Rescued by a Kind Sheriff (Preview)

Chapter One

August, 1886

Dusty Creek, Oregon

A mere fourteen days had passed since Olivia White’s world had changed irrevocably. Her once happy home was still full of the wreaths and bunches of flowers that all the neighbors had brought over along with their condolences. 

“He was such a good man,” they said. 

“Taken in such a short time,” they said. 

“Fevers were uncaring like that, striking even the strongest men down in their prime,” they said. 

And on and on, as though their words would make any difference to the fact that her father was dead, and she and her little sister Grace were now completely alone in this world. There was an aunt and a cousin in Colorado, but they were seldom heard from. 

It was all up to Olivia now, and she had used up every last moment of mourning she could be allowed. It was time to get up and face this new, fatherless world. 

It was a bright day with the sun shining in through the lace curtains her mother had made before her untimely demise when Grace was just a little thing, barely six months old. Mother had made the mistake of not checking where she was stepping and treading on a Northern Pacific rattlesnake. She had taken a day to die and that had been by far the worst thing Olivia, at the time only ten years old, had been forced to witness. 

Why were her thoughts so morbid? Because she was literally taking out her father’s funeral flowers, which were wilted and mostly dead in their vases. If ever there was a good time to be morbid, it was now. 

“Do we have to throw them out like that?” Grace asked, her little round face turned up to Olivia like a little sunflower with her honey blonde hair falling to her shoulders. 

Olivia smiled wryly. “What would you like me to do with them?” 

“I don’t know,” Grace said. “It seems wrong to throw them on the same compost heap that holds all the vegetable peelings and such. Don’t you think? After all, folks brought those over with love and kindness in their hearts. Surely that should count for something.” 

Olivia studied her little sister and gave in. What harm could it do to dispose of the flowers another way? “All right then, how would you do it?” 

“We could dig a hole beside the pit and put them in there,” Grace suggested. She looked gravely up at Olivia, seeming so much older than her mere ten and a half years. 

“It’s not a bad plan,” Olivia said. “I’m putting you in charge of that.” 

Her sister smiled and nodded. “I’ll do a good job, I promise.” 

She left Grace to it then, watching her take the bunches outside. She should make breakfast. They had been eating all the food brought to them by neighbors, but it was done now. All gone and Olivia had to think of things like whether to make eggs or porridge. 

Porridge was a good deal easier, and the pig would love the leftovers. She poured water from the pump into a pot and set it on the range to make the food. As she worked, she heard the clear sounds of a young voice singing outside the window. 

It was Grace, of course, singing her favorite hymn, Abide with Me. She sang it well and there was going to be a place in the choir for her one of these days at church. Olivia was certain of it. 

Soon the porridge was ready, but Grace wasn’t back yet, so Olivia went out to the compost pit, which was on the other side of the kitchen garden looking for her. She found her sister sitting in the dirt and crying. 

“What’s the matter?” she asked, knowing it was all about their father. 

“These are the last things we have from Papa,” her little sister wailed. “And now I’m burying them.” 

Olivia put her arms around her sister and held her. They had to get out of here. Just for a while, they needed to see life and people and see that the world hadn’t ended, even though it felt like it had. 

“Come on,” she said. “We’re going to eat something and then we’re going to town today.” 

“We are?” Grace asked, brightening up like a sunflower finding the sun on a partly cloudy day. “What for?” 

“So, we can see that there is still life in the world,” Olivia said. 

Leaving the farm was never that easy. There were always things to do before one could go anywhere. The chickens had to be fed, so did the pig, who Grace had named James, and the cows had to be let out of the barn into the pasture. 

Once that was done, and the gates to the hops fields and the apple orchard were firmly shut, they could leave. 

Grace had washed her face and hands and changed out of her dirt-covered skirt and blouse into a pale blue dress that was almost too small for her now. It picked up the blue flecks in her green eyes, which were their father’s eyes. 

