In this scene, Colby gets some much needed advice in the form of a lecture from the local visiting minister.
From Road to Redemption
“Mrs. Richardson is a fine woman,” the minister remarked. “Being a good cook is only one of her talents.”
“Is it now?” Colby murmured as he continued to work.
“Shame that her husband had to die.”
His jaw twitched. Colby didn’t want to hear this. He cut a glance in the minister’s direction and watched as the man leaned back and grasped the lapel’s of his coat. Here it comes.
“I thought for a while, Willow might seek solace with one of the ranchers or even one of the miners. I must say, it surprised me that she didn’t.”
“Why’s that?” Colby asked. He moved around to the other side of the horse to make sure the buckles were tight.
“I suspect, our Willow is a practitioner in the look for true love.”
Colby’s fingers stopped. He let the man’s words echo through his head. Then, laying a hand on the horse’s withers, he took a deep breath and looked across to the Reverend. The man’s penetrating glare gave no quarter. His words would either seal his fate or grant him mercy.
“You are telling me this because…”
Reverend Norton smiled. “I think you know why.”
His forehead furrowed, Colby began with a shake of his head. “I am not sure I do.”
“There is a certain way a woman looks at a man when she’s in love.”
Love! Colby took a step back. The reverend continued.
“She may not know it yet, but I thought it fair to warn you, Mr. Grainger.”
The minister looked down at his feet and pursed his lips. “Yes, warn you. Mrs. Richardson is one of us here at Morgan’s Crossing. We do not tolerate a woman’s reputation to be taken lightly. Lots of folks wouldn’t want to hear whispers behind her back.”
Unable to stop himself, Colby’s glance darted to the house. “I am not sure what you are implying.”
His comment brought another chuckle from the man dressed in black. “Then, perhaps, you are blind to it. So, let me be bold. Do not hurt Willow or leave her with nothing more than empty promises. There’s not a man in Morgan’s Crossing who wouldn’t hunt you down and bring you to justice.” He brought his index finger up to a point. “You understand?”
Colby swallowed, then gave a nod.
“Good.” Reverend Norton took a deep breath and climbed into the buggy. “Take care, Mr. Grainger.” He picked up the lines. “It was a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise.” Colby mumbled and stepped back.
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