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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
By Elizabeth A. Patterson
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Elizabeth A. Patterson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Beginning of a Legend
It was the month of April, sometime in the 1800's. The exact year, nobody knows. The local mercantile buzzed with activity, as ladies admired the latest fabrics from Paris, while the children longingly eyed the candy barrels.
William Bonner, the proprietor, breathed easier as his eldest son Zeb rode up on his bay mare. Zeb would now be able to help him with the hordes of customers.
William Clark, from the Louis and Clark expedition, had returned from one of their long treks west, and half of what today is Missouri, had crammed into St. Louis to hear of their adventures. Even a newspaperman from Philadelphia was in town.
Zeb, his heart beating fast, was most excited. He and his new wife Sarah had been seriously considering heading west. Many young couples had already gone, with visions of gold in their heads, but Zeb wasn't interested in gold. His family was quite well off because of the mercantile and farm, which he worked in the morning hours.
Zeb and Sarah craved adventure. In the spring they would get itchy feet, with a desire to travel, which stayed with them unfulfilled all season. They had grown up together, running in the fields and exploring where the roads would take them. Inseparable since they were children, they married on Christmas day.
Zeb was twenty years old, tall and muscular. His dark brown hair complimented the twinkle in his deep blue eyes.
Sarah had been a tomboy, who grew into a stunning beauty. She was sixteen years old, five feet tall and petite, with thick dark hair falling to her waist. She was sweet, kind and loved by everyone. Zeb adored her and had always been very protective of her. Many suitors wanted to court her, but Sarah's eyes sparkled only for Zeb.
He stepped behind the counter, and for the next four hours, waited on customers without a break, selling everything from peppermint candy, muskrat and beaver pelts, to horse grain and one saddle. By closing time he was exhausted. After locking up, he led his horse out of the small stable behind the mercantile.
The sun was just setting, and the sky was dark blue with pale purple hues. The smell of home baked bread drifted down the street, as laughter broke out in the local saloon next door. As he drew close Randolph Mcphersen, a redheaded Irishman with a farm just down the road from his own, came out chuckling to himself.
"They still going at it?" yelled Zeb.
"Aye lady, I think it will be months before he's done tellin' the tale. I've done had me fill tonight. The misses will be puttin' me out if I don't get home," he added, with a grin.
"I hear that," Zeb replied.
He would have loved to go in and sit for hours, listening to Mr. Clark, but he was missing his beautiful wife. He turned south and headed for home.
That night Zeb and Sarah talked for a long time about their desire to hit the road, to find adventure and a new home in the Wild West. She looked into his eyes.
"I want to go," Sarah said. "I really truly want to go. We can make it anywhere as long as we're together."
Zeb held her tight in his arms.
"I love you so much. I'll tell Father in the morning and help my brothers finish putting in the crops, and we'll leave soon."
Over the next few weeks, Zeb helped with the crops and prepared the covered wagon. He purchased many tools and supplies they would need when they began building their cabin. Sarah stayed busy packing and finished the quilt she had been making.
Soon the day came to leave. After many hugs and tears, they tied four cows to the back of the wagon, loaded the chickens and climbed aboard, waving goodbye as they headed down the road. Zeb's heart raced. They had dreamt of going west since they were small kids and now they were finally on their way.
The first couple of weeks they traveled many miles, the road was wide and well maintained. However the further into the wilderness they went, the more difficult and time consuming the trip became.
The heavy wagon had to be unloaded many times after getting stuck in the mud. Then there were the rivers to cross. On a few occasions, Zeb had to build rafts big enough to fit the wagon, in order to cross deep water, then scout for narrow places for the animals to swim across.
The journey took much longer than they anticipated, but Zeb and Sarah never lost heart. They enjoyed the blue skies and colorful sunsets. Even the pounding rain didn't dampen their spirits.
When they arrived in what is now South Dakota, they had their first encounter with wild Indians. Sarah had never seen Indians before. Her heart pounded and she was nervous, but more curious than anything. She heard stories about how Indians killed people and took their scalps, but never believed it. She had been taught not to listen to gossip or to judge others by rumors and hearsay. Besides, it was the good Lord's place to judge, not hers.
They spotted them, as they were about to cross a small creek. Zeb told her to quickly get in the back of the wagon. They slowly began crossing the creek, when one Indian rode toward them, while the others stayed behind watching. Sarah peeked through a crack in the canvas.
He was naked from the waist up. He was a fierce looking man with long shining black hair. The scar across his cheek was evidence he had seen many battles, but his jaw was firm as he rode tall and straight upon his horse, a man of honor and one to be respected.
Sarah was afraid, but at the same time she was fascinated and thought he was handsome.
Zeb got off the wagon and she watched as the pair walked toward the rear of the wagon. She held her breath, not daring to make a sound. Neither man could speak the others language, but communication was not an issue, as the Indian gestured toward the animals. Zeb understood exactly what he wanted, and they left the creek minus one cow.
"Better to lose a cow than your scalp," said Zeb with a slap of the reins.