They got the horse, Royal, hitched to the cart and set off. Dusty Creek was the closest town to the farm, and it was about an hour’s easy drive through rolling hills in the Willamette Valley. They passed rows of corn, their ears turning yellow in the august sun. They passed grapevines, orchards, fields of wheat rolling gently in the breeze. All about them was life and bustle, and Olivia felt she could finally breathe again. 

Out here was the world, full of people, and it was good to be among them, even if it was just so that she would remember that she hadn’t died along with their father but was still drawing breath. 

The town of Dusty Creek was nestled between some hills and was steadily climbing up their sides as the town expanded. 

“It’s market day,” Grace said excitedly as they drove by the tables which had been set out in the square. “Can we go and look around?” 

“I don’t see why not,” Olivia said. “There is Pearl and Violet.” 

Grace spotted her two friends at the same time and waved her hand vigorously. She was too excited to stay in the cart then and as Olivia drew to a halt by the water trough, so that Royal could have a well-earned drink, she jumped down. Her friends rushed to her, and they embraced. In a second, they were all talking at once. 

“Here, take some money!” Olivia called with a chuckle. 

Grace returned to her to receive a couple of coins in her palm which she slipped into her pocket and then she was leaving again. 

“Meet me at the sheriff’s office when you’re done looking around,” Olivia called. 

Grace lifted a hand and waved to say she had heard. And then she was gone, swallowed up by the crowd of people at the market. 

“It’s good to see you out and about again,” Sheriff Elijah Forster said as she approached him. He was sitting on his rocking chair on the sheriff’s office porch, watching the town going about its business. “You’ve been cooped up too long.” 

Olivia forced a smile. “As always, I appreciate your opinion, Sheriff Forster,” she said. 

“What’s this sheriff nonsense?” he asked. “Your father and I were good friends, and I’ve known you since you were in your mother’s belly.” 

She sighed and took a seat. “True, but I thought since we were in public maybe—”

He gave her a sidelong look that told her all she needed to know about that idea. She chuckled. “Fine, you win, Uncle Elijah.” 

“Good, now take a seat and tell me how you’re doing,” he said, patting the bench beside his rocking chair. 

She shifted in her seat. Grace’s blonde head was visible now and then in the crowd. Olivia kept an eye out for it. 

“I’m okay,” she said with a sigh. “It got a bit much being at the house, and I need to go to the bank. I need to know about the farm’s finances now.” 

“Then you’ll want to speak to Mr. Barkley,” Uncle Elijah said. “Come on, I’ll go with you. It’s the least I can do for my friend’s daughter.” He stood and with a sprightly spring in his step for a man with a lot of gray in his dark hair, he led her to the bank. 

The Dusty Creek Savings Bank was not the most impressive building, but it was one of the few made out of stone and brick in the area. Most houses and businesses were built out of wood. 

The good thing about having the sheriff with her was that it got her through the line to the front quite quickly. It seemed that Uncle Elijah was friends with Mr. Barkley as well. 

Mr. Barkley was a portly gentleman with blonde hair that was going white, a perpetually reddish face, and pale blue eyes. He had lines around his mouth from pursing his lips often. Which was what he was doing now. 

They were sitting in his office, which had a lovely large window overlooking the town square. It was on the upper floor of the building and was spacious. Mr. Barkley’s desk was large and had neat piles of paper on one side of it, an inkwell and a pen in a fancy silver holder and a green leather blotter in the middle of the space. 

He clasped his hands, which were as red as his face, and regarded her with those pale blue eyes. 

“I know this is a difficult time, Olivia, but I have to ask, did your father leave a will?” Mr. Barkley asked. 

Olivia was taken aback. “I thought he would have kept something like that here in the bank, with you,” she said. 

“Well, this is your father’s file,” Mr. Barkley said, picking up one of the folders on the side of his desk from a pile and opening it. “I was looking at it just this morning, knowing of his passing, and I found it odd that there is no will in this packet of documents. We have the deed to the farm, his marriage license when he and your mother got married and all manner of other documents, but no will. I was wondering if perhaps he kept it at home.” 

Olivia swallowed. “I haven’t found one,” she said. “Is it important that I find it right now? I would assume my father would leave the farm to me and Grace.” 

