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Daisy sat on the cot in the tiny jail and watched the redhead pace. She recalled the sheriff had called the girl Sarah. A pretty name for the girl. She hoped that the young woman would get a decent husband in the lottery drawing. She struck Daisy as a woman who would endure what she had to, the type of woman Daisy had once been. But every woman had her limits and Daisy had finally reached hers. And reaching them had landed her in this cell and in the bride lottery.
She’d come west to Texas with her sister and brother-in-law when their parents had died. She hadn’t wanted to be alone in the big house. So when Clancy, her sister’s husband, had made the decision to sell everything and start afresh out west she had offered no complaints and gone along with them. She could have stayed with her spinster aunt, could have accepted any of the numerous offers of marriage, but had hoped for adventure and instead… Well, she’d found her sister’s life wasn’t the fairy tale it seemed.
They’d bought a farm just outside of this sleepy little town and it had been up to her and Amelia to run it. Clancy had business in town and was gone often for weeks at a time. But Daisy preferred those times to when he would come back to the farm with mean-looking men in his company. She didn’t like the way they eyed her and her sister, nor the way that Clancy didn’t seem to care. She was almost certain that they were all up to no good but her sister didn’t want to hear about it.
Daisy usually escaped for the few days when Clancy and his friends showed up, at her sister’s insistence. She wanted Amelia to come with her to the little shack in the woods that they had discovered. But Amelia said that if they were both gone Clancy would just come to find them. She felt that it was her responsibility as his wife to stay. But Daisy noticed that her sister seemed to die a little more each time the men came and left. However, when she asked her what happened Amelia would just clam up and move to a different topic.
Daisy noticed the bruises, the haunted look in her sister’s eyes and the way she showed real fear when Clancy could be seen returning. So the last time Daisy had snuck back late in the evening and watched through the window. She’d been sick at what she saw. While Clancy sat and watched, each of the men who were with him took turns raping her sister. They were rough and violent and Daisy no longer had to wonder at the bruises that marred her sister’s fair skin. She had been violently ill and wanted to barge in and save Amelia. But a hand had clamped around her mouth and strong arms had carried her away.