rennie, or did his Heavenly Father want him to give a standard service.

When Seamus's mind said standard service, there was a wash of peace in his mind, and Seamus felt he had his answer. Very gently he quoted scripture, omitting any reference to the devil and his hold on the child. Seamus closed the service and wished mightily that he had his pipes to play the funeral dirge, his heart wanted to share.

Instead, Seamus started singing in his Scottish way, the song a haunting mélange of lost love and opportunities; the thick brogue undistinguishable words a fitting end to the occasion.

The group walked back to the settlement and Toby and Rennie lifted their hands in thanks to the kin that had gone with them. Turning away, they walked into their house and shut the door, holding and hugging Barry and Lyric in tight embraces.

Pricilla had come from Phoebe's bedside to stay with the two kids, and she said "God Bless," and walked out, leaving the stunned and grieving family to comfort one another.

Meanwhile, back at the Seamus and Phoebe homestead; four kids were crowded in Phoebe's bedroom, admiring their new brother and sister. They all had a hundred questions, which Phoebe carefully answered, including them all in the introduction.

"What 'er we gonna call them?" was the most pressing question, and Phoebe put them off by saying, That Seamus needed to give his input on names for the new babies.

"Huh," Punky wasn't impressed one bit. Susian was thinking they weren't any good or of any use, too small to play with and all they did was sleep and yell.

Max smiled his angelic smile at Ma Phoebe and the babies and patted Ma on the arm. "I think they are beautiful," he praised. "You done good Ma."

Phoebe had to bite her lip, but she managed a straight face as she accepted Max's good wishes. "Thank you Max, I think we are going to be the best family ever; just look at the wonderful kids we are starting out with."

"Yeah, we kinda are, aren't we?" Calvin enthused, "we got the best Ma and Dad also."

Seamus opened the back door for Pricilla and they both walked in, in time to hear the kids praise their parents and the new additions.

Cilla nodded her approval and went to start supper for the happy crew. Seamus walked in to a barrage of questions about the new babies names, and the family sat and talked, bonding together all the more tightly.

Andy helped skin and quarter the buck and one doe, taking a half of the doe home with him. It was surprising to find his home neat and clean, but no sign of Judy; until she happened to look up and see Andy leading his horse into the barn.

With a shrill cry, she dumped the triplets out of her lap and went running for the dividing fence, practically sailing over the wood pass over and straight into Andy's arms. Hugging tightly, Andy looked over her head and smiled in relief. His heart deep sigh was the release of his tension and worry. The small sigh Judy exhaled, was her own release of pain and worry. Each one thinking, they were going to make it over this bump in their road.


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Mr. and Mrs. Milo had a beautiful baby girl. "Do you have a name picked out?" Milo asked, holding Honey's free hand while she cradled the new baby with her other arm.

"I do have a name I want very much, but we need to talk about it. it's unusual, different and very representative of our life and time here." Honey stopped explaining, waiting for Milo to process her words.

Milo was silent thinking, and then finally said, "Ok, tell me what you are thinking.'"

"I want to call her Blessing Mila Linderman, and call her Bess for short." Honey was her usual direct self. "This baby is the blessing I wasn't sure we would ever have, and Mila is the feminine of Milo, as a way to honor you and your strength in this family."


"If you are completely against it, we can work on a compromise," Honey didn't know what else to say; Milo's response wasn't quite what she had expected.

"Actually, I was thinking we needed to name this baby Honoria, as a tribute to the unique legacy of your heritage. I have a feeling this child is going to be your 'mini-me' and she should carry on the tradition of the name Honoria. What if we named her Honoria Blessing Linderman?" Milo offered.

"Ahh, actually I had forgotten about Dad telling about the tradition of Honoria, but what about including Mila after Blessing?" Honey felt sleepy and smiled at Milo, impressing him all over again why he had fallen in love with her.

"That sounds like a splendid idea," Milo spoke softly, as Honey's eyes closed and she nodded, satisfied with the deal. Milo left his wife and daughter to rest, and headed for the kitchen.

Robbie and Ricky were waiting in the kitchen, looking like they were orphans, drinking water and sitting at the table looking glum.

"A girl," Ricky lamented, "a girl of all people, Dad how could you and Ma have a girl? I suppose she's gonna be a horrible, spoiled princess and we'll get blamed for every thing that goes wrong."

"What if she turns out to be as spoiled as you are?" Milo challenged his youngest son.

"Welllll, I'm not as spoiled as she's gonna be," Ricky stoutly defended himself.