“Of course, we all assume that,” Mr. Barkley said. “But there are laws and regulations about these things. Procedures that must be followed. I don’t imagine it will be a problem and you can carry on as normal, but we will need that will. For the file, you understand, or any far-flung relative might be able to walk in here and claim that land for themselves.” 

What a strange idea. Why would anyone do that? “I’ll turn the house upside down when I get back,” she said. “I’m sure he would have put it somewhere there.” 

“Good,” Mr. Barkley said. 

“He didn’t leave a copy of his will with you, Uncle Elijah, did he?” Olivia asked. 

“No, I’m afraid not,” the sheriff said. “He always told me he would leave the farm to you and Grace. A fifty-fifty split. That was all.” 

“And the word of the sheriff certainly does carry weight,” Mr. Barkley said. “I would also go down to the town hall if I were you and just make sure that you fill in the forms to be Grace’s legal guardian.” 

Olivia had never thought about things like that. Legal guardian? She nodded, feeling numb. 

There were papers to sign at the bank, which she did, and Uncle Elijah signed as her witness, and then he went with her to the town hall where they took care of Grace’s guardianship. That was easy. It was a page Olivia had to fill in and the sheriff vouched for her, and then it was all done. She had a copy stating that until Grace was eighteen; she was Olivia’s ward. 

“Well, that should do it,” Uncle Elijah said. “Now go and have some fun at the market. You’ve done all the grownup things you can do. Now it’s time for some fun.” 

Olivia smiled and together they walked to the market. They soon found Grace and her friends buying ribbons at a stall. It brightened Olivia’s heart greatly to see her little sister smiling and laughing with her friends, as though there was nothing wrong with the world at all. 

It gave her hope that there would be a time where she wasn’t quite so sad and could smile and have fun like Grace could. 

Grace and her friends moved to the next stall, which was full of books. Grace loved to read, and so they lingered. 

Olivia picked up a book or two, but nothing grabbed her. She was too wrapped up in her feelings to really notice them. 

“You know,” Uncle Elijah said in a low voice, leaning a little close to her so that she could smell the pipe smoke that clung to his clothes despite him not having smoked in a few hours. “I’m a little upset with Chester for leaving you without telling you where his will and any other important documents are. That’s not good. He knows that Mr. Barkley is a stickler for the rules. Chester should have taken care of all of this a long time ago.” 

“He probably did,” Olivia said, feeling she should defend her father. “He wasn’t expecting the fever to take his life.” 

Uncle Elijah nodded. “I know. I just hope that nothing bad comes of it.” He sighed. “You know, I’ll think about it. Perhaps I’ll remember something.” He tapped the side of his head. “It can get mighty jumbled in there sometimes.” He chuckled. “I know there was a time when a lawyer came through here offering all manner of legal advice and documentation. He was willing to draw up contracts and leases, and I seem to recall him offering to draft wills. But now what became of him has slipped my mind.” 

Grace had found a book she liked and waved the vendor over to slip a coin in his hand. She got change and smiled, holding her book to her chest with a large grin on her face. Olivia smiled. 

“I’m sure it’s fine,” Olivia said. “I’m sure there’s a copy in Papa’s desk at home. I probably just didn’t know it for what it was. I’ll recognize it if I see it now.” Mr. Barkley had kindly shown her an example of a will and so Olivia, who had never had much to do with the paperwork of the family, was learning rather quickly. 

“At least he gave me a statement of the account,” Olivia said. “I’ll know what we have to pay out every month, then.” She sighed. 

Uncle Elijah smiled tenderly and took her hand in his for a moment. He gave it a squeeze and then let go. “It’s a lot on your young shoulders, isn’t it? Twenty-one is hardly any age at all. Did your father let you at least run the household budget?” 

She nodded. “Oh sure, I’ve been doing that since I was twelve,” she said. 

He smiled. “Then it should all be fine.” 

“Olivia, look, I got a book,” Grace said. “It’s Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I don’t have this one.” 