For the next twenty months, they crossed many rivers, went up and down mountains, with much difficulty, until finally sometime in September, they arrived at a raging river. Sarah could tell by Zeb's frown, they would never find a place where the animals could cross safely. She was weary, and wasn't looking forward to waiting for days while Zeb built another raft.
Sighing he scratched his thick beard. Turning to Sarah, he announced they had reached an end to their journey and would homestead here.
She gave him a soft smile and nodded.
About a quarter mile behind them, they had crossed a grassy meadow full of small knolls, bushes and ponds, which were surrounded entirely by tall rocky bluffs, covered with dense thickets of pines, maples and birch. A winding narrow creek babbled at its base.
They turned the wagon around and crossed the meadow. As they arrived at the creek, they knew this would be the perfect place to build their home.
Zeb decided the top of the bluff would be the perfect spot. He hiked to the top as Sarah stood stretching out the kinks in her legs, watching her husband ascend.
At the top, he turned and surveyed the beautiful view.
"It's perfect," he yelled, grinning from ear to ear.
Sarah smiled back and waved. She turned toward the wagon. She would be glad when they finally had a shelter up. She was tired of living out of the wagon.
The next morning they were up at sunrise. Zeb scaled the bluff, and started cutting down trees. The area was covered in many years worth of fallen trees, leaves, brush and pine needles, and would take a lot of work to clear.
A week later, with Sarah's help, they had a clear spot and enough pines to begin building. They constructed a makeshift shelter for the animals and built a small smokehouse, then finally began the outside structure of the cabin.
The first flakes of snow began to fall just as they were filling in the last cracks between the logs with sod. It had taken them a full three weeks to complete.
Hand in hand they admired all their hard work.
Large soft flakes began to cover Sarah's hair. She never looked more beautiful.
They kept themselves busy during the following cold months. Sarah had her sewing and mending and Zeb would venture out to hunt. The land was plentiful with rabbit, elk, and deer, and they would have more than enough smoked meat to keep their stomachs full.
Finally when the warmer weather arrived, Sarah began her spring house cleaning, while Zeb tilled up a spot for the garden.
By the end of May, the garden was in, and within a few weeks seedlings began to appear. While Sarah was busy keeping house, Zeb surveyed the property in search for a good place to put in a cistern. He picked a spot about twenty yards from the cabin.
The cistern took an unusually long time to construct. He kept running into problems while digging. His shovel kept breaking; taking away valuable time for repairs, not to mention the torch kept going out. He was beginning to wonder if this was a bad spot.
Sarah went to the cistern several times a day to check on him. He was always late for meals, and often worked late into the night. Finally he finished, and began to fill the cistern with water from the creek, but that wasn't the end of his troubles.
Zeb had the cistern half full when it caved in. The water was contaminated. Frustrated, he threw down the bucket and sat on the ground. He would have to find a new place to dig.
A month later, a new cistern was complete, and none too soon. Sarah was going to have a baby.
Zeb never liked her hauling water from the creek, and was glad he was finished.
He planted an oak tree by the caved in cistern for some strange reason, which she thought was funny, since so many trees already surrounded them. He told her it was to mark the beginning of their home together.
The months went by quickly. Zeb finished a fine two-story stable to the left of the house, while Sarah harvested, and canned vegetables from the garden, and grew bigger and happier. She was always singing, and humming these days, and her cheeks grew rosier than ever.
The weather began to turn cold, and every morning the ground was thick with frost.
Zeb spent his days chopping wood, and watched as the leaves began to turn color and fall to the ground. He finished a huge woodpile just as it started to snow.
They were comfortable and snug in their cabin as winter set in. Christmas came and they celebrated their wedding anniversary during a snowstorm that lasted over a week.
At the end of December, Sarah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She had mounds of dark brown hair and her father's bright blue eyes. They named her Rose Marie after Sarah's grandmother, but they called her Rosie.
Zeb adored her. She was the sweetest baby and hardly ever cried. She was always smiling and cooing, and the first time she laughed was truly a delight. He was so proud to have such a beautiful wife and daughter.
That spring, Sarah announced she was going to have another baby, so Zeb decided to add an addition to the house. He was overjoyed.
One evening he told Sarah he had a surprise for her and disappeared for several hours, right after supper. When he returned she asked him where he had gone, but he just winked and gave her cheek a pinch.
"It's a surprise. You'll see," he answered.
For weeks Zeb would leave the house right after supper, and would return hours later, always without an explanation.
Finally one evening he came home with a big grin on his face.
"Hold out your hand and close your eyes."
Sarah held out her hand and closed her eyes.
"No peeking now."
"I'm not," she said, excitedly.
She felt something light placed in her hand.
"Ok you can open them."
She looked down, and in her hand was a beautiful red stone. It sparkled in the firelight.
"Oh how pretty," she exclaimed, with delight.
"It looks like a ruby. Where did you get it?" she asked, her eyes shining.
"I found it buried under some rocks while I was clearing brush for the new room. It's a gift to celebrate our new baby."
