The road back north was bumpy and boring. Again we travelled wide of Lusk, stopping for the night well north of our old site. Emma seemed to be doing OK but Jake kept a close eye on her wound. At Newcastle, we stayed in a hotel much to everyone's delight. Jake and I sat in Emma's room and listened to her story. To our surprise she told us that she had been married to a Cavalry officer for several years until he was killed by Indians.

"The army was ready to turn me out but then I took up with a lieutenant but the affair merely scandalized the post and I was out on the street. No money, no reputation, Ostersized  by everybody I became desperate you know the rest."

"What was the post?" I asked.

"Fort Laramie," she replied, I told Jake to disguise my name, and not to take me in there."

"I told her I had no intention of any such thing," replied Jake.

"Well Emma, I said, We don't judge eventually you will understand the reason why, we can't tell you yet, Montana and Melonie know. All I can tell you Emma is to simply stick around, you won't regret it. Obviously you can ride, how about your knowledge of the army in the west?"

"Well I was married to an officer, and spent a number of years living on army posts."

"Outstanding," I replied. "Perhaps when we're all sitting around on some cold winter's eve you can tell me all about the army from a woman's perspective." Emma obviously had an inquisitive mind as she persisted in asking about our "secret."

"We'd love to tell you Emma, but at this point you wouldn't believe us, but keep your ears open, you'll pick up on it soon enough.  

The End

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