“Well, now you do,” Olivia said. She grinned. “Maybe I’ll borrow it after you’ve read it.” 

“Maybe,” Grace said. 

“Goodness, isn’t that a little advanced for a child of her age?” Uncle Elijah asked. 

Olivia shook her head. “She’s read every book in the house, including Pride and Prejudice.” 

“I would have thought a nice Dickens would be better,” he said. 

“A nice Dickens? Have you read his books? He makes England sound awful,” Grace said, looking shocked. 

Uncle Elijah pulled a funny worried face and that had Grace and her little friends who hovered close by laughing. “Tell you what,” Uncle Elijah said. “How about we go to that stall over there and I buy us all some chocolate?” 

They got their chocolate in small slabs of six pieces each and sucked them until they melted away to nothing. Then it was time to go home. Olivia wanted to look for that will. Now that Mr. Barkley had brought her attention to how important it was, she wanted it in her hand this instant. 

Grace read to them from the book on the way home and Olivia’s head filled with images of a time gone by. Of fluttering silk gowns and long satin gloves, and delicate little shoes, on equally delicate little feet. 

When they got home, she set Grace to rub Royal down and she went inside to start the search. Tying her hair up in a scarf so that brown tendrils didn’t coil down and bother her while she was bending over, she began to search through her father’s drawers. 

She had gone through one when there was the sound of horses’ hooves in the yard. A lot of horses and then came a knock on the door. 

Olivia sighed. More people wanting to console them, no doubt. Or perhaps this was something else. 

Opening the front door, she was surprised to find a man on her doorstep. 

“Hello, cousin, I’m here to claim my farm,” the man said.


Chapter Two

Ever since he was a little boy, Mason Thompson had wanted to be the sheriff of a town. He had pictured himself strutting around with his badge proudly on his chest and his head held high. Everyone would look up to him. He would be brave, true, and a real hero. 

What he hadn’t bargained on was that he would first have to be a deputy sheriff before becoming an actual sheriff, and that wasn’t quite the same. Oh, sure he had the badge, he had the hat, the swagger and everything, but what he also had was all the horrible grunt work. 

“Just how did you climb all the way up there?” Mason called up from his position on the ground. 

“I just climbed,” Pete Larson called down from way up in the oak tree. “I didn’t realize how high I got and now I’m too scared to come down. The tree is swaying a lot up here. You gotta help me, Deputy Mason, you just gotta.” 

Mason sighed. “Are you sure that if you retrace your steps, you can’t climb down?” 

“Pretty sure,” came the reply. 

He looked at the child’s mother who stood beside him, her eyes wide, her apron in a knot of fear. She was clutching it so tightly her knuckles were white. 

“You’ll have to go up and get him,” she said in her little, soft voice. 

Mason drew in a breath. He hated climbing trees. It had been fun when he was a boy and light as a feather. He’d never worried about the branches potentially breaking and dropping him to the ground like an ungainly stone. That had never entered his mind. It most certainly did now. 

At twenty-four and a good deal heavier than he had been as a child, Mason considered his options. It was all well and good for him to climb up, but then what? He wouldn’t be able to reach as high as the boy was, and Pete would still have to climb down to him. Maybe he could coax Pete down from there. 

Grabbing a low branch Mason hoisted himself into the tree. He was by no means out of shape at all. His job seemed to require a lot of physical activity, not least of which was now climbing. And yet the branches felt less supportive than they had when he was a child. 

Just get up there and get the child down, he thought to himself. 

Finding handholds and footholds was easy enough, and the tree seemed to lend itself to being climbed, right up to the higher branches where Mason was brought up short. The tree began to sway sickeningly, and he stopped, feeling that there wasn’t a branch up there that would hold him. 

Pete was still a good four or five feet higher than he was and curled into a little ball of worry holding onto the very top of the tree. 

“Now, Pete,” Mason said, trying to maintain his balance and look up at the swaying boy. “I need you to climb down to me, okay? It’s not far.” 

“No!” Pete called. “I can’t move, the tree’s swaying too much.” 