Milo snorted his disbelief. "Don't be too sure you're not horribly spoiled, and we are going to be changing that part of your personality. You will be changing your attitude," Milo stressed, "and how much it's gonna hurt is up to you."

Ricky didn't say any more, but had a mulish expression all over his face. Robbie folded his arms on the table and ducked his head to smile at his brother's discomfort.

With a quiet word to Clora, Mark left Tess's place and hurried to their house. He wanted to bring one of the urns up from the basement and examine it in the sunshine. He wasn't interested in bringing Wyatt in on the deal and hoped Clora and Tess could keep the sheriff busy for a while.

Tess asked for help moving several of the pipe panels that delineated the stalls in the barn. "If you would give me a hand, I can help with the other end," she asked sweetly.

Wyatt was frustrated, he was curious about what Mark was up to, but he was also captivated by Tess and her personality and actually was willing to help.


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I have macular degeneration in my right eye, a situtation that was unexpected as there was no sign of the problem in March. Unfortunately, I have to limit eye strain, of which the Dr. has said computer time is stressful.

So, chapters will be short, but the story will march on.


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Glad to see you are back, Pac! But sad to hear about your eye problems!

My dh has had three eye surgeries so far, so I can empathize with you. Hopefully a surgical cure can be had for your problem, too.

Thanks for the new chapters. It's nice to read that the families are starting to find some peace after so much hardship. Now.....whatever is up with the urns........

Sneaker 11

Thanks so much for your drive on attitude Ms Pac. I will add my prayers as well. I don't recall the name of them but there is some excellent vitamins that can aid with that. Thanks again for your writings as you are a true blessing to your fans.



Retired, practising Curmudgeon
I have macular degeneration in my right eye, a situtation that was unexpected as there was no sign of the problem in March. Unfortunately, I have to limit eye strain, of which the Dr. has said computer time is stressful.

So, chapters will be short, but the story will march on.
I had the same, sudden diagnosis and ended up w/ new lenses implanted as the situation was actually cataracts in both eyes. Good news,I don't need glasses or contacts to drive. Bad news; still can't read music.
I know; bad joke but, in fairness, I never promised to be funny.
Anyway I've been led to believe it's a somewhat common mis-diagnosis but either way, nothing to fool with. Obviously we want you to do what's best for you; sell-serving of course because that will be best for us....being honest there.

Seriously though do what's best for you & yours and we'll be quite happy with what you can give us and you, be happy; at our age, sudden vision issues can be indicative of other major issues on the horizon; not very damn many of them are good.

Take care of yourself ma'am and thank you for everything thus far.
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Wyatt helped Tess reconfigure the horse stalls in the large barn. When they had finished, he leaned on the top rail and casually mentioned that by the end of the week, the three of them needed to be on their way to the Patriots meeting. "As soon as we show up and register, I can put in the paperwork to have the extra acres added to your farms. The way the mares are cropping the grass so short, it won't be long and you will need to supplement with hay."

"This has been an amazing, yet confusing spring." Tess was honest. "I'm going to ask you if you have any additional questions concerning the unusual way TJ was killed, or if there is something you don't quite understand?"

"How about all of it?" Wyatt was equally as direct. "I honestly don't feel that I can file my paperwork and have it list cause of death, as the devil. I saw with my own two eyes the bite marks and the fatal one to the throat. I saw and smelled the ring of Sulphur around the boy's body. I saw the cuts from the broken window glass, consistent with the kid going through the window. I looked at the room and the bloody knife the boy had in his hand, I saw the damage to his sister's hair and the bruises on his siblings arms. I listened to Toby's explanation of how his second wife shotgunned him and the youngest child and how TJ was supposed to be a sacrifice in some hocus-pocus weird ritual. I'm just having a hard time believing it."

"Fair enough, I'll let you think on all the ramifications, and the twisted way this has all come about. We will be traveling together, and you can ask all the questions you have stored up; either Dad or myself will tell you as honestly as we can, the truths that we have." Tess looked the lawman square in the eye, and Wyatt was struck by the depth's of clear truth he felt.

Wyatt climbed up into the loft and threw down an unused stalls worth of hay, in case Clora had to feed while they were gone. "I suppose I should be getting back to your Dad's place, is there anything else you need done before I go?" he offered. Wyatt was rather confounded how casual, and comfortable he was working around and talking to Tess.

"Not that I can think of," Tess looked around the barn for any lurking undone problems. "Ma and I decided to turn the mares and colts at my place into Dad's pasture. There will be no chores here to do, as Nanny goes wherever the boys are, so she'll be at Moms. Thanks for asking though," and Tess smiled at the tall serious sheriff.

