Hannah Alexander

Hannah Alexander by Keeping Faith Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Hannah Alexander by Keeping Faith Read Free Book Online
Authors: Keeping Faith
those moments. Though she’d never been able to love her husband the way she knew a woman should, Matthew Fenway’s heart had been that of a true healer, kind and strong. She’d always honored him as her husband, and he’d honored her on a pedestal of his own making.
    Joseph gently touched her arm. “Where did Matthew say this Silver Braid was going?”
    “Kansas Territory, and if he’s going the same direction we are, that might mean he’s caught wind of our movements, possibly of the town you’re building. You’ve been through here several times, and I don’t care how cautious you are, people talk.”
    “Then we’ll have to change our route. I’ll talk to McDonald, but I still worry that Thames will know what you look like, Victoria.”
    “He couldn’t have seen my face that day. I was wearing a kerchief over my nose and mouth because the road was dusty. My hair was braided behind me and I wore a hat.”
    “But wouldn’t he have known who you were, especially if Matthew was a target already? He may well have observed you when you weren’t aware. He likely discovered your connection with John Brown.”
    Victoria nodded. “Matthew and Thames went head-to-head in public debate about slavery versus abolition a few days before Matthew was killed. You know how well-spoken Matthew was. He managed to enrage Thames, and he received much applause from crowds who’d crossed the river from Illinois.”
    The muscles of Joseph’s jaw flexed as his eyes darkened. “Then you can count on Thames knowing everything there is to know about you, Victoria. Did your husband not give a thought to his wife when he did such a thing?”
    She looked down at her hands. “You knew Matthew had a calling that, to him, was more vital than any other.”
    “What about caring for his wife, as a man is supposed to do? I thought he gave you a place of highest honor.”
    “Would you choose one woman’s safety over the lives and freedom of millions?”
    “Had he felt that way, he should never have married.” The gruffness of Joseph’s voice somehow warmed her.
    She blinked up at him and was touched more deeply than she would have expected. “I willingly joined Matthew in his quest. I felt as he did. Be honest, Joseph, you feel the same. Your whole life right now is focused on helping millions of captives.”
    “Not at the cost of your life.”
    “I’m with you now, in the middle of dangerous territory.”
    He reached up and touched the back of his fingers against her chin. She nearly gasped at the instinctive caress.
    He straightened and dropped his hand. “Forgive me. It isn’t my wish to speak ill of the dead, but I believe a man should protect his wife above all else.”
    “Which is why you remain single.”
    He swallowed and took a long, slow breath. “Perhaps it’s why I’ve remained single to this point. I’d had no cause to give it thought until...” He looked into her eyes and for a moment she barely allowed herself to breathe. “Please,” he said at last, “tell me more about Matthew’s killer.”
    Why she felt such a strange mixture of elation and disappointment she refused to consider. “Thames is a member of a newly formed group of men from Louisville, Kentucky, who call themselves the Knights of the Golden Circle.”
    “I’ve heard of them. Their goal is to expand slavery into nearby southern nations. I’m talking about whole countries, Victoria,” Joseph said. “I believe if men of good conscience allow that to happen, we may see anarchy rule the world.”
    She met his gaze, and she couldn’t look away for a moment. Some things about him had definitely changed, and she liked those changes. “John Brown believes there’s a connection between the knights and the border ruffians of Missouri.”
    “Of course there is.”
    And of course, throughout this journey, he’d known more than he’d let on to her. “My presence could be a danger to this wagon train if you’re right about Thames knowing

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