Of course, now the wind had picked up. Why wouldn’t it? He had no manner of luck at all. 

“It’s not far and I’ll be here to help you if something happens,” Mason said. 

“Nuh-uh!” Pete said, shaking his blonde head. 

“Peter Josiah Larson,” his mother called from the ground, clearly having found her voice now. “You will do as the deputy sheriff says. Now climb down or you’ll feel the flat of my hand.” 

The boy visibly paled. 

Poor little fella, like he wasn’t scared enough. 

“Don’t worry, Pete,” Mason said in his smoothest, kindest voice. “I’ve got you. I’m right here, all you have to do is come down.” 

The child moved in a blur. Mason was still waiting for him to say something when he leaped like a flying squirrel right at Mason. There was a confused moment where Mason tried to hold on to the tree and the child at the same time and missed both. He fell onto his front on a branch with his arms flung out. Pete sailed by him, and it was only thanks to fear’s quick reflexes that he was able to reach out and grab the child midair. 

Pete swung in an arc and slammed into the trunk while Mason grunted and cried out as his shoulder was wrenched in a way that he was pretty sure it should be for its own good. 

A moment of stunned silence followed. 

“Pete?” Mrs. Larson asked from the ground. “Are you okay?” 

“Yes, Ma,” the boy replied in a strained voice. “Got the wind knocked out of me for a second there, is all.” Then to Mason, who hardly registered that someone was speaking to him he said, “You can let me go now Deputy. I’m low enough to climb down.” 

“Oh, good,” Mason said, trying not to sound sarcastic. It was hard. He was aching, scraped, bruised and probably had broken ribs from the impact of his fall on the branch. Thank goodness it held.

 He let go of the child and found that his hold on the branch was slipping now. He swung his legs down on one side and scraping a good deal of skin off his hands, he swung around and finally found the trunk and the lower branches. 

Mason had no idea how he got to the ground. It felt like a series of stumbles, tumbles and falls, but when he reached the ground, he let out a sigh of relief and sat in the dirt. 

“You were very brave,” Mrs. Larson, a skinny, long-faced woman, said with a smile. “Thank you.” She looked him over. “Would you like to clean up some? The well is over there. I’ll bring some soap and a towel. You’ll need to wash those grazes.” 

She disappeared into the house. Pete remained outside with Mason. He sat in the dirt under the tree too and looked at Mason with clear, bright eyes. 

“That was crazy,” Pete said. “No one is ever going to believe what we did.” 

“Oh, I believe it,” Mason said. “I just lost a fight with a tree.” 

Pete laughed. “You’re funny.” 

“Thanks,” Mason said. 

Hauling himself up he found that he wasn’t quite as beaten up as he had thought. Sure, he would have some bruises and a few scrapes but all in all, he had had worse injuries on the job. The worst was his left shoulder which ached badly, but he suspected that a little rest would do it wonders. He would get Dr. Radcliffe to check him out when he was back in town. 

Mrs. Larson appeared with a towel, some soap and a handheld mirror. Mason used them all to get cleaned up, especially the scratches on his face, his nose and chin missing a little skin, and then gave them back to her. 

She also gave him a chicken pie and some jam tartlets to take home. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and so Mason gratefully took the food and packed it in his saddlebags. Then he headed off to his next job. 

This one was dealing with a neighborly dispute. It was between the Triplets on the one side of the fence and the Oswald’s on the other. 

After thirty minutes of everyone yelling at the same time, Mason managed to get Mrs. Oswald and Mrs. Triplet to calm down enough to find out that it wasn’t a fence dispute so much as a goat dispute. 

“So, your goats, Mrs. Oswald are wandering into Mrs. Triplet’s yard,” Mason said. 

“And eating everything,” Mrs. Triplet snapped. “They are evil-eyed menaces with cloven hooves.” 

“You stop bad-mouthing my goats right this moment!” Mrs. Oswald said, and Maon could see it all going sideways if he didn’t stop it now. 

“Can I see the fence?” he asked. “Where do the goats get through?” 

