Rachael, wearing trousers and sitting astride a spirited horse, pulled the floppy hat lower to disguise her face. She could ride and shoot, but she’d also need nerve and luck. The newspaper estimated over a hundred thousand men and a few foolhardy women would rush into Oklahoma territory in wagons, on horses, bicycles, and by foot when the cannon boomed at noon. Even a train, packed with people ready to jump off, waited for the signal. The Oklahoma Land Run of 1893 held only forty-two thousand plots, so more than half the hopeful settlers would be disappointed. Rachael could not be in that group.
Jess Hunter thrashed with alternating chills and fever and called for water. When he received no response, he struggled to sit up. Rachael was gone. His friends had ribbed him about writing for a mail-order bride. He should have listened. Jess looked around the shack. His claim stake was gone! He struggled to his feet and whistled for his horse. No familiar whinny answered, and Dandy wasn’t in the pasture. Was she a horse thief too? He vowed to track her down—just before he passed out.
The bold headline screamed: KANSAS MEN DESPERATE FOR WOMEN. She laughed, thinking she was a Michigan woman desperate for a man.
While toasting the bread, Rachael read the article about ten Kansas men who wanted mail-order brides. The newspaper sponsored the matchmaking endeavor and would be paying the potential bride's fare west. The Kansas men selected all planned to participate in the Oklahoma Land Run in September of 1893 and professed to want wives to start a new life with them. Descriptions of the ten men followed. The article stated all interested women should reply to the newspaper office. The editor would notify the women selected before September 1.
When she took the tea tray to the parlor, Papa snored softly. If she had to marry, she'd prefer a young Kansas stranger than her father's old, fat friend who smelled of rheumy rubbing oil and hair wax. She selected stationary from the secretarial desk.
Oklahoma’s Land Runs began on April 22, 1889. There would be five land runs with the last one taking place on May 23, 1895. Each book in the series is set around one of these land runs.
You can find all twelve books in this series on Kindle Unlimited.
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