"It's just beautiful," she exclaimed. "I love it!"
She went to her chest of drawers, and took out a small-carved wooden box. Lifting the lid, she removed a long silver chain her mother had given her.
"I'll attach it to this chain and wear it next to my heart always," she said, kissing him tenderly on the cheek.
At the beginning of summer they met their first neighbor. Roger and Velma Whiting were homesteading about a half-mile away. They spent quite a bit of time with them, helping them with their cabin and cistern.
Sarah had another girl in December. Susan; was the spitting image of her big sister. You never saw prouder parents.
As the next six years passed, more and more couples and families came west. Some went on, but others stayed to homestead, and soon the countryside was peppered with cabins.
Their nearest neighbor was still a half-mile away. Everyone was very friendly, and would gather together to help put up barns, stables and cabins.
Some took up farming in the valleys and glens, and you didn't have far to go to hear the laughter of children and happy families. It was fast becoming a wonderful little community. There was something about it. It was almost as if there was love and humor in the very countryside.
Some of the women got together and decided it would be a great idea to have a get together, a festival of sorts, to celebrate their new homes and discuss building a school.
Since Zeb and Sarah were the first to settle there, they were elected to organize and run the meeting.
Zeb and some of the other men decided to unveil the brand new ferry they just finished building, to top off the celebration.
It was their first autumn festival and everyone was excited. There were about thirty-two families, and everyone was coming.
They decided to have horseshoe tournaments and games for the children.
Sarah organized a baking contest and a quilt show.
The day of the festival came. The men gathered early and drove their wagons, loaded down with tables and bales of hay, which they placed under the few oaks and maples that grew there, roughly a mile up from Zeb's place.
Two hundred yards away roared the mighty river.
Families started showing up soon after.
The tables were laden with all sorts of deserts for the baking contest. There were chocolate cakes, white and yellow cakes, and an assortment of pies. Mincemeat, blueberry, pumpkin and apple, even a few pecan.
Fire pits were dug, and turkeys and pigs were put on the spit. There were loads of casseroles, corn on the cob and squash dishes. The smells were incredible.
Someone had brought a wagon loaded with bright orange pumpkins and decorated the eating area. The bales of hay were used for sitting. Bushel baskets full of apples, squash and potatoes were on display for sale.
A couple of men brought their fiddles, so there was music and dancing. The children chased family dogs through the fallen leaves, and played tag and hide and seek.
The quilt show and baking contest were a big success. Zeb was one of the judges. Sarah took second place for her quilt and Mrs. Wilson who lived just down from the Bonners', took first place for her mincemeat pie. The kids had gunny sack races, and tug of war.
After eating, the adults gathered together for the meeting. It was decided that the building of the new school would commence right away, and everyone agreed that these festival grounds would make a fine park. That idea was later dismissed because of the possibility of flooding.
Construction would begin the following week, roughly two miles from the river, on top of one of the bluffs.
The women were all excited. They discussed making the curtains, and planning where flowerbeds and the playground would go.
They adjourned the meeting, after setting the date for the next gathering. They would then choose the name for their town.
Everyone ambled over to the riverbank where Zeb and the other men unveiled the new ferry. There was much applause, and everyone had to take their turn walking on board. It had taken them two months to complete, but everyone gave Zeb the credit for its design.
It was a sturdy craft, and sure to withstand the power of the river.
Sarah and the girls stood by grinning and clapping. Rosie and Susan, six and seven years old, were proud as they could be. They adored their father.
Excerpted from Bonners Fairy by Elizabeth A. Patterson Copyright © 2011 by Elizabeth A. Patterson. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 The Beginning of a Legend....................1
Chapter 2 A New Adventure....................14
Chapter 3 Exploring the Unknown....................24
Chapter 4 Another World....................42
Chapter 5 Wonders and Magic....................62
Chapter 6 Bonner History....................78
Chapter 7 Fantasy or Reality....................94
Chapter 8 A Land of Wonder....................114
Chapter 9 Touring Roan....................133
Chapter 10 A Daring Rescue....................150
Chapter 11 The Hunt for Zeb....................167
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Given To Me For An Honest Review Bonners' Fairy (Bonners' Fairy Series) by Elizabeth Patterson is a fantastic must read. This book will grab you from the start and keep you on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages over and over again until the end. It seems to be written more toward the "tweens" age group but everyone including adults would love this book. I know I did! The imagination that we all had as children comes through as you read this book. When we allow ourselves to escape into our fantasies and dreams we find that it enhances our well being., This is a great book of adventure, magic and fairies. The only thing I was shocked at is the end. I was so excited for the end to come and it was CLIFFHANGER ...... but then I told myself that's okay .... SEQUEL!!! This book is such a great book to be given as a gift or for your own bookshelf. I don't want to give away anything about this story but you HAVE TO read it for yourself you won't regret it at all. I gave this book 5 stars but wish I could have given it 10+. I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone, especially if you enjoy fantasy, magic and fairies. I look for more from Elizabeth Patterson.