“I don’t know,” Mrs. Triplet said. 

Mrs. Oswald rolled her eyes. “It’s over here.” 

She led them to a place where the fence had broken and then been much repaired but never properly. On the other side was a thick bush that covered the hole. The goats were happily squeezing through the bush and the hole to eat Mrs. Oswald’s kitchen garden, which was brimming with pumpkins, lettuces, tomatoes and much more already for picking. 

It took Mason about another thirty minutes to find some planks and nail them across the hole in the fence. 

“But that looks horrible,” Mrs. Oswald protested. “Surely, she should help me pay for the wood to do it properly?” 

“Why? I have a bush on my side that should keep them out,” Mrs. Triplet said, her hands on her narrow hips. 

“Mrs. Oswald is right, Mrs. Triplet. You should help to pay for the repairs. In fact, I would like to see the repairs done in a week. If they are not done, I will not hesitate to arrest you both for wasting my time.” He glared at them both. 

Mrs. Oswald, a rounded woman, stepped back, her hand rising to her mouth while Mrs. Triplet looked outraged but didn’t say anything. They both nodded their agreement, and he was free to go. 

When he got back to the sheriff’s office, his left shoulder was in agony, and he went next door to the doctor’s office. 

“I would ask how the other fellow was doing, but this doesn’t look like that kind of injury,” Dr. Radcliffe said, smiling wryly under his bushy mustache. 

“It was a rather formidable oak tree,” Mason said. “The Larson boy was stuck up in it.” 

“Good heavens,” Dr. Radcliffe said. “And your arm? Were you trying to swing like a monkey from branch to branch? It certainly seems so. You’ve damaged things in there and it will need a couple of week’s rest.” 

Mason explained how he had hurt himself, and Dr. Radcliffe shook his head as he began to bandage Mason up. “You certainly have a flair for it, don’t you? Always the dramatic save.” 

“I wasn’t going for dramatic. I just didn’t want Pete to break all his bones falling out of the tree,” Mason said with a shrug that had him grimacing in pain. 

“As you say,” Dr. Radcliffe said. 

When he was done there, Mason went to his office and made himself a mug of coffee. He felt he truly deserved one. It was late afternoon now, and he was pretty certain that his day was just about over. Putting his feet up on his desk, he took the paper, shook it out with one hand and began to read. Every now and then, he took a sip from the mug. 

His coffee was all gone when the door to the office opened, and someone came striding in. 

“Where is Sheriff Coulson?” the man demanded.  

“Out sick with the influenza,” Mason said, looking over the top of his paper, but not moving more than that. His bones were aching now, and he really didn’t want to move much. “Is there something I can help with?” 

“Well, I hope so,” the man said. “I’m in a bit of a bind. See, there’s been…well, I guess you would call it a land grab over in Dusty Creek and I need somewhere to stash the victims. I’m Sheriff Elijah Forster. I was hoping that Coulson would be here.” 

At that, Mason sat up straight. “Well, I can most likely help. Have you tried the hotel, or the inn? Although with the mining delegation in town, I suspect they may be full. How about the saloon?” 

“There is a child, a girl of ten or eleven involved,” Sheriff Forster said. “I would prefer she not be exposed to that way of life.” 

Mason nodded. The Burly Baron could get quite rowdy of an evening, especially when the miners were in town. Then there was no guarantee of what one might find in there. “Point taken,” he said. “Why don’t you take them in? Or the hotel in Dusty Creek?” 

“Full, and I have a one room apartment above my office,” Sheriff Forster said. “That’s not appropriate.” 

“I guess I could ask my folks if they don’t mind having some company,” Mason said. “Who are these victims?” 

“Miss Olivia and Miss Grace White,” Sheriff Forster said. “It’s a real tragedy, and I need them some place safe while I try to sort this out. It all stinks like a barrel of fish in the summer sun, but there’s no time now to do anything but get them safely away.” 

“Where are they now?” Mason asked, rising with a grimace. 

Sheriff Forster noticed his shoulder. “Good heaven’s son, what happened?” 