Well take a 2x4 to the side of my head, Wyatt thought, what a beautiful woman. He swallowed hard, and had to turn his head to cough a little. "Uh, I guess I gotta go, see you Friday." he mumbled and almost stumbled out of the barn toward Mark's.

Wyatt was almost to Mark's door when he happened to think, he hadn't told anyone about TJ, and yet Tess seemed to know as much or more than he did.

Wyatt stood in the afternoon sun, hands shoved deep in his pockets, re-thinking every word of the exchange he had with Tess. It was disquieting and gave him an itchy chin and a fission of unease along the back of his neck.

Mark had looked over the urns; his spoken understanding of Persian was stronger than his written. He had crafted a letter to the Saudi Consulate in New York, that was nested carefully in his inner vest pocket. Mark supposed that wherever the Patriot's meeting was going to be held, there might be mail service available. He would mail the letter from there.


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Great chapter, Pac! Thanks much! I hope your eyes are doing a lot better and that you are getting the rest and medical care that you need!!

Lake Lili

Senior Member
Thank you Mrs. Pac.

I was very sorry to read about your diagnosis. I hope that the progression will be very slow. I deeply appreciate the time and effort you put into the stories you write and share with us. Perhaps using a voice to text application might reduce the amount of screen time you need. My thanks again and wishing you every blessing.



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Wyatt went to the barn to saddle his horse. He needed to check in at his office/house and find out what had been happening around the rest of his county. Leading Joe up to the porch, Wyatt stretched to knock on the porch support, bringing Mark to the door.

"I have to check in, I'll be back Friday and we can head North to the meeting." and he swung into the saddle. "Thanks for the hospitality, I appreciate the chance to have downtime and rest."

"Come back anytime," Mark responded, "you know where to find us."

"I do, give Ms. Clora my thanks for the good meals," and Wyatt touched his hat and rode out toward the road.

Abby didn't see who the guests were in the dining room, Carole had brought the orders back, and took the pitcher of water to fill the diners glasses. Working as rapidly as possible, so the guests didn't have to wait long, Abby was about to plate the first of the meals, when the shots rang out.

Ducking behind the kitchen door, Abby drew her pistol and crouched in silence, trying to hear what was going on with all screaming and commotion.

Finally a male voice over rode the chaos, shouting for everyone to get on the floor. Carole, gripped the nearest table and attempted to bend down to get on the floor. Completely forgetting that he was under the muzzle of a gun, Al rushed to her side in an attempt to help his wife of many years; and they both were shot, ending their lives.

The two bodies hit the floor, creating fresh screaming from the rest of the customers. The male voice was screaming orders, and the hysteria that was happening had his attention fixed on the people at the window table.

Abby moved as silently as possible, scooting across the closed doorway to the opposite side, and eased the door open to study the tumultuous scene in the dining room.

During a bout of fresh screaming, Abby clicked the safety off and waited to get a clear shot at the small ferret faced man waving a huge Glock that he barely had under control.

All the time she was waiting, Abby heard Marks instructions in her mind. Slowing her breathing, and keeping her peripheral vision moving in a deliberate sweep for additional shooters, she listened to the man demand money and someone to open the cash register.

"You shot the owners," one of the men yelled and got shot at for all his trouble. When the shooter had his attention on the trembling man, Abby let her breath out halfway and took a head shot.

The shooter dropped in a splatter of blood and tissue. His finger on the trigger, spasmed and was strong enough to pull the trigger. The shot went wild, breaking the window and narrowly missing Wyatt that was hurrying up the road to investigate the shooting.

Abby remained in the kitchen, pocketing her pistol and staying quiet, Through the kitchen door crack, she saw Wyatt bursting in the front door with his weapon drawn.

"This is the Sheriff, put your guns on the floor," he hollered and the diners all dropped back on the floor. "Who's the robber? the dead guy on the floor?" he questioned in haste.

"Abby, Abby, are you alright?"

"I'm Ok," Abby yelled, "but I'm not sure there is only one robber."

"Did you, um…. take the robber out?"

"Yes," Abby's voice floated out into the dining room. "I...…………..I'm gonna be sick." and there was the unpleasant sounds of retching.

Wyatt didn't make it home; the investigation took all afternoon and the traumatized customers were all given free food and rooms at the Inn for the night.

It felt like it was late at night, as Abby and Wyatt sat at a table with hot drinks. Abby rotated her head, feeling her bones pop and crackle. "This has been a terrible day, I can't imagine any worse. I'm so thankful you were happening by. Did you spend the darkness with the Linderman's?"