“Oh, I had an encounter with a young boy and a tree,” Mason said. “He thought he would try to be a squirrel, and I thought I might stop him from dying.” 

“Ah,” the sheriff said with a nod. “Boys will be boys and it doesn’t seem to matter how we look at it, they get themselves into nasty scrapes. Is the boy okay?” 

“Not a scratch on him,” Mason said. 

“Then you did your job well,” Sheriff Forster said. He cleared his throat. “Do you think your folks would mind looking after my two young ladies? It’s a dreadful imposition, I know, but I would just hate it for something to happen to them. They lost their father two weeks ago, and now this.” He sighed unhappily. 

“All right, I can take them to my folks,” Mason said certain that no matter the imposition, his mother and father would be delighted to help. They were like that, the Thompsons, always willing to take that extra step to help. And since Ian, Mason’s youngest brother’s death four years ago, the house had felt a little empty. 

“I would be much obliged,” Sheriff Forster said. 

Mason followed him out of the office to where a horse and cart stood in front of it. One young woman and one child, sat on the driver’s seat. They had that hollow look of folks who had just suffered a terrible shock. 

The older one had dark hair and hazel eyes that stared at nothing for a time before focusing on them. Her face was somber and stern, but Mason knew she would be even prettier when she smiled. He found it difficult to stop looking at her. She was lovely. 

The younger one was blonde with blue-green eyes and a sweet face. She had been crying. Tear lines were still clearly visible on her cheeks, and she was sniffing into a handkerchief now and then. 

“Olivia, Grace this is…” Sheriff Forster halted. He hadn’t asked Mason his name. 

“Deputy Sheriff Mason Thompson,” Mason provided. He did it a little stiffly because Sheriff Coulson said that sometimes when folks had been through something, they found reassurance in authority. 

This seemed to perk the eldest, Olivia, up. “Are you going to help us?” she asked. 

“I will do my best,” Mason said, pawing a little at his shoulder and the sling his arm was in. “I can take you to my folks’ farm for as long as—” 

She blinked. “I don’t mean with finding somewhere for us to sleep,” she said, and her tone was hard and sharp like a knife drawn from a hidden sheath. “I want to know how we’re going to get our farm back.” 

“Olivia,” Sheriff Forster said, his tone gentle but warning. “You know that right now, we can’t do a thing tonight. We must follow the law and that will take a day or so. But please, have some faith. We will sort this all out.” 

She sighed. 

“Fine,” she said and folded her arms across her chest. “Let’s go.” 

As Mason got ready to escort the two homeless sisters, he had the feeling that he was in for interesting times. 

“Rescued by a Kind Sheriff” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Olivia White has shouldered the weight of responsibility since her mother’s passing, raising her sister while managing her family’s ranch. When her distant cousin Daniel threatens to tear her world apart by robbing them of their home, Olivia flees to the only sanctuary she knows: the home of her late father’s old friend, Sheriff Elijah. With her little sister to look after and her father’s last will and testament to find, she has her hands full yet she finds solace in the steadfast presence of the sheriff’s kind-hearted protege, Mason.

In this perilous situation, falling in love is the last thing she expected…

Mason Thompson is the deputy sheriff in a small town in the Wild West. Haunted by past tragedies and wrestling with his faith, he harbors scars as deep as the rugged Colorado canyons. Devoted to his family and tormented by the loss of his brother, Mason’s solitary existence is disrupted when Olivia enters his life. When two sisters are dropped on his doorstep, Mason grapples with newfound emotions, realizing Olivia’s presence may be the salvation he desperately craves.

Can he accept this godsent sign and let love heal his aching heart?

Amidst the swirling tempest of betrayal and uncertainty, Olivia and Mason forge an unbreakable bond, their courage and resilience shining bright against the darkness. But as they draw closer to uncovering Daniel’s sinister machinations, the stakes grow higher, and their quest for justice becomes a battle for survival. Will they uncover the truth before it’s too late? What sacrifices will they be forced to make along the way?

“Rescued by a Kind Sheriff” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

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