It wasn't much of a stretch for Wyatt to figure out that Abby was obliquely asking about the elusive Jerry, and he hated to disappoint her with the truth.


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Much thanks for the chapters, Pac. I’m sorry to hear about your eye troubles. May God touch you with his healing hand .


Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
It wasn't much of a stretch for Wyatt to figure out that Abby was obliquely asking about the elusive Jerry, and he hated to disappoint her with the truth.

Not good news.

Thanks Pac for the chapter.



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(this should be the correct number}

Corbin, when the darkness lifted, harnessed his teams and made for the farm. From daylight to dark, the empty wagons rumbled at a fast clip over the rutted prairie road and in three days of harsh, grueling travel; they were home.

Clara was standing at the window watching the morning unfold. when she had the idea that Corbin would be there for supper that night. Telling Angel to get out four of the biggest roasts from the icehouse, and make pies and cakes for the sweets starved men; Clara missed the pained look of disbelief from the housekeeper.

Mrs Dufus nodded slightly, muttering under her breath about the silly notions the farm mistress had. Clara checked the house and wiped imaginary dust from a couple of end tables. As a way to reinforce her edicts, Clara got the flour and lard and made an apple pie, just the way she knew Corbin liked his pie.

After lunch Clara sat in a corner of the kitchen, stitching the final length of the new dress she had been making. Calm and serene, she smiled and worked on her dress with tiny, almost invisible stitches. Soon, the older of the Dufus girls were hanging around close, watching the lady of the house create a beautiful dress.

Clara smiled and soon, she had the girls agreeing to take sewing lessons. Angel Dufus just shook her head and sat down to feed the latest Dufus baby. Daniel Dufus was a whole three months old and a long, thin baby with a large appetite.

By the time the afternoon shadows started getting long, there was a shout from one of the Dufus boys. " Mr. Corbin a'comin, the wagons er climin the steep hill."

Angel Dufus gave a sharp look at Clara and the woman was sitting with a soft smile , rocking slightly back and forth in the chair by the window. The four large roasts in the ovens, made a lot more sense now, and Angel directed that the girls peel another stockpot full of potatoes.

Clara didn't interfere with the well oiled kitchen machinery run by Angel; the woman had her kitchen moves down to a science and was accustomed to churning out large amounts of food for the wagon train cowhands.

It was dark before the wagons lumbered into the barn yard, the horses unhitched and cared for by the farm crew, headed by Mr. Dufus.

Corbin headed for the house and caught Clara in a bear hug and a kiss to start fireworks and especially giggles from the Dufus girls.

Supper was rowdy and boisterous, the unusual darkness discussed as the men shoved in astonishing amounts of tender roast, mountains of mashed potatoes, onions, carrots and turnips.

Clara managed to make sure Corbin got a over large piece of her apple pie, and a fresh hot cup of fragrant coffee.

Sitting beside her handsome husband, Clara smiled for him alone, and Corbin sighed in relief and contentment.

"Tell me, did George send a list?"

"Yes he did, and the wagons should be here in a couple of days."


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"Good work Clara, a couple of day's rest and I'll be ready to go. Was it a big order?" Corbin leaned back in his easy chair, as they sat in the living room, talking.

"Yes it was a big order. I was a bit concerned because he had not sent any money, but then I remembered you had made arrangements to pickup the money on delivery."

"He's good for it," Corbin said sleepily, the good food and the warm house shutting the man down. Clara gathered up her tired man and walked him down the hall to the bedroom,

Out in the bunkhouse, Jerry had supper, a quick shower and lay on his bunk, thinking about Abby. He intended to go back to the Linderman settlement, and have a frank talk with the woman. He couldn't think of any other way; but to throw himself on her mercy. Jerry was thinking that if it was God's will; it would happen. Especially if Jerry applied himself to asking for God's help.

The incoming freight arrived in the expected two day timeframe, and Jerry worked harder than three people to inventory and repack four wagons into three.


Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
Yep, Jerry needs to go hat in hand and bend his knee to Abby.

Thanks Pac.



Retired, practising Curmudgeon
I have macular degeneration in my right eye, a situtation that was unexpected as there was no sign of the problem in March. Unfortunately, I have to limit eye strain, of which the Dr. has said computer time is stressful.

So, chapters will be short, but the story will march on.
So it seems having to cut back on screen time and shorten chapters up hasn't negatively impacted your ability to add more nuances to the tale you're weaving here. If anything the last few hundred words have added a little more to this chapter of the saga for me.

As I've said before, give us what you can, as you're able to; whatever it is